Daniel - 4:30

30 The king spoke and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?

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Explanation and meaning of Daniel 4:30.

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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?
And the king answered, and said: Is not this the great Babylon, which I have built to be the seat of the kingdom, by the strength of my power, and in the glory of my excellence?
the king spoke 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 glory of my majesty?
The king spoke, 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 honor of my majesty?
the king hath answered and said, Is not this that great Babylon that I have built, for the house of the kingdom, in the might of my strength, and for the glory of mine honour?
The king made answer and said, Is this not great Babylon, which I have made for the living-place of kings, by the strength of my power and for the glory of my honour?
Loquutus est rex et dixit, An non haec est Babylon magna, quam ego aedificavi in domum regni, [228] in robore fortitudinis meae, et in pretium, vel, excellentiam, decoris mei?

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Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

The king spake and said - The Chaldee, and the Greek of Theodotion and of the Codex Chisianus here is, "the king answered and said:" perhaps he replied to some remark made by his attendants in regard to the magnitude of the city; or perhaps the word "answered" is used, as it often seems to be in the Scriptures, to denote a reply to something passing in the mind that is not uttered; to some question or inquiry that the mind starts. He might merely have been thinking of the magnitude of this city, and he gave response to those thoughts in the language which follows.
Is not this great Babylon, that I have built - In regard to the situation and the magnitude of Babylon, and the agency of Nebuchadnezzar in beautifying and enlarging it, see the analysis prefixed to the notes at Isaiah. 13. He greatly enlarged the city; built a new city on the west side of the river; reared a magnificent palace; and constructed the celebrated hanging gardens; and, in fact, made the city so different from what it was, and so greatly increased its splendor, that he could say without impropriety that he had "built" it.
For the house of the kingdom - To be considered altogether - embracing the whole city - as a sort of palace of the kingdom. He seems to have looked upon the whole city as one vast palace fitted to be an appropriate residence of the sovereign of so vast an empire.
And for the honour of my majesty - To ennoble or glorify my reign; or where one of so much majesty as I am may find an appropriate home.

Is not this great Babylon - Here his heart was inflated with pride; he attributed every thing to himself, and acknowledged God in nothing. The walls, hanging gardens, temple of Bel, and the royal palace, all built by Nebuchadnezzar, made it the greatest city in the world.

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.

Babylon, that I have built--HERODOTUS ascribes the building of Babylon to Semiramis and Nitocris, his informant under the Persian dynasty giving him the Assyrian and Persian account. BEROSUS and ABYDENUS give the Babylonian account, namely, that Nebuchadnezzar added much to the old city, built a splendid palace and city walls. HERODOTUS, the so-called "father of history," does not even mention Nebuchadnezzar. (Nitocris, to whom he attributes the beautifying of Babylon, seems to have been Nebuchadnezzar's wife). Hence infidels have doubted the Scripture account. But the latter is proved by thousands of bricks on the plain, the inscriptions of which have been deciphered, each marked "Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar." "Built," that is, restored and enlarged (2-Chronicles 11:5-6). It is curious, all the bricks have been found with the stamped face downwards. Scarcely a figure in stone, or tablet, has been dug out of the rubbish heaps of Babylon, whereas Nineveh abounds in them; fulfilling Jeremiah 51:37, "Babylon shall become heaps." The "I" is emphatic, by which he puts himself in the place of God; so the "my . . . my." He impiously opposes his might to God's, as though God's threat, uttered a year before, could never come to pass. He would be more than man; God, therefore, justly, makes him less than man. An acting over again of the fall; Adam, once lord of the world and the very beasts (Genesis 1:28; so Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 2:38), would be a god (Genesis 3:5); therefore he must die like the beasts (Psalm 82:6; Psalm 49:12). The second Adam restores the forfeited inheritance (Psalm 8:4-8).

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