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“ matter. 17. If it be so, our God whom “ We serve is able to deliver us from the “ burning fiery furnace, and he will de“ liver us outof thine hand, king. 18. But « if not, be it known unto thee, O king, " that we will not serve thy gods, nor “ worship the golden image which thou “ hast set up.” 19. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21. Then these. men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the fame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and

and Abed-nego. 23. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake and said unto his counsellors, “ Did not “ we cast three men bound into the midst “ of the fire ?” They answered and said unto the king, “ True, O king.” 25. He answered and said, “ Lo, I see four men “ loose, walking in the midst of the fire, " and they have no hurt; and the form of

« the fourth is like the Son (s) of God." 26. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, “ and Abed-negó, ye servants of the most “ high God, come forth, and come hither," Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. 28. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, “ Blessed be the " God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed“ nego, who hath sent his angel, and de“ livered his servants, that trusted in him, “ and have changed the king's word, and

yielded their bodies, that they might not “ serve nor worship any god, except their

own God. 29. Therefore I make a « decree (1), That every people, nation, " and language, which speak any thing « amiss against the God of Shadrach, Me« shach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in “ pieces, and their houses shall be made a « dunghill ; because there is no other God “ that can deliver after this sort." the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.”

CHAP. VI. (u)
T pleased Darius (x) to set over the king.

dom (y) an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom.

30. Then

(s) q. 25

“ The son, &c." or rather "a “son” i. e. an angel. The definite article is not in Heb. or Sept. Daniel says in verse 28. “God had sent his angel ;" and angels are called “ sons of God,” Job i. 6.—xxxviii. 7.

(t) v. 29. “A decree, &c." So that this miraculous display of power had one effect beyond the preservation of the three lives, in protecting the Jews from insult on account of their religious persuasions and worship : but this was by no means the whole: it would naturally procure them greater consideration from the government, and more respect from the people ; it would satisfy themselves that even in their captivity God had an eye over their ways, it would tend to keep them stedfast in his worship, and would confirm their

expectation of ultimate deliverance, and future prosperity. So much beyond the immediate Occasion does an interference of Omnipotence extend ! !

(u) The occurrence stated in this chapter happened after Cyrus had taken Babylon, about 537 years before Christ, when the 70 years fixed for the duration of the Babylonish captivity were drawing to a close. Daniel therefore, who had been carried to Babylon at the commencement of the captivity (See Dan. i. 1 to 7.) must have been far advanced in years.

(x) v. 1. “ Darius" also called Cyaxares : the uncle and father-in-law of Cyrus. (y) v.1. “ The kingdom" either “ of Per.

or “ of what had formed the kingdom “ of Babylon."

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2. 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. 3. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole rcalm. 4. 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. 5. 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.” 6. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, “ King Darius, live " for ever.

7. All the presidents of the “ kingdom, the governors,and the princes, " the counsellors and the captains have con“ sulted together to establish a royal statute, " and to make a firm decree, that whosoever « shall ask a petition of any god or man for “ thirty days, save of thee, Oking, he shall o be cast into the den of lions. 8. Now, O “ king, establish the decree, and sign the " writing; that it be not changed, according 66 to the law of the Medes and Persians, “ which altereth not.” 9. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 10. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. II. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying, and making supplication before his God. 12. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree ; “ Hast thou not signed a

decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any god or man, within thirty “ days, save of thee, Oking, shall be cast « into the den of lions?” The king answered, and said, “ The thing is true, “ according to the law of the Medes and

“ Persians, which altereth not." 13. Thea answered they and said before the king, “ That Daniel, which is of the children of “ the captivity of Judah, regardeth net “ thee, Oking, nor the decree that thon “ hast signed, but maketh his petition three « times a day.” 14. Then the king when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15. Then these men assembled unto the king, a said unto the king, “Know, O king, that “ the law of the Medes and Persians aig " that no decree nor statute which the king " establisheth, may be changed." 16. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, “ Thy God, whom thou servest continu« ally, he will deliver thee." 17. And ? stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords that the purpose might not be changed corcerning Daniel. 18. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him, and his sleep went fros him. 19. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto

the den of lions. 20. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel, and the king spake and said to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living “ God, is thy God, whom thou servest “ continually, able to deliver thee from the 66 lions?" 21. Then said Daniel unto the king, “ king, live for ever. 22. My “ .God hath sent his angel, and hath shur “ the lions mouths that they have not hurt

me : forasmuch as before him innoceikt ~ was found in me; and also before the, - O king, have I done no hurt.” 23. was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded

that they should take Daniel up out of the den: so Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt (3) was found upon him, because he believed in

Then

(z) v. 23;

“ No manner of hurt, &c.” This miraculous deliverance had most important consequences. Is there indeed any one of God's interpositions which has not? It naturally

increased Daniel's influence, and would induce Cyrus to listen the more readily to any application he might make ; we find accordingly tha! in the first year of his reign Cyrus issued

his God. 24. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children and their wives ; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den. 25. Then king Darius wrote “unto all peo“ple, nations and languages that dwell in all “ the earth, Peace be multiplied unto you. “ 26. I make a decree, that in every do“ minion of my kingdom, men tremble and

« fear before the God of Daniel : for he is “ the living God, and stedfast for ever, and « his kingdom that which shall not be de“stroyed, and his dominion shall be even “ unto the end. 27. He delivereth and “ rescueth, and he worketh signs and won« ders in heaven and in earth, who hath “ delivered Daniel from the power of the « lions." 28. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

JOEL

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“ of many generations. 3. A fire de« voureth before them, and behind them " a flame burneth : the land is as the “ garden of Eden (b) before them, and “ behind them a desolate wilderness, yea, " and nothing shall escape them. 4. The appearance

of them is as the appearance “ of horses (c); and as horsemen, so shall “ they run. 5. Like the noise (d) of « chariots on the tops of mountains shall " they leap, like the noise of a flame of “ fire that devoureth the stubble, as a

strong people set in battle array. 6. Be

written proclamation, in which he took notice, that the Lord (Jehovah, Heb.) God of heaven had given him all the kingdoms of the earth, and had charged him to build him a house at Jerusalem, and he therefore gave the Jews lecve to go up to Jerusalem, and ordered the men of the place where each Jew sojourned to help him with silver, and with gold, and with a free-will offering for the house of God in Jerusalem. Ezra i. i to 4. The passages Is. xliv. 28. ante 624, and Is. xlv. 1. 13. are supposed to bereferred to in this proclamation, and who so likely as Daniel to have shewn them to Cyrus, and to have induced him to act upon them?

(a) The time when Joel lived is uncertain : probably at the same time with Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, and Zephaniah ; and if so, long before Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, or Malachi. His prophecies are confined to the kingdom of Judah.-A dreadful desolation threatened, some suppose by locusts and other insects, a strong exhortation

to repentance, humiliation, and prayer, a pro. mise of future favour, and of an effusion of God's holy spirit, (probably in the time of the Messiah,) an intimation of a further visitation, (probably the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans,) in which God's people, they who call upon his name, should escape. (b) v. 3.

“ As the garden of Eden," i. e. “ in a state of plenty and abundance :” what they find luxuriant, they leave desolate.

(c) v. 4. “ Of horses." The description of the locusts denounced in Rev. ix. agrees in some particulars with this account, “ The " shapes of the locusts were like unto horses

prepared unto battle : and they had breast

plates, as it were breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was as the sound of “ chariots of many horses running to battle.”

6. The noise, &c.” See note on verse 4

Rev. ix. 7.9

(d) v.5.

“ fore their face the people shall be much « pained (e) : all faces shall gather black“ ness (e). 7. They shall run like mighty “ men; they shall climb the wall like men « of war; and they shall march every one “ on his ways, and they shall not break “ their ranks. 8. Neither shall one thrust “ another, they shall walk every one in « his path : and when they fall upon the “ sword, they shall not be wounded (f ).

9. They shall run to and fro in the “ city: they shall run upon the wall, they « shall climb up upon the houses: they « shall enter in at the windows like a thief. “ 10. The earth shall quake before them, " the heavens shall tremble, the sun and the “ moon (8) shall be dark (h), and the “ stars (8) shall withdraw their shining()); 6 ul. And the LORD shall utter his " voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that exe“ cuteth his word (i): for the day of the « LORD is great and very terrible, and who

can abide it? 12. Therefore also now, es saith the LORD, « Turn ye even to “ me with all your heart and with fasting, " and with weeping, and with mourning. “ 13. And rend your heart, and not your « garments, and turn unto the LORD your « God; for he is gracious and merciful, « slow to anger, and of great kindness, * and repenteth him of the evil. 14. Who « knoweth if he will return and repent, o and leave a blessing behind him, even a

“ meat-offering (k) and a drinken « unto the LORD your God? Iga “ the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a tz. 1 “ a solemn assembly; 16. Gate : “ people: san&ify the congregaza " semble the elders: gather the chizz “ and those that suck the breast :: “ bridegroom (m) go forth of his ch o and the bride out of her closet. i. “ the priests, the ministers of the “ weep between the porch and the a ci and let them say, “Spare thy poca LORD, and give not thine herin “ reproach, that the heathen shoes

over (0) them : wherefore short:

say among the people, Where : « God ?" 18. Then will the Logo 5 " lous for his land, and pity his so

19. Yea, the LORD will answer x: “ unto his people, “Behold I will urs

corn, and wine, and oil, and rear “ satisfied therewith : and I will “ make you a reproach among » 65 then : 20. But I will remov : “ from you the northern armiza u drive him into a land barren as • late, with his face toward the ease; « and his hinder part toward the 3 « sca(), and his stink shall come up, « ill savour shall come up, because her “ done great things. 21. Fear “ land, be glad and rejoice : for the Lo “ will do great things. 22. Be not :

ye beasts (9) of the field : for the p

(e) v. 6. “ Pained,” i. e. “ with dread,” “ gather blackness,” i.e. “ be down cast and « melancholy."

(1) v. 8.'“ Not be wounded,” a strong expression, to imply that they would be irresistible : that all means of opposing them would fail.

(8) v. 10. “ The sun and the moon, and 6 the stars," j. e. “ the chiefs and rulers.”

(b) v. 10.“ Be dark,” and “ withdraw their “ shining," i. e. “ be disheartened,” and “ un. « able to give relief."

(i) v. 11. “ His word,” i. e. “ his Judg

ment.” God's minister and instrument must be irresistible.

(k) v. 14. “Even a meat-offering, &c." at least enough for the purposes of worship: which would not be the case if they were reduced to the state mentioned in verse 3. of “ a desolate wilderness.” In describing a deso.

lation, Joel i. 9. part of the account Fu “ The meat-offering and drink-offering 3F “ off from the house of the Lord."

() v. 16. “ The children, &c." opet 66 of all

ages." (m) v. 16. “ The bridegroom, &c.**]

no one make excuse ; let the assedia « universal.”

(n) v. 17. “ Between the porch at “ altar,” where the priest usually and where they could best be heard hope people.

( v.17. “ Rule over," or «« insuli."
(p) v. 20. “ The east sea," i. e. " the top
Sodom,"

Ir the utmost sea,"i. c. "the des « terranean."

(9) v. 22. “ Ye beasts, &c.” An intimate of plenty, not famine.

“ tures of the wilderness do spring (r), for " the cree beareth (r) her fruit, the fig tree " and the vine do yield (r) their strength. 23. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, « and rejoice in the LORD your God : for “ he hath given you the former rain mode. “ rately; and he will cause to come down « for you the rain, the former rain and the « latter rain in the first month. 24. And " the floors shall be full of wheat, and the • fats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25. And I will restore to you the years « that the locust hath eaten, the canker« worm, and the caterpiller, and the pal

mer-worm, my great army which I sent among you.

26. And

ye

shall eat in “ plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the " name of the Lord your God, that hath " dealt wonderously with you : and my * people shall never be ashamed. 27. And

shall know that I am in the midst of * Ísrael, and that I am the LORD your God,

“ and none else : and my people (s) shall never be ashamed (t). 28. And it shall

come to pass afterward (u), that I will

pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and “ your sons (x) and your daughters (*) shall “ prophesy, your old men (*) shall dream “ dreams, your young men (x) shall see visi“ ons: 29. And also upon the servants (*) “ and upon the handmaids(x) in those days “ will I pour out my spirit. 30. And " I will shew wonders in the heavens and « in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars “ of smoke. 31. The sun shall be turned “ into darkness, and the moon into blo.id(z) “ before the great and the terrible day (a) “ of the LORD come: 32. And it shall « come to pass, that whosoever shall call “ on the name of the LORD (6) shall be de66 livered: for in mount Zion and in Jeru. “ salem (c) shall be deliverance, as the « LORD hath said, and in the remnant " whom the LORD shall call (d).”

ye

(r) v. 22. “ Do spring,” “ beareth,” and “ do yield," the present for the future.

(s) v. 27. " My people" i. e. “ they who # trust in me.”

(1) v. 27. “ Be ashamed," i. e.“ have cause “ to be ashamed.” (u) v. 28. "

Afterward,” or " in the last “ days." St. Paul so quotes it, when he applies this passage to the first effusion of the Hole Ghost, Acts ii. 16 to 21. “ This is that “ which was spoken by the prophet “ Joel, and “ it shall come to pass in the last days, saith · God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all « flesh, &c.” « The last days” mean

the " times of the Messiah,” or “ the last days of " the Jewish state." 2 Lightf. 1024

(a) v. 28. 29. “ Sons ; ' “ daughters, old

men, young men, servants, handmaids," i. e. " without regard to age, sex, or station.” (z) v. 31.

« The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.” Figu. rative expressions, to intimate the calamities and dismay which should fall upon the great. (a) v. 31. “ The great and the terrible day,

&c." i. e. (probably) “ the time of the de. "struction of Jerusalem.” Our Saviour says,

with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, “ These be the days of vengeance that all things “ which are written may be fulfilled.” Luke xxi. 22.

(6) v. 32. “ Shall call on the name of the Lord," i. e.“ profess the true religion, and

put their trust in God." It is supposed that at ihe destruction of Jerusalem, not a single Christian was included : Our Saviour gave them this advice; “ when ye shall see Jerusalem com“ passed with armies, then know that the de. solation thereof is nigh: then let them which “ are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let “ them which are in the midst depart out." Luke xxi. 20. 21. An opportunity occurred after the first commencement of the siege, and at that time every Christian is supposed to have escaped. (c) v. 32.

In mount Sion, and in Jerusa“ lem,” i. e. perhaps, figuratively “in the true “ worship of God”; or it may mean, that in these places there shall be some deliverance, some who shall escape.

(d). v. 32. " The remnant whom the Lord “ shall call,” i. e. “ those who shall listen to “ his voice, and profess his religion."

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