Daniel 10:13
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, see, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
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(13) The prince of the kingdom.—Perhaps no single verse in the whole of the Scriptures speaks more clearly than this upon the invisible powers which rule and influence nations. If we were without a revelation, we should have thought it congruent that God Himself should direct all events in the world without using any intervening means. But revelation points out that as spiritual beings carry out God’s purpose in the natural world (Exodus 12:23; 2Samuel 24:16) and in the moral world (Luke 15:10), so also they do in the political world. From this chapter we not only learn that Israel had a spiritual champion (Daniel 10:21) to protect her in her national life, and to watch over her interests, but also that the powers opposed to Israel had their princes, or saviours, which were antagonists of those which watched over Israel. The “princes” of the heathen powers are devils, according to 1Corinthians 10:20. The doctrine of the ministry of angels is taught in Psalm 34:7; Psalm 91:11; Psalm 96:5 (LXX.); Isaiah 24:21; Isaiah 46:2; Jeremiah 46:25; Jeremiah 49:3. Further passages in the New Testament bearing upon the question are 1Corinthians 8:5; Colossians 1:16.

Withstood me.—The phrase is identical with stood over against him” (Joshua 5:13). The verse implies that the spiritual powers attached to Persia were influencing Cyrus in a manner that was prejudicial to the interests of God’s people. It must be borne in mind that the vision occurred at the time of the Samaritan intrigues with the Persian Court in opposition to Zerubbabel.

Michael.—Mentioned only in the Book of Daniel and Jude 1:9, Revelation 12:7. The title “chief princes,” rightly explained in the margin, shows that the charge of Israel had been entrusted by God to the highest of the heavenly powers; but the name “first prince” points out that, great though he is, he is inconsiderable when compared with God.

I remained there.—Literally, I prevailed there, as Genesis 49:4. The person is explaining to Daniel how it had happened that he had received no visible answer to a prayer that had been offered with success three weeks previously. There had been a conflict between the powers of light and darkness, in which the former had gained the victory, which had been decisive. By the kings of Persia are meant all the successors of Cyrus. It may be remarked that from this time onward the Persian kings were, upon the whole, favourable to the interests of Israel.

Daniel 10:13-14. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me — Hebrew, עמד לנגדי, stood before me. — Purver. And so Jun. and Tremel., referring it to an earthly prince. This is thought by some to be Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, intrusted with the management of affairs in the court of Persia when his father was absent on some expedition, and set against the Jews by their enemies, and now endeavouring to embarrass their affairs: over his designs the angel had been watching, in order to defeat them. Others have thought there is an allusion in this verse, and at Daniel 10:20, to the guardian, or tutelary angels, of different countries; which doctrine seems to be countenanced by some passages in Scripture, and especially by Zechariah, chap. Daniel 6:5. Grotius is of this opinion; and Bishop Newcome, on the last-mentioned place, refers to the passage before us. “That there were such tutelar angels,” says Lowth, “not only over private persons, Acts 12:15, but likewise over provinces and kingdoms, was an opinion generally received. The four spirits, mentioned Zechariah 6:5, seem to be the guardian angels of the four great empires.” This opinion supposes the presiding angels, here mentioned, to be good angels, but it is surely absurd to think that the holy angels are ever engaged in contending with each other; or that “one holy angel is set to oppose another holy angel.” — Scott. Others suppose the contest to be between a good and an evil angel, as in Zechariah 3:1, and Jude, Daniel 10:9, “which latter opinion,” says Wintle, “is perhaps the most just, as there should seem to be no dispute, or contest, between the ministering spirits of heaven, who are always obedient to the pleasure of their Lord. And when the Almighty sent a superior angel, Michael, whose name is sometimes given to Christ himself, Revelation 12:7, his office probably was to assist Gabriel in subduing the prince of the power of the air, the powers of this darksome world, or the spirits that rule over the children of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2. The opposition was made twenty-one days; and as this was exactly the number of days that Daniel fasted, the contest may possibly have some allusion to this struggle. Daniel was certainly highly favoured, and the Almighty, who delights in hearing and answering the prayers of his servants, directs the angel to apologize (if I may so speak) for his delay in attending to the patient solicitations of the prophet: the angel also is represented as pleading the difficulty of his task, and another higher power, or chief, in the regal court of heaven, favours his business, and comes in to his assistance. In whatever light this is to be understood, it is a strong and affecting, though less gross, instance of the anthropopathia, or of the Deity’s accommodating himself and his measures to the manners of men.” See De Sacra Poes. Hebrews, Præl. 6. Houbigant is of opinion, that this prince of the kingdom of Persia was an evil angel, and in agreement with it renders the last clause of the verse, and I have now left him on the side of the kings of Persia. But it seems most proper to understand Cambyses as meant. Now I am come to make thee understand, &c. — I am now come to inform thee of what shall befall thy people hereafter; for yet the vision is for many days — For it will be a long course of time before the things I shall inform thee of shall come to pass. Daniel, we find, was informed by this vision, that the empire should be translated from the Persians to the Greeks, Daniel 11:3; and then what should be the condition of the Jews under Alexander’s successors, the kings of Syria and Egypt.10:10-21 Whenever we enter into communion with God, it becomes us to have a due sense of the infinite distance between us and the holy God. How shall we, that are dust and ashes, speak to the Lord of glory? Nothing is more likely, nothing more effectual to revive the drooping spirits of the saints, than to be assured of God's love to them. From the very first day we begin to look toward God in a way of duty, he is ready to meet us in the way of mercy. Thus ready is God to hear prayer. When the angel had told the prophet of the things to come, he was to return, and oppose the decrees of the Persian kings against the Jews. The angels are employed as God's ministering servants, Heb 1:14. Though much was done against the Jews by the kings of Persia, God permitting it, much more mischief would have been done if God had not prevented it. He would now more fully show what were God's purposes, of which the prophecies form an outline; and we are concerned to study what is written in these Scriptures of truth, for they belong to our everlasting peace. While Satan and his angels, and evil counsellors, excite princes to mischief against the church, we may rejoice that Christ our Prince, and all his mighty angels, act against our enemies; but we ought not to expect many to favour us in this evil world. Yet the whole counsel of God shall be established; and let each one pray, Lord Jesus, be our righteousness now, and thou wilt be our everlasting confidence, through life, in death, at the day of judgment, and for evermore.But the prince of the kingdom of Persia - In explaining this very difficult verse it may be proper

(1) to consider the literal sense of the words;

(2) to deduce the fair meaning of the passage as thus explained; and

(3) to notice the practical truths taught.

The word rendered "prince" - שׂר s'ar - means, properly, a leader, commander, chief, as of troops, Genesis 21:22; of a king's body-guard, Genesis 37:36; of cup-bearers, Genesis 41:9; of a prison, Genesis 39:21-22; of a flock, Genesis 47:6. Then it means a prince, a noble, a chief in the state, Genesis 12:15. In Daniel 8:25, in the phrase "Prince of princes," it refers to God. So far as the word is concerned in the phrase "prince of the kingdom of Persia," it might refer to a prince ruling over that kingdom, or to a prime minister of the state; but the language also is such that it is applicable to an angelic being supposed to preside over a state, or to influence its counsels. If this idea is admitted; if it is believed that angels do thus preside over particular states, this language would properly express that fact. Gesenius (Lexicon) explains it in this passage as denoting the "chiefs, princes, and angels; i. e., the archangels acting as patrons and advocates of particular nations before God." That this is the proper meaning here as deduced from the words is apparent, for

(a) it is an angel that is speaking, and it would seem most natural to suppose that he had encountered one of his own rank;

(b) the mention of Michael who came to his aid - a name which, as we shall see, properly denotes an angel, leads to the same conclusion;

(c) it accords, also, with the prevailing belief on the subject.

Undoubtedly, one who takes into view all the circumstances referred to in this passage would most naturally understand this of an angelic being, having some kind of jurisdiction over the kingdom of Persia. What was the character of this "prince," however, whether he was a good or bad angel, is not intimated by the language. It is only implied that he had a chieftainship, or some species of guardian care over that kingdom - watching over its interests and directing its affairs. As he offered resistance, however, to this heavenly messenger on his way to Daniel, as it was necessary to counteract his plans, and as the aid of Michael was required to overcome his opposition, the fair construction is, that he belonged to the class of evil angels.

Withstood me - Hebrew, "stood over against me." Vulgate, "restitit mihi." The fair meaning is, that he resisted or opposed him; that he stood over against him, and delayed him on his way to Daniel. In what manner he did this is not stated. The most obvious interpretation is, that, in order to answer the prayers of Daniel in respect to his people, it was necessary that some arrangement should be made in reference to the kingdom of Persia - influencing the government to be favorable to the restoration of the Jews to their own land; or removing some obstacles to such return - obstacles which had given Daniel such disquietude, and which had been thrown in his way by the presiding angel of that kingdom.

One and twenty days - During the whole time in which Daniel was engaged in fasting and prayer Daniel 10:2-3. The angel had been sent forth to make arrangements to secure the answer to his prayer when he began to pray, but had been delayed during all that time by the opposition which he had met with in Persia. That is, it required all that time to overcome the obstacles existing there to the accomplishment of these purposes, and to make those arrangements which were necessary to secure the result. Mean-time, Daniel, not knowing that these arrangements were in a process of completion, or that an angel was employed to secure the answer to his prayers, yet strong in faith, was suffered to continue his supplications with no intimation that his prayers were heard, or that he would be answered. How many arrangements may there be in progress designed to answer our prayers of which we know nothing! How many agents may be employed to bring about an answer! What mighty obstacles may be in a process of removal, and what changes may be made, and what influences exerted, while we are suffered to pray, and fast, and weep, amidst many discouragements, and many trials of our faith and patience! For a much longer period than Daniel was engaged in his devotions, may we be required often now to pray before the arrangements in the course of Providence shall be so far complete that we shall receive an answer to our supplications, for the things to be done may extend far into future months or years.

But, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes - Margin, "the first." That is, the first in rank of the "princes," or the angels. In other words, Michael, the archangel." The proper meaning of this name (מיכאל mı̂ykâ'êl) is, "Who as God," and is a name given, undoubtedly, from some resemblance to God. The exact reason why it is given is not anywhere stated; but may it not be this - that one looking on the majesty and glory of the chief of the angels would instinctively ask, "Who, after all, is like God? Even this lofty angel, with all his glory, cannot be compared to the high and lofty One." Whatever may have been the reason of the appellation, however, the name in the Scriptures has a definite application, and is given to the chief one of the angels. Compare the notes at Jde 1:9. The word "Michael," as a proper name, occurs several times in the Scriptures, Numbers 13:13; 1 Chronicles 5:13; 1 Chronicles 6:40; 1 Chronicles 7:3; 1 Chronicles 8:16; 1 Chronicles 12:20; 1 Chronicles 27:18; 2 Chronicles 21:2; Ezra 8:8. It is used as applicable to an angel or archangel in the following places: Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Jde 1:9; Revelation 12:7. Little more is known of him than

(a) that he occupied the rank which entitled him to be called an archangel; and

(b) that he sustained, in the time of Daniel, the relation of patron of Israel before God Daniel 10:21.


13. prince of … Persia—the angel of darkness that represented the Persian world power, to which Israel was then subject. This verse gives the reason why, though Daniel's "words were heard from the first day" (Da 10:12), the good angel did not come to him until more than three weeks had elapsed (Da 10:4).

one and twenty days—answering to the three weeks of Daniel's mourning (Da 10:2).

Michael—that is, "Who is like God?" Though an archangel, "one of the chief princes," Michael was not to be compared to God.

help me—Michael, as patron of Israel before God (Da 10:21; 12:1), "helped" to influence the Persian king to permit the Jews' return to Jerusalem.

I remained—I was detained there with the kings of Persia, that is, with the angel of the Persian rulers, with whom I had to contend, and from whom I should not have got free, but for the help of Michael. Gesenius translates, "I obtained the ascendency," that is, I gained my point against the adverse angel of Persia, so as to influence the Persian authorities to favor Israel's restoration.

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: this place hath some difficulty, therefore variously expounded. Some expound it of earthly princes, some of angels, and among them some will have good angels meant, who they say have the patronage of the kingdoms and provinces of the earth; but who can imagine that good angels should quarrel one with the other? therefore, say others, they are bad angels that oppose the people of God, and their deliverance, seeking rather their ruin, as Michael and the devil strove, Revelation 12:7: now sometimes God permits Satan to do much this way. But I judge by the prince of Persia is meant Cambyses, who was an enemy to the Jews, and hindered the building of the temple. Now he could not properly resist the angel, but figuratively he did. Angels’ power is not unlimited, but by commission and instructions from God, and their works successive. Therefore God suffered the wicked counsels of Cambyses to take place a while; but Daniel by his prayers, and the angel by his power, overcame him at last. And this very thing laid a foundation of the Persian monarchy’s ruin, Daniel 10:20; and doubtless that king was stirred up to his evil machinations against the people of God by the prince of the powers of darkness, that ruleth in the children of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2.

Michael: this we take to be Christ.

1. His name signifies, who is like God.

2. He is the first in dignity above all the angels, Hebrews 1:4-7, &c., called archangel, and the church’s prince, Daniel 10:21.

3. The chief champion of his church, helping Gabriel not as his fellow, but as his general. Thus we see what care God takes of his church’s safety against their potent enemies, by doubling their succours, (when he could do it, if he pleased, without means,) thereby to consult his own glory in the world by defeating the counsels and breaking the powers of the mightiest enemies, after he had given them rope to do their worst. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days,.... Which was just the time Daniel had been mourning and fasting, Daniel 10:2, and the angel had had his instructions to acquaint him with the Lord's answer to his prayers: by "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" is not to be understood the then reigning king of Persia, Cyrus, or his son Cambyses; who either of them would have been called rather king of Persia; nor were they able to withstand an angel, and such an one as Gabriel; nor is a good angel meant, the tutelar one of this kingdom; for it cannot be reasonably thought that good angels should militate against one another; but an evil angel, either Satan, the prince and god of this world, or one of his principal angels under him, employed by him to do what mischief he could in the court of Persia, against the people of God, the Jews; and with this sense agree the contests ascribed to Satan and the Angel of the Lord concerning Joshua, Zechariah 3:1 and to Michael and the devil disputing about the body of Moses, Jde 1:9 and to Michael and his angels, and the devil and his angels, warring in heaven, Revelation 12:7, now Gabriel's business in the court of Persia was to work upon the minds of the king of Persia and his nobles, and to influence their counsels, and put them on such measures as would be in favour of the Jews, and be encouraging to them to go on in the rebuilding of their city and temple: in this he was withstood and opposed by an evil spirit that counterworked him; by exasperating the spirit of Cambyses against them; by stirring up the Samaritans to corrupt the Persian courtiers with gifts, to take their part against the Jews; and by influencing them to accept of their gifts, and act in their favour; and this business on the angel's hands, to oppose these measures, detained him at the Persian court for the three weeks Daniel had been fasting and praying:

but, lo, Michael one of the chief Princes, came to help me; called in the New Testament an Archangel, the Prince of angels, the Head of all principality and power; and is no other than Christ the Son of God, an uncreated Angel; who is "one", or "the first of the chief Princes" (x), superior to angels, in nature, name, and office; he came to "help" Gabriel, not as a fellow creature, but as the Lord of hosts; not as a fellow soldier, but as General of the armies in heaven and earth, as superior to him in wisdom and strength; and he helped him by giving him fresh counsels, orders, and instructions, which he following succeeded:

and I remained there with the kings of Persia; with the king of Persia and his nobles, putting into execution the orders Michael had given him, and so baffled the designs of the evil spirit; and this retarded him from being with the prophet one and twenty days. The Septuagint and Arabic versions very wrongly render the words, "and I left him there with the kings of Persia"; as if Michael was left there by Gabriel, whereas it was just the reverse.

(x) "primus", Junius & Tremellius.

But the {h} prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, {i} Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

(h) Meaning Cambyses, who reigned in his father's absence, and did not only for this time hinder the building of the temple, but would have further raged, if God had not sent me to resist him: and therefore I have stayed for the profit of the Church.

(i) Even though God could by one angel destroy all the world, yet to assure his children of his love he sends forth double power, even Michael, that is, Christ Jesus the head of angels.

13. The opposition, for 21 days (cf. Daniel 10:2), of the ‘prince,’ i.e. the patron-angel, of Persia, prevented the dazzling being from reaching Daniel sooner.

the prince of the kingdom of Persia] its patron- or guardian-angel. The doctrine of tutelary angels, presiding over the destinies of particular nations, though there appears a trace of the idea in Isaiah 24:21, and according to some commentators, in Psalms 82, is found for the first time distinctly in the O.T. in this prophecy of Dan. (Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:20-21, Daniel 11:1, Daniel 12:1). In the earlier books of the O.T. angels appear merely as the ‘messengers’ of Jehovah, with little or no personal character or distinctness of their own: in the later books of the O.T. grades and differences begin to be recognised among them; particular angels are appropriated to particular purposes or functions; and they begin to receive individual names (see below). The origin of the idea of patron-angels is matter of conjecture: even as applied to Israel, it evidently signifies more than is implied in such passages as Exodus 23:20; Exodus 23:23; Exodus 32:34; Exodus 33:2 (which speak of an angel leading Israel to its home in Canaan). According to some (see the art. Angel in the Encycl. Biblica, col. 108), they are the ancient ‘gods of the nations,’—which, according to Deuteronomy 29:26 (cf. Daniel 4:19), are ‘allotted’ by Jehovah to the several peoples of the earth,—transformed into ‘angels,’ under the teachings of a more consistent monotheism, for the purpose of being more distinctly subordinated to Him; according to others (see the art. Angel in Hastings’ Dict. of the Bible, p. 96 b), the idea is due to the tendencies which arose in later times, (1) of conceiving God as ruling the world by intermediate agencies, and (2) of personifying abstract conceptions, such as the ‘spirit,’ or genius, of a nation, and of locating such personified forces in the supersensible world, whence they ruled the destinies of men. Other passages in which the same idea is found are Sir 17:17 ἑκάστῳ ἔθνει κατέστησεν ἡγούμενον); and Deuteronomy 32:8 LXX. (‘he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God [אל for ישראל],’ a reading thought by some moderns to be the original). The later Jews developed the doctrine further, teaching, for instance, that each of the 70 nations mentioned in Genesis 10 had its Angel-Prince, who defended its interests, and pleaded its cause with God (cf. the Targ. of Ps.-Jon. on Genesis 11:7-8 and Deuteronomy 32:8; and Weber, System der Altsynag. Theol., p. 165 f.).

Michael] the patron-angel of the Jews (Daniel 10:21, Daniel 12:1). The idea of the passage is that the fortunes of nations are determined by the angels representing them in heaven: the success or failure of these regulating the success or failure of the nations themselves. Cf. Isaiah 24:21.

As was remarked in the last note but one, it is not till the later books of the O.T. that angels begin to receive names. The only angels mentioned by name in O.T. and N.T. are ‘the Satan’ (i.e. the unfriendly Opposer or Thwarter: see Davidson’s note on Job 1:6), Job 1-2, Zechariah 3:1-2, 1 Chronicles 21:1 [altered from the parallel, 2 Samuel 24:1], and frequently in the N.T.; Michael, here and Daniel 10:21, Daniel 12:1, Judges 9, Revelation 12:7; and Gabriel, Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21, Luke 1:19; Luke 1:26.

In the extra-canonical books other names of angels appear. Thus in the Book of Tobit, an angel Raphael is named, who, disguised as a man, performs various offices for Tobit and Tobias (Tob 3:17, Tob 5:4, &c.); in Tob 12:15 (cf. Daniel 10:12), he is said to be ‘one of the seven holy angels [cf. Enoch lxxxi. 5 ‘those seven holy ones,’ xc. 21, 22] which present the prayers of the saints’ to God. In 2 (4) Esdr. 4:1, 5:20, 10:28, Uriel is mentioned; and in Daniel 4:36 (R.V.) Jeremiel, the ‘archangel.’ In the book of Enoch many names of angels occur: in ix. 1 [see the Greek text, in Charles’ ed., p. 333] and elsewhere, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel; in xx. 1–7 (p. 356f., Charles) the names and offices of seven principal angels, or ‘archangels,’ are enumerated (Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remeiel); in xl. 2–10, those of four principal angels, called here ‘presences’ (cf. Isaiah 63:9), Michael, Rufael (Raphael), Gabriel, and Phanuel (פנואל): the names of many fallen angels, who seduced the children of men (Genesis 6:2; Genesis 6:5), are also given (vi. 7, viii. 1–3, lxix. 1–15, &c.). See, further, on the names and functions of angels in the later Jewish Angelology, Weber, l. c. p. 161 ff.; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus, ii. 745 ff.; and cf. A. B. Davidson’s art. Angel in Hastings’ Dict. of the Bible.

one of the chief princes] The reference is evidently to some group of superior angels, or (to adopt the later Greek expression) ‘archangels.’ In the book of Enoch, as has just been shewn, sometimes four angels (see esp. xl. 2–9), sometimes seven, are distinguished above the rest. Among the later Jews (Edersheim, l.c. p. 748 f.; Midrash Rabba on Numbers 2:20) Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael were usually regarded as the four principal angels, privileged to stand immediately about the throne of God; but seven are mentioned, not only in Enoch xx. 1–7, lxxxi. 5, xc. 21, but also in Tob 12:15 (see the last note), and Revelation 8:2 (‘the seven angels which stand before God’); and probably these seven are alluded to here. Cf. Judges 9, where Michael is called the ‘archangel.’

Michael is the warrior-angel (cf. Revelation 12:7), whose special office it is to protect the interests of Israel; in Enoch xx. 5 he is described as ὁ εῖς τῶν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων ὃς ἐπὶ τῶν τοῦ λαοῦ ἀγαθῶν τέτακται [καὶ] ἐπὶ τῷ λαῷ; in the Assumption of Moses x. 2 (ed. Charles, 1897) he appears to be the ‘angel’ who avenges Israel on their enemies at the end of the world; in the legend quoted in Judges 9 (see the patristic quotations, in Charles, l. c. p. 106 ff.), it is he who, as the angelic patron of Israel, defends the body of Moses against the devil (who claims it on the ground that Moses has been guilty of the murder of the Egyptians). For other extra-Biblical references to Michael, see Hastings’ Dict. of the Bible, s. v.

remained there] properly, was left over there (the word used implying that others had departed, or been destroyed, Genesis 32:24; 1 Samuel 30:9; 1 Kings 19:10; Amos 6:9), though the meaning of the expression here is far from certain. According to some it is simply I remained there, which, however, does not do justice to the word used; according to v. Lengerke, Ges., and Keil, it is I had the superiority, i.e. obtained the victory (cf. Luther, da behielt ich den Sieg), the ‘prince’ of Persia having been, at least temporarily (see Daniel 10:20), disabled; according to Ewald, it is I was superfluous there, i.e. (R.V. marg.) I was no longer needed. Meinh. and Behrm. follow LXX. and Theod. in reading and I left him there (הותרתיו for נותרתי); but this verb means not to leave simply, but to leave over or remaining (viz. from what has been taken elsewhere, Ezekiel 39:28, or destroyed, Exodus 10:15; Exodus 16:19 al.): so that it is doubtful whether it would here be suitable. Perhaps, on the whole, we may acquiesce in the rend. was left over (viz. in the conflict): the ‘prince of Persia,’ for the time, succumbed; the angel, with Michael’s aid, overcame his opposition, and so was able to come to Daniel.

beside (Nehemiah 8:4) the kings of Persia] Both the plural, and also the statement itself that the angel, after his conflict, should have found himself ‘beside’ the kings of Persia, are strange. It is probable that we should read (with LXX., Meinh., Behrm.) ‘beside the prince of the kings of Persia.’Verse 13. - But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the ohief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. The rendering of the LXX. is, "And the general (στρατηγὸς) of the King of the Persians withstood me one and twenty days, and behold Michael, one of the first princes, came to help me, and I left him there with the general of the King of the Persians." The sense of Theedotion is nearly the same as the LXX., only he has βασιλείας Περσῶν instead of βασιλέως. Like the LXX., Thee-dotion declares that Michael was left with the Prince of Persia. The Peshitta agrees more with the Massoretic, but, like the LXX. and Theedotion, it is with the "Prince" of Persia that there is some one remaining. The Peshitta here, in opposition to the Greek versions, has the statement that Gabriel remained, not Michael. The Vulgate agrees still further with the Massoretic, only instead of the plural "kings," it has "king." The most important differences are in the last clause, where the LXX. and Theodotion must have had the hiphil of יָתִר where the Massoretic has the niphal. Gratz adopts this reading, which certainly has the advantage of making sense of an otherwise unintelligible passage. Professor Bevan, in his easy way, suggests this to be probably a mere guess, the insertion of αὐτὸν, and the substitution of a transitive for an intransitive verb are quite in the manner of the LXX. translators. He forgets that Theodotion also has this variation, and also that, without any justification from the versions, he himself has suggested various readings. He does not observe that this interpretation affords a reason for Gabriel's presence with Daniel. Michael relieved him in his opposition to the Prince of Persia. The other variant, "prince" instead of "king," has the support of all the versions. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days. That is to say, during the whole of Daniel's fast. The angelology of later Judaism is a very complicated, not to say confused, subject. The angelology of one age is not that of another; and the angelology of the Jews in one country is not that of the Jews in another. The Jews themselves understood that the Babylonian captivity did a great deal to develop the doctrine of the angels; the Jewish tradition was that they brought back from Babylon the names of the angels. Not only had their residence in Babylon defined the Jewish ideas as to the names f the angels, they began to have clearer ideas of their functions. They reached the idea that every race had its guardian angel. This view is expressed in Deuteronomy 32:8, according to the Septuagint, "He set bounds for the nations according to the number of the angels of God." To a similar purport is Ecclus. 17:17, "To each of the nations he appointed a leader, and Israel is the portion of the Lord." There seems, however, a preparation for this in Isaiah 24:21 (comp. also Psalm 29:1; Psalm 106:9). As independent of revelation there is a strong inherent probability that there are races of beings of intelligence and might vastly superior to man, there is nothing inherently improbable in these intelligences being employed by the Almighty in furthering his providential scheme. Men are instruments of God; is it not at least not improbable that, if there are angels, they, too, co-operate with God in the working out of his great purpose? That every nation should have an angelic prince over it is not more extraordinary than that every Church should have a special angel over it (Revelation 1:20; Revelation 2:2, etc.). That there should be conflicts between these angelic princes is simply to say they are finite. Hitzig's reference to Revelation 12:7 is not to the point, for there is no indication of warlike opposition here. By the indications here, we might judge that the opposition of the Prince of Persia was to the coming of Gabriel to reveal to Daniel the purpose of God. We know nothing of the means employed in the opposition, or of the reason of it. Keil and Kliefoth have the idea that Gabriel was striving to influence the King of Persia, but was hindered in his efforts by the "Prince of Persia;" this is scarcely berne out by the context. But, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. Michael ("Who is like God?") is, in the twenty-first verse, declared to be the "prince" of the Jewish people, therefore equivalent to "the captain of the host of the Lord" (Joshua 5:14). He is referred to in Revelation 12:7 and Jude 1:9. Where he is called one of "the chief princes," there is reference to an angelic hierarchy, whether the same as that we find developed in the Book of Enoch or not cannot be decided certainly. In the Book of Tobit 12:15 Raphael declares himself "one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints, and who go in and out before the glory of the Holy One." The Book of Tobit seems to have been written about B.C. 400; hence this is an indication of opinion before the Books of Enoch. In the Enoch books not only are the great angels mentioned, but their names arc given, and functions are assigned to them; but they are numbered as four, not seven. Enoch is posterior to Tobit, and finds a place for Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. We have no means of testing whether the number of the chief angelic princes, of whom Michael was one, was four or seven, according to the opinion of Daniel. From the fact that Enoch is, so to speak, in the direct line of apocalyptic descent from Daniel, and Tobit is not, and, moreover, as the angelology of Tobit is in close connection with the Persian hierarchy of am-haspentas, of which there were seven, - we may regard four as the more genuinely Jewish number. The later Jewish angel-elegy has many Persian elements, as shown by Dr. Kohut, in his 'Angelologie und Demonologie.' Whether the number of the archangels be made four or seven, both Gabriel and Michael are of the number, whereas Gabriel's words would rather indicate that, though Michael belonged to the rank of chief prince, he did not. As we cannot tell the nature of the opposition, we cannot tell the nature of the help afforded. And I remained there with the kings of Persia. It is very difficult to interpret this if we retain the Massoretic reading. In the first place, the sense given to nothartee in the Authorized and Revised is unsuitable. The angel is explaining how, after having delayed three whole weeks, he has now come. The sentence, as interpreted above,would have explained why he could not come at all to Daniel. It is attempted to get over this by explaining that Gabriel had beaten off the "Prince" of Persia, and that Michael remained with the King of Persia instead of him. This view, however, contradicts the function assigned to angels of nations, and implies a quasi-omnipresence on the part of Gabriel, and would render his explanation no explanation. The explanation of Gesenius, Havernick, and yon Lengerke, that nothartee is to be taken as meaning "I received the pre-eminence," as Wirier, "superior discessi apud reges Persarum," has no justification in usage. Gescnius would bring in the Syriac use of the hithpael of this verb, but though both Castell and Brockehuann assign meanings suitable, none of their quotations represents a sense precisely similar to that assigned to the verb here Hitzig's interpretation, "I was delayed," fails to explain his coming. Ewald's explanation, "I was superfluous," is logical, but has no grammatical justification. Professor Bevan's explanation, which would take this last clause as parenthetical, is untenable, as it supplies no redden for the presence of Gabriel with Daniel. We must follow the LXX. and Theodotion in reading, either as Meinhold and Behrmann, וְהותַרְתִּין or better, as Gratz, אִתּו הֹותַרְתִּי, as the vav in the former ease would naturally be read conversively. Besides, Gratz's reading explains the needlessly emphatic אֲנִי. Further, it seems needful to accept the reading of the two Greek versions and the Peshitta, and instead of מַלְכֵי read שד. None of the old versions support the Massoretic; the Vulgate is the nearest; and all of them have either read מֶלֶך or regarded מלכי as a form of the construct state, and so vocalized differently. Further, the later context here implies the contiuance of the conflict or controversy (vers. 20, 21). We must understand, then, that Gabriel left Michael to maintain the conflict against the angelic "Prince" of Persia, while he came in obedience to Daniel's prayer. We can have but little idea of what is meant by this conflict in the heavenlies between angelic beings. מלכּא (the king) stands absolutely, because the impression made by the occurrence on the king is to be depicted. The plur. זיוהי has an intensive signification: the colour of the countenance. Regarding זיו, see under Daniel 4:33. The suffix to שׁנוהי is to be taken in the signification of the dative, since שׁנא in the Peal occurs only intransitively. The connection of an intransitive verb with the suff. accus. is an inaccuracy for which שׁוּבני, Ezekiel 47:7, and perhaps also עשׂיתיני, Ezekiel 29:3, afford analogies; cf. Ewald's Lehrb. 315b. In Daniel 5:9, where the matter is repeated, the harshness is avoided, and עלוהי is used to express the change of colour yet more strongly. The meaning is: "the king changed colour as to his countenance, became pale from terror, and was so unmanned by fear and alarm, that his body lost its firmness and vigour." The bands or ligaments of his thighs (חרץ, equivalent to the Hebr. חלצים) were loosed, i.e., lost the strength to hold his body, and his knees smote one against another. ארכּוּבא with אprosth., for רכוּבא, in the Targg. means the knee. The alarm was heightened by a bad conscience, which roused itself and filled him with dark forebodings. Immediately the king commanded the magicians to be brought, and promised a great reward to him who would read and interpret the mysterious writing.
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