2:1 And in the a second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed b dreams, wherewith his spirit was
c troubled, and d his sleep brake from him.
(a) The father and the son were both called by this name, so
that this is meant of the son, when he reigned alone:
for he also reigned in a way with his father.
(b) Not that he had many dreams, but because many matters
were contained in this dream.
(c) Because it was so rare and strange a dream, that he had
had nothing similar.
(d) Or, "his sleep was upon him", that is, that he was so
heavy with sleep, that he began to sleep again.
2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the
astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the e Chaldeans, for
to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before
(e) For all these astrologers and sorcerers called
themselves by this name of honour, as though all the
wisdom and knowledge of the country depended upon them,
and that all other countries were void of such wisdom
2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in f Syriack, O king,
live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew
(f) That is, in the Syrian language, which differed not much
from the Chaldeans, except it seemed to be more
eloquent, and therefore the learned used to speak it, as
the Jewish writers do to this day.
2:5 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 g shall be cut in
pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
(g) This is a just reward of their arrogance (who boasted of
themselves that they had knowledge of all things), that
they should be proved fools, and that to their perpetual
shame and confusion.
2:7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell h his
servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of
(h) In this appears their ignorance, that despite their
braggings, yet they were not able to tell the dream,
unless he told them of it. And if he did tell them,
they would pretend knowledge where there was but mere
ignorance, and so as deluders of the people they were
worthy to die.
2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise [men] should be
slain; and they i sought Daniel and his fellows to be
(i) Which declares that God would not have his servant
united in the company of these sorcerers and
astrologers, whose arts were wicked, and therefore
justly ought to die, even though the king did it upon a
rage and not from zeal.
2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what
[is] in the darkness, and the k light dwelleth with him.
(k) He shows that man has neither wisdom nor knowledge, but
very dark blindness and ignorance of himself: for it
comes only from God that man understands anything.
2:23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my l
fathers, who hast given me wisdom and m might, and hast
made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou
hast [now] made known unto us the king's matter.
(l) To whom you made your promise, and who lived in fear of
you: by which he excludes all other gods.
(m) Meaning power to interpret it.
2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had
ordained to destroy the wise [men] of Babylon: he went and
said thus unto him; Destroy not n the wise [men] of
Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto
the king the interpretation.
(n) By which appears that many were slain, as in verse
thirteen, and the rest at Daniel's offer were preserved
on condition. Not that Daniel favoured their wicked
profession, but that he had respect to fairness,
because the King proceeded according to his wicked
affection, and not considering if their profession was
morally correct or not.
2:28 But there is a God in o heaven that revealeth secrets,
and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be
in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head
upon thy bed, are these;
(o) He affirms that man by reason and craft is not able to
attain to the cause of God's secrets, but the
understanding only of them must come from God: by which
he smites the king with a certain fear and reverence of
God, that he might be the more able to receive the high
mysteries that would be revealed.
2:30 But as p for me, this secret is not revealed to me for
[any] wisdom that I have more than any living, but for
[their] sakes that shall make known the interpretation to
the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy
(p) Because he had said that God alone must reveal the
signification of this dream, the King might have asked
why Daniel undertook to interpret it: and therefore he
shows that he was but God's minister, and had no gifts
but those which God had given him to set forth his
2:32 This image's head [was] of fine q gold, his breast and
his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
(q) By gold, silver, brass, and iron are meant the
Chaldean, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman kingdoms,
which would successively rule all the world until
Christ (who is here called the stone) himself comes,
and destroys the last. And this was to assure the Jews
that their affliction would not end with the empire of
the Chaldeans, but that they should patiently await the
coming of the Messiah, who would be at the end of this
2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of
the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into
thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou
[art] r this head of gold.
(r) Daniel leaves out the kingdom of the Assyrians, which
was before the Babylonian, both because it was not a
monarchy and general empire, and also because he would
declare the things that were to come, until the coming
of Christ, for the comfort of the elect among these
wonderful alterations. And he calls the Babylonian
kingdom the golden head, because in respect of the
other three, it was the best, and yet it was of itself
wicked and cruel.
2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom s inferior to
thee, and another t third kingdom of brass, which shall
bear rule over all the earth.
(s) Meaning, the Persians who were not inferior in dignity,
power, or riches, but were worse with regard to
ambition, cruelty, and every type of vice, showing that
the world would grow worse and worse, until it was
restored by Christ.
(t) That is, those of the Macedonians will be of brass, not
alluding to the hardness of it, but to the vileness
with regard to silver.
2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch
as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all [things]: and
as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in u
pieces and bruise.
(u) That is, the Roman empire will subdue all these others,
which after Alexander were divided into the
Macedonians, Grecians, Syrians, and Egyptians.
2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters'
clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be x divided;
but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron,
forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
(x) They will have civil wars, and continual discords among
2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they
shall mingle themselves with y the seed of men: but they
shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed
(y) They will be marriages and affinities think to make
themselves strong: yet they will never by united in
2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set
up a kingdom, which z shall never be destroyed: and the
kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it shall
break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it
shall stand for ever.
(z) His purpose is to show that all the kingdoms of the
world are transitory, and that the kingdom of Christ
alone will remain forever.
2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the a stone was cut out of
the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the
iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the
great God hath made known to the king what shall come to
pass hereafter: and the dream [is] certain, and the
interpretation thereof sure.
(a) Meaning Christ, who was sent by God, and not set up by
man, whose kingdom at the beginning would be small and
without beauty to man's judgment, but would at length
grow and fill the whole earth, which he calls a great
mountain, as in (Dan 2:35). And this kingdom,
which is not only referred to the person of Christ,
but also to the whole body of his Church, and to every
member of it, will be eternal: for the Spirit that is
in them is eternal life; (Ro 8:10).
2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and b
worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an
oblation and sweet odours unto him.
(b) Though this humbling of the king seemed to deserve
commendation, yet because he united God's honour with
the Prophets, it is to be reproved, and Daniel would
have erred, if he allowed it: but it is to his credit
that Daniel admonished him of his fault, and did not
2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth [it
is], that your c God [is] a God of gods, and a Lord of
kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest
reveal this secret.
(c) This confession was but a sudden motion, as it was also
in Pharaoh, (Ex 9:28), but his heart was not
touched, as appeared soon afterwards.
2:48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many
great d gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province
of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise
[men] of Babylon.
(d) Not that the Prophet was desirous of gifts or honour,
but because by this means he might relieve his poor
brethren, who were grievously oppressed in this their
captivity, and he also received them, lest he should
offend this cruel king, who willingly gave them.
2:49 Then Daniel e requested of the king, and he set Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of
Babylon: but Daniel [sat] in the f gate of the king.
(e) He did not do this for their personal profit, but that
the whole Church, which was then there in affliction,
might have some release and ease by this benefit.
(f) Meaning that either he was a judge, or that he had the
whole authority, so than no one could be admitted to
the king's presence but by him.