THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL
DANIEL, whose name signifies THE JUDGMENT OF GOD, was of the royal blood of the kings of Juda: and one of those that were first of all carried away into captivity. He was so renowned for wisdom and knowledge, that it became a proverb among the Babylonians, AS WISE AS DANIEL (Ezech. 28.3). And his holiness was so great from his very childhood, that at the time when he was as yet but a young man, he is joined by the SPIRIT of GOD with NOE and JOB, as three persons most eminent for virtue and sanctity, Ezech. 14. He is not commonly numbered by the Hebrews among THE PROPHETS: because he lived at court, and in high station in the world: but if we consider his many clear predictions of things to come, we shall find that no one better deserves the name and title of A PROPHET: which also has been given him by the SON of GOD himself, Matt. 24, Mark 13., Luke 21.
Daniel Chapter 1
Daniel and his companions are taken into the palace of the king of Babylon: they abstain from his meat and wine, and succeed better with pulse and water. Their excellence and wisdom.
1:1. In the third year of the reign of Joakim, king of Juda, Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem, and beseiged it.
1:2. And the Lord delivered into his hands Joakim, the king of Juda, and part of the vessels of the house of God: and he carried them away into the land of Sennaar, to the house of his god, and the vessels he brought into the treasure house of his god.
His god. . .Bel or Belus, the principal idol of the Chaldeans.
1:3. And the king spoke to Asphenez, the master of the eunuchs, that he should bring in some of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes,
1:4. Children in whom there was no blemish, well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, acute in knowledge, and instructed in science, and such as might stand in the king's palace, that he might teach them the learning, and tongue of the Chaldeans.
1:5. And the king appointed them a daily provision, of his own meat, and of the wine of which he drank himself, that being nourished three years, afterwards they might stand before the king.
1:6. Now there was among them of the children of Juda, Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias.
1:7. And the master of the eunuchs gave them names: to Daniel, Baltassar: to Ananias, Sidrach: to Misael, Misach: and to Azarias, Abdenago.
1:8. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not be defiled with the king's table, nor with the wine which he drank: and he requested the master of the eunuchs that he might not be defiled.
Be defiled, etc. . .Viz., either by eating meat forbidden by the law, or which had before been offered to idols.
1:9. And God gave to Daniel grace and mercy in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs.
1:10. And the prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel: I fear my lord, the king, who hath appointed you meat and drink: who if he should see your faces leaner than those of the other youths, your equals, you shall endanger my head to the king.
1:11. And Daniel said to Malasar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias:
1:12. Try, I beseech thee, thy servants for ten days, and let pulse be given us to eat, and water to drink:
Pulse. . .That is, pease, beans, and such like.
1:13. And look upon our faces, and the faces of the children that eat of the king's meat: and as thou shalt see, deal with thy servants.
1:14. And when he had heard these words, he tried them for ten days.
1:15. And after ten days, their faces appeared fairer and fatter than all the children that ate of the king's meat.
1:16. So Malasar took their portions, and the wine that they should drink: and he gave them pulse.
1:17. And to these children God gave knowledge, and understanding in every book, and wisdom: but to Daniel the understanding also of all visions and dreams.
1:18. And when the days were ended, after which the king had ordered they should be brought in: the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nabuchodonosor.
1:19. And when the king had spoken to them, there were not found among them all such as Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias: and they stood in the king's presence.
1:20. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the diviners, and wise men, that were in all his kingdom.
1:21. And Daniel continued even to the first year of king Cyrus.