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.
And for the majesty that he gave him,.... The greatness of his power, the largeness of his dominions, and the vast armies he had at his command:
all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him; not only those that were subject to him, but those that had only heard of him: who dreaded his approach unto them, and their falling into his victorious hands, and being made vassals to him:
whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; he ruled in an arbitrary and despotic manner, and kept the power of life and death in his own hands; whom he would he put to death, though ever so innocent; and whom he would he preserved from death, though ever so deserving of it; he had no regard to justice, but acted according to his own will and pleasure. Jacchiades renders the last clause, "whom he would he smote": but both the punctuation of the word, and the antithesis in the text, require the sense our version gives, and which is confirmed by Aben Ezra and Saadiah:
and whom he would he set up: and whom he would he put down; according to his pleasure, he raised persons from a low estate to great dignity, and put them into high posts of honour and profit, as he did Daniel: and others he as much debased, turned them out of their places, and reduced them to the lowest degree of disgrace and poverty; and all according to his absolute and irresistible will, without giving any reason for what he did.