I beheld till the thrones were cast down
On which the governors of the above monarchies sat; and those of the ten kings, signified by the ten horns; and also that of the little horn. The prophet kept looking on the objects before him, till he in his dream, and the visions of the night, saw all those empires and kingdoms demolished, and all rule, power, and authority, put down, and way made for the glorious kingdom of the Messiah, and his saints with him; to this sense Aben Ezra, Saadiah, and Jacchiades, interpret the word used; but the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "until the thrones were set up" F17; for the judges to sit upon to try, judge, and condemn the four beasts or monarchies; in order to make way for the kingdom of the Son of man to take place in the spirituality and glory of it: here are more thrones than one; see ( Revelation 20:4 ) , one for the Ancient of days, and another for him who was like to the Son of man, brought near before him; and so the Jews F18 say, here were two thrones pitched and prepared, one for the Ancient of days, and another for David, that is, the Messiah, or Son of David; and so Jarchi paraphrases the words,
``the thrones were pitched and prepared to sit upon in judgment:''and this sense is confirmed by the use of the word in ( Ezra 7:24 ) and in the Targum on ( 2 Kings 18:14 ) ( Jeremiah 1:15 ) and to this agrees best the following clause: and the Ancient of days did sit;
on one of the thrones pitched, as chief Judge: this is to be understood of God the Father, as distinct from the Messiah, the Son of God, said to be like the Son of man brought unto him, ( Daniel 7:13 ) and is so called, not only because he is from everlasting, and without beginning of days; but chiefly because he is permanent, and endures for ever; his years fail not, and of his days there will be no end; and he will be when these empires, signified by the four beasts, will be no more; and very fit to be Judge of them, because of his consummate wisdom and prudence, signified also by this phrase; and the divine Father of Christ is still more proper, because it is in Christ's cause the judgment will proceed; and this in order to introduce him openly into his dominions in the world: whose garment was white as snow;
denoting the purity of his nature, the brightness of his majesty, and his uncorruptness in judgment: and the hair of his head like the pure wool;
signifying his venerableness, gravity, wisdom, and ripeness of judgment; being wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working: his throne was like the fiery flame;
expressive of him, as awful and formidable, as a consuming fire; and of his piercing judgment, and the severity of it: and his wheels as burning fire;
the wheels of his throne; alluding to such seats and thrones as were made to turn about, and to be moved from place to place; denoting the power and providence of God everywhere; the clear view he has of all things, in all places; and his swiftness in the execution of his judgments.
F17 (wymr Nwork) "subsellia posita sunt", Tigurine version; "solia posita sunt", Piscator, Cocceius; "throni elati sunt", Pagninus, Montanus.
F18 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 14. 1. & Gloss in ib.