Daniel 8:17
So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
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(17) The time of the end—i.e., either at the final period of earthly history, or at the time which lies at the limit of the prophetic horizon. St. Jerome observes that what happened in the times of Antiochus was typical of what shall be fulfilled hereafter in Antichrist.

Daniel 8:17. So he came near where I stood — That he might speak more familiarly with him. And when he came, I was afraid — This fear was probably occasioned by the effulgent brightness of the heavenly messenger, which quite amazed Daniel upon his drawing near to him. And I fell upon my face — Not to worship the angel, but because he could not bear the lustre of his glory. But he said unto me, Understand, O son of man — We find this is a title given to none of the prophets but Ezekiel and Daniel, who had more frequent converse with angels than any of the rest: and it is given to the prophet here, either to put him in mind that he was but flesh and blood, that he might not be exalted for having these heavenly visions imparted to him; or else it was used as a mark of honour, implying that he was something more than an ordinary man, even one highly favoured and beloved of God. For at the time, or, to the time, of the end shall be the vision — That is, there is a precise time determined for the accomplishment of the vision, when it shall certainly be fulfilled. Or the meaning may be, that the fulfilling of the vision should not come to pass for a considerable space of time; that it was concerning matters at a distance, namely, at the distance of almost four hundred years. 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.So he came near where I stood - He had seen him, evidently, at first in the distance. He now drew near to Daniel, that he might communicate with him the more readily.

And when, he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face - Doubtless perceiving that he was a celestial being. See the notes at Revelation 1:17. Compare Ezekiel 1:28, and Daniel 10:8-9. He was completely overpowered by the presence of the celestial stranger, and sank to the ground.

But he said unto me, Understand, O son of man - Give attention, that you may understand the vision. On the phrase "son of man," see the notes at Daniel 7:13. It is here simply an address to him as a man.

For at the time of the end shall be the vision - The design of this expression is undoubtedly to cheer and comfort the prophet with some assurance of what was to occur in future times. In what way this was done, or what was the precise idea indicated by these words, interpreters have not been agreed. Maurer explains it, "for this vision looks to the last time; that is, the time which would immediately precede the coming of the Messiah, which would be a time of calamity, in which the guilt of the wicked would be punished, and the virtue of the saints would be tried, to wit, the time of Antiochus Epiphanes." Lengerke supposes that the end of the existing calamities - the sufferings of the Jews - is referred to; and that the meaning is, that in the time of the Messiah, to which the vision is extended, there would be an end of their sufferings and trials. The design of the angel, says he, is to support and comfort the troubled seer, as if he should not be anxious that these troubles were to occur, since they would have an end, or, as Michaelis observes, that the seer should not suppose that the calamities indicated by the vision would have no end.

Perhaps the meaning may be this: "The vision is for the time of the end;" that is, it has respect to the closing period of the world, under which the Messiah is to come, and necessarily precedes that, and leads on to that. It pertains to a series of events which are to introduce the latter times, when the kingdom of God shall be set up on the earth. In justification of this view of the passage, it may be remarked that this is not only the most obvious view, but is sustained by all those passages which speak of the coming of the Messiah as "the end," the "last days," etc. Thus 1 Corinthians 10:11 : "upon whom the ends of the world are come." Compare the notes at Isaiah 2:2. According to this interpretation, the meaning is, "the vision pertains to the end, or the closing dispensation of things;" that is, it has a bearing on the period when the end will come, or will introduce that period. It looks on to future times, even to those times, though now remote (compare Daniel 8:26), when a new order of things will exist, under which the affairs of the world will be wound up. Compare the notes at Hebrews 1:2.

17. the time of the end—so Da 8:19; Da 11:35, 36, 40. The event being to take place at "the time of the end" makes it likely that the Antichrist ultimately referred to (besides the immediate reference to Antiochus) in this chapter, and the one in Da 7:8, are one and the same. The objection that the one in the seventh chapter springs out of the ten divisions of the Roman earth, the fourth kingdom, the one in the eighth chapter and the eleventh chapter from one of the four divisions of the third kingdom, Greece, is answered thus: The four divisions of the Grecian empire, having become parts of the Roman empire, shall at the end form four of its ten final divisions [Tregelles]. However, the origin from one of the four parts of the third kingdom may be limited to Antiochus, the immediate subject of the eighth and eleventh chapter, while the ulterior typical reference of these chapters (namely, Antichrist) may belong to one of the ten Roman divisions, not necessarily one formerly of the four of the third kingdom. The event will tell. "Time of the end" may apply to the time of Antiochus. For it is the prophetic phrase for the time of fulfilment, seen always at the end of the prophetic horizon (Ge 49:1; Nu 24:14). He came near, that he might speak more familiarly to him, yet Daniel could not bear the glory of it, Matthew 17:6. How much less can we bear the glory of God! and how graciously hath the Lord dealt with us to teach us by men, and not by angels! and how vain are they who aspire to a converse with angels here on earth!

O son of man: he calls him son of man, to make him mind his frailty, and not to be lifted up with visions, and this great condescension and familiarity of Heaven with him.

At the time of the end, i.e. in God’s appointed time, i.e. in the latter generations, but not now in thy lifetime, but about four hundred years hence. See Daniel 8:26. So he came near where I stood,.... The angel immediately obeyed the divine Person in human form, and came near the prophet, in order to instruct him, and carry on a familiar conversation with him:

and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face; not being able to bear the glory that attended him; and especially when he considered him as the messenger of a divine Person sent to instruct him, and being conscious of his own frailty and weakness:

but he said unto me, understand, O son of man: give attention in order to understand the vision, which the angel, by a divine command, was about to give him the full meaning of; and which he could not so well attend unto in his present circumstance and posture; and therefore suggests he should shake off his fear, and stand on his feet, and listen to what he was about to say: he calls him "son of man", a title only given to him and Ezekiel; and so may be considered as a mark of honour and respect, as being one greatly beloved and honoured by the Lord; or to express his tender regard to him, and accommodating himself to him, considering he was a frail mortal man; or to put him in mind that he should so consider himself, though now among angels, and favoured with revelations of secrets, that so he might not be exalted with them above measure:

for at the time of the end shall be the vision; or rather, "for a time is the end of the vision" (l); there is a set, fixed, and determined time, when the vision shall end, and have its full accomplishment; namely, when the 2300 days are expired.

(l) "ad tempus, finis visionis", Munster, Montanus, Calvin.

So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for {d} at the time of the end shall be the vision.

(d) The effect of this vision will not yet appear, until a long time after.

17. afraid] affrighted (R.V.), as Isaiah 21:4, A.V. (Job 7:14 al. ‘terrify’): ‘afraid’ is not strong enough. At the approach of the celestial being Daniel is terrified.

fell upon my face] a mark of awe or respect (Genesis 17:3; Jdg 13:20; Ruth 2:10, al.); cf. in the visions of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 3:23; Ezekiel 9:8; Ezekiel 11:13; Ezekiel 43:3; Ezekiel 44:4.

Song of Solomon of man] Borrowed, no doubt, from the book of Ezekiel, where it is the standing title by which the prophet is addressed (Daniel 2:1; Daniel 2:3; Daniel 2:6; Daniel 2:8, Daniel 3:1; Daniel 3:3-4; Daniel 3:10; Daniel 3:17; Daniel 3:25, &c.—more than a hundred times altogether).

for the vision belongeth to the time of the end] and therefore deserves attention. The ‘time of the end’ is a standing expression in Daniel (Daniel 11:35; Daniel 11:40, Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9; cf. ‘the appointed-time [מועד] of the end’ Daniel 8:19, and ‘the end’ Daniel 9:26 b), and means (spoken from Daniel’s standpoint) the period of Antiochus’s persecution, together with the short interval, consisting of a few months, which followed before his death (Daniel 11:35; Daniel 11:40), that being, in the view of the author, the ‘end’ of the present condition of things, and the divine kingdom (Daniel 7:14; Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:22; Daniel 7:27, Daniel 12:2-3) being established immediately afterwards. This sense of ‘end’ is based probably upon the use of the word in Amos 8:2, Ezekiel 7:2, ‘an end is come, the end is come upon the four corners of the land,’ 3, 6: cf. also ‘in the time of the iniquity of the end,’ Ezekiel 21:25; Ezekiel 21:29; Ezekiel 35:5; and Habakkuk 2:3, ‘For the vision is yet for the appointed-time [has reference to the time of its destined fulfilment], and it hasteth toward the end.’Verse 17. - So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. The versions are here in close agreement with the Massoretic text. On Gabriel's approach Daniel fell on his face, overwhelmed at contact with the spiritual. It is mentioned as if this were the natural result of such an interview as that vouchsafed to Daniel. At first sight this contradicts Daniel 7:16, where Daniel interrogates one of the angelic bystanders. In the first place, Daniel 7:15 shows that Daniel had been grieved and disturbed before he ventured on the question; and, next, Gabriel was one of the great angels that stood before God. Gabriel addressed Daniel by the title so often given to Ezekiel, "son of man," ben-adam. Professor Fuller, and also Kranichfeld, remark on the contrast between Gabriel, "Hero of God," and ben-adam, "son of man" The time of the end does not mean the end of the world, or of the appearance of the Messiah, for in this vision there is no reference to either of these. It is rather to be rendered, after the analogy of Jeremiah 50:26, where miqqetz means "from the utmost border," and reaches to a far-off time. 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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