18. This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
18. Hoc somnium vidi ego Rex Nebuchadnezer: et tu Beltsazar, interpretationem enarra, quoniam cuncti sapientes regni mei non potuerunt interpretationem patefacere mihi: tu vero potes: quia spiritus deorum sanctorum in te.
Here Nebuchadnezzar repeats what he had formerly said about seeking an interpretation for his dream. He understood the figure which was shewn to him, but he could not understand God's intentions nor even determine its relation to himself. On this point he implores Daniel's confidence; he affirms his vision in a dream to induce Daniel to pay great attention to its interpretation. Then he adds, with the same purpose, All the wise men of his kingdom could not explain the dreary; where he confesses all the astrologers, and diviners, and others of this kind to be utterly vain and fallacious, since they professed to know everything. For some were augurs, some conjectures, some interpreters of dreams, and others astrologers, who not only discoursed on the course, distances, and orders of the stars, and the peculiarities of each, but wished to predict futurity from the course of the stars. Since, therefore, they boasted so magnificently in their superior knowledge of all events, Nebuchadnezzar confesses them to have been impostors. But he ascribes this power in reality to Daniel, because he was endued by the divine Spirit. Hence he excludes all the wise men of Babylon from so great a gift through his having proved them destitute of God's Spirit. He does not assert this in so many words, but this meaning is easily elicited from his expressions implying all the variety of the Chaldean wise men. Then in the second clause he exempts Daniel from their number, and states the reason to be his excelling in the divine Spirit. Nebuchadnezzar, therefore, here asserts what is peculiar to God, and acknowledges Daniel to be his Prophet and minister. When he calls angels holy deities, we have mentioned this already as an expression which ought not to seem surprising in a heathen, uninstructed in the true doctrine of piety, and only just initiated in its elements. But we know this common opinion respecting angels being mingled together with the one God. Hence Nebuchadnezzar speaks in the ordinary and received language when he says, the spirit of the holy gods dwells in Daniel. It now follows: