Daniel 7:18
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
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7:15-28 It is desirable to obtain the right and full sense of what we see and hear from God; and those that would know, must ask by faithful and fervent prayer. The angel told Daniel plainly. He especially desired to know respecting the little horn, which made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. Here is foretold the rage of papal Rome against true Christians. St. John, in his visions and prophecies, which point in the first place at Rome, has plain reference to these visions. Daniel had a joyful prospect of the prevalence of God's kingdom among men. This refers to the second coming of our blessed Lord, when the saints shall triumph in the complete fall of Satan's kingdom. The saints of the Most High shall possess the kingdom for ever. Far be it from us to infer from hence, that dominion is founded on grace. It promises that the gospel kingdom shall be set up; a kingdom of light, holiness, and love; a kingdom of grace, the privileges and comforts of which shall be the earnest and first-fruits of the kingdom of glory. But the full accomplishment will be in the everlasting happiness of the saints, the kingdom that cannot be moved. The gathering together the whole family of God will be a blessedness of Christ's coming.But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom - That is, they shall ultimately take possession of the rule over all the world, and shall control it from that time onward to the end. This is the grand thing which the vision is designed to disclose, and on this it was evidently the intention to fix the mind. Everything before was preparatory and subordinate to this, and to this all things tended. The phrase rendered the Most High - in the margin "high ones, i. e., things or places" - עליונין ‛eleyônı̂yn - is in the plural number, and means literally high ones; but there can be no doubt that it refers here to God, and is given to Him as the word אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym is (Genesis 1:1, et saepe), to denote majesty or honor - pluralis excellentice. The word rendered saints means the holy, and the reference is undoubtedly to the people of God on the earth, meaning here that they would take possession of the kingdom, or that they would rule. When true religion shall everywhere prevail, and when all offices shall be in the hands of good men - of men that fear God and that keep his commandments - instead of being in the hands of bad men, as they generally have been, then this prediction will be accomplished in respect to all that is fairly implied in it.

And possess the kingdom for ever, even forever and ever - This is a strong and emphatic declaration, affirming that this dominion will be perpetual. It will not pass away, like the other kingdoms, to be succeeded by another one. What is here affirmed, as above remarked, will be true if such a reign should continue on earth to the winding up of all things, and should then be succeeded by an eternal reign of holiness in the heavens. It is not necessary to interpret this as meaning that there would be literally an eternal kingdom on this earth, for it is everywhere taught in the Scriptures that the present order of things will come to a close. But it does seem necessary to understand this as teaching that there will be a state of prevalent righteousness on the earth hereafter, and that when that is introduced it will continue to the end of time.

18. the Most High—the emphatic title of God in this prophecy, who delegates His power first to Israel; then to the Gentiles (Da 2:37, 38) when Israel fails to realize the idea of the theocracy; lastly, to Messiah, who shall rule truly for God, taking it from the Gentile world powers, whose history is one of continual degeneracy culminating in the last of the kings, Antichrist. Here, in the interpretation, "the saints," but in the vision (Da 7:13, 14), "the Son of man," takes the kingdom; for Christ and His people are one in suffering, and one in glory. Tregelles translates, "most high places" (Eph 1:3; 2:6). Though oppressed by the beast and little horn, they belong not to the earth from which the four beasts arise, but to the most high places. Jesus Christ being their King, they shall reign with him, Revelation 1:6 20:4, and possess the kingdom for ever, Matthew 19:28 1 Corinthians 1:9 6:3 1 Peter 2:9 Revelation 5:10. This shall be for ever, because Christ’s kingdom is the last kingdom, never any shall succeed after that. But the saints of the most High,.... Or, "of the most high Ones" (d), Father, Son, and Spirit, separated by God the Father in election, and in that sense his servants, or sanctified ones, Jde 1:1, and redeemed by the Son, and sanctified with his blood, or their sins atoned by it, and to whom he is made sanctification, and so his saints, Hebrews 13:12 and sanctified by the Spirit, who in conversion implants principles of grace and holiness in them, 1 Corinthians 6:11, or, "the saints of high" (e), places or things; who are born from above, and are called with a high and heavenly calling, towards which they are pressing, reckoning themselves strangers here below:

these shall take the kingdom; or "receive" (f) it, as a free gift from God; and not by force, and rapine, and violence, as the beasts did:

and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever; after the four monarchies are destroyed, a fifth kingdom shall be set up; and this will be given to, and put into the possession of, the saints; they shall have the rule and government in the world, even in the whole world, as well as reign with Christ spiritually; which manner of rule shall last long; and then after the first resurrection they shall reign with him a thousand years on earth, and afterwards in heaven to all eternity. There is another rendering and sense of the words given, "and they (the beasts) shall receive the kingdom of the saints of the most High" (g), &c.; and so Saadiah interprets them,

"and these kingdoms shall receive the kingdom of Israel, who are the saints of the most High, until the world to come, until the Messiah reigns;''

and this way go many others, who understand the words of those several monarchies possessing the land of Judea, and ruling over it; and of the continuance of it in the hands of Papists or Turks for a long, time, even until the glorious kingdom of Christ takes place; but this does not agree with the accentuation of the words, their form of construction, their connection, and strong manner of expression, "for ever and ever"; and especially if compared with Daniel 7:22.

(d) "sanctorum altissimorum", Pagninus, Montanus; "sanctorum excelsorum", Junius & Tremellius. (e) "Sancti exceisoram, sel locorum", Piscator. (f) "accipient", Munster, Piscator, Tigurine version. (g) "Suscipient regnum sanctorum", Pagninus, Montanus; "sortientur, vel obtienebunt regnum", Calvin; so Polanus, Sanctius.

But the saints of the {f} most High shall take the {g} kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

(f) That is, of the most high things, because God has chosen them out of this world, that they should look up to the heavens, upon which all their hope depends.

(g) Because Abraham was appointed heir of all the world, Ro 4:13, and in him all the faithful, therefore the kingdom of him is theirs by right, which these four beasts or tyrants would invade, and usurp until the world were restored by Christ. And this was to strengthen and encourage those that were in troubles, that their afflictions would eventually have an end.

18. The four kingdoms of the Gentiles will pass away; and be succeeded by the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, which will endure for ever. The saints of the Most High seem here, as also in Daniel 7:22; Daniel 7:27, to take the place of the ‘one like unto a son of man’ in Daniel 7:13, and to receive the same never-ending dominion.

the saints] lit. the holy ones; so Daniel 7:21-22; Daniel 7:25; Daniel 7:27; Daniel 8:24 (cp. Daniel 12:7). Cf. Psalm 16:3; Psalm 34:9. (The word is entirely different from the one (ḥasid) rendered ‘saints’ everywhere else in the Psalms, as Psalm 30:4; Psalm 31:23; Psalm 37:28, &c., and in 1 Samuel 2:9 [A.V.]; 2 Chronicles 6:41, Proverbs 2:8.) The term, in this application, is an extension of the use of the word ‘holy’ to denote Israel in its ideal character (Exodus 19:6; Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7; Leviticus 20:26; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 14:21; Deuteronomy 33:3 and elsewhere).

the Most High] See on Daniel 3:26. The Hebraizing (and plural) form found here (עליונין) recurs Daniel 7:22; Daniel 7:25 (second time), 27. The plural is probably the so-called ‘plural of majesty,’ which we have, for instance, in the Heb. of ‘holy’ in Joshua 24:19, and Proverbs 9:10.

shall receive (Daniel 5:31) the kingdom] They will not establish it by their own power (cf. Daniel 7:27 ‘shall be given, &c.).

and possess the kingdom for ever, &c.] Cf. Daniel 7:14 b.The מטּוּרא before אתגּזרת, which is wanting in Daniel 2:34, and without doubt is here used significantly, is to be observed, as in Daniel 2:42 "the toes of the feet," which in Daniel 2:33 were also not mentioned. As it is evident that a stone, in order to its rolling without the movement of the human hand, must be set free from a mountain, so in the express mention of the mountain there can be only a reference to Mount Zion, where the God of heaven has founded His kingdom, which shall from thence spread out over the earth and shall destroy all the world-kingdoms. Cf. Psalm 50:2; Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2.

The first half of the 45th verse (down to ודהבּא) gives the confirmation of that which Daniel in Daniel 2:44 said to the king regarding the setting up and the continuance of the kingdom of God, and essentially belongs to this verse. On the other hand, Hitz. (and Kran. follows him) wishes to unite this confirmatory passage with the following: "because thou hast been that the stone, setting itself free from the mountain, breaks in pieces the iron, etc., thus has God permitted thee a glimpse behind the veil that hides the future," - in order that he may conclude from it that the writer, since he notes only the vision of the stone setting itself free as an announcement of the future, betrayed his real standpoint, i.e., the standpoint of the Maccabean Jew, for whom only this last catastrophe was as yet future, while all the rest was already past. This conclusion Kran. has rejected, but with the untenable argument that the expression, "what shall come to pass hereafter," is to be taken in agreement with the words, "what should come to pass," Daniel 2:29, which occur at the beginning of the address. Though this may in itself be right, yet it cannot be maintained if the passage Daniel 2:45 forms the antecedent to Daniel 2:45. In this case דּנה (this), in the phrase "after this" ( equals hereafter, Daniel 2:45), can be referred only to the setting loose of the stone. But the reasons which Hitz. adduces for the uniting together of the passages as adopted by him are without any importance. Why the long combined passage cannot suitably conclude with ורהבּא there is no reason which can be understood; and that it does not round itself is also no proof, but merely a matter of taste, the baselessness of which is evident from Daniel 2:10, where an altogether similar long passage, beginning with דּי כּל־קבל (forasmuch as), ends in a similar manner, without formally rounding itself off. The further remark also, that the following new passage could not so unconnectedly and baldly begin with רב אלהּ, is no proof, but a mere assertion, which is set aside as groundless by many passages in Daniel where the connection is wanting; cf. e.g., Daniel 4:16, Daniel 4:27>. The want of the copula before this passage is to be explained on the same ground on which Daniel uses רב אלהּ (stat. absol., i.e., without the article) instead of אלהא רבּא, Ezra 5:8. For that רב אלהּ means, not "a (undefined) great God," but the great God in heaven, whom Daniel had already (Daniel 2:28) announced to the king as the revealer of secrets, is obvious. Kran. has rightly remarked, that רב אלהּ may stand "in elevated discourse without the article, instead of the prosaic אלה רב, Ezra 5:8." The elevated discourse has occasioned also the absence of the copula, which will not be missed if one only takes a pause at the end of the interpretation, after which Daniel then in conclusion further says to the king, "The great God has showed to the king what will be hereafter." דּנה אחרי, after this which is now, does not mean "at some future time" (Hitz.), but after that which is at present, and it embraces the future denoted in the dream, from the time of Nebuchadnezzar till the setting up of the kingdom of God in the time of the Messiah.

Daniel 2:45

The word with which Daniel concludes his address, יצּיב, firm, sure, is the dream, and certain its interpretation, is not intended to assure the king of the truth of the dream, because the particulars of the dream had escaped him, and to certify to him the correctness of the interpretation (Kran.), but the importance of the dream should put him in mind to lay the matter to heart, and give honour to God who imparted to him these revelations; but at the same time also the word assures the readers of the book of the certainty of the fulfilment, since it lay far remote, and the visible course of things in the present and in the proximate future gave no indication or only a very faint prospect of the fulfilment. For other such assurances see Daniel 8:26; Daniel 10:21, Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6.

We shall defer a fuller consideration of the fulfilment of this dream or the historical references of the four world-kingdoms, in order to avoid repetition, till we have expounded the vision which Daniel received regarding it in Daniel 7.

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