Ver. 1. Guest. It seems most probable that the king here spoken of was Evilmerodac, the son and successor of Nabuchodonosor, and a great favourer of the Jews; (Ch. W.) or it might be Darius, (Houbig.) or Cyrus, under whose reign S. Irenæus (iv. 11.) and others place this history. C.
--- The more correct Greek editions begin with the preceding verse. M.
--- Sept. read, "Prophecy of Abaum, son of Juda, of the tribe of Levi. There was a priest, Daniel, son of Abda, who was a guest of the king of Babylon," &c. See Pref. H.
Ver. 19. Angry. Cappel thinks the priests would not be so easily caught, or that such an imposture would not be so long concealed. But it was their interest to keep the secret, particularly if the king furnished the provisions; and in the night time they would not perceive the small ashes. Houbig.
--- The pagans stupidly believed (C.) that the idols eat. Aristoph. Plutus. iii. 2.
--- All the objections against this history are refuted by Jer. li. 5. Houbigant.
--- It is wonderful that so learned a man as Cappel should urge so many. H.
Ver. 22. Dragon. The devil had seduced our first parents in the form of a serpent, and caused most nations to adore it. C.
--- They expected benefit, or to be preserved from harm. Valer. i. 8. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xiv. 11. W.
Ver. 26. Asunder, being choked, and not poisoned. Vales. 81. M.
--- The throat is narrow. Solin. 43.
Ver. 27. Jew, or "a Jew is king;" Daniel governs all. Grot.
Ver. 28. House. Religion is daring. Darius was weak, and only a sort of viceroy, left by Cyrus. Houbig.
Ver. 30. The den of lions. Daniel was twice cast into the den of lions: once under Darius, the Mede, because he had transgressed the king's edict, by praying three times a day; and another time under Evilmerodac, by a sedition of the people. This time he remained six days in the lions' den; the other time only one night. Ch.
Ver. 31. Carcasses: people condemned, (C.) or dead. Houbig.
Ver. 32. Habacuc. The same, as some think, whose prophecy is found among the lesser prophets: but others believe him to be different. Ch.
--- About twenty years before there was no prophet in Judea. C. iii. 38. Habacuc, the eighth of the minor prophets, lived before the Babylonian monarchy was formed. C. i. 6. W.
--- Yet he might still survive. If this had not been a true history, such an extraordinary mode of conveyance would not have been mentioned. Cappel imagines it was an allusion to Philip, the deacon, and fabricated by some Christian. But Theodotion found it in Heb. (Houbig.) and he was no friend to Christianity when he wrote; though he had once followed Tatian, and the Marcionites. H.
Ver. 39. Seventh. He had not come before, supposing he was dead, till at last a rumour got to his ears, notwithstanding the precautions of the Babylonians, who hoped that Daniel would be starved to death. Houbigant, Proleg. p. 2. p. 425 which end here.
Ver. 40. Daniel. Gr. adds, "besides thee there is no other." H.
Ver. 41. Den, by the law of retaliation. C. vi. 24. M.
Ver. 42. Then, &c. is not in Greek nor in the ancient MSS. of S. Jerom. The verse may be taken from C. ii. 26. C.