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stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns 20 that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the 21 same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgement was 22 given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, 23 The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour
20. And concerning the ten horns that were on his head, and the other which came up, and before which, &c.] See v. 8.
even of that horn, &c.] and as regards that horn, it had eyes, &c. very great things] great things: the expression is exactly the same
as in v. 8.
whose look, &c.] whose appearance was greater than (that of) its fellows. The adj. is the usual one for 'great' in Aramaic. The horn, though called a 'little' one (v. 8), must be supposed to have grown rapidly to a portentous size: cf. esp. viii. 9.
21-22. A recapitulation of the substance of vv. 9-12, and of vv. 13-14, the latter in the phraseology of v. 18,-with a mention of the fact not noticed before, that a war with the 'little horn' had preceded the triumph of the saints.
21. made war with the saints] Alluding to the violent efforts made by Antiochus Epiphanes to denationalize the Jews and to suppress their religion: cf. v. 25, viii. 10—14, 24, 25.
and prevailed against them] The war was a desperate one; and the 'little horn' would have conquered, had it not been for the intervention of the Most High (v. 22).
22. the Ancient of days] vv. 9, 13.
judgement was given for, &c. (R.V. marg.)] i.e. was pronounced in their favour. Bevan and Kamph. agree, however, that Ewald was perhaps right in conjecturing that the words be an have dropped out by homœoteleuton before 27: the verse would then run, 'and the judgement [sat, and dominion] was given to the saints,' &c. (cf. vv. 106, 14; 26, 27). The rendering to (with the existing text) means that judgement was committed into their hands (1 Cor. vi. 2), an idea alien to the present context: God Himself is here the judge, and by His judgement secures justice for His saints.
and the time came, and, &c.] The time appointed by God for the purpose. Cf. v. 18.
23-27. The answer of the angel.
shall be a fourth kingdom, &c.] The fourth beast represents a kingdom different in character from all the kingdoms, i.e. from any of the previous kingdoms, and far more terrible in its operation.
the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be
the whole earth] To be understood with the same limitations as when it is said (ii. 39; cf. also on iv. 1) that the Persian empire should include the whole earth.'
tread it down] The word is used in Hebrew, and at least sometimes in Aramaic, of threshing (which was performed in ancient times by the feet of oxen, Deut. xxv. 4): hence R.V. marg. 'Or, thresh it.' Cf. for the figure Mic. iv. 13; Is. xli. 15.
24. The ten horns are ten kings.
and he (emph.) shall be diverse from the former ones] The king represented by the 'little horn' will differ from the others, viz. by being aggressive and presumptuous.
and he shall subdue three kings] put down (R.V.), as the same word is rendered in the A.V. of v. 19 and Ps. lxxv. 7. Abase, bring down, lay low, is the idea of the word (Is. ii. 12, xxv. 11, 12, xxvi. 5). Cf. v. 8. On the interpretation, see the Additional Note at the end of the Chapter.
25. Expansion of the 'great things' of v. 8 end. He will blaspheme the Most High (cf. xi. 36 will speak marvellous things against the God of gods'), and seek to ruin His saints.
wear away] LXX, кататρiyeɩ. An expressive figure for continuous persecution and vexation. The idea of the word is to wear or rub away, applied often to clothes (Deut. viii. 4; Josh. ix. 13 ; Is. l. 9, al.), though in the usual rendering of A.V., R.V., 'wax old,' this is unfortunately obliterated. Cf. Job xiii. 28 and he, like a rotten thing, weareth (or falleth) away'; 1 Ch. xvii. 9 'neither shall the children of unrighteousness any more wear them away' (altered from the 'afflict' of 2 Sam. vii. 10); Is. iii. 15, Targ. 'and the faces of the poor ye wear away' (for Heb. grind).
think to change times and law] The phrase is worded generally; and it is true that Antiochus, according to 1 Macc. i. 41, 42, sought to interfere arbitrarily even with heathen cults: but the allusion is more particularly to the attempts made by him to suppress the Jewish religion by prohibiting the observance of religious festivals and other ordinances of the Law (see 1 Macc. i. 44-49). 'Think' means plan or even hope, a sense which the word used has often in the Targums and in Syriac (Luke xxiv. 21, Pesh.). For 'times' in the sense of fixed times (here, the times fixed for religious observances, the Hebrew mo'ădim, Lev. xxiii. 2, 4 [R. V. set feasts], Is. i. 14 [A.V., R.V., appointed feasts], xxxiii. 20 [A.V., R.V., solemnities]), see in the Targ. Gen. i. 14; Ex. xiii. 10, xxiii. 15; Numb. xxviii. 2; Is. xxxiii. 20 (for 'solemnities'); Jer. viii. 7. By 'law' is meant the Mosaic law, as vi. 5.
given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgement shall sit, and they shall take 26 away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness 27 of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve
until a time and times and half a time (R.V.)] The saints will be given into the hand of this godless king for three years and a half. Time' (a different word from that in the preceding clause, and in the note on v. 12 rendered season) has the same sense of year, which it had in iv. 16 the same expression (in its Hebrew form) recurs in xii. 7 (also of the duration of Antiochus' persecution); comp. also Rev. xii. 14. For the particulars of Antiochus' persecution, see the notes on xi. 31. It began with the mission of Apollonius against Jerusalem, probably about June 168, and with the edict of Antiochus which was immediately afterwards put in force (1 Macc. i. 20—53); and it ended (substantially) with the re-dedication of the Temple, after its three years' desecration, on the 25th of Chisleu [Dec.], 165 (1 Macc. iv. 52 f.). This, in all probability, is the period of 3 years which is here intended. The 3 years might also, however, be reckoned from the erection of the heathen altar in the court of the Temple, on the 15th of Chisleu, B.C. 168, to the death of Antiochus, which took place probably about the middle of 164 (see on viii. 14): the terminus a quo would then agree with that of the 1290 days in xii. 11, and the two periods would be (approximately) the same; but the six months before December 168 are more likely to have been included in the period of persecution, than the six months after December 165, when the victories of Judas had stemmed the tide of the persecution, and public worship had been resumed in the Temple.
26-27. At the end of 3 years his power will be taken away from him; and the persecuted saints will receive the kingdom of the entire world.
26. the judgement shall sit, &c.] VV. 106, 11.
they shall take away his dominion] or, his dominion shall be taken away (cf. v. 12).
to destroy and cause it to perish even unto the end] i.e. finally, for 'Even unto the end,' as vi. 26.
27. of the kingdoms under the whole heaven] not merely the kingdom ruled by the little horn,' but all the kingdoms of the earth, will be given then to the saints of the Most High. Under the whole heaven,' as Deut. ii. 25, iv. 19; cf. Job xxviii. 24, xxxvii. 3, xli. 11.
its kingdom is, &c.,...shall serve and obey it] The pronouns, as the context shews, must refer to 'people,' not to the Most High.' In this verse, even more distinctly than in vv. 18, 22, the universal and never-ending dominion, which in v. 14 is given to the one like unto a son of man,' seems to be conferred upon the people of the saints.
28 and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
the same idea, adapted to a N.T. standpoint, cf. Rev. v. 10 b, xi. 15, xii. 10, xxii. 5; also xx. 6.
28. Concluding remark on the vision.
Hitherto] To this point: we should say Here (R.V.). Cf. xii. 6, lit. 'Until when shall be the end of the wonders?'
the end of the matter] i.e. of the entire revelation, including both the vision and the interpretation.
my thoughts much alarmed me] The expression, exactly as iv. 19, v. 6, 10.
and my brightness was changed upon me] As v. 9; cf. v. 6, 10.
Additional Note on the Four Empires of Daniel II., VII.
It is generally agreed that the four empires represented by the composite image in ch. ii. are the same as those represented by the four beasts in ch. vii. there is also no doubt that the first empire in ch. vii. is the same as the first empire in ch. ii., which is expressly stated in ii. 38 to be that of Nebuchadnezzar, and that the kingdom which is to succeed the fourth is in both chapters the kingdom of God: but the identification of the second, third, and fourth empires in the two chapters has been the subject of much controversy. It is also further a question, to which different answers have been given, whether the same three kingdoms in these two chapters are or are not identical with those denoted by the two horns of the ram, and by the he-goat in viii. 3-5, i.e. (as is expressly explained in viii. 20, 21), with the kingdoms of Media, Persia, and Greece. The following tabular synopsis (based upon that of Zündel) of the two principal interpretations that have been adopted, will probably assist the reader in judging between them.
Bronze belly and thighs
Iron legs, feet and = toes partly iron partly clay
Silver breast and Bear with three ribs Ram with two un- Medo-Persian in mouth equal horns Leopard with four Goat with one horn, wings followed by four horns, out of one of which came a little horn
Beast with iron teeth,
Grecian (Alexander and his successors)
CH. II. Golden head
Bronze belly and thighs
Iron legs, feet and toes partly iron partly clay
= Lion with eagle's
Silver breast and = Bear with three ribs = First and shorter
horn of ram
Beast with iron teeth,
Grecian (Alexander and his successors)
The difference between the two interpretations comes out most markedly in the explanation given of the fourth empire: A, for convenience, may, therefore, be termed the Roman theory, and B the Grecian theory.
A. This interpretation is first found in the apocryphal book of 2 Esdras (written probably under Domitian, A.D. 81–96), xii. 1If., where the eagle, which Ezra is supposed to see in his vision and which unquestionably represents the imperial power of Rome, is expressly identified with the fourth kingdom which appeared to Daniel: though (it is added) the meaning of that kingdom was not expounded to Daniel as it is expounded to Ezra now. The same view of the fourth kingdom is implied in Ep. Barnab. iv. 4—5 (c. 100-120 A.D.), where the writer, in proof that the time of trial, preceding the advent of the Son of God, is at hand, quotes the words from Dan. vii. 7, 8, 24, respecting the little horn abasing three of the ten horns2. Hippolytus (c. 220 A.D.) expounds Dan. ii. and vii. at length in the same sense (ed. Lagarde, 1858, pp. 151 ff., 171 ff., 177 ff.). The same interpretation was also general among the Fathers; and it is met with likewise among Jewish authorities. Among modern writers, it has been advocated by Auberlen, Hengstenberg, Hofmann (Weissagung und Erfüllung, 1841, p. 276 ff.), Keil, Dr Pusey, and others.
Upon this view, the fourth empire being the Roman, the ten toes, partly of iron and partly of clay, of the image in ch. ii., and the ten horns of the fourth beast in ch. vii., represent ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire is supposed to have broken up, each retaining to a certain extent the strength of the Roman, but with its stability greatly impaired by internal weakness and disunion: the mouth speaking great things,' which is to arise after the ten kingdoms and to destroy three of them, being Antichrist, who is identified by some with the Papacy, and by others is supposed to be a figure still future.
1 It is implied also (apparently) in Joseph. Ant. x. xi. 7.
2 The writer seems to have understood by the 'horns' the Roman emperors: but there is great difficulty in determining precisely which are meant; see in Gebhardt and Harnack's edition (1878), p. lxix f.
Cf. Hippolytus, p. 172, The legs of iron are the Romans, being as strong as iron; then come the toes, partly of iron, partly of clay, in order to represent the democracies which are to arise afterwards' (similarly, p. 152); p. 153, 'the little horn growing up among the others is Antichrist.'