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Watcher עיר

(1,449 words)

Author(s): J. J. Collins
I. Name Daniel chap. 4 (vv 10, 14, 20) is the only passage in the Hebrew Bible where the noun עיר is commonly understood to refer to a heavenly being. Nebuchadnezzar reports that he saw in his dream “a watcher and holy one come down from heaven”. The meaning of ‘watcher’ is assured by the juxtaposition with ‘holy one’ and the statement that he came down from heaven. The word is simply transliterated in Theodotion. The Old Greek uses the single word ἄγγελος (Angel) in place of “watcher and holy one”. Both Aquila and Symmachus read ἐγρήγορος, wakeful one or watcher, presumably from the S…

Liers in Wait מארבים

(224 words)

Author(s): J. J. Collins
I. Name In 2 Chr. 22, Ammonites, Moabites and people of Mount Seir who have invaded Judah, are routed when the Lord sets ‘liers in wait’ (מארבים) against them. The ‘liers in wait’ are clearly not Judahites, and there is no reason to posit a third human party in the conflict. Most commentators have recognized that the reference is to a heavenly force (see Rudolph 1955:261; Williamson 1982:300). II. Identity “Liers in wait” is not the name of a group of angels, but simply indicates a function of a batallion of the heavenly host. For the intervention of the heavenly host in time of battle compare Josh.…

Prince שׂר

(905 words)

Author(s): J. J. Collins
I. Name In Dan. 10.13, the angelic interpreter tells Daniel that he has been sent in response to the visionary’s prayer, but he has been delayed because “the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days, so Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me”. He adds that when he is through with this first prince, “the prince of Greece will come” ( Dan. 10.20). He also refers to Michael as “your prince” ( Dan. 10.21) and as “the great prince, the protector of your people” ( Dan. 12.1). By analogy with Michael it is clear that the “princes” of Greece and Persia are the pa…

Saints of the Most High עליונין קדישׁי

(1,840 words)

Author(s): J. J. Collins
I. Name The ‘Saints of the Most High’ are introduced in chap. 7 of the Book of Daniel, in the angel’s explanation of Daniel’s dream. Daniel had seen four beasts come up out of the sea, which were then condemned in a judgment scene, after which “one like a son of man” approached the divine throne and was given dominion and glory and kingdom. The angel explains that the four beasts were four kings who will arise on earth, but “the Saints of the Most High” will receive the kingdom (7.18). Later, in a…

Gabriel גבריאל

(803 words)

Author(s): J. J. Collins
I. Name Gabriel appears in the Book of Daniel as the angel who explains the vision of the he-goat and the ram (8.16) and the prophecy of the seventy (weeks of) years (9.21). He is usually assumed to be also the revealing angel of Daniel. 10. In the New Testament, he is the angel of the Annunciation ( Luke 1.19, Luke 26) and is identified with ‘the angel of the Lord’. The name is usually understood as ‘man of God’, but is better taken as ‘God is my hero/warrior’ (Fitzmyer 1981: 328, who argues from the analogy of the first person plural suffix in the nameI Ré-i-na-d Adad, “Adad is our shepherd”, at E…

Daniel דניאל

(889 words)

Author(s): J. J. Collins
I. Name The name Daniel occurs in three contexts in the Hebrew Bible: (1) It occurs twice in the Book of Ezekiel. Ezek. 14.14 says that when a land sins, “even if these three Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness”. Again in Ezek. 28.3 the prophet taunts the king of Tyre (Melqart) by asking: “are you wiser than Daniel?” (In both instances, the name is spelled דנאל, without the plene yod) It seems clear from these references that Daniel was already the name of a legendary figure, famed for righteousness and wisdom, in the time of Ezekiel. (2) Ezra