on Daniel 2 :46
The king - fell upon his face - Prostrated himself: this was the fullest act of adoration among the ancients.
Worshipped Daniel - Supposing him to be a god, or Divine being. No doubt Daniel forbade him; for to receive this would have been gross idolatry.
on Daniel 2 :46
Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face - This was the common method of signifying profound respect among the Orientals. Compare Genesis 17:3; Genesis 50:18; Leviticus 9:24; Numbers 14:5; Joshua 5:14; Judges 13:20; Revelation 11:16.
And worshipped Daniel - The word rendered "worshipped" here (סגד segid), in the Chaldee portions of the Bible is uniformly rendered "worship," Daniel 2:26; Daniel 3:5-7, Daniel 3:10-12, Daniel 3:14-15, Daniel 3:18, Daniel 3:28. It occurs nowhere else, and in every instance, except in the one before us, is employed with reference to the homage paid to an idol, all the other cases occurring in the third chapter respecting the image that was set up by Nebuchadnezzar. The corresponding Hebrew word (סגד sâgad) occurs only in Isaiah 44:15, Isaiah 44:17, Isaiah 44:19; Isaiah 46:6; and is, in every instance, rendered "fall down," also with reference to idols. The proper idea, therefore, of the word here is, that the monarch meant to render "religious" homage to Daniel, or such adoration as was usually paid to idols. This is confirmed by witat is immediately added, that he commanded that an oblation should be made to him. It is not, however, necessary to suppose that Daniel "received" or "approved" this religious homage of the king, or that he left the impression on his mind that he was "willing" to be honored as a god. The prostration of the king before him, of course, he could not prevent. The views and feelings which the monarch had in doing it he could not prevent. The command to present an "oblation and sweet odors to him" he could not prevent. But it is not a fair inference that Daniel approved this, or that he did anything to countenance it, or even that he did not, in a proper manner, rebuke it: for
(1) We are not to suppose that all that was said was recorded, and no one can prove that Daniel did not express his disapprobation of this religious honor shown to him.
(2) Daniel had in fact, expressed his views, in the clearest manner, on this very point before the monarch. He had, again and again, disclaimed all power to be able to reveal such secrets. He had directed his mind to the true God, as he who alone could disclose coming events, Daniel 2:28, Daniel 2:30, Daniel 2:45. He had taken all possible precaution to prevent any such result, by declaring, in the most emphatic terms Daniel 2:30, that this secret was not revealed to him "on account of any wisdom which he had more than any living." If now, after all this precaution, and these disclaimers, the king should prostrate himself before him, and, for the moment, feel that he was in the presence of a God, Daniel was not responsible for it, and it should not be inferred that he encouraged or approved it.
(3) It would seem, from the narrative itself, more than probable that Daniel did refuse the homage, and direct the thoughts of the monarch to the true God. In the very next verse it is said, "The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets." "Answered" what? Perhaps something that was said by Daniel. At all events, it is clear from this that whatever were the momentary expressions of wonder, gratitude, and adoration, on the part of the king, his thoughts soon passed to the proper object of worship - the true God. "And commanded, etc." The fact that this was "commanded" does not prove that it was done. The command was probably given under the excitement of his admiration and wonder. But it does not follow that Daniel received it, or that the command was not recalled on reflection, or that the oblation and odors may not have been presented to the true God.
That they should offer an oblation - That is, his attendants, or perhaps the priests to whom pertained the duty of making offerings to the gods. The word rendered "oblation" (מנחה minchāh) does not refer to a, "bloody" sacrifice, but means a gift or present of any kind. It is applied in the Scriptures to denote
(1) "a gift," or "present," Genesis 32:13, Genesis 32:18, Genesis 32:20 (Genesis 32:14, Genesis 32:19, Genesis 32:21); Genesis 43:11, Genesis 43:15, Genesis 43:25-26;
(2) "a tribute," such as was exacted from a subject nation, under the notion of a present, 2 Samuel 8:2, 2 Samuel 8:6; 1 Kings 4:21 1 Kings 5:1,
(3) "an offering" or sacrifice to God, especially a bloodless offering, in opposition to (זבח zebach) - a bloody sacrifice, Leviticus 2:1, Leviticus 2:4-6; Leviticus 6:14 (7); Leviticus 7:9; Psalm 40:6 (7); Jeremiah 17:26.
See the word fully explained in the notes at Isaiah 1:13. There can be no doubt that Nebuchadnezzar meant that such an offering should be presented as was usually made in idol worship.
And sweet odors - incense was commonly used in worship (see the notes at Isaiah 1:13), and it is not improbable that in the worship of the gods it was accompanied with other fragrant odors. Sweet odors, or "savors," expressed by the same word which is used here, were a part of the prescribed worship in the Hebrew ritual, Leviticus 1:9, Leviticus 1:13, Leviticus 1:17; Leviticus 2:2, Leviticus 2:9; Leviticus 3:5; Leviticus 6:21 (14); Numbers 15:7.
on Daniel 2 :46
2:46 That they should offer - This was strange, that so great a monarch should thus worship his vassal, which he did in consternation and admiration. But doubtless Daniel put a stop to it: though he could not hinder the king in his prostration, and in his word of command. And the king being instructed of Daniel, gives God all the glory in the next words.