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Excellency stands for

in superiority: A.V., R.V. Gen. xlix. 3; A.V. Job iv. 21; and in ‘have the excellency' for 7717 to shew superiority, Gen. xlix. 4 R.V.

1970' superiority: A.V., R.V. Eccl. vii. 12.

778majesty, fig. glory, pride: A.V., R.V. Ex. xv. 7, Ps. xlvii. 4, Is. lx. 15, Am. vi. 8 (R. V. marg. pride), viii. 7, Nah. ii. 2; A.V. Job xxxvii. 4 (R.V. majesty), Is. xiii. 19 (R.V. glory), Ez. xxiv. 21 (R.V. pride); R.V. Job xl. 10.

jika majesty: A.V., R.V. Deut. xxxiii. 26, 29, Ps. Ixviii. 34.

niin uprising, loftiness, dignity: A.V., R.V. Job xiii. 11, Ps. Ixii. 4; R.V. Job xxxi. 23.

Niin loftiness, dignity: A.V., R.V. Job xx. 6.
Maa height, fig. loftiness: A.V. Job xl. 10 (R.V. dignity).
7p' preciousness, fig. beauty: R.V. Ps. xxxvii. 201.
7777 glory, splendour: A.V., R.V. Is. xxxv. 2 (bis).
Únepoxò superiority: A.V., R.V. 1 Cor. ii. I.
ÚTepßoln excess: A.V. 2 Cor. iv. 7 (R.V. exceeding greatness).
ÚTepé Xov the surpassingness: A.V., R.V. Phil. iii. 8.

åperin virtue: R.V. 1 Pet. ii. 9 And excellent is used for

greatness: A.V., R. V. Est. i. 4 (lit. the majesty of his greatness).

train great : A.V., R.V. Job xxxvii. 23.

79X grand, glorious (Is. xxxiii. 21), noble (Judg: v. 13): P.B.V., A.V., R.V. Ps. viii. 1, 9; A.V., R.V. Ps. xvi. 3, lxxvi.

4. P precious: P.B.V., A.V. Ps. xxxvi. 7 (R.V. precious); A.V. Prov. xvii. 27 (following the Qrê: R.V. follows the K’tib).

obuoy upwards (paraphrased) : P.B.V. Ps. lxxiv. 6 (based on Seb. Münster's rendering, ad sublime aliquid).

723) glorious: P.B.V. Ps. lxxxvii. 2.

2009 exalted: P.B.V. Ps. cxxxix. 5 (A.V., R.V. high); P.B.V., A.V. Ps. cxlviii. 12 [A. V. 13] (R.V. exalted).

ORT head, fig. top, chiefness: A.V. Ps. cxli. 5 (lit. oil of chiefness).

2n abundance: P.B.V., A.V., R.V. Ps. cl. 2 (lit. the abundance of his greatness). D'7'10 princely things: A.V., R.V. Prov. viii. 6. in superior: A.V. Prov. xii. 26 (R.V. derives the word differently). iņsuperiority: A.V., R. V. Prov. xvii. 7 (lit. speech of superiority). Divibas captain-like (?), i.e. noble (?) thịngs: A.V., R.V. Prov. xxii.



1 Used here in its weakened modern sense.



7102 choice: A.V., R.V. Cant. v. 15 ('excellent as the cedars').
1982 majesty: A.V., R.V. Is. iv. 2 (R. V. marg. majestic).
nika majesty: A.V., R. V. Is. xii. 5.

Syan to make great: A.V., R.V. Is. xxviii. 29 (ʻis excellent [i.e. is surpassing] in wisdom,' lit. maketh wisdom great).

gino surpassing: A.V., R.V. Dan. ii. 31, iv. 36, v. 12, 14, vi. 3.

diapépovra the things that excel (or are of value, Mt. X. 31) R.V. Rom. ii. 18 (A.V. more excellent); A.V., R.V. Phil. i. 10.

Meyalotpetrns magnificent, transcendent, A.V., R.V. 2 Pet. i. 17.
In Ps. cxxxvi. 5 P.B.V. there is nothing in the Heb. corresponding

5 to excellent, though it evidently means surpassing; and in Eż. xvi. 7 A.V., R.V., ornament of ornaments (i.e. choicest ornament) is paraphrased by excellent ornament(s).

More excellent is used in Eccl. vii. 11 R.V. for 7793 superior; in Rom. ii. 18 A.V. for diapépovta; and in A.V., R.V. I Cor. xii. 31 in the rendering of TV kaOútrepßolno odov; Heb. i. 4, viii. 6 for diapoρώτερος; Ηel. xi. 4 for πλείων. Most excellent represents κράτιστος in A.V., R. V. Luke i. 3, Acts xxiii. 26, and in R.V. Acts xxiv. 3,

Cf. in the Collect for St Peter's Day, 'many excellent gifts,' in the Collect for Quinquagesima Sunday, 'that most excellent gift of charity' (with allusion to i Cor. xii. 31, just quoted), in the form of Solemnization of Matrimony, 'who hast consecrated the state of Matrimony to such an excellent mystery,' and in the Ordering of Priests, as your office is...of so great excellency,'—all in the sense of preeminent, pre-eminency.

In view of the weakened sense in which both these words are used in modern times, it is to be regretted that they have been retained in R.V. in passages in which the real meaning is something so very different. . Let the reader mark on the margin of his Revised Version the true meaning of the Hebrew (and Greek) in the passages in which it is not already given; and he will find (in most cases) how greatly they gain in expressiveness and force.

xxvi. 25.



THE FURNACE. Nebuchadnezzar erects in the plain of Dura, near Babylon, a colossal golden image, and assembles for its dedication the high officials of his kingdom, all being commanded, under penalty of being cast into a burning fiery furnace, to fall down at a given signal and worship it (. I-7). Daniel's three companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, refusing to do this, are cast into the furnace; but, to the king's surprise, are wonderfully delivered from the power of the flame (vv. 8—27); Thereupon Nebuchadnezzar solemnly acknowledges the power of their Go

issues a decree threatening death to any who presume to blaspheme Him, and bestows upon the three men various marks of favour" (vv. 28—30).

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose 3

The narrative has a didactic aim. It depicts a signal example of religious heroism; and at the same time presents a striking concrete illustration of the words of the second Isaiah (xliii. 2), When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt; neither shall the fire kindle upon thee.' Circumstances sometimes arise, under which it may be a point of duty for the faithful servant of God to prefer death to apostasy; and the three Jewish youths are represented as yielding themselves courageously to a martyr's death, without the least expectation that they would be delivered from it. In the time of the Maccabees (see 1 Macc. i. 62, 63; and the words of Mattathias, ii. 19-22), as also during the persecutions in the early centuries of Christianity, the alternative, martyrdom or apostasy, became a very real one; and constancy and faith won many splendid triumphs.

There was a popular Jewish legend respecting Abraham that for refusing to worship Nimrod's gods he was cast by him into a furnace of fire, and miraculously delivered'.

1–7. Nebuchadnezzar's proclamation regarding the image.

1. Nebuchadnezzar] Sept., Theod., Pesh. prefix 'In the eighteenth year,' which would be the year before Jerusalem was finally taken by the Chaldaeans (2 Ki. xxv. 8). Sept. also has an addition stating the occasion on which the image was erected: it was while he was ‘organizing (dlockv) cities and countries, and all the inhabitants of the earth, from India to Ethiopia.' The addition is probably nothing but a Midrashic embellishment: we at least know nothing from any other source of Nebuchadnezzar's empire as extending to the limits named, or of his conducting military expeditions except in the direction of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt (exclusive of Ethiopia).

made an image of gold, &c.] The expression does not mean necessarily that it was of solid gold; it might be used of an image that was merely (in the ancient fashion) overlaid with gold: the 'altar of gold' of Ex. xxxix. 38 was in reality only overlaid with gold (Ex. xxx. 3). It is not expressly stated what the image represented ; it is not however described as the image of a god, so in all probability it represented Nebuchadnezzar himself. It was a common practice of the Assyrian kings to erect images of themselves with laudatory inscriptions in conquered cities, or provinces, as symbols of their dominion, the usual expression in such cases being șa-lam sarru-ti-a (šur-ba-a) ipu-uš, “ a (great) image of my royalty I made"; see KB. i. 69, 1. 98 f. ; 73, 1. 5; 99, 1. 25; 133, 1. 31; 135, 1. 71; 141, 1. 93; 143, 1. 124; 147, l. 156; 155, 1. 26, &c. (all from the reigns of Asshur-naşir-abal, B.C. 885–860, and Shalmaneşer II., B.C. 860—825). Jastrow (Relig. of Bab. and Ass., 1898, p. 669) remarks that, inasmuch as in the inscriptions the victories of the armies were commonly ascribed to the help of the gods, a homage


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1 See Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, i. 17, Beer, Leben Abrahani's nach der Jud. Sage, p. 11 ff.; and cf, Ball, Pref. to the Song of the Three Children, in the Speaker's Comm. on the Apocrypha, ii. 305—7 (where also various Talmudic and Midrashic developments of the narrative of Dan. iii. are quoted).

height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the


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to some deity would be involved in the recital, though no instance is at present known of divine honours being paid to such statues.

threescore cubits, &c.] The image was thus some 90 feet high, and 9 broad. The disproportion of height and breadth-in the human figure the proportion is commonly 5–6 to 1-has not been satisfactorily explained. The dimensions themselves, also, are greater than are probable: but the 'India House Inscription,' by its descriptions of the decorations of temples, testifies to the amount of gold that was at Nebuchadnezzar's disposal ; and Oriental monarchs have always prided themselves on the immense quantities of the precious metals ir. their possession.

set it up] “.to set up an image' (the same words in the Aram.) is the usual phrase in the heathen inscriptions of Palmyra and the Haurāni (Bevan); see e.g. de Vogué, Syrie Centrale (1868), Nos. 4, 5, 7, 10, 11.

plain] properly a broad cleft,' or level (Is. xl. 4 end) plain, between mountains (see on Am. i. 5).

Dura] An inscription cited by Friedrich Delitzsch (Paradies, p. 216) mentions in Babylonia three places called Duru. According to Oppert (Expéd. en Mésopotamie, i. 238 f.; cf. the chart of the environs of Babylon in Smith, DB., s.v. BABEL), there is a small river called the Dura, flowing into the Euphrates from the S., 6 or 7 miles below Babylon; and near this river, about 12 miles S.S.E. of Hillah, there are a number of mounds called the Tolül (or Mounds of) Dūra. One of these, called el-Mokhatțat, consists of a huge rectangular brick structure, some 45 ft. square and 20 ft. bigh, which may, in Oppert's opinion, have formed once the pedestal of a colossal image.

2. princes] satraps, Aram. 'achashdarpan,-both this and the Gk. çarpárns, oatpárns, being corruptions of the Old Persian kshatrapāwan, lit. 'protector of the realm,' but denoting by usage (cf. on vi. 1) the chief ruler of a province. The term, as is well known, is a standing Persian one: in the O.T., it recurs vv. 3, 27, vi. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 (A.V. princes); and Ezr. viii. 36, Est. iii. 12, viii. 9, ix. 3 (A.V. lieutenants); R.V. always satraps. The use of the word here is an anachronism : both the name and the office were Persian, not Babylonian.

governors] praefects. The word (segan) explained on ii. 48.

captains] governors (R.V.), Aram. pechah, a term also (like segan) of Assyrian origin, often used in Assyrian of the governor of a conquered province. It found its way into Hebrew, and is used in the O.T. both of an Assyrian officer (Is. xxxvi. 9=2 Ki. xviii. 24: A.V., R.V. captain), of Babylonian officers (Jer. li. 57; Ez. xxiii. 6, 12, 23: A.V. captains, R. V. governors), and especially, in post-exilic writings, of the governor of a Persian province (Hag. i. I, ii. 2 ; Mal. i. 8; Ezr. v. 3, 6; Neh. ii. 7, 9, and elsewhere); as well as once or twice more generally (1 Ki. xx. 24; Jer. li. 23, 28). In Dan. it recurs vv. 3, 27, vi. 7.


judges, the treasurers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the princes, the governors and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set

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judges] So v. 3. Aram. 'adargāzar, in all probability the old Pers. andar-zaghar, later Pers. endarzgar, 'counsel-giver,' a title which was still in use under the Sassanian kings (Nöldeke, Tabari, p. 462). R.V. marg. 'chief soothsayers' implies a very improbable etymology.

treasurers] So v. 3: Aram. gedābar. An uncertain word. It may be a textual corruption, or a faulty pronunciation, of gizbār, treasurer' (Pehlevi ganzavar, Pers. ganjvar), which is found in Ezr. i. 8, vii. 21; it may have arisen by dittography from the following dethābarı; it may be an error for haddābar (in the plur., 197271 for $972777), the word which occurs in 2v. 24, 27, iv. 36, vi. 7 (see on v. 24).

counsellers] justices (so v. 3): Aram. dethābar, from the Old Pers. dātabara, Pehlevi dātābar, Modern Pers. dāwar, properly 'law-bearer,' from dāt, 'law,' and bar, an affix meaning 'bearer.' Cf. the Baolliou dikaotaì of Hdt. iii. 14, 31, v. 25, vii. 194. This word has been found by Hilprecht (frequently) in the commercial inscriptions belonging to the reigns of Artaxerxes I. and Darius II. (B.C. 465—425, 424-405), excavated recently at Nippur by the expedition organized by the American University of Pennsylvania.

sheriffs] Aram. tiphtāyê; only found besides in v. 3, and of very uncertain meaning. Bevan thinks it may be the mutilated form of some Persian title ending in pat, 'chief'; and so Behrmann compares the Sanskr. adhipati, which would correspond to an Old Pers. adipati, 'over-chief.' The word has been found recently as the name of an official in an Aramaic inscription from Egypt, dating. B.C. 4112. Lawyers (R. V. marg:) depends upon an improbable connexion with the Arab. 'aftā, to notify a decision of the law (whence Mufti, a jurisconsult).

and all the rulers of the provinces] conceived apparently as subordinate to the 'satraps,' and so as forming the class in which Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were included (ii. 49). It has often been asked, where was Daniel? Possibly he is to be regarded as not included in the classes of officials enumerated, on account of his exceptional position at the court (ii. 49): but in point of fact the narrative seems to be written without reference to Daniel; so that more probably the question is one which the author did not deem it necessary to answer.

The names of officials are the same as in v. 2.


1 It is some support to this view that whereas the Aramaic text has in both v. 2 and v. 3 eight names of officials, the Sept. and Theod. have each only seven : see Lagardo's Lucid exposition of the facts in Agathangelus, p. 157.

? Répertoire d'épigraphie Semitique, 1. No. 361.

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