Daniel 2:6
But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
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(6) Rewards.—A word of uncertain meaning. It occurs again Daniel 5:17, and probably is correctly rendered.

2:1-13 The greatest men are most open to cares and troubles of mind, which disturb their repose in the night, while the sleep of the labouring man is sweet and sound. We know not the uneasiness of many who live in great pomp, and, as others vainly think, in pleasure also. The king said that his learned men must tell him the dream itself, or they should all be put to death as deceivers. Men are more eager to ask as to future events, than to learn the way of salvation or the path of duty; yet foreknowledge of future events increases anxiety and trouble. Those who deceived, by pretending to do what they could not do, were sentenced to death, for not being able to do what they did not pretend to.But if ye show the dream - If you show what the dream was.

And the interpretation thereof - What it signifies. That is, they were so to state the dream that Nebuchadnezzar would recognize it; and they were to give such an explanation of it as would commend itself to his mind as the true one. On this last point he would doubtless rely much on their supposed wisdom in performing this duty, but it would seem clear, also, that it was necessary that the interpretation should be seen to be a "fair" interpretation, or such as would be "fairly" implied in the dream. Thus, when Daniel made known the interpretation, he saw at once that it met all the features of the dream, and he admitted it to be correct. So also when Daniel explained the handwriting on the wall to Belshazzar, he admitted the justness of it, and loaded him with honors, Daniel 5:29. So when Joseph explained the dreams of Pharaoh, he at once saw the appropriateness of the explanation, and admitted it to be correct Genesis 41:39-45; and so in the case above referred to (notes on Daniel 2:2), of Astyages respecting the dreams of his daughter (Herod. 1, cvii.; cviii.), he at once saw that the interpretation of the dreams proposed by the Magi accorded with the dreams, and took his measures accordingly.

Ye shall receive of me gifts, and rewards, and great honor - Intending to appeal to their highest hopes to induce them, if possible, to disclose the meaning of the dream. He specifics no particular rewards, but makes the promise general; and the evident meaning is, that, in such a case, he would bestow what it became a monarch like him to give. That the usual rewards in such a case were such as were adapted to stimulate to the most vigorous exertions of their powers, may be seen from the honor which he conferred on Daniel when he made known the dream Daniel 2:48, and from the rewards which Belshazzar conferred on Daniel for making known the interpretation of the writing on the wall Daniel 5:29 : "Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom." Compare Esther 5:11; Esther 6:7-9.

6. rewards—literally, "presents poured out in lavish profusion." As I threatened you with death for not doing, I promise you rewards and honour if ye perform it. This is in the power of princes, as they think, but all this would not do; therefore they are still where they were, they answered the king again.

But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof,.... Which he was extremely intent upon to know; and therefore makes use of every way to obtain it, first by threatenings, to terrify, and next by promises, to allure:

ye shall receive of me gifts, and rewards, and great honour; gold, silver, jewels, rich apparel, houses, lands, and great promotion to some of the highest places of honour, trust, and profit, in the kingdom, as Daniel afterwards had:

therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof; at once, directly, without any more ado; for the king was impatient of it.

But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
6. shew (twice)] declare. So Daniel 2:7; Daniel 2:9-11; Daniel 2:16; Daniel 2:24; Daniel 2:27; Daniel 4:2; Daniel 5:7; Daniel 5:12; Daniel 5:15.

rewards] A rare word, probably of Persian origin (according to Andreas, in the Glossary in Marti’s Gramm. der Bibl.-Aram. Sprache, properly, tribute, present), found otherwise only in Daniel 5:17, where it stands in a similar context.

Verse 6. - But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. The Septuagint Version is "If ye will show me the dream, and tell me its interpretation, ye shall receive every sort (παντοῖα) of gifts, and be honoured by me: show me the dream, and judge." There are indications of differences in the text, which are considered below. Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic in its rendering of this verse. The Peshitta also manifests no serious difference. All these older versions render it doubtful whether nebizba was part of the original text. But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour. Ewald would conjoin with this verse the latter part of the verse preceding, with considerable justification. Like the latter part of the previous verse, it is to be taken as the summation of a long argument, in which threats and promises would bear a large part, probably both heightening as they failed to produce tire effect required of making the soothsayers reproduce to Nebuchadnezzar his dream. Now the acme is reached - on the one hand, a death of torture and infamy is threatened; on the other band, in the verse before us, "gifts, rewards, and great honour." The king is eager to have his dream interpreted, but he has taken his stand - before he will listen to the interpretation, they must afford him evidence that they can interpret correctly this dream, by reproducing it to him. One of the words here has been used by Berthohlt as evidence that the Book of Daniel originated in the days of the Maccabees, when Greek was largely spoken. The word translated "reward" in our version is nebizba; this, it was argued by Bertholdt, is νόμισμα, m becoming b - a not infrequent commutation. In support of this, if we take νόμισμα as meaning "coined money," this would make a distinction between this word and matnan, the more ordinary word for "a girt." Jephet-ibn-Ali translates in accordance with this meaning: "I will give you raiment and dinars," he makes Nebuchadnezzar say. Yet this view is now abandoned by all critics, and however many alleged Greek words are found in Daniel, this is never now brought forward as one of them. Lexicographers are practically unanimous in rejecting this derivation. There are two other derivations, one making it a palpel form of the בְוז with a נ pre-formative which was Gesenius's view in his 'Thesaurus.' He later abandoned this view, and maintained that it was connected with some Persian root. Winer maintains the former of these views, and Furst the latter. As a Persian word, it is supposed to prove the late date of Daniel. It does seem somewhat strange logic to argue, from the presence of Persian words in a document, that therefore it was written late in the Greek period. The prior question presents itself - Is the word Persian, Greek, or Aramaic, really a part of the original text of Daniel? In regard to this the Septuagint Version is of importance. Its rendering of this clause is, as we have seen, "But if ye shall show me the dream, and tell me the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive all manner of gifts, and shall be honoured by me." This interpretation implies a different text - the word nebizba disappears from the text altogether, for no one would translate it παντοῖα; evidently the translator had before him some combination of col, "all." The combination matnan nebizba occurs in the Targum in Jeremiah 40:5, therefore, had it been present, the translator would have been aware of its meaning. Theodotion renders it δωρεάς. If the phrase occurred elsewhere, there would easily be a motive to introduce the word nebizba, but there seems none to substitute for it another word altogether; certainly כ and נ are not unfrequently confounded, and a defective ל might be read as a ב. It would not be difficult to reproduce a Hebrew sentence, the rendering of which would require παντοῖα. This much is clear - nebizba was not before the Septuagint translator. It is further to be observed that the Septuagint translator has had before him, not the noun yeqar, "honour," but the verb in the passive or ethpael. These, however, are not all the points where the Septuagintal text must have differed from the text we have received from the Massoretes. The adjective sagi," great," occurs in the Authorized Version, but is not represented in the Septuagint. The order of the Greek words suggests a different order in the original Aramaic. Other things being equal, the strutter a reading, the more likely it is to be the original reading. It is clear that this advantage is with the Septuagint reading. If there were any likelihood of certain words being omitted from any probable cause as homoioteleuton, it would be different. On the other hand, the addition of a kind which is frequently seen, the more recent word nebizba is put alongside its more ancient equivalents. In the other case, the adjective sagi, "great," is inserted, as frequently happens, with a view of heightening the effect. Another explanation may be suggested. We know the Aramaic docquets on the back of the contract tablets are written in a script resembling Phoenician characters. If the original manuscripts were written at the date assigned by tradition, then it would be written in this style of letter. In it we find that ש and מ were liable to be mistaken, as also; and ג; we should then have נ (minni), "from me," as a possible reading which had been rot,read by some Palestinian scribe into שׂגי (sagi), "great," and the א added to complete the word. The case is only a familiar case of doublets. When we have further מִן־קָדָמָי, "from me," the change of the preceding is thus in a sense necessitated. This may be regarded as an indication of age, as the square character had begun at least a century before Christ (Driver,' Samuel,' p. 21.). This leaves but little time for modifications and blunders of penmanship between this and the critical date of Daniel. The latter clause of this verse shows us another variation between the Massoretic text and that lying behind the Septuagint. The Massoretic recension is well represented in the Authorized Version. Therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. The version of the Septuagint indicates a different reading, and has a different point, "Declare to me the dream, and judge." According to the Massoretic reading, the king merely repeats his demands, the only reference to the preceding promises and threatenings being in the conjunction לָהֵן (lahen), "therefore." Whereas the main reference of the clause, according to the Septuagint, is to the immediately preceding promises, "Show me the dream, and judge if I will do as I have said." Another supposition possible is that there has been a transposition. In the very next verse חְוָה (hevah) is represented by κρίνω - in that case it may mean "interpret," the rendering then would be, "Show me the dream and interpret," and represent some part of the verb פשר, only there is the awkwardness of using the same word as equivalent to two different Aramaic words in contiguous verses. The difference is not of great importance; the king is eager to get the magicians to tell him his dream and its interpretation, but, having commenced the experiment as to their powers, he will not allow himself to be driven from it. Before leaving this verse, we must note the presence of certain signs of old date in the Aramaic of the passage. First, the word hen, "if," is not used in the Targums; it is not in Levy's Dictionary; neither Gesenius nor Furst gives any non-Biblical reference for the use of the word In the same way, its derivative לָהֵן (lahen), "therefore," is equally peculiar to Biblical Aramaic. Particles are good notes of age, as they are less liable to change than nouns substantive. Daniel 2:6The rigorous severity of this edict accords with the character of Oriental despots and of Nebuchadnezzar, particularly in his dealings with the Jews (2 Kings 25:7, 2 Kings 25:18.; Jeremiah 39:6., Jeremiah 52:10., 24-27). In the promise of rewards the explanation of נבזבּה (in the plural נבזבּין, Daniel 5:17) is disputed; its rendering by "money," "gold" (by Eichh. and Berth.), has been long ago abandoned as incorrect. The meaning gift, present, is agreeable to the context and to the ancient versions; but its derivation formed from the Chald. בזבז, Pealp. of בּזז, erogavit, expendit, by the substitution of נfor מand the excision of the second זfrom מבזבּזה, in the meaning largitio amplior, the Jod in the plural form being explained from the affinity of verbs ע'ע and ל'ה (Ges. Thes. p. 842, and Kran.), is highly improbable. The derivation from the Persian nuvâzan, nuvâzisch, to caress, to flatter, then to make a present to (P. v. Bohlen), or from the Sanscr. namas, present, gift (Hitz.), or from the Vedish bag̀, to give, to distribute, and the related New Persian bâj (bash), a present (Haug), are also very questionable. להן, on that account, therefore (cf. Daniel 2:9 and Daniel 4:24), formed from the prepos. ל and the demonstrative adverb הן, has in negative sentences (as the Hebr. כּי and להן) the meaning but, rather (Daniel 2:30), and in a pregnant sense, only (Daniel 2:11; Daniel 3:28; Daniel 6:8), without להן being derived in such instances from לא and הן equals לא אם.
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