1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision [chazon]
appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me
at the first.
2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram. . . .
- Two Hebrew words translated as "vision." (The
one at the left identifies this note with verse 1)
Since the words mareh and chazon are both translated as "vision," we may ask why the Holy Spirit would have directed Daniel to use both words if there was not an important difference. Any definition we adopt must be in harmony with the contexts of all the occurrences of both words, especially in the book of Daniel.
From such a study we may understand Chazon (or hazon) to be what the prophet sees or experiences in symbols, while mareh – literally "revelation" – would be an explanation. Thus the explanation or revelation of a chazon is a mareh. The term mareh also means "appearance" as when Gabriel was revealed to the prophet's sight. A revelation itself, as we see in this chapter, may require further revelation (mareh). This definition may be changed by further study. I am told that the terms that represent diety are described with mareh.
8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
Little horn from a wind
Expositors who see Antiochus IV Epiphanies as the little horn interpret this verse to show that this new horn grew out of the Seleucid (Syrian) kingdom. The Seleucid dynasty is correctly represented by one of the four horns arising from the division of the fallen Grecian empire. However, according to Hebrew grammar, the little horn is best seen as coming from one of the winds of heaven. The gender must agree for pronouns as well as for nouns and numerals. Here "one [fem.] of them [masc. or fem.]" stands for "a wind [fem.] from the heavens [masc. or fem.]." Although the little horn did emerge from the direction of one of the four horns, the direction of the wind is significant. The very distinction leads us to look for a power different from another king. We are seeing the same transition here as we did in chapter 7 where the lineup of powers was beast, beast, beast, beast, then arrogant horn. Here the series is similar. It is domestic animal (2 horns), domestic animal (1 horn that became 4), then an arrogant horn from a wind.
Two historical points help support the interpretation. (a) Imperial Rome was not in the area held by one of the generals who succeeded Alexander. In chapter 7 we saw the horn coming out of Rome which was in one of the four directions or winds. (b) Those who see Antiochus Epiphanes as the little horn point out that he arose from one of the horns of Alexander, the goat. For a number of reasons, Antiochus does not fit the description in the text. See re1305c.
Did we skip Imperial
(or glorious) land
"Pleasant" here is from tsebee which means beauty, glory, honor or bounty. Because the word, "land," is supplied, we may better see tsebee as a noun – "glory." It is so translated in is2805. From Daniel's viewpoint, this would have been Palestine, or Jerusalem, or thinking of the glory in the most holy place, the temple which had been rebuilt before 63 AD when Palestine became a province of Rome. In Dan. 11:16, 41, the word, "land" is in the text, each time with the adjective, tsebee. da1116.
Are the stars people?
Some see both host and stars as faithful people. We could argue that the stars are leaders or knowledgeable people with the "host" as those with only a dim understanding. See da1203. Here is why I prefer to see the stars as trampled nations.
Any distinction between the two types of people seems artificial.
The story is repeated beginning in v23. The correspondence of stars and host here is to the mighty and the holy people there da08paral-10b. In the historical fulfillment the "stars" or "mighty" were nations of the "Holy Roman Empire" brought into indirect subjection by the papacy.
When the horn arose from littleness it uprooted three other horns which were of a different nature. These different horns were nations. Here we are looking at a different situation. The symbol of horns is not used partly because the horn is not emerging from the beast but is reaching into the heavens. The symbols are thus celestial. The distinction in the sky may have been between planets (stars) and stars (host).
In da1203 (cited above). Those who bring many to righteousness shine as the stars, but they are not pictured as stars.
The trampling in v13 is a little different in that it is resolved by the cleansing of the sanctuary. The stars are not mentioned. This is in harmony with the idea that they are nations.
|11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away [literally "exalted' or "lifted up"], and the place of his sanctuary was cast down||11b1
The daily taken away - Letters (like the "b" here at the left) for
the notes refer to the part of the verse dealt with.
The Hebrew word translated "the daily" is ha tamid. It is better translated "the continuation." Here it is the continuation of pagan abominations. One of many references to the abominations which were a temptation to the people of God is recorded in 2nd Kings. 2ki1603.The Hebrew word for "taken away" here is rûm. and basically means "lifted up" or "exalted." The translation as "taken away" may have been influenced by the interpretation translators had in mind. We see paganism exalted by the church which wanted to please the pagan kingdoms of Europe which they called "The Holy Roman Empire." Thus ceremonies involving their goddess of fertility, Estere, became Easter. Many of the pagan images they worshipped now had names of Bible characters. The night pagans thought the spirits came back to their tombs became Halloween (Holy Evening). Pagan holy water was now administered by a Christian priest. Their holy fir tree, hot crossed buns, and other objects all had new owners. Their holidays, of the winter solstice, the spring equinox, and even Sunday, were now "Christian." (Sunday worship was in place in the dominant church long before this time. Emperors Hadrian and Constantine the Great strengthened the new day of worship. The practice which epitomizes the lifting up of pagan practices is the Eucharist re1408euch.
In two other Daniel verses (11:31 and 12:11), the verb translated "take away" is cuwr or sur and correctly describes what happened to the "daily." It was the official removal of pagan worship from the pagan nations and its continuation under the control of the church. See on da1131, and da1211. These were officially taken away from the nations and continued under the control of the church. See on da1211 (linked above).
The problem of continuation is also seen in 8:13 where the question is asked, "Until when, the vision, the continuation, and the devastating trespass, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden? (literal translation). Thus "continuation" is appropriate in the context. Also see Daniel's concern for the desolate sanctuary da0917.
When was the continuation of pagan worship exalted? It was a gradual process but one point in history gave the new blended religious and political leadership a significant step to more powerful action. When the Ostrogoth army withdrew from their siege of Rome, the pontiff became the political as well as the religious leader of Western Roman Empire (A.D. 538). So how could paganism have been taken away? The Frankish king, Clovis, was converted to the Christian religion and became an ally of the bishops. The pagan religion, although not dead, had officially been replaced by Christianity. Clovis provided financial assistance to the church and even called the Council of Orleans in 511, the year of his death. In a sense, paganism had been taken away from the pagans. It had new ownership.
The word "sacrifice" does not belong in these texts at all. (It is a word supplied by translators.) Most commentators today see the prophecy fulfilled when the daily sacrifices were suspended (taken away) by the desecration of the Jewish temple in the 2nd century B.C. The daily sacrifices represented the continuing ministry of Christ through our contact with heaven. As we see in the letter to the Hebrew Christians, the ministry of Christ was never taken away, not even by the little horn power.
|11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away [literally "exalted' or "lifted up"], and the place of his sanctuary was cast down||11b2
The word, sacrifice, is simply not in the text. It distorts the meaning. "The daily" is translated from ha tamide. Tamide is usually an adjective meaning "continual" ex2942; nu2806 or an adverb ps04011. Verses such as these from Exodus and Numbers are used to justify adding the word "sacrifice" here in Daniel. Proper exegesis, however, demands justification from the context. Such contexutal evidence is absent in my opinion. Five times in the book of Daniel the word "sacrifice(s)" is added by translators making "daily" a modifier. Only once is "sacrifice" from the Hebrew da0927. The multiple occurrences argue that the word "sacrifice" does not belong to the meaning of the present text. The five are da0811 (at left), da0812, da0813, and da1131, da1211 (also linked above).
We cannot assume that the word belongs in our interpretation.
|11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away [ rûm, literally "exalted" or "lifted up"], and the place of his sanctuary was cast down||11c
Sanctuary thrown down
We think first of God's sanctuary, but the word is miqdash, which often means a secular fortress or temple (for example is1612). The word coming up in verse 14 for God's sanctuary is qodesh which is always a sacred place. This commentary holds that miqdash here is the foundation or core of pagan religion. Thus the verse would picture the overthrow of pagan "strongholds" perhaps of both political and religious power. The alternate view recognizes that miqdash may also be translated as God's "sanctuary." To understand why this commentary does not take this position, consider the following:
It is unreasonable to see the place of God's sanctuary as exalted by the horn power and taking it away is hard to see from rûm.
Casting down the place of the pagan sanctuary is in contrast to lifting up (exalting) the "daily" (the continuation of paganism under the authority of the church). Note that the sanctuary miqdash was not cast down, only its place (ownership) was.
It is unreasonable to see qodesh and miqdash describing the same sanctuary in the immediate context. The Spirit directed the difference for a reason.
The text describes the same event as is in Revelation where the beast (equivalent to the horn here) received his throne, power, seat, and authority from the dragon (which represented pagan Rome) re1302.
Common interpretations of these passages overlook the implications we have found here. And the more popular ideas don't really fit if you look closely. We certainly respect those whose worship includes these pagan ideas. Most don't realize the origin of their ceremonies and are dear Christian people.
|11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away [literally "exalted' or "lifted up"], and the place of his sanctuary was cast down||11m-
The continuation (daily) as the ministry of Christ
Some who believe that the "daily" was "taken away" also believe that it represents the ministry of Christ in the sanctuary of heaven he0801. This is not the position of this commentary for several reasons.
Christ's ministry cannot be taken away according to Heb. 7:25. Those who see it as the "daily" which was "taken away," explain that it was taken away in the minds of the people. However, even during this dark time, some people still recognized Christ as the one who directly provided their salvation by His work in the heavenly sanctuary. His ministry was not taken away from them.
It would be correct to say that the church pretended to remove the ministry of Christ. It appointed His vital ministry of forgiveness to human priests 1 Tim. 2:5. But pretending to remove it was not removing it any more than pretending to change the divine law actually changed the day God had appointed for rest Dan. 7:25.
The actual history and the more literal reading of the text are better described considering the continuance (daily) as pagan abominations which were continued under Christianity.
The whole operation of the sanctuary which is trampled v13 is the ministry of Christ. Ps. 77:13 KJV, John 1:29. Having two different words ("daily" and "sanctuary") for the ministry of Christ in the same passage for the same thing cannot be justified.
And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression,
and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
Or literally "An army was given over [to the horn] with the continuation in rebellion (or transgression). And it [the horn] cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered."
Notice, in the alternate translation, that the army was provided in connection with the "continuation in rebellion." Although the continuation was adopted by the church later than the date shown below for the army, it was part of the process v11.
"By his conversion . . . [King] Clovis made definitely sure of the Roman inhabitants and gave the Church an army (496). Thenceforward he devoted himself to the foundation of the Frankish monarchy by driving the exhausted and demoralized heretics out of Gaul, and by putting himself in the place of the now enfeebled emperor." Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, p. 804.
In the parallel prophecy, the wicked king (different symbol for the horn power), arises when the transgressors (Imperial Rome and perhaps, Islam) reach their fullness v23. In the parallel prophecy, the wicked king (a different symbol for the horn power), arises when the transgressors (Imperial Rome and perhaps, Islam) reach their fullness v23. Clovis was symbolic of the church with new political power that developed as a result of His leadership. At a later date, the army against the transgressors is seen in the Crusades. These were military and religious campaigns mainly focused on removing those termed "infidels" from Jerusalem. For encyclopedia excerpts on the crusades, go. For Internet links relating to the crusades go.
|14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.||13
and 14a How long?
We are looking for the answer to the question of verse 13 which asked how long would be the vision about the two evil powers that trample sanctuary and host. So, when did the vision begin? Our answer is in verses 2 and 3 quoted above. It was when the ram was standing – while Medo-Persia was in power. In Gabriel's explanation of the vision we assume the same thing although it isn't as clear v20. The ending of the vision is clear in the explanation and not so clear in the vision itself. It is when the king is broken without hand v25. (He plays the same role as the horn did in the vision. See parallel chart.)
Is this trampling time 2300 literal days (somewhat more than 6 years)? Obviously not since the vision continues to beyond the time of Greece. In fact, the king has not yet been removed by God. We are looking at symbolic language and realize that a "day" stands for a longer period of time. The symbolism for this rebellion of the "daily" and "transgression" comes from the rebellion in the wilderness where 40 years of wandering was given for 40 days of inspecting the promised land nu1434.
Some believe Antiochus IV Epiphanes, not the papacy, is the horn. See re1305c-po.
|14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days [evenings and mornings]; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.||14b
Evenings and mornings
This definition of a day came from creation week ge0105. Each of the first six days were described as "evening and morning." On the seventh day God rested ge0202 from His work and made the day holy for the people He had created. After a period of 2300 more evenings and mornings He would begin His finishing work, ministering the blood shed at the cross in the presence of the Father's glory at the ark of the heavenly sanctuary. Thus the way is prepared for the Eden created in evenings and mornings to be restored. The decree which initiated the restoration of ancient Jerusalem da0924 thus symbolizes the beginning of the restoration for the New Jerusalem – Christ's redeemed people. This would be their Sabbath rest he04. I have shared concepts here that require understanding other passages. Understanding the next chapter will help.
Some see the evenings and mornings as referring to the daily sacrifices. This is likely why the word "daily" was used (incorrectly) to translate tamyd. The Hebrew word does not express a periodic process such as "daily" although, in a larger time perspective one could argue for it. The sacrifices were "morning and evening" not "evening and morning" 1ch1640. The word tamyd is used in this verse as an adverb. It is used as a noun only in the book of Daniel. The word "continuation" is a better choice.
|14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.||14c
Twenty-three centuries after the time of Daniel there would be no Jewish temple in operation so we look to the one in heaven. We have other reasons for this conclusion. The new covenant temple (sanctuary) is the one the Lord pitched and for which Christ is the high priest he0801,2. The sanctuary is a picture of Christ working for our salvation.
John wrote about a time when attention would be focused on the temple, the altar, and the worshippers re1101. The whole page where the link takes you is helpful for understanding the meaning of what we read here in Daniel. The word "sanctuary" is from qodesh referring only to God's sanctuary (temple or tabernacle and the area around it).
|14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.||14d
The Hebrew word is tsadaq appears only this once in this grammatical form. The Vulgate and the Septuagint (Latin and Greek translations) have "cleansed." Other English translations have "justified" or "restored" or "vindicated." These are also good translations and mean essentially the same thing in the setting of the sanctuary. They describe the grand object of the day of atonement. This is all more fully explained on the page mentioned above re1101top.