The description of the man on the banks of the Great River (Dan 10:4-10:6)

“On the twenty-fourth day

Of the first month,

As I was standing

On the bank

Of the great river,

That is the Tigris,

I looked up.

I saw

A man clothed

In linen,

With a belt

Of gold,

From Uphaz,

Around his waist.

His body was

Like beryl.

His face was

Like lightning.

His eyes were

Like flaming torches.

His arms,

As well as his legs,

Were

Like the gleam

Of burnished bronze.

The sound

Of his words were

Like the noise

Of a multitude.”

On the 24th of the 1st month, Daniel was on the banks of the great river, the Euphrates, not the Tigris, since the Tigris does not go through Babylon. Then Daniel looked up. He saw a man dressed in linen clothes with a Uphaz gold belt. Uphaz was another name for Ophir, a large gold mining area. Daniel then described this man’s body as like beryl or emerald looking. His face was like lightning. His eyes were like flaming torches. He almost sounded like Santa Claus. His arms and legs were like burnished bronze, similar to the bronze man at the end of the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 40-47. The sound of his voice was like a large group of people. He was quite unique.

Overflowing wisdom (Sir 24:24-24:29)

“It overflows

Like the Pishon,

With wisdom.

It overflows

Like the Tigris

At the time of the first fruits.

It runs over,

Like the Euphrates,

With understanding.

It is

Like the Jordan

At harvest time.

It pours forth instruction

Like the Nile.

It is

Like the Gihon

At the time of vintage.

Just as the first man

Did not know wisdom fully,

Neither will the last one

Fathom her.

Her thoughts

Are more abundant

Than the sea.

Her counsel deeper

Than the great abyss.”

Sirach goes into a section on how wisdom overflows its banks like many of the rivers in the area. Using the 4 biblical paradise rivers mentioned as surrounding the Garden of Eden, in Genesis, chapter 2, the Pishon, the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Gihon, Sirach spoke of them individually. Wisdom overflowed each of them. He also spoke of 2 other important rivers for the Israelites, the Jordan and the Nile. Finally he mentioned that the first man did not fully understand wisdom. However, he also said that the last man would not fully understand wisdom either, because her thoughts are more abundant and deeper than the sea.