Daniel 11:1
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XI.

(1) In the first year of Darius.—These words must be closely connected with the last verse of Daniel 10. The allusion is, most probably, to the fall of Babylon and the return from the Exile, at which time, as at the Exodus, the angel of the Lord went before His people. There is also a reference to Daniel 6:22.

Daniel 11:1. Also I, in the first year of Darius, &c. — This verse should have been joined to the last chapter. The meaning of what the angel here says is, that from the time that Daniel addressed those ardent prayers to God about the affairs of his people, mentioned chap. 9., which was in the first year of Darius, from that very time HE (namely, the angel Gabriel) had strenuously co-operated with Michael, in working the deliverance of the Jewish nation. See here again the vast efficacy and power of prayer; it engages God and angels to our assistance.

11:1-30 The angel shows Daniel the succession of the Persian and Grecian empires. The kings of Egypt and Syria are noticed: Judea was between their dominions, and affected by their contests. From ver. 5-30, is generally considered to relate to the events which came to pass during the continuance of these governments; and from ver. 21, to relate to Antiochus Epiphanes, who was a cruel and violent persecutor of the Jews. See what decaying, perishing things worldly pomp and possessions are, and the power by which they are gotten. God, in his providence, sets up one, and pulls down another, as he pleases. This world is full of wars and fightings, which come from men's lusts. All changes and revolutions of states and kingdoms, and every event, are plainly and perfectly foreseen by God. No word of God shall fall to the ground; but what he has designed, what he has declared, shall infallibly come to pass. While the potsherds of the earth strive with each other, they prevail and are prevailed against, deceive and are deceived; but those who know God will trust in him, and he will enable them to stand their ground, bear their cross, and maintain their conflict.Also I-- I the angel. He alludes here to what he had done on a former occasion to promote the interests of the Hebrew people, and to secure those arrangements which were necessary for their welfare - particularly in the favorable disposition of Darius the Mede toward them.

In the first year of Darius the Mede - See the notes at Daniel 5:31. He does not here state the things contemplated or done by Darius in which he had confirmed or strengthened him, but there can be no reasonable doubt that it was the purpose which he had conceived to restore the Jews to their own land, and to give them permission to rebuild their city and temple. Compare Daniel 9:1. It was in that year that Daniel offered his solemn prayer, as recorded in Daniel 9; in that year that, according to the time predicted by Jeremiah (see Daniel 9:2), the captivity would terminate; and in that year that an influence from above led the mind of the Persian king to contemplate the restoration of the captive people. Cyrus was, indeed, the one through whom the edict for their return was promulgated; but as he reigned under his uncle Cyaxares or Darius, and as Cyaxares was the source of authority, it is evident that his mind must have been influenced to grant this favor, and it is to this that the angel here refers.

I stood to confirm and to strengthen him - Compare the notes at Daniel 10:13. It would seem that the mind of Darius was not wholly decided; that there were adverse influences bearing on it: that there were probably counselors of his realm who advised against the proposed measures, and the angel here says that he stood by him, and confirmed him in his purpose, and secured the execution of his benevolent plan. Who can prove that an angel may not exert an influence on the heart of kings? And what class of men is there who, when they intend to do good and right, are more likely to have their purposes changed by evil counselors than kings; and who are there that more need a heavenly influence to confirm their design to do right?

CHAPTER 11

Da 11:1-45. This chapter is an enlargement of the eighth: The Overthrow of Persia by Grecia: The Four Divisions of Alexander's Kingdom: Conflicts between the Kings of the South and of the North, the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ: Antiochus Epiphanes.

1. I—the angel (Da 10:18).

first year of Darius—Cyaxares II; the year of the conquest of Babylon (Da 5:31). Cyrus, who wielded the real power, though in name subordinate to Darius, in that year promulgated the edict for the restoration of the Jews, which Daniel was at the time praying for (Da 9:1, 2, 21, 23).

stood—implying promptness in helping (Ps 94:16).

strengthen him—namely, Michael; even as Michael (Da 10:21, "strengtheneth himself with me") helped the angel, both joining their powers in behalf of Israel [Rosenmuller]. Or, Darius, the angel "confirming him" in his purpose of kindness to Israel.The overthrow of Persia by the king of Greeks, whose empire shall be divided, Daniel 11:1-4. Leagues and conflicts between the kings of the south and of the north, Daniel 11:5-20. The exploits of one of the latter princes, Daniel 11:21-29; who, being checked in his progress by the ships of Chittim, shall turn his fury against the Holy Land, Daniel 11:30-35. An impious tyranny set up, Daniel 11:36-39. Events that shall take place in the latter times, Daniel 11:40-45.

This first verse should have been the last verse of the tenth chapter, for it pertains to it; and the second verse of this chapter should have been the first; which neglect those who divided the Scripture into chapters have been found guilty of more than once.

Thus speaks the angel to Daniel; because Darius had the rule of Babylon by the consent of Cyrus, he settled the monarchy of the Medes and Persians upon the ruins of the Babylonian, for the verifying of prophecies, and for protection and preservation of the church.

Also I, in the first year of Darius the Mede,.... These words more properly belong to the preceding chapter, and should have concluded that, and the "eleventh" chapter should have begun in the next verse; and they are not the words of Daniel, as Jerom and others; but of the angel telling Daniel, not only what he had been lately doing, and would do in the court of Persia for his people; but what he had done in the beginning of that monarchy, the very first year that Darius the Mede became king of Babylon, and head of the whole monarchy; see Daniel 5:30, the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "in the first year of Cyrus"; which was the same time; for Darius and Cyrus reigned together.

Even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him; not Michael your Prince, as Jarchi; for he being no other than the Son of God, an uncreated Angel, needed not the help and assistance of a created one, nor could receive any strength and confirmation from such an one; unless this is to be understood, not with respect to Michael himself abstractly considered, but as in relation to the people of the Jews, on whose side Michael was; and so this angel took part with him and them, and as his minister served them both, in defending them, and taking care of their affairs at this time; so Jacchiades paraphrases it, to confirm and strengthen Israel: but it seems rather to design Darius, and the sense to be, that this angel strengthened Darius and Cyrus in their good intentions to let the people of Israel go free and give them full liberty and encouragement to go into their own land, and rebuild their city and temple; about which some doubts and hesitations might arise in their minds, and objections be made by some of their nobles and courtiers to it, being moved and influenced by an evil spirit, the adversary of this good angel; but he attended them so closely, and so strongly suggested to them what they should do in this case, that he carried his point on behalf of the Jews; for this respects not so much the destruction of the Chaldean monarchy, and the establishing the Persian monarchy on the ruins of it, and settling Darius on the throne, and strengthening his kingdom and interest, as the confirmation of him and Cyrus in their designs in favour of the Jews. The Syriac version is, "from the first year of Darius the Mede, he rose up to help me, and assist me"; as if the angel was still speaking of Michael, who came to his help against the prince of Persia, and was the only one that held with him, and had done so from the beginning of the Persian empire; but the Hebrew text will not admit of such a translation.

Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, {a} stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

(a) The angel assures Daniel that God has given him power to perform these things, seeing that he appointed him to assist Darius when he overcame the Chaldeans.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Daniel 11:1. And as for me, inI stood up to be a supporter and a stronghold unto him] I myself, also, in the first year of Darius, came forward to support Michael. As soon as ‘Darius the Mede’ (Daniel 5:31, Daniel 9:1) ‘received the kingdom,’ there was need for the defenders of Israel to co-operate on its behalf; and (it seems to be implied) it was through this angelic intervention that the natural hostility of Persia to Israel was turned to friendliness.

I stood up] The Heb. is peculiar, lit. my standing (was). One or two parallels can be quoted (as Jdg 19:9; Job 9:27); but the addition of a letter would give the normal Hebrew for I stood up (עמדתי for עמדי).

a supporter] prop. one holding strongly or firmly: see Isaiah 41:9; Isaiah 41:13; Ezekiel 30:25.

stronghold] Daniel 11:7; Daniel 11:10; Daniel 11:19; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 11:38-39; Isaiah 23:4; Isaiah 23:11 : here in a figurative sense, as often of Jehovah (e.g. Psalm 27:1; Psalm 28:1).

Verses 1-45. - THE KINGS OF THE NORTH AND THE KINGS OF THE SOUTH. Verse 1. - Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. The versions show signs of great disturbance having happened here. The rendering of the LXX. is, "In the first year of Cyrus the king, he told me to be strong and to play the man." Theodotion's rendering is yet briefer, "And I, in the first year of Cyrus, stood in strength and might." The Peshitta rendering, "In the first year of Darius the Mede (he) arose to confirm and strengthen me." The Vulgate is close to the Massoretic and the English versions, "I likewise, from the first year of Darius the Mede, was standing that he might be confirmed and strengthened." The Revised Version does not differ seriously from the Authorized, "And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him." The Septuagint must have read אמר (amar), "he said," instead of אני (anee), "I." When we have the Septuagint and Theodotion supporting each other against the Massoretic text, the evidence against the received text is strong. In this case both these versions have, as will be seen, not "Darius," but "Cyrus." The two names would have in the old Egyptian Hebrew script, a striking resemblance to each other; the fact that the last letter of both names is the same, and also the second letter, made the likeness considerable in any script; but the first letter of "Darius" is certainly very like the first letter of" Cyrus." The vav would possibly be omitted, then the first two letters of either name would resemble closely the first two letters of the other, and the final letters are the same. Mistake, then, was easy. The first letter of מדי and מלד is the same, and the words would be liable to be read in accordance with that given to the proper name. Further, all the versions but the Vulgate make the speaker the recipient of the aid. Theodotion may be taken as doubtful The difference is slight, עמדי becomes עכד, and לו becomes לִי. The Septuagint seems to have read עַמַּי instead of עמד. The first two letters are thus the same, the daleth may have been an intrusion. Bevan and Behrmann would omit the date as spurious, and hold it to have been introduced because the previous four chapters begin each with a date. This reason, to have weight, must assume the division into chapters to be of ancient date, more ancient than the Septuagint Version. The fact that all the versions have it compels us to admit a date here, but, as we have said above, it is to be reckoned by the year, not of Darius, but of Cyrus. (Also I) in the first year of Cyrus the king. The first year of Cyrus was the year when he decided to set the Jews free, and permit them to return to their own land; but the first year in this case was reckoned from his assumption of the throne of Babylon. We saw reason to doubt whether the reference in the beginning of ch. 10. was to the Babylonian reign of Cyrus, or to his reign as King of the Persians. His first year as King of the Persians might be when he first began to turn his arms against Babylon. We do not know enough of the history of the first years of Cyrus's monarchy to know what critical events befell in that rear. Stood to confirm and strengthen him (me). According to the Massoretic text, the angel Gabriel stood to confirm either the archangel Michael or King Darius. Certainly, as Darius (Cyrus) is the nearer substantive, the grammatical preference would be to take it, as do Havernick, Hitzig, and Calvin. The majority of commentators who hold by the Massoretic text take "him" to refer to Michael - and much can be said for this. Although Darius (Cyrus) is the nearest substantive, yet he is not the subject of the main sentence, but merely denotes a time, therefore a previous substantive must be chosen. In the opening of Cyrus's career, the intimate connection his prosperity had with the prosperity of the people of Israel might well make Michael interested. As Cyrus had been prophesied of, he was under the rule of the angel of prophecy, hence Gabriel strengthened and confirmed the efforts of Michael. Certainly "strengthening" and "confirming" are strong terms to apply to the archangel Michael, yet we know so little of angelic natures and their limitations that the phrase may be quite natural. The meaning is not materially altered if we read, "He stood to strengthen and confirm me." Daniel 11:1The first verse of the eleventh chapter belongs to Daniel 10:21; the ואני (also I) is emphatically placed over against the mention of Michael, whereby the connection of this verse with Daniel 10:21 is placed beyond a doubt, and at the same time the reference of לו (Daniel 11:1) to מיכאל (Daniel 10:21b) is decided. Hengstenberg indeed thinks (Christol. iii. 2, p. 53) that the reference of the לו to Michael is "against all that is already spoken in relation to Michael, and particularly against that which immediately goes before," under a reference to Hitzig. But Hitzig only says that in Daniel 10:21 Michael is of one lineage with the speaker; but, on the contrary, the expressions למחזיק (to confirm) and למעוז (to strengthen) are so strong, that in לו we must think on one inferior, a man. Moreover, Hitzig can think of nothing done by Michael under Darius, since the transference of the kingdom to the Medes changed nothing in the fortune of the Jews. This was first effected by Cyrus. But Hengstenberg himself does not recognise this last reason, but remarks that Daniel 11:1 relates to the transference of the sovereignty from the Chaldeans to the Persians, whereby a way was opened for the return of Israel, and rightly, with Hv., thus determines the meaning of the verse in general: "As at that time the Lord made the change of the monarchy a cause of blessing to the covenant people, so in all the troubles that may arise to them in the heathen monarchies He will show Himself to be the same true and gracious God." The other reason, namely, that the strong expressions, "to confirm and strengthen," necessitate us to think of one inferior as referred to in לו, affects only the view already refuted above, that the speaker is either Gabriel or another inferior angel. If, on the contrary, the speaker is one person with him who is clothed in linen, i.e., with the Angel of the Lord, who is like unto God, then this person can also say of himself that he was a help and protection to the angel-prince Michael, because he stands higher than Michael; and the reference of the לו to Michael, which the "also I" in contrast to "Michael your prince" demands, corresponds wholly with that which is said of Michael. Besides, the reference of לו to Darius (Hv., Hengstb.) is excluded by this, that the name of Darius the Mede is not at all the object of the statements of the verse to which לו could refer, but occurs only in a subordinate or secondary determination of time. The thought of the verse is accordingly the following: "In the first year of Darius the Mede, Michael effected this, that Babylon, which was hostile to the people of God, was overthrown by the power of Medo-Persia, in doing which the Angel of the Lord rendered to him powerful help." To this follows in order in Daniel 11:2 the announcement of the future, which is introduced by the formula 'וגו ועתּה resumed from Daniel 10:21.
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