Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Daniel 4:8

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But at the last - After the others had shown that they could not interpret the dream. Why Daniel was not called with the others does not appear; nor is it said in what manner he was at last summoned into the presence of the king. It is probable that his skill on a former occasion Daniel 1:7.

According to the name of my god - That is, the name of my god Bel, or Belus, is incorporated in the name given to him. This is referred to here, probably, to show the propriety of thus invoking his aid; because he bore the name of the god whom the monarch had adored. There would seem to be a special fitness in summoning him before him, to explain what was supposed to be an intimation of the will of the god whom he worshipped. There is a singular, though not unnatural, mixture of the sentiments of paganism and of the true religion in the expressions which this monarch uses in this chapter. He had been a pagan all his life; yet he had had some knowledge of the true God, and had been made to feel that he was worthy of universal adoration and praise, Daniel 2. That, in this state of mind, he should alternately express such sentiments as were originated by paganism, and those which spring from just views of God, is not unnatural or improbable.

And in whom is the spirit of the holy gods - It is not easy to determine whom he meant by the holy gods. It would seem probable that this was such language as was dictated by the fact that he had been an idolater. He had been brought to feel that the God whom Daniel worshipped, and by whose aid he had been enabled to interpret the dream, was a true God, and was worthy of universal homage; but perhaps his ideas were still much confused, and he only regarded him as superior to all others, though he did not intend to deny the real existence of others. It might be true, in his apprehension, that there were other gods, though the God of Daniel was supreme, and perhaps he meant to say that the spirit of all the gods was in Daniel; that in an eminent degree he was the favorite of heaven, and that he was able to interpret any communication which came from the invisible world. It is perhaps unnecessary to observe here that the word spirit has no intended reference to the Holy Spirit. It is probably used with reference to the belief that the gods were accustomed to impart wisdom and knowledge to certain men, and may mean that the very spirit of wisdom and knowledge which dwelt in the gods themselves seemed to dwell in the bosom of Daniel.

And before him I told the dream - Not requiring him, as he did before Daniel 2, to state both the dream and its meaning.

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.
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 514-22

This chapter is based on Daniel 4.

Exalted to the pinnacle of worldly honor, and acknowledged even by Inspiration as “a king of kings” (Ezekiel 26:7). Nebuchadnezzar nevertheless at times had ascribed to the favor of Jehovah the glory of his kingdom and the splendor of his reign. Such had been the case after his dream of the great image. His mind had been profoundly influenced by this vision and by the thought that the Babylonian Empire, universal though it was, was finally to fall, and other kingdoms were to bear sway, until at last all earthly powers were to be superseded by a kingdom set up by the God of heaven, which kingdom was never to be destroyed. PK 514.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 126-7

Paul says further: “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Verses 14, 15. One of the lessons that we are to learn in the school of Christ is that the Lord's love for us is far greater than that of our earthly parents. We are to have unquestioning faith and perfect confidence in Him. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Verses 16, 17. 8T 126.1

May the Lord help you, as a diligent student in the school of Christ, to learn to lay your burdens on Jesus. And if you are free in His love, you will look above and away from these annoying trials. Think of what Jesus has endured for you, and never forget that it is part of the legacy that we have received as Christians, to be partakers with Him of His sufferings, that we may be partakers with Him of His glory. 8T 126.2

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