Ver. 1. Kingdom. Josephus, &c. say Darius had returned into Media, where he made these regulations. But if this did not take place at Babylon, it would be rather at Susa. C. viii. Josephus counts 300 or 360 governments, though when the monarchy was increased there were only 127. Est. i. C.
--- He may therefore speak here of large towns, which had each a magistrate. Such regulations easily vary. H.
--- Darius acts as master of the whole empire.
Ver. 3. Princes. Th. "regulators." Chal. sacecin, (H.) may be put for (C.) scranim, (H.) the usual title (C.) of the highest officers, the surenas of Persia. Ammian 30.
Ver. 4. Kingdom, as prime minister, to whom the three princes should be accountable, as the inferior governors where to them. H.
---The king was now advanced in years, and wished to ease himself of part of the burden, (C.) as he could entirely confide in Daniel. H.
--- He reigned only one year. C. xiii. 65. W.
--- King. Chal. "kingdom," (H.) to accuse him of treason, (Grot.) or to get him removed. C.
--- This is an old and malignant trick, to call religion treason, and to get laws made for that purpose. W.
--- In him a great proof of integrity! M.
Ver. 6. Craftily. Chal. "came tumultuously to," &c. C.
--- They hoped thus to convince the king, as they were so unanimous. He would not perceive the drift of their petition, and was flattered with the idea of being like a god. Daniel was not consulted, though on other occasions the king reposed such confidence in him, as the deputies so impudently asserted that the wish was universal! So easily are princes deceived! H.
Ver. 8. It, when it is confirmed both by the king and his nobility. Est. viii. 8.
Ver. 9. It. Nabuchodonosor of Babylon, and of Ninive, had both pretended to be gods; (C. iii. 15. Judith vi. 29. C.) and Curtius (8.) remarks, "that the Persians follow the dictates of prudence as well as of piety, in worshipping their kings among the gods, the majesty of empire being its best protection." H.
Ver. 10. Before. He did not open the windows that he might be seen, as that would have been rashness; nor did many perceive what he was doing, (v. 11. W.) as it was in an upper room, but only those who rushed in. H.
--- It was the usual practice of the Jews, (C.) to pray turning towards the temple, as Solomon had directed, (3 K. viii. 48. S. Jer. in Ezec. viii. 16.) though it was now in ashes. H.
--- Daniel observed the third, sixth, and ninth hours, as the Church still does. Acts ii. 15. and x. 9. S. Jer.
Ver. 11. Carefully. Chal. "came in a tumultuous manner." as v. 6. & 15. C.
Ver. 15. Perceiving. Chal. "assembled," (Prot. H.) or "came quickly in a body." C.
Ver. 17. Own ring, that none of his enemies might injure Daniel. The nobles also affixed their seal, (H.) that the king might not liberate him. M.
--- All this shews that aristocracy was mixed with the monarchical form of government. Nothing of importance is done without the nobles.
Ver. 18. Meat. Chal. "music," (C.) or "incense." De Dieu.
--- He was tired of his godship, to which he had unguardedly opened his heart. v. 6. H.
Ver. 22. Offence, as I neglected thy decree to obey a higher Master. C.
--- The king had sense enough to approve of this distinction. H.
Ver. 23. Believed, or trusted. C.
--- S. Paul alludes to this miracle. Heb. xi. 33. W.
Ver. 24. Accused. They were punished as false witnesses; (C.) and the king justly made them suffer what they would have inflicted on the innocent, being convinced that Daniel had only acted according to his devotion. W.
--- These wretches deserved to perish, though they had spoken nothing but the truth. H.
--- Wives. Many examples of such punishments occur, (C.) as it was presumed that children and wives were infected by the bad example, and would imitiate it, (Jun.) if they had not concurred already. M.
--- This must have been the case, to make it just. H. See Jos. vii.
--- Abominandœ leges, says Ammianus, (23) speaking of the customs of Persia, per quas ob noxam unius omnis propinquitas perit. C.