There are certain Jews
Men, by birth, by nation, and religion, despicable, foreigners, exiles, and captives; this they observe by way of contempt, and tacitly suggest that they were never worthy of the king's regard, and improper persons to be put in places of profit and trust, and that the king had done a wrong thing in advancing them: whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon;
not to see that the streets, ways, and walls, were kept in order, as Saadiah observes; for this is mentioned as an aggravation of their crime, that, being set in such high places, should be guilty of such ingratitude to the king, and set such a bad example to his subjects: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego;
by name; they say nothing of the common people of the Jews, who either were not present, being employed in a servile manner, or were below their notice; nor of Daniel, who was above them, and out of their reach, and whom the king himself, as Aben Ezra observes, had ordered an oblation to be offered to; or perhaps he was not there, being sick, or on the king's business elsewhere; for that he was present, and worshipped, can never be imagined by any that know his character. The Jews, who do not show all the respect that is due unto Daniel, say F14 some very idle and foolish things of him, as reasons why he was not present at this time. It is asked,
``where did Daniel go? says Rab, to dig a large river in Tiberias; some copies read, in a mountain; but Samuel says, to fetch the seed of herbs, food for beasts; and R. Jochanan says, to fetch swine from Alexandria in Egypt there were three in the consultation about his absence at this time, the holy blessed God, Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel himself. The holy blessed God said, let Daniel be gone, that it may not be said, they (the three children) were delivered by his merits; Daniel said, I will be gone from hence, that I may not fulfil that, "the graven images of their gods shall ye burn"; Nebuchadnezzar said, let Daniel be absent, that it may not be said he burnt his God in the fire.''These men, O king, have not regarded thee; showed no respect to his person and authority; they disobeyed his orders, and were guilty of rebellion against him, and contempt of majesty: the proof follows, they serve not thy gods;
whom the king and the nation worshipped, as Bel, Nebo, Merodach, and others: nor worship the golden image, which thou hast set up;
they did not bow down to it, in reverence of it, as had been ordered; this they knew would he most provoking to the king.
F14 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 93. 1.