Daniel 4:30 MEANING



Daniel 4:30
(30) Great Babylon.--The area of Babylon is said to have been 200 square miles. It was surrounded by walls 85 feet in width, 335 feet high. In these were brazen gates leading to various terraces which faced the river Euphrates. Within the walls the city was laid out in smaller towns, separated from each other by parks and plantations and gardens; in fact, it is stated that corn sufficient for the whole population could be grown within the walls. There were also magnificent public buildings. Nebuchadnezzar (Records of the Past, vol. v., pp. 113-135) mentions no less than eight temples which he completed, besides the huge temple of Merodach immediately across the Euphrates facing the royal palace. Walking on the flat roof of this palace, and with this grand spectacle before him, the king uttered these words. True, indeed, they were, but they show that during the twelve months which had been allotted to the king for repentance his pride remained unabated; he had not repented as Daniel had counselled him.

Verse 30. - The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? The meaning of the Septuagint rendering is the same as the above, "This is Babylon the great, which I built, and the house of my kingdom is it called, in the might of my power, to the honour of my glory." Theodotion and the Peshitta in the main agree with the received text. It is one of the characteristics of the earlier Chaldean monarchs who reigned over the small Chaldean cantons in Mesopotamia, that they named their capital city from themselves, as Bit-Dakuri and Bit-Adini; the capital of Merodach-Baladan was called after his father, Bit-Jakin. We need scarcely explain that bit represents beth, "house." In all ages an imperial power has expressed its greatness in the splen-dour of its capital, but in the case of the Babylonian Empire, Nebuchadnezzar was the empire, therefore the splendour of the city was a testimony to his glory.

4:28-37 Pride and self-conceit are sins that beset great men. They are apt to take that glory to themselves which is due to God only. While the proud word was in the king's mouth, the powerful word came from God. His understanding and his memory were gone, and all the powers of the rational soul were broken. How careful we ought to be, not to do any thing which may provoke God to put us out of our senses! God resists the proud. Nebuchadnezzar would be more than a man, but God justly makes him less than a man. We may learn to believe concerning God, that the most high God lives for ever, and that his kingdom is like himself, everlasting, and universal. His power cannot be resisted. When men are brought to honour God, by confession of sin and acknowledging his sovereignty, then, and not till then, they may expect that God will honour them; not only restore them to the dignity they lost by the sin of the first Adam, but add excellent majesty to them, from the righteousness and grace of the Second Adam. Afflictions shall last no longer than till they have done the work for which they were sent. There can be no reasonable doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a true penitent, and an accepted believer. It is thought that he did not live more than a year after his restoration. Thus the Lord knows how to abase those that walk in pride, but gives grace and consolation to the humble, broken-hearted sinner who calls upon Him.The king spake and said,.... Either within himself, or to his nobles about him; or perhaps to foreigners he had took up with him hither to show the grandeur of the city:

is not this great Babylon, that I have built; he might well call it great, for, according to Aristotle (c), it was more like a country than a city; it was, as Pliny (d) says, sixty miles in compass within the walls; and Herodotus (e) affirms it was four hundred and fourscore furlongs round, and such the "greatness" of it, and so beautified, as no other city was he ever knew; See Gill on Jeremiah 51:58, though the king seems to have gone too far, in ascribing the building of it to himself; at least he was not the original builder of it; for it was built many hundreds of years before he was born, by Nimrod or Belus, who were the same, Genesis 10:10, and was much increased and strengthened by Semiramis, the wife of his son Ninus; therefore to her sometimes the building of it is ascribed; but inasmuch as it might be in later times greatly neglected by the Assyrian kings, Nineveh being the seat of their empire; Nebuchadnezzar, when he came to the throne, and especially after he had enriched himself with the spoils of the conquered nations, greatly enlarged, beautified, and fortified it: and Berosus (f) relates, that he not only adorned the temple of Bel therewith, but of the city which was of old he made a new one, and fortified it, built three walls within, and as many without; and another royal palace contiguous to his father's, which greatly exceeded it; and hanging gardens in it, which looked at a distance like mountains, for the pleasure of his wife; and now, because he had done so much to the repairing, enlarging, and fortifying of this city, he takes the honour to himself of being the builder of it: and this was done, he says,

for the house of the kingdom; that it might be the seat of the empire, and a proper place for the royal family to dwell in, to have their palace, and keep their court in:

by the might of my power; through the great riches he was possessed of, which he employed in many great works, as before related, to the advantage of this city; he takes all to himself, and excludes all instruments, and even God himself; though, unless the Lord build the city, in vain the builders build, Psalm 127:1,

for the honour of my majesty? not so much for the benefit of the city, for the good of his subjects, as for the honour and glory of himself; to show his riches, power, and grandeur, and to make his name immortal to future ages.

(c) Politic. l. 3. c. 3.((d) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 26. (e) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 178. (f) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 1. & contr. Allion, 1. 1. sect. 19.

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