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entreating Him now to pardon Israel's transgression, and no longer to defer its promised restoration. In answer to his entreaty, Gabriel appears, and explains to Daniel that it would be not 70 years, but 70 weeks of years (i.e. 490 years), before Israel's transgression would be forgiven and its redemption would be complete; that though Jerusalem would indeed before this be rebuilt and re-inhabited, it would be in 'strait of times'; and that during the last 'week' of the 490 years great troubles would fall upon the city and the sanctuary, a heathen abomination would desecrate the Temple, and the regular sacrifices in it would be suspended for 'half of the week,' until the destined judgement overtook the persecutor.

The last section of the book (chaps. x.-xii.) describes a vision seen by Daniel in the third year of Cyrus by the Ḥiddekel (the Tigris), and the revelations respecting the future communicated to him in it by an angel. Daniel, grieving for his people's sin, and anxious about its future, had been fasting for 21 days, when he fell into a state of trance, in which he had a vision of a shining being standing before him, who told him that he had been sent in answer to his prayers, but that he had been prevented from reaching him before by the opposition of the 'prince,' or patron-angel, of Persia: with the help of Michael, the 'prince,' or patron-angel, of the Jews, he had at length been able to start on his mission, and he was now with Daniel for the purpose of giving him a revelation concerning the future of his nation (x. 1-xi. 1). The contents of the revelation may be summarized briefly as follows. First, there would be four Persian kings, one of whom (Xerxes) would 'stir up all' in conflict with Greece; then would follow the empire of a 'warrior-king' (Alexander the Great), which, however, would soon be broken, and divided into four (Macedonia, under Cassander; Thrace, under Lysimachus; Syria and the East, under Seleucus; and Egypt, under Ptolemy); the leagues and conflicts, with varying fortunes, between the kings of the 'north' (Antioch) and of the 'south' (Egypt) during the following century and a half are next outlined (xi. 5—20); afterwards, in greater detail, is described the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 175—164),

including his conflicts with Egypt, his persecution of the Jews, and the doom which should suddenly cut short his career (xi. 21—45). The death of Antiochus would be followed by the resurrection (of Israelites), and the advent of the kingdom of God (xii. 1-3). The revelation is to be 'sealed up' by Daniel until the time of the end (xii. 4), i.e. the time of Antiochus' persecution (see on viii. 17); for it is intended for the encouragement of the Israelites suffering then for their faith. Daniel asks how long the period of trial is to continue. He is told in reply, with solemn emphasis, that it will last for 3 years (cf. vii. 25, viii. 14, ix. 27); there will be 1290 days from the time when the daily burnt-offering was interrupted, and the 'abomination that appalleth' (a small heathen altar, on the altar of burntoffering) set up; but 45 days more, or 1335 in all, before complete happiness will have been attained. Daniel himself is commanded meanwhile to depart, and rest (in the grave) till then.


The Book, as will be apparent from this outline of its contents, very different from those of most of the canonical prophets, even from those which, like the books of Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, contain biographical particulars respecting their authors. It resembles most the Book of Jonah. The canonical

prophets shew themselves immersed in the history and circumstances of their own time, in the political, moral, and spiritual condition of their nation, in its relations to its neighbours, especially to the great powers of Assyria, Egypt, or Babylon, and in its prospects in the immediate future,—the discourses, relating primarily and in the main to these various subjects, ever and again dissolving into visions of the future ideal glories of the people of God. In the Book of Daniel, on the contrary, hardly any interest is shewn in the condition or prospects of Israel in the age of Daniel himself: the narratives (ch. i.—vi.) have an essentially didactic import, their object being to shew how religious constancy and fortitude are, in various ways, rewarded by God, and how one heathen monarch after another is obliged to own the power of Daniel's God, while Daniel himself and his companions are not only delivered from peril or death, but rise

to fresh honours1; and in the visions (ch. vii.-xii.), the writer, filling in the great historical picture sketched in outline in Nebuchadnezzar's dream (ch. ii.), depicts with particular and increasing distinctness the age of Antiochus Epiphanes, which he plainly regards as immediately preceding the advent of Israel's final glory. The thoughts and interests of the author thus centre not in the age of the captivity, in which Daniel himself lived, but in the future; and they are directed especially upon a period some four centuries distant from that of Daniel's lifetime, viz. the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. The one chapter in the book which might seem to contradict what has been said, does so only in appearance: in ch. ix., it is true, Daniel is represented as bewailing the continued exile of his people; but in the answer to his complaint which follows (vv. 25—27), he is referred to the same far-distant age which is ever foremost in the writer's thoughts: Jeremiah's 70 years are to be understood as 70 weeks of years; and 63 'weeks' (i.e. 441 years) have still to run their course before the redemption which it was expected (see Is. xliv. 28, xlv. 13) would follow immediately upon Cyrus' conquest of Babylon, could yet be consummated.

With regard to Daniel himself, there is little to be added from other sources to what is stated in the Book. In Ezekiel mention is made of a 'Daniel' as a pattern of righteousness (xiv. 14, 'Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness'; similarly v. 20) and wisdom (xxviii. 3, addressed to the king of Tyre, 'Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee'); but it is doubted by many whether the reference is to the Daniel of the present book. Ez. xiv. and xxviii. date from about B.C. 594 and 588 respectively; and, as Prof. Davidson remarks, it is scarcely natural that the prophet should mention Daniel in such terms, grouping him at the same time with two patriarchs of antiquity, if he were really a younger con

1 See, more particularly, the introductions to chaps. i.—vi.

" Note on Ezek. xiv. 4 in the Cambridge Bible: cf. also Farrar, The Book of Daniel (in the 'Expositor's Bible'), pp. 9, 10.

temporary of his own. The association with Noah and Job, and the nature of the allusion, imply rather that, in the mind of the prophet, the Daniel whom he referred to was some ancient patriarch, renowned in the traditions of Israel for his piety and wisdom, as Enoch, for instance, was on account of his 'walking' with God. The tradition respecting Job was utilized, as we know, by the author of the book which bears his name, for the purpose of teaching a great moral lesson; and it is at least possible, if this view of the 'Daniel' of Ezekiel be correct, that there are features in the narrative of the Book of Daniel, which owe their origin, or at all events their form, to traditions of piety and wisdom associated with the name of the ancient patriarch (cf. Davidson, .c.)1.

The Greek translations of Daniel (LXX. and Theodotion), and following them the Vulgate, and some of the other derived versions, contain, like the LXX. of Esther, several passages not in the original text, the longer of which are contained, in a separate form, in the Apocrypha of the English Bible, under the titles of The Song of the Three Holy Children, The History of Susanna, and The History of the Destruction of Bel and the Dragon. The first of these additions follows iii. 23 of the Aramaic text, and contains a confession and prayer represented as having been uttered by Azariah in the midst of the flames (vv. 25—45), and a doxology (vv. 52—56) leading on into the hymn known familiarly as the Benedicite (vv. 57—90), which has been used in the public services of the Church since the fourth century. The History of Susanna is found in MSS. of Theod. at the beginning of the book. Susanna was the wife of

1 'Daniel' is also the name of two other persons mentioned in the O. T.: (1) David's second son, I Ch. iii. 1 (called in 2 Sam. iii. 3, Chileab: the text in both places is uncertain; cf. the versions); (2) a priest of the line of Ithamar, who in 458 B.C. returned with Ezra to Judah, Ezr. viii. 2, Neh. x. 6. Among the contemporaries of the latter, it has been observed, there occur a Hananiah (Neh. x. 23), a Mishael (Neh. viii. 4), and an Azariah (Neh. x. 2); but the coincidence is probably accidental.

2 In the LXX., the Syriac translation of the LXX. (the SyroHexaplar), and the Vulg., it follows at the end of the book (as chap. xiii.), before Bel and the Dragon (chap. xiv.). Perhaps this was its

a wealthy Jew, named Joakim (Jehoiakim), resident in Babylon. Two elders, becoming enamoured of her, but finding their advances repelled, accused her falsely of adultery, declaring that she had been detected by them in the act. The tribunal before which she was arraigned, accepting without inquiry the testimony of the two elders, condemned her to death. She protested loudly her innocence; and God, it is said, in answer to her appeal, 'stirred up the spirit1' of a youth among the bystanders, named Daniel, who, as she was being led forth to execution, proclaimed aloud that he would be no partner in the wrong that was about to be perpetrated, and remonstrated with the people upon what they were permitting. Being invited to conduct the inquiry himself, Daniel examined the two pretended witnesses separately, and quickly proved their testimony to be self-contradictory. Thereupon, in accordance with the law of Deut. xix. 19, the punishment which they had designed against the innocent Susanna was put in force against themselves; and Daniel 'became great in the sight of the people from that day onwards.' It is this apocryphal incident in Daniel's life that gives its point to Shylock's famous line (Merch. of Venice, IV. 1. 223):—

A Daniel come to judgement! yea, a Daniel!

and to Gratiano's hardly less famous retort (ibid. 333):— A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!

and (ibid. 340):

A Daniel, still say I, a second Daniel!

The narrative of Susanna is evidently designed to illustrate the truth that Providence watches over the innocent, and does not allow them to become the prey of the wicked. It is difficult not to connect the part taken in it by Daniel with the meaning

original place: the fact that it narrates an anecdote of Daniel's youth, might readily have led to its subsequent transference to the beginning of the book. (On the Greek versions of Dan., see further p. xcviii ff.)

1 So Theod. In LXX. an angel is mentioned, who gives Danicl a 'spirit of understanding.'

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