And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
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George Leo Haydock
Slew. He was an absolute monarch, and considered his subjects as so many slaves. (Calmet)
Xerxes having called together his nobles, that he might not seem to have resolved on the war with Greece alone, said: "Nevertheless, remember that you have to obey rather than to advise. "(V. Max. 9. 5. 2.)
Thus he sets forth the example of the king's great-grandfather (p. 521), in order to teach him the justice of God and make it clear that his great-grandson too was to suffer similar treatment because of his pride. Now if Nebuchadnezzar slew whomever he would and smote to death whomever he wished to; if he set on high those whom he would and brought low whomever he wished to, there is certainly no Divine providence or Scriptural injunction behind these honors and slayings, these acts of promotion and humiliation. But rather, such things ensue from the will [reading voluntate for the erroneous voluntas of the text] of the men themselves who do the slaying and promoting to honor, and all the rest. If this be the case, the question arises as to how we are to understand the Scripture: "The heart of a king reposes in the hand of God; He will incline it in whatever direction He wishes" (Prov. 21:1). Perhaps we might say that every saint is a king (655), for sin does not reign in his mortal bo...