28. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
28. Daniel autem ipse prospere egit 1 in regno Darii et in regno Cyri Persae.
"I had rather be in the court of the Lord, than in the midst of the greatest riches of the ungodly: then, I had rather be a despised one in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of the unrighteous." (Psalm 84:10.)
Thus Daniel had been taught. Ezekiel, too, properly includes him among the three most holy men who have lived since the beginning of the world. (Ezekiel 14:14.) 2 This was of the greatest moment; for when he was a youth, or at least but middle aged, he was joined with Job and Noah, and was the third in rare and almost incredible sanctity! Since this was his character, he was no doubt affected with the greatest sorrow when he perceived himself subject to perpetual exile, without the slightest hope of return, and of being able to worship God in his temple and to offer sacrifice with the rest. But lest he should be ungrateful to God, he desires to express his sense of the uncommon benevolence with which, though an exile and a stranger, and subject to reproach among other captives, he was treated and even honored among the Medes and Persians. This, therefore, is the simple meaning of the passage. It is quite clear, as I have lately said, that Cyrus, after the death of Darius, succeeded to the whole monarchy; and we shall afterwards see in its proper place how Daniel dwelt with Cyrus, who reigned almost thirty years longer. Thus, a long time intervened between his death and that of Darius. This, therefore, did not occur without the remarkable counsel of God, since the change in the kingdom did not influence the position of Daniel, as it usually does. For new empires we know to be like turning the world upside down. But Daniel always retained his rank, and thus God's goodness was displayed in him, and wherever he went he carried with him this testimony of God's favor. I shall not proceed further, as we shall discuss a new prophecy to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, since by means of a man entangled in many errors, thou wishest to testify to us the extent of thy power, that we may not at this day grope about in darkness, while thou offerest us light, through the Sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ, thy Son. Meanwhile, may we not be ashamed to profit by the words of a heathen, who was not instructed in thy law, but who celebrated thy name so magnificently when admonished by a single miracle: hence may we learn by his example to acknowledge thee, not only the Supreme but the Only God. As thou hast bound us to thyself by entering into a covenant with us in the blood of thine only-begotten Son, may we ever cleave to thee with true faith; may we renounce all the clouds of error, and be always intent upon that light to which thou invitest us, and towards which thou drawest us; until we arrive at the sight of thy glory and majesty, and being conformed to thee, may we at length enjoy in reality that glory which we now but partially behold. -- Amen.
1 Or, passed. -- Calvin.