Another kingdom... Viz., that of the Medes and Persians. Ibid. Third kingdom... Viz., that of Alexander the Great.
2:40. And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break, and destroy all these.
The fourth kingdom, etc... Some understand this of the successors of Alexander, the kings of Syria and Egypt, others of the Roman empire, and its civil wars.
2:41. And whereas thou sawest the feet, and the toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron: the kingdom shall be divided, but yet it shall take its origin from the iron, according as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay.
2:42. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay: the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
2:43. And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay.
2:44. But in the days of those kingdoms, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never by destroyed, and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people: and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms: and itself shall stand for ever.
A kingdom... Viz., the kingdom of Christ in the Catholic Church which cannot be destroyed.
2:45. According as thou sawest, that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and broke in pieces the clay and the iron, and the brass, and the silver, and the gold, the great God hath shewn the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is true, and the interpretation thereof is faithful.
2:46. Then king Nabuchodonosor fell on his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer in sacrifice to him victims and incense.
2:47. And the king spoke to Daniel, and said: Verily, your God is the God of gods, and Lord of kings, and a revealer of hidden things: seeing thou couldst discover this secret.
2:48. Then the king advanced Daniel to a high station, and gave him many and great gifts: and he made him governor over all the provinces of Babylon: and chief of the magistrates over all the wise men of Babylon.
2:49. And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, over the works of the province of Babylon: but Daniel himself was in the king's palace.
Daniel Chapter 3
Nabuchodonosor set up a golden statue; which he commands all to adore: the three children for refusing to do it are cast into the fiery furnace; but are not hurt by the flames. Their prayer and canticle of praise.
3:1. King Nabuchodonosor made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and he set it up in the plain of Dura, of the province of Babylon.
3:2. Then Nabuchodonosor, the king, sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, and all the chief men of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.
3:3. Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.
3:4. Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes and languages:
3:5. That in the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music, ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor hath set up.
3:6. But if any man shall not fall down and adore, he shall the same hour be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
3:7. Upon this, therefore, at the time when all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, all the nations, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.
3:8. And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews,
3:9. And said to king Nabuchodonosor: O king, live for ever:
3:10. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue:
3:11. And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
3:12. Now there are certain Jews, whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago: these men, O king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
3:13. Then Nabuchodonosor in fury, and in wrath, commanded that Sidrach, Misach, ad Abdenago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king.
3:14. And Nabuchodonosor, the king, spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up?
3:15. Now, therefore, if you be ready, at what hour soever, you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?
3:16. Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, answered, and said to king Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter.
3:17. For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king.
3:18. But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
3:19. Then was Nabuchodonosor filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated.
3:20. And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire.
3:21. And immediately these men were bound, and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coats, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments.
3:22. For the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago.
3:23. But these three men, that is, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire.
3:24. And they walked in the midst of the flame, praising God, and blessing the Lord.
And they walked, etc... Here St. Jerome takes notice, that from this verse, to ver. 91, was not in the Hebrew in his time. But as it was in all the Greek Bibles, (which were originally translated from the Hebrew,) it is more than probable that it had been formerly in the Hebrew or rather in the Chaldaic, in which the book of Daniel was written. But this is certain: that it is, and has been of old, received by the church, and read as canonical scripture in her liturgy, and divine offices.
3:25. Then Azarias standing up, prayed in this manner, and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, he said:
3:26. Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever:
3:27. For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true, and thy ways right, and all thy judgments true.
3:28. For thou hast executed true judgments in all the things that thou hast brought upon us, and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers: for according to truth and judgment, thou hast brought all these things upon us for our sins.
3:29. For we have sinned, and committed iniquity, departing from thee: and we have trespassed in all things:
3:30. And we have not hearkened to thy commandments, nor have we observed nor done as thou hadst commanded us, that it might go well with us.
3:31. Wherefore, all that thou hast brought upon us, and every thing that thou hast done to us, thou hast done in true judgment:
3:32. And thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies that are unjust, and most wicked, and prevaricators, and to a king unjust, and most wicked beyond all that are upon the earth.
3:33. And now we cannot open our mouths: we are become a shame, and a reproach to thy servants, and to them that worship thee.
3:34. Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name's sake, and abolish not thy covenant.