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Dissertation 12.

THE VISION ON THE BANKS OF THE HIDDEKEL

Daniel 10:1

This vision is referred to by Bertholdt and Griesinger in an attempt to shew its contradiction to Daniel 1:21, but their cavils have been ably answered by Hengstenberg, pages 54, 55. The error in the Alexandrine translation of this verse is discussed on page 239. With regard to the fasting of Daniel 10:2, Staudlin assumes that Daniel abstracted himself as far as possible from sensible objects, in order to obtain very high revelations, and that the reason why only Daniel saw the appearance lies in the fact, that only he had been fasting a long season and doing penance, and had thereby sharpened and sanctified his vision; see N. Beitr., page 279, ap. Heng., page 120. The celestial appearance of Daniel 10:5 and 6 is said to be “identical with the angel of the Lord, and thus also with Michael. Daniel finds himself on the banks of the Tigris, and sees hovering over its waters a human form clothed in linen, with a golden girdle about his loins.” Hengstenberg objects to the opinion that this is a representation of Gabriel. He is so terrified by the voice of the apparition that he fails into a deep swoon, and for a long time cannot recover, whereas with Gabriel, on his former single appearance, Daniel 11, he converses quite fiercely and without restraint. The angel of the Lord is present in calm silent majesty, and works with an unseen power. The man clothed in linen cannot be, as Staudlin assumes, absolutely identified with the Most High God, but is as distinct from him as the angel of the Lord from the Lord himself. For he swears not; by himself, but, with his right hand lifted up to heaven, by the eternal God. The supposition of a distinction between the man clothed in linen and Gabriel has the analogy of Daniel 8:16 in its favor. The names Gabriel and Michael are peculiar to Daniel, and occur only in such visions as from their dramatic character demand the most exact description possible of the persons concerned and the bringing of them out into stronger relief. This opinion is discussed more at length on pages 136-188.

Rosenmuller objects to consider this vision as either an ecstasy or dream. He quotes Theodoret and Jerome on the phrase, “desirable food,” and explains the period of the Prophet’s fasting according to the view of C. B. Michaelis. The attire of Daniel 10:5 is that of the high priest, although it is by no means certain that this representation portrayed “the prince of the army of Jehovah.” The likeness to chrysolite is said to be not with respect to color, but clearness and brilliancy. Bochart and Calmer suppose Uphaz and Ophir to be the same place; see Wintle’s note, which is full of information. In illustration of the “voice,” Daniel 10:6, Rosenmuller quotes Iliad 11:1. 148 and following, and enters fully into the Jewish theory of various orders of angels, in the first of which were Michael and Raphael. On this very interesting subject he has selected with great judgment the opinions of various ancient interpreters, especially Theodoret and Jerome, as well as those of Luther, Geier, Gesenius, and Winer. “The hand that touched him,” observes Wintle, “was probably one of the attendant angels. The form of the superior spirit was scarcely visible by Daniel, and therefore it seems likely to have been one of an inferior order, whose hand he could discover as reached out unto him. (Daniel 10:18.) The Son of God is seldom introduced to human notice without a retinue of angels.”

Daniel 10:13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia is supposed by some writers to be either Cyrus or Cambyses opposing the building of the Temple; and by others to refer to those guardian angels which the Orientals believed to protect different countries. Wintle adopts Theodotion’s translation of the last clause of this verse, as the sense then becomes very clear; but Rosennmuller prefers the Syriac version, “I was delayed there,” in preference to “I left him there.”

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