Daniel 4:28
All this came on the king Nebuchadnezzar.
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Daniel 4:28-33. All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar — With what admirable propriety is the person changed here! the six following verses being delivered in the third person. But in the 34th, Nebuchadnezzar, having recovered his reason, speaks in the first person again. At the end of twelve months — God deferred the execution of his threats against this impious prince for a whole year, giving him that time wherein to repent and return to him; but seeing that he persevered in his crimes, the measure of his iniquities being full, he put his menaces in execution. — Calmet. “Strange as it may seem,” says Bishop Horsley, “notwithstanding Daniel’s weight and credit with the king, — notwithstanding the consternation of mind into which the dream had thrown him, the warning had no permanent effect. He was not cured of his overweening pride and vanity till he was overtaken by the threatened judgment. At the end of twelve months, he was walking in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon — Probably on the flat roof of the building, or perhaps on one of the highest terraces of the hanging gardens, where the whole city would be in prospect before him; and he said, in the exultation of his heart, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the seat of empire, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? — The words had scarcely passed his lips, when the might of his power and the honour of his majesty departed from him. The same voice, which in the dream had predicted the judgment, now denounced the impending execution; and the voice had no sooner ceased to speak than it was done.”

Of the extent, glory, and splendour of Babylon, see note on Isaiah 13:19. Although Babylon was one of the oldest cities in the world, being built by Nimrod a little after the erection of the famous tower of Babel, and considerably augmented by Semiramis, yet Nebuchadnezzar had very much improved it, and made it one of the wonders of the world, on account of the largeness and height of the walls which he built round it, the temple of Belus, his own palace, and the famous hanging gardens belonging to it, all of which were the works of this king. Bochart thinks that Babylon was as much indebted to Nebuchadnezzar as Rome was to Augustus Cesar, who used to boast, that he received the city of brick, and left it of marble. But Herodotus says, it was built gradually by several other Assyrian kings; and he relates, that the wealth of the Babylonian state was so great, that it was equal to one third part of all Asia; and that, besides the tribute, if the other supplies for the great king were divided into twelve parts, according to the twelve months of the year, Babylon would supply four, and all Asia the other eight.4:28-37 Pride and self-conceit are sins that beset great men. They are apt to take that glory to themselves which is due to God only. While the proud word was in the king's mouth, the powerful word came from God. His understanding and his memory were gone, and all the powers of the rational soul were broken. How careful we ought to be, not to do any thing which may provoke God to put us out of our senses! God resists the proud. Nebuchadnezzar would be more than a man, but God justly makes him less than a man. We may learn to believe concerning God, that the most high God lives for ever, and that his kingdom is like himself, everlasting, and universal. His power cannot be resisted. When men are brought to honour God, by confession of sin and acknowledging his sovereignty, then, and not till then, they may expect that God will honour them; not only restore them to the dignity they lost by the sin of the first Adam, but add excellent majesty to them, from the righteousness and grace of the Second Adam. Afflictions shall last no longer than till they have done the work for which they were sent. There can be no reasonable doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a true penitent, and an accepted believer. It is thought that he did not live more than a year after his restoration. Thus the Lord knows how to abase those that walk in pride, but gives grace and consolation to the humble, broken-hearted sinner who calls upon Him.All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar - That is, the threatened judgment came upon him in the form in which it was predicted. He did not repent and reform his life as he was exhorted to, and, having given him sufficient time to show whether he was disposed to follow the counsel of Daniel, God suddenly brought the heavy judgment upon him. Why he did not follow the counsel of Daniel is not stated, and cannot be known. It may have been that he was so addicted to a life of wickedness that he would not break off from it, even while he admitted the fact that he was exposed on account of it to so awful a judgment - as multitudes do who pursue a course of iniquity, even while they admit that it will be followed by poverty, disgrace, disease and death here, and by the wrath of God hereafter; or it may be, that he did not credit the representation which Daniel made, and refused to follow his counsel on that account; or it may be, that though he purposed to repent, yet, as thousands of others do, he suffered the time to pass on until the forbearance of God was exhausted, and the calamity came suddenly upon him. A full year, it would seem Daniel 4:29, was given him to see what the effect of the admonition would be, and then all that had been predicted was fulfilled. His conduct furnishes a remarkable illustration of the conduct of sinners under threatened wrath; of the fact that they continue to live in sin when exposed to certain destruction, and when warned in the plainest manner of what will come upon them. 27. break off—as a galling yoke (Ge 27:40); sin is a heavy load (Mt 11:28). The Septuagint and Vulgate translate not so well, "redeem," which is made an argument for Rome's doctrine of the expiation of sins by meritorious works. Even translate it so, it can only mean; Repent and show the reality of thy repentance by works of justice and charity (compare Lu 11:41); so God will remit thy punishment. The trouble will be longer before it comes, or shorter when it does come. Compare the cases of Hezekiah, Isa 38:1-5; Nineveh, Jon 3:5-10; Jer 18:7, 8. The change is not in God, but in the sinner who repents. As the king who had provoked God's judgments by sin, so he might avert it by a return to righteousness (compare Ps 41:1, 2; Ac 8:22). Probably, like most Oriental despots, Nebuchadnezzar had oppressed the poor by forcing them to labor in his great public works without adequate remuneration.

if … lengthening of … tranquillity—if haply thy present prosperity shall be prolonged.

No text from Poole on this verse. All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. All that was signified in the dream, his madness, the removal of him from the administration of government, and the brutal life he lived for seven years; for this was not a mere parable or fiction, as some have thought, framed to describe the state and punishment of a proud man, but was a real fact; though it is not made mention of by any historians, excepting what has been observed before out of Abydenus (n); see Gill on Daniel 4:16, yet there is no reason to doubt of the truth of it, from this relation of Daniel; and is further confirmed by his observing the same to Belshazzar his grandson some years after it was done, as a known thing, and as an unquestionable matter of fact, Daniel 5:20.

(n) Apud Eubseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457.

All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
28–33. The fulfilment of the dream.Verses 28, 29. - All this came upon the King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The Septuagint here has the look of a paraphrase. In continuation of the preceding verse, "Attend (ἀγάπησον) to these words, for my word is certain, and thy time is full. And at the end of this word, Nebuchadnezzar, when he heard the interpretation of the vision, kept these words in his heart" (compare with this the phrase in Luke 2:19). "And after twelve months the king walked upon the walls of the city, and went about its towers, and answered and said." The variations appear to be due to a desire to expand and explain. It seemed to the translator more natural that, after a survey of the walls and towers of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar should speak his boastful words, hence he makes the suitable changes in the verse before us; so, too, with the effect of Daniel's words on the king. The rendering of Theodotion coincides nearly with the text of the Massorites, save that hoychal is translated "temple" rather than "palace" - a translation which usage quite permits. The Peshitta retains the double meaning. One, of the great buildings erected by an Assyrian or Babylonian monarch was his palace, which had also the character of a temple. In the case of the Ninevite monarchs, the walls of the palace were adorned with sculptures, portraying the principal events of the monarch's reign. This not impossibly might be the case with the palace of Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon as a city seems to have been practically rebuilt by him - his bricks are the most numerous of any found in Babylonia.
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