Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
Verses 1-37. - THE MADNESS OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR. We follow here the division of chapters which we find in our English Version, and as, indeed, in all modern versions. The Aramaic concludes the third chapter with the three verses which are placed in our version at the beginning of the fourth chapter. The arrangement of the Aramaic is followed by the Septuagint, by Theodotion, and by Jerome. The Peshitta and Paulus Tellensis follow the more logical division. Luther divides the chapters logically enough, but carries on the numbering of the verses from the preceding chapter. It is difficult to see anything that can even seem to be a reason for this division. It may indicate a suspicion of these verses at the time the chapters were divided. Verse 1 (Aramaic ch. 3:31). - Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. The Septuagint has a different reading here, "The beginning of the letter of Nebuchadnezzar the king to all peoples and tongues dwelling in the whole earth: Peace to you be multiplied." In this reading, the first clause is the heading of all that follows, and the document itself begins with, "Peace to you be multiplied." The absence of the opening words from the Syriac Version of the Septuagint by Paulus Tellensis is against its authenticity. It may have been a scribal note which has slipped into the text. Theodotion is an exact rendering of the Massoretic text. The Peshitta Version appears to have followed a recension between that on which the Septuagint Version is founded and the Massoretic text, "Nebuchadnezzar the king wrote to all nations, peoples, and tongues, Joy be increased to you." The most natural explanation of this uncertainty in the text is that this chapter is a condensation of a longer document. Were the document in question a proclamation of Nebuchadnezzar, his titles would necessarily have followed. These, however, are omitted, and only malka, "king," is retained. The baldness of this seems to have suggested the variations which we find in the Septuagint and the Peshitta. The recension before us gives the beginning of the letter according to the attesting note of the LXX. In the middle of the document condensation by the simple omission of clauses was seen to be awkward and perhaps impossible, so instead a summary is given in the third person. That we have not found the proclamation itself is not extraordinary from the very fragmentary condition in which the annals of Nebuchadnezzar have come down to us.
I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
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.
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.
I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
Verses 4, 5. - I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. In the Aramaic text there is what may be regarded either as a play on words of the nature of rhyme, or the traces of a doublet. The Septuagint begins the chapter with this verse, as does the Massoretic text, but further appends a date, "In the eighteenth year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar said, I was at peace in my house, and established upon my throne: I saw a vision, and I was awestruck, and fear fell upon me." Theodotion differs from this and also from the Massoretic text, and renders, "I Nebuchadnezzar was flourishing (εὐθηνῶν) in my house, and was prospering (εὐθαλῶν)." The similarity in sound between εὐθηνῶν and εὐθαλῶν may have had to do with the rendering. It will be noted that this is further from the Massoretic recension than the Septuagint. The Peshitta repeats the idea of rest, "I Nebuchadnezzar was at peace (shala) in my house, and was resting (reeh) in my palace." The Massoretic is supported by the Septuagint, and, therefore, strong. The date in the Septuagint, however, may be questioned. The eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar was that preceding the capture of Jerusalem, which, according to Jeremiah 52:12, happened in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. In the twenty-ninth verse of the same chapter we have an account of the carrying away of prisoners by Nebuchadnezzar in his eighteenth year, in a passage omitted from the LXX., in a way that makes it probable that, if this passage be genuine, the one is according to the Jewish, the other according to the Babylonian mode of reckoning. If that is so, the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar would mean the year of the capture of Jerusalem. If this date had, however, been correct, something about the coincidence would have been mentioned. Had this book been written to encourage the Jews in their conflict against Epiphanes, it would have been mentioned that Nebuchadnezzar's madness occurred after he had captured Jerusalem. At the same time, a later scribe would have a tendency to insert such a date, even if no date had been there, or at all events to modify any other date into this. Thus we find in the Septuagint ver. 15 (Massoretic 19, Authorized Version 24) a reference to the capture of Jerusalem. Another cause would tend to make "eighteenth year" liable to occur at this point, it is that the previous chapter in the Septuagint begins with assigning the same date. The change must have been made before the exemplar from which the Septuagint translator made his translation had bern transcribed, as it appears in Paulus Tellensis. Ewald has suggested "the twenty-eighth year" - in many respects a probable suggestion. As Ewald has pointed out, the proclamation would have a date. Even if, as Ewald maintained, it was the work of a later time than the days of Nebuchadnezzar, yet so skilful a writer could not fail to recognize the necessity. The Septuagint Version does not give the beginning of this narrative the form of a proclamation. The attitude of the king is that of rest after the toils of long wars - an attitude that could not be attributed to him when he had not reached the middle of his reign. The conquest of Egypt followed the capture of Jerusalem. The difference between "ten" and "twenty" in Aramaic, as in Hebrew, is comparatively little. עֲשַׂר ('asar) is "ten," עְשְׂרִין ('asareen) is "twenty." As the "ten" is the final word in the numerical statement, it would be modified asaratha, whereas the word "twenty" is frequently in similar circumstances unmodified; we should then have 'asoreen. It may have been even later, but if the real year had been "thirty-eighth," the modification of the words would require to be greater. Ewald's further consideration, that as "thirty-eighth" would only leave five years till the forty-three years of Nebuchadnezzar were completed, and therefore would not leave space for the seven years of madness, is of less force, as we are not obliged to take "times" as "years" in vers. 16 and 32. The king had received tokens of Divine power in his past history, and had in a sort acknowledged God but still he had not surrendered his pride. The idea that in this there is a reference to Epiphanes seems far-fetched. The only reason assigned by Hitzig and Behrmann is that the Antiochian mob nicknamed him Ἐπιμανής. We have no reason to believe that this was a common nickname, even in Antioch, and there is not very much likelihood of the nickname spreading to Judaea. There is absolutely no evidence that Antiochus ever received the nickname "Epimanes." The passage appealed to is usually Polybius, 26:10, but in that passage there is nothing of the kind said. This portion of Polybius has come down to us only in quotation in Athenaeus' 'Deipnosophistae' - a collection of odds and ends, strung together by a dialogue. In this book, twice is this portion of Polybius quoted, and in introducing this quotation in beth cases the author refers to the nickname "Epimanes." In the one case, 5:21 (193), he says generally "Antiochus, surnamed (κληθείς) Epiphanes, but called (ὀνομασθείς) Epimanes, for his deeds." So far as this goes, Antiochus may have been generally nicknamed Epimanes; but it is to be noted that this is not said, and Polybius is not given as the authority. In the other passage the aspect of things is changed. In 10:53 (439) Athenaeus gives the reference to the book of Polybius, and says, speaking of Antiochus, "Polybius calls him Epimanes on account of his deeds." Here Athenaeus says that Polybius himself called Antiochus Epimanes, not that anybody else did so. He does not say that Polybius says that Antiochus "was called Epimanes," but that "Polybius calls him (Πολύβιος δ αὐτὸν Ἐπιμανῆ καὶ οὐκ Ἐπιφανῆ)." He further gives no indication where Polybius says this. As there is no evidence for the nickname, there is no evidence that this incident was invented to suit this non-existent nickname. The picture of Nebuchadnezzar at rest in his palace is as unlike as possible the uneasy restless demeanour of Antiochus, staggering through the streets more or less drunk, joining with any brawlers he might come in contact with. If the writer of Daniel got the story of the madness from the nickname, he would not fail to get an account of the habits of the monarch, which led to the nickname being given. If he intended his picture of Nebuehadnezzar resting in his palace after his victorious career, with all the dignity of an Oriental monarch, to be recognized as a portrait of Antiochus roaming the streets with a set of drunken companions, the author of Daniel must have had singular ideas of portraiture. It would require a madness greater then Nebuchadnezzar's to believe it
I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
Verses 6, 7. - Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. These verses do not occur in the LXX. Theodotion is a somewhat slavish translation of the Massoretic text, "From me there was set up (ἐτέθη) a decree to summon before me all the wise men of Babylon," etc. The Peshitta is somewhat freer, but as close to the Massoretic text. Still, the want of the verses in the Septuagint would throw a doubt on their authenticity, even if there were nothing in the verses themselves to make them liable to suspicion.
Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
Verse 8. - But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying. This verse is also omitted in the Septuagint. Instead of this verse and those preceding, this verse occurs after the account of the dream, "And when I arose from my couch in the morning, I called Daniel, the ruler of the wise men, and the chief of the interpreters of dreams, and I related to him the dream, and he showed me all the interpretation of it." Theodotion and the Peshitta agree with the Massoretic text. The Septuagint arranges differently: instead of deferring the account of the dream till Nebuchadnezzar tells it to Daniel, the account of the dream follows immediately upon the statement of the fact that it had occurred and had troubled the king. In it, as we have seen, there is nothing of the summoning of all the wise men of Babylon in all their various classes. This summoning of the whole college of wise men, astrologers, soothsayers, and Chaldeans, is in obvious contradiction, not only to Daniel 2:48, but also to the ninth verse of the chapter before us. There was no need of summoning the college of augurs until the king had consulted their head. The explanation of these verses and the occasion of their interpolation is not unlike the fact narrated in Daniel 2:2, where Nebuchadnezzar, on account of his first dream, calls together the wise men - that when he had a dream that troubled him it was natural that Nebuchadnezzar should do as the Septuagint declares he did, summon "Daniel, the ruler of the wise men, and the chief of the interpreters of dreams." One result of which follows, if we discard these verses, i.e. that we get rid, in this passage, of the class of "Chaldeans," and further, of the etymology of "Belteshazzar," both of which have been made objections to the authenticity of Daniel.
O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.
Verse 9. - O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. This verso is also omitted in the Septuagint. Theodotion and the Peshitta both have this passage, but with slight variations from the Massoretic text. Instead of "No secret troubleth [אָנֵס, 'anays, 'compel,' Esther 1:8] thee," Thedotion renders, "No secret (μυστήριον) baffles (ἀδυνατεῖ) thee." The Peshitta renders. "And no secret is hid (ethcasee) from thee," reading, instead of אָנֵס, probably הִתְכְסִי. Behrmann, who translates the word by verborgen, thinks the choice of the word occasioned by Ezekiel 28:3, "No secret is hid from thee" (עְמָמוּך), this last word, he thinks, occasioning the use of אנס; but עֲמַם: is used in Aramaic (see Leviticus 13:6, "dark" of the spot of leprosy). It seems more probable that there is some mistake in the reading. The Massoretic reading of the last clause seems modelled on the situation in the second chapter, where Nebuchadnezzar demands of the magicians that they not only give the interpretation of the dream, but tell the dream itself. The versions here do not agree with the Massoretic. Theodotion renders, "Hear the vision (ὅρασιν) of the dream which I saw, and tell me its interpretation." The Peshitta has, "In the vision of my dream I was seeing visions of my head, and tell me the interpretation." The Massoretic reading contradicts the situation, and the variety of reading in the two versions confirms the suspicion of this verse induced by its absence from the Septuagint. "Master of the magicians" (rob-hartum-maya). There is nothing in Daniel 2:48 about the promotion of Daniel over the "magi-clans," but only over the "governors (signeen) of the wise men (hakaymeen) of Babylon" This is not to be in itself regarded as a proof of antagonism between these verses and the earlier portion of the, book, as Daniel might have been promoted in the interval. The Peshitta calls Daniel rab-hahmeen, "chief of the wise men;" Theodotion, ἄρχων τῶν ἐπαοιδῶν. It is also to be observed that the writer of these verses does not make Daniel rab-mag, which so generally was anciently understood to mean "master of the magicians." Avoiding an alluring blunder is often as clear a proof of knowledge as a directly correct statement. "Spirit of the holy gods;" not "the Spirit," but "a spirit." The Authorized Version is here correct in translating "gods," not "God," as the adjective is plural; not as Theodotion, who renders, "a holy spirit of God," reading, רוּחַ אלה קְדושָׁה.
Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
Verse 10. - Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The Septuagint is different here, "I was sleeping [on my couch], and behold a lofty tree springing out of the earth, and its appearance was great, and there was not another like to it." The words, "on my couch," are marked with an asterisk, denoting that they have been added, probably from Theodotion. There are indications here of a text slightly different from the Massoretic, even in the latter portion of the verse, where the LXX. and the Massoretic text come closest. Instead of bega,' (בְגוא), "in the midst of," the LXX. reading has been saggeee (שׂגִּיא), "great." The last clause is most widely different from the Massoretic text; instead of "and the height thereof was great," we have, "and there was no other like it." It is not easy to imagine how the one reading grew from the other, roomeh (דוּמֵה), "height," might easily be mistaken for דְמָה (demah), if roomeh were written defectively; but the rest of the clause cannot easily be explained The Massoretic text has a certain redundancy of meaning, which is suspicious. In this verse we are told the tree was "great;" the opening clause of the following says the tree grew; whereas the Septuagint, while asserting its loftiness, asserts also that it was "growing" (φνόμενον). On the whole, we prefer the Septuagint, as it does not proceed to assert further that the tree "grew great." Theodotion, while in the latter portion of the verse agreeing with the Massoretic text, omits the introductory clause. The Pe-shitta is a briefer recension of the Massoretic text, "The vision in my couch was - a tree in the midst of the earth, the height great." The reference here may be, to the sacred tree of the Assyrians, the symbol of life, which is so perpetually introduced into the sculptures of Nineveh, and seen also in some Babylonian cylinders, especially in connection with royal acts of worship, in Lenormant ('La Magie,' p. 27) we find that a sacred tree - a conifer of some sort as seen by the sculptures - was supposed to have the quality of breaking the power of the seven Maskim. Whatever the origin of this belief, it seems to have passed into the faith of Assyria and Babylon, and to have so permeated them that Ezekiel (31) describes Assyria as a mighty cedar. To pass from the empire to its ruler was a specially easy step in regard to an Oriental monarchy, in which the state was the monarch, in the midst of the earth. This refers to the notion each nation had that their own was the middle point, or omphalos, of the world. Though גַו (gav) meant originally really "back," not "middle," yet it is used of the furnace of fire in the preceding chapter, and the primitive meaning is entirely lost in the Targums.
The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
Verse 11. - The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth. This verse is transposed in the Septuagint with the following verse, and is rendered, "And its appearance (ὅρασις) was great, and its top approached to the heavens, and its breadth (κύτος, equivalent to 'branches') filled (πληροῦν) to the clouds all things beneath the heaven and the sun and the moon were, and dwelt in it, and enlightened all the earth." The addition in the last clause is a singular and picturesque one to one standing beneath a spreading tree; sun and moon might pierce with their rays through some thin points in the foliage, but they would seem never to get beyond the widespread branches of the tree, and therefore it would be but a poetical mode of statement to say, "the sun and moon dwelt amid the branches." At the same time, it is not impossible that there was some astronomical legend of the sun and moon and the tree of life. If this proclamation was originally written in cuneiform, there might easily be some difficulty at times in deciphering and fixing in which of a dozen possible senses a given word must be taken. The variation is beyond the region of mere ordinary blundering in Aramaic. On the other hand, it seems too picturesque for the work of a commonplace interpolator. Theodotion in the main agrees with the Massoretic, but instead of "sight thereof," he has "breadth (κότος) thereof," reading some such word as path-ootheh instead of hazotheh. The Peshitta is in close agreement with the received text. To those who, like the Babylonian, believed the earth to he a vast plain, it was not inconceivable that a tree should be so high as to be seen over the whole earth. It is a very suitable symbol of a great world-empire. At the same time, we must remember that the great variation in this verse in the Septuagint makes its authenticity somewhat doubtful.
The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
Verse 12. - The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. The Septuagint Version here is widely different: "Its branches were thirty furlongs in extent, and underneath its shadow all beasts of the earth took shelter, and in it the birds of heaven made their nests, and its fruit was much and good, and it supplied all living creatures." As already mentioned, this verse occurs before the one we have just been considering. It differs, like it, more than can be explained by a mistake in reading the Massoretic Aramaic; if it were translated from a cuneiform document, it is easily imaginable in what form the statement might be made. The reading, however, is not an unlikely one in the description of a dream, if we could have imagined the Indian banyan tree to have been known to the authors of this version, we might have understood the tree of the dream to have been like it. Theodotion is at one with the Massoretic text, as also the Peshitta. Whether we take the symbol of a tree used for the Babylonian empire, as drawn from the Babylonian tree of life, or merely devised by the poetic fancy of the monarch, inspired for the time, it must be recognized as very apt. From the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, it stretched from the cataracts of the Nile in all probability into Asia Minor. Over all this empire the monarch maintained the attitude of an earthly providence. It was because government was strong that peaceable men could live. It is useless to carry the similitude into the minutiae of Jephet-ibn-Ali, who maintains that the wild beasts are the nomads of the deserts, and the birds the strangers that came to Nebuchadnezzar from far. In the Aramaic here there are traces of the antiquity in the language: the use of inbbaya, "fruit," instead of ibbaya, is one instance. Saggeee (with sin) is a proof that the distinction between שׂ and ס was still understood, and probably beard. It is remarked by Keil that this word does not really mean "much," but rather "great," "strong." Although it is undeniable that he is correct as to the primitive meaning of the word, it can scarcely mean anything else than "much" in the present connection. Mazon, "food," is rare as a Biblical word, but occurs in Genesis as well as Chronicles. Professor Bevan quotes Noldeke in favour of a Mandaean origin for it.
I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
Verse 13. - I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven. The Septuagint Version is shorter here, and therefore, other things being equal, is to be preferred, "And I saw in my dream, and an angel was sent in power from heaven." Theodotion is as usual in closer accord with the text of the Massoretic than is the Septuagint; yet he omits "of my head." The Peshitta, yet closer to the Massoretic text, only omits "behold." There is now a change in the vision. The monarch sees "a watcher and a holy one descend." This is rendered rightly by the Septuagint, "an angel." Jephet-ibn-Ali maintains that there are two, and that the watcher is the higher. The word עִיר (eer), "watcher," occurs only in this chapter in the Bible. In the Book of Enoch the name occurs almost a score of times, and is used to designate the archangels. In the present case the word קָדִּישׁ, (qaddeesh), "a holy one," is in all likelihood an explanatory addition, the word being unknown before - probably an adaptation of some Assyrian name. On the other hand, in the Book of Enoch every one is supposed to be as well acquainted with the עִירִים of Daniel as with the cherubim and ophanim of Ezekiel and the seraphim of Isaiah. Does not this imply that, at the time the Book of Enoch was written, the Book of Daniel was equally well known with those of the two other prophets? The latest conceivable date for Enoch is B.C. 130, and so late a date never would have been thought of had there not been a necessity to place its date after that at which critics in their wisdom had placed Daniel. The date above mentioned implies that Judas Maccabaeus is unmentioned in a struggle of which he was the crowning hero. Even grant that later date, it is inconceivable that a single generation could have given Daniel such a place of honour as to be regarded as the equal with Isaiah and Ezekiel. In this connection it is to be noticed that, though the ophunim, "wheels," of Ezekiel are made use of, the soosim, "horses," of Zechariah do not appear in the later books. Yet they are declared to be spirits. If Daniel were a contemporary of Ezekiel, and his writings had thus had time to sink into the mind of the Jewish people, this phenomenon can be understood.
He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
Verse 14. - He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, cut off his branches, shako off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches. The Septuagint Version is, "And one called and said to him, Cut it down, and destroy it; for it is decreed by the Highest to root it out and destroy it." It is possible that abbey in the Greek was due to כֵן (kayn) being read as לו (lo). The phrase as it stands in the Greek is not unlike Revelation 14:18, "And another cried with a loud voice to him that had the sharp sickle." It is, therefore, equally possible that לו (lo) has been changed into כֵן (kayn). The latter part of the verse is more condensed, and therefore, by that, more probable; only the rooting out commanded seems to contradict the fact that it is also commanded to leave "one root of it." Theodotion is in much closer agreement with the Massoretic, save that the beasts, instead of being warned to depart from beneath the shadow of the tree, are to be shaken (σαλευθηῖωσαν) from beneath it, as are all the birds from its branches. The Peshitta is an accurate translation of the text of the Massoretes. A peculiarity to be observed in the Aramaic is that the verbs are in the plural, which is retained in Theodotion and the Peshitta. It seems difficult to understand this. Stuart's explanation ? which is practically that of Havernick and Hitzig - that the command is addressed by the עִיר ('eer) to his retinue, seems highly forced, as there has been no word of a retinue. Keil's and Kliefoth's view, that the plural is the impersonal, does not suit the circumstances. We have a suspicion that the plural is due to a mistake - thinking the watcher and the holy one were separate persons. The Septuagint, however, has the plural, which is all the more extraordinary that αὐτῷ is singular. The function assigned here to the angels must be observed. Here, as in the parables of our Lord, the angels are the instruments by whom the decrees of providence are executed. In our days angels are not believed in. It is possible that materialism has much of its advantage over us, in that we do not recognize the existence and activity of angelic forces among the agencies of nature and providence.
Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
Verse 15. - Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Again the Septuagint differs considerably from the received text, "And thus he said, Leave one root of it in the earth, in order that it may with the beasts of the earth browse in the mountains on grass like an ox." As the reading is the briefer, it is on the whole to be preferred, the more so that the belt of iron and brass is got rid cf. The Septuagint assumes that the work of demolishing the tree had gone on to some extent, and then the watcher intervenes to bring forward this limitation to the completeness of the destruction at first enjoined. Theodotion is in agreement with the Massoretic text, as also the Peshitta. Moses Stuart thinks the belt of iron and brass is represented as being put round the stump of the tree in order to prevent it cracking, and so rotting, in this following yon Langerke. Keil, with more justice, thinks that this is a transition from the symbol to the person symbolized; in this view he agrees with Hengstenberg, Kliefoth, Zockler, Behrmann, Hitzig, Ewald, Kranichfeld, and others. There is a further division of opinion as to whether it symbolizes the mental darkness Nebuchadnezzar will be under, or the limitation of his kingdom, or the fact that, as a maniac, he will be bound with fetters. The fact that, while commentators have devoted so much time to this, there is no reference to it in the interpretation, confirms us in our suspicion of the whole clause. The transition to the person, if barely doubtful in regard to the belt of iron and brass, is obvious in the remaining clauses in this verse. Every tree is wet with the dew of heaven - that would indicate neither degradation nor hardship; and the browsing with the boasts is impossible to a tree. The transition from thing to person is in perfect accordance with what every one has experienced in dreams.
Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
Verse 16. - Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass ever him. The Septuagint rendering seems to be taken from the previous verse, "And let his body be changed by the dew of heaven, and let him be pastured with them seven years." It seems difficult to imagine, either, on the one hand, לִבְבֵהּ (libebayh) changed into פִגְרָהּ (pigerah), the word by which Paulus Tellensis translates σῶμα, though it suggests "carcase," or into נִדְנֵה (nid nayh), the word used in Daniel 7:15; or, on the other, that either of these should be read lebab. At the same time, ל and נ are not unlike in old inscriptions, nor ב unlike ד; any indistinctness in the third letter might easily lead to a mistake. It is not impossible that some of the words in the latter part of the previous verse have been modified from some word meaning "body." It is equally difficult to guess what word has been read by the Septuagint translator instead of יַחְלְפוּן (yah-lephoon), "let them pass over." The greater brevity of the Septuagint is in its favour. Theodotion is, as usual, in closer agreement with the Massoretic; he renders min-anaosha or anosha' for ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, "from men" - a possible translation, and one favoured by some recent commentators. The Peshitta agrees quite with the received text. According to the received text, the main change was mental - the human heart is removed, and the heart of a beast given. On the other hand, in the twenty-third verse, in which we have the fulfilment of the dream, the change is mainly physical, and it is to be observed that the change is produced by "the dew of heaven." Seven times. The word 'iddanun, "times," is a matter of some difficulty; it means really "seasons" or "points" of time, as in Ecclesiastes 3:2, Targum, and Genesis 38:1, Targum Onkelos, "It came to pass at this time." It is purely arbitrary to fix the meaning here as "years," as is done by the Septuagint and by many commentators. Theodotiom keeps the indefiniteness of the original by rendering the word here καιροί. The Peshitta transfers the word. It may be" months" as suggested by Lenormant; it maybe "seasons," in our usual sense of the word. Rendel Harris's 'Biblical Monuments,' p. 73, says, "Summer and winter are the only seasons counted in Babylonia;" if so, seven 'iddaneen would be nearly four years. From the fact that exposure to weather is the point of importance, Mr. Harris's view is not impossible; but pathological reasons suggest "months" (see Excursus at the end of chapter). Seven, with the Babylonians, as with most other Semites, is a round number of sacred import, and therefore may not be pressed.
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Verse 17. - This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy odes: to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. In this verse the difference between the Septuagint text - we mean the text behind that version - and that of the Massoretes is great. It is as follows: "Until he know the Lord of heaven to have power over all things which are in heaven and on the earth, and such things as he willeth to do, he doeth." This, as may be observed, is very much briefer than the Massoretic, and hence, to a certain extent, to be preferred. It is, however, difficult to imagine the genesis of the one from the other, as they have only two words in common in a similar connection, שַׁלִּיּט (shaleet) and ינְדְּעוּן (yinedeoon)' If we start with the supposition that the Massoretic text is the primary, we have a difficulty in seeing what reason induced this peculiar form of condensation. Had it been to get rid of the decree of the watchers, and the demand of the holy ones, that clause might have been simply omitted, and the sense would have given no sign of anything having been omitted. If, again, we start with the Septuagint text as our basis, it is difficult to understand what led to the insertion of "the decree of the watchers" and "the demand of the holy ones." Of course, the period of the Persian domination and that of the early Greek supremacy was one in which the angelic hierarchy was enormously increased and made vastly more complex than it had been before. Further, it is to be noted that "the watchers," עירין ('ereen), are here distinguished absolutely from "the holy ones," קַדִישִׁין (gad-deesbeen), whereas in ver. 10 (13) "the watchers" and "the holy ones" are identified. This distinction is made in later Jewish commentators, and therefore its. presence here, fin contradistinction to ver. 13, is proof of a relatively late origin for this clause. Zockler would avoid this by asserting a parallelism of members in this sentence; but, in the first place, this is not verse, but prose, and therefore parallelism need not be expected. Further, גְזֵדֵת (gezayrath) is "a decree" given by a person in authority, and צּצּצּ (sh'alayth) is "a petition" presented to one in authority. So far from the two being identified in the verse before us, the watchers and the holy ones are as absolutely contrasted as they can be. Bevan simply appeals to ver. 10 (13) to prove their identity - sense has no influence with him. When we turn to Theodotion, we find that, in his practical identity with the Massoretic text, he has preserved the contrast between "decree" and "petition," the former word being represented by σύγκριμα, and the second by ἐπερώτημα. These two words represent fairly well the distinction between גְצֵרֵת (gezayrath), and שְׁאַלֵת (sh'alayth). It is probable that σύγκριμα is used instead of κρίμα in order to show that εἴρ is to be regarded as genitive plural. The Peshitta follows the Massoretic, but less closely. It has עיר, "watcher," in the singular. This clause in the Syriac should be rendered, "according to the decrees of the watcher is this order, and according to the word of the holy one is the request;" it retains the distinction in question much as it is in the received text, but with a distinct difference of meaning in regard to the ether words of the clause. So, too, Jerome in the Vulgate translates, "In sententia vigilum decretum eat et sermo sanctorum et petitio," thus maintaining, in all the confusion there is in this rendering, the distinction we have referred to. In the final clause, the Vulgate is further astray from the Massoretic. translating, super eum. The theology of this passage is singular, so singular that, were it not for the omission of the passage from the Septuagint. and its contradiction of ver. 13, we might be inclined to think it must be genuine. (For a similar statement, see Galatians 3:19, "The Law... was ordained by angels;" Hebrews 2:2, "If the word spoken by angels was steadfast.") The view seems to be that the Almighty had a council of angels, and before them was every question discussed ere it was decreed. In short, that there was a heavenly sanhedrin, corresponding to that on earth - an idea which was developed by the Talmudists. It appears in Enoch, not vet fully developed. In Enoch 12. certain of the watchers are denounced as having defiled themselves with women; in ch. 20. we have the name of the holy angels who watch, and in this chapter we have the different provinces assigned to each of them. Six are enumerated. They have thus no collective function. In the portion of Enoch preserved in Syncellus, men are represented as calling to the heavens, and addressing them; and the four angels, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel, give answer by looking down upon the earth, and they see the blood that is being shed by violence. Then follows the statement, "And the four archangels came before the Lord, and said." They may be here said to act in a collective capacity, but they have no deliberative function, still less have they any power to decree. The interpolated verse before us thus represents an angelo-logy more developed than that of the date of the Book of Enoch. And setteth up over it the basest of men. This phrase suggests the "vile person," נִבְּזֶה (nibezeh), of Daniel 11:21, who is probably Epiphanes - the reference in this interpolated verse is not unlikely the same. The Syriac form of עליה in the K'thib has to be observed. One peculiarity which points to interpolation is the Hebrew plural here used, אֶנָשִׁים (anasheem). Were it not that our suspicions of this verse are deepened by examination of it, we should be inclined to see a reference to that usurpation of Nebuchadnezzar's throne, which Lenormant thinks is implied in the title Neriglissar gives to his father. There seems to be a reference to something like this in ver. 24 of this chapter, according to the version of the LXX.
This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
Verse 18. - This dream I King Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation; but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee. This verse is wholly omitted in the Septuagint. On the other hand, the verse in the Septuagint which occupies this place is totally different from anything in the Massoretic text: "Before me was it cut down in one day, and its destruction was in one hour of the day, and its branches were given to every wind, and it was driven out and dragged forth, and it ate the grass of the earth, and it was delivered to a guard, and in brazen fetters and shackles was it bound with them. I marvelled exceedingly at these things, and the sleep departed from mine eyes." The first thing that strikes one with this is the fact that it is a translation from Aramaic. The clause, "in brazen fetters and shackles was it bound with them," seems nearly demonstrative of this. Ἐν πέδαις καὶ ἐν χειροπέδαις χαλκαῖς ἐδέθη ὑπ αὐτῶν is not a sentence which any one would naturally write in Greek, but the sentence is natural if the translator followed his Aramaic original slavishly. If, then, this is correct, the hypothesis of a falsarius is reduced to that of an Aramaic falsarius, who intruded this verse into the Aramaic original which was conveyed down to Egypt. On the other hand, the verse in the Septuagint completes the narrative which the Massoretic text leaves unfinished. This may be used. as an argument against the authenticity of this version, as the need of completion may have suggested the mode in which the need was to be supplied. But it is also to be noted that there is present the same mixture of sign and thing signified, which, natural in a dream, is so unnatural in ordinary narration, that the falsarius who had observed the incompleteness of the Massoretic text, and had the necessary skill to supply the want, would not have increased the confusion, already manifest enough. When we turn to Theodotion, we see symptoms of trouble, "This is the vision which I Nebuchadnezzar the king had, and thou, Beltasar, tell the interpretation, because none of the wise men of my kingdom were able to show me its interpretation; but thou, Daniel, art able, because a holy spirit of God is in thee." The introduction of the Jewish name Daniel in the midst of a speech in which he is always elsewhere addressed by his Bahylonian name, is suspicious. The repetition, in this as in the Masoretic, of the original incongruity that Daniel, the head of the court magicians, is only summoned after the other magicians have proved unable to solve the mystery of this dream, is to be noted. The Peshitta here partly follows the same text as that followed by Theodotion, and partly that of the Massoretes. Like Theodotion, "Daniel" is inserted, but, following the basis of the Massoretic text in opposition to Theodotion, it has "a spirit of the holy gods." There seems no possibility of imagining the LXX. reading to have developed from the Massoretic, or vice versa. If there were any proof of Dr. C. H. H. Wright's hypothesis, that our present Daniel was a condensation of a larger work, it might be supposed that the Massoretic represented one condensation, and the LXX. another. The Septuagint at this point inserts, "And having risen early in the morning,. I summoned Daniel, the ruler of the wise men and chief of the interpreters, and related to him the dream, and he showed all the interpretation of it." In Genesis 41. we have two accounts of Pharaoh's dream, first in connection with his actual dreaming, and next in his narrating to Joseph his experience. If the original tract - from the union of several of which we imagine our book has been compiled - from which this chapter is condensed contained, like Genesis 41, two accounts of Nebuchadnezzar's vision, and the Egyptian recension followed one condensation of this tract, and the Palestinian another, the phenomena are explicable without the idea of a vague gratuitous variation, such as that of which, on the traditional view, the writer of the Septuagint has been guilty. On the ground that the Massoretic text may represent also a true text of Daniel, another fragment of the original document, we may examine it a little more closely. The king declares the dream to Daniel in a way that indicates a certain attestation of the accuracy of the report of what he had seen. "This is the dream which I Nebuchadnezzar the king saw." Then follows the command to declare the interpretation, "You are master of magicians. I have duly brought before you an accredited dream which I have had, fulfil now your office, interpret to me my dream." This much is natural. What follows is an obvious interpolation. It contradicts what has preceded, which, by implication, asserts Daniel's duty to interpret, and therefore the probability that not last, but first, would Daniel have been appealed to. It contradicts also what follows, which is a commendation of Daniel's powers, which, as known to the king, ought to have led him at once to summon him, as the Septuagint says Nebuchadnezzar did. The commendation of Daniel appears an addition to get over the difficulty, but, like many other attempts of the same kind, it fails, and really adds to the confusion.
Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
Verse 19. - Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. Thus far the two main recensions are agreed. The Septuagint renders practically to the same effect as our version, only that ὑπόνοια κατέσπευδεν αὐτόν means rather "suspicions disturbed him," which is the rendering of Paulus Tellensis. There are traces in it of doublet; the rendering of the LXX. is, "And Daniel greatly marvelled, and suspicions disturbed him, and he was terrified, trembling having taken hold of him, and his visage was changed, having moved (κινήσας) his head, having been amazed one hour, he answered me in a meek voice." Theodotion and the Peshitta are at one with the Massoretic text here. It is to be noted here that the word sha'a, translated "hour," has no such definite meaning; Gesenius gives, "a moment of time," in which he is followed by Bevan, Keil, and Stuart. Ewald translates, eine Stunde, and with him agree Hitzig, Kranichfeld, Zockler. Both the Greek versions have ὥραν, but we must bear in mind that ὥρα had not the definite meaning which we attach to "hour." Jerome renders hera. The Septuagint adds, as we have seen, somewhat grotesquely, "having moved (κινήσας) his head, he was astonished for one hour." This seems a case of "doublet," that phenomenon so frequent in the Septuagint. The Septuagint rendering, "And (δὲ) Daniel was greatly astonished, and suspicions troubled him, and, trembling having seized him, he was afraid," suggests that it is not impossible that שׂגי, "greatly," had been read instead of שׁעה, "an hour;" but the rest is not so easily explicable. There is one case of Syriasm here in the vocalization of אֶשְׁתּומַם instead of אִשׁיי. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. This clause is absent from both the Greek versions, though present in the Peshitta and Vulgate. As it stands, on the one hand, it is a departure from the epistolary style, or perhaps rather the proclamative style of the earlier portion of the chapter. On the other hand, if we think this clause an interpolation, we cannot fail to note that the kindly courtesy and consideration ascribed by the interpolator to Nebuchadnezzar is utterly unlike the character of Epiphanes as manifested to the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar saw that Daniel was filled with sorrow and apprehension at the meaning he saw in the vision, and endeavours to reassure and encourage him. If the conduct of Nebuchadnezzar is unlike that which a Jew of B.C. 170 would have ascribed to him were it his intention to present in him Epiphanes under a disguise, still more unlike is the conduct of Daniel to that which certainly would have been ascribed to him had the author intend(,d to represent him as a model of the pious Jew in a heathen court - in the court of Epi-phanes. Would Mattathias have remained astonished and speechless in the presence of Epiphanes, had it been revealed to him that Epiphanes was to be driven out to the wilds a madman? If, then, it is an interpolation, it is an early one - earlier than the Maccabean struggle. But if the interpolation be early, the book interpolated must be yet earlier. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. The Septuagint maintains the epistolary character of this narrative here, "And Baltasar answered me with a meek voice, This dream be to those that hate thee, and let the interpretation thereof come upon thine enemies." Theodotion, the Peshitta, and the Vulgate are at one with the ordinary text. The feelings of Daniel towards Nebuchadnezzar seem to have been those of the highest personal loyalty, and thus in the widest contrast from the feelings that any Jew of the time of the Maccabees would have towards Epiphanes. He, Daniel, in his love for the grand impulsive despot, would have the enemies and haters of his monarch swept forth to wander as maniacs, rather than that he should so suffer.
The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
Verses 20-22. - The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, an the sight thereof to all the earth; whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: 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. The Septuagint Version here differs very considerably in wording from the above, but not in sense, "Thou, O king, art this tree planted in the earth, the appearance of which was great, and all the birds of the heaven made their nests in it: the strength of the earth and of the nations, and of all tongues to the ends of the earth, and all the provinces (χῶραι) serve thee. And that tree was exalted and neared the heaven, and its breadth (κῦτος) touched the clouds. Thou, O king, wast exalted above all men that are upon the face of the whole earth, and thine heart has been [literally, 'was'] lifted up with pride and strength over those things which pertain to the Holy One and his angels, and thy works are manifest, because thou hast laid waste the house of the living God on account of the sins of the consecrated people." The latter portion of this contains plain evidence of interpolation. Had there been anything of that sort in the original Daniel, it would not have disappeared from the Massoretic text. This addition reveals the mental attitude of the Jews of the Maccabean period to foreign oppressors. The fact that the whole atmosphere of the primitive Daniel differs so much from this is an indirect evidence of its genuineness. If one looks at the Septuagint rendering of these three verses, there seem evidences of an early origin. The first verse is clearly an instance in which the text behind the Septuagint is superior to that of the Massoretic; the latter is obviously filled out from ver. 11. The statement of Nebuchadnezzar's greatness in ver. 22 (14 Septuagint, 18 Massoretic) may be somewhat the result of paraphrase. The fifteenth verse, according to the LXX., which is paralleled by Tischeudorf with ver. 19 of the Massoretic, is really another version of the preceding verses, probably slightly modified to give the resulting text the appearance of being continuous. Theodotion bears a very close resemblance to the Massoretic text, only he has κύτος, "breadth," instead of ὅρασις. The Peshitta differs but little, though still a little, from the Massoretic text. Instead of rendering, "meat for all," it has, "for all flesh." According to both recensions of the text, Daniel repeats, either in substance or with verbal exactness, the description Nebuchadnezzar had himself given of the tree of his vision, but applies it to the monarch. To us the terms of the description of Nebuchadnezzar's power are exaggerated; but we must bear in mind that the manners of an Oriental court are different from those of Western nations. It is not unlike the boastful language of Nebuchadnezzar in the Standard Inscription. The monarch's dominion was vast, but it had been given him, and that he did not recognize, and hence the judgment that came upon him.
Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
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.
And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
Verse 23. - And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him. This in the beginning agrees with the text behind the Septuagint Version of ver. 14 (7 LXX., 11 Massoretic). In that verse, instead of the elaborate process of cutting off branches and shaking off leaves, the Septuagint had simply, καταφθείρατε αὐτό. This confirms us in our preference of the Septuagint there. In the present instance, the Septuagint is briefer than the Massoretic text; it varies in some points, which may indicate the hand of a redactor, "And the vision which thou sawest, that an angel was sent in strength, and commanded to root the tree up and to cut it down, the judgment of God shall come upon thee." Here, again, there is nothing of "the watcher and the holy one," nothing of the belt of "iron and brass," nor of the "tree having its portion with the beasts of the field," nor that it was to be "wet with the dew of heaven." Some of these features are mentioned in the account of the vision, but are not repeated now. Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta carries the repetition yet further, and inserts, "And his heart shall be changed from the heart of 't man, and the heart of a beast shall be given him." In this the process already begun in the text of the Massoretes is carried a little further. The Vulgate agrees with the received text. Daniel rapidly notifies the principal features in the king's dream, before he proceeds to explain it.
This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
Verse 24. - This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which is come upon my lord the king. The passage in the Seventy which is parallel with this is partly in the last clause of the previous verse and partly in the verse that occupies a similar place to this in the Septuagint text, "The judgments of the great God shall come upon thee, and the Most High and his angels assail thee (κατατρέχουσιν ἐπὶ σὲ)." The change of tense here indicates that the second clause is an alternative rendering, brought into the text from the margin. In this marginal note meta has been taken as "assail," and malka, "O king," has been, by transposition of the two final letters, read mela'k, "angel." Theodotion and the Peshitta agree with the Massoretic text. The respectful tone in which Daniel addresses Nebuchadnezzar in the received text is to be observed; it is utterly alien to the boastful tone Judaism was afterwards accustomed to impute to its old saints. That there is no reference to the watchers or to their decree in this is imputed to Daniel's recognition of its true source; but in the Septuagint there is nothing equivalent to the statement in ver. 17. The fact that it is omitted here confirms the suspicion against it which we expressed in regard to the earlier verse.
That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
Verse 25. - That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The Septuagint Version is here much briefer, and in that better, "And they shall put thee in guard, and send thee into a desert place." The Massoretic text, although it agrees with that from which Theodotion's Version, the Peshitta, and the Vulgate have been translated, is pleonastic. The Vulgate drops the causative element, and simply says, "Thou shalt eat grass like the ox, and thou shalt be wet with the dew of heaven." The Peshitta, while translating טְעַם by the aphel of 'acal - that is to say, making the meaning causative - renders צְבַע by the passive, titztaba; similarly Theodotion renders it. If we are to take the words of Daniel strictly, even in the Massoretic, much more if we take the Septuagint, text, he seems to have understood the dream to point, not to lycanthropy, but to an overthrow at the hands of his enemies, when they would compel him to eat grass in his distress, and, by depriving him of every shelter, force him to be wet with the dew of heaven. There is nothing to indicate that the compulsion should work within, and that by these inner scourges the messengers of the Most High would drive Nebuchadnezzar forth to the fields.
And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
Verse 26. - And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be. sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. The Septuagint Version here is different, and not so good as the received text, "And (as for) the root of the tree which was left and not rooted out, the place of thy throne shall be preserved to thee to a season and an hour; behold, for thee they are prepared, and they shall bring judgment upon thee. The Lord liveth in heaven, and his power is in all the earth." The last clause here is plainly a paraphrase of "the heavens do rule." "A season and an hour" is a doublet, and since it is to be observed that the phrase, "after that thou shalt have known," is omitted, we may deduce that thindda, "thou shalt know," is, by transposition of letters, read l'iddan. Theodotion, who is usually slavish in his following of the Aramaic construction, renders here, "And because they said, Suffer the stump (φυὴν) of the roots of the tree." This suggests that in the text before Theodotion mere is omitted from למשבק (l'mishbaq), and it was read לשבקו (leishbaqoo), meaning, according to the Mandaitic form of the verb, "they shall leave" - a form in accordance with the previous construction, then further altered to the second person plural. The end of the verse is also slightly different, "Until thou shalt know the heavenly power," reading here shooltan dee shemya instead of shaltan shemya. The Peshitta renders, "till thou shalt know that power is from the heaven (min shemya)." Mr. Bevan remarks on this usage of "heavens" for "God," which he compares with the Mishna and with the New Testament. He does not observe that the difficulty all the translators have with the phrase is a proof that, when the versions were made, it was even then not a common usage; hence that its introduction here was not due to the influence of the Mishnaic Hebrew stretching back, but was owing rather to the peculiar circumstances of Daniel. Professor Bevan's reference to the New Testament is mistaken. In no case in the New Testament is οὔρανοι used for "God." Even in the Greek Apocrypha is no usage precisely equivalent. Daniel, by using the phrase he did, put himself on the same level as the heathen king - pride against the gods (ὕβρις), and of this, by implication, is Nebuchadnezzar here accused. Certainly the words of his inscriptions do not indicate anything of this sort. In fact, many of the phrases in the prayer to Marduk in the India House Inscription indicate reverent humility almost Christian. Still, these phrases might be due, to some extent, to political custom. The relation of a polytheist to his gods is a psychological enigma to a civilized monotheist. On the one hand, he recognizes his dependence on the god; on the other, he considers the god honoured by his worship, and therefore owing him certain duties in return.
Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
Verse 27. - Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. The Septuagint Version differs in this case somewhat considerably. It connects itself with the preceding verse, "Entreat him on account of thy sins, and to purify' all thine unrighteousness in almsgiving, in order that he may give thee humility, and many days on the throne of thy kingdom, and that thou be not destroyed." This version is paraphrastic and inferior as a whole to the text of the Massoretes, but at the same time, there must have been a different text to make such a rendering possible. Theodotion is more in accordance with the Massoretic text, but also has resemblances to the Septuagint here, "Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to thee, and atone for thy sins by almsgiving, and for thine unrighteousness by mercies to the poor (πενήτων), perchance (ἵσως) God will be long-suffering to thy transgression." The last clause may be due to reading 'elaha' (אלחא) for 'archu (ארכא), in which case the last clause would read, "God may be for thy tranquillity." In this case Theodotion's rendering is a natural paraphrase. The Peshitta is in agreement with the received text, save that malka, "king," is left out, possibly from its resemblance to milki, "my counsel." The Vulgate rendering is, "Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be pleasing unto thee, redeem thy sins by almsgiving, and thine iniquities by mercies to the poor; perchance he will forgive (ignoscat) thy sins." This follows Theodotion so far in the last clause, but not wholly, It is to be noticed that all the versions translate צִדְקָה (tzid'qah) "almsgiving" - a late meaning, and one not present in the Massoretic here. It can only be forced upon,this passage by giving פְרַק (peraq) a meaning it never has, as Professor Bevan and Keil show it to mean "to break," and as breaking a yoke meant "setting free," it thus meant redeeming a person; but in the sense of paying a ransom for sins, it never is used, even in the Targums. There is, therefore, a wide difference between the moral standpoint of the writer of Daniel and that of his translators - so wide that the writer of Daniel does not see the possibility of his words being twisted to this meaning. In Ecclesiasticus almsgiving is made equivalent to righteousness. The writer of Daniel is on a different moral plane from Ben Sira. But more, Daniel must have been translated into Greek before Ecclesiasticus, as the whole canon was translated when the grandson of Ben Sira had come down to Egypt, and this at the latest was B.C. 135; on the critical hypothesis, not a score of years separate the text of Daniel from the translation. The courteous beginning of Daniel's speech is to be observed; he is anxious to win the king to repentance. Compare the stern, unrelenting demeanour of Elijah to Ahab, and of Elisha to Jehoram. If we compare this with the way the Jews of Talmudic times regard the memory of Titus, the Roman captor of Jerusalem, we see we are in a totally different atmosphere from that in which the Jewish folsarius of any period of Jewish history could have lived. A grand impulsive character like Nebuchadnezzar could not but at once allure and awe the young Jew, but a zealous Jew would have regarded it as derogatory to imagine this of a prophet of the Lord, and so we see the Septuagint translator drops the courteous words with which Daniel introduces his advice. Daniel looked upon the fact that the warning had been given as an evidence that there might be a place for repentance.
All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
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.
At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
Verse 30. - The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? The meaning of the Septuagint rendering is the same as the above, "This is Babylon the great, which I built, and the house of my kingdom is it called, in the might of my power, to the honour of my glory." Theodotion and the Peshitta in the main agree with the received text. It is one of the characteristics of the earlier Chaldean monarchs who reigned over the small Chaldean cantons in Mesopotamia, that they named their capital city from themselves, as Bit-Dakuri and Bit-Adini; the capital of Merodach-Baladan was called after his father, Bit-Jakin. We need scarcely explain that bit represents beth, "house." In all ages an imperial power has expressed its greatness in the splen-dour of its capital, but in the case of the Babylonian Empire, Nebuchadnezzar was the empire, therefore the splendour of the city was a testimony to his glory.
While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
Verses 31, 32. - While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The Septuagint rendering has many points of interest, "While the word was yet in the mouth of the king - at the end of his speech - he heard a voice out of heaven, To thee it is said, O King Nebuchadnezzar, the kingdom of Babylon has been taken from thee, and is being given to another - a man set at naught in thy house: behold, I set him in thy kingdom, and thy power and thy glory and thy delicacy he takes possession of; that thou mayest know that the God of heaven hath dominion over the kingdoms of men, and to whomsoever he willeth he shall give it. To the rising of the sun another king shall rejoice in thy house and shall possess thy glory and thy might and thy dominion." The differences between the Massoretic and Theodotion are inconsiderable. The Peshitta adds the clause, "wet with the dew of heaven," to the description of the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar; and to the account of the supremacy of the God of heaven adds, "and raises to it the humble man." This latter clause seems like a faint echo of the more precise statement of the LXX. The Vulgate differs here only as in the former case, omitting the causative. The reference in the LXX. to a special person in the house of Nebuchadnezzar, exalted upon his throne, appears to support an idea thrown out by Lenormant. Neri-glissar, the son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar and the successor of Evil-Merodach, claims to be the son of Bel-zikir-iskun, King of Babylon (Lenormant, 'La Divination,' 204), but in the list of Ptolemy there is no such name; hence Lenormant imagines that this Belzikir-iskun usurped the throne for a short while, too short to be in the canon of Ptolemy. There is no trace of such a usurpation in the contract tables. Rawlin-son's hypothesis is difficult to believe. It is that this Belzikir-iskun was king in Babylon before the fall of the Assyrian Empire, before Nabepolassar. But from the accession of Nabopolassar to the death of Evil-Merodach is sixty-five or sixty-six years. A man of the age implied was little likely to take part in a revolution or leave behind him an infant son. It is difficult to decide, but it must be admitted that Lenormant's position is at all events a possible solution of the question.
And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
Verse 33. - The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. The verse that is placed as parallel with this in the Septuagint differs very considerably. In the LXX. this verse is still part of the proclamation of the angel, "Early shall all these things be completed upon thee, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Baby-Ion, and nothing shall be awanting of all these things." This verse is properly without a correspondent in the Massoretic text. The next verse resumes the proclamation, "I Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon was bound seven years, and they fed me with grass as an ox. I ate from herbs of the earth." Then after a verse which Tischen-doff marks as an interpolation, but which really is a misplaced doublet, we have a continuation of ver. 30 (33 Authorized Version), "And my hairs became like feathers of an eagle, and my nails like those of the lion, and my flesh and my heart were changed, and I walked naked with the beasts of the earth." The fact that this is longer than the Massoretic text is decidedly against it. It seems to be a para-phrastic rendering of a text somewhat similar to the Massoretic. On the other hand, the fact that it retains the first person makes it at least possible that the condensation of the middle portion of this chapter, according to the received text, is not resorted to in this recension. It is to be noted that only a very few words in the Septuagint necessitate any idea of condensation: only in the beginning of ver. 27 Septuagint (28 Aramaic, 31 Authorized Version) is there a change of persons. This verse is rendered by Theodotion in a way much like the Massoretic text. The first portion of the verse is an exact translation of the Aramaic, but at the end the' rendering is, "till his hairs grew like those of lions, and his malls as those of birds." The Peshitta agrees exactly with the Massoretic. One cannot help being suspicious of this assertion of the hair being like eagles' feathers, partly because the eagle is a bird, and "birds" are spoken of in the next clause of the verse, and further there appears to be a pun on the last portion of the king's name in the word used for "eagle" (nesher). The Jewish scribes were prone to have such plays on names. Early in history it occurs, as when Abigail makes use of it to David in regard to her husband (1 Samuel 25:25), "Nabal is his name, and folly is with him." This possibly is the reason for the Hebrew variation in the name given to the Babylonian Nabu-kudur-utzur. Theodotion's version shows the result of reasoning - it is a scribe's emendation. That matted hair should have an appearance which suggested the feathers of birds, is natural enough, aria the utter inattention to matters of personal cleanliness is an exceedingly common symptom in cases of insanity. This personal neglect would naturally result also in the growth of the nails, and their incurring would give them vaguely the appearance of lions' claws. We can picture the Babylonian monarch that had, like his Ninevite predecessors, been finical about his curled locks and trimmed and jewelled fingers, walking in wild nakedness so far as his shackles permitted him, with hair-matted locks, and his nails misshapen and long.
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:
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.
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Verse 35. - And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? The rendering of the Septuagint here is very difficult to follow, from the state of confusion in which the text is. The verse that comes next in order is very short," At that time my kingdom was set up, and my glory was restored to me." This is a condensed statement of what is recorded in the following verse (ver. 36; 33 Massoretic), and we shall consider it in that connection. The verse which succeeds suits more the conclusion of such a letter or proclamation as is here represented, so far as form goes, though the matter shows traces of exaggeration and amplification natural to the Jew. At the same time, it bears a resemblance to the last verse of this chapter, according to the Massoretes, only greatly amplified. It may thus be best to regard this verse as not present in the Septuagint text. Theodotion and the Peshitta agree with the Massoretic text. The statement here is true, but Jewish, not Babylonian, in colour. This, along with its absence from the Septuagint, leads us to believe it to be the insertion of a Jewish scribe. On the other hand, it looks like a statement in brief of what we find expanded in Isaiah 40. and elsewhere. If brevity is to be regarded as an evidence of antiquity, this passage might be taken as the more ancient. It is, however, too bald and prosaic to be the original of such an impassioned passage as that in Isaiah 40.
At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellers and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
Verse 36. - At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. As we have already mentioned, the verse in the Septuagint text which agrees to this is very brief, "At that time my kingdom was set up and my glory restored to me." It may be a condensation of some independent scribe, carried to a greater degree in the one case than the other. Only from the genesis of our Daniel, as we have imagined it, it would seem more probable that the briefer forms are the more primitive, and the longer the result of the expansion to be credited to imaginative copyists. In proof of this it is to be observed that neither Theodotion nor the Peshitta exactly represents the Massoretic text. Theodotion renders, "At that time my intellect (αἱ φρένες μου) was restored to me, and came to the glory of my king-dora, and my beauty ("form," ἡ μορφή μου) returned to me, and my rulers and nobles sought me, and I was confirmed upon my kingdom, and more abundant greatness was added unto me." The Peshitta differs somewhat from this, "And when my intellect returned to me, my nobles and my great army sought me, and to my kingdom was I restored, and its great inheritance was increased to me." The differences between these two and the Massoretic text are slight compared with those that separate any one of those from the Septuagint; yet starting with the Septuagint text, the others are easily reached by slightly varying additions. The Peshitta certainly more clearly portrays what seems likely to have taken place - first, a revolution during the king's madness, and a counter-revolution to restore him when his reason returned. If, however, Nebuchadnezzar was simply confined in a portion of the palace, then his nobles, on the news of his restoration, might seek unto him. None of the texts presents quite a self-consistent representation. If we could perfectly unravel the confusion of the texts which form our present Septuagint text, we should probably find one of them nearly self-consistent.
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
Verse 37. - Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment; and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. The Septuagint Version has all the appearance of an original composition by a scribe, not impossibly in imitation of the Song of the Three Holy Children, taking as its theme the subject of the verse before us, "I confess and praise the Highest, who created the heaven and the earth and the sea. He is God of gods, and Lord of lords, and King of kings, because he doeth signs and wonders, and changeth seasons and times, taking away the kingdoms of kings and setting up others instead of them. Now from this time I shall worship him, and from fear of him trembling hath taken hold of me, and all the holy ones I praise, for the gods of the nations have not power in themselves to turn away the kingdom of a king to another king, and to kill and to make alive, and to do signs and marvels great and fearful; and to change very great matters according as the God of heaven did to me, and charged to me great things. I will offer sacrifices to the Highest every day of nay reign for my life, for a savour of sweet smell before the Lord, and what is pleasing before him I shall do, and the people and my nation and the countries which are in my dominion. And as many as shall speak against the God of heaven, and as many as shall be taken saying anything, these shall I condemn to death." Several of the phrases in this short hymn - for that it rather is than a version of an Aramaic original - are derived from other portions of Scripture; e.g. "for a savour of a sweet smell before the Lord." There are traces also of the familiar phenomenon of "doublets." Theodotion and the Peshitta agree with the Massoretic text. So far as the Massoretic text represents the original Daniel, there is no evidence that Nebuchadnezzar had ceased to be a worshipper of Bel-Marduk and Nebo and Nergal. Certainly he recognizes that Jehovah is to be worshipped also. Further, it is to be admitted that Nebuchadnezzar carries his adoration very near the point of true and exclusive worship. In what he came short it may be that he yielded to the political necessities of his situation - as Naaman bowing in the temple of Rimmon. Even an autocrat like Nebuchadnezzar would be conditioned by those who served him, and after his madness he would be specially under the power of those officials who had restored him to his place. Excursus on Nebuchadnezzar's Madness. The events of the fourth chapter of Daniel are full of elements that have caused question from the days of Porphyry downwards. Many of these have been discussed as they occurred in the narrative. The question of the madness of Nebuchadnezzar has several features which cause it to be of interest. Some of these have been passingly treated in reference to the passages in which they are mentioned. But to a thorough understanding of the matter it is well to collect these features together and discuss it as a whole. To do so effectively, we shall have to consider
(1) the nature of the disease under which Nebuchadnezzar suffered;
(2) the length of time during which he was under it;
(3) what evidence there is in the narrative, or on the monuments, of political changes during the time he was incapacitated.
1. The disease under which Nebuchadnezzar suffered. Dr. Pusey says (p. 428), "It is now conceded that the madness of Nebuchadnezzar agrees with the description of a rare sort of disease called lycanthropy, of which our earliest notice is a Greek medical writer of the fourth century after our Lord, in which the sufferer retains his consciousness in other respects, but imagines himself to be changed into some animal, and acts up to a certain point in conformity with that persuasion. Those who imagined themselves changed into wolves, howled like wolves, and (there is reason to believe, falsely) accused themselves of bloodshed." Archdeacon Rose, in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' says, "There is now no question that the disease under which Nebuchadnezzar is said to have suffered, is one of a well-known class of diseases known by such names as lycanthropy, kynanthropy, etc., according to the animal whose habits are simulated by the subject of this disease." There is no question that there was a disease that was so called: Dr. Pusey has collected proof of that. It is to be noted that all the instances he quotes are from ancient writers. It occurred also in Mediaeval times. The point that is not quite so certain is that Nebuchadnezzar had this disease. In the first place, lycanthropy has a distinct and definite meaning in mental pathology. Those suffering from it "abandon their homes and make for the forests, that they may consort with those they imagine to be their kind; they allow their hair and nails to grow; they carry their imitation so far as to become ferocious, and mutilate and even to kill and devour children." Here we must observe that the neglect of the person, with the result of hair and nails growing, is not peculiar to that form of madness, but is really common to many varieties of mental disease. The two other characteristics are more special - the endeavour to consort with animals of the species to which the patient imagines himself to belong, and the destructive ferocity that in the form of wolf-madness, lycanthropy, properly so called, led to cannibalism. Of neither of these symptoms have we any indubitable evidence in the narrative. In regard to the first, of Nebuchadnezzar it is certainly said (vers. 15, 23) that "his portion" should" be with the beasts of the field;" ver. 25, "Thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field;" but here there is nothing to indicate that Nebuchadnezzar did this out of a mad overmastering longing. Rather, the very opposite is implied by the statement (vers. 25, 32)," They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling," etc. So in ver. 33 it is said, "And he was driven from men." The question may be said to turn on the force of the word "they." It certainly may mean that the angels of God, as avenging spirits, might drive Nebuchadnezzar from men, and that his longing to consort with animals may have been the scourge that drove him, but that is not said or implied. It may have been the members of his own household that so drove him forth directly, or it may have been the indirect result of the cruel treatment intended to be curative. It may be urged that the statement, "Let a beast's heart be given him," implies this longing to consort with animals. In the first place, "heart," לְבַב (lebab), among the Shemites does not, as among Occidentals, mean the longing appetitive part of our nature, but really the spirit. In the next place, the reading in the Septuagint is quite different; it is not the "heart," לְבַב (lebab), but the "body," σῶμα, reading בְשַׂר (besar) instead of = = -לְבַב. (lebab). Indeed, when we turn to the Septuagint, we find a total want of all this appearance of abandoning house and home. In the statement of the dream (ver. 11, LXX.), "And it [the tree] was dragged and torn out, and in brazen fetters and shackles was it bound with them." Again, in the interpretation (ver 18, LXX.), "And they shall put thee in guard, and send thee to a desert place." When we turn to the fulfilment of the dream (ver. 25. LXX.), we find, "And the angels of heaven shall drive thee (διώ ξονταί σε) seven years, and thou shalt not be seen nor speak with any man; and thou shalt eat grass as an ox, and thy pasture shall be from the herb of the field." Again (vers. 27, 28. LXX.), "I was bound for seven years, and they fed me with grass as an ox, and my hairs became like eagles' feathers, and my nails like lions' claws, and my flesh and my heart were changed, and I walked naked among the beasts of the earth." The more I studied this, the less I was satisfied with the all-but universal decision that Nebuchadnezzar suffered under lycanthropy. Having a friend a specialist in mental disease, I submitted the case to him, giving him, in addition to what he found in his English Bible, the version or' the Septuagint. He is eminently qualified to judge all questions of mental disease. David Yellowlees, Esq., M.D., is head of one of the largest lunatic asylums in Scotland, Gartnavel, near Glasgow. He has been President of the Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain; is Lecturer on Insanity in the University of Glasgow; and has had over thirty years' experience in the treatment of mental disease. He kindly wrote me the following, which he has permitted me to publish: - Nebuchadnezzar's illness was not lycanthropy; it was an attack of acute mania, which recovered, as such attacks usually do if uncomplicated, in seven months. Acute mania, in its extreme forms, exhibits all kinds of degraded habits, such as stripping off and tearing of clothes, eating filth and garbage of all sorts, wild and violent gesticulations, dangerous assaults, howling noises, and utter disregard of personal decency. The patient often is liker a wild animal than a human being. These symptoms merely show the completeness of the aberration, and do not at all indicate a hopeless condition. On the contrary, they are seen most frequently in the cases which recover. The king was apparently treated as kindly as the enlightenment of the times permitted - bound when injuring himself or others, taken to a desert place away from other men, and allowed a mad freedom, in which his attacks found relief and eventual recovery. In another communication, Dr. Yellowlees says, "The 'seven times' certainly did not mean seven years for recovery from that form of insanity; that is, acute mania would be most unlikely after so long a time. Seven months is a far more likely period."
2. This leads us to consider the second question - the length of time during which Nebuchadnezzar was under this malady. The phrase which states the duration occurs four times - vers. 16 (13), 23 (20), 25 (22), 32 (29) - and is always the same, "till seven times pass over him (thee)." שִׁבְעָה עַדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלוהִי (sheebeah 'iddaneen yahelephoon 'alohee). The question turns on the sense to be given to 'iddan. This word is found thirteen times in this book - nine times besides the four times in this chapter. We find it three times in the second chapter, where it means the time during which certain planetary and stellar influences were at work. This naturally suggests the signs of the Zodiac and the phases of the moon, and therefore a month, though the probability is that the period in the king's mind was much shorter. The ruling phases of the moon would make a fourfold or threefold division not improbable, while the positions of the planets in the various astrological houses make it more likely that a day rather than even a month is meant. We find the word next in the following chapter (vers. 5 and 15), "At what time ('iddan) ye hear," etc. Here it means a point of time, and in the other verse (7), where the phrase occurs we have זִמְנָא (zimena), which usually means a set, fixed point of time. We find it again in the seventh chapter (vers. 12 and 25). In the twelfth verse, after the destruction of the fourth beast, the other beasts continue for "a season and time," זְמַן וְעִדָּן (z'man ve'iddan); it here means a space of time totally indefinite. In the twenty-fifth verse the word in question occurs three times in the phrase, "a time, times, and a dividing of time." Here it has been assumed to mean "a year," and this is certainly not improbable for this particular case; but nothing can be drawn from this as to the sense of the word elsewhere. So far as the usage of this book is concerned, we can say the word 'iddan means a space of time, the length of which is determined by the context. When we pass into the Targums, we find the same, or, if possible, even greater freedom of use. It is used for the time of old age in Psalm 71:9; in Ecclesiastes 3. for "the times." There is a phrase, 'iddan be'iddan ("time in times"), which is commonly understood to mean a year. This would render it probable that the word was originally some period much shorter than a year, probably a month; thus Genesis 24:55, where we render, according to the Massoretic, "a few days, at least ten." Onkelos renders, 'iddan be'iddan 'o 'asrah yarheen ("time in time, or ten months"), where the word certainly means "months." The usage of the Peshitta is much the same. Gaon Saadia would assign to 'iddan here the sense of "month;" in this he is followed by Lenormant. Notwithstanding the objections of critics and lexicographers, we venture to follow these two authorities the more readily that the critics have assigned no reason why we should not do so.
3. Is there any trace in the inscriptions surviving to us to throw light on this mysterious event? At one time it was supposed that in the Standard Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar we had a distinct reference to this period of madness. As at first translated, Nebuchadnezzar declared that for four years he did not occupy himself in building. A series of further negative sentences followed. More careful study and more accurate rendering have removed that misconception. From the nature of the Standard Inscription, it was a priori unlikely that anything of the kind supposed should have been found in it. It is a record of the various buildings, etc., he had constructed for the honour of the gods and the beauty of his capital. The dates of the erection of these edifices or the construction of these canals is net given; so the fact of years in which nothing was done is not necessarily noticeable. Lenormant ('La Divination,' 204) makes another suggestion. When he ascends the throne, after the murder of his brother-in-law, Evil-Merodach, we find Neriglissar (Nergalsharezer) claiming that his father, Bil-zikir-iskun, had been King of Babylon. Lenormant's theory is that Bil-zikir-iskun reigned' while Nebuchadnezzar was thus incapacitated by madness. Certainly, between the accession of Nabo-polassar in B.C. 625, to the death of Evil-Merodach in B.C. 559, there is no sovereign but the three members of the one dynasty. Rawlinson ('Five Great Monarchies') places him immediately before Nabopolassar, and reads his name Nebu-sum-iskun. But as deposition meant death, this would imply that his son - Neriglissar - even if only an infant, at the death of his father, would be at least sixty-five years of age at the death of Evil-Merodach. This is not an age when men engage in conspiracies. But more, he leaves behind him an infant son. While not impossible, this is an unlikely solution. If, then, he did not reign before Nabo-polassar, there must have been some interval in which he held the throne while the legitimate occupant was incapacitated by disease or distance from the capital It was not during the interval between the death of Nabopolassar and the accession of Nebuchadnezzar, because Berosus tells us of the rapid march Nebuchadnezzar made through the desert from Syria to reach Babylon before any usurpation took place. It did not take place between the death of Nebuchadnezzar and the accession of Evil-Merodach, for, from the contract tables, there seems to have been no interval of uncertainty. Bel-zikir-iskun may have, so M. Lenormant thinks, usurped the throne during the illness of Nebuchadnezzar. If the interval were less than a year, Ptolemy might not insert the name in his chronicle. Against this theory is the fact that throughout the whole of Nebuchadnezzar's reign there never is seven months without a contract preserved to us, dated by the years of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. This is not absolutely conclusive, because some of the contract tables, after the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, are still dated by the reign of Nabunahid. We are compelled to abandon the position that we have any trace of this madness. We have an analogous case in the history of Nabunahid; for a long period, not less than five years, he was unable to take part in the business of the empire. Meantime, there is no indication in the contract tables that anything is wrong. The annals of Nabunahid reveal to us the fact that the king s son was acting monarch; but had these not come down to us, we should never have known of any incapacity befalling this monarch. Bel-zikir-iskun may have acted as monarch during Nebuchadnezzar's illness, and this may have been the fact that enabled Neff-glissar to assert his father to have been King of Babylon. It is not impossible that Nebuchadnezzar's decree may yet turn up from the rubbish of ages.