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Commentary On Daniel Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Daniel 11:26

26. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

26. Et qui comedent portionem cibi ejus, conterent eum, et exercitus ejus obruetur, et cadent vulnerati multi.

The angel predicted, yesterday, that Ptolemy should not stand forth in battle, through the treachery of his own adherents. He now expresses the kind of treachery, for his chief courtiers or counselors should be the authors of this perfidy. He opposes the common soldiers to their leaders, for in the second clause, he shews how the soldiers should discharge their duty without sparing either their life or their blood. We now understand the Holy Spirit's intention in this verse, for he says the authors of this perfidy should not be ordinary men, but the chief among the counselors. They are said to eat at the king's table, as in the first chapter we saw how a portion was given to Daniel, and to his companions, from the royal food at the king's table. Thus he shews how dishonorable this perfidy was, as they eat at his table, and were his intimate companions. They shall destroy him, says he, and his army shall be overwhelmed He shews that many were prepared for this duty, who would boldly and freely expose their lives to danger for their king's safety and their country's defense, but many should fall wounded He signifies that there should be a great slaughter in his army, and the issue of the battle would not be according to his wish, because his generals would not preserve their fidelity to their sovereign. By this example the angel describes to us the ordinary situation of kings. They choose their counselors not by their honesty, but by the mere appearance of congeniality in their affections and tastes. If a king is avaricious, or cunning, or cruel, or sensual, he desires to have friends and attendants who will not check either his avarice or his craftiness, his cruelty or his lust. Hence they deserve the conduct which they receive, and experience treachery from those whom they ought not to treat with so much honor, if they considered themselves in duty bound to God and to their people. It now follows,-

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