Daniel 4:14
He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
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(14) Aloudi.e., like a king’s herald. (Comp. Daniel 3:4.)

Hew down.—The plural is here used, implying that several persons are employed in carrying out the order.

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.He cried aloud - Margin, as in the Chaldee, "with might." That is, he cried with a strong voice.

Hew down the tree - This command does not appear to have been addressed to any particular ones who were to execute the commission, but it is a strong and significant way of saying that it would certainly be done. Or possibly the command may be understood as addressed to his fellow-watchers Daniel 4:17, or to orders of angels over whom this one presided.

And cut off his branches ... - The idea here, and in the subsequent part of the verse, is, that the tree was to be utterly cut up, and all its glory and beauty destroyed. It was first to be felled, and then its limbs chopped off, and then these were to be stripped of their foliage, and then the fruit which it bore was to be scattered. All this was strikingly significant, as applied to the monarch, of some awful calamity that was to occur to him after he should have been brought down from his throne. A process of humiliation and desolation was to continue, as if the tree, when cut down, were not suffered to lie quietly in its grandeur upon the earth. "Let the beasts get away," etc. That is, it shall cease to afford a shade to the beasts and a home to the fowls. The purposes which it had answered in the days of its glory will come to an end.

14. Hew down—(Mt 3:10; Lu 13:7). The holy (Jude 14) one incites his fellow angels to God's appointed work (compare Re 14:15, 18).

beasts get away from under it—It shall no longer afford them shelter (Eze 31:12).

He cried aloud, and said; whereby is shown the consent of the angels, when one stirs up another to cut down, i.e. to cast out and take away.

He cried aloud,.... Or, with strengths; (l) being a mighty angel, and that he might be heard far and near:

and said thus, hew down the tree; remove this mighty monarch from his throne; take away his government from him: this is said to fellow angels employed in the affairs of Providence, and the execution of them, to bring about an event so momentous:

and cut off his branches; take away his provinces, each of the parts of his dominion, from him:

shake off his leaves: cause his deputy governors to shake off their allegiance to him:

and scatter his fruit; the revenues of his vast empire, and let others take them:

let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches; those that have either voluntarily betook themselves to him for protection; or have been carried captive by him, and have lived under his shadow, whether of the more barbarous nations, or more civilized, as the Jews; let them take the opportunity of withdrawing from him, and returning to their own lands; see Jeremiah 51:9.

(l) "in virtute", Montanus; "cum robore", Gejerus; "fortier", Cocceius, Michaelis; "strenue", Junius & Tremellius, Broughtonus.

He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
14. The strength and magnificence of the great tree are all to be stripped from it.

aloud] lit. with might, as Daniel 3:4.

Hew down &c.] who are addressed, is not stated: as in other similar cases (Isaiah 13:2; Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 57:14, Jeremiah 4:5, &c.), those whose duty it would naturally be to fulfil such a command are intended.

Verse 14. - He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, cut off his branches, shako off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches. The Septuagint Version is, "And one called and said to him, Cut it down, and destroy it; for it is decreed by the Highest to root it out and destroy it." It is possible that abbey in the Greek was due to כֵן (kayn) being read as לו (lo). The phrase as it stands in the Greek is not unlike Revelation 14:18, "And another cried with a loud voice to him that had the sharp sickle." It is, therefore, equally possible that לו (lo) has been changed into כֵן (kayn). The latter part of the verse is more condensed, and therefore, by that, more probable; only the rooting out commanded seems to contradict the fact that it is also commanded to leave "one root of it." Theodotion is in much closer agreement with the Massoretic, save that the beasts, instead of being warned to depart from beneath the shadow of the tree, are to be shaken (σαλευθηῖωσαν) from beneath it, as are all the birds from its branches. The Peshitta is an accurate translation of the text of the Massoretes. A peculiarity to be observed in the Aramaic is that the verbs are in the plural, which is retained in Theodotion and the Peshitta. It seems difficult to understand this. Stuart's explanation ? which is practically that of Havernick and Hitzig - that the command is addressed by the עִיר ('eer) to his retinue, seems highly forced, as there has been no word of a retinue. Keil's and Kliefoth's view, that the plural is the impersonal, does not suit the circumstances. We have a suspicion that the plural is due to a mistake - thinking the watcher and the holy one were separate persons. The Septuagint, however, has the plural, which is all the more extraordinary that αὐτῷ is singular. The function assigned here to the angels must be observed. Here, as in the parables of our Lord, the angels are the instruments by whom the decrees of providence are executed. In our days angels are not believed in. It is possible that materialism has much of its advantage over us, in that we do not recognize the existence and activity of angelic forces among the agencies of nature and providence. Daniel 4:14(Daniel 4:11-12)

The messenger of God cried with might (cf. Daniel 3:4), "as a sign of the strong, firm utterance of a purpose" (Kran.). The command, Hew it down, is not given to the angels (Hv., Hitz., Auberl.). The plur. here is to be regarded as impersonal: the tree shall be cut down. אתּרוּ stands for אתּרוּ according to the analogy of the verbs 3rd gutt., from נתד, to fall off, spoken of withering leaves. In consequence of the destruction of the tree, the beasts which found shelter under it and among its branches flee away. Yet the tree shall not be altogether destroyed, but its stock (v. 12 15) shall remain in the earth, that it may again afterwards spring up and grow into a tree. The stem is not the royalty, the dynasty which shall remain in the house of Nebuchadnezzar (Hv.), but the tree with its roots is Nebuchadnezzar, who shall as king be cut down, but shall as a man remain, and again shall grow into a king. But the stock must be bound "with a band of iron and brass." With these words, to complete which we must supply שׁבקוּ from the preceding context, the language passes from the type to the person represented by it. This transition is in the last part of the verse: with the beasts of the field let him have his portion in the grass of the earth; for this cannot be said of the stock with the roots, therefore these words are in the interpretation also (Daniel 4:22 [25]) applied directly to Nebuchadnezzar. But even in the preceding passages this transition is not doubtful. Neither the words in the grass of the field, nor the being wet with the dew of heaven, are suitable as applied to the stock of the tree, because both expressions in that case would affirm nothing; still less is the band of iron and brass congruous, for the trunk of a tree is not wont to be surrounded with bands of iron in order to prevent its being rent in pieces and completely destroyed. Thus the words refer certainly to Nebuchadnezzar; but the fastening in brass and iron is not, with Jerome and others, to be understood of the binding of the madman with chains, but figuratively or spiritually of the withdrawal of free self-determination through the fetter of madness; cf. The fetters of affliction, Psalm 107:10; Job 36:8. With this fettering also agrees the going forth under the open heaven among the grass of the field, and the being wet with the dew of heaven, without our needing thereby to think of the maniac as wandering about without any oversight over him.

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