|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:8-16 The interest we think we make for ourselves, we must acknowledge to be God's gift. Daniel was still firm to his religion. Whatever they called him, he still held fast the spirit of an Israelite. These youths scrupled concerning the meat, lest it should be sinful. When God's people are in Babylon they need take special care that they partake not of her sins. It is much to the praise of young people, not to covet or seek the delights of sense. Those who would excel in wisdom and piety, must learn betimes to keep the body under. Daniel avoided defiling himself with sin; and we should more fear that than any outward trouble. It is easier to keep temptation at a distance, than to resist it when near. And we cannot better improve our interest in any with whom we have found favour, than to use it to keep us from sin. People will not believe the benefit of avoiding excess, and of a spare diet, nor how much they contribute to the health of the body, unless they try. Conscientious temperance will always do more, even for the comfort of this life, than sinful indulgence.
Verse 14. - So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. The literal rendering is, And he hearkened unto them as to this matter, proved them ten days. The Septuagint reading is again peculiar, "And he dealt with them after this manner, and proved them ten days." ישמע is not very unlike יעשה, nor לדבד very unlike כדבר, and this is all the change implied. The Massoretic reading seems the more natural, but it might be argued that this very naturalness is the result of an effort to make the Hebrew more flowing. But further, from the fact that עֲשֵׂה. ('asayh), imperative of the same verb, precedes almost immediately, the word might come in by accident, or another word somewhat like it might be misread into it. The consent of the subordinate official implies, if not the consent, at least the connivance, of the superior. As we have already explained from the arrangements of a Babylonian feast, the plan of the Hebrew youths could the more easily be carried out.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So he consented to them in all this matter,.... Or, "hearkened to them" (e); being convinced that it was a very reasonable request, and the matter was fairly put; and especially as he saw, if it succeeded to their wish, it would be to his profit; since the meat and drink of these four persons would be his perquisite, and fetch him money; pulse and water being to be obtained at an easy rate:
and proved them ten days; tried the experiment, by giving them pulse and water only during this time, in order to see how it would agree with them; and whether any visible alteration could be discerned in their countenances, so as to bring him or his master into suspicion and danger.
(e) "auscultans eis", Junius & Tremellius, Broughtonus; "auscultavit eis", Pisator, Cocceius.
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