Daniel 4:22
It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
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(22) This gives us to understand that Nebuchadnezzar had arrived at the zenith of his power. The extent of his dominions may be estimated with tolerable accuracy as follows:—Northwards he possessed Armenia, and a considerable portion of Asia Minor; in the west, Syria, and at one time Egypt; southwards, his power reached the Persian Gulf; while in the east, the Medes and Elamites were subject to him. Possessing, as he did, the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, all the treasures of the known world were at his command. In his first vision he was represented as the golden head of the image. In his pride he desired the whole image to be of gold, and himself to be the image—but this was the sin for which he was to suffer.

4:19-27 Daniel was struck with amazement and terror at so heavy a judgment coming upon so great a prince, and gives advice with tenderness and respect. It is necessary, in repentance, that we not only cease to do evil, but learn to do good. Though it might not wholly prevent the judgment, yet the trouble may be longer before it comes, or shorter when it does come. And everlasting misery will be escaped by all who repent and turn to God.It is thou, O king - It is a representation of thyself. Compare Daniel 2:38.

That art grown and become strong - Referring to the limited extent of his dominion when he came to the throne, and the increase of his power by a wise administration and by conquest.

For thy greatness is grown - The majesty and glory of the monarch had increased by all his conquests, and by the magnificence which he had thrown around his court.

And reacheth unto heaven - An expression merely denoting the greatness of his authority. The tree is said to have reached unto heaven Daniel 4:11, and the stateliness and grandeur of so great a monarch might be represented by language which seemed to imply that he had control over all things.

And thy dominion to the end of the earth - To the extent of the world as then known. This was almost literally true.

22. It is thou—He speaks pointedly, and without circumlocution (2Sa 12:7). While pitying the king, he uncompromisingly pronounces his sentence of punishment. Let ministers steer the mean between, on the one hand, fulminations against sinners under the pretext of zeal, without any symptom of compassion; and, on the other, flattery of sinners under the pretext of moderation.

to the end of the earth—(Jer 27:6-8). To the Caspian, Euxine, and Atlantic seas.

It is thou, O king; thou art he that is meant by it. The king is the tree, the branches are his princes, children, and nephews, the leaves are his nobles and captains, the fruits are his riches and revenues, the shadow is the protection which his people had under him. See Aehmetes of the Language of the East. Now in that he speaks plainly and roundly the whole truth, this prophet is herein a pattern to every faithful minister of Christ; first to preach the truth of God and to apply it without respect of persons, and yet with that wisdom and moderation that men may see they have a compassionate care for their souls.

Thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven; thou art high and mighty in the majesty and splendour which God hath given thee.

To the end of the earth; say some, to the Caspian Sea north, to the Euxine and Ægean west, to the Mediterranean south, for it is not clear that it reached further, and this alone was great.

It is thou, O king, that art grown, and become strong,.... Here begins the interpretation of the dream: the tree was an emblem of King Nebuchadnezzar, of his greatness, and growing power and strength:

for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven; he overtopped all the kings of the earth, exceeding them in honour and power, and aspired to deity itself; See Gill on Daniel 4:11.

and thy dominion to the end of the earth; as far as Hercules's pillars, as Strabo (q) says he came. Grotius interprets it, as far as the Caspian and Euxine sea, and the Atlantic ocean.

(q) Geograph. l. 15. p. 472.

It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
22. The tree represented Nebuchadnezzar himself, in the pride and greatness of his empire.

to the end of the earth] Comp. what was said on Daniel 4:1.

Daniel 4:22Daniel interprets to the king his dream, repeating only here and there in an abbreviated form the substance of it in the same words, and then declares its reference to the king. With vv. 17 (Daniel 4:20) and 18 (Daniel 4:21) cf. vv. 8 (Daniel 4:11) and 9 (Daniel 4:12). The fuller description of the tree is subordinated to the relative clause, which thou hast seen, so that the subject is connected by הוּא (Daniel 4:19), representing the verb. subst., according to rule, with the predicate אילנא. The interpretation of the separate statements regarding the tree is also subordinated in the relative clauses to the subject. For the Kethiv רבית equals רביתּ, the Keri gives the shortened form רבת, with the elision of the third radical, analogous to the shortening of the following מטת for מטת. To the call of the angel to "cut down the tree," etc. (Daniel 4:20, cf. Daniel 4:10-13), Daniel gives the interpretation, Daniel 4:24, "This is the decree of the Most High which is come upon the king, that he shall be driven from men, and dwell among the beasts," etc. על מטא equals Hebr. על בּוא. The indefinite plur. form טרדין stands instead of the passive, as the following לך יטעמוּן and מצבּעין, cf. under Daniel 3:4. Thus the subject remains altogether indefinite, and one has neither to think on men who will drive him from their society, etc., nor of angels, of whom, perhaps, the expulsion of the king may be predicated, but scarcely the feeding on grass and being wet with dew.
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