And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord
This he said, not as refusing and denying the request of Daniel; but as hesitating about it, divided in his own mind, between love and tenderness to Daniel, and fear of the king: it is as if he should say, I could freely out of respect to you grant you your request; were it not for duty to my lord the king, reverence of him, and especially fear of his wrath and displeasure: who hath appointed your meat and your drink; has ordered it himself, both the quality and quantity, both what and how much; whose will is his law, and cannot be resisted, but must be obeyed; and though I should indulge you in this matter, and it may be concealed for a while, yet it cannot be always a secret, your countenance will betray it: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which
are of your sort?
than the other Jewish youths that were selected at the same time, and brought up in the same manner, and for the same ends. Some F24 render it, "than the children of your captivity"; who were taken and brought captive to Babylon when they were; but the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "than those of the same age" F25; their contemporaries, that were born about the same time, and brought up together in the same way: or, than those of your own nation? as some F26 translate it: and now, when they should be presented together to the king, the difference would be observable; Daniel and his companions would appear of a pale complexion, of thin and meagre looks, and dark dismal countenances, like persons angry, fretful, and troubled; as the word signifies F1; when their contemporaries would appear fat and plump, cheerful and pleasant; which would naturally lead into an inquiry of the reason of this difference: then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king;
I shall commit a trespass, of which I shall be found guilty, and be condemned to die, and lose my head for it; and now, as if he should say, I leave it with you; can you desire me to expose myself to so much danger? I would willingly grant your favour, but my life is at stake.