Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Blessed be the name.—Daniel’s prayer is for the most part framed upon the model of scriptural language, while on the other hand it appears to have been adapted to their own special needs by later pious servants of God. The Doxology, with which it commences, is founded upon the liturgical formula concluding Psalms 41, the substance of it being repeated by Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9:5).
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever - That is, blessed be God - the "name," in the Scriptures, being often used to denote the person himself. It is common in the Bible to utter ascriptions of praise to God in view of important revelations, or in view of great mercies. Compare the song of Moses after the passage of the Red Sea, Exodus 15; the song of Deborah after the overthrow of Sisera, Judges 5; Isaiah 12:1-6.
For wisdom, and might are his - Both these were manifested in a remarkable manner in the circumstances of this case, and therefore these were the beginnings of the song of praise: "wisdom," as now imparted to Daniel, enabling him to disclose this secret, when all human skill had failed; and "might," as about to be evinced in the changes of empire indicated by the dream and the interpretation. Compare Jeremiah 32:19, "Great in counsel, and mighty in work."
name of God—God in His revelation of Himself by acts of love, "wisdom, and might" (Jer 32:19).
1. Wisdom; he means chiefly the wisdom God gave him in revealing this great secret to him, which the wise men could not attain to, because they knew not the true God, nor did seek to him for it, this is clear in Daniel 2:21-23.
2. Might is his; that is, almighty, above all mighty potentates of the world, above Nebuchadnezzar and all the kings of the earth, for he sets them up and plucks them down at pleasure, Daniel 2:21, as the interpretation of the dream and vision shows.
blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: a form of blessing God, or a wish that he may be blessed by men for evermore; for there is that in his name, in his nature, in his perfections, and in his works, which require that praise be given him now, and to all eternity:
for wisdom and might are his; "wisdom" in forming the scheme of things, and "might" or power in the execution of them; "wisdom" in revealing the secret of the dream to Daniel, and "might" to accomplish the various events predicted in it: for what Daniel here and afterwards observes has a very peculiar regard to the present affair, for which his heart was warm with gratitude and thankfulness.Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. answered] In the sense of commencing to speak: so Daniel 3:9; Daniel 3:14; Daniel 3:19; Daniel 3:24, al.; and ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπε in the N.T., Matthew 11:25; Matthew 17:4; Matthew 28:5, al.: cf. Dalman, Die Worte Jesu (1898), p. 19.
Blessed, &c.] Cf. Psalm 113:2; also Job 1:21.
for ever and ever] from eternity and to eternity, as Psalm 41:13; Psalm 106:48, cf. Nehemiah 9:5, also (without the art. in the Heb.) Jeremiah 7:7, Psalm 90:2; Psalm 103:17, al.
wisdom, &c.] Job 12:13 ‘With him are wisdom and might.’
20–23. Daniel’s thanksgiving for the great mercy vouchsafed to him.Verse 20. - And Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the Name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his. The Septuagint, having practically given the beginning of this verse as the end of ver 19. omits it now: hence it renders, "Blessed be the Name of the great Lord for ever, because the wisdom and the greatness are his." The fact that מִן־עָלְמָא (min'alma), "from eternity," is not rendered in this version, and that the adjective "great" is added in its place, indicates a difference of reading. Probably there was a transposition of מברך and מן־עלמא and the מן omitted. Then עלמא would be regarded as status em-phaticus of the adjective עלּים (allim) This is not likely to be a correct reading, as allim means "robust," - possessing the vigour of youth." Theodotion differs somewhat more from the Massoretic text than is his custom, "And he said, Be the Name of God blessed from eternity to eternity, for (the) wisdom and (the) understanding are his." This is shorter; the omission of the pleonastic formula, "answered and said," has an appearance of genuineness that is impressive. It would seem as if Theodotion had בינְתָא (beenetha), "understanding," instead of גְבוּרָה (geboorah), "might." The Peshitta and the Vulgate do not differ from the Massoretic text. The first, word of the Hebrew text of this song of thanksgiving has an interest for us, as throwing light on the question of the original language, לְהֶוֵא has the appearance of an infinitive, but it is the third person plural of the imperfect; ל is here the preformative of the third person singular and plural as in Eastern Aramaic as distinct from Western. This preformative is found occasionally in the Aramaic of the Babylonian Talmud, along with נ, the preformative we find regularly in Syriac. In Biblical Aramaic this pre-formative is found only with the substantive verb; the reason of this, however, we have considered in regard to the language (see Introduction, p. 23.). Suffice it that we regard this as an evidence that Daniel was originally written in Eastern Aramaic. Professor Bevan's explanation, that the phenomenon is due to the likeness these parts of this verb have to the Divine Name, is of force to afford a reason why, in the midst of the general process of Occidentalizing the Aramaic, they shrank from applying it to this verb. That they had no scruple in writing it first hand, we find in the Targums; thus Onkelos, Genesis 18:18, יֶהֲוֵי. We might refer to ether examples in the later Aramaic of the Talmud and other Rabbinic works. The Name of God. Later Judaism, to avoid using the sacred covenant name of God, was accustomed to use the "Name," in this sense. This may be noted that throughout this whole book, "Jehovah" occurs only in ch. 9. This may be due to something of that reverence which has led the Jews for centuries to avoid pronouncing the sacred name, and to use instead, Adonai, "Lord." It is to be observed that all through Daniel the Septuagint has Κύριος, the Greek equivalent for Jehovah, while Theodotion follows the Massoretic in having Θεός. For ever and ever. This is not an accurate translation, although it appears not only in the Authorized, but also in the Revised Version. The sound of the phrase impresses us with a sense of grandeur, perhaps due to the music with which it has been associated. When we think of the meaning we really give to the phrase, or of its actual grammatical sense, it only conveys to us the idea of unending future duration; it does not at all imply unbeginning duration. More correct is Luther's "veto Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit." The Greek of Theodotion conveys this also, ἀπό τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος. Jerome renders, "a saeculo et usque in saeculum." The true rendering is, "from eternity to eternity." It is quite true that the עָלְמָא means primarily "an age," as does also αἰών and saculum: it is also quite true that it is improbable that in ancient days man had definite ideas of eternity; even at the present time, when men strive after definiteness, they have no real conception of unending existence, still less of existence unbeginning. Still, it was used as having that meaning so far as men were able to apprehend it. As αἰών, it is used for "world." For wisdom and wight are his. Wisdom is the Divine quality of which they have had proof now, but "might" is united with it as really one in thought. The fact that the usual combination is "wisdom and understanding" (see Exodus 31:3; Isaiah 11:2; Ezekiel 28:4) has led the scribe, whose text Theodotion used, to replace "might" by "understanding." He might feel himself confirmed in his emendation by the fact that, while God's wisdom and, it might be said, his understanding were exhibited in thus revealing to Daniel the royal dream, there was no place for "might." What was in the mind of Daniel and his friends was that they were in the hands of a great Monarch, who was practically omnipotent. They now make known their recognition of the glorious truth that not only does the wisdom of the wise belong to God, but also the might of the strong. Further, there is another thought here which is present in all Scripture - that wisdom and might are really two sides of one and the same thing; hence a truth is proved by a miracle, a work of power.
As, according to Ezekiel 45:17, it devolved upon the prince to provide and bring the sacrifices for himself and the house of Israel; after the appointment of the sacrifices to be offered at the yearly feasts (Ezekiel 45:18-25), and before the regulation of the sacrifices for the Sabbath and new moon (Ezekiel 46:4-7), directions are given as to the conduct of the prince at the offering of these sacrifices (Ezekiel 46:1-3). For although the slaughtering and preparation of the sacrifices for the altar devolved upon the priests, the prince was to be present at the offering of the sacrifices to be provided by him, whereas the people were under no obligation to appear before the Lord in the temple except at the yearly feasts.
Ezekiel 46:1. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, The gate of the inner court, which looks toward the east, shall be shut the six working days, and on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened. Ezekiel 46:2. And the prince shall come by the way to the porch of the gate from without, and stand at the posts of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt-offering and his peace-offerings, and he shall worship on the threshold of the gate and then go out; but the gate shall not be shut till the evening. Ezekiel 46:3. And the people of the land shall worship at the entrance of that gate on the Sabbaths and on the new moons before Jehovah. Ezekiel 46:4. And the burnt-offering which the prince shall offer to Jehovah shall consist on the Sabbath-day of six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; Ezekiel 46:5. And as a meat-offering, an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs as a meat-offering that which his hand may give, and of oil a hin to the ephah (of meal). Ezekiel 46:6. And on the day of the new moon there shall be an bullock, a young ox without blemish, and six lambs and a ram without blemish; Ezekiel 46:7. And he shall put an ephah for the bullock, and an ephah for the ram for the meat-offering, and for the lambs as much as his hand affords, and of oil a hin for the ephah. - Ezekiel 46:1-3 supply and explain the instructions given in Ezekiel 44:1-3 concerning the outer eastern gate. As the east gate of the outer court (Ezekiel 44:1), so also the east gate of the inner court was to remain closed during the six working days, and only to be opened on the Sabbaths and new moons, when it was to remain open till the evening. The prince was to enter this inner east gate, and to stand there and worship upon the threshold while his sacrifice was being prepared and offered. בּוא דּרך אוּלם is to be taken as in Ezekiel 44:3; but מחוּץ, which is appended, is not to be referred to the entrance into the inner court, as the statement would be quite superfluous so far as this is concerned, since any one who was not already in the inner court must enter the gate-building of the inner court from without, or from the outer court. The meaning of מחוּץ is rather that the prince was to enter, or to go to, the gate porch of the inner court through the outer east gate. There he was to stand at the posts of the gate and worship on the threshold of the gate during the sacrificial ceremony; and when this was over he was to go out again, namely, by the same way by which he entered (Ezekiel 44:3). But the people who came to the temple on the Sabbaths and new moons were to worship פּתח, i.e., at the entrance of this gate, outside the threshold of the gate. Kliefoth in wrong in taking פּתח in the sense of through the doorway, as signifying that the people were to remain in front of the outer east gate, and to worship looking at the temple through this gate and through the open gate between. For השּׁער ההוּא roF ., hits gate, can only be the gate of the inner court, which has been already mentioned. There is no force in the consideration which has led Kliefoth to overlook ההוּא, and think of the outer gate, namely, that "it would be unnatural to suppose that the people were to come into the outer court through the outer north and south gates, whilst the outer east gate remained shut (or perhaps more correctly, was opened for the prince), and so stand in front of the inner court," as it is impossible to see what there is that is unnatural in such a supposition. On the other hand, it is unnatural to assume that the people, who, according to Ezekiel 46:9, were to come through the north and south gates into the outer court at all the מועדים to appear before Jehovah, were not allowed to enter the court upon the Sabbaths and new moons if they should wish to worship before Jehovah upon these days also, but were to stand outside before the gate of the outer court. The difference between the princes and the people, with regard to visiting the temple upon the Sabbaths and new moons, consisted chiefly in this, that the prince could enter by the outer east gate and proceed as far as the posts of the middle gate, and there worship upon the threshold of the gate, whereas the people were only allowed to come into the outer court through the outer north and south gates, and could only proceed to the front of the middle gate. - Ezekiel 46:4. The burnt-offering for the Sabbath is considerably increased when compared with that appointed in the Mosaic law. The law requires two yearling lambs with the corresponding meat-offering (Numbers 28:9); Ezekiel, six lambs and one ram, and in addition to these a meat-offering for the ram according to the proportion already laid down in Ezekiel 45:24 for the festal sacrifices; and for the lambs, מתּת ידו, a gift, a present of his hand, - that is to say, not a handful of meal, but, according to the formula used in alternation with it in Ezekiel 46:7, as much as his hand can afford. For כּאשׁר , see Leviticus 14:30; Leviticus 25:26. - It is different with the sacrifices of the new moon in Ezekiel 46:6 and Ezekiel 46:7. The law of Moses prescribed two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs, with the corresponding meat-offering, and a he-goat for a sin-offering (Numbers 28:11-15); the thorah of Ezekiel, on the contrary, omits the sin-offering, and reduces the burnt-offering to one bullock, one ram, and six lambs, together with a meat-offering, according to the proportion already mentioned, which is peculiar to his law. The first תּמימים in Ezekiel 46:6 is a copyist's error for תּמים.
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