8. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
8. Jehovah, nobis pudor faciei, regibus nostris, principibus nostris, et patribus nostris, quia peccavinus in te.
In this verse Daniel completes his own confession. We have stated the beginning of his prayer to be this: He threw himself before God as a criminal, with the whole people, and prayed earnestly for pardon. It was his duty to begin in this way: he had previously named the whole people; he now speaks of kings, princes, and fathers, and thus comprehends the common people. Besides, kings are accustomed to absolve themselves and those who approach their presence from all ordinary laws; wherefore Daniel uses the phrase, kings, princes, and fathers. While he treated of the people, he shewed how those at a distance, as well as those at home, were equally subject to God's wrath, because, had he executed his vengeance equitably on all, no one was so free from wickedness as to be free from punishment. God had not driven all the Jews into either Chaldea or Assyria, and many had remained in the neighboring nations. Yet Daniel denies them any diminution of their guilt, although they had been treated more humanely by God, who had spared them some portion of their suffering. We are taught by this passage, that the crimes or guiltiness of men are not always to be estimated by the amount of their punishment. For God acts very mildly with some who deserve yet greater severity; and if he does not entirely spare us, he partially remits his rigor towards us, either to allure us to repentance, or for some reasons hitherto unknown to us. Whatever the reason may be, even if God does not openly punish us all, this ought neither to lead us to excuse ourselves, nor to ally self-indulgence, because we do not experience the same severity from God. The conclusion to be drawn is this, all the Israelites are justly afflicted, because, from first to last, all have conducted themselves impiously. For Daniel repeats the word which does not signify declension merely, but to act with gross wickedness; as if he had said, the Israelites deserved no common punishment, and thus it should not surprise us when God executes such dreadful vengeance against them. It follows: --