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D A N I E L.
The history of Daniel is contained in the book which bears his name. From this we learn that he was in the first band of Hebrew captives sent to Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, about seven years before the deportation of the second band, which included Ezekiel. It appears from the history that he was quite a youth at this time ; and as those carried into captivity on this occasion appear to have been exclusively persons of consideration and youths of distinguished families, there is every reason to believe that Daniel must have belonged to a family of rank and consequence. The Jews indeed go further, and believe that he was of the royal family, and descended from Hezekiah ; and therefore cite his history in confirmation of the prophecy of Isaiah (xxxix. 7) to that monarch, . Of thy sons which shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.' Daniel, being one of the youths selected to be brought up for future service at the court of the conqueror, received instruction in all the learning of the Chaldæans. But it was through the wisdom given him from above, and the signal favour of God manifested remarkably towards him before the eyes of the heathen, that he rose to distinction at the court of Babylon, and was held in high consideration by its successive kings, through all the seventy years in which his nation remained in captivity, and whose condition in captivity was probably much meliorated through his influence. As Josephus observes, he was the only one of the prophets who enjoyed a high degree of worldly prosperity. His life was however not without its trials, disturbed as it was by the envy and murderous plots of jealous courtiers ; but all these served but the more to manifest his righteousness and faith, and in the end tended to establish him all the more firmly in his high place. Daniel must have lived to a great age. There is an interval of seventy years between the dates of his first prophecy (ii. 1) and of his last (x. 1). Some suppose him to have been twenty years of age when carried into captivity; he was very possibly younger. However, ten years after, we find him celebrated for his piety and wisdom (Ezek. xiv. 14, 20), which seems indeed to have become proverbial (Ezek. xxviii. 3). At the date of his last prophecy, in the third year of Cyrus, he must have been about ninety years of age; and it is not probable that he survived much longer.
There is little reason to doubt that Daniel retained much authority and influence so long as he lived in the reign of Cyrus ; and there is much ground to conclude that he brought that great prince acquainted with those prophecies which had a long time before predicted not only the restoration of the Jews to their own land, but that this restoration was to be effected under a king named Cyrus. But although he had thus probably an important part in bringing about this result, there is no evidence that he availed himself of the privilege conceded to his countryman. Some have asserted that he returned from captivity with Ezra, and took upon him the government of Syria ; but it is more likely that he was too old to take part in so great a charge, and that, according to the usually received opinion, he died in Persia. Epiphanius and others affirm that he died at Babylon; and they say that his sepulchre was to be found there, many ages after, in the royal cave. But it seems more probable that, according to the common tradition, he was buried at Susa or Shusan, where he sometimes resided, probably in his official capacity, and where he was favoured with some of his last visions (Dan. viii. 2, 8). Josephus says that there was at Susa a magnificent edifice in the form of a tower, which was said to have been built by Daniel, and which served as a sepulchre for the Persian and Parthian kings. This in the time of the historian retained its perfect beauty, and presented a fine specimen of the prophet's skill in architecture. That this tower was built by Daniel there is little ground to believe ; but that a monument of the kind would be ascribed to him by the numerous Jews resident in those parts in and before the time of Josephus, is highly probable. "Benjamin of Tudela mentions that he was shewn the reputed tomb of Daniel at Susa on the Tigris; and at the present day, a tomb bearing his name is the only standing building among the ruins of Shus—the ancient Susa. The Hebrews always accounted this book as canonical. Josephus calls Daniel not only a prophet,
but one of the greatest of the prophets ; adding, that he not only, in common with other prophets, foretold future things, but also fixed the precise time of their coming to pass. Our Saviour also cites him as Daniel the prophet' (Matt. xxv. 14), and gives himself, in virtue of the expression in Dan. vii. 13, the title of Son of Man;' while the apostles repeatedly appeal to it as an authority (ex. gr. 1 Cor. vi. 2; 2 Thess. ii. 3; Heb. xi. 33). It is important to note this, as, in the Hebrew bibles, the book of Daniel does not appear among those of the prophets, but in the Hagiographa; that is to say, the Jews fully recognize the book of Daniel as holy writ, but refuse to consider it prophetic, or to regard Daniel as a prophet, and therefore give it no place among their prophetic books. For this they assign many frivolous reasons ; but the real one is conjectured by many Christian commentators to be, that Daniel's famous predictions concerning the Messiah so remarkably corresponded to the history of Christ, and, what is more, to the time of his appearance, that they could not justify their refusal to consider him as the expected Messiah, without altogether denying the prophetic character of Daniel's book. This was done; and certainly after the time of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem ; for we have not only the testimony of Josephus, as to the belief of the Jews in his time, but we know that so fully did they acknowledge the prophetic character of Daniel, and so accurately calculate the time given by him, that at the date of our Saviour's appearance there was a general expectation in the nation that the time for the Messiah's advent was come. And he did come, but they knew him not: he came unto his own, and his own received him not (John i. 10, 11).
Yet in the face of evidence so conclusive, the authenticity of Daniel has been subject to the most vigorous and elaborate assaults, the leading object of which has been to regard the particularity with which the remotely future events are described, and with which the fate of empires that had not yet risen is defined, down to the very dates, as proving that the book was written after the age of Antiochus Epiphanes, beyond whose time this particularity does not extend, and as leading to the conclusion that the alleged prophecies were after the events which they describe-making in fact the very excellence of the prophecies, and the fulness of their inspiration, an argument against their truth. These assaults have in recent days been most ably and victoriously repelled by such writers as Jahn, Hävernick, and Hengstenberg. The work on the Authenticity of Daniel, by the last named, is an enduring monument of the consummate abilities and fine acquirements of that great writer. To that work, which exists in the English language, we must be content to refer the reader, as the discussion runs too much into details to be suitably produced within the limits of a short Introduction. There is however a summary of the arguments given by Hävernick in the Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature;' in which, besides enforcing the points of evidence to which we have referred, he proves that the period of the exile would be altogether incomprehensible without the existence of a man like Daniel, exercising great influence upon his own people, and whose return to Palestine was effected by means of his high station in the state, as well as through the peculiar assistance of God with which he was favoured that the first book of the Maccabees, which is almost contemporary with the events prophetically related in it, not only presupposes the existence of the book of Daniel, but actually betrays an acquaintance with the Alexandrine version of it (1 Macc. i. 54; comp. Dan. ix. 27; ii. 59; comp. Dan. iii.)—that in the Maccabæan age the canon had long been completed and closed, so that it is utterly improbable that a work then recent should have acquired a canonical character-that too much weight cannot be assigned to the testimony in favour of the authenticity of the book which is to be deduced from the mention of Daniel in Ezek. xiv. 14, 20; xxviii. 3; where the character assigned to him is perfectly conformable to that which his own book exhibits—that the book betrays such an intimate acquaintance with Chaldæan manners, customs, history, and religion, as none but a contemporary writer could fairly be supposed to possess——that the religious, the ardent belief in the Messiah, the purity of that belief
, the absence of all the notions and ceremonial practices of later Judaism, the agreement of the book in these respects with the genuine prophetic books, and more especially with the prophets in and after the Exile—all this testifies the genuineness of Daniel-and, lastly, that the linguistic character of the book is most decisive for its authenticity. In the first instance the language in it, by turns Hebrew and Aramæan (Chaldee), is particularly remarkable. In that respect it bears a close analogy to that of Ezra. The author must certainly have been equally conversant with both languages--an attainment exactly suited to a Jew living in the time of the Exile, but not in the least to an author living in the Maccabæan age, when the Hebrew had long ceased to be a living language, and had been supplanted by the Aramæan vernacular dialect.
There are Jewish commentaries on Daniel by the Rabbis Saadias Hag-Gaon, Jarchi, Abarbanel, and Aben-Ezra, but not separate ones. Of later date is the commentary on Daniel and the five Megilloth, under the title (derived from Prov. ix. 17) of Bread of Secrecies, Venice, 1608; the Paraphrase of R. Joseph Ben David Jachia, Bologna, 1538, reproduced with a Latin version and annotations by Constantine l'Empereur, at Amsterdam, in 1633; a Commentary by Moses Alshech, under the title of the Rose of Sharon, produced at Saphet in Upper Galilee, in 1568, and printed at Venice in 1592; and one by R. Samuel ben Judah Valerius, Venice, 1586. Of the ecclesiastical fathers we have commentaries by Jerome, Theodoret, and Hippolytus. That of Jerome is applied chiefly to the refutation of Porphyry, who devoted one of the twelve books which he composed against the Christians to an attack on the authenticity of Daniel. The testimonies from ancient historians which Jerome has preserved are of great value to modern interpreters. There are commentaries on Daniel by Luther, Ecolampadius, Melanchthon, Calvin, and Victor Strigel, to which the following may be added giving only the author's name, place of publication, and date, when the title is the common one of Commentarius in Danielem. Pinto, Coimbra, 1582; Pererius, Romæ, 1586; Heilbrunneri Danielis prophetæ Vaticinia, Lauingae, 1587; Marcellinus, Venetiis, 1588; Rollock, Comment, in librum Danielis propheta, Edinb., 1591 ; Junius, Expositio propheta Danielem, Heidelb., 1593; Hugh Broughton, Exposition of Daniel's Visions, Lond., 1596 ; Polani, Basil, 1599 ; Veldius, Antwerp, 1602; Leyser, Darmstadt, 1610; Willet, Hexapla, that is a Sixfold Commentary on the Prophecies of Daniel, Lond., 1610; Sanctius, Lugd., 1612; Parker, Expositio visionum et prophetiarum Danielis, Lond., 1646; Geieri Prælectiones Academicæ in Danielem prophetam, Lips., 1667; Wingendorpii Prophetia Danielis paraphrasi reddita et cum prophanæ historiæ monumentis collata, Leidæ, 1674 ; Jungmanni Propheta Daniel modo novo et hactenus inaudito reseratus, etc., Cassel, 1681; Bekker, Uitlegginge van den Prophet Daniel, Amsterd., 1688; Meissner, Der heilige Prophet Daniel, etc., Hamb., 1695; Wells, Ā Help for the Understanding of the Book of Daniel, Lond., 1716; C. B. Michaelis, Adnotationes philologico-exegeticæ in Danielem, Halle, 1720; Petersen, Sinn des Geistes in dem Prophetem Danielem, Frankf., 1720; Newton (Sir Isaac), Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, Lond., 1733; Koch, Entsiegelter Daniel, Lemgo, 1740; Venema, Dissertationes ad Vaticinia Danielis emblematica cap. 11. vii
. et vir. Leovard., 1746; Veneina, Comm. ad Danielis cap. xi. 4—XII. 3, Leovard., 1752 ; Roos, Auslegung der Weissagungen Daniels, Leipz., 1771; Harenberg, Aufklärung des Buchs Daniels, etc., Blankenburg, 1773; Amner, An Essay towards an interpretation of the Prophecies of Daniel, Lond., 1776; Zeise, Vebersetzung und Erklärung des Buchs Daniel, Dresd., 1777; Wintle, Daniel ; an improved Version attempted, with a Preliminary Dissertation, and Noles, critical, historical, and explanatory, Lond., 1792; Thube, Das Buch des Propheten Daniels, Schwerin, 1797 ; Bertholdt, Daniel, aus dem Aebruïsch-Aramäischen neu übersetzt und erklärt, mit einer vollständigen Einleitung, und einigen Historischen und Exigetischen Excursen, Erlangen, 1806; Bleek, Ueber Verfasser und Zweck des Buchs Daniel, Berlin, 1822 ; Wilson, Hore Prophetica, or Dissertations on ihe Book of the Prophet Daniel ; Kirms, Commentatio historico-critica, exhibens descriptionem et censuram recentium de Danielis libro opinionum, Jenæ, 1828; Hävernick, Commentar über das Buch Daniel, Hamb., 1832; Langerke, Das Buch Daniel, Konigsb., 1835. Besides these works there is a vast number of Dissertations on particular parts of Daniel, and on the interpretation of his Prophecies. Of these our English theologians have contributed a far larger proportional share than of regular Commentaries on the Book. [Hengstenberg, Dissertations on the Genuineness of Daniel, 1847.]
of his god.
dah into his hand, with part of the vessels of 1 Jehoiakim's captivity. 3 Ashpenaz taketh Daniel, the house of God: which he carried into the Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 8 They refusing land of Shinar to the house of his god; and the king's portion do prosper with pulse and water. he brought the vessels into the treasure house 17 Their excellency in wisdom.
N the third 3 | And the king spake unto Ashpenaz
stand in the king's palace, and whom they
5 And the king appointed them a daily 2 And the provision of the king's meat, and of the wine
which he drank : so nourishing them three Jehoiakin years, that at the end thereof they might stand king of Ju.
before the king.
I 2 Kings 24. 1. 2 Chron. 36. 6.
2 Heb, the wine of his drink.
6_Now among these were of the children children that eat of the portion of the king's of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. Azariah :
14 So he consented to them in this matter, 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs and proved them ten days. gave names : for he gave unto Daniel the 15 And at the end of ten days their co name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of tenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh Shadrach ; and to Mishael, of Meshach ; and than all the children which did eat the portion to, Azariah, of Abed-nego.
of the king's meat. 8 1 But Daniel purposed in his heart that 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of he would not defile himself with the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drink; and gave them pulse. drank : therefore he requested of the prince 17 1 As for these four children, God gave of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself
. them knowledge and skill in all learning and 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. all visions and dreams.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said 18 Now at the end of the days that the unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who king had said he should bring them in, then hath appointed your meat and your drink : for
drink : for the prince of the cunuchs brought them in why should he see your faces 'worse liking before Nebuchadnezzar. than the children which are of your sort? 19 And the king communed with them ; then shall ye make me endanger iny head to and among them all was found none like the king.
Daniel, Hananiahı, Mishael, and Azariah : 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the therefore stood they before the king. prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, 20 And in all matters of 'wisdom and Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
understanding, that the king enquired of them, 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten he found them ten times better than all the days; and let them give us 'pulse 'to eat, and magicians and astrologers that were in all his water to drink.
realm. 13 Then let our countenances be looked 21 And Daniel continued even unto the upon before thee, and the countenance of the first year of king Cyrus.
6 Jleb. of pulse
3 Heb. sadder.
+ Or, term, or, continuance,
5 Or, the steuard. 8 Or, he made Daniel understand.
Verse t. * Children in whom was no blemish, but well fuvoured.—That a fine person is one of the recommenda'tions for the royal service will be seen in the succeeding note. On this point the following remark may be quoted from Sir Paul Ricaut's · Present State of the Oitoman Empire:— The youths that are designed for the great offices of the Turkish empire must be of admirable features and pleasing looks, well shaped in their bodies, and without any defects of nature; for it is conceived that a corrupt and sordid soul can scarce inhabit in a serene and ingenuous aspect; and I hare observed, not only in the seraglio but also in the courts of great men, their personal attendants have been of comely, lusty youths, well habited, deporting themselves with singular modesty and respect in the presence of their masters.'
Such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace.”—The whole of the account here given of the arrangements for these picked Hebrew youths, together with the high distinction which Daniel and some of the others ultimately attained, is very instructive as to the usages of the Chaldæan court; and we have been interested in observing that there is not a single intimation in the account which may not be illustrated from the customs of the Turkish seraglio, till some alterations were made in this, as in other matters, by the late sultan. The pages of the seraglio and officers of the court, as well as the greater part of the public functionaries and governors of provinces, were originally Christian boys, taken captive in war, or bought or stolen in time of peace. The finest and most capable of these were sent to the palace, and, if accepted, were placed under the charge of the chief of the white
eunuchs. The lads did not themselves become cunuchs; which we notice, because it has been erroneously inferred that Daniel and the other Hebrew youths must have been made eunuchs, because they were committed to the care of the chief eunuch. The accepted lads were brought up in the religion of their masters; and there were schools in the palace where they received such complete instruction in Turkish learning and science as it was the lot of few others to obtain. Among their accomplishments we find it mentioned that the greatest pains were taken to teach them to speak the Turkish language (a foreign one to them) with the greatest purity, as spoken at court. Compare this with • Teach them the learning and tongue of the Chaldæans. The lads were clothed very neatly, and well, but temperately, dieted. They slept in large chambers, where there were rows of beds. Every one slept separately; and between every third or fourth bed lay a white eunuch, who served as a sort of guard, and was bound to keep a careful eye upon the conduct of the lads near him, and report his observations to his superior. When any of them arrived at a proper age they were instructed in military exercises, and pains were taken to render them active, robust, and brave. Every one also, according to the custom of the country, was taught some mechanic or liberal art, to serve him as a resource in adversity.
When their education was completed in all its branches, those who had displayed the most capacity and valour were employed about the person of the King, and the rest given to the service of the treasury and the other offices of the extensive establishment to which they belonged. In
due time the more clever or more successful young men king's meat.'-The regulations of the law rendered it inn. got promoted to the various high court offices which give possible that a strict Israelite should eat victuals prepared them access to the private apartments of the seraglio, so by any not subject to that law. This did not rest upon the that they could at almost any time see and speak to their mere distinction of animals fit or unfit for food : for the great master.
This advantage soon paved the way for law required that the animal used for food should be their promotion to the government of provinces and to killed in a peculiar manner, that the blood might be military commands; and it has often happened that thoroughly extracted from it; which was alone enough to favoured court officers have stepped at once into the post prevent them from eating of a lawful animal killed by one of grand vizier, or chief minister, and other high offices not an Israelite ; and besides this, although the animal of state, without having been previously abroad in the might be not only lawful, but might have been lawfully world as pashas and military commanders. How well this killed, they could not know that it had not been dressed agrees with and illustrates the usages of the Babylonian in combination with unlawful substances. These consicourt will clearly appear to the reader without particular derations were sufficient to prevent conscientious Israelites indication. See Habesci's ' Ottoman Empire; Tavernier's from eating food prepared not merely by heathens, but • Relation de l'Intérieur du Sérail du Grand Seigneur,' etc. by all who were not Jews; and hence they still operate in
7. · Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names.' preventing rigid Jews from eating of meat prepared for - The captive youths of whom we have spoken in the the table by Christians: they will eat at table with then, preceding notes also receive new names, that is, Moham- but not of their food, at least not of such of their food as can medan names, their former names being Christian. So in be open to any suspicion of having been prepared contrary the present case, the names are changed from Hebrew to to the Mosaical requirements. But, as against the heathen, Babylonian. Names are almost everywhere changed there was further reason of great weight. It was the with a change of religion : but in the present case, we custom of most nations, before their meals, to make an know that no change on that account took place. The oblation to their gods of some part of what they ate and circumstance is therefore to be explained with reference drank—which stood them in the place of our own grace to the general custom of changing the native names of before meat-as a thankful acknowledgment that every foreign slaves, and which is as well illustrated by the thing which they enjoyed was their gift. This gave to practice with regard to the negro slaves in European co- every meal something of the character of a sacrifice to the lonies, as by any other reference. It is uncertain whether gods they worshipped. As this practice so generally prethe Chaldæans had any particular ideas concerning the vailed, it doubtless existed among the Babylonians, and names they gave to their slaves and captives. It might it would make Daniel and his friends look upon the meat almost seem so, as the names here mentioned nowhere occur that came from the king's table as no better than meat as names of native Chaldæans : that given to Daniel, offered to idols, and by being so offered, to be accounted indeed, resembles that of a future king of Babylon (Bel- unclean or polluted. shazzar), but is a syllable longer. The Athenians were 15. Their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in very particular that their slaves should not bear names flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of accounted dignified or respectable. They commonly gave the king's meat.'—There was perhaps nothing strange in them short names, seldom of more than two syllables, this, the simple diet used by them being much more probably that they might be the more easily and quickly favourable to health and goodly appearance than the pronounced when called by their masters; and hence, luxurious food from the king's table. Harmer here when a slave became free, he changed his name again, quotes the remark of Chardin : I have observed that the taking good care that his new name should be a long one. countenances of the Kechichs are in fact more rosy and We see that Daniel continues to call himself by his native smooth than those of others, and that these people who name: and it is probable that the Hebrew captives did not, fast much-I mean the Armenians and the Greeks-are among themselves, acknowledge the names which their notwithstanding very beautiful, sparkling with health, masters imposed.
with a clear and lively countenance.' 8. • Would not defile himself with the portion of the
dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled
to know the dream. 1 Nebuchadnezzar, forgetting his dream, requireth it of the Chaldeans, by promises and threatenings. 10
4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king They acknowledging their inability are judged to die. in Syriack, 'o king, live for ever : tell thy 14 Daniel obtaining some respite findeth the dream. servants the dream, and we will shew the in19 He blesseth God. 24 He staying the decree is brought to the king. 31 The dream. 36 The inter
terpretation. pretation. 46 Daniel's advancement.
5 The king answered and said to the
Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if And in the second year of the reign of Nebu- ye will not make known unto me the dream, chadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his ? Scut in pieces, and your houses shall be sleep brake from him.
made a dunghill. 2 Then the king commanded to call the 6 But if ye shew the dream, and the intermagicians, and the astrologers, and the sor- pretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts cerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the and rewards and great honour: therefore king his dreams. So they came and stood shew me the dream, and the interpretation before the king.
thereof. 3 And the king said unto them, I have 7 They answered again and said, Let the
i Chap. 3. 9.