« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
that which follows in chapters x. xi. xii. to the end: nor is the subject-matter of this prophecy connected with that of the prophetic disclosures in chapters vii. and viii. which preceded; like that of chapters xi. and xii. which follow. We are justified, therefore, in contending that the continuation of Daniel's visions, strictly so called, after chapter viii. is found in chapter x and being there resumed, that one and the same thread of prophecy which had been suspended at chapter viii. is carried forward through the xith and xiith chapters to the end of the book: for it requires no proof, that all the matter, from xi. 2. to xii. 13, though divided into two distinct chapters, is yet one and the same in itself, and with what had preceded in chapters vii. and viii. respectively. The chronological series then of Daniel's visions, properly so called, is from the first of Belshazzar to the third; and from the third of Belshazzar to the third of Cyrus. Between the first of Belshazzar and the third, there was no renewal of his visions as such, or none which is upon record; and between the third of Belshazzar and the third of Cyrus, the same thing holds good. If a prophecy is interposed in the first of Darius, it is a prophecy sui generis, and devoted to a different subject from any of the visions before or after it.
Now, as in the account of the vision recorded in the eighth chapter, there is a reference to the vision related in the seventh, (Compare viii. 1. with vii. 1, &c.) so it appears to me, in the account of this vision in the tenth, there is a reference to that in the eighth. Let it only be granted that, as the instrument employed to interpret these visions to Daniel, notwithstanding the difference of the times and occasions on which they were vouchsafed, must have been some definite agent or other, so it was most probably one and the same in each; espe
cially as the occasions themselves, however different in point of time, were yet connected by a community of relation and purpose, and the visions respectively vouchsafed upon each, were devoted to disclosures communis generis in each instance, and carrying on the same train of prophetical history from first to last. This presumption appears only reasonable. Let it therefore be taken for granted, that the party conversing with Daniel, in all these instances, in what manner soever described, whether as simply under the image of an hand appearing to him, or in any other way, and even when indefinitely alluded to, unless the contrary is distinctly specified, or unless there is reason to suspect it from the context, is some one and the same Divine messenger; as at vii. 16, 23: viii. 13. x. 10. 18—xii. 4*. If this was the case, there will probably appear to be no reason, why the Angel employed on these various commissions to Daniel should not be supposed the angel Gabriel. The angel Gabriel is spe
*The only exception to the above presumption would appear to be in that part of the twelfth chapter, which follows from verse 5 to the end, in which, a comparison of xii. 6, 7. with x. 5. will demonstrate that the speaker at xii. 7. must be the same Divine being who appeared to Daniel at the outset of the xth chapter; and whom we have seen to be the second Person in the Holy Trinity, in his Incarnate capacity. Yet in what follows from xii. 8. to the end, there is no reason why the speaker addressed by Daniel at xii. 8. and who answers him from xii. 9, to the end, should not be the same with whom he had been conversing up to xii. 5. There is no reason why the ac
count of the vision from xii. 5-7. should not be considered a parenthesis between xii. 4. and xii. 8. For Daniel, xii. 5. alludes to other two, which recognises the person with whom he had been conversing until then, as a distinct person, whosoever he was: and the language of xii. 9. in the answer of the person addressed by him at xii. 8, just before, (a question founded on the words of the speaker at xii. 7,) is so far the same with that of xii. 4, the last words of the angel with whom Daniel had been conversing uninterruptedly from x. 11, to the account of this vision at xii. 5. that the one may well be considered as the resumption and continuation of the other.
cified by name, on two several occasions, as the actual instrument to make certain prophetical communications to Daniel; the occasion recorded in ch. viii. and the occasion recorded in chapter ix. the former the second of Daniel's visions, the latter the prophecy of the seventy weeks: and there is a reference on the second of these occasions of his ministry to his similar ministry on the former: see ix. 21. and viii. 16. If some one instrument, then, was employed upon all these occasions, there will appear to be little question that this instrument was most probably the angel Gabriel in the rest, who was actually the instrument in two of them*.
* The speaker distinctly specified as Gabriel at viii. 15, 16, may also have been that same saint, indefinitely mentioned at verse 13, just before, as another saint, and as speaking to that certain saint," or as the margin has it, to that Numberer of secrets," whom Daniel had just heard speaking (see v. 13.) and whose answer to the saint in question alleges the disclosure contained in verse 14. This "Numberer of secrets," or "Wonderful Numberer,” if the Hebrew term, by which it is so expressed, Phelamouni or Palmoni, be rightly so rendered, might very well be some one distinct from the other saints, and more akin to the personage, described at xii. 7, or x. 5, 6, than to any other, who appears, or is mentioned, in the Book of Daniel: but there is no reason why the saint who speaks to him, and whose question elicits that answer which defines the time of the vision, as at viii. 14, might not be the saint, or holy angel, Gabriel, and the same who was afterwards commissioned to make
Daniel understand the vision, as at viii. 15, and commissioned too, we may presume, by the same Numberer of secrets, or Wonderful Numberer, before adverted to, himself.
With respect to the above denomination, Phelamouni or Palmoni, which occurs only once in the Hebrew text, the Septuagint version and Theodotion, have rendered it as a proper name; and consequently retained it in the text. We learn from Jerome, iii. 1105, ad calcem, in Dan. viii. that Aquila did the same. Symmachus alone appears to have rendered it by rivi TOTE, or nescio cui; a version which Jerome followed himself, and which our translators seem to have thought preferable. But between the marginal sense ascribed to this word, and nescio cui, or tɩví tote, the difference is wide indeed; yet if the word be compounded as it appears to be of, wonderful, and 2, to number, the marginal sense would seem to be the true. And analogous as this designation appears to be to that of Wonder
Now, with these observations premised, remembering that the instrument employed on these several occasions to interpret Daniel's visions, or to communicate new prophetical revelations of the same kind, was in all probability one and the same, the angel Gabriel; that Daniel's visions were only three in number; that the dates of these three, respectively, coincided with the first of Belshazzar, the third of Belshazzar, and the third of Cyrus; that there was no vision like either of the preceding, between the third of Belshazzar and the third of Cyrus, that is, between B. C. 559 and B. C. 534, an interval of twenty-five years: we shall not be surprised to find the renewal of these prophetical visions and disclosures, in the third of Cyrus, ushered in by a specific reference to the visions and their interpretations, which had preceded in the first or in the third of Belshazzar. In my own opinion, we have that reference from x. 10, to xi. 2: and of the two visions previous to the present-that in the first of Belshazzar, cap. vii. and that in the third, cap. viii—in my opinion also the reference is rather to the second, than to the first.
For first, I cannot help being of opinion, that when the Angel tells Daniel, at x. 12, that "from the first day that he set his heart to understand, and to chasten himself before his God, his words were heard, and he came for his words;" he means by this understanding, the understanding of his visions more particularly; to have been permitted to see which, without being enabled to comprehend them also, would have been no
ful, Counsellor, applied to Immanuel or God Incarnate, Isaiah ix. 6. I cannot help being of their opinion, who consider it to be applied to the same person here; and the same person who
is afterwards represented in the Apocalypse, under the figure of the Lamb, as opening the seals of the sealed book, and revealing the secrets of futurity to the end of time.
great privilege or distinction vouchsafed to the prophet himself; and to interpret or make known which intelligibly to his comprehension, was the actual object of the mission of the Angel to him. Now all this is literally applicable to the description at viii. 15, which represents Daniel as anxiously "seeking for the vision," that is, for the meaning of the vision, which he had just seen, and to viii. 16-19, which represents Gabriel as expressly commanded to "make him to understand the vision," and as "coming near to him" for that purpose accordingly. I cannot consider it so applicable to vii. 15, 16, also; though that may describe Daniel as actuated by an equal, if not by a stronger anxiety to know the meaning of what he had there too seen; for he is there described as asking for information of his own accord, and not as receiving it from a messenger sent on purpose to give it: and though the saint from whom he receives it might peradventure be Gabriel, yet he did not give it him in discharge of an actual commission to that effect.
Again, it seems to me a reasonable inference from x. 13, compared with x. 12, that if the Angel who came because of the words of Daniel, and who, when he came, was opposed by the Prince of Persia, and having so come, and being so opposed by the Prince of Persia, "had remained there with the kings of Persia;" it seems, I say, a just and reasonable inference from this description, that Daniel, and he, were both in Persia, when he first came because of his words; and wherever Daniel might subsequently be, that the Angel remained in Persia. Now it is a remarkable coincidence, that at the time of the vision, recorded viii. 2, &c. Daniel was either bodily, or (pro tanto, and so far as regarded the purposes of the vision) in spirit, in Persia; for Shusan, in the province of Elam, where he was, or