STUDY OF DANIEL WITH RASHI COMMENTS AND JOSEPHUS
From: Judaica Press Complete TaNaK
Daniel Chapter one:
1. In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim Now is it possible to say so? Did he [Nebuchadnezzar] not reign in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, as is stated (Jer. 25:1) “in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah that is the first year of Nebuchadnezzar?” So what is the meaning of “In the third year?” In the third year of his rebellion, as is stated (II Kings 24:1): “and Jehoiakim was his vassal for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him” ; and in the third year, he overcame him, and that was the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar, for the master said (Seder Olam ch. 24): In his first year he conquered Nineveh, and in his second year he advanced and vanquished Jehoiakim, who served him for three years and rebelled against him for three years. That was the eleventh year of the reign of Jehoiakim: five years before he vanquished him, three years that he served him, and three years that he rebelled against him. And then Jehoiakim died under his hand, and in his stead, Nebuchadnezzar enthroned Jehoiachin, his son.
2. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, and some of the vessels of the House of God into his hand, and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and the vessels he brought to the treasury of his god.
and some of the vessels of the House of God he took, and some of them remained, as is stated (in Jeremiah 27:19): “so has the Lord of Hosts said concerning the pillars, concerning the sea, concerning the bases, and concerning the rest of the vessels, which Nebuchadnezzar did not take into exile (sic).”
and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god to praise his idols; he brought the entire captivity there, even the people, and the vessels he brought afterwards to the treasury.
3. Then the king said to Ashpenaz, his chief officer, to bring from the Children of Israel, from the royal seed, and from the nobles.
the nobles Heb. הַפַּרְתְּמִים, dukes.
4. Youths in whom there is no blemish, of handsome appearance, who understand all wisdom, [who are] erudite in knowledge, who understand how to express their thoughts, and who have strength to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the script and the language of the Chaldeans.
and who have strength Our Sages explained (Sanh. 93b) that they should restrain themselves from laughing, speaking and sleeping, out of fear of the throne, and resist the urge when they feel the need to relieve themselves.
and to teach them the script This refers back to “who have strength.”
5. The king allotted them a daily portion of the king's food and of the wine that he drank, and to train them for three years, and at the end thereof, they would stand before the king.
allotted Heb. וַיְמַן, an expression of preparation.
of… food Heb. מִפַּתבַּג. That is the name of the king’s fare in the language of the Chaldeans. Some interpret פַּתבַּג, [as] bread, but it does not appear correct, for it is written (below verse 16): “The steward would take away פַּתבָּגָם … and give them pulse.” Now pulse is not a substitute for bread, but a substitute for cooked food.
6. Now there were among them, from the Judahites, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
7. And the chief officer gave them names: he called Daniel Belteshazzar, Hananiah Shadrach, Mishael Meshach, and Azariah Abed-nego.
Belteshazzar He named him after the god of Babylon, which was called Bel, as it is said (4:5): “whose name is Belteshazzar, like the name of my god.” Teshazzar is the Aramaic expression denoting wisdom.
8. Daniel resolved not to be defiled by the king's food or by the wine he drank; so he requested of the king's chief officer that he should not be defiled.
not to be defiled Heb. לֹא יָתְגָּאַל, an expression of sullying.
9. God granted Daniel kindness and mercy before the chief officer.
the chief officer who was the chief over the king’s servants.
10. And the chief officer replied to Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who allotted your food and your drink, for why should he see your faces troubled more than the youths like you? And you will forfeit my head to the king."
who allotted who prepared and provided.
like you כְּגִילְכֶם, of your likeness. It is the language of the Mishnah; one of his likeness.
and you will forfeit my head to the king You shall bring about that I will be condemned to be beheaded.
11. And Daniel answered the steward whom the chief officer had appointed for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
the steward Heb. הַמֶּלְצַר, the one who arranges the portions and the plates, called maestre sala, seneschal, steward.
12. "Now test your servants for ten days, and let them give us some pulse that we should eat, and water that we should drink.
test Heb. נַס an expression of (נִסָיוֹן) testing.
some pulse a type of beans instead of the food.
13. And let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be seen by you, and as you will see, so do with your servants."
and as you will see According to what you see, do.
14. He heeded them in this matter and tested them for ten days.
15. And at the end of the ten days, they looked handsomer and fatter than all the youths who ate the king's food.
16. And the steward would carry away their food and the wine they were to drink and give them pulse.
carry away their food He would take it for himself.
17. And to these youths, the four of them, God gave knowledge and understanding in every script and wisdom, and Daniel understood all visions and dreams.
18. And at the end of the days that the king ordered to bring them, the chief officer brought them before Nebuchadnezzar.
that the king ordered to bring them that they come before him.
19. And the king spoke with them, and of all of them, no one was found to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and they stood before the king.
20. And in every matter of the wisdom of understanding that the king requested of them, he found them ten times better than all the necromancers and astrologers in all his kingdom.
the necromancers These are the ones who inquire of טִימֵי מֵתִים, the bones of the dead, as you say, “May his bones be crushed,” שְּׁחִיק טַמַיָא.
the astrologers These are the ones who “press” the constellation. So it is explained in Tanhuma (Miketz 2, Buber, Miketz 4).
21. And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
And Daniel was there in greatness in Babylon until the first year of King Cyrus. According to the one who says that Hathach (Esther; 4:5, 6, 9, 10) is Daniel; and why was he called Hathach? Because he was cut off (חֲתָכוּהוּ) from his greatness; [according to his explanation] we must say that this is Cyrus I, who preceded Ahasuerus. But according to the one who says that all royal affairs were decided (נֶחְתָּכִים) by his orders, we must say that this Cyrus was Darius II, [who came] after Ahasuerus, and in the days of Darius the Mede, when they cast [Daniel] into the lions’ den, he was not demoted from his greatness, as it is said (6: 29): “And this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and during the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” We learn that during the days of Cyrus I he was [still] in his greatness.
Daniel Chapter two
With Rashi comments
1. Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep was interrupted.
Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign It is impossible to say this, except that [it happened] in the second year after the destruction of the Temple. So it is taught in Seder Olam (ch. 28), and Scripture called it “of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign,” because he demonstrated his insolence by entering the Inner Sanctum of the Sovereign of the Universe.
and his spirit was troubled Heb. וַתִּתְפָּעֶם רוּחוֹ. Concerning Pharaoh it says (Gen. 41: 8): וַתִּפָּעֶם רוּחוֹ, for only the interpretation of the dream was hidden from him, but here, since the dream too was hidden from him, the expression is doubled: וַתִּתְפָּעֶם, an expression of pulsating and beating.
was interrupted Heb. נִהְיְתָה, an expression of breaking like (Ezek. 7:25): “Breach upon breach (הוָה עַל הוָה).”
2. And the king commanded to summon the necromancers, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams, and they came and stood before the king.
3. And the king said to them, "I dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream."
4. Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, "May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we shall tell the interpretation."
May the king live forever Aram. מַלְכָּא לְעָלְמִין חֱיִי.
Tell your servants the dream [as translated,] Tell your servants the dream.
5. The king replied and said to the Chaldeans, "The matter has escaped me. If you do not let me know the dream and its meaning, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be made into a dungheap.
The matter has escaped me The thing has left me.
If you do not let me know the dream and its meaning [as translated,] if you do not let me know the dream and its meaning.
you shall be torn limb from limb Aram. הַדָמִין תִּתְעַבְּדוּן. You shall be cut to pieces, and there are many such in the Gemara (Gittin 67b): “Arrange the cuts” הַדְמּוּה) (ָהַדוּמֵי.
a dungheap Aram. נְוָלִי, a dungheap.
shall be made Aram. יִתְּשָּׂמוּן an expression of וְיָשֵּׂם, and he will make. They shall be made into dungheaps.
6. But if you tell the dream and its meaning, you will receive gifts and lavish presents and great honor from me; but tell me the dream and its meaning."
But if [as translated,] But if.
and lavish presents [as translated,] presents.
but [as translated,] but.
tell me [as translated,] tell me.
7. They replied a second time and said, "Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we shall tell the meaning."
a second time [as translated,] a second time.
we shall tell [as translated,] we shall tell.
8. The king replied and said, "In truth, I know that this time you are doomed because you see that the matter has escaped me.
in truth, I know [as translated,] in truth, I know.
truth Aram. יַצִיב, a true and permanent thing.
that this time you are doomed Aram. אַנְתוּן זַבְנִין דִּי עִדָּנָא, that this time you are delivered to death.
because you see because you see that the matter escaped me, but you repeatedly ask me to tell you.
9. For if you do not tell me the dream, there is but one law for you, or if you have prepared yourselves to say before me a false and corrupt word, until the time changes . but tell me the dream, and I shall know that you will tell me its meaning."
or if you have prepared yourselves… a false and corrupt word Or if you have prepared yourselves to say before me a false and corrupt word.
until the time changes until the time changes, i.e., before the shadows of evening slant, when the time of morning changes. “Until the time changes” is an expression of rebuke and an exaggeration: so will he be punished, and the punishment was already delineated above. A similar instance is (Gen. 4:15): “Therefore, whoever kills Cain.”
but the dream; tell me what I dreamed, and I shall know that you will surely tell me the interpretation.
10. The Chaldeans replied before the king and said, "There is no man on the earth who can declare the king's word; because no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any necromancer, astrologer, or Chaldean.
who… the king’s word who will be able to tell the king’s word.
because Aram. כָּל קַבֵל, lit. all opposite; i.e., our reply is true, in view of the fact that there was never a king who asked anything like this.
such a thing Aram. מִלָה כִדְּנָה, a thing like this.
astrologer who presses the constellation.
11. And the matter that the king asks is difficult, and there is no other who can tell it before the king but the angels, whose dwelling is not with people."
difficult Aram. יַקִירָה, heavy, and its burden is heavy.
and there is no other who can tell it and there is no other who will tell it.
but the angels but the angels whose dwelling is not with flesh and blood.
whose dwelling Aram. מְדָרְהוֹן, their dwelling. The Midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma (ad loc.) [says]: וְאַחֲרָן לָא אִיתַי, and Aaron is not here. A priest who wears the Urim and Tummim is not here to tell you. He said to them, “That Temple was so powerful, and you advised me to destroy it?” Immediately, he became angry and commanded to slay them.
12. In view of this, the king was in great wrath and anger and ordered to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
In view of this in view of this reply.
in great wrath and anger Aram. מַלְכָּא בְּנַס וּקְצַף שַּׂגִיא. The king was in great wrath and anger. (בְּנַס) means in wrath. (Gen. 40:6): "And behold they were angry (זֹעַפִים), and Onkelos renders: נסִיסִין.
and ordered to destroy Aram. וַאֲמַר לְהוֹבָדָה. About this “vav” of וַאֲמַר, Menahem and Dunash disputed. Menahem (p. 46) forced himself to make the “beth” of בְּנַס, a radical and did not interpret בְּנַס וּקְצַף as nouns, but as an expression of a verb: was greatly wroth and angry and ordered to destroy. The “vav” in וַאֲמַר forced him to interpret it this way. Dunash (p. 9) says that it is impossible for the “beth” to be a radical, but it is a noun, and he interpreted it in this manner: with great wrath and anger he ordered to destroy, and the “vav” there is superfluous, like the “vav” of (Ps. 76:7): “chariot (וְרֶכֶב) and horse.” But I say that the “vav” is not forced to be superfluous, but so is its interpretation: מַלְכָּא בְּנַס וּקְצַף שַּׂגִּיא, the king was in great wrath and anger, and he ordered in his wrath to destroy them. Accordingly, this is an elliptical verse.
13. And a decree was issued, and the wise men were being slain, and Daniel and his colleagues were sought to be slain.
And a decree was issued The law of the king and his decree were issued in the province.
and Daniel and his colleagues were sought to be slain [as translated,] and Daniel and his colleagues were sought to be slain.
14. Then Daniel answered with counsel and good sense to Arioch, the king's chief executioner, who had gone out to slay the wise men of Babylon.
Then Aram. בֵּאדַיִן, the Targum for אָז.
answered with counsel and good sense He answered [with] counsel and good sense to Arioch, the name of the man.
the… chief executioner the officer over those who executed the ones condemned to death.
15. He replied and said to Arioch, the king's ruler, "Why was the decree issued so hastily from before the king?" Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel.
Why was the decree issued so hastily Why is the decree of the king [issued] in such a haste to kill?
Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel that the king was angry because no one told him his dream.
16. Then Daniel entered and requested of the king that time be given him, and the interpretation would be told to the king.
entered and requested [as translated,] entered and requested.
be given him [as translated,] be given him.
17. Then Daniel went home and let his colleagues, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, know of the matter.
18. And to pray and beg of the God of heaven about this secret, that Daniel and his colleagues should not perish with the remaining wise men of Babylon.
19. Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in the vision of the night; then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
the secret was revealed [as translated,] the secret was revealed.
20. Daniel spoke up and said, "May the Name of Hashem be blessed from everlasting even to everlasting, to Whom are wisdom and might.
21. And He changes the times and the seasons, He removes kings and sets up kings; He grants wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding.
changes [as translated,] changes.
removes He removes kings, for he understood from the dream that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom would terminate, and another kingdom would rise.
22. He reveals the profound and secret things; He knows what is in the dark, and light dwells with Him.
He reveals the profound [as translated,] He reveals the profound.
and secret things for He revealed this profound thing to me.
23. To You, O God of my forefathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and might, and now You have let me know what I requested of You, for the matter of the king You have let me know."
You have let me know [as translated,] You have let me know.
24. In view of this, Daniel came in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went, and so he said to him, "Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Bring me in before the king, and I shall tell the king the interpretation."
In view of this in view of this, that the secret was revealed to him.
Daniel came in to Arioch He entered Arioch’s premises.
had appointed [as translated,] had appointed.
Do not destroy [as translated,] Do not destroy.
bring me in [as translated,] bring me in.
25. Then Arioch brought Daniel in before the king in haste, and so he said to him, that "I have found a man of the exiles of Judea who will let the king know the interpretation."
Then Aram. אֶדַיִן, [the equivalent of] אָז.
in haste Aram. בְּהִתְבְּהָלָה, in haste, i. e., quickly.
brought… in brought Daniel in.
that “I have found a man [as translated,] that” I have found a man.
the exiles of Judea [as translated,] the exiles of Judea.
26. The king spoke up and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Do you have the ability to tell me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?"
Do you have the ability Are you able?
that I have seen [as translated,] that I have seen.
27. Daniel answered the king and said, "The secret that the king asks, no wise men, astrologers, necromancers, or demonologists can tell the king.
demonologists Aram. גָזְרִין, the name of a type of ruler over demons.
28. But there is a God in heaven Who reveals secrets, and He lets King Nebuchadnezzar know what will be at the end of days; that is your dream and the visions of your head on your bed.
But there is… and He lets Nebuchadnezzar know He revealed this secret to me, and through me let the king know that his dream refers to future events.
your dream and the visions of your head on your bed which are on your bed.
29. You, O king, your thoughts came while on your bed, what will be after this, and the Revealer of secrets lets you know what will be.
your thoughts Aram. רַעְיוֹנָי.
came while on your bed What you were thinking of during the day, what would be after you, came [to you] on your bed.
and the Revealer of secrets and the Holy One, blessed be He, Who reveals secrets, let you know what will come about.
30. And I-not with wisdom that I possess more than all living, did He reveal this secret to me, but in order that they should let the king know the interpretation and you should know the thoughts of your heart.
And I, not with wisdom And I, not with superior wisdom that I have, more than other creatures, was this secret revealed to me.
but in order that they should let the king know the interpretation They should let you know from heaven.
and you should know the thoughts of your heart and the thoughts of your heart about which you are constantly thinking, [which are] to know who will rise after you.
you should know [as translated,] you should know.
31. O King, you were watching, and behold, one great image, an image which had a large base and with unusual splendor, was standing opposite you, and its form was frightening.
you were watching [as translated,] you were watching.
and behold Aram. וַאֲלוּ, an expression of “behold.”
an image which had a large base [as translated,] an image which had a large base.
with unusual splendor, was standing opposite you [as translated,] standing opposite you.
and its form was frightening [as translated,] and its form was frightening.
32. That image had a head of fine gold, its breast and its arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of copper.
of fine gold [as translated,] of fine gold.
its breast [as translated,] its breast.
and its arms [as translated,] and its arms.
its belly and thighs [as translated,] its belly and thighs.
33. Its legs were of iron, and its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.
Its legs were of iron [as translated,] Its legs were of iron.
were partly of iron and partly of clay [as translated,] were partly of iron and partly of clay [i.e., part of each foot was of iron and part of clay].
34. You were watching until one stone was hewn without hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay and crumbled them.
until one stone was hewn that one stone was cut and separated.
without hands not with hands, but by itself.
and it struck the image [as translated,] and it struck the image.
and crumbled them [as translated,] and crumbled them.
35. Then the iron, the clay, the copper, the silver, and the gold crumbled together, and they were like chaff from the threshing floors of the summer, and the wind carried them off, and no place was found for them, and the stone that struck the image became a huge mountain and filled the entire earth.
Then… crumbled together Then all the types of metals and the clay that were in it crumbled together.
and they were like chaff from the threshing floors of the summer [as translated,] and they were like chaff from the threshing floors of the summer.
and the wind carried them off [as translated,] and the wind carried them off.
and no place was found for them i.e., their original place was unknown, and it was unrecognizable that they were ever there.
became a huge mountain [as translated,] became a huge mountain.
36. This is the dream, and its interpretation we shall recite before the king.
This is the dream Behold this is the dream that you dreamed.
and its interpretation we shall recite, etc. and its interpretation we shall tell you.
37. You, O King, the King of kings, the God of heaven gave you a strong, powerful, and prominent kingdom.
The King of kings Our Sages, of blessed memory, explained (Shev. 35b): Every mention of “king” in Daniel refers to an earthly king, except this one, which he said in reference to the Holy One, blessed be He, and this is what it means: The King of kings, Who is the God of heaven.
a strong… kingdom gave you a strong and prominent kingdom.
38. And wherever people, wild beasts, and birds of the sky dwell, He has given into your hand and has given you dominion over them all. You are the head of gold.
and has given you dominion over them all And He gave you dominion over them all, so that even if you decree upon a horse, it will not whinny, or upon a bird, it will not fly, as it is said (Jer. 27:6): “and even the beasts of the field I have given to him to serve him.”
You are the head of gold You are the golden head of the image that you saw, for your kingdom is strong, and now it is in existence and is very prominent.
39. And after you will arise another kingdom lower than you, and another-a third kingdom- of copper, which will rule over the entire earth.
And after you will arise another kingdom lower than you And after you, after the reign of your son, Belshazzar, will arise a kingdom that will take the ruling power from your seed, lower and humbler than your kingdom.
lower Aram. אֶרַע, lower, as silver is lower and humbler than gold, and you saw that the breast, which is after the head, was of silver; so will the kingdom of Media and Persia, which will follow the kingdom of Babylon, be humbler than the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar.
and another, a third kingdom [as translated,] another.
of copper as strong as copper, and that is the kingdom of Alexander of Macedon.
40. And a fourth kingdom will be strong as iron, for iron crumbles and flattens everything, and like iron, which shatters all these, it will crumble and shatter.
And a fourth kingdom will be as hard as iron, as you saw the thighs, which are the fourth from the head, the breast, and the belly, and they are of iron.
crumbles and flattens everything flattens and crumbles all kinds of metal, which are flattened with a hammer.
and flattens Aram. וְחָשֵּׁל, and flattens. There are many such [words] in the Talmud. Keth. 77a, “who thins copper for kettles (חַשְּׁלָא דוּדֵי) ” ; Hul. 93a: “crushed testicles (בֵּיעֵי חֳשִּׁלָתָא).”
all these all these kinds of metals that you saw in the image.
it will crumble and shatter It will crumble and shatter all the nations.
41. And what you saw, the feet and the toes-which were partly of potter's clay and partly of iron-so it will be a divided kingdom, and in it will be some of the strength of iron, in view of what you saw iron mixed with clay.
potter’s clay Aram. חֲסַף דִּי פֶחָר, a potter’s clay, and there are many instances of this in the Talmud (Taanith 7a): “vessels of a potter (מָאנֵי דְפַחְרָא).”
it will be a divided kingdom It will be a divided kingdom; two kings will rise from it at once, strong and weak, as explained below (verse 42): “part of the kingdom will be strong.”
and in it will be some of the strength of iron Even the weak one will be stronger than the other nations through the strength of his fellow, for they will fear him. And this is the meaning of וּמִן נִצְבְּתָא דִּי פַרְזְלָא לֶהֶוֵא בָהּ; some of the strength of the stability of iron will be in the weak king.
in view of what you saw in view of what you saw-iron mixed with clay.
42. And the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, for part of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be broken.
43. And what you saw, iron mixed with clay, [connotes] that they will mingle with the seed of men, but they will not cleave one to the other, as iron does not mix with clay.
that they will mingle with the seed of men They will intermarry with the other nations but they will not be at peace and truly cleave to them wholeheartedly, and their laws will differ from the laws of the other nations.
as iron does not mix with clay Is it not just as iron does not stick well to clay?
44. And in the days of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom forever, it will not be destroyed, and the kingdom will not be left to another people; it will crumble and destroy all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever.
And in the days of these kings in the days of these kings, when the kingdom of Rome is still in existence.
the God Of heaven will set up a kingdom The kingdom of the Holy One, blessed be He, which will never be destroyed, is the kingdom of the Messiah.
it will crumble and destroy It will crumble and destroy all these kingdoms.
45. Just as you saw that from the mountain a stone was hewn without hands, and it crumbled the iron, the copper, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The great God has let the king know what will be after this, and the dream is true, and its interpretation is reliable."
Just as you saw just as you saw that a stone was broken off the mountain, which crumbled the entire image. This is the interpretation that the fifth kingdom will destroy and shatter them all.
what will be after this what will be after this, after this kingdom of yours.
and its interpretation is reliable for the Eternal of Israel neither lies nor repents.
46. Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and prostrated himself before Daniel, and he ordered to offer up a meal-offering and libations to bring him satisfaction.
ordered to offer up… libations He wished to deify him.
47. The king replied to Daniel and said, "Truly, your God is the God of the gods and the Master of the kings, and He reveals secrets, being that you were able to reveal this secret.
truly [as translated,] in truth.
and the Master of the kings The Lord of lords.
this secret [as translated,] this secret.
48. Then the king elevated Daniel and gave him many great gifts and gave him dominion over all the capital cities of Babylon, and he was the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
elevated Daniel He elevated Daniel over all the princes.
49. And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed, over the affairs of the capital cities of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; and Daniel was in the king's gate.
and he appointed, over the affairs of the capital cities of Babylon He appointed, over all the necessities of the kingdom, Hananiah Mishael, and Azariah.
Daniel Chapter three
With Rashi comments
1. King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, its height sixty cubits, its width six cubits; he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the capital city of Babylon.
made an image He had an urge to make an image of gold.
its width six cubits; he set it up etc. If its thickness was only six [cubits], how could it stand at a height of sixty cubits? Said Rav Bibi: They would set it up and it would fall, until they brought all the gold of Jerusalem and poured a base around its feet, to fulfill what was said (Ezek. 7:19): “and their gold will be for a repugnant thing.”
in the plain of Dura the name of a place.
2. And Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the capital cities to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
the satraps Aram. לַאֲחַשְּׁדַרְפְּנַיָּא dukes.
the judges, the treasurers, etc. They are all names of nations.
the dedication of the image the beginning of its worship.
3. Then, the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the capital cities were gathered to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they were standing opposite the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4. And the announcement was issued aloud, "To you we are saying O peoples, nations and tongues.
And the announcement was issued aloud [as translated,] and the announcement was issued aloud.
To you we are saying, O peoples [as translated,] To you, all peoples and nations, we are announcing the command of the king as a message from the king.
5. At the time that you hear the sound of the whistling horn, the clavichord, the harp, the psaltery, the bagpipes, and all kinds of music, you shall fall and prostrate yourselves to the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
At the time you hear the sound of the whistling horn Aram. קָל קַרְנָא מַשְּׁרוֹקֵיתָא, the sound of the whistling horn, like (Zech. 10:8) “I will whistle (אֶשְּׁרְקָא) to them, and I will gather them.”
the clavichord, the harp, etc. They are all musical instruments.
kinds of music Aram. זְנֵי זְמָרָא kinds of music. (Gen. 1:11) “After its kind,” Onkelos renders: לִזְנוֹהִי.
6. And whoever will not fall and prostrate himself, will at that time be cast into a burning, fiery furnace."
a fiery furnace a pit that is made to burn rocks into lime, and that is כִּבְשָּׁן in all the Scriptures.
7. In view of this, at that time, when all peoples heard the sound of the whistling horn, the clavichord, the harp, the psaltery, and all kinds of music, all peoples, nations, and tongues would prostrate themselves to the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
In view of this, that they took heed to observe the king’s command concerning this. bagpipes would be played.
at that time At the time that they hear the sound of the music, which is a sign that those who prostrate themselves should come to prostrate, all peoples would fall etc.
8. In view of this, at that time, some Chaldean men approached and denounced the Jews.
In view of this in view of this, that their enemies saw that there is a time to denounce them.
some Chaldean men approached and denounced Aram. וַאֲכַלוּ קַרְצֵיהוֹן informed about them. (Lev. 19: 16) “Do not go as a talebearer among your people,” is translated by Targum as קוּרצִין לָא תֵיכוּ I say that it was the custom of talebearers to eat a meal in the place where they informed, and that was a sign of the verification of their words; for at that time it was incumbent upon them to clarify their words and to verify the slander that they spoke, and that meal was called eating קוּרצִין, an expression of (Prov. 6:13) “he winks (קוֹרֵץ) with his eyes,” which is a sign of slander.
9. They spoke up and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "May the king live forever!
They spoke up and said Aram. עֲנוֹ, they shouted. Every [expression of] עֲנִיָה in Scriptures is an expression of raising the voice.
10. You, O king, gave an order that any person who hears the sound of the whistling horn, the clavichord, the harp, the psaltery, the bagpipes, and all kinds of music, shall fall and prostrate himself to the golden image.
gave an order issued a decree.
11. And whoever does not fall and prostrate himself shall be cast into the fiery furnace.
12. There are Judahite men whom you appointed over the affairs of the capital cities of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men did not take counsel to follow your decree, O king. They do not worship your god and they do not prostrate themselves to the golden image that you have set up."
There are Aram. אִיתַי
Judahite men of the tribe of Judah.
these Aram. אִלֵּ
did not take counsel to follow your decree Aram. עֲלָיִ מַלְכָּא טְעֵם לָא שָּׂמוּ. They did not care to give themselves counsel to care for your decrees.
13. Then Nebuchadnezzar, in wrath and anger, ordered to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then these men were brought before the king.
ordered to bring [as translated,] ordered to bring.
were brought [as translated,] were brought.
14. Nebuchadnezzar spoke up and said to them, "Is it [my decree] meaningless, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you do not worship my god and that you do not prostrate yourselves to the golden image that I have set up?"
Is it meaningless Aram. הַצְדָא. Are my decrees void and desolate and an empty thing in your eyes, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not worship my god? The “hey” of הַצְדָא is used as an interrogative expression.
that I have set up [as translated,] that I have set up.
15. Now behold, you are destined, at the time that you hear the whistling horn, the clavichord, the harp, the psaltery, the bagpipes, and all kinds of music, to fall and prostrate yourselves to the image that I made, and if you do not prostrate yourselves, at that time you shall be cast into a burning, fiery furnace, and who is a god who will save you from my hand?
Now, behold you are destined Now, behold you are destined against your will to accept this upon yourselves.
and if you do not prostrate yourselves and if you do not prostrate yourselves, you shall be cast.
into into the midst of.
and who is a god and who is a god who will save you from my hands?
16. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, "Nebuchadnezzar, we do not care to answer you about this matter.
to the king, ‘Nebuchadnezzar Why is his name mentioned? But this is what they said to him: “If [it concerns] taking upon ourselves to pay taxes, either the tax from the crops or the head taxes, you are king over us, [but] if [it concerns] denying the Holy One, blessed be He, [you are merely] Nebuchadnezzar. In our eyes, you are a lowly person and the most despised of the people. You and a dog are equal.”
we do not care We do not care to take counsel on what to answer you, for the answer is ready and fluent in our mouths.
17. Behold there is our God whom we worship; He can save us. From the burning, fiery furnace and from your hands, O king, He will save [us].
He can save us He can save us from all our troubles.
From the burning fiery furnace and from your hands, O king, He will save us from the furnace and from your hands He will save.
18. And if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not worship your god, neither will we prostrate ourselves to the golden image that you have set up."
And if not And if He will not wish to save our bodies, let it be known to you, etc.
19. Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and the features of his face changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; he shouted and ordered to heat the furnace seven times as much as it should be heated.
was filled with wrath [as translated,] was filled with wrath.
and the features of his face changed [as translated,] and the features of his face changed.
to heat the furnace to light the fiery furnace and to heat it.
seven times as much as it should be heated instead of once, seven times as much as they calculated to heat it up; and it was as though they would kindle it seven times as much as it required.
to be heated lit. to heat it.
20. And he commanded certain mighty men in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, to cast them into the burning, fiery furnace.
certain mighty men in his army [as translated,] certain mighty men in his army.
And he commanded… to bind He commanded to bind them because he saw that they were strengthening themselves to answer him harshly, and he said, “These are mighty”; so he commanded the mighty men in his army to bind them.
21. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their trousers, their robes, and their [other] garments and they were cast into the burning, fiery furnace.
these men [as translated,] these men.
were bound in their cloaks They were bound in the garments in which they enwrapped themselves.
their trousers, their robes types of royal raiment that they had; and although they were going forth to be judged before Nebuchadnezzar regarding their death sentence, they did not change their clothes to humble their greatness. From here the Sages learned that even in times of danger, a person should not change from the ruling position to which he has become accustomed.
their robes Aram. וְכַרְבְּלָתְהוֹן. There is a word similar to this (in I Chron. 15:27): "And David was clothed (מְכֻרְבָּל).
and they were cast into the burning, fiery furnce [as translated,] and they were cast into the burning, fiery furnace.
22. In view of this, since the word of the king was urgent and the furnace was heated excessively, these men who had brought up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were killed by a spark of fire.
In view of this in view of this, that the king’s command was strong.
and the furnace was heated excessively and the furnace was heated to a great degree.
these men these mighty men who had bound Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah and had cast them into the furnace.
were killed by a spark of fire The power of a spark of fire burned them.
23. And these men, the three of them, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell into the burning, fiery furnace, bound.
bound [as translated,] bound.
24. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was bewildered and stood up in haste. He shouted and said to his leaders, "Did I not cast three men into the fiery furnace, bound?" They answered and said to the king, "The king is true."
was bewildered Aram. תְּוַהּ, wondered.
and stood up in haste Aram. וְקָם בְּהִתְבְּהָלָה.
answered and said Aram. עָנַיִן וְאָמְרִין They answered and said to the king.
The king is true Aram. יַצִיבָא מַלְכָּא The king has spoken the truth.
25. He called out and said, "Behold, I see four free men walking in the midst of the fire, and there is no wound upon them, and the form of the fourth one is like [that of] an angel."
free men walking in the midst of the fire freed from their bonds and walking in the midst of the fire.
and there is no wound upon them [as translated,] and there is no wound upon them.
and the form of the fourth [as translated,] and the form of the fourth.
is like [that of] an angel It is like the angel I saw when I was with Sannecherib, when his armies were burned, as it is said (II Kings 19:35): “[And an angel of the Lord went forth] and slew… of the camp of Assyria.” And Nebuchadnezzar was there and fled among the ten who fled from them.
26. Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the gate of the burning, fiery furnace. He shouted and said, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, the servants of the Most High God! Step out and come!" Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire.
approached the gate of the… fiery furnace He approached the gate of the court, in which the furnace was situated, to speak with them, and at first, he saw them from afar.
Step out and come “step out and come,” but he did not say to them, “step out and ascend.” From here we learn that the floor of the furnace floated up and became even with the ground, so that they should not be troubled to go up.
Then… came out Although they were confident of the miracle that had been performed for them, they did not dare to treat the king lightly, to go out without permission.
27. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the leaders of the king gathered [and] saw these men, that the fire had taken no effect on their bodies, the hair of their heads was not singed, their robes had not changed, and the smell of fire had not been absorbed by them.
And the satraps… gathered Four nations were counted above in the first gathering who were not counted here: Adargazeria, Dethaveria, Gedaveria, Tiftaei. They are the mighty men whom the spark of fire had killed when they cast Hananiah and his colleagues into the fire.
saw these men saw these men: Hananiah and his colleagues.
that the fire had taken no effect on their bodies [as translated,] that the fire had taken no effect on their bodies.
on their bodies בְּגֶשְּׁמְהוֹן, their bodies, in Aramaic, and there are many [instances of it] in this Book.
the hair of their heads was not singed [as translated,] the hair of their heads was not singed.
their robes were not changed They did not change from their appearance.
and the smell of fire had not been absorbed by them Aram. לָא עֲדַת בְּהוֹן, did not pass into their midst.
28. Nebuchadnezzar cried out and said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, Who sent His angel and rescued His servants, who trusted Him, deviated from the command of the king, and risked their lives in order not to worship or prostrate themselves to any god except to their God.
Nebuchadnezzar cried out [as translated,] Nebuchadnezzar cried out.
who trusted him [as translated,] who trusted him.
deviated from the command of the king They deviated from the king’s command by not fulfilling it.
and risked their lives lit. delivered their bodies.
except to their God [as translated,] except to their God.
29. Now an order is issued by me that any people, nation, or tongue that will speak amiss about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and his house shall be made a dungheap because there is no other god who can save in this manner."
Now an order is issued by me [as translated,] Now an order is issued by me.
that will speak amiss that will speak in error, i.e., any disrespectful word.
limb from limb Aram הַּדָּמִין limbs; i.e., they will cut him into limbs.
shall be made a dungheap [as translated,] shall be made a dungheap.
that can save in this manner [as translated,] that can save in this manner.
30. Then the king made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego prosper in the capital city of Babylon.
made… prosper made them prosper and aggrandized them.
31. King Nebuchadnezzar, [said] to all peoples, nations, and tongues that dwell in the whole earth, "May your welfare increase!
King Nebuchadnezzar [says] to all peoples This is the text of the missive: King Nebuchadnezzar greets all peoples.
32. The signs and wonders that the Most High God has done with me it behooves me to recite.
it behooves me to recite It is good for me to tell.
33. How great are His signs, and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom, and His dominion is with every generation."
Daniel Chapter four
With Rashi comments
1. I, Nebuchadnezzar, was tranquil in my house and flourishing in my palace.
was tranquil in my house [as translated,] was tranquil in my house.
2. I saw a dream, and it frightened me, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my mind terrified me.
and it frightened me It brought upon me fear and fright.
3. So I issued an order to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon, that they should let me know the meaning of the dream.
4. Then the necromancers, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the demonologists entered, and I related my dream to them, but they did not tell me its meaning.
5. Until, at last, Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, like the name of my god, entered before me, in whom is the spirit of holy angels, and I told him the dream.
Until, at last, until, at last, Daniel was brought in before me.
like the name of my god The deity of Babylon was named Bel. Teshazzar is the name of an expression of wisdom in Aramaic.
6. "O Belteshazzar, head of the necromancers, since I know that the spirit of holy angels is in you, and no secret is hidden from you, [this is] the vision of my dream that I saw; now tell me its interpretation.
and no secret is hidden from you No mystery is robbed [from you] or denied you.
7. And [these are] the visions of my mind [that I had] on my bed; I was looking, and behold [there was] a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was tremendous.
8. The tree grew and became strong, and its height reached the sky, and its appearance [was seen] to the end of all the earth.
The tree grew and became strong The tree grew and became stronger and stronger.
reached the sky [as translated,] reached the sky.
9. Its branches were beautiful and its fruit was plentiful, and on it was sustenance for all. Under it, the beasts of the field took shade, and in its branches dwelt the birds of the heavens, and all flesh was nourished from it.
its branches were beautiful [as translated,] its branches were beautiful.
and its fruit was plentiful [as translated,] and its fruit was plentiful.
and on it was sustenance for all On it was enough sustenance for all
took shade Aram. תַּטְלֵל, an expression of shade.
dwelt Aram. יְדֻרָן, an expression of dwelling and lodging.
was nourished Aram. יִתְּזִין, an expression of food.
10. I saw in the visions of my mind on my bed, and behold a wakeful holy one descended from the heavens.
I saw lit. I was seeing.
and behold a wakeful holy one i.e., an angel who is forever awake and holy.
11. Crying out loudly, and so he said, "Cut down the tree and cut off its branches, shake off its branches and scatter its fruit; the beasts shall wander away from beneath it and the birds from its branches.
Crying out loudly crying with might.
Cut down the tree… shake off its branches shake off and cause its branches to fall.
shake off its branches shake off and cause its branches to fall.
and scatter its fruit [as translated,] and scatter its fruit.
the beasts shall wander away from beneath it [as translated,] the beasts shall wander away from beneath it.
12. But leave its main roots in the ground, and in fetters of iron and copper in the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens it shall be drenched, and with the beasts shall be its lot in the grass of the earth.
But leave its main roots in the ground but its main roots leave over.
and in fetters of iron and copper i.e., place his feet in iron fetters as is done to a horse that is left in the meadow; so shall you chain him with fetters.
in the grass Aram. בְדִתְאָא in the grass of the field, i.e., in the meadow, so that he should not move from there.
it shall be drenched Aram.
its lot [as translated,] its lot. יִצְטַבַּע, it shall always be drenched, an expression of immersion.
13. They will change his heart from a man's, and the heart of a beast will be given him, and seven periods will pass over him.
and seven periods seven years.
will pass over him will pass over him with this decree.
14. By the decree of the wakeful ones is the matter and by the word of the holy ones is the edict, in order that the living should know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of man, and to whom He wishes He gives it, and the lowest of men He sets upon it.
the edict a decree, but since they take counsel from the Holy One, blessed be He, before they issue the decree, he calls it a question.
in order that Aram. עַד דִּבְרַת, like לְמַעַן.
that the living should know in order that all the living should know.
and to whom He wishes [as translated,] and to whom He wishes.
15. This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen, and you, Belteshazzar, tell [me] its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom cannot let me know the interpretation, but you can, because the spirit of holy angels is in you."
its interpretation [as translated,] its interpretation.
but you can [as translated,] but you can.
16. Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was bewildered for awhile, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king spoke up and said, "Belteshazzar, let the dream and its interpretation not alarm you." Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream be for your enemies and its interpretation for your foes.
Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was bewildered He was silent.
and his thoughts [as translated,] and his thoughts.
alarmed him for he was afraid to interpret the dream for him.
My lord Aram. מָרִאי. Our Rabbis said (Shevu. 35b): “My Lord, may the dream be for Your enemies,” refers to God. He raised his eyes to the Holy One, blessed be He, and said, “May this dream be fulfilled upon this enemy of Yours.” But if you say that he said it to Nebuchadnezzar, was not Israel his enemy? Is it possible that he would curse them?
for your foes Aram. לְעָרָ, like (Sam. 28:16): “and has become [the supporter of] your foes (עָרֶ).”
17. The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, and whose height reached the sky, and whose appearance [was seen] by the entire earth.
18. And whose branches were beautiful, and whose fruit was plentiful, and on which was sustenance for all, under which dwelt the beasts of the field, and in whose branches dwelt the birds of the heavens.
19. That is you, O king, for you have become great and strong, and your greatness has increased and reached the heaven and your dominion [extends] to the end of the earth.
20. And what the king saw-a holy wakeful one descending from heaven, and he said, 'Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its main roots in the ground, and [chain him] with fetters of iron and copper in the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens he shall be drenched, and with the beasts of the fields shall be his lot, until seven periods pass over him.'
21. This is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which befalls my lord, the king.
which befalls my lord, the king [as translated,] which befalls my lord, the king.
22. And they will banish you from mankind, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they will feed you grass like the cattle, and with the dew of the heavens you shall be drenched, and seven periods shall pass over you until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men, and to whom He wishes He gives it.
And they will banish you from mankind [as translated,] and they will banish you from mankind.
and with the dew of the heavens you shall be drenched They will immerse you.
and seven periods shall pass over you We may say that this is the recompense for the Temple, which he destroyed, which was built in seven years.
23. And what they said to leave, the main roots of the tree, your kingdom will remain yours, as soon as you know that Heaven rules.
And what they said, etc. What they said-to leave the roots of the tree-this is the interpretation: מַלְכוּתָ, your kingdom-will remain yours. Your kingdom will ultimately be restored to you.
as soon as you know that Heaven rules as soon as you know that the heavenly beings rule over the world.
24. Indeed, O king, may my counsel please you, and with charity you will remove your sin and your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor; perhaps your tranquility will last."
Indeed, O king Indeed, O king, hearken to my counsel.
my counsel Aram. מִלְכִּי, my counsel, like (Num. 24:14): “I shall advise you (אִיעָצְ),” which is translated: אֲמַלְּכִינָ.
please you May my counsel please you that you hearken to my words.
and with charity you will remove your sin With charity, break your sin off your neck.
and your iniquity by showing mercy to poor and remove your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.
perhaps your tranquility will last Perhaps there will be time for your tranquility, that the evil should not come swiftly. Now what did Daniel see to give Nebuchadnezzar good advice? He saw the Jews poor and humbled by the exile, going from door to door begging for alms, and he gave him advice to deal mercifully with them. He said to him, “These poor people whom you exiled are hungry; nourish them.” And so he did. He opened his storehouses and fed them for a full twelve months.
25. All this befell King Nebuchadnezzar.
All this befell The entire interpretation befell Nebuchadnezzar.
26. At the end of twelve months, he was walking upon the royal palace of Babylon.
he was walking [as translated,] he was walking.
27. The king raised his voice and said, "Is this not the great Babylon, which I built for a royal palace with the strength of my power and for the honor of my glory?"
Is this not He heard poor people coming to the door and crying out. He said, “What is the sound of this multitude in my ears?” His servants said to him, “These are the poor for whom you arranged a time to feed.” He said, “Is this not the great Babylon, etc. If I had squandered my storehouses, from where would I have built all these palaces? From now on, I shall not feed them.” Rabbi Tanhuma (Mishpatim 4) explained it in this manner.
and for the honor of my glory [as translated,] and for the honor of my glory.
28. The word was still in the king's mouth, [when] a voice fell from heaven, [which said] "To you they said 'O King Nebuchadnezzar, your kingdom has turned away from you.
has turned away from you [as translated,] has turned away from you.
29. From man they will banish you, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field; like cattle, they will feed you grass, and seven periods will pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of man, and to whom He wishes, He gives it."'
they will banish Aram. טָרְדִין. an expression of driving away.
30. At that time, the matter was fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar, and he was banished from man, he ate grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of the heavens, until his hair grew like [the feathers of] eagles and his nails like [the claws of] birds.
was fulfilled The decree was executed upon him.
his hair grew like [the feathers of] eagles His hair grew over his entire body like eagles’ feathers.
and his nails like birds and his nails were like a bird’s [talons].
31. And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my understanding was restored to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and glorified Him Who lives to Eternity, Whose dominion is an eternal dominion, and Whose kingdom is with every generation.
And at the end of the days at the end of the days that were set for him; at the end of the seven years.
raised [as translated,] raised.
and my understanding was restored to me [as translated,] and my understanding was restored to me.
and I blessed the Most High [as translated,] and I blessed the Most High.
32. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reckoned as nothing, and according to His will, He foes with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth, and no one can stop His hand or say to Him, "What have You done?"
are reckoned as nothing Aram. כְּלָה. Our Rabbis said (Yoma 20b): The dust of the sun is called לָא i.e., the dust that appears in the sun.
and according to His will, He does with the host of heaven [as translated,] and according to His will, He does with the host of heaven.
and no one can stop His hand Aram. בִידֵהּ וְלָא אִיתַי דִּי יְמַחֵא. And there is none who will stop His hand.
33. At that time, my understanding was restored to me, and I returned to the glory of my kingdom, and my splendor was restored to me; and my leaders and my dignitaries were seeking me, and I was established upon my kingship and excessive greatness was added to me.
At that time [as translated,] at that time.
and I returned to the glory of my kingdom [as translated,] and I returned to the glory of my kingdom.
and my splendor the features of my face.
my leaders and my dignitaries were seeking me and My advisers and my princes were seeking me and hoping for my return.
and I was established [as translated,] and I was established.
and excessive greatness was added to me and more greatness than the earlier [kings] was added to me. Our Rabbis said (Shab. 150a) that he rode astride a lion and tied a serpent to its head.
34. Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, Whose works are all true and Whose ways are just and Who can humble those who walk with arrogance.
and Whose ways are just His ways are just.
who walk with arrogance Those who walk with arrogance He can humble.
Daniel Chapter five
With Rashi comments
1. King Belshazzar made a great feast for his one thousand dignitaries, and he drank as much wine as the thousand.
King Belshazzar He was his son, and he reigned after Evil- merodach, who reigned instead of Nebuchadnezzar, and (he) too was the son of Nebuchadnezzar.
made a great feast We find in Josephon (Book 1, ch. 3) that he waged war by day with Darius the Mede and Cyrus and was victorious in the battle. So in the evening he made a feast, as Isaiah had prophesied about him: (21: 5) “Setting the table, setting up the lamp, eating, drinking. ‘Arise, princes, etc.’ ” For in the midst of the feast the enemies returned, waged war on the city and captured it.
as much wine as the thousand The equivalent of one thousand men [was the amount] he was drinking [in] wine.
2. Belshazzar said, with the counsel of the wine, to bring the golden and silver vessels that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the Temple that was in Jerusalem, that the king, his dignitaries, his queen, and his concubines should drink from them.
said, with the counsel of the wine He said with the counsel of the wine that he had imbibed.
to bring [as translated,] to bring.
that… had taken out [as translated,] had taken out.
his queen Aram. שֵּׁגְלָתֵה, an expression of a queen in Aramaic, like: (Neh. 2:6): “and the queen (וְהַשֵׁגָל) was sitting beside him.”
3. Then the golden vessels that they had taken out of the Temple of the House of God, which was in Jerusalem, were brought, and the king, his dignitaries, his queen, and his concubines drank from them.
were brought [as translated,] were brought.
that they had taken out [as translated,] that they had taken out.
4. They drank wine and praised gods of gold, silver, copper, iron, wood, and stone.
5. At that time, the fingers of a human hand emerged and wrote opposite the candelabrum on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, and the king saw the palm of the hand that was writing.
the fingers… emerged The fingers of a human hand emerged from heaven.
opposite the candelabrum opposite the menorah that was before the table, and a similar word appears (in Tractate Yoma 37a): “made a candelabrum (נִבְרֶשֶׁת) of gold.”
on the plaster on the lime that is plastered on the wall, like (Isa. 27:9): “like crushed chalkstones (אַבְנֵי גֵר),” which resemble lime.
6. Then the king-his color changed, and his thoughts frightened him, the belts of his loins became untied, and his knees knocked one against the other.
his color changed His features changed upon him.
and his thoughts [as translated,] and his thoughts.
and the belts of his loins became untied The belts of his loins opened because his loins were emptying out of fear, and his belt opened.
and the belts of his loins became untied were untied.
and his knees [as translated,] and his knees.
knocked one against the other bumped and knocked.
7. The king cried aloud to bring in the necromancers, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king shouted and said to the wise men of Babylon, "Any man who shall read this writing and tell me its interpretation shall wear purple and [have] a golden chain on his neck and rule over a third of the kingdom."
aloud Aram. בְּחַיִל, lit. with strength.
to bring in [as translated,] to bring in.
this writing [as translated,] this writing.
shall wear purple following the custom of the nobles.
chain Aram. וְהַמְנִיכָא, medallion, necklace.
and rule over over a third of the kingdom [as translated,] and rule over a third of the kingdom.
8. Then all the king's wise men entered, but they could not read the writing or let the king know its interpretation.
entered [as translated,] entered.
9. Then King Belshazzar became very frightened, and his color changed, and his dignitaries were perplexed.
became very frightened Aram. מִתְבָּהַל שַּׂגִּיא, extremely frightened.
were perplexed They were confused.
10. The queen, in response to the words of the king and his dignitaries, entered the banquet hall; the queen raised her voice and said, "May the king live forever! Let your thoughts not frighten you, and let your color not change.
The queen, in response to the words of the king The queen, because she heard the words of the king and his princes, came to the banquet hall.
11. There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of holy angels, and in your father's time enlightenment, understanding, and wisdom like the wisdom of the angels was found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, appointed him prince of the necromancers, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the demonologists; [so did] your father the king.
There is a man There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy ones.
like the wisdom of the angels [as translated,] angels.
appointed him He appointed him prince over them all.
12. All because a superior spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, tell riddles, and untie knots was found in him, in Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar; now let Daniel be summoned and he will tell the interpretation."
All because, etc. because a superior spirit, knowledge and understanding are within him, and the talent to tell riddles.
and untie knots The revelation of all secrets is found in Daniel.
13. Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king raised his voice and said to Daniel, "You are Daniel, who is of the exiles of Judea, whom my father brought from Judea.
14. And I heard about you that the spirit of the angels is in you, and enlightenment, understanding, and superior wisdom is found in you.
15. And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they may read this writing and let me know its interpretation, but they cannot interpret the matter to tell [it].
16. And I have heard about you that you can interpret interpretations and untie knots. Now if you can read the writing and let me know its interpretation, you shall wear purple and [have] a golden chain on your neck, and [over] a third of the kingdom you shall rule."
Now if you can [as translated,] Now if you can.
17. Then Daniel raised his voice and said before the king, "Keep your gifts for yourself, and give your lavish gifts to someone else, but I shall read the writing for the king, and I shall let him know the interpretation.
and give your lavish gifts [as translated,] and give your lavish gifts.
give to someone else give to another person.
18. You are the king [because] the Most High God gave your father, Nebuchadnezzar, kingdom, greatness, honor, and glory.
19. And through the greatness that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and tongues were quaking, and they feared him; whomever he wished he would slay, and whomever he wished he would let live; whomever he wished he would exalt, and whomever he wished he would humble.
20. And when his heart became haughty and his spirit was toughened so that he dealt wickedly, he was deposed from his royal throne, and the honor was removed from him.
and when his heart became haughty [as translated,] and when his heart became haughty.
so that he dealt wickedly [as translated,] so that he dealt wickedly.
he was deposed Aram. הָנְחַת, lit. he took him down.
was removed from him. Aram. הֶעְדִּיו, He removed from him.
21. And he was banished from mankind, and his heart was just like that of the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him grass like the cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of the heavens, until he realized that the Most High God rules over the kingdom of man, and whomever He wishes He sets up on it.
was banished Aram. טְרִיד was driven away.
22. But you, his son, Belshazzar, you did not humble your heart in view of the fact that you know all this.
in view of the fact that you know all this in view of the fact that you know all this that befell your father, and you should have feared the Holy One, blessed be He.
23. But over the Lord of heaven you exalted yourself, and the vessels of His House they brought before you, and you, your dignitaries, your queen, and your concubines drank wine in them, and you praised gods of silver and gold, copper, iron, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor know, but the God in Whose hand is your soul and all your ways-He you did not glorify.
24. Then from before Him the palm of a hand was sent forth, and it inscribed this writing.
the palm of a hand was sent forth [as translated,] the palm of a hand was sent forth.
and it inscribed this writing and this is the writing that it inscribed.
25. And this is the writing that it inscribed: MENE MENE TEKEIL UFARSIN.
26. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE-God has counted your kingdom and has brought it to an end.
MENE God has counted i.e., MENE means that God has counted your kingdom.
and has brought it to an end He calculated the end of the allotted time for the kingdom of your father and his seed, and found that it has already been completed.
27. TEKEIL-You were weighed on the scales and found wanting.
TEKEIL You were weighed on the scales TEKEIL means that you were weighed on the scales and found wanting of all righteousness.
28. UFARSIN-Your kingdom has been broken up and given to Media and Persia."
Your kingdom has been broken up, etc. i.e., UFARSIN means two definitions of PEREIS; one is that your kingdom פְּרִיסַת, your kingdom has been broken up, and the second one is that it has been given to Media and Persia (וּפָּרַס).
29. Then Belshazzar ordered, and they attired Daniel with purple and the golden chain on his neck, and they announced about him that he should rule over a third of the kingdom.
30. On that very night, Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was assassinated.
Antiquities Of The Jews
By Flavius Josephus
Translated By William Whiston
CONCERNING DANIEL AND WHAT BEFELL HIM AT BABYLON.
BUT now Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king, such as were remarkable for the beauty of their bodies, and the comeliness of their countenances, and delivered them into the hands of tutors, and to the improvement to be made by them. He also made some of them to be eunuchs; which course he took also with those of other nations whom he had taken in the flower of their age, and afforded them their diet from his own table, and had them instructed in the institutes of the country, and taught the learning of the Chaldeans; and they had now exercised themselves sufficiently in that wisdom which he had ordered they should apply themselves to.
Now among these there were four of the family of Zedekiah, of most excellent dispositions, one of whom was called Daniel, another was called Ananias, another Misael, and the fourth Azarias; and the king of Babylon changed their names, and commanded that they should make use of other names. Daniel he called Baltasar; Ananias, Shadrach; Misael, Meshach; and Azarias, Abednego. These the king had in esteem, and continued to love, because of the very excellent temper they were of, and because of their application to learning, and the profess they had made in wisdom.
2. Now Daniel and his kinsmen had resolved to use a severe diet, and to abstain from those kinds of food which came from the king's table, and entirely to forbear to eat of all living creatures. So he came to Ashpenaz, who was that eunuch to whom the care of them was committed, (18) and desired him to take and spend what was brought for them from the king, but to give them pulse and dates for their food, and any thing else, besides the flesh of living creatures, that he pleased, for that their inclinations were to that sort of food, and that they despised the other. He replied, that he was ready to serve them in what they desired, but he suspected that they would be discovered by the king, from their meagre bodies, and the alteration of their countenances, because it could not be avoided but their bodies and colors must be changed with their diet, especially while they would be clearly discovered by the finer appearance of the other children, who would fare better, and thus they should bring him into danger, and occasion him to be punished; yet did they persuade Arioch, who was thus fearful, to give them what food they desired for ten days, by way of trial; and in case the habit of their bodies were not altered, to go on in the same way, as expecting that they should not be hurt thereby afterwards; but if he saw them look meagre, and worse than the rest, he should reduce them to their former diet. Now when it appeared that they were so far from becoming worse by the use of this food, that they grew plumper and fuller in body than the rest, insomuch that he thought those who fed on what came from the king's table seemed less plump and full, while those that were with Daniel looked as if they had lived in plenty, and in all sorts of luxury. Arioch, from that time, securely took himself what the king sent every day from his supper, according to custom, to the children, but gave them the forementioned diet, while they had their souls in some measure more pure, and less burdened, and so fitter for learning, and had their bodies in better tune for hard labor; for they neither had the former oppressed and heavy with variety of meats, nor were the other effeminate on the same account; so they readily understood all the learning that was among the Hebrews, and among the Chaldeans, as especially did Daniel, who being already sufficiently skillful in wisdom, was very busy about the interpretation of dreams; and God manifested himself to him.
3. Now two years after the destruction of Egypt, king Nebuchadnezzar saw a wonderful dream, the accomplishment of which God showed him in his sleep; but when he arose out of his bed, he forgot the accomplishment. So he sent for the Chaldeans and magicians, and the prophets, and told them that he had seen a dream, and informed them that he had forgotten the accomplishment of what he had seen, and he enjoined them to tell him both what the dream was, and what was its signification; and they said that this was a thing impossible to be discovered by men; but they promised him, that if he would explain to them what dream he had seen, they would tell him its signification. Hereupon he threatened to put them to death, unless they told him his dream; and he gave command to have them all put to death, since they confessed they could not do what they were commanded to do. Now when Daniel heard that the king had given a command, that all the wise men should be put to death, and that among them himself and his three kinsmen were in danger, he went to Arioch, who was captain of the king's guards, and desired to know of him what was the reason why the king had given command that all the wise men, and Chaldeans, and magicians should be slain. So when he had learned that the king had had a dream, and had forgotten it, and that when they were enjoined to inform the king of it, they had said they could not do it, and had thereby provoked him to anger, he desired of Arioch that he would go in to the king, and desire respite for the magicians for one night, and to put off their slaughter so long, for that he hoped within that time to obtain, by prayer to God, the knowledge of the dream. Accordingly, Arioch informed the king of what Daniel desired. So the king bid them delay the slaughter of the magicians till he knew what Daniel's promise would come to; but the young man retired to his own house, with his kinsmen, and besought God that whole night to discover the dream, and thereby deliver the magicians and Chaldeans, with whom they were themselves to perish, from the king's anger, by enabling him to declare his vision, and to make manifest what the king had seen the night before in his sleep, but had forgotten it. Accordingly, God, out of pity to those that were in danger, and out of regard to the wisdom of Daniel, made known to him the dream and its interpretation, that so the king might understand by him its signification also. When Daniel had obtained this knowledge from God, he arose very joyful, and told it his brethren, and made them glad, and to hope well that they should now preserve their lives, of which they despaired before, and had their minds full of nothing but the thoughts of dying. So when he had with them returned thanks to God, who had commiserated their youth, when it was day he came to Arioch, and desired him to bring him to the king, because he would discover to him that dream which he had seen the night before.
4. When Daniel was come in to the king, he excused himself first, that he did not pretend to be wiser than the other Chaldeans and magicians, when, upon their entire inability to discover his dream, he was undertaking to inform him of it; for this was not by his own skill, or on account of his having better cultivated his understanding than the rest; but he said, "God hath had pity upon us, when we were in danger of death, and when I prayed for the life of myself, and of those of my own nation, hath made manifest to me both the dream, and the interpretation thereof; for I was not less concerned for thy glory than for the sorrow that we were by thee condemned to die, while thou didst so unjustly command men, both good and excellent in themselves, to be put to death, when thou enjoinedst them to do what was entirely above the reach of human wisdom, and requiredst of them what was only the work of God. Wherefore, as thou in thy sleep wast solicitous concerning those that should succeed thee in the government of the whole world, God was desirous to show thee all those that should reign after thee, and to that end exhibited to thee the following dream: Thou seemedst to see a great image standing before thee, the head of which proved to be of gold, the shoulders and arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass, but the legs and the feet of iron; after which thou sawest a stone broken off from a mountain, which fell upon the image, and threw it down, and brake it to pieces, and did not permit any part of it to remain whole; but the gold, the silver, the brass, and the iron, became smaller than meal, which, upon the blast of a violent wind, was by force carried away, and scattered abroad, but the stone did increase to such a degree, that the whole earth beneath it seemed to be filled therewith. This is the dream which thou sawest, and its interpretation is as follows: The head of gold denotes thee, and the kings of Babylon that have been before thee; but the two hands and arms signify this, that your government shall be dissolved by two kings; but another king that shall come from the west, armed with brass, shall destroy that government; and another government, that shall be like unto iron, shall put an end to the power of the former, and shall have dominion over all the earth, on account of the nature of iron, which is stronger than that of gold, of silver, and of brass." Daniel did also declare the meaning of the stone to the king (19) but I do not think proper to relate it, since I have only undertaken to describe things past or things present, but not things that are future; yet if any one be so very desirous of knowing truth, as not to wave such points of curiosity, and cannot curb his inclination for understanding the uncertainties of futurity, and whether they will happen or not, let him be diligent in reading the book of Daniel, which he will find among the sacred writings.
5. When Nebuchadnezzar heard this, and recollected his dream, he was astonished at the nature of Daniel, and fell upon his knee; and saluted Daniel in the manner that men worship God, and gave command that he should be sacrificed to as a god. And this was not all, for he also imposed the name, of his own god upon him, [Baltasar,] and made him and his kinsmen rulers of his whole kingdom; which kinsmen of his happened to fall into great danger by the envy and malice [of their enemies]; for they offended the king upon the occasion following: he made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits, and its breadth six cubits, and set it in the great plain of Babylon; and when he was going to dedicate the image, he invited the principal men out of all the earth that was under his dominions, and commanded them, in the first place, that when they should hear the sound of the trumpet, they should then fall down and worship the image; and he threatened, that those who did not so, should be cast into a fiery furnace. When therefore all the rest, upon the hearing of the sound of the trumpet, worshipped the image, they relate that Daniel's kinsmen did not do it, because they would not transgress the laws of their country. So these men were convicted, and cast immediately into the fire, but were saved by Divine Providence, and after a surprising manner escaped death, for the fire did not touch them; and I suppose that it touched them not, as if it reasoned with itself, that they were cast into it without any fault of theirs, and that therefore it was too weak to burn the young men when they were in it. This was done by the power of God, who made their bodies so far superior to the fire, that it could not consume them. This it was which recommended them to the king as righteous men, and men beloved of God, on which account they continued in great esteem with him.
6. A little after this the king saw in his sleep again another vision; how he should fall from his dominion, and feed among the wild beasts, and that when he halt lived in this manner in the desert for seven years, (20) he should recover his dominion again. When he had seen this dream, he called the magicians together again, and inquired of them about it, and desired them to tell him what it signified; but when none of them could find out the meaning of the dream, nor discover it to the king, Daniel was the only person that explained it; and as he foretold, so it came to pass; for after he had continued in the wilderness the forementioned interval of time, while no one durst attempt to seize his kingdom during those seven years, he prayed to God that he might recover his kingdom, and he returned to it. But let no one blame me for writing down everything of this nature, as I find it in our ancient books; for as to that matter, I have plainly assured those that think me defective in any such point, or complain of my management, and have told them in the beginning of this history, that I intended to do no more than translate the Hebrew books into the Greek language, and promised them to explain those facts, without adding anything to them of my own, or taking any thing away from there.
(18) That Daniel was made one of these eunuchs of which Isaiah prophesied, Isa_39:7, and the three children his companions also, seems to me plain, both here in Josephus, and in our copies of Daniel, Dan_1:3, Dan_1:6-11, Dan_1:18, although it must be granted that some married persons, that had children, were sometimes called eunuchs, in a general acceptation for courtiers, on account that so many of the ancient courtiers were real eunuchs. See Gen_39:1.
(19) Of this most remarkable passage in Josephus concerning the "stone cut out of the mountain, and destroying the image," which he would not explain, but intimated to be a prophecy of futurity, and probably not safe for him to explain, as belonging to the destruction of the Roman empire by Jesus Christ, the true Messiah of the Jews, take the words of Hayercamp, ch. 10. sect. 4: "Nor is this to be wondered at, that he would not now meddle with things future, for he had no mind to provoke the Romans, by speaking of the destruction of that city which they called the Eternal City."
(20) Since Josephus here explains the seven prophetic times which were to pass over Nebuchadnezzar (Dan_4:16) to be seven years, we thence learn how he most probably must have understood those other parallel phrases, of "a time, times, and a half," Antiq. B. VII. ch. 25., of so many prophetic years also, though he withal lets us know, by his hint at the interpretation of the seventy weeks, as belonging to the fourth monarchy, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in the days of Josephus, ch. 2. sect. 7, that he did not think those years to be bare years, but rather days for years; by which reckoning, and by which alone, could seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, reach to the age of Josephus. But as to the truth of those seven years' banishment of Nebuchadnezzar from men, and his living so long among the beasts, the very small remains we have anywhere else of this Nebuchadnezzar prevent our expectation of any other full account of it. So far we knew by Ptolemy's canon, a contemporary record, as well as by Josephus presently, that he reigned in all forty-three years, that is, eight years after we meet with any account of his actions; one of the last of which was the thirteen years' siege of Tyre, Antiq. B. XI. ch. 11., where yet the Old Latin has but three years and ten months: yet were his actions before so remarkable, both in sacred and profane authors, that a vacuity of eight years at the least, at the latter end of his reign, must be allowed to agree very well with Daniel's accounts; that after a seven years' brutal life, he might return to his reason, and to the exercise of his royal authority, for one whole year at least before his death.
CONCERNING NEBUCHADNEZZAR AND HIS SUCCESSORS AND HOW THEIR GOVERNMENT WAS DISSOLVED BY THE PERSIANS; AND WHAT THINGS BEFELL DANIEL IN MEDIA; AND WHAT PROPHECIES HE DELIVERED THERE.
1. NOW when king Nebuchadnezzar had reigned forty-three years, (21) he ended his life. He was an active man, and more fortunate than the kings that were before him. Now Berosus makes mention of his actions in the third book of his Chaldaic History, where he says thus: "When his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] heard that the governor whom he had set over Egypt, and the places about Coelesyria and Phoenicia, had revolted from him, while he was not himself able any longer to undergo the hardships [of war], he committed to his son Nebuchadnezzar, who was still but a youth, some parts of his army, and sent them against him. So when Nebuchadnezzar had given battle, and fought with the rebel, he beat him, and reduced the country from under his subjection, and made it a branch of his own kingdom; but about that time it happened that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] fell ill, and ended his life in the city Babylon, when he had reigned twenty-one years; (22) and when he was made sensible, as he was in a little time, that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] was dead, and having settled the affairs of Egypt, and the other countries, as also those that concerned the captive Jews, and Phoenicians, and Syrians, and those of the Egyptian nations; and having committed the conveyance of them to Babylon to certain of his friends, together with the gross of his army, and the rest of their ammunition and provisions, he went himself hastily, accompanied with a few others, over the desert, and came to Babylon. So he took upon him the management of public affairs, and of the kingdom which had been kept for him by one that was the principal of the Chaldeans, and he received the entire dominions of his father, and appointed, that when the captives came, they should be placed as colonies, in the most proper places of Babylonia; but then he adorned the temple of Belus, and the rest of the temples, in a magnificent manner, with the spoils he had taken in the war. He also added another city to that which was there of old, and rebuilt it, that such as would besiege it hereafter might no more turn the course of the river, and thereby attack the city itself. He therefore built three walls round about the inner city, and three others about that which was the outer, and this he did with burnt brick. And after he had, after a becoming manner, walled the city, and adorned its gates gloriously, he built another palace before his father's palace, but so that they joined to it; to describe whose vast height and immense riches it would perhaps be too much for me to attempt; yet as large and lofty as they were, they were completed in fifteen days. (23) He also erected elevated places for walking, of stone, and made it resemble mountains, and built it so that it might be planted with all sorts of trees. He also erected what was called a pensile paradise, because his wife was desirous to have things like her own country, she having been bred up in the palaces of Media." Megasthenes also, in his fourth book of his Accounts of India, makes mention. of these things, and thereby endeavors to show that this king [Nebuchadnezzar] exceeded Hercules in fortitude, and in the greatness of his actions; for he saith that he conquered a great part of Libya and Iberia. Diocles also, in the second book of his Accounts of Persia, mentions this king; as does Philostrates in his Accounts both of India and of Phoenicia, say, that this king besieged Tyre thirteen years, while at the same time Ethbaal reigned at Tyre. These are all the histories that I have met with concerning this king.
2. But now, after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-Merodach his son succeeded in the kingdom, who immediately set Jeconiah at liberty, and esteemed him among his most intimate friends. He also gave him many presents, and made him honorable above the rest of the kings that were in Babylon; for his father had not kept his faith with Jeconiah, when he voluntarily delivered up himself to him, with his wives and children, and his whole kindred, for the sake of his country, that it might not be taken by siege, and utterly destroyed, as we said before. When Evil-Mcrodach was dead, after a reign of eighteen years, Niglissar his son took the government, and retained it forty years, and then ended his life; and after him the succession in the kingdom came to his son Labosordacus, who continued in it in all but nine months; and when he was dead, it came to Baltasar, (24) who by the Babylonians was called Naboandelus; against him did Cyrus, the king of Persia, and Darius, the king of Media, make war; and when he was besieged in Babylon, there happened a wonderful and prodigious vision. He was sat down at supper in a large room, and there were a great many vessels of silver, such as were made for royal entertainments, and he had with him his concubines and his friends; whereupon he came to a resolution, and commanded that those vessels of God which Nebuchadnezzar had plundered out of Jerusalem, and had not made use of, but had put them into his own temple, should be brought out of that temple. He also grew so haughty as to proceed to use them in the midst of his cups, drinking out of them, and blaspheming against God. In the mean time, he saw a hand proceed out of the wall, and writing upon the wall certain syllables; at which sight, being disturbed, he called the magicians and Chaldeans together, and all that sort of men that are among these barbarians, and were able to interpret signs and dreams, that they might explain the writing to him. But when the magicians said they could discover nothing, nor did understand it, the king was in great disorder of mind, and under great trouble at this surprising accident; so he caused it to be proclaimed through all the country, and promised, that to him who could explain the writing, and give the signification couched therein, he would give him a golden chain for his neck, and leave to wear a purple garment, as did the kings of Chaldea, and would bestow on him the third part of his own dominions. When this proclamation was made, the magicians ran together more earnestly, and were very ambitious to find out the importance of the writing, but still hesitated about it as much as before. Now when the king's grandmother saw him cast down at this accident, (25) she began to encourage him, and to say, that there was a certain captive who came from Judea, a Jew by birth, but brought away thence by Nebuchadnezzar when he had destroyed Jerusalem, whose name was Daniel, a wise man, and one of great sagacity in finding out what was impossible for others to discover, and what was known to God alone, who brought to light and answered such questions to Nebuchadnezzar as no one else was able to answer when they were consulted. She therefore desired that he would send for him, and inquire of him concerning the writing, and to condemn the unskilfulness of those that could not find their meaning, and this, although what God signified thereby should be of a melancholy nature.
3. When Baltasar heard this, he called for Daniel; and when he had discoursed to him what he had learned concerning him and his wisdom, and how a Divine Spirit was with him, and that he alone was fully capable of finding out what others would never have thought of, he desired him to declare to him what this writing meant; that if he did so, he would give him leave to wear purple, and to put a chain of gold about his neck, and would bestow on him the third part of his dominion, as an honorary reward for his wisdom, that thereby he might become illustrious to those who saw him, and who inquired upon what occasion he obtained such honors. But Daniel desired that he would keep his gifts to himself; for what is the effect of wisdom and of Divine revelation admits of no gifts, and bestows its advantages on petitioners freely; but that still he would explain the writing to him; which denoted that he should soon die, and this because he had not learnt to honor God, and not to admit things above human nature, by what punishments his progenitor had undergone for the injuries he had offered to God; and because he had quite forgotten how Nebuchadnezzar was removed to feed among wild beasts for his impieties, and did not recover his former life among men and his kingdom, but upon God's mercy to him, after many supplications and prayers; who did thereupon praise God all the days of his life, as one of almighty power, and who takes care of mankind. [He also put him in mind] how he had greatly blasphemed against God, and had made use of his vessels amongst his concubines; that therefore God saw this, and was angry with him, and declared by this writing beforehand what a sad conclusion of his life he should come to. And he explained the writing thus:" MANEH. This, if it be expounded in the Greek language, may signify a Number, because God hath numbered so long a time for thy life, and for thy government, and that there remains but a small portion. THEKEL This signifies a weight, and means that God hath weighed thy kingdom in a balance, and finds it going down already.--PHARES. This also, in the Greek tongue, denotes a fragment,. God will therefore break thy kingdom in pieces, and divide it among the Medes and Persians."
4. When Daniel had told the king that the writing upon the wall signified these events, Baltasar was in great sorrow and affliction, as was to be expected, when the interpretation was so heavy upon him. However, he did not refuse what he had promised Daniel, although he were become a foreteller of misfortunes to him, but bestowed it all upon him; as reasoning thus, that what he was to reward was peculiar to himself, and to fate, and did not belong to the prophet, but that it was the part of a good and a just man to give what he had promised, although the events were of a melancholy nature. Accordingly, the king determined so to do. Now, after a little while, both himself and the city were taken by Cyrus, the king of Persia, who fought against him; for it was Baltasar, under whom Babylon was taken, when he had reigned seventeen years. And this is the end of the posterity of king Nebuchadnezzar, as history informs us; but when Babylon was taken by Darius, and when he, with his kinsman Cyrus, had put an end to the dominion of the Babylonians, he was sixty-two years old. He was the son of Astyages, and had another name among the Greeks. Moreover, he took Daniel the prophet, and carried him with him into Media, and honored him very greatly, and kept him with him; for he was one of the three presidents whom he set over his three hundred and sixty provinces, for into so many did Darius part them.
5. However, while Daniel was in so great dignity, and in so great favor with Darius, and was alone intrusted with every thing by him, a having somewhat divine in him, he was envied by the rest; for those that see others in greater honor than themselves with kings envy them; and when those that were grieved at the great favor Daniel was in with Darius sought for an occasion against him, he afforded them no occasion at all, for he was above all the temptations of money, and despised bribery, and esteemed it a very base thing to take any thing by way of reward, even when it might be justly given him; he afforded those that envied him not the least handle for an accusation. So when they could find nothing for which they might calumniate him to the king, nothing that was shameful or reproachful, and thereby deprive him of the honor he was in with him, they sought for some other method whereby they might destroy him. When therefore they saw that Daniel prayed to God three times a day, they thought they had gotten an occasion by which they might ruin him; so they came to Darius and told him that the princes and governors had thought proper to allow the multitude a relaxation for thirty days, that no one might offer a petition or prayer either to himself or to the gods, but that he who shall transgress this decree shall be east into the den of lions, and there perish."
6. Whereupon the king, not being acquainted with their wicked design, nor suspecting that it was a contrivance of theirs against Daniel, said he was pleased with this decree of theirs, and he promised to confirm what they desired; he also published an edict to promulgate to the people that decree which the princes had made. Accordingly, all the rest took care not to transgress those injunctions, and rested in quiet; but Daniel had no regard to them, but, as he was wont, he stood and prayed to God in the sight of them all; but the princes having met with the occasion they so earnestly sought to find against Daniel, came presently to the king, and accused him, that Daniel was the only person that transgressed the decree, while not one of the rest durst pray to their gods. This discovery they made, not because of his impiety, but because they had watched him, and observed him out of envy; for supposing that Darius did thus out of a greater kindness to him than they expected, and that he was ready to grant him pardon for this contempt of his injunctions, and envying this very pardon to Daniel, they did not become more honorable to him, but desired he might be cast into the den of lions according to the law. So Darius, hoping that God would deliver him, and that he would undergo nothing that was terrible by the wild beasts, bid him bear this accident cheerfully. And when he was cast into the den, he put his seal to the stone that lay upon the mouth of the den, and went his way, but he passed all the night without food and without sleep, being in great distress for Daniel; but when it was day, he got up, and came to the den, and found the seal entire, which he had left the stone sealed withal; he also opened the seal, and. cried out, and called to Daniel, and asked him if he were alive. And as soon as he heard the king's voice, and said that he had suffered no harm, the king gave order that he should be drawn up out of the den. Now when his enemies saw that Daniel had suffered nothing which was terrible, they would not own that he was preserved by God, and by his providence; but they said that the lions had been filled full with food, and on that account it was, as they supposed, that the lions would not touch Daniel, nor come to him; and this they alleged to the king. But the king, out of an abhorrence of their wickedness, gave order that they should throw in a great deal of flesh to the lions; and when they had filled themselves, he gave further order that Daniel's enemies should be cast into the den, that he might learn whether the lions, now they were full, would touch them or not. And it appeared plain to Darius, after the princes had been cast to the wild beasts, that it was God who preserved (26) for the lions spared none of them, but tore them all to pieces, as if they had been very hungry, and wanted food. I suppose therefore it was not their hunger, which had been a little before satisfied with abundance of flesh, but the wickedness of these men, that provoked them [to destroy the princes]; for if it so please God, that wickedness might, by even those irrational creatures, be esteemed a plain foundation for their punishment.
7. When therefore those that had intended thus to destroy Daniel by treachery were themselves destroyed, king Darius sent [letters] over all the country, and praised that God whom Daniel worshipped, and said that he was the only true God, and had all power. He had also Daniel in very great esteem, and made him the principal of his friends. Now when Daniel was become so illustrious and famous, on account of the opinion men had that he was beloved of God, he built a tower at Ecbatana, in Media: it was a most elegant building, and wonderfully made, and it is still remaining, and preserved to this day; and to such as see it, it appears to have been lately built, and to have been no older than that very day when any one looks upon it, it is so fresh (27) flourishing, and beautiful, and no way grown old in so long time; for buildings suffer the same as men do, they grow old as well as they, and by numbers of years their strength is dissolved, and their beauty withered. Now they bury the kings of Media, of Persia, and Parthia in this tower to this day, and he who was entrusted with the care of it was a Jewish priest; which thing is also observed to this day. But it is fit to give an account of what this man did, which is most admirable to hear, for he was so happy as to have strange revelations made to him, and those as to one of the greatest of the prophets, insomuch, that while he was alive he had the esteem and applause both of the kings and of the multitude; and now he is dead, he retains a remembrance that will never fail, for the several books that he wrote and left behind him are still read by us till this time; and from them we believe that Daniel conversed with God; for he did not only prophesy of future events, as did the other prophets, but he also determined the time of their accomplishment. And while prophets used to foretell misfortunes, and on that account were disagreeable both to the kings and to the multitude, Daniel was to them a prophet of good things, and this to such a degree, that by the agreeable nature of his predictions, he procured the goodwill of all men; and by the accomplishment of them, he procured the belief of their truth, and the opinion of [a sort of] divinity for himself, among the multitude. He also wrote and left behind him what made manifest the accuracy and undeniable veracity of his predictions; for he saith, that when he was in Susa, the metropolis of Persia, and went out into the field with his companions, there was, on the sudden, a motion and concussion of the earth, and that he was left alone by himself, his friends fleeing away from him, and that he was disturbed, and fell on his face, and on his two hands, and that a certain person touched him, and, at the same time, bid him rise, and see what would befall his countrymen after many generations. He also related, that when he stood up, he was shown a great rain, with many horns growing out of his head, and that the last was higher than the rest: that after this he looked to the west, and saw a he-goat carried through the air from that quarter; that he rushed upon the ram with violence, and smote him twice with his horns, and overthrew him to the ground, and trampled upon him: that afterward he saw a very great horn growing out of the head of the he-goat, and that when it was broken off, four horns grew up that were exposed to each of the four winds, and he wrote that out of them arose another lesser horn, which, as he said, waxed great; and that God showed to him that it should fight against his nation, and take their city by force, and bring the temple worship to confusion, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for one thousand two hundred and ninety-six days. Daniel wrote that he saw these visions in the Plain of Susa; and he hath informed us that God interpreted the appearance of this vision after the following manner: He said that the ram signified the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians, and the horns those kings that were to reign in them; and that the last horn signified the last king, and that he should exceed all the kings in riches and glory: that the he-goat signified that one should come and reign from the Greeks, who should twice fight with the Persian, and overcome him in battle, and should receive his entire dominion: that by the great horn which sprang out of the forehead of the he-goat was meant the first king; and that the springing up of four horns upon its falling off, and the conversion of every one of them to the four quarters of the earth, signified the successors that should arise after the death of the first king, and the partition of the kingdom among them, and that they should be neither his children, nor of his kindred, that should reign over the habitable earth for many years; and that from among them there should arise a certain king that should overcome our nation and their laws, and should take away their political government, and should spoil the temple, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for three years' time. And indeed it so came to pass, that our nation suffered these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel's vision, and what he wrote many years before they came to pass. In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. All these things did this man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him, insomuch that such as read his prophecies, and see how they have been fulfilled, would wonder at the honor wherewith God honored Daniel; and may thence discover how the Epicureans are in an error, who cast Providence out of human life, and do not believe that God takes care of the affairs of the world, nor that the universe is governed and continued in being by that blessed and immortal nature, but say that the world is carried along of its own accord, without a ruler and a curator; which, were it destitute of a guide to conduct it, as they imagine, it would be like ships without pilots, which we see drowned by the winds, or like chariots without drivers, which are overturned; so would the world be dashed to pieces by its being carried without a Providence, and so perish, and come to nought. So that, by the forementioned predictions of Daniel, those men seem to me very much to err from the truth, who determine that God exercises no providence over human affairs; for if that were the case, that the world went on by mechanical necessity, we should not see that all things would come to pass according to his prophecy. Now as to myself, I have so described these matters as I have found them and read them; but if any one is inclined to another opinion about them, let him enjoy his different sentiments without any blame from me.
(21) These forty-three years for the duration of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar are, as I have just now observed, the very same number in Ptolemy's canon. Moses Chorenensis does also confirm this captivity of the Jews under Nebuchadnezzar, and adds, what is very remarkable, that sale of those Jews that were carried by him into captivity got away into Armenia, and raised the great family of the Bagratide there.
(22) These twenty-one years here ascribed to one named Naboulassar, in the first book against Apion, or to Nabopollassar, the father of the great Nebuchadnezzar, are also the very same with those given him in Ptolemy's canon. And note here, that what Dr. Prideaux says, at the year, that Nebuchadnezzar must have been a common name of other kings of Babylon, besides the great Nebuchadnezzar himself is a groundless mistake of some modern chronologers rely, and destitute of all proper original authority.
(23) These fifteen days for finishing such vast buildings at Babylon, in Josephus's copy of Berosus, would seem too absurd to be supposed to be the true number, were it not for the same testimony extant also in the first book against Apion, sect. 19, with the same number. It thence indeed appears that Josephus's copy of Berosus had this small number, but that it is the true number I still doubt. Josephus assures us, that the walls of so much a smaller city as Jerusalem were two years and four months in building by Nehemiah, who yet hastened the work all he could, Antiq. B. XI. ch. 5. sect. 8. I should think one hundred and fifteen days, or a year and fifteen days, much more proportionable to so great a work.
(24) It is here remarkable that Josephus, without the knowledge of Ptolemy's canon, should call the same king whom he himself here (Bar. i. 11, and Dan_5:1-2, Dan_5:9, Dan_5:12, Dan_5:22, Dan_5:29-30) styles Beltazar, or Belshazzar, from the Babylonian god Bel, Naboandelus also; and in the first book against Apion, sect. 19, vol. iii., from the same citation out of Berosus, Nabonnedon, from the Babylonian god Nabo or Nebo. This last is not remote from the original pronunciation itself in Ptolemy's canon, Nabonadius; for both the place of this king in that canon, as the last of the Assyrian or Babylonian kings, and the number of years of his reign, seventeen, the same in both demonstrate that it is one and the same king that is meant by them all. It is also worth noting, that Josephus knew that Darius, the partner of Cyrus, was the son of Astyages, and was called by another name among the Greeks, though it does not appear he knew what that name was, as having never seen the best history of this period, which is Xenophon's. But then what Josephus's present copies say presently, sect. 4, that it was only within no long time after the hand-writing on the wall that Baltasar was slain, does not so well agree with our copies of Daniel, which say it was the same night, Dan_5:30.
(25) This grandmother, or mother of Baltasar, the queen dowager of Babylon, (for she is distinguished from his queen, Dan_5:10, Dan_5:13,) seems to have been the famous Nitocris, who fortified Babylon against the Medes and Persians, and, in all probability governed under Baltasar, who seems to be a weak and effeminate prince.
(26) It is no way improbable that Daniel's enemies might suggest this reason to the king why the lions did not meddle with him and that they might suspect the king's kindness to Daniel had procured these lions to be so filled beforehand, and that thence it was that he encouraged Daniel to submit to this experiment, in hopes of coming off safe; and that this was the true reason of making so terrible an experiment upon those his enemies, and all their families, Dan_6:21, though our other copies do not directly take notice of it
(27) What Josephus here says, that the stones of the sepulchers of the kings of Persia at this tower, or those perhaps of the same sort that are now commonly called the ruins of Persepolis, continued so entire and unaltered in his days, as if they were lately put there, "I (says Reland) here can show to be true, as to those stones of the Persian mansoleum, which Com. Brunius brake off and gave me." He ascribed this to the hardness of the stones, which scarcely yields to iron tools, and proves frequently too hard for cutting by the chisel, but oftentimes breaks it to pieces.
Daniel Chapter six
With Rashi’s comments
1. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom at the age of sixty-two.
And Darius the Mede received the kingdom at the age of sixty-two Why does he count his years? To tell you that on the day that Nebuchadnezzar entered the Heichal in the days of Jehoiachin, his adversary, Darius, was born (Seder Olam ch. 28). From the exile of Jeconiah until now were sixty-two years, and the master said: They were exiled in the days of Jehoiachin in the seventh year counting from the conquest of Jehoiakim, which is eight years after the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. There remained to Nebuchadnezzar’s reign thirty-seven years, for he reigned forty-five years, and twenty-three of Evil-merodach’s, as our Sages stated in Tractate Megillah (11b), and the two years of Belshazzar that passed, totaling sixty-two.
2. It pleased Darius, and he set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, who should be in the entire kingdom.
3. And over them three viziers, one of which was Daniel that these satraps should give them counsel, and the king should not suffer any injury.
And over them [as translated,] and over them.
that these satraps should give them counsel that these satraps should give counsel to the three viziers.
and the king should not suffer any injury And the king should not suffer any loss in any royal matter that is incumbent upon them to perform.
4. Then this Daniel surpassed the viziers and the satraps because he had a superior spirit, and the king contemplated setting him up over the entire kingdom.
this Daniel [as translated,] this Daniel.
surpassed [as translated,] surpassed.
and the king contemplated The king was thinking in his heart to set him up over all of them.
5. Then the viziers and the satraps sought to find a pretext against Daniel regarding the kingdom, but they could find no pretext or fault because he was trustworthy, and no error or fault was found about him.
sought to find a pretext They were seeking a pretext to find about Daniel in matters of the kingdom so that they could inform on him.
6. Then those men said, "No pretext can be found about Daniel, but we shall find [a pretext] against him concerning the law of his God."
No pretext can be found They said among themselves, “No pretext can be found about this Daniel.”
but we shall find [a pretext] against him but we shall find a pretext against him through the law of his God if we ask the king to issue some decree to cause him to transgress His law, and he will not fulfill the king’s command; and this is the pretext.
7. Then these viziers and satraps assembled about the king, and so they said to him: "O King Darius, may you live forever!
assembled Aram. הַרְגִּישׁוּ, they approached the king.
8. All the viziers of the kingdom, the prefects, the satraps, the leaders, and the governors have taken counsel to preserve the king's law and to strengthen a decree that whoever makes any request of any mighty one or man until thirty days except from you, O king, shall be cast into a pit of lions.
have taken counsel [as translated,] have taken counsel.
to preserve the king’s law to preserve the king’s law with power because you have recently ascended the throne. [Moreover], you are from another country and are in need of support.
make any request [as translated,] make any request.
except from you, O King [as translated,] except from you, O King.
into a pit of lions into the pit where the king’s lions were [kept].
9. Now, O king, you shall issue a decree and inscribe a writ that will not be amended, like the law of Media and Persia, which will not be repealed."
you shall issue a decree lit. you shall put up this decree.
that will not be amended that will not be amended, like the law of Media and Persia.
which will not be repealed which will not pass.
10. In view of this, King Darius inscribed a writ and a decree.
11. And Daniel, when he knew that a writ had been inscribed, came to his house, where there were open windows in his upper chamber, opposite Jerusalem, and three times a day he kneeled on his knees and prayed and offered thanks before his God just as he had done prior to this.
when he knew and when he found out.
where there were open windows in his upper chamber Aram. בְּעִלִּיתֵהּ, in his upper story.
opposite Jerusalem toward the side of the Temple, and although it was in ruins, he did as Solomon said (I Kings 8:48): “and pray to You toward their land.”
and three times the evening prayer, the morning prayer and the afternoon prayer.
kneeled on his knees [as translated,] kneeled on his knees.
and three times [as translated,] and three times.
as he had done prior to this just as all that he had done before this.
12. Then these men searched and found Daniel begging and supplicating before his God.
searched Aram. הַרְגִישּׁוּ, tapped and searched.
13. Then they drew near and said before the king concerning the king's decree, "Did you not issue a decree that any person who begs from any mighty one or man for thirty days except from you, O king, shall be cast into the pit of the lions?" The king replied and said, "The thing is true as the law of Media and Persia, which shall not be repealed."
concerning the king’s decree concerning the infraction of the king’s decree, about which they had come to inform.
the thing is true [as translated,] the thing is true.
14. Then they raised their voices and said before the king that "Daniel, who is of the exiles of Judea, did not pay heed to you, O king, or to the decree that you inscribed, and three times a day he offers up his prayer."
did not pay heed to you, O king He did not pay heed or counsel to care about your decrees.
he offers up his prayer Aram. בָּעֵא בָּעוּתֵה, he prays his prayer.
15. Then, when the king heard the thing, he became very displeased, and he gave Daniel a reprieve to save him, and until sunset, he tried to save him.
when… heard the thing [as translated,] when he heard the thing.
he became very displeased It was very bad in his eyes because he loved Daniel, and his death would be painful to him.
and he gave Daniel a reprieve to save him He gave Daniel a reprieve to push off the matter to save him, and he said to them, “I don’t believe you.”
a reprieve Aram. בָּל. I do not know of any word like it, but its context shows its meaning.
and until sunset and until sunset he tried to save him, but when the time of his prayer arrived, he prayed his prayer, and the king had no longer had a pretext to save him.
16. Then these men gathered to the king and said to the king, "You should know, O king, that the law of Media and Persia is that any decree or statute that the king establishes cannot be altered."
that the king establishes What the king decrees and ratifies, no man can alter.
17. Then the king ordered, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the pit of the lions. The king raised his voice and said to Daniel, "May your Elohim, Whom you serve regularly, save you!"
18. And a stone was brought and placed on the mouth of the pit, and the king sealed it with his signet ring and with the signet ring of his dignitaries that his will about Daniel not be altered.
And a stone was brought lit. and one stone was brought. Throughout the entire land of Babylon there are no stones but bricks, as it is written: (Gen 11:3): “Let us make bricks.” We learn that there are no stones in Babylon, but for the occasion, angels brought it [a stone] from the land of Israel. If Hashem stipulated with the Creation on the sea that it should split for the Children of Israel, and on the fire that it cool off for Hananiah and his colleagues, and on the lions that they should not hurt Daniel, He did not stipulate about casting stones or weapons that they should not hurt any man. So the king said, “From the lions I cannot take him away. I shall be careful with him that no man hurt him, and if the miracle comes, let it come.” This does not appear in some editions.
and placed on the mouth of the pit [as translated,] and placed on the mouth of the pit.
with his signet ring with his signet ring so that no one could move it from its place and cast stones upon him to kill him.
that his will about Daniel not be altered so that his will should not be changed; i.e., so that they should not harm him against his [the king’s] will.
19. Then the king went to his palace and retired while fasting, and no table was brought before him, and his sleep wandered from him.
and retired while fasting [as translated,] and retired while fasting.
table Aram. וְּדַּחֲוָן, and a table, in the Mishnah (Tosefta Kelim, B.M. 5:1). So did Dunash explain (p. 58). They did not bring before him a table upon which to eat.
and his sleep wandered from him [as translated,] his sleep wandered.
20. Then the king at dawn arose to the light of morning, and in haste went to the pit of the lions.
at dawn Aram. בִּשְׁפַרְפָרָה, at the rise of dawn, and there are many [examples of this] in Targum Jonathan.
arose to the light of morning He arose at the light of morning, not after three hours, like other kings.
and in haste went to the pit of the lions [as translated,] and in haste went to the pit of the lions.
21. And when he approached the pit, he cried out to Daniel with a sad voice. The king raised his voice and said to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living Elohim, the Elohim Whom you worship regularly-was He able to save you from the lions?"
22. Then Daniel spoke with the king, [and said:] "May the king live forever!
23. My Elohim sent His angel, and he closed the mouths of the lions and they did not hurt me because a merit was found for me before Him, and also before you, O king, I have done no harm."
I have done no harm No unseemly or false act have I committed.
24. Then it pleased the king exceedingly, and he ordered to lift Daniel up out of the pit, and Daniel was lifted up out of the pit, and no injury was found on him because he believed in his Elohim.
it pleased… exceedingly It was very good in his eyes.
and… Daniel and he ordered that Daniel be lifted up out of the pit.
because he believed in his Eloim [as translated,] because he believed in his Elohim.
25. And the king ordered, and they brought these men, who had informed on Daniel, and they were cast into the lions' pit-they, their sons, and their wives, and they did not reach the bottom of the pit before the lions overwhelmed them and crushed their bones into fine particles.
who had informed on Daniel [as translated,] who had informed on Daniel.
and they did not reach the bottom of the pit They did not reach the bottom of the pit before the lions overwhelmed them and crushed their bones to powder.
26. Then King Darius wrote to all peoples, nations, and tongues that lived in all the land, "May your peace increase!
Then King Darius… that lived in all the land, May your peace increase! [as translated,] that lived in all the land, May your peace increase!
27. From before me an order is issued that in the entire dominion of my kingdom, [everyone] should quake and be awestricken before the Elohim of Daniel, for He is a living Elohim, He exists forever, and His kingdom will not be destroyed, nor will His dominion until the end.
28. He saves and rescues and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who saved Daniel from the hands of the lions."
29. And this Daniel prospered in the [time of the] kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.
and in the kingdom of Cyrus who reigned after Darius, for Darius reigned only one year, and he was slain in battle, as it is written in the book of Joseph ben Gurion, and they crowned Cyrus his son-in-law in the midst of the battle.
Daniel Chapter seven
With Rashi’s comments
1. In the first year of Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream, and the visions of his mind [while asleep] on his bed; then he wrote the dream and said the beginnings of the matters.
then he wrote the dream Then [he wrote the dream] and told the beginnings of the matters.
2. Daniel raised his voice and said: I saw in my vision during the night, and behold the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the Great Sea.
and behold [as translated,] and behold.
the four winds of the heavens were stirring up, etc. four blowing winds coming from the four directions of the world and waging war with the Great Sea and stirring it up.
3. And four huge beasts were coming up out of the sea, each one different from the other.
And four beasts [as translated,] and four beasts.
each one different from the other [as translated,] each one different from the other.
4. The first one was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle, until its wings were plucked and it was taken from the earth, and it stood on feet like a man, and the heart of a mortal was given it.
The first one was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle It was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle; that is the kingdom of Babylon, which was ruling at that time, and so did Jeremiah see it (4:7): “A lion has come up from its thicket,” and he says also (48:40): “like an eagle he shall soar.”
until its wings were plucked Its wings were plucked, which is an allusion to its downfall
and it was taken from the earth an expression of being removed from the earth, an allusion to the curtailment of the kingdom from the world.
and the heart of a mortal Aram. וּלְבַב אֶנָשׁ, an expression of weakness, like (Psalms 9:21): “Let the nations know that they are forever mortal men (אֶנוֹשׁ)”.
5. And behold another second beast, resembling a bear, and it stood to one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, and so did they say to it, 'Get up, eat much meat.'
another [as translated,] another.
second that emerged second from the sea.
resembling a bear This represents the kingdom of Persia, which will reign after Babylon, who eats and drinks like a bear and is enwrapped in flesh like a bear.
resembling a bear It is spelled לְדֹב [without a “vav,”] like דִיבָא, the Aramaic for זְאֵב, a wolf, for the kingdom of Persia was also called a wolf, as it is said: (Jer. 5:6): “Therefore a lion smote them, a wolf of the deserts spoils them.”
and it stood to one side and it stood to one side, indicating that when the kingdom of Babylon terminates, Persia will wait one year, when Media will reign.
and there were three ribs in its mouth Aram. וּתְלָת עִלָעִין בְּפֻמַּהּ, three ribs. Our Sages explained that three provinces were constantly rebelling against it [i.e., Persia] and making peace with it; sometimes it would swallow them and sometimes spit them out. That is the meaning of “in its mouth between its teeth,” sometimes outside its teeth, sometimes inside (Kid. 72a), but I say that the three עִלָעִין are three kings who will rise from Persia: Cyrus, Ahasuerus, and Darius who built the Temple.
much meat [as translated,] much meat.
6. After this, I saw, and behold another one, like a leopard, and it had four wings of a bird on its back, and the beast had four heads, and dominion was given it.
four wings… four heads They are the four rulers to whom Alexander of Macedon allotted his kingdom at his death, as is written in the book of Joseph ben Gurion (Book 3, ch. 14), for this third beast is the kingdom of Antiochus, and it is called נָמֵר because it issued decrees upon Israel [which were] spotted (מְנֻמָּרוֹת) and varied one from the other.
and dominion was given it [as translated,] and dominion was given it.
7. After this, I saw in the visions of the night, and behold a fourth beast, awesome and dreadful and exceedingly strong, and it had huge iron teeth. It ate and crushed, and trampled the rest with its feet, and it was different from all the beasts that were before me, and it had ten horns.
in the visions of the night on another night. The first three he saw on one night, and this one on another night, because it is equal to them all. In Leviticus Rabbah (13:5).
and it had… iron teeth [as translated,] iron teeth.
and crushed It crushed and ground finely.
and… the rest what it left over from its eating.
and… ten horns Aram. וְקַרְנַיִן עֲשַׂר. The angel explained to him that these are the ten kings who would ascend [the throne] of Rome before Vespasian, who would destroy the Temple.
8. I looked at these horns and behold another small horn came up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked out before it, and behold eyes like human eyes were on this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.
and behold Aram. וַאֲלוּ, like וַאֲרוּ, an expression of “behold.”
speaking arrogantly words of arrogance. That is Titus, about whom the Rabbis, of blessed memory, said (Gittin 56b) that he blasphemed and berated and entered the Heichal with brazenness.
9. I was looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days sat; His raiment was as white as snow, and the hair of His head was like clean wool; His throne was sparks of fire, its wheels were a burning fire.
until thrones were set up Thrones were set up and established to sit in judgment, one for judgment for the nations of the world and one for charity for Israel.
and the Ancient of Days sat The Holy One, blessed be He, was sitting in judgment on this kingdom and on those before it, who provoked Him and oppressed His children.
as white as snow to whiten the iniquities of His people.
and the hair of His head was like clean wool He cleanses Himself of the merits that the nations have before Him, and He pays them all their reward in this world. In Lev. Rabbah.
of fire [as translated,] of fire.
a burning fire [as translated,] a burning fire.
10. A river of fire was flowing and emerging from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand ten thousands arose before Him. Justice was established, and the books were opened.
was flowing and emerging [as translated,] was flowing and emerging.
serve Him i.e., the Ancient of Days.
justice was established The judgment is established before Him.
and the books were opened The books were opened; the book of the transgressions and the evils that they committed.
11. I saw then from the sound of the arrogant words that the horn spoke, I looked until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to a flame of fire.
from the sound of the arrogant words From the sound of the haughty words that the horn was speaking, the wrath of the Ancient of Days was aroused.
until the beast was slain and its body was destroyed and given [as translated,] and its body was destroyed.
to a flame of fire to a flame of fire; this refers to Jacob’s fire etc.
12. But as for the other beasts, their dominion was removed, and they were given an extension of life until a set time.
But as for the other beasts, their dominion was removed And from the other kingdoms, their dominion was removed by Heaven.
and they were given an extension of life And He gave them time to live until a set day in the future, the wars of Gog and Magog.
an extension Aram. אַרְכָה, waiting.
13. I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him.
one like a man was coming That is the King Messiah.
and… up to the Ancient of Days Who was sitting in judgment and judging the nations.
came arrived, reached.
14. And He gave him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him; his dominion is an eternal dominion, which will not be removed, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
And He gave him dominion And to that man He gave dominion over the nations, for the heathens he likens to beasts, and Israel he likens to a man because they are humble and innocent.
which will not be removed [as translated,] will not be removed.
15. My spirit-I, Daniel-became troubled within its sheath, and the visions of my mind terrified me.
My spirit… became troubled Aram. אֶתְכְּרִיַת an expression of (Exod. 21:33): “or if… digs (יִכְרֶה),” and Hebrew and Aramaic are alike in this case; i.e., it was humbled because of the depth of its digging.
within its sheath Aram. בְּגו ֹנִדְנֶה; i.e., my spirit became terrified in my body from this dream.
16. I drew near to one of those standing [there], and I asked him the truth of all this, and he told it to me, and he let me know the interpretation of the matters.
I drew near to one of those standing I drew near to one of those standing there beside the Ancient of Days. The angels are called standing ones, as it is said: (Zech. 3:7): “among these who stand by (הָעמְדִים),” because they have no joints.
and I asked him the truth [as translated,] and I asked him the truth.
17. [He said] "These huge beasts, which are four, are four kingdoms, which will arise from the earth.
four kingdoms Aram. אַרְבְּעָא מַלְכִין, lit. four kings.
18. And the high holy ones will receive the kingdom, and they will inherit the kingdom forever and to all eternity."
And the high holy ones will receive the kingdom These are Israel, who will take the kingdom from the fourth one.
19. Then I wished to determine the truth of the fourth beast, which was different from all of them- excessively dreadful; its teeth were of iron and its nails of copper; it ate and crushed to powder, and the rest it trampled with its feet.
Then I wished to determine the truth Then I wished to determine the truth concerning the fourth beast.
which was different from all of them-excessively dreadful which was different from all of them with excessive dreadfulness.
20. And concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other one that came up and [the] three [that] fell before it, and the horn that was like this and that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly, and its appearance was greater than [that of] its companions.
and [the] three [that] fell before it and three of the first ones fell before it.
and the horn that was like this and that had eyes and the horn that was like this, and had eyes, as is written above.
21. I looked and the horn that was like this waged war with the holy ones and overwhelmed them.
I looked in my first dream, which I told above.
with the holy ones with Israel.
22. Until the Ancient of Days came and gave revenge to the high holy ones, and the time arrived that the holy ones inherited the kingdom.
and gave revenge to the high holy ones and He gave them revenge from it.
23. So he said, "The fourth beast [represents] a fourth kingdom [that] will be on the earth, which will be different from all the kingdoms, and it will devour the whole land and trample it and crush it.
So he said So did the angel who interpreted the dream for me reply to me.
24. And the ten horns that [sprout] from that kingdom [represent] ten kings [that] will rise, and the last one will rise after them, and he will be different from the first, and he will humble three kings.
And the ten horns And its ten horns that you saw-this is its interpretation.
from that kingdom [as translated,] from that kingdom.
and the last one will rise after them and the last one will rise after them-that is Titus.
25. And he will speak words against the Most High, and he will oppress the high holy ones, and he will think to change the times and the law, and they will be delivered into his hand until a time, two times, and half a time.
against the Most High [as translated,] against the Most High.
and he will oppress the high holy ones He will burden and oppress Israel.
and he will think to change the times and the law He will plan in his heart to cause them to transgress all their appointed times and their laws.
until a time, two times, and half a time This is an obscure end, as was said to Daniel (12:4): “And you, Daniel, close up the words and seal,” and the early commentators expounded on it, each one according to his view, and the ends have passed. We can still interpret it as I saw written in the name of Rav Saadia Gaon, that they are the 1,335 years stated at the end of the Book (12:12): “Fortunate is he who waits [and reaches the days one thousand three hundred and thirty-five],” and he explains the appointed time as until the time of two times and a half time, and he [Rav Saadia Gaon] said that the times are 480 [years], which is the time from the Exodus from Egypt until the Temple was built, and 410 [years], [which are] the days of the First Temple, totaling 890, and another half of this time, 445, totaling 1,335. Figure these from the time the daily sacrifice was discontinued until the daily sacrifice will be restored to its place; it was discontinued six years prior to the destruction, and there is somewhat of a proof in this Book. [See Rashi to 8:14.] Others bring further proof to this computation, namely that (Deut. 31: 18): “And I, will hide My face” [the words] הַסְתֵּר אַסְתִּיר add up in gematria to 1,335.
26. And the judgment shall be established, and they will remove his dominion to be destroyed and annihilated until the end.
And the judgment was established And the judgment was established before Him.
and they will remove his dominion from heaven. They will remove the dominion and the rule of that kingdom.
27. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under all the heavens will be given to the people of the high holy ones; its kingdom is a perpetual kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey [it]."
and obey They will obey his command to execute it.
28. Until here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my colors changed upon me, and I kept the matter in my heart.
until here [as translated,] until here.
my thoughts terrified me greatly My thoughts were terrifying me greatly.
and my colors changed The appearance of my good looks and my features changed.
I kept… in my heart I hid in my heart.
Daniel chapter eight
With Rashi’s commentary
1. In the third year of Balshazzar's kingdom, a vision appeared to me-I, Daniel-after what had appeared to me in the beginning.
In the third year after the first vision that appeared to me in the beginning, i.e., the dream stated above (7:1), which appeared to him in the first year of Belshazzar.
2. And I saw in the vision, and it came to pass when I saw-and I was in Shushan the capital, which is in the province of Elam-and I saw in the vision that I was beside the river Ulai.
beside the river Ulai beside the river named Ulai.
3. And I lifted my eyes, and I saw, and behold a ram was standing before the river, and it had horns, and the horns were high, and one was higher than the other, and the higher one sprouted last.
and it had horns symbolizing the kingdom of Persia and Media.
and one was higher than the other symbolizing the kingdom of Persia, which was greater than the kingdom of Media, for the kingdom of Media existed for only one year, as it says (9:1): “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus of the seed of Media,” and we learned in Seder Olam (ch. 28): “We do not find any year ascribed to Media in the Holy Writ but this one only.”
and the higher one sprouted last This symbolizes that the kingdom of Media will precede the kingdom of Persia.
4. I saw the ram goring westward, northward, and southward, and no beasts could stand before it, and no one could save [anyone] from its hand, and it did according to its will, and it grew.
5. And I was pondering, and behold a he-goat came from the west over the surface of the entire earth, and it did not touch the ground, and the goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes.
I was pondering I was contemplating it.
a he goat Heb. צְפִיר.
and it did not touch the ground He resembled one skipping in the air.
a conspicuous horn Heb. קֶרֶן חָזוּת, a large horn visible to the eye.
6. And it came to the horned ram that I saw standing before the river, and it ran toward it with the fury of its power.
7. And I saw it coming up to the ram, and it fought with it, and it struck the ram and broke both of its horns, and the ram had no strength to stand before it; so it cast it to the ground and trampled it, and there was no one to save the ram from its hand.
and it fought with it Heb. וַיִתְמַרְמַר אֵלָיו, and it fought with it. That is an expression of bitter (מַר) anger.
8. And the he-goat waxed exceedingly huge, and when it became strong, the great horn broke, and an appearance of four sprouted in its stead, to the four directions of the heavens.
an appearance of four an appearance of four horns.
9. And from one of them emerged a small horn, and it became very great to the south and to the east and to the coveted land.
And from one of them and from one of these kingdoms.
emerged a… horn The kingdom of Titus emerged from it.
small A small and despised kingdom, as he calls it above one small horn, and that is in the manner of (Obad. 1:2): “… you are very despised.”
and it became very great Heb. וַתִּגְדַּל מְאֹד.
to the south That is Egypt, which is to the south of the land of Israel.
and to the coveted land Heb. הַצְבִי The land of Israel, called אֶרֶץ הַצְבִי, the coveted land [or the land of beauty] after the manner of (Jer. 3:19): “an inheritance of the beauty of hosts of nations.”
10. And it grew until the host of heaven, and it cast down to the ground some of the host and of the stars and trampled them.
until the host of heaven They are Israel, who were compared to the stars.
11. And until the Prince of the host it grew, and through him the daily sacrifice was removed, and the base of His Sanctuary was cast down.
And until the Prince of the host That is the Temple, which is the House of the Holy One, blessed be He, the Prince of the host. He blasphemed the Holy One, blessed be He.
and through him the daily sacrifice was removed And through his troops and his armies, which he sent to Jerusalem, the daily sacrifice was abolished, for he sent there Nero Caesar, his general, as our Rabbis relate in Gittin (56a) and in Gorion.
12. And a time will be given for the daily sacrifice because of transgression, and it will cast truth to the earth, and it will do and prosper.
And a time will be given for the daily sacrifice A set time will be given for the daily sacrifice to be discontinued because of transgression.
And a time Heb. וְצָבָא, time, like (Job 7:1): “Is not man on earth for a limited time (צָבָא)” ?
and it will cast truth to the earth It humbled the Torah of truth.
13. Then I heard one holy one speaking, and one holy one said to the anonymous one who was speaking, "How long will be the vision of the daily sacrifice and the mute abomination, permitting the Sanctuary and the host to be trampled?"
one holy one one of the angels.
and… said that angel.
to the anonymous Heb. לַפַּלְמוֹנִי. This word is like two: פְּלוֹנִי אַלְמוֹנִי, and Jonathan ben Uziel translated it in the Book of Samuel (I 21:3): “covered and hidden,” like (Deut. 17:8): “If a matter be hidden (יִפָּלֵא) from you.” אַלְמוֹנִי means a widower (אַלְמָן) without a name, [i.e., bereft of a name] for he [the angel] did not explain to him what he was and what his name was.
to the anonymous one who was speaking to the angel who was speaking and issuing decrees, viz. “And a set time will be given for the daily sacrifice because of transgression.”
How long will be the vision this [vision] which concerns the daily sacrifice, that it should be discontinued, and the silent abomination will be placed in its stead. The silent abomination is an idol worshipped by the pagans, which was like a mute stone, and so it is called in this Book in many places, as it says (12:11): “And from the time the daily sacrifice was removed and the silent abomination placed.”
mute Heb. שֹּׁמֵם, an expression of being mute and silenced, like (4:16): “was bewildered (אֶשְּׁתּוֹמַם) for awhile;” (Ezek. 3:15): “and I sat there seven days bewildered (מַשְּׁמִים) among them,” like one who is dumb.
permitting the Sanctuary and the host to be trampled to make the base of the Sanctuary and the host of heaven, which he cast down to the earth, to be a trampling for his feet, as is stated above (verse 10): “and it cast down to the ground some of the host and some of the stars.”
the Sanctuary and the host Heb. וְצָבָא וְקֹדֶשּׁ. The “vav” [of וְקֹדֶשּׁ] is superfluous, and there are many such instances in Scripture, e.g. (Ps. 76:7): “chariot (וָרֶכֶב) and horse were stunned,” and also, in the language of people, some speak that way.
14. And he said to me, "Until evening and morning, two thousand and three hundred, and the holy ones shall be exonerated."
Until evening and morning, one thousand and three hundred I saw an interpretation in the name of Rav Saadia Gaon for this matter, but it has already passed, and he interpreted further “until evening and morning,” that evening about which it says (Zech. 14:7): “and it shall come to pass that at eventide it shall be light,” and we are confident that our God’s word will stand forever; it will not be nullified. I say, however, that the עֶרֶב and בֹּקֶר stated here are a gematria, and there is support for this matter from two reasons: 1) that this computation should coincide with the other computation at the end of the Book, and 2) that Gabriel said to Daniel later on in this chapter (verse 26): “And the vision of the evening and the morning is true.” Now, if he had not hinted that the computation was doubtful, why did he repeat it to say that it was true? And the seer was commanded to close up and to seal the matter, and to him, too, the matter was revealed in a closed and sealed expression, but we will hope for the promise of our king for end after end, and when the end passes, it will be known that the expounder has erred in his interpretation, and the one who comes after him will search and expound in another manner. This can be interpreted [as follows]: namely, that עֶרֶב בֹּקֶר has the numerical value of 574, ע = 70; ר = 200; ב = 2; ב = 2; ק = 100; ר = 200. Added together, this equals 574; plus 2,300, we have 2,874.
and the holy ones shall be exonerated The iniquity of Israel shall be expiated to bring an end to the decrees of their being trodden upon and crumbled since they were exiled in their first exile to Egypt, until they will be redeemed and saved with a perpetual salvation by our king Messiah, and this computation terminates at the end of 1, 290 years from the day the daily sacrifice was removed, and that is what is stated at the end of the Book (12:11): “And from the time the daily sacrifice is removed, and the silent abomination placed, will be 1,290 years,” and no more, for our king Messiah will come and remove the silent abomination. The daily sacrifice was removed six years before the destruction of the Second Temple, and an image was set up in the Heichal. Now that was the seventeenth day of Tammuz, when Apostomos burned the Torah, put an end to the daily sacrifice, and set up an image in the Heichal, as we learned in Tractate Ta’anith (26b), but for the six years that I mentioned, I have no explicit proof, but there is proof that the daily sacrifice was abolished less than a complete shemittah cycle before the destruction, for so did Daniel prophesy about Titus (9:27): “… and half the week of years [shemittah cycle] he will curtail sacrifice and meal-offering,” meaning that a part of the week of years before the destruction, sacrifices will be abolished. So it is explained below in this section. Let us return to the earlier matters, how the computation of “evening and morning, two thousand and three hundred,” fits exactly with the time commencing from the descent to Egypt to terminate at the end of 1,290 years until the day that the daily sacrifice was abolished: 210 years they were in Egypt. 480 years transpired from the Exodus until the building of the Temple. 410 years the Temple existed. 70 years was the Babylonian exile. 420 years the Second Temple stood. 1,290 should be added until the end of days, totaling: 2,880. Subtract six years that the daily sacrifice was removed before the destruction, for Scripture counted 1,290 years only from the time that the daily sacrifice was removed. Here you have the computation of “evening and morning, and 2,300” added to the computation. Fortunate is he who waits and reaches the end of days 45 years over 1,290 [years]. We may say that the king Messiah will come according to the first computation, and he will subsequently be concealed from them for forty-five years. Rabbi Elazar HaKalir established (in the concluding poem of the portion dealing with the month of Nissan): in the foundation of his song: six weeks of years, totaling 42. We may say that the three years that did not total a week of years he did not count. And I found it so in Midrash Ruth that the king Messiah is destined to be concealed for forty-five years after he reveals himself, and proof is brought from these verses.
15. Now it came to pass when I, Daniel, perceived that vision, that I sought understanding, and behold, there stood before me one who appeared like a man.
that I sought understanding I was longing that they should enable me to understand [the vision] from heaven.
16. And I heard the voice of a man in the midst of the Ulai, and he called and said, "Gabriel, enable this one to understand the vision."
in the midst of the Ulai in the midst of the river.
and he called i.e., the man.
and said to the angel, “You, Gabriel.”
enable this one to understand the vision explain the vision to this one.
this one Heb. לְהַלָּז, an expression of esteem, as he called him חֲמוּדוֹת, one of desirable qualities. Wherever it says הַלָז it refers to a person of form, and from here they learned in the Aggadah: Isaac resembled his father in form and in likeness, for he is called הָאִישּׁ הַלָז in the section commencing; “Now it came to pass when Isaac was old.” (Gen. 39: 6): “… and Joseph was fair in form and fair in appearance.” This is the beauty enumerated among the five things that a father merits for his son.
17. And he came beside the palace where I was standing, and when he came, I became frightened, and I fell upon my face. Then he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end."
to the time of the end. For many days this vision will come about.
18. Now, when he spoke to me, I fell into a sound sleep upon my face to the ground, and he touched me and stood me up where I had been standing.
I fell into a sound sleep An expression of slumber and bewilderment.
and stood me up where I had been standing Where my feet were standing.
19. And he said to me, "Behold I am letting you know what will be at the end of the fury, for it is the end of the time.
for it is the end of the time for it is at the time of the end of many days.
20. The ram that you saw, the one with the horns, represents the kings of Media and Persia.
The kings of Media and Persia The two horns represent two ruling nations, as I explained above.
21. And the he-goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn that is between his eyes-that is the first king.
the first king He is Alexander of Macedon who slew Darius, the son of Esther, as we find in the book of Josiphon (ch. 9).
22. And the broken one, in whose stead stood four, represents four kingdoms [that] will rise from a nation, but not with its strength.
And the broken one that you saw being broken.
in whose stead stood four as is written in the narration of the dream above (verse 8), [there] are four kingdoms which will arise from that nation, for Alexander of Macedon divided his kingdom upon his death [into parts for] four youths, and Joseph called them four heads of a leopard in his book, and they were not the sons of the king.
but not with its strength The last ones will not be as strong as the first king, but they will be weaker than him.
23. And at the end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have been destroyed, there will arise a brazen-faced king who understands riddles.
And at the end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have been destroyed When the end arrives, and the wicked of Israel in the Second Temple will be finished, a brazen-faced person will rise; he is Titus.
24. And his power will become strong, but not through his strength, and he will destroy wondrously, and he will prosper and accomplish, and he will destroy the mighty and the people of the holy ones.
And his power will become strong and not with might but with smooth talk, as is explained at the end of the Book (11: 21).
and he will destroy wondrously and with wonder upon wonder, he will destroy.
and he will prosper and accomplish his desire.
and he will destroy the mighty many nations.
and the people of the holy ones Israel, who believe in the Torah.
25. And through his intellect, he will cause the deceit in his hand to prosper, and in his heart he will become proud, and in tranquility he will destroy many, and over the Prince of princes he will stand, and without strength he will be broken.
And through his intellect, he will cause the deceit in his hand to prosper And because he is clever wherever he turns and [because] he will prosper, he will hold onto deceit with his hand.
and in his heart he will become proud Heb. יַגְדִּיל, lit, he will grow larger.
and in tranquility he will destroy many With guile and with smooth talk he will destroy many who dwell with him with a covenant and in peace.
and over the Prince of princes he will stand He will speak blasphemously about Heaven. This is the meaning of the dream written above (verse 11): [“And until the Prince of the host it grew.”]
and without strength he will be broken And without strength he will be broken, through a mosquito, the weakest of creatures, which entered his nose, as we learned in Tractate Gittin (56b).
26. And the vision of the evening and the morning that was said is true, and you close up the vision, which will be for many days."
And the vision of the evening and the morning which was said to you in the preceding dream, is true.
and you close up the vision Do not explain it, but close it up in your heart, for it will come about in many days.
27. And I, Daniel, became broken and ill for days, but I rose and did the king's work, and I was terrified about the vision, but no one realized it.
became broken Heb. נִהְיֵיתִי, an expression of calamity (הוָה) and breach; i. e., I was pained because of this trouble and I was depressed.
the king’s work for I was appointed over the assignment of the work of the government of Belshazzar’s kingdom, for Nebuchadnezzar his father had appointed him, as is written in the beginning of the Book (2:48): “… and gave him dominion over all the capital cities of Babylon.”
and I was terrified about the vision Heb. עַל הַמַרְאֶה וָאֶשְׁתּוֹמֵם.
but no one realized that I was terrified because I restrained myself before the princes.
Daniel Chapter nine
With Rashi’s comments
1. In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus
1. In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of the seed of Media, who was crowned over the kingdom of the Chaldeans
In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus This is not the Ahasuerus of the days of Haman, for he was the king of Persia, whereas this one was Darius the Mede who was crowned over the kingdom of the Chaldeans when Belshazzar was slain, as is written above (6:1): “And Darius the Mede took (sic) the kingdom.”
2. In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, contemplated the calculations, the number of the years that the word of Hashem had come to Jeremiah the prophet, since the destruction of Jerusalem seventy years.
Contemplated the calculations Heb. בִּינֹתִי בַּסְפָרִים.
the number of the years, etc. I contemplated the calculation of the years, for I thought about what Jeremiah (29:10) prophesied: “For at the completion of seventy years of Babylon I will remember you,” and I thought that this remembrance is the building of the Temple, and that the seventy years end in the first year of Darius the Mede, since the kingdom of Babylon stretched forth a hand upon Israel, when Nebuchadnezzar vanquished Jehoiakim to be his slave. Now that was in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, as the master said (Meg. 11b): “In the first year he conquered Nineveh; in the second year he went up and vanquished Jehoiakim.” Figure from that year until now, and you will find them [the 70 years]. This calculation is found also in the Mishnah of Seder Olam (ch. 28), and we learned there that in the year of Belshazzar’s death were 70 years from the day that Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne: seventy minus one since the day that he conquered Jehoiakim, and yet one more year for Babylon, which Darius completed. And when I [Daniel] saw that the redemption was not hastening to come, I contemplated and put my heart to the calculation, and I knew that I should not have counted according to the conquest of Jehoiakim but [according] to the destruction of Jerusalem, when 70 years will be complete from the exile of Zedekiah, when Jerusalem was destroyed. And there are yet 18 years to come, for this exile was in the eighteenth year counting from the conquest of Jehoiakim, as we learned in Seder Olam: “They were exiled in the seventh year; they were exiled in the eighth year; they were exiled in the eighteenth year; they were exiled in the nineteenth year.” Our Sages in Tractate Megillah (11b) explained that they were exiled in the exile of Jeconiah in the seventh year, counting from the conquest of Jehoiakim, which is the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. They were exiled a second time in the eighteenth year, counting from the conquest of Jehoiakim, which is the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign.
3. And I turned my face to Hashem Elohim to beg with prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
4. And I prayed to Hashem my Elohim, and I confessed, and I said, "Please, O Hashem, O great and awesome Elohim, Who keeps the covenant and the loving- kindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments.
and I confessed the sins of my people.
O great and awesome Elohim but he did not say, “mighty.” He said [to himself], “Heathens are enslaving His children, so where are His mighty deeds?”
5. We have sinned and have dealt iniquitously; we have dealt wickedly and have rebelled, turning away from Your commandments and from Your ordinances.
turning away We were constantly turning away from Your commandments, tolant in Old French, turning away.
6. And we have not obeyed Your servants, the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, and our forefathers, and to all the people of the land.
7. To You, O Hashem, is the righteousness, and to us is the shamefacedness as of this day, to the people of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel both near and far, in all the lands to which you have driven them for the treachery that they have perpetrated toward You.
To you, O Hashem, is the righteousness i.e., Your judgments and retributions that You have brought upon us-justice and righteousness are with You.
and to us is the shamefacedness We should be ashamed for what has happened to us, for we caused it for ourselves.
as of this day as we see today.
8. O Hashem, to us is shamefacedness, to our kings, to our princes, and to our forefathers, who sinned against You.
9. To Hashem our Elohim are the mercies and the pardons, for we have rebelled against Him.
To Hashem our Elohim are the mercies that we did not perish for our iniquities, for we rebelled against Him.
10. And we have not hearkened to the voice of Hashem our Elohim, to follow His teachings, which He placed before us by the hand of His servants, the prophets.
11. And all Israel have transgressed Your teaching, turning away, not heeding Your voice, and the curse and the oath, which are written in the Law of Moses, the servant of Hashem, have befallen us, for we have sinned against Him.
have befallen us Heb. וַתִּתַּ, and You caused to reach us, like (Exod. 9:33): לֹא נִתַּ אָרְצָה, and Onkelos rendered: did not reach the earth.
the curse and the oath the curses of the Covenant with which You adjured us at Horeb (Lev 26: 14): “And if you do not listen etc.”; all the curses written there.
12. And He has confirmed His word, which He spoke about us and about our judges who judged us, to bring upon us a great evil, which was not done under all the heavens, as was done in Jerusalem.
as was done in Jerusalem the sword, slaying, the burning of the city; and they humbled women and put captives into neck irons.
13. As is written in the Law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us, and we did not entreat the countenance of Hashem our Elohim to repent of our iniquities and to contemplate Your truth.
As is written in the Law of Moses a hint that He warned us that if we transgress the oath, all this evil will befall us.
14. And Hashem hastened with the evil and brought it upon us, for Hashem our Elohim is righteous with all His deeds which He performs, and we did not hearken to His voice.
hastened Heb. וַיִשְׁקֹד, and hastened.
for… is righteous for justice is with Him. Our Rabbis, however, explained that the Holy One, blessed be He, is charitable, and it is charity for us that He hastened and brought [the evil] two years before the numerical value of וַנוֹשַּׁנְתֶּם (Deut. 4:25): “and you will have grown old,” in order that [the curse of] “that you shall perish” should not be fulfilled with you. The numerical value of וַנוֹשַּׁנְתֶּם is 852, but they were exiled at the end of 850 [years] after their entry into the land.
15. And now, O Hashem our Elohim, Who took Your people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand, and You have made for Yourself a Name as of this day; we have sinned, we have dealt wickedly.
And now, O Hashem, our Elohim We confess that we have sinned and have dealt wickedly.
16. O Hashem, according to all Your righteousness, may Your wrath and Your anger return now from Your city, Jerusalem, the mount of Your Sanctuary, for because of our sins and because of the iniquities of our forefathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a mockery to all those surrounding us.
a mockery [as translated,] a mockery.
to all those surrounding us to all our neighbors; they all mock us.
17. And now, hearken, O Hashem our Elohim, to Your servant's prayer and to his supplications, and cause Your face to shine upon Your desolate Sanctuary, for the sake of Hashem.
for the sake of Hashem For the sake of the holy Name that is called upon the Temple, as it says (Exod. 15:17): “the Sanctuary, O Hashem, (אֲדֹנָי) which Your hands have established.”
18. O Hashem, incline Your ear and hearken, open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city upon which Your name is called, because not for our righteousness do we cast our supplications before You, but for Your great mercies.
and see our desolations and the desolations of the city upon which Your name is called, because not upon the support of our righteousness do we cast our supplications to benefit us, but we have come upon Your mercies.
19. O Hashem, hear; O Hashem, forgive; O Hashem, hearken and do, do not delay; for Your sake, my Elohim, for Your Name is called upon Your city and upon Your people."
O Hashem, hear our supplications.
O Hashem, forgive our sins.
O Hashem, hearken Your ear to our cry.
and do our request and do not delay.
20. Now I was still speaking and praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and casting my supplication before Hashem my Elohim about the mount of the Sanctuary of my Elohim.
about the mount of the Sanctuary of my Elohim for the mount of the House of Hashem, that it be built.
21. While I was still speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I saw in the vision at first, approached me in swift flight about the time of the evening offering.
at first in the days of Belshazzar, as is written above (8:15 26).
in swift flight [He was] caused to fly to me with flying and with gliding.
22. And he enabled me to understand, and he spoke with me, and he said, "Daniel, now I have come forth to make you skillful in understanding.
And he enabled me to understand Heb. וַיָבֶן.
23. In the beginning of your supplications, a word came forth, and I have come to tell it, for you have desirable qualities; now contemplate the word and understand the vision.
In the beginning of your supplications, a word came forth a true [word came] from the Holy One, blessed be He, to me to tell you.
for you have desirable qualities You have qualities that are desirable to the Holy One, blessed be He.
now contemplate the word Put your heart to understand the word.
24. Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed upon your people and upon the city of your Sanctuary to terminate the transgression and to end sin, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring eternal righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies.
Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed on Jerusalem from the day of the first destruction in the days of Zedekiah until it will be [destroyed] the second time.
to terminate the transgression and to end sin so that Israel should receive their complete retribution in the exile of Titus and his subjugation, in order that their transgressions should terminate, their sins should end, and their iniquities should be expiated, in order to bring upon them eternal righteousness and to anoint upon them (sic) the Holy of Holies: the Ark, the altars, and the holy vessels, which they will bring to them through the king Messiah. The number of seven weeks is four hundred and ninety years. The Babylonian exile was seventy [years] and the Second Temple stood four hundred and twenty [years].
25. And you shall know and understand that from the emergence of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed king [shall be] seven weeks, and [in] sixty-two weeks it will return and be built street and moat, but in troubled times.
And you shall know and understand from the emergence of the word From the emergence of this word, which emerged at the beginning of your supplications to tell you, you shall know to understand [how] to restore and build Jerusalem.
until the anointed king Time will be given from the day of the destruction until the coming of Cyrus, king of Persia, about whom the Holy One, blessed be He, said that he would return and build His city, and He called him His anointed and His king, as it says (Isa. 45:1): “So said Hashem to His anointed one, to Cyrus etc.” (verse 13): “He shall build My city and free My exiles, etc.”
seven weeks Seven complete shemittah cycles they will be in exile before Cyrus comes, and there were yet three more years, but since they did not constitute a complete shemittah cycle, they were not counted. In the one year of Darius, in which Daniel was standing when this vision was said to him, seventy years from the conquest of Jehoiakim terminated. Deduct eighteen years from them, in which the conquest of Jehoiakim preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, leaving fifty-two years. This is what our Rabbis learned (Yoma 54a): “For fifty-two years no one passed through Judea.” They are the fifty-two years from the day of the destruction until they returned in the days of Cyrus. Hence, we have seven shemittah cycles and three years.
and in sixty-two weeks it will return and be built i.e., the city with its streets.
and moat Heb. וְחָרוּץ. They are the moats that they make around the wall to strengthen the city, which are called fosse in French, ditch or moat.
but in troubled times But in those times they will be troubled and distressed, for in the subjugation of the kings of Persia and the heathens, they will burden them with harsh bondage. Now although there are sixty-two weeks and four years more that remain from the eighth week, whose beginning, viz. the three years, was included in the fifty-two years of the duration of the exile, those four years were not counted here because here he counted only weeks, and you find that from the beginning he started to count seventy weeks, and at the end, when he delineated their times and their judgments, he counted only sixty-nine, proving that one week was divided, part of it here and part of it there; and he mentioned only whole weeks.
but in troubled times They will be troubled in those times.
26. And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will be cut off, and he will be no more, and the people of the coming monarch will destroy the city and the Sanctuary, and his end will come about by inundation, and until the end of the war, it will be cut off into desolation.
And after those weeks.
the anointed one will be cut off Agrippa, the king of Judea, who was ruling at the time of the destruction, will be slain.
and he will be no more Heb. וְאֵין לוֹ, and he will not have. The meaning is that he will not be.
the anointed one Heb. מָשִׁיחַ. This is purely an expression of a prince and a dignitary.
and the city and the Sanctuary lit. and the city and the Holy.
and the people of the coming monarch will destroy [The monarch who will come] upon them. That is Titus and his armies.
and his end will come about by inundation And his end will be damnation and destruction, for He will inundate the power of his kingdom through the Messiah, and until the end of the wars of Gog the city will exist.
cut off into desolation a destruction of desolation.
27. And he will strengthen a covenant for the princes for one week, and half the week he will abolish sacrifice and meal- offering, and on high, among abominations, will be the dumb one, and until destruction and extermination befall the dumb one.
And he will strengthen a covenant for the princes for one week לָרַבִּים, for the princes, like “and all the officers of (רַבֵּי) the king,” in the Book of Jeremiah (39:13).
will strengthen Titus [will strengthen] a covenant with the princes of Israel.
for one week He will promise them the strengthening of a covenant and peace for seven years, but within the seven years, he will abrogate his covenant.
he will abolish sacrifice and meal-offering This is what he says in the first vision (8:26): “and in tranquility he will destroy many.” Through a covenant of tranquility, he will destroy them.
and on high, among abominations will be the dumb one This is a pejorative for pagan deities. i.e., on a high place, among abominations and disgusting things, he will place the dumb one, the pagan deity, which is dumb like a silent stone.
high Heb. כְּנַף, lit. wing, an expression of height, like the wing of a flying bird.
and until destruction and extermination befall the dumb one and the ruling of the abomination will endure until the day that the destruction and extermination decreed upon it [will] befall it, in the days of the king Messiah.
befall the dumb one Heb. תִּתַּ, reach; and total destruction will descend upon the image of the pagan deity and upon its worshippers.
Daniel Chapter ten
with Rashi’s comments
1. In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar, and the word was true, and for a long time, and he understood the word and he understood it in the vision.
and for a long time and it will come in a long time.
and he understood the word and to understand the word, the vision was revealed to me.
and he understood it in the vision Heb. וּבִינָה and to make him understand it in the vision. Now this word is not a noun, like (Job. 38:4): “if you know understanding (בִּינָה) Instead, the ” hey “ is superfluous, and it is like (Ps 5:2)” understand (בִּינָה) my thoughts “ Therefore, the accent is above on the” beth," and its meaning is like הָבֵן, understand.
2. In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three weeks of days.
had been mourning when he saw that Cyrus had curtailed the construction of the Temple, for he had ordered to commence it, and he reneged because of the missive of the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin: Rehum the adviser and Shimshai the scribe, as is written in the Book of Ezra (4:5).
three weeks of days twenty-one years. They are eighteen years from the one year of Darius the Mede, when he [Daniel] put to his heart to calculate the seventy years of the exile, as it is written: until the second year of Darius the Persian, the son of Esther, who built the Temple. As for the three extra years, I do not know whether he started to fast before them or whether the duration of the acceptance of the vow of his fasts terminated three years after the building.
3. I ate no white bread, neither did meat nor wine enter my mouth, and I did not anoint myself until the completion of three weeks of days.
white bread Heb. לֶחֶם חֲמֻדֹת, white (lit. clean) bread, as Onkelos rendered (Gen. 27:15): “Esau’s clean clothes (הַחֲמֻדֹת),” דַּכְיָתָא, clean.
4. And on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, when I was beside the great river, the Tigris.
5. I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold a man clad in linen, and his loins were girded with a girdle of gold studded with jewels.
clad in linen a linen garment.
with a girdle of gold studded with jewels Heb. בְּכֶתֶם אוּפָז, with a girdle of a cluster of pearls. Every [instance of] כֶּתֶם is an expression of a cluster of gold and precious stones.
6. And his body was like tarshish, and his face was like the appearance of lightning, and his eyes were like firebrands, and his arms and his legs were like the appearance of brandished copper, and the sound of his words was like the voice of a multitude.
And his body was like tarshish Our Sages of blessed memory explained in Tractate Hullin (9lb): “His body was two thousand parasangs large, like the measurement of the sea named Tarshish, and that is the sea of Africa (the Mediterranean).”
brandished Heb. קָלָל, smelted, refined, and shiny.
like the voice of a multitude like the voice of a gathering of a large multitude, whose voice is heard from afar.
7. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, but the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great quaking fell upon them, and they fled into hiding.
but the men who were with me Our Sages of blessed memory said that they were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
but a great quaking fell upon them Our Sages of blessed memory said that although a person does not see something of which he is terrified, his guardian angel, who is in heaven, does see it; therefore, he becomes terrified.
8. But I remained alone, and I saw this great vision, and no strength was left within me, and my complexion was turned in me into corruption, and I could not summon up strength.
was turned in me into corruption Heb. לְמַשְׁחִית, lit. to a destroyer. To corruption, and it is customary for Biblical verses to speak in this manner, like (Jer. 5:8): “They were like armed stallions early in the morning.” מַשְׁכִּים is the equivalent of בְּהַשְׁכָּמַת הַבּקֶר, in the early morning.
I could not summon up strength i.e., I did not gather. All my strength left my innards.
9. Then I heard the voice of his words, and when I heard the voice of his words, I fell into a sound sleep on my face, and my face was to the ground.
I fell into a sound sleep out of great fright.
10. And behold, a hand touched me and moved me on my knees and the palms of my hands.
and moved me as one who moves a sleeping person to awaken him.
11. And he said to me, "Daniel, man of desirable qualities, contemplate the words I speak to you and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you." And when he spoke to me this word, I stood quaking.
man of desirable qualities אִישׁ חֲמֻדוֹת, pure man.
upright Heb. עַל עָמְדֶ, on the stand of your feet.
I have been sent to you I have been sent to you from the Omnipresent.
quaking [as translated,] quaking.
12. And he said to me "Fear not, Daniel, for since the first day that you set your heart to contemplate and to fast before your Elohim, your words were heard, and I have come because of your words.
and I have come because of your words I have come on this mission because of your words. Our Rabbis, however, explained in Tractate Yoma (77a): “and I came within the curtain because of you, for I was banned from its midst.”
13. And the prince of the kingdom of Persia has been standing against me for twenty-one days, and behold Michael, one of the first princes, has come to help, and I remained there beside the kings of Persia.
has been standing against me to battle with me in heaven by requesting an extension for the kingdom for Persia to enable them to subjugate you (Israel). Behold twenty-one days that he has been standing against me.
the first princes those counted first among those who enter.
and I remained there to silence the princes of Persia in heaven.
14. And I have come to enable you to understand what will happen to your people at the end of the days, for there is yet a vision for those days."
for there is yet a vision to tell you what has not yet been told, and it will come in many days at an appointed time.
15. And when he spoke to me according to these words, I set my face to the ground, and I was dumbfounded.
16. And behold [one] like the image of the sons of man was touching my lips, and I opened my mouth and spoke, and I said to the one standing opposite me, "My master, in the vision my joints turned upon me, and I did not summon up strength.
my joints turned upon me Heb. צִירַי. These are the ends of the bones, all the limbs that are thrust into their sockets and turn within them like a door on its hinge in the socket of the threshold. My joints turned to become dislocated from their place out of much trembling and quaking.
17. Now how will this servant of my master be able to speak with this my master?" And for me, from now on, strength will not stay in me, and a soul is not left in me.
this servant of my lord He refers to himself as a servant, and to the angel as “my master,” i.e., to say, How will your servant be able to speak with you?
18. And the one having the appearance like that of a man continued to touch me, and he strengthened me.
19. And he said, "Fear not, man of desirable qualities; peace be to you, be strong and be strong," and when he spoke to me, I gained strength, and I said, "Let my master speak, for you have strengthened me."
20. And he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I shall return to battle with the prince of Persia; then I shall leave, and behold the prince of Greece is coming.
And now I shall return to battle with the prince of Persia and I know that I will be victorious, but when the time of the kingdom of the heathens [Greece Malbim ed., Antiochus Vilna ed.] arrives, I know that I will leave, and he will enter after thirty-four years of the existence of the Temple. Alexander of Macedon will rise, for although Israel was subjugated by the kings of Persia in those days, they exacted a light tribute from them, and they did not burden them heavily because the Holy One, blessed be He, caused them to have mercy on them. But the kings of the heathens [Greece, Antiochus] laid a heavy yoke upon them.
21. Indeed, I shall tell you what is inscribed in a true script, but no one strengthens himself concerning these matters except Michael, your prince."
what is inscribed in a true script the document of the decree is true, but not one of the heavenly princes is exerting himself to assist me with all these, except etc.
Daniel Chapter eleven
With Rashi’s comments
1. As for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood as a supporter and a stronghold for him.
As for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede when the kingdom of Babylon fell, and the rule of Media and Persia commenced, and the princes of Media and Persia entreated the Omnipresent to make the yoke of their frightful rule heavy upon you, I, Gabriel, stood as a supporter and as a stronghold for Michael, your prince.
2. And now, I shall tell you the truth. Behold three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth one will become wealthy with great wealth, and when be becomes strong with his wealth, he will arouse all against the kingdom of Greece.
Behold three more kings Our Sages of blessed memory in Seder Olam (ch. 28) said: “This refers to Cyrus, Ahasuerus, and Darius who rebuilt the Temple. Now what is the meaning of fourth’? The fourth, counting from Media.” In the book of Joseph Ben Gorion, however, it is written that Cyrus had a son who succeeded him before the reign of Ahasuerus, named Cambyses.
and when he becomes strong i.e., Darius.
with his wealth, he will arouse his entire kingdom to wage war against the kingdom of the heathens.
3. And a mighty king will arise and will rule a great dominion and do according to his will.
And a mighty king will arise in Greece, viz. Alexander of Macedon.
and do according to his will with Darius the king of Persia, and he will slay him and receive his kingdom, and the Persians will be enslaved by the heathens [the Greeks.
4. And when he arises, his kingdom will be broken, and it will be divided to the four directions of the heavens, but not to his posterity, and not like the dominion that he ruled, for his kingdom will be uprooted and to others besides those.
And when he arises, his kingdom will be broken When he becomes very strong and reaches the height of his strength, his kingdom will be broken, meaning that he will die.
and it will be divided to the four directions of the heavens It is written in the book of Ben Gorion (ch. 14) that he divided his kingdom between the four heads of his family; they are the four heads of the leopard that Daniel saw (above 7:6): “And behold another one, like a leopard, and it had four wings of a bird on its back, and the beast had four heads.” He gave this one dominion in the east, this one in the west, this one in the north and this one in the south, and so in the first vision (8:8): “an appearance of four sprouted in its stead,” concerning the horns of the he-goat.
but not to his posterity The dominion will not come to his sons but to his family members. [The word] אַחֲרִיתוֹ coincides only with the expression of sons, and so Scripture states (Amos 4:2): “and you shall be borne on shields and your posterity (אַחֲרִיתְכֶן) in fishing boats,” which Jonathan renders: and your sons (sic) and daughters in fishermen’s boats.
and not like the dominion that he ruled but the kingdom of these will not be as strong as that of Alexander.
for his kingdom will be uprooted to divide to these four heads and to others besides these.
5. And the king of the south will overwhelm [the king of the north] and his officers, and he will rule with great dominion over his ruling.
And the king of the south will overwhelm The head who will reign in the south will be stronger than the head opposite him who reigns in the north, and [stronger] than his officers.
6. And at the end of years they will join, and the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make a compromise, but her arm will not retain strength; and he and his arm will not prevail, and she and those who brought her and he who begot her and supported her in those times will be surrendered.
to make a compromise a compromise of peace between him and her father.
will not retain, etc. The king of the north will capture her, those who brought her, and her father who begot her and supported her in her time of trouble.
will not retain The arm of those who brought her [will not retain] strength to stand, [and her father will not prevail] before him, neither he nor his arm, meaning his mighty men.
will be surrendered into the hands of the king of the north, she and those who brought her, and he who begot her, i.e., her father.
7. A scion of her roots will arise in his position, and he will come to the army, and he will come into the stronghold of the king of the north, and he will succeed in them and take hold.
A scion of her roots will arise a son sitting on his position, on the throne of the kingdom.
and he will come to the army to the king of the north.
into the stronghold of the king of the north i.e., in the cities of his strength, in his fortresses.
and he will succeed in them Heb. וְעָשָׂה בָהֶם, lit. and he will succeed against them.
and take hold and he will conquer them.
8. And also their gods with their princes with their coveted vessels of silver and gold he will bring in captivity to Egypt, and he will remain for years, more than the king of the north.
their princes [as translated,] their princes.
9. And he will come into the kingdom of the king of the south and return to his land.
And he will come into the kingdom of the king of the south Through the kingdom of the king of the south, who was her father’s father, he will return to his land, which is Egypt, as is stated above: “will bring in captivity to Egypt.”
10. And his sons will agitate and gather a multitude of great armies, and he will come and inundate and pass, and he will return and agitate until his stronghold.
And his sons [i.e., the sons] of the king of the north will agitate.
and he will come Heb. וּבָא בוֹא, like וְהוֹלֵ הָלוֹ. The son of the king of the north will come and pass to the land of the south.
and he will return and agitate against the king of the south.
until his stronghold his fortified city.
11. And the king of the south will wage war, and he will go forth and wage war with him, with the king of the north, and he will raise a great multitude, and the multitude will be given into his hand.
will wage war will fight against the people.
and the multitude will be given into his hand [i.e., the multitude] of the king of the north [will be given] into his hand.
12. And the multitude will be raised up, and its heart will be haughty, and he will fell myriads, but he will not prevail.
And the multitude will be raised up that of the king of the north, to become very haughty, for they planned in their hearts to be victorious in the war.
and he will fell myriads many of the army of the king of the south.
but he will not prevail Nevertheless, the victory of the war will not be his.
13. And the king of the north will return and raise a multitude greater than the first, and at the end of the times of years, he will come with a great army and with great possessions.
14. And in those times, many will rise up against the king of the south, and the sons of the renegades of your people will exalt themselves to bring about the vision but they will fail.
and the sons of the renegades of your people will exalt themselves to bring about the vision I saw in the name of Rav Saadia Gaon that they were the renegades of Israel and their company.
15. And the king of the north will come and pour a mound and seize the fortified city, and the arms of the south will not stand up, and the people of his chosen ones will have no strength to stand.
and the people of his chosen ones will be in the war.
will have no strength to stand before the king of the north, and although there is a superfluous “vav” here, it is customary for Scripture to speak in this manner as in, for example: “As for its nobles, there are none (וְאֵין) who proclaim the kingdom,” Isaiah (34:12).
16. And the one who comes to him will do as he wishes with no one rising up before him, and he will stand in the land of beauty, and he will destroy it with his hand.
will do The king of the north, who comes to the king of the south, [will do] as he wishes.
in the land of beauty in the land of Israel.
and he will destroy it He will destroy the land with his army.
17. And he will set his face to come upon the strength of his entire kingdom, and the upright will be with him, and he will succeed. Now the daughter of the women he will give him to destroy her, but it will not stand, and she will not be for him.
And he will set his face i.e., the king of the north, to come into the strength of the entire kingdom of the king of the south.
and the upright will be with him and Israel will be with the king of the south. Also with them will the king of the north battle in those days.
and he will succeed Heb. וְעָשָׂה, lit. and he will do.
Now the daughter of the women he will give him to destroy her This is the nation of Israel, [referred to in Song of Songs 1:8 as] “the fairest of women.” The king of the north will command the general of his army to destroy her. I say that he is Antiochus, the king of Greece, who issued decrees against Israel, and he commanded his general, Phillip, to kill whoever identified himself as a Jew, as is written in the book of Josiphon (ch. 18).
but it will not stand this counsel of his.
and she will not be for him the daughter of the women, for Mattathias the son of Johanan will rise and break off his [Antiochus’s] yoke from Israel.
18. And he will set his face to the isles, and he will seize many, and the prince will terminate his blasphemy to Him; besides his blasphemy He will recompense him.
and the Prince will terminate his blasphemy to Him His reproach and his blasphemy, with which he blasphemed the Holy One, blessed be He, and Israel, as is written in the book of Josiphon (ch. 20), and He punished him, for He smote him with evil boils while he was in transit, for he went to besiege Jerusalem, and his flesh became putrid, his limbs fell off and he ordered his slaves to bring him back to Antioch, but he did not manage to get there before he died of evil illnesses.
19. And he will return his face to the strongholds of his land, and he will stumble and fall, and he will not be found.
to the strongholds of his land to return to his fortified city.
20. And one who removes the oppressor will stand on his base, the glory of the kingdom, but in a few days it will be broken, but not with anger and not with war.
And one who removes the oppressor will stand on his base and Mattathias the son of Johanan, who removed the oppressor from Israel, and who is the glory of the kingdom of Israel, will strengthen himself on his base on Mt. Modin, for he will be a prince and a mighty man, he and all his descendants after him, viz. the Hasmoneans.
in a few days it will be broken In a few days, their kingdom will be broken.
but not with anger of another nation.
and not with war but from themselves and with themselves, that Hyrcanus and Aristobulus will be jealous over the throne.
21. And a contemptible person will stand on his base, and they did not place the glory of the kingdom upon him, and he will come in peace and seize the kingdom with flattery.
And a contemptible person will stand on his base Then the kingdom of Rome will strengthen itself on its stand, as it says (Obad. 1:2): “you are very despised,” and the Romans will rise and take the kingdom from the Greeks.
22. And the arms of inundation will be inundated from before him and be broken, and also the king with whom they made a covenant.
And the arms of inundation And the mighty of the kingdom, who previously were inundating and powerful, will be inundated before the Romans and be broken.
and also the king with whom they made a covenant Also the king of Israel, who will form a treaty with them, will ultimately be inundated from before him, for [the Romans] will violate the treaty and betray them, as our Sages of blessed memory said: “Twenty-six years they kept their trust with Israel, but later they subjugated them.”
23. And from the alliance with him he will work deceitfully, and he will go up and overpower with few people.
And from the alliance with him he will work deceitfully And from the alliance that Rome will make with Israel, he will work deceitfully, for he will not reveal his evil plan.
and he will go up from his place.
and overpower in all places around the land of Judea: in Edom, in Ammon, and in Moab.
with few people He will not require a massive army, for the king of Judea will aid him, and so it is written in the book of Josiphon (ch. 23).
24. With peace and in the fat places of the country he will come, and he will do what his fathers and his fathers' fathers did not do; plunder and spoils and belongings he will distribute to them, and about the fortresses he will devise his plans until the time.
plunder and spoils and belongings he will distribute to them He will distribute to those who accept their yoke upon themselves until they conquer all with flattery and smooth speech.
will distribute Heb. יִבְזוֹר, like יִפְזוֹר. and so (Ps. 68:31): “he scatters (בִּזַר) peoples.”
and about the fortresses of the nations he will devise in his plans-to station [in them] the heads of his troops until the time that all will be conquered under them.
25. And he will arouse his strength and his heart upon the king of the south with a great army, and the king of the south will stir up war with a great and exceedingly strong army, and he will not stand because they will devise plans against him.
and he will not stand the king of the south.
because they will devise plans against him They will plot against him to fell him through the bribery that they will bribe his officers to betray him, as he concludes: “and those who eat his food will break him.”
26. And those who eat his food will break him, and his army will inundate, and many will fall.
his food Heb. פַּתבָּגוֹ, his food; one who takes a portion from his table.
27. As for the two kings-their hearts are to do evil, and on one table they will speak lies, but it will not succeed, for there is still an end to the appointed time.
As for the two kings the officer of the Romans and the king with whom they made to covenant, which is mentioned above. That is Hyrcanus, who will form an alliance to aid him so that he, too, will aid him against Aristobulus his brother, ruling in Jerusalem.
their hearts are to do evil to the people of your nation, to harm Judea.
and on one table They will murmur lies about the kingdom of Aristobulus.
but it will not succeed for Israel will not be surrendered to destruction in those days.
for there is still an end to the appointed time of the destruction, at the end of sixty two weeks [of years], stated in this Book (9:25), and that appointed time is in the days of Agrippa, the son of Agrippa of the seed of Herod.
28. And he will return to his land with great possessions, and his heart is on the covenant with the holy ones, and he will succeed and return to his land.
And he will return The Roman king [will return] to his land from [fighting] with the king of the south with many possessions.
and his heart is on the covenant with the holy ones to abrogate his treaty with Israel.
and he will succeed Heb. וְעָשָׂה, lit. and he will do, i.e., and he will succeed and return to his land.
29. After a time he will return and come into the south, but it will not be like the first nor like the last time.
After a time Heb. לַמּוֹעֵד, after a time, but this coming will not be as successful as the first one mentioned above (verse 7): “A scion of her roots will arise etc.,” in which the king of the north succe eded over the king of the south, or like the last, meaning this second time, about which we said: “and he will return to his land” with many possessions.
30. And companies will come upon him from the Kiffites, and he will be crushed, and he will return and be wroth with the holy covenant, and he will succeed, and he will return and contemplate those who abandoned the holy covenant.
will come upon him to battle with him.
companies Heb. צִיִים.
Kittites Romans, troops from the kingdom of Rome who will rebel against him.
and he will be crushed He will be slightly broken.
and he will return and be wroth with the holy covenant And he will return to his land and abrogate the treaty he had made with Israel.
and he will return and contemplate those who abandoned the holy covenant He will put his mind to it and contemplate that Israel has abandoned the holy covenant (and law), and unwarranted hatred and controversy will increase in the Second Temple [era], as is written in the book of Josiphon (ch. 45), and they will shed innocent blood, and he will rely on this and know that he will succeed, and he will abrogate his treaty with them and provoke them.
31. And arms from him will stand, and they will profane the Sanctuary, the stronghold, and they will remove the daily sacrifice, and place a silent abomination.
And arms from him will stand He will send his officers and his mighty men to Jerusalem.
and they will profane the stronghold of the Temple.
32. And those who deal wickedly against the covenant he will flatter with smooth speech, but the people that knows its God will adhere and perform.
And those who deal wickedly against the covenant The renegades of Israel, who will join him and deal wickedly against their covenant with their fellows, he will flatter with smooth speech.
but the people that knows its God but the devout of Israel, who will adhere to the fear of their God will grasp it and not abandon it.
and perform their Torah.
33. And the wise of the people will allow the public to understand, and they will stumble by the sword and with flames, with captivity, and with plunder for days.
And the wise of the people the wise among them, such as the household of Rabbi [Judah Hanasi] and the sages of the generations.
will allow the public to understand They will preach the Torah to the common people and encourage them to adhere to it.
will stumble in their exile by the sword and by flames, etc.
34. And when they stumble, they will be helped with a little help, but many will join them because of smooth speech.
they will be helped with a little help Through bribes and the money that they will pay tribute to their enemies, they will be helped.
35. And some of the wise will stumble to clarify some of them and to select and to cleanse until the time of the end, for there is yet until the time appointed.
will stumble to clarify some of them They will stumble in the calculations of the end, for they will put their mind to refine them and to resolve them to know them, but they will err concerning them.
36. And the king will do as he wishes, and he will exalt himself and magnify himself over every powerful one, and about the God of the mighty he will speak wondrous things, and he will succeed until the fury is spent, when it will be finished and executed.
And the king will do as he wishes the kingdom of Rome.
and he will succeed until the fury is spent until the wrath of the Holy One, blessed be He, returns from Israel.
when it will be finished and executed when His decree will be finished. כִּי is like כַּאֲשֶׁר, when.
37. And he will not contemplate the gods of his fathers, and the most desirable of women and any god he will not contemplate, for he will magnify himself over all.
And he will not contemplate the God of his fathers he will not put his mind to the Holy One, blessed be He, Who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, his [i. e., Israel’s] forefathers.
the most desirable of women the nation of Israel, [called] fairest of women.
38. But the god of the strongholds on its base he will honor, and the god that his ancestors did not know he will honor with gold and with silver and with precious stones and with desirable things.
But the god of the strongholds the god of the cherubim who will make a treaty with him.
on its base he will honor for he will flatter the nations to be subservient to him.
39. And he will construct for the fortresses of the strongholds with a foreign god; whomever he will recognize, he will honor increasingly, and he will give them dominion over multitudes, and he will apportion land for a price.
And he will construct buildings.
for the fortresses of the strongholds with a foreign god i.e., in honor of a foreign god.
whomever he will recognize, he will honor increasingly He will increase the honor [and greatness] of those princes whom he will see fit to recognize their faces and to flatter.
and he will apportion to them.
for a price for little money.
40. And at the time of the end, the king of the south will clash with him, and the king of the north will storm over him with chariots, with horsemen, and with many ships, and he will come into the lands and inundate and pass.
And at the time of the end when our redemption draws near.
and the king of the north will storm over him over the king of the south.
41. And he will come into the land of beauty, and many will stumble, and these will escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the choice of the children of Ammon.
42. And he will stretch forth his hand upon lands, and the land of Egypt will not survive.
43. And he will rule over the treasures of the gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Lybians and the Cushites will be at his steps.
44. And tidings will terrify him from the east and from the north, and he will go forth in great wrath to destroy and to exterminate many.
45. And he will pitch his palatial tents between the seas and the beautiful holy mountain, and he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
Daniel Chapter twelve
With Rashi’s comments
1. Now at that time, Michael, the great prince, who stands over the children of your people, will be silent, and it will be a time of distress that never was since a nation existed until that time, and at that time, your people will escape, everyone who is found inscribed in the book.
Now at that time, Michael… will be silent He will be silent like a mute person, for he will see the Holy One, blessed be He, judging by Himself and saying, “How will I destroy a great nation like this for the sake of Israel?”
and it will be a time of distress in heaven there will be accusations against Torah scholars, [and there will be] plunderers and plunderers of plunderers, as our Rabbis said in the Aggadah in the last chapter of Kethuboth (112b).
your people will escape The kingdom of Gog will be destroyed and Israel will escape.
everyone who is found inscribed in the book This is a short verse, [meaning] whoever is found inscribed in this Book, through the dreams inscribed in it (7:11): “until the beast is slain” ; (verse 18): “and the high holy ones will receive the kingdom.” All will be fulfilled.
2. And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awaken-these for eternal life, and those for disgrace, for eternal abhorrence.
And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awaken The dead will come to life.
3. And the wise will shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who bring the multitudes to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
And the wise who engaged in the Torah and in the commandments, will shine like the brightness of the sky.
4. And you, Daniel, close up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many will run to and fro, and the knowledge will increase.
5. And I, Daniel, saw, and behold two others were standing, one on this side of the river bank, and one on that side of the riverbank.
6. And he said to the man clad in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be until the secret end?"
7. And I heard the man clad in linen, who was above the waters of the river, and he raised his right hand and his left hand to the heavens, and he swore by the Life of the world, that in the time of [two] times and a half, and when they have ended shattering the strength of the holy people, all these will end.
and when they have ended shattering the strength of the holy people Heb. נַפֵּץ יַד, lit. shattering the hand. When Israel’s strength terminates, [similar to] (Deut. 32:36): “that power has vanished (אָזְלַת יַד) and nothing left to keep or abandon.”
8. And I heard, but I did not understand, and I said, "My lord, what is the end of these?"
but I did not understand I did not know what “the time of two times and a half” means.
what is the end of these the end of these calculations.
9. And he said, "Go, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.
until the time of the end until our redemption draws near.
10. They will be clarified and whitened, and many will be purified, and the wicked will pervert [them], and all the wicked will not understand, but the wise will understand.
They will be clarified and whitened [i. e.,] these calculations.
and… will be purified [i.e.,] many [will be purified] by them to understand them.
and the wicked will pervert the calculations by computing them incorrectly, and when they terminate, they will say that there is no more redemption.
will not understand All the wicked [will not understand] them.
but the wise will understand them when the time of the end arrives.
11. And from the time the daily sacrifice was removed and the silent abomination placed, is one thousand, two hundred, and ninety.
And from the time the daily sacrifice was removed in order to place a silent abomination in its stead, are days of one thousand two hundred and ninety years since the daily sacrifice was removed until it will be restored in the days of our King Messiah, and this calculation coincides with the calculation of (8:14): “evening and morning, two thousand and three hundred” from the day of their exile to Egypt until the final redemption: Egyptian exile 210; From their Exodus until the First Temple 480; First Temple 410; Babylonian exile 70; Second Temple 200; Totaling 1590. The daily sacrifice was removed six years before the destruction, which equals 1584. Add 1290, and the total sum is 2874; like the numerical value of בֹּקֶר עֶרֶב  plus 2300 .
12. Fortunate is he who waits and reaches days of one thousand, three hundred, and thirty-five.
Fortunate is he who waits etc. Forty five years are added to the above number, for our King Messiah is destined to be hidden after he is revealed and to be revealed again. So we find in Midrash Ruth, and so did Rabbi Eleazar HaKalir establish (in the concluding poem of the morning service of the portion dealing with the month of Nissan): “and he will be concealed from them six weeks of years.”
13. And you, go to the end, and you will rest and rise to your lot at the end of the days."
go to the end You will depart to your everlasting home.
to your lot to receive your portion with the righteous.
at the end of the days Heb. לְקֵץ הַיָמִין, like הַיָמִים בְּאַחֲרִית. We cannot interpret הַיָמִין as an expression of the right hand, because it is mentioned in the Large Masorah among the six words that are unusual because they have a final “nun” at the end of the word, which serves instead of a “mem,” and there is none like them, e.g. (Job 31:10): “and may others (אֲחֵרִין) kneel upon her;” (ibid. 24:22): “and he is not sure of life (בַּחַיִין) ” (Ezek. 4: 9): “take yourself wheat (חִטִין) ” ; (ibid. 26:18): “Now the isles (הָאִיִן) will tremble;” (Prov. 31:3): “to the pleasures of kings;” (here): “to the end of the days (הַיָמִין).”