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Dissertation 13.


Daniel 3:25

This translation of the Chaldee words לבר אלהין, leber-alehin, in our version is liable to mistake. Wintle has more correctly rendered them “a son of a god.” It was far more likely that the heathen king would express his astonishment in this way than allude to what he could not comprehend, the appearance of the Logos in human form. Calvin correctly states it to be “one of the angels.” Angels are called in Scripture, says Wells, sons of God, as in Job 1:6, and Job 38:7. “Some angelic appearance” is the correct comment of Wintle. Jerome takes it as a type of Christ descending into Hades, and Munter asserts it to be our Lord himself. Wells neither affirms nor denies this view, which has been held by a number of commentators who consider that the Logos appeared in human form on several occasions during patriarchal and Ante-Messianic times. Justin Martyr makes the same assertion when describing the pre-existence of the Logos to his philosophic persecutors. Willet leans to this view, after summing up a variety of opinions from able writers. Some of his reflections on the general narrative are edifying; but his discussion on the nature of angels is fancifully unprofitable, and his ignorance of natural science is singularly displayed in his treatment of the ordinary and extraordinary action of fire. Rosenmuller translates, “like a son of the gods,” that is an angel, and the writers quoted by Poole come to the same conclusion; but Oecolampadius, thinks the appearance to be that of Immanuel himself, and refers to other instances of his being visible to Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. He fortifies his view by quotations from Chrysostom, Apollinarius, and other ecclesiastical authorities.

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