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Daniel 8:15-27

Context
An Angel Interprets Daniel’s Vision

8:15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision, I sought to understand it. Now one who appeared to be a man was standing before me. 8:16 Then I heard a human voice coming from between the banks of the Ulai. It called out, “Gabriel, 1  enable this person to understand the vision.” 8:17 So he approached the place where I was standing. As he came, I felt terrified and fell flat on the ground. 2  Then he said to me, “Understand, son of man, 3  that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” 8:18 As he spoke with me, I fell into a trance with my face to the ground. But he touched me and stood me upright. 4 

8:19 Then he said, “I am going to inform you about what will happen in the latter time of wrath, for the vision 5  pertains to the appointed time of the end. 8:20 The ram that you saw with the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia. 8:21 The male goat 6  is the king of Greece, 7  and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 8:22 The horn that was broken 8  and in whose place there arose four others stands for four kingdoms that will arise from his nation, though they will not have his strength. 8:23 Toward the end of their rule, when rebellious acts 9  are complete, a rash 10  and deceitful 11  king will arise. 12  8:24 His power will be great, but it will not be by his strength alone. He will cause terrible destruction. 13  He will be successful in what he undertakes. 14  He will destroy powerful people and the people of the holy ones. 15  8:25 By his treachery 16  he will succeed through deceit. 17  He will have an arrogant attitude, 18  and he will destroy many who are unaware of his schemes. 19  He will rise up against the Prince of princes, yet he will be broken apart – but not by human agency. 20  8:26 The vision of the evenings and mornings that was told to you is correct. 21  But you should seal up the vision, for it refers to a time many days from now.”

8:27 I, Daniel, was exhausted 22  and sick for days. Then I got up and again carried out the king’s business. But I was astonished at the vision, and there was no one to explain it.

1 sn The only angels whose names are given in the OT are Gabriel (Dan 8:16; 9:21; cf. Luke 1:19, 26) and Michael (Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1; cf. Jude 9; Rev 12:7). The name Gabriel means in Hebrew “man of God,” and Michael means “who is like God?”

2 tn Heb “on my face.”

3 tn Or “human one.”

4 tn Heb “on my standing.”

5 tn The Hebrew text does not actually state the referent (the vision Daniel saw in vv. 8-12; cf. also v. 13), which has been specified in the translation for clarity. Some Greek witnesses add “the vision” here.

6 tn Heb “the he-goat, the buck.” The expression is odd, and the second word may be an explanatory gloss.

7 tn Heb “Javan.”

8 tn Heb “the broken one.” The word “horn” has been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent.

9 tc The present translation reads הַפְּשָׁעִים (happÿshaim, “rebellious acts”) for the MT הַפֹּשְׁעִים (happoshÿim, “rebels”). While the MT is understandable (cf. NIV, “when rebels have become completely wicked”), the filling up of transgressions is a familiar OT expression (cf. Gen 15:16) and fits this context well. Cf. the LXX, Theodotion, the Vulgate, and the Syriac.

10 tn Heb “strong of face.”

11 tn Heb “understanding riddles.” Possible meanings include “double-dealing” (BDB 295 s.v. חִידָה; cf. TEV, CEV) and “with a good knowledge of intrigue” (HALOT 309 s.v. חִידָה; cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

12 tn Heb “stand” or “stand up.”

13 tn Heb “extraordinarily he will destroy.”

14 tn Heb “he will succeed and act.”

15 tn See the corresponding Aramaic expression in 7:27. If the “holy ones” are angels, then this probably refers to the angels as protectors of God’s people. One could translate, “people belonging to (i.e., protected by) the holy ones.” If the “holy ones” are God’s people, then this is an appositional construction, “the people who are the holy ones.” One could translate simply “holy people.” For examples of a plural appositional genitive after “people,” see 11:15, 32. Because either interpretation is possible, the translation has deliberately preserved the ambiguity of the Hebrew grammar here.

16 tn The Hebrew term has a primary meaning of “skill, insight,” but here it has the connotation “cunning, treachery.” See BDB 968 s.v. שֵׂכֶל, שֶׂכֶל.

17 tn Heb “he will cause deceit to succeed by his hand.”

18 tn Heb “in his heart he will act arrogantly.”

19 tn Heb “in peace.” The Hebrew word used here is difficult. It may refer to the security felt by those who did not realize the danger of imminent attack, or it may refer to the condition of being unaware of the impending danger. The latter idea is reflected in the present translation. See further, BDB 1017 s.v. שַׁלְוָה.

20 tn Heb “with nothingness of hand.”

21 tn Heb “truth.”

22 tn The Hebrew word here is נִהְיֵיתִי (nihyetiy). Its meaning is not entirely clear. Hebrew הָיָה (hayah) normally has meanings such as “to be” or “become.” Here, however, it describes Daniel’s emotional and physical response to the enigmatic vision that he has seen. It is parallel to the following verb, which refers to illness, and seems to refer to a state of utter exhaustion due to the amazing things that Daniel has just seen. The LXX lacks the word. On the meaning of the word see further, BDB 227-28 s.v. הָיָה Niph.2; DCH 2:540 s.v. היה I Ni.3.



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