26. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
26. Et judicium, sedebit, et potestam ejus auferent ad dissipandum at perpendum, usque in finem.
The, angel now answers Daniel concerning the death of the fourth beast. For we said when the Caesars had transferred the empire to themselves, the strength of the senate and of the people was enervated; but because the name still remained, the fourth beast is not said to have been slain until foreigners disgracefully became masters of Rome. For if the Romans had been conquered a hundred times over by professed enemies, they would not have suffered such disgrace as when obscure and low-born men exercise a cruel and barbarous tyranny; for then neither the senate nor the people enjoy any authority. The angel thus marks the time correctly at which the fourth beast was to fall, when the Spaniards, the Africans, and other barbarians, who were even always unknown in their own country, were raised to the highest honors beyond the expectation of mankind. For their lust oppressed the whole state; they beheaded the most noble senators, and appointed in their stead the meanest of men, in token of their spirit of ignoniny. Then the fourth beast, was slain; and this is the explanation of this portion of the angel's reply. He says also, Judgment shall then sit; that is, God shall again restore to order all this confusion, and the world shall feel his Providence ruling over the earth and the human race. For when all things are allowed to proceed without punishment, and neither justice nor honesty are held in any account, God is then supposed to be enjoying his ease in heaven, and to be forgetful of the human race. Hence, in opposition to this, he is said to ascend a tribunal as often as we really and experimentally feel his care over us. Thus the restoration is here called a sitting in judgment, when the Roman Empire was blotted out, and God executed the penalty of such great and such unbridled ferocity as that already recorded. As this phrase is very common and of frequent use in Scripture, I will not continue the explanation.
The judgment, then, shall be set; that is, after all things have been long involved in darkness, new light shall burst forth, and men shall readily acknowledge the sway of the Almighty. And power, says he, shall they take away from the beast for dissipating and destroying even to the end Here the angel announces the final overthrow of the fourth beast. Respecting the plural number of the verb, we have already mentioned the opinion of some who refer it to more angels than one, but it is better to understand it more simply, as an absolute and indefinite form of expression. And yet; I do not object, as I before stated, to the view of those who take it of angels, yet I fear this is too refined; I prefer the simpler view as being free from all controversy. The sense, then, is this: When the beast; shall have raged cruelly for a length of time, and especially the little horn, God shall discharge the duty of a judge, and the beast, with this small horn, shall be removed out of the way. The angel adds next, There shall be no hope of any new life similar to that of many kingdoms which often fall at one period and rise again at another; but he here announces the final slaughter, as if he had said, the wound is incurable and deadly. It now follows: --