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DANIEL.

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In our Notes upon this book, we have paid particular attention to the “ New Version' and Notes of the Rev. Thos. Wintle, B. D. (4to. 1807,) which Mr. Hartwell Horue has justly characterized as “a very valuable translation, executed on the same plan as Bp. Lowth's Versiou of Isaiah, and Dr. Blayney's of Jeremiah." We have also availed ourselves of the important labours of Sir Isaac and Bp. Newton, and other authors, a bo will he found repeatedly referred to. On the celebrated prophecy of “the Seventy Weeks,” we have also consulted the learned “ Dissertatiou " of Dr. John Stunard, very lately published. (8vo. 1825.)

We should not omit to add, that the beginning and latter parts of this book in the original are Hebrew; but the middle part, from chap. ii. 4. to the end of chap. vii, is in Chaldaic, the language of the counıry in which the prophet lived. Commentatori generally divide the whole book into two parts; the former, comprising the first si chapters, containing the history of Daniel, and the three worthies cast into the fiery furnace; also of the kings Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius. The second part, including the last six chapters, contains a series of important prophetic visions, which we shall endeavour, with the assistance above mentioned, to explain. Sir Is. Verta considered these prophecies of such importance, that he says, to reject them, " is 10 ject the Christian Religion. For this religion is founded on his (Daniel's) prophecy concerning the Messiab.*

Though we cannot pretend to settle the difficult chronology of this book, we way remark, that it embraces the whole seventy years of the Babylonish captivity, and, isdeed, commenced considerably before ; for Daniel, being carried away with the first Jewish captives, is thought to have interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's first dream of the mysterious image of gold, &c., several years prior to that calamity. The other historical events here contained, are supposed to succeed in the following order :-His idolatrous image set up, and the three Hebrew children cast into the fiery furnace, far refusing to worship it, B. C. 530. His derangement, which lasted seven years, began about 569 B.C. Belshazzar's alarm at the hand writing on the wall; bis death, and the conquest of Babylon, 538. Daniel cast into the lions' den, and wonderful delira ance, 537 ; after which he was promoted by Darius to the highest honours of bis reale, and lived to the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia, (chap. x. i.) when he is calculated to have been 94 years of age; the true reason probably that he returned not to Judea.

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The children]
CHAP. I.

of the captivity.

that he would not defile himself with CHAP. I.

the portion of the king's meat, nor IN the third year of the reign of Je- with the wine which he drank : there

hoiakim king of Judah came Ne- fore he requested of the prince of the buchadnezzar king of Babylon unto eunuchs that he might not defile himJerusalem, and besieged it.

self. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim 9 Now God had brought Daniel king of Judah into his hand, with part into favour and tender love with the of the vessels of the house of God: prince of the eunuchs. which he carried into the land of Shi- 10 And the prince of the eunuchs har to the house of his god; and he said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the brought the vessels into the treasure king, who hath appointed your meat house of his god.

and your drink : for why should he 3 And the king spake unto Ashpe- see your faces worse liking than the haz the master of his eunuchs, that he children which are of your sort? then should bring certain of the children shall ye make me endanger my head to of Israel, and of the king's seed, and the king. of the princes ;

11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, 4 Children in whom was no blemish, whom the prince of the eunuchs had but well favoured, and skilful in all set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and Azariah. and understanding science, and such 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech as hud ability in them to stand in the thee, ten days; and let them give us king's palace, and whom they might pulse to eat, and water to drink. teach the learning and the tongue of 13 Then let our countenances be the Chaldeans.

looked upon before thee, and the coun5 And the king appointed them a tenance of the children that eat of aily provision of the king's meat, and the portion of the king's meat: and as f the wine which he drank: so nou- thou seest, deal with thy servants, ishing them three years, that at the 14 So he consented to them in this d thereof they might stand before matter, and proved them teu days. e king.

15 And at the end of ten days their 6 Now among these were of the countenances appeared fairer and fatildren of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, ter in flesh than all the children which Eshael, and Azariah :

did eat the portion of the king's meat. - Unto whom the prince of the

16 Thus Melzar took away the poruchs gave names: for he gave unto tion of their meat, and the wine that viel the name of Belteshazzar; and they should drink; and gave them Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to pulse. ael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, 17 As for these four children, God bed-pego.

gave them knowledge and skill in all But Daniel purposed in his heart learning and wisdom: and Daniel

1

1

NOTES, 1. Ver. 2. Which he carried-refers not to Ver. 10. Worseliking-Bcothroyd, “ Look worse;" m, see Note on Jer. xxii, 12. but to the ves. Heb. “ Sadder."-of your sort-Wintle, “ Your The land of Shinar – that is, Balıylonia, equals ;"! properly, of the same nge and circum*as the tower of Babel. - The house of stances, born under the same planet. Bel, or Belus.

Ver. 11. Melzai ---Marg. “ Steward;" his assist. Master-called, ver. 7, Prince of the Eu. ant, or deputy. Kintle. chamberlaints. See Mote on Gen. xxxvii.36. Ver. 12. F'ulse-that is, vegetable food, and parti. Gure names.- As their Hebrew names had cularly leguminous plants, as peas; or perhaps parched e to the God of Israel, so, possibly, these corn, the chief food of the poor.

kart referer:ce to their Pagan idols, as Ver. 17. Daniel had understanding-Marg. " He See chap. iv. m.) It was also customary to (God) made Daniel understand.” See chap. ii. 30. ames to persons appointed to oftices. See To him the knowledge of dreams and visious seenus -Not defile himself.-See Deut. xxxii. 37, to have been contined. iv. 13.

zar.

The wisdom of Daniel]

DANIEL.

{and his companions. had understanding in all visions and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep dreams.

brake from him. 18 Now at the end of the days that 2 Then the king commanded to the king had said he should bring them call the magicians, and the astrologers, in, then the prince of the eunuchs and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeuts, brought them in before Nebuchadnez- for to shew the king his dreams. So

they came and stood before the king. 19 And the king communed with 3 And the king said unto them, ! them; and among them all was found have dreamed a dream, and my spuit none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, was troubled to know the dream. and Azariah : therefore stood they 4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the before the king.

king in Syriack, O king, live for eret: 20 And in all matters of wisdom tell thy servants the dream, and we and understanding, that the king in- will shew the interpretation. quired of them, he found them ten 5 The king answered and said to times better than all the magicians and the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from astrologers that were in all his realm. me : if ye will not make known untu

21 And Daniel continued even unto me the dream, with the interpretation the first year of king Cyrus. (A) thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and

your houses shall be made a dungCHAP. II.

hill. A ND in the second year of the reign 6 But if ye shew the dream, and

of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchad- the interpretation thereof, ye shall renezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith ceive of me gifts and rewards and

EXPOSITION.

in which Daniel and his Hebrew companCHAP. I.

ions were brought up at the king's count, (A) The captivity of Jehoiukim, and the and of their great proficiency in Chaidee promotion of Daniel and his companions.- learning; in addition to which, he wa This chapter begins with referring to Ne- crowned with wisdom froin above. His buchadnezzar's conquest of Judea. When early piety made hin and his companions Jehoiakim became tribulary to him, choose rather to live on the most commea Judah's captivity began. On ibis expedi- food, than on the delicacies of the rora tion the king of Bibylon set out toward table, by which they might be polluted, as the end of the third year of Jehoiakim; many of their meats miglit be forbidden, but did not take Jerusalem before the 9th or not prepared according to the laws month of the year following. Hence the Moses. It was also the custom of 1933 seeming difference between Daniel and heathen nations, before eating, to make a Jeremiah, (ch. xxv. I.) the one computing offering of some part of their food to the from the time of his setting out on the ex gols, as a kind of sacrifice. Hence Daniel pedition, and the other from the time in and his friends might well look on such which the purpose of it was accomplished. provisions as incat offered to idols, and - We have next an accouut of the manner iherefore piously refrained from it.

NOTES. Ver. 20. Wisdom and understanding – Margin, or the fourth from his first reizning jointly with his " Wisdom of understanding."-Tin limes better, father." Dissert. xiii. &c. -Heb. " Tenhamils above;”that is, ten (or many) Ver. 4. In Syriach.-" The Syrian ar Ararat degrees superior to all the magicians and astrologers language is the same with the ancient Chaldre, : ....in all his rralın.--It is difficult, perhaps impos- which ihis book is written, from this vere the sible, to ascertain exactly the difference between end of chap. vii. these classes; but it is probable the one professed Ver. 5. Ye shall be eu! in pieces-Soch was the astronomy, astrology, and the hieroglyphic art, while cruelty and madness of these tyrants of Antigas the others were a sort of practical pbi 'osophers, al. that Herodotis relates that when Astyages the Welt chymists, and sleight-of-band men.

See Note on was defeated by Cyrus, he first of all imple the Exod. vii. 11.

interpreters of dreams, who formerly persuaded bis

to let Cyrus go free." (Clio, 120.) - Yest deuses CHAP. II. Ver. 1. In the second year, &c.--that made a lunghill.

After Ilannibal bad bed a is, saya Bp. Newton, the :econd according to the Antiochus, the Carthaginians, in the fine oir92 Babylonian account, or the fourth, according to the style, confiscated bis goods, and demolished his fazer Jewish; i.e. in the second year of his reigning alone, from the foundation."' Corn. Nepos.

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The king's dream]

CHAP. II.

[revealed to Daniel. a great honour : therefore shew me the so hasty from the king ? Then Arioch dream, and the interpretation thereof. made the thing known to Daniel.

7 They answered again and said, 16 Then Daniel went in, and deLet the king tell his servants the dream, sired of the king that he would give and we will shew the interpretation of him time, and that he would shew the it.

king the interpretation. 8 The king answered and said, 17 Then Daniel went to his house, know of certainty that ye would gain and made the thing known to Hanathe time, because ye see the thing is niah, Mishael, and Azariah, his comgone from me.

panions : 9 But if ye will not make known 18 That they would desire mercies unto me the dream, there is but one of the God of heaveu concerning this decree for you : for ye have prepared secret ; that Daniel and his fellows lying and corrupt words to speak before should not perish with the rest of the me, till the time be changed: there- wise men of Babylon. fore tell me the dream, and I shall 19 Then was the secret revealed know that ye can shew me the inter- unto Daniel in a night vision. Then pretation thereof.

Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 10 The Chaldeans answered before 20 Daniel answered and said, Blessthe king, and said, There is not a mac ed be the name of God for ever and upon the earth that can shew the king's ever: for wisdom and might are his : matter : therefore there is no king, 21 And he changeth the times and lord, nor ruler, that asked such things the seasons: he removeth kings, and at any magician, or astrologer, or setteth up kings : he giveth wisdom Chaldean.

unto the wise, and knowledge to them 11 And it is a rare thing that the that know understanding: king requireth, and there is none other 22 He revealeth the deep and sehat can shew it before the king, except cret things: he knoweth what is in the the gods, whose dwelling is not with darkness, and the light dwelleth with

him. 12 For this cause the king was an- 23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O ty and very furious, and command- thou God of my fathers, who hast given d to destroy all the wise men of me wisdom and might, and hast made Sabylon.

known unto me now what we desired 13 And the decree went forth that of thee: for thou hast now made known e wise men should be slain; and they unto us the king's matter. ught Daniel and his fellows to be 24 Therefore Daniel went in unto ain.

Arioch, whom the king had ordained 14 Then Daniel answered with to destroy the wise men of Babylon: unsel and wisdom to Arioch the cap. he went and said thus unto him ; Dein of the king's guard, which was stroy not the wise men of Babylon ; ne forth to slay the wise men of bring me in before the king, and I bylon :

will shew unto the king the interpre15 He answered and said to Arioch tation. - king's captain, Why is the decree 25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel

Hesh.

NOTES. 1. R. I know that ye would gein (Chal. “buy”) youths, and shocked with the absurdity of the king's ime; but omit "the."

commanil. He, therefore, delayed the execution till -r. 9. Till the time be changed-that is, till the Daniel had pacitied the king. See also ver. 24 and 48. 's tem per was appeased, and his wrath pacitied. Ver. 16. Went in – being introduced by Arioch, r. 14. The capiaiu of the king's quard- Chad. ver. 25. e chief executioner." See Nole in Gen. xxxvii. Ver. 18. Of The God of heaven – Chald. “ From From this verse it has been supposed that the before," or from the presence of, &c. acre was begun; but this officer seems to have Ver. 20. Blessed be the name.- Dr. Boothroyd ren

Jittle zeal in the cause, being, probably, ders tbis and the three following verses as Hebrew lelzar, (chap. i. 14.) friendly tu the Hebrew

poesy.

This great

Daniel relates)

DANIEL.

(the king's dream, before the king in haste, and said thus I have more than any living, but for unto him, I have found a man of the their sakes that shall make known the captives of Judah, that will make interpretation to the king, and that known unto the king the interpreta- thou mightest know the thoughts of thy tion.

heart. (B) 26 The king answered and said to 31 [ Thou, Oking, sawest, and Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, behold a great image. Art thou able to make known unto me image, whose brightness was excellent

, the dream which I have seen, and the stood before thee; and the form thereof interpretation thereof?

was terrible. 27 Daniel answered in the presence 32 This image's head was of fine of the king, and said, The secret which gold, his breast and his arms of silver, the king bath demanded cannot the his belly and his thighs of brass, wise men, the astrologers, the magici- 33 His legs of iron, his feet part ans, the soothsayers, shew unto the of iron and part of clay. king;

34 Thou sawest till that a stone 28 But there is a God in heaven was cut out without hands, which smote that revealeth secrets, and maketh the image upon his feet that were of known to the king Nebuchadnezzar iron and clay, and brake them to piewhat shall be in the latter days. Thy ces. dream, and the visions of thy head 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the upon thy bed, are these ;

brass, the silver, and the gold, broker 29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts to pieces together, and became like the came into thy mind upon thy bed, chaff of the summer threshing-Boors; what should come to pass hereafter: and the wind carried them away, that and he that revealeth secrets maketh no place was found for them: and the known to thee what shall come to pass. stone that emote the image became a

30 But as for me, this secret is not great mountain, and filled the whole revealed to me for any wisdom that earth.

EXPOSITION.
CHAP. II.

inspired by God to reveal the mysterious (B) Ver. 1-30. Nebuchadnezzar having secret, by which the lives are saved, bu dreamed a dreum which he had forgotten, only of his Hebrew brethren, but probably demands of his wise men both the dream and of these unhappy men also ; and Daniel its interpretation.By this dream the king's is himself promoted to the highest bonoun mind was greatly ayitated and distressed, a subject could attain. The thing was though he could recollect nothing of the indeed utterly beyond the reach of human particulars . in the tyrannical style of an wisdom; but was revealed to him in a proeastero despot, he therefore demands of phetic vision; and hence the holy Prophet his magicians and astrologers both to relate is particularly careful not to attribute ike his dream, and give their interpretation, discovery to his own sagacity or merii. on pain of death and utter destruction to "There is a God in heaveu that revealeth themselves and families. They remon- secrets :--But as to ine, this secret is nog strate in vain, on the unreasonableness of revealed tu me for any wisdom that I have, the demand (for tyrants are not accus- more than any living; but for the intest tomed to attend to reason) when Daniel by that the icterpretatiou may be made kuona divine Providence is brought forward, and to the king.'

NOTES-Chap. II. Con. Ver. 26. Of the captives of Juduh-Cbald.“ Of the Ver. 34. Cut oul-Wintle, “ Tora ott;"'Gespaids, children of the captivity of Judah."

Detached, separated," probably as by an esit: Ver. 28. Makeih known - Chald. “Hath made quake. Without hands--that is, without bulu known;" i. e. in vision.

aid: so St. Paul uses the expression, Col. i. ll. Ver. 30. But for their sakes that shall make knonn And brake them to pieces. This stone, detached - Chald. “ But for the intent that the interpretation an invisible power, appeared to fall on the feet of the may be made known to the king."

image. Ver. 31. Thou sanest- Chald. “ Wast seeing,” or Ver. 35. Like the chaff.-See Ps. i: 4; XXIV. & looking. --- Terrible-perhaps gigantic, or colossal. Ver. 42. Partly broken - Margin, * Brittle. So See chap. ii. 1.

Winte,

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