“schaphan”, as designing one that excels in wit and understanding; for which reason he might have the command of the eunuchs, many of which the eastern princes had about them, particularly to wait upon their women, or to educate youth, as the Turks have now; though, as R. Jeshuah in Aben Ezra observes, the word signifies ministers, and may intend the king’s nobles and courtiers, his ministers of state; and so this Ashpenaz may be considered as his prime minister, to whom he gave orders, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel ; whom he had taken and brought captive to Babylon, and were disposed of in some part or another of the city and country; and out of these it was his will that some should be selected and brought to his court: and of the king’s seed, and of the princes : or, “even of the king’s seed, and of the princes”; not any of the children of Israel, but such as were of the blood royal, or of the king of Judah’s family, or some way related to it; or, however, that were of princely birth, the children of persons of the first rank, as the word may signify; or of nobles and dukes, as Jarchi interprets it.
Matthew Henry Commentary
The captivity of Daniel and his companions. (Dan. 1:1-7) Their refusa to eat the king's meat. (Dan. 1:8-16) Their improvement in wisdom (Dan. 1:17-21)
Dan. 1:1-7 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, took Jerusalem, and carried whom and what he pleased away. From this first captivity, most think the seventy years are to be dated. It is the interest of princes to employ wise men; and it is their wisdo to find out and train up such. Nebuchadnezzar ordered that these chose youths should be taught. All their Hebrew names had something of God in them; but to make them forget the God of their fathers, the Guide of their youth, the heathen gave them names that savoured of idolatry. It is painful to reflect how often public education tends to corrupt the principles and morals.
Dan. 1:8-16 The interest we think we make for ourselves, we mus acknowledge to be God's gift. Daniel was still firm to his religion Whatever they called him, he still held fast the spirit of a Israelite. These youths scrupled concerning the meat, lest it should be sinful. When God's people are in Babylon they need take special car that they partake not of her sins. It is much to the praise of youn people, not to covet or seek the delights of sense. Those who woul excel in wisdom and piety, must learn betimes to keep the body under Daniel avoided defiling himself with sin; and we should more fear tha than any outward trouble. It is easier to keep temptation at distance, than to resist it when near. And we cannot better improve ou interest in any with whom we have found favour, than to use it to kee us from sin. People will not believe the benefit of avoiding excess and of a spare diet, nor how much they contribute to the health of the body, unless they try. Conscientious temperance will always do more even for the comfort of this life, than sinful indulgence.
Dan. 1:17-21 Daniel and his fellows kept to their religion; and God rewarded them with eminence in learning. Pious young persons shoul 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 steadil attend to this chapter; and let all remember that God will honour thos who honour him, but those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed __________________________________________________________________
Original Hebrew ויאמר 559 המלך 4428 לאשׁפנז 828 רב 7227 סריסיו 5631 להביא 935 מבני 1121 ישׂראל 3478 ומזרע 2233 המלוכה 4410 ומן 4480 הפרתמים׃ 6579