Hosea 6:3
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come to us as the rain, as the latter and former rain to the earth.
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Hosea 6:3. Then shall we know, if we follow on, &c. — Hebrew, ונדעה נדדפה לדעת, And we shall know, we shall follow on to know the Lord. Then, when we have returned unto the Lord, Hosea 6:1, in sincerity and truth; when he hath torn and healed us, hath smitten and bound us up, hath convinced us of and humbled us for our sins, and converted us to himself, and created us anew; when he hath revived us, raised us up, and made us live; then shall we experimentally know the Lord, as merciful to our unrighteousness, Jeremiah 31:34; we shall taste and see that he is good; we shall not only be raised out of deep afflictions, wherein we lay as in a state of death, but we shall live in his sight, a life of union and communion with him, a life of faith, love, and obedience; we shall know Him whom to know is life eternal. And we shall prosecute that knowledge; we shall follow on to know him, not content with any measures of the knowledge of him already attained. We shall proceed therein, and make progress, as the morning light doth to the perfect day. For, his going forth to visit, deliver, and comfort his people, to manifest himself to them, to refresh and save them; or, his going forth before his people, in his gracious, faithful, holy, just, and wise providence, for their benefit and comfort, is prepared as the morning — As sure, beautiful, grateful, reviving, and clear, with a continually increasing light, which proclaims his own approach and progress. And he shall come unto us as the rain unto the earth — Which refreshes it, renders it fruitful, beautifies it, and gives it a new and smiling face. As the latter and former rain — Or, as the words should rather be rendered, the harvest rain, and the rain of seed-time: see notes on Deuteronomy 11:14, and Proverbs 16:15. For, as Bishop Horsley justly observes, the Hebrew words here used have nothing of latter or former implied in their meaning. And these expressions convey a notion just the reverse of the truth to the English reader. For what our translation here terms the latter rain, מלקושׁ, is literally, as the bishop terms it, the crop rain, which fell just before the season of the harvest, to plump the grain before it was severed: that is, it fell in what we term the spring, and consider as the former part of the year; for the harvest in Judea began about the middle of our March, according to the old style. The other, יורה, which we term the former rain, and which is literally the springing rain, or the rain which makes to spring, fell upon the seed newly sown, and caused the green blade to shoot up out of the ground: that is, it fell about the end, or middle, of our October, which we consider as the latter end of the year. These rains, of seed-time and harvest, are the υετος πρωιμος και οψιμος, the early and latter rain, of St. James 5:7. But the apostle’s epithets have reference to the order of the husbandman’s expectations, not to the civil division of the year.6:1-3 Those who have gone from God by consent, and in a body, drawing one another to sin, should, by consent and in a body, return to him, which will be for his glory, and their good. It will be of great use for support under afflictions, and to encourage our repentance, to keep up good thoughts of God, and of his purposes and designs concerning us. Deliverance out of trouble should be to them as life from the dead. God will revive them: the assurance of this should engage them to return to him. But this seems to have a further reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us admire the wisdom and goodness of God, that when the prophet foretold the deliverance of the church out of her troubles, he should point out our salvation by Christ; and now these words are fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, it confirms our faith, that this is He that should come and we are to look for no other. Here is a precious blessing promised; this is life eternal, to know God. The returns of the favour of God are secured to us as firmly as the return of the morning after a dark night. He shall come to us as the latter and former rain unto the earth, which refreshes it, and makes it fruitful. The grace of God in Christ is both the latter and the former rain; and by it the good work of our fruit-bearing is begun and carried on. And as the Redeemer was raised from the grave, so will He revive the hearts and hopes of all that trust in him. The feeblest glimpse of hope in his word, is a sure earnest of increasing light and comfort, which shall be attended with purifying, comforting grace that makes fruitful.Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord - Rather, "Then shall we know, shall follow on to know the Lord," i. e., we shall not only know Him, but we shall grow continually in that knowledge. Then, in Israel, God says, "there was no knowledge of Him;" His "people was destroyed for lack of it" Hosea 4:1, Hosea 4:6. In Christ He promises, that they should have that inward knowledge of Him, ever growing, because the grace, through which it is given, ever grows, and "the depth of the riches of His wisdom and knowledge is unsearchable, passing knowledge." We "follow on," confessing that it is He who maketh us to follow Him, and draweth us to Him. We know, in order to follow; we follow, in order to know. Light prepares the way for love. Love opens the mind for new love. The gifts of God are interwoven. They multiply and reproduce each other, until we come to the perfect state of eternity. For here "we know in part" only; then "shall we know, even as we are known. We shall follow on." Where shall we "follow on?" To the fountains of the water of life, as another prophet saith; "For He that hath mercy upon them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them" Isaiah 49:10. And in the Revelations we read, that "the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters" Revelation 7:17. The bliss of eternity is fixed; the nearness of each to the throne of God, the "mansion" in which he shall dwell, admits of no change; but, through eternity, it may be, that we shall "follow on to know" more of God, as more shall be revealed to us of that which is infinite, the Infinity of His Wisdom and His Love.

His going forth - that is, the going forth of God, "is prepared," firm, fixed, certain, established, (so the word means) "as the morning." Before, God had said, He would withdraw Himself from them; now, contrariwise, He says, that He would "go forth." He had said, "in their affliction they shall seek Me early or in the morning;" now, "He shall go forth as the morning." : "They shall seek for Him, as they that long for the morning; and He will come to them as the morning," full of joy and comfort, of light and warmth and glorious radiance which shall diffuse over the whole compass of the world, so that "nothing shall be hid from its light" and "heat." He who should so go forth, is the same as He who was to "revive them" and "raise them up," i. e., Christ. Of Him it is said most strictly, that "He went forth," when from the Bosom of the Father He came among us; as of Him holy Zacharias saith, (in the like language,) "The Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Christ goeth forth continually from the Father, by an eternal, continual, generation. In He "came forth" from the Father in His Incarnation; He "came forth" to us from the Virgin's womb; He "came forth," from the grave in His Resurrection. His "coming forth, as the morning," images the secrecy of His Birth, the light and glow of love which He diffuseth throughout the whole new creation of His redeemed. : "As the dawn is seen by all and cannot be hid, and appeareth, that it may be seen, yea, that it may illuminate, so His going forth, whereby He proceeded from His own invisible to our visible became known to all," tempered to our eyes, dissipating our darkness, awakening our nature as from a grave, unveiling to man the works of God, making His ways plain before his face, that he should no longer "walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth - So of Christ it is foretold, "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth" Psalm 72:6. Palestine was especially dependent upon rain, on account of the cultivation of the sides of the hills in terraces, which were parched and dry, when the rains were withheld. The "former," or autumnal "rain," fell in October, at the seed-time; the "latter" or spring "rain," in March and April, and filled the ears before harvest. Both together stand as the beginning and the end. If either were withheld, the harvest failed. Wonderful likeness of Him who is the Beginning and the End of our spiritual life; from whom we receive it, by whom it is preserved unto the end; through whom the soul, enriched by Him, hath abundance of all spiritual blessings, graces, and consolations, and yieldeth all manner of fruit, each after its kind, to the praise of Him who hath given it life and fruitfulness.

3. know, if we follow on to know the Lord—The result of His recovered favor (Ho 6:2) will be onward growth in saving knowledge of God, as the result of perseverance in following after Him (Ps 63:8; Isa 54:13). "Then" implies the consequence of the revival in Ho 6:2. The "if" is not so much conditional, as expressive of the means which God's grace will sanctify to the full enlightenment of Israel in the knowledge of Him. As want of "knowledge of God" has been the source of all evils (Ho 4:1; 5:4), so the knowledge of Him will bring with it all blessings; yea, it is "life" (Joh 17:3). This knowledge is practice, not mere theory (Jer 22:15, 16). Theology is life, not science; realities, not words. This onward progress is illustrated by the light of "morning" increasing more and more "unto the perfect day" (Pr 4:18).

prepared—"is sure," literally, "fixed," ordered in His everlasting purposes of love to His covenant-people. Compare "prepared of God" (Ge 41:32, Margin; Re 12:6). Jehovah shall surely come to the relief of His people after their dark night of calamity.

as the morning—(2Sa 23:4).

as the rain … latter … former—(Job 29:23; Joe 2:23). First, "the rain" generally is mentioned; then the two rains (De 11:14) which caused the fertility of Palestine, and the absence of which was accounted the greatest calamity: "the latter rain" which falls in the latter half of February, and during March and April, just before the harvest whence it takes its name, from a root meaning "to gather"; and "the former rain," literally, "the darting rain," from the middle of October to the middle of December. As the rain fertilizes the otherwise barren land, so God's favor will restore Israel long nationally lifeless.

Then; after that God hath revived and raised his repenting and inquiring captives, brought them to his temple and city, restored his worship and his law amongst them (all which are figures of more glorious things to be expected by the church of Christ after his resurrection).

Shall we know; be better instructed in the law of our God, know what worship he requires, and is best pleased with. This knowledge of God shall be to us a spring of all holy, righteous, sober, and temperate conversation. Such knowledge, if we observe the Scriptures, was promised to the Jews after their return out of captivity, and their seeking the Lord, Jeremiah 24:5-7 31:34 Ezekiel 11:17-20 36:23 Habakkuk 2:14 Zephaniah 3:9, &c.

Follow on to know; it shall be an increasing knowledge, which by a diligent attendance to the word and works of God these shall attain, and improve by doing the will of God, and by worshipping him; they shall know experimentally and practically how holy, how good, how faithful God is, John 8:31,32. Before this they knew not God, and sinned, provoked God, and undid themselves; but now they shall know, obey, and please their God and Saviour.

His going forth before his people who know him, and endeavour to increase that knowledge; his gracious, faithful, holy, just, and wise providences, and manifestations of himself in the conduct of them for his people’s good and comfort.

Is prepared as the morning; as sure, seasonable, beautiful, grateful, and as clear as the morning; which dispels the darkness, and proclaims its own approach.

As the latter and former rain unto the earth; which reviveth, maketh it fruitful, beautifieth it, and gives a new face to all. So God will abundantly bless his repenting Israel, his returning people. This blessing he promised over and over to the Jews after the captivity, Ezekiel 34:25 Hosea 2:18,19 14:5,6 Mal 3:10. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord,.... The word "if" is not in the original text, and the passage is not conditional, but absolute; for as persons, when converted, know Christ, and not before, when he is revealed to them, and in them, as the only Saviour and Redeemer, so they continue and increase in the knowledge of him; they earnestly desire to know more of him, and eagerly pursue those means and methods by which they attain to a greater degree of it; for so the words are, "and we shall know, we shall follow on to know the Lord" (t); that grace, which has given the first measure of spiritual and experimental knowledge of him, will influence and engage them to seek after more. The Jews, when they are quickened, and turn to the Lord, will know him, own and acknowledge him, as the Messiah, the only Redeemer and Saviour; and will be so delighted with the knowledge of him, that they will be desirous of, and seek after, a larger measure of it; and indeed they shall all know him, from the least to the greatest, when the covenant of grace shall be renewed with them, manifested and applied to them. The words may be considered as a continuation of their exhortation to one another from Hosea 6:1; thus, "and let us acknowledge, let us follow on to know him" (u); let us own him as the true Messiah, whom we and our fathers have rejected; and let us make use of all means to gain more knowledge of him: or let us follow after him, to serve and obey him, which is the practical knowledge of him; let us imitate him, and follow him the Lamb of God, embrace his Gospel, and submit to his ordinances. So Kimchi interprets it, "to know him"; that is, to serve him; first know him, then serve him;

his going forth is prepared as the morning; that is, the Lord's going forth, who is known, and followed after to be more known; and is to be understood, not of his going forth in the council and covenant of grace from everlasting; nor of his incarnation in time, or of his resurrection from the dead; but of his spiritual coming in the latter day, with the brightness of which he will destroy antichrist; or of his going forth in the ministration of the Gospel, to the conversion of Jews and Gentiles, the light of which dispensation will be very great; it will be like a morning after a long night of darkness with the Jewish and Pagan nations; and be as grateful and delightful, beautiful and cheerful, as the morning light; and move as swiftly and irresistibly as that, and be alike growing and increasing: and so the words are a reason of the increasing knowledge of the Lord's people in those times, because he shall go forth in the ministration of the word like the morning light, which increases more and more till noon; and of the evidence and clearness of it, it being like a morning without clouds; with which agrees the note of Joseph Kimchi,

"we shall know him, and it will be as clear to us as the light of the morning without clouds:''

and also of the firmness and certainty of it; for both the increasing knowledge of the saints, and the going forth of Christ in a spiritual manner, is "firm" and "sure" (which may be the sense of the word (w)) as the morning; for, as sure as the night cometh, so also the morning;

and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth; in the land of Israel they had usually two rains in a year; the one in autumn, or quickly after the seed was sown; the other in the spring, when the corn was ripe, and harvest near, and which was very reviving and refreshing to the earth, and the fruits of it; and such will be the coming of Christ unto his people, in the ministration of the Gospel in the latter day, which will drop as the rain, and distil as the dew, as the small rain on the tender herb, and as showers upon the grass; and in the discoveries of his favour and love to them, and in the distribution of the blessings of his grace among them. Much the like phrases are used of the spiritual coming of Christ in the latter day, Psalm 72:6. The Targum is,

"and we shall learn, and we shall follow on, to know the fear of the Lord, as the morning light, which darts in its going out; and blessings will come to us as a prevailing rain, and as the latter rain which waters the earth.''

(t) "sciemusque, sequemur ad sciendum Dominum", Montanus; "et cognoscemus, et persequemur ad cognoscendum Jehovam", Zanchius; "sciemus persequemur", Liveleus. (u) "Cognoscamus, sive agnoscamus, et persequautur scientiam Dominis", Schmidt. (w) "firmum certum notat", sic quidam in Schmidt; "firmatus ac stabilitus", Tarnovius.

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
3. Then shall we know, &c.] But as this construction is resumptive of Hosea 6:1, we had better translate, Yea, let us know, let us be zealous to know, Jehovah, i.e., to know him as our master, protector, and friend. Why so? Because the want of this knowledge was the cause of Israel’s misery. It was however a hasty resolution, from which a full and free confession of sin was fatally absent (contrast penitent Israel’s words in Hosea 14:2). Hence the complaint of the omniscient Holy One which follows in Hosea 6:4.

his going forth] viz. from his ‘place’ in heaven (Hosea 5:15.)

is prepared as the morning] Or, ‘is certain as the grey of morning’ (which heralds the glories of sunrise). The speakers, then, are ‘a people that walk in darkness’ (Isaiah 9:1).

as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth] Rather, as the heavy rain, as the latter rain which watereth the earth. Comp. Psalm 62:6. The Israelites count upon the return of God’s favour with the same confidence with which, at the autumnal and vernal equinoxes, a farmer counts upon the former and latter rain. Their confidence is excessive; they presume on God’s forgiveness without complying with His conditions.Verse 3. - Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord. This is more accurately rendered by, let us therefore know, hunt after the knowledge of Jehovah, the verbs being both cohortative and no conditional particle ("if") in the second clause. The second clause is a more emphatic and energetic reaffirmation of the first, urging to active and zealous effort and steady perseverance in obtaining the knowledge of God - a knowledge theoretic, but especially practical. Aben Ezra understands the exhortation of intellectual knowledge: "To know Jehovah is the secret of all wisdom, and for this alone was man created. But he cannot know God till he has learnt many doctrines of wisdom, which are, as it were, a ladder in order to mount up to this highest step of knowledge." Kimchi, on the other hand, though quoting Aben Ezra's comment with approval, inclines to the practical side of knowledge: "Let us follow on to know Jehovah, exercising justice and righteousness." His going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. Here, again, the translation of the Authorized Version is susceptible of improvement: his going forth is fixed as the morning dawn; and he shall come to us as the plentiful rain, as the latter rain which watereth (or, watering) the earth. Here we have two beautiful figures - the morning dawn and the fertilizing rain. The going forth of Jehovah is represented as the sun rising upon the earth, or rather as the dawn which heralds the day. The advent of salvation to his people is identified with, or symbolized by, his appearance. But the dawn of day only brings the commencement of salvation; its complement is found in the fruits and blessings of salvation. The root of motsav is zatsa, which is applied to the sunrise in Genesis 19:23, as also in Psalm 19:7. Parallel passages are found in Isaiah 58:8, "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning (dawn), and thy health shall spring forth speedily;" and Isaiah 9:2, "The Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." Further, the word nakon, meaning "prepared," "fixed firm," is applied to the clear bright light of morning, as in Proverbs 4:18, "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect (nekon) day." The plentiful rain is that which falls after the sowing of the seed in October (the beginning of the Hebrew year) and in the following months; while the malqosh is the late or spring rain, which, tailing in March and till the middle of April, precedes and promotes the harvest. The LXX. translates the

(1) concluding clause by ὑετὸς πρώιμος and ὄψιμος erroneously, for zoreh is not a noun with b, being understood before "earth;" neither is it

(2) the future Hiph., which would necessitate the ellipse being supplied by asher; it is the Qal participle in the sense of" watering." Geshem is "a violent or plentiful rain," stronger than the usual word for" rain," matar; while malqosh is "the late rain" which ceases a short time before harvest. The explanation of the "dawn" by Aben Ezra is erroneous: "The intelligent man at the beginning knows God - blessed be he! - by his works, like the dawn of day in its going forth; but moment after moment the light increases, until the full truth becomes visible." Kimchi more correctly explains the figure as follows: "If we shall do this, viz. follow on to know the Lord, then he will be to us as the morning dawn, of which the going forth is fixed [purposed by God and certain] as though he said, He will cause his light and his goodness to shine over us." His comment on the second similitude is equally appropriate: "He will come to us as the plentiful rain, as the plentiful rain which revives the dead plants; so man sunk in sorrow is like one dead; but when deliverance comes to him it is with him as if he revived out of his dead state." Thus he shall be to his people as "morning to the weary watcher," and as "plentiful rain to the parched ground." His body shone like תּרשׁישׁ, i.e., the chrysolite of the Old and the topaz of the New Testament (see under Ezekiel 1:16); his countenance had the appearance of lightning, his eyes as lamps of fire, his arms and the place of his feet like the sight of polished brass (קלל, see under Ezekiel 1:7).מרגּלות, place of the feet, does not stand for feet, but denotes that part of the human frame where the feet are; and the word indicates that not the feet alone, but the under parts of the body shone like burnished brass. The voice of his words, i.e., the sound of his speaking, was like המון קול, for which in Ezekiel 1:24 המלּה קול (the voice of noise), and by מחנה קול (Ezekiel 1:24) the noise of a host is denoted.

This heavenly form has thus, it is true, the shining white talar common to the angel, Ezekiel 9:9, but all the other features, as here described - the shining of his body, the brightness of his countenance, his eyes like a lamp of fire, arms and feet like glistering brass, the sound of his speaking-all these point to the revelation of the יהוה כּבוד, the glorious appearance of the Lord, Ezekiel 1, and teach us that the אישׁ seen by Daniel was no common angel-prince, but a manifestation of Jehovah, i.e., the Logos. This is placed beyond a doubt by a comparison with Revelation 1:13-15, where the form of the Son of man whom John saw walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks is described like the glorious appearance seen by Ezekiel and Daniel.

The place where this heavenly being was, is not here specially stated. In Daniel 12:6 he appears hovering over the waters of the river, the Tigris. This agrees also with the verse before us, according to which Daniel, while standing on the banks of the river, on lifting up his eyes beheld the vision. Hence it further follows, that the אישׁ seen here by Daniel is the same heavenly being whose voice he heard, Daniel 8:16, from the waters of the Ulai, without seeing his form.

When now he whose voice Daniel heard from thence presents himself before him here on the Tigris in a majesty which human nature is not able to endure, and announces to him the future, and finally, Daniel 12:6., with a solemn oath attests the completion of the divine counsel, he thereby shows himself, as C. B. Michaelis ad Daniel p. 372, Schmieder in Gerlach's Bibelw., and Oehler (Art. Messias in Herz.'s Realenc. ix. p. 417) have acknowledged, to be the Angel of Jehovah κατ ̓ἐξοχὴν, as the "Angel of His presence." The combination of this angel with that in the form of a son of man appearing in the clouds (Daniel 7:13) is natural; and this combination is placed beyond a doubt by the comparison with Revelation 1:13, where John sees the glorified Christ, who is described by a name definitely referring to Daniel 7:13, as ὅμοιον υἱῷ ἀνθρώπου.

On the other hand, the opinion maintained to some extent among the Rabbis, which even Hengstenberg has in modern times advocated (Beitr. i. p. 165ff.; Christol. iii. 2, p. 50ff.), namely, that the angel of the Lord who here appears to Daniel in divine majesty is identical with the angel-prince Michael, has no support in Scripture, and stands in contradiction to Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21, where he who speaks is certainly distinguished from Michael, for here there is ascribed to Michael a position with reference to the people of God which is not appropriate to the Angel of the Lord or the Logos. It is true, indeed, that Hengstenberg holds, with many old interpreters, that he who speaks with Daniel, Daniel 10:11, and reveals to him the future, is different from him who appears to him, Daniel 10:5, Daniel 10:6, and is identical with the angel Gabriel. But the reasons advanced in support of this are not sufficient. The latter supposition is grounded partly on the similarity of the address to Daniel, חמות אישׁ, Daniel 10:11, Daniel 10:19, cf. with Daniel 9:23, partly on the similarity of the circumstances, Daniel 8:17-18, cf. with Daniel 10:10 and Daniel 12:5. But the address to Daniel חמות אישׁ proves nothing, because it does not express to Daniel the relation of the angel to him, but of the Lord who sent the angel; and Gabriel in Daniel 9:23 does not address the prophet thus, but only says that he is המדות, i.e., a man greatly beloved of God. The similarity of circumstances with Daniel 8:17-18 proves nothing further than that he who appeared was a heavenly being. More noticeable is the similarity of Daniel 8:13 with Daniel 12:5, so far as in both cases two angels appear along with him who hovers over the waters, and the voice from above the waters in Daniel 8:16 directs the angel Gabriel to explain the vision to the prophet. But from the circumstance that in Daniel 8 and also in Daniel 9 Gabriel gives to the prophet disclosures regarding the future, it by no means follows, even on the supposition that he who is represented in the chapter before us as speaking is different from him who appears in Daniel 10:5, Daniel 10:6, that the angel who speaks is Gabriel. If he were Gabriel, he would have been named here, according to the analogy of Daniel 10:9, Daniel 10:21.

To this is to be added, that the assumed difference between him who speaks, Daniel 10:11, and him who appears, Daniel 10:5, Daniel 10:6, is not made out, nor yet is it on the whole demonstrable. It is true that in favour of this difference, he who speaks is on the banks of the river where Daniel stands, while he who appears, vv. 5, 6, and also at the end of the vision, Daniel 12:1-13, is in the midst of the Tigris, and in Daniel 10:5 of this chapter (Daniel 12:1-13) two other persons are standing on the two banks of the river, one of whom asks him who is clothed with linen, as if in the name of Daniel, when the things announced shall happen. Now if we assume that he who is clothed in linen is no other than he who speaks to Daniel, v. 11, then one of these two persons becomes a κωφὸν πρόσωπον, and it cannot be at all seen for what purpose he appears. If, on the contrary, the difference of the two is assumed, then each has his own function. The Angel of the Lord is present in silent majesty, and only by a brief sentence confirms the words of his messenger (Daniel 12:7). The one of those standing on the banks is he who, as the messenger and interpreter of the Angel of the Lord, had communicated all disclosures regarding the future to Daniel as he stood by the banks. The third, the angel standing on the farther bank, directs the question regarding the duration of the time to the Angel of the Lord. Thus Hengstenberg is in harmony with C. B. Michaelis and others.

But however important these reasons for the difference appears, yet we cannot regard them as conclusive. From the circumstance that, Daniel 10:10, a hand touched Daniel as he was sinking down in weakness and set him on his knees, it does not with certainty follow that this was the hand of the angel (Gabriel) who stood by Daniel, who spoke to him, Daniel 10:11. The words of the text, "a hand touched me," leave the person whose hand it was altogether undefined; and also in Daniel 10:16, Daniel 10:18, where Daniel is again touched, so that he was able to open his mouth and was made capable of hearing the words that were addressed to him, the person from whom the touch proceeded is altogether indefinite. The designations, אדם בּני כּדּמוּת, like the similitude of the sons of men, Daniel 10:16, and אדם כּמראה, like the appearance of a man, Daniel 10:18, do not point to a definite angel who appears speaking in the sequel. But the circumstance that in Daniel 12:1-13, besides the form that hovered over the water, other two angels appear on the banks, does not warrant us to assume that these two angels were already present or visible in Daniel 10:5. The words, "Then I looked and saw other two, the one," etc., Daniel 12:5, much rather indicate that the scene was changed, that Daniel now for the first time saw the two angels on the banks. In Daniel 10 he only sees him who is clothed with linen, and was so terrified by this "great sight" that he fell powerless to the ground on hearing his voice, and was only able to stand up after a hand had touched him and a comforting word had been spoken to him. Nothing is here, as in Daniel 8:15, said of the coming of the angel. If thus, after mention being made of the hand which by touching him set him on his knees, it is further said, "and he spake to me ... " (Daniel 10:11), the context only leads to this conclusion, that he who spake to him was the man whose appearance and words had so overwhelmed him. To suppose another person, or an angel different from the one who was clothed with linen, as speaking, could only be justified if the contents of that which was spoken demanded such a supposition.

He who spake said, among other things, that he was sent to Daniel (Daniel 10:11); that the prince of the kingdom of Persia had withstood him one and twenty days; and that Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, had come to his help (Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21). These statements do not indicate that he was an inferior angel, but they are suitable to the Angel of the Lord; for he also says (Zechariah 2:13, 15; Zechariah 4:9) that he is sent by Jehovah; cf. also Isaiah 48:16 and Isaiah 61:1. The coming to his help by the angel-prince Michael, also, does not denote that he who speaks was an angel subordinated to the archangel Michael. In Zechariah 1:15 עזר denotes help which men render to God; and in 1 Chronicles 12:21. it is related that Israelites of different tribes came to David to help him against his enemies, i.e., under his leadership to fight for him. Similarly we may suppose that the angel Michael gave help to the Angel of the Lord against the prince of the kingdom of Persia.

There thus remains only the objection, that if we take the angel clothed with linen and him who speaks as the same, then in Daniel 12:5 one of the angels who stood on the two banks of the Tigris becomes a κωφὸν πρόσωπον; but if we are not able to declare the object for which two angels appear there, yet the one of those two angels cannot certainly be the same as he who announced, Daniel 10 and 11, the future to the prophet, because these angels are expressly designated as two others (אהרים שׁנים), and the אהרים excludes the identifying of these with angels that previously appeared to Daniel. This argument is not set aside by the reply that the angels standing on the two banks of the river are spoken of as אהרים with reference to the Angel of the Lord, Daniel 10:6, for the reference of the אהרים to that which follows is inconsistent with the context; see under Daniel 12:5.

Thus every argument utterly fails that has been adduced in favour of the supposition that he who speaks, Daniel 10:11, is different from him who is clothed in linen; and we are warranted to abide by the words of the narrative, which in Daniel 10 names no other angel than the man clothed with linen, who must on that account be the same as he who speaks and announces the future to the prophet. The hand which again set him up by touching him, is, it is true, to be thought of as proceeding from an angel; but it is not more definitely described, because this angel is not further noticed. But after the man clothed with linen has announced the future to the prophet, the scene changes (Daniel 12:5). Daniel sees the same angels over the waters of the Tigris, and standing on the two banks of the river. Where he who was clothed in linen stands, is left indefinite in the narrative. If from the first it is he who hovers over the water of the river, he could yet talk with the prophet standing on its banks. But it is also possible that at first he was visible close beside the banks.

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