« السابقةمتابعة »
25 mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; 26 but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of
the mighty] them that are mighty (indef.), alluding to Antiochus' political foes.
and the people of the holy ones (or saints)] i.e. Israel: cf. vii. 25 ('and shall wear away the holy ones (or saints) of the Most High').
25. And through-properly, on (the basis of)-his understanding] or insight, cleverness, usually in a good sense (1 Sam. xxv. 3, Job xvii. 4, al.), here in a bad sense = astuteness.
he (without 'also '1) will cause deceit to prosper in his hand] his intrigues will prove successful (cf. xi. 23, also of Antiochus). For 'in his hand,' cf. Gen. xxxix. 3, Is. liii. 10.
and in his heart he will shew greatness] i.e. here (cf. on v. 4), devise proud, presumptuous schemes. Comp. the expression 'greatness of heart' Is. ix. 9, x. 12 (A.V. 'stoutness,' 'stout').
and in (time of) security he will destroy many] i.e. he will come upon them unawares, and destroy them while off their guard. Many modern scholars render indeed by unawares, supposing that the Heb. expression ('in tranquillity') is used with the force of a similar Aramaic idiom suddenly, unawares, (lit. out of quiet): see e.g. Jer. iv. 20, Pesh. The same expression recurs in ch. xi. 21, 24 (LXX. both times áπiva), also of Antiochus. Comp. 1 Macc. i. 29, 30, where it is related how Antiochus's chief collector of tribute, Apollonius, came to Jerusalem, and 'spake words of peace unto them in subtilty, and they gave him credence; and he fell upon the city suddenly (éčáriva: Pesh.),' and killed many of its inhabitants (cf. 2 Macc. v. 23—26).
the Prince of princes] i.e. God, the 'prince of the host' of v. 11. Cf. ii. 47; and the 'Lord of lords' of Deut. x. 17, Ps. cxxxvi. 3.
broken without hand] i.e. not by human means, but by a Divine intervention; cf. ii. 34, with the note. Antiochus died suddenly, in B.C. 164, a few months after the re-dedication of the Temple (25 Chisleu [Dec.], 165), apparently from some mental disorder, such as might well suggest the idea of a Divine stroke, at Tabae in Persia (see p. 194 f.).
26. the vision of the evenings and mornings (v. 14) which hath been told, is true] a solemn asseveration of the truth of what has been told (cf. x. 1, xi. 2, xii. 7; also Rev. xix. 9, xxi. 5, xxii. 6), intended here as an encouragement to the persecuted Israelites, who may rest assured that their sufferings will ere long reach the appointed limit.
1 See on the construction Ges.-Kautzsch, § 112. 5, or the writer's Hebrew Tenses, 123 Y. It is against the reading of LXX (followed by Grätz and Bevan), that does not signify diavónua, or 'mind.'
the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
but thou (emph.), shut thou up the vision] keep it secret (cf. xii. 4). The vision is supposed to have been seen in the third year of Belshazzar (v. 1), but it relates to the age of Antiochus; it is consequently to remain hidden till then, partly because it would not be intelligible before, partly in order to explain why no one had ever heard of it till the days of Antiochus himself. For the idea of a revelation given in the interests of a distant future, cf. Enoch i. 2, civ. 13.
for it belongeth to many days (to come)] i. e. it relates to a distant future. The expression is exactly the same (in the Heb.) as in Ez. xii. 27.
27. fainted] The expression is peculiar: if correct, it must mean I was done with, exhausted, the verb being the same that is used in ii. 1 in the passage 'his sleep was done with upon him.' It does not occur in this sense elsewhere in the O.T.
for (some) days] so Gen. xl. 4 (A.V., R.V., ‘a season'); Neh. i. 4. rose up] from his bed of sickness, as Ps. xli. 8.
the king's business] what business is not stated; nor can we be sure (cf. v. 13) that the writer pictured him as still holding the office to which Nebuchadnezzar had appointed him some 60 years previously (ii. 48). For the expression, cf. Est. ix. 3.
was astonished] cf. on iv. 19.
but none understood it] The expression is strange, and difficult to reconcile with what has preceded: if the vision was to be 'shut up,' the remark that no one understood it would seem to be superfluous. Perhaps 'none' may be used as in v. 5; and Daniel himself may be really meant (cf. xii. 8): the meaning will then be that, though the vision had been partly explained to him, he did not understand it fully: vv. 23-25 are, for instance, expressed enigmatically, and without any name being given (Hitz., Bevan). Other renderings are, but no one perceived it (cf. 1 Sam. iii. 8 Heb.), i.e. no one perceived that Daniel had had a vision, or of what nature it was (Meinh.); or but no one gave heed (cf. Is. lvii. 1 Heb.; A.V. 'considering'), viz. to Daniel's astonishment (Behrm.).
Additional Note on the Ruins of Susa.
The site of Susa was visited, and partly excavated, by Mr Loftus in 1852: it was excavated much more completely, and with more important results, by M. Dieulafoy, a French architect and engineer, in 1884-6. The site of the city, which was distinct from the 'castle' (cf. Est. iii. 15), and in fact separated from it by the stream, is marked only by hardly perceptible undulations of the plain; but three huge mounds, forming a rhomboidal mass, 4500 feet long from N. to S., and 3000 feet broad
from E. to W., are a standing witness to the size and magnificence of the buildings which formed the ancient citadel or acropolis. The plan of the citadel, and many remains of the buildings of which it consisted, have been recovered by M. Dieulafoy. Artaxerxes, in an inscription found on one of the columns, says, "My ancestor Darius built this Apadâna in ancient times. In the reign of Artaxerxes, my grandfather, it was consumed by fire. By the grace of Ahuramazda, Anaïtis, and Mithras, I have restored this Apadâna.” __ An Apadâna (see on Dan. xi. 45) was a large hall or throne-room. The Apadâna of Susa stood on the N. of the acropolis: it formed a square of about 250 feet each way. The roof (which consisted of rafters and beams of cedar, brought from Lebanon) was supported by 36 columns in rows of six; the sides and back were composed of walls of brick, each pierced by four doors; the front of the hall was open. The columns were slender shafts of limestone, delicately fluted, and topped by magnificently carved capitals. In front of the hall, on each side, was a pylon or colonnade, with a frieze at the top 12 feet high, formed of beautifully enamelled bricks, the one decorated by a procession of lions, the other by a procession of 'Immortals,' the armed life-guards of the Persian kings1. A garden surrounded the Apadâna, and in front of it, on the south, was a large square for military manoeuvres, &c. Adjoining it, on the east, was a large block of buildings forming the royal harem (the 'house of the women' of Est. ii. 3, &c.): south of this was the royal palace, with a court in the centre (Est. iv. 11, v. 1). The entire acropolis covered an area of 300 acres.
It was this entire complex of buildings that was called the Birah, or 'citadel 2.'
CHAP. IX. THE PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS.
In the first year of 'Darius the Mede,' Daniel, considering that the 70 years of desolation prophesied by Jeremiah (xxv. 11; cf. v. 12, xxix. 10) were drawing to their close, implores God to forgive His people's sin, and to look favourably upon His ruined city and sanctuary (vv. 1-19). The angel Gabriel explains to Daniel that it would be, not 70 years, but 70 weeks of years (i.e. 490 years), before the iniquity of the people would be pardoned, and the promised deliverance be finally effected (vv. 20-24). The period of 70 weeks is then divided into three smaller ones, 7+62 +1; and it is said: (a) that 7 weeks (=49 years) will elapse from the going forth of the 'word' for the rebuilding of Jerusalem to an anointed one, a prince;' (b) that for 62 weeks (=434 years) the city will be rebuilt, though
1 In one of the galleries at the Louvre several rooms are devoted to sculptures, &c., brought from Susa, and to a restoration of parts of the apadána.
2 See further Evetts, Fresh Light on the Bible, p. 229 ff.; Vigouroux, La Bible et les découvertes modernes, ed. 6, 1896, iv. 621 ff.; and esp. Dieulafoy, L'Acropole de Suse (Paris, 1890-92), passim: also Mme. Dieulafoy, A Suse, Journal des Fouilles, 1884-6 (1888). and La Perse, la Chaldée, et la Susiane (1887), Chap. xxxix.—alĺ with numerous illustrations and Maps; also, more briefly, Billerbeck's excellent monograph, Susa (1893).
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of 9 the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books. the number of the years, 2 whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the in straitened times; (c) that at the end of these 62 weeks 'an anointed one' will be cut off, and the people of a prince that shall come will 'destroy' the city and the sanctuary: he will make a covenant with many for 1 week (=7 years), and during (the second) half of this week he will cause sacrifice and meal-offering to cease, until his end come, and the destined doom overtake him (vv. 25-27). The general sense of these verses is to postpone the fulfilment of the promises given by Jeremiah to the end of 490 years; and to describe in outline the troubles which must be gone through, in the closing years of this period, before the fulfilment can take place.
1. Darius] i.e. 'Darius the Mede,' v. 31: cf. vi. 1 ff. The date is fixed suitably: the first year after the conquest of Babylon would be a time when, in view of the promises of Jeremiah and the second Isaiah (e.g. Is. xliv. 28, xlv. 13), thoughts of restoration would naturally be stirring in the minds of the Jewish exiles.
the son of Ahasuerus] Ahasuerus,-properly 'Achashwērōsh, also in Ezr. iv. 6, and Esther, passim is the Hebrew form of the Persian Khshayarsha, the Greek Xerxes, called in contemporary Aramaic Chshiarsh (n). Cf. p. liv, and on v. 31.
of the seed of the Medes] See v. 31. For the expression cf. Est. vi. 13.
was made king] See on v. 31, 'received the kingdom.'
2. by the books] i.e. the sacred books, the Scriptures. The neglect of the Heb. article in the A. V. obscures here an important point; for 'the books' can only be naturally understood as implying that, at the time when the passage was written, some definite collection of sacred writings already existed (comp. Ryle, Canon of the Old Test., p. 112). We do not however learn more respecting its contents except that it included the prophecies of Jeremiah. The phrase might also be rendered (Hitz., Keil, Behrm.) observed in the books.
which the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah the prophet that he would accomplish for the desolations of Jerusalem, (even) seventy years] See Jer. xxv. 12, and especially xxix. 10, which, being followed by promises of restoration, addressed to Israel, seems to have been particularly in the writer's mind. Cf. 2 Ch. xxxvi. 21.
3-19. Daniel's prayer, consisting (1) of a confession of national transgression, and of the justice of God's punishment (vv. 4—14), and (2) of a supplication for mercy and restoration (vv. 15-19). The prayer evinces great depth and fervour of religious feeling. In style it is Deuteronomic; in fact, it is composed largely of reminiscences of
1 See the writer's Introduction, p. 512 (ed. 6, p. 546), note.
3 desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said,
O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the_covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy
Deut., the prayer of Solomon in 1 Ki. viii., and (especially) of Jeremiah (in particular, of Jer. xxvi., xxxii., xliv.): there are also some noticeable parallels with the prayers in Neh. i., ix., and Ezra ix. (see on vv. 4, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 18). The most striking resemblances are, however, with parts of the confession and supplication in Baruch i. 15-iii. 18; on which see further the Introd. p. lxxiv f.
3. set my face] i.e. directed myself: cf. 2 Ch. xx. 3 (lit. 'set his face to seek unto Jehovah').
to seek prayer, &c.] i.e. to apply myself to prayer, &c.
with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes] marks of mourning, and the usual accompaniments of supplication, penitence, and confession. Cf. Is. lviii. 5; Ezr. viii. 23; Neh. ix. 1; Jonah iii. 5, 6; Est. iv. 1, 3, 16.
4. and made confession] Lev. v. 5, xvi. 21, xxvi. 40, Num. v. 7, 2 Ch. xxx. 22; and in a context similar to the present one, Ezr. x. i, Neh. i. 6, ix. 2, 3, as well as below, v. 20.
O Lord] Ah, now! Lord, beginning with a strong particle of entreaty. So Neh. i. 5, where the same particle is equally obliterated in A.V., R. V. In Neh. i. 11, Is. xxxviii. 3, Ps. cxvi. 4 (but not in v. 16), cxviii. 25, it is rendered I (or we) beseech thee.
the great...commandments] A quotation from Deut. vii. 9, with the substitution of great and terrible (as Deut. vii. 21) for faithful. The whole verse, from and said, is also almost identical with Neh. i. 5 (cf. Neh. ix. 32 a).
5. We have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly] from 1 Ki. viii. 47, with extremely slight differences, indicated in R.V. by the substitution of done for dealt, and of dealt for done. Ps. cvi. 6 is based similarly on I Ki. viii. 47.
and have turned aside from thy commandments] Cf. Deut. xvii. 20; Ps. cxix. 102. 'Even' with the partic. is quite false; the construction of the Heb. is one with which every tyro is familiar (Gen. xli. 43, Ex. viii. 11, &c.).
judgements] i.e. ordinances, as the word is sometimes rendered (Josh. xxiv. 25; 2 Ki. xvii. 34, 37; Is. lviii. 2). Properly a judicial decision, which being made legally binding, becomes a standing ordinance; the word being then generalized, it is applied to moral and religious ordinances, as well as to statutes of the civil and criminal law, Ex. xxi. 1). See e.g. Lev. xviii. 4, 5, 26; Deut. iv. 1, 5, 8, 14, &c.