Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Daniel 9:21

while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Daily Offering;   Gabriel;   Nation;   Prayer;   Prophets;   Thompson Chain Reference - Gabriel;   The Topic Concordance - Resurrection;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Angels;   Confession of Sin;   Daily Sacrifice, the;   Evening, the;   Prayer, Answers to;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Angel;   Daniel;   Gabriel;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Daniel;   Gabriel;   Vision;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Apocalyptic;   Vision(s);   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Reconciliation;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Daily Sacrifice;   Gabriel;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Daniel, the Book of;   Gabriel;   Hezekiah;   Prayer;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Archangel;   Daniel, Book of;   Ezekiel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gabriel;   Prayer;   Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Israel, Israelite;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Angels;   Gabriel ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Gabriel;   Hour;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Gabriel;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ga'briel;   Prayer;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Fly;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Angel;   Gabriel;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Angel;   Gabriel;   Oblation;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Angelology;   Gabriel;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for May 4;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The man Gabriel - Or the angel Gabriel, who had appeared to me as a man. איש ish is the same here as person - the person Gabriel.

Being caused to fly swiftly - God hears with delight such earnest, humble, urgent prayers; and sends the speediest answer. Gabriel himself was ordered on this occasion to make more than usual speed.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/daniel-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer - How “long” the prayer continued we are not informed. It is probable that we have only the substance of it, and that Daniel has recorded only the topics on which he dwelt more at length. The subject was of great importance, and it is reasonable to suppose that a day had been devoted to an examination of the prophecies, and to solemn prayer.

Even the man Gabriel - Who had the appearance of a man, and hence, so called.

Whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning - That is, in a “former” vision. See the notes at Daniel 8:16. It cannot refer to what is mentioned in this (the ninth) chapter, for

(a) he had as yet had no vision, but all that is recorded is a prayer;

(b) there is no intimation that Gabriel had appeared to him at the beginning of the prayer; and

(c) it is declared that at the beginning of the prayer, Gabriel, then evidently in heaven, had received commandment to go to Daniel, and to communicate the message to him, Daniel 9:23.

The meaning undoubtedly is, that the personage who now appeared to him he recognized to be the same who had appeared in a former vision on the banks of the Ulai. The proper meaning of the Hebrew here is, “in a vision at the beginning,” as in our translation. So the Vulgate, “a principio;” and so Theodotion - ἐν τῇ ἀρχῇ en tē archē The Hebrew word תחלה techı̂llâh means, properly, “beginning,” Hosea 1:2; Proverbs 9:10; but, in connection with the preposition, as here - בתחלה battechı̂llâh - it means also, “before, formerly,” Genesis 13:3; Genesis 41:21; Genesis 43:18, Genesis 43:20; Isaiah 1:26.

Being caused to fly swiftly - Margin, “with weariness,” or “flight.” On the difficult Hebrew expression here - ביעף מעף mu‛âp bı̂y‛âp - Lengerke may be consulted, in loc. The words, according to Gesenius, are derived from יעף yâ‛ap to go swiftly, and then, to be wearied, to faint, either with running, Jeremiah 2:24, or with severe labor, Isaiah 40:28, or with sorrows, Isaiah 50:4. If derived from this word, the meaning in Hophal, the form used here, would be, “wearied with swift running,” and the sense is, that Gabriel had borne the message swiftly to him, and appeared before him as one does who is wearied with a rapid course. If this be the idea, there is no direct allusion to his “flying,” but the reference is to the rapidity with which he had come on the long journey, as if exhausted by his journey. The Latin Vulgate renders it cito volans - quickly flying; Theodotion, πετόμενος petomenos - flying; the Codex Chisianus, τάχει φερόμενος tachei pheromenos - “borne swiftly.” The Syriac, “with a swift flying he flew and came from heaven.” It cannot be determined with certainty, from the words used here, that the coming of Gabriel was by an act of “flying” as with wings. The common representation of the angels in the Old Testament is not with wings, though the cherubim and Seraphim (Isaiah 6:2, following.) are represented with wings; and in Revelation 14:6, we have a representation of an angel flying. Probably the more exact idea here is that of a rapid course, so as to produce weariness, or such as would naturally produce fatigue.

Touched me - Daniel was doubtless at this time engaged in prayer.

About the time of the evening oblation - The evening sacrifice. This was at the ninth hour of the day, or about three o‘clock in the afternoon.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/daniel-9.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer,.... Which is repeated, that it might be observed, that while he was in prayer, before he had finished it, or got off of his knees, an answer was sent him; see Isaiah 65:24,

even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning; either at the beginning of Belshazzar's reign, in the third year of it, Daniel 8:1, or rather "before", as the Syriac version renders it; before this time, in the vision of the ram and he goat, Daniel 8:16, when he saw this angel Gabriel that appeared in a human form, and he knew this to be his name, by a man's voice calling him by it; and now he knew him to be the same angel by his appearance and voice; at the sight of whom he does not seem to be terrified, as before, having had free conversation with him, and being made acquainted by him with many secrets; and no doubt inwardly rejoiced to see him again, as hoping and believing he had something to communicate to him:

being caused to fly swiftly; having an order from the Lord, and being strengthened by him to make quick dispatch to Daniel, which is signified by flying swiftly; and for which reason angels are represented as having wings, to denote their celerity and quick dispatch of business: or "flying with weariness"F13מעף ביעף "volans in lassitudine", Montanus; "cum lassitudine, vel fatigatione", so some in Vatablus; "cum, lassitudine", as others in Michaelis. , as some render it; he made such haste as to be weary with it; as he appeared in the form of a man, he looked like one out of breath, and panting for it, occasioned by his swift flight; and which expresses the haste he made, according to his orders, and his eagerness to bring to Daniel the welcome tidings of the coming of the Messiah, and the time of it, which angels desired to look into:

touched me about the time of the evening oblation; the time of offering the evening sacrifice; which, though not now offered, the altar being destroyed, and the Lord's people in a foreign land; yet the time was observed by them, and which was the time of prayer, being about the ninth hour of the day, or three o'clock in the afternoon, see Acts 3:1, as the time of the morning sacrifice was another hour of prayer; at which time very likely Daniel began, and continued till now, since he was fasting, Daniel 9:3 and this was the time when Christ, the antitype of the daily sacrifice, was offered up; of the time of whose coming, sufferings, and death, the angel here brings an account: and, in order to excite the attention of Daniel to it, "touched him"; for he, being on his knees, and intent in prayer, might not at first observe him; and therefore gives him a gentle touch, to let him know he was present, and had something to say to him; and to suggest to him to break off his prayer, to which he had brought an answer, as well as to lift him up, and encourage familiarity with him.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/daniel-9.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I had seen in the vision at the beginning — namely, in the former vision by the river Ulai (Daniel 8:1, Daniel 8:16).

fly swiftly — literally, “with weariness,” that is, move swiftly as one breathless and wearied out with quick running [Gesenius]. English Version is better (Isaiah 6:2; Ezekiel 1:6; Revelation 14:6).

time of  …  evening oblation — the ninth hour, three o‘clock (compare 1 Kings 18:36). As formerly, when the temple stood, this hour was devoted to sacrifices, so now to prayer. Daniel, during the whole captivity to the very last, with pious patriotism never forgot God‘s temple-worship, but speaks of its rites long abolished, as if still in use.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/daniel-9.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

About the time — The time of the evening sacrifice was a solemn and set time of devotion. Tho' the altar was in ruins, and there was no oblation offered upon it, yet the pious Jews were daily thoughtful of the time when it should have been offered, and hoped that their prayer would be set forth before God as incense, and the lifting up of their hands, as the evening sacrifice. This was peculiarly a type of that great sacrifice, which Christ was to offer: and it was in virtue of that sacrifice, that Daniel's prayer was accepted, when he prayed for the Lord's sake.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/daniel-9.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

Ver. 21. Yea; whilst I was speaking in prayer.] This he recogniseth and celebrateth as a sweet and singular mercy. God sometimes heareth his people before they pray; [Isaiah 65:24 Psalms 21:3] David was sure up early when he anticipated the Lord with his prayer; [Psalms 88:13; Psalms 119:147] sometimes while they are praying, as he did those in Acts 4:31; Acts 12:5; Acts 12:17, and Luther, who came leaping oat of his study, where he had been praying, with Vicimus, Vicimus, in his mouth that is, we have gained the day, got the conquest; but if not so, yet certainly when they have now prayed. [Isaiah 30:12 Jonah 2:1 Jeremiah 33:3 Matthew 6:7] Luther (a) affirmeth that he often got more spiritual light by some one ardent prayer than ever he could do by the reading of many books, or by most accurate meditation thereupon.

Even the man Gabriel,] i.e., The angel Gabriel in man’s shape.

Whom I had seen in the vision.] And whom I had good cause to remember the longest day of my life for the good offices he had done me formerly.

Being caused to fly swiftly.] Heb., With weariness of flight. Not that the angels flee as fowls - though a certain friar, a liar certainly, undertook to show to the people a feather of the angel Gabriel’s wings - or that they are ever wearied with speeding God’s commissions and commands for the Church’s good; Sed datur hoc assumptae speciei, but these things are spoken to our apprehension. According to the account of astronomers, it must be above a hundred and sixty millions of miles from heaven to earth. All this space the angel came flying to Daniel in a little time.

Touched me.] With a familiar touch, in token of encouragement; prensando mimirum, ut solent qui contactu familiari promptam benevolamque mentem indicant.

About the time of the evening oblation.] When the joint prayers of God’s people were wont to come up before him, quasi manu facta; and Daniel hopeth they may do so again. Qui nihil sperat, nihil orat. He who hopes for nothing, asks for nothing.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/daniel-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Daniel 9:21. The man Gabriel Literally, That man, named Gabriel, or rather, "That person or angel, &c. who appeared to me under a human form." See chap. Daniel 8:16. There were three hours of prayer among the Jews; but the most solemn seasons of it were at the morning and evening oblation; at the third and ninth hours of the day. But upon their solemn days of fasting and humiliation, they continued their devotions from the time of the morning sacrifice till that of the evening was finished. Daniel expresses himself in the country of his captivity, in the same manner as the Jews at Jerusalem when the temple subsisted. See Calmet. Instead of, at the beginning, we may read, before.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/daniel-9.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

1. By this we see Daniel used vocal prayer, pouring out his soul.

2. That the saints in prayer do parley with God; it is a humble, and holy, and fervent unbosoming our soul to God.

3. That holy men, in confessing the sins of the nation, confess their own sins too, and that impartially, begging pardon for all.

4. That when a child of God sets himself in earnest to seek God by prayer, the Lord hears him. Compare Daniel 9:20 with Daniel 9:23.

5. As the angels are all ministering spirits, so the chiefest angels are sent in the chiefest messages relating to the church of God. Thus Gabriel before, Daniel 8:16. Thus here. Also to Zacharias, and Mary, Luke 1:11,19,26, about the incarnation of Christ, and our salvation by him.

6. God herein gives a great encouragement to prayer, and fulfils his promises made of old to his people in this behalf, Leviticus 26:40-42 Deuteronomy 30:1-3 Isaiah 30:19; and Isaiah 65:24,

It shall come to pass, before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.

7. The Lord is quick in hearing and helping his people. The angel was made

to fly swiftly, even unto weariness, as some translate it. Or, to fly with flight, Habakkuk 1:8.

The time of the evening sacrifice was a solemn and set time of devotion. Then God heard Elijah and did wonders, 1 Kings 18:36-38; and Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world was sacrificed for us at that time, about the ninth hour, Matthew 27:46 Mark 15:34 Luke 23:44, &c.; all these three evangelists mention Christ’s giving up the ghost at the ninth hour, which was the time of the evening sacrifice. At this time Gabriel is sent to Daniel to tell him the time of the Messiah’s death, and the consequence of it. See Daniel 9:24, &c.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/daniel-9.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The man Gabriel. The angel Gabriel in the shape of a man. (Challoner) (Chap. viii. 16.) --- Sacrifice, between the two vespers, (Numbers xxviii. 4.) after the ninth hour, which was a time of prayer. (Acts iii. 1.) (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/daniel-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Gabriel. See note on Daniel 8:16. This prophecy is not given by a "prophet", but by an angel or hierophant (who shows sacred things) to a prophet. It is therefore a most transcendent prophecy.

about the time, &c. Compare similar important occasions: David (2 Samuel 24:15, note); Elijah (1 Kings 18:29); Ezra (Ezra 9:5).

oblation = gift or donation offering. Hebrew. minchah. App-43.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/daniel-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

The man Gabriel, whom I had seen in a vision at the beginning - namely, in the former vision by the river Ulai (Daniel 8:1; Daniel 8:16).

Being caused to fly swiftly - or else, 'to come with weariness,' i:e., to move swiftly, as one breathless and wearied out with quick running (Gesenius). Maurer and others object to the English version that, except the seraphim and cherubim, the angels generally are not represented with wings in the Old Testament. But the fact that the seraphim have six wings assigned to them, and the cherubim four wings, and also the distinct mention of an angel lying, in Revelation 14:6, proves that the English version is better (Isaiah 6:2; Ezekiel 1:6). [ mu`aap (Hebrew #3286) is from `uwp (Hebrew #5774), to fly (Buxtorf); and biy`aap (Hebrew #3288) is probably from the same root; so that the two words together mean 'being caused to fly swiftly'-literally, with a flight. Others take the latter word from yaa`ap (Hebrew #3286), weariness: so margin] Vulgate, Syriac, and Theodotion support the English version.

Time of the evening oblation - the ninth hour, three o'clock (cf. 1 Kings 18:36). As formerly, when the temple stood, this hour was devoted to sacrifices, so now to prayer. Daniel, during the whole captivity to the very last, with pious patriotism, never forgot God's temple worship, but speaks of its rites, long abolished, as if still in use. The connection of the answer to prayer with the evening sacrifice is marked here, in order to teach us that it is only in virtue of the one sacrifice, of which the law sacrifices were but types, that God will hear prayer and give an answer of peace.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/daniel-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) Being caused to fly swiftly.—A very difficult expression, occurring only here. The Authorised Version follows the LXX. and Theodotion. The rendering has been defended on the ground that the word translated “swiftly” comes from a root meaning “to fly.” and is literally rendered by flight. Thus “caused to fly in flight” means “caused to fly swiftly.” The marginal version “with weariness” finds supporters, and, if adopted, must be taken to refer to the bodily condition of Daniel (Daniel 8:17-27). The former translation is most in accordance with the context. The “flight” of angels is implied in Isaiah 6:2, and should not be regarded as an idea foreign to the Old Testament.

Touched me.—Literally, reached me. (Comp. this use of the word, Jonah 3:6.) The time of the evening sacrifice Isaiah 3 P.M., being the hour of evening prayer. (See Exodus 29:39; Numbers 28:4.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/daniel-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
the man
8:16; 10:16; Luke 1:19
to fly
Psalms 103:20; 104:4; Isaiah 6:2; Ezekiel 1:11,14; Hebrews 1:7
swiftly
Heb. with weariness, or flight. touched.
8:18; 10:10,16,18; Isaiah 6:6,7; Acts 12:7; Hebrews 1:14
the time
1 Kings 18:36; Ezra 9:5; Matthew 27:46; Acts 3:1; 10:3,9
Reciprocal: Exodus 29:38 - two lambs;  Exodus 29:41 - offer;  Numbers 28:4 - and the other;  1 Kings 19:5 - an angel;  2 Kings 3:20 - when the meat;  2 Kings 16:15 - the morning;  1 Chronicles 16:40 - To offer;  2 Chronicles 20:14 - Then upon;  Ezra 9:4 - until;  Psalm 141:2 - the evening;  Ezekiel 14:14 - Daniel;  Matthew 17:7 - touched;  Mark 15:34 - at;  Luke 1:28 - Hail;  Acts 10:30 - I was;  Hebrews 10:11 - daily;  Revelation 1:1 - and he;  Revelation 14:6 - another

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/daniel-9.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

In the last Lecture we explained the appearance of the angel to Daniel, who satisfied the eagerness of his desires. For he prayed with great earnestness when he perceived the time to have elapsed which God had fixed beforehand by the mouth of Jeremiah, while the people still remained in captivity. (Jeremiah 25:11.) We have shewn how the angel was sent by God to the holy Prophet, to alleviate his sorrow and to remove the pressure of his anxiety. He called the angel a man, because he took the form of a man, as we have already stated. One thing only remains — his saying, the vision was offered to him about the time of the evening sacrifice Already seventy years had passed away, during which Daniel had never observed any sacrifice offered; and yet he still mentions sacrifices as if he were in the habit of attending daily in the Temple, which was not really in existence. Whence it appears how God’s servants, though deprived of the outward means of grace for the present moment, are yet able to make them practically useful by meditating upon God, and the sacrifices, and other rites, and ceremonies of His institution. If any one in these days is cast into prison, and even prohibited from enjoying the Lord’s Supper to the end of his life, yet he ought not on that account to cast away the remembrance of that sacred symbol; but should consider within himself every day, why that Supper was granted us by Christ, and what advantages he desires us to derive from it. Such, then, we perceive were the feelings of the holy Prophet, because he speaks of these daily sacrifices as if then in actual use. Yet we know them to have been abolished, and he could not have been present at them for many years, although during that period the Temple was standing. Now let us go forward, —

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/daniel-9.html. 1840-57.