Daniel falls into a trance (Dan 8:18-8:18)

“As Gabriel

Was speaking

To me,

I fell into a trance,

Face to the ground.

Then he touched me.

He set me

On my feet.”

Daniel continued his first person singular recounting of this story. As the archangel Gabriel was speaking to him, he fell into a trance or deep sleep with his face to the ground. Then Gabriel touched him, as if to wake him. Then Gabriel put him on his feet.

The unconscious city (Isa 29:9-29:10)

“Stupefy yourselves!

Be in a stupor!

Blind yourselves!

Be blind!

Be drunk,

But not from wine!


But not from strong drink!

Yahweh has poured out upon you

A spirit of deep sleep.

He has closed your eyes!

You prophets!

He has covered your heads!

You seers!”

Somehow the inhabitants of Jerusalem have become unconscious, like drunkards. However, this stupor is not from drink or strong wine, even though they are blind and stagger around. Yahweh has given them a deep sleep. He has closed the eyes of the prophets and covered the heads of the wise seers.

Teaching a fool (Sir 22:9-22:10)

“Whoever teaches a fool is

Like one who glues potsherds together.

Whoever teaches a fool is

Like one who rouses a sleeper

From deep slumber.

Whoever tells a story to a fool

Tells it to a drowsy man.

At the end

He will say.

‘What is it?’”

Sirach says that whoever tries to teach a fool is like one trying to glue pieces of a broken pottery jar back together. Potsherds are broken pottery pieces. Thus this task would be like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Teaching a fool is like trying to wake someone up from a deep sleep. Even telling a story is useless, because the fool is like a half-asleep drowsy person who says at the end of the story, “What was that again?” Basically, trying to teach a fool is a waste of time. However, it is not totally impossible, but extremely difficult and challenging.