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Commentary On Daniel Volume 2 by Jean Calvin


1 Now, in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams: and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep became interrupted.

2 Then the king commanded them to call together the astrologers and soothsayers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans, to declare to the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

3 And the king said to them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled for understanding the dream,

4 And the Chaldeans said to the king in Syriac: O king, live for ever! Tell thy servants the dream, and we will declare the interpretation.

5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, -- The matter is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me both the dream and its interpretation, ye shall be cut in pieces and your bones shall become a dunghill:

6 But if ye will show the dream and its interpretation, ye shall receive from me large rewards, and gifts, and much honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.

7 They answered a second time and said: Let the king narrate the dream to his servants, and we will declare its interpretation.

8 The king answered and said: In truth I perceive that ye would gain time, because ye know that the dream has fallen out of your mind,

9 Besides, if ye will not declare to me the dream, there is but one sentence for you: as ye have prepared a lying and corrupt discourse to relate before me, until the time be changed, wherefore narrate the dream to me, and I shall know your ability to declare its interpretation.

10 The Chaldeans replied before the king, saying: There is not a man upon earth who can explain the king's matter; besides, no king, or prince, or prefect ever made such a request to any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean:

11 And the subject of the king's inquiry is precious, and none can explain it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

12 On this account the king was filled with anger and fury, and ordered the destruction of all the wise men of Babylon.

13 Then the edict went forth, and the wise men were slain, and they sought Daniel and his companions for the purpose of slaying them.

14 Then Daniel inquired concerning the counsel, and the edict of Arioch the captain of the royal guards, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon.

15 He announced and said to Arioch, the king's captain: Wherefore is the decree so urgent from the king's presence? Then Arioch explained the matter to Daniel.

16 Then Daniel entered and asked the king to give him time, and he would bring the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went home, and opened the subject to Hananiah, and Misael, and Azariah, his companions:

18 That they might implore mercy from the God of heaven concerning this secret, and that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision by night: then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever! Wisdom and might are his:

21 It is he who changeth times and seasons: He appoints and removes kings: He gives wisdom to the wise, And knowledge to those who are skilled in science.

22 He reveals hidden and secret things, He knows what lies hid in darkness, And light dwells with him.

23 O God of my fathers, I confess to thee and praise thee: For thou hast given me wisdom and strength: Thou hast now revealed to me what we desired of thee: Thou hast made known to us the king's request.

24 Therefore Daniel went unto Arioch, whom the king had ordered to slay the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus unto him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: Introduce me to the king, and I will show him the interpretation.

25 Then Arioch hastily introduced Daniel to the king, and said thus to him: I have found a man among the sons of the captivity of Judah, who will make known the interpretation to the king.

26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to tell me the dream which I saw, as well as its interpretation?

27 Daniel answered the king by saying: The wise men and the magi, the astrologers and sorcerers, cannot declare to the king what he demands;

28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets: He has declared to King Nebuchadnezzar the events of the latter days: This is thy dream, this is the vision of thy head upon thy couch.

29 Thy thoughts, O king, came up to thee upon thy bed, as to what shall be hereafter: He who reveals secrets has explained the future to thee.

30 And as to me, this secret was not revealed to me through my superiority in wisdom over other living men, but that I should explain the interpretation to the king, and that thou shouldst know the thoughts of thy heart.

31 Thou, O king, wast looking, and beheld a great image! This great image and its excellent splendor stood before thee, And its form was terrible.

32 The head of this image was of pure gold: Its breast and its arms were of silver: Its belly and thighs of brass.

33 Its legs of iron: Its feet partly of iron and partly of clay:

34 Thou wast looking until a stone was cut out without human hand, It struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them.

35 Then the iron and the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, were broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer thrashing-floor; and the wind carried them away, and no place was found for them: and the stone which struck the image became a great mountains and filled the whole earth.

36 This is the dream; and we will declare its interpretation before the king.

37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: For the God of heaven has given to thee a kingdom of power, and strength, and glory.

38 And wherever the dwelling -- place of the children of men, of the beasts of the field, and of the fowls of heaven exists, He hath given it into thine handy and hath made thee ruler over all, Thou art this head of gold.

39 And after this shall arise another kingdom inferior to them, And another of brass -- a third kingdom shall succeed, And it shall bear sway over all the earth.

40 Then a fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: For as iron breaks all things in pieces and reduces them to atoms, And as iron bruises all these things, So shall this empire bruise and brake to pieces.

41 And whereas thou didst behold the feet and the toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron: The kingdom shall be divided: the strength of iron shall be in it: Because thou sawest iron mingled with the moistened clay.

42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay; So that kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile:

43 And whereas thou didst behold iron mixed with testaceous clay, So they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: But they shall not adhere to one another, as iron will not mingle with clay.

44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: And this kingdom shall not be left to any other people, But it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, And it shall stand for ever.

45 Besides this thou didst behold the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which broke the iron, brass, clay, silver, and gold. The great God has made known the coming events of futurity: The dream is true, and the interpretation of it is correct.

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshipped Daniel; and commanded men to offer to him a sacrifice and a sweet-smelling fragrance.

47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Truly your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since thou hast been able to reveal this secret.

48 Then the king exalted Daniel, and gave him many valuable presents, and appointed him ruler of the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the elders over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 Then Daniel made a request of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the administration of the province of Babylon: but Daniel was at the king's gate.

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