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that has been discovered consists of omen-tablets of various sizes in which explanations are afforded of all physical peculiarities to be observed in animals and men, of natural phenomena, of the positions and movements of the planets and stars, of the incidents and accidents of public and private life-in short, of all possible occurrences and situations.'
The principles upon which the explanations of all these phenomena were drawn up were, no doubt, partly the association of ideas (as when the sight of a lion symbolized strength, or success), and partly the extension of a single coincidence between a given phenomenon and a particular subsequent occurrence, into a general law. It is, however, evident to what long and elaborate treatises the systematization of rules for dealing with, and explaining, such an immense variety of phenomena would ultimately lead.
There are six terms used in the Book of Daniel as designations of diviners or magicians, viz. (1) wise men (D'DON), (2) enchanters (D'aux), (3) magicians (D'porn), (4) . Chaldeans' (@705), (5) determiners (of fates) (j'772), (6) sorcerers (Davao), which are distributed as follows:
i. 20 the magicians and the enchanters. ii. 2 the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans. ii. 10 b any magician, enchanter, or Chaldean. ii. 27 wise men, enchanters, magicians, (or) determiners (of fates). iv. 7 the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the determiners (of fates). v. 7 the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the determiners (of fates). v. 11 (of Daniel) 'master of magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, (and) determiners
(of fates).' V. 15 the wise men, (even) the enchanters.
Wise men occurs besides, alone, in the expression '(all) the wise men of Babylon,', in ii. 12, 13 ('the wise men'), 14, 18, 24, 48, iv. 6, 18 (all the wise men of my kingdom'), v. 7, 8 (the wise men of the king): 'Chaldeans’ also occurs alone in i. 4 'the literature and language of the Chaldeans' (seemingly in a general sense); in ii. 4, 5, 1o a (as speaking on behalf of the wise men'generally); and in iii. 8: and hartummim is used in a generic sense in iv. 9 (where Daniel is called 'master of the hartummim'; cf. ii. 48 and v. 11).
A comparison of the passages shews that the terms in question are used with some vagueness. The generic term appears certainly to be ‘wise men’; but in ii. 27 even this appears to be coordinated with three of the special classes. In Diodorus Siculus 'Chaldaeans' is the generic term; but in Daniel that, except once, appears as the name of one class beside others : in i. 4, however (unless, which is improbable, there was no special literature' connected with any of the other classes), it is used in a generic sense. In iv. 7 and v. il 'determiners (of fates)’appears to take the place of sorcerers' in ii. 2, although the two terms do not seem to be by any means synonymous. Nor are the several classes of wise men named in Daniel known to correspond to any division or classification indicated by the inscriptions. The attempts
Jastrow, PP. 352—406. See further Lenormant, La Magie chez les Chaldéens (1874), and La Divination et la Science des Présages chez les Chaldéens (1875); the translations of magical texts in Sayce's Hibbert Lectures for 1887, p. 441 ff. (' to be accepted with caution,' Jastrow, p. 713); and the literature cited by Jastrow, P: 717 f.
Minuter details would here be out of place, as they would not really illustrate anything in the Book of Daniel.
which have been made to prove the contrary cannot be pronounced successful. Lenormant, for example", observing that the great work on magic preserved in Asshurbanabal's library consists of three parts, dealing respectively with incantations against evil spirits, incantations against diseases, and magical hymns, argued that these three divisions corresponded exactly to the three classes, harțummim or "conjurateurs,' wise men or ‘médecins,' and 'ashshäphim or théosophes,' mentioned in Daniel by the side of the astrologers and diviners (kasdim and gāzerin): but the parallel drawn is an arbitrary one; there is no reason whatever for supposing that wise men’ in Heb. or Aramaic denoted 'médecins,' or 'ashshāphim 'théosophes. It seems evident that the author simply took such terms denoting diviners or magicians, as were traditionally connected with Babylon, or seemed to him on other grounds to be suitable, and combined them together, for the purpose of presenting a general picture of the manner in which the arts of divination and magic were systematically studied in Babylon.
CHAP. II. NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM. Nebuchadnezzar, in his second year, being disquieted by a dream, demands of the wise men of Babylon that they should repeat and interpret it to him : as they are unable to do this, they are condemned by him to death (vv. 1-12). Daniel, and his companions, being involved in the condemnation, and finding consequently their lives in jeopardy, betake themselves to prayer; their supplication is answered by the secret of the dream being revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night (vv. 13-23). Being now, at his own request, brought before the king, Daniel describes and interprets his dream to him (vv. 24-45), and is rewarded by him with high honours (vv. 46—49):
The dream was of a colossal image, the head consisting of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the body of brass, the legs of iron, the feet of iron and clay mixed : as Nebuchadnezzar was contemplating it, a stone 'cut out without hands' suddenly fell, smiting the feet of the image, which thereupon broke up, while the stone became a mountain, filling the whole earth. The image symbolizes the anti-theocratic power of the world; and its principal parts are interpreted to signify four empires, the head of gold being Nebuchadnezzar himself, representing the first empire. With the exception of the first, the empires intended are not expressly indicated; and it has been much disputed what the three following the first are. It is, however, generally admitted that the four kingdoms symbolized in Nebuchadnezzar's dream are the same as the four represented by the four beasts in Daniel's vision in Chap. VII.; so that the discussion of the question will come more suitably at the end of the notes on Chap. VII. The conclusion there reached, it may be premised, is that the second, third, and fourth empires are, respectively, the Median, the Persian, and the Macedonian. But whatever may be the case with the three disputed empires, the stone cut out without hands' clearly represents the kingdom of God, before which all earthly powers are destined ultimately to fall.
1 La Magie, p. 13 f.
And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was
The main object of the chapter is to shew—(1) how the heathen king is brought (v. 47) to acknowledge the supremacy of Daniel's God; (2) how the sequence of empires is in the hands of God; and (3) how a Divine kingdom is destined ultimately to be established upon earth. The representation of the magnificent but hollow splendour of earthly empire in the form of a “huge, gleaming, terrible colossus, of many colours and different metals, brilliant at its summit, but gradually deteriorating, both in material and appearance, towards its base, and, when struck by the falling rock, instantly collapsing into atoms, is fine and striking.
The narrative seems to a certain extent to be modelled on that of Joseph in Gen. xli., there being parallels in both idea and expression. In both narratives a heathen monarch is troubled by a dream which he cannot understand; in both he sends for his own wise men, who fail to remove his perplexity; in both a young Jewish captive, relying on the help of his God, is successful, and is rewarded by the king with high honours, and a life-long position of influence in his kingdom. For similarities of expression, see the notes on vv. 1, 2, 12, 28, 30.
1–6. Nebuchadnezzar, being troubled by a dream, summons the wise men of Babylon before him, and bids them both tell him what his dream had been, and also interpret it to him.
1. in the second year] There is not, perhaps, necessarily a contradiction here with the three years' of i. 5, 18. By Heb. usage, fractions of time were reckoned as full units: thus Samaria, which was besieged from the fourth to the sixth year of Hezekiah, is said to have been taken at the end of three years (2 Ki. xvii. 9, 10); and in Jer. xxxiv, 14 ‘at the end of seven years' means evidently when the seventh year has arrived (see also Mark viii. 31, &c.). If, now, the author, following a custom which was certainly sometimes adopted by Jewish writers, and which was general in Assyria and Babylonia, 'post-dated'
regnal years of a king, i.e. counted as his first year not the year of his accession but the first full year afterwards?, and if further Nebuchadnezzar gave orders for the education of the Jewish youths in his accession-year, the end of the three years' of i. 5, 18 might be reckoned as falling within the king's second year. Ewald, Kamphausen, and Prince, however, suppose that 'ten' has fallen out of the text; and would read 'in the twelfth year.'
dreamed dreams) In Assyria and Babylonia, as in Egypt?, and other countries of the ancient world, dreams were regarded as significant, and as portending future events. The Assyrian inscriptions furnish several instances of deities appearing in dreams with words of encouragement or advice. Thus Asshur appears to Gugu (Gyges), king of Lydia, in a dream, and tells him that, if he grasps the feet (i.e. owns the sovereignty) of Asshurbanapal, he will overcome his foes (KB. ii.
* See art. CHRONOLOGY, in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, p. 400.
2 troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king
commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his 173, 175). During Asshurbanapal's war with his 'false' brother, Shamash-shum-ukin, a professional dreamer saw written on the moon, 'Whoso plans evil against Asshurbanapal, an evil death will I prepare against him' (ib. p. 187). When the same king was warring against Ummanaldashi, king of Elam, Ishtar sent his army a dream, in which she said to them, 'I march before Asshurbanapal, the king whom my hands have made' (ib. p. 201); and in another war she appeared to a professional dreamer, standing before the king, armed, and assuring him that, wherever he went, she went likewise (ió. p. 251). Nabu-na’id, the last king of Babylon (B.C. 555–538), was commanded, or encouraged, to restore temples by deities appearing to him in dreams (ib. iii. 2, pp. 85, 97, 99). On another occasion, Nabu. na'id saw in a dream a great star in heaven, the significance of which Nebuchadnezzar (also in the dream) explained to him?. These, however, are mostly cases of the apparitions of deities; for instances of symbolical dreams, such as the one of Nebuchadnezzar, we may compare rather, though they are much briefer, the dreams in Herodotus, i. 107, 108, 209, iii. 30, 124, vii. 19 (cited below, on iv. 10).
and his spirit was troubled] More exactly, was agitated, disturbed; so v. 3. The expression is borrowed from Gen. xli. 8: cf. Ps. lxxvii. 5 'I am agitated and cannot speak.'
brake from him] More lit. was come to pass,-i.e. was completed or dɔne with (something like the Latin actum est; cf. viii. 27),-upon him,-upon' being used idiomatically to emphasize the person who is the subject of an experience, or (more often) of an emotion, and who, as it were, is sensible of it as acting or operating upon himself. Cf. Ps. xlii. 4 'I will pour out my soul upon me,' 5 why moanest thou upon me?' 6'my soul upon me is cast down,' cxlii. 3 'when my spirit fainteth upon me,' cxliii. 4, Jer. viii. 18 'my heart upon me is sick,' Job xxx. 16 (R.V. marg.), Lam. iii. 20 ‘my soul is bowed down upon me': within, in all these passages, does not express the idea of the Hebrew. Cf. the writer's Parallel Psalter, Glossary I, s. v. upon (p. 464); and see also Dan. v. 9.
2. the magicians, and the enchanters] See on i. 20. As in Egypt (Gen. xli. 8), the 'magicians' and 'wise men' (v. 12) would be the natural persons for the king to consult on the interpretation of a dream.
and the sorcerers] This is a word which is well known in the earlier literature : e.g. Ex. vii. 11, xxii. 18 (in the fem.); Deut. xviii. 10; cf. the subst. sorceries Mic. v. 11, and (in Babylon) Is. xlvii. 9, 12.
Chaldeans] Here, as in i. 4, used in the sense of the priestly or learned class (see p. 12 ff.). So vv. 4, 5, 10.
for to shew] for to tell (R.V.). To 'shew' is used often in A.V., and sometimes in R. V., not in the modern sense of pointing out, but in that of telling or declaring; and it stands here for the Heb. word
1 Messerschmidt, Die Inschrift der Stele Nabuna'ids, 1896, p. 30f.
dreams. So they came and stood before the king. the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit .was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the 4 Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever : tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is usually rendered tell or declare. So Gen. xlvi. 31 (R. V. tell); Jud. xiii. 10; 1 Sam xi. 9 (R. V. told), xix. 7, xxv. 8 (R. V. told); 2 Ki. vi. 11 ; Is. xli. 22, 26 (R. V. declare), &c.; cf. the Parallel Psalter, p. 481.
was disturbed] or is disturbed. It is not perfectly clear whether the intention of the writer is to represent the king as having really forgotten the dream and desiring to have it recalled to him; or as still remembering it, and merely making this demand for the purpose of testing the magicians' skill.
4. in Syriack] in Aramaic, i.e. the language of the Aramaeans, an important branch of the Semitic stock, inhabiting chiefly Mesopotamia, Syria, and part of Arabia. There were numerous · Aramaic' dialectsas the Aramaic spoken in Assyria, at Zinjirli (near Aleppo), in Palmyra, in Tênia, by the Nabataeans at 'el'Öla, that of the books of Daniel and Ezra, that of the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, that of the Babylonian, that of the Palestinian Talmud—which, while similar in their general features, differed in details, somewhat in the manner in which the Greek dialects differed from one another: but the language which is now known distinctively as “Syriac,'-i.e. the language in which the 'Peshittā' version of the Bible (2nd cent. A.D.) was made, and in which an extensive Christian literature exists, -differs markedly from the Aramaic of Daniel and Ezra : and hence the rendering ‘Syriack” suggests an entirely false idea of the language here meant. R.V., 'in the Syrian language? (cf. Is. xxxvi. 11) is some improvement; but the term which ought to be employed is ‘Aramaic.'
The Aramaic part of the book begins with the words 0 king; and if (in) Aramaic' forms an integral part of the sentence, the author, it seems, must mean to indicate that in his opinion Aramaic was used at the court for communications of an official nature. That, however, does not explain why the use of Aramaic continues to the end of ch. vii.; and it is besides quite certain that Aramaic, such as that of the Book of Daniel, was not spoken in Babylon. Very probably Oppert, Lenormant, Nestle, and others are right in regarding' Aramaic' as originally a marginal note, indicating that that language begins to be used here; in this case the word will in English be naturally enclosed in brackets, And they spake to the king, (Aramaic) o king, &c. The second '(in) Aramaic' in Ezra iv. 7 is probably to be explained similarly (was written in Aramaic, and interpreted. [Aramaic]”).
o king, live for ever). The standing formula, with which, in Dan., the king is addressed (iii. 9, v. 10, vi. 6, 21); elsewhere (in the 3rd person) only on somewhat exceptional occasions, 1 Ki. i. 31 ; Neh. ii. 3.
we will shew] declare. 5. The thing is gone from me] The word spoken by me-lit.