How is Sheshach taken! - Perhaps the city is here called by the name of its idol.
The praise of the whole earth - One of the seven wonders of the world; superexcellent for the height, breadth, and compass of its walls, its hanging gardens, the temple of Belus, etc., etc.
Sheshach - Babylon: see the Jeremiah 51:1 note.
Surprised - i. e., seized, captured.
It is not surprising that the successful monarch, so ambitious and so proud-spirited, should be tempted to turn aside from the path of humility, which alone leads to true greatness. In the intervals between his wars of conquest he gave much thought to the strengthening and beautifying of his capital, until at length the city of Babylon became the chief glory of his kingdom, “the golden city,” “the praise of the whole earth.” His passion as a builder, and his signal success in making Babylon one of the wonders of the world, ministered to his pride, until he was in grave danger of spoiling his record as a wise ruler whom God could continue to use as an instrument for the carrying out of the divine purpose. PK 515.1
In mercy God gave the king another dream, to warn him of his peril and of the snare that had been laid for his ruin. In a vision of the night, Nebuchadnezzar saw a great tree growing in the midst of the earth, its top towering to the heavens and its branches stretching to the ends of the earth. Flocks and herds from the mountains and hills enjoyed shelter beneath its shadow, and the birds of the air built their nests in its boughs. “The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: ... and all flesh was fed of it.” PK 515.2
As the king gazed upon the lofty tree, he beheld “a Watcher,” even “an Holy One,” who approached the tree and in a loud voice cried: PK 516.1Read in context »
This chapter is based on Daniel 5.
Toward the close of Daniel's life great changes were taking place in the land to which, over threescore years before, he and his Hebrew companions had been carried captive. Nebuchadnezzar, “the terrible of the nations” (Ezekiel 28:7), had died, and Babylon, “the praise of the whole earth” (Jeremiah 51:41), had passed under the unwise rule of his successors, and gradual but sure dissolution was resulting. PK 522.1Read in context »
More than a century before, Inspiration had foretold that “the night of ... pleasure” during which king and counselors would vie with one another in blasphemy against God, would suddenly be changed into a season of fear and destruction. And now, in rapid succession, momentous events followed one another exactly as had been portrayed in the prophetic scriptures years before the principals in the drama had been born. PK 531.1
While still in the festal hall, surrounded by those whose doom has been sealed, the king is informed by a messenger that “his city is taken” by the enemy against whose devices he had felt so secure; “that the passages are stopped, ... and the men of war are affrighted.” Verses 31, 32. Even while he and his nobles were drinking from the sacred vessels of Jehovah, and praising their gods of silver and of gold, the Medes and the Persians, having turned the Euphrates out of its channel, were marching into the heart of the unguarded city. The army of Cyrus now stood under the walls of the palace; the city was filled with the soldiers of the enemy, “as with caterpillars” (verse 14); and their triumphant shouts could be heard above the despairing cries of the astonished revelers. PK 531.2
“In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain,” and an alien monarch sat upon the throne. PK 531.3Read in context »