« السابقةمتابعة »
and possess it for ever and ever (v. 18). The parallelism between the vision and the interpretation is complete: the time is the same, the promise of perpetual and universal dominion is the same: and hence a strong presumption arises that the subject is also the same, and that the 'one like unto a son of man' in v. 13 corresponds to, and represents, the 'saints of the Most High' of v. 18, and the 'people of the saints of the Most High' of v. 27, i.e. the ideal Israel, for whom in the counsels of God the empire of the world is designed. If the writer by 'the one like unto a son of man' meant the Messiah, the head of the future ideal nation, his silence in the interpretation of the vision is inexplicable: how comes it that he there passes over the Messiah altogether, and applies the terms which (ex hyp.) are used of him in vv. 13, 14 to the people of Israel in vv. 18, 22, 27?
The explanation of the vision given in the chapter itself is thus the primary and fundamental argument of those who hold the ideal people of Israel to be intended in vii. 13. If, however, this interpretation be considered further, it will be seen to be both supported by the symbolism of the vision, and to harmonize with the representations of the ideal future given elsewhere in the book. In the first place, the realities of history are represented in the vision not as they actually are, but in a figurative form: the four beasts are not four actual beasts, but represent four kingdoms; the horns are not actual horns, but represent kings by analogy, therefore, the figure in human form would not represent an actual man, but would stand for something else, the nature of which is explained, exactly as in the case of the four 'beasts' and of the 'horns,' in the interpretation. It is not difficult to suggest a reason why in the vision the last figure should appear in human form. Humanity is contrasted with animality; and the human form, as opposed to the bestial, teaches that the last kingdom will be, not like the Gentile kingdoms, a supremacy of brute force, but a supremacy essentially humane and spiritual. It is another figurative element in the vision, that the Gentile empires rise out of the sea (v. 3), by which is meant (see v. 17) that they are of this world: by analogy, the statement that the last empire comes with the clouds of heaven, will be a figurative indication of the fact that it will be ushered in by the power of God (cf. Bevan, p. 119). And, secondly, this explanation agrees with the representations given in other parts of the book. Both in ii. 44 and xii. 3, where the establishment of the future kingdom of God is spoken of, the author is as silent respecting a personal Messiah as its head, as he is in vii. 22, 27: the inference is that the Messiah was not a prominent figure in the prophet's thoughts, and the conclusion supports the opinion, derived in the first instance from ch. vii. itself, that he is not intended in vii. 13.
Various considerations have been advanced for the purpose of meeting these arguments. It has been said, for instance, that 'the kingdom is not to be thought of without its king,' and 'that the prophets habitually picture the future happiness of their nation as bestowed upon it by the Messiah.' But the author of Daniel expressly says that in this case the kingdom was to be possessed by the people of the saints; and that. the dominion was to belong, not to the Messiah, but either to the
people, or to the Almighty Himself (according to the interpretation adopted of the pronoun 'his' in vii. 27). Nor is it true to say that the figure of the Messiah is a constant feature in prophecy there is no Messiah in Amos (ix. 11 ff.), Zephaniah (iii. 9 ff.), Joel (ii. 23—-iii. 21), or in the remarkable eschatological prophecy preserved in Isaiah xxiv.-xxvii., or even in the brilliant visions of the future drawn by the second Isaiah (liv. 11-17, lx.-lxii., lxv. 17-25 &c.)1; in Hosea, also, the figure of the Messiah is a shadowy one, hardly more than a resuscitated David (iii. 5), and it is absent altogether from the picture of Israel's future ideal felicity drawn in ch. xiv. Thus while some prophets speak of a Messiah, others do not; there is no uniform practice on the subject; and whether or not the Messiah is referred to in a particular passage is a question which, antecedently, is perfectly open, and can be settled only by exegetical considerations. It has further been argued that coming with the clouds of heaven denotes 'omnipotent judicial power.' This, however, is far from being selfevident. It denotes certainly exaltation and majesty; but the judgement is completed (vv. 10—12) before the 'one like unto a son of man appears (v. 13), and the purpose for which he is brought to the Almighty is not to exercise judicial functions, but to receive a dominion which should never pass away (v. 14). The two verses which refer to him describe, not a judgement, but the solemn inauguration of a divine kingdom upon earth2.
Though the title, however, it thus seems, does not in Daniel directly denote the Messiah, it was at an early date interpreted personally, and applied to him. The earliest example of this application is found in the 'Similitudes' of the apocryphal Book of Enoch (cc. 37-71), a part of this (composite) book, which is generally considered to date from the first century B.C.3 The 'Similitudes' consist of a series of visions supposed to be seen by Enoch, in which is represented in particular the judgement to be finally passed upon the world. The imagery of the writer is in several instances suggested evidently by Dan. vii. Enoch is carried in his vision into heaven, where he sees the Lord of Spirits' (the Almighty), the 'Elect One' (the Messiah: Is. xlii. 1), in His immediate presence, and the angels, who, like the seraphim in Is. vi., eternally hymn the Creator (c. 39).
1 The passages (Is. xlii. 1-4, &c.) speaking of Jehovah's ideal Servant are in no contradiction with this statement: the Messiah," or "Anointed One,' is the ideal King of Israel (just as the actual king is called 'Jehovah's anointed,' 1 Sam. xxiv. 6, &c.); and the figure of the ideal Servant in Is. xl.-lxvi. (though equally fulfilled in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ) is something quite different from this. See the present writer's Isaiah, his life and times, pp. 175-180.
2 For a discussion of some other arguments on the same side, see Drummond, The Jewish Messiah (1877), pp. 226-241.
It has been disputed whether the figure like a son of man which appeared in the clouds of heaven came originally from heaven, or was lifted up from the earth. The dispute implies a misconception of the nature and limits of the symbolism. The four beasts appeared emerging from the sea, and yet it is certain that the kingdoms which they represented did not rise out of the sea likewise.
According to Dillmann, from before B.C. 64; according to Mr Charles from either B.C. 94-79 or B.C. 70-64; according to Schürer, at the earliest from the time of Herod (B.C. 37-B.C. 4).
The general picture of the future, as exhibited in these visions, is as follows1: In the latter days sin will flourish in the world; and the kings and the mighty will oppress the people of God (lxii. 11). But suddenly the Head of Days (another title of the Almighty in this book, based on the "aged of days" of Dan. vii. 13) will appear, and with Him the Son of Man (xlvi. 1-4), to execute universal judgement. All Israel will be raised from the dead (li. 1: cf. Dan. xii. 2), and judgement on men and angels alike will be committed to the Son of Man (lxix. 27). The fallen angels will be cast into a fiery furnace (liv. 6); the kings and the mighty will be tortured in Gehenna by the angels of punishment (liii. 3—5, liv. 1, 2); and the remaining sinners and godless will be destroyed from the face of the earth (liii. 2, lxix. 27). Heaven and earth will be transformed (xlv. 4, 5; cf. Is. lxv. 17); and the righteous will become angels in heaven (li. 4), and dwell for ever in presence of the Elect One (xxxix. 6, xlv. 4).
This outline will be sufficient to indicate what details of the picture are derived from Daniel, and what details are new. Some passages in the description are however of sufficient interest to be quoted in full2:— xl. 1. And after that I saw thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, a multitude beyond number and reckoning, who stood before the Lord of Spirits' (cf. Dan. vii. 10; Rev. v. 11).
xlvi. 1. And there I saw One who had a head of days, and His head was white like wool [Dan. vii. 9], and with him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man, and his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels. 2. And I asked the angel who went with me and shewed me all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, and why he went with the Head of Days. 3. And he answered and said unto me, "This is the Son of Man who hath righteousness, with whom dwelleth righteousand who reveals all the treasures of that which is hidden, because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him, and his lot before the Lord of Spirits hath surpassed everything in uprightness for ever.
4. And this Son of Man whom thou hast seen will arouse the kings and the mighty ones from their couches and the strong from their thrones, and will loosen the reins of the strong and grind to powder the teeth of the sinners...6. And he will put down the countenance of the strong, and shame will cover them."
xlvii. 3. And in those days I saw the Head of Days when He had seated Himself on the throne of His glory, and the books of the living were opened before him, and His whole host which is in heaven above and around Him stood before Him.'
li. I. 'And in those days will the earth also give back those who are treasured up within it, and Sheol also will give back that which it has received, and hell will give back that which it owes. And he will choose the righteous and holy from among them;
for the day of their redemption hath drawn nigh.'
The judgement is described most fully in ch. lxii.
1 Cf. R. H. Charles, in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, i. 744.
2 From Mr Charles' translation (Oxford, 1893).
lxii. 2. And the Lord of Spirits seated him (viz. the Messiah) on the throne of His glory, and the spirit of righteousness was poured out upon him, and the word of his mouth slew all the sinners, and all the unrighteous were destroyed before his face. 3. And there will stand up in that day all the kings and the mighty, and the exalted, and those who hold the earth.... 5. And their countenance will fall, and pain will seize them when they see that Son of Man sitting on the throne of His glory.' Then, when it is too late, they will be ready to acknowledge and worship the Son of Man; but 'the angels of punishment' will take them in charge and make them a spectacle for the righteous and for His elect.' The righteous and elect, however, 'will be saved on that day and will never again from thenceforth see the face of the sinners and unrighteous. 14. And the Lord of Spirits will abide over them, and with that Son of Man will they eat and lie down and rise up for ever and ever.'
lxiii. The kings and the mighty make a further appeal for mercy to the angels of punishment; but it is without avail, and they are banished for ever from the presence of the Son of Man.
lxix. 29. 'And from henceforth there will be nothing that is corruptible; for the Son of Man has appeared and sits on the throne of His glory, and all evil will pass away before his face and depart; but the word of the Son of Man will be strong before the Lord of Spirits1.'
Another development of Dan. vii. 13 is found in the Second (Fourth) Book of Esdras, an apocalypse written most probably under Domitian (A.D. 81-96), though c. 13, by some critics, is assigned to a rather earlier date, before A.D. 70. In c. 13 of this book a dream is described, in which 'a wind arose from the sea, that it moved all the waves thereof [cf. Dan. vii. 2]. And I beheld, and lo, this wind caused to come up from the midst of the sea as it were the likeness of a man, and Ì beheld, and lo, that man flew with the clouds of heaven; and when he turned his countenance to look, all things trembled that were seen under him.' Afterwards, an innumerable multitude of men from the four winds of heaven,' were gathered together, 'to make war against the man that came out of the sea. And I beheld, and lo, he graved himself a great mountain, and flew up upon it.' The multitudes then advance against him; he lifts up against them neither sword nor spear, but destroys them by a 'flood of fire' and 'flaming breath' proceeding out of his mouth, which in a moment reduces them to cinders. After this, he summons to himself another, peaceable multitude; but before what he is going to do with this has transpired the seer awakes (xiii. 1-13). The interpretation of the vision follows (v. 21 ff.). The man coming up out of the sea is he whom the Most High has reserved to be a deliverer and a judge (i.e. though the word itself is not used, the Messiah):
1 The expressions used in Enoch are 'that Son of Man' (referring back to xlvi. 1), xlvi. 2, 4 ('this'), xlviii. 2, lxii. 5, 9, 14, lxiii. 11, lxix. 26, 29, lxx. 1, lxxi. 17, and 'the Son of Man' xlvi. 3, lxii. 7, lxix. 27. In the other parts of the book this title is not found; the Messiah is alluded to (figuratively) in the section c. 83-90, at least in passing (xc. 37, 38), but as hardly more than an ordinary man, and without any supernatural powers or attributes: in cv. 2, also, he is spoken of by God as 'My Son.'
in those days cities and peoples will all be fighting against one another, but in the midst of these tumults 'my Son will be revealed, whom thou sawest (as) a man ascending'; when the nations hear his voice, they will leave their own wars, and proceed to fight against him; but he will stand upon the top of Mount Sion, and rebuke and destroy them. The peaceable multitude is then explained to be the Ten tribes, who after their exile by the king of Assyria, had migrated into a still more distant region of the earth that they might keep the law of their God, but are now brought back to their own land (vv. 35-47).
The Messianic interpretation of Dan. vii. 13 is also implied in the often quoted saying of R. Joshua ben Levi (c. 250 A.D.), the intention of which is to reconcile the apparently discrepant descriptions here and in Zech. ix. 9: If Israel are worthy, he will come with the clouds of heaven;' if Israel are not worthy, he will come afflicted and riding upon an ass1.' On the strength of the same interpretation, the Jews even identify the 'Anānī (a name formed from 'ānān, cloud, and signifying in appearance the 'cloud-one'), who forms the close of the Davidic genealogy in 1 Chron. iii. 24, with the Messiah2. Another Rabbinical title of the Messiah, which perhaps presupposes the same explanation, is bar niphlê, if this is rightly explained as 'filius νεφελών.
It is a question, however, how far the fact that the passage was thus interpreted, even in early times, by the Jews, is evidence as to its original meaning, and sufficient to neutralize the arguments in support of the other interpretation supplied by the book of Daniel itself. The passage is one which, taken alone, might readily give rise to the impression that the Messiah was intended; while early Jewish writers might easily neglect to make the comparison of other passages necessary to correct the impression. The ultimate decision of the question must depend upon the relative weight, which, in the reader's opinion, ought to be attached to the prima facie impression made by vv. 13, 14, and to what (to use Schürer's words) "is said by the author distinctly and expressly in his interpretation of the vision, in vv. 18, 22, 274."
,8 .Sanh) זכו ישראל עם ענני שמיא לא זכו עני ורוכב על חמור 1
and elsewhere: see references in Dalman, Der Leidende und der Sterbende Messias der Synagoge, 1888, p. 38 m.).
2 See, e.g., the (late) Targum on this passage: ...and Delaiah and Anani, that
הוא מלכא משיחא דעתיד) is, the Anointed King, who is to be revealed
n). Comp. Pearson, On the Creed, art. vii. fol. 292—3; and Dalman, 7.c.
3 Levy, NHWB. iii. 422; Dalman, l.c. p. 37 f.; Die Worte Jesu, p. 201.
The opinion that the 'one like unto a son of man' denotes the Messiah has been maintained in modern times not only by Häv., Hengst., Keil, Pusey, Zöckler, &c., but also by Von Lengerke, Ewald, Bleek (Jahrb. für Deutsche Theol. 1860, p. 58 n.), Hilgenfeld (Jüd. Apok. p. 45 f.), Riehm, Messianic Prophecy (Edinb. 1891), p. 193 ff., Behrmann; Schultz, O. T. Theol. ii. 439, also inclines to it: the view that it represents the people of Israel is in antiquity that of Ephrem Syrus, in modern times it has been defended by Hitzig, Hofmann (Weissagung u. Erfüllung, i. 290 f.), Bevan, Meinhold, Drummond, Stanton (Jewish and Christian Messiah, p. 109), Schürer (Gesch. des Füd Volkes2, ii. 426 [E. T. 11. ii. 137]), Dalman (Die Worte Jesu, p. 197), Sanday (in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, ii. 622); cf. Farrar, pp. 249–51.