10. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
10. Et non auscultavimus voci Jehovae Dei nostri, ut ambularemus in legibus ejus, quas proposuit coram facie nostra per manum servorum suorum prophetarum.
Here, again, Daniel shews how the Israelites provoked God's anger against them by the wickedness of their conduct. He points out one special kind of sin and method of acting wickedly, namely, despising the teaching which proceeded from God as its author, and was expounded to them by his prophets. We must diligently notice this, as we have previously advised; for although no one is excusable before God by the pretext of ignorance, yet we perceive how our wickedness is aggravated when we knowingly and willfully make a point of rejecting what God commands and teaches. Daniel, therefore, enlarges upon the people's crime by adding the circumstance, they would not hear the prophets. Everything which would have been a fault in the Chaldeans or Assyrians was the most grievous wickedness in the elect people. Their obstinacy was the more provoking, because while God had pointed out the way by his prophets, they had turned their backs upon him. We have not heard. Clearly enough this verse is added by way of explanation, as Daniel might express the reason for their wickedness. Therefore he calls the laws of God "doctrine," which consists of many parts; for it is certain that nothing was omitted by God which was useful to be known, and thus he had embraced the whole perfection of justice in his discourse. He is treating here not only the law of Moses, but the teaching of the prophets, as the words clearly point out; and the noun hrwt torah, "law," is to be taken for "doctrine." It is just as if Daniel had said, God was rejected when he wished to rule his people by his prophets. But the plural number seems to denote what I have staffed, namely, that the perfection of doctrine was comprehended in the prophets; for God omitted nothing while he completed the revelation of whatever was needful for the guidance of the life. Yet this was rendered entirely useless by the perverseness of the people's nature, apparent. in their rejection of all God's laws.
Daniel confirms this sentiment by adding, Those laws were set before the people. This shews how everything was supplied to the people, since God had familiarly delivered to them whatever was needful for the utmost degree of piety and justice. For this phrase, to put anything before one's face, means to deliver all useful knowledge openly, perspicuously, and lucidly, and with great familiarity and skillfulness. Thus nothing is left doubtful or complicated, nothing remains obscure, unconnected, or confused. As, therefore, God had unfolded the whole scope of righteousness by his law, the people's impiety was the more severe and detestable, because they would not receive benefit from such familiar instruction. The Prophet intends by these words to shew how such willful sinners were worthy of double punishment. They are first convicted of contumacy because they had no pretext for their ignorance; they made an open and furious assault upon God, for although the way was pointed out to them, yet they turned aside in all directions, and threw themselves headlong. We must remember what I have previously touched upon, namely, the value of an external ministry, because we are aware how the ancient people, when rebellious against the prophets, were accustomed to pretend that they did not really despise God. As, therefore, hypocrites think their sins are concealed by a covering of this kind, Daniel clearly expresses that God is despised in his prophets, although he neither descends from heaven nor sends down his angels. And this is the meaning of the expression, the prophets were the servants of God; it declares how they taught nothing either rashly or in their own name or by their own impulse, but faithfully executed the Almighty's commands. It follows: --