For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Daniel 2:13, had already begun to be executed.Daniel 2:12-13. For this cause the king was angry and very furious, &c. — The king, in his rage and fury, probably did not think of sending for Daniel, which made Daniel try to get admission to the king, Daniel 2:14, to prevent his own destruction, as well as that of the other wise men. And they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain — Though, as it appears, they had not been summoned with the wise men of Chaldea. This was extremely unjust to Daniel and his companions; for it is highly probable they would have received no share of the gifts, and rewards, and great honour, which the other wise men would have received could they have told the king’s dream, therefore they ought not to have been involved in their punishment. But those concerned in the execution of the decree, being armed with power, did not attend to the voice of justice: absolute power, indeed, too seldom does.
And very furious - Wrought up to the highest degree of passion. Chaldee, "Much enraged." It was not a calm and settled purpose to execute his threat, but a purpose attended with a high degree of excitement.
And commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon - That is, all who made pretensions to this kind of wisdom; all who came under the wellknown denomination of "wise men," or "sages." He had called that class before him Daniel 2:2; he had demanded of them an explanation of his dream; he had been assured by the leading men among them, the Chaldeans Daniel 2:10-11, that they could not recall his dream; and, as he supposed that all who could be relied on in such a case had failed, he resolved to cut them off as impostors.
Where Daniel was at this time is not known. It would seem, however, that from some reason he had not been summoned before the king with the others, probably because, although he had shown himself to be eminently endowed with wisdom Daniel 1:20, he had not yet made any pretensions to this kind of knowledge, and was not numbered with the Magi, or Chaldeans. When, however, the decree went forth that "all" the "wise men of Babylon" should be slain, the exhibition of wisdom and knowledge made by him Daniel 1:18-20 was recollected, and the executioners of the sentence supposed that tie and his companions were included in the general instructions. Whether the word "Babylon" here relates to the city of Babylon, or to the whole realm, there is no certain way of determining. Considering, however, the character of Oriental despotisms, and the cruelty to which absolute sovereigns have usually been transported in their passion, there would be no improbability in supposing that the command included the whole realm, though it is probable that most of this class would be found in the capital.
and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon; not only those that were now in his presence, but all others; concluding from this instance that they were an useless set of men, yea, deceivers and impostors.For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. wise men] of those versed in occult arts, as Genesis 41:8; Jeremiah 50:35 (of Babylon), and several times in the sequel (cf. p. 15). Similarly wisdom, Isaiah 47:10 (of Babylon), and ch. Daniel 1:17; Daniel 1:20.Verse 12. - For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. The Septuagint rendering differs little in sense from the above, but in words it does considerably, "Then the king, becoming gloomy and very grieved, commanded that they lead out all the wise men of Babylonia." The main thing to be observed is the softening of the meaning in the hands of the Septuagint translator. This is so great as to suggest that he read לָהוזָלה instead of לְהובָדָה. The aphel of אזל is not used in Chaldee, but is used in Syriac. Theodotion's rendering is, "Then the king in anger and wrath commanded to destroy all the wise meal of Babylon." The Syriac has a shade of difference, "Then was the king vehemently enraged, and in great fury commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon." It is evident that Theodotion read בְנַס (benas), "was angry," as if it were the preposition ב and the Syriac noun נַס (has), "anger." He also must have inserted the preposition before קְצַפ (qetzaph), "wrath;" in this he is followed by the Peshitta. The Septuagint is freer in its rendering in this verse, and one cannot argue anything from it. The probability seems to be that נַס; (nas) is used as a noun, and that the Targamic verb was formed from the mistake of a scribe dropping the preposition before קְצַפ (qetzaph). If we are correct in this, we have an additional evidence that the original languagge of Daniel was not Chaldee, but Syriac, or, at all events, Eastern Aramaic. As a grammatical note, we direct attention to the form לְהובָדָה, where the א of the root has totally disappeared before the ה of the haphel, the equivalent in Biblical Aramaic of the Chaldee and Syriac aphel with its preformative א . Professor Bevan says that this distinction is only a matter of orthography. Are we to deduce that Professor Bevan has a cockney disregard for hs? The writer now drops reference to special classes of wise men, and names them generally hakeemin. The king is unconvinced of the truth of these wise men (hakeemin), or rather he is convinced that they are traitors and deceivers. They are either concealing from him the knowledge they have, and are, therefore, traitors to him; or the gods have withdrawn from them, and therefore they must have been untrue to the gods. On both these grounds Nebuchadnezzar thinks them worthy of death. He at once issues the decree that all the wise men in the city of Babylon should be slain. If the LXX. reading of Daniel 2:2 be correct, he had only summoned the Chaldean wise men. If all the wise men of Babylon were ordered to be slain, the punishment is extended beyond the offence. Possibly he argued, "If even my fellow-countrymen, the Chaldeans, are traitors, much more will the Babylonians be so." So far as words go, it is doubtful whether this decree applies to the province of Babylonia, as the Septuagint translator thinks, or merely to those in the city. But cruel and furious as was the young conqueror, he was scarcely likely to order the wholesale massacre of those who, in Sippara and Borsippa, had neither refused to do what he wished, nor by implication called him an unreasonable tyrant, as had the wise men in Babylon.
Ezekiel 45:21. In the first (month), on the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall keep the Passover, a feast of a full week; unleavened shall be eaten. Ezekiel 45:22. And the prince shall prepare on that day for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock as a sin-offering. Ezekiel 45:23. And for the seven days of the feast he shall prepare as a burnt-offering for Jehovah seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily, the seven days, and as a sin-offering a he-goat daily. Ezekiel 45:24. And as a meat-offering, he shall prepare an ephah for the bullock, and an ephah for the ram, and a hin of oil for the ephah. Ezekiel 45:25. In the seventh (month), on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast he shall do the same for seven days with regard to the sin-offering, as also the burnt-offering, and the meat-offering, as also the oil. - In the words, "shall the Passover be to you," there lies the thought that the Passover is to be celebrated in the manner appointed in Exodus 12, with the paschal meal in the evening of the 14th Abib. - There is considerable difficulty connected with the following words, חג שׁבעות ימים, which all the older translators have rendered "a feast of seven days." שׁבעות ".syad neves fo signifies periods of seven days or weeks. A feast of heptads of days, or weeks of days, cannot possibly mean a feast which lasted only seven days, or a week. חג שׁבעות is used elsewhere for the feast of weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10), because they were to reckon seven weeks from the second day of the Passover, the day of the sheaf of first-fruits, and then to keep the feast of the loaves of first-fruits, or the feast of harvest (Deuteronomy 16:9). Kliefoth retains this well-established meaning of the words in this passage also, and give the following explanation: If the words חג stood alone without ימים, it would mean that in future the Passover was to be kept like the feast of seven weeks, as the feast of the loaves of first-fruits. But the addition of ימים, which is to be taken in the same sense as in Daniel 10:2-3; Genesis 29:14, etc., gives this turn to the thought, that in future the Passover is to be kept as a feast of seven weeks long, "a feast lasting seven weeks." According to this explanation, the meaning of the regulation is, "that in future not only the seven days of sweet loaves, but the whole of the seven weeks intervening between the feast of the wave-sheaf and the feast of the wave-loaves, was to be kept as a Passover, that the whole of the quinquagesima should be one Easter חג, and the feast of weeks be one with the Passover." To this there is appended the further regulation, that unleavened bread is to be eaten, not merely for the seven days therefore, but for the whole of the seven weeks, till the feast of the loaves of first-fruits. This explanation is a very sagacious one, and answers to the Christian view of the Easter-tide. But it is open to objections which render it untenable. In the first place, that ימים, when used in the sense of lasting for days, is not usually connected with the preceding noun in the construct state, but is attached as an adverbial accusative; compare שׁלשׁה in Daniel 10:2-3, and שׁנתים ימים in Genesis 41:1; Jeremiah 28:3, Jeremiah 28:11, etc. But a still more important objection is the circumstance that the words שׁבעת ימי החג in Ezekiel 45:23 unquestionably point back to חג שׁבעות ימים, as there is no other way in which the article in החג ni elcitra eht h can be explained, just as בּיּום ההוּא in Ezekiel 45:22 points back to the fourteenth day mentioned in Ezekiel 45:21 as the time of the pesach feast. It follows from this, however, that שׁבעות ימים can only signify a seven days' feast. It is true that the plural שׁבעות appears irreconcilable with this; for Kimchi's opinion, that שׁבעות is a singular, written with Cholem instead of Patach, is purely a result of perplexity, and the explanation given by Gussetius, that Ezekiel speaks in the plural of weeks, because the reference is "to the institution of the Passover as an annual festival to be celebrated many times in the series of times and ages," is no better. The plural שׁבעות must rather be taken as a plural of genus, as in ערי, Genesis 13:12 and Judges 12:7; בּהן, Genesis 19:29; or בּנים, Genesis 21:7; Isaiah 37:3; so that Ezekiel speaks indefinitely of heptads of days, because he assumes that the fact is well known that the feast only lasted one heptad of days, as he expressly states in Ezekiel 45:23. If this explanation of the plural does not commend itself, we must take שׁבעות as a copyist's error for שׁבעת, feast of a heptad of days, i.e., a feast lasting a full week, and attribute the origin of this copyist's error to the fact that חג שׁבעת naturally suggested the thought of חג שׁבעות, feast of weeks, or Pentecost, not merely because the feast of Pentecost is always mentioned in the Pentateuch along with the feasts of Passover and tabernacles, but also because the only singular form of שׁבעות that we meet with elsewhere is שׁבוּע (Daniel 9:27), or in the construct state שׁבע (Genesis 29:27), not שׁבעה and שׁבעת.
The word הפּסח is used here as in Deuteronomy 16:1-2, so that it includes the seven days' feast of unleavened bread. The Niphal יאכל is construed with the accusative in the olden style: mazzoth shall men eat. - In Ezekiel 45:22 and Ezekiel 45:23 there follow the regulations concerning the sacrifices of this festival, and first of all concerning the sin-offering to be presented on the fourteenth day, on the evening of which the paschal lamb was slaughtered and the paschal meal was held (Ezekiel 45:22). The Mosaic legislation makes no allusion to this, but simply speaks of festal sacrifices for the seven days of mazzoth, the 15th to the 21st Abib (Leviticus 23:5-8; Numbers 28:16-25), with regard to which fresh regulations are also given here. The Mosaic law prescribes for each of these seven days as burnt-offerings two bullocks, a ram, and seven yearling lambs, as a meat-offering; three-tenths of an ephah of meal mixed with oil for each bullock, two-tenths for the ram, and one-tenth for each lamb, and a he-goat for the sin-offering (Numbers 28:19-22). The new law for the feasts, on the other hand, also requires, it is true, only one he-goat daily for a sin-offering on the seven feast days, but for the daily burnt-offerings seven bullocks and seven rams reach; and for the meat-offering, an ephah of meal and a hin of oil for every bullock, and for every ram. In the new thorah, therefore, the burnt-offerings and meat-offerings are much richer and more copious, and the latter in far greater measure than the former. - Ezekiel 45:25. The same number of sacrifices is to be offered throughout the feast of seven days falling upon the fifteenth day of the seventh month. This feast is the feast of tabernacles, but the name is not mentioned, doubtless because the practice of living in tabernacles (booths) would be dropped in the time to come. And even with regard to the sacrifices of this feast, the new thorah differs greatly from the old. According to the Mosaic law, there were to be offered, in addition to the daily sin-offering of a he-goat, seventy bullocks in all as burnt-offerings for the seven days; and these were to be so distributed that on the first day thirteen were to be offered, and the number was to be reduced by one on each of the following days, so that there would be only seven bullocks upon the seventh day; moreover, every day two rams and fourteen yearling lambs were to be offered, together with the requisite quantity of meal and oil for a meat-offering according to the number of the animals (Numbers 29:12-34). According to Ezekiel, on the other hand, the quantity of provision made for the sacrifices remained the same as that appointed for the feast of Passover; so that the whole cost of the burnt-offerings and meat-offerings did not reach the amount required by the Mosaic law. In addition to all this, there was an eighth day observed as a closing festival in the Mosaic feast of tabernacles, with special sacrifices; and this also is wanting in Ezekiel. - But the following is still more important than the points of difference just mentioned: Ezekiel only mentions the two yearly feats of seven days in the first and seventh months, and omits not only the Pentecost, or feast of weeks, but also the day of trumpets, on the first of the seventh month, and the day of atonement on the tenth; from which we must infer that the Israeli of the future would keep only the two first named of all the yearly feasts. The correctness of this conclusion is placed beyond the reach of doubt by the fact that he practically transfers the feasts of the day of trumpets and of the day of atonement, which were preparatory to the feast of tabernacles, to the first month, by the appointment of special sin-offerings for the first and seventh days of that month (Ezekiel 45:18-20), and of a sin-offering on the day of the paschal meal (Ezekiel 45:22). This essentially transforms the idea which lies at the foundation of the cycle of Mosaic feasts, as we intend subsequently to show, when discussing the meaning and significance of the whole picture of the new kingdom of God, as shown in Ezekiel 40-48.
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