|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.
Verses 6, 7. - Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. These verses do not occur in the LXX. Theodotion is a somewhat slavish translation of the Massoretic text, "From me there was set up (ἐτέθη) a decree to summon before me all the wise men of Babylon," etc. The Peshitta is somewhat freer, but as close to the Massoretic text. Still, the want of the verses in the Septuagint would throw a doubt on their authenticity, even if there were nothing in the verses themselves to make them liable to suspicion.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore made I a decree,.... Published a proclamation; signifying it was his mind and will
to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before him; all together, supposing that one or other of them, or by consulting together, would be able to explain things to his satisfaction, and make him more easy:
that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream; for though they could not tell the interpretation of his former dream, because he could not relate to them the dream itself; which, if he could, they promised him the interpretation; but now he could remember it, and therefore might expect they would make known the interpretation of it to him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. It may seem strange that Daniel was not first summoned. But it was ordered by God's providence that he should be reserved to the last, in order that all mere human means should be proved vain, before God manifested His power through His servant; thus the haughty king was stripped of all fleshly confidences. The Chaldees were the king's recognized interpreters of dreams; whereas Daniel's interpretation of the one in Da 2:24-45 had been a peculiar case, and very many years before; nor had he been consulted on such matters since.
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