(a) The father and the son were both called by this name, so that this is meant of the son, when he reigned alone: for he also reigned in a way with his father.
(b) Not that he had many dreams, but because many matters were contained in this dream.
(c) Because it was so rare and strange a dream, that he had had nothing similar.
(d) Or, "his sleep was upon him", that is, that he was so heavy with sleep, that he began to sleep again.
(e) For all these astrologers and sorcerers called themselves by this name of honour, as though all the wisdom and knowledge of the country depended upon them, and that all other countries were void of such wisdom and knowledge.
(f) That is, in the Syrian language, which differed not much from the Chaldeans, except it seemed to be more eloquent, and therefore the learned used to speak it, as the Jewish writers do to this day.
(g) This is a just reward of their arrogance (who boasted of themselves that they had knowledge of all things), that they should be proved fools, and that to their perpetual shame and confusion.
(h) In this appears their ignorance, that despite their braggings, yet they were not able to tell the dream, unless he told them of it. And if he did tell them, they would pretend knowledge where there was but mere ignorance, and so as deluders of the people they were worthy to die.
(i) Which declares that God would not have his servant united in the company of these sorcerers and astrologers, whose arts were wicked, and therefore justly ought to die, even though the king did it upon a rage and not from zeal.
(k) He shows that man has neither wisdom nor knowledge, but very dark blindness and ignorance of himself: for it comes only from God that man understands anything.
(l) To whom you made your promise, and who lived in fear of you: by which he excludes all other gods.
(m) Meaning power to interpret it.
(n) By which appears that many were slain, as in verse thirteen, and the rest at Daniel's offer were preserved on condition. Not that Daniel favoured their wicked profession, but that he had respect to fairness, because the King proceeded according to his wicked affection, and not considering if their profession was morally correct or not.
(o) He affirms that man by reason and craft is not able to attain to the cause of God's secrets, but the understanding only of them must come from God: by which he smites the king with a certain fear and reverence of God, that he might be the more able to receive the high mysteries that would be revealed.
(p) Because he had said that God alone must reveal the signification of this dream, the King might have asked why Daniel undertook to interpret it: and therefore he shows that he was but God's minister, and had no gifts but those which God had given him to set forth his glory.
(q) By gold, silver, brass, and iron are meant the Chaldean, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman kingdoms, which would successively rule all the world until Christ (who is here called the stone) himself comes, and destroys the last. And this was to assure the Jews that their affliction would not end with the empire of the Chaldeans, but that they should patiently await the coming of the Messiah, who would be at the end of this fourth monarchy.
(r) Daniel leaves out the kingdom of the Assyrians, which was before the Babylonian, both because it was not a monarchy and general empire, and also because he would declare the things that were to come, until the coming of Christ, for the comfort of the elect among these wonderful alterations. And he calls the Babylonian kingdom the golden head, because in respect of the other three, it was the best, and yet it was of itself wicked and cruel.
(s) Meaning, the Persians who were not inferior in dignity, power, or riches, but were worse with regard to ambition, cruelty, and every type of vice, showing that the world would grow worse and worse, until it was restored by Christ.
(t) That is, those of the Macedonians will be of brass, not alluding to the hardness of it, but to the vileness with regard to silver.
(u) That is, the Roman empire will subdue all these others, which after Alexander were divided into the Macedonians, Grecians, Syrians, and Egyptians.
(x) They will have civil wars, and continual discords among themselves.
(y) They will be marriages and affinities think to make themselves strong: yet they will never by united in heart.
(z) His purpose is to show that all the kingdoms of the world are transitory, and that the kingdom of Christ alone will remain forever.
(a) Meaning Christ, who was sent by God, and not set up by man, whose kingdom at the beginning would be small and without beauty to man's judgment, but would at length grow and fill the whole earth, which he calls a great mountain, as in (Daniel 2:35). And this kingdom, which is not only referred to the person of Christ, but also to the whole body of his Church, and to every member of it, will be eternal: for the Spirit that is in them is eternal life; (Romans 8:10).
(b) Though this humbling of the king seemed to deserve commendation, yet because he united God's honour with the Prophets, it is to be reproved, and Daniel would have erred, if he allowed it: but it is to his credit that Daniel admonished him of his fault, and did not allow it.
(c) This confession was but a sudden motion, as it was also in Pharaoh, (Exodus 9:28), but his heart was not touched, as appeared soon afterwards.
(d) Not that the Prophet was desirous of gifts or honour, but because by this means he might relieve his poor brethren, who were grievously oppressed in this their captivity, and he also received them, lest he should offend this cruel king, who willingly gave them.
(e) He did not do this for their personal profit, but that the whole Church, which was then there in affliction, might have some release and ease by this benefit.
(f) Meaning that either he was a judge, or that he had the whole authority, so than no one could be admitted to the king's presence but by him.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Daniel 2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26