|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:28-37 Pride and self-conceit are sins that beset great men. They are apt to take that glory to themselves which is due to God only. While the proud word was in the king's mouth, the powerful word came from God. His understanding and his memory were gone, and all the powers of the rational soul were broken. How careful we ought to be, not to do any thing which may provoke God to put us out of our senses! God resists the proud. Nebuchadnezzar would be more than a man, but God justly makes him less than a man. We may learn to believe concerning God, that the most high God lives for ever, and that his kingdom is like himself, everlasting, and universal. His power cannot be resisted. When men are brought to honour God, by confession of sin and acknowledging his sovereignty, then, and not till then, they may expect that God will honour them; not only restore them to the dignity they lost by the sin of the first Adam, but add excellent majesty to them, from the righteousness and grace of the Second Adam. Afflictions shall last no longer than till they have done the work for which they were sent. There can be no reasonable doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a true penitent, and an accepted believer. It is thought that he did not live more than a year after his restoration. Thus the Lord knows how to abase those that walk in pride, but gives grace and consolation to the humble, broken-hearted sinner who calls upon Him.
Verses 28, 29. - All this came upon the King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The Septuagint here has the look of a paraphrase. In continuation of the preceding verse, "Attend (ἀγάπησον) to these words, for my word is certain, and thy time is full. And at the end of this word, Nebuchadnezzar, when he heard the interpretation of the vision, kept these words in his heart" (compare with this the phrase in Luke 2:19). "And after twelve months the king walked upon the walls of the city, and went about its towers, and answered and said." The variations appear to be due to a desire to expand and explain. It seemed to the translator more natural that, after a survey of the walls and towers of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar should speak his boastful words, hence he makes the suitable changes in the verse before us; so, too, with the effect of Daniel's words on the king. The rendering of Theodotion coincides nearly with the text of the Massorites, save that hoychal is translated "temple" rather than "palace" - a translation which usage quite permits. The Peshitta retains the double meaning. One, of the great buildings erected by an Assyrian or Babylonian monarch was his palace, which had also the character of a temple. In the case of the Ninevite monarchs, the walls of the palace were adorned with sculptures, portraying the principal events of the monarch's reign. This not impossibly might be the case with the palace of Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon as a city seems to have been practically rebuilt by him - his bricks are the most numerous of any found in Babylonia.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. All that was signified in the dream, his madness, the removal of him from the administration of government, and the brutal life he lived for seven years; for this was not a mere parable or fiction, as some have thought, framed to describe the state and punishment of a proud man, but was a real fact; though it is not made mention of by any historians, excepting what has been observed before out of Abydenus (n); see Gill on Daniel 4:16, yet there is no reason to doubt of the truth of it, from this relation of Daniel; and is further confirmed by his observing the same to Belshazzar his grandson some years after it was done, as a known thing, and as an unquestionable matter of fact, Daniel 5:20.
(n) Apud Eubseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457.
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