49. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
49. Et Daniel petiit a rege; et constituit super opus provinciae Babylonis Sidrach, Mesach, et Abed-nego: Daniel antem erat in porta regis.
Some ambition may be noticed here in the Prophet, since he procures honors for his own companions. For when the king spontaneously offers him a command, he is obliged to accept it; he need not offend the mind of the proud king. There was a necessity for this, because he himself seeks from the king prefectships for others. What shall we say was the origin of this conduct? As I have already hinted, Daniel may be here suspected of ambition, for it might be charged against him as a crime that he made a gain of the doctrine which he had been divinely taught. But, he rather regarded his people, and wished to bring some comfort to them when oppressed. For the Chaldeans treated their slaves tyrannically, and we are aware how the Jews were utterly hated by the whole world. When therefore Daniel, through the feeling of pity, seeks some consolation from the people of God, there is no reason for accusing him of any fault, because he was not drawn aside by private advantage, and did not desire honors for either himself or his companions; but he was intent on that object to enable his companions to succor the Jews in their troubles. Hence the authority which he obtains for them has no other object than to cause the Jews to be treated a little more humanely, as their condition would not be so harsh and bitter while they have prefects of their own people who should study to treat them as brethren. We now see how Daniel may be rightly acquitted of this charge without any difficulty or argument; for the matter itself is sufficiently clear, and we may readily collect that Daniel was both pious and humane, and free from all charge of sin. From the words -- was in the king's gate, we ought not to understand his being a gate-keeper. Some suppose this phrase to be used, because they were accustomed to exercise justice there; but they transfer to the Chaldeans what Scripture teaches us of the Jews. I take it more simply. Daniel was chief over the king's court, since he held the supreme command there; and that sense is more genuine. Besides, we are fully aware of the custom of the Chaldeans and Assyrians to make the approach to the king difficult. Daniel is therefore said to be at the gate, to prevent any entrance into the king's palace, unless by his permission. It now follows, --