Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
4. The prophet’s last vision, containing the most thorough description of the future sufferings of Israel, and of its ultimate Messianic exaltation.
a. The appearance of the angel on the banks of the Tigris, as preparatory to the subsequent prophecies and introductory to them.
1In the third year of [to] Cyrus king of Persia, a thing [word] was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing [word] was true [truth], but [and] the time appointed [warfare] was long [great]: and he understood the thing [word], and had understanding of [in] the vision [appearance.]
2In those days I Daniel was1 “mourning three full weeks.2 I ate no pleasant 3 bread, neither came flesh nor wine in [to] my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
4 And in the four and twentieth day of [to] the first month, as [and] I was by 5 [upon] the side of the great river, which [it] is Hiddekel, then [and] I lifted up mine eyes, and looked [saw], and, behold, a certain [one] man clothed in 5 linen [linens], whose [and his] loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; his body also [and his body] was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to [the aspect of] polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7And I Daniel alone saw the vision [appearance]; for [and] the men that were with me saw not the vision [appearance]; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that [and] they fled to hide [in hiding] themselves.
8Therefore [And] I was left alone, and saw this great vision [appearance], and there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned in [upon] me 9 into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet [And] heard I the voice of his words: and when [as] I heard the voice of his words, then [and] was I in a deep 10 sleep [stupified] on my face, and my face toward the ground [earth]. And, behold, a hand touched me, which [and] set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand [have understanding in] the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken [at his speaking] this word unto [with] me, I stood trembling.
12 Then [And] said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set [give] thy heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy 13 God, thy words were heard, and I am [have] come for [at] thy words. But [And] the prince of the kindom of Persia withstood [was standing in front of] me one and twenty days: but [and], lo, Michael, one of the chief [first] princes, came 14 to help me; and I remained there with [beside] the kings of Persia. Now [And] I am [have] come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter [sequel of the] days: for yet the vision is for many days.
15And when he had spoken [in his speaking] such like [like these] words unto [with] me, I set [gave] my face toward the ground [earth], and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men [man] touched [touching upon] my lips: then [and] I opened my mouth and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision [appearance] my sorrows 17 are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For [And] how can the servant of this my lord talk [speak] with this my lord? for [and] as for me [I], straightway there remained [would stand], no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
18Then [And] there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not; peace be unto thee; be strong, yea [and], be strong. And when he had spoken unto [in his speaking with] me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
20Then [And] said he, Knowest thou wherefore I [have] come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, 21 [then lo, the prince of Græcia shall [has] come. But I will show [tell] thee that which is noted [recorded] in the scripture of truth: and there is none that 1 holdeth with me in [upon] these things, but Michael your prince. Also [And] I, in the first year of [to] Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
Concerning the final vision of Daniel (chap. 10–12) as a whole
The last section of the prophetically visional part of this book falls into three clearly defined subdivisions of unequal length, and was therefore not inappropriately treated by the person who divided the Holy Scriptures into chapters. It is not only the most comprehensive, but, because of its form and contents, also the most remarkable and difficult among the prophetic portions of the book. Having been composed later than the three preceding visions, namely subsequent to the captivity and when the return of the exiles had already begun (see on Daniel 10:1), it supplements their contents, and develops them still farther—especially those of the second vision (chap. 8) and of the third (chap. 9). The development of the fourth and last world-power to the stage of anti-Christianity, which was described with special interest in those two chapters, is now illustrated more fully than in any former instance, and at the same time, the ultimate triumph of the kingdom of God over that and all other opposing powers is brought into a clearer light and portrayed in more glowing colors than heretofore. The relation of the section to chap. 7 as serving to complement and still farther develop its subject, becomes especially prominent in this bright closing scene; while the prophecy is in so far complementary to chapters 8 and 9 as it describes the development of the anti-Ohristian world-power in predictions distinguished by a greater fulness of detail—to say nothing of the similarity between its preparatory scenery and that of chap. 8 and also of 9:20–23. The section serves to complete the visions of chap. 8 by describing more exactly the hostile relations in which the various constituent sections of the fourth world-power stood to each other, as already symbolically indicated in Daniel 8:22 et seq.; and particularly by showing how the holy land, which lay between the contending sections of the divided empire, in some cases was drawn indirectly into suffering, and in others was made the object of direct attack. In like manner this vision becomes complementary to that in chap. 9 since it fills the outline of the sixty-two weeks and also of the one final week of tribulation [?], which were but briefly referred to in that chapter, with a wealth of contents, that displays a growing animation and interest as the description draws near to the close of the sixty-second and the beginning of the last week. In tracing the particular manner of the development of the anti-Christian power out of the fourth and last world-monarchy, there seems to have been the occasional intervention of a later hand, which drew the prophecy with sharper lines and adapted it more fully to the subsequent facts connected with its historical fulfilment, than had been done in the general outline which was revealed to the prophet.3 The statements in Daniel 10:5 et seq., concerning the geographical position of the two most powerful sections of the great divided Javanic world-empire, and also concerning the direction taken by the various expeditions for conquest which their rulers organized, the repeated attempts to unite the contending dynasties by means of matrimonial alliances, the insurrections and treasonable plots against individual sovereigns, etc., can hardly be regarded otherwise than as interpolations on the part of a pious Jewish apocalyptist of the Maccabæan age, although it may be impossible at this day to venture a definite estimate respecting the proportion of the whole section Daniel 11:5–45 that originated with Daniel, or as to how much is to be credited to the subsequent reviser (see the exeget. remarks on the several passages, particularly on Daniel 10:5, 6, 8, 14, 17, 18, 25, 27, etc., and pre-eminently on Daniel 10:40 et seq.; and cf. supra, Introd. § 1, note 2, and § 4). While, for reasons that have been given (cf. Introd. § 4, note 1), we decidedly reject the hypothesis that the entire section Daniel 10:1–12:13, excepting only the first four verses of chap. 12, is spurious, we regard the theory that chap. 11 has been interpolated as above suggested, as necessary, chiefly because details characterized by such unusual precision as is found in that chapter, seem to conflict with the nature of genuine and healthful prophecy, and with the analogy of all the remaining prophecies in the history of Old-Test. revelation.4 We are entirely agreed with Kranichfeld (p. 340 et seq.) in holding that the nature or the “self-evident canon” of prophecy requires “that the prediction should not usurp the place of historical development itself, i.e., that it should not adduce such future dates, as cannot be connected with the time of the prophetic originator, as the unfolding of a religious or moral idea animated by the operations of God—although in other respects a particularizing description may offer any amount of detailed representations in illustration, limited only by the confines established by that canon.” We cannot, however, agree with him in believing that the entire vision before us, and especially that part contained in chap. 11, must be regarded “by that canon” simply as a developing of the ideas contained elsewhere in the book. The many surprising details of that chapter do not appear to an unbiassed mind as the mere development of former thoughts, but rather as concrete statements respecting the political and family history of the Seleucidæ and the Ptolemies, such as no other Old-Test. prophet would have attempted to furnish, even approximately, and such as conflict with the spirit of Old-Test. prophecy in general. We are certainly not compelled by any merely subjective reason to assume an interpolation of the text of Daniel in this place, after having rejected that theory in every other instance. The only reason which prevents us from defending the genuineness of this closing section is based on the analogy of all the balance of O.-T. prophecy, which in no case affords a similar example of specific and detailed description of the future (cf. Tholuck, Die Propheten und ihre Weissagungen, p. 105 et seq.; Die Grenzen einer Prädiktion—an investigation, however, which seems to require a more strict apprehension).
The whole section divides itself, as has already been observed, into three parts, the first of which describes the general circumstances that conditioned the new vision, and also the introductory features of the vision itself (consisting in the appearance of a mighty angel, which at first excited the prophet’s alarm and terror, but subsequently exercised a comforting and exalting influence over him), Daniel 10:1–11:1. The special description of the future having been thus introduced is taken up by the second part and carried forward from the unfolding of the Persian world-empire, then upon the stage, to the highest point of conceited power developed by the antitheistic tyrant who ultimately sprang from the Javanic world-monarchy, and who became the antichrist of the Old Testament (Daniel 11:2–45).5 Finally, the third part describes the triumph, the deliverance, and the exaltation of God’s people in the Messianic period, and, if it does not certify the nearness of that æra of ultimate prosperity, it yet conveys the assurance that its approach is determined by immutable measurements and conditions fixed by God (Daniel 12:1–13).—The exorbitant length of the intermediate part, exceeding, as it does, the aggregate of the others nearly two-fold, might be adduced as an additional and highly probable evidence of its interpolation, as suggested above.6
Daniel 10:1. The time and significance of the vision. In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia—therefore B. C. 536 or 535 [probably, 534], later than any other date in the book (cf. on Daniel 1:21). It is significant and instructive, as bearing on the subject and design of the vision, which dwells with special interest on the aspect of affairs subsequent to the Persian dominion, that when it was imparted to Daniel, he had already lived under Medo-Persian rule during several years. Cf. Kranichfeld, p. 340: “After a series of prophetic announcements by Daniel had received a genuine prophetic fulfilment during the time of the exile itself, and, on the one hand the newly confirmed return of the exiles had been but lately realized, while on the other, the צוֹף הָעִתִּים, which had been predicted instead of the Messianic glory, was feelingly demonstrated, e.g., by the disputes with the Samaritans, by the interruption of the building of the temple (cf. Ezra 3:8 with 4:8), and, above all, by the continued aversion of the supreme Persian powers (cf. Dan. 10:13, 20), it now became the interest of the seer to devote special attention to the last heathen empire of the earth, the only one remaining to be demonstrated, and to present theocratically this last characteristic picture of hostility, in colors that would constantly impress its nature, and in such detail as the confidence springing from the unvarying success of the past would justify. Thoroughly convinced as he was, on the ground of his own observation and of the teaching of earlier prophecy that the Javanic west would eventually displace the east in the dominion of the world, and that at the same time the ultimate form of heathen government would appear in connection with the former, he would naturally not regard the transient Persian empire, which had indeed been adequately characterized at its very beginning, as the אַחְַרִית חַיָּמִים (cf. 10:14; 2:28; 8:19) upon which prophecy elsewhere dwells by preference, but would rather consider the final form of heathen power over the theocracy in that light.”—Hitzig inquires “Why Daniel was still at Babylon in the third year of Cyrus? Why so pious a theocrat, and so devoted a lover of Jerusalem and the holy land, had not returned thither? Why he should seem to place himself among the despisers of the holy mountain and among the apostates (Isa. 65:11; 66:5), by disregarding the exhortations of Isa. 2 to return (Isa. 4:20; 52:11 et seq.)?”—to all of which the simple answer is, that while ranking as a highly esteemed and influential officer of the state, even under Persian rule (cf. Daniel 6:29), he must have been persuaded that he would be able to render his nation more important service with regard to the rebuilding of their city and temple, were he to remain behind to represent them at the court, than he possibly could were he to accompany them on their return to Judæa. As a secondary consideration his somewhat advanced, age may have influenced his decision (despite Ezra 3:12), cf. Hävernick on the passage.—Unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. Cf. 1:7; 2:26; 4:5; 5:12. Both names are given in this place, for the reason, probably, that the two-fold relation which the prophet occupied (being connected with the Old-Test people of God, and also filling an official station at the court of the world-kingdom) and which is thus indicated, constituted the feature by which he was enabled “to view the history of the conflict of Israel with the world-power, and to record for the benefit of his people what might be expected from the latter” (Füller).—And the thing was true; or, “and the word is truth,” i.e., the word of God which was revealed to the prophet, and which, unlike the words of so many false prophets of that time (Jer. 29:8 et seq., 15), is not a lying and deceptive word, but truth, that is worthy of credit and shall surely come to pass; cf. 2 Sam. 7:28; 1 Kings 8:26; also below, Daniel 10:21; 11:2; 12:7.—But the time appointed was long; rather, “and great tribulation,” supply, “formed its subject” צָבָא גָדוֹל is an additional predicate of הַדָּכָר (cf. Gen. 11:1; Isa. 7:24; Jer. 26:2). Maurer renders it correctly: “צ׳ ג oraculum vocatur ab argumento,” and also de Wette: “and refers to great wretchedness.” צָבָא here denotes “warfare, oppression, trouble,” exactly as in Isa. 4:2; not “bravery, might” (Vulg., Syr.), nor “exertion,” as if the great effort put forth by the prophet while receiving the revelation were alluded to (Hävern.), and least of all, “ministering,” as Ewald strangely conceived, referring to the numerous angels whom he regarded as being engaged in this new revelation with industrious energy and care (!).—And he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision; rather, “observed the word, and gave attention to the vision.” בִּין is not an imperative (v. Lengerke, Ewald), but an infinitive with a perfect signification. The construction with an accusative of the object is similar to that in Daniel 9:2; cf. 12:8. The following בִּינָה, although milel, is not an imperative (as v. Lengerke supposes, but a noun, which has the accent here on the first syllable, because of the accented כֹוִ that immediately follows; cf. Ezek. 19:14. The probable design of the statement that Daniel gave careful heed to what was revealed was to emphasize the highly significant and profoundly important subject of the vision from the outset, and also to give assurance of the credibility of the prophet’s narrative.
Daniel 10:2, 3. The frame of mind of Daniel and his outward deportment while receiving the revelation. Daniel 10:2. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. The tidings respecting the discouraging state of affairs among the Jews, who had returned to the holy land, which may have reached Daniel about this time, may be regarded as the probable cause of his sadness. An especial cause of grief to him probably lay in the fact, that as the intervention of the Samaritans had interrupted the building of the temple since the second year after the return of the exiles (Ezra 4:4 et seq.; cf. 3:8), the latter were prevented from observing the Passover in a lawful manner. His attention would be especially directed to that fact, since according to Daniel 10:4, the period of three weeks spent by him in mourning and fasting was included in the very month of the feast of the Passover, so as to precede the date fixed for the beginning of that feast (which continued from the 14th to the 21st Nisan, the “first month” of the Jewish year) by twelve days, and to extend three days beyond its close—to the 24th Nisan.—שָׁבֻעִים רָמִים. The addition יָמִים, which is designed to indicate the full or enumerated measure of the weeks (cf. our “three full weeks”), is hardly intended to contrast with the weeks of years which are implied in chap. 9; for the contrary cf. Gen. 29:14; 41:1; Num. 11:20 et seq.; Jer. 26:3, 11, etc.8—I ate no pleasant bread. לֶחֶם חֲמֻדוֹת, “bread of pleasures, of desires,” is doubtless a contrast to the “bread of affliction,” Deut. 16:3, i.e., to the unleavened bread which was eaten during the Passover. Hence, the first expression of his grief mentioned by Daniel is that he abstained from the use of leavened bread, or from eating the ל׳ עֳנִי or מַצּוֹת.9 Luther’s rendering, “I ate no dainty food,” is therefore mistaken and inexact; and also Bertholdt’s, “I abstained even from the use of bread.”—Neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth. A genuine fast, in which all dainty, attractive, or luxurious viands were avoided; cf. Gen. 27:25; 2 Sam. 12:20; Isa. 22:13, etc.—Neither did I anoint myself; another characteristic indication of a sorrowful disposition, cf. Ecc. 9:8; Psa. 23:5; Isa. 61:3, etc.—Hitzig’s view is substantially correct: “The design of his mourning was not to support prayer and intercession as in chap. 9 (for which reason it does not assume its appropriate garb, cf. Psa. 35:18, 14), but rather to prepare to receive a revelation. However, the writer by no means entertains the opinion that asceticism could secure or compel a revelation; for in that case the means employed would have been increased, particularly as the vision was delayed. Daniel rather confines himself to abstinence from worldly enjoyment, in order to maintain the serious frame of mind in which the desired revelation should be received, and which is the only one that may hope to be blessed with a revelation.”
Daniel 10:4–7. Designation of the special time and place. Description of the appearance of the angel who conveys the revelation. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month. Since, according to Esth. 3:7, the “first month” was Nisan (cf. also 1 Macc. 7:49; 9:3), and since by Daniel 10:12 and 13, the mourning and fasting of Daniel began precisely twenty-one days before the present date—therefore on the third Nisan,—the special reason why he commenced such exercises on that particular day may probably be found in the fact that the 1st and 2d Nisan were still observed, at the period of the captivity, as they were already in the time of Saul and David, as the festival of the New-year or of the first new moon in the year; and it was of course unsuitable for him to fast while that joyous festival continued (cf. 1 Sam. 20:18, et seq.; 27:34, with 2:19, 6:29).—I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel. It cannot be easily determined whether he was there in vision merely, as in the similar case, Daniel 8:2 (see on that passage), or likewise in body. The latter opinion (Hävern., v. Leng., Maurer, Hitzig, Kliefoth, Füller) appears to be preferable, in view of the subsequent mention of Daniel’s companions on the bank of the river.—Concerning חִדֶּקֶל, i.e., probably, the “swift, tearing” (from חדק), as the Scriptural designation of the Tigris, cf. Gesen.-Dietrich, s. v., and also the expositors of Gen. 2:14. The latter passage, moreover, clearly asserts the distinction between the Hiddekel and the Euphrates, which is observed throughout the Old-Test. generally, and thereby demonstrates the mistake of Syrus, who regards the חִדּ׳ in this place as denoting the Euphrates.
Daniel 10:5. Then I lifted up mine eyes and looked, etc., exactly as in the vision on the banks of the Eulæus, Daniel 8:3.—And behold a man clothed in linen. The description begins with his clothing, hence proceeds from without inward (contrary to the method of, e.g., Matt. 17:2; 28:3). White linen (בַּדִּים, from בַּד, cf. Ezek. 9:2) was the garb of priests, especially of the high-priests (cf. Lev. 16:4, 23; 6:3 with Isa. 43:28), and therefore symbolizes holiness; the addition of golden ornaments denotes princely rank. The person here described was therefore at all events a שַׂר קֹדֶשׁ (cf. Isa. 43:28) or holy angelic prince, and more particularly, was identical with the “man’s voice between the Ulai,” Daniel 8:16, which directed Gabriel to interpret the vision for Daniel in that place, since according to Daniel 12:6, he hovered over the river. It was shown on the former passage, that the angel who uttered that command need not necessarily have been superior to Gabriel, but that he may have belonged, as well as the latter, to the class of archangels or שָׂרִים; and he may be regarded as the compeer of Michael as well, despite Daniel 10:13, where he refers to the aid he received from the latter against the prince of Persia. Hence, he was a third angel-prince besides Gabriel and Michael, whose name, however, is not given; and it is therefore vain to search for the specific name he bore. Hofmann, Auberlen and Füller conceive of this angelic prince as being the power of nature which operates for the kingdom of God in the entire heathen world, or as the good principle in the world-power, which is identical with the κατέχων, 2 Thess. 2:6; but they fail to establish exegetically, and in an adequate manner this identity, as well as the character ascribed to the angel. Concerning the modicum of truth which may nevertheless underlie this opinion, see Eth.-fund. principles, etc., No. 1.—The identity of this angel with Michael, which Kranichfeld assumes, is opposed by the manner in which Michael is represented as not being present, in Daniel 10:13 and 21. It is more probable that he was identical with Gabriel (Ewald et al.); but the appearance of the latter on his entrance in chap. 8 is described in different terms, and, moreover, the name of Gabriel is not expressly mentioned; cf. infra, on Daniel 10:13.—Whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; i.e., with the finest and most valuable gold; cf. Psa. 45:8, “gold of Ophir.” The identity of אוּפָז and אוֹפִיר, which is assumed by, e.g., the Vulg., Chald., and Syr. (but not by Theodot.), is opposed by the different form of the name, and by the impossibility of transforming ר into ז. The country here referred to (and in Jer. 12:8) was probably a region in the south or east, and perhaps adjoining to Ophir, which abounded in gold, and like the latter, constituted a principal source from whence the people of hither Asia derived their precious metals in ancient times. The theory which seems best recommended is that of Hitzig, who combines the Sancr. name vipâcâ = Hyphasis, with the supposition based on that etymology, that the country derived its name from a colony which came to Arabia Felix from the river Hyphasis in India. Cf. Nägelsbach on Jer., l. c., concerning this question.
Daniel 10:6. His body also was like the beryl, or “crysolite,” hence having the golden lustre of topaz or amber, which shone through his garb of white linen. With regard to תַּרְשִׁרשׁ—whose primary signification was doubtless “the sea” (= Sanscr. tarisha), and which afterward became the name of the celebrated colony of Phœnician merchants located in Spain near the Mediterranean sea, and still later was employed to designate the precious stone brought from thence, which the Sept. and Josephus term the χρυσόλιθος with probable correctness—see Hitzig on Ezek. 1:16; Gesen.-Dietrich in the Handwörterbuch; and also my observation on Cant. 5:14.—And his face as the appearance of lightning; cf. Ezek. 1:13; Matt. 28:3. On the comparison of his eyes with lamps of fire cf. Rev. 1:14, which passage is wholly imitated from the one before us.—And his arms and feet like in colour to polished brass; rather, “arms and feet like the gleam of glowing brass.” מַרְגְּלרֹת, which primarily denotes the “place of the feet,” is here synonymous with רַגְלִים, “feet,” as appears from the mention of זְרֹעוֹת, “arms,” in the same connection; for why, if the arms glowed like brass, should the place only of the feet present the same appearance and not rather the feet themselves? (against Kranichfeld, etc.).11 —קָלָל, the attribute of נְחׄשֶׁם, together with כְּעֵין (cf. Num. 11:7), is taken from Ezek. 1:7. It denotes brass in a glowing and liquid or molten state (קָלָל, a fuller form of the more usual קל, light, swiftly moving, volubilis), not merely “shining or gleaming” brass (Ewald, etc.), nor yet “brass of the smelting furnace,” as Hitzig assumes, putting entirely too artificial a sense on the idea. Cf., however, the parallel Rev. 1:15, οἱ πόδες αὐτοῦ ὅμοιοι χαλχολιβάνῳ ὡς ἐν καμίνῳ πεπυρομένῳ.—And the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude, or “of a roaring.” קוֹל הָמוֹן primarily signifies the “voice (sound) of a roaring,” and may denote the roaring of the sea, of the stormy waves of the ocean, or of a great multitude of people (Theod., Vulg., Syr., and also moderns, e.g., Kranichfeld, Füller, etc.). The parallels, Ezek. 1:24 (רבִּים כְּקוֹל מַיִם); 43:2; Isa. 17:12; Rev. 1:15, determine in favor of the former interpretation. The terrified prophet does not at first recognize what the speaker says in so dreadful a voice, either here or in Daniel 10:9. Cf. the analogous circumstance in Daniel 8:13 a.
Daniel 10:7. The men that were with me saw not the vision; a feature similar to that connected with the conversion of St. Paul, Acts 9:7; 22:11. It is impossible to determine who the prophet’s companions were; they may as well have been the servants of the highly esteemed “prince” Daniel (Daniel 6:21), as associates of a different rank.—But a great quaking fell upon them; evidently because they heard the dreadful sound of the roaring, although they saw nothing; cf. Gen 3:8; Am. 3:6; Acts 9:7.12 —They fled to hide themselves; rather, “they fled hiding themselves.” בְּהֵחָכֵא, properly, “while hiding themselves,” a periphrase of the gerund; cf. Gesenius, Thesaur., p. 175 a. The infinitive with ל would have expressed the somewhat different idea, “they fled to hide themselves;” cf. 1 Kings 22:25; 2 Kings 19:11.
Daniel 10:8–11. The impression made on Daniel by the appearance of the angel. His temporary stupor, and subsequent and gradual restoration. I …. saw this great vision. The same language is used with reference to the appearance of the Lord in the burning bush to Moses, Ex. 3:3.—My comeliness was turned in me into corruption; rather, “the color of my face was changed into disfigurement for me.” Literally, “and my brightness,” etc. (thus Ewald et al). הוֹד, “brightness, freshness of color,” here corresponds to the Chald. זִיו, Daniel 5:6, 9; 7:28. עָלַי “on me,” seems to be a Chaldaism employed as a periphrase for the dative, and therefore to be equivalent to אֵלַי (unlike Daniel 10:16). It is hardly to be separated from the verb and to be immediately connected with הוֹדִי, thus periphrasing the genitive (against Hitzig).—לְמַשְׁחִיּת, properly, “to destruction;” cf. 2 Chron. 20:23. The following context indicates the nature of this destruction or disfigurement, by stating that the loss of color was joined to faintness and a total loss of strength.
Daniel 10:9. Then was I in a deep sleep on my face, i.e., in a stupefied state, during which a total loss of his senses and of consciousness was depicted on his countenance.—And my face (sank) toward the ground; i. e., the loss of consciousness was not momentary, but was protracted during some time, and brought him to the ground on his face. With a strange arbitrariness Hitzig finds “an attention to trivial details that border closely on the comical” in the statement that the face was toward the ground; as if the frequent expression אַרְצָה אַפַּיִם (Gen. 19:1; 42:6) or וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַרְצָה (Gen. 33:3, etc.) did not likewise indicate the apparently general use of אַרְצָה in this sense! On the subject cf. Daniel 8:17.
Daniel 10:10. And behold, a hand touched me. The stunned prophet is not able to say whose hand it was; but the tenor of the entire representation shows, beyond the reach of doubt, that it was the hand of the same person who had hitherto been in his presence (cf. 8:18; Ezek. 2:9). Kranichfeld (see above, on Daniel 10:5) is therefore in error when, after having assumed that the angel described above was Michael, he regards the one who now appears and henceforth addresses Daniel as being Gabriel (as do Hävernick, Hengstenberg, etc.). Such a multiplication of persons is unnecessary, and is opposed by the total silence of the author with regard to the names of the appearance here introduced. Maurer, Hitzig, 5 Hofmann, Füller, Kliefoth, etc., correctly hold to the identity of the angel who touches Daniel with the one introduced in Daniel 10:5.—Set me (rather “shook me”) upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands; a constr. prœgnans, for “shook me and helped me,” etc. The couching position which he accordingly assumed at first is the natural posture of one who is stunned and overwhelmed with awe in the presence of a superior being.
Daniel 10:11. O Daniel, a man greatly beloved. See on Daniel 9:23.—For unto thee am I now sent; namely, sent at this precise moment, as the servant of God and the bearer of a message of blessing and comfort. The angel designs by this encouraging address not merely to induce Daniel to arise to an erect position, but also to fix his attention on the words about to be spoken. —I stood trembling—in fearful expectation of the things to which he should listen; cf. Ezra 10:9.
Daniel 10:12–14. The angel’s statement respecting the design of his coming and the reason of his delay to that time. Cf. Daniel 9:23. —For from the first day (therefore from the third Nisan, according to Daniel 10:4) that thou didst set thine heart; properly “gavest thy heart;” cf. Eccles. 1:13, 17.—To understand, and to chasten (or “humble”) thyself before God. Daniel 10:14 a states what Daniel desired to understand, viz.: the future experiences of his people. He sought to obtain the knowledge of this by humbling himself before God in fasting, etc. Consequently לְהָכִין וּלְהִתְעַנּוֹת וגו׳ may be considered a hendiadys, to the extent to which the implied verbal idea is co-ordinated.—And I am come for thy words, i.e., in consequence of the words of thy prayer to which reference has just been made. On כִּדְכָרֶיךָ, “according to thy words,” cf. for instance, Esth. 1:12; 3:15; 8:14; 1 Kings 13:1, etc. The perfect בָּאתִי, “I have come,” denotes that the coming of the angel, which had already been determined on at the beginning of the prophet’s prayer, had only then become an accomplished fact. The delay in his coming, which was caused by the interference of a hostile angelic power, is accounted for in the following verse.
Daniel 10:13. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days. שַׁר מַלְכוּת פָּרַס. Jerome observes correctly, although upon a possibly inadequate exegetical foundation: “Videtur mihi hic esse angelus, cui Persis credita est, juxta illud quod in Deuteronomio (32:8, lxx) legimus: ‘Quando dividebat Altissimus gentes it disseminabat filios Adam, statuit terminos genitium juxta numeiurn angelorum Dei.’ Isti sunt principes, de quibus paulus apostolus loquitur: ‘Sapientiam loquimur inter perfectos, quam nullus principum sœculi hujus cognovit; si enim cognovissent, nunquam Dominum gloriæ crucifixissent.’ Restitit autem princeps, i.e., angelus Persarum, facians pro credita sibi provincia, ne captivorum omnis populus dimitteretur.” This interpretation is supported, and that of Calvin, Havernick, Kranichfeld, et al. which takes שַׂר in the sense of “king, earthly and human sovereign,” is opposed by the following considerations: (1) in Daniel 11:5, where שַׂר is unquestionably employed in the latter sense, the connection is entirely different from the character of the present passage, where the הַשִׂרִים which immediately follows obviously denotes angelic princes; (2) the Persian kings, on the other hand, are termed מַלְכֵי פָּרַס at the end of the verse; (3) the idea of an angel’s conflict with a human king seems very inappropriate; (4) the angel Michael was Israel’s “prince,” i.e., guardian angel, according to Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; and corresponding to this, the prince of Persia who is here noticed, and the prince of Græcia mentioned in Daniel 10:20, were, without doubt, the angels of Persia and Javan respectively; (5) the idea of guardian angels over entire realms, whether friendly or hostile in their disposition toward the theocracy, is attested by various Old-Test. parallels, particularly by Isa. 24:21 (see Knobel on that passage); Isa. 46:2; Jer. 46:25; 49:3 (where the gods of heathen nations take the place of the guardian angels); Deut. 32:8; and Psa. 96:4, 70; also Bar. 4:7 and Ecclus. 17:17 (where ήγούμενος seems to designate an angel prince, exactly like שַׂר in this passage),—to say nothing of New-Test, passages, such as 1 Cor. 8:5; 10:20 et seq.—The withstanding or resisting during twenty-one days is obviously to be understood sensu hostili (לְנֶגֶד, as in Prov. 21:30; cf. 2 Sam. 18:13), without, however, involving the idea that the Persian court, or any earthly locality whatever, was the scene of such opposition or warfare (as, e.g., Füller assumes). That adversari may more probably have taken place in super-mundane regions; and that this was the case seems to have been attested by parallels like 1 Kings 22:19 et seq.; Job 1:6; 2:1 et seq.; Luke 10:18; 22:31. Hofmann (Schriftbew., I. 286 et seq.) and Füller hold that “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” does not denote an actual guardian angel of that realm, but any evil spirit whatever, who may have sought to exert an influence on the decisions of the Persian king, while on the contrary the angel who appeared to Daniel sought to counteract that influence by his own, as being more beneficial to Israel;13 but this opinion is altogether too artificial, because it supposes two spiritual powers—the one good and the other evil—in every case (a “court-angel” and a “royal court-devil,” in the language of Starke), as exerting influence over the ruler of a kingdom. Moreover, the idea of the spirit ruling at a court, as being either good or bad, either peaceful or warlike, has too modern an aspect, and is foreign to the modes of conception that were current among the ancient Orientals. The strongest argument against this opinion, however, consists in the consideration that the title שַׂר מַלְכוּת פָּרַס, and farther on, the appellations שַׁר יָוָן and שַׂרכֶם (Michael, the prince of Israel; Daniel 10:21, cf. Daniel 10:20), imply a more intimate connection, a much closer and more constant relation between the angel and the corresponding nation than is involved in a merely temporary influence over the governmental policy of any particular ruler. A spirit who may have exercised a temporary control over the decisions of one or more Persian kings could not on that account simply be designated the פָּרַס שַׂר, The angel who is thus entitled must be considered the constant patron of the Persian nation and state, as much so as Michael was the constant patron of Israel, having been known as such in the age of Joshua (Josh. 5:13) as well as in that of Daniel, and still later, in that of the New-Test, apocalyptist (Rev. 12:7; Jude 1:9). For additional thoughts on the subject see on Daniel 10:20, 21, and the Eth. fund, principles.—And lo, Michael, one of the chief princes; properly, “one of the first” (הָרִאשֹׁנִים), i.e., of the most eminent; cf. 1 Chron. 18:17, and also הַשַּׂר חַגָּדוֹל, Daniel 12:1. The name Michael, “quis sicut Deus” (cf., e.g., Ex. 15:11; Psa. 89:7), and also the name of Isaiah’s prophetic contemporary מִיכָה (=מִיכַיָּהּ) is, according to Haneberg’s correct observation (in Reusch’s Theol. Literaturbl, 1867, No. 3, p. 72), “a name that sounds like a decided monotheistic protest against every undue exaltation of the angelic dignity.” It expresses still more strongly than the similar name of Gabriel (cf. on 8:16), the idea of God’s incomparable and assisting power, as whose instrument the angelic being who bears this name must be regarded (Kranichfeld). His “coming to help” is probably to be conceived of as an armed intervention, and supported by celestial hosts, as is suggested by the preceding warlike phrase עֹמֵד לְנֶגְדִּי, and as the term לְהִלָּחֶם in Daniel 10:20 indicates still more clearly. Michael must be conceived of in this place as battling at the head of an angelic host, as in Josh. 5:14 and Rev. 12:7; cf. also Gen. 32:2; 2 Kings 6:17, and other references to hosts of celestial angels. How little this belligerent attitude of Michael comports with the view of Hofmann and Füller, that the speaker was a special “good spirit of the heathen world-power,” whose battle with the prince of Persia was fought in the circles of the Persian court, will be apparent at once. Concerning the theory of the older exegetes and also of Hävernick, which directly identifies Michael with Christ, see Eth. fund principles, No. 1, and also on Daniel 12:1.—And I remained there with the kings of Persia; rather, “and I became superfluous there,” etc., namely, because another who was still more powerful than I had relieved me, and now represented me in the resistance to be made to the prince of Persia. The angel says that his presence became superfluous “with the kings of Persia” because he refers to all the powers who operate at the head of the Persian empire, including both the earthly and the super-earthly, the guardian spirit and the king beside his chief officers (cf. Isa. 24:21 et seq.; 57:9; Psa. 82:6; also the more extended signification of “kings” [= great ones, mighty ones], which occurs, e. g., in Psa. 2:2; Job 29:25; Ezek. 26:7; 1 Kings 11:24). The difiicult וַאְַכִי כוֹתַרְתִּי שָׁם אֵצֶל מַלְכֵי פָרַס must probably be explained in this way (with Ewald and partly also with Hitzig). The explanation offered by others,” and thus it happened that I remained or tarried during an extended period with the kings of Persia” (Vulg.: “et ego remansi ibi,” etc.; Syr., Dereser, Rosenm., Kranichf., etc.), is opposed by the fact that כוֹתַר does not properly signify “to remain behind,” but “to remain over, to be superfluous” (at the most, it might be possible to adduce Gen. 32:25 in support of the former meaning); and also that the construction of the sentence does not justify its being regarded as a supplement or complementary explanation of the remainder of the verse. The translation of Luther, Geier, Winer, Gesenius, Hävernick, etc.: “and I gained the ascendancy, or the victory, with the kings of Persia,” is likewise at variance with the general usage of כוֹתַר. The explanation of Füller (and Hofmann [also Keil), “and I then maintained my place beside the kings of Persia,” certainly accords better with the usage; but it is opposed by the consideration adduced above, concerning the assumption of two angelic powers who contend for the greatest influence over the Persian king. Nor can it be understood on that theory why the plural מַלְכֵי פ׳ was used instead of the singular; for, although the opinion that the writer intended Cyrus together with his successors, hence the entire Persian dynasty, by his “kings of Persia,” has recently become an especial favorite (being accepted likewise by Füller and Hofmann), it seems to us so improbable in itself, that even the adoption of the theory which asserts the Maccabæan origin of the book, could scarcely serve to establish it (cf. especially Hitzig, who contends for the more extended signification of מַלְכֵי upon substantial grounds). The Sept. (and Theodot.) renders the passage correctly with regard to its meaning: καὶ αὐτὸν (sc. τὸν Μιχαήλ) κατέλιπον ἐκεῖ μετὰ τοῦ ἄρχοντος βασιλείας Περῶν.
Daniel 10:14. I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days. Cf. the introductory words of Jacob’s blessing, Gen. 49:1; also Num. 24:14. Concerning אַחְַרִית חַיָּמִים as a designation of the Messianic future (the “issue of the ages,” Füller), cf. on Daniel 2:28. The “end of the indignation,” mentioned in Daniel 8:19, is not materially different from this end of (pre-Messianic days.—For yet the vision is for many days; rather, “for yet a vision for those days,” supply “I now bring, am about to reveal.” הַיִּמִים, the days, those days, viz.: the latter days just mentioned. עוֹד is probably to be taken (with Füller and C. B. Michaelis) as referring indirectly back to the two preceding visions which treated of the latter days, hence to chapters 8 and 9. (cf. especially Daniel 8:19 b and Daniel 9:23 et seq.). Consequently the angel now brings yet an eschatological prophecy, yet a vision of the last times which forms the final and most specific revelation. None of the other interpretations yield a clear sense that agrees with the context, e.g., that by Hitzig: “but it is yet continually a prophecy for ages;” by Hävernick, “for the prophecy to be imparted to thee shall extend to this time” (similarly Kranichfeld: “עוֹד, exceeding the present and the immediate future in its range”); the highly artificial one by Cocceius: “expectatio promissionis adhuc protelabitur, nempe per ista tempora, quæ partim c. 8, partim c. 9 descripta sunt,” etc.
Daniel 10:15–17. The prophet’s renewed consternation, in consequence of the reverential awe felt by him in the presence of his super-human visitor, who therefore now assumes an increasingly human bearing (see Daniel 10:16 a; cf. Daniel 10:18 a).… I set my face toward the ground and became dumb; the same attitude of reverential awe as in Luke 18:13; 24:5.—The prophet’s dumbness was twice removed by the comforting interference of the angel (Daniel 10:16 et seq. and Daniel 10:19); but he afterward remained speechless, excepting that he asked the brief question in Daniel 12:8. —And behold one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips, or, “like the sons of men he touched my lips;” the subject is not indicated here (and in Daniel 10:18), which does not, however, permit a doubt to arise that the. one “after the similitude…of men” is identical with the angel who was hitherto present. כִּדְמוּת בְּנֵי אָדָם serves to recall the כְּכַר אֱנָשׁ, Daniel 7:13, as כְּמַרְאֵה אָדָם in Daniel 10:18 recalls the similar expression in Daniel 8:15. An identity with Gabriel, however, cannot be established on this repeated assurance of the angel’s manlike appearance (against Kranichf.).—The touching of the lips (for the purpose of unsealing and opening them) is similar to the incident in Isa. 6:7; Jer. 1:9. —O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me. There is nothing strange in the form of the prophet’s address to the angel, which terms him “my lord,” particularly since the angel belonged to the class of “chief princes;” cf. Josh. 5:14; Judg. 6:13. With regard to צִירִים, “sorrows,” properly, “pains,” cf. Isa. 13:8; 21:3; 1 Sam. 4:19. צִירַי, “my sorrows” (cf. Psa. 18:24), characterizes the acuteness of the terrified sensation alluded to more impressively than could have been done by צִירִים merely; and since the term is obviously employed in a tropical sense only, it does not sound strange from the lips of a man (against Hitzig), and does not require to be obviated by means of putting an unusual sense on צִירַי, e.g., by “my joints trembled in me” (Vulg., Luther, Berth., Hävernick, Füller), or by “my features were changed” (Ewald, following Psa. 49:15).— Daniel 10:17. And how can the servant of my lord talk, etc. הֵיךְ, as in 1 Chron. 13:2, a Chaldaism for אֵיךְ.—As for me (properly “and I”) straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me; i. e., the power to stand and breathe regularly (1 Kings 10:5; Josh. 2:11) departed from me afresh. The renewed consternation described in these words was not as great as the former, in Daniel 10:9; the “ceasing of the breath” was not in a literal sense as in 1 Kings 17:17, but only figurative, as in the similar form of speech, Cant. 5:6.—A majority of recent expositors correctly regard this second member of the verse as no longer belonging to Daniel’s address to the angel; for if it were still included, the words “there is no strength in me” would have been employed twice in close proximity (Daniel 10:16 b and here) and in nearly the same form. Moreover, the incident of the two following verses requires a suitable preparation.—Füller, however, is entirely too artificial when he includes the words “and I —” in Daniel’s explanation to the angel, but excludes everything else, to the close of his remarks.
Daniel 10:18, 19. The prophet is touched and strengthened for the third time, and more effectually than before (cf. Daniel 10:5 and 16). The being touched and strengthened three times by the angel (in which old-churchly exegetes, e.g., Ephraem, etc., sought to find an allusion to the Trinity) was certainly not accidental; cf. the conflict of Christ in Gethsemane, Matt. 26:38 et seq.; his being tempted thrice in the desert, Matt. 4:1 et seq.; also such passages as John 21:15 et seq.; Acts 10:16; 2 Cor. 12:8 et seq., etc. Hitzig, however, being utterly unaware of the profound mystical meaning of the description, thinks that “the broad representation that he was gradually invigorated, at first to speak himself, and afterward to listen to speech (Daniel 10:16,19 b), has a manufactured appearance, and does not impress.”—Like the appearance of a man; cf. on Daniel 10:16.
Daniel 10:19. Peace be unto thee; be strong, yea, be strong. חֲזַק וַחֲזַק; cf. חְַזַק וֶאֶמַץ, Josh. 1:6, 7, 9; and with regard to the repetition of the verb, as strengthening the idea, cf. Jer. 10:25; 51:34, etc.—For thou hast strengthened me, viz.: sufficiently to enable me to listen with courageous composure to all that is to be revealed, not excepting even what is calamitous and terrible.
Daniel 10:20—chapּ 11:1. Solemn and circumstantial introduction of the subsequent detailed description of the future, connected with an encouraging reference to the constant readiness of God to assist Israel, despite the serious character of the situation of the time (and particularly, despite the dangers which threatened from the direction of Persia and Javan).—Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? i.e., art thou aware of the serious and highly important character of the message which I am to deliver unto thee? Dost thou sufficiently estimate the tremendous earnestness of the situation, in consequence of which my mission became necessary?—And now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia. That is, the peaceful service of disclosing the future unto thee, in which I am now engaged, forms but a brief interruption to the great war which I must continue steadily to wage against the guardian spirit of the Persian power. With regard to הִלָּחֵם, considered as denoting an actual warfare rather than a mere altercation or dispute in the council of the angels of God (as Bertholdt and others think), see on Daniel 10:13.—And when (as soon as) I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Græcia shall come. The “going forth” in this passage, as often in descriptions of warlike incidents (e.g., Josh. 14:11; 1 Kings 2:7; 1 Sam. 8:20; Isa. 42:12; Zech. 14:10), certainly denotes a going forth to battle rather than the mere departing from a locality (Hofmann, Füller, etc.). The observation does not, however, refer to his going forth to meet the prince of Persia, but a going forth to other conflicts after the war with the latter shall have been brought to a close; or, in other words, it denotes a going forth out of the war against the prince of Persia (so Jacchiad., Bertholdt, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, etc.—correctly). The sense is therefore: “Scarcely shall the Persian war be ended, when the Greek arises against me; the conflict with the Græcian world-power shall be immediately consequent on the war with that of Persia.” Cf. the similar contrasting of יָצָא and בּוֹא in 2 Kings 11:5, 7. Hofmann’s exposition of the passage is altogether too labored: “The prince of the Græcians enters into the quarrel against the prince of the Persians, from which the angel retires; but, after the Persian empire has fallen, the angel renews the conflict with the new adversary, and, as in the former instance, is supported by Michael, the prince of Israel” (Schriftbew, I. 290; cf. Weissag. und Erfültung, 1:312 et seq.). Hofmann, however, properly rejects v. Lengerke’s view, on which the coming of the prince of Græcia must be regarded as victorious, and leading to the defeat of the angel. Hitzig, on the other hand, comes especially near to the latter theory, in his venturesome assertion that the angelic prince who converses with Daniel, and who is to battle against Persia and afterward against Greece, represents the guardian spirit of Egypt, as of a power that had been friendly to the Jews in former ages and that especially made common cause with them against Syria (= Javan) in the period of the Seleucidæ!—a bold hypothesis, that has no support in the context, and that is absolutely incompatible with the expressions of sacred awe and reverence which Daniel made use of toward this celestial שַׂר, according to Daniel 10:5 et seq. Daniel would have been an idolater of the coarsest kind had he rendered such homage as is described in this chapter, and particularly in Daniel 10:16–19, to the angelic patron and representative of Egypt (whom he assuredly regarded as a dæmonic power inimical to God, no less than those of Persia and Javan). And a possible Maccabæan pseudo-Daniel would have been still less likely than the Daniel of the æra of the captivity, to involve himself in the guilt of so gross a violation of the monotheistic principle and of disobedience to the first commandment in the decalogue.
Daniel 10:21. But I will show thee that which is noted in the Scripture (or book) of truth. אְַבָל, “but still,” a strong adversative particle, serves here to introduce the antidote to the fears for the theocracy excited by Daniel 10:20—in the shape of a comforting allusion to the ultimate welfare and blessing which are awaiting God’s people according to the book of Divine providence, despite all the conflicts and sufferings that must precede them. Properly, “in a book of truth,” i.e., in a Divine document upon which “the yet unrevealed (Deut. 32:34) fortunes of nations (Rev. 5:1) as well as of individuals (Psa. 139:16) in the future are entered” (Hitzig). Cf. the books of judgment in Daniel 7:10, and also the term אֱמֶת in Daniel 11:2, which briefly comprehends the contents of the book of truth.—And there is none that holds with me in these things; rather, “and yet there is none that exerts himself with me against these,” i.e., against the guardian angels of Persia and Javan, the dæmonic patrons of the heathen world-powers. On מִתְחַזֵּק עִם, exerting oneself with another, battling beside one, supporting one, cf 1 Sam. 4:9; 2 Sam. 10:12. The participle characterizes the action, although future, as nevertheless being constant.—But (only) Michael your prince,—namely, in the sense of Josh. 5:13 et seq.; cf. supra, on Daniel 10:13. The sentence “and there is none.… your prince,” taken as a whole, is not intended to justify the greatness of the sufferings through which Israel must pass (Hofmann), or the long duration of the prospective conflict with the world-powers (Füller); it simply aims to place in a clearer light the help afforded by the grace of God, which requires no foreign support in order to protect, and eventually to fully deliver Israel” (Kranichf.). The sentence would still express the idea of the self-sufficiency of the good spiritual powers in the kingdom of God. which require no aid from the world, and also of their ability to effect all things, even if it were made (as Füller proposes) dependent on אַגִּיד לְךָ, and consequently if (in disregard of the accentuation) it were translated, “But I will show thee that which is noted,” etc., “…. and the absence of one to help me,” etc. In that case, however, it would present two very dissimilar objects of the angel’s remarks as co-ordinate with each other, the former of which is very general in its character, and the latter equally specific; and this rendering would not obviate the incongruous relation between the contents of the former half of the verse and those of the latter, which exists in any case.— Daniel 11:1. Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him, or, “As I also.…. stood by him as a supporter and helper;” properly, “and I also.” וַאֲנִי begins a new sentence (cf. Psa. 30:7; Job 19:25) which does not stand in an adversative relation to the preceding verse (Hitzig), nor serve to explain it (Luther, etc.), but which is comparative. It describes the relation by which the angel who now speaks and Michael, the prince of Israel, assisted each other, as being reciprocal. עָמְדִי serves to repeat the אֲנִי without regard to sequence, “and I.…. my standing was as his support,” etc. Cf. Job 9:27; Zeph. 3:20; and respecting the use of עָמַד sensu bellico s. militari cf. supra, Daniel 10:13 and Daniel 8:25.—לוֹ “to him.” Hävernick and Hitzig propose to refer this particle to דָּרְיָוֶשׁ rather than to Michael, because the strong terms מָעוֹז and מַחֲזִיק are supposed to warrant the conclusion that the one to whose support he came was a being inferior to the assisting angel, which would not apply to the relation of the latter to Michael. But in view of all the teaching of this section, a martial angelic prince may well be in occasional need of the aid and support of another, without being inferior to the latter on that account; and in support of the view that Michael, the guardian angel of Israel, was obliged to put forth special efforts in behalf of his wards, and therefore required the assistance of other good angelic powers to an unusual degree, precisely “in the first year of Darius the Mede,” or at the period when the world-power passed from the Chaldæans to the Medo-Persians, it will be sufficient to refer to chap.6 and to Daniel 9:1 et seq. (cf. Zech. 1:12). Cf. Hofmann, Schriftbew., I. 289, and also Füller, p. 279: “The first verse of chap. 11 is thus intimately connected with the last verse of chap. 10; and it was unwise to separate them, and thereby to confuse the train of thought (by referring לוֹ to Darius the Mede). If it be asked, what interests were at stake in the first year of Darius, the answer will be, the position which the new dynasty should occupy toward the people of Israel. And it may be seen from the narrative in chap. 6 that efforts were made in that particular year to place it in a hostile attitude toward that people. It was in that juncture that the good angel of the world-power stood by Michael, the prince of Israel, until he prevailed; in the coming conflict Michael shall support him.”
ETHICO-FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES RELATED TO THE HISTORY OF SALVATION, APOLOGETICAL REMARKS, AND HOMILETICAL SUGGESTIONS
1. The characteristic and leading feature of the contents of this section is angelological in its nature. An angelic being is introduced and described in an unusually minute and life-like manner, whom we (see on Daniel 10:5 and 13) cannot regard as being identical with the Gabriel of chapters 8 and 9, nor yet with Michael, to whom he repeatedly refers in the communications addressed by him to Daniel; but the important disclosures made by this being respecting the nature and functions of several leading representatives of the angelic world, and the exalted rank and powerful influence within that world claimed by him, no less than his tremendous influence on the fortunes of earthly empires, justify the careful description of which he is the object (Daniel 10:5–7), as well as the expressions of profound reverence addressed to him by Daniel (according to Daniel 10:8–11; 15–19). These expressions, together with the counteracting efforts of the angel called forth by them, by which he designed to strengthen and encourage the terrified and overwhelmed prophet, are analogous to the incidents connected with the appearance of Gabriel to Daniel in Daniel 8:15 et seq.; but while the prophet’s fainting and his restoration by Gabriel occurred but once in that instance (see on Daniel 10:18), the same features appear thrice in this connection, leading to the conclusion that this nameless angelic prince is of extraordinary importance, and at least equals, if he does not outrank Michael, the “captain of the Lord’s host” (Josh. 5:13). As the latter comes to his assistance (Daniel 10:13, 21), so he affords aid to that prince in return (Daniel 11:1) in the conflict with the “princes” of Persia and Javan, the angels who fight against God at the head of the heathen world-power. The latter likewise appear to be possessed of exalted power, and therefore as terrible spiritual beings who are dangerous to the kingdom of God and its representatives. They are powerful dæmons who bear the name שָׂרִים “princes, archangels,” by virtue of their influential rank in the kingdom of darkness, with as much propriety as do Gabriel, Michael, etc., by virtue of their position in the kingdom of light. The power of the evil angels, however, is only transient and perishable, like that of the empires over which they rule, while the angelic princes of light, Michael and the nameless one, who stand in the service of God, triumph over them all in succession, although the victory may only be achieved by effort and determined conflict.
But who is this nameless one, this mysterious being, to whom not even the predicate שַׂר is applied, although doubtless belonging to him, to say nothing of a definite nomen proprium being assigned to him?—Are we, in connection with many older expositors (e.g., Vitringa, C. B. Michaelis, Rambach, Starke, etc.), to identify him with Christ, the “uncreated angel of the Lord,” whom Daniel repeatedly addressed as אְַדֹנַי, and whose description is said to be strikingly similar to that of the “Son of man” in Daniel 7:13 et. seq. (with which compare especially Daniel 10:16, 18), and also to that of Christ in the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:13–18; 10:1–6)? This opinion is at all events more probable than that of the interpreters who identify Michael instead with Christ (Melancthon, Geier, Jo. Lange, Neubauer, Disput. de Michaele archangelo, Hävernick, etc.); but it is opposed, and the created nature of the angel is implied, by the following considerations: (1) he describes himself in Daniel 10:11 as a messenger sent from God to bear a Divine message to Daniel (similar to Gabriel in Daniel 8:16 et seq.; 9:20 et seq.): (2) his difficulty in combating the protecting angels of the world-powers, even necessitating his being supported by other angelic princes, contrasts strongly with the manner in which the former visions describe the triumph of Christ over the world-empires opposed to him; see especially Daniel 2:44 et seq. and Daniel 7:13, 22, 26; (3) the circumstance already noticed in Daniel 10:16, that the address “my lord,” together with the other features of the description which aim at the exaltation and glorifying of this angel, are elsewhere applied to angels who were certainly created; e.g., in Josh. 5:14, to the captain of the Lord’s host; Judg. 6:13, to the angel who appeared to Gideon; Judg. 13:8, to the angel whom Manoah saw; cf. also Rev. 19:10; 22:8 et seq. We shall consequently be compelled to assume that the messenger sent from God to Daniel, as here introduced, was an angel proper, and distinct from the Son of God (see Jerome, Theodoret, and a majority of church fathers, on this passage). But what position of rank and power is to be attributed to him, or—in case he is at once co-ordinated with Michael and Gabriel in these respects (as we have done on Daniel 10:5), and is therefore regarded as an archangel—what particular office and functions are to be assigned to him, is after all a difficult question, and can hardly be answered with full exegetical certainty. The range of the angel’s activity would become too limited if he were identified with the third of the archangels mentioned by name in the Old Test., beside Gabriel and Michael, viz.: with the Raphael of the apocryphal book Tobit, or if he were degraded to the rank of a mere guardian angel over Egypt (Hitzig; see on Daniel 10:20). On the other hand, his authority would become too extensive, and his position too exalted, if he were conceived of as the mighty governor of all earthly nature, the Divinely appointed ruler and spiritual guide of the whole terrestrial world, thus assigning to him a sphere similar to that occupied by the demiurge of the Gnostics, or the “earth-spirit” of Goethe in his prologue to Faust, or to that given by the ingenious natural philosopher, Max Perty (in his work über die mystischen Erscheinungen der menschlichen Natur, 1862), to the geodœmon, the regent of our planet, who is regarded as the spiritual principle that presides over the earth, the human race, and the development of both. To assume such an earth-spirit, which is neither Scriptural nor natural, and which has no support even in the magical and mystical phenomena of human life (cf. the thorough criticism of this hypothesis in L. Giesebrecht’s lecture on Das Wunder in der deutschen Geschichtbeschreibung neuerer Zeit, Stettin, 1868, p. 10 et seq.), would be to disregard the tenor of this section, as certainly as it characterizes the angel as being decidedly supernatural, and at the same time (in Daniel 10:5 et seq.) endows him with external attributes of his rank such as would be but poorly adapted to the position and functions of a telluric planetary spirit. —Accordingly, if any particular explanation whatever of the nature and office of this angel is to be attempted, the opinion of Hofmann which was noticed above, on Daniel 10:5, is to be decidedly preferred to all others (Weissagung und Erfüllung, I. 312 et seq.; Schriftbeweis, I. 287 et seq.). That opinion has also been adopted by Auberlen (Daniel, etc., p. 67), Füller, Baumgarten, Luthardt, Riggenbach (on 2 Thess. 2:6), and others. It assumes that the angel in question represents “the good spirit of the heathen world-power,” while the “princes” of Persia and Javan opposed by him and Michael, represent the evil principle which is hostile to God, and which manifests itself in the development of the heathen world-power. The former is that “power in nature which operates in favor of God’s kingdom throughout the heathen world,” the “good spirit, which is to promote in the heathen world the realization of God’s purpose of salvation;” the latter are powers opposed to God, who seek to cross and neutralize the plans of God and of the good angel, which aim at the salvation of the world. The former is the restraining principle (τὸ κατέχον, 2 Thess., l. c.) which restrains and prevents the ascendancy and prevalence of the height of Satanic wickedness in human history; the latter, on the contrary, endeavor to hinder and retard the progress of the kingdom of God. We regard this view as harmonizing well with the contents of the chapter before us, and can permit a partial departure from it only in so far as (1) we must consider it doubtful whether St. Paul intended to definitely and consciously allude precisely to the angel here described by the word κατέχων or κατέχον; (2) so far as we regard the conflict of the angel with those foes as an actual warfare in the invisible regions of the spirit-world, and not as a mere supplanting in the favor of the king and his court, because of the termini bellici employed in Daniel 10:13 and 20 et seq.; (3) so far as we are compelled to regard the foes against whom the angel contended, as being the actual spiritual protectors of the world-kingdoms in question, and as dæmonic powers or Satanic angels, who have entered on a permanent connection with the kingdoms over which they rule, in consequence of which they stand or fall with them (cf. on Daniel 10:13). The idea of guardian angels, or, more exactly, the idea of certain dæmonic spiritual beings (ἄγγελοι Σατάν, 2 Cor. 12:7) as being at the head of the antitheistic world-monarchies and as fundamentally opposed to Michael, the prince of the theocracy, is not only countenanced by the leading authorities of the older exegetical tradition (Luther, Melanc, Calov, Geier, C. B. Michaelis, Starke, and in substance also Jerome, Theodoret, and the older Roman Catholic expositors, excepting that they mistake the Satanic evil character of the “princes” of Persia, etc., to a greater or less extent), but it is likewise based on all the passages in both the Old and New-Test. Scriptures, which represent the gods of the heathen world as dæmons, and consequently, the heathen lands or states over which they rule and exercise spiritual authority as being provinces of the kingdom of darkness (cf. the expositors of 1 Cor. 8:6; 10:20 et seq., especially Kling, vol. 7 of the New-Test. part of the Bible-work).15
2. This estimate of the contents of the chapter does not affect its credibility, nor does it oblige us to conclude that the section originated at the hands of a pseudo-Daniel in the Maccabæan age. Füller’s remarks on these points, p. 272 et seq., are especially pertinent. We transfer to this place an epitome of this author’s apology for the doctrine of angels, as contained in this section, although it is connected with views that diverge somewhat from ours, and that especially contain no correct estimate of the idea of guardian angels: “This is the meaning of our text. Shall we consider it a rabbinical idea and a Jewish fable? I cannot even find that it is entirely foreign to our modern conceptions. Do we not frequently speak of the spirit that reigns in the influential circles of a court? Is it not well understood that propositions which conflict with that spirit have no prospect of being approved, unless the prevailing spirit should be superseded by a different one? That is exactly what the text affirms—although certainly with a difference; for our age speaks of spirit without understanding a personal spiritual being by that term. ‘Spirit’ is a current word in its mouth, but it becomes embarrassed when asked how it conceives of spirit. As God, in the consciousness of modern times, has taken refuge in the guise of a universal spirit, of which it may be affirmed that it is, and that it is not, with equal propriety, so the spirits are involved in a similar predicament; they have dissolved into vapor. The Scriptures, however, teach a different doctrine. They have and know a personal God and personal spirits, and teach that the latter include some who do the will of God, while others resist it. If we assume accordingly that such spirits exist, it will not surprise any mind that they should be active and influential (cf. Gen. 32:1 et seq.; 2 Kings 6:17, etc.).… According to the Scriptures as a whole, the angels are the agents through whom God governs the world, and they are concerned in many things where we do not suspect their presence. The only new feature in the passage is that they are employed in influencing the decisions of the rulers of the world; but this is not surprising, since they are concerned to realize or prevent the Divine purposes. The world-power interferes in the fortunes of Israel; should God quietly look on while His will is counteracted? In such a case he opposes the evil spirit by His spirit, so that spirit combats against spirit,” etc. —Auberlen expresses ideas exactly similar, p. 67: “The Holy Scriptures only ask of us that we should take in a real sense the language we are accustomed to employ in a figurative sense, respecting a conflict of the good and the evil spirit in man. Similar ideas prevail in 1 Sam. 16:13, 15; 1 Kings 22:22; the Satanic influences with which we become better acquainted through the words of Jesus and the apostles are nothing different in their nature. This does not argue that the freedom of human action is thereby destroyed; for the influence of spirits over the inner nature of man is not irresistible, and their principal attention may perhaps be given to the shaping of external circumstances. The question concerning the relation of the Divine government to the freedom of man does not become more difficult by the additional feature of the service of angels, but, on the contrary, becomes more intelligible.”—Cf. also Blumhardt, Ueber die Lehre von den Engeln, in Vilmar’s Pastoral-Theol. Blättern, 1865, I. p. 32: “If Christ is presented to us as he who shall reign until all his foes are made the footstool for his feet, his reigning is always realized through the means of angels who are sent forth, and over whom is placed a special angel, Michael being prominent among them; and the fact that so little is said respecting the persons of the warring angels, who must be regarded as constantly reappearing, produces in us the more positive and elevating impression, as it is always the same battle from the beginning and down to the consummation of God’s kingdom, when he shall have put down all opposing rule, and all authority and power (1 Cor. 15:24). In this light we learn to lose sight of the strangeness of a name also, e.g., that of Michael (‘who is like God?’), and see that the names found in the Scriptures have not the slightest connection with the follies of the Jewish doctrine concerning angels, which includes extended registers of angels’ names. But we also learn how easy it is, when the Word is carefully and thoroughly studied, to set aside the sneering objections of opponents, who judge everything superficially by its appearance, and are ready to throw it into the lumber-room of superstitions, if we only guard against being moved from our simplicity by the power of a worldly wisdom that overlooks the kernel of everything.”
3. Nor does the chapter contain anything aside from the doctrine of angels that is not well adapted to the time of Daniel, and to the captive prophet Daniel as its author. This has already been shown with reference to several particulars. It only remains to call attention to the alleged “historical improbability” contained in Daniel 10:1, that Daniel did not return to the holy land with Zerubbabel and Joshua, as being a circumstance that on the contrary lends very little support to the Maccabæan-tendency hypothesis. For while it is a sufficient explanation of that fact that the aged and esteemed prophet remained at Babylon for the special purpose of promoting the welfare of his compatriots and of the theocracy (see on that passage), it is certainly improbable that a writer of the Maccabæan period, who should have invented this narrative in the interest of a tendency, would have left his hero in a strange land, among the many indifferent and apostate ones (cf. 1 Macc. 1:13 et seq.; 44:55), when a suitable opportunity was presented for his return, and while his own heart was animated with a glowing love for the “pleasant land” (אֶרֶץ־צְבִי, Daniel 8:9; 11:16).—The zealous fasting of Daniel (Daniel 10:2 et seq.) serves as little as the circumstance above referred to, to render probable the composition of the chapter in the Maccabæan age; for the prophet’s fasting does not bear an ascetic and work-righteous character, such as was adapted to the spirit of the later Judaism, and especially to the Alexandrian Judaism, inasmuch as the cause of the gracious acceptance of the supplicant while yearning for deliverance, is shown by Daniel 10:12 to have been, not his fasting, but the fervent and persistent prayer which accompanied it. In this character of a mere accompaniment and outward sign of sorrow because of national and religious misfortunes, fasting (together with related usages connected with mourning, e.g., abstaining from anointing, the wearing of sackcloth, sitting in ashes, etc.) was practised, long prior to the captivity, by the earliest representatives of the prophetic order, such as Elijah, Joel, Isaiah, etc. (cf. 1 Kings 17:6; 19:4 et seq.; Joel 1:14; 2:12; Isa. 20:2 et seq.); so that the similar conduct of Daniel, which becomes additionally appropriate in view of its being connected with the occurrence of the feast of the Passover, does not seem remarkable or untimely in the least.—In opposition to Hitzig’s assertion that the remarks of the angel in Daniel 10:21; 11:1, contain an allusion to the political relations of Egypt with Syria and Palestine in the Maccabæan period, see supra, on these passages.
4. The homiletical treatment of the chapter will have regard primarily and principally to its angelological features. In this respect attention will naturally be directed less to the nature and employment of the angels brought to our notice than to their relation to the designs and modes of operation of the Divine providence which employs them as instruments in its service. The influence of God on the fortunes of the world-empires and the decisions of their rulers, as being exerted through the agency of angels, and as employing the power of the mighty princes of the spirit-world for the welfare of man—such will probably be the theme of a meditation on the contents of the section as a whole. In connection with this it will be proper to refer to passages like Psa. 34:3; 103:20 et seq.; Heb. 1:14, etc., and to illustrate and enforce them in their profound truth and comforting power, by the subject of this chapter.
Homiletical suggestions on particular passages: On Daniel 10:1, Melancthon: “Nova visio exhibetur jam Daniel, non solum ut ipse et cæteri pii in hoc prœsenti periculo confirmentur, sed etiam et posteritas prœmoneatur de prœipuis mutationibus imperiorum et de iis calamitatibus, quœ Judœœ impendebant.…. Habes Ecclesiœ imaginem, quam Deus vult et exerceri afflictionibus et fide expectare liberationem. Et cum liberat, tamen eventus non respondent nostris conjecturis. Cum Cyri beneficium impeditum esset, postea magis conspici potuit, a Deo gubernari hanc liberationem, cum lot impedimenta incidissent, quœ humanis consiliis tolli non poterant.”
On Daniel 10:2, Jerome: “Secundum anagogen vero hoc dicendum est, quod qui in luctu est et sponsi luget absentiam, non comedit panem desiderabilem, qui de cœlo descendit, neque solidum capit cibum, qui intelligitur in carne, nec bibit vinum, quod Iœtificat cor hominis, nec exhilarat faciem in oleo (Ps. 104:15). Hoc autem jejunio sponsa impetrabiles facit lacrimas, quondo sponsus fuerit ablatus ab ea,” etc.—Cramer: “To fast and prepare the body is indeed a proper external discipline, not to deserve something thereby, as the Papists do, but in order to a still better preparation: Matt. 6:17 et seq.”
On Daniel 10:4, Geier: “Juxta hunc fluvium se fuisse dicit propheta, jejunio hactenus maceratus precibusque vacans devotis, sine dubio, ut animum nonnihil recrearet hac loci jucundioris contemplatione, si quidem ad hujusmodi fluviorum ripas amœni nonnunquam dantur colles, valles auluci arboribus consiti, ubi undarum suaviter audiuntur susurri adeoque non exigua simul suppeditatur ansa recolendi beneficia tam creationis, quam conservationis redemtionis,” etc. Cf. Psa. 137:1 et seq.; Ezek. 1:1 etc.
On Daniel 10:8 et seq., Calvin: “Deus non ideo terret suos, quoniam ipsum oblectet nostra perturbatio, sed quoniam id nobis utile est, quia scilicet nunquam erimus idonei ad discendum, nisi carne nostra prorsus subacta. Hoc autem necesse fieri violento modo propter pervicaciam nobis ingenitam.”—Starke: “Behold in this the goodness and friendliness of God, who not only knows how to terrify, but also causes the terrified ones to be comforted and strengthened!”
On Daniel 10:11, Theodoret: καλεῖ αὐτὸν οὑ Βαλτασάρ, ἀλλὰ Δανιήλ· τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἦν ξαλδαίων, τὸ δὲ ̔Εβραίων ὄνομα· καὶ τὸ μὲν ὑπὸ εὐσεβῶν, ἐτέθη, τὸ δὲ ὐπὸ δυσσεβῶν προδετέθη—Starke: “It is difficult for a timid and sorrowful heart to appropriate to itself the Divine comfort; wherefore God sometimes calls them by name; cf. Acts 10:31.”
On Daniel 10:13, Jerome (see supra, on that passage).—Melancthon: “Angelus pius narrat Danieli, se dimicasse cum principe Persarum, i.e., cum diabolo moliente dissipationes regni Persici. Etsi enim ignoramus, quomodo inter se pugnent boni et mali spiritus, tamen certamina esse non dubium est, sive disputatione fiant, sive aliis modis. Ait ergo bonus Angelus repressum a se esse malum spiritum, qui Cambysen juvenem et aulicos impios incitabat, vel ad delendam gentem Judaicam, vel ad interficiendum Danielem, vel ad alias malas actiones tentandas, quœ novos motus in regno allaturœ erant.”—Auberlen, Blumhardt, Füller (see supra, No. 2).
On Daniel 10:15 et seq., Starke: “If needless terror and alarm can deprive a pious soul of his speech, is it a wonder that wicked persons shall be dumb when Christ addresses them with the words, Friend, how camest thou in hither, etc.? (Matt. 22:12).—If God does not first open our lips, either directly or indirectly, we shall be unable to speak what pleases Him (Rom. 8:26; 10:15).”
On Daniel 10:20 et seq., Melancthon: “Hœc exempla ostendunt satis inquietam fuisse provinciam: Fuerunt igitur et angelorum certamina, qui malos spiritus, seditionum et discordiarum inflammatores depellebant.”—Starke: “When one kingdom of the world has been destroyed, Satan will reign through another; and thus the church is compelled to contend constantly against the prince of this world, until all kingdoms shall belong to God and Christ.—The fact that the power of angels is limited appears from their requiring the assistance of others.”
הָיִיתִי here signifies continued.—
The phrase is peculiar, שְׁכֻערִם יָמִים, literally, sevens days, the latter being in epexegetical apposition. It is here used in contrast with Daniel 9:25 et seq., to show that literal weeks, and not hebdomades of years, are intended.]
[We have repeatedly objected to this hypothesis of a later interpolation as purely subjective and gratuitous.]
[That the prophecies in question are unique in this particular may readily be conceded without any impeachment of their genuineness. The whole book is remarkable for its vividness and personality of delineation. The details were so striking that Cyrus the Great and Alexander the Great are traditionally reported to have recognized their own portraits immediately. But the same is measurably true of other specifications in O.-T. prophecies, although not on so extended a scale. Even the name of Cyrus is mentioned by Isaiah nearly two centuries before his time; yet few, among evangelical interpreters at least, would on that account pronounce those passages a forgery. The author’s reasoning for the rejection of the authenticity of these predictions of Daniel is entirely uncritical. Hengstenberg. in his work on the Genuineness of the Book of Daniel (Edinb. translation, sec. XII), adduces other examples of equal definiteness in O.-T. prophecy, and meets this whole objection fully. The vague manner in which our author adduces the argument gives very little opportunity to do more than make this general demurral to his views on this point.]
[Keil takes a different view of this whole prophecy, with a view to obviate any sudden transition, either from the Persian monarchy to the Antiochian tyranny, or from that to the final consummation of the kingdom of God. “The angel of the Lord will reveal to Daniel, not what shall happen from the third year of Cyrus to the time of Antiochus, and further to the resurrection of the dead, but, according to the express declaration of Daniel 10:14, what shall happen to his people בְּאַחֲרִית חַיָּמִים, i.e., in the Messianic future, because the prophecy relates to this time. In the אְַחַרִית יָמִים takes place the destruction of the world-power, and the setting up of the Messianic kingdom at the end of the present world-æon. All that the angel says regarding the Persian and the Javanic world-kingdoms, and the wars of the kings of the north and the south, has its aim to the end-time, and serves only to indicate briefly the chief elements of the development of the world-kingdoms till the time when the war that brings in the end shall burst forth, and to show how, after the overthrow of the Javanic world-kingdom, neither the kings of the north nor those of the south shall gain the possession of the dominion of the world.” But this last would certainly seem to be a very inadequate reason for so great a detail of political delineation. Hence, after pursuing the exposition of the middle portion of this prophecy especially, Keil concludes thus: “From this comparison this much follows, that the prophecy does not furnish a prediction of the historical wars of the Seleucidæ and the Ptolemies, but an ideal description of the war of the kings of the north and the south in its general outlines, whereby, it is true, diverse special elements of the prophetical announcement have been historically fulfilled, but the historical reality does not correspond with the contents of the prophecy in anything like an exhaustive manner.” Accordingly he everywhere exaggerates the minor discrepancies that occur between the prophecy and the history of Antiochus in particular, with a view to enhance this idealistic theory. The indefiniteness and inconsistency of thus carrying on at once a double line of interpretation renders his scheme on the whole very unsatisfactory. Yet it is in pursuance of his general theory concerning the absence of a design on the prophet’s part to particularize the history or the Jews as such. To a certain point this theory is doubtless true; but he carries it so far as to render the predictions rather symbolical than real. The discrepancies upon which he chiefly relies for the support of his view we will examine in detail as they occur.]
[On the contrary, the fact that in chap. 11 this detail is so minutely drawn out, is a strong proof of the genuineness of this portion, for it is precisely here that the same archenemy, the Antiochian antichrist, is most vividly depicted, who constitutes the prominent and culminating figure in all the preceding visions. The whole chapter evidently revolves around this, which is likewise the central point of the entire book. It is moreover in exact conformity with the spirit of O.-T. prophecy to dwell thus at length upon the nearest type of all the tableaux in the future of God’s people, and to touch more lightly and dimly upon the more distant features.]
[Keil, however, agrees with Gesenius and Fürst in regarding it as an anomalous third pers. masc. præter.]
[In these phrases יָמִים is doubtless, as Gesenius explains, to be regarded as an accusative of limitation, the preceding noun being in the absolute, and not the construct state. Yet even this appositional relation seems to limit the שָׁבעִים, whether the latter be regarded as a noun=weeks or even simple=seven, to the usual hebdomadal sense. It thus stands really, though perhaps not intentionally, in contrast with the undefined שִׁכְעִים of Daniel 9:24–27, and leaves the word in that passage to be interpreted by the exigencies of the context.]
[“But this contrast is not well founded, for the מַצּוֹת (unleavened cakes) of the Passover was not (notwithstanding Deut. 16:3) bread of sorrow, but pure, holy bread, which Daniel did not eat, in opposition to the law, for three weeks. לֶחֶם is not to be limited to bread in its narrower sense, but denotes food generally.”—Keil.]
[The predominant opinion, nevertheless, among scholars identifies Ophir with Uphaz.]
[Keil, however contends that מַרְגְּלוֹת, place of 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.]
[Keil thinks that “the voice was not heard till after Daniel’s companions had fied;” but this is by no means certain from the text.]
Cf. especially Füller on this passage, p. 274: “The question is, which of the two spirits shall succeed in exercising the greater influence over the Persian court and king. It becomes an object to gain the consent of the Persian king and the holders of power under him, that he may decide thus or otherwise.… It is conceivable that in such a case the good spirit, who operated on the world-ruler, would occupy a more difficult position, and be engaged in a harder task than the evil spirit, to whom the heart of the natural man, to say nothing of the heart of a heathen, is more accessible than it is to the former. It was then that Michael came to his support by causing, as Hofmann remarks (as above, p. 288), the relations which Cyrus had assumed toward the Jewish people to operate on that king, and to gain increased influence over his inclinations and views,” etc.
[Yet “we must not, with Kranichfeld, supply the clause, ‘to another more extensive conflict,’ because this supplement is arbitrary; but rather, with Kliefoth, interpret the word generally, as it stands, of the going out of the angel to fight for the people of God, without excluding the war with the prince of Persia, or limiting it to this war” (Keil).]
[The vagueness and indecision of this interpretation of the “prince” in question is no less an objection to it than its evidently heathenish character. The author’s arguments adduced above against the common view which identifies this angelic prince with Christ himself are entirely inconclusive: for (1) Jesus likewise calls himself a messenger of God (John 3:17, 34); (2) the Son of God himself did not disdain angelic aid (Matt. 4:11; Luke 22:43); (3) the other O.T. instances cited (especially Josh. 5:14) are clearly allusions to the Messianic theophany. “This heavenly form has thus, it is true, the shining white talar common to the angel. Ezek. 9:9, but all the other features, as predescribed—the shining of the body, the brightness of his countenance, his eyes like a lamp of fire, arms and feet like glittering brass, the sound of his speaking—all these point to the revelation of the כְּבוֹר יְהוָֹה, the glorious appearance of the Lord, Ezek. 1, and teach us that the אִישׁ 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 Rev. 1:13–15, where the form of the Son of man, whom John saw walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks, is described like the glorious appearance seen by Ezekiel and Daniel” (Keil).]
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.