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Daniel 4:19

ESV Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies!
NIV Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, 'Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.' Belteshazzar answered, 'My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!
NASB Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your adversaries!
CSB Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was stunned for a moment, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king said, "Belteshazzar, don't let the dream or its interpretation alarm you."Belteshazzar answered, "My lord, may the dream apply to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your enemies!
NLT 'Upon hearing this, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) was overcome for a time, frightened by the meaning of the dream. Then the king said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, don’t be alarmed by the dream and what it means.’ 'Belteshazzar replied, ‘I wish the events foreshadowed in this dream would happen to your enemies, my lord, and not to you!
KJV Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

What does Daniel 4:19 mean?

For the second time in this book (Daniel 2:1–2), King Nebuchadnezzar has been disturbed by a dream (Daniel 4:4–5). Once again, he finds himself speaking with Daniel, a Hebrew captive (Daniel 1:1–7) who has proven able to relay divine interpretation of dreams (Daniel 2:46–47). The recent vision involved a massive tree which an angelic being commanded be cut down to a stump (Daniel 4:10–14) and for a man to be condemned to temporary insanity (Daniel 4:15–18).

Daniel, the Hebrew name, identifies him with the Lord of Israel. The name Daniye'l literally means "God is my judge." The name given to him by his Babylonian captors was Beltasha'tstsar, a reference to the false god Bel. This verse uses both names, presenting Daniel as both a respected advisor of the Babylonian Empire and a faithful servant of God.

Daniel hesitates to give the king what is certainly bad news. Interpreters disagree about how long Daniel paused. The phrasing could mean a literal, by-the-clock hour, or merely a vague length of time. In any case, it's long enough for Nebuchadnezzar to notice, and to encourage Daniel to speak. What Daniel sees is dramatic. It's possible his delay was, in part, a reaction of surprise and shock at what was about to happen.

Commentators mention two other reasons Daniel may have paused, noting that all three likely applied. First, Nebuchadnezzar has demonstrated an outrageous temper (Daniel 2:5; 3:19–20). Scripture includes other examples of ungodly men punishing the Lord's messengers for telling the truth (1 Kings 22:26–28; Mark 6:17–18). However, this is not Daniel wavering in his faith—nothing in the text suggests he considered telling Nebuchadnezzar anything but the truth. In fact, Daniel will go on to make a blunt appeal for the king to stop sinning and seek God's mercy (Daniel 4:27).

Second, Daniel probably paused to choose his words carefully. He speaks to King Nebuchadnezzar with respect and almost gentleness (1 Peter 3:15–17). Daniel immediately wishes the dream had applied to Nebuchadnezzar's enemies, rather than to the king himself. Rather than reveling in the idea of his captor being humiliated, Daniel appears sympathetic.

In this, Daniel demonstrates the proper attitude of respect for authority, even when such leaders are not believers. It is always right for Christians to respect authorities, regardless of agreement on policies or lifestyle. And it is always wrong to delight in the eternal punishment unbelieving authorities will experience if they reject Christ. God, Himself, declares that He prefers people turn to life, rather than death, and does not enjoy seeing lost people suffer (Ezekiel 18:30–32).
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