Daniel 11:40
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) At the time of the end.—These verses speak of the last expedition of the northern king, and of the disappearance of the king of the south. The portrait of Antiochus, as noticed in the Note on Daniel 11:36, was gradually fading away, and now not a line of it remains. No such invasion of Egypt as that mentioned here is mentioned in history. From the time mentioned in Daniel 11:30 he appears to have abstained from approaching too closely to the Roman authorities. The story related in 1 Maccabees 3:27-37 states that on hearing of the successes of the Maccabee princes he went into Persia on a plundering expedition, leaving Lysias his representative in Palestine. Lysias was defeated at Bethsur, and the news of the overthrow of his army was brought to Antiochus while he was in Persia. So appalling was the effect upon him of these tidings, that “he fell sick for grief” (1 Maccabees 6:8), and died. It is unnecessary to suppose that the revelation resumes the narrative from Daniel 11:29 after a parenthetic passage (Daniel 11:30-39), or to assume that we have a general recapitulation of the wars of Antiochus, described in Daniel 11:22-39, without distinguishing the different campaigns. (For a good account of Antiochus, see Judas Maccabœus, by C. R. Conder, R. E., Daniel 3.)

Time of the end.—Comp. Daniel 8:17. The words mean the end of the world, with which (Daniel 11:45) the end of this king coincides. The word “push” occurs also in Daniel 8:4, and from the context it may be inferred that the southern king begins the last conflict, in the course of which both kings come to an end.

Daniel 11:40. And at the time of the end — At the determined time, or when the time shall approach that God will put an end to these miseries of the Jews; shall the king of the south push at him — The king of the south, through all this prophecy, appears evidently to signify the king of Egypt, and if it be so interpreted here, this must relate to some new contest between him and Antiochus. Historians, however, make no mention of this, nor of any third expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. But it is not improbable that the king of Egypt, between whom and Antiochus there was enmity in the heart, though there was outward friendship, might make some efforts, of one kind or other, to injure Antiochus, which might induce him to make a third expedition into Egypt. The want, however, of a certain knowledge of this transaction of Antiochus, has been considered by some as an additional reason for applying this, and the whole paragraph from the 36th verse, to antichrist, and the great apostacy of the middle ages of the Christian Church. Hence, by the king of the south here, Mr. Mede understands the Saracens, and by the king of the north, the Turks, who should both at different times afflict the western parts of the world, where he supposes the seat of antichrist to be. The Saracens he supposes to be called the king, or kingdom, of the south, because that people were inhabitants of Arabia Felix, which lay southward of Palestine, whereas the Turks were originally Tartars or Scythians. But the safest rule whereby to interpret the prophecies seems to be to apply them to events nearest to the times when they were uttered, unless they manifestly relate to more distant times; and there is nothing said here but what might very probably relate to Antiochus, though, through the scantiness of the history of those times, we have not a knowledge of the facts to which some particular passages or expressions in the prophecy refer. And the king of the north — The king of Syria, Antiochus; shall come against him like a whirlwind — In a sudden and impetuous manner. And shall overflow and pass over — Shall over- spread the land, breaking in and opening himself a passage everywhere by the vast power of his forces.11:31-45 The remainder of this prophecy is very difficult, and commentators differ much respecting it. From Antiochus the account seems to pass to antichrist. Reference seems to be made to the Roman empire, the fourth monarchy, in its pagan, early Christian, and papal states. The end of the Lord's anger against his people approaches, as well as the end of his patience towards his enemies. If we would escape the ruin of the infidel, the idolater, the superstitious and cruel persecutor, as well as that of the profane, let us make the oracles of God our standard of truth and of duty, the foundation of our hope, and the light of our paths through this dark world, to the glorious inheritance above.And at the time of the end - See Daniel 11:35. The "time of the end" must properly denote the end or consummation of the series of events under consideration, or the matter in hand, and properly and obviously means here the end or consummation of the transactions which had been referred to in the previous part of the vision. It is equivalent to what we should say by expressing it thus: "at the winding up of the affair." In Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9, Daniel 12:13, the word "end," however, obviously refers to another close or consummation - the end or consummation of the affairs that reach far into the future - the final dispensation of things in this world. It has been held by many that this could not be understood as referring to Antiochus, because what is here stated did not occur in the close of his reign. Perhaps at first sight the most obvious interpretation of what is said in this and the subsequent verses to the end of the chapter would be, that, after the series of events referred to in the previous verses; after Antiochus had invaded Egypt, and had been driven thence by the fear of the Romans, he would, in the close of his reign, again attack that country, and bring it, and Libya, and AEthiopia into subjection Daniel 11:43; and that when there, tidings out of the north should compel him to abandon the expedition and return again to his own land.

Porphyry (see Jerome, in loc.) says that this was so, and that Antiochus actually invaded Egypt in the "eleventh year of his reign," which was the year before he died; and he maintains, therefore, that all this had a literal application to Antiochus, and that being so literally true, it must have been written after the events had occurred. Unfortunately the fifteen books of Porphyry are lost, and we have only the fragments of his works preserved which are to be found in the Commentary of Jerome on the book of Daniel. The statement of Porphyry, referred to by Jerome, is contrary to the otherwise universal testimony of history about the last days of Antiochus, and there are such improbabilities in the statement as to leave the general impression that Porphyry in this respect falsified history in order to make it appear that this must have been written after the events referred to. If the statement of Porphyry were correct, there would be no difficulty in applying this to Antiochus. The common belief, however, in regard to Antiochus is, that he did not invade Egypt after the series of events referred to above, and after he had been required to retire by the authority of the Roman ambassadors, as stated in the notes at Daniel 11:30.

This belief accords also with all the probabilities of the case. Under these circumstances, many commentators have supposed that this portion of the chapter Daniel 11:40-45 could not refer to Antiochus, and they have applied it to Anti-christ, or to the Roman power. Yet how forced and unnatural such an application must be, anyone can perceive by examining Newton on the Prophecies, pp. 308-315. The obvious, and perhaps it may be added the honest, application of the passage must be to Antiochus. This is that which would occur to any reader of the prophecy; this is what he would obviously hold to be the true application; and this is that only which would occur to anyone, unless it were deemed necessary to bend the prophecy to accommodate it to the history. Honesty and fairness, it seems to me, require that we should understand this as referring to the series of events which had been described in the previous portion of the chapter, and as designed to state the ultimate issue or close of the whole.

There will be no difficulty in this if we may regard these verses Daniel 11:40-45 as containing a recapitulation, or a summing up of the series of events, with a statement of the manner in which they would close. If so interpreted all will be clear. It will then be a general statement of what would occur in regard to this remarkable transaction that would so materially affect the interests of religion in Judea, and be such an important chapter in the history of the world. This summing up, moreover, would give occasion to mention some circumstances in regard to the conquests of Antiochus which could not so well be introduced in the narrative itself, and to present, in few words, a summary of all that would occur, and to state the manner in which all would be terminated. Such a summing up, or recapitulation, is not uncommon, and in this way the impression of the whole would be more distinct.

With this view, the phrase "and at the time of the end" Daniel 11:40 would refer, not so much to the "time of the end" of the reign of Antiochus, but to the "time of the end" of the whole series of the transactions referred to by the angel as recorded "in the scripture of truth" Daniel 10:21, from the time of Darius the Mede Daniel 11:1 to the close of the reign of Antiochus - a series of events embracing a period of some three hundred and fifty years. Viewed in reference to this long period, the whole reign of Antiochus, which was only eleven years, might be regarded as "the time of the end." It was, indeed, the most disastrous portion of the whole period, and in this chapter it occupies more space than all that went before it - for it was to be the time of the peculiar and dreadful trial of the Hebrew people, but it was "the end" of the matter - the winding up of the series - the closing of the events on which the eye of the angel was fixed, and which were so important to be known beforehand. In these verses, therefore Daniel 11:40-45, he sums up what would occur in what he here calls appropriately "the time of the end" - the period when the predicted termination of this series of important events should arrive - to wit, in the brief and eventful reign of Antiochus.

Shall the king of the south - The king of Egypt. See Daniel 11:5-6, Daniel 11:9.

Push at him - As in the wars referred to in the previous verse - in endeavoring to expel him from Coelo-Syria and Palestine, and from Egypt itself, Daniel 11:25, Daniel 11:29-30. See the note at those verses.

And the king of the north shall come against him - The king of Syria - Antiochus. Against the king of Egypt. He shall repeatedly invade his lands. See the notes above.

Like a whirlwind - As if he would sweep everything before him. This he did when he invaded Egypt; when he seized on Memphis, and the best portion of the land of Egypt, and when he obtained possession of the person of Ptolemy. See the notes at Daniel 11:25-27.

With chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships - All this literally occurred in the successive invasions of Egypt by Antiochus. See the notes above.

And he shall enter into the countries - Into Coelo-Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and the adjacent lands.

And shall overflow and pass over - Like a flood he shall spread his armies over these countries. See the notes at Daniel 11:22.

40. The difficulty of reconciling this with Antiochus' history is that no historian but Porphyry mentions an expedition of his into Egypt towards the close of his reign. This Da 11:40, therefore, may be a recapitulation summing up the facts of the first expedition to Egypt (171-170 B.C.), in Da 11:22, 25; and Da 11:41, the former invasion of Judea, in Da 11:28; Da 11:42, 43, the second and third invasions of Egypt (169 and 168 B.C.) in Da 11:23, 24, 29, 30. Auberlen takes rather Porphyry's statement, that Antiochus, in the eleventh year of his reign (166-165 B.C.), invaded Egypt again, and took Palestine on his way. The "tidings" (Da 11:44) as to the revolt of tributary nations then led him to the East. Porphyry's statement that Antiochus starting from Egypt took Arad in Judah, and devastated all Phœnicia, agrees with Da 11:45; then he turned to check Artaxias, king of Armenia. He died in the Persian town Tabes, 164 B.C., as both Polybius and Porphyry agree. Doubtless, antitypically, the final Antichrist, and its predecessor Mohammed, are intended, to whom the language may be more fully applicable than to Antiochus the type. The Saracen Arabs "of the south" "pushed at" the Greek emperor Heraclius, and deprived him of Egypt and Syria. But the Turks of "the north" not merely pushed at, but destroyed the Greek empire; therefore more is said of them than of the Saracens. Their "horsemen" are specified, being their chief strength. Their standards still are horse tails. Their "ships," too, often gained the victory over Venice, the great naval power of Europe in that day. They "overflowed" Western Asia, and then "passed over" into Europe, fixing their seat of empire at Constantinople under Mohammed II [Newton]. At the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him; in the last times, towards the end of the world, for it cannot be true of Antiochus, who died the eleventh year of his reign, and these things are joined to the last resurrection Daniel 12:2. Therefore some understand the Turk and Saracen, who is without the church, as antichrist before mentioned sat in the temple; he extending his dominions into Asia and Africa, will be a great stop to antichrist’s proceedings and encroachments.

The king of the north shall come, & c., i.e. The Turk from the north shall invade, and run down the Saracen. — Mede. And at the time of the end,.... At the end of the time appointed of God, when antichrist is arrived to the height of his power and authority:

shall the king of the south push at him; not Philometor king of Egypt; nor is Antiochus meant in the next clause by the king of the north; for, after he was required by the Romans to quit the land of Egypt, there was no more war between him and the king of Egypt; rather therefore the Saracens are meant by the king of the south, as Mr. Mede (y) and Cocceius think, who came from the south, from Arabia Felix: and so Gravius interprets it of the king or caliph of the Saracens, and his successors; who, extending their empire through Asia and Africa, repressed the attempts of the Roman antichrist affecting primacy in the east; and this way goes Mr. Mede, who takes them to be the same with the locusts in Revelation 9:3, that distressed antichrist:

and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind; not Antiochus, as before observed; but either emperors, kings, and Christian princes, the chief of which was Godfrey of Bullain, who was crowned king of Jerusalem, as Cocceius: or the Turks, as Jacchiades, so Mr. Brightman on the place, and Mr. Mede; who were originally Tartars or Scythians, and came from the north, the same with the horsemen at Euphrates, Revelation 9:15, who also came against antichrist; for he seems to be the "him" they both came against; both the king of the south, and the king of the north, the two woes that came upon Christendom the Saracens are the first woe, and the Turks the second; and who chiefly afflicted the antichristian states, and came like a whirlwind upon them, suddenly, swiftly, and with great rapidity and force:

with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; which well agrees with the Turks, whose armies chiefly consist of horse:

and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and pass over; into the countries belonging to antichrist; particularly the Greek or eastern empire; which they overran like a flood, seized it for themselves, and set up an empire for themselves, which still continues; as well as entered into some parts of Europe, and did much damage.

(y) Works, B. 3. p. 674.

And at the time of the end shall the king of the {b} south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

(b) That is, both the Egyptians and the Syrians will at length fight against the Romans, but they will be overcome.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
40. at the time of the end] The final close of Antiochus’ reign. The expression denotes a period later than that of the persecutions described in Daniel 11:35, which are to last ‘until the time of the end.’

the king of the south] would still be Ptolemy Philometor.

butt with him] or, more exactly, shew himself one that butts, i.e. open a combat with him: the figure, as Daniel 8:4.

and the king of the north, &c.] Antiochus will come against him like a whirlwind (for the figure, cf. Habakkuk 3:14), with a vast armament.

and with many ships] Antiochus possessed a navy, which in his expeditions against Egypt of b.c. 170–168, he used with good effect (cf. p. 180).

enter into the countries] those viz. in his line of march.

overflow, and pass through] like a flood (as Daniel 11:10).

40–45. The end of Antiochus. Antiochus, being attacked by the king of Egypt, will again conduct an expedition into Egypt, passing through Judah on the way; he will gain great successes, till interrupted by rumours from the East and North; and starting from Egypt on a fresh career of conquest and destruction will perish on the way between Jerusalem and the sea-coast. How far the events here described correspond to the reality is a very doubtful point. Our principal authorities mention no expedition into Egypt after the one of b.c. 168. What we know from other sources of the closing events of Antiochus’ life is as follows. In 167 b.c. he instituted at Daphne (near Antioch), in rivalry with those just celebrated by Aem. Paullus in Macedonia, a magnificent series of games, lasting 30 days. Soon after this, the Roman Senate, entertaining suspicions of his loyalty, sent Tiberius Gracchus to ascertain whether their suspicions were well-founded. Antiochus shewed himself quite master of the situation. He “received Tiberius so dexterously and amicably (οὔτως ἐπιδεξίως καὶ φιλοφρόνως) that the latter not only suspected no designs on his part, and could detect no trace of hostility on the score of what had happened at Alexandria, but even condemned those who made such allegations, on account of the extreme courtesy of his reception. For, besides other things, he gave up his palace, and almost even his crown, to the ambassadors, at least in appearance; for in reality, he was anything but prepared to make concessions to the Romans, and was, in fact, as hostile to them as possible” (Polyb. xxxi. 5). Although, however, Tiberius was satisfied of Antiochus’ sincerity, the suspicions of the Senate were not allayed: for reports reached it from other quarters that he was conspiring secretly with Eumenes of Pergamum against the Romans (Polyb. xxxi. 4–6, 9). In 166 he started on the expedition, in the course of which he met his death. Leaving Lysias to take charge of his provinces between Egypt and the Euphrates and to carry on the contest with Judas Maccabaeus, he crossed the Euphrates in this year for the East (1Ma 3:31-37),—according to Daniel 11:28-31, because he was in need of funds, and intended ‘to take the tributes of the countries, and to gather much money,’ according to the condensed statement in Tac. Hist. Daniel 11:8 to war against the Parthians[389]. It was probably on this expedition that he subjugated Artaxias, king of Armenia, who had revolted (Diod. Sic. xxxi. 17 a, App. Syr. 45). While in Elymais (E. of Babylonia) he attempted unsuccessfully to pillage a temple; and soon afterwards died, after a short illness, at Tabae in Persia (N. of Susa),—according to Polybius (xxxi. 11), ‘becoming mad (δαιμονήσας), as some say,’ in consequence of certain supernatural tokens of the anger of heaven on account of his attempted sacrilege, according to 1Ma 6:5-16 through disappointment and grief at hearing of the successes of the Jews against Lysias (in 2 Maccabees 9, the story of his death is told with legendary additions).

[389] ‘Rex Antiochus, demere superstitionem et mores Græcorum dare adnisus, quo minus teterrimam gentem in melius mutaret, Parthorum bello prohibitus est.’

Porphyry, however, as reported by Jerome in his notes on these verses, does speak of a fourth Egyptian expedition of Antiochus. He says that Antiochus invaded Egypt in his 11th year, passing through Judaea on the way, but not molesting Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites, lest the delay should give Ptolemy time to strengthen his forces; that while fighting in Egypt he was recalled by reports of wars in the North and East; that he accordingly returned, captured Arvad (in Phoenicia), and ravaged Phoenicia, and afterwards proceeded to the East against Artaxias, that, having defeated him, he fixed his tent at a place called Apedno, between the Tigris and the Euphrates, and finally that, after his attempted sacrilege in Persia, he died of grief at Tabae (as stated above). It is true, our accounts of Antiochus’ reign are incomplete, there being large gaps, especially in the parts of both Polybius and Livy which would naturally have contained particulars of his closing years. It is true also that, being, as Polybius tells us, unfriendly to the Romans, he might well have planned another campaign against their ally, Ptolemy[390]. But it is remarkable that no hint of any conquest (Daniel 11:43) of Egypt at this time has come down to us except through Jerome, the more so, since, as Prof. Bevan has remarked (p. 164), Egypt was now under Roman protection, so that an attack upon the country must at once have produced a war with Rome. The statement respecting the wealth of Antiochus in Daniel 11:43, also conflicts with what we know independently respecting his great financial difficulties at the time. And when the account given by Porphyry is examined more closely, it is seen (except in the particulars which we know already from other sources) to be strongly open to the suspicion of being derived from these verses of Daniel. Apart from the statements that it took place in his 11th year (which, as it must have been shortly before his death, was a date easy to fix), and that Arvad was captured by him, it contains nothing which could not have been inferred from the language of Daniel, and indeed is couched largely in the expressions used by Daniel. And the mention of Apedno as the place where he pitched his tent, is based obviously upon a misunderstanding of the Hebrew word found in Daniel 11:45. While, therefore, we are not in a position to deny categorically a fourth Egyptian campaign, the probabilities are certainly against it. Most likely the author draws here an imaginative picture of the end of the tyrant king, similar to the ideal one of the ruin of Sennacherib in Isaiah 10:28-32 : he depicts him as successful where he had previously failed, viz. in Egypt; while reaping the spoils of his victories, he is called away by rumours from a distance; and then, just after he has set out on a further career of conquest and plunder, as he is approaching with sinister purpose the Holy City, he meets his doom.

[390] In Daniel, however, it is to be noted, it is the Egyptian king with whom the attack begins.Verse 40. - And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. The Septuagint Version is somewhat shorter, "And at the time of the end the King of Egypt shall push at him: and the king of the north shall be enraged at him, with chariots and many horses and many ships, and shall enter into the land of Egypt." Probably the Massoretic has been amplified. Still it is a possible thing that, as Egypt was the natural objective of all the military preparations of Syria, the shorter summary might be inserted instead of the longer paraphrase of the Massoretic. Throughout in the Septuagint Version, as may be noted, "Egypt" stands in place of "the south." Theodotion is much closer to the Massoretic, but omits "the whirlwind," and has. instead of "countries," γῆν, "the land." The Peshitta differs in some respects more from the Massoretic than either of the Greek texts, "And at the end of time the king of the south shall strive with him: and the king of the north shall be moved against him, with chariots and horsemen and with many ships; and he shall act impiously in the land." The Vulgate agrees with the Massoretic text. At the time of the end. This refers to the same "time of the end" as that in ver. 35; that is to say, not the end of the world, but the end of this distress. It is possible that to the writer the entrance of the new era - the Messianic time - would coincide with the fall of Antiochus, and that this era might be regarded as the end of the world. The king of the south shall push at him. This suggests war begun by the King of Egypt against Syria. It is difficult to see how this could take place after the fourth expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. The two brothers, Philometor and Euergetes (Physcon), were at war with each other shortly after this, and though Philometor gained the mastery, he was not in a position to threaten Syria. Certainly, had Ptolemy Philometor been in a position to take vengeance on his uncle, the successful rebellion of the Jews afforded an opportunity. We have no record in Polybius, Livy, 1 Maccabees, or Josephus of any expedition of Egypt against Epiphanes, either planned or attempted. Polybius is certainly fragmentary, and so to a greater extent is Livy; yet what has come down bears on events so near chronologically to this alleged expedition planned against Syria that it would scarcely fail to be noticed. And the king of the north shall dome against him like a whirlwind, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships. This purports to be an account of an expedition undertaken by Epiphanes against Ptolemy, presumably Philometor. Of this there is not a trace; Antiochus is in so great need of money that he must use one half his army to collect money by robbing temples in Elymais, while the other, under Lysias, is occupied in attempting to put down the rebellion of the Jews. Again the historians of the period are silent, and what they tell us is inconsistent with this fifth expedition. Jerome, in his commentary on Daniel, quotes Porphyry, who gives an account of an expedition against Egypt in the eleventh year of his reign. That, however, was the year of his death - the year, therefore, of his expedition against Elymais. It is impossible that in the beginning of that year he should undertake such an expedition into Egypt as that described by Porphyry, and at the end have time to march into Elymais. It cannot be the expedition of Lysias which is referred to, for he is represented (1 Macc. 3:32) as having the oversight of all the territory of the king from the river Euphrates, but there is no notice of ships And he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. This might refer to the expedition which Antiochus undertook to Elymais, but in the following verse we learn the direction was toward Egypt. No such expedition occurred after the fourth. What explanation is to be given of this? The explanation favoured by Keil of this whole chapter, that the king of the north is antichrist, is applied here; but so much of the earlier portion of this chapter can be interpreted as history, that we, for our part, are loth to give an eschatological interpretation to this. The view favoured by most is that here the author narrated his expectations, but these expectations were contrary to facts. This is Professor Bevan's view. If this view had been correct, the expectations of the author would be falsified almost as soon as they were recorded; this would certainly seem to render it impossible for the book to get the vogue it did. We, for our part, favour a modification of the view maintained by Hitzig, that this section is a repetition of what has been previously mentioned. Against this is the chronological statement at the beginning. Regarding, as we do, this chapter as an interpolation and the work of a later hand, our idea is that the section before us is one attempt to interpolate, and the preceding section is another, and that both have been incorporated in the narrative. After Daniel had been thrown into the lions' den, its mouth was covered with a flat stone, and the stone was sealed with the king's seal and that of the great officers of state, that nothing might change or be changed (בּּדּניּאל צבוּ) concerning Daniel (צבוּ, affair, matter), not that the device against Daniel might not be frustrated (Hv., v. Leng., Maur., Klief.). This thought required the stat. emphat. צנוּתא, and also does not correspond with the application of a double seal. The old translator Theodot. is correct in his rendering: ὅπως μὴ ἀλλοιωθῇ πρᾶγμα ἐν τῷ Δανιήλ, and the lxx paraphrasing: ὅπως μὴ απ ̓αὐτῶν (μεγιστάνων) αρθῇ ὁ Δανιήλ, ἤ ὁ βασιλεύς αὐτὸν ἀνασπάσῃ ἐκ τοῦ λακκοῦ. Similarly also Ephr. Syr. and others.

The den of lions is designated by גּבּא, which the Targg. use for the Hebr. בור, a cistern. From this v. Leng., Maur., and Hitzig infer that the writer had in view a funnel-shaped cistern dug out in the ground, with a moderately small opening or mouth from above, which could be covered with a stone, so that for this one night the lions had to be shut in, while generally no stone lay on the opening. The pit also into which Joseph, the type of Daniel, was let down was a cistern (Genesis 37:24), and the mouth of the cistern was usually covered with a stone (Genesis 29:3; Lamentations 3:53). It can hence scarcely be conceived how the lions, over which no angel watched, could have remained in such a subterranean cavern covered with a stone. "The den must certainly have been very capacious if, as it appears, 122 men with their wives and children could have been thrown into it immediately after one another (v. 25 [Daniel 6:24]); but this statement itself only shows again the deficiency of every view of the matter," - and thus the whole history is a fiction fabricated after the type of the history of Joseph! But these critics who speak thus have themselves fabricated the idea of the throwing into the den of 122 men with women and children - for the text states no number - in order that they might make the whole narrative appear absurd.

We have no account by the ancients of the construction of lions' dens. Ge. Hst, in his work on Fez and Morocco, p. 77, describes the lions' dens as they have been found in Morocco. According to his account, they consist of a large square cavern under the earth, having a partition-wall in the middle of it, which is furnished with a door, which the keeper can open and close from above. By throwing in food they can entice the lions from the one chamber into the other, and then, having shut the door, they enter the vacant space for the purpose of cleaning it. The cavern is open above, its mouth being surrounded by a wall of a yard and a half high, over which one can look down into the den. This description agrees perfectly with that which is here given in the text regarding the lions' den. Finally, גּבּא does not denote common cisterns. In Jeremiah 41:7, Jeremiah 41:9, גּוּבא (Hebr. בור) is a subterranean chamber into which seventy dead bodies were cast; in Isaiah 14:15, the place of Sheol is called גּוב. No reason, therefore, exists for supposing that it is a funnel-formed cistern. The mouth (פּוּם) of the den is not its free opening above by which one may look down into it, but an opening made in its side, through which not only the lions were brought into it, but by which also the keepers entered for the purpose of cleansing the den and of attending to the beasts, and could reach the door in the partition-wall (cf. Hst, p. 270). This opening was covered with a great flat stone, which was sealed, the free air entering to the lions from above. This also explains how, according to Daniel 6:20 ff., the king was able to converse with Daniel before the removal of the stone (namely, by the opening above).

Daniel 6:19-21 (Daniel 6:18-20)

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were any of his concubines brought before him; and this sleep went from him. The king spent a sleepless night in sorrow on account of Daniel. טות, used adverbially, in fasting, i.e., without partaking of food in the evening. דּחוה, concubina; cf. The Arab. dahâ and dahâ equals , subigere faeminam, and Gesen. Thes. p. 333. On the following morning (v. 20 [Daniel 6:19]) the king rose early, at the dawn of day, and went to the den of lions, and with lamentable voice called to him feebly hoping that Daniel might be delivered by his God whom he continually served. Daniel answered the king, thereby showing that he had been preserved; whereupon the king was exceeding glad. The future or imperf. יקוּם (Daniel 6:19) is not to be interpreted with Kranichfeld hypothetically, he thought to rise early, seeing he did actually rise early, but is used instead of the perf. to place the clause in relation to the following, meaning: the king, as soon as he arose at morning dawn, went hastily by the early light. בּנגהא, at the shining of the light, serves for a nearer determination of the בּשׁפרפּרא, at the morning dawn, namely, as soon as the first rays of the rising sun appeared. The predicate the living God is occasioned by the preservation of life, which the king regarded as possible, and probably was made known to the king in previous conversations with Daniel; cf. Psalm 42:3; Psalm 84:3; 1 Samuel 17:36, etc.

Daniel 6:22-24 (Daniel 6:21-23)

In his answer Daniel declares his innocence, which God had recognised, and on that account had sent His angel (cf. Psalm 34:8; Psalm 91:11.) to shut the mouths of the lions; cf. Hebrews 10:33. ואף, and also (concluding from the innocence actually testified to by God) before the king, i.e., according to the king's judgment, he had done nothing wrong or hurtful. By his transgression of the edict he had not done evil against the king's person. This Daniel could the more certainly say, the more he perceived how the king was troubled and concerned about his preservation, because in Daniel's transgression he himself had seen no conspiracy against his person, but only fidelity toward his own God. The king hereupon immediately gave command that he should be brought out of the den of lions. The Aph. הנסקה and the Hoph. הסּק, to not come from נסק, but from סלק; the נis merely compensative. סלק, to mount up, Aph. to bring out; by which, however, we are not to understand a being drawn up by ropes through the opening of the den from above. The bringing out was by the opened passage in the side of the den, for which purpose the stone with the seals was removed. To make the miracle of his preservation manifest, and to show the reason of it, v. 24 (Daniel 6:23) states that Daniel was found without any injury, because he had trusted in his God.

Links
Daniel 11:40 Interlinear
Daniel 11:40 Parallel Texts


Daniel 11:40 NIV
Daniel 11:40 NLT
Daniel 11:40 ESV
Daniel 11:40 NASB
Daniel 11:40 KJV

Daniel 11:40 Bible Apps
Daniel 11:40 Parallel
Daniel 11:40 Biblia Paralela
Daniel 11:40 Chinese Bible
Daniel 11:40 French Bible
Daniel 11:40 German Bible

Bible Hub






Daniel 11:39
Top of Page
Top of Page