And wheresoever the children of men dwell
Not in every part of the habitable world, but in every part of his large dominion inhabited by men: the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the heaven, hath he given
into thine hand;
all parks, chases, and forests (so that none might hunt or hawk without his permission), as well as the persons and habitations of men, were at his dispose; showing the despotic power and sovereign sway he had over his subjects: and hath made thee ruler over all:
men, beasts, and fowl: he not only conquered the Egyptians, Tyrians, and Jews, and other nations about them; but, according to Megasthenes F12 he exceeded Hercules in strength, and conquered Lybia and Iberia, and carried colonies of them into Pontus; and, as Strabo F13 says, carried his arms as far as the pillars of Hercules: thou art this head of gold;
or who was represented by the golden head of the image he had seen in his dream; not he personally only, but his successors Evilmerodach and Belshazzar, and the Babylonish monarchy, as possessed by them; for this refers not back to the Assyrian monarchy, from the time of Nimrod, but to its more flourishing condition in Nebuchadnezzar and his sons; called a "head", because the first of the monarchies; and golden, in comparison of other kingdoms then in being, and because of the riches of it, which the Babylonians were covetous of; hence Babylon is called the golden city, ( Isaiah 14:4 ) and it may be, because not so wicked and cruel to the Jews as the later monarchies were: from hence the poets have been thought by some to have taken their notion of the golden, silver, and iron ages, as growing worse and worse; but this distinction is observed by Hesiod, who lived many years before this vision was seen.
F12 Apud Euseb. Prepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 41. p. 456.
F13 Geograp. I. 15. p. 472.