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Dan. x. 13, they differ from the Amesha-spentas not only in the names (which bear no resemblance whatever), but also in the fact that the seven Amesha-spentas include the supreme god of Zoroaster, Ahura-mazda, whereas the seven angels are of course exclusive of Jehovah. Seven, also, though it may be a mystical or sacred number among the Iranians1, was also, independently, regarded similarly by the Hebrews; so that, as the idea of angels generally is unquestionably a native Hebrew one, the idea of seven principal angels might readily have arisen upon purely Hebrew ground. The utmost that can be granted,—and that not as certain, but only as possible,—is that the idea of seven superior angels-in so far as this is rightly regarded as involved in Dan. x. 13—may have been suggested by the vague knowledge that the religion of Zoroaster knew of seven good spirits, holding supremacy over the rest2.
4. Antiochus Epiphanes and Antichrist. The Jews had suffered often at the hands of foreign rulers; but Antiochus Epiphanes was the first foreign king who persecuted them expressly on account of their religion, and not only forbade them, under pain of death, to practise any of its observances, but when they resisted him, avowed openly his determination to extirpate their nation (1 Macc. iii. 35, 36). By all loyal Jews he was regarded in consequence with far greater aversion than any of their previous conquerors or oppressors; and his hostility to their religion, combined with his ostentatious admiration of Hellenic deities, and the assumption by himself of Divine honours (see p. 191), caused him to be viewed by them as the impersonation of presumptuous and defiant impiety. These are the traits which appear prominently in the descriptions of vii. 8b, 20 b, 21, 25, viii. 10—12, 25, xi. 36—38. Many of the older interpreters supposed the description in ch. vii., and also that in
1 Darmesteter, u. s. IV. p. lix. § 7: cf. also the seven Persian counsellors or princes of Ezr. vii. 14, Est. i. 14, and the seven principal Persian families in Hdt. iii. 84.
2 In the later angelology of the Talmud, however, Mazdean influences are unquestionably traceable. Cf. further Pusey, pp. 463, 526-539; Cheyne, Origin of the Psalter, p. 335.
vv. 36-45 of ch. xi., to refer not to Antiochus Epiphanes, but to the future 'Antichrist.' The figure of 'Antichrist,' the future ideal arch-enemy of the Messiah and of Israel, is ultimately of Jewish origin1; but it was appropriated at an early date by the Christian Church, and received a Christian colouring. St John, though he spiritualizes the idea, applying it to tendencies already at work, attests its currency even in the Apostolic age (1 John ii. 18, 23, iv. 3; 2 John 7); and St Paul (2 Thess. ii. 3-10) developes it with fuller details. This interpretation of the passages of Daniel is indeed, upon exegetical grounds, untenable2: nevertheless, it is true that Antiochus, as described in Daniel, is to a certain degree a prototype of the future Antichrist, and that traits in St Paul's description have their origin in the Book of Daniel. In 2 Thess. it is said that the coming of Christ is to be preceded by a great falling away ('apostasy'n añoσтaσía), in which the 'man of sin' (or, according to what is probably the better reading, 'the man of lawlessness') will be revealed, who 'opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God' (cf. Dan. xi. 36, 37): there is something (vv. 6, 7) which for the time prevents his appearance, though, when he does appear, he will be slain by the Lord Jesus, with the 'breath of his mouth' (cf. Is. xi. 43). The beast having seven heads and ten horns, who in Rev. xiii. 1-8 rises out of the sea, and has given him 'a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies,' who receives authority 'to do (his pleasure) [onoa] during forty and two months' (= 3 years), and 'to make war with the saints and overcome them,' and whom all inhabitants of the earth (except those whose names are written in the 'book of life') 'will worship' (cf. vv. 12—15, xix. 20), is in all probability 'Nero redivivus'; but traits of the representation, as
1 Cf. 2 Esdr. v. 6; Apoc. of Baruch xl. 1, 2. If chaps. viii.—ix. of the Assumption of Moses are not displaced (p. lxxxiii), the writer expected the time of the end to be preceded by a period of persecution almost exactly resembling that of Antiochus.
2 Cf. pp. lxv, 99 f., 193.
s Where, according to an old, though of course incorrect, Jewish exegesis, the 'wicked' is the future arch-enemy of the Jews.
will be evident from the words quoted, are suggested by the descriptions in Dan. vii. 8, 20, 21, 25, viii. 24 [LXX. Theod. ToŃσe], xi. 28 and 30 [πoinσei], 36, of Antiochus Epiphanes1. Many of the Fathers, also, drew afterwards pictures of Antichrist, formed by a combination of the representations in Dan. vii. and xi. 36-45 (according to the interpretation mentioned above) with those contained in the New Testament2; but it lies beyond the scope of the present introduction to pursue the history of the subject further.
5. Versions, Commentaries, &c.
A detailed consideration of the Versions of Daniel does not fall within the scope of the present Commentary: but some general remarks must be made with reference to the Greek Versions. The Septuagint Version of the O.T., as is well known, was completed gradually, and is the work of different hands, the translations of the different books, or groups of books, varying in style, and exhibiting very different degrees of excellence and accuracy. The translation of Daniel is one of the most paraphrastic and unsatisfactory; and upon this ground, as it seems,-intensified perhaps by the difficulty which was practically experienced in appealing to it in controversy,— it was viewed with disfavour by the early Christian Church, and the more literal version of Theodotion took its place. Jerome mentions the fact, and though he owns that he does not know the precise explanation of it, he is evidently inclined to believe that it was that which has been just stated:
'Danielem prophetam, iuxta LXX interpretes, Domini Salvatoris Ecclesiae non legunt, utentes Theodotionis editione; et hoc cur acciderit, nescio. Sive enim quia sermo Chaldaicus est, et quibusdam proprietatibus a nostro eloquio discrepat, noluerunt LXX interpretes
1 See further the article MAN OF SIN in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, and (with fuller details) ANTICHRIST in the Encyclopaedia Biblica.
2 See e.g. Iren. v. 25; Hippolytus (c. 220 A.D.), ed. Lagarde, pp. 101-114, &c.
easdem linguae lineas in translatione servare; sive sub nomine eorum ab alio nescio quo non satis Chaldaeam linguam sciente editus est liber; sive aliud quid causae extiterit ignorans : hoc unum affirmare possum, quod multum a veritate discordet, et recto iudicio repudiatus sit1.'
Cf. Contra Ruff. ii. 33 (ed. Bened. iv. 431; ed. Vallarsi, ii. 527): "...ecclesias Christi hunc prophetam iuxta Theodotionem legere, et non iuxta LXX translatores. Quorum si in isto libro editionem dixi multum a veritate distare et recto ecclesiarum Christi iudicio reprobatam, non est meae culpae qui dixi, sed eorum qui legunt.'
And in his Commentary on iv. 5 [A.V. 8] (ed. Bened. iii. 1088; ed. Vallarsi, v. 645, 646): donec collega ingressus est in conspectu meo Daniel, cui nomen Balthasar secundum nomen Dei mei [as in the Vulg.]. Exceptis LXX translatoribus, qui haec omnia [viz. vv. 3—6 (A.V. 6—9)] nescio qua ratione praeterierunt, tres reliqui [Aq. Theod. and Symm.] collegam2 interpretati sunt. Unde iudicio magistrorum Ecclesiae editio eorum in hoc volumine repudiata est; et Theodotionis legitur, quae et Hebraeo, et ceteris translationibus, congruit.'
Theodotion lived probably in the second century: he is mentioned by Irenaeus (iii. 21), who wrote about A.D. 180. The age was one in which a desire was felt to have a Greek version of the Old Testament more faithful than that of the LXX. : and three scholars, Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus, came forward to supply the want. The principles upon which they worked were not entirely the same; while Aquila's ideal was, for example, a translation of extreme literalness, Theodotion sought merely to revise the LXX. version, by correcting its more serious deviations from the Hebrew3. None of these
1 Preface to Daniel, printed at the beginning of ordinary editions of the Vulgate (cf. in the Prologue to his Commentary on Daniel, ed. Bened. iii. 1074, ed. Vallarsi, v. 619 f.). There follows a curious passage, in which Jerome speaks of the 'anhelantia stridentiaque verba' of the 'Chaldee' language, and of the difficulty which he experienced in acquiring it.
This is an error, due apparently to repos, in the MS. used by Jerome, being written éraîpos.
8 See particulars in Dr Field's edition of the Hexapla, 1. pp. xxi ff., xxx ff., xxxix ff.; or the art. HEXAPLA in the Dict. of Christian Biography. It is remarkable that renderings differing from those of the
three 'revised versions' of the O.T. has, however, been preserved in its integrity: in most cases, they have been transmitted only in the form of glosses on the text of the LXX., which was placed by Origen (3rd cent. A.D.) in the fifth column of his 'Hexapla1,' and transcribed thence into other MSS. But in the case of Daniel, the version of Theodotion displaced the true Septuagintal version in MSS. of the LXX.; and the latter version remained actually unknown to scholars till the middle of the last century, when a MS. containing it, was published at Rome in 17722. This MS. belongs to the Library of the Chigi family, and is known as the Codex Chisianus. It contains Jer., Baruch, Lam., Ep. of Jeremiah, Daniel according to the LXX., Hippolytus on Daniel, Daniel according to Theodotion, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. It has been supposed to date from the ninth century, though it is very possibly later. In Tischendorf's edition of the LXX., the version of Daniel contained in the body of the work (ii. 480 ff.) is, in accordance with what has been just stated, that of Theodotion: the genuine 'Septuagint' version, as found in the Chisian MS., is given at the end of the volume (p. 589 ff.). In Dr Swete's edition of the LXX., to the great convenience of the reader, the two versions are printed side by side on opposite pages (vol. iii. p. 498 ff.).
The recension of the LXX. exhibited by the Chisian MS.,
LXX., but agreeing largely with those of Theod., occur in the N.T. (see esp. 1 Cor. xv. 54; John xix. 37, cf. Rev. i. 7), and writers of the early part of the second cent. A.D.; hence it has been conjectured that there was a 'Theodotion' before Theodotion, or in other words, that a revision of the LXX. had been begun before Theodotion, though Theodotion was the first to carry it through systematically (cf. Salmon, Introd. to the N.T.3, p. 586 ff.; Schürer3, iii. 323 f.).
1 The five remaining columns contained, respectively, the Hebrew, the Hebrew in Greek characters, and the versions of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus.
2 Cf. Dr Field's Hexapla, 11. 904 ff. There are also other, more recent editions, the best being that of Cozza in his Sacrorum Bibliorum vetustissima fragmenta, vol. iii. (1877). It is true, in the colophon at the end of Dan. xii., the text of this MS. is said to have been taken from a copy based on the Tetrapla of Origen; but the Tetrapla was simply a subsequent edition of the Hexapla, with the first two columns omitted.