Daniel 4:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.'

New Living Translation
For this has been decreed by the messengers; it is commanded by the holy ones, so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses--even to the lowliest of people."

English Standard Version
The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’

New American Standard Bible
"This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men."

King James Bible
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This word is by decree of the observers; the matter is a command from the holy ones. This is so the living will know that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men. He gives it to anyone He wants and sets the lowliest of men over it.

International Standard Version
This order is announced by the observers, and the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over human kingdoms and grants them to whomever he desires, and he places the least important of men over them.'

NET Bible
This announcement is by the decree of the sentinels; this decision is by the pronouncement of the holy ones, so that those who are alive may understand that the Most High has authority over human kingdoms, and he bestows them on whomever he wishes. He establishes over them even the lowliest of human beings.'

New Heart English Bible
The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the decision is a command of the holy ones; so that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to anyone he wants, and sets up over it the lowliest of men.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The guardians have announced this decision. The holy ones have announced this so that every living creature will know that the Most High has power over human kingdoms. He gives them to whomever he wishes. He can place the lowest of people in charge of them.'"

JPS Tanakh 1917
The matter is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones; To the intent that the living may know That the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, And giveth it to whomsoever He will, And setteth up over it the lowest of men.

New American Standard 1977
“This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers,
            And the decision is a command of the holy ones,
            In order that the living may know
            That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind,
            And bestows it on whom He wishes,
            And sets over it the lowliest of men.”



Jubilee Bible 2000
By sentence of the watchmen is the matter resolved, and the case by the word of the holy ones to the intent that the living may know that the most High takes rule over the kingdom of men and gives it to whoever he will and sets up over it the man who is the lowest.

King James 2000 Bible
This sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the decision by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowliest of men.

American King James Version
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men.

American Standard Version
The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men.

Douay-Rheims Bible
This is the decree by the sentence of the watchers, and the word And demand of the holy ones; till the living know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men; and he will give it to whomsoever it shall please him, and he will appoint the basest man over it.

Darby Bible Translation
This sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the decision by the word of the holy ones: that the living may know that the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

English Revised Version
The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men.

Webster's Bible Translation
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

World English Bible
The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men.

Young's Literal Translation
by the decree of the sifters is the sentence, and by the saying of the holy ones the requirement, to the intent that the living may know that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and to whom He willeth He giveth it, and the lowest of men He doth raise up over it.

Study Bible
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of a Great Tree
16"Let his mind be changed from that of a man And let a beast's mind be given to him, And let seven periods of time pass over him. 17"This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men." 18This is the dream which I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its interpretation, inasmuch as none of the wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for a spirit of the holy gods is in you.'…
Cross References
Romans 13:1
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God.

1 Samuel 2:8
"He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, And He set the world on them.

Psalm 9:16
The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah.

Psalm 83:18
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 103:19
The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.

Jeremiah 27:5
"I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight.

Daniel 2:21
"It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.

Daniel 4:2
"It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me.

Daniel 4:13
I was looking in the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven.

Daniel 4:25
that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.
Treasury of Scripture

This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men.

by the.

Daniel 4:13,14 I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and, behold, a watcher …

1 Kings 22:19,20 And he said, Hear you therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD …

1 Timothy 5:21 I charge you before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels…

the holy.

Daniel 4:8,9,13 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, …

Isaiah 6:3,8 And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD …

Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they …

that the living.

Psalm 9:16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executes: the wicked is …

Psalm 83:17,18 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yes, let them be put …

Ezekiel 25:17 And I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; …

the most High.

Daniel 4:25,32-35 That they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with …

Daniel 2:21 And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets …

Daniel 5:18-21 O you king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, …

Jeremiah 27:5-7 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, …

giveth.

Psalm 75:6,7 For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor …

the basest.

Daniel 4:25 That they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with …

Daniel 11:21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall …

Exodus 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised you up, for to show …

1 Samuel 2:8 He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from …

1 Kings 21:25 But there was none like to Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness …

2 Kings 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and …

2 Chronicles 28:22 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against …

Psalm 12:8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

Psalm 113:7,8 He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of …

Ezekiel 7:24 Why I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess …

1 Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has …

(17) By the decree--i.e., the message to the king rests on this decree or sentence, and it is ascribed to the "watcher," because to him pertained the execution of the decree.

The demand.--Comp. Isaiah 44:26. According to the use of the word in Chaldee elsewhere, this can be the only true meaning. The "holy one" makes this request of God, and the carrying out of His decree pertains to the "watcher." "This," says Dr. Pusey, "gives another glimpse into the interest of the holy angels in ourselves. They, too, longed that oppression should cease, and joining in the cry which for ever is going up from the oppressed to the throne of mercy and judgment, prayed for that chastisement which was to relieve the oppressed and convert the oppressor" (Lectures on Daniel, p. 525).

Ruleth . . .--i.e., Almighty God disposes of human empires as He pleases. (Comp. Daniel 5:21.)

Verse 17. - This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy odes: to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. In this verse the difference between the Septuagint text - we mean the text behind that version - and that of the Massoretes is great. It is as follows: "Until he know the Lord of heaven to have power over all things which are in heaven and on the earth, and such things as he willeth to do, he doeth." This, as may be observed, is very much briefer than the Massoretic, and hence, to a certain extent, to be preferred. It is, however, difficult to imagine the genesis of the one from the other, as they have only two words in common in a similar connection, שַׁלִּיּט (shaleet) and ינְדְּעוּן (yinedeoon)' If we start with the supposition that the Massoretic text is the primary, we have a difficulty in seeing what reason induced this peculiar form of condensation. Had it been to get rid of the decree of the watchers, and the demand of the holy ones, that clause might have been simply omitted, and the sense would have given no sign of anything having been omitted. If, again, we start with the Septuagint text as our basis, it is difficult to understand what led to the insertion of "the decree of the watchers" and "the demand of the holy ones." Of course, the period of the Persian domination and that of the early Greek supremacy was one in which the angelic hierarchy was enormously increased and made vastly more complex than it had been before. Further, it is to be noted that "the watchers," עירין ('ereen), are here distinguished absolutely from "the holy ones," קַדִישִׁין (gad-deesbeen), whereas in ver. 10 (13) "the watchers" and "the holy ones" are identified. This distinction is made in later Jewish commentators, and therefore its. presence here, fin contradistinction to ver. 13, is proof of a relatively late origin for this clause. Zockler would avoid this by asserting a parallelism of members in this sentence; but, in the first place, this is not verse, but prose, and therefore parallelism need not be expected. Further, גְזֵדֵת (gezayrath) is "a decree" given by a person in authority, and צּצּצּ (sh'alayth) is "a petition" presented to one in authority. So far from the two being identified in the verse before us, the watchers and the holy ones are as absolutely contrasted as they can be. Bevan simply appeals to ver. 10 (13) to prove their identity - sense has no influence with him. When we turn to Theodotion, we find that, in his practical identity with the Massoretic text, he has preserved the contrast between "decree" and "petition," the former word being represented by σύγκριμα, and the second by ἐπερώτημα. These two words represent fairly well the distinction between גְצֵרֵת (gezayrath), and שְׁאַלֵת (sh'alayth). It is probable that σύγκριμα is used instead of κρίμα in order to show that εἴρ is to be regarded as genitive plural. The Peshitta follows the Massoretic, but less closely. It has עיר, "watcher," in the singular. This clause in the Syriac should be rendered, "according to the decrees of the watcher is this order, and according to the word of the holy one is the request;" it retains the distinction in question much as it is in the received text, but with a distinct difference of meaning in regard to the ether words of the clause. So, too, Jerome in the Vulgate translates, "In sententia vigilum decretum eat et sermo sanctorum et petitio," thus maintaining, in all the confusion there is in this rendering, the distinction we have referred to. In the final clause, the Vulgate is further astray from the Massoretic. translating, super eum. The theology of this passage is singular, so singular that, were it not for the omission of the passage from the Septuagint. and its contradiction of ver. 13, we might be inclined to think it must be genuine. (For a similar statement, see Galatians 3:19, "The Law... was ordained by angels;" Hebrews 2:2, "If the word spoken by angels was steadfast.") The view seems to be that the Almighty had a council of angels, and before them was every question discussed ere it was decreed. In short, that there was a heavenly sanhedrin, corresponding to that on earth - an idea which was developed by the Talmudists. It appears in Enoch, not vet fully developed. In Enoch 12. certain of the watchers are denounced as having defiled themselves with women; in ch. 20. we have the name of the holy angels who watch, and in this chapter we have the different provinces assigned to each of them. Six are enumerated. They have thus no collective function. In the portion of Enoch preserved in Syncellus, men are represented as calling to the heavens, and addressing them; and the four angels, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel, give answer by looking down upon the earth, and they see the blood that is being shed by violence. Then follows the statement, "And the four archangels came before the Lord, and said." They may be here said to act in a collective capacity, but they have no deliberative function, still less have they any power to decree. The interpolated verse before us thus represents an angelo-logy more developed than that of the date of the Book of Enoch. And setteth up over it the basest of men. This phrase suggests the "vile person," נִבְּזֶה (nibezeh), of Daniel 11:21, who is probably Epiphanes - the reference in this interpolated verse is not unlikely the same. The Syriac form of עליה in the K'thib has to be observed. One peculiarity which points to interpolation is the Hebrew plural here used, אֶנָשִׁים (anasheem). Were it not that our suspicions of this verse are deepened by examination of it, we should be inclined to see a reference to that usurpation of Nebuchadnezzar's throne, which Lenormant thinks is implied in the title Neriglissar gives to his father. There seems to be a reference to something like this in ver. 24 of this chapter, according to the version of the LXX. This matter is by the decree of the watchers,.... That is, the cutting down the tree, and what is signified by it, was with the advice, consent, and approbation of the watchers, by whom is generally understood angels; not that they were the authors of this decree, but approvers of it; and were ready, not only to subscribe it, but to execute it; it being against a wicked man, and an oppressor of the Lord's people: they are represented as assessors with God; called into a consultation with him; alluding to the manner of kings and princes, who have their privy council, whom they advise with on occasion; though, properly speaking, nothing of this nature is to be attributed to God, only after the manner of men; see 1 Kings 22:19.

and the demand by the word of the Holy Ones; the same as before, in other words; watchers and Holy Ones being the same, the holy angels; See Gill on Daniel 4:13, and the decree and the demand the same; or the request (o), or petition; which shows what concern they had in the decree; they only requested it might pass, or be carried into execution; though some understand this of saints on earth, who, in their prayers and supplications, requested for the judgments of God to come down upon this proud monarch: though, after all, it may be best to interpret the whole of the three Persons in the Godhead, who are perfectly pure and holy, essentially and inderivatively; and may be called watchers, because they watch over the good, to bring it upon the Lord's people; and over the evil, to bring it upon their enemies: and to them well agree the decree and the demand; and the rather this may be thought to be the true sense, since this decree is called the decree of the most High, Daniel 4:24, and who is expressed in the next clause:

to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men; though men have kingdoms on earth, and multitudes subject to them, yet they are not absolute sovereigns; there is a God that is higher than they, at whose control they are, and does whatsoever he pleases in their kingdoms, of which the event signified in this dream was a proof; and would be brought about on purpose to make it appear that those that live on earth (for, as for the dead, they know nothing what is done on it), both princes and people, might be sufficiently convinced of the truth of it:

and giveth it to whomsoever he will; that is, the kingdom; he takes it from one, and gives it to another; pulls down one, and sets up another, as he pleases; see Daniel 2:21,

and setteth up over it the basest of men; or, "the lowest of men" (p); men of the meanest and lowest rank and condition of life, as David was taken from the sheepfold, and made king of Israel; perhaps respect is had to Nebuchadnezzar himself; not to his person, as Saadiah, who says he was short, and low of stature; but to his llater state and condition, when he was taken from among the beasts of the field, and restored to his throne and kingdom.

(o) "petitio", Pagninus, Montanus; "postulatio", Munster; "hoc postulatum", Junius & Tremellius; "petitio haec", Piscator. (p) "humliem hominum". Montanus, Grotius; "humilem inter homines", Pagninus; "humilem virorum", Michaelis; "humillimum hominum", Cocceius. 17. demand—that is, determination; namely, as to the change to which Nebuchadnezzar is to be doomed. A solemn council of the heavenly ones is supposed (compare Job 1:6; 2:1), over which God presides supreme. His "decree" and "word" are therefore said to be theirs (compare Da 4:24, "decree of the Most High"); "the decree of the watchers," "the word of the holy ones." For He has placed particular kingdoms under the administration of angelic beings, subject to Him (Da 10:13, 20; 12:1). The word "demand," in the second clause, expresses a distinct idea from the first clause. Not only as members of God's council (Da 7:10; 1Ki 22:19; Ps 103:21; Zec 1:10) do they subscribe to His "decree," but that decree is in answer to their prayers, wherein they demand that every mortal who tries to obscure the glory of God shall be humbled [Calvin]. Angels are grieved when God's prerogative is in the least infringed. How awful to Nebuchadnezzar to know that angels plead against him for his pride, and that the decree has been passed in the high court of heaven for his humiliation in answer to angels' demands! The conceptions are moulded in a form peculiarly adapted to Nebuchadnezzar's modes of thought.

the living—not as distinguished from the dead, but from the inhabitants of heaven, who "know" that which the men of the world need to the taught (Ps 9:16); the ungodly confess there is a God, but would gladly confine Him to heaven. But, saith Daniel, God ruleth not merely there, but "in the kingdom of men."

basest—the lowest in condition (1Sa 2:8; Lu 1:52). It is not one's talents, excellency, or noble birth, but God's will, which elevates to the throne. Nebuchadnezzar abased to the dunghill, and then restored, was to have in himself an experimental proof of this (Da 4:37).4:1-18 The beginning and end of this chapter lead us to hope, that Nebuchadnezzar was a monument of the power of Divine grace, and of the riches of Divine mercy. After he was recovered from his madness, he told to distant places, and wrote down for future ages, how God had justly humbled and graciously restored him. When a sinner comes to himself, he will promote the welfare of others, by making known the wondrous mercy of God. Nebuchadnezzar, before he related the Divine judgments upon him for his pride, told the warnings he had in a dream or vision. The meaning was explained to him. The person signified, was to be put down from honour, and to be deprived of the use of his reason seven years. This is surely the sorest of all temporal judgments. Whatever outward affliction God is pleased to lay upon us, we have cause to bear it patiently, and to be thankful that he continues the use of our reason, and the peace of our consciences. Yet if the Lord should see fit by such means to keep a sinner from multiplying crimes, or a believer from dishonouring his name, even the dreadful prevention would be far preferable to the evil conduct. God has determined it, as a righteous Judge, and the angels in heaven applaud. Not that the great God needs the counsel or concurrence of the angels, but it denotes the solemnity of this sentence. The demand is by the word of the holy ones, God's suffering people: when the oppressed cry to God, he will hear. Let us diligently seek blessings which can never be taken from us, and especially beware of pride and forgetfulness of God.
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Alphabetical: a and angelic announced anyone bestows by command decision declare decree gives he High holy In is it kingdoms know living lowliest mankind may men men' messengers Most of on ones order over realm ruler sentence sets so sovereign that The them This to verdict watchers whom wishes

OT Prophets: Daniel 4:17 The sentence is by the decree (Dan. Da Dn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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