Daniel 2:19
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
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(19) Night vision.—Not in a dream, but literally in a vision; but that Daniel saw a repetition of the king’s dream cannot be inferred from the words. We know from Numbers 12:6 that God was pleased to reveal the truth both by dreams and by visions.

Daniel 2:19-23. Then was the secret revealed — It is generally thought that this secret was revealed to Daniel only, and that in sleep, by a dream, or, as it is here termed, a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven — He does not stay till he had told what had been revealed to him to the king, and seen whether he would own it to be his dream or not; but, being confident it was so, and that he had gained his point, he immediately turns his prayers into praises. As he had prayed in full assurance that God would do for him what he asked, so he gives thanks in full assurance that he had done it, and in both he has an eye to God as the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said — “In the latter part of this and the next three verses, Daniel celebrates the praises of the Almighty in a simple, but truly sublime and animated strain of warm and unaffected piety, makes especial mention of his wisdom and power, and illustrates the display of those attributes in several instances, apposite to the subject and occasion.” — Wintle. For wisdom and might are his — His wisdom appears in ordering the great affairs of the world, and his might, or power, in bringing them to pass. To the same purpose Jeremiah styles him, great in counsel, and mighty in work, Jeremiah 32:19. And he changeth the times, &c. — The great changes of the world are brought to pass by removing kings and translating their dominions to others; by raising some empires, and pulling down others. Of this, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which was then revealed to Daniel, contains several signal instances, as it comprehends the succession of the four great monarchies of the world. He knoweth what is in the darkness, &c. — The most secret things are manifest to him; he discerns them while they yet lie hid in their causes, and discovers and brings them to light at the proper time. I praise thee, &c., who hast given, or, because thou hast given, me wisdom and might — Namely, the means and power of saving myself and others from the greatest danger.

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 was the secret revealed ... - To wit, the dream and the interpretation. The thing which had been "hidden" was disclosed. We may suppose that this occurred after a suitable time had been given to prayer.

In a night vision - A representation made to him at night, but whether when he was asleep or awake does not appear. Compare the notes at Daniel 1:17; Isaiah 1:1; Job 4:13; Job 33:15.

Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven - Nothing would be more natural than that he should burst forth in a song of grateful praise for disclosing a secret by means of which his life, and the lives of his companions, would be preserved, and by which such signal honor would redound to God himself, as alone able to reveal coming events.

19. revealed … in … night vision—(Job 33:15, 16). It is not improbably conjectured that Daniel spent the night in watching and prayer, for night vision is distinguished from dreams, Numbers 12:6; whether sleeping or waking, Daniel had the same thing revealed unto him which king Nebuchadnezzar had, with this difference, the king remembered not his dream, nor knew what it meant, but Daniel was able to tell his dream and give the meaning of it also.

Daniel blessed the God of heaven; he gave thanks and praise to the Father of lights, from whom all wisdom comes, who heard his prayer, and revealed this secret to him. Note, this was revealed to Daniel, and not to his companions, for he was chief, and by this is signified by what steps he rose up to the degree of a famous prophet. Again, he calls the true God the

God of heaven, because he made heaven, his throne is there, and the magicians’ and heathen gods come not there, but were cast out thence, being devils of hell; but the God of Israel is the God of heaven.

Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision,.... That is, after Daniel and his companions had importunately sought the Lord by prayer, the secret of the king's dream, and the interpretation of it, were made known to Daniel, and to him only; he being the person designed in Providence to be raised to great honour and dignity by means of it; this was done either the same night, or the night following, and, as some think, in a dream, and that he dreamed the same dream Nebuchadnezzar did, which he remembered, though the king forgot it; or, however, the same image was represented, to him, whether sleeping or waking, and the meaning of it given him:

then Daniel blessed the God of heaven: gave thanks to him, that he had heard his prayer, and indulged him in his request; which thanksgiving, blessing, or praise, is expressed in the following words:

Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
19. in a vision of the night] For the expression, comp. Isaiah 29:7 (‘like a dream, a vision of the night’), Job 4:13; Job 7:14; Job 20:8; Job 33:15, Genesis 46:2.

Verse 19. - Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. The Septuagint adds that the secret was revealed "that very night (ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ νυκτι)." This may be held to be implied in the Aramaic, but it is here explicitly stated. Further, the Septuagint speaks of the secret as "the, mystery of the king." At the end of the clause the LXX. adds the word εὐσήμως, "evidently." All these alterations imply additions to the text made by the translator. Theodotion, the Peshitta, and Jerome agree with the Massoretic text There has been considerable discussion as to whether this revelation was made to Daniel by a dream. Hitzig assumes that the night-vision to Daniel was a repetition of that which had appeared to Nebuchadnezzar, and then pro-coeds to brand this as a psychological impossibility. Keil, Kliefoth, Kraniehfeld, and Zockler all declare against the identification of a night-vision with a dream. Keil and Kliefoth say in the same words, "A vision of the night is simply a vision which any one receives during the night whilst he is awake." And Kranichfeld says, "Of a dream of Daniel, in our present case there is not one word." Zockler says, "Not a dream-vision, but an appearance (Gesicht) vision, which appeared during the night." They maintain that, though all "dreams" may be called "night-visions," all "night-visions" are not "dreams." It would be difficult to prove that this is the usage of Scripture. It is quite true that the distinction between a dream and a vision is that in the former the subject is asleep, while in the latter he is awake. It may, however, be doubted whether this distinction is always maintained by the Hebrew and Aramaic writers, even in regard to "visions" and "dreams" generally; and it seems to us impossible to prove it in regard to "visions of the night" and "dreams." In ver. 28 of the chapter before us, there seems no doubt that Daniel uses these words as equivalent to each other; "Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these." While we agree with Hitzig that the revelation was to Daniel in a dream, we do not admit the psychological impossibility, save only in the pedantic sense in which it is said that no two people, however close they may stand to each other, see the same rainbow Dreams are very generally the product of what the subject has experienced during his waking hours. Surely Hitzig never meant to assert that it was a psychological impossibility for two individuals to witness the same event. Certainly the improbability is very great that the sight of the same physical event should meet the eyes of two people in similar states of body, and produce on them precisely the some sort and degree of impression. That, however, is akin to the Hegelian pedantic statement, which asserts that we cannot go twice down the same street. Though it might even be admitted to be an impossibility in the only sense in which it can at all be admitted, yet still it is not self-contradictory. The self-contradictory is the only impossibility we can assert in the presence of the miraculous. Hitzig's objection to this is really that it was a miracle, and all the parade of giving the statement a new face by calling it, not a miracle, but a psychological impossibility, is only throwing dust in the eyes of others, perhaps of himself. Ewald does not see any psychological impossibility, and declares that the author meant to represent this at all events. Up, then, before the mind of Daniel rose the gigantic statue of the monarch's vision, and with the vision came also the divinely given certainty that this was what the king had seen. He needs, however, more than the vision: the interpretation of the vision is vouchsafed to him also. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. The LXX. rendering here joins the first clause of ver. 20 to this, "Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven, and having cried aloud, said." Theodotion, the Peshitta, and Jerome agree with the Massoretic text. As we have said above, Daniel returned thanks to God for his great goodness to him and his friends. Our blessing God does not increase Divine felicity, but it expresses our sense of this felicity, and we recognize it all the more readily when, as in the case of these Jews, it is exhibited in making us partakers of it. Hence blessing God and giving God thanks become in such cases one and the mine thing. Daniel 2:19In answer to these supplications, the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night-vision. A vision of the night is not necessarily to be identified with a dream. In the case before us, Daniel does not speak of a dream; and the idea that he had dreamed precisely the same dream as Nebuchadnezzar is arbitrarily imported into the text by Hitz. in order to gain a "psychological impossibility," and to be able to cast suspicion on the historical character of the narrative. It is possible, indeed, that dreams may be, as the means of a divine revelation, dream-visions, and as such may be called visions of the night (cf. Daniel 7:1, Daniel 7:13); but in itself a vision of the night is a vision simply which any one receives during the night whilst he is awake.

(Note: "Dream and vision do not constitute two separate categories. The dream-image is a vision, the vision while awake is a dreaming - only that in the latter case the consciousness of the relation between the inner and the outer maintains itself more easily. Intermediate between the two stand the night-visions, which, as in Job 4:13, either having risen up before the spirit, fade away from the mind in after-thought, or, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:29), are an image before the imagination into which the thoughts of the night run out. Zechariah saw a number of visions in one night, Daniel 1:7; Daniel 6:15. Also these which, according to Daniel 1:8, are called visions of the night are not, as Ew. and Hitz. suppose, dream-images, but are waking perceptions in the night. Just because the prophet did not sleep, he says, Daniel 4, 'The angel awaked me as one is awaked out of sleep.'" - Tholuck's Die Propheten, u.s.w., p. 52.)

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