Why, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness…
Daniel gives counsel to the king like a man of God, directing him to break off his sins by righteousness, and his iniquities or oppressions by showing mercy to the poor, if it might be a lengthening of his tranquility, and thus in some degree mitigating the punishment that was coming upon him. We see here brought out some of the excellencies of Daniel.
1. The kindness of his heart. In the yearnings of compassion which he felt when he heard the king's dream, and discerned its import. He was troubled with tender concern for the king, though he was an oppressive and haughty monarch. This is the true spirit of benevolence and piety, for it should ever appear in the exercise of some compassion and kindness, even towards those who have brought upon themselves tokens of the Divine pleasure.
2. The wisdom with which he was endowed. He was enabled at once to discern what God designed to communicate by this dream of the king. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." "The meek will He guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way."
3. The faithful spirit of this servant of God. Daniel stands before this mighty monarch of Babylon; he knows that his passions are strong, and that his pride is as great as his power; yet, guided by his God, and looking up, no doubt, for support from above, he ventures to give counsel to the king, exhorting him to the duties of penitence and reformation. He gave him clearly to understand that it was a rebuke from the great Supreme Ruler for his sins of pride, impurity, and oppression. As Daniel had been faithful to his God and his king, he could leave the matter in the highest hands, however he might be treated by an earthly monarch.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
WEB: Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if there may be a lengthening of your tranquility.