New American Standard Bible
Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
King James Bible
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
Darby Bible Translation
And the king commanded to call the scribes, and the magicians, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to shew the king his dreams; and they came and stood before the king.
World English Bible
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
Young's Literal Translation
and the king saith to call for scribes, and for enchanters, and for sorcerers, and for Chaldeans, to declare to the king his dreams. And they come in and stand before the king;
Daniel 2:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Then the king commanded - That is, when he awoke. The particle rendered "then," does not imply that this occurred immediately. When he awoke, his mind was agitated; he was impressed with the belief that he had had an important Divine communication; but he could not even recal the dream distinctly, and he resolved to summon to his presence those whose business it was to interpret what were regarded as prognostics of the future.
The magicians, and the astrologers - These are the same words which occur in Daniel 1:20. See the note at that place.
And the sorcerers - Hebrew מכשׁפים mekashepı̂ym. Vulgate, malefici - sorcerers. Greek, φαρμακεύς pharmakeus Syriac, "magician." The Hebrew word is derived from כשׁף kâshaph - meaning, in Piel, to practice magic; to use magic formulas, or incantations; to mutter; and it refers to the various arts by which those who were addicted to magic practiced their deceptions. The particular idea in this word would seem to be, that on such occasions some forms of prayers were used, for the word in Syriac means to offer prayers, or to worship. Probably the aid of idol gods was invoked by such persons when they practiced incantations. The word is found only in the following places: once as a "verb," 2 Chronicles 33:6, and rendered "used witchcraft;" and as a "participle," rendered "sorcerers," in Exodus 7:11; Daniel 2:2; Malachi 3:5; and "witch," in Exodus 22:18 (17); Deuteronomy 18:10. The noun (כשׁף kashâph and כשׁפים keshâpı̂ym) is used in the following places, always with reference to sorcery or witchcraft: Jeremiah 27:9; 2 Kings 9:22; Isaiah 47:9; Micah 5:12 (11); Nahum 3:4. It may not be easy to specify the exact sense in which this word is used as distinguished from the others which relate to the same general subject, but it would seem to be that some form of "prayer" or "invocation" was employed. The persons referred to did not profess to interpret the prognostics of future events by any original skill of their own, but by the aid of the gods.
And the Chaldeans - See the notes at Daniel 1:4. The Chaldeans appear to have been but one of the tribes or nations that made up the community at Babylon (compare the notes at Isaiah 23:13), and it would seem that at this time they were particularly devoted to the practice of occult arts, and secret sciences. It is not probable that the other persons referred to in this enumeration were Chaldeans. The Magians, if any of these were employed, were Medians (see the notes at Daniel 1:20), and it is not improbable that the other classes of diviners might have been from other nations. The purpose of Nebuchadnezzar was to assemble at his court whatever was remarkable throughout the world for skill and knowledge (see analysis of Daniel 1), and the wise men of the Chaldeans were employed in carrying out that design. The Chaldeans were so much devoted to these secret arts, and became so celebrated for them, that the name came, among the Greek and Roman writers, to be used to denote all those who laid claim to extraordinary powers in this department.
Diodorus Siculus (lib. ii.) says of the Chaldeans in Babylon, that "they sustain the same office there that the priests do in Egypt, for being devoted to the worship of God through their whole lives, they give themselves to philosophy, and seek from astrology their highest glory." Cicero also remarks (De Divin., p. 3), that "the Chaldeans, so named, not from their art, but their nation, are supposed, by a prolonged observation of the stars, to have wrought out a science by which could be predicted what was to happen to every individual, and to what fate he was born." Juvenal likewise (Sat. vi., verses 552-554), has this passage: "Chaldaeis sed major erit fiducia; quidquid dixerit astrologus, credent a fonte relatum Ammonis. - But their chief dependence is upon the Chaldeans; whatever an astrologer declares, they will receive as a response of (Jupiter) Ammon." Horace refers to the "Babylonians" as distinguished in his time for the arts of magic, or divination:
tentaris numeros." - Car. lib. i.; xi.
It is not probable that the whole nation of Chaldeans was devoted to these arts, but as a people they became so celebrated in this kind of knowledge that it was their best known characteristic abroad. (See also Barnes' Appendix to Daniel)
For to show the king his dreams - To show him what the dream was, and to explain its import. Compare Genesis 41:24; Judges 14:12; 1 Kings 10:3. That it was common for kings to call in the aid of interpreters to explain the import of dreams, appears from Herodotus. When Astyages ascended the throne, he had a daughter whose name was Mandane. She had a dream which seemed to him so remarkable that he called in the "magi," whose interpretation, Herodotus remarks, was of such a nature that it "terrified him exceedingly." He was so much influenced by the dream and the interpretation, that it produced an entire change in his determination respecting the marriage of his daughter. - Book i., 107: So again, after the marriage of his daughter, Herodotus says (book i., cviii.): "Astyages had another vision. A vine appeared to spring from his daughter which overspread all Asia. On this occasion, also, he consulted his interpreters; the result was, that he sent for his daughter from Persia, when the time of her delivery approached. On her arrival, he kept a strict watch over her, intending to destroy her child. The magi had declared the vision to intimate that the child of his daughter should supplant him on the throne." Astyages, to guard against this, as soon as Cyrus was born, sent for Harpagus, a person in whom he had confidence, and commanded him to take the child to his own house, and put him to death. These passages in Herodotus show that what is here related of the king of Babylon, demanding the aid of magicians and astrologers to interpret his dreams, was by no means an uncommon occurrence.
Professor Maspero does not need to be introduced to us. His name is well known in England and America as that of one of the chief masters of Egyptian science as well as of ancient Oriental history and archaeology. Alike as a philologist, a historian, and an archaeologist, he occupies a foremost place in the annals of modern knowledge and research. He possesses that quick apprehension and fertility of resource without which the decipherment of ancient texts is impossible, and he also possesses a sympathy …
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 1
That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope
Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
The First Sayings of Jesus --His Ideas of a Divine Father and of a Pure Religion --First Disciples.
Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts.
Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times-- for it was the custom of the king so to speak before all who knew law and justice
"Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists.
"Stand fast now in your spells And in your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you may cause trembling.
"You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.
youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king's court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
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