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Commentary On Daniel Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Daniel 8:10

10. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.

10. Et magnificatum est cornu illud parvum ad exercitum coelorum, dejecit in terram ex illo exercitu, nenipe coelesti, et ex stellis, et calcavit eas.

Here Daniel continues the vision which he had received. We have already shewn he object of the Almighty to be the preparation of the faithful to bear serious calamities, because nothing new or unexpected should happen to them. Now, Daniel's dwelling upon this point is not surprising, for it becomes his duty to inform the faithful of the heavy calamities which were at hand, and thus to mould them to patience and equity. Thus he says, The horn became magnificent, even to the army of the heavens. Without the slightest doubt this figure marks the elect people of God. Although the Church often lies prostrate in the world, and is trodden under foot and buried, yet it is always precious before God. Hence the Prophet adorns the Church with this remarkable praise, not to obtain for it any honor before men, but because God has separated it from the world, and provided a sure inheritance in heaven. Although the sons of God are pilgrims on earth, and have scarcely any dwelling-place here, becoming like castaways before men, yet they are nevertheless citizens of heaven. The usefulness of this teaching to us is apparent, by its inducing us to bear it patiently whenever we are often thrown prostrate on the ground, and whenever tyrants and the despiser's of God look down upon us with scorn. Meanwhile our seat is laid up in heaven, and God numbers us among the stars, although, as Paul says, we are as dung and the offscouring of all things. (1 Corinthians 4:13.) In fine, God here shews his Prophet, as in a mirror, the estimation in which he holds his Church, however contemptible it is on earth. That horn, then, was magnified before the army of the heavens, and cast down some of that army upon the earth, and trod them out of the stars Exactly as if he proclaimed the loosening of the reins from the tyrant, permitting him to treat the Church with contempt, to tread it under foot;, and to draw down the stars from heaven, just as if God never appeared for its protection. For when God permits us to be safe and secure in his hand, and pronounces it impossible to prevail against his help, while tyrants harass and oppress us by their lust, it is like drawing down stars from heaven. God therefore, while he takes us under his guardianship, does not offer us any succor, but dissembles as if he wished to betray us to our enemies. Nothing therefore is superfluous in these expressions of the Prophet -- The stars were trodden down and the heavenly army thrown down to earth He now adds --

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