Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.)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.
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.
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.
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.Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.
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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