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Daniel 2:11

    Daniel 2:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The king's request is a very hard one, and there is no other who is able to make it clear to the king, but the gods, whose living-place is not with flesh.

    Webster's Revision

    And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

    World English Bible

    It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

    Barnes' Notes on Daniel 2:11

    And it is a rare thing that the king requireth - Chaldee, יקירה yaqqı̂yrâh - meaning, "choice, valuable, costly;" then, "heavy, hard, difficult." Greek, βαρύς barus. Vulgate, "gravis - heavy, weighty." The idea is not so much that the thing demanded by the king was "uncommon" or "rarely made" - though that was true, as that it was so difficult as to be beyond the human powers. They would not have been likely on such an occasion to say that the requirement was absolutely unjust or unreasonable. The term which they used was respectful, and yet it implied that no man could have any hope of solving the question as it was proposed by him.

    And there is none other that can show it before the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh - This was clearly true, that a matter of that kind could not be disclosed except by Divine assistance. It would seem from this that these persons did not claim to be inspired, or to have communication with the gods; or, at least, that they did not claim to be inspired by the Supreme God, but that they relied on their own natural sagacity, and their careful and long study of the meaning of those occurrences which prefigured future events, and perhaps on the mystic arts derived from their acquaintance with science as then understood. The word "gods" here - אלהין 'ĕlâhı̂yn, the same as the Hebrew אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym - is in the plural number, but might be applied to the true God, as the Hebrew אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym often is. It is by no means certain that they meant to use this in the plural, or to say that it was an admitted truth that the gods worshipped in Babylon did not dwell with people.

    It was, undoubtedly, the common opinion that they did; that the temples were their abode; and that they frequently appeared among men, and took part in human affairs. But it was a very early opinion that the Supreme God was withdrawn from human affairs, and had committed the government of the world to intermediate beings - internuncii - demons, or aeons: beings of power far superior to that of men, who constantly mingled in human affairs. Their power, however, though great, was limited; and may not the Chaldeans here by the word אלהין 'ĕlâhı̂yn - have meant to refer to the Supreme God, and to say that this was a case which pertained to him alone; that no inferior divinity could be competent to do such a thing as he demanded; and that as the Supreme God did not dwell among men it was hopeless to attempt to explain the matter? Thus understood, the result will convey a higher truth, and will show more impressively the honor put on Daniel. The phrase, "whose dwelling is not with flesh," means "with men - in human bodies."

    On the supposition that this refers to the Supreme God, this undoubtedty accords with the prevailing sentiment of those times, that however often the inferior divinities might appear to men, and assume human forms, yet the Supreme God was far removed, and never thus took up his abode on the earth. They could hope, therefore, for no communication from Him who alone would be competent to the solution, of such a secret as this. This may be regarded, therefore, as a frank confession of their entire failure in the matter under consideration. They acknowledged that "they" themselves were not competent to the solution of the question, and they expressed the opinion that the ability to do it could not be obtained from the help which the inferior gods rendered to men, and that it was hopeless to expect the Supreme God - far withdrawn from human affairs - to interpose. It was a public acknowledgment that their art failed on a most important trial, and thus the way was prepared to show that Daniel, under the teaching of the true God, was able to accomplish what was wholly beyond all human power.

    The trial had been fairly made. The wisest men of the Chaldean realm had been applied to. They on whom reliance had been placed in such emergencies; they who professed to be able to explain the prognostics of future events; they who had been assembled at the most important and magnificent court of the world - the very center of Pagan power; they who had devoted their lives to investigations of this nature, and who might be supposed to be competent to such a work, if any on earth could, now openly acknowledged that their art failed them, and expressed the conviction that there was no resource in the case.