|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-9. This chapter relates the beginning of Daniel's last vision, which is continued to the end of the book. The time would be long before all would be accomplished; and much of it is not yet fulfilled. Christ appeared to Daniel in a glorious form, and it should engage us to think highly and honourably of him. Let us admire his condescension for us and our salvation. There remained no strength in Daniel. The greatest and best of men cannot bear the full discoveries of the Divine glory; for no man can see it, and live; but glorified saints see Christ as he is, and can bear the sight. How dreadful soever Christ may appear to those under convictions of sin, there is enough in his word to quiet their spirits.
Verse 3. - I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. The versions are in perfect agreement with the Massoretic text. Pleasant bread; "bread of desires" is the rendering of the Septuagint and of Theodotion; the word is the same in Hebrew and Greek as that applied to Daniel. Neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth. This shows that the practice adopted by Daniel and his fellows during their training was not regarded by Daniel, at least as incumbent on him after he could regulate his own affairs. His ordinary habit was to eat flesh and to drink wine; but during these weeks of fast, he denied himself these dainties. Neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. The pleasure of anointing the body with oil was highly esteemed among the ancients. It is impossible to fail to recognize, in this passage, the origin of the Essenian discipline. The Essenes abstained, from flesh, from wine, and from anointing themselves. Daniel thus abstained, as a sign of sorrow for the sin of his people; they made this fast a perpetual discipline. They waited for the salvation of Israel, and endeavoured, by fasting, to hasten the coming of the Lord. The converse of this, that Daniel's fast is derived from the Essene discipline, is not to be thought cf. It is a sign of a later development, when such practices of self-denial, from being the incidents of a life which occur on special occasions, become its rule. As early as B.C. 106 an Essene is mentioned teaching in the temple, and mentioned with no evidence that his sect was a thing of recent origin. The limits are narrow between the critical date of Daniel and this date that within them so prominent a sect as the Essenes should spring up.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I ate no pleasant bread,.... Or, "bread of desires" (d); such as was made of the finest of the wheat, and was eaten in the courts of princes where Daniel was: according to some Jewish Rabbins in Ben Melech, hot bread is meant; but in general it means the best of bread, such as had good qualities to make it desirable; and this Daniel refrained from, while he was humbling and afflicting himself on this sorrowful occasion, but ate coarse bread, black and grainy:
neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth; not delicate meat, as of fish, fowl, deer, and the like, as Saadiah observes; but contented himself with meaner fare; nor did he drink generous wine, as he had used to do, living in a king's court, and which his old age made necessary for him, since he could come at it; but he abstained from it, and other lawful pleasures of nature, the more to give himself up to acts of devotion and contemplation:
neither did I anoint myself at all, until three whole weeks were fulfilled; which was wont to be frequently done by the Jews, especially at feasts; and by the Persians every day, among whom he now was; but this he refrained from, as was usual in times of fasting and humiliation; see Matthew 6:17.
(d) "panem desideriorum", Pagninus, Montanus; "desiderabilium", Junius & Tremellius; "desiderabilem", V. L. Vatablus, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. no pleasant bread—"unleavened bread, even the bread of affliction" (De 16:3).
anoint—The Persians largely used unguents.
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