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Third, at the conclusion, so that it is called the fourth. (Jeremias xxv. 1.) (Cornelius a Lapide; Menochius) --- Nabuchodonosor began his expedition into Syria a year before he was king; (Salien, A. 3428 [in the year of the world 3428 or 624 B.C.]. Josephus, &c.) or he had the title before his father Nabopolassar’s death. (Usher, A. 3397 [in the year of the world 3397 or 607 B.C.].) --- The following year he took Joakim, with a design to convey him to Babylon; but left him on hard terms, and seized many of the sacred vessels, Daniel, &c. (Calmet) --- Joakim reigned other eight years. (2 Paralipomenon xxxvi. 5.) (Worthington)
His god; Bel, or Belas, the principal idol of the Chaldeans. (Challoner) --- The king pretended to derive his pedigree from Belus, (Abyd. Eusebius, præp. 1.) and greatly enriched his temple, (Calmet) which Xerxes demolished. (Arrian.) --- God. Some part might be kept in the palace. (Chap. v. 10. and 2 Paralipomenon xxxvi. 7.)
Eunuchs, or chief officers. The Jews assert that Daniel was made an eunuch. (Isaias xxxix. 7.) But he might be so styled on account of his dignity. (Calmet) --- Princes. Literally, "tyrants." (Haydock) --- This name was afterwards only rendered odious by the misconduct of several kings. (Calmet) --- Hebrew parthemim, (Haydock) seems to be of Greek derivation, alluding to Greek: protimoi, or protoi, "the first or most honoured." (Drusius) --- We find here other Greek words. (Calmet)
Blemish. Deformed people were excluded the throne, or the king’s presence. (Procopius 1.) --- Science; well educated, or apt to learn. They were first to be taught the Chaldee letters, which then differed from the Hebrew. (Calmet)
Meat: more exquisite. (De Dieu.) --- All was first served on the king’s table. (Atheneus vi. 14.)
Juda. It is thought all four were of royal blood. (Calmet) --- Others were also kept at court. (Menochius)
Baltassar, or as Chaldees ((Calmet) or Masorets. (Haydock)) pronounce, Beltesasar, "the treasurer of Baal." The names were changed to testify their subjection, (Calmet) and that they might embrace the manners of the Chaldees. (Menochius) --- The new names alluded to the sun. (Calmet)
Daniel, as head and nearer the throne, gave good example to the rest. (Worthington) --- Defiled, either by eating meat forbidden by the law, or which had before been offered to idols. (Challoner) --- It was customary among the pagans to make an offering of some parts to their gods, or throw it into the fire. (Theodoret; Calmet) --- These reasons determined the pious youths, (Haydock) who desired also to keep free from gluttony and other vices. (Theodoret) (Worthington)
Malassar, another inferior officer. It means also one appointed over the mouth or provisions, (Calmet) and might be Asphenez (ver. 3, 9.) (Haydock)
Pulse. That is, pease, beans, and such like. (Challoner) --- St. Basil hence shews the advantages of fasting; and Catholics, who imitate Daniel, may expect the like reward in heaven: and the hope that such a pattern would not displease their dissenting brethren, but rather screen them from their profane sarcasms. (Haydock)
Dreams. He was learned in all the sciences of the country, like Moses. (Acts vii. 22.) (Calmet) --- They studies these things, in order to refute what was erroneous: discunt....ut judicent. (St. Jerome) --- The Chaldeans paid great attention to dreams. Daniel acquired the knowledge of such as were sent from heaven by the gift of God, as Joseph had done. To pay any regard to common dreams would be childish (Calmet) and sinful, if the person depend on them for the knowledge of futurity. (Haydock)
Diviners, or fortune-tellers. --- Wise men. Septuagint, "philosophers." (Calmet) --- Hebrew, Ashaphim, may come from the Greek sophoi. (Grotius) --- They had been educated three years. (ver. 5) (Haydock)
Cyrus; and also to the third, (Chap. x) and of course during the whole of the captivity. (Worthington) --- He was maintained in power by the conqueror of Babylon. (Chap. vi. 18. and xiv. 1.) He first displayed his sagacity in the cause of Susanna, (Chap. xiii. (Calmet)) whose history was placed at the head of the book, in Theodotion, (St. Jerome in Isaias iii. 1.) as in its natural order. (Calmet)
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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Daniel 1". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany