|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:14-23 Daniel humbly prayed that God would discover to him the king's dream, and the meaning of it. Praying friends are valuable friends; and it well becomes the greatest and best men to desire the prayers of others. Let us show that we value our friends, and their prayers. They were particular in prayer. And whatever we pray for, we can expect nothing but as the gift of God's mercies. God gives us leave in prayer to tell our wants and burdens. Their plea with God was, the peril they were in. The mercy Daniel and his fellows prayed for, was bestowed. The fervent prayers of righteous men avail much. Daniel was thankful to God for making known that to him, which saved the lives of himself and his fellows. How much more should we be thankful to God, for making known the great salvation of the soul to those who are not among the worldly wise and prudent!
Verse 15. - He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. The opening clause in this verse is doubtful. In the Septuagint the verse is rendered, "And he asked him saying, Ruler, why is it decreed so bitterly by the king? And he showed him the warrant." Theodotion is yet briefer, "Ruler of the king, why has so harsh a sentence come forth from the king? And he declared (ἐγνώρισε) to him his orders." But briefest of all is the Peshitta. It begins at once without any address, "Why is this harsh decree from the king? And Arioch showed the matter (miltha) to Daniel." As a rule, the shorter a reading is the better it is. Therefore we are inclined to prefer the Peshitta rendering. "Answered and said" is a formula that might easily be stuck in where anything of the kind seemed needed. Here it is not suitable, as Daniel is already said to have "answered Arioch with counsel and prudence." The addition of the Septuagint is more reasonable, "He asked him saying, Ruler." Theodotion feels some title is necessary, so he calls Arioch "ruler of the king." It appears to us that the brief Peshitta represents the best text. Hasty repesents to some extent, though not fully, the clement of blame implied in the word mehahetzpah in greater degree than our English word would indicate. It means" rough," "raging," "shameless;" it might be too strong to say that "scandalous" represents Daniel's meaning. Some commentators cannot imagine a man thus criticizing a royal decree to one of the court officials. Much, however, is permitted to a man speaking about a decree which has condemned him to death without his having an opportunity to defend himself It is possible that he might be able to use all the more freedom by seeing that Arioch had no favour for the business to which he was ordered. The Greek versions represent that Arioch showed the warrant, the king's order for the execution. As that would not be considered an answer to Daniel's question, on the one hand, so on the other, it would not be an occasion for the step Daniel immediately thereafter took. We think, on the whole, that the Massoretic reading amended here by the Peshitta is the better. As leader of the royal bodyguard, the place of Arioch would be beside Nebuchadnezzar, even in the council-chamber. He would thus be quite cognizant of everything that took place the demands of the king, the arguments of the wise men. All this scene he could portray for the information of Daniel. The mere exhibition of a warrant would tell nothing more than the fact that the action of Arioch was in obedience to orders.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain,.... Or governor (m); over the persons before mentioned; either the king's guard or militia, or cooks or executioners: before, the manner in which Daniel answered is observed; here, the matter of it, as follows:
why is the decree so hasty from the King? or, "why this rash", hasty, or cruel (as the Vulgate Latin version) decree from the king? for so it was: what is the cause and reason of it?
then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel; who before was ignorant of it; he was not with the wise men before the king; either they did not care he should go with them, and therefore called him not; or he did not choose to go himself, being under no temptation by the rewards offered, and especially having no summons from the king himself: this being his case, Arioch informs him of the whole affair; how that the king had dreamed a dream, and forgot it; and had sent for the wise men to tell him both it and the interpretation; but they not being able to do it, and declaring also that it was impossible to be done, the king had given orders to slay all of that character.
(m) "dominatori", Junius &, Tremellius, Piscator, Broughtonus,
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Why is the decree so hasty—Why were not all of us consulted before the decree for the execution of all was issued?
the thing—the agitation of the king as to his dream, and his abortive consultation of the Chaldeans. It is plain from this that Daniel was till now ignorant of the whole matter.
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