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In Daniel 8:10 we read: :

It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. [English Standard Version]

Its power reached to the heavens, where it attacked the heavenly army, throwing some of the heavenly beings and some of the stars to the ground and trampling them. [New Living Translation]

This sounds like a heaven war, but obviously proper stars are too big to fall to the Earth.

Can the Hebrew word for “stars” (כוֹכָבִים, kôkābîm or kō·w·ḵā·ḇîm) refer to any bright objects or a celestial bodies in the sky similar to the Greek word ἀστέρες (astḗres)?


kôkābîm interlinear

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  • Since its a vision, I would say that it was accommodated to Daniel's understanding of stars, and he probably didn't know how big stars are. – david brainerd Sep 24 '14 at 4:36
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    Yes, kokāb includes the planets, the “fixed” stars, comets, asteroids, meteors etc., but does not seem to be used for the sun and the moon. People in the ancient world did not know that the most of these are much bigger than the earth; they thought that they were as big as they look to the eye. So the author of Daniel did not worry about whether "proper stars" were too big to fall to the earth. – fdb Sep 24 '14 at 8:22
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    @kenorb The same word is used in Dan. 12:3 with the same context; which is figuratively describing "bright ones"(stars), meaning angelic hosts. In 12:3 it is "resurrected people" who retain this quality of "kokabim". – Tau Sep 26 '14 at 1:41
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Rashi, here, explains that in Daniel's vision, the horns of the goat represent Persia and Media, and the stars it stomps represents Israel. God, speaking to Abraham, also compared the children of Israel to the stars. See, e.g. Gen. 15:5. See also Deut. 1:10 ("the Lord your God hath multiplied you, and behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude" (Translation, Hertz Chumash)).

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As @user2479 mentioned, the same word is used in Daniel 12:3 which can be translated as "the bright ones", "stars of heaven" (meaning angelic hosts), heavenly rulers (Christ and his Bride) or "resurrected people" who retain this quality of "kokabim".

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