1. It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
1. Placuit coram Dario, et praefecit super regnum praesides provinciarum centum et viginti, qui essent in toto regno.
2. And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
2. Et super illos essent, atque ut essent super eos, satrapae tres, quorum Daniel unus esset: et ut praesides provinciarum illis redderent rationem: et rex non pateretur damnum.
As to the translation, some translate the last clause of the second verse, |That the king should not have any trouble;| but since nzq, nezek, signifies |to suffer loss,| I willingly adopt this sense; because the king did not escape trouble, through a desire for ease, as he might have done, being an old man, but he willingly managed his own affairs, and committed the care of them to three men, lest anything should be lost through passing through too many hands. For experience shews us how confusion is caused by a multitude. If there had been only there an hundred and twenty governors of provinces, many inconveniences must have happened, and much loss would have occurred; hence the king placed three prefects over these hundred and twenty.
Here again we may perceive how God cared for his Prophet, not so much for any private reason or through private respect, as by his aid the wretched captives and exiles should be benefited. God wished to stretch forth his hand to the Jews by means of Daniel. And we may deservedly call him God's hand in sustaining the Jews. The Persians, being barbarians, were not naturally more merciful than others; hence God interposed his servant Daniel to succor them. We must notice, in the context of this history, how Daniel alone was chosen by Darius one of these three superior officers. He was the third in rank under king Belshazzar, although for a moment, yet it might occasion envy under the new king that so great an honor was conferred upon him. Very probably Darius was informed of the previous predictions of Daniel; how the hand appeared upon the wall, how he interpreted the writing, and became a heaven-sent messenger to denounce destruction on king Belshazzar. For unless this rumor held reached Darius, Daniel would never have obtained so much authority under him. His own army abounded in numbers, and we know how every conqueror is surrounded in war by many dependents, all of whom wish to share in the spoil. Darius, therefore, would never have noticed a stranger and a captive, and admitted him to such great honor and power, unless he had understood him to be a known Prophet of God, and also a herald in denouncing destruction against the Babylonish monarchy. Thus we gather how providential it was for him to be among the first satraps, and even third in the kingdom, as this brought him more quickly under the notice of Darius. For if Daniel had been cast down by king Belshazzar he would have remained at home in concealment; but when he appeared clothed in royal apparel, the king inquired who he was? He heard the means of his arriving at so high an honor; hence he acknowledged him as God's Prophet, and appointed him one of the three prefects. Here also God's providence is again set before us, not only in preserving his servant in safety, but in providing for the safety of the whole Church, lest the Jews should be still more oppressed by the change of masters. But a temptation is afterwards inflicted, by which the holy Prophet and the whole people were severely tried; for the Prophet says: