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Daniel 2:4

    Daniel 2:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then the Chaldaeans said to the king in the Aramaean language, O King, have life for ever: give your servants an account of your dream, and we will make clear to you the sense of it.

    Webster's Revision

    Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

    World English Bible

    Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live forever: tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

    Definitions for Daniel 2:4

    Tell - To number; count.

    Clarke's Commentary on Daniel 2:4

    Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac - ארמית aramith, the language of Aram or Syria. What has been generally called the Chaldee.

    O king, live for ever - מלכא לעלמין חיי Malca leolmin cheyi. With these words the Chaldee part of Daniel commences; and continues to the end of the seventh chapter. These kinds of compliments are still in use in the East Indies. A superior gives a blessing to an inferior by saying to him, when the latter is in the act of doing him reverence, "Long life to thee." A poor man, going into the presence of a king to solicit a favor, uses the same kind of address: O father, thou art the support of the destitute; mayest thou live to old age! - Ward's Customs.

    Barnes' Notes on Daniel 2:4

    Then spake the Chaldeans to the king - The meaning is, either that the Chaldeans spoke in the name of the entire company of the soothsayers and magicians (see the notes, Daniel 1:20; Daniel 2:2), because they were the most prominent among them, or the name is used to denote the collective body of soothsayers, meaning that this request was made by the entire company.

    In Syriac - In the original - ארמית 'ărâmı̂yt - in "Aramean." Greek, Συριστὶ Suristi - "in Syriac." So the Vulgate. The Syriac retains the original word. The word means Aramean, and the reference is to that language which is known as East Aramean - a general term embracing the Chaldee, the Syriac, and the languages which were spoken in Mesopotamia. See the notes at Daniel 1:4. This was the vernacular tongue of the king and of his subjects, and was that in which the Chaldeans would naturally address him. It is referred to here by the author of this book, perhaps to explain the reason why he himself makes use of this language in explaining the dream. The use of this, however, is not confined to the statement of what the magicians said, but is continued to the close of the seventh chapter. Compare the Intro. Section IV. III. The language used is what is commonly called Chaldee. It is written in the same character as the Hebrew, and differs from that as one dialect differs from another. It was, doubtless, well understood by the Jews in their captivity, and was probably spoken by them after their return to their own land.

    O king, live for ever - This is a form of speech quite common in addressing monarchs. See 1 Samuel 10:24; 1 Kings 1:25 (margin); Daniel 3:9; Daniel 5:10. The expression is prevalent still, as in the phrases, "Long live the king," "Vive l' empereur," "Vive le roi," etc. It is founded on the idea that long life is to be regarded as a blessing, and that we can in no way express our good wishes for anyone better than to wish him length of days. In this place, it was merely the usual expression of respect and homage, showing their earnest wish for the welfare of the monarch. They were willing to do anything to promote his happiness, and the continuance of his life and reign. It was especially proper for them to use this language, as they wore about to make a rather unusual request, which "might" be construed as an act of disrespect, implying that the king had not given them all the means which it was equitable for them to have in explaining the matter, by requiring them to interpret the dream when he had not told them what it was.

    Tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation - The claim which they set up in regard to the future was evidently only that of "explaining" what were regarded as the prognostics of future events. It was not that of being able to recal what is forgotten, or even to "originate" what might be regarded preintimations of what is to happen. This was substantially the claim which was asserted by all the astrologers, augurs, and soothsayers of ancient times. Dreams, the flight of birds, the aspect of the entrails of animals slain for sacrifice, the positions of the stars, meteors, and uncommon appearances in the heavens, were supposed to be intimations made by the gods of what was to occur in future times, and the business of those who claimed the power of divining the future was merely to interpret these things. When the king, therefore, required that they should recal the dream itself to his own mind, it was a claim to something which was not involved in their profession, and which they regarded as unjust. To that power they made no pretensions. If it be asked why, as they were mere jugglers and pretenders, they did not "invent" something and state "that" as his dream, since he had forgotten what his dream actually was, we may reply,

    (1) that there is no certain evidence that they were not sincere in what they professed themselves able to do - for we are not to suppose that all who claimed to be soothsayers and astrologers were hypocrites and intentional deceivers. It was not at that period of the world certainly determined that nothing could be ascertained respecting the future by dreams, and by the positions of the stars, etc. Dreams "were" among the methods by which the future was made known; and whether the knowledge of what is to come could be obtained from the positions of the stars, etc., was a question which was at that time unsettled Even Lord Bacon maintained that the science of astrology was not to be "rejected," but to be "reformed."

    (2) If the astrologers had been disposed to attempt to deceive the king, there is no probability that they could have succeeded in palming an invention of their own on him as his own dream. We may not be able distinctly to recollect a dream, but we have a sufficient impression of it - of its outlines - or of some striking, though disconnected, things in it, to know what it is "not." We might instantly recognize it if stated to us; we should see at once, if anyone should attempt to deceive us by palming an invented dream on us, that "that" was not what we had dreamed.

    Wesley's Notes on Daniel 2:4

    2:4 In Syriack - That is in the Chaldee tongue, for Syria or Aram is sometimes taken in a large sense, containing, Assyria, Babylon, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Palestine, 2Kings 18:26. From hence all is written in the Chaldee language, to the eighth chapter .