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10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him : thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgement was II set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because
Glory sat thereon, and His raiment was brighter than the sun, and whiter than any snow...Fire burnt round about, and a great fire stood beside Him, and no one approacheth Him round about: thousan thousands stand before Him, and every word of His is deed.'
the wheels thereof] The throne is pictured implicitly as a chariot, as in Ez. i. 15-28. The representation of the throne and wheels as being fire is, however, more than is found even in the visions of Ezekiel.
10. a stream of fire...from before him] For 'from before,' cf. v. 24; and on vi. 10. Comp. also Rev. i. 14, 'his eyes were as a flame of fire.'
thousand thousands] Cf. Deut. xxxiii. 2, R.V. (if the existing Heb. text of line 4 is correct); also 1 Ki. xxii. 19; Zech. xiv. 5 end, R.V.; Enoch i. 9 (cited, with slight verbal differences [see Charles' ed. p. 327], in Jude 14, 15 [for 'saints' in v. 14, A.V., see the note on Dan. viii. 13]). The present passage is doubtless the source of Enoch xiv. 22 (cited on v. 9), xl. 1 (cited below, p. 106); cf. lx. 1, lxxi. 8, 13; and of Rev. v. II.
ministered...stood] Better, were ministering...were standing, the tenses being as in iv. 12.
stood before him] viz. in attendance: cf. for the idiom 1 Ki. x. 8. the judgement was set] i.e. (in accordance with the old English sense of the expression) was seated: the Aram. is lit. sat, ‘judgement' being used here in a concrete sense for the judges; cf. LXX., Theod., To KρLTýρlov éкálloεv, Vulg. judicium sedit; and see v. 26, ‘shail_siť’. The Almighty is represented as holding a court of judgement. For was set in this sense see in A.V., Matth. v. 1 ('when he was set,' i.e. was seated), xxvii. 19; Heb. viii. 1 (R.V. sat down); Ps. ix. 4 (P.B.V), 'thou art set (i.e. hast seated thyself) in the throne that judgest right.' W. A. Wright quotes, from an old writer, 'When they were sette' (viz. at table).
and the books were opened] the books in which the deeds of men are recorded in particular the deeds of the four 'beasts,' representing the four empires. Cf. Rev. xx. 12, 'And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne; and books were opened;...and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works:' also 2 Esdras vi. 20; Apoc. of Baruch xxiv. 1; Ascension of Isaiah (ed. Dillmann, 1877), ix. 22; Enoch xlvii. 3 (cited on p. 106), lxxxix. 70, 71, 76, 77, xc. 20, xcviii. 7, 8, civ. 7,-all passages speaking of the deeds of men being recorded in books, which are afterwards opened in heaven. See further Charles's note on Enoch xlvii. 3; and comp. Abhoth ii. 1, 'Know what is above thee, a seeing eye, and a hearing ear, and all thy deeds written in a book.' The germ of the representation is to be found most probably in the figurative
of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest 12 of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet
expressions in Is. lxv. 6 (Behold, it is written before me': cf. Jer. xvii. 1); Mal. iii. 16 (cf. Est. vi. 1); Ps. Ivi. 8.
11. The beast representing the fourth empire is slain, and utterly destroyed, on account of the blasphemies of Antiochus Epiphanes (v. 8), the idea being that the guilt of the empire culminated in him. The writer thinks of empires only, not of individuals; and it is impossible to say what he pictured to himself as being the fate of the individuals of whom the fourth empire consisted.
I beheld, &c.] The second 'I beheld' is resumptive of the first, after the intervening clause introduced by because-a construction of which there are many examples in Hebrew (e.g. Lev. xvii. 5; Jud. xi. 31; Zech. viii. 23). I beheld till, as v. 9. The clause because, &c., though apparently giving the reason for 'I beheld,' gives in reality the reason for the beast was slain,' &c.
and his body destroyed] The empire being represented by an animal, its 'body' will correspond to the fabric, or political organization, of the State. This is to be utterly brought to an end.
and he was given to be burned with fire (R.V.)] lit. to the burning of fire (cf. Is. lxiv. 11, lit. 'has become for the burning of fire), i.e. to complete destruction. It is hardly likely that there is any allusion here to the torments of the wicked after death, for though in parts of Enoch, written probably within 50 years of Daniel (x. 13, xxi. 7—10, xc. 24— 27), mention is made of a fiery place of punishment for wicked angels and men, had that been intended here it is probable that it would have been indicated more distinctly,-to say nothing of the fact that, as remarked just above, it is the fate of empires, not of individuals, that the writer has in view. Rev. xix. 20, xx. 10 are not sufficient proof that the author of Daniel had the idea here in his mind.
12. the rest of the beasts] Commentators are divided as to whether the three beasts of vv. 4-6, or the seven horns left after the three had been rooted up (v. 8), are intended: but the expression used ('beasts') strongly favours the former interpretation. In the abstract, it is true, the latter interpretation might be deemed the more probable; for, as the 'beasts' represent successive kings, or kingdoms (vv. 17, 23), the dominion of the first three would naturally be at an end long before the period of the judgement on the fourth, whereas the seven 'horns' might well be conceived as subsisting still. In point of fact, however, the kingdoms, though in reality successive, are in the vision represented as contemporaneous: nothing is said in vv. 3-7 about the disappearance of one beast when a second appears; all continue visible, side by side. So in ch. ii. the four kingdoms represented by the image are destroyed simultaneously: the entire image remains intact until the stone falls upon the feet (representing the fourth and last kingdom), when the whole of it breaks up together.
their lives were prolonged for a season and time. in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient 14 of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
they (indef.) took away their dominion] i.e. (see on iv. 25) their dominion was taken away (R.V.).
but a prolonging in life was given them (A.V. marg.)] The three first beasts are humbled, but not, like the fourth beast, destroyed; their dominion was taken away from them, but they were permitted to remain alive; i.e. the Gentile powers, represented by the beasts, were to survive for a while as nations, though deprived of empire.
until a time and a season (ii. 21)] i.e. until the unspecified time, determined for each in the counsel of the Most High (Keil).
13, 14. The kingdom of the saints.
13. and behold there appeared coming with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man] lit. there was coming, &c., the graphic partic. with the finite verb, which is so frequent in Daniel (Theod. LXX. καὶ ἰδοὺ μετὰ [LXX. ἐπὶ] τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὡς vids avoрúπov éрxóμevos [LXX. pxero]): though in English 'was coming' is too weak to express its force adequately. The rendering of A.V., 'the Son of man,' is quite untenable: the expression of the original is indefinite, and denotes simply, in poetical language (cf. Num. xxiii. 19; Ps. lxxx. 17; Is. li. 12, lvi. 2), a figure in human form (comp. Rev. i. 13, xiv. 14, R.V.). What the figure is intended to represent can be properly determined only after the explanation in v. 16 ff. has been considered (see p. 102 ff.). If the terms of vv. 18, 226, 27 are to be taken as deciding the question, it would seem that it must describe the ideal and glorified people of Israel.
with the clouds of heaven] in superhuman majesty and state. The passage is the source of the expression in Mk. xiv. 62 (Mt. xxvi. 64 'on'); Rev. i. 7, 'behold, he cometh with the clouds:' cf. Mt. xxiv. 30 ('on')= Mk. xiii. 26 (‘in')=Lk. xxi. 27 (‘in'); and Rev. xiv. 14 ('one sitting on a cloud, like unto a son of man'), 15, 16.
and he came even to the ancient of days] see on v. 9.
and they brought him near] The subject might be angelic beings; or, which is probably better, it may be indefinite, like the 'they' of vv. 5, 12, i.e. and he was brought near (see on iv. 25).
14. A universal and never-ending dominion is given to him. The expressions in the first half of the verse resemble in part those used in v. 18, 19 of Nebuchadnezzar. Serve does not necessarily mean worship: like the word which has the same meaning in Heb. (ay), it may be used of obedience to either God (iii. 12, 14 al.) or a human ruler (vii. 27; and the Targ. of Jer. xxvii. 6, 7, 8, &c.). With the
I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my 15 body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came 16 near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which 17
second half of the verse comp. ii. 44, and especially iv. 3b, 34 b (of the kingdom of God). All peoples, nations, &c., as iii. 4.
15-28. The explanation of the vision.
15. As for me Daniel, my spirit was pained] or distressed: in modern English we should not say 'grieved' in such a connexion.
in the midst of the sheath] or, with a change of punctuation, its sheath, fig. for the body, as the soul's sheath, or receptacle. The word is of Persian origin (nidâna, vessel,' 'receptacle'): it occurs once again in late Heb., 1 Ch. xxi. 27, of the sheath of a sword; and (in the form lidneh for nidneh) several times in the Targums (e.g. Ez. xxi. 8) in the same sense. Levy quotes two passages from the later Jewish literature where it is used in the same application as here: Sanh. 108a 'that their soul should not return to its sheath,' and B'rêshith Rabba § 26 (p. 118 in Wünsche's transl.) 'in the hour (viz. of resurrection) when I bring back the spirit to its sheath, I do not bring back their spirits to their sheaths.' The usage is nevertheless a singular one; and these two passages may be simply based upon this one of Daniel.
has been (בגו נדנה for בגין דנה) The emendation on this account
proposed (Weiss, Buhl, Marti); and LXX. (ẻ TOÚTOLs) may partly support it it is, however, some objection to it that , though found in the Palest. Targums, does not otherwise occur in Biblical Aramaic1.
troubled] alarmed (iv. 5). Visions of my head, as v. 1 and iv. 5.
16. one of them that were standing (there)] One of the angels that stood before the Almighty (v. 10), who happened to be nearer than the others to Daniel himself. For the part of interpreter taken by an angel in a vision, cf. Zech. i. 7-vi. 8 passim; and the Apocalypses of Enoch and 2 Esdras. It is characteristic of the later prophecies: in the visions of the earlier prophets (as Am. vii. viii., Is. vi., Jer. i., Ez. ii.—v., viii. ix., &c.), Jehovah speaks Himself to the prophet. We have the transition in Ez. xl.-xlviii., where an angel conducts the prophet, and usually explains things to him (Ez. xl. 3, 4, &c.), though sometimes Jehovah also speaks Himself (xliii. 7-9, xliv. 2, 5, &c.).
of all this] better, concerning all this (R.V.).
17. The four beasts represent four kings, or (v. 23) four kingdoms, the 'king' in each case being not an individual king, but a typical king, embodying the characteristics of the empire ruled by him. The angel does not however dwell more fully on the 'beasts,' or interpret their symbolism; but hastens (v. 18) to explain the nature of the kingdom which is to succeed theirs.
.(בגושמי orבגויתי) 'Nestle would read simply in my body 1
18 shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most
High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for 19 ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and
18. The four kingdoms of the Gentiles will pass away; and be succeeded by the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, which will endure for ever. The saints of the Most High seem here, as also in vv. 22, 27, to take the place of the 'one like unto a son of man' in v. 13, and to receive the same never-ending dominion.
the saints] lit. the holy ones; so vv. 21, 22, 25, 27, viii. 24 (cp. xii. 7). Cf. Ps. xvi. 3, xxxiv. 9. (The word is entirely different from the one (hasid) rendered 'saints' everywhere else in the Psalms, as Ps. xxx. 4, xxxi. 23, xxxvii. 28, &c., and in 1 Sam. ii. 9 [A.V.]; 2 Chron. vi. 41, Prov. ii. 8.) The term, in this application, is an extension of the use of the word 'holy' to denote Israel in its ideal character (Ex. xix. 6; Lev. xi. 44, 45, xix. 2, xx. 7, 26; Deut. vii. 6, xiv. 2, 21, xxxiii. 3 and elsewhere).
the Most High] See on iii. 26. The Hebraizing (and plural) form found here (y) recurs vv. 22, 25 (second time), 27. The plural is probably the so-called 'plural of majesty,' which we have, for instance, in the Heb. of 'holy' in Josh. xxiv. 19, and Prov. ix. 10.
shall receive (v. 31) the kingdom] They will not establish it by their own power (cf. v. 27 'shall be given, &c.).
and possess the kingdom for ever, &c.] Cf. v. 146.
19-22. Daniel asks for further information respecting the fourth beast, and the means by which its power was broken.
19. Then I desired to know the truth concerning, &c. (R.V.)] 'Would' in Old English has often the sense of 'willed,' 'desired'; but in modern English it is not strong enough in a passage like the present. Cf. will in W. A. Wright's Bible Word-Book, who points out that in the A.V. it is sometimes more than a mere auxiliary verb: e.g. Matt. xi. 27 and he to whomsoever the Son will [R.V. willeth to] reveal him,' Luke xiii. 31 'for Herod will [R. V. would fain] kill thee;' John vii. 17 (R.V. willeth to), 1 Tim. v. 11 (R.V. desire to). The case is similar with would, as Col. i. 27, 'To whom God would make known,' &c. (R.V. 'was pleased to make known,'-0éλŋoev yvwpioa), John i. 43 (also for ǹ0éλnoev, R. V. was minded to1).
The description of the fourth beast is in the main repeated from vv. 7, 8; but some traits are noticed here which were not mentioned before.
and his nails of bronze (ii. 32)] Not in v. 7.
1 See a useful little volume, Clapperton's Pitfalls in Bible English (1899), p. 89.