|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 4. - And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel. The LXX. differs from this only in rendering Hiddekel by its Greek name "Tigris." Theodotion subjoins to Tigris Eddekel, on the same principle that we have on the margin of our Bibles different renderings from those in the text. The Peshitta makes the river the Euphrates. The Vulgate follows the Septuagint. There seems no reasonable doubt that Behrmann is right in regarding the Phrat of the Syriac as a gloss. It certainly was a natural suggestion, that, as Babylon was on the Euphrates, Daniel should rather be found walking there at the termination of his fast, than forty or fifty miles off. The four and twentieth day of the first month; that is, the month Nisan or Abib - the month in which the Passover was celebrated in every Jewish home. It would seem that Daniel did not join in this festival at this time. It is noted that, from the days of Saul, the two first days of every month were devoted to a feast, and hence, that Daniel's fast could only begin on the third day. Since-he mast have refrained from partaking of the Paschal lamb, we cannot deduce that he might not occupy the opening days of the month with sadness rather than feasting. If Daniel is an ideal figure, intended to represent the model Jew resident in a foreign land, why is he thus represented as not partaking of the Paschal feast? It is true that, with the temple in ruins, the Paschal lamb could not be slain in the way enjoined in the Law; but the modern Jew keeps the Passover without the lamb. I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel. The name is a transference of the Assyrian name Iddiklat. It would seem that Daniel was then on the banks of the Tigris, not in vision, but in actual person, as here there is no reference, as in Daniel 8:2, to his being there in vision; the mention of attendants also renders it unlikely that it was only in vision that Daniel was on the banks of the Tigris. His purpose in being there was probably governmental, as he had attendants with him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And in the four and twentieth day of the first month,.... Of the third year of Cyrus, as Jacchiades; or rather of the Jewish year, the month Ab or Nisan, which answers to part of March and April; so that Daniel's fast began on the third day of the month, and lasted to the twenty fourth, in which time was the Jewish passover; and by this it seems it was not now kept; and perhaps in those times was not used to be observed by the Jews in a foreign land:
as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; the same with the Tigris, called by both names from the swiftness and rapidity of its motion, "hiddekel" signifying both sharp and swift; and tigris, in the Persian language, a dart; see Genesis 2:14. This is the same river the Targum of Jonathan on Genesis 2:14 calls Diglath; and is by Pliny (e) called Diglito, who observes that it has the name of Tigris from its swiftness; so he says the Medes call an arrow; likewise Curtius (f) takes notice of the same, and says that it is named Tigris from the celerity with which it flows; for in the Persian language they call a dart "tigris": so signifies in the Hebrew language "sharp" or "polished", as an arrow is; and "swift", as an arrow flies, and both make Hiddekel: now this river was near Shushan, where Daniel resided; nay, Benjamin of Tudela (g) says, that the river Hiddekel divides the city of Shushan, over which is a bridge, on one side of which Jews dwelt, at the time he was there; unless he means that it cuts and divides the province of Elam in Persia, he had before been speaking of; and so Diodorus Siculus (h) says, that both Euphrates and Tigris pass through Media into Mesopotamia; wherefore it is no wonder to hear of Daniel by the side of the river Hiddekel or Tigris: here Daniel was, not in vision, but in person, having others with him, as appears from a following verse; by it he was walking, contemplating, praying, or conversing.
(e) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 27. (f) Hist. l. 4. c. 9. (g) Itinerarium, p. 86. (h) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 99.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. first month—Nisan, the month most suited for considering Israel's calamity, being that in which the feast of unleavened bread reminded them of their Egyptian bondage. Daniel mourned not merely for the seven days appointed (Ex 12:18), from the evening of the fourteenth to the twenty-first of Nisan, but thrice seven days, to mark extraordinary sorrow. His mourning ended on the twenty-first day, the closing day of the passover feast; but the vision is not till the twenty-fourth, because of the opposition of "the prince of Persia" (Da 10:13).
I was by … the … river—in waking reality, not a trance (Da 10:7); when younger, he saw the future in images, but now when old, he receives revelations from angels in common language, that is, in the apocalyptic mode. In the patriarchal period God often appeared visibly, that is, theophany. In the prophets, next in the succession, the inward character of revelation is prominent. The consummation is when the seer looks up from earth into the unseen world, and has the future shown to him by angels, that is, apocalypse. So in the New Testament there is a parallel progression: God in the flesh, the spiritual activity of the apostles and the apocalypse [Auberlen].
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