2:1 And in the a second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed b dreams, wherewith his spirit was c troubled, and d his sleep brake from him.
(a) The father and the son were both called by
this name, so that this is meant of the son, when he reigned alone: for he
also reigned in a way with his father.
(b) Not that he had many dreams, but because many
matters were contained in this dream.
(c) Because it was so rare and strange a dream,
that he had had nothing similar.
(d) Or, "his sleep was upon him", that
is, that he was so heavy with sleep, that he began to sleep again.
2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians,
and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the e
Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the
(e) For all these astrologers and sorcerers
called themselves by this name of honour, as though all the wisdom and
knowledge of the country depended upon them, and that all other countries were
void of such wisdom and knowledge.
2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to
the king in f Syriack, O king, live for
ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
(f) That is, in the Syrian language, which
differed not much from the Chaldeans, except it seemed to be more eloquent,
and therefore the learned used to speak it, as the Jewish writers do to this
2:5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The
thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the
interpretation thereof, ye g shall be
cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
(g) This is a just reward of their arrogance (who
boasted of themselves that they had knowledge of all things), that they should
be proved fools, and that to their perpetual shame and confusion.
2:7 They answered again and said,
Let the king tell h his servants the
dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.
(h) In this appears their ignorance, that despite
their braggings, yet they were not able to tell the dream, unless he told them
of it. And if he did tell them, they would pretend knowledge where there was
but mere ignorance, and so as deluders of the people they were worthy to die.
And the decree went forth that the wise [men] should be slain; and they i
sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
(i) Which declares that God would not have his
servant united in the company of these sorcerers and astrologers, whose arts
were wicked, and therefore justly ought to die, even though the king did it
upon a rage and not from zeal.
He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness,
and the k light dwelleth with him.
(k) He shows that man has neither wisdom nor
knowledge, but very dark blindness and ignorance of himself: for it comes only
from God that man understands anything.
2:23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my
l fathers, who hast given me wisdom and m
might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast
[now] made known unto us the king's matter.
(l) To whom you made your promise, and who lived
in fear of you: by which he excludes all other gods.
(m) Meaning power to interpret it.
2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the
king had ordained to destroy the wise [men] of Babylon: he went and said thus
unto him; Destroy not n the wise [men]
of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the
(n) By which appears that many were slain, as in
verse thirteen, and the rest at Daniel's offer were preserved on condition.
Not that Daniel favoured their wicked profession, but that he had respect to
fairness, because the King proceeded according to his wicked affection, and
not considering if their profession was morally correct or not.
But there is a God in o heaven that
revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in
the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
(o) He affirms that man by reason and craft is
not able to attain to the cause of God's secrets, but the understanding only
of them must come from God: by which he smites the king with a certain fear
and reverence of God, that he might be the more able to receive the high
mysteries that would be revealed.
2:30 But as p
for me, this secret is not revealed to me for [any] wisdom that I have more than
any living, but for [their] sakes that shall make known the interpretation to
the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
(p) Because he had said that God alone must
reveal the signification of this dream, the King might have asked why Daniel
undertook to interpret it: and therefore he shows that he was but God's
minister, and had no gifts but those which God had given him to set forth his
2:32 This image's head [was]
of fine q gold, his breast and his arms
of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
(q) By gold, silver, brass, and iron are meant
the Chaldean, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman kingdoms, which would
successively rule all the world until Christ (who is here called the stone)
himself comes, and destroys the last. And this was to assure the Jews that
their affliction would not end with the empire of the Chaldeans, but that they
should patiently await the coming of the Messiah, who would be at the end of
this fourth monarchy.
And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls
of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them
all. Thou [art] r this head of gold.
(r) Daniel leaves out the kingdom of the
Assyrians, which was before the Babylonian, both because it was not a monarchy
and general empire, and also because he would declare the things that were to
come, until the coming of Christ, for the comfort of the elect among these
wonderful alterations. And he calls the Babylonian kingdom the golden head,
because in respect of the other three, it was the best, and yet it was of
itself wicked and cruel.
2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom s
inferior to thee, and another t third
kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
(s) Meaning, the Persians who were not inferior
in dignity, power, or riches, but were worse with regard to ambition, cruelty,
and every type of vice, showing that the world would grow worse and worse,
until it was restored by Christ.
(t) That is, those of the Macedonians will be of
brass, not alluding to the hardness of it, but to the vileness with regard to
2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron:
forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all [things]: and as iron that
breaketh all these, shall it break in u
pieces and bruise.
(u) That is, the Roman empire will subdue all
these others, which after Alexander were divided into the Macedonians,
Grecians, Syrians, and Egyptians.
2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part
of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be x
divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou
sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
(x) They will have civil wars, and continual
discords among themselves.
2:43 And whereas thou sawest
iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with y
the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not
mixed with clay.
(y) They will be marriages and affinities think
to make themselves strong: yet they will never by united in heart.
2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of
heaven set up a kingdom, which z shall
never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it
shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for
(z) His purpose is to show that all the kingdoms
of the world are transitory, and that the kingdom of Christ alone will remain
2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the a
stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the
iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made
known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream [is] certain,
and the interpretation thereof sure.
(a) Meaning Christ, who was sent by God, and not
set up by man, whose kingdom at the beginning would be small and without
beauty to man's judgment, but would at length grow and fill the whole earth,
which he calls a great mountain, as in (Daniel
2:35). And this kingdom, which is not only referred to the person of
Christ, but also to the whole body of his Church, and to every member of it,
will be eternal: for the Spirit that is in them is eternal life; (Romans
2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his
face, and b worshipped Daniel, and
commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
(b) Though this humbling of the king seemed to
deserve commendation, yet because he united God's honour with the Prophets,
it is to be reproved, and Daniel would have erred, if he allowed it: but it is
to his credit that Daniel admonished him of his fault, and did not allow it.
2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a
truth [it is], that your c God [is] a
God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou
couldest reveal this secret.
(c) This confession was but a sudden motion, as
it was also in Pharaoh, (Exodus
9:28), but his heart was not touched, as appeared soon afterwards.
2:48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave
him many great d gifts, and made him
ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all
the wise [men] of Babylon.
(d) Not that the Prophet was desirous of gifts or
honour, but because by this means he might relieve his poor brethren, who were
grievously oppressed in this their captivity, and he also received them, lest
he should offend this cruel king, who willingly gave them.
2:49 Then Daniel e
requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the
affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel [sat] in the f
gate of the king.
(e) He did not do this for their personal profit,
but that the whole Church, which was then there in affliction, might have some
release and ease by this benefit.
(f) Meaning that either he was a judge, or that
he had the whole authority, so than no one could be admitted to the king's
presence but by him.