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Daniel 8:16

16. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

16. Et audivi vocem hominis in Ulai 6363     That is, between the two banks of the river. — Calvin. et clamavit, et dixit, Gabriel, doce hane visionem.

 

He does not use the particle implying fitness, but says he heard the voice of a man, because he treats no longer of either a man or a figure, but of a voice. It is sufficient to say at once, he was like a man, not really so, but only under the image and appearance of one. Christ therefore appeared as a man, and is called one, since Scripture often records how angels often appeared under the form of men, and are called indiscriminately, either angels or men. (Judges 8:3, etc.) So in this place Daniel relates the appearance of a man, or the aspect of one, improperly indeed, but without any danger of mistake; for he afterwards admonishes the faithful, how this person was not clothed with the substance of flesh, but had only a human form and aspect. I heard then a human voice in the midst of the river We gather from this that the same person is here intended of whom mention was lately made, because he commands the angel; whence this can be referred to Christ alone.

Gabriel, says he, teach him. We observe the speaker from the midst of the river here commanding Gabriel, as if superior to him. For Gabriel as the name of an angel, is sufficiently known from other passages of Scripture; (Luke 1:19, 26;) and its etymology, “The strength of God,” is very suitable to this meaning. Without ally doubt, the angel here receives his commands from Christ. Thus, we see the supreme power and authority represented under the form and aspect of a man, as well as obedience portrayed in Gabriel, who discharges the duty enjoined upon him. From this Christ’s divinity is inferred, as he could not issue orders to angels, without either having special authority, or being God himself. But when the phrase “like a man” is used, we are taught his manifest superiority to man. And what does this imply? not angelic nature but divine. Christ by thus presenting himself under a human form, shews, by a kind of foreshadowing, how he would become a man, when the fullness of time arrived. Then he would really manifest himself as the head of the Church, and the guardian of the salvation of the pious. For he proves himself to have power over all angels, when he orders Gabriel to discharge the office of the Prophet’s instructor. We will put off the remainder.


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