And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Whiles I was speaking.—The answer to Daniel’s prayer. He had not even finished his prayer when the answer came. The angel Gabriel, whom he had seen (Daniel 8:16), comes to him, and reveals to him the mystery of the seventy weeks.Daniel 9:20-21. And while I was speaking and praying, &c. — We have here the answer that was immediately sent to Daniel’s prayer, and it is a very remarkable one; as it contains the most illustrious prediction of Christ, and gospel grace, that is extant in any part of the Old Testament. Daniel here observes, and lays a great emphasis on, the time when this answer was given; While I was speaking, says he, Daniel 9:20, yea, while I was speaking in prayer, Daniel 9:21. Before he rose from his knees, and while there was yet more which he intended to say if the answer was not given. He mentions the two heads which he chiefly insisted on in prayer, and which, perhaps, he designed yet further to enlarge upon. 1st, He was confessing sin, his own sin, and the sin of his people Israel. 2d, He was making supplication before the Lord his God, and presenting petitions to him as an intercessor for Israel. Now while Daniel was thus employed, he had both a grant made him of the mercy he prayed for, and had a discovery communicated of a far greater and more glorious redemption, which God could work out for his church in the latter days. He further observes, that as this answer was given him at the very moment when he was requesting it, and before he had concluded his petitions, so it was about the time of the evening oblation — The altar was in ruins, and there was no oblation offered upon it; but, it seems, the pious Jews, in their captivity, daily thought of the times when it should have been offered, and at those hours endeavoured to set forth before God their prayers as incense, and the lifting up of their hands as a morning or evening sacrifice, Psalm 141:2. The evening oblation was a type of the great sacrifice which Christ was to offer in the evening of the world; and it was in virtue of that sacrifice that Daniel’s prayer was accepted, and this glorious discovery of redeeming love was made to him: the Lamb opened the seals of prophecy in the virtue of his own blood, Revelation 5:5.
Daniel informs us here also by whom this answer was sent. It was not communicated to him in a dream, or by a voice from heaven; but, for the greater certainty and solemnity of it, an angel was sent from heaven to bring it to him. The man Gabriel — That is, the angel Gabriel, appearing in a human shape, whom I had seen in the beginning — Or, before, see Daniel 8:16; being caused to fly swiftly — An expression used to signify the haste he made to bring Daniel an answer to his prayer. Angels are winged messengers, quick in their motions, and delay not a moment to execute the orders they receive. But, it would seem, that at some times they are directed to use more expedition, and make a quicker despatch than at others, as, it appears, was the case with Gabriel now; touched me — Probably to infuse additional strength and courage into him, that he might be perfectly recollected, have the proper use and exercise of all his faculties at this important season, and might at once understand and retain a perfect remembrance of the whole message which the angel was commissioned to bring him from God.
For the holy mountain of my God - See the notes at Daniel 9:16.
and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel; Daniel, though so holy and good a man, was not without sin, and thought it his duty to confess it before the Lord; and which he did in the first place, and then the sin of his people; which is the way to succeed with the Lord for the application of pardoning grace, and the enjoyment of other mercies and blessings:
and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; for the temple, and the service of God in it; which was the first and principal thing that lay upon the heart of the prophet, and he was most importunate and solicitous for.And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. whiles] So Daniel 9:21. See on Daniel 5:2.
confessing] Daniel 9:4.
for the holy mountain of my God] cf. Daniel 9:16.
20–23. Daniel’s prayer heard; and the angel Gabriel sent with the answer.Verses 20, 21. - And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. All the versions are practically in agreement with the Massoretic text, save that none of them gives the hophal meaning, "caused to fly swiftly;" the nearest approach being in the Septuagint, in which we have τάχει φερόμενος. All, however, derive the word from יָעַפ, "to fly;" another etymology is possible from יָעַפ. As to the meaning of this word, there is a difference of opinion, Gesenius holding that it means "wearied out" - a meaning unsuited to the subject or to the context, though in accordance with the use of the word elsewhere. Meinbold would connect this word with the preceding clause, and refer it to Daniel, "when I was faint." The main difficulty is the succeeding word. Furst suggests that it means "shining in splendour" - a meaning perfectly suited to the circumstances, but for which there seems little justification in etymology from cognate tongues. Furst suggests a transposal from יָפַע. Winer gives it, "celeriter ivit, cucurrit." This view is taken by Hitzig, yon Lengerke, and Havernick. Ver. 20 is largely an expansion of the first clause of ver. 21. Whiles I was speaking, and praying. (comp. Genesis 24:15, "And it came to pass, before he had done speaking"). This shows the rapidity of the Divine answer to prayer; even before we ask, "our Father knows what things we have need of." The man Gabriel. The name Gabriel, as mentioned above, means "Hero of God;" and the word here translated "man" is the ordinary word for "man," 'ish. It may be remarked that in Scripture angels are always "men;" never, as in modern art and poetry, "women." Whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning. This really means "whom I had seen previously in vision," the reference being to Daniel 8:16. Being caused to fly swiftly. As above mentioned, there is considerable difficulty in deciding which meaning is to be taken as the correct. Kliefoth's and Meinhold's view would be the simplest, if there were any certainty that יעפ means "faintness." Touched me about the time of the evening oblation. Daniel is so absorbed in his devotions that not till Gabriel touched him did he recognize the presence of an an gel-visitant. The time of the evening offering does not imply that those offerings were made in Babylon, but simply that, through the half-century that had intervened since the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar the sacred hour had been kept in remembrance, not impossibly as being one consecrated to prayer. Daniel had been using this season to make known his request and petition to God. "Oblation," minhah, the bloodless meat offering (Leviticus 2:1, 4, 14). Daniel 4:20) and 18 (Daniel 4:21) cf. vv. 8 (Daniel 4:11) and 9 (Daniel 4:12). The fuller description of the tree is subordinated to the relative clause, which thou hast seen, so that the subject is connected by הוּא (Daniel 4:19), representing the verb. subst., according to rule, with the predicate אילנא. The interpretation of the separate statements regarding the tree is also subordinated in the relative clauses to the subject. For the Kethiv רבית equals רביתּ, the Keri gives the shortened form רבת, with the elision of the third radical, analogous to the shortening of the following מטת for מטת. To the call of the angel to "cut down the tree," etc. (Daniel 4:20, cf. Daniel 4:10-13), Daniel gives the interpretation, Daniel 4:24, "This is the decree of the Most High which is come upon the king, that he shall be driven from men, and dwell among the beasts," etc. על מטא equals Hebr. על בּוא. The indefinite plur. form טרדין stands instead of the passive, as the following לך יטעמוּן and מצבּעין, cf. under Daniel 3:4. Thus the subject remains altogether indefinite, and one has neither to think on men who will drive him from their society, etc., nor of angels, of whom, perhaps, the expulsion of the king may be predicated, but scarcely the feeding on grass and being wet with dew.
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