Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus to him…
The actual king in the empire is not always the man who wears a diadem and occupies a stately seat. An astute statesman is often the real monarch. The poor man who, by his sagacity, delivered the city, was the veritable conqueror. The true servant of God becomes a king among men. See, for example, Joseph in Egypt, Moses in the desert, Samuel in Israel, Daniel in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was, at this moment, a captive, bound fast in the fetters of tear. Daniel was a real sovereign, directing the act of state officers, and moulding the destinies of the nation.
I. HERE ARE MARKS OF A TRUE PROPHET. "I will show unto the king the interpretation." To prophesy is not merely to foretell remote events: to prophesy is to disclose the unknown - to unveil mysteries. False prophets are a curse; a true prophet is an immeasurable blessing. Guesses at truth are untrustworthy, deceptive, perilous. Real revelation is a safe anchorage for the soul. Science soon reaches the end of her tether; she enjoys a very limited range. Revelation has to do with the infinite and the absolute - with all the secrets in the universe. To unfold the mysteries of human life, one by one, is the mission of God's prophets. "I will show the interpretation."
II. HERE ARE SIGNS OF KINGLY RULE. Nebuchadnezzar "was angry and very furious;" he had lost command over himself. Daniel had learnt the art of self-conquest. Nebuchadnezzar had commanded his officer to slay the wise men. Daniel, though one of the doomed, countermands the order. The magicians supposed that their lives were at the disposal of the monarch. They really were, by God's ordination, at the disposal of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar was a captive to dreadful apprehensions; feared a conspiracy; immured himself in the palace. Daniel walked abroad; breathed the sweet air of liberty; and wielded a power more mysterious than any enchanter's wand. Nebuchadnezzar had said, "Let there be war!" Daniel said, "Peace, be still!" The king had said to Arioch, "Unsheath thy sword, and slay!" Daniel countersaid, "Put up thy sword into its sheath, and spare!" The king had said to the wise men, "Die!" Daniel said instead, "Live I" And the voice of Daniel prevailed.
III. Here we have, in type and emblem, A REAL SAVIOUR. It is easy enough to destroy; it is difficult to save. A child may set a city on fire; ten thousand men may be impotent to save it. A madman has destroyed in five minutes what human genuine had taken years to create. The fiat from Nebuchadnezzar's lips had been, "Destroy destroy all the wise men of Babylon!" But Daniel had issued another mandate, "Destroy not!" and Daniel's word prevailed. A strange foreshadowing this of another event. Five hundred years later Herod commanded the massacre of all the infants in Bethlehem; yet One of the innocent babes was spared to become the Saviour of the world and Herod's Judge. So mercy "rejoices against judgment." - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.
WEB: Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus to him: Don't destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show to the king the interpretation.