Daniel 2:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
The king replied to the Chaldeans, "The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.

King James Bible
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

Darby Bible Translation
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The command is gone forth from me: If ye do not make known unto me the dream, and its interpretation, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

World English Bible
The king answered the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if you don't make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

Young's Literal Translation
The king hath answered and said to the Chaldeans, 'The thing from me is gone; if ye do not cause me to know the dream and its interpretation, pieces ye are made, and your houses are made dunghills;

Daniel 2:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me - The Vulgate renders this, "Sermo recessit a me" - "The word is departed from me." So the Greek, Ὁ λόγος ἀπ ̓ ἐμοῦ ἀπέστη Ho logos ap' emou apestē. Luther, "Es ist mir entfallen" - "It has fallen away from me," or has departed from me. Coverdale, "It is gone from me." The Chaldee word rendered "the thing" - מלתה mı̂llethâh - means, properly, "a word, saying, discourse" - something which is "spoken;" then, like דבר dâbâr and the Greek ῥῆμα rēma, a "thing." The reference here is to the matter under consideration, to wit, the dream and its meaning. The fair interpretation is, that he had forgotten the dream, and that if he retained "any" recollection of it, it was only such an imperfect outline as to alarm him. The word rendered "is gone" - אזדא 'azeddâ' - which occurs only here and in Daniel 2:8, is supposed to be the same as אזל 'ăzal - "to go away, to depart." Gesenius renders the whole phrase, "The word has gone out from me; i. e., what I have said is ratified, and cannot be recalled;" and Prof. Bush (in loc.) contends that this is the true interpretation, and this also is the interpretation preferred by John D. Michaelis, and Dathe. A construction somewhat similar is adopted by Aben Ezra, C. B. Michaelis, Winer, Hengstenberg, and Prof. Stuart, that it means, "My decree is firm, or steadfast;" to wit, that if they did not furnish an interpretation of the dream, they should be cut off. The question as to the true interpretation, then, is between two constructions: whether it means, as in our version, that the dream had departed from him - that is, that he had forgotten it - or, that a decree or command had gone from him, that if they could not interpret the dream they should be destroyed. That the former is the correct interpretation seems to me to be evident.

(1) It is the natural construction, and accords best with the meaning of the original words. Thus no one can doubt that the word מלה millâh, and the words דבר dâbâr and ῥῆμα rēma, are used in the sense of "thing," and that the natural and proper meaning of the Chaldee verb אזד 'ăzad is, to "go away, depart." Compare the Hebrew (אזל 'âzal) in Deuteronomy 32:36, "He seeth that their power is gone;" 1 Samuel 9:7, "The bread is spent in our vessels;" Job 14:11, "The waters fail from the sea;" and the Chaldee (אזל 'ăzal) in Ezra 4:23, "They went up in haste to Jerusalem;" Ezra 5:8, "We went into the province of Judea;" and Daniel 2:17, Daniel 2:24; Daniel 6:18 (19), 19(20).

(2) This interpretation is sustained by the Vulgate of Jerome, and by the Greek.

(3) It does not appear that any such command had at that time gone forth from the king, and it was only when they came before him that he promulgated such an order. Even though the word, as Gesenins and Zickler (Chaldaismus Dan. Proph.) maintain, is a feminine participle present, instead of a verb in the preterit, still it would then as well apply to the "dream" departing from him, as the command or edict. We may suppose the king to say, "The thing leaves me; I cannot recal it."

(4) It was so understood by the magicians, and the king did not attempt to correct their apprehension of what he meant. Thus, in Daniel 2:7, they say, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation thereof." This shows that they understood that the dream had gone from him, and that they could not be expected to interpret its meaning until they were apprised what it was.

(5) It is not necessary to suppose that the king retained the memory of the dream himself, and that he meant merely to try them; that is, that he told them a deliberate falsehood, in order to put their ability to the test. Nebuchadnezzar was a cruel and severe monarch, and such a thing would not have been entirely inconsistent with his character; but we should not needlessly charge cruelty and tyranny on any man, nor should we do it unless the evidence is so clear that we cannot avoid it. Besides, that such a test should be proposed is in the highest degree improbable. There was no need of it; and it was contrary to the established belief in such matters. These men were retained at court, among other reasons, for the very purpose of explaining the prognostics of the future. There was confidence in them; and they were retained "because" there was confidence in them. It does not appear that the Babylonian monarch had had any reason to distrust their ability as to what they professed; and why should he, therefore, on "this" occasion resolve to put them to so unusual, and obviously so unjust a trial?

For these reasons, it seems clear to me that our common version has given the correct sense of this passage, and that the meaning is, that the dream had actually so far departed from him that he could not repeat it, though he retained such an impression of its portentous nature, and of its appalling outline, as to fill his mind with alarm. As to the objection derived from this view of the passage by Bertholdt to the authenticity of this chapter, that it is wholly improbable that any man would be so unreasonable as to doom others to punishment because they could not recal his dream, since it entered not into their profession to be able to do it (Commentary i. p. 192), it may be remarked, that the character of Nebuchadnezzar was such as to make what is stated here by Daniel by no means improbable. Thus it is said respecting him 2 Kings 25:7, "And they slew the sons of Zedekiah 'before his eyes,' and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon." Compare 2 Kings 25:18-21; Jeremiah 39:5, following; Jeremiah 52:9-11. See also Daniel 4:17, where he is called "the basest of men." Compare Hengstenberg, "Die Authentie des Daniel," pp. 79-81. On this objection, see Introduction to the chapter, Section I.I.

If ye will not make known, unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof - Whatever may be thought as to the question whether he had actually forgotten the dream, there can be no doubt that he demanded that they should state what it was, and then explain it. This demand was probably as unusual as it was in one sense unreasonable, since it did not fall fairly within their profession. Yet it was not unreasonable in this sense, that if they really had communication with the gods, and were qualified to explain future events, it might be supposed that they would be enabled to recal this forgotten dream. If the gods gave them power to explain what was to "come," they could as easily enable them to recal "the past."

Ye shall be cut in pieces - Margin, "made." The Chaldee is, "Ye shall be made into pieces; "referring to a mode of punishment that was common to many ancient nations. Compare 1 Samuel 15:33 : "And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal." Thus Orpheus is said to have been torn in pieces by the Thracian women; and Bessus was cut in pieces by order of Alexander the Great.

And your houses shall be made a dunghill - Compare 2 Kings 10:27. This is an expression denoting that their houses, instead of being elegant or comfortable mansions, should be devoted to the vilest of uses, and subjected to all kinds of dishonor and defilement. The language here used is in accordance with what is commonly employed by Orientals. They imprecate all sorts of indignities and abominations on the objects of their dislike, and it is not uncommon for them to smear over with filth what is the object of their contempt or abhorrenee. Thus when the caliph Omar took Jerusalem, at the head of the Saracen army, after ravaging the greater part of the city, he caused dung to be spread over the site of the sanctuary, in token of the abhorrence of all Mussulmans, and of its being henceforth regarded as the refuse and offscouring of all things. - Prof. Bush. The Greek renders this, "And your houses shall be plundered;" the Vulgate, "And your houses shall be confiscated." But these renderings are entirely arbitrary. This may seem to be a harsh punishment which was threatened, and some may, perhaps, be disposed to say that it is improbable that a monarch would allow himself to use such intemperate language, and to make use of so severe a threatening, especially when the magicians had as yet shown no inability to interpret the dream, and had given no reasons to apprehend that they would be unable to do it. But we are to remember

(1) the cruel and arbitrary character of the king (see the references above);

(2) the nature of an Oriental despotism, in which a monarch is acccustomed to require all his commands to be obeyed, and his wishes gratified promptly, on pain of death;

(3) the fact that his mind was greatly excited by the dream; and

continued...

Daniel 2:5 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
2 Kings 10:27
They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.

Ezra 6:11
"And I issued a decree that any man who violates this edict, a timber shall be drawn from his house and he shall be impaled on it and his house shall be made a refuse heap on account of this.

Daniel 2:12
Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel 3:29
"Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way."

Daniel 4:9
O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.

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