Daniel 1:2

2 The Lord gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God. So Nebuchadnezzar took them back to the land of Babylonia and placed them in the treasure-house of his god.

Daniel 1:2 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 1:2

The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand
And the city of Jerusalem too, or he could not have took the king, and so the Syriac version renders it, and the Lord delivered it into his hands, and Jehoiakim
: this was from the Lord, because of his sins, and the sins of his ancestors, and of his people; or otherwise the king of Babylon could not have taken the city, nor him, because of the great power of the Jews, as Jacchiades observes: with part of the vessels of the house of God;
not all of them; for some, as Saadliah says, were hid by Josiah and Jeremiah, which is not to be depended on; however, certain it is that all were not carried away, because we read of some of the vessels of the temple being carried away afterwards, in Jeconiah's time, ( 2 Kings 24:13 ) , and still there were some left, as the pillars, sea, bases, and other vessels, which were to be carried away, and were carried away by the king of Babylon, in Zedekiah's time, ( Jeremiah 27:19-22 ) ( 52:17-20 ) : which he carried into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god;
which Jarchi understands both of the men that were carried captive, and the vessels that were taken out of the temple; but the latter seem only to be intended, since of men Jehoiakim is only spoken of before; and it does not appear he was ever carried into Babylon; but it is certain the vessels of the temple were carried thither; which is meant by the land of Shinar, where Babylon stood, and where the tower of Babel was built, ( Genesis 10:2 ) , the same, as Grotius thinks, with the Singara of Pliny F19 and Ptolemy F20. So the Targum of Onkelos, on ( Genesis 10:10-12 ) , interprets the land of Shinar the land of Babylon; likewise the Jerusalem Targum on ( Genesis 10:10 ) , and the Targum of Jonathan on ( Genesis 11:2 ) ( Isaiah 11:11 ) ( Zechariah 5:11 ) , only on ( Genesis 10:10 ) , he paraphrases it the land of Pontus. So Hestiaeus F21 an ancient Phoenician writer, calls Shinar Sennaar of Babylonia. It seems to have its name from (ren) , which signifies to "shake out"; because from hence the men of the flood, as Saadiah says, or the builders of Babel, were shook out by the Lord, and were scattered over the face of the earth. And as the tower of Babel itself, very probably, was built for idolatrous worship, for which reason the Lord was so displeased with the builders of it; so in this same place, or near it, now stood an idol's temple, where the king of Babylon, and the inhabitants thereof, worshipped, here called "the house of his gods" {w}, as it may be rendered; for the Babylonians worshipped more gods than one; there were Rach, Shach and Nego, from whom Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, are supposed to have their names given them by the Chaldeans, ( Daniel 1:7 ) . Rach is thought to be the sun, whose priests were called Rachiophantae, observers of the sun; Shach, to which Sheshach is referred by some, ( Jeremiah 51:41 ) , for which a feast was kept once a year for five days, when servants had the rule and government of their masters; and Nego either was worshipped for the sun, or some star, so called from its brightness. Venus was also had in veneration with the Babylonians, whom they called Mylitta; in whose temple many acts of uncleanness and filthiness were committed, as Herodotus F24 relates. And, besides these, there were Merodach, Nebo, and Bel; of which see ( Isaiah 46:1 ) ( Jeremiah 50:2 ) , the latter seems to have been their chief deity, and who was called Jupiter Belus; and with whom were the goddesses Juno and Rhea. And in the city of Babylon stood the temple of Bel, or Jupiter Belus, which was extant in the times of Herodotus, and of which he gives an account F25, and is this:

``the temple of Jupiter Belus had gates of brass; it was four hundred and forty yards on every side, and was foursquare. In the midst of the temple was a solid tower, two hundred and twenty yards in length and breadth; upon which another temple was placed, and so on to eight. The going up them was without, in a winding about each tower; as you went up, in the middle, there was a room, and seats to rest on. In the last tower was a large temple, in which was a large bed splendidly furnished, and a table of gold set by it; but there was no statue there; nor did any man lie there in the night; only one woman, a native of the place, whom the god chose from among them all, as the Chaldean priests of this deity say.''
Diodorus Siculus says F26 it was of an extraordinary height, where the Chaldeans made observations on the stars, and could take an exact view of the rise and setting of them; it was all made of brick and bitumen, at great cost and expense. Here the vessels of the sanctuary were brought by Nebuchadnezzar, to the praise and glory of his idols, as Jarchi and Jacchiades observe; to whom he imputed the victory he had obtained over the Jews. Even these he brought into the treasure house of his god;
very probably this was the chapel Herodotus F1 speaks of, where was a large golden statue of Jupiter sitting, and a large golden table by it, and a golden throne and steps, reckoned by the Chaldeans at eight hundred talents of gold. And Diodorus Siculus F2 relates that there were three golden statues, of Jupiter, Juno, and Rhea. That of Jupiter was as one standing on his feet, and, as it were, walking, was forty feet in length, and weighed a thousand Babylonian talents (computed three millions and a half of our money). That of Rhea was of the same weight, sitting upon a throne of gold, and two lions standing at her knees; and near to them serpents of a prodigious size, made of silver, which weighed thirty talents. That of Juno was a standing statue, weighing eight hundred talents; in her right hand she held the head of a serpent, and in her left a sceptre set with precious stones; and there was a golden table, common to them all, forty feet long, fifteen broad, and of the weight of fifty talents. Moreover, there were two bowls of thirty talents, and as many censers of three hundred talents, and three cups of gold; that which was dedicated to Jupiter weighed a thousand two hundred Babylonian talents, and the other six hundred. Here all the rich things dedicated to their god were laid up, and here the king of Babylon brought the treasures and rich vessels he took out of the temple of Jerusalem; and to this agrees the testimony of Berosus F3, who says, that with the spoils of war Nebuchadnezzar took from the Jews and neighbouring nations, he adorned the temple of Belus. The riches of this temple, according to historians, are supposed to be above one and twenty millions sterling F4, even of those only which Diodorus Siculus gives an account of, as above.

F19 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 24.
F20 Geograph. l. 5. c. 18.
F21 Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 3.
F23 (wyhla tyb) "domum deorum suorum", Cocceius, Michaelis.
F24 Clio, sive l. 1. c. 199.
F25 Ibid. c. 181.
F26 Biblioth. 1. 2. p. 98. Ed. Rhodoman.
F1 Clio, sive l. 1. c. 183.
F2 Biblioth. I. 2. p. 98.
F3 Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 1.
F4 Vid. Rollin's Ancient History, vol. 2. p. 70. and Universal History, vol. 4. p. 409.

Daniel 1:2 In-Context

1 During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 The Lord gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God. So Nebuchadnezzar took them back to the land of Babylonia and placed them in the treasure-house of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives.
4 “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon. ”
5 The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew the land of Shinar.