Dance Found in Jdg 21:21, Jdg 21:23; Psa 30:11; Psa 149:3; Psa 150:4; Jer 31:4, Jer 31:13, etc., as the translation of hul, which points to the whirling motion of Oriental sacred dances. It is the rendering of a word (rakad) which means to skip or leap for joy, in Ecc 3:4; Job 21:11; Isa 13:21, etc. In the New Testament it is in like manner the translation of different Greek words, circular motion (Luk 15:25); leaping up and down in concert (Mat 11:17), and by a single person (Mat 14:6). It is spoken of as symbolical of rejoicing (Ecc 3:4. Compare Psa 30:11; Mat 11:17). The Hebrews had their sacred dances expressive of joy and thanksgiving, when the performers were usually females (Exo 15:20; Sa1 18:6). The ancient dance was very different from that common among Western nations. It was usually the part of the women only (Exo 15:20; Jdg 11:34; compare Exo 5:1). Hence the peculiarity of David's conduct in dancing before the ark of the Lord (Sa2 6:14). The women took part in it with their timbrels. Michal should, in accordance with the example of Miriam and others, have herself led the female choir, instead of keeping aloof on the occasion and "looking through the window." David led the choir "uncovered", i.e., wearing only the ephod or linen tunic. He thought only of the honour of God, and forgot himself. From being reserved for occasions of religious worship and festivity, it came gradually to be practiced in common life on occasions of rejoicing (Jer 31:4). The sexes among the Jews always danced separately. The daughter of Herodias danced alone (Mat 14:6).
Daniel God is my judge, or judge of God. (1.) David's second son, "born unto him in Hebron, of Abigail the Carmelitess" (Ch1 3:1). He is called also Chileab (Sa2 3:3). (2.) One of the four great prophets, although he is not once spoken of in the Old Testament as a prophet. His life and prophecies are recorded in the Book of Daniel. He was descended from one of the noble families of Judah (Dan 1:3), and was probably born in Jerusalem about 623 B.C., during the reign of Josiah. At the first deportation of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (the kingdom of Israel had come to an end nearly a century before), or immediately after his victory over the Egyptians at the second battle of Carchemish, in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim (606 B.C.), Daniel and other three noble youths were carried off to Babylon, along with part of the vessels of the temple. There he was obliged to enter into the service of the king of Babylon, and in accordance with the custom of the age received the Chaldean name of Belteshazzar, i.e., "prince of Bel," or "Bel protect the king!" His residence in Babylon was very probably in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, now identified with a mass of shapeless mounds called the Kasr, on the right bank of the river. His training in the schools of the wise men in Babylon (Dan 1:4) was to fit him for service to the empire. He was distinguished during this period for his piety and his strict observance of the Mosaic law (Dan 1:8), and gained the confidence and esteem of those who were over him. His habit of attention gained during his education in Jerusalem enabled him soon to master the wisdom and learning of the Chaldeans, and even to excel his compeers. At the close of his three years of discipline and training in the royal schools, Daniel was distinguished for his proficiency in the "wisdom" of his day, and was brought out into public life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation of dreams (Dan 1:17; Dan 2:14), and rose to the rank of governor of the province of Babylon, and became "chief of the governors" (Chald. Rab-signin) over all the wise men of Babylon. He made known and also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream; and many years afterwards, when he was now an old man, amid the alarm and consternation of the terrible night of Belshazzar's impious feast, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother (perhaps Nitocris, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar) to interpret the mysterious handwriting on the wall. He was rewarded with a purple robe and elevation to the rank of "third ruler." The place of "second ruler" was held by Belshazzar as associated with his father, Nabonidus, on the throne (Dan 5:16). Daniel interpreted the handwriting, and "in that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain." After the taking of Babylon, Cyrus, who was now master of all Asia from India to the Dardanelles, placed Darius (q.v.), a Median prince, on the throne, during the two years of whose reign Daniel held the office of first of the "three presidents" of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs, no doubt interesting himself in the prospects of the captive Jews (Dan. 9), whom he had at last the happiness of seeing restored to their own land, although he did not return with them, but remained still in Babylon. His fidelity to God exposed him to persecution, and he was cast into a den of lions, but was miraculously delivered; after which Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for "the God of Daniel" (Dan 6:26). He "prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian," whom he probably greatly influenced in the matter of the decree which put an end to the Captivity (536 B.C.). He had a series of prophetic visions vouchsafed to him which opened up the prospect of a glorious future for the people of God, and must have imparted peace and gladness to his spirit in his old age as he waited on at his post till the "end of the days." The time and circumstances of his death are not recorded. He probably died at Susa, about eighty-five years of age. Ezekiel, with whom he was contemporary, mentions him as a pattern of righteousness (Eze 14:14, Eze 14:20) and wisdom (Eze 28:3). (See NEBUCHADNEZZAR.)
Daniel, Book of Is ranked by the Jews in that division of their Bible called the Hagiographa (Heb. Khethubim ). (See BIBLE.) It consists of two distinct parts. The first part, consisting of the first six chapters, is chiefly historical; and the second part, consisting of the remaining six chapters, is chiefly prophetical. The historical part of the book treats of the period of the Captivity. Daniel is "the historian of the Captivity, the writer who alone furnishes any series of events for that dark and dismal period during which the harp of Israel hung on the trees that grew by the Euphrates. His narrative may be said in general to intervene between Kings and Chronicles on the one hand and Ezra on the other, or (more strictly) to fill out the sketch which the author of the Chronicles gives in a single verse in his last chapter: 'And them that had escaped from the sword carried he [i.e., Nebuchadnezzar] away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia'" (Ch2 36:20). The prophetical part consists of three visions and one lengthened prophetical communication. The genuineness of this book has been much disputed, but the arguments in its favour fully establish its claims. (1.)We have the testimony of Christ (Mat 24:15; Mat 25:31; Mat 26:64) and his apostles (Co1 6:2; Th2 2:3) for its authority; and (2.) the important testimony of Ezekiel (Eze 14:14, Eze 14:20; Eze 28:3). (3.) The character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony with the times and circumstances in which the author lived. (4.) The linguistic character of the book is, moreover, just such as might be expected. Certain portions (Dan 2:4; 7) are written in the Chaldee language; and the portions written in Hebrew are in a style and form having a close affinity with the later books of the Old Testament, especially with that of Ezra. The writer is familiar both with the Hebrew and the Chaldee, passing from the one to the other just as his subject required. This is in strict accordance with the position of the author and of the people for whom his book was written. That Daniel is the writer of this book is also testified to in the book itself (Dan 7:1, Dan 7:28; Dan 8:2; Dan 9:2; Dan 10:1, Dan 10:2; Dan 12:4, Dan 12:5). (See BELSHAZZAR.)
Dan-jaan Woodland Dan, a place probably somewhere in the direction of Dan, near the sources of the Jordan (Sa2 24:6). The LXX. and the Vulgate read "Dan-jaar", i.e., "Dan in the forest."
Dannah Murmuring, a city (Jos 15:49) in the mountains of Judah about 8 miles south-west of Hebron.
Darda Pearl of wisdom, one of the four who were noted for their wisdom, but whom Solomon excelled (Kg1 4:31).
Daric In the Revised Version of Ch1 29:7; Ezr 2:69; Ezr 8:27; Neh 7:70, where the Authorized Version has "dram." It is the rendering of the Hebrew darkemon and the Greek dareikos . It was a gold coin, bearing the figure of a Persian King with his crown and armed with bow and arrow. It was current among the Jews after their return from Babylon, i.e., while under the Persian domination. It weighed about 128 grains troy, and was of the value of about one guinea or rather more of our money. It is the first coin mentioned in Scripture, and is the oldest that history makes known to us.
Darius The holder or supporter, the name of several Persian kings. (1.) Darius the Mede (Dan 11:1), "the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes" (Dan 9:1). On the death of Belshazzar the Chaldean he "received the kingdom" of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus. During his brief reign (538-536 B.C.) Daniel was promoted to the highest dignity (Dan 6:1, Dan 6:2); but on account of the malice of his enemies he was cast into the den of lions. After his miraculous escape, a decree was issued by Darius enjoining "reverence for the God of Daniel" (Dan 6:26). This king was probably the "Astyages" of the Greek historians. Nothing can, however, be with certainty affirmed regarding him. Some are of opinion that the name "Darius" is simply a name of office, equivalent to "governor," and that the "Gobryas" of the inscriptions was the person intended by the name. (2.) Darius, king of Persia, was the son of Hystaspes, of the royal family of the Achaemenidae. He did not immediately succeed Cyrus on the throne. There were two intermediate kings, viz., Cambyses (the Ahasuerus of Ezra), the son of Cyrus, who reigned from 529-522 B.C., and was succeeded by a usurper named Smerdis, who occupied the throne only ten months, and was succeeded by this Darius (521-486 B.C.). Smerdis was a Margian, and therefore had no sympathy with Cyrus and Cambyses in the manner in which they had treated the Jews. He issued a decree prohibiting the restoration of the temple and of Jerusalem (Ezr 4:17). But soon after his death and the accession of Darius, the Jews resumed their work, thinking that the edict of Smerdis would be now null and void, as Darius was in known harmony with the religious policy of Cyrus. The enemies of the Jews lost no time in bringing the matter under the notice of Darius, who caused search to be made for the decree of Cyrus (q.v.). It was not found at Babylon, but at Achmetha (Ezr 6:2); and Darius forthwith issued a new decree, giving the Jews full liberty to prosecute their work, at the same time requiring the Syrian satrap and his subordinates to give them all needed help. It was with the army of this king that the Greeks fought the famous battle of Marathon (490 B.C.). During his reign the Jews enjoyed much peace and prosperity. He was succeeded by Ahasuerus, known to the Greeks as Xerxes, who reigned for twenty-one years. (3.) Darius the Persian (Neh 12:22) was probably the Darius II. (Ochus or Nothus) of profane history, the son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was the son and successor of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). There are some, however, who think that the king here meant was Darius III. (Codomannus), the antagonist of Alexander the Great (336-331 B.C.).
Darkness The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Exo 10:21) is described as darkness "which may be felt." It covered "all the land of Egypt," so that "they saw not one another." It did not extend to the land of Goshen (Exo 10:23). When Jesus hung upon the cross (Mat 27:45; Luk 23:44), from the "sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." On Mount Sinai, Moses (Exo 20:21) "drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (Kg1 8:12), the cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Psa 97:2) describes the inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in thick darkness. Darkness (Isa 13:9, Isa 13:10; Mat 24:29) also is a symbol of the judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Psa 107:10; Isa 8:22; Eze 30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joe 2:2, caused by clouds of locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Eph 5:11). "Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa 9:2; Isa 60:2; Mat 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; Job 17:13).
Dart An instrument of war; a light spear. "Fiery darts" (Eph 6:16) are so called in allusion to the habit of discharging darts from the bow while they are on fire or armed with some combustible material. Arrows are compared to lightning (Deu 32:23, Deu 32:42; Psa 7:13; Psa 120:4).