Daniel 2:26
The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Whose name was Belteshazzar.—A parenthetic clause, introduced to remind the reader that by this name only Daniel was known to the king. (Comp. Daniel 4:8.)

Art thou able.—The king does not pretend to be ignorant of the person of Daniel. He had, in fact, only recently (Daniel 1:19-20) examined him in “matters of wisdom and understanding.” What surprises him is, that after the wise and experienced had failed to tell him his dream, one so young and a mere novice should succeed.

Daniel 2:26-29. The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar —

See note on Daniel 1:7; Art thou able to make known to me the dream? &c. — The king seems to have questioned whether he could make his promise good. The less likely, however, it appeared to the king that Daniel should do this, the more God was glorified in enabling him to do it. Daniel answered, Cannot the wise men, &c. — Daniel’s words, as here translated, bear the interrogative form; but not in the original. They seem to be more accurately translated by the LXX., Το μυστηριον ο βασικευς επερωτα ουκ εστι σοφων αναγγειλαι τω βασιλει, The mystery concerning which the king inquires, it does not belong to the wise men, &c., to declare to the king. Or, as the Vulgate has it, “the wise men cannot declare.” But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets — Daniel assumes nothing to himself, but gives the glory to God alone, whose knowledge, as he tells the king, infinitely exceeds that of all the wise men of Chaldea, and of the gods, or demons, which they consulted, or worshipped. And at the same time he also, with great generosity, pleads the cause of the wise men, who could not tell the dream; alleging in their excuse, that such knowledge was not attainable by any mere human ability; and that he should have been as much at a loss as they, had not God been pleased to reveal it unto him: see Daniel 2:30. The modesty and humility of Daniel, in this whole address to the king, are highly deserving of our notice and imitation. The soothsayers, here mentioned, were not noticed among the several sorts of pretenders to wisdom, named in Daniel 2:2. The word so rendered, derived from גזר, to cut, is thought by some to signify either the aruspices, who examined the liver and entrails of beasts by cutting them open; or those diviners who, by the disposition and combination of numbers, made amulets, or charms, by which they pretended to foretel future events. Rabbi Jacchiades favours the latter opinion, supposing that the aruspices were scarcely known in the East. And maketh known what shall be in the latter days — Or, what shall come to pass hereafter, as it is expressed Daniel 2:29; Daniel 2:45. O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed — Daniel, by way of introduction to his telling the king what had been the subject of his dream, informs him of what he meditated, or thought, before he fell asleep, namely, that he revolved in his mind what should be the future condition of the vast empire which he had erected by his various conquests. This surely must have excited in Nebuchadnezzar a great admiration of the God whom Daniel worshipped.

2:24-30 Daniel takes away the king's opinion of his magicians and soothsayers. The insufficiency of creatures should drive us to the all-sufficiency of the Creator. There is One who can do that for us, and make known that to us, which none on earth can, particularly the work of redemption, and the secret designs of God's love to us therein. Daniel confirmed the king in his opinion, that the dream was of great consequence, relating to the affairs and changes of this lower world. Let those whom God has highly favoured and honoured, lay aside all opinion of their own wisdom and worthiness, that the Lord alone may be praised for the good they have and do.The king answered, and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar - See the notes at Daniel 1:7. The "king" may have addressed him by this name, and probably did during this interview. This was the name, it would seem, by which he was known in Babylon - a name which implied honor and respectability, as being conferred on one whom it was supposed the principal Babylonian divinity favored.

Art thou able to make known unto me the dream? - One of the first points in the difficulty was to recal "the dream itself," and hence, this was the first inquiry which the king presented. If he could not recal that, of course the matter was at an end, and the law would be suffered to take its course.

25. I have found a man—Like all courtiers, in announcing agreeable tidings, he ascribes the merit of the discovery to himself [Jerome]. So far from it being a discrepancy, that he says nothing of the previous understanding between him and Daniel, or of Daniel's application to the king (Da 2:15, 16), it is just what we should expect. Arioch would not dare to tell an absolute despot that he had stayed the execution of his sanguinary decree, on his own responsibility; but would, in the first instance, secretly stay it until Daniel had got, by application from the king, the time required, without Arioch seeming to know of Daniel's application as the cause of the respite; then, when Daniel had received the revelation, Arioch would in trembling haste bring him in, as if then for the first time he had "found" him. The very difficulty when cleared up is a proof of genuineness, as it never would be introduced by a forger. By this name of

Belteshazzar he had given Daniel, he took courage as if he might expect some great thing from him; for the word signifies the keeper of secret treasure, i.e. to lay up and bring forth.

Art thou able, & c.? as if he had said, I question if thou canst, seeing all my wise men cannot do it; canst thou presume to do more than all they?

The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar,.... The name given him by the prince of the eunuchs, Daniel 1:7, and by which he was known to Nebuchadnezzar; and very likely he called him now by this name, which is the reason of its being mentioned:

art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? this he said, either as doubting and questioning, or as admiring that one so young should be able to do that, which his seniors, the wise men in Babylon, could not do; or he put this question, as impatient to hear what he must expect from him, whether the performance of his promise, or such an answer as the wise men had given him.

The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 26. - The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? The variations in the versions are here unimportant, save that the Septuagint interpolates "in the Chaldee tongue" before the Babylonian name of Daniel. It is also to be noted that here, as throughout, the Babylonian name of Daniel, in beth the Greek versions, appears as Βαλτάσαρ, the same form in which they give Belshazzar. When Daniel is brought in before the king, Nebuchadnezzar demands if he can fulfil his promise, and tell the dream as well as the interpretation. There is no indication that Nebuchadnezzar remembered anything of the youth who had done well in the examination held in his presence some months before. This certainly is confirmatory of Wieseler's hypothesis. That the king should have forgotten, however, is nothing extraordinary, for the occasions of this kind would be many. Nebuchadnezzar, in the case of the young Hebrew, does not question his willingness to tell him what he wishes, but only his ability. With regard to the wise men, he believed, or professed to believe, in their ability to do what he wished, and reckoned their refusal to answer him as due to obstinacy or treason. It may be that he has moderated somewhat the rancour of his ire, and is willing to recognize their ignorance as to dreams and such light furniture of the mind as not militating against their claim to knowledge in other directions, only for his oath's sake he must demand that the dream be told him by at least some one. It may be that there was a certain emphasis on the pronoun when Nebuchadnezzar demanded of Daniel, "Is there to thee the power to declare to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?" Is there to thee, mere student of the sacred mysteries as thou art, alien as thou art, a hostage from a city whose king I overthrew easily? It certainly must have been strange to Nebuchadnezzar that what the soothsayers, astrologers, and magicians of the court, the highest, and reputed to be the most skilful of their respective guilds, could not do, this young Hebrew proclaimed himself able to perform. It may be observed that while in the narrative the author calls the prophet by his sacred name Daniel, "the Divine judge," here in the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, the court name he had received is introduced. To his friends, to his fellow-countrymen, he is Daniel; but as a court official he is Belteshazzar, or perhaps Belshazzar. It may be that there is intended to be conveyed to us that not only was he introduced into the royal presence as Belshazzar, but that the king addressed him," Belteshazzar (Belshazzar), art thou able?" Daniel 2:26To the question of the king, whether he was able to show the dream with its interpretation, Daniel replies by directing him from man, who is unable to accomplish such a thing, to the living God in heaven, who alone reveals secrets. The expression, whose name was Belteshazzar (Daniel 2:26), intimates in this connection that he who was known among the Jews by the name Daniel was known to the Chaldean king only under the name given to him by the conqueror - that Nebuchadnezzar knew of no Daniel, but only of Belteshazzar. The question, "art thou able?" i.e., has thou ability? does not express the king's ignorance of the person of Daniel, but only his amazement at his ability to make known the dream, in the sense, "art thou really able?" This amazement Daniel acknowledges as justified, for he replies that no wise man was able to do this thing. In the enumeration of the several classes of magicians the word חכּימין is the general designation of them all. "But there is a God in heaven." Daniel "declares in the presence of the heathen the existence of God, before he speaks to him of His works." Klief. But when he testifies of a God in heaven as One who is able to reveal hidden things, he denies this ability eo ipso to all the so-called gods of the heathen. Thereby he not only assigns the reason of the inability of the heathen wise men, who knew not the living God in heaven, to show the divine mysteries, but he refers also all the revelations which the heathen at any time receive to the one true God. The וin והודע introduces the development of the general thought. That there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, Daniel declares to the king by this, that he explains his dream as an inspiration of this God, and shows to him its particular circumstances. God made known to him in a dream "what would happen in the end of the days." אחרית יומיּא equals הימים אחרית designates here not the future generally (Hv.), and still less "that which comes after the days, a time which follows after another time, comprehended under the הימים" (Klief.), but the concluding future or the Messianic period of the world's time; see Genesis 49:1.

From דּנה אחרי in Daniel 2:29 that general interpretation of the expression is not proved. The expression יומיּא בּאחרית of Daniel 2:28 is not explained by the דּנה אחרי להוא דּי מה of Daniel 2:29, but this אחרי relates to Nebuchadnezzar's thoughts of a future in the history of the world, to which God, the revealer of secrets, unites His Messianic revelations; moreover, every Messianic future event is also an דּנה אחרי (cf. Daniel 2:45), without, however, every דּנה אחרי being also Messianic, though it may become so when at the same time it is a constituent part of the future experience and the history of Israel, the people of the Messianic promise (Kran.). "The visions of thy head" (cf. Daniel 4:2 [5], Daniel 4:7 [10], Daniel 4:10 [13], Daniel 7:1) are not dream-visions because they formed themselves in the head or brains (v. Leng., Maur., Hitz.), which would thus be only phantoms or fancies. The words are not a poetic expression for dreams hovering about the head (Hv.); nor yet can we say, with Klief., that "the visions of thy head upon thy bed, the vision which thou sawest as thy head lay on thy pillow," mean only dream-visions. Against the former interpretation this may be stated, that dreams from God do not hover about the head; and against the latter, that the mention of the head would in that case be superfluous. The expression, peculiar to Daniel, designates much rather the divinely ordered visions as such, "as were perfectly consistent with a thoughtfulness of the head actively engaged" (Kran.). The singular הוּא דּנה goes back to חלמך (thy dream) as a fundamental idea, and is governed by ראשׁך וחזוי in the sense: "thy dream with the visions of thy head;" cf. Winer, 49, 6. The plur. חזוי is used, because the revelation comprehends a series of visions of future events.

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