|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:15-27 The eternal Son of God stood before the prophet in the appearance of a man, and directed the angel Gabriel to explain the vision. Daniel's fainting and astonishment at the prospect of evils he saw coming on his people and the church, confirm the opinion that long-continued calamities were foretold. The vision being ended, a charge was given to Daniel to keep it private for the present. He kept it to himself, and went on to do the duty of his place. As long as we live in this world we must have something to do in it; and even those whom God has most honoured, must not think themselves above their business. Nor must the pleasure of communion with God take us from the duties of our callings, but we must in them abide with God. All who are intrusted with public business must discharge their trust uprightly; and, amidst all doubts and discouragements, they may, if true believers, look forward to a happy issue. Thus should we endeavour to compose our minds for attending to the duties to which each is appointed, in the church and in the world.
Verse 22. - Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. The LXX., if we take the reading of the Roman edition, agrees with the Masso-retie, save in the last clause, where it reads, "their power" instead of "his power." In this variation we find also Theodotion and the Peshitta agreeing. Jerome has "ejus." It is difficult to decide what is the true reading here. In the reading of the older versions the meaning is that these kings which should succeed Alexander should not be mighty. The reading of the Massoretic and Jerome implies a direct and natural comparison with Alexander the Great. As for the Greek versions, ου is easily mistaken for ω in uncial manuscripts. As for the Syriac, is apt to be added to of the third person, and produce the difference we find. While the Greek versions and Jerome render, "his nation" instead of "the nation," as in the Massoretic, the Peshitta follows the Massoretic , which is wrong here. The point of the contrast is that the kings that succeeded Alexander were not of his family. Certainly none of the successors of Alexander had an empire nearly so extensive as his. The only one that really even comes into comparison with the empire of Alexander is that of Seleucus Nicator. But not only had he neither European nor African dominions, he did not possess, save for a little while. Asia Minor, nor Palestine, nor India beyond the Indus at all. The Parthian Empire seen sprang up, and wrested from the Solenoid a large portion of their possessions east of the Euphrates. It can well be said, even of the empire of Seleucus, that it had not the power of that of Alexander the Great.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now that being broken,.... That is, the great horn Alexander, the first king of the Grecian monarchy; whose death, either by drunkenness, or by poison, is here expressed by being "broken". The sense is, he being dead, or upon his death,
whereas four stood up for it; four horns rose up in the room and stead of the great one broken; see Daniel 8:8 these signified that
four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation; which were the kingdoms of Egypt, Asia, Macedonia, and Syria, into which the Grecian monarchy was divided after the death of Alexander; and the first kings of them were all of the Grecian or Macedonian nation, and not Egyptians, Armenians, Syrians, &c.:
but not in his power; they did not rise and stand up in the power and strength, in the grandeur and magnificence, of Alexander; they were not equal, but greatly inferior to him, though they were notable horns, or famous kingdoms, as in Daniel 8:8. Saadiah interprets it, not of his seed or offspring; these were not his sons that were the heads of these kingdoms; but his captains or generals.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. not in his power—not with the power which Alexander possessed [Maurer]. An empire united, as under Alexander, is more powerful than one divided, as under the four Diadochi.
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