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the wise (men) of Babylon ; not with rage against the king's 15 bloody edict, but calmly and prudently : He answered and said * to Arioch the king's captain, Why [is] the decree (so] hasty • from the king ? or, What is the occasion of this sudden decree 3 16 Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Dan
iel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation ; and his passion being somewhat abated, he recollected Daniel's
wisdom, and being desirous to know his dream, he was willing 17 to grant him the time he asked. Then Daniel went to his
house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and 18 Azariah, his companions : That they would desire mercies
of the God of heaven concerning this secret ; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise (men)
of Babylon ; they were equally concerned, and therefore agreed 19 to join in prayer on this occasion. Then was the secret reveal.
ed unto Daniel in a night vision ; by a particular and well
known impression upon his mind, which assured him that he was 20 right. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel
answered the inspiring Deity, and said, Blessed be the name
of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his, 21 in ordering and bringing to pass all events : And he changeth
the times and the seasons : he removeth kings, and setteth up kings : he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge
to themfthat know understanding ; alluding to the great changes 22 in the kingdoms of the earth, referred to in the dream : Ho
revealeth the deep and secret things : he knoweth what (is) in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him ; the certain
knowledge of whatever shall happen, however unexpected or re23 mote. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fa
thers, who hast given me wisdom and 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. *
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 the wise (men) of Babylon ; some of them may be worthy men, laudably employed in the pursuit of knowledge, and there is no reason for destroying any of
them on this account : bring me in before the king, and I will 25 show unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought
in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation ; Arioch like a frue
courtier, was desirous 10 make a merit of the discovery, though 26 he had sought him out to destroy him. The king answered and
said to Daniel, whose name (was] Belteshazzar, Art thou able
• As his companions had joined with him in prayer, he humbly mentions their prayers with his own, though the secret was only revealed to him.
to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and 27 the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence
of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise (men,] the astrologers, the magicisns, the soothsayers, those who foretell future events by looka
ing into the entrails of animals which are slain for sacrifice, show 98 unto the king ; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth
secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days, that is, in future ages, especially the
kingdom of the Messiah. Thy dream and the visions of thy 29 head upon thy bed, are these ; As for thee, O king, thy
thoughts came into thy mind] upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter, whether thy monarchy should continue
in thy family or not : and he that revealeth secrets maketh 30 known to thee what shall come to pass. But as 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 ; that is, for the sake of the Jews, that thou mayest be more favourable to them ; or it should rather be rendered, For this reason, that the interpretation, might be made known to the king.'
W H AT a wretched creature is the man who is under
VV the power of wild and fiery passions ! What a contemptible figure does this great king make in demanding what was impossible to be obtained ; charging his astrologers with a combination to affront him, and commanding them to be put to death, notwithstanding they had so much reason on their side ? Hotheaded and furious men are generally deaf to reason ; and he who attempts to convince them by it, will only exasperate their passions. This should teach us to rule our spirits, and make us thankful that we do not live under an arbitrary government, but have our lives and liberties under the protection of good laws and courts of justice.
2. Let us learn in difficult cases to make known our requests unto God, as Daniel and his companions did. We have no rea, son to expect such miraculous discoveries in our favour ; but God can by his providence show us the way of duty when we are most perplexed, and defend us from the danger which threatens us. He can reveal to us secrets when it will be useful for us to know them. Daniel's success in this respect should be an encouragement to our supplications ; and his praises of God; when his prayer was answered, should teach us, when directed and de livereci, to offer to God thanksgiving.
3. The consideration of the inability of the creature should lead us to God. The wise men could not show the dream nor the interpretation, but God could. There are many things beyond human skill and power, and in many other cases rain is the help of man. This should prevent our being too fond of, or expecting too much from any man. But there is a God in heaven, who knows all things and can do all things. Wisdom and might are his : and he will employ them for the good of his servants ; and blessed be his name for ever and ever.
CHAP. II. 31, to the end.
The dream and the interpretation. 31 THOU, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This
1 great image, whose brightness (was] excellent, stood 52 before thee ; and the form thereof (was) terrible.* This
image's head (was) of fine gold, his breast and his arms of 33 silver, his belly and his thighs of brass. His legs of iron, his 34 feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a
stone was cut out without hands, that is, cut out of a quarry, and thrown by an invisible power, which smote the image upon
his feet (that were] of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold,
broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors ; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them : and the stone that smote
the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole 36 earth. This [is] the dream ; and we will tell the interpreta
tion thereof before the king ; modestly giving his companions
part of the praise, by whose concurrent prayers he obtained the 37 discovery. Thou, O king, (art) a king of kings : for the God
of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, 38 and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the
beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given
into thine band, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou 59 (art] this head of gold.t And after thee shall arise another
kingdom, inferior to thee,t and another third kingdom of
• As Nebuchadnezzar's imagination was full of sublime ideas of grandeur and dominion, a human image of great lustre is represented before him ; wheies in Daniel's Vision the same cmpires were represented by a wild, voracious be ist, as the great enemies of truth and righteousness, and the supporters of idolatry and tyranny.
+ This refers to the Babylonian empire, which was now arrived at its greatest glory, extent, and grindeur ; particularly to the magnificence of Babylon, which was the wonder of the world, and called by Isaiah, The Golden city,
That of the Medes und Persians, which arose quickly in the days of his grandson Bishazzar, and continued between two and three hundred ycars. This was inferior 1. the former, as the empire was not so extensive, and the prips & worse DCT
brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth ; represented 40 by the belly and thighs of the image. * And the fourth king.
dom shall be strong as iron : forasmuch as iron breaketh in
pieces and subdueth all (things :) and as iron that breaketh 41 all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas
thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in
it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the 42 iron mixed with miry clay. And [as] the toes of the feet
(were) part of iron, and part of clay, (so) the kingdom shall 43 be partly strong, and partly broken.ll And whereas thou saw
est iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves
with the seed of men : but they shall not cleave one to another, 44 even as iron is not mixed with clay.* And in the days
of these kings, that is, in the days of some of them, and during the continuance of the Roman empire, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which 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 45 for ever.t Forasmuch as thou sawest that the 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 ; that is, this kingdom skall not take its rise from secular power, but be a spiritual kingdom, raised by the interposition of divine providence ; and which, though small and obscure at first, shall afierward sfread itself, and fill the earth, (according to v. 35 ;) and as sure as thou hast seen. this, there shall be an exact correspondence between the dreant and the event.
• This refers to the Grecian kingdom, especially under Alexander the great, who con. q'ered the world. Humer represents the Greeks as famous for their brazen arinour; and therefore it is called a Kingdom of Brass. This was divided afterward into four kingdoms by Alexander's generals ; the principal of these were Syria and Egypt, which are repre. sented by the thighs, but are always spoken of by heathen writers as one and the same kingdom.
+ This represents the Roman empire, which should rule over the earth, or all the countries that had been subject to the other empires : by the two legs, some urlerstand the eastern and western empire; and others, the two consals, or principal magistrates of Rome.
t This refers to the ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was divided: The iron and clay may refer to the civil and ecclesiastical power after the establishment of the popes of Rome : the ecclesiastical power represented by the clay, as it not only defiled but weakened the empire.
| Much of the Roman strength remained notwithstanding their internal divisions.
• This refers to the altempts of these ten kingdoms to strengthen themselves by ine ter marriages, toward the latter part of the Roman empire : yet their different interests engaged them in continual wars, and the ecelesiastical power weakened them all, as clay would iron.
+ This refers to the kingdom of the Messiah, which should be set up during the last of these kingdoms, (for she stone smot: the image on the feet) and predicts, that Christ "was to have no successor ; that there should be no revolntion in his kingdom, but that he should destroy all opposing powers. Christ did not indeed descroy the forme: kingdome, but he destroyed that in which they were included, their heathen principles; and will ac last destroy all powers that are opposite to his interest, and will not submit to his ad. thority.
46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and
worshipped Daniel,* and commanded that they should offer 47 an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered
unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth (it is,] that your God is a
God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, 48 seeing thou couldst reveal this secret. Then the king made
Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise (men) of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon : but Daniel (sat) in the gate of the king ; he prevailed for them to share in his office and honours, but he himself was kepe near the king, and consulted in all affairs of state.
V foretold these wonderful changes which have been so exactly fulfilled ; and especially to rejoice and be thankful that God hath set up the kingdom of Christ, here foretold, and that it hath hitherto prevailed and endured. It hath outlived most other kingdoms, and shall endure for ever. It is a kingdom set up by the God of heaven ; not promoted and supported by human wisdom and strength, but by the power of Jehovah. And what God hath done to support it hitherto, should enccurage our faith that it shall still be maintained. While we enjoy the blessings of it, let us be careful to observe its laws, to promote its interest and advancement, and in every respect to walk worthy of God, who hath called us to his kingdom and glory, ,
CHAP. III.' Nebuchadnezzar sets up a golden image in Dura, and decrees tha:
all his subjects shall worship it ; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed. nego are accused of a refusal to this decree ; for which they are · cast into the fiery furnace, and delivered : & striking example
of the interposition of Providence in favour of true and inflexible piety ; the Apostle refers to this when he speaks of same who-by faith quenched the violence of fire.
TEBUCHADNEZZAR the king made an image of gold,
whose height (was) threescore cubits, (and) the breadth thereof six cubits : he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the
• Prostration was an expression of the highest veneration ; this Nebuchadnezzar therefore used to Daniel, thinking him more than human : this adoration no doubt Daniel opposed, and referred the glory of all to God ; that he made some address to the king is supposed in the next verse.