Daniel 2:16
Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
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(16) Daniel went in.—Two characteristics of the prophet strike us, which distinguish the one who trusts in God’s help from those who relied entirely upon their secular wisdom. (1) The courage of Daniel, which led him to venture into the king’s presence upon a humane errand. (2) His humility, in asking the king to give him time. The wise men regarded the whole matter as an impossibility, and treated it as such, not even asking for any extension of time. But the faith of Daniel inspired him with this courageous humility, and was amply rewarded.

We are not told in so many words that this extension of time was granted, or that Daniel undertook to show more than the interpretation of the dream. A true account of what happened can only be gathered by reading Daniel 2:18; Daniel 2:28 by the side of this verse. It should be remembered that many narratives of scripture are related in a very condensed form, fuller details being added afterwards. (See Daniel 2:24, Note.)

2:14-23 Daniel humbly prayed that God would discover to him the king's dream, and the meaning of it. Praying friends are valuable friends; and it well becomes the greatest and best men to desire the prayers of others. Let us show that we value our friends, and their prayers. They were particular in prayer. And whatever we pray for, we can expect nothing but as the gift of God's mercies. God gives us leave in prayer to tell our wants and burdens. Their plea with God was, the peril they were in. The mercy Daniel and his fellows prayed for, was bestowed. The fervent prayers of righteous men avail much. Daniel was thankful to God for making known that to him, which saved the lives of himself and his fellows. How much more should we be thankful to God, for making known the great salvation of the soul to those who are not among the worldly wise and prudent!Then Daniel went in ... - Either by himself, or through the medium of some friend. Perhaps all that is meant is not that he actually went into the presence of the monarch, but that he went into the palace, and through the interposition of some high officer of court who had access to the sovereign, desired of him that he would give him time, and that he would make it known. It would rather appear, from Daniel 2:24-25, that the first direct audience which he had with the king was after the thing was made known to him in a night vision, and it would scarcely accord with established Oriental usages that he should go immediately and unceremoniously into the royal presence. A petition, presented through some one who had access to the king, would meet all the circumstances of the case.

That he would give him time - He did not specify "why" he desired time, though the reason why he did it is plain enough. He wished to lay the matter before God, and to engage his friends in earnest prayer that the dream and the interpretation might be made known to him. This request was granted to him. It may seem remarkable, as no time was allowed to the Chaldeans that they might make inquiry Daniel 2:8, that such a favor should have been granted to Daniel, especially after the execution of the sentence had been commenced; but we are to remember

(1) that the king would recollect the favor which he had already shown Daniel on good grounds, and the fact that he regarded him as endowed with great wisdom, Daniel 1:19-20.

(2) Daniel did not ask, as the Chaldeans did, that the king should tell the dream before he undertook to explain it, but he proposed evidently to unfold the whole matter.

(3) It could not but occur to the king that Daniel had not yet been consulted, and that it was but reasonable that he should have a fair trial now, since it appeared that he was involved in the general sentence.

(4) The anxiety of the king to understand the dream was so great that he was willing to grasp at "any" hope in order that his perplexities might be relieved; and

(5) It is not improper to suppose that there may have been a Divine influence on the mind of this monarch, making' him willing to do so simple an act of justice as this, in order that it might be seen and acknowledged that the hand of God was in the whole matter.

16. Daniel went in—perhaps not in person, but by the mediation of some courtier who had access to the king. His first direct interview seems to have been Da 2:25 [Barnes].

time—The king granted "time" to Daniel, though he would not do so to the Chaldeans because they betrayed their lying purpose by requiring him to tell the dream, which Daniel did not. Providence doubtless influenced his mind, already favorable (Da 1:19, 20), to show special favor to Daniel.

There are four things here very strange and wonderful.

1. That Arioch, instead of executing the king’s decree speedily, should make this stop.

2. That he should dare to see the king’s face when he was so wroth, instead of doing what his commission tied him to.

3. That Daniel should have the boldness to go in to the king when he was in his fury.

4. That he should desire time and obtain it of the king, who had denied the same thing to the wise men. To which we answer, The signal hand of God was in all this.

2. In particular, Daniel was in great esteem with the king above all the wise men, Daniel 1:19,20 3.

3. He gave both Arioch and the king hopes he would show and interpret the king’s dream.

Then Daniel went in,.... Or "went up" (n); to the king's palace, which might be built on an eminence; or into his chamber, where he probably was; or in some upper room, very likely introduced by Arioch; and which was a bold and daring action in them both: in Arioch, to cease from doing his orders, and entering into the king's presence before he had; and in Daniel, to appear before him, having the name of a wise man, when the king was in such a fury; all which was owing to the providence of God, that wrought upon the heart of Arioch, to listen to what Daniel said, and inspired them both with courage to go in to the king:

and desired of the king that he would give him time; not two or three days, but only that night, till morning, as Saadiah observes; and this with a view not to read books, or study any art; or, by reasoning with himself, or conversation with others, to get knowledge; but to pray to God:

and that he would show the king the interpretation; that is, of his dream, and the dream itself; being persuaded in his own mind that God would hear his prayers, and make it known to him. The king granted him his request, though he upbraided the wise men of their design to gain time; but perhaps, upon the sight of Daniel, he remembered him again, and how superior in wisdom he was to all his magicians and wise men; and besides, Daniel gave him hope, yea, assurance, of showing his dream, and the interpretation of it, which his mind was very eager after; but chiefly this subsiding of his wrath, and his indulging Daniel in his request, were owing to the overruling providence of God.

(n) "ascendit", Gejerus.

Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
16. give him time] or (R.V.) appoint him a time.

and that he would shew] that he might (R.V. marg.) declare. Daniel only asked for time; and such a request would be the more readily granted, as Nebuchadnezzar had already (Daniel 1:20) been favourably impressed by his superior skill.

Verse 16. - Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation. The version of Theodotion omits all mention of Daniel's going into the palace, "And Daniel petitioned the king that he should give him time, and he would tell his interpretation to the king." The rendering of the Peshitta agrees with this, "And Daniel petitioned the king for time, and he would show the interpretation to the king." The version of the Septuagint is longer, "And Daniel went in quickly to the king, and petitioned that time should be given him from the king, and he would show all things to the king." Jerome gives a rendering of the Massoretic text in Latin condensation. The question of reading here is of some importance in the light of the apparent contradiction implied in the twenty-fifth verse. There Arioch declares that he "had found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation" - as if Nebuchadnezzar had never seen him before, whereas, if the Massoretic recension is correct, Nebuchadnezzar had seen Daniel but a little while before. According to the reading of Theodotion and the Peshitta, Daniel pet:tinned the king for time, but that petition does not imply necessarily that he was admitted into the king's presence; the petition would pass through court officials, and reach the king in due course. We may note the ease with which he granted this request, and look upon it as confirmatory of our notion that the king, now that his rage had gone down, repented of his harsh decree, and was hoping against hope that the catastrophe would be averted. The only other explanation that would save the authenticity of both passages is that Daniel's entrance into the palace and his petition to the king happened without Arioch being aware. The most natural explanation of Arioch's conduct in post-poning the execution of the royal decree is that the postponement was during the interval the petition for time was being presented, but still not decided on. This seems not unlikely. Of course, it is always open to us to declare the verses from this to the twenty-fourth inclusive an interpolation; Daniel has suffered so much from this, that an additional case has no prima facie probability against it. Moreover, the prayer or hymn has strong resemblance to the prayer of Azarias, which is acknowledged to be an interpolation. Still, one ought to be slow to cut a knot in this way, unless there is some clear ground of suspicion. It may be observed also that the Massoretic text does not necessarily assert entrance into the palace or into the king's presence. Certainly עֲלַל: ('alal) means "entered," and in the connection this would suggest the palace as the place entered, but it may have been the house of Arioch, though this is not likely. We have no means of knowing whether any others of those implicated in the sentence of the king petitioned also for time. Not impossibly they did. The king, who was so suspicious that the wise men wished to delay till the auspicious time was passed, is willing to grant time when it is asked. This is explicable on the idea that Nebuchadnezzar was anxious to be delivered from the horrible slaughter which his decree involved. Another thing to be observed is that in the Massoretic text, Theodotion, and the Peshitta, there is no word of the dream being told. Of course, this interpretation implied a knowledge of the dream also, but it would appear to be another evidence that the king was relenting, when a petition that omitted the crucial point of the question between him and the wise men should be granted without difficulty. We are not told the amount of time requested, the word used, זְמָן (zeman), is, "a fixed time," from זְמַן, "to determine." It occurs again frequently in Daniel, as in ver. 21. It is generally of a fixed point of time, but sometimes, as Daniel 7:12, their lives were prolonged for a season (זְמָן). There being only one instance among the other passages where this word occurs, in which it means a space of time, we are inclined to think that here Daniel petitioned that a time be appointed him when he too should have an audience of the king in regard to the matter of the dream, as the other wise men had. There certainly is implied a space of time in this request. The space must have involved at least twenty-four hours, as the matter is revealed to Daniel in "a night vision." It is unlikely it would be much longer, for fear the planetary collocation would change - certainly not more than a week. Tertullian ('Adv. Psychicos,' 7) says, "Daniel Deo fidens... spatium tridui poslulat." We learn from what follows that Daniel acted tamely from his general faith in God, and was confident that God would not suffer his saints to be destroyed causelessly, it is noted by Calvin that Daniel (lees not tell the king the reasons of his confidence. A falsarius would have taken the opportunity of making Daniel declare his confidence in the God of heaven from the very first. The real Daniel acts as any wise saint would do, confident that God would do justly, hopeful that he would reveal to him the secret, yet too careful of the honour of Jehovah to put it in pledge; he knew God could and would defend his own honour, and his plan might not involve the saving of their lives. Daniel 2:16With להחויה וּפשׁרא the construction is changed. This passage does not depend on דּי, time, namely, to show the interpretation (Hitz.), but is co-ordinate with the foregoing relative clause, and like it is dependent on וּבעא. The change of the construction is caused by the circumstance that in the last passage another subject needed to be introduced: The king should give him time, and Daniel will show the interpretation. The copulative וbefore פשׁרא (interpretation) is used neither explicatively, namely, and indeed, nor is it to be taken as meaning also; the simple and is sufficient, although the second part of the request contains the explanation and reason of the first; i.e., Daniel asks for the granting of a space, not that he might live longer, but that he might be able to interpret the dream to the king. Besides, that he merely speaks of the meaning of the dream, and not also of the dream itself, is, as Daniel 2:25. show, to be here explained (as in Daniel 2:24) as arising from the brevity of the narrative. For the same reason it is not said that the king granted the quest, but Daniel 2:17. immediately shows what Daniel did after the granting of his request. He went into his own house and showed the matter to his companions, that they might entreat God of His mercy for this secret, so that they might not perish along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
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