|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I saw a dream which made me afraid,.... Things were represented to his fancy in a dream, as if he saw them with his eyes, as the tree, its leaves and fruit; the shaking and cutting it down to the stump, &c.; and though he did not understand the meaning of it, yet he thought it portended some evil, which threw him into a panic; he was afraid that something bad would befall him, though he knew not what: thus God can make the minds of the greatest men uneasy amidst all their glory, pride, and pleasure:
and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me; the thoughts that came into his mind while he was upon his bed dreaming, and the things which were represented to his fancy in his brain, he remembered when awake, gave him a great deal of trouble and uneasiness, what should be the meaning of them, and what would be the issue and event of these things.
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