Daniel 2:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: "O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation."

King James Bible
Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

Darby Bible Translation
And the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, O king, live for ever! tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

World English Bible
Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live forever: tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

Young's Literal Translation
And the Chaldeans speak to the king in Aramaean, 'O king, to the ages live, tell the dream to thy servants, and the interpretation we do shew.'

Daniel 2:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Then spake the Chaldeans to the king - The meaning is, either that the Chaldeans spoke in the name of the entire company of the soothsayers and magicians (see the notes, Daniel 1:20; Daniel 2:2), because they were the most prominent among them, or the name is used to denote the collective body of soothsayers, meaning that this request was made by the entire company.

In Syriac - In the original - ארמית 'ărâmı̂yt - in "Aramean." Greek, Συριστὶ Suristi - "in Syriac." So the Vulgate. The Syriac retains the original word. The word means Aramean, and the reference is to that language which is known as East Aramean - a general term embracing the Chaldee, the Syriac, and the languages which were spoken in Mesopotamia. See the notes at Daniel 1:4. This was the vernacular tongue of the king and of his subjects, and was that in which the Chaldeans would naturally address him. It is referred to here by the author of this book, perhaps to explain the reason why he himself makes use of this language in explaining the dream. The use of this, however, is not confined to the statement of what the magicians said, but is continued to the close of the seventh chapter. Compare the Intro. Section IV. III. The language used is what is commonly called Chaldee. It is written in the same character as the Hebrew, and differs from that as one dialect differs from another. It was, doubtless, well understood by the Jews in their captivity, and was probably spoken by them after their return to their own land.

O king, live for ever - This is a form of speech quite common in addressing monarchs. See 1 Samuel 10:24; 1 Kings 1:25 (margin); Daniel 3:9; Daniel 5:10. The expression is prevalent still, as in the phrases, "Long live the king," "Vive l' empereur," "Vive le roi," etc. It is founded on the idea that long life is to be regarded as a blessing, and that we can in no way express our good wishes for anyone better than to wish him length of days. In this place, it was merely the usual expression of respect and homage, showing their earnest wish for the welfare of the monarch. They were willing to do anything to promote his happiness, and the continuance of his life and reign. It was especially proper for them to use this language, as they wore about to make a rather unusual request, which "might" be construed as an act of disrespect, implying that the king had not given them all the means which it was equitable for them to have in explaining the matter, by requiring them to interpret the dream when he had not told them what it was.

Tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation - The claim which they set up in regard to the future was evidently only that of "explaining" what were regarded as the prognostics of future events. It was not that of being able to recal what is forgotten, or even to "originate" what might be regarded preintimations of what is to happen. This was substantially the claim which was asserted by all the astrologers, augurs, and soothsayers of ancient times. Dreams, the flight of birds, the aspect of the entrails of animals slain for sacrifice, the positions of the stars, meteors, and uncommon appearances in the heavens, were supposed to be intimations made by the gods of what was to occur in future times, and the business of those who claimed the power of divining the future was merely to interpret these things. When the king, therefore, required that they should recal the dream itself to his own mind, it was a claim to something which was not involved in their profession, and which they regarded as unjust. To that power they made no pretensions. If it be asked why, as they were mere jugglers and pretenders, they did not "invent" something and state "that" as his dream, since he had forgotten what his dream actually was, we may reply,

(1) that there is no certain evidence that they were not sincere in what they professed themselves able to do - for we are not to suppose that all who claimed to be soothsayers and astrologers were hypocrites and intentional deceivers. It was not at that period of the world certainly determined that nothing could be ascertained respecting the future by dreams, and by the positions of the stars, etc. Dreams "were" among the methods by which the future was made known; and whether the knowledge of what is to come could be obtained from the positions of the stars, etc., was a question which was at that time unsettled Even Lord Bacon maintained that the science of astrology was not to be "rejected," but to be "reformed."

(2) If the astrologers had been disposed to attempt to deceive the king, there is no probability that they could have succeeded in palming an invention of their own on him as his own dream. We may not be able distinctly to recollect a dream, but we have a sufficient impression of it - of its outlines - or of some striking, though disconnected, things in it, to know what it is "not." We might instantly recognize it if stated to us; we should see at once, if anyone should attempt to deceive us by palming an invented dream on us, that "that" was not what we had dreamed.

Daniel 2:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Editor's Preface
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
In 2 Timothy, 3:16, Paul declares: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" but there are some people who tell us when we take up prophecy that it is all very well to be believed, but that there is no use in one trying to understand it; these future events are things that the church does not agree about, and it is better to let them alone, and deal only with those prophecies which have already been
Dwight L. Moody—That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope

Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The First Sayings of Jesus --His Ideas of a Divine Father and of a Pure Religion --First Disciples.
Joseph died before his son had taken any public part. Mary remained, in a manner, the head of the family, and this explains why her son, when it was wished to distinguish him from others of the same name, was most frequently called the "son of Mary."[1] It seems that having, by the death of her husband, been left friendless at Nazareth, she withdrew to Cana,[2] from which she may have come originally. Cana[3] was a little town at from two to two and a half hours' journey from Nazareth, at the foot
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

Cross References
1 Kings 1:31
Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and prostrated herself before the king and said, "May my lord King David live forever."

2 Kings 18:26
Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, "Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak with us in Judean in the hearing of the people who are on the wall."

Ezra 4:7
And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his colleagues wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the text of the letter was written in Aramaic and translated from Aramaic.

Nehemiah 2:3
I said to the king, "Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?"

Isaiah 36:11
Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to Rabshakeh, "Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak with us in Judean in the hearing of the people who are on the wall."

Daniel 1:4
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.

Daniel 2:7
They answered a second time and said, "Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation."

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