19. And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee; be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
19. Et dixit, ne timeas vir desideriorum, 1 Pax tibi, comfortare, et confortare. 2 Et cum loqueretur mecum, roboravi me: tunc dixi, Loquatur dominus meus, quia roborasti me.
He first explains how he recovered his spirits at the angel's exhortation; for he refers to this encouragement as a command to be of good courage. Fear not, therefore, O man of desires. The angel here addresses Daniel soothingly, to calm his fears, for he needed some enticement when oppressed with fear at both the words and aspect of the angel. This is the reason why he calls him a man to be desired. He adds, peace to thee, a customary salutation with the Hebrews, who mean by the phrase the same as the Latin expression, May it be well with thee. Peace, as the Jews used it, means a state of prosperity, happiness, and quiet, and everything of this kind. Peace, therefore, to thee, meaning, May you prosper. By this word the angel declares his arrival in the Prophet's favor to bear witness to God's merciful feelings towards the Israelites, and to the reception of his own prayers. We ought diligently to notice this, because, as I have already remarked, whenever God puts forth any sign of his majesty, we necessarily become frightened. No other remedy is equal to the favor of God fully manifested towards us, and his testimony to his drawing near us as a father. The angel expresses this feeling by the phrase which he uses, shewing with what justice Daniel fell down lifeless through reverence for God's presence, and the necessity for his being calm and collected when he knew himself sent forth to bear witness to God's favor. Peace, therefore, to thee. He next adds, be strong, be strong. By this repetition, the angel teaches how strong an effort was required to arouse the Prophet; if he had been but slightly terrified, one word would have been enough to recover him. But as he was carried beyond himself, and all his senses had failed him, the angel inculcates twice the same exhortation to be strong. Be strong, then, be strong; that is, recover your spirits; and if this cannot be done in a moment, persevere in recovering that alacrity which may render you a fitting disciple; for, while you thus remain astonished, I should address you in vain. There are two reasons why we must notice the Prophet's informing us again how dejected he was. First, it proves how free from ambiguity this revelation really was, and how clearly it was stamped with marks of genuineness. Secondly, we must learn how formidable God's presence is to us, unless we are persuaded of the exercise of his paternal love Towards us. Lastly, we must observe how, when once we are struck down, we cannot immediately and completely recover our spirits, but we must be satisfied if God gradually and successively inspires us with renewed strength.
Daniel afterwards says, he was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak, for thou hast made me strong. By these words he indicates his peace of mind after the angel had roused him by touching him twice, and by giving him courage by means of his exhortation. It is very useful to us to take due notice of this mental tranquillity, because the Prophet ought first to become a diligent scholar to enable him afterwards to discharge for us the once of a faithful teacher. With the greatest propriety, he repeats his assertion about the recovery of his strength, which enabled him to address the angel with facility. It now follows: --