Daniel 3:4 MEANING

Daniel 3:4
(4) People, nations.--In Biblical language the latter word is used (Genesis 25:16) of the tribes of Ishmael, each of which had its own head, or of the Midianites (Numbers 25:15). The former is applied to Israel in Psalm 111:6, where occurs the phrase, "people of Jehovah." The word "languages" is applied (Genesis 10:5; Genesis 10:20, &c.) to tribes as represented by their languages. Hence these three expressions denote all nations subject to the empire, of whatever description of language, government, or federation. (Comp. Daniel 3:29, and Daniel 4:1; Daniel 7:14.)

Verses 4, 5. - Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up. The Septuagint rendering is, "And the herald proclaimed to the multitudes, To you it is announced, peoples and countries, nations and tongues, when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, the pipe, the harp, the sackbut, and psaltery, of chorus, and of all kinds of music, that ye fall down and worship the golden image which King Nebuchadnezzar set up." It is clear that the Septuagint translator rendered חיל as "host," and translated בְ as if it were לְ. The balanced cadence of the next clause seems more natural, if due to the Aramaic source than to the Greek translator. The musical instruments are also arranged in the same cadenced fashion, broken to some extent by συμφωνία. Theodotion is, as usual, in closer agreement with the Massoretic text, but omits συμφωνία. The Peshitta in the fourth verse agrees not only word for word, but we might almost say syllable for syllable, with the Massoretic text. In the fifth verse it omits pesanterin; instead of sabka, it has kinora, which is usually regarded as the Hebrew equivalent of κιθάρα; instead of συμφωνία, it has tziphonia, which suggests a different etymology. It is true Strack ('Neu Hebraische Sprache') points out that ס has a tendency to become צ before syllables with the ד sound or at the end of words, but this is neither of these; the syllable with צ is the first, not the last, and there is no d or t sound in the word. Jerome is in strict verbal agreement with the Massoretic text. We shall have to devote a short excursus to the names of the musical instruments which occur here. In eagerness to find proofs of the late origin of the Book of Daniel - of its origin in the times of the Hellenic domination, karoza was derived from .κήρυξ, that etymology is universally abandoned now. O people, nations, and languages. It ought rather to be peoples. Bishop Wordsworth remarks on the resemblance which this phrase bears to tsar used of the mystical Babylon in Revelation (Revelation 13:7; 17:15), and adds that she also "commands them to fall down and worship the image which she has set up." In regard to the following verse, the sculptures of Nineveh prove the prominence given to music in all important occasions, as the celebration of a triumph or the dedication of a temple. The names of the musical instruments are not so generally preserved. It was most likely when the rays of the morning sun smote the golden tip of the obelisk, that there came the burst of music which was to serve as a signal for all the multitudes to fall down and worship. The image was looked upon as the sign of the god it represented; it received the worship meant for him.

3:1-7 In the height of the image, about thirty yards, probably is included a pedestal, and most likely it was only covered with plates of gold, not a solid mass of that precious metal. Pride and bigotry cause men to require their subjects to follow their religion, whether right or wrong, and when worldly interest allures, and punishment overawes, few refuse. This is easy to the careless, the sensual, and the infidel, who are the greatest number; and most will go their ways. There is nothing so bad which the careless world will not be drawn to by a concert of music, or driven to by a fiery furnace. By such methods, false worship has been set up and maintained.Then an herald cried aloud,.... That his voice might be heard all over the plain; or if it should be thought that one was not sufficient to be heard throughout, which probably was the case, and where; so great a number being assembled together, all could not hear one man, the singular may be put for the plural; and many being set in different places in the plain, and speaking different languages, might proclaim when the image was dedicated, as follows:

to you it is commanded; by the king's authority:

O people, nations, and languages; the several kingdoms, states, and provinces, that belonged to the Babylonian monarchy, and spoke different languages, as now represented by their several governors and officers; as the Armenians, Parthians, Medes, Persians, &c.

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