He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)So hasty.—Literally, why is this severe decree of the king? By this question Daniel wished Arioch to understand that after all the matter was not impossible, as the wise men had stated it to be.Daniel 2:15-16. Why is the decree so hasty from the king? — So precipitate, or, as Wintle renders it, so urgent, to slay the innocent, who were never called, and knew nothing of the matter? The word מהחצפה, here used, signifies both hasty and pressing. So the Syriac. The LXX. render it, η αναιδης, shameful; the Vulgate translates the verse thus: He (namely, Daniel) asked him who had received authority from the king, for what reason so cruel a sentence had gone forth from the presence of the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel — Acquainted him with the whole affair, of which, it is evident, he knew nothing before. Then Daniel went in — Or, went up, as עלproperly signifies; that is, either to the palace or throne of the king; and desired of the king that he would give him time, &c. — The king’s anger was now abated; and withal the providence of God was visible, in inclining the king’s heart to allow Daniel that favour which he had before denied to the magicians; and that he would show the king the interpretation — Daniel promised this, in confidence that God, to whom he intended to make application by prayer, would discover to him both the dream and its interpretation. Doubtless God inspired him with a persuasion to this purpose.Daniel 2:14, שׁליטא shallı̂yṭa' - denotes one who has rule or dominion; one who is powerful or mighty; and it would be applied only to one who sustained a post of honor and responsibility. See the use of the word שׁלט shālaṭ, as meaning "to rule," in Nehemiah 5:15; Ecclesiastes 2:19; Ecclesiastes 6:2; Ecclesiastes 8:9; Esther 9:1; Psalm 119:133. The word here used is the same which occurs in Daniel 2:10, where it is rendered "ruler." It doubtless denotes here an officer of rank, and designates one of more honorable employment than would be denoted by the word "executioner." It should be said on these verses Daniel 2:14-15, however, that the office of executioner in the East was by no means regarded as a dishonorable office. It was entrusted to those high in rank, and even nobles considered it an honor, and often boasted of it as such, that among their ancestors there were those who had in this way been entrusted with executing the commands of their sovereign. Hanway and AbdulKerim both say that this office conferred honor and rank. Tournefort says, that in Georgia "the executioners are very rich, and men of standing undertake this employment; far different from what occurs in other parts of the world, in that country this gives to a family a title of honor. They boast that among their ancestors there were many who were executioners; and this they base on the sentiment, that nothing is more desirable than justice, and that nothing can be more honorable than to be engaged in administering the laws." See Rosenmuller, Morgenland, 1079.
Why is the decree so hasty from the king? - Implying that all the effort had not been made which it was possible to make to solve the mystery. The idea is, that a decree of such a nature, involving so many in ruin, ought not to have proceeded from the king without having taken all possible precautions, and having made all possible efforts to find those who might be able to disclose what the king desired. It was to Daniel a just matter of surprise that, after the favor and honor with which he had been received at court Daniel 1:19-20, and the confidence which had been reposed in him, a command like this should have been issued. so comprehensive as to embrace him and his friends, when they had done nothing to deserve the displeasure of the king.
Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel - The statement respecting the dream; the trouble of the king; the consultation of the magicians; their inability to explain the dream, and the positive command to put all the pretenders to wisdom to death. It is clear that Daniel had not before been informed of these things.
the thing—the agitation of the king as to his dream, and his abortive consultation of the Chaldeans. It is plain from this that Daniel was till now ignorant of the whole matter.So hasty; so precipitate, to slay the innocent who were never called, who knew nothing of it-this appears plainly from these words,
Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel, Daniel 2:15, which was this, that the king had dreamed a strange dream that troubled him, that he had forgotten it, that he called all his wise men to show both the dream and interpretation, but they could not; therefore the king decreed the death of all the wise men in Babylon, and Daniel with his fellows among them, without saving the life of one of them, and he, viz. Arioch, had received command to execute it presently. Thus there was but a step between him and death.
why is the decree so hasty from the King? or, "why this rash", hasty, or cruel (as the Vulgate Latin version) decree from the king? for so it was: what is the cause and reason of it?
then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel; who before was ignorant of it; he was not with the wise men before the king; either they did not care he should go with them, and therefore called him not; or he did not choose to go himself, being under no temptation by the rewards offered, and especially having no summons from the king himself: this being his case, Arioch informs him of the whole affair; how that the king had dreamed a dream, and forgot it; and had sent for the wise men to tell him both it and the interpretation; but they not being able to do it, and declaring also that it was impossible to be done, the king had given orders to slay all of that character.He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. so hasty] harsh (Bevan). R.V. urgent, as A.V. itself has in Daniel 3:22. This is not, however, strong enough: in Syriac and the Targums the word and its cognates express the idea of bold, shameless, insolent. Cf. Theod. here, ἀναιδής (LXX. πικρῶς).Verse 15. - He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. The opening clause in this verse is doubtful. In the Septuagint the verse is rendered, "And he asked him saying, Ruler, why is it decreed so bitterly by the king? And he showed him the warrant." Theodotion is yet briefer, "Ruler of the king, why has so harsh a sentence come forth from the king? And he declared (ἐγνώρισε) to him his orders." But briefest of all is the Peshitta. It begins at once without any address, "Why is this harsh decree from the king? And Arioch showed the matter (miltha) to Daniel." As a rule, the shorter a reading is the better it is. Therefore we are inclined to prefer the Peshitta rendering. "Answered and said" is a formula that might easily be stuck in where anything of the kind seemed needed. Here it is not suitable, as Daniel is already said to have "answered Arioch with counsel and prudence." The addition of the Septuagint is more reasonable, "He asked him saying, Ruler." Theodotion feels some title is necessary, so he calls Arioch "ruler of the king." It appears to us that the brief Peshitta represents the best text. Hasty repesents to some extent, though not fully, the clement of blame implied in the word mehahetzpah in greater degree than our English word would indicate. It means" rough," "raging," "shameless;" it might be too strong to say that "scandalous" represents Daniel's meaning. Some commentators cannot imagine a man thus criticizing a royal decree to one of the court officials. Much, however, is permitted to a man speaking about a decree which has condemned him to death without his having an opportunity to defend himself It is possible that he might be able to use all the more freedom by seeing that Arioch had no favour for the business to which he was ordered. The Greek versions represent that Arioch showed the warrant, the king's order for the execution. As that would not be considered an answer to Daniel's question, on the one hand, so on the other, it would not be an occasion for the step Daniel immediately thereafter took. We think, on the whole, that the Massoretic reading amended here by the Peshitta is the better. As leader of the royal bodyguard, the place of Arioch would be beside Nebuchadnezzar, even in the council-chamber. He would thus be quite cognizant of everything that took place the demands of the king, the arguments of the wise men. All this scene he could portray for the information of Daniel. The mere exhibition of a warrant would tell nothing more than the fact that the action of Arioch was in obedience to orders.
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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