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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Daniel - Chapter 4

Daniel - Chapter 4

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 4

1. I, Nebuchadnezzar, was tranquil in my house and flourishing in my palace.   א. אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר שְׁלֵה הֲוֵית בְּבֵיתִי וְרַעֲנַן בְּהֵיכְלִי:
was tranquil in my house: [as translated,] was tranquil in my house.  
2. I saw a dream, and it frightened me, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my mind terrified me.   ב. חֵלֶם חֲזֵית וִידַחֲלִנַּנִי וְהַרְהֹרִין עַל מִשְׁכְּבִי וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי יְבַהֲלֻנַּנִי:
and it frightened me: It brought upon me fear and fright.  
3. So I issued an order to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon, that they should let me know the meaning of the dream.   ג. וּמִנִּי שִׂים טְעֵם לְהַנְעָלָה קֳדָמַי לְכֹל חַכִּימֵי בָבֶל דִּי פְשַׁר חֶלְמָא יְהוֹדְעֻנַּנִי:
4. Then the necromancers, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the demonologists entered, and I related my dream to them, but they did not tell me its meaning.   ד. בֵּאדַיִן עָלִּין חַרְטֻמַּיָּא אָשְׁפַיָּא כַּשְׂדָּאֵי וְגָזְרַיָּא וְחֶלְמָא אָמַר אֲנָה קֳדָמֵיהוֹן וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לָא מְהוֹדְעִין לִי:
5. Until, at last, Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, like the name of my god, entered before me, in whom is the spirit of holy angels, and I told him the dream.   ה. וְעַד אָחֳרֵין עַל קֳדָמַי דָּנִיֵּאל דִּי שְׁמֵהּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר כְּשֻׁם אֱלָהִי וְדִי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בֵּהּ וְחֶלְמָא קֳדָמוֹהִי אַמְרֵת:
Until, at last,: until, at last, Daniel was brought in before me.  
like the name of my god: The deity of Babylon was named Bel. Teshazzar is the name of an expression of wisdom in Aramaic.  
6. "O Belteshazzar, head of the necromancers, since I know that the spirit of holy angels is in you, and no secret is hidden from you, [this is] the vision of my dream that I saw; now tell me its interpretation.   ו. בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר רַב חַרְטֻמַּיָּא דִּי| אֲנָה יִדְעֵת דִּי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בָּךְ וְכָל רָז לָא אָנֵס לָךְ חֶזְוֵי חֶלְמִי דִי חֲזֵית וּפִשְׁרֵהּ אֱמָר:
and no secret is hidden from you: No mystery is robbed [from you] or denied you.  
7. And [these are] the visions of my mind [that I had] on my bed; I was looking, and behold [there was] a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was tremendous.   ז. וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי עַל מִשְׁכְּבִי חָזֵה הֲוֵית וַאֲלוּ אִילָן בְּגוֹא אַרְעָא וְרוּמֵהּ שַׂגִּיא:
8. The tree grew and became strong, and its height reached the sky, and its appearance [was seen] to the end of all the earth.   ח. רְבָה אִילָנָא וּתְקִף וְרוּמֵהּ יִמְטֵא לִשְׁמַיָּא וַחֲזוֹתֵהּ לְסוֹף כָּל אַרְעָא:
The tree grew and became strong: The tree grew and became stronger and stronger.  
reached the sky: [as translated,] reached the sky.  
9. Its branches were beautiful and its fruit was plentiful, and on it was sustenance for all. Under it, the beasts of the field took shade, and in its branches dwelt the birds of the heavens, and all flesh was nourished from it.   ט. עֳפְיֵהּ שַׁפִּיר וְאִנְבֵּהּ שַׂגִּיא וּמָזוֹן לְכֹלָּא בֵהּ תְּחֹתוֹהִי תַּטְלֵל| חֵיוַת בָּרָא וּבְעַנְפוֹהִי יְדֻרָן צִפֲּרֵי שְׁמַיָּא וּמִנֵּהּ יִתְּזִין כָּל בִּשְׂרָא:
its branches were beautiful: [as translated,] its branches were beautiful.  
and its fruit was plentiful: [as translated,] and its fruit was plentiful.  
and on it was sustenance for all: On it was enough sustenance for all  
took shade: Aram. תַּטְלֵל, an expression of shade.  
dwelt: Aram. יְדֻרָן, an expression of dwelling and lodging.  
was nourished: Aram. יִתְּזִין, an expression of food.  
10. I saw in the visions of my mind on my bed, and behold a wakeful holy one descended from the heavens.   י. חָזֵה הֲוֵית בְּחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי עַל מִשְׁכְּבִי וַאֲלוּ עִיר וְקַדִּישׁ מִן שְׁמַיָּא נָחִת:
I saw: lit. I was seeing.  
and behold a wakeful holy one: i.e., an angel who is forever awake and holy.  
11. Crying out loudly, and so he said, "Cut down the tree and cut off its branches, shake off its branches and scatter its fruit; the beasts shall wander away from beneath it and the birds from its branches.   יא. קָרֵא בְחַיִל וְכֵן אָמַר גֹּדּוּ אִילָנָא וְקַצִּצוּ עַנְפוֹהִי אַתַּרוּ עֳפְיֵהּ וּבַדַּרוּ אִנְבֵּהּ תְּנֻד חֵיוְתָא מִן תַּחְתּוֹהִי וְצִפֲּרַיָּא מִן עַנְפוֹהִי:
Crying out loudly: crying with might.  
Cut down the tree… shake off its branches: shake off and cause its branches to fall.  
shake off its branches: shake off and cause its branches to fall.  
and scatter its fruit: [as translated,] and scatter its fruit.  
the beasts shall wander away from beneath it: [as translated,] the beasts shall wander away from beneath it.  
12. But leave its main roots in the ground, and in fetters of iron and copper in the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens it shall be drenched, and with the beasts shall be its lot in the grass of the earth.   יב. בְּרַם עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי בְּאַרְעָא שְׁבֻקוּ וּבֶאֱסוּר דִּי פַרְזֶל וּנְחָשׁ בְּדִתְאָא דִּי בָרָא וּבְטַל שְׁמַיָּא יִצְטַבַּע וְעִם חֵיוְתָא חֲלָקֵהּ בַּעֲשַׂב אַרְעָא:
But leave its main roots in the ground: but its main roots leave over.  
and in fetters of iron and copper: i.e., place his feet in iron fetters as is done to a horse that is left in the meadow; so shall you chain him with fetters.  
in the grass: Aram. בְדִתְאָא in the grass of the field, i.e., in the meadow, so that he should not move from there.  
it shall be drenched: Aram.  
its lot: [as translated,] its lot. יִצְטַבַּע, it shall always be drenched, an expression of immersion.  
13. They will change his heart from a man's, and the heart of a beast will be given him, and seven periods will pass over him.   יג. לִבְבֵהּ מִן אֲנָשָׁא יְשַׁנּוֹן וּלְבַב חֵיוָא יִתְיְהִב לֵהּ וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלוֹהִי:
and seven periods: seven years.  
will pass over him: will pass over him with this decree.  
14. By the decree of the wakeful ones is the matter and by the word of the holy ones is the edict, in order that the living should know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of man, and to whom He wishes He gives it, and the lowest of men He sets upon it.   יד. בִּגְזֵרַת עִירִין פִּתְגָּמָא וּמֵאמַר קַדִּישִׁין שְׁאֵלְתָּא עַד דִּבְרַת דִּי יִנְדְּעוּן חַיַּיָּא דִּי שַׁלִּיט עִלָּאָה בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא וּלְמַן דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנַּהּ וּשְׁפַל אֲנָשִׁים יְקִים עֲלַהּ:
the edict: a decree, but since they take counsel from the Holy One, blessed be He, before they issue the decree, he calls it a question.  
in order that: Aram. עַד דִּבְרַת, like לְמַעַן.  
that the living should know: in order that all the living should know.  
and to whom He wishes: [as translated,] and to whom He wishes.  
15. This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen, and you, Belteshazzar, tell [me] its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom cannot let me know the interpretation, but you can, because the spirit of holy angels is in you."   טו. דְּנָה חֶלְמָא חֲזֵית אֲנָה מַלְכָּא נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר וְאַנְתְּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר פִּשְׁרֵא| אֱמָר כָּל קֳבֵל דִּי| כָּל חַכִּימֵי מַלְכוּתִי לָא יָכְלִין פִּשְׁרָא לְהוֹדָעוּתַנִי וְאַנְתְּ כָּהֵל דִּי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בָּךְ:
its interpretation: [as translated,] its interpretation.  
but you can: [as translated,] but you can.  
16. Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was bewildered for awhile, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king spoke up and said, "Belteshazzar, let the dream and its interpretation not alarm you." Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream be for your enemies and its interpretation for your foes.   טז. אֱדַיִן דָּנִיֵּאל דִּי שְׁמֵהּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר אֶשְׁתּוֹמַם כְּשָׁעָה חֲדָה וְרַעְיוֹנֹהִי יְבַהֲלֻנֵּהּ עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר חֶלְמָא וּפִשְׁרֵא אַל יְבַהֲלָךְ עָנֵה בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר וְאָמַר מָרִי חֶלְמָא לְשָׂנְאָךְ וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לְעָרָךְ:
Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was bewildered: He was silent.  
and his thoughts: [as translated,] and his thoughts.  
alarmed him: for he was afraid to interpret the dream for him.  
My lord: Aram. מָרִאי. Our Rabbis said (Shevu. 35b): “My Lord, may the dream be for Your enemies,” refers to God. He raised his eyes to the Holy One, blessed be He, and said, “May this dream be fulfilled upon this enemy of Yours.” But if you say that he said it to Nebuchadnezzar, was not Israel his enemy? Is it possible that he would curse them?  
for your foes: Aram. לְעָרָ, like (Sam. 28:16): “and has become [the supporter of] your foes (עָרֶ).”  
17. The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, and whose height reached the sky, and whose appearance [was seen] by the entire earth.   יז. אִילָנָא דִּי חֲזַיְתָ דִּי רְבָה וּתְקִף וְרוּמֵהּ יִמְטֵא לִשְׁמַיָּא וַחֲזוֹתֵהּ לְכָל אַרְעָא:
18. And whose branches were beautiful, and whose fruit was plentiful, and on which was sustenance for all, under which dwelt the beasts of the field, and in whose branches dwelt the birds of the heavens.   יח. וְעָפְיֵהּ שַׁפִּיר וְאִנְבֵּהּ שַׂגִּיא וּמָזוֹן לְכֹלָּא בֵהּ תְּחֹתוֹהִי תְּדוּר חֵיוַת בָּרָא וּבְעַנְפוֹהִי יִשְׁכְּנָן צִפֲּרֵי שְׁמַיָּא:
19. That is you, O king, for you have become great and strong, and your greatness has increased and reached the heaven and your dominion [extends] to the end of the earth.   יט. אַנְתְּ הוּא מַלְכָּא דִּי רְבַת וּתְקֵפְתְּ וּרְבוּתָךְ רְבָת וּמְטַת לִשְׁמַיָּא וְשָׁלְטָנָךְ לְסוֹף אַרְעָא:
20. And what the king saw-a holy wakeful one descending from heaven, and he said, 'Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its main roots in the ground, and [chain him] with fetters of iron and copper in the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens he shall be drenched, and with the beasts of the fields shall be his lot, until seven periods pass over him.'   כ. וְדִי חֲזָה מַלְכָּא עִיר וְקַדִּישׁ נָחִת| מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְאָמַר גֹּדּוּ אִילָנָא וְחַבְּלוּהִי בְּרַם עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי בְּאַרְעָא שְׁבֻקוּ וּבֶאֱסוּר דִּי פַרְזֶל וּנְחָשׁ בְּדִתְאָא דִּי בָרָא וּבְטַל שְׁמַיָּא יִצְטַבַּע וְעִם חֵיוַת בָּרָא חֲלָקֵהּ עַד דִּי שִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלוֹהִי:
21. This is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which befalls my lord, the king.   כא. דְּנָה פִשְׁרָא מַלְכָּא וּגְזֵרַת עִלָּאָה הִיא דִּי מְטַת עַל מָרִי מַלְכָּא:
which befalls my lord, the king: [as translated,] which befalls my lord, the king.  
22. And they will banish you from mankind, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they will feed you grass like the cattle, and with the dew of the heavens you shall be drenched, and seven periods shall pass over you until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men, and to whom He wishes He gives it.   כב. וְלָךְ טָרְדִין מִן אֲנָשָׁא וְעִם חֵיוַת בָּרָא לֶהֱוֵה מְדֹרָךְ וְעִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין| לָךְ יְטַעֲמוּן וּמִטַּל שְׁמַיָּא לָךְ מְצַבְּעִין וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלָיךְ עַד| דִּי תִנְדַּע דִּי שַׁלִּיט עִלָּאָה בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא וּלְמַן דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנָּהּ:
And they will banish you from mankind: [as translated,] and they will banish you from mankind.  
and with the dew of the heavens you shall be drenched: They will immerse you.  
and seven periods shall pass over you: We may say that this is the recompense for the Temple, which he destroyed, which was built in seven years.  
23. And what they said to leave, the main roots of the tree, your kingdom will remain yours, as soon as you know that Heaven rules.   כג. וְדִי אֲמַרוּ לְמִשְׁבַּק עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי דִּי אִילָנָא מַלְכוּתָךְ לָךְ קַיָּמָה מִן דִּי תִנְדַּע דִּי שַׁלִּטִן שְׁמַיָּא:
And what they said, etc.: What they said-to leave the roots of the tree-this is the interpretation: מַלְכוּתָ, your kingdom-will remain yours. Your kingdom will ultimately be restored to you.  
as soon as you know that Heaven rules: as soon as you know that the heavenly beings rule over the world.  
24. Indeed, O king, may my counsel please you, and with charity you will remove your sin and your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor; perhaps your tranquility will last."   כד. לָהֵן מַלְכָּא מִלְכִּי יִשְׁפַּר עֲלָיךְ וַחֲטָאָךְ בְּצִדְקָה פְרֻק וַעֲוָיָתָךְ בְּמִחַן עֲנָיִן הֵן תֶּהֱוֵה אַרְכָא לִשְׁלֵוְתָךְ:
Indeed, O king: Indeed, O king, hearken to my counsel.  
my counsel: Aram. מִלְכִּי, my counsel, like (Num. 24:14): “I shall advise you (אִיעָצְ),” which is translated: אֲמַלְּכִינָ.  
please you: May my counsel please you that you hearken to my words.  
and with charity you will remove your sin: With charity, break your sin off your neck.  
and your iniquity by showing mercy to poor: and remove your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.  
perhaps your tranquility will last: Perhaps there will be time for your tranquility, that the evil should not come swiftly. Now what did Daniel see to give Nebuchadnezzar good advice? He saw the Jews poor and humbled by the exile, going from door to door begging for alms, and he gave him advice to deal mercifully with them. He said to him, “These poor people whom you exiled are hungry; nourish them.” And so he did. He opened his storehouses and fed them for a full twelve months.  
25. All this befell King Nebuchadnezzar.   כה. כֹּלָּא מְטָא עַל נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מַלְכָּא:
All this befell: The entire interpretation befell Nebuchadnezzar.  
26. At the end of twelve months, he was walking upon the royal palace of Babylon.   כו. לִקְצַת יַרְחִין תְּרֵי עֲשַׂר עַל הֵיכַל מַלְכוּתָא דִּי בָבֶל מְהַלֵּךְ הֲוָה:
he was walking: [as translated,] he was walking.  
27. The king raised his voice and said, "Is this not the great Babylon, which I built for a royal palace with the strength of my power and for the honor of my glory?"   כז. עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר הֲלָא דָא הִיא בָּבֶל רַבְּתָא דִּי אֲנָה בֱנַיְתָהּ לְבֵית מַלְכוּ בִּתְקָף חִסְנִי וְלִיקַר הַדְרִי:
Is this not: He heard poor people coming to the door and crying out. He said, “What is the sound of this multitude in my ears?” His servants said to him, “These are the poor for whom you arranged a time to feed.” He said, “Is this not the great Babylon, etc. If I had squandered my storehouses, from where would I have built all these palaces? From now on, I shall not feed them.” Rabbi Tanhuma (Mishpatim 4) explained it in this manner.  
and for the honor of my glory: [as translated,] and for the honor of my glory.  
28. The word was still in the king's mouth, [when] a voice fell from heaven, [which said] "To you they said 'O King Nebuchadnezzar, your kingdom has turned away from you.   כח. עוֹד מִלְּתָא בְּפֻם מַלְכָּא קָל מִן שְׁמַיָּא נְפַל לָךְ אָמְרִין נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מַלְכָּא מַלְכוּתָא עֲדָת מִנָּךְ:
has turned away from you: [as translated,] has turned away from you.  
29. From man they will banish you, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field; like cattle, they will feed you grass, and seven periods will pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of man, and to whom He wishes, He gives it."'   כט. וּמִן אֲנָשָׁא לָךְ טָרְדִין וְעִם חֵיוַת בָּרָא מְדֹרָךְ עִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין לָךְ יְטַעֲמוּן וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלָךְ עַד דִּי תִנְדַּע דִּי שַׁלִּיט עִלָּאָה בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא וּלְמַן דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנָּהּ:
they will banish: Aram. טָרְדִין. an expression of driving away.  
30. At that time, the matter was fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar, and he was banished from man, he ate grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of the heavens, until his hair grew like [the feathers of] eagles and his nails like [the claws of] birds.   ל. בַּהּ שַׁעֲתָּא מִלְּתָא סָפַת עַל נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר וּמִן אֲנָשָׁא טְרִיד וְעִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין יֵאכֻל וּמִטַּל שְׁמַיָּא גִּשְׁמֵהּ יִצְטַבַּע עַד דִּי שַׂעְרֵהּ כְּנִשְׁרִין רְבָה וְטִפְרוֹהִי כְּצִפֲּרִין:
was fulfilled: The decree was executed upon him.  
his hair grew like [the feathers of] eagles: His hair grew over his entire body like eagles’ feathers.  
and his nails like birds: and his nails were like a bird’s [talons].  
31. And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my understanding was restored to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and glorified Him Who lives to Eternity, Whose dominion is an eternal dominion, and Whose kingdom is with every generation.   לא. וְלִקְצַת יוֹמַיָּא אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר עַיְנַי| לִשְׁמַיָּא נִטְלֵת וּמַנְדְּעִי עֲלַי יְתוּב וּלְעִלָּאָה בָּרְכֵת וּלְחַי עַלְמָא שַׁבְּחֵת וְהַדְּרֵת דִּי שָׁלְטָנֵהּ שָׁלְטַן עָלַם וּמַלְכוּתֵהּ עִם דָּר וְדָר:
And at the end of the days: at the end of the days that were set for him; at the end of the seven years.  
raised: [as translated,] raised.  
and my understanding was restored to me: [as translated,] and my understanding was restored to me.  
and I blessed the Most High: [as translated,] and I blessed the Most High.  
32. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reckoned as nothing, and according to His will, He foes with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth, and no one can stop His hand or say to Him, "What have You done?"   לב. וְכָל דָּיְרֵי אַרְעָא כְּלָה חֲשִׁיבִין וּכְמִצְבְּיֵהּ עָבֵד בְּחֵיל שְׁמַיָּא וְדָיְרֵי אַרְעָא וְלָא אִיתַי דִּי יְמַחֵא בִידֵהּ וְיֵאמַר לֵהּ מָה עֲבַדְתְּ:
are reckoned as nothing: Aram. כְּלָה. Our Rabbis said (Yoma 20b): The dust of the sun is called לָא i.e., the dust that appears in the sun.  
and according to His will, He does with the host of heaven: [as translated,] and according to His will, He does with the host of heaven.  
and no one can stop His hand: Aram. בִידֵהּ וְלָא אִיתַי דִּי יְמַחֵא. And there is none who will stop His hand.  
33. At that time, my understanding was restored to me, and I returned to the glory of my kingdom, and my splendor was restored to me; and my leaders and my dignitaries were seeking me, and I was established upon my kingship and excessive greatness was added to me.   לג. בֵּהּ זִמְנָא מַנְדְּעִי| יְתוּב עֲלַי וְלִיקַר מַלְכוּתִי הַדְרִי וְזִיוִי יְתוּב עֲלַי וְלִי הַדָּבְרַי וְרַבְרְבָנַי יְבָעוֹן וְעַל מַלְכוּתִי הָתְקְנַת וּרְבוּ יַתִּירָה הוּסֲפַת לִי:
At that time: [as translated,] at that time.  
and I returned to the glory of my kingdom: [as translated,] and I returned to the glory of my kingdom.  
and my splendor: the features of my face.  
my leaders and my dignitaries were seeking me: and My advisers and my princes were seeking me and hoping for my return.  
and I was established: [as translated,] and I was established.  
and excessive greatness was added to me: and more greatness than the earlier [kings] was added to me. Our Rabbis said (Shab. 150a) that he rode astride a lion and tied a serpent to its head.  
34. Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, Whose works are all true and Whose ways are just and Who can humble those who walk with arrogance.   לד. כְּעַן אֲנָה נְבֻכַדְנֶצַּר מְשַׁבַּח וּמְרוֹמֵם וּמְהַדַּר לְמֶלֶךְ שְׁמַיָּא דִּי כָל מַעֲבָדוֹהִי קְשׁוֹט וְאֹרְחָתֵהּ דִּין וְדִי מַהְלְכִין בְּגֵוָה יָכִל לְהַשְׁפָּלָה:
and Whose ways are just: His ways are just.  
who walk with arrogance: Those who walk with arrogance He can humble.  
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