Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dan 8 & 9 and the words used for "vison"

One of the comments on the Adventist deals with the two words for “vision” used in Daniel. They are used to create a connection between Daniel 8 and Daniel 9 however they are only connected artificially.
Dr. Milton Hook writes in his comment entitled It is not rocket science :
The argument begins with the fallacy that the "2300 days" is the only part of Daniel 8 left unexplained (Close examination of the entire chapter will, however, reveal other elements not fully explained to Daniel, as is the case in Daniel 2 and 7 also). The argument continues with the assertion that HAZON means "the whole of the vision" and MAREH means "only a small part of the vision." This assertion is then applied to Daniel 8 and 9 in order to link chapter 9:24-27 to chapter 8:14, alledging (sic) that 9:24-27 is an explanation of 8:14. That is, because the word "vision" in 9:23 is MAREH it must refer back to the small part of Daniel 8 left unexplained, namely 8:14.
This argument sounds very scholarly and will dupe many Sabbath School members.

He makes a good argument but it lacks the actual evidence which is necessary to support his case. Of course he does not have room to provide the texts in his letter to Atoday so I will supply the quotations for the aid of those who may want to point this out to others in their Sabbath School classes.

Update: The same point is made by Desmond Ford on the Spectrum Website where he says:
On page 74 of the Adult Teachers Guide, much space is given to the supposedly great distinction between the words Chazon and Mareh—words translated as "vision." This is enough to make any Hebraist not paid by the denomination weep. The words are used interchangeably, as anyone who knows English can find out by using a Strong’s Concordance. Chazon refers to the ecstatic experience of prophetic vision, and Mareh to its contents. The latter comes from a root meaning "to see." Mareh is found several times in the later chapters of Daniel and is NOT limited to the detail overheard concerning the twenty-three hundred evening-mornings. O that the brethren might play fair!
Example of Mareh meaning vision:
Dan 10:16
16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, "I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I am helpless. (NIV)

Strongs definition: 4758 mar'eh (mar-eh'); from 7200; a view (the act of seeing); also an appearance (the thing seen), whether (real) a shape (especially if handsome, comeliness; often plural the looks), or (mental) a vision:
KJV-- X apparently, appearance (-reth), X as soon as beautiful (-ly), countenance, fair, favoured, form, goodly, to look (up) on (to), look [-eth], pattern, to see, seem, sight, visage, vision.

Example of Chazown used for vision:
Dan 10:14
14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come." (NIV)

Strongs definition: 2377 chazown (khaw-zone'); from 2372; a sight (mentally), i.e. a dream, revelation, or oracle: KJV-- vision.

The following verses in Daniel use chazown 2377 (KJV)

Dan 1:17
17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Dan 8:1
1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
Dan 8:2
2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
Dan 8:13
13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
Dan 8:15
15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
Dan 8:26
26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
Dan 9:21
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.
Dan 9:23
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.


The following verses in Daniel use mar'eh 4758 (KJV)

Dan 1:4
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Dan 1:13
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
Dan 1:15
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
Dan 8:15
15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
Dan 8:16
16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
Dan 8:17
17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
Dan 8:26
26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
Dan 8:27
27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
Dan 10:1
1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
Dan 10:6
6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
Dan 10:16
16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
Dan 10:18
18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,


Frank Basten said...

In Assumption 1 at I look intensely at Shea's and Hasel's arguments in the DARCOM series as to why these words have special meanings. It is the articles by these gentlemen that SDA historicists use to bolster their position. I show their flaws and their crooked thinking.

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Anonymous said...

''…in 8:15 Daniel prays for an explanation of the hazon, by which he means the antics of the ram and the he-goat (8:1—12), whereupon a manlike figure materializes and introduces his explanation with, 'Pay attention, mortal, for the hazon relates to a remote period' (verse 17), and concludes with (verse 26b) 'as for you, conceal the hazon, since it is for a long term'. But in between, Daniel is reported to catch sight of two divine beings and to overhear an exchange of question and answer between them (verses 13 to 14, in verse 14 read 'to him' for 'to me'), and then he hears a human voice instruct Gabriel to interpret (not the hazon) but the mar'eh to Daniel. What the mar'eh is, is clear from verse 26a, 'and the mar'eh about the mornings and the evenings that was uttered', which can only refer to the aforementioned audition of verses 13 to 14; and although Daniel has received a full exposition of the hazon, he reports (verse
27b), 'I wondered about the mar'eh and could not understand it'. Clearly, mar'eh must mean something like 'statement' or 'declaration'.''
Paul D. Hanson. The Cambridge History of Judaism. Chapter 13. The book of Daniel, 1989, p. 552.

While Paul D. Hanson is of the opinion that the prophecies in the book of Daniel reflect the persecutions of the Jews by Antiochus IV Epiphanes and consequently dates its composition to that period, his aforementioned points lay the ground for the close connection between Daniel 8 and 9. Seventh-day Adventists regard Daniel 7-9 to be intrinsically christological (with different emphases such as sacrifice, priest and king).
There are only two sections in the book of Daniel in which a chronological period is directly connected to positive (not destructive) activity pertaining to a sanctuary (qodes); namely inauguration (9:24) and eschatological activity in the time of the end pertaining to that same sanctuary (8:13-14). The nature of that eschatological activity can be seen in the heavenly scene of Daniel 7:9-10.
The vindication of the saints in 7:21-22 (which elaborates upon 7:9-10) is paralelled in Dan 12:1-3. Therefore, the complete picture of the book of Daniel does indicate that the saints are part of the judgment without despair, but rather full assurance trusting in the merits of the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah (9:24-27) who intercedes for them (8:11) and grants them His everlasting kingdom (2:45; 7:13-14; 7:22b; 7:27; 12:1-3). Thus, only when the non-wholistic view is adopted, the picture is distorted.

Anonymous said...

The two prophecies are related and complement each other in regard to their theological truth. All the key verbs of Daniel 8 and 9 are in the passive form (Niphal), characteristic of Levitical language. Daniel 9 uses six verbs in the passive: ‘’are decreed (vers 24), ‘’it will be rebuilt’’ (verse 25), ‘’will be cut off’’ (verse 26), ‘’have been decreed’’ (verse 26), ‘’that is decreed’’ (verse 27), ‘’is poured out’’ (verse 27). Daniel 8 employs only one verb in this form: ‘’to consecrate’’ (verse 14). The verb in chapter 8 completes the other six in chapter 9, adding up to the sacred number of 7. But Daniel 8 and 9 share yet another common element: the high priest. Daniel 9:24 and Exodus 29:36, 37 are the only two passages in the Bible with the three common themes of expiation, anointing and the Holy of Holies. Without doubt Daniel had Exodus 29:42-44 in mind when transcribing his vision. The latter chapter describes the consecration of Aaron, the first high priest in Israel (verses 36, 37), and the institution of the daily sacrifice (verses 42-44). In this way, the prophecy of Daniel 9 links the atoning death of the Messiah to the consecration of the high priest and the daily sacrifice. Likewise, chapter 8 evokes the person of the high priest several times by the word ‘’prince’’ (sar, technical term for the high priest of Israel; see 1 Chron. 15:22; Ezra 8:24; Dan 10:5; and above).

However, the two prophecies are not situated in time in the same way. The second prophecy (Daniel 9) indicates the precise moment of the coming (anointing) of the Messiah. The first (Daniel 8) indicates the end of a period of time, given in answer to the question ‘’How long?’’ (Dan. 8:13). The prophecy of the 70 weeks provides the precise date of an event while the prophecy of the 2300 evenings and mornings presents a duration after which there will be another event, that of the cleansing of the sanctuary (verse 14). The dating of the chapter 9 event is fixed, whereas the dating of the chapter 8 event remains open. The verbal forms expressing them render the difference between the two dates. A Hebrew imperfect (yekaret: ‘’will be cut off,’’ 9:26), which is a dynamic action, describes the death of the Messiah. A Hebrew perfect (nitsdaq: ‘’will be reconsecrated,’’ 8:14) depicts the cleansing of the sanctuary. The death of the Messiah is a definite action. The cleansing of the sanctuary, on the other hand, is an indefinite action extending into ‘’the time of the end’’ (see Dan 8:17, 26). This time of the end contains an event that we should furthermore understand in relation to death of the Messiah.

In Daniel 7 the Messiah was the royal ‘’son of man,’’ who receives dominion over the world. Next in Daniel 8, the Messiah was the officiating high priest in Kippur attire. Finally, in Daniel 9 the Messiah is the atoning victim. The Hebrew mind plays the scenario backwards. For it is the death of the Messiah that serves as the basis of this sacrifice (chapter 9). Then, brandishing the atoning power of this sacrifice, the Messiah pleads for us in the heavenly court and wins the trial (chapter 8). Finally, the kingdom is announced (chapter 7).
A song of death, the Requiem for the Messiah swells up in a crescendo of atonement and victory.''
Jacque Doukhan - Secrets of Daniel (2000)