14. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.
14. Et ei data fuit potrstas, et gloria, vel decus, et regnum: et omnes, populi, nationes, et linguae ci servient: potestas ejus potestas seculi, aeterna, quae non auferetur, et regnum ejus non corrumpetur. 1
The Prophet; confirms and explains more clearly in this verse what he had said in the former one. For we may collect from it how the personage previously mentioned arrived at the Ancient of days, who is God, namely, because power was given to him. For although Christ truly ascended into heaven, (Matthew 28:18,) yet we ought clearly to weigh the purpose of his doing' so. It was to acquire the supreme power in heaven and in earth, as he himself says. And Paul also mentions this purpose in the first and second chapters of the Ephesians. (Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 2:7.) Christ left the world and ascended to the Father; first, to subdue all powers to himself, and to render angels obedient; next, to restrain the devil, and to protect and preserve the Church by his help, as well as all the elect of God the Father. So, therefore, Daniel now proceeds with what he formerly said concerning the approach of Christ to God. Thus the madness of those who argue against Christ; being true and eternal God, because he is said to have come to the Ancient of days, is refuted. First of all, as we have said, this is understood of the person of the Mediator; next, all doubt is taken away when the Prophet adds, Power was given unto him. Behold, therefore, a certain explanation. We will not say it was bestowed with relation to his being, and being called God. It was given to him as Mediator, as God manifest in flesh, and with respect to his human nature. We observe how well all these things agree, when the Prophet here says, The chief power was given to Christ. We must hold therefore its reference to that manifestation, because Christ was from the beginning the life of men, the world was created by him, and his energy always sustained it, (John 1:4;) but power was given to him to inform us how God reigned by means of his hand. If we were required to seek God without a Mediator, his distance would be far too great, but when a Mediator meets us, and offers himself to us in our human nature, such is the nearness between God and us, that our faith easily passes beyond the world and penetrates the very heavens. For this reason:. therefore, All power, honor, and kingdom was given to Christ. He adds also, .All nations shall serve him, that is:, they may serve him; for the copula ought to be translated thus, -- That all nations, people, and tongues should serve him. We have shewn how this ought properly to be understood of the commencement of the reign of Christ, and ought not to be connected with its final close, as many interpreters force and strain the passage. Meanwhile we must add, that the events which the Prophet here narrates are not yet complete; but this ought to be familiar to all the pious, for whenever the kingdom of Christ is treated of, his glory magnificently extolled, as if it were now absolutely complete in all its parts. It is not surprising, if according to the frequent and perpetual usage of Scripture, the Prophet should say power was given to Christ, to subdue all people, nations, and languages to himself, as it is said in Psalm 110:1, -- Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy enemies the footstool of thy feet. We see, then, how Christ was raised to his own empire to govern his Church in the name and with the power of his Father, while at the same time many enemies rise up against him. Still the obstinacy of the devil and of all impious men continues, although Christ governs heaven and earth, and is the supreme king before whom every knee is bent. We also know how marked the difference is between the beginning of his kingdom and its final completion. Whatever the meaning, this vision suits very well with many assertions of Christ, where he bears witness to the power given him by the Father. (Matthew 28:18, and elsewhere) He does not here speak of the last judgment, but is only teaching us, the object of his ascension to heaven.
This view the Prophet confirms by saying, his dominion is the dominion of an age, which is mot taken away, and his kingdom can never be corrupted or abolished. For by these words he teaches familiarly and openly, why Christ is the Supreme King, namely, for the perpetual government of his Church in this world. We ought to look up to heaven in very deed whenever the state of the Church is under consideration, since its happiness is neither earthly, nor perishable, nor temporary, though nothing sublunary is either firm or perpetual. But when the Prophet says Christ's dominion is eternal, he doubtless signifies the constant endurance of his monarchy, even to the end of the world, when he shall gather his people together to a happy life and an eternal inheritance. Although, therefore, celestial immortality is comprehended under these words, yet in a former passage the Prophet pointed out the perpetual existence of the Church in this world, because Christ will defend it, although daily subject to numberless causes of destruction. And who would not assert the almost daily perishing of the Church, if God did not wonderfully preserve it by the hand of his only begotten Son? Hence it is correct to understand the phrase, His kingdom shall be the kingdom of an age. And thus we receive no common consolation, when we see the Church tossed about amidst various fluctuations, and almost buried and devoured by continual shipwrecks, yet Christ is ever stretching forth his hand to preserve it, and to save it from every sorrowful and horrible species of destruction. It now follows, --