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The writer of this chapter is Nebuchadnezzar himself.
The story of him is given in his own words.
Here is the preface, ver. 1 - 3.
His dream, which puzzled the magicians, ver. 4 - 18.
The interpretation of it by Daniel, ver. 19 - 27.
The accomplishment of it, ver. 28 - 33.
Nebuchadnezzar's recovery and adoration of God, ver. 34 - 37.
1: Nebuchadnezzar the king - Daniel here sets down another strange
relation in the words of the king's own proclamation, sent to all his
vast kingdoms, and questionless put into the king's archives, and
court - rolls. Peace be multiplied - All health and happiness; this was
always the form of salutation among the eastern nations.
3: How great are his signs - Nothing less than a real change of heart
could cause such a confession as this! Nebuchadnezzar was now old, had
reigned above forty years, and seen as much of the world as most men ever
did. And yet never 'till now, did he admire surprizing events, as the
signs and wonders of the high God!
4: Was at rest - When my wars were over, I sat down quiet, enjoying
the spoils of my enemies.
13: A watcher - A holy angel, the instrument of God, to execute God's
judgments which the angels watch constantly to perform.
17: Of the holy ones - The decree was God's, and the demand was of
the holy angels; if God enact it, the angels had the dispensation of it
put into their hands, and they all consent to it as a just judgment of
God to be executed by them according to the will of God. The most high
ruleth - Nebuchadnezzar and his flatterers conceded he was a god in
earth unaccountable to any. But the great God will make all men know
he rules all in earth too, and sets up at his pleasure whom he will,
and plucks them down again.
19: Troubled him - Because he fore - saw such troubles coming upon the
king for whom he had a high reverence.
Let not the dream trouble thee - Speak out, let the event be what it will.
Belteshazzar said - What address and how excellent a spirit is shewn in
this short preface.
22: Reacheth unto heaven - Thou art high and mighty in the in majesty
which God hath given thee. To the end of the earth - To the Caspian sea
north, to the Euxine and Aegean sea west, to the Mediterranean
25: They shall drive thee - This was such a thundering peal, that it
was wonderful the king could endure to hear it without fury boiling in
his heart, yet the Lord with - held him. Seven times - Seven years.
'Till thou know - How hard is it for lofty princes to learn this lesson.
26: The heavens do rule - That God, who sits in heaven rules over all.
27: If it may be - Daniel was not certain of pardon for him, nor
did he altogether despair of it. With what wisdom and tenderness does
he speak: and yet with what plainness?
28: King Nebuchadnezzar - With how admirable propriety is the person
changed here! These six verses speaking in the third person. But in
the thirty fourth, Nebuchadnezzar having recovered his reason, speaks in
the first person again.
33: Was driven from men - Being bereft of his understanding, as a man
distracted he fled, and betook himself to the woods.
34: Mine understanding returned - God shined upon his soul, and gave
him understanding to consider his sad state, and the causes of it.
And honoured him - By prayer and praise, adoring the justice and mercy of
God, giving God the glory of his sovereignty and unchangeableness.
35: As nothing - A due consideration of God's infinite greatness,
makes the creature appear as nothing; creatures are nothing to help,
nothing to hurt, nothing in duration, nothing solid and substantial,
nothing without dependence, and influence, and support from God.
His will - Being the Lord of hosts, and the only absolute and universal
monarch of the world.
36: Brightness - I had again the majesty of a king in my countenance.
I was established - In wonted power and place, owned and obeyed, by all.
Majesty was added - He was the most august and magnificient prince on
earth, much more so than before.
37: Now I praise - Thus can the Lord make the stoutest hearts to
stoop, and do him homage. This doxology proceeds from his heart.
Are truth - God is truth essentially: he is the rule and standard of
truth, his words are truth, his ways are truth, and they are judgment:
he is wise, and hath dealt justly with me for my pride, and in very
faithfulness hath afflicted me, and in very tenderness hath restored
me; I do, and ever shall adore him for it. Able to abase - As he hath
declared upon me, in stupendous changes, which I proclaim to all the
world. He had a just controversy with me, and I have no ground to
quarrel with him, but to give him glory by this confession.
What authority had any one to say, That this man "was no convert?"
We can no more doubt of his salvation than of Solomon's.