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Daniel 6:4

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel - The word rendered “occasion” (עלה ‛illâh ) means a pretext or pretence. “The Arabs use the word of any business or affair which serves as a cause or pretext for neglecting another business.” - Gesenius, Lexicon The meaning is, that they sought to find some plausible pretext or reason in respect to Daniel, by which the contemplated appointment might be prevented, and by which he might be effectually humbled. No one who is acquainted with the intrigues of cabinets and courts can have any doubts as to the probability of what is here stated. Nothing has been more common in the world than intrigues of this kind to humble a rival, and to bring down those who are meritorious to a state of degradation. The cause of the plot here laid seems to have been mere envy and jealousy - and perhaps the consideration that Daniel was a foreigner, and was one of a despised people held in captivity. “Concerning the kingdom.” In respect to the administration of the kingdom. They sought to find evidence of malversation in office, or abuse of power, or attempts at personal aggrandizement, or inattention to the duties of the office. This is literally “from the side of the kingdom;” and the meaning is, that the accusation was sought in that quarter, or in that respect. No other charge would be likely to be effectual, except one which pertained to maladministration in office.

But they could find none occasion nor fault - This is an honorable testimony to the fidelity of Daniel, and to the uprightness of his character. If there had been any malversation in office, it would have been detected by these men.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We notice to the glory of God, that though Daniel was now very old, yet he was able for business, and had continued faithful to his religion. It is for the glory of God, when those who profess religion, conduct themselves so that their most watchful enemies may find no occasion for blaming them, save only in the matters of their God, in which they walk according to their consciences.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Sought to find occasion against Daniel - But they found no blemish in his administration, for he was faithful to his king: this was a virtue. But he was also faithful to his God: this they hoped to construe into a crime, and make it the cause of his ruin.

Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 305

Let the erring one be encouraged to climb step by step, round by round. The effort may be painful to him, but it will be by far the best lesson he has ever learned; for by so doing he will become acquainted with his own weakness, and thus be enabled to avoid in the future the errors of the past. Through the aid of wise counselors, his defeat will be turned into victory. But let no one attempt to begin at the top of the ladder. Let everyone start at the lowest round, and mount step by step, climbing up by Christ, clinging to Christ, ascending to the height of Christ. This is the only way to advance heavenward. Let nothing turn the attention away from the great work that is to be done. Let the thoughts, the aptitude, the keen exercise of the brain power, be put to the highest uses in studying the word and will of God. The Lord has a place for the very best ability He has intrusted to men. In the work of building up His kingdom, we may employ every capacity given of God, as faithfully and earnestly as did Daniel in Babylon, when he was found faithful to every duty to man, and loyal to his God. FE 305.1

God calls for far more tact, more wise generalship, than has yet been given Him by His human agents. There is need of sharp, sanctified thinking, and keen work to counteract the ingenious plans of Satan. There is a call for a higher standard to be met, a holier, more determined, self-sacrificing effort to be put forth in the Lord's work. Our youth must be educated to meet a higher standard, to understand that they are now deciding their own eternal destiny. There is no safeguard for any one, save in having in the heart the truth as it is in Jesus. This must be planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit. Much that is now called religion will sink out of sight when it is assailed by the hosts of Satan. Nothing will stand but the truth,—the wisdom that is from above, which will sanctify the soul. FE 306.1

Let no one imagine that self-indulgence is religion. Let not selfishness be pampered. Let the youth learn to restrict their desires, and to beware of extravagance in the use of means. Let all look unto Jesus, contemplate His character, and follow in His footsteps. “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.”—The Youth's Instructor, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 1894. FE 306.2

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 350-1

God has proclaimed the principles on which alone this co-operation is possible. His glory must be the motive of all who are laborers together with Him. All our work is to be done from love to God and in accordance with His will. COL 350.1

It is just as essential to do the will of God when erecting a building as when taking part in a religious service. And if the workers have brought the right principles into their own character making, then in the erection of every building they will grow in grace and knowledge. COL 350.2

But God will not accept the greatest talents or the most splendid service unless self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. The root must be holy, else there can be no fruit acceptable to God. COL 350.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 569-70

The case of Daniel was presented before me. Although he was a man of like passions with ourselves, the pen of inspiration presents him as a faultless character. His life is given us as a bright example of what man may become, even in this life, if he will make God his strength and wisely improve the opportunities and privileges within his reach. Daniel was an intellectual giant; yet he was continually seeking for greater knowledge, for higher attainments. Other young men had the same advantages; but they did not, like him, bend all their energies to seek wisdom—the knowledge of God as revealed in His word and in His works. Although Daniel was one of the world's great men, he was not proud nor self-sufficient. He felt the need of refreshing his soul with prayer, and each day found him in earnest supplication before God. He would not be deprived of this privilege even when a den of lions was opened to receive him if he continued to pray. 4T 569.1

Daniel loved, feared, and obeyed God. Yet he did not flee away from the world to avoid its corrupting influence. In the providence of God he was to be in the world yet not of the world. With all the temptations and fascinations of court life surrounding him, he stood in the integrity of his soul, firm as a rock in his adherence to principle. He made God his strength and was not forsaken of Him in his time of greatest need. 4T 569.2

Daniel was true, noble, and generous. While he was anxious to be at peace with all men, he would not permit any power to turn him aside from the path of duty. He was willing to obey those who had rule over him, as far as he could do so consistently with truth and righteousness; but kings and decrees could not make him swerve from his allegiance to the King of kings. Daniel was but eighteen years old when brought into a heathen court in service to the king of Babylon, and because of his youth his noble resistance of wrong and his steadfast adherence to the right are the more admirable. His noble example should bring strength to the tried and tempted, even at the present day. 4T 570.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 527

Daniel's history is a remarkable one. He carried out his faith and principles against great opposition. He was condemned to death because he would not abate one jot of his allegiance to God even in the face of the king's decree. It might, at this day, be called overrighteousness to go, as was his wont, three times a day and kneel before the open window for prayer while he knew that prying eyes were observing him and that his enemies were ready to accuse him of disloyalty to the king; but Daniel would allow no earthly power to come in between him and his God, even with the prospect of death in the den of lions. Although God did not prevent Daniel from being cast into a den of lions, an angel went in with him and closed their mouths, so that no harm befell him; and in the morning, when the king called him, he responded: “My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” He was a noble, steadfast servant of God. 5T 527.1

Nothing is gained by cowardice or by fearing to let it be known that we are God's commandment-keeping people. Hiding our light, as if ashamed of our faith, will result only in disaster. God will leave us to our own weakness. May the Lord forbid that we should refuse to let our light shine forth in any place to which He may call us. If we venture to go forth of ourselves, following our own ideas, our own plans, and leave Jesus behind, we need not expect to gain fortitude, courage, or spiritual strength. God has had moral heroes, and He has them now,—those who are not ashamed of being His peculiar people. Their wills and plans are all subordinate to the law of God. The love of Jesus has led them not to count their lives dear unto themselves. Their work has been to catch the light from the word of God and to let it shine forth in clear, steady rays to the world. “Fidelity to God” is their motto. 5T 527.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 453

“The wrath of man shall praise Thee,” says the psalmist; “the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain.” God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God's means of provoking inquiry and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber. 5T 453.1

Thus it has been in the past history of God's people. For refusing to worship the great golden image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the three Hebrews were cast into the fiery furnace. But God preserved His servants in the midst of the flames, and the attempt to enforce idolatry resulted in bringing the knowledge of the true God before the assembled princes and great men of the vast kingdom of Babylon. 5T 453.2

So when the decree went forth forbidding prayer to any God save the king. As Daniel, according to his custom, made his supplications three times a day to the God of heaven, the attention of the princes and rulers was called to his case. He had an opportunity to speak for himself, to show who is the true God, and to present the reason why He alone should receive worship, and the duty of rendering Him praise and homage. And the deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions was another evidence that the Being whom he worshiped was the true and living God. 5T 453.3

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