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where he believed himself to be, was Susa, in the province of Persis; and the river Ulai, twice alluded to, 2 and 16, was a river that flowed by Susa, called Eulæus, and under that name described by Strabo, Pliny, Marcion of Heraclea*, and others. It is another coincidence that at the time of this vision in the third of Cyrus, Daniel was actually somewhere on the banks of the Hiddekel or Tigris, x. 1, 4; the same river which is again mentioned xii. 5, 6: and wheresoever this might be, it could not be any where in the neighbourhood of Susa, in particular; for Susa was not situated upon the Tigris, though the Tigris might skirt the province of Susiana, and fall into the Sinus Persicus. It is another coincidence, that the Angel having been left in Persia, as we collected by implication from viii. 2, 16 and as is plainly declared at x. 13: speaks at x. 20, of returning to Persia, after this vision, and its interpretation, which clearly implies that he had come thence in order to it. It is another coincidence that at xi. 1, which ought to have made a part of the continuation of the tenth chapter, he speaks of the first of Darius, and of something which he did in that year, viz. strengthen and confirm Darius; implying, as we may presume, that he had been engaged in doing something of the same kind in general, though possibly different in particular, for the time before that; which something is consistently explained, if we suppose him to mean that he was employed for the interval between the third of Belshazzar, and the first of Darius, in contending with the Prince of Persia; and in that year itself, in strengthening and confirming Darius; but both for the same purpose, viz. the seconding and maturing the counsels of God for the benefit of the
* Strabo, xv, 3. §. 4. 201: graphi Minores, i. Susianæ Pe§. 22. 235: Pliny, vi. 31: Geo- riplus, p. 18.
people of Daniel, and the people of Michael, their Prince the sole aider and abettor in these things, of Gabriel himself, his fellow-labourer and fellow-champion in the same behalf.
These reasons appear to me competent to prove that in the tenth chapter of Daniel there is a special reference to the circumstances of the second of his visions, and the last which he had had before that which is now recorded; a reference nothing extraordinary, after an intermission of twenty-five years in the series of these visions themselves. It is an historical chapter, then, throughout, and serves both as a resumption of the series of former prophetical disclosures, and as the introduction to a new revelation, which both continues and consummates the former. I cannot but think that our English version has not done justice to it in this respect; nor so preserved the language of the original throughout, as to shew this reference in it to the past: which yet might easily have been done. Under this impression, I shall take the liberty of laying before the reader a slightly altered version of so much of it at least as relates to the words of the angel Gabriel; beginning at verse 12.
12. And he said to me: Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou settedst (gavest) thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I came for (in) thy words.
13. And the Prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me one and twenty days; and behold Michael, one of the Princes, the first ones, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
14. And I am come to make thee understand that which shall come to pass unto thy people, in the end of the days for yet is it vision for days.......
20. And he said; Hast thou known wherefore I
am come unto thee? and now shall I return to war with the Prince of Persia: and I was going forth, and behold, the Prince of Javan came.
21. But I will declare to thee the thing which is noted in scripture of truth. And not one, that is strengthening himself with me, upon these things, except Michael your Prince.
xi. 1. And I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, was standing my standing to strengthen and to confirm him.
2. And now will I shew thee truth.
We observed before that some things in this address required to be understood parenthetically, which the Bible version had not distinguished accordingly. This is particularly the case with verses x. 20, 21. and xi. 1, 2. It seems to me that the sense of these passages would be best expressed, if we stated them as follows:
And he said; Hast thou known wherefore I am come unto thee? And I was going forth, and behold, the Prince of Javan came. But I will declare to thee
the thing which is noted in scripture of truth.
And now shall I return to war with the Prince of Persia and not one, that is strengthening himself with me, upon these things, except Michael your Prince. And I, in the first year of Darius, was standing my standing to strengthen and to confirm him. And now will I shew thee truth.
The Angel had explained to Daniel the reason of his coming; partly in verses 11, 12, and partly in verse 14 and therefore might well ask him, in verse 20, Hast thou known wherefore I am come unto thee? a reason so important, as far as Daniel at least was concerned, and so personally interesting to him, that though the angel Gabriel's proper place was with the
Kings of Persia, and his proper employment while there, to contend with the Prince of the kingdom of Persia; he had been expressly dispatched from thence, to discharge this particular commission in behalf of the prophet Daniel: he had consequently left his proper place vacant, and the discharge of his proper duty in abeyance, for a time, to come on this errand to Daniel. And as an additional means to enable him to judge of the importance attached to his coming, and of the special privilege conceded to himself thereby; he tells him of this further fact, that not only was the Prince of Persia meanwhile to be left behind, while he came on this errand to him, but that as he himself was going forth, the Prince of Javan, that is, Grecia, came.
The received translation has rendered these words as future; "And when I am gone forth, lo! the Prince of Grecia shall come;" in which, as it appears to me, it has greatly mistaken the sense of the original, and greatly endangered the right understanding of the passage: for the first impression from this version would be, that when Gabriel was gone forth, the Prince of Grecia would come to take his place; and consequently either to fight with the Prince of Persia, as he himself had done, or to be the means of fresh communications to Daniel, as he had been; both which constructions of the Angel's meaning, I apprehend, would be far from the truth.
But the truth is, that the Hebrew admits of these words' being rendered as simply historical or past; a version which would obviously be much more consistent with the context, than the other. For surely this going forth of the Angel is to be understood of his setting out from where he was; viz. with the Kings of Persia; upon his errand to Daniel: in which case,
he must be understood to say, that as he was setting forth upon that errand the Prince of Javan came. But who was this Prince of Javan? and what the purpose of his coming? Doubtless, if it be true, as the Angel directly afterwards asserts, that not one held with himself upon these things, but Michael, the Prince of Daniel and his people, it was some enemy of Gabriel's and Michael's, both, as much as the Prince of Persia; and the object of his coming was to make common cause with the Prince of Persia in opposing them both. The coming then of such an one was the arrival of one enemy more, in addition to that whom Gabriel had before to encounter; and whom he was preparing to leave behind him, by going on this errand to Daniel: yet notwithstanding this, he tells him he had come on this errand, in his behalf; and he should not return until he had accomplished it, by declaring unto him the thing which was noted in scripture of truth in other words, until he had made him acquainted with so much of the future, in reference to himself and his people, as was already determined on in the counsels of God, and already recorded on the tablets of heaven, and in due time should infallibly come to pass. He reminds him also that in the first year of Darius he was standing to strengthen and to confirm him, though that too was something over and above his proper commission, if Darius was reigning in Media or Babylon, but the Angel's place was with the Kings of Persia; and in like manner now also would he declare to Daniel truth. And this business accomplished, he tells him he should return, to war with the Prince of Persia, that is, go back again where he was before, and to his former employment; though there too, he gives him to understand that he should wage that contest alone,