|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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
At the end of twelve months,.... After the dream, and the interpretation of it; which, according to Bishop Usher (s), Dean Prideaux (t), and Mr. Whiston (u), was in the year of the world 3435 A.M., and before Christ 569, and in the thirty sixth year of his reign: one whole year, a space of time, either which God gave him to repent in, or which he obtained by attending for a while to Daniel's advice:
he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon; or "upon the palace" (w); upon the roof of it, which in the eastern countries was usually flat and plain; and so Abydenus (x), in the above cited place, represents him, , as ascending upon his royal palace; when, after he had finished his oration on it, he disappeared. From hence he could take a full view of the great city of Babylon, which swelled him with pride and vanity, and which he expressed in the next verse; See Gill on Daniel 4:4, where also mention is made of his palace, the new one built by him. The old palace of the kings of Babylon stood on the east side of the river Euphrates, over against it, as Dean Prideaux (y) observes; on the other side of the river stood the new palace Nebuchadnezzar built. The old one was four miles in circumference; but this new one was eight miles, encompassed with three walls, one within another, and strongly fortified; and in it were hanging gardens, one of the wonders of the world, made by him for the pleasure of his wife Amyitis, daughter of Astyages king of Media; who being taken with the mountainous and woody parts of her native country, and retaining an inclination for them, desired something like it at Babylon; and, to gratify her herein, this surprising work was made: though Diodorus Siculus (z) says it was made by a Syrian king he does not name, for the sake of his concubine; and whose account of it, and which is given from him by Dean Prideaux (a), and the authors of the Universal History (b), is this, and in the words of the latter:
"these gardens are said to contain a square of four plethra, or four hundred feet on each side, and to have consisted of terraces one above another, carried up to the height of the wall of the city; the ascent, from terrace to terrace, being by steps ten feet wide. The whole pile consisted of substantial arches up on arches, and was strengthened by a wall, surrounding it on every side, twenty two feet thick; and the floors on each of them were laid in this order: first on the tops of the arches was laid a bed or pavement of stones, sixteen feet long, and four feet broad; over this was a layer of reed, mixed with a great quantity of bitumen; and over this two courses of brick, closely cemented with plaster; and over all these were thick sheets of lead, and on these the earth or mould of the garden. This floorage was designed to retain the moisture of the mould; which was so deep as to give root to the greatest trees, which were planted on every terrace, together with great variety of other vegetables, pleasing to the eye; upon the uppermost of these terraces was a reservoir, supplied by a certain engine with water from the river, from whence the gardens at the other terraces were supplied.''
And it was either on the roof of the palace, as before observed, or perhaps it might be upon this uppermost terrace, that Nebuchadnezzar was walking, and from whence he might take a view of the city of Babylon; the greatness of which, as set forth by him, he prided himself with, in the following words:
(s) Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3435. (t) Connexion, &c. part. 1. p. 105. (u) Chronological Tables, cent. 10. (w) "super palatium", Vatablus; "super palatio", Cecceius, Michaelis. (x) Apud Euseb. ut supra. (Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457.) (y) Connexion, &c. part 1. B. 2. p. 102. (z) Biliothec. I. 2. p. 98. (a) Ibid. (b) Vol. 4. B. 1. ch. 9. p. 409, 410.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. twelve months—This respite was granted to him to leave him without excuse. So the hundred twenty years granted before the flood (Ge 6:3). At the first announcement of the coming judgment he was alarmed, as Ahab (1Ki 21:27), but did not thoroughly repent; so when judgment was not executed at once, he thought it would never come, and so returned to his former pride (Ec 8:11).
in the palace—rather, upon the (flat) palace roof, whence he could contemplate the splendor of Babylon. So the heathen historian, Abydenus, records. The palace roof was the scene of the fall of another king (2Sa 11:2). The outer wall of Nebuchadnezzar's new palace embraced six miles; there were two other embattled walls within, and a great tower, and three brazen gates.
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