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Daniel the Prophet.

Daniel the Prophet.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY FRANCIS TRENCH


DANIEL was a member of the royal family
of Judah, and was carried captive to Babylon,
while yet a youth, in the year 606. With several
others of a similar rank, of whom three are men
tioned by name, viz. Hananiah, Mishael, and
Azariah, he was chosen for a special training
and education, in order to prepare them for the
service of the king of Babylon. This training
was in part bodily in part mental ; and it was
intended to bring up these young men with all
those advantages, which the sovereign s will and
expenditure could effect.
BY FRANCIS TRENCH


DANIEL was a member of the royal family
of Judah, and was carried captive to Babylon,
while yet a youth, in the year 606. With several
others of a similar rank, of whom three are men
tioned by name, viz. Hananiah, Mishael, and
Azariah, he was chosen for a special training
and education, in order to prepare them for the
service of the king of Babylon. This training
was in part bodily in part mental ; and it was
intended to bring up these young men with all
those advantages, which the sovereign s will and
expenditure could effect.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 12, 2014
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DAIEL THE PROPHET. BY FRACIS TRECHDAIEL was a member of the royal family of Judah, and was carried captive to Babylon, while yet a youth, in the year 606. With several others of a similar rank, of whom three are men tioned by name, viz. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, he was chosen for a special training and education, in order to prepare them for the service of the king of Babylon. This training was in part bodily in part mental ; and it was intended to bring up these young men with all those advantages, which the sovereign s will and expenditure could effect. The history soon centres on Daniel and the three named above, who, in all probability, were not only his relatives, but also the friends and com panions of his youth. A part of this system for training and educa tion at the Babylonish court was that of supply ing food, rich, nourishing, and delicate, called " the king s meat," dressed and prepared by the king s servants. Daniel, being enlightened by the Spirit and the Word, and seeking to keep his " conscience void of offence towards God," soon perceived the sin, to him as a Jew, in partaking DAIEL THE PROPHET. 395 of this meat. For this there were two prominent reasons. First, the Gentiles, in their cookery, used promiscuously all sorts of food, much of which to the Israelites was, by the law, " com
 
mon and unclean." And again, the Gentiles, at their meals, used to dedicate a small portion of the meat and wine (sanctifying, as they thought, the whole) to their gods, either on an altar, if attainable, or by casting it into the fire, if fire was at hand, or in some other way. Daniel, even in his early career, won the love and favour of those around him. He was therefore enabled to persuade the guardian of the royal youths that he would allow him and his three companions the simplest and the poorest, but (in a religious sense) unadulterated fare. But this proved to them, through God s blessing, most nutritious and effec tive for all the purposes of vigour and of comeli ness 3 ; and thus they lived, as, no doubt, in all other things also, holily and purely and unblamably before their God: and "God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom," and they were "ten times wiser than all the Chaldsean magicians and astrologers :" and of Daniel it is specially written that he " had understanding in all visions and dreams." Our history must now and henceforth be con- a The Assyrians and Persians paid the greatest attention to beauty of form. Procopius, in his Persian War, states that, among the latter people, it was enacted that even the king s sons should be disqualified from reigning if they had any deformity of bodv. 396 DAIEL THE PROPHET. centrated on Daniel alone, except where his conduct and prosperity bear on that of his three companions. As in Joseph s case, so in Daniel s, God ad
 
vanced him through means of a dream, sent to the ruler of the land where he sojourned. About four years after Daniel s arrival in Babylon, e buchadnezzar "dreamed dreams," but could not interpret, nor even tell his dream. In one of those fits of despotic madness, folly, and wicked ness, frequently found in the history of these ancient Eastern autocrats e.g., in the lashing of the Hellespont by Xerxes, and the order to destroy all the Jews in the province of Babylon by Ahasuerus b the king ordered the destruction of all the astrologers and "wise men" in the country, because they could not tell him what his dream was c . Daniel, who was in peril with the rest, asked for time to give the interpretation of the dream ; and having obtained the boon, made the thing known to his companions, that they would pray with him and for him, and " desire mercies of the GOD of heaven concerning the secret." He then received a revelation from GOD on the matter ; and having blessed and praised Him for it, he went in to the king, declared and confessed the true GOD before him, told him b A remarkable instance of public attention to a dream at Rome is briefly noticed by Cicero. De Div. L. I. . 2. " Quin- etiam memoria nostra templum Junonis Sospitae L. Julius, qui cum P. Rutilio consul fuit, dc send t us sentcntid reh cit ex Caecilia; Balearic! filite somnio." r See the Book of Esther throughout. DAIEL THE PROPHET. 397 what his dream had been, interpreted it, and constrained the king to " honour the GOD of gods and the Lord of kings" in all humiliation before him. We hear, too, how ebuchadnezzar com

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