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Daniel 8:27

27. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

27. Et ergo Daniel deliquium passus, vel, fractus sum, et aegrotavi dies, 7474     That is, for a time. — Calvin. et surrexi, 7575     That is, after I rose up. — Calvin. feci opus regis, 7676     That is, I discharged my duty to which the king had appointed me. — Calvin. et obstupui propter visionem: neque intelligens. 7777     That is, there is no one who could understand. — Calvin.

 

Again, Daniel shews himself to have been so touched with the secret instinct of God, that he knew for certain this vision to have been divinely presented to him. For God wished so to affect his servant, that he might embrace with greater reverence what he both heard and saw. I have already referred to our want of attention in listening to God’s word as it deserves unless some kind of fear precedes it which may rouse our minds by some means from their torpor; but this prophecy had a special intention. In an ordinary case, God did not humble his servant; but by the disease which is here mentioned, he wishes to show how this prediction related to some event of serious magnitude. Daniel, therefore, states himself to have been astonished, as if suffering under some defect, and afflicted by disease This disease did not happen to the Prophet naturally, but it fell upon him in consequence of his being suddenly terrified. And he afterwards shews this, by saying, no one understood the prediction. Here, then, he admonishes all the pious, neither to hear nor read this narrative with carelessness, but to summon up their utmost attention, and to perceive that God here shews them things of the greatest importance, and which vitally concern their salvation. This forms a reason why Daniel ought to suffer dejection and to be afflicted by disease. He next says, he returned to the king’s business, meaning his ordinary occupation. We infer from this expression, the grievous error of those who think him to have been in Persia at this period, because he could not return to his duties, unless he were present in the king’s palace. But why is this added? To assure us that the Prophet was not drawn off from the duties which the king had assigned to him, although God had chosen him to perform the peculiar office of Prophet and teacher of his Church. This is a rare instance, and ought not to be drawn into a precedent, according to the usual phrase. Which of us, for instance, would be sufficient for those duties of political government assigned to Daniel, and also for those incumbent upon a pastor and teacher? But God made use of his servant Daniel in an extraordinary way, because he had many reasons for wishing him occupied in the king’s palace. We have previously seen how God’s glory was illustrated by his position, for Daniel admonished Belshazzar of his approaching death, when his enemies had already partially captured the city. And the utility of this was proved by Cyrus and Darius sparing the Jews. As long as the Chaldeans held the supreme power, Daniel was of no slight benefit to those miserable exiles; for even if he lived under cruel tyrants, yet he had some authority remaining, and this enabled him to alleviate many of the sufferings of his nation. God, therefore, was consulting the advantage of the whole people, when he desired Daniel to proceed in the course of his usual duties. Besides this, he wished to confer upon him the extraordinary gift of prophecy, an endowment, as I have said, peculiar to Daniel. It now follows, —


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