Daniel 2:10
The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) No king.—A further argument of the wise men, offering a delicate flattery to the king, and, at the same time, assuming as a proof of their wisdom, that all possibilities had been already submitted to them. “Because no king,” they say, “has left any precedent for such a request, therefore the thing is impossible.”

Daniel 2:10-11. The Chaldeans answered, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter — Here the wise men are driven to acknowledge their inability, and their excuse is, that they could indeed tell what dreams signified, if the dreams were told them; but as to telling what a person had dreamed, it was above the power of any art or knowledge but that of the gods, who knew all things. But this reasoning was weak, and showed the king’s accusation to be just, namely, that they had prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before him; or, that their business and skill were only to invent or affix such interpretations of dreams as they thought suitable, without having any real knowledge at all of future things.

2:1-13 The greatest men are most open to cares and troubles of mind, which disturb their repose in the night, while the sleep of the labouring man is sweet and sound. We know not the uneasiness of many who live in great pomp, and, as others vainly think, in pleasure also. The king said that his learned men must tell him the dream itself, or they should all be put to death as deceivers. Men are more eager to ask as to future events, than to learn the way of salvation or the path of duty; yet foreknowledge of future events increases anxiety and trouble. Those who deceived, by pretending to do what they could not do, were sentenced to death, for not being able to do what they did not pretend to.The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said - Perhaps the "Chaldeans" answered because they were the highest in favor, and were those in whom most confidence was usually reposed in such matters. See the notes at Daniel 2:2. On such an occasion, those would be likely to be put forward to announce their inability to do this who would be supposed to be able to interpret the dream, if any could, and on whom most reliance was usually placed.

There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter - Chaldee, על־יבשׁתא ‛al-yabeshethâ' - "upon the dry ground." Compare Genesis 1:10. The meaning is, that the thing was utterly beyond the power of man. It was what none who practiced the arts of divining laid claim to. They doubtless supposed that as great proficients in that art as the world could produce might be found among the wise men assembled at the court of Babylon, and if they failed, they inferred that all others would fail. This was, therefore, a decided confession of their inability in the matter; but they meant to break the force of that mortifying confession, and perhaps to appease the wrath of the king, by affirming that the thing was wholly beyond the human powers, and that no one could be expected to do what was demanded.

Therefore" there is "no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things - No one has ever made a similar demand. The matter is so clear, the incompetency of man to make such a disclosure is so manifest, that no potentate of any rank ever made such a request. They designed, undoubtedly, to convince the king that the request was so unreasonable that he would not insist on it. They were urgent, for their life depended on it, and they apprehended that they had justice on their side.

10. There is not a man … that can show—God makes the heathen out of their own mouth, condemn their impotent pretensions to supernatural knowledge, in order to bring out in brighter contrast His power to reveal secrets to His servants, though but "men upon the earth" (compare Da 2:22, 23).

therefore, &c.—that is, If such things could be done by men, other absolute princes would have required them from their magicians; as they have not, it is proof such things cannot be done and cannot be reasonably asked from us.

No text from Poole on this verse.

The Chaldeans answered before the King, and said,.... As follows, in order to appease his wrath, and cool his resentment, and bring him to reason:

there is not a man upon the earth can show the king's matter; or, "upon the dry land" (g): upon the continent, throughout the whole world, in any country whatever; not one single man can be found, be he ever so wise and learned, that can show the king what he requires; and yet Daniel afterwards did; and so it appears, by this confession, that he was greater than they, or any other of the same profession with them: this is one argument they use to convince the king of the unreasonableness of his demand; it being such that no man on earth was equal to; another follows:

therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler; there neither is, nor never was, any potentate or prince, be who he will; whether, as Jacchiades distinguishes them, a "king" over many provinces, whose empire is very large; or "lord" over many cities; or "ruler" over many villages belonging to one city; in short, no man of power and authority, whether supreme or subordinate:

that asked things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean; never was such a thing required of any before; no instance, they suggest, could be produced in ancient history, or in the present age, in any kingdom or court under the heavens, of such a request being made; or that anything of this kind was ever insisted upon; and therefore hoped the king would not insist upon it; and which no doubt was true: Pharaoh required of his wise men to tell him the interpretation of his dream, but not the dream itself.

(g) "super aridam", Pagninus, Montanus; "super arida", Cocceius; "super arido", Michaelis.

The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. shew] declare.

therefore, &c.] forasmuch as (R.V.) no great and powerful king (cf. R.V. marg.) hath asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. As no king has ever thought of making such a demand, it may be fairly concluded to be one which it is impossible to satisfy.

Verse 10. - The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. It is to be noted, in the first place, that we have the same Syriac form of כַּשְׂדָיֵא. This seems to us a survival from an earlier condition of the text, when the Syriac forms were predominant, if not universal, in it. Scribes accustomed to speak and write in Chaldee would naturally harmonize the text to the language they were accustomed to use. The word "saying" ("and said," Authorized Version) is omitted from the. Septuagint, but it is found in all other versions: its omission in the Septuagint may have been due to error - the Aramaic is not complete without it. לָא־אִתַי (la-'itha), "there is not." The ordinary Targumic and Talmudic usage is לַיִת (layith), "is not." one word. This full way of writing this negative form is an undeniable proof of antiquity. Neither Levy nor Castell gives any example of the full writing which is the regular practice in Biblical Aramaic. Merx, 'Chrestomath. Targ.,' 168, 225, also gives only לית. As a rule, the fuller a form is, the older it is. Earth; literally, dry groined- the same word as is used in the Targum of Genesis, "Let the dry land appear," but not the usual word for "the world." Theodotion, in accordance, translates ξηρᾶς; the LXX. renders merely, ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. The Peshitta has (ar'a). The king's matter (mil-lath malea); literally, the king's word, which, consequently, Theodotion translates ῤῆμα. The LXX renders, "to tell the king that which he has seen." It is evident that he read milbdh, as it' derived from melal, "to speak," as lemallala. The rendering, "that which he has seen," is due to reading ל (l) into ד (d); the verb heva was read heza, and then the change in meaning be. conies intelligible. Therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler. The mote natural interpretation of the Aramaic is, "There is no king great and powerful." Some have regarded ral, ushlat as a title of the King of Babylon, but this does not seem to be borne out by inscriptions. The sense is rather that of 1he marginal rendering, "There is no king be he never so great and powerful." Then-dotion has this reading. The Septuagint renders, "no king and no ruler (πᾶς βασιλεὺς καὶ πᾶς δυνάστης...οὐκ)," reading כול (eol) for רב (rab). The Peshitta follows the Massoretic closely here. In this connection, it may be observed, שליט (shaleet) is not frequent in the Targums, but it occurs in the Peshitta. That asked such things. Kidnah, "like this." This form of the demonstration, ending with ה (h), instead of א, is regarded as older than the Targumic form. Theodotion inserts ῤῆμα here. At any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. The first thing that strikes the reader of the Aramaic, and for that matter the other versions, is the omission of one of the classes of soothsayers - that called "sorcerers" in our Authorized Version. We saw that, according to the Septuagint, the" Chaldeans" were not a separate college of augurs or soothsayers. When we look atlentively at the Aramaic, the reason of the presence of "Chaldeans" here, and the absence of "sorcerers" becomes probable. In the first place, כשדיא is written without the א, as singular. When so written, its resemblance to מְכַשֵׁפ (mekashshaph) suggests the question whether there might not be, occupying this place, an Aramaic noun equivalent to ashshaph, which we see is really Assyrian, and, interpreting it we find mekashshaph put thus after ashshaph elsewhere, but omitted here. The solution of' the omission of mekashshaph is the likeness the latter part of the word bears to Kusdt, especially in the script of Egypt, in which כ and א were very like each other. These assembled wise men protest against the test to which the king would put them as essentially unfair. They had been trained to divine the future from dreams, but never to find out dreams by what they had learned from their airs the future would be; and in proof of this they urge that no king, however great, had made such a demand of any astrologer or soothsayer. Nay, they go further, and say that no man upon the earth is able to tell the king what he wishes. They endeavour to make the king see that what he asks is an impossibility. Daniel 2:10Since the king persisted in his demand, the Chaldeans were compelled to confess that they could not tell the dream. This confession, however, they seek to conceal under the explanation that compliance with the king's request was beyond human power, - a request which no great or mighty king had ever before made of any magician or astrologer, and which was possible only with the gods, who however do not dwell among mortals. דּי כּל־קבל does not mean quam ob rem, wherefore, as a particle expressive of a consequence (Ges.), but is here used in the sense of because, assigning a reason. The thought expressed is not: because the matter is impossible for men, therefore no king has ever asked any such thing; but it is this: because it has come into the mind of no great and mighty king to demand any such thing, therefore it is impossible for men to comply with it. They presented before the king the fact that no king had ever made such a request as a proof that the fulfilling of it was beyond human ability. The epithets great and mighty are here not mere titles of the Oriental kings (Hv.), but are chosen as significant. The mightier the king, so much the greater the demand, he believed, he might easily make upon a subject.
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