corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Daniel 2



Verse 1

And. Thus linking on this chapter of momentous prophecy with Dan 1, which is pure history.

the second year: 495 B.C. (Daniel"s eighteenth year). Therefore Jehoiakim"s fifth year, the year of the burning of the roll which marked the official rejection of Jehovah. Hence Nebuchadnezzar"s dream. Daniel was in Babylon, and writes from that standpoint. The supposed difficulty is a proof of genuineness; for the writer would have been a fool as well as a forger to have left it unexplained.

Nebuchadnezzar. See note on Daniel 1:1.

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

brake from = had been upon: i.e. had now gone from.

Verse 2

to call, &c. = to send for. This tells us of the religious system of Babylonia, of which subsequent Jewish commentators and Greek translators would know little or nothing. There were six classes of the Chaldean priesthood.

magicians. Hebrew. chartummim. Connected with the kharutu (the sceptre) or rod of office of those who repelled demons and evil spirits by incantations, &c.

astrologers. Hebrew. "ashshaphim = in Babylonian, asipi, prophets who assumed to announce the will of heaven and predict the future. These were a class apart from the others. The inscriptions speak of bab - 4ssaput = the gate of the oracle; also of bit Assaput = the house of the oracle.

sorcerers. Hebrew. mekashsh phim = wizard (Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:18, feminine; Deuteronomy 18:10, feminine; Malachi 3:5, feminine)

Chaldeans. Hebrew. Kasdim. See note on Daniel 1:4.

Verse 3

I have dreamed. Contrast this with Daniel"s vision, in the Structure on p. 1178; and note the other recorded dreams (Genesis 20:3).

was = is.

Verse 4

in Syriack. Hebrew. "aramith = Aramaic. The insertion of this word here is to call our attention to the fact that what follows is written not in Hebrew, but in Aramaic, as far as the end of Dan 7. See note on the Structure, p. 1178; and note the other Aramaic portions (Ezra 4:8, Ezra 6:18 with Ezra 7:12-26; also Jeremiah 10:11. The Syriac and Chaldee are properly Western and Eastern Aramaic.

O king. This is the first Aramaic word so written. Compare Daniel 3:9; Daniel 5:10; Daniel 6:6, Daniel 6:21. Nehemiah 2:3.

Verse 5

thing. The dream.

gone from me. Referring to the forgotten dream.

cut . . . made a dunghill. Compare Daniel 3:29. Ezra 6:11. A further mode of punishment, from the Medo-Persians, in Daniel 6:7.

Verse 6

rewards. Chaldee. nebizbah = a present.

Verse 8

gain the time = gain time. It may have reference to that day being an unlucky day. Compare Esther 3:7.

Verse 10

earth. Chaldee. beshta" = dry ground.

Verse 11

not. Is emphatic. They held that there were gods who dwelt in men. But these were beyond mortal men altogether

Verse 12

wise men: i.e. the members of all the classes collectively, mentioned in Daniel 2:2 above. Chaldee. chakam, denoting acquired wisdom.

Verse 13

fellows = companions.

Verse 14

counsel and wisdom = prudence and discretion.

Arioch. An ancient Babylonian name, preserved and handed down from Genesis 14:1 = Iri-Aku.

guard = executioners. Compare Genesis 37:36; Genesis 39:1; Genesis 40:3. 2 Kings 25:8. Jeremiah 39:9.

Verse 16

give him time = appoint him a time.

Verse 17

Hananiah, &c. See note on Daniel 1:6.

Verse 18

mercies = great mercy. Figure of speech Heterosis (of Number), App-6.

of = from before.

the God of heaven. See note on 2 Chronicles 36:23.

secret. Chaldee. raz, which the Septuagint renders musterion. Occurs in O.T. only here, in verses: Daniel 2:18, Daniel 2:19, Daniel 2:27, Daniel 18:28, Daniel 18:29, Daniel 18:30, Daniel 18:47, Daniel 18:47, and Daniel 4:9. Not the same word as in Daniel 2:22.

Verse 20

answered and said. See note on Deuteronomy 1:41.

for ever and ever = from age to age. See App-151.

Verse 21

He changeth, &c. Compare Daniel 2:9; Daniel 7:25. 1 Chronicles 29:30. Job 34:24-29. Psalms 31:14, Psalms 31:15. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Jeremiah 27:5-7.

secret = hidden. Chaldee. sathar. Not the same word as in Daniel 2:18, &c.

and the light, &c. Compare Daniel 5:11, Daniel 5:14. Psalms 36:9; Psalms 104:2. John 1:9; John 8:12; John 12:45, John 12:46; 1 Timothy 6:16. James 1:17. 1 John 1:5.

Verse 26

Belteshazzar. See note on Daniel 1:7.

Verse 28

maketh = hath made. Compare Daniel 2:29.

in the latter days. Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 49:1. Numbers 24:14. Deuteronomy 4:30; Deuteronomy 32:29). App-92.

Verse 29

came = came up.

Verse 30

for their sakes . . . interpretation = to the intent that the interpretation.

shall = should.

Verse 31

sawest = wast looking.

form = appearance.

Verse 32

head. Note the five parts: (1) the head; (2) the breast and arms; (3) the belly and the thighs; (4) the legs; (5) the feet. These five are preserved distinct throughout. Compare: Daniel 2:34-35, and Daniel 2:38-44, and Daniel 2:45.

gold . . . clay (Daniel 2:33). Note that the most precious metal, and the highest specific gravity was at the top, decreasing with its descent: (1) gold = Daniel 19:3; (2) silver = Daniel 10:51; (3) brass = Daniel 8:5; (4) iron = Daniel 7:6; (5) clay = Daniel 1:9, so that it was top-heavy from the first.

Verse 34

a stone. See note on Psalms 118:22.

without hands. An expression always emphasizing the absence of all human instrumentality and the act of God alone. See Daniel 2:45; Daniel 8:25. Job 34:20. Lamentations 4:6. Compare Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24, Acts 17:25; Acts 19:26. 2 Corinthians 5:1. Ephesians 2:11. Colossians 2:11. Hebrews 9:11, Hebrews 9:21.

feet: i.e. the fifth kingdom. Not the fourth, which was represented by the "legs of iron".

brake them to pieces: or, they were beaten small.

brake = beat small. Chaldee. dekak. Compare verses: Daniel 2:34, Daniel 2:35, Daniel 2:40, Daniel 34:41, Daniel 34:44, Daniel 34:45.

Verse 35

iron, the clay, &c. Note the order differently given to distinguish the five (not the four), answering to the five parts of the image in Daniel 2:32, and the five kingdoms, verses:

Daniel 2:32, Daniel 2:33. Daniel 2:35. Daniel 2:45.
gold, iron, iron,
silver, clay, brass,
brass, brass, clay,
iron, silver, silver,
iron and clay, gold, gold.

together. As united at the time of the end (forming the sixth power), the kingdom of the "Beast" (Rev 13).

wind. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

filled the whole earth. Thus marking the seventh kingdom, that of Messiah.

Verse 37

a kingdom. The O.T. is not designed to be a compendium of "ancient history". It is the history of Jehovah"s People, Israel; and other nations are referred to only as, and in so far as, they come into connection with Israel. Babylon was the most ancient of kingdoms (Genesis 10:10). Compare Deuteronomy 32:8. Nebuchadnezzar was not the first king; but he was the "head" or beginning of Gentile dominion in the earth when Israel had been "removed" (according to Jeremiah 15:4; Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:18). These successive kingdoms are reckoned only as they obtained possession of Jerusalem. They existed before that; and each, in turn, was absorbed in the one that succeeded.

Verse 38

children = sons.

hath He given. According to His word (Jeremiah 27:6, Jeremiah 27:7; Jeremiah 28:14, &c. Compare Daniel 1:2 and Ezekiel 26:7.

Thou. Nebuchadnezzar.

art = art represented by. Figure of speech Metaphor. App-6.

head: i.e. the first of these five kingdoms, not the first king of Babylon. See note on Daniel 2:37.

of. Genitive of Material. App-17.

Verse 39

arise = stand up. Chaldee. kum = to begin to exist. See note on Exodus 1:8.

another. The kingdom of Medo-Persia, which succeeded Babylon by occupying Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22).

inferior. As silver is inferior to gold, in value and in specific gravity (see note on Daniel 2:32) so the second kingdom was inferior to the first. The successive kingdoms are marked by evolution (or rather, devolution). In the first (Babylon) the king possessed absolute power ("whom he would he slew", &c, Daniel 5:19); the second [Medo-Persian] was a government by law which was superior to the king (Daniel 6:1, Daniel 6:14, &c).

third kingdom. This again was "inferior", as being less despotic.

Verse 40

the fourth: i.e. Rome (Luke 2 and Luke 3). Observe that it does not say there were "four, and no more", as alleged; but "the fourth". An ordinal number, not cardinal. The Chaldee is rebi aya" (text), or rebi a"ah (margin) = fourth, as in Daniel 3:25; Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:19, Daniel 7:23. Not "arba", which = four. The fifth is revealed in verses: Daniel 2:41-43. The power which was to succeed Rome in the possession of Jerusalem was to be the Mohammedan power, which was still future when our Lord referred to it in Luke 21:24; but the Lord does not name it, because the condition of Acts 3:18-26 could not be anticipated, assumed, or forestalled.

strong = hard. This was the character of Rome, both royal, imperial, and republican.

subdueth = crusheth.

breaketh = dasheth, or bringeth to ruin. Chaldee. re"a". Not the same word as in verses: Daniel 2:1, Daniel 2:34, Daniel 2:35, Daniel 1:42, Daniel 1:44, Daniel 1:45.

bruise = bring to ruin. Chaldee. re"a". App-44. The same word as "breaketh" earlier in the verse.

Verse 41

And whereas, &c. The fifth power is now to be described (the "feet and toes"). It came into possession of Jerusalem in A.D. 636 (Rome having held the city for 666 years: namely, from the battle of Actium 31 B.C. - A.D. 636). Its character as described in Daniel 2:41 is exact; and, as represented by the "feet", Jerusalem has indeed been "trodden down" (Luke 21:24) as was never done by any of the other four powers.

strength = hardness.

miry = muddy. Chaldee. tin. Same as Hebrew. tit. Occurances in 2 Samuel 22:43. Job 41:30 (Hebrew, verse 22). Psalms 18:42 (Hebrew, verse 43); Daniel 40:2 (Hebrew, verse 3); Daniel 69:14 (Hebrew, verse 15). Isaiah 41:25; Isaiah 57:20. Jeremiah 38:6. Micah 7:10. Nahum 3:14. Zechariah 9:3; Zechariah 10:5. Not the same as that rendered "broken" (= brittle), Daniel 2:42, as stated by some commentators.

Verse 42

part = a portion [of them], or some of them. Chaldee. min.

partly = in part, or at the end. Chaldee. ketzath, as in Daniel 4:29 (Hebrew, verse 26), Daniel 4:34 (Hebrew, verse 31). Occurs only in these three places. Compare the Hebrew kezath (Daniel 1:2 with Daniel 1:5, Daniel 1:15, Daniel 1:18).

partly broken = part [of it shall be] broken.

broken = fragile, easily broken. Chaldee. tebar. Occurs only here.

Verse 43

they: i.e. the toes.

is not mixed = mingleth not.

Verse 44

these kings. Represented by the ten toes: i.e. in their days, at the end of the time of the fifth power. Compare Revelation 17:12-18. That is the moment of the great stone, and of the coming of Messiah.

for ever = to the ages. See App-151.

Verse 46

oblation = a gift offering. App-43.

Verse 47

is = He [is].

Lord. Chaldee Adonai. App-4.

Verse 48

made Daniel a great man = exalted Daniel.

governors = prefects, or nobles. Chaldee. signin. Occurs in Dan. only here, Daniel 3:2, Daniel 3:3, Daniel 3:27; and Daniel 6:7.

Verse 49

Shadrach, &c. See note on Daniel 1:7.

but Daniel sat in the gate, &c. See note on Esther 2:19.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 2:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology