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I upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken 12 this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come 13 for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia
i.e. here, as the context shews, 'set me tottering upon my knees,' &c. : so R.V. marg. Cf. 2 Esdr. v. 15.
11. And he said unto me] The speaker is the dazzling being described in vv. 5, 6.
thou man greatly beloved] greatly desired, lit. man of desirablenesses: see on ix. 23.
stand upright] lit. stand upon thy standing, the idiom explained on viii. 18.
for now am I sent unto thee] now, i.e. (ix. 22) at last, after the delay described in v. 12.
trembling] that I should have been accosted by a being so august. The word, as Ezr. x. 9 (not as v. 7, above).
12. set thine heart] lit. give thine heart, i.e. apply thyself: a late idiom, found otherwise only in 1 Chr. xxii. 19; 2 Chr. xi. 16; Eccl. i. 13, 17, vii. 21, viii. 9, 16.
to understand] viz. the future destiny of Israel. Anxious questionings on the future of his people were the occasion of his prolonged mourning and abstinence (vv.. 2, 3).
and to humble thyself before thy God] The verb, though it may be used more generally (Ps. cvii. 17), is applied here, as in Ezr. viii. 21 ('then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way,' &c.), to the self-denial and mortification accompanying a fast. The more common (and technical) expression in the same sense is to humble (or [R.V.] afflict) the soul: see Lev. xvi. 29, 31; xxiii. 27, 29, 32; Num. xxix. 7 (all of the fast of the Day of Atonement); Is. lviii. 3, 5; Ps. xxxv. 13 ('I humbled my soul in fasting'); in a more general sense, Num. xxx. 13 (of a vow of self-denial). The corresponding subst. ta ănith has the same meaning in Ezr. ix. 5 (R. V. marg.); and regularly in post-Biblical Hebrew (the Mishnic treatise 'Ta'anith' deals with fasting).
and I am come because of thy words] i.e. the prayer implied in w. 2, 3. 'I am come is resumed at the beginning of v. 14, the explanation of the angel's delay in v. 13 being parenthetical.
13. The opposition, for 21 days (cf. v. 2), of the 'prince,' i.e. the patron-angel, of Persia, prevented the dazzling being from reaching Daniel sooner.
the prince of the kingdom of Persia] its patron- or guardian-angel.
withstood me one and twenty days: but lo, Michael, one
The doctrine of tutelary angels, presiding over the destinies of particular nations, though there appears a trace of the idea in Is. xxiv. 21, a and according to some commentators, in Ps. lxxxii., is found for the first time distinctly in the O.T. in this prophecy of Dan. (x. 13, 20, 21, xi. I, xii. 1). In the earlier books of the O.T. angels appear merely as the 'messengers' of Jehovah, with little or no personal character or distinctness of their own: in the later books of the O.T. grades and differences begin to be recognised among them; particular angels are appropriated to particular purposes or functions; and they begin to receive individual names (see below). The origin of the idea of patronangels is matter of conjecture: even as applied to Israel, it evidently signifies more than is implied in such passages as Ex. xxiii. 20, 23, xxxii. 34, xxxiii. 2 (which speak of an angel leading Israel to its home in Canaan). According to some (see the art. ANGEL in the Encycl. Biblica, col. 108), they are the ancient 'gods of the nations,'—which, according to Deut. xxix. 26 (cf. iv. 19), are 'allotted' by Jehovah to the several peoples of the earth,-transformed into 'angels,' under the teachings of a more consistent monotheism, for the purpose of being more distinctly subordinated to Him; according to others (see the art. ANGEL in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, p. 96 b), the idea is due to the tendencies which arose in later times, (1) of conceiving God as ruling the world by intermediate agencies, and (2) of personifying abstract conceptions, such as the 'spirit,' or genius, of a nation, and of locating such personified forces in the supersensible world, whence they ruled the destinies of men. Other passages in which the same idea is found are Ecclus. xvii. 17 ἑκάστῳ ἔθνει κατέστησεν ἡγούμενον); and Deut. xxxii. 8 LXX. ('he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God [ for '],' a reading thought by some moderns to be the original). The later Jews developed the doctrine further, teaching, for instance, that each of the 70 nations mentioned in Gen. x. had its Angel-Prince, who defended its interests, and pleaded its cause with God (cf. the Targ. of Ps.-Jon. on Gen. xi. 7, 8 and Deut. xxxii. 8; and Weber, System der Altsynag. Theol., p. 165 f.). Michael] the patron-angel of the Jews (v. 21, xii. 1). The idea of the passage is that the fortunes of nations are determined by the angels representing them in heaven: the success or failure of these regulating the success or failure of the nations themselves. Cf. Is. xxiv. 21.
As was remarked in the last note but one, it is not till the later books
of the O.T. that angels begin to receive names. The only angels mentioned by name in O.T. and N.T. are 'the Satan' (i.e. the unfriendly Opposer or Thwarter: see Davidson's note on Job i. 6), Job i.ii., Zech. iii. 1, 2, 1 Ch. xxi. I [altered from the parallel, 2 Sam. xxiv. 1], and frequently in the N.T.; Michael, here and v. 21, xii. 1, Jude 9, Rev. xii. 7; and Gabriel, Daniel viii. 16, ix. 21, Luke i. 19, 26. In the extra-canonical books other names of angels appear. Thus in the Book of Tobit, an angel Raphael is named, who, disguised as a man, performs various offices for Tobit and Tobias (iii. 17, v. 4, &c.); in xii. 15 (cf. v. 12), he is said to be one of the seven
of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained
holy angels [cf. Enoch lxxxi. 5 'those seven holy ones,' xc. 21, 22] which present the prayers of the saints' to God. In 2 (4) Esdr. iv. I, v. 20, x. 28, Uriel is mentioned; and in iv. 36 (R.V.) Jeremiel, the 'archangel.' In the book of Enoch many names of angels occur: in ix. I [see the Greek text, in Charles' ed., p. 333] and elsewhere, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel; in xx. 1—7 (p. 356 f., Charles) the names and offices of seven principal angels, or 'archangels,' are enumerated (Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remeiel); in xl. 2-10, those of four principal angels, called here ‘presences' (cf. Is. lxiii. 9), Michael, Rufael (Raphael), Gabriel, and Phanuel (1): the names of many fallen angels, who seduced the children of men (Gen. vi. 2, 5), are also given (vi. 7, viii. 1—3, lxix. 1-15, &c.). See, further, on the names and functions of angels in the later Jewish Angelology, Weber, l. c. p. 161 ff.; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus, ii. 745 ff.; and cf. A. B. Davidson's art. ANGEL in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible.
one of the chief princes] The reference is evidently to some group of superior angels, or (to adopt the later Greek expression) 'archangels.' In the book of Enoch, as has just been shewn, sometimes four angels (see esp. xl. 2-9), sometimes seven, are distinguished above the rest. Among the later Jews (Edersheim, l.c. p. 748 f.; Midrash Rabba on Numb. ii. 20) Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael were usually regarded as the four principal angels, privileged to stand immediately about the throne of God; but seven are mentioned, not only in Enoch xx. 1—7, lxxxi. 5, xc. 21, but also in Tob. xii. 15 (see the last note), and Rev. viii. 2 ('the seven angels which stand before God'); and probably these seven are alluded to here. Cf. Jude 9, where Michael is called the archangel.'
Michael is the warrior-angel (cf. Rev. xii. 7), whose special office it is to protect the interests of Israel; in Enoch xx. 5 he is described as ὁ εἷς τῶν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων ὃς ἐπὶ τῶν τοῦ λαοῦ ἀγαθῶν τέτακται [καὶ] ἐπὶ TO λa; in the Assumption of Moses x. 2 (ed. Charles, 1897) he appears to be the angel' who avenges Israel on their enemies at the end of the world; in the legend quoted in Jude 9 (see the patristic quotations, in Charles, . c. p. 106 ff.), it is he who, as the angelic patron of Israel, defends the body of Moses against the devil (who claims it on the ground that Moses has been guilty of the murder of the Egyptians). For other extra-Biblical references to Michael, see Hastings Dict. of the Bible, s. v.
remained there] properly, was left over there (the word used implying that others had departed, or been destroyed, Gen. xxxii. 24; 1 Sam. xxx. 9; 1 Ki. xix. 10; Am. vi. 9), though the meaning of the expression here is far from certain. According to some it simply I remained there, which, however, does not do justice to the word used; according to v. Lengerke, Ges., and Keil, it is I had the superiority, i.e. obtained the victory (cf. Luther, da behielt ich den Sieg), the prince' of Persia having been, at least temporarily (see v. 20), disabled; according to
there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make 14 thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he 15 had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And behold, one like 16 the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I
Ewald, it is I was superfluous there, i.e. (R.V. marg.) I was no longer needed. Meinh. and Behrm. follow LXX. and Theód. in reading and I left him there (1' for '); but this verb means not to leave simply, but to leave over or remaining (viz. from what has been taken elsewhere, Ez. xxxix. 28, or destroyed, Ex. x. 15, xvi. 19 al.): so that it is doubtful whether it would here be suitable. Perhaps, on the whole, we may acquiesce in the rend. was left over (viz. in the conflict): the prince of Persia,' for the time, succumbed; the angel, with Michael's aid, overcame his opposition, and so was able to come to Daniel.
beside (Neh. viii. 4) the kings of Persia] Both the plural, and also the statement itself that the angel, after his conflict, should have found himself 'beside' the kings of Persia, are strange. It is probable that we should read (with LXX., Meinh., Behrm.) 'beside the prince of the kings of Persia.'
14. And I am come to make thee understand, &c.] cf. viii. 16, ix. 22; also ix. 23 b.
what shall befall thy people in the end of the days] The sentence seems to be framed on the model of Gen. xlix. I. On the end (a different word from that occurring in viii. 17, 19) of the days,' see on ii. 28. Here the expression denotes the age of Antiochus Epiphanes.
for there is yet a vision for the days] viz. the days just mentioned : a vision, relating to these, remains still to be told. Or, altering the point which indicates the article, for the vision is yet for (many) days it relates to the 'end of the days,' not to the present; cf. viii. 176, 266.
15. In spite of the command not to fear (v. 12), and the encouraging nature of the words which followed (especially v. 12), Daniel does not recover his composure; and is only gradually reassured in the sequel (vv. 16—19).
I set..., and was dumb] As yet, he stood with his eyes fixed on the ground, dreading to look up and speechless.
A second touch restores Daniel's power of speech.
one like the similitude, &c.] not an actual man, but a figure or appearance resembling a man. The word rendered similitude is the one which in the visions of Ezekiel (i. 5, 10, 13, 16, 22, 26, 28, viii. 2, X. I, 10, 21, 22) is rendered regularly by likeness: the variation here is presumably for the purpose of avoiding the juxtaposition of 'like' and likeness."
touched my lips] cf.-though the expression is not quite the same, and the purpose is in each case different-Is. vi. 7 ('made it-the hot coaltouch my lips'), Jer. i. 9 ('made it—his hand-touch my mouth').
opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows 17 are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength 18 in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of 19 a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea,
The touch having restored Daniel's power of speech, he hastens to excuse his confusion: the vision, he says, had overpowered him.
to him that stood in front of me] The dazzling being, whom Daniel had seen in vv. 5, 6.
Sam. i. 15, 26, xxii. 12, &c.; Zech. i. 9, iv. 4, 5, 13,
by reason of the vision my throes were turned upon me] i.e. came suddenly upon me. The word rendered throes is said properly of the pains of a woman in travail (Is. xiii. 8); and the whole phrase occurs in i Sam. iv. 19 of the pains of labour suddenly seizing Ichabod's mother. The figure is thus a strong one : it describes Daniel as being as prostrate and helpless as a woman in the pains of labour. Cf. Is. xxi. 3, where it is used similarly to describe the prostration produced by an alarming vision.
and I retained no strength] v. 8, end.
17. talk with this my lord] with a being so glorious and terrible. and as for me, straightway &c.] either from now (i.e. from just now) there remaineth &c. (so most commentators); or (Keil) from now (i.e. henceforth) there will remain no strength in me,—so paralysed, viz. am I. The latter rendering is in accordance with the meaning of 'from now' elsewhere; the former expresses a thought harmonizing better with the clause which follows. Remain' is lit. stand, i.e. maintain itself: cf. Eccl. ii. 9; and kûm in Josh. ii. 11.
neither is there breath, &c.] a hyperbole. Cf. (of actual death) 1 Ki. xvii. 17; also, with 'spirit' for 'breath,' of the effects of fear, as here, Josh. ii. 11; and of wonder, 1 Ki. x. 5.
18, 19. A third touch (see vv. 10, 16), followed by a second reassurance (see vv. 11-14) on the part of the dazzling being, restores Daniel's composure entirely.
18. one like the appearance of a man]' appearance,' as in viii. 15, and often in the visions of Ezek. (i. 13, 14, 26, 27, 28, viii. 2, x. I, xlii. 11).
strengthened me] i.e. both restored my physical strength, and also encouraged' me, as the same word is rendered in Deut. i. 38, iii. 28. 19. And he said] The dazzling being described in vv. 5, 6, who has been speaking in vv. 11 a, 12-14, and whom Daniel had addressed in vv. 166, 17. Not the angel mentioned in vv. 16a, 18.
Fear not (v. 12), O man greatly desired] v. II.