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and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he bez lieved in his God : this miracle was the reward of his faith and zeal, and gave the king spirit to punish Daniel's persecutors, and honour Daniel's God.
And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, that is, the principal of them, and they cast (them) into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den; being let down by cords, they were killed as fast as they went down by the lions, without staying to satisfy their hun. ger on their carcasses ; which plainly showed that Daniel's deliverance was miraculous.
Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth ; Peace be multiplied unto 26 you. I make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom
men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel : for he [is]. the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom [tboni which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion (shall! nouera]
unto the end ; this was going a great way, but not far enough 27 to abolish idolatry, and establish the worship of Jehovah. He
delivereth from irouble, and rescueth out of it, and he worketh
signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered 28 Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered
in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian, his nephew, who succeeded him.
COW careful should we be, whatever our stations are, to
behave in an honest, prudent, unblameable manner. This was Daniel's praise. His enemies narrowly watched him, but could find no injustice, negligence, or even indiscretion in him. Thus should we study to behave with integrity, caution, and prudence; providing things honest in the sight of all men : that our good may not be evil spoken of ; and that they who seek occasion against us may find none.
2. We have here a noble example of steadiness in religion. Daniel prayed in his family as often, and in the same manner as before, notwithstanding the edict. Neither his age, honour, nor great business, made him neglect his daily devotions. Many would have thought him imprudent in this; to save his life, he might surely have left off praying for a month ; or have prayed privately : but he kept steadily to his pious practice, and would not omit his duty, even in the face of death. This is very contrary to many of those which in the present day are called prudential maxims; but prudence, as it is called, is often shameful
sowardice, loving the praise of men more than the praise of God, and making way for other and greater omissions. Let the servants of the living God be steady and uniform in their devotions and obedience, and arm themselves with courage against all the terror and scorn of the world.
3. Observe the care which God takes of his faithful servants : He approved and rewarded Daniel's steadiness, though men might blame his rashness and imprudence. His power stopped the mouths of the furious lions ; and He, who gave his angels charge to preserve Daniel, can deliver his servants in the greatest dangers. Let an humble confidence in his power restrain that fear of man, which bringeth a snare. Let us faithfully do our duty ; and then he will be our refuge and strength; and a present help in time of trouble.
4. See and adore the justice of God in the destruction of Danjel's persecutors. Their deep laid schemes came to nothing ; vea, their evil doing8 came upon their own heads ; and even their De lies, which they thought to have aggrandized by Daniel's rumhure destroyed with them : in the snare which they laid for him, were their own feet taken. Thus, as the psalmist observes, the Lord is known by the judgments which he executeth; and the wicked is ensnared in the work of his own hands.
Daniel's vision of the four beasts ; of God's kingdom ; and the in.
1 IN the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, that is, sed
enteen years before the events recorded in the last chapter, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed :
then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, be
hold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea;
referring to the four greatest monarchies of the earth, and the vio. 3 lent commotion that attended their rise. And four great beasts A came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first
(was] like a lion, and had eagle's wings : I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and, or, wherewith, it was lifted up
from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a 5 man's hcart was given to it.* And behold, another beast, a
second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, or,
This refers to the Babylonian and Median monarchy, which arose on the ruin of the Assyrian. It was as a lion for fierceness, and as an eagle for speed; but its wings were plucked; many enemies arose in the last years of that empire ; and it then became more tame and tractable than before ; and its princes were caught to comider themselves as mere human creatures.
it raised up one dominion, and (it had] three ribs in the mouth
of it between the teeth of it : and they said thus unto it, 6 Arise, devour much flesh.* After this I beheld, and lo an
other, like a leopard, a fierce creature, which springs with exceeding velocity upon its prey, which had upon the back of it
four wings of a fowl ; the beast had also four heads ; and 7 dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night vis
ions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly ; and it had great iron teeth : it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the
feet of it : and it (was] diverse from all the beasts tirat (were) s before it ; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns,
and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots : and, behold, in this horn (were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things; that is, blasphemies and excommunications ; referring to the pope, as will be explained afterwards. The design of the next section is to comfort the people of God under the tyranny of this power, to assure them of God's universal providence, the security of Christ's kingdom, and the destruction of antichrist.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, rather, till the thrones were set or placed, and the Antient of days did sit, whose garment (was) white as snow, and the hair of his head
like the pure wool : his thronc [was like] the fiery fame, LO [and] his wheels (as) burning fire. A fiery stream issued
and came forth from before him : thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the books were open
ed ; intimating that God would appear by some remarkable 11 judgments to put an end to the papal power. I beheld then be
cause of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I
beheld (even) till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, 12 and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the
beasts, they had their dominion taken away : yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time ; that is, the wasting of the other kingdoms shall be gradual ; though they change their masters, and have not their former power, yet they shall contin
ue as nations ; but the destruction of the last shall be great and 13 entire, and no kingdom shall succeed it. I saw in the night vis.
ions, and, behold, (one) like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him, that is, the angels brought him near. From this prophecy the Jews learned to speak of the
This refers to the Persian empire: it was subject to the Medes at the conquest of Babylon, but soon raised itself above them. The three ribs probably refer to Lydia, Egypt, and Babylon, which the Persians devoured ; their success made them greedy of more doo minion. 'The Persians were remarkably cruel then, and continue so stijl.
+ This refers to the Grecian empire, and the rapid conquests of Alexander ; his kiegdom was divided into
four, after bis death, by his four generals. This refers to the Roman empire ; tbe horns denote its power, and the number of them refers to the ten kingdoms into which it was divided.
Messiah as the Son of man, and of his kingdom as the kingdom 14 of God and heaven. And there was given him dominion and
glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom (that) which shall not be destroyed : some understand this of Christ's power after his ascersion ; but it is rather designed to intimate, that the destruction of the papal empire shall make way for the great
er triumph of Christ's kingdom. 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of (my]
body, and the visions of my head troubled me ; that is, the
terrible appearances in the visions, and the confusions and per16 secutions to which they probably referred. I came near unto
one of them that stood by, to one of the attendant angels, and
asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made 17 me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts,
which are four, Care] four kings, (which) shall arise out of 18 the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the
kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and
ever ; the kingdom of Christ shall survive all these empires, and 19 the saints shall reign for ever. Then I would know the truth
of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, it being first a kingdom, then a commonwealth, then an empire, then a divided empire, and then a mixture of civil and ecclesiastical power, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth (were of] iron, and his nails [of] brass ; (which) devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet ; those conquests which
the Romans could not possess themselves, they gave to their 20 allies ; And of the ten horns that (were] in his head, that is,
the ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was divided ; or rather, that part of it which did not belong to the former beasts, which amidst all the confusion of the empire was still call. ed ten kingdoms from their first number ; and (of) the other which came up, that is, antichrist, or the Romish hierarchy which arose froin a very small beginning, and before whom three fell, three of those kingdoms within the territory of the pope, rhat is, Lombardy, Ravenna, and the neighbourhood of Rome ; even (of) that horn that had eyes like a man, like a seer, who had great penetration, and pretended to be inspired, and a mouth that spake very great things, blasphemies, bulls, curses, and ex. cominunications, whose look (was] more stout than his fellows,
who claimed superiority over the other horns, that is, all the 21 princes of the earth. I beheld, and the same horn made war
with the saints, and prevailed against them ; persecuting all 22 that officsed the panel usurpations. Until the Ancient of days
came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High ;
and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom
upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and
shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and 24 break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom
[are] ten kings (that) shall arise : and another shall rise after
them ; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall 25 subdue three kings. And he shall speak (great) words a
gainst the most High, or, as the most High; assuming arrogant titles, such as belonged to God alone ; and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws, instituting sacred times, deposing kings, and dispensing with laws, human and divine : and they shall be given into his hand
ntil a time, and times, and the dividing of time ; that is, this
power shall continue a year, two years, and half a year, meaning 26 prophetic years.* But the judgment shall sit, and they shall
take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy [it] unto
the end; Christ shall destroy him by the brightness of his com27 ing. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of
the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom (is) an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey
him ; then shall commence the flourishing state of christianity 28 for one thousand years, Hitherto [is] the end of the matter.
As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me ; the prospect of such confusions, persecutions, and troubles greatly affected me.; and my countenance changed in me, I became pale : but I kept the matter in my heart, and reflected upon it, and have now recorded it for the benefit of the church.
mournful, but just. A stormy sea, like winds contending, empires like furious beasts, full of tyranny and cruelty. Even the papal kingdom, that pretends to be the kingdom of Christ, differs in some respects, but in this especially is like the rest, the support of idolatry and tyranny.
2. It is a great consolation to God's people in all ages, that He reigneth. Neither days nor years make any alteration in him ; his kingdom ruleth over all, and thousands of angels minister unto him. He hath committed it to his Son, and his kingdom shall
• Thus Nebuchadnezzar was to continue seven rimes, that is, seven common years ; but this is sometimes called forly two months, (as in Reo xii. 5.) or twelve hundred and sixty prophetical days, that is, so many years. These were to commence when the pore became a horn, or a governor ; which was in the year 756; so that the pope's dominion will probably end, and the triumph of Christ's kingdon begin, about the ytar aque.