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THE WONDERFUL NUMBERER — ONE HOLY ONE
SPEAKING TO ANOTHER.
A very peculiar Hebrew word is used to designate the second Holy One. Lowth intimates its connection with the Logos. It may properly be translated, “To the excellent one.” The original word פלמוני, palmoni, is supposed to be formed of two nouns פלוני, peloni, and אלמוני, almoni, which are found in Ruth 4:1, and 2 Kings 6:8 Glass. gram., 4, 3, 864, as quoted in Poole’s Syn., calls them fictitious nouns, being used when the real name is purposely concealed, like the ὁ δεῖνα of the Greeks. Hence it does not signify any angel, but some remarkable one. Calvin’s opinion that it refers to Messiah is held by many other interpreters, as given by Poole in loc. Wintle adopts another view, — “the numberer of secrets,” or, “the wonderful numberer,” from the two words פלא, phla, “wonderful,” used by Isaiah of Messiah in the well-known passage in chapter. 9, and מנה, “to number,” which has already come before us. He refers to Glass. Philippians page 644, 4to, and translates, “And another saint said unto that excellent one that was speaking.” Holy One is preferable to saint in this passage. Gesenius adopts the statement of Glasse; the quadriliteral arising from the combination of two words in common use. See also “The Times of Daniel,” page 399, and “The Morning Watch,” volume 5, page 276, where palmoni is translated “the numberer of secrets.”
Daniel 8:13. — The Vision of the Daily Sacrifice. The translation of this passage is of great importance, Professor Lee translates as follows: —
11 By him the daily sacrifice was to be taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was to be cast down.
12 And an army was to be given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, (i.e., because the transgressors had now come to the full: see note, page 165,) and it cast the truth to the ground, and it practiced and prospered.
13 How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14 The answer is, unto 2300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
The wording of the Hebrew is peculiar here and highly deserving of remark. It stands literally thus, — “Until (the) evening (and) morning, or it may be until the evening of the morning, two thousand and three hundred, and the sanctuary (lit. holiness) shall be sanctified.” Evening and morning, I take here to be a mere periphrasis for a day; and so our translators have taken it, Genesis 1:5. The day here had in view, continues Professor Lee, “must mark the period of Daniel’s seventieth week — the numbers given above must be understood indefinitely, and as intended to designate a considerable length of time.” Referring again to Daniel 8:11, he states, this consummation could not be effected by Antiochus Epiphanes: he only suspended the service of the Temple for about three years and a half. By every consideration, therefore, it is evident that the Little Horn of Daniel’s seventh and eighth chapters, is identically the same, and that this symbolized that system of Roman rule which ruined Jerusalem, and then made war upon the sainted servants and followers of the Son of man; and in this he prospered and practiced, until he in his turn fell, as did his predecessors, to rise no more at all. (P. 168.) Wintle, with his usual judgment, translates, “until the evening (and) morning 2300.” “I insert the word and, because the vau is repeated at Daniel 8:26. I am inclined to think this vesperamane should induce us to understand these days in the first instance literally, rather than of months and years.” The great difficulty, he states, is to reconcile this period with the tyranny of Antiochus; while he does not forget the reference to Antichrist, of whom Antiochus was the type. See, also Sir Isaac Newton, Obs., chapter 9. Rosenmuller has collected various explanations, especially C. B. Bertram; Kirms, in his historical and critical commentary, page 39; Melancthon, page 131; and Eichhorn in Apoc., t. 2, page 60. “The Times of Daniel” also contains a translation of this passage which is worth notice, page 400, although it is not so scholar-like as that quoted above.
The opinion that this period refers to the rise and duration of the Mohammedan power in the East, is ably advocated by Fry, “Second Advent,” volume 2, page 43 and following; where various explanations of the dates are given at length.
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