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beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the 22 time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and
talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to 23 give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy
supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee ; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore
being caused to fly swiftly) The Hebrew is peculiar, and has been variously understood. The first word may be derived equally from two different verbs, meaning respectively to fly and to be weary; the second word, as it stands, could only be derived naturally from the latter verb: thus we get the two renderings, being made to fly in weariness (i.e. being exhausted by his Aight), and (Ges., Keil, Meinh.) being made weary in weariness (cf. R.V. marg. 'being sore wearied'), the words in the latter case being referred either (Ges.) to Gabriel, or (Keil, Meinh.) to Daniel (“whom I had seen..., when exhausted,' &c.), in accordance with what is said in viii. 17f. Neither explana. tion is satisfactory, but the present text admits of nothing better. 'Swiftly' (A.V.), though found in the ancient versions (LXX, Táxel Depóuevos, Vulg. cito volans), is a very questionable paraphrase. The second word might have arisen by an erroneous and incorrect repetition of the first. Of the first word, being made to fly is the more natural rendering. Angels are elsewhere in the O.T. represented as possessing human form, but not as winged (only seraphim, Is. vi. 2, and cherubim, Ez. i. 6, have wings) : winged angels (unless one is presupposed here, or in xii. 6, : Chr. xxi. 16?) appear first in Enoch lxi. 1, 'And I saw in those days how cords were given to those angels, and they took to themselves wings and few, and they went towards the north’; cf. Rev. xiv. 6.
touched me] was approaching close to me.
the evening meal offering] 2 Ki. xvi. 15; Ezr. ix.. 4, 5; Ps. cxli. 3 : cf. 1 Ki. xviii. 29, 36.
22. and he informed me] better, made (me) to understand, as in viii. 16. But the pron. is (in the Heb.) much desiderated; and very probably we should read, with LXX, Pesh., And he came (*2" for ja'l): so Bevan, Behrm., Marti.
to give thee skill and understanding] R.V. (from A. V. marg.) to make thee skilful (cf. i. 4, 17) of understanding. The verb might also be rendered to give thee discernment or make thee wise (cf. v. 13 end).
23. the commandment came forth] a word went forth (cf. Est. vii. 8 ; Is. lv. 11). The reference is not to the commandment given to Gabriel to go to Daniel, but to the Divine declaration contained in 20. 24-27:
to shew thee) to declare (it) : cf. on ii. 2. greatly beloved] greatly desired, or (R.V. mars:) very precious : lit. desirable things or desirablenesses ; cf. x. 11, 19, 'a man of desirablenesses,' the plural being intensive'.
For the Heb. idiom here employed cf. Ps. cix. 4, cx. 3 : and see Ges.-Kautzsch, $ 1410.
understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy 24 weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of
The cognate verb means to desire (Ps. xix. 10; Ex. xx. 17, 'covet '); and when applied to men has usually reference to their personal attractiveness (Is. liii. 2 ; Ps. xxxix. 11, ‘his desirableness,' A.V., R.V., ‘his beauty'). The word here used, properly desired, is elsewhere rendered precious (2 Ch. xx. 25; Ezr. viii. 27; Dan. xi. 43), or pleasant (Dan. x. 3, xi. 38) : hence R. V. marg. 'very precious.'
understand...consider] R.V. consider...understand. The two words in the Heb. are different forms of one and the same verb: R.V. transposes the renderings, probably on the ground that understanding' implies more than 'consideration, and would naturally follow it.
the matter] the word (x. 1), i.e. the prophetic word following (vv. 24-27).
the vision] viii. 16, 27, X. I. Also a term descriptive of the revelation following, and implying that the appearance of Gabriel to Daniel took place in a vision. The word (77879) is not the one found in Is. i. 1 (iiin), which does sometimes mean no more than 'prophecy'.
The 70 years foretold by Jeremiah are to be understood as 70 weeks of years (i.e. 490 years); at the end of that period sin will be done away with, and the redemption of Israel will be complete. Jeremiah's promises, which, while the city and nation are being made the prey of Antiochus, seem a dead letter, will, with this new explanation of their meaning, receive their fulfilment; and (as vv. 26, 27 shew) the time when this will take place is not now far distant. Perhaps, as Prof. Bevan observes, this explanation may have been suggested to the writer by the terms of Lev. xxvi. 18, 21, 24, 28, where it is emphatically declared that the Israelites are to be punished seven times for their sins : "the 70 years of Jeremiah were to be repeated seven times, and at the end of the 490th year the long-promised deliverance might be confidently expected.”. The Chronicler had already brought the idea of the 70 years of Judah's desolation into connexion with heptads, or 'weeks,' of years, by his remark (2. Ch. xxxvi. 20 f.) that they were the penalty exacted by God for the 'sabbatical’ years, which Israel had neglected to observe whilst in possession of its land (cf. Lev. xxvi. 34 f.).
weeks] i.e. (as the sequel shews) weeks of years, a sense not occurring elsewhere in Biblical Hebrew, but found in the Mishna.
determined] decreed (R.V.). The word is a different one from that rendered “determined'in vv. 26, 27, and occurs only here in Biblical Hebrew. In the Talm. it means to determine in judgement, decide.
to finish the transgression] to bring it to an end. The verb rendered finish is anomalous in form, and might also be rendered to confine (as in a prison, Jer. xxxii. 2), or restrain (Num. xi. 28), viz. so that it could no longer spread or continue active (so R.V. marg.). But the former rendering is preferable ; and is that adopted both by the ancient versions and by the great majority of modern commentators. and to make an end
of sins) parallel with to finish transgression : cf.
sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and for the meaning of the verb, Ez. xxii. 15 ('consume'). So the Heb. marg. (Orê), Ag., Pesh., Vulg. The Heb. text (K'tib) and Theod. have to seal up (ann for 0.17), which is explained (in agreement with restrain in the last clause), as meaning partly to preclude from activity, partly to preclude from forgiveness (cf. Job xiv. 17): but this explanation is forced; and the Orê yields here a meaning in better harmony with the context.
and to cancel iniquity] The verb kipper means originally, as seems to be shewn by Arabic, to cover ; in Hebrew, however, it is never used of literal covering, but always in a moral application, viz. either of covering the face of (i.e. appeasing") an offended person, or of screening an offence or an offender. When, as here, the reference is to sin or iniquity, the meaning differs, according as the subject is the priest, or God: in the former case the meaning is to cover or screen the sinner by means (usually) of a propitiatory sacrifice?, and it is then generally rendered make atonement or reconciliation for (as Lev. iv. 20, 26, 31); in the latter case it means to treat as covered, to pardon or cancel, without any reference to a propitiatory rite, as Jer. xviii. 23; Ps. Ixv. 3, lxxviii. 38, lxxix. 9 (A.V. to purge away or forgive) 3. Here no subject is mentioned : it would most naturally (as in the case of the other infinitives) be God; moreover, when, in the ritual laws, the subject is the priest, the object of the verb is never, as here, the guilt. The rendering of R.V. marg. (to purge away'), though somewhat of a paraphrase, is thus preferable to that of A. V.'
everlasting righteousness] The expression does not occur elsewhere. In thought, however, Is. xlv. 17, ‘Israel is saved through Jehovah with an everlasting salvation : ye shall not be put to shame, and ye shall not be confounded, for ever and ever,' lx. 21, “Thy people shall be all of them righteous, for ever shall they inherit the land,' are similar. The general sense of the four clauses, of which this is the last, is that the Messianic age is to be marked by the abolition and forgiveness of sin, and by perpetual righteousness. It thus expresses in a compendious form the teaching of such passages as Is. iv. 3f. (the survivors of the judgement to be all holy), xxxii. 16, 17 (righteousness the mark of the ideal future), xxxiii. 24_('the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity '), Ez. xxxvi. 25—27; Is. xlv. 17, lx. 21.
and to seal vision and prophet] i.e. to set the seal to them, to ratify and confirm the prophets' predictions, the figure (cf. John iii. 33, vi. 27) being derived from the custom of affixing a seal to a document, in order to guarantee its genuineness (Jer. xxxii. 10, 11, 44). The close of the 70 weeks will bring with it the confirmation of the prophetic utterances (such as those just quoted) respecting a blissful future.
A.V., R.V., 'seal up,' means to close up, preclude from activity, the 1 See Gen. xxxii. 20 (Heb. 21); and cf. Prov. xvi. 14 (ʻpacify'). 2 Occasionally without one, as Ex. xxx. 15, 16, Num. xvi. 46 f., xxv. 13.
3 See more fully the note in the writer's Deuteronomy, p. 425 f.; or the art. PROPITIATION in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible.
prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know there- 25 fore and understand, that from the going forth of the
sense of the expression, upon this view, being supposed to be that, prophecies being fulfilled, prophet and vision will be needed no more.
and to anoint a most holy] most holy' or 'holy of holies' (lit. holiness of holinesses) is an expression belonging to the priestly terminology and is variously applied. It is used of the altar of burntoffering (Ex. xxix. 37, "and the altar shall be most holy,' xl. 10), of the altar of incense (Ex. xxx. 10), of the Tent of meeting, with the vessels belonging to it (ib. vv. 26–29; cf. Num. iv. 4, 19, Ez. xliv. 13); of the sacred incense (ib. v. 36), of the shew-bread (Lev. xxiv. 9), of the meal-offering (Lev. ji. 3, 10, vi. 17, X. 12), of the flesh of the sin- and guilt-offering (Lev. vi. 17, 25, vii. I, 6, x. 17, xiv. 13, Num. xviii. 9; cf. Lev. xxi. 22, Ez. xlii. 13, Ezr. ii. 63, 2 Ch. xxxi. 14); of things
devoted to Jehovah (Lev. xxvii. 28); of the entire Temple, with the territory belonging to it, in Ezekiel's vision (Ez. xliii. 12, xlv. 3, xlviii. 12); and once (perhaps) of the priests (1 Ch. xxiii. 13), 'And Aaron was separated, to sanctify him as (a thing) most holy-, him and his sons for ever, to burn incense, &c.': 'the holy of holies,' or 'the most holy (place),' is also the name, in particular, of the inmost part of the Tent of meeting, and of the Temple, in which the ark was (Ex. xxvi. 33, and frequently). As no object is called in particular 'a most holy (thing),' general considerations, viewed in the light of the context, can alone determine what is here intended. A material object, rather than a person, is certainly most naturally denoted by the expression, and most probably either the altar of burnt-offering (which was in particular desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes), or the Temple generally, is what is meant. The term anoint is used both of the altar of burnt-offering in particular, and of the Tent of meeting and vessels belonging to it in general, in Ex. xxix. 36, and xxx. 26-28 (cf. xl. 9-11; Lev. viii. 10, 11; Num. vii. 1, 10, 84, 88),—each time immediately preceding the passages quoted above for the use in the same connexion of the term most holy. The consecration of a temple in the Messianic age (cf. Is. lx. 7 ; Ez. xl. ff.) is, no doubt, what is intended by the words.
25—27. The 70 weeks are now broken up into three periods of 7, 62, and i week, respectively; and the events by which each of these periods is to be marked are signalized.
25. The 7 weeks and the following 62 weeks.
understand] R. V. discern,—the Hebrew word being the same as that rendered have discernment in v. 13 (R.V.), and different from the one rendered understand in vv. 2, 23. the going forth of the word] cf. (for the expression) v. 23, Is. lv.
The reference is to the Divine word spoken by Jeremiah (Jer.
1 The words ought however, perhaps, to be rendered (cf. A.V., R.V.) 'that he should sanctify that which was most holy, he and his sons for ever,'—the reference being to the sanctuary and sacred vessels (cf. Ex. XXX. 29), and to the various sacrifices mentioned above.
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall,
xXx. 18, xxxi. 38 f.), the meaning of whose predictions is here interpreted (cf. v. 3).
to restore] lit. to cause to return or bring back, often used of exiles (as Jer. xii. 15), but not used elsewhere of restoring (i.e. rebuilding) a city. To repeople (awn for I'V?),-lit. to cause to sit, figuratively of a city, to cause to be inhabited, -is a plausible emendation (Bevan): cf. the same word in Is. xliv. 26 (ʻshe shall be made to be inhabited,' lit. be made to sit), Jer. xxx. 18 (see R.V. marg. : lit. shall sit), Ez. xxxvi. 33 (lit. cause the cities to sit, followed by and the waste places shall be builded').
unto an anointed one, a prince] The term 'anointed' is used most frequently in the O.T. of the theocratic ruler of Israel (Jehovah's anointed,''his, my, anointed,' &c., 1 Sam. xii. 3, Ps. xviii. 50, &c., but never 'the anointed'); of the high-priest, Lev. iv. 3, 5, 10, vi. 22 ('the high-priest, the anointed one'), 2 Macc. i. 10; in a figurative sense also of Cyrus, as the agent commissioned by Jehovah for the restoration of His people, Is. xlv. 1, and of the patriarchs, Ps. cv. 15 (“Touch not mine anointed ones'). On the rend. of A.V., see further p. 144.
prince (7'33),-properly one in front, leader,-is used (a) of the chief ruler of Israel, 1 Sam. ix. 16, X. 1, xiii. 14 and frequently ; (6) of a foreign ruler, Ez. xxviii. 2; (c) of some high official connected with the Temple, Jer. xx. 1 (“who was prince-overseer in the house of Jehovah'), i Chi ix. II, 2 Ch. xxxi. 18, xxxv. 8, Neh. xi. 11; (d) in the Chronicles, more generally, of a leader (1 Ch. ix. 20, xiii. 1, xxvii. 16), commander (2 Ch. xi. 11), or superintendent (1 Ch. xxvi. 24, 2 Ch. xxxi, 12). The
anointed one, the prince,' who is here meant, is apparently (see more fully below) Cyrus (Is. xlv. 1), who is called in Is. xlv. i Jehovah's 'anointed,' and who, it is said in Is. xliv. 26, 28, xlv. 13, will give command for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, which is here, it will be observed, just the subject of the following clause. Grätz and Bevan, however, suppose that Jeshua, son of Jozadak, the first high-priest after the restoration (Ezr. iii. 2; Hag. i. 1; Zech. iii. 1), is intended. The date would suit in either case : the prophecies contained in Jer. xxx.xxxi. were delivered probably shortly before the fall of Jerusalem, about B.C. 587, and 49 years from 587 would be 538, which was just the date of the capture of Babylon by Cyrus. Jeshua is mentioned among those who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel (Ezr. ii. 2).
shall be seven weeks : and for threescore and two weeks it shall be built again, (with) broad place and moat (?); and that, in strait of times] so, according to the Heb. interpunction, in manifest agreement with what the sense requires. Seven weeks are to elapse from the word' commanding the rebuilding of Jerusalem
the anointed one, the prince'; then it will be built again, as a complete city, with 'broad place' and moat (?), but in strait of times,—with allusion, viz. to the subject, and sometimes oppressed, condition of Jerusalem from B.C. 538