A Devotion for 24 July 2020 Anno Domini, a Commentary by the Rev. Mark Sutherd Carroll, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
Christ Militant: a Vision of a Beautiful Warrior
And it came to pass, when I, even Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. [Daniel viii. 15]
Comment: The verbiage of the Authorized Version doesn’t convey the militant nature of this passage. however a word study reveals that indeed Daniel saw Jesus Christ as a warrior. In the first place, this entire vision passage is about the rising and falling of empires: Persia, Media, Greece, Rome through conquest. Secondly, the image of the vision was “the appearance of”. The Hebrew word is Mareh. It conveys the sense in some uses of a beautiful countenance, that is fair, favored, and good to look upon. The Hebrew translated man here, according to Strong, is “properly a valiant man or warrior” We know that the beautiful warrior was divine for he commands the Archangel Gabriel to tell Daniel the meaning of the vision. Gabriel proceeded to reveal the meaning of the images and how these empires would rise up and fall, ultimately with an ultimate fierce dark king should stand up and destroy God’s people and face the Prince of Princes, even Christ Militant, but shall be crushed.
Christ Militant: Prophetic King-Priest-Warrior
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. [Psalm 110]
Comment: Psalm 110 is certainly one of the most vivid examples of Messianic prophesy in the Bible. It begins with the passage that Jesus identified as relating to himself: (“Jehovah said to my Lord..”) It establishes the titles of everlasting King (who would “rule in the midst of thine enemy”), Priest (“after the order of Melchizedek”), and Warrior (who would “strike through kings in the day of his wrath.”). The covenant of Jehovah is cited as the cause for this coming: David sang, “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent”. Note also that the King shall “wound the heads over many countries”. Like in Psalm 91, we remember the prophetic voice of Jehovah in the Garden who said, ” it [seed of Eve] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. “. It has been pointed out by O. Palmer Robertson that this prophesy showed the decitful way that Satan would strike, but the blow would not be fatal by striking the heel; whereas the Seed would crush the serpent’s head; a mortal blow.