In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon
Daniel having finished the historical part of his book, and committed to writing what was necessary concerning himself and his three companions, and concerning Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius the Mede, proceeds to the prophetic part, and goes back to the first year of Belshazzar's reign, seventeen years before his death, and the fall of the Babylonish monarchy last mentioned; for so long Belshazzar reigned, according to Josephus F21; and with which agrees the canon of Ptolemy, who ascribes so many years to the reign of Nabonadius, the same, with Belshazzar: he began to reign, according to Bishop Usher F23, Dean Prideaux F24, and Mr, Whiston F25, in the year of the world 3449 A.M., and 555 B.C.; and in the first year of his reign Daniel had the dream of the four monarchies, as follows: Daniel had a dream:
as Nebuchadnezzar before had, concerning the same things, the four monarchies of the world, and the kingdom of Christ, only represented in a different manner: or, "saw a dream" F26; in his dream he had a vision, and objects were presented to his fancy as if he really saw them, as follows: and visions of his head came upon his bed;
as he lay upon his bed, and deep sleep was fallen on him, things in a visionary way were exhibited to him very wonderful and surprising, and which made strong impressions upon him: then he wrote the dream:
awaking out of his sleep, and perfectly remembering the dream he had dreamed, and recollecting the several things he had seen in it; that they might not be lost, but transmitted to posterity for their use and benefit, he immediately committed them to writing: and told the sum of the matters;
the whole of what he had dreamt and seen; or however the sum and substance of it, the more principal parts of it, the most interesting things in it, and of the greatest importance: when it was daylight, and he rose from his bed, and went out of his chamber, he called his friends together, and told them by word of mouth what he had seen in his dream the night past; or read what he had written of it, which was as follows:
F21 Antiqu. Jud. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 4.
F23 Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3449.
F24 Connexion part. 1. p. 114.
F25 Chronological Tables, cent. 10.
F26 (hzx Mlx) "somnium vidit". V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator