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Commentary On Daniel Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Daniel 8:7

7. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

7. Et vidi appropin quantem ad arietem, et exasperantem seipsum et confregit duo cornua ejus, et non fuit virtus in ariete ad standum coram facie ejus et dejecit eum in terram, et calcavit eum: et non fuit qui erueret e manu ejus.

Here God shews to his Prophet the victory of Alexander, by which he subdued almost the whole east. Although he encountered many nations in battle, and especially the Indians, yet the name of the Persian empire was so celebrated in the world, that the dignity of others never approached it. Alexander, therefore, by conquering Darius, acquired nearly the whole east. God showed his Prophet the easiness of his victory under this figure. I looked, says he, when he approached the land Darius was fortified by both the distance of his stations and the strength of his fortifications; for many of his cities were impregnable, according to the common opinion of mankind. It was incredible, then, that the he-goat should approach the ram, surrounded as he was on all sides by such strong and such powerful garrisons. But the Prophet says he; approached the ram, and then, he exasperated himself against him This applies to Alexander's furious assaults. We are well acquainted with the keenness of his talents and the superiority of his valor; yet, such was his unbridled audacity, that his promptness approached rather to rashness than to regal bravery. For he often threw himself with a blind impulse against his foes, and it was not his fault if the Macedonian name was not destroyed ten times over. As, then, he rushed on with such violent fury, we are not surprised when the Prophet says he was exasperated of his own accord. And he struck the ram, says he. He conquered Darius in two battles, when the power of the Persian sway throughout Asia Minor was completely ruined. We are all familiar with the results of these hazardous battles, shewing the whole stress of the war to have rested on that engagement in which Darius was first conquered; for when he says, The ram had no strength to stand; and although he had collected an immense multitude, yet that preparation was available for nothing but: empty pomp. For Darius was resplendent with gold, and silver, and gems, and he rather made a show of these, luxuries in warfare, than displayed manly and vigorous strength. The ram, then, had no power to stand before the he goat. Hence, he threw him prostrate on the earth, and trod him down; and no one was able to deliver out of his hand. Darius, indeed, was slain by his attendants, but Alexander trod down all his glory, and the dignity of the Persian Empire, under which all the people of the east trembled. We are aware also of the pride with which he abused his victory, until under the influence of harlots and debauchees, as some report, he tumultuously set fire to that most celebrated citadel of Susa in the drunken fit. As he so indignantly trampled under foot the glory of the Persian monarchy, we see how aptly the events fulfilled the prophecy, in the manner recorded by all profane historians.

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