Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents
Not only above the princes, but the presidents, being the first of them, as before: or, "he was victorious above them" F25; he got more credit and applause than they did, being more exact, diligent, and laborious, faithful, and conscientious: because an excellent spirit was in him;
meaning not a spirit of grace, piety, and religion, which the Heathen king was no judge of, nor valued him for it, though it was in him; but a spirit of knowledge of civil affairs, and of prudence in managing them, and of integrity throughout the whole of his conduct: and the king thought to set him over the whole realm;
or, "wherefore the king thought" F26; because there was such a spirit in him, which so qualified him for public business, he began to think of abolishing his triumvirate of presidents, and making Daniel his viceroy over the whole empire, which very probably they had got some knowledge of; and this, as well as being above them, drew the envy of them on him, and put them upon the following scheme.
F25 (xuntm) "victorem se gerebat", Piscator, Michaelis.
F26 (aklmw) "ideo rex", Gejerus, Michaelis.