Daniel 10:9
Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
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(9) His words.—He refers to the unrecorded words of Daniel 10:6. (Comp. Daniel 8:17-18.)

10:1-9. This chapter relates the beginning of Daniel's last vision, which is continued to the end of the book. The time would be long before all would be accomplished; and much of it is not yet fulfilled. Christ appeared to Daniel in a glorious form, and it should engage us to think highly and honourably of him. Let us admire his condescension for us and our salvation. There remained no strength in Daniel. The greatest and best of men cannot bear the full discoveries of the Divine glory; for no man can see it, and live; but glorified saints see Christ as he is, and can bear the sight. How dreadful soever Christ may appear to those under convictions of sin, there is enough in his word to quiet their spirits.Yet heard I the voice of his words - What the angel said when he appeared to him Daniel has not recorded. He says Daniel 10:6 that the voice of his words was "like the voice of a multitude." It is probable that those who were with him had heard that voice, and hearing it, and being struck with the remarkable character of the vision, they had suddenly fled in alarm. Daniel heard more distinctly what he said, though it does not yet appear that he had heard anything more than the sound of his voice.

And when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face - Compare the notes at Daniel 8:18. Lengerke renders this, "I sank into a deep sleep," etc. This is undoubtedly the meaning, that when he heard this voice he was overcome, and sank prostrate and senseless upon the earth. The sense of the Hebrew may be thus expressed: "I became (הייתי hâyı̂ytı̂y) oppressed with sleep," etc.

9. voice of his words—the sound of his words.

was I in a deep sleep—"I sank into a deep sleep" [Lengkerke].

Yet heard I the voice of his words; nevertheless he made me to hear: here was power in weakness, and yet this added to his fear and frailty.

Then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground; as one that swooned, or as one that slumbered, and as one that adored the ground. Yet heard I the voice of his words,.... Though he was struck with so much awe, and his spirits so greatly depressed, and his body reduced to so low a condition; yet he was capable of attending to the voice, and of hearing the articulate sounds pronounced, and of understanding what was said:

and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground; as soon as he heard his words, he fell upon his face to the ground, either in a way of worship and adoration, of prayer and supplication, as the Arabic version suggests; or through awe and reverence of the speaker, as well as through faintness of spirits; and these being quite exhausted, as it were, might be the reason of his falling into a deep sleep; unless it can be thought he was lulled into it, through the sweetness of the voice he had heard.

Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
9. And I heard the voice, &c.] or, the sound (twice): see on Daniel 10:6. then was I in, &c.] R.V. then was I fallen into a deep sleep. The clause appears to describe, not the effect of the words which Daniel heard, but the state in which he already was, when he heard them. On the expression a deep (or dead) sleep, see on Daniel 8:18.

on my face, with my face, &c.] cf. Daniel 8:17-18.Verse 9. - Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. The Septuagint rendering here is briefer than the Massoretic, "And I heard the sound of his speech (λαλιᾶς, ' talking'), and I was fallen upon my face upon the earth." The Septuagint translator seems to have read נְפַלְתִּי (nephalti) instead of נִרְדַם (nir'dam). Theodotion is somewhat nearer the Massoretic text, but renders nirdam by "stupefied." The Pesifitta is an accurate rendering of the text behind the Septuagint. Jerome agrees with Theodotion, rendering nirdam by consternatus; he strengthens the phrase, "my face toward the ground," by inserting haerebat. It would seem that nirdam is of doubtful authenticity. It may be said this was omitted because of the difficulty of imagining the prophet seeing while in a deep sleep. But a state of sleep does not preclude the possibility of seeing a vision. In the parallel passage (Daniel 8:18) the LXX. has no difficulty in translating, נִרְדַמְתִּי ἐκοιμήθην. By assuming the reading of the LXX. and the Peshitta to be correct, we make the process of events more natural; according to the Massoretic reading, though we have an account of his sense of weakness, we have no record that he fell to the ground, and yet we are told that he was "in a deep sleep, with his face toward the ground" The resemblance is very great to Job 4:12, "A thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof in thoughts from the vision of the night, when sleep falleth on men (תַּרְדֵמָה, tardaymah)." If there has been imitation, the originality and beauty of the passage in Job render it certain that it is the original. It seems more likely to be a change introduced to bring the revelation to Daniel in line with other prophetic revelations. The attitude Daniel assumed was one which implied the deepest abasement - the envoy of the great king kisses the ground at the feet of the envoy of the King of kings. Even the revelation given while sleep had fallen on the subject of the revelation, seems paralleled with what took place at the Transfiguration (Luke 9:32, "And Peter and those that were with him were heavy with sleep," yet it was when they were awaked that they saw the glory). So with Gethsemane. The Hebrew word is the same as that used when Eve was taken out of the side of Adam; he then was asleep - a deepsleep had fallen on him, תַּרְדֵמָה (tardaymah)." (For further illustrations, see Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 3:23; Zechariah 4:1; Revelation 1:17.) חמרא בּטעם, while he tasted the wine, i.e., when the wine was relished by him; thus "in the wanton madness of one excited by wine, Proverbs 20:1" (Hitz.). From these words it appears that Belshazzar commanded the temple vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem to be brought, not, as Hvernick thinks, for the purpose of seeking, in his anxiety on account of the siege of the city, the favour of the God of the Jews, but to insult this God in the presence of his own gods. The supposition of anxiety on account of the siege does not at all harmonize with the celebration of so riotous a festival. Besides, the vessels are not brought for the purpose of making libations in order to propitiate the God to whom they were consecrated, but, according to the obvious statement of the text, only to drink out of them from the madness of lust. וישׁתּון, that they may drink; before the imperf. expresses the design of the bringing of the vessels. ב שׁתה, to drink out of, as Genesis 44:5; Amos 6:6. שׁגלן, the wives of the king; cf. Nehemiah 2:6 with Psalm 45:10. לחנן, concubines; this word stands in the Targg. for the Hebr. פּלּגשׁ. The lxx have here, and also at Daniel 5:23, omitted mention of the women, according to the custom of the Macedonians, Greeks, and Romans (cf. Herod. Ch. 5:18; Corn. Nep. proem. 6); but Xenophon (Cyr. v. 2. 28) and Curtius (v. 1. 38) expressly declare that among the Babylonians the wives also were present at festivals.
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