صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I 17 was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I 18 was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, 19 I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of

17. afraid] affrighted (R.V.), as Is. xxi. 4, A.V. (Job vii. 14 al. 'terrify'): 'afraid' is not strong enough. At the approach of the celestial being Daniel is terrified.

fell upon my face] a mark of awe or respect (Gen. xvii. 3; Jud. xiii. 20; Ruth ii. 10, al.); cf. in the visions of Ezekiel, Ez. i. 28, iii. 23, ix. 8, xi. 13, xliii. 3, xliv. 4.

son of man] Borrowed, no doubt, from the book of Ezekiel, where it is the standing title by which the prophet is addressed (ii. 1, 3, 6, 8, iii. 1, 3, 4, 10, 17, 25, &c.-more than a hundred times altogether).

for the vision belongeth to the time of the end] and therefore deserves attention. The time of the end' is a standing expression in Daniel (xi. 35, 40, xii. 4, 9; cf. 'the appointed-time [D] of the end' viii. 19, and 'the end' ix. 266), and means (spoken from Daniel's standpoint) the period of Antiochus's persecution, together with the short interval, consisting of a few months, which followed before his death (xi. 35, 40), that being, in the view of the author, the 'end' of the present condition of things, and the divine kingdom (vii. 14, 18, 22, 27, xii. 2, 3) being established immediately afterwards. This sense of 'end' is based probably upon the use of the word in Am. viii. 2, Ez. vii. 2, 'an end is come, the end is come upon the four corners of the land,' 3, 6: cf. also 'in the time of the iniquity of the end,' Ez. xxi. 25, 29, xxxv. 5; and Hab. ii. 3, 'For the vision is yet for the appointed-time [has reference to the time of its destined fulfilment], and it hasteth toward the end.'

18. I fell into a dead sleep] Daniel was alarmed when the angel approached (v. 17): when he spoke to him, he fell paralysed and motionless-or, as we might say (in a figurative sense), stunned-upon his face (cf. the similar passage, x. 9). The word is used of a deep sleep, Jud. iv. 21; Ps. lxxvi. 6 (here of the sleep of death): cf. the corresponding subst., Gen. ii. 21, xv. 12; Sam. xxvi. 12; Is. xxix. 10 (here fig. of insensibility).

set me upright] lit. made me stand upon my standing (cf. v. 17 Heb.), a late Heb. idiom for in my place, where I had stood (R.V. marg.), 2 Ch. xxx. 16, xxxiv. 31, Neh. xiii. 11, al.: in the same application as here, Dan. x. 11. For the fear occasioned by a vision, and the restoration by an angelic touch, cf. x. 8, 10, 16, 18; Enoch lx. 3, 4; 2 Esdr. v. 14, 15.

19. in the latter time (R.V.) of the indignation] The 'indignation' is the Divine wrath implied in Israel's subjection to the nations: the persecution by Antiochus is the last stage of this indignation: when

20

the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time

23

21

22

that is over, the kingdom of the saints will be set up. Cf. xi. 36, and he (Antiochus) shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished;' and I Macc. i. 64, and there came exceeding great wrath upon Israel.' The word may be suggested by Is. x. 25, xxvi. 20.

for it (i.e. the vision, v. 17) belongeth to the appointed-time of the end] The sentence seems suggested by Hab. ii. 3 (quoted on v. 17), though the word 'end' has not there the special sense which it has acquired in Daniel.

20-26. The explanation of the vision.

20. having the two horns] see on v. 3.

21. the rough he-goat] v. 5. The word rendering 'rough' (sā'īr), treated as a subst., is the usual old Hebrew word for a he-goat (Gen. xxxvii. 31, &c.): the word here rendered 'he-goat' (saphir) being properly the Aramaic word for the same animal (Ezra vi. 17, and in the Targums), and being found in Heb. only in late passages (vv. 5, 8; 2 Ch. xxix. 21; Ezra viii. 35). Perhaps, therefore, sair is not intended here to be an adj., but is simply the old Heb. synonym of ṣāphir, added by way of explanation; and the whole expression should be rendered simply the he-goat.

Grecia] or, as we should now say, Greece. So x. 20, xi. 2 (but Zech. x. 13 'Greece'); and similarly Grecians for Greeks, Joel iii. 6, Acts vi. I al. The Heb. (both here and elsewhere) is Yavan, Gen. x. 2, 4=1 Ch. i. 5, 7; Is. lxvi. 19; Ez. xxvii. 13, 19(?), i.e. 'Idfwv, 'Iáfov-es, the name by which the 'Greeks' were known also to the Assyrians and Egyptians. The reason is to be found in the fact that the Ionians' on the west coast of Asia Minor were that branch of the Greeks which was the earliest to develope civilization, and to engage extensively in commerce; it was thus the first to become generally known in the Eastern world.

the first king] i.e. Alexander the Great.

22. And as for that which was broken, in the place whereof four stood up (R.V.), four kingdoms shall stand up, &c.] see on v. 8.

stand up] i.e. arise. Late Hebrew uses 'amad, 'to stand,' or 'stand up,' where early Hebrew would say kûm, 'to arise' (e.g. Ex. i. 8): similarly v. 23, and several times in ch. xi.

out of the nation] There is no art. in Heb.; and the passage, as it stands, reads baldly. Read probably, with LXX, Theod., Vulg., 'his nation' (gōyō for goy), i.e. Alexander's.

but not with his power] None of the four kingdoms which ultimately (see on v. 8) took the place of the Macedonian empire possessed the power which Alexander enjoyed. Cf. xi. 4 b.

of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, 24 but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the

23–25. A fuller description of the character and policy of Antiochus Epiphanes.

23. in the latter time of their kingdom] in the closing period of the rule of the Diadochi (which the author pictures as brought altogether to an end at the death of Antiochus).

when the transgressors have completed (their guilt)] i.e. filled up the measure of their transgressions (cf., though the Heb. word is not the same, Gen. xv. 16). Or, with 'transgressions' for 'transgressors' (Sept., Theod., Pesh., Ew., Meinh.: the difference affects only the vocalization), when they (or men) have completed transgressions. It is disputed whether the reference is to the Israelites (Keil, Behrm.) or their heathen oppressors (Hitz., Meinh., Bevan). In the former case, the meaning will be that when the measure of Israel's guilt is full, this final and severest of persecutions will fall upon them: in the latter case, Antiochus will be viewed as the climax of heathen impiety.

a king of hard countenance] i.e. unyielding, unmoved, defiant: lit. 'strong of countenance,' i.e. hard, firm (in a bad sense). The expression is borrowed from Deut. xxviii. 50: cf., with the corresponding verb, Prov. vii. 13 (of the harlot), 'she made her face strong,' i.e. hard, impudent, xxi. 29; 'a wicked man hardeneth his face, Eccl. viii. I.

and understanding riddles (v. 12)] a master of dissimulation, able to conceal his meaning under ambiguous words, and so disguising his real purposes. Cf. v. 25, 'deceit,' xi. 27, 'obtain the kingdom by smooth sayings.' Examples are afforded by his treatment of his nephew, Ptolemy Philometor, and the manner in which he completely misled the legates who were sent by the Romans for the purpose of ascertaining his feelings towards them (see on xi. 27, 40). Antiochus was habitually successful in concealing his real motives and intentions when his interests required it.

24. his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power] but rather, so it is implied in this rendering, by the permission of God (Häv., Hitz.). The rendering not by his power (but rather by intrigues) is, however, preferable: the first two clauses of the verse will thus contain an oxymoron. R.V. marg. 'Or, with his power. See ver. 22' seems to refer the pron. (with Ewald) to Alexander; but such a reference is here far-fetched.

destroy wonderfully] work destruction in an extraordinary degree;the idea of 'wonder,' 'wonderful' in Heb. is properly that of something distinctive, exceptional, extraordinary. Cf. xi. 36, xii. 6.

prosper, and do] cf. v. 12.

25 mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; 26 but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of

the mighty] them that are mighty (indef.), alluding to Antiochus' political foes.

and the people of the holy ones (or saints)] i.e. Israel: cf. vii. 25 ('and shall wear away the holy ones (or saints) of the Most High'). And through-properly, on (the basis of)-his understanding] or insight, cleverness, usually in a good sense (1 Sam. xxv. 3, Job xvii. 4, al.), here in a bad sense=astuteness.

25.

he (without also '1) will cause deceit to prosper in his hand] his intrigues will prove successful (cf. xi. 23, also of Antiochus). For 'in his hand,' cf. Gen. xxxix. 3, Is. liii. 10.

and in his heart he will shew greatness] i.e. here (cf. on v. 4), devise proud, presumptuous schemes. Comp. the expression 'greatness of heart' Is. ix. 9, x. 12 (A.V. 'stoutness,' 'stout').

and in (time of) security he will destroy many] i.e. he will come upon them unawares, and destroy them while off their guard. Many modern scholars render indeed by unawares, supposing that the Heb. expression (in tranquillity') is used with the force of a similar Aramaic idiom suddenly, unawares, (lit. out of quiet): see e.g. Jer. iv. 20, Pesh. The same expression recurs in ch. xi. 21, 24 (LXX. both times árva), also of Antiochus. Comp. 1 Macc. i. 29, 30, where it is related how Antiochus's chief collector of tribute, Apollonius, came to Jerusalem, and 'spake words of peace unto them in subtilty, and they gave him credence; and he fell upon the city suddenly (¿čáriva: Pesh. 1),' and killed many of its inhabitants (cf. 2 Macc. v. 23-26).

the Prince of princes] i.e. God, the 'prince of the host' of v. 11. Cf. ii. 47; and the Lord of lords' of Deut. x. 17, Ps. cxxxvi. 3.

"

broken without hand] i.e. not by human means, but by a Divine intervention; cf. ii. 34, with the note. Antiochus died suddenly, in B.C. 164, a few months after the re-dedication of the Temple (25 Chisleu [Dec.], 165), apparently from some mental disorder, such as might well suggest the idea of a Divine stroke, at Tabae in Persia (see p. 194 f.).

26. the vision of the evenings and mornings (v. 14) which hath been told, is true] a solemn asseveration of the truth of what has been told (cf. x. 1, xi. 2, xii. 7; also Rev. xix. 9, xxi. 5, xxii. 6), intended here as an encouragement to the persecuted Israelites, who may rest assured that their sufferings will ere long reach the appointed limit.

1 See on the construction Ges.-Kautzsch, § 112. 5, or the writer's Hebrew Tenses, § 123 Y. It is against the reading of LXX (followed by Grätz and Bevan), that does not signify diavónua, or 'mind.'

the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward 27 I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

but thou (emph.), shut thou up the vision] keep it secret (cf. xii. 4). The vision is supposed to have been seen in the third year of Belshazzar (v. 1), but it relates to the age of Antiochus; it is consequently to remain hidden till then, partly because it would not be intelligible before, partly in order to explain why no one had ever heard of it till the days of Antiochus himself. For the idea of a revelation given in the interests of a distant future, cf. Enoch i. 2, civ. 13.

for it belongeth to many days (to come)] i. e. it relates to a distant future. The expression is exactly the same (in the Heb.) as in Ez. xii. 27.

27. fainted] The expression is peculiar: if correct, it must mean I was done with, exhausted, the verb being the same that is used in ii. I in the passage 'his sleep was done with upon him.' It does not occur in this sense elsewhere in the O.T.

for (some) days] so Gen. xl. 4 (A.V., R V., ‘a season'); Neh. i. 4. rose up] from his bed of sickness, as Ps. xli. 8.

the king's business] what business is not stated; nor can we be sure (cf. v. 13) that the writer pictured him as still holding the office to which Nebuchadnezzar had appointed him some 60 years previously (ii. 48). For the expression, cf. Est. ix. 3.

was astonished] cf. on iv. 19.

but none understood it] The expression is strange, and difficult to reconcile with what has preceded: if the vision was to be 'shut up,' the remark that no one understood it would seem to be superfluous. Perhaps 'none' may be used as in v. 5; and Daniel himself may be really meant (cf. xii. 8): the meaning will then be that, though the vision had been partly explained to him, he did not understand it fully: vv. 23-25 are, for instance, expressed enigmatically, and without any name being given (Hitz., Bevan). Other renderings are, but no one perceived it (cf. 1 Sam. iii. 8 Heb.), i.e. no one perceived that Daniel had had a vision, or of what nature it was (Meinh.); or but no one gave heed (cf. Is. lvii. 1 Heb.; A.V. ‘considering'), viz. to Daniel's astonishment (Behrm.).

Additional Note on the Ruins of Susa.

The site of Susa was visited, and partly excavated, by Mr Loftus in 1852: it was excavated much more completely, and with more important results, by M. Dieulafoy, a French architect and engineer, in 1884-6. The site of the city, which was distinct from the 'castle' (cf. Est. iii.15), and in fact separated from it by the stream, is marked only by hardly perceptible undulations of the plain; but three huge mounds, forming a rhomboidal mass, 4500 feet long from N. to S., and 3000 feet broad

« السابقةمتابعة »