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Dissertation 14.

A WATCHER.

Daniel 4:13

This is the correct rendering of the word עיר, gnir, but it has been conjectured that its meaning is the same as ציר, tzir, being the Chaldee word for “a messenger.” Jerome ingeniously conjectures it to be the same as the Greek word Iris, the messenger of heaven. In Job 36:30, the Hebrew is איר, air, where Origen reads Irin according to Archbishop Seeker. Willet replies to the question “why the angels are called watchmen,” and quotes Calvins reason with approbation. Rosenmuller approves of Jeromes conjecture, and adduces Hom. Odys., lib. 18:5, in confirmation of it. He takes “the watcher and holy one” as a hendia-dys, reminding us that in Job 15:15, angels are called “holy ones” by the figure autonomasia. The Scholia of the Alexandrine Codex interpret the word eir, as equivalent to angel, and Isidorus Pelusiota, according to Rosenmuller, (Ep. 177, lib. 2,) considers the word to refer to the chief of angels. The Syrians in their hymns join watchers with angels as rejoicing over converted sinners, according to the learned editors of the Chisian Codex, page 127, edit. Rom. See also Critica Sacra, volume 7, edit. Frcof. The view of Oecolampadius is similar to those already expressed, but he takes the word “watcher” in the sense of an exciter or herald of divine punishment. R. Saadias supposes a terrible destroyer to be intended.

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