|New International Version (©2011)|
"Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue--an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.
New Living Translation (©2007)
"In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight.
English Standard Version (©2001)
“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
My king, as you were watching, a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying.
International Standard Version (©2012)
"Your majesty, while you were watching, you observed an enormous statue. This magnificent statue stood before you with extraordinary brilliance. Its appearance was terrifying.
NET Bible (©2006)
"You, O king, were watching as a great statue--one of impressive size and extraordinary brightness--was standing before you. Its appearance caused alarm.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
"Your Majesty, you had a vision. You saw a large statue. This statue was very bright. It stood in front of you, and it looked terrifying.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its form was frightening.
American King James Version
You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form thereof was terrible.
American Standard Version
Thou, O king, sawest, and, behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the aspect thereof was terrible.
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible.
Darby Bible Translation
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold, a great image. This image was mighty and its brightness excellent; it stood before thee, and its appearance was terrible.
English Revised Version
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the aspect thereof was terrible.
Webster's Bible Translation
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and its form was terrible.
World English Bible
You, O king, saw, and behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its aspect was awesome.
Young's Literal Translation
Thou, O king, wast looking, and lo, a certain great image. This image is mighty, and its brightness excellent; it is standing over-against thee, and its appearance is terrible.
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:31-45 This image represented the kingdoms of the earth, that should successively rule the nations, and influence the affairs of the Jewish church. 1. The head of gold signified the Chaldean empire, then in being. 2. The breast and arms of silver signified the empire of the Medes and Persians. 3. The belly and thighs of brass signified the Grecian empire, founded by Alexander. 4. The legs and feet of iron signified the Roman empire. The Roman empire branched into ten kingdoms, as the toes of these feet. Some were weak as clay, others strong as iron. Endeavours have often been used to unite them, for strengthening the empire, but in vain. The stone cut out without hands, represented the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, which should be set up in the kingdoms of the world, upon the ruins of Satan's kingdom in them. This was the Stone which the builders refused, because it was not cut out by their hands, but it is become the head stone of the corner. Of the increase of Christ's government and peace there shall be no end. The Lord shall reign, not only to the end of time, but when time and days shall be no more. As far as events have gone, the fulfilling this prophetic vision has been most exact and undeniable; future ages shall witness this Stone destroying the image, and filling the whole earth.
Verse 31. - Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. The Greek versions do not require notice, as they do not imply any difference in reading from the Massoretic text. The Peshitta is shorter, "Thou, O king, wert seeing, and, lo! a great image of beauty exceeding excellent, and it stood before thee." The opening clause of the next verse may be regarded as taking up the last clause of the verse before us. As to the Aramaic of the passage, it is to be observed that the s, me long form of the second person is used in ver. 29. The numeral חַד (had) is used in this verse very much in the sense of the English indefinite article which is used to translate it in the English versions. It is represented in the Greek Version by μία. The particle אְלַוּ ('ulu)," behold," does not occur in the Targums; a cognate form occurs in Samaritan, hala. In Talmudic it occurs in a form like the Samaritan. This word occurs in ch. 7, varied by אֲרוּ ('aru), which is regarded as a phonetic variation. It may, however, be due to defective penmanship, having the top of the ל too faintly written. Its etymology is doubtful. No Assyrian root has been found from which it may be derived. The word for "image," צֶלֶם (tzelem), occurs in the Palmyrene inscriptions, as the regular term for a memorial statue. Hence, unless reason can be shown to the contrary, we could assume, even though there had been no more, that the figure was like a statue of a man. The word for this, דִכֵּן (diccen), occurs only in Daniel; the corresponding word in Ezra is דֵך (dec). The n sound is one that so readily slips away, that its presence as a final letter is a sign that the form of a word possessing it is in an older stage than that without it; hence we would argue that as דֵך (dec) is older than דָא (da) of the Targums, so דִכֵּן (diccen) of Daniel is older than דֵך (dec). The word that is most interesting is זִיוֵהּ (ziveh); it is rendered "brightness" in our version. It is recognized by Professor Bevan, on the authority of Delitzsch, as an Assyrio-Babylonian word, therefore affording an additional evidence of the Eastern origin of Daniel. Noldeke would derive it from the Persian zeb (quoted by Behrmann, but there is some mistake in his reference). This tendency to derive everything from the Persian is to be suspected. The long political connection between Babylon and the Aryan nations north and east of it might easily introduce words of such an origin into the writings of a Babylonian diplomat. Another derivation is from זָחָה (zahah), but seems doubtful, as, although in Hebrew, there is no trace of such a verb in Aramaic. The only other word that merits note is רֵוֵה (reve), "appearance." Professor Bevan says it is the only appearance in Aramaic of a corresponding root to the Hebrew רָאָה (ra'ah), "to see." Daniel, it will be seen, lays stress on the emotions which each feature excited, in order to recall, not only the dream, but something of the feelings with which Nebuchadnezzar had beheld it. With this dream of Nebuchadnezzar we might compare the dream of the seer of Asshurbanipal, given by Lenormant ('La Divination,' p. 137), "The seer (voyant) narrated to Asshurbanipal how the goddess Istar had stood before him seated in her chariot, surrounded by flame, with a bow in her hand" (see also Smith's 'Assurbanipal,' pp. 123. 124). It is unlikely that the colossal image was identified by Nebuchadnezzar with any one of the Babylonian gods; perhaps this was one of the elements of the terror excited by the vision, that he could not identify him. If he did make any identification, Daniel does not do anything to justify him in any such identification.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou, O king, sawest,.... Or, "wast seeing" (z); not with the eyes of his body, but in his fancy and imagination; as he was dreaming, he thought he saw such an appearance, so it seemed to him, as follows:
and behold a great image; or, "one great image" (a); not painted, but a massive statue made of various metals, as is afterwards declared: such, though not so large as this, as the king had been used to see, which he had in his garden and palace, and which he worshipped; but this was of a monstrous size, a perfect colossus, and but one, though it consisted of various parts; it was in the form of a great man, as Saadiah and Jacchiades observe; and represented each of the monarchies of this world governed by men; and these being expressed by an image, show how vain and delusory, how frail and transitory, are the kingdoms of the earth, and the glory of them:
this great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee: right over against him, and near him, as he thought; so that he had a full view of it, and saw it at its full length and size, and its dazzling lustre, arising from the various metals of gold, silver, brass, and iron, it was made of; which was exceeding bright, and made it look very majestic:
and the form thereof was terrible; either there was something in the countenance menacing and horrid; or the whole form, being so gigantic, struck the king with admiration, and was even terrible to him; and it may denote the terror that kings, especially arbitrary and despotic ones, strike their subjects with.
(z) "videns fuisti", Montanus, Michaelis; "videns eras", Vatablus. (a) "imago una grandis", Pagninus, Montanus; "imago una magna", Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius; "simulachrum unum magnum", Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. The world power in its totality appears as a colossal human form: Babylon the head of gold, Medo-Persia the breast and two arms of silver, Græco-Macedonia the belly and two thighs of brass, and Rome, with its Germano-Slavonic offshoots, the legs of iron and feet of iron and clay, the fourth still existing. Those kingdoms only are mentioned which stand in some relation to the kingdom of God; of these none is left out; the final establishment of that kingdom is the aim of His moral government of the world. The colossus of metal stands on weak feet, of clay. All man's glory is as ephemeral and worthless as chaff (compare 1Pe 1:24). But the kingdom of God, small and unheeded as a "stone" on the ground is compact in its homogeneous unity; whereas the world power, in its heterogeneous constituents successively supplanting one another, contains the elements of decay. The relation of the stone to the mountain is that of the kingdom of the cross (Mt 16:23; Lu 24:26) to the kingdom of glory, the latter beginning, and the former ending when the kingdom of God breaks in pieces the kingdoms of the world (Re 11:15). Christ's contrast between the two kingdoms refers to this passage.
a great image—literally, "one image that was great." Though the kingdoms were different, it was essentially one and the same world power under different phases, just as the image was one, though the parts were of different metals.
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