Daniel 12:5
Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
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(5) Other two.—Two heavenly beings are now seen by the prophet. As the absence of the article shows he had not seen them before, St. Jerome supposes them to be the angels of Persia and Greece, but of course it is impossible to identify them.

The riveri.e., the Hiddekel, as in Daniel 10:4, though a different word for “river” is used, which is generally employed to designate the Nile. For the reason of the choice of this word, see the next Note.

Daniel 12:5-6. Then I, Daniel, looked — Here begins an account of a new vision that appeared to Daniel, confirming and explaining the former; for Gabriel, it seems, had finished his narrative, and what now follows is added by way of illustration. Some will have these other two angels to be the guardians of Persia and Greece; and from thence contend, that these two empires are the only ones concerned in the preceding scripture, or writing, of truth. But this is mere conjecture, unsupported by the relation here given. The one on this side of the bank of the river, &c. — Namely, the river Hiddekel, or Tigris, of which mention is made Daniel 10:4. And one said — Hebrew, And he said, that is, one of the angels. But the Syriac, Arabic, some of the Greek copies, and the Vulgate, read, And I said, meaning Daniel, to the man clothed in linen — Mentioned Daniel 10:5, (where see the note,) which was upon, or rather, above, the waters of the river — Namely, the Son of God, our High-Priest, who rules the nations, of which standing upon, or above, the waters, was an emblem: see Psalm 29:10. As a figure of this, Christ, in the days of his flesh, walked upon the waters, Matthew 14:25. How long shall it be to the end of these wonders — What is the time fixed in the divine counsels for the full accomplishment of these wonderful predictions? When shall these extraordinary events take place?12:5-13 One of the angels asking how long it should be to the end of these wonders, a solemn reply is made, that it would be for a time, times, and a half, the period mentioned ch. 7:25, and in the Revelation. It signifies 1260 prophetic days or years, beginning from the time when the power of the holy people should be scattered. The imposture of Mohammed, and the papal usurpation, began about the same time; and these were a twofold attack upon the church of God. But all will end well at last. All opposing rule, principality, and power, shall be put down, and holiness and love will triumph, and be in honour, to eternity. The end, this end, shall come. What an amazing prophecy is this, of so many varied events, and extending through so many successive ages, even to the general resurrection! Daniel must comfort himself with the pleasing prospect of his own happiness in death, in judgment, and to eternity. It is good for us all to think much of going away from this world. That must be our way; but it is our comfort that we shall not go till God calls us to another world, and till he has done with us in this world; till he says, Go thou thy way, thou hast done thy work, therefore now, go thy way, and leave it to others to take thy place. It was a comfort to Daniel, and is a comfort to all the saints, that whatever their lot is in the days of their lives, they shall have a happy lot in the end of the days. And it ought to be the great care and concern of every one of us to secure this. Then we may well be content with our present lot, and welcome the will of God. Believers are happy at all times; they rest in God by faith now, and a rest is reserved for them in heaven at last.Then I Daniel looked - My attention was attracted in a new direction. Hitherto, it would seem, it had been fixed on the angel, and on what he was saying. The angel now informed him that he had closed his communication, and Daniel was now attracted by a new heavenly vision.

And, behold, there stood other two - Two other angels. The connection requires us to understand this of angels, though they are not expressly called so.

The one on this side of the bank of the river - Margin, as in Hebrew, "lip." The word is used to denote the bank of the river from its resemblance to a lip. The river referred to here is the Hiddekel or Tigris, the notes at Daniel 10:4. These angels stood on each side of the river, though it does not appear that there was any special significancy in that fact. It perhaps contributed merely to the majesty and solemnity of the vision. The names of these angels are not mentioned, and their appearing is merely an indication of the interest which they take in the affairs of men, and in the Divine purposes and doings. They came heine as if they had been deeply interested listeners to what the angel had been saying, and for the purpose of making inquiry as to the final result of all these wonderful events. The angel which had been addressing Daniel stood over the river, Daniel 12:6.

5. A vision of two other angels, one on one side of the Hiddekel or Tigris, the other on the other side, implying that on all sides angels attend to execute God's commands. The angel addressing Daniel had been over the river "from above" (Da 12:6, Margin). Two angels, waiting and ministering on Christ to observe his commands, by the banks of the river Tigris or Hiddekel, where this new vision was. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two,.... Other two angels, besides the man clothed with linen, Daniel 12:6 or rather besides the angel who had given Daniel the long account of things that were to come to pass, in the preceding chapter, and the beginning of this; whom Daniel, being attentive to that account, had not observed before; but now, that being finished, he looks about him, and takes notice of those other two who were standing, being ministering spirits to Christ, and ready to execute his orders:

the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river; Hiddekel or Tigris, as appears from Daniel 10:4. The reason of this position was chiefly on account of Christ, the man clothed with linen, who stood upon or above the water of the river, in the midst of it; and to show that they were waiting upon him, and ready to go every way he should send them to do his will; and also on account of Daniel, that he might hear what was said, whether to Christ, or to one another; since, being at such a distance, their voice must be loud; and indeed the design of all that follows to the end of the chapter is to inform him, and by him the church and people of God in all future ages, of the time and end of all these things before delivered in the prophecy.

Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the {g} river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.

(g) Which was the Tigris.

5. other two] i.e. (as we should now say) two others, in addition, viz. to the glorious being, whom Daniel saw (Daniel 10:5-6), and who had been speaking to him since (Daniel 10:11-14; Daniel 10:19, Daniel 10:20 to Daniel 12:4).

river (twice)] Heb. yě’ôr, an Egyptian word, elsewhere in the O.T. the regular name of the Nile (Exodus 2:3, &c.), but here and in Daniel 12:6-7, denoting the Tigris (see Daniel 10:4). The proper force of the word must have been forgotten; and it must be used in the general sense of stream.Verse 5. - Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. The versions do not require remark, save that the Septuagint and the Peshitta do not repeat "river." The abrupt introduction of "two other' is another proof that the long eleventh chapter, as we have it now, is an interpolation. We must go back to Daniel 10:18 to get the person from whom these two mentioned are distinguished. The two new dramatis personae are, as Professor Bevan remarks, in all likelihood angels, and the river in question is the Tigris. In ch. 10. Hiddekel is nahar; here the word used is yeor, a word very often used of the Nile, but not exclusively (see Isaiah 33:21). Hitzig asserts that ילֺאר (y'or) is an Egyptian appellative, made by the Hebrews into the proper name of the Nile. The example just given disproves this statement, and from this false premise he deduces that the Book of Daniel was written in Egypt. They may be angels of countries. There seems nothing to justify the idea that Michael and Gabriel are the two here intended - the word "other" excludes this. The reason of this introduction of two angels is, Professor Bevan thinks, as witnesses to the oath of the angel. But an oath, to be binding, did not need witnesses; e.g. when David sware to Jonathan, there were no witnesses. Another idea may be hazarded - the Tigris may be looked upon as the boundary of the East and the West; and the two other angels may be the angelic guardians of these two regions. The second beast. - וארו signifies that this beast came first into sight after the lion, which also the predicates תנינה אחרי prove.אחרי expresses the difference from the first beast, תנינה the order in which it appears. The beast was like a bear. Next to the lion it is the strongest among animals; and on account of its voracity it was called by Aristotle ζῶον παμφάγον. The words לשׁטר־חד הקימת present some difficulty. They have been differently explained. The explanation of Rabbi Nathan, "and it established a dominion," with which Kranichfeld also agrees, is not only in opposition to the חד, but is also irreconcilable with the line of thought. חד is not the indefinite article, but the numeral; and the thought that the beast established one dominion, or a united dominion, is in the highest degree strange, for the character of a united or compact dominion belongs to the second world-kingdom in no case in a greater degree than to the Babylonian kingdom, and in general the establishing of a dominion cannot properly be predicated of a beast equals a kingdom. The old translators (lxx, Theod., Peshito, Saad.) and the rabbis have interpreted the word שׁטר in the sense of side, a meaning which is supported by the Targ. סטר, and is greatly strengthened by the Arabic s'thar, without our needing to adopt the reading שׂטר, found in several Codd. The object to the verb הקימת is easily supplied by the context: it raised up, i.e., its body, on one side. This means neither that it leaned on one side (Ebrard), nor that it stood on its fore feet (Hvernick), for the sides of a bear are not its fore and hinder part; but we are to conceive that the beast, resting on its feet, raised up the feet of the one side for the purpose of going forward, and so raised the shoulder or the whole body on that side. But with such a motion of the beast the geographical situation of the kingdom (Geier, Mich., Ros.) cannot naturally be represented, much less can the near approach of the destruction of the kingdom (Hitzig) be signified. Hofmann, Delitzsch, and Kliefoth have found the right interpretation by a reference to Daniel 2 and 8. As in Daniel 2 the arms on each side of the breast signify that the second kingdom will consist of two parts, and this is more distinctly indicated in Daniel 8 by the two horns, one of which rose up after the other, and higher, so also in this verse the double-sidedness of this world-kingdom is represented by the beast lifting itself up on the one side. The Medo-Persian bear, as such, has, as Kliefoth well remarks, two sides: the one, the Median side, is at rest after the efforts made for the erection of the world-kingdom; but the other, the Persian side, raises itself up, and then becomes not only higher than the first, but also is prepared for new rapine.

The further expression, it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, has also been variously interpreted. That עלעין means ribs, not sides, is as certain as that the ribs in the mouth between the teeth do not denote side-teeth, tusks, or fangs (Saad., Hv.). The עלעין in the mouth between the teeth are the booty which the bear has seized, according to the undoubted use of the word; cf. Amos 3:12; Psalm 124:6; Job 29:17; Jeremiah 51:44. Accordingly, by the ribs we cannot understand either the Persians, Medians, and Babylonians, as the nations that constituted the strength of the kingdom (Ephr. Syr., Hieron., Ros.), or the three Median kings (Ewald), because neither the Medes nor the three Median kings can be regarded as a prey of the Median or Medo-Persian world. The "ribs" which the beast is grinding between its teeth cannot be the peoples who constitute the kingdom, or the kings ruling over it, but only peoples who constitute the kingdom, or the kings ruling over it, but only peoples or countries which it has conquered and annexed to itself. The determining of these peoples and countries depends on which kingdom is represented by the bear. Of the interpreters who understand by the bear the Median kingdom, Maurer and Delitzsch refer to the three chief satrapies (Daniel 6:3 [Daniel 6:2]). Not these, however, but only the lands divided between them, could be regarded as the prey between the teeth of the beast, and then Media also must be excluded; so that the reference of the words to the three satrapies is altogether inadmissible. Hitzig thinks that the reference is to three towns that were destroyed by the Medians, viz., Nineveh, Larissa, and a third which he cannot specify; v. Leng. regards the number three as a round number, by which the voracity of the beast is shown; Kranichfeld understands by the three ribs constituent parts of a whole of an older national confederation already dissolved and broken asunder, of which, however, he has no proof. We see, then, that if the bear is taken as representing the Median kingdom, the three ribs in its mouth cannot be explained. If, on the other hand, the Medo-Persian world-kingdom is intended by the bear, then the three ribs in its mouth are the three kingdoms Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which were conquered by the Medo-Persians. This is the view of Hofm., Ebr., Znd., and Klief. The latter, however, thinks that the number "Three" ought not to be regarded as symbolical, but as forming only the contrast to the number four in Daniel 7:6, and intimating that the second beast will not devour in all the regions of the world, but only on three sides, and will make a threefold and not a fourfold plunder, and therefore will not reach absolute universality. But since the symbolical value of each number is formed from its arithmetical signification, there is no reason here, any more than there is in the analogous passages, Daniel 8:4, Daniel 8:22, to depart wholly from the exact signification.

The last expression of the verse, Arise, devour much flesh, most interpreters regard as a summons to go forth conquering. But this exposition is neither necessary, nor does it correspond to the relative position of the words. The eating much flesh does not form such a contrast to the three ribs in the mouth between the teeth, that it must be interpreted of other flesh than that already held by the teeth with the ribs. It may be very well understood, with Ebrard and Kliefoth, of the consuming of the flesh of the ribs; so that the command to eat much flesh is only an explication of the figure of the ribs held between the teeth, and contains only the thought that the beast must wholly consume the plunder it has seized with its teeth. The plur. אמרין (they spoke) is impersonal, and is therefore not to be attributed to the angel as speaking.

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