New English Translation
Daniel has a Vision of Four Animals Coming up from the Sea
7 In the first[a] year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had[b] a dream filled with visions[c] while he was lying on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream in summary fashion.[d] 2 Daniel explained:[e] “I was watching in my vision during the night as[f] the four winds of the sky[g] were stirring up the great sea.[h] 3 Then four large beasts came up from the sea; they were different from one another.
4 “The first one was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind[i] was given to it.[j]
7 “After these things, as I was watching in the night visions[s] a fourth beast appeared—one dreadful, terrible, and very strong.[t] It had two large rows[u] of iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns.
8 “As I was contemplating the horns, another horn—a small one—came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it.[v] This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant[w] things.
9 “While I was watching,
thrones were set up,
and the Ancient of Days[x] took his seat.
His attire was white like snow;
the hair of his head was like lamb’s[y] wool.
His throne was ablaze with fire
and its wheels were all aflame.[z]
10 A river of fire was streaming forth
and proceeding from his presence.
Many thousands were ministering to him;
many tens of thousands stood ready to serve him.[aa]
The court convened[ab]
and the books were opened.
11 “Then I kept on watching because of the arrogant words of the horn that was speaking. I was watching[ac] until the beast was killed and its body destroyed and thrown into[ad] the flaming fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their ruling authority had already been removed, though they were permitted to go on living[ae] for a time and a season.
13 “I was watching in the night visions,
And with[af] the clouds of the sky[ag]
one like a son of man[ah] was approaching.
He went up to the Ancient of Days
and was escorted[ai] before him.
14 To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty.
All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving[aj] him.
His authority is eternal and will not pass away.[ak]
His kingdom will not be destroyed.[al]
An Angel Interprets Daniel’s Vision
15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed,[am] and the visions of my mind[an] were alarming me. 16 I approached one of those standing nearby and asked him about the meaning[ao] of all this. So he spoke with me and revealed[ap] to me the interpretation of the vision:[aq] 17 ‘These large beasts, which are four in number, represent four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 The holy ones[ar] of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever.’
19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning[as] 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. 20 I also wanted to know[at] the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn that came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes[au] and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others.[av] 21 While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating[aw] them, 22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered[ax] in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.
23 “This is what he told me:[ay]
‘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.
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[az] three kings.
25 He will speak words against the Most High.
He will harass[ba] the holy ones of the Most High continually.
His intention will be[bb] to change times established by law.[bc]
The holy ones will be delivered into his hand
for a time, times,[bd] and half a time.
26 But the court will convene,[be] and his ruling authority will be removed—
destroyed and abolished forever!
27 Then the kingdom, authority,
and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
will be delivered to the people of the holy ones[bf] of the Most High.
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
all authorities will serve him and obey him.’
Daniel Has a Vision of a Goat and a Ram
8 [bi] In the third year[bj] of King Belshazzar’s reign, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me previously.[bk] 2 In this[bl] vision I saw myself in Susa[bm] the citadel,[bn] which is located in the province of Elam. In the vision I saw myself at the Ulai Canal.[bo] 3 I looked up[bp] and saw[bq] a[br] ram with two horns standing at the canal. Its two horns were both long,[bs] but one was longer than the other. The longer one was coming up after the shorter one. 4 I saw that the ram was butting westward, northward, and southward. No animal[bt] was able to stand before it, and there was none who could deliver from its power.[bu] It did as it pleased and acted arrogantly.[bv]
5 While I was contemplating all this,[bw] a male goat[bx] was coming from the west over the surface of all the land[by] without touching the ground. This goat had a conspicuous horn[bz] between its eyes. 6 It came to the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the canal and rushed against it with raging strength.[ca] 7 I saw it approaching the ram. It went into a fit of rage against the ram[cb] and struck it[cc] and broke off its two horns. The ram had no ability to resist it.[cd] The goat hurled the ram[ce] to the ground and trampled it. No one could deliver the ram from its power.[cf] 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[cg] in its place,[ch] extending toward the four winds of the sky.[ci]
9 From one of them came a small horn,[cj] but it grew to be very great toward the south and the east and toward the beautiful land.[ck] 10 It grew so great it reached the army[cl] of heaven, and it brought about the fall of some of the army and some of the stars[cm] to the ground, where it trampled them. 11 It also acted arrogantly against the Prince of the army,[cn] from whom[co] the daily sacrifice was removed and whose sanctuary[cp] was thrown down. 12 The army was given over,[cq] along with the daily sacrifice, in the course of his sinful rebellion.[cr] It hurled[cs] truth[ct] to the ground and enjoyed success.[cu]
13 Then I heard a holy one[cv] speaking. Another holy one said to the one who was speaking, “To what period of time does the vision pertain—this vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the destructive act of rebellion and the giving over of both the sanctuary and army to be trampled?” 14 He said to me, “To 2,300 evenings and mornings;[cw] then the sanctuary will be put right again.”[cx]
An Angel Interprets Daniel’s Vision
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. 16 Then I heard a human voice coming from between the banks of the Ulai. It called out, “Gabriel,[cy] enable this person to understand the vision.” 17 So he approached the place where I was standing. As he came, I felt terrified and fell flat on the ground.[cz] Then he said to me, “Understand, son of man,[da] that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” 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.[db]
19 Then he said, “I am going to inform you about what will happen in the latter time of wrath, for the vision[dc] pertains to the appointed time of the end. 20 The ram that you saw with the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The male goat[dd] is the king of Greece,[de] and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The horn that was broken[df] 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. 23 Toward the end of their rule, when rebellious acts[dg] are complete, a rash[dh] and deceitful[di] king will arise.[dj] 24 His power will be great, but it will not be by his strength alone. He will cause terrible destruction.[dk] He will be successful in what he undertakes.[dl] He will destroy powerful people and the people of the holy ones.[dm] 25 By his treachery[dn] he will succeed through deceit.[do] He will have an arrogant attitude,[dp] and he will destroy many who are unaware of his schemes.[dq] He will rise up against the Prince of princes, yet he will be broken apart—but not by human agency.[dr] 26 The vision of the evenings and mornings that was told to you is correct.[ds] But you should seal up the vision, for it refers to a time many days from now.”
27 I, Daniel, was exhausted[dt] 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.
Daniel Prays for His People
9 In the first year of Darius[du] son of Ahasuerus,[dv] who was of Median descent and who had been[dw] appointed king over the Babylonian[dx] empire— 2 in the first year of his reign[dy] I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books[dz] that the number of years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem, which had come as the Lord’s[ea] message to the prophet Jeremiah, would be 70 years. 3 So I turned my attention[eb] to the Lord God[ec] to implore him by prayer and requests, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.[ed] 4 I prayed to the Lord my God, confessing in this way:
“O Lord,[ee] great and awesome God who is faithful to his covenant[ef] with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned! We have done what is wrong and wicked; we have rebelled by turning away from your commandments and standards. 6 We have not paid attention to your servants the prophets, who spoke by your authority[eg] to our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors,[eh] and to all the inhabitants[ei] of the land as well.
7 “You are righteous,[ej] O Lord, but we are humiliated this day[ek]—the people[el] of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far away in all the countries in which you have scattered them, because they have behaved unfaithfully toward you. 8 O Lord, we have been humiliated[em]—our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors—because we have sinned against you. 9 Yet the Lord our God is compassionate and forgiving,[en] even though we have rebelled against him. 10 We have not obeyed[eo] the Lord our God by living according to[ep] his laws[eq] that he set before us through his servants the prophets.
11 “All Israel has broken[er] your law and turned away by not obeying you.[es] Therefore you have poured out on us the judgment solemnly threatened[et] in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against you.[eu] 12 He has carried out his threats[ev] against us and our rulers[ew] who were over[ex] us by bringing great calamity on us—what has happened to Jerusalem has never been equaled under all heaven! 13 Just as it is written in the law of Moses, so all this calamity has come on us. Still we have not tried to pacify[ey] the Lord our God by turning back from our sin and by seeking wisdom[ez] from your reliable moral standards.[fa] 14 The Lord was mindful of the calamity, and he brought it on us. For the Lord our God is just[fb] in all he has done,[fc] and we have not obeyed him.[fd]
15 “Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with great power[fe] and made a name for yourself that is remembered to this day—we have sinned and behaved wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all your justice,[ff] please turn your raging anger[fg] away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. For due to our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people are mocked by all our neighbors.
17 “So now, our God, accept[fh] the prayer and requests of your servant, and show favor to[fi] your devastated sanctuary for your own sake.[fj] 18 Listen attentively,[fk] my God, and hear! Open your eyes and look on our desolated ruins[fl] and the city called by your name.[fm] For it is not because of our own righteous deeds that we are praying to you,[fn] but because your compassion is abundant. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, pay attention, and act! Don’t delay, for your own sake, O my God! For your city and your people are called by your name.”[fo]
Gabriel Gives to Daniel a Prophecy of Seventy Weeks
20 While I was still speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and presenting my request before the Lord my God concerning his holy mountain[fp]— 21 yes, while I was still praying,[fq] the man Gabriel, whom I had seen previously[fr] in a vision, was approaching me in my state of extreme weariness,[fs] around the time of the evening offering. 22 He spoke with me, instructing me as follows:[ft] “Daniel, I have now come to impart understanding to you. 23 At the beginning of your requests a message went out, and I have come to convey it to you, for you are of great value in God’s sight.[fu] Therefore consider the message and understand the vision:[fv]
24 “Seventy weeks[fw] have been determined
concerning your people and your holy city
to put an end to[fx] rebellion,
to bring sin[fy] to completion,[fz]
to atone for iniquity,
to bring in perpetual[ga] righteousness,
to seal up[gb] the prophetic vision,[gc]
and to anoint a Most Holy Place.[gd]
25 So know and understand:
From the issuing of the command[ge] to restore and rebuild
Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives,[gf]
there will be a period of seven weeks[gg] and sixty-two weeks.
It will again be built,[gh] with plaza and moat,
but in distressful times.
26 Now after the sixty-two weeks,
an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing.[gi]
As for the city and the sanctuary,
the people of the coming prince will destroy[gj] them.
But his end will come speedily[gk] like a flood.[gl]
Until the end of the war that has been decreed
there will be destruction.
27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one week.[gm]
But in the middle of that week
he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt.
On the wing[gn] of abominations will come[go] one who destroys,
until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”
- Daniel 7:1 sn The first year of Belshazzar’s reign would have been ca. 553 b.c. Daniel would have been approximately 67 years old at the time of this vision.
- Daniel 7:1 tn Aram “saw.”
- Daniel 7:1 tn Aram “and visions of his head.” The Aramaic is difficult here. Some scholars add a verb thought to be missing (e.g., “the visions of his head [were alarming him]”), but there is no external evidence to support such a decision, and the awkwardness of the text at this point may be original.
- Daniel 7:1 tn Aram “head of words.” The phrase is absent in Theodotion. Cf. NIV’s “the substance of his dream.”
- Daniel 7:2 tn Aram “answered and said.”
- Daniel 7:2 tn Aram “and behold.”
- Daniel 7:2 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Daniel 7:2 sn The referent of the great sea is unclear. The common view that the expression refers to the Mediterranean Sea is conjectural.
- Daniel 7:4 tn Aram “heart of a man.”
- Daniel 7:4 sn The identity of the first animal, derived from v. 17 and the parallels in chap. 2, is Babylon. The reference to the plucking of its wings is probably a reference to the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity (cf. chap. 4). The latter part of v. 4 then describes the restoration of Nebuchadnezzar. The other animals have traditionally been understood to represent respectively Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, although most of modern scholarship identifies them as Media, Persia, and Greece. For a biblical parallel to the mention of lion, bear, and leopard together, see Hos 13:7-8.
- Daniel 7:5 tn Aram “and behold.”
- Daniel 7:5 sn The three ribs held securely in the mouth of the bear, perhaps representing Media-Persia, apparently symbolize military conquest, but the exact identity of the “ribs” is not clear. Possibly it is a reference to the Persian conquest of Lydia, Egypt, and Babylonia.
- Daniel 7:5 tc The LXX lacks the phrase “between its teeth.”
- Daniel 7:5 tn Aram “and thus they were saying to it.”
- Daniel 7:6 tn Aram “this,” as also in v. 7.
- Daniel 7:6 tn Aram “and behold, another one.”
- Daniel 7:6 tn Or “sides.”
- Daniel 7:6 sn If the third animal is Greece, the most likely identification of these four heads is the fourfold division of the empire of Alexander the Great following his death (see note on Dan 8:8).
- Daniel 7:7 tn The Aramaic text has also “and behold,” as also in vv. 8, 13.
- Daniel 7:7 sn The fourth animal differs from the others in that it is nondescript. Apparently it was so fearsome that Daniel could find nothing with which to compare it. Attempts to identify this animal as an elephant or other known creature are conjectural.
- Daniel 7:7 tn The Aramaic word for “teeth” is dual rather than plural, suggesting two rows of teeth.
- Daniel 7:8 tn Aram “were uprooted from before it.”
- Daniel 7:8 tn Aram “great,” as also in vv. 11, 20.
- Daniel 7:9 tn Or “the Ancient One” (NAB, NRSV, NLT), although the traditional expression has been retained in the present translation because it is familiar to many readers (cf. TEV “One who had been living for ever”; CEV “the Eternal God”).
- Daniel 7:9 tn Traditionally the Aramaic word נְקֵא (neqeʾ) has been rendered “pure,” but here it more likely means “of a lamb.” Cf. the Syriac neqyaʾ (“a sheep, ewe”). On this word, see further, M. Sokoloff, “ʾamar neqeʾ, ‘Lamb’s Wool’ (Dan 7:9),” JBL 95 (1976): 277-79.
- Daniel 7:9 tn Aram “a flaming fire.”
- Daniel 7:10 tn Aram “were standing before him.”
- Daniel 7:10 tn Aram “judgment sat.”
- Daniel 7:11 tc The LXX and Theodotion lack the words “I was watching” here. It is possible that these words in the MT are a dittography from the first part of the verse.
- Daniel 7:11 tn Aram “and given over to” (so NRSV).
- Daniel 7:12 tn Aram “a prolonging of life was granted to them.”
- Daniel 7:13 tc The LXX has ἐπί (epi, “upon”) here (cf. Matt 24:30; 26:64). Theodotion has μετά (meta, “with”) here (cf. Mark 14:62; Rev 1:7).
- Daniel 7:13 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Daniel 7:13 sn This text is probably the main OT background for Jesus’ use of the term “son of man.” In both Jewish and Christian circles the reference in the book of Daniel has traditionally been understood to refer to an individual, usually in a messianic sense. Many modern scholars, however, understand the reference to have a corporate identity. In this view, the “son of man” is to be equated with the “holy ones” (vv. 18, 21, 22, 25) or the “people of the holy ones” (v. 27) and understood as a reference to the Jewish people. Others understand Daniel’s reference to be to the angel Michael.
- Daniel 7:13 tn Aram “they brought him near.”
- Daniel 7:14 tn Some take “serving” here in the sense of “worshiping.”
- Daniel 7:14 tn Aram “is an eternal authority that will not pass away.”
- Daniel 7:14 tn Aram “is one that will not be destroyed.”
- Daniel 7:15 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.”
- Daniel 7:15 tn Aram “head.”
- Daniel 7:16 tn Aram “what is certain.”
- Daniel 7:16 tn Aram “and made known.”
- Daniel 7:16 tn Aram “matter,” but the matter at hand is of course the vision.
- Daniel 7:18 sn The expression holy ones is either a reference to angels, to human beings devoted to God, or to both. The context is an earthly kingdom the holy ones will possess, and man was appointed to rule the earth (Gen 1:28). The holy ones are defeated and harassed by an earthly ruler in 7:21, 25, and human rulers cannot defeat and harass angels. So the holy ones are almost certainly human beings devoted to God.
- Daniel 7:19 tn Aram “to make certain.”
- Daniel 7:20 tn The words “I also wanted to know” are added in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Daniel 7:20 tc The conjunction in the MT before “eyes” is odd. The ancient versions do not seem to presuppose it.
- Daniel 7:20 tn Aram “greater than its companions.”
- Daniel 7:21 tn Aram “prevailing against” (KJV, ASV both similar); NASB “overpowering them”; TEV “conquered them.”
- Daniel 7:22 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 [yehav] rather than the MT יְהִב [yehiv]).
- Daniel 7:23 tn Aram “thus he said.”
- Daniel 7:24 tn Or “subjugate”; KJV, NASB, NIV “subdue”; ASV, NRSV “put down.”
- Daniel 7:25 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.”
- Daniel 7:25 tn Aram “he will think.”
- Daniel 7:25 tn Aram “times and law.” The present translation is based on the understanding that the expression is a hendiadys.
- Daniel 7:25 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.”
- Daniel 7:26 tn Aram “judgment will sit” (KJV similar).
- Daniel 7:27 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.
- Daniel 7:28 tn Aram “my brightness was changing on me.”
- Daniel 7:28 tn Aram “in my heart.”
- Daniel 8:1 sn Dan 8:1 marks the switch from Aramaic (= 2:4b-7:28) back to Hebrew as the language in which the book is written in its present form. The remainder of the book from this point on (8:1-12:13) is in Hebrew. The bilingual nature of the book has been variously explained, but it most likely has to do with the book’s transmission history; see the note at 2:4.
- Daniel 8:1 sn The third year of King Belshazzar’s reign would have been ca. 551 b.c. Daniel would have been approximately 69 years old at the time of this vision.
- Daniel 8:1 tn Heb “in the beginning.” This refers to the vision described in chapter seven.
- Daniel 8:2 tn Heb “the.”
- Daniel 8:2 sn Susa (Heb. שׁוּשַׁן, shushan), located some 230 miles (380 km) east of Babylon, was a winter residence for Persian kings during the Achaemenid period. The language of v. 2 seems to suggest that Daniel may not have been physically present at Susa, but only saw himself there in the vision. However, the Hebrew is difficult, and some have concluded that the first four words of v. 2 in the MT are a later addition (cf. Theodotion).
- Daniel 8:2 tn The Hebrew word בִּירָה (birah, “castle, palace”) usually refers to a fortified structure within a city, but here it is in apposition to the city name Susa and therefore has a broader reference to the entire city (against this view, however, see BDB 108 s.v. 2). Cf. NAB “the fortress of Susa”; TEV “the walled city of Susa.”
- Daniel 8:2 tn The term אוּבַל (ʾuval = “stream, river”) is a relatively rare word in biblical Hebrew, found only here and in vv. 3 and 6. The Ulai was apparently a sizable artificial canal in Susa (cf. NASB, NIV, NCV) and not a river in the ordinary sense of that word.
- Daniel 8:3 tn Heb “lifted my eyes.”
- Daniel 8:3 tn Heb “saw and behold.”
- Daniel 8:3 tn Heb “one.” The Hebrew numerical adjective occasionally functions like an English indefinite article. See GKC 401 §125.b.
- Daniel 8:3 tn Heb “high” (also “higher” later in this verse).
- Daniel 8:4 tn Or “beast” (NAB).
- Daniel 8:4 tn Heb “hand,” as also in v. 7.
- Daniel 8:4 tn In the Hiphil the Hebrew verb גָּדַל (gadal, “to make great; to magnify”) can have either a positive or a negative sense. For the former, used especially of God, see Ps 126:2, 3 and Joel 2:21. In this chapter (8:4, 8, 11, 25) the word has a pejorative sense, describing the self-glorification of this king. The sense seems to be that of vainly assuming one’s own superiority through deliberate hubris.
- Daniel 8:5 tn The words “all this” are added in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarification.
- Daniel 8:5 tn Heb “and behold, a he-goat of the goats.”
- Daniel 8:5 tn Or “of the whole earth” (NAB, ASV, NASB, NRSV).
- Daniel 8:5 tn Heb “a horn of vision” [or “conspicuousness”], i.e., “a conspicuous horn,” one easily seen.
- Daniel 8:6 tn Heb “the wrath of its strength.”
- Daniel 8:7 tn Heb “him.”
- Daniel 8:7 tn Heb “the ram.”
- Daniel 8:7 tn Heb “stand before him.”
- Daniel 8:7 tn Heb “he hurled him.” The referents of both pronouns (the male goat and the ram) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Daniel 8:7 sn The goat of Daniel’s vision represents Greece; the large horn represents Alexander the Great. The ram stands for Media-Persia. Alexander’s rapid conquest of the Persians involved three battles of major significance that he won against overwhelming odds: Granicus (334 b.c.), Isus (333 b.c.), and Gaugemela (331 b.c.).
- Daniel 8:8 tn The word “horns” is not in the Hebrew text but is implied.
- Daniel 8:8 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.
- Daniel 8:8 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Daniel 8:9 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.
- Daniel 8:9 sn The expression the beautiful land (Heb. הַצֶּבִי [hatsevi] = “the beauty”) is a cryptic reference to the land of Israel. Cf. 11:16, 41, where it is preceded by the word אֶרֶץ (ʾerets, “land”).
- Daniel 8:10 tn Traditionally, “host.” The term refers to God’s heavenly angelic assembly, which he sometimes leads into battle as an army.
- Daniel 8:10 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).
- Daniel 8:11 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).
- Daniel 8:11 tn Or perhaps “and by him,” referring to Antiochus rather than to God.
- Daniel 8:11 sn Here the sanctuary is a reference to the temple of God in Jerusalem.
- Daniel 8:12 tc The present translation reads וּצְבָאָהּ נִתַּן (utsevaʾah nittan, “and its army was given”) for the MT וְצָבָא תִּנָּתֵן (vetsavaʾ tinnaten, “and an army was being given/will be given”). The context suggests a perfect rather than an imperfect verb.
- Daniel 8:12 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.
- Daniel 8:12 tc Two medieval Hebrew mss and the LXX have a passive verb here: “truth was hurled to the ground” (cf. NIV, NCV, TEV).
- Daniel 8:12 sn Truth here probably refers to the Torah. According to 1 Macc 1:56, Antiochus initiated destruction of the sacred books of the Jews.
- Daniel 8:12 tn Heb “it acted and prospered.”
- Daniel 8:13 sn The holy one referred to here is presumably an angel (cf. 4:13 [10AT], 23 [20AT]).
- Daniel 8:14 sn The language of evenings and mornings is reminiscent of the creation account in Genesis 1. Since “evening and morning” is the equivalent of a day, the reference here would be to 2,300 days. However, some interpreters understand the reference to be to the evening sacrifice and the morning sacrifice, in which case the reference would be to only 1,150 days. Either way, the event that marked the commencement of this period is unclear. The event that marked the conclusion of the period was the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem following the atrocious and sacrilegious acts that Antiochus implemented. This took place on December 25, 165 b.c. The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah each year commemorates this victory.
- Daniel 8:14 tn Heb “will be vindicated” or “will be justified.” This is the only occurrence of this verb in the Niphal in the OT. English versions interpret it as “cleansed” (KJV, ASV), “restored” (NASB, TEV, NLT), or “reconsecrated” (NIV).
- Daniel 8:16 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?”
- Daniel 8:17 tn Heb “on my face.”
- Daniel 8:17 tn Or “human one.”
- Daniel 8:18 tn Heb “on my standing.”
- Daniel 8:19 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.
- Daniel 8:21 tn Heb “the he-goat, the buck.” The expression is odd, and the second word may be an explanatory gloss.
- Daniel 8:21 tn Heb “Javan.”
- Daniel 8:22 tn Heb “the broken one.” The word “horn” has been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent.
- Daniel 8:23 tc The present translation reads הַפְּשָׁעִים (happeshaʿim, “the rebellious acts”) for the MT הַפֹּשְׁעִים (happosheʿim, “the 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.
- Daniel 8:23 tn Heb “strong of face.”
- Daniel 8:23 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).
- Daniel 8:23 tn Heb “stand” or “stand up.”
- Daniel 8:24 tn Heb “extraordinarily he will destroy.”
- Daniel 8:24 tn Heb “he will succeed and act.”
- Daniel 8:24 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.
- Daniel 8:25 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.
- Daniel 8:25 tn Heb “he will cause deceit to succeed by his hand.”
- Daniel 8:25 tn Heb “in his heart he will act arrogantly.”
- Daniel 8:25 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.
- Daniel 8:25 tn Heb “with nothingness of hand.”
- Daniel 8:26 tn Heb “truth.”
- Daniel 8:27 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, and DCH 2:540 s.v. היה I Ni.3.
- Daniel 9:1 sn The identity of this Darius is a major problem in correlating the biblical material with the extra-biblical records of this period. Most modern scholars treat the reference as a mistaken allusion to Darius Hystaspes (ca. 522-486 b.c.). Others have maintained instead that this name is a reference to the Persian governor Gubaru. Still others understand the reference to be to the Persian king Cyrus (cf. 6:28, where the ו (vav) may be understood as vav explicativum, meaning “even”). Under either of these latter two interpretations, the first year of Darius would have been ca. 538 b.c. Daniel would have been approximately eighty-two years old at this time.
- Daniel 9:1 tc The LXX reads “Xerxes.” This is the reading used by some English versions (e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, CEV). Most other English versions retain the Hebrew name “Ahasuerus.”
- Daniel 9:1 tc The present translation follows the MT in reading a Hophal (i.e., passive). Theodotion, the Syriac, and the Vulgate all presuppose the Hiphil (i.e., active). Even though this is the only occurrence of the Hophal of this verb in the Bible, there is no need to emend the vocalization to the Hiphil.
- Daniel 9:1 tn Heb “was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans.”
- Daniel 9:2 tc This phrase, repeated from v. 1, is absent in Theodotion.
- Daniel 9:2 tn Heb “books” or “scrolls.” The word “sacred” has been added to clarify that it refers to the Scriptures.
- Daniel 9:2 sn The tetragrammaton (the four Hebrew letters that constitute the divine Name, YHWH) appears 8 times in this chapter and nowhere else in the book of Daniel.
- Daniel 9:3 tn Heb “face.”
- Daniel 9:3 tn The Hebrew phrase translated “Lord God” here is אֲדֹנָי הָאֱלֹהִים (ʾadonay haʾelohim).
- Daniel 9:3 sn When lamenting, ancient Israelites would fast, wear sackcloth, and put ashes on their heads to show their sorrow and contrition.
- Daniel 9:4 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here and in vv. 7, 9, 15, 16, and 19 is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
- Daniel 9:4 tn Heb “who keeps the covenant and the loyal love.” The expression is a hendiadys.
- Daniel 9:6 tn Heb “in your name.” Another option is to translate: “as your representatives.”
- Daniel 9:6 tn Heb “our fathers” (also in vv. 8, 16). The Hebrew term translated “father” can refer to more distant relationships such as grandfathers or ancestors.
- Daniel 9:6 tn Heb “people.”
- Daniel 9:7 tn Heb “to you (belongs) righteousness.”
- Daniel 9:7 tn Heb “and to us (belongs) shame of face like this day.”
- Daniel 9:7 tn Heb “men.”
- Daniel 9:8 tn Heb “to us (belongs) shame of face.”
- Daniel 9:9 tn Heb “to the Lord our God (belong) compassion and forgiveness.”
- Daniel 9:10 tn Heb “paid attention to the voice of,” which is an idiomatic expression for obedience (cf. NASB “nor have we obeyed the voice of”).
- Daniel 9:10 tn Heb “to walk in.”
- Daniel 9:10 tc The LXX and Vulgate have the singular.
- Daniel 9:11 tn Or “transgressed.” The Hebrew verb has the primary sense of crossing a boundary, in this case, God’s law.
- Daniel 9:11 tn Heb “by not paying attention to your voice.”
- Daniel 9:11 tn Heb “the curse and the oath that is written.” The term “curse” refers here to the judgments threatened in the Mosaic law (see Deut 28) for rebellion. The expression “the curse and the oath” is probably a hendiadys (cf. Num 5:21; Neh 10:29) referring to the fact that the covenant with its threatened judgments was ratified by solemn oath and made legally binding upon the covenant community.
- Daniel 9:11 tn Heb “him.”
- Daniel 9:12 tn Heb “he has fulfilled his word(s), which he spoke.”
- Daniel 9:12 tn Heb “our judges.”
- Daniel 9:12 tn Heb “who judged.”
- Daniel 9:13 tn Heb “we have not pacified the face of.”
- Daniel 9:13 tn Or “by gaining insight.”
- Daniel 9:13 tn Heb “by your truth.” The Hebrew term does not refer here to abstract truth, however, but to the reliable moral guidance found in the covenant law (see vv 10-11).
- Daniel 9:14 tn Or “righteous.”
- Daniel 9:14 tn Heb “in all his deeds that he has done.”
- Daniel 9:14 tn Heb “we have not listened to his voice.”
- Daniel 9:15 tn Heb “with a powerful hand.”
- Daniel 9:16 tn Or “righteousness.”
- Daniel 9:16 tn Heb “your anger and your rage.” The synonyms are joined here to emphasize the degree of God’s anger. This is best expressed in English by making one of the terms adjectival (cf. NLT “your furious anger”; CEV “terribly angry”).
- Daniel 9:17 tn Heb “hear.” Here the verb refers to hearing favorably, accepting the prayer and responding positively.
- Daniel 9:17 tn Heb “let your face shine.” This idiom pictures God smiling in favor. See Pss 31:16; 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19.
- Daniel 9:17 tn Heb “for the sake of my Lord.” Theodotion has “for your sake.” Cf. v. 19.
- Daniel 9:18 tn Heb “turn your ear.”
- Daniel 9:18 tn Heb “desolations.” The term refers here to the ruined condition of Judah’s towns.
- Daniel 9:18 tn Heb “over which your name is called.” Cf. v. 19. This expression implies that God is the owner of his city, Jerusalem. Note the use of the idiom in 2 Sam 12:28; Isa 4:1; Amos 9:12.
- Daniel 9:18 tn Heb “praying our supplications before you.”
- Daniel 9:19 tn Heb “for your name is called over your city and your people.” See the note on this expression in v. 18.
- Daniel 9:20 tn Heb “the holy mountain of my God.”
- Daniel 9:21 tn Heb “speaking in prayer.”
- Daniel 9:21 tn Heb “in the beginning.”
- Daniel 9:21 tn The Hebrew expression בִּיעָף מֻעָף (muʿaf biʿaf) is very difficult. The issue is whether the verb derives from עוּף (ʿuf, “to fly”) or from יָעַף (yaʿaf, “to be weary”). Many ancient versions and modern commentators take the first of these possibilities and understand the reference to be to the swift flight of the angel Gabriel in his coming to Daniel. The words more likely refer to the extreme weariness, not of the angel, but of Daniel (cf. 7:28; 8:27; 10:8-9, 16-17; also NASB).
- Daniel 9:22 tn Heb “he instructed and spoke with me.” The expression is a verbal hendiadys.
- Daniel 9:23 tn Or “a precious treasure”; KJV “greatly beloved”; NASB, NIV “highly esteemed.”
- Daniel 9:23 tn This sentence is perhaps a compound hendiadys (“give serious consideration to the revelatory vision”).
- Daniel 9:24 tn Heb “sevens.” Elsewhere the term is used of a literal week (a period of seven days); cf. Gen 29:27-28; Exod 34:22; Lev 12:5; Num 28:26; Deut 16:9-10; 2 Chr 8:13; Jer 5:24; Dan 10:2-3. Gabriel unfolds the future as if it were a calendar of successive weeks. Most understand the reference here as seventy “sevens” of years, or a total of 490 years.
- Daniel 9:24 tc Or “to finish.” The present translation reads the Qere (from the root תָּמַם, tamam) with many witnesses. The Kethib has “to seal up” (from the root הָתַם, hatam), a confusion with a reference later in the verse to sealing up the vision.
- Daniel 9:24 tc The present translation reads the Qere (singular), rather than the Kethib (plural).
- Daniel 9:24 tn The Hebrew phrase לְכַלֵּא (lekhalleʾ) is apparently an alternative (metaplastic) spelling of the root כָּלָה (kalah, “to complete, finish”), rather than a form of כָּלָא (kalaʾ, “to shut up, restrain”), as has sometimes been supposed.
- Daniel 9:24 tn Or “everlasting.”
- Daniel 9:24 sn The act of sealing in the OT is a sign of authentication (cf. 1 Kgs 21:8 and Jer 32:10, 11, 44).
- Daniel 9:24 tn Heb “vision and prophecy.” The expression is a hendiadys.
- Daniel 9:24 tn Or “the most holy place” (NASB, NLT); or “a most holy one”; or “the most holy one,” though the expression is used of places or objects elsewhere, not people.
- Daniel 9:25 tn Or “decree” (NASB, NIV); or “word” (NAB, NRSV).
- Daniel 9:25 tn The word “arrives” is added in the translation for clarification.
- Daniel 9:25 tn Heb “sevens” (also later in this line and in v. 26).sn The accents in the MT indicate disjunction at this point, which would make it difficult, if not impossible, to identify the “anointed one/prince” of this verse as messianic. The reference in v. 26 to the sixty-two weeks as a unit favors the MT accentuation, not the traditional translation. If one follows the MT accentuation, one may translate “From the going forth of the message to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks. During a period of sixty-two weeks it will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times.” The present translation follows a traditional reading of the passage that deviates from the MT accentuation.
- Daniel 9:25 tn Heb “it will return and be built.” The expression is a verbal hendiadys.
- Daniel 9:26 sn The expression have nothing is difficult. Presumably it refers to an absence of support or assistance for the anointed one at the time of his “cutting off.” The KJV rendering “but not for himself,” apparently suggesting a vicarious death, cannot be defended.
- Daniel 9:26 tc Some witnesses (e.g., the Syriac) understand a passive verb and the preposition עִם (ʿim, “with) rather than the noun עַם (ʿam, “people”), thus reading “the city and the sanctuary will be destroyed with the coming prince.”
- Daniel 9:26 tn The words “will come speedily” are not in the Hebrew text but have been added in the translation for clarity.
- Daniel 9:26 sn Flood here is a metaphor for sudden destruction.
- Daniel 9:27 tn Heb “one seven” (also later in this line).
- Daniel 9:27 tn The referent of the Hebrew word כְּנַף (kenaf, “wing”) is unclear here. The LXX and Theodotion have “the temple.” Some English versions (e.g., NAB, NIV) take this to mean “a wing of the temple,” but this is not clear.
- Daniel 9:27 tn The Hebrew text does not have this verb, but it has been supplied in the translation for clarity.