1. Also I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
1. Et ego anno primo Darii medi steti in roboratorem, et auxilium illi. 1
Interpreters explain this verse in various ways. Some think the angel fought for the Persian king, and follow up their opinion, because he did not for the first time begin now to defend that monarchy in favor of the chosen people, but had done so from the very beginning. Others refer this to Michael, as the angel declares that he introduced the assistance of Michael. But that is forced and cold. I do not hesitate to state the argument to be from the greater to the less, and we have an instance of this in a tragedy of Ovid's. I have been able to preserve you; do you ask whether I can destroy you? Thus the angel says, I have erected the Persian monarchy; I have not the slightest doubt of my present power to restrain these kings, lest they should pour forth their fury upon the people. The full meaning is this, the king of the Persians is nothing, and can do nothing except through me. I was God's servant in transferring the monarchy of the Medes and Chaldeans to the Persians, as well as that of the Babylonians to the Medes. God, says he, entrusted me with that office, and so I placed Darius upon the throne. You now see how completely I have him in my power, and how I can prevent him from injuring my people should he be so inclined. When the angel boasts of
Grant, Almighty God, as thou daily and familiarly deignest to grant us the light of heavenly doctrine, that we may come to thy school with true humility and modesty. May our docility be really apparent; may we receive with reverence whatever proceeds from thy lips, and may thy majesty be conspicuous among us. May we taste of that goodness which thou dost manifest to us in thy word, and be enabled to rejoice in thee as our Father; may we never dread thy presence, but may we enjoy the sweet testimony of thy paternal grace and favor. May thy word be more precious to us than gold and worldly treasures, and, meanwhile, may we feed upon its sweetness, until we arrive all that full satiety which is laid up for us in heaven through Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 That is, I stood by to strengthen and assist him. -- Calvin.