|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-5 We notice to the glory of God, that though Daniel was now very old, yet he was able for business, and had continued faithful to his religion. It is for the glory of God, when those who profess religion, conduct themselves so that their most watchful enemies may find no occasion for blaming them, save only in the matters of their God, in which they walk according to their consciences.
Verses 4, 5 - Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. The rendering of the Septuagint is here very paraphrastic, "Then the two young men (νεανίσκοι) took counsel, and planned among themselves with each other, saying, Since they found no error nor neglect (ἄγνοιαν) against Daniel, about which they might accuse him to the king, and they said, Come, let us make a decree (ὁρισμόν) among ourselves, that no man shall make any request, or offer any prayer, to any god for thirty days, but only from Darius the king, and if not he shall die; in order that they might lower (ἡττήσωσι) Daniel before the king, and that he be thrown into the den of lions; for they knew that Daniel prayed and made supplication to the Lord his God three times a day." There are elements here of interpolation and of the coalescence of different renderings. It is difficult to understand how "the presidents" could be called νεανίσκοι. There seems no Aramaic word with that meaning, into which sarekeen could be read; certainly it is as difficult to imagine any one thinking of introducing that as a logical equivalent. Young men would not be put in such a responsible place, nor would they have thought of Daniel - a man of about eighty years - as a colleague with youths. There are evident traces of two readings having coalesced; thus we have ἀλλήλους λέγοντες followed by εϊπαν, after the course of the narrative has been interrupted by an inserted clause. As to the punishment to befall the transgressor of this decree, one statement is, "If not, he shall die" The next version of the punishment is brought into connection with the humiliation to be inflicted on Daniel, that "he may be cast into the den of lions." At the same time, the fact that we hear of the decree in connection with the consultation of these conspirators in the present text, is in harmony with what we find in the fourth chapter. In the original document not improbably the statement would be given - as in Genesis 41. in regard to Pharaoh's dreams - alike when the conspirators devise the plan, and when they carry it out. In regard to some of the differences, an explanation may be hazarded, but we will not delay. Notwithstanding that the Massoretic here is shorter than the Greek text, we fancy it is not difficult through it to find a shorter text still. The text of Theodotion is much briefer than either of the other texts, "And the presidents (τακτικοὶ) and the satraps sought to find occasion against Daniel, and they found neither occasion, nor fault, nor error against him, because he was faithful. And the presidents said, We shall not find occasion against Daniel except in regard to precepts (νομίμους) of his God." The Peshitta agrees in the main with the Massoretic. It makes Daniel faithful "towards God." That these co-presidents and the under-governors should be indignant that a Jew, who had actually been employed in the court of Nabunahid, should be put above those Babylonians who had admitted the shields of Guti into Esakkil, was natural. Of course, they could not seriously plead this before the governor Gobryas. They could not accuse Daniel directly of worshipping his national Deity, for the Persian rule in:Babylon, while zealous for the gods of Babylon, did not imply any assault on the deities of other subject races. It is to be noted that in the Septuagint the plot is concoeted by the two "youths," Daniel's co-presidents. They, most likely men of high rank, would feel most keenly that they were superseded by a Jew, and their feelings would naturally spread to those beneath them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom,.... Concerning the management of the affairs of the kingdom, he being prime minister of state; the presidents and princes joined together in this inquiry; the princes, because Daniel was so strict and exact in looking into their accounts, that no fraudulent measures were taken to cheat the king of his revenue; and the presidents, because he was preferred above them:
but they could find none occasion nor fault; or "corruption" (a), that he had been guilty of any mis-administration, or any corrupt practices:
forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him; no mistake in his accounts; no blunder in his management of things; nothing done amiss, neither wilfully, nor through ignorance, negligence, or inadvertence; so faithful and upright, so prudent and discreet, so exact and careful, that the most watchful observers of him, and these envious, and his most implacable enemies, could find no fault in him, or anything, or the colour of it, to ground an accusation upon.
(a) "corruptela", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Michaelis; "corruptionem", Gejerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. occasion … concerning the kingdom—pretext for accusation in his administration (Ec 4:4).
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