Daniel 4:2
I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
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(2) Signs and wonders.—Comp. Isaiah 8:18. The appearance of various scriptural phrases in this letter leads us to believe that Daniel must have written it at the king’s request.

The high God.—Referring to his language (Daniel 3:26).

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.I thought it good - Margin, "it was seemly before me." The marginal reading is more in accordance with the original (קדמי שׁפר shephar qâdâmay). The proper meaning of the Chaldee word (שׁפר shephar) is, to be fair or beautiful; and the sense here is, that it seemed to him to be appropriate or becoming to make this public proclamation. It was fit and right that what God had done to him should be proclaimed to all nations.

To show the signs and wonders - Signs and wonders, as denoting mighty miracles, are not unfrequently connected in the Scriptures. See Exodus 7:3; Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 13:1; Deuteronomy 34:11; Isaiah 8:18; Jeremiah 32:20. The word rendered "signs" (Hebrew: אות 'ôth - Chaldee: את 'âth) means, properly, "a sign," as something significant, or something that points out or designates anything; as Genesis 1:14, "shall be for "signs" and for seasons;" that is, signs of seasons. Then the word denotes an ensign, a military flag, Numbers 2:2; then a sign of something past, a token or remembrancer, Exodus 13:9, Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 6:8; then a sign of something future, a portent, an omen, Isaiah 8:18; then a sign or token of what is visible, as circumcision, Genesis 17:11, or the rainbow in the cloud, as a token of the covenant which God made with man, Genesis 9:12; then anything which serves as a sign or proof of the fulfillment of prophecy, Exodus 3:12; 1 Samuel 2:34; and then it refers to anything which is a sign or proof of Divine power, Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 6:22; Deuteronomy 7:19, "et al."

The Hebrew word is commonly rendered "signs," but it is also rendered "token, ensign, miracles." As applied to what God does, it seems to be used in the sense of anything that is significant of his presence and power; anything that shall manifestly show that, what occurs is done by him; anything that is beyond human ability, and that makes known the being and the perfections of God by a direct and extraordinary manifestation. Here the meaning is, that what was done in so remarkable a manner was significant of the agency of God; it was what demonstrated that he exists, and that showed his greatness. The word rendered "wonders" (תמה temahh) means, properly, what is fitted to produce astonishment, or to lead one to wonder, and is applied to miracles as adapted to produce that effect. It refers to that state of mind which exists where anything occurs out of the ordinary course of nature, or which indicates supernatural power. The Hebrew word rendered "wonders" is often used to denote miracles, Exodus 3:20; Exodus 7:3; Exodus 11:9; Deuteronomy 6:22, "et al." The meaning here is, that what had occurred was fitted to excite amazement, and to lead men to wonder at the mighty works of God.

That the high God - The God who is exalted, or lifted up; that is, the God who is above all. See Daniel 3:26. It is an appellation which would be given to God as the Supreme Being. The Greek translation of this verse is, "And now I show unto you the deeds - πράξεις praxeis - which the great God has done unto me, for it seemed good to me to show to you and your wise men" - τοῖς σοφισταῖς ὑμῶν tois sophistais humōn.

2. I thought it good—"It was seemly before me" (Ps 107:2-8).

signs—tokens significant of God's omnipotent agency. The plural is used, as it comprises the marvellous dream, the marvellous interpretation of it, and its marvellous issue.

I did upon mature thoughts judge it very becoming me, yea, it was my pleasure to let all the world know,

1. The signs and wonders,

2. Wrought by the high God,

3. Toward me, wherein I was personally concerned: these were his reasons why he made it known to the world.

I thought it good,.... Or, "fair" (y) and beautiful, highly becoming me, what was my duty, and what might be profitable and beneficial to others, and make for the glory of the great God of heaven and earth:

to show the signs and wonders the high God hath wrought toward me; to declare by writing the wonderful things God, who is above all, the most high God, had done unto him, by giving him a wonderful dream, exactly describing his future case and condition, and then as wonderful an interpretation of it, and which was as wonderfully fulfilled, and, after all, in a wonderful manner restoring him to the exercise of his reason, and the administration of his kingdom, after both had departed from him.

(y) "pulchrum", Montanus, Grotius, Gejerus, Michaelis; "decet me", Junius & Tremellius.

I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
2. I thought it good] better (R.V.) It hath seemed good unto me.

to shew] to declare (Daniel 2:4). ‘Shew’ suggests here, at least to modern readers, a wrong sense.

signs and wonders] similarly in Darius’s decree (Daniel 4:27). Cf. ‘signs and portents,’ Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 6:22; Deuteronomy 7:19 al. (where the Targ. of Pseudo-Jon. represents ‘portents’ by the same word ‘wonders,’ which is used here). The meaning is, significant and surprising evidences of power. The phraseology of the proclamation, both in Daniel 4:2-3, and also in Daniel 4:34-35; Daniel 4:37, betrays its Jewish author.

the high God] God Most High (Daniel 3:26).

toward] lit. with, i.e. (in dealing) with: cf. Psalm 86:17 Heb.

Verses 2, 3. - I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. The Greek versions for these two verses are in absolute agreement, hence one is not surprised to find that in the Syriac of Paulus Tellensis, these verses, with that preceding, are marked with an asterisk, which proclaims them not to have been regarded by their translator as a genuine part of the Septuagint, but to have been added from Theodotion. They are in close agreement with the Massoretic text. In these two verses the Peshitta is also at one with the Massoretic text. It is possible that this may have been the actual beginning of the document; on the other hand, it may have been simply the suggestion of some later scribe of how such a proclamation might have begun. The latter is, perhaps, the more probable. At the same time, it vindicates its position by being a not unnatural expression of feelings such as Nebuchadnezzar might well be supposed to have had after such an experience as he had passed through. It may even be that the signs and wonders to which Nebuchadnezzar refers are not merely those of his dream and its fulfilment, but all the signs that had been manifested in his reign. Daniel 4:2(Daniel 3:31-33)

These verses form the introduction

(Note: The connection of these verses with the third chapter in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin Bibles is altogether improper. The originator of the division into chapters appears to have entertained the idea that Nebuchadnezzar had made known the miracle of the deliverance of the three men from the fiery furnace to his subjects by means of a proclamation, according to which the fourth chapter would contain a new royal proclamation different from that former one, - an idea which was rejected by Luther, who has accordingly properly divided the chapters. Conformably to that division, as Chr. B. Michaelis has well remarked, "prius illud programma in fine capitis tertii excerptum caput sine corpore, posterius vero quod capite IV exhibetur, corpus sine capite, illic enim conspicitur quidem exordium, sed sine narratione, hic vero narratio quidem, sed sine exordio." Quite arbitrarily Ewald has, according to the lxx, who have introduced the words ̓Αρχὴ τῆς ἐπιστολης͂ before Daniel 3:31, and ̓Ετους ὀκτωκαιδεκάτου τῆς βασλείας Ναβουχοδονόσορ ει before Daniel 4:1, enlarged this passage by the superscription: "In the 28th year of the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar, king Nebuchadnezzar wrote thus to all the nations, communities, and tongues who dwell in the whole earth.")

to the manifesto, and consist of the expression of good wishes, and the announcement of its object. The mode of address here used, accompanied by an expression of a good wish, is the usual form also of the edicts promulgated by the Persian kings; cf. Ezra 4:17; Ezra 7:12. Regarding the designation of his subjects, cf. Daniel 3:4. בּכל-ארעא, not "in all lands" (Hv.), but on the whole earth, for Nebuchadnezzar regarded himself as the lord of the whole earth. ותמהיּא אתיּא corresponds with the Hebr. וּמפתים אותת; cf. Deuteronomy 6:22; Deuteronomy 7:19. The experience of this miracle leads to the offering up of praise to God, Daniel 4:33 (Daniel 4:3). The doxology of the second part of Daniel 4:33 occurs again with little variation in Daniel 4:31 (Daniel 4:34), Daniel 7:14, Daniel 7:18, and is met with also in Psalm 145:13, which bears the name of David; while the rendering of עם־דּר , from generation to generation, i.e., as long as generations exist, agrees with Psalm 72:5.

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