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we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, 14 and brought it upon us for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy 15 people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all 16 thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy
in Job xi. 19; Ps. xlv. 12; Pr. xix. 6, and frequently with reference to God, as Ex. xxxii. 11; 1 Sam. xiii. 12; Jer. xxvi. 19, al. Cf. Bar. ii. 8.
understand thy truth] better (R.V.), have discernment in thy truth, 'truth' being used in the objective sense which it has in viii. 12, and the meaning being (Keil, Prince) to acquire insight into God's revealed will, and to think and act in accordance with it. The words might, however, also be rendered (R.V. marg.) deal wisely (viz. in amending our ways) through1 thy truth (v. Lengerke, Behrm.), i.e. through Thy revealed word. The verb has the former meaning (understand, discern) in v. 25; and the latter in xi. 33, 35, xii. 3, 10..
14. And (so) Jehovah hath watched over] The same expression in Jer. i. 12, xxxi. 28, xliv. 27 ('I watch over them for evil and not for good'), the meaning being that Jehovah is wakeful or vigilant over the evil, that it may duly be brought when the right moment arrives. Cf. Bar. ii. 9.
is righteous] cf. Jer. xii. 1, Lam. i. 18, Ezr. ix. 15, Neh. ix. 8 end, 33. in the matter of all his works which he hath done] cf. (with the same peculiar use of the prep. 'al) Neh. ix. 33, and thou art righteous in the matter of all that is come upon us.'
and we have not obeyed (lit. hearkened to) his voice] cf. v. 10.
15-19. The confession passes now gradually into a supplication for help. Cf. Bar. ii. 11, 12 a, 13a, 14 а, 166, 17 a, 19.
15. that hast brought, &c.] Deut. vi. 21, ix. 26, xxvi. 8; cf. Jer. xxxii. 21.
and hast made thee a name, as at this day] verbatim (in the Heb.), though not quite literatim, as Jer. xxxii. 20 and Neh. ix. 10; to make oneself a name (i.e. to gain renown), also, Gen. xi. 4, and (of God) Is. lxiii. 12, 14, and (with a syn. in the Heb. for make) 2 Sam. vii. 23.
we have sinned, we have done wickedly] 1 Ki. viii. 47.
16. according to all thy righteousnesses] The plural, of righteousness exhibited in deeds, or, in other words, of acts of righteousness: so Jud. v. 11; 1 Sam. xii. 7; Mic. vi. 5; Ps. ciii. 6. God's deliverance of His people, according to His covenant-promise, when and in so far as it deserves it, is regarded as a manifestation of His righteousness. As in the last verse, God's acts of mercy towards His people and His interpositions on its behalf, in the past, are appealed to as a ground why He should interpose similarly now.
I There is a similar ambiguity in the verb and accompanying prep. in Ps. ci. 2.
fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for 18 the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our
let thine anger, &c.] for the expression, cf. Num. xxv. 4, Jer. xxiii. 20, xxx. 24, Is. xii. 1.
thy city] v. 19 cf. 'my city,' Is. xlv. 13.
thy holy mountain] Ps. xv. 1, xliii. 3, and elsewhere. So v. 24. the iniquities of our fathers] Cf. Lev. xxvi. 39, Jer. xi. 10, Is. lxv. 7, Neh. ix. 2; also Ps. lxxix. 8.
a reproach to all that are round about us] Cf. Ps. xliv. 13, lxxix. 4; also Éz. xxv. 3, 6, 8; xxxv. 10, 12, 13. The words may, however, also glance at "the position of the faithful Jews under Antiochus, since in addition to the tyranny of the king they had to endure the taunts of their heathen neighbours, the Edomites, the Ammonites, etc." (Bevan).
more urgent, especially in
17. hearken unto the prayer, &c.] A reminiscence of 1 Ki. viii. 28 (= 2 Ch. vi. 19). Similarly Neh. i. 6, 11 (from 1 Ki. viii. 29).
cause thy face to shine upon] i.e. be favourable to: Num. vi. 25; lxvii. 1, lxxx. 3, 7, 19 (in a prayer for help, as here), cxix. 135.
desolate] The word (shāmēm) used in Lam. v. 18, 'mount Zion, which is desolate' (cf. 1 Macc. iv. 38), chosen perhaps at the same time with allusion to the transgression, or abomination, 'causing appalment ' (shōmēm, měshōmēm), of viii. 13, ix. 27, xi. 31, xii. 11.
17-19. The supplication becomes vv. 18, 19.
for the Lord's sake] The words in themselves occasion no difficulty (cf. v. 19; Is. xlviii. 11, 'for mine own sake '), though for thy name's sake would be more usual (Jer. xiv. 7, 21; Ps. lxxix. 9): Jehovah's honour, or reputation, it is implied, would be impaired, if His sanctuary remained longer in abasement; out of regard to Himself, therefore, He is entreated to interfere. But the third person in the midst of a series of petitions in the second person, is very strange : it is probable, therefore, that either a letter or a word has dropped out in the Heb., and that we should read, either with Theod., Prince, for thine own sake, O Lord (cf. v. 19), or with LXX, Bevan, Marti, for thy servants' sake, O Lord (as in the very similar appeal of Is. lxiii. 17).
18. incline...and behold (lit. see)] Almost exactly the words in Hezekiah's prayer, 2 Ki. xix. 16 (= Is. xxxvii. 17).
desolations] v. 26: cf. Is. xlix. 19, lxi. 4 (twice).
over which thy name hath been called] i.e. of which Thou art the Owner. The sense of the expression appears from 2 Sam. xii. 28, lest
supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; 19 Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, 21 even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the
I take the city, and my name be called over it,' in token, viz. of my having conquered it. The expression is often used, especially in Deuteronomic writers, of the people of Israel, Jerusalem, or the Temple, as v. 19; Deut. xxviii. 10; Jer. vii. 10, 11, 14, 30, xiv. 9, xxv. 29; 1 Ki. viii. 43; Is. lxiii. 19. The paraphrase of A.V., R.V., which is called by my name,' weakens and obscures the real force of the expression. Cf. further on Am. ix. 12.
present] lit. cause to fall: so v. 20, Jer. xxxviii. 26, xlii. 2, 9; cf. xxxvi. 7 (lit. their supplication will fall before Jehovah '), xxxvii. 20 (here in the sense of being accepted). The expression does not occur elsewhere in the O.T.: Prof. Kirkpatrick compares, however, Baruch ii. Iq (οὐ... καταβάλλομεν τὸν ἔλεον we do not cast down our supplication). for...for] properly on (the ground of).
thy great compassions] v. 9. The same expression in Neh. ix. 19, 27, 31 (A.V., R.V., 'manifold mercies'): cf. 2 Sam. xxiv. 14 ('for his compassions are great'), Ps. cxix. 156.
19. hear...forgive] The combination is, no doubt, suggested by 1 Ki. viii. 30b, 34, 36, 39.
hearken] attend, as the word is often rendered in the Psalms, xvii. 1, lv. 2, lxi. 1, lxxxvi. 6, cxlii. 6.
and do] cf. Jer. xiv. 7, though our iniquities testify against us, O Jehovah do for thy name's sake': see also on viii. 12.
defer not: for thine own sake, O my God, because, &c. (R. V.). The Hebrew accentuation places the main break in the verse at defer not.
defer not] as Ps. xl. 17 (=lxx. 5: in A.V., R. V., make no long tarrying).
for thine own sake] see on v. 17, end.
because thy name hath been called over thy city and thy people] see
on v. 18.
20-23. Daniel's prayer heard; and the angel Gabriel sent with the
20. whiles] So v. 21. See on v. 2. confessing] v. 4.
for the holy mountain of my God] cf. v. 16.
even the man]'even' arises from an incorrect apprehension of the syntax, and should be omitted (as is done in R.V.). in the vision at the beginning] viii. 16.
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 flight), 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. 17 f. Neither explanation is satisfactory, but the present text admits of nothing better. 'Swiftly' (A.V.), though found in the ancient versions (LXX, táxel pepóuevos, 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, 1 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 flew, 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. 2 : 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.) desiderated; and very probably we should read, with LXX, Pesh., And he came (N" for 1): 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 vv. 24-27.
to shew thee] to declare (it): cf. on ii. 2.
greatly beloved] greatly desired, or (R.V. lit. desirable things or desirablenesses; cf. x. 11, nesses,' the plural being intensive1.
marg.) very precious:
19, a man of desirable
1 For the Heb. idiom here employed cf. Ps. cix. 4, cx. 3: and see Ges.-Kautzsch,
§ 141 C.
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. 1. Also a term descriptive of the revelation following, and implying that the appearance of Gabriel to Daniel took place in a vision. The word () is not the one found in Is. i. 1 (), which does sometimes mean no more than 'prophecy'.
24. 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.