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Reference: Ancient Of Days


ANCIENT OF DAYS occurs 3 times in Daniel (Da 7:9,13,22) as a title of God in His capacity as Judge of the world. In the Vision of the Great Assizes He is depicted as a very old and majestic figure, with white hair and white raimeot, seated on a fiery throne, and having the books of the records of man opened before Him. The picture is no doubt suggested by the contrast between the Eternal God (Ps 55:19) and the new-fangled deities which were from time to time introduced (Jg 5:8; De 32:17), rather than, as Hippolytus (quoted by Behrmann, Das Buch Daniel, p. 46) suggests, by the idea of God as making the ages old without turning old Himself. In the troublous times which are represented by the Book of Daniel, it was at once a comfort and a warning to remember that above the fleeting phases of life there sat One who remained eternally the same (Ps 90:1-3; 102:24-27). At the same time it is worth remembering that the phrase in itself has no mystical significance, but, by an idiom common in Hebrew as in other languages, is merely a paraphrase for 'an old man.'

H. C. O. Lanchester.

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