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Also I, in the first year of Darius the Mede…
These words more properly belong to the preceding chapter, and should have concluded that, and the "eleventh" chapter should have begun in the next verse; and they are not the words of Daniel, as Jerom and others; but of the angel telling Daniel, not only what he had been lately doing, and would do in the court of Persia for his people; but what he had done in the beginning of that monarchy, the very first year that Darius the Mede became king of Babylon, and head of the whole monarchy; see (Daniel 5:30,31) , the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "in the first year of Cyrus"; which was the same time; for Darius and Cyrus reigned together. Even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him;
not Michael your Prince, as Jarchi; for he being no other than the Son of God, an uncreated Angel, needed not the help and assistance of a created one, nor could receive any strength and confirmation from such an one; unless this is to be understood, not with respect to Michael himself abstractly considered, but as in relation to the people of the Jews, on whose side Michael was; and so this angel took part with him and them, and as his minister served them both, in defending them, and taking care of their affairs at this time; so Jacchiades paraphrases it, to confirm and strengthen Israel: but it seems rather to design Darius, and the sense to be, that this angel strengthened Darius and Cyrus in their good intentions to let the people of Israel go free and give them full liberty and encouragement to go into their own land, and rebuild their city and temple; about which some doubts and hesitations might arise in their minds, and objections be made by some of their nobles and courtiers to it, being moved and influenced by an evil spirit, the adversary of this good angel; but he attended them so closely, and so strongly suggested to them what they should do in this case, that he carried his point on behalf of the Jews; for this respects not so much the destruction of the Chaldean monarchy, and the establishing the Persian monarchy on the ruins of it, and settling Darius on the throne, and strengthening his kingdom and interest, as the confirmation of him and Cyrus in their designs in favour of the Jews. The Syriac version is, "from the first year of Darius the Mede, he rose up to help me, and assist me"; as if the angel was still speaking of Michael, who came to his help against the prince of Persia, and was the only one that held with him, and had done so from the beginning of the Persian empire; but the Hebrew text will not admit of such a translation.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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