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The explanation of these expressions is difficult. Neither D nor Du can really mean 'desolation.' D might mean either desolating or appalling: D (also ix. 27 end) would naturally mean either desolated or appalled (see on viii. 23), but neither of these renderings suits the subst. with which it is joined; it is, however, possible that, by an irregularity of form, of which there are a few examples (see ibid.), it might have an active force, desolating or appalling: but the absence of the art. before D in (1) and (3) is anomalous (Ges.Kautzsch, § 126 %); and in (2) the plur. D'Y'p" (if this word is rightly connected with D) is impossible, though the correction rap Do would here be an easy one. On the whole, the supposition that the ptcp. in each case means appalling, horror-causing, is the one that is least free from difficulty,-the word used being chosen possibly (as explained on xi. 31) for the sake of its assonance with Dheaven.'
As regards the two passages in the N.T., three things may be observed. (1) In St Mark the best MSS. and editions (as Tisch., Westcott and Hort, and so R.V.) have the masc. éσтηKóтa (hence R. V. 'standing where he ought not'), and omit the words 'spoken of by Daniel the prophet' (which have been introduced from the parallel text of St Matthew, where they are contained in all MSS.). (2) The interpretation of the expressions in the N.T. is uncertain: the context, however, shews that it must refer to something—or rather (Mk.) to some one-standing in the Temple,— —as is generally supposed, not long before its destruction by Titus (in which case the statue of a Roman emperor might, for instance, be intended1), though others suppose the reference to be to an expected future Antichrist (cf. 2 Thes. ii. 4)2. (3) As regards the bearing of our Lord's use of the expression upon the interpretation of it in the Book of Daniel, it is to be observed that in St Mark's Gospel, which has the presumption of presenting the 'synoptic tradition' in a more primitive and original form than the other Gospels, there is no reference to Daniel at all; hence, especially in view of the fondness of St Matthew for O.T. references, it becomes probable that even in the first Gospel the words, 'spoken of by Daniel the prophet,' are not part of our Lord's discourse, but are a comment added by the Evangelist. If this conclusion be accepted, it will follow that our Lord pronounces no judgement on the sense in which the expression is to be interpreted in Daniel: it is the expression alone which He borrows: His use of it by no means necessarily implies that He intends to denote by it the same object which it denotes in Daniel; and His authority cannot therefore be invoked against the interpretation of the expression, as used in Daniel, which has been adopted above.
1 See for this and other cognate views the art. ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible. A further discussion of the subject does not belong here.
2 See ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, and ANTICHRIST (§ 4), in the Encyclopadia Biblica; and cf. MAN OF SIN in Hastings' Dict. (§ iv.).
10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I Daniel was mourning three
CHAP. X.-XII. HISTORY OF THE SELEUCIDAE AND Ptolemies. REIGN OF ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES, AND HIS TREATMENT OF THE JEWS. ADVENT OF THE KINGDOM of God.
These three chapters form a whole, describing a vision of Daniel in the third year of Cyrus, by the Hiddekel (the Tigris), and (ch. xi., xii.) the revelations respecting the future which Daniel received in it from an angel. Daniel had fasted for 21 days, when he fell into a state of trance or vision, in which he saw a shining being standing before him, who told him that he had been sent in answer to his prayers, but that he had been prevented from reaching him before by the opposition of the 'prince' (i.e. the guardian-angel) of Persia; with the help of Michael, the prince,' or guardian-angel, of the Jews, he had at length been able to start on his mission, and he was now here in order to give Daniel a revelation concerning the future (x. 1-19). After a few introductory words (x. 20—xi. 1), the revelation follows in xi. 2—xii. 4 (there should be no break either at x. 21 or at xi. 45), a solemn concluding statement respecting the duration of the coming period of trial being given in the concluding dialogue, xii. 5—13.
This, the last vision contained in the Book, is also the most circumstantial; both the history of the Diadochi, and also the events of Antiochus Epiphanes' own reign, being described in much greater detail than had been given before (xi. 2-45), and the felicity to begin afterwards being more distinctly outlined (xii. 1-3).
(1) x. 1−xi. 1. with the shining angel.
Introductory. Daniel's vision, and his colloquy
1. king of Persia] A title, not borne by the Persian kings while the Persian empire still lasted, though often given to them after it had passed away, as a mark of distinction from the Greek rulers who then followed1.
a thing] or, a word: cf. ix. 23 b, and (Aram.) iv. 33.
and the word (is) true, and a great warfare] The revelation is true (cf. viii. 26), and relates besides to a period of severe hardship and trial. 'Warfare' has the same figurative sense which it has in Is. xl. 2; Job vii. 1, xiv. 14 (A. V. in Job, as here, appointed time, following the interpretation of Kimchi ; R. V. rightly warfare, figuratively of the hardships of life).
and he understood &c.] and he gave heed unto the word.
was mourning] or, continued mourning. The motive of Daniel's mourning is not stated; but it may be inferred from v. 12 (cf. ix. 3) to
1 See the writer's Introduction, p. 511 f., with p. 512, n. 3 (ed. 6, p. 545, with p. 546, n. *).
full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh 3 nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; then I lift up mine eyes, 5 and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen,
have been grief for his people's sin (cf. Ezr. x. 6), and anxiety about its future (cf. Neh. i. 4).
three full weeks] three weeks long. Lit. three weeks, days-a pleonastic idiom, which occurs elsewhere (e.g. Gen. xli. 1; Deut. xxi. 13; 2 Sam. xiii. 23)1. Full' emphasizes the expression unduly.
3. pleasant bread] lit. bread of desirablenesses (ix. 23). Daniel did not fast absolutely; he only abstained from 'pleasant' food. Flesh and wine would, in the East, not be indulged in except at a festivity, or on other special occasions (e.g. Gen. xxvii. 25, 1 Sam. xxv. 11 [where LXX. followed by many moderns, has wine for water]; Is. xxii. 13).
neither did I anoint myself at all] The practice of anointing the body with oil or other unguents was common among the Jews, as ainong other ancient nations: it soothed and refreshed the skin, and was a protection against heat. It was customary after washing, especially in anticipation of a visit, a feast, &c. (Ruth iii. 3); and so to be anointed was a mark of contentment and joy (Is. lxi. 3, Eccl. ix. 8; cf. Matth. vi. 17), while, conversely, during mourning it was usual not to anoint oneself (2 Sam. xiv. 2; cf. xii. 20).
three whole weeks] The same expression which in v. 2 is rendered full weeks.
4. the first month] Abib (Ex. xxiii. 15), or (as it was called by the later Jews) Nisan (Neh. ii. 1),-the month in which the Passover (on the 14th day) and feast of Unleavened Cakes (15th-21st) were kept (Ex. xii. 1-13, 14-20). These sacred seasons thus fell within the period of Daniel's fast.
the great river] elsewhere the Euphrates (Gen. xv. 18; Josh. i. 4) : here, of the Hiddekel (Gen. ii. 14), i.e. the Tigris (Ass. Idiglat or Idiklat) cf. the Syr. form Deklath. (Tigris is probably a Persian modification of the same name, suggested by the Old Pers. tighri, arrow cf. [tighra, pointed, sharp], on account of the swiftness of its stream: see Delitzsch, Paradies, p. 170 ff., who cites Strabo, xi. 14, 8, διὰ τὴν ὀξύτητα, ἀφ ̓ οὗ καὶ τοὔνομα, Μήδων τίγριν καλούντων τὸ τόξευμα.)
5-9. The dazzling being seen by Daniel in his vision, and the effects of the spectacle upon him. For a vision following a fast, cf. Apoc. of Baruch v. 7, ix. 2, vii. 5, x. 5, 6, xxi. 1, xliii. 3, xlvii. 2; 2 Esdr. v. 13, 20, vi. 31, 35, ix. 24, 26, xii. 51: also Acts x. 10. 5. lift up mine eyes] in the vision: cf. viii. 3.
and saw] Daniel (v. 4) was on the side of the river; and it appears from xii. 6, 7, that the figure which he beheld was directly above the river itself, and consequently (x. 16) 'in front of' him. The description
1 See Ges.-Kautzsch, § 131 d,
6 whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of 7 his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel of the shining being which follows, contains many reminiscences of Ez. i. and ix.
a certain man] a man: the Hebrew idiom, as 1 Ki. xxii. 9, &c. clothed in linen] The expression is suggested probably by Ez. ix. 2, 3, II, X. 2, 6, 7. (White) linen garments were worn (on certain occasions) by priests or others performing sacred offices (Lev. vi. 10, xvi. 4; 1 Sam. ii. 18, xxii. 18; 2 Sam. vi. 14). Here, as in Ezek., the linen vesture indicates a celestial visitant: cf. Mark xvi. 5, Rev. xv. 6 (R.V. marg.).
whose loins, &c.] A girdle richly ornamented with gold was about his loins.
fine gold] Heb. kéthem, a choice, poetical word (e.g. Job xxviii. 19, xxxi. 24), the one generally used in the expression 'gold of Ophir' (Job xxviii. 16; Ps. xlv. 9; Is. xiii. 12).
Uphaz] only besides in Jer. x. 9, 'gold (zāhāb) from Uphaz.' No place Uphaz is, however, known; hence the reading in Jer. is probably corrupt, and we should read there from Ophir' (with Targ., Pesh., MSS. of LXX., and many moderns). Either the author of Daniel borrowed the expression from Jer. x. 9, after the text there had been corrupted; or we may suppose that Uphaz (DIN) here is simply a scribal error for Ophir (N): comp. the last note.
6. The dazzling appearance of his person.
His body] The word used in Ez. i. 11, 23.
the beryl] the chrysolith (as LXX. in Ex. and Ez. xxviii. 13)—said (see Smith, D. B., s. v. BERYL) to be the topaz of the moderns—a flashing stone, described by Pliny as 'a transparent stone with a refulgence like that of gold.' Comp. Ex. xxviii. 20, and especially Ez. i. 16, x. 9, where the wheels of the chariot in Ez.'s vision are compared to the same stone. The Heb. is tarshish: it may be so called, as Pliny says of the chrysolith, on account of its having been brought from Spain (Tarshish, Tartessus).
as the appearance of lightning,...as torches of fire] cf. Ez. i. 13 (R.V. marg.), 'In the midst of the living creatures was an appearance like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches...and out of the fire went forth lightning.'
like the gleaming of burnished brass] from Ez. i. 7 (of the feet of the cherubic figures which supported the throne) and they sparkled like the gleaming of burnished brass.' Gleaming is lit. eye, fig. of something sparkling: so Ez. i. 4, 16, 22, 27, viii. 2, x. 9; Prov. xxiii. 31 (A.V. in all 'colour').
the voice of his words] or, the sound of his words: the words do not seem to become articulate until v. 11.
like the voice of a multitude] Is. xiii. 4 (the Heb. for voice,'
alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, 8 and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his, words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And behold, a hand touched me, which set me 10
'sound,' 'noise' is the same). But the expression is perhaps suggested by Ez. i. 24 (R.V.) 'a noise of tumult' (where the Heb. for tumult partly resembles that for multitude here). An impressive, but inarticulate, sound seems to be what the comparison is intended to suggest. With the last three clauses of this verse, comp. the description of the risen Christ in Rev. i. 146, 15.
7. Cf. Acts ix. 7, xxii. 9.
howbeit (v. 21) a great quaking] or trembling: the Heb. is the same as in Gen. xxvii. 33 (lit. Isaac trembled with a great trembling'). They may have seen the effects of the vision upon Daniel (cf. v. 8). 8-9. Daniel was left alone, and fell motionless, as if stunned, upon the earth.
And I (emph.) was left alone, and saw this great vision] 'great,' on account of the majestic appearance of the angel.
and there was left (v. 17) no strength in me] Cf. 1 Sam. xxviii. 20. The vision itself is more impressive than that of Gabriel in viii. 16-18, and its effects upon Daniel are more marked.
comeliness] The meaning is dignity of countenance. Majesty, glory, is the idea of the word: cf. (of God) Ps. viii. 1, Hab. iii. 3; (of a king), Ps. xlv. 3, Jer. xxii. 18 ('Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!'); of the Israel of the future, compared to a nobly-spreading tree, Hos. xiv. 6 (where 'beauty,' A.V., R.V., is inadequate).
was turned upon me into corruption] i.e. disfigured, or destroyed, by sudden pallor. The Hebrew word rendered 'corruption' is cognate with that rendered 'marred' in Is. lii. 14 (also of the countenance). For' upon,' cf. v. 9, vii. 28; and see on ii. 1.
retained no strength] In the Heb., a late idiom, found otherwise only v. 16, xi. 6; 1 Chr. xxix. 14; 2 Chr. ii. 5, xiii. 20, xxii. 9.
9. And I heard the voice, &c.] or, the sound (twice): see on v. 6. then was I in, &c.] R.V. then was I fallen into a deep sleep. The clause appears to describe, not the effect of the words which Daniel heard, but the state in which he already was, when he heard them. On the expression a deep (or dead) sleep, see on viii. 18.
on my face, with my face, &c.] cf. viii. 17, 18.
10-18. Daniel is gradually revived and reassured.
10. An invisible hand, touching him, reassured him, and partly raised him up.
set me] lit. caused me to move to and fro or totter (see on Am. iv. 8),