18. Now, at the 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.
18. Et a fine dierum, quibus edixerat Rex ut producerentur introduxit eos princeps 1 eunuchorum coram Nebuchadnezzar.
19. And the king communed with them; and among; them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah therefore stood they before the king.
19. Et loquutus est cum illis rex et non inventus est ex omnibus sicut Daniel, Hananiah, Misael, et Azariah, et steterunt coram rege.
20. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
20. Et in omni verbo, sapientia et intelligentia, quod sciscitatus est ab eis rex, invenit eos decuplo supra omnes genethliacos et astrologos 2 qui erant in toto regno ejus.
Now, Daniel relates how he and his companions were brought forward at a fixed time, since three years was appointed by the king for their instruction in all the science of the Chaldees and on that account the prefect of the eunuchs produces them. He shews how he and his companions were approved by the king, and were preferred to all the rest. By these words he confirms my remark, that the Lord through a long interval had adorned them with much favor, by rendering them conspicuous throughout the royal palace, while the king himself acknowledged something uncommon in them. He, as well as the courtiers, ought all to entertain such an opinion concerning these four youths, as should express his sincere reverence for them. Then God wished to illustrate his own glory, since without doubt the king was compelled to wonder how they could surpass all the Chaldeans. This monarch had spared no expense on his own people, and had not neglected to instruct them; but when he saw foreigners and captives so superior, a spirit of rivalry would naturally spring up within him. But, as I have already said, God wished to extol himself in the person of his servants, so that the king might be compelled to acknowledge something divine in these young men. Whence, then, was this superiority? for the Chaldeans boasted of their wisdom from their birth, and esteemed other nations as barbarians. The Jews, they would argue, are eminent beyond all others; verily the God whom they worship distributes at his will talent and perception, since no one is naturally gifted unless he receives this grace from heaven. God, therefore, must necessarily be glorified, because Daniel and his comrades very far surpassed the Chaldeans. Thus God usually causes his enemies to gaze with wonder on his power, even when they most completely shun the light. For what did King Nebuchadnezzar propose, but to extinguish the very remembrance of God? For he wished to have about him Jews of noble family, who should oppose the very religion in which they were born. But God frustrated this plan of the tyrant's, and took care to make his own name more illustrious. It now follows.
1 Or, prefect. -- Calvin.
2 That is, superior to all the soothsayers and astrologers. -- Calvin.
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