Compare Translations for Daniel 4:23

  • Daniel 4:23 (ASV) And whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of heaven: and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

  • Daniel 4:23 (BBE) And as for the vision which the king saw of a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven, saying, Let the tree be cut down and given to destruction;

  • Daniel 4:23 (CEB) "Your Majesty, the holy watcher you saw coming down from heaven, who said, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its deepest root in the earth, bound with iron and bronze in the field grass, dew from heaven is to wash it, and it must live with the wild animals until seven periods of time pass over it'—

  • Daniel 4:23 (CEBA) "Your Majesty, the holy watcher you saw coming down from heaven, who said, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its deepest root in the earth, bound with iron and bronze in the field grass, dew from heaven is to wash it, and it must live with the wild animals until seven periods of time pass over it'—

  • Daniel 4:23 (CJB) "'Now the king saw a holy watcher coming down from heaven, who said, "'"Cut down the tree, and destroy it, but leave the stump with its roots in the ground, with a band of iron and bronze, in the lush grass of the countryside; let him be drenched with dew from the sky and share the lot of the wild animals until seven seasons pass over him."

  • Daniel 4:23 (CSB) "The king saw an observer, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump with its roots in the ground and with a band of iron and bronze around it, in the tender grass of the field. Let him be drenched with dew from the sky, and share [food] with the wild animals for seven periods of time.'

  • Daniel 4:23 (DBY) And whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the heavens, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be bathed with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him:

  • Daniel 4:23 (ESV) And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,'

  • Daniel 4:23 (GNT) While Your Majesty was watching, an angel came down from heaven and said, "Cut the tree down and destroy it, but leave the stump in the ground. Wrap a band of iron and bronze around it, and leave it there in the field with the grass. Let the dew fall on this man, and let him live there with the animals for seven years.'

  • Daniel 4:23 (GNTA) While Your Majesty was watching, an angel came down from heaven and said, "Cut the tree down and destroy it, but leave the stump in the ground. Wrap a band of iron and bronze around it, and leave it there in the field with the grass. Let the dew fall on this man, and let him live there with the animals for seven years.'

  • Daniel 4:23 (GW) You saw a guardian, a holy being, come down from heaven. He said, 'Cut down the oak tree! Destroy it! But leave the stump and its roots in the ground. Secure it with an iron and bronze chain in the grass in the field. Let it get wet with the dew from the sky. Let it get its share of the plants on the ground with the wild animals for seven time periods.'

  • Daniel 4:23 (HNV) Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Hew down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of the roots of it in the eretz, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him;

  • Daniel 4:23 (JUB) And regarding that which the king saw, one who was a watchman and holy who came down from heaven and said, Hew the tree down and destroy it; yet leave the stump of its roots in the earth, and with a band of iron and of brass <em>let it remain bound</em> in the green grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and <em>let</em> his portion <em>be</em> with the beasts of the field until seven times pass over him:

  • Daniel 4:23 (KJV) And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

  • Daniel 4:23 (KJVA) And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying , Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

  • Daniel 4:23 (LEB) And [inasmuch] that the king saw [the] watcher, a holy [one] coming down from heaven and he said, "Cut down the tree and destroy it, but the stump of its root in the earth leave with a band of iron and bronze in the grass of the field, and let it be watered with the dew of heaven and [let] his lot [be] with [the] animals of the field {until seven times have passed over him}."

  • Daniel 4:23 (LXX) And whereas they said, Leave the stumps of the roots of the tree; thy kingdom abides to thee from the time that thou shalt know the power of the heavens.

  • Daniel 4:23 (MSG) "But the part about the holy angel descending from heaven and proclaiming, 'Chop down the tree, destroy it, but leave stump and roots in the ground belted with a strap of iron and bronze in the grassy meadow; let him be soaked with heaven's dew and take his meals with the grazing animals for seven seasons'

  • Daniel 4:23 (NAS) 'In that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, "Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him,"

  • Daniel 4:23 (NCV) "O king, you saw an observer, a holy angel, coming down from heaven who said, 'Cut down the tree and destroy it. But leave the stump and its roots in the ground with a band of iron and bronze around it; leave it in the field with the grass. Let him become wet with dew and live like a wild animal for seven years.'

  • Daniel 4:23 (NIRV) "My king, you saw a holy messenger. He came down from heaven. He said, 'Cut the tree down. Destroy it. But leave the stump with its roots in the ground. Let it stay in the field. Put a band of iron and bronze around it. Let King Nebuchadnezzar become wet with the dew of heaven. Let him live like the wild animals. Let him stay that way until seven periods of time pass by.'

  • Daniel 4:23 (NIV) “Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’

  • Daniel 4:23 (NKJV) And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him';

  • Daniel 4:23 (NLT) “‘Then you saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, “Cut down the tree and destroy it. But leave the stump and the roots in the ground, bound with a band of iron and bronze and surrounded by tender grass. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven. Let him live with the animals of the field for seven periods of time.”

  • Daniel 4:23 (NRS) And whereas the king saw a holy watcher coming down from heaven and saying, "Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the ground, with a band of iron and bronze, in the grass of the field; and let him be bathed with the dew of heaven, and let his lot be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him'—

  • Daniel 4:23 (NRSA) And whereas the king saw a holy watcher coming down from heaven and saying, "Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the ground, with a band of iron and bronze, in the grass of the field; and let him be bathed with the dew of heaven, and let his lot be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him'—

  • Daniel 4:23 (OJB) (3:32) I thought it good to show the otot (signs) and mofetim (wonders) that El Elyon hath wrought toward me.

  • Daniel 4:23 (RHE) (4-20) And whereas the king saw a watcher, and a holy one come down from heaven, and say: Cut down the tree, and destroy it, but leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, and let it be bound with iron and brass, among the grass without, and let it be sprinkled with the dew of heaven, and let his feeding be with the wild beasts, till seven times pass over him.

  • Daniel 4:23 (RSV) And whereas the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Hew down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field; and let him be wet with the dew of heaven; and let his lot be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him';

  • Daniel 4:23 (RSVA) And whereas the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Hew down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field; and let him be wet with the dew of heaven; and let his lot be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him';

  • Daniel 4:23 (TMB) And whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from heaven and saying, `Hew the tree down and destroy it, yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him'--

  • Daniel 4:23 (TMBA) And whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from heaven and saying, `Hew the tree down and destroy it, yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him'--

  • Daniel 4:23 (WBT) And whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and [let] its portion [be] with the beasts of the field, till seven times shall pass over him;

  • Daniel 4:23 (WEB) Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Hew down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of the roots of it in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him;

  • Daniel 4:23 (WYC) Soothly that the king saw a waker and holy come down from heaven, and say, Hew ye down the tree, and destroy ye it, nevertheless leave ye the seed of (the) roots thereof in (the) earth, and be he bound with iron and brass, in herbs withoutforth; and be he besprinkled with the dew of heaven, and his meat be with wild beasts, till seven times be changed on him; (Truly that the king saw a watcher, yea, a holy one, come down from heaven, and say, Cut ye down the tree, and destroy ye it, but leave ye the stump of the tree, with its roots, in the ground, and be it bound with a band of iron and of bronze, amidst the herbs that be outside; and let the man be sprinkled with the dew of heaven, and his food be with the wild beasts, until seven years pass over him;)

  • Daniel 4:23 (YLT) and that which the king hath seen -- a sifter, even a holy one, coming down from the heavens, and he hath said, Cut down the tree, and destroy it; but the stump of its roots leave in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens it is wet, and with the beast of the field [is] his portion, till that seven times pass over him.

Commentaries For Daniel 4

  • Chapter 4

    Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the power of Jehovah. (1-18) Daniel interprets his dream. (19-27) The fulfilment of it. (28-37)

    Verses 1-18 The beginning and end of this chapter lead us to hope, that Nebuchadnezzar was a monument of the power of Divine grace, and of the riches of Divine mercy. After he was recovered from his madness, he told to distant places, and wrote down for future ages, how God had justly humbled and graciously restored him. When a sinner comes to himself, he will promote the welfare of others, by making known the wondrous mercy of God. Nebuchadnezzar, before he related the Divine judgments upon him for his pride, told the warnings he had in a dream or vision. The meaning was explained to him. The person signified, was to be put down from honour, and to be deprived of the use of his reason seven years. This is surely the sorest of all temporal judgments. Whatever outward affliction God is pleased to lay upon us, we have cause to bear it patiently, and to be thankful that he continues the use of our reason, and the peace of our consciences. Yet if the Lord should see fit by such means to keep a sinner from multiplying crimes, or a believer from dishonouring his name, even the dreadful prevention would be far preferable to the evil conduct. God has determined it, as a righteous Judge, and the angels in heaven applaud. Not that the great God needs the counsel or concurrence of the angels, but it denotes the solemnity of this sentence. The demand is by the word of the holy ones, God's suffering people: when the oppressed cry to God, he will hear. Let us diligently seek blessings which can never be taken from us, and especially beware of pride and forgetfulness of God.

    Verses 19-27 Daniel was struck with amazement and terror at so heavy a judgment coming upon so great a prince, and gives advice with tenderness and respect. It is necessary, in repentance, that we not only cease to do evil, but learn to do good. Though it might not wholly prevent the judgment, yet the trouble may be longer before it comes, or shorter when it does come. And everlasting misery will be escaped by all who repent and turn to God.

    Verses 28-37 Pride and self-conceit are sins that beset great men. They are apt to take that glory to themselves which is due to God only. While the proud word was in the king's mouth, the powerful word came from God. His understanding and his memory were gone, and all the powers of the rational soul were broken. How careful we ought to be, not to do any thing which may provoke God to put us out of our senses! God resists the proud. Nebuchadnezzar would be more than a man, but God justly makes him less than a man. We may learn to believe concerning God, that the most high God lives for ever, and that his kingdom is like himself, everlasting, and universal. His power cannot be resisted. When men are brought to honour God, by confession of sin and acknowledging his sovereignty, then, and not till then, they may expect that God will honour them; not only restore them to the dignity they lost by the sin of the first Adam, but add excellent majesty to them, from the righteousness and grace of the Second Adam. Afflictions shall last no longer than till they have done the work for which they were sent. There can be no reasonable doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a true penitent, and an accepted believer. It is thought that he did not live more than a year after his restoration. Thus the Lord knows how to abase those that walk in pride, but gives grace and consolation to the humble, broken-hearted sinner who calls upon Him.

  • CHAPTER 4

    Daniel 4:1-37 . EDICT OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR CONTAINING HIS SECOND DREAM, RELATING TO HIMSELF.

    Punished with insanity for his haughtiness, he sinks to the level of the beasts (illustrating Psalms 49:6 Psalms 49:12 ). The opposition between bestial and human life, set forth here, is a key to interpret the symbolism in the seventh chapter concerning the beasts and the Son of man. After his conquests, and his building in fifteen days a new palace, according to the heathen historian, ABYDENUS (268 B.C), whose account confirms Daniel, he ascended upon his palace roof ( Daniel 4:29 , Margin), whence he could see the surrounding city which he had built, and seized by some deity, he predicted the Persian conquest of Babylon, adding a prayer that the Persian leader might on his return be borne where there is no path of men, and where the wild beasts graze (language evidently derived by tradition from Daniel 4:32 Daniel 4:33 , though the application is different). In his insanity, his excited mind would naturally think of the coming conquest of Babylon by the Medo-Persians, already foretold to him in the second chapter.

    1. Peace--the usual salutation in the East, shalom, whence "salaam." The primitive revelation of the fall, and man's alienation from God, made "peace" to be felt as the first and deepest want of man. The Orientals (as the East was the cradle of revelation) retained the word by tradition.

    2. I thought it good--"It was seemly before me" ( Psalms 107:2-8 ).
    signs--tokens significant of God's omnipotent agency. The plural is used, as it comprises the marvellous dream, the marvellous interpretation of it, and its marvellous issue.

    4. I was . . . at rest--my wars over, my kingdom at peace.
    flourishing--"green." Image from a tree ( Jeremiah 17:8 ). Prosperous ( Job 15:32 ).

    6. It may seem strange that Daniel was not first summoned. But it was ordered by God's providence that he should be reserved to the last, in order that all mere human means should be proved vain, before God manifested His power through His servant; thus the haughty king was stripped of all fleshly confidences. The Chaldees were the king's recognized interpreters of dreams; whereas Daniel's interpretation of the one in Daniel 2:24-45 had been a peculiar case, and very many years before; nor had he been consulted on such matters since.

    8. Belteshazzar--called so from the god Bel or Belus

    9. spirit of the holy gods--Nebuchadnezzar speaks as a heathen, who yet has imbibed some notions of the true God. Hence he speaks of "gods" in the plural but gives the epithet "holy," which applies to Jehovah alone, the heathen gods making no pretension to purity, even in the opinion of their votaries ( Deuteronomy 32:31 ; compare Isaiah 63:11 ). "I know" refers to his knowledge of Daniel's skill many years before ( Daniel 2:8 ); hence he calls him "master of the magicians."
    troubleth--gives thee difficulty in explaining it.

    10. tree--So the Assyrian is compared to a "cedar" ( Ezekiel 31:3 ; compare Ezekiel 17:24 ).
    in the midst of the earth--denoting its conspicuous position as the center whence the imperial authority radiated in all directions.

    12. beasts . . . shadow under it--implying that God's purpose in establishing empires in the world is that they may be as trees affording men "fruits" for "meat," and a "shadow" for "rest" (compare Lamentations 4:20 ). But the world powers abuse their trust for self; therefore Messiah comes to plant the tree of His gospel kingdom, which alone shall realize God's purpose ( Ezekiel 17:23 , Matthew 13:32 ). HERODOTUS [7.19] mentions a dream (probably suggested by the tradition of this dream of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel) which Xerxes had; namely, that he was crowned with olive, and that the branches of the olive filled the whole earth, but that afterwards the crown vanished from his head: signifying his universal dominion soon to come to an end.

    13. watcher and an holy one--rather, "even an holy one." Only one angel is intended, and he not one of the bad, but of the holy angels. Called a "watcher," because ever on the watch to execute God's will [JEROME], ( Psalms 103:20 Psalms 103:21 ). Compare as to their watchfulness, Revelation 4:8 , "full of eyes within . . . they rest not day and night." Also they watch good men committed to their charge ( Psalms 34:7 , Hebrews 1:14 ); and watch over the evil to record their sins, and at God's bidding at last punish them ( Jeremiah 4:16 Jeremiah 4:17 ), "watchers" applied to human instruments of God's vengeance. As to GOD ( Daniel 9:14 , Job 7:12 , 14:16 , Jeremiah 44:27 ). In a good sense ( Genesis 31:49 , Jeremiah 31:28 ). The idea of heavenly "watchers" under the supreme God (called in the Zendavesta of the Persian Zoroaster, Ormuzd) was founded on the primeval revelation as to evil angels having watched for an opportunity until they succeeded in tempting man to his ruin, and good angels ministering to God's servants (as Jacob, Genesis 28:15 , Genesis 32:1 Genesis 32:2 ). Compare the watching over Abraham for good, and over Sodom for wrath after long watching in vain for good men it it, for whose sake He would spare it, Genesis 18:23-33 ; and over Lot for good, Genesis 19:1-38 Daniel fitly puts in Nebuchadnezzar's mouth the expression, though not found elsewhere in Scripture, yet substantially sanctioned by it ( 2 Chronicles 16:9 , Proverbs 15:3 , Jeremiah 32:19 ), and natural to him according to Oriental modes of thought.

    14. Hew down--( Matthew 3:10 , Luke 13:7 ). The holy ( Jude 1:14 ) one incites his fellow angels to God's appointed work (compare Revelation 14:15 Revelation 14:18 ).
    beasts get away from under it--It shall no longer afford them shelter ( Ezekiel 31:12 ).

    15. stump--The kingdom is still reserved secure for him at last, as a tree stump secured by a hoop of brass and iron from being split by the sun's heat, in the hope of its growing again ( Isaiah 11:1 ; compare Job 14:7-9 ). BARNES refers it to the chaining of the royal maniac.

    16. heart--understanding ( Isaiah 6:10 ).
    times--that is, "years" ( Daniel 12:7 ). "Seven" is the perfect number: a week of years: a complete revolution of time accompanying a complete revolution in his state of mind.

    17. demand--that is, determination; namely, as to the change to which Nebuchadnezzar is to be doomed. A solemn council of the heavenly ones is supposed (compare Job 1:6 , 2:1 ), over which God presides supreme. His "decree" and "word" are therefore said to be theirs (compare Daniel 4:24 , "decree of the Most High"); "the decree of the watchers," "the word of the holy ones." For He has placed particular kingdoms under the administration of angelic beings, subject to Him ( Daniel 10:13 Daniel 10:20 , 12:1 ). The word "demand," in the second clause, expresses a distinct idea from the first clause. Not only as members of God's council ( Daniel 7:10 , 1 Kings 22:19 , Psalms 103:21 , Zechariah 1:10 ) do they subscribe to His "decree," but that decree is in answer to their prayers, wherein they demand that every mortal who tries to obscure the glory of God shall be humbled [CALVIN]. Angels are grieved when God's prerogative is in the least infringed. How awful to Nebuchadnezzar to know that angels plead against him for his pride, and that the decree has been passed in the high court of heaven for his humiliation in answer to angels' demands! The conceptions are moulded in a form peculiarly adapted to Nebuchadnezzar's modes of thought.
    the living--not as distinguished from the dead, but from the inhabitants of heaven, who "know" that which the men of the world need to the taught ( Psalms 9:16 ); the ungodly confess there is a God, but would gladly confine Him to heaven. But, saith Daniel, God ruleth not merely there, but "in the kingdom of men."
    basest--the lowest in condition ( 1 Samuel 2:8 , Luke 1:52 ). It is not one's talents, excellency, or noble birth, but God's will, which elevates to the throne. Nebuchadnezzar abased to the dunghill, and then restored, was to have in himself an experimental proof of this ( Daniel 4:37 ).

    19. Daniel . . . Belteshazzar--The use of the Hebrew as well as the Chaldee name, so far from being an objection, as some have made it, is an undesigned mark of genuineness. In a proclamation to "all people," and one designed to honor the God of the Hebrews, Nebuchadnezzar would naturally use the Hebrew name (derived from El, "God," the name by which the prophet was best known among his countrymen), as well as the Gentile name by which he was known in the Chaldean empire.
    astonied--overwhelmed with awe at the terrible import of the dream.
    one hour--the original means often "a moment," or "short time," as in Daniel 3:6 Daniel 3:15 .
    let not the dream . . . trouble thee--Many despots would have punished a prophet who dared to foretell his overthrow. Nebuchadnezzar assures Daniel he may freely speak out.
    the dream be to them that hate thee--We are to desire the prosperity of those under whose authority God's providence has placed us ( Jeremiah 29:7 ). The wish here is not so much against others, as for the king: a common formula ( 2 Samuel 18:32 ). It is not the language of uncharitable hatred.

    20. The tree is the king. The branches, the princes. The leaves, the soldiers. The fruits, the revenues. The shadow, the protection afforded to dependent states.

    22. It is thou--He speaks pointedly, and without circumlocution ( 2 Samuel 12:7 ). While pitying the king, he uncompromisingly pronounces his sentence of punishment. Let ministers steer the mean between, on the one hand, fulminations against sinners under the pretext of zeal, without any symptom of compassion; and, on the other, flattery of sinners under the pretext of moderation.
    to the end of the earth--( Jeremiah 27:6:8 ). To the Caspian, Euxine, and Atlantic seas.

    24. decree of the Most High--What was termed in Daniel 4:17 by Nebuchadnezzar, "the decree of the watchers," is here more accurately termed by Daniel, "the decree of the Most High." They are but His ministers.

    25. they shall drive thee--a Chaldee idiom for "thou shalt be driven." Hypochondriacal madness was his malady, which "drove" him under the fancy that he was a beast, to "dwell with the beasts"; Daniel 4:34 proves this, "mine understanding returned." The regency would leave him to roam in the large beast-abounding parks attached to the palace.
    eat grass--that is, vegetables, or herbs in general ( Genesis 3:18 ).
    they shall wet thee--that is, thou shalt be wet.
    till thou know, &c.--( Psalms 83:17 Psalms 83:18 , Jeremiah 27:5 ).

    26. thou shalt have known, &c.--a promise of spiritual grace to him, causing the judgment to humble, not harden, his heart.
    heavens do rule--The plural is used, as addressed to Nebuchadnezzar, the head of an organized earthly kingdom, with various principalities under the supreme ruler. So "the kingdom of heaven" ( Matthew 4:17 ; Greek, "kingdom of the heavens") is a manifold organization, composed of various orders of angels, under the Most High ( Ephesians 1:20 Ephesians 1:21 , 3:10 , Colossians 1:16 ).

    27. break off--as a galling yoke ( Genesis 27:40 ); sin is a heavy load ( Matthew 11:28 ). The Septuagint and Vulgate translate not so well, "redeem," which is made an argument for Rome's doctrine of the expiation of sins by meritorious works. Even translate it so, it can only mean; Repent and show the reality of thy repentance by works of justice and charity (compare Luke 11:41 ); so God will remit thy punishment. The trouble will be longer before it comes, or shorter when it does come. Compare the cases of Hezekiah, Isaiah 38:1-5 ; Nineveh, Jonah 3:5-10 , Jeremiah 18:7 Jeremiah 18:8 . The change is not in God, but in the sinner who repents. As the king who had provoked God's judgments by sin, so he might avert it by a return to righteousness (compare Psalms 41:1 Psalms 41:2 , Acts 8:22 ). Probably, like most Oriental despots, Nebuchadnezzar had oppressed the poor by forcing them to labor in his great public works without adequate remuneration.
    if . . . lengthening of . . . tranquillity--if haply thy present prosperity shall be prolonged.

    29. twelve months--This respite was granted to him to leave him without excuse. So the hundred twenty years granted before the flood ( Genesis 6:3 ). At the first announcement of the coming judgment he was alarmed, as Ahab ( 1 Kings 21:27 ), but did not thoroughly repent; so when judgment was not executed at once, he thought it would never come, and so returned to his former pride ( Ecclesiastes 8:11 ).
    in the palace--rather, upon the (flat) palace roof, whence he could contemplate the splendor of Babylon. So the heathen historian, ABYDENUS, records. The palace roof was the scene of the fall of another king ( 2 Samuel 11:2 ). The outer wall of Nebuchadnezzar's new palace embraced six miles; there were two other embattled walls within, and a great tower, and three brazen gates.

    30. Babylon, that I have built--HERODOTUS ascribes the building of Babylon to Semiramis and Nitocris, his informant under the Persian dynasty giving him the Assyrian and Persian account. BEROSUS and ABYDENUS give the Babylonian account, namely, that Nebuchadnezzar added much to the old city, built a splendid palace and city walls. HERODOTUS, the so-called "father of history," does not even mention Nebuchadnezzar. (Nitocris, to whom he attributes the beautifying of Babylon, seems to have been Nebuchadnezzar's wife). Hence infidels have doubted the Scripture account. But the latter is proved by thousands of bricks on the plain, the inscriptions of which have been deciphered, each marked "Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar." "Built," that is, restored and enlarged ( 2 Chronicles 11:5 2 Chronicles 11:6 ). It is curious, all the bricks have been found with the stamped face downwards. Scarcely a figure in stone, or tablet, has been dug out of the rubbish heaps of Babylon, whereas Nineveh abounds in them; fulfilling Jeremiah 51:37 , "Babylon shall become heaps." The "I" is emphatic, by which he puts himself in the place of God; so the "my . . . my." He impiously opposes his might to God's, as though God's threat, uttered a year before, could never come to pass. He would be more than man; God, therefore, justly, makes him less than man. An acting over again of the fall; Adam, once lord of the world and the very beasts ( Genesis 1:28 ; so Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 2:38 ), would be a god ( Genesis 3:5 ); therefore he must die like the beasts ( Psalms 82:6 , 49:12 ). The second Adam restores the forfeited inheritance ( Psalms 8:4-8 ).

    31. While, &c.--in the very act of speaking, so that there could be no doubt as to the connection between the crime and the punishment. So Luke 12:19 Luke 12:20 .
    O king . . . to thee it is spoken--Notwithstanding thy kingly power, to thee thy doom is now spoken, there is to be no further respite.

    33. driven from men--as a maniac fancying himself a wild beast. It is possible, a conspiracy of his nobles may have co-operated towards his having been "driven" forth as an outcast.
    hairs . . . eagles' feathers--matted together, as the hair-like, thick plumage of the ossifraga eagle. The "nails," by being left uncut for years, would become like "claws."

    34. lifted up mine eyes unto heaven--whence the "voice" had issued ( Daniel 4:31 ) at the beginning of his visitation. Sudden mental derangement often has the effect of annihilating the whole interval, so that, when reason returns, the patient remembers only the event that immediately preceded his insanity. Nebuchadnezzar's looking up towards heaven was the first symptom of his "understanding" having "returned." Before, like the beasts, his eyes had been downward to the earth. Now, like Jonah's ( Jonah 2:1 Jonah 2:2 Jonah 2:4 ) out of the fish's belly, they are lifted up to heaven in prayer. He turns to Him that smiteth him ( Isaiah 9:13 ), with the faint glimmer of reason left to him, and owns God's justice in punishing him.
    praised . . . him--Praise is a sure sign of a soul spiritually healed ( Psalms 116:12 Psalms 116:14 , Mark 5:15 Mark 5:18 Mark 5:19 ).
    I . . . honoured him--implying that the cause of his chastisement was that he had before robbed God of His honor.
    everlasting dominion--not temporary or mutable, as a human king's dominion.

    35. all . . . as nothing--( Isaiah 40:15 Isaiah 40:17 ).
    according to his will in . . . heaven--( Psalms 115:3 , 135:6 , Matthew 6:10 , Ephesians 1:11 ).
    army--the heavenly hosts, angels and starry orbs (compare Isaiah 24:21 ).
    none . . . stay his hand--literally, "strike His hand." Image from striking the hand of another, to check him in doing anything ( Isaiah 43:13 , 45:9 ).
    What doest thou--( Job 9:12 , Romans 9:20 ).

    36. An inscription in the East India Company's Museum is read as describing the period of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity [G. V. SMITH]. In the so-called standard inscription read by SIR H. RAWLINSON, Nebuchadnezzar relates that during four (?) years he ceased to lay out buildings, or to furnish with victims Merodach's altar, or to clear out the canals for irrigation. No other instance in the cuneiform inscriptions occurs of a king recording his own inaction.
    my counsellors . . . sought unto me--desired to have me, as formerly, to be their head, wearied with the anarchy which prevailed in my absence (compare Note, conspiracy of the nobles is confirmed by this verse.
    majesty was added--My authority was greater than ever before ( Job 42:12 , Proverbs 22:4 ; "added," Matthew 6:33 ).

    37. praise . . . extol . . . honour--He heaps word on word, as if he cannot say enough in praise of God.
    all whose works . . . truth . . . judgment--that is, are true and just ( Revelation 15:3 , 16:7 ). God has not dealt unjustly or too severely with me; whatever I have suffered, I deserved it all. It is a mark of true contrition to condemn one's self, and justify God ( Psalms 51:4 ).
    those that walk in pride . . . abase--exemplified in me. He condemns himself before the whole world, in order to glorify God.

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