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When Nebuchadnezzar heard this, and recollected his dream, he was astonished at the nature of Daniel:* and fell upon his face, and saluted Daniel in the manner that men worship God; and gave command that he should be sacrificed to as a god. He also imposed the name of his own god Baltasar upon him, and made him and his kinsmen, rulers of the whole kingdom. These kinsmen, however, happened to fall into danger by the envy and malice of their enemies: for they offended the king upon the following occasion. The king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits, and its breadth six cubits; and set it in the great plain of Babylon;t and when he was going to dedicate the image, he invited all the principal men that were under his dominion, and commanded, that when they should hear the sound of the trumpet, they should then fall down and worship the image; and he threatened that those who did not do so, should be cast into a fiery furnace. When therefore all the rest, upon hearing the sound of the
* Nebuchadnezzar seems, in a sudden transport, to have looked upon Daniel as having something more than human in him, just as the barbarians thought of St. Paul, Acts xxviii. 6. and therefore it is said, that he fell on his face and worshipped him; because the doing of reverence, by way of prostration, is not only an act of worship paid to God, but frequently given to kings and great men in the Old Testament, according to the custom of eastern countries, 2 Sam. ix. 6. and sometimes even to prophets, on account of the sanctity of their office, 1 Kings xviii. 7. nor was it usually refused by them, except such circumstances were added to it, as made it look like divine worship, and then it was always rejected, as in the case of St. Peter, Acts x. 26. Lowth's Commentary on Daniel ii. 43. B.
† Grotius is of opinion that the image which Nebuchadnezzar set up was the figure of his father Nebopolassar, whom, by this means, he intended to deify; but others think, that it was his own statue which he erected, to gain the adorations of his people in this form. We cannot, however, in what we find Nebuchadnezzar saying to Daniel's friends, perceive that he any where upbraids them with contempt offered to his person, or his statue, but only that they would not serve his gods, nor worship the image which he had set up, Daniel ii. 14. And therefore others have imagined, that this was neither his own nor his father's statue, but that of Jupiter, which was afterward found in the temple of Belus, when Xerxes plundered it of its immense riches, among which were several images of massy gold, but one more especially fifty feet high, which might be the same that Nebuchadnezzar consecrated in the plains of Dura. For though that is said to have been sixty cubits, i. e. ninety feet high, yet we may suppose that it stood upon a pedestal of forty feet high, and so the image and the pedestal together, might make ninety, (vide vol. i. page 310, in the notes,) other
VOL. J.-NO. 11.
trumpet, worshipped the image; Daniel's kinsmen did not do it, because they would not transgress the laws of their country. So these men were convicted, and cast immediately into the fire; but were saved by Divine Providence, and after a surprising manner escaped death: for the fire did not touch them. And I suppose it touched them not, as if it reasoned with itself, that they were cast into it without any fault of theirs; and that therefore it was too weak to burn the young men when they were in it. This was done by the power of God, who made their bodies so far superior to the fire, that it could not consume them. This it was which recommended them to the king as righteous men, and men beloved of God: on which account they continued in great esteem with him.
A little after this, the king saw in his sleep another vision: intimating that he should fall from his dominion, and feed among the wild beasts;|| and that when he had lived in this manner in the desert for seven years,ş he should recover his dominion again. When wise there would be no proportion between its height and its breadth, according to the description we have of it in Daniel ii. 1. Prideaux's Connection, anno 573. B.
# This kind of punishment was pretty common in these parts of the world, so that some will have it, that Abraham, before he departed from Chaldea, was made to undergo it, but escaped by a miraculous preservation, founding their opinion on Gen. xi. 31. Of this furnace, in particular, it is related, that the king's servants having received the command to heat it seven times hotter, ceased not to make the oven hot with rosin, pitch, tow, and small wood; so that the flame streamed forth above the furnace forty and nine cubits; and passed through and burnt the Chaldeans it found about the furnace. The Song of the Three Holy Children, ver. 23, &c. B.
|| God delayed the execution of his threats against this prince, and gave him a whole year's reprieve, chap. iv. 29. to see if he would repent, and turn unto him; but perceiving that he still persisted in his crimes, as soon as the measure of his iniquity was full, he smote and reduced him to the condition of a beast. This is Theodoret's notion of the matter; but St. Jerome rather thinks, that this king being terrified with the threats, and touched with the exhortations of the propbet, began to set about his reformation, and by acts of charity and mercy, to reconcile himself to God, for which he obtained a delay of his punishment for a year's space; but that instead of persevering in these good prirposes, he suffered himself to fall into pride, upon the contemplation of the mighty works he had done, and so, by bis vanity, lost what he had gained by his charity. Bonum misericordiæ perdidit malo superbiæ. Calmet's Commentary. B.
$ Since Josephus here explain the seven prophetic times which were to pass over Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel iv. 16. to be seven years, we thence learn how he most
he had seen this dream, he called the magi his life. He was an active man, and more cians together again; and inquired of them fortunate than the kings were before him. about it, desiring them to tell him what it sig Berosus makes mention of his actions in the nified. But when none of them could find third book of his Chaldaic history, where out the meaning of the dream, nor discover he says, “When his father Nabuchodonosor it to the king, Daniel was the only person [Nabopollassar] heard that the governor that explained it. And as he foretold, so it whom he had set over Egypt, and the places came to pass. For after he had continued about Cæle Syria and Phænicia, had rein the wilderness the aforementioned interval volted from him, while he was not himself of time, while no one durst attempt to seize able any longer to undergo the hardships of his kingdom, during those seven years; he war; he committed to his son Nebuchadprayed to God that he might recover his nezzar, who was still but a youth, some parts throne; and be returned to it. But let no of his army; and sent him against them. one blame me for writing down every thing So when Nebuchadnezzar had given battle, of this nature, as I find it in our ancient and fought with the rebel, he defeated him, books. For as to that matter, I have plainly and reduced the country under subjection; assured those that think me defective in any and made it a branch of his own kingdom. such point, that I intended to do no more than But about that time it happened that his translate the Hebrew books into the Greek father fell ill, and ended his life in the city language, and promised to explain those facts, Babylon; when he had reigned twenty-one without adding any thing to them of my own, years. And when he was made sensible or taking any thing away from them.
that his father was dead, he settled the af
fairs of Egypt, and other countries, as also CHAP. XI.
those that concerned the captive Jews, Phænicians, Syrians, and those of the Egyptian nations; and having committed the conveyance of them to Babylon to certain of his
friends, together with the body of his army, row when king Nebuchadnezzar bad and the rest of their ammunition and
proreigned forty-three years,* he ended visions; he went himself hastily, accompaprobably must have understood those other parallel * These forty-three years for the duration of the reign phrases, of a time, times, and a half, VII. 25. and XII. of Nebuchadnezzar are, as I have just observed, the same 9. of so many prophetic years also. Though he lets us nunber as that in Ptolemy's Canon. Moses Chorenensis know, by his hint at the interpretation of the seventy also confirms this captivity of the Jews under Nebuchadweeks, as belonging to the fourth monarchy, and the de nezzar; and adds, what is very remarkable, that one of struction of Jerusalem by the Romans, in the days of those Jews that were carried by him into captivity, got Josephus, chap. 2. that he did not think those years to away into Armenia ; and raised the great family of the be bare years; but rather days for years; by which Bagratidæ there. See page 1, 58, 91, 98, 100, 109, 123, reckoning, and by which alone, could seventy weeks, or 124, 136, 180, 184. four hundred and ninety days, reach to the age of Jose † This prince died in the year of the world 3442, and phus. But as to the truth of those seven years' banish before Christ 562; after he had reigned, from the death ment of Nebuchadnezzar from men, and his living so long of his father, according to the Babylonish account, three among the beasts, the very small remains we have any
and forty years. He was certainly one of the greatest where else of this Nebuchadnezzar, prevent our expecta princes that had appeared in the east for many ages betion of any other full account of it. So far we know liy fore iim, and according to Megasthenes, (as he is cited by Ptolemy's Canon, a contemporary record, as well as by Josephus, Antiq. lib. X. c. 11.) both for his enterprises Josephus's presently, that he reigned in all forty-three and performances, far excelled even Hercules himself. years: that is eight years after we meet with any ac The same historian, (as he is quoted by Eusebius, Præp. count of his actions. One of the last of which was the lib. IX. c.
41.) informs us, that a little before his Jeath, thirteen years' siege of Tyre, XI. 11. where yet the old he foretold bis subjects of the coming of the Persians, Latin has three years and ten months. Yet were his and their subduing the kingdom of Babylon ; but this he actions before so remarkable, both in sacred and profine might gather from the prophet Daniel, and especially authors, that such a vacuity of eight years at the least, from the interpretation of his dreams. Prideaua 's Conat the latter end of bis reign, must be allowed to agree nection, apno 562. B. very well with Daniel's accounts; that after a brutal life I These twenty-one years here ascribed to Nabopolof seven years' duration, he might return to his reason, lassar, the father of the great Nebuchadnezzar, are the and to the exercise of his royal authority for one whole year at least before his death,
same with those given him in Ptolemy's Canon. And note here, that what Dr. Prideaux says, Connection, at.
OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR, AND HIS SUCCESSORS; THE DISSO
LUTION OF THEIR GOVERNMENT BY THE PERSIANS, THE
nied with a few others, over the desert, and Accounts of India, makes mention of these came to Babylon. So he took upon him the things; and thereby endeavours to shew that management of the public affairs and of the this king, Nebuchadnezzar, exceeded Herkingdom, which had been kept for him by cules in fortitude, and in the greatness of his one that was the principal of the Chaldeans; actions. For he saith, that “he conquered and he received the entire dominions of his great part of Libya and Iberia.” Diocles father; and appointed, that, when the cap also, in the second book of the Accounts of tives came, they should be placed as colo Persia, mentions this king. As does Philosnies, in the most proper parts of Babylonia. tratus, in his accounts both of India and He then adorned the temple of Belus, and of Phænicia say, that “this king besieged the rest of the temples, in a magnificent | Tyre thirteen years: while at the same time manner, with the spoils he had taken in the Ethbaal reigned at Tyre.” These are all war. He also added another city to that the histories that I have met with concerning which was there of old, and rebuilt it: that
this king such as would besiege it hereafter might After the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Evilno more turn the course of the river, and Merodacy his son succeeded in the kingdom; thereby attack the city itself. He therefore who immediately set Jechoniah at liberty, built three walls round about the inner city, and esteemed him among his most intimate and three others about that which was the friends. He also gave him many presents, outer; and this he did with burnt brick. and made him honourable above the rest of And after he had walled the city, and the kings that were in Babylon. For his adorned its gates, he built another palace father had not kept his faith with Jechoniah, before his father's palace; but so that they when he voluntarily delivered up himself to joined to it: to describe whose vast height | him, with his wives and children, and his and immense riches it would perhaps be too whole kindred, for the sake of his country: much for me to attempt. Yet as large and that it might not be taken by siege, and utlofty as they were, they were completed* in terly destroyed; as we said before. When fifteen days. He also erected elevated Evil-Merodach was dead, after a reign of places for walking, of stone; and made it teighteen years, Niglissar his son took the resemble mountains: and built it so that it government, and retained it forty years: might be planted with all sorts of trees. and then ended his life. And after him the He also erected what was called a pensile succession in the kingdom came to his son paradise: because his wife was desirous to Labosordacus, who continued in it, in all, have things like her own country; she hav
but nine months, and when he was dead, it ing been bred up in the palaces of Media.” came to Baltasar;|| who by the Babylonians Megasthenes also, in his fourth book of his was called Naboandelus. Against him did the year 612, that Nebuchadnezzar must have been a || It is here remarkable, that Josephus, without the common name of other kings of Babylon besides the great knowledge of Ptolemy's Canon, should call the same king, Nebuchadnezzar himself, is a groundless mistake of some whom he himself here, Baruch i. 11. and Daniel v. 1, 2, moderu chronologers only, and desutute of all proper 9, 12, 22, 29, 30. styles Baltasar, or Belshazzar, from the original authority.
Babylonian god Bel; Naboandelus also ; and in another * These fifteen days for finishing such vast buildings place from the same citation out of Berosus, Nabonnedon ; at Babylon, in Josephus's copy of Berosus, would seem from the Babylonian god Nabo, or Nebo. This last is too absurd to be supposed to be the true number ; not remote from the original Babylonian pronunciation in were it not for the same testimony extant also in the Ptolemy's Canon, Nabonadius. For both the place of first book against Apion, with the same number. It this king in that Canon, as the last of the Assyrian or thence indeed appears, that Josephus's copy of Berosus Babylonian kings, and the number of years of his reign, had this small number; but that it is the true numbez, I seventeen, the same in both, demonstrate that it is one still doubt. Josephus assures us, that the walls of so and the same king that is meant by them all. It is also much a smaller city as Jerusalem were two years and worth noting, that Josephus knew that Darius, the partfour months in building by Nehemiah, who yet hastened ner of Cyrus, was the son of Astyages, and was called the work all be could; XI. 5. I should think one hun by another name among the Greeks: though it does not dred and fifteen days, or a year and twenty days, much appear he knew what that name was; as having never more proportionable to so great a work,
seen the best history of this period, which is Xenophon's f Two years.
But then, what Josephus's present copies I Four years,
say presently, that it was only within no long time
Κυρε παιδεια. .
Cyrus, king of Persia, and Darius, king of || barbarians, and were able to interpret signs Media, make war. And when he was be and dreams, that they might explain the sieged in Babylon, there happened a won writing to him.t But when the magicians derful and prodigious vision. He set down said they could discover nothing, nor did at supper in a large room, and there were a understand it; the king was in great disorgreat many vessels of silver, such as were der of mind, and under great trouble at this made for royal entertainments; and he had surprising accident.f So he caused it to be with him his concubines, and his friends. proclaimed through all the country, and
he commanded that those ves promised that to him who could explain the sels of gold, which Nebuchadnezzar had writing, and give the signification thereof, he taken out of Jerusalem, and had not made would give a golden chain for his neck, and use of, but had put them into his own temple, permission to wear a purple garment, as did should be brought out of that temple. He the kings of Chaldea; and would bestow also grew so haughty, as to proceed to use on him the third part of his own dominions. them in the midst of his cups, drinking out When the proclamation was made, the maof them, and blaspheming against God. In gicians ran together more earnestly, and the mean time he saw a hand proceed out were very ambitious to find out the import of the wall, and writing certain syllables.* of the writing, but still hesitated about it At this sight he was disturbed, and called as much as before. Now when the king's the magicians and Chaldeans together, and grandmother|| saw him cast down at this all that sort of men that were among these accident, she began to encourage him, and after the hand-writing on the wall that Baltasar was the Persian kings could bestow upon their subjects; and slain, does not so well agree with our copies of Da to be the third ruler of the kingdom, was the same subniel; which say it was the same night; Daniel v. 30. lime office that Darius the Mede put Daniel in, chap. vi. But then it must be observed, that Theodoret directly 1, 2. when be constituted him one of the presidents over quotes Josephus for the confirmation of our copies of the hundred and twenty princes that he had made goDaniel, and particularly for affirming that he was slain vernors over provinces. Xenophon's Cyropædia, lib. viii. the same night also. Whose testimony is here set down Diodorus, lib. xviii. Josephus's Antiquities, lib. xi. c. 6. at large by Dr. Hudson.
Brisson, De Regno Persar. lib. i. B. * Daniel v. 5.
|| This grandmother, or mother of Baltasar, the queen † The writing very probably might be in a character dowager of Babylon, (for she is distinguished from his unknown to the Chaldeans, as the old Hebrew, Phæni queen, Daniel v. 10, 23.) seems to bave been the famous cian, and Samaritan were; or if they were acquainted Nitocris, who fortified Babylon against the Medes and with the character, yet such is the genius of most of the Persians; and in all probability governed it under Baloriental languages, where so little use is made of vowels, tasar, who seems to have been a weak and effeminate and where the pronunciation and sequel of the discourse prince. Whether Baltasar were the son or grandson of generally determine the signitication of the letters, that a the great Nebuchadnezzar, will be best understood by man may be a perfect master of a language, and yet not the following passage out of some observations I formerly able to read and comprehend a word, when it stands made, when I carefully read over Mr. Hutchinson's ex. alone, and without any context, as it is in the case of cellent edition of Xenophon's Kugx Ilaideia, as follows: Mene. Tekel. Upharsin. A man, for instance, that un Xenophon, who made his Persian expedition not till one derstands the Hebrew tongue ever so well, were he to hundred and twenty-eight years after the death of Cyrus, meet dbr standing alone, would have much ado to read and never seems to have been at Babylon, nor ever names them, because, according to the manner that we pro any king of Babylon; (as perhaps not knowing their nounce them, the letters will admit of many different names; always and only calling each of them to Acoupov, significations; and it is much the same in the Chaldee the Assyrian king, in agreement with Ptolemy's Canon ;) language, wherein the words we are now speaking of were took the last king of Babylon to be the son of his predewrote. Calmnet's Commentary on Daniel v. 7. B.
cessor, and the same that injured Gobryas and Gadates, I The king's words are these, Whosoever shall read page 307, 529. Berosus also, who lived still much later, this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall took Niricassolassar for the sister's husband, and puts in be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about Laborosoarchod, who is pot in the Canon. Perhaps we his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdoin. had better follow the Scripture, and the Canon, as elder, Daniel v. 7. From whence it appears, that the kings of and indeed contemporary records; and say, that IlvaroBabyloo wore the same ornaments, and, in rewarding damus or Evil-Merodach was the son, and Niricassolassar their favourites, gave the same marks of honour that the kings of Persia and their successors didl. For purple, we
the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar; and that Baltasar or
Nabonadius was the uncle of Niricassolassar, and the son find, in several Greek anthors, was the ordinary habits of the kings of Persia, and of the princes of their court that
of Nebuchadnezzar, by another wife, Nitocris. See Ba.
ruch i. 11. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 20. Jer. xxvi. 7. Daniel were in the highest posts of honour. The chain or collar of gold was one of the greatest marks of distinction that
v. 18, 22. And perhaps Laborosoarchod was no more than a first minister under Baltasar at first; as the queen