In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar
Which some say F20 was the last year of his reign; but, according to Ptolemy's canon, he reigned seventeen years; and so says Josephus F21; however, this, as well as the preceding vision, were seen before what happened recorded in the "fifth" and "sixth" chapters. The following vision was seen by Daniel, according to Bishop Usher F23 and Dean Prideaux F24 in the year of the world 3451 A.M., and 553 B.C. Mr. Bedford F25 places it in 552 B.C.; and Mr. Whiston F26, very wrongly, in 537 B.C., two years after the death of Belshazzar. The prophet having, in the preceding chapters, related what concerned the Chaldeans, he wrote in the Chaldee language; but now, henceforward, writing of things which concerned the Jews more especially, and the church and people of God in later times, he writes in the Hebrew tongue. A vision appeared unto me, even to me Daniel;
and not another; which is said for the certainty of it; whether it was seen by him waking, or in a dream, as the former vision, is not certain; it seems rather as if he was awake at first, though he afterwards fell prostrate to the ground, and into a deep sleep; yet the Syriac version takes it to be a dream, and so renders the first clause of the next verse: "after that which appeared to me at the first"; at the beginning of Belshazzar's reign, in the first year of it, recorded in the preceding chapter; which was concerning the four monarchies in general, and particularly concerning the fourth or Roman monarchy, of which a large account is given; and the Chaldean monarchy being near at an end, here the two monarchies between, namely, the Persian and Grecian, are in this vision described.
F20 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 28. p. 81.
F21 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 4.
F23 Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3451.
F24 Connexion, &c part 1. p. 117.
F25 Scripture Chronlogy, p. 710.
F26 Chronological Tables, cent. 10.