Daniel 4:34
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
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(34) Lifted up mine eyes.—A sign of seeking help from heaven, as Psalm 123:1. By his “understanding” is not meant his consciousness so much as his sense of personality, which had been lost for a time.

Whose dominion . . .—These words, like those in Daniel 4:3, recall Psalm 145:13; and the next verse is not unlike Isaiah 40:17; Isaiah 43:13; Isaiah 43:21. It is hard to suppose that the king was so thoroughly versed in the Hebrew Scriptures that he should be able to make use of them as doxologies. This gives support to the conjecture that the letter was composed by Daniel and not by the king.

Daniel 4:34-35. At the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes, &c. — The first indication of his recovery is noted by a reverse of the cause of his fall. At the expiration of the term, or at the end of seven years, he lifted up his eyes unto heaven, and his understanding returned; that is, he recovered the use of his reason, and became sensible of his dependance upon God; he acknowledged against whom he had transgressed by his pride; he humbled himself before him; acknowledged the greatness of his power, and the justice of his wrath; applied to him in prayer, and obtained mercy. And I blessed the Most High, &c. — I rendered praise to that supreme, infinite, and eternal God, the Maker of heaven and earth, and the upholder, preserver, and sovereign Lord of the universe, on whom all creatures are dependant, and to whom all intelligent creatures are accountable for their conduct; the highest angels not being above his command, nor the meanest of the children of men beneath his cognizance. And all the inhabitants of the world are reputed as nothing — The greatest monarchs, as well as persons of an inferior rank, are as nothing in his sight; and he disposes all things in heaven and earth by an irresistible power and authority. Observe, reader, a due consideration of God’s infinite greatness makes the creature appear as nothing; creatures are nothing to help, nothing to hurt, nothing in duration, nothing solid and substantial, nothing without dependance upon, and influence and support from God. God is I AM, and there is none else; verily, every man in his best estate is altogether vanity, Psalm 39:5; yea, less than vanity, and nothing, Psalm 62:9; Isaiah 40:17. And he doth according to his will — Being the Lord of hosts, and the only absolute and universal monarch of the world; none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? — He is irresistible and uncontrollable.

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.And at the end of the days - That is, the time designated; to wit, the "seven times" that were to pass over him.

I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven - Probably the first thing that indicated returning reason. It would not be unnatural, on the supposition that he was deprived of reason at the very instant that a voice seemed to speak to him from heaven, and that he continued wholly insane or idiotic during the long interval of seven years, that the first indication of returning reason would be his looking up to the place from where that voice seemed to come, as if it were still speaking to him. In some forms of mental derangement, when it comes suddenly upon a man, the effect is wholly to annihilate the interval, so that, when reason is restored, the individual connects in his recollection the last thing which occurred when reason ceased with the moment when it is restored. A patient had been long an inmate of an insane apartment in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a seaman, and had been injured on the head when his vessel was in a naval engagement, and it was supposed that his brain had been permanently affected.

For many years he was idiotic, and no hopes were entertained of his recovery. It was at length suggested that the operation of trepanning should be performed, and the very instant that the bone was raised from its pressure on the brain, he exclaimed, "Has she struck?" The whole interval of time was obliterated from his memory. Similar instances are mentioned by Dr. Abercrombie ("Intellectual Powers," pp. 252, 253). A man had been employed for a day with a beetle and wedges in splitting pieces of wood for erecting a fence. At night, before going home, he put the beetle and wedges into the hollow of an old tree, and directed his sons, who had been at work in an adjoining field, to accompany him next morning to assist in making the fence. In the night he became maniacal, and continued in a state of insanity for several years, during which time his mind was not occupied with any of the subjects with which he had been conversant when in health.

After several years his reason returned suddenly, and the first question he asked was, whether his sons had brought home the beetle and wedges. A lady had been intensely engaged for some time in a piece of needlework. Before she had completed it she became insane, and continued in that state for seven years; after which her reason returned suddenly. One of the first questions she asked related to her needlework, though she had never alluded to it, so far as was recollected, during her illness. Another lady was liable to periodical paroxysms of delirium, which often attacked her so suddenly that in conversation she would stop in the middle of a story, or even of a sentence, and branch off into the subject of hallucination. On the return of her reason, she would resume the subject of her conversation on which she was engaged at the time of the attack, beginning exactly where she had left off, though she had never alluded to it during her delirium; and on the next attack of delirium she would resume the subject of hallucination With which she had been occupied at the conclusion of the former paroxysm. A similar thing may have occurred to Nebuchadnezzar. He was deprived of reason by a sudden voice from heaven. Nothing was more natural, or would be more in accordance with the laws respecting insanity, than that at the very instant when reason returned he should look up to the place from where the voice had seemed to come.

And mine understanding returned unto me - This shows that he regarded himself as having been a maniac, though doubtless he was ignorant of the manner in which he had been treated. It would seem from the narrative, and from the probabilities of the case, that he found himself driven out from his palace, herding with cattle, and in the deplorable condition in regard to personal appearance which he here describes. Seeing this in fact, and recollecting the prediction, he could not doubt that this was the way in which he had been treated during the period of his distressing malady.

And I blessed the Most High - For his recovery, and in an humble acknowledgment of his dependence. "The acts of praise here referred to are the suitable returns of a mind truly penitent, and deeply sensible of its faults and of its mercies." - Winkle.

And I praised and honored him - That is, I honored him by rendering thanks for his restoring mercy, by recognizing him as the true God, and by the acknowledging of the truth that he has a right to reign, and that his kingdom is over all.

That liveth for ever - He is the living God, as he is often styled, in contradistinction from all false gods - who have no life; and he lives forever in contradistinction to his creatures on earth, all of whom are destined to die. He will live when all on earth shall have died; he will live forever in the future, as he has lived forever in the past.

Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion - His empire extends through all time, and will continue while eternal ages roll away.

And his kingdom is from generation to generation - The generations of men change, and monarchs die. No human sovereign can extend his own power over the next generation, nor can he secure his authority in the person of his successors. But the dominion of God is unchanged, while the generations of men pass away; and when one disappears from the earth, he meets the next with the same claim to the right of sovereignty, with the same principles of government - carrying forward, through that and successive ages, the fulfillment of his great and glorious purposes.

34. lifted up mine eyes unto heaven—whence the "voice" had issued (Da 4:31) at the beginning of his visitation. Sudden mental derangement often has the effect of annihilating the whole interval, so that, when reason returns, the patient remembers only the event that immediately preceded his insanity. Nebuchadnezzar's looking up towards heaven was the first symptom of his "understanding" having "returned." Before, like the beasts, his eyes had been downward to the earth. Now, like Jonah's (Jon 2:1, 2, 4) out of the fish's belly, they are lifted up to heaven in prayer. He turns to Him that smiteth him (Isa 9:13), with the faint glimmer of reason left to him, and owns God's justice in punishing him.

praised … him—Praise is a sure sign of a soul spiritually healed (Ps 116:12, 14; Mr 5:15, 18, 19).

I … honoured him—implying that the cause of his chastisement was that he had before robbed God of His honor.

everlasting dominion—not temporary or mutable, as a human king's dominion.

Mine understanding returned unto me; God shined upon his soul, and gave him understanding to reflect upon his condition, to consider his sad state, and the causes of it.

I blessed the Most High; by prayer and praise adoring the justice and mercy of God towards him, giving God the glory of his sovereignty and unchangeableness, Daniel 4:35.

And at the end of the days,.... Of the time fixed in the dream; that is, at the end of seven years, as Jarchi rightly interprets it; this according to Bishop Usher (n), Dean Prideaux (o), and Mr. Whiston (p), was in the year of the world 3442 A.M., and before Christ 563, in the forty second year of his reign; after which he lived but one year, reigning from the death of his father forty three years, and according to the Jewish accounts forty five; they reckoning from the beginning of his partnership in the kingdom with his father, and his first coming with an army into Syria.

I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven: for, during the seven years he ate grass like an ox, his eyes were fixed upon the earth, looking out for his food, and especially if he went on all four, as the beasts do; but now standing upright, in his erect form as a man, he looked upwards; though this phrase does not merely design his looking up to the heavens, and viewing them from his bodily eyes; but his sense and consideration of the divine Majesty in heaven, his praying to him, lifting up the eyes being a prayer gesture, and his devotion towards him;

and mine understanding returned to me; his understanding as a man, which he had been deprived of during this time; and so came to know in what state and condition he was, by whom brought into it, and for what reason;

and I blessed the most High; the most high God, he whose name alone is Jehovah, the God of gods, who is higher than the highest; him the king blessed for returning his understanding and reason to him, and restoring him to his senses; for which he had just cause to be thankful, for a greater blessing cannot be enjoyed;

and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever; the living and true God, the author of life to all that have it, and who upholds in it; who lives in and of himself, and for evermore; which no mere man, even the most exalted and dignified, does:

whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation; See Gill on Daniel 4:3.

(n) Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3442. (o) Connexium, &c. part. 1. p. 106. (p) Chronological Tables, cent. 10.

And at the end of the {r} days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

(r) When the term of these seven years was accomplished.

34. the days] i.e. the seven ‘times’ of Daniel 4:16; Daniel 4:23; Daniel 4:25; Daniel 4:32.

lift up mine eyes unto heaven] The mute, half-unconscious acknowledgement of the God who rules in heaven, was followed by the return of the king’s human consciousness.

and I blessed, &c.] The king gave open and conscious expression to his gratitude, acknowledging and glorifying the power of the Most High.

him that liveth for ever] So Daniel 12:7; cf. Daniel 6:26.

and his kingdom (endureth) with generation and generation] Daniel 4:3.

34–37. At the end of the appointed time, Nebuchadnezzar’s reason returned to him: he owned the sovereignty of the Most High, and was restored to his kingdom; and now, in thankful acknowledgement of His power, he issues his present proclamation.

Verse 34. - And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. If the translator of the Septuagint had the Massoretic text before him, he has gone utterly away from it, and gives us a mere paraphrase, "And after seven years I gave my soul to prayer, and besought concerning my sins at the presence of the Lord, the God of heaven, and prayed concerning mine ignorances to the great God of gods." There is another version of this verse, for this which we have given has been misplaced. The verse which appears in the proper place, though also very different from the Massoretic, is as different from that we have just given, "And at the end of seven years the time of my redemption came, and my sins and mine ignorances were fulfilled before the God of heaven, and I besought concerning my ignorances the God of gods, and behold an angel out of heaven called to me, saying, Nebuchadnezzar, serve the holy God of heaven, and give glory to the Highest; the kingdom of thy nation has been restored to thee." The latter clause has the look of leading into the following verse. One cannot but feel that there is in both the work of the paraphrast, but at the same time, he seems, in both cases, to have been working with a different text from that of the Massoretes. Theodotion and the Peshitta agree accurately with the Massoretic. The sudden gleam of intelligence that broke the spell of madness is a perfectly natural termination to an attack like that under which Nebuchadnezzar suffered. The tranquillizing effect of prayer is well known. The ascription of praise in the liturgic formula here given is not unlike what we find in the Ninevite remains. Bevan suggests as a parallel, Euripides' 'Bacchae,' where there is a recovery from madness accompanied with looking up. Daniel 4:34cf. with 3:33 (Daniel 4:1). The eternity of the supremacy of God includes His omnipotence as opposed to the weakness of the inhabitants of earth. This eternity Nebuchadnezzar praises in v. 32 (v. 35) in words which remind us of the expressions of Isaiah; cf. with the first half of the verse, Isaiah 40:17; Isaiah 24:21; and with the second half of it, Isaiah 43:13. כּלה for כּלא, as not, as not existing. מחא בידהּ in the Pa., to strike on the hand, to hinder, derived from the custom of striking children on the hand in chastising them. The expression is common in the Targg. and in the Arabic.


Nebuchadnezzar's recovery, his restoration to his kingdom, and his thankful recognition of the Lord in heaven.

The second part of the prophecy was also fulfilled. "At the end of the days," i.e., after the expiry of the seven times, Nebuchadnezzar lifted up his eyes to heaven, - the first sign of the return of human consciousness, from which, however, we are not to conclude, with Hitzig, that before this, in his madness, he went on all-fours like an ox. Nebuchadnezzar means in these words only to say that his first thought was a look to heaven, whence help came to him; cf. Psalm 123:1. Then his understanding immediately returned to him. The first thought he entertained was to thank God, to praise Him as the ever-living One, and to recognise the eternity of His sway. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges and praises God as the "ever-living One," because He had again given to him his life, which had been lost in his madness; cf. Daniel 6:27 (Daniel 6:26).

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