Daniel 8:16
And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Between the . . . Ulai.—The city, as it would appear, stood between the two branches of the river. The two branches were the Eulæus and the Choaspes.

8:15-27 The eternal Son of God stood before the prophet in the appearance of a man, and directed the angel Gabriel to explain the vision. Daniel's fainting and astonishment at the prospect of evils he saw coming on his people and the church, confirm the opinion that long-continued calamities were foretold. The vision being ended, a charge was given to Daniel to keep it private for the present. He kept it to himself, and went on to do the duty of his place. As long as we live in this world we must have something to do in it; and even those whom God has most honoured, must not think themselves above their business. Nor must the pleasure of communion with God take us from the duties of our callings, but we must in them abide with God. All who are intrusted with public business must discharge their trust uprightly; and, amidst all doubts and discouragements, they may, if true believers, look forward to a happy issue. Thus should we endeavour to compose our minds for attending to the duties to which each is appointed, in the church and in the world.And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai - See the notes at Daniel 8:2. The voice seemed to come from the river, as if it were that of the Genius of the river, and to address Gabriel, who stood near to Daniel on the shore. This was doubtless the voice of God. The speaker was invisible, and this method of explaining the vision was adopted, probably to make the whole scene more impressive.

Which called, and said, Gabriel - Gabriel is mentioned in the Scriptures only in Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21; Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26. In Luke 1:19, he is mentioned as saying of himself, "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God." The word means, properly, "man of God." Nothing more is known of him, and he is mentioned only as bearing messages to Daniel, to Zacharias the father of John the Baptist, and to Mary.

Make this man to understand the vision - Explain it to him so that he will under stand its meaning.

16. Gabriel—meaning, "the strength of God." A man’s voice, i.e. of him but now before mentioned, namely, Christ.

To understand the vision, i.e. by declaring it more plainly to him: this shows Christ to be God, in commanding and sending his angel. Gabriel signifies the strength of God. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai,.... Near to which Daniel was, Daniel 8:2 and it seemed to him as if the appearance of the man was in the midst of the river, between the banks of it, from whence the voice came; or between the arms of it, it bending and winding about; or rather between Shushan and the river; or between the prophet and that: this voice was the voice of the person that appeared as a man in the preceding verse:

which called, and said, Gabriel; the voice was loud, audible, and commanding; even to an angel, one of great note, Gabriel, the man of God, the mighty one; and shows, that the person that made this appearance, and spoke in this authoritative way, was the Lord, and head of angels, even of all principalities and power, at whose beck and command they are:

make this man to understand the vision; the above vision of the ram, he goat, and little horn; give him a full explanation of it; tell him what the several figures mean, represented in it; that he may have a clear understanding of all things contained in it; the saints and people of God are sometimes instructed by angels, and particularly the prophets of old were; and which was more common in the times of the former dispensation than now; for God has not put in subjection to angels the world to come, or the Gospel dispensation, Hebrews 2:5.

And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, {c} make this man to understand the vision.

(c) This power to command the angel, declared that he was God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. between Ulai] This singular expression can, it seems, mean only ‘between (the banks of) Ulai’ (Daniel 8:2): the voice seemed to come to Daniel from above the waters of the river (cf. Daniel 12:6-7).

Gabriel] mentioned also in Daniel 9:21 as explaining to Daniel Jeremiah’s prophecy of the 70 years, and in Luke 1:19; Luke 1:26, as foretelling the birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias, and acting as the angel of the Annunciation to Mary. Gabriel is also often mentioned in non-canonical Jewish writings. In Enoch ix. 1 and xx. 7, he is one of the four (or seven) principal angels or ‘archangels’ (see their names on Daniel 10:13); in xl. 3–7, 9, he is one of the four ‘presences’ (Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Phanuel; so liv. 6, lxxi. 8, 9, 13), who bless, or make intercession, or ward off the accusing ‘Satans,’ before God (comp. Luke 1:19, ‘I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God’); in Daniel 10:9 he is commissioned to destroy the wicked giants. Gabriel is also mentioned not unfrequently in the later (post-Christian) Jewish literature (Weber, System der altsynag. Theologie, pp. 162, 163–4, 167–8, 306): so, for instance, in the Targ. of Pseudo-Jon. on Genesis 37:15, he is the ‘man’ who shews Joseph the way to his brethren, and in the Targ. on Job 25:2 he is said to stand on God’s left hand, while Michael is at His right. See, further, on Daniel 10:13.Verse 16. - And I heard a man's voice between the hanks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. The Septuagint has an addition, "And the man called out, saying, To that purpose is the vision." This seems to be a gloss. Theodotion and the Peshita agree with the Massoretic, only that Theodotion does not indicate the difference of the word used for "man" in this verse from that in ver 15, and renders Ulai "Oubeh" "Between Ulai" is a singular phrase. The versions do not attempt any solution. The preposition bayin means usually "between." If we assume that the river Ulai is here meant, and that it divided into two branches, the thing is explicable. Only it would have been more in accordance with usage to have put "Ulai" in the plural. It may, perhaps refer to the marsh, in which case it might be between the citadel and the marsh. Daniel had seen the appearance of a man; now he hears a voice addressing the man, and naming him Gabriel, "Hero of God." It is to be noted that this is the earliest instance of the naming of angels in Scripture. In the tenth chapter Michael is also named. These are the only angelic names in the whole of Scripture. These two names, and these alone, recur in the New Testament, the first of them in the first chapter of Luke, and the second in Revelation 12:7 and Jude. The Book of Tobit added another angelic name on the same lines, Raphael. When we pass to the Books of Enoch, we have moat elaborate hierarchies of angels, in all of which, however much they may otherwise differ, occur the two angels mentioned here and Raphael. The difference in atmosphere between the elaborate angelology of Enoch and the reticent accounts in the book before us is great. It is hardly possible to imagine so great a difference between the works of men that were all but contemporaries. The function assigned to Gabriel here is in accordance with that he fulfils in the New Testament - he is to make Daniel "understand the vision." דּי מן (because that), a further explanatory expression added to דּנה כּל־קבל (wholly for this cause): because the word of the king was sharp, and in consequence of it (ו), the furnace was heated beyond measure for that reason. The words אלּך גּבריּא (these mighty men) stand here in the status absol., and are again taken up in the pronoun המּון after the verb קטּל. If the three were brought up to the furnace, it must have had a mouth above, through which the victims could be cast into it. When heated to an ordinary degree, this could be done without danger to the men who performed this service; but in the present case the heat of the fire was so great, that the servants themselves perished by it. This circumstance also is mentioned to show the greatness of the miracle by which the three were preserved unhurt in the midst of the furnace. The same thing is intended by the repetition of the word מכפּתין, bound, Daniel 3:23, which, moreover, is purposely placed at the close of the passage to prepare for the contrast שׁרין, at liberty, free from the bonds, Daniel 3:25.

(Note: Between Daniel 3:23 and Daniel 3:24 the lxx have introduced the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the three men in the fiery furnace; and these two hymns are connected together by a narrative which explains the death of the Chaldeans who threw the three into the furnace, and the miracle of the deliverance of Daniel's friends. Regarding the apocryphal origin of these additions, composed in the Greek language, which Luther in his translation has rightly placed in the Apocrypha, see my Lehr. der Einl. in d. A. Test. 251.)

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