Daniel 8:18
Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
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(18) A deep sleep.—On the effects of heavenly visions upon those who beheld them, see Genesis 16:13, Exodus 33:20, &c.

Daniel 8:18-19. Now as he was speaking, I was in a deep sleep — I was as one that faints away, and falls into a swoon through fear and astonishment. But he touched me, and set me upright — By only a touch of him my strength revived, and I came to myself. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know — I will inform thee, and give thee to understand, what shall be in the last end, or, to the last end, of the indignation — I will acquaint thee with the whole series of God’s judgments upon his people, to the end and conclusion of them. “The prophet had doubtless a regard to the captivity in the first place; and therefore, beginning from this, the angel hints at a sort of epitome of the evils which would fall upon the posterity of God’s chosen people, till their iniquity was taken away, and their sin purged, when the indignation would be overpast, Isaiah 26:20.” — Wintle.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.Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground - Overcome and prostrate with the vision. That is, he had sunk down stupified or senseless. See Daniel 10:9. His strength had been entirely taken away by the vision. There is nothing improbable in this, that the sudden appearance of a celestial vision, or a heavenly being, should take away the strength. Compare Genesis 15:12; Job 4:13, following; Judges 6:22; Judges 13:20, Judges 13:22; Isaiah 6:5; Luke 1:12, Luke 1:29; Luke 2:9; Acts 9:3, Acts 9:8. "But he touched me, and set me upright." Margin, as in Hebrew, "made me stand upon my standing." He raised me up on my feet. So the Saviour addressed Saul of Tarsus, when he had been suddenly smitten to the earth, by his appearing to him on the way to Damascus: "Rise, and stand upon thy feet," etc., Acts 26:16. 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). In a deep sleep on my face toward the ground; being terrified and astonished with the splendour and grandeur both of the messenger and message; by the sight and by the voice. Set me upright, by one touch only. The power of spirits is incomparably greater than the strongest of men. Carnal, and flesh and blood, in Scripture signifies weak, 2 Corinthians 10:3,4. Now as he was speaking with me,.... Addressing him in the above manner:

I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground; through fear he fell prostrate to the ground, and swooned away, which issued in a deep sleep; and so was unfit to attend to the explanation of the vision the angel was sent to give him; and which was not through indifference to it, or neglect of it; but through human weakness, his nature not being able to bear up under such circumstances, which struck him with such fear and dread:

but he touched me, and set me upright; he jogged him out of his sleep, and took him, and raised him up, and set him on his feet; or, "on his standing" (m); which Ben Melech explains, as he "was standing at first"; and so in a better posture to attend to what was about to be revealed unto him.

(m) "super stare meum", Montanus, Gejerus; "super stationem meam", Michaelis.

Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
18. I fell into a dead sleep] Daniel was alarmed when the angel approached (Daniel 8:17): when he spoke to him, he fell paralysed and motionless—or, as we might say (in a figurative sense), stunned—upon his face (cf. the similar passage, Daniel 10:9). The word is used of a deep sleep, Jdg 4:21; Psalm 76:6 (here of the sleep of death): cf. the corresponding subst., Genesis 2:21; Genesis 15:12; 1 Samuel 26:12; Isaiah 29:10 (here fig. of insensibility).

set me upright] lit. made me stand upon my standing (cf. Daniel 8:17 Heb.), a late Heb. idiom for in my place, where I had stood (R.V. marg.), 2 Chronicles 30:16; 2 Chronicles 34:31, Nehemiah 13:11, al.: in the same application as here, Daniel 10:11. For the fear occasioned by a vision, and the restoration by an angelic touch, cf. Daniel 10:8; Daniel 10:10; Daniel 10:16; Daniel 10:18; Enoch lx. 3, 4; 2Es 5:14-15.Verse 18. - Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. The LXX. joins the opening words of the next verse to this. I was in a deep sleep suggests the case of the three apostles, Peter, James, and John, on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:82). The numbing effect of the presence of the supernatural produces a state analogous to sleep, yet "the eyes are open" (Numbers 24:4) the senses are ready to convey impressions to the mind. The angel, however, touched Daniel, and set him upright. The king, who sat watching the issue of the matter, looked through the door into the furnace, and observed that the three who had been cast into it bound, walked about freed from their bonds and unhurt; and, in truth, he saw not the three only, but also a fourth, "like to a son of the gods," beside them. At this sight he was astonished and terrified. He hastily stood up; and having assured himself by a consultation with his counsellors that three men had indeed been cast bound into the furnace, while he saw four walking in the midst of it, he approached the mouth of the furnace and cried to the three to come forth. They immediately came out, and were inspected by the assembled officers of state, and found to be wholly uninjured as to their bodies, their clothes being unharmed also, and without even the smell of fire upon them. הדּברין refers, without doubt, to the officers of the kingdom, ministers or counselors of state standing very near the king, since they are named in Daniel 3:27 and Daniel 6:8 (Daniel 6:7) along with the first three ranks of officers, and (Daniel 4:23 [26]) during Nebuchadnezzar's madness they conducted the affairs of government. The literal meaning of the word, however, is not quite obvious. Its derivation from the Chald. דּברין, duces, with the Hebr. article (Gesen.), which can only be supported by מדברא, Proverbs 11:14 (Targ.), is decidedly opposed by the absence of all analogies of the blending into one word of the article with a noun in the Semitic language. The Alkoran offers no corresponding analogues, since this word with the article is found only in the more modern dialects. But the meaning which P. v. Bohlen (Symbolae ad interp. s. Codicis ex ling. pers. p. 26) has sought from the Persian word which is translated by simul judex, i.e., socius in judicio, is opposed not only by the fact that the compensation of the Mim by the Dagesch, but also the composition and the meaning, has very little probability.

The fourth whom Nebuchadnezzar saw in the furnace was like in his appearance, i.e., as commanding veneration, to a son of the gods, i.e., to one of the race of the gods. In Daniel 3:28 the same personage is called an angel of God, Nebuchadnezzar there following the religious conceptions of the Jews, in consequence of the conversation which no doubt he had with the three who were saved. Here, on the other hand, he speaks in the spirit and meaning of the Babylonian doctrine of the gods, according to the theogonic representation of the συζυγία of the gods peculiar to all Oriental religions, whose existence among the Babylonians the female divinity Mylitta associated with Bel places beyond a doubt; cf. Hgst. Beitr. i. p. 159, and Hv., Kran., and Klief. in loc.

Acting on this assumption, which did not call in question the deliverance of the accused by the miraculous interposition of the Deity, Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the furnace and cried to the three men to come out, addressing them as the servants (worshippers) of the most high God. This address does not go beyond the circle of heathen ideas. He does not call the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the only true God, but only the most high God, the chief of the gods, just as the Greeks called their Zeus ὁ ὕψιστος θεός. The Kethiv עלּיא (in Syr. ̀elāyā̀, to preserve) is here and everywhere in Daniel (v. 32; Daniel 4:14, Daniel 4:21, etc.) pointed by the Masoretes according to the form עילאה (with )ה prevailing in the Targg. The forms גשׁם, גּשׁמא, are peculiar to Daniel (v. 27f., Daniel 4:30; Daniel 5:21; Daniel 7:11). The Targg. have גּוּשׁמא instead of it.

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