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Geneva Study Notes
Daniel Chapter 1

Daniel 1:1
1:1 In the {a} third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of
    Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem,
    and besieged it.

  The Argument - The great providence of God, and his singular
    mercy towards his Church are set forth here most vividly,
    who never leaves his own destitute, but now in their
    greatest miseries and afflictions gives them Prophets, such
    as Ezekiel and Daniel, whom he adorned with special graces
    of his Holy Spirit.  And Daniel above all others had most
    special revelations of such things as would come to the
    Church, even from the time that they were in captivity, to
    the last end of the world, and to the general resurrection,
    as of the four Monarchies and empires of all the world, that
    is, of the Babylonians, Persians, Grecians, and Romans.
    Also of the certain number of the times even until Christ,
    when all ceremonies and sacrifices would cease, because he
    would be the accomplishment of them: moreover he shows
    Christ's office and the reason of his death, which was by
    his sacrifice to take away sins, and to bring everlasting
    life.  And as from the beginning God always exercised his
    people under the cross, so he teaches here, that after
    Christ is offered, he will still leave this exercise to his
    Church, until the dead rise again, and Christ gathers his
    own into his kingdom in the heavens.
    (a) Read 2 Kings 24:1, Jeremiah 25:1.

Daniel 1:2
1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand,
    with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he
    carried into the land of {b} Shinar to the house of his god;
    and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his

    (b) Which was a plain by Babylon, where the temple of their
        great god was, and is here taken for Babylon.

Daniel 1:3
1:3 And the king spake unto {c} Ashpenaz the master of his {d}
    eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of
    Israel, and of the {e} king's seed, and of the princes;

    (c) Who was as master of the guards.
    (d) He calls them "eunuchs" whom the King nourished and
        brought up to be rulers of other countries afterwards.
    (e) His purpose was to keep them as hostages, and so that he
        might show himself victorious, and also by their good
        entreaty and learning of his religion, they might favour
        him rather than the Jews, and so to be able to serve him
        as governors in their land.  Moreover by this means the
        Jews might be better kept in subjection, fearing
        otherwise to bring hurt upon these noble men.

Daniel 1:4
1:4 Children in whom [was] no blemish, but well {f} favoured,
    and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and
    understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to
    stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the
    {g} learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

    (f) The King required three things: that they should be of
        noble birth, that they should be intelligent and
        learned, and that they should be of a strong and
        handsome nature, so that they might do him better
        service.  This he did for his own benefit, therefore it
        is not to praise his liberality: yet in this he is
        worthy of praise, that he esteemed learning, and knew
        that it was a necessary means to govern by.
    (g) That they might forget their own religion and country
        fashions to serve him the better to his purpose: yet it
        is not to be thought that Daniel learned any knowledge
        that was not godly.  In all points he refused the abuse
        of things and superstition, insomuch that he would not
        eat the meat which the King appointed him, but was
        content to learn the knowledge of natural things.

Daniel 1:5
1:5 And the king appointed them a {h} daily provision of the
    king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing
    them {i} three years, that at the end thereof they might
    stand {k} before the king.

    (h) That by their good entertainment they might learn to
        forget the mediocrity of their own people.
    (i) With the intent that in this time they might learn both
        the manners of the Chaldeans, and also their language.
    (k) As well as to serve at the table as in other offices.

Daniel 1:7
1:7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs {l} gave names: for he
    gave unto Daniel [the name] of Belteshazzar; and to
    Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to
    Azariah, of Abednego.

    (l) That they might altogether forget their religion: for
        the Jews gave their children names which might always
        put them in remembrance of some point of religion.
        Therefore this was a great temptation and a sign of
        servitude, which they were not able to resist.

Daniel 1:8
1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not {m}
    defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with
    the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the
    prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

    (m) Not that he thought any religion to be in the meat or
        drink (for afterwards he did eat), but because the king
        should not entice him by this sweet poison to forget his
        religion and accustomed sobriety, and that in his meat
        and drink he might daily remember of what people he was
        from.  And Daniel brings this in to show how God from
        the beginning assisted him with his Spirit, and at
        length called him to be a Prophet.

Daniel 1:10
1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, {n} I fear
     my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your
     drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than
     the children which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make
     [me] endanger my head to the king.

     (n) He supposed they did this for their religion, which was
         contrary to the Babylonians, and therefore in this he
         represents those who are of no religion: for neither
         would he condemn theirs, nor maintain his own.

Daniel 1:12
1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, {o} ten days; and let
     them give us {p} pulse to eat, and water to drink.

     (o) Meaning that within this space he might have the test,
         and that no man would be able to know about it: and
         thus he spoke, being moved by the Spirit of God.
     (p) Not that it was a thing abominable to eat dainty meats,
         and to drink wine, as both before and after they did,
         but if they would have by this been won to the King,
         and had refused their own religion, that meat and drink
         would have been accursed.

Daniel 1:15
1:15 And at the end of ten days their {q} countenances appeared
     fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did
     eat the portion of the king's meat.

     (q) This bare feeding and that also of Moses, when he fled
         from the court of Egypt, declares that we must live in
         such sobriety as God calls us to, seeing that he will
         make it more profitable to us than all dainties: for
         his blessing alone suffices.

Daniel 1:17
1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and
     skill in all learning {r} and wisdom: and Daniel had
     understanding in all {s} visions and dreams.

     (r) Meaning in the liberal sciences, and natural knowledge,
         and not in the magical areas which are forbidden;
         Deuteronomy 18:11.
     (s) So that he alone was a Prophet, and none of the others:
         for by dreams and visions God appeared to his Prophets;
         Numbers 12:6

Daniel 1:18
1:18 Now at the {t} end of the days that the king had said he
     should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs
     brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

     (t) Of the three years mentioned above as in Daniel 1:5.

Daniel 1:21
1:21 And Daniel continued [even] unto {u} the first year of king

     (u) That is, he was esteemed in Babylon as a Prophet as
         long as that commonwealth stood.

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