9. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
9. Et ex uno illorum egressum est cornu unum parvum, et magnificatum fuit eximie versus Meridiem , et ad Orientum, et ad glorium. 1
Now God shews his Prophet what peculiarly concerned the welfare of his Church. For it was of very great importance to warn the Jews of the calamities which were about to oppress them. There is nothing which more torments the minds of men than their becoming bewildered in false imaginations, and thinking the world the sport of chance, while they never ponder over the providence of God nor reflect upon his judgments. Hence, with this design, God wished to teach the Prophet and all the pious the nature of their future afflictions, since they would thus understand how events never happened by chance, but all these scourges proceeded from God; for the same God both determines and executes his decrees, as he also predicts future events. For if nothing had been predicted, the pious would have glided gently downwards to despair in consequence of their heavy afflictions. We know also how magnificently the prophets extol the grace of God when they promise return and deliverance. Isaiah, too, has elsewhere spoken to this effect: Not in haste nor in tumult shall ye go forth, but with a standard displayed. Again, The wealth of all the nations shall flow towards you; kings shall come, and submit, and bow the knee to thee. (Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 55:12; Isaiah 55:6.) The Jews were permitted to return to their own land; but we know how cruelly they were harassed by all their neighbors, so that they did not dwell in that corner of the world without the greatest difficulties. The building of both the city and the Temple was hindered by many enemies, till at length they became tributary to the kings of Syria. Antiochus, indeed, who is here alluded to, advanced with cruel tyranny against the people of God. If this had not been predicted, they would have thought themselves deceived by the splendid promises concerning their return. But when they perceived everything occurring according as they had been opportunely forewarned, this became no slight solace in the midst of their woes; they could then determine at once how completely it was in the power of God to relieve them from so many and such oppressive evils. With what intention, then, had God predicted all these things to his Prophet Daniel? clearly that the Jews might look forward to a happy result, and not give way to despair under events so full of anxiety and confusion. This, then, was the utility of the prophecy, with reference to that particular period.
When the Prophet says,
He now adds,
1 Or, desire; some translate it in the genitive, and understand "desirable land;" for Judea was often called the desirable land, because God of his own free will chose to be worshipped there; but we may receive it simply for glory." -- Calvin.