Daniel 7:10
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
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(10) The books—i.e., the unerring record of man’s thoughts, words, and deeds, which is written in the unfailing memory of God. (Comp. Exodus 32:32; Psalm 56:8; Psalm 69:28; Isaiah 4:3; Malachi 3:16.)

7:9-14 These verses are for the comfort and support of the people of God, in reference to the persecutions that would come upon them. Many New Testament predictions of the judgment to come, have plain allusion to this vision; especially Re 20:11,12. The Messiah is here called the Son of man; he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was found in fashion as a man, but he is the Son of God. The great event foretold in this passage, is Christ's glorious coming, to destroy every antichristian power, and to render his own kingdom universal upon earth. But ere the solemn time arrives, for manifesting the glory of God to all worlds in his dealings with his creatures, we may expect that the doom of each of us will be determined at the hour of our death; and before the end shall come, the Father will openly give to his incarnate Son, our Mediator and Judge, the inheritance of the nations as his willing subjects.A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him - Streams of fire seemed to burst forth from his throne. Representations of this kind abound in the Scriptures to illustrate the majesty and glory of God. Compare Revelation 4:5, "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings, and thunderings, and voices." Exodus 19:16; Habakkuk 3:4; Psalm 18:8.

Thousand thousands ministered unto him - "A thousand of thousands;" that is, thousands multiplied a thousand times. The mind is struck with the fact that there are thousands present - and then the number seems as great as if those thousands were multiplied a thousand times. The idea is that there was an immense - a countless host. The reference here is to the angels, and God is often represented as attended with great numbers of these celestial beings when he comes down to our world. Deuteronomy 33:2, "he came with ten thousands of saints;" that is, of holy ones. Psalm 68:17, "the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels." Compare Jde 1:14. The word "ministered" means that they attended on him.

And ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him - An innumerable host. These were not to be judged, but were attendants on him as he pronounced sentence. The judgment here referred to was not on the world at large, but on the beast, preparatory to giving the kingdom to the one who was like the Son of man Daniel 7:13-14.

The judgment was set - That is, all the arrangements for a solemn act of judgment were made, and the process of the judgment commenced.

And the books were opened - As containing the record of the deeds of those who were to be judged. Compare Revelation 20:12. The great Judge is represented as having before him the record of all the deeds on which judgment was to be pronounced, and to be about to pronounce sentence according to those deeds. The judgment here referred to seems to have been some solemn act on the part of God transferring the power over the world, from what had long swayed it, to the saints. As already remarked, the necessary interpretation of the passage does not require us to understand this of a literal and visible judgment - of a personal appearing of the "Ancient of days" - of a formal application to him by "one like the Son of man" Daniel 7:13 - or of a public and visible making over to him of a kingdom upon the earth. It is to be remembered that all this passed in vision before the mind of the prophet; that it is a symbolic representation; and that we are to find the fulfillment of this in some event changing the course of empire - putting a period to the power represented by the "beast" and the "horn," and causing that power to pass into other hands - producing a change as great on the earth as if such a solemn act of judgment were passed. The nature of the representation requires that we should look for the fulfillment of this in some great and momentous change in human affairs - some events that would take away the power of the "beast," and that would cause the dominion to pass into other hands. On the fulfillment, see the notes at Daniel 7:26.

10. thousand … ministered unto him—so at the giving of the law (De 33:2; Ps 68:17; Heb 12:22; Jude 14).

ten … thousand before him—image from the Sanhedrim, in which the father of the consistory sat with his assessors on each side, in the form of a semicircle, and the people standing before him.

judgment was set—The judges sat (Re 20:4).

books … opened—(Re 20:12). Forensic image; all the documents of the cause at issue, connected with the condemnation of Antichrist and his kingdom, and the setting up of Messiah's kingdom. Judgment must pass on the world as being under the curse, before the glory comes; but Antichrist offers glory without the cross, a renewed world without the world being judged.

A fiery stream issued; see Psalm 1 3; noting his justice and wrath, in giving sentence and executing it.

Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: this is the great assize.

The judgment was set, and the books were opened: see Revelation 20:11,12. This, say some, is spoken agreeable to the Synedrium or Sanhedrim, and after the manner of men, and notes the book of life, of God’s eternal decree, the book of God’s omniscience, &c.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him,.... Or, "a river of fire" (s); which denotes the copious judgments of God, the abundance of them; the full flow of his wrath, and the fierceness of it; and also its rapidity, which cannot be resisted and stopped:

thousand thousands ministered unto him; attended upon him, waiting his orders, and ready to execute them; an innumerable company of angels, Psalm 103:20,

and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; to be judged by him; the numerous inhabitants of the several monarchies, with their kings; particularly all the antichristian states, and the worshippers of the beast, whom the whole world went after, Revelation 13:3,

the judgment was set; that is, the court was set; the Judge was upon the bench, and all his assessors and apparitors about him, and that ministered to him:

and the books were opened; both to take the trial in writing, and to produce evidence against the criminals; the book of God's purposes and decrees concerning these beasts; the book of prophecies relating to them; the book of God's remembrance, and of their own consciences, with respect to the evils committed by them; and the book of records, statutes, and laws made in such cases; even the book of the Scriptures, which contains the revelation of the will of God. In some things there is a likeness between this and the last and future judgment, and in other things a disagreement; the Judge in both is a divine Person, the eternal God, omniscient, omnipotent, holy, just, and true, which is absolutely necessary for carrying on such a process; none but God over all is equal to such a work: in the last judgment, as in this, there will be thrones; the throne of God and of the Lamb, particularly a great white throne, a symbol of purity, justice, and equity, on which the Judge himself will sit, and execute judgment, from whose presence the earth and heaven will flee away; and besides, there will be other thrones for the martyrs of Jesus, and true professors of his name, to sit upon as spectators, witnesses, and approvers of the solemn procedure, and shall reign with Christ a thousand years: likewise the number of the persons judged, as here, will be very great, even innumerable; all, both small and great, as to age or dignity, will stand before the Judge, to be judged by him, and receive their sentence from him; and there will be books for that purpose, as here, even the same, and particularly the book of life, in which, if a man's name is not written, he will be cast into the lake of fire; see Revelation 20:4, but in other things they differ; here the Judge is God the Father, the first Person in the Trinity, called the Ancient of days, distinguished from Christ, said to be like the Son of man; whereas the last and future judgment will be committed to the Son of God, the second Person, who is ordained Judge of quick and dead; and who will come a second time to judge the world in righteousness; and, though the description of the Ancient of days will agree well enough with him, he having the same glorious perfections his Father has, which qualify him for a Judge; see Revelation 1:14, yet it is certain not he, but his divine Father, is intended: nor in the account of the future judgment is there any mention of "a fiery stream" issuing forth before him, as here, for the burning of the body of the beast; unless the lake of fire may be thought to answer to it, into which will be cast all such who have no part in the Lamb, nor a name in his book of life: however, the accounts of both are very awful and striking; and this may be considered as a type, example, presage, and pledge, of the future judgment; this will be at the beginning of the spiritual reign of Christ, when antichrist will be destroyed with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming; the judgment of the saints will be at the beginning of his personal reign, even of the quick and dead, those that will be found alive, and those that will be raised from the dead, at his appearing and kingdom; and the judgment of the wicked will be at the close of it, or at the end of the Millennium; see Revelation 20:5.

(s) "fluvius ignis", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand {u} times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the {x} books were opened.

(u) That is, an infinite number of angels, who were ready to execute his commandment.

(x) This is meant of the first coming of Christ, when the will of God was plainly revealed by his Gospel.

10. a stream of firefrom before him] For ‘from before,’ cf. Daniel 5:24; and on Daniel 6:10. Comp. also Revelation 1:14, ‘his eyes were as a flame of fire.’

thousand thousands] Cf. Deuteronomy 33:2, R.V. (if the existing Heb. text of line 4 is correct); also 1 Kings 22:19; Zechariah 14:5 end, R.V.; Enoch i. 9 (cited, with slight verbal differences [see Charles’ ed. p. 327], in Judges 14, 15 [for ‘saints’ in Daniel 7:14, A.V., see the note on Daniel 8:13]). The present passage is doubtless the source of Enoch xiv. 22 (cited on Daniel 7:9), xl. 1 (cited below, p. 106); cf. lx. 1, lxxi. 8, 13; and of Revelation 5:11.

ministered … stood] Better, were ministering … were standing, the tenses being as in Daniel 4:12.

stood before him] viz. in attendance: cf. for the idiom 1 Kings 10:8.

the judgement was set] i.e. (in accordance with the old English sense of the expression) was seated: the Aram. is lit. sat, ‘judgement’ being used here in a concrete sense for the judges; cf. LXX., Theod., τὸ κριτήριον ἐκάθισεν, Vulg. judicium sedit; and see Daniel 7:26, ‘shall sit’. The Almighty is represented as holding a court of judgement. For was set in this sense see in A.V., Matthew 5:1 (‘when he was set,’ i.e. was seated), Matthew 27:19; Hebrews 8:1 (R.V. sat down); Psalm 9:4 (P.B.V), ‘thou art set (i.e. hast seated thyself) in the throne that judgest right.’ W. A. Wright quotes, from an old writer, ‘When they were sette’ (viz. at table).

and the books were opened] the books in which the deeds of men are recorded—in particular the deeds of the four ‘beasts,’ representing the four empires. Cf. Revelation 20:12, ‘And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne; and books were opened; … and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works:’ also 2Es 6:20; Apoc. of Baruch xxiv. 1; Ascension of Isaiah (ed. Dillmann, 1877), ix. 22; Enoch xlvii. 3 (cited on p. 106), lxxxix. 70, 71, 76, 77, xc. 20, xcviii. 7, 8, civ. 7,—all passages speaking of the deeds of men being recorded in books, which are afterwards opened in heaven. See further Charles’s note on Enoch xlvii. 3; and comp. Abhoth ii. 1, ‘Know what is above thee, a seeing eye, and a hearing ear, and all thy deeds written in a book.’ The germ of the representation is to be found most probably in the figurative expressions in Isaiah 65:6 (‘Behold, it is written before me’: cf. Jeremiah 17:1); Malachi 3:16 (cf. Esther 6:1); Psalm 56:8.

Daniel 7:10The judgment on the horn speaking great things and on the other beasts, and the delivering of the kingdom to the Son of Man.

After Daniel had for a while contemplated the rising up of the little horn that appeared among the ten horns, the scene changed. There is a solemn sitting in judgment by God, and sentence is pronounced. Seats or chairs were placed. רמיו, activ. with an indefinite subject: they were thrown, i.e., they were placed in order quickly, or with a noise. Seats, not merely a throne for God the Judge, but a number of seats for the assembly sitting in judgment with God. That assembly consists neither of the elders of Israel (Rabb.), nor of glorified men (Hengstb. on Revelation 4:4), but of angels (Psalm 89:8), who are to be distinguished from the thousands and tens of thousands mentioned in Daniel 7:10; for these do not sit upon thrones, but stand before God as servants to fulfil His commands and execute His judgments. יומין עתּיק, one advanced in days, very old, is not the Eternal; for although God is meant, yet Daniel does not see the everlasting God, but an old man, or a man of grey hairs, in whose majestic from God makes Himself visible (cf. Ezekiel 1:26). When Daniel represents the true God as an aged man, he does so not in contrast with the recent gods of the heathen which Antiochus Epiphanes wished to introduce, or specially with reference to new gods, as Hitzig and Kran. suppose, by reference to Deuteronomy 32:17 and Jeremiah 23:23; for God is not called the old God, but appears only as an old man, because age inspires veneration and conveys the impression of majesty. This impression is heightened by the robe with which He is covered, and by the appearance of the hair of His head, and also by the flames of fire which are seen to go forth from His throne. His robe is white as snow, and the hair of His head is white like pure wool; cf. Revelation 1:14. Both are symbols of spotless purity and holiness. Flames of fire proceed from His throne as if it consisted of it, and the wheels of His throne scatter forth fire. One must not take the fire exclusively as a sign of punishment. Fire and the shining of fire are the constant phenomena of the manifestation of God in the world, as the earthly elements most fitting for the representation of the burning zeal with which the holy God not only punishes and destroys sinners, but also purifies and renders glorious His own people; see under Exodus 3:3. The fire-scattering wheels of the throne show the omnipresence of the divine throne of judgment, the going of the judgment of God over the whole earth (Kliefoth). The fire which engirds with flame the throne of God pours itself forth as a stream from God into the world, consuming all that is sinful and hostile to God in the world, and rendering the people and kingdom of God glorious. קדמוהי מן (from before Him) refers to God, and not to His throne. A thousand times a thousand and ten thousand times ten thousand are hyperbolical expressions for an innumerable company of angels, who as His servants stand around God; cf. Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalm 68:18. The Keri presents the Chaldaic form אלפין for the Hebraizing form of the text אלפים (thousands), and for רבון the Hebraizing form רבבן (myriads), often found in the Targg., to harmonize the plur. form with the singular רבּו going before.

Forthwith the judgment begins. יתב דּינא we translate, with most interpreters, the judgment sets itself. דּינא, judgment, abstr. pro concreto, as judicium in Cicero, Verr. 2. 18. This idea alone is admissible in Daniel 7:26, and here also it is more simple than that defended by Dathe and Kran.: "He" (i.e., the Ancient of days) "sets Himself for judgment," - which would form a pure tautology, since His placing Himself for judgment has been already (Daniel 7:9) mentioned, and nothing would be said regarding the object for which the throne was set. - "The books were opened." The actions of men are recorded in the books, according to which they are judged, some being ordained to eternal life and others condemned to eternal death; cf. Revelation 20:12, and the notes under Daniel 12:1. The horn speaking great things is first visited with the sentence of death.

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