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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Daniel 1

Verses 1-21

Daniel 1:2 ; Daniel 1:6

I was taken captive when nearly sixteen years of age. I did not know the true God; and I was taken to Ireland in captivity with so many thousand men, in accordance with our deserts, because we departed from God and kept not His precepts.

St. Patrick's Confessions.

Daniel 1:8

The strangeness of foreign life threw me back into myself.

Newman, Apologia, I.

Daniel's Self-denial

Daniel 1:8

We are told about a great many good men in the pages of the Bible: some who were generally beloved by God, as the Prophet Daniel; some who found grace in the eyes of Jehovah, as Noah. It is instructive and interesting to investigate why these men found grace and why they were beloved.

I. The Life of Noah. If we examine the life of Noah, we find that he had at least four characteristics:

a. He was obedient to God.

b. He had faith in God.

c. He reverenced God.

d. He worshipped God.

We can thus see to some extent why he found grace in the eyes of Jehovah. The life of Noah, like every other life in the Old Testament, is meant to be an example to us, to show what our lives should be or what they ought not to be.

II. The Life of Daniel. Again, if we investigate the life of Daniel, we can see some reasons why ho was greatly beloved:

a. He obeyed.

b. He resisted temptation.

c. He held fast to that which was right.

d. He was tempted, yet he refused to partake of the king's meat and imbibe of the king's wine.

He had his reward from God, and also in the worldly sense; for we are told that at the end of ten days after his abstinence his countenance appeared fair, and he was fatter in the flesh than all the others who did eat of the king's meat. Daniel lived at a court where there was much intemperance, much luxury, and much idolatry; and, therefore, thought it his duty in the circumstances to abstain from the king's meat and drink, as from things offered to idols. We need not necessarily suppose that Daniel was a temperance advocate. We have no reason to think that he regarded wine as a pernicious, deadly thing; but he thought it his duty, because of the occasion and the surroundings, to do without it.

References. I. 8. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxix. No. 2291. I. 8-21. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Daniel, p. 40.

Daniel 1:12

See Addison's Spectator (No. 195), and Dante's Purgatorio, xxii. 145.

Daniel 1:21

Most failures lie in not going on long enough. I heard a man in a meeting in the country long ago say, that one of the most encouraging verses he knew was a verse of common metre to this effect:

Go on, go on, go on, etc.

James Smetham.

What is commonly admired as successful talent is far more a firm realizing grasp of some great principle, and that power of developing it in all directions, and that nerve to abide faithful to it, which is involved in such a true apprehension.

Newman.

Reference. II. J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 85.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Daniel 1". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/daniel-1.html. 1910.