Full Text for Exegetical Notes on Daniel 7:13-14 (Text)

Exegetical Notes on Daniel 7:13-14 Douglas MacCallum Lindsay Judisch The reading from the Old Testament which is appointed to the Last Sunday in the Church Year in Series B of Lutheran Worship consists in two verses of Daniel 7 from the section of the chapter immediately following the two verses appointed to the previous week in Series B. (The exegesis of these verses below is, in answer to several enquiries, in no way designed to promote the use in the main service of the week of the three-year series provided in Lutheran Worship nor of any other modern selections from the gospels and epistles in such a context. This exegete, on the contrary, would continue to urge, on various grounds, fidelity to the pericopal tradition inherited from the ancient church by the church of the reformation and modified only slightly by the Blessed Reformer of the Church, if one is speaking specifically of the gospels and epistles to be read in the main (eucharistic) service of the week. No comparable series of readings, on the other hand, from the Old Testament was either handed down from the ancient church or bestowed on us by the Blessed Reformer; nor, indeed, is there such a program of readings from the New Testament to be used in all the possible additional offices of any given week. In such cases, therefore, even such a traditionalist as this exegete is able, with consistency, to make use of any pericope drawn from the region of Holy Scripture desired.) THE HISTORICAL AND LITERARY SETTING The historical and literary observations which follow assume the auctorial integrity of the Book of Daniel which this exegete has defended elsewhere (especially in The Prophetic Books of the Babylonian Exile and the Persian Empire). The various events related in the Book of Daniel took place and the various prophecies contained therein were uttered between 605 B.C. and 536 B.C., and the record of each was probably written down immediately. Chapter 7, in particular, derives from the year 552-551 B.C., since Daniel specifies the first regnal year of Belshazzar as King of Babylon (7:1), which is to say acting as the viceroy of his father Nabonidus. The purpose of Daniel in writing the book known by his name was to encourage the people of God in the midst of all possible opposition. The theme, correspondingly, of the Book of Daniel may be stated thus: The God of Israel is in complete control of history. The Book of Daniel is the archetypal exemplar in the Old Testament -- and, indeed, in the Bible as a whole -- of the genre of literature known as apocalyptic. Even the Book of Revelation assumes a prior familiarity with Daniel and builds upon the foundation laid there. The apocalyptic genre may be defined as a variety of prophecy which reveals to human view the whole future course of human history by virtue of the plan of God on behalf of His people. Each of the first nine chapters of the Book of Daniel forms a distinct unit of material, while the tenth unit embraces all of the final three chapters into which the book has come to be customarily divided since medieval times. The two main parts of the volume are the historical corpus comprising the first six chapters and the visionary corpus comprising the last six chapters. The four visions found in chapters 7-12 stand in the chronological order in which they were received by the prophet Daniel. Thus, as was already intimated above, the vision recorded in chapter 7 came to Daniel by night sometime between the spring of 552 and the spring of 551 B.C. Chapter 7 constitutes the central section of the Book of Daniel. As the first of the visions of Daniel, it serves, on the one hand, as the bridge from the historical corpus to the visionary corpus. As the final chapter in Aramaic, on the other hand, it serves as the bridge from those chapters written in Aramaic (2:4-7:28) to those which were written in Hebrew (8-12). In a more thematic sense, indeed, Daniel 7 sets forth the general scheme of the history of the world which is elaborated in its various specific aspects in chapters 2-6, on the one hand, and in chapters 8-12, on the other hand. The dream which comprises Daniel 7 falls into three main parts in accordance with the following outline: 1. The Introduction (verse 1) 2. The Dream of Daniel (verses 2-27) 1. The Three Visions (verses 2-14) 1. The First Vision (verses 2-6) 1. The Sequence of Four Beasts (verses 2-3) 2. The First Beast (verse 4) 3. The Second Beast (verse 5) 4. The Third Beast (verse 6) 2. The Second Vision (verse 7-12) 1. The Career of the Fourth Beast (verse 7) 2. The Career of the Antichrist (verse 8) 3. The Final Judgment (verse 9-10) 4. The End of the Beasts and Antichrist (verses 11-12) 1. Antecedents of the End (11a) 2. The Final Judgment (11b) 3. Antecedents of the End (12) 3. The Third Vision (verses 13-14) 1. The Ascension of the Son (13) 1. His Ascension from Earth (13a) 2. His Arrival in Heaven (13b) 2. The Kingship of the Son (14) 1. Its Essence (14a1) 2. Its Universality (14a2) 3. Its Eternity (14b) 2. The Interpretation of the Visions (verses 15-27) 1. The Introduction (verse 15) 2. The First Question (verse 16a) 3. The First Answer (verses 16b-18) 1. Antecedents of the End (17-18a) 2. The Final Judgment (18b) 4. The Second Question (verses 19-22) 1. The Career of the Fourth Beast (verse 19) 2. The Career of the Antichrist (verses 20-21) 3. The Final Judgment (verse 22) 5. The Second Answer (verses 23-27) 1. The Career of the Fourth Beast (verses 23-24a) 2. The Career of the Antichrist (verses 24b-25) 3. The Final Judgment (verses 26-27) 3. The Conclusion (verse 28) The pericope now before us, then, constitutes the third vision of the three visions related in Daniel 7. Specific reference, however, is made back to verse 14, by way of interpretation, in verse 27b: His kingship is a kingship to eternity, Even as the totality of the aforesaid dominions will serve and obey Him. Some of the same words, moreover, are applied to the royal progeny and heirs of the Son of Man in verse 18a: "the saints of the Most High will receive the kingship" (even before its full possession). The eschatological implications, in turn, of this subsidiary kingship is then explicitly affirmed in verse 18b: "and they will possess the kingship unto all eternity and all eternity of all eternities" (taking the emphatic state of the singular and plural forms of 'alam as indicating exclusive completeness). Verse 22 speaks in the same way of the time finally arriving when the saints of the Most High come into the actual possession of the kingship which is already rightfully theirs notwithstanding all appearances to the contrary (including the usurpation by the papacy of both the supreme kingship of the Lord and the vassalary kingship of His church). Verse 27, finally, ascribes such royalty to the church of the New Testament in even more forceful language, while at the same time effectively explaining its significance: For the aforesaid kingship and the aforesaid dominion Yea, the greatness of all the kingships beneath the whole of the heavens Will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;His kingship will be a kingship unto eternity, Even as the totality of the aforesaid dominions will serve and obey Him. The saints, then, receive "kingship and dominion" in a collective and subsidiary way by delegation from the King of Kings whom they still serve and obey. The saints have kingship "beneath ... the heavens" as the vice-regents of the of the Son of Man whose kingship in and beyond the heavens knows no bounds. One citation of these verse occurs in the Book of Concord itself and one in the appendix to the Book of Concord known as the Catalogue of Testimonies. Daniel 7, in the confessional corpus itself, is cited along with ten other chapters of Holy Scripture in the middle of Article VIII of the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, which is devoted to the person of Christ (section 55) [BC, 601]. The specific purpose of all these citations is to provide irrefutable proof of the genus maiestaticum of the communication of attributes in the person of Christ, of which we confess such a unity that such attributes of His divine nature as omnipotence and omnipresence are shared also with His human nature by virtue of His incarnation. The confessors, therefore, speak in this way of the "created gifts" which the human nature of Christ possesses in and of itself [CT, 1033]: But these do not reach unto the majesty which the Scriptures, and the ancient Fathers from Scripture, ascribe to the assumed human nature in Christ. For to quicken, to have all judgment and all power in heaven and on earth, to have all things in His hands, to have all things in subjection beneath His feet, to cleanse from sin, etc., are not created gifts, but divine, infinite properties; and yet, according to the declaration of Scripture, these have been given and communicated to the man Christ... Of the eleven chapters which are then cited Daniel 7 is the only representative of the Old Testament. All ten others are chapters of the gospels and epistles of the New Testament (John 5 and 6, Matthew 28, John 3 and 13, Matthew 11, Ephesians 1, Hebrews 2, 1 Corinthians 15, and John 1). In the original biblical citations, of course, in the Latin and German of the Book of Concord only the chapter-numbers are cited according to the enumeration customary since medieval times (as opposed to the verse-numbers which have been inserted subsequently by various translators) [BK, 1034]. In this case, however, the specific reference is clearly to verses 13 and 14 of Daniel 7 on the assumption that they comprise a prophecy directly and exclusively of the exaltation of Jesus Christ. The confessors, indeed, proceed to use the phrase "Son of Man" in the paragraphs which follow as a designation of Jesus Christ with special reference to the assumed nature of the Son of God (at least in sections 59 and 67). Anyone preaching, indeed, on verses 13 and 14 of Daniel 7 would do well to re-read the whole of Article VIII of the Formula of Concord by virtue of its consummate summation of the article of faith of which these verses rightly serve as a sedes doctrinae. The Catalogue of Testimonies which is appended to the Book of Concord lies outside the sphere of the confessions themselves [CT, 1108-1149]. Nor, indeed, did the confessors themselves agree with all the exegesis done by the various "fathers" of the church quoted there. The intention was purely to demonstrate that the confessional christology was no new christology, but was rather a reiteration of the pure doctrine of the Word of God which was also so accepted by many of the ancients in the post-biblical church. Verses 13 and 14 of Daniel 7 constitute, in fact, the first biblical citation in the Catalogue of Testimonies. The words dedit in the Latin and gab in the German are so printed as to place special emphasis upon them [BK, 1108]. The Concordia Triglotta, therefore, likewise puts the word "given" in italics in the quotation drawn from the Authorized Version: "... and there was given Him dominion ...." [CT, 1113]. The purpose is to show that Holy Scripture itself speaks of "the majesty which the human nature of Christ has received through the personal union" as "bestowed and given" to Him (I:1). A LITERAL TRANSLATION AND COMMENTS 13. I was beholding in the visions of the night, When, lo, with the clouds of the heavens One was coming as Son of Man! Even unto the Ancient of Days reached He, Yea, they brought Him nigh before Him. The initial phrase "I was beholding" renders the first common singular perfect of hwh and the active participle of chzh, both being forms of the peal, which is the basic binyan in Biblical Aramaic [Franz Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 42]. The verb hwh means "come to be" and "become" at basis, but it becomes a simple copula with predicate adjectives and, as here, with participles in the so-called periphrastic conjugations [BDB, 1089b-1090a; comparing Rosenthal (55) and Alger F. Johns, A Short Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 25 (6.c.)]. The verb chzh means "see" or "behold" whether transitively or intransitively [BDB, 1092b]. The phrase chazeh haweyth occurs eight times in the course of Daniel 7, beginning with verse 2. By means of its inclusion of the participle the phrase emphasizes the continual unwavering attention which Daniel was giving in his visions to the things which were coming into view, one after another, in the course of the night. On several occasions, however, the addition of a prepositional phrase serves to divide the single dream of Daniel into the several visions which are to be distinguished therein. Thus, the phrase "in my vision by night" is added in verse 2 and "in the visions of the night" in verse 7 and here, again, in verse 14. It is, therefore, of pivotal importance to understand that verses 13 and 14 constitute a new vision in which the action symbolized can by no means be assumed to follow chronologically the action symbolized in the preceding vision (verses 7-12). In actuality, indeed, the sequence of visions is at this point logical rather than chronological. The reference, in other words, of verses 13 and 14 provides the necessary foundation of the final judgment which is to consign to perdition the body of the fourth beast and so of the little horn attached thereto. The scene, in fact, in verses 13 and 14 depicts the ascension of the Messiah, long before the final judgment, following the completion of His all-atoning self-sacrifice. For here, to be sure, the Messiah comes with the clouds of heaven, but not from the Ancient of Days back to earth, as will be the case at the end of history. He comes, instead, with the clouds of heaven unto the Ancient of Days to receive the full and continual exercise of His kingship. The construct chain bar-'enash is the equivalent of the Hebrew ben-'adham and here, as in Psalms 8 and 80, is used as a title of the Messiah with special reference to the human nature which He was to assume in the womb of a virgin. The Messiah Himself evidently used the Aramaic bar- 'enash as His own favorite title of Himself in view of the many places in which the evangelists translate Him (into Greek) as referring to Himself as ho huios tou anthropou. For 'enash is the basic denomination of "man" in Biblical Aramaic [BDB, 1081b], even as 'adham is in Hebrew [BDB, 9a-b]. The Hebrew 'enosh, which also denotes "man" and clearly is closely related to 'enash etymologically [BDB, 60b], carries an added connotation of weakness which 'enash lacks as much as does 'adham [BDB, 9a-b]. The word 'adham, on the other hand, which, as the far more common designation of man, has no such special connotation, also has no corresponding cognate in Biblical Aramaic. The phrase ben-'adham, to be sure, is used in the majority of its appearances in the TaNaK to refer to someone other than the Messiah, notably as the recurring vocative which the Messiah Himself uses in the Book of Ezekiel to address His prophetic spokesman. The ninety-three appearances, in fact, in Ezekiel comprise the vast majority of the singular instances of ben- 'adham in the Hebrew Bible. Others, nevertheless, appear already in the early books of Job (25:6; 16:21; and 35:8) and Numbers (23:19). In the Psalter, in addition to the messianic references in Psalms 8 (5, EV 4) and 80 (18, 17 EV), the phrase occurs in an indefinite way in Psalm 146 (verse 3). Several instances can be found, too, in the prophetic books of Isaiah (51:12 and 56:2) and Jeremiah (49:18 and 33; 50:40; and 51:43). Subsequently, indeed, Daniel himself is addressed as ben-'adham by the Messiah in the same manner as the Prophet Ezekiel: "Understand, O son of man!" (8:17). The idea there is, as customarily in Ezekiel, that the prophet who is but a son of man is now to receive and relay the revelation of God Himself. The epithet, therefore, in this case corresponds to the self-denigration of Daniel in addressing King Nebuchadnezzar (2: 27-30): "as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living" (verse 30, AV). Both, however, the messianic applications of ben-'adham and the various non-messianic applications have two points in common: (1.) The purpose, firstly, is to emphasize the human nature of the ben-'adham indicated in the particular context, whether as being merely man in contrast to God or as being truly and fully man as well as truly and fully God. (2.) The reference, secondly, is to an individual man, whether to any mere man in general or to some particular man being addressed or described, such as the Prophet Ezekiel or the Messiah. Those commentators who deny any difference at all between "man" and "son of man" on the basis of the occurrence of the two in parallel clauses are carrying the principle of parallelism to an unfounded extreme [as does Elmer A. Martens, in TWOT, I, 114b (in 113b-116a)]. Even in synonymous parallelism, which is by no means the only variety of parallelism, nuances of significance still regularly separate words and phrases however closely connected in meaning. As H. Haag correctly observes, "An individual is distinguished from the collective community of which he is a part or from mankind in general by the expressions ... ben 'adham, 'son of man'" and the like [TDOT, II, 151 (in 147-159]. As Haag states, again, "ben 'adham means a single man within the species or race" [TDOT, II, 159]. This definition holds in spite of the inconsistency therewith of the translations of the phrase which are then suggested by Haag and despite, indeed, much of the exegesis (although by no means all) which follows its definition, including, of course, his critical estrangement from its traditional messianic applications [TDOT, II, 159-165]. The phrase ben-'adham, clearly, can scarcely be equated with mankind as such, since the progenitor of the race, Adam, would thereby be excluded from the race whose name originated with him. The decision, actually, with which one is confronted in any given occurrence of ben-'adham is whether to take the construct chain as indefinite or as definite. In the former case, on the one hand, the reference would be to "a son of a man" or "son of a man" if the use be vocative, as obtains in the Book of Ezekiel. In the latter case, on the other hand, the reference would be to "Son of Man" or "the Son of Man" as a title of the Messiah. The Messiah is the Son of Man in the unique sense that, although the son of no man in the immediate sense, He is the prime scion of Adam and so, to say the same thing in substance, the prime son of the race. The basic significance of the prepositional prefix kaph is "as," even more basically than "like" [BDB, 1096, which, however, in a misleading way lists "like" before "as" in defining the prepositional prefix]. Earlier in Daniel 7, already, the prefix kaph clearly means, not "like," but "as" in verses 4 and 6 and, there specifically, "in the form of" (contrary to the supposition of Joyce Baldwin [142-143]). The first beast had the form of a lion and the third the form of a leopard. The idea here, then, in verse 13, is that it is distinctively as Son of Man that the Messiah receives, on His ascension to heaven, a universal and eternal kingship. It is, in other words, specifically in and through His assumed human nature that God the Son now exercises His omnipresence and omnipotence on behalf of us His human brothers who are the members of His church. His ascension with the clouds of heaven emphasizes the divinity of the Son of Man -- not only His divine nature as such, but also the divine attributes pervading also His human nature, which is being stressed here by His denomination as Son of Man. The noun 'anan (beginning with ayin and chateph-pathach) occurs, to be sure, only here in the Aramaic chapters of the Old Testament [BDB, 1107b]. The vision assumes, however, the common conjunction elsewhere of the Hebrew cognate 'anan (beginning with ayin and qametz) with God and especially the Second Person of the Holy Trinity who was to be the Messiah. The majority, indeed, of the eighty-seven occurrences of 'anan consists in some fifty-eight references to the "theophanic cloud" which first appears in Exodus 13 [BDB, 777b-778a]. Applications of 'anan to this special messianic theophany can be found, not only in many succeeding chapters of Exodus (especially in 16:10 and 19:9) and the succeeding books of the Pentateuch, but also in Psalms 78:14 and 105:39, in the record of the dedication of the Solomonic Temple (in 1 Kings 8: 10-11 and 2 Chronicles 5: 13-14), and in the vision of Ezekiel 10 (verses 3-4). On this basis, in turn, clouds figure in such prophecies of the Messiah as Psalm 97 (verse 2) and Isaiah 4 (verse 5). Of the various remaining connections of 'anan with God and specifically God the Son, we can only mention here the appearances in the vision through which Ezekiel ben-Buzi received his call to the prophetic ministry (chapters 1-5 or more specifically 1-3). This vision was already received and described orally by the prophet Ezekiel in Babylonia in the year 593 B.C. (as is argued in The Prophetic Books of the Babylonian Exile and the Persian Empire). The Book of Ezekiel as a whole, indeed, was published in all likelihood around 570 B.C., which is to say two decades previous to the vision relayed in Daniel 7. There are, in fact, several similarities of significance between the first visions of Ezekiel and Daniel respectively. The importance of fire to the enthroned appearance of the Lord emerges in both Ezekiel 1 (4-27) and Daniel 7 (9-10). Most distinctive to these two chapters of Holy Scripture are the wheels on the throne which, as clearly appears from Ezekiel, symbolize the omnipresence of the Lord and so the universality of His kingship. This conception relates closely, then, to the universal kingship which the Son of Man receives here in Daniel 7 from the Ancient of Days. Thereby, in turn, it relates equally to the general theme of the Book of Daniel as a whole, that the God of Israel is in complete control of history. In connection, however, with verse 13 of Daniel 7 we notice particularly the clouds which symbolize the divine presence in verses 4 and 28 of the Book of Ezekiel. The depiction of the Messiah commences in this way: "a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire" (verse 4, NASB). The final verse of Ezekiel 1 then imports from Genesis 9 (verses 13, 14, and 16) the rainbow in the clouds which God had made a symbol of His promise to preserve the earth from any additional worldwide flood: "As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about; this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord" (verse 28, AV). The prophecy of Daniel 7:13 was fulfilled, as previously stated, in the ascension of our Lord which is described in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke describes the Lord's visible departure from His apostles on the Mount of Olives in these words: "when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (verse 8). The connection, nevertheless, between the ascension and the final judgment was asserted at that very time by attending angels: "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (verse 11, comparing Matthew 24:30 and 26:64, Mark 13:26, and Revelation 1:7 and 14:14). We know, indeed, from many passages elsewhere in both testaments of Holy Scripture that God the Son will serve as the spokesman of the Father and the Holy Spirit in the final judgment. Therefore do we confess of Him in all three of the ecumenical creeds that, as even now "He sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead" (to quote specifically the Apostolic Creed, with which the slightly differing words of the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed completely concur). The phrase "the Ancient of Days" in the translation above renders the definite construct clause 'attiq-yomayya', which consists in the adjective 'attiq (beginning with ayin) used substantively and the emphatic plural of the noun yom [BDB, 1095b]. The triliteral root 'tq (beginning with ayin) means most basically "move forward or away" in the various Semitic tongues in which it is found [BDB, 801a]. In Arabic age is one of various regions to this idea is applied, while in Aramaic "grow old" becomes the ordinary significance of the verb [BDB, 801a]. In Classical Hebrew, too, a similar usage occurs in Job 21:7 and Psalm 6:8 (MT, verse 7 EV). Brown-Driver-Briggs, indeed, assumes an "Aramaic sense" in these two cases: "advanced (in years ...) and hence "grow old and weak" [BDB, 801a]. The lexicon likewise regards as an "Aramaism" the use of the adjective 'attiq (which occurs but twice in the Hebrew chapters of the Bible) to mean "old" or "ancient" in 1 Chronicles 4:22 [BDB, 801b]. Aramaic influence of this kind is, of course, credible even to those such as this exegete who, contrary to the critical assumptions of Brown-Driver-Briggs, date the Book of Job to the fifteenth century B.C. and assign Psalm 6 to King David. For the Aramaic language was already highly influential as a commercial language and then a diplomatic language throughout the Near East from very early times and had, indeed, been particularly connected with the history of the Hebrews from the time of the patriarch Abraham. Thus, Brown-Driver-Briggs defines the Aramaic adjective used thrice in Daniel 7 as "advanced, aged, in days" (in verses 9, 13, and 22) [BDB, 1108a]. In the first instance, in verse 9, the phrase is technically indefinite (in the sense of lacking any emphatic suffix), but it is already being used there as a technical term which is the equivalent of a name and, indeed, a divine name. Here and in verse 22 the phrase is made definite by the emphatic form of "days" (yomayya') by virtue of referring back to "the aforesaid Ancient One of the aforesaid days" introduced in verse 9. That the reference is specifically to God the Father appears clearly from His distinction from God the Son in verse 13. God the Father, to be sure, has no physical appearance and never takes a visible form in real life, but He can be represented in some symbolic way in the visions of the apocalyptic genre of biblical literature. The First Person of the Holy Trinity is rightly called specifically the Ancient of Days because, firstly, even the Son and the Holy Spirit have each from eternity received His being from the Father, whether "begotten" by Him or "proceeding" from Him. In conjunction, secondly, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, God the Father antedates infinitely all His creatures which include all us men. 14. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and kingship, That all of the peoples, the nations, and the tongues should serve Him. His dominion is a dominion to eternity, which will not pass away; Yea, His kingship is such that will not be destroyed. The three nouns conjoined in the first clause are related to each other in such a way that the final waw indicates the necessary connection of the "dominion and glory" which precede with the unbounded "kingship" of the Messiah ("dominion and glory in connection with kingship"). Contextual consistency within Daniel 7, as also the especially close connection between chapters 7 and 2 of the book, compel us to understand malkhuth as "kingship" in the sense of an office rather than as "kingdom" in the sense of the region or people which the king is ruling. The "dominion" of the Messiah, of which more will be said shortly, refers to the almighty power with which He executes His universal kingship on behalf of His people. His "glory" is the full and continual use of the divine attributes communicated to His human nature by virtue of His incarnation; the ascension of our Lord and His session at the right hand of God the Father marks the culmination of His state of exaltation (or glorification). The masculine noun yqar corresponds not only the Hebrew yaqar [BDB, 1096a and 430a], but also to kabhodh by default other counterparts in Aramaic [BDB, 458b-459b]. The three nouns, then, in the first clause of Daniel 7:13 match the three in the doxological conclusion to the Lord's Prayer, the only difference being the order: "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory" (Matthew 6:13). The "yea" in the translation above assumes an explicative use of the standard conjunction introducing a new clause. The specific species of waw explicativum here is the emphatic epexegetical use, which is to be expected especially in poetry (as in Biblical Hebrew), by virtue of the repetition of the same or closely related ideas. The correspondence between shaltan ("dominion") in one clause and malkhuth in the ensuing clause confirms the conclusion already reached on other grounds that malkhuth is to be taken as the office of "kingship" rather than a "kingdom" embracing a certain area or people. The noun shaltan derives, along with the adjective shallit, from the root shlt (with final teth), which means "have power" at basis [BDB, 1115b]. The adjective shallit, therefore, signifies "having mastery" over place or people [BDB, 1115b]. The masculine noun shaltan, means "dominion" in the sense of "sovereignty" in all but one of the thirteen instances in the Aramaic of Daniel (3:33; 4:19 [MT, 22 EV], 31 [twice; MT, 34 EV]; 6:27b [MT, 26b EV]; 7:6, 12, 14 [thrice], 26, 27 [twice]). Only in the exceptional introduction to the decree of Darius the Mede does shaltan seem to move from domination to the "realm" dominated [BDB, 1115b]. The same conception adheres to the cognates of shaltan in the Hebrew Bible, which are, indeed, in all likelihood Aramaisms, since but two instances of any of them can be found outside the books of Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel, Esther, and Nehemiah [BDB, 1020]. Thus, the Hebrew verb shlt means "domineer" or "be master of" in a more neutral way [BDB, 1020b]. The Hebrew adjective shallit signifies "having mastery" or "domineering" with a pejorative connotation [BDB, 1020]. The noun shilton, which occurs but twice, means "mastery" in verses 4 and 8 of Ecclesiastes 8. (The English word "sultan" derives from an Arabic cognate of the Hebrew and Aramaic roots discussed in the preceding paragraphs [COD, 1293].) The forms 'amemayya', 'umayya', and lishshanayya' are the results of attaching the emphatic suffix to the plurals of 'am (beginning with ayin, "people" [BDB, 1097a]), 'umah (beginning with aleph, "nation" [BDB, 1081a]), and lishshan ("tongue" or "language" [BDB, 1099a]). The purpose of the emphatic state is, as in verse 18, to indicate exclusive completeness. The reference, in other words, is to all the ethnic and political and linguistic groups ("peoples" and "nations" and "tongues") in existence in the world. More specifically, however, at least three considerations imply a reference, not to each of these groups as whole, but rather to some people representing each of these groups, which is to say the people of the Messiah. In terms, in the first place, of the three nouns themselves, such a construction is at least necessary in the third case; "the tongues" must mean "men of every language," as the New American Standard Bible renders the one word lishshanayya'. The verb plch, secondly, which here appears as a peal imperfect with telic force (to indicate purpose), is predicated of all three nouns under discussion. This verb, which reappears in verse 27b, means "serve" in the specific sense of paying reverence to a deity [BDB, 1108b]. Thus, in Daniel 3 the three friends of Daniel "serve" the True God alone (verse 17) and, therefore, refuse to "serve" any other god (verses 12, 14, and 18). In the end, on witnessing the preservation of the three youths from the flames of his furnace, King Nebuchneszzar acclaims the "God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who ... delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king's command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve any God except their own" (verse 28, NASB). In Daniel 6, likewise, Darius the Mede, in addressing Daniel in the den of lions, twice calls the God in whom Daniel "believed" (verse 24 MT, 23 EV) "thy God whom thou servest continually" (verses 17 MT, 16 EV, and 21 MT, 20 EV). In the only occurrence of plch in the Bible outside of Daniel, the participle is used substantively to call the priests and others ministering in the temple "the servants of the house of God" (Ezra 7:24). The denotation, therefore, of plch clearly applies more easily to believers in the Son of Man than to the majority of men rejecting His redemption. Some of the same language, thirdly, which is here predicated of the Messiah is applied to "the saints of the Most High" in the ensuing verses of Daniel 7, namely, in verses 18, 22, and 27 (as already indicated in the isagogical notes above). These applications have, indeed, caused many commentators to see the Son of Man in verse 14 as merely (or initially or in some way) a symbol of Israel as a corporate entity. Such an idea conflicts, however, with the emphatic state of very words now under discussion, not to mention, of course, the analogy of faith. The applications, nevertheless, which are made in the ensuing verses of Daniel 7 do, admittedly, presuppose some reference to the people of the Messiah in some way in verse 14. This connection can only be found in "the peoples" and "the nations" and "the tongues" which are here said to "serve" the Son of Man. The idea is, then, that people drawn from all the ethnic and political and linguistic units on earth "serve" the Son of Man as His vice-regents "beneath the whole of the heavens" (as verse 27 says, where plch reappears in the same form as in 14). The "saints of the Most High" receive kingship only by delegation from the Son of Man, even as they are "holy ones" only by the imputation His holiness.