Daniel 4:3
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.
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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.How great are his signs! - How great and wonderful are the things by which he makes himself known in this manner! The allusion is doubtless to what had occurred to himself - the event by which a monarch of such state and power had been reduced to a condition so humble. With propriety he would regard this as a signal instance of the Divine interposition, and as adapted to give him an exalted view of the supremacy of the true God.

And how mighty are his wonders! - The wonderful events which he does; the things fitted to produce admiration and astonishment. Compare Psalm 72:18; Psalm 86:10; Isaiah 25:1.

His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom - Nebuchadnezzar was doubtless led to this reflection by what had occurred to him. He, the most mighty monarch then on earth, had seen that his throne had no stability; he had seen that God had power at his will to bring him down from his lofty seat, and to transfer his authority to other hands; and he was naturally led to reflect that the throne of God was the only one that was stable and permanent. He could not but be convinced that God reigned over all, and that his kingdom was not subject to the vicissitudes which occur in the kingdoms of this world. There have been few occurrences on the earth better adapted to teach this lesson than this.

And his dominion is from generation to generation - That is, it is perpetual. It is not liable to be arrested as that of man is, by death; it does not pass over from one family to another as an earthly scepter often does. The same scepter; the same system of laws; the same providential arrangements; the same methods of reward and punishment, have always existed under his government, and will continue to do so to the end of time. There is, perhaps, no more sublime view that can be taken of the government of God than this. All earthly princes die; all authority lodged in the hands of an earthly monarch is soon withdrawn. No one is so mighty that he can prolong his own reign; and no one can make his own authority extend to the next generation. Earthly governments, therefore, however mighty, are of short duration; and history is made up of the records of a great number of such administrations, many of them exceedingly brief, and of very various character. The scepter falls from the hand of the monarch, never to be resumed by him again; another grasps it to retain it also but a little time, and then he passes away. But the dominion of God is in all generations the same. This generation is under the government of the same Sovereign who reigned when Semiramis or Numa lived; and though the scepter has long since fallen from the hands of Alexander and the Caesars, yet the same God who ruled in their age is still on the throne.

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.

How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! these two words signify in their roots, admiration and astonishment; it seems these works of God had that impression upon this king; a great cause whereof was his ignorance of the true God, together with his own excessive pride and epicurism. God by this following dream, and Daniel’s instruction, had told him his fate, and that no kingdom but God’s kingdom was everlasting, which he had told him once before this, Daniel 2:44.

This confession of the king was upon conviction, and it looks somewhat like repentance, but the sequel proves him to be no changeling, though God made prodigious mutations in his kingdom, and in the form of his person, as ye see, Daniel 4:31,32 of this chapter; he was metamorphosed to a monstrous beast, and then to a man again, and yet no convert.

How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders!.... They are great, very great, exceeding great; so great that it cannot be said, nor even conceived how great they are, what a display of wisdom, power, and goodness is in them; they are wonderful beyond expression and conception; and so strong and mighty as not to be resisted and made void by all the powers of nature, earth, or hell; and if this may be said of his works of providence, and his miracles of that, how much more of his works and miracles of grace!

his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; Nebuchadnezzar's reign, though a long one, had an end, and so have all others; but the kingdom of God is for ever; the kingdom of providence, and also of grace; the kingdom of his Son, the Messiah, as in Daniel 2:44 from whence Nebuchadnezzar had learnt this:

and his dominion is from generation to generation; or, "with generation and generation" (a); it goes along, and continues with all generations, and will do so to the end of time.

(a) "cum generatione et generatione", Pagninus, Montanus, Michaelis; "cum omni aetate", Piscator.

How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! {p} his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

(p) Read Geneva Da 2:44

3. an everlasting kingdom (מלכות עלם)] cf. Psalm 145:13 (מלכות כל עולמים).

is from, &c.] more exactly, (endureth) with generation and generation (i.e. successive generations): so Daniel 4:34 (Aram. 31). For ‘with,’ cf. also Daniel 7:2, and Psalm 72:5 Heb. The thought of this and the preceding clause, as Daniel 4:34 b, Psalm 145:13 : cf. also Daniel 2:44, Daniel 7:14 b, 18 b.

Daniel 4:3(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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