Daniel 2:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king,

New Living Translation
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,

English Standard Version
Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

New American Standard Bible
Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

King James Bible
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So the king gave orders to summon the diviner-priests, mediums, sorcerers, and Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. When they came and stood before the king,

International Standard Version
So the king gave orders to summon diviners, enchanters, sorcerers, and Chaldeans to reveal to the king what he had dreamed. When they came and stood before him,

NET Bible
The king issued an order to summon the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and wise men in order to explain his dreams to him. So they came and awaited the king's instructions.

New Heart English Bible
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The king sent for the magicians, psychics, sorcerers, and astrologers so that they could tell him what he had dreamed. So they came to the king.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

New American Standard 1977
Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the king commanded to call magicians, astrologers, enchanters, and Chaldeans, that they might show the king his dreams. So they came and presented themselves before the king.

King James 2000 Bible
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

American King James Version
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

American Standard Version
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then the king commanded to call together the diviners and the wise men, and the magicians, and the Chaldeans: to declare to the king his dreams: so they came and stood before the king.

Darby Bible Translation
And the king commanded to call the scribes, and the magicians, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to shew the king his dreams; and they came and stood before the king.

English Revised Version
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to show the king his dream. So they came and stood before the king.

World English Bible
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

Young's Literal Translation
and the king saith to call for scribes, and for enchanters, and for sorcerers, and for Chaldeans, to declare to the king his dreams. And they come in and stand before the king;
Study Bible
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
1Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. 2Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. 3The king said to them, "I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream."…
Cross References
Genesis 41:8
Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Exodus 7:11
Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts.

Esther 1:13
Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times-- for it was the custom of the king so to speak before all who knew law and justice

Isaiah 19:3
"Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists.

Isaiah 47:12
"Stand fast now in your spells And in your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you may cause trembling.

Isaiah 47:13
"You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.

Daniel 1:4
youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king's court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.

Daniel 1:20
As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.

Daniel 2:10
The 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.

Daniel 2:27
Daniel answered before the king and said, "As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.
Treasury of Scripture

Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

See on ch.

Daniel 1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired …

Daniel 4:6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me…

Daniel 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, …

Genesis 41:8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; …

Exodus 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the …

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or …

Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that have familiar spirits, …

Isaiah 19:3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the middle thereof; and I will …

Isaiah 47:12,13 Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your …

(2) Magicians.--Heb. chartummim, so called, most probably, from the pencil or stylus with which they wrote. The word is elsewhere used of the Egyptian magicians. (See Schrader, Keil-Inschriften, p. 26; Records of the Past, vol. 1 p. 131.)

Astrologers.--Heb. ashshaphim, a name derived from the whisperings or mutterings made by them while employed in their incantations. They are mentioned by Daniel only.

Sorcerers.--Heb. mekashshaphim; are spoken of in the Pentateuch both as male and female, (e.g. Deuteronomy 18:10). They are mentioned by Isaiah (Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 47:12) as prevalent in the Babylon of his days. Probably the Chaldans spoken of in this verse did not form a separate class of magicians, but denoted the priests, such as those mentioned Herod. i. 181, and was contained in the first class of magicians mentioned in the verse. It appears that Daniel excelled (Daniel 1:17) in all classes of magic learning, whether it required a knowledge of "learning, wisdom, or dreams."

Verse 2. - Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. The Septuagint renders, "And the king commended that the magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers of the Chaldeans be brought in to tell the king his dream. And they came and steed before the king." The difference is slight verbally, but very important. Theodotion and the Peshitta agree closely with the Massoretic. The Vulgate renders mecashe-pheem, "sorcerers," malefici, "evil workers." Then the king commanded to call the magicians. The scene seems to stand out before us - the king, excited and sleepless, calling out to his attendants to summon to his presence all the wise men in the capital of his empire. The first that are named are the hartummeem. The name is derived by Gesenius from חֶרֶט (heret), "a stylus," and he supposes them to be sacred scribes. We find the word in Genesis 41:24. Although the order may have existed among the Egyptians, the name given to them here and in Exodus may quite well have a Semitic origin. The Tel-el-Amarna tablets show us how well the language of Assyria was known in Egypt. Hitzig is quite sure that Nebuchadnezzar "est Abbild des Pharao und zugleich Vorbild des Antiochus Epiphanes." It is a way critics have; they are always quite sure. It may be observed that both the Greek versions have for this word ἐπαοιδούς, "those who use incantations." The Peshitta has harasha, primarily "one who is silent," then "one who mutters," then "one who sings an incantation." Paulus Tellensis has lehasha, "to whisper," and then "to reheat a charm" or "incautation." Jerome renders arioli," foretellers." While the Peshitta interprets hartummeem in Genesis by the same word as that used here, in the Septuagint the word in Genesis is ἐξηγητής instead of ἐ῞παοίδος, and Jerome uses conjectores instead of, as we have seen, arioli In Exodus 7:11 harturameem is translated in the Septuagint ἐπαοιδοί. Jerome renders ipsi, as if the word had not been in his text. if, then, the word hartummeem stood in the text of Daniel when the Greek versions were made, there was an uncertainty as to the meaning to be assigned to it in Egypt. The distinction between the two meanings drawn from the etymology of the word hartummeem, and that derived from the Greek equivalent, is not great. The religion of the Chaldeans was largely a system of incantations that were preserved primarily in the Accadian - a tongue known only to the sacred scribes. Many of the formulae are translated into Assyrian - a language, by the time of Nebuchadnezzar, practically as much restricted to the scribes and learned class as the Accadian. Hence only a scribe could know the proper words to use in an incantation, only he could perpetuate and preserve them. It is difficult to know on what grouted the translators of the Authorized Version selected the word "magicians." The Geneva Bible rendered it "enchanters," which is adopted by the Revisers. Luther is further afield in tendering sternsehers. The name is Assyrian, and apparently derived from harutu, "a staff" (Norris, 'Assyr. Dict.'). This staff was possibly used, as the staff of the Roman augur, to mark off the regions of the heavens, or, it may be, to ward off demons. And the astrologers. The Hebrew word used here is ashshapheem. "In Assyrian the word asep or asipu is used in the sense of diviner. The word was actually borrowed by the Aramaic of Daniel under the form of ashshaph" (Sayce, 'Hibbert Lecture,' p. 51). It is supposed to mean "one who uses enchantments." It is not Hebrew, but really Syriao or Eastern Aramaic. In both Greek versions the equivalent is μάγοι, which Jerome follows. The Peshitta reserves magoeha for the next term. The assertion that this word was really the Greek σοφοί is now abandoned. The Greek σ never rendered by שׁ, which represented a sound not present in Greek at all. The fact that this non-Hellenic sound is doubled makes it utterly impossible that this word could be brought over from the Greek. It is impossible to assign to this word the precise shade of meaning which belongs to it. There is nothing to suggest "astrologers" in the root of the word. And the sorcerers. The Hebrew here is mekash,hepheem. Dr. Robertson Smith, as quoted in Professor Bevan, suggests that the word is derived from כשפ, "to shred or cut to pieces," hence "to prepare magical drugs." This is in agreement with the Greek versions, which render φαρμάκοι. The verb, however, is a Syrian one, and means "to worship" (Acts 4:31; Philippians 1:4). It occurs in the Hebrew of Exodus 7:11 along with hartummeem; in Deuteronomy 18:10, in a verse forbidding to the Israelites the use of magical arts; in 2 Chronicles 33:6, in an account of how Manasseh traversed that law. It may be noted that in this last verse the Peshitta renders Chaldea "Chaldeans." Again we have to repeat the remark that we do not know the distinctions involved in these different names. And the Chaldeans. The Hebrew word here is כַשְׂדִים (Kas'deern); both the form Kassatu and Kaldu occur in in-seriptions. The meaning of this word has caused great discussion, and its use in this chapter for a class of magicians has been held as a strong proof that the writer of the book before us lived long after the time in which he places the events he narrates. The use of "Chaldean" for "magician," "astrologer," or "soothsayer" in classic times is well known. The difficulty here is that the name "Chaldean" is used for a particular and limited class in the nation, and at the same time for that nation as a whole. This is not necessarily impossible. In Scotland, although the inhabitants are all called Scots, there is also the clan whose surname is Scott, or, as it was earlier spelt, "Scot." It would not show confusion or iguorance did a writer of the fifteenth century speak in one page of the Kers, the Hepburns, and the Scots (Scotts) as forming one army, and then in the next page proceed to speak of the whole army as the army of the Scots. His use of the name in the one case for the nation and the other for the clan, so far from showing an insufficient acquaintance with the constitution of Scotland, or the history of its affairs, really evidences the accuracy of the writer's knowledge. We cannot conclude that the author therefore made a mistake in speaking - if he does so - of a class of the Babylonian magians being called Chaldeans because the nation bore the same name. We certainly have as yet found no trace of such a usage, but the argumentum e silentio is of strikingly little value in regard to Babylon - her annals are so very incomplete. We retest bear in mind that the text of Daniel is in a very bad state: it has been subjected to various inter-polstions and alterations. It is, therefore, hazardous to rest any stress on single words. It is clear the writer knew perfectly well that the nation were called Chaldeans. According to the Massoretic text, Daniel 5:30 asserts, "In that night was Belshazzar King of the Chaldeans slain;" according to the LXX. version of the same verse it is, "And the kingdom was taken from the Chaldeans and given to the Medea and Persians." If we are sure the writer did make the Chaldeans also a class of magians, the probability is that he knew what he was talking about, and made no explanation because, as a contemporary, he took for granted everybody knew how this was. But is it absolutely certain that the writer of Daniel does make this asset-lion? It is true that in the Massoretic text the Kasdeem are represented as a class of magiaas coordinate with the hartummeem, ashshapheem, and mekashepheem, but in the Septuagint we find the word χαλδαίων in the genitive. Consequently, the sentence reads, "the magicians and the astrologers and the sorcerers of the Chaldeans." If at the time the Massoretic recension was made the name "Chaldean" had gained its later significance of "soothsayer," one can easily understand how natural it would be to insert the copulative before the preposition. The construction of the sentence in the text before the translator of the LXX. Version is certainly irregular, but not unexampled. It is not so easy to imagine the Septuagint translator changing the nominative plural into a genitive, especially when, by the time the translation was made, the osage we have spoken of above was in full force. We may assume, then, that in the original text of Daniel the "Kasdeem" were not spoken of, in this verse at all events, as a class of magicians. As the clause appears in the LXX., Nebuchadnezzar assembled all the magicians of his nationality, the Chaldeans as distinguished from the Babylonians. Perhaps he had more confidence in them. While the change we have suggested would make only the mekashshepheem connected with the Chaldeans, the grammatical structure of the verse has the aspect of a freer rendering than that in Theodotion' hence it might quite well have been that the original Hebrew had the meaning represented by the Greek of the Septuagint. Lenormant sees in the four classes here an exact representation of the four classes of Babylonian soothsayers. We do not feel obliged to maintain that all the different classes should be called in on the occasion of this dream. We do not know precisely the characteristics that separated one class from the other, but it seems little likely that they all devoted themselves to the interpretation of dreams. There were other omens and portents that had to be explained. For to show the king his dreams. The natural sense is that represented by the Greek versions, "to tell the king his dream." The usual reason for these officials being called was to declare to the king the interpretation of the dream; but here it was to declare the dream its. If. Yet if they could foretell the future, could they not much more easily tell what had happened? They professed to know what was coming; they could - so Nebuchadnezzar might argue - readily enough reason back from the future they knew to the sign of the future, the dream which had been given to him. So they came and stood before the king. We can imagine the long ranks of the principal classes of Chaldean soothsayers in Babylon hastening into the royal presence. All the soothsayers, we see, were not summoned, for Daniel and his friends were not, and they were not singular, else the writer would have given some reason for this omission. The writer assumes that his readers know so much about the habits of Bah;Ionian wise men and their schools, as to be aware that certain individuals might nominally be summoned to the court; and yet it might be some time before they were summoned on any critical occasion. The absence of the four Hebrews might be explained in two ways: either only the Chaldean magicians were in this case summoned, and, as Daniel and his friends were not Chaldeans, they were omitted; or they were not summoned he-cause their training was not yet complete. Then the king commanded to call the magicians,.... He ordered his servants in waiting to send immediately for the wise men, the philosophers of that age and kingdom, that studied the things of nature, and the natural causes of things:

and the astrologers; that cast nativities, and pretended by the position and influence of the stars to know what would befall men:

and the sorcerers; or wizards, that made use of familiar spirits, and the help of the devil; necromancers that consulted the dead, in order to get knowledge of future things:

and the Chaldeans; so called, not from their country; for probably all the preceding were Chaldeans by nation; but inasmuch as the study of judiciary astrology, and other unlawful arts, greatly obtained in Chaldea; hence those that were addicted to them had this name (w):

for to show the king his dreams; both what it was he dreamed, and what the interpretation or meaning of it was: so they came, and stood before the king; they came immediately, with great readiness and willingness, esteeming it a great honour done them to be sent for by the king, and admitted into his chamber; and hoping it would turn much both to their credit and profit; and being come, they stood waiting his will and pleasure.

(w) Vid. Juvenal. Satyr. 6. A. Gellii Noet. Attic, l. 1. c. 9. Cicero de Divinatione, I. 1. 2. Chaldeans—here, a certain order of priest-magicians, who wore a peculiar dress, like that seen on the gods and deified men in the Assyrian sculptures. Probably they belonged exclusively to the Chaldeans, the original tribe of the Babylonian nation, just as the Magians were properly Medes.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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