Daniel 3:9
They spoke and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
3:8-18 True devotion calms the spirit, quiets and softens it, but superstition and devotion to false gods inflame men's passions. The matter is put into a little compass, Turn, or burn. Proud men are still ready to say, as Nebuchadnezzar, Who is the Lord, that I should fear his power? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not hesitate whether they should comply or not. Life or death were not to be considered. Those that would avoid sin, must not parley with temptation when that to which we are allured or affrighted is manifestly evil. Stand not to pause about it, but say, as Christ did, Get thee behind me, Satan. They did not contrive an evasive answer, when a direct answer was expected. Those who make their duty their main care, need not be anxious or fearful concerning the event. The faithful servants of God find him able to control and overrule all the powers armed against them. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst. If He be for us, we need not fear what man can do unto us. God will deliver us, either from death or in death. They must obey God rather than man; they must rather suffer than sin; and must not do evil that good may come. Therefore none of these things moved them. The saving them from sinful compliance, was as great a miracle in the kingdom of grace, as the saving them out of the fiery furnace was in the kingdom of nature. Fear of man and love of the world, especially want of faith, make men yield to temptation, while a firm persuasion of the truth will deliver them from denying Christ, or being ashamed of him. We are to be meek in our replies, but we must be decided that we will obey God rather than man.O king, live for ever - A customary form of address to a monarch, implying that long life was regarded as an eminent blessing. See the notes at Daniel 2:4. 9. live for ever—A preface of flattery is closely akin to the cruelty that follows. So Ac 24:2, 3, &c., Tertullus in accusing Paul before Felix. No text from Poole on this verse. They spake and said to Nebuchadnezzar,.... Having got access unto him, and within his hearing, they expressed themselves in the following manner:

O king, live for ever; this they said to show their fidelity and hearty attachment to him, and their regard to his welfare, and the continuance of his life; and the rather to ingratiate themselves into his affections, and gain audience of him; See Gill on Daniel 2:4.

They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. spake] answered (R.V.): see on Daniel 2:20.

the king Nebuchadnezzar] Nebuchadnezzar the king,—the regular order in Aramaic (Daniel 3:1-2; Daniel 3:5; Daniel 3:7 &c.), and often in late Hebrew (as Haggai 1:1; Haggai 1:15; Nehemiah 2:1; Nehemiah 5:14). In early Hebrew the order is almost uniformly ‘the king David,’ ‘the king Solomon,’ &c.

O king, live for ever] Cf. on Daniel 2:4.Verses 9-12. - They spake and said to the King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee; they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. The differences here between the Septuagint and the Massoretic are slight. Only, it may be observed, that in the repetition of the decree to the king, συμφωνία does not occur. Instead of saying, "they serve not thy gods," it renders, "thine idol they do not serve." Further, the word עְבִדַת ('abeedath), translated "business," is omitted, probably implying the omission in the original text of יתָהון. Theodotion's Version is considerably briefer in regard to the ninth verse, as it omits "answered and said," and "Nebuchadnezzar;" otherwise it is in closer agreement with the Massoretic text, only it too omits συμφωνία. In the Peshitta we find a variation in the ninth verse; its rendering begins, "And they said to Nebuchadnezzar the king." As before mentioned, in the list of instruments pesanterin is omitted, and kinnor appears; otherwise the agreement is close with the Massoretic text. The Vulgate agrees with the Peshitta in its rendering of the ninth verse, but, unlike the Greek Version, inserts symphonia, and unlike the Peshitta, inserts psalterium. As to the Aramaic text, the most noticeable thing is the fact that in the K'thib, instead of סוּמְּפֹנְיָא (sumphonia) there appears סִיפֹנְיָא (siphonia). The twelfth verse has this peculiarity in it, that it is the only case where ־יַת, the sign of the accusative, so frequent in the Targums, occurs in Biblical Aramaic. In the inscription on the Hadad Statue at Sindschirli, line 28, we have ותה (v-th-h) as the sign of the acensative; as in the case before us, it serves for the oblique case of a pronoun. The adulatory address with which these Chaldeans begin is quite in accordance with Eastern usage. The point of the accusation against these three officials was that, being officials, they did not confirm by obedience the solemn decree of the monarch. Further, if this statue or obelisk were erected to Marduk (Merodach), whom Nebuchadnezzar specially worshipped, and whom he regarded as his special protector, the element of treason against the state might be implied in this refusal to give due obeisance to the tutelary god of the Babylonian Empire and its sovereign. The politics and warfare of that period proceeded on the assumption that the gods directly interfered in the affairs of the nations. Any slight done to the national god would - as it was believed - be avenged on the nation who had suffered it to pass unpunished. They summoned deities to leave cities they were besieging, and tried to persuade the inhabitants that even their god was on the side of the besieger. Thus Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:22) asserts that Jehovah must be offended with Hezekiah. and Pharaoh-Necho claimed to Josiah that he went at God's command to fight against Assyria (2 Chronicles 35:21). According to heathen notions generally, Chaldean and Babylonian included, some very slight inadvertence might vitiate a sacrifice, and change it from being a propitiation to the gods to an offence to them. If an inadvertence might thus be maleficent, much more direct disrespect such as that shown by these Jewish officials. But the accusers lay stress on another side of the matter. Nebuchadnezzar had set them over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but he had set up the golden image. There was thus an element of personal disrespect hinted at, made all the more heinous that the element of ingratitude was also present. But how is it that Daniel is not introduced into this narrative? Why was it that he was not attacked rather than his friends? It may be argued that this is another tradition, and that the union of Daniel with the three friends is due to that dovetailing of which so many traces are found - or alleged to be found - in the Pentateuch. But the editor who did the dovetailing in the present instance, did more than dovetail - they are introduced at various points in the narrative of the preceding chapter. Why did he not complete his work, and explain why Daniel was absent? If it is a work of imagination, it is necessary to account for the absence of Daniel; even if it is the result of editorial labour, still the absence of Daniel has to be accounted for or explained away. This would press heavily on one writing in the days of the Maccabees. On one chronicling events as they occurred, this might easily be passed over, because at the time every one in Babylon would be perfectly aware why Daniel was not there. The absence of all reference to Daniel in this chapter is an indirect proof of the antiquity and genuineness of the book of which it forms part. The reasons for Daniel's absence may easily be imagined. He might have been sent on official duty to a distant province of the empire, or, though this is not so likely, his presence at this festival might not be required A prosaic but possible solution of Daniel's absence might be illness. If he were known to be incapacitated by sickness from taking part in any public function, the Chaldeans would not damage their case by referring to him. Boundaries of the Land to be Divided among the Tribes of Israel.

Ezekiel 47:13. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, This is the boundary according to which ye shall divide the land among you for an inheritance, for Joseph portions. Ezekiel 47:14. And ye shall receive it for an inheritance, one as well as another, because I lifted up my hand to give it to your fathers; and thus shall this land fall to you for an inheritance. Ezekiel 47:15. And this is the boundary of the land: toward the north side, from the great sea onwards by the way to Chetlon, in the direction of Zedad; Ezekiel 47:16. Hamath, Berotah, Sibraim, which is between the boundary of Damascus and the boundary of Hamath, the central Hazer, which is on the boundary of Haruan. Ezekiel 47:17. And the boundary from the sea shall be Hazar-Enon, the boundary town of Damascus; and as for the north northwards, Hamath is the boundary. This, the north side. Ezekiel 47:18. And the east side between Hauran and Damascus and Gilead and the land of Israel, shall be the Jordan; from the boundary to the eastern sea ye shall measure. This, the east side. Ezekiel 47:19. And the south side toward the south; from Tamar to the water of strife, Kadesh, along the brook to the great sea. This, the south side toward the south. Ezekiel 47:20. And the west side; the great sea from the boundary to Hamath. This, the west side. Ezekiel 47:21. This land shall ye divide among you according to the tribes of Israel. Ezekiel 47:22. And it shall come to pass, ye shall divide it by lot among yourselves for an inheritance, and among the foreigners who dwell in the midst of you, who have begotten sons in the midst of you; they shall be to you like natives born among the sons of Israel; they shall cast lots with you for an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. Ezekiel 47:23. And it shall come to pass, in the tribe in which the foreigner dwells, there shall ye give him his inheritance, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah.

The fixing of the boundary of the land which Israel was to divide in future according to its twelve tribes is commenced (Ezekiel 47:13 and Ezekiel 47:14) and concluded (Ezekiel 47:22 and Ezekiel 47:23) with certain general statements concerning the distribution. The introductory statements are attached to the heading "this is the boundary," which is therefore repeated in Ezekiel 47:15. גּה is evidently a copyist's error for זה, which is adopted by all the older translators, contained in some Codd., and demanded by וזה in Ezekiel 47:15. גּבוּל stands here for the whole of the boundary of the land to be distributed; and אשׁר which follows is an accusative, "according to which." - "According to the twelve tribes," - for all Israel is to return and dwell as one people of God under one prince in its own land (Ezekiel 36:24., Ezekiel 37:21.). But the division among the twelve tribes is more precisely defined immediately afterwards by the clause abruptly appended, "Joseph portions," i.e., two portions for Joseph. There can be no doubt that this is the meaning of the words in accordance with Genesis 48:22 and Joshua 17:14, Joshua 17:17. Hence the notice-like form of the expression, which should not be obliterated by pointing חבלים as a dual, חבלים. If the land was to be divided by lot according to twelve tribes, and the tribe of Levi was to receive its portion from the terumah which was set apart, Joseph must necessarily receive two hereditary portions for his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, in accordance with the appointment of the patriarch in Genesis 48:22. The commencement of Ezekiel 47:14 is not at variance with this, as Hitzig imagines; for the words, "ye shall receive it for an inheritance, one as another," simply affirm, that of the twelve tribes reckoned by Israel in relation to the נחלה, all were to receive equal shares, the one as much as the other. As the reason for this command to divide the land, allusion is made to the oath with which God promised to give this land to the fathers (cf. Ezekiel 20:28).

The definition of the boundaries commences with Ezekiel 47:15. In form it differs in many points from Numbers 34:1-5, but in actual fact it is in harmony with the Mosaic definition. In Numbers 34 the description commences with the southern boundary, then proceeds to the western and northern boundaries, and closes with the eastern. In Ezekiel it commences with the northern boundary and proceeds to the east, the south, and the west. This difference may be explained in a very simple manner, from the fact that the Israelites in the time of Moses came from Egypt i.e., marching from the south, and stood by the south-eastern boundary of the land, whereas at this time they were carried away into the northern lands Assyria and Babylon, and were regarded as returning thence. Again, in Ezekiel the boundaries are described much more briefly than in Numbers 34, the northern boundary alone being somewhat more circumstantially described. The course which it takes is represented in a general manner in Ezekiel 47:15 as running from the great sea, i.e., the Mediterranean, by the way to Chetlon, in the direction toward Zedad. In Ezekiel 47:16 and Ezekiel 47:17 there follow the places which formed the boundary. The starting-point on the Mediterranean Sea can only be approximately determined, as the places mentioned, Chetlon and Zedad, are still unknown. Not only Chetlon, but Zedad also, has not yet been discovered. The city of Sadad (Sudud), to the east of the road leading from Damascus to Hums (Emesa), which Robinson and Wetzstein suppose to be the same, lies much too far toward the east to be used in defining the boundary either here or in Numbers 34:8 (see the comm. on Numbers 34:8). Among the names enumerated in Ezekiel 47:16, חמת is not the city of Hamah on the Orontes, which lay much too far to the north, but the kingdom of Hamath, the southern boundary of which formed the northern boundary of Canaan, though it cannot be given with exactness. Berothah is probably identical with Berothai in 2 Samuel 8:8, a city of the king of Zobah; but the situation of it is still unknown. Sibraim may perhaps be identical with Ziphron in Numbers 34:9, which has also not yet been discovered, and is not to be sought for in the ruins of Zifran, to the north-east of Damascus, near the road to Palmyra; for that place could not form the boundary of Damascus and Hamath. The situation of the "central Hazer" has also not yet been determined. Hauran, on the boundary of which it stood, is used here in a more comprehensive sense that ̓Αυρανῖτις in Josephus and other Greek authors, and includes the later Auranitis, together with Gaulanitis (Golan) and Batanaea (Bashan), and probably also Ituraea, as only Damascus and Gilead are named in Ezekiel 47:18 in addition to Hauran, on the east side of the Jordan; so that the whole tract of land between the territory of Damascus and the country of Gilead is embraced by the name Hauran. חורן, Arab. Hawrân, is derived from the number of caves (חור, חוּר) in that district, to which Wetzstein (Reiseber. p. 92) indeed raises the objection that with the exception of the eastern and south-eastern Hauran, where no doubt most of the volcanic hills have been perforated by troglodytes, the dwellings in caves are by no means common in that region. But the name may have originated in this eastern district, and possibly have included even that portion of Gilead which was situated to the north of the Jabbok, namely, Erbed and Sut, the true cave-country. For further remarks concerning these districts, see the comm. on Deuteronomy 3:4 and Deuteronomy 3:10. The statement in Ezekiel 47:17, "the boundary from the sea shall be Hazar-Enon, the boundary of Damascus," cannot have any other meaning than that the northern boundary, which started from the Mediterranean Sea, stretched as far as Hazar-Enon, the frontier city of Damascus, or that Hazar-Enon formed the terminal point on the east, toward the boundary of Damascus, for the northern boundary proceeding from the sea. חצר עינון or חצר עינן (Numbers 34:9), i.e., spring-court, we have endeavoured to identify in the comm. on Numbers 34:3 with the spring Lebweh, which lies in the Beka at the watershed between the Orontes and the Leontes; and the designation "the boundary of Damascus" suits the situation very well. Ezekiel 47:17 has been aptly explained by Hitzig thus, in accordance with the literal meaning of the words, "and as for the north north-wards, Hamath is the boundary," which he further elucidates by observing that צפונה is intended as a supplementary note to the boundary line from west to east, which is indicated just before. ואת פּאת צפון is a concluding formula: "this, the north side." But ואת (here and Ezekiel 47:18 and Ezekiel 47:19) is not to be altered into זאת after Ezekiel 47:20 and the Syriac version, as Hitzig supposes, but to be explained, as Ezekiel 47:18 clearly shows, on the supposition that Ezekiel had תּמודּוּ, "ye shall measure," floating before his mind, to which 'ואת פ, "and that the northern boundary," would form a correct logical sequel.

The eastern boundary is defined in v. 18 in the same manner as in Numbers 34:10-12, except that in the latter it is more minutely described above the Lake of Gennesaret by the mention of several localities, whereas Ezekiel only names the Jordan as the boundary. - פּאת , with supplementary remarks, is not to be taken as the predicate to the subject היּרדּן, as Hitzig has correctly observed; for the meaning of פּאה does not allow of this. The explanation is rather this: as for the east side, between Hauran, etc. and the land of Israel, is the Jordan. Hauran, Damascus, and Gilead lie on the east side of the Jordan, the land of Israel on the west side. The striking circumstance that Ezekiel commences with Hauran, which lay in the middle between Damascus and Gilead, - Hauran, Damascus, and Gilead, instead of Damascus, Hauran, and Gilead, - may probably be explained from the fact that the Jordan, which he names as the boundary, for the sake of brevity, did not extend so far upwards as to the territory of Damascus, but simply formed the boundary of the land of Israel between Hauran and Gilead. מגּבוּל points back to the northern boundary already mentioned. From this boundary, the eastern terminal point of which was Hazar-Enon, they are to measure to the eastern sea, i.e., to the Dead Sea.

Ezekiel 47:19. The southern boundary toward the south is to proceed from Tamar to the water of strife, Kadesh, (and thence) along the brook to the great (i.e., Mediterranean) sea. Tamar, a different place from Hazazon-tamar, called Engedi in Ezekiel 47:10 (cf. 2 Chronicles 20:2), is supposed to be the Thamara (Θαμαρά),

(Note: The statement runs thus: λέγεται δέ τις Θαμαρά κώμη διεστώσα Μάψις ἡμέρας ὁδόν, ἀπιόντων ἀπὸ Χεβρὼν εἰς Αἰλάμ, ἥτις νῦν φρούριόν ἐστι τῶν στρατιωτῶν. In Jerome: est et aliud castellum, unius diei itinere a Mampsis oppido separatum, pergentibus Ailiam de Chebron, ubi nunc romanum praesidium positum est. But on account of the Μάψις (Mampsis), which is evidently a corruption, the passage is obscure. Robinson's conjecture concerning Thamara is founded upon the assumption that the reading should be Μάλις, and that this is the Malatha mentioned by later writers as the station of a Roman cohort.)

which was a day's journey on the road from Hebron to Aelam (Aelath, Deuteronomy 2:8; 1 Kings 9:26), according to Eusebius in the Onomast. ed. Lars. p. 68, and had a Roman garrison; and Robinson (Pal. III pp. 178 and 186ff.) accordingly conjectures that it is to be found in the ruins of Kurnub, which lie six hours' journey to the south of Milh, toward the pass of es-Sufh. But this conjecture is bound up with various assumptions of a very questionable character, and the situation of Hurnub hardly suits the Tamar of our passage, which should be sought, not to the west of the southern point of the Dead Sea, but, according to the southern boundary of Canaan as drawn in Numbers 34:3-5, to the south of the Dead Sea. The waters of strife of Kadesh (Numbers 20:1-13), in the desert of Zin, were near Kadesh-barnea, which was in the neighbourhood of the spring Ain Kades, discovered by Rowland to the south of Bir-Seba and Khalasa by the fore-courts of Jebel Helal, i.e., at the north-west corner of the mountain land of the Azazimeh (see the comm. on Numbers 10:12; Numbers 12:16, and Numbers 20:16). Instead of מריבות we have the singular מריבת in Ezekiel 48:28, as in Numbers 27:14 and Deuteronomy 32:51. נחלה is to be pointed נחלה, from נחל with ה loc.; and the reference is to the brook of Egypt; the great wady el-Arish ( ̔Ρινοκορουρα), along which the southern boundary of Canaan ran from Kadesh to the Mediterranean Sea (see the comm. on Ezekiel 34:5). - Ezekiel 47:20. The Mediterranean Sea formed the western boundary. מגּבוּל, i.e., from the southern boundary mentioned in Ezekiel 47:19 till opposite (עד) to the coming to Hamath, i.e., till opposite to the point at which one enters the territory of Hamath (Hitzig), i.e., the spot mentioned in Ezekiel 47:20 (? 17) as the commencement of the northern boundary in the neighbourhood of the promontory of esh-Shkah between Byblus (Gebal) and Tripolis. - Ezekiel 47:21. This land they are to divide among them according to their tribes. With this remark, which points back to Ezekiel 47:13, the definition of the boundaries is brought to a close. There is simply added in Ezekiel 47:22 and Ezekiel 47:23 a further regulation concerning the foreigners living in Israel. The law of Moses had already repeatedly urged upon the Israelites affectionate treatment of them, and in Leviticus 19:34 the command is given to treat them like natives in this respect, and to love them. But the full right of citizenship was not thereby conceded to them, so that they could also acquire property in land. The land was given to the Israelites alone for an hereditary possession. Foreigners could only be incorporated into the congregation of Israel under the limitations laid down in Deuteronomy 23:2-9, by the reception of circumcision. But in the future distribution of the land, on the contrary, the גּרים were to receive hereditary property like native-born Israelites; and in this respect no difference was to exist between the members of the people of God born of Abraham's seed and those born of the heathen. At the same time, this right was not to be conferred upon every foreigner who might be only temporarily living in Israel, but to those alone who should beget sons in the midst of Israel, i.e., settle permanently in the holy land. The Kal יפּלוּ is not to be altered into the Hiphil תּפּילוּ, as Hitzig proposes, but is used in the sense of receiving by lot, derived from the Hiphil signification, "to apportion by lot."

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