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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Daniel 11

Verses 1-45

Daniel 11:2

While philosophy had for the Jews no meaning, history had a deeper significance than it had for any other people. It was the chief factor in their national unity, the source from which they drew ethical and spiritual enlightenment. Thither they turned as to living oracles inscribed with the finger of the Almighty. To history they appealed as the supreme tribunal of God's justice. The great monarchies, Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, pass across the scene. Their fortunes cross and interlock into those of the chosen race. Israel is the pivot on which their destiny turns. History, in a word, is the drama in which God Himself is the protagonist, vindicating his justice and moral government on the stage of the visible world.

Butcher, Harvard Lectures on Greek Subjects, pp. 29-31.

Daniel 11:32

Crows pick out the eyes of the dead, when the dead no longer need their eyes. But flatterers destroy the souls of the living, and blind their eyes.

Epic-tetus.

Cf. the Flatterer in the first part of the Pilgrim's Progress.

Daniel 11:32

The course of this man's life had been very simple, and yet crowded with events, and with manifold activity. The element of his energy was an indestructible faith in God, and in an assistance flowing immediately from Him.

Goethe upon Jung Stilling.

Reference. XI. 32, 33. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xi. No. 609.

Daniel 11:33

It is sometimes argued that religious convictions are not as strong as they were in old times. But 'that the fervour for truth is not diminished may be seen in regions outside theology.... At this moment hundreds of educated men are defying the whole power of the Russian Empire in the struggle for constitutional liberty. Every month sees a score or more of them consigned to a hopeless dungeon or sent to Siberia, and the ranks close up again firmer after every fresh gap. Some of us cannot have forgotten how a crowd of Poles, men and women, knelt down in 1861 in the great square of Warsaw, praying and singing hymns, as fifteen volleys of grape-shot tore through their ranks. The sacrifice was unavailing; but it is by sacrifice of this sort that national character is regenerated, and as long as the spirit of martyrdom lives, there seems no need to despair of the future of humanity.

C. H. Pearson.

Daniel 11:35

See Browning's poem, 'A Lost Leader'.

Daniel 11:35

In Greek authors of classical times there is no trace of the thought that the human race as a whole, or any single people, is advancing towards a Divinely appointed goal; there is nothing of what the moderns mean by the 'Education of the World,' 'the Progress of the Race,' the 'Divine guidance of Nations'. The first germ of the thought is in Polybius ( circa 204-122 b.c), whose work illustrates the idea of a providential destiny presiding over the march of Roman history, and building up the imperial power of Rome for the good of mankind.

Butcher's Aspects of the Greek Genius, pp. 155, 156.

Daniel 11:36

Others may occupy themselves, if they will, in seeking a nostrum to destroy the phylloxera; be it mine to find one that shall destroy the Christian religion.

M. Paul Bert.

Can there be a more dreadful delusion than to see God where He is not, or to imagine ourselves more enlightened than Jesus Christ?

Dr. William Barry.

Daniel 11:43-45

I can never forget the inexpressible luxury and prophanenesse, gaming and all dissoluteness, and as it were total forgetfullnesse of God (it being Sunday evening) which this day se'nnight I was witness of, the king sitting and toying with his concubines, a French boy singing love songs in that glorious gallery, whilst about twenty of the greate courtiers and other dissolute persons were at Basset round a large table, a bank of at least 2000 in gold before them, upon which two gentlemen who were with me made reflexions with astonishment. Six days after was all in the dust!

Evelyn's Diary, Feb. 1685.

Daniel 11:45

Our physical organism was devised for existence in the atmosphere of our globe and so is our moral organism devised for existence in justice. Every faculty craves for it, is more intimately bound up with it than with the laws of gravitation, light, or heat; and to plunge into injustice is to fling ourselves head foremost into what is hostile and unknown.

Maeterlinck, The Buried Temple.

References. XI. J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 166. XII. 2, 3. J. C. M. Bellew, Sermons, vol. ii. p. 166.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Daniel 11". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/daniel-11.html. 1910.