And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts to them, and the king should have no damage.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Three presidents.—See Note on Daniel 5:7. If there had been a triumvirate in Babylon, Darius continued the form of government which he found already existing, and retained Daniel in the official post to which he had been promoted by Belshazzar.Daniel 6:2-3. And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first —
He had been appointed one of the principal officers of state by Belshazzar, Daniel 5:29. The office to which he was now advanced seems to have been of the same sort with that conferred on Joseph by Pharaoh, Genesis 41:41. Grotius thinks these eparchs were like the præfecti prætorio in the latter part of the Roman empire. That the princes might give accounts unto them — Might lay before them the state of the public accounts. They doubtless also received appeals from the princes, or complaints against them, in case of mal-administration. And the king should have no damage — That he might not sustain any loss in his revenue, and that the power he delegated to the princes might not be abused to the oppression of the subjects; for by that a king, whether he thinks so or not, receives real damage; both as it alienates the affections of his people from him, and provokes the displeasure of God against him. Daniel was preferred, because an excellent spirit was in him — Besides that spirit of uncommon wisdom and sagacity which was in Daniel, he had great experience in public affairs, it being now sixty-five years since he was first advanced by Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 2:48. It is no wonder, therefore, that Darius should have thoughts of putting the chief management of the whole empire into his hands.
Of whom Daniel was first - First in rank. This office he probably held from the rank which he was known to have occupied under the kings of Babylon, and on account of his reputation for ability and integrity.
That the princes might give accounts unto them - Be immediately responsible to them; the accounts of their own administration, and of the state of the empire.
And the king should have no damage - Either in the loss of revenue, or in any maladministration of the affairs. Compare Ezra 4:13. "They pay not toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings." The king was regarded as the source of all power, and as in fact the supreme proprietor of the realm, and any malfeasance or malversation in office was regarded as an injury to him.
Da 6:1-28. Darius' Decree: Daniel's Disobedience, and Consequent Exposure to the Lions: His Deliverance by God, and Darius' Decree.
1. Darius—Grotefend has read it in the cuneiform inscriptions at Persepolis, as Darheush, that is, "Lord-King," a name applied to many of the Medo-Persian kings in common. Three of that name occur: Darius Hystaspes, 521 B.C., in whose reign the decree was carried into effect for rebuilding the temple (Ezr 4:5; Hag 1:1); Darius Codomanus, 336 B.C., whom Alexander overcame, called "the Persian" (Ne 12:22), an expression used after the rule of Macedon was set up; and Darius Cyaxares II, between Astyages and Cyrus [ÆSCHYLUS, The Persians, 762, 763].
hundred and twenty—satraps; set over the conquered provinces (including Babylon) by Cyrus [Xenophon, Cyropædia, 8.6.1]. No doubt Cyrus acted under Darius, as in the capture of Babylon; so that Daniel rightly attributes the appointment to Darius.Of whom Daniel was first: this was Belshazzar’s promise to Daniel, he should be the third ruler in the kingdom, Daniel 5:7,16,29; the first was general of the army, the second president of the palace, the third of the land and provinces.
(of whom Daniel was the first:) or "one" (u), who was now an old man, having been about seventy years in Babylon, and had had a large experience of the affairs of civil government, being advanced in the times of Nebuchadnezzar to high posts; and very probably Darius had heard of the wisdom of Daniel before he came to the kingdom, as well as the king of Tyre, Ezekiel 28:3 and might be informed of his prediction of Belshazzar's death, and the change of the empire: and of Belshazzar's promise to make him the third ruler in the kingdom; and he might also himself observe in him an uncommon sagacity and fitness for business of this sort. Josephus (w) says, that Darius took Daniel with him into Media, and made him one of the three presidents; and indeed no mention is made in this history of the nobles of Babylon, but only of the Medes and Persians:
that the princes might give account unto them, and the king should have no damage: or loss in his revenues, through the fraud and bad management of the princes of the provinces; since they might be discovered and checked by the presidents, who were to audit their accounts: or, "have no trouble" (x); in looking over and passing the accounts of the princes.
(u) Sept.; "unus", V. L. Syr. Ar. Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. (w) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 4. (x) , Sept.; "ne rex molestia afficeretur", Pagninus; "ut rex illo levaretur gravamine", Munster.And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. three presidents] Aram. sârak, prob. a form derived from the Pers. sâr, ‘head,’ ‘chief,’ ‘prince.’ In the O.T. it is found only in this chap. (Daniel 6:2-4; Daniel 6:6-7): in the Targums it stands often for the Heb. shôṭçr, ‘officer,’ as Exodus 5:6; Exodus 5:10; Deuteronomy 1:15; Deuteronomy 20:5; Joshua 1:10; Proverbs 6:7 (‘overseer’).
was first] was one: so R.V. rightly.
that these satraps might give account unto them] strictly, might be giving account, i.e. might be permanently answerable to them, that the interests and revenues of the king were properly guarded. No such officials are mentioned elsewhere,—except in so far as they may be regarded as the successors of the three Babylonian ministers, presupposed in Daniel 5:7; Daniel 5:16; Daniel 5:29. Darius Hystaspis, as a check upon his satraps, appointed in each satrapy an independent military commandant, and a royal ‘scribe,’ or secretary, whose business it was to report to the king the doings of the satrap (Hdt. iii. 128; Rawl., Anc. Mon.4 iii. 424).Daniel 1:21. "We shall now discover what the youthful Daniel became, and what he continued to be to the end of the exile" (Klief.). The plur. חלמות (dreams, Daniel 2:1 and Daniel 2:2), the singular of which occurs in Daniel 2:3, is not the plur. of definite universality (Hv., Maur., Klief.), but of intensive fulness, implying that the dream in its parts contained a plurality of subjects. M('p@ft;hi (from פּעם, to thrust, to stroke, as פּעם, an anvil, teaches, to be tossed hither and thither) marks great internal disquietude. In Daniel 2:3 and in Genesis 41:8, as in Psalm 77:5, it is in the Niphal form, but in Daniel 2:1 it is in Hithp., on which Kran. finely remarks: "The Hithpael heightens the conception of internal unquiet lying in the Niphal to the idea that it makes itself outwardly manifest." His sleep was gone. This is evidenced without doubt by the last clause of Daniel 2:1, עליו נהיתה. These interpretations are altogether wrong: - "His sleep came upon him, i.e., he began again to sleep" (Calvin); or "his sleep was against him," i.e., was an aversion to him, was troublesome (L. de Dieu); or, as Hv. also interprets it, "his sleep offended him, or was like a burden heavy upon him;" for נהיה does not mean to fall, and thus does not agree with the thought expressed. The Niph. נהיה means to have become, been, happened. The meaning has already been rightly expressed by Theodoret in the words ἐγένετο ἀπ ̓αὐτου, and in the Vulgate by the words "fugit ab illo;" and Berth., Ges., and others have with equal propriety remarked, that נהיתה שׁנתו corresponds in meaning with נדּת שׁנתּהּ, Daniel 6:19 (18), and שׁנת נדדה, Esther 6:1. This sense, to have been, however, does not conduct to the meaning given by Klief.: his sleep had been upon him; it was therefore no more, it had gone; for "to have been" is not "to be no more," but "to be finished," past, gone. This meaning is confirmed by נהייתי, Daniel 8:27 : it was done with me, I was gone. The עליו stands not for the dative, but retains the meaning, over, upon, expressing the influence on the mind, as e.g., Jeremiah 8:18, Hosea 11:8, Psalm 42:6-7, 12; Psalm 43:5, etc., which in German we express by the word bei or fr.
The reason of so great disquietude we may not seek in the circumstance that on awaking he could not remember the dream. This follows neither from Daniel 2:3, nor is it psychologically probable that so impressive a dream, which on awaking he had forgotten, should have yet sorely disquieted his spirit during his waking hours. "The disquiet was created in him, as in Pharaoh (Genesis 41), by the specially striking incidents of the dream, and the fearful, alarming apprehensions with reference to his future fate connected therewith" (Kran.).
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