Daniel 7:5
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus to it, Arise, devour much flesh.
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(5) And behold another beast.—We are not told what became of the first beast. (Comp. Daniel 7:12.) The word “behold” implies that this was the next object which arrested the seer’s attention. The second beast corresponds to the silver portion of the Colossus (Daniel 2).

One side.—In explaining this very difficult phrase, it must be remembered that the two sides of the bear are parallel in meaning to the two breasts and two arms of the Colossus. It is implied, therefore, that the second kingdom consists of two parts, and the raising up of one side implies that one part of the kingdom would come into greater prominence than the other. Such was the case with the Medo-Persian Empire (comp. Daniel 8:3), in which the Persian element surpassed the Median.

Three ribs.—These cannot signify the people who constitute the second empire, but rather some kingdoms which had already been subdued by it; and by the command, “Arise and devour,” the second empire is permitted to make further conquests before its disappearance. The three ribs have been understood from the time of St. Hippolytus to mean three nations: the Babylonians, the Lydians, and the Egyptians.

Daniel 7:5. And behold another beast like a bear — This is the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, who, for their cruelty and greediness after blood, are compared to a bear, which is a most voracious and cruel animal. Bochart recounts several particulars wherein the Persians resembled bears; but the chief likeness consisted in what has been just mentioned, and this likeness was principally intended by the prophet, as may be inferred from the words of the text, Arise, devour much flesh. A bear, saith Aristotle, is an all-devouring animal; and so the Medo-Persians were great robbers and spoilers, according to Jeremiah 51:48; Jeremiah 51:56 : see Bishop Newton and the note on Isaiah 13:18. And it raised up itself on one side — Some think the allusion is to the eastern quarter of the world, from whence the Persians came; others, to the elevation of the Persians above the Medes and Babylonians, which three powers are conceived to be meant by the three ribs in the mouth of the bear: but Sir Isaac Newton and Bishop Chandler, with great propriety, explain them as signifying the kingdoms of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which were conquered by it, but were not properly parts and members of its body. They might be called ribs, as the conquest of them much strengthened the Persian empire; and they might be said to be between the teeth of the bear, as they were much grinded and oppressed by the Persians.7:1-8 This vision contains the same prophetic representations with Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The great sea agitated by the winds, represented the earth and the dwellers on it troubled by ambitious princes and conquerors. The four beasts signified the same four empires, as the four parts of Nebuchadnezzar's image. Mighty conquerors are but instruments of God's vengeance on a guilty world. The savage beast represents the hateful features of their characters. But the dominion given to each has a limit; their wrath shall be made to praise the Lord, and the remainder of it he will restrain.And, behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear - That is, after the lion had appeared, and he had watched it until it had undergone these surprising transformations. There are several circumstances, also, in regard to this symbol, all of which, it is to be supposed, were significant, and all of which demand explication before it is attempted to apply them.

(a) The animal seen: the bear. For a full description of the bear, see Bochart, Hieroz. lib. iii. c. 9: The animal is well known, and has properties quite distinct from the lion and other animals. There was doubtless some reason why this symbol was employed to denote a particular kingdom, and there was something in the kingdom that corresponded with these peculiar properties, as there was in the case of the lion. The bear might, in some respects, have been a proper representative of Babylon, but it would not in all nor in the main respects. According to Bochart (Hiefoz, vol. i. p. 812), the bear is distinguished mainly for two things, cunning and ferocity. Aristotle says that the bear is greedy as well as silly and foolhardy. (Wemyss, Key to the Symbolic Language of Scripture.) The name in Hebrew is taken from his grumbling or growling. Compare Isaiah 19:11 :

"We roar all like bears."

Compare Horace, Epod. 16, 51:

"Nec vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile."

Virgil mentions their ferocity:

"Atque in praesepibus ursi Saevire."

- AEn. vii. 17.

The bear is noted as especially fierce when hungry, or when robbed of its whelps. Jerome (on Hosea 13:8) remarks, "It is said by those who have studied the nature of wild beasts, that none among them is more ferocious than the bear when deprived of its young, or when hungry." Compare 2 Samuel 17:8; Proverbs 17:12; Hosea 13:8. The characteristics of the kingdom, therefore, that would be denoted by the bear would be ferocity, roughness, fierceness in war, especially when provoked; a spirit less manly and noble than that denoted by the lion; severe in its treatment of enemies, with a mixture of fierce and savage cunning.

(b) Its rising up on one of its sides: "and it raised up itself on one side." The Chaldee word used here (שׁטר sheṭar) occurs nowhere else. It means side (Gesenius), and would be applied here to the side of an animal, as if he lifted up one side before the other when he rose. The Latin Vulgate renders it, in parte stetit. The Greek (Walton), έις μέρος ἕν ἐστάθη eis meros hen estathē - "it stood on one part;" or, as Thompson renders it, "he stood half erect." The Codex Chisianus, ἐπὶ τοῦ ἑνὸς πλευροῦ ἐστάθη epi tou henos pleurou estathē - "it stood upon one side." Maurer renders this, "on one of its forefeet it was recumbent, and stood on the other," and says that this is the figure exhibited on one of the stones found in Babylon, an engraving of which may be seen in Munter, Religion d. Babyl. p. 112. The animal referred to here, as found in Babylon, says Lengerke, "lies kneeling on the right forefoot, and is in the act of rising on the left foot." Bertholdt and Havernick understand this as meaning that the animal stood on the hindfeet, with the forepart raised, as the bear is said to do; but probably the true position is that referred to by Maurer and Lengerke, that the animal was in the act of raising itself up from a recumbent posture, and rested on one of its forefeet while the other was reached out, and the body on that side was partially raised. This position would naturally denote a kingdom that had been quiet and at rest, but that was now rousing itself deliberately for some purpose, as of conquest or war - as the bear that had been couching down would rise when hungry, or when going forth for prey.

(c) The ribs in its mouth: "and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it." Bertholdt understands this of fangs or tusks - or fangs crooked or bent like ribs, p. 451, But the proper meaning of the Chaldee עלע ‛ala‛ is the same as the Hebrew צלע tsēlâ‛ - "a rib." - Gesenius. The Latin Vulgate is, tres ordines - three rows; the Syriac and the Greek, three ribs. This would be sufficiently characteristic of a bear, and the attitude of the animal here seems to be that it had killed some other animal, and had, in devouring it, torn out three ribs from its side, and now held them in its mouth. It was slowly rising from a recumbent posture, with these ribs in its mouth, and about to receive a command to go forth and devour much flesh. The number three, in this place, Lengerke supposes to be a round number, without any special significancy; others suppose that it denotes the number of nations or kingdoms which the people here represented by the bear had overcome. Perhaps this latter would be the more obvious idea as suggested by the symbol, but it is not necessary, in order to a proper understanding of a symbol, to press such a point too closely. The natural idea which would be suggested by this part of the symbol would be that of a kingdom or people of a fierce and rough character having already subdued some, and then, after reposing, rising up with the trophies of its former conquests to go forth to new victories, or to overcome others. The symbol would be a very striking one to represent a conquering nation in such a posture.

(d) The command given to this beast: "and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh." That is, it was said to it; or some one having authority said it. A voice was heard commanding it to go forth and devour. This command is wholly in accordance with the nature of the bear. The bear is called by Aristotle σαρκοφαγῶν sarkofagōn, flesh-eater, and ξῶον πάμφαγον xōon pamphagon, a beast devouring everything (Hist. Nat. viii. 5), and no better description could be given of it. As a symbol, this would properly be applicable to a nation about receiving, as it were, a command from God to go forth to wider conquests than it had already made; to arouse itself from its repose and to achieve new triumphs.

The application of this symbol was not explained by the angel to Daniel; but if the former pertained to Babylon, there can be little difficulty in understanding to what this is to be applied. It is evidently to what succeeded the Babylonian - the Medo-Persian, the kingdom ruled successively by Cyrus, Cambyses, Smerdis, Darius, Xerxes, Artaxerxes, and Darius Nothus, until it was overthrown by Alexander the Great. The only inquiry now is as to the pertinency of the symbol here employed to represent this kingdom.

(a) The symbol of the bear. As already seen, the bear would denote any fierce, rough, overbearing, and arbitrary kingdom, and it is clear that while it might have applicability to any such kingdom, it would better represent that of Medo-Persia than the lion would, for while, in some respects, either symbol would be applicable to either nation, the Medo-Persian did not stand so decidedly at the head of nations as the Babylonian. As to its character, however, the bear was not an inappropriate symbol. Taking the whole nation together, it was fierce and rough, and unpolished, little disposed to friendliness with the nations, and dissatisfied while any around it had peace or prosperity. In the image seen in Dan. ii., this kingdom, denoted by the breast and arms of silver Daniel 7:32, is described in the explanation Daniel 7:39 as "inferior to thee;" that is, to Nebuchadnezzar. For a sufficiently full account of this kingdom - of the mad projects of Cambyses, and his savage rage against the Ethiopians - well represented by the ferocity of the bear; of the ill-starred expedition to Greece under Xerxes - an expedition in its fierceness and folly well represented by the bear, and of the degeneracy of the national character after Xerxes - well represented by the bear as compared with the lion, see the notes at Daniel 2:39. No one acquainted with the history of that nation can doubt the propriety and applicability of the emblem.


5. bear—symbolizing the austere life of the Persians in their mountains, also their cruelty (Isa 13:17, 18; Cambyses, Ochus, and other of the Persian princes were notoriously cruel; the Persian laws involved, for one man's offense, the whole kindred and neighborhood in destruction, Da 6:24) and rapacity. "A bear is an all-devouring animal" [Aristotle, 8.5], (Jer 51:48, 56).

raised … itself on one side—but the Hebrew, "It raised up one dominion." The Medes, an ancient people, and the Persians, a modern tribe, formed one united sovereignty in contrast to the third and fourth kingdoms, each originally one, afterwards divided. English Version is the result of a slight change of a Hebrew letter. The idea then would be, "It lay on one of its fore feet, and stood on the other"; a figure still to be seen on one of the stones of Babylon [Munter, The Religion of Babylonia, 112]; denoting a kingdom that had been at rest, but is now rousing itself for conquest. Media is the lower side, passiveness; Persia, the upper, active element [Auberlen]. The three ribs in its mouth are Media, Lydia, and Babylon, brought under the Persian sway. Rather, Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, not properly parts of its body, but seized by Medo-Persia [Sir Isaac Newton]. Called "ribs" because they strengthened the Medo-Persian empire. "Between its teeth," as being much grinded by it.

devour much flesh—that is, subjugate many nations.

Another beast, viz. the Medes and Persians, a fierce, grim, ravenous creature, and barbarously cruel, especially the mountainous part, as of Caucasus, Armenia, and Media by The Caspian Sea near the Tartars, and that which borders upon the Mogul, the Usbecks, and the Sasbuts; read Isaiah 13:17,18 Jer 51:48,53, called

spoilers. See Jeremiah 51:11, &c. Thus God sent in the northern bears upon Babylon to devour flesh. See how God calls them against Babylon, Jeremiah 51:20-23,27,28; he reckons Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz, and the Medes, i.e. Armenia, Parthia, Hyrcania, &c., the rough northern hungry bears.

On one side, i.e. the north side; for the Mede first arose and sent to Cyrus the Persian to come in and assist him against the Assyrian, and made him general.

It had three ribs in the mouth of it: several of the Babylonian subjects revolted from the Babylonian, (and all these made the three ribs,) as the Hyrcanians, and Gobrias. And, behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear,.... Another monarchy, and which succeeded the former, and rose up upon the ruins of it, the Medo-Persian monarchy; and so the Syriac version prefixes to this verse, by way of explanation,

"the kingdom of the Medes''

like to a bear, less generous and strong than the lion; more rough and uncivil, but equally cruel and voracious; which describes the Medes and Persians as a fierce and cruel people, and less polished, and more uncivilized, than the Chaldeans; and answers to the silver breasts and arms in Nebuchadnezzar's dream; see Isaiah 13:17,

and it raised up itself on one side; either of the lion, the first beast it destroyed; or rather on one side of itself, on the side of Persia; from whence Cyrus came, who was the principal instrument of raising this empire to the pitch it was brought unto. Some render it, "and it raised up one government" (d); one empire out of many nations and kingdoms it subdued:

and it had three ribs in the mouth of it, between the teeth of it; that is, three ribs covered with flesh, which, it was devouring; the bear being very voracious, and a great flesh eater: these, according to some, signify three kings that followed Darius the Mede; Cyrus, Ahasuerus, and Darius; so Jarchi and Jacchiades; and, according to Jerom, three kingdoms, the Babylonian, Median, and Persian: but neither of these kings nor kingdoms can be said to be in its mouth, and between its teeth, as ground and devoured by it, unless the Babylonian; wherefore it is better interpreted by others, as Theodoret, the three parts of the world it conquered, westward, northward, and southward, Daniel 8:4, though it is best of all, with Sir Isaac Newton and Bishop Chandler, to understand by them Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt; which countries were ground and oppressed by the Medes and Persians, as the ribs of any creature are ground in the mouth of a bear:

and they said thus unto it, arise, devour much flesh; which Jerom refers to Haman's orders to destroy the Jews in the times of Ahasuerus; but it is much better applied by others to Cyaxares or Darius sending for Cyrus to take upon him the command of his army; and to the Hyrcanians, Gobryas, and others, inviting him to avenge them on the Babylonians, promising to join and assist him, as Xenophon (e) relates: or rather this is to be interpreted of the divine will, and of the conduct of Providence by means of angels stirring up the spirit of Cyrus, and of the Medes and Persians, to attack and subdue many nations, and particularly the Babylonians, and fill themselves with their wealth and substance; hence they are styled the Lord's sanctified, whom he ordered and called to such service; see Isaiah 13:3.

(d) "quae dominatum unum erexit", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "et dominatum quendana erexit", Piscator. (e) Cyropaedia l. 1. c. 22. l. 4. c. 4, 24.

And behold another beast, a second, like to a {d} bear, and it raised up itself on {e} one side, and it had three ribs in the {f} mouth of it between the teeth of it: {g} and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

(d) Meaning the Persians who were barbarous and cruel.

(e) They were small in the beginning, and were shut up in the mountains, and had no strength.

(f) That is, destroyed many kingdoms and whose hunger could not be satisfied.

(g) That is, the angels by God's commandment, who by this means punished the ingratitude of the world.

5. The second beast.

like to a bear] The bear is a voracious[268] animal, living indeed principally upon roots, bulbs, fruits, and other vegetable products, but, especially when pressed by hunger, ready to attack both the smaller wild and domestic animals, and even man[269]. In the O.T. it is spoken of as being, next to the lion, the most formidable beast of prey known in Palestine (1 Samuel 17:34; Amos 5:19; cf. 2 Kings 2:24; Hosea 13:8); at the same time it is inferior to the lion in strength and appearance, and is heavy and ungainly in its movements. The kingdom denoted by it corresponds to the ‘silver’ kingdom of Daniel 2:32, which was ‘inferior’ (Daniel 2:39) to that of Nebuchadnezzar, i.e. the empire of the Medes; as was pointed out on Daniel 2:39, the book of Daniel represents the Chaldæan empire as succeeded not immediately by Cyrus, but by a Median ruler, Darius.

[268] Arist. H. N. viii. 5 παμφάγον (with reference, as the explanation following shews, to its eating fruits, roots, &c., as well as flesh).

[269] See many illustrations from different authorities collected by Bochart, Hieroz. iii. ix. (ii. 138 ff., ed. Leipz. 1794).

it had raised up one side] This is the Massoretic reading; R.V. it was raised up on one side, follows a reading (implying a change of only one point) found in some MSS. and editions, but possessing less authority. The two readings do not however differ materially in meaning; though what either is intended to denote cannot be said to be altogether clear. Perhaps, on the whole, the most probable view is that the trait is intended to indicate the animal’s aggressiveness: it is pictured as raising one of its shoulders, so as to be ready to use its paw on that side. (The rendering of A.V. and R.V. marg., ‘raised up one dominion,’ implies shetar for setar; and is not probable.)

and it had three ribs, &c.] as the prey which it had seized. Those who regard the bear as symbolizing the Medo-Persian empire generally suppose the three ribs to denote Lydia, Babylonia, and Egypt, three prominent countries conquered, the first two by Cyrus, and the third by Cambyses; but it is quite possible that the ribs in the creature’s mouth are meant simply as an indication of its voracity, and are not intended as an allusion to three particular countries absorbed by the empire which it represents.

and they said] or, and it was said: see on Daniel 4:25.

Arise, devour much flesh] as its nature would prompt it to do. The Medes are the people whom the Heb. prophets of the exile represent as summoned to destroy Babylon (Isaiah 13:17; Isaiah 21:2; Jeremiah 51:11; Jeremiah 51:28); and Isaiah 13:17-18 gives a graphic picture of the insolence and cruelty of their attack.Verse 5. - And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. The Septuagint rendering here differs but slightly. "A second" is omitted, and instead of "they said", it is "one said" or "he said." Theodotion agrees with the Septuagint in omitting the word "second," but agrees with the Massoretic in having "they said." The Peshitta begins more abruptly than the others, "And the second beast [was] like to a bear," etc. In regard to the Aramaic text, the use of the haphel form must be observed. The presence of the שׂ instead of the ס is an indication of antiquity in the word בְּשַׂר (besar), which becomes in the Targums בְּסַד. It has been supposed that the reading should be בִשֵׁר (bishayr) with שׁ, which would mean" dominion" - a phrase that would give a sense out of harmony with the context. It is in regard to the meaning of this symbol that interpreters begin to be divided. The most common view is that this refers to the Median Empire. There is nothing to support the assumption that the author of Daniel distinguished between the Median and the Persian empires; everything, indeed, which, fairly interpreted, proves that, while he regarded the races as different, he looked upon the empire as one. It is the laws of "the Medes and the Persians" that are appealed to before Darius the Mede. The united empire is symbolized as a ram with two horns. Dr. Davidson, in his review of Professor Bevan's Commentary (Critical Review) on Daniel, shows the duality indicated by the animal raising one of its two sides. That one race was stronger than the other had to be symbolized, and this was done by making the symbolic animal raise one side. The attitude at first sight may be difficult to comprehend. There is a figure in Rawlinson's 'Five Great Monarchies,' vol. 1. p. 332, in which a pair of winged bulls are kneeling with one leg; the side opposite to the kneeling leg is thus the higher. Kliefoth denounces this interpretation as mistaken, without assigning any reason against it. The interpretation by which he would supersede it is that it means "to one side of Babylonia." There is no reference to locality at all. Moreover, as all the animals come out of the sea, their relationship to Babylonia would be remote. It had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it. What is meant by these three ribs has been much debated. In the first place, Havernick thinks that it is a mistake to translate עלעין ('il'een) "ribs;" he maintains the true rendering to be "tusks." He identifies עלע with צלע (Hebrew); but even if we grant this identification, we do not find any justification for this rendering. The word for "tusks" seems rather to be ניבי, which occurs in the Targum of Joel 1:6 and Job 29:17, and the same word occurs in the Peshitta. At the same time, the symmetry of the figure would fit some such view. In none of the other beasts is there any reference to what they are devouring. Still, one cannot lay stress on this. When we come to consider what is meant by the "three ribs," we have great diversity of opinion. On the supposition that the ribs are in the mouth of the bear, and being gnawed by it, it must mean that at the time when by the conquest of Babylon it came into the apocalyptic succession, the bear-empire had laid waste three territories. Ewald agrees that three countries must be meant, but assumes these countries to be Babylonia, Assyria, Syria. There is no evidence, Biblical or other, that the Median Empire ever extended to Syria. If we grant that the author of Daniel lived in the time of Epiphanes, then no authority open to him, so tar as we know, brought the Medes into Syria before the day of the Persian rule. We need not assume a blunder for our author, and then build further assumptions on that assumed blunder. Moreover, by the conquest of Babylonia and Assyria, the bear came into the apocalyptic succession, whereas he had already devoured those provinces represented by ribs when he appears. Hitzig, following Ben Ezra, takes the ribs as three cities - Nineveh and two others. There seems nothing to identify "ribs" with "cities;" we can imagine it to mean "provinces." Thus we are led to Kraniehfeld's opinion, that it represents constituent portions of an older confederation broken up. The view of Kliefoth, that the conquests of the Medo-Persian Empire are intended - Babylonia, Lydia, and Egypt - sins again st the symbol, which implies that the ribs are already in the bear's teeth when he enters into the sphere of apocalyptic history. Jephet-ibn-Ali maintains the "three fibs" to refer to the three quarters of the world over which the Persian Empire ruled; and this is the view of Keil. It seems better, with Von Lengerke, to regard the number three as not important, but a general term for a few, though, at the same time, we can make approximation to the number when we look not at the Medea, but at Cyrus. Moreover, had we a better knowledge of early apocalyptic, it is at least a possible thing that we might find that "three" was the designating number of Lydia or Armenia, as "two" was of Medo-Persia, "four" of Greece, "five" of Egypt, and "ten" of Rome. It seems to us that the position of Cyrus - at the time we assume the vision to have been given to Daniel - suits admirably with the picture of the bear. Like the bear, he came from the mountains, in contradistinction from the lion of the plains. He united under his rule his hereditary kingdom Ansan, Elam, and Media. Thus we might have the three ribs if we might lay aside the notion of these being devoured. He overthrew the Manda and Croesus before he conquered Babylon, and it is probable that Armenia had also to be conquered before he could encounter Croesus. It is singular that writers who are determined to maintain that Daniel drew all his information as to Babylonian history from Jeremiah and other early writers, should also, by implication, maintain that, in defiance of the continual mention by these writers of kings of the Medes, as if they were a numerous confederacy (Jeremiah 51:11), Daniel held that there was a united empire of the Medes separate from the Persian Empire. The second empire is not, as maintained by Ewald, represented by a bear, "because its empire was less extensive than that of Babylon," but because it was a falling off from the theocratic monarch - the monarch who ruled as God. They said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. The speakers here may be "the watchers," or it may be used impersonally. On the assumption that the bear is the shadowy Median Empire, what meaning can this command have? The Medes, as distinct from the Persians, by the time that Epiphanes ascended the throne, had become very shadowy. The scriptural account of them does not represent them as pre-eminently cruel. Isaiah (Isaiah 13:17) foretells they will conquer Babylon, with all the concomitants of a city taken by assault. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:25) places the Medes with other nations under the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, and The description of the image according to its several parts is introduced with the absolute צלמא הוּא, concerning this image, not: "this was the image." The pronoun הוּא is made prominent, as דּנה, Daniel 4:15, and the Hebr. זה more frequently, e.g., Isaiah 23:13. חדוהי, plural חדין - its singular occurs only in the Targums - corresponding with the Hebr. חזה, the breast. מצין, the bowels, here the abdomen enclosing the bowels, the belly. ירכה, the thighs (hfte) and upper part of the loins. Daniel 2:33. שׁק, the leg, including the upper part of the thigh. מנהון is partitive: part of it of iron. Instead of מנהון the Keri prefers the fem. מנהן here and at Daniel 2:41 and Daniel 2:42, with reference to this, that רגליו is usually the gen. fem., after the custom of nouns denoting members of the body that are double. The Kethiv unconditionally deserves the preference, although, as the apparently anomalous form, which appears with this suffix also in Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:20, after substantives of seemingly feminine meaning, where the choice of the masculine form is to be explained from the undefined conception of the subjective idea apart from the sex; cf. Ewald's Lehr. d. hebr. Sp. 319.

The image appears divided as to its material into four or five parts - the head, the breast with the arms, the belly with the thighs, and the legs and feet. "Only the first part, the head, constitutes in itself a united whole; the second, with the arms, represents a division; the third runs into a division in the thighs; the fourth, bound into one at the top, divides itself in the two legs, but has also the power of moving in itself; the fifth is from the first divided in the legs, and finally in the ten toes runs out into a wider division. The material becomes inferior from the head downward - gold, silver, copper, iron, clay; so that, though on the whole metallic, it becomes inferior, and finally terminates in clay, losing itself in common earthly matter. Notwithstanding that the material becomes always the harder, till it is iron, yet then suddenly and at last it becomes weak and brittle clay." - Klief. The fourth and fifth parts, the legs and the feet, are, it is true, externally separate from each other, but inwardly, through the unity of the material, iron, are bound together; so that we are to reckon only four parts, as afterwards is done in the interpretation. This image Nebuchadnezzar was contemplating (Daniel 2:34), i.e., reflected upon with a look directed toward it, until a stone moved without human hands broke loose from a mountain, struck against the lowest part of the image, broke the whole of it into pieces, and ground to powder all its material from the head even to the feet, so that it was scattered like chaff of the summer thrashing-floor. בידין לא דּי does not mean: "which was not in the hands of any one" (Klief.), but the words are a prepositional expression for without; ב לא, not with equals without, and דּי expressing the dependence of the word on the foregoing noun. Without hands, without human help, is a litotes for: by a higher, a divine providence; cf. Daniel 8:25; Job 34:20; Lamentations 4:6. כּחדה, as one equals at once, with one stroke. דּקוּ for דּקּוּ is not intransitive or passive, but with an indefinite plur. subject: they crushed, referring to the supernatural power by which the crushing was effected. The destruction of the statue is so described, that the image passes over into the matter of it. It is not said of the parts of the image, the head, the breast, the belly, and the thighs, that they were broken to pieces by the stone, "for the forms of the world-power represented by these parts had long ago passed away, when the stone strikes against the last form of the world-power represented by the feet," but only of the materials of which these parts consist, the silver and the gold, is the destruction replicated; "for the material, the combinations of the peoples, of which these earlier forms of the world-power consist, pass into the later forms of it, and thus are all destroyed when the stone destroys the last form of the world-power" (Klief.). But the stone which brought this destruction itself became a great mountain which filled the whole earth. To this Daniel added the interpretation which he announces in Daniel 2:36. נאמר, we will tell, is "a generalizing form of expression" (Kran.) in harmony with Daniel 2:30. Daniel associates himself with his companions in the faith, who worshipped the same God of revelation; cf. Daniel 2:23.

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