Daniel 6:4
Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; for as much as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Concerning the kingdom—i.e., in his official capacity. The plan of the conspirators was to place Daniel in such a situation that his civil and religious duties might be forced to clash with each other.

Daniel 6:4-6. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel — We may judge, from what is here said, how blameless Daniel was in his conduct, and of how great advantage it is to act with virtue and integrity. All the spite and malice of his enemies could not so much as find out a pretence for accusing him, because he conducted himself in all affairs with uprightness, and established his credit by his virtuous behaviour. Then said these men, We shall not find, &c. — They concluded, at length, that they should not find any occasion against him, except concerning the law of his God — By this it appears that Daniel kept up the profession of his religion, and held it fast in that idolatrous country, without wavering or shrinking; and yet that was no bar to his preferment. There was no law requiring him to be of the king’s religion, or incapacitating him to bear office in the state unless he were. It was all one to the king what God he prayed to, so long as he did the business of the state faithfully and well. In this matter, therefore, his enemies hoped to insnare him. It is observable, that when they found no occasion against him concerning the kingdom, they had so much sense of justice left, that they did not suborn witnesses against him to accuse him of crimes he was innocent of, and to swear treason against him; wherein they shame many that were called Jews, and many now called Christians.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.Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel - The word rendered "occasion" (עלה ‛illâh) means a pretext or pretence. "The Arabs use the word of any business or affair which serves as a cause or pretext for neglecting another business." - Gesenius, Lexicon The meaning is, that they sought to find some plausible pretext or reason in respect to Daniel, by which the contemplated appointment might be prevented, and by which he might be effectually humbled. No one who is acquainted with the intrigues of cabinets and courts can have any doubts as to the probability of what is here stated. Nothing has been more common in the world than intrigues of this kind to humble a rival, and to bring down those who are meritorious to a state of degradation. The cause of the plot here laid seems to have been mere envy and jealousy - and perhaps the consideration that Daniel was a foreigner, and was one of a despised people held in captivity. "Concerning the kingdom." In respect to the administration of the kingdom. They sought to find evidence of malversation in office, or abuse of power, or attempts at personal aggrandizement, or inattention to the duties of the office. This is literally "from the side of the kingdom;" and the meaning is, that the accusation was sought in that quarter, or in that respect. No other charge would be likely to be effectual, except one which pertained to maladministration in office.

But they could find none occasion nor fault - This is an honorable testimony to the fidelity of Daniel, and to the uprightness of his character. If there had been any malversation in office, it would have been detected by these men.

4. occasion … concerning the kingdom—pretext for accusation in his administration (Ec 4:4). Sought to find occasion against Daniel; made diligent inquiry, and set their wits to work about it: who can stand before envy? This disease always reigns in princes’ courts, every one would be uppermost and chief favourite, and quarrel with all them that stand in their light; their eye is evil because their prince’s eye is good.

Concerning the kingdom; and so to have made him guilty of treason, or other high misdemeanours, unfaithfulness, and falseness in the king’s business; but all their wit and malice could find none, forasmuch as he was conscientiously faithful. 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.

Then the presidents and princes {c} 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.

(c) Thus the wicked cannot abide the graces of God in others, but seek by every occasion to deface them: therefore against such assaults there is no better remedy than to walk upright in the fear of God, and to have a good conscience.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. sought to find occasion, &c.] They were evidently jealous that a man of alien race and creed should be exalted above themselves.

concerning] as touching (R.V.): lit. from the side of. The meaning of course is, any charge of disloyalty, or any remissness or neglect in the discharge of his public office.

error] or negligence: Daniel 3:29.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. As to the king's demand, it is uncertain whether he wished to know the dream itself or its import. The wise men (Daniel 2:4) understood his words as if he desired only to know the meaning of it; but the king replied (Daniel 2:5.) that they must tell him both the dream and its interpretation. But this request on the part of the king does not quite prove that he had forgotten the dream, as Bleek, v. Leng., and others maintain, founding thereon the objection against the historical veracity of the narrative, that Nebuchadnezzar's demand that the dream should be told to him was madness, and that there was no sufficient reason for his rage (Daniel 2:12). On the contrary, that the king had not forgotten his dream, and that there remained only some oppressive recollection that he had dreamed, is made clear from Daniel 2:9, where the king says to the Chaldeans, "If ye cannot declare to me the dream, ye have taken in hand to utter deceitful words before me; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that ye will give to me also the interpretation." According to this, Nebuchadnezzar wished to hear the dream from the wise men that he might thus have a guarantee for the correctness of the interpretation which they might give. He could not thus have spoken to them if he had wholly forgotten the dream, and had only a dark apprehension remaining in his mind that he had dreamed. In this case he would neither have offered a great reward for the announcement of the dream, nor have threatened severe punishment, or even death, for failure in announcing it. For then he would only have given the Chaldeans the opportunity, at the cost of truth, of declaring any dream with an interpretation. But as threatening and promise on the part of the king in that case would have been unwise, so also on the side of the wise men their helplessness in complying with the demand of the king would have been incomprehensible. If the king had truly forgotten the dream, they had no reason to be afraid of their lives if they had given some self-conceived dream with an interpretation of it; for in that case he could not have accused them of falsehood and deceit, and punished them on that account. If, on the contrary, he still knew the dream which so troubled him, and the contents of which he desired to hear from the Chaldeans, so that he might put them to the proof whether he might trust in their interpretation, then neither his demand nor the severity of his proceeding was irrational. "The magi boasted that by the help of the gods they could reveal deep and hidden things. If this pretence is well founded - so concluded Nebuchadnezzar - then it must be as easy for them to make known to me my dream as its interpretation; and since they could not do the former, he as rightly held them to be deceivers, as the people did the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18) because their gods answered not by fire." Hengst.
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