Then was the secret revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
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.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. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.
As, according to Ezekiel 45:17, it devolved upon the prince to provide and bring the sacrifices for himself and the house of Israel; after the appointment of the sacrifices to be offered at the yearly feasts (Ezekiel 45:18-25), and before the regulation of the sacrifices for the Sabbath and new moon (Ezekiel 46:4-7), directions are given as to the conduct of the prince at the offering of these sacrifices (Ezekiel 46:1-3). For although the slaughtering and preparation of the sacrifices for the altar devolved upon the priests, the prince was to be present at the offering of the sacrifices to be provided by him, whereas the people were under no obligation to appear before the Lord in the temple except at the yearly feasts.
Ezekiel 46:1. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, The gate of the inner court, which looks toward the east, shall be shut the six working days, and on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened. Ezekiel 46:2. And the prince shall come by the way to the porch of the gate from without, and stand at the posts of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt-offering and his peace-offerings, and he shall worship on the threshold of the gate and then go out; but the gate shall not be shut till the evening. Ezekiel 46:3. And the people of the land shall worship at the entrance of that gate on the Sabbaths and on the new moons before Jehovah. Ezekiel 46:4. And the burnt-offering which the prince shall offer to Jehovah shall consist on the Sabbath-day of six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; Ezekiel 46:5. And as a meat-offering, an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs as a meat-offering that which his hand may give, and of oil a hin to the ephah (of meal). Ezekiel 46:6. And on the day of the new moon there shall be an bullock, a young ox without blemish, and six lambs and a ram without blemish; Ezekiel 46:7. And he shall put an ephah for the bullock, and an ephah for the ram for the meat-offering, and for the lambs as much as his hand affords, and of oil a hin for the ephah. - Ezekiel 46:1-3 supply and explain the instructions given in Ezekiel 44:1-3 concerning the outer eastern gate. As the east gate of the outer court (Ezekiel 44:1), so also the east gate of the inner court was to remain closed during the six working days, and only to be opened on the Sabbaths and new moons, when it was to remain open till the evening. The prince was to enter this inner east gate, and to stand there and worship upon the threshold while his sacrifice was being prepared and offered. בּוא דּרך אוּלם is to be taken as in Ezekiel 44:3; but מחוּץ, which is appended, is not to be referred to the entrance into the inner court, as the statement would be quite superfluous so far as this is concerned, since any one who was not already in the inner court must enter the gate-building of the inner court from without, or from the outer court. The meaning of מחוּץ is rather that the prince was to enter, or to go to, the gate porch of the inner court through the outer east gate. There he was to stand at the posts of the gate and worship on the threshold of the gate during the sacrificial ceremony; and when this was over he was to go out again, namely, by the same way by which he entered (Ezekiel 44:3). But the people who came to the temple on the Sabbaths and new moons were to worship פּתח, i.e., at the entrance of this gate, outside the threshold of the gate. Kliefoth in wrong in taking פּתח in the sense of through the doorway, as signifying that the people were to remain in front of the outer east gate, and to worship looking at the temple through this gate and through the open gate between. For השּׁער ההוּא roF ., hits gate, can only be the gate of the inner court, which has been already mentioned. There is no force in the consideration which has led Kliefoth to overlook ההוּא, and think of the outer gate, namely, that "it would be unnatural to suppose that the people were to come into the outer court through the outer north and south gates, whilst the outer east gate remained shut (or perhaps more correctly, was opened for the prince), and so stand in front of the inner court," as it is impossible to see what there is that is unnatural in such a supposition. On the other hand, it is unnatural to assume that the people, who, according to Ezekiel 46:9, were to come through the north and south gates into the outer court at all the מועדים to appear before Jehovah, were not allowed to enter the court upon the Sabbaths and new moons if they should wish to worship before Jehovah upon these days also, but were to stand outside before the gate of the outer court. The difference between the princes and the people, with regard to visiting the temple upon the Sabbaths and new moons, consisted chiefly in this, that the prince could enter by the outer east gate and proceed as far as the posts of the middle gate, and there worship upon the threshold of the gate, whereas the people were only allowed to come into the outer court through the outer north and south gates, and could only proceed to the front of the middle gate. - Ezekiel 46:4. The burnt-offering for the Sabbath is considerably increased when compared with that appointed in the Mosaic law. The law requires two yearling lambs with the corresponding meat-offering (Numbers 28:9); Ezekiel, six lambs and one ram, and in addition to these a meat-offering for the ram according to the proportion already laid down in Ezekiel 45:24 for the festal sacrifices; and for the lambs, מתּת ידו, a gift, a present of his hand, - that is to say, not a handful of meal, but, according to the formula used in alternation with it in Ezekiel 46:7, as much as his hand can afford. For כּאשׁר , see Leviticus 14:30; Leviticus 25:26. - It is different with the sacrifices of the new moon in Ezekiel 46:6 and Ezekiel 46:7. The law of Moses prescribed two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs, with the corresponding meat-offering, and a he-goat for a sin-offering (Numbers 28:11-15); the thorah of Ezekiel, on the contrary, omits the sin-offering, and reduces the burnt-offering to one bullock, one ram, and six lambs, together with a meat-offering, according to the proportion already mentioned, which is peculiar to his law. The first תּמימים in Ezekiel 46:6 is a copyist's error for תּמים.
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