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Daniel Gathers Learning
BY MICHELANGELO. FROM THE CELEBRATED
CEILING OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL.
“Children in whom was no blemish, but well-favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science."-Daniel, 1, 4.
ANIEL was a Hebrew of the exile, a youth of
noble birth carried away, as was Ezekiel, among
the first band of unhappy captives dragged from Jerusalem by the conquering Nebuchadnezzar. The fate and career of Daniel were, however, wholly different from those of the older captives. Indeed Daniel was never a leader of his people in the same sense as were Ezekiel and Jeremiah. The story of Daniel is rather to be likened to that of Esther or of Jonah. He dwelt among foreigners more than among his own people and rose to eminence in the country of his captors. His mission was thus to Babylon, rather than to his countrymen; and his visions look less to the Judean future than to that of the whole world of men. Hence in the Book of Daniel we find little of the Hebraic atmosphere, though much of the religious. Neither does the prophet speak to us directly; his story is told as if by another hand.
The very first chapter separates him from his countrymen, describing how he and three other boys among the captives were selected for their beauty and intelligence "to stand in the king's palace," and to be taught "the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans." Even their names were changed, Daniel being called Belteshazzar, which means protected by Bel,
the chief god of Babylon.
HEN he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward
the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was over
against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north.
2 Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits.
3 Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the utter court, was gallery against gallery in three stories.
4 And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north.
5 Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building.
6 For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground.
7 And the wall that was without over against the chambers, toward the utter, court on the forepart of the chambers, the length thereof was fifty cubits.
8 For the length of the chambers that were in the utter court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple were an hundred cubits.
9 And from under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as one goeth into them from the utter court.
10 The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, over against the separate place, and over against the building
11 And the way before them was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they, and as broad as they: and all their goings out were both according to their fashions, and according to their doors.
12 And according to the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was a door in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one entereth into them.
13 | Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy.
14 When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.
EZEKIEL XLIII—God's GLORY
15 Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about.
16 He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.
17 He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about.
18 He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed.
19 He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.
20 He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.
1 The returning of the glory of God into the temple. 7 The sin of Israel hindered God's presence. 10 The prophe erhorteth them to repentance, and observation of the law of the house. 13 The measures, 18 and the ordinances of the altar.
FTERWARD he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:
2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.
4 And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.
6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.
7 | And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.
9 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
10 | Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that