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OS ' 



C. F. KEIL, D.D., and F. DELITZSCH, D.D., 


C. P. KEIL, 






The venerable and learned author of the following Commentary has 
produced a work which, it is believed, will stand comparison with 
any other of the present age for the comprehensive and masterly 
way in which he handles the many difficult and interesting ques- 
tions of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation that have accumulated 
from the earliest times around the Exposition of the Book of the 
Prophet Daniel. The Translator is glad of the opportunity of 
bringing this work under the notice of English readers. The 
severely critical and exegetical nature of the work precludes any 
attempt at elegance of style. The Translator's aim has simply 
been to introduce the English student to Dr. Keil's own modes 
of thought and forms of expression. 





1. The Person of the Prophet, ..... 1 

2. Daniel's Place in the History of the Kingdom of God, . . 4 

The Exile a Turning-point in the Development of the Kingdom of 

God and in the History of the Heathen Nations, . . 7 

3. The Contents and Arrangement of the Book of Daniel, . 13 

4. The Genuineness of the Book of Daniel, . . . .19 

Four Great Periods of Miracles, . . . . .20 

The Revelations of God first and principally intended for Israel, . 23 

Revelation by Dreams and by Visions distinguished, . . 27 

External Arguments against the Genuineness of the Book answered, 29 
Internal Arguments against its Genuineness answered : 

(1.) Greek Names of Musical Instruments, ... 84 

(2.) Historical Difficulties, ..... 35 

(3.) Was composed in the Time of the Maccabees, . . 39 

Arguments against this Objection, and Origin in Time of 

the Exile proved, ..... 43 

Chap. I.. Historico-Biographical Introduction, ... 58 

Vers. 1, 2. Expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, . 58 
Vers. 3-7. Daniel and his Companions set apart for Training for 

the King's Service, . . ... 73 

Vers. 8-16. Daniel's Request to the Chief Chamberlain granted, . 80 
Vers. 17-21. Progress of the Young Men in the Wisdom of the 

Chaldeans, and their Appointment to the King's Service, . 82 


Chap. II.-VIL, 84_28S 

Chap. II. Nebuchadnezzar's Vision of the World-Monarchies, and 

its Interpretation by Daniel, °* 

Vers. 1-13. Dream of Nebuchadnezzar, . . . . 86 

Vers. 14-30. Daniel's Willingness to declare the Dream to the King, 

and his Prayer for a Revelation of the Secret, . • 9 6 


Vers. 31-45. The Dream and its Interpretation, 
Vers. 46-49. Consequences of the Interpretation, . 

Chap. III. Daniel's Three Friends m the Fiery Furnace, 

Vers. 1-18. Erection and Consecration of the Golden Image, and 

the Accusation against Daniel's Friends, 
Vers. 14-18. Trial of the Accused, 
Vers. 19-27. The Judgment pronounced on the Accused, their 

Punishment and Deliverance, . 
Vers. 28-30. Impression made by this Event on Nebuchadnezzar, 

Chap. III. 31 (IV. 1)-IV. 34 (37). Nebuchadnezzak's Dream and his 
Madness, ...... 

Chap. iii. 31 (iv. l)-iv. 15 (18). The Preface to the King's Edict 
and the Account of his Dream, 

Chap. iv. 16-24 (19-27). The Interpretation of the Dream, 

Vers. 25-30 (28-33). The Fulfilling of the Dream, 

Vers. 31-34 (34-37). Nebuchadnezzar's Recovery, his Restoration 
to his Kingdom, and his thankful Recognition of the Lord in 
Heaven, ....... 

Chap. V. Belshazzap.'s Feast and the Handwriting of God, 

Belshazzar and the Kings of Chaldea, .... 

Vers. 1-4. Belshazzar magnifies himself against God, 
Vers. 5-12. The Warning Sign and Belshazzar's Astonishment, 
Vers. 13-28. Daniel is summoned, reminds the King of his Sins, 

reads and interprets the Dream, .... 

Vers. 29, 30. Daniel rewarded, and Beginning of the Fulfilment 

of the Writing, ...... 

Chap. VI. Daniel in the Den of Lions, .... 

Historical Statements of the Chapter vindicated, . . 192- 

Vers. 1-10 (ch. v. 31-vi. 9). Transference of the Kingdom to 
Darius the Mede ; Appointment of the Regency, and Envy of 
the Satraps against Daniel, ..... 

Vers. 11-25 (10-24). Daniel's OffeDce against the Law; his Ac- 
cusation, Condemnation, and Miraculous Deliverance, 

Vers. 26-29 (28). Consequences of this Occurrence, 

Chap. VII. The Vision of the Four World-Kingdoms ; the Judg- 
ment; and the Kingdom of the Holy God, . 

Ver. 1. Time of the Vision, 

Vers. 4-8. Description of the Four Beasts, 

Vers. 9-14. Judgment on the Horn speaking Great Things and on 
the other Beasts, and the Delivering of the Kingdom to the 
Son of Man, 

Vers. 15-18. The Interpretation of the Vision, 

The Four World- Kingdoms, . 

The Messianic Kingdom and the Son of Man . 

The Son of Man, i via; tov oLvfyaizov, . 

The Little Horn and the Apocalyptic Beast, . 






















GOD, Chap. VIII.-XIL, .... 283- 

Chap. VIII. The Enemy arising out of the Third World -Kingdom, 
Vers. 1-14. The Vision, '. 

Vers. 15-27. The Interpretation of the Vision, . . 

Chap. IX. The Seventy Weeks, .... 

Vers. 1, 2. Occasion of the Penitential Prayer, 

Vers. 3-19. Daniel's Prayer, .... 

Vers. 20-23. The Granting of the Prayer, . 

Vers. 24-27. The Divine Revelation regarding the Seventy Weeks, 
Ver. 24. Seventy Weeks determined, etc., 
Ver. 25. Detailed Statement of the Seventy Weeks, 
Ver. 26. After Threescore and Two Weeks Messiah cut off, 
Ver. 27. To Confirm the Covenant, etc., 

The Abomination of Desolation, .... 

Symbolical Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks, . 

Chap. X.-XII. The Revelation regarding the Affliction of the 
People of God on the Part of the Rulers of the Would 
till the Consummation of the Kingdom of God, 
Chap, x.-xi. 2. The Theophany, ..... 

Chap. x. 1-3. Introduction to the Manifestation of God, 

Vers. 4-6. The Theophany, ..... 

Vers. 7-10. Effect of the Appearance on Daniel and his Com- 
panions, ....... 

Vers. 12-19. Daniel raised up and made capable of receiving the 
Revelation of God, ...... 

Ver. 20-chap. xi. 1. Disclosures regarding the Spirit- World, 
Chap. xi. 2-xii. 3. The Revelation of the Future, . 
Chap. xi. 2-20. The Events of the Nearest Future, 
Vers. 5-9. Wars of the Kings of the South and the North, 
Vers. 10-15. The Decisive War, .... 

Vers. 1 6-19. Further Undertakings of the King of the North, 
Ver. 20. The Prince who strives after Supremacy and is the 

Enemy of the Holy Covenant, 
Kings of Syria and Egypt, .... 

Chap. xi. 21-xii. 3. The further Unveiling of the Future, 
Vers. 21-24. The Prince's Advancement to Power, . 
Vers. 25-27. War of Antiochus Epiphanes against Ptolemy 
Philometor, ..... 

Vers. 28-32. The Rising Up against the Holy Covenant, 
Vers. 32-35. Its Consequences for the People of Israel, 
Vers. 36-39. The Hostile King exalting himself above all 

Divine and Human Ordinances at the Time of the End, 
Vers. 40-43. The Last Undertakings of the Hostile King, and 

his End, . . • 

Vers. 44, 45. The End of the Hostile King, . 
Chap. xii. 1-3. The Final Deliverance of Israel, and their Con- 
summation, ....-• 














Chap. xii. 4-13. The Conclusion of the Revelation of God and of 

the Book, ....... 4! 

Ver. 4. Daniel commanded to Seal the Book, . . .41 

Vers. 5-7. The Angels on the Banks of the River, and the Man 
clothed with Linen, ...... 4 

Vers. 9-13. The Angel's Answer to Daniel's Inquiry regarding 
the End, ....... 4 

Vers. 11, 12. The 1290 and the 1335 Days, ... 4 
Ver. 13. Daniel's Dismissal and his Rest, . . .5 




The name iwrj or hn (Ezek. xiv. 14, 20, xxviii. 3), AavirjX, 
i.e. " God is my Judge," or, if the » is the Yod compaginis, " God is 
judging," " God will judge," but not " Judge of God," is in the Old 
Testament borne by a son of David by Abigail (1 Chron. iii. 1), a 
Levite in the time of Ezra (Ezra viii. 2 ; Neh. x. 7 [6]), and by the 
prophet whose life and prophecies form the contents of this book. 

Of Daniel's life the following particulars are related : — From 
ch. i. 1—5 it appears that, along with other youths of the " king's 
seed," and of the most distinguished families of Israel, he was 
carried captive to Babylon, in the reign of Jehoiakim, by Nebu- 
chadnezzar, when he first came up against Jerusalem and took 
it, and that there, under the Chaldee name of Belteshazzar, he 
spent three years in acquiring a knowledge of Chaldee science 
and learning, that he might be prepared for serving in the king's 
palace. Whether Daniel was of the " seed royal," or only belonged 
to one of the most distinguished families of Israel, is not decided, 
inasmuch as there is no certain information regarding his descent. 
The statement of Josephus (Ant. x. 10, 1), that he was e* tov 
HeSeicwv yevovs, is probably an opinion deduced from Dan. i. 3, 
and it is not much better established than the saying of Epi- 
phanius (Adv. Hares. 55. 3) that his father was called Safiadv, and 
that of the Pseudo-Epiphanius (de vita proph. ch. x.) that he was 
born at Upper Bethhoron, not far from Jerusalem. During the 
period set apart for his education, Daniel and his like-minded 
friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who had received the 
Chaldee names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, abstained, with 
the consent of their overseer, from the meat and drink provided for 



them from the king's table, lest they should thereby be defiled 
through contact with idolatry, and partook only of pulse and water. 
This stedfast adherence to the faith of their fathers was so 
blessed of God, that they were not only in bodily appearance fairer 
than the other youths who ate of the king's meat, but they also 
made such progress in their education, that at the end of their 
years of training, on an examination of their attainments in the 
presence of the king, they far excelled all the Chaldean wise men 
throughout the whole kingdom (vers. 6-20). 

After this, in the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar, 
being troubled in spirit by a remarkable dream which he had 
dreamt, called to him all the astrologers and Chaldeans of Babylon, 
that they might tell him the dream and interpret it. They con- 
fessed their inability to fulfil his desire. The king's dream and 
its interpretation were then revealed by God to Daniel, in answer 
to prayer, so that he could tell the matter to the king. On this 
account Nebuchadnezzar gave glory to the God of the Jews as the 
God of gods and the Revealer of hidden things, and raised Daniel to 
the rank of ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief 
president over all the wise men of Babylon. At the request of 
Daniel, he also appointed his three friends to be administrators 
over the province, so that Daniel remained in the king's palace 
(ch. ii.). He held this office during the whole of Nebuchadnezzar's 
reign, and interpreted, at a later period, a dream of great signi- 
ficance relative to a calamity which was about to fall upon the 
king (ch. iv.). 

After Nebuchadnezzar's death he appears to have been deprived 
of his elevated rank, as the result of the change of government. 
But Belshazzar, having been alarmed during a riotous feast by 
the finger of a man's hand writing on the wall, called to him the 
Chaldeans and astrologers. None of them was able to read and 
to interpret the mysterious writing. The king's mother thereupon 
directed that Daniel should be called, and he read and interpreted 
the writing to the king. For this he was promoted by the king to 
be the third ruler of the kingdom, i.e. to be one of the three chief 
governors of the kingdom (ch. v.). This office he continued to hold 
under the Median king Darius. The other princes of the empire 
and the royal satraps sought to deprive him of it, but God the 
Lord in a wonderful manner saved him ( by His ancrel from 
the mouth of the lions ; and he remained in office under the "overu- 
ment of the Persian Cyrus (ch. vi. 29 [28]). 


During this second half of his life Daniel was honoured by 
God with revelations regarding the development of the world- 
power in its different phases, the warfare between it and the 
kingdom of God, and the final victory of the latter over all hostile 
powers. These revelations are contained in ch. vii.-xii. The 
last of them was communicated to him in the third year of Cyrus 
the king (ch. x. 1), i.e. in the second year after Cyrus had issued 
his edict (Ezra i. 1 ff.) permitting the Jews to return to their own 
land and to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. Hence we learn 
that Daniel lived to see the beginning of the return of his people 
from their exile. He did not, however, return to his native land 
with the company that went up under Zernbbabel and Joshua, 
but remained in Babylon, and there ended his days, probably not 
long after the last of these revelations from God had been com- 
municated to him, which concluded with the command to seal up 
the book of his prophecies till the time of the end, and with the 
charge, rich in its comfort, to go in peace to meet his death, and 
to await the resurrection from the dead at the end of the days (ch. 
xii. 4, 13). If Daniel was a youth (1^, i. 4, 10) of from fifteen to 
eighteen years of age at the time of his being carried captive into 
Chaldea, and died in the faith of the divine promise soon after 
the last revelation made to him in the third year (ch. x. 1) of king 
Cyrus, then he must have reached the advanced age of at least 
ninety years. 

The statements of this book regarding his righteousness and 
piety, as also regarding his wonderful endowment with wisdom to 
reveal hidden things, receive a powerful confirmation from the 
language of his contemporary Ezekiel (ch. xiv. 14, 20), who men- 
tions Daniel along with Noah and Job as a pattern of righteousness 
of life pleasing to God, and (ch. xxviii. 3) speaks of his wisdom as 
above that of the princes of Tyre. If we consider that Ezekiel 
gave expression to the former of these statements fourteen years, 
and to the other eighteen years, after Daniel had been carried 
captive to Babylon, and also that the former statement was made 
eleven, and the latter fifteen years, after his elevation to the rank of 
president of the Chaldean wise men, then it will in no way appear 
surprising to us to find that the fame of his righteousness and his 
wonderful wisdom was so spread abroad among the Jewish exiles, 
that Ezekiel was able to point to him as a bright example of these 
virtues. When now God gave him, under Belshazzar, a new oppor- 
tunity, by reading and interpreting the mysterious handwriting on 


the wall, of showing his supernatural prophetic gifts, on account or 
which he was raised by the king to one of the highest offices of 
state in the kingdom; when, moreover, under the Median king 
Darius the machinations of his enemies against his life were frus- 
trated by his wonderful deliverance from the jaws of the lions, and 
lie not only remained to hoary old age to hold that high office, but 
also received from God revelations regarding the development of 
the world-power and of the kingdom of God, which in precision 
excel all the predictions of the prophets, — then it could not fail but 
that a life so rich in the wonders of divine power and grace should 
not only attract the attention of his contemporaries, but also that after 
his death it should become a subject of wide-spread fame, as appears 
from the apocryphal ■ addition to his book in the Alexandrine 
translation of it, and in the later Jewish Haggada, and be enlarged 
upon by the church fathers, and even by Mohammedan authors. 
Cf. Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient, s.v. Daniel, and Delitzsch, de Habacuci 
Prqpli. vita atque cetate, Lps. 1842, p. 24 sqq. 

Regarding the end of Daniel's life and his burial nothing cer- 
tain is known. The Jewish report of his return to his fatherland 
(cf. Carpzov, Introd. iii. p. 239 sq.) has as little historical value as 
that which relates that he died in Babylon, and was buried in the 
king's sepulchre (Pseud.-Epiph.), or that his grave was in Susa 
(Abulph. and Benjamin of Tudela). 

In direct opposition to the wide-spread reports which bear testi- 
mouy to the veneration with which the prophet was regarded, stands 
the modern naturalistic criticism, which, springing from antipathy 
to the miracles of the Bible, maintains that the prophet never 
existed at all, but that his life and labours, as they are recorded in 
this book, are the mere invention of a Jew of the time of the Macca- 
bees, who attributed his fiction to Daniel, deriving the name from 
some unknown hero of mythic antiquity (Bleek, von Lengerke. 
Hitzig) or of the Assyrian exile (Ewald). 

n. — 


Though Daniel lived during the Babylonian exile, yet it was not, 
as ,n the case of Ezek.el, ,n the m.dst of his countrymen, who had 
been carried into captivity, but at the court of the ruler of the world 
and in the service of the state. To comprehend his work for the 
kingdom of God in this situation, we must first of all endeavou t 
make clear the significance cf the Babylonian exile ; not only fo/^ 


people of Israel, but also for the heathen nations, with reference to 
the working out of the divine counsel for the salvation of the human 

Let us first fix our attention on the significance of the exile for 
Israel, the people of God under the Old Covenant. The destruction 
of the kingdom of Judah and the deportation of the Jews into 
Babylonish captivity, not only put an end to the independence of 
the covenant people, but also to the continuance of that constitution 
of the kingdom of God which was founded at Sinai ; and that not 
only temporarily, but for ever, for in its integrity it was never 
restored. God the Lord had indeed, in the foundation of the Old 
Covenant, through the institution of circumcision as a sign of the 
covenant for the chosen people, given to the patriarch Abraham the 
promise that He would establish His covenant with him and his 
seed as an everlasting covenant, that He would be a God to them, 
and would give them the land of Canaan as a perpetual possession 
(Gen. xvii. 18, 19). Accordingly, at the establishment of this 
covenant with the people of Israel by Moses, the fundamental 
arrangements of the covenant constitution were designated as 
everlasting institutions (atiV npn or ph) ; as, for example, the ar- 
rangements connected with the feast of the passover (Ex. xii. 14, 
17, 24), the day of atonement (Lev. xvi. 29, 31, 34), and the other 
feasts (Lev. xxiii. 14, 21, 31, 41), the most important of the arrange- 
ments concerning the offering of sacrifice (Lev. iii. 17, vii. 34, 36, 
x. 15; Num. xv. 15, xviii. 8, li, 19), and concerning the duties 
and rights of the priests (Ex. xxvii. 21, xxviii. 43, xxix. 28, xxx. 
21), etc. God fulfilled His promise. He not only delivered the 
tribes of Israel from their bondage in Egypt by the wonders of 
His almighty power, and put them in possession of the land of 
Canaan, but He also protected them there against their enemies, 
and gave to them afterwards in David a king who ruled over them 
according to His will, overcame all their enemies, and made Israel 
powerful and prosperous. Moreover He gave to this king, His 
servant David, who, after he had vanquished all his enemies round 
about, wished to build a house for the Lord that His name might 
dwell there, the Great Promise: "When thy days be fulfilled, and 
thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, 
which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his king- 
dom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish 
the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will he his Father, and he' 
shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with 


the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but 
my mercy shall not depart away from him. ... And thine house 
and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy 
throne shall be established for ever" (2 Sam. vii. 12-16). W here- 
fore after David's death, when his son Solomon built the temple, 
the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "If thou wilt walk in 
my statutes, . . . then will I perform my word unto thee which 1 
spake unto David thy father, and I will dwell among the children 
of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel" (1 Kings vi. 12, 
13). After the completion of the building of the temple the glory 
of the Lord filled the house, and God appeared to Solomon the 
second time, renewing the assurance, " If thou wilt walk before me 
as David thy father walked, . . . then I will establish the throne of 
thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy 
father "°(1 Kings is. 2-5). The Lord was faithful to this His 
word to the people of Israel, and to the seed of David. "When 
Solomon in his old age, through the influence of his foreign wives, 
was induced to sanction the worship of idols, God visited the king's 
house with chastisement, by the revolt of the ten tribes, which took 
place after Solomon's death ; but He gave to his son Rehoboam the 
kincrdom of Judah and Benjamin, with the metropolis Jerusalem 
and the temple, and He preserved this kingdom, notwithstanding 
the constantly repeated declension of the king and the people into 
idolatry, even after the Assyrians had destroyed the kingdom of 
the ten tribes, whom they carried into captivity. But at length 
Judah also, through the wickedness of Manasseh, filled up the 
measure of its iniquity, and brought upon itself the judgment of 
the dissolution of the kingdom, and the carrying away of the in- 
habitants into captivity into Babylon. 

In his last address and warning to the people against their 
continued apostasy from the Lord their God, Moses had, among 
other severe chastisements that would fall upon them, threatened 
this as the last of the punishments with which God would visit 
them. This threatening was repeated by all the prophets ; but at 
the same time, following the example of Moses, they further 
announced that the Lord would again receive into His favour 
His people driven into exile, if, humbled under their sufferings, 
they would turn again unto Him ; that He would gather them 
together from the heathen lands, and bring them back to their 
own land, and renew them by His Spirit, and would then erect 
anew in all its glory the kingdom of David under the Messiah. 


Thus Micah not only prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem 
and of the temple, and the leading away into captivity of the 
daughters of Zion (ch. iii. 12, iv. 10), but also the return from 
Babylon and the restoration of the former dominion of the 
daughters of Jerusalem, their victory over all their enemies under 
the sceptre of the Ruler who would go forth from Bethlehem, 
and the exaltation of the mountain of the house of the Lord 
above all mountains and hills in the last days (ch. v. .1 ff., iv. 
1 ff.). Isaiah also announced (ch. xl.-lxvi.) the deliverance of 
Israel out of Babylon, the building up of the ruins of Jerusalem 
and Judah, and the final glory of Zion through the creation of new 
heavens and a new earth. Jeremiah, in like manner, at the be- 
ginning of the Chaldean catastrophe, not only proclaimed to the- 
people who had become ripe for the judgment, the carrying away 
into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, and the continuance of the 
exile for the space of seventy years, but he also prophesied the 
destruction of Babylon after the end of the seventy years, and 
the return of the people of Judah and Israel who might survive 
to the land of their fathers, the rebuilding of the desolated city, 
and the manifestation of God's grace toward them, by His 
entering into a new covenant with them, and writing His law 
upon their hearts and forgiving their sins (ch. xxv. 29-31). 

Hence it evidently appears that the abolition of the Israelitish 
theocracy, through the destruction of the kingdom of Judah and 
the carrying away of the people into exile by the Chaldeans, 
in consequence of their continued unfaithfulness and the trans- 
gression of the laws of the covenant on the part of Israel, was 
foreseen in the gracious counsels of God ; and that the perpetual 
duration of the covenant of grace, as such, was not dissolved, but 
only the then existing condition of the kingdom of God was 
changed, in order to winnow that perverse people, who, notwith- 
standing all the chastisements that had hitherto fallen upon them, 
had not in earnest turned away from their idolatry, by that the 
severest of all the judgments that had been threatened them ; to 
exterminate by the sword, by famine, by the plague, and by other 
calamities, the incorrigible mass of the people ; and to prepare the 
better portion of them, the remnant who might repent, as a holy 
seed to whom God might fulfil His covenant promises. 

Accordingly the exile forms a great turning-point in the 
development of the kingdom of God which He had founded in 
Israel. With that event the fomn of the theocracy established at 


Sinai comes to an end, and then begins the period of the transi- 
tion to a new form, which was to be established by Christ, and 
has been actually established by Him. The form according to 
which the people of God constituted an earthly kingdom, taking 
its place beside the other kingdoms of the nations, was not again 
restored after the termination of the seventy years of the desola- 
tions of Jerusalem and Judah, which had been prophesied by 
Jeremiah, because the Old Testament theocracy had served its 
end. God the Lord had, during its continuance, showed daily not 
only that He was Israel's God, a merciful and gracious God, who 
was faithful to His covenant towards those who feared Him and 
walked in His commandments and laws, and who could make His 
people great and glorious, and had power to protect them against 
all their enemies ; but also that He was a mighty and a jealous 
God, who visits the blasphemers of His holy name according to 
their iniquity, and is able to fulfil His threatenings no less than 
His promises. It was necessary that the people of Israel should 
know by experience that a transgressing of the covenant and a 
turning away from the service of God does not lead to safety, but 
hastens onward to ruin ; that deliverance from sin, and salvation 
life and happiness, can be found only with the Lord who is rich 
in grace and in faithfulness, and can only be reached by a humble 
walking according to His commandments. 

The restoration of the Jewish state after the exile was not a 
re-establishment of the Old Testament kingdom of God. When 
Cyrus granted liberty to the Jews to return to their own land, and 
commanded them to rebuild the temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem, 
only a very small band of captives returned ; the greater part 
remained scattered among the heathen. Even those who went 
home from Babylon to Canaan were not set free from subjection 
to the heathen world-power, but remained, in the land which the 
Lord had given to their fathers, servants to it. Though now 
again the ruined walls of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah were 
restored, and the temple also was rebuilt, and the offering up of 
sacrifice renewed, yet the glory of the Lord did not again enter 
into the new temple, which was also without the ark of the 
covenant and the mercy-seat, so as to hallow it as the place of His 
gracious presence among His people. The temple worship amone 
the Jews after the captivity was without its soul, the real presence 
of the Lord in the sanctuary; the high priest could no lona er eo 
before God's throne of grace in the holy of holies to sprinkle the 


atoning blood of the sacrifice toward the ark of the covenant, and 
to accomplish the reconciliation of the congregation with their God, 
and could no longer find out, by means of the Urim and Thummim, 
the will of the Lord. When Nehemiah had finished the restoration 
of the walls of Jerusalem, prophecy ceased, the revelations of the 
Old Covenant came to a final end, and the period of expectation 
(during which no prophecy was given) of the promised Deliverer, 
of the seed of David, began. When this Deliverer appeared in 
Jesus Christ, and the Jews did not recognise Him as their Saviour, 
but rejected Him and put Him to death, they were at length, on 
the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Romans, 
scattered throughout the whole world, and to this day they live in 
a state of banishment from the presence of the Lord, till they return 
to Christ, and through faith in Him again enter into the kingdom 
of God and be blessed. 

The space of 500 years, from the end of the Babylonish cap- 
tivity to the appearance of Christ, can be considered as the last 
period of the Old Covenant only in so far as in point of time it 
precedes the foundation of the New Covenant ; but it was in reality, 
for that portion of the Jewish people who had returned to Judea, 
no deliverance from subjection to the power of the heathen, no 
re-introduction into the kingdom of God, but only a period of transi- 
tion from the Old to the New Covenant, during which Israel were 
prepared for the reception of the Deliverer coming out of Zion. 
In this respect this period may be compared with the forty, or 
more accurately, the thirty-eight years of the wanderings of Israel 
in the Arabian desert. As God did not withdraw all the tokens of 
His gracious covenant from the race that was doomed to die in the 
wilderness, but guided them by His pillar of cloud and fire, and 
gave them manna to eat, so He gave grace to those who had re- 
turned from Babylon to Jerusalem to build again the temple and 
to restore the sacrificial service, whereby they prepared themselves 
for the appearance of Him who should build the true temple, and 
make an everlasting atonement by the offering up of His life as 
a sacrifice for the sins of the world. 

If the prophets before the captivity, therefore, connect the 
deliverance of Israel from Babylon and their return to Canaan im- 
mediately with the setting up of the kingdom of God in its glory, 
without giving any indication that between the end of the Babylonish 
exile and the appearance of the Messiah a long period would inter- 
vene, this uniting togetherof the two events is not to be explained only 


from the perspective and apotelesmatic character of the prophecy, 
but has its foundation in the very nature of the thing itself. The 
prophetic perspective, by virtue of which the inward eye of the seer 
beholds only the elevated summits of historical events as they 
unfold themselves, and not the valleys of the common incidents of 
history which lie between these heights, is indeed peculiar to pro- 
phecy in genera], and accounts for the circumstance' that the pro- 
phecies as a rule give no fixed dates, and apotelesmatically bind 
together the points of history which open the way to the end, with 
the end itself. But this formal peculiarity of prophetic contem- 
plation we must not extend to the prejudice of the actual truth of the 
prophecies. The fact of the uniting together of the future glory 
of the kingdom of God under the Messiah with the deliverance 
of Israel from exile, has perfect historical veracity. The banish- 
ment of the covenant people from the land of the Lord and their 
subjection to the heathen, was not only the last of those judg- 
ments which God had threatened against His degenerate people, 
but it also continues till the perverse rebels are exterminated, and 
the penitents are turned with sincere hearts to God the Lord and 
are saved through Christ. Consequently the exile was for Israel 
the last space for repentance which God in His faithfulness to His 
covenant granted to them. Whoever is not brought by this severe 
chastisement to repentance and reformation, but continues opposed 
to the gracious will of God, on him falls the judgment of death ; 
and only they who turn themselves to the Lord, their God and 
Saviour, will be saved, gathered from among the heathen, brought 
in within the bonds of the covenant of grace through Christ, and 
become partakers of the promised riches of grace in His king- 

But with the Babylonish exile of Israel there also arises for 
the heathen nations a turning-point of marked importance for their 
future history. So long as Israel formed within the borders of 
their own separated land a peculiar people, under immediate divine 
guidance, the heathen nations dwelling around came into manifold 
hostile conflicts with them, while God used them as a rod of cor- 
rection for His rebellious people. Though they were often at war 
among themselves, yet, in general separated from each other, each 
nation developed itself according tb its own proclivities. Besides 
from ancient times the greater kingdoms on the Nile and the 
Euphrates had for centuries striven to raise their power, enlarcnncr 
themselves into world-powers ; while the Phoenicians on the Medi- 


terranean sea-coast gave themselves to commerce, and sought to 
enrich themselves with the treasures of the earth. In this develop- 
ment the smaller as well as the larger nations gradually acquired 
strength. God had permitted each of them to follow its own way, 
and had conferred on them much good, that they might seek the 
Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him ; but the 
principle of sin dwelling within them had poisoned their natural 
development, so that they went farther and farther away from the 
living God and from everlasting good, sunk deeper and deeper 
into idolatry and immorality of every kind, and went down with 
rapid steps toward destruction. Then God began to winnow the 
nations of the world by His great judgments. The Chaldeans 
raised themselves, under energetic leaders, to be a world-power, 
which not only overthrew the Assyrian kingdom and subjugated 
all the lesser nations of Hither Asia, but also broke the power of 
the Phoenicians and Egyptians, and brought under its dominion 
all the civilised peoples of the East. With the monarchy founded 
by Nebuchadnezzar it raised itself in the rank of world-powers, 
which within not long intervals followed each other in quick suc- 
cession, until the Roman world-monarchy arose, by which all the 
civilised nations of antiquity were subdued, and under which the 
ancient world came to a close, at the appearance of Christ. These 
world-kingdoms, which destroyed one another, each giving place, 
after a short existence, to its successor, which in its turn also was 
overthrown by another that followed, led the nations, on the one 
side, to the knowledge of the helplessness and the vanity of their 
idols, and taught them the fleeting nature and the nothingness of 
all earthly greatness and glory, and, on the other side, placed limits 
to the egoistical establishment of the different nations in their 
separate interests, and the deification of their peculiarities in edu- 
cation, culture, art, and science, and thereby prepared the way, by 
means of the spreading abroad of the language and customs of the 
physically or intellectually dominant people among all the different 
nationalities united under one empire, for the removal of the par- 
ticularistic isolation of the tribes separated from them by language 
and customs, and for the re-uniting together into one universal 
family of the scattered tribes of the human race. Thus they 
opened the way for the revelation of the divine plan of salvation 
to all peoples, whilst they shook the faith of the heathen in their 
gods, destroyed the frail supports of heathen religion, and awak- 
ened the longing for the Saviour from sin, death, and destruction. 


But God, the Lord of heaven and earth, revealed to the heathen 
His eternal Godhead and His invisible essence, not only by His 
almighty government in the disposal of the affairs of their history, 
but He also, in every great event in the historical development of 
humanity, announced His will through that people whom He had 
chosen as the depositaries of His salvation. Already the patriarchs 
had, by their lives and by their fear of God, taught the Canaanites 
the name of the Lord so distinctly, that they were known amongst 
them as " princes of God " (Gen. xxiii. 6), and in their God they 
acknowledged the most high God, the Creator of heaven and earth 
(Gen. xiv. 19, 22). Thus, when Moses was sent to Pharaoh to 
announce to him the will of God regarding the departure of the 
people of Israel, and when Pharaoh refused to listen to the will of 
God, his land and his people were so struck by the wonders of the 
divine omnipotence, that not only the Egyptians learned to fear 
the God of Israel, but the fear and dread of Him also fell on the 
princes of Edom and Moab, and on all the inhabitants of Canaan 
(Ex. xv. 14 ff.). Afterwards, when Israel came to the borders of 
Canaan, and the king of Moab, in conjunction with the princes of 
Midian, brought the famed soothsayer Balaam out of Mesopotamia 
that he might destroy the people of God with his curse, Balaam 
was constrained to predict, according to the will of God, to the 
king and his counsellors the victorious power of Israel over all 
their enemies, and the subjection of all the heathen nations (Num. 
xxii.-xxiv.). In the age succeeding, God the Lord showed Him- 
self to the nations, as often as they assailed Israel contrary to His 
will, as an almighty God who can destroy all His enemies ; and 
even the Israelitish prisoners of war were the means of making 
known to the heathen the great name of the God of Israel, as the 
history of the cure of Naaman the Syrian by means of Elisha 
shows (2 Kings v.). This knowledge of the living, all-powerful 
God could not but be yet more spread abroad among the heathen 
by the leading away captive of the tribes of Israel and of Judah 
into Assyria and Chaldea. 

But fully to prepare, by the exile, the people of Israel as well as 
the heathen world for the appearance of the Saviour of all nations 
and for the reception of the gospel, the Lord raised up prophets, 
who not only preached His law and His justice among the covenant 
people scattered among the heathen, and made more widely known 
the counsel of His grace, but also bore witness by word and deed, in 
the presence of the heathen rulers of the world, of the omnipotence 


and glory of God, the Lord of heaven and earth. This mission was 
discharged by Ezekiel and Daniel. God placed the prophet Ezekiel 
among his exiled fellow-countrymen as a watchman over the house 
of Israel, that he might warn the godless, proclaim to them con- 
tinually the judgment which would fall upon them and destroy 
their vain hopes of a speedy liberation from bondage and a return 
to their fatherland; but to the God-fearing, who were bowed 
down under the burden of their sorrows and were led to doubt 
the covenant faithfulness of God, he was commissioned to testify 
the certain fulfilment of the predictions of the earlier prophets as 
to the restoration and bringing to its completion of the kingdom 
of God. A different situation was appointed by God to Daniel. 
His duty was to proclaim before the throne of the rnlers of this 
world the glory of the God of Israel as the God of heaven 
and earth, in opposition to false gods; to announce to those in- 
vested with worldly might and dominion the subjugation of all 
the kingdoms of this world by the everlasting kingdom of God ; 
and to his own people the continuance of their afflictions under the 
oppression of the world-power, as well as the fulfilment of the 
gracious counsels of God through the blotting out of all sin, the 
establishment of an everlasting righteousness, the fulfilling of all 
the prophecies, and the setting up of a true holy of holies. 



The book begins (ch. i.) with the account of Daniel's being 
carried away to Babylon, his appointment and education for the 
service of the court of the Chaldean king by a three years' course 
of instruction in the literature and wisdom of the Chaldeans, and 
his entrance on service in the king's palace. This narative, by 
its closing (ver. 21) statement that Daniel continued in this office 
till the first year of king Cyrus, and still more by making manifest 
his firm fidelity to the law of the true God and his higher enlighten- 
ment in the meaning of dreams and visions granted to him on 
account of this fidelity, as well as by the special mention of his 
three like-minded friends, is to be regarded as a historico-biogra- 
phical introduction to the book, showing how Daniel, under the 
divine guidance, was prepared, along with his friends, for that 
calling in which, as prophet at the court of the rulers of the world, he 
might bear testimony to the omnipotence and the infallible wisdom 


of the God of Israel. This testimony is given in the following 
book. Ch. ii. contains a remarkable dream of Nebuchadnezzar, 
which none of the Chaldean wise men could tell to the king or 
interpret. But God made it known to Daniel in answer to prayer, 
so that he could declare and explain to the king the visions he saw 
in his dream, representing the four great world-powers, and their 
destruction by the everlasting kingdom of God. Ch. ill- describes 
the wonderful deliverance of Daniel's three friends from the 
burning fiery furnace into which they were thrown, because they 
would not bow down to the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar 
had set up. Ch. iv. (in Heb. text iii. 31-iv. 34) contains an edict 
promulgated by Nebuchadnezzar to all the peoples and nations of 
his kingdom, in which he made known to them a remarkable 
dream which had been interpreted to him by Daniel, and its fulfil- 
ment to him in his temporary derangement, — a beast's heart having 
been given unto him as a punishment for his haughty self-deifica- 
tion, — and his recovery from that state in consequence of his 
humbling himself under the hand of the almighty God. Ch. v. 
makes mention of a wonderful handwriting which appeared on 
the wall during a riotous feast, and which king Belshazzar saw, 
and the interpretation of it by Daniel. Ch. vi. narrates Daniel's 
miraculous deliverance from the den of lions into which the Median 
king Darius had thrown him, because he had, despite of the king's 
command to the contrary, continued to pray to his God. 

The remaining chapters contain visions and divine revelations 
regarding the development of the world-powers and of the kingdom 
of God vouchsafed to Daniel. The seventh sets forth a vision, in 
which, under the image of four ravenous beasts rising up out of 
the troubled sea, are represented the four world-powers following 
one another. The judgment which would fall upon them is also 
revealed. The eighth contains a vision of the Medo-Persian and 
Greek world-powers under the image of a ram and a he-goat 
respectively, and of the enemy and desolater of the sanctuary and 
of the people of God arising out of the last named kingdom ; 
the ninth, the revelation of the seventy weeks appointed for the 
development and the completion of the kingdom of God which 
Daniel received in answer to earnest prayer for the pardon of 
his people and the restoration of Jerusalem; and, finallv ch. 
x.-xii. contain a vision, granted in the third year of the rei<' n of 
Cyrus, with further disclosures regarding the Persian and° the 
Grecian world-powers, and the wars of the kingdoms of the north 


and the south, springing out of the latter of these powers, for the 
supreme authority and the dominion over the Holy Land ; the 
oppression that would fall on the saints of the Most High at the 
time of the end ; the destruction of the last enemy under the stroke 
of divine judgment ; and the completion of the kingdom of God, 
by the rising again from the dead of some to everlasting life, and 
of some to sharne and everlasting contempt. 

The book has commonly been divided into two parts, consisting 
of six chapters each {e.g. by Ros., Maur., Havern., Hitz., Ziindel, 
etc.). The first six are regarded as historical, and the remaining 
six as prophetical ; or the first part is called the " book of history," 
the second, the " book of visions." But this division corresponds 
neither with the contents nor with the formal design of the book. 
If we consider the first chapter and its relation to the whole 
already stated, we cannot discern a substantial reason for regarding 
Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the image representing the monarchies 
(ch. ii.), which with its interpretation was revealed to Daniel in a 
night vision (ch. ii. 19), as an historical narration, and Daniel's 
dream-vision of the four world-powers symbolized by ravenous 
beasts, which an angel interpreted to him, as a prophetic vision, 
since the contents of both chapters are essentially alike. The 
circumstance that in ch. ii. it is particularly related how the 
Chaldean wise men, who were summoned by Nubuchadnezzar, 
could neither relate nor interpret the dream, and on that account 
were threatened with death, and were partly visited with punish- 
ment, does not entitle us to refuse to the dream and its contents, 
which were revealed to Daniel in a night vision, the character of a 
prophecy. In addition to this, ch. vii., inasmuch as it is written 
in the Chaldee language and that Daniel speaks in it in the third 
person (ch. vii. 1, 2), naturally connects itself with the chapters 
preceding (ch. ii.-vi.), and separates itself from those which follow, 
in which Daniel speaks in the first person and uses the Hebrew 
language. On these grounds, we must, with Aub., Klief., and 
Kran., regard ch. ii., which is written in Chaldee, as belonging 
to the first part of the book, viz. ch. ii.-vii., and ch. viii.-xii., 
which are written in Hebrew, as constituting the second part; 
and the propriety of this division we must seek to vindicate by 
an examination of the contents of both of the parts. 

Kranichfeld (das Bitch Daniel erklart) thus explains the 
distinction between the two parts: — The first presents the suc- 
cessive development of the whole heathen world power, and its 


relation to Israel, till the time of the Messianic kingdom (ch. ii. 
and vii.), but lingers particularly in the period lying at the 
beginning of this development, i.e. in the heathen kingdoms 
standing nearest the exiles, namely, the Chaldean kingdom and 
that of the Medes which subdued it (ch. vi.). The second part (ch. 
viii.-xii.), on the contrary, passing from the Chaldean kingdom, 
lingers on the development of the heathen world-power towards 
the time of its end, in the Javanic form of power, and on the Median 
and Persian kingdom only in so far as it immediately precedes the 
unfolding of the power of Javan. But, setting aside this explana- 
tion of the world-kingdoms, with which we do not agree, the 
contents of ch. ix. are altogether overlooked in this view of the 
relations between the two parts, inasmuch as this chapter does not 
treat of the development of the heathen world-power, but of the 
kingdom of God and of the time of its consummation determined 
by God. If we inspect more narrowly the contents of the first 
part, we find an interruption of the chronological order pervading 
the book, inasmuch as events (ch. vi.) belonging to the time of 
the Median king Darius are recorded before the visions (ch. vii. 
and viii.) in the first and third year of the Chaldean king Bel- 
shazzar. The placing of these events before that vision can have 
no other ground than to allow historical incidents of a like kind 
to be recorded together, and then the visions granted to Daniel, 
without any interruption. Hence has arisen the appearance of the 
book's being divided into two parts, an historical and a prophetical. 
In order to discover a right division, we must first endeavour 
to make clear the meaning of the historical incidents recorded 
in ch. iii.-vi., that we may determine their relations to the visions 
in ch. ii. and vii. The two intervening chapters iv. and v. are like 
the second chapter in this, that they speak of revelations which the 
possessors of the world-power received, and that, too, revelations of 
the judgment which they drew upon themselves by their boastful 
pride and violence against the sanctuaries of the living God. To 
Nebuchadnezzar, the founder of the world-power, when he boasted 
(ch. iv.) of the building of great Babylon as a royal residence by 
his great might, it was revealed in a dream that he should be cast 
down from his height and debased among the beasts of the field 
till he should learn that the Most High rules over the kingdom of 
men. To king Belshazzar (ch. v.), in the midst of his° riotous 
banquet, at which he desecrated the vessels of the holy temple at 
Jerusalem, was revealed, by means of a handwriting on the wall 


his death and the destruction of his kingdom. To both of these 
kings Daniel had to explain the divine revelation, which soon after 
was fulfilled. The other two chapters (iii. and vi.) make known 
the attempts of the rulers of the world to compel the servants of 
the Lord to offer supplication to them and to their images, and 
the wonderful deliverance from death which the Lord vouchsafed 
to the faithful confessors of His name. These four events have, 
besides their historical value, a prophetical import : they show how 
the world-rulers, when they misuse their power for self-idolatry and 
in opposition to the Lord and His servants, will be humbled and 
cast down by God, while, on the contrary, the true confessors of 
His name will be wonderfully protected and upheld. For the sake 
of presenting this prophetic meaning, Daniel has recorded these 
'events and incidents in his prophetical book; and, on chronological 
and essential grounds, has introduced ch. ii. and vii. between the 
visions, so as to define more clearly the position of the world-power 
in relation to the kingdom of God. Thus the whole of the first 
part (ch. ii.-vii.) treats of the world-power and its development 
in relation to the kingdom of God ; and we can say with Kliefoth, 1 
that " chapter second gives a survey of the whole historical evolu- 
tion of the world-power, which survey ch. vii., at the close of this 
part, further extends, while the intermediate chapters iii.— vi. show 
in concrete outlines the nature and kind of the world-power, and . 
its conduct in opposition to the people of God." 

If we now fix our attention on the second part, ch. viii.-xii., it 
will appear that in the visions, ch. viii. and x.-xii., are prophesied 
oppressions of the people of God by a powerful enemy of God and His 
saints, who would arise out of the third world-kingdom ; which gave 
occasion to Auberlen 2 to say that the first part unfolds and presents to 
view the whole development of the world-powers from a universal 
historical point of view, and shows how the kingdom of God would 
in the end triumph over them ; that the second part, on the contrary, 
places before our eyes the unfolding of the world-powers in their 
relation to Israel in the nearer future before the predicted (ch. ix.) 
appearance of Christ in the flesh. This designation of the distinction 
between the two parts accords with that already acknowledged by 
me, yet on renewed reflection it does not accord wiih the recognised 

1 Das Bitch Daniels tilers, u. erhl. 

2 Der Proph. Daniel u. die Offenb. Johannis, p. 38, der 2 Auf. (The Pro* 
pliecies of Daniel, and the Revelations of John. Published by Messrs. T. and X 
Clark, Edinburgh.) 



reference of ch. ix. 24-27 to the first appearance of Christ in the 
flesh, nor with ch. xi. 36-xii. 7, which prophesies of Antichrist. 
Rather, as Klief. has also justly remarked, the second part treats of 
the kingdom of God, and its development in relation to the world-power. 
" As the second chapter forms the central-point of the first part, so 
does the ninth chapter of the second part, gathering all the rest 
around it. And as the second chapter presents the whole historical 
evolution of the world-power from the days of Daniel to the end, 
so, on the other hand, the ninth chapter presents the whole historical 
evolution of the kingdom of God from the days of Daniel to the 
end." But the preceding vision recorded in ch. viii., and that which 
follows in ch. x.-xii., predict a violent incursion of an insolent 
enemy rising out of the Javanic world-kingdom against the king- 
dom of God, which will terminate in his own destruction at the 
time appointed by God, and, as a comparison of ch. viii. and vii. 
and of ch. xi. 21-35 with 36-44 and ch. xii. 1-3 shows, will be a type 
of the assault of the last enemy, in whom the might of the fourth 
world-power reaches its highest point of hostility against the king- 
dom of God, but who in the final judgment will also be destroyed. 
These two visions, the second of which is but a further unfolding 
of the first, could not but show to the people of God what wars and 
oppressions they would have to encounter in the near and the 
remote future for their sanctification, and for the confirmation of 
their faith, till the final perfecting of the kingdom of God by the 
resurrection of the dead and the judgment of the world, and at 
the same time strengthen the true servants of God with the assur- 
ance of final victory in these severe conflicts. 

With this view of the contents of the book the form in which 
the prophecies are given stands also in harmony. In the first part, 
which treats of the world-power, Nebuchadnezzar, the founder of 
the world-power, is the receiver of the revelation. To him was 
communicated not only the prophecy (ch. iv.) relating to himself 
personally, but also that which comprehended the whole develop- 
ment of the world-power (ch. ii.) ; while Daniel received only the 
revelation (ch. vii.) specially bearing on the relation of the world- 
power in its development to the kingdom of God, in a certain 
measure for the confirmation of the revelation communicated . to 
Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar also, as the bearer of the world- 
power, received (ch. v.) a revelation from God. In the second 
part, on the contrary, which treats of the development of the king- 
dom of God, Daniel, " who is by birth and by faith a member of 


the kingdom of God," alone receives a prophecy. — With this the 
change in the language of the book agrees. The first part (ch. ii.- 
vii.), treating of the world-power and its development, is written in 
Chaldee, which is the language of the world-power; the second 
part (ch. viii.-xii.), treating of the kingdom of God and its develop- 
ment, as also the first chapter, which shows how Daniel the Israelite 
was called to be a prophet by God, is written in the Hebrew, which 
is the language of the people of God. This circumstance denotes 
that in the first part the fortunes of the world-power, and that in 
the second part the development of the kingdom of God, is the 
subject treated of (cf. Auber. p. 39, Klief. p. 44). 1 

From these things we arrive at the certainty that the book of 
Daniel forms an organic whole, as is now indeed generally acknow- 
ledged, and that it was composed by a prophet according to a plan 
resting on higher illumination. 


The book of Daniel, in its historical and prophetical contents, 
corresponds to the circumstances of the times under which, accord- 
ing to its statements, it sprang up, as also to the place which the 
receiver of the vision, called the prophet Daniel (ch. vii. 2, viii. 1, 

1 Kranichfeld (d. B. Daniels, p. 53) seeks to explain this interchange of the 
Hebrew and Chaldee (Aramean) languages by supposing that the decree of 
Nebuchadnezzar (ch. iii. 31 [iv. 1] ff.) to his people, and also his conversation 
with the Chaldeans (ch. ii. 4-11), were originally in the Aramaic language, and 
that the author was led from this to make use of this language throughout one 
part of his book, as was the case with Ezra, e.g. ch. iv. 23 ff. And the con- 
tinuous use of the Aramaic language in one whole part of the book will be 
suificiently explained, if it were composed during a definite epoch, within which 
the heathen oppressors as such, and the heathen persecution, stand everywhere 
in the foreground, namely in the time of the Chaldean supremacy, on which the 
Median made no essential change. Thus the theocrat, writing at this time, 
composed his reports in the Aramaic language in order to make them effective 
among the Chaldeans, because they were aimed against their enmity and 
hostility as well as against that of their rulers. But this explanation fails from 
this circumstance, that in the third year of Belshazzar the vision granted to 
Daniel (ch. viii.) is recorded in the Hebrew language, while, on the contrary, the 
later events which occurred in the night on which Belshazzar was slain (ch. v.) 
are described in the Chaldee language. The use of the Hebrew language m the 
vision (ch. viii.) cannot be explained on Kranichfejd's supposition, for that vision 
is so internally related to the one recorded in the Chaldee language in the 
(seventh chapter, that no ground can be discerned for the change of language 
in these two chapters. 


ix. 2, x. 2 ff.), occupied daring the exile. If the exile has that 
importance in relation to the development of the kingdom of God 
as already described in § 2, then the whole progressive development 
of the divine revelation, as it lies before us in the Old and New 
Testaments, warrants us to expect, from the period of the exile, a 
book containing records such as are found in the book of Daniel. 
Since miracles and prophecies essentially belong not only in general 
to the realizing of the divine plan of salvation, but have also been 
especially manifested in all the critical periods of the history of 
the kingdom of God, neither the miracles in the historical parts of 
the book, nor its prophecies, consisting of singular predictions, can 
in any respect seem strange to us. 

The history of redemption in the Old and New Covenants pre- 
sents four great periods of miracles, i.e. four epochs, which are distin- 
guished from other times by numerous and remarkable miracles. 
These are, (1) The time of Moses, or of the deliverance of Israel 
out of Egypt, and their journey through the Arabian desert to 
Canaan ; (2) In the promised land, the time of the prophets 
Elijah and Elisha ; (3) The time of Daniel, or of the Babylonish 
exile ; and (4) The period from the appearance of John the Bap- 
tist to the ascension of Christ, or the time of Christ. These are 
the times of the foundation of the Old and the New Covenant, and 
the times of the two deliverances of the people of Israel. Of these 
four historical epochs the first and the fourth correspond with one 
another, and so also do the second and the third. But if we con- 
sider that the Mosaic period contains the two elements, the de- 
liverance of Israel out of Egypt and the establishment of the 
kingdom of God at Sinai, then, if we take into view the first of 
these elements, the Mosaic period resembles that of the exile in 
this respect, that in both of them the subject is the deliverance of 
Israel from subjection to the heathen world-power, and that the 
deliverance in both instances served as a preparation for the found- 
ing of the kingdom of God,— the freeing of Israel from Egyptian 
bondage for the founding of the Old Testament kingdom of God, 
and the deliverance from Babylonish exile for the founding of the 
New. In both periods the heathen world-power had externally 
overcome the people of God and reduced them to slavery, and 
determined on their destruction. In hoth, therefore, God the Lord 
if He would not suffer His work of redemption to be frustrated 
by man, must reveal Himself by wonders and signs before the 
heathen, as the almighty God and Lord in heaven and on earth 


and compel the oppressors of His people, by means of great judg- 
ments, to acknowledge His omnipotence and His eternal Godhead, 
so that they learned to fear the God of Israel and released His 
people. In the time of Moses, it was necessary to show to the 
Egyptians and to Pharaoh, who had said to Moses, " Who is the 
Lord, that I should obey His voice, to let Israel go ? I know not 
the Lord, neither will I let Israel go," that Israel's God was Jehovah 
the Lord, that He, and not their gods, as they thought, was Lord 
in their land, and that there was none like Him in the whole 
earth (Ex. vii. 17, viii. 18, ix. 14, 29). And as Pharaoh did not 
know, and did not wish to know, the God of Israel, so also neither 
Nebuchadnezzar, nor Belshazzar, nor Darius knew Him. Since 
all the heathen estimated the power of the gods according to the 
power of the people who honoured them, the God of the Jews, 
whom they had subjugated by their arms, would naturally appear 
to the Chaldeans and their king as an inferior and feeble God, 
as He had already appeared to the Assyrians (Isa. x. 8-11, xxxvi. 
18-20). They had no apprehension of the fact that God had 
given up His people to be punished by them on account of their 
unfaithful departure from Him. This delusion of theirs, by which 
not only the honour of the true God was misunderstood and sullied, 
but also the object for which the God of Israel had sent His people 
into exile among the heathen was in danger of being frustrated, 
God could only dissipate by revealing Himself, as He once did in 
Egypt, so now in the exile, as the Lord and Ruler of the whole 
world. The similarity of circumstances required similar wonderful 
revelations from God. For this reason there were miracles wrought 
in the exile as there had been in Egypt, — miracles which showed 
the omnipotence of the God of the Israelites, and the helplessness 
of the heathen gods ; and hence the way and manner in which 
God did this is in general the same. To the heathen kings 
Pharaoh (Gen. xli.) and Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. ii.) He made 
known the future in dreams, which the heathen wise men of the 
land were not able to interpret, and the servants of Jehovah, Joseph 
and Daniel, interpreted to them, and on that account were exalted 
to high offices of state, in which they exerted their influence as the 
saviours of their people. And He shows His omnipotence by 
miracles which break through the course of nature. 

In so far the revelations of God in Egypt and in the Babylonish 
exile resemble one another. But that the actions of God revealed 
in the book of Daniel are not mere copies of those which were 


wrought in Egypt, but that in reality they repeat themselves, is 
clear from the manifest difference in particulars between the two. 
Of the two ways in which God reveals Himself as the one only 
true God, in the wonders of Plis almighty power, and in the 
displays of His omniscience in predictions, we meet with the former 
almost alone in Egypt, while in the exile it is the latter that pre- 
vails. Leaving out of view Pharaoh's dream in the time of Joseph, 
God spoke to the Pharaoh of the time of Moses through Moses 
only ; and He showed Himself as the Lord of the whole earth 
only in the plagues. In the exile God showed His omnipotence 
only through the two miracles of the deliverance of Daniel from 
the den of lions, and of Daniel's three friends from the burning 
fiery furnace. All the other revelations of God consist in the pro- 
phetic announcement of the course of the development of the 
world-kingdoms and of the kingdom of God. For, besides the 
general object of all God's actions, to reveal to men the existence 
of the invisible God, the revelations of God in the time of the 
exile had a different specific object from those in Ecypt. In 
Egypt God would break Pharaoh's pride and his resistance to His 
will, and compel him to let Israel go. This could only be reached 
by the judgments which fell upon the land of Egypt and its inha- 
bitants, and manifested the God of Israel as the Lord in the land 
of Egypt and over the whole earth. In the exile, on the contrary, 
the object was to destroy the delusion of the heathen, that the God 
of the subjugated people of Judea was an impotent national god, 
and to show to the rulers of the world by acts, that the God of 
this so humbled people was yet the only true God, who rules over 
the whole earth, and in His wisdom and omniscience determines 
the affairs of men. Thus God must, as Caspar!, in his Lectures 
on the Booh of Daniel?- rightly remarks, " by great revelations lay 
open His omnipotence and omniscience, and show that He is infi- 
nitely exalted above the gods and wise men of this world and above 
all the world-powers." Caspari farther says : " The wise men of 
the Chaldean world-power, i.e. the so-called magi, maintained that 
they were the possessors of great wisdom, and such they were 
indeed celebrated to be, and that they obtained their wisdom from 
their gods. The Lord must, through great revelations of His 
omniscience, show that He alone of all the possessors of knowledge 
is the Omniscient, while their knowledge, and the knowledge of 
their gods, is nothing. . . . The heathen world-power rests in tile 
1 Vorlesungen ueher das B. Daniels, p. 20. 


belief that it acts independently, — that it rules and governs in the 
world, — that even the future, to a certain degree, is in its hands. 
The Lord must show to it that it is only an instrument in His hand 
for the furthering of His plans, — that He is the only independent 
agent in history, — that it is He who directs the course of the whole 
world, and therefore that all that happens to His people is His own 
work. And He must, on this account, lay open to it the whole 
future, that He may show to it that He knows it all, even to the 
very minutest events, — that it all lies like a map before His eyes, — 
and that to Hiin it is history ; for He who fully knows the whole 
future must also be the same who governs the whole development 
of the world. Omnipotence cannot be separated from omniscience." 
Only by virtue of such acts of God could the shaking of the faith 
of the heathen in the reality and power of their gods, effected 
through the fall and destruction of one world-kingdom after an- 
other, become an operative means for the preparation of the heathen 
world beforehand for the appearance of the Saviour who should 
arise out of Judah. 

But as all the revelations of God were first and principally 
intended for Israel, so also the wonderful manifestations of the 
divine omnipotence and omniscience in the exile, which are re- 
corded in the book of Daniel. The wonders of God in Egypt had 
their relation to Israel not only in their primary bearing on their 
deliverance from the house of bondage in Egypt, but also in a far 
wider respect : they were intended to show actually to Israel that 
Jehovah, the God of their fathers, possessed the power to overcome 
all the hindrances which stood in the way of the accomplishing of 
His promises. With the dissolution of the kingdom of Judah, the 
destruction of Jerusalem, the burning of the temple, the dethrone- 
ment of the royal house of David, the cessation of the offering 
up of the Levitical sacrifices, the carrying away of the king, the 
priests, and the people into bondage, the kingdom of God was 
destroyed, the covenant relation dissolved, and Israel, the people 
of Jehovah, driven forth from their own land among the heathen, 
were brought into a new Egyptian slavery (cf. Deut. xxviii. 68, 
Hos. viii. 13, ix. 3). The situation into which Israel fell by the 
carrying away into Babylon was so grievous and so full of affiicr 
tions, that the earnest-miuded and the pious even might despair, and 
doubt the covenant faithfulness of God. The predictions by the 
earlier prophets of their deliverance from exile, and their return 
to the land of their fathers after the period of chastisement had 


passed by, served to prevent their sinking into despah' or falling 
away into heathenism, amid the sufferings and oppressions to which 
they were exposed. Even the labours of the prophet Ezekiel in 
their midst, although his appearance was a sign and a pledge that 
the Lord had not wholly cast off His people, could be to the van- 
quished no full compensation for that which they had lost, and 
must feel the want of. Divine actions must be added to the word 
of promise, which gave assurance of its fulfilment, — wonderful 
works, which took away every doubt that the Lord could save the 
true confessors of His name out of the hand of their enemies, yea, 
from death itself. To these actual proofs of the divine omnipotence, 
if they would fully accomplish their purpose, new disclosures re- 
garding the future must be added, since, as we have explained 
above (p. 8), after the expiry of the seventy years of Babylonian 
captivity prophesied of by Jeremiah, Babylon would indeed fall, 
and the Jews be permitted to return to their fatherland, yet the 
glorification of the kingdom of God by the Messiah, which was 
connected by all the earlier prophets, and even by Ezekiel, with the 
return from Babylon, did not immediately appear, nor was the theo- 
cracy restored in all its former integrity, but Israel must remain 
yet longer under the domination and the oppression of the heathen. 
The non-fulfilment of the Messianic hopes, founded in the deliver- 
ance from Babylonian exile at the end of the seventy years, could 
not but have shaken their confidence in the faithfulness of God in 
the fulfilment of His promises, had not God before this already un- 
veiled His plan of salvation, and revealed beforehand the progres- 
sive development and the continuation of the heathen world-power, 
till its final destruction through the erection of His everlasting 

Prophecy stands side by side with God's actions alone the 
whole course of the history of the Old Covenant, interpreting these 
actions to the people, and making known the counsel of the Lord 
in guiding and governing their affairs. As soon and as often as 
Israel comes into conflict with the heathen nations, the prophets 
appear and proclaim the will of God, not only in regard to the 
present time, but they also make known the final victory of His 
kingdom over all the kingdoms and powers of this earth. These 
prophetic announcements take a form corresponding to the cir- 
cumstances of each period. Yet they are always of such a kind 
that they shine out into the future far beyond the horizon of the 
immediate present. Thus (leaving out of view the older times) 


the prophets of the Assyrian period predict not only the deliverance 
of Judah and Jerusalem from the powerful invasion of the hostile 
Assyrians and the destruction of the Assyrian host before the 
gates of Jerusalem, but also the carrying away of Jndah into 
Babylon and the subsequent deliverance from this exile, and the 
destruction of all the heathen nations which fight against the Lord 
and against His people. At the time of the exile Jeremiah and 
Ezekiel prophesy with great fulness of detail, and in the most 
particular manner, of the destruction of the kingdom of Judah and 
of Jerusalem and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, but Jeremiah 
prophesies as particularly the return of Israel and of Judah from 
the exile, and the formation of a new covenant which should endure 
for ever ; and Ezekiel in grand ideal outlines describes the re-estab- 
lishment of the kingdom of God in a purified and transfigured 
form. Completing this prophecy, the Lord reveals to His people 
by Daniel the succession and the duration of the world-kingdoms, the 
relation of each to the kingdom of God and its preservation under 
*ll the persecution of the world-power, as well as its completion 
by judgments poured out on the world-kingdoms till their final 

The new form of the revelation regarding the course and issue 
of the process commencing with the formation of the world-king- 
doms — a process by which the world-power shall be judged, the 
people of God purified, and the plan of salvation for the deliver- 
ance of the human race shall be perfected — corresponds to the new 
aspect of things arising in the subjection of the people of God to 
the violence of the world-powers. The so-called apocalyptical 
character of Daniel's prophecy is neither in contents nor in form 
a new species of prophecy. What Auberlen 1 remarks regarding 
the distinction between apocalypse and prophecy needs important 
limitation. We cannot justify the remark, that while the prophets 
generally place in the light of prophecy only the existing condition 
of the people of God, Daniel had not so special a destination, but 
only the general appointment to serve to the church of God as a 
prophetic light for the 500 years from the exile to the coming of 
Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Komans, during 
which there was no revelation. For these other prophets do not 
limit themselves to the present, but they almost all at the same time 
throw light on the future ; and Daniel's prophecy also goes forth 
from the present and reaches far beyond the time of the destruc- 
1 Der Proph. Dan. p. 79 ff. (Eng. Trans, p. 70 fi.) 


tion of Jerusalem by the Romans. The further observation 
also, that the apocalypses, in conformity with their destination 
to throw prophetic light on the relation of the world to the 
kingdom of God for the times in which the light of immediate 
revelation is wanting, must be on the one side more universal in 
their survey, and on the other more special in the presentation of 
details, is, when more closely looked into, unfounded. Isaiah, for 
example, is in his survey not less universal than Daniel. He 
throws light not only on the whole future of the people and king- 
dom of God onward till the creation of the new heavens and the 
new earth, but also on the end of all the heathen nations and 
kingdoms, and gives in his representations very special disclosures 
not only regarding the overthrow of the Assyrian power, which at 
that time oppressed the people of God and sought to destroy the 
kingdom of God, but also regarding far future events, such as the 
carrying away into Babylon of the treasures of the king's house, 
and of the king's sons, that they might become courtiers in the 
palace of the king of Babylon (ch. xxxix. 6, 7), the deliverance of 
Judah from Babylon by the hand of Cyrus (ch. xliv. 28, xlv. 1), etc. 
Compare also, for special glances into the future, the rich repre- 
sentation of details in Mic. iv. 8-v. 3. It is true that the prophets 
before the exile contemplate the world-power in its present form 
together with its final unfolding, and therefore they announce the 
Messianic time for the most part as near at hand, while, on the 
contrary, with Daniel the one world-power is successively pre- 
sented in four world-monarchies ; but this difference is not essentia], 
but only a wider expansion of the prophecy of Isaiah correspond- 
ing to the time and the circumstances in which Daniel was placed, 
that not Assyria but Babylon would destroy the kingdom of Judah 
and lead the people of God into exile, and that the Medes and 
Klamites would destroy Babylon, and Cyrus set free the captives 
of Judah and Jerusalem. Even the " significant presentation of 
numbers and of definite chronological periods expressed in them," 
which is regarded as a " characteristic mark " of apocalypse, has 
its roots and fundamental principles in simple prophecy, which 
here and there also gives significant numbers and definite periods. 
Thus the seventy years of Jeremiah form the starting-point for 
the seveuty weeks or the seven times of Daniel, ch. ix. Compare 
also the sixty-five years of Isa. vii. 8 ; the three years, Isa. xx. 3 • 
the seventy years of the desolation of Tyre, Isa. xxiii. 15; the forty 
and the three hundred and ninety days of Ezek. iv, .6, 9 r 


In fine, if we examine attentively the subjective form of the 
rtpocalypse, we shall find of the two ways in which the future is 
unveiled, viz. by dreams and visions, the latter with almost all the 
prophets together with communications flowing from divine illu- 
mination, while revelation by dreams as a rule is granted only to 
the heathen (Abimelech, Gen. xx. 3; Pharaoh, Gen. xli. ; Nebu- 
chadnezzar, Dan. ii.) or to Jews who were not prophets (Jacob, 
Gen. xxviii. 12 ; Solomon, 1 Kings iii. 5), and the revelation in 
Dan. vii. is communicated to Daniel in a dream only on account 
of its particular relation, as to the matter of it, to the dream of 
Nebuchadnezzar. Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah (cf. Amos vii.-ix., 
Isa. vi., lxiii., Jer. i. 13, xxiv. 1, 2) had also visions. With Ezekiel 
visions rather than discourses conveying condemnation or comfort 
prevail, and Zechariah beholds in a series of actions the future 
development of the kingdom of God and of the world-kingdoms 
(Zech. i. 7-vi. 15). We also find images representing angels seen 
by the prophets when in an ecstasy, not only with Zechariah, who 
was after Daniel's time, but also with Ezekiel ; and Isaiah too saw 
the seraphim standing, and even moving and acting, before the 
throne of God (Isa. vi. 6, 7). In the visions the future appears 
embodied in plastic figures which have a symbolical nieaninT and 
which need interpretation. Thus the appearance of angels to 
Daniel is to be explained in the same way as their appearance to 
Ezekiel and Zechariah. 

Accordingly the prophecies of Daniel are not distinguished even 
in their apocalyptic form from the whole body of prophecy in nature, 
but only in degree. When dream and vision form the only means 
of announcing the future, the prophetic discourse is wholly wanting. 
But the entire return of the prophecy to the form of discourses of 
condemnation, warning, and consolation is fully explained from the 
position of Daniel outside of the congregation of God at the court 
and in the state service of the heathen world-ruler ; and this posi- 
tion the Lord had assigned to him on account of the great signifi- 
cance which the world-kingdom had, as we have shown (p. 10), 
for the preparation beforehand of Israel and of the heathen world 
for the renovation and perfecting of the kingdom of God through 

Both in its contents and form the book of Daniel has thus the 
stamp of a prophetical writing, such as we might have expected 
according to the development of the Old Testament kingdom of 
God from the period of the Babylonish exile ; and the testimony of 


the Jewish synagogue as well as of the Christian church to the 
genuineness of the book, or its composition by the prophet Daniel, 
rests on a solid foundation. In the whole of antiquity no one 
doubted its genuineness except the well-known enemy of Christi- 
anity, the Neo-Platonist Porphyry, who according to the statement 
of Jerome (in the preface to his Comment, in Dan.) wrote the 
twelfth book of his \6yoi Kara Xpicmavoiv against the book of 
Daniel, nolens eum ab ipso, cujus inscriptus est nomine, esse composi- 
tum, sed a quodum qui temporibus Antiochi, qui appellatus est Epi- 
phanes, fuerit in Judaea, et non tarn Danielem ventura dixisse, quam 
ilium narrasse pra'terita. He was, however, opposed by Eusebius 
of Csesarea and other church Fathers. For the first time with 
the rise of deism, naturalism, and rationalism during the bygone 
century, there began, as a consequence of the rejection of a super- 
natural revelation from God, the assault against the genuineness of 
the book. To such an extent has this opposition prevailed, that at 
the present time all critics who reject miracles and supernatural 
prophecy hold its spuriousness as an undoubted principle of criticism. 
They regard the book as the composition of a Jew living in the 
time of the Maccabees, whose object was to cheer and animate his 
contemporaries in the war which was waged against them by 
Antiochus Epiphanes for the purpose of rooting up Judaism, by 
representing to them certain feigned miracles and prophecies of 
some old prophet announcing the victory of God's people over all 
their enemies. 1 

The arguments by which the opponents of the genuineness seek 
to justify scientifically their opinion are deduced partly from the 
position of the book in the canon, and other external circumstances, 
but principally from the contents of the book. Leaving out of view- 
that which the most recent opponents have yielded up, the following 
things, adduced by Bleek and Stiihelin (in their works mentioned in 

1 Cf. the historical survey of the controversy regarding the genuineness of 
the book in my Lehrb. d. Einleit. in d. A. Test. § 134. To what is there men- 
tioned add to the number of the opponents of the genuineness, Fr. Bleek, Ein- 
leitung in d. A. Test. p. 577 ff., and his article on the " Messianic Prophecies in 
the Book of Daniel " in the Jahrb. f. deutsche Theologie, v. 1, p. 45 ff., and J. J. 
Stahelin's Einleit. in die kanon. des A. Test. 1862, § 73. To the number 
of the defenders of the genuineness of the book as there mentioned add, Dav. 
Ziindel's krit. Untersuchungen ueber die Abfassungszeit des B. Daniel, 1861 Rud. 
Kranichfeld aud Th. Kliefoth in their commentaries on the Book of Daniel 
(1868), and the Catholic theologian, Dr. Fr. Heinr. Reusch (professor in Bonn), 
in his Leltr. der Einleit. in d. A. Test. 1868, § 43. 


the last note), are asserted, which alone we wish to consider here, 
referring to the discussions on this question in my Lehrb. der Ein- 
leitung, § 133. 

Among the external grounds great stress is laid on the place the 
book holds in the Hebrew canon. That Daniel should here hold his 
place not among the Nebiyim [the prophetical writings], but among 
the Kethulim [the Hagiographa] between the books of Esther and 
Ezra, can scarcely be explained otherwise than on the supposition 
that it was yet unknown at the time of the formation of the 
Nebiyim, that is, in the age of Nehemiah, and consequently that 
it did not exist previously to that time. But this conclusion, even 
on the supposition that the Third Part of the canon, the collec- 
tion called the Kethubim, was for the first time formed some time 
after the conclusion of the Second Part, is not valid. On the con- 
trary, Kranichfeld has not without good reason remarked, that 
since the prophets before the exile connected the beginning of 
the Messianic deliverance with the end of the exile, while on the 
other hand the book of Daniel predicts a period of oppression con- 
tinuing long after the exile, therefore the period succeeding the 
exile might be offended with the contents of the book, and hence 
feel some hesitation to incorporate the book of one who was less 
distinctively a prophet in the collection of the prophetic books, and 
that the Maccabee time, under the influence of the persecution pro- 
phesied of in the book, first learned to estimate its prophetic worth 
and secured its reception into the canon. This objection is thus 
sufficiently disproved. But the supposition of a successive collection 
of the books of the canon and of its three Parts after the period 
in which the books themselves were written, is a hypothesis which 
has never been proved : cf. my Einleit. in d. A. T. § 154 ff. The 
place occupied by this book in the Hebrew canon perfectly corre- 
sponds with the place of Daniel in the theocracy. Daniel did not 
labour, as the rest of the prophets did whose writings form the class 
of the Nebiyim, as a prophet among his people in the congregation 
of Israel, but he was a minister of state under the Chaldean and 
Medo-Persian world-rulers. Although, like David and Solomon, 
he possessed the gift of prophecy, and therefore was called Trpo$r\- 
T779 (LXX., Joseph., New Testament), yet he was not a soaj, i.e. a 
prophet in his official position and standing. Therefore his book in 
its contents and form is different from the writings of the Nebiyim. 
Kis prophecies are not prophetic discourses addressed to Israel or 
.the nations, but visions, in which the development of the world- 


kingdoms and their relation to the kingdom of God are unveiled, and 
the historical part of his book describes events of the time when 
Israel went into captivity among the heathen. For these reasons 
his book is not placed in the class of the Nebiyim, which reaches 
from Joshua to Malachi, — for these, according to the view of him 
who arranged the canon, are wholly the writings of such as held 
the prophetic office, i.e. the office requiring them openly, by word 
of mouth and by writing, to announce the word of God, — but in the 
class of the Kethulim, which comprehends sacred writings of differ- 
ent kinds whose common character consists in this, that their authors 
did not fill the prophetic office, as e.g. Jonah, in the theocracy ; 
which is confirmed by the fact that the Lamentations of Jeremiah 
are comprehended in this class, since Jeremiah uttered these 
Lamentations over the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah not 
qua a prophet, but as a member of that nation which was chastened 
by the Lord. 

Little importance is to be attached to the silence of Jesus 
Sirach in his v/ivos irarepcov, ch. xlix., regarding Daniel, since an 
express mention of Daniel could not justly be expected. Jesus 
Sirach passes over other distinguished men of antiquity, such as Job, 
the good king Jehoshaphat, and even Ezra the priest and scribe, 
who did great service for the re-establishment of the authority of 
the law, from which it may be seen that it was not his purpose to 
present a complete list. Still less did he intend to name all the 
writers of the Old Testament. And if also, in his praise of the 
fathers, he limits himself on the whole to the course of the biblical 
books of the Hebrew canon from the Pentateuch down to the 
Minor Prophets, yet what he says of Zerubbabel, Joshua, and Nehe- 
miah he does not gather from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. 
When, on the other hand, Bleek seeks to account for the absence 
of any mention of Ezra, which his supposition that Jesus Sirach 
names all the celebrated men mentioned in the canonical books 
extant in his time contradicts, by the remark that " Ezra perhaps 
would not have been omitted if the book which bears his name had 
been before that time received into the canon," he has in his zeal 
against the book of Daniel forgotten to observe that neither the book 
of Nehemiah in its original or then existing form, nor the first part 
of the book of Ezra, containing notices of Zerubbabel and Joshua, 
has ever, separated from the second part, which speaks of Ezra, 
formed a constituent portion of the canon, but that rather, accord- 
ing to his own statement, the second part of the book of Ezra " was 


without doubt composed by Ezra himself," which is consequently as 
old, if not older than the genuine parts of the book of Nehemiali, 
and that both books in the form in which they have come to us must 
have been edited by a Jew living at the end of the Persian or at 
the beginning of the Grecian supremacy, and then for the first 
time in this redaction were admitted into the canon. 

Besides all this, it appears that in the work of Jesus Sirach tlie 
previous existence of the book of Daniel is presupposed, for the 
idea presented in Sirach xvii. 14, that God had given to that people 
an angel as rjyovfievo? (p&), refers to Dan. x. 13, 20-xi. 1, xii. 1. 
For if Sirach first formed this idea from the LXX. translation of 
Deut. xxxii. 8, 9. then the LXX. introduced it from the book of 
Daniel into Deut. xxxii. 8, so that Daniel is the author from whom 
this opinion was derived; and the book which was known to the 
Alexandrine translators of the Pentateuch could not be unknown 
to the Siracidse. 

Still weaker is the argumentum e silenUo, that in the pro- 
phets after the exile, Haggai and Malachi, and particularly 
Zechariah (ch. i.-viii.), there are no traces of any use being 
made of the book of Daniel, and that it exerted no influence 
on the Messianic representations of the later prophets. Kran. 
has already made manifest the weakness of this argument by 
replying that Bleek was silent as to the relation of Daniel's prayer, 
ch. ix. 3-19, to Ezra ix. and Neh. ix., because the dependence of 
Ezra and Nehemiali on the book of Daniel could not be denied. 
Moreover von Hofinann, Ziindel (p. 249 ff.), Vokk (Vindicice 
Danielicce, 1866), Kran., and Klief. have shown that Zechariah 
proceeded on the supposition of Daniel's prophecy of the four 
world-monarchies, inasmuch as not only do the visions of the 
four horns and of the four carpenters of Zech. ii. 1-4 (i. 18-21) 
rest on Dan. vii. 7, 8, viii. 3-9, and the representation of nations 
and kingdoms as horns originate in these passages, but also in 
the symbolic transactions recorded Zech. xi. 5, the killing of the 
three shepherds in one month becomes intelligible only by a 
reference to Daniel's prophecy of the world-rulers under whose 
power Israel was brought into subjection. Cf. my Comm. on 
Zech. ii. 1-4 and xi. 5. The exposition of Zech. i. 7-17 and vi. 
1-8 as founded on Daniel's prophecy of the world-kingdoms, 
does not, however, appear to us to be satisfactory, and in what 
Zechariah (ch. ii. 5) says of the building of Jerusalem we can find 
no allusion to Dan. ix. 25. But if Bleek in particular has missed 


in Zech. Daniel's announcement of a Ruler like a son of man 
coming in the clouds, Kran. has, on the other hand, justly remarked 
that this announcement by Daniel is connected with the scene of 
judgment described in ch. vii., which Zechariah, in whose prophecies 
the priestly character of the Messiah predominates, had no occasion 
to repeat or expressly to mention. This is the case also with the 
names of the angels in Daniel, which are connected with the 
special character of his visions, and cannot be expected in Zechariah. 
Yet Zechariah agrees with Daniel in regard to the distinction be- 
tween the higher and the lower ranks of angels. 

Rather the case stands thus: that not only was Zechariah ac- 
quainted with Daniel's prophecies, but Ezra also and the Levites of 
his time made use of (Ezra ix. and Neh. ix.) the penitential prayer 
of Daniel (ch. ix.). In Ezekiel also we have still older testimony 
for Daniel and the principal contents of his book, which the oppo- 
nents of its genuineness have in vain attempted to set aside. Even 
Bleek is obliged to confess that " in the way in which Ezekiel 
(xiv. 14, 20, xxviii. 3) makes mention of the rectitude and wisdom 
of Daniel, we are led to think of a man of such virtue and 
wisdom as Daniel appears in this book to have been distinguished 
by, and also to conceive of some connection between the character 
there presented and that which Ezekiel had before his eyes ; " but 
yet, notwithstanding this, the manner in which Ezekiel makes 
mention of Daniel does not lead him to think of a man who was 
Ezekiel's contemporary in the Babylonish exile, and who was 
probably comparatively young at the time when Ezekiel spake of 
him, but of a man who had been long known as an historic or 
mythic personage of antiquity. But this latter idea is based only 
on the groundless supposition that the names Noah, Daniel, and 
Job, as found in Ezek. xiv. 14, 20, are there presented in chrono- 
logical order, which, as we have shown under Ezek. xiv., is a 
natural order determined by a reference to the deliverance from 
great danger experienced by each of the persons named on ac- 
count of his righteousness. Equally groundless is the other sup- 
position, that the Daniel named by Ezekiel must have been a very 
old man, because righteousness and wisdom first show themselves 
in old age. If we abandon this supposition and fall in with the 
course of thought in Ezekiel, then the difficulty arising from the 
naming of Daniel between Noah and Job (Ezek. xiv. 14) dis- 
appears, and at the same time also the occasion for thinking of an 
historical or mythical personage of antiquity, of whose special 


wisdom no trace can anywhere be found. What Ezeklel says of 
Daniel in both places agrees perfectly with the Daniel of this book. 
When he (ch. xxviii. 3) says of the king of Tyre, " Thou re- 
gardest thyself as wiser than Daniel, there is nothing secret that is 
hidden from thee," the reference to Daniel cannot be denied, to 
whom God granted an insight into ■ all manner of visions and 
dreams, so that he excelled ten times all the wise men of Bahylon 
in wisdom (Dan. i. 17-20) ; and therefore Nebuchadnezzar (ch. 
iv. 6 [9]) and the queen (ch. v. 11) regarded him as endowed 
with the spirit and the wisdom of the gods, which the ruler of 
Tyre in vain self-idolatry attributed to himself. The opinion pro- 
nounced regarding Daniel in Ezek. xiv. 14, 20, refers without a 
doubt also to the Daniel of this book. Ezekiel names Noah, 
Daniel, and Job as pious men, who by their righteousness before 
God in the midst of severe judgments saved their souls, i.e. 
their lives. If his discourse was intended to make any impression 
on his hearers, then the facts regarding this saving of their lives 
must have been well known. Record of this was found in the 
Holy Scriptures in the case of Noah and Job, but of a Daniel of 
antiquity nothing was at all communicated. On the contrary, 
Ezekiel's audience could not but at once think of Daniel, who not 
only refused, from reverence for the law of God, to eat of the 
food from the king's table, thereby exposing his life to danger, 
and who was therefore blessed of God with both bodily and 
mental health, but who also, when the decree had gone forth that 
the wise men who could not show to Nebuchadnezzar his dream 
should be put to death, in the firm faith that God would by prayer 
reveal to him the king's dream, saved his own life and that of 
his fellows, and in consequence of his interpretation of the dream 
revealed to him by God, was appointed ruler over the whole 
province of Babylon and chief over all the wise men of Babylon, 
so that his name was known in all the kingdom, and his fidelity 
to the law of God and his righteousness were praised by all the 
captives of Judah in Chaldea. 

Thus it stands with respect to the external evidences against the 
genuineness of the book of Daniel. Its place in the canon among 
the Kethuhim corresponds with the place which Daniel occupied in 
the kingdom of God under the Old Testament ; the alleged want 
of references to the book and its prophecies in Zechariah and in the 
book of Jesus Sirach is, when closely examined, not really the 
case : not only Jesus Sirach and Zechariah knew and understood 


the prophecies of Daniel, but even Ezekiel names Daniel as a bright 
pattern of righteousness and wisdom. 

If we now turn our attention to the internal evidences alleged 
against the genuineness of the book, the circumstance that the 
opponents place the Greek names of certain musical instruments 
mentioned in Dan. iii. in the front, awakens certainly no prejudice 
favourable to the strength of their argument. 

In the list of the instruments of music which were played upon 
at the inauguration of Nebuchadnezzar's golden image, three names 
are found of Grecian origin: DilVj? = KidapK, rrobJSD (n;3Q ,| D) = 
(TVfMJiwvia, and P.™DS (pMDS) =^a\Tijpwv (Dan. iii. 5, 7, 10, 15). 
To these there has also been added K32D = aa/Mpvicv, but unwarrant- 
ably ; for the aafifivict], adfifivi;, ^a/jL^Ur) is, according to the testi- 
mony of Athen. and Strabo, of foreign or Syrian, i.e. of Semitic 
origin, and the word aa/j.j3v>cT] is without any etymon in Greek (cf. 
Ges. Thes. p. 935). Of the other three names, it is undoubted that 
they have a Grecian origin; but "no one can maintain that such 
instruments could not at the time of the Chaldean supremacy have 
found their way from the Greek West into Upper Asia, who takes 
into view the historical facts " (Kran.). At the time of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, not only was " there intercourse between the inhabitants 
of Upper Asia and the Ionians of Asia Minor," as Bleek thinks, 
but according to Strabo (xiii. 2, 3) there was in the army of 
Nebuchadnezzar, Antimenidas, the brother of the poet Alcseus, 
fighting victoriously for the Babylonians, apparently, as M. v. 
Nieb. in his Gesch. Assurs, p. 206, remarks, at the head of a 
warlike troop, as chief of a band of fuorusciti who had bound 
themselves to the king of Babylon. According to the testimony of 
Abydenus, quoted in Eusebius, Chron. Arm. ed. Aucher, i. 53, 
Greek soldiers followed the Assyrian Esarhaddon (Axerdis) on 
his march through Asia ; and according to Berosus (Fragm. hist. 
Grcec. ed. Miiller, ii. 504), Sennacherib had already conducted a 
successful war against a Greek army that had invaded Cilicia. 
And the recent excavations in Nineveh confirm more and more 
the fact that there was extensive intercourse between the inhabi- 
tants of Upper Asia and Greece, extending to a period long 
before the time of Daniel, so that the importation of Greek instru- 
ments into Nineveh was by no means a strange thing, much less 
could it be so during the tim<» of the Chaldean supremacy in 
Babylon, the merchant-city, as Ezekiel (ch. xvii. 4, 19) calls it, 
from which even in Joshua's time a Babylonish garment had 


been brought to the Canaanites (Josh. vii. 21). But if Staehelin 
(Einleit. p. 348) further remarks, that granting even the possibility 
that in Nebuchadnezzar's time the Babylonians had some know- 
ledge of the Greek musical instruments, yet there is a great 
difference between this and the using of them at great festivals, 
where usually the old customs prevail, it must be replied that 
this alleged close adherence to ancient custom on the part of 
Nebuchadnezzar stands altogether in opposition to all we already 
know of the king. And the further remark by the same critic, 
that psalterium and symphonie were words first used by the later 
Greek writers about 150 B.C., finds a sufficient reply in the discovery 
of the figure of a yjrdXTijpiov on the Monument of Sennacherib. 1 
But if through this ancient commerce, which was principally 
carried on by the Phoenicians, Greek instruments were brought 
into Upper Asia, it cannot be a strange thing that their Greek 
names should be found in the third chapter of Daniel, since, as 
is everywhere known, the foreign name is usually given to the 
foreign articles which may be imported among any people. 

More important appear the historical improbabilities and errors 
which are said to occur in the historical narratives of this book. 

These are : (1) The want of harmony between the narrative of 
Nebuchadnezzar's incursiou against Judah in Jer. xxv. 1 ff., xlvi. 2, 
and the statement of Daniel (ch. i. 1 ff.) that this king came up 
against Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, besieged the 
city, and carried away captive to Babylon Daniel and other Hebrew 
youths, giving command that for three years they should be educated 
in the wisdom of the Chaldeans ; while, according to the narrative 
of ch. ii., Daniel already, in the second year of the reign of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, interpreted to the king his dream, which could have 
occurred only after the close of the period of his education. This 
inconsistency between Dan. i. 1 and Jer. xxvi. 2, xxv. 1, and also 
between Dan. i. and ii., would indeed be evident if it were an 
undoubted fact that the statement that Nebuchadnezzar besieged 

1 Cf . Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, p. 454. On a bas-relief representing the 
return of the Assyrian army from a victorious campaign, companies of men 
welcome the Assyrian commander with song, and music, and dancing. Five 
musicians go before, three with many-sided harps, a fourth with a double flute, 
such as are seen on Egyptian monuments, and were in use also among the 
Romans and Greeks ; the fifth carries an instrument like the santur (p"iri3DS, 
v. Gesen. Thes. p. 1116), still in use among the Egyptians, which consists of a 
hollow box or a sounding-board with strings stretched over it. — Quite in the 
same way Augustin (under Ps. xxxii.) describes the psalterium. 


Jerusalem in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, as men- 
tioned in Dan. i. 1, meant that this was done after he ascended tne 
throne. But the remark of Wieseler (die 70 Wochen u. die 63 
Jahrwoclien des Proph. Daniel, p. 9), that the supposed opposition 
between Dan. i. and ii. is so great that it cannot be thought of 
even in a pseudo-Daniel, cannot but awaken suspicion against the 
accuracy of the supposition that Nebuchadnezzar was the actual 
king of Babylon at the time of the siege of Jerusalem and the 
carrying away of Daniel. The dream of Nebuchadnezzar in ch. 
ii. 1 is expressly placed in the second year of his reign ( m3 p? ) ) ; 
in ch. i. Nebuchadnezzar is called the king of Babylon, but yet 
nothing is said of his actual reign, and the time of the siege of 
Jerusalem is not defined by a year of his reign. But he who 
afterwards became king might be proleptically styled king, though 
he was at the time only the commander of the army. This con- 
jecture is confirmed by the statement of Berosus, as quoted by 
Josephus (Ant. x. 11. 1, c.Ap. i. 19), that Nebuchadnezzar under- 
took the first campaign against the Egyptian king during the life- 
time of his father, who had entrusted him with the carrying on of 
the war on account of the infirmity of old age, and that he received 
tidings of his father's death after he had subdued his enemies in 
Western Asia. The time of Nebuchadnezzar's ascending the throne 
and commencing his reign was a year or a year and a half after 
the first siege of Jerusalem ; thus in the second year of his reign, 
that is about the end of it, the three years of the education of the 
Hebrew youths in the wisdom of the Chaldees would have come to 
an end. Thus the apparent contradiction between Dan. ii. 1 and i. 1 
is cleared up. In reference to the date, " in the third year of the 
reign of Jehoiakim " (Dan. i. 1), we cannot regard as justified thr> 
supposition deduced from Jer. xxxvi. 9, that the Chaldeans in the 
ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim had not yet come to 
Jerusalem, nor can we agree with the opinion that Nebuchadnezzar 
had already destroyed Jerusalem before the victory gained by him 
over Pharaoh-necho at Carchemish (Jer. xlvi. 2) in the fourth 
year of Jehoiakim, but hope under ch. i. 1 to prove that the takin" 
of Jerusalem in the fourth year of Jehoiakim followed after the 
battle at Carchemish, and that the statement by Daniel (ch. i. 1), 
when rightly understood, harmonizes easily therewith, since N13 
(Dan. i. 1) signifies to go, to set out, and not to come. 

But (2) it is not so easy to explain the historical difficulties 
which are found in ch. v. and vi. 1 (v. 31), since the extra-biblical 


information regarding the destruction of Babylon is very scanty 
and self-contradictory. Yet these difficulties are by no means so 
inexplicable or so great as to make the authorship of the book of 
Daniel a matter of doubt. For instance, that is a very insignificant 
matter in which Bleek finds a " specially great difficulty," viz.. 
that in ch. v. : " so many things should have occurred in one night, 
which it can scarcely be believed could have happened so imme- 
diately after one another in so short a time." For if one only lays 
aside the statements which Bleek imports into the narrative, — 

(1) that the feast began in the evening, or at night, while it began 
really in the afternoon and might be prolonged into the night ; 

(2) that the clothing of Daniel with purple and putting a chain 
about his neck, and the proclamation of his elevation to the rank 
of third ruler in the kingdom, were consummated by a solemn pro- 
cession moving through the streets of the city ; (3) that Daniel 
was still the chief president over the magi ; and (4) that after the 
appearance of the handwriting lengthened consultations took place, 
— if one gives up all these suppositions, and considers what things 
may take place at a sudden disastrous occurrence, as, for example, 
on the breaking out of a fire, in a very few hours, it will not appear 
incredible that all the things recited in this chapter occurred in one 
night, and were followed even by the death of the king before the 
dawn of the morning. The historical difficulty lies merely in this, 
that, as Staehelin (p. 350) states the matter, Belshazzar appears as 
the last king of Babylon, and his mother as the wife of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, which is contrary to historical fact. This is so far true, 
that the queen-mother, as also Daniel, repeatedly calls Nebuchad- 
nezzar the father (3N) of Belshazzar ; but that Belshazzar was the 
last king of Babylon is not at all stated in the narrative, but is 
only concluded from this circumstance, that the writing on the 
wall announced the destruction of king Belshazzar and of his 
kingdom, and that, as the fulfilling of this announcement, the 
death of Belshazzar (ch. v. 30) occurred that same night, and (ch. 
vi. 1) also the transferring of the kingdom of the Chaldeans to the 
Median Darius. But that the destruction of the Chaldean king- 
dom or its transference to the Medes occurred at the same time 
with the death of Belshazzar, is not said in the text. The connect- 
ing of the second factum with the first by the copula 1 (ch. vi. 1) 
indicates nothing further than that both of these parts of the pro- 
phecy were fulfilled. The first (ch. v. 3) was fulfilled that same 
night, but the time of the other -is not given, since ch. vi. 1 (v. 31) 


does not form the conclusion of the narrative ..of the fifth chapter, 
but the beginning to those events recorded in the sixth. How little 
may be concluded as to the relative time of two events by the 
connection of the second with the first by the copula i, may e.g. 
be seen in the history recorded in 1 Kings xiv., where the prophet 
Ahijah announces (ver. 12) to the wife of Jeroboam the death of 
her sick son, and immediately in connection therewith the destruc- 
tion of the house of Jeroboam (ver. 14), as well as the exile 
(ver. 15) of the ten tribes ; events which in point of time stood far 
apart from each other, while yet they were internally related, for 
the sin of Jeroboam was the cause not only of the death of his 
son, but also of the termination of his dynasty and of the destruc- 
tion of the kingdom of the ten tribes. 1 So here also the death of 
Belshazzar and the overthrow of the Chaldean kingdom are inter- 
nally connected, without, however, rendering it necessary that the 
two events should take place in the self-same hour. The book of 
Daniel gives no information as to the time when the Chaldean 
kingdom was overthrown ; this must be discovered from extra- 
biblical sources, to which we shall more particularly refer under 
ch. v. "We hope to show there that the statement made by Daniel 
perfectly harmonizes with that which, from among the contradic- 
tory reports of the Greek historians regarding this occurrence, 
appears to be historically correct, and perhaps also to show the 
source of the statement that the destruction of Babylon took place 
during a riotous feast of the Babylonians. 

The other "difficulty" also, that Darius, a king of Median 
origin, succeeds Belshazzar (ch. vi. 1 [v. 31]), who also is, ch. ix. 1 
and xi. 1, designated as a Median, and, ch. ix. 1, as the son of Aha- 
suerus, disappears as soon as we give up the unfounded statement 
that this Darius immediately followed Belshazzar, and that Aha- 
suerus the Persian king was Xerxes, and give credit to the declara- 
tion, ch. vi. 29, that Cyrus the Persian succeeded in the kingdom 
to Darius the Median, according to the statement of Xenophon 
regarding the Median king Cyaxeres n. and his relation to Cyrus, 
as at ch. vi. 1 shall be shown. 

The remaining " difficulties" and "improbabilities" are destitute 

1 By a reference to this narrative Kran. has (p. 26) refuted the objection 
of Hitzig, that if the death of Belshazzar did not bring with it the transference 
of the kingdom of the Chaldeans to the Medes, then ver. 28 ought to have made 
mention of the death of the king, and that the kingdom (twenty-two years 
later) would come to the Chaldeans should have been passed over in silence. 


of importance. The erection of a golden image of the gigantic 
proportion of sixty cubits high in the open plain, ch. iii., is 
" something very improbable," only when, with Bleek, we think on 
a massive golden statue of such a size, and lose sight of the fact 
that the Hebrews called articles that were merely plated with gold, 
golden, as e.g. the altar, which was overlaid with gold, Ex. xxxix. 
38, xl. 5, 26, cf. Ex. xxxvii. 25 f., and idol images, cf. Isa. xl. 19, 
xli. 7, etc. Of the seven years' madness of Nebuchadnezzar the 
narrative of ch. iv. says nothing, but only of its duration for seven 
times (f^V, vers. 20, 22, 29), which the interpreters have explained 
as meaning years. But that the long continuance of the king's 
madness must have been accompanied with "very important changes 
and commotions," can only be supposed if we allow that during 
this period no one held the reigns of government. And the 
absence of any mentioning of this illness of Nebuchadnezzar by 
the extra-biblical historians is, considering their very imperfect 
acquaintance with Nebuchadnezzar's reign, not at all strange, even 
though the intimations by Berosus and Abydenus of such an illness 
should not be interpreted of his madness. See on this under ch. iv. 
Concerning such and such-like objections against the historical 
contents of this book, what Kran., p. 47, has very justly remarked 
regarding v. Lengeike's assertion, that the author lived " in the 
greatest ignorance regarding the leading events of his time," or 
Hitzig's, that this book is " very unhistorical," maybe here adopted, 
viz. "that they emanate from a criticism which is astonishingly 
consistent in looking at the surface of certain facts, and then 
pronouncing objection after objection, without showing the least 
disposition toward other than a wholly external, violent solution of 
the existing difficulties." 

All the opponents of the book of Daniel who have followed 
Porphyry 1 find a powerful evidence of its being composed not in 
the time of the exile, but in the time of the Maccabees, in the 
contents and nature of the prophecies found in it, particularly in 
this, as Bleek has expressed it, that " the special destination of the 
prediction extends to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes when that 
Syrian prince exercised tyranny against the Jewish people, and 
especially sought by every means to abolish the worship of Jehovah 

1 Whose opinion of the contents of the book is thus quoted by Jerome 
(Procem. in Dan.) : " Quidquid (alitor libri Dan.) usque ad Antiochum dixcrit, 
veram hisioriam continere; si quid autem ultra opinatus sit, quiafutura nescierit, 
esse meiitituui.'' 


and to introduce the Grecian cultus into the temple at Jerusalem ; 
for the prophecy either breaks off with the death of this prince, 
or there is immediately joined to it the announcement of the 
liberation of the people of God from all oppression, of the salvation 
and the kingdom of the Messiah, and even of His rising again from 
the dead." To confirm this assertion, which deviates from the 
interpretation adopted in the church, and is also opposed by recent 
opponents of the genuineness of the book, Bleek has in his Einlei- 
lung, and in his Abhandlg. v. note, p. 28, fallen upon the strange 
expedient of comparing the prophecies of Daniel, going backwards 
from ch. xii., for the purpose of showing that as ch. xii. and xi. 
21-45 speak only of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, of his 
wicked actions, and especially of his proceedings against the Jewish 
people and against the worship of Jehovah, so also in ch. ix., viii., 
vii., and ii. the special pre-intimations of the future do not reach 
further than to this enemy of the people of God. Now certainly 
in ch. xii., vers. 11 and 12 without doubt refer to the time of 
Antiochus Epiphanes, and xi. 21-35 as surely treat of the proceed- 
ings and of the wicked actions of this Syrian king; but the section 
xi. 36— xii. 3 is almost unanimously interpreted by the church of 
the rise and reign of Antichrist in the last time, and is explained 
of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, as lately shown by Klief., only 
when an interpretation is adopted which does not accord with the 
sense of the words, and is in part distorted, and rests on a false his- 
torical basis. While now Bleek, without acknowledging the ancient 
church -interpretation, adopts that which has recently become 
prevalent, applying the whole eleventh chapter absolutely to Anti- 
ochus Epiphanes, and regards it as necessary only to reject the 
artistic explanation which Auberlen has given of ch. xii., and then 
from the results so gained, and with the help of ch. viii., so explains 
the prophecies of the seventy weeks, ch. ix., and of the four world- 
monarchies, ch. ii. and vii., that ch. ix. 25-27 closes with Antiochus 
Epiphanes, and the fourth world-kingdom becomes the Greco- 
Macedonian monarchy of Alexander and his successors, he has by 
means of this process gained the wished-for result, disregarding 
altogether the organism of the well-arranged book. But scientifi- 
cally we cannot well adopt such a method, which, without any 
reference to the organism of a book, takes a retrograde course to 
explain the clear and unambiguous expressions by means of dark 
and doubtful passages. For, as Ziindel (p. 95) has well remarked, 
as we cannot certainly judge of a symphony from the last tones of 


the finale, but only after the first simple passages of the thema, so 
we cannot certainly form a correct judgment from its last brief 
and abrupt sentences of a prophetical work like this, in which the 
course of the prophecy is such that it proceeds from general to 
special predictions. Ch. xii. forms the conclusion of the whole 
book ; in vers. 5-13 are placed together the two periods (ch. vii. and 
viii.) of severe oppression of the people of God, which are distinctly 
separable from each other — that proceeding from the great enemy 
of the third world-kingdom, i.e. Antiochus Epiphanes (ch. viii.), 
and that from the last great enemy of the fourth world-kingdom, 
i.e. Antichrist (ch. vii.), — while the angel, at the request of the 
prophet, makes known to him the duration of both. These brief 
expressions of the angel occasioned by Daniel's two questions receive 
their right interpretation from the earlier prophecy in ch. vii. and 
viii. If we reverse this relation, while on the ground of a very 
doubtful, not to say erroneous, explanation of ch. xi., we misinter- 
pret the questions of Daniel and the answers of the angel, and now 
make this interpretation the standard for the exposition of ch. ix., 
viii., vii., and ii., then we have departed from the way by which 
we may reach the right interpretation of the prophetic contents of 
the whole book. 

The question how far the prophecies of Daniel reach, can only 
be determined by an unprejudiced interpretation of the two visions 
of the world-kingdoms, ch. ii. and vii., in conformity with the 
language there used and with their actual contents, and this can 
only be given in the following exposition of the book. Therefore 
we must here limit ourselves to a few brief remarks. 

According to the unmistakeable import of the two fundamental 
visions, ch. ii. and vii., the erection of the Messianic kingdom 
follows close after the destruction of the fourth world-kingdom 
(ch. ii. 34, 44), and is brought" about (ch. vii. 9-14, 26 f.) by the 
judgment on the little horn which grew out of the fourth world- 
power, and the investiture of the Messiah coming in the clouds of 
heaven with authority, glory, and kingly power. The first of 
these world-powers is the Chaldean monarchy founded by Nebu- 
chadnezzar, who is the golden head of the image (ch. ii. 37, 38). 
The kingdom of the Chaldeans passes over to Darius, of Median 
origin, who is followed on the throne by Cyrus the Persian (ch. vi. 
29 [28J), and thus it passes over to the Medes and Persians. This 
kingdom, in ch. vii. represented under the figure of a bear, Daniel 
saw in ch. viii. under the figure of a ram with two horns, which, 


being pushed at by a he-goat having a great horn between his eyes as 
he was running in his flight over the earth, had his two horns broken, 
and was thrown to the ground and trodden upon. When the he- 
goat hereupon became strong, he broke his great horn, and in its 
stead there grew up four horns toward the four winds of heaven ; 
and out of one. of them came forth a little horn, which became 
exceeding great, and magnified itself even to the Prince of the 
host, and took away the daily sacrifice (ch. viii. 3-13). This vision 
was thus explained to the prophet by an angel : — The ram with 
two horns represents the kings of the Medes and Persians; the 
he-goat is the king of Javan, i.e. the Greco-Macedonian kingdom, 
for "the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king" 
(Alexander of Macedon) ; the four horns that sprang up in the 
place of the one that was broken off are four kingdoms, and in the 
latter time of their kingdom a fierce king shall stand up (the little 
horn), who shall destroy the people of the Holy One, etc. (eh. viii. 
20-25). According to this quite distinct explanation given by 
the angel, the horn, i.e. Antiochus Epiphanes, so hostile to the 
people of God belongs to the third world-kingdom, arises out of 
one of the four kingdoms into which the monarchy of Alexander 
the Great was divided ; the Messianic kingdom, on the contrary, 
does not appear till after the overthrow of the fourth world-kingdom 
and the death of the last of the enemies arising out of it (ch. vii.). 
Accordingly, the affirmation that in the book of Daniel the appear- 
ance of the Messianic salvation stands in order after the destruction 
of Antiochus Epiphanes, is in opposition to the principal prophecies 
of the book ; and this opposition is not removed by the supposition 
that the terrible beast with the ten horns (ch. vii. 7) is identical 
with the he-goat, which is quite otherwise described, for at first it 
had only one horn, after the breaking off of which four came up in 
its stead. The circumstance that tiie description of the little horn 
growing up between the ten horns of the fourth beast, the speakinw 
great and blasphemous things against the Most High, and thinkinc 
to change times and laws (ch. vii. 8, 24 f.), harmonizes in certain 
features with the representation of Antiochus Epiphanes described 
by the little horn (ch. viii.), which would destroy the people of 
the Holy One, rise up against the Prince of princes, and be broken 
without the hand of man, does not at all warrant the identification of 
these enemies of God and His people rising out of different world- 
kingdoms, but corresponds perfectly with this idea, that Antiochus 
Epiphanes in his war against the people of God was a type of 


Antichrist, the great enemy arising out of the last world-kingdom 
Along with these resemblances there are also points of dissimilarity, 
such e.g. as this : the period of continuance of the domination of 
both is apparently alike, but in reality it is different. The activity 
of the prince who took away the daily sacrifice, i.e. Antiochus 
Epiphanes, was to continue 2300 evening-mornings (ch. viii. 14), 
or, as the angel says, 1290 days (ch. xii. 11), so that he who waits 
and comes to the 1335 days shall see (ch. xii. 12) salvation ; the 
activity of the enemy in the last time, i.e. of Antichrist, on the 
contrary, is for a time, (two) times, and an half time (ch. vii. 25, 
xii. 7), or a half JMB' (ch. ix. 27) — designations of time which have 
been taken without any exegetical justification to mean years, in 
order to harmonize the difference. 

Accordingly, Daniel does not prophesy the appearance of the 
Messianic redemption after the overthrow of Antiochus Epiphanes, 
but announces that the fourth world-kingdom, with the kingdoms 
growing out of it, out of which the last enemy of the people of 
God arises, would first follow Antiochus, who belonged to the third 
world-kingdom. This fourth world-kingdom with its last enemy 
is destroyed by the judgment which puts an end to all the world- 
kingdoms and establishes the Messianic kingdom. Thus the 
assertion that the special destination of the prediction only goes 
down to Antiochus Epiphanes is shown to be erroneous. Not 
only in the visions ch. ii. and vii. is the conduct of the little horn 
rising up between the ten horns of the fourth beast predicted, 
but also in ch. xi. 36-45 the actions of the king designated by 
this horn are as specially predicted as is the domination and rule 
of Antiochus Epiphanes in ch. viii. 9 ff., 24 f., and in ch. xi. 

These are all the grounds worth mentioning which the most 
recent opponents of the historical and prophetical character of 
this book have adduced against its genuineness. It is proved from 
an examination of them, that the internal arguments are of as 
little value as the external to throw doubts on its authorship, or to 
establish its Maccabean origin. But we must go a step further, 
and briefly show that the modern opinion, that the book originated 
in the time of the Maccabees, which is set aside by the fact 
already adduced (p. 32), the use of it on the part of Zechariah 
and Ezra, is irreconcilable with the formal nature, with the actual 
contents, and with the spirit of the book of Daniel. 

1. Neither the character of the language nor the mode in which 


the prophetic statements are made, corresponds with the age of the 
Maccabees. As regards the character of the age, the interchange 
of the Hebrew and the Chaldee, in the first place, agrees fully with 
the time of the exile, in which the Chaldee language gradually 
obtained the ascendency over the Hebrew mother-tongue of the 
exiles, but not with the time of the Maccabees, in which the He- 
brew had long ago ceased to be the language used by the people. 
In the second place, the Hebrew diction of Daniel harmonizes 
peculiarly with the language used by writers of the period of the 
exile, particularly by Ezekiel ; 2 and the Chaldean idiom of this 
book agrees in not a few characteristic points with the Chaldee of 
the book of Ezra and Jer. x. 11, wherein these Chaldean portions 
are markedly distinguished from the Chaldean language of the. 
oldest Targums, which date from the middle of the first century 
B.C. 3 In the third place, the language of Daniel has, in common 
with that of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, certain Aryan 
elements or Parsisms, which can only be explained on the suppo- 
sition that their authors lived and wrote in the Babylonish exile or 

1 The use of the Chaldee along with the Hebrew in this book points, as 
iCran., p. 52, justly remarks, "to a conjuncture in which, as in the Hebrew 
book of Ezra with its inwoven pieces of Chaldee, the general acquaintance of the 
people with the Aramaic is supposed to be self-evident, but at the same time the 
language of the fathers was used by the exiles of Babylon and their children as 
the language of conversation." Rosenm., therefore, knows no other mode of 
explaining the use of both languages in this book than by the assertion that the 
pseudo-author did this nulla alia de causa, quam ut lectoribus persuaderet, com- 
positum esse librum a vetere Mo propheta, cui utriusque livgux usum xque facilem 
esse vportuit. The supposition that even in the second century before Christ 
a great proportion of the people understood the Hebrew, modern critics set 
themselves to establish by a reference to the disputed book of Daniel and 
certaiu pretended Maccabean psalms. 

2 Compare the use of words such as n?3. for ja, xi. 24, 33 (2 Chron. xiv. 13 ; 
Ezra ix. 7 ; Neb. iii. 36 ; Esth. ix. 10) ; r\*n for ?pK, x. 17 and 1 Chron. xxiii. 
12; ana for -|DD, x. 21 (Ezra iv. 7, 8 ; 1 Chron. xxyiii. 19; Neh. vii. 64; 
Esth. iii.' 14) ; jpe, i- 4, 17 (2 Chron. i. 10 ; Eccles. x. 20) ; TjriO, x. 11 and 
Ezra x. 9 ; ffflj for rriny, ix. 25, xi. 6, 13, 14 (Chron., Ezra, Neh., Ezek., and 
only once in Isaiah, xxxiii. 6) ; v^n used of the land of Israel, viii. 9, cf. xi. 16, 
41, also Ezek. xx. 6, 15, and Jer. iii. 10 ; in}, brightness, xii. 3, Ezek. viii. 2 ; 
a»n, to make guilty, i. 10, and ain, Ezek. xviii. 7 ; ^p nB>ru, x. 6, and Ezek. 
i. 7 ; Diiarj Etob, xii. 6, 7, and Ezek. ix. 3, 11, x. 2*6, 7, etc. 

3 See the collection of Hebraisms in the Chaldean portions of Daniel and of 
the book of Ezra in Hengstenberg's Beitrage, i. p. 303, and in my Lehrb. d. EM. 
§ 133, 4. It may be further remarked, that both books have a peculiar mode 


under the Persian rule. 1 But the expedient adopted by the oppo- 
nents of the genuineness to explain these characteristic agreements 
from imitation, is inadmissible from this consideration, that in the 
Hebrew complexion of the Chaldee portion as in the Aryan ele- 
ment found in the language there used, this book shows, along 
with the agreements, also peculiarities which announce 2 the inde- 
pendent character of its language. 

of formation of the 3d pers. imperf. of &on : Nir6, Dan. ii. 20, 28, 29, 45 
(mr6, iv. 22), Ezra iv. 13, vii. 26, |V$,'ii. 43,'"vi. 2, 3, and Ezra vii. 25, 
and pnjj, v. 17, for kvp, jipp, and pir, which forms are not found in the 
biblical Chaldee, while the forms with $ are first used in the Talmud in the 
use of the imperative, optative, and subjunctive moods (cf. S. D. Luzzatto, 
Ekmenti grammaticali del Caldeo biblico e del dialetto talmudico babilonese, 
Padova 1865, p. 80, — the first attempt to present the grammatical peculiari- 
ties of the biblical Chaldee in contradistinction to the Babylonico-talmudic 
dialect), and j«ni> is only once found in the Targ. Jon., Ex. xxii. 24, and per- 
haps also in the Jerusalem Targum, Ex. x. 28. The importance of this linguis- 
tic phenomenon in determining the question of the date of the origin of both 
books has been already recognised by J. D. Michaelis (Gram. Chat p. 25), who 
has remarked concerning it : " ex Ms similibusque Danielis et Ezrse hebraismis, 
qui his libris peculiares sunt, intelliges, utrumque librum eo tempore scriptum fuisse, 
quo recens adhuc vernacula sua admiscentibus Hebrxis lingua Chaldaica • non 
seriore tempore confictum. In Targumim enim, antiquissimis etiam, plerumque 
frustra Jios hebraismos quxsieris, in Daniele et Ezra ubiqne obvios." , 

1 Not to mention the name of dignity nns used in the Assyrian period, 
and the two proper names, HSB'K, i- 3, and 7]V"lN, ii. 14, cf. Gen. xiv. 1, 9, 
there are in this book the following words of Aryan origin : tntN, ii. 5, 8, 
derived from the Old Persian azanda, found in the inscriptions of Bisutun and 
Nakhschi-Rustam, meaning science, knowledge; p"mj, iii- 2, 3, and ^13, p~QU, 
Ezra i. 8, vii. 21, from the Old Persian gada or ganda, Zend, gaza or ganga, 
thus gada-bara, treasurer, the Old Persian form, while 13U corresponds with 
the Zend, gaza-bara ; -Qni, iii. 2, 3, Old Persiau and Zend, data-bara (New 
Pers. datavar), one who understands the law, a judge ; W\T\ (pOTH, ii. 5, iii. 
29), from the Old Persian handam, organized body, member (jtehos) ; 23)15, 
costly food, i. 5, 8, 13, 15 and xi. 26, from the Old Persian pati-baga, Zend. 

paiti-hagha, Sanskr. prati-bhdga, allotted food [" a share of small articles, as 
fruit, flowers, etc., paid daily to the rajah for household expenditure"] ; DSHB, 
iii. 16, iv. 14, Ezra iv. 17, v. 7, vi. 11, from the Old Persian pati-gama, a 
message, a command ; D'lpma, i- 3, Esth. i. 3, vi. 9, the distinguished, the 
noble, in Pehlevi, pardom, Sanskr. prathama, the first ; and the as yet unex- 
plained "isisD, i. 11, 16, and PI3U3, ii- 6, and finally Wi"l3, a crier, a herald, 
iii. 4, Old Persian hhresii, crier, from which the verb pa, v. 29, in Chald. and 
Syr. of similar meaning with the Greek Ktipvoauti. 

2 Thus Daniel uses only the plur. suffixes jia, ]in, fob, finb, while in Ezra 


Although perhaps the use of peculiar Aramaic words and word- 
forms by a Jew of the time of the Maccabees may be explained, 
yet the use of words belonging to the Aryan language by such an 
one remains incomprehensible, — such words, e.g., as N^K, H^l) 
J3HS, which are met with neither in the Targums nor in the rab- 
binical writings, or D^n, member, piece, from which the Targumists 
formed the denom. D^n, fte\%e<rd<u, to dismember, and have natu- 
ralized in the Aramaic language (cf. J. Levy, Chald. Worterb. 
ueber die Targ. i. p. 194). Whence could a Maccabean Jew of 
the era of the Seleucidae, when the Greek language and culture 
had become prominent in the East, have received these foreign 
words ? 

But as the language of this book, particularly its Aryan ele- 
ment, speaks against its origin in the age of the Maccabees, so 
also " the contemplative-visionary manner of representation in the 
book," as Kran. (p. 59) justly remarks, " accords little with a 
conjuncture of time when (1 Mace. ii. ff.) the sanctuary was dese- 
crated and tyranny rose to an intolerable height. It is not con- 
ceivable that in such a time those who mingled in that fearful 
insurrection and were called on to defend their lives with weapons 
in their hands, should have concerned themselves with visions and 
circumstantial narratives of detailed history, which appertain to a 
lengthened period of quietness, instead of directly encouraging and 
counselling the men of action, so that they might be set free from 
the fearful situation in which they were placed." 

2. Thus in no respect do the actual contents of this book 
correspond with the relations and circumstances of the times of the 
Maccabees ; but, on the contrary, they point decidedly to the time 
of the exile. The historical parts show an intimate acquaintance 
not only with the principal events of the time of the exile, but 
also with the laws and manners and customs of the Chaldean and 
Medo-Persian monarchies. The definite description (ch. i. 1) of 
the first expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, which 
is fabricated certainly from no part of the O. T., and which is yet 

the forms CO and rjh are interchanged with jb and ]in in such a way, that Jin 
is used fifteen times, Din ten times, |to once, and Db five times. The forms 
with D used by Ezra, and also by Jeremiah, x. 11, prevail in the Targum. 
Moreover Daniel has only jisn (ii. 34, 35, iii. 22), Ezra, on the contrary, has 
the abbreviated form isn (iv. 10, 23, v. 5, 11, etc.) ; Daniel )31, ii. 31, vii. 20 
21, Ezra -fy iv. 13, 15, 16, 18, 21, v. 8, and tjn, v. 16 f., vi."Y f., 12; Daniel 
i%, ii. 5, Ezra &u, vi. 11 ; Daniel Nnru, iii- 2, Ezra lati, i. 8, vii. 21. 

*fj t; T-;tj T;« * 


proved to be correct, points to a man well acquainted with this 
event ; so too the communication regarding king Belshazzar, ch. v., 
whose name occurs only in this book, is nowhere else independently 
found. An intimate familiarity with the historical relations of the 
Medo-Persian kingdom is seen in the mention made of the law of 
the Medes and Persians, ch. vi. 9, 13, since from the time of Cyrus 
the Persians are always placed before the Medes, and only in the 
book of Esther do we read of the Persians and Medes (ch. i. 3, 14, 
18), and of the law.of the Persians and Medes (ch. i. 19). An in- 
timate acquaintance with the state-regulations of Babylon is manifest 
in the statement made in ch. i. 7 (proved by 2 Kings xxiv. 17 to be a 
Chaldean custom), that Daniel and his companions, on their being 
appointed for the king's service, received new names, two of which 
were names derived from Chaldean idols; in the account of their food 
being brought from the king's table (ch. i. 5); in the command to 
turn into a dunghill (ch. ii. 5) the houses of the magicians who were 
condemned to death ; in the death-punishments mentioned in ch. ii. 5 
and iii. 6, the being hewn to pieces and cast into a burning fiery 
furnace, which are shown by Ezek. xvi. 10, xxiii. 47, Jer. xxix. 29, 
and other proofs, to have been in use among the Chaldeans, while 
among the Medo-Persians the punishment of being cast into the den 
of lions is mentioned, ch. vi. 8, 13 ff. The statement made about 
the clothing worn by the companions of Daniel (ch. iii. 21) agrees 
with a passage in Herodotus, i. 195; and the exclusion of women from 
feasts and banquets is confirmed by Xen. Cyrop. v. 2, and Curtius, v. 
1, 38. As to the account given in ch. ii. 5, 7, of the priests and wise 
men of Chaldea, Fr. Miinter {Religion der Babyl. p. 5) has remarked, 
" What the early Israelitish prophets record regarding the Baby- 
lonish religion agrees well with the notices found in Daniel ; and 
the traditions preserved by Ctesias, Herod., Berosus, and Diodor 
are in perfect accordance therewith." Compare with this what 
P. F. Stuhr {Die heidn. Religion, des alt. Orients, p. 416 ff.) has 
remarked concerning the Chaldeans as the first class of the wise 
men of Babylon. A like intimate acquaintance with facts on the 
part of the author of this book is seen in his statements regarding 
the government and the state officers of the Chaldean and Medo- 
Persian kingdom (cf. Hgstb. Beitr. i. p. 346 ff.). 

The prophetical parts of this book also manifestly prove its 
origin in the time of the Babylonian exile. The foundation of 
the world-kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar forms the historical start- 
ing-point for the prophecy of the world-kingdoms. "Know, O 


king," says Daniel to him in interpreting his dream of the world- 
monarchies, " thou art the head of gold" (ch. ii. 37). The visions 
which are vouchsafed to Daniel date from the reign of Belshazzar 
the Chaldean, Darius the Median, and Cyrus the Persian (ch. vii. 1, 
viii. 1, ix. 1, x. 1). With this stands in harmony the circumstance 
that of the four world-kingdoms only the first three are histori- 
cally explained, viz. besides the first of the monarchy of Nebu- 
chadnezzar (ch. ii. 37), the second of the kingdom of the Medes and 
Persians, and the third of the kingdom of Javan, out of which, at 
the death of the first king, four kingdoms shall arise toward the 
four winds of heaven (ch. viii. 20-22). Of the kings of the Medo- 
Persian kingdom, only Darius the Median and Cyrus the Persian, 
during whose reign Daniel lived, are named Moreover the rise 
of yet four kings of the Persians is announced, and the warlike 
expedition of the fourth against the kingdom of Javan, as also the 
breaking up and the division toward the four winds (ch. xi. 5-19) 
of the kingdom of the victorious king of Javan. Of the four 
kingdoms arising out of the monarchy of Alexander of Macedon 
nothing particular is said in ch. viii., and in ch. xi. 5-19 only a 
series of wars is predicted between the king of the south and the 
king of the north, and the rise of the daring king who, after the 
founding of his kingdom by craft, would turn his power against 
the people of God, lay waste the sanctuary, and put an end to the 
daily sacrifice, and, according to ch. viii. 23, shall arise at the end 
of these four kingdoms. 

However full and particular be the description given in ch. viii. 
and ch. xi. of this daring king, seen in ch. viii. as the little horn, 
yet it nowhere passes over into the prediction of historical particu- 
larities, so as to overstep the boundaries of prophecy and become 
prognostication or the feigned setting forth of the empiric course 
of history. Now, though the opinion of Kran. p. 58, that " the 
prophecy of Daniel contains not a single passus which might 
not (leaving the fulfilment out of view) in a simple, self-evident 
way include the development founded in itself of a theocratic 
thought, or of such-like thoughts," is not in accordance with the 
supernatural factor of prophecy, since neither the general pro- 
phecy of the unfolding of the world-power in four successive 
world-kingdoms, nor the special description of the appearance and 
unfolding of this world-kingdom, can be conceived of or rightly 
regarded as a mere explication of theocratic thorghts, yet the 
remark of the same theologian, that the special prophecies in Daniel 


viii. and xi. do not abundantly cover themselves with the historical 
facts in which they found their fulfilment, and are fundamentally 
different from the later so-called Apocalypse of Judaism in the 
Jewish Sibyl, the book of Enoch and the book of Ezra (= Esdras), 
which are appended to the book of Daniel, is certainly well founded. 

What Daniel prophesied regarding the kings of Persia who 
succeeded Cyrus, regarding the kingdom of Javan and its division 
after the death of the first king into four kingdoms, etc., could not 
be announced by him by virtue of an independent development 
of prophetic thoughts, but only by virtue of direct divine reve- 
lation ; but this revelation is at the same time not immediate 
prediction, but is an addition to the earlier prophecies of further 
and more special unveilings of the future, in which the point of 
connection for the reference of the third world-kingdom to Javan 
was already given in the prophecy of Balaam, Num. xxiv. 24, 
cf. Joel iv. 6 (iii. 6). The historical destination of the world-king- 
doms does not extend to the kingdom of Javan and the ships of 
Chittim (ch. xi. 30), pointing back to Num. xxiv. 24, which set 
bounds to the thirst for conquest of the daring king who arose up 
out of the third world-kingdom. The fourth world-kingdom, how- 
ever distinctly it is described according to its nature and general 
course, lies on the farther side of the historical horizon of this 
prophet, although in the age of the Maccabees the growth of the 
Roman power, striving after the mastery of the world, was already 
so well known that the Alexandrine translators, on the ground of 
historical facts, interpreted the coming of the ships of Chittim by 
r)%ovcrt, ' Peo/jLaloi. The absence of every trace of the historical 
reference of the fourth world-kingdom, furnishes an argument 
worthy of notice in favour of the origin of this book of Daniel 
during the time of the exile. For at the time of the Babylonian 
exile Rome lay altogether out of the circle of vision opened up to 
the prophets of Scripture, since it had as yet come into no relation 
at all to the then dominant nations which were exercising an influ- 
ence on the fate of the kingdom of God. Altogether different 
was the state of matters in the age of the Maccabees, for they sent 
messengers with letters to Rome, proposing to enter into a leagua 
with the Romans : cf. 1 Mace. viii. xii. 

The contents of Dan. ix. accord with the age of the Maccabees 
still less than do the visions of the world-kingdoms. Three and a 
half centuries after the accomplishment of Jeremiah's prophecy of 
the desolation of Judah, after Jerusalem and the temple had been 



long ago rebuilt, it could not come into the mind of any Jew to 
put into the mouth of the exiled prophet Daniel a penitential 
prayer for the restoration of the holy city, and to represent Gabriel 
as having brought to him the prophecy that the seventy years of 
the desolation of Jerusalem prophesied of by Jeremiah were not 
yet fulfilled, but should only be fulfilled after the lapse of seventy 
year-weeks, in contradiction to the testimony of Ezra, or, according 
to modern critics, of the author of the books of Chronicles and of 
Ezra, living at the end of the Persian era, that God, in order to fulfil 
His word spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, had in the first year of 
Cyrus stirred up the spirit of Cyrus the king of Persia to send 
forth an edict throughout his whole kingdom, which directed the 
Jews to return to Jerusalem and commanded them to rebuild the 
temple (2 Chron. xxxvi. 22 f., Ezra i. 1-4). 

3. If now, in conclusion, we take into consideration the religious 
spirit of this book, we find that the opponents of its genuineness dis- 
play no special gift of Siatcpicris irvevjiaTOiv when they place the book 
of Daniel in the same category with the Sybilline Oracles, the fourth 
book of Ezra (= 2 Esdras), the book of Enoch, the Ascensio Jesajce, 
and other pseudepigraphical products of apocryphal literature, and 
represent the narrative of the events of Daniel's life and his visions 
as a literary production after the manner of Deuteronomy and the 
book of Koheleth (Ecclesiastes), which a Maccabean Jew has chosen, 
in order to gain for the wholesome truths which he wished to repre- 
sent to his contemporaries the wished-for acceptance (Bleek, p. 
593 f.). For this purpose, he must in the historical narratives, " by 
adducing the example of Daniel and his companions on the one 
side, and of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar on the other, exhort his 
fellow-countrymen to imitate the former in the inflexible stedfastness 
of their faith, in their open, fearless confession of the God of their 
fathers, and show them how this only true, all-powerful God will 
know in His own time to humble those who, like Antiochus Epi- 
phanes, raised themselves against Him in presumptuous pride and 
sought to turn away His people from His service, and, on the other 
hand, to make His faithful worshippers in the end victorious" (Bleek 
p. 601). Hence the tendency is conspicuous, " that the author in 
his descriptions in ch. iii. and vi. almost always, in whole and in 
part, has kept before his eye the relations of his time (the land of 
Judea being then under the oppression of Antiochus Epiphanes) 
and the surrounding circumstances; and these he brings before his 
readers in a veiled, yet by them easily recognisable, manner" (p. 


602). Wherein, then, does the " easily recognisable " resemblance 
of these two facta consist ? Nebuchadnezzar directed a colossal 
image of threescore cubits in height and six cubits in breadth to be 
erected on the plain of Dura, and to be solemnly consecrated as a 
national image, the assembled people falling down before it doing 
it homage. Antiochus Epiphanes, on the contrary, did not com- 
mand an idol-image, as has been supposed from a false interpreta- 
tion of the fiSeXvy/jLa iprjfidocyeoo'i (1 Mace. i. 54), to be placed on 
the altar of burnt-offering, but only a small idol-altar (/iJw/toi/, 
1 Mace. i. 59) to be built ; no mention is made, however, of its 
being solemnly consecrated. He then commanded the Jews to 
offer sacrifice month after month on this idol-altar ; and because he 
wished that in his whole kingdom all should form but one people, 
and that each should leave his laws (ver. 41), he thus sought to con- 
strain the Jews to give up the worship of God inherited from their 
fathers, and to fall in with the heathen forms of worship. Nebu- 
chadnezzar did not intend to forbid to the nations that became 
subject to him the worship of their own gods, and to the Jews the 
worship of Jehovah, but much more, after in the wonderful 
deliverance of the three friends of Daniel he recognised the omni- 
potence of the supreme God, he forbade by an edict, on the pain of 
death, all his subjects from blaspheming this God (Dan. iii. 28-30). 
And wherein consists the resemblance between Antiochus 
Epiphanes and the Median Darius (Dan. vi.) ? Darius, it is true, 
at the instigation of his princes and satraps, issued an ordinance 
that whoever within thirty days should offer a prayer to any god or 
man except to the king himself should be cast into the den of lions, 
but certainly not with the view of compelling the Jews, or any 
other of his subjects, to apostatize from their ancestral religion, 
for after the expiry of the appointed thirty days every one might 
again direct his prayer to his own god. The special instigators of 
this edict did not contemplate by it the bringing of the Jewish 
people under any religious restraint, but they aimed only at the 
overthrow of Daniel, whom Darius had raised to the rank of third 
ruler in the realm and had thought to set over the whole kingdom. 
But when Daniel was denounced to him by the authors of this law, 
Darius became greatly moved, and did all he could to avert from 
him the threatened punishment. And when, by an appeal of his 
satraps to the law of the Medes and Persians that no royal edict 
could be changed, necessity was laid upon him to cause Daniel to 
be cast into the den of lions, he spent a sleepless night, and was 


very glad when, coming to the lions' den early in the morning, he 
found Daniel uninjured. He then not only commanded Daniel's 
accusers to be cast to the lions, but he also by a proclamation 
ordered all his subjects to do homage to the "living God who did 
signs and wonders in heaven and earth. In this conduct of Darius 
towards Daniel and towards the living God of heaven and earth, 
whom Daniel and the Jews worshipped, can a single incident be 
found which will remind us of the rage of Antiochus Epiphanes 
against the Jews and their worship of God? 

Still less can it be conceived that (as Bleek, p. 604, says) the 
author of this book had " without doubt Antiochus Epiphanes before 
his eyes " in Nebuchadnezzar, ch. iv., and also in Belshazzar, ch. v. 
It is true that Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, according to ch. iv. 
and v., sin against the Almighty God of heaven and earth and are 
punished for it, and Antiochus Epiphanes also at last fell under the 
judgment of God on account of his wickedness. But this general 
resemblance, that heathen rulers by their contact with the Jews did 
dishonour to the Almighty God, and were humbled and punished 
for it, repeats itself at all times, and forms no special characteristic 
of the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. In all the special features of 
the narratives of Dan. iv. and v., on the other hand, complete 
differences are met with. Nebuchadnezzar was struck with beast- 
like madness, not because he had persecuted the Jews, but because 
in his haughty pride as a ruler he deified himself, because he knew 
not that the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men (ch. iv. 14) ; 
and when he humbled himself before the Most High, he was freed 
from his madness and again restored to his kingdom. Belshazzar 
also did not transgress by persecuting the Jews, but by causing at 
a riotous banquet, in drunken insolence, the golden vessels which 
had been brought from the temple in Jerusalem to Babylon to be 
produced, and by drinking out of these vessels with his captains 
and his wives amid the singing of songs in praise of the idol-gods ; 
thus, as Daniel represented to him, raising himself up against the 
Lord of heaven, and not honouring the God in whose hand his 
breath was and with whom were all his ways, although he knew 
how his father Nebuchadnezzar had been punished by this God 
(ch. v. 20-23) for his haughty presumption. 

The relation not only of Nebuchadnezzar and of Darius, but 
also of Belshazzar, to the Jews and their religion is therefore funda- 
mentally different from the tendency of Antiochus Epiphanes to 
uproot Judaism and the Mosaic worship of God. The Babylonian 


kings were indeed heathen, who, according to the common opinion 
of all heathens, held their national gods to be greater and more 
powerful than the gods of the nations subdued by them, amonjr 
Svhoin they also placed the God of Israel ; but when they heard of 
the wonders of His divine omnipotence, they gave honour to the 
God of Israel as the God of heaven and of earth, partly by express 
confession of Him, and partly, at least as Belshazzar did, by hon- 
ouring the true worshippers of this God. Antiochus Epiphanes, 
on the contrary, persisted in his almost mad rage against the wor- 
ship of God as practised by the Jews till he was swept away by the 
divine judgment. If the pretended pseudo-Daniel, therefore, had 
directed his view to Antiochus Epiphanes in the setting forth of 
such narratives, we could only imagine the purpose to have been 
that he might lead this fierce enemy of his people to acknowledge 
and worship the true God. But with such a supposition not only 
does the sentiment of the Jews, as it is brought to light in the 
books of the Maccabees, stand in opposition, but it is also contra- 
dicted by the prophecies of this book, which threaten the daring 
and deceitful king, who would take away the daily sacrifice and lay 
waste the sanctuary, with destruction without the hand of man, 
without giving any room for the thought of the possibility of a 
change of mind, or of his conversion. The author of these pro- 
phecies cannot therefore have followed, in the historical narratives 
of his book, the tendency imputed to him by modern critics. 

On the whole, an entire misapprehension of the spirit which 
pervades the historical parts of the book of Daniel lies at the foun- 
dation of the supposition of such a tendency. The narratives 
regarding Nebuchadnezzar, his dream, the consecration of the 
golden statue, and his conduct after his recovery from his madness, 
as well as those regarding Darius, ch. vi., could not be invented, at 
least could not be invented by a Maccabean Jew, because in the 
pre-exilian history there are altogether wanting types corresponding 
to the psychological delineation of these characters. It is true 
that a Pharaoh raised Joseph, who interpreted his dream, to be 
the chief ruler in his kingdom, but it does not come into his mind 
to give honour to the God who revealed in the dream what 
wouid befall his kingdom (Gen. xli.). For the other narratives of 
this book there are wanting in the Old Testament incidents with 
which they could be connected ; and the resemblance between the 
life-experience of Joseph and that of Daniel extends only to these 
general matters, that both received from God the gift of interpret- 


ing dreams, and by means of this gift brought help and deliverance 
to their people: 1 in all details, however, Daniel is so different from 
Joseph, that the delineation of his portrait as found in this book can- 
not be regarded as a copy of the history of Joseph. Still less can 
we think of the narratives of Daniel as poetical compositions ; for the 
characters of Nebuchadnezzar and of Darius the Mede are essenti- 
ally different from the prevailing views of Judaism concerning the 
heathen. The relation of both of these genuine heathen kings to 
the revelations of God shows a receptivity for the control of the 
living God in the lot of men, as is predicated before and after the 
exile in no Jewish writing of a single heathen. Such representa- 
tions of character cannot be invented ; they are drawn according to 
life, and can only be understood if the wonders of divine omnipo- 
tence and grace which the book of Daniel relates truly happened. 

But as in the historical narrations, so also in the visions of 
Daniel, there is wanting every trace of any tendency pointing to 
Antiochus Epiphanes. This tendency is derived only from the 
view already (p. 42) shown to be incorrect, that all the prophecies 
of Daniel extend only down to this king, and that with his death 
the destruction of the God-opposing world-power and the setting 
up of the Messianic kingdom of God is to be expected. But if the 
opponents of the genuineness of this book derive support for their 
friews from the relation of the prophecies of Daniel to the pseud- 
epigraphic products of the Jewish Apocalyptics, so also, on the 
other hand, Zundel {Krit. Unter. p. 134 ff.) has so conclusively 
proved the decided difference between the prophecies of Daniel and 
the Sibyih'ne Oracles, which, according to Bleek, Liicke, and others, 
must have flowed from one source and are homogeneous, that we 
may limit ourselves to a brief condensed exhibition of the main 
results of this proof (p. 165 ff.). 

First, the subject of the two writings is perfectly different. In 
Daniel the seer stands in moral connection with the vision ; this is 
not so with the Sibyl. Daniel is a pious Israelite, whose name, as 
we see from Ezekiel, was well known during the Chaldean exile, 
and whose life-history is spent in inseparable connection with his 
prophecies ; on the contrary, the Sibyls withdraw their existence 
from all historical control, for they date back in the times of 

1 Chr. B. Michaelis thus brings together the analogies between the events in 
the life of Joseph and of Daniel : " Ulerque in peregrinam delatus terram, uterque 
felix somniorum interpres, uterque familix ac populi sui slator, uterque summorum 
principum administer, uterque sapientum sui loci supremus aiitistes." 


hoary antiquity, not only of Israel, but of all nations, viz. in the 
period of the delnge, and their persons disappear in apocryphal 
darkness. " While Daniel on his knees prays for the divine dis- 
closure regarding the time of the deliverance of his people, and 
each of his revelations is at the same time an answer to prayer, 
the Sibyl in the Maccabeau time is represented, in a true hea- 
thenish manner, powerfully transported against her will by the 
word of God as by a madness, and twice she prays that she might 
rest and cease to prophesy." 

Again, the prophetic situation is just as different. As is the 
case with all the earlier prophets, Daniel's prophecy goes forth 
from a definite historical situation, the growing up of the first great 
world-power in Assyria-Chaldea ; it stands in a moral practical 
connection with the deliverance of Israel, about which it treats, 
after the expiry of the seventy years of Jeremiah ; the four world- 
monarchies which were revealed to him take root in the historical 
ground of the time of Nebuchadnezzar. In the Seleucidan-Jewish 
Sibyl, on the contrary, there is no mention made of a prophetical 
situation, nor of a politico-practical tendency ; the Sibyl has in a 
true Alexandrine manner a literary object, viz. this, to represent 
Judaism as the world-religion. " That life-question for Israel and 
the world, When comes the kingdom of God ? which in Daniel 
springs up in an actual situation, as it shall also be only answered 
by divine fact, is in the Alexandrine Sibyllist only a question of 
doctrine which he believes himself called on to solve by making 
the heathen Jews and associates of the Jews. 

Finally, in the Sibyls there is wanting a prophetical object. 
The prophetical object of Daniel is the world-power over against 
the kingdom of God. This historico-prophetic idea is the deter- 
minating, sole, all-penetrating idea in Daniel, and the centre of it 
lies throughout in the end of the world-power, in its inner deve- 
lopment and its inner powerlessness over against the kingdom of 
God. The four world-forms do not begin with the history of 
nations and extend over our present time. On the contrary, the 
creative prophetic spirit is wanting to the Sibyl ; not one historical 
thought of deliverance is peculiar to it ; it is a genuine Alexandrine 
compilation of prophetic and Grseco-classic thoughts externally con- 
ceived. The thought peculiarly pervading it, to raise Judaism to 
the rank of the world-religion, is only a human reflection of the 
divine plan, that in Abraham all the nations shall be blessed, which 
pervades all the prophets as the great thought in the history of the 


world ; in Daniel it comes out into the greatest clearness, and is 
realized by Christianity. This prophetic world-thought the Sibyl 
has destroyed, i.e. has religiously spiritualized and politically mate- 
rialized it. " Not the living and holy covenant God Jehovah, wlio 
dwells on high and with the contrite in heart, but Godhead un- 
created and creating all things, without distinction in Himself, the 
invisible God, who sees all things, who is neither male nor female, 
as He appears at a later period in the teaching of the school of 
Philo, is He whom the Sibyl in very eloquent language declares 
to the heathen. But of the God of Israel, who not only created the 
world, but who also has a divine kingdom on the earth, and will 
build up this kingdom, in a word, of the God of the history of 
redemption, as He is seen in His glory in Daniel, we find no trace 
whatever." The materialistic historic prophecy of the Sibyllist 
corresponds with this religious spiritualism. He seeks to imitate 
the prophecies of Daniel, but he does not know the prophetic 
fundamental thought of the kingdom of God over against the 
kingdom of the world, and therefore he copies the empirical world- 
history : " first Egypt will rule, then Assyria, Persia, Media, Mace- 
donia, Egypt again, and then Rome." 

Thus the Sibylline Apocalyptic is fundamentally different from 
the prophecies of Daniel. 1 Whoever has a mind so little disciplined 
that he cannot perceive this difference, cannot be expected to know 
how to distinguish between the prophecies of Daniel and the philo- 
sophical reflections of the book of Koheleth. 2 If Koheleth brings 
forward his thoughts regarding the vanity of all things in the name 
of the wise king Solomon, then is this literary production, which 
moreover is so very transparent that every reader of the book can 
see through it, altogether comprehensible. If, on the other hand, 
a Maccabean Jew clothe his own self-conceived ideas regarding 
the development of the war of the heathen world-powers against 
the people of God in revelations from God, which the prophet 

1 This may be said also of the other apocryphal apocalypses of Judaism, 
■which we have no need, however, here specially to consider, because these 
apocalypses, as is generally acknowledged, originate in a much later time, and 
therefore have no place in discussions regarding the genuineness of the book of 

2 The Deuteronomy which Bleek and others quote along with the book of 
Koheleth cannot be therefore taken into consideration as capable of supplying 
analogical proof, because the supposition that this book is not genuine was 
not composed by Moses, is no better grounded than is the supposed non- 
genuineness of the book of DanieL 


living in tTie Babylonian exile might have received, then this 
undertaking is not merely literary deception, but at the same time 
an abuse of prophecy, which, as a prophesying out of one's own 
heart, is a sin to which God in His law has annexed the punish- 
ment of death. 

If the book of Daniel were thus a production of a Maccabean 
Jew, who would bring " certain wholesome truths" which he 
thought he possessed before his contemporaries as prophecies of a 
divinely enlightened seer of the time of the exile, then it contains 
neither prophecy given by God, nor in general wholesome divine 
truth, but mere human invention, which because it was clothed 
with falsehood could not have its origin in the truth. Such a 
production Christ, the eternal personal Truth, never could have 
regarded as the prophecy of Daniel the prophet, and commended 
to the observation of His disciples, as He has done (Matt. xxiv. 15, 
cf. Mark xiii. 14). 

This testimony of our Lord fixes on the external and internal 
evidences which prove the genuineness of the book of Daniel the 
seal of divine confirmation. 

For the exegetical literature of the book of Daniel see in my 
Lehrb. der Einl. in d. A. Test. § 385 f. [The Messrs. T. and T. 
Clark of Edinburgh have recently published an English translation 
of this work, under the title of Manual of Historico- Critical Intro- 
duction to the Canonical Scriptures of the Old Testament, etc., trans- 
lated by the Rev. Professor Douglas, D.D., Free Church College, 
Glasgow. 2 vols., Edinburgh 1869]. To what is there recorded 
we may add, Das Buck Daniel erhl. von Rud. Kranichfeld, Berlin 
1868 ; Das Buck Daniels uebers. u. erU. von Dr. Th. Kliefoth, 
Schwerin 1868 ; J. L. Fuller, der Prophet Daniel erhl, Basel 
1868 (for the educated laity) ; Pusey, Daniel the Prophet, Oxf. 
1864 ; and Mayer (Cath.), die Messian. Prophezieen des Daniel, 
Wien 1866. \Der Prophet Daniel, theologisch-liomiletisch bear- 
beitet. von Dr. Zoeckler, Professor der Theologie zu Greifswald 
(J. P. Lange's Bibelwerk, 17er Thiel des A. T.), 1870.] 



"When Nebuchadnezzar first besieged Jerusalem he not only took 
away the holy vessels of the temple, but also commanded that 
several Israelitish youths of noble lineage, among whom was Daniel, 
should be carried to Babylon and there educated in the science and 
wisdom of the Chaldeans for service in his court, which they 
entered upon when their education was completed. This narrative, 
in which the stedfast attachment of Daniel and his three friends to 
the religion of their fathers, and the blessings which flowed to them 
from this fidelity (vers. 8-17), are particularly set forth, forms the 
historical introduction to the following book, whilst it shows how 
Daniel reached the place of influence which he held, a place which 
was appointed for him according to the divine counsel, during the 
Babylonish exile, for the preservation and development of the Old 
Testament kingdom of God. It concludes (ver. 21) with the 
remark, that Daniel continued to occupy this place till the first 
year of Cyrus. 

Vers. 1 and 2. Of this expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against 
Jerusalem it is related in the second book of Kings (ch. xxiv. 1) : 
" In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and 
Jehoiakim became his servant three years; then he turned and 
rebelled against hiin;" and in the second book of Chronicles 
(ch. xxxvi. 6) : " Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of 
Babylon, and bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon. 
Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the Lord 
to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon." That both 
of these statements refer to the same expedition of Nebuchadnezzar 
against Jehoiakim mentioned here, appears not only from the state- 
ment of the book nf Chronicles agreeing with ver. 2 of this chapter 

CHAP. I. 1, 2. 59 

namely, that Nebuchadnezzar took away a part of the sacred vessels 
of the temple to Babylon, and there put them in the temple of his 
god, but also from the circumstance that, beyond all doubt, during 
the reisjD. of Jehoiakim there was not a second siege of Jerusalem 
by Nebuchadnezzar. It is true, indeed, that when Jehoiakim 
threw off the yoke at the end of three years' subjection, Nebuchad- 
nezzar sent Chaldean, Aramaean, Moabitish, and Ammonitish hosts 
against him for the purpose of bringing him into subjection, but 
Jerusalem was not again laid siege to by these hosts till the death 
of Jehoiakim. Not till his son Jehoiachin ascended the throne did 
the servants of Nebuchadnezzar again come up against Jerusalem 
and besiege it. When, during the siege, Nebuchadnezzar himself 
came up, Jehoiachin surrendered to him after three months, and 
was, along with the chief men of his kingdom, and the strength of 
the population of Jerusalem and Judah, and the treasures of the 
royal palace and of the temple, carried down to Babylon (2 Kings 
xxiv. 2—16). The year, however, in which Nebuchadnezzar, in the 
reign of Jehoiakim, first took Jerusalem and carried away a part of 
the treasures of the temple to Babylon, is stated neither in the 
second book of Kings nor in Chronicles, but may be pretty certainly 
determined by the statements of Jeremiah (ch. xlvi. 2, xxv. 1 ff., 
xxxvi. 1 ff.). According to Jer. xlvi. 2, Nebuchadnezzar smote 
the Egyptian king Pharaoh-Necho with his army at Carchemish 
in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. That same year is 
spoken of (Jer. xxv. 1) as the first year of Nebuchadnezzar the king 
of Babylon, and is represented by Jeremiah not only as a critical 
period for the kingdom of Judah ; but also, by the prediction that 
the Lord would bring His servant Nebuchadnezzar against Judah 
and against its inhabitants, and against all the nations round about,, 
that He would make Judah a desolation, and that these nations would 
serve the king of Babylon seventy years (vers. 2-11), he without 
doubt represents it as the beginning of the seventy years of Baby- 
lonish exile. In this the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the prophet was 
also commanded (ch. xxxvi. 1 ff.) to write in a book all the words 
which the Lord had spoken unto him against Israel, and against 
Judah, and against all the nations, from the day in which He had 
spoken to him in the time of Josiah even till then, that the house of 
Judah mifht hear all the evil which He purposed to do unto them, 
and might return every man from his evil way. Jeremiah obeyed 
this command, and caused these predictions, written in the roll 
of a book, to be read by Baruch to the people in the temple ; for 


he himself was a prisoner, and therefore could not go to the 

The first capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar cannot 
therefore have taken place in the third, but must have been in the 
fourth year of Jehoiakim, i.e. in the year 606 B.C. This, however, 
appears to stand in opposition to the statement of the first verse of 
this chapter : " In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim N3 
Nebuchadnezzar to Jerusalem." The modern critics accordingly 
number this statement among the errors which must disprove the 
genuineness of this book (see above, p. 35 f.). The apparent op- 
position between the language of Daniel (ch. i. 1) that Nebuchad- 
nezzar undertook his first expedition against Jerusalem in the third 
year of Jehoiakim, and the affirmation of Jeremiah, according to 
which not only was Pharaoh-Necho slain by Nebuchadnezzar at the 
Euphrates in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, but also in this same 
year Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of Judea is for the first time 
announced, cannot be resolved either by the hypothesis of a differ- 
ent mode of reckoning the years of the reign of Jehoiakim and of 
Nebuchadnezzar, nor by the supposition that Jerusalem had been 
already taken by Nebuchadnezzar before the battle of Carchemish, 
in the third year of Jehoiakim. The first supposition is set aside 
by the circumstance that there is no certain analogy for it. 1 The 
latter supposition is irreconcilable with Jer. xxv. and xxxvi. 2 If 
Jeremiah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim announced that because 
Judah did not hearken unto his warnings addressed to them " from 
the thirteenth year of Josiah even unto this day," that is, for the 
space of three and twenty years, nor yet to the admonitions of all 
the other prophets (ch. xxv. 3-7) whom the Lord had sent unto 
them, therefore the Lord would now send His servant Nebuchad- 

1 The old attempt to reconcile the difference in this way has already been 
shown by Hengstenberg {Beit. z. Einl. in d. A. T. p. 53) to be untenable ; and 
the supposition of Klief. (p. 65 f.), that Jehoiakim entered on his reign near the 
end of a year, and that Jeremiah reckons the year of his reign according to the 
calendar year, but that Daniel reckons it from the day of hia ascending the 
throne, by which it is made out that there is no actual difference, is wholly over- 
thrown by the circumstance that in the sacred Scriptures there is no analogy for 
the reckoning of the year of a king's reign according to the day of the month 
on which he began to reign. On this supposition we might reconcile the appa- 
rent difference only if no other plan of reconciliation were possible. But such ia 
not the actual state of the case. 

2 Following the example of Hof mann {die 70 Jahre Jer. p. 13 ff.), H'avernick 
(Neue Krit. Unterss. fiber d. B. Daniel, p. 62 ff.), Ziindel (Krit. Unterss. p. 20 
ff.), and others have decided in favour of it. 

CHAP. I. 1, 2. 61 

nezzar with all the people of the north against the land and against 

the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, 

utterly to destroy the land and make it desolate, etc., — then it must 

be affirmed that he publicly made known the invasion of Judah by 

the Chaldeans as an event which had not yet taken place, and 

therefore that the supposition that Jerusalem had already in the 

preceding year been taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and that Jehoiakim 

had been brought under his subjection, is entirely excluded. It is 

true that in ch. xxv. Jeremiah prophesies a judgment of " perpetual 

desolations against Jerusalem and against all the nations," but it is 

as unwarrantable to apply, as Klief. does, this prophecy only " to 

the total destruction of Jerusalem and of Judah, which took place 

in the eleventh year of Zedekiah," as with older interpreters only to 

the first expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against Jehoiakim, 2 Kings 

xxiv. 1 and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6 f. In the words of threatening 

Uttered by the prophet there are included all the expeditions of 

Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem and Judah, from his first against 

Jehoiakim to the final destruction of Jerusalem under Zedekiah ; so 

that we cannot say that it is not applicable to the first siege of 

Jerusalem under Jehoiakim, but to the final destruction of Judah 

and Jerusalem, as this whole prophecy is only a comprehensive 

intensified summary of all the words of God hitherto spoken by the 

mouth of the prophet. To strengthen the impression produced by 

this comprehensive word of God, he was commanded in that same 

year (ch. xxxvi. 1 f.), as already mentioned, to write out in the roll 

of a book all the words hitherto spoken by him, that it might be 

seen whether or not the several words gathered together into a 

whole might not exert an influence over the people which the 

separate words had failed to do. 

Moreover a destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans before 
the overthrow of the Egyptian power on the Euphrates, which took 
place in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, cannot at all be thought of. 
King Jehoiakim was " put into bands" by Pharaoh-Necho and 
made a tributary vassal to him (2 Kings xxiii. 33 ff.), and all the 
land from the river of Egypt even unto the Euphrates was brought 
under his sway ; therefore Nebuchadnezzar could not desolate 
Judah and Jerusalem before Pharaoh-Necho was slain. Neither 
could Nebuchadnezzar pass in the presence of the Egyptian host 
stationed in the stronghold of Carchemish, on the Euphrates, and 
advance toward Judah, leaving behind him the city of Babylon as 
a prize to so powerful an enemy, nor would Necho, supposing that 


Nebuchadnezzar had done this, have quietly allowed his enemy to 
carry on his operations, and inarch against his vassal Jehoiakim, 
without following in the rear of Egypt's powerful foe. 1 

The statement in the first verse may indeed, literally taken, be 
interpreted as meaning that Nebuchadnezzar came up against 
Jerusalem and took it in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, 
because N13 frequently means to come to a place. But it is not 
necessary always so to interpret the word, because N13 means not 
only to come, but also to go, to march to a place. The assertion, 
that in this verse sia is to be interpreted (Hav. N. Kr. U. p. 61, 
Ew., and others) as meaning to come to a place, and not to march 
to it, is as incorrect as the assertion that the translation of N| by 
he marched is inadmissible or quite impossible, because TO? is gene- 
rally used of the march of an army (Staeh., Ziind.). The word 
N13, from the first book of the Canon (cf. Gen. xiv. 5) to the last, 
the book of Daniel not excepted (cf. e.g. xi. 13, 17, 29, etc.), is 
used of military expeditions ; and regarding the very general 
opinion, that Nia, in the sense of to march, to go to a place, occurs 
less frequently, Kran. (p. 21) has rightly remarked, that "it stands 
always and naturally in this sense whenever the movement has its 
point of departure from the place of him who observes it, thinks 
of it, or makes a communication regarding it." Therefore, e.g., it 
is used " always in a personal verbal command with reference to 
the movement, not yet undertaken, where naturally the thought as 
to the beginning or point of departure passes into the foreground ; 
as e.g. in Gen. xlv. 17 ; Ex. vi. 11, vii. 26, ix. 1, x. 1 ; Num. xxxii. 
6 ; 1 Sam. xx. 19 ; 2 Kings v. 5. In Jonah i. 3 it is used of the 
ship that was about to go to Tarshish ; and again, in the words 
anisj? Ni3p, ibid., it is used when speaking of the conclusion of the 
journey." " On the contrary, if the speaker or narrator is at the 
terminus ad quern of the movement spoken of, then of course the 
word &03 is used in the other sense of to come, to approach, and 
the like." Accordingly these words of Daniel, "Nebuchadnezzar 
K13 to Jerusalem," considered in themselves, may be interpreted 
without any regard to the point of departure or the termination of 

1 With the above compare my Lehrb. der E'M. § 131, and my Commentary on 
2 Kings xxiv. 1. With this Kran. agrees (p. 17 f.), and in addition remarks : 
" In any case Necho would at once have regarded with jealousy every invasion 
of the Chaldean into the region beyond the Euphrates, and would least of 
all have suffered him to make an extensive western expedition for the purpose 
of conquering Judea, which was under the sway of Egypt." 

CHAP. I, 1, 2. 63 

the movement. They may mean " Nebuchadnezzar came to Jeru- 
salem," or that " he marched to Jerusalem," according as the writer 
is regarded as writing in Judah or Jerusalem, or in Babylon at 
the point of departure of Nebuchadnezzar's journey. If the book 
was composed by a Maccabean Jew in Palestine, then the transla- 
tion, " he came to Jerusalem," would be the more correct, because 
such a writer would hardly have spoken of a military movement 
from its eastern point of departure. The case is altogether differ- 
ent if Daniel, who lived as a courtier in Babylon from his youth 
up to old age, wrote this account. " For him, a Jew advanced in 
years, naturally the first movement of the expedition threatening 
and bringing destruction to his fatherland, whether it moved 
directly or by a circuitous route upon the capital, would be a sig- 
nificant fact, which he had in every respect a better opportunity 
of comprehending than his fellow-countrymen living in the remote 
west, since this expedition was an event which led to the cata- 
strophe of the exile. For the Jew writing in Babylon about the 
expedition, the fatal commencement of the march of the Chaldean 
host would have a mournful significance, which it could not have 
for a writer living in Jerusalem." 

In this way Kran. has thoroughly vindicated the rendering of 
N3, " he marched " to Jerusalem, and also the explanation of the 
word as referring to the setting out of the Chaldean army which 
Hitz., Hofm., Staeh., Ziind., and others have declared to be 
opposed to the meaning of the word and " impossible," and at the 
same time he has set aside as groundless the further remark of 
Hitzig, that the designation of the time also applies to "1x5.. If 
N3 is to be understood of an expedition with reference to its point 
of departure, then the fixing of its time cannot of course refer also 
to the time of the arrival of the expedition at its termination and 
the siege then ensuing. The time of its arrival before Jerusalem, 
as well as the beginning, duration, and end of the siege, is not 
defined, and only its result, the taking of Jerusalem, is, according 
to the object of the author, of sufficient importance to be briefly 
announced. The period of the taking of the city can only be 
determined from dates elsewhere given. Thus from the passages 
in Jeremiah already referred to, it appears that this happened in 
the fourth year of Jehoiakim, in which year Nebuchadnezzar 
overcame the army of Necho king of Egypt at the Euphrates 
(Jer. xlvi. 2), and took all the land which the king of Egypt had 
subdued, from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates, so that 


Pharaoh-Necho came no more out of his land (2 Kings xxiv. 7). 
With this agrees Berosus in the fragments of his Chaldean history 
preserved by Josephus (Ant. x. 11. 1, and c. Ap. i. 19). His words, 
as found in the latter passage, are these : " When his (Nebuc.) 
father Nabopolassar heard that the satrap whom he had set over 
Egypt and over the parts of Ccelesyria and Phoenicia had revolted 
from him, he was unable to bear the annoyance any longer, but 
committing a part of his army to his son Nabuchodonosor, who 
was then a youth, he sent him against the rebel. Nabuchodonosor 
encountered him in battle and overcame him, and brought the 
land again under his dominion. It happened that his father 
Nabopolassar at this time fell sick and died at the city of Babylon, 
after he had reigned twenty-one years (Berosus says twenty-nine 
years). But when Nabuchodonosor not long after heard of the 
death of his father, he set the affairs of Egypt and of the other 
countries in order, and committed the prisoners he had taken from 
the Jews, the Phoenicians, and Syrians, and from the nations 
belonging to Egypt, to some of his friends, that they might conduct 
the heavy armed troops with the rest of the baggage to Babylonia, 
while he himself hastened with a small escort through the desert to 
Babylon. When he came hither, he found that the public affairs 
had been managed by the Chaldeans, and that the principal persons 
among them had preserved the kingdom for him. He now obtained 
possession of all his father's dominions, and gave directions that the 
captives should be placed as colonies in the most favourably situ- 
ated districts of Babylonia," etc. This fragment illustrates in an 
excellent manner the statements made in the Bible, in case one be 
disposed to estimate the account of the revolt of the satrap placed 
over Egypt and the countries lying round Ccelesyria and Phoenicia 
as only the expression of boastfulness on the part of the Baby- 
lonish historian, claiming that all the countries of the earth of right 
belonged to the monarch of Babylon ; and it also shows that the 
rebel satrap could be none other than Pharaoh-Necho. For 
Berosus confirms not only the fact, as declared in 2 Kino-s xxiv. 7, 
that Pharaoh-Necho in the last year of Nabopolassar, after the 
battle at Megiddo, had subdued Judah, Phoenicia, and Ccelesyria, 
i.e. " all the land from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates," 
but he also bears witness to the fact that Nebuchadnezzar, after 
lie had slain Pharaoh-Necho ( Jer. xlvi. 2) " by the river Euphrates 
in Carchemish," made Ccelesyria, Phoenicia, and Judah tributary 
to the Chaldean empire, and consequently that he took Jerusalem 

CHAP. I. 1, 2. ,(65 

not before but after the battle at Carchemish, in prosecution of 
the victory he had obtained over the Egyptians. 

This does not, however, it must be confessed, prove that Jeru- 
salem had already in the fourth year of Jehoiakim come under the 
dominion of Nebuchadnezzar. Therefore Hitz. and others con- 
clude from Jer. xxxvi. 9 that Nebuchadnezzar's assault upon 
Jerusalem was in the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim 
as yet only in prospect, because in that month Jeremiah prophesied 
of the Chaldean invasion, and the extraordinary fast then appointed 
had as its object the manifestation of repentance, so that thereby 
the wrath of God might be averted. This Kran. endeavours to 
prove from 2 Kings xxv. 27, cf. Jer. Hi. 31. But in the ninth 
month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah caused to be re- 
hearsed to the people in the court of the temple his former pro- 
phecies, written by Baruch in a book according to the commandment 
of the Lord, and pronounced the threatening against Jehoiakim 
because he had cut to pieces this book and had cast it into the fire, 
Jer. xxxvi. 29 ff. This threatening, that God would bring upon the 
seed and upon the servants of Jehoiakim, and upon the inhabitants 
of Jerusalem, all the evil which He had pronounced against them 
(ver. 31), does not exclude the previous capture of Jerusalem by 
Nebuchadnezzar, but announces only the carrying out of tli6 
threatened judgment in the destruction of Jerusalem and of the 
kingdom of Judah to be as yet imminent. 

The extraordinary fast of the people also, which was appointed 
for the ninth month, was not ordained with the view of avert- 
ing the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, 
which was then expected, after the battle at Carchemish ; for 
although fasts were sometimes appointed or kept for the pur- 
pose of turning away threatened judgment or punishment (e.g. 
2 Sam. xii. 15 ff. ; 1 Kings xxi. 27 ; Esth. iv. 1, iii. 16), yet, in 
general, fasts were more frequently appointed to preserve the 
penitential remembrance of punishments and chastisements which 
had been already endured : cf. e.g. Zech. vii. 5 ; Ezra x. 6 f . ; 
Neh. i. 4 ; 1 Sam. xxxi. 13 ; 2 Sam. i. 12, etc. To ascertain, 
therefore, what was the object of this fast which was appointed, we 
must keep in view the character of Jehoiakim and his relation to 
this fast. The godless Jehoiakim, as he is represented in 2 Kings 
xxiii. 37, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 5, and Jer. xxii. 13 ff., was not the man 
who would have ordained a fast (or allowed it if the priests had 
wished to appoint it) to humble himself and his people before 



God, and by repentance and prayer to turn away the threatened 
judgment. Before he could ordain a fast for such a purpose, 
Jehoiakim must hear and observe the word of the prophet, and in 
that case he would not have been so enraged at the reading of the 
prophecies of Jeremiah as to have cut the book to pieces and cast it 
into the fire. If the fast took place previous to the arrival of the 
Chaldeans before Jerusalem, then neither the intention of the king 
nor his conduct in regard to it can be comprehended. On the 
other hand, as Ziind. p. 21, and Klief. p. 57, have shown, both 
the ordaining of a general fast, and the anger of the king at the 
reading of the prophecies of Jeremiah in the presence of the people 
in the temple, are well explained, if the fast is regarded as designed 
to keep in remembrance the day of the year on which Nebuchad- 
nezzar took Jerusalem. As Jehoiakim bore with difficulty the 
yoke of the Chaldean oppression, and from the first meditated on 
a revolt, for after three years he did actually revolt, he instituted 
the fast " to stir up the feelings of the people against the state of 
vassalage into which they had been brought" (Klief.), " and to call 
forth a religious enthusiasm among them to resist the oppressor" 
(Ziind.). This opposition could only, however, result in the de- 
struction of the people and the kingdom. Jeremiah therefore 
had his prophecies read to the people in the temple on that day 
by Baruch " as a counterbalance to the desire of the king," and 
announced to them that Nebuchadnezzar would come again to 
subdue the land and to destroy from out of it both man and beast. 
" Therefore the king was angry, and destroyed the book, because 
he would not have the excitement of the people to he so hindered ; 
and therefore also the princes were afraid (Jer. xxxvi. 16) when they 
heard that the book of these prophecies was publicly read " (Klief.). 
The words of 2 Kings xxv. 27, cf. Jer. lii. 31, do not contra- 
dict this conclusion from Jer. xxxvi. 9, even though that drawn by 
Kran., p. 18, from this passage were adopted, viz. that since almost 
thirty-seven whole years had passed from the carrying away of 
Jehoiachin to the end of the forty-three years of the reign of 
Nebuchadnezzar, but Jehoiachin had reigned only for a few 
months, the beginning of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar must be 
dated in the sixth of the eleven years' reign of Jehoiakim the 
predecessor of Jehoiachin. For since, according to the testimony 
of Berosus, Nebuchadnezzar conducted the war against Hither 
Asia, in which lie slew king Nechoat Carchemish, and as a further 
consequence of this victory took Jerusalem, before the death of his 

CHAr. i. i, 2. 67 

father, in the capacity of a commander-in-chief clothed with royal 
power, and when in Hither Asia, as it seems, and on the confines 
of Egypt, he then for the first time heard tidings of his father's 
death, and therefore hastened by the shortest road to Babylon to 
assume the crown and lay claim to all his father's dominions, — then 
it follows that his forty-three years' reign begins after the battle of 
Carchemish and the capture of Jerusalem under Jehoiakim, and 
might possibly have begun in the sixth year of Jehoiakim, some 
five months after the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim 
(Jer. xxxvi. 9). Against this supposition the circumstance that 
Nebuchadnezzar, as stated in Jer. xlvi. 2, xxv. 1, and also Dan. i. 1, 
was called king of Babylon before he had actually ascended the 
throne is no valid objection, inasmuch as this title is explained as 
a prolepsis which would be easily understood by the Jews in Pales- 
tine. Nabopolassar came into no contact at all with Judah ; the 
Jews therefore knew scarcely anything of his reign and his death ; 
and the year of Nebuchadnezzar's approach to Jerusalem would 
be regarded in a general way both by Jeremiah and his cotem- 
poraries as the first year of his reign, and the commander of the 
Chaldean army as the king of Babylon, no matter whether on 
account of his being actual co-regent with his aged and infirm 
father, or merely because he was clothed with royal power as the 
chief commander of the army. 1 In this sense Daniel (ch. i. 1) 
names him who was afterwards king, at a time when he was not 
yet the possessor of the throne, the king of Babylon ; for he was in 
effect the king, so far as the kingdom of Judah was concerned, 
when he undertook the first expedition against it. 

But the reckoning of Kran. is also not exact. Nebuchad- 
nezzar's ascending the throne and the beginning of his reia;n would 
only happen in the sixth year of Jehoiakim if either the three 
months of Jehoiachiu (37 years' imprisonment of Jehoiachin + 1 
year's reign -f- 5 years of Jehoiakim = 43 years of Nebuchad- 
jiezzar) are to be reckoned as 1 year, or at least the 11 years of 
Jehoiakim as 11 full years, so that 5| years of Jehoiakim's reign 
must be added to the 37 years of Jehoiachin's imprisonment and 

1 Thus not only Hgstb. Beltr. i. p. 63, H'av., Klief., Kran., etc., but also 
v. Lengerke, Dan. p. 3, and Hitz. Dan. p. 3. The latter, e.g., remarks : " The 
designation as king does not furnish any obvious objection, for Nebuchadnezzar, 
the commander-in-chief of the army, is to the Jewish writers (thus Jer. xxv. 1 ) 
a king when he first comes under their notice. They appear to have had no 
knowledge whatever of his father " 


the 3 months of his reign so as to make up the 43 years of the 
reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Thus Jehoiakim must have reigned 5£ 
years at the time when Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne. 
Whereas if Jehoiakim's reign extended only to 10^ years, which 
were reckoned as 11 years in the books of the Kings, according to 
the general method of recording the length of the reign of kings, 
then Nebuchadnezzar's ascending the throne took place in the fifth 
year of Jehoiakim's reign, or, at the furthest, after he had reigned 
4f years. This latter reckoning, whereby the first year of Nebu- 
chadnezzar's reign is made to coincide with the fifth year of 
Jehoiakim's, is demanded by those passages in which the years of 
the reign of the kings of Judah are made parallel with the years 
of Nebuchadnezzar's reign ; viz. 2 Kings xxiv. 12, where it is stated 
that Jehoiachin was taken prisoner and carried away captive in 
the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar ; also Jer. xxxii. 1, where the 
tenth year of Zedekiah corresponds with the eighteenth of Nebu- 
chadnezzar ; and finally, Jer. lii. 5, 12, and 2 Kings xxv. 2, 8, where 
the eleventh year of Zedekiah corresponds with the nineteenth 
year of Nebuchadnezzar. According to all these passages, the 
deatli of Jehoiakim, or the end of his reign, happened either in 
the eighth year, or at all events in the end of the seventh year, of 
the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, for Jehoiachin reigned only three 
months ; so that Nebuchadnezzar reigned six full years, and per- 
haps a few months longer, as contemporary with Jehoiakim, and 
consequently he must have mounted the throne in the fifth of the 
eleven years of Jehoiakim's reign. 1 

The above discussion has at the same time also furnished us 
with the means of explaining the apparent contradiction which has 
been found between Dan. i. 1 ff. and Dan. ii. 1 ff., and which has 
been brought forward as an historical error in argument against the 
genuineness of the book. According to ch. i. 3 ff., Nebuchadnezzar 
after the capture of Jerusalem commanded that young Israelites of 

1 The synchronistic statements in the passages, 2 Kings xxiv. 12, xxv. 2, 8, 
Jer. xxxii. 1 and lii. 5, 12, might indeed be interpreted as meaning, that in them 
the years of Nebuchadnezzar's reign are reckoned from the time when his father 
entrusted to him the chief command of the army at the breaking out of the war 
with Necho (see my Commentary on 2 Kings xxiv. 12) ; but in that case the 
years of Nebuchadnezzar's reign would amount to 44£ years, viz. 37 years of 
Jehoiachin's imprisonment, 3 months of his reign, and 7 years of Jehoiakim's 
reign. And according to this reckoning, it would also result from the passages 
referred to, that the beginning of his 43 years' reign happened in the fifth year 
of Jehoiakim. 

CHAP. I. 1, 2. 69 

noble birth should be carried away to Babylon, and there educated 
for the space of three years in the literature and wisdom of the 
Chaldeans ; and, according to ch. i. 18, after the expiry of the 
appointed time, they were brought in before the king that they 
might be employed in his service. But these three years of instruc- 
tion, according to ch. ii. 1 ff., expired in the second year of the 
reign of Nebuchadnezzar, when Daniel and his companions were 
ranked among the wise men of Babylon, and Daniel interpreted to 
the king his dream, which his Chaldean magi were unable to do 
(ch. ii. 13 ff., 19 ff.). If we observe that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed 
his dream " in the second year of his reign," and that he entered on 
his reign some time after the destruction of Jerusalem and the 
captivity of Jehoiakim, then we can understand how the three 
years appointed for the education of Daniel and his companions 
came to an end in the second year of his reign ; for if Nebuchad- 
nezzar began to reign in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, then in the 
seventh year of Jehoiakim three years had passed since the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, which took place in the fourth year of this king. 
For the carrying away of the Israelitish youths followed, without 
doubt, immediately after the subjugation of Jehoiakim, so that a 
whole year or more of their period of education had passed before 
Nebuchadnezzar mounted the throne. This conclusion is not set 
aside by what Berosus affirms, that Nebuchadnezzar, after he heard 
of the death of his father, committed the captives he had taken from 
the Jews to the care of some of his friends that they might be 
brought after him, while he himself hastened over the desert to 
Babylon; for that statement refers to the great transport of prisoners 
who were carried away for the colonization of Central Asia. As 
little does the consideration that a twofold method of reckoning the 
year of Nebuchadnezzar's government by Daniel is improbable mili- 
tate against this reconciliation of the discrepancy, for no such two- 
fold method of reckoning exists. In ch. i. the year of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's reign is not given, but Nebuchadnezzar is only named as 
being king; 1 while in ch. ii. 1 mention is made not merely of the 

1 If, on the eontraiy, Bleek understands from Dan. i. 1 that Nebuehadnezzar 
hadbeeome king of Babylon in the third year of Jehoiakim at Jerusalem, whilst, 
." perhaps only with the design of making the pretended opposition between ch. 
i. 1 and ii. 1 truly evident, he understands the appositional designation T[!)D 
^33 as a more definite determination of the meaning of the verb N3, this idea 
finds reeommendation neither in the position of the words, nor in the expression, 
oh. i. 3, nor in the aeeents." Kranichfeld,- p. 19. 


second year of Nebuchadnezzar, but of the second year of his reign, 
from which it appears that the historian here reckons from the actual 
commencement of his reign. Also, as Klief.,p.67,has well remarked, 
one may " easily discover the ground on which Daniel in ch. i. 1 
followed a different mode of reckoning from that adopted in ch. ii. 1. 
In ch. i. Daniel had to do with Israelitish circumstances and persons, 
and therefore followed, in making reference to Nebuchadnezzar, the 
general Israelitish mode of contemplation. He reckons his years 
according to the years of the Israelitish kings, and sees in him 
already the ting; on the contrary, in ch. ii. Daniel treats of the 
relations of the world-power, and he reckons here accurately the year 
of Nebuchadnezzar, the bearer of the world-power, from the day in 
which, having actually obtained the possession of the world-power, 
he became king of Babylon." 

If we now, in conclusion, briefly review the results of the pre- 
ceding discussions, it will be manifest that the following is the course 
of events : — Necho the king of Egypt, after he had made Jehoiakiin 
his vassal king, went forth on an expedition against the Assyrian 
kingdom as far as the Euphrates. Meanwhile, however, with the 
dissolution of the Assyrian kingdom by the fall of Nineveh, the 
part of that kingdom lying on this side of the Tigris had come 
under the dominion of the Chaldeans, and the old and enfeebled 
king Nabopolassar gave to his son Nebuchadnezzar the chief com- 
mand of the army, with the commission to check the advance of the 
Egyptians, and to rescue from them the countries they had occupied 
and bring them again under the Chaldean rule. In consequence 
of this, Nebuchadnezzar took the field against Hither Asia in the 
third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, and in the first month of the 
fourth year of Jehoiakiin slew Pharaoh-Necho at Carchemish and 
pursued his army to the confines of Egypt, and in the ninth month 
of the same year took Jerusalem and made king Jehoiakim his 
subject. While Nebuchadnezzar was busied in Hither Asia with 
the subjugation of the countries that had been conquered by 
Pharaoh-Necho, he received the tidings of the death of his father 
Nabopolassar in Babylon, and hastened forward with a small guard 
by the nearest way through the desert to Babylon in order to assume 
the government, giving directions that the army, along with the 
whole band of prisoners, should follow him by slow marches. But 
as soon as the Chaldean army had left Judea and returned to 
Babylon, Jehoiakim sought how he might throw off the Chaldean 
yoke, and three years after his subjugation he revolted, probably at 

CHAP. I. 1, 2. 71 

a time when Nebuchadnezzar was engaged in establishing his 
dominion in the East, so that he could not immediately punish this 
revolt, but contented himself meanwhile with sending against Jehoia- 
kim the armies of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites, 
whom he had left behind on the confines of Judah. They were 
unable, however, to vanquish him as long as he lived. It was 
only after his son Jehoiachin had ascended the throne that Nebu- 
chadnezzar, as commander of the army, returned with a powerful 
host to Jerusalem and besieged the city. While the city was being 
besieged, Nebuchadnezzar came in person to superintend the war. 
Jehoiachin with his mother, and his chief officers from the city, 
went out to surrender themselves to the king of Babylon. But 
Nebuchadnezzar took him as a prisoner, and commanded that the 
golden vessels of the temple and the treasures of the royal palace 
should be taken away, and he carried the king with the great men 
of the kingdom, the men of war, the smiths and craftsmen, as 
prisoners to Babylon, and made his vassal Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's 
uncle, king in Jerusalem, under the name of Zedekiah (2 Kings 
xxviii. 8-17). This happened in the eighth year of the reign of 
Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings xxiv. 12), and thus about six years after 
Daniel had interpreted his dream (ch. ii.), and had been promoted 
by him to the rank of president of the wise men in Babylon. 

The name "iSNjnaoJ is written in ver. 1 with n, as it is uni- 
formly in Jeremiah, e.g. xxvii. 6, 8, 20, xxviii. 3, 11, 12, xxix. i. 3, 
and in the books of the Kings and Chronicles, as 2 Kings xxiv. 1, 
10, 11, xxv. 1, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6, 10, 13 ; whereas in Dan. i. 18 
it is written without the K, as it is also in ch. ii. 1, 28, 46, iii. 1-3, 
5 ff., and Ezra i. 7, v. 12, 14, Esth. ii. 6. From this circum- 
stance Hitzig concludes that the statement in Daniel is derived 
from 2 Kings xxiv. 1, because the manner of writing the name 
with the N is not peculiar to this book (and is not the latest 
form), but is that of 2 Kings xxiv. 1. Both statements are incor- 
rect. The writing without the K cannot on this account be taken 
as the latest form, because it is not found in the Chronicles, and 
that with the N is not peculiar to the second book of Kings, but is 
the standing form, along with the more national Babylonian form 
-iSRrnaWJ (with r), in Jer. xxi. 2, 7, xxxii. 1, xxxv. 11, xxxix. 11, 
Ezek. xxvi. 7, xxix. 18, xxx. 10, which, according to Menant 
{Grammaire Assyrienne, 1868, p. 327), is written in Babylonian 
inscriptions Nabukudurriusur ("iXK Y13 133, i.e. Nebo coronam servat), 
the inscription of Behislan haying the form Nabukudratschara. 


Megasthenes and Berosus, in Polyhistor, write the name Na0ov- 
KoBpocropo<;. The writing Nebuchadnezar, with n and without the 
N, appears to be the Aramean form, since it prevails in the Chal 
dean portions of Daniel and Ezra, and accounts for the Masoretic 
pronunciation of the word (the X with Dagesch forte). On other 
forms of the name, cf. Niebuhr, Gesch. Assurs, p. 41 f. 

Ver. 2. " The Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hands" corresponds 
with the words in 2 Kings xxiv. 1, " he became his servant," and 
with 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6, " and he bound him in fetters." " And 
part of the vessels of the house of God." nxpo without the Dag. 
forte, meaning properly from the end or extremity, is abbreviated 
from nvp nj> nxjjo, c f. Jer. xxv. 33, Gen. xlvii. 21, Ex. xxvi. 28, 
and shows that " that which was found from end to end contri- 
buted its share ; meaning that a great part of the whole was 
taken, although nvj? of itself never means a part" (Kran.). As 
to the statement of the text, cf. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 7. These vessels 
he brought (commanded to be brought) into the land of Shinar, i.e. 
Babylonia (Gen. x. 10), into the temple of his god, i.e. Bel, and in- 
deed into the treasure-house of this temple. Thus we understand the 
meaning of the two latter clauses of ver. 2, while Hitz. and Kran., 
witb many older interpreters, refer the suffix in DN^ to Jehoiakim, 
and also to the vessels, on account of the express contrast in the 
following words, D^parrnxi (Kran.), and because, if it is not stated 
here, it is nowhere else mentioned that Nebuchadnezzar carried - 
away men also (Hitz.). But the latter fact is expressly affirmed 
in ver. 3, and not only supposed, as Hitz. alleges, and it was not 
necessary that it should be expressed in ver. 2. The application 
of the suffix to Jehoiakim or the Jewish youths who were carried 
captive is excluded by the connection of ON'?', with ViTPX IV3, into 
the house of his god. But the assertion that JV3, house, here means 
country, is not proved from Hos. viii. 1, ix. 15, nor is warranted by 
such passages as Ex. xxix. 45, Num. xxxv. 34, Ezek. xxxvii. 27, 
etc., where mention is made of God's dwelling in the land. For 
God's dwelling in the land is founded on the fact of His gracious 
presence in the temple of the land, and even in these passages the 
word land does not stand for the word house. Equally unfounded 
is the further remark, that if by the expression VTiijx TV3 the temple 
is to be understood, the preposition bx would stand before it for 
which Zech. xi. 13, Isa. xxxvii. 23, Gen. xlv. 25 are appealed to. 
But such passages have been referred to without observing that 
in them the preposition PX stands only before living objects, where 

CHAP. I. 3-7. 7:3 

it is necessary, but not before inanimate objects, such as TV3, where 
the special object of the motion is with sufficient distinctness de- 
noted by the accusative. The words following, Dvarrnto, fall in 
not as adversative, but explicative : and indeed (or, namely) the 
vessels brought he into the treasure-house of his god — as booty. The 
carrying away of a part of the vessels of the temple and a num- 
ber of the distinguished Jewish youth to Babylon, that they 
might be there trained for service at the royal court, was a sign 
and pledge of the subjugation of Judah and its God under the 
dominion of the kings and the gods of Babylon. Both are here, 
however, mentioned with this design, that it might be known 
that Daniel and his three friends, of whom this book gives fur- 
ther account, were among these youths, and that the holy vessels 
were afterwards fatal (ch. v.) to the house of the Babylonian 

Vers. 3-7. The name WBtpx, sounding like the Old Persian Agp, ' 
a horse, has not yet received any satisfactory or generally adopted 
explanation. The man so named was the chief marshal of the 
court of Nebuchadnezzar. B^ID 3"! (the word 3"i used for ife*, vers. 
7, 9, belongs to the later usage of the language, cf. Jer. xxxix. 3) 
means chief commander of the eunuchs, i.e. overseer of the serai], 
the Kislar Aga, and then in a wider sense minister of the royal 
palace, chief of all the officers ; since D'HD frequently, with a de- 
parture from, its fundamental meaning, designates only a courtier, 
chamberlain, attendant on the king, as in Gen. xxxvii. 3G. The 
meaning of N^n?, more definitely determined by the context, is to 
lead, i.e. into the land of Shinar, to Babylon. In 7K"\b>) 'pa, Israel 
is the theocratic name of the chosen people, and is not to be ex- 
plained, as Hitz. does, as meaning that Benjamin and Levi, and 
many belonging to other tribes, yet formed part of the kingdom 
of Judah. JIM . . . JHttM, as well of the seed . . . as also. O'OFns is 
the Zend, fratliema, Sanscr. prathama, i.e. persons of distinction, 
magnates. E , "]J1, the object to N^n?, designates youths of from 
fifteen to twenty years of age. Among the Persians the education 
of boys by the TraiSdycoiyai f3acri\eioi began, according to Plato 
(Alcib. i. 37), in their fourteenth year, and according to Xenophon 
{Cyrop. i. 2), the ecf>r]l3oi were in their seventeenth year capable of 
entering into the service of the king. In choosing the young men, 
the master of the eunuchs was commauded to have regard to bodily 
perfection and beauty as well as to mental endowments. Freedom 
from blemish and personal beauty were looked upon as a charac- 


teristic of moral and intellectual nobility ; cf. Curtius, xvii. 5, 29. 
DiSD, blemish, is written with an x, as in Job xxxi. 7. 

Ver. 4. ^3bo, skilful, intelligent in all wisdom, i.e. in the sub- 
jects of Chaldean wisdom (cf. ver. 17), is to be understood of the 
ability to apply themselves to the study of wisdom. In like 
manner the other mental requisites here mentioned are to be 
understood. njn , jn\ having knowledge, showing understanding ; 
jno ^rap, possessing a faculty for knowledge, a strength of judg- 
ment, bns nia "law, z" n wlom was strength, i.e. who had the fitness 
in bodily and mental endowments appropriately to stand in the 
palace of the king, and as servants to attend to his commands. 
D"ie$n (to leach them) is co-ordinate with W3<h (to bring) in ver. 3, 
and depends on "lON'l (and he spake). For this service they must 
be instructed and trained in the learning and language of the 
Chaldeans. "is? refers to the Chaldee literature, and in ver. 17 
"idd~^3, and |ie6 to conversation or the power of speaking in that 
language. CICO, Chaldeans, is the name usually given (1) to the 
inhabitants of the Babylonian kingdom founded by Nabopolassar 
and Nebuchadnezzar, and (2) in a more restricted sense to the first 
class of the Babylonish priests and learned men or magi, and then 
frequently to the whole body of the wise men of Babylon ; cf. at 
ch. ii. 2. In this second meaning the word is here used. The 
language of the D"!?'? is not, as Eos., Hitz., and Kran. suppose, 
the Eastern Aramaic branch of the Semitic language, which is 
usually called the Chaldean language ; for this tongue, in which 
the Chaldean wise men answered Nebuchadnezzar (ch. ii. 4 ff.), is 
called in ch. ii. 4, as well as in Ezra iv. 7 and Isa. xxxvi. 11, the 
JVOTH, Aramaic (Syriac), and is therefore different from the 
language of the D'l.B'S. 

But the question as to what this language used by the Chal- 
deans was, depends on the view that may be taken of the much 
controverted question as to the origin of the D ,, !?'3, XaXScuoi. 
The oldest historical trace of the CIV"? lies in the name ^ibs iiK 
(Ur of the Chaldees, LXX. X^P a ™ v XaXSaitov), the place from 
which Terah the father of Abraham went forth with his family to 
Charran in the north of Mesopotamia. The origin of Abraham 
from Ur of the Chaldees, when taken in connection with' the fact 
(Gen. xxii. 22) that one of the sons of Nahor, Abraham's brother, 
was called 1C'3 (Chesed), whose descendants would be called D^bo^ 
appears to speak for the origin of the O'l.tra from Shem. In addi- 
tion to this also, and in support of the same opinion, it has been 

CHAP. I, 5-7. 75 

noticed that one of Shem's sons was called "IBOS"!*? (Arplwxad). 
But the connection of "IBbinK with "1BG is unwarrantable; and that 
Nahor's son "IK'S was the father of a race called d»1BO, is a sup- 
position which cannot be established. But if a race actually 
descended from this Ifco, then they could be no other than the 
Bedouin tribe the d^EG, which fell upon Job's camels (Job i. 17), 
but not the people of the Ohaldees after whom, in Terah's time, 
Ur was already named. The sojourn of the patriarch Abraham 
in Ur of the Chaldees finally by no means proves that Terah 
himself was a Chaldean. He may have been induced also by the 
advance of the Chaldeans into Northern Mesopotamia to go forth 
on his wanderings. 

This much is at all events unquestionable, and is now acknow- 
ledged, that the original inhabitants of Babylonia were of Semitic 
origin, as the account of the origin of the nations in Gen. x. shows. 
According to Gen. x. 22, Shem had five sons, Elam, Asshur, 
Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram, whose descendants peopled and gave 
name to the following countries: — The descendants of Elam occu- 
pied the country called Elymais, between the Lower Tigris and the 
mountains of Iran ; of Asshur, Assyria, lying to the north — the 
hilly country between the Tigris and the mountain range of Iran ; 
of Arphaxad, the country of Arrapachitis on the Upper Tigris, on 
the eastern banks of that river, where the highlands of Armenia 
begin to descend. Lud, the father of the Lydians, is the represen- 
tative of the Semites who went westward to Asia Minor ; and Aram 
of the Semites who spread along the middle course of the Euphrates 
to the Tigris in the east, and to Syria in the west. From this M. 
Duncker (Gesch. des Alterth.) has concluded: "According to this 
catalogue of the nations, which shows the extension of the Semitic 
race from the mountains of Armenia southward to the Persian 
Gulf, eastward to the mountains of Iran, westward into Asia Minor, 
we follow the Semites along the course of the two great rivers, 
the Euphrates and the Tigris, to the south. Northwards from 
Arphaxad lie the mountains of the Chasdim, whom the Greeks 
call Chaldaei, Carduchi, Gordisei, whose boundary toward Armenia 
was the river Centrites." 

"If we find the name of the Chaldeans also on the Lower 
Euphrates, if in particular that name designates a region on the 
western, bank of the Euphrates to its mouth, the extreme limit of 
the fruitful land watered by the Euphrates towards the Arabian 
desert, then we need not doubt that this name was brought from tha 


Armenian mountains to the Lower Euphrates, and that it owes its 
origin to the migration of these Chaldeans from the mountains. — 
Berosus uses as interchangeable the names Chaldea and Babylonia 
for the whole region between the Lower Euphrates and the Tigris 
down to the sea. But it is remarkable that the original Semitic 
name of this region, Shinar, is distinct from that of the Chaldeans; 
remarkable that the priests in Shinar were specially called Chaldeans, 
that in the fragments of Berosns the patriarchs were alreadj - desig- 
nated Chaldeans of this or that city, and finally that the native rulers 
were particularly known by this name. We must from all this 
conclude, that there was a double migration from the north to the 
regions on the Lower Euphrates and Tigris ; that they were first 
occupied by the Elamites, who came down along the Tigris ; and that 
afterwards a band came down from the mountains of the Chaldeans 
along the western bank of the Tigris, that they kept their flocks for 
a long time in the region of Nisibis, and finally that they followed 
the Euphrates and obtained superiority over the earlier settlers, 
who had sprung from the same stem (?), and spread themselves 
westward from the mouth of the Euphrates. The supremacy which 
was thus established was exercised by the chiefs of the Chaldeans ; 
they were the ruling family in the kingdom which they founded by 
their authority, and whose older form of civilisation they adopted." 
If, according to this, the Chaldeans are certainly not Semites, 
then it is not yet decided whether they belonged to the Japhetic 
race of Aryans, or, as C. Sax 1 has recently endeavoured to make 
probable, to the Hamitic race of Cushites, a nation belonging to the 
Tartaric (Turamic) family of nations. As to the Aryan origin, 

1 In the AlTidl. "on the ancient history of Babylon and the nationality of 
the Cushites and the Chaldeans," in the Deutsch. morg. Ztsclir. xxii. pp. 1-68. 
Here Sax seeks to prove "that the Chaldeans, identical with the biblical Chas- 
dim, were a tribe ruling from ancient times from the Persian Gulf to the Black 
Sea, and particularly in Babylonia, which at length occupied the southern region 
from the mouth of the Euphrates to the Armeneo-Pontine range of mountains, 
but was in Babylonia especially represented by the priest caste aud the learned." 
This idea the author grounds on the identification of the Bible Cushites with the 
Scythians of the Greeks and Romans, the evidence for which is for the most 
part extremely weak, and consists of arbitrary and violent combinations, the 
inconsistency of which is at once manifest, as e.g. the identification of the D^b'S 
with the DTl^DBi Gen. x. 14, the conclusions drawn from Ezek. xxix. 10 and 
xxxviii. 5 f. of the spread of the Cushites into Arabia and their reception into 
the Scythian army of the northern Gog, etc. In geueral, as Sax presents it, 
this supposition is untenable, yet it contains elements of truth which are not to 
be overlooked. 

CHAP. I. 3-7. 77 

besides the relation of the Chaldeans, the Gordisei, and the Car- 
duchi to the modern Kurds, whose language belongs to the 
Indo-Germanic, and indeed to the Aryan family of languages, 
the further circumstance may be referred to : that in Assyria and 
Babylonia the elements of the Aryan language are found in very 
ancient times. Yet these two facts do not furnish any conclusive 
evidence on the point. From the language of the modern Kurds 
being related to the Aryan language no certain conclusion can be 
drawn as to the language of the ancient Chaldees, Gordisei, and 
Carduchi ; and the introduction of Aryan words and appellations 
into the language of the Semitic Assyrians and Babylonians is fully 
explained, partly from the intercourse which both could not but 
maintain with Iranians, the Medes and Persians, who were border- 
ing nations, partly from the dominion exercised for some time over 
Babylonia by the Iranian race, which is affirmed in the fragments 
of Berosus, according to which the second dynasty in Babylon after 
the Flood was the Median. Notwithstanding we would decide in 
favour of the Aryan origin of the Chaldeans, did not on the one 
side the biblical account of the kingdom which Nimrod the Cushite 
founded in Babel and extended over Assyria (Gen. x. 8—12), and 
on the other the result to which the researches of the learned into 
the antiquities of Assyria regarding the development of culture and 
of writing in Babylonia, 1 make this view very doubtful. 

1 The biblical tradition regarding the kingdom founded by Nimrod in Babel, 
Duncker (p. 204) has with arbitrary authority set aside, because it is irrecon- 
cilable with his idea of the development of Babylonian culture. It appears, 
however, to receive confirmation from recent researches into the ancient monu- 
ments of Babylonia and Assyria, which have led to the conclusion, that of the 
three kinds of cuneiform letters that of the Babylonian bricks is older than the 
Assyrian, and that the oldest form originated in an older hieroglyphic writing, 
of which isolated examples are found in the valley of the Tigris and in Susiana ; 
whence it must be concluded that the invention of cuneiform letters did not take 
place among the Semites, but among a people of the Tauranian race which pro- 
bably had in former times their seat in Susiana, or at the mouth of the Eu- 
phrates and the Tigris on the Persian Gulf. Cf. Spiegel in Herz.'s Realencyclop., 
who, after stating this result, remarks : "Thus the fact is remarkable that a 
people of the Turko-Tartaric race appear as the possessors of a high culture, 
while people of this tribe appear in the world's history almost always as only 
destitute of culture, and in many ways hindering civilisation ; so that it cannot 
but be confessed that, so far as matters now are, one is almost constrained to 
imagine that the state of the case is as follows," and thus he concludes his history 
of cuneiform writing : — " Cuneiform writing arose in ancient times, several thou- 
sand years before the birth of Christ, very probably from an ancient hieroglyphic 
system of writing, in the region about the mouths of the Euphrates and the 


If, then, for the present no certain answer can be given to the 
question as to the origin of the Chaldeans and the nature of their 
language and writing, yet this much may be accepted as certain, that 
the language and writing of the D*^? was not Semitic or Aramaic, 
but that the Chaldeans had in remote times migrated into Babylonia, 
and there had obtained dominion over the Semitic inhabitants of 
the land, and that from among this dominant race the Chaldees, the 
priestly and the learned caste of the Chaldeans, arose. This caste 
in Babylon is much older than the Chaldean monarchy founded by 

Daniel and his companions were to be educated in the wisdom 
of the Chaldean priests and learned men, which was taught in the 
schools of Babylon, at Borsippa in Babylonia, and Hipparene in 
Mesopotamia (Strab. xvi. 1, and Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 26). Ver. 5. 
To this end Nebuchadnezzar assigned to them for their support 
provision from the king's household, following Oriental custom, 
according to which all officers of the court were fed from the 
king's table, as Athen. iv. 10, p. 69, and V\ut.probl. vii. 4, testify 
regarding the Persians. This appears also (1 Kings v. 2, 3) to 
have been the custom in Israel. i0V3 Di' "i?^ the daily portion, 
cf. Ex. v. 13, 19 ; Jer. Hi. 34, etc. 3?riB comes from path, in 
Zend, paid, Sanscr. prati = irpori, 7rpo?, and bag, in Sanscr. bhdga, 
portion, provision, cf. Ezek. xxv. 7. With regard to the composition, 
cf. the Sanscr. pratibhdga, a portion of fruits, flowers, etc., which 
the Rajah daily requires for his household ; cf. Gildemeister in 
Lassen's Zeits.f. d. Kunde des Morg. iv. 1, p. 214. 23H? therefore 
means neither ambrosia, nor dainties, but generally food, victuals, 

Tigris en the Persian Gulf. It was found existing by a people of a strange race, 
belonging neither to the Semites nor to the Indo-Germans. It -was very soon, 
however, adopted by the Semites. The oldest monuments of cuneiform writing 
belong to the extreme south of the Mesopotaniian plain. In the course of time 
it pressed northward first to Babylon, where it assumed a more regular form 
than among the Assyrians. From Assyria it may have come among the Indo- 
Germans first to Armenia ; for the specimens of cuneiform writing found in 
Armenia are indeed in syllabic writing, but in a decidedly Indo-Germanic 
language. How the syllabic writing was changed into letter- (of the alphabet) 
writing is as yet obscure. The most recent kind of cuneiform writing which 
we know, the Old Persian, is decidedly letter-writing." Should this view of 
the development of the cuneiform style of writing be confirmed by further in- 
vestigations, then it maybe probable that the Chaldeans were the possessors and 
cultivators of this science of writing, and that their language and literature be- 
longed neither to the Semitic nor yet to the Indo-Germanic or Aryan family 
of languages. 

CHAP. I. 3-7. 79 

food of flesh and meal in opposition to wine, drink (vns'o is 
singular), and vegetables (ver. 12). 

The king also limits the period of their education to three 
years, according to the Persian as well as the Chaldean custom. 
C ?*.P* does not depend on 1»N"1 (ver. 3), but is joined with }0]1, and 
is the final infinitive with 1 explicative, meaning, and that he maxj 
nourish them. The infinitive is expressed by the fin. verb Viojr, 
to stand before (the king). The carrying out of the king's com- 
mand is passed over as a matter of course, yet it is spoken of as 
obeyed (cf. ver. 6 f.). 

Ver. 6. Daniel and his three friends were among the young men 
who were carried to Babylon. They were of the sons of Judah, 
i.e. of the tribe of Judah. From this it follows that the other 
youths of noble descent who had been carried away along with 
them belonged to other tribes. The name of none of these is 
recorded. The names only of Daniel and his three companions 
belonging to the same tribe are mentioned, because the history 
recorded in this book specially brings them under our notice. As 
the future servants of the Chaldean king, they received as a sign 
of their relation to him other names, as the kings Eliakim and 
Mattaniah had their names changed (2 Kings xxiii. 34, xxiv. 17) 
by Necho and Nebuchadnezzar when they made them their 
vassals. But while these kings had only their paternal names 
changed for other Israelitish names which were given to them by 
their conquerors, Daniel and his friends received genuine heathen 
names in exchange for their own significant names, which were 
associated with that of the true God. The names given to them 
were formed partly from the names of Babylonish idols, in order 
that thereby they might become wholly naturalized, and become 
estranged at once from the religion and the country of their 
fathers. 1 Daniel, i.e. God will judge, received the name Belte- 
shazzar, formed from Bel, the name of the chief god of the 
Babylonians. Its meaning has not yet been determined. Hananiah, 
i.e. the Lord is gracious, received the name Shadrach, the origin 
of which is wholly unknown ; Mishael, i.e. who is what the Lord 
is, was called Meshach, a name yet undeciphered ; and Azariah, 
i.e. the Lord helps, had his name changed into Abedncgo, i.e. slave, 
servant of Nego or Nebo, the name of the second god of the 

1 " The design of the king was to lead these youths to adopt the customs 
of the Chaldeans, that they might have nothing in common with the choseu 
people."— Calvin. 


Babylonians (Isa. xlvi. 1), the 3 being changed by the influence of 
3 in nay into i (i.e. Nego instead of Nebo). 

Vers. 8-16. The command of the king, that the young men 
should be fed with the food and wine from the king's table, was to 
Daniel and his friends a test of their fidelity to the Lord and to 
His law, like that to which Joseph was subjected in Egypt, corre- 
sponding to the circumstances in which he was placed, of his fidelity 
to God (Gen. xxxix. 7 f.). The partaking of the food brought to 
them from the king's table was to them contaminating, because 
forbidden by law ; not so much because the food was not prepared 
according to the Levitical ordinance, or perhaps consisted of the 
flesh of animals which to the Israelites were unclean, for in this 
case the youths were not under the necessity of refraining from 
the wine, but the reason of their rejection of it was, that the 
heathen at their feasts offered up in sacrifice to their gods a part 
of the food and the drink, and thus consecrated their meals by a 
religious rite ; whereby not only he who participated in such a 
meal participated in the worship of idols, but the meat and the 
wine as a whole were the meat and the wine of an idol sacrifice, 
partaking of which, according to the saying of the apostle (1 Cor. 
x. 20 f.), is the same as sacrificing to devils. Their abstaining 
from such food and drink betrayed no rigorism going beyond 
the Mosaic law, a tendency which first showed itself in the time 
of the Maccabees. What, in this respect, the pious Jews did in 
those times, however (1 Mace. i. 62 f. ; 2 Mace. v. 27), stands on 
the ground of the law ; and the aversion to eat anything that was 
unclean, or to defile themselves at all in heathen lands, did not for 
the first time spring up in the time of the Maccabees, nor yet in 
the time of the exile, but is found already existing in these 
threatenings in Hos. ix. 3 f., Amos vii. 17. Daniel's resolution to 
refrain from such unclean food flowed therefore from fidelity to 
the law, and from stedfastness to the faith that "man lives not 
by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth 
of the Lord" (Deut. viii. 3),' and from the assurance that God 
would bless the humbler provision which he asks for himself, and 
would by means of it make him and his friends as stronc and 
vigorous as the other youths who did eat the costly provision from 
the king's table. Firm in this conviction, he requested the chief 
chamberlain to free him and his three friends from the use of the 
food and drink brought from the royal table. And the Lord was 
favourable to him, so that his request was granted. 

CHAP. I. 8-16. 81 

Ver. 9. 'l6ro jriJ, to procure favour for any one, cf. 1 Kings viii. 
30, Ps. cvi. 46', Neh. i. 11. The statement that God gave Daniel 
favour with the chief chamberlain, refers to the fact that he did 
not reject the request at once, as one not to be complied with, 
or as punishable, but, esteeming the religious conviction out of 
which it sprang, pointed only to the danger into which a disregard 
of the king's command would bring him, thus revealing the 
inclination of his heart to grant the request. This willingness of 
the prince of the eunuchs was the effect of divine grace. 

Ver. 10, The words naS -\m = n»^ (Song i. 7), for why 
should he see ? have the force of an emphatic denial, as neb in 
Gen. xlvii. 15, 19, 2 Ohron. xxxii. 4, and as niJ? «i in Ezra vii. 
23, and are equivalent to " he must not indeed see.' : Cayf, morose, 
disagreeable, looking sad, here, a pitiful look in consequence of 
inferior food, corresponding to (TKvOpwiro'i in Matt. vi. 16. V.? is 
to be understood before ^"i^n, according to the comparatio decur- 
tata frequently found in Hebrew ; cf. Ps. iv. 8, xviii. 34, etc. 
^r 1 !™ with 1 relat. depends on flBP ; and ye shall bring into danger, 
so that ye bring into danger, twvnx ajn, make the head guilty, 
i.e. make it that one forfeits his head, his life. 

Vers. 11-16. When Daniel knew from the answer of the chief 
that he would grant the request if he were only free from personal 
responsibility in the matter, he turned himself to the officer who 
was under the chief chamberlain, whom they were immediately 
subject to, and entreated him to make trial for ten days, permitting 
them to use vegetables and water instead of the costly provision 
and the wine furnished by the king, and to deal further with them 
according as the result would be. 1V??'1, having the article, is to 
be regarded as an appellative, expressing the business or the calling 
of the man. The translation, steward or chief cook, is founded 
on the explanation of the word as given by Haug (Ewald's bill. 
Jahrbb. v. p. 159 f.) from the New Persian word mel, spirituous 
liquors, wine, corresponding to the Zend, madhu (fie6v), intoxicat- 
ing drink, and "IX = gara, Sanscr. giras } the head ; hence overseer 
over the drink, synonymous with n ^ 3 l, Isa. xxxvi. 2. — tu 03 f try, 
I beseech thee, thy servants, i.e. try it with us, ten days. Ten, in the 
decimal system the number of completeness or conclusion, may, 
according to circumstances, mean a long time or only a propor- 
tionally short time. Here it is used in the latter sense, because ten 
days are sufficient to show the effect of the kind of food on the 
appearance. D\P.t, food from the vegetable kingdom, vegetables, 



leguminous fruit. Ver. 13. U^o is singular, and is used with 
«iv in the plural because two subjects follow, nsnn nrss, as thou 
slialt see, viz. our appearance, i.e. as thou shalt then find it, act 
accordingly. In this proposal Daniel trusted in the help of God, 
and God did not put his confidence to shame. 1 The youths throve 
so visibly on the vegetables and water, that the steward relieved 
them wholly from the necessity of eating from the royal table. 
Ver. 15. 1^3 W-)3, fat, well nourished in flesh, is grammatically 
united to the suffix of DiVK-iD, f™m which the pronoun is easily 
supplied in thought. Ver. 16. NBO, took away = no more gave. 

Vers. 17-21. The progress of the young men in the wisdom of 
the Chaldeans, and their appointment to the service of the king. 

As God blessed the resolution of Daniel and his three friends 
that they would not defile themselves by the food, He also blessed 
the education which they received in the literature p|P, ver. 17 
as ver. 4) and wisdom of the Chaldeans, so that the whole four 
made remarkable progress therein. But besides this, Daniel ob- 
tained an insight into all kinds of visions and dreams, i.e. he 
attained great readiness in interpreting visions and dreams. This 
is recorded regarding him because of what follows in this book, and 
is but a simple statement of the fact, without any trace of vain- 
glory. Instruction in the wisdom of the Chaldeans was, besides, 
for Daniel and his three friends a test of their faith, since the 
wisdom of the Chaldeans, from the nature of the case, was closely 
allied to the Chaldean idolatry and heathen superstition, which the 
learners of this wisdom might easily be led to adopt. But that 
Daniel and his friends learned only the Chaldean wisdom without 
adopting the heathen element which was mingled with it, is evi- 
denced from the stedfastness in the faith with which at a later 
period, at the danger of their lives (cf. Dan. iii. 6), they stood aloof 
from all participation in idolatry, and in regard to Daniel in parti- 
cular, from the deep glance into the mysteries of the kingdom of God 
which lies before us in his prophecies, and bears witness of the clear 

1 The request is perfectly intelligible from the nature of living faith, with- 
out our having recourse to Calvin's supposition, that Daniel had received 
by secret revelation the assurance that such would be the result if he and his 
companions were permitted to live on vegetables. The confidence of living 
faith which hopes in the presence and help of God is fundamentally different 
from the eager expectation of miraculous interference of a Maccabean Jew 
which C. v. Lengerke and other deists and atheists wish to find here in Daniel. 

CHAP. I. 17-21. 83 

separation between the sacred and the profane. But he needed to 
be deeply versed in the Chaldean wisdom, as formerly Moses was 
in the wisdom of Egypt (Acts vii. 22), so as to be able to put to 
shame the wisdom of this world by the hidden wisdom of God. 

Ver. 18. After the expiry of the period of three years the 
youths were brought before the king. They were examined by 
him, and these four were found more intelligent and discriminating 
than all the others that had been educated along with them (S?? 1 ?, 
" than all," refers to the other Israelitish youths, ver. 3, that had 
been brought to Babylon along with Daniel and his friends), and 
were then appointed to his service. VlOJP, as in ver. 5, of standing 
as a servant before his master. The king found them indeed, in all 
matters of wisdom about which he examined them, to excel all the 
wise men in the whole of his kingdom. Of the two classes of the 
learned men of Ohaldea, who are named instar omnium in ver. 20, 
see at ch. ii. 2. 

In ver. 21 the introduction to the book is concluded with a 
general statement as to the period of Daniel's continuance in the 
office appointed to him by God. The difficulty which the explana- 
tion of W offers is not removed by a change of the reading into 
' i n'1, since Daniel, according to ch. x. 1, lived beyond the first year 
of Cyrus and received divine revelations. IV marks the terminus 
ad quern in a wide sense, i.e. it denotes a termination without 
reference to that which came after it. The first year of king Cyrus 
is, according to 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, Ezra i. 1, vi. 3, the end of the 
Babylonish exile, and the date, " to the first year of king Cyrus," 
stands in close relation to the date in ver. 1, Nebuchadnezzar's 
advance against Jerusalem and the first taking of the city, which 
forms the commencement of the exile; so that the statement, "Daniel 
continued unto the first year of king Cyrus," means only that he 
lived and acted during the whole period of the exile in Babylon, 
without reference to the fact that his work continued after the 
termination of the exile. Cf. the analogous statement, Jer. i. 2 f., 
that Jeremiah prophesied in the days of Josiah and Jehoiakim to 
the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, although his book con- 
tains prophecies also of a date subsequent to the taking of Jeru- 
salem. ™ stands neither for W, he lived, nor absolutely in the 
sense of he existed, was present ; for though njn means existere, to 
be, yet it is never used absolutely in this sense, as njn ? to live, but 
always only so that the " how " or " where " of the being or 
existence is either expressly stated, or at least is implied in the 


connection. Thus here also the qualification of the " being" must 
be supplied from the context. The expression will then mean, not 
that he lived at the court, or in Babylon, or in high esteem with 
the king, but more generally, in the place to which God had raised 
him in Babylon by his wonderful endowments. 

Chap, ii.-vii. 

This Part contains in six chapters as many reports regarding 
the successive forms and the natural character of the world-power. 
It begins (ch. ii.) and ends (ch. vii.) with a revelation from God 
regarding its historical unfolding in four great world-kingdoms 
following each other, and their final overthrow by the kingdom of 
God, which shall continue for ever. Between these chapters (ii. and 
vii.) there are inserted four events belonging to the times of the first 
and second world-kingdom, which partly reveal the attempts of the 
rulers of the world to compel the worshippers of the true God to 
pray to their idols and their gods, together with the failure of this 
attempt (ch. iii. and vi.), and partly the humiliations of the rulers of 
the world, who were boastful of their power, under the judgments 
of God (ch. iv. and v.), and bring under our consideration the 
relation of the rulers of this world to the Almighty God of heaven 
and earth and to the true fearers of His name. The narratives of 
these four events follow each other in chronological order, because 
they are in actual relation bound together, and therefore also the 
occurrences (ch. v. and vi.) which belong to the time subsequent 
to the vision in ch. vii. are placed before this vision, so that the 
two revelations regarding the development of the world-power 
form the frame within which is contained the historical section 
which describes the character of that world-power. 

chap. n. Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the WORLD- 

When Daniel and his three friends, after the completion of 
their education, had entered on the service of the Chaldean kino- 
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream which so greatly moved him 
that he called all the wise men of Babylon that they mi^ht make 

CHAP. II. 85 

known to him the dream and give the interpretation of it; and 
when they were not able to do this, he gave forth the command 
(vers. 1-13) that they should all be destroyed. But Daniel 
interceded with the king and obtained a respite, at the expiry of 
which he promised (vers. 14-18) to comply with his demand. In 
answer to his prayers and those of his friends, God revealed the 
secret to Daniel in a vision (vers. 19-23), so that he was not only 
able to tell the king his dream (vers. 24-36), but also to give him its 
interpretation (vers. 37-45) ; whereupon Nebuchadnezzar praised 
the God of Daniel as the true God, and raised him to high honours 
and dignities (vers. 46-49). It has justly been regarded as a 
significant thing, that it was Nebuchadnezzar, the founder of the 
world-power, who first saw in a dream the whole future develop- 
ment of the world-power. " The world-power," as Auberlen 
properly remarks, "must itself learn in its first representative, 
who had put an end to the kingdom of God [the theocracy], what 
its own final destiny would be, that, in its turn overthrown, it 
would be for ever subject to the kingdom of God." This circum- 
stance also is worthy of notice, that Nebuchadnezzar did not him- 
self understand the revelation which he received, but the prophet 
Daniel, enlightened by God, must interpret it to him. 1 

1 According to Bleek, Lengerke, Hitz., Ew., and others, the whole nar- 
rative is to be regarded as a pure invention, as to its plan formed in imitation 
of the several statements of the narrative in Gen. xli. of Pharaoh's dream and 
its interpretation by Joseph the Hebrew, when the Egyptian wise men were 
unable to do so. Nebuchadnezzar is the copy of Pharaoh, and at the same time 
the type of Antiochus Epiphanes, who was certainly a half -mad despot, as 
Nebuchadnezzar is here described to be, although he was not so in reality. But 
the resemblance between Pharaoh's dream and that of Nebuchadnezzar consists 
only in that (1) both kings had significant dreams which their own wise men could 
not interpret to them, but which were interpreted by Israelites by the help of 
God ; (2) Joseph and Daniel in a similar manner, but not in the same words, 
directed the kings to God (cf. Gen. xli. 16, Dan. ii. 27, 28) ; and (3) that in 
both narratives the word Qjjs [was disquieted] is used (Gen. xli. 8, Dan. ii. 1, 3). 

- T 

In all other respects the narratives are entirely different. But " the resem- 
blance," as Hengst. has already well remarked {Beitr. i. p. 82), "is explained 
partly from the great significance which in ancient times was universally 
attached to dreams and their interpretation, partly from the dispensations of 
divine providence, which at different times has made use of this means for 
the deliverance of the chosen people." In addition to this, Kran., p. 70, has 
not less appropriately said : " But that only one belonging to the people of God 
should in both cases have had communicated to him the interpretation of , the 
dream, is not more to be wondered at than that there is a true God who morally 
and spiritually supports and raises those who know and acknowledge Him, 


Vers. 1-13. 77<e dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the^ inability of 
the Chaldean wise men to interpret it.— By the 1 copulative standing 
at the commencement of this chapter the following narrative is 
connected with ch. i. 21. " We shall now discover what the youth 
ful Daniel became, and what he continued to be to the end of the 
exile " (Klief.). The plur. ritzhn (dreams, vers. 1 and 2), the singu- 
lar of which occurs in ver. 3, is not the plur. of definite universality 
(Hav., Maur., Klief.), but of intensive fulness, implying that the 
dream in its parts contained a plurality of subjects. DVsnn (from 
Dys, to thrust, to strike, as W)&, an anvil, teaches, to he tossed hither 
and thither) marks great internal disquietude. In ver. 3 and in Gen. 
xli. 8, as in Ps. Ixxvii. 5, it is in theNiphal form, but in ver. 1 it is in 
Hithp., on which Kran. finely remarks : " The Hithpael heightens 
the conception of internal unquiet lying in the Niphal to the idea 
that it makes itself outwardly manifest." His sleep was gone. 
This is evidenced without doubt by the last clause of ver. 1, nrrru 
Y^V. These interpretations are altogether wrong : — " His sleep came 
upon him, i.e. he began again to sleep " (Calvin) ; or " his sleep was 
against him," i.e. was an aversion to him, was troublesome (L. de 
Dieu) ; or, as Hav. also interprets it, " his sleep offended him, or 
was like a burden heavy upon him ; " for n*ru does not mean to fall, 
and thus does not agree with the thought expressed. The Niph. 
iTnj means to have become, been, happened. The meaning has already 
been rightly expressed by Theodoret in the words iyevero air airrov, 

according to psychological laws, even in a peculiar way." Moreover, if the word 
DJfD was really borrowed from Gen. xli. 8, that would prove nothing more than 
that Daniel had read the books of Moses. But the grounds ou which the above- 
named critics wish to prove the unhistorical character of this narrative are 
formed partly from a superficial consideration of the whole narrative and a mani- 
festly false interpretation of separate parts of it, and partly from the dogmatic 
prejudice that " a particular foretelling of a remote future is not the nature of 
Hebrew prophecy," i.e. in other words, that there is no prediction arising from 
a supernatural revelation. Against the other grounds Kran. has already very 
truly remarked: " That the narrative of the actual circumstances wants (cf. Hitz. 
p. 17) proportion and unity, is not corroborated by a just view of the situation ; 
the whole statement rather leaves the impression of a lively, fresh immediateness, 
in which a careful consideration of the circumstances easily furnishes the means 
for filling up the details of the brief sketch." Hence it follows that the contents 
of the dream sbow not the least resemblance to Pharaoh's dream, and in the 
whole story there is no trace seen of a hostile relation of Nebuchadnezzar and 
his courtiers to Judaism ; nay rather Nebuchadnezzar's relation to the God of 
Daniel presents a decided contrast to the mad rage of Antiochus Epiphanea 
against the Jewish religion. 

CHAP. II. 1-13. 87 

and in the Vulgate by the words "fugit ab illo ;" and Berth., Ges., 
and others have with equal propriety remarked, that nrPra ifW cor- 
responds in meaning with JV13 WOK', ch. vi. 19 (18), and rials' rvi*T3 
Esth. vi. 1. This sense, fo Ziaue 6een, however, does not conduct to 
the meaning given by Klief . : his sleep had been upon him ; it was 
therefore no more, it had gone ; for " to have been" is not " to be 
no more," but " to be finished," past, gone. This meaning is con- 
firmed by Wna, ch. viii. 27 : it was done with me, I was gone. The 
V?y stands not for the dative, but retains the meaning, over, upon, 
expressing the influence on the mind, as e.g. Jer. viii. 18, Hos. 
xi. 8, Ps. xlii. 6, 7, 12, xliii. 5, etc., which in German we express 
by the word bei or fur. 

The reason of so great disquietude we may not seek in the cir- 
cumstance that on awaking he could not remember the dream. This 
follows neither from ver. 3, nor is it psychologically probable that 
so impressive a dream, which on awaking he had forgotten, should 
have yet sorely disquieted his spirit during his waking hours. 
" The disquiet was created in him, as in Pharaoh (Gen. xli.), 
by the specially striking incidents of the dream, and the fearful, 
alarming apprehensions with reference to his future fate connected 
therewith'' (Kran.). 

Ver. 2. In the disquietude of his spirit the king commanded all 
his astrologers and wise men to come to him, four classes of whom 
are mentioned in this verse. 1. The B'BBin who were found also in 
Egypt (Gen. xli. 24). They are so named from Bin, a " stylus " — 
those who went about with the stylus, the priestly class of the iepo- 
rypafifiaTel?, those learned in the sacred writings and in literature. 
2. The , flf'8? ) conjurers, from t lNE' or 1^3, to breathe, to blow, to 
whisper ; for they practised their incantations by movements of the 

breath, as is shown by the Arabic <^Ju, flavit ut prcestigiator in 

nexos a se nodos, incantavit, with which it is compared by Hitz. and 
Kran. 3. The CBBbp, magicians, found also in Egypt (Ex. vii. 11), 
and, according to Isa. xlvii. 9, 12, a powerful body in Babylon. 4. 
The BriWS, the priest caste of the Chaldeans, who are named, vers. 
4, 10, and ch. i. 4, instar omnium as the most distinguished class 
among the Babylonian wise men. According to Herod, i. 171, and 
Diod. Sic. ii. 24, the Chaldeans appear to have formed the priest- 
hood in a special sense, or to have attended to the duties specially 
devolving on the priests. This circumstance, that amongst an 
Aramaic people the priests in a stricter sense were called Chaldeans, 


is explained, as at p. 78, from the fact of the ancient supremacy of 
the Chaldean people in Babylonia. 

Besides these four classes there is also a fifth, ver. 27, ch. iv. 4 
(7), v. 7, 11, called the pH, the astrologers, not haruspices, from ">_?3, 
" to cut flesh to pieces," but the determiners of the niia, the fatum or 
the fata, who announced events by the appearances of the heavens 
(cf. Isa. xlvii. 13), the forecasters of nativities, horoscopes, who 
determined the fate of men from the position and the movement of 
the stars at the time of their birth. These different classes of the 
priests and the learned are comprehended, ver. 12 ff., under the 
general designation of ] , »"'3n (cf. also Isa. xliv. 25, Jer. 1. 35), and 
they formed a crvarrifia, i.e. collegium (Diod. Sic. ii. 31), under a 
president (H?D 3"], ver. 48), who occupied a high place in the state ; 
see at ver. 48. These separate classes busied themselves, without 
doubt, with distinct branches of the Babyloniau wisdom. While 
each class cultivated a separate department, yet it was not exclu- 
sively, but in such a manner that the activities of the several classes 
intermingled in many ways. This is clearly seen from what is 
said of Daniel and his companions, that they were trained in all 
the wisdom of the Chaldeans (ch. i. 17), and is confirmed by the 
testimony of Diod. Sic. (ii. 29), that the Chaldeans, who held almost 
the same place in the state that the priests in Egypt did, while 
applying themselves to the service of the gods, sought their greatest 
glory in the study of astrology, and also devoted themselves much 
to prophecy, foretelling future things, and by means of lustrations, 
sacrifices, and incantations seeking to turn away evil and to secure 
that which was good. They possessed the knowledge of divination 
from omens, of expounding of dreams and prodigies, and of skil- 
fully casting horoscopes. 

That he might receive an explanation of his dream, Nebuchad- 
nezzar commanded all the classes of the priests and men skilled in 
wisdom to be brought before him, because in an event which was 
to him so weighty he must not only ascertain the facts of the case, 
but should the dream announce some misfortune, he must also 
adopt the means for averting it. In order that the correctness of 
the explanation of the dream might be ascertained, the stars must 
be examined, and perhaps other means of divination must be re- 
sorted to. The proper priests could by means of sacrifices make 
the gods favourable, and the conjurers and magicians by their arts 
endeavour to avert the threatened misfortune. 

Ver. 3. As to the king's demand, it is uncertain whether he 

CHAP. II. 1-13. 89 

Wished to know the dream itself or its import. The wise men 
(ver. 4) understood his words as if he desired only to know the 
meaning of it; but the king replied (ver. 5 ff.) that they must tell 
him both the dream and its interpretation. But this request on 
the part of the king does not quite prove that he had forgotten the 
dream, as Bleek, v. Leng., and others maintain, founding thereon 
the objection against the historical veracity of the narrative, that 
Nebuchadnezzar's demand that the dream should be told to him 
was madness, and that there was no sufficient reason for his rage 
(ver. 12). On the contrary, that the king had not forgotten 
his dream, and that there remained only some oppressive recol- 
lection that he had dreamed, is made clear from ver. 9, where 
the king says to the Chaldeans, " If ye cannot declare to me the 
dream, ye have taken in hand to ntter deceitful words before me ; 
therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that ye will give to 
me also the interpretation." According to this, Nebuchadnezzar 
wished to hear the dream from the wise men that he might thus 
have a guarantee for the correctness of the interpretation which 
they might give. He could not thus have spoken to them if he 
had wholly forgotten the dream, and had only a dark apprehension 
remaining in his mind that he had dreamed. In this case he 
would neither have offered a great reward for the announcement of 
the dream, nor have threatened severe punishment, or even death, 
for failure in announcing it. For then he would only have given 
the Chaldeans the opportunity, at the cost of truth, of declaring 
any dream with an interpretation. But as threatening and promise 
on the part of the king in that case would have been unwise, so 
also on the side of the wise men their helplessness in complying 
with the demand of the king would have been incomprehensible. 
If the king had truly forgotten the dream, they had no reason to 
be afraid of their lives if they had given some self-conceived 
dream with an interpretation of it , for in that case he could not 
have accused them of falsehood and deceit, and punished them on 
that account. If, on the contrary, he still knew the dream which 
so troubled him,, and the contents of which he desired to hear from 
the Chaldeans, so that he might put them to the proof whether he 
might trust in their interpretation, then neither his demand nor 
the severity of his proceeding was irrational. " The magi boasted 
that by the help of the gods they could reveal deep and hidden 
things. If this pretence is well founded — so concluded Nebu- 
chadnezzar — then it must be as easy for them to make known ta 


me my dream as its interpretation ; and since they could not do 
the former, he as rightly held them to be deceivers, as the people 
did the priests of Baal (1 Kings xviii.) because their gods an- 
swered not by fire." Hengst. 

Ver. 4. The Chaldeans, as speaking for the whole company, 
understand the word of the king in the sense most favourable for 
themselves, and they ask the king to tell them the dream. '13T1 
for iitpN 4 ^ which as a rule stands before a quotation, is occasioned by 
the addition of T'D'iN, and the words which follow are zeugmati- 
cally joined to it. Aramaic, i.e. in the native language of Baby- 
lonia, where, according to Xenoph. (Cyrop. vii. 5), the Syriac, i.e. 
the Eastern Aramaic dialect, was spoken. From the statement here, 
that the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, one must not 
certainly conclude that Nebuchadnezzar spoke the Aryan-Chaldaic 
language .of his race. The remark refers to the circumstance 
that the following words are recorded in the Aramaic, as Ezra iv. 
7. Daniel wrote this and the following chapters in Aramaic, that 
he might give the prophecy regarding the world-power in the lan- 
guage of the world-power, which under the Chaldean dynasty was 
native in Babylon, the Eastern Aramaic. The formula, "O king, 
live for ever," was the usual salutation when the kins was ad- 
dressed, both at the Chaldean and the Persian court (cf. ch. iii. 9, 
v. 10, vi. 7, 22 [6, 21] ; Neh. ii. 3). In regard to the Persian 
court, see JElian, var. hist. i. 32. With the kings of Israel this form 
of salutation was but rarely used: 1 Sam. x. 24; 1 Kings i. 31. 
The Kethiv (text) T]^, with Jod before the suffix, supposes an 
original form ^.72$ here, as at ver. 26, ch. iv. 16, 22, but it 
is perhaps only the etymological mode of writing for the form 
with a. long, analogous to the Hebr. suffix form 1\y for 1J>, since 
the Jod is often wanting ; cf. ch. iv. 24, v. 10, etc. A form 
«<;«— lies at the foundation of the form N"iK'3 ; the Keri (margin) 
substitutes the usual Chaldee form 'fryiBa from NSOba with the in- 
sertion of the litera quiescib. \ homog. to the quies. e, while in the 
Kethiv the original Jod of the sing, *1B>3 is retained instead of the 
substituted X, thus N^tf?. This reading is perfectly warranted 
(cf. ch. iii. 2, 8, 24 ; Ezra iv. 12, 13) by the analogous method 
of formation of the stat. emphat. plur. in existing nouns in ' — in 
biblical Chaldee. 

Ver. 5. The meaning of the king's answer shapes itself diffe- 
rently according to the different explanations given of the words 
snrx <3B nrbo. The word NtW, which occurs only again in the same 

CHAP. II. 1-13. 91 

phrase In ver. 8, is regarded, in accordance with the translations of 
Theodot., o \d<yo? a-rr ijiov atrecTTT], and of the Vulg., "sermo recessit 
a me," as a verb, and as of like meaning with ^TK, " to go away or 
depart," and is therefore rendered by M. Geier, Berth., and others 
in the sense, " the dream has escaped from me ;" but Ges., Hav., 
and many older interpreters translate it, on the contrary, " the 
command is gone out from me." But without taking into account 
that the punctuation of the word sntN i s not at all that of a 
verb, for this form can neither be a particip. nor the 3d pers. pret. 
fern., no acknowledgment of the dream's having escaped from him 
is made ; for such a statement would contradict what was said at 
ver. 3, and would not altogether agree with the statement of ver. 8. 
nnpa is not the dream. Besides, the supposition that ItK is equiva- 
lent to ?TK, to go away, depart, is not tenable. The change of 
the b into T is extremely rare in the Semitic, and is not to be 
assumed in the word btx, since Daniel himself uses b[«, ch. ii. 17, 
24, vi. 19, 20, and also Ezra, iv. 23, v. 8, 15. Moreover bin 
has not the meaning of N5P, to go out, to take one's departure, 
but corresponds with the Hebr. SJ?n, to go. Therefore Winer, 
Hengst., Ibn Esr. [Aben Ezra], Saad., and other rabbis interpret 
the word as meaning firmus : " the word stands firm ; " cf. ch. 
vi. 13 (12), Krbn nysr ("the thing is true"). This interpretation 
is justified by the actual import of the words, as it also agrees 
with ver. 8 ; but it does not accord with ver. 5. Here (in ver. 5) 
the declaration of the certainty of the king's word was superfluous, 
because all the royal commands were unchangeable. For this 
reason also the meaning cnrov8ai,a><;, studiously, earnestly, as Hitz., 
by a fanciful reference to the Persian, whence he has derived 
it, has explained it, is to be rejected. Much more satisfactory is 
the derivation from the Old Persian word found on inscriptions, 
dzanda, " science," " that which is known," given by Delitzsch 
(Herz.'s Realenc. iii. p. 274), and adopted by Kran. and Klief. 1 
Accordingly Klief. thus interprets the phrase : " let the word from 
me be known," "be it known to you;" which is more suitable 
obviously than that of Kran. : " the command is, so far as regards 

1 In regard to the explanation of the word Nits as given above, it is, how- 
ever, to be remarked that it is not confirmed, and Delitzsch has for the present 
given it up, because — as he has informed me — the word azda, which appears 
once in the large inscription of Behistan (Bisutun) and twice in the inscrip- 
tion of Nakhschi-Eustam, is of uncertain reading and meaning. Spiegel 
explains it " unknown," from zan, to know, and a privativum. 


me, made public." For the king now for the first time distinctly and 
definitely says that he wishes not only to hear from the wise men the 
interpretation, but also the dream itself, and declares the punish- 
ment that shall visit them in the event of their not being able to 
comply. rP™ 1??, peXri iroielv, 2 Mace. i. 16, LXX. in Dan. iii. 
39, hiajieXi^ecrBai, to cut in pieces, a punishment that was common 
among the Babylonians (ch. iii. 39, cf. Ezek. xvi. 40), and also 
among the Israelites in the case of prisoners of war (cf. 1 Sam. xv. 
33). It is not, however, to be confounded with the barbarous custom 
which was common among the Persians, of mangling particular 
limbs. v]3, in Ezra vi. 11 v}3, dunghill, sink. The changing of 
their houses into dunghills is not to be regarded as meaning that 
the house built of clay would be torn down, and then dissolved by 
the rain and storm into a heap of mud, but is to be interpreted ac- 
cording to 2 Kings x. 27, where the temple of Baal is spoken of as 
having been broken down and converted into private closets ; cf. 
Hav. in loco. The Keri piajjnn without the Dagesh in 2 might stand 
as the Kelldv for Ithpaal, but is apparently the Ithpeal, as at ch. iii. 
29, Ezra vi. 11. As to jia^a, it is to be remarked that Daniel uses 
only the suffix forms jia and |in, while with Ezra Cb and p are 
interchanged (see above, p. 45), which are found in the language of 
the Targums and might be regarded as Hebraisms, while the forms 
pa and jirr are peculiar to the Syriac and the Samaritan dialects. 
This distinction does not prove that the Aramaic, of Daniel belongs 
to a period later than that of Ezra (Hitz., v. Leng.), but only that 
Daniel preserves more faithfully the familiar Babylonian form of 
the Aramaic than does the Jewish scribe Ezra. 

Ver. 6. The rigorous severity of this edict accords with the 
character of Oriental despots and of Nebuchadnezzar, particularly 
in his dealings with the Jews (2 Kings xxv. 7, 18 ff. ; Jer. xxxix. 
6 f., Hi. 10 f., 24-27). In the promise of rewards the explanation 
of n ?p? (in the plur. £3133, ch. v. 17) is disputed ; its rendering 
by " money," " gold " (by Eichh. and Berth.), has been long ago 
abandoned as incorrect. The meaning gift, present, is agreeable 
to the context and to the ancient versions ; but its derivation 
formed from the Chald. T2T3, Pealp. of U3, erogavit, expendit, by 
the substitution of 3 for D and the excision of the second t from 
ntann, in the meaning largitio amplior, the Jod in the plural form 
being explained from the affinity of verbs y'j? and n'i> (Ges. Thes. p. 
842, and Kran.), is highly improbable. The derivation from the 
Persian nuvdzan, nuvdzi&ch, to caress, to flatter, then to make a 

CHAP. II. 1-18. 93 

present to (P. v. Bohlen), or from the Sanscr. namas, present, 
gift (Hitz.), or from the Vedish bag, to give, to distribute, and 
the related New Persian bdj (bash), a present (Haug), are also 
very questionable. 1??, on that account, therefore (cf. ver. 9 and 
ch. iv. 24), formed from the prepos. j> and the demonstrative ad- 
verb fn, has in negative sentences (as the Hebr. *3 and jn?) the 
meaning but, rather (ch. ii. 30), and in a pregnant sense, only 
(ch. ii. 11, iii. 28, vi. 8), without \\0 being derived in such in- 
stances from to and JH = N? DK 

Ver. 7. The wise men repeat their request, but the king per- 
sists that they only justify his suspicion of them by pressing such 
a demand, and that he saw that they wished to deceive him with 
a self-conceived interpretation of the dream. rriE'si is not, as 
Hitz. proposes, to be changed into PTiB'Sn. The form is a Hebr. 
stat. emphat. for tOE/35, as e.g. ^n??, ver. 5, is changed into tsnpa in 
vers. 8 and 11, and in biblical Chaldee, in final syllables n is often 
found instead of s. — Ver. 8. 3 S SP IP, an adverbial expression, to be 
sure, certainly, as Et^i? ]0, truly, ver. 47, and other adverbial 
forms. The words pJ^V jvuk sriy n do not mean either " that 
ye wish to use or seize the favourable time " (Hav., Kran.), or 
" that ye wish to buy up the present perilous moment," i.e. bring 
it within your power, become masters of the time (Hitz.), but 
simply, that ye buy, that is wish to gain time (Ges., Maur., etc.). 
py )3t = tempus emere in Cicero. Nothing can be here said of a 
favourable moment, for there was not such a time for the wise men, 
either in the fact that Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten his dream 
(Hav.), or in the curiosity of the king with reference to the inter- 
pretation of the dream, on which they could speculate, expecting 
that the king might be induced thereby to give a full communica- 
tion of the dream (Kran.). But for the wise men, in consequence 
of the threatening of the king, the crisis was indeed full of 
danger; but it is not to be overlooked that they appeared to think 
that they could control the crisis, bringing it under their own 
power, by their willingness to interpret the dream if it were 
reported to them. Their repeated request that the dream should 
be told to them shows only their purpose to gain time and save 
their lives, if they now truly believed either that the king could 
not now distinctly remember his dream, or that by not repeating 
it he wished to put them to the test. Thus the king says to them: 
I see from your hesitation that ye are not sure of your case; and 
since ye at the same time think that I have forgotten the dream, 


therefore ye wish me, by your repeated requests to relate the 
dream, only to gain time, to extend the case, because ye fear 
the threatened punishment (Klief.). ^ k??* - ^?, wholly because; 
not, notwithstanding that (Hitz.). As to the last words of ver. 8, 
see under ver. 5. 

Ver. 9. |n ^ is equivalent to DK "IB>K, quodsi. " The >r \ sup- 
poses the fact of the foregoing passage, and brings it into ex- 
press relation to the conditional clause" (Kran.). P^riT does not 
mean, your design or opinion, or your lot (Mich., Hitz., Maur.), 
but fiT is law, decree, sentence ; P^rn, the sentence that is going forth 
or has gone forth against you, i.e. according to ver. 5, the sentence 
of death, rnn, one, or the one and no other. This judgment is 
founded on the following passage, in which the cop. 1 is to be 
explained as equivalent to namely, rwntw n3"]3, lies and pernicious 
words, are united together for the purpose of strengthening the 
idea, in the sense of wicked lies (Hitz.). pruotn is not to be read, 
as Hav., v. Leng., Maur., and Kran. do, as the Aphel P^Bjn : ye 
have prepared or resolved to say ; for in the Aphel this word (JBT) 
means to appoint or summon a person, but not to prepare or appoint 
a thing (see Buxt. Lex. Tal. s. v.). And the supposition that the 
king addressed the Chaldeans as the speakers appointed by the 
whole company of the wise men (Kran.) has no place in the text. 
The Ketldv P^Din is to be read as Ithpa. for pniBfiTn according to 
the Keri (cf. 13?? for ^ r i]'}, Isa. i. 16), meaning inter se convenire, 
as the old interpreters rendered it. "Till the time be changed," 
i.e. till the king either drop the matter, or till they learn some- 
thing more particular about the dream through some circumstances 
that may arise. The lies which Nebuchadnezzar charged the wise 
men with, consisted in the explanation which they promised if he 
would tell them the dream, while their desire to hear the dream con- 
tained a proof that they had not the faculty of revealing secrets. 
The words of the king clearly show that he knew the dream, for 
otherwise he would not have been able to know whether the wise 
men spoke the truth in telling him the dream (Klief.). 

Ver. 10. Since the king persisted in his demand, the Chaldeans 
were compelled to confess that they could not tell the dream. This 
confession, however, they seek to conceal under the explanation 
that compliance with the king's request was beyond human power, 
— a request which no great or mighty king had ever before made of 
any magician or astrologer, and which was possible only with the 
gods, who however do not dwell among mortals. "i -^i?'^ 3 does 

CHAP. II. 1-13. 95 

not mean quam oh rem, wherefore, as a particle expressive of a 
consequence (Ges.), but is here used in the sense of because, 
assigning a reason. The thought expressed is not: because the 
matter is impossible for men, therefore no king has ever asked any- 
such thing; but it is this : because it has come into the mind of 
no great and mighty king to demand any such thing, therefore it 
is impossible for men to comply with it. They presented before 
the king the fact that no king had ever made such a request as 
a proof that the fulfilling of it was beyond human ability. The 
epithets great and mighty are here not mere titles of the Oriental 
kings (Hav.), but are chosen as significant. The mightier the 
king, so much the greater the demand, he believed, he might 
easily make upon a subject. 

Ver. 11. ]<V, but only, see under ver. 6. In the words, whose 
dwelling is not with flesh, there lies neither the idea of higher 
and of inferior gods, nor the thought that the gods only act among 
men in certain events (Hav.), but only the simple thought of the 
essential distinction between gods and men, so that one may not 
demand anything from weak mortals which could be granted only 
by the gods as celestial beings. N"}?'?, flesh, in opposition to 
HVi, marks the human nature according to its weakness and 
infirmity; cf. Isa. xxxi. 3, Ps. lvi. 5. The king, however, does 
not admit this excuse, but falls into a violent passion, and gives a 
formal command that the wise men, in whom he sees deceivers 
abandoned by the gods, should be put to death. This was a 
dreadful command ; but there are illustrations of even greater 
cruelty perpetrated by Oriental despots before him as well as after 
him. The edict (Nrn) is carried out, but not fully. Not " all 
the wise men," according to the terms of the decree, were put to 
death, but r? ! ?P ) ! lt ? x> T t ?''?Dj *'•«• the wise men were put to death. 

Ver. 13. While it is manifest that the decree was not carried 
fully out, it is yet clearer from what follows that the participle 
r6t3j?no does not stand for the preterite, but has the meaning : 
the work of putting to death was begun. The participle also 
does not stand as the gerund : they were to be put to death, i.e. 
were condemned (Kran.), for the use of the passive participle as 
the gerund is not made good by a reference to jaTtn, ch. ii. 45, 
and^rn, ch. ii. 31. Even the command to kill all the wise men 
of Babylon is scarcely to be understood of all the wise men of the 
whole kingdom. The word Babylon may represent the Babylonian 
empire, or the province of Babylonia, or the city of Babylon only 


In the city of Babylon a college of the Babylonian wise men or 
Chaldeans was established, who, according to Strabo (xv. 1. 6), 
occupied a particular quarter of the city as their own ; but besides 
this, there were also colleges in the province of Babylon at Hippa- 
renum, Orchis, which Plin. hist. nat. vi. 26 (30) designates as tertia 
Chaldceorum doctrina, at Borsippa, and other places. The wise men 
who were called (ver. 2) into the presence of the king, were 
naturally those who resided in the city of Babylon, for Nebuchad- 
nezzar was at that time in his palace. Yet of those who had their 
residence there, Daniel and his companions were not summoned, 
because they had just ended their noviciate, and because, obviously, 
only the presidents or the older members of the several classes were 
sent for. But since Daniel and his companions belonged to the 
whole body of the wise men, they also were sought out that they 
might be put to death. 

Vers. 14-30. DanieVs willingness to declare his dream to the 
king ; his prayer for a revelation of the secret, and the answer to 
his prayer ; his explanation before the king. 

Ver. 14. Through Daniel's judicious interview with Arioch, the 
further execution of the royal edict was interrupted. NDy Tnn 
DVtpij he ansicered, replied, counsel and understanding, i.e. the words 
of counsel and understanding ; cf. Prov. xxvi. 16. The name Arioch 
appears in Gen. xiv. 1 as the name of the king of Ellasar, along 
with the kings of Elam and Shinar. It is derived not from the 
Sanscr. drjaka, venerabilis, but is probably formed from '"is, a 
lion, as Tico from nisr = "itM. Njn3B - :n J s the chief of the body- 
guard, which was regarded as the highest office of the kingdom 
(cf. Jer. xxxix. 9, 11, xl. 1 ff.). It was his business to see to the exe- 
cution of the king's commands ; see 1 Kings ii. 25, 2 Kino-sxxv. 8. 

Ver. 15. The partic. Aph. nssnno standing after the noun in 
the stat. absol. is not predicative: " on what account is the command 
so hostile on the part of the king ? " (Kran.), but it stands in appo- 
sition to the noun ; for with participles, particularly when further 
definitions follow, the article, even in union with substantives de- 
fined by the article, may be and often is omitted ; cf. Sono- vii. 5 
and Ew. § 335 a. *]?[], to be hard, sharp, hence to be severe. Daniel 
showed understanding and counsel in the question he put as to the 
cause of so severe a command, inasmuch as he thereby gave Arioch 
to understand that there was a possibility of obtaining a fulfilment 
of the royal wish. When Arioch informed him of the state of the 

CHAP. II. 14-30. $7 

matter, Daniel went in to the king — i.e., as is expressly mentioned in 
ver. 24, was introduced or brought in by Arioch — and presented to 
the king the request that time should be granted, promising that 
he would show to the king the interpretation of the dream. 

Ver. 16. With rPinr6 tn^'en the construction is changed. This 
passage does not depend on ,, l, time, namely, to show the interpre- 
tation (Hitz.), but is co-ordinate with the foregoing relative clause, 
and like it is dependent on KJja. The change of the construction 
is caused by the circumstance that in the last passage another 
subject needed to be introduced : The king should give him time, 
and Daniel will show the interpretation. The copulative 1 before 
*OB>'a (interpretation) is used neither explicatively, namely, and in- 
deed, nor is it to be taken as meaning also ; the simple and is suffi- 
cient, although the second part of the request contains the explana- 
tion and reason of the first ; i.e. Daniel asks for the granting of a 
space, not that he might live longer, but that he might be able to 
interpret the dream to the king. Besides, that he merely speaks of 
the meaning of the dream, and not also of the dream itself, is, as 
vers. 25 ff. show, to be here explained (as in ver. 24) as arising from 
the brevity of the narrative. For the same reason it is not said 
that the king granted the request, but ver. 17 f. immediately shows 
what Daniel did after the granting of his request. He went into 
his own house and showed the matter to his companions, that they 
might entreat God of His mercy for this secret, so that they might 
not perish along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 

Ver. 18a. The final clause depends on SHin (v. 17). The 1 is to 
be interpreted as explicative : and indeed, or namely. Against this 
interpretation it cannot be objected, with Hitz., that Daniel also 
prayed. He and his friends thus prayed to God that He would 
grant a revelation of the secret, i.e. of the mysterious dream and 
its interpretation. The designation " God of heaven " occurs in 
Gen. xxiv. 7, where it is used of Jehovah ; but it was first com- 
monly used as the designation of the almighty and true God in 
the time of the exile (cf. vers. 19, 44 ; Ezra i. 2, vi. 10, vii. 12, 
21 ; Neh. i. 5, ii. 4; Ps. cxxxvi. 26), who, as Daniel names Him 
(ch. v. 23), is the Lord of heaven ; i.e. the whole heavens, with all 
the stars, which the heathen worshipped as gods, are under His 

Ver. 19. In answer to these supplications, the secret was re- 
vealed to Daniel in a night-vision. A vision of the night is not 
necessarily to be identified with a dream. In the case before us, 




Daniel does not speak of a dream ; and the idea that he had 
dreamed precisely the same dream as Nebuchadnezzar is arbitrarily 
imported into the text by Hitz. in order to gain a " psychological 
impossibility," and to be able to cast suspicion on the historical 
character of the narrative. It is possible, indeed, that dreams may 
be, as the means of a divine revelation, dream-visions, and as such 
may be called visions of the night (cf. vii. 1, 13) ; but in itself a 
vision of the night is a vision simply which any one receives 
during the night whilst he is awake. 1 

Ver. 20. On receiving the divine revelation, Daniel answered 
(nay) with a prayer of thanksgiving. The word TO. retains its 
proper meaning. The revelation is of the character of an address 
from God, which Daniel answers with praise and thanks to God. 
The forms WQ^ and in the plur. fin? and fVV, which are peculiar 
to the biblical Chaldee, we regard, with Maur., Hitz., Kran., and 
others, as the imperfect or future forms, 3d pers. sing, and plur., 
in which the b instead of the * is to be explained perhaps from the 
Syriac prseform. 3, which is frequently found also in the Chaldee 
Targums (cf. Dietrich, de sermonis chald. proprietate, p. 43), 
while the Hebrew exiles in the word 8*in used b instead of i as 
more easy of utterance. The doxology in this verse reminds us of 
Job i. 21. The expression "for ever and ever" occurs here in the 
0. T. for the first time, so that the solemn liturgical Beracha 
(Blessing) of the second temple, Neh. ix. 5, 1 Chron. xvi. 3G, 
with which also the first (Ps. xlv. 14) and the fourth (Ps. cvi. 48) 
books of the Psalter conclude, appears to have been composed after 
this form of praise used by Daniel. "The name of God" will be 
praised, i.e. the manifestation of the existence of God in the world ; 
thus, God so far as He has anew given manifestation of His glorious 
existence, and continually bears witness that He it is who possesses 

1 " Dream and vision do not constitute two separate categories. The dreani- 
image is a vision, the vision while awake is a dreaming — only that in the latter 
case the consciousness of the relation between the inner and the outer maintains 
itself more easily. Intermediate between the two stand the night-visions which 
as in Job iv. 13, either having risen up before the spirit, fade away from the 
mind in after-thought, or, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. ii. 29), are 
an image before the imagination into which the thoughts of the night run out. 
Zechariah saw a number of visions in one night, ch. i. 7, vi. 15. Also these 
which, according to ch. i. 8, are called visions of the night are not, as Ew. and 
Hitz. suppose, dream-images, but are waking perceptions in the night. Just 
because the prophet did not sleep, he says, ch. iv., ' The angel awaked me as 
one is awaked out of sleep.' " — Tholuck's Die Propheten, u.s.w., p. 52. 

CHAP, II. 14-30. 99 

wisdom and strength (cf. Job xii. 13). The ""[ before the fb is 
the emphatic re-assumption of the preceding confirmatory "!, /or. 

Vers. 21, 22. The evidence of the wisdom and power of God 
is here unfolded ; and first the manifestation of His power. He 
changes times and seasons. LXX., Theodot., /caipoix; ical vpovovs, 
would be more accurately ^povovi ical icaipovs, as in Acts i. 7, 
1 Thess. v. 1 ; for the Peschito in these N. T. passages renders 
Xpovoi by the Syriac word which is equivalent to &WDt, according 
to which HJV is the more general expression for time = circum- 
stance- of time, |OJ for measured time, the definite point of time. 
The uniting together of the synonymous words gives expres- 
sion to the thought : ex arbitrio Dei pendere revolutiones omnium 
omnino temporum, qucecunque et qualia-cunque ilia fuerint. 0. B. 
Mich. God's unlimited control over seasons and times is seen in 
this, that He sets up and casts down kings. Thus Daniel explains 
the revelation regarding the dream of Nebuchadnezzar made to 
him as announcing great changes in the kingdoms of the world, 
and revealing God as the Lord of time and of the world in their 
developments. All wisdom also comes from God. He gives to men 
disclosures regarding His hidden counsels. This Daniel had just 
experienced. Illumination dwells with God as it were a person, 
as Wisdom, Prov. viii. 30. The Keiliiv K^m is maintained against 
the Keri by VTTO, ch. v. 11, 14. With the perf. iOB> the participial 
construction passes over into the temp. Jin. ; the perfect stands in 
the sense of the completed act. Therefore (ver. 23) praise and 
thanksgiving belong to God. Through the revelation of the secret 
hidden to the wise men of this world He has proved Himself to 
Daniel as the God of the fathers, as the true God in opposition to 
the gods of the heathen. |J?ai = nnjn, and now. 

Vers. 24 ff. Hereupon Daniel announced to the king that he was 
prepared to make known to him the dream with its interpretation. 
Tm ?5i? "'I, for that very reason, viz. because God had revealed to 
him the king's matter, Daniel was brought in by Arioch before the 
king; for no one had free access to the king except his immediate 
servants. ?TK, he went, takes up inconsequenter the ?5> (intravit), 
which is separated by a long sentence, so as to connect it with what 
follows. Arioch introduced (ver. 25) Daniel to the king as a man 
from among the captive Jews who could make known to him the 
interpretation of his dream. Arioch did not need to take any 
special notice of the fact that Daniel had already (ver. 16) spoken 
with the king concerning it, even if he had knowledge of it. In 


the form fy»n, ver. 25, also ch. iv. 3 (6) and vi. 19 (18), the 
Dagesch lying in byn, ver. 24, is compensated by an epenthetic 3 : 
cf. Winer, Chald. Gram. § 19, 1. nSnanro, in haste, for the matter 
concerned the further execution of the king's command, which 
Arioch had suspended on account of Daniel's interference, and his 
offer to make known the dream and its interpretation. rinSB'n for 
final's, cf. Winer, § 15, 3. The relative "H, which many Codd. 
insert after 133, is the circumstantially fuller form of expression 
before prepositional passages. Cf. ch. v. 13, vi. 14 ; Winer, § 

Vers. 26, 27. To the question of the king, whether he was able 
to show the dream with its interpretation, Daniel replies by direct- 
ing him from man, who is unable to accomplish such a thing, to the 
living God in heaven, who alone reveals secrets. The expression, 
whose name was Belteshazzar (ver. 26), intimates in this connection 
that he who was known among the Jews by the name Daniel was 
known to the Chaldean king only under the name given to him by 
the conqueror — that Nebuchadnezzar knew of no Daniel, but only of 
Belteshazzar. The question, " art thou able ? " i.e. hast thou ability 1 
does not express the king's ignorance of the person of Daniel, but 
only his amazement at his ability to make known the dream, in the 
sense, "art thou really able?" This amazement Daniel acknow- 
ledges as justified, for he replies that no wise man was able to 
do this thing. In the enumeration of the several classes of magi- 
cians the word TP^n is the general designation of them all. "But 
there is a God in heaven." Daniel " declares in the presence of 
the heathen the existence of God, before he speaks to him of His 
works." Klief. But when he testifies of a God in heaven as One 
who is able to reveal hidden things, he denies this ability eo ipso to 
all the so-called gods of the heathen. Thereby he not only assigns 
the reason of the inability of the heathen wise men, who knew not 
the living God in heaven, to show the divine mysteries, but he refers 
also all the revelations which the heathen at any time receive to the 
one true God. The l in jnini introduces the development of the 
general thought. That there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets 
Daniel declares to the king by this, that he explains his dream as 
an inspiration of this God, and shows to him its particular circum- 
stances. God made known to him in a dream " what would happen 
in the end of the days." «#' nnnx = DWi nnrjK designates here 
not the future generally (Hav.), and still less " that which comes 
-after the days, a time which follows after another time, compre- 

CHAP. II. H-30. 101 

hended under the QV?jn " (Klief.), but the concluding future or the 
Messianic period of the world's time ; see Gen. xlix. 1. 

From ru"i '"ins in ver. 29 that general interpretation of the 
expression is not proved. The expression N*'?i' 1 JVinNa of ver. 28 
is not explained by the nan nqt? Kir6 ""i HD of ver. 29, but this 
Wt '"ins relates to Nebuchadnezzar's thoughts of a future in the 
history of the world, to which God, the revealer of secrets, unites 
His Messianic revelations; moreover, every Messianic future 
event is also an nai inns (cf. ver. 45), without, however, every 
n ?1 ' l ~!S$ being also Messianic, though it may become so when at 
the same time it is a constituent part of the future experience and 
the history of Israel, the people of the Messianic promise (Kran.). 
" The visions of thy head " (cf. iv. 2 [5], 7 [10], 10 [13], vii. 1) are 
not dream-visions because they formed themselves in the head or 
brains (v. Leng., Maur., Hitz.), which would thus be only phan- 
toms or fancies. The words are not a poetic expression for 
dreams hovering about the head (Hav.) ; nor yet can we say, with 
Klief., that " the visions of thy head upon thy bed, the vision which 
thou sawest as thy head lay on thy pillow," mean only dream- 
visions. Against the former interpretation this may be stated, 
that dreams from God do not hover about the head ; and against 
the latter, that the mention of the head would in that case be 
superfluous. The expression, peculiar to Daniel, designates much 
rather the divinely ordered visions as such, " as were perfectly 
consistent with a thoughtfulness of the head actively engaged " 
(Kran.). The singular KW nM goes back to :]0?n (thy dream) as 
a fundamental idea, and is governed by ^N"?. ilffil in the sense : 
" thy dream with the visions of thy head ; " cf . Winer, § 49, 6. 
The plur. W is used, because the revelation comprehends a series 
of visions of future events. 

Ver. 29. The pronoun "A3X (as for thee), as Daniel everywhere 
writes it, while the Keri substitutes for it the later Targ. form ^K, 
is absolute, and forms the contrast to the naxi (as for me) of ver. 30. 
The thoughts of the king are not his dream (Hitz.), but thoughts 
about the future of his kingdom which filled his mind as he lay 
upon his bed, and to which God gave him an answer in the dream 
(v. Leng., Maur., Kran., Klief.). Therefore they are to be distin- 
guished from the thoughts of thy heart, ver. 30, for these are the 
thoughts that troubled the king, which arose from the revelations 
of the dream to him. The contrast in ver. 30a and 30S is not this : 
" not for my wisdom before all that live to show," but " for the 


sake of the king to explain the dream ; " for 2 is not the preposition 
of the object, but of the means, thus: " not by the wisdom which 
might be in me." The supernatural revelation 0"? V?) forms the 
contrast, and the object to which ^ rmr^ points is compre- 
hended implicite in N»rrb-|D, for in the words, " the wisdom which 
may be in me before all living," lies the unexpressed thought: that I 
should be enlightened by such superhuman wisdom. pjn. iri ', "that 
they might make it known : " the plur. of undefined generality, cf. 
Winer, § 49, 3. The impersonal form of expression is chosen in 
order that his own person might not be brought into view. The 
idea of Aben Ezra, Vatke, and others, that angels are the subject 
of the verb, is altogether untenable. 

Vers. 31-45. The Dream and its Interpretation. — Nebuchad- 
nezzar saw in his dream a great metallic image which was terrible 
to look upon. ^N (behold), which Daniel interchanges with V1K ; 
corresponds with the Hebrew words nsi, Wi, or run. D?S is not 
an idol-image (Hitz.), but a statue, and, as is manifest from the 
following description, a statue in human form, "in is not the in- 
definite article (Ges., Win., Maur.), but the numeral. " The 
world-power is in all its phases one, therefore all these phases are 
united in the vision in one image" (Klief.). The words from NB7X 
to "iW contain two parenthetical expressions, introduced for the 
purpose of explaining the conception of tWt? (great). DNJ3 is to 
be united with vNi. J3"=i here and at ch. vii. 20 f. is used by 
Daniel as a peculiar form of the demonstrative pronoun, for which 
Ezra uses ^. The appearance of the colossal image was terrible, 
not only on account of its greatness and its metallic splendour, but 
because it represented the world-power of fearful import to the 
people of God (Klief.). 

Vers. 32, 33. The description of the image according to its 
several parts is introduced with the absolute ncAx Wii concerning 
this image, not : " this was the image." The pronoun ron is made 
prominent, as ron, c h. iv. 15, and the Hebr. nt more frequently, 
e.g. Isa. xxiii. 13. "nnn, plur. Piq — its singular occurs only in the 
Targums — corresponding with the Hebr. nm, the breast. PJJD the 
bowels, here the abdomen enclosing the bowels, the belly. rDT the 
thighs (hilfte) and upper part of the loins. Ver. 33. pB>, the' lea 
inclnding the upper part of the thigh. |irnD is partitive : part of 
it of iron. Instead of Jinao the Keri prefers the fem. jruo here 
and at vers. 41 and 42, with reference to this, that vSjn i s usually 

CHAF. II. 31-45. lC3 

the gen. fern., after the custom of nouns denoting members of the 
body that are double. The Ketlrio unconditionally deserves the • 
preference, although, as the apparently anomalous form, which 
appears with this suffix also in ch. vii. 8, 20, after substantives of 
seemingly feminine meaning, where the choice of the masculine 
form is to be explained from the undefined conception of the 
subjective idea apart from the sex ; cf. Ewald's Lehr. d. hebr. 
Sp. § 319. 

The image appears divided as to its material into four or five 
parts — the head, the breast with the arms, the belly with the 
thighs, and the legs and feet. " Only the first part, the head, 
constitutes in itself a united whole ; the second, with the arms, 
represents a division ; the third runs into a division in the thighs ; 
the fourth, bound into one at the top, divides itself in the two 
legs, but has also the power of moving in itself ; the fifth is 
from the first divided in the legs, and finally in the ten toes runs 
out into a wider division. The material becomes inferior from 
the head downward — gold, silver, copper, iron, clay ; so that, 
though on the whole metallic, it becomes inferior, and finally ter- 
minates in clay, losing itself in common earthly matter. Notwith- 
standing that the material becomes always the harder, till it is 
iron, yet then suddenly and at last it becomes weak and brittle 
clay." — Klief. The fourth and fifth parts, the legs and the feet, 
are, it is true, externally separate from each other, but inwardly, 
through the unity of the material, iron, are bound together ; so 
that we are to reckon only four parts, as afterwards is done in 
the interpretation. This image Nebuchadnezzar was contem- 
plating (ver. 34), i.e. reflected upon with a look directed toward 
it, until a stone moved without human hands broke loose from 
a mountain, struck against the lowest part of the image, broke 
the whole of it into pieces, and ground to powder all its material 
from the head even to the feet, so that it was scattered like chaff 
of the summer thrashing-floor, in 1 ? "7 '"! does not mean : " which 
was not in the hands of any one " (Klief.), but the words are a pre- 
positional expression for without ; 3 to, not with = without, and "l 
expressing the dependence of the word on the foregoing noun. 
Without hands, without human help, is a litotes for : by a higher, 
a divine providence ; cf. ch. viii. 25 ; Job xxxiv. 20 ; Lam. iv. 6. 
,T !D?, as one = at once, with one stroke. W* for ip! is not intran- 
sitive or passive, but with an indefinite plur. subject : they crushed, 
referring to the supernatural power by which the crushing was 


effected. The destruction of the statue is so described, that the 
image passes over into the matter of it. It is not said of the parts 
of the image, the head, the breast, the belly, and the thighs, that 
they were broken to pieces by the stone, " for the forms of the 
world-power represented by these parts had long ago passed away, 
when the stone strikes against the last form of the world-power 
represented by the feet," but only of the materials of which these 
parts consist, the silver and the gold, is the destruction predicated ; 
" for the material, the combinations of peoples, of which these 
earlier forms of the world-power consist, pass into the later forms 
of it, and thus are all destroyed when the stone destroys the last 
form of the world-power" (Klief.). But the stone which brought 
this destruction itself became a great mountain which filled the 
whole earth. To this Daniel added the interpretation which he 
announces in ver. 36. ""?N?., we will tell, is " a generalizing form 
Df expression" (Kran.) in harmony with ver. 30. Daniel asso- 
ciates himself with his companions in the faith, who worshipped 
the same God of revelation ; cf. ver. 236. 

Vers. 37, 38. The interpretation begins with the golden head. 
N'?? 1 ? =l?Pj the usual title of the monarchs of the Oriental world- 
kingdoms (yid. Ezek. xxvi. 7), is not the predicate to '"Uji?^ but 
stands in apposition to N3?o. The following relative passages, 
vers. 376 and 38, are only further explications of the address King 
of Kings, in which iirux is again taken up to bring back the predi- 
cate. T' 1 -?-?) wherever, everywhere. As to the form P.N'i, see the 
remarks under posij at ch. iii. 3. The description of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's dominion over men, beasts, and birds, is formed after the 
words of Jer. xxvii. 6 and.xxviii. 14; the mention of the beasts 
serves only for the strengthening of the thought that his dominion 
was that of a world-kingdom, and that God had subjected all 
things to him. Nebuchadnezzar's dominion did not, it is true 
extend over the whole earth, but perhaps over the whole civilised 
world of Asia, over all the historical nations of his time • and in 
this sense it was a world-kingdom, and as such, "the prototype and 
pattern, the beginning and primary representative of all world- 
powers " (Klief.). new, stat. emphat. for Ntf'SO ; the reading ric'tn 
defended by Hitz. is senseless. If Daniel called him (Nebuchad- 
nezzar) the golden head, the designation cannot refer to his person 
but to the world-kingdom founded by him and represented in his 
person, having all things placed under his sway by God. Hitzig's 
idea, that Nebuchadnezzar is the golden head as distinguished 

CHAP. II. 31-15. 105 

from Ins successors in the Babylonian kingdom, is opposed by ver. 
39, where it is said that after him (not another king, but) " another 
kingdom " would arise. That " Daniel, in the words, ' Thou art the 
golden head,' speaks of the Babylonian kingdom as of Nebuchad- 
nezzar personally, while on the contrary he speaks of the other 
world-kingdoms impersonally only as of kingdoms, has its founda- 
tion in this, that the Babylonian kingdom personified in Nebuchad- 
nezzar stood before him, and therefore could be addressed by the 
word thou, while the other kingdoms could not " (Klief.). 

Ver. 39. In this verse the second and third parts of the image 
are interpreted of the second and third world-kingdoms. Little 
is said of these kingdoms here, because they are more fully de- 
scribed in ch. vii. viii. and x. That the first clause of ver. 39 
refers to the second, the silver part of the image, is apparent from 
the fact that ver. 38 refers to the golden head, and the second clause 
of ver. 39 to the belly of brass. According to this, the breast and 
arms of silver represent another kingdom which would arise after 
Nebuchadnezzar, i.e. after the Babylonian kingdom. This king- 
dom will be 'HSf? x V"!^j inferior to thee, i.e. to the kingdom of which 
thou art the representative. Instead of the adjective WTix, here 
used adverbially, the Masoretes have substituted the adverbial form 
JHX, in common use in later times, which Hitz. incorrectly inter- 
prets by the phrase " downwards from thee." Since the other, i.e. 
the second kingdom, as we shall afterwards prove, is the Medo- 
Persian world-kingdom, the question arises, in how far was it 
inferior to the Babylonian ? In outward extent it was not less, 
but even greater than it. With reference to the circumstance that 
the parts of the image representing it were silver, and not gold as 
the head was, Oalv., Aub., Kran., and others, are inclined to the 
opinion that the word " inferior " points to the moral condition of 
the kingdom. But if the successive deterioration of the inner 
moral condition of the four world-kingdoms is denoted by the 
succession of the metals, this cannot be expressed by i]3t? Njns, 
because in regard to the following world-kingdoms, represented by 
copper and iron, such an intimation or declaration does not find 
a place, notwithstanding that copper and iron are far inferior to 
silver and gold. Klief., on the contrary, thinks that the Medo- 
Persian kingdom stands inferior to, or is smaller than, the Baby- 
lonian kingdom in respect of universality ; for this element is 
exclusively referred to in the text, being not only attributed to 
the Babylonian kingdom, ver. 37, in the widest extent, but also 


to the third kingdom, ver. 39, and not less to the fourth, ver. 40. 
The universality belonging to a world-kingdom does not, however, 
require that it should rule over all the nations of the earth to its 
very end, nor that its territory should have a defined extent, but 
only that such a kingdom should unite in itself the oUovfievi), i.e. 
the civilised world, the whole of the historical nations of its time. 
And this was truly the case with the Babylonian, the Macedonian, 
and the Roman world-monarchies, but it was not so with the 
Medo-Persian, although perhaps it was more powerful and em- 
braced a more extensive territory than the Babylonian, since 
Greece, which at the time of the Medo-Persian monarchy had al- 
ready decidedly passed into the rank of the historical nations, as yet 
stood outside of the Medo-Persian rule. But if this view is correct, 
then would universality be wanting to the third, i.e. to the Grrseco- 
Macedonian world-monarchy, which is predicated of it in the words 
" That shall bear rule over the whole earth," since at the time of 
this monarchy Rome had certainly passed into the rank of historical 
nations, and yet it was not incorporated with the Macedonian empire. 

The Medo-Persian world-kingdom is spoken of as "inferior" 
to the Babylonian perhaps only in this respect, that from its com- 
mencement it wanted inner unity, since the Medians and Per- 
sians did not form a united people, but contended with each other 
for the supremacy, which is intimated in the expression, ch. vii. 
5, that the bear " raised itself up on one side : '' see under that 
passage. In the want of inward unity lay the weakness or the 
inferiority in strength of this kingdom, its inferiority as compared 
with the Babylonian. Tin's originally divided or separated cha- 
racter of this kingdom appears in the image in the circumstance 
that it is represented by the breast and the arms. " Medes and 
Persians," as Hofm. ( Weiss, u. Erf. i. S. 279) well remarks, " are the 
two sides of the breast. The government of the Persian kingdom 
was not one and united as was that of the Chaldean nation and 
king, but it was twofold. The Magi belonged to a different race 
from . Cyrus, and the Medes were regarded abroad as the people 
ruling with and beside the Persians." This two-sidedness is plainly 
denoted in the two horns of the ram, ch. viii. 

Ver. 3% treats of the third world-kingdom, which by the 
expression 'nnx, " another," is plainly distinguished from the pre- 
ceding ; as to its quality, it is characterized by the predicate " of 
copper, brazen." In this chapter it is said only of this kingdom 
that " it shall rule over the whole earth," and thus be superior in 

CHA1". II 31-45. 107 

point of extent and power to the preceding kingdoms. Cf. vii. 6, 
where it is distinctly mentioned that " power was given unto it." 
Fuller particulars are communicated regarding the second and 
third world-kingdoms in ch. viii. and x. f. 

Vers. 40-43. The interpretation of the fourth component part 
of the image, the legs and feet, which represent a fourth world- 
kingdom, is more extended. That kingdom, corresponding to the 
legs of iron, shall be hard, firm like iron. Because iron breaks all 
things in pieces, so shall this kingdom, which is like to iron, break 
in pieces and destroy all these kingdoms. 

Ver. 40. Instead of &WTi, which is formed after the analogy of 
the Syriac language, the Keri has the usual Chaldee form '">Ny , :n, 
which shall correspond to the preceding nsin^pri, ver. 39. See the 
same Keri ch. iii. 25, vii. 7, 23. ^ ^i? - - 5 ! does not mean just as 
(Ges., v. Leng., Maur., Hitz.), but because, and the passage intro- 
duced by this particle contains the ground on which this kingdom 
is designated as hard like iron. ?&?n, breaks in pieces, in Syriac to 
forge, i.e. to break by the hammer, cf. tOB^n, bruised grain, and 
thus separated from the husks. p?'<~<'3 is referred by Kran., in con- 
formity with the accents, to the relative clause, " because by its 
union with the following verbal idea a blending of the image with 
the thing indicated must first be assumed ; also nowhere else, neither 
here nor in ch. vii., does the non-natural meaning appear, e.g., that 
by the fourth kingdom only the first and second kingdoms shall 
be destroyed ; and finally, in the similar expression, ch. vii. 7, 19, the 
P^n stands likewise without an object." But all the three reasons 
do not prove much. A mixing of the figure with the thing signified 
does not lie in the passage: "the fourth (kingdom) shall, like crush- 
ing iron, crush to pieces all these" (kingdoms). But the "non- 
natural meaning," that by the fourth kingdom not only the third, 
but also the second and the first, would be destroyed, is not set 
aside by our referring P?5w3 to the before-named metals, because 
the metals indeed characterize and represent kingdoms. Finally, 
the expressions in ch. vii. 7, 19 are not analogous to those before 
us. The words in question cannot indeed be so understood as if 
the fourth kingdom would find the three previous kingdoms existing 
together, and would dash them one against another ; for, according 
to the text, the first kingdom is destroyed by the second, and the 
second by the third ; but the materials of the first two kingdoms 
were comprehended in the third. " The elements out of which the 
Babylonian world-kingdom was constituted, the countries, peoples, 


and civilisation comprehended in it, as its external form, would be 
destroyed by the Medo-Persian kingdom, and carried forward with 
it, so as to be constituted into a new external form. Such, too, was 
the relation between the Medo-Persian and the Macedonian world- 
kingdom, that the latter assumed the elements and component 
parts not only of the Medo-Persian, but also therewith at the same 
time of the Babylonian kingdom" (Klief.). In such a way shall 
the fourth world-kingdom crush "all these" past kingdoms as iron, 
i.e. will not assume the nations and civilisations comprehended in 
the earlier world-kingdoms as organized formations, but will 
destroy and break them to atoms with iron strength. Yet will this 
world-kingdom not throughout possess and manifest the iron hard- 
ness. Only the legs of the image are of iron (ver. 41), but the feet 
and toes which grow out of the legs are partly of clay and partly 
of iion. 

Regarding P^P, see under ver. 33. 'inn means clay, a piece of 
clay, then an earthly vessel, 2 Sam. v. 20. "ins in the Targums 
means potter, also poller s earth, potsherds. The ins ^ serves to 
strengthen the H? n ., as in the following the addition of N^D, clay, 
in order the more to heighten the idea of brittleness. This two- 
fold material denotes that it will be a divided or severed kingdom, 
not because it separates into several (two to ten) kingdoms, for this 
is denoted by the duality of the feet and by the number of the 
toes of the feet, but inwardly divided ; for J?Q always in Hebr., and 
often in Chald., signifies the unnatural or violent division arising 
from inner disharmony or discord ; cf. Gen. x. 25, Ps. lv. 10, Job 
xxxviii. 25; and Levy, chald. Worterb. s.v. Notwithstanding this 
inner division, there will yet be in it the firmness of iron. N3V3, 
firmness, related to 3?', Pa. to make fast, bnt in Chald. generally 
plantatio, properly a slip, a plant. 

Vers. 42, 43. In ver. 42 the same is said of the toes of the 
feet, and in ver. 43 the comparison to iron and clay is defined as 
the mixture of these two component parts. As the iron denotes 
the firmness of the kingdom, so the clay denotes its brittleness. 
The mixing of iron with clay represents the attempt to bind the 
two distinct and separate materials into one combined whole as 
fruitless, and altogether in vain. The mixing of themselves with 
the seed of men (ver. 43), most interpreters refer to the marriage 
politics of the princes. They who understand by the four king- 
doms the monarchy of Alexander and his followers, think it refers 
to the marriages between the Seleucidse and the Ptolemies of 

CHAP. II: 31-45. 109 

which indeed there is mention made in ch. xi. 6 and 17, but not 
here ; while Hofm. thinks it relates to marriages, such as those 
of the German Kaiser Otto n. and the Russian Grand-Duke 
Wladimir with the daughters of the Kaiser of Eastern Rome. 
But this interpretation is rightly rejected by Klief., as on all points 
inconsistent with the text. The subject to r?"Wnp is not the kings, 
of whom mention is made neither in ver. 43 nor previously. For 
the two feet as well as the ten toes denote not kings, but parts 
of the fourth kingdom ; and even in ver. 44, by NwO, not kings 
in contradistinction to the kingdoms, but the representatives of the 
parts of the kingdom denoted by the feet and the toes as existing 
contemporaneously, are to be understood, from which it cannot 
rightly be concluded in any way that kings is the subject to 
rO"ijyri» (shall mingle themselves). 

As, in the three preceding kingdoms, gold, silver, and brass 
represent the material of these kingdoms, i.e. their peoples and 
their culture, so also in the fourth kingdom iron and clay repre- 
sent the material of the kingdoms arising out of the division of 
this kingdom, i.e. the national elements out of which they are con- 
stituted, and which will and must mingle together in them. If, 
then, the " mixing themselves with the seed of men " points to 
marriages, it is only of the mixing of different tribes brought 
together by external force in the kingdom by marriages as a means 
of amalgamating the diversified nationalities. But the expression 
is not to be limited to this, although ^ljjnrij Ezra ix. 2, occurs of 
the mixing of the holy nation with the heathen by marriage. The 
peculiar expression KtMK int, the seed of men, is not of the same 
import as IHJf 1"D3E>, but is obviously chosen with reference to the 
following contrast to the divine Ruler, ver. 44 f., so as to place 
(Kran.) the vain human endeavour of the heathen rulers in con- 
trast with the doings of the God of heaven; as in Jer. xxxi. 27 
^7? ^- IS occasioned by the contrast of HDI13 int. The figure of 
mixing by seed is derived from the sowing of the field with mingled 
seed, and denotes all the means employed by the rulers to combine 
the different nationalities, among which the connubium is only 
spoken of as the most important and successful means. 

But this mixing together will succeed just as little as will the 
effort to bind together into one firm coherent mass iron and clay. 
The parts mixed together will not cleave to each other. Regarding 
f\\V, see under ver. 20. 

Ver. 44. The world-kingdom will be broken to pieces by the 


kingdom which the God of heaven will set up. "In the days of 
these kings," i.e. of the kings of the world-kingdoms last described ; 
at the time of the kingdoms denoted by the ten toes of the feet of 
the image into which the fourth world-monarchy extends itself ; for 
the stone (ver. 34) rolling against the feet of the image, or rather 
against the toes of the feet, breaks and destroys it. This king- 
dom is not founded by the hands of man, but is erected by the 
God of heaven, and shall for ever remain immoveable, in contrast 
to the world-kingdoms, the one of which will be annihilated by the 
other. Its dominion will not be given to another people. fi'T 13 ? 1 ?, 
his dominion, i.e. of the kingdom. This word needs not to be 
changed into 7tiva,ft } which is less suitable, since the mere status 
absol. would not be here in place. Among the world-kingdoms 
the dominion goes from one people to another, from the Baby- 
lonians to the Persians, etc. On the contrary, the kingdom of 
God comprehends always the same people, i.e. the people of Israel, 
chosen by God to be His own, only not the Israel koto a-apica, 
but the Israel of God (Gal. vi. 16). But the kingdom of God will 
not merely exist eternally without change of its dominion, along 
with the wodd-kingdoms, which are always changing and bringing 
one another to dissolution, it will also break in pieces and destroy 
all these kingdoms (^n, from f)iD, to bring to an end, to make an end 
to them), but itself shall exist for ever. This is the meaning of the 
stone setting itself free without the hands of man, and breaking the 
image in pieces. 

Ver. 45. The N'viBJ? before rnynx, which is wanting in ver. 34, 
and without doubt is here used significantly, is to be observed, as in 
ver. 42 " the toes of the feet," which in ver. 33 were also not men- 
tioned. As it is evident that a stone, in order to its rolling without 
the movement of the human hand, must be set free from a moun- 
tain, so in the express mention of the mountain there can be only a 
reference to Mount Zion, where the God of heaven has founded 
His kingdom, which shall from thence spread out over the earth and 
shall destroy all the world-kingdoms. Cf. Ps. 1. 2, Isa. ii. 3 Mic. 
iv. 2. 

The first half of the 45th verse (down to N2rn>) gives the con- 
firmation of that which Daniel in ver. 44 said to the king regard- 
ing the setting up and the continuance of the kingdom of God 
and essentially belongs to this verse. On the other hand Hitz. 
(and Kran. follows him) wishes to unite this confirmatory passage 
with the following : " because thou hast seen that the stone setting 

CHAP. II. 31-45. Ill 

itself free from the mountain, breaks in pieces the iron, etc., thus 
has God permitted thee a glimpse behind the veil that hides the 
future," — in order that he may conclude from it that the writer, 
since he notes only the vision of the stone setting itself free as 
an announcement of the future, betrayed his real standpoint, i.e. 
the standpoint of the Maccabean Jew, for whom only this last 
catastrophe was as yet future, while all the rest was already past. 
This conclusion Kran. has rejected, but with the untenable argu- 
ment that the expression, " what shall come to pass hereafter," is 
to be taken in agreement with the words, " what should come to 
pass," ver. 29, which occur at the beginning of the address. Though 
this may in itself be right, yet it cannot be maintained if the passage 
ver. 45a forms the antecedent to ver. 455. In this case nyt (this), 
in the phrase "after this" ( = hereafter, ver. 45), can be referred 
only to the setting loose of the stone. But the reasons which Hitz. 
adduces for the uniting together of the passages as adopted by him 
are without any importance. Why the long combined passage cannot 
suitably conclude with NDrni there is no reason which can be under- 
stood ; and that it does not round itself is also no proof, but merely 
a matter of taste, the baselessness of which is evident from ver. 10, 
where an altogether similar long passage, beginning with '"! ??f)"73 
(forasmuch as), ends in a similar manner, without formally round- 
ing itself off. The further remark also, that the following new 
passage could not so unconnectedly and baldly begin with an rDX } 
is no proof, but a mere assertion, which is set aside as groundless by 
many passages in Daniel where the connection is wanting ; cf. e.g. 
iv. 166, 27. The want of the copula before this passage is to be 
explained on the same ground on which Daniel uses 3"] HPX (stat. 
absol., i.e. without the article) instead of Kr6tf N3"!, Ezra v. 8. 
For that m rbtt means, not " a (undefined) great God," but the great 
God in heaven, whom Daniel had already (ver. 28) announced to 
the king as the revealer of secrets, is obvious. Kran. has rightly 
remarked, that T\ nbtf may stand " in elevated discourse without the 
article, instead of the prosaic N:n urbn, Ezra v. 8." The elevated 
discourse has occasioned also the absence of the copula, which will 
not be missed if one only takes a pause at the end of the interpreta- 
tion, after which Daniel then in conclusion further says to the king, 
" The great God has showed to the king what will be hereafter." 
n jn ^.O^, after this which is now, does not mean " at some future 
time " (Hitz.), but after that which is at present, and it embraces 
the future denoted in the dream, from the time of Nebuchad- 


nezzav till the setting up of the kingdom of God in the time of the 

Ver. 45b. The word with which Daniel concludes his address, 
ST., firm, sure, is the dream, and certain its interpretation, is not 
intended to assure the king, of the truth of the dream, because the 
particulars of the dream had escaped him, and to certify to him the 
correctness of the interpretation (Kran.), but the importance of the 
dream should put him in mind to lay the matter to heart, and give 
honour to God who imparted to him these revelations ; but at the 
same time also the word assures the readers of the book of the cer- 
tainty of the fulfilment, since it lay far remote, and the visible 
course of things in the present and in the proximate future gave no 
indication or only a very faint prospect of the fulfilment. For other 
such assurances see ch. viii. 26, x. 21, Rev. xix. 9, xxi. 5, xxii. 6. 

We shall defer a fuller consideration of the fulfilment of this 
dream or the historical references of the four world-kingdoms, in 
order to avoid repetition, till we have expounded the vision which 
Daniel received regarding it in ch. vii. 

Vers. 46-49. TJie impression which this interpretation of the 
dream made upon Nebuchadnezzar, and the consequences which thence 
arose for Daniel. 

The announcement and the interpretation of the remarkable 
dream made so powerful an impression on Nebuchadnezzar, that 
he fell down in supplication before Daniel and ordered sacrifice to 
be offered to him. Falling prostrate to the earth is found as a 
mark of honour to men, it is true (1 Sam. xx. 41, xxv. 28 ; 2 Sam. 
xiv. 4), but "UD is used only of divine homage (Isa. xliv. 15, 17, 19, 
xlvi. 6, and Dan. iii. 5 ff.). To the Chaldean king, Daniel appeared 
as a man in whom the gods manifested themselves ; therefore he 
shows to him divine honour, such as was shown by Cornelius to the 
Apostle Peter, and at Lystra was shown to Paul and Barnabas, 
Acts x. 25, xiv. 13. n nj"?j an unbloody sacrifice, and pnrw are not 
burnt sacrifices or offerings of pieces of fat (Hitz.), but incensings, 
the offering of incense ; cf . Ex. xxx. 9, where the rnbp is particularly 
mentioned along with the n^jj and the nruD. t\b: j S) w ith Hitz. to be 
taken after the Arabic in the general signification sacrificare but is 
transferred zeugmatically from the pouring out of a drink-offering to 
the offering of a sacrifice. Ver. 47, where Nebuchadnezzar praises 
the God of the Jews as the God of gods, does not stand in contra- 
diction to the rendering of divine honour to Daniel in such a way 

CHAP. II. 46-49. 113 

that, with Hitz., in the conduct of the king we miss consistency 
and propriety, and find it improbable. For Nebuchadnezzar did 
not pray to the man Daniel, but in the person of Daniel to his 
God, i.e. to the God of the Jews ; and he did this because this 
God had manifested Himself to him through Daniel as the 
supreme God, who rules over kings, and reveals hidden things 
which the gods of the Chaldean wise men were not able to reveal. 
Moreover, in this, Nebuchadnezzar did not abandon his heathen 
standpoint. He did not recognise the God of the Jews as the 
only, or the alone true God, but only as God of gods, as the 
highest or the most exalted of the gods, who excelled the other 
gods in might and in wisdom, and was a Lord of kings, and as 
snch must be honoured along with the gods of his own country, 
■"l Db'ip'JD, of truth (it is) that, stands adverbially for truly. 

Ver. 48. After Nebuchadnezzar had given honour to the God 
of the Jews, he rewarded Daniel, the servant of this God, with 
gifts, and by elevating him to high offices of state, ''in, to make 
great, is more fully defined by the following passages. ritJpB'n j he 
made him a man of power, ruler over the province of Babylon, i.e. 
vicegerent, governor of this province. According to ch. iii. 2, the 
Chaldean kingdom consisted of several N™^?? eacn °f which had 
its own $u?W. The following t^p 3"YI depends zeugmatically, 
however, on itt???'? : and (made him) president over all the wise 
men. f^D, Hebr. D^JP, vicegerent, prefect, is an Aiyan word in- 
corporated into the Hebrew, fo^ai^s in Athen., but not yet 
certainly authenticated in Old Persian ; vide Spiegel in Delitzsch 
on Isa. xli. 25. The wise men of Babylon were divided into 
classes according to their principal functions, under r??P, chiefs, 
whose president (= 30"3"i, Jer. xxxix. 3) Daniel was. 

Ver. 49. At Daniel's request the king made his three friends 
governors of the province. "SB* is not, with Hav. and other older 
writers, to be translated that he should ordain ; this sense must be 
expressed by the imperfect. The matter of the prayer is not 
specially given, but is to be inferred from the granting of it. 
But this prayer is not, with Hitz. and older interpreters, to be 
understood as implying that Daniel entreated the king to release 
him from the office of vicegerent, and that the king entrusted that 
office to his three friends ; for if Daniel wished to retain this 
dignity, but to transfer the duty to his friends, there was no need, 
as Hitz. thinks, for this purpose, for the express appointment of 
the king; his mere permission was enough. But whence did 



Hitz. obtain this special information regarding the state arrange- 
ments of Babylon ? and how does he know that "SO, to decree, 
means an express appointment in contradistinction to a royal per- 
mission ? The true state of the matter Hav. has clearly ex- 
plained. The chief ruler of the province had a number of 
imapxpi, under-officers, in the province for the various branches 
of the government. To such offices the king appointed Daniel's 
three friends at his request, so that he might be able as chief ruler 
to reside continually at the court of the king. KnTZiJ?, rendering 
of service ==&?!? rnby, service of the king, 1 Chron. xxvi. 30, 
according as the matter may be : the management of business. 
NsSp jnra, near the gate, i.e. at the court of the king, for the 
gate, the door, is named for the building to which it formed the 
entrance; cf. ^Bf} -iye> } Esth. ii. 19, 21, iii. 2 ff. Gesenius is in 
error when he explains the words there as meaning that Daniel 
was made prefect of the palace. 


Nebuchadnezzar commanded a colossal golden image to be set 
up in the plain of Dura at Babylon, and summoned all his high 
officers of state to be present at its consecration. He caused it to 
be proclaimed by a herald, that at a given signal all should fall 
down before the image and do it homage, and that whosoever 
refused to do so would be cast into a burning fiery furnace (vers. 
1-7). This ceremony having been ended, it was reported to the 
king by certain Chaldeans that Daniel's friends, who had been 
placed over the province of Babylon, had not done homage to the 
image ; whereupon, being called to account by the king, they 
refused to worship the image because they could not serve his 
gods (vers. 8-18). For this opposition to the king's will they were 
cast, bound in their clothes, into the burning fiery furnace. They 
were uninjured by the fire ; and the king perceived with terror 
that not three, but four men, were walking unbound and unin- 
jured in the furnace (vers. 19-27). Then he commanded them to 
come out ; and when he found them wholly unhurt, he not only 
praised their God who had so wonderfully protected them, but also 
commanded, on the pain of death, all the people of his kingdom 
not to despise this God (vers. 28-30). 

The LXX. and Theodotion have placed the date of this event 

CHAP. III. 1-30. IIS 

in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, apparently only because 
they associated the erection of this statue with the taking of Jeru- 
salem under Zedekiah, although that city was not taken and de- 
stroyed till the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings xxv. 
8 ff.). But though it is probable that Nebuchadnezzar, after he 
had firmly established his world-kingdom by the overthrow of all 
his enemies, first felt himself moved to erect this image as a monu- 
ment of his great exploits and of his world-power ; yet the destruc- 
tion of the capital of Judea, which had been already twice de- 
stroyed, can hardly be regarded as having furnished a sufficient 
occasion for this. This much, however, is certain, that the event 
narrated in this chapter occurred later than that of the 2d chapter, 
since ch. iii. 12 and 30 refer to ch. ii. 49 ; and on the other hand, 
that they occurred earlier than the incident of the 4th chapter, in 
which there are many things which point to the last half of the 
reign of Nebuchadnezzar, while the history recorded in the chapter 
before us appertains more to the middle of his reign, when Nebu- 
chadnezzar stood on the pinnacle of his greatness. The circumstance 
that there is no longer found in the king any trace of the impression 
which the omnipotence and infinite wisdom of the God of the Jews, 
as brought to view in the interpretation of his dream by Daniel, 
made upon his mind (ch. ii.), affords no means of accurately de- 
termining the time of the occurrence here narrated. There is no 
need for our assuming, with Jerome, a velox oblivio veritatis, or with 
Calvin, the lapse of a considerable interval between the two events. 
The deportment of Nebuchadnezzar on this occasion does not stand 
in opposition to the statements made at the close of ch. ii. The 
command that all who were assembled at the consecration of the 
image should fall down before it and worship it, is to be viewed 
from the standpoint of the heathen king. It had no reference at 
all to the oppression of those who worshipped the God of the Jews, 
nor to a persecution of the Jews on account of their God. It only 
demanded the recognition of the national god, to whom the king 
supposed he owed the greatness of his kingdom, as the god of the 
kingdom, and was a command which the heathen subjects of Nebu- 
chadnezzar could execute without any violence to their consciences. 
The Jews could not obey it, however, without violating the first pre- 
cept of their law. But Nebuchadnezzar did not think on that. Dis- 
obedience to his command appeared to him as culpable rebellion 
against his majesty. As such also the conduct of Daniel's friends 
is represented to him by the Chaldean informers in ver. 12. The 


words of the informers, " The Jews whom thou hast set over the 
affairs of the province of Babylon have not regarded thee, O king ; 
they serve not thy gods," etc., clearly show that they were rightly 
named (ver. 8) " accusers of the Jews," and that by their denun- 
ciation of them they wished only to expel the foreigners from 
their places of influence ; and for this purpose they made use of 
the politico-national festival appointed by Nebuchadnezzar as a 
fitting opportunity. Hence we can understand Nebuchadnezzar's 
anger against those who disregarded his command; and his words, 
with which he pronounced sentence against the accused — " who is 
that God that shall deliver you out of my hand ?" — are, judged of 
from the religious point of view of the Israelites, a blaspheming of 
God, but considered from Nebuchadnezzar's heathen standpoint, 
are only an expression of proud confidence in his own might and 
in that of his gods, and show nothing further than that the reve- 
lation of the living God in ch. ii. had not permanently impressed 
itself on his heart, but had in course of time lost much of its 
influence over him. 

The conduct of Nebuchadnezzar toward the Jews, described 
in this chapter, is accordingly fundamentally different from the 
relation sustained by Antiochus Epiphanes towards Judaism; for 
he wished entirely to put an end to the Jewish form of worship. 
In the conduct of Daniel's friends who were accused before the 
king there is also not a single trace of the religious fanaticism pre- 
valent among the Jews in the age of the Maccabees, who were 
persecuted on account of their fidelity to the law. Far from 
trusting in the miraculous help of God, they regarded it as 
possible that God, whom they served, would not save them, and 
they only declare that in no case will they reverence the heathen 
deities of the king, and do homage to the image erected by him 
(ver. 16 ff.). 

The right apprehension of the historical situation described in this 
chapter is at complete variance with the supposition of the modern 
critics, that the narrative is unhistorical, and was invented for the 
purpose of affording a type for the relation of Antiochus Epiphanes 
to Judaism. The remarkable circumstance, that Daniel is not 
named as having been present at this festival (and he also would 
certainly not have done homage to the image), can of itself alone 
furnish no argument against the historical accuracy of the matter 
although it cannot be explained on the supposition made by Hastb. 
that Daniel, as president over the wise men, did not belon" to the 

CHAP. III. 1-18. 117 

class of state-officers, nor by the assertion of Hitz., that Daniel 
did not belong to the class of chief officers, since according to 
ch. ii. 49 he had transferred his office to his friends. Both 
suppositions are erroneous; cf. under ch. ii. 49. But many other 
different possibilities may be thought of to account for the absence 
of all mention of Daniel's name. Either he may have been pre- 
vented for some reason from being present on the occasion, or he 
may have been present and may have refused to bow down before 
the image, but yet may only not have been informed against. In 
the latter case, the remark of Calvin, ut abstinuerint a Daniele ad 
tempus, quern sciebant magnijieri a Rege, would scarcely suffice, but 
we must suppose that the accusers had designed first only the 
overthrow of the three rulers of the province of Babylon. 1 But 
the circumstance that Daniel, if he were present, did not employ 
himself in behalf of his friends, may be explained from the quick 
execution of Babylonish justice, provided some higher reason did 
not determine him confidently to commit the decision of the matter 
to the Lord his God. 2 

Vers. 1—18. TJie erection and consecration of the golden image, 
and the accusation brought against Daniel's friends, that they had 
refused to obey the hinges command to do homage to this image. 

Ver. 1. Nebuchadnezzar commanded a golden image to be 
erected, of threescore cubits in height and six cubits in breadth. 

1 Kran.'s supposition also (p. 153), that Daniel, as president over the class 
of the wise men, claimed the right belonging to him as such, while in his 
secular office he could be represented by his Jewish associates, and thus was 
withdrawn from the circle of spectators and from the command laid upon them 
of falling down before the image, has little probability ; for although it is not 
said that this command was laid upon the caste of the wise men, and even though 
it should be supposed that the priests were present at this festival as the 
directors of the religious ceremonial, and thus were brought under the command 
to fall down before the image, yet this can scarcely be supposed of the whole 
caste. But Daniel could not in conscience take part in this idolatrous festival, 
nor associate himself with the priests, nor as president of all the Magi withdraw 
into the background, so as to avoid the ceremony of doing homage to the 

2 We have already in part noticed the arguments against the historical 
accuracy of the narrative presented by the opponents of the genuineness of the 
book, such as the giving of Greek names to the musical instruments, and the 
conduct of Antiochus Epiphanes in placing an idol-image on the altar of burnt- 
offering (pp. 34, 50). All the others are dealt with in the Exposition. The 
principal objection adduced is the miracle, on account of which alone Hitz. 
thinks himself warranted in affirming that the narrative has no historical reality 


&.?S is properly an image in human likeness (cf. cli. ii. 31), and ex- 
cludes the idea of a mere pillar or an obelisk, for which '13SO would 
have been the appropriate word. Yet from the use of the word 
D.i?X it is not by any means to be concluded that the image was in 
all respects perfectly in human form. As to the upper part — the 
head, countenance, arms, breast— it may have been in the form of a 
man, and the lower part may have been formed like a pillar. This 
would be altogether in accordance with the Babylonian art, which 
delighted in grotesque, gigantic forms; cf. Hgstb. Beitr. i. p. 96 f. 
The measure, in height threescore cubits, in breadth six cubits, is 
easily explained, since in the human figure the length is to the 
breadth in the proportion of about six to one. In the height of 
threescore cubits the pedestal of the image may be regarded as in- 
cluded, so that the whole image according to its principal compo- 
nent part (a potiori) was designated as D?Y ; although the passage 
Judg. xviii. 30, 31, adduced by Kran., where mention is made of 
the image alone which was erected by Micah, without any notice 
being taken of the pedestal belonging to it (cf. vers. 17 and 18), 
furnishes no properly authentic proof that t>D3 in vers. 30 and 31 
denotes the image with the pedestal. The proportion between the 
height and the breadth justifies, then, in no respect the rejection of 
the historical character of the narrative. Still less does the mass of 
gold necessary for the construction of so colossal an image, since, 
as has been already mentioned (p. 39), according to the Hebrew 
modes of speech, we are not required to conceive of the figure as 
having been made of solid gold, and since, in the great riches 
of the ancient world, Nebuchadnezzar in his successful campaigns 
might certainly accumulate an astonishing amount of this precious 
metal. The statements of Herodotus and Diodorus regarding the 
Babylonian idol-images, 1 as well as the description in Isa. xl. 19 
cf the construction of idol-images, lead us to think of the ima^e 
as merely overlaid with plates of gold. 

The king commanded this image to be set up in the plain of 
Dura in the province of Babylon. The ancients make mention 

1 According to Herod, i. 183, for the great golden image of Belus, which 
was twelve cubits high, and the great golden table standing before 'it the 
golden steps and the golden chair, only 800 talents of gold were used •' and 
according to Diod. Sic. ii. 9, the golden statue, forty feet high, placed in the 
temple of Belus consisted of 1000 talents of gold, which would have been not 
far from sufficient if these objects had been formed of solid gold. Diod also 
expressly says regarding the statue, that it was made with the hammer and 
therefore was not solid. Cf. Hgstb. Beitr. i. p. 98, and Kran. in loco. 

CHAP. III. 1—13. 119 

of two places of the name of Dura, the one at the mouth of the 
Chaboras where it empties itself into the Euphrates, not far from 
Carchemish (Polyb. v. 48 ; Ammian. Marc, xxiii. 5, 8, xxiv. 1, 5), 
the other beyond the Tigris, not far from Apollonia (Polyb. v. 52 ; 
Amm. Marc. xxv. 6, 9). Of these the latter has most probabi- 
lity in its favour, since the former certainly did not belong to 
the province of Babylon, which according to Xenophon extended 
36 miles south of Tiphsach (cf. Nieb. Gesch. Assure, S. 421). 
The latter, situated in the district of Sittakene, could certainly be 
reckoned as belonging to the province of Babylon, since according 
to Strabo, Sittakene, at least in the Old Parthian time, belonged 
to Babylon (Nieb. p. 420). But even this place lay quite too far 
from the capital of the kingdom to be the place intended. We 
must, without doubt, much rather seek for this plain in the neigh- 
bourhood of Babylon, where, according to the statement of Jul. 
Oppert (ExpM. Scientif. en Mesopotamie, i. p. 238 ff.), there are 
at present to be found in the S.S.E. of the ruins representing the 
former capital a row of mounds which bear the name of Dura, at 
the end of which, along with two larger mounds, there is a smaller 
one which is named el Mdkattat (= la colline alignde), which forms 
a square six metres high, with a basis of fourteen metres, wholly 

built en briques crues (^), which shows so surprising a resemblance 

to a colossal statue with its pedestal, that Oppert believes that this 
little mound is the remains of the golden statue erected by 
Nebuchadnezzar. 1 

There is a difference of opinion as to the signification of this 
image. According to the common vi#w (cf. e.g. Hgstb. Beitr. i. 
p. 97), Nebuchadnezzar wished to erect a statue as an expression 
of his thanks to his god Bel for his great victories, and on that 
account also to consecrate it with religious ceremonies. On the 

1 " On seeing this mound," Oppert remarks (I. c. p. 239), " one is immedi- 
ately struck with the resemblance which it presents to the pedestal of a colossal 
statue, as, for example, that of Bavaria near Munich, and everything leads to 
the belief that the statue mentioned in the book of Dauiel (ch. iii. 1) was set up 
in this place. The fact of the erection by Nebuchadnezzar of a colossal statue 
has nothing which can cause astonishment, however recent may have been the 
Aramean form of the account of Scripture." Oppert, moreover, finds no diffi- 
culty in the size of the statue, but says regarding it: "There is nothing 
incredible in the existence of a statue sixty cubits high and six cubits broad ; 
moreover the name of the plain of Dura, in the province (ruHO) of Babylon, 
agrees also with the actual conformation of the ruin." 


other hand, Hofm. (Weiss, u. Erf. i. p. 277) remarks, that the 
statue was not the image of a god, because a distinction is made 
between falling down to it and the service to his god which Nebu- 
chadnezzar required (vers. 12, 14, 18) from his officers of state. 
This distinction, however, is not well supported ; for in these verses 
praying to the gods of Nebuchadnezzar is placed on an equality 
with falling down before the image. But on the other hand, the 
statue is not designated as the image of a god, or the image of 
Belus ; therefore we agree with Klief. in his opinion, that the 
statue was a symbol of the world-power established by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, so that falling down before it was a manifestation of 
reverence not only to the world-power, but also to its gods ; and 
that therefore the Israelites could not fall down before the image, 
because in doing so they would have rendered homage at the 
same time also to the god or gods of Nebuchadnezzar, in the image 
of the world-power. But the idea of representing the world- 
power founded by him as a 3n"]"' l ' : i a^V was probably suggested to 
Nebuchadnezzar by the 0^ seen (ch. ii.) by him in a dream, whose 
head of gold his world-kingdom was described to him as being. 
We may not, however, with Klief., seek any sanction for the idea 
that the significance of the image is in its size, 6, 10, and six mul- 
tiplied by ten cubits, because the symbolical significance of the 
number 6 as the signature of human activity, to which the divine 
completion (7) is wanting, is not a Babylonian idea. Still less can 
we, with Ziindel (p. 13), explain the absence of Daniel on this 
occasion as arising from the political import of the statue, because 
the supposition of Daniel's not having been called to he present is 
a mere conjecture, and a "very improbable conjecture ; and the 
supposition that Daniel, as being chief of the Magi, would not 
be numbered among the secular officers of state, is decidedly 

Ver. 2. Nebuchadnezzar commanded all the chief officers of 
the kingdom to be present at the solemn dedication of the imacre. 
rbf, he sent, viz. D^t6» or D'V"), messengers, 1 Sam. xi. 7; 2 Chron. 
xxx. 6, 10 ; Esth. iii. 15. Of the great officers of state, seven 
classes are named : — 1. N^efTO'nx, i.e. administrators of the Khshatra 
in Old Pers. dominion, province, and pdvan in Zend., guardians 
watchers, in Greek Xarpamr]^, the chief representatives of the kinc 
in the provinces. 2. NJMD, Hebr. D^D, from the Old Pers. (although 
not proved) cakana, to command (see under ch. ii. 48), commanders 
probably the military chiefs of the provinces. 3. ^njn| ; Hebr. nns 

CHAP. III. 1-18. 121 

rrtns, also an Old Pers. word, whose etymon and meaning have not 
yet been established (see under Hag. i. 1), denotes the presidents of 
the civil government, the. guardians of the country ; cf. Hag. i. 1, 14, 
Neh. v. 14, 18. 4. KJlJ,rl™> chief judges, from the Sem. nn, to dis- 
tinguish, and mx, dignity (cf. S]?BT1K) } properly, chief arbitrators, 
counsellors of the government. 5. K'l?^' a word of Aryan origin, 
from 13^3, identical with 13J3 (see note, p. 45), masters of the 
treasury, superintendents of the public treasury. 6. Kjnnrn, the Old 
Pers. ddta-bara (p. 45), guardians of the law, lawyers (cf. J"H, 
law). 7. fcWSri, Semitic, from ( Jj IV. to give a just sentence, 

thus judges in the narrower sense of the word. Finally, all , ?bpB', 
rulers, i.e. governors of provinces, prefects, who were subordinate 
to the chief governor, cf. ch. ii. 48, 49. 

All these officers were summoned " to come (NHD from NfiN, with 
the rejection of the initial ti) to the dedication of the image." The 
objection of v. Leng. and Hitz., that this call would " put a stop to 
the government of the country," only shows their ignorance of the 
departments of the state-government, and by no means makes the 
nairative doubtful. The affairs of the state did not lie so exclu- 
sively in the hands of the presidents of the different branches of the 
government, as that their temporary absence should cause a suspen- 
sion of all the affairs of government, nsan is used of the dedication 
of a house (Deut. xx. 5) as well as of the temple (1 Kings viii. 63 ; 
2 Chron. vii. 5 ; Ezra vi. 16), and here undoubtedly denotes an act 
connected with religious usages, by means of which the image, when 
the great officers of the kingdom fell down before it, was solemnly 
consecrated as the symbol of the world-power and (in the heathen 
sense) of its divine glory. This act is described (vers. 3-7) in so 
far as the object contemplated rendered it necessary. 

When all the great officers' of state were assembled, a herald pro- 
claimed that as soon as the sound of the music was heard, all who 
were present should, on pain of death by being cast into the fire, 
fall down before the image and offer homage to it; which they all 
did as soon as the signal was given. The form p!?N£, ver. 3, corre- 
sponds to the sing. DKfJ (ch. ii. 31) as it is written in Syr., but is read 
pB^iJ. The Masoretes substitute for it in the Talm. the common 
form P»^; cf. Fiirst, Lehrgb. der aram. Idiom, p. 161, and Luzzatto, 
Elem. Gram. p. 33. The expression i>?i?b, ver. 3, and Ezra iv. 16, 
is founded on $>?£, the semi-vowel of the preceding sound being 

absorbed, as in the Syr. VV^nnV On Nths, herald, see note 1, p 


45, and on the form fa*?, see under ch. ii. 5. pax, *% ««?/, for " it 
is said to you." The expression of the passive by means of a plural 
form of the active used impersonally, either participially or by 3d 
pers. perf. plur.,is found in Hebr., but is quite common in Ohald. ; 
cf. Ewald, Lehr. d. hebr. Spr. § 128, b, and Winer, Chald. Gram. 
§ 49, 3. The proclamation of the herald refers not only to the 
officers who were summoned to the festival, but to all who were 
present, since besides the officers there was certainly present a 
great crowd of people from all parts of the kingdom, as M. Geier 
has rightly remarked, so that the assembly consisted of persons of 
various races and languages. N'?N denotes tribes of people, as the 
Hebr. nsK, n\m Gen. xxv. 16, denotes the several tribes of Ishmael, 
and Num. xxv. 15 the separate tribes of the Midianites, and is 
thus not so extensive in its import as H?y, peoples. Wy?, corre- 
sponding to niJB^n, Isa. lxvi. 18, designates (vide Gen. x. 5, 20, 31) 
communities of men of the same language, and is not a tautology, 
since the distinctions of nation and of language are in the course 
of history frequently found. The placing together of the three 
words denotes all nations, however they may have widely branched 
off into tribes with different languages, and expresses the sense that 
no one in the whole kingdom should be exempted from the com- 
mand. It is a mode of expression (cf. vers. 7, 29, 31 [iv. 1], and 
vi. 26 [25]) specially characterizing the pathetic style of the herald 
and the official language of the world-kingdom, which Daniel also 
(ch. v. 19, vii. 14) makes use of, and which from the latter passage 
is transferred to the Apocalypse, and by the union of these passages 
in Daniel with Isa. lxvi. 18 is increased to eOvr) (D'ia in Isa.), <f>v\\at, 
\aol Kal y\a>aaai (Rev. v. 9, vii. 9, xiii. 7, xiv. 6, xvii. 15). 

In the same passage WD! H3, ver. 7 (cf. also ver. 8), is inter- 
changed with NrUQj at the time (vers. 5 and 15) ; but it is to be 
distinguished from NnyB'VB, at the same moment, vers. 6 and 15; 
for WW or <W has in the Bib. Chald. only the meaning instant, 
moment, cf. ch. iv. 16, 30, v. 5, and acquires the signification short 
time, hour, first in the Targ. and Rabbin. In the enumeration also 
of the six names of the musical instruments with the addition : and 
all kinds of music, the pompous language of the world-ruler and of 
the herald of his power is well expressed. Regarding the Greek 
names of three of these instruments see p. 34. The great delight 
of the Babylonians in music and stringed instruments appears from 
Isa. xiv. 11 and Ps. exxxvii. 3, and is confirmed by the testimony 
of Herod, i. 191, and Curtius, v. 3. M"ij?, horn, is the far-soundin'c 

CHAP. III. 1-18. 123 

tuba of the ancients, the Tip. or iSiB' of the Hebr. ; see under Josh. 
vi. 5. WVjrtilpID, from i>1&, to hiss, to whistle, is the reed-flute, trans- 
lated by the LXX. and Theodot. avpi<y^ the shepherd's or Pan's 
pipes, which consisted of several reeds of different thicknesses and 
of different lengths bound together, and, according to a Greek 
tradition (Pollux, iv. 9, 15), was invented by two Medes. Dir^i? 
(according to the Kethiv ; but the Keri and the Targ. and Eabbin. 
give the form Dirij?) j s the Greek or KiOapv;, harp, for the 
Greek ending t? becomes o? in the Aramaic, as in many similar 
cases; cf. Ges. Tlies. p. 1215. ^^P, corresponding to the Greek 
aafifivicr], but a Syrian invention, see p. 34, is, according to Athen. 
iv. p. 175, a four-stringed instrument, having a sharp, clear tone; 
cf. Ges. Thes. p. 935. }""}PIJD^ (in ver. 7 written with a D instead 
of n, and in vers. 10 and 15 pointed with a Tsere under the n) is 
the Greek ■tydkTrjpiov, of which the Greek ending tov becomes ab- 
breviated in the Aram, into ]\ (cf. Ges. Thes. p. 1116). The word 
has no etymology in the Semitic. It was an instrument like a harp, 
which according to Angustin (on Ps. xxxii. [xxxiii.] 2 and Ps. xlii. 
[xliii.] 4) was distinguished from the cithara in this particular, 
that while the strings of the cithara passed over the sounding- 
board, those of the psalterium (or organon) were placed under it. 
Such harps are found on Egyptian (see Rosellini) and also on 
Assyrian monuments (cf. Layard, Ninev. and Bab., Table xiii. 4). 
rMSOTD, in ver. 10 n^p, is not derived from JSD, contignare, but is 
the Aramaic form of avfi^xovia, bag-pipes, which is called in Italy 
at the present day sampogna, and derives its Greek name from the 
accord of two pipes placed in the bag; cf. Ges. Thes. p. 941. &OET 
signifies, not " song," but musical playing, from "1ST, to play the 
strings, yJrdXKeiv: and because the music of the instrument was 
accompanied with song, it means also the song accompanying the 
music. The explanation of K"iDt by singing stands here in opposi- 
tion to the "JT ?3, since all sorts of songs could only be sung after 
one another, but the herald speaks of the simultaneous rise of the 
sound. The limiting of the word also to the playing on a stringed 
instrument does not fit the context, inasmuch as wind instruments 
are also named. Plainly in the words vrro\ 'W % all the other 
instruments not particularly named are comprehended, so that SOB? 
is to be understood generally of playing on musical instruments. 
KPiyB^rJa, in the same instant. The frequent pleonastic use in the 
later Aramaic of the union of the preposition with a suffix antici- 
pating the following noun, whereby the preposition is frequently 


repeated before the noun, as e.g. b&iiz as, ch. v. 12, cf. ch. v. 30, 
has in the Bib. Chald. generally a certain emphasis, for the pro- 
nominal suffix is manifestly used demonstratively, in the sense even 
this, even that. 

Homage was commanded to be shown to the image under the 
pain of death to those who refused. Since " the dominion of Nebu- 
chadnezzar was founded not by right, but by the might of con- 
quest " (Klief.), and the homage which he commanded to be shown 
to the image was regarded not only as a proof of subjection under 
the. power of the king, but comprehended in it also the recognition 
of his gods as the gods of the kingdom, instances of refusal were 
to be expected. In the demand of the king there was certainly 
a kind of religious oppression, but by no means, as Bleek, v. 
Leng., and other critics maintain, a religious persecution, as among 
heathen rulers Antiochus Epiphanes practised it. For so toler- 
ant was heathenism, that it recognised the gods of the different 
nations ; but all heathen kings required that the nations subdued by 
them should also recognise the gods of their kingdom, which they 
held to be more powerful than were the gods of the vanquished 
nations. A refusal to yield homage to the gods of the kingdom 
they regarded as an act of hostility against the kingdom and its 
monarch, while every one might at the same time honour his own 
national god. This acknowledgment, that the gods of the kingdom 
were the more powerful, every heathen could grant; and thus 
Nebuchadnezzar demanded nothing in a religious point of view 
which every one of his subjects could not yield. To him, there- 
fore, the refusal of the Jews could not but appear as opposition to 
the greatness of his kingdom. But the Jews, or Israelites, could 
not do homage to the gods of Nebuchadnezzar without rejecting 
their faith that Jehovah alone was God, and that besides Him 
there were no gods. ' Therefore Nebuchadnezzar practised towards 
them, without, from his polytheistic standpoint, designing it, an 
intolerable religious coercion, which, however, is fundamentally 
different from the persecution of Judaism by Antiochus Epiphanes, 
who forbade the Jews on pain of death to serve their God, and 
endeavoured utterly to destroy the Jewish religion. — Regarding 
the structure of the fiery furnace, see under ver. 22. 

Ver. 8. ff. The Chaldeans immediately denounced Daniel's three 
friends as transgressors of the king's command. fOT iop~i>3 there- 
fore, viz. because the friends of Daniel who were placed over the 
province of Babylon had not, by falling down before the golden 

CHAP. III. 1-18. 125 

image, done it homage. That they did not do so is not expressly 
said, but is expressed in what follows. I'Wb'i l^na are not Chal- 
deans as astrologers or magi (C'na'S), but members of the Chaldean 
nation, in contrast to ^^\, the Jews. 13"!P, they came near to the 
king. ,- } '■yip 73K, literally, to eat the flesh of any one, is in Aramaic 
the common expression for to calumniate, to denounce. That which 
was odious in their report was, that they used this instance of dis- 
obedience to the king's command on the part of the Jewish officers 
as an occasion of removing them from their offices, — that their 
denunciation of them arose from their envying the Jews their 
position of influence, as in ch. vi. 5 (4) f. Therefore they give 
prominence to the fact that the king had raised these Jews to 
places of rule in the province of Babylon. 

With this form of address in ver. 9, cf. ch. ii. 4. DJ?t3 W'& 
signifies in ver. 12 rationem reddere, to attend to, to have regard 
for. In ver. 10, as frequently, the expression signifies, on the con- 
trary, to give an opinion, a judgment, i.e. to publish a command. 
The Keth. =]WK .? (ver. 12), for which the Keri prefers the sing. 
form =]?? x .?, in sound the same as the contracted plur., is to be 
maintained as correct ; for the Keri here, as in ver. 18, supporting 
itself on TO?, ver. 14, rests on the idea that by the honouring of 
his god only the doing of homage to the image is meant, while 
the not doing homage to the image only gives proof of this, that 
they altogether refused to honour the gods of Nebuchadnezzar. 
This is placed in the foreground by the accusers, so as to arouse 
the indignation of the king. « These Chaldeans," Hitz. remarks 
quite justly, " knew the three Jews, who were so placed as to be 
well known, and at the same time envied, before this. They had 
long known that they did not worship idols ; but on this occasion, 
when their religion made it necessary for the Jews to disobey the 
king's command, they make use of their knowledge." 

Ver. 13. That they succeeded in their object, Nebuchadnezzar 
shows in the command given in anger and fury to bring the rebels 
before him. ^T 1 , notwithstanding its likeness to the Hebr. Hiphil 
form vrtn, Isa. xxi. 14, is not the Hebraizing Aphel, but, as nwn, 
ch. vi. 18, shows, is a Hebraizing passive form of the Aphel, sinc& 
the active form is VTPn, ch. v. 3, and is a passive formation peculiar 
to the Bib. Chald., for which in the Targg. Ittaphal is used. 

Vers. 14-18. The trial of the accused. 

Ver. 14. The question tfiyn the old translators incorrectly 
explain by Is it true f In the justice of the. accusation Nebuchad- 


nezzar had no doubt whatever, and N"^ nas not l ^ s meaI " n g' 
Also the meaning, scorn, which ,- ]VN in Aram, has, and L. de 
Dieu, Hav., and Kran. make use of, does not appear to be quite 
consistent, since Nebuchadnezzar, if he had seen in the refusal to do 
homage to the image a despising of his gods, then certainly he would 
not have publicly repeated his command, and afforded to the accused 
the possibility of escaping the threatened punishment, as he did 
(ver. 15). We therefore agree with Hitz. and Klief., who interpret 
it, after the Hebr. nny, Num. xxxv. 20 f., of malicious resolution, 
not merely intention, according to Gesen., Winer, and others. 
For all the three could not unintentionally or accidentally have 
made themselves guilty of transgression. The form N"i>*n we 
regard as a noun form with n intwrog. prefixed in adverbial 
cases, and not an Aphel formation : Scorning, Shadrach. etc., do 
ye not serve? (Kran.) The affirmative explanation of the verse, 
according to which the king would suppose the motive of the 
transgression as decided, does not agree with the alternative which 
(ver. 15) he places before the accused. But if ^IV? is regarded 
as a question, there is no need for our supplying the conjunction 
■"J before the following verb, but we may unite the N"ixn in one 
sentence with the following verb : " are ye of design . . . not 
obeying ? " Nebuchadnezzar speaks of his god in contrast to the 
God of the Jews. 

Ver. 15. PI'OJJ taken with the following clause, p6sn . . . % is 
not a circumlocution for the future (according to Winer, Chald. 
Gram. § 45, 2). This does not follow from the use of the simple 
future in the contrast, but it retains its peculiar meaning ready. 
The conclusion to the first clause is omitted, because it is self-evi- 
dent from the conclusion of the second, opposed passage : then ye 
will not be cast into the fiery furnace. Similar omissions are found 
in Ex. xxxii. 32, Luke xiii. 9. For the purpose of giving strength 
to his threatening, Nebuchadnezzar adds that no god would deliver 
them out of his hand. In this Hitz. is not justified in supposing 
there is included a blaspheming of Jehovah like that of Sennacherib, 
Isa. xxxvii. 10. The case is different. Sennacherib raised his 
gods above Jehovah, the God of the Jews ; Nebuchadnezzar only 
declares that deliverance out of the fiery furnace is a work which 
no god can accomplish, and in this he only indirectly likens the 
God of the Jews to the gods of the heathen. 

Ver. 16. In the answer of the accused, "i!?:n3l33 is not, contrary 
to the accent, to be placed in apposition to Nabob ; for, as Kran. 

CHAP. III. I-I8. 127 

has rightly remarked, an intentional omission of N2?D in address- 
ing Nebuchadnezzar is, after ver. 18, where N3?l? occurs in the ad- 
dress, as little likely as that the Athnach is placed under SJ?y? only 
on account of the apposition going before, to separate from it the 
nomen propr.; and an error in the placing of the distinctivus, judging 
from the existing accuracy, is untenable. " The direct address of the 
king by his name plainly corresponds to the king's address to the 
three officers in the preceding words, ver. 14." We are not to con- 
clude from it, as Hitz. supposes, " that they address him as a 
plebeian," but much rather, as in the corresponding address, ver. 14, 
are to see in it an evidence of the deep impression sought to be 
produced in the person concerned. 

Ver. 16. nana is the accus., and is not to be connected with 
nrj ?V : as to this command (Hav.). If the demonstrative were 
present only before the noun, then the noun must stand in the 
status absol. as ch. iv. 15 (18). Ej^S, from the Zend, paiti = Trpo?, 
and gam, to go, properly, " the going to," therefore message, edict, 
then generally word (as here) and matter (Ezra vi. 11), as fre- 
quently in the Targ., corresponding to the Hebr. "i^i. 

Ver. 17. y^l denotes the ethical ability, i.e. the ability limited 
by the divine holiness and righteousness, not the omnipotence of 
God as such. For this the accused did not doubt, nor will they 
place in question the divine omnipotence before the heathen 
king. The conclusion begins after the Athnach, and JH means, not 
see ! lo ! (according to the old versions and many interpreters), 
for which Daniel constantly uses i-W or VIK, but it means if, as here 
the contrast to jni, and if not (ver. 18), demands. There lies in 
the answer, " If our God will save us, then . . . and if not, know, 
O king, that we will not serve thy gods," neither audacity, nor a 
superstitious expectation of some miracle (ver. 17), nor fanaticism 
(ver. 18), as Berth., v. Leng., and Hitz. maintain, but only the 
confidence of faith and a humble submission to the will of God. 
" The three simply see that their standpoint and that of the king 
are altogether different, also that their standpoint can never be 
clearly understood by Nebuchadnezzar, and therefore they give 
up any attempt to justify themselves. But that which was de- 
manded of them they could not do, because it would have been 
altogether contrary to their faith and their conscience. And then 
without fanaticism they calmly decline to answer, and only say, 
' Let him do according to his own will;' thus without superstitious- 
ness committing their deliverance to God" (Klief.). 


Vers. 19-27. Tlie judgment pronounced on the accused, their 
punishment, and their miraculous deliverance. 

After the decided refusal of the accused to worship his gods, 
Nebuchadnezzar changed his countenance toward them. Full of 
anger at such obstinacy, he commanded that the furnace should be 
heated seven times greater than was usual (ver. 19), and that the 
rebels should be bound in their clothes by powerful men of his 
army, and then cast into the furnace (vers. 20, 21). The form of 
his countenance changed, and his wrath showed itself in the linea- 
ments of his face. The Kethiv lafiK'N (plur.) refers to the genitive 
pniSjS, plur., " of his countenances "] as the chief idea, and is not, 
after the Keri, to be changed into the sing. NTOP for WHO?. On 
njntrin, sevenfold, cf. Winer, Chald. Gram. § 59, 5. ntn *i 5>jr, 
beyond that which was fit, i.e. which was necessary. Seven is used 
as expressive of an exceedingly great number, with reference to 
the religious meaning of the punishment. 

Ver. 21. Of the different parts of clothing named, Jy3"]D are 
not hose, short stockings, from which Hitz. concludes that the 
enumeration proceeds from the inner to the outer clothing. This 
remark, correct in itself, proves nothing as to the covering for the 
legs. This meaning is given to the word only from the New 

Persian shalwdr, which in the Arabic is Jj^^-.-; cf. Haug in Ew.'s 
bill. Jahrbb. v. p. 162. But the word corresponds with the genuine 

Semitic word Jj^->, which means tunica or indusium; cf. Ges. Thes. 1 

p. 970, and Heb. Lex. s. v. Accordingly, iy3">D denotes under- 
clothing which would be worn next the body as our shirt. jin , C' , £p3 J 
for which the Keri uses the form Jirwoa, corresponding to the 

Syriac v ooi ■ ■ fya, is explained in the Hebr. translation of the 

1 The LXX. have omitted pSaiD in their translation. Theodot. has rendered 
it by oupafictpa, and the third-named piece of dress |SiP3 by ■x-epuuyifills;, -which 
the LXX. have rendered by Tidpas M tuu xtQaXuu. Theodoret explains it : 
•7npix.tiyifuias <Ss rag na^av/tiuas dva^upi'hag \tyti. These are, according to 
Herod, vii. 161, the ducd-vpUcs, i-e. braccse, worn by the Persians inp\ t« tsx.shi*. 
Regarding Theodoret remarks : IW< Hipatx.uv ^ipi/io^xiusi el'in. Thus 
Theodot. and Theodor. expressly distinguish the aapdfiapa (picriD ) from the 
■jripixiiYiftilis ; but the false interpretation of J^aiD by breeches has given rise 
to the confounding of that word with £3-0 and the identification of the two, 
the nipix.v4,u.lfc; being interpreted of coverings for the feet ; and the Vulg. trans- 
lates the passage : " cum braccis suis et tiaris et calceamentis et vestibus," while 

CHAP. III. 19-27. 129 

Chald. portions of Daniel by nihs, tunica, and is derived from 
BE'a, e.vpandit (by the transposition of the second and third radicals). 
Tims the Syriac word is explained by Syr. lexicographers. Theo- 
dotion's translation, Tidpai, is probably only hit upon from the simi- 
larity of the sound of the Greek iriraa-o^, the covering for the head 
worn by the e</>»?/3ot. i?a"i3 are mantles, from kn?, E. 5>33, to bind, to 
lay around, with r intercalated, which occurs 1 Ohron. xv. 27 of the 
putting around or putting on of the Vjft? (upper garment). JiiT^a^ 
are the other pieces of clothing (Aben Ezra and others), not mantles. 
For that tW3j) was specially used of over-clothes (Hitz.) cannot be 
proved from Job xxiv. 7 and 2 Kings x. 22. We have here, then, 
the threefold clothing which, according to Herodotus, i. 195, the 
Babylonians wore, namely, the i?3"iD, the Kid&v TroSi)ve>cr)<; XtW>?, 
the Strips worn above it, aWov elplveov KiOwva, and the ^3"]3 
thrown above that, %\avlSiov XevKov ; while under the word lin^i^ 
the other articles of clothing, coverings for the feet and the head, 
are to be understood. 1 The separate articles of clothing, consisting 
of easily inflammable material, are doubtlessly mentioned with 
reference to the miracle that followed, that even these remained 
unchanged (ver. 27) in the fiery furnace. In the easily inflam- 
mable nature of these materials, namely, of the fine kiQwv ij-oBrjveKrjs 
\lveo<s, we have perhaps to seek the reason on account of which the 
accused were bound in their clothes, and not, as Theodoret and 
most others think, in the haste with which the sentence against 
them was carried out. 

Ver. 22. ,r | |1? (because that), a further explanatory expression 
added to riM P3jp"?3 (wholly for this cause) : because the word of 
the king was sharp, and in consequence of it (1), the furnace 
was heated beyond measure for that reason. The words 'i]?K ^"133 

Luther has "cloaks, shoes, and hats." This confounding of the two words 
was authorized by the Greek scholiasts, to which the admission of the Persian 
shalwdr into the Arabic saravihi may have contributed. In Suidas we find the 
right interpretation along with the false one when he says: 2«/j«/3«o« luHi 
Ilepaixvr hint 5e hiyovai ftpxxi'x. Hesychius, on the other hand, briefly explains 
anpa^ctpa by lipaxlx, xvyfiihs, axihieu. Hence the word in the forms sarabara, 
siravara, saravara or saraballa, sarabela, is commonly used in the middle ages 
for hose, and has been transferred into various modern languages ; cf. Gesen. 
Ties. p. 971. 

1 With the setting aside of the false interpretation we have disposed of the 
objection against the historical character of the narrative which v. Leng. and 
Hitz. have founded on the statement of Herodotus I.e., that the Babylonians 
wore no hose, but that they were first worn by the Persians, who adopted them 
from the Medes. 



(these mighty men) stand here in the status absol., and are again 
taken up in the pronoun jisn after the verb ?®p_. If the three 
were brought up to the furnace, it must have had a mouth above, 
through which the victims could be cast into it. When heated to 
an ordinary degree, this could be done without danger to the men 
who performed this service ; but in the present case the heat of 
the fire was so great, that the servants themselves perished by it. 
This circumstance also is mentioned to show the greatness of the 
miracle by which the three were preserved unhurt in the midst of 
the furnace. The same thing is intended by the repetition of the 
word rnSDD, bound, ver. 23, which, moreover, is purposely placed 
at the close of the passage to prepare for the contrast p_t5>, at 
liberty, free from the bonds, 1 ver. 25. 

Ver. 24 ff. The king, who sat watching the issue of the matter, 
looked through the door into the furnace, and observed that the 
three who had been cast into it bound, walked about freed from 
their bonds and unhurt ; and, in truth, he saw not the three only, 
but also a fourth, " like to a son of the gods," beside them. At this 
sight he was astonished and terrified. He hastily stood up ; and 
having assured himself by a consultation with his counsellors that 
three men had indeed been cast bound into the furnace, while he 
saw four walking in the midst of it, he approached the mouth of the 
furnace and cried to the three to come forth. They immediately 
came out, and were inspected by the assembled officers of state, 
and found to be wholly uninjured as to their bodies, their clothes 
being unharmed also, and without even the smell of fire upon 
them. P^iri refers, without doubt, to the officers of the kingdom, 
ministers or counsellors of state standing very near the king, since 
they are named in ver. 27 and ch. vi. 8 (7) along with the first 
three ranks of officers, and (ch. iv. 23 [26]) during Nebuchad- 
nezzar's madness they conducted the affairs of government. The 
literal meaning of the word, however, is not quite obvious. Its 
derivation from the Chald. pa*, duces, with the Hebr. article 
(Gesen.), which can only be supported by Nnanp, Prov. xi. 14 

1 Between vers. 23 and 24 the LXX. have introduced the Prayer of 
Azariah and the Song of the three men in the fiery furnace ; and these two 
hymns are connected together by a narrative which explains the death of the 
Chaldeans who threw the three into the furnace, and the miracle of the de- 
liverance of Daniel's friends. Eegarding the apocryphal origin of these addi- 
tions, composed in the Greek language, which Luther in his translation has 
rightly placed in the Apocrypha, see my Lehr. der EM. in d. A. Test. § 251. 

CHAP. III. 28-30. 131 

(Targ.), is decidedly opposed by the absence of all analogies for the 
blending into one word of the article with a noun in the Semitic 
language. The Alhoran offers no corresponding analogues, since 
this word with the article is found only in the more modern dialects. 
But the meaning which P. v. Bohlen (Symbolce ad interp. s. Codicis 
ex ling. pers. p. 26) has sought from the Persian word which is 
translated by simul judex, i.e. socius in judicio, is opposed not only 
by the fact that the compensation of the Mim by the Dagesch, but 
also the composition and the meaning, has very little probability. 

The fourth whom Nebuchadnezzar saw in the furnace was like 
in his appearance, i.e. as commanding veneration, to a son of the 
gods, i.e. to one of the race of the gods. In ver. 28 the same person- 
age is called an angel of God, Nebuchadnezzar there following the 
religious conceptions of the Jews, in consequence of the conversa- 
tion which no doubt he had with the three who were saved. Here, 
on the other hand, he speaks in the spirit and meaning of the 
Babylonian doctrine of the gods, according to the theogonic repre- 
sentation of the crv£v<yia of the gods peculiar to all Oriental reli- 
gions, whose existence among the Babylonians the female divinity 
Mylitta associated with Bel places beyond a doubt ; cf . Hgst. 
Beitr. i. p. 159, and Hav., Kran., and Klief. in loc. 

Acting on this assumption, which did not call in question the 
deliverance of the accused by the miraculous interposition of the 
Deity, Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the furnace and 
cried to the three men to come out, addressing them as the servants 
(worshippers) of the most high God. This address does not go 
beyond the circle of heathen ideas. He does not call the God of 
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the only true God, but only 
the most high God, the chief of the gods, just as the Greeks called 

their Zeus 6 v-tyiaTOs #eo?. The Kethiv WvV (in Syr. V»-^-^> to 

preserve) is here and everywhere in Daniel (ver. 32, ch. iv. 14, 21, 
etc.) pointed by the Masoretes according to the form nN7 , y (with n) 
prevailing in the Targg. The forms DB'3, NKC'J, are peculiar to 
Daniel (ver. 27 f., ch. ivl"30, v. 21, vii. 11). ' The Targg. have NBfia 
instead of it. 

Vers. 28-30. The impression made by this event on Nebuchad- 

The marvellous deliverance of the three from the flames of the 
furnace produced such an impression on Nebuchadnezzar, that he 


chanted his earlier and humbler judgment (ver. 15) regarding 
the God of the Jews, and spoke now in praise of the might of this 
God. For at the same time he not only openly announced that He 
had saved (ver. 28) His servants, but also by an edict, issued to all 
the peoples of his kingdom, he forbade on pain of death the doing 
of any dishonour to the God of the Jews (ver. 29). Nebuchad- 
nezzar, however, did not turn to the true God. He neither 
acknowledged Jehovah as the only, or the alone true God, nor did 
he command Him to be worshipped. He only declared Him to be 
a God who is able to save His servants as no other could, and 
merely forbade the despising and reviling of this God. Whoever 
speaks rfc, that which is erroneous or unjust, against the God of 
Shadrach, etc., shall be put to death. Jw, from iw, to err, to 
commit a fault, is changed in the Keri into W, which occurs in 
ch. vi. 5 and Ezra iv. 22, and in the Targg. ; but without suffi- 
cient ground, since with other words both forms are found together, 
e.g. NpcnN, vidua, with ^-"?"]N, viduitas. According to this, vW in 
abstr. means the error; n?B> in concr., the erroneous. Hitz. finds 
the command partly too narrow, partly quite unsuitable, because 
an error, a simple oversight, should find pardon as soon as pos- 
sible. But the distinction between a fault arising from mistake 
and one arising from a bad intention does not accord with the 
edict of an Oriental despot, which must be in decided terms, so 
that there may be no room in cases of transgression for an appeal 
to a mere oversight. Still less importance is to be attached to the 
objection that the carrying out of the command may have had its 
difficulties. But by such difficulties the historical character of the 
narrative is not brought under suspicion. As the Chaldeans in this 
case had watched the Jews and accused them of disobedience, so 
also could the Jews scattered throughout the kingdom biw before 
the tribunal the heathen who blasphemed their God. 

Ver. 29. Regarding the collocation of the words pb\ DBS DJ>, see 
under ver. 4; and regarding the rmn and the threatened 'punish- 
ment, see under ch. ii. 5. rma we regard, with the LXX., Theodrt., 
Vulg., and old interpreters, as a fem. adverbial : oZrav;, ita, as it 
occurs in ch. ii. 10, Ezra v. 7, and Jer. x. 11. The interpreting of 
it as masculine, as this God, does not correspond with the heathen 
consciousness of God, to which a God perceptible by sight was more 
appropriate than a God invisible (Kran.). The history concludes 
(ver. 30) with the remark that Nebuchadnezzar now regarded th 
three men with the greatest favour. In what way he manif t <\ 

CHAP. Ill, Sl-IV. 34. 133 

his regard for them is not stated, inasmuch as this is not necessary 
to the object of the narrative, npyri with ?, to give to any one 
happiness, prosperity, to cause him to be fortunate. 

If we attentively consider the import of this narrative in its 
bearing on the history of the kingdom of God, we learn how the 
true worshippers of the Lord under the dominion of the world- 
power could and would come into difficulties, imperilling life, be- 
tween the demands of the lords of this world and the duties they 
owe to God. But we also learn, that if in these circumstances 
they remain faithful to their God, they will in a wonderful manner 
be protected by Him ; while He will reveal His omnipotence so 
gloriously, that even the heathen world-rulers will be constrained 
to recognise their God and to give Him glory. 

chap. in. 31 (iv. i)-iv. 34 (37)'. neeuchadnezzae's dkeam 


This section is in the form of a proclamation by king Nebu- 
chadnezzar to all the peoples of his kingdom, informing them of a 
wonderful event in which the living God of heaven made Himself 
known as the ruler over the kingdoms of men. After a short 
introduction (ch. iii. 31-33 [iv. 1-3]) the king makes known to his 
subjects, that amid the peaceful prosperity of his life he had dreamed 
a dream which filled him with disquietude, and which the wise men 
of Babylon could not interpret, until Daniel came, who was able to 
do so (ch. iv. 1-5 [4-8]). In his dream he saw a great tree, with 
vast branches and bearing much fruit, which reached up to heaven, 
under which beasts and birds found a lodging, shelter, and food. 
Then a holy watcher came down from heaven and commanded the 
tree to be cut down, so that its roots only remained in the earth, but 
bound with iron and brass, till seven times shall pass, so that men 
may know the power of the Most High over the kingdoms of men 
(vers. 6-15 [9-18]). Daniel interpreted to him this dream, that the 
tree represented the king himself, regarding whom it was resolved by 
Heaven that he should be driven forth from men and should live 
among the beasts till seven times should pass, and he should know 
that the Highest rules over the kingdoms of men (vers. 16-24 
[19-27]). After twelve months this dream began to be fulfilled, 
and Nebuchadnezzar fell into a state of madness, and became like 
a beast of the field (vers. 25-30 [28-33]). But after the lapse of 
the appointed time his understanding returned to him, whereupon 


he was again restored to his kingdom and became exceeding great, 
and now praised and honoured the King of heaven (vers. 31-34 

If the preceding history teaches how the Almighty God wonder- 
fully protects His true worshippers against the enmity of the world- 
power, this narrative may be regarded as an actual confirmation of 
the truth that this same God can so humble the rulers of the world, 
if in presumptuous pride they boast of their might, as to constrain 
them to recognise Him as the Lord over the kings of the earth. 
Although this narrative contains no miracle contrary to the course 
of n at nre, but only records a divine judgment, bringing Nebuchad- 
nezzar for a time into a state of madness, — a judgment announced 
beforehand in a dream, and happening according to the prediction, 
— yet Bleek, v. Leng., Hitz., and others have rejected its historical 
veracity, and have explained it as only an invention by which the 
Maccabean pseudo-Daniel threatens the haughty Antiochus Epi- 
phanes with the vengeance of Heaven, which shall compel him to 
recognise One higher than himself, namely, the God of Israel. A 
proof of this assertion of theirs they find in the form of the narra- 
tive. The proclamation of Nebuchadnezzar to all the nations of his 
kingdom, in which the matter is set forth, shows, in its introduction 
and its close, greater familiarity with biblical thoughts than one 
would have expected in Nebuchadnezzar. The doxologies, ch. iii. 
33 (iv. 3) and iv. 31 (34), agree almost literally with Ps. cxlv. 13 ; 
and in the praise of the omnipotence and of the infinite majesty of 
God, ch. iv. 32 (35), the echoes of Isa. xl. 17, xliii. 13, 24, 21 cannot 
fail to be recognised. The circumstance that in vers. 25 (28)-30 
(33) Nebuchadnezzar is spoken of in the third person, appears to 
warrant also the opinion that the writing was composed by some 
other person than by the king. But the use of the third person by 
Nebuchadnezzar in the verses named is fully explained from the 
contents of the passage (see Exposition), and neither justifies the 
conclusion that the author was a different person from the kinc 
nor the supposition of Hav. that the vers. 26 (29)-30 (33) are a 
passage parenthetically added by Daniel to the brief declaration of 
tke edict, ver. 25 (28), for the purpose of explaining it and making 
the matter better understood by posterity. The circumstance that 
ver. 31 (34) refers to the statement of time in ver. 26 (29) and 
that the royal proclamation would be incomplete without vers. 26 
(29)-30 (33), leads to the opposite conclusion. The existence of 
these biblical thoughts, however, even though not sufficiently 

CHAP. III. 31-IV. 34. 135 

explained by the supposition that Nebuchadnezzar had heard these 
thoughts and words in a conference on the matter with Daniel, and 
had appropriated them to himself, cannot be adduced against the 
genuineness of the edict, but only shows this much, that in the com- 
position of it Nebuchadnezzar had made use of the pen of Daniel, 
whereby the praise of God received a fuller expression than Nebu- 
chadnezzar would have given to it. For in the whole narrative of 
the event the peculiar heathen conceptions of the Chaldean king 
so naturally present themselves before us, that beyond question we 
read the very words used by Nebuchadnezzar himself. 

Then it has been found in the highest degree strange that Nebu- 
chadnezzar himself should have published to his people an account 
of his madness, instead of doing all to make this sad history forgot- 
ten. But, notwithstanding that the views of the ancients regard- 
ing madness were different from ours, we must say, with Klief. and 
others, on the contrary, that " publicity in such a case was better 
than concealment ; the matter, besides, being certainly known, could 
not be made either better or worse by being made public. Nebu- 
chadnezzar wishes to publish, not his madness, but the help which 
God had imparted to him ; and that he did this openly does honour 
indeed to his magnanimous character." 

But the principal argument against the historical veracity of 
the occurrence is derived from the consideration that no mention is 
anywhere else made of the seven years' madness, an event which 
certainly could not but introduce very important changes and com- 
plications into the Babylonian kingdom. It is true that the 
Hebrew history does not at all refer to the later years of Nebu- 
chadnezzar's reign, though it extends, Jer. Hi. 31, to a period later 
than these times, and should, without doubt, give as much promi- 
nence to such a divine judgment against this enemy as to the fate 
of Sennacherib (2 Kings xix. 37) (Hitz.). But the brief notice, 
Jer. lii. 31, that king Jehoiachin, thirty- seven years after his 
deportation, was delivered from prison by Evilraerodach when he 
became king, afforded no opportunity to speak of Nebuchadnezzar's 
madness, which for a time rendered him incapable of conducting 
the affairs of government, but did not cause his death. And the 
reference to the murder of Sennacherib proves nothing regarding 
it, because, according to the view of Jeremiah and the biblical 
historians, Nebuchadnezzar occupied an altogether different relation 
to the theocracy from that of Sennacherib. Nebuchadnezzar 
appeared not as an arch-enemy, but as the servant of Jehovah ha 


executed the will of God against the sinful kingdom of Judah ; 
Sennacherib, on the contrary, in daring insolence derided the God 
of Israel, and was punished for this by the annihilation of his host, 
and afterwards murdered by his own son, while Nebuchadnezzar 
was cured of his madness. 

But when the opponents of the genuineness moreover argue 
that even the Chaldean historian Berosus can have announced 
nothing at all regarding Nebuchadnezzar's madness, since Josephus, 
and Origen, and Jerome, who were well-versed in books, could find 
nothing in any author which pointed to such an event, it is to be 
replied, in the first place, that the representations of seven years' 
duration of the madness, and of the serious complications which 
this malady must have brought on the Babylonian kingdom, are 
mere frivolous suppositions of the modern critics; for the text 
limits the duration of the malady only to seven times, by which we 
may understand seven months as well as seven years. The com- 
plications in the affairs of the kingdom were, moreover, prevented 
by an interim government. Then Hgstb. (Beitr. i. p. 101 ff.), 
Hav., Del., and others, have rightly shown that uot a single his- 
torical work of that period is extant, in which one could expect to 
find fuller information regarding the disease of Nebuchadnezzar, 
which is certainly very significant in sacred history, but which in 
no respect had any influence on the Babylonian kingdom. Hero- 
dotus, the father of history, did not know Nebuchadnezzar even by 
name, and seems to have had no information of his great exploits — 
e.g. of his great and important victory over the Egyptian host at 
Carchemish. Josephus names altogether only six authors in whose 
works mention is made of* Nebuchadnezzar. But four of these 
authorities — viz. : The Annals of the Phoenicians, Philostratus, 
author of a Phoenician history, Megasthenes, and Diodes — are 
not here to be taken iuto account, because the first two contain 
only what relates to Phoenicia, the conquest of the land, and the 
siege of Tyre, the capital ; while the other two, Megasth. in his 
Indian history, and Diodes in his Persian history, speak only quite 
incidentally of Nebuchadnezzar. There remain then, besides, only 
Berosus and Abydenus who have recorded the Chaldean history. 
But of Berosus, a priest of Belus at Babylon in the time of Alex- 
ander the Great, who had examined many and ancient documents, 
and is justly acknowledged to be a trustworthy historian, we 
possess only certain poor fragments of his XaXSai/cd quoted in the 
writings of Josephus, Ensebius, and later authors, no one of whom 

CHAP. HI. 31-IV. 34. 137 

had read and extracted from the work of Berosus itself. Not 
only Eusebius, but, as M. v. Niebuhr has conclusively proved, 
Josephus also derived his account from Berosus only through the. 
remains of the original preserved by Alexander Polyhistor, a con- 
temporary of Sulla, a " tumultuous worker," whose abstract has no 
great security for accuracy, and still less for integrity, although 
he has not purposely falsified anything ; cf. M. v. Niebuhr, Gesch. 
Assurs, p. 12 f. Abydenus lived much later. He wrote appa- 
rently after Josephus, since the latter has made no use of him, and 
thus he was not so near the original sources as Berosus, and was, 
moreover, to judge of his fragments which are preserved by Euse- 
bius and Syncellus, not so capable of making use of them, although 
one cannot pass sentence against the trustworthiness of the peculiar 
sources used by him, since the notices formed from them, notwith- 
standing their independence on Berosus, agree well with his state- 
ments ; cf. M. v. Niebuhr, p. 15 f. 

But if Josephus did not himself read the work of Berosus, but 
only reported what he found in the extracts by Polyhistor, we need 
not wonder though he found nothing regarding Nebuchadnezzar's 
madness. And yet Josephus has preserved to us a notice from 
Berosus which points to the unusual malady by which Nebuchad- 
nezzar was afflicted before his death, in the words, " Nabucho- 
donosor, after he had begun to build the fore-mentioned wall, fell 
sick and departed this life, when he had reigned forty-three years" 
(contra Apion, i. 20). In these words lies more than the simple 
remark, that Nebuchadnezzar, as is wont to happen to the most of 
men, died after an illness going before, and not suddenly, as Berth., 
Hitz., and others wish to interpret it. Berosus uses a formula of 
this kind in speaking neither of Nabonedus nor of Neriglissor, who 
both died, not suddenly, but a natural death. He remarks only, 
however, of Nebuchadnezzar's father : " Now it so fell out that he 
(his father Nabopolassar) fell into a distemper at this time, and died 
in the city of Babylon," because he had before stated regarding 
him, that on account of the infirmity of old age he had committed 
to his son the carrying on of the war against Egypt ; and hence 
the words, "at that time he fell into a distemper," or the distemper 
which led to his death, acquire a particular significance. 1 If, 
accordingly, the "falling sick" pointed to an unusual affliction 

1 When Hiteig adduces 2 Kings xiii. 14 in support of his view, he has 
failed to observe that in this place is narrated how the tidings of Elisha's sick- 
ness unto death gave occasion to the king Joash to visit the prophet, from 


upon Nebuchadnezzar, so also the fact that Berosus adds to the 
statement of the distemper the account of his death, while on the 
contrary, according to this chapter, Nebuchadnezzar again recovered 
and reigned' still longer, does not oppose the reference of the " dis- 
temper" to the king's madness; for according to Berosus, as well 
as according to Daniel, the malady fell upon Nebuchadnezzar in the 
later period of his reign, after he had not only carried on wars for 
the founding and establishment of his world-kingdom, but had also, 
for the most part at least, finished his splendid buildings. After his 
recovery down to the time of his death, he carried forward no other 
great work, regarding which Berosus is able to give any communi- 
cation ; it therefore only remained for him to mention the fact of his 
death, along with the statement of the duration of his reign. No 
one is able, therefore, to conclude from his summary statement, that 
Nebuchadnezzar died very soon after his recovery from the madness. 
A yet more distinct trace of the event narrated in this chapter 
is found in Abydenus, in the fragments preserved by Euseb. in 
the Prcepar. evang. ix. 41, and in the Chronic. Armen. ed. Aucher, 
i. p. 59, wherein Abydenus announces as a Chaldee tradition (\e- 
<yerai 7T/do? XaXSalcov), that Nebuchadnezzar, after the ending of 
his war in the farther west, mounted his royal tower, i.e. to the flat 
roof, and, there seized by some god (Karaa-^eOeii] 6ew oreco Br]), he 
oracularly (Oecnricrab) announced to the Babylonians their inevit- 
able subjugation by the Tlepcrr}^ r)fj,iovo<; united with the Medes, 
who would be helped by their own Babylonian gods. He prayed 
that the Persian might be destroyed in the abyss of the sea, or 
condemned to wander about in a desert wilderness, inhabited only 
by wild beasts ; and for himself he wished a peaceful death before 
these misfortunes should fall on the Chaldean empire. Immedi- 
ately after this utterance Nebuchadnezzar was snatched away from 
the sight of men (7rapa^p^fj.a rjcfxlvierro). In this Chaldean tra- 
dition Eusebius has recognised 1 a disfigured tradition of this his- 

whom he at that time received a significant prophetical announcement, and 
that thus this passage contains something quite different from the trivial 
uotice merely that-Elisha was sick previous to his death. 

1 In the Chron. Arm. p. 61, Eusebius has thus remarked, after recording the 
saying by Abyd. : " In Danielis sane historiis de Nabuchadonosoro narratur, quo- 
mndo et quo pacto mente captus fuerit: quod si Grxcorum historici aut Chaldxi 
morbum tegunt et a Deo eum acceptum comminiscuntur, Deumque insaniam quie in 
ilium intravit, vel Dsemonem quendam, qui in eum venerit, nominant, miranduti 
non est. Etenimhoc quidem illorum mos est, cu.nctasim.ilia Deo adscribere Deos- 
que nominare Dsemones." 

CHAP. III. 31-IV. 34. .139 

tory ; and even Bertholdt will not " deny that this strange saying 
is in its main parts identical with our Aramaic record." On the 
other hand, Hitz. knows nothing else to bring forward than that 
" the statement sounds so fabulous, that no historical substance can 
be discovered in it." But the historical substance lies in the occur- 
rence which Daniel relates. As, according to Daniel, Nebuchad- 
nezzar was on the roof of his palace when he was suddenly struck 
by God with madness, so also according to Abydenus he was to? 
avafia? ivl ra fiiacrikqia when seized by some god, or possessed. 
Here not only the time and the place of the occurrence agree, but 
also the circumstance that the king's being seized or bound was 
effected by some god, i.e. not by his own, but by a strange god. 
Not the less striking is the harmony in the curse which he prayed 
might fall on the Persian — " May he wander in the wilderness 
where no cities are, no human footstep, where wild beasts feed 
and the birds wander" — with the description of the abode of the 
king in his madness in ch. v. 21 : " And he was driven from the 
sons of men ; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his 
dwelling was with the wild asses ; and they fed him with grass like 
oxen." Moreover, though the designation of the Persian as rj/xlovo? 
in Abyd. may not be formed from the )*"!*}# of Daniel, but derived 
from old oracles regarding Cyrus diffused throughout the East, as 
Hav. (2V. Krit. Unters. p. 53, under reference to Herod, i. 55, 
91) regards as probable, then the harmony of the Chaldean tradi- 
tion in Abyd. with the narrative in Daniel leaves no doubt that 
the fact announced by Daniel lies at the foundation of that tradi- 
tion, but so changed as to be adapted to the mythic glorification of 
the hero who was celebrated, of whom Megasthenes says that he 
excelled Hercules in boldness and courage ('Hpa/cXews' aXKijiw-repov 
yeyovora, in Euseb. Prcep. ev. I.e.). 

To represent the king's state of morbid psychical bondage and 
want of freedom as his being moved by God with the spirit of pro- 
phecy was natural, from the resemblance which the mantic inspira- 
tion in the gestures of the ecstasy showed to the fiavla (cf. the 
combination of N^HM njE'D B*s, Jer. xxix. 26, 2 Kings ix. 11) ; and 
in the madness which for a time withdrew the founder of the world- 
kingdom from the exercise of his sovereignty there might appear as 
not very remote to the Chaldeans, familiar with the study of por- 
tents and prodigies as pointing out the fate of men and of nations, 
an omen of the future overthrow of the world-power founded by him. 
As the powerful monarchy of Nebuchadnezzar was transferred to 


the IIepar)<; y II jliovo<; not a full generation (25-26 years) after the 
death of its founder, it might appear conformable to the national 
vanity of the Chaldeans to give the interpretation to the ominous 
experience of the great king, that the celebrated hero himself before 
his death — 8ea> oVew hr) KaTaa^eTO'; — had prophesied its fall, and had 
imprecated on the destroyer great evil, but had wished for himself 
a happy death before these disasters should come. 

But even if there were no such traditional references to the 
occurrence mentioned in this chapter, yet would the supposition of 
its invention be exclnded by its nature. Although it could be pro- 
phesied to Antiochus as an ' ' ETUixavrfi {madman) that he would 
wholly lose his understanding, yet there remains, as even Hitz. is 
constrained to confess, the choice of just this form of the madness, 
the insania zoanlhropica, a mystery in the solution of which even 
the acuteness of this critic is put to shame; so that he resorts to the 
foolish conjecture that the Maccabean Jew had fabricated the his- 
tory out of the name "lymn:, since "1133 means oberravil cum per- 
turbalione, and p3, to bind, fasten, while the representation of the 
king as a tree is derived from the passages Isa. xiv. 12, Ezek. 
xxxi. 3 ff. To this is to be added the fact, that the tendency 
attributed to the narrative does not at all fit the circumstances of 
the Maccabean times. With the general remark that the author 
wished to hold up as in a mirror before the eyes of Antiochus 
Epiphanes to what results haughty presumption against the Most 
High will lead, and how necessary it is penitentially to recognise 
His power and glory if he would not at length fall a victim to 
the severest judgments (Bleek), the object of the invention of so 
peculiar a malady becomes quite inconceivable. Hitzig therefore 
seeks to explain the tendency more particularly. " The transgressor 
Nebuchadnezzar, who for his haughtiness is punished with madness, 
is the type of that arrogant 'Eirifiav^, who also sought unsuitable 
society, as king degraded himself (Polyb. xxvi. 10), and yet had 
lately given forth a circular-letter of an altogether different cha- 
racter (1 Mace. i. 41 ff.)." 

"If in ver. 28 (31) the loss of the kingdom is placed before the 
view of Nebuchadnezzar (Antiochus Epiphanes), the passage appears 
to have been composed at a time when the Maccabees liad already 
taken up arms, and gained the superiority (1 Mace. ii. 42—48)." 
According to this, we must suppose that the author of this book 
at a time when the Jews who adhered to their religion, under the 
leadership of Mattathias, marched throughout the land to put an 

CHAP. III. 3I-IV. 34. 141 

end by the force of arms to the oppression of Antlochus Epiphanes, 
had proposed to the cruel king the fiill restoration of his supremacy 
and the willing subjection of the Jews under his government, on 
the condition that he should recognise the omnipotence of their 
God. But how does such a proposal of peace agree with the war 
of the Jews led by Mattathias against the viol rrji vireptifyavia.';, 
against the heathen and transgressors, whose horn (power) they 
suffer not to prosper (1 Mace. ii. 47, 48) ? How with the pas- 
sionate address of the dying Mattathias, " Fear ye not the words 
of a sinful man (av^pot dfiapTcoXov, i.e. Antiochus), for his 
glory shall be dung and worms " (ver. 62) ? And wherein then 
consists the resemblance between the Nebuchadnezzar of this 
chapter and Antiochus Epiphanes? — the latter, a despot who 
cherished a deadly hatred against the Jews who withstood him ; 
the former, a prince who showed his good-will toward the Jews in 
the person of Daniel, who was held in high esteem by him. Or is 
Nebuchadnezzar, in the fact that he gloried in the erection of the 
great Babylon as the seat of 'his kingdom, and in that he was 
exhorted by Daniel to show compassion toward the poor and the 
oppressed (ver. 24 [27]), a type of Antiochus, "who sought improper 
society, and as king denied himself," i.e., according to Polybius as 
quoted by Hitzig, delighted in fellowship with the lower classes 
of society, and 1 spent much treasure amongst the poor handicrafts- 
men with whom he consorted? Or is there seen in the circular- 
letter of Antiochus, " that in his whole kingdom all should be one 
people, and each must give up his own laws," any motive for the 
fabrication of the proclamation in which Nebuchadnezzar relates 
to all his people the signs and wonders which the most high 
God had done to him, and for which he praised the God of 
heaven ? 

And if we fix our attention, finally, on the relation of Daniel 
to Nebuchadnezzar, shall that prophet as the counsellor of the 
heathen king, who in true affection uttered the wish that the dream 
might be to them that hated him, and the interpretation thereof 
to his enemies (ver. 16 [19]), be regarded as a pattern to the 
Maccabees sacrificing all for the sake of their God, who wished 
for their deadly enemy Antiochus that his glory might sink into 
" dung and the worms?" Is it at all conceivable that a Maccabean 
Jew, zealous for the law of his fathers, could imagine that the 
celebrated ancient prophet Daniel would cherish so benevolent a 
wish toward the heathen Nebuchadnezzar, in order that by such 


an invention he might animate his contemporaries to stedfast per- 
severance in war against the ruthless tyrant Antiochus ? 

This total difference between the facts recorded in this chapter 
and the circumstances of the Maccabean times described in 1 Mace. 
ii. 42-48, as Kranichfeld has fully shown, precludes any one, as 
he has correctly observed, " from speaking of a tendency delineated 
according to the original of the Maccabean times in the name of 
an exegesis favourable to historical investigation." The efforts of a 
hostile criticism will never succeed on scientific grounds in changing 
the historical matters of fact recorded in this chapter into a fiction 
constructed with a tendency. 

Chap. iii. 31 (iv. l)-iv. 15 (18). Tlie preface to the kings edict, 
and the account of his dream. 

Ch. iii. 31-33 (iv. 1-3). These verses form the introduction 1 
to the manifesto, and consist of the expression of good wishes, and 
the announcement of its object. The mode of address here used, 
accompanied by an expression of a good wish, is the usual form 
also of the edicts promulgated by the Persian kings ; cf. Ezra iv. 17, 
vii. 12. Regarding the designation of his subjects, cf. ch. iii. 4. 
Njnx-^33, not " in all lands " (Ha v.), but on the whole earth, for 
Nebuchadnezzar regarded himself as the lord of the whole earth. 
x>noni tvm corresponds with the Hebr. D'natoi nhiK ; cf. Deut. vi. 
22, vii. 19. The experience of this miracle leads to the offering up 
of praise to God, ver. 33 (ch. iv. 3). The doxology of the second 
part of ver. 33 occurs again with little variation in ch. iv. 31 (34), 

1 The connection of these verses with the third chapter in the Hebrew, 
Greek, and Latin Bibles is altogether improper. The originator of the division 
into chapters appears to have entertained the idea that Nebuchadnezzar had 
made known the miracle of the deliverance of the three men from the fiery fur- 
nace to his subjects by means of a proclamation, according to which the fourth 
chapter would contain a new royal proclamation different from that former one, 
— an idea which was rejected by Luther, who has accordingly properly divided 
the chapters. Conformably to that division, as Chr. B. Michaelis has well 
remarked, " prius Mud programma in fine capitis tertii excerptum caput sine 
corpore, posterius vero quodcapite IV. exhibetur, corpus sine capite, illic enim con- 
spicitur quidem exordium, sed sine narratione, hie vero narratio quidem sed sine 
exordio." Quite arbitrarily Ewald has, according to the LXX., who have intro- 
duced the words ' Kpyjh tjj<t 'fKnrrcr.%; before ch. iii. 31, and "Erow<r ox.Tux.ctt- 
foxaTov ty); fianMict; N«/3o«xoBo»oVo/> &» before ch. iv. 1, enlarged this passage 
by the superscription : " In the 28th year of the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar 
king Nebuchadnezzar wrote thus to all the nations, communities, and ton Ties 
who dwell in the whole earth." 

CHAP. III. 31-IV. 15. 143 

vii. 14, 18, and is met with also in Ps. cxlv. 13, which bears the 
name of David; while the rendering of f]\ ~n~Q]l, from generation 
to generation, i.e. as long as generations exist, agrees with Ps. lxxii. 5. 

With ch. iv. 1 (4) Nebuchadnezzar begins the narration of his 
wonderful experience. When he was at rest in his palace and 
prospering, he had a dream as he lay upon his bed which made him 
afraid and perplexed. •&&, quiet, in undisturbed, secure prosperity. 
\11P-, properly growing green, of the fresh, vigorous growth of a tree, 
to which the happiness and prosperity of men are often compared ; 
e.g. in Ps. Hi. 10 (8), xcii. 11 (10). Here plainly the word is 
chosen with reference to the tree which had been seen in the 
dream. From this description of his prosperity it appears that 
after his victories Nebuchadnezzar enjoyed the fruit of his exploits, 
was firmly established on his throne, and, as appears from ver. 26 
(29) f., a year after his dream could look with pleasure and pride 
on the completion of his splendid buildings in Babylon ; and there- 
fore this event belongs to the last half of his reign. 

Ver. 2 (ch. iv. 5). While in this state of security and peace, 
he was alarmed by a dream. The abrupt manner in which the 
matter is here introduced well illustrates the unexpected suddenness 
of the event itself. PI 1 " 1 " 1 ?, thoughts, from if)"!?, to think, to meditate ; 
in the Mishna and in Syr. images of the imagination ; here, images in 
a dream. The words , 33?'0 ?$? P"!" 1 " 1 /? are more properly taken as a 
passage by themselves with the verb, I had (I saw), supplied, than 
connected with the following noun to ''J??''! , : ?^ Regarding ^X~). 'W 
see under ch. ii. 28. On this matter Chr. B. Michaelis has well 
remarked : " Licet somnii interpretationeyn nondum intelligent, tamen 
sensit, infortunium sibi isthoc somnio portendi." 

Ver. 3 f. (ch. iv. 6). Therefore Nebuchadnezzar commanded 
the wise men of Babylon (cf. ii. 2) to be called to him, that they 
might interpret to him the dream. But they could not do so, 
although on this occasion he only asked them to give the inter- 
pretation, and not, as in ch. ii. 2, at the same time the dream 
itself. Instead of the Kethiv |v?JJ, the Keri here and at ch. v. 8 
gives the contracted form \ty, which became possible only by the 
shortening of T , as in ]nfn ch. iii. 16. The form l^nsj is differently 
explained ; apparently it must be the plur. masc. instead of V£\t*, 
and pint* ~U), to 'the last, a circumlocution of the adverb at last. 
That P^riN means posterus, and J"jn« alius, Hitzig has not yet fur- 
nished the proof. The question, wherefore Daniel came only 
when the Chaldean wise men could not interpret the dream, is 


not answered satisfactorily by the remark of Ziindel, p. 16, that 
it was the natural course that first they should be called -who by 
virtue of their wisdom should interpret the dream, and that then, 
after their wisdom had failed, Daniel should be called, who had 
gained for himself a name by revelations not proceeding from the 
class of the Magi. For if Nebuchadnezzar had still the events of 
ch. ii. in view, he would without doubt have called him forthwith, 
since it certainly did not come into his mind, in his anxiety on 
account of his dream, first to try the natural wisdom of his Magi. 
The objection offered by Hitzig, that the king does not go at once 
to his chief magician, ver. 6 (9), who had already (ch. ii.) shown 
himself to be the best interpreter of dreams, is not thereby confuted ; 
still less is it by the answer that the custom was not immediately to 
call the president of the Magi (Jahn), or that in the haste he was 
not at once thought of (Hiiv.). Though it may have been the 
custom not to call the chief president in every particular case, yet 
a dream by the king, which had filled him with terror, was an 
altogether unusual occurrence. If Daniel, therefore, was in this 
case first called only when the natural wisdom of the Magi had 
proved its inadequacy, the reason of this was, either that Nebu- 
chadnezzar had forgotten what had occurred several years before 
(ch. ii.), and since the chief president of the wise men was only in 
special cases called on for counsel, therefore only the incorporated 
cultivators of the magician's art were called, and only when these 
could not accomplish that which was asked of them was the chief 
president Daniel required to come, — or it lay in this, that the king, 
afraid of receiving an unwelcome answer, purposely adopted the 
course indicated. Kranichfeld has decided in favour of this latter 
supposition. " The king," he thinks, " knew from the dream itself 
that the tree (ver. 8 [11]) reaching unto heaven and extending to 
the end of the whole earth represented a royal person ruling the 
earth, who would come to ruin on account of the God of the Jews, 
and would remain in his ruin till there was an acknowledgment 
of the Almighty; cf. vers. 13, 14 (16, 17). There was this 
reason for the king's keeping Daniel the Jew at a distance from 
this matter of the dream. Without doubt he would think himself 
intended by the person concerned in the dream; and since the 
special direction which the dream took (ver. 14) set forth as its 
natural point of departure an actual relation corresponding to 
that of the king to the God of Daniel, it must have occasioned 
to him a well-grounded fear (cf. ver. 24),. as in the case of Ahab 

CHAP. III. 31-IV. 15. 145 

the idolater, towards Micah, the prophet of Jehovah (cf. 1 Kings 
xxii. 8), of a severe judgment, leading him to treat with any other 
regarding his matter rather than with Daniel." For the establish- 
ment of this view Kranichfeld refers to the "king's subsequent 
address to Daniel, designed especially to appease and captivate 
(vers. 5, 6 [8, 9]), as well as the visibly mild and gentle deportment 
of the king toward the worshipper of the God of the Jews." This 
proceeding tending to captivate appeal's in the appellation, Daniel, 
whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god ; for 
Nebuchadnezzar, by the addition of a name of honour in com- 
memoration of the celebrated god of the kingdom, intended to 
show favour toward him, as also in the expression which follows, 
In whom is the spirit of the holy gods, which Nebuchadnezzar 
repeats in the address. But neither in the one nor the other of 
these considerations can we perceive the intention of specially 
captivating and appeasing the Jew Daniel ; — not in the latter of 
these expressions, for two reasons : 1. because Nebuchadnezzar 
uses the expression not merely in the address to Daniel, but also 
in the references to him which go before ; had he designed it to 
captivate him, he would have used these words of honour only in 
the address to him ; 2. because the expression, " in whom is the 
spirit of the holy gods," is so truly heathenish, that the Jew, who 
knew only one God, could not feel himself specially flattered by 
having the spirit of the holy gods ascribed to him. 

If Nebuchadnezzar had had the intention of gaining the favour 
of Daniel, he would certainly, according to his confession (ch. ii. 
47), have attributed to him the spirit of the God of gods, the 
Lord of lords, — a confession which even as a heathen he could 
utter. We cannot give the king so little credit for understanding 
as to suppose that he meant to show 1 a special favour to Daniel, 
who held so firmly the confession of his father's God, by reminding 
him that he had given him the name Belteshazzar after the name 
of his god Bel, whom, the Jews abhorred as an idol. Thus the 
reminding him of this name, as well as the saying that he pos- 
sessed the spirit of the holy gods, is not accounted for by sup- 
posing that he intended to appease and captivate Daniel. In 
showing the unsatisfactoriness of this interpretation of these ex- 
pressions, we have set aside also the explanation of the reason, 
which is based upon it, why Daniel was called in to the king only 

1 Calvin here rightly remarks : non dubium est, quin hoc nomen graviter vul- 
neraverit animum prophetss. 



after the Chaldean wise men ; and other weighty considerations 
can also be adduced against it. First, the edict contains certainly 
nothing which can give room to the conjecture that Nebuchad- 
nezzar entertained no true confidence, but much rather want of 
confidence, in him. The comparison of Nebuchadnezzar also 
with king Ahab in his conduct toward the prophet Micah is not 
suitable, because Ahab was not a mere polytheist as Nebuchad- 
nezzar, but much rather, like Antiochns Epiphanes, persecuted the 
servants of Jehovah in his kingdom, and at the instigation of his 
heathenish wife Jezebel wished to make the worship of Baal the 
only religion of his kingdom. Finally, the relation of the dream 
does not indicate that Nebuchadnezzar, if he knew or suspected 
that the dream referred to himself as ruler over the whole earth, 
thought that he would come to ruin because of the God of the 
Jews. For that this does not follow from ver. 14 (17), is shown 
not only by the divine visitation that happened to the king, as 
mentioned in ver. 27 (30) in fulfilment of the dream, but also by 
the exhortation to the king with which Daniel closes the interpre- 
tation, " to break off sin by righteousness, and his iniquities by 
showing mercy to the poor" (ver. 24 [27]). 

Thus there only remains this supposition, that the former reve- 
lations of God to the king had passed away from his heart and his 
memory ; which was not surprising in the successful founder and 
ruler of a world-kingdom, if we consider that from twenty-five 
to thirty years must have passed away since Daniel interpreted to 
him his dream in the second year of his reign, and from ten to 
fifteen had passed since the miracle of the deliverance of the three 
from the burning fiery furnace. But if those earlier revelations 
of God were obscured in his heart by the fulness of his prosperity, 
and for ten years Daniel had no occasion to show himself to him 
as a revealer of diviue secrets, then it is not difficnlt to conceive 
how, amid the state of disquietude into which the dream recorded 
in this chapter had brought him, he only gave the command to 
summon all the wise men of Babylon without expressly mention- 
ing their president, so that they came to him first, and Daniel was 
called only when the natural wisdom of the Chaldeans had shown 
itself helpless. 

The naming of Daniel by his Hebrew name in the manifesto 
intended for all the people of the kingdom as well as for the Jews 
is simply intended, as in ch. ii. 29, to designate the interpreter of 
the dream, as distinguished from the native wise men of Babylon 

CHAP. III. 31-IV. 15. 147 

as a Jew, and at the same time as a worshipper of the most high 
God ; and by the addition, " whose name is Belteshazzar, accord- 
ing to the name of my god," Nebuchadnezzar intends to indicate 
that Daniel by this name was brought into fellowship with his chief 
god Bel, and that not only as a worshipper of the God of the Jews, 
but also of the great god Bel, he had become a partaker of the 
spirit of the holy gods. But by the holy gods Nebuchadnezzar 
does not understand Jehovah, the Holy One, deriving this predi- 
cate "holy," as M. Geier says, ex theologia Israelitica, and the plur. 
" gods " denoting, as Calovius supposes, the mysterium pluralitatu 
personarum; but he speaks of the holy gods, as Jerome, Calvin, 
and Grotius supposed, as a heathen (ut idololatra) in a polytheistic 
sense. For that the revelation of supernatural secrets belonged to 
the gods, and that the man who had this power must possess the 
spirit of the gods, all the heathen acknowledged. Thus Pharaoh 
(Gen. xli. 38) judged regarding Joseph, and thus also the Chal- 
deans say to Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. ii. 11) that only the gods 
could know his dream. The truth lying at the foundation of this 
belief was acknowledged by Joseph before Pharaoh, as also by 
Daniel before the Chaldean king, for both of them declared 
before the heathen kings that the interpretation of their dreams 
was not in the power of man, but could come only from God 
(Gen. xli. 16 ; Dan. ii. 28). But when in the case before us 
Nebuchadnezzar speaks of the holy gods, he means by the ex- 
pression the dya0oSa{fiove<; as opposed to the KatcoZaijAoves, using 
the word holy of the good gods, probably from his conversation 
with Daniel on the subject. 

In the address, ver. 6, he calls Belteshazzar N*l?p"in 3"i, master 
of the magicians, probably from the special branch of Chaldean 
wisdom with which Daniel was particularly conversant, at the 
same time that he was chief president over all the magicians. 
D3K, to oppress, to compel any one, to do violence to him ; here. 
to make trouble, difficulty. 

Vers. 7-14 (10-17). Nebuchadnezzar in these verses tells his 
dream. The first part of ver. 7 is an absolute nominal sentence : 
the visions of my head lying upon my bed, then I saw, etc. — A tree 
stood in the midst of the earth. Although already very high, yet it 
became always the greater and the stronger, so that it reached even 
unto heaven and was visible to the ends of the earth. Ver. 8. The 
perf. nil and ^ipn express not its condition, but its increasing 
greatness and strength. In the second hemistich the imperf. XQ®\, 


as tlu form of the striving movement, corresponds to them. Cn. 
B. Michaelis properly remarks, that Nebuchadnezzar saw the tree 
gradually grow aud become always the stronger, niin, the sight, 
visibleness. Its visibility reached unto the ends of the earth. The 
LXX. have correctly r, opacris avrov ; so the Vulgate ; while Theo- 
dotion, with to kvtos avrov, gives merely the sense, its largeness, or 

dome. Hitzig altogether improperly refers to the Arab. 'ijy>- > * 01 
t,jy^, from jj»-, corresponds neither with the Hebr. ntn, nor does 
it mean extent, but comprehension, embracing, enclosure, according 
to which the meanings, tractus, latus, regio, given in the Arab. 
Lex., are to be estimated. 

Ver. 9 (12). At the same time the tree abounded with leaves 
and fruit, so that birds and beasts found shadow, protection, and 
nourishment from it. N" 1 ^, neither great nor many, but powerful, 
expressing the quantity and the greatness of the fruit. The P13 the 
Masoretes have rightly connected with Npp, to which it is joined 
by Maqqeph. The meaning is not : food was in it, the tree had 
food for all (Hav., Maur., and others), but: (it had) food for all 
in it, i.e. dwelling within its district (Kran., Klief.). The words, 
besides, do not form an independent sentence, but are only a further 
view of the N'W (Kran.), and return in the end of the verse into 
further expansion, while the first and the second clauses of the 
second hemistich give the further expansion of the first clause in 
the verse. •'/EN, vmbratn captavit, enjoyed the shadow; in Targg. 
the Aphel has for the most part the meaning obumbravit. The 
Ketildv JWV is not to be changed, since the p.SV is gen. comm. The 
Keri is conform, to ver. 185, where the word is construed as fem. 
The expression all flesh comprehends the beasts of the field and the 
fowls of heaven, but is chosen with reference to men represented 
under this image. For the tree, mighty, reaching even to the 
heavens, and visible over the whole earth, is an easily recognised 
symbol of a world-ruler whose power stretches itself over the 
whole earth. The description of the growth and of the greatness 
of the tree reminds us of the delineation of Pharaoh and his power 
under the figure of a mighty cedar of Lebanon, cf. Ezek. xxxi. 
3 ff., also Ezek. xvii. 22 ff., xix. 10 ff. The comparison of the 
growth of men to the growth of the trees is very frequent in 
biblical and other writings. 

Ver. 10 (13). By the words " I saw," etc., a new incident of the 
dream is introduced. "A watcher and an holy one came down from 

CHAP. III. 31-IV. 15. 149 

heaven." E>«!g1 with the explic. 1, even, and that too, brings it before 
us, in a very expressive way that the T'J' was an " holy one." "VJ? is 
not to be combined with "^V, a messenger, but is derived from "lip, to 
watch, and corresponds with the Hebr. "1J>, Song v. 2, Mai. ii. 12, 
and signifies not keeping watch, but being watchful, one who is 
awake, as the scholium to the eip of Theodotion in the Cod. Alex, 
explains it : iypiyyopo? koX aypvTrvo<;. Similarly Jerome remarks : 
" significat angelos, quod semper vigilent et ad Dei imperium sint 
parati." From this place is derived the name of iypyyopoq for the 
higher angels, who watch and slumber not, which is found in the 
book of Enoch and in other apocryphal writings, where it is used 
of good and of bad angels or demons. The designation of the 
angel as "Vy is peculiar to this passage in the O. T. This gives 
countenance to the conjecture that it is a word associated with the 
Chaldee doctrine of the gods. Kliefoth quite justly, indeed, 
remarks, that this designation does not come merely from the lips of 
Nebuchadnezzar, but is uttered also by the holy watcher himself 
(ver. 14), as well as by Daniel ; and he draws thence the conclusion, 
that obviously the holy watcher himself used this expression first of 
himself and the whole council of his companions, that Nebuchad- 
nezzar used the same expression after him (ver. 10), and that 
Daniel again adopted it from Nebuchadnezzar. Thence it follows 
that by the word angel we are not to understand a heathen deity ; 
for as certainly as, according to this narrative, the dream was given 
to Nebuchadnezzar by God, so certainly was it a messenger of God 
who bronght it. But from this it is not to be concluded that the 
name accords with the religious conceptions of Nebuchadnezzar and 
of the Babylonians. Regarding the Babylonian gods Diod. Sic. 
ii. 30, says : " Under the five planets (= gods) are ranked thirty 
others whom they call the counselling gods (0eol fiovXcuoi), the 
half of whom have the oversight of the regions under the earth, 
and the other half oversee that which goes on on the earth, and 
among men, and in heaven. Every ten days one of these is sent 
as a messenger of the stars from the upper to the lower, and at the 
same time also one from the lower to the upper regions." 

If, according to ver. 14, the, TTV constitute a deliberative 
council forming a resolution regarding the fate of men, and then 
one of these P"] , J> comes down and makes known the resolution to 
the king, the conclusion is tenable that the p\p correspond to the 
6eol fiovkaiot, of the Babylonians. The divine inspiration of the 
dream corresponds with this idea. The correct thought lay at the 


foundation of the Chaldean representation of the 0eol @ov\aioi, 
that the relation of God to the world was mediate through the in- 
strumentality of heavenly beings. The biblical revelation recog- 
nises these mediating beings, and calls them messengers of God, 
or angels and holy ones. Yea, the Scripture speaks of the assem- 
bling of angels before the throne of God, in which assemblies God 
forms resolutions regarding the fate of men which the angels carry 
into execution ; cf. Job i. 6 ff., 1 Kings xxii. 19 ff., Ps. lxxxix. 8 
(7). Accordingly, if Nebuchadnezzar's dream came from God, we 
can regard the TJ? as an angel of God who belonged to the CKHp liD 
around the throne of God (Ps. lxxxix. 8). But this angel an- 
nounced himself to the Chaldean king not as a messenger of the most 
high God, not as an angel in the sense of Scripture, but he speaks 
(ver. 14) of fTV n 1?.?) of a resolution of the watchers, a fatum of the 
6eol @ov\aioi who have the oversight of this world. The concep- 
tion \*yy rnn is not biblical, but Babylonian heathen. According 
to the doctrine of Scripture, the angels do not determine the fate of 
men, but God alone does, around whom the angels stand as mini- 
stering spirits to fulfil His commands and make known His counsel 
to men. The angel designates to the Babylonian king the divine 
resolution regarding that judgment which would fall upon him 
from God to humble him for his pride as " the resolution of the 
watchers," that it might be announced to him in the way most 
easily understood by him as a divine judgment. On the other 
hand, one may not object that a messenger of God cannot give 
himself the name of a heathen deity, and that if Nebuchadnezzar 
had through misunderstanding given to the bringer of the dream 
the name of one of his heathen gods, Daniel ought, in interpreting 
the dream, to have corrected the misunderstanding, as Klief. says. 
For the messenger of God obviated this misunderstanding by the 
explanation that the matter was a decree of the watchers, to acknow- 
ledge the living God, that the Most High rules over the kingdom 
of men and gives it to whomsoever He will (ver. 14), whereby he 
distinctly enough announces himself as a messenger of the Most 
High, i.e. of the living God. To go yet further, and to instruct the 
king that his religious conceptions of the gods, the pTy or 6eo\ 
fiovkaioi, were erroneous, inasmuch as, besides the Highest the only 
God, there are no other gods, but only angels, who are no 6eoi but 
creatures of God, was not at all necessary for the purpose of his 
message. This purpose was only to lead Nebuchadnezzar to an 
acknowledgment of the Most High, i.e. to an acknowledgment that 

CHAP. 111. 31-1V. 15. 151 

the Most High rules as King of heaven over the kingdom of men. 
Now, since this was declared by the messenger of God, Daniel 
in interpreting the dream to the king needed to say nothing more 
than what he said in vers. 21, 22 (24. 25), where he designates the 
matter as a resolution of the Most High, and thereby indirectly 
corrects the view of the king regarding the " resolutions of the 
watchers," and gives the king distinctly to understand that the 
humiliation announced to him was determined, 1 not by the 6eol 
fiovXaioi of the Babylonians, but by the only true God, whom 
Daniel and his people worshipped. For Nebuchadnezzar desig- 
nates "Vy as !?"!£ in the same sense in which, in ver. 5, he speaks of 
the holy gods. 

Ver. 11 (14). The messenger of God cried with might (cf. iii. 
4), " as a sign of the strong, firm utterance of a purpose " (Kran.). 
The command, Hew it down, is not given to the angels (Hav., 
Hitz., Auberl.). The plur. here is to be regarded as impersonal : 
the tree shall be cut down, VWX stands for 'HAN according to the 
analogy of the verbs 3d gutt., from inj, to fall off, spoken of 
withering leaves. In consequence of the destruction of the tree, 
the beasts which found shelter under it and among its branches 
flee away. Yet the tree shall not be altogether destroyed, but its 
stock (ver. 12 [15]) shall remain in the earth, that it may again 
afterwards spring up and grow into a tree. The stem is not the 
royalty, the dynasty which shall remain in the house of Nebuchad- 
nezzar (Hav.), but the tree with its roots is Nebuchadnezzar, who 
shall as king be cut down, but shall as a man remain, and again 
shall grow into a king. But the stock must be bound " with a 
band of iron and brass." With these words, to complete which 
we must supply *p2& from the preceding context, the language 
passes from the type to the person represented by it. This transi- 
tion is in the last part of the verse : with the beasts of the field let 
him have his portion in the grass of the earth ; for this cannot be 
said of the stock with the roots, therefore these words are in the 
interpretation also (ver. 22 [25]) applied directly to Nebuchad- 

1 TVe must altogether reject the assertion of Berth., v. Leng., Hitz., and 
Maur., that the language of this verse regarding the angel sent to Nebuchad- 
nezzar is formed in accordance with the Persian representation of the seven 
Amschaspands (Amesclia-qpenta), since, according to the judgment of all those 
most deeply conversant with Parsism, the doctrine of the Amesclia-gpenta does 
not at all occur in the oldest parts of the Avesta, and the Avesta altogether is 
not so old as that the Babylonian doctrine of the gods can he shown to he 
dependent on the ZenJ doctrine of the Parsees. 



nezzar. But even in the preceding passages this transition is 
not doubtful. Neither the words in the grass of the field, nor 
the being wet with the dew of heaven, are suitable as applied to th 
stock of the tree, because both expressions in that case would affirm 
nothing ; still less is the band of iron and brass congruous, for the 
trunk of a tree is not wont to be surrounded with bands of iron in 
order to prevent its being rent in pieces and completely destroyed. 
Thus the words refer certainly to Nebuchadnezzar ; but the fasten- 
ing in brass and iron is not, with Jerome and others, to be under- 
stood of the binding of the madman with chains, but figuratively 
or spiritually of the withdrawal of free self-determination through 
the fetter of madness ; cf. the fetters of affliction, Ps. cvii. 10, 
Job xxxvi. 8. With this fettering also agrees the going forth 
under the open heaven among the grass of the field, and the being 
wet with the dew of heaven, without our needing thereby to think 
of the maniac as wandering about without any oversight over 

Ver. 13 (16). Here the angel declares by what means Nebu- 
chadnezzar shall be brought into this condition. His heart shall be 
changed from a man's heart, according to the following passage, 
into the heart of a beast. J? WE*, to change, to make different from, 
so that it is no longer what it was. The Kethiv NK^S is the Hebr. 
form for the Chald. N^JK of the Keri, here, as in ver. 14, where 
along with it also stands the Hebr. plur. form WtMN. NK'bN 
stands here for the abbreviated comparison frequent in Hebr., 
KtpiJX 23? ji2, and the 3d pers. plur. i^B". impers. for the passive. 
33? is the heart, the centre of the intelligent soul-life. The heart 
of man is dehumanized when his soul becomes like that of a beast ; 
for the difference between the heart of a man and that of a beast 
has its foundation in the difference between the soul of a man and 
the soul of a beast (Delitzsch, bibl. Psych, p. 252). And seven 
times shall pass over him, viz. during the continuance of the circum- 
stances described ; i.e. his condition of bondage shall last for seven 
times. Following the example of the LXX, and of Josephus, 
many ancient and recent interpreters, down to Maur., Hitz., and 
Kran., understood by the word P^V years, because the times in 
ch. vii. 25, xii. 7, are also years, and because in ver. 26 mention 
is made of twelve months, and thereby the time is defined as one 
year. But from ver. 26 the duration of the r^JV cannot at all be 
concluded, and in ch. vii. 25 and xii. 7 the times are not years. 
PJV designates generally a definite period of time,, whose length or 

CHAP. III. 31-IV. 15. 153 

duration may be very different. Seven is the " measure and 
signature of the history of the development of the kingdom of 
God, and of all the factors and phenomena significant for it " 
(Lammert's " Revision of the biblical Symbolical Numbers " in 
the Jahrbb.f. deutsche Theol. ix. p. 11), or as Leyrer, in Herzog's 
Realencykl. xviii. p. 366, expresses himself, " the signature for all 
the actions of God, in judgment and in mercy, punishments, ex- 
piations, consecrations, blessings, connected with the economy of 
redemption, perfecting themselves in time." Accordingly, " seven 
times " is the duration of the divine punishment which was de- 
creed against Nebuchadnezzar for purposes connected with the 
history of redemption. Whether these times are to be under- 
stood as years, months, or weeks, is not said, and cannot at all 
be determined. The supposition that they were seven years 
" cannot well be adopted in opposition to the circumstance that 
Nebuchadnezzar was again restored to reason, a thing which very 
rarely occurs after so long a continuance of psychical disease " 
(J. B. Friedreich, Zur Bibel. Naturhist., anthrop. u. med. Fragmente, 
i. p. 316). 

Ver. 14 (17). The divine messenger concludes his announce- 
ment with the words that the matter was unchangeably decreed, 
for this purpose, that men might be led to recognise the supremacy 
of the Most High over the kings of the earth. The first two 
passages have no verb, and thus the verb, substant. must be sup- 
plied. Accordingly we must not translate : by the decree of the 
loatchers is the message, i.e. is it delivered (Kran.), nor : the decree is 
included in the fate, the unalterable will of Heaven (Hav.) ; but 2 
denotes the department within which the rnta lies, and is to be 
translated : " the message consists in, or rests on, the decree of the 
watchers." , IT1T3, the unchangeable decision, the dec/return divinum, 
quod homini aut rebus humanis tanquam inevitabile impositum est 
(Buxtorf's Lex. talm. rabb. p. 419), the Fatum in which the 
Chaldeans believed. Regarding WHS see under ch. iii. 16. Here 
the fundamental meaning, the message, that which is to happen, can 
be maintained. The second member is synonymous, and affirms 
the same thing in another way. The word, the utterance of the 
holy ones, i.e. the watchers (see under ver. 10), is NnpNB', the 
matter. The meaning lying in the etymon, request or question, is 
not here suitable, but only the derivative meaning, matter as the 
ebject of the request or inquiry. The thing meant is that which 
is decided regarding the tree, that it should be cut down, etc. 


Tliis is so clear, that a pronoun referring to it appears super- 

•«! rrOT ny, <i7Z ^e mudci' f/<a« . . . to the end that; not=: 
,r i 1?, ver. 22, because here no defining of time goes before. 
Tlie changing of 1J> into ^ (Hitz.) is unnecessary and arbitrary. 
That the living may hioio, etc. The expression is general, because 
it is not yet said who is to be understood by the tree which should 
be cut down. This general expression is in reality correct ; for the 
king comes by experience to this knowledge, and so all will attain 
to it who consider this. The two last passages of ver. 14 express 
more fully how the Most High manifests His supremacy over the 
kingdom of men. The Kethiv nhv is shortened from NnVjr, a nd 
in the Keri is yet further shortened by the rejection of the "; cf. 
ch. v. 21, vii. 4ff., etc. 

Ver. 15 (18). Nebuchadnezzar adds to his communication of 
his dream a command to Daniel to interpret it. The form ^"}.K ! 3 
(its interpretation) is the old orthography and the softened form 
for nntpa ( c f. ver. 6). 

Vers. 16-24 (19-27). The interpretation of the dream. 

As Daniel at once understood the interpretation of the dream, 
he was for a moment so astonished that he could not speak for 
terror at the thoughts which moved his soul. This amazement 
seized him because he wished well to the king, and yet he must 
now announce to him a weighty judgment from God. 

Ver. 16. The punctuation DDinK'X for DpiPitPK is Syriac, as in 
the Hebr. ch. viii. 27 ; cf. Winer's Chald. Gram. § 25, 2. nyeb 
N"in means, not about an hour (Mich., Hitz., Kran., etc.), but as it 
were an instant, a moment. Regarding HJ?^, see under ch. iii. 6. 
The king perceives the astonishment of Daniel, and remarks that 
lie has found the interpretation. Therefore he asks him, with 
friendly address, to tell him it without reserve. Daniel then com- 
municates it in words of affectionate interest for the welfare of 
the king. The words, let the dream be to thine enemies, etc., do 
not mean : it is a dream, a prophecy, such as the enemies of the king 
might ungraciously wish (Klief.), but: may the dream with its inter- 
pretation be to thine enemies, may it be fulfilled to them or refer to 
them (Hav., Hitz., etc.). The Kethiv 'SpD is the regular formation 
from N"iO with the suffix, for which the Masoretes have substituted 
the later Talmudic-Targ. form "i». With regard to T??^ with the 
a shortened, as also [Wn (ch. iii. 16) and other participial forms, 

CHAP. IV. 16-24. 155 

cf . Winer, Chald. Gram. § 34, m. That Nebuchadnezzar (ver. 1 6) 
in his account speaks in the third person does not justify the con- 
clusion, either that another spake of him, and that thus the docu- 
ment is not genuine (Hitz.), nor yet the conclusion that this verse 
includes an historical notice introduced as an interpolation into 
the document ; for similar forms of expression are often found in 
such documents : cf. Ezra vii. 13-15, Esth. viii. 7, 8. 

Ver. 17 (20). Daniel interprets to the king his dream, repeat- 
ing only here and there in an abbreviated form the substance of 
it in the same words, and then declares its reference to the king. 
With vers. 17 (20) and 18 (21) cf. vers. 8 (11) and 9 (12). The 
fuller description of the tree is subordinated to the relative clause, 
which thou hast seen, so that the subject is connected by Kin (ver. 
19), representing the verb, subst., according to rule, with the pre- 
dicate NaT's. The interpretation of the separate statements regard- 
ing the tree is also subordinated in relative clauses to the subject. 
For the Kethiv JV3"i = rP3"i, the Keri gives the shortened form 
J"i2"i, with the elision of the third radical, analogous to the shorten- 
ing of the following HOD for J"it3D. To the call of the angel to 
" cut down the tree," etc. (ver. 20, cf. vers. 10-13), Daniel gives 
the interpretation, ver. 21, " This is the decree of the Most High 
which is come upon the king, that he shall be driven from men, 
and dwell among the beasts," etc. *?V KBO = Hebr. 5>J> Nfcl. The 
indefinite plur. form PT}B stands instead of the passive, as the 
following i? ]WO\ and TVaVD, cf. under ch. iii. 4. Thus the 
subject remains altogether indefinite, and one has neither to 
think on men who will drive him from their society, etc., nor of 
angels, of whom, perhaps, the expulsion of the king may be 
predicated, but scarcely the feeding on grass and being wet with 

Ver. 23 (26). In this verse the emblem and its interpretation 
are simply placed together, so that we must in thought repeat the 
NTBfe rm from ver. 21 before ^nwi>lo. NOJi?, DKp t do -not in this 
place mean to stand, to exist, to remain, for this does not agree 
with the following '"HQ; for until Nebuchadnezzar comes to the 
knowledge of the supremacy of God, his dominion shall not con- 
tinue, but rest, be withdrawn. Dip, to rise up, has here an in- 
choative meaning, again rise up. To ?&)>& (do rule) there is to 
be added from ver. 22 (25) the clause, over the kingdom of men. 
From this passage we have an explanation of the use of tV®f, 
heaven, for tty, the Most High, God of heaven, whence after- 


wards arose the use of fiao-ikela rwv ovpavuv for fiaaiXeia tou 

Ver. 24 (27). Daniel adds to his interpretation of the dream 
the warning to the king to break off his sins by righteousness and 
mercy, so that his tranquillity may be lengthened. Daniel knew 
nothing of a heathen Fatum, but he knew that the judgments of 
God were directed against men according to their conduct, and 
that punishment threatened could only be'averted by repentance ; 
cf. Jer. xviii. 7 ff. ; Jonah iii. 5 ff. ; Isa. xxxviii. 1 f. This way of 
turning aside the threatened judgment stood open also for Nebu- 
chadnezzar, particularly as the time of the fulfilment of the dream 
was not fixed, and thus a space was left for repentance. The 
counsel of Daniel is interpreted by Berth., Hitz., and others, after 
Theodotion, the Vulgate, and many Church Fathers and Kabbis, 
as teaching the doctrine of holiness by works held by the later 
Jews, for they translate it : redeem thy sins by well-doing (Hitz. : 
buy freedom from thy sins by alms), and thy transgressions by show- 
ing mercy to the poor. 1 But this translation of the first passage is 
verbally false ; for PIS does not mean to redeem, to ransom, and 
np/JX does not mean alms or charity. P"!? means to break off, to 
break in pieces, hence to separate, to disjoin, to put at a distance ; 
see under Gen. xxi. 40. And though in the Targg. p")D is used 
for 7^3, rnSj to loosen, to unbind, of redeeming, ransoming of the 
first-born, an inheritance or any other valuable possession, yet this 
use of the word by no means accords with sins as the object, 
because sins are not goods which one redeems or ransoms so as to 
retain them for his own use. 'OH PIS can only mean to throw away 
sins, to set one's self free from sins. , " l P r * 1 T V nowhere in the O. T. 
means well-doing or alms. This meaning the self-righteous Rabbis 
first gave to the word in their writings. Daniel recommends the 
king to practise righteousness as the chief virtue of a ruler in 
contrast to the unrighteousness of the despots, as Hgstb. Hav., 
Hofm., and Klief. have justly observed. To this also the second 
member of the verse corresponds. As the king should practise 
righteousness toward all his subjects, so should he exercise mercy 

1 Theodot. translates : m! tics afiapn'as <""> h i'hDifiocii/itig "hinpuaai x&l 
rce.;; aou h oixTipftois irsi/qrai/. The Vulg. : et peccata tua elcemosynis 
redime et iniquitates tuas misericordiis pauperum. Accordingly, the Catholic 
Church regards this passage as a locus classicus for the doctrine of the merit of 
works, against which the Apologia Conf. August, first set forth the right ex- 

CHAP. IV. 25-30. 157 

toward the oppressed, the miserable, the poor. Both of these 
virtues are frequently named together, e.g. Isa. xi. 4, Ps. lxxii. 4, 
Isa. xli. 2, as virtues of the Messiah, ^E>n is the plur. of 'on, as 
the parallel 'Sjn'W shows, and the Keri only the later abbreviation 
or defective suffix-formation, as ch. ii. 4, v. 10. 

The last clause of this verse is altogether misunderstood by 
Theodotion, who translates it io-te? etrrai //,aicp6dv/j,os tois irapair- 
rd>/j,acriv crov 6 @eos, and by the Vulgate, where it is rendered by 
forsitan ignoscet delictis tuis, and by many older interpreters, 
where they expound N|"!*? in the sense of D*3K TriKj patience, and 
derive ty§& from nj>E>, to fail, to go astray (cf. ch. iii. 29). Kf]K 
means continuance, or length of time, as ch. vii. 12 ; NW', rest, 
safety, as the Hebr. iro?, here i/te peaceful prosperity of life ; and 
![}, neither ecce nor forsitan, si forte, but simply i/, as always in 
the book of Daniel. 

Daniel places before the king, as the condition of the continu- 
ance of prosperity of life, and thereby implicite of the averting of 
the threatened punishment, reformation of life, the giving up of 
injustice and cruelty towards the poor, and the practice of righteous- 
ness and mercy. 

Vers. 25-30 (28-33). The fulfilling of the dream. 

Nebuchadnezzar narrates the fulfilment of the dream alto- 
gether objectively, so that he speaks of himself in the third person. 
Berth., Hitz., and others find here that the author falls out of the 
role of the king into the narrative tone, and thus betrays the fact 
that some other than the king framed the edict. But this con- 
clusion is opposed by the fact that Nebuchadnezzar from ver. 31 
speaks of his recovery again in the first person. Thus it is beyond 
doubt that the change of person has its reason in the matter itself. 
Certainly it could not be in this that Nebuchadnezzar thought it 
unbecoming to speak in his own person of his madness ; for if he 
had had so tender a regard for his own person, he would not have 
published the whole occurrence in a manifesto addressed to his 
subjects. But the reason of his speaking of his madness in the 
third person, as if some other one were narrating it, lies simply in 
this, that in that condition he was not Ich = Ego (Kliefoth). With 
the return of the Ich, I, on his recovery from his madness, Nebu- 
chadnezzar begins again to narrate in the first person (ver. 
31 [34]). 

Ver. 25 (28). In this verse there is a brief comprehensive 


statement regarding the fulfilment of the dream to the king, which 
is then extended from ver. 26 to 30. At the end of twelve 
months, i.e. after the expiry of twelve months from the time of the 
dream, the king betook himself to his palace at Babylon, i.e. to the 
flat roof of the palace ; cf. 2 Sam. si. 2. The addition at Babylon 
does not indicate that the king was then living at a distance from 
Babylon, as Berth., v. Leng., Maur., and others imagine, but is 
altogether suitable to the matter, because Nebuchadnezzar cer- 
tainly had palaces outside of Babylon, but it is made with special 
reference to the language of the king which follows regarding the 
greatness of Babylon, njJJ means here not simply to begin to speak, 
but properly to answer, and suggests to us a foregoing colloquy 
of the king with himself in his own mind. Whether one may 
conclude from that, in connection with the statement of time, after 
twelve months, that Nebuchadnezzar, exactly one year after he had 
received the important dream, was actively engaging himself re- 
garding that dream, must remain undetermined, and can be of no 
use to a psychological explanation of the occurrence of the dream. 
The thoughts which Nebuchadnezzar expresses in ver. 26 (29) are 
not favourable to such a supposition. Had the king remembered 
that dream and its interpretation, he would scarcely have spoken 
so proudly of his splendid city which he had built as he does in 
ver. 27 (30). 

When he surveyed the great and magnificent city from the top 
of his palace, " pride overcame him," so that he dedicated the 
building of this great city as the house of his kingdom to the might 
of his power and the honour of his majesty. From the addition 
Nn:n it does not follow that this predicate was a standing Epitheton 
ornans of Babylon, as with nsn nnn, Amos vi. 2, and other towns 
of Asia ; for although Pausanias and Strabo call Babylon peyakj) 
and neyiaTT) 7ro\t?, yet it bears this designation as a surname in no 
ancient author. But in Kev. xiv. 8 this predicate, quoted from 
the passage before us, is given to Babylon, and in the mouth of 
Nebuchadnezzar it quite corresponds to the self-praise of his great 
might by which he had built Babylon as the residence of a great 
king. naa designates, as H33 more frequently, not the building or 
founding of a city, for the founding of Babylon took place in the 
earliest times after the Flood (Gen. xi.), and was dedicated to the 
god Belus, or the mythic Semiramis, i.e. in the pre-historic time ; 
but H33 means the building up, the enlargement, the adorning of the 
city i2po rviip, for the house of the kingdom, i.e. for a royal resi- 

CHAP. IV. 25-30. 159 

dence ; cf. the related expression nDpao n 3, Amos vii. 13. rp? 
stands in this connection neither for town nor for »'n (ver. 26), 
but has the meaning dioelling-place. The royalty of the Baby- 
lonian kingdom has its dwelling-place, its seat, in Babylon, the 
capital of the kingdom. 

With reference to the great buildings of Nebuchadnezzar in 
Babylon, vide the statements of Berosus in Josephi Ant. x. 11, 1, 
and con. Ap. i. 19, and of Abydenus in Eusebii prcepar. evang. 
ix. 41, and Chron. i. p. 59 ; also the delineation of these buildings 
in Duncker's Gesch. des Alterlh. i. p. 854 ff. The presumption of 
this language appears in the words, " by the strength of my might, 
and for the splendonr (honour) of my majesty." Thus Nebuchad- 
nezzar describes himself as the creator of his kingdom and of its 
glory, while the building up of his capital as a residence bearing 
witness to his glory and his might pointed at the same time to the 
duration of his dynasty. This proud utterance is immediately 
followed by his humiliation by the omnipotent God. A voice fell 
from heaven. ?S1 as in Isa. ix. 7, of the sudden coming of a divine 
revelation. P.?!* for the passive, as ch. iii. 4. The perf. rny_ 
denotes the matter as finished. At the moment when Nebuchad- 
nezzar heard in his soul the voice from heaven, the prophecy 
begins to be fulfilled, the king becomes deranged, and is deprived 
of his royalty. 

Vers. 29, 30 (32, 33). Here the contents of the prophecy, ver. 
22 (25), are repeated, and then in ver. 30 (33) it is stated that the 
word regarding Nebuchadnezzar immediately began to be fulfilled. 
On KJW Fia, c f. ch. iii. 6. n?D, from *pD, to go to an end. The 
prophecy goes to an end when it is realized, is fulfilled. The ful- 
filling is related in the words of the prophecy. Nebuchadnezzar 
is driven from among men, viz. by his madness, in which he fled 
from intercourse with men, and lived under the open air of heaven 
as a beast among the beasts, eating grass like the cattle ; and his 
person was so neglected, that his hair became like the eagles' 
feathers and his nails like birds' claws. P.^3 and P.B?2 are 
abbreviated comparisons ; vide under ver. 13. That this condition 
was a peculiar appearance of the madness is expressly mentioned 
in ver. 31 (34), where the recovery is designated as the restoration 
of his understanding. 

This malady, in which men regard themselves as beasts and 
imitate their manner of life, is called insania zoantliropica, or, in 
the case of those who think themselves wolves, lycantltropia. The 


condition is described in a manner true to nature. Even " as to 
the eating of grass," as G. Rosch, in the Deutsch. Morgenl. Zeitschr. 
xv. p. 521, remarks, " there is nothing to perplex or that needs to be 
explained. It is a circumstance that has occurred in recent times, 
as e.g. in the case of a woman in the Wurttemberg asylum for the 
insane." Historical documents regarding this form of madness 
have been collected by Trusen in his Sitten, Gebr. u. Krank. der 
alien Hebraer, p. 205 f., 2d ed., and by Friedreich in Zur Bibel, 
i. p. 30S f. 1 

Vers. 31-34 (34-37). Nebuchadnezzar's recovery, his restora- 
tion to his kingdom, and his thankful recognition of the Lord in 

The second part of the prophecy was also fulfilled. " At the 
end of the days," i.e. after the expiry of the seven times, Nebuchad- 
nezzar lifted up his eyes to heaven, — the first sign of the return 
of human consciousness, from which, however, we are not to con- 
clude, with Hitzig, that before this, in his madness, he went on all- 
fours like an ox. Nebuchadnezzar means in these words only to 
say that his first thought was a look to heaven, whence help came 
to him ; cf. Ps. cxxiii. 1 f. Then his understanding immediately 
returned to him. The first thought he entertained was to thank 
God, to praise Him as the ever-living One, and to recognise the 
eternity of His sway. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges and praises 
God as the " ever-living One," because He had again given to him 
his life, which had been lost in his madness; cf. ch. vi. 27 (26). 

Ver. 31b, cf. with ch. iii. 33 (iv. 1). The eternity of the supre- 
macy of God includes His omnipotence as opposed to the weakness 
of the inhabitants of earth. This eternity Nebuchadnezzar praises 
in ver. 32 (35) in words which remind us of the expressions of 
Isaiah ; cf. with the first half of the verse, Isa. xl. 17, xxiv. 21 ; 
and with the second half of it, Isa. xliii. 13. n^>3 for t6?, as not, 
as not existing. HT3 NTO in the Pa., to strike on the hand, to hinder, 
derived from the custom of striking children on the hand in chas- 

1 Regarding the statement, "his hair grew as the feathers of an eagle," 
etc., Friedr. remarks, p. 316, that, besides the neglect of the external appear- 
ance, there is also to be observed the circumstance that sometimes in psychical 
maladies the nails assume a peculiarly monstrous luxuriance with deformity. 
Besides, his remaining for a long time in the open air is to be considered " for 
it is an actual experience that the hair, the more it is exposed to the influences 
of the rough weather and to the sun's rays, the more does it grow in hardness 
and thus becomes like unto the feathers of an eagle." 

CHAP. IV. 31-34. 161 

tising them. The expression is common in the Targg. and in the 

Ver. 33 (36). With the restoration of his understanding Nebu- 
chadnezzar also regained his royal dignity and his throne. In 
order to intimate the inward connection between the return of 
reason and the restoration to his sovereignty, in this verse the first 
element of his restoration is repeated from ver. 31 (34), and the 
second follows in connection with it in the simple manner of 
Semitic narrative, for which we in German (and English) use the 
closer connection: " when my understanding returned, then also my 
royal state and my glory returned." The passage beginning with 
"ip^l is construed very differently by interpreters. Many co-ordinate 
"?0 i\P? with ''VTl ''Tin and then regard "ipv either as the nominative, 
'" arfrl then my kingly greatness, my glory and splendour, came to 
me again " (Hitzig), or unite W *V$ as the genitive with "'Htt^D : 
" and for the honour of my royalty, of my fame and my glory, 
it (my understanding) returned to me again " (v. Leng., Maur., 
Klief.). The first of these interpretations is grammatically in- 
admissible, since ? cannot be a sign of the genitive ; the other 
is unnecessarily artificial. We agree with Rosenmiiller and 
Kranichfeld in regarding W 'TIl 1 as the subject of the passage 
~>"ir> [splendour, pomp] is the majestic appearance of the prince, 
which according to Oriental modes of conception showed itself 
in splendid dress; cf. Ps. ex. 3, xxix. 2, xcvi. 9; 2 Chron. xx. 21. 
VT, splendour (ch. ii. 31), is the shining colour or freshness of the 
appearance, which is lost by terror, anxiety, or illness, as in ch. v. 
6, 9, 30, vii. 28. "ipv as i n ver - 27. In how far the return of the 
external dignified habitus was conducive to the honour of royalty, 
the king most fully shows in the second half of the verse, where 
he says that his counsellors again established him in his kingdom. 
The NJ?3, to seek, does not naturally indicate that the king was 
suffered, during the period of his insanity, to wander about in the 
fields and forests without any supervision, as Bertholdt and Hitzig 
think ; but it denotes the seeking for one towards whom a commis- 
sion has to be discharged, as ch. ii. 13; thus, here, the seeking in 
order that they might transfer to him again the government. The 
"counsellors and great men" are those who had carried on the 
government during his insanity. J"l3prin, on account of the accent, 
distinct., is Hophal pointed with Patach instead of Tsere, as the 
following; riSDin. If Nebuchadnezzar, after his restoration to the 
kingdom, attained to yet more ^"j, greatness, than he had before, so 



he must have reigned yet a considerable time without our needing 
to suppose that he accomplished also great deeds. 

Ver. 34 (37). The manifesto closes with praise to God, the King 
of heaven, whose works are truth and righteousness, which show 
themselves in humbling the proud, tiia'i? corresponds to the Hebr. 
DDX, and H to the Hebr. BSB»p. Nebuchadnezzar thus recognised 
the humiliation which he had experienced as a righteous punish- 
ment for his pride, without, however, being mindful of the divine 
grace which had been shown in mercy toward him ; whence Calvin 
has drawn the conclusion that he was not brought to true heart- 



The Chaldean king Belshazzar made a feast to his chief 
officers, at which in drunken arrogance, by a desecration of the 
sacred vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from the 
temple at Jerusalem, he derided the God of Israel (vers. 1-4). 
Then he suddenly saw the finger of a hand writing on the wall 
of the guest-chamber, at which he was agitated by violent terror, 
and commanded that the wise men should be sent for, that they 
might read and interpret to him the writing ; and when they were 
not able to do this, he became pale with alarm (vers. 5-9). Then 
the queen informed him of Daniel, who would be able to interpret 
the writing (vers. 10-12). Daniel, being immediately brought in, 
declared himself ready to read and interpret the writing; but first 
he reminded the king of his sin in that he did not take warning 
from the divine chastisement which had visited king Nebuchad- 
nezzar (ch. iv.), but offended the Most High God by desecrating 
the holy vessels of His temple (vers. 13, 14). He then interpreted 
to him the writing, showing the king that God had announced to 
him by means of it the end of his reign, and the transference of 
the kingdom to the Medes and Persians (vers. 25-28). Daniel 
was thereupon raised to honour by Belshazzar, who was, however, 
in that same night put to death (vers. 29, 30). 

This narrative presents historical difficulties, for a Chaldean 
king by the name of Belshazzar is nowhere else mentioned, except 
in the passage in Baruch i. 11 f., which is dependent on this 
chapter of Daniel; and the judgment here announced to him the 
occurrence of which is in part mentioned in ver. 30, and in part 

CHAP. V. 163 

set forth in ch. vi. 1 (v. 31), does not appear to harmonize with the 
extra-biblical information which we have regarding the destruction 
of the Chaldean kingdom. 

If we consider closely the contents of this chapter, it appears 
that Belshazzar, designated in ver. 30 as king of the Chaldeans, is 
not only in ver. 22 addressed by Daniel as Nebuchadnezzar's son, 
but in vers. 11, 13, and 18 is also manifestly represented in the 
same character, for the queen-mother (ver. 11), Belshazzar him- 
self (ver. 13), and Daniel (ver. 18) call Nebuchadnezzar his 3K, 
father. If now 3K and "O do not always express the special 
relation of father and son, but 3K is used in a wider sense of a 
grandfather and of yet more remote ancestors, and 13 of grand- 
sons and other descendants, yet this wider interpretation and 
conception of the words is from the matter of the statements here 
made highly improbable, or indeed directly excluded, inasmuch as 
the queen-mother speaks of things which she had experienced, and 
Daniel said to Belshazzar (ver. 22) that he knew the chastisement 
which Nebuchadnezzar had suffered from God in the madness 
that had come upon him, but had not regarded it. In that case 
the announcement of the judgment threatening Belshazzar and 
his kingdom (vers. 24-28), when compared with its partial fulfil- 
ment in Belshazzar's death (ver. 30), appears to indicate that his 
death, together with the destruction of the Chaldean kingdom and 
its transference to the Medes and Persians (ch. vi. 1 [v. 31]), oc- 
curred at the same time. Nevertheless this indication, as has 
already been remarked (p. 37), appears to have more plausibility 
than truth, since neither the combination of the two events in their 
announcement, nor their union in the statement of their fulfil- 
ment, by means of the copula 1 in ch. vi. 1, affords conclusive proof 
of their being contemporaneous. Since only the time of Belshazzar's 
death is given (ver. 30), but the transference of the Chaldean king- 
dom to the Median Darius (ch. vi. 1) is not chronologically defined, 
then we may without hesitation grant that the latter event did not 
happen till some considerable time after the death of Belshazzar, 
in case other reasons demand this supposition. For, leaving out 
of view the announcement of the judgment, the narrative contains 
not the least hint that, at the time when Belshazzar revelled with 
his lords and his concubines, the city of Babylon was besieged by 
enemies. " Belshazzar (vers. 1-4) is altogether without care, which 
he could not have been if the enemy had gathered before the gates. 
The handwriting announcing evil appears out of harmony with 


the circumstances (ver. 5), while it would have had a connection 
with them if the city had been beleaguered. Belshaizar did not 
believe (ver. 29) that the threatened end was near, which would 
not have been in harmony with a state of siege. All these cir- 
cumstances are not to be explained from the light-mindedness of 
Belshazzar, but they may be by the supposition that his death was 
the result of an insurrection, unexpected by himself and by all." 
Kliefoth, p. 148. 

Now let us compare with this review of the chapter the non- 
biblical reports regarding the end of the Babylonian monarchy. 
Berosus, in a fragment preserved by Josephus, c. Ap. i. 20, says 
that " Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded in the kingdom by his son 
Evilmerodach, who reigned badly {7rpo(7Ta < ; rcov Trpay/MaTcov ai/oyti&>? 
zeal daeXyu';), and was put to death (avrjpiOi)) by Neriglissor, the 
husband of his sister, after he had reigned two years. This Neri- 
glissor succeeded him, and reigned four years. His son Laboro- 
soarchod, being still a child (7rat? coi>), reigned after him nine 
months, and was murdered by his friends (Sia to ttoWo. i/j.(f>aiveiv 
KaKorjB-q virb tuv (f>i\cov aTreTVfnravicrOr)), because he gave many 
proofs of a bad character. His murderers by a general resolution 
transferred the government to Nabonnedus, one of the Baby- 
lonians who belonged to the conspirators. Under him the walls 
of Babylon along the river-banks were better built. But in the 
seventeenth year of his reign Cyrus came from Persia with a great 
army and took Babylon, after he had subjugated all the rest of 
Asia. Nabonnedus went out to encounter him, but was vanquished 
in battle, and fled with a few followers and shut himself up in 
Borsippa. But Cyrus, after he had taken Babylon and demolished 
its walls, marched against Borsippa and besieged Nabonnedus. 
But Nabonnedus could not hold out, and therefore surrendered 
himself. He was at first treated humanely by Cyrus, who removed 
him from Babylon, and gave him Carmania as a place of residence 
(Soi"? oiK-qrqpiov aviw Kapfxaviav), where he spent the remainder 
of his days and died." 

Abydenus, in a shorter fragment preserved by Eusebius in the 
Prcepar. Ev. ix. 41, and in the Chron. Armen. p. 60 sq., makes the 
same statements. Peterniann's translation of the fragment found 
in Niebuhr's Gescli. Assurs, p. 504, is as follows : — " There now 
reigned (after Nebuchodrossor) his son Amilmarodokos, whom his 
son-in-law Niglisaris immediately murdered, whose only son Labos- 
sorakos remained yet alive ; but it happened to hiin also that he 

CHAP. V. 165 

met a violent death. lie commanded that Nabonedokhos should 
be placed on the throne of the kingdom, a person who was alto- 
gether unfit to occupy it." (In the Prcepar. Evang. this passage 
is given in these words : Naj3ovviSo-^ov cuiroheUvvcn fiacrLkea, 
irpoarfKOVTa ot oi/Sev.) " Cyrus, after he had taken possession of 
Babylon, appointed him margrave of the country of Carmania. 
Darius the king removed him out of the land." (This last passage 
is wanting in the Prcep. Ev.) 1 

According to these reports, there reigned in Babylon after 
Nebuchadnezzar four other kings, among whom there was no one 
called Belshazzar, and only one son of Nebuchadnezzar, viz. Evil- 
merodach ; for Neriglissar is son-in-law and Laborosoarchod is 
grandson (daughter's son) of Nebuchadnezzar, and Nabonnedus 
was not at all related to him, nor of royal descent. Of these kings, 
only Evilmerodach and Laborosoarchod were put to death, while 
on the contrary Neriglissar and Nabonnedus died a natural death, 
and the Babylonian dominion passed by conquest to the Medes, 
without Nabonnedus thereby losing his life. Hence it follows, 

1 With these statements that of Alexander Polyhistor, in Euseb. Citron. 
Armen. ed. Aucher, i. p. 45, in the main agrees. His report, according to 
Petermann's translation (as above, p. 497), is as follows : — " After Nebuchod- 
rossor, his son Amilmarudokhos reigned 12 years, whom the Hebr. hist, calls 
Ilmarudokhos. After him there reigned over the Chaldeans Neglisaros 4 years, 
and then Nabodenus 17 years, under whom Cyrus (son) of Cambyses assembled 
an army against the land of the Babylonians. Nabodenus opposed him, but 
was overcome and put to flight. Cyrus now reigned over Babylon 9 years," 
etc. The 12 years of Amilmarudokhos are without donbt an error of the 
Armenian translator or of some transcriber ; and the omission of Loborosoar- 
chod is explained by the circumstance that he did not reign a full year. The 
correctness of the statement of Berosus is confirmed by the Canon of Ptolemy, 
who names as successors of Nabokolassar (i.e. Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned 
43 years), Illoarudmos 2 years, Nerigassolassaros 4 years, and Nabonadius 17 
years ; thus omitting Laborosoarchod on the grounds previously mentioned. 
The number of the years of the reigns mentioned by Berosus agrees with the 
biblical statements regarding the duration of the exile. From the first taking 
of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in the fourth year of Jehoiakim are men- 
tioned — Jehoiakim 7 years, Jehoiachin 3 mouths, and his imprisonment 37 
years (Jer. lii. 31), Evilmerodach 2 years, Neriglissar 4 years, Laborosoarchod 
9 months, and Nabonnedus 17 years — in all 68 years, to which, if the 2 years 
of the reign of Darius the Mede are added, we shall have 70 years. The years 
of the reigns of the Babylonian kings amount in all to the same number ; viz. 
Nebuchadnezzar 44| years, — since he did not become king till one year after the 
destruction of Jerusalem, he reigned 43 years, — Evilmerodach 2 years, Neri- 
glissar 4 years, Loborosoarchod 9 months, Nabonnedus 17 years, and Darius the 
Mede 2 years — in all 70 years. 


(1) that Belsliazzar cannot be the last king of Babylon, nor is 
identical with Nabonnedus, who was neither a son nor descendant 
of Nebuchadnezzar, and was not put to death by Cyrus at the 
destruction of Babylon and the overthrow of the Chaldean king- 
dom ; (2) that Belshazzar could neither be Evilmerodach nor 
Laborosoarchod, since only these two were put to death — the 
former after he had reigned only two years, and the latter after he 
had reigned only nine months, while the third year of Belshazzar's 
reign is mentioned in Dan. viii. 1 ; and (3) that the death of 
Belshazzar cannot have been at the same time as the destruction 
of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. 

If we now compare with these facts, gathered from Oriental 
sources, those narrated by the Greek historians Herodotus and 
Xenophon, we find that the former speaks of several Babylonian 
kings, but says nothing particular regarding them, but, on the 
other hand, reports many sayings and fabulous stories of two 
Babylonian queens, Semiramis and Nitocris, to whom he attri- 
butes (i. 184 f.) many exploits, and the erection of buildings 
which Berosus has attributed to Nebuchadnezzar. Of Babylonian 
kings he names (i. 188) only Labynetos as the son of Nitocris, 
with the remark, that he had the same name as his father, and 
that Cyrus waged war against this second Labynetos, and by 
diverting the Euphrates from its course at the time of a nocturnal 
festival of its inhabitants, stormed the city of Babylon (i. 191), 
after he had gained a battle before laying siege to the capital of 
the Babylonians (i. 190). Xenophon (Cyrop. vii. 5, 15 ff.), 
agreeing with Herodotus, relates that Cyrus entered the city by 
damming off the Euphrates during a festival of its inhabitants, 
and that the king was put to death, whose name he does not men- 
tion, but whom he describes (v. 2. 27, iv. 6. 3) as a youth, and 
(iv. 6. 3, v. 2. 27 f., v. 3. 6, vii. 5. 32) as a riotous, voluptuous, 
cruel, godless man. The preceding king, the father of the last, 
lie says, was a good man, but his youngest son, who succeeded to 
the government, was a wicked man. Herodotus and Xenophon 
appear, then, to agree in this, that both of them connect the de- 
struction of Babylon and the downfall of the Chaldean kingdom 
by Cyrus with a riotous festival of the Babylonians, and both 
describe the last king as of royal descent. They agree with the 
narrative of Daniel as to the death of Belshazzar, that it took 
place during or immediately after a festival, and rewarding the 
transference of the Chaldean kingdom to the Medes and Persians • 

CHAP. V. 1G7 

and they confirm the prevalent interpretation of this chapter, that 
Belshazzar was the last Chaldean king, and was put to death on 
the occasion of the taking of Babylon. But in their statements 
concerning the last king of Babylon they both stand in opposition 
to the accounts of Berosus and Abydenus. Herodotus and Xeno- 
phon describe him as the king's son, while Nabonnedus, according 
to both of these Chaldean historians, was not of royal descent. 
Besides this, Xenophon states that the king lost his life at the 
taking of Babylon, while according to Berosus, on the contrary, 
he was not in Babylon at all, but was besieged in Borsippa, sur- 
rendered to Cyrus, and was banished to Carmania, or according 
to Abydenus, was made deputy of that province. Shall we then 
decide for Herodotus and Xenophon, and against Berosus and 
Abydenus ? Against such a decision the great imperfection and 
indefiniteness of the Grecian account must awaken doubts. If, 
as is generally supposed, the elder Labynetus of Herodotus is the 
husband of Nitocris, who was the wife of Nebuchadnezzar, then 
his son of the same name cannot be identical with the Nabonnedus 
of Berosus and Abydenus ; for according to the testimonies of 
biblical and Oriental authorities, which are clear on this point, the 
Chaldean kingdom did not fall under the son of Nebuchadnezzar, 
and then the statement of Herodotus regarding the two Laby- 
netuses is certainly incorrect, and is fabricated from very obscure 
traditions. Xenophon also shows himself to be not well informed 
regarding the history of the Chaldean kings. Although his descrip- 
tion of the last of these kings appears to indicate an intimate 
knowledge of his character, and accords with the character of Bel- 
shazzar, yet he does not even know the name of this king, and 
still less the duration of his reign. 

Accordingly these scanty and indefinite Grecian reports can- 
not counterbalance the extended and minute statements of Berosus 
and Abydenus, and cannot be taken as regulating the historical 
interpretation of Dan. v. Josephus, it is true, understands the 
narrative in such a way that he identifies Belshazzar witli Nabon- 
nedus, and connects his death with the destruction of the Babylonish 
kingdom, for (Ant. x. 11, 2 f.) he states that, after Nebuchad- 
nezzar, his son Evilmerodach reigned eighteen years. But when 
he died, his son Neriglissar succeeded to the government, and died 
after he had reigned forty years. After him the succession in the 
kingdom came to his son Labosordacus, who continued in it but 
nine months ; and when he was dead (jeKevTrjcravios avrov), it 


came to Baltasar, who by the Babylonians was called Naboan- 
delus (Nabonnedus), against whom Cyrus the king of Persia 
and Darius the king of Media made war. While they besieged 
Babylon a wonderful event occurred at a feast which the king 
gave to his magnates and his wives, as described by Dan. v. Not 
long after Cyrus took the city and made Baltasar prisoner. " For 
it was," he continues, " under Baltasar, after he had reigned seven- 
teen years, that Babylon was taken. This was, as has been handed 
down to us, the end of the descendants of Nebuchadnezzar." But 
it is clear that in these reports which Josephus has given he has 
not drawn his information from sources no longer accessible to 
us, but has merely attempted in them to combine the reports of 
Berosus, and perhaps also those of the Greek historians, with his 
own exposition of the narrative of Dan. v. The deviations from 
Berosus and the Canon of Ptolemy in regard to the number of the 
years of the reign of Evilmerodach and of Neriglissar are to be at- 
tributed to the transcriber of Josephus, since he himself, in his work 
contra Apion, gives the number in harmony with those stated by 
those authors without making any further remark. The names 
of the four kings are derived from Berosus, as well as the nine 
months' reign of Labosordacus and the seventeen years of Nabo- 
andelus ; but the deviations from Berosus with respect to the 
death of Evilmerodach, and the descent of Neriglissar and Nabon- 
nedus from Nebuchadnezzar, Josephus has certainly derived only 
from Jer. xxvii. 7 and Dan. v. ; for the statement by Jeremiah, 
that all the nations would serve Nebuchadnezzar, his son and his 
son's son, " until the very time of his land come," is literally so 
understood by him as meaning that Evilmerodach, the son of 
Nebuchadnezzar, was succeeded by his own son, who again was 
succeeded by his son, and so on down to Belshazzar, whom Daniel 
(ch. v. 22) had called the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and whom 
Josephus regarded as the last king of Babylon, the Nabonnedus 
of the Babylonians. Josephus did not know how to harmonize 
with this view the fact of the murder of Evilmerodach by his 
brother-in-law, and therefore he speaks of Evilmerodach as dying 
in peace, and of his son as succeeding him on the throne, while ho 
passes by in silence the death of Labosordacus and the descent 
of Baltasar, and only in the closing sentence reckons him also 
among the successors of Nebuchadnezzar. 

But if in the passages quoted Josephus gives only his own view 
regarding the Chaldean rulers down to the time of the overthrow 

CHAP. V. 169 

of the kingdom, and in that contradicts on several points the 
statements of Berosus, without supporting these contradictions by 
authorities, we canr.ot make use of his narrative as historical evi- 
dence for the exposition of this chapter, and the question, Which 
Babylonian king is to be understood by Belshazzar? must be decided 
on the ground of existing independent authorities. 

Since, then, the extra-biblical authorities contradict one another. 
in this, that the Chaldean historians describe Nabonnedus, the last 
king of the Chaldean kingdom, as a Babylonian not of royal descent 
who, after putting to death the last descendant of the royal family, 
usurped the throne, which, according to their account, he occupied 
till Babylon was destroyed by Cyrus, when he was banished to 
Carmania, where he died a natural death ; while, on the other 
hand, Herodotus and Xenophon represent the last Babylonian 
king, whom Herodotus calls Labynetus = Nabonedos [= Nabonned 
= Nabonid], as of royal descent, and the successor of his father on 
the throne, and connect the taking of Babylon with a riotous 
festival held in the palace and in the city generally, during which, 
Xenophon says, the king was put to death ; — therefore the deter- 
mination regarding the historical contents of Dan. v. hinges on this 
point: whether Belshazzar is to be identified, on the authority 
of Greek authors, with Nabonnedus ; or, on the authority of the 
Chaldean historians, is to be regarded as different from him, and 
is identical with one of the two Babylonian kings who were de- 
throned by a conspiracy. 

The decision in favour of the former I have in my Lehrb. 
der EinL, along with many interpreters, contended for. By this 
view the statements of Berosus and Abydenus regarding Nabon- 
ned's descent and the end of his life must be set aside as unhis- 
torical, and explained only as traditions intended for the glorifi- 
cation of the royal house of Nebuchadnezzar, by which the 
Babylonians sought to lessen the undeniable disgrace attending 
the downfall of their monarchy, and to roll away the dishonour 
of the siege at least from the royal family of the famed Nebu- 
chadnezzar. But although in the statements of Berosus, but par- 
ticularly in those of Abydenus regarding Nebuchadnezzar, their 
laudatory character cannot be denied, yet Havernick {N. Krit. 
Unterss. p. 70 f.) and Kranichfeld, p. 30 ff., have with justice 
replied that this national partiality in giving colour to his narrative 
is not apparent in Berosus generally, for he speaks very condemna- 
torily of the son of Nebuchadnezzar, saying that he administered 


the affairs of government av6/ico<; teal dcre\ya)5 ; he also blames 
the predecessor of Nabonnedus, and assigns as the reason of the 
murder of the former as well as of the latter their own evil con- 
duct. Nor does it appear that Berosus depreciated Nabonnedus 
in order to benefit his predecessors, rather he thought of him as 
worthy of distinction, and placed him on the throne in honour 
among his predecessors. " What Herodotus says (i. 186) of the 
wife of Nebuchadnezzar is expressly stated by Berosus to the 
honour of the government of Nabonnedus, namely, that under his 
reign a great part of the city wall was furnished with fortifications 
(ja Trepl rbv TTOTa/ ts^tj t>}? Baftvkcovicov "irc/Xews e'f OTrr9j<; 
■nXivOov Kal aa-(j>d\Tov KaT6Ko<jfLr]Br)) ; and it is obviously with 
reference to this statement that in the course of the narrative 
mention is made of the strong fortifications of the city which 
defied the assault of Cyrus. Moreover, in the narrative Nabon- 
nedus appears neither as a traitor nor as a coward. On the 
contrary, he goes out well armed against the enemy and offers 
him battle (aTravrr)<ra<; jiera T7?? hvvdixew; Kal TrapaTa^dfievo?) ; 
and the circumstance that he surrendered to Cyrus in Borsippa is 
to be accounted for from this, that he only succeeded in fleeing 
thither with a very small band. Finally, it is specially mentioned 
that Cyrus made war against Babylon after he had conquered the 
rest of Asia. From this it is manifest that the fame of the 
strength of Babylon was in no respect weakened by Nabonnedus' 
seventeen years' reign." (Kranichfeld.) All these circumstances 
stand in opposition to the opinion that there is a tendency in 
Berosus to roll the disgrace of the overthrow of the kingdom from 
off the family of Nebuchadnezzar, and to attribute it to an 
incapable upstart. 

What Berosus, moreover, says regarding the treatment of 
Nabonnedus on the part of Cyrus shows no trace of a desire to 
depreciate the dethroned monarch. That Cyrus assigned him 
a residence during life in Carmania is in accordance with the 
noble conduct of Cyrus in other cases, e.g. toward Astya^es the 
Mede, and toward the Lydian king Croesus (Herod, i. 130; Justin. 
i. 6, 7). In addition to all this, not only is the statement of Berosus 
regarding the battle which preceded the overthrow of Babylon 
confirmed by Herodotus, i. 190, but his report also of the descent 
of Nabonnedus and of his buildings is established by inscriptions 
reported on by Oppert in his Expedit. Scient. i. p. 182 ff. ; for the 
ruins of Babylon on both banks of the Euphrates preserve to this 

CHAP. V. 171 

day the foundations on which were built the walls of Nabonnedus, 
consisting of hard bricks almost wholly covered with asphalt, bearing 
the name of Nabonetos, who is not described as a king's son, but 
is only called the son of Nabobalatirib. Cf. Duncker, Gesch. des 
Alterth. ii. p. 719, 3d ed. 

After all that has been said, Berosus, as a native historian, 
framing his narratives after Chaldean tradition, certainly merits 
a preference not only to Herodotus, who, according to his own 
statement, i. 95, followed the Persian tradition in regard to Cyrus, 
and is not well informed concerning the Babylonian kings, but also 
to Xenophon, who in his Cyropcedia, however favourably we may 
judge of its historical value, follows no pure historical aim, but 
seeks to set forth Cyrus as the pattern of a hero-king, and reveals 
no intimate acquaintance with the history of the Chaldean kings. 
But if, in all his principal statements regarding Nabonnedus, 
Berosus deserves full credit, we must give up the identification 
of Belshazzar with Nabonnedus, since the narrative of Dan. v., as 
above remarked, connects the death of Belshazzar, in point of fact 
indeed, but not in point of time, with the destruction of the Baby- 
lonian kingdom ; and the narratives of Herodotus and Xenophon 
with respect to the destruction of Babylon during a nocturnal 
revelry of its inhabitants, may rest also only on some tradition 
that had been transmitted to their time: 1 

1 Kranichfeld, p. 84 ff., has so clearly shown this origin of the reports given 
by Herodotus and Xenophon regarding the circumstances attending the taking 
of Babylon by Cyrus, that we cannot refrain from here communicating the prin- 
cipal points of his proof. Proceeding from the Augevschein (appearance), on 
which Hitzig argues, that, according to Dan. v. 26 ff., the death of Belshazzar 
coincided with the destruction of the Chaldean kingdom, since both events are 
announced together in God's writing, Kranichfeld assumes that this appearance 
(although it presents itself as an optical illusion, on a fuller acquaintance with 
the manner of prophetic announcement in which the near and the more remote 
futures are immediately placed together) has misled the uncritical popular 
traditions which Herodotus and Xenophon record, and that not from first and 
native sources. " The noteworthy factum of the mysterious writing which 
raised Daniel to the rank of third ruler in the kingdom, and certainly, besides, 
made him to be spoken of as a conspicuous personage, and the interpretation 
which placed together two facta, and made them apparently contemporaneous, 
as well as the factum of one part of the announcement of the mysterious writing 
being actually accomplished that very night, could in the course of time, even 
among natives, and so much the sooner in the dim form which the tradition 
very naturally assumed in foreign countries, e.g. in the Persian tradition, easily 
give occasion to the tradition that the factum mentioned in the mysterious 
writing occurred, as interpreted, in that same night." In this way might the 


But if Belshazzar is not the same person as Nabonnedus, nor 
the last Babylonian king, then he can only be either Evilmerodach 
or Laborosoarchod, since of Nebuchadnezzar's successors only these 
two were murdered. Both suppositions have found their advocates. 
Following the example of Scaliger and Calvisius, Ebrard (Comm. 
=ur Offb. Johannes, p. 45) and Delitzsch (Herz.'s Realencykl. iii. p. 
277) regard Belshazzar as Laborosoarchod or Labosordacus (as 
Josephus writes the name in the Antt.), i.e. Nebo-Sadrach, and 
Bel — Nebo ; for the appearance of the queen leads us to think 
of a very youthful king, and Belshazzar (ch. v. 13) speaks of 
Nebuchadnezzar as if all he knew regarding him was derived 
from hearsay alone. In ch. vi. 1 (v. 31) it is indicated that a man 
of advanced age came in the room of a mere youth. If Daniel 
reckons the years of Belshazzar from the death of Evilmerodach 

Persian or Median popular tradition easily think of the king who was put to 
death that night, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, as also the last Babylonian 
king, with whom the kingdom perished, and attribute to him the name Laby- 
netus, i.e. the Nabonnedus of Berosus, which is confirmed by the agreement of 
Herodotus with Berosus in regard to the battle preceding the overthrow of 
Babylon, as well as the absence of the king from Babylon at the taking of the 
city. — " The historical facts with respect to the end of the Chaldean kingdom, 
as they are preserved by Berosus, were thrown together and confused along the 
dim course of the tradition with a narrative, preserved to us in its original form 
by Daniel, of the contents of the mysterious writing, connecting the death of the 
king with the end of the kingdom, corresponding with which, and indeed in 
that very night in which it was interpreted, the murder of the king took place ; 
and this dim tradition we have in the reports given by Herodotus and Xenophon. 
But the fact, as related by Daniel v., forms the middle member between the 
statement given by Berosus and the form which the tradition has assumed in 
Herodotus and Xenophon." " This seems to me," as Kran., in conclusion, 
remarks, " to be the very simple and natural state of the matter, in view of 
the open contradiction, on the one side, in which the Greek authors stand to 
Berosus and Abydenus, without, however (cf. Herodotus), in all points differing 
from the former ; and, on the other side, in view of the manifest harmony in 
which they stand with Daniel, without, however, agreeing with him in all 
points. In such circumstances the Greek authors, as well as Berosus and 
Abydenus on the other side, serve to establish the statements in the book of 

Against this view of the origin of the tradition transmitted by Herodotus 
and Xenophon, that Cyrus took Babylon during a riotous festival of its inhabi- 
tants, the prophecies of Isa. xxi. 5, and of Jer. li. 39, cannot be adduced as 
historical evidence in support of the historical truth of this tradition ; for these 
prophecies contain only the thought that Babylon shall suddenly be destroyed 
amid the tumult of its revelry and drunkenness, and would only be available as 
valid evidence if they were either vaticinia ex eventu, or were literally delivered 
as predictions. 

CHAP. V. 173 

(cf. Jer. xxvii. 7), for Belshazzar's father Neriglissar (Nergal-Sar), 
since he was only the husband of a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, 
could only rule in the name of his son, then Belshazzar (Nebo- 
Sadrach) was murdered after a reign of four years and nine months, 
of which his father Nergal-Sar reigned four years in his stead, and 
he himself nine months. With Belshazzar the house of Nebuchad- 
nezzar had ceased to reign. Astyages, the Median king, regarded 
himself as heir to the Chaldean throne, and held as his vassal 
Nabonnedus, who was made king by the conspirators who had 
murdered Belshazzar; but Nabonnedus endeavoured to maintain 
his independence by means of a treaty with the king of Lydia, 
and thus there began the war which was directed first against the 
Lydian king, and then against Nabonnedus himself. 

But of these conjectures and combinations there is no special 
probability, for proof is wanting. For the alleged origin of the 
war against the Lydian king and against Nabonnedus there is no 
historical foundation, since the supposition that Astyages regarded 
himself, after the extinction of the house of Nebuchadnezzar, as 
the heir to the Chaldean throne is a mere conjecture. Neither 
of these conjectures finds any support either in the fact that 
Nabonnedus remained quiet during the Lydian war instead of 
rendering help to the Lydian king, or from that which we find 
on inscriptions regarding the buildings of Nabonnedus. According 
to the researches of Oppert and Duncker (Gesch. d. Alterthums, ii. 
p. 719), Nabonetus (Nabunahid) not merely completed the walls 
left unfinished by Nebuchadnezzar, which were designed to shut 
in Babylon from the Euphrates along both sides of the river ; but 
he designates himself, in inscriptions found on bricks, as the pre- 
server and the restorer of the pyramid and the tower, and he boasts 
of having built a temple at Mugheir to the honour of his deities, the 
goddess Belit and the god Sin (god of the Moon). The restoration 
of the pyramid and the tower, as well as the building of the temple, 
does not agree with the supposition that Nabonnedus ascended the 
throne as vassal of the Median king with the thought of setting 
himself free as soon as possible from the Median rule. Moreover 
the supposition that Neriglissar, as the husband of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's daughter, could have conducted the government only in 
the name of his son, is opposed to the statements of Berosus and 
to the Canon of Ptolemy, which reckon Neriglissar as really king, 
and his reign as distinct from that of his son. Thus the appearance 
of the queen in Dan. v. by no means indicates that Belshazzar was 


yet a boy ; much rather does the participation of the wives and 
concubines of Belshazzar in the feast point to the age of the king 
as beyond that of a boy. Finally, it does not follow from ch. v. 
13 that Belshazzar knew about Nebuchadnezzar only from hear- 
say. In the verse referred to, Belshazzar merely says that he had 
heard regarding Daniel that he was one of the Jews who had been 
carried captive by his father Nebuchadnezzar. But the carrying 
away of Daniel and of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar took place, as 
to its beginning, before he had ascended the throne, and as to its 
end (under Zedekiah), during the first half of his reign, when his 
eldest son might be yet a mere youth. That Belshazzar knew 
about Nebuchadnezzar not from hearsay merely, but that he knew 
from personal knowledge about his madness, Daniel tells him to 
his face, ver. 22. 

Finally, the identification of Labosordacus, = Nebo-Sadrach, 
with Belshazzar has more appearance than truth. Bel is not like 
Nebo in the sense that both names denote one and the same god ; 
but Bel is the Jupiter of the Babylonians,, and Nebo the Mercury. 
Also the names of the two kings, as found on the inscriptions, 
are quite different. For the name Aa/3ocr6p8axo<; (Joseph. Ant.) 
Berosus uses AafiopoaodpxoBo*;, and Abydenus (Euseb. prcep. ev. 
ix. 41) Aaftaaadpaaicot; ; in the Chron. arm. it is Labossorakos, 
and Syncellus has Aa^ocrdpo^o'i. These names do not represent 
Nebo-Sadrach, but that used by Berosus corresponds to the native 
Chaldee Nabu-ur-uzuurkud, the others point to Nabu-surusk or 
-suruk, and show the component parts contained in the name Nabu- 
kudrussur in inverted order, — at least they are very nearly related 
to this name. Belshazzar, on the contrary, is found in the Inscrip- 
tion published by Oppert (Duncker, p. 720) written Belsan'usur. 
In this Inscription Nabonetus names Belsarrusur the offspring of 
his heart. If we therefore consider that Nabonnedus represents 
himself as carrying forward and completing the work begun by 
Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, the supposition presses itself upon us, 
that also in regard to the name which he gave to his son, who was 
eventually his successor on the throne, he trod in the footsteps of 
the celebrated founder of the Babylonian monarchy. Conse- 
quently these Inscriptions would indicate that the Belshazzar (= 
Belsarrusur) of Daniel was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and his 
successor on the throne. 

Though we may rest satisfied with this supposition, there are 
yet weighty reasons for regarding Belshazzar as the son and sue- 

CHAP. V. 175 

cessor of Nebuchadnezzar, who was put to deatli by his brother- 
in-law Neriglissar, and thus for identifying him with Evilmerodach 
(2 Kings xxv. 27 ; Jer. lii. 31). Following the example of Marsham 
in Canon chrort. p. 596, this opinion is maintained among modern 
critics by Hofmann {Die 70 Jalire, p. 44 ff.), Havemick {N. K. 
Unt. p. 71), Oehler (Thol. Litt. Am. 1842, p. 398), Hupfeld 
(Exercitt. Herod, spec. ii. p. 46), Niebuhr {Ges. Ass. p. 91 f.), 
Zttndel (p. 33), Kranichfeld, and Kliefoth. In favour of this 
opinion we notice, first, that Belshazzar in the narrative of Daniel 
is distinctly declared to be the son and successor of Nebuchad- 
nezzar. The statement of Berosus, that Evilmerodach managed 
the affairs of government avoyuwi /cat aa-eXyaii, entirely harmo- 
nizes also with the character ascribed to Belshazzar in this chapter, 
while the arguments which appear to oppose the identity of the 
two are unimportant. The diversity of names, viz. that Nebu- 
chadnezzar's successor both in 2 Kings xxv. 27 and Jer. lii. 31 is 
called TPQ •''')£, and by Berosus, Abydenus, and in the Canon of 
Ptolemy EveiXfiapdBov^o<;, Amilmarodokos, 'IXXoapovSafios (in 
the Canon only, written instead of 'IXfiapovSaicos), but by Daniel 
"l-SNB'??, is simply explained by this, that as a rule the Eastern 
kings had several names : along with their personal names they 
had also a surname or general royal name, the latter being fre- 
quently the only one that was known to foreigners ; cf. Niebuhr, 
Gesch. Assurs u. Babels, p. 29 ff. In the name Evilmerodach, the 
component parts, II (== El), i.e. God, and Merodach, recur in all 
forms. The first part was changed by the Jews, perhaps after the 
tragic death of the king, into ?^#, stultus (after Ps. liii. ?) ; while 
Daniel, living at the Babylonian court, transmits the name Bel- 
shazzar, formed after the name of the god Bel, which was there 
used. Moreover the kind benevolent conduct of Evilmerodach 
towards king Jehoiachin, who was languishing in prison, does not 
stand in contradiction to the vileness of his character, as testified 
to by Berosus ; for even an unrighteous, godless ruler can be just 
and good in certain instances. Moreover the circumstance that, 
according to the Canon of Ptolemy, Evilmerodach ruled two years, 
while, on the contrary, in Dan. viii. 1 mention is made of the third 
year of the reign of Belshazzar, forms no inexplicable discrepancy. 
Without resorting to Syncellus, who in his Canon attributes to him 
three years, since the numbers mentioned in this Canon contain 
many errors, the discrepancy may be explained from the custom 
prevalent in the books of Kings of reckoning the duration of the 


reign of a king only in full years, without reference to the months 
that may be wanting or that may exceed. According to this 
usage, the reign might extend to only two full years if it began 
about the middle of the calendar year, but might extend into three 
calendar years, and thus be reckoned as three years, if the year of 
the commencement of it and the year in which it ended were 
reckoned according to the calendar. On the other side, it is 
conceivable that Evilmerodach reigned a few weeks, or even 
months, beyond two years, which were in the reckoning of the 
duration of his reign not counted to him, but to his successor. 
Ptolemy has without doubt observed this procedure in his astro- 
nomical Canon, since he reckons to all rulers only full years. 
Thus there is no doubt of any importance in opposition to the view 
that Belshazzar was identical with Evilmerodach, the son and suc- 
cessor of Nebuchadnezzar. 

With the removal of the historical difficulty lying in the name 
Belshazzar the historical credibility of the principal contents of 
this narrative is at the same time established. And this so much 
the more surely, as the opponents of the genuineness are not in a 
position to find, in behalf of their assertion that this history is a 
fiction, a situation from which this fiction framed for a purpose 
can be comprehended in the actions of Antiochus Epipbanes and 
in the relations of the times of the Maccabees. According to 
Berth., v. Leng., Hitz., and Bleek, the author sought on the one 
hand to represent to the Syrian prince in the fate of Belshazzar 
how great a judgment from God threatened him on account of his 
wickedness in profaning the temple, and on the other, to glorify 
Daniel the Jew by presenting him after the type of Joseph. 

But as for the first tendency (or purpose), the chief matter is 
wholly wanting, viz. the profanation of the holy vessels of the 
temple by Antiochus on the occasion of a festival, which in this 
chapter forms the chief part of the wickedness for which Bel- 
shazzar brings upon himself the judgment of God. Of Antiochus 
Epiphanes it is only related that he plundered the temple at Jeru- 
salem in order that he might meet his financial necessities, while 
on the other hand the carrying away by Nebuchadnezzar of the 
vessels belonging to the temple (Dan. i. 2) is represented as a pro- 
vidence of God. 1 

1 According to Bleek and v. Leng., this narrative must have in view 1 Mace, 
i. 21 ff. and 2 Mace. v. 15 ff., where it is related of Antiochus as something in 
the highest degree vicious, that he entered into the temple at Jerusalem, and 

CHAP. V. 177 

As regards the second tendency of the composition, the glori- 
fying of Daniel after the type of Joseph, Kliefoth rightly remarks: 
" The comparison of Daniel with Joseph rests on hastily collected 
indefinite resemblances, along with which there are also found as 
many contrasts." The resemblances reduce themselves to these : 
that Daniel was adorned by the king with a golden chain about his 
neck and raised to the highest office of state for his interpretation 
of the mysterious writing, as Joseph had been for the interpreta- 
tion of the dream. But on this Ewald 1 himself remarks: "Tht. 
promise that whoever should solve the mystery would be made third 
ruler of the kingdom, and at the same time the declaration in ch. 
vi. 3 (2), show that in the kingdom of Babylon there existed an 
arrangement similar to that of the Roman empire after Diocletian, 
by which under one Augustus there might be three Csesars. Alto- 
gether different is the old Egyptian law set forth in Gren.xli. 43 f., 
and prevailing also in ancient kingdoms, according to which the 
king might recognise a man as the seeond ruler in the kingdom, or 
as his representative ; and since that mentioned in the book of 
Daniel is peculiar, it rests, to all appearance, on some old genuine 
Babylonish custom. On the other hand, the being clothed with 
purple and adorned with a golden chain about the neck is more 

with impure hands carried thence the golden basins, cups, bowls, and other holy 
vessels. But in spite of this wholly incorrect application of the contents of the 
passages eited, Bleek cannot but confess that the reference would be more dis- 
tinct if it were related — which it is not — that Antiochus used the holy vessels at 
a common festival, or at least at the time of offering sacrifice. But if we look 
closely at 1 Mace. i. 21 ff., we find that Antiochus not only took away the utensils 
mentioned by Bleek, but also the golden altar, the golden candlestick, the 
table of shew-bread, the veil, and the crowns, and the golden ornaments that 
were before the temple, all which (gold) he pulled off, and took also the silver 
and gold, and the hidden treasures which he found ; from which it clearly 
appears that Antiochus plundered the temple because of his pecuniary embar- 
rassment, as Grimm remarks, or " for the purpose of meeting his financial 
necessities" (Grimm on 2 Mace. v. 16). Hitzig has therefore abandoned this 
reference as unsuitable for the object assumed, and has sought the occasion for 
the fiction of Dan. v. in the splendid games and feasts which Antiochus held at 
Daphne (Polyb. xxxi. 3, 4). But this supposition also makes it necessary for 
the critic to add the profanation of the holy vessels of the temple at these feasts 
from his own resources, because history knows nothing of it. Polybius merely 
says that the expense of these entertainments was met partly by the plunder 
Antiochus brought from Egypt, partly by the gifts of his allies, but most of all 
by the treasure taken from the temple. 

1 P. 380 of the 3d vol. of the second ed. of his work, Die Propheteu des A. 



generally the distinguishing mark of men of princely rank, as is 
seen in the case of Joseph, Gen. xli. 42." 

To this it must be added, that Belshazzar's relation to Daniel 
and Daniel's conduct toward Belshazzar are altogether different 
from the relation of Antiochus to the Jews who remained faithful 
to their law, and their conduct toward that cruel king. That the 
conduct of Belshazzar toward Daniel does not accord with the times 
of the Maccabees, the critics themselves cannot deny. Hitzig 
expresses his surprise that " the king hears the prophecy in a 
manner one should not have expected ; his behaviour is not the 
same as that of Ahab toward Micah, or of Agamemnon toward 
Calchas." Antiochus Epiphanes would have acted precisely as 
they did. And how does the behaviour of Daniel harmonize with 
that of Mattathias, who rejected the presents and the favour of the 
tyrant (1 Mace. ii. 18 ff.), and who put to death with the sword 
those Jews who were submitting themselves to the demands of the 
king? Daniel received the purple, and allowed himself to be 
adorned with a golden chain by the heathen lung, and to be raised 
to the rank of third ruler in his kingdom. 1 

While thus standing in marked contrast to the circumstances 
of the Maccabean times, the narrative is perfectly consistent if 
we regard it as a historical episode belonging to the time of 
Daniel. It is true it has also a parenetic character, only not the 
limited object attributed to it by the opponents of the genuineness 
— to threaten Antiochus Epiphanes witli divine judgments on ac- 
count of his wickedness and to glorify Daniel. Rather it is for all 
times in which the church of the Lord is oppressed by the powers of 
the world, to show to the blasphemers of the divine name how the 
Almighty God in heaven punishes and destroys the lords of this 
world who proceed to desecrate and abuse that which is sacred, 
without taking notice of the divine warnings addressed to them on 
account of their self-glorification, and bestows honour upon His 
servants who are rejected and despised by the world. But when 
compared with the foregoing narratives, this event before us shows 
how the world-power in its development became always the more 
hardened against the revelations of the living God, and the more 

1 " In short, the whole accompaniments of this passage," Kranichf eld thus 
concludes (p. 213) his dissertation on this point, "are so completely different 
from those of the Maccabean times, that if it is to be regarded as belonging 
peculiarly to this time, then we must conceive of it as composed by an author 
altogether ignorant of the circumstances and of the historical situation." 

chap. v. i-i. 179 

ripe for judgment. Nebuchadnezzar demanded of all his subjects 
a recognition of his gods, and prided himself in his great power 
and worldly glory, but yet he gave glory to the Lord of heaven 
for the signs and wonders which God did to him. Belshazzar 
knew this, yet it did not prevent him from blaspheming this God, 
nor did it move him to seek to avert by penitential sorrow the 
judgment of death which was denounced against him. 

Vers. 1.-4. The verses describe the progress of Belshazzar's 
magnifying himself against the living God, whereby the judgment 
threatened came upon him and his kingdom. A great feast, which 
the king gave to his officers of state and to his wives, furnished 
the occasion -for this. 

The name of the king, "ISNB93, contains in it the two com- 
ponent parts of the name which Daniel had received (ch. i. 7), 
but without the interposed D, whereby it is distinguished from it. 
This distinction is not to be overlooked, although the LXX. 
have dpne so, and have written the two names, as if they were 
identical, BaXrdaap. The meaning of the name is as yet unknown. 
2H?, meal-time, the festival. The invitation to a thousand officers 
of state corresponds to the magnificence of Oriental kings. Ac- 
cording to Ctesias (Athen. Deipnos. iv. 146), 15,000 men dined 
daily from the table of the Persian king (cf. Esth. i. 4). To 
account for this large number of guests, it is not necessary to sup- 
pose that during the siege of Babylon by Cyrus a multitude of 
great officers from all parts of the kingdom had fled for refuge to 
Babylon. The number specified is evidently a round number, i.e. 
the number of the guests amounted to about a thousand. The 
words, lie drank wine before the thousand (great officers), are not, 
with Havernick, to be explained of drinking first, or of preceding 
them in drinking, or of drinking a toast to them, but are to be 
understood according to the Oriental custom, by which at great 
festivals the king sat at a separate table on an elevated place, so 
that he had the guests before him or opposite to him. The drink- 
ing of wine is particularly noticed as the immediate occasion of 
the wickedness which followed. 

Ver. 2. N"iDn DJJtpa, while he tasted the wine, i.e. when the wine 
was relished by him ; thus " in the wanton madness of one excited 
by wine, Prov. xx. 1 " (Hitz.). From these words it appears that 
Belshazzar commanded the temple vessels which Nebuchadnezzar 
had carried away from Jerusalem to be brought,. not, as Hiivernick 


thinks, for the purpose of seeking, in his anxiety on account of the 
siege of the city, the favour of the God of the Jews, but to insult 
this God in the presence of his own gods. The supposition of 
anxiety on account of the siege does not at all harmonize with the 
celebration of so riotous a festival. Besides, the vessels are not 
brought for the purpose of making libations in order to propitiate 
the God to whom they were consecrated, but, according to the 
obvious statement of the text, only to drink out of them from the 
madness of lust. fin®?., that they may drink ; 1 before the imperf. 
expresses the design of the bringing of the vessels. 3 nriti>, to drink 
out of, as Gen. xliv. 5, Amos vi. 6. i?W, the wives of the king ; 
cf. Neh. ii. 6 with Ps. xlv. 10. ijnp, concubines ; this word stands 
in the Tares, for the Hebr. E'WB. The LXX. have here, and 
also at ver. 23, omitted mention of the women, according to the 
custom of the Macedonians, Greeks, and Romans (cf. Herod, v. 18; 
Corn.Nep. proem. § 6); but Xenophon {Cyr. v. 2. 28) and Curtius 
(v. 1. 38) expressly declare that among the Babylonians the wives 
also were present at festivals. 

Ver. 3. N» , n denotes the holy place of the temple, the inner 
apartment of the temple, as at 1 Kings vi. 3, Ezek. xli. 1. vriE'X 
for Vrjtp, with K prosthet., cf. Winer, chald. Gr. § 23, 1. 

Ver. 4. In this verse the expression they drank wine is re- 
peated for the purpose of making manifest the connection between 
the drinking and the praising of the gods. The wickedness lay 
in this, that they drank out of the holy vessels of the temple of the 
God of Israel to glorify (n3K>, to praise by the singing of songs) 
their heathen gods in songs of praise. In doing this they did not 
only place " Jehovah on a perfect level with their gods " (Haver- 
nick), but raised them above the Lord of heaven, as Daniel (ver. 
23) charged the king. The carrying away of the temple vessels 
to Babylon and placing them in the temple of Bel was a sign of 
the defeat of the God to whom these vessels were consecrated (see 
under ch. i. 2) ; the use of these vessels in the drinking of wine at a 
festival, amid the singing of songs in praise of the gods, was accord- 
ingly a celebrating of these gods as victorious over the God of 
Israel. And it was not a spirit of hostility aroused against the 
Jews which gave occasion, as Kranichfeld has well remarked, to 
this celebration of the victory of his god; but, as the narrative 
informs us, it was the reckless madness of the drunken king and 
of his drunken guests (cf. ver. 2a) during the festival which led 
them to think of the God of the Jews, whom they supposed they 

CHAr. V. 5-12. 181 

had subdued along with His people, although He had by repeated 
miracles forced the heathen world-rulers to recognise His omnipo- 
tence (cf. ch. ii. 47, iii. 32 f., iv. 14 [17], 31 [34], 34 [37]). In 
the disregard of these revelations consisted, as Daniel represents 
to Belshazzar (cf. ver. 18), the dishonour done to the Lord of 
heaven, although these vessels of the sanctuary might have been 
profaned merely by using them as common drinking vessels, or 
they might have been used also in religious libations as vessels 
consecrated to the gods, of which the text makes no mention, 
although the singing of songs to the praise of the gods along with 
the drinking makes the offering of libations very probable. The 
six predicates of the gods are divided by the copula 1 into two 
classes : gold and silver — brass, iron, wood and stone, in order to 
represent before the eyes in an advancing degree the vanity of 
these gods. 

Vers. 5-12. The warning signs, the astonishment of Belshazzar, 
the inability of the wise men to give counsel, and the advice of the 

Ver. 5. Unexpectedly and suddenly the wanton mad revelry of 
the king and his guests was brought to a close amid terror by 
means of a warning sign. The king saw the finger of a man's 
hand writing on the plaster of the wall of the festival chamber, 
and he was so alarmed that his whole body shook. The NnyKrna 
places the sign in immediate connection with the drinking and the 
praising of the gods. The translation, in the self-same hour, is 
already shown to be inadmissible (see under ch. iii. 6). The 
Kethiv *pa? (came forth) is not to be rejected as the indefinite 
determination of the subject, because the subject follows after 
it; the Keri n^W is to be rejected, because, though it suits the 
gender, it does not in respect of number accord with the subject 
following. The king does not see the whole hand, but only to? DSj 
the end of the hand, that is, the fingers which write. This immedi- 
ately awakened the thought that the writing was by a supernatural 
being, and alarmed the king out of his intoxication. The fingers 
wrote on the plaster of the wall over against the candlestick which 
stood on the table at which the king sat, and which reflected its 
light perceptibly on the white wall opposite, so that the fingers 
writing could be distinctly seen. The feast had been prolonged 
into the darkness of the night, and the wall of the chamber was 
not wainscotted, but oniy plastered with lime, as such chambers are 


found in the palaces of Nimrud and Khorsabad covered over only 
with mortar (cf. Layard's Nineveh and Babylon). 

Ver. 6. N2^>D (the king) stands absolutely, because the impres- 
sion made by the occurrence on the king is to be depicted. The 
plur. '••"iVr has an intensive signification : the colour of the counte- 
nance. Regarding VT, see under ch. iv. 33. The suffix to 'nut? is 
to be taken in the signification of the dative, since N3B> in the Peal 
occurs only intransitively. The connection of an intransitive verb 
with the suff. accas. is an inaccuracy for which , 331E' ) Ezek. xlvii. 7, 
and perhaps also Wfc?, Ezek. xxix. 3, afford analogies ; cf. Ewald's 
Lehrb. § 315b. In ver. 9, where the matter is repeated, the harsh- 
ness is avoided, and ^V is used to express the change of colour yet 
more strongly. The meaning is : " the king changed colour as to 
his countenance, became pale from terror, and was so unmanned 
by fear and alarm, that his body lost its firmness and vigour." 
The bands or ligaments of his thighs (HCj, equivalent to the Hebr. 
D'S^n) were loosed, i.e. lost the strength to hold his body, and his 
knees smote one against another. N313"1K with Hprosth., for K3i3"i, 
in the Targg. means the knee. The alarm was heightened by a bad 
conscience, which roused itself and filled him with dark forebodings. 
Immediately the king commanded the magicians to be brought, and 
promised a great reward to him who would read and interpret the 
mysterious writing. 

Ver. 7. Since there are in this verse only three classes of wise 
men named as ordered to come to the king, to whom he promised 
the reward for the reading and the interpretation of the writing, 
and in ver. 8 it is first stated that all the king's wise men came, 
the probability is, that at first the king commanded only the three 
classes named in ver. 7 to be brought to him. On this probability 
Kranichfeld founds the supposition that the king purposely, or with 
intention, summoned only the three classes named to avoid Daniel, 
whom he did not wish to consult, from his heathen religious fear of 
the God of the Jews. But this supposition is altogether untenable. 
For, first, it does not follow from ch. viii. 27 that under Belshazzar 
Daniel was president over all the wise men, but only that he was 
in the king's service. Then, in the event of Daniel's yet retaining 
the place assigned to him by Nebuchadnezzar, his non-appearance 
could not be explained on the supposition that Belshazzar called 
only three classes of the wise men, because the supposition that bb 
so?p ^p-sn (all the king's wise men) in ver. 8 forms a contrast to 
the three classes named in ver. 7 is not sustained by the ]ano- ua <r e 

CHAP. V. 5-12. 183 

here used. But if by " all the wise men of the king," ver. 8, we 
are to understand the whole body of the wise men of all the classes, 
and that they appeared before the king, then they must all have 
been called at the first, since no supplementary calling of the two 
classes not named in ver. 7 is mentioned. Besides this, the words, 
" the king spake to the wise men of Babylon," make it probable 
that all the classes, without the exception of the two, were called. 
Moreover it is most improbable that in the case before us, where 
the matter concerned the reading of a writing, the D^ED^n, the 
magicians [Schriftkenner], should not have been called merely to 
avoid Daniel, who was their 3"i {president) (ch. iv. 6 [9]). Finally, 
it is psychologically altogether very improbable, that in the great 
agitation of fear which had filled him at the sight of the hand 
writing, Belshazzar should have reflected at all on this, that Daniel 
would announce to him misfortune or the vengeance of the God of 
the Jews. Such a reflection might perhaps arise on quiet delibera- 
tion, but not in the midst of agitating heart-anguish. 

The strange circumstance that, according to ver. 7, the king 
already promised a reward to the wise men, which presupposes that 
they were already present, and then that for the first time their 
presence is mentioned in ver. 8, is occasioned by this, that in ver. 7 
the appearing of the wise men is not expressly mentioned, but is 
naturally presupposed, and that the first two clauses of the eighth 
verse are simply placed together, and are not united to each other 
by a causal nexus. The meaning of the statement in vers. 7 and 
8 is this : The king calls aloud, commanding the astrologers, etc., 
to be brought to him ; and when the wise men of Babylon came 
to him, he said to each of them, Whoever reads the writing, etc. 
But all the king's wise men, when they had come, were unable to 
read the writing. As to the names of the wise men in ver. 7, see 
under ch. ii. 2. •"HP/, for K^p*, from N"Jp, to read. As a reward, the 
king promises a purple robe, a gold chain for the neck, and the 
highest office in the kingdom. A robe of purple was the sign of 
rank worn by the high officers of state among the Persians, — cf. 
Esth. viii. 15 with Xenophon, Anab. i. 5. 8, — and among the Selu- 
cidae, 1 Mace. x. 20 ; and was also among the Medes the princely 
garb, Xen. Anab. i. 3. 2, ii. 4. 6. P r fK, Hebr. jpnK, purple, is a 
word of Aryan origin, from the Sanscrit rdga, red colour, with the 
formative syllables man and vat; cf. Gesen. Thes. Addid. p. Ill 
seq. 'U1 H touoni does not depend on B'S^., but forms a clause by 
itself: and a chain of gold shall be about his neck. For the Kethiv 


touen the Keri substitutes the Targum. and Syr. form sayon (vers. 

7, 16, and 29), i.e. the Greek /wwi/07?, from the Sansc. warn', 
jewel, pearl, with the frequent formative syllable &a in the Zend, 
whence the Chaldee word is derived ; it signifies neck- or arm-band, 
here the former. The golden neck-chain (orpeTn-os ^/sucreos) was 
an ornament worn by the Persians of rank, and was given by 
kings as a mark of favour even to kings, e.g. Cambyses and the 
younger Cyrus; cf. Herod, iii. 20; Xen. Anal. i. 1. 27, 5. 8, 

8. 29. 

It is not quite certain what the princely situation is which was 
promised to the interpreter of the writing, since the meaning of 
™ is not quite clear. That it is not the ordinate of the number 
third, is, since Havernick, now generally acknowledged, because 
for lertius in Aram. Wpn is used, which occurs also in ch. ii. 39. 
Haverniek therefore regards ,J wi, for which KFipfl is found in vers. 
16 and 29, as an adjective formation which indicates a descent 
or occupation, and is here used as a nornen officii corresponding 
to the Hebr. 't^w. Gesenius and Dietrich regard wfl as only 
the singular form for Wpn, and NR^n as the stat. abs. of rtai, third 
rank. Hitzig would change WFi into ™, and regard NPita as 
a singular formed from T^wl?, as triumvir from triumrirorum, and 
would interpret it by Tpho<; avros, the third (selbstdiitt) : as one 
of three he shall rule in the kingdom, according to ch. vi. 3. 
Finally, Kranichfeld takes ^ri to be a fern, verbal formation 
according to the analogy of ffffiK, "nnx, i Q the sense of three- 
ruler-wise, and NFi?n f or a noun formed from Nr6n triumvir. 
Almost all these explanations amount to this, that the state- 
ments here regard the government of a triumvirate as it was 
regulated by the Median king Darius, ch. vi. 3 (2); and this 
appears also to be the meaning of the words as one may liter- 
ally explain ^n and arfy?. Regarding the Keri \hy see under 
ch. iv. 4, and regarding toipa, under ch. iv. 15. 

As all the wise men were unable to read the writing, it has 
been thought that it was in a foreign language different from the 
usual language of Babylon, the knowledge of which could not 
legitimately be expected to be possessed by the native wise men ; 
and since, according to vers. 17, 24 f., Daniel at once showed his 
acquaintance with the writing in question, it has from this been 
concluded that already the old Babylonians had handwriting corre- 
sponding to the later Syro-Palmyrenian inscriptions, while°among 
the Hebrews to the time of the Exile the essentially Old-Phoenician 

chap. v. 5-n. 185 

■writing, which is found on the so-called Samaritan coins and in 
the Samaritan Scriptures, was the peculiar national style of writ- 
ing (Kran.). But this interpretation of the miracle on natural 
principles is quite erroneous. First, it is very unlikely that the 
Chaldean wise men should not have known these old Semitic 
characters, even although at that time they had ceased to be in 
current use among the Babylonians in their common writing. 
Then, from the circumstance that Daniel could at once read the 
writing, it does not follow that it was the well-known Old-Hebrew 
writing of his fatherland. " The characters employed in the 
writing," as Hengstenberg has rightly observed (Beitr. i. p. 122), 
" must have been altogether unusual so as not to be deciphered 
but by divine illumination." Yet we must not, with M. Geier and 
others, assume that the writing was visible only to the king and 
Daniel. This contradicts the text, according to which the Chaldean 
wise men, and without doubt all that were present, also saw the 
traces of the writing, but were not able to read it. 

Ver. 9. By this not only was the astonishment of the king 
heightened, but the officers of state also were put into confusion. 
" In fE'ariE'D lies not merely the idea of consternation, but of 
confusion, of great commotion in the assembly " (Hitzig). The 
whole company was thrown into confusion. The magnates spoke 
without intelligence, and were perplexed about the matter. 

Not only was the tumult that arose from the loud confused 
talk of the king and the nobles heard by those who were there 
present, but the queen-mother, who was living in the palace, the 
wife of Nebuchadnezzar, also heard it and went into the banquet- 
ing hall. As soon as she perceived the cause of the commotion, 
she directed the attention of her royal son to Daniel, who in the 
days of his father Nebuchadnezzar had already, as an interpreter 
of dreams and of mysteries, shown that the spirit of the holy gods 
dwelt in him (vers. 10-12). 

Ver. 10. By *<n3?D interpreters rightly understand the mother 
of the reigning king, the widow of his father Nebuchadnezzar, 
since according to ver. 2 f. the wives of the king were present at 
the festival, and the queen came before the king as only a mother 
could do. Among the Israelites also the mother of the reigning 
king was held in high respect ; cf. 1 Kings xv. 13 ; 2 Kings xxiv. 
12, 15 ; Jer. xiii. 18, xxix. 2. pk? '?P.^, by reason of the words, 
not : because of the affair, to which neither the plur. 'vl? nor the 
gen. 'rto'13'i agrees. Instead of the Kethiv m?y_ the Ken has 


rh>y, the later form. The queen-mother begins in an assuring 
manner, since she can give an advice which is fitted to allay the 

Ver. 11. Her judgment concerning Daniel is that of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, ch. iv. 5, 6 (8, 9) ; and that she states it in the same 
words leads to the conclusion that Nebuchadnezzar was her hus- 
band. The S'3^o ^3X at the end of this verse may be an emphatic 
repetition of the foregoing rpz« '33 K^o (Maur., Hitz.), but in 
that case K3^D would perhaps stand first. N^D is better inter- 
preted by Ros., v. Leng., Klief., and others as the vocative : thy 
father, king, by which the words make a greater impression. 

Ver. 12. The remarkable endowments of Daniel are again 
stated (according to ver. 11) to give weight to the advice that 
he should be called in. The words from "i#?&? [interpreting] to 
p.Up [doubts] are an explanatory parenthetical clause, after which 
the following verb, according to rule, joins itself to wn?3B>. In the 
parenthetical clause the nomen actionis n^iriK [showing] is used 
instead of the participle, whereby the representation of the con- 
tinued capability lying in the participle is transferred to that of 
each separate instance ; literally, interpreting dreams, the explana- 
tion of mysteries and dissolving knots. The allusion of p.t?i? N"?B'0 
to pnB'O 'in nop, ver. 6, is only apparent, certainly is not aimed 
at, since the former of these expressions has an entirely different 
meaning. Knots stands figuratively for involved complicated 
problems. That Daniel did not at first appear along with the 
wise men, but was only called after the queen had advised it, is to 
be explained on this simple ground, that he was no longer president 
over the magicians, but on the occasion of a new kin or ascendinc 
the throne had lost that situation, and been put into another office 
(cf. ch. viii. 27). The words of the queen do not prove that Bel- 
sliazzar was not acquainted with Daniel, but only show that he 
had forgotten the service rendered by him to Nebuchadnezzar ; for 
according to ver. 13 he was well acquainted with the personal 
circumstances of Daniel. 

Vers. 13-28. Daniel is summoned, reminds the king of his sin, 
and reads and interprets the writing. 

The counsel of the queen was followed, and without delay 
Daniel was brought in. hyn, cf. ^J?n ver. 15, is Hebr. Hophal 
of by = ^J|, to go in, as *imn, c h. iv. 33. The question of the 
king: Art thou Daniel. . . % did not expect an answer, and has 

CIIAI'. V. 13-23. 187 

this meaning : Thou art indeed Daniel. The address shows that, 
Belshazzar was acquainted with Daniel's origin, of which the 
queen had said nothing, but that he had had no official intercourse 
with him. It shows also that Daniel was no longer the president 
of the magicians at the king's court (ch. ii. 48 f.). 

Ver. 14, cf. ver. 11. It is not to be overlooked that here Bel- 
shazzar leaves out the predicate holy in connection with JwX (pf 
the gods). 

Ver. 15. The asyndeton WSB'K is in apposition to twan as 
explanatory of it : the wise men, namely the conjurers, who are 
mentioned instar omnium, "i with the imperf. following is not 
the relative particle, but the conjunction that before the clause 
expressive of design, and the infinitive clause dependent on the 
clause of design going before : that you may read the writing to 
make known to me the interpretation. KOpp is not the mysterious 
writing = word, discourse, but the writing with its wonderful origin ; 
thus, the matter of which he wishes to know the meaning. 

Vers. 16, 17. The Kethiv Sow, ver. 16, is the Hebr. Hophal, 
as ch. ii. 10 ; the Keri b'XZn the formation usual in the Chaldee, 
found at ch. iii. 29. Regarding the reward to Daniel, see under 
ver. 7. Daniel declines (ver. 17) the distinction and the place of 
honour promised for the interpretation, not because the former 
might be dangerous to him and the latter only temporary, as 
Hitzig supposes ; for he had no reason for snch a fear, when he 
spoke " as one conveying information who had just seen the 
writing, and had read it and understood its import," for the inter- 
pretation, threatening ruin and death to the king, could bring no 
special danger to him either on the part of Belshazzar or on that 
of his successor. Much rather Daniel rejected the gift and the 
distinction promised, to avoid, as a divinely enlightened seer, 
every appearance of self-interest in the presence of such a king, 
and to show to the king and his high officers of state that he was 
not determined by a regard to earthly advantage, and would un- 
hesitatingly declare the truth, whether it might be pleasing or 
displeasing to the king. But before he read and interpreted 
the writing, he reminded the king of the punishment his father 
Nebuchadnezzar had brought upon himself on account of his 
haughty pride against God (vers. 18-21), and then- showed him 
how he, the son, had done wickedly toward God, the Lord of his 
life (vers. 22, 23), and finally explained to him that on this 
account this sign had been given by God (ver. 24). 


Ver. 18. The address, Thou, king, is here an absolute clause, 
and is not resumed till ver. 22. By this address all that follows 
regarding Nebuchadnezzar is placed in definite relation to Bel- 
shazzar. The brilliant description of Nebuchadnezzar's power in 
vers. 18 and 19 has undeniably the object of impressing it on the 
mind of Belshazzar that he did not equal his father in power and 
majesty. Regarding 'Ul wnoy, see under ch. iii. 4, and with regard 
to the Kethiv TW\, with the Keri IT], see under ch. iii. 3. Nno is 
not from «no, to strike (Theodot., Vulg.), but the Aphel of N;n 
(to live), the particip. of which is ^np in Deut. xxxii. 39, contracted 
from K'np, here the part, Nnp, in which the Jod is compensated by 
the lengthening of the vowel a. Accordingly, there is no ground 
for giving the preference, with Buxt., Ges., Hitz., and others, to 
the variant snp, which accommodates itself to the usual Targum. 
form. The last clause in ver. 19 reminds us of 1 Sam. ii. 6, 7. 
In vers. 20 and 21 Daniel brings to the remembrance of Belshazzar 
the divine judgment that fell upon Nebuchadnezzar (ch. iv.). D"l 
is not the passive part., but the per/, act. with an intransitive signi- 
fication ; cf. Winer, § 22, 4. Ipiji, strong, to be and to become firm, 
here, as the Hebr. pin, Ex. vii. 13, of obduracy. "TOn, 3d pers. 
plur. impers., instead of the passive : they took awoy, for it was 
taken away, he lost it ; see under ch. iii. 4, and Winer, § 49, 3. 
'"jp is also to be thus interpreted, since in its impersonal use the 
singular is equivalent to the plur. ; cf. Winer. There is no reason 
for changing (with v. Leng. and Hitz.) the form into 'It?, part. 
Peil. The change of construction depends on the rhetorical form 
of the address, which explains also the naming of the P"nj!, wild 
asses, as untractable beasts, instead of N"}3 Jiyn (beasts of the field), 
ch. iv. 20 (23). Regarding the Kethiv rxbs, see under ch. iv. 14 ; 
and for the subject, cf. ch. iv. 22 (25), 29 (32). 

Vers. 22-24. Daniel now turns to Belshazzar. The words : 
forasmuch as thou, i.e. since thou truly knowest all this, place it 
beyond a doubt that Belshazzar knew these incidents in the life of 
Nebuchadnezzar, and thus that he was his son, since his grandson 
(daughter's son) could scarcely at that time have been so old as 
that the forgetfulness of that divine judgment could have been 
charged against him as a sin. In the ^ »p ?3, just because thou 
knowest it, there is implied that, notwithstanding his knowledge of 
the matter, he did not avoid that which heightened his culpability. 
In ver. 23 Daniel tells him how he had sinned against the God of 
heaven, viz. by desecrating (see vers. 2 and 3) the vessels of the 

CHAP. V. 13-28. 189 

temple of the God of Israel. And to show the greatness of tin's 
sin, he points to the great contrast that there is between the gods 
formed of dead material and the living God, on whom depend the 
life and fortune of men. The former Belshazzar praised, the latter 
he had not honoured — a Litotes for had dishonoured. The descrip- 
tion of the gods is dependent on Deut. iv. 28, cf. with the fuller 
account Ps. cxv. 5 ff., cxxxv. 15 ff., and reminds us of the descrip- 
tion of the government of the true God in Job xii. 10, Num. 
xvi. 22, and Jer. x. 23. TJ"iNj ways, i.e. the destinies. — To punish 
Belshazzar for this wickedness, God had sent the hand which wrote 
the mysterious words (ver. 24 cf. with ver. 5). 

Vers. 25-28. Daniel now read the writing (ver. 25), and gave 
its interpretation (vers. 26-28). The writing bears the mysterious 
character of the oracle. D"ia, b\>f), K3D (ver. 28) are partic. Peil, 
and the forms ?\??} and D"}3, instead of T 1 ^ and D'HB, are chosen on 
account of their symphony with WD. Pp"]a is generally regarded 
as partic. plur., but that would be r9"!? ; it much rather appears to 
be a noun form, and plur. of D"iB = Hebr. D1B (cf. JQ'cnB, Zech. xi. 
16), in the sense of broken pieces, fragments, for D"]Q signifies to 
divide, to break in pieces, not only in the Hebr. (cf. Lev. xi. 4, 
Isa. lviii. 7, Ps. lxix. 32), but also in the Chald., 2 Kings iv. 39 
(Targ.), although in the Targg. the meaning to spread out prevails. 
In all the three words there lies a double sense, which is brought 
out in the interpretation. WD, for the sake of the impression, or 
perhaps only of the parallelism, is twice given, so as to maintain 
two members of the verse, each of two words. In the numbering 
lies the determination and the completion, or the conclusion of a 
matter, a space of time. Daniel accordingly interprets WD thus : 
God has numbered (pya for WD, perf. act.) thy kingdom, i.e. its 
duration or its days, noptyni, and has finished it, i.e. its duration is 
so counted out that-it is full, that it now comes to an end. In ?i?n 
there lies the double sense that the word ?j5iji, to weigh, accords with 
the Niphal of ??£, to be light, to be found light (cf. ?25, Gen. xvi. 
4). The interpretation presents this double meaning : Thou art 
■weighed in the balances (KWpfl) and art found too light (like the 
?|5Pi). TBn, wanting in necessary weight, i.e. deficient in moral worth. 
K $'i?'7, a perf. formed from the partic. Peil; cf. Winer, § 13, 2. 
As to the figure of the balance, cf. Job xxxi. 6, Ps. lxii. 10 (9). 

For rpis (ver. 25) Daniel uses in the interpretation the sing. 
D~}Q, which, after the analogy of ?ffl, may be regarded as partic. 
Peil, and he interprets it accordingly, so that he brings out, along 


with the meaning lying in the word, also the allusion to D"iS, Per- 
sian : thy kingdom is divided, or broken into pieces, and given to the 
Medes and Persians. The meaning is not that the kingdom was 
to be divided into two equal parts, and the one part given to the 
Medes and the other to the Persians; but ons is to divide into 
pieces, to destroy, to dissolve the kingdom. This shall be effected 
by the Medes and Persians, and was so brought about when the 
Persian Cyrus with the united power of the Medes and Persians 
destroyed Babylon, and thus put an end to the Chaldean kingdom, 
whereby the kingdom was transferred first to the Median Darius 
(ch. vi. 1 [v. 31]), and after him to the Persian Cyrus. In the 
naming of the Median before the Persian there lies, as already 
remarked in the Introduction (see p. 47), a notable proof of the 
genuineness of this narrative, and with it of the whole book; for 
the hegemony of the Medes was of a very short duration, and after 
its overthrow by the Persians the form of expression used is always 
" Persians and Medes" as is found in the book of Esther. 

Vers. 29 and 30. Daniel rewarded, and the beginning of the 
fulfilment of the writing. 

Belshazzar fulfilled the promise he had made to Daniel by 
rewarding him for reading and interpreting the writing. VJ3?ni 
is not to be translated : (commanded) that they should clothe, — this 
meaning must be conveyed by the imperfect (cf. ch. ii. 49), — but : 
and they clothed him. The command was then carried out: Daniel 
was not only adorned with purple and with a golden chain, but was 
also proclaimed as the third ruler of the kingdom. The objection 
that this last-mentioned dignity was not possible, since, according 
to ver. 30, Belshazzar was slain that very night, is based on the 
supposition that the proclamation was publicly made in the streets 
of the city. But the words do not necessitate such a supposition. 
The proclamation might be made only before the assembled mag- 
nates of the kingdom in the palace, and then Belshazzar may have 
been slain on that very night. Perhaps, as Kliefoth thinks, the 
conspirators against Belshazzar availed themselves of the confusion 
connected with this proclamation, and all that accompanied it, for 
the execution of their purpose. We may not, however, add that 
therewith the dignity to which Daniel was advanced was again lost 
by him. It depended much rather on this : whether Belshazzar's 
successor recognised the promotion granted to Daniel in the last 
hours of his reign. But the successor would be inclined toward its 

CHAr. V. 29, 30. 191 

recognition by the reflection, that by Daniel's interpretation of the 
mysterious writing from God the putting of Belshazzar to death 
appeared to have a higher sanction, presenting itself as if it were 
something determined in the councils of the gods, whereby the 
successor might claim before the people that his usurpation of the 
throne was rendered legitimate. Such a reflection might move 
him to confirm Daniel's elevation to the office to which Belshazzar 
had raised him. This supposition appears to be supported by ch. 
vi. 2 (1). 

Bleek and other critics have based another objection against 
the historical veracity of this narrative on the improbability that 
Belshazzar, although the interpretation predicted evil against him, 
and he could not at all know whether it was a correct interpreta- 
tion, should have rewarded Daniel instead of putting him to deatli 
(Hitzig). But the force of this objection lies in the supposition 
that Belshazzar was as unbelieving with regard to a revelation from 
God, and with regard to the providence of the living God among 
the affairs of men, as are the critics of our day ; the objection is 
altogether feeble when one appreciates the force of the belief, even 
among the heathen, in the gods and in revelations from God, and 
takes into consideration that Belshazzar perhaps scarcely believed 
the threatened judgment from God to be so near as it actually was, 
since the interpretation by Daniel decided nothing as regards the 
time, and perhaps also that he hoped to be able, by conferring 
honour upon Daniel, to appease the wrath of God. 1 The circum- 
stance, also, that Daniel received the honour promised to him not- 
withstanding his declining it (ver. 17), can afford no ground of 
objection against the truth of the narrative, since that refusal was 
only an expression of the entire absence of all self-interest, which 
was now so fully established by the matter of the interpretation 
that there was no longer any ground for his declining the 
honours which were conferred upon him unsought, while they com- 
prehended in themselves in reality a recognition of the God whom 
he served. 

Ver. 30. With the death of Belshazzar that very night the 
interpretation given by Daniel began to be fulfilled, and this fulfil- 
ment afforded a certainty that the remaining parts of it would also 
sooner or later be accomplished. That this did not take place 

1 " Non mirum, si Baltasar audiens tristia, solvent pr minium quod pollicltus est. 
Aut enim longopost tempore credidit ventura qux dixerat, aut dum Dei proplietam 
lionorat, sperotse veniam consecuturum? — Jerome. 


immediately, we have already shown in our preliminary remarks to 

this chapter. 


Darius, the king of the Medes, had it in view to place Daniel as 
chief officer over the whole of his realm, and thereby he awakened 
against Daniel (vers. 1-6 [eh. v. 31-vi. 5]) the envy of the high 
officers of state. In order to frustrate the king's intention and to 
set Daniel aside, they procured an edict from Darius, which for- 
bade for the space of thirty days, on the pain of death, prayer to be 
offered to any god or man, except to the king (vers. 7 [6]-10 [9]). 
Daniel, however, notwithstanding this, continued, according to his 
usual custom, to open the windows of his upper room, and there 
to pray to God three times a day. His conduct was watched, and 
he was accused of violating the king's edict, and thus he brought 
upon himself the threatened punishment of being thrown into the 
den of lions (vers. 11 [10]-18 [17]). But he remained uninjured 
among the lions ; whereupon the king on the following morning 
caused him to be brought out of the den, and his malicious accusers 
to be thrown into it (vers. 19 [18]— 25 [24]), and then by an edict 
he commanded his subjects to reverence the God of Daniel, who 
did wonders (vers. 26 [25]-28 [27]). As a consequence of this, 
Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and of Cyrus the 
Persian (ver. 29 [28]). 

From the historic statement of this chapter, that Darius the 
Mede took the Chaldean kingdom when he was about sixty-two 
years old (ver. 1 [eh. v. 31]), taken in connection with the closing 
remark (ver. 29 [28]) that it went well with Daniel during the 
reign of Darius and of Cyrus the Persian, it appears that the 
Chaldean kingdom, after its overthrow by the Medes and Persians, 
did not immediately pass into the hands of Cyrus, but that between 
the last of the Chaldean kings who lost the kingdom and the reign 
of Cyrus the Persian, Darius, descended from a Median family, 
held the reins of government, and that not till after him did Cyrus 
mount the throne of the Chaldean kingdom, which had been sub- 
dued by the Medes and Persians. This Median Darius was a son 
of Ahasuerus (ch. ix. 1), of the seed of the Medes; and aceordim' 
to eh. xi. 1, the angel Gabriel stood by him in his first year which 
can mean no more than that the Babylonian kingdom was not taken 
without divine assistance. 

CHAP. VI. 193 

This Darius the Mede and his reign are not distinctly noticed 
by profane historians. Hence the modern critics have altogether 
denied his existence, or at least have called it in question, and 
have thence derived an argument against the historical veracity of 
the whole narrative. 

According to Berosus and Abydenus (Fragmenta, see p. 163), 
Nabonnedus, the last Babylonian king, was, after the taking of 
Babylon, besieged by Cyrus in Borsippa, where he was taken 
prisoner, and then banished to Oannania. After this Cyrus 
reigned, as Alex. Polyhistor says, nine years over Babylon ; while 
in the Fragments preserved by Eusebius in his Chron. Armen., to 
the statement that Cyrus conferred on him (i.e. Nabonet), when 
he had obtained possession of Babylon, the margraviate of the 
province of Carmania, it is added, " Darius the king removed 
(him) a little out of the country." Also in the astronomical Canon 
of Ptolemy, Nabonadius the Babylonian is at once followed by the 
list of Persian kings, beginning with Kvpos, who reigned nine 

When we compare with this the accounts given by the Greek 
historians, we find that Herodotus (i. 96—103, 106 ff.) makes men- 
tion of a succession of Median kings : Dejoces, Phraortes, Cyaxares, 
and Astyages. The last named, who had no male descendants, 
had a daughter, Mandane, married to a Persian Cambyses. Cyras 
sprung from this marriage. Astyages, moved with fear lest this 
son of his daughter should rob him of his throne, sought to put 
him to death, but his design was frustrated. When Cyrus had 
reached manhood, Harpagus, an officer of the court of Astyages, 
who out of revenge had formed a conspiracy against him, called 
upon him at the head of the Persians to take the kingdom from his 
grandfather Astyages. Cyrus obeyed, moved the Persians to revolt 
from the Medes, attacked Astyages at Pasargada, and took him 
prisoner, but acted kindly toward him till his death ; after which he 
became king over the realm of the Medes and Persians, and as sucli 
destroyed first the Lydian, and then the Babylonian kingdom. He 
conquered the Babylonian king, Labynetus the younger, in battle, 
and then besieged Babylon ; and during a nocturnal festival of the 
Babylonians he penetrated the city by damming off the water of 
the Euphrates, and took it. Polysenus, Justin, and others follow 
in its details this very fabulous narrative, which is adorned with 
dreams and fictitious incidents. Ctesias also, who records traditions 
of the early history of Media altogether departing from Herodotus, 


and who names nine kings, yet agrees with Herodotus in this, that 
Cyrus overcame Astyages and dethroned him. Cf. the different 
accounts given by Greek writers regarding the overthrow of the 
Median dominion by the Persians in M. Duncker's Ges. d. Alterth. 
ii. p. 634 ff., 3d ed. 

Xenophon in the Cyropcedia reports somewhat otherwise re- 
garding Cyrus. According to him, the Median king Astyages, 
son of Cyaxares I., gave his daughter Mandane in marriage to 
Cambyses, the Persian king, who was under the Median supremacy, 
and that Cyrus was born of this marriage (i. 2. 1). When Cyrus 
arrived at man's estate Astyages died, and was succeeded on the 
Median throne by his son Cyaxares n., the brother of Mandane 
(i. 5. 2). When, after this, the Lydian king Croesus concluded a 
covenant with the king of the Assyrians (Babylonians) having in 
view the overthrow of the Medes and Persians, Cyrus received the 
command of the united army of the Medes and Persians (iii. 3. 
20 ff.) ; and when, after a victorious battle, Cyaxares was unwilling 
to proceed further, Cyrus carried forward the war by his permission, 
and destroyed the host of Croesus and the Assyrians, on hearing of 
which, Cyaxares, who had spent the night at a riotous banquet, fell 
into a passion, wrote a threatening letter to Cyrus, and ordered 
the Medes to be recalled (iv. 5. 18). But when they declared, on 
the statement given by Cyrus, their desire to remain with him 
(iv. 5. 18), Cyrus entered on the war against Babylon inde- 
pendently of Cyaxares (v. 3. 1). Having driven the Babylonian 
king back upon his capital, he sent a message to Cyaxares, desiring 
him to come that he might decide regarding the vanquished and 
regarding the continuance of the war (v. 5. 1). Inasmuch as 
all the Medes and the confederated nations adhered to Cyrus, 
Cyaxares was under the necessity of taking this step. He came to 
the camp of Cyrus, who exhibited to him his power by reviewing 
before him his whole host ; he then treated him kindly, and sup- 
plied him richly from the stores of the plunder he had taken (v. 
5. 1 ff.). After this the war against Babylonia was carried on in 
such a way, that Cyaxares, sitting on the Median throne, presided 
over the councils of war, but Cyrus, as general, had the conduct 
of it (vi. 1. 6) ; and after he had conquered Sardes, taken Croesus 
the king prisoner (vii. 2. 1), and then vanquished Hither Asia 
he returned to Babylon (vii. 4. 17), and during a nocturnal festival 
of the Babylonians took the city, whereupon the king of Babylon 
was slain (vii. 5. 15-33). After the conquest of Babylon the army 

OHAr. vi ]<35 

regarded Cyrus as king, and he began to conduct his affairs as if 
he were king (vii. 5. 37) ; but he went however to Media, to pre- 
sent himself before Cyaxares. He brought presents to him, and 
showed him that there was a house and palace ready for him in 
Babylon, where he might reside when he went thither 1 (viii. 5. 
17 f.). Cyaxares gave him his daughter to wife, and along with 
her, as her dowry, the whole of Media, for he had no son (viii. 5. 
19). Cyrus now went first to Persia, and arranged that his father 
Cambyses should retain the sovereignty of it so long as he lived, and 
that then it should fall to him. He then returned to Media, and 
married the daughter of Cyaxares (viii. 5. 28). He next went to 
Babylon, and placed satraps over the subjugated peoples, etc. (viii. 
6. 1), and so arranged that he spent the winter in Babylon, the 
spring in Susa, and the summer in Ecbatana (viii. 6. 22). Having 
reached an advanced old age, he caine for the seventh time during 
his reign to Persia, and died there, after he had appointed his son 
Cambyses as his successor (viii. 7. 1 ff.). 

This narrative by Xenophon varies from that of Herodotus in 
the following principal points: — (1) According to Herodotus, the line 
of Median kings closes with Astyages, who had no son ; Xenophon, 
on the contrary, speaks of Astyages as having been succeeded by 
his son Cyaxares on the throne. (2) According to Herodotus, Cyrus 
was related to the Median royal house only as being the son of the 
daughter of Astyages, and had a claim to the Median throne only 
as being the grandson of Astyages ; Xenophon, on the other hand, 
says that he was related to the royal house of Media, not only as 
being the grandson of Astyages and nephew of Cyaxares u., but 
also as having received in marriage the daughter of his uncle 
Cyaxares, and along with her the dowry of the Median throne. 
(3) According to Herodotus, Cyrus took part in the conspiracy 
formed by Harpagus against Astyages, slew his grandfather in 
battle, and took forcible possession of the dominion over the 
Medes ; on the contrary, Xenophon relates that, though he was at 
variance with Cyaxares, he became again reconciled to him, and 
not only did not dethrone him, but permitted him to retain royal 
dignity even after the overthrow of Babylon, which was not 
brought about without his co-operation. 

Of these discrepancies the first two form no special contradic- 

1 The ■words are: or/ oixo? alia eZypyftho; sh h TSa.fiv'huti xctl dpx-ia, onus 
t%fi xal 'mat Uslae ihby th ohua, on which L. Dindorf remarks, 
" oixoj videtur esse domus regia, dpxtia officio, palatina." 


tion. Xenophon only communicates more of the tradition than 
Herodotus, who, according to his custom, makes mention only of 
the more celebrated of the rulers, passing by those that are less 
so, 1 and closes the list of Median kings with Astyages. Accord- 
ingly, in not mentioning Cyaxares n., he not only overlooks the 
second relationship Cyrus sustained to the Median royal house, but 
also is led to refer the tradition that the last of the Median kings 
had no male descendant to Astyages. The third point only pre- 
sents an actual contradiction between the statements of Hero- 
dotus and those of Xenophon, viz. that according to Herodotus, 
Cyrus by force of arms took the kingdom from his grandfather, 
overcame Astyages in a battle at Pasargada, and dethroned him ; 
while according to Xenophon, the Median kingdom first fell to 
Cyrus by his command of the army, and then as the dowry of his 
wife. Shall we now on this point decide, with v. Leng., Hitzig, 
and others, in favour of Herodotus and against Xenophon, and 
erase Cyaxares II. from the list not only of the Median kings, but 
wholly from the page of history, because Herodotus and Ctesias 
have not made mention of him ? Has then Herodotus or Ctesias 
alone recorded historical facts, and that fully, and Xenophon in 
the Cyropcedia fabricated only a psedagogic romance destitute of 
historical veracitv ? All thorough investigators have testified to the 
very contrary, and Herodotus himself openly confesses (i. 95) that 
he gives only the sayings regarding Cyrus which appeared to him 
to be credible ; and yet the narrative, as given by him, consists 
only of a series of popular traditions which in his time were in 
circulation among the Medes, between two and three hundred years 
after the events. Xenophon also has gathered the historic ma- 
terial for his Cyropcedia only from tradition, but from Persian 
tradition, in which, favoured by the reigning dynasty, the Cyrus- 
legend, interwoven with the end of the Median independence and 
the founding of the Persian sovereignty, is more fully transmitted 
than among the Medes, whose national recollections, after the ex- 
tinction of their dynasty, were not fostered. If we may therefore 
oxpect more exact information in Xenophon than in Herodotus, 
yet it is imaginable that Xenophon transformed the narrative of 

1 Solere Herodotum prxtermissis mediocribus Tiominibus ex longa regum serie 
nonnisi unum alterumve memorare reliquis eminentiorem, et aliunde constat et 
ipsa Babylonise Mstoria docet, ct qua unius Nitocris reginx mentionem injicit 
reliquos reges omnes usque ad Labynetum, ne Ncbucadnezare quidem excepto 
silentio transit (i. 185-187).— Ges. Thes. p. 350. ' 

CHAP. VI. 197 

the rebellion by Cyrus and his war against Cyaxares into that 
which he has recorded as to the relation he sustained towards 
Cyaxares, in order that he might wipe out this moral stain from 
the character of his hero. But this supposition would only gain 
probability under the presumption of what Hitzig maintains, if it 
were established : " If, in Cyrop. viii. 5. 19, the Median of his own 
free will gave up his country to Cyrus, Xenophon's historical book 
shows, on the contrary, that the Persians snatched by violence the 
sovereignty from the Medes (Anab. iii. 4. 7, 11, 12) ;" but in the 
Anab. I.e. Xenophon does not say this, but (§ 8) only, ore irapa 
MijSoov ttjv apyjyv e\dfi/3avov FLepcrat,. 1 Thus, supposing the state- 
ment that the cities of Larissa and Mespila were besieged hy the 
Persian king at the time when the Persians gained the supremacy 
over the Medes were historically true, and Xenophon communi- 
cated here not a mere fabulam ab incolis narratam, yet Xenophon 
would not be found contradicting his Cyropcedia, since, as Kran. 
has well observed, " it can be nothing surprising that among a 
people accustomed to a native royal dynasty, however well founded 
Cyrus' claim in other respects might be, manifold commotions and 
insurrections should arise, which needed to be forcibly suppressed, 
so that thus the kingdom could be at the same time spoken of as 

Add to this the decisive fact, that the account given by Herod, 
of Cyrus and the overthrow of Astyages, of which even Duncker, 
p. 649, remarks, that in its prompting motive " it awakens great 
doubts," is in open contradiction with all the well-established facts 
of Medo-Persian history. " All authentic reports testify that in 
the formation of Medo-Persia the Medes and the Persians are sepa- 
rated in a peculiar way, and yet bound to each other as kindred 
races. If Herod, is right, if Astyages was always attempting to 
take Cyrus' life, if Cyrus took the kingdom from Astyages by 
force, then such a relation between the ' Medes and Persians ' (as 
it always occurs in the O. T.) would have been inconceivable ; the 
Medes would not have stood to the Persians in any other relation 

1 Concerning the expression lKi.plSu.vov rwv apicw, Dindorf remarks: " Ver- 
lum hoc Medos sponte Persarum imperio subjectos significat, quanquam 
narratio seditionem aliquam Larissensium arguere videatur. lgitur hie nihil est 
dissensionis inter Cyropxdiam et Anabasin. . . . Gravius eat quod Xenophon 
statim in simili narratione posuit, cm a.itiihina.'j t'/iv a.pyjhv inrii TLepoav Mijoo;. 
Sed ibidem scriptor incolaritm fidern antestatur." Thus the philologists are in 
their judgment of the matter opposed to the modern critics. 


than did the other subjugated peoples, e.g. the Babylonians" 
(Klief.). On the other hand, the account given by Xenophon 
regarding Cyaxares so fully agrees with the narrative of Daniel 
regarding Darius the Mede, that, as Hitzig confesses, " the identity 
of the two is beyond a doubt." If, according to Xen., Cyrus con- 
quered Babylon by the permission of Cyaxares, and after its over- 
throw not only offered him a " residence " there (Hitzig), but went 
to Media, presented himself before Cyaxares, and showed him that 
lie had appointed for him in Babylon oIkos /ecu ap%ela, in order 
that when he went thither eh ol/ceia Kardyeadai., i.e. in order that 
when, according to Eastern custom, he changed his residence he 
might have a royal palace there, so, according to Daniel, Darius 
did not overthrow the Chaldean kingdom, but received it (ch. vi. 
1), and was made king (J1?9tj cu - ' x - 1)j namely, by Cyrus, who, 
according to the prophecies of Isaiah, was to overthrow Babylon, 
and, according to Dan. vi. 29, succeeded Darius on the throne. 
The statement, also, that Darius was about sixty-two years old 
when he ascended the throne of the Chaldean kingdom, harmonizes 
with the report given by Xenophon, that when Cyaxares gave his 
daughter to Cyrus, he gave him along with her the kingdom of 
Media, because he had no male heir, and was so far advanced in 
years that he could not hope to have now any son. Finally, even 
in respect of character the Cyaxares of Xen. resembles the Darius 
of Daniel. As the former describes the conduct of Cyrus while he 
revelled in sensual pleasures, so Darius is induced by his nobles 
to issue an edict without obtaining any clear knowledge as to its 
motive, and allows himself to be forced to put it into execution, 
however sorrowful he might be on account of its relation to Daniel. 
After all this, there can be no reason to doubt the rei<m of 
Darius the Mede. But how long it lasted cannot be determined 
either from the book of Daniel, in which (ch. ix. 1) only the first 
year of his reign is named, or from any other direct sources. 
Ptolemy, in his Canon, places after Nabonadius the reign of Cyrus 
the Persian for nine years. With this, the words of Xenophon, 
rb efiSofiov eVt t^? avrov dpxfjs, which by supplying eVo? after 
e/3§o/j,ov are understood of seven years' reign, are combined, and 
thence it is concluded that Cyaxares reigned two years. But the 
supplement of eVo? is not warranted by the context. The supposi- 
tion, however, that Darius reigned for two years over Babylon is 
correct. For the Babylonian kingdom was destroyed sixty-eifht 
years after the commencement of the Exile. Since, then the 

CHAP. VI. 199 

seventy years of the Exile were completed in the first year of the 
reign of Cyrus (2 Chron. xxxvi. 22 f . ; Ezra i. 1), it follows that 
Cyrus became king two years after the overthrow of Babylon, and 
thus after Darius had reigned two years. See at ch. ix. 1, 2. 

From the shortness of the reign of Darius, united with the 
circumstance that Cyrus destroyed Babylon and pnt an end to 
the Chaldean kingdom, it is easy to explain how the brief and not 
very independent reign of Darius might be quite passed by, not 
only by Herodotus and Ctesias, and all later Greek historians, but 
also by Berosus. Although Cyrus only as commander-in-chief of 
the army of Cyaxares had with a Medo-Persian host taken Baby- 
lon, yet the tradition might speak of the conquering Persian as the 
lord of the Chaldean kingdom, without taking at all into account 
the Median chief king, whom in a brief time Cyrus the conqueror 
succeeded on the throne. In the later tradition of the Persians, 1 
from which all the historians known to us, with the exception of 
Berosus, have constructed their narrative, the Median rule over 
the Chaldean kingdom naturally sinks down into an insignificant 
place in relation to the independent government of the conqueror 
Cyrus and his people which was so soon to follow. The absence 
of all notice by Berosus, Herod., and Ctesias of the short Median 
reign can furnish no substantial ground for calling in question the 
statements of Xen. regarding Cyaxares, and of Daniel regarding 
the Median Darius, although all other witnesses for this were 
altogether of no force, which is indeed asserted, but has been 
proved by no one. 2 

1 " In the Babylonian tradition," Kranichfeld well remarks, " the memorable 
catastrophe of the overthrow of Babylon would, at all events, be joined to the 
warlike operations of Cyrus the conquering Persian, who, according to Xenoph., 
conducted himself in Babylon as a king (cf. Cyrop. vii. 5. 37), and it might be 
very indifferent to the question for whom he specially undertook the siege. 
The Persian tradition had in the national interest a reason for ignoring alto- 
gether the brief Median feudal sovereignty over Babylon, which, besides, was 
only brought about by the successful war of a Persian prince." 

2 Of these witnesses the notice by Abydenus (Chron. Armen., Euseb.) already 
mentioned, p. 164, bears in its aphoristic brevity, " Darius the king removed 
him out of the land," altogether the stamp of an historical tradition, and can 
be understood only of Darius the Mede, since Eusebius has joined it to the 
report regarding the dethroning of the last Babylonian king by Cyrus. Also, 
the often-quoted lines of iEschylus, Pars. 762-765, 

MijSoj yap yv 6 vpZro; '/lytfiu'j arparov, 
"AAAo, 3' iKStiiov irais r&'tf zpyoy yvvtn .... 
Tfiiros 8' dr' ciOtov Kvpo; tiihuifiuv unqp, x.r.A.,— 


This result is not rendered doubtful by the fact that Xenophon 
calls this Median king Kva^dprp and describes him as the son ol 
Astyages, while, on the contrary, Daniel calls him Darjawesch 
(Darius) the son of Ahasuerus (ch. ix. 1). The name Kvatjdprjs 
is the Median Uwakshatra, and means autocrat ; 'AaTvdyns corre- 
sponds to the Median AjisdaMka, the name of the Median dynasty, 
meaning the biting serpent (cf. Nieb. Gesch. Assurs, p. 175 f.). 
W"H, Aapetos, the Persian Darjawusch, rightly explained by Herod, 
vi. 98 by the word ep^eirj';, means the keeper, ruler; and PTVlB'riR, 
Aliasverus, as the name of Xerxes, in the Persian cuneiform in- 
scriptions Kschajdrschd, is certainly formed, however one may 
interpret the name, from Kschaja, kingdom, the title of the Persian 
rulers, like the Median " Astyages." The names Cyaxares and 
Darjawesch are thus related to each other, and are the paternal 
names of both dynasties, or the titles of the rulers. Xenophon 
has communicated to us the Median name and title of the last 
king; Daniel gives, as it appears, the Persian name and title which 
Cyaxares, as king of the united Chaldean and Medo-Persian king- 
dom, received and bore. 

The circumstances reported in this chapter occurred, according 
to the statement in ver. 29a, in the first of the two years' reign of 
Darius over Babylon. The matter and object of this report are 
related to the events recorded in ch. iii. As in that chapter 
Daniel's companions are condemned to be cast into the fiery 
furnace on account of their transgression of the royal com- 
mandment enjoining them to fall down before the golden image 
that had been set up by Nebuchadnezzar, so here in this chapter 
Daniel himself is cast into the den of lions because of his trans- 
gression of the command enjoining that prayer was to be offered 

are in the simplest manner explained historically if by the work which the first 
Mede began and the second completed, and which yet brought all the glory to 
the third, viz. Cyrus, is understood the taking of Babylou ; according to which 
Astyages is the first, Cyaxares II. the second, and Cyrus the third, and ^Eschylus 
agrees with Xenophon. Other interpretations, e.g. of Phraortes and Cyaxares I., 
agree with no single report. Finally, the Darics also give evidence for Darius 
the Mede, since of all explanations of the name of this gold coin (the Daric) its 
derivation from a king Darius is the most probable ; and so also do the state- 
ments of the rhetorician Harpocration, the scholiast to Aristophanis Eccksiaz. 
589, and of Suidas, that the A*p s/xo/did not derive their name, as most suppose, 
from Darius the father of Xerxes, but from another and an older king (Darius)' 
according to the declaration of Herodot. iv. 166, that Darius first struck this 
coin, which is not outweighed by his scanty knowledge of the more ancient 
history of the Medes and Persians. 

CIUP. VI. 201 

to no other god, but to tlie king only. The. motive of the accu- 
sation is, in the one case as in the other, envy on account of the 
high position which the Jews had reached in the kingdom, and the 
object of it was the driving of the foreigners from. their influential 
offices. The wonderful deliverance also of the faithful worship- 
pers of God from the death which threatened them, with the 
consequences of that deliverance, are alike in both cases. But 
along with these similarities there appear also differences altogether 
corresponding to the circumstances, which show that historical 
facts are here related to us, and not the products of a fiction formed 
for a purpose. In ch. iii. Nebuchadnezzar requires all the sub- 
jects of his kingdom to do homage to the image he had set up, 
and to worship the gods of his kingdom, and his command affords 
to the enemies of the Jews the wished-for opportunity of accusing 
the friends of Daniel of disobedience to the royal will. In ch. vi., 
on the other hand, Darius is moved and induced by his great 
officers of state, whose design was to set Daniel aside, to issue the 
edict there mentioned, and he is greatly troubled when he sees 
the application of the edict to the case of Daniel. The character 
of Darius is fundamentally different from that of Nebuchadnezzar. 
The latter was a king distinguished by energy and activity, a 
perfect autocrat ; the former, a weak prince and wanting in energy, 
who allowed himself to be guided and governed by his state officers. 
The command of Nebuchadnezzar to do homage to his gods is the 
simple consequence of the supremacy of the ungodly world-power; 
the edict extorted from Darius, on the contrary, is a deification of 
the world-power for the purpose of oppressing the true servants of 
God. The former command only places the gods of the world- 
power above the living God of heaven and earth ; the latter edict 
seeks wholly to set aside the recognition of this God, if only for a 
time, by forbidding prayer to be offered to Him. This tyranny 
of the servants of the world-power is more intolerable than the 
tyranny of the world-ruler. 

Thus the history recorded in this chapter shows, on the one 
side, how the ungodly world-power in its progressive development 
assumes an aspect continually more hostile toward the kingdom of 
God, and how with the decrease of its power of action its hatred 
against the true servants of God increases ; and it shows, on the 
other side, how the Almighty God not only protects His worship- 
pers against all the intrigues and machinations of the enemy, but 
also requites the adversaries according to their deeds. Dar.iel was 


protected against the rage of the lions, while his enemies were 
torn by them to pieces as soon as they were cast into the den. 

This miracle of divine power is so vexatious to the modern 
critics, that Bleek, v. Leng., Hitzig, and others have spared no 
pains to overthrow the historical trustworthiness of the narrative, 
and represent it as a fiction written with a design. Not only docs 
the prohibition to offer any petition to any god or man except 
to the king for a month " not find its equal in absurdity," but 
the typology (Daniel an antitype of Joseph !) as well as the 
relation to ch. iii. betray the fiction. Darius, it is true, does not 
show himself to be the type of Antiochus Epiphanes, also the 
command, vers. 27 and 28, puts no restraint in reality on those 
concerned ; but by the prohibition, ver. 8, the free exercise of their 
religion is undoubtedly attacked, and such hostility against the 
faith found its realization for the first time only and everywhere 
in the epoch of Antiochus Epiphanes. Consequently, according 
to Hitzig, " the prohibition here is reflected from that of Antiochus 
Epiphanes (1 Mace. i. 41-50), and exaggerates it even to a carica- 
ture of it, for the purpose of placing clearly in the light the hate- 
fulness of such tyranny." 

On the contrary, the advocates of the genuineness of Daniel 
have conclusively shown that the prohibition referred to, ver. 8, 
corresponds altogether to the religious views of the Medo-Persians, 
while on the other hand it is out and out in contradiction to the 
circumstances of the times of the Maccabees. Thus, that the edict 
did not contemplate the removal or the uprooting of all religious 
worship except praying to the king, is clearly manifest not only 
in this, that the prohibition was to be enforced for one month 
only, but also in the intention which the magnates had in their 
eye, of thereby effecting certainly the overthrow of Daniel. The 
religious restraint which was thus laid upon the Jews for a month 
is very different from the continual rage of Antiochus Epiphanes 
against the Jewish worship of God. Again, not only is the cha- 
racter of Darius and his relation to Daniel, as the opponents 
themselves must confess, such as not to furnish a type in which 
Antiochus Epiphanes may be recognised, but the enemies of 
Daniel do not really become types of this tyrant ; for they seek 
his overthrow not from religious antipathy, but, moved only by 
vulgar envy, they seek to cast him down from his lofty position in 
the state. Thus also in this respect the historical point of view 
of the hostility to Daniel as representing Judaism, is fundamen- 

ciLvp. vi. 1-10. 203 

tally different from that of the war waged by Antiochus against 
Judaism, so that this narrative is destitute of every characteristic 
mark of the Seleucidan-Maccabee sera. Cf. the further repre- 
sentation of this difference by Kranichfeld, p. 229 ff. — The 
views of Hitzig will be met in our exposition. 

Vers. 1-10 (ch. v. 31-vi. 9). Transference of the kingdom to 
Darius the Mede ; appointment of the regency ; envy of the satraps 
against Daniel, and their attempt to destroy him. 

The narrative of this chapter is connected by the copula 1 with 
the occurrence recorded in the preceding ; yet ver. 1 does not, as 
in the old versions and with many interpreters, belong to the fifth 
chapter, but to the sixth, and forms not merely the bond of con- 
nection between the events narrated in the fifth and sixth chapters, 
but furnishes at the same time the historical basis for the followini' 
narrative, vers. 2 (1)— 29 (28). The statement of the verse, that 
Darius the Mede received the kingdom when he was about sixty- 
two years old, connects itself essentially with ch. v. 30, so far as 
it joins to the fulfilment, there reported, of the first part of the 
sacred writing interpreted by Daniel to Belshazzar, the fulfilment 
also of the second part of that writing, but not so closely that the 
designation of time, in that same night (ch. v. 30), is applicable 
also to the fact mentioned in ch. vi. 1 (v. 31), and as warranting 
the supposition that the transference of the kingdom to Darius the 
Mede took place on the night in which Belshazzar was slain. 
Against such a chronological connection of these two verses, ch. 
v. 30 and vi. 1 (v. 31), we adduce in the second half of ver. 1 
(ch. v. 31) the statement of the age of Darius, in addition to the 
reasons already adduced in p. 163. This is not to make it remark- 
able that, instead of the young mad debauchee (Belshazzar), with 
whom, according to prophecy, the Chaldean bondage of Israel was 
brought to an end, a man of mature judgment seized the reigns of 
government (Delitzsch) ; for this supposition fails not only with 
the hypothesis, already confuted, on which it rests, but is quite 
foreign to the text, for Darius in what follows does not show him- 
self to be a ruler of matured experience. The remark of Kliefoth 
has much more in its favour, that by the statement of the age it 
is designed to be made prominent that the government of Darius 
the Mede did not last long, soon giving place to that of Cyrus the 
Persian, ver. 29 (28), whereby the divine writing, that the Chaldean 
kingdom would be given to the Medes and Persians, was fully ac- 


complished. Regarding Darjaicesch, Darius, see the preliminary 
remarks. The addition of ttnq (Ketliiv) forms on the one hand 
a contrast to the expression " the king of the Chaldeans " (ch. v. 
30), and on the other it points forward to N'?"J?, ver. 29 (28) ; it, 
however, furnishes no proof that Daniel distinguished the Median 
kingdom from the Persian; for the kingdom is not called a Median 
kingdom, but it is only said of Darius that he was of Median 
descent, and, ver. 29 (28), that Cyrus the Persian succeeded him 
in the kingdom. In bzp, he received the kingdom, it is indicated 
that Darius did not conquer it, but received it from the conqueror ; 
see p. 198. The 3 in 133 intimates that the statement of the age 
rests only on a probable estimate. 

Ver. 2 (1). For the government of the affairs of the kingdom 
he had received, and especially for regulating the gathering in of 
the tribute of the different provinces, Darius placed 120 satraps 
over the whole kingdom, and over these satraps three chiefs, to 
whom the satraps should give an account. Regarding N'JS'nB'nx 
(satraps), see at ch. iii. 2. p3"]D, plur. of Ti° ; N31D has in the 
Semitic no right etymology, and is derived from the Aryan, from 
the Zend, sara, cara, head, with the syllable ach. In the Targg., in 
use for the Hebr. it?**', it denotes a president, of whom the three 
named in ver. 2 (1), by their position over the satraps, held the 
rank of chief governors or ministers, for which the Targg. use |3"iD, 
while P31D in ver. 8 denotes all the military and civil prefects of the 

The modern critics have derived from this arrangement for the 
government of the kingdom made by Darius an argument against 
the credibility of the narrative, which Hitzig has thus formulated : 
— According to Xenophon, "Cyrus first appointed satraps over the 
conquered regions, and in all to the number of six (Cyrop. viii. 6, 
§1,7); according to the historian Herodotus, on the contrary 
(iii. 89 ff.), Darius Hystaspes first divided the kingdom into twenty 
satrapies for the sake of the administration of the taxes. With 
tills statement agrees the number of the peoples mentioned on the 
Inscription at Bisutun ; and if elsewhere (Insc. J. and Nakschi 
Eustam) at least twenty-four and also twenty-nine are mentioned, 
we know that several regions or nations might be placed under one 
satrap (Herod. l.c). The kingdom was too small for 120 satraps 
in the Persian sense. On the other hand, one may not appeal to 
the 127 provinces (niano) of king Ahasuerus = Xerxes (Esth. i. 1, 
ix. 30) ; for the ruler of the riJHO is not the same as (Esth. viii. 9) 

CHAP. VI. 1-10. 205 

the satrap. In Esth. HI. 12 it is the nns, as e.g. of the province 
of Judah (Hag. i. 1 ; Mai. i. 8 ; Neh. v. 14). It is true there 
were also greater provinces, such e.g. as of Media and Babylonia 
(Ezra vi. 2 ; Dan. ii. 49), and perhaps also pecha ( n "S) might be 
loosely used to designate a satrap (Ezra v. 3, vi. 6) ; yet the 127 
provinces were not such, nor is a satrap interchangeably called a 
pecha. When Daniel thus mentions so large a number of satraps, 
it is the Grecian satrapy that is apparently before his mind. Under 
Seleucus Nicator there were seventy-two of these. 

The foundation of this argument, viz. that Darius Hystaspes, 
" according to the historian Herodotus," first divided the kingdom 
into satrapies, and, of course, also that the statement by Xenophon 
of the sending of six satraps into the countries subdued by Cyrus 
is worthy of no credit, is altogether unhistorical, resting only on 
the misinterpretation and distortion of the testimonies adduced. 
Neither Herodotus nor Xenophon represents the appointment of 
satraps by Cyrus and Darius as an entirely new and hitherto un- 
tried method of governing the kingdom ; still less does Xenophon 
say that Cyrus sent in all only six satraps into the subjugated 
countries. It is true he mentions by name (viii. 6, 7) only six 
satraps, but he mentions also the provinces into which they were 
sent, viz. one to Arabia, and the other five to Asia Minor, with the 
exception, however, of Cilicia, Cyprus, and Paphlagonia, to which 
he did not send any Ilepaas aaTpdirat, because they had voluntarily 
joined him in fighting against Babylon. Hence it is clear as noon- 
day that Xenophon speaks only of those satraps whom Cyrus sent 
to Asia Minor and to Arabia, and says nothing of the satrapies of 
the other parts of the kingdom, such as Judea, Syria, Babylonia, 
Assyria, Media, etc., so that no one can affirm that Cyrus sent in 
all only six satraps into the conquered countries. As little does 
Herodotus, I.e., say that Darius Hystaspes was the first to intro- 
duce the government of the kingdom by satraps : he only says that 
Darius Hystaspes divided the whole kingdom into twenty apyai 
which were called aaTpairTjiai, appointed ap^ovTei, and regulated 
the tribute ; for he numbers these satrapies simply with regard to 
the tribute with which each was chargeable, while under Cyrus 
and Cambyses no tribute was imposed, but presents only were 
contributed. Consequently, Herod, speaks only of a regulation 
for the administration of the different provinces of the kingdom 
for the special purpose of the certain payment of the tribute which 
Darius Hystaspes had appointed. Thus the historian M. Duncker 


also understands this statement; for he says (Gesch. des Alterth- 
ii. p. 891) regarding it: — "About the year 515 Darius established 
fixed government-districts in place of the vice-regencies which 
Cyrus and Cambyses had appointed and changed according to 
existing exigencies. He divided the kingdom into twenty satrapies." 
Then at p. 893 he further shows how this division also of the king- 
dom by Darius was not fixed unchangeably, but was altered accord- 
ing to circumstances. Hitzig's assertion, that the kingdom was too 
small for 120 satrapies in the Persian sense, is altogether ground- 
less. From Esth. viii. 9 and iii. 19 it follows not remotely, that not 
satraps but the nina represent the DijHO. In ch. viii. 9 satraps, 
nins, and niiHtsrj , hk> are named, and in ch. iii. 12 they are called the 
king's satraps and nrie by -id : k Dins. On Esth. iii. 12 Bertheau 
remarks : " The peclias, who are named along with the satraps, 
are probably the officers of the circles within the separate satrapies; 1 ' 
and in ch. viii. 9 satraps and peclias are named as nijntsn , "ia', i.e. 
presidents, superintendents of the 127 provinces of the kingdom 
from India to Ethiopia, from which nothing can be concluded 
regarding the relation of the satraps to the peclias. Berth, make? 
the same remark on Ezra viii. 36 : — " The relation of the king's 
satraps to the pachavotli abar nahara (governors on this side the 
river) we cannot certainly determine ; the former were probably 
chiefly military rulers, and the latter government officials." For 
the assertion that pecha is perhaps loosely used for satrap, but that 
interchangeably a satrap cannot be called a pecha, rests, unproved, 
on the authority of Hitzig. 

From the book of Esther it cannot certainly be proved that so 
many satraps were placed over the 127 provinces into which Xerxes 
divided the kingdom, but only that these provinces were ruled by 
satraps and peclias. But the division of the whole kingdom into 
127 provinces nevertheless shows that the kingdom might have 
been previously divided under Darius the Mede into 120 provinces, 
whose prefects might be called in this verse nSTI^nx, i.e. hschatra- 
pavan, -protectors of the kingdom or of the provinces, since this title 
is derived from the Sanscrit and Old Persian, and is not for the 
first time used under Darius Hystaspes or Cyrus. The Median 
Darius might be led to appoint one satrap, i.e. a prefect clothed 
with military power, over each district of his kingdom, since 
the kingdom was but newly conquered, that he might be able at 
once to suppress every attempt at insurrection among the nations 
coming under his dominion. The separation of the civil govern- 

CHAP. VI. 1-10. 207 

merit, particularly in the matter of the raising of tribute, from the 
military government, or the appointment of satraps ot tov Baa-fiov 
"kafifiavovre 1 ;, k.t.\., along with the <ppovpap%oi and the %i\.iapxpi, 
for the protection of the boundaries of the kingdom, was first 
adopted, according to Xenophon I.e., by Cyrus, who next appointed 
satraps for the provinces of Asia Minor and of Arabia, which were 
newly brought under his sceptre ; while in the older provinces 
which had formed the Babylonian kingdom, satrapies which were 
under civil and military rulers already existed from the time of 
Nebuchadnezzar ; cf . Dan. ii. 3 ff. This arrangement, then, did 
not originate with Darius Hystaspes in the dividing of the whole 
kingdom into twenty satrapies mentioned by Herodotus. Thus 
the statements of Herodotus and Xenophon harmonize perfectly 
with those of the Scriptures, and every reason for regarding with 
suspicion the testimony of Daniel wholly fails. 

Vers. 2, 3 (1, 2). According to ver. 2, Darius not only ap- 
pointed 120 satraps for all the provinces and districts of his king- 
dom, but he also placed the whole body of the satraps under a 
government consisting of three presidents, who should reckon with 
the individual satraps. NW, in the Targg. nW, the height, with 
the adverb JO, higher than, above. N>?l?U 3iV, to give reckoning, to 
account. ptt, part, of p.M, to suffer loss, particularly with reference 
to the revenue. This triumvirate, or higher authority of three, 
was also no new institution by Darius, but according to ch. v. 7, 
already existed in the Chaldean kingdom under Belshazzar, and 
was only continued by Darius ; and the satraps or the district 
rulers of the several provinces of the kingdom were subordinated 
to them. Daniel was one of the triumvirate. Since it is not men- 
tioned that Darius first appointed him to this office, we may cer- 
tainly conclude that he only confirmed him in the office to which 
Belshazzar had promoted him. 

Ver. 4 (3). In this situation Daniel excelled all the presidents 
and satraps, ns^rix, to shoia one's self prominent. Eegarding his 
excellent spirit, cf. ch. v. 12. On that account the king thought to 
set him over the whole kingdom, i.e. to make him chief ruler of 
the kingdom, to make him ^ fUM? (Esth. x. 3). n'E'jJ for nyy, 
intrans. form of the Peal, to think, to consider about anything. This 
intention of the king stirred up the envy of the other presidents 
and of the satraps, so that they sought to find an occasion against 
Daniel, that he might be cast down, fw, an occasion ; here, as 
atria, John xviii. 38, Matt, xxvii. 37, an occasion for impeachment. 


tOT^O ISC, on the part of the kingdom, i.e. not merely in a political 
sense, but with regard to hi3 holding a public office in the king- 
dom, with reference to his service. But since they could find no 
occasion against Daniel in this respect, for he was \v™, faithful, 
to he relied on, and no fault could be charged against him, they 
sought occasion against him on the side of his particular religion, 
in the matter of the law of his God, i.e. in his worship of God. 

Ver. 7 (6). For this end they induced the king to sanction 
and ratify with all the forms of law a decree, which they contrived 
as the result of the common consultation of all the high officers, 
that for thirty days no man in the kingdom should offer a prayer 
to any god or man except to the king, on paiu of being cast into 
the den of lions, and to issue this command as a law of the Medes 
and Persians, i.e. as an irrevocable law. B^"!?, from t'ii to make a 
noise, to rage, in Aphel c. ?S, to assail one in a tumultuous manner, 
i.e. to assault him. " These presidents and satraps (princes)," 
ver. 7 (6), in ver. 6 (5) designated " these men," and not the whole 
body of the presidents and satraps, are, according to ver. 5 (4), 
the special enemies of Daniel, who wished to overthrow him. It 
was only a definite number of them who may have had occasion 
to be dissatisfied with Daniel's service. The words of the text do 
not by any means justify the supposition that the whole council of 
state assembled, and in corpore presented themselves before the 
king (Havernick) ; for neither in ver. 5 (4) nor in ver. 7 (6) is 
mention made of all (i>3) the presidents and satraps. From tht 
fact also that these accusers of Daniel, ver. 25 (24), represent to 
the king that the decree they had framed was the result of a con- 
sultation of all the prefects of the kingdom, it does not follow that 
all the satraps and chief officers of the whole kingdom had come 
to Babylon in order, as Dereser thinks, to lay before the three 
overseers the annual account of their management of the affairs 
of their respective provinces, on which occasion they took counsel 
together against Daniel ; from which circumstance Hitzig and 
others derive an argument against the historical veracity of the 
narrative. The whole connection of the narrative plainly shows 
that the authors of the accusation deceived the kinc. The council 
of state, or the chief court, to which all the satraps had to render 
an account, consisted of three men, of whom Daniel was one. But 
Daniel certainly was not called to this consultation ; therefore 
their pretence, that all "presidents of the kingdom" had con- 
sulted on the matter, was false. Besides, they deceived the kin" 

chap. vi. 1-10. 209 

in this, that they concealed from him the intention of the decree, 
or misled him regarding it. WnK means not merely that they 
consulted together, but it includes the result of the consultation : 
they were of one mind (Hitz.). 

Ver. 8. Krnnpp "0"iD ?b does not denote the three presidents 
named in ver. 3 (2), but all the prefects of the kingdom, of whom 
there were four classes, as is acknowledged by Chr. B. Michaelis, 
though Hitz. opposes this view. Such an interpretation is required 
by the genitive NriiapD, and by the absence of So, or at least of the 
copula i, before the official names that follow ; while the objection, 
that by this interpretation just the chief presidents who are prin- 
cipally concerned are omitted (Hitz.), is without foundation, for 
they are comprehended under the word NJ3JD. If we compare the 
list of the four official classes here mentioned with that of the great 
officers of state under Nebuchadnezzar, ch. iii. 2, the naming of 
the N'33D before the N^£H' ! lB'nK (satraps) (while in ch. iii. 2 they are 
named after them) shows that the N|^D are here great officers to 
whom the satraps were subordinate, and that only the three J^ID 
could be meant to whom the satraps had to render an account. 
Moreover, the list of four names is divided by the copula i into 
two classes. To the first class belong the K^3D and the satraps ; 
to the second the H^O, state councillors, and the ^JYin^ civil pre- 
fects of the provinces. Accordingly, we will scarcely err if by N>33D 
we understand the members of the highest council of state, by "Jl^'jin 
the ministers or members of the (lower) state council, and by the 
satraps and pechas the military and civil rulers of the provinces. 
This grouping of the names confirms, consequently, the general 
interpretation of the Nfiwo '•ai.D ?3, for the four classes named 
constitute the entire chief prefecture of the kingdom. This inter- 
pretation is not made questionable by the fact that the T^D had 
in the kingdom of Darius a different position from that they held 
in the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar; for in this respect each king- 
dom had its own particular arrangement, which underwent mani- 
fold changes according to the times. 

The infinitive clause 'Hi D$ KOJjA presents the conclusion arrived 
at by the consultation. K3^? is not the genitive to D^, but accord- 
ing to the accents and the context is the subject of the infinitive 
clause : that the king should appoint a statute, not that a royal statute 
should be appointed. According to the analogy of the pronoun and 
of the dimin. noun, the accusative is placed before the subject-geni- 
tive, as e.g. Isa. xx. 1, v. 24, so as not to separate from one another 



the tJ'J? Ktt'j? (to establish a statute) and the *ipx nsjOT (to make a 
firm decree). Ver. 9a requires this construction. It is the king 
who issues the decree, and not his chief officers of state, as would 
have been the case if S3^"? were construed as the genitive to 
Cp. D^p, manifesto, ordinance, command. The command is more 
accurately defined by the parallel clause "IDS ns^n, to make fast, 
i.e. to decree a prohibition. The officers wished that the king should 
issue a decree which should contain a binding prohibition, i.e. it 
should forbid, on pain of death, any one for the space of thirty 
days, i.e. for a month, to offer any prayer to a god or man except 
to the king. W3 is here not any kind of request or supplication, 
but prayer, as the phrase ver. 14(13), FiJflJQ KJB, directing his prayer, 
shows. The word twttt does not prove the contrary, for the heathen 
prayed also to men (cf. ch. ii. 46) ; and here the clause, except 
to the king, places together god and man, so that the king might not 
observe that the prohibition was specially directed against Daniel. 

Ver. 9. In order that they may more certainly gain their object, 
they request the king to put the prohibition into writing, so that 
it might not be changed, i.e. might not be set aside or recalled, 
according to the law of the Medes and Persians, in conformity with 
which an edict once emitted by the king in all due form, i.e. given 
in writing and sealed with the king's seal, was unchangeable ; cf. 
ver. 16 and Esth. viii. 8, i. 19. "?.?£ t6 n, which cannot pass 
away, i.e. cannot be set aside, is irrevocable. The relative ,r i refers 
to rn, by which we are not to understand, with v. Lengerke, the 
entire national law of the Medes and Persians, as if this were so 
unalterable that no law could be disannulled or chanced according 
to circumstances, but rn is every separate edict of the king emitted 
in the form of law. This remains unchangeable and irrevocable, 
because the king was regarded and honoured as the incarnation of 
deity, who is unerring and cannot change. 

Ver. 10. The king carried out the proposal. ""IDXI is explica- 
tive : the writing, namely, the prohibition (spoken of) ; for this 
was the chief matter, therefore tops alone is here mentioned, and 
not also DJi? (edict), ver. 8. 

The right interpretation of the subject-matter and of the 
foundation of the law which was sanctioned by the king, sets aside 
the objection that the prohibition was a senseless " bedlamite " 
law (v. Leng.), which instead of regulating could only break up 
all society. The law would be senseless only if the prohibition 
had related to every petition in common life in the intercourse of 

CHAP. VI. 1-10. 211 

civil society. But it only referred to the religious sphere of prayer, 
as an evidence of worshipping God ; and if the king was venerated 
as an incarnation of the deity, then it was altogether reasonable 
in its character. And if we consider that the intention of tho 
law, which they concealed from the king, was only to effect Daniel's 
overthrow, the law cannot be regarded as designed to press Parsism 
or the Zend religion on all the nations of the kingdom, or to put 
an end to religious freedom, or to make Parsism the world-religion. 
Rather, as Kliefoth has clearly and justly shown, " the object of 
the law was only to bring about the general recognition of the 
principle that the king was the living manifestation of all the 
gods, not only of the Median and Persian, but also of the Baby- 
lonian and Lydian, and all the gods of the conquered nations. 
It is therefore also not correct that the king should be represented 
as the incarnation of Ormuzd. The matter is to be explained not 
from Parsism alone, but from heathenism in general. According 
to the general fundamental principle of heathenism, the ruler is 
the son, the representative, the living manifestation of the people's 
gods, and the world-ruler thus the manifestation of all the gods 
of the nations that were subject to him. Therefore all heathen 
world -rulers demanded from the heathen nations subdued bj 
them, that religious homage should be rendered to them in the 
manner peculiar to each nation. Now that is what was here 
sought. All the nations subjected to the Medo-Persian kingdom 
were required not to abandon their own special worship rendered 
to their gods, but in fact to acknowledge that the Medo-Persian 
world-ruler Darius was also the son and representative of their 
national gods. For this purpose they must for the space of thirty 
days present their petitions to their national gods only in him as 
their manifestation. And the heathen nations could all do this 
without violating their consciences ; for since in their own manner 
they served the Median king as the son of their gods, they served 
their gods in him. The Jews, however, were not in the condition 
of being able to regard the king as a manifestation of Jehovah, 
and thus for them there was involved in the law truly a religious 
persecution, although the heathen king and his satraps did not 
thereby intend religious persecution, but regarded such disobedi- 
ence as only culpable obstinacy and political rebellion." * 

1 Brissonius, Be regio Persarumprinc. p. 17 sqq., has collected the testimonies 
of the ancients to the fact that the Persian kings laid claim to divine honour. 
Persas reges sitos inter Deos colere, majestatem enim imperii salutis esse tutdam; 


The religious persecution to which this law subjected the Jews 
was rendered oppressive by this: that the Jews were brought by it 
into this situation, that for a whole month they must either omit 
prayer to God, and thus sin against their God, or disregard the 
king's prohibition. The satraps had thus rightly formed their 
plan. Since without doubt they were aware of Daniel's piety, 
they could by this means hope with certainty to gain their object 
in his overthrow. There is no ground for rejecting the narrative 
in the fact that Darius, without any suspicion, gave their con- 
trivance the sanction of law. We do not need, on the contrary, 
to refer to the indolence of so many kings, who permit themselves 
to be wholly guided by their ministers, although the description 
we have of Cyaxares n. by Xenophon accords very well with 
this supposition ; for from the fact that Darius appears to have 
sanctioned the law without further consideration about it, it does 
not follow that he did not make inquiry concerning the purpose 
of the plan formed by the satraps. The details of the intercourse 
of the satraps with the king concerning the occasion and object 
of the law Daniel has not recorded, for they had no significance 
in relation to the main object of the narrative. If the satraps 
represented to the king the intention of compelling, by this law, 
all the nationalities that were subject to his kingdom to recognise 
his royal power and to prove their loyalty, then the propriety of 
this design would so clearly recommend itself to him, that without 
reflection he gave it the sanction of law. 

Vers. 11 (10)-25 (24). DanieVs offence against the law; his 
accusation, condemnation, and miraculous deliverance from the den 
of lions; and the punishment of his accusers. 

The satraps did not wait long for Daniel's expected disregard 
of the king's prohibition. It was Daniel's custom, on bended 
knees, three times a day to offer prayer to his God in the upper 
chamber of his house, the window thereof being open towards 
Jerusalem. He continued this custom even after the issuing of 


Curtius, viii. 5. 11. With this cf. Plutarch, Themist. c. 27. And that this 
custom, -which even Alexander the Great (Curt. vi. 6. 2) followed, was derived 
from the Medes, appears from the statement of Herodotus, i. 99, that Dejoces mpi 
iuvrou atfiviisiu, withdrew his royal person from the view of men. The ancient 
Egyptians and Ethiopians paid divine honours to their kings, according to Diod. 
Sic. i. 90, iii. 3, 5 ; and it is well known that the Roman emperors required that 
their images should be worshipped with religious veneration. 

CHAP. VI. 11-25. 213' 

the edict ; for a discontinuance of it on account of that law would 
have been a denying of the faith and a sinning against God. On 
this his enemies had reckoned. They Secretly watched him, and 
immediately reported his disregard of the king's command. In 
ver. 11 the place where he was wont to pray is more particularly 
described, in order that it might be shown how they could observe 
him. In the upper chamber of his house (n^y, Hebr. nj^, 1 Kings 
xvii. 19, 2 Sam. xix. 1), which was wont to be resorted to when 
one wished to he undisturbed, e.g. wished to engage in prayer (cf. 
Acts i. 13, x. 9), the windows were open, i.e. not closed with 
lattice-work (cf. Ezek. xl. 16), opposite to, i.e. in the direction 
of, Jerusalem. PI? does not refer to Daniel : he had opened 
windows, but to iW?? : his house had open loindows. If PD referred 
to Daniel, then the Win following would be superfluous. The custom 
of turning in prayer toward Jerusalem originated after the build- 
ing of the temple at Jerusalem as the dwelling-place of Jehovah ; 
cf. 1 Kings viii. 33, 35, Ps. v. 8, xxviii. 2. The offering of 
prayer three times a day, — namely, at the third, sixth, and ninth 
hour, i.e. at the time of the morning and the evening sacrifices 
and at mid-day, — was not first introduced by the men of the Great 
Synagogue, to whom the uncritical rabbinical tradition refers all 
ancient customs respecting the worship of God, nor is the opinion 
of v. Leng., Hitz., and others, that it is not of later origin than 
the time of the Median Darius, correct; but its origin is to be traced 
back to the times of David, for we find the first notice of it in 
Ps. Iv. 18. If Daniel thus continued to offer prayer daily (tt~!\ft= 
^l^ 1 ?, ch. ii. 23) at the open window, directing his face toward 
Jerusalem, after the promulgation of the law, just as he had been 
in the habit of doing before it, then there was neither ostentation 
nor pharisaic hypocrisy, nor scorn and a tempting of God, as 
Kirmss imagines ; but his conduct was the natural result of his 
fear of God and of his religion, under the influence of which he 
offered prayers not to make an outward show, for only secret 
spies could observe him when so engaged. '"! ?5P •'? does not 
mean altogether so as (Rosenmiiller, v. Leng., Maur., Hitzig), but, 
as always, on this account because, because. Because he always did 
thus, so now he continues to do it. 

Ver. 12 (11). When Daniel's enemies had secretly observed 
him praying, they rushed into the house while he was offering his 
supplications, that they might apprehend him in the very act and 
be able to bring him to punishment. That the act of watching 


him is not particularly mentioned, since it is to be gathered from 
the context, does not make the fact itself doubtful, if one only does 
not arbitrarily, with Hitzig, introduce all kinds of pretences for 
throwing suspicion on the narrative ; as e.g. by inquiring whether 
the 122 satraps had placed themselves in ambush ; why Daniel had 
not guarded against them, had not shut himself in ; and the like. 
^P.'}, as ver. 7, to rush forward, to press in eagerly, here " shows 
the greatness of the zeal with which they performed their business " 

Ver. 13 (12). They immediately accused him to the king. 
[Reminding the king of the promulgation of the prohibition, they 
showed him that Daniel, one of the captive Jews, had not regarded 
the king's command, but had continued during the thirty days to 
pray to his own God, and thus had violated the law. In this 
accusation they laid against Daniel, we observe that his accusers 
do not describe him as one standing in office near to the king, but 
only as one of a foreign nation, one of the Jewish exiles in Baby- 
lon, in order that they may thereby bring his conduct under the 
suspicion of being a political act of rebellion against the royal 

Ver. 15 (14). But the king, who knew and highly valued (cf. 
ver. 2 [1]) Daniel's fidelity to the duties of his office, was so sore 
displeased by the accusation, that he laboured till the going down 
of the sun to effect his deliverance. The verb t^3 has an intran- 
sitive meaning : to be evil, to be displeased, and is not joined into 
one sentence with the subject te£e, which stands here absolute ; 
and the subject to ^rybv c'tca is undefined : it, namely, the matter 
displeased him; cf. Gen. xxi. 11. bs DB> corresponds to the Hebr. 
lb JW, Prov. xxii. 17, to lay to heart. The word S>3, cor, mens, is 

unknown in the later Chaldee, but is preserved in the Syr. jla 

and the Arab. Jl>. 

Ver. 16 (15). When the king could not till the going down 
of the sun resolve on passing sentence against Daniel, about 
this time his accusers gathered themselves together into his pre- 
sence for the purpose of indncing him to carry out the threatened 
punishment, reminding him that, according to the law of the Medes 
and Persians, every prohibition and every command which the king 
decreed {&$!}% i. e . issued in a legal form, could not be chano-ed, 
i.e. could not be recalled. There being no way of escape out 3 of 

chap. vi. 11-25. 215 

the difficulty for the king, he had to give the command that the 
punishment should be inflicted, and Daniel was cast into the den of 
lions, ver. 17 (16). On the Aphel Wn, and the pass, form (ver. 18) 
XVJVn, see at ch. iii. 13. The execution of the sentence was carried 
out, according to Oriental custom, on the evening of the day in 
which the accusation was made, this does not, however, imply- 
that it was on the evening in which, at the ninth hour, he had 
prayed, as Hitzig affirms, in order that he may thereby make the 
whole matter improbable. In giving up Daniel to punishment, the 
king gave expression to the wish, " May thy God, whom thou servest 
continually, deliver thee !" not "He will deliver thee;" for Darius 
could not have this confidence, but he may have had the feeble 
hope of the possibility of the deliverance which from his heart he 
wished, inasmuch as he may have heard of the miracles of the 
Almighty God whom Daniel served in the days of Belshazzar and 

Ver. 18 (17). After Daniel had been thrown into the lions' 
den, its mouth was covered with a flat stone, and the stone 
was sealed with the king's seal and that of the great officers of 
state, that nothing might change or be changed (•'K'yn ^S) con- 
cerning Daniel (}3X, affair, matter), not that the device against 
Daniel might not be frustrated (Hav., v. Leng., Maur., Klief.). 
This thought required the stat. emphat. ^n^V, and also does not 
correspond with the application of a double seal. The old translator 
Theodot. is correct in his rendering : 07r<»? /j,tj dWoicoOr} irparffia 
iv tw Aavir[K, and the LXX. paraphrasing: 6V&>? fir] air avrwv 
(fieyicTTdvaiv) dpOrj 6 Aavirfk, rj o (3a<rCkev<; avrbv dvaairdarj e« tov 
Xukkov. Similarly also Ephr. Syr. and others. 

The den of lions is designated by K33, which the Targg. use for 
the Hebr. 113, a cistern. From this v. Leng., Maur., and Hitzig 
infer that the writer had in view a funnel-shaped cistern dug out 
in the ground, with a moderately small opening or mouth from 
above, which could be covered with a stone, so that for this one 
night the lions had to be shut in, while generally no stone lay on 
the opening. The pit also into which Joseph, the type of Daniel, 
was let down was a cistern (Gen. xxxvii. 24), and the mouth of 
the cistern was usually covered with a stone (Gen. xxix. 3 ; Lam. 
iii. 53). It can hence scarcely be conceived how the lions, over 
which no angel watched, could have remained in N such a subter- 
ranean cavern covered with a stone. " The den must certainly 
have been very capacious if, as it appears, 122 men with their 


wives and children could have been thrown into it immediately 
after one another (ver. 25 [24]) ; but this statement itself only 
shows again the deficiency of every view of the matter," — and thus 
the whole history is a fiction fabricated after the type of the history 
of Joseph ! But these critics who speak thus have themselves 
fabricated the idea of the throwing into the den of 122 men with 
women and children — for the text states no number — in order 
that they might make the whole narrative appear absurd ; cf. what 
we have observed regarding this supposition at p. 208. 

"We have no account by the ancients of the construction of 
lions' dens. Ge. Host, in his work on Fez and Morocco, p. 77, 
describes the lions' dens as they have been found in Morocco. 
According to his account, they consist of a large square cavern 
under the earth, having a partition-wall in the middle of it, which 
is furnished with a door, which the keeper can open and close from 
above. By throwing in food they can entice the lions from the 
one chamber into the other, and then, having shut the door, they 
enter the vacant space for the purpose of cleaning it. The cavern 
is open above, its mouth being surrounded by a wall of a yard and 
a half high, over which one can look down into the den. This 
description agrees perfectly with that which, is here given in the 
text regarding the lions' den. Finally, N33 does not denote com- 
mon cisterns. In Jer. xli. 7, 9, N313 (Hebr. "lia) is a subterranean 
chamber into which seventy dead bodies were cast; in Isa. xiv. 15, 
the place of Sheol is called 313. No reason, therefore, exists for 
supposing that it is a funnel-formed cistern. The mouth (D13) of 
the den is not its free opening above by which one may look down 
into it, but an opening made in its side, through which not only 
the lions were brought into it, but by which also the keepers 
entered for the purpose of cleansing the den and of attending to 
the beasts, and could reach the door in the partition-wall (cf. Host, 
p. 270). This opening was covered with a great flat stone, which 
was sealed, the free air entering to the lions from above. This 
also explains how, according to ver. 21 (20) ff., the king was able 
to converse with Daniel before the removal of the stone (namely, 
by the opening above). 

Ver. 19 (18). Then tie Mng went to Ids palace, and passed the 
night fasting : neither were any of his concubines brought before 
him; and his sleep went from him. The king spent a sleepless 
night in sorrow on account of Daniel. DID, used adverbially, in 
fasting, i.e. without partaking of food in the evening. nirn, concur 

CHAP. VI. 11-25. 217 

bina; cf. the Arab. U.J and L-i, suhigere fceminam, and Gesen. 
Thes. p. 333. On the following morning (ver. 20 [19]) the king 
rose early, at the dawn of day, and went to the den of lions, and 
with lamentable voice called to him, feebly hoping that Daniel 
might be delivered by his God whom he continually served. 
Daniel answered the king, thereby showing that he had been pre- 
served ; whereupon the king was exceeding glad. The future or 
imperf. B*\>\ (ver. 20) is not to be interpreted with Kranichfeld 
hypothetically, he thought to rise early, seeing he did actually rise 
early, but is used instead of the perf. to place the clause in relation 
to the following, meaning : the king, as soon as he arose at morning 
dawn, went hastily by the early light. N?^?, at the shining of the 
light, serves for a nearer determination of the Ki£naE>3, at the 
morning dawn, namely, as soon as the first rays of the rising sun 
appeared. The predicate the living God is occasioned by the pre- 
servation of life, which the king regarded as possible, and probably 
was made known to the king in previous conversations with Daniel ; 
cf. Ps. xlii. 3, lxxxiv. 3, 1 Sam. xvii. 36, etc. 

Ver. 22 (21) ff. In his answer Daniel declares his innocence, 
which God had recognised, and on that account had sent His angel 
(cf. Ps. xxxiv. 8, xci. 11 ff.) to shut the mouths of the lions ; cf. 
Heb. x. 33. INI, and also (concluding from the innocence actually 
testified to by God) before the king, i.e. according to the king's 
judgment, he had done nothing wrong or hurtful. By his trans- 
gression of the edict he had not done evil against the king's person. 
This Daniel could the more certainly say, the more he perceived 
how the king was troubled and concerned about his preservation, 
because in Daniel's transgression he himself had seen no conspiracy 
against his person, but only fidelity toward his own God. The king 
hereupon immediately gave command that he should be brought 
out of the den of lions. The Aph. n|?D3n and the Hoph. pan do 
not come from pD3, but from pbo ; the i is merely compensative. 
P?Pj to mount up, Aph. to bring out; by which, however, we are not 
to understand a being drawn np by ropes through the opening of 
the den from above. The bringing out was by the opened passage 
in the side of the den, for which purpose the stone with the seals 
was removed. To make the miracle of his preservation manifest, 
and to show the reason of it, ver. 24 (23) states that Daniel was 
found without any injury, because he had trusted in his God. 

Ver. 25 (24). But now the destruction which the accusers of 


Daniel thought to bring upon him fell upon themselves. The king 
commanded that they should be cast into the den of lions, where 
immediately, before they had reached the bottom, they were seized 
and torn to pieces by the lions. On ^Si.i? ^?N see at ch. iii. 8. 
By the accusers we are not (with Hitzig) to think of the 120 
satraps together with the two chief presidents, but only of a small 
number of the special enemies of Daniel who had concerned 
themselves with the matter. The condemning to death of the 
wives and children along with the men was in accordance with 
Persian custom, as is testified by Herodotus, iii. 119, Amm. Marcell. 
xxiii. 6. 81, and also with the custom of the Macedonians in the 
case of treason (Curtius, vi. ii.), but was forbidden in the law of 
Moses ; cf. Deut. xxiv. 16. 

Vers. 26 (25)-29 (28). The consequences of this occurrence. 

As Nebuchadnezzar, after the wonderful deliverance of Daniel's 
friends from the burning fiery furnace, issued an edict to all the 
nations of his kingdom forbidding them on pain of death from 
doing any injury to these men of God (ch. iii. 29), so now Darius, 
in consequence of this wonderful preservation of Daniel in the 
den of lions, gave forth an edict commanding all the nations of 
his whole kingdom to fear and reverence Daniel's God. But as 
Nebuchadnezzar by his edict, so also Darius, did not depart from 
the polytheistic standpoint. Darius acknowledged the God of 
Daniel, indeed, as the living God, whose kingdom and dominion 
were everlasting, but not as the only true God, and he commanded 
Him to be reverenced only as a God who does wonders in heaven 
and on earth, without prejudice to the honour of his own gods and 
of the gods of his subjects. Both of these kings, it is true, raised 
the God of Judea above all other gods, and praised the everlasting 
duration of His dominion (see ch. iii. 29, 32 [iv. 2 ] f., and ch. iv. 31 
[28] ff., vi. 27 [26] f.), but they did not confess Him as the one 
only God. This edict, then, shows neither the conversion of Darius 
to the worship of the God of the Jews, nor does it show intoler- 
ance toward the gods of his subjects. On ver. 26 (25) cf. ch. iii. 31 
(iv. 1). As Nebuchadnezzar, so also Darius, regarded his kingdom 
as a world-kingdom. On 27a (26) cf. ch. iii. 29. The reverence 
which all the nations were commanded to show to Daniel's God is 
described in the same words as is the fear and reverence which the 
might and greatness of Nebuchadnezzar inspired in all the nations 
that were subject to him (ch. v. 19), which has led Hitzig justly 

CHAP. VII 210 

to remark, that the words >^\}7i6 '{rps f\nb (they must worship his 
God) are not used. God is described as living (cf. ver. 21 [20]) 
and eternal, with which is connected the praise of the everlasting 
duration of His dominion and of His rule in heaven and on earth ; 
cf. ch. ii. 44 and iii. 33 (iv. 3). The ""[ after armta is not a con- 
junction, but is the relative, and the expression briefly denotes that 
His kingdom is a kingdom which is not destroyed; cf. ch. iv. 31 
(34). NSiD *!}?, to the end — not merely of all heathen kingdoms 
which arise on the earth, i.e. to their final destruction by the king- 
dom of the Messiah, ch. ii. 44 (Kranichfeld), for there is no thought 
of the Messianic kingdom here at all, but to the end of all things, 
to eternity. In ver. 28 (27) this God is lauded as the deliverer 
and wonder-worker, because in the case of Daniel He had showed 
Himself as such ; cf. ch. iii. 32. "V JO, from the hand, i.e. from the 
power of ; cf. Ps. xxii. 21. 

Ver. 29 (28) closes the narrative in the same way as that 
regarding the deliverance of Daniel's friends (ch. iii. 30) ; only it 
is further stated, that Daniel continued in office till the reign of 
the Persian Cyrus. By the pronoun iW, this Daniel, the identity 
of the person is accentuated: the same Daniel, whom his enemies 
wished to destroy, prospered. From the repetition of JTOpca before 
Enfo it does not follow that Daniel separates the Persian kingdom 
from the Median ; for U?0 here does not mean kingdom, but 
dominion, i.e. reign. The succession of the reign of Cyrus the 
Persian to that of Darius the Median does not show the diversity 
of the two kingdoms, but only that the rulers of the kingdom were 
of different races. 


After presenting to view (ch. iii.-vi.) in concrete delineation, 
partly in the prophetically significant experiences of Daniel and 
his friends, and partly in the typical events which befell the world- 
rulers, the position and conduct of the representatives of the world- 
power in relation to the worshippers of the living God, there fol- 
lows in this chapter the record of a vision seen by Daniel in the 
first year of Belshazzar. In this vision the four world-monarchies 
which were shown to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream in the form of 
an imawe are represented under the symbol of beasts ; and there is 
a further unfolding not only of the nature and character of the 


four successive world-kingdoms, but also of the everlasting king- 
dom of God established by the judgment of the world-kingdoms. 
With this vision, recorded like the preceding chapters in the Chal- 
dean language, the first part of this work, treating of the develop- 
ment of the world-power in its four principal forms, is brought to 
a conclusion suitable to its form and contents. 

This chapter is divided, according to its contents, into two 
equal portions. Vers. 1-14 contain the vision, and vers. 15-28 
its interpretation. After an historical introduction it is narrated 
how Daniel saw (vers. 2-8) four great beasts rise up one after 
another out of the storm-tossed sea ; then the judgment of God 
against the fourth beast and the other beasts (vers. 9-12) ; and 
finally (vers. 13, 14), the delivering up of the kingdom over all 
nations to the Son of man, who came with the clouds of heaven. 
Being deeply moved (ver. 15) by what he saw, the import of the 
vision is first made known to him in general by an angel (vers. 
16-18), and then more particularly by the judgment (vers. 19-26) 
against the fourth beast, and its destruction, and by the setting up 
of the kingdom of the saints of the Most High (ver. 27). The 
narrative of the vision is brought to a close by a statement of the 
impression made by this divine revelation on the mind of the 
prophet (ver. 28). 1 

Ver. 1. The time here indicated, " in the first year of Bel- 

1 According to the modern critics, this vision also is to be regarded as belong- 
ing to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes ; and, as von Lengerke says, the repre- 
sentation of the Messianic kingdom (vers. 13 and 14) is the only prophetic 
portion of it, all the other parts merely announcing what had already occurred. 
According to Hitzig, thi3 dream-vision must have been composed (cf. ver. 25, 
viii. 14) shortly before the consecration of the temple (1 Mace. iv. 52, 59). 
On the other hand, Kranichfeld remarks, that if thi3 chapter were composed 
during the time of the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, " then it would 
show that its author was in the greatest ignorance as to the principal historical 
dates of hi3 own time ;" and he adduces in illustration the date in ver. 25, and 
the failure of the attempts of the opponents of it3 genuineness to authenticate 
in history the ten horns which grew up before the eleventh horn, and the three 
kingdoms (vers. 7 f., 20). According to ver. 25, the blaspheming of the Most 
High, the wearing out of the saints, and the changing of all religious 
ordinances continue for three and a half times, which are taken for three 
and a half years, after the expiry of which an end will be made, by means 
of the judgment, to the heathen oppression. But these three aud a half year3 
are not historically proved to be the period of the religious persecution under 
Antiochus Epiphanes. " In both of the books of the Maccabees (1 Mace. i. 54 • 

CHAP. VII. 1. 22 1 

shazzar," which cannot, as is evident, mean " shortly before the 
reign of Belshazzar" (Hitz.), but that Daniel received the follow- 
ing revelation in the course of the first year of the reign of this 
king, stands related to the contents of the revelation. This vision 
accords not only in many respects with the dream of Nebuchad- 
nezzar (ch. ii.), but has the same subject. This subject, however, 
the representation of the world-power in its principal forms, is 
differently given in the two chapters. In ch. ii. it is represented 
according to its whole character as an image of a man whose dif- 
ferent parts consist of different metals, and in ch. vii. under the 
figure of four beasts which arise one after the other out of the sea. 
In the former its destruction is represented by a stone breaking the 
image in pieces, while in the latter it is effected by a solemn act of 
judgment. This further difference also is to be observed, that in 
this chapter, the first, but chiefly the fourth world-kingdom, in its 
development and relation to the people of God, is much more clearly 
exhibited than in ch. ii. These differences have their principal 
reason in the difference of the recipients of the divine revelation : 
Nebuchadnezzar, the founder of the world-power, saw this power 
in its imposing greatness and glory ; while Daniel, the prophet of 
God, saw it in its opposition to God in the form of ravenous 
beasts of prey. Nebuchadnezzar had his dream in the second 
year of his reign, when he had just founded his world-monarchy ; 

2 Mace. x. 5) the period of the desecration of the temple (according to v. 
Leng.) lasted only three years ; and Josephus, Ant. xii. 7. 6, speaks also of 
three yeais, reckoning from the year 145 Seleucid. and the 25th day of the 
month Kisleu, when the first burnt-offering was offered on the idol-altar 
(1 Mace. i. 57), to the 25th day of Kisleu in the year 148 Seleucid., when 
ft>r the first time sacrifice was offered (1 Mace. iv. 52) on the newly erected 
altar." But since the pbi'hvyfia ipyfiucta; was, according to 1 Mace. i. 54, 
erected on the 15th day of Kisleu in the year 145 Seleucid., ten days before the 
first offering of sacrifice upon it, most reckon from the 15th Kisleu, and thus 
make the period three years and ten days. Hitzig seeks to gain a quarter of a 
year more by going back in his reckoning to the arrival in Judea (1 Mace. i. 
29, cf. 2 Mace. v. 24) of the chief collector of trihnte sent by Apollonius. 
C. von Lengerke thinks that the period of three and a half years cannot be 
reckoned with historical accuracy. Hilgenfeld would reckon the commence- 
ment of this period from some other event in relation to the temple, which, 
however, has not been recorded in history. — From all this it is clear as noon- 
day that the three and a half years are not historically identified, and thus that 
the Maccahean pseudo-Daniel was ignorant of the principal events of his time. 
Just as little are these critics able historically to identify the ten kings (vers. 7 
and 20), as we shall show in an Excursus on the four world -kingdoms at the 
close of this chapter. 


while Daniel had his vision of the world-kingdoms and of the 
judgment against them in the first year of Belshazzar, i.e. Evil- 
merodach, the son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, when with 
the death of the golden head of the world-monarchy its glory began 
to fade, and the spirit of its opposition to God became more mani- 
fest. This revelation was made to the prophet in a dream-vision 
by night upon his bed. Compare ch. ii. 28. Immediately there- 
after Daniel wrote down the principal parts of the dream, that it 
might be publicly proclaimed — the sum of the things (P?p ^N"?.) 
which he had seen in the dream. "i»K, to say, to relate, is not opposed 
to 3H3, to write, but explains it : by means of writing down the 
vision he said, i.e. reported, the chief contents of the dream, omit- 
ting secondary things, e.g. the minute description of the beasts. 

With ver. 2 Daniel begins his written report : " Daniel began 
and said," introduces the matter. Nvv'DV 'ltn, visions in (during) 
the night, cf. ch. ii. 19. Vers. 2 and 3 describe the scene in general. 
The four winds of heaven break loose upon the great sea, and 
rage fiercely, so that four great beasts, each diverse from the 
others, arise out of its bosom. The great sea is not the Medi- 
terranean (Berth., Ges., Hitz., Ewald), for such a geographical 
reference is foreign to the context. It is the ocean ; and the 
storm on it represents the " tumults of the people," commotions 
among the nations of the world (Hav., Eeng., Hofm., etc.), cor- 
responding to the prophetic comparison found in Jer. xvii. 12, 
xlvi. 7 f. " Since the beasts represent the forms of the world- 
power, the sea must represent that out of which they arise, the 
whole heathen world" (Hofmann). In the interpretation of the 
image (ver. 17) NE>1 11? is explained by NJHN I?. D^ means to 
break forth (Ezek. xxxii. 2), to burst out in storm, not causative, 
" to make the great sea break forth" (Kran.). The causative 
meaning is not certainly found either in the Hebrew or the 
Chaldee. The four winds stand in relation to the four quarters 
of the heavens ; cf. Jer. xlix. 39. Calvin remarks : Mundus shnilis 
turbulento mari, quod non agitatur una procella vel uno vento, sed ' 
diversis ventis inter se confligentihis, ac si totum ccelum conspiraret 
ad motus excilandos. With this, however, the meaning of the words 
is not exhausted. The four winds of heaven are not merely diversi 
venti, and their bursting forth is not only an image of a general 
commotion represented by a storm in the ocean. The winds of the 
heavens represent the heavenly powers and forces by which God 
sets the nations of the world in motion ; and the number four has 

CHAP. VII. 4-8. 223 

a symbolical meaning : that the people of all regions of the earth 
are moved hither and thither in violent commotion. " (Ecumeni- 
cal commotions give rise to oecumenical kingdoms" (Kliefoth). 
As a consequence of the storm on the sea, there arise out of it 
four fierce beasts, not all at once, but, as vers. 6 and 7 teach, one 
after another, and each having a different appearance. The 
diversity of the form of the beasts, inasmuch as they represent 
kingdoms, is determined beforehand, not only to make it noticeable 
that the selection of this symbol is not arbitrary but is significant 
(Havernick), but emphatically to intimate that the vision of dif- 
ferent kingdoms is not to be dealt with, as many interpreters seem 
inclined to do, as one only of different kings of one kingdom. 

Vers. 4-8. In these verses there is a description of the four 
beasts. — Ver. 4. The first beast resembled a lion with eagle's 
wings. At the entrance to a temple at Birs Nimrud there has 
been found (Layard, Bab. and Nin.) such a symbolical figure, viz. 
a winged eagle with the head of a man. There have been found 
also images of winged beasts at Babylon (Miinter, Relig. der Bab.). 
These discoveries may be referred to as evidence that this book 
was composed in Babylon, and also as explaining the Babylonian 
colouring of the dream. But the representation of nations and 
kingdoms by the images of beasts is much more widely spread, 
and affords the prophetic symbolism the necessary analogues and 
substrata for the vision. Lions and eagles are not taken into con- 
sideration here on account of their strength, rapacity, and swift- 
ness, but simply because they are kings among beasts and birds : 
" The beast rules royally like the lion, and wings its conquering 
royal flight high over the ol/eovfievr] like the eagle" (Kliefoth). 
This emblem corresponds with the representation of the first king- 
dom with the golden head (ch. ii.). What the gold is among 
metals and the head among the members of the body, that the 
lion is among beasts and the eagle among birds. 

After a time Daniel sees a change take place with this beast. 
The wings, i.e. the feathers by which it flies, are plucked off : it is 
deprived of its power of flight, so that it can no more fly conquer- 
ing over the earth, or hover as a ruler over it ; i.e. the kingdom 
will be deprived of the power of conquering, for it will be lifted 
up from the earth (nn^n is Hoph,, cf. ch. iv. 33), and be placed on 
its feet as a man. The lifting up from the earth does not repre- 
sent, accordingly, being taken away or blown away from the earth, 
not the destruction of the Chaldean kingdom (Theodrt., Hieron., 


Kaschi, Hitzig, and others), but the raising of it up when lying 
prostrate on the ground to the right attitude of a human being. 
This change is further described by the words, " a man's heart was 
given to it," denoting that the beast-nature was transformed to that 
of a man. The three expressions thus convey the idea, that the 
lion, after it was deprived of its power of flight, was not only in 
external appearance raised from the form of a beast to that of a 
man, but also that inwardly the nature of the beast was ennobled 
into that of a man. In this description of the change that occurred 
to the lion there is without doubt a reference to what is said of 
Nebuchadnezzar in ch. iv. : it cannot, however, be thence con- 
cluded, with Hofmann and others, that the words refer directly 
to Nebuchadnezzar's insanity ; for here it is not the king, but the 
kingdom, that is the subject with reference to whose fate that 
event in the life of its founder was significant. Forasmuch as it 
was on account of his haughtiness that madness came upon him, 
so that he sank down to the level of the beasts of the field, so also 
for the same reason was his kingdom hindered in its flight over 
the earth. " Nebuchadnezzar's madness was for his kingdom the 
plucking off of its wings;" and as when he gave glory to the Most 
High his reason returned to him, and then for the first time he 
attained to the true dignity of man, so also was his world-kingdom 
ennobled in him, although the continued influence of this en- 
nobling may not be perceived from the events in the reign of his 
son, recorded in ch. v. Besides, there lies herein not only the idea 
of the superiority of the first world-kingdom over the others, as is 
represented in ch. ii. by the golden head of the metallic image, but 
also manifestly the typical thought that the world-kingdom will 
first be raised to the dignity of manhood when its beast-like nature 
is taken away. Where this transformation does not take place, or 
where it is not permanent, there must the kingdom perish. This 
is the prophetic meaning, for the sake of which that occurrence in 
the life of the founder of the world-monarchy is here transferred 
to his kingdom. 

Ver. 5. The second beast. — DM signifies that this beast came 
first into sight after the lion, which also the predicates iwn nnx 
prove, '"ins expresses the difference from the first beast, nrjn the 
order in which it appears. The beast was like a bear. Next to 
the lion it is the strongest among animals ; and on account of its 
voracity it was called by Aristotle %Siov 7ra/x<f>ar/ov. The words 
n ?'i?LJ in-)U& present some difficulty. They have been differently 

CHAP. VII. 4-8. 225 

explained. The explanation of Eabbi Nathan, " and it estab- 
lished a dominion," with which Kranichfeld also agrees, is not only 
in opposition to the "in, but is also irreconcilable with the line of 
thought, "in is not the indefinite article, but the numeral ; and the 
thought that the beast established one dominion, or a united do- 
minion, is in the highest degree strange, for the character of a 
united or compact dominion belongs to the second world-kingdom 
in no case in a greater degree than to the Babylonian kingdom, 
and in general the establishing of a dominion cannot properly be 
predicated of a beast = a kingdom. The old translators (LXX., 
Theod., Peshito, Saad.) and the rabbis have interpreted the word 
"i OS? in the 'sense of side, a meaning which is supported by the 
Targ. *it?D,;and is greatly strengthened by the Arabic s'thar, with- 
out our needing to adopt the reading "itst?, found in several Codd 
The object to the verb np^n is easily supplied by the context : it 
raised up, i.e. its body, on one side. This means neither that it 
leaned on one side (Ebrard), nor that it stood on its fore feet 
(Havernick), for the sides of a bear are not its fore and hinder 
part ; but we are to conceive that the beast, resting on its feet, raised 
up the feet of the one side for the purpose of going forward, and 
so raised the shoulder or the whole body on that side. But with 
such a motion of the beast the geographical situation of the king- 
dom (Geier, Mich., Eos.) cannot naturally be represented, much 
less can the near approach of the destruction of the kingdom 
(Hitzig) be signified. Hofmann, Delitzsch, and Kliefoth have 
found the right interpretation by a reference to ch. ii. and viii. 
As in ch. ii. the arms on each side of the breast signify that the 
second kingdom will consist of two parts, and this is more dis- 
tinctly indicated in ch. viii. by the two horns, one of which rose up 
after the other, and higher, so also in this verse the double-sided- 
ness of this world-kingdom is represented by the beast lifting itself 
up on the one side. The Medo-Persian bear, as such, has, as 
Kliefoth well remarks, two sides : the one, the Median side, is at 
rest after the efforts made for the erection of the world-kingdom ; 
but the other, the Persian side, raises itself up, and then becomes 
not only higher than the first, but also is prepared for new rapine. 
The further expression, it had three ribs in its mouth between 
its teeth, has also been variously interpreted. That PVpV means 
ribs, not sides, is as certain as that the ribs in the mouth between 
the teeth do not denote side-teeth, tusks, or fangs (Saad., Hav.). 
The rS^V in the mouth between the teeth are the booty which 



the bear has seized, according to the undoubted use of the word ; 
cf. Amos iii. 12, Ps. cxxiv. 6, Job xxix. 17, Jer. li. 44. Accord- 
ingly, by the ribs we cannot understand either the Persians, 
Medians, and Babylonians, as the nations that constituted the 
strength of the kingdom (Ephr. Syr., Hieron., Eos.), or the three 
Median kings (Ewald), because neither the Medes nor the three 
Median kings can be regarded as a prey of the Median or Medo- 
Persian world. The " ribs" which the beast is grinding between 
its teeth cannot be the peoples who constitute the kingdom, or the 
kings ruling over it, but only peoples or countries which it has 
conquered and annexed to itself. The determining of these peoples 
and countries depends on which kingdom is represented by the 
bear. Of the interpreters who understand by the bear the Median 
kingdom, Maurer and Delitzsch refer to the three chief satrapies (ch. 
vi. 3 [2]). Not these, however, but only the lands divided between 
them, could be regarded as the prey between the teeth of the beast, 
and then Media also must be excluded ; so that the reference of the 
words to the three satrapies is altogether inadmissible. Hitzig 
thinks that the reference is to three towns that were destroyed 
by the Medians, viz. Nineveh, Larissa, and a third which he can- 
not specify ; v. Leng. regards the number three as a round 
number, by which the voracity of the beast is shown; Kranichfeld 
understands by the three ribs constituent parts of a whole of an 
older national confederation already dissolved and broken asunder, 
of which, however, he has no proof. We see, then, that if the bear 
is taken as representing the Median kingdom, the three ribs in its 
mouth cannot be explained. If, on the other hand, the Medo- 
Persian world-kingdom is intended by the bear, then the three ribs 
in its mouth are the three kingdoms Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, 
which were conquered by the Medo-Persians. This is the view 
of Hofm., Ebr., Ziind., and Klief. The latter, however, thinks 
that the number "Three" ought not to be regarded as symbolical, 
but as forming only the contrast to the number four in ver. 6, and 
intimating that the second beast will not devour in all the regions 
of the world, but only on three sides, and will make a threefold 
and not a fourfold plunder, and therefore will not reach absolute 
universality. But since the symbolical value of each number is 
formed from its arithmetical signification, there is no reason here 
any more than there is in the analogous passages, ch. viii. 4 22 
to depart wholly from the exact signification. 

The last expression of the verse, Arise, devour much flesh most 

CHAP VII. 4-8. 227 

interpreters regard as a summons to go forth conquering. But 
this exposition is neither necessary, nor does it correspond to the 
relative position of the words. The eating much flesh does not 
form such a contrast to the three ribs in the mouth between the 
teeth, that it must be interpreted of other flesh than that already 
held by the teeth with the ribs. It may be very well understood, 
with Ebrard and Kliefoth, of the consuming of the flesh of the 
ribs ; so that the command to eat much flesh is only an explication 
of the figure of the ribs held between the teeth, and contains only 
the thought that the beast must wholly consume the plunder it has 
seized with its teeth. The plur. pBj* {they spoke) is impersonal, 
and is therefore not to be attributed to the angel as speaking. 

Ver. 6. Tlie third beast, which Daniel saw after the second, was 
like a panther (leopard), which is neither so kingly as the lion nor 
so strong as the bear, but is like to both in rapacity, and superior 
to them in the springing agility with which it catches its prey ; so 
that one may say, with Kliefoth, that in the subordination of the 
panther to the lion and the bear, the same gradation is repeated as 
that which is found (of the third kingdom) in ch. ii. of the copper 
(brass). Of the panther it is said, that it had four wings of a fowl 
and four heads. The representation of the beast with four wings 
increases the agility of its movements to the speed of the flight of 
a bird, and expresses the thought that the kingdom represented 
by that beast would extend itself in flight over the earth ; not 
so royally as Nebuchadnezzar, — for the panther has not eagle's 
wings, but only the wings of a fowl, — but extending to all the 
regions of the earth, for it has four wings. At the same time 
the beast has four heads, not two only, as one might have ex- 
pected with four wings. The number four thus shows that 
the heads have an independent signification, and do not stand in 
relation to the four wings, symbolizing the spreading out of the 
kingdom into the four quarters of the heavens (Bertholdt, Hav., 
Kran.). As little do the four wings correspond with the four 
heads in such a way that by both there is represented only the 
dividing of the kingdom into four other kingdoms (Hav. Comment., 
Auberl.). Wings are everywhere an emblem of rapid motion; 
heads, on the contrary, where the beast signifies a kingdom, are 
the heads of the kingdom, i.e. the kings or rulers : hence it fol- 
lows that the four heads of the panther are the four successive 
Persian kings whom alone Daniel knows (ch. xi. 2). Without 
regard to the false interpretations of ch. xi. 2 on which this 


opinion rests, it is to be noticed that the four heads do not rise 
up one after another, but that they all exist contemporaneously on 
the body of the beast, and therefore can only represent four co- 
temporary kings, or signify that this kingdom is divided into four 
kingdoms. That the four wings are mentioned before the four 
heads, signifies that the kingdom spreads itself over the earth with, 
the speed of a bird's flight, and then becomes a fourfold-kingdom, 
or divides itself into four kingdoms, as is distinctly shown in ch. 
viii. 5 ff. — The last statement, and dominion was given to it, corre- 
sponds with that in ch. ii. 39, it shall bear rule over all the earth, 
i.e. shall found an actual and strong world-empire. 

Vers. 7 and 8. The fourth beast. — Introduced by a more detailed 
description, the fourth beast is presented more distinctly before our 
notice than those which preceded it. Its terribleness and its strength, 
breaking in pieces and destroying all things, and the fact that no 
beast is named to which it can be likened, represent it as different 
from all the beasts that went before. This description corresponds 
with that of the fourth kingdom denoted by the legs and the feet 
of the metallic image of the monarchies (ch. ii.). The iron break- 
ing in pieces all things (ch. ii. 40) is here represented by the great 
iron teeth with which this monster devoured and brake in pieces. 
In addition to that, there are also feet, or, as ver. 19 by way of 
supplement adds, " claws of brass," with which in the mere fury 
of its rage it destroyed all that remained, i.e. all that it did not 
devour and destroy with its teeth. 'Ul rMB'D ton (it was made 
different) denotes not complete diversity of being, from which 
Hitz. and Del. conclude that the expression suits only the Mace- 
donian world -kingdom, which as occidental was different in its 
nature from the three preceding monarchies, which shared among 
themselves an oriental home and a different form of civilisation 
and despotic government. For although '"WE'D expresses more 
than nns (ver. 5), yet the tn JO tn JW {diverse one from another), 
spoken (ver. 3) of all the beasts, shows that iiW'o cannot be re- 
garded as expressing perfect diversity of being, but only diversity 
in appearance. The beast was of such terrible strength and 
destructive rage, that the whole animal world could furnish no re- 
presentative by whose name it might be characterized. It had ten 
horns, by which its terrible strength is denoted, because a horn is in 
Scripture always the universal symbol of armed strength. With this 
the interpretation (ver. 24), that these horns are so many kings or 
kingdoms, fully corresponds. In the ten horns the ten toes of the 

CHAP. VII. 9-14. 229 

image (cli. ii.) are again repeated. The number ten comes into 
consideration only according to its symbolical meaning of compre- 
hensive and definite totality. That the horns are on the head of 
the one beast, signifies that the unfolding of its power in the ten 
kingdoms is not a weakening of its power, but only its full display. 
Ver. 8. Here a new event is brought under our notice. While 
continuing to contemplate the horns (the idea of continuance lies 
in the particip. with the verb, fin.), Daniel sees another little horn 
rise up among them, which uproots, i.e. destroys, three of the other 
horns that were already there. He observes that this horn had the 
eyes of a man, and a mouth which spake great things. The eye 
and the mouth suggest a human being as represented by the horn. 
Eyes and seeing with eyes are the symbols of insight, circumspec- 
tion, prudence. This king will thus excel the others in point of 
Avisdom and circumspection. But why the eyes of a man ? Cer- 
tainly this is not merely to indicate to the reader that the horn 
signified a man. This is already distinctly enough shown by the 
fact that eyes, a mouth, and speech were attributed to it. The 
eyes of a man were not attributed to it in opposition to a beast, but 
in opposition to a higher celestial being, for whom the ruler denoted 
by the horn might be mistaken on account of the terribleness of 
his rule and government ; " ne eum putemus juxta quorundam 
opinionem vel diabolum esse vel dcsmonem, sed union de hominibus, 
in quo totus Satanas habitaturus sit corporaliter" as Jerome well 
remarks ; cf. Hofmann and Kliefoth. — A mouth which speaketh 
great things is a vainglorious mouth, l^"!?"! are presumptuous tilings, 
not directly blasphemies (Hav.). In the Apocalypse, xiii. 5, fieyaXa 
and /3\a<T(j>rjfx,icu are distinguished. 

Vers. 9-14. TJie judgment on the horn speaking great things and 
on the other beasts, and the delivering of the kingdom to the Son of 

After Daniel had for a while contemplated the rising up of the 
little horn that appeared among the ten horns, the scene changed. 
There is a solemn sitting in judgment by God, and sentence is 
pronounced. Seats or chairs were placed. VD"j, activ. with an 
indefinite subject : they were thrown, i.e. they were placed in order 
quickly, or with a noise. Seats, not merely a throne for God the 
Judge, but a number of seats for the assembly sitting in judgment 
with God. That assembly consists neither of the elders of Israel 
(Iiabb.), nor of glorified men (Hengstb. on Eev. iv. 4), but of angels 


(Ps. lxxxix. 8), who are to be distinguished from the thousands and 
tens of thousands mentioned in ver. 10 ; for these do not sit upon 
thrones, but stand before God as servants to fulfil His commands 
and execute His judgments. rpv PW, one advanced in days, very 
old, is not the Eternal ; for although God is meant, yet Daniel does 
not see the everlasting God, but an old man, or a man of grey- 
hairs, in whose majestic form God makes Himself visible (cf. 
Ezek. i. 26). When Daniel represents the true God as an aged 
man, he does so not in contrast with the recent gods of the heathen 
which Antiochus Epiphanes wished to introduce, or specially with 
reference to new gods, as Hitzig and Kran. suppose, by refer- 
ence to Deut. xxxii. 17 and Jer. xxiii. 23; for God is not called 
the old God, but appears only as an old man, because age inspires 
veneration and conveys the impression of majesty. This impres- 
sion is heightened by the robe with which He is covered, and by 
the appearance of the hair of His head, and also by the flames of 
fire which are seen to go forth from His throne. His robe is white 
as snow, and the hair of His head is white like pure wool ; cf. Rev. 
i. 14. Both are symbols of spotless purity and holiness. Flames 
of fire proceed from His throne as if it consisted of it, and the 
wheels of His throne scatter forth fire. One must not take the 
fire exclusively as a sign of punishment. Fire and the shining of 
fire are the constant phenomena of the manifestation of God in 
the world, as the earthly elements most fitting for the representa- 
tion of the burning zeal with which the holy God not only punishes 
and destroys sinners, but also purifies and renders glorious His own 
people; see under Ex. iii. 3. The fire-scattering wheels of the 
throne show the omnipresence of the divine throne of judgment, 
the going of the judgment of God over the whole earth (Kliefoth). 
The fire which engirds with flame the throne of God pours itself 
forth as a stream from God into the world, consuming all that is 
sinful and hostile to God in the world, and rendering the people 
and kingdom of God glorious, 'ntoljj. ip (from before Him) refers 
to God, and not to His throne. A thousand times a thousand and 
ten thousand times ten thousand are hyperbolical expressions for 
an innumerable company of angels, who as His servants stand 
around God ; cf. Deut. xxxiii. 2, Ps. lxviii. 18. The Keri pre- 
sents the Chaldaic form t'S^K for the Hebraizing form of the text 
D^N (thousands), and for pan the Hebraizing form 133"; (myriads), 
often found in the Targg., to harmonize the plur. form with the 
singular i3i_ going before. 

CHAP. VII. 9-14. 231 

Forthwith the judgment begins. 3iV avi we translate, with 
most interpreters, the judgment sets itself. KJ 1 "!, judgment, ahstr. 
pro concreto, as judicium in Cicero, Verr. 2. 18. This idea alone 
is admissible in ver. 26, and here also it is more simple than that 
defended by Dathe and Kran. : " He " (i.e. the Ancient of days) 
" sets Himself for judgment," — which would form a pure tautology, 
since His placing Himself for judgment has been already (ver. 9) 
mentioned, and nothing would be said regarding the object for 
which the throne was set. — " The books were opened." The actions 
of men are recorded in the books, according to which they are 
judged, some being ordained to eternal life and others condemned to 
eternal death ; cf. Rev. xx. 12, and the notes under Dan. xii. 1. 
The horn speaking great tilings is first visited with the sentence of 

Yer. 11. The construction of this verse is disputed. The 
second JVin n.?n (I was seeing) repeats the first for the purpose of 
carrying on the line of thought broken by the interposed sentence. 
P1 X ? (then) is separated by the accents from the first rwrt ntn and 
joined to the clause following : "then on account of the voice of the 
great words" By this interposed sentence the occasion of the 
judgment which Daniel sees passed upon the beast is once more 
brought to view. s\> !*?, " on account of the voice of the words" 
i.e. on account of the loud words, not " from the time of the words, 
or from the time when the voice of the great words made itself 
heard " (Klief.). The following expression, ""[ 1JJ (till that), does 
not by any means require the temporal conception of JD. To 
specify the terminus a quo of the vision was as little necessary 
here as in the ^ 1{? rvjn n.Tn, ver. 9. The temporal conception 
of ]0 alters not only the parallelism of the passage vers. 9 and 11, 
but also the course of thought in the representation, according to 
which Daniel remains overwhelmed during the vision till all the 
separate parts of it have passed before his view, i.e. till he has 
seen the close of the judgment. The first part of this scene consists 
of the constituting of the judgment (vers. 9, 10), the second of the 
death and extinction of the horn speaking great things (ver. 11), 
with which is connected (ver. 12) the mention of the destruction 
of the dominion of the other beasts. If one considers that the 
words " / beheld till that " correspond with the like expression in 
ver. 9, he will not seek, with Kran., in the ^. "l{? a reference to a 
lasting process of judicial execution ending with destruction. The 
thought is simply this : Daniel remained contemplating the vision 


till the beast was slain, etc. tsnyn (the beast) is, by virtue of the 
explanatory sentence interposed in the first hemistich, the horn 
speaking great things. The ungodly power of the fourth beast 
reaches its climax in the blaspheming horn ; in this horn, therefore, 
the beast is slain and destroyed, while its body is given to the 
burning. NtW rntf'? (to the burning fire) corresponds with the 
Hebr. e^S nDi'B^, Isa. lxiv. 10. The burning in the fire is not the 
mere figure of destruction, specially justified by the thunder-storm 
which gathered as a veil around the scene of judgment (Kran.), 
for there is no mention of a storm either in ver. 9 or anywhere else 
in this entire vision. The supposition that the burning is only the 
figure of destruction, as eg. in Isa. ix. 4, is decidedly opposed by 
the parallel passages, Isa. lxvi. 14, which Daniel had in view, and 
Rev. six. 20 and xx. 10, where this prophecy is again taken up, 
and the judgment is expressed by a being cast into a lake of fire 
with everlasting torment; so that v. Lenrjerke is right when he 
remarks that this passage speaks of the fiery torments of the 
wicked after death, and thus that a state of retribution after death 
is indicated. 

Ver. 12. In this verse it is in addition remarked, that the 
dominion of the other beasts was also destroyed, because the 
duration of their lives was determined for a time and an hour. 
The construction of the words forbids us (with Luther) to regard 
the first part of ver. 12 as dependent on ""[ 1J? of ver. 11. The 
object Nnvn "iNlpi (the rest of the beasts) is presented in the form 
of an absolute nominative, whereby the statement of ver. 12 is 
separated from the preceding. V^yn, impersonal, instead of the 
passive, as ip'J in ch. ii. 35 : " their dominion was made to perish," 
for "their dominion was destroyed." "The other beasts" are not 
those that remained of the seven horns of the fourth beast, which 
were not uprooted by the horn coming up amongst them, the 
remaining kingdoms of the fourth monarchy after the destruction 
by that horn, for with the death of the beast the whole fourth 
world-monarchy is destroyed ; nor are they the other kingdoms 
yet remaining at the time of the overthrow of the fourth world- 
monarchy or the destruction of the fourth beast (J. D. Mich, 
v. Leng.), which only lose their political power, but first of all 
would become subject to the new dominant people (Hitzi«r) for 
such other kingdoms have no existence in the prophetic view of 
Daniel, since the beasts represent world-kingdoms whose dominion 
stretches over the whole earth. The " remaining beasts " are much 

CHAP. VII. 9-14. 233 

rather the first three beasts which arose out of the sea before 
the fourth, as is rightly acknowledged by Chr. B. Mich., Ros., 
Hav., Hofm., Maur., Klief., and Kran., with the old interpreters. 
Although the four world-kingdoms symbolized by those beasts 
follow each other in actual history, so that the earlier is always 
overthrown by that which comes after it, yet the dominion of the 
one is transferred to the other ; so in the prophetic representation 
the death or the disappearance of the first three beasts is not expressly 
remarked, but is here first indicated, without our needing for that 
reason to regard V n \V>} as the pluperfect. For the exposition of 
this verse also we may not appeal to ch. ii., where all the four 
world-kingdoms are represented in one human image, and the stone 
which rolled against the feet of this image broke not only the 
feet, hut with them the whole image to pieces (ch. ii. 34 f.), which 
in ver. 44 is explained as meaning that the kingdom of God will 
bring to an end all those kingdoms. From this we cannot con- 
clude that those kingdoms had long before already perished at the 
hour appointed for them, but that a remainder ("'??') of them yet 
continued to exist (Hav.), for the representation in this chapter is 
different ; and the rest of the beasts cannot possibly mean that which 
remained of the beasts after their destruction, but only the beasts 
that remained after the death of the fourth beast. The mas. 
suff. to l^t??^ (their dominion) and ]in? refer ad sensum to the 
possessor or ruler of the world-kingdom represented by the beasts. 
With that interpretation of "the rest of the beasts " the statement 
also of the second half of the verse does not agree, for it proves that 
the subject is the destruction of the dominion of all the beasts which 
arose up before the fourth. The length or duration of life is the 
time of the continuance of the world-kingdoms represented by the 
beasts, and thus the end of life is the destruction of the kingdom. 
The passive pret. rD'SV is not to be taken thus as the imperf. : " a 
period of life was appointed to them," but as the pluperf. : " had 
been granted to them," and the passage formally connected by the 
simple 1 is to be taken as confirming the preceding statement. 
PW l°? (placed together as ch. ii. 21 in the meaning there explained) 
is not to be identified with tu»T, ver. 22 (v. Leng., Kran.). The 
form (slat, alsol., not emphat.) shows that not a definite time, the 
time of the divine judgment of the fourth beast, is meant, but 
the time of the continuance of the power and dominion for each 
of the several beasts (kingdoms), foreseen only in the counsel of 
the Most High, and not further defined. In accordance with 


this, the statement of ver. 12 is that the first three beasts also had 
their dominion taken away one after another, each at its appointed 
time ; for to each God gave its duration of life, extending to the 
season and time appointed by Him. Thus Kliefotli, with the older 
interpreters, correctly regards the connecting of the end of the 
first three beasts with that of the last as denoting that in the horn 
not merely the fourth kingdom, but also the first three kingdoms, 
the whole world-power, is brought to an end by the last judgment. 
This thought, right in itself, and distinctly announced in the 
destruction of the image (ch. ii.), appears, however, to lie less in 
the altogether loose connection of ver. 12 with ver. 11 than in th<* 
whole context, and certainly in this, that with the fourth beast in 
general the unfolding of the world-power in its diverse phases is 
exhausted, and with the judgment of this kingdom the kingdom 
of God is raised to everlasting supremacy. 

Vers. 13. and 14. The giving of the kingdom to the Son of Man. 
— The judgment does not come to an end with the destruction of 
the world-power in its various embodiments. That is only its 
first act, which is immediately followed by the second, the erection 
of the kingdom of God by the Son of man. This act is intro- 
duced by the repetition of the formula, 7 saw; in the night-visions 
(vers. 7 and 2). (One) like a son of man came in the clouds of 
heaven. 'p.JS D V> with the clouds, i.e. in connection with them, in 
or on them, as the case may be, surrounded by clouds ; cf. Rev. 
i. 7, Mark xiii. 26, Matt. xxiv. 30, xxvi. 64. He who comes is 
not named, but is only described according to his appearance like 
a son of man, i.e. resembling a man (&^N ~Q as D"1X J3 = E'iJS or 
D"IN). That this was a man is not implied in these words, but 
only that he was like a man, and not like a beast or some other 
creature. Now, as the beasts signify not beasts but kingdoms, so 
that which appeared in the form of a man may signify something 
else than a human individuum. Following the example of Aben 
Ezra, Paulus, and Wegscheider, Hofmann (Schriftbeio. ii. 1. 80, 
and 2, p. 582 f.), Hitzig, Weisse, Volkmar, Fries (Jahrbb.f.D. 
Theol. iv. p. 261), Baxmann, and Heizfeld (Gesch. des V. Isr. ii. 
p. 381) interpret this appearance in the form of a man not of the 
Messiah, as the Jewish and Christian interpreters in treneral do 
but of the people of Israel, and adduce in support of this view the 
fact that, in the explanation of the vision, ver. 27, cf. ver. 24 the 
kingdom, the dominion, and the power, which according to ver. 14 
the son of man received, was given to the people of the saints of 

CHAP. VII. 9-14. ?,i5 

the Most High. But ver. 27 affords no valid support to this 
supposition, for the angel there gives forth his declaration regard- 
ing the everlasting kingdom of God, not in the form of an inter- 
pretation of Daniel's vision, as in the case of the four beasts in vers. 
17 and 23, but he only says that, after the destruction of the horn 
and its dominion, the kingdom and the power will be given to the 
people of the saints, because he had before (ver. 26, cf. 22) 
spoken of the blasphemies of the horn against God, and of its 
war against the saints of the Most High. But the delivering of 
the kingdom to the people of God does not, according to the 
prophetic mode of contemplation, exclude the Messiah as its king, 
but much rather includes Him, inasmuch as Daniel, like the other 
prophets, knows nothing of a kingdom without a head, a Messianic 
kingdom without the King Messiah. But when Hofmann further 
remarks, that " somewhere it must be seen that by that appearance 
in the form of a man is meant not the holy congregation of Israel, 
but an individual, a fifth king, the Messiah," Auberlen and 
Kranichfeld have, with reference to this, shown that, according to 
ver. 21, the saints appear in their multiplicity engaged in war 
when the person who comes in the clouds becomes visible, and 
thus that the difference between the saints and that person is 
distinctly manifest. Hence it appears that the " coming with the 
clouds of heaven" can only be applied to the congregation of 
Israel, if we agree with Hofmann in the opinion that he who 
appeared was not carried by the clouds of heaven down to the 
earth, but from the earth up to heaven, in order that he might 
there receive the kingdom and the dominion. But this opinion 
is contradicted by all that the Scriptures teach regarding this 
matter. In this very chapter before us there is no expression or 
any intimation whatever that the judgment is held in heaven. No 
place is named. It is only said that judgment was held over the 
power of the fourth beast, which came to a head in the horn speak- 
ing blasphemies, and that the beast was slain and his body burned. 
If he who appears as a son of man with the clouds of heaven 
comes before the Ancient of days executing the judgment on the 
earth, it is manifest that he could only come from heaven to earth. 
If the reverse is to be understood, then it ought to have been so 
expressed, since the coming with the clouds of heaven in opposi- 
tion to the rising up of the beasts out of the sea very distinctly 
indicates a coming down from heaven. The clouds are the veil 
or the "chariot" on which God conies from heaven to execute 


judgment against His enemies ; cf. Ps. xviii. 10 f., xcvii. 2-4, 
civ. 3, Isa. xix. 1, Nah. i. 3. This passage forms the founda- 
tion for the declaration of Christ regarding His future coming, 
which is described after Dan. vii. 13 as a coming of the Son of 
man with, in, on the clouds of heaven ; Matt. xxiv. 30, xxvi. 64 ; 
Mark xiii. 26 ; Rev. i. 7, xiv. 14. Against this, Hofmann, in 
behalf of his explanation, can only adduce 1 Thess. iv. 17, in total 
disregard of the preceding context, ver. 16. 1 

With all other interpreters, we must accordingly firmly main- 
tain that he who appears with the clouds of heaven comes from 
heaven to earth and is a personal existence, and is brought before 
God, who judges the world, that he may receive dominion, majesty, 
and a kingdom. But in the words " as a man " it is not meant 
that he was only a man. He that comes with the clouds of 
heaven may, as Kranichfeld rightly observes, " be regarded, ac- 
cording to current representations, as the God of Israel coming 
on the clouds, while yet he who appears takes the outward form of 
a man." The comparison (3, as a man) proves accordingly mnch 
more, that this heavenly or divine being was in human form. This 
" Son of man " came near to the Ancient of days, as God appears 
in the vision of the judgment, ver. 9, and was placed before Him. 
The subject to ^TOipn is undefined ; Kran. thinks that it is the 
clouds just mentioned, others think it is the ministering angels. 
Analogous passages may he adduced in support of both views : 
for the first, the vetpeXrj inrekafiev airov in Acts i. 9 ; but the 
parallel passages with intransitive verbs speak more in favour of 
the impersonal translation, " they brought him " = he was brought. 
The words, " dominion, and glory, and a kingdom were given to 
him," remind us of the expression used of Nebuchadnezzar, ch. ii. 
37 f., but they are elevated by the description following to the 
conception of the everlasting dominion of God. God gave to 

1 The force of these considerations is also recognised hy Hitzig. Since the 
people of the saints cannot come from heaven, he resorts to the expedient that 
the Son of man is a "figure for the concrete whole, the kingdom, the saints — 
this kingdom comes down from heaven." The difficulties of such an idea 
are very ohvious. Fries appears to be of opinion, with Hofmann, that there 
is an ascension to heaven of the people of the saints ; for to him " clear 
evidence" ihat the " Son of man" is the people of Israel lies especially in the 
words, " and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before 
Him," which necessitates the adoption of the opposite terminus a quo from 
Matt. xxiv. 30, Mark xiv. 62, Rev. i. 7 ; and hence makes the direct parallelism 
Of Pan. vii. 13 with the passages named impossible (?). 

QHAP. VII. 15-28. 237 

Nebuchadnezzar, the founder and first bearer of the world-power, 
a kingdom, and might, and majesty, and dominion over all the 
inhabitants of the earth, men, and beasts, and birds, that he might 
govern all nations, and tribes, and tongues (ch. v. 18, 19), but not 
indeed in such a manner as that all nations and tribes should 
render him religious homage, nor was his dominion one of ever- 
lasting duration. These two things belong only to the kingdom 
of God. r6a is used in biblical Chaldee only of the service and 
homage due to God ; cf. ver. 27, ch. iii. 12, 14, 17 f., Ezra vii. 19, 
24. Thus it indicates here also the religious service, the reverence 
which belong to God, though in the Targg. it corresponds with 
the Heb. "l?l? in all its meanings, colere Deum, terram, laborare. 
Regarding the expression " nations, tribes, and tongues," see under 
vers. 3, 4. The eternity of the duration of the dominion is in this 
book the constant predicate of the kingdom of God and His 
Anointed, the Messiah ; cf. ch. iii. 33, iv. 31, ii. 44. For further 
remarks regarding the Son of man, see at the close of this 

Vers. 15-28. The interpretation of the vision. — Ver. 14 con- 
cludes the account of the contents of the vision, but not the vision 
itself. That continues to the end of the chapter. Ver. 15. The 
things which Daniel saw made a deep impression on his mind. His 
spirit was troubled within him ; the sight filled him with terror. It 
was not the mystery of the images, nor the fact that all was not 
clear before his sight, that troubled and disquieted him ; for ver. 28 
shows that the disquietnde did not subside when an angel explained 
the images he had seen. It was the things themselves as they 
passed in vision before him — the momentous events, the calamities 
which the people of God would have to endure till the time of the 
completion of the everlasting kingdom of God — which filled him 
with anxiety and terror, 'nr stands for the Hebr. 'PSJ, and njK 
'K'n is in apposition to the suffix in 'rwi, for the suffix is repeated 
with emphasis by the pronoun, ch. viii. 1, 15, Ezra vii. 21, and 
more frequently also in the Hebr.; cf. Winer, Chald. Gram. § 40, 4 ; 
Ges. Hebr. Gram. § 121, 3. The emphatic bringing forward of 
the person of the prophet corresponds to the significance of the 
vision, which made so deep an impression on him ; cf . also ch. x. 1, 7, 
xii. 15. In this there is no trace of anxiety on the part of the 
speaker to make known that he is Daniel, as Hitzig supposes. 
The figure here used, " in the sheath" (E. V. " in the midst of my 


body"), by which the body is likened to a sheath for the soul, 
which as a sword in its sheath is concealed by it, is found also in 
Job xxvii. 8, and in the writings of the rabbis (cf. Buxt. Lex. 
talm. s.v.) It is used also by Pliny, vii. 52. On "visions of my head," 
cf. ver. 1. 

Ver. 16. Daniel turned himself towards an angel who stood 
by, with a request for an explanation of these things. One of them 
that stood by refers to those mentioned in ver. 10, who stood around 
the throne of God ; whence it is obvious that the vision is still con- 
tinued. KV??? is not the preterite, I asked him, but the subjunctive, 
that (!) / might ask. So also ^jnirp is to be taken with the l going 
before : he spake to me, that he informed me, namely by his speaking. 
In vers 17-27 the angel gives the wished-for explanation. In 
vers. 17 and 18 he gives first a general interpretation of the vision. 
The words, these great beasts, of which there ware four, form an 
absolute nominal clause : "as for the beasts;" as concerning their 
meaning, it is this : " they represent four kings." The kings are 
named as founders and representatives of world-kingdoms. Four 
kingdoms are meant, as ver. 23 shows, where the fourth beast is 
explained as OT, " dominion," " kingdom." Compare also ch. 
viii. 20 and 21, where in like manner kings are named and king- 
doms are meant. From the future pep' (shall arise) Hitzig con- 
cludes that the first kingdom was yet future, and therefore, that 
since Daniel had the vision under Belshazzar, the first kins could 
only be Belshazzar, but could not represent the Chaldean monarchy. 
But if from the words shall arise it follows that the vision is only 
of kings who arise in the future, then, since Daniel saw the 
vision in the first year of Belshazzar, it cannot of course be Bel- 
shazzar who is represented by the first beast; and if Belshazzar 
was, as Hitzig thinks, the last king of Chaldea, then the eniire 
Chaldean monarchy is excluded from the number of the four great 
beasts. Kranichfeld therefore understands this word as modal, and 
interprets it should arise. This was the divine decree by which 
also the duration of their kingdoms was determined (vers. 12, 
25). But the modal interpretation does not agree with ver. 16, 
according to which the angel wishes to make known the meaning 
of the matter to Daniel, not to show what was determined in the 
divine counsel, but what God had revealed to him by the beasts 
rising up out of the sea. The future, shall arise, is rather (Ros., 
v. Leng., Maur., Klief., etc.) for the purpose of declaring that the 
vision represents the development of the world-power as a whole 

CHAr. VII. 15-28. 239 

as it would unfold itself in four successive phases ; whereupon tlie 
angel so summarily interprets the vision to the prophet, that, 
dating from the time of their origin, he points out the first world- 
kingdom as arising along with the rest, notwithstanding that 
it had already come into existence, and only its last stages were 
then future. The thought of this summary interpretation is mani- 
festly nothing else than this : " Four kingdoms shall arise on the 
earth, and shall again disappear; but the saints of God shall 
receive the kingdom which shall have an everlasting duration." 
P«'?i? , .j receive; not found and establish by their own might, but 
receive through the Son of man, to whom God (ver. 14) has 
given it. pri^V (cf. vers. 22, 25, 27) is the name of God, the Most 
High, analogous to the plur. forms O^N, QWi?. " The saints of 
the Most High," or briefly " the saints" (vers. 21, 22), are neither 
the Jews, who are accustomed to call themselves " saints," in 
contrast with the heathen (v. Leng., Maur., Hitzig, etc.), nor the 
converted Israel of the millennium (Hofmann and other chiliasts), 
but, as we argue from Ex. xix. 6, Deut. vii. 6, the true members 
of the covenant nation, the New Testament Israel of God, i.e. the 
congregation of the New Covenant, consisting of Israel and the 
faithful of all nations ; for the kingdom which God gives to the 
Son of man will, according to ver. 14, comprehend those that are 
redeemed from among all the nations of the earth. The idea of 
the everlasting duration of their kingdom is, by the words NV??J? Ctby 
{for ever and ever), raised to the superlative degree. 

The angel does not here give further explanations regarding the 
first three kingdoms. Since the second chapter treats of them, and 
the eighth also gives further description of the second and third, 
it is enough here to state that the first three beasts represent those 
kingdoms that are mentioned in ch. ii. The form of the fourth 
beast, however, comprehends much more regarding the fourth 
world-kingdom than the dream-image of Nebuchadnezzar did. 
Therefore Daniel asks the angel further for certain information 
(certainty) regarding the dreadful form of this beast, and con- 
sequently the principal outlines of the representation before given 
of it are repeated by him in vers. 19-21, and are completed by 
certain circumstances there omitted. Thus ver. 19 presents the 
addition, that the beast had, along with iron teeth, also claws of 
brass, with which it stamped to pieces what it could not devour ; 
and ver. 20, that the little horn became greater than its fellows, 
made war against the people of God and overcame them, till the 


•judgment brought its dominion to an end. "??!? n,|3 Vj I urialied 
for sure knowledge, i.e. to experience certainty regarding it. 

In ver. 20, from li>3« {fell down) the relative connection of 
the passage is broken, and the direct description is continued. 
\s-[ Njnpi (and that horn) is an absolute idea, which is then ex- 
plained by the Vav epexegetic. iwn, the appearance which it pre- 
sented, i.e. its aspect, Annan I 1 ? (above his fellows), for Annan lin jo 
(above the aspect of his fellows), see under ch. i. 10. 

Ver. 21. r^i? (without the article), although used in a defi- 
nite sense of the saints already mentioned, appertains to the 
elevated solemn style of speech, in which also in the Hebr. the 
article is frequently wanting in definite names; cf. Ewald's Lehrb. 

Ver. 22. As compared with vers. 13 and 14, this verse says 
nothing new regarding the judgment. For 'npp a\T NJ V: ] is not 
to be rendered, as Hengstenberg thinks (Beitr. i. p. 274), by a 
reference to 1 Cor. vi. 2 : "to the saints of the Most High the judg- 
ment is given," i.e. the function of the judge. This interpretation 
is opposed to the context, according to which it is God Himself 
who executes judgment, and by that judgment justice is done to 
the people of God, i.e. they are delivered from the unrighteous 
oppression of the beast, and receive the kingdom. M**! is justice 
procured by the judgment, corresponding to the Hebrew word 
DSU>'d, Deut. x. 18. 

Ver. 23 ff. Daniel receives the following explanation regarding 
the fourth beast. It signifies a fourth kingdom, which would be 
different from all the preceding, and would eat up and destroy the 
whole earth. " The whole earth is the oiKov/xevn" the expression, 
without any hyperbole, for the " whole circle of the historical 
nations" (Kliefoth). The ten horns which the beast had signify 
ten kings who shall arise out of that kingdom. nnia^D P13D. from 
it, the kingdom, i.e. from this very kingdom. Since the ten horns 
all exist at the same time together on the head of the beast, the 
ten kings that arise out of the fourth kingdom are to be regarded 
as contemporary. In this manner the division or dismemberment 
of this kingdom into ten principalities or kingdoms is symbolized. 
For the ten contemporaneous kings imply the existence at the 
same time of ten kingdoms Hitzig's objections against this view 
are of no weight. That «7D and ^D are in this verse used as 
distinct from each other proves nothing, because in the whole 
vision king and kingdom are congruent ideas. But that the horn 

CHAP. VII. 15-28. 241 

ver. 8, unmistakeahly denotes a person, is only so far right, as 
things are said of the horn which are in abstracto not suitable to a 
kingdom, but they can only be applicable to the bearer of royal 
power. But ch. viii. 20 and 21, to which Hitzig further refers, 
furnishes no foundation for his view, but on the contrary confutes 
it. For although in ch. viii. 21 the great horn of the goat is 
interpreted as the first king of Javan, yet the four horns springing 
up immediately (ver. 22) in the place of this one which was broken, 
are interpreted as four kingdoms (not kings), in distinct proof not 
only that in Daniel's vision king and kingdom are not " separate 
from each other," but also that the further assertion, that " horn " 
is less fitted than " head " to represent a kingdom, is untenable. 

After those ten kingdoms another shall arise which shall be 
different from the previous ten, and shall overthrow three of them. 
PBtpn^ in contrast with E^pN (cf. ch. ii. 21), signifies to overthrow, to 
deprive of the sovereignty. But the king coming after them can only 
overthrow three of the ten kingdoms when he himself has estab- 
lished and possesses a kingdom or empire of his own. According to 
this, the king arising after the ten is not an isolated ruler, but the 
monarch of a kingdom which has destroyed three of the kingdoms 
already in existence. 

Ver. 25 refers to the same king, and says that he shall speak 
against the Most High. Tf> means, properly, against or at the side 
of, and is more expressive than ?J?. It denotes that he would use 
language by which he would set God aside, regard and give him- 
self out as God ; cf. 2 Thess. ii. 4. Making himself like God, he 
will destroy the saints of God. N72, Pa., not " make unfortunate " 
(Hitzig), but consume, afflict, like the Hebr. n?3, 1 Chron. xvii. 9, 
and Targ. Jes. iii. 15. These passages show that the assertion 
that n?3 } in the sense of to destroy, never takes after it the accusa- 
tive of the person (Hitz.), is false. Finally, " he thinks to change 
times and laws." " To change times " belongs to the all-perfect 
power of God (cf. ch. ii. 21), the creator and ordainer of times 
(Gen. i. 14). There is no ground for supposing that pj»t is to be 
specially understood of " festival or sacred times," since the word, 
like the corresponding Hebr. D^IJrto, does not throughout signify 
merely "festival times;" cf. Gen. i. 14, xvii. 21, xviii. 14, etc. 
The annexed JTil does not point to arrangements of divine worship, 
but denotes " law " or " ordinance " in general, human as well as 
divine law ; cf. ch. ii. 13, 15 with ch. vi. 6, 9. " Times and laws " 
are the foundations and main conditions, emanating from God, of 



the life and actions of men in the world. The sin of the king in 
placing himself with God, therefore, as Kliefoth rightly remarks, 
" consists in this, that in these ordinances he does not regard the 
fundamental conditions given by God, but so changes the laws of 
human life that he puts his own pleasure in the place of the divine 
arrangements." Thus shall he do with the ordinances of life, not 
only of God's people, but of all men. " But it is to be confessed 
that the people of God are most affected thereby, because they 
hold their ordinances of life most according to the divine plan; 
and therefore the otherwise general passage stands between two 
expressions affecting the conduct of the horn in its relation to the 
people of God." 

This tyranny God's people will suffer " till, i.e. during, a time, 
(two) times, and half a time." By these specifications of time the 
duration of the last phase of the world-power is more definitely 
declared, as a period in its whole course measured by God ; vers. 12 
and 22. The plural word pJ^V (times) standing between time and 
half a time can only designate the simple plural, i.e. two times used 
in the dual sense, since in the Chaldee the plural is often used to 
ienote a pair where the dual is used in Hebrew ; cf. Winer, Chald. 
Gr. § 55, 3. Three and a half times are the half of seven times 
(ch. iv. 13). The greater number of the older as well as of the 
more recent interpreters take time (pJJf) as representing the space 
of a year, thus three and a half times as three and a half years ; 
und they base this view partly on ch.iv. 13, where seven times must 
mean seven years, partly on ch. xii. 7, where the corresponding 
expression is found in Hebrew, partly on Rev. xiii. 5 and xi. 2, 3, 
where forty-two months and 1260 days are used interchangeably. 
But none of these passages supplies a proof that will stand the test. 
The supposition that in ch. iv. 13 the seven times represent seven 
years, neither is nor can be proved. As regards the time and times 
in ch. xii. 7, and the periods named in the passages of the Rev. 
referred to, it is very questionable whether the weeks and the days 
represent the ordinary weeks of the year and days of the week, 
and whether these periods of time are to be taken chronologically. 
Still less can any explanation as to this designation of time be 
derived from the 2300 days (evening-rnornincrs) in ch. viii. 14 
since the periods do not agree, nor do both passages treat of the 
same event. The choice of the chronologically indefinite expres- 
sion piy, time, shows that a chronological determination of the 
period is not in view, but that the designation of time is to be 

CHAP. VII. 15-28. 243 

understood symbolically. We have thus to inquire after the 
symbolical meaning of the statement. This is not to be sought, 
with Hofmann (Weiss, i. 289), in the supposition that as three and 
a half years are the half of a Sabbath-period, it is thus announced 
that Israel would be oppressed during half a Sabbath-period by 
Antichrist. For, apart from the unwarrantable identification of 
time with year, one does not perceive what Sabbath-periods and 
the oppression of the people of God have in common. This much 
is beyond doubt, that three and a half times are the half of seven 
times. The meaning of this half, however, is not to be derived, 
with Kraniclifeld, from ch. iv. 13, where " seven limes " is an ex- 
pression used for a long continuance of divinely-ordained suffering. 
It is not hence to be supposed that the dividing of this period into 
two designates only a proportionally short time of severest oppres- 
sion endured by the people of God at the hands of the heathen. 
For the humbling of the haughty ruler Nebuchadnezzar (ch. iv. 
13) does not stand in any inner connection with the elevation of 
the world-power over the people of God, in such a way that we 
could explain the three and a half times of this passage after the 
seven times of ch. iv. 13. In general, the question may be asked, 
Whether the meaning of the three and a half times is to be derived 
merely from the symbolical signification of the number seven, or 
whether, with Lammert, we must not much rather go back, in order 
to ascertain the import of this measure of time, to the divine judg- 
ments under Elias, when the heavens were shut for three years and 
six months; Luke iv. 25 and Jas. v. 17. " As Ahab did more to 
provoke God to anger than all the kings who were before him, so 
this king, Dan. vii. 24, in a way altogether different from those 
who went before him, spake words against the Most High and 
persecuted His saints, etc." But should this reference also not be 
established, and the three and a half times be regarded as only the 
half of seven times, yet the seven does not here come into view as 
the time of God's works, so that it could be said the oppression of 
the people of God by the little horn will last (Kliefoth) only half 
as long as a work of God; but according to the symbolical inter- 
pretation of the seven times (see p. 152), the three and a half, as the 
period of the duration of the circumstances into which the people 
of God are brought by the world-power through the divine per- 
mission, indicate " a testing period, a period of judgment which will 
(Matt. xxiv. 22 ; Prov. x. 27), for the elect's sake, be interrupted 
and shortened (septenarius truncus)." Leyrer in Herz.'s Real. Em. 


xviii. 3G9. Besides, it is to be considered how this space of time is 
described, not as three and a half, but a time, two times, and half 
a time. Ebrard (Ofenb. p. 49) well remarks regarding this, that 
" it appears as if his tyranny would extend itself always the longer 
and longer : first a time, then the doubled time, then the fourfold 
— this would be a seven times; but it does not go that length; 
suddenly it comes to an end in the midst of the seven times, so 
that instead of the fourfold time there is only half a time." "The 
proper analysis of the three and a half times," Kliefoth further 
remarks, " in that the periods first mount up by doubling them, 
and then suddenly decline, shows that the power of the horn and 
its oppression of the people of God would first quickly manifest 
itself, in order then to come to a sudden end by the interposition 
of the divine judgment (ver. 26)." For, a thing which is not here 
to be overlooked, the three and a half times present not the whole 
duration of the existence of the little horn, but, as the half of a 
week, only the latter half of its time, in which dominion over the 
saints of God is given to it (ver. 21), and at the expiry of which it 
falls before the judgment. See under ch. xii. 7. 

In vers. 26 and 27 this judgment is described (cf. ver. 10), but 
only as to its consequences for the world-power. The dominion of 
the horn in which the power of the fourth beast culminates is taken 
away and altogether annihilated. The destruction of the beast is 
here passed by, inasmuch as it is already mentioned in ver. 11; 
while, on the other hand, that which is said (ver. 12) about the 
taking away of its power and its dominion is strengthened by the 
inf. rnoc'n? (to destroy), iTiai npi (and to consume), being added to 
JvnyiT (they shall take away), to which PJpDpE' (his dominion) is to be 
repeated as the object. NB1D 1}J > to the end, i.e. not absolutely, but, 
as in ch. vi. 27, to the end of the days, i.e. for ever. 

Ver. 27. After the destruction of the beast, the kingdom and 
the dominion, which hitherto comprehended the kingdom under 
the whole heaven, are given to the people of God, i.e. under the 
reign of the Son of man, as is to be supplied from ver. 14. As in 
ver. 26 nothing is further said of the fate of the horn, because all 
that was necessary regarding it had been already said (ver. 11), so 
also all that was to be said of the Son of man was already men 
tioned in vers. 13 and 14 ; and according to the representation of 
the Scripture, the kingdom of the people of the saints without the 
Son of man as king is not a conceivable idea, niabo -q ( f the king- 
dom) is a subjective genitive, which is required' by tlie idea of the 


intransitive Nrna-j (the greatness) preceding it. The meaning is thus 
not " power over all kingdoms," but " the power which the king- 
doms under the whole heaven had." With regard to ver. 27, cf. 
vers. 14 and 18. 

In ver. 28 the end of the vision is stated, and the impression 
which it left on Daniel. Hitherto, to this point, was the end of 
the history ; i.e. thus far the history, or, with this the matter is at 
an end. NnpD, the matter, is not merely the interpretation of the 
angel, but the whole revelation, the vision together with its inter- 
pretation. Daniel was greatly moved by the event (cf. ch. v. 9^-, 
and kept it in his heart. 

The Four World-kingdoms. 

There yet remains for our consideration the question, What are 
the historical world-kingdoms which are represented by Nebuchad- 
nezzar's image (ch. ii.), and by Daniel's vision of four beasts rising 
up out of the sea? Almost all interpreters understand that these 
two visions are to be interpreted in the same way. " The four 
kingdoms or dynasties, which were symbolized (ch. ii.) by the 
different "parts of the human image, from the head to the feat, are 
the same as those which were symbolized by the four great beasts 
rising up out of the sea." This is the view not only of Bleek, 
who herein agrees with Auberlen, but also of Kranichfeld and 
Kliefoth, and all church interpreters. These four kingdoms, ac- 
cording to the interpretation commonly received in the church, are 
the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Macedo-Grecian, and the 
Roman. " In this interpretation and opinion," Luther observes, 
"all the world are agreed, and history and fact abundantly establish 
it." This opinion prevailed till about the end of the last century, 
for the contrary opinion of individual earlier interpreters had found 
no favour. 1 But from that time, when faith in the supernatural 

1 This is true regarding the opinion of Ephrem Syrus and of Cosmos 
Indicopleustes, who held that the second kingdom was the Median, the third 
the Persian, and the fourth the kingdom of Alexander and his successors. This 
view has been adopted only by an anonymous writer in the Comment. Var. 
in Dan. in Mai's Ccllectio nov. Script. Vett. p. 170. The same thing may be 
said of the opinion of Polychronius and Grotius, that the second kingdom was 
the Medo-Persian, the third the monarchy of Alexander, and the fourth the 
kingdom of his followers — a view which has found only one weak advocate in 
J. Chr. Becmann in a dissert, de Monorchia Quarta, Franc, ad Od. 1671. 


origin and character of biblical prophecy was shaken by Deism 
and Kationalism, then as a consequence, with the rejection of the 
genuineness of the book of Daniel the reference of the fourth 
kingdom to the Eoman world-monarchy was also denied. For the 
pseudo-Daniel of the times of the Maccabees could furnish no 
prophecy which could reach further than the time of Antiochus 
Epiphanes. If the reference of the fourth kingdom to the Eoman 
empire was therefore a priori excluded, the four kingdoms must 
be so explained that the pretended prophecy should not extend 
further than to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. For this end 
all probabilities were created, and yet nothing further was reached 
than that one critic confuted another. While Ewald and Bunsen 
advanced the opinion that the Assyrian kingdom is specially to be 
understood by the first kingdom, and that the Maccabean author of 
the book was first compelled by the reference to Nebuchadnezzar 
to separate, in opposition to history, the Median from the Persian 
kingdom, so as to preserve the number four, Hitzig, in agreement 
with von Eedepenning, has sought to divide the Babylonian king- 
dom, and to refer the first kingdom to Nebuchadnezzar and the 
second to his successor Belshazzar ; while Bertholdt, Jahn, and 
Eosenmiiller, with Grotius, have divided the kingdom of Alex- 
ander from the kingdom of his successors. But as both of these 
divisions appear to be altogether too arbitrary, Venema, Bleek, de 
Wette, Liicke, v. Leng., Maurer, Hitzig (ch. vii.), Hilgenfeld, and 
Kranichfeld have disjoined the Medo-Persian monarchy into two 
world-kingdoms, the Median and the Persian, and in this they are 
followed by Delitzsch. See Art. Daniel in Herz.'s Real. Encyc. 

When we examine these views more closely, the first named is 
confuted by what Ewald himself (Die Proph. iii. 314) has said on 
this point. The four world-kingdoms "must follow each other 
strictly in chronological order, the succeeding being always inferior, 
sterner, and more reckless than that which went before. They thus 
appear in the gigantic image (ch. ii.), which in its four parts, from 
head to feet, is formed of altogether different materials; in like 
maimer in ch. vii. four different beasts successively appear on the 
scene, the one of which, according to ch. viii., always destroys the 
other. Now it cannot be said, indeed, in strict historical fact that 
the Chaldean kingdom first gave way to the Median, and this again 
to the Persian, but, as it is always said, the Persian and Median 
together under Cyrus overthrew the Chaldean and formed one 
kingdom. This is stated by the author himself in ch. viii., where 


the Medo-Persian kingdom is presented as one under the image of 
a two-horned ram. According to this, he should have reckoned 
from Nabucodrossor only three world -kingdoms, if he had not 
received the number of four world-kingdoms from an old prophet 
living under the Assyrian dominion, who understood by the four 
kingdoms the Assyrian, the Chaldean, the Medo-Persian, and the 
Grecian. Since now this number, it is self-evident to him, can 
neither be increased nor diminished, there remained nothing else 
for him than to separate the Median from the Persian kingdom at 
that point where he rendered directly prominent the order and the 
number four, while he at other times views them together." But 
what then made it necessary for this pseudo-prophet to interpret 
the golden head of Nebuchadnezzar, and to entangle himself 
thereby, in opposition not only to the history, but also to his own 
better judgment, ch. viii., if in the old sources used by him the 
Assyrian is to be understood as the first kingdom ? To this mani- 
fest objection Ewald has given no answer, and has not shown 
that in ch. ii. and vii. the Median kingdom is separated from the 
Persian. Thus this hypothesis is destitute of every foundation, 
and the derivation of the number four for the world-kingdoms from 
a prophetic book of the Assyrian period is one of the groundless 
ideas with which Ewald thinks to enrich biblical literature. 

Hitzig's opinion, that Daniel had derived the idea of separating 
the heathen power into four kingdoms following each other from 
the representation of the four ages of the world, has no better 
foundation. It was natural for him to represent Assyria as the 
first kingdom, yet as he wished not to refer to the past, but to the 
future, he could only begin with the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar. 
Regarding himself as bound to the number four, he divided on that 
account, in ch. ii., the Chaldean dominion into two periods, and in 
ch. vii., for the same reason, the Medo-Persian into two kingdoms, 
the Median and the Persian. This view Hitzig founds partly on 
this, that in ch. ii. 38 not the Chaldean kingdom but Nebuchad- 
nezzar is designated as the golden head, and that for Daniel there 
exist only two Chaldean kings ; and partly on this, that the second 
wS>B (ch. ii. 39) is named as inferior to the Chaldean, which could 
not be said of the Medo-Persian as compared with the Chaldean ; 
and, finally, partly on this, that in the vision seen in the first year 
of Belshazzar (ch. vii.), Nebuchadnezzar already belonged to the 
past, while according to ver. 17 the first kingdom was yet future 
But apart from the incorrectness of the assertion, that for the autho" 


of this book only two Chaldean kings existed, it does not follow 
from the circumstance that Nebuchadnezzar is styled the golden 
head of the image, that he personally is meant as distinct from 
the Chaldean king that succeeded him; on the contrary, that 
Nebuchadnezzar comes to view only as the founder, and at that 
time the actual ruler, of the kingdom, is clear from ch. ii. 39, 
" after thee shall arise another kingdom " («^»), not another king 
(t£d), as it ought to be read, according to Hitzig's opinion. Bel- 
shazzar did not found another kingdom, or, as Hitzig says, another 
dominion (, but he only continued the kingdom or do- 
minion of Nebuchadnezzar. The two other reasons advanced have 
been already disposed of in the interpretation of ch. ii. 39 and of ch. 
vii. 17. The expression, "inferior to thee" (ch. ii. 39), would not 
relate to the Medo-Persian kingdom as compared with the Chaldean 
only if it referred to the geographical extension of the kingdom, 
which is not the case. And the argument deduced from the words 
" shall arise" in ch. vii. 17 proves too much, and therefore nothing. 
If in the word pDipl (shall arise) it be held that the first kingdom 
was yet to arise, then also the dominion of Belshazzar would be 
thereby excluded, which existed at the time of that vision. Moreover 
the supposition that w>? means in ch. ii. 39 the government of an 
individual king, but in ch. ii. 4 a kingdom, the passages being 
parallel in their contents and in their form, and that P??? in ch. 
vii. 17 ("the four beasts are four kings") means, when applied to 
the first two beasts, separate kings, and when applied to the two 
last, kingdoms, violates all the rules of hermeneutics. " Two rulers 
personally cannot possibly be placed in the same category with two 
kingdoms" (Kliefoth). 

But the view of Bertholdt, that the third kingdom represents 
the monarchy of Alexander, and the fourth that of his hidho^ot, 
(successors), is at the present day generally abandoned. And 
there is good reason that it should be so ; for it is plain that the 
description of the iron nature of the fourth kingdom in ch. ii. 
breaking all things in pieces, as well as of the terribleness of the 
fourth beast in ch. vii., by no means agrees with the kingdoms of 
the successors of Alexander, which in point of might and great- 
ness were far inferior to the monarchy of Alexander, as is indeed 
expressly stated in ch. xi. 4. Hitzig has, moreover, justly re- 
marked, on the other hand, that " for the author of this book the 
kingdom of Alexander and that of his successors form together 
the lV T n«?», ch. viii. 21 (Hie kingdom of Javan = Grecia).° But 


if he had separated them, he could not have spoken of the king- 
dom of the successors as ' diverse ' in character from that of 
Alexander, ch. vii. 7, 19. Finally, by such a view a right inter- 
pretation of the four heads, ch. vii. 6, and the special meaning 
of the legs which were wholly of iron, ch. ii. 33, is lost." 

Now, since the nntenableness of these three suppositions is 
obvious, there only remains the expedient to divide the Medo- 
Persian world-kingdom into a Median and a Persian kingdom, 
and to combine the former with the second and the latter with the 
third of Daniel's kingdoms. But this scheme also is broken to 
pieces by the twofold circumstance, (1) that, as Maurer himself 
acknowledges, history knows nothing whatever of a Median world- 
kingdom ; and (2) that, as Kranichfeld is compelled to confess 
(p. 122 ff.), "it cannot be proved from Dan. v. 28, vi. 1, 29, ix. 1, 
xi. 1, that the author of the book, in the vision in ch. ii. or vii., or 
at all, conceived of an exclusively Median world-kingdom, and 
knew nothing of the Persian race as an inner component part of 
this kingdom." It is true the book of Daniel, according to ch. viii., 
recognises a distinction between a Median and a Persian dynasty 
(cf. ver. 3), but in other respects it recognises only one kingdom, 
which comprehends in its unity the Median and the Persian race. 
In harmony with this, the author speaks, at the time when the 
Median government over Babylon was actually in existence, only of 
one law of the kingdom for Medes and Persians (ch. vi. 9, 13, 16), 
i.e. one law which rested on a common agreement of the two 
nations bound together into one kingdom. "The author of this 
book, who at the time of Darius, king of the Medes, knew only 
of one kingdom common to both races," according to Kran., 
''speaks also in the preceding period of the Chaldean independence 
of the Medes only in conjunction with the Persians (cf. ch. v. 28, 
viii. 20), and, after the analogy of the remark already made, not 
as of two separated kingdoms, but in the sense of one kingdom, 
comprehending in it, along with the Median race, also the Persians 
as another and an important component part. This finds its 
ratification during the independence of Babylon even in ch. viii. 
20 ; for there the kings of the Medes and the Persians are repre- 
sented by one beast, although at the same time two separate 
dynasties are in view. This actual fact of a national union into 
one kingdom very naturally and fully explains why, in the case of 
Cyrus, as well as in that of Darius, the national origin of the 
governors, emphatically set forth, was of interest for the author (cf. 


cli. ix. 1, vi. 1, xi. 1, vi. 28), while with regard to the Chaldean 
kin<*s there is no similar particular notice taken of their origin ; 
and generally, instead of a statement of the personal descent of 
Darius and Cyrus, much rather only a direct mention of the par- 
ticular people ruled by each — e.g. for these rulers the special 
designations 'king of the Persians/ 'king of the Medes ' — 
was°to be expected 1 (cf. ch. viii. 20, x. 1, 13, 20, xi. 2)." Hence, 
as Kranichfeld further rightly judges, it could not (cli. viii.) 
appear appropriate to suppose that the author had Persia in 
view as the third kingdom, while in the visions ch. ii. and vii. we 
would regard Persia as a kingdom altogether separated from the 
Median kingdom. Moreover the author in ch. viii. speaks of the 
one horn of the ram as growing up after the other, in order 
thereby to indicate the growing up of the Persian dynasty after 
the Median, and consequently the two dynasties together in one 
and the same kingdom (ver. 3, cf. ver. 20). Yet, in spite of all 
these testimonies to the contrary, Daniel must in ch. ii. and vii. 
have had in view by the second world-kingdom the Median, and 
by the third the Persian, because at that time he did not think 
that in the relation of the Median and the Persian no other 
change in the future would happen than a simple change of 
dynasty, but because, at the time in which the Median kingdom 
stood in a threatening attitude toward the Chaldean (both in the 
second year of Nebuchadnezzar and in the first year of his son 
Belshazzar, i.e. Evilmerodach), he thought that a sovereign Persian 
kingdom would rise up victoriously opposite the Median rival of 

1 Kranichfeld goes on to say, that Hilgenfeld goes too far if he concludes 
from the attribute, the Mede (ch. vi. 1 [v. 31]), that the author wished to repre- 
sent thereby a separate kingdom of the Medes in opposition to a kingdom of the 
Persians at a later time nationally distinct from it ; further, that as in the sequel 
the Median dynasty of the Medo-Persian kingdom passed over into a Persian 
dynasty, and through the government of the Persian Cyrus the Persian race 
naturally came forth into the foreground and assumed a prominent place, the 
kingdom was designated a potiori as that of the Persians (ch. x. 1, 13, 20, 
xi. 2), like as, in other circumstances (Isa. xiii. 17 : Jer. Ii. 11, 28), the Medians 
alone arc a potiori represented as the destroyers of Babylon. "As there was, 
during the flourishing period of the Median dynasty, a kingdom of the Medes 
and Persians (cf. Dan. v. 28, viii. 20), so there is, siuce the time of Cyrus the 
Persian, a kingdom of the Persians and Medes (cf. Esth. i. 3 18 1 Mace. i. 1 
xiv. 2). Wc find in Daniel, at the time of the Median supremacy in the king- 
dom, the law of the Medes and Persians (Dan. vi. 9, 13, 16), and subsequently 
we naturally find the law of the Persians and Medes, Esth. i. 19." 


As opposed to this expedient, we will not insist on the im- 
probability . that Daniel within two years should have wholly 
changed his opinion as to the relation between the Medians and the 
Persians, though it would be difficult to find a valid ground for 
this. Nor shall we lay any stress on this consideration, that the 
assumed error of the prophet regarding the contents of the divine 
revelation in ch. ii. and vii. appears irreconcilable with the super- 
natural illumination of Daniel, because Kranichfeld regards the 
prophetic statements as only the product of enlightened human 
mental culture. But we must closely examine the question how 
this reference of the world-kingdoms spoken of stands related to 
the characteristics of the third and fourth kingdoms as stated in 
ch. ii. and vii. 

The description of the second and third kingdoms is very briefly 
given in ch. ii. and vii. Even though the statement, ch. ii. 39, that 
the second kingdom would be smaller than the kingdomof Nebu- 
chadnezzar could point to a Median kingdom, and the statement 
that the third kingdom- would rule over the whole earth might 
refer to the spread of the dominion of the Persians beyond the 
boundaries of the Chaldean and Medo-Persian kingdom under 
Darius, yet the description of both of these kingdoms in ch. vii. 
5 sufficiently shows the untenableness of this interpretation. The 
second kingdom is represented under the image of a bear, which 
raises itself up on one side, and has three ribs in its mouth between 
its teeth. The three ribs in its mouth the advocates of this view 
do not know how to interpret. According to Kran., they are 
to be regarded as pointing out constituent parts of a whole, of 
an older kingdom, which he does not attempt more definitely to 
describe, because history records nothing of the conquests which 
Darius the Mede may have gained during the two years of his 
reign after the conquest of Babylon and the overthrow of the 
Chaldean kingdom by Cyrus. And the leopard representing (ch. 
vii. 6) the third kingdom has not only four wings, but also four 
heads. The four heads show beyond a doubt the division of the 
kingdom represented by the leopard into four kingdoms, just as 
in ch. viii. the four horns of the he-goat, which in ver. 22 are 
expressly interpreted of four kingdoms rising out of the kingdom, 
of Javan. But a division into four kingdoms cannot by any means 
be proved of the Persian world-kingdom. Therefore the four 
heads must here, according to Kran., represent only the vigilant 
watchfulness and aggression over all the regions of the earth, 


the pushing movement toward the different regions of the heavens, 
or, according to Hitzig, the four kincs of Persia whom alone 
Daniel knew. But the first of these interpretations confutes 
itself, since heads are never the symbol of watchfulness or of 
aggressive power; and the second is set aside by a comparison 
with ch. viii. 22. If the four horns of the he-goat represent four 
world-kingdoms rising up together, then the four heads of the 
leopard can never represent four kings reigning after one another, 
even though it were the case, which it is not (ch. xi. 2), that 
Daniel knew only four kings of Persia. 

Yet more incompatible are the statements regarding the fourth 
world-kingdom in ch. ii. and vii. with the supposition that the 
kingdom of Alexander and his followers is to be understood by it. 
Neither the monarchy of Alexander nor the Javanic world-king- 
dom accords with the iron nature of the fourth kingdom, repre- 
sented by the legs of iron, breaking all things in pieces, nor with 
the internal division of this kingdom, represented by the feet con- 
sisting partly of iron and partly of clay, nor finally with the ten toes 
formed of iron and clay mixed (ch. ii. 33, 40-43). As little does 
the monarchy of Alexander and bis successors resemble a fearful 
beast with ten horns, which was without any representative in the 
animal world, according to which Daniel could have named it (ch. 
vii. 7, 19). Kranichfeld rejects, therefore, the historical meaning 
of the image in ch. ii., and seeks to interpret its separate features 
only as the expression of the irreparable division of the un- 
godly kingdom assailing the theocracy with destructive vehemence, 
and therein of dependent weakness and inner dissolution. Hitzig 
finds in the two legs the representation of a monarchy which, as 
the Greek domination, sets its one foot on Europe and its other on 
Asia ; and he regards Syria and Egypt as the material of it — 
Syria as the iron, Egypt as the clay. Others, again, regard the 
feet as the kingdoms of the Seleucidas and the Ptolemies, and in 
the ten horns they seek the other kingdoms of the Aid&oxoi. On 
the other hand, Kliefoth justly asks, " How came Syria and Egypt 
to be feet ? And the toes go out of the feet, but the other kingdoms 
of the AidSoxot, do not arise out of Syria and Egypt." And if 
in this circumstance, that it is said of the fourth terrible beast that 
it was different from all the beasts that went before, and that no 
likeness was found for it among the beasts of prey, Kran. only 
finds it declared " that it puts forth its whole peculiarity accord- 
ing to its power in such a way that no name can any longer be 


found for it," then this in no respect whatever agrees with the 
monarchy of Alexander. According to Hitz., the difference of 
the fourth beast is to be sought in the monarchy of Alexander 
transplanted from Europe into Asia, as over against the three 
monarchies, which shared in common an oriental home, a different 
kind of culture, and a despotic government. But was the trans- 
ference of a European monarchy and culture into Asia something 
so fearful that Daniel could find no name whereby to represent 
the terribleness of this beast ? The relation of Alexander to the 
Jews in no respect corresponds to this representation ; and in 
ch. viii. Daniel does not say a word about the terribleness of the 
Javanic kingdom, but presents only the great rapidity of its con- 
quests. He had thus an entirely different conception of the Greek 
monarchy from that of his modern interpreters. 

Finally, if we take into consideration that the terrible beast which 
represents the fourth world-power has ten horns (ch. vii. 7), which 
is to be explained as denoting that out of the same kingdom ten 
kings shall arise (ch. vii. 24), and, on the contrary, that by the 
breaking off from the he-goat, representing the monarchy of Alex- 
ander, of the one great horn, which signified the first king, and the 
subsequent springing up of four similar horns, is to be understood 
that four kingdoms shall arise out of it (ch. viii. 5, 8, 21, 22) ; 
then the difference of the number of the horns shows that the 
beast with the ten horns cannot represent the same kingdom as 
that which is represented by the he-goat with four horns, since the 
number four is neither according to its numerical nor its sym- 
bolical meaning identical with the number ten. Moreover, this 
identifying of the two is quite set aside by the impossibility of 
interpreting the ten horns historically. Giving weight to the 
explanation of the angel, that the ten horns represent the rising 
up of ten kings, Berth., v. Leng., Hitz., and Del. have endeavoured 
to find these kings among the Seleucidse, but they have not been 
able to discover more than seven : 1. Seleucus Nicator ; 2. Antio- 
chus Soter ; 3. Antiochus Theus ; 4. Seleucus Oallinicus ; 5. Seleu- 
cus Ceraunus ; 6. Antiochus the Great ; 7. Seleucus Philopator, 
the brother and predecessor of Antiochus Epiphanes, who after 
Philopator's death mounted the throne of Syria, having set aside 
other heirs who had a better title to it, and who must be that little 
horn which reached the kingdom by the rooting up of three kings. 
The three kings whom Antiochus plucked up by the roots (cf. ch. 
vii. 8, 20, 24) must be Heliodorus, the murderer of Philopator ; 


Demetrius, who was a hostage in Rome, the son of Philopator, and 
the legitimate successor to the throne ; and the son of Ptolemy 
Philometor, for whom his mother Cleopatra, the sister of Seleucus 
Philopator and of Antiochus Epiphanes, claimed the Syrian throne. 
But no one of these three reached the royal dignity, and Done of 
them was dethroned or plucked up by the roots by Antiochus 
Epiphanes. Heliodorus, it is true, strove for the kingdom (Appian, 
Si/riac. 45) ; but his efforts were defeated, yet not by Antiochus 
Epiphanes, but by Attalus and Eumenes. Demetrius, after his 
death, was the legitimate heir to the throne, but could not assert 
his rights, because he was a hostage in Rome ; and since he did 
not at all mount the throne, he was not of course dethroned by 
his uncle Antiochus Epiphanes. Finally, Ptolemy Philometor, 
after the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, for a short time, it is true, 
united the Syrian crown with the Egyptian (1 Mace. xi. 13 ; Polyb. 
xl. 12), but during the life of Antiochus Epiphanes, and before 
he ascended the throne, he was neither de jure nor de facto king 
of Syria ; and the " pretended efforts of Cleopatra to gain for her 
son Philometor the crown of Syria are nowhere proved" (Hitzig). 
Of this historical interpretation we cannot thus say even so 
much as that it " only very scantily meets the case" (Delitzsch) ; 
for it does not at all accord with the prophecy that the little horn 
(Antiochus Epiphanes) plucked up by the roots three of the exist- 
ing kings. Hitzig and Hilgenfeld (Die Proph. Esra u. Van. 
p. 82) have therefore dropped out of view the Syrian kingdom 
of Philometor, and, in order to gain the number ten, have ranked 
Alexander the Great among the Syrian kings, and taken Seleucus 
Philopator into the triad of the pretended Syrian kings that were 
plucked up by the roots by Antiochus Epiphanes. But Alexander 
the Great can neither according to the evidence of history, nor 
according to the statement of tbe book of Daniel, be counted 
among the kings of Syria ; and Seleucus Philopator was not mur- 
dered by Antiochus Epiphanes, but Antiochus Epiphanes lived at 
the time of this deed in Athens (Appian, Syr. 45) ; and the mur- 
derer Heliodorus cannot have accomplished that crime as the 
instrument of Antiochus, because he aspired to gain the throne 
for himself, and was only prevented from doing so by the interven- 
tion of Attalus and Eumenes. Hilgenfeld also does not venture 
to reckon Heliodorus, the murderer of the king, amontr the triad 
of uprooted kings, but seeks to supply his place by an older son 
of Seleucus Philopator, murdered at the instigation of Antiochus 


Epiphanes according to Gutschmid ; but he fails to observe that 
a king's son murdered during the lifetime of his father, reigning 
as king, could not possibly be represented as a king whom Antio- 
chus Epiphanes drove from his throne. Of the ten kings of the 
Grecian world-kingdom of the branch of the Seleucidse before 
Antiochus Epiphanes, whom Hilgenfeld believes that he is almost 
able " to grasp with his hands," history gives as little information as 
of the uprooting of the three Syrian kings by Antiochus Epiphanes. 
But even though the historical relevancy of the attempt to 
authenticate the ten Syrian kings in the kingdom of the Seleucidse 
were more satisfactory than, from what has been remarked, appears 
to be the case, yet this interpretation of the fourth beast would be 
shattered against the ten horns, because these horns did not grow 
up one after another, but are found simultaneously on the head of 
the beast, and consequently cannot mean ten Syrian kings follow- 
ing one another, as not only all interpreters who regard the beast 
as representing the Roman empire, but also Bleek and Kran., 
acknowledge, in spite of the reference of this beast to the Javanic 
world-kingdom. "We are induced," as Bleek justly observes, 
" by ver. 8, where it is said of the little horn that it would rise up 
between the ten horns, to think of ten contemporaneous kings, or 
rather kingdoms, existing along with each other, w r hich rise out of 
the fourth kingdom." Therefore he will " not deny that the refer- 
ence to the successors of Alexander is rendered obscure by the 
fact that ch. viii. speaks of four monarchies which arise out of 
that of Alexander after his death." This obscurity, however, he 
thinks he is able to clear up by the remark, that " in the kind of 
development of the historical relations after the death of Alex- 
ander, the parts of his kingdom which formed themselves into 
independent kingdoms might be numbered in different ways." 
Thus, in ch. vii., " as ten from the number of the generals who 
in the arrangements of the division of the kingdom (323 B.C.) 
retained the chief provinces : 1. Kraterus (Macedonia) ; 2. An- 
tipater (Greece) ; 3. Lysimachus (Thrace); 4. Leonatus (Phrygia 
Minor on the Hellespont) ; 5. Antigonus (Phrygia Major, Lycia, 
and Pamphylia) ; 6. Cassander (Karia) ; 7. Eumenes (Cappadocia 
and Paphlagonia) ; 8. Laomedon (Syria and Palestine) ; 9. Pithon 
(Media) ; 10. Ptolemy Lagus (Egypt)." But Ziindel justly 
observes in opposition to this view, that " these kingdoms could 
only have significance if this number, instead of being a selection 
from the whole, had been itself the whole. But this is not the 


case. For at that time the kingdom, according to Justin, hist. 
L. xiii. 4, was divided into more than thirty separate parts. 1 Al- 
though all the names do not perfectly agree as given by different 
writers, yet this is manifest, that there is no information regard- 
ing a division of the kingdom of Alexander into ten exclusively. 
History knows nothing of such a thing; not only so, but much 
more, this reckoning of Bleek's falls into the same mistake as 
the oldest of Porphyry, that it is an arbitrary selection and not a 
fixed number." But if Bleek wishes to support his arbitrary 
selection by references to the Sibylline Oracles, where also mention 
is made of the horns of Daniel in connection with Alexander, 
Ililgenfeld (Jud. Apokal. p. 71 ff.) has, on the contrary, shown 
that this passage is derived from Daniel, and is therefore useless 
as a support to Bleek's hypothesis, because in it the immediate 
successors of Alexander are not meant, but ten kings following 
one another ; this passage also only shows that the sibyllist had 
given to the number ten an interpretation regarded by Bleek 
himself as incompatible with the words of Daniel. 

But notwithstanding the impossibility of interpreting the ten 
horns of the Greek world-kingdom, and notwithstanding the above- 
mentioned incompatibility of the statements of ch. ii. and vii. 
regarding the third kingdom with those of ch. viii. regarding the 
Medo-Persian kingdom, 2 yet, according to Kranichfeld, the identi- 

1 Justinus, I.e., mentions the following, viz. : 1. Ptolemy (Egypt, Africa, 
Arabia) ; 2. Laomedon (Syria and Palestine) ; 3. Philotas (Cilicia) ; 4. Philo 
(Illyria) ; 5. Atropatos (Media Major) : 6. Scynus (Susiana) ; 7. Antigonus 
(Phrygia Major) ; 8. Nearchus (Lycia and Pamphylia) ; 9. Cassander (Caria) ; 
10. Menander (Lydia) ; 11. Leonatus (Phrygia Minor) ; 12. Lysimacbus 
(Thracia and Pontus) ; 13. Eumenes (Cappadocia and Paphlagonia) ; 14. 
Taxiles (the countries between the Hydaspes and the Indus) ; 15. Pithon 
(India) ; 16. Extarches (Caucasus) ; 17. Sybirtios (Gedrosia) ; 18. Statanor 
or Stasanor (Drangiana and Aria) ; 19. Amyntas (Bactria) ; 20. Scytseua 
(Sogdiana) ; 21. Nicanor (Parthia) ; 22. Philippus (Hyrcania) ; 23. Phrata- 
phernes (Armenia) ; 24. Tlepolenus (Persia) ; 25. Peucestes (Babylonia) ; 26. 
Archon (the Pelasgi) ; 27. Arcesilaus (Mesopotamia). Besides these Mere 
were other generals not named. 

2 This incompatibility Kliefoth has so conclusively (p. 245 f.) stated, that 
in confirmation of the above remarks we quote his words. " The bear and the 
panther," he says, "are related to each other as the ram and the he-goat; but 
how, in two visions following each other and related to each other, the' one 
Medo-Persian kingdom could be likened to beasts so entirely different as a 
winged panther and a he-goat is quite inconceivable. The interpreters must 
help themselves by saying that the choice of the beasts is altogether arbitrary. 
Ch. viii. describes Medo-Persia as a kingdom comprehending two peoples united 


fication- of the fourth kingdom of Daniel with the Javanic world- 
kingdom receives a confirmation from the representation of ch. 
xi. and xii., particularly by the striking resemblance of the de- 
scription of the fourth kingdom in ch. ii. and vii. with that of the 
Javanic in ch. viii. ff. " As in ch. ii. and vii. the inward discord 
of the fourth kingdom is predicated, so this is obviously represented 
in the inner hateful strife of the kingdom, of which ch. xi. 3 ff. 
treats ; as here the discord appears as inextinguishable, so there ; 
as to the special means also for preventing the ominous ruin, cf. 
ch. ii. 43 with ch. xi. 6, 17." 

But is, then, this resemblance indeed so striking that it can 
overbalance the fundamental differences ? " Of all that ch. viii. 
says, in vers. 5-8, 21, 22, of Macedonia, nothing at all is found in 
the statements of ch. ii. and vii. regarding the fourth kingdom." 
Kliefoth. Also the inner dissolution predicated of the fourth 
kingdom, ch. ii. 41 ff., which is represented by the iron and clay 
of the feet of the image, is fundamentally different from the strife 
of the prince of the south with the prince of the north represented 
in ch. xi. 3 ff. The mixing of iron and clay, which do not unite 
together, refers to two nationalities essentially different from each 
other, which cannot be combined into one nation by any means of 
human effort, but not at all to the wars and conflicts of princes 
(ch. xi. 3 ff.), the Ptolemies and the Seleucidse, for the supremacy • 
and the attempts to combine together national individualities into 
one kingdom by means of the mingling together of different races 
by external force, are essentially different from the political mar- 
riages by which the Ptolemies and the Seleucidse sought to establish 
peace and friendship with each other. 1 

together within it ; but ch. vii. says regarding its third kingdom with four 
heads, that after an original unity it shall fall to pieces on all sides. And 
interpreters are compelled to meet this contradiction by explaining the four 
heads, some in one way, and others in another, but all equally unsuccessfully. 
According to ch. viii. Medo-Persia will extend itself only into three regions 
of the earth, while according to ch. vii. the third kingdom with its four wings 
will extend itself on all sides. It comes to this, therefore, that these inter- 
preters must divide Medo-Persia in ch. ii. and ch. vii. into two kingdoms, of 
Media and Persia, while in ch. viii. they must recognise but one Medo-Persian 

1 How little political marriages were characteristic of the Ptolemies and the 
Seleucidse, rather how much more frequently they took place among the 
Romans, from the time of Sulla down to that of Diocletian, and that often in a. 
violent way — cumfrequenti divortio et raptu gravidarum — as a means of obtain- 
ing or holding the government, is shown from the numerous collection of cases 



There is more plausibility in criticism which gives prominence 
to the resemblance in the description of the two violent perse- 
cutors of the people of God who arise out of the Javanic and 
the fourth world-kingdom, and are represented in ch. viii. as well 
as in ch. vii. under the figure of a little horn. "If" — for thus 
Kran. has formulated this resemblance — "in the fourth king- 
dom, according to ch. vii. 8, 11, 20, 21, 25, the heathen oppressor 
appears speaking insolent words against the Most High and making 
war with the saints, so ch. viii. 10 ff., 24, xi. 31, 36, unfolds, only 
more fully, in his fundamental characteristics, the same enemy; 
and as in ch. vii. 25 the severe oppression continues for three 
and a half times, so also that contemplated in ch. viii. 14 and 
in xii. 7, in connection with ch. xii. 1 ff. and ch. xi." On the 
ground of this view of the case, Delitzsch (p. 280) asks, " Is it 
likely that the little horn which raised itself up and persecuted 
the church of God is in ch. viii. Antiochus Epiphanes rising up 
out of the divided kingdom of Alexander, and in ch. vii., on the 
contrary, is a king rising up in the Roman world-kingdom? The 
representation of both, in their relation to Jehovah, His people, 
and their religion, is the same. The symbolism in ch. vii. and viii. 
coincides, in so far as the arch-enemy is a little horn which rises 
above three others." We must answer this question decidedly in 
the affirmative, since the difference between the two enemies is not 
only likely, but certain. The similarity of the symbol in ch. vii. 
and viii. reaches no further than that in both chapters the perse- 
cuting enemy is represented as a little horn growing gradually to 
greater power. But in ch. viii. 9 this little horn arises from one 
of the four horns of the he-goat, without doing injury to the other 
three horns ; while in ch. vii. 8 the little horn rises up between the 
ten horns of the dreadful beast, and outroots three of these horns. 
The little horn in ch. viii., as a branch which grows out of one of 
these, does not increase the number of the existing horns, as that in 
ch. vii., which increases the number there to eleven. This distinc- 

of this sort compiled by J. C. Velthusen in his treatise Animad. ad Dan. ii. 
27-45, imprimis de principum Romanorum connubiis ad firmandam tyrannidem 
inventis, Helmst. 1783, in vol. v. of the Comeutatt. Theolog. of Velth., edited 
by Kuinoel and Ruperti. Since this treatise has not received any attention 
from modern critics, we will quote from it the judgment which Cato passed on 
Caesar's triplex ad evertendam rempublicam inventa polilicarum nuptiarum 
conspiratio. His words are these : " rem esse plane non toleralilem, quod con- 
nubiorumlenociniisimperium collocari (Zixu«.cT l ,wJ £a 0u l ) ctxperit, el per mulicres 
sese mutuo ad prxfectura.t, exercitas, imperia auderet introducere "' (p. 379). 


tion cannot, as Kranichfeld supposes, be regarded merely as a. 
formal difference in the figurative representation ; it constitutes 
an essential distinction for which the use of different symbols for 
the representation of the world-kingdoms in ch. ii. and vii. fur- 
nishes no true analogue. By these two different images two wholly 
different things are compared with each other. 

The representations of the four world-kingdoms in ch. ii. and in 
ch. vii. are only formally different, — in ch. ii. a human image, in 
ch. vii. four beasts, — but in reality these representations answer to 
each other, feature for feature, only so that in ch. vii. further out- 
lines are added, which entirely agree with, but do not contradict, 
the image in ch. ii. On the contrary, in ch. vii. and viii. essential 
contradictions present themselves in the parallel symbols — four 
horns and ten horns — which cannot be weakened down to mere 
formal differences. As little does the description of the enemy of 
the people of God, portrayed as a little horn in ch. viii., correspond 
with that in ch. vii. The fierce and crafty king arising out of the 
kingdoms of Alexander's successors will become "great toward the 
south and toward the east and toward the pleasant land, and wax 
great even to the host of heaven, and cast down some of the host 
and of the stars to the ground ; yea, he will magnify himself even 
to the prince of the host, and take away the daily sacrifice, and cast 
down the place of the sanctuary " (ch. viii. 9-12,23-25). On the 
other hand, the king who rises up out of the fourth world-kingdom, 
■who overthrows three other kings, will " speak great things against 
the Most High, and make war against the saints of the Most High 
and prevail against them, and think to change times and laws " (ch 
vii. 8, 20, 25). These two enemies resemble each other in this, 
that they both make war against the people of God; but they differ 
in that he who arises out of the third world-kingdom, extending 
his power toward the south and the east, i.e. towards Egypt and 
Babylon, and towards the Holy Land, shall crush some of the 
people of God, and by the taking away of the daily worship and 
the destruction of the sanctuary in Jerusalem, will rise up against 
God ; while, on the contrary, he that shall arise out of the fourth 
world-kingdom will go much further. He will establish his king- 
dom by the destruction of three kingdoms, by great words put 
himself in the place of God, and as if he were God will think to 
change the times and the laws of men. Conformably to this, the 
length of time during which the persecution of these two adver- 
saries will continue is different. The laying waste of the sanctuary 


by the power of the little horn arising out of the J&vanic world- 
kingdom will continue 2300 evening-mornings (ch. viii. 14) : to the 
power of the little horn arising out of the fourth world-kingdom 
the saints of the Most High must be given up for a time, two 
times, and half a time (ch. vii. 25). No one will be persuaded, 
with Kranichfeld, that these two entirely different periods of time 
are alike. This difference of the periods of time again appears in ch. 
xii. 7, 11, 12, where also the three and a half times (ver. 7) agree 
neither with the 1290 nor with the 1335 days. It is therefore not 
correct to say that in ch. viii. and vii. Antichrist, the last enemy 
of the church, is represented, and that the aspects of the imagery 
in both chapters strongly resemble each other. The very opposite 
is apparent as soon as one considers the contents of the description 
without prejudice, and does not, with Kranichfeld and others, hold 
merely by the details of the representation and take the husk for the 
kernel. The enemy in ch. viii. proceeds only so far against God 
that he attacks His people, removes His worship, and lays waste 
the sanctuary; the enemy in ch. vii. makes himself like God ("IS7, 
ver. 25), thinks himself to be God, and in his madness dares even 
to seek to change the times and the laws which God has ordained, 
and which He alone has the power to change. The enemy in ch. 
viii. it is an abuse of words to call Antichrist; for his offence 
against God is not greater than the crime of Ahaz and Manasseh, 
who also took away the worship of the true God, and set up the 
worship of idols in His stead. On the other hand, it never came 
into the mind of an Ahaz, nor of Manasseh, nor of Antiochns 
Epiphanes, who set himself to put an end to the worship of God 
among the Jews, to put themselves in the place of God, and to 
seek to change times and laws. The likeness which the enemy in 
ch. viii., i.e. Antiochus Epiphanes, in his rage against the Mosaic 
religion and the Jews who were faithful to their law, has to the 
enemy in ch. vii., who makes himself like God, limits itself to the 
relation between the type and the antitype. Antiochus, in his 
conduct towards the Old Testament people of God, is only the type 
of Antichrist, who will arise out of the ten kingdoms of the fourth 
world-kingdom (ch. vii. 24) and be diverse from them, arrogate 
to himself the omnipotence which is given to Christ, and in this 
arrogance will put himself in the place of God. 

The sameness of the designation given to both of these adver- 
saries of the people of God, a " little horn;' not only points to the re- 
lation of type and antitype, but also, as Kliefoth has justly remarked, 


to " intentional and definite " parallelism between the third world- 
kingdom (the Macedonian) and the fourth (the Koman). " On all 
points the changes of the fourth kingdom are described similarly 
to the changes which took place in the Macedonian kingdom ; but 
in every point of resemblance also there is indicated some distinct 
difference, so that the Macedonian kingdom in its development 
comes to stand as the type and representative of the fourth king- 
dom, lying as yet in the far-off future." The parallelism appears 
in this, that in the he-goat, representing the Javanic kingdom, after 
the breaking of the one great horn four considerable horns come 
up; and the fourth beast has ten horns; and the horns in both show 
that out of the one kingdom four, and out of the other ten, king- 
doms shall arise; — further, that as out of one of the Javanic Diadoch 
kingdoms, so also from among the ten kingdoms into which the 
fourth kingdom is divided, a little horn comes up ; the little horn 
in the Javanic kingdom, however, developes itself and founds its 
dominion differently from that of the fourth kingdom. If one 
carefully considers the resemblances and the differences of this 
description, he cannot fail to observe " the relation of an imperfect 
preliminary step of heathenish ungodliness to a higher step after- 
wards taken," which Kran. (p. 282) seeks in a typical delineation. 
For the assertion of this critic, that "in the pretended typical, as 
in the antitypical situation, the same thoughts of the rising up 
against the Most High, the removal of His worship, and the 
destruction of the sanctuary always similarly occur," is, according 
to the exegetical explanation given above, simply untrue. The 
difference reduces itself not merely to the greater fulness with 
which, " not the chief hero, but the type," is treated, but it shows 
itself in the diversity of the thoughts; for the elevation to the 
place of God, and the seeking to change the times and the laws, 
manifests one of a higher degree of godlessness than the removing 
of the Jewish sacrificial worship and the desecration of the Jewish 

Finally, the relation of the type to the antitype appears yet 
more distinctly in the determining of the time which will be ap- 
pointed to both enemies for their opposition to God ; for, though 
apparently they are alike, they are in reality very differently desig- 
nated, and particularly in the explanation of the angel, ch. viii. 17, 
19, and in the representation of the conduct of both enemies in ch. 
xi. and xii., as we shall show in our exposition of these chapters. 

Since, then, neither the division of the Medo-Persian kingdom 


into the Median and the Persian is allowable, nor the identifi- 
cation of the fourth kingdom, ch. ii. and vii., with the Javanic 
world-kingdom in ch. viii., we may regard as correct the traditional 
church view, that the four world-kingdoms are the Chaldean, the 
Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Eoman. This opinion, which 
has been recently maintained by Hav., Hengst., Hofm., Auberl., 
Ziindel, Klief., and by C. P. Caspari and H. L. Keichel, alone 
accords without any force or arbitrariness with the representation 
of these kingdoms in both visions, with each separately as well as 
with both together. If we compare, for instance, the two visions 
with each other, they are partly distinguished in this, that while 
Nebuchadnezzar sees the world-power in its successive unfoldings 
represented by one metallic image, Daniel, on the other hand, sees 
it in the form of four ravenous beasts ; partly in this, that in ch. 
vii. the nature of the world-power, and its relation to the kingdom 
of God, is more distinctly described than in the image seen by 
Nebuchadnezzar, ch. ii. These diversities have their foundation 
in the person of the respective recipients of the revelation. Nebu- 
chadnezzar, the founder of the world-power, sees its development 
in its unity and in its earthly glory. As opposed to the kingdom 
of God, the world-kingdoms, in all the phases of their develop- 
ment, form a united power of outward glory. But its splendour 
gradually decreases. The image with the golden head has its 
breast and arms of silver, its belly of brass, its legs of iron, its 
feet of iron and clay mixed. Thus the image stands on feet that 
are weak and easily broken, so that a stone rollino- ao-ainst them 
can break in pieces the whole colossus. Since, then, the image 
must represent four phases of the world-kingdoms following each 
other, they must be represented by the separate parts of the image. 
Beginning with the head, as denoting the first kingdom, the second 
kingdom is in natural order represented by the breast and arms, 
the third by the belly, and the fourth by the legs and feet. Since 
this of necessity follows from the image being that of the human 
body, yet in the interpretation we may not attach any weight to 
the circumstance that the second kingdom is represented by the 
breast and the two arms, and the fourth by the two legs ; but this 
circumstance may be taken into consideration only in so far as 
importance is given to it by the interpretation which is furnished 
in the text, or as it finds corresponding importance in the vision 
of ch. vii. 

If we thus consider now the image, ch. ii., the selection of dif- 


ferent metals for its separate parts must be regarded as certainly 
designed not only to distinguish the four world-kingdoms from 
each other, but also at the same time to brine to view their different 
natures and qualities. This is evident from the interpretation in 
ch. ii. 39 ff., where the hardness and the crushing power of the 
iron, and the brittleness of the clay, are brought to view. From 
this intimation it is at the same time obvious that the metals are 
not, as Auberlen, p. 228 ff., thinks, to be viewed only as to their 
worth, and that by the successive depreciation of the materials — 
gold, silver, brass, iron, clay — a continuous decline of the world- 
power, or a diminution of the world-kingdoms as to their inner worth 
and power, is intended. Though Aub. says many things that are 
true and excellent regarding the downward progress of the world- 
development in general, the successive deterioration of humanity 
from paradise to the day of judgment, yet this aspect of the sub- 
ject does not come here primarily before us, but is only a subordi- 
nate element in the contemplation. Daniel does not depict, as 
Aub. with P. Lange supposes, the world-civilisations in the world- 
monarchies ; he does not describe " the progress from a state of 
nature to one of refined culture — from a natural, vigorous,' solid 
mode of existence to a life of refinement and intellectualism, which 
is represented by the eye (ch. vii. 8) of Antichrist ;" but he describes 
in both visions only the development of the world-power opposite 
to the kingdom of God, and its influence upon it in the future. 
If Aub. holds as the foundation of his opinion, that " gold and 
silver are nobler and more valuable metals, but that, on the other 
hand, iron and brass are infinitely more important for the cause of 
civilisation and culture," he has confounded two different points 
of view : he has made the essential worth and value of the former 
metals, and the purpose and use of the latter, the one point of 
comparison. Gold and silver are nobler and more valuable than 
brass and iron, yet they have less intrinsic worth. The difference 
is frequently noticed in the Old Testament. Gold and silver are 
not only more highly valued than brass and iron (cf. Isa. lx. 17), 
but silver and gold are also metonymically used to designate moral 
purity and righteousness (cf. Mai. iii. 3 with Isa. i. 22) ; brass and 
iron, on the contrary, are used to designate moral impurity (cf. 
Jer. vi. 28, Ezek. xxii. 18) and stubborn rebellion against God 
(Isa. xlviii. 4). "With reference to the relative worth of the 
metals, their gradation in the image shows, without doubt, an 
increasing moral and religious deterioration of the world-king- 


doms. It must not, however, be hence thought, as Anberlen does; 
" that the Babylonian and Persian religions presuppose more gen- 
uine truthfulness, more sacred reverence for that which is divine, 
deeper earnestness in contending against the evil, in the nations 
among whom they sprung up, than the Hellenic, which is so 
much richer and more beautifully developed ;" for this distinction 
is not supported by history. But although this may be said of the 
Persian, it cannot be held as true of the Babylonian religion, from 
all we know of it. Kranichfeld (p. 107) is more correct when in 
the succession of the metals he finds " the thought conceived by 
the theocrat of a definite fourfold procedure or expression of cha- 
racter comparatively corresponding to them, of a fourfold ^~/}_ (way, 
Jer. vi. 27) of the heathen kingdoms manifesting an increasing 
deterioration." The two first kingdoms, the golden and the silver, 
in general appear to him in their conduct as proportionally noble, 
virtuous, and in their relation to the theocracy even relatively 
pious ; the two latter, on the contrary, which presented themselves 
to him in the likeness of brass and iron, as among the four 
morally base, as standing in the moral scale lower and lowest, and 
in relation to the theocracy as more relentless and wicked (see ver. 
40 1 ). With this the declaration of the text as to the position of the 
four world-kingdoms and their rulers with reference to the people 
of God stand in accord ; for, on the one hand, Nebuchadnezzar, 
and the first rulers of the second kingdom, Darius the Median and 
Cyrus the Persian, respect the revelations of the living God, and 
not only in their own persons give honour to this God, but also 
command their heathen subjects to render unto Him fear and 
reverence ; on the other hand, on the contrary, from the third and 
the fourth kingdoms the greatest persecutors of the kingdom of 
God, who wish utterly to destroy it (ch. vii., viii.), arise. In this 

1 Kliefoth (p. 93) in a similar manner says, " From the application which 
in ch. ii. 40 is made of the iron material, we see that the substances represent- 
ing the different kingdoms, and their deterioration from the gold down to the 
iron, must denote something else than that the world-power, in the course of 

its historical formation, will become always baser and more worthless that also 

its more tender or more cruel treatment of the nations, and of the men sub- 
dued by it, must be characterized. If the bonds which the Babylonian world- 
monarchv wound around the natious which were brought into subjection to 
it, by its very primitive military and bureaucratic regulations, were loose, 
gentle, pliable as a golden ring, those of the Medo-Persian were of harder silver^ 
those of the Macedonian of yet harder copper, but the yoke of the fourth will 
be one of iron." 


respect the two first world-kingdoms, seen in their rulers, are like 
gold and silver, the two latter like copper and iron. 

The relation of the world-kingdoms to the kingdom and people 
of God, represented by this gradation of the metals, corresponds 
only to the Babylonian, Medo - Persian, Grecian, and Roman 
world-kingdoms, but not to the Babylonian, Median, and Persian. 
This appears more manifest in the representation of them by four 
ravenous beasts, the lion, the bear, the leopard, and another beast 
to which no likeness can be found, ch. vii. Its eagle's wines were 
torn from the lion, and it had given to it, by God, a man's heart ; 
the bear shows only wild voracity, — holding its prey between its 
teeth, it raises its one side for new prey; the leopard with four heads 
and four wings springs forward as in flight over the whole earth, to 
seize it and to exercise dominion over it; the fourth nameless beast 
devours and breaks in pieces with its iron teeth all that remains, 
and stamps upon it with its iron feet, and thus represents godless 
barbarity in its fullest development. But for the historical inter- 
pretation there comes yet particularly into view the circumstance 
that the fourth beast is represented by no animal existing in 
nature, and is designated by no historical name, as in the case of 
the first (ch. ii. 38) and the second and third (ch. viii. 20, 21); 
for the two first had already come into existence in Daniel's time, 
and of the third, the people at least out of whom it was to arise 
had then already come into relation to the people of Israel (Joel 
iv. 6, 8). The fourth kingdom, on the contrary, is represented 
by a nameless beast, because in Daniel's time Rome had not come 
into contact with Israel, and as yet lay beyond the circle of vision 
of Old Testament prophecy. Although Daniel receives much 
more special revelations regarding this world-kingdom (ch. vii.) 
than Nebuchadnezzar does in his dream (ch. ii.), yet all the 
separate lines of the representation of the beast and its horns 
are given with so much want of precision that every reference 
to a historical people is at fault, and from the vision and its inter- 
pretation it was not to be known where this kingdom would arise, 
whether in Asia or elsewhere. The strength of the monster, 
devouring and trampling mercilessly on all things, is in harmony 
with its iron nature, and in its ten horns its powerful armour is 
depicted. The very concrete expressions regarding the little or 
eleventh horn contain only ideal traces respecting the position 
of the king or kingdom represented by it, which distinctly show, 
indeed, the elevation of the same above all human and divine 


authority, but give no indication at all of any special historical 

Thus it appears that the two visions, on the one hand, do not 
copy their prophetic representation from historical facts, that the 
■prophecy is not vaticinium ex eventu; but, on the other hand, also 
that it is not derived from general ideas, as Hitz. and Kran. have 
attempted to show. While Hitzig thinks that the idea of the four 
ages of the world lies at the foundation, not of the fourfoldness of 
the monarchies, but of the kind of representation given of them in 
Dan. ii., — an idea which came from India to Greece, and was 
adopted by Daniel in its Greek form, — Kranichfeld considers that, 
under divine enlightenment, Daniel delineated the ideal of the ad- 
vancing completion of heathen depravation in four stages (not in 
five, six, etc.), after the notion of the four ages of the world which 
we find not only in the Indian four jugas, but also in the Greco- 
Roman representation of the metallic asons. Now although for 
this book of Daniel no special dependence on the Greeks can be 
proved from the use and value of the metals, because they were 
used by the ancient Hebrews as metaphorical symbols, yet the 
combination of the idea of the ages of the world so firmly and 
definitely stamped with just the number four remains a very note- 
worthy phenomenon, which must have had a deeper foundation 
lying in the very fact itself. This foundation, hr concludes, is to 
be sought in the four stages of the age of man. 

This conjecture might appear plausible if Kranicbfeld had proved 
the supposed four stages of the age of man as an idea familiar to 
the O. T. He has not, however, furnished this proof, but limited 
himself to the remark, tbat the combination of the number four 
with the ages of the life of man was one lying very near to Daniel, 
since the four phases of the development of heathenism come into 
view (ch. ii.) in the image of a human being, the personification 
of heathendom. A very marvellous conclusion indeed! "What, 
then, have the four parts of the human figure— the head, breast, 
belly, feet— in common with the four stages of the a^e of man? 
The whole combination wants every point of support. The idea 
of the development of the world-power in four kingdoms following 
after each other, and becoming continually the more oppressive to 
the people of God, has no inward connection with the representa- 
tion of the four ages of the world, and— as even Ewald (Dan. p. 
346), in opposition to this combination, remarks—" the mere com- 
parison with gold, silver, brass, iron lies too near for the author 


of this book to need to borrow it from Hesiod." Tlie agreement 
of the two ideas in the number four (although Hesiod has inserted 
the age of the heroes between the brazen and the iron seon, and 
thus has not adhered to the number four) would much more readily 
have been explained from the symbolical meaning of four as the 
number of the world, if it were the mere product of human 
speculation or combination in the case of the world-ages as of 
the world-kingdoms, and not much rather, in the case of the 
world - ages, were derived from the historical development of 
humanity and of Daniel's world-kingdoms, from divine revelation. 
Yet much less are the remaining declarations regarding the develop- 
ment and the course of the world-kingdoms to be conceived of as 
the product of enlightened human thought. This may be said of 
the general delineation of the second and third world-kingdoms 
(ch. ii. and vii.), and yet much more of the very special declara- 
tion regarding them in ch. viii.,- but most of all of the fourth 
world-kingdom. If one wished to deduce the fearful power of 
this kingdom destroying all things from the idea of the rising up 
of hostility against that which is divine, closely bound up with the 
deterioration of the state of the world, and to attach importance 
to this, that the number ten of the horns of the fourth beast, 
corresponding to the number of the toes of the feet, is derived 
from the apprehension of heathendom as the figure of a man, 
and is not to be understood numerically, but symbolically; yet 
there remains, not to mention other elements, the growth of the 
little horn between the ten existing horns, and its elevation to 
power through the destruction of three existing horns, which 
are deduced neither from the symbolical meaning of the num- 
bers nor are devised by enlightened human thought, but much 
rather constrain us to a recognition of an immediate divine reve- 

If we now approach more closely to the historical reference of 
the fourth world-kingdom, it must be acknowledged that we cannot 
understand by it the Grecian, but only the Koman world-power. 
With it, not with the Macedonian monarchy, agree both the iron 
nature of the image (ch. ii.), and the statements (ch. vii. 23) that 
this kingdom would be different from all that preceded it, and that 
it would devour and break and trample upon the whole earth. The 
Koman kingdom was the first universal monarchy in the full sense. 
Along with the three earlier world-kingdoms, the nations of the 
•world-historical future remained still unsubdued : along with the 


Oriental kingdoms, Greece and Eome, and along with the Mace- 
donian, the growing power of Eome. 

First the Koman kingdom spread its power and dominion over 
the whole ol/cov/Aevi), over all the historical nations of antiquity in 
Europe, Africa, and Asia. " There is" (says Herodian, ii. 11. 7) 
" no part of the earth and no region of the heavens whither the 
Romans have not extended their dominion." Still more the pro- 
phecy of Daniel reminds us of the comparison of the Eoman world- 
kingdom with the earlier world-kingdoms, the Assyrico-Babylonian, 
the Persian, and the Grecian, in Dionys. Halicar., when in the 
procem. 9 he says : " These are the most famous kingdoms down 
to our time, and this their duration and power. But the kingdom 
of the Romans ruled through all the regions of the earth which are 
not inaccessible, but are inhabited by men ; it ruled also over the 
whole sea, and it alone and first made the east and the west its 
boundaries." Concerning the other features of the image in ch. 
ii., we can seek neither (see p. 261) in the two legs and feet of the 
image, nor in the twofold material of the feet, any hint as to the 
division of the Roman kingdom into the Eastern and Western 
Rome. The iron and clay are in the image indeed not so divided 
as that the one foot is of iron and the other of clay, but iron and 
clay are bound together in both of the feet. In this union of two 
heterogeneous materials there also lies no hint that, by the dis- 
persion of the nations, the plastic material of the Germanic and 
the Sclavic tribes was added to the Old Roman universal kingdom 
(ver. 40) with its thoroughly iron nature (Auberl. p. 252, cf. with 
Hof. Weiss, u. Erf. i. p. 281). For the clay in the image does not 
come into view as a malleable and plastic material, but, according 
to the express interpretation of Daniel (ver. 42), only in respect of 
its brittleness. The mixing of iron and clay, which do not inwardly 
combine together, shows the inner division of the nations, of separate 
natural stocks and national characters, which constituted the Roman 
empire, who were kept together by external force, whereby the iron 
firmness of the Roman nation was mingled with brittle clay. 

The kingdoms represented by the ten horns belong still to the 
future. To be able to judge regarding them with any certainty, 
we must first make clear to ourselves the place of the Messianic 
kingdom with reference to the fourth world-kingdom, and then 
compare the prophecy of the Apocalypse of John regarding the 
formation of the world-power— a prophecy which rests on the book 
of Daniel. 


Tlie Messianic Kingdom and the Son of Man. 

In the image of the monarchies, ch. ii., the everlasting 
kingdom of God is simply placed over against the kingdoms of the 
world without mention being made of the king of this kingdom. 
The human image is struck and broken to pieces by a stone rolling 
down against its feet, but the stone itself grows into a great mountain 
and fills the whole earth (ch. ii. 34 ff.). This stone is a figure of 
that kingdom which the God of heaven will erect in the days of 
the kings of the fourth world-kingdom ; a kingdom which to all 
eternity shall never be destroyed, and which shall crush all the 
kingdoms of the world (ch. ii. 44). In ch. vii., on the contrary, 
Daniel sees not only the judgment which God holds over the 
kingdoms of the world, to destroy them for ever with the death 
of their last ruler, but also the deliverance of the kingdom to the 
Messiah coming with the clouds of heaven in the likeness of a 
son of man, whom all nations shall serve, and whose dominion 
shall stand for ever (ch. vii. 9-14, cf. ver. 26 f.). 

In both visions the Messianic kingdom appears in its com- 
pletion. Whence Auberlen (p. 248), with other chiliasts, con- 
cludes that the beginning of this kingdom can refer to nothing 
else than to the coming of Christ for the founding of the so-called 
kingdom of the thousand years; an event still imminent to us. 
In favour of this view, he argues (1) that the judgment on Anti- 
christ, whose appearance is yet future, goes before the beginning 
of this kingdom ; (2) that this kingdom in both chapters is 
depicted as a kingdom of glory and dominion, while till this time 
the kingdom of heaven on the earth is yet a kingdom of the cross. 
But the judgment on Antichrist does not altogether go before the 
beginning of this kingdom, but only before the final completion of 
the Messianic kingdom ; and the Messianic kingdom has the glory 
and dominion over all the kingdoms under heaven, according to 
ch. ii. and vii., not from the beginning, bnt acquires them only 
for the first time after the destruction of all the world-kingdoms 
and of the last powerful enemy arising out of them. The stone 
which breaks the image becomes for the first time after it has 
struck the image a great mountain which fills the whole earth 
(ch. ii. 35), and the kingdom of God is erected by the God of 
heaven, according to ch. ii. 44, not for the first time after the de- 
struction of all the world-kingdoms, but in the days of the kings 
of the fourth world-monarchy, and thus during its continuance. 


With this ch. vii. harmonizes ; for, according to vers. 21, 22, 25, 
27, the little horn of the fourth beast carries on war with the 
saints of the Most High till the Ancient of days executes judg- 
ment in their behalf, and the time arrives when the saints shall 
possess the kingdom. Here we distinctly see the kingdom of 
heaven upon earth bearing the form of the cross, out of which 
condition it shall be raised by the judgment into the state of 
glory. The kingdom of the Messiah is thus already begun, and is 
warred against by Antichrist, and the judgment on Antichrist 
only goes before the raising of it to glory. (3) Auberlen adduces 
as a third argument, that (according to Roos, Hofm., etc.) only the 
people of Israel iu opposition to the heathen nations and kingdoms 
can be understood by the " people of the saints of the Most High " 
(ch. vii. 18, 27), because Daniel eould only think of this people. 
But to this Kranichfeld has rightly replied, that Daniel and the 
whole O. T. knew nothing whatever of such a distinction between 
a non-Israelitish and an Israelitish epoch within the kingdom of 
Messiah, but only a Messianic kingdom in which Israel forms the 
enduring centre for the heathen believing nations drawing near to 
them. To this we add, that the division of the kingdom of heaven 
founded by Christ on the earth into a period of the church of the 
Gentiles, and following this a period of a thousand years of the 
dominion of Jewish Christians, contradicts the clear statements of 
Christ and the apostles in the N. T., and is only based on a mis- 
conception of a few passages of the Apocalypse (cf. Comm. on 
Ezeh p. 504 ff.). 

Daniel certainly predicts the completion of the kingdom of 
God in glory, but he does not prophesy that the kingdom of 
heaven will then for the first time begin, but indicates its begin- 
nings in a simple form, although he does not at large represent its 
gradual development in the war against the world-power, just as he 
also gives only a few brief intimations of the temporary develop- 
ment of the world-kingdoms. If Aub. (p. 251) replies that the 
words of the text, ch. ii. 35, " then was the iron, the clay, the 
brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together," cannot 
at all permit the thought of the co-existence of the fourth world- 
kingdom and the kingdom of God, he attributes to these words a 
meaning which they do not bear. The " together " refers only to 
the breaking in pieces of the five substances named, of which 
the world-kingdoms are formed, the destruction of the world- 
power in all its parts, but not that this happened at one and the 


same moment, and that then for the first time the kingdom of 
God which is from heaven began. The stone which brake the 
image in pieces, then first, it is true, grows up into a great mountain 
filling the whole earth. The destruction of the world-kingdoms 
can in reality proceed only gradually along with the growth of the 
stone, and thus also the kingdom of God can destroy the world-king- 
doms only by its gradual extension over the earth. The destruc- 
tion of the world-power in all its component parts began with the 
foundation of the kingdom of heaven at the appearance of Christ 
upon earth, or with the establishment of the church of Christ, and 
only reaches its completion at the second coming of our Lord at 
the final judgment. In the image Daniel saw in a moment, as a 
single act, what in its actual accomplishment or in its historical 
development extends through the centuries of Christendom. Auber- 
len has in his argument identified the image with the actual realiza- 
tion, and has not observed that his conception of the words ch. 
ii. 35 does not accord with the millennium, which according to 
Rev. xx. does not gradually from small beginnings spread itself 
over the earth — is not to be likened to a stone which first after 
the destruction of the world-kingdom grows up into a mountain. 

So also in ch. vii. Daniel sees the judgment of the world- 
kingdoms in the form of an act limited to a point of time, by 
which not only the beast whose power culminates in the little 
horn is killed, but also the dominion and the kingdom over all 
nations is given over to the Son of man coming in the clouds of 
heaven and appearing before God the Judge. If one here 
identifies the form of the prophetic vision with the actual fact, 
then he places Daniel in opposition to the teaching of the N. T. 
regarding the judgment of the world. According to N. T. doc- 
trine, Christ, the Son of man, receives the dominion and power over 
all nations not for the first time on the day of judgment, after the 
destruction of the world-kingdoms by the Father, but He received 
it (Matt, xxviii. 18) after the completion of His work and before 
His ascension ; and it is not God the Father who holds the judg- 
ment, but the Son raised to the right hand of the Father comes 
in the clouds of heaven to judge the world (Matt. xxv. 31). The 
Father committed the judgment to the Son even while He yet 
sojourned on this earth in the form of a servant and founded 
the kingdom of heaven (John v. 27). The judgment begins not 
for the first time either before or after the millennium, ahout which 
chiliasts contend with one another, but the last judgment forms 


only the final completion of the judgment commencing at the first 
coming of Christ to the earth, which continues from that time 
onward through the centuries of the spread of the kingdom of 
heaven upon earth in the form of the Christian church, till the 
visible return of Christ in His glory in the clouds of heaven to the 
final judgment of the living and the dead. This doctrine is dis- 
closed to us for the first time by the appearance of Christ ; for by 
it are unfolded to us for the first time the prophecies regarding 
the Messiah in His lowliness and in His glory, in the clear know- 
ledge of the first appearance of Christ in the form of a servant for 
the founding of the kingdom of God by His death and resurrection, 
and the return of the Son of man from heaven in the glory of His 
Father for the perfecting of His kingdom by the resurrection of 
the dead and the final judgment. 

That which has been said above, avails also for explaining 
the revelation which Daniel received regarding the King of the 
kingdom of God. While His appearance in the form of a son 
of man with the clouds of heaven, according to the statements 
of the N. T. regarding the second coming of Christ, points to 
His coming again in glory, yet, as above remarked, His coming 
before the Ancient of days, i.e. before God, and receiving from 
God the kingdom and the dominion, does not accord with tht 
statements of the N. T. regarding the return of Christ to judge the 
world ; so that we must here also distinguish between the actual 
contents and the form of the prophetic representation, and between 
the thought of the prophecy and its realization or historical fulfil- 
ment. Only because of a disregard of this distinction could Fries, 
e.g., derive from Dan. vii. 13 an argument against the parallelizing 
of this passage with Matt. xxiv. 30, Mark xiv. 62, and Rev. i. 7, 
as well as against the reference to the Messias of the personage 
seen by Daniel in the clouds of heaven as a son of man. 

In the vision, in which the Ancient of days, i.e. God, holds 
judgment over the world and its rulers, and in the solemn assembly 
for judgment grants to the Son of man appearing before Him 
the kingdom and the dominion, only this truth is contemplated by 
the prophet, that the Father gave to the Son all power in heaven 
and in earth ; that He gave the power over the nations which the 
rulers of the earth had, and which they used only for the oppres- 
sion of the saints of God, to the Son of man, and in Him to the 
people of the saints, and thereby founded the kingdom which shall 
endure for ever. But as to the way and manner in which God 


executes judgment over the world-power, and in which He gives 
(ch. vii. 22, 27) to the Son of man and to the people of the saints 
the dominion and the power over all the kingdoms under the 
heavens — on this the prophecy gives no particular disclosures ; 
this much, however, is clear from ver. 27, that the judgment held 
by the Ancient of days over the world-power which was hostile 
to God is not a full annihilation of the kingdoms under the whole 
heavens, but only an abolition of their hostile dominion and power, 
and a subjection of all the kingdoms of this earth to the power and 
dominion of the Son of man, whereby the hostile rulers, together 
with all ungodly natures, shall be for ever destroyed. The further 
disclosures regarding the completion of this judgment are given 
us in the N. T., from which we learn that the Father executes 
judgment by the Son, to whom He has given all power in heaven 
and on earth. With this further explanation of the matter the 
passages of the N. T. referring to Dan. vii. 13, regarding the 
coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven to execute judg- 
ment over the world, easily harmonize. To show this, we must 
examine somewhat more closely the conception and the use of the 
words " Son of man " in the N. T. 

Tke Son of Man, 6 i/tos tov avOpunrov. 

It is well known that Jesus only during His sojourn on earth 
made use of this designation of Himself, as appears in the N. T. 
Bengel on Matt. xvi. 13 remarks : " Nemo nisi solus Christus 
a nemine dum ipse in terra ambularet, nisi a semetipso appel- 
litatus est films hominis." Even after Christ's ascension the 
apostles do not use this name of Christ. In the passages Acts 
vii. 56 and Rev. i. 13, xiv. 14, where alone it is found in the 
N. T. beyond the Gospels, the title is borrowed from Dan. vii. 
13. It is, moreover, generally acknowledged that Jesus wished 
by thus designating Himself to point Himself out as the Messiah ; 
and " this pointing Himself out as the Messiah is founded," as 
H. A. W. Meyer on Matt. viii. 20 rightly remarks, " not on Ps. 
viii., but, as is manifest from such passages as Matt. xxiv. 30, 
xxvi. 64 (cf. also Acts vii. 56), on the description of that prophetic 
vision, Dan. vii. 13, well known to the Jews (John xii. 34), and 
found also in the pre-Christian book of Enoch, where the Messiah 
appears in the clouds of heaven B»JK 133 — cos vlbs av6p<inrov, 
amid the angels of the divine judgment-seat." The comparison 


in the 3 = o>? to a son of man refers to the form in which He is 
seen by the prophet (see p. 234), and affirms neither the true hu- 
manity nor the superhuman nature of Him who appeared. The 
superhuman or divine nature of the person seen in the form of a 
man lies in the coming with the clouds of heaven, since it is true 
only of God that He makes the clouds His chariot ; Ps. civ. 3, cf. 
Isa. xix. 1. But on the other hand, also, the words do not exclude 
the humanity, as little as the o/xoio<; vl<2> avOpcimov, Rev. i. 13; for, 
as 0. B. Michaelis has remarked, 3 non excludit rei veritatem, sed 
formam ejus quod visum est describit ; so that with Oehler (Herz. 
Eealenc.) we may say : The Messiah here appears as a divine being 
as much as He does a human. The union of the divine and the 
human natures lies also in the self-designation of Christ as o ui'o? 
toO av8pcoTrov, although as to the meaning Jesus unites with it 
there is diversity of opinion. 

That this was a designation of the Messiah common among the 
Jews in the time of Jesus, we cannot positively affirm, because 
only Jesus Himself made use of it ; His disciples did not, much 
less did the people so style the Messiah. If, then, Jesus speaks of 
Himself as the Son of man, He means thereby not merely to say 
that He was the Messiah, but He wishes to designate Himself as 
the Messiah of Daniel's prophecy, i.e. as the Son of man coming 
to the earth in the clouds of heaven. He thereby lays claim at 
once to a divine original, or a divine pre-existence, as well as to 
affirm true humanity of His person, and seeks to represent Him- 
self, according to John's expression, as the Logos becoming flesh. 1 
This view of the expression will be confirmed by a comparison of 
the passages in which Jesus uses it. In John i. 51, " Hereafter 
ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and 
descending upon the Son of man," the divine glory is intimated 

1 Meyer justly remarks : " The consciousness from which Jesus appro- 
priates to Himself this designation by Daniel was the antithesis of the God- 
sonship, the necessary (contrary to Schleiermacher) solf-consciousness of a 
divine pre-existence appearing in the most decided manner in John, the glory 
(8»5«) of which He had laid aside that He might appear as that a; vio; 
a.ytlpi>Kov of Daniel in a form not originally appertaining to Him. . . Whatever 
has, apart from this, been found in the expression, as that Christ hereby 
designated Himself as the Son of man in the highest sense of the word, as the 
second Adam, as the ideal of humanity (Bonnie, Neander, Bbrard, Olsh., 
Kahnis, Gess, and Weisse), or as the man whom the whole history of mankind 
since Adam has in view (Hofm. Schrifthew. ii. 1, p. 81, cf. Thomas. Chr. Pers. 
u. Werk, ii. p. 15), is introduced unhistorically with reference to Dan. vii." 


as concealed in the lowliness of the Son of man : the Son of man 
who walks on the earth in the form of a man is the Son of God. 
So also in the answer which Jesus gave to the high priest, when 
he solemnly adjured Him to say " whether He were the Christ* 
the Son of God" (Matt. xxvi. 63), pointing distinctly to Dan. vii. 

13, " Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right 
hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." In like 
manner in all the other passages in the Gospels in which Jesus 
designates Himself the Son of man, He points either to His 
present lowliness or to His future glory, as is abundantly proved 
by Fr. A. Philippi (Kirch. Glaubenslehre, iv. 1, p. 415, der 2 
Aufl.) by a lucid comparison of all the passages in the Gospel of 

From the use of the expression " the Son of man " by Jesus 
(not only where He refers to His supernatural greatness or His 
divine pre-existence, but also where He places His human lowli- 
ness in contrast with His divine nature), it follows that even in those 
passages which treat of His coming to judgment, connected with 
the description, borrowed from Dan. vii. 13, of His coming in the 
clouds of heaven, He seeks to prove not so much His appear- 
ance for judgment, as rather only the divine power and glory 
which the Father gave Him, or to indicate from the Scriptures that 
the Father gave Him dominion over all people, and that He will 
come to reveal this dominion by the judgment of the world and 
the completion of His kingdom. The power to execute judgment 
over the living and the dead, the Father, i.e. God as the Lord of 
the world, has given to His Son, to Christ, because He is the Son 
of man (John v. 27), i.e: because He as man is at the same time 
of a divine nature, by virtue of which He is of one essence with 
the Father. This truth is manifested in the vision, Dan. vii. 13, 

14, in this, that the Ancient of days gives glory and the kingdom 
to Him who appears before Him in the form of a man coining in 
the clouds of heaven, that all people and nations might honour 
Him. Therewith He gave Him also implicite the power to execute 
judgment over all peoples ; for the judgment is only a disclosure 
of the sovereignty given to Him. 

The giving of the kingdom to the Son of man goes before the 
appearance of the great adversary of the people of God repre- 


sented by the little horn — the adversary in whom the enmity of 
the world against the kingdom of God reaches its highest mani- 
festation. But to form a well-founded judgment regarding the 
appearance of this last enemy, we must compare the description 
given of him in Dan. vii. 8, 24 f. with the apocalyptic description 
of the same enemy under the image of the least out of the sea or 
out of the abyss, Rev. xiii. 1-8 and xvii. 7-13. 

John saw a beast rise up out or the sea which had seven 
heads and ten horns, and on its horns ten crowns ; it was like a 
leopard, but had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion, and 
the dragon gave him his throne and great power. One of its 
heads appears as if it had received a deadly wound, but its deadly 
wound was healed, Rev. xiii. 1-3. In this beast the four beasts 
of Daniel, the lion, the bear, the leopard, and the nameless ten- 
horned beast (Dan. vii. 7), are united, and its heads and horns are 
represented, like the beasts of Daniel, as kings (Eev. xvii. 9, 12). 
The beast seen by John represents accordingly the world-power, 
in such a way that the four aspects of the same, which Daniel 
saw in the form of four beasts rising up one after another, are a 
whole united together into one. In this all interpreters are agreed. 
Hofinann is wrong (Schriftbew. ii. 2, p. 699), however, when from 
the circumstance that this beast has the body of a leopard, has its 
peculiar form like that of a leopard, he draws the conclusion 
" that John sees the Grecian kingdom rise again in a new form, 
in which it bears the lion's mouth of the Chaldean, the bear's feet 
of the Median or Persian, and the ten horns of the last king- 
dom." For the apocalyptic beast has the body of a leopard from 
no other reason than because the fourth beast of Daniel was to be 
compared with no other beast existing in nature, whose appearance 
could be selected for that purpose. In these circumstances no- 
thing else remained than to lay hold on the form of Daniel's third 
beast and to make choice of it for the body of the beast, and to 
unite with it the feet, the mouth or the jaws, and the ten horns of 
the other beasts. 

But that the apocalyptic beast must represent not the rising 
again of Daniel's third world-kingdom, but the appearance of the 
fourth, and that specially in its last form, which Daniel had seen 
as the little horn, appears evidently from this, not to mention the 
explanation given in Rev. xvii., that the beast with the seven 
heads and ten horns, with the name of blasphemy on its heads 
(Rev. xiii. 1), the marks of the little horn of Daniel, speaks great 


things and blasphemies, and continues forty and two months (ch. 
xiii. 5), corresponding to the three and a half times of Daniel, ch. 
vii. 25. Hofmann, on the other hand, rightly remarks, that the 
beast mnst represent not merely the last world-power, but at the 
same time the last world-ruler, the chief enemy of the saints of 
God. As with Daniel the world-power and its representative are 
conceived of as one and the same, so here also with John. This is 
seen in the insensible transition of the neuter to the masculine, t<5 
07]pi(p 0? ex e h ver * 14. In this beast not only does the whole 
world-power concentrate itself, but in it also attains to its personal 
head. The ten horns are to be conceived of as on one of the heads, 
and that the seventh or last, and not (Diisterdieck, etc.) as distri- 
buted among the seven heads, so that one horn should be assigned 
to each head, and three horns should be conceived as between the 
sixth and the seventh head. This wonderful supposition owes its 
origin only to the historical reference of the beast to the first 
Roman emperor, and stands in opposition to the interpretation of 
the beast which is given by John, ch. xvii. 7 ff. There John sees 
the woman, the great Babylon, the mother of harlots and abomina- 
tions, sitting on a scarlet-coloured beast, which was full of names 
of blasphemy, and had ten horns (ch. xvii. 3). The identity of 
the seven-headed beast (ch. xiii.) with the scarlet-coloured beast 
(ch. xvii.) is justly recognised by the greater number of recent 
interpreters, even by Dust. Of this red beast the angel, ch. xvii. 
8, says first, " The beast that thou sawest was (rjv) and is not, 
and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition ; 
and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder . . . when they be- 
hold the beast that was and is not, and yet is" (jcal irdpecrrai, ^= shall 
come, be present, i.e. again, according to a more accurate reading). 
In these words the most of interpreters find a paraphrase of the 
statement, ch. xiii. 3, 12, 14, that the beast was wounded to the 
death, but that its deadly wound was healed. " The distinguishing 
of the two statements (viz. of the not-being and the death-wound, 
the coming again and the healing of the wound) has," as A. 
Christiani (uebersichtl. Darstellung des Inhalts der Apok., in der 
Dorpater Zeitschrift f. Theol. 1861, iii. p. 219) rightly remarks, 
" its foundation (against Ebrard) either in the false supposi- 
tion that the beast in ch. xvii. is different from that in ch. xiii., 
or in this, that there must abstractly be a distinction between 
the world-power (ch. xiii.) and the ruler of the world (ch. xvii.) ; 
whereby, moreover, it is not clear wherein the difference between 


the death-wound and the not-being consists (against Aub.)." The 
being, the not-being, and the appearing again of the beast, are not 
to be understood of the present time as regards the seer, so as to 
mean : the beast existed before John's time, after that it was not, 
and then one day shall again appear, which has been combined 
with the fable of Nero's coming again ; but the past, the present, 
and the future of the beast are, with Vitringa, Bengel, Christ., to 
be regarded from the standpoint of the vision, according to which 
the time of the fulfilment, belonging to the future, is to be re- 
garded as the point of time from which the being, the not-being, 
and the appearing again are represented, so that these three ele- 
ments form the determination of the nature of the beast in its 
historical manifestation. 

Hereupon the angel points out to the seer the secret of the 
woman and of the beast which bears the woman, beginning with 
the interpretation of the beast, ch. xvii. 9. " The seven heads 
are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth ; and there are 
seven kings." The heads are thus defined in a twofold way : 
For the woman they are seven mountains, on which she sits ; but 
in so far as they belong to the beast, they are seven kings (Hofm. 
p. 711, Christ., etc.). The reference of the mountains to the seven 
hills of Rome is to be rejected, because it is difficult to under- 
stand how the heads can represent at one and the same time both 
mountains and kings. Mountains are, according to the prophetic 
view, seats of power, symbols of world-kingdoms (cf. Ps. lxviii. 17, 
Ixxvi. 5 ; Jer. li. 25 ; Ezek. xxxv. 2), and thus are here as little 
to be thought of as occupying space along with one another as are 
the seven kings to be thought of as contemporaneous (Hofm., 
Aub.). According to this, the /3aai\et<; are not also separate 
kings of one kingdom, but kingships, dominions, as in Daniel 
ruler and kingdom are taken together. One need not, however, 
on this account assume that /SacrtXet? stands for fiaaiXelat, ; for, 
according to Dan. viii. 20-22, " the kingdom is named where the 
person of the ruler is at once brought into view ; but where it 
is sought to designate the sovereignty, then the king is named, 
either so that he represents it altogether, or so that its founder is 
particularly distinguished " (Hofm. p. 714). 

The angel further says of the seven heads : " Five (of these 
sovereignties) are fallen," i.e. are already past, " one is " i.e. still 
exists, " the other is not yet come; and when it cometh, it must con- 
tinue a short space." This explanation is obviously given from the 


point of view of the present of the seer. The five fallen /3acrtXe?s 
(sovereignties) are Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Medo-Persia, and 
Greece (Hengst., Aub., Christ.), and not Assyria, Chaldea, Persia, 
Grecia, and the kingdom of the Seleucidas, as Hofmann, with 
Ebrard and Stier, affirms. The reception of the Seleucidse or of 
Antiochus Epiphanes into the rank of world-rulers, depends, with 
Hofmann, on the erroneons interpretation of the apocalyptic beast- 
image as representing the reappearance of the Grecian world- 
kingdom, and falls with this error. The chief argument which 
Hofmann alleges against Egypt, that it was never a power which 
raised itself up to subdue or unite the world under itself, or is thus 
represented in the Scriptures, Aub. (p. 309) has already invalidated 
by showing that Egypt was the first world-power with which the 
kingdom of God came into conflict under Moses, when it began to 
exist as a nation and a kingdom. Afterwards, under the kings, 
Israel was involved in the wars of Egypt and Assyria in like 
manner as at a later period they were in those of the Ptolemies 
and the Seleucidse. For this reason Egypt and Assyria are often 
named together by the prophets, particularly as the world-powers 
with which the people of God committed whoredom, yea, by the 
older prophets generally as the representatives of the world-power 
(2 Kings xvii. 4; Hos. vii. 11, xii. 1, ix. 3, xi. 5, 11; Micah vii. 
12; Isa. Hi. 4, xix. 23-25; Jer. ii. 18, 36; Zech. x. 10). On the 
other hand, the Seleucidan appears before us in Dan. viii. and xi. 
1-35 as an offshoot of the Grecian world-kingdom, without any- 
thing further being intimated regarding him. In Dan. vii. there 
is as little said of him as there is in Zechariah's vision of the four- 
horsed chariots. 

The sixth sovereignty, which " is " (o el? eaTiv), is the Roman 
world-power exercising dominion at the time of John, the Roman 
emperor. The seventh is as yet future (ovttq) rjhdev), and must, 
when it comes, continue a, short time (oKiyov). If the sixth sove- 
reignty is the Roman, then by the seventh we may understand the 
world-powers of modern Europe that have come into its place. 
The angel adds (ver. 11), " The beast that was and is not, even 
he is the eighth (king), and is of the seven, and goeth into per- 
dition." By that which is called " even the eighth " can properly 
be meant only the seventh. The contrast lying in the ical avros 
07800? demands this. But that instead of the seventh (ver. 10, o 
a\\o<i) the beast itself is named, therewith it is manifestly inti- 
mated that in the eighth the beast embodies itself, or passes into 


its completed form of existence as a beast. This is supported 
partly by the expression ix twv kma which is added to 07800?, 
partly by the designation as " the beast that was and is not." That 
addition does not merely say, one out of the seven, for which John 
would have written eh e/e tcov eVra (cf. ch. xvii. 1 and xxi. 9), 
or, formed like the seven, but, growing up out of the seven, as 
the blossom out of the plant (fiXaaTavtov, as the Greek Andreas 
explains, and erroneously adds e'/e /xi'a? avTosv). It is the compre- 
hensive essence of these seven, the embodiment of the beast itself, 
which for the first time reaches in it to its perfect form (Aub., 
Diisterd., Christ.). As such it is placed over against the seven as 
the eighth ; but it is not therefore an eighth kingdom, for it is not 
represented by an eighth head, but only by the beast — only the 
beast which was, and is not, and then shall be again (Trdpearai., 
ver. 11, cf. ver. 8). If now this definition, according to the above, 
means the same thing as is intended in ch. xiii. by the deadly 
wound of the beast and the healing again of the wound, then these 
words mean that the world-power in one of its heads (the seventh?) 
receives the deadly wound, so that the beast is not — i.e. it cannot 
show its power, its beast-nature — till the healing of the same, but 
after the healing of the wound it will appear as the eighth ruler 
in its full nature as a beast, and will unfold the power of its ten 
horns. Of these ten horns the angel says, ver. 12, " They are ten 
kings which have received no fiaatXeiav, but will receive power as 
kings one hour with the beast." By this it is affirmed, on the one 
side, that the ten horns belong to the seventh beast ; but, on the 
other, it appears from this interpretation of the angel, taken in 
connection with that going before, that the ruler with the ten 
horns growing up as the eighth out of the seven represents the 
last and the highest phases of the development of the world-power, 
and is to be regarded as contemporary with the ten ySao-tXet? which 
receive power as kings with the beast. 

The statement, however, that the seventh ruler is also an eighth, 
and must represent the beast in its perfect form, without his beiny 
denoted by an eighth head to the beast, has its foundation, without 
doubt, in the dependence of the apocalyptic delineation on Daniel's 
prophecy of the fourth world-power, in which (ch. ii.) the iron legs 
are distinguished from the feet, which consist partly of iron and 
partly of clay ; and yet more distinctly in ch. vii. the climax of the 
power of the fourth beast is represented in the little horn growing 
up between its ten horns, and yet neither is it called in ch. ii. a 


fifth kingdom, nor yet in ch. vii. is the little horn designated as a 
fifth world-ruler. 

The apocalyptic delineation of the world-power and the world- 
ruler is related, therefore, to the prophecy of Daniel in such a 
manner that, in the first place, it goes back to the elements of 
the same, and gathers them together into one combined ima^e, 
according to its whole development in the past, present, and future, 
while Daniel's prophecy goes forth from the present, beginning 
with the Chaldean world-kingdom. Moreover, the Apocalypse 
discloses the spiritual principle working in the world-power. The 
dragon, i.e. Satan, as prince of this world, gave his throne and his 
power to the beast. Finally, the Apocalypse extends itself at large 
over the unfolding, as yet future, of the ungodly world-kingdom ; 
for it places in view, in addition to the sixth ruler existing in the 
presence of the seer, the rising up of yet a seventh, in which the 
beast, healed of its death-wonnd, will first as the eighth ruler fully 
reveal its ungodly nature. The dividing of the fourth world-king- 
dom of Daniel between two rulers has its foundation in the purpose 
to gain the significant number seven. By the number seven of the 
heads, while Daniel saw only four beasts, the apocalyptic beast 
must be represented as the diabolical contrast to the Larnb. The 
seven heads and ten horns the beast has in common with the 
dragon, which gave his power to the beast (cf. Rev. xiii. 1, 2 
with xii. 3). The seven heads of the dragon and of the beast are 
the infernal caricature and the antithesis of the seven Spirits of 
God, the seven eyes and seven horns of the Lamb (Rev. v. 6), 
just as the seven mountains on which the woman sits are the anti- 
type and the antithesis of the hill of Zion, the chosen mountain of 
the Lord. (Cf. Lammert, Babel, das Thier u. der falsche Prophet, 
1863, p. 84.) From the symbolical signification of the numbers, it 
is also clear how the beast which was and is not can also appear 
as the eighth ruler. The eighth, arising from the addition of one 
to seven, denotes a new beginning, or the beginning of a new life, 
as frequently in the laws relating to religious worship, as e.g. re- 
garding circumcision, the consecration of priests, the purification of 
lepers, the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles, etc. Cf. Leyrer 
in Herz.'s Real. Encycl. xviii. p. 370. According to him, the beast 
is called koX avTo<; oyBoo'; (Rev. xvii. 11), "because, although it 
is of the seven which hitherto have constituted the antichristian 
development in its completeness, a new one presumes to establish 
itself in self-deification, and in open rebellion against God, raising 


itself to the experiment of an absolute world-monarchy before the 
final judgment passes upon it." 

As the number seven of the heads of the beast in the Apoca- 
lypse, so also the number four of the beasts rising up out of the 
sea in Daniel's vision comes first under consideration, according to 
their symbolical meaning as the number of the world. For the 
sake of this significance of the number four, only the four world- 
kingdoms are spoken of, while in the fourth there are distinctly 
two different phases of the development of the world-kingdom. If 
we look at this significance of the numbers, the difference between 
the representation of Daniel and that of the Apocalypse reduces 
itself to this, that Daniel designates the world-power simply only 
in opposition to the kingdom of God; the Apocalypse, on the con- 
trary, designates it according to its concealed spiritual background, 
and in its antichristian form. The world-number four appears 
here augmented to the antichristian contrast to the divine number 
seven. But in both representations the beast forming the last 
phase of the world-kingdom has ten horns. This number also 
has a symbolical meaning; it is the signature of definitive com- 
pleteness, of fullest development and perfection. " The ten horns 
are kings ; for ' horn ' as well as ' king ' signifies might crushing, 
conquering" (Lammert, p. 78). The little horn which outrooted 
three existing ones and entered into their place, makes, with the 
remaining seven, eight; but eight is seven augmented. It is there- 
fore the beast itself in its highest power, and ripe for judgment, 
just as the beast which was and is not mounts up as the eighth 
ruler, to be destroyed, after a short period of action, by the judg- 

But while we attach a symbolical import to the numbers, we do 
not, however, wish to dispute that their numerical worth may not 
also be realized in the fulfilment. As the comparison of Daniel 
vii. with viii. beyond doubt shows that the second and third king- 
doms which the prophet saw have historically realized themselves 
in the succession of the Medo-Persian and Grecian kingdoms 
after the Babylonian ;- as, moreover, in the prophetic delinea- 
tion of the fourth world-kingdom the character of the Roman 
world-power is not to be mistaken ; finally, as in the Apocalypse 
the first six heads of the beast are referred to the world-powers 
that have hitherto appeared in history : so may also the prophecy 
of the seven heads and of the ten horns of the beast (in Dan. and 
the Apoc.) perhaps yet so fulfil itself in the future, that the anti- 

chap, vm.-xii. 283 

christian world-power may reach its completion in ten rulers who 
receive power as kings one hour with the beast, i.e., as companions 
and helpers of Antichrist, carry on war for a while against the 
Lord and His saints, till at the appearance of the Lord to judg- 
ment they shall be destroyed, together with the beast and the 

How indeed this part of the prophecy, relating to the last 
unfolding of the ungodly and antichristian world-power, shall fulfil 
itself, whether merely according to the symbolical meaning of the 
numbers, or finally also actually, the day will first make clear. 


Chap, viii.-xii. 

This Part contains three revelations, which Daniel received 
during the reigns of Belshazzar, Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the 
Persian, regarding the development of the kingdom of God. After 
describing in the First Part the development of the world-power 
and its relation to the people and kingdom of God from the days 
of Nebuchadnezzar, its founder, down to the time of its final 
destruction by the perfected kingdom of God, in this Second Part 
it is revealed to the prophet how the kingdom of God, in war 
against the power and enmity of the rulers of the world, and amid 
severe oppressions, is carried forward to final victory and is per- 

The first vision, ch. viii., represents what will happen to the 
people of God during the developments of the second and third 
world-kingdoms. The second revelation, ch. ix., gives to the 
prophet, in answer to his penitential prayer for the restoration of 
the ruined holy city and the desolated sanctuary, disclosures regard- 
ing the whole development of the kingdom of God, from the close 
of the Babylonish exile to the final accomplishment of God's plan of 
salvation. In the last vision, in the third year of Cyrus, ch. x.-xii., 
he received yet further and more special revelations regarding the 
severe persecutions which await the people of God for their puri- 
fication, in the nearer future under Antiochus Epiphanes, and in 
the time of the end under the last foe, the Antichrist. 



At Susa, in the province of Elam, Daniel saw in vision (vers. 
1, 2) a ram with two horns, which a he-goat coming from the west, 
running over the earth, having a great horn on his brow, smote 
and destroyed (vers. 3-7). After that the goat waxed very 
mighty, till his great horn was broken ; and in its place four notable 
horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven, and out of one 
of them there came forth a little horn, which directed its might 
toward the south and the east and toward the holy land, contended 
against the host of heaven, and magnified itself to the Prince of 
the heavenly host, took away the daily sacrifice, and desolated the 
place of the sanctuary (vers. 8-12). He then hears from an angel 
how long this sacrilege shall continue (vers. 13, 14). Another angel 
thereafter gives him an explanation (vers. 15-26) of the vision; 
and with a remark (ver. 27) regarding the effect of this revelation 
on the mind of Daniel, the chapter closes. 

This vision, it is manifest from the definition of the time in 
ver. 1, stands in relation to the vision of the foregoing chapter, 
and in its contents is united to it also in so far as it gives more 
particular revelations regarding the relations of the second and 
third world-kingdoms, which are only briefly set forth in ch. vii. 
But notwithstanding this point of union, this chapter does not 
form a mere appendix to the foregoing, but gives a new revela- 
tion regarding a phase in the development of the world-power 
and its enmity against the people of God of which nothing is 
prophesied in ch. vii. The opinion that this chapter forms only 
an appendix to ch. vii. is based on the erroneous idea that the 
fourth world-kingdom, the Macedonian, and the little horn in ch. 
vii. are identical with that prophesied of in this chapter. 1 

1 According to the modern critics (Berth., v. Leng., Hitz., Bleek), this 
chapter must have heen written shortly before the re-consecration of the temple, 
or immediately thereafter, before or immediately after the death of Antiochus 
Epiphanes. This supposition is drawn from ver. 14, according to which the 
period of oppression shall continue 2800 evening-mornings. But, overlooking 
the circumstance that these critics cannot agree as to the reckoning of this 
period of time, and thus announce the uncertainty of their hypothesis, the 
whole of the other contents of the chapter stand in contradiction to this sup- 
position. It contains no hint whatever of the great victories of the Maccabees 
which preceded the consecration of the temple, and first made it possible, hut, 
on the contrary, speaks of the oppression as continuing unchanged till the 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 285 

Vers. 1-14. The Vision. 

Vers. 1, 2 contain the historical introduction to this new reve- 
lation. This was given to Daniel in the third year of the reign of 
Belshazzar, and thus two years after the vision of the four world- 
kingdoms (ch. vii. 1), but not in a dream as that was, but while he 
was awake. The words 1, Daniel, are neither a pleonasm (Hav.) 
nor a sign that the writer wished specially to give himself out for 
Daniel (Ewald), but expressly denote that Daniel continues to 
speak of himself in the first person (Kliefoth). The article in 
ri ?"!?'! 1 (that which appeared) takes the place of the relative "1BW, 
and the expression is concise for nsrn lew jitnn {the vision which 
appeared) ; cf. Ewald's Lehr. § 335 a. H^nria (at the first), as in 
ch. ix. 21, in the general signification earlier, and in Gen. xiii. 3, 
xli. 21, xliii. 18, 20, Isa. i. 26, synonymous with n^"i3 (in the 
beginning). Here the word points back to ch. vii., and in ch. ix. 
21 it refers to ver. 16 of this chapter. 

" In vision," i.e. iv irvevfiari, not iv awfiart., Daniel was placed 
in the city of Susa, in the province of Elam (Elymais). By the 
words, " I saw in vision ; and it came to pass when I saw," which 
precede the specification of the scene of the vision, is indicated the 
fact that he was in Susa only in vision, and the misconception is 
sufficiently guarded against that Daniel was actually there in the 
body. This is acknowledged by v. Leng., Hitzig, Maurer, Hav., 
Hgstb., Kran., and Kliefoth, against Bertholdt and Rosenmiiller, 
who understand this, in connection with ver. 27, as meaning that 
Daniel was personally present in Susa to execute the king's busi- 
ness, from which Bertholdt frames the charge against the pseudo- 
Daniel, that he was not conscious that Elam under Nabonned did 
not belong to Babylon, and that the royal palace at Susa had as 
yet no existence. But this accusation has no historical foundation. 
We have no accurate information whether under Belshazzar Elam 
was added to Babylon or the Chaldean empire. It is true that 
not Hengstenberg (Beitr. i. p. 42 f.) only has, with older theolo- 
gians, concluded from the prophecies of Jer. xlix. 34 ff., corn- 
oppressor is himself destroyed (ver. 25), and then it hreaks off without any 
Messianic view, as one should expect from a parenetic poem of a Maccabean Jew ; 
so that Bleek finds himself compelled from his own resources to add " the inti- 
mation, that the beginning of the deliverance destined by God for His people is 
closely and immediately joined to the discontinuance of the worship of Jehovah 
by Antioch. Epiph., and to the destruction of this prince," in order to give to, 
the vision " a Messianic character." 


pared with ch. xxv. 25 and Ezek. 24, that Nebuchadnezzar 
subjugated Susa, but Niebuhr also (Gesch. Assurs, p. 211 ff.) 
seeks from these and other passages of the O. T. to establish 
the view, that Nebuchadnezzar, after the death of Cyaxares 
(Uwakhshatra), to whom he owed allegiance, refused to do homage 
to his successor, and entered on a war against Media, which re- 
sulted in the annexation of Elam to his kingdom. But, on the 
contrary, Havernick has well remarked, that the subjugation of 
Elam by Nebuchadnezzar can scarcely harmonize with the fact of 
the division of the Assyrian kingdom between the Babylonian 
king Nabopolassar and the Median king Cyaxares, whereby the 
former obtained the western and the latter the eastern half, and 
that from these passages of prophecy a subjugation of Elam by 
the Chaldeans cannot be concluded. Jeremiah announces neither 
in ch. xxv. 25 nor in ch. xlix. 34 ff. a conquest of Elam by Nebu- 
chadnezzar, but rather in ch. xlix. prophesies the complete destruc- 
tion of Elam, or a divine judgment, in language which is much 
too strong and elevated for a mere making of it tributary and 
annexing it to a new state. 

Besides, this passage in no respect requires that Susa and 
Elam should be regarded as provinces of the Chaldean kingdom, 
since the opinion that Daniel was in Susa engaged in some public 
business for the Chaldean king is founded only on a false inter- 
pretation of vers. 2 and 27. From the prophet's having been 
placed in an ecstasy in the city of Susa, there follows nothing 
further than that this city was already at the time of the existing 
Chaldean kingdom a central-point of Elamitish or Persian power. 
And the more definite description of the situation of this city in 
the words, " which was in the province of Elam," points de- 
cidedly to the time of Daniel, in which Susa as yet belonged to 
the province of Elam, while this province was made a satrapy, 
Susis, Susiana, now Chusistan, by the kings of Persia, and Susa 
became the capital of this province ; therefore the capital Susa is 
not reckoned as situated in Elam by writers, who after this time 
distinguish between Susis (Susiana) and Elymals (Elam), as Strabo, 
xvi. 1. 17 f., Pliny, hist. not. vi. 27 : Susianen ab Elymaide dister- 
minat amnis Eulceus. 

Still more groundless is the assertion, that the city of Susa was 
not in existence in the time of Daniel, or, as Duncker (Gesch. der 
Allerth. ii. p. 913, 3 Aufl.) affirms, that Darius first removed the 
residence or seat of the king to Susa with the intention that it 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 287 

should become the permanent residence for him and his successors, 
the central-point of his kingdom and of his government, and that 
Pliny and iElian say decidedly that Darius built Susa, the king's 
city of Persia, and that the inscriptions confirm this saying. For, 
to begin with the latter statement, an inscription found in the ruins 
of a palace at Susa, according to the deciphering of Mordtmann 
(in der D. morgl. Ztschr. xvi. pp. 123 ff.), which Duncker cites as 
confirming his statement, contains only these words: "Thus speaks 
Artaxerxes the great king, the son of Darius the son of Achaine- 
nides Vistacpa : This building my great-great-grandfather Darius 
erected ; afterwards it was improved by Artaxerxes my grand- 
father." This inscription thus confirms only the fact of the build- 
ing of a palace in Susa by Darius, but nothing further, from which 
it is impossible to conclude that Darius first founded the city, or 
built the first tower in it. Still less does such an idea lie in the 
words of JElian, nat. animal, i. 59 : " Darius was proud of the 
erection of a celebrated building which he had raised in Susa." 
And Pliny also, taken strictly, speaks only of the elevation of Susa 
to the rank of capital of the kingdom by Darius, which does not ex- 
clude the opinion that Susa was before this already a considerable 
town, and had a royal castle, in which Oyrus may have resided 
during several months of the year (according to Xenophon, Cyrop. 
viii. 6. 22, Anab. iii. 5. 15 ; cf. Brissonius, de regio Pers.princ. p. 
88 seq.). 1 The founding of Susa, and of the old tower in Susa, 
reaches back into pre-historic times. According to Strabo, xv. 2. 3, 
Susa must have been built by Tithonos, the father of Memnon. 
With this the epithet Mepvovia Hovcra, which Herod, vii. 151, v. 54, 
53, and iElian, na£. anim. xiii. 18, give to the town of Susa, stands 
in unison. For if this proves nothing more than that in Susa 
there was a tomb of Memnon (Hav.), yet would this sufficiently 
prove that the city or its citadel existed from ancient times — times 
so ancient that the mythic Memnon lived and was buried there. 

The city had its name JKW, Lily, from the lilies which grew 
in' great abundance in that region (Athen. Deipnos. xii. p. 409 ; 

1 Pliny, hist. nat. vi. 27, says regarding Susiana, " In qua vetus regia Persa- 
rum Susa a Dario Hystaspis Jilio condita" which may be understood as if he 
ascribed to Darius the founding of the city of Susa. But how little weight is 
to be given to this statement appears from the similar statement, hist. nat. vi. 
14 (17) : " Ecbatana caput Mediee Seleucus rex condidit," -which plainly con- 
tains an error, since Ecbatana, under the name of Achmeta, is mentioned (Ezra 
vi. 2) in the time of Darius Hystaspes, in the tower of which the archives of the 
Persian kings were preserved 


Slephan. Byz., etc.), and had, according to Strabo, xv. 3. 2, a 
circuit of 120 (twelve English miles), and according to others, 
200 stadia. Its palace was called Memnoneion, and was strongly 
fortified. Here was " the golden seat ;" here also were " the 
apartments of Darius, which were adorned with gold," as JEschylos 
says (Pers. 3. 4. 159, 160), " the widely-famed palace," — the irepi- 
/36r]Ta fiao-iXela, as Diod. Sic. xvii. 65, expresses himself. 

The ruins of Susa are now only a wilderness, inhabited by 
lions and hyaenas, on the eastern banks of the Shapur, between 
it and the Dizful, where three great mountains of ruins, from 
80 to 100 feet high, raise themselves, showing the compass of the 
city, while eastward smaller heaps of ruins point out the remains of 
the city, which to this day bear the name Schusch ; cf. Herz.'s 
Realenc. xv. p. 263 f., and Duncker, Gesch. d. Alt. ii. p. 942 ff. 

The designation of Elam as ^Via, a province, does not refer to 
a Chaldean province. D^J?, in Greek 'E\vfj,at<;, formed the western 
part of the Persian satrapy of Susis or Susiana, which lay at the 
foot of the highlands of Iran, at the beginning of the valley of the 
Tigris and the Euphrates between Persia and Babylon, called by 
the Persians Uvaja, and by the Greeks Susis or Susiana after the 
capital, or Cissia after its inhabitants. It is bounded by the 
western border mountains of Persia and the Tigris, and on the 
south terminates in a warm, swampy and harbourless coast, which 
stretches from the mouth of the Tigris to that of the Aurvaiti 
(Oroatis). Strabo (xv. 732) says Susiana is inhabited by two 
races, the Cisssei and the Elymai ; Herodotus (iii. 91, v. 49, vii. 
62), on the contrary, names only the Cisssei as the inhabitants of 
the country of the same name. The saying put into circulation 
by Josephus (Antt. i. 6. 4, "E\afj,o<> yap 'EXafzatovs Hepacov ovtcls 
dp%r]yeTa<; KaTe\Lirev) i that the Elamites are the primitive race of 
the Persians, has no historical foundation. The deep valley of the 
Tigris and the Euphrates was the country of the Semites. " The 
names of the towns and rivers of the country confirm the state- 
ments of Genesis, which names Elam among the sons of Shem, 
although the erecting of the Persian royal residence in Elam, and 
the long continuance of the Persian rule, could not but exercise, 
as it did, an influence on the manners and arts of the Semitish 
inhabitants" (Duncker, p. 942). 

The further statement, that Daniel in vision was by the river 
Ulai, shows that Susa lay on the banks of that river. ^K is the 
EvKalos, Eulceus, of the Greeks and Romans, of which Pliny 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 289 

says, "circuit arcem Susorum" and which Arrian {Exped. Alex. 
vii. 7) also mentions as a navigable river of Susis. . On the con- 
trary, Herodotus, i. 188, v. 49, 52, and Strabo, xv. 3, 4, place Susa 
on the river Choaspes. These contradictory statements are recon- 
ciled in the simplest manner by the supposition that Ulai, Eulosus, 
was the Seniitish, Choaspes the Aryan (Persian) name of the Kuran, 
which received the Shapur and Dizful. In favour of this, we have 
not only the circumstance that the name Choaspes is undoubtedlv 
of Persian origin, while, on the other hand, viK is a word of Semitic 
formation; but still more, that Herodotus knows nothing whatever of 
the Eulceus, while Ptolemy (vi. 3. 2) does not mention the Choaspes, 
but, on the contrary, two sources of the Eulceus, the one in Media, 
the other in Susiana; and that what Herod, i. 188, says of the 
Choaspes, that the kings of Persia drink its water only, and caused 
it to be carried far after them, is mentioned by Pliny of the Eulaus, 
h. n. vi. 27, and in xxxi. 3 of the Choaspes and Eulaus. 1 

Daniel was in spirit conveyed to Susa, that here in the future 
royal citadel of the Persian kingdom he might witness the destruc- 
tion of this world-power, as Ezekiel was removed to Jerusalem that 
he might there see the judgment of its destruction. The placing 
of the prophet also on the river of Ulai is significant, yet it is 
not to be explained, with Kranichfeld, from vers. 3 and 6, " where 
the kingdom in question stands in the same relation to the flowing 
river as the four kingdoms in ch. vii. 2 do to the sea." For the 
geographically defined river Ulai has nothing in common with the 
sea as a symbol of the nations of the world (ch. vii. 2). The Ulai 
is rather named as the place where afterwards the ram and the he- 
goat pushed against one another, and the shock followed, deciding 
the fate of the Persian kingdom. 

As, then, the scene of the vision stands in intimate relation to 
its contents, so also the time at which the revelation was made to 
Daniel. With the third year of Belshazzar the dynasty of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, the founder of the Babylonian world-kingdom, was 
extinguished. In this year Belshazzar, the son and successor of 
Nebuchadnezzar, died, and the sovereignty was transferred to a 

1 There is little probability in the supposition that Choaspes is the modern 
Kerrah or Kerkha, the Eulaus the modern Dizful, as Susa lay between these 
two rivers (Ker Porter, "Winer, Ruetschi in Herz.'s Realm, xv. 246), and receives 
no sufficient support from the bas-relief of Kojundsbik discovered by Layard, 
which represents the siege of a town lying between two rivers, since the identi- 
fication of this town with Susa is a mere conjecture. 



collateral branch, and finally to an intruder, under whom that 
world-kingdom, once so powerful, in a few years fell to pieces. 
Shortly before the death of Belshazzar the end of the Babylonian 
monarchy was thus to be seen, and the point of time, not very re- 
mote, which must end the Exile with the fall of Babylon. This 
point of time was altogether fitted to reveal to the prophet in a 
vision what would happen after the overthrow of Babylon, and 
after the termination of the Exile. 

Vers. 3-14. The vision. — Ver. 3. Daniel first sees one ram, 
*?% standing by the river. The "inx (one) does not here stand 
for the indefinite article, but is a numeral, in contradistinction 
to the two horns which the one ram has. The two horns of the 
ram were high, but the one was higher than the other, the 
higher coming up later, nnxn does not mean the first, but the 
one, and rnf'n the other; for the higher grew up last. This is not 
to be understood as if Daniel first saw the ram without horns, and 
then saw the horns grow up, and at length the one horn become 
higher than the other (v. Leng., Hitzig) ; but that from the first 
Daniel saw the ram with two horns, but afterwards saw the one 
horn grow higher than the other (Kliefoth). The angel (ver. 20) 
explains the ram with two horns of the kings of Media and Persia. 
This does not mean that the two horns are to be understood (with 
Theodoret) of the two dynasties of Cyrus and of Darius Hystaspes ; 
but since the ram represents the one kingdom of the Medes and 
Persians, so the two horns represent the people of the Medes and 
Persians, from the union of which the Medo-Persian kingdom 
grew up. Both nations were the horns, i.e. the power of the 
monarchy ; therefore are they both high. The one horn, which 
afterwards grew up higher than the other, represents the Persians, 
who raised themselves above the Medians. A ram and goat, as 
emblems of kings, princes, chiefs, often occur ; cf. Isa. xiv. 9 ; Ezek. 
xxxiv. 17, xxxix. 18; Jer. 1. 8; Zech. x. 3. In Bundehesch the 
guardian spirit of the Persian kingdom appears under the form of 
a ram with clean feet and sharp-pointed horns, and, according to 
Amm. Marcell. xix. 1, the Persian king, when he stood at the head 
of his army, bore, instead of the diadem, the head of a ram (cf. 
Hav.). The point of resemblance of this symbol is to be sought, 
not in the richness (the wool) and in the aggressive nature (the 
horns) of the ram (Theod., Venema), but the ram and the he-goat 
form, as Hofmnnn has justly remarked, a contrast to dull firmness 
and nimble lightness, as the bear and the panther. 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 291 

The ram stands by the river and pushes toward the west, north, 
and south, but not toward the east. The river is thus not the one 
flowing on the east of Susa, for, standing there, the ram pushing 
toward the west from Susa would push against the capital of his 
kingdom, but the one flowing on the west ; and the ram is to be 
conceived of as standing on the western bank of this river, from 
whence he pushed down with his horns all beasts before him, i.e. 
subdued all nations and kingdoms to his power in three regions 
of the earth. In the west he pushed against Babylon, Syria, and 
Asia Minor; in the south, Egypt; in the north, the Armenian 
and Scythian nations. These he subdued and incorporated in the 
Persian kingdom. He did not push toward the east — not because 
lie could only push forwards and against that which was nearer, but 
not, without changing his position, backwards (Hitzig); nor because 
the Medo-Persians themselves came from the east (v. Leng., Kran.); 
nor yet because the conquests of the Persians did not stretch toward 
the east (Hiiv.), for Cyrus and Darins subdued nations to the east 
of Persia even as far as to the Indus ; but because, for the unfold- 
ing of the Medo-Persian monarchy as a world-power, its conquests 
in the east were subordinate, and therefore are not mentioned. 
The pushing toward the three world-regions corresponds to the 
three ribs in the mouth of the bear, ch. vii. 5, and intimates that 
the Medo-Persian world-kingdom, in spite of the irresistibility of 
its arms, did not, however, extend its power into all the regions of 
the world. nJ3, to push, of beast, Ex. xxi. 28, in the Piel figura- 
tively is used of nations, Dent, xxxiii. 17, Ps. xliv. 6. ViW is 
potentialis: could not stand. The masculine is here used, because 
rii ! n (beasts) represents kingdoms and nations. i2i"j3 HK'y, did accord- 
ing to his will, expresses arbitrary conduct, a despotic behaviour. 
P'Hjn, became great. The word does not mean to become haughty, 
for i33P3 : in his heart, is not added here as it is in ver. 25, but to 
magnify the action. It is equivalent to rri^y.? P^jri in Joel ii. 20 
. (hath done great things), and Ps. cxxvi. 2, 3, in the sense of to 
become great, powerful; cf. ver. 8. 

Vers. 5-7. After Daniel had for a while contemplated the 
conduct of the ram, he saw a he-goat come from the west over the 
earth, run with furious might against the two-horned ram, and 
throw it to the ground and tread upon it. The he-goat, according 
to the interpretation of the angel, ver. 21, represents the king of 
Javan (Greece and Macedonia) — notthe person of theking(Gesen.),' 
hut the kingship of Javan • for, according to ver. 21, the great horn 


of the goat symbolizes the first king, and thus the goat itself can- 
not represent a separate king. The goat comes from the west ; 
for Macedonia lay to the west of Susa or Persia. Its coming over 
the earth is more definitely denoted by the expression P.?? ^ 3 _ ?$)> 
and he was not touching the earth, i.e. as he hastened over it in 
his flight. This remark corresponds with the four wings of the 
leopard, ch. vii. 6. The goat had between its eyes niTn pi? ; «'•«• not 
a horn of vision, a horn such as a goat naturally has, but here only 
in vision (Hofm., Klief.). This interpretation would render rnin 
an altogether useless addition, since the goat itself, only seen in 
vision, is described as it appeared in the vision. For the right ex- 
planation of the expression reference must be made to ver. 8, where, 
instead of horn of vision, there is used the expression n?it3ri pjjn 
(the great horn). Accordingly Pflin has the meaning of n ?"] ! ?, in 
the Keri nsno K*X, 2 Sam. xxiii. 21, a man of countenance or sight 
(cf. Targ. Esth. ii. 2) : a horn of sight, consideration, of considerable 
greatness ; icepas Oeop^Tov (LXX., Theodot.), which Theodoret 
explains by hriaTjfiov xal irepLftXeTnov. 

The horn was between the eyes, i.e. in the middle of the fore- 
head, the centre of its whole strength, and represents, according 
to ver. 21, the first king, i.e. the founder of the Javanic world- 
kingdom, or the dynasty of this kingdom represented by him. The 
he-goat ran up against the ram, the possessor of the two horns, 
i.e. the two-horned ram by the river Ulai, in the fire of his anger, 
i.e. in the glowing anger which gave him his strength, and with the 
greatest fury threw him down. The prophet adds, " And I saw 
him come close unto the ram," as giving prominence to the chief 
matter, and then further describes its complete destruction. It 
broke in pieces both of the horns, which the ram still had, i.e. the 
power of the Medes and Persians, the two component elements of 
the Persian world-kingdom. This representation proves itself to 
be genuine prophecy, whilst an author writing ex eventu would 
have spoken of the horn representing the power of the Medes as 
assailed and overthrown earlier by that other horn (see under ch. 
vii. 8, 20). The pushing and trampling down by the Ulai is ex- 
plained from the idea of the prophecy, according to which the 
power of the ram is destroyed at the central seat of its micht, 
without reference to the historical course of the victories by which 
Alexander the Great completed the subjugation of the Persian 
monarchy. In the concluding passage, ver. 7, the complete 
destruction is described in the words of the fourth verse, to express 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 293 

the idea of righteous retribution. As the Medo-Persian had crushed 
the other kingdoms, so now it also was itself destroyed. 

Ver. 8. The transformation of the Javanic kingdom. — By the 
kingdom of the ram the he-goat became very great, powerful 
(P^JH as in ver. 4). But the great horn was broken at the height 
of his strength, and four similar horns grew up in its stead, toward 
the four regions of heaven, T\W is here used adverbially, conspi- 
cuously : there came forth conspicuously four in its place. This 
statement does not contradict ver. 22 and ch. xi. 4, according to 
which the four kingdoms have not the power of the one great horn ; 
for the thought is only this : they represent in themselves a con- 
siderable power, without, however, gaining the power of the one 
undivided kingdom. The breaking of the great horn indicates the 
breaking up of the monarchy of Alexander by his death. The four 
horns which grow up in the place of the one great horn are, 
according to ver. 22, four kingdoms. These are the dynasties 
of the Diadochs, of whom there were indeed five : Antigonus, 
Ptolemy, Cassander, and Lysimachus laid claim to the title of 
king; but for the first time after the overthrow of Antigonus at 
the battle of Ipsus, 301 B.C., and thus twenty-two years after the 
death of Alexander (323 B.C.), they became in reality four kings, 
and so divided the kingdom among themselves, that Lysimachus 
had Thrace and Bithynia, — Cassander, Macedonia and Greece, — 
Seleucus, Syria, Babylonia, and the Eastern countries as far as 
India, — and Ptolemy, Egypt, Palestine, and Arabia Petrea. But 
from the fact that this first happened after all the descendants of 
the royal family had been extirpated, we are not to conclude, witli 
Havernick, that the breaking of the great horn did not denote the 
death of Alexander, but the extinction of his race or house ; a con- 
clusion which derives no valid support from these words of Justin : 
" All of them abstained from the use of the insignia of this (royal) 
dignity while the sons of their king survived. So great was their 
veneration, that although they had royal wealth and resources, 
they cared not for the name of kings so long as there existed a 
legitimate heir to Alexander" {Hist. xv. 2. 13). If the breaking 
of the horn is placed at the point of time when the horn was 
powerful, here as well as at ch. xi. 4, the reference of the words 
to the sudden death of Alexander in the prime of his days, and 
when in the very height of his victorious career, cannot be dis- 
puted ; and by the breaking of the horn we can only understand 
Alexander's death, and the breaking up of the kingdom founded 


by him, although it was still held together in a considerable degree 
for two decenniums by his generals, till the most imperious and 
the most powerful amongst them usurped the rank of kings, and 
then, after the conquest of Antigonus, a formal division of the 
kingdom into the four considerable kingdoms here named raised 
them to royal dignity. 

The prophetic representation is not a prediction of historical 
details, but it gives only the fundamental traces of the develop- 
ment of the world-kingdoms, and that not in the form of a historio- 
graphical prophecy, but only so that it sketches the ground-thoughts 
of the divinely ordained unfolding of these world-kingdoms. This 
ideal fundamental thought of the prophecy has so wrought itself out 
in actual history, that from the one great kingdom, after the death 
of the founder, in the course of time four considerable kingdoms 
arise. The number four in the prophetic contemplation comes into 
view only according to its symbolical idea as the number of the 
world in its extension toward the four regions of heaven, so that 
thereby only the thought is declared, that a kingdom embracing 
the world will fall to ruins in a plurality of kingdoms toward all 
the regions of heaven (Kliefoth). This has been so historically 
realized, that out of the wars of the Diadochs for the supremacy 
four kingdoms arose toward the four regions of the earth into 
longer duration, — that of Cassander (Macedonia) toward the west, 
that of Seleucus (Babylonia, etc.) toward the east, that of Lysi- 
machus (Thracia and Bithynia) toward the north, and finally that 
of Ptolemy (Egypt) toward the south. 1 

Vers. 9-12. The interpretation of the vision. 

Ver. 9. Without following the development of the four horns 
further, the prophecy passes over to the little horn, which grew 
up out of one of the four horns, and gained great significance 
in relation to the history of the people of God. The masculine 
forms DHO and N£ (out of them came) are to be explained as a con- 
struct™ ad sensum. nnx ( one ) a ft e r p.p. (horn) is as little super- 

1 When, on the other hand, Hitzig seeks to explain the prophetic represen- 
tation, here as well as at ch. xi. 4, that with or immediately after the death of 
Alexander his kingdom was divided, by reference to 1 Mace. i. 6, according to 
which Alexander himself, shortly before his death, divided the kingdom among 
his generals, he thereby not only misapprehends the ideal character of the pro- 
phecy, but does not in the least degree clear up the matter itself. For the pas- 
sage in 1 Mace. i. 6, which not only Arabic and Persian authors repeat, but also 
Moses v. Chorene, and even later Greek and Latin historiographers, as Ainmian 
Marcell., has been explained by Curtius (x. 10. 5) as zfama vana, and is proved 

chap. vm. i-i4. 295 

fluous as is the ft? in fTVJJSO. nnx is a numeral, one horn, not 
several ; ft? is either comparative, less than little, i.e. very little 
(Ewald), or, as less than insignificance, wretchedness, i.e. in an alto- 
gether miserable way (Hav.). The one explanation is more forced 
than the other, and the idea of wretchedness is altogether unten- 
able. Yet the ft? serves as a circumlocution for the superlative = 
perpaucus (Gesen., Win., Aub.), while verbal analogies for it are 
wanting, ft? signifies from, out of ; but it is not to be united with 
Hi? : one horn of smallness (v. Leng.), in which case |» would be 
superfluous, but with the verb SSJ : it came up out of littleness, a 
parvo, i.e. aparvis initiis (Maur., Hofm., Kran., Klief.). Thus it 
corresponds with T\pbo STVJJT, ch. vii. 8. In the words " it arose 
out of littleness " there lies the idea that it grew to great power 
from a small beginning ; for it became very great, i.e. powerful, 
toward the south, toward the east, and toward the 'axn {the 
splendour, glory), i.e. toward the glorious land. , 3Sn = , 3sn px 
ch. xi. 16, 41. This designation of the land of Israel is framed 
after Jer. iii. 19 and Ezek. xx. 6, 15, where this land is called " a 
heritage of the greatest glory of uations " (a goodly heritage of 
the host of nations, E. V.), " a glory of all lands," i.e. the most 
glorious land which a people can possess. The expression is 
synonymous with rnon pK ("pleasant land"), Jer. iii. 19, Zech. 
vii. 14, Ps. cvi. 24. Canaan was so designated on account of its 
great fruitfulness as a land flowing with milk and honey; cf. 
Ezek. xx. 6. 

The one of the four horns from which the little horn grew up 
is the Syrian monarchy, and the horn growing up out of it is the 
king Antiochus Epiphanes, as Josephus (Ant. x. 11. 7) and all 
interpreters acknowledge, on the ground of 1 Mace. i. 10. The 
south, against which he became great, is Egypt (cf. ch. xi. 5 
and 1 Mace. i. 16 ff.). The east is not Asia (Kranichfeld), but 
Babylon, and particularly Elyma'is and Armenia, 1 Mace. i. 31, 37, 
iii. 31, 37, vi. 1-4, according to which he subdued Elyma'is and 

by TVemsdorf (de Fide Librr. Mace. p. 40 sq.) and Droysen (das Test. Alex. Ste 
Beilage, zu Gesch. des Hellen. i.) to be without foundation (cf. Grimm, K. ex. 
lidb. zu 1 Mace. i. 6). This may have been originally put into circulation by 
the partisans of the Hellenic kings, in order to legitimatize their sovereignty in 
the eyes of the people, as Grimm conjectures ; yet the confirmation which the 
book of Daniel appears to give to it contributed to its wide diffusion by 
Oriental and Byzantine authors, and the author of the first book of the Macca- 
bees had without doubt the book of Daniel before his eyes in the representation 
he gives. 


overcame Artaxias, king of Armenia (App. Syr. c. 45, 46 ; Polyb. 
xxxi. 11). Besides the south and the east, Canaan, the holy 
land, as lying between, is named as the third land, as in Isa. xix. 
23 ff. it is named as third, between Egypt and Assyria; but bti) 
■usn (» and toward the glorious land") is not, with Kranichfeld, to 
be regarded as an exegetical addition to rntBn 7K1 (" and toward 
the east"). Palestine lay neither to the east of Daniel, nor geo- 
graphically to the east of the kingdom denoted by the little horn, 
because the text gives no support to the identifying of this king- 
dom with the Javanic, the horn operating from the west. 

Ver. 10. As this horn became great in extent toward the 
south and toward the east, so also it grew up in height even unto 
the host of heaven, and some of them it cast down, i.e. some of the 
stars, to the earth. The host of heaven is here, as in Jer. xxxiii. 22, 
the whole body of the stars of heaven, the constellations, and of 
the stars is epexegetical of of the host. Daniel in the vision sees the 
horn grow so great in height, that it reaches even to the heavens, can 
reach the heavenly bodies with the hand, and throws some of the 
stars (|l? is partitive) down to the earth and tramples upon them, 
destroys them with scorn. The words of the angel, ver. 24, show 
that by the stars we are to understand the people of the saints, the 
people of God. The stars cast down to the earth are, according 
to this, neither the Levites (Grotins), nor the viri illustres in Israel 
(Glass.), nor the chief rulers of the Jews in church and state 
(Dathe). If the people of the saints generally are compared to 
the host of heaven, the stars, then the separate stars cannot be 
the ecclesiastical or civil chiefs, but the members of this nation 
in common. But by "the people of the saints" is to be under- 
stood (since the little horn denotes Antiochus Epiphanes) the 
people of God in the Old Covenant, the people of Israel. They 
are named the people of the saints by virtue of their being 
called to be an holy nation (Ex. xix. 6), because " they had 
the revelation of God and God Himself dwelling among them, 
altogether irrespective of the subjective degrees of sanctificatiou 
in individuals" (Kliefoth). But the comparing of them with 
the host of the stars does not arise from Jewish national pride, 
nor does it mean that Daniel thought only of the truly faithful 
in Israel (Theod., Hav.), or that the pseudo-Daniel thought 
that with the death of Antiochus the Messiah would appear, 
and that then Israel, after the extermination of the godless, 
would become a people of pure holiness. The comparison rather 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 297 

lias its root in this, that God, the King of Israel, is called the God 
of hosts, and by the ni«2V (Jwsts) are generally to be understood 
the stars or the angels ; but the tribes of Israel also, who were led 
by God out of Egypt, are called " the hosts of Jehovah " (Ex. vii. 
4, xii. 41). As in heaven the angels and stars, so on earth the 
sons of Israel form the host of God ; and as the angels on account 
of the glory of their nature are called D^Tij? (holy ones), so the 
Israelites by virtue of their being chosen to be the holy nation of 
God, forming the kingdom of heaven in this world. As God, the 
King of this people, has His throne in heaven, so there also Israel 
have their true home, and are in the eyes of God regarded as like 
unto the stars. This comparison serves, then, to characterize the 
iusolence of Antiochus as a wickedness against Heaven and the 
heavenly order of things. 1 Of. 2 Mace. ix. 10. 

Ver. 11. This horn raised its might even to the Prince of the 
host. KSSn IB", the Prince of the host of heaven, is obviously not 
the high priest Onias (Grotius), but the God of heaven and the 
King of Israel, the Prince of princes, as He is called in ver. 25. 
ij; ?^}J] (lie magnified himself to) is repeated in ver. 25 by 
7V "liBJT (he shall stand up against). Wherein this rising up 
against God consisted, the second half of the verse indicates in the 
statement that the Ton (daily sacrifice) was taken away, and the 
building of His sanctuary was destroyed. This verse does not 
record a part of the vision, but is a further development of that 
which was seen in prophetic words. Hence we may not, with 
Ebrard, refer its contents to heavenly events, to a putting away of 
the sacrifice from before the throne of God and a destruction of the 
heavenly sanctuary. On the contrary, Kliefoth has well remarked 
that it is " without example in Scripture that men penetrate into 
heaven to insult God ; what men do against God is done on the 

1 The deep practical explanation of Calvin deserves attention : — " Although 
the church often lies prostrate in the world and is trodden under foot, yet is it 
always precious hefore God. Hence the prophet adorns the church with this 
remarkahle praise, not to obtain for it great dignity in the sight of men, hut 
because God has separated it from the world and provided for it a sure inheri- 
tance in heaven. Although the sons of God are pilgrims on the earth, and 
have scarcely any place in it, because they are as castaways, yet they are 
nevertheless citizens of heaven. Hence we derive this useful lesson, that we 
should hear it patiently when we are thrown prostrate on the ground, and are 
despised by tyrants and contemners of God. In the meantime our seat is laid 
up in heaven, and God numbers us among the stars, although, as Paul says, 
we are as dung and as the offscourings of all things." — Calv. in he. 


earth." Tonn is everything in the worship of God which is not 
used merely temporarily, but is permanent, as the daily sacrifice, 
the setting forth of the shew-bread, and the like. The limitation 
of it to the daily morning and evening service in the writings oi 
the Kabbis is unknown in the O. T. The word much rather com- 
prehends all that is of 'permanent use in the holy services of divine 
worship (Hgst., Hav., Hof m., Kran., Klief.). Thus interpreted, the 
prophetic announcement corresponds with history ; for, according 
to 1 Mace. i. 45, Antiochus gave orders that they should " forbid 
burnt-offerings, and sacrifice, and drink-offerings in the temple ; 
and that they should profane the Sabbath and festival days." 

The horn also overthrew the place of the sanctuary of Jehovah. 
W?&n, to cast away, to cast forth, — used of buildings, to lay waste ; 
cf. Jer. ix. 18. 1130, properly, that which is set up, erected ; here, 
as frequently, of the dwelling-place of God, the temple : so also 
pruts' ]iao (a settled place for thee to dwell in), Ex. xv. 17, 1 Kings 
viii. 13. It is used also of the heavenly dwelling-place of God, 
1 Kings viii. 39, 43; here, of the temple in Jerusalem. With 
regard to the historical fulfilment, cf. the expressions, u her 
(Jerusalem's) sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness," and 
"pollute the sanctuary," 1 Mace. i. 39, 46 ; and "the sanctuary 
was trodden down," 1 Mace. iii. 45. 

Ver. 12. The actions of the little horn are definitively compre- 
hended in this verse, as may be seen from this, that in the first 
hemistich N3X and Tori are mentioned together. But this hemi- 
stich has been very variously interpreted. We must altogether 
reject the interpretation of the Vulgate, " Robur autem datum est 
contra juge sacrificium propter peccata" which is reproduced in 
Luther's translation, " There was given to him such strength 
against the daily sacrifice on account of sin ; " or Calvin's, " Et 
ternpns datum est super jugi sacrifcio in scelere," whereby, after 
Easchi's example, N3X is interpreted of the statio militaris, and 
thence the interpretation tempus or intervallum is derived. For 
N3V means neither robur, nor tempus, nor statio militaris, but only 
military service, and perhaps military forces. Add to this that 
N3if both in vers. 10 and 13 means host. If we maintain this, 
with the majority of interpreters, only two explanations are ad- 
missible, according as we understand N3V of the host of heaven 
i.e. of Israel, or of some other host. The latter interpretation is 
apparently supported partly by the absence of the article in N3X and 
partly by the construction of the word as fem. (I^ri). Accordingly 

CHA1'. VIII. 1-14. 291) 

Ilitzig says that a Hebrew reader could not understand the words 
otherwise than as meaning, " and a warlike expedition was made 
or conducted against the daily sacrifice with wickedness" (i.e. 
the impure service of idols) ; while others translate, " and a host 
placed against the daily sacrifice on account of sin" (Syr., Grot., 
Harenb., J. D. Michaelis) ; or, " a host is given against the daily 
sacrifice in wickedness " (Wieseler) ; or, " given against that which 
was continual with the service of idols," i.e. so that, in the place 
of the " continual," wickedness, the worship of idols, is appointed 
(Hofmann) ; or, " the power of an army is given to it (the horn) 
against the daily sacrifice through wickedness," i.e. by the evil 
higher demons (Ebrard). But the latter interpretation is to be 
rejected on account of the arbitrary insertion of lb (to it); and 
against all the others it is to be remarked, that there is no proof 
either from ver. 13, or from Ezek. xxxii. 23 or xxvi. 8, that 
|H3 means to lead out, to bring forward, to give contrary to or 

In ver. 13 i")Pi (to give) is more closely defined by DD"i» (some- 
thing trodden under foot) ; but in these passages in Ezek. above 
referred to, it [the verb JH3] is connected with an actual object. 
Construed with the accus. pers. and ?V, jro means " to place one 
over anything." This conception in its different shades is not so 
much derived from the words of the text as from a reference to 
the history; for it is supposed (cf. Grotius, Wies.) that because the 
matter spoken of is the wickedness of Antiochus, the entrance of 
the Syrian army into Jerusalem and its proceedings (1 Mace. 
i. 29 ff.) must be set forth. N2?> notwithstanding the want of the 
article, and notwithstanding the feminine construction, cannot 
properly be otherwise understood in ver. 12 than in vers. 10 and 
13, not of the host of the Syrians, but only of the people of Israel. 
The article is wanting also in ver. 13, where yet, because of its 
being taken in connection with Knp, it can only refer to Israel. 
Besides this passage, the fem. construction is found also only in 
Isa. xl. 2, where it signifies the service of war or vassalage. But 
this meaning here, where weighty reasons oppose it, this construc- 
tion does not require us to adopt, for such a construction is not 
infrequent. It is found not merely with names of nations and 
races, so far as land and people are nearly related ideas, but also 
with other words, such as even DP, people, fern., Ex. v. 16, 1 Kings 
xviii. 7, Jer. viii. 5 ; lion, a multitude, Job xxxi. 34 ; JHt, seed, 
i.e. descendants, Dent. xxxi. 21 ; cf. Ewald's Lehr. § 174. But 


the want of the article in K3V in ver. 12 and in 13 has its reason 
in this, that that which is said does not concern the whole host, 
but only one part of it, since, according to ver. 10, the hostile horn 
will cast only some Nnsn ]D (of the host) to the earth. If, there- 
fore, there is no sufficient ground for rejecting the application of 
the K3Y to the people of Israel, it follows that this interpretation 
is decidedly required not only by the connection, chiefly by ver. 
13, but also by that which is said of N3X in ver. 12a. 

" Since in ver. 13 the inquirer resumes the contents of vers. 
10-12, and along with the sanctuary names also the ' host ' as the 
object of the ' treading down,' it is not credible that this ' host ' 
should be different from that mentioned in ver. 12 " (Klief .). 
Moreover, inw can have in this passage only the meaning of 
te be given up. Tann ?y can then only be translated because of the 
permanent sacrifice, if J^'S? (by reason of transgression) is united as 
object with pan in the sense : "was delivered up in transgression." 
But apart from this, that 1H3 in the sense of to give up is construed 
with T2, and there are wanting certain parallels for its construction 
with 3 merely, this interpretation, "the host ( = Israel) is given up 
in wickedness on account of the continual sacrifice," presents an 
idea not to be tolerated. We agree, therefore, in general with 
the interpretation of Ch. B. Michaelis, Havemick, v. Lengerke, 
Maurer, Kranichfeld, and Kliefoth, and explain the words thus : 
" and (an) host shall be given up together with the daily sacri- 
fice, because of transgression." N3V, an host, i.e. a great company 
of the host, the people of Israel. 3 before *>£>§ (transgression) 
in the meaning of 3 pretii, on account of (um), or because of, 
cf. Gen. xviii. 28. I'tf'a is the apostasy of the Israelites from God, 
the wickedness proceeding from the D'yu-'B (transgressors), ver. 23. 
The objection that this interpretation is not appropriate, because V&5 
is repeated in ver. 13 in union with DOB' (desolation), and therefore 
a wickedness devoted to destruction is characterized (Klief.), avails 
nothing, because it in no way follows from this that the " trans- 
gression " must be wickedness seating itself in the place of the 
" daily sacrifice," idolatrous worship supplanting the true worship. 
But " the transgression " cannot be that which sets itself in the 
place of the " daily sacrifice," because "Venn is not the subject of 
the sentence, but is only co-ordinated to the subject. If a, in JJtf'33 
is regarded as the 3 pretii, then JIB'S can only be that which would 
be put in the place of the K3Y. The preposition ?V before Tonn 
means thereon } after that, also at the same time, or together with, as 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 301 

in Am. iii. 15, Hos. x. 14, etc. Ten, as in ver. 11, is not merely 
the daily sacrifice, but all that had continuance in the Mosaic 
•worship. Finally, the jussive forms tnjri and ^K>n (to be trodden) 
are to be observed, since, according to the just observation of 
Kran., they are not simply identical with the future, as Ewald 
(§ 343) thinks, but here, as in ch. xi. 4, 10, 16, modify the con- 
ception of time by the presentation of the divine pre-determina- 
tion or the decree, and thus express a should, may, or a faculty, a 
being able, in consequence of the divine counsel. To the verbs of 
the second half of the verse P£ (horn) is easily supplied from the 
foregoing context as the subject ; and the passage closes with the 
thought : thus must the horn throw the truth to the ground, and 
he shall succeed in this. 1 !"ipx, the objective truth, the word of 
God, so far as it is embodied in the worship. As to this matter 
cf. 1 Mace. i. 43-52, 56, 60. 

Vers. 13 and 14. In addition to what has been already seen 
and communicated in the vision, a further vision unfolds itself, by 
which there is conveyed to the prophet disclosures regarding the 
duration of the oppression of the people of God by the little 
horn. Daniel hears a holy one, i.e. an angel (see under ch. iv. 
10), talking. What he said is not recorded. But while he is 
talking, another angel interrupts him with the question as to the 
duration of the affliction, and this is done that Daniel may hear the 
answer. Therefore the first angel immediately turns himself to 
Daniel, and, addressing him, makes known to him the information 
that was desired. 

The "£« (to me), ver. 14, is not, according to the old versions, to 
be changed into V7K (to him). What Hitzig says in justification of 
v5>N is of no weight ; cf. Kran. The angel that talked is designated 
by yto?B, quidam, nescio quis, as not being more particularly defin- 
able. The question condenses the contents of vers. 10-12 : " Till 
how long is the vision, etc.?" ptnn is not the action, but the con- 
tents of the vision, the thing seen. The contents of the vision are 
arranged in the form of appositions : that which is continual and 
the desolating wickedness, for: the vision of that which is continual 
and of the desolation. The meaning of this apposition is more 
particularly defined by the further passage following asyndetos : to 
give up the sanctuary as well as the host to destruction. DDE' after 

1 " Successus Antiochi potuit pios omnes turoare, acsi tyrannusilU esset Deo 
Superior. Ergo opurtnit etiam hoc prxdici, ne quid novum vel inopinatum con- 
tingeret Jidelibus."—CALYW. 


the definite noun without the article, which is sometimes wanting 
(Jer. ii. 21 ; Ezek. xxxix. 27 ; cf. Ew. § 293), does not mean being 
benumbed, confounded, but laid waste, fallen into ruin ; thus the 
wickedness which consists in laving waste. DOt2> cannot be under- 
stood transitively, since DOE* and DOE'D are placed over against each 
other in ch. ix. 27. 

In the answer, 13? is to be interpreted as in the question : till 
2300 evening-mornings have been, or have passed, thus: 2300 even- 
ing-mornings long, so (=then) the sanctuary is brought into its 
right state. Ply primarily means to be just, whence the meaning 
is derived to justify, which is not here suitable, for it must be 
followed by, from the defilement of the desolation. The restoration 
of the temple to its right condition is, it is true, at the same time 
a justification of it from its desolation, and it includes in it the 
restoration of the permanent worship. 

The interpretation of the period of time, 2300 evening-morn- 
ings, named by the angel is beset with difficulty. And first the 
verbal import of "W 2~}V is doubtful. Among recent interpreters, 
Berth., Hiiv., v. Leng., Maur., and Hofm. {Weiss, u. Erf. p. 295) 
understand by it days consisting of morning and evening (twenty- 
four hours); others, as Bleek, Kirmss, Ewald, Hitzig, Wieselcr (who, 
however, in his treatise, Die 70 Wochen, u.s.w., p. 115 ff., defends 
the first explanation), Kran., and Delitzsch, are of opinion that 
evening-morning is particularly reckoned with reference to the 
offering of a morning and an evening sacrifice each day, so that 
2300 evening-mornings make only 1150 whole days. But there is 
no exegetical foundation for this latter opinion. It is derived only 
from a comparison, or rather an identification, of this passage with 
Dan. vii. 25, xii. 11 f., and ix. 27 ; and therewith it is proved that, 
according to 1 Mace. i. 54, 59, cf. iv. 52, the desolation of the 
sanctuary by the worship of idols under Antiochus Epiphanes 
lasted not longer than three years and ten days, and that from 
Dan. xii. 11 it extends only to 1290 days. But these arguments 
rest on assertions which must first be justified. The passages 
Dan. vii. 25 and ix. 27 cannot be here taken into account, be- 
cause they do not speak of Antiochus Epiphanes, and the 1290 
days (1335 days, ch. xii. 11 f.) do not give 2300 evening-mornings, 
that we can and may at once identify these statements with this 
before us. In ch. xii. 11 the terminus a quo of the 1290 days is 
unquestionably the putting away or the removal of the Ten {daily 
sacrifice), and the giving (placing, raising up) of the abomination 

CHAP. VIII. 1—14. 303 

that maketh desolate (i.e. the altar of idol-worship) ; but in this 
verse (ch. viii. 14), on the contrary, the continuance not only of 
the taking away of the Ton, but also of the delivering up of the 
saints and the people to be trodden under foot, is fixed to 2300 
evening-mornings. This oppression continued longer than the 
removal of the appointed daily sacrifice. According to 1 Mace. 
i. 10 ff., the violent assaults of Antiochus against the temple and 
the Jews who remained faithful to the law began in the 143d year 
of the era of the Seleucidse, but the abomination that maketh 
desolate, i.e. the idol-altar, was first erected on Jehovah's altar of 
burnt-offering, according to 1 Mace. i. 54, in the 145th year of the 
Seleucidse, and the purification of the temple from this abomination, 
and its re-consecration, took place on the 25th day of Kisleu (9th 
month) of the year of the Seleucidse 148. According to this, from 
the beginning of the desecration of the temple by the plundering 
of its vessels and its golden, ornaments (1 Mace. i. 20 ff.) to its 
restoration to its right condition, more than five years passed. The 
fulfilment, or the historical reference, of this prophecy accordingly 
affords, as is sufficiently manifest, no proper means of ascertaining 
the import of the " evening-morning." This must rather be exe- 
getically decided. It occurs only here, and corresponds to vv^dij- 
uepov, 2 Cor. xi. 25. But the choice of so unusual a measure of 
time, derived from the two chief parts of the day, instead of the 
simple measure of time by days, probably originates with reference 
to the morning and evening sacrifice, by which the day was to be 
consecrated to the Lord, after Gen. i. 5, 8, 13, etc., where the days 
of the creation week are named and reckoned according to the 
succession of evening and morning. This separation of the expres- 
sion into evening and morning, so that to number them separately 
and add them together would make 2300 evening-mornings = 1150 
clays, is shown to be inadmissible, both by the asyndeton evening- 
morning and the usages of the Hebrew language. That in ver. 
26 ip'sni rnyn (the evening and the morning) stands for it, does not 
prove that the evening and morning are reckoned separately, but 
only that evening-morning is a period of time consisting of evening 
and morning. When the Hebrews wish to express separately day 
and night, the component parts of a day of a week, then the num- 
ber of both is expressed. They say, e.g., forty days and forty 
nights (Gen. vii. 4, 12; Ex. xxiv. 18; 1 Kings xix. 8), and three 
days and three nights (Jonah ii. 1 ; Matt. xii. 40), but not eighty 
or six days-and-nights, when they wish to speak of forty or three 


full days. A Hebrew reader could not possibly understand the 
period of time 2300 evening-mornings of 2300 half days or 1150 
whole days, because evening and morning at the creation consti- 
tuted not the half but the whole day. Still less, in the designation 
of time, "till 2300 evening-mornings," could "evening-mornings" 
be understood of the evening and morning sacrifices, and the words 
be regarded as meaning, that till 1150 evening sacrifices and 1150 
morning sacrifices are discontinued. We must therefore take the 
words as they are, i.e. understand them of 2300 whole days. 

This exegetical resolution of the matter is not made doubtful 
by the remark, that an increasing of the period of oppression to 
2300 days, over against the duration of the oppression limited in 
ch. vii. 25 to only three and a half times, or to 1290 (or 1335 
days, ch. xii. 11, 12), is very unlikely, since there is in no respect 
any reason for this increase over against these statements (Kran. 
p. 298). This remark can only be valid as proof if, on the one 
side, the three and a half times in ch. vii. 25 are equal to three 
and a half civil years, for which the proof fails, and, on the other 
side, if the 1290 or the 1335 days in ch. xii. 11 f. indicate the 
whole duration of the oppression of Israel by Antiochus. But if 
these periods, on the contrary, refer only to the time of the greatest 
oppression, the erection of the idol-altar in the temple, this time 
cannot be made the measure for the duration of the whole period 
of tribulation. 

The objection also, that it is more difficult to prove historically 
an oppression of the people of God for 2300 days by Antiochus 
than the 1150 days' duration of this oppression, need not move us 
to depart from the exegetically ascertained meaning of the words. 
The opponents of this view are indeed at one in this, that the con- 
secration of the temple after its purification, and after the altar of 
Jehovah was restored, on the 25th Kisleu of the 148th year of the 
Seleucidas, formed the termination of the period named, but they 
are at variance as to the commencement of the period. Delitzsch 
reckons from the erection of the idol-altar in the temple on 15th 
Kisleu in the 145th year of the Sel., and thus makes it only three 
years and ten days, or 1090 to 1105 days. Hitzig reckons from 
the taking away of the daily sacrifice, which would take place 
somewhat earlier than the setting up of the idol-altar, but has not 
furnished proof that this happened two months earlier. Bleek and 
Kirmss reckon from the taking of Jerusalem by Apollonius in the 
year of the Sel. 145 (1 Mace. i. 30 ff.; 2 Mace. v. 24 ff.), misplacing 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 305 

this in the first month of the year named, but without having any 
other proof for it than the agreement of the reckoning. 

To this is to be added, that the adoption of the consecration of 
the temple as the terminus ad quern is not so well grounded as 
is supposed. The words of the text, Vhj? piV?! (" thus is the 
sanctuary placed in the right state"), comprehend more than the 
purification and re-consecration of the temple. In ver. 11, also 
ch. ix. 17 and xi. 31, Daniel uses the word E"Ji?l? for temple, while 
on the other hand tJh'P means all that is holy. Was, then, the sanc- 
tuary, in this comprehensive meaning of the word, placed in its 
right state with the consecration of the temple, when after this 
occurrence " they that were in the tower (Acra) shut up the 
Israelites round about the sanctuary," sought to hinder access to 
the temple, and, when Judas Maccabaeus had begun to besiege the 
tower, the Syrians approached with a reinforced army, besieged 
the sanctuary for many days, and on their departure demolished 
its strongholds (1 Mace. vi. 18 ff., 51, 62) ? — when, again, under 
Demetrius Soter of Bacchides, the high priest Menelaus was de- 
posed, and Alcimus, who was not descended from the family of a 
high priest, was advanced to his place, who cruelly persecuted the 
pious in Israel ? — when the Syrian general Nicanor mocked the 
priests who showed to him the burnt-offering for the king, and 
defiled and threatened to burn the temple (1 Mace, vii.) ? And 
did the trampling upon Israel cease with the consecration of the 
temple, when at the building up of the altar and the restoration 
of the temple the heathen around became so furious, that they 
resolved to destroy all who were of the race of Jacob amongst 
them, and began to murder them (1 Mace. v. 1 ff.) ? Havernick 
therefore, with Bertholdt, places the terminus ad quern of the 2300 
days in the victory over Nicanor, by which the power of the 
Syrians over Judea was first broken, and the land enjoyed rest, so 
that it was resolved to celebrate annually this victory, as well as 
the consecration of the temple (1 Mace. vii. 48-50), according to 
which the terminus a quo of the period named would be shortly 
before the erection of the abomination of idolatry in the tempie. 

If we now, however, turn from this supposition, since the text 
speaks further of it, to seek the end of the oppression in the 
restoration of the legal temple-worship, or in the overthrow of 
Antiochus Epiphanes, which the angel brings to view in the inter- 
pretation of the vision (ver. 26), so also in these cases the 2300 
days are to be calculated. C. v. Leng., Maur., and Wiesel., who 



regard the death of Antiochus as the termination, place the begin- 
ning of the 2300 days one year before the beginning of violence 
with which Antiochus, after his return from the expedition into 
Egypt in the year 143 Sel, went forth to destroy (1 Mace. i. 20) 
the Mosaic worship and law. Only a few weeks or months earlier, 
in the middle of the year 142 Sel., the point of commencement 
must be placed, if the consecration of the temple is held to be the 
termination. In the year 142 not only was the pious high priest 
Onias removed from his office by the godless Jason, but also Jason 
himself was forced from the place he had usurped by Menelaus, 
who gave Antiochus a greater bribe than he did, and gave away 
as presents and sold to the heathen the golden utensils of the 
temple, and commanded Onias, who denounced his wickedness, to 
be deceitfully murdered (2 Mace. ii. 4). Hence we need not, with 
Hofmann, regard the deposition of Onias, the date of which can- 
not be accurately fixed, but which, 2 Mace. iv. 7 ff., is brought 
into connection with the commencement of the reign of Antiochus, 
and which probably took place before the year 142, as the date of 
the commencement of the 2300 days, although the laying waste of 
the sanctuary may be dated from it ; since Jason by royal autho- 
rity set up a heathen ryvfivdcriov with an i(J37j^elov, and by the 
wickedness of the profane and uupriestly conduct of this man 
Greek customs and the adoption of heathenish manners so pre- 
vailed, that the priests ceased to concern themselves about the 
service of the altar, bat, despising the temple and forgetting the 
sacrifice, they hastened to witness the spectacles in the palaestra, 
which were contrary to the law ; cf. 2 Mace. iv. 13 ff. with 1 Mace, 
i. 11-15. The 2300 days are thus, as well as the 1150 days, his- 
torically authenticated. 

But it is on the whole questionable whether the number given 
by the angel is to be reckoned as an historico-chronoloojical period of 
time, or is not rather to be interpreted as symbolical. The analogy 
of the other prophetic numbers speaks decidedly for the symbolical 
interpretation. The 2300 cannot, it is true, be directiy a sym- 
bolical number, such as 7, 10, 40, 70, and other numbers are, 
but yet it can stand in such a relation to the number seven as to 
receive a symbolical meaning. The longer periods of time are 
usually reckoned not by days, but by weeks, months, or years ; if, 
therefore, as to the question of the duration of the 2300 days, we 
reduce the chtys to weeks, months, and years, we shall find six 
years, three or four months, and some days, and discover that the 

CHAP. VIII. 1-14. 307 

oppression of the people by the little horn was to continue not 
fully a period of seven years. But the times of God's Visitations, 
trials, and judgments are so often measured by the number seven, 
that this number came to bear stamped on it this signification ; see 
under cli. iv. 13, vii. 25. The number of seven years is used in 
the symbolical meaning when, not to mention the cases in Gen. 
xxix. 18, 27, xli. 26 f., and Judg. vi. 1, seven years' famine were 
laid upon the land as a punishment for David's sin in numbering 
the people (2 Sam. xxiv. 13), and when in Elisha's time Israel was 
visited with seven years' famine (2 Kings viii. 1). Thus the 
answer of the angel has this meaning : The time of the predicted 
oppression of Israel, and of the desolation of the sanctuary by 
Antiochus, the little horn, shall not reach the full duration of a 
period of divine judgment, shall not last so long as the severe 
oppression of Israel by the Midianites, Judg. vi. 1, or as the 
famine which fell upon Israel in the time of Elisha, and shall not 
reach to a tenth part of the time of trial and of sorrow endured 
by the exiles, and under the weight of which Israel then mourned. 

But if this is the meaning of the angel's message, why does 
not the divine messenger use a pure symbolical expression, such 
as " not full seven times?" and why does he not simply say, " not 
quite seven years ?" As to the first of these questions, we answer 
that the expression "times" is too indefinite; for the duration 
of this period of sorrow must be given more minutely. As to 
the second question, we know no other answer that can be given 
than this, that, on the one side, only the positive determination of 
the length of time, measured by days, can afford full confidence 
that the domination and the tyranny of the oppressor shall not 
continue one day longer than God has before fixed ; but, on the 
other side, by the measuring of this period by a number defined 
according to thousands and hundreds, both the long duration of 
the affliction is shown, and the symbolical character of the period 
named is indicated. While by the period "evening-morning" 
every ambiguity of the expression, and every uncertainty thence 
arising regarding the actual length of the time of affliction, is ex- 
cluded, yet the number 2300 shows that the period must be defined 
in round numbers, measuring only nearly the actual time, in con- 
formity with all genuine prophecy, which never passes over into 
the mantic prediction of historico-chronological data. 

If we compare with this the designation of time in ch. vii. 25, 
instead of the general idea there expressed, of " time, times, and 


half a time," which is not to be computed as to its duration, we 
have here a very definite space of time mentioned. This difference 
corresponds to the contents of the two prophecies. The oppression 
prophesied of in this chapter would visit the people of Israel at 
not too distant a time ; and its commencement as well as its termi- 
nation, announced by God beforehand, was fitted to strengthen 
believers in the faith of the truth and fidelity of God for the time 
of the great tribulation of the end, the duration of which God 
the Lord indeed determined accurately and firmlr beforehand, 
but according to a measure of time whose extent men cannot cal- 
culate in advance. In this respect the designation of the time of 
the affliction which the horn growing up out of the third world-king- 
dom will bring upon God's people, becomes a type for the duration 
of the oppression of the last enemy of the church of the Lord at 
the end of the days. 

Vers. 15-27. 77(6 interpretation of the vision. 

The interpretation of Daniel's vision, .as given by the angel, 
falls within the vision itself. When Daniel sought to understand 
the vision, viz. in his mind, not by prayer or by asking a question, 
he saw before him, according to ver. 17, one standing at some dis- 
tance, who had the appearance of a man, but was not a man, but 
a supernatural being in human likeness. This person resembling 
a man is (ver. 16) named by the angel, Gabriel, i.e. man of God. 
The voice of another, whom Daniel did not see, hearing only a 
human voice proceeding from the Ulai, commanded this person to 
explain the vision to the prophet (f?\P, i.e. to Daniel). Nothing 
further is indicated of the person from whom the voice proceeded 
than what may be conjectured from vix P3 (between the Ulai), 
whence the voice sounded. These words do not mean " hither 
from Ulai" (Bertholdt), but " between the two banks of the 
Ulai" (Chr. B. Mich., Hav., etc.) ; according to which, the being 
whose voice Daniel heard appears as if hovering over the waters 
of the river Ulai. This conjecture is confirmed by ch. xii. 6, 7, 
where Daniel sees a man hovering over the waters of the river of 
Ulai, who by the majesty of his appearance and his words shows 
himself to be a divine being, and is more minutely described 
according to the majesty of his appearance in ch. x. 5 ff. The 
question, who this man might be, is first answered in ch. x. 5 ff. 
Gabriel is not a nomen proprium but appellativum. The ann- e l 
who was described as in appearance like a 133 (man') is named for 

CHAP. VIII. 15-27. 309 

Daniel, Gabriel (" man of God "), that on subsequent occasions 
(e.g. ch. ix. 21) he might recognise him again as the same 
(Hgst., Hofm., Kliefoth). As to his relation to other angels and 
archangels, the Scripture gives no information. If Lengerke 
and Maurer regard him, after the book of Enoch, along with 
Michael, and Raphael, and Uriel whose name does not occur in 
Scripture, as one of the four angels that stand before the throne of 
God, the Scripture affords no support for it ; nor does it counte- 
nance the supposition of Hitzig, that the two angels in vers. J 5 
and 16 are identical with those in vers. 13 and 14 — that Gabriel 
who spake, and the unknown angel, was the angel of the " rivers 
and fountains of waters," Rev. xvi. 4. 1 

Ver. 16. As commanded, the angel goes to the place where 
Daniel stands. On his approach Daniel is so filled with terror 
that he falls on his face, because as a sinful and mortal man he 
could not bear the holiness of God which appeared before him in 
the pure heavenly being. At the appearance of God he fears that 
he must die. Of. remarks at Gen. xvi. 13 and Ex. xxxiii. 20. But 
the angel, in order to mitigate his alarm, calls him to take heed, 
for the vision relates to the time of the end. The address (ver. 17), 
" son of man," stands in contrast to " man of God" (= Gabriel), 
and is designed to remind Daniel of his human weakness (cf. Ps. 
viii. 5), not that he may be humbled (Havernick), without any 

1 Altogether groundless, also, is the identification of them with the Persian 
Amschaspands, since neither the doctrine of angels nor the names of angels of 
the 0. T. are derived from Parsism. The most recent attempt by Dr. Al. Kohut, 
in his researches regarding Jewish angelology and demonology in their de- 
pendence on Parsism (Ahhand. fur die Kunde des Morgan, -iv. Bd., Nr. 3), to 
establish this connection, is extremely poor and superficial. The proof adduced 
in the first ten pages of his treatise is confined to these points : that in the 
writings of the 0. T. after the Exile or during the Exile the appearance of the 
angels is altogether different from that presented in the portions written before 
the Exile. It is said that, as a rule, the angels in the period first named take 
the human form, and bear names corresponding to their properties — Michael, 
Dan. x. 13, 21, xii. 1 ; Gabriel, viii. 16, ix. 21 ; and in the book of Tobit, xii. 
15, not much later in date (?), Raphael ; — now also, in contrast to the period be- 
fore the Exile, there is an order in rank among the angels ; Michael, Dan. x. 12, 
is designated as one of the first angel-princes, and, ch. xii. 1, as the greatest 
angel- prince ; moreover, the number of D'Ht? (angel-princes) is spoken of as 
seven, corresponding to the Persian Amesha-cpentas (Tob. xii. 15, and Book of 
Enoch xc. 21). But does this distinction between the pre-exilian and post- 
exilian doctrine of angels, even though it were allowed to be as great as Kohut 
supposes, furnish a proof for the derivation of the latter from Parsism ? or does 
this derivation follow from the fact that the Jews in exile came into intercourse 


occasion for that, but to inform him that, notwithstanding this, he 
was deemed worthy of receiving high divine revelations (Kliefoth). 
The foundation of the summons to give heed, " for the vision 
relates to the time of the end," is variously interpreted. Auberlen 
(p. 87) and Ziindel (p. 105 ff.) understand fT n ? not of the time 
of the end of all history, but of a nearer relative end of the pro- 
phecy. " Time of the end" is the general prophetic expression 
for the time which, as the period of fulfilment, lies at the end of 
the existing prophetic horizon — in the present case the time of 
Antiochus. Bleek (Jahrb. f. D. Theol. v. p. 57) remarks, on the 
contrary, that if the seer was exhorted to special attention 
because the vision related to the time of the end, then fl?. here, as 
in ver. 19, ch. xi. 35, 40, xii. 4, also ch. ix. 26, without doubt is to 
be interpreted of the end of the time of trial and sorrow of the 
people, and at the same time of the beginning of the new time of 
deliverance vouchsafed by God to His people ; and herein lay the 
intimation, " that the beginning of the deliverance destined by 
God for His people (i.e. the Messianic time) would connect itself 
immediately with the cessation of the suppression of the worship 
of Jehovah by Antiochus Epiphanes, and with the destruction of 
that ruler." From the passages referred to, ch. xi. 40 and xii. 4, 
it is certainly proved that )'\T^V denotes the time of all suffering, 
and the completion of the kingdom of God by the Messiah. It does 
with the Persians and the Medes, and that about this time the Zend worship 
flourished ? And do the angels in the post-exilian writings for the first time 
indeed assume the human form ? Kohut seems to know nothing of the appear- 
ance of angels in Gen. xix. 1 ff., Judg. vi. 11 ff., xiii. 9 ff. Then does the agree- 
ment, not of the doctrine of the 0. T., but of the later Jewish apocryphal 
writings, Tobit and the Book of Enoch, with regard to the number of angel- 
princes and of the Amesha-cpentas, furnish a sufficient proof of this derivation? 
Dr. Kohut does not himself appear to think so, since he regards it as necessary, 
in addition to this, which is " perhaps purely accidental," to furnish an etymo- 
logical argument. Ameslia-qpenta means " non connivens sanctus=the holy one 
not sleeping ; " " thus," he says, " it is a mere Chaldee rendering of the word 
Amesha-spenta, when in Dan. iv. 10, 14, 20, viii. 13, the Jewish angel-princes 
are called ]*vhp pV]/ = holy watchers." But was, then, the Chaldean king 
Nebuchadnezzar, to whom in a dream a " holy watcher" appeared, a Jew ? and 
in what edition of the Bible has Dr. Kohut found in Dan. viii. 13 the angel 
name "VJJ ? Nor is it any better proof that the demonology of the O. T. is a 
foreign production, resulting from the contact of the Jews with the Persians 
and Medes during the Exile, because in Zech. iii. 1 f., Pa. xlviii. 49, 1 Chron. 
xxi. 1, and especially in Job i. 6 f., ii. 1, Satan '' is depicted as a plague -spirit, 
altogether corresponding to the Persian Agromainjus, the killing spirit." Such 
silly talk needs no refutation. 

CHAP. VIII. 15-27. dll 

not, however, follow, either that these words " are to be understood 
of the absolute end of all things, of the time when the Messiah will 
come to set up His regnum glorice, and of the time of the last tribu- 
lation going before this coming of the Lord" (Klief.) ; or that the 
prophet cherished the idea, that immediately after the downfall of 
Antiochus, thus at the close of the 2300 days, the Messiah would 
appear, bring the world to an end, and erect the kingdom of eter- 
nity (v. Leng., Hitz., Maur., etc.). The latter conclusion is not, 
it is true, refuted by the remark, that the words do not say that 
the vision has the time of the end directly for its subject, that the 
prophecy will find its fulfilment in the time of the end, but only that 
the vision has a relation, a reference, to the time of the end, that 
there is a parallelism between the time of Antiochus and the time of 
Antichrist, that " that which will happen to Javan and Antiochus 
shall repeat itself in, shall be a type of, that which will happen in 
the time of the end with the last world-kingdom and the Antichrist 
arising out of it" (Kliefoth). For this idea does not lie in the words. 
That is shown by the parallel passage, ch. x. 14, which Kliefoth 
thus understands — " The vision extends to the days which are 
before named O^OVJ H^ns (latter days) ; it goes over the same 
events which will then happen." Accordingly the angel can also 
here (ch. viii. 17) only say, " Give heed, for the vision relates to 
the end-time ; it gives information of that which shall happen in 
the end of time." 

Ver. 19. The justice of this exposition is placed beyond a 
doubt by this verse. Here the angel says in distinct words, "I 
will show thee what will happen DOTH JVinKa (in the last time of 
the indignation), for it relates to the appointed time of the end." 
Kliefoth indeed thinks that what the angel, ver. 19, says to the 
prophet for his comfort is not the same that he had said to him in 
ver. 17, and which cast him down, and that ver. 19 does not con- 
tain anything so weighty and so overwhelming as ver. 17, but 
something more cheering and consoling ; that it gives to the vision 
another aspect, which relieves Daniel of the sorrow which it had 
brought upon him on account of its import with reference to the 
end. From this view of the contents of ver. 19 Kliefoth concludes 
that Daniel, after he had recovered from his terror in the presence 
of the heavenly messenger, and had turned his mind to the contents 
of the vision, was thrown to the ground by the thought presented 
to him by the angel, that the vision had reference to the end of all 
tilings, and that, in order to raise him up, the angel said something 


else to him more comforting of the vision. But this conclusiot 
has no foundation in the text. The circumstance that Daniel wa- 
not again cast to the ground by the communication of the angel 
in ver. 19, is not to be accounted for by supposing that the angel 
now made known to him something more consoling ; but it has its 
foundation in this, that the angel touched the prophet, who had 
fallen dismayed to the earth, and placed him again on his feet (ver. 
18), and by means of this touch communicated to him the strength 
to hear his words. But the explanation which Kliefoth gives of 
ver. 19 the words do not bear. "The last end of the indigna- 
tion " must denote the time which will follow after the expiration 
of the DJJT, i.e. the period of anger of the Babylonian Exile. But 
TTnns means, when space is spoken of, that which is farthest (cf. 
Ps. cxxxix. 9), and when time is spoken of, the last, the end, the 
opposite of n^'N"), the end over against the beginning. If finns 
D'pjn does not denote such a time as follows an otherwise fixed 
termination, but the last time, the end-time (see under ch. ii. 28), 
so also, since DJft is here the time of the revelation of the divine 
wrath, DWn rpnx can only denote the last time, or the end-time, 
of the revelation of the divine wrath. This explanation of the 
words, the only one which the terms admit of, is also required by 
the closing words of ver. 19, J*i?. "WD? '3 (for at the time appointed 
the end). According to the example of the Vulg., quoniam habet 
tempus finem suum, and Luther's version, " for the end has its 
appointed time," Kliefoth translates the words, " for the firmly- 
ordained, definite time has its end," and refers this to the time of 
the Babylonish Exile, which indeed, as Daniel knew (ch. ix. 2), 
was fixed by God to seventy years. But that the Babylonish Exile 
will have its fixed end, will come to an end with the seventy years, 
the angel needed not to announce to the prophet, for he did not 
donbt it, and the putting him in remembrance of that fact would 
have afforded him but veiy poor consolation regarding the time of 
the future wrath. This conception of the words depends on the 
inaccurate interpretation of the words DJW] rVHns^ and will conse- 
quently fall to the ground along with it. If "OTO^ (to the appoint- 
ment) were separated from J'p, and were to be taken by itself, and 
to be understood of the time of the DJ)T, then it ought to have the 
article, as in ch. xi. 27, 35. Without the article, as here, it must 
be connected with }'P, and then, with Jitnn supplied as the subject 
from the context (ver. 17), is to be translated, as it is by almost all 
modern interpreters : for the vision relates to the appointed time of 

CHAr. VIII. 15-27. 313 

the end. But fp.Tiy, the time of the end, and r*i? IVio, the appointed 
time of the end, is not the absolute end of all things, the time of 
the setting up of the regnum glorice, and the time of the tribulation 
preceding the return of our Lord; but the time of the judgment of 
the world-kingdom and the setting up of the everlasting kingdom 
of God by the appearance of the Messiah, the end of alow outo? 
and the commencement of the amv fieXkcov, the time of the JVinK 
D'D'n (ch. x. 14), which the apostle calls (1 Cor. x. 11) to, tsXt] twv 
alcoveov, and speaks of as having then already come. 

Ver. 20. Since, from the explanation given by the an^el in this 
verse, the vision relates to the Medo-Persian and the Javanic world- 
kingdoms, and to the persecuting kingdom of Antiochns which 
arose out of the latter, so it cannot be disputed that here, in pro- 
phetic perspective, the time of the end is seen together with the 
period of the oppression of the people of God by Antiochns, and 
the first appearance of the Messiah with His return in glory to the 
final judgment, as the latter is the case also in ch. ii. 34 f., 44 f., 
and vii. 13, 26 f. If Kliefoth objects : The coining of the Messiah 
may certainly be conceived of as bound up with the end of all 
things, and this is done, since both events stand in intimate causal 
relation to each other, not seldom in those O. T. prophets who yet 
do not distinguish the times ; but they also know well that this inti- 
mate causa] connection does not include contemporaneousness, that 
the coming of the Messiah in the flesh will certainly bring about 
the end of all things, but not as an immediate consequence, but 
after a somewhat lengthened intervening space, that thus, after the 
coming of the Messiah, a course of historical events will further 
unfold themselves before the end comes (which Daniel also knew, 
as ch. ix. shows), and where the supposition is this, as in Daniel, 
there the time before the appearance of Christ in the flesh cannot 
be. called the time of the end: — then the inference drawn in these 
last passages is not confirmed by the contents of the book of 
Daniel. For in the last vision (ch. x.-xii.) which Daniel saw, 
not only the time of oppression of Antiochus and that of the last 
enemy are contemplated together as one, but also the whole con- 
tents of this one vision are, ch. x. 14, transferred to the " end of 
the days;" for the divine messenger says to Daniel, "I am come to 
make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the end of 
the days, for the vision yet relates to the days." And not only 
this, but also in ch. xi. 35 it is said of the tribulation brought 
upon the people of God by Antiochus, that in it many would fall, 


to cleanse them and to purify them to the time of the end, for it is 
yet for the appointed time. Here, beyond doubt, the time of the 
persecution by Antiochus is placed in intimate union with the time 
of the end, but, as is to be particularly observed, not so that the two 
are spoken of as synchronous. This point is of importance for the 
right exposition of the verse before us. If, in ch. xi. 35, 40, it is 
twice said "WB? )>j3 "lijJ '3 {the end is yet for the appointed time), and 
thus does not begin with the oppression of the people of God by 
Antiochus, so we may not conclude from these verses — and in this 
Kliefoth is perfectly justified — that Daniel expected the erection 
of the Messianic kingdom and the end of all history with the 
overthrow of Antiochus. If, however, on the whole, the intimate 
causa] connection of the two periods of tribulation placed together 
in ch. xi. in one vision neither demands nor even permits us to 
regard the two as synchronous, so this erroneous conclusion drawn 
from these verses before us, in connection with an incorrect inter- 
pretation of ch. xi. 36-45, is sufficiently obviated, both by ch. ii. 
and vii., according to which the fourth world-kingdom shall precede 
the erection of the everlasting kingdom of God and the manifesta- 
tion of the Son of man, as also by ch. ix. 24-27, where — as our 
exposition will show — the coming of the Messiah and the perfecting 
of the kingdom of God by the overthrow of the last enemy are 
dependent on one another in point of time — the coming of the 
Messiah after seven weeks, the perfecting of the kingdom of God 
will follow, but not till after the lapse of seventy weeks. 

This passage is to be understood according to these distinct 
revelations and statements, and not that because in them, according 
to prophetic perspective, the oppression of the people of the saints 
by Antiochus, the little horn, is seen in one vision with the tribu- 
lation of the end-time, therefore the synchronism or identity of the 
two is to be concluded, and the erection of the regnum glorice and 
the end of the world to be placed at the destruction of this little 
horn. The words, " the vision relates to the time of the end," thus 
only declare that the prophecy has a reference to Messianic times. 
As to the nature of this reference, the angel gives some intimation 
when, having touched the prophet, who had fallen in amazement 
to the ground, he raised him up and enabled him to listen to his 
words (ver. 18), the intimation that he would make known to him 
what would happen in the last time of violence (ver. 19). Oy-tn is 
the wrath of God against Israel, the punishment which God 
hung over them on account of their sins, as in Isa. x. 5, Jer. xxv. 

CHAP. VIII. 15-27. 315 

17, Ezefe. xxii. 24, etc., and here the sufferings of punishment 
and discipline which the little horn shall bring over Israel. The 
time of this revelation of divine wrath is called IVinx because it 
belongs to the O 1 ?'? WinK, prepares the Messianic future, and with 
its conclusion begins the last age of the world, of which, however, 
nothing more particular is here said, for the prophecy breaks off 
with the destruction of the little horn. The vision of the eleventh 
chapter first supplies more particular disclosures on this point. In 
that chapter the great enemy of the saints of God, arising out of 
the third world-kingdom, is set forth and represented as the pre- 
figuration or type of their last enemy at the end of the days. 
Under the words nYP IB'X (which shall be) the angel understands 
all that the vision of this chapter contains, from the rising up of 
the Medo-Persian world-kingdom to the time of the destruction of 
Antiochus Epiphanes, as vers. 20-25 show. But when he adds 
DOTH ITnnN, he immediately makes prominent that which is the 
most important matter in the whole vision, the severe oppression 
which awaits the people of Israel in the future for their purifica- 
tion, and repeats, in justification of that which is said, the con- 
clusion from ver. 17, in which he only exchanges ny for "Wio. 
J"15? denotes time in the sense of a definite point of time, while "Wto 
is the definite time in its duration ; YP. "W° thus denotes the end- 
time as to its duration. This expression is here chosen with regard 
to the circumstance that in ver. 14 the end of the oppression was 
accurately defined by the declaration of its continuance. The 
object of these words also is variously viewed by interpreters. The 
meaning is not that the angel wished to console Daniel with the 
thought that the judgment of the vision was not yet so near at 
hand (Ziindel) ; for, according to ver. 17, Daniel was not terrified 
by the contents of the vision, but by the approach of the heavenly 
being ; and if, according to ver. 18, the words of the angel so 
increased his terror that he fell down confounded to the earth, and 
the angel had to raise him by touching him, yet it is not at the 
same time said that the words of the angel of the end-time had so 
confounded him, and that the subsequent fuller explanation was 
somewhat less overwhelming than the words, ver. 17, something 
lighter or more comforting. Even though the statement about 
the time of the end contributed to the increase of the terror, yet the 
contents of ver. 19 were not fitted to raise up the prophet, but the 
whole discourse of the angel was for Daniel so oppressive that, 
after hearing it, he was for some days sick, ver. 27. From Daniel's 


astonishment we are not to conclude that the angel in ver. 17 
spoke of the absolute end of all things, and in ver. 19, on the 
contrary, of the end of the oppression of the people of Israel by 
Antiochus. By the words, " the vision relates to the appointed 
end-time," the angel wished only to point to the importance of his 
announcement, and to add emphasis to his call to the prophet to 
give heed. 

Vers. 22-26. After the introductory words, we have now in these 
verses the explanation of the chief points of the vision. 

Vers. 20-22 explain vers. 3-8. " The kings of Media and 
Persia "are the whole number of the Medo-Persian kings as they 
succeed each other, i.e. the Medo-Persian monarchy in the whole 
of its historical development. To "I'SSn the epithet "Vytp-j hairy, 
shaggy, is added to characterize the animal as an he-goat. The king 
of Javan (Greece) is the founder and representative of the Macedo- 
Grecian world-kingdom, or rather the royalty of this kingdom, 
since the great horn of the ram is forthwith interpreted of Alexander 
the Great, the first king of this kingdom. The words rnaparn to 
n'finri (ver. 22) form an absolute subject-sentence, in which, how- 
ever, njiblTn is not to be taken iicficvTiKa) 1 ?, it broke in pieces, so tliat 
. . . (Kran.) ; for " the statement of the principal passage may not 
appear here in the subordinate relative passage " (Hitzig) ; but to 
the statement beginning with the participle the further definition in 
the verb. fin. with 1 consec. is added, without the relative IB'N, as is 
frequently the case (cf. Ewald's Lehr. § 351), which we cannot give 
with so much brevity, but must express thus : "as concerning the 
horn, that it was broken in pieces, and then four stood up in its place, 
(this signifies) that four kingdoms shall arise from the people." 
'i3i? without the article does not signify from the people of Javan, 
for in this case the article would not have been omitted ; nor does 
it signify from the heathen world, because a direct contrast to 
Israel does not lie before us ; but indefinitely, from the territory of 
the people, or the world of the people, since the prophecy conceives 
of the whole world of the people (Volkerwelt) as united under 
the sceptre of the king of Javan. i"ij"ibj£ is a revived archaism • 
cf. Gen. xxx. 38, 1 Sam. vi. 12; Ewald, § 191; Gesen. Gramm. 
§ 47. — iniaa &6l, but not in his power, not armed with the strength 
of the first king, cf. ch. xi. 4. 

Vers. 23-26 give the interpretation of the vision of the little 
horn (vers. 9-12), with a more special definition of certain elements 
not made prominent in the vision. The horn signifies a kino- who 

CHAP. VIII. 15-27. 317 

will arise " in the last time of their kingdom." The suffix to DnoSo 
(of their kingdom) relates to the idea contained in ni s ^» (kings). 
D^fSl] nnna, when the transgressors have made full, scil.'the trans- 
gression or measure of the sins. The object wanting to Dnn is seen 
from the conception of the subject. D'J»f sn, the rebellious, are not 
the heathen, for JWa denotes the apostasy from God which is only said 
of the Israelites, but not of the heathen ; and the word points back 
to VK'Sf in ver. 12. The king that rises np is Antiochus Epiphanes 
(cf. 1 Mace. i. 10 ff.) D^S'W, hard of countenance, i.e. impudent, 
unashamed in trampling down, without fear of God or man ; cf. 
Deut. xxviii. 50. ' rriTn p?p, understanding mysteries ; here sensu 
malo, concealing his purpose behind ambiguous words, using dissimu- 
lation, forming an artifice, interpreted in ver. 25 by iiO"tO, cf. ch. xi. 
21. The unfolding of these qualities is presented in vers. 24, 25 ; 
in ver. 24 of the COEpj;. By virtue of the audacity of his conduct 
his power will be strengthened, inb3 tOl, but not by his own might. 
The contrast here is not : by the power or permission of God (Ephr., 
Theodrt., Hav., Hitz., Kran.), reference being made to jnari (was 
given) in ver. 12, and to Tin (to give) in ver. 13. This contrast is 
foreign to the passage. The context much rather relates to the 
audacity and the cunning by which, more than by his power, 
Antiochus raised himself to might. The strengthening of the 
power is limited neither to his reaching the throne by the over- 
throw of other pretenders to it (Berth, and others), nor to the 
conquest of Palestine, but relates to the power which, according 
to the following statements, he developed as king against Israel, as 
well as against other kingdoms. nit033 (wonderful works) is used 
adverbially, as in Job xxxvii. 5 : in an astonishing, wonderful way, 
he will work destruction. But from this word it does not follow that 
the expression in'33 b6l is to be referred to the power of God, for it 
does not necessarily mean deeds or things supernaturally originating 
from God ; and even though it had only this meaning, yet here they 
could not be thought of as deeds accomplished in God's strength, 
but only as deeds performed by demoniacal strength, because rvriB^ 
(shall destroy) cannot be predicated of God in the sense determined 
by the context. This destructive work he shall direct against the 
mighty and against the people of the saints. D^DiXJJ does not here 
signify many, numerous, many individual Israelites (v. Leng., 
Maur., Kliefoth), partly because in ver. 25 Q , 3"2 stands for that, 
partly because of the D'Bnj? DJJ, by which we are to understand the 
people of Israel, not merely the insignificant and weak, or pious 


(Kran.). Hence tfOWi; cannot mean the elders of Israel, much less 
merely foreign kings (Berth., Dereser), but the mighty generally, 
under which perhaps we are specially to think of heathen rulers. 

In ver. 25 the cunning and craftiness of his action and de- 
meanour are depicted. V3& by {through his craft) is placed first. 
53K', sagacity, here sensu malo, cunning. On the ground of this 
cunning his deceit will be successful. nD"ip without the article 
means " all kinds of deceit which he designs" (Hitzig). On that 
account his heart is raised in haughtiness, so that not only does 
he destroy many unexpectedly, but also raises himself against God. 
In the CiiT (many) are comprehended " the mighty and the holy 
people" (ver. 24). nwa does not mean in deep peace, but in 
careless security, and thus unexpectedly. An historical proof of 
this is found in 1 Mace. i. 10. Q , "iB> "ib> {Prince of princes) corre- 
sponds with DTINH \px {Lord of lords) in Ps. exxxvi. 3. It is 
God; cf. ver. 11. But the angel adds, "he shall be destroyed 
without hands," i.e. he shall be destroyed not by the hand of man, 
but by God. 

In ver. 26 there follows, in conclusion, the confirmation of the 
truth of what is said of the duration of this oppression for the 
people of God. Because the time of it was not seen by Daniel, 
but was revealed to him in words, 10X3 "iE>N is here used in refer- 
ence to that which was, or of which it was, said. But we need not 
connect this relative sentence with the genitive "ipsni 2l!Jn {the 
evening and the morning), although this were admissible, but can 
make it depend on ilN"]D {vision), since the word-revelation of the 
evenings and mornings forms an integral part of the " vision." 
"ipani 3nj>ri are to be taken collectively. The confirmation of the 
truth of this revelation does not betray the purpose to make the 
book falsely appear as if it were old (v. Leng., Hitzig) ; it much 
more is fitted to serve the purpose of strengthening the weakness 
of the faithful, and giving them consolation in the hour of trial. 
For in the statement of the duration of the afflictions lies not only 
the fact that they will come to an end, but at the same time also 
that this end is determined beforehand by God ; cf. ch. xii. 7. In 
other places this confirmation serves only to meet doubts, arising 
from the weakness of the flesh, as to the realization of revelations 
of such weighty import ; cf. ch. x. 1, xii. 1, Kev. six. 9, xxi. 5, 
xxii. 6. 

But Daniel must close the prophecy, because it extends into a 
long time. DHD is not equivalent to Dnn, to seal up, but it means 

CHAP. VIII. 15-27. 319 

to stop, to conclude, to hide (cf. 2 Kings iii. 19, Ezek. xxviii. 3), 
but not in the sense of keeping secret, or because it would be in- 
comprehensible for the nearest times ; for to seal or to shut up has 
nothing in common with incomprehensibility, but is used in the 
sense of keeping. " A document is sealed up in the original text, 
and laid up in archives (shut up), that it may remain preserved 
for remote times, but not that it may remain secret, while copies 
of it remain in public use " (Kliefoth). The meaning of the 
command, then, is simply this : " Preserve the revelation, not be- 
cause it is not yet to be understood, also not for the purpose of 
keeping it secret, but that it may remain preserved for distant 
times" (Kliefoth). The reason assigned for the command only 
agrees with this interpretation. Cin DWp (to many days) is not 
to be identified with Pi?." 1 " 1 ?!? in ver. 17, but designates only a long 
time; and this indefinite expression is here used because it was not 
intended to give exactly again the termination according to vers. 
17 and 19, but only to say that the time of the end was not near. 

In ver. 27 the influence of this vision on Daniel is mentioned 
(cf. ch. vii. 28). It so deeply agitated the prophet that he was 
sick certain days, and not till after he had recovered from this 
sickness could he attend to the king's business. The contents of 
the vision remained fixed in his mind ; the scene filled him with 
amazement, and no one understood it. Maurer, Hitzig, and 
Kranichfeld interpret P?*? P? I understood it not, supplying the 
pronoun of the first person from the connection. But even 
though the construction of the words should admit of this supple- 
ment, for which a valid proof is not adduced, yet it would be here 
unsuitable, and is derived merely from giving to DOD (ver. 26) the 
false interpretation of to conceal. If Daniel had been required to 
keep the prophecy secret according to the command in ver. 26, 
then the remark " no one understood it " would have been alto- 
gether superfluous. But if he was required only to preserve the 
prophecy, and it deeply moved him, then those around him must 
have had knowledge of it, and the amazement of Daniel would 
become the greater when not only he but all others failed to 
understand it. To refer P3D px only to Daniel is forbidden by the 
comparison with p3N &6l in ch. xii. 8. The fulfilment of this 
vision can alone lead to its full understanding. 



In the first year of Darius the Median, Daniel, by a diligent 
study of the prophecies of Jeremiah as to the number of years 
during which Jerusalem must lie desolate (vers. 1, 2), was led to 
pour forth a penitential prayer, in which he acknowledges the 
justice of the divine chastisement which hung over Israel on 
account of their sins, and entreats the mercy of God in behalf of 
his people (vers. 3-19). In consequence of this prayer, the angel 
Gabriel (vers. 20-23) appeared, and announced to him that seventy 
weeks (vers. 24-27) must pass over his people and the holy city 
before the consummation of the kingdom of God. 

Vers. 1 and 2 mention the occasion on which the penitential 
prayer (vers. 3-19) was offered, and the divine revelation following 
thereupon regarding the time and the course of the oppression of 
the people of God by the world-power till the completion of God's 
plan of salvation. 

Regarding Darius, the son of Ahasverosch, of the race of the 
Medes, see under ch. vi. 1. In the word 'Hpon the Hophal is to be 
noticed : rex constitutus, /actus est. It shows that Darius did not 
become king over the Chaldean kingdom by virtue of a hereditary 
right to it, nor that he gained the kingdom by means of conquest, 
but that he received it (??p, ch. vi. 1) from the conqueror of Baby- 
lon, Cyrus, the general of the army. The first year of the reign of 
Darius the Mede over the Chaldean kingdom is the year 538 B.C., 
since Babylon was taken by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus 
in the year 539-538 B.C. According to Ptolemy, Cyrus the Per- 
sian reigned nine years after Nabonadius. But the death of Cyrus, 
as is acknowledged, occurred in the year 529 B.C. From the nine 
years of the reign of Cyrus, according to our exposition (p. 198), 
two years are to be deducted for Darius the Mede, so that the 
reign of Cyrus by himself over the kingdom which he founded 
begins in the year 536, in which year the seventy years of the 
Babylonish exile of the Jews were completed ; cf. the exposition 
under ch. i. 1 (p. 66 ff.) with the chronological survey in the Com. 
on the Books of the Kings (p. 140 ff.). 

The statement as to the time, ver. 1, is again repeated in the 
beginning of ver. 2, on account of the relative sentence coming 
between, so as to connect that which follows with it. We translate 
(in ver. 2), with Hgstb., Maur., Hitzig, " I marked, or gave heed, 
in the Scriptures to the number of the years," so that napo (num.- 

CHAP. IX. 1, 2. 32 1 

her) forms the object to 'nra (/ understood) ; cf. Prov. vii. 7. 
Neither the placing of D h "]3p3 (by books) first nor the Atnach under 
this word controvert this view ; for the object is placed after " by 
books" because a further definition is annexed to it; and the separa- 
tion of the object from the verb by the Atnach is justified by this 
consideration, that the passage contains two statements, viz. that 
Daniel studied the Scriptures, and that his study was directed to 
the number of the years, etc. B h "isp3, with the definite article, 
does not denote a collection of known sacred writings in which 
the writings of Jeremiah were included, so that, seeing the collec- 
tion of the prophets cannot be thought of without the Pentateuch, 
by this word we are to understand (with Bleek, Gesenius, v. Leng., 
Hitzig) the recognised collection of the O. T. writings, the Law 
and the Prophets. For D'HEpn, T a /3i/3\id, is not synonymous with 
Dorian, at <ypacf>al, but denotes only writings in the plural, but does 
not say that these writings formed already a recognised collection ; 
so that from this expression nothing can be concluded regarding the 
formation of the O. T. canon. As little can D 11 "!? 1 ? 3 refer, with Hav. 
and Kran., to the letter of Jeremiah to the exiles (Jer. xxix.), for 
this reason, that not in Jer. xxix., but in Jer. xxv. 11 f., the seventy 
years of the desolation of the land of Judah, and implic. of Jeru- 
salem, are mentioned. The plur. D^Sp also can be understood of a 
single letter, only if the context demands or makes appropriate this 
narrower application of the word, as e.g. 2 Kings xix. 14. But 
here this is not the case, since Jeremiah in two separate prophecies 
speaks of the seventy years, and not in the letter of ch. xxix., but 
only in ch. xxv., has he spoken of the seventy years' desolation of 
the land. In D^iSpa lies nothing further than that writings existed, 
among which were to be found the prophecies of Jeremiah ; and 
the article, the writings, is used, because in the following passage 
something definite is said of these writings. 

In these writings Daniel considered the number of the years of 
which Jeremiah had prophesied. "ig'K, as ch. viii. 26, with respect 
to which, relates not to D'JB'rj, but to DW'n "1BDD (number of the 
years). It is no objection against this that the repetition of the 
words " seventy years " stands opposed to this connection (Klief .), 
for this repetition does not exist, since 1SDD does not declare the 
number of the years. With nN?»p (to fulfil) the contents of the 
word of Jehovah, as given by Jeremiah, are introduced. ^"ln? 
does not stand for the accusative : to cause to be complete the 
desolation of Jerusalem (Hitzig), but ? signifies in respect of, with 



regard to. This expression does not lean on Jer. xxix. 10 (Kran.), 
but on Jer. xxv. 12 ("when seventy years are accomplished"). 
nia-m, properly, desolated places, ruins, here a desolated condition. 
Jerusalem did not certainly lie in ruins for seventy years ; the 
word is not thus to be interpreted, but is chosen partly with regard 
to the existing state of Jerusalem, and partly with reference to the 
words of Jer. xxv. 9, 11. Yet the desolation began with the first 
taking of Jerusalem, and the deportation of Daniel and his com- 
panions and a part of the sacred vessels of the temple, in the fourth 
year of Jehoiakim 1 (606 B.C.). 

Consequently, in the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede 
over the kingdom of the Chaldeans the seventy years prophesied 
of by Jeremiah were now full, the period of the desolation of Jeru- 
salem determined by God was almost expired. What was it that 
moved Daniel at this time to pour forth a penitential prayer in 
behalf of Jerusalem and the desolated sanctuary? Did he donbt 
the truth of the promise, that God, after seventy years of exile 
in Babylon, would visit His people and fulfil the good word 
He had spoken, that He would again bring back His people to 
Judea (Jer. xxix. 10)1 Certainly not, since neither the matter of 
his prayer, nor the divine revelation which was vouchsafed to him 
in answer to his prayer, indicated any donbt on his part regarding 
the divine promise. 

According to the opinion of Bleek and Ewald, it was Daniel's 
uncertainty regarding the termination of the seventy years which 
moved him to prayer. Bleek (Jahrbb. f. D. Theol. v. p. 71) thus 
expresses himself on the subject : " This prophecy of Jeremiah 
might be regarded as fulfilled in the overthrow of the Babylonian 
kingdom and the termination of the Exile, when the Jews obtained 
from Cyrus permission to return to their native land and to rebuild 
their city and temple, but yet not perfectly, so far as with the hope 
of the return of the people from exile there was united the ex- 

1 Thns also the seventy years of the Exile are reckoned in 2 Chron. xxxvi. 
21-23, Ezra i. 1 ff. This Ewald also recognises (Proph. iii. p. 430), but thinks 
that it is not an exact reckoning of the times, but rather, according to Zech. 
i. 12 and Dan. ix. 25, that the destruction of Jerusalem forms the date of the 
commencement of the desolation and of the seventy years. But Dan. ix. 25 
contains no expression, or even intimation, regarding the commencement of the 
Exile ; and in the words of Zech. i. 12, " against which Thou hast had indigna- 
tion these threescore and ten years," there does not lie the idea that the 
seventy years prophesied of by Jeremiah came to an end in the second year of 
Darius Hystaspes. See under this passage. 

CHAP. IX. 1, 2. 323 

pectation that they would then turn in truth to their God, and 
that Jehovah would fulfil all His good promises to them to make 
them partakers of the Messianic redemption (cf. Jer. xxix. 10 ff., 
also other prophecies of Jeremiah and of other prophets regarding 
the return of the people from exile, such as Isa. xl. ff.) ; but this 
result was not connected in such extent and fulness with the return 
of the people and the restoration of the state." On the supposition 
of the absolute inspiration of the prophets, it appeared therefore 
appropriate " to regard Jeremiah's prophecy of the seventy years, 
after the expiry of which God will fulfil His good promises to His 
people, as stretching out into a later period beyond that to which 
the seventy years would extend, and on that account to inquire 
how it was to be properly interpreted." Ewald (Proph. hi. p. 
421 ff.) is of opinion that these seventy years of Jeremiah did 
not pass by without the fulfilment of his prophecy, that the ruins of 
Jerusalem would not continue for ever. Already forty-nine years 
after its destruction a new city of Jerusalem took the place of the 
old as the centre of the congregation of the true religion, but the 
stronger hopes regarding the Messianic consummation which con- 
nected itself herewith were neither then, nor in all the long times 
following, down to that moment in which our author (in the age of 
the Maccabees) lived and wrote, ever fulfilled. Then the faithful 
were everywhere again exposed to the severest sufferings, such as 
they had not experienced since the old days of the destruction of 
Jerusalem. Therefore the anxious question as to the duration of 
such persecution and the actual beginning of the Messianic time, 
which Daniel, on the ground of the mysterious intimation in ch. 
vii. 12, 25 and viii. 13 ff., regarding the period of the sufferings of 
the time of the end, sought here to solve, is agitated anew; for he 
shows how the number of the seventy years of Jeremiah, which 
had long ago become sacred, yet accorded with these late times 
without losing its original truth. Thus Ewald argues. 

These two critics in their reasoning proceed on the dogmatic 
ground, which they regard as firmly established, that the book of 
Daniel is a product of the age of the Maccabees. All who oppose 
the genuineness of this book agree with them in the view that this 
chapter contains an attempt, clothed in the form of a divine reve- 
lation communicated to the prophet in answer to his prayer, to solve 
the mystery how Jeremiah's prophecy of the beginning of the 
Messianic salvation after the seventy years of exile is to be haiv 
monized with the fact that this salvation, centuries after the fall of 


the Babylonish kingdom and the return of the Jews from the 
Babylonish exile, had not yet come, but that instead of it, under 
Antiochus Epiphanes, a time of the severest oppression had come. 
How does this opinion stand related to the matter of this chapter, 
leaving out of view all other grounds for the genuineness of the 
book o^ Daniel ? Doe3 the prayer of Daniel, or the divine revelation 
communicated to him by means of Gabriel regarding the seventy 
weeks, contain elements which attest its correctness or probability? 

The prayer of Daniel goes forth in the earnest entreaty that 
the Lord would turn away His anger from the city Jerusalem and 
His holy mountain, and cause His face to shine on the desolation 
and on the city that was called by His name (vers. 15-18). If this 
prayer is connected with the statement in ver. 2, that Daniel was 
moved thereto by the consideration of the words of Jeremiah re- 
garding the desolation of Jerusalem, we can understand by the 
ruins, for the removal of which Daniel prayed, only the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem and the temple which was brought about by 
the Chaldeans. Consequently the prayer indicates that the deso- 
lation of Jerusalem predicted by Jeremiah and accomplished by 
Nebuchadnezzar still continued, and that the city and the temple 
had not yet been rebuilt. This, therefore, must have been in the 
time of the Exile, and not in the time of Antiochus, who, it is true, 
desolated the sanctuary by putting an end to the worship of 
Jehovah and establishing the worship of idols, but did not lay in 
ruins either the temple or the city. 

In his message (vers. 24-27) the angel speaks only of the going 
forth of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and presents 
the going forth of this word as the beginning of the seventy weeks 
of Daniel determined upon the people and the holy city within 
which Jerusalem mu^t be built, and thus distinguishes the seventy 
weeks as distinctly as possible from Jeremiah's seventy years 
during which Jerusalem and Judah should lie desolate. Thus is set 
aside the opinion that the author of this chapter souo-ht to inter- 
pret the seventy years of Jeremiah by the seventy weeks ; and it 
shows itself to be only the pure product of the dogmatic supposi- 
tion, that this book does not contain prophecies of the prophet 
Daniel living in the time of the Exile, but only apocalyptic dreams 
of a Maccabean Jew. 1 

* The supposition that the seventy weeks, ver. 24, are an interpretation of 
the seventy years of Jeremiah, is the basis on which Hitzig rests the assertion 
that the passage does not well adjust itself to the standpoint of the pretended 

CHAP. IX. 1, 2. 325 

Moreover, it is certainly true that in the Exile the expectation 
that the perfection and glory of the kingdom of God by the 
Messiah would appear along with the liberation of the Jews from 
Babylon was founded on the predictions of the earlier prophets, 
but that Daniel shared this expectation the book presents no trace 
whatever. Jeremiah also, neither in ch. xxv. nor in ch. xxix., 
where he speaks of the seventy years of the domination of Baby- 
lon, announces that the Messianic salvation would begin imme- 
diately with the downfall of the Babylonian kingdom. In ch. xxv. 
he treats only of the judgment, first over Judah, and then over 
Babylon and all the kingdoms around ; and in ch. xxix. he speaks, 
it is true, of the fulfilling of the good word of the return of the 
Jews to their fatherland when seventy years shall be fulfilled for 
Babylon (ver. 10), and of the counsel of Jehovah, which is formed 
not for the destruction but for the salvation of His people, of the 
restoration of the gracious relation between Jehovah and His people, 
and the gathering together and the bringing back of the prisoners 
from among all nations whither they had been scattered (vers. 
11-14), but he says not a word to lead to the idea that all this would 
take place immediately after these seventy years. 

Now if Daniel, in the first year of Darius the Mede, i.e. in the 
sixty-ninth year of the Exile, prayed thus earnestly for the restora- 
tion of Jerusalem and the sanctuary, he must have been led to do 
so from a contemplation of the then existing state of things. The 
political aspect of the world-kingdom could scarcely have furnished 
to him such a motive. The circumstance that Darius did not 
immediately after the fall of Babylon grant permission to the Jews 
to return to their fatherland and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, 
could not make him doubt the certainty of the fulfilment of the 
word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah regarding the duration of 

Daniel, but is in harmony with the time of the Maccabees. The other argu- 
ments which Hitzig and others bring forth against this chapter as the produc- 
tion of Daniel, consist partly in vain historical or dogmatic assertions, such as 
that there are doubts regarding the existence of Darius of Media, — partly in 
misinterpretations, such as that Daniel wholly distinguishes himself, vers. 6, 10, 
from the prophets, and presents himself as a reader of their writings (Hitz.), — 
opinions which are no better founded than the conclusions of Berth., v. Leng., 
and Staeh., drawn from the mention of the inhabitauts of Jerusalem, ver. 7, 
and of the holy city, ver. 24, that Jerusalem was then still inhabited and the 
temple still standing. To this it is added, that the prayer of Daniel is an 
imitation of the prayers of Ezra ix. and Neh. ix, or, as Ewald thinks, an ex- 
tract from the prayer of Baruch (Bar. ch. i. and iL). 


th,e Exile, since the prophecy of Isaiah, ch. xliv. 28, that Coreseh 
(Cyrus) should build Jerusalem and lay the foundation of the 
temple was beyond question known to him, and Darius had in a 
certain sense reached the sovereignty over the Chaldean kingdom, 
and was of such an age (ch. vi. 1) that now his reign must be 
near its end, and Cyrus would soon mount his throne as his suc- 
cessor. That which moved Daniel to prayer was rather the reli- 
gious condition of his own people, among whom the chastisement 
of the Exile had not produced the expected fruits of repentance ; 
so that, though he did not doubt regarding the speedy liberation of 
his people from Babylonish exile, he might still hope for the early 
fulfilment of the deliverance prophesied of after the destruction 
of Babylon and the return of the Jews to Canaan. This appears 
from the contents of the prayer. From the beginning to the close 
it is pervaded by sorrow on account of the great sinfulness of the 
people, among whom also there were no signs of repentance. The 
prayer for the turning away of the divine wrath Daniel grounds 
solely on the mercy of God, and upon that which the Lord had 
already done for His people by virtue of His covenant faithful- 
ness, the !")ip"is (righteousness) of the Lord, not the " righteousness" 
of the people. This confession of sin, and this entreaty for mercy, 
show that the people, as a whole, were not yet in that spiritual 
condition in which they might expect the fulfilment of that pro- 
mise of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah (ch. xxix. 12 ff.) : " Ye 
shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all 
your heart ; and I will be found of you, and will turn away your 
captivity," etc. 

With this view of the contents of the prayer corresponds the 
divine answer which Gabriel brings to the prophet, the substance 
of which is to this effect, that till the accomplishment of God's plan 
of salvation in behalf of His people, yet seventy weeks are ap- 
pointed, and that during this time great and severe tribulations 
would fall upon the people and the city. 

"Vers. 3-19. Daniel s prayer. 

This prayer has been judged very severely by modern critics. 
According to Berth., v. Leng., Hitzig, Staeh., and Ewald, its matter 
and its whole design are constructed according to older patterns in 
particular according to the prayers of Neh. ix. and Ezra ix. since 
ver. 4 is borrowed from Neh. i. 5, ix. 32 ; ver. 8 from Neh. ix. 34 • 
vcr. 14 from Neh. ix. 33; ver. 15 from Neh. i. 10, ix. 10; and 

CHAP. IX. 3-10. 327 

finally, vers. 7 and 8 from Ezra ix. 7. But if we consider this 
dependence more closely, we shall, it is true, find the expression 
D^an TV&2 (confusion of faces, vers. 7 and 8) in Ezra ix. 7, but 
we also find it in 2 Chron. xxxii. 21, Jer. vii. 19, and also in Ps. 
xliv. 16 ; niriptp (forgivenesses, ver. 9) we find in Neh. ix. 17, but 
also in Ps. exxx. 4; and ?V 'HIW (is poured upon, spoken of the anger 
of God, ver. 11) is found not only in 2 Chron. xii. 7, xxxiv. 21, 25, 
but also Jer. xlii. 18, xliv. 6, and Nah. i. 6. We have only to 
examine the other parallel common thoughts and words adduced 
in order at once to perceive that, without exception, they all have 
their roots in the Pentateuch, and afford not the slightest proof of 
the dependence of this chapter on Neh. ix. 

The thought, " great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant 
and mercy," etc., which is found in ver. 4 and in Neh. i. 5, has its 
roots in Deut. vii. 21 and 9, cf. Ex. xx. 6, xxxiv. 7, and in the form 
found in Neh. ix. 32, in Deut. x. 17; the expression (ver. 15), 
"Thou hast brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt 
with a mighty hand," has its origin in Deut. vii. 8, ix. 26, etc. 
But in those verses where single thoughts or words of this prayer 
so accord with Neh. ix. or Ezra ix. as to show a dependence, a 
closer comparison will prove, not that Daniel borrows from Ezra or 
Nehemiah, but that they borrow from Daniel. This is put beyond 
a doubt by placing together the phrases : " our kings, our princes, 
our fathers" (Dan. vers. 5 and 8), compared with these: " our kings, 
our princes, our priests, and our fathers" (Neh. ix. 34, 32), and 
"our kings and our priests" (Ezra ix. 7). For here the naming 
of the " priests " along with the " kings and princes " is just as 
characteristic of the age of Ezra and Nehemiah as the omission 
of the " priests " is of the time of the Exile, in which, in conse- 
quence of the cessation of worship, the office of the priest was 
suspended. This circumstance tends to refute the argument of 
Stahelin (Einl. p. 349), that since the prayers in Chron., Ezra, and 
Nehem. greatly resemble each other, and probably proceed from 
one author, it is more likely that the author of Dan. ix. depended 
on the most recent historical writings, than that Dan. ix. was always 
before the eyes of the author of Chron. — a supposition the proba- 
bility of which is not manfest. 

If, without any preconceived opinion that this book is a product 
of the times of the Maccabees, the contents and the course of 
thought found in the prayer, Dan. ix., are compared with the 
prayers in Ezra ix. and Neh. ix., we will not easily suppose it 


possible that Daniel depends on Ezra and Nehemiah. The prayer 
of Ezra ix. 6-15 is a confession of the sins of the congregation from 
the days of the fathers down to the time of Ezra, in which Ezra 
scarcely ventures to raise his countenance to God, because as a 
member of the congregation he is borne down by the thought of 
their guilt; and therefore he does not pray for pardon, because his 
design is only " to show to the congregation how greatly they had 
gone astray, and to induce them on their part to do all to atone 
for their guilt, and to turn away the anger of God" (Bertheau). 

The prayer, Neh. ix. 6-37, is, after the manner of Ps. cv. and 
cvi., an extended offering of praise for all the good which the Lord 
had manifested toward His people, notwithstanding that they had 
continually hardened their necks and revolted from Him from the 
time of the call of Abraham down to the time of the Exile, ex- 
pressing itself in the confession, " God is righteous, but we are 
guilty," never rising to a prayer for deliverance from bondage, 
under which the people even then languished. 

The prayer of Dan. ix., on the contrary, by its contents and 
form, not only creates the impression " of a fresh production 
adapted to the occasion," and also of great depth of thought and 
of earnest power in prayer, but it presents itself specially as the 
prayer of a man, a prophet, standing in a near relation to God, so 
that we perceive that the suppliant probably utters the confession 
of sin and of guilt in the name of the congregation in which he is 
included ; but in the prayer for the turning away of God's anger 
his special relation to the Lord is seen, and is pleaded as a reason 
for his being heard, in the words, "Hear the prayer of Thy servant 
and his supplication (ver. 17); O my God, incline Thine ear" 
(ver. 18). 1 

The prayer is divided into two parts. Vers. 4-14 contain the 
confession of sin and guilt; vers. 15-19 the supplication for mercy, 
and the restoration of the holy city and its sanctuary lyin^ in 

1 After the above remarks, Ewald's opinion, that this prayer is only an 
epitome of the prayer of Baruch (oh. i. 15-iii. 8), scarcely needs any special 
refutation. It is open before our eyes, and has been long known that the 
prayer of Barnch in the whole course of its thoughts, and in many of the 
expressions found in it, fits closely to the prayer of Daniel ; but also all inter- 
preters not blinded by prejudice have long ago acknowledged that from the 
resemblances of this apocryphal product not merely to Dan. ix., but also much 
more to Jeremiah, nothing further follows than that the author of this late 
copy of ancient prophetic writings knew and used the book of Daniel, and was 

CHAP. IX. S-J9. 329 

The confession of sin divides itself into two strophes. Vers. 
4-10 state the transgression and the guilt, while vers. 11-14 refer 
to the punishment from God for this guilt. Ver. 3 forms the in- 
troduction. The words, " Then I directed my face to the Lord," 
are commonly understood, after ch. vi. 11, as meaning that Daniel 
turned his face toward the place of the temple, toward Jerusalem. 
This is possible. The words themselves, however, only say that he 
turned his face to God the Lord in heaven, to ST^Nn ijhx, the 
Lord of the whole world, the true God, not to nirv, although he 
meant the covenant God. "To seek prayer in (with) fasting," 
etc. " Fasting in sackcloth (penitential garment made of hair) 
and ashes," i.e. sprinkling the head with ashes as an outward sign 
of true humility and penitence, comes into consideration as a means 
of preparation for prayer, in order that one might place himself in 
the right frame of mind for prayer, which is an indispensable 
condition for the hearing of it — a result which is the aim in the 
seeking. In regard to this matter Jerome makes these excellent 
remarks : " In cinere igitur et sacco postulat impleri quod Deus 
promiserat, non quod esset incredulus futurorum, sed ne seeuritas 
negligentiam et negligentia pareret offensam." npsn and O'wnn = 
njnri, c f. 1 Kings viii. 38, 45, 49, 2 Chron. vi'. 29, 35. rfen is 
prayer in general; D'wnri, prayer for mercy and compassion, as 
also a petition for something, such as the turning away of misfor- 
tune or evil (deprecari). The design of the prayer lying before us 
is to entreat God that He would look with pity on the desolation 
of the holy city and the temple, and fulfil His promise of their 
restoration. This prayer is found in vers. 15-19. 

Ver. 4. Since the desolation of the holy land and the exile of 
the people was a well-deserved punishment for their sins, and a 
removal of the punishment could not be hoped for without genuine 
humiliation under the righteous judgment of God, Daniel begins 
with a confession of the great transgression of the people, and of 

familiar with the writings of Daniel and Jeremiah, and of other prophets, so 
that he imitated thern. This statement, that the pseudo-Baruch in ch. i. 15- 
iii. 8 presents an extended imitation of Daniel's prayer, Ewald has not refuted, 
and he has brought forward nothing more in support of his view than the as- 
sertion, resting on the groundless supposition that the mention of the "judges" 
in Dan. ix. 12 is derived from Bar. ii. 1, and on the remark that the author of 
the book of Bariich would have nothing at all peculiar if he had formed that 
long prayer out of the book of Daniel, or had only wrought after this pattern 
—a remark which bears witness, indeed, of a compassionate concern for hie 
protege, but manifestly says nothing for the critic 


the righteousness of the divine dealings with them, that on the 
ground of this confession he might entreat of the divine compas- 
sion the fulfilment of the promised restoration of Jerusalem and 
Israel. He prays to Jehovah '[W, my God. If we wish our 
prayers to be heard, then God, to whom we pray, must become 
our God. To iTTirix (/ made confession) M. Geier applies Augus- 
tine's beautiful remark on Ps. xxix. : " Confessio gemina est, aut 
peccali aut laudis. Quando nobis male est in tribulationibus, conjite- 
amur peccata nostra ; quando nobis bene est in exultatione justitice, 
confiteamnr laudem Deo : sine confessione tamen non simus." The 
address, " Thou great and dreadful God, who keepest the cove- 
nant," etc., points in its first part to the mighty acts of God in 
destroying His enemies (cf. Deut. vii. 21), and in the second part 
to the faithfulness of God toward those that fear Him in fulfilling 
His promises (cf. Deut. vii. 9). While the greatness and the ter- 
ribleness of God, which Israel had now experienced, wrought 
repentance and sorrow, the reference to the covenant faithfulness 
of God served to awaken and strengthen their confidence in the 
help of the Almighty. 

Ver. 5. God is righteous and faithful, but Israel is unrighteous 
and faithless. The confession of the great guilt of Israel in ver. 
5 connects itself with the praise of God. This guilt Daniel con- 
fesses in the strongest words. Nnn ; to make a false step, designates 
sin as an erring from the right ; niy ; to be perverse, as unrighteous- 
ness ; JJBn, to do wrong, as a passionate rebellion against God. To 
these three words, which Solomon (1 Kings viii. 47) had already 
used as an exhaustive expression of a consciousness of sin and 
guilt, and the Psalmist (Ps. cvi. 6) had repeated as the confession 
of the people in exile, Daniel yet further adds the expression «T!», 
we have rebelled against God, and lio, are departed, fallen away 
from His commandments; this latter word being in the inf.absol., 
thereby denotes that the action is presented with emphasis. 

Ver. 6. The guilt becomes the greater from the fact that God 
failed not to warn them, and that Israel would not bear the words 
of the prophets, who in His name spoke to high and low, — to kin^s 
and princes, i.e. the heads of tribes and families, and to the great 
men of the kingdom and to the fathers, i.e. to their ancestors in 
this connection with the exclusion of kincrs and chiefs of tfr 
people, who are specially named, as Jer. xliv. 17, cf. Neh. ix. 
32, 34 ; not perhaps the elders, heads of families (Cocceius, J. D. 
Michaelis, and others), or merely teachers (Ewald). To illustrate 


crur. ix. 3-19.;' 331 

the meaning, there is added the expression " the whole people of 
the land," not merely the common people, so that no one might 
regard himself as exempted. Compare 'JlSjH'l, Neh. ix. 32. This 
expression, comprehending all, is omitted when the thought is 
repeated in ver. 8. 

Ver. 7. Thus to God belonceth righteousness, but to the sin- 
ful people only shame. '"^"J-fri ^p does not mean : Thine was the 
righteous cause (Hitzig). The interpolation of the was is arbitrary, 
and nj5"]S predicated of God is not righteous cause, but righteous- 
ness as a perfection which is manifested in His operations on the 
earth, or specially in His dealings toward Israel. O'isn flK'a, shame 
which reflects itself in the countenance, not because of disgraceful 
circumstances, Ezra ix. 7 (Kraniehfeld), but in the consciousness 
of well-deserved suffering. W) Bi s 3 does not mean : at this time, 
to-day, now (Hav., v. Leng., and others) ; the interpretation of 3 
in the sense of circa stands opposed to the definite W. In the 
formula njn Di s 3 the 3 has always the meaning of a comparison ; 
also in Jer. xliv. 6, 22, 23, 1 Sam. xxii. 8, and everywhere the 
expression has this meaning : as it happened this day, as experience 
has now shown or shows. See under Deut. ii. 30. Here it relates 
merely to 'sn flB'a w? (to us shame, etc.), not also to the first part 
of the verse. The w is particularized by the words, " the men of 
Judah " (B"K collectively, since the plur. D't^K in this connection 
cannot be used ; it occurs only three times in the 0. T.), " and 
the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Both together are the citizens of 
the kingdom of Judah. ?¥^V'*> the whole of the rest of Israel, the 
members of the kingdom of the ten tribes. To both of these the 
further definition relates : " those that are near, and those that are 
far off, etc." With 'n "lt^K 0?i!??3 (because of their trespass which," 
etc.), cf. Lev. xxvi. 40. 

Ver. 8. In this verse Daniel, repeats the thoughts of ver. la 
in order to place the sin and shame of the people opposite to the 
divine compassion, and then to pass from confession of sin to sup- 
plication for the sin-forgiving grace of the covenant-keeping God. 

Ver. 9. Compassion and forgiveness are with the Lord our 
God ; and these we need, for we have rebelled against Him. This 
thought is expanded in vers. 10-14. The rebellion against God, 
the refusing to hear the voice of the Lord through the prophets, 
the transgression of His law, of which all Israel of the twelve 
tribes were guilty, has brought the punishment on the whole 
people which the law of Moses threatened against transgressors. 


Ver. 11. ^JPiffl with 1 consec. : therefore has the curse poured 
itself out, and the oath, i.e. the curse strengthened with an oath. 
=|ru, to pour forth, of storms of rain and hail (Ex. ix. 33), but 
especially of the destroying fire-rain of the divine wrath, cf. Nah. 
i. 6 with Gen. xix. 24, and Jer. vii. 20, xlii. 18, xliv. 6. n?xn j s 
used, Deut. xxix. 18 f., of the threatenings against the transgressors 
of the law in Lev. xxvi. 14 ff., Dent, xxviii. 15 ff., to which Daniel 
here makes reference. To strengthen the expression, he has added 
njDtfn (and the oath) to n^n, after Num. v. 21 ; cf. also Neh. 

Ver. 12. In this verse the Kethiv ^"^l. in harmony with the 
ancient versions, is to be maintained, and the Keri only as an ex- 
planation inferred from the thought of a definite curse. " Our 
judges " is an expression comprehending the chiefs of the people, 
kings and princes, as in Ps. ii. 10, cxlviii. 11. 

Ver. 13. The thought of ver. 11 is again taken up once more 
to declare that God, by virtue of His righteousness, must carry 
out against the people the threatening contained in His law. HN 
before nyirr?3 is not, with Kranichfeld, to be explained from the 
construction of the passive 3WI3 with the accusative, for it does 
not depend on 3U13 } but serves to introduce the subject absolutely 
stated : as concerns all this evil, thus it has come upon us, as 
Ezek. xliv. 3, Jer. xlv. 4; cf. Ewald's Lehrb. § 277d. Regarding 
S , ?.3" J " li 5 " 7? (we entreated the face, etc.), cf. Zech. vii. 2, viii. 21. 
•^ntpxa ysfc'n? is not to be translated : to comprehend Thy faith- 
fulness (Hitzig), for the construction with 3 does not agree with 
this, and then nex does not mean faithfulness ( Treue), but truth 
( Warheit). The truth of God is His plan of salvation revealed in 
His word, according to which the sinner can only attain to happi- 
ness and salvation by turning to God and obeying His commands. 

Ver. 14. Because Israel did not do this, therefore the Lord 
watched upon the evil, i.e. continually thought thereon — an idea 
very frequently found in Jeremiah ; cf. Jer. i. 12, xxxi. 28 xliv. 
27. p^s with 5>J> following, righteous on the ground of all His 
works — a testimony from experience ; cf. Neh. ix. 33 (Kranich- 

Vers. 15-19. After this confession, there now follows the 
prayer for the turning away of the wrath (vers. 15 and 16) of 
God, and for the manifestation of His grace toward His suppliant 
people (vers. 17-19). 

Ver. 15. This prayer Daniel founds on the great fact of the 

CHAP. IX. 3-19. 333 

deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, by which the Lord made for 
Himself a name among the nations. Jerome has here rightly 
remarked, not exhausting the thought however: " memor est anti- 
qui beneficii, ut ad similem Dei clementiam provocet." For Daniel 
does not view the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt merely as a 
good deed, but as an act of salvation by which God fulfilled His 
promise He had given to the patriarchs, ratified the covenant 
He made with Abraham, and by the miracles accompanying the 
exodus of the tribes of Israel from the land of Egypt, glorified His 
name before all nations (cf. Isa. lxiii. 32, 13), so that Moses could 
appeal to this glorious revelation of God among the heathen as an 
argument, in his prayer for pardon to Israel, to mitigate the anger 
of God which burned against the apostasy and the rebellion of the 
people, and to turn away the threatened destruction, Ex. xxxii. 
11 ff., Num. xiv. 13. Jeremiah, and also Isaiah, in like manner 
ground their prayer for mercy to Israel on the name of the 
Lord, Jer. xxxii. 20 f., Isa. lxiii. 11-15. Nehemiah (ch. i. 10 
and ix. 10) in this agrees with Jeremiah and Daniel, nin Di a 3 ? 
in the same connection in Jer. 1., does not mean, then, at that 
time, but, as this day still : (hast gotten Thee) a name as Thou 
hast it still. In order to rest the prayer alone on the honour 
of the Lord, . on the honour of His name, Daniel again repeats 
the confession, we have sinned, we have done wickedly ; cf. ver. 5. 

Ver. 16. The prayer for the turning away of God's anger fol- 
lows, and is introduced by a repetition of the address, " O Lord," 
and by a brief condensation of the motive developed in ver. 15, by 
the words ^rfinffbtt. nipnv does not mean in a gracious manner, 
and P"1V is not grace, but proofs of the divine righteousness. The 
meaning of the words Tnplicpria is not : as all proofs of Thy right- 
eousness have hitherto been always intimately connected with a 
return of Thy grace, so may it also now be (Kran.) ; but, according 
to all the proofs of Tliy righteousness, i.e. to all that Thou hitherto, 
by virtue of Thy covenant faithfulness, hast done for Israel. nip"jy 
means the great deeds done by the Lord for His people, among 
which the signs and wonders accompanying their exodus from 
Egypt take the first place, so far as therein Jehovah gave proof of 
the righteousness of His covenant promise. According to these, 
may God also now turn away His anger from His city of Jerusalem ! 
The words in apposition, " Thy holy mountain," refer especially to 
the temple mountain, or Mount Zion, as the centre of the kingdom 
of God. The prayer is enforced not only by Tnp* 1 .?"-'?, but also 


by the plea that Jerusalem is the city of God {Tliy city). Compare 
Ps. Ixxix. 4 and xliv. 14. 

Ver. 17. In this verse the prayer is repeated in more earnest 
words. With TJB ~^J} (cause Tliy face to shine) compare Ps. lxxx. 
4 and Num. vi. 25. 'px IV??, because Thou art Lord, is stronger 
than ^V??. As the Lord kwt e^o^v, God cannot let the deso- 
lation of His sanctuary continue without doing injury to His 
honour; cf. Isa. xlviii. 11. 

Ver. 18. The argument by which the prayer is urged, derived 
from a reference to the desolations, is strengthened by the words 
in apposition : and the city over which Thy name is named ; i.e. 
not which is named after Thy name, by which the meaning of this 
form of expression is enfeebled. The name of God is the revela- 
tion of His being. It is named over Jerusalem in so far as 
Jehovah gloriously revealed Himself in it ; He has raised it, by 
choosing it as the place of His throne in Israel, to the glory of a 
city of God ; cf. Ps. xlviii. 2 ff., and regarding this form of ex- 
pression, the remarks under Deut. xxviii. 10. 

The expression : and laying down my supplication before God 
(cf. ver. 20), is derived from the custom of falling down before 
God in prayer, and is often met with in Jeremiah ; cf. ch. xxxviii. 
26, xlii. 9, and xxxvi. 7. The Kethiv nniJ3 (ver. 18, open) is to be 
preferred to the Keri rips, because it is conformed to the imperative 
forms in ver. 19, and is in accordance with the energy of the 
prayer. This energy shows itself in the number of words used in 
vers. 18 and 19. Chr. B. Mich., under ver. 19, has well re- 
marked : " Fervorem precantis cognoscere licet cum ex anaphora, seu 
tenia et mysterii plena nominis Adonai repetitione, turn ex eo, quod 
singulis hisce imperativis He paragogicum ad intensiorem adfectum 
signijicandum sitperaddidit, turn ex conger ie ilia verborum : Audi, 
Condona, Attende, reliqua." 

"Vers. 20-23. The granting of the prayer. — While Daniel was 
yet engaged in prayer ('p in ?J>, on account of the holy mountain, 
i.e. for it, see under ver. 16), an answer was already communi- 
cated to him ; for the angel Gabriel came to him, and brought 
to him an explanation of the seventy years of Jeremiah, i.e. not 
as to their expiry, but what would happen after their completion 
for the city and the people of God. 'i C'^n, the man Gabriel, 
refers, by the use of the definite article, back to ch. viii. 15 
where Gabriel appeared to him in the form of a man. This is 

CHAP. IX. 20-23. 335 

expressly observed in the relative clause, " whom I saw," etc. 
Regarding n?nna ( a < the first, ver. 21) see under ch. viii. 1. The 
differently interpreted words, ^a *)#», belong, from their position, 
to the relative clause, or specially to WS"J (/ had seen), not to Jtti, 
since no ground can be perceived for the placing of the adverbial 
idea before the verb. The translation of ^H ^VO by Ta^et <f>epo- 
fievos (LXX.), irer6fievo<; (Theodot.), cito volans (Vulg.), from 
which the church fathers concluded that the angels were winged, 
notwithstanding the fact that rabbis, as e.g. Jos. Jacchiades, and 
modern interpreters (Hav., v. Leng., Hitz.) maintain it, is without 
any foundation in the words, and was probably derived by the old 
translators from a confounding of ^VJ with f)1JJ. IJJJ means only 
wearied, to become tired, to weary oneself by exertion, in certain 
places, as e.g. Jer. ii. 24, by a long journey or course, but nowhere 
to run or to flee. f lJ?''., weariness — wearied in weariness, i.e. very 
wearied or tired. According to this interpretation, which the words 
alone admit of, the expression is applicable, not to the angel, whom, 
as an unearthly being, we cannot speak of as being wearied, although, 
with Kranichfeld, one may think of the way from, the dwelling- 
place of God, removed far from His sinful people, to this earth as 
very long. On the contrary, the words perfectly agree with the 
condition of Daniel described in ch. viii. 17 f ., 27, and Daniel men- 
tions this circumstance, because Gabriel, at his former coming to 
him, not only helped to strengthen him, but also gave him under- 
standing of the vision, which was to him hidden in darkness, so 
that his appearing again at once awakened joyful hope. vX V?), 
not he touched me, but he reached me, came forward to me. For 
this meaning of W3 cf. 2 Sam. v. 8, Jonah iii. 6. "About the time 
of the evening sacrifice." 'I™?* properly the meat-offering, here 
comprehending the sacrifice, as is often its meaning in the later 
Scriptures ; cf. Mai. i. 13, ii. 13, iii. 4. The time of the evening 
oblation was the time of evening prayer for the congregation. 

Ver. 22. |?J1, he gave understanding, insight, as ch. viii. 16. The 
words point back to ver. 2. First of all Gabriel speaks of the 
design and the circumstances of his coming. Vlt^F nnj? ; now, viz. 
in consequence of thy morning prayer, I am come, sc. from the 
throne of God. njU ^S&nb, to instruct thee in knowledge. This is 
more particularly declared in ver. 23. At the beginning of Daniel's 
prayer a word, i.e. a communication from God, came forth, which 
he brought, "n'n, not a commandment, or the divine command- 
ment to Gabriel to go to Daniel, but a word of God, and particu- 


larly the word which he announced to Daniel, vers. 24-27. The 
sentence, " for thou art a man greatly beloved" (nin?on_niniDn B^N, 
ch. x. 11, 19, vir desideriorum, desideratissimus), does not contain 
the reason for Gabriel's coming in haste, but for the principal 
thought of the verse, the going forth of the word of God imme- 
diately at the beginning of Daniel's prayer, '"linen stands not 
for revelation, but is the vision, the appearance of the angel by 
whom the word of God was communicated to the prophet. n ^") 1 ? 
is accordingly not the contents of the word spoken, but the form 
for its communication to Daniel. To both — the word and the form 
of its revelation — Daniel must give heed. This revelation was, 
moreover, not communicated to him in a vision, but while in the 
state of natural consciousness. 

Vers. 24-27. The divine revelation regarding the seventy weeks. 
— This message of the angel relates to the most important revela- 
tions regarding the future development of the kingdom of God. 
From the brevity and measured form of the expression, which 
Auberlen designates "the lapidary style of the upper sanctuary," 
and from the difficulty of calculating the period named, this verse 
has been very variously interpreted. The interpretations may be 
divided into three principal classes. 1. Most of the church fathers 
and the older orthodox interpreters find prophesied here the appear- 
ance of Christ in the flesh, His death, and the destruction of Jeru- 
salem by the Romans. 2. The majority of the modern interpreters, 
on the other hand, refer the whole passage to the time of Antiochus 
Epiphanes. 3. Finally, some of the church fathers and several 
modern theologians have interpreted the prophecy eschatologically, 
as an announcement of the development of the kingdom of God 
from the end of the Exile on to the perfecting of the kingdom by 
the second coming of Christ at the end of the days. 1 

1 The first of these views is in our time fully and at length defended by 
Havernick (Comm.), Hengstenberg (Christol. iii. 1, p. 19 ff., 2d ed.), and Auber- 
len (Der Proph. Daniel, u.s.w., p. 103 ff., 3d ed.), and is adopted also by the 
Catholic theologian Laur. Reinke (die messian. Weissag. bei den gr. u. kl. Proph. 
des A. T. iv. 1, p. 206 ff.), and by Dr. Pusey of England. The second view- 
presents itself in the Alexandrine translation of the prophecy, more distinctly 
in Julius Hilaiianus (about a.d. 400) (Chronologia s. libellus de mnndi duratioite, 
in Migne's Biblioth. cler. univ. t. 13, 1098), and in several rabbinical inter- 
preters, but was first brought into special notice by the rationalistic interpreters 
Eichhorn, Bertholdt, v. Leng., Maurer, Ewald, Hitzig, and the mediating theo- 
logians Bleek, Wieseler (Die 70 Wochen u. die 63 Jahrwochen des Pruiih. Daniel, 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 337 

Iii the great multiplicity of opinions, in order to give clearness 
to the interpretation, we shall endeavour first of all to ascertain 
the meaning of the words of each clause and verse, and then, after 
determining exegetically the import of the words, take into con- 
sideration the historical references and calculations of the periods 
of time named, and thus further to establish our view. 

The revelation begins, ver. 24, with a general exhibition of the 
divine counsel regarding the city and the people of God ; and then 
there follows, vers. 25-27, the further unfolding of the execution 
of this counsel in its principal parts. On this all interpreters are 
agreed, that the seventy weeks which are determined upon the 
people and the city are in vers. 25-27 divided into three periods, and 
are closely defined according to their duration and their contents. 

Gott. 1839, with which compare the Retractation in the Gottinger gel. Anzeigen, 
1846, p. 113 ff.), who are followed by Liicke, Hilgenfeld, Kranichfeld, and 
others. This view has also heen defended hy Hofmann (die 70 Jahre des Jer. 
n. die 70 Jahrwochen des Daniel, Nurnb. 1836, and Weissag. u. Erfiillung, as 
also in the Schri/tbew.), Delitzsch (Art. Daniel in Herz.'s Realenc. Bd. iii.), and 
Zundel (in the Kritischen Unterss.'), but with this essential modification, that 
Hofmann and Delitzsch have united an eschatological reference with the primary 
historical reference of vers. 25-27 to Antiochus Epiphanes, in consequence of 
which the prophecy will be perfectly accomplished only in the appearance of 
Antichrist and the final completion of the kingdom of God at the end of the 
days. Of the third view we have the first germs in Hippolytns and Apollinaris 
of Laodicea, who, having regard to the prophecy of Antichrist, ch. vii. 25, refer 
the statement of ver. 27 of this chapter, regarding the last week, to the end of 
the world ; and the first half of this week they regard as the time of the return 
of Elias, the second half as the time of Antichrist. This view is for the first 
time definitely stated in the Berleburg Bible. But Kliefoth, in his Comm. on 
Daniel, was the first who sought to investigate and estahlish this opinion 
exegetically, and Leyrer (in Herz.'s Realenc. xviii. p. 383) has thus briefly 
stated it: — "The seventy Dents', i.e. the xatpol of Daniel (ch. ix. 24 ff.) mea- 
sured by sevens, within which the whole of God's plan of salvation in the world 
will be completed, are a symbolical period with reference to the seventy years 
of exile prophesied by Jeremiah, and with the accessory notion of cecnmenicity. 
The 70 is again divided into three periods : into 7 (till Christ), 62 (till the 
apostasy of Antichrist), and one JflT^, the last world-esra, divided into 2 x 3£ 
times, the rise and the fall of Antichrist." 

For the history of the interpretation, compare for the patristic period the 
treatise of Professor Reusch of Bonn, entitled " Die Patrist. Btrechnung der 70 
Jahrwoclien Daniels," in the Tub. theol. Quart. 1868, p. 535 ff. ; for the period 
of the middle ages and of more modern times, Abr. Calovii E^iraai; theologica 
de septuaginta septimanis Danielis, in the Biblia illuslr. ad Dan. ix., and Haver- 
nick's History of the Interpretation in his Comm. p. 886 ff. ; and for the most 
recent period, R. Baxmann on the Book of Daniel in the Thenlog. Sludien u. 
Kritiken, 1863, iii. p. 497 ff. 



Ver. 24. Seventy weeks are determined. — D , V3B> from VOf, pro- 
perly, the time divided into sevenths, signifies commonly the period 
of seven days, the week, as Gen. xxix. 27 f. (in the sing.), and Dan. 
x. 2, 3, in the plur., which is usually in the form rrtWB'; cf. Deut. 
xvi. 9 f., Ex. xxxiv. 22, etc. In the form VVlV there thus lies no 
intimation that it is not common weeks that are meant. As little 
does it lie in the numeral being placed after it, for it also some- 
times is found before it, where, as here, the noun as the weightier 
idea must be emphasized, and that not by later authors merely, 
but also in Gen. xxxii. 15 f., 1 Kings viii. 63; cf. Gesen. Lelirgeb. 
p. 698. What period of time is here denoted by D'VJB 1 can be 
determined neither from the word itself and its form, nor from 
the comparison with WO\ D , y?B' ) ch. x. 2, 3, since OW is in these 
verses added to Cy?^', not for the purpose of designating these as 
day-weeks, but simply as full weeks (three weeks long). The 
reasons for the opinion that common (i.e. seven-day) weeks are 
not intended, lie partly in the contents of vers. 25 and 27, which 
undoubtedly teach that that which came to pass in the sixty-two 
weeks and in the one week could not take place in common weeks, 
partly in the reference of the seventy D , V??' to the seventy years of 
Jeremiah, ver. 2. According to a prophecy of Jeremiah — so e.g. 
Hitzig reasons — Jerusalem mast lie desolate for severity years, and 
now, in the sixty-ninth year, the city and the temple are as yet 
lying waste (ver. 17 f.), and as yet nowhere are there symptoms 
of any change. Then, in answer to his supplication, Daniel received 
the answer, seventy B'jnti' must pass before the full working out of 
the deliverance. " If the deliverance was not yet in seventy years, 
then still less was it in seventy weeks. With seventy times seven 
months we are also still inside of seventy years, and we are directed 
therefore to year-weeks, so that each week shall consist of seven 
years. The special account of the contents of the weeks can be 
adjusted with the year-weeks alone; and the half-week, ver. 27, 
particularly appears to be identical in actual time with these three 
and a half times (years), ch. vii. 25." This latter element is by 
others much more definitely affirmed. Thus e.g. Kranichfeld says 
that Daniel had no doubt about the definite extent of the expres- 
sion jnaB", but gave an altogether unambiguous interpretation of it 
when he combined the last half-week essentially with the known 

and definite three and a half years of the time of the end. But 

we must, on the contrary, ask — where does Daniel speak of the 
three and a half years of the time of the end ? He does not use 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 339 

tl.e word year in any of the passages that fall to be here con- 
sidered, but only f\V or "W», time, definite time. That by this 
word common years are to be understood, is indeed taken for 
granted by many interpreters, but a satisfactory proof of such a 
meaning has not been adduced. Moreover, in favour of year- 
weeks (periods of seven years) it has been argued that such an 
interpretation was very natural, since they hold so prominent a 
place in the law of Moses ; and the Exile had brought them anew 
very distinctly into remembrance, inasmuch as the seventy years' 
desolation of the land was viewed as a punishment for the inter- 
rupted festival of the sabbatical year: 2 Ohron. xxxvi. 21 (Hgstb., 
Kran., and others). But since these periods of seven years, as 
Hengstenberg himself confesses, are not called in the law &\yae> 
or nij}?^, therefore, from the repeated designation of the seventh 
year as that of the great Sabbath merely (Lev. xxv. 2, 4, 5, xxvi. 
34, 35, 43 ; 2 Ohron. xxxvi. 21), the idea of year-weeks in no way 
follows. The law makes mention not only of the Sabbath-year, but 
also of periods of seven times seven years, after the expiry of which 
a year of jubilee was always to be celebrated (Lev. xxv. 8 ff.). 
These, as well as the Sabbath-years, might be called D'JQB'. Thus 
the idea of year-weeks has no exegetical foundation. Hofmann 
and Kliefoth are in the right when they remark that D'WB' does 
not necessarily mean year-weeks, but an intentionally indefinite 
designation of a period of time measured by the number seven, 
whose chronological duration must be determined on other grounds. 
The air. \ey. i]nn means in Ohald. to cut off, to cut up into pieces, 
then to decide, to determine closely, e.g. Targ. Esth. iv. 5 ; cf. 
Buxtorf, Lex. talrn., and Levy, Chald. Worterb. s.v. The meaning 
for ^n^ abbreviate sunt (Vulg. for iKokofSdodrjaav, Matt. xxiv. 22), 
which Wieseler has brought forward, is not proved, and it is un- 
suitable, because if one cuts off a piece from a whole, the whole is 
diminished on account of the piece cut off, but not the piece itself. 
For the explanation of the sing, 'nnnj we need neither the supposi- 
tion that a definite noun, as nil (time), was before the prophet's 
mind (Hgstb.), nor the appeal to the inexact manner of writing of 
the later authors (Ewald). The sing, is simply explained by this, 
that WyiW Vy?<? is conceived of as the absolute idea, and then is 
taken up by the passive verb impersonal, to mark that the seventy 
sevenths are to be viewed as a whole, as a continued period of 
seventy seven times following each other. 

Upon thy people and wpon thy holy city. In the 7JJ there 


does not lie the conception of that which is burdensome, or that this 
period would be a time of suffering like the seventy years of exile 
(v. Lengerke). The word only indicates that such a period of 
time was determined upon the people. The people and the city 
of Daniel are called the people and the city of God, because 
Daniel has just represented them before God as His (Havernick, 
v. Lengerke, Kliefoth). But Jerusalem, even when in ruins, is 
called the holy city by virtue of its past and its future history ; cf. 
ver. 20. This predicate does not point, as Wieseler and Hitzig 
have rightly acknowledged, to a time when the temple stood, as 
Staheliu and v. Lengerke suppose. Only this lies in it, Kliefoth 
has justly added, — not, however, in the predicate of holiness, but 
rather in the whole expression, — that the people and city of God 
shall not remain in the state of desolation in which they then 
were, but shall at some time be again restored, and shall continue 
during the time mentioned. One must not, however, at once con- 
clude that this promise of continuance referred only to the people 
of the Jews and their earthly Jerusalem. Certainly it refers first 
to Israel after the flesh, and to the geographical Jerusalem, be- 
cause these were then the people and the city of God ; but these 
ideas are not exhausted in this reference, but at the same time 
embrace the New Testament church and the church of God on 

The following infinitive clauses present the object for which the 
seventy weeks are determined, i.e. they intimate what shall happen 
till, or with the expiry of, the time determined. Although ? before 
the infinitive does not mean till or during, yet it is also not correct 
to say that b can point out only the issue which the period of time 
finally reaches, only its result. "Whether that which is stated 
in the infinitive clauses shall for the first time take place after the 
expiry of, or at the end of the time named, or shall develope itself 
gradually in the course of it, and only be completed at the end of 
it, cannot be concluded from the final ?, but only from the material 
contents of the final clauses. The six statements are divided by 
Maurer, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others into three passages of 
two members each, thus : After the expiry of seventy weeks, 
there shall (1) be completed the measure of sin ; (2) the sin shall 
be covered and righteousness brought in ; (3) the prophecy shall 
be fulfilled, and the temple, which was desecrated by Antiochus 
shall be again consecrated. The Masoretes seem, however, to have 
already conceived of this threefold division by placing the Atnach 

CHAP. IX. 21-27. 341 

under D-eVy pTi (the fourth clause) ; but it rests on a false con- 
struction of the individual members especially of the first two 
passages. Kather we have two three-membered sentences before 
us. This appears evident from the arrangement of the six state- 
ments ; i.e. that the first three statements treat of the taking away 
of sin, and thus of the negative side of the deliverance ; the three 
last treat of the bringing in of everlasting righteousness with its 
consequences, and thus of the positive deliverance, and in such a 
manner that in both classes the three members stand in reciprocal 
relation to each other : the fourth statement corresponds to the 
first, the fifth to the second, the sixth to the third — the second and 
the fifth present even the same verb Dnn. 

In the first and second statements the reading is doubtful. 
Instead of Dnrp (Keth.), to seal, the Keri has Dnr6, to end (R. 
OCR, to complete). In Nw a double reading is combined, for the 
vowel-points do not belong to the Keth., which rather lias Nw, 
since N?3 is nowhere found in the PieJ, but to the Keri, for the 
Masoretes hold N^3 to be of the same meaning as r6a, to be ended. 
Thus the ancient translators interpreted it : LXX., t<x? oZikIw} 
airaviaai ; Theod., crvvTeXeaOrjvai,, al. trvvrekeaat, ; Aquil., crvvreXe- 
crat ttjv aOecriav ; Vulg., ut consummetur prwvaricatio. Bertholdt, 
Rosenmiiller, Gesenius, Winer, Ewald, Hitzig, Maurer, have fol- 
lowed them in supposing a passing of n into X. But since 
fl?3 occurs frequently in Daniel, always with n (cf. ver. 27, ch. 
ch. xi. 36, xii. 7), and generally the roots with n take the form of 
those with N much seldomer than the reverse, on these grounds 
the reading N?3p thus deserves the preference, apart from the 
consideration that almost all the Keris are valueless emendations 
of the Masoretes ; and the parallel Dnrp, decidedly erroneous, is 
obviously derived from ch. viii. 23. Thus the Keri does not give 
in the two passages a suitable meaning. The explanation : to 
finish the transgression and to make full the measure of sin, 
does not accord with what follows : to pardon the iniquity ; and 
the thought that the Jews would fill up the measure of their 
transgression in the seventy year-weeks, and that as a punish- 
ment they would pass through a period of suffering from Anti- 
ochus and afterwards be pardoned, is untenable, because the 
punishment by Antiochus for their sins brought to their full 
measure is arbitrarily interpolated ; but without this interpolation 
the pardon of the sins stands in contradiction to the filling up of 
their measure. Besides, this explanation is further opposed by the 


fact, that in the first two statements there must be a different 
subject from that which is in the third. For to fill up the measure 
of sin is the work of men ; to pardon or forgive sin, on the other 
hand, is the work of God. Accordingly the Kethiv alone is to be 
adopted as correct, and the first passage to be translated thus : to 
shut up the transgression. N?3 means to hold back, to hold in, to 
arrest, to hold in prison, to shut in or shut up ; hence N?3, a prison, 
jail. To arrest the wickedness or shut it up does not mean to 
pardon it, but to hem it in, to hinder it so that it can no longer 
spread about (Hofm.) ; cf. Zech. v. 8 and Rev. xx. 8. 

In the second passage, " to seal up sin," the niNttn are the 
several proofs of the transgression. D 0^, to seal, does not denote 
the finishing or ending of the sins (Theodrt. and others). Like 

the Arab. *a=>-, it may occur in the sense of " to end," and this 

meaning may have originated from the circumstance that one is 
wont at the end of a letter or document to affix the impress of a 
seal ; yet this meaning is nowhere found in Hebr. : see under Ex. 
xxviii. 12. The figure of the sealing stands here in connection 
with the shutting up in prison. Cf. ch. vi. 18, the king for greater 
security sealed up the den into which Daniel was cast. Thus 
also God seals the hand of man that it cannot move, Job xxxvii. 7, 
and the stars that they cannot give light, Job ix. 7. But in this 
figure to seal is not = to take away, according to which Hgstb. 
and many others explain it thus : the sins are here described as 
sealed, because they are altogether removed out of the sight of 
God, altogether set aside ; for " that which is shut up and sealed 
is not merely taken away, entirely set aside, but guarded, held 
under lock and seal" (Kliefoth). Hence more correctly Hof- 
mann and Kliefoth say, l< If the sins are sealed, they are ou the 
one side laid under custody, so that they cannot any more be 
active or increase, but that they may thus be guarded and held, 
so that they can no longer be pardoned and blotted out ; " cf. Rev. 
xx. 3. 

The third statement is, " to make reconciliation for iniquity." 
1S3 is terminus techn., to pardon, to blot out by means of a sin- 
offering, i.e. to forgive. 

These three passages thus treat of the setting aside of sin and 
its blotting out ; but they neither form a climax nor a mere crwa- 
6poiafxo<s, a multiplying of synonymous expressions for the pardon- 
ing of sins, ut tola peccatorum humani generis colluvies eo melius 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 343 

comprehenderetur (M. Geler). Against the idea of a climax it is 
justly objected, that in that case the strongest designation of sin, 
JJK'Sn, which designates sin as a falling away from God, a rebelling 
against Him, should stand last, whereas it occurs in the first sen- 
tence. Against the idea of a awaQ poia pos it is objected, that the 
words " to shut up" and " to seal " are not synonymous with " to 
make reconciliation for," i.e. " to forgive." The three expressions, 
it is true, all treat alike of the setting aside of sin, but in different 
ways. The first presents the general thought, that the falling 
away shall be shut up, the progress and the spreading of the sin 
shall be prevented. The other two expressions define more closely 
how the source whence arises the apostasy shall be shut up, the 
going forth and the continued operation of the sin prevented. This 
happens in one way with unbelievers, and in a different way with 
believers. The sins of unbelievers are sealed, are guarded securely 
under a seal, so that they may no more spread about and increase, 
nor any longer be active and operative ; but the sins of believers 
are forgiven through a reconciliation. The former idea is stated 
in the second member, and the latter in the third, as Hofmann 
and Kliefoth have rightly remarked. 

There follows the second group of three statements, which treat 
of the positive unfolding of salvation accompanying the taking 
away and the setting aside of sin. The first expression of this 
group, or the fourth in the whole number, is " to bring in ever- 
lasting righteousness? After the entire setting aside of sin must 
come a righteousness which shall never cease. That JHV does not 
mean " happiness of the olden time" (Bertholclt, Rosch), nor 
"innocence of the former better times" (J. D. Michaelis), but 
"righteousness," requires at present no further proof. Righteous- 
ness comes from heaven as the gift of God (Ps. lxxxv. 11-14 ; Isa. 
li. 5-8), rises as a sun upon them that fear God (Mai. iii. 20), 
and is here called everlasting, corresponding to the eternity of the 
Messianic kingdom (cf. ii. 44, vii. 18, 27). P"1V comprehends the 
internal and the external righteousness of the new heavens and the 
new earth, 2 Pet. iii. 13. This fourth expression forms the posi- 
tive supplement of the first : in the place of the absolutely removed 
transgression is the perfected righteousness. 

In the fifth passage, to seal up the vision and prophecy, the 
word Dnn, used in the second passage of sin, is here used of right- 
eousness. The figure of sealing is regarded by many interpreters 
in the sense of confirming, and that by filling up, with reference 


to the custom of impressing a seal on a writing for the confirma- 
tion of its contents; and in illustration these references are given : 
1 Kings xxi. 8, and Jer. xxxii. 10, 11, 44 (Havernick, v. Lengerke, 
Ewald, Hitzig, and others). But for this figurative use of the word 
to seal, no proof-passages are adduced from the O. T. Add to 
this that the word cannot be used here in a different sense from 
that in which it is used in the second passage. The sealing of the 
prophecy corresponds to the sealing of the transgression, and must 
be similarly understood. The prophecy is sealed when it is laid 
under a seal, so that it can no longer actively show itself. 

The interpretation of the object K^l pin is also disputed. 
Berth., Ros., Bleek, Ewald, Hitzig, Wieseler, refer it to the pro- 
phecy of the seventy weeks (Jer. xxv. and xxix.), mentioned in 
ver. 2. But against this view stands the fact of the absence of 
the article ; for if by ptn that prophecy is intended, an intimation 
of this would have been expected at least by the definite article, 
and here particularly would have been altogether indispensable. 
It is also condemned by the word fc^iu added, which shows that both 
words are used in comprehensive generality for all existing pro- 
phecies and prophets. Not only the prophecy, but the prophet who 
i^ives it, i.e. not merely the prophecy, but also the calling of the 
prophet, must be sealed. Prophecies and prophets are sealed, when 
by the full realization of all prophecies prophecy ceases, no prophets 
any more appear. The extinction of prophecy in consequence of 
its fulfilment is not, however (with Hengstenberg), to be sought 
in the time of the manifestation of Christ in the flesh ; for then 
only the prophecy of the Old Covenant reached its end (cf. Matt, 
xi. 13, Luke xxii. 37, John i. 46), and its place is occupied by the 
prophecy of the N. T., the fulfilling of which is still in the future, 
and which will not come to an end and terminate (/caTapyrjOij- 
a-erai, 1 Cor. xiii. 8) till the kingdom of God is perfected in glory 
at the termination of the present course of the world's history, at 
the same time with the full conclusive fulfilment of the O. T. 
prophecy ; cf. Acts. iii. 21. This fifth member stands over against 
the second, as the fourth does over against the first. " When 
the sins are sealed, the prophecy is also sealed, for prophecy is 
needed in the war against sin ; when sin is thus so placed that it 
can no longer operate, then prophecy also may come to a state of 
rest ; when sin comes to an end in its place, prophecy can come to 
an end also by its fulfilment, there being no place for it after the 
setting aside of sin. And when the apostasy is shut up, so that it 

ciur. ix. 24-27. 345 

can no more spread about, then righteousness will be brought, that 
it may possess the earth, now freed from sin, shut up in its own 
place" (Kliefoth). 

The sixth and last clause, to anoint a most holy, is very diffe- 
rently interpreted. Those interpreters who seek the fulfilment of 
this word of revelation in the time following nearest the close of 
the Exile, or in the time of the Maccabees, refer this clause either 
to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering (Wieseler), which 
was restored by Zerubbabel and Joshua (Ezra iii. 2 ff.), or to the 
consecration of the temple of Zerubbabel (J. D. Michaelis, Jahn, 
Steudel), or to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering which 
was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, 1 Mace. iv. 54 (Hitzi<r, 
Kranichfeld, and others). But none of these interpretations can 
be justified. It is opposed by the actual fact, that neither in the 
consecration of Zerubbabel's temple, nor at the re-consecration of 
the altar of burnt-offering desecrated by Antiochus, is mention 
made of any anointing. According to the definite, uniform tradi- 
tion of the Jews, the holy anointing oil did not exist during the 
time of the second temple. Only the Mosaic sanctuary of the 
tabernacle, with its altars and vessels, were consecrated by anoint- 
ing. Ex. xxx. 22 ff., xl. 1-16 ; Lev. viii. 10 ff. There is no men- 
tion of anointing even at the consecration of Solomon's temple, 
1 Kings viii. and 2 Chron. v.— vii., because that temple only raised 
the tabernacle to a fixed dwelling, and the ark of the covenant as 
the throne of God, which was the most holy furniture thereof, was 
brought from the tabernacle to the temple. Even the altar of burnt- 
offering of the new temple (Ezek. xliii. 20, 26) was not consecrated 
by anointing, but only by the offering of blood. Then the special 
fact of the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering, or of the 
temple, does not accord with the general expressions of the other 
members of this verse, and was on the whole not so significant 
and important an event as that one might expect it to be noticed 
after the foregoing expressions. What Kranichfeld says in confir- 
mation of this interpretation is very far-fetched and weak. He 
remarks, that " as in this verse the prophetic statements relate to 
a taking away and 133 of sins, in the place of which righteousness 
is restored, accordingly the anointing will also stand in relation to 
this sacred action of the 133, which primarily and above all con- 
ducts to the significance of the altar of Israel, that, viz., which 
stood in the outer court." But, even granting this to be correct, 
it proves nothing as to the anointing even of the altar of burnt- 


offering. For the preceding clauses speak not only of the 133 of 
transgression, but also of the taking away (closing and sealing) of 
the apostasy and of sin, and thus of a setting aside of sin, which 
did not take place by means of a sacrifice. The fullest expiation 
also for the sins of Israel which the O. T. knew, viz. that on the 
great day of atonement, was not made on the altar of burnt-offer- 
ing, but by the sprinkling of the blood of the offering on the ark 
of the covenant in the holy of holies, and on the altar of incense 
in the most holy place. If nB"D is to be explained after the 133, 
then by " holy of holies" we would have to understand not 
" primarily" the altar of burnt-offering, but above all the holy 
vessels of the inner sanctuary, because here it is not an atonement 
needing to be repeated that is spoken of, but one that avails for ever. 

In addition to this, there is the verbal argument that the words 
D'Bnp ®~}p are not used of a single holy vessel which alone could be 
thought of. Not only the altar of burnt-offering is so named, Ex. 
xxix. 37, xl. 10, but also the altar of incense, Ex. xxx. 10, and the 
two altars with all the vessels of the sanctuary, the ark of the 
covenant, shew-bread, candlesticks, basins, and the other vessels 
belonging thereto, Ex. xxx. 29, also the holy material for incense, 
Ex. xxx. 36, the shew-bread, Lev. xxiv. 9, the meat-offering, Lev. 
ii. 3, 10, vi. 10, x. 12, the flesh of the sin-offering and of the 
expiatory sacrifice, Lev. vi. 10, 18, x. 17, vii. 1, 6, xiv. 13, Num. 
xviii. 9, and that which was sanctified to the Lord, Lev. xxvii. 28. 
Finally, the whole surroundings of the hill on which the temple 
stood, Ezek. xliii. 12, and the whole new temple, Ezek. xlv. 3, is 
named a " most holy ; " and according to 1 Chron. xxiii. 13, Aaron 
and his sons are sanctified as &V~IP T BHp. 

Thus there is no good ground for referring this expression to 
the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering. Such a reference 
is wholly excluded by the fact that the consecration of Zerubbabei's 
temple and altar, as well as of that which was desecrated by 
Antiochus, was a work of man, while the anointing of a " most 
holy "in the verse before us must be regarded as a divine act, 
because the three preceding expressions beyond controversy an- 
nounce divine actions. Every anointing, indeed, of persons or of 
things was performed by men, but it becomes a work of God when 
it is performed with the divinely ordained holy anointing oil by 
priests or prophets according to God's command, and then it is the 
means and the symbol of the endowment or equipment with the 
Spirit of God. When Saul was anointed by Samuel, the Spirit ot 

CHAP. IX. 2-1 27. 3J7 

the Lord came upon him, 1 Sam. x. 9 ff. The same tiling was 
denoted by the anointing of David, 1 Sam. xvi. 13 f. The anoint- 
ing also of the tabernacle and its vessels served the same object, 
consecrating them as the place and the means of carrying on the 
gracious operations of the Spirit of God. As an evidence of this, 
the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle after it was set up and 
consecrated. At the dedication of the sanctuary after the Exile, 
under Zerubbabel and in the Maccabean age, the anointing was 
wanting, and there was no entrance into it also of the glory of 
the Lord. Therefore these consecrations cannot be designated as 
anointings and as the works of God, and the angel cannot mean 
these works of men by the " anointing of a most holy." 

Much older, more general, and also nearer the truth, is the 
explanation which refers these words to the anointing of the 
Messiah, an explanation which is established by various argu- 
ments. The translation of the LXX., kcu ev<f>pdvat, aywv aYiW, 
and of Theod., tov ^plaai ayiov dyiaiv, the meaning of which is 
controverted, is generally understood by the church Fathers as 
referring to the Messiah. Theodoret sets it forth as undoubtedly 
correct, and as accepted even by the Jews; and the old Syriac trans- 
lator has introduced into the text the words, " till the Messiah, the 
Most Holy." 1 But this interpretation is set aside by the absence 
of the article. Without taking into view 1 Chron. xxiii. 13, the 
words B'BhfJ vhp are nowhere used of persons, but only of things. 
This meaning lies at the foundation of the passage in the hook 
of Chronicles referred to, "that he should sanctify a CB^ £'7P, 
anoint him (Aaron) to be a most holy thing." Following Haver- 
nick, therefore, Hengstenberg (2d ed. of his Christol. iii. p. 54) 
seeks to make this meaning applicable also for the Messianic 
interpretation, for he thinks that Christ is here designated as a 
most holy thing. But neither in the fact that the high priest 
bore on his brow the inscription 'ij^V ®~)p, nor in the declaration 
regarding Jehovah, " He shall be KHpD?," Isa. viii. 14, cf. Ezek. xi. 
16, is there any ground for the conclusion that the Messiah could 
simply be designated as a most holy thing. In Luke i. 35 Christ 
is spoken of by the simple neuter ayiov, but not by the word 

1 Eusebius, Demonstr. Ee. viii. 2, p. 387, ed. Colon., opposes the opinion that 
the translation of Aqnila, xoci aKii-^at tiyiaatnivov '/lyiatryJwj, may be understood 
of the Jewish high priest. Cf. Raymundis Martini, Pugio fidei, p. 285, ed. 
Carpz., and Edzard ad Abodah Sara, p. 246 sq., for evidences of the diffusion 
of this interpretation among the Jews. 


" object ; " and the passages in which Jesus is described as 6 £6710?, 
Acts iii. 14, iv. 30, 1 John ii. 20, Eev. iii. 7, prove nothing what- 
ever as to this use of vnp of Christ. Nothing to the purpose 
also can be gathered from the connection of the sentence. If 
in what follows the person of the Messiah comes forward to view, 
it cannot be thence concluded that He must also be mentioned in 
this verse. 

Much more satisfactory is the thought, that in the words " to 
anoint a D'pn^ V~p " the reference is to the anointing of a new 
sanctuary, temple, or most holy place. The absence of the article 
forbids us, indeed, from thinking of the most holy place of the 
earthly temple which was rebuilt by Zerubbabel, since the most 
holy place of the tabernacle as well as of the temple is constantly 
called CKhpn CHp. But it is not this definite holy of holies that is 
intended, but a new holy of holies which should be in the place of 
the holy of holies of the tabernacle and the temple of Solomon. 
Now, since the new temple of the future seen by Ezekiel, with all 
its surroundings, is called (Ezek. xlv. 3) E^P, V~}p, Hofmann 
(de 70 Jahre, p. G5) thinks that the holy of holies is the whole 
temple, and its anointing with oil a figure of the sanctification 
of the church by the Holy Ghost, but that this shall not be in 
the conspicuousness in which it is here represented till the time 
of the end, when the perfected church shall possess the conspicu- 
ousness of a visible sanctuary. But, on the contrary, Kliefoth 
(p. 307) has with perfect justice replied, that " the most holy, and 
the temple, so far as it has a most holy place, is not the place 
of the congregation where it comes to God and is with God, but, 
on the contrary, is the place where God is present for the con- 
gregation, and manifests Himself to it." The words under ex- 
amination say nothing of the people and the congregation which 
God will gather around the place of His gracious presence, but of 
the objective place where God seeks to dwell among His people 
and reveal Himself to them. The anointing is the act by which 
the place is consecrated to be a holy place of the gracious presence 
and revelation of God. If thus the anointing of a most holy 
is here announced, then by it there is given the promise, not of 
the renewal of the place already existing from of old, but of the 
appointment of a new place of God's gracious presence amon«- His 
people, a new sanctuary. This, as Kliefoth further justly observes 
apart from the connection, might refer to the work of redemption 
perfected by the corning of Chr'st, which has indeed created iu 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 349 

Him a new place of the gracious presence of God, a new way of 
God's dwelling among men. But since this statement is closely 
connected with those going before, and they speak of the perfect 
setting aside of transgression and of sin, of the appearance of ever- 
lasting righteousness, and the shutting up of all prophecy by its 
fulfilment, thus of things for which the work of redemption com- 
pleted by the first appearance of Christ has, it is true, laid the 
everlasting foundation, but which first reach their completion in 
the full carrying through of this work of salvation in the return of 
the Lord by the final judgment, and the establishment of the 
kingdom of glory under the new heavens and on the new earth, — 
since this is the case, we must refer this sixth statement also to that 
time of the consummation, and understand it of the establishment 
of the new holy of holies which was shown to the holy seer on 
Patmos as 17 <rtcr]vr) to{) @eov /j,era roiv av6pd>ircov, in which God 
will dwell with them, and they shall become His people, and He 
shall be their God with them (Rev. xxi. 1-3). In this holy city 
there will be no temple, for the Lord, the Almighty God, and the 
Lamb is its temple, and the glory of God will lighten it (vers. 22, 
23). Into it nothing shall enter that defileth or worketh abomina- 
tion (ver. 27), for sin shall then be closed and sealed up ; there 
shall righteousness dwell (2 Pet. iii. 13), and prophecy shall cease 
(1 Cor. xiii. 8) by its fulfilment. 

From the contents of these six statements it thus appears that 
the termination of the seventy weeks coincides with the end of the 
present course of the world. But ver. 24 says nothing as to the 
commencement of this period. Nor can this be determined, as 
many interpreters think, from the relation in which the revelation 
of the seventy weeks stands to the prayer of Daniel, occasioned by 
Jeremiah's prophecy of the seventy years of the desolation of Jen 1 
salem. If Daniel, in the sixty-ninth year of the desolation, made 
supplication to the Lord for mercy in behalf of Jerusalem and 
Israel, and on the occasion of this prayer God caused Gabriel to 
lay open to him that seventy weeks were determined upon the city 
and the people of God, it by no means thence follows that seventy 
year-weeks must be substituted in place of the seventy years pro- 
phesied of, that both commence simultaneously, and thus that 
the seventy years of the Exile shall be prolonged to a period of 
oppression for Israel lasting for seventy year-weeks. Such a sup- 
position is warranted neither by the contents of the prophecy of 
Jeremiah, nor by the message of the angel to Daniel. Jeremiah, it 


is true, prophesied not merely of seventy years of the desolation of 
Jerusalem and Judah, but also of the judgment upon Babylon after 
the expiry of these years, and the collecting together and bringing 
back of Israel from all the countries whither they were scattered 
into their own land (ch. xxv. 10-12, xxix. 10-14) ; but in his sup- 
plication Daniel had in his eye only the desolation of the land of 
Jeremiah's prophecy, and prayed for the turning away of the divine 
anger from Jerusalem, and for the pardon of Israel's sins. Now 
if the words of the angel had been, " not seventy years, but seventy 
year-weeks, are determined over Israel," this would have been no 
answer to Daniel's supplication, at least no comforting answer, to 
bring which to him the angel was commanded to go forth in haste. 
Then the angel announces in ver. 24 much more than the return 
of Israel from the Exile to their own land. But this is decided by 
the contents of the following verses, in which the space of seventy 
weeks is divided into three periods, and at the same time the com- 
mencement of the period is determined in a way which excludes its 
connection with the beginning of the seventy years of the Exile. 

Ver. 25. The detailed statement of the 70 D'ptf in 7 + 62 + 1 
(vers. 25, 26, 27), with the fuller description of that which was to 
happen in the course of these three periods of time, incontrovertibly 
shows that these three verses are a further explication of the con- 
tents of ver. 24. This explication is introduced by the words : 
" Know therefore, and understand," which do not announce a new 
prophecy, as Wieseler and Hofmann suppose, but only point to the 
importance of the further opening up of the contents of ver. 24, 
since ?3^"ni (and thou wilt understand) stands in distinct relation to 
njpn IPaB'n? (to give thee skill and understanding, ver. 22). The two 
parts of ver. 25 contain the statements regarding the first two 
portions of the whole period, the seven and the sixty-two D'WE', 
and are rightly separated by the Masoretes by placing the Atnach 
under njna\ The first statement is : "from the going forth of the 
command to restore and to build Jerusalem unto a Messiah (Gesalb- 
ten), a prince, shall be seven loeeks." 131 tfxb (from the going forth 
of the commandment) formally corresponds, indeed, to 131 NV (the 
commandment came forth), ver. 23, emphatically expressing a de- 
cision on the part of God, but the two expressions are not actually 
to be identified; for the commandment, ver. 23, is the divine 
revelation communicated in vers. 24-27, which the ancrel brings 
to Daniel ; the commandment in ver. 25 is, on the contrary more 
fully determined by the words, to restore and to build, etc. ^wrh 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 351 

is not to be joined adverbially with niJX>1 so as to form one idea : 
to build again; for, though 31B> may be thus used adverbially in Kal, 
yet the Hiphil W'n is not so used, ywn means to lead bach, to 
bring again, then to restore; cf. for this last meaning Isa. i. 26, Ps. 
lxxx. 4, 8, 20. The object to 3 , B'"n<> follows immediately after the 
word nfa3?1, namely, Jerusalem. The supplementing of DV, people 
(Wieseler, Kliefoth, and others), is arbitrary, and is not warranted 
by Jer. xxix. 10. To bring back, to restore a city, means to raise 
it to its former state ; denotes the restitutio, but not necessarily the 
full restitutio in integrum (against Hengstenberg). Here niJ3? is 
added, as in the second half of the verse to SHOT, yet not so as to 
make one idea with it, restoring to build, or building to restore, i.e. 
to build up again to the old extent. H33 as distinguished from 
S^'n denotes the building after restoring, and includes the constant 
preservation in good building condition, as well as the carrying 
forward of the edifice beyond its former state. 

But if we ask when this commandment went forth, in order 
that we may thereby determine the beginning of the seven weeks, 
and, since they form the first period of the seventy, at the same 
time determine the beginning of the seventy weeks, the words and 
the context only supply this much, that by the " commandment " is 
meant neither the word of God which is mentioned in ver. 23, nor 
that mentioned in ver. 2. It is not that which is mentioned in ver. 
23, because it says nothing about the restoration of Jerusalem, but 
speaks only of the whole message of the angel. Nor yet is it the 
word of God which is mentioned in ver. 2, the prophecies given in 
Jer. xxv. and xxix., as Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others suppose. 
For although from these prophecies it conclusively follows, that 
after the expiry of the seventy years with the return of Israel into 
their own land, Jerusalem shall again be built up, yet they do 
not speak of that which shall happen after the seventy years, but 
only of that which shall happen within that period, namely, that 
Jerusalem shall for so long a time lie desolate, as ver. 2 expressly 
affirms. The prophecy of the seventy years' duration of the deso- 
lation of Jerusalem (ver. 2) cannot possibly be regarded as the 
commandment (in ver. 25) to restore Jerusalem (Kliefoth). As 
little can we, with Hitzig, think on Jer. xxx. and xxxi., because 
this prophecy contains nothing whatever of a period of time, and 
in this verse before us there is no reference to this prophecy. The 
restoration of Israel and of Jerusalem has indeed been prophesied 
of in general, not merely by Jeremiah, but also long before him 


by Isaiah (ch. xl.-lxvi.). With as much justice may we think on 
Isa. xl. ff. as on Jer. xxx. and xxxi. ; but all such references are 
excluded by this fact, that the angel names the commandment for 
the restoration of Jerusalem as the terminus a quo for the seventy 
weeks, and thus could mean only a word of God whose going forth 
was somewhere determined, or could be determined, just as the 
appearance of the TM rPB>D is named as the termination of the 
seven weeks. Accordingly " the going forth of the commandment 
to restore," etc., must be a factum coming into visibility, the time 
of which could without difficulty be known — a word from God 
regarding the restoration of Jerusalem which went forth by means 

Do « 

of a man at a definite time, and received an observable historical 

Now, with Calvin, GEcolampadius, Kleinert, Nagelsbach, Ebrard, 
and Kliefoth, we can think of nothing more appropriate than the 
edict of Cyrus (Ezra i.) which permitted the Jews to return, from 
which the termination of the Exile is constantly dated, and from 
the time of which this return, together with the building up of 
Jerusalem, began, and was carried forward, though slowly (Klief.). 
The prophecy of Isa. xliv. 28, that God would by means of Cyrus 
speak to cause Jerusalem to be built, and the foundation of the 
temple to be laid, directs us to this edict. With reference to this 
prophecy, it is said in Ezra vi. 14, " They builded according to 
the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the com- 
mandment of the king of Persia." This is acknowledged even by 
Hengstenberg, who yet opposes this reference ; for he remarks 
^ Christol. iii. p. 142), " If the statement were merely of the com- 
mencement of the building, then they would undoubtedly be 
justified who place the starting-point in the first year of Cyrus. 
Isaiah (ch. xlv. 13) commends Cyrus as the builder of the city ; 
and all the sacred writings which relate to the period from the time 
of Cyrus to Nehemiah distinctly state the actual existence of a 
Jerusalem during this period." But according to his explanation, 
the words of the angel do not announce the beginning of the 
building of the city, but much rather the beginning of its " com- 
pleted restoration according to its ancient extent and its ancient 
glory." But that this is not contained in the words ni^l 2 , B'.-6 
we have already remarked, to which is to be added, that the placing 
in opposition the commencement of the building and the com- 
mencement of its completed restoration is quite arbitrary and vain 
since certainly the commencement of the restoration at the same 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 353 

time includes in it the commencement of the completed restora- 
tion. In favour of interpreting ^KTip of the completed restoration, 
Hengstenberg remarks that " in the announcement the temple is 
named along with the city in ver. 26 as well as in ver. 27. That 
with the announcement of the building the temple is not named 
here, that mention is made only of the building of the streets of 
the city, presupposes the sanctuary as already built up at the com- 
mencement of the building which is here spoken of ; and the 
existence of the temple again requires that a commencement of 
the rebuilding of the city had also been already made, since it is 
not probable that the angel should have omitted just that which 
was the weightiest matter, that for which Daniel was most grieved, 
and about which he had prayed (cf. vers. 17, 20) with the greatest 
solicitude." But the validity of this conclusion is not obvious. 
In ver. 26 the naming of the temple along with the city is required 
by the facts of the case, and this verse treats of what shall happen 
after the sixty-two weeks. How, then, shall it be thence inferred 
that the temple should also be mentioned along with the city in 
ver. 25, where the subject is that which forms the beginning of 
the seven or of the seventy weeks, and that, since this was not 
done, the temple must have been then already built % The non- 
mention of the temple in ver. 24, as in ver. 25, is fully and simply 
explained by this, that the word of the angel stands in definite 
relation to the prayer of Daniel, but that Daniel was moved by 
Jeremiah's prophecy of the seventy years' duration of the ni3"in of 
Jerusalem to pray for the turning away of the divine wrath from 
the city. As Jeremiah, in the announcement of the seventy years' 
desolation of the land, did not specially mention the destruction of 
the temple, so also the angel, in the decree regarding the seventy 
weeks which are determined upon the people of Israel and the holy 
city, makes no special mention of the temple ; as, however, in 
Jeremiah's prophecy regarding the desolation of the land, the de- 
struction not only of Jerusalem, but also of the temple, is included, 
so also in the building of the holy city is included that of the 
temple, by which Jerusalem was made a holy city. Although thus 
the angel, in the passage before us, does not expressly speak of the 
building of the temple, but only of the holy city, we can maintain 
the reference of the "O"! treto to the edict of Cyrus, which consti- 
tuted an epoch in the history of Israel, and consider this edict as 
the beginning of the termination of the seven resp. seventy 


354 the cook of daniel. 

The words YM TOO iy show the termination of the seven weeks. 
The words TJJ TOO are not to be translated an anointed prince 
(Bertholdt) ; for TOd cannot be an adjective to YM, because in 
Hebr. the adjective is always placed after the substantive, with 
few exceptions, which are inapplicable to this case ; cf. Ewald's 
Lehrb. § 2936. Nor can TOO be a participle : till a prince is 
anointed (Steudel), but it is a noun, and YJJ is connected with it 
by apposition : an anointed one, who at the same time is a prince. 
According to the O. T., kings and priests, and only these, were 
anointed. Since, then, TOO j s brought forward as the principal 
designation, we may not by YJ: think of a priest-prince, but only 
of a prince of the people, nor by TOO of a king, but only of a 
priest ; and by YM ITOO we must understand a person who first and 
specially is a priest, and in addition is a prince of the people, a 
king. The separation of the two words in ver. 26, where Y25 is 
acknowledged as meaning a prince of the people, leads to the 
same conclusion. This priest-king can neither be Zerubbabel 
(according to many old interpreters), nor Ezra (Steudel), nor 
Onias in. (Wieseler) ; for Zerubbabel the prince was not anointed, 
and the priest Ezra and the high priest Onias were not princes 
of the people. Nor can Cyrus be meant here, as Saad., Gaon., 
Bertholdt, v. Lengerke, Maurer, Ewald, Hitzig, Kraniclifeld, and 
others think, by a reference to Isa. xlv. 1 ; for, supposing it to be 
the case that Daniel had reason from Isa. xlv. 1 to call Cyrus TO'O — . 
which is to be doubted, since from this epithet iTO'O, His (Jehovah's) 
anointed, which Isaiah uses of Cyrus, it does not follow as of course 
that he should be named ITOO — the title onght at least to have 
been TOO YJJ, the TOO being an adjective following "Hi, because 
there is no evident reason for the express precedence of the adjec- 
tival definition. 1 

The O. T. knows only One who shall be both priest and kino- in 
one person (Ps. ex. 4 ; Zech. vi. 13), Christ, the Messias (John iv. 

1 " It is an unjustifiable assertion that every heathen king may also bear the 
name rCVfD, anointed. In all the books of the 0. T. there is but a single 
heathen king, Cyrus, who is named TOo (Isa. xlv. 1), and he not simply as 
6uch, but because of the remarkable and altogether singular relation in which 
he stood to the church, because of the gifts with which God endowed him for 
her deliverance, ... and because of the typical relation in which he stood to 
the author of the higher deliverance, the Messiah. Cyrus could in a certain 
measure be regarded aa a theocratic ruler, and as such he is described by 
Isaiah." — Hengstenbekg. 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 355 

25), whom, with Havernick, Hengstenberg, Hofmann, Auberlen, 
Delitzsch, and Kliefoth, we here understand by the TUJ *?&&, be- 
cause in Him the two essential requisites of the theocratic king, 
the anointing and the appointment to be the 1 S M of the people of 
God (cf. 1 Sam. x. 1, xiii. 14, xvi. 13, xxv. 30 ; 2 Sam. ii. 4, v. 2 f.), 
are found in the most perfect manner. These requisites are here 
attributed to Him as predicates, and in such a manner that the 
being anointed goes before the being a prince, in order to make 
prominent the spiritual, priestly character of His royalty, and to 
designate Him, on the ground of the prophecies, Isa. Ixi. 1-3 and 
lv. 4, as the person by whom " the sure mercies of David" (Isa. lv. 
3) shall be realized by the covenant people. 1 The absence of the 
definite article is not to be explained by saying that fWO, some- 
what as nDS, Zech. iii. 8, vi. 12, is used /car' e'£. as a nomen propr. 
of the Messiah, the Anointed ; for in this case "I'M ought to have 
the article, since in Hebrew we cannot say ^\X> "ivi, but only 
^ll??'? "'H- Much rather the article is wanting, because it shall not 
be said : till the Messiah, who is prince, but only : till one comes who 
is anointed and at the same time prince, because He that is to come 
is not definitely designated as the expected Messiah, but must be 
made prominent by the predicates ascribed to Him only as a per- 
sonage altogether singular. 

Thus the first half of ver. 25 states that the first seven of the 
seventy weeks begin with the edict (of Cyrus) permitting the 
return of Israel from exile and the restoration of Jerusalem, and 
extend from that time till the appearance of an anointed one who 
at the same time is prince, i.e. till Christ. With that view the 
supposition that O^E* are year-weeks, periods of seven years, is 
irreconcilable. Therefore most interpreters who understand Christ 
as the "MJ OT'?} have referred the following number, and sixty-two 
weeks, to the first clause — "from the going forth of the command 
.... seven weeks and sixty-two weeks." Thus Theodotion : em? 
XpioTov fjyovpevov e/SSo/iaSe? eirrh. Ka\ efiBofidSes e^rjKovraBvo ; and 
the Vulgate : usque ad Christum ducem hebdomades septem et hebdo- 
mades sexaginta duce erunt. The text of the LXX. is here, how- 

1 In the TJJ rWD it is natural to suppose there is a reference to the pas- 
sages in Isaiah referred to ; yet one must not, with Hofmann and Auberlen, 
hence conclude that Christ is as King of Israel named rPB'O, and as King of 
the heathen Taj, for in the frequent use of the word TJJ of the Icing of Israel 
in the books of Samuel it is much more natural to regard it as the reference to 


ever, completely in error, and is useless. This interpretation, in 
recent times, Hiivernick, Hengstenberg, and Auberlen have sought 
to justify in different ways, but without having succeeded in in- 
validating the reasons which stand opposite to them. First of all 
the Atnach forbids this interpretation, for by it the seven D'jntf 
are separated from the sixty-two. This circumstance, however, in 
and of itself decides nothing, since the Atnach does not always 
separate clauses, but frequently also shows only the point of rest 
within a clause ; besides, it first was adopted by the Masoretes, and 
only shows the interpretation of these men, without at all furnish- 
ing any guarantee for its correctness. But yet this view is not to 
be overlooked, as Hgstb. himself acknowledges in the remark: 
" Here the separation of the two periods of time was of great con- 
sequence, in order to show that the seven and the sixty-two weeks 
are not a mere arbitrary dividing into two of one whole period, but 
that to each of these two periods its own characteristic mark 
belongs." With this remark, Havernick's assertion, that the 
dividing of the sixty-nine D'jnt? into seven and sixty-two is made 
only on account of the solemnity of the whole passage, is set aside 
as altogether vain, and the question as to the ground of the division 
presses itself on our earnest attention. If this division must in- 
dicate that to each of the two periods its own distinctive character- 
istic belongs, an unprejudiced consideration of the words shows that 
the characteristic mark of the " seven weeks " lies in this, that this 
period extends from the going forth of the word to restore Jeru- 
salem till the appearance of an Anointed one, a Prince, thus 
terminating with the appearance of this Prince, and that the 
characteristic mark for the "sixty-two weeks" consists in that 
which the words immediately connected therewith affirm, 2VC'n 
'131 n ™^, and thus that the " sixty-two weeks " belong indeed to the 
following clause. But according to Hengstenberg the words ought 
not to be so understood, but thus: "sixty-nine weeks must pass away, 
seven till the completed restoration of the city, sixty-two from that 
time till the Anointed, the Prince." But it is clearly impossible to 
find this meaning in the words of the text, and it is quite super- 
fluous to use any further words in proof of this. 1 By the remark, 

1 Hengstenberg, as Kliefoth has remarked, has taken as the first terminus ad 
quern the words " to restore and to build Jerusalem," till the rebuilding of 
Jerusalem, till its completed rebuilding, till that Jerusalem is agaiu built ■ and 
then the further words, " unto the Messiah the Prince," as the second terminus 
aU qiiem ; and, finally, he assigns the seven weeks to the first terminus ad quern 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 357 

" If the second designation of time is attributed to that which 
follows, then we cannot otherwise explain it than that during 
sixty-two weeks the streets will be restored and built up ; but this 
presents a very inappropriate meaning,"— by this remark the in- 
terpretation in question is neither shown to be possible, nor is it 
made evident. For the meaning would be inappropriate only if 
by the building up of Jerusalem we were to understand merely the 
rebuilding of the city which was laid in ruins by the Chaldeans. 
If we attribute the expression " and sixty-two weeks " to the first 
half of the verse, then the division of the sixty-nine weeks into 
seven weeks and sixty-two weeks is unaccountable; for in ver. 26 
we must then read, " after sixty-nine weeks," and not, as we find it 
in the text, " after sixty-two weeks." The substitution, again [in 
ver. 26], of only this second designation of time (sixty-two weeks) is 
also intelligible only if the sixty-two weeks in ver. 25 belong to the 
second half of the verse, and are to be separated from the seven 
weeks. The bringing together of the seven and of the sixty-two 
weeks stands thus opposed to the context, and is maintained merely 
on the supposition that the D^ are year-weeks, or periods of time 
consisting of seven years, in order that sixty-nine year-weeks, i.e. 
483 years, might be gained for the time from the rebuilding of 
Jerusalem to Christ. But since there is in the word itself no 
foundation for attaching to it this meaning, we have no right 
to distort the language of the text according to it, but it is our 
duty to let this interpretation fall aside as untenable, in order that 
we may do justice to the words of the prophecy. The words here 
used demand that we connect the period " and sixty-two weeks " 
with the second half of the verse, " and during sixty-two weeks 
shall the street be built again," etc. The "sixty-two weeks" are 
not united antithetically to the " seven weeks " by the copula i, as 
Hofmann would have it, but are connected simply as following 
the seven ; so that that which is named as the contents of the 
" sixty-two weeks " is to he interpreted as happening first after 
the appearance of the Maschiach Nagid, or, more distinctly, that 
the appearance of the Messias forming the terminus ad quern of 
the seven weeks, forms at the same time the terminus a quo of the 
sixty-two weeks. That event which brings the close of the sixty- 

and the sixty-two weeks is the second ; as if the text comprehended two clauses, 
and declared that from the going forth of the commandment till that Jerusalem 
was rebuilt are seven heptades, and from that time till a Messiah, a Prince, are 
sixty-two heptades. 


two weeks is spoken of in ver. 26 in the words rrcfe m_3'., Messiah 
shall be cut off. The words « and sixty-two D'jnff " may be taken 
grammatically either as the absolute nominative or as the accusa- 
tive of duration. The words nruasi awn refer undoubtedly to the 
expression rfoaVi awb (fo restore and to build), according to which 
31OT is not to be joined adverbially to nrorm (according to Haver- 
nick, Hofmann, and Wieseler), but is to be rendered intransitively, 
corresponding to 3T n : «A«^ be restored, asEzek. xvi. 55, 1 Kings 
xiii. 6, 2 Kings v. 10, 14, Ex. iv. 7. The subject to both verbs is 
not (Kosenmiiller, Gesenius, v. Leng., Hgstb.) aim, but Jeru- 
salem, as is manifest from the circumstance that the verbs refer to 
the restoration and the building of Jerusalem, and is placed beyond 
a doubt by this, that in Zech. viii. 5 aim is construed as masculine ; 
and the opinion that it is generis fwm. rests only on this passage 
before us. There is no substantial reason for interpreting (with 
Klief.) the verbs impersonally. 

The words pirn aim are difficult, and many interpretations 
have been given of them. There can be no doubt that they 
contain together one definition, and that aim is to be taken as the 
adverbial accusative. aim means the street and the wide space 
before the gate of the temple. Accordingly, to pin have been 
given the meanings ditch, wall, aqueduct (Ges., Steud., Ziind., 
etc.), pond (Ewald), confined space (Hofmann), court (Hitzig) ; 
but all these meanings are only hit upon from the connection, as 
are also the renderings of the LXX. et? ifKaTOi icai yu,f;«o?, of 
Theod. irXareia Kal Tel-^p<;, and of the Vulg. platea et muri. pn 
means to cut, then to decide, to determine, to conclude irrevocably; 
hence pin, decision, judgment, Joel iv. 14. This meaning is main- 
tained by Hiiv., Hgstb., v. Leng., Wies., and Kran., and }Vim is 
interpreted as a participle : " and it is determined." This shall 
form a contrast to the words, "but in the oppression of the times" 
— and it is determined, namely, that Jerusalem shall be built in its 
streets, but the building shall be accomplished in troublous times. 
But although this interpretation be well founded as regards the 
words themselves, it does not harmonize with the connection. The 
words pirn aim plainly go together, as the old translators have 
interpreted them. Now aim does not mean properly street, but a 
wide, free space, as Ezra x. 9, the open place before the temple, 
and is applied to streets only in so far as they are free, unoccupied 
spaces in cities, pin, that which is cut off, limited, forms a con- 
trast to this, not, however, as that we may interpret the words as 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 359 

Hofm. does, in the sense of width, and space cut off, not capable 
of extension, or free space and limited quarter (Hitzig), an inter- 
pretation which is too far removed from the primary import of the 
two words. It is better to interpret them, with Kliefoth, as " wide 
space, and yet also limited," according to which we have the 
meaning, "Jerusalem shall be built so that the city takes in a 
wide space, has wide, free places, but not, however, unlimited in 
width, but such that their compass is measured off, is fixed and 

The last words, D'Wjn pisin, point to the circumstances under 
which the building proceeds: in the difficulty, the oppression of the 
times. The book of Nehemiah, iii. 33, iv. 1 ff., vi. 1 ff., ix. 36, 37, 
furnishes a historical exposition of them, although the words do 
not refer to the building of the walls and bulwarks of the earthly 
Jerusalem which was accomplished by Nehemiah, but are to be 
understood, according to Ps. li. 20, of the spiritual building of the 
City of God. 

Ver. 26. After the threescore and two weeks, i.e. in the seventieth 
Jft2B>, shall the Messiah be cut off. — From the ^n.K (after) it does 
not with certainty follow that the " cutting off " of the Maschiach 
falls wholly in the beginning of the seventieth week, but only that 
the " cutting off" shall constitute the first great event of this week, 
and that those things which are mentioned in the remaining part 
of the verse shall then follow. The complete designation of the 
time of the " cutting off" can only be found from the whole con- 
tents of vers. 26 and 27. rn33, from Tnz } to hew down, to fell, to 
cut to pieces, signifies to be rooted up, destroyed, annihilated, and 
denotes generally a violent kind of death, though not always, but 
only the uprooting from among the living, or from the congrega- 
tion, and is therefore the usual expression for the destruction of 
the ungodly — e.g. Ps. xxxvii. 9, Prov. ii. 22 — without particularly 
designating the manner in which this is done. From rn3' it 
cannot thus be strictly proved that this part of the verse announces 
the putting ^o death of an anointed one, or of the Messiah. Of 
the word Maschiach three possible interpretations have been given : 
1. That the Maschiach Nagid of ver. 25, the Maschiach of ver. 26, 
and the Nagid of ver. 265, are three different persons; 2. that 
all the three expressions denote one and the same person ; and 3. 
that the Maschiach Nagid of ver. 25 and the Maschiach of ver. 26 
are the same person, and that the Nagid of ver. 26& is another and 
a different person. The first of these has been maintained by J. D. 


Michaelis, Jahn. Ebrard understands by all the three expressions 
the Messiah, and supposes that he is styled fully Maschiach Nagid 
in ver. 25 in order that His calling and His dignity (DTD), as well 
as His power and strength (Til), might be designated ; in ver. 26a, 
rwo, the anointed, where mention is made of His sufferings and His 
rejection ; in ver. 266, TM, the prince, where reference is made to 
the judgment which He sends (by the Komans on apostate Jeru- 
salem). But this view is refuted by the circumstance that Nan 
(that is to come) follows T«, whereby the prince is represented as 
first coming, as well as by the circumstance that N3il TJ3, who 
destroys the city and the sanctuary, whose end shall be with a 
flood, consequently cannot be the Messiah, but is the enemy of the 
people and kingdom of God, who shall arise (ch. vii. 24, 25) in the 
last time. But if in ver. 26 the Nagid is different from the Ma- 
schiach, then both also appear to be different from the Maschiach 
Nagid of .ver. 25. The circumstance that in ver. 26 rwo has neither 
the article nor the addition TJJ following it, appears to be in favour 
of this opinion. The absence of the one as well as of the other 
denotes that rWB, after that which is said of Him, in consideration 
of the connection of the words, needs no more special description. 
If we observe that the destruction of the city and the sanctuary 
is so connected with the Maschiach that we must consider this as 
the immediate or first consequence of the cutting off of the Maschi- 
ach, and that the destruction shall be brought about by a Nagid, 
then by Maschiach we can understand neither a secular prince or 
king nor simply a high priest, but only an anointed one who stands 
in such a relation to the city and sanctuary, that with his being 
" cut off" the city aqd the sanctuary lose not only their protection 
and their protector, but the sanctuary also loses, at the same time, 
its character as the sanctuary, which the Maschiach had given to it. 
This is suitable to no Jewish high priest, but only to the Messias 
whom Jehovah anointed to be a Priest-King after the order of 
Melchizedek, and placed as Lord over Zion, His holy hill. We 
agree therefore with Hiivernick, Hengstenberg, Auberlen, and 
Kliefoth, who regard the Maschiach of this verse as identical witli 
the Maschiach Nagid of ver. 25, as Christ, who in the fullest sense 
of the word is the Anointed ; and we hope to establish this view 
more fully in the following exposition of the historical reference 
of this word of the angel. 

But by this explanation of the rrob we are not authorized 
to regard the word n~}2\ as necessarily pointing to the death of 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. ■ 361 

the Messias, the crucifixion of Christ, since TT13^ as ahove shown, 
does not necessarily denote a violent death. The right interpreta- 
tion of this word depends on the explanation of the words i5> pNl 
which follow — words which are very differently interpreted by 
critics. The supposition is grammatically inadmissible that ii> T^ 
= WJ'W (Michaelis, Hitzig), although the LXX. in the Codex 
Chisianus have translated them by xal ov/c ecrrai; and in general 
all those interpretations which identify fK with i&, as e.g. et non 
sibi, and not for himself (Vitringa, Eosenmiiller, Havernick, and 
others). For EX is never interchanged with &6, but is so distin- 
guished from it that tib, non, is negation purely, while P.N, " it is 
not," denies the existence of the thing ; cf . Hengstenberg's Christol. 
iii. p. 81 f., where all the passages which Gesenius refers to as 
exemplifying this exchange are examined and rightly explained, 
proving that p.X is never used in the sense of &6- Still less is i^> to 
be taken in the sense of V "lEW, " there shall not then be one who 
(belongs) to him ;" for although the pronomen relat. may be want- 
ing in short sentences, yet that can be only in such as contain a 
subject to which it can refer. But in the pN no subject is con- 
tained, but only the non-existence is declared ; it cannot be said : 
no one is, or nothing is. In all passages where it is thus rightly 
translated a participle follows, in which the personal or actual 
subject is contained, of which the non-existence is predicated. 
IP pK without anything following is elliptical, and the subject 
A'hich is not, which will not be, is to be learned from the context 
or from the matter itself. The missing subject here cannot be 
n'B'D, because \h points back to HT?; nor can it be D5?, people 
(Vulg., Grotius), or a descendant (Wieseler), or a follower (Auber- 
len), because all these words are destitute of any support from the 
context, and are brought forward arbitrarily. Since that which 
" is not to Him " is not named, we must thus read the expression in 
its undefined universality : it is not to Him, viz. that which He must 
have, to be the Maschiach. We are not by this to think merely of 
dominion, people, sanctuary, but generally of the place which He 
as Maschiach has had, or should have, among His people and in the 
sanctuary, but, by His being " cut off," is lost. This interpretation 
is of great importance in guiding to a correct rendering of rns*; for 
it shows that JVO^ does not denote the putting to death, or cutting 
off of existence, but only the annihilation of His place as Ma- 
schiach among His people and in His kingdom. For if after His 
"cuttinc off" He has not what He should have, it is clear that 


annihilation does not apply to Him personally, but only that He 
lias lost His place and function as the Maschiach. 

In consequence of the cutting off of the D'-z'D destruction falls 
upon the city and the sanctuary. This proceeds from the people 
of the prince who comes. JVntr, to destroy, to ruin, is used, it is 
true, of the desolating of countries, but predicated of a city and 
sanctuary it means to overthrow; cf. e.g. Gen. xix. 13 f., where it 
is used of the destruction of Sodom ; and even in the case of countries 
the nTjrn consists in the destruction of men and cattle ; cf. Jer. 
xxxvi. 29. 

The meaning of N3i] TJ3 Dj; depends chiefly on the interpre- 
tation of the N2n. This we cannot, with Ebrard, refer to DV. 
Naturally it is connected with TJ3, not only according to the order 
of the words, but in reality, since in the following verse (ver. 27) 
the people are no longer spoken of, but only the actions and pro- 
ceedings of the prince are described. N3H does not mean qui 
succedit (Koesch, Maurer), but is frequently used by Daniel of a 
hostile coming; cf. ch. i. 1, xi. 10, 13, 15. But in this sense N3ii 
appears to be superfluous, since it is self-evident that the prince, 
if he will destroy Jerusalem, must come or draw near. One also 
must not say that Nsn designates the prince as one who was to come 
(ipXPfiews), since from the expression " coming days," as meaning 
" future days," it does not follow that a " coming prince" is a 
" future prince." The N3n with the article : " he who comes, or 
will come," denotes much rather the TJJ (which is without the 
article) as such an one whose coming is known, of whom Daniel 
has heard that he will come to destroy the people of God. But in 
the earlier revelations Daniel heard of two princes who shall bring 
destruction on his people : in ch. vii. 8, 24 ff ., of Antichrist ; and 
in ch. viii. 9 ff., 23 ff., of Antiochus. To one of these the N3H 
points. Which of the two is meant must be gathered from the 
connection, and this excludes the reference to Antiochus, and neces- 
sitates our thinking of the Antichrist. 

In the following clause : " and his end with the flood," the suffix 

1 Kranichfeld quite appropriately compares the stroDg expression ms' with 
" the equally strong t&y {shall wear out) in ch. vii. 25, spoken of that which 
shall befall the saints on the part of the enemy of God in the last great war. 
As by this latter expression destruction in the sense of complete annihilation 
cannot be meant, since the saints personally exist after the catastrophe (cf. 
vers. 27, 22, 18), so also by this expression here (ma;) we are not to under- 
stand annihilation." 

CHAP. IX. 24-27. 363 

refers simply to the hostile Nagid, whose end is here emphatically 
placed over against his coming (Kran., Hofm., Kliefoth). Pre- 
conceived views as to the historical interpretation of the prophecy 
lie at the foundation of all other references. The Messianic inter- 
preters, who find in the words a prophecy of the destruction of 
Jerusalem by the Romans, and thus understand by the Nagid 
Titus, cannot apply the suffix to Nagid. M. Geier, Havemick, 
and others, therefore, refer it (the suffix) to the city and the sanc- 
tuary ; but that is grammatically inadmissible, since "vyn (the city) 
is gen. fcem. Aub. and others refer it, therefore, merely to the sanc- 
tuary; but the separation of the city from the sanctuary is quite 
arbitrary. Vitringa, C. B. Michaelis, Hgstb., interpret the suffix as 
neuter, and refer it to n'nss" (shall destroy), or, more correctly, to 
the idea of destroying comprehended in it, for they understand 
f)BE2> of a warlike overflowing flood : " and the end of it shall be 
(or : i