20. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever for wisdom and might are his.
20. Loquutus est 1 Daniel et dixit, Sit nomen Dei benedicitum a seculo et in seculum ejus est sapientia, et robur ipsius. 2
Daniel here pursues his narrative, and thanks God after King Nebuchadnezzar's dream had been made known to him, while he relates the sense of the words which he had used. May God's name be blessed, says he, from age to age. We ought daily to wish for this; for when we pray that God's name may be hallowed, continuance is denoted under this form of prayer. But Daniel here breaks forth into the praises of God with greater vehemence, because he acknowledges his singular benefit in being snatched away from death, together with his companions, beyond his expectation. Whenever God confers any remarkable blessing on his servants, they are the more stirred up to praise him, as David says, (Psalm 40:3,) Thou hast put a new song into my mouth. And Isaiah also uses this form of speech twice, (Isaiah 42:10,)as if God had given him material for a new and unusual song, in dealing so wonderfully with his Church. So also, there is no doubt that Daniel here wished to praise God in a remarkable manner, since he had received a rare proof of his favor in being delivered from instant death. Afterwards he adds, whose (or since his) is the wisdom and the strength; for the relative is here taken for the causal particle, and the sentence ought to be so expressed; the additional particles may avail to strengthen the expression, and be taken exclusively, as if he had said, -- to God alone ought the praise of wisdom and virtue to be ascribed. Without him, indeed, both are sought in vain; but these graces do not seem to suit the present purpose; for Daniel ought rather to celebrate God's praises, through this vision being opened, and this was enough to content him. But he may here speak of God's glory as well from his power as his wisdom; as, when, re Scripture wishes to distinguish the true God from all fictions, it takes these two principles -- first, God governs all things by his own hand, and retains them under his sway; and secondly, nothing is hid from him -- and these points cannot be separated when his majesty is to be proved. We see mankind fabricating deities for themselves, and thus multiplying gods, and distributing to each his own office; because they cannot rest in simple unity, when God is treated of. Some fancy God retains but half his attributes; as. for instance, the praters about bare foreknowledge. They admit nothing to be hidden to God, and his knowledge of all things; and this they prove by the prophecies which occur in the Scriptures. What they say is true; but they very much lessen the glory of God; nay, they tear it to pieces by likening him to Apollo, whose office it formerly was, hi the opinion of the heathen, to predict future events. When they sought predictions of future events, they endued Apollo with the virtue of making known to them future occurrences. Many at the present time think God able to foresee all things, but suppose him either to dissemble or purposely withdraw from the government of the world.
Lastly, Their notion of God's foreknowledge is but a cold and idle speculation. Hence I said, they rob God of half his glory, and, as far as they can, tear him to pieces. But Scripture. when it wishes to assert what is peculiar to God, joins these two things inseparably; first, God foresees all things, since nothing is hidden from his eyes; and next, he appoints future events, and governs the world by his will, allowing nothing to happen by chance or without his direction. Daniel here assumes this principle, or rather unites the two, by asserting Israel's God alone to deserve the name, since both wisdom and strength are in his power. We must remember how God is defrauded of his just praise. when we do not connect these two attributes together -- his universal foresight and his government of the world allowing nothing to happen without his permission. But as it would be too cold to assert that to God alone belongs wisdom and strength, unless his wisdom was conspicuous, and his strength openly acknowledged, hence it follows immediately afterwards --