Daniel 7:11
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
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(11) Because of . . .—The blasphemy uttered by the little horn was the cause of the judgment, and being such, it attracted Daniel’s attention. We might have expected that the crowning scene of this vision would have been the uprooting of the little horn and the complete destruction of it, but it appears that the blaspheming spirit with which it was inspired issued from the fourth monster, which “was slain and burned.”

Burning flame.—Such is the doctrine of final retribution, as revealed to Daniel. (Comp. Isaiah 66:24; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10.)

Daniel 7:11-12. I beheld then — Chaldee, חזה הוית, I was attentive, spectabam attentus, I beheld attentively, as Grotius renders it; because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake — See on Daniel 7:25. I was desirous of knowing, and looked carefully to see what would be the end of this matter, more particularly on account of the arrogant and boasting words which the horn spake. I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed — This signified, that no other earthly kingdom should succeed to this, but that when an entire end should be put to it, and the ten kingdoms included in it, then the kingdom of Christ should succeed, as is more fully set forth toward the end of this chapter. We may observe, that it is not only said of this fourth beast, that he was slain, but that his body was destroyed and given to the burning flame; that is, made entirely extinct, as every thing is that is burned in the fire; whereas it is said, concerning the rest of the beasts, that though they had their dominion taken away, their lives were prolonged for a season and time. Their bodies were not destroyed, as that of the fourth beast, but they were suffered to continue still in being; that is, other kingdoms of the same nature, though different in some particulars, succeeded to them. The destruction of the beast, it must be observed, will be the destruction of the horn also, and consequently the horn is a part of the fourth beast, or of the Roman empire.

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.I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake - I was attracted by these words - by their arrogance, and haughtiness, and pride; and I saw that it was on account of these mainly that the solemn judgment proceeded against the beast. The attitude of the seer here is this - he heard arrogant and proud words uttered by the "horn," and he waited in deep attention, and in earnest expectation, to learn what judgment would be pronounced. He had seen Daniel 7:8 that horn spring up and grow to great power, and utter great things; he had then seen, immediately on this, a solemn and sublime preparation for judgment, and he now waited anxiously to learn what sentence would be pronounced. The result is stated in the subsequent part of the verse.

I beheld - I continued beholding. This would seem to imply that it was not done at once, but that some time intervened.

Even until the beast was slain - The fourth beast: what had the ten horns, and on which the little horn had sprung up. This was the result of the judgment. It is evidently implied here that the beast was slain on account of the words uttered by the horn that sprang up, or that the pride and arrogance denoted by that symbol were the cause of the fact that the beast was put to death. It is not said by whom the beast would be slain; but the fair meaning is, that the procuring cause of that death would be the Divine judgment, on account of the pride and arrogancy of the "horn" that sprang up in the midst of the others. If the "beast" represents a mighty monarchy that would exist on the earth and the "little horn" a new power that would spring out of that, then the fulfillment is to be found in such a fact as this - that this power, so mighty and terrible formerly, and that crushed down the nations, would, under the Divine judgment, be ultimately destroyed, on account of the nature of the authority claimed. We are to look for the accomplishment of this in some such state of things as that of a new power springing out of an existing dominion, that the existing dominion still remains, but was so much controlled by the new power, that it would be necessary to destroy the former on account of the arrogance and pride of what sprang from it. In other words, the destruction of the kingdom represented by the fourth beast would be, as a Divine judgment, on account of the arrogancy of that represented by the little horn.

And his body destroyed - That is, there would be a destruction of the kingdom here represented as much as there would be of the beast if his body was destroyed. The power of that kingdom, as such, is to come to an end.

And given to the burning flame - Consumed. This would represent, in strong terms, that the power here symbolized by the beast would be utterly destroyed. It is not, however, necessary to suppose that this is to be the mode in which it would be done, or that it would be by fire. It is to be remembered that all this is symbol, and no one part of the symbol should be taken literally more than another, nor is it congruous to suppose there would be a literal consuming fire in the case anymore than that there would be literally a beast, or ten horns, or a little horn, The fair meaning is, that there would be as real a destruction as if it were accomplished by fire; or a destruction of which fire would be the proper emblem. The allusion is here, probably, to the fact that the dead bodies of animals were often consumed by fire.

11. Here is set forth the execution on earth of the judgment pronounced in the unseen heavenly court of judicature (Da 7:9, 10).

body … given to … flame—(Re 19:20).

This cannot but be meant of the ruin and judgment of antichrist, till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 Revelation 17:8 19:20 20:10.

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake,.... Or, "from the voice" (t); from the time it was heard, the prophet continued looking to see what would be the issue of all this; especially from the time he heard the little horn speak such blasphemous things against God, and Christ, and his people, which were so intolerable, that he concluded some notice would be taken of them in a way of correction and punishment; and the rather, when he saw the Judge appear with so much majesty and grandeur, and all things prepared for a judicial process:

I beheld even till the beast was slain; the fourth beast, the Roman monarchy, to which a period will be put, and be utterly abolished in every form and shape, and with it the little horn or Papacy; when the beast on which the whore of Rome sits and rules, and by whom she is supported, will go into perdition; and she herself shall be made desolate and naked, her flesh eaten, and she burned with fire by the ten horns, or kings, that shall rise up against her, being filled with hatred to her, Revelation 17:3,

and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame; when Rome with all its power and wealth shall cease, and be no more, the whole body of the antichristian states shall perish; the city of Rome shall be burnt with fire; the beast and false prophet shall be taken and cast into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone, Revelation 18:8.

(t) "a voce", Montanus, Cocceius; "ex quo coepit vox", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius; "ex quo audita fuit vox", Piscator.

I beheld then {y} because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

(y) Meaning that he was astonished when he saw these emperors in such dignity and pride, so suddenly destroyed at the coming of Christ, when this fourth monarchy was subject to men of other nations.

11. The beast representing the fourth empire is slain, and utterly destroyed, on account of the blasphemies of Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 7:8), the idea being that the guilt of the empire culminated in him. The writer thinks of empires only, not of individuals; and it is impossible to say what he pictured to himself as being the fate of the individuals of whom the fourth empire consisted.

I beheld, &c.] The second ‘I beheld’ is resumptive of the first, after the intervening clause introduced by because—a construction of which there are many examples in Hebrew (e.g. Leviticus 17:5; Jdg 11:31; Zechariah 8:23). I beheld till, as Daniel 7:9. The clause because, &c., though apparently giving the reason for ‘I beheld,’ gives in reality the reason for ‘the beast was slain,’ &c.

and his body destroyed] The empire being represented by an animal, its ‘body’ will correspond to the fabric, or political organization, of the State. This is to be utterly brought to an end.

and he was given to be burned with fire (R.V.)] lit. to the burning of fire (cf. Isaiah 64:11, lit. ‘has become for the burning of fire), i.e. to complete destruction. It is hardly likely that there is any allusion here to the torments of the wicked after death, for though in parts of Enoch, written probably within 50 years of Daniel (10:13, 21:7–10, 90:24–27), mention is made of a fiery place of punishment for wicked angels and men, had that been intended here it is probable that it would have been indicated more distinctly,—to say nothing of the fact that, as remarked just above, it is the fate of empires, not of individuals, that the writer has in view. Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10 are not sufficient proof that the author of Daniel had the idea here in his mind.

Verse 11. - I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. The Septuagint Version has been translated from the same text; but the word translated "because" is rendered τότε, "then," according to the usual meaning of the word. Theodotion has a doublet. The Peshitta is much briefer, "I saw that this beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was cast into the flame of fire." The voice of the great words; that is, blasphemies. The punishment of blasphemy among the Babylonians was burning. On account of the blasphemies of the little horn, the whole empire to which it belonged was destroyed. If we regard the fourth beast as Rome, and the little horn the imperial dignity, it was on account of its blasphemies that the empire really ceased. The blasphemous claim to divinity wrought madness in the minds of such youths as Caligula, Nero, Commodus, Caracalla, and Heliogabalus. The process might be a slow one. God had his purpose in the history of the race to work out by the Roman Empire; yet it was none the less the madness of the emperors that brought the empire down. The way the provinces were harried by barbarians East and West could well be described as burning the body of it with fire. Daniel 7:11The construction of this verse is disputed. The second הוית חזה (I was seeing) repeats the first for the purpose of carrying on the line of thought broken by the interposed sentence. בּאדין (then) is separated by the accents from the first הוית חזה and joined to the clause following: "then on account of the voice of the great words." By this interposed sentence the occasion of the judgment which Daniel sees passed upon the beast is once more brought to view. קל מן, "on account of the voice of the words," i.e., on account of the loud words, not "from the time of the words, or from the time when the voice of the great words made itself heard" (Klief.). The following expression, דּי עד (till that), does not by any means require the temporal conception מן. To specify the terminus a quo of the vision was as little necessary here as in the דּי עד הוית חזה, Daniel 7:9. The temporal conception of מן alters not only the parallelism of the passage Daniel 7:9 and Daniel 7:11, but also the course of thought in the representation, according to which Daniel remains overwhelmed during the vision till all the separate parts of it have passed before his view, i.e., till he has seen the close of the judgment. The first part of this scene consists of the constituting of the judgment (Daniel 7:9, Daniel 7:10), the second of the death and extinction of the horn speaking great things (Daniel 7:11), with which is connected (Daniel 7:12) the mention of the destruction of the dominion of the other beasts. If one considers that the words "I beheld till that" correspond with the like expression in Daniel 7:9, he will not seek, with Kran., in the דּי עד a reference to a lasting process of judicial execution ending with destruction. The thought is simply this: Daniel remained contemplating the vision till the beast was slain, etc. חיותא (the beast) is, by virtue of the explanatory sentence interposed in the first hemistich, the horn speaking great things. The ungodly power of the fourth beast reaches its climax in the blaspheming horn; in this horn, therefore, the beast is slain and destroyed, while its body is given to the burning. אשּׁא ליקדת (to the burning fire) corresponds with the Hebr. אשׁ לשׂרפת, Isaiah 64:10. The burning in the fire is not the mere figure of destruction, specially justified by the thunder-storm which gathered as a veil around the scene of judgment (Kran.), for there is no mention of a storm either in Daniel 7:9 or anywhere else in this entire vision. The supposition that the burning is only the figure of destruction, as e.g., in Isaiah 9:4, is decidedly opposed by the parallel passages, Isaiah 66:14, which Daniel had in view, and Revelation 19:20 and Revelation 20:10, where this prophecy is again taken up, and the judgment is expressed by a being cast into a like of fire with everlasting torment; so that v. Lengerke is right when he remarks that this passage speaks of the fiery torments of the wicked after death, and thus that a state of retribution after death is indicated.
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