Daniel 8:14 and the Cleansing of the Sanctuary

Daniel 8:14 and the Cleansing of the Sanctuary: Further Considerations

Part II of our look at this important topic.

W.E. Read, Retired Administrator


NOTE: This article, the second of four, was originally written for a committee studying certain problems of the book of Daniel. It was felt that the material was suitable for a dual purpose, aside from the committee records. First, the manu­script was rewritten under the title "Further Observations on Tsadaq" and appeared in Seminary Studies, vol. IV, No. 1, 1966. Second, it was deemed worth while to make this valuable material available in this present form and to sub­mit it to THE MINISTRY for the benefit of our ministerial workers. We hope other contributions on different topics may appear in our journals in due course.

H.W. Lowe, Chairman, Research Committee

LAST month we reviewed our historic position relative to our emphasis of the word "cleansed" in Daniel 8:14. This month we shall give consideration to three closely related aspects of this ques­tion, such as, the extensive range of meaning of the He­brew word tsadaq; the wide area of concept of the Greek word katharizo, rendered "cleansed" in the LXX,1 as the translation of tscidaq, and also various parallels where the two words are equated in Holy Writ.


A few years ago, when I began a more intensive study of this Hebrew word as used in the Bible, I remember an observation made by the professor of Semitics of one of the large universities in the city of Washington, D.C. No sooner had we begun our interview than he remarked that tsadaq was one of those large Hebrew words, a word which ranged in meaning all the way from the highest of all concepts, as seen in Jeremiah 23:6: "The Lord our righteousness [tsedeq]," to the rather mundane con­cept of the giving of alms, or almsgiving, as seen in Daniel 4:27' (K.J.V.). The Aramaic word in this text is tsidqah, but is of the same root as the Hebrew tsadaq.

There is something that needs to be kept in mind when studying this, as well as any other im­portant word. We should note especially the con­text and the particular slant of meaning in the various passages where such a word is used. Let us notice:

1.  Tsadaq—and Its Various Forms in the Scrip­tures

One might think of the root as sdq or tsdq, but as mentioned in the last article, we are following the spelling given in Young's Analytical Concord­ance.

Tsadaq: As a verb (Dan. 8:14); as an adjective (Ps. 19:9); as a substantive (Dan. 12:3).

Tsedeq: As an adjective (Ps. 35:27); as a sub­stantive (Ps. 15:2); as an adverb (Jer. 11:20).

Tsaddiq: As a substantive (Gen. 18:23); as an ad­jective (2 Chron. 12:6).

Tsedaqah: As an adjective (Judges 5:11); as a sub­stantive (Isa. 51:6); as an adverb (Isa. 23:15).

Tsidqah: As a substantive (Dan. 4:27)—its only use.

2.  Tsadaq—/ts Various Renderings in the Bible

We have already called attention to the fact that there are exceptions in the rendering of this Hebrew word as it is translated into English. While gen­erally it is rendered by such words as "just," "justify," "righteous," "righteousness," et cetera, there are a few other and rather different render­ings. We list eight Biblical passages illustrating this:

Gen. 44:16: "How shall we clear [tsadaq] our­selves?" Fenton gives "vindicate," Goodspeed gives "prove."

Judges 5:11: "The righteous [tsedaqah] acts of the Lord." R.S.V. gives "triumph," Fenton gives "kindness," LXX (Th) has "gracious," and Leeser has "benefits."

I Sam. 12:7: "Righteous [tsedaqahi acts of the Lord." R.S.V. gives "saving deeds," Knox has "mercies," Leeser gives "benefits," and Fenton has "beneficences," while J.P.S. gives "saving deeds of the poor."

Job 31:6: "Let me be weighed in an even [tsedeq] balance." Knox gives "true," and nearly all others have "just" or "righteous."

Isa. 49:24: "Shall . . . the lawful [tsaddiq] captive [be] delivered?" Leeser has "victor," Rotherham gives "the one in the right," Friedlander's Jewish Bible has "victorious."

Joel 2:23: "Given you the former rain moderately [utsedaqah]." Leeser give "beneficence," Moffatt, "amply," Fenton, "plentiful," Knox, "restoration to favour."

Dan. 9:16: "According to all thy righteousness [tsedaqah]." Moffatt gives "saving deeds," LXX (Br) gives "mercy," Fenton, "righteous," and Goodspeed, "righteous deeds."

Dan. 4:27: "Break off thy sins by righteousness [tsedaqahl." J.P.S., New Jerusalem Bible, "showing mercy to the poor." Knox, Goodspeed, Lamsa, give "almsgiving."

Hence, in our English Bibles this Hebrew word is given a much wider range of meaning than is generally understood. But let us go further.

3.    Tsadaq and How Translated in the LXX We will list but four instances; others will appear in Appendix A.

Job 4:17: The K.J.V. reads, "just" for Hebrew tsadaq. The LXX has katharos; Eng. tr. reads, "clean, pure."

Isa. 26:7:4 The K.J.V. reads, "just" for Hebrew tsaddiq. The LXX has eusebes; Eng. tr. reads, "de­vout."

Isa. 41:26: 5 The K.J.V. reads, "righteous" for He­brew tsaddiq. The LXX has alethe; Eng. tr. reads, "truth."

Isa. 61:10:6 The K.J.V. reads, "righteousness" for Hebrew tsedeqah. The LXX gives euphrosune; Eng. tr. reads, "gladness."

4.    Tsadaq in the Phoenician Language

One might also add that there is another slant of meaning to this Hebrew word. It appears, it seems, in Phoenician. This was observed in an article by James Swetman in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly 7 some time ago. Dr. Leona Running, of Andrews University, gave me the grammatical background of this concept. In a grammar of that language we read: "Justice, legality (H.sdq) or legal (H.sdyq)—legitimate heir— (cf. smh sdyq, Jer. 23:5)—legitimate offspring."—Page 140.8

Reference might also be made to the Habakkuk commentary in the Dead Sea scrolls. We read: "One may note the parallel in the title 'righteous or legitimate Messiah.' "

Hence, it can be seen that when dealing with tsadaq in its various phases, we are dealing with a word of unusual breadth of meaning, and conse­quently it behooves us to study carefully in order to ascertain what the word means in any particular place or context where it may be used.


Seeing that the Greek translators used katharizo for tsadaq in Daniel 8:14, it might be well to look at the nature and meaning of this Greek word.

First of all, let us note that katharizo is not a word used exclusively in the Biblical text. It has been thought by some to be so, but Gustaf Deiss­manl° has shown that the word appears in the Inscription of Andania in the Peloponnesus, dated in the year 93-91 B.c., and that it stems from Hellen­istic Greek.

1. In the Apocrypha

The word kathariz0 is found in a number of places in the Apocryphal writings and is rendered by various words in the English versions.

In the Wisdom of Solomon (second to first cen­tury B.C.)" as "pure" (7:23); as "purity" (7:24).

In Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) (132 n.c.)18 as "cleansed" (23:10), "clear" (43:1), "clean" (36:4), "purifica­tion" (51:20).

In 1 Maccabees (105 to 63 B.c.)18 as "cleanse" (4:36, 43).

In 2 Maccabees (124 B.c.)" as "purification" (1:18), "cleansed" (2:19), "purify" (10:3), "unde­filed" (7:40).

In 4 Maccabees (after 2 Macc.)/5 as "purified" (7:6; 17:21).

2. In Josephus the word can be seen a few times, for instance in Antiquities xi. 5. 4 "purity" and xii. 7. 6 "puri­fied."

3. In the Septuagint It is when we examine the LXX more closely that we find an unusual range of meaning to this Greek word. Besides the Hebrew word taher, the usual word for cleanse, et cetera, there are quite a number of other Hebrew words which the transla­tors rendered by katharizo, in fact, there are more than 25 words. We list but four here; others can be seen in Appendix B.

Hebrew                         Text                    K.J.V.

daka                      Isa. 53:10                           "bruise"

kippurim                 Ex. 2936                            "atonement"

maslul                    Isa. 35:8                             "highway"

yaqar                     Prov. 12:27                        "precious"

There is another interesting relationship between tsadaq and taher rendered "cleansed." In Leviticus 16:30, taher is translated "cleanse" and "clean"; in Daniel 8:14 it is tsadaq which is translated "cleansed." Now, even though the primary signifi­cance of tsadaq is to justify or make righteous, the primary meaning of tether is to cleanse or purify. Yet in the LXX those words come together in the Greek kathariza in both Leviticus and Daniel. Taher of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16:19 is katharizo in the LXX, and so in Daniel 8:14, there undoubtedly is some point to Rashi's remark (al­ready referred to) in his comment on Daniel 8:14 when he mentions that it signifies "when the sins of Israel shall be atoned for." Katharos, the adjec­tival form, is the translation of tsadaq in Job 4:17 in the LXX.

It seems evident, then, that these two words, tsadaq and katharizo, have a great variety of shades of meaning. The fact that in Daniel 8:14 tsadaq is translated "cleanse" in the LXX and in the K.J.V. is no greater wonder than the fact it is translated "moderately" in Joel 2:23 (K.J.V.) and "lawful" in Isaiah 49:24 (K.J.V.).


In Hebrew poetry there are a number of in­stances of what are recognized as parallelisms. The following three examples will illustrate this:

Job 17:9 (K.J.V.): "The righteous [tsaddiq] . . . shall hold on his way." "He that hath clean ikatharos] hands shall be," et cetera.

Job 25:1 (K.J.V.): "How can a man be just [tsadaq) with God?" "How can a man be clean [apokatharizo]?"

Ps. 18:20 (K.J.V.): 16 "According to my righteous­ness [tsedeq}." "According to the righteousness [kathariotes]."

Again, we remark, these two words are certainly equated, or were, in the minds of the LXX transla­tors in certain contexts, and with the Jewish think­ing as expressed by Rashi, it is not so surprising that they rendered tsadaq by katharizO in Daniel 8:14. In our next article, we will endeavor to ascertain further why the LXX translators did this.


Further Greek and English words used in trans­lating tsadaq in the LXX.

Job 9:20: The K.J.V. reads "justify" for Hebrew tsadaq. The LXX has oclikaios; Eng. tr., "I should seem righteous."

Job 17:9: The K.J.V. has "righteous" for Hebrew tsaddiq. The LXX has pistos; Eng-. tr., "faithful," also "trustworthy," "assured."

Job 22:3: The K.J.V. gives "righteous" for Hebrew tsaddiq. The LXX has ctmemptos; Eng. tr., "blameless," also "faultless."

Isa. 28:17: The K.J.V. has "righteousness" for He-

brew tsedaqah. The LXX gives eleemosune; Eng. tr., "alms," "mercy," "compassion," "charity." Isa. 57:7: The K.J.V. reads, "righteousness" for Hebrew tsedeq. The LXX has krisis; Eng. tr., "judg­ment," "justice," "right," "equity."

Isa. 56:1: The K.J.V. reads, "righteous" for Hebrew tsedaqah. The LXX gives eleos; Eng. tr., "mercy," "compassion."

Dan. 8:14: K.J.V. has "cleansed" for Hebrew tsadaq. The LXX gives katharizo; Eng. tr., "cleansed."


Further Hebrew words translated by kathariz5 in the Septuagint:

HebrewText                                                             K.J.V.

Pray. 14:4                                             "clean"

Job 33:3                                               "clearly"

Lev. 8:15                                               "purified"

Job 11:13                                              "prepare"

2 Chron. 4:21                                        "perfect"

Deut. 19:13                                            "innocent"

Gen. 24:8                                                "clear"

Dan. 7:9                                                   "pure"

Hosea 8:5                                               "innocence"

Isa. 57:14                                               "prepare"

Isa. 65:5                                                 "holier"

2 Chron. 4:20                                         "pure"

Isa. 1:25                                                  "purge"

Gen. 20:5                                                "integrity"

Job 33:3                                               "uprightness"

Lev. 24:2

Job 15:15                                              "clean"

job 9:30                                                  "clean"

Ps. 12:6                                                   "pure"

Lev. 16:19                                             "cleanse"

Lev. 13:7                                               "cleansing"

Num. 30:12                                           "forgive'

Deut. 32:43                                            "merciful"


1See translations of Goodspeed, Douay, J.P.S. (Jewish Pub. Soc. Bible).

2 This would be verse 24 in some translations, as Jerome, Jerusalem Bible (Jewish), etc.

3 We refer to three English translations of the LXX—the Thomson (Th), the Brenton (Br), and the Bagster (Bagst).

4 Pious, religious, devout.

5 Act truly, legitimate, true in faith.

6 Gladness, joy.

7 Catholic Biblical Quarterly, October, 1964, p. 472.

8 Zellig S. Harris, Grammar of the Phoenician Language (New Haven, Connecticut: Amer. Orient. Soc., 1936).

9 F. M. Cross, The Ancient Library of Qumran (Anchor Books, 1961), p. 113.

10 Gustav Adolph Diessmann, Bible Studies (London: T & T Clark, 1901), p. 216. Also in Light From the Ancient East (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910), pp. 69, 70.

11SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 84.

12Ibid., p. 85.

13 Westminster Bible Diet., Art. "Apocrypha," p. 35.

14 Ibid.


Further parallels can be seen in: Job 4:17; 8:3; 12:4; 22:3, 19; 29:14; Ps. 17:15; 31:1; 37:6; 51:4; 94:21; 103:17: Isa. 26:7; 41:26; 48:18; 57:7; 56:1; 61:10; 62:1; .Ter. 51:10.

NOTE: For references to the Apocrypha see R. H. Charles Apocrypha and Epipseudigrapha and R.S.V. Apocrypha.

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W.E. Read, Retired Administrator

April 1967

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