Daniel 10:16
And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
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(16) One like . . .—Comp. Daniel 8:15. However, there is no reason for supposing that the person is different from the one mentioned in Daniel 10:10; Daniel 10:18. By “sorrows” is meant the pain produced by terror.

10:10-21 Whenever we enter into communion with God, it becomes us to have a due sense of the infinite distance between us and the holy God. How shall we, that are dust and ashes, speak to the Lord of glory? Nothing is more likely, nothing more effectual to revive the drooping spirits of the saints, than to be assured of God's love to them. From the very first day we begin to look toward God in a way of duty, he is ready to meet us in the way of mercy. Thus ready is God to hear prayer. When the angel had told the prophet of the things to come, he was to return, and oppose the decrees of the Persian kings against the Jews. The angels are employed as God's ministering servants, Heb 1:14. Though much was done against the Jews by the kings of Persia, God permitting it, much more mischief would have been done if God had not prevented it. He would now more fully show what were God's purposes, of which the prophecies form an outline; and we are concerned to study what is written in these Scriptures of truth, for they belong to our everlasting peace. While Satan and his angels, and evil counsellors, excite princes to mischief against the church, we may rejoice that Christ our Prince, and all his mighty angels, act against our enemies; but we ought not to expect many to favour us in this evil world. Yet the whole counsel of God shall be established; and let each one pray, Lord Jesus, be our righteousness now, and thou wilt be our everlasting confidence, through life, in death, at the day of judgment, and for evermore.And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips - In the form of a man. The reference here is undoubtedly to Gabriel appearing to Daniel in human form. Why he does not name him is unknown; nor is there any intimation whether he changed his form as he now approached the prophet. It would seem not improbable that, seeing the effect of his presence and his words on Daniel, he laid aside some of the manifestations of awe and majesty in which he had at first appeared to him, and approached him as a man, and placed his hands on his lips - as a sign that he should speak, or as imparting power to him to speak. See the notes at Isaiah 6:6-7.

I opened my mouth, and spake - His fear was removed, and he was now able to address the heavenly messenger.

O my lord - A title of respectful address, but without indicating the rank of him to whom it is applied.

By the vision my sorrows are turned upon me - The word rendered "sorrows" (צירים tsı̂yrı̂ym) means, properly, "writhings, throes, pains," as of a woman in travail, Isaiah 13:8; Isaiah 21:3; 1 Samuel 4:19; and then any deep pain or anguish. Here it refers to "terror or fright," as so great as to prostrate the strength of Daniel. The word rendered "are turned" (נהפכוּ nehepekû - from הפך hâphak) means, in Niphal. to turn one's self about, to turn back. The same phrase which is used here occurs also in 1 Samuel 4:19, "her pains turned upon her;" that is, came upon her. Perhaps we should express the idea by saying that they rolled upon us, or over us - like the surges of the ocean.

16. touched my lips—the same significant action wherewith the Son of man accompanied His healing of the dumb (Mr 7:33). He alone can give spiritual utterance (Isa 6:6, 7; Eph 6:19), enabling one to "open the mouth boldly." The same one who makes dumb (Da 10:15) opens the mouth.

sorrows—literally, "writhings" as of a woman in travail.

One like the similitude of the sons of men; an angel in the shape of a man, and no other but Jesus Christ, as before he that had humbled him now helped and encouraged him.

I opened my mouth, and spake; which cannot be till the Lord touch our lips, Psalm 51:15 Isaiah 6:5-7 Jeremiah 1:9. Though the angel appeared to him, and spake to him as a man, yet could not Daniel bear his presence without some dread.

And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men,.... Not the man clothed with linen, or Christ; but either the same angel, Gabriel, who appeared more manifestly to him in a human form; or another of the attendants of Christ, who also had the similitude of a man:

touched my lips; with his hand, as the Prophet Isaiah's were, by a seraph, with a live coal from the altar, Isaiah 6:7, thereby restoring him to his speech, and giving him freedom and boldness to make use of it; and removing from him his impurity, and a sense of it, which occasioned his silence:

then I opened my mouth, and spake freely, and yet with all becoming modesty:

and said unto him that stood before me, O lord; the angel that appeared in the likeness of a man, and stood before the prophet, and touched his lips, whom he calls "lord"; not because of sovereignty and dominion over him, which belong to Christ, as the Creator of all things, and Head of the church; but for honour's sake, being a noble and exalted creature:

by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me; on sight of the glorious object represented to him in the vision, pains seized his body in all parts of it, sharp and pungent, like those of a woman in travail. Gussetius (y) interprets it of the knuckle bones, which turned in the pan of them, like the hinges of a door, of which the word is used, Proverbs 26:14, and this through the tendons being loosed by the dissipation of the spirits; and this sense the Vulgate Latin version gives countenance to,

my joints are dissolved; the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, are, "my inward parts or bowels are turned in me: and I have retained no strength"; See Gill on Daniel 10:8.

(y) Comment. Ebr. p. 713.

And, behold, {l} one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, {m} by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.

(l) This was the same angel that spoke with him before in the appearance of a man.

(m) I was overcome with fear and sorrow, when I saw the vision.

16. A second touch restores Daniel’s power of speech.

one like the similitude, &c.] not an actual man, but a figure or appearance resembling a man. The word rendered similitude is the one which in the visions of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:5; Ezekiel 1:10; Ezekiel 1:13; Ezekiel 1:16; Ezekiel 1:22; Ezekiel 1:26; Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 8:2; Ezekiel 10:1; Ezekiel 10:10; Ezekiel 10:21-22) is rendered regularly by likeness: the variation here is presumably for the purpose of avoiding the juxtaposition of ‘like’ and ‘likeness.’

touched my lips] cf.—though the expression is not quite the same, and the purpose is in each case different—Isaiah 6:7 (‘made it—the hot coal—touch my lips’), Jeremiah 1:9 (‘made it—his hand—touch my mouth’). The touch having restored Daniel’s power of speech, he hastens to excuse his confusion: the vision, he says, had overpowered him.

to him that stood in front of me] The dazzling being, whom Daniel had seen in Daniel 10:5-6.

my lord] 1 Samuel 1:15; 1 Samuel 1:26; 1 Samuel 22:12, &c.; Zechariah 1:9; Zechariah 4:4-5; Zechariah 4:13; Zechariah 6:4.

by reason of the vision my throes were turned upon me] i.e. came suddenly upon me. The word rendered throes is said properly of the pains of a woman in travail (Isaiah 13:8); and the whole phrase occurs in 1 Samuel 4:19 of the pains of labour suddenly seizing Ichabod’s mother. The figure is thus a strong one: it describes Daniel as being as prostrate and helpless as a woman in the pains of labour. Cf. Isaiah 21:3, where it is used similarly to describe the prostration produced by an alarming vision.

and I retained no strength] Daniel 10:8, end.

Verse 16. - And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. The LXX. rendering differs from this, "And behold, as the likeness of the hand of a man" - due, more likely to explanatory paraphrase than to various reading of יר for בני; still the phrase, "a likeness of sons of man," is somewhat violent, and not to be paralleled by Psalm 45:3 - "touched my lips, and I opened my mouth, and spake, and I said to him who stood before me, Lord, even when the vision was turned upon my side to me." Clearly צידי (tzeedee) has been read by mistake for צירי (tzeeree). The sense of the Massoretic is difficult; but this is nonsense. "And there was no strength in me," reading איולי instead of עצרתי. Theodotion renders, "And behold, as the likeness of a son of man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth, and spake, and said to him that stood before me, In thy appearance my bowels (τὸ ἐντός μου) were turned in me, and I had no strength." Theodotion has evidently had the singular בֶּן instead of בְנֵי, or perhaps regarded it as a survival of the old form of the construct. It is probably not due to a different reading, but to a different meaning given to צירים, that we have ἐντός. The Peshitta resembles Theodotion very closely, having, however, enosh, "man," instead of "son of man." We have also go', "body," or "viscera," as the translation of tzeereem. The Vulgate renders to the same purport; the last portion of the verse runs thus: In visions tua dissolutas sunt compages meae et nihil in me remansit virium. It also has, in the first clause, similitudo filii hominis. It seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that we should read "son of man" instead of "sons of man" Were there any diplomatic or other evidence in favour of the reading of the LXX., it would be much preferable to any other, as we have the description of the visitant whose hand touched Daniel, in vers. 5 and 6. Hence the assertion here, that the likeness of a son of man touched him, does not harmonize with this, as it seems to introduce a new person. There is no reference to hands in the description in vers. 5 and 6, "the hand as of a man" there would not be the introduction of something already mentioned. Touched my lips. In the previous chapter, ver. 21, the angel Gabriel "touches" Daniel. The emphasis of the act, in the present instance, does not be in the fact of touching, but in this - that it was the lips that were touched. In Isaiah 6:6 and 7 one of the seraphim touches the lips of the prophet with "a live coal from off the altar." In Isaiah the object is purification; in the case before us it is the restoration of the power of speech. Then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me. This is the result of the touch of the angelic hand. O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. "Lord" here is not "Jehovah," but "Adonai" - a title of respect, certainly, but not necessarily of adoration. Theodotion and the Vulgate render "thy vision," understanding by that "thy appearance." The meaning is the same as that of the ordinary reading. Hence it is probably due to a desire to emphasize this rather than to any difference of reading. "My sorrows are turned upon me." This is a term that involves great difficulty. The term is used of the pangs of childbirth (1 Samuel 4:19), and transferred to sorrows (Isaiah 13:8). And this is the sense in which it has generally been taken here; the more readily that in 1 Samuel 4:19 the same phrase is used as here But the sense does not seem very good; the appearance of the angel was not an occasion of sorrow, however much of awe there might be in it. The word has a number of meanings, which it is certainly difficult to bring into relationship with each other. Thus in Proverbs 26:14 it means a "hinge;" in Proverbs 25:13 it means "messenger," and this is the meaning it most frequently bears (Proverbs 13:17; Isaiah 18:2; Jeremiah 49:14; Obadiah 1:1). Neither of these meanings is at all suitable. In Psalm 49:16 we have the word appearing in the K'thib, and translated "beauty;" hence it would be equivalent to הודי (hodee) of ver. 8. The LXX. is out of court. Theodotion, the Peshitta, and the Vulgate differ from each other, so that nothing is to be drawn from them. We would, then, take this phrase as equivalent to that in the eighth verse, "I have retained no strength." This fitly follows up what has been already stated. Daniel 10:16In these verses it is further related how Daniel was gradually raised up and made capable of receiving the revelation of God. The communication of the angel hitherto had not fully gained this object. Daniel "stood trembling," but he could not yet speak. With his face bent towards the earth he was as yet speechless. Then one having the likeness of a man touched his lips, whereby he received the power of speech, and could address him who stood before him, and utter the complaint: "By the vision anguish, i.e., violent terror, has fallen upon me: woes are turned upon me." For this style of speech cf. 1 Samuel 4:19, and for the matter itself, cf. Isaiah 21:3; Isaiah 13:8. For the following כּח עצרתּי ולא (and I have no strength, Daniel 10:16), cf. Daniel 10:8.
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