PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER - HELP - FB - TWITTER - GR VIDEOS - GR FORUMS - GR YOUTUBE
Da 1:1-21. THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY BEGINS; DANIEL'S EDUCATION AT BABYLON, &C.
1. third year--compare Jer 25:1, "the fourth year; Jehoiakim came to the throne at the end of the year, which Jeremiah reckons as the first year, but which Daniel leaves out of count, being an incomplete year: thus, in Jeremiah, it is "the fourth year"; in Daniel, "the third" [JAHN]. However, Jeremiah (Jer 25:1; 46:2) merely says, the fourth year of Jehoiakim coincided with the first of Nebuchadnezzar, when the latter conquered the Egyptians at Carchemish; not that the deportation of captives from Jerusalem was in the fourth year of Jehoiakim: this probably took place in the end of the third year of Jehoiakim, shortly before the battle of Carchemish [FAIRBAIRN]. Nebuchadnezzar took away the captives as hostages for the submission of the Hebrews. Historical Scripture gives no positive account of this first deportation, with which the Babylonian captivity, that is, Judah's subjection to Babylon for seventy years (Jer 29:10), begins. But 2Ch 36:6, 7, states that Nebuchadnezzar had intended "to carry Jehoiakim to Babylon," and that he "carried off the vessels of the house of the Lord" thither. But Jehoiakim died at Jerusalem, before the conqueror's intention as to him was carried into effect (Jer 22:18, 19; 36:30), and his dead body, as was foretold, was dragged out of the gates by the Chaldean besiegers, and left unburied. The second deportation under Jehoiachin was eight years later.
2. Shinar--the old name of Babylonia
(Ge 11:2; 14:1;
Nebuchadnezzar took only "part of the vessels," as he did not intend
wholly to overthrow the state, but to make it tributary, and to leave
such vessels as were absolutely needed for the public worship of
Jehovah. Subsequently all were taken away and were restored under Cyrus
4. no blemish--A handsome form was connected, in Oriental ideas, with
mental power. "Children" means youths of twelve or fourteen years old.
5. king's meat--It is usual for an Eastern king to entertain, from
the food of his table, many retainers and royal captives
(Jer 52:33, 34).
The Hebrew for "meat" implies delicacies.
6. children of Judah--the most noble tribe, being that to which the "king's seed" belonged (compare Da 1:3).
7. gave names--designed to mark their new relation, that so they
might forget their former religion and country
But as in Joseph's case (whom Pharaoh called Zaphnath-paaneah), so in
Daniel's, the name indicative of his relation to a heathen court
("Belteshazzar," that is, "Bel's prince"), however flattering to him,
is not the one retained by Scripture, but the name marking his relation
to God ("Daniel," God my Judge, the theme of his prophecies
being God's judgment on the heathen world powers).
8. Daniel . . . would not defile himself with
. . . king's meat--Daniel is specified as being the
leader in the "purpose" (the word implies a decided resolution)
to abstain from defilement, thus manifesting a character already formed
for prophetical functions. The other three youths, no doubt, shared in
his purpose. It was the custom to throw a small part of the viands and
wine upon the earth, as an initiatory offering to the gods, so as to
consecrate to them the whole entertainment (compare
To have partaken of such a feast would have been to sanction idolatry,
and was forbidden even after the legal distinction of clean and unclean
meats was done away
(1Co 8:7, 10; 10:27, 28).
Thus the faith of these youths was made instrumental in overruling the
evil foretold against the Jews
to the glory of God. Daniel and his three friends, says AUBERLEN, stand out like an oasis in the desert. Like
Moses, Daniel "chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of
God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season"
He who is to interpret divine revelations must not feed on the
dainties, nor drink from the intoxicating cup, of this world. This made
him as dear a name to his countrymen as Noah and Job, who also stood
alone in their piety among a perverse generation
(Eze 14:14; 28:3).
10. worse liking--looking less healthy.
11. Melzar--rather, the steward, or chief butler, entrusted by Ashpenaz with furnishing the daily portion to the youths [GESENIUS]. The word is still in use in Persia.
17. God gave them knowledge--
(Ex 31:2, 3;
Jas 1:5, 17).
19. stood . . . before the king--that is, were advanced to a position of favor near the throne.
20. ten times--literally, "ten hands."
21. Daniel continued . . . unto . . . first year of Cyrus-- (2Ch 36:22; Ezr 1:1). Not that he did not continue beyond that year, but the expression is designed to mark the fact that he who was one of the first captives taken to Babylon, lived to see the end of the captivity. See my Introduction, "SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY." In Da 10:1 he is mentioned as living "in the third year of Cyrus." See Margin Note, on the use of "till" (Ps 110:1, 112:8).