Page images

And its]


(interpretation. dissolve doubts : now if thou canst read hast not humbled thine heart, though the writing, and make known to me thou knewest all this ; the interpretation thereof, thou shalt 23 But hast lifted up thyself against be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain the Lord of heaven; and they have of gold about thy neck, and shalt be brought the vessels of his house before the third ruler in the kingdom. thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy

17 Then Daniel answered and said wives, and thy concubines, have drunk before the king, Let thy gifts be to wine in them; and thou hast praised the thyself, and give thy rewards to ano- gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, ther; yet I will read the writing unto wood, and stone, which see not, nor the king, and make known to him the hear, nor know: and the God in whose interpretation.

hand thy breath is, and whose are all 180 thou king, the most high God thy ways, hast thou not glorified : gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a 24 Then was the part of the hand kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and sent from him; and this writing was honour :

written. 19 And for the majesty that he 25 And this is the writing that gave him, all people, nations, and was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, languages, trembled and feared before UPHARSIN. bim: whom he would he slew; and 26 This is the interpretation of the whom he would he kept alive : and thing: MENE; God hath numbered whom he would he set up; and whom thy kingdom, and finished it. he would he put down.

27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in 20 But when his heart was lifted the balances, and art found wanting. up, and his mind hardened in pride, 28 PERES; Thy kingdom is dihe was deposed from his kingly throne, vided, and given to the Medes and and they took his glory from him : Persians.

21 And he was driven from the sons 29 Then commanded Belshazzar, of men; and his heart was made like and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, the beasts, and his dwelling was with and put a chain of gold about his the wild asses : they fed him with grass neck, and made a proclamation conlike oxen, and his body was wet with cerning him, that he should be the the dew of heaven; till he knew that third ruler in the kingdom. the most high God ruled in the king- 30 In that night was Belshazzar the dom of men, and that he appointeth king of the Chaldeans slain. ver it whomsoever he will.

31 And Darius the Median took 22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, the kingdom, being about threescore

and two years old. (H)


or two ; and it may have been in mercy () Belshazzar's feast : his death, and that he was taken away, to preserve hinz e end of the Babylonian empire.- Nebu- from another apostacy. An hiatus occurs adnezzar, it is generally believed, did here, in the chropology of Daniel, between et survive bis recovery more than a year the reigus of Nebuchadnezzar and Bel


NOTES. Pep. 20. Hardened in pride -- Marg. "To deal any intelligible sentence from them; at the same

See Exod. xviii. 11.-Was depused time we deny not that the characters themselves ald." Made to come down."

Inight be unknown. er. 22. Though thou knorest. - His guilt was Ver. 23. Perrs: - this is the root of Upharsin, h aggravated by this knowledge.

without the vau. But it was also, as Bp. Chandler er. 25. This is ike rriting-Mine, numbered, or remarks, the proper name of l'ersia, or the Persians, nted; Tekel, weighed; Uphursin, and parted, or which made the phrase equivocal. ded; the u answering to the vall, and only mean- Ver. 29. Thry clothed Daniel.-See Esther vi. 8. ** and.". Now it is very possible the Chaldeans Ver. 3:1. In that night, &c.-See Jer. Ji. 31, &c. ht be able to read the words, “ Numberei, Ver.31. Being aboul, &c. - Chald. “ Being now ghed, and parted,” without being able to make the son of 62 years."

Darius's foolish]

(decree. could find none occasion nor fault; CHAP. VI.

forasmuch as he was faithful, neither IT pleased Darius to set over the was there any error or fault found in

kingdom an hundred and twenty him. princes, which should be over the 5 Then said these men, We shall whole kingdom;

not find any occasion against this 2 And over these three presidents; Daniel, except we find it against him of whom Daniel was first : that the concerning the lair of his God. princes might give accounts unto 6 Then these presidents and princes them, and the king should have no assembled together to the king, and damage.

said thus unto him, King Darius, live 3 Then this Daniel was preferred for ever. above the presidents and princes, be. 7 All the presidents of the king. cause an excellent spirit was in him; dom, the governors, and the princes, and the king thought to set him over the counsellors, and the captains, have the whole realm.

consulted together to establish a royal 4 Then the presidents and princes statute, and to make a firm decree, sought to find occasion against Daniel that whosoever shall ask a petition of concerning the kingdom; but they any god or man for thirty days, save

EXPOSITION-Chap. V. Continued. shazzar, who, as appears by Jeremiah, pher and interpret them; but it is possible (ch. lii. 31, &c.) was not his immediate suc- they migh: be as much alarmed as the king cessor, Evil-merodach having intervened, hiniself, and had no time for planning ai and perhaps another.

Belshazzar was,

imposition. The queen dowager, that is, however, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar's queen), who appears not and the intervening reign was short. to have been of this joyous party, hearing

This impious monarch seems to have of their consternation, recommends an placed his chief happiness in carousing, immediate application to Daniel, wbom and thought to give a zest to this enjoy- she describes as having in him the spirit ment by drinking his wine in the golden of the holy gods;" and he appears without vessels which had been captured from the delay, though he seems to have been now sacred temple of the Jews. He, therefore, out of office. Great honours and rewards with his princes, wives, and concubines, are again proffered him ; but he had learn“ drank wine, and praised the gods of ed the vanity of all earthly honours, and gok, and silver, brass, wood, and stone;". spurned at the proposal. He was willing, but paid no reverence to “ the King of however, to undertake the task required; heaven," whom Nebuchadnezzar had, in but began with a severe reproof of the his last days, su gratefully extolled. kiag's idolatry, and inattention to his Ma.

But the Most High witnessed this pro- ker; a reprool, alas ! too applicable botà cedure; and, bebold, a band is to the writer and the reader of these lines: writing some mysterious characters upon “The God in whose band thy breath is, the wall, facing his chandelier. His coun- and wbose are all thy ways, thou hast not tenance is changed from its former joyous glorified.” To him, indeed, the warning brightness to gloom and borror. His mind was too late,-may it not be so to us! The is filled with alarm and terror; the joints enemy was at their gates, and while one of his loins are loosed, and his knees smite part of the company was stripified with together. The king flies to the usual re- liquor, and the other horrified by the mes. source of the ignorant and superstitious,- saye from heaven, Cyrus entered the imthe astrologers and soothsayers: but they preynable city; the king was slain, and failed him, as they had done his grand- the empire was transferred to the Medes father. Que may wonder that, seeing the and Persians. characters, they inade no attempt to deci


NOTES. CHAP. VI. Ver. 1. Darius-called also Cyaxares, Ver. 6. Assembled tagether-Marg. "Came tossl. whose father was Ahasuerus (cli.ix. 1.) or Astyages, tuously," perhaps in a large body, and is great king of Media, who concurred with ine king of As- bastle, to inke the king by surprise, as it appears syria in the destruction of Nineveh. Herodotus and

they did. Xenophon both mention a gold coin called a Daric, Ver. 8. Which allereth not-Chald. * Passeth me from this prinee, of which Sir Isaac Newton men. away;" i. e. abides in perpetual obligation. tions having seen one.

Ver. 10. In his chamber - LXX, * Upper-chan

eth not.

[ocr errors]

Daniel cast]


[into the lions' den, of thee, O king, he shall be cast into nor statute which the king establisheth the den of lions.

may be changed. 8 Now, o king, establish the de- 16 Then the king commanded, and cree, and sign the writing, that it be they brought Daniel, and cast him not changed, according to the law of into the den of lions. Now the king the Medes and Persians, which alter- spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God

whom thou servest continually, he will 9 Wherefore king Darius signed deliver thee. the writing and the decree.

17 And a stone was brought, and 10 Now when Daniel knew that laid upon the mouth of the den; and the writing was signed, he went into the king sealed it with his own signet, his house; and his windows being open and with the siguet of his lords; that in his chamber toward Jerusalein, be the purpose might not be changed conkneeled

upon his knees three times a cerning Daniel. day, and prayed, and gave thanks be- 18 Then the king went to his fore his God, as he did aforetime. palace, and passed the night fasting :

11 Then these men assembled, and neither were instruments of musick found Daniel praying and making sup- brought before him: and his sleep plication before his God.

went from him. 12 Then they came near, and spake 19 'Then the king arose very early in before the king concerning the king's the morning, and went in haste unto decree; Hast thou not signed a de- the den of lions. cree, that every man that shall ask 20 And when he came to the den, a petition of any god or man within he cried with a lamentable voice unto thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall Daniel: and the king spake and said be cast into the den of lions? The king to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the answered and said, The thing is true, living God, is thy God, whom thou according to the law of the Medes and servest continually, able to deliver thee Persians, which altereth not.

from the lions ? 13 Then answered they and said 21 Then said Daniel unto the king, before the king, That Daniel, which is O king, live for ever. of the children of the captivity of Ju- 22 My God hath sent his angel, dah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor and hath shut the lions' inouths, that the decree that thou hast signed, but they have not hurt me: forasmuch as maketh his petition three times a day. before him innocency was found in

14 Then the king, when he heard me; and also before thee, O king, have these words, was sore displeased with I done no hurt. himself, and set his heart on Daniel 23 Then was the king exceeding to deliver him: and he laboured till glad for him, and commanded that they the going down of the sun to deliver should take Daniel up out of the den. him.

So Daniel was taken up out of the 15 Then these men assembled unto den, and no manner of hurt was found the king, and said unto the king, upou him, because he believed in his kaow, o king, that the law of the God. Hledes and Persians is, That no decree 24 And the king commanded, and

NOTES. er,” which looked toward Jerusalem, (see 2 Kings seem, that this den was a natural carern, the descent

. 48.) and where he was not likely, probably, to to which was such as to prevent the lions from e overlooked, or overheard, had not these diabolical escaping; on this entrance, by the ofliciousness of en placed themselves as spies, to watch him, ver. Jl. those lords, a stone was placed and senlerl, in like Three limes a day.-Sce Ps. Js. 17.

manner, and to as little vise, as thut placed on the Ver. 12. Signed a decree-Wintle, “ An obligation;" mouth of our Lord's sepulchre. See Matt. xxvii. 66. senius,“ A prohibition.”

+ Ver. 18. Neither were instruments of irusici Ver. 14. Sore displeased with himself-Boothroyd, Marg." A table." Most of the versions read, “ And Exceedingly distressed in himself."

food was not brought," Ver. 17. Ä stone was brought. By this it should



[deliverano they brought those men which had ac- he worketh signs and wonders in hea. cused Daniel, and they cast them into ven and in earth, who hath delivered the den of lions, them, their children, Daniel from the power of the lions. and their wives ; and the lions had the 28 So this Daniel prospered in the mastery of them, and brake all their reign of Darius, and in the reign of bones in pieces or ever they came at Cyrus the Persian. (I) the bottom of the den.

CHAP. VII. 25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations

, and languages, In the first year of the reign of Bels that dwell in all the earth; Peace be shazzar king of Babylon Daniel multiplied unto you.

had a dream and visions of his head 26 I make a decree, That in every upon his bed: then he wrote the dominion of my kingdom men tremble dream, and told the sum of the and fear before the God of Daniel : matters. for he is the living God, and stedfast 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in for ever; and his kingdom that which my vision by night, and, behold, the shall not be destroyed, and his domi- four winds of the heaven strove upon nion shall be even unto the end. the great sea.

27 He delivereth and rescueth, and 3 And four great beasts came up

as he


compelled to enforce it, since the lair ad
mitted of no reversion. It is impossible

, (1) Daniel crist into the lions' den, but however, to justify his conduct, since what saved by an angel, and his enemies de- he knew of Daniel, and of Daniel's bod, siroyed. Darius, to whom his nephew ought to liave urged him rather to bart Cyrus gave the kingdom of Babylon wheu risked his empire, than to have violated he had taken it, having heard of Daniel's his conscience. He sold his peace, and extraordinary talents, purposed to make risked his soul, for fear of endav gering his him his prime minister, or viceroy over kingdom. Daniel, indeel, hazarded bis all the provinces of the kingdom. This life in the preservation of his fidelity to raised him, of course, many enemies, who God; but he came off more than conglie: contrived a scheme to ruiu bim. Knowing ror, and is enrolled among the heroes of his great prudence, honour, and integrity, faith, and the servants of the most hide they wisely concluded, there was no point God. in which he was vulnerable, but his re- Darius, however, is very anxious for the ligion. It seems to have been the custom result, and could not but hope that Danie's for these princes and counsellors to draw God, of whom he had bearù su inuch, in up the royal edicts, and bring them for the reference to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, king to sign, which probably be often did would preserve him from the lions, without much deliberation ; at least such had preserved the three Hebrew youths appears to have been the case in the pre- from the fiery furnace. After a sleepless sent instance. Coming to the king in a night, and tortured both by his consciente body, and their proposal being clothed in the form of a loyal address, and intended and with a 'melancholy voice calls down

and his fears, he goes early'iu the morning, to do him honour, Darius seems to have the entrance of the den, to inquire il be entertained no suspicion of a plot for the destruction of any man, much less the is still living, in a paroxysm

of joy and


were yet alive; and when he finds that he prime minister of his empire. Daniel, venge, he delivers Daniel from the den, they well knew, was of that unyielding and sends down the most active of this character in his religious principles, that enemies, to meet the fate they had de he would not decline his duties, even to signed for him ; and then issues a decree, save his life. Having, therefore, previously learned

as had been done by his predecessor Nebu. that it was customary for the venerable Prophet to pray three times a day, they agent or iustrument by whom Daniel Whis

We must not bere omit to remark, the contrived a prohibitory decree, and aflixed to that decree a penalty, which they calcu- angel into the lions' den, to close their

thus miraculously preserved. God sent his lated would certainly destroy him. The mouths and protect his propbet : but when and blasphemous edict, finds himself now there was no angel for their protection,

Daniel's vision]

[of four beasts. from the sea, diverse one from ano- 7. After this I saw in the night ther.

visions, and behold a fourth beast, 4 The first was like a lion, and had dreadful and terrible, and strong exeagle's wings: I beheld till the wings ceedingly; and it had great iron teeth : thereof were plucked, and it was lifted it devoured and break in pieces, and up from the earth, and made stand stamped the residue with the feet of it: upon the feet as a man, and a man's and it was diverse from all the beasts heart was given to it.

that were before it; and it had ten 5 And behold another beast, a horns. second, like to a bear, and it raised up 8 I considered the horns, and, beitself on one side, and it had three hold, there came up among them anoribs in the mouth of it between the ther little horn, before whom there teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, were three of the first horns plucked Arise, devour much flesh.

up by the roots : and, behold, in this 6 After this I beheld, and lo ano- horn were eyes like the eyes of man, ther, like a leopard, which had upon and a mouth speaking great things. (K) the back of it four wings of a fowl; 9T I beheld till the thrones were cast the beast had

four heads; and down, and the Ancient of days did dominion was given to it.

whose garment was white as snow, and


referring to the four great monarchies, (K) Ver. 1–8. Daniel's vision of the which were successively to arise and confour beasts.—Here begins the second part tinue, till they should all eventually give of this sublime book, which contains place to the universal kingdom of the several prophetic visions imparted to Messiah. These monarchies are repreDaniel, at various intervals, during the sented hy beasts on account of their tycourse of more than twenty years, from ranny and oppression ; they arise out of a the first of Belshazzar to the third of stormy and tempestuous ocean; that is, Cyrus.

out of the wars and revolutions of the The vision of the four beasts in this world. They are indeed monstrous prochapter evidently corresponds with Nebu. ductions (a lion with .eagles' wings, &c.); hadnezzar's dream, of the splendid image but such' eniblems were usual among of gold and other metals (chap. ii.) ; both the castern nations, as appears from the

NOTES. CHAP. VII. Ver. 1. Daniel had - Chal. " sa w " sively arise, and these are variously, reckoned by dreain. He wrote the dream, and related, &c:-- Commentators. Mesors. Horne and Townsend give bis may refute the idle report of soine Talmudists, five different lists from Machiavel, Mede, Hales, Sir aat Daniel did not write his own prophecies.

Isaac Newton, and Bp. Newton, who differ both in Ver. 2. Strore upon the great sea. -- This refers to the names of these minor kingdoms (or horns) and storm in the Mediterranean, called Euroclydon, in the order of placing them. We shall give two of ,10 modern terms, a Lecanter. See Acts xxvii. 14. them, the most modern and popular. Bp. Nentor 7d compare Psalın ii. l.

numbers them thus: 1. The senate of Rome; 2. RaVer. 4. And it was-Marg. “ Wherewith it was venna ; 3. The Lombards; 4. The Huns; 6. The ted, &c. So Wintle, Boothroyd, &c.—And mude Alemanni; 6. The Franks; 7. The Burgundians; ind-Wintle, “ And became erect." See Expo». 8. The Goths ; 9. The Britons; 10. The Saxons.-Ver. 5. It raised up itself on one side-Wintle, Dr. Hales (who follows Bp. Lloyd) reckons thus : -Vhich was raised. - And it had three ribs- 1. The Huns; 2. The Ostrogoths ; 3. The Visigoths, Entle and Roothroyd, " tushs;''others, "rows of these arose in the fourth century; 4. The Franks;

tb;" either of which will agree with the cominand 5. The Vandals; 6. The Sueves and Alans; 7. 'The Herous much fesh; Father Calmet says,

" The

Burgundianis; 8. The Herules, Rugians, and Thu. sians bave exercised the most severe aud cruel ringians; 9. The Saxons; 10. The Longobardi: ernment that we know of."

these all arose in the fifth century. er.6. A leopard-is proverbial for swiftness : see Yer. 8. Another little horn - this may be conE. i. 8. The four wings may differently express sidered as a new and singular power, which plueked

saple thing, and corresponding with the four up three of the ten kingdoms by the root. Bp. Newly, show the similar character of Alexander's suc- ton applies this to the three first in his list. ors. For fowl we should read “bird;" the Ver. 9. The thrones were cast down - - Wintle, cstic fowl cannot be here intended.

“ Were placed.” So Boothroyd. But both come to er. 7. Great iron teeth-Ver. 19 it is added, and the same meaning. The Asiatics have neither chairs mails of brass — he was calculated in every way nor stools, but to receive persons of rank, “ cast estroy, whether by tearing, trampling, or devour- down” or “ place" cushions round the room, for

The len horns here answer to the ten toes" seats, which seem to be here alluded to. See Matt. ebuchadnezzar's image. The ten horns of this xix. 28; Rev. xx. .—The ancient of days.-Comtb beast are also explained by Daniel (ver. 24.) pare Rev. i. 11, 14; xx. 11.

"ten kings,” or kingdoms, which shall succes.

« PreviousContinue »