Daniel 2:4

4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”

Daniel 2:4 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 2:4

Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in, Syriac
These spake, either because the interpretation of dreams particularly belonged to them; or else as being the chief of the wise men, and of greatest authority; or as chosen by the rest, and spake in their name; and indeed this appellation may include them all, being all of the same country, though they might differ in their profession: they spake in the Syriac or Babylonish language, the same with the Chaldee, being their mother tongue, and that of the king too; and therefore could more easily speak it themselves, and be more easily understood by him, than if they had spoke in another; (See Gill on Daniel 1:4) and from hence, to the end of the "seventh" chapter, Daniel writes in Chaldee; the things he treats of chiefly relating to the Chaldeans: O king, live for ever;
which is a wish of long life, health, and prosperity; and does not intend an everlasting continuance in this world, or an eternal life in another, to the knowledge of which they might be strangers: this was an usual form of salutation of kings in these eastern nations; like to this is that of Sinaetus, a Persian, to Artaxerxes Mnemon F24

``O King Artaxerxes, reign for ever;''
so said F25 Artabazus, a faithful friend of Darius, to Alexander the great, when he met him with the friends and relations of Darius,
``O king, may you flourish in perpetual happiness:''
tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation;
this was not the thing that was asked of them, but the dream itself; and if that had been told them, they promise more than there is reason to believe they would have fulfilled, had that been done; it is more than the Egyptian magicians could do, even when Pharaoh had told them his dream: this they said partly to get time, and partly to make a show of their skill and knowledge; though in a very vain and arrogant manner.

F24 Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 1. c. 32.
F25 Curtius, l. 6. c. 5.

Daniel 2:4 In-Context

2 He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king,
3 he said, “I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.”
4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”
5 But the king said to the astrologers, “I am serious about this. If you don’t tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into heaps of rubble!
6 But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!”

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The original text from this point through chapter 7 is in Aramaic.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.