|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 36. - This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. The various versions agree closely with the Massoretic text. It is scarcely a variation when the Septuagint has ἐπὶ, "to," instead of ἐνώπιον, "before," that is to say, לְ instead of קְדָם (qedam). Jerome must have read קָדָמָך, (qadamak), "before thee," as he renders coram te, rex; but that also is unimportant. Having finished telling Nebuchadnezzar his dream, Daniel now announces his intention of giving the interpretation. Commentators have noticed the fact that Daniel does not say, "I will give," but "we." The opinion of Professor Fuller is that Daniel here includes with himself his three companions; of Keil, Kranichfeld, Zockler, and Behrmann, that he identifies himself with all worshippers of Jehovah; Aben Ezra makes the plurality by making him refer to himself and the Divine wisdom; Jephet-ibn-Ali makes its force lie in contrast; Hitzig makes it really the pluralis excellintiae, and quotes in defence Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 11:7, where it is God himself that speaks. Had Daniel introduced the phrase, "thus saith the Lord," this opinion might have been defended. It may be that Daniel fell back on the methods and ordinary mode of address for an astrologer before the King of Babylon (see ver 7). He does not wait for the king to acknowledge that this is the dream he had. Daniel at once pro-coeds with the interpretation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
This is the dream,.... Which Nebuchadnezzar dreamed, but had forgot, and was now punctually and exactly made known to him; for the truth of which he is appealed unto; for, no doubt, by this account, the whole of his dream, and every circumstance of it, were brought to his mind:
and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king; for though both the dream, and the interpretation of it, were only revealed to Daniel; yet he joins his companions with him, partly because they were now present, and chiefly because they were assisting to him in prayer for it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
36. we—Daniel and his three friends.
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