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Daniel 8:8-12

Context
8:8 The male goat acted even more arrogantly. But no sooner had the large horn become strong than it was broken, and there arose four conspicuous horns 1  in its place, 2  extending toward the four winds of the sky. 3 

8:9 From one of them came a small horn. 4  But it grew to be very big, toward the south and the east and toward the beautiful land. 5  8:10 It grew so big it reached the army 6  of heaven, and it brought about the fall of some of the army and some of the stars 7  to the ground, where it trampled them. 8:11 It also acted arrogantly against the Prince of the army, 8  from whom 9  the daily sacrifice was removed and whose sanctuary 10  was thrown down. 8:12 The army was given over, 11  along with the daily sacrifice, in the course of his sinful rebellion. 12  It hurled 13  truth 14  to the ground and enjoyed success. 15 

1 tn The word “horns” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

2 sn The four conspicuous horns refer to Alexander’s successors. After his death, Alexander’s empire was divided up among four of his generals: Cassander, who took Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus, who took Thrace and parts of Asia Minor; Seleucus, who took Syria and territory to its east; and Ptolemy, who took control of Egypt.

3 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

4 sn This small horn is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who controlled the Seleucid kingdom from ca. 175-164 B.C. Antiochus was extremely hostile toward the Jews and persecuted them mercilessly.

5 sn The expression the beautiful land (Heb. הַצֶּבִי [hatsÿvi] = “the beauty”) is a cryptic reference to the land of Israel. Cf. 11:16, 41, where it is preceded by the word אֶרֶץ (’erets, “land”).

6 tn Traditionally, “host.” The term refers to God’s heavenly angelic assembly, which he sometimes leads into battle as an army.

7 sn In prescientific Israelite thinking the stars were associated with the angelic members of God’s heavenly assembly. See Judg 5:20; Job 38:7; Isa 40:26. In west Semitic mythology the stars were members of the high god’s divine assembly (see Isa 14:13).

8 sn The prince of the army may refer to God (cf. “whose sanctuary” later in the verse) or to the angel Michael (cf. 12:1).

9 tn Or perhaps “and by him,” referring to Antiochus rather than to God.

10 sn Here the sanctuary is a reference to the temple of God in Jerusalem.

11 tc The present translation reads וּצְבָאָהּ נִתַּן (utsÿvaah nittan) for the MT וְצָבָא תִּנָּתֵן (vÿtsavatinnaten). The context suggests a perfect rather than an imperfect verb.

12 tn Heb “in (the course of) rebellion.” The meaning of the phrase is difficult to determine. It could mean “due to rebellion,” referring to the failures of the Jews, but this is not likely since it is not a point made elsewhere in the book. The phrase more probably refers to the rebellion against God and the atrocities against the Jews epitomized by Antiochus.

13 tc Two medieval Hebrew MSS and the LXX have a passive verb here: “truth was hurled to the ground” (cf. NIV, NCV, TEV).

14 sn Truth here probably refers to the Torah. According to 1 Macc 1:56, Antiochus initiated destruction of the sacred books of the Jews.

15 tn Heb “it acted and prospered.”



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