Daniel 1:18
Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
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(18) At the end of the days, i.e., the three years specified in Daniel 1:5. Before the conclusion of this time, it appears (Daniel 2:1), Daniel was enabled to give a proof of his wisdom. (See Daniel 2:28.)

Daniel 1:18-20. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in — At the end of three years, see Daniel 1:5, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in — According to the king’s command. And the king communed with them — To try their proficiency. This shows the king’s ability and judgment, without which he could not have discerned their fitness for his service, and their excellence above others. He examined all candidates that applied, and preferred those that outstripped the rest. Therefore stood they before the king — They were in continual attendance in the king’s court. The same expression is used of Elijah and Jeremiah, as God’s servants and messengers, 1 Kings 17:1; Jeremiah 15:19. And the Levites are said to stand before the congregation to minister to them, Numbers 16:9. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding — In a general knowledge of things; that the king inquired of them — This is a further confirmation of the king’s noble endowments, and of his great care to choose only proper persons to be in offices of trust, namely, persons well qualified to serve him in the great affairs of the kingdom. He found them ten times better, &c. — Hebrew, עשׂר ידית, ten hands above, all the magicians and astrologers that were in his realm — The words may be understood of those that employed themselves in the lawful search of natural causes and effects, and of the regular motions of the heavenly bodies. For, inasmuch as Daniel made intercession to the captain of the guard, that the wise men of Babylon might not be slain, Daniel 2:24, we cannot suppose that all of them were such as studied unlawful arts and sciences, especially as he himself was afterward made master, or head, over them. These names are evidently to be taken in a good sense, as the magi, Matthew 2:1; and the astrologers were then nearly, if not altogether, the same as astronomers with us. In short, the words seem to comprehend those persons in general, that were distinguished in the several kinds of learning cultivated among the Chaldees. It cannot, therefore, be collected from these words, that Daniel applied himself to the study of what are called magic arts, but to the sciences of the Chaldees; in the same manner as Moses had, long before, applied himself to the study of the wisdom of Egypt. And in giving Nebuchadnezzar proof that Daniel excelled all the wise men in his realm in these branches of knowledge and wisdom, God poured contempt on the pride of the Chaldeans, and put honour on the low estate of his people.

1:17-21 Daniel and his fellows kept to their religion; and God rewarded them with eminence in learning. Pious young persons should endeavour to do better than their fellows in useful things; not for the praise of man, but for the honour of the gospel, and that they may be qualified for usefulness. And it is well for a country, and for the honour of a prince, when he is able to judge who are best fitted to serve him, and prefers them on that account. Let young men steadily attend to this chapter; and let all remember that God will honour those who honour him, but those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.Now at the end of the days ... - After three years. See Daniel 1:5.

The prince of the eunuchs brought them in - Daniel, his three friends, and the others who had been selected and trained for the same purpose.

18. brought them in—that is, not only Daniel and his three friends, but other youths (Da 1:3, 19, "among them all"). At the three years’ end, according to the king’s command, which Melzar punctually observed, and brought them in before the king.

Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in,.... That is, at the end of three years; which was the time appointed for their education, and when they were to be brought before the king for his examination and approbation:

then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar; even all the young men that were taken from among the children of Israel and Judah, as well as the four children before and after mentioned, appears by what follows. This was done by Asphenaz, and not Melzar.

Now at the {t} end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

(t) Of the three years mentioned above as in Dan 1:5.

18. And at the end of the days that the king had appointed (Daniel 1:5) for bringing them in (R.V.)] viz. to attend upon the king. ‘Appointed’ is lit. said, i.e. commanded, decreed, a common use in late Hebrew: cf. Daniel 1:3. As Daniel 1:19 (‘among them all,’ &c.) shews, the pron. them refers, not as the connexion with Daniel 1:17 might suggest, to the four Hebrew lads alone, but to the whole number of youths mentioned in Daniel 1:3-4.

Verse 18. - Now at the end of the clays that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. The Septuagint Version here is shorter and simpler: "After these days the king commanded to bring them in, and they were brought in by the prince of the eunuchs." The only difference is that הַאֵלֶה (haayleh) is read instead of אֲשֶׁר (asher), and the maqqeph dropped. Theodotion is in close accordance with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta is also simpler than the Massoretic text, though founded on it: "And after the completion of the days which the king had arranged, the chief of the eunuchs brought them before Nebuchadnezzar the king." Both the Massoretic and Peshitta texts represent the prince of the eunuchs bringing the youths before King Nebuchadnezzar when the time had elapsed, without any orders from the king himself. According to the Septuagint, it was the king himself that required them to be presented before him. It seems more like the active-minded king, that he should recall his purpose of examining these youths, and command them to be brought in, than that the prince of the eunuchs should bring them trooping in without warning into the royal presence. Such an examination, whether conducted by the king personally, or in his presence, or under his superintendence, would need to be prepared fur; something equivalent to examination papers, test questions, would have to be arranged, or the presentation before the king would be a farce. All this implies that Nebuchadnezzar himself arranged the time of the appearance of those youths before him. We can scarcely imagine the awe with which those young captives must have looked forward to standing before the terrible conqeueror who had swept the army of Egypt before him, and had overthrown all who ventured to oppose him, who had sent home hosts of captives to throng the slave-markets of Babylon. We are not told whether each separately was brought before Nebuchadnezzar, or whether the whole number of the cadets were presented at once. It is the earliest instance of promotion by competitive examination. The clear, sharp eye of the young conqueror was probably worth more than all the questions prepared. While certainly the words used seem to imply that the hostages were called merely to be examined, the occasion may have been the "dream" narrated in the next chapter. Daniel 1:18After the expiry of the period of three years the youths were brought before the king. They were examined by him, and these four were found more intelligent and discriminating than all the others that had been educated along with them (מכּלּם, "than all," refers to the other Israelitish youths, Daniel 1:3, that had been brought to Babylon along with Daniel and his friends), and were then appointed to his service. יעמדוּ, as in Daniel 1:5, of standing as a servant before his master. The king found them indeed, in all matters of wisdom about which he examined them, to excel all the wise men in the whole of his kingdom. Of the two classes of the learned men of Chaldea, who are named instar omnium in Daniel 1:20, see at Daniel 2:2.
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