Daniel 4:11
The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
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(11) The tree grew.—It appeared in the vision to grow gradually larger and larger. According to the LXX., “The sun and moon dwelled in it and gave light to the whole earth.”

The sight thereof—i.e., the tree could be seen from the most distant parts of the known world.

4:1-18 The beginning and end of this chapter lead us to hope, that Nebuchadnezzar was a monument of the power of Divine grace, and of the riches of Divine mercy. After he was recovered from his madness, he told to distant places, and wrote down for future ages, how God had justly humbled and graciously restored him. When a sinner comes to himself, he will promote the welfare of others, by making known the wondrous mercy of God. Nebuchadnezzar, before he related the Divine judgments upon him for his pride, told the warnings he had in a dream or vision. The meaning was explained to him. The person signified, was to be put down from honour, and to be deprived of the use of his reason seven years. This is surely the sorest of all temporal judgments. Whatever outward affliction God is pleased to lay upon us, we have cause to bear it patiently, and to be thankful that he continues the use of our reason, and the peace of our consciences. Yet if the Lord should see fit by such means to keep a sinner from multiplying crimes, or a believer from dishonouring his name, even the dreadful prevention would be far preferable to the evil conduct. God has determined it, as a righteous Judge, and the angels in heaven applaud. Not that the great God needs the counsel or concurrence of the angels, but it denotes the solemnity of this sentence. The demand is by the word of the holy ones, God's suffering people: when the oppressed cry to God, he will hear. Let us diligently seek blessings which can never be taken from us, and especially beware of pride and forgetfulness of God.The tree grew - Or the tree was "great" - רבה rebâh. It does not mean that the tree grew while he was looking at it so as to reach to the heaven, but that it stood before him in all its glory, its top reaching to the sky, and its branches extending afar.

And was strong - It was well-proportioned, with a trunk adapted to its height, and to the mass of boughs and foliage which it bore. The strength here refers to its trunk, and to the fact that it seemed fixed firmly in the earth.

And the height thereof reached unto heaven - To the sky; to the region of the clouds. The comparison of trees reaching to heaven is common in Greek and Latin authors. - Grotius. Compare Virgil's description of Fame.

"Mox sese attollit in auras,

Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubila condit." -

"AEn. iv. 176

And the sight thereof to the end of all the earth - It could be seen, or was visible in all parts of the earth. The Greek here for "sight" is κῦτος kutos, "breadth, capaciousness." Herodotus ("Polymnia") describes a vision remarkably similar to this, as indicative of a wide and universal monarchy, respecting Xerxes:

"After these things there was a third vision in his sleep, which the magicians (μάγοι magoi) hearing of, said that it pertained to all the earth, and denoted that all men would be subject to him. The vision was this: Xerxes seemed to be crowned with a branch of laurel, and the branches of laurel seemed to extend through all the earth." The vision which Nebuchadnezzar had here, of a tree so conspicuous as to be seen from any part of the world, was one that would be naturally applied to a sovereign having a universal sway.

10. tree—So the Assyrian is compared to a "cedar" (Eze 31:3; compare Eze 17:24).

in the midst of the earth—denoting its conspicuous position as the center whence the imperial authority radiated in all directions.

No text from Poole on this verse.

The tree grew, and was strong,.... Grew higher and broader, taller and thicker, increased in boughs and branches, and became strong and stable, that no winds nor storms could move it: this shows the increasing power of Nebuchadnezzar, the enlargement of his dominions, and the stability of his empire:

and the height thereof reached unto heaven; higher than any on earth; expressive of his dominion over all nations and people of the earth; or of his ambition of deity itself; and so Saadiah illustrates it by Isaiah 14:14. "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds &c.":

and the sight thereof to the end of the earth: being so high, it was seen afar off; the fame of this great monarch reached to the ends of the earth; the eyes of all were turned to him; some looking upon him with wonder, others with envy.

The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
11. grew] was grown.

11, 12. The thoughts expressed by the symbolism of the dream are the central and commanding position taken in the world by Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, its power, splendour, and prosperity, and the protection and support afforded by it, not only to those who strictly belonged to it, but also to all others who sought to enjoy the advantages supplied by it.

Verse 11. - The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth. This verse is transposed in the Septuagint with the following verse, and is rendered, "And its appearance (ὅρασις) was great, and its top approached to the heavens, and its breadth (κύτος, equivalent to 'branches') filled (πληροῦν) to the clouds all things beneath the heaven and the sun and the moon were, and dwelt in it, and enlightened all the earth." The addition in the last clause is a singular and picturesque one to one standing beneath a spreading tree; sun and moon might pierce with their rays through some thin points in the foliage, but they would seem never to get beyond the widespread branches of the tree, and therefore it would be but a poetical mode of statement to say, "the sun and moon dwelt amid the branches." At the same time, it is not impossible that there was some astronomical legend of the sun and moon and the tree of life. If this proclamation was originally written in cuneiform, there might easily be some difficulty at times in deciphering and fixing in which of a dozen possible senses a given word must be taken. The variation is beyond the region of mere ordinary blundering in Aramaic. On the other hand, it seems too picturesque for the work of a commonplace interpolator. Theodotion in the main agrees with the Massoretic, but instead of "sight thereof," he has "breadth (κότος) thereof," reading some such word as path-ootheh instead of hazotheh. The Peshitta is in close agreement with the received text. To those who, like the Babylonian, believed the earth to he a vast plain, it was not inconceivable that a tree should be so high as to be seen over the whole earth. It is a very suitable symbol of a great world-empire. At the same time, we must remember that the great variation in this verse in the Septuagint makes its authenticity somewhat doubtful. Daniel 4:11(Daniel 4:7-8)

Nebuchadnezzar in these verses tells his dream. The first part of v. 10 is an absolute nominal sentence: the visions of my head lying upon my bed, then I saw, etc. - A tree stood in the midst of the earth. Although already very high, yet it became always the greater and the stronger, so that it reached eve unto heaven and was visible to the ends of the earth. V. 11. The perf. רבה and תּקיף express not its condition, but its increasing greatness and strength. In the second hemistich the imperf. ימטא, as the form of the striving movement, corresponds to them. Daniel B. Michaelis properly remarks, that Nebuchadnezzar saw the tree gradually grow and become always the stronger. חזות, the sight, visibleness. Its visibility reached unto the ends of the earth. The lxx have correctly ἡ ὅρασις αὑτοῦ; so the Vulgate; while Theodotion, with τὸ κύτος αὐτοῦ, gives merely the sense, its largeness, or dome. Hitzig altogether improperly refers to the Arab. ḥawzah; for ḥwzh, from ḥwz, corresponds neither with the Hebr. חזה, nor does it mean extent, but comprehension, embracing, enclosure, according to which the meanings, tractus, latus, regio, given in the Arab. Lex., are to be estimated.

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