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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Daniel - Chapter 7

Daniel - Chapter 7

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 7

1. In the first year of Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream, and the visions of his mind [while asleep] on his bed; then he wrote the dream and said the beginnings of the matters.   א. בִּשְׁנַת חֲדָה לְבֵלְאשַׁצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל דָּנִיֵּאל חֵלֶם חֲזָה וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשֵׁהּ עַל מִשְׁכְּבֵהּ בֵּאדַיִן חֶלְמָא כְתַב רֵאשׁ מִלִּין אֲמַר:
then he wrote the dream: Then [he wrote the dream] and told the beginnings of the matters.  
2. Daniel raised his voice and said: I saw in my vision during the night, and behold the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the Great Sea.   ב. עָנֵה דָנִיֵּאל וְאָמַר חָזֵה הֲוֵית בְּחֶזְוִי עִם לֵילְיָא וַאֲרוּ אַרְבַּע רוּחֵי שְׁמַיָּא מְגִיחָן לְיַמָּא רַבָּא:
and behold: [as translated,] and behold.  
the four winds of the heavens were stirring up, etc.: four blowing winds coming from the four directions of the world and waging war with the Great Sea and stirring it up.  
3. And four huge beasts were coming up out of the sea, each one different from the other.   ג. וְאַרְבַּע חֵיוָן רַבְרְבָן סָלְקָן מִן יַמָּא שָׁנְיָן דָּא מִן דָּא:
And four beasts: [as translated,] and four beasts.  
each one different from the other: [as translated,] each one different from the other.  
4. The first one was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle, until its wings were plucked and it was taken from the earth, and it stood on feet like a man, and the heart of a mortal was given it.   ד. קַדְמָיְתָא כְאַרְיֵה וְגַפִּין דִּי נְשַׁר לָהּ חָזֵה הֲוֵית עַד דִּי מְרִיטוּ גַפַּהּ וּנְטִילַת מִן אַרְעָא וְעַל רַגְלַיִן כֶּאֱנָשׁ הֳקִימַת וּלְבַב אֱנָשׁ יְהִיב לָהּ:
The first one was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle: It was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle; that is the kingdom of Babylon, which was ruling at that time, and so did Jeremiah see it (4:7): “A lion has come up from its thicket,” and he says also (48:40): “like an eagle he shall soar.”  
until its wings were plucked: Its wings were plucked, which is an allusion to its downfall  
and it was taken from the earth: an expression of being removed from the earth, an allusion to the curtailment of the kingdom from the world.  
and the heart of a mortal: Aram. וּלְבַב אֶנָשׁ, an expression of weakness, like (Psalms 9:21): “Let the nations know that they are forever mortal men (אֶנוֹשׁ)”.  
5. And behold another second beast, resembling a bear, and it stood to one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, and so did they say to it, 'Get up, eat much meat.'   ה. וַאֲרוּ חֵיוָה אָחֳרִי תִנְיָנָה דָּמְיָה לְדֹב וְלִשְׂטַר חַד הֳקִימַת וּתְלָת עִלְעִין בְּפֻמַּהּ בֵּין שִׁנַּהּ וְכֵן אָמְרִין לָהּ קוּמִי אֲכֻלִי בְּשַׂר שַׂגִּיא:
another: [as translated,] another.  
second: that emerged second from the sea.  
resembling a bear: This represents the kingdom of Persia, which will reign after Babylon, who eats and drinks like a bear and is enwrapped in flesh like a bear.  
resembling a bear: It is spelled לְדֹב [without a “vav,”] like דִיבָא, the Aramaic for זְאֵב, a wolf, for the kingdom of Persia was also called a wolf, as it is said: (Jer. 5:6): “Therefore a lion smote them, a wolf of the deserts spoils them.”  
and it stood to one side: and it stood to one side, indicating that when the kingdom of Babylon terminates, Persia will wait one year, when Media will reign.  
and there were three ribs in its mouth: Aram. וּתְלָת עִלָעִין בְּפֻמַּהּ, three ribs. Our Sages explained that three provinces were constantly rebelling against it [i.e., Persia] and making peace with it; sometimes it would swallow them and sometimes spit them out. That is the meaning of “in its mouth between its teeth,” sometimes outside its teeth, sometimes inside (Kid. 72a), but I say that the three עִלָעִין are three kings who will rise from Persia: Cyrus, Ahasuerus, and Darius who built the Temple.  
much meat: [as translated,] much meat.  
6. After this, I saw, and behold another one, like a leopard, and it had four wings of a bird on its back, and the beast had four heads, and dominion was given it.   ו. בָּאתַר דְּנָה חָזֵה הֲוֵית וַאֲרוּ אָחֳרִי כִּנְמַר וְלַהּ גַּפִּין אַרְבַּע דִּי עוֹף עַל גַּבַּהּ וְאַרְבְּעָה רֵאשִׁין לְחֵיוְתָא וְשָׁלְטָן יְהִיב לָהּ:
four wings… four heads: They are the four rulers to whom Alexander of Macedon allotted his kingdom at his death, as is written in the book of Joseph ben Gurion (Book 3, ch. 14), for this third beast is the kingdom of Antiochus, and it is called נָמֵר because it issued decrees upon Israel [which were] spotted (מְנֻמָּרוֹת) and varied one from the other.  
and dominion was given it: [as translated,] and dominion was given it.  
7. After this, I saw in the visions of the night, and behold a fourth beast, awesome and dreadful and exceedingly strong, and it had huge iron teeth. It ate and crushed, and trampled the rest with its feet, and it was different from all the beasts that were before me, and it had ten horns.   ז. בָּאתַר דְּנָה חָזֵה הֲוֵית בְּחֶזְוֵי לֵילְיָא וַאֲרוּ חֵיוָה רְבִיעָאָה דְּחִילָה וְאֵימְתָנִי וְתַקִּיפָא יַתִּירָה וְשִׁנַּיִן דִּי פַרְזֶל לָהּ רַבְרְבָן אָכְלָה וּמַדְּקָה וּשְׁאָרָא בְּרַגְלַהּ רָפְסָה וְהִיא מְשַׁנְיָה מִן כָּל חֵיוָתָא דִּי קָדָמָהּ וְקַרְנַיִן עֲשַׂר לָהּ:
in the visions of the night: on another night. The first three he saw on one night, and this one on another night, because it is equal to them all. In Leviticus Rabbah (13:5).  
and it had… iron teeth: [as translated,] iron teeth.  
and crushed: It crushed and ground finely.  
and… the rest: what it left over from its eating.  
and… ten horns: Aram. וְקַרְנַיִן עֲשַׂר. The angel explained to him that these are the ten kings who would ascend [the throne] of Rome before Vespasian, who would destroy the Temple.  
8. I looked at these horns and behold another small horn came up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked out before it, and behold eyes like human eyes were on this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.   ח. מִשְׂתַּכַּל הֲוֵית בְּקַרְנַיָּא וַאֲלוּ קֶרֶן אָחֳרִי זְעֵירָה סִלְקָת בֵּינֵיהֵן וּתְלָת מִן קַרְנַיָּא קַדְמָיָתָא אִתְעֲקָרָה מִן קֳדָמָהּ וַאֲלוּ עַיְנִין כְּעַיְנֵי אֲנָשָׁא בְּקַרְנָא דָא וּפֻם מְמַלִּל רַבְרְבָן:
and behold: Aram. וַאֲלוּ, like וַאֲרוּ, an expression of “behold.”  
speaking arrogantly: words of arrogance. That is Titus, about whom the Rabbis, of blessed memory, said (Gittin 56b) that he blasphemed and berated and entered the Heichal with brazenness.  
9. I was looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days sat; His raiment was as white as snow, and the hair of His head was like clean wool; His throne was sparks of fire, its wheels were a burning fire.   ט. חָזֵה הֲוֵית עַד דִּי כָרְסָוָן רְמִיו וְעַתִּיק יוֹמִין יְתִב לְבוּשֵׁהּ| כִּתְלָג חִוָּר וּשְׂעַר רֵאשֵׁהּ כַּעֲמַר נְקֵא כָּרְסְיֵהּ שְׁבִיבִין דִּי נוּר גַּלְגִּלּוֹהִי נוּר דָּלִק:
until thrones were set up: Thrones were set up and established to sit in judgment, one for judgment for the nations of the world and one for charity for Israel.  
and the Ancient of Days sat: The Holy One, blessed be He, was sitting in judgment on this kingdom and on those before it, who provoked Him and oppressed His children.  
as white as snow: to whiten the iniquities of His people.  
and the hair of His head was like clean wool: He cleanses Himself of the merits that the nations have before Him, and He pays them all their reward in this world. In Lev. Rabbah.  
of fire: [as translated,] of fire.  
a burning fire: [as translated,] a burning fire.  
10. A river of fire was flowing and emerging from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand ten thousands arose before Him. Justice was established, and the books were opened.   י. נְהַר דִּי נוּר נָגֵד וְנָפֵק מִן קֳדָמוֹהִי אֶלֶף אַלְפִין יְשַׁמְּשׁוּנֵּהּ וְרִבּוֹ רִבְוָן קָדָמוֹהִי יְקוּמוּן דִּינָא יְתִב וְסִפְרִין פְּתִיחוּ:
was flowing and emerging: [as translated,] was flowing and emerging.  
serve Him: i.e., the Ancient of Days.  
justice was established: The judgment is established before Him.  
and the books were opened: The books were opened; the book of the transgressions and the evils that they committed.  
11. I saw then from the sound of the arrogant words that the horn spoke, I looked until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to a flame of fire.   יא. חָזֵה הֲוֵית בֵּאדַיִן מִן קָל מִלַּיָּא רַבְרְבָתָא דִּי קַרְנָא מְמַלְּלָא חָזֵה הֲוֵית עַד דִּי קְטִילַת חֵיוְתָא וְהוּבַד גִּשְׁמָהּ וִיהִיבַת לִיקֵדַת אֶשָּׁא:
from the sound of the arrogant words: From the sound of the haughty words that the horn was speaking, the wrath of the Ancient of Days was aroused.  
until the beast was slain and its body was destroyed and given: [as translated,] and its body was destroyed.  
to a flame of fire: to a flame of fire; this refers to Jacob’s fire etc.  
12. But as for the other beasts, their dominion was removed, and they were given an extension of life until a set time.   יב. וּשְׁאָר חֵיוָתָא הֶעְדִּיו שָׁלְטָנְהוֹן וְאַרְכָה בְחַיִּין יְהִיבַת לְהוֹן עַד זְמַן וְעִדָּן:
But as for the other beasts, their dominion was removed: And from the other kingdoms, their dominion was removed by Heaven.  
and they were given an extension of life: And He gave them time to live until a set day in the future, the wars of Gog and Magog.  
an extension: Aram. אַרְכָה, waiting.  
13. I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him.   יג. חָזֵה הֲוֵית בְּחֶזְוֵי לֵילְיָא וַאֲרוּ עִם עֲנָנֵי שְׁמַיָּא כְּבַר אֱנָשׁ אָתֵה הֲוָא וְעַד עַתִּיק יוֹמַיָּא מְטָה וּקְדָמוֹהִי הַקְרְבוּהִי:
one like a man was coming: That is the King Messiah.  
and… up to the Ancient of Days: Who was sitting in judgment and judging the nations.  
came: arrived, reached.  
14. And He gave him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him; his dominion is an eternal dominion, which will not be removed, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.   יד. וְלֵהּ יְהִב שָׁלְטָן וִיקָר וּמַלְכוּ וְכֹל עַמְמַיָּא אֻמַּיָּא וְלִשָּׁנַיָּא לֵהּ יִפְלְחוּן שָׁלְטָנֵהּ שָׁלְטַן עָלַם דִּי לָא יֶעְדֵּה וּמַלְכוּתֵהּ דִּי לָא תִתְחַבַּל:
And He gave him dominion: And to that man He gave dominion over the nations, for the heathens he likens to beasts, and Israel he likens to a man because they are humble and innocent.  
which will not be removed: [as translated,] will not be removed.  
15. My spirit-I, Daniel-became troubled within its sheath, and the visions of my mind terrified me.   טו. אֶתְכְּרִיַּת רוּחִי אֲנָה דָנִיֵּאל בְּגוֹ נִדְנֶה וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי יְבַהֲלֻנַּנִי:
My spirit… became troubled: Aram. אֶתְכְּרִיַת an expression of (Exod. 21:33): “or if… digs (יִכְרֶה),” and Hebrew and Aramaic are alike in this case; i.e., it was humbled because of the depth of its digging.  
within its sheath: Aram. בְּגו ֹנִדְנֶה; i.e., my spirit became terrified in my body from this dream.  
16. I drew near to one of those standing [there], and I asked him the truth of all this, and he told it to me, and he let me know the interpretation of the matters.   טז. קִרְבֵת עַל חַד מִן קָאֲמַיָּא וְיַצִּיבָא אֶבְעֵא מִנֵּהּ עַל כָּל דְּנָה וַאֲמַר לִי וּפְשַׁר מִלַּיָּא יְהוֹדְעִנַּנִי:
I drew near to one of those standing: I drew near to one of those standing there beside the Ancient of Days. The angels are called standing ones, as it is said: (Zech. 3:7): “among these who stand by (הָעמְדִים),” because they have no joints.  
and I asked him the truth: [as translated,] and I asked him the truth.  
17. [He said] "These huge beasts, which are four, are four kingdoms, which will arise from the earth.   יז. אִלֵּין חֵיוָתָא רַבְרְבָתָא דִּי אִנִּין אַרְבַּע אַרְבְּעָה מַלְכִין יְקוּמוּן מִן אַרְעָא:
four kingdoms: Aram. אַרְבְּעָא מַלְכִין, lit. four kings.  
18. And the high holy ones will receive the kingdom, and they will inherit the kingdom forever and to all eternity."   יח. וִיקַבְּלוּן מַלְכוּתָא קַדִּישֵׁי עֶלְיוֹנִין וְיַחְסְנוּן מַלְכוּתָא עַד עָלְמָא וְעַד עָלַם עָלְמַיָּא:
And the high holy ones will receive the kingdom: These are Israel, who will take the kingdom from the fourth one.  
19. Then I wished to determine the truth of the fourth beast, which was different from all of them- excessively dreadful; its teeth were of iron and its nails of copper; it ate and crushed to powder, and the rest it trampled with its feet.   יט. אֱדַיִן צְבִית לְיַצָּבָא עַל חֵיוְתָא רְבִיעָיְתָא דִּי הֲוָת שָׁנְיָה מִן כָּלְּהֵן דְּחִילָה יַתִּירָה שִׁנַּהּ דִּי פַרְזֶל וְטִפְרַהּ דִּי נְחָשׁ אָכְלָה מַדְּקָה וּשְׁאָרָא בְּרַגְלַהּ רָפְסָה:
Then I wished to determine the truth: Then I wished to determine the truth concerning the fourth beast.  
which was different from all of them-excessively dreadful: which was different from all of them with excessive dreadfulness.  
20. And concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other one that came up and [the] three [that] fell before it, and the horn that was like this and that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly, and its appearance was greater than [that of] its companions.   כ. וְעַל קַרְנַיָּא עֲשַׂר דִּי בְרֵאשַׁהּ וְאָחֳרִי דִּי סִלְקַת וּנְפַלָה מִן קֳדָמַהּ תְּלָת וְקַרְנָא דִכֵּן וְעַיְנִין לָהּ וְפֻם מְמַלִּל רַבְרְבָן וְחֶזְוָהּ רַב מִן חַבְרָתָהּ:
and [the] three [that] fell before it: and three of the first ones fell before it.  
and the horn that was like this and that had eyes: and the horn that was like this, and had eyes, as is written above.  
21. I looked and the horn that was like this waged war with the holy ones and overwhelmed them.   כא. חָזֵה הֲוֵית וְקַרְנָא דִכֵּן עָבְדָא קְרָב עִם קַדִּישִׁין וְיָכְלָה לְהֹן:
I looked: in my first dream, which I told above.  
with the holy ones: with Israel.  
22. Until the Ancient of Days came and gave revenge to the high holy ones, and the time arrived that the holy ones inherited the kingdom.   כב. עַד דִּי אֲתָה עַתִּיק יוֹמַיָּא וְדִינָא יְהִב לְקַדִּישֵׁי עֶלְיוֹנִין וְזִמְנָא מְטָה וּמַלְכוּתָא הֶחֱסִנוּ קַדִּישִׁין:
and gave revenge to the high holy ones: and He gave them revenge from it.  
23. So he said, "The fourth beast [represents] a fourth kingdom [that] will be on the earth, which will be different from all the kingdoms, and it will devour the whole land and trample it and crush it.   כג. כֵּן אֲמַר חֵיוְתָא רְבִיעָיְתָא מַלְכוּ רְבִיעָאָה תֶּהֱוֵא בְאַרְעָא דִּי תִשְׁנֵא מִן כָּל מַלְכְוָתָא וְתֵאכֻל כָּל אַרְעָא וּתְדוּשִׁנָּהּ וְתַדְּקִנָּהּ:
So he said: So did the angel who interpreted the dream for me reply to me.  
24. And the ten horns that [sprout] from that kingdom [represent] ten kings [that] will rise, and the last one will rise after them, and he will be different from the first, and he will humble three kings.   כד. וְקַרְנַיָּא עֲשַׂר מִנָּהּ מַלְכוּתָא עַשְׂרָה מַלְכִין יְקֻמוּן וְאָחֳרָן יְקוּם אַחֲרֵיהֹן וְהוּא יִשְׁנֵא מִן קַדְמָיֵא וּתְלָתָה מַלְכִין יְהַשְׁפִּל:
And the ten horns: And its ten horns that you saw-this is its interpretation.  
from that kingdom: [as translated,] from that kingdom.  
and the last one will rise after them: and the last one will rise after them-that is Titus.  
25. And he will speak words against the Most High, and he will oppress the high holy ones, and he will think to change the times and the law, and they will be delivered into his hand until a time, two times, and half a time.   כה. וּמִלִּין לְצַד עִלָּאָה יְמַלִּל וּלְקַדִּישֵׁי עֶלְיוֹנִין יְבַלֵּא וְיִסְבַּר לְהַשְׁנָיָה זִמְנִין וְדָת וְיִתְיַהֲבוּן בִּידֵהּ עַד עִדָּן וְעִדָּנִין וּפְלַג עִדָּן:
against the Most High: [as translated,] against the Most High.  
and he will oppress the high holy ones: He will burden and oppress Israel.  
and he will think to change the times and the law: He will plan in his heart to cause them to transgress all their appointed times and their laws.  
until a time, two times, and half a time: This is an obscure end, as was said to Daniel (12:4): “And you, Daniel, close up the words and seal,” and the early commentators expounded on it, each one according to his view, and the ends have passed. We can still interpret it as I saw written in the name of Rav Saadia Gaon, that they are the 1,335 years stated at the end of the Book (12:12): “Fortunate is he who waits [and reaches the days one thousand three hundred and thirty-five],” and he explains the appointed time as until the time of two times and a half time, and he [Rav Saadia Gaon] said that the times are 480 [years], which is the time from the Exodus from Egypt until the Temple was built, and 410 [years], [which are] the days of the First Temple, totaling 890, and another half of this time, 445, totaling 1,335. Figure these from the time the daily sacrifice was discontinued until the daily sacrifice will be restored to its place; it was discontinued six years prior to the destruction, and there is somewhat of a proof in this Book. [See Rashi to 8:14.] Others bring further proof to this computation, namely that (Deut. 31: 18): “And I, will hide My face” [the words] הַסְתֵּר אַסְתִּיר add up in gematria to 1,335.  
26. And the judgment shall be established, and they will remove his dominion to be destroyed and annihilated until the end.   כו. וְדִינָא יִתִּב וְשָׁלְטָנֵהּ יְהַעְדּוּן לְהַשְׁמָדָה וּלְהוֹבָדָה עַד סוֹפָא:
And the judgment was established: And the judgment was established before Him.  
and they will remove his dominion: from heaven. They will remove the dominion and the rule of that kingdom.  
27. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under all the heavens will be given to the people of the high holy ones; its kingdom is a perpetual kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey [it]."   כז. וּמַלְכוּתָא וְשָׁלְטָנָא וּרְבוּתָא דִּי מַלְכְוָת תְּחוֹת כָּל שְׁמַיָּא יְהִיבַת לְעַם קַדִּישֵׁי עֶלְיוֹנִין מַלְכוּתֵהּ מַלְכוּת עָלַם וְכֹל שָׁלְטָנַיָּא לֵהּ יִפְלְחוּן וְיִשְׁתַּמְּעוּן:
and obey: They will obey his command to execute it.  
28. Until here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my colors changed upon me, and I kept the matter in my heart.   כח. עַד כָּה סוֹפָא דִי מִלְּתָא אֲנָה דָנִיֵּאל שַׂגִּיא| רַעְיוֹנַי יְבַהֲלֻנַּנִי וְזִיוַי יִשְׁתַּנּוֹן עֲלַי וּמִלְּתָא בְּלִבִּי נִטְרֵת:
until here: [as translated,] until here.  
my thoughts terrified me greatly: My thoughts were terrifying me greatly.  
and my colors changed: The appearance of my good looks and my features changed.  
I kept… in my heart: I hid in my heart.  
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