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Daniel 7:15-28

Context
An Angel Interprets Daniel’s Vision

7:15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed, 1  and the visions of my mind 2  were alarming me. 7:16 I approached one of those standing nearby and asked him about the meaning 3  of all this. So he spoke with me and revealed 4  to me the interpretation of the vision: 5  7:17 ‘These large beasts, which are four in number, represent four kings who will arise from the earth. 7:18 The holy ones 6  of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever.’

7:19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning 7  of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet. 7:20 I also wanted to know 8  the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes 9  and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. 10  7:21 While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating 11  them, 7:22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered 12  in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.

7:23 “This is what he told me: 13 

‘The fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth

that will differ from all the other kingdoms.

It will devour all the earth

and will trample and crush it.

7:24 The ten horns

mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom.

Another king will arise after them,

but he will be different from the earlier ones.

He will humiliate 14  three kings.

7:25 He will speak words against the Most High.

He will harass 15  the holy ones of the Most High continually.

His intention 16  will be to change times established by law. 17 

They will be delivered into his hand

For a time, times, 18  and half a time.

7:26 But the court will convene, 19  and his ruling authority will be removed –

destroyed and abolished forever!

7:27 Then the kingdom, authority,

and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven

will be delivered to the people of the holy ones 20  of the Most High.

His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;

all authorities will serve him and obey him.’

7:28 “This is the conclusion of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts troubled me greatly, and the color drained from my face. 21  But I kept the matter to myself.” 22 

1 tn The Aramaic text includes the phrase “in its sheath,” apparently viewing the body as a container or receptacle for the spirit somewhat like a sheath or scabbard is for a knife or a sword (cf. NAB “within its sheath of flesh”). For this phrase the LXX and Vulgate have “in these things.”

2 tn Aram “head.”

3 tn Aram “what is certain.”

4 tn Aram “and made known.”

5 tn Aram “matter,” but the matter at hand is of course the vision.

6 sn The expression holy ones is either a reference to angels or to human beings devoted to God.

7 tn Aram “to make certain.”

8 tn The words “I also wanted to know” are added in the translation for stylistic reasons.

9 tc The conjunction in the MT before “eyes” is odd. The ancient versions do not seem to presuppose it.

10 tn Aram “greater than its companions.”

11 tn Aram “prevailing against” (KJV and ASV both similar); NASB “overpowering them”; TEV “conquered them.”

12 tc In the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate the verb is active, understanding “judgment” to be the object rather than the subject of the verb (i.e., “the Ancient of Days rendered judgment”). This presupposes a different vocalization of the verb ( יְהַב [yÿhav] rather than the MT יְהִב [yÿhiv]).

13 tn Aram “thus he said.”

14 tn Or “subjugate”; KJV, NASB, NIV “subdue”; ASV, NRSV “put down.”

15 tn Aram “wear out” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV); NASB, NLT “wear down.” The word is a hapax legomenon in biblical Aramaic, but in biblical Hebrew it especially refers to wearing out such things as garments. Here it is translated “harass…continually.”

16 tn Aram “he will think.”

17 tn Aram “times and law.” The present translation is based on the understanding that the expression is a hendiadys.

18 sn Although the word times is vocalized in the MT as a plural, it probably should be regarded as a dual. The Masoretes may have been influenced here by the fact that in late Aramaic (and Syriac) the dual forms fall out of use. The meaning would thus be three and a half “times.”

19 tn Aram “judgment will sit” (KJV similar).

20 tn If the “holy ones” are angels, then this probably refers to the angels as protectors of God’s people. If the “holy ones” are God’s people, then this is an appositional construction, “the people who are the holy ones.” See 8:24 for the corresponding Hebrew phrase and the note there.

21 tn Aram “my brightness was changing on me.”

22 tn Aram “in my heart.”



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