*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
At the end of twelve months - After the dream, and the interpretation - giving him ample opportunity to repent, and to reform his life, and to avoid the calamity.
He walked in the palace - Margin, "upon." The margin is the more correct rendering. The roofs of houses in the East are made flat, and furnish a common place of promenade, especially in the cool of the evening. See the note at Matthew 9:2. The Codex Chisianus has here, "The king walked upon the walls of the city with all his glory, and went around the towers, and answering, said." The place, however, upon which he walked, appears to have been the roof of his own palace - doubtless reared so high that he could have a good view of the city from it.
Of the kingdom of Babylon - Appertaining to that kingdom; the royal residence. As it is to be supposed that this "palace of the kingdom," on the roof of which the king walked, was what he had himself reared, and as this contributed much to the splendor of the capital of his empire, and doubtless was the occasion, in a considerable degree, of his vainglorious boasting when the judgment of heaven fell upon him Daniel 4:30-31, a brief description of that palace seems to he not inappropriate. The description is copied from an article on Babylon in Kitto's "Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature," vol. i. pp. 270, 271: "The new palace built by Nebuchadnezzar was prodigious in size and superb in embellishments. Its outer wall embraced six miles; within that circumference were two other embattled walls, besides a great tower. Three brazen gates led into the grand area, and every gate of consequence throughout the city was of brass. The palace was splendidly decorated with statues of men and animals, with vessels of gold and silver, and furnished with luxuries of all kinds brought thither from conquests in Egypt, Palestine, and Tyre. Its greatest boast were the hanging gardens, which acquired, even from Grecian writers, the appellation of one of the wonders of the world. They are attributed to the gallantry of Nebuchadnezzar, who constructed them in compliance with a wish of his queen Amytis to possess elevated groves, such as she had enjoyed on the hills around her native Ecbatana. Babylon was all flat, and to accomplish so extravagant a desire, an artificial mountain was reared, four hundred feet on each side, while terraces, one above another, rose to a height that overtopped the walls of the city, that is, above three hundred feet in elevation.
The ascent from terrace to terrace was made by corresponding flights of steps, while the terraces themselves were reared to their various stages on ranges of regular piers, which, forming a kind of vaulting, rose in succession one over the other to the required height of each terrace, the whole being bound together by a wall twenty-two feet in thickness. The level of each terrace or garden was then formed in the following manner: the tops of the piers were first laid over with flat stones, sixteen feet in length, and four in width; on these stones were spread beds of matting, then a thick layer of bitumen, after which came two courses of bricks, which were covered with sheets of solid lead. The earth was heaped on this platform, and in order to admit the roots of large trees, prodigious hollow piers were built and filled with mould. From the Euphrates, which flowed close to the foundation, water was drawn up by machinery. The whole, says Q. Curtius (Daniel 4:5), had, to those who saw it from a distance, the appearance of woods overhanging mountains. The remains of this palace are found in the vast mound or hill called by the natives "Kasr." It is of irregular form, eight hundred yards in length, and six hundred yards in breadth. Its appearance is constantly undergoing change from the continual digging which takes place in its inexhaustible quarries for brick of the strongest and finest material. Hence, the mass is furrowed into deep ravines, crossing and recrossing each other in every direction."
At the end of twelve (q) months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
(q) After Daniel had declared this vision: and this pride of his declares that it is not in man to convert to God, unless his Spirit moves him, seeing that these terrible threatenings could not move him to repent.
At the end of twelve months,.... After the dream, and the interpretation of it; which, according to Bishop Usher (s), Dean Prideaux (t), and Mr. Whiston (u), was in the year of the world 3435 A.M., and before Christ 569, and in the thirty sixth year of his reign: one whole year, a space of time, either which God gave him to repent in, or which he obtained by attending for a while to Daniel's advice:
he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon; or "upon the palace" (w); upon the roof of it, which in the eastern countries was usually flat and plain; and so Abydenus (x), in the above cited place, represents him, , as ascending upon his royal palace; when, after he had finished his oration on it, he disappeared. From hence he could take a full view of the great city of Babylon, which swelled him with pride and vanity, and which he expressed in the next verse; See Gill on Daniel 4:4, where also mention is made of his palace, the new one built by him. The old palace of the kings of Babylon stood on the east side of the river Euphrates, over against it, as Dean Prideaux (y) observes; on the other side of the river stood the new palace Nebuchadnezzar built. The old one was four miles in circumference; but this new one was eight miles, encompassed with three walls, one within another, and strongly fortified; and in it were hanging gardens, one of the wonders of the world, made by him for the pleasure of his wife Amyitis, daughter of Astyages king of Media; who being taken with the mountainous and woody parts of her native country, and retaining an inclination for them, desired something like it at Babylon; and, to gratify her herein, this surprising work was made: though Diodorus Siculus (z) says it was made by a Syrian king he does not name, for the sake of his concubine; and whose account of it, and which is given from him by Dean Prideaux (a), and the authors of the Universal History (b), is this, and in the words of the latter:
"these gardens are said to contain a square of four plethra, or four hundred feet on each side, and to have consisted of terraces one above another, carried up to the height of the wall of the city; the ascent, from terrace to terrace, being by steps ten feet wide. The whole pile consisted of substantial arches up on arches, and was strengthened by a wall, surrounding it on every side, twenty two feet thick; and the floors on each of them were laid in this order: first on the tops of the arches was laid a bed or pavement of stones, sixteen feet long, and four feet broad; over this was a layer of reed, mixed with a great quantity of bitumen; and over this two courses of brick, closely cemented with plaster; and over all these were thick sheets of lead, and on these the earth or mould of the garden. This floorage was designed to retain the moisture of the mould; which was so deep as to give root to the greatest trees, which were planted on every terrace, together with great variety of other vegetables, pleasing to the eye; upon the uppermost of these terraces was a reservoir, supplied by a certain engine with water from the river, from whence the gardens at the other terraces were supplied.''
And it was either on the roof of the palace, as before observed, or perhaps it might be upon this uppermost terrace, that Nebuchadnezzar was walking, and from whence he might take a view of the city of Babylon; the greatness of which, as set forth by him, he prided himself with, in the following words:
(s) Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3435. (t) Connexion, &c. part. 1. p. 105. (u) Chronological Tables, cent. 10. (w) "super palatium", Vatablus; "super palatio", Cecceius, Michaelis. (x) Apud Euseb. ut supra. (Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457.) (y) Connexion, &c. part 1. B. 2. p. 102. (z) Biliothec. I. 2. p. 98. (a) Ibid. (b) Vol. 4. B. 1. ch. 9. p. 409, 410.
twelve months--This respite was granted to him to leave him without excuse. So the hundred twenty years granted before the flood (Genesis 6:3). At the first announcement of the coming judgment he was alarmed, as Ahab (1-Kings 21:27), but did not thoroughly repent; so when judgment was not executed at once, he thought it would never come, and so returned to his former pride (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
in the palace--rather, upon the (flat) palace roof, whence he could contemplate the splendor of Babylon. So the heathen historian, ABYDENUS, records. The palace roof was the scene of the fall of another king (2-Samuel 11:2). The outer wall of Nebuchadnezzar's new palace embraced six miles; there were two other embattled walls within, and a great tower, and three brazen gates.
*More commentary available at chapter level.