Daniel 2:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans."

New Living Translation
The king's demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people."

English Standard Version
The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

New American Standard Bible
"Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh."

King James Bible
And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What the king is asking is so difficult that no one can make it known to him except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals."

International Standard Version
Furthermore, what the king is asking is so difficult that no one can reveal it except the gods—and they don't live with human beings."

NET Bible
What the king is asking is too difficult, and no one exists who can disclose it to the king, except for the gods--but they don't live among mortals!"

New Heart English Bible
It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
What you ask is difficult, Your Majesty. No one can tell what you dreamed except the gods, and they don't live with humans."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And it is a hard thing that the king asketh, and there is none other that can declare it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.'

New American Standard 1977
“Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Finally, the thing that the king requires is singular, and there is no one that can show it before the king except the angels of God, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

King James 2000 Bible
And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can reveal it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

American King James Version
And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

American Standard Version
And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the thing that thou askest, O king, is difficult; nor can any one be found that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose conversation is not with men.

Darby Bible Translation
For the thing that the king demandeth is extraordinary, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

English Revised Version
And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

World English Bible
It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

Young's Literal Translation
and the thing that the king is asking is precious, and others are there not that do shew it before the king, save the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.'
Study Bible
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
10The Chaldeans answered the king and said, "There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. 11"Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh." 12Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.…
Cross References
Genesis 41:39
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are.

Exodus 29:45
"I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God.

Isaiah 57:15
For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Daniel 5:11
"There is a man in your kingdom in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, insight and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, your father the king, appointed him chief of the magicians, conjurers, Chaldeans and diviners.
Treasury of Scripture

And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

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(11) A rare thing--i.e., a difficult matter. The difficulty is so great, that the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh are alone able to solve it. Here the reference is to a doctrine of Babylonian theology, according to which every man from his birth onward had a special deity attached to him as his protector. It lived in him, or "dwelt with flesh," as the wise men here remark. The deity, being united to the man, became a partaker of human infirmities. For instance, it was subject to the action of evil spirits, and to the influence of the spirits of sickness to such an extent that it might injure the person whom it was bound to protect. Even these deities, the wise men urge, cannot do what the king requires. Such wisdom belongs only to the gods whose dwelling is apart from man. (See Lenormant, La Magie, pp. 181-183.)

Verse 11. - And it is a rare thing that the king requireth. The Septuagint Version of this passage is, "The thing which thou requirest, O king, is hard and strange." The last two winds are most likely a case of doublet - two different renderings of the same Aramaic wind, yakkirah. The primary meaning of this word is "heavy," and by transference it becomes "difficult," and then, "strange" or "rare." There may have been a slight difference of reading to account for the sentence taking the vocative term it does. It may be due to reading הדר instead of אחר in the following clause. Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic text. and translates yakkirah, βαρύς. The Peshitta does not differ here from the Massoretic text. The soothsayers still pursue their line of defence, which they had adopted in the preceding verse. The king cannot get the answer he demands - his demand is so difficult and strange. And there is none ether that can show it before the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. The Septuagint rendering (lifters somewhat, though slightly, from the Massoretic text: "And there is no one who will show these things to the king, unless some (τις) angel, whose dwelling is not at all with flesh." The omission of ahoran, "other," gives some slight confirmation of the suggestion that ἐπίδοξος, "strange" or "peculiar," represents it. It is very characteristic of the time when the Septuagint translation was made, and of the opinions then current, that the, word אלחין (elohin), "gods," should be rendered ἄγγελος, "angels" By this time there was an avoidance of the use of the Divine name, and anything that suggested it; further, there was an avoidance of the names of heathen deities. The same feeling that makes the historian of the Book of Samuel represent (1 Samuel 29:6) Achish swearing by Jehovah rather than by his own gods, as would certainly be the case, makes the translator here represent the soothsayers referring to "angels." The idea of angels of the nations, which we find later in this book, was generally adopted by the Jews in Egypt (as e.g. Deuteronomy 32:8, LXX.). A question has been raised here as to whether the statement, "whose dwelling is not with flesh," is to be regarded as distinguishing all gods from human beings, or as distinguishing certain of the higher gods from the others. The first view is that of Hitzig, Kranichfeld, Bevan, and others; Professor Fuller and Von Lengerke and others maintain the latter opinion. There is one thing certain - that the soothsayers and interpreters of dreams and auguries believed, or, at all events, pretended they believed, themselves each under the guidance of a special genius or subordinate god. Such a god had his dwelling with flesh - that is to say, with humanity; but there were in their pantheon higher gods, whose dwelling was not with flesh. In some of the incantations and magical formulas which Lenormant has collected in his 'La Magie,' we find (p. 21) Selek-Moulou-ki coming to Ea his father for information as to the causes of disease, etc. Marduk is the Babylonian name for Selek-Moulou-ki, and Marduk was the great revealer; but by this his dwelling was with flesh. As we see, however, there were gods whose dwelling was not with flesh, who knew secrets hid even from Marduk. This excuse of the wise men is a preparation for Daniel's claim to raveal the secret of the king by the power of a higher God than any that communicated with the Babylonian soothsayers. Hitzig regards this as an artistic device of the author. We regard it as the providential intervention of God himself, that raise heathen soothsayers should shelter themselves under an excuse that forced into clearer light the supremacy of Jehovah. It indicates a special knowledge of Babylonian worship thus to lay stress on this distinction between higher and lower gods. And it is a rare thing the king requireth, Meaning not scarce, or seldom heard of; for they had before asserted it never had been required; but that it was hard and difficult, yea, with them, and as they supposed with any other, impossible to be done:

and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh; these men own there was a God, though, they held, more than one; and the omniscience of God, though they seem to have no notion of his omnipresence; and to suggest as if he had no concern with mortals; had no regard to men on earth, nor communicated the knowledge of things unto them. Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Saadiah, interpret this of angels, who are incorporeal; but the superior deities of the Gentiles are rather designed; who were supposed to dwell in heaven, and to have no conversation with men on earth; these, it is owned, could declare to the king what he desired, and no other; and therefore should not persist in his demand on them. 11. gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh—answering to "no man upon the earth"; for there were, in their belief, "men in heaven," namely, men deified; for example, Nimrod. The supreme gods are referred to here, who alone, in the Chaldean view, could solve the difficulty, but who do not communicate with men. The inferior gods, intermediate between men and the supreme gods, are unable to solve it. Contrast with this heathen idea of the utter severance of God from man, Joh 1:14, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us"; Daniel was in this case made His representative.2:1-13 The greatest men are most open to cares and troubles of mind, which disturb their repose in the night, while the sleep of the labouring man is sweet and sound. We know not the uneasiness of many who live in great pomp, and, as others vainly think, in pleasure also. The king said that his learned men must tell him the dream itself, or they should all be put to death as deceivers. Men are more eager to ask as to future events, than to learn the way of salvation or the path of duty; yet foreknowledge of future events increases anxiety and trouble. Those who deceived, by pretending to do what they could not do, were sentenced to death, for not being able to do what they did not pretend to.
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