18. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
The Prophet repeats what he had said, namely, how he had been frightened by the magnitude of this vision; meanwhile, he was raised up by the angel, lest he should remain in that state of stupor. Yet these two clauses must be noticed: Daniel was astonished at the outset, for he could not otherwise be sufficiently composed to listen to the angel's voice; but at the same time another clause is added, stating, the angel set him upright in his place. Whenever God addresses us, we must necessarily be subject to fear and dread, to produce humility, and to render us docile and obedient. Fears the true preparation for obedience; but, as we formerly said, another feeling ought to follow; namely, as God has previously prostrated and cast us down, he will also raise us up, thereby preparing us for listening; and this disposition cannot arise except our minds are sedate and composed. The Prophet then expresses both these states of mind here. This, as I have said, is common to all the pious; but a peculiarity is noticed here, lest the readers of the vision should become torpid, and receive it carelessly; for they ought to collect all their senses, conscious of their inability to understand it, unless the fear of God should precede, and thus form the mind for obedience.
1 Some translate, "approached me," an interpretation which is tolerable. -- Calvin.
2 Verbally, "upon my standing," as in old French, "en mon estre." -- Calvin.