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The general picture of the future, as exhibited in these visions, is as follows: 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 full:— xl. I. '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. I. '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 righteousness, and 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. 1. '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.
Ixii. 2. And the Lord of the Spirits seated him (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 I 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, quoted above), xlvi. 2, 4, xlviii. 2, lxii. 5, 9, 14, lxiii. 11, and 'the Son of Man' xlvi. 3, Ixii. 7, Ixix. 26, 27, 29, lxx. 1, lxxi. 17. 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 νεφελῶν 3.’
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 by what (to use Schürer's words) "is said by the author distinctly and expressly in his interpretation of the vision, in vv. 18, 22, 27*."
,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 n.).
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. 37f.; Die Worte Jesu, p. 201.
4 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 (Füd. 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. II. ii. 137]), Dalman (Die Worte Jesu, p. 197), Sanday (in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, ii. 622); cf. Farrar, pp. 249-51.
A consideration of the use and meaning of the term, 'the son of man,' in the N. T. does not belong properly to a Commentary on Daniel; nevertheless the subject is sufficiently germane to the present passage of Daniel for a few words on it not to be out of place here. The expression ò viòs Toû ȧveрúrov is used frequently, both in the Synoptic Gospels and in St John, as a designation of Christ, but exclusively for John xii. 34 is hardly an exception-in the mouth of Christ Himself: elsewhere in the N.T.1 it occurs only in the words of Stephen, Acts vii. 56. There is no evidence that it was a current Jewish title of the Messiah2. It is commonly supposed to have been directly derived from Daniel vii. 13. But, as Prof. (now Bishop) Westcott pointed out long ago, this is not quite correct. In reality the passage (Dan. vii. 13) in which the title is supposed to be found has only a secondary relation to it. The vision of Daniel brings before him not the Son of man,' but one like a son of man.' The phrase is general, and is introduced by a particle of comparison. The thought on which the seer dwells is simply that of the human appearance of the being presented to him' (cf. above, ad loc.). 'The son of man' differs evidently from one like a son of man.' The former, it cannot reasonably be doubted, was chosen purposely by Jesus to express His own view of His office. It may be doubted, however, whether in its origin it was connected by Him with Dan. vii. 13. It seems clearly to represent Him as the true child of man, the ideal son of the human race, the representative of humanity. It is used most frequently in passages which refer to the earthly work of the Lord in the time of His humility, especially where the thought is prominent of His lowliness, or physical weakness, or true humanity. These however are not the associations that would be naturally suggested by Dan. vii. 13. But the title is used also on other occasions where the reference is to His future coming in glory (as Matt. xiii. 41, xvi. 27 f., xix. 28, xxiv. 27, 30, 37, 39, 44, xxv. 31, xxvi. 64). It is, however, only in passages belonging quite to the close of our Lord's ministry, viz. Matt. xxiv. 30, 'coming on the clouds of heaven' (|| Mk. xiii. 26; Luke xxi. 27), and xxvi. 64 (|| Mk. xiv. 62), that it is brought distinctly into connexion with Dan. vii. 13. The passages in which the title is used of our Lord as Judge are strikingly similar to some of those quoted above from the Book of Enoch. But the more primary use and sense of the expression seem to lie in the first group of passages; and it is in these, it would seem, that its original meaning must be sought. The employment of the title in the second group of passages may have been suggested by its use in the Book of Enoch, or (in Matt. xxiv. 30, xxvi. 64 and || ||) by Dan. vii. 13. And the reference in Matt. xxiv. 30 may be not unreasonably held to imply that, as the ideal representative of Israel, our Lord claimed to fulfil the promise of dominion made to Israel (if the view adopted in this note is correct) in Dan. vii. 14. But our Lord was not only 'like a son of man,' He was 'the Son of man'; so that, even in so far as He bases His use of the term upon Dan. vii.
1 In Rev. i. 13, xiv. 14, there is no article in the Greek (see R. V.).
2 Dalman, p. 197 ff., 204.
4 Westcott, .c. p. 34 (§ 9), quotes and classifies the passages.
In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which 2 appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision;
13, He certainly reads into it a larger and fuller meaning than it there possesses. And it is a question whether the sense which He appears to attach to the title is not more naturally deducible from Ps. viii. 4-a Psalm of which the theme is the contrast between the actual lowliness and the ideal dignity of man-than from Dan. vii. 13.
ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES AND THE DESECRATION OF
A vision of Daniel in the third year of Belshazzar. A ram with two horns appeared, pushing towards the west, north, and south, until a he-goat, with a notable horn' between its eyes, emerged from the west, and, drawing nigh, attacked the ram, and broke its two horns (vv. 1—7). After this, the he-goat increased in strength; but ere long its horn was broken; and in place of it there rose up four other horns, looking towards the four quarters of the earth (v. 8). Out of one of these there came forth a little horn, which, waxing great towards the land of Judah, exalted itself against the host of heaven and against its Prince (God), desecrating His sanctuary, and interrupting the daily sacrifice for 2300 half-days (vv. 9-14). The meaning of this vision was explained to Daniel by the angel Gabriel. The ram with two horns was the Medo-Persian empire; the he-goat was the empire of the Greeks, the 'notable horn' being its first king, Alexander the Great and the four horns which followed were the four kingdoms into which, after his death, his empire was ultimately resolved (vv. 15-22). The little horn, which arose out of one of these, represented a king who, though not named, is shewn, by the description of his doings (vv. 23-25), to be Antiochus Epiphanes.
Although the vision is dated in the third year of Belshazzar, its main subject is thus the empire of the Greeks, especially the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, whose character and policy are clearly depicted in it. The vision differs from the one in ch. vii. in that it dwells more exclusively upon the human side of the history, and describes with greater particularity Antiochus' dealings with the Jews.
1. In the third year &c.] See the note on vii. I.
at the first] properly, at the beginning (Gen. xiii. 3, xli. 21, xliii. 18, 20). The reference is to ch. vii. where the first of Daniel's visions is recorded.
2. And I saw in the vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in Elam, the province; and I saw in the vision, and I was by the stream Ulai] The verse is awkwardly worded, and in part tautologous; its object is to describe where Daniel seemed to find himself in the vision. 'Elam' is the Heb. form of the Sumerian (or 'Accadian') Êlam-ma, ‘highland,' which in Ass. assumed the fem. term. and became Êlamtu: it de