Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Daniel 4:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people - This is a regular decree, and is one of the most ancient on record; and no doubt was copied from the state papers of Babylon. Daniel has preserved it in the original language.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people … - The Syriac here has, “Nebuchadnezzar the king wrote to all people, etc.” Many manuscripts in the Chaldee have שׁלח shâlach “sent,” and some have כתב kethab “wrote;” but neither of these readings are probably genuine, nor are they necessary. The passage is rather a part of the edict of the king than a narrative of the author of the book, and in such an edict the comparatively abrupt style of the present reading would be what would be adopted. The Septuagint has inserted here a historical statement of the fact that Nebuchadnezzar did actually issue such an edict: “And Nebuchadnezzar the king wrote an encyclical epistle - ἐπιστολὴν ἐγκύκλιον epistolēn egkuklion - to all those nations in every place, and to the regions, and to all the tongues that dwell in all countries, generations and generations: ‹Nebuchadnezzar the king,‘” etc. But nothing of this is in the original.

Unto all people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth - That is, people speaking all the languages of the earth. Many nations were under the scepter of the king of Babylon; but it would seem that he designed this as a general proclamation, not only to those who were embraced in his empire, but to all the people of the world. Such a proclamation would be much in accordance with the Oriental style. Compare the note at Daniel 3:4.

Peace be multiplied unto you - This is in accordance with the usual Oriental salutation. Compare Genesis 43:23; Judges 6:23; 1 Samuel 25:6; Psalm 122:7; Luke 10:5; Ephesians 6:23; 1 Peter 1:2. This is the salutation with which one meets another now in the Oriental world - the same word still being retained, “Shalom,” or “Salam.” The idea seemed to be, that every blessing was found in peace, and every evil in conflict and war. The expression included the wish that they might be preserved from all that would disturb them; that they might be contented, quiet, prosperous, and happy. When it is said “peace be multiplied,” the wish is that it might abound, or that they might be blessed with the numberless mercies which peace produces.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 85

Verse 1

THIS chapter opens, says Dr. Clarke, with “a regular decree, and one of the most ancient on record.” It was from the pen of Nebuchadnezzar, and was promulgated in the usual form. He wishes to make known, not to a few only, but to all people, nations, and languages, the wonderful dealings of God with him. People are ever ready to tell what God has done for them in the way of benefits and blessings. We ought to be no less ready to tell what God has done for us in the way of humiliation and chastisements; and Nebuchadnezzar sets us a good example in this respect, as we shall see from the subsequent portions of this chapter. He frankly confesses the vanity and pride of his heart, and the means that God took to abase him. With a genuine spirit of repentance and humiliation, he thinks it good, of his own free will, to show these things, that the sovereignty of God may be extolled, and his name adored. In reference to the kingdom, he no longer claims immutability for his own, but makes a full surrender to God, in acknowledging his kingdom alone to be everlasting, and his dominion from generation to generation.DAR 85.2

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The beginning and end of this chapter lead us to hope, that Nebuchadnezzar was a monument of the power of Divine grace, and of the riches of Divine mercy. After he was recovered from his madness, he told to distant places, and wrote down for future ages, how God had justly humbled and graciously restored him. When a sinner comes to himself, he will promote the welfare of others, by making known the wondrous mercy of God. Nebuchadnezzar, before he related the Divine judgments upon him for his pride, told the warnings he had in a dream or vision. The meaning was explained to him. The person signified, was to be put down from honour, and to be deprived of the use of his reason seven years. This is surely the sorest of all temporal judgments. Whatever outward affliction God is pleased to lay upon us, we have cause to bear it patiently, and to be thankful that he continues the use of our reason, and the peace of our consciences. Yet if the Lord should see fit by such means to keep a sinner from multiplying crimes, or a believer from dishonouring his name, even the dreadful prevention would be far preferable to the evil conduct. God has determined it, as a righteous Judge, and the angels in heaven applaud. Not that the great God needs the counsel or concurrence of the angels, but it denotes the solemnity of this sentence. The demand is by the word of the holy ones, God's suffering people: when the oppressed cry to God, he will hear. Let us diligently seek blessings which can never be taken from us, and especially beware of pride and forgetfulness of God.