Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Daniel
Book: Daniel
Chapter: 2

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream. (1-13) It is revealed to Daniel.
(14-23) He obtains admission to the King. (24-30) The Dream and
the interpretation. (31-45) Honours to Daniel and his friends.

1-13 The greatest men are most open to cares and troubles of
mind, which disturb their repose in the night, while the sleep
of the labouring Man is sweet and sound. We know not the
uneasiness of many who live in great pomp, and, as others vainly
think, in pleasure also. The King said that his learned men must
tell him the Dream itself, or they should all be Put to Death as
deceivers. Men are more eager to ask as to future events, than
to learn the way of Salvation or the path of duty; yet
foreknowledge of future events increases anxiety and trouble.
Those who deceived, By pretending to do what they could not do,
were sentenced to Death, for not being able to do what they did
not pretend to.

14-23 Daniel humbly prayed that God would discover to him the
King's Dream, and the meaning of it. Praying friends are
valuable friends; and it Well becomes the greatest and best men
to desire the prayers of others. Let us show that we value our
friends, and their prayers. They were particular in Prayer. And
whatever we pray for, we can expect nothing but as the Gift of
God's mercies. God gives us leave in Prayer to tell our wants
and burdens. Their plea with God was, the peril they were in.
The Mercy Daniel and his fellows prayed for, was bestowed. The
fervent prayers of righteous men avail much. Daniel was thankful
to God for making known that to him, which saved the lives of
himself and his fellows. How much more should we be thankful to
God, for making known the great Salvation of the soul to those
who are not among the worldly Wise and prudent!

24-30 Daniel takes away the King's opinion of his Magicians and
soothsayers. The insufficiency of creatures should drive us to
the all-sufficiency of the Creator. There is One who can do that
for us, and make known that to us, which none On Earth can,
particularly the work of Redemption, and the secret designs of
God's Love to us therein. Daniel confirmed the King in his
opinion, that the Dream was of great consequence, relating to
the affairs and changes of this lower world. Let those whom God
has highly favoured and honoured, lay aside all opinion of their
own Wisdom and worthiness, that the Lord alone may be praised
for the good they have and do.

31-45 This image represented the kingdoms of the Earth, that
should successively rule the nations, and influence the affairs
of the Jewish Church. 1. The head of Gold signified the Chaldean
empire, then in being. 2. The breast and arms of Silver
signified the empire of the Medes and Persians. 3. The Belly and
thighs of Brass signified the Grecian empire, founded By
Alexander. 4. The legs and feet of Iron signified the Roman
empire. The Roman empire branched into ten kingdoms, as the toes
of these feet. Some were weak as Clay, others strong as Iron.
Endeavours have often been used to unite them, for strengthening
the empire, but in vain. The Stone cut out without hands,
represented the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, which should
be set up in the kingdoms of the world, upon the ruins of
Satan's kingdom in them. This was the Stone which the builders
refused, because it was not cut out By their hands, but it is
become the head Stone of the Corner. Of the increase of Christ's
government and peace there shall be No End. The Lord shall
reign, not only to the End of time, but when time and days shall
be No more. As far as events have gone, the fulfilling this
prophetic Vision has been most exact and undeniable; future ages
shall Witness this Stone destroying the image, and filling the
whole Earth.

46-49 It is our business to direct attention to the Lord, as
the Author and Giver of every good Gift. Many have thoughts of
the Divine power and majesty, who do not think of serving God
themselves. But all should strive, that God may be glorified,
and the best interests of mankind furthered.