Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, is it true
What I have heard of you, what you are charged with and accused of; surely it cannot be; so Aben Ezra and Saadiah interpret the word as we do, and all the Oriental versions: it is only used in this place: it is expressed by way of admiration, as Jacchiades observes; it being incredible to the king, what he could never believe, unless it appeared plain in his own eyes. Some F15 render it, is it a "desolation?" so Jarchi; is my decree such? or should you not obey it? was this suffered, nothing but disorder and desolation would follow in the kingdom: or, "is it of purpose?" as others F16; have you done this willingly and knowingly, or through imprudence and inadvertency? if the latter, it is pardonable; if not, it cannot be borne with. De Dieu, from the Syriac use of the word, renders it, "is it a joke?" are you serious, and in good earnest, or in joke, "that ye worship not my gods? or do you mock me and them?" O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego;
on whom I have conferred so many favours, raised from a low to a high estate, and yet used by you in this manner: do ye not serve my gods;
one would think he had no need to have asked this question; since he must needs know, that, by their nation and religion, they served only one God, and could serve no other; and that by their daily practice they never did, in which they were indulged: nor worship the golden image that I have set up?
it is for the sake of this the question is put; this was the thing his heart was set upon; and such was his pride, that he could not bear any control in it.
F15 (aduh) "nunquid desolatio?" Montanus. So Jacchiades, and some in Ben Melech.
F16 "An certo consilio?" Junius & Tremellius; "sive ex proposito?" Piscator; so Rabbenu Hai in Ben Melech; "an de industria?" Cocceius; "num revera, [vel] studiose?" Michaelis.