Can you explain “cogitations?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Our Authorized Version relates to us in Daniel 7:28: “Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.” What are “cogitations?” If we are familiar with English terms such as “recognition” or “cognition,” we can use that previous knowledge as a context clue. These words are from a Latin expression (“cogitare”) meaning “to consider.” Daniel the Prophet is thinking about the frightening end-times insight the LORD God has just given him through a dream and vision (see verses 1-27). The Aramaic word rendered “cogitations” (ra‘yon) in Daniel 7:28 was elsewhere treated as “thoughts” in the 1611 King James Bible, which you can see for yourself below (and cogitate thereon!).

  • Daniel 2:29: “As for thee, O king, thy thoughts [ra‘yon] came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.”
  • Daniel 2:30: “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts [ra‘yon] of thy heart.”
  • Daniel 4:19: “Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts [ra‘yon] 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.”
  • Daniel 5:6: “Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts [ra‘yon] troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”
  • Daniel 5:10: “Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts [ra‘yon] trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:….”

Also see:
» What does it mean to “mind earthly things?”
» What is a “lunatick?” Is it an epileptic?
» What does “trow” mean?