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Commentary On Daniel Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Lecture Forty-Eighth

We yesterday commenced our comment on the passage in which Daniel asks the Almighty to make his face to shine upon his own sanctuary We are well aware how often this expression occurs in the Scriptures, where God is said to manifest his opposition by hiding his face, when he does not assist his own people, but hides himself as if he were forgetful of them. As Scripture everywhere compares our calamities and adversities to darkness, therefore God in whose favor our happiness is placed is said to hide his face when he does not succor us; and again, he is said to render his face bright and conspicuous, when he gives us some sign of his parental layout. God seemed for a long time to have deserted his sanctuary, and therefore the Prophet prays him to make his face to shine We must remark his expression; upon thy sanctuary which is laid waste We gather from it, that although the Prophet saw all things lost in a carnal sense, yet he neither despaired nor desisted from his prayers. And this rule must be noticed, -- God's grace is not to be estimated by the present aspect of things, because he often shews himself angry with us. Our carnal reason must be overcome, if we wish to pray to God in adversity, as the Prophet here teaches us by his own example. For the sanctuary was cut off; its very devastation might have formed an excuse to Daniel and all the pious for offering their prayers no longer. What success could be hoped for in such a deplorable state of affairs? Daniel by this circumstance shews how he struggled on without allowing any obstacle to interrupt the course of his prayer. He adds, for the Lord's sake; all the Hebrew doctors agree that the word 'dny, Adoni, when written with the great point karnetz, is taken for God alone; but in certain passages of Scripture it is as clearly used for the Mediator also. And very probably it has this sense here; although the Hebrews use this form for God's sake, or for thy sake, when they make a direct, appeal to the Deity, yet I confess they often use the third person. But what necessity is there for flying to this harsher form of speech, when the other sense appears more appropriate to the passage? He will afterwards say, on account of thee, my God; but he says here, for the Lord's sake If, however, I had to contend with a person of a captious disposition, I confess I could not convince him from this passage; but if we weigh the Prophet's words without contention, we shall rather incline to this view of the subject. Here, therefore, he sets before God the Mediator by whose favor he hopes to obtain his request. Still, if any one prefers to apply this to God, let him retain his opinion. Let us now proceed,. --
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