23. And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
23. Et quod vidit rex, vigilem, et sanctum descendere e coelis, qui dixit: 1 Suceidite arborem, et dispergite eam: tantummodo imum radicum ejus in terra relinquite: et sit in vinculo ferri et aeris in herba agri, et rore coelorum proluatur, et eum bestiis agri portio ejus, donec septem tempora transcant super cam.
24. This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king.
24. Haec interpretatio, rex, et decretum excelsi est, quod spectat ad dominum meum regem.
Daniel follows up what he had begun with perseverance, shewing judgment to be overhanging the king of Babylon. He calls him lord, indeed, with cordiality; meanwhile he was the ambassador of the Supreme King, he did not hesitate to elevate his discourse above the king's command -- as all the prophets do who rise up against mountains and hills, as Jeremiah does in Jeremiah 1:10. Thus this sentence is worthy of notice, -- "I have appointed thee over kingdoms and peoples, to pluck them up and to plant them, to build and to destroy." God, therefore, wishes to assert so great a reverence for his Word, because there is nothing in the world so magnificent or splendid which does not yield to it. Daniel, then, as far as concerns human events and political order, confesses the king to be his master; but meanwhile he goes on with the embassy entrusted to him.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou settest before us our sins, and at the same time announcest thyself as our judge, that we may not abuse thy forbearance and lay up for ourselves a treasure of greater wrath through our sloth and torpor. Grant, also, that we may fear thee reverently, and be anxiously cautious ourselves: may we be frightened by thy threats, and enticed by thy sweetness, and be willing and submissive to thee: may we never desire more than to consecrate ourselves entirely to obey thee, and to glorify thy name through Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 Verbally, "and he said," for the copula ought to be resolved into the relative pronoun. -- Calvin.