Bearded Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas quadrivirgata) ©WikiC
While reading Daniel chapter 2 today in the Bible, I was captivated by a passage that mentions birds. Here is that passage:
“This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. “You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.” (Daniel 2:36-38 NASB) (emphasis mine)
Wow! Men, I can understand, but the birds being put under Nebuchadnezzar’s hand? This calls for some investigation.
First, if you are familiar with the book of Daniel, especially the first few chapters, you will recall that Daniel had been taken captive to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzer had captured Jerusalem. (Daniel 1) In Babylon, where Daniel was now one of the wise men, he was threatened with death unless the King’s dream could be interpreted. (Daniel 2:1-18) After praying with his three friend, the God of heaven reveals the dream and the interpretation to Daniel. Daniel tells him his dream and then gives the interpretation, where our verses above are found. Daniel 2:19-45)
Snowy Egret by Lee
Bible Knowledge Commentary – “Nebuchadnezzar’s rule was viewed as a worldwide empire, in which he ruled over all mankind as well as over beasts and birds. At the time of Creation the right to rule over the earth was given man who was to have dominion over it and all the creatures in it (Gen-1:26). Here Nebuchadnezzar by divine appointment was helping fulfill what God had planned for man.”
Cambridge – “the beasts of the field] i.e. wild animals (cf. in Heb. e.g. Exo 23:11; Exo 23:29). These and the birds are mentioned in order to represent Nebuchadnezzar’s rule as being as absolute as possible; the former are borrowed, no doubt, from Jer 27:6; Jer 28:14.”
Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) by Ian
John Gill – “the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the heaven, hath he given into thine hand; all parks, chases, and forests (so that none might hunt or hawk without his permission), as well as the persons and habitations of men, were at his dispose; showing the despotic power and sovereign sway he had over his subjects:
and hath made thee ruler over all: men, beasts, and fowl: he not only conquered the Egyptians, Tyrians, and Jews, and other nations about them; but, according to Megasthenes (l) he exceeded Hercules in strength, and conquered Lybia and Iberia, and carried colonies of them into Pontus; and, as Strabo (m) says, carried his arms as far as the pillars of Hercules:
Wood Duck Brevard Zoo by Lee
Henry – “The extent of his dominion is set forth (Dan 2:38), that wheresoever the children of men dwell, in all the nations of that part of the world, he was ruler over them all, over them and all that belonged to them, all their cattle, not only those which they had a property in, but those that were ferae naturae – wild, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven. He was lord of all the woods, forests, and chases, and none were allowed to hunt or fowl without his leave.”
JFB – “men … beasts … fowls — the dominion originally designed for man (Gen 1:28; Gen 2:19, Gen 2:20), forfeited by sin; temporarily delegated to Nebuchadnezzar and the world powers; but, as they abuse the trust for self, instead of for God, to be taken from them by the Son of man, who will exercise it for God, restoring in His person to man the lost inheritance (Psa 8:4-6).
Wesley – “Daniel 2:38 “Made thee ruler – He hath given thee absolute dominion of all creatures, men and beasts within the bounds of thy vast kingdom. Thou – He was first in order, as the head is before the other parts, and the vision began in him, and descended downwards to the other three monarchies. He was the head of gold, because of the vast riches wherein this monarchy abounded, and because it stood longest, five hundred years, and was fortunate and flourishing to the last.”
Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) at Parrot Mtn by Lee
Reading those commentaries, from my e-Sword, it appears from some that some are saying Nebuchadnezzer had all control of the birds as to when they could be hunted or hawked, etc. Others are saying that he was to be over the original dominion mandate given to man for the beast and birds which had been corrupted by man.
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) by Ray
It is an interesting statement and trust you found it informing. I did. For me, I try to respect and help the birds when I can. Many are researching and finding ways to help the birds, even when making preserves to protect their habitat. The Lord created them and we should do what we can to help them. We can even help the birds when some teach they evolved, by countering that lie with the truth of God’s Word.
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)
Birds of the Bible
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