|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:14-23 Daniel humbly prayed that God would discover to him the king's dream, and the meaning of it. Praying friends are valuable friends; and it well becomes the greatest and best men to desire the prayers of others. Let us show that we value our friends, and their prayers. They were particular in prayer. And whatever we pray for, we can expect nothing but as the gift of God's mercies. God gives us leave in prayer to tell our wants and burdens. Their plea with God was, the peril they were in. The mercy Daniel and his fellows prayed for, was bestowed. The fervent prayers of righteous men avail much. Daniel was thankful to God for making known that to him, which saved the lives of himself and his fellows. How much more should we be thankful to God, for making known the great salvation of the soul to those who are not among the worldly wise and prudent!
Verse 22. - He revealeth the deep and secret things; he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. The rendering of the Septuagint as it stands differs somewhat from the Massoretic text, "Revealing deep things and dark, and knowing the things which are in the darkness and the things which are in the light, and with him is a dwelling-place (κατάλυσις)." There is doubt as to the exact force of this last word; the last element in it suggests "solution." This meaning seems to have been given to it generally; for Paulus Tellensis renders it shari, which means a "solution," but as it is derived from shera, which means "to dwell," he retains the double meaning The reading of Kreysig is decidedly to be preferred, omitting τὰ ("the things which") before "in the light," and καὶ, "and," after. The rendering then would be, "in light is with him the dwelling-place." This rendering harmonizes the LXX. completely with the Massoretic. The other versions call for no remark. There is difference here between the Q'rl and K'thib. The Q'ri reads nehora, "light," a Chaldee or Western Aramaic form; the K'thib again is, neheera, the Eastern Aramaic form. God is not only the God of nature, of providence, and of man, but also of revelation. He can make known to man what otherwise man could never know. He is the very Source of all light and enlightenment. We may compare this statement with that of Paul in 1 Timothy 6:16; he speaks of God as "dwelling in light which no man can approach unto." It seems to us the words of the Old Testament song convey a loftier idea of God than does the Pauline statement - perhaps it is even loftier than the cognate phrase of the Apostle John (1 John 1:5), "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." We may compare, in regard to this whole verse, Psalm 139:12, "The darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the tight are both alike to thee," where neheera is used as in the passage before us. Daniel ascribes to Jehovah all the powers of all the gods of Babylon.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He revealeth the deep and secret things,.... The purposes of his own heart, which are the deep things of God, and the secrets that belong to him, and which are opened in providence by the execution of them; the "arcana imperii", or secrets of state, committed to men designed for government; the secrets or mysteries of grace, the deep things of the Gospel, made known to Gospel ministers; and particularly the deep and impenetrable secret of the king's dream, and the interpretation of it, revealed to Daniel:
he knoweth what is in the darkness; the actions of men committed in darkness; the schemes that are drawn in the privy councils and cabinets of princes; yea, the thoughts of men's hearts, which he in the utmost recesses of them, as well as their dreams in the night season; and particularly this of the king's, and which must have been buried in darkness, had he not revealed it:
and the light dwelleth with him; he is light itself, and the Father of lights; the light of nature, grace, and glory, is with him, and from him; the light of the word, the light of prophecy, and the light of the glorious Gospel; and also the Light of the world, the sun of righteousness, the Messiah; and of him some of the ancient Jews interpret this passage. R. Aba Serungia (p), mentioning this passage, "and the light dwelleth with him", adds, this is the King Messiah, as it is said, "arise, shine", &c.; and his commentator (q) observes, that the sense of it is, he (God) retains the Messiah with himself, and does not send him forth unto us; see Psalm 43:3, and elsewhere (r), in answer to the question, what is the name of the Messiah? among others, this is said, his name is Light, as it is said, "and the light dwelleth with him": and this is a name that is often given to Christ, and he takes to himself in the New Testament; see John 1:7 where he is called the "Light", that Light, the true Light, and the Light of the world; as he is both of Jews and Gentiles, even of all his people throughout the world: indeed, the light of nature, which every man has, is from him, as the Creator of all; and the light of grace, and the increase of it, which any are favoured with, is given by him; and all the light of knowledge in divine things, and of spiritual joy and comfort, beams from him the sun of righteousness: the light of the latter day, which will be so very great, as to be as the light of seven days, and to make the sun and moon unnecessary in a figurative sense, will be owing to him; as well as all that light of life and glory, the saints shall possess to all eternity, will be communicated through him: and Christ, who is this light, "dwells" with God; he who is the same with the divine Word, was with God, and dwells with him to all eternity; in the fulness of time this Word or Light was made flesh, or was clothed with it, and dwelt with men; when it was, that be came a light into the world, of which he often speaks; and having done his work, ascended to heaven, and now dwells with God in human nature; and will come again, and dwell with men on earth a thousand years, when he will be the light of the New Jerusalem state; and, after that, will take his people with him to heavens, and dwell with God, and they with him, for evermore. This shows that this Light, or the divine "Logos", is a person distinct from God the Father, with whom he dwells; that he is an eternal one, God never being without this Light and Word; and that he is all abiding light to his saints, and will be for evermore.
(p) In Bereshit Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 1, 3.((q) Auctor. Yade Moseh in ib. (r) Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. revealeth—(Job 12:22). So spiritually (Eph 1:17, 18).
knoweth what is in … darkness—(Ps 139:11, 12; Heb 4:13).
light … him—(Jas 1:17; 1Jo 1:4). Apocalypse (or "revelation") signifies a divine, prophecy a human, activity. Compare 1Co 14:6, where the two are distinguished. The prophet is connected with the outer world, addressing to the congregation the words with which the Spirit of God supplies him; he speaks in the Spirit, but the apocalyptic seer is in the Spirit in his whole person (Re 1:10; 4:2). The form of the apocalyptic revelation (the very term meaning that the veil that hides the invisible world is taken off) is subjectively either the dream, or, higher, the vision. The interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream was a preparatory education to Daniel himself. By gradual steps, each revelation preparing him for the succeeding one, God fitted him for disclosures becoming more and more special. In the second and fourth chapters he is but an interpreter of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams; then he has a dream himself, but it is only a vision in a dream of the night (Da 7:1, 2); then follows a vision in a waking state (Da 8:1-3); lastly, in the two final revelations (Da 9:20; 10:4, 5) the ecstatic state is no longer needed. The progression in the form answers to the progression in the contents of his prophecy; at first general outlines, and these afterwards filled up with minute chronological and historical details, such as are not found in the Revelation of John, though, as became the New Testament, the form of revelation is the highest, namely, clear waking visions [Auberlen].
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