10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
10 Atqui Iehova Deus veritas (qui vertunt, Deus veritatis, non observant syntax in Hebraicam; dixisset enim yhla hwhy tma; Iehova ergo Dens veritas,) ipse Deus vita, et rex seculorum; a furore ejus contremiscet terra, et non sustinebunt gentes iram ejus.
The Prophet here exults and triumphs in the name of his God, as though he had overcome and put to flight the erroneous notions of the heathens: for he had spoken, as it appears, contemptuously of their gross errors, and shewed that the wise men of the world were extremely sottish, who were so charmed with wood and stone. He now highly extols the glory of God, and says,
He then adds truth. He sets truth here in opposition to vanities. He had said that wood was the teaching of vanities; he now says, God is eternal truth; that is, he has no need of adventitious ornaments; they mask, he says, the idols of the heathens, they are clothed and adorned; but these things have nothing real in them:
Now, then, the Prophet, after having spoken of God's essence, descends to what is more evident. And doubtless it is a real knowledge of God, not when we speculate in the air as philosophers do, but when we know by experience that there is one true God -- how? because we exist. We exist not of ourselves, but in and through another, and that is, through the one true God. It hence follows that human life is a clear proof of one supreme God.
He then adds,
But it was not without reason that the Prophet took so much pains on this subject; for the ten tribes had been driven into exile, and the Assyrians and Chaldeans triumphed over God himself, as though he had been overcome, inasmuch as he did not defend the kingdom of Israel, which was under his care and protection; and the miserable Israelites could not but despond when they found themselves so distressed, and cruelly treated and oppressed by the most shameless tyranny; for what could they have thought, but that they had not been the objects of God's care, and that his promises were vain, or that he possessed no sufficient power to preserve them? It is, then, for this reason that the Prophet now so highly extols the power and glory of God, that is, that their calamities might not deject them and lay prostrate the faith of those who thought that they were forsaken.
And this will be more evident from the following verse, where the Prophet uses the Chaldee language; and this is the only verse in the whole book written in Chaldee; and the Chaldee differs much from the Hebrew. We have seen before that Daniel wrote in Chaldee, when he spoke of things pertaining to the Chaldeans; but when he addressed his own people and announced prophecies, belonging especially to the Church of God, he wrote in Hebrew. Hence the book of Daniel is written in Hebrew, except in those parts which he wished to be understood by the Chaldeans; and so does the Prophet in this place.
1 The verse, literally rendered, is as follows: --
"But Jehovah, God the truth he, God the life and King eternal; At his wrath tremble will the earth, And not bear will the nations his indignation."
It is usual in Hebrew to put nouns for adjectives; divested of this peculiarity, and the future being taken for the present, the verse would run thus:
"But Jehovah, the true God is he, The living God and King eternal; At his wrath tremble does the earth, And the nations cannot bear his indignation."
"The true God," and "the living God," is the version of the Vulgate and of the Targum; but that of the Syriac and Arab., "the God of truth," and "the God of the living," but no doubt incorrect. -- Ed.
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