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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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DAYSPRING.—The dawn or beginning of the day; cf. for the word 1 Samuel 9:26, Job 38:12; in NT only Luke 1:78 (ἀνατολή), but cf. the prophecy quoted Matthew 4:18 (φῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς). Zacharias saw, in the remarkable events taking place, the coming of the new day and the dawning of hope for Israel: ‘the Lord, the God of Israel, hath visited and wrought redemption for his people’ (Luke 1:68); ‘the dayspring from on high shall visit us’ ( Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 fut. א B). Ἀνατέλλειν is often used for the rising of the sun (Matthew 13:6, Mark 16:2, James 1:11) and stars (Numbers 24:17; 2 Peter 1:19), and ἀνατολή, either in sing. or plur. form, for the East (Matthew 2:1-2 etc.). In Revelation 7:2; Revelation 16:12 ἡλίον is added, and there Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 substitutes ‘sunrising’ for Authorized Version ‘east.’ In LXX Septuagint ἀνατολή occurs for the rising of the moon (Isaiah 60:19). Light frequently stands for salvation and deliverance (Isaiah 58:10; Isaiah 60:1, Malachi 4:2, Luke 2:32), and was specially applied to the Messiah, cf. John 1:9 etc., Ephesians 5:14 (see Edersheim, Life and Times, ii. 166). For ἀνατολὴ ἐξ ὕψους in Luke 1:78 Vulgate has oriens ex alto.

Ἐξ ὕψους, ‘from on high,’ presents some difficulty, as dawn does not come from on high; perhaps the ref. to a bright shining star is more in keeping (Meyer); ‘He is the Daystar from on high, bringing a new morning to those who sit in the darkness and death-shadows of the world’ (Liddon, Bamp. Lect.8 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] p. 248). Godet would connect these words with ἐπισκέψεται (‘it is from the bosom of Divine mercy that this star comes down, and it does not rise upon humanity until after it has descended and has been made man’), but this seems hardly necessary; ἐξ ὕψονς represents ‘from God,’ and ἀνατολὴ ἐξ ὕψους is simply ‘God’s Messiah’ (Dalman, The Words of Jesus, pp. 223, 224).

A different translation is based on the fact that ἀνατολή in LXX Septuagint stands several times for צֶמַח, a ‘shoot’ or ‘branch,’ one of the prophetic names of the Messiah (Jeremiah 23:5, Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12; cf. Jeremiah 40:15 Theod. [Note: Theodotion.] ). So Edersheim: ‘Although almost all modern authorities are against me, I cannot persuade myself that the expression rendered “dayspring” is not here the equivalent of the Heb. צֶמַח Branch’ (op. cit. i. 158n. [Note: note.] ). But it seems a fatal objection that none of the other expressions in the passage correspond (‘to shine upon’ ἑτιφᾶναι, ‘to guide’ κατευθῦναι); and ἐξ ὓψους causes much greater difficulty (cf. Isaiah 11:1). Bleek wishes to combine the two meanings by supposing a play of words on the sprouting branch and the rising star; no Hebrew word will bear the double meaning, but LXX Septuagint comes near identifying this Messianic name with the appearance of light when it renders Isaiah 4:2 (‘in that day shall the branch (צמַח) of the Lord be beautiful and glorious’) by ἑτιλάμψει ὁ θεὸς ἑν βουλῇ μετἁ δοξης. If the source of Lk. be Aramaic, ἀνατολὴ may stand for some other word; cf. its use for ננַהּ ‘brightness’ (Isaiah 60:19), and in one MS, Qmg, for וָרַח ‘rising’ (Isaiah 60:3). See the Comm. of Godet and Plummer, in loc.

W. H. Dundas.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Dayspring'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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