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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Daniel 8

 

 

Verse 1

In the third year: 426 B.C. (see App-50). Daniel being eighty-seven.

a vision. Like the vision in Dan 7, this also is complete in itself, but is necessary to contribute its proof of the unity of the book as a whole. This vision (and the rest of the book from here) is written in Hebrew; because its purpose is to show how Gentile dominion (of Dan 2) specially concerns and affects Israel.

after. Two years after. At the end of the Babylonian empire, for Belshazaar reigned little more than two years.


Verse 2

I was at = I was in. Daniel may have retired there (during the lycanthropy of Nebuchadnezzar) when Nehemiah and Mordecai were in the court of Astyages (Nehemiah 1:1). That Daniel was there employed by Astyages is clear from Daniel 8:27.

Shushan. The chief city of all Persia.

river. Hebrew. "ubal = canal. Only here, and in verses: Daniel 8:3, Daniel 8:6.


Verse 3

saw = looked.

a ram. In Daniel 8:20 this is interpreted of Persia. A ram is always the symbol of Persia. Found to-day on ancient Persian coins. The king wore a ram"s head of gold, and rams" heads are to be seen on the sculptured pillars of Persepolis.

two horns. In Daniel 8:20 these are interpreted of the kings of Media and Persia.

higher, &c. Cyrus (the latter) became greater than his father Astyages. Both were in existence when Daniel saw the vision. Compare Daniel 8:20.


Verse 4

pushing = butting: always hostile.

westward = to the west. Not the same word as in Daniel 8:5.

became great = acted proudly.


Verse 5

he goat = a leaper of the goats. The acknowledged symbol of Greece, as the ram was of Persia (see Daniel 8:3), because the first colony was directed by an oracle to take a goat for a guide and build a city, which they did, and called it Egeae (from Aix = a goat). Figures of a goat are found to-day on ancient Macedonian monuments.

from the west. Hebrew. ma"rab. Not the place of origin, but the direction from it. In Daniel 8:4 the Hebrew = to the west.

on = over.

notable = conspicuous.


Verse 6

ran unto him. Symbolizing the rapidity of Alexander"s conquests, which, in the short space of thirteen years, subdued the world.


Verse 7

was moved with choler = moved himself, or strove violently with.

choler = bile. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for anger or wrath, which was supposed to be due to excess of bile. Greek, cholos = bile; whence we have "cholera".

none that could, &c. = no deliverer for.

hand = power. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the power put forth by it.


Verse 8

waxed very great. Referring to the great extent of Alexander"s conquests, as "ran" (Daniel 8:6) refers to the rapidity of them.

very = exceedingly.

great: or, proud. Compare Daniel 8:4.

broken = broken in pieces.

for it = instead of it.

came up. Septuagint adds "afterward".

four notable ones = four conspicuous [ones].

the four winds. See note on Daniel 7:2.

winds. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.


Verse 9

one = [the] one.

a little horn. See note on Daniel 7:8, where it is already shown that this name, and these members (Daniel 8:9 and Daniel 8:23) belong to the still future time of the end. See App-90.

waxed = grew. Anglo-Saxon, weaxan = to grow. Supply the Ellipsis (App-6), "grew [and became]"

south: i.e. Egypt.

east: i.e. Babylonia and Persia.

pleasant land = the glory of [gems]: i.e. the land of Israel. Only Ezekiel (Daniel 20:6, Daniel 20:15) and Daniel here use this term of the Holy Land. The same land as in Daniel 11:16, Daniel 11:41. Compare Psalms 106:24. Jeremiah 3:19. Zechariah 7:14.


Verse 10

even to = as far as.

host = stars. Compare Revelation 12:4.

of the host and of the stars. Figure of speech Hendiadys (App-6), for emphasis = the starry host.

stamped upon them = trampled them under foot. Compare Daniel 8:13; Daniel 7:21, Daniel 7:25.

them: i.e. the people symbolized by them.


Verse 11

to = against.

the Prince of the host. God Himself, the Creator and Ruler of the starry host, verses Daniel 10:11 are "difficult" only if Antiochus Epiphanes is assumed to fulfil them. There is no difficulty arising from "the state of the text".

Prince = Ruler. Hebrew. sar. See note on Daniel 10:13.

by him . . . was taken: or, it took away from Him: i.e. God.

daily sacrifice = the continual [burnt offering]: i.e. the morning and evening sacrifice (Numbers 28:3. 1 Chronicles 16:40. 2 Chronicles 29:7). This belongs to the time of the end, and was not fulfilled by Antiochus. His career was a foreshadowing of it, to show that the fulfillment will yet be exhausted by him who is "the little horn". See App-90; and note all the references there given (Daniel 8:11, Daniel 8:12, Daniel 8:13; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11). Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 29:38. Numbers 28:3). App-92.


Verse 12

an host. Here the word is used of a military host, in opposition to the "host" of Numbers 4:23, Numbers 4:30, Numbers 4:35, Numbers 4:39, Numbers 4:43; Numbers 8:24, Numbers 8:25.

was given him against = was set over: i.e. war is raised against "the daily sacrifice".

by reason of = by.

transgression. Hebrew. pasha". App-44.

it cast down the truth = truth was cast down. The verb is passive.

truth: i.e. the truth of God as revealed in the law and the prophets.

practised = did it with effect. Compare Daniel 8:24.

and prospered = and succeeded.


Verse 13

saint = holy [one]. An angelic attendant. Compare Daniel 4:13. Deuteronomy 33:2. Job 5:1; Job 15:15. Psalms 89:5, Psalms 89:7. Zechariah 14:5.

that certain saint = a certain [unnamed] one, or such an one, as in Ruth 4:1. Or, a proper name Palmoni = the wonderful one, or the wonderful [numberer], as in Judges 13:18. Isaiah 9:6. Psalms 139:6.

How long . . . ? Referring to the duration of what is said concerning "the daily sacrifice" and the desolation; not the interval before the fulfillment.

concerning, &c. = of "the daily sacrifice" [as taken away].

and. Supply "and [the setting up of] the desolating (or astounding) rebellion.

to give, &c. : or, after He hath given over the sanctuary, &c.

the host. Here it is the "host", the technical term for the ministers of the sanctuary. Compare Numbers 4:23, Numbers 4:30, Numbers 4:35, Numbers 4:39, Numbers 4:43; Numbers 8:24, Numbers 8:25.


Verse 14

me. Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read "him".

two thousand and three hundred days. See App-91, and note on Daniel 8:26 below.

days = evenings and mornings, the times of the offering of the "continual" or daily sacrifice.

cleansed = vindicated or sanctified: in this form, occurs only here. Compare Daniel 9:24; and see App-90.


Verse 15

man = a mighty man. Hebrew. geber. App-14. Here it is Gabriel, whence his name.


Verse 16

man"s. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.

Gabriel. The first of two angels who are named in Scripture (Compare Daniel 9:21. Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26). The second is Michael (Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Jude 1:9. Revelation 12:7).


Verse 17

son of man. Only Daniel and Ezekiel so called, beside Messiah. See note on Psalms 8:4.

at the time of the end. This gives the time to which this vision refers. See the interpretation in (verses: Daniel 8:20-25), and especially (verses: Daniel 8:23-25). See also App-90; and Compare Daniel 7:26; Daniel 9:26; Daniel 11:40; Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9, Daniel 12:13; and Matthew 24:14.

shall be. Supply the Ellipsis (App-6) by reading "[belongeth]".


Verse 18

I was in = I fell into.


Verse 19

the last end. Another indication of the time of the fulfillment of the vision at the time appointed, &c.

indignation = wrath [of God].


Verse 20

the kings. Here in Daniel 8:20 we have the beginning of the interpretation; which commences with past history with which the prophecy (which belongs to the future) is linked on. This is to connect the anticipatory and partial, or foreshadowing, fulfillment, which shows how the "little horn" will act, in a similar way as an individual, and not as a series of kings or popes.


Verse 21

is = representeth. It is the Figure of speech Metaphor (App-6).

king: or, kingdom.

Grecia = Greece.

is the first king = representeth the first king: i.e. Alexander the Great (Daniel 8:5).


Verse 22

for it = in the place thereof.

four kingdoms. These are said to have been: (1) Ptolemy"s (Egypt, Palestine, and some parts of Asia Minor); (2) Cassander"s (Macedonia and Greece); (3) Lysimachus"s (Bithynia, Thrace, Mysia, &c.); (4) Seleucus"s (Syria, Armenia, and territory east of the Euphrates). But the continuity of Alexander"s dominion ceased with him, and will not be seen again till "the little horn" arises.

the nation. Septuagint and Vulgate read "his nation".

not in his power: i.e. not with Alexander"s vigour of action and endurance.


Verse 23

the latter time of their kingdom, &c. This is a further indication as to the interpretation of this vision.

the transgressors. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read "transgressions". Hebrew. pasha", as in Daniel 8:12 = rebellions. Compare Daniel 9:24.

are come to the full: or, have filled up their measure. Therefore not full yet. This is a blow to all who are vainly trying to make the world better, and to "realize the kingdom of God on earth" now.

a king of fierce countenance = a king of mighty presence. One of the titles of the antichrist. See note on Daniel 7:8.

understanding dark sentences = skilled in dissimulation.


Verse 24

not by his own power. We are not told here who is the giver of the power, but we are not left in ignorance. Revelation 13:2, and 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:10, are clear on this point.

mighty = mighty ones.

holy People = People of the holy ones. These are "the holy ones of the Most High" (Daniel 7:18, Daniel 7:22).


Verse 25

craft = deceit.

by peace = by their prosperity, or careless security.

the Prince of princes: i.e. the Messiah.

he shall be broken without hand. To understand this read Isaiah 11:4. 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Revelation 19:19, Revelation 19:20. Compare Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 14:25; Isaiah 31:8. Micah 5:6-7. Zephaniah 2:13. Zechariah 10:11. Nahum 1:11.


Verse 26

the evening and the morning. See note on "days" (App-90). These are interpreted as being 2,800 days. No one may interpret the interpretation and say they are "years".

is true = it [is] truth.

shut thou up. As in Daniel 12:4.

it shall be, &c. Supply the Ellipsis (App-6) thus: "it [belongeth] to many days [to come]": i.e. to a yet future time


Verse 27

fainted. The Septuagint omits "fainted, and".

the king"s business. In Shushan, whither he had gone. See note on Daniel 8:2.

astonished = dumb.

understood = became aware of.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 8:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/daniel-8.html. 1909-1922.

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