And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar
It was in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign that Daniel was carried captive, ( Jeremiah 25:1 ) , three years Daniel had been under tutors; at the end of which he was presented to the king, as is related in the preceding chapter; and yet the following dream was in the second of his reign: this creates a difficulty, which is solved by some thus: in the second year after the destruction of the temple, so the Jewish chronicle F15, with which Jarchi agrees; others, as Aben Ezra, in the second year of his monarchy, after he had subdued all the nations round about; and so Josephus says F16, it was in the second year after the destruction of the Egyptians. R. Moses the priest, in Aben Ezra, would have it to be the second year to his reign, to the end of it, when there were only two years wanting to it; a very unusual way of reckoning indeed! and therefore justly rejected by Aben Ezra: but all these dates are too late, since Daniel long before these times was well known, and in great fame for his wisdom; whereas, at this time, it does not appear that he was much known, or in great request: it is better either to render it, "in the second year", that is, after Daniel and his companions had been presented to the king, and promoted; even in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar,
as opposed to the reign of Darius or Cyrus, in which he flourished also: or rather this was the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reigning alone; for he had been taken into partnership in the throne with his father before his death, as Berosus
F17 observes, which is said to be two years; so that this second year was the fourth year of his reign, reckoning from the time he reigned conjunctly with his father, though the second of his reigning alone: yet it seems best of all to render the words, with Noldius F18, but in the second year, in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar; that is, in the second year of Daniel's ministry in or under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar; who continued at court under different reigns, till the first of Cyrus: this was, according to Bishop Usher F19, and Mr. Whiston F20, in the year of the world 3401 A.M., and before Christ 603. Mr. Bedford F21 places it in 604: Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams;
which, though but one, yet, relating to various things, the several parts of the human body, and the different metals the form he saw was made of, as well as the four monarchies it signified, is called "dreams". Jacchiades says, he first dreamed the dream, and then the interpretation of it; which is the reason of the plural number: wherewith his spirit was troubled; it gave his mind a great deal of trouble while he was dreaming it; and when he awaked, though he could not recover it, yet he had some confused broken ideas of it; it had left some impressions upon him, which gave him great uneasiness, and the more as he could not recollect any part of it; his mind was agitated, and tossed to and fro, and under the greatest perplexity: and his sleep brake from him;
went away from him, through the strangeness of the dream, and the effect it had upon him.
F15 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 28. p. 80.
F16 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 10. sect. 3.
F17 Apud Joseph. contr. Apion. l. 1. c. 19.
F18 Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 452. No. 1405.
F19 Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3401.
F20 Chronological Tables, cent. 9.
F21 Scripture Chronology, p. 677.