Prophecies of DANIEL
and the REVELATION
Uriah Smith - 1897
Continuing in the Book of Daniel
-- VIII --
Vision of the Ram, He-Goat and Little Horn
p 163 -- "We
now come once more," says Dr.
"to the Hebrew,
the Chaldee part
of the book being finished. As the Chaldeans had a particular interest
both in the history
and the prophecies
from chapter 2:4 to the end of chapter 7, the whole is written in
Chaldee; but as
the prophecies which remain concern times posterior to the Chaldean monarchy,
and principally relate to the church
and people of God generally, they are written in the Hebrew
language, this being the tongue in which God chose to reveal all his counsels
given under the Old Testament
relative to the New."
the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto
me, even, unto me Daniel, after that which appeared, unto me at the first.
One prominent characteristic
of the sacred writings, and one which should forever shield them from
the charge of being works of fiction, is the frankness and freedom with
which the writers state all the circumstances connected with that which
they record. This verse states the time when the vision recorded in this
chapter was given to Daniel. The first year of Belshazzar was B. C. 540.
His third year, in which this vision was given, would consequently be
538. If Daniel, as is supposed, was about twenty years of age when be
p 164 --
(The Ram - Symbol of Medo-Persia)
p 165 -- to Babylon
in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 606, he was at this time about
eighty-eight years of age. The vision he speaks of as the one "which
appeared unto him at the first," is doubtless the vision of the seventh
chapter, which he had in the first year of Belshazzar.
2. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw,
that I was at Shushan in the palace which is in the province of Elam;
and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
As verse 1 states the time
when, this verse gives the place where, the vision was given. Shushan,
as we learn from Prideaux, was the metropolis of the province of Elam.
This was then in the hands of the Babylonians, and there the king of Babylon
had a royal palace. Daniel, as minister of state, and employed about the
king's business, was accordingly in that place. Abradates, viceroy or
prince of Shushan, revolted to Cyrus, and the province was joined to the
Medes and Persians; so that, according to the prophecy of Isaiah (21:2),
Elam went up with the Medes to besiege Babylon. Under the Medes and Persians
it regained its liberties, of which it had been deprived by the Babylonians,
according to the prophecy of Jeremiah, chapter 49:39.
I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river
a ram which had two horns; and the two horns were high; but one was higher
than the other, and the higher came up last. 4.
I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that
no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver
out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
verse 20 an interpretation of this symbol is given us in plain
"The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media
and Persia." We have only, therefore,
to consider how well the symbol answers to the power in question. The
two horns represented the two nationalities of which the empire consisted.
The higher came up last. This represented the Persian element, which,
from being at first simply an ally of the Medes, came to be the leading
division of the empire. The different directions in which the ram was
seen pushing denote the directions in which
p 166 -- the Medes
and Persians carried their conquests. No earthly powers could stand before
them while they were marching up to the exalted position to which the
providence of God had summoned them. And so successfully were their conquests
prosecuted that in the days of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1), the Medo-Persian
kingdom extended from India to Ethiopia, the extremities of the then known
world, over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. The prophecy almost
seems to fall short of the facts as stated in history, when it simply
says that this power "did according to his will, and became great."
5. And as
I was considering, behold, an he-goat came from the west on the face of
the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable
horn between his eyes. 6. And he came to
the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river,
and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 7. And
I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against
him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns; and there was no power
in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and
stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of
"As I was considering,"
says the prophet; and in this he sets an example for every lover of the
truth, and all who have any regard for things higher than the objects
of time and sense. When Moses saw the burning bush, he said, "I will
now turn aside, and see this great sight." But how few are willing
at the present time to turn aside from their pursuit of business or pleasure
to consider the important themes to which both the mercy and the providence
of God are striving to call their attention.
The symbol here introduced
is also explained by the angel to Daniel. Verse
the rough goat is the king [or kingdom] of Grecia."
Concerning the fitness of this symbol to the Grecian or Macedonian people,
Bishop Newton observes
that the Macedonians, "about
two hundred years before the time of Daniel, were called Aegeadae, the
goats' people;" the origin of which name
he explains, according to heathen authors, as follows: "Caranus,
their first king, going with a great multitude of Greeks to seek new habitations
in Macedonia, was advised by an oracle to take the goats for his guides
(The He-Goat -- Symbol of Grecia)
168 -- and afterward, seeing
a herd of goats flying from a violent storm, he followed them to Edessa,
and there fixed the seat of his empire, and made the goats his ensigns,
or standards, and called the city
Aegae, or the goats' town, and the people Aegeadae, or the goats' people."
"The city of Aegeae, or Aegae, was the usual burying-place of the
Macedonian kings. It is also very remarkable that Alexander's son by Roxana
was named Alexander Aegus, or the son of the goat; and some
of Alexander's successors are represented in their coins with goats' horns."
- Dissertation on the Prophecies, p. 238.
The goat came from the west.
Grecia lay west of Persia.
"On the face of the
whole earth." He covered all the ground as he passed; that is, swept
everything before him; he left nothing behind.
.He "touched not the
ground." Such was the marvelous celerity of his movements that he
did not seem to touch the ground, but to fly from point to point with
the swiftness of the wind; the same feature is brought to view by the
four wings of the leopard in the vision of chapter 7.
The notable horn between
his eyes. This is explained in verse 21 to be the first king of the Macedonian
empire. This king was Alexander the Great.
Verses 6 and 7 give a concise
account of the overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander. The contests
between the Greeks and Persians are said to have been exceedingly furious;
and some of the scenes as recorded in history are vividly brought to mind
by the figure used in the prophecy, - a ram standing before the river,
and the goat running unto him in the fury of his power. Alexander first
vanquished the generals of Darius at the River Granicus in Phrygia; he
next attacked and totally routed Darius at the passes of Issus in Cilicia,
and afterward on the plains of Arbela in Syria. This last battle occurred
B. C. 331, and marked the conclusion of the Persian empire, for by this
event Alexander became complete master of the whole country. Bishop
Newton quotes verse 6: "And
he [the goat] came to the ram which I had seen standing before the river,
and ran unto him in the fury of his power;" and
can hardly read these words without having
(Alexander Viewing the Body of Darius)
170 -- some image of Darius's
army standing and guarding the River Granicus, and of Alexander
on the other side, with his forces plunging in, swimming across
the stream, and rushing on the enemy with all the fire and fury that can
be imagined." - Id., p. 239.
Ptolemy begins the reign
of Alexander B. C. 332; but it was not till the battle of Arbela, the
year following, that he became, according to Prideaux
(Vol. 1, p. 378), "absolute
lord of that empire to the utmost extent in which it was ever possessed
by the Persian kings." On
the eve of this engagement, Darius sent ten of his chief relatives to
sue for peace; and upon their presenting their conditions to Alexander,
he replied, "Tell your sovereign . . . that the world will
not permit two suns nor two sovereigns!"
The language of verse 7 sets
forth the completeness of the subjection of Medo-Persia to Alexander.
The two horns were broken, and the ram was cast to the ground and stamped
upon. Persia was subdued, the country ravaged, its armies cut to pieces
and scattered, its cities plundered, and the royal city of Persepolis,
the capital of the Persian empire, and even in its ruins one of the wonders
of the world to the present day, was sacked and burned. Thus the ram had
no power to stand before the goat, and there was none that could deliver
him out of his hand.
the he-goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was
broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of
The conqueror is greater
than the conquered. The ram, Medo-Persia, became great; the goat, Grecia,
became very great. And when he was strong, the great horn was broken.
Human foresight and speculation would have said, When he becomes weak,
his kingdom racked by rebellion, or paralyzed by luxury, then the horn
will be broken, and the kingdom shattered. But Daniel saw it broken in
the very prime of its strength and the height of its power, when every
beholder would have exclaimed, Surely, the kingdom is established, and
nothing can overthrow it. Thus it is often with the wicked.
171 -- The horn of their strength
is broken when they think they stand most firm.
Alexander fell in the prime
of life. (See notes on verse 39 of chapter 2.) After his death there arose
much confusion among his followers respecting the succession. It was finally
agreed, after a seven days' contest, that his natural brother, Philip
Aridaeus, should be declared king. By him, and Alexander's infant sons,
Alexander Aegus and Hercules, the name and show of the Macedonian empire
were for a time sustained; but all these persons were soon murdered; and
the family of Alexander being then extinct, the chief commanders of the
army, who had gone into different parts of the empire as governors of
the provinces, assumed the title of kings. They thereupon fell to leaguing
and warring with one another to such a decree that within the space of
twenty-two years from Alexander's death, the number was reduced to - how
many? Five? - No. Three? - No. Two? - No. But four
- just the number specified in the prophecy; for four notable horns were
to come up toward the four winds of heaven in place of the great horn
that was broken. These were (1)
Cassander, who had Greece and the neighboring countries;
who had Asia Minor; (3) Seleucus,
who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of kings known
as the "Seleucidae," so famous in history; and
son of Lagus, who had Egypt, and from whom sprang the "Lagidae."
These held dominion toward the four winds of heaven. Cassander had the
western parts; Lysimachus had the northern regions; Seleucus possessed
the eastern countries; and Ptolemy had the southern portion of the empire.
These four horns may therefore be named Macedonia, Thrace (which then
included Asia Minor, and those parts lying on the Hellespont and Bosphorus),
Syria, and Egypt.
9. And out
of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great,
toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10.
And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some
of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11.
Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the
daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast
down. 12. And an host
p 172 -- was
given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and
it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered.
A third power is here introduced
into the prophecy. In the explanation which the angel gave to Daniel of
these symbols, this one is not described in language so definite as that
concerning Medo-Persia and Grecia. Hence a flood of wild conjecture is
at once let loose. Had not the angel, in language which cannot be misunderstood,
stated that Medo-Persia and Grecia were denoted by the ram and the he-goat,
it is impossible to tell what applications men would have given us of
those symbols. Probably they would have applied them to anything and everything
but the right objects. Leave men a moment to their own judgment in the
interpretation of prophecy, and we immediately have the most sublime exhibitions
of human fancy.
There are two leading applications
of the symbol now under consideration, which are all that need be noticed
in these brief thoughts. The first is that the "little horn"
here introduced denotes the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes; the second,
that it denotes the Roman power. It is an easy matter to test the claims
of these two positions.
it mean Antiochus? If so, this king must fulfil the specifications of
the prophecy? If he does not fulfil them, the application cannot be made
to him. The little horn came out of one of the four horns of the goat.
It was then a separate power, existing independently of, and distinct
from, any of the horns of the goat. Was Antiochus such a power?
was Antiochus? From the time that Seleucus made himself king over the
Syrian portion of Alexander's empire, thus constituting the Syrian horn
of the goat, until that country was conquered by the Romans, twenty-six
kings ruled in succession over that territory. The eighth of these, in
order, was Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus, then, was simply one of the
twenty-six kings who constituted the Syrian horn of the goat. He was,
for the time being, that horn. Hence he could not be at the same time
a separate and independent power, or another and remarkable horn, as the
little horn was.
p 173 --
(The Little Horn of Daniel VIII)
p 174 --
If it were proper to apply the little horn to any one of these twenty-six
Syrian kings, it should certainly be applied to the most powerful and
illustrious of them all; but Antiochus Epiphanes did not by any means
sustain this character. Although he took the name Epiphanes, that is,
The Illustrious, he was illustrious only in name; for nothing, says Prideaux,
on the authority of Polybius, Livy, and Diodorus Siculus, could be more
alien to his true character; for, on account of his vile and extravagant
folly, some thinking him a fool and others a madman, they changed his
name of Epiphanes, "The Illustrious," into Epimanes, "The
the Great, the father of Epiphanes, being terribly defeated in a war with
the Romans, was enabled to procure peace only by the payment of a prodigious
sum of money, and the surrender of a portion of his territory; and, as
a pledge that he would faithfully adhere to the terms of the treaty, he
was obliged to give hostages, among whom was this very Epiphanes, his
son, who was carried to Rome. The Romans ever after maintained this ascendency.
little horn waxed exceeding great; but this Antiochus did not wax exceeding
great; on the contrary, he did not enlarge his dominion, except by some
temporary conquests in Egypt, which he immediately relinquished when the
Romans took the part of Ptolemy, and commanded
him to desist from his designs in that quarter. The rage of his disappointed
ambition he vented upon the unoffending Jews.
5. The little
horn, in comparison with the powers that preceded it, was exceeding great.
Persia is simply called great, though it reigned over a hundred and twenty-seven
provinces. Esther 1:1. Grecia, being more extensive still, is called very
great. Now the little horn, which waxed exceeding
great, must surpass them both. How absurd, then, to apply this to Antiochus,
who was obliged to abandon Egypt at the dictation of the Romans, to whom
he paid enormous sums of money as tribute. The Religious
Encyclopedia gives us this item of his history: "Finding
his resources exhausted, he resolved to go into Persia to levy tribute,
and collect large sums which he had agreed to pay the Romans."
It cannot take long for any
p 175 -- one to decide
the question which was the greater power, - the one which evacuated Egypt,
or the one which commanded that evacuation; the one which exacted tribute,
or the one which was compelled to pay it.
little horn was to stand up against the Prince of princes. The Prince
of princes here means, beyond controversy, Jesus Christ. Dan. 9:25; Acts
3:15; Rev. 1:5. But Antiochus died one hundred and sixty-four years before
our Lord was born. The prophecy cannot, therefore, apply to him; for he
does not fulfil the specifications in one single particular. The question
may then be asked how any one has ever come to apply it to him. We answer,
Romanists take that view to avoid the application of the prophecy to themselves;
and many Protestants follow them, in order to oppose the doctrine that
the second advent of Christ is now at hand.
II. -- It has been
an easy matter to show that the little horn does not denote Antiochus.
It will be just as easy to show that it does denote Rome.
field of vision here is substantially the same as that covered by Nebuchadnezzar's
image of chapter 2, and Daniel's vision of chapter 7. And in both these
prophetic delineations we have found that the power which succeeded Grecia
as the fourth great power, was Rome. The only natural inference would
be that the little horn, the power which in this vision succeeds Grecia
as an "exceeding great" power, is also Rome.
little horn comes forth from one of the horns of the goat. How, it may
be asked, can this be true of Rome? It is unnecessary to remind the reader
that earthly governments are not introduced into prophecy till they become
in some way connected with the people of God. Rome became connected with
the Jews, the people of God at that time, by the famous Jewish League
B. C. 161. 1 Maccabees 8; Josephus's Antiquities, book
12, chap. 10, sec. 6; Prideaux, Vol. II, p. 166. But seven years
before this, that is, in B. C. 168, Rome had conquered Macedonia, and
made that country a part of its empire. Rome is therefore introduced into
prophecy just as, from the conquered Macedonian horn of the goat, it is
going forth to new conquests in other directions. It therefore appeared
p 176 -- to the prophet,
or may be properly spoken of in this prophecy, as coming forth from one
of the horns of the goat.
little horn waxed great toward the south. This was true of Rome. Egypt
was made a province of the Roman empire B. C. 30, and continued such for
The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was true of Rome.
Rome conquered Syria B. C. 65, and made it a province.
little horn waxed great toward the pleasant land. So did Rome. Judea is
called the pleasant land in many scriptures. The Romans made it a province
of their empire, B. C. 63, and eventually destroyed the city and the temple,
and scattered the Jews over the face of the whole earth.
little horn waxed great even to the host of heaven. Rome did this also.
The host of heaven, when used in a symbolic sense in reference to events
transpiring upon the earth, must denote persons of illustrious character
or exalted position. The great red dragon (Rev. 12:4) is said to have
cast down a third part of the stars of heaven to the ground. The dragon
is there interpreted to symbolize pagan Rome, and the stars it cast to
the ground were Jewish rulers. Evidently it is the same power and the
same work that is here brought to view, which again makes it necessary
to apply this growing horn to Rome.
little horn magnified himself even to the Prince of the host. Rome alone
did this. In the interpretation (verse 25) this is called standing up
against the Prince of princes. How clear an allusion to the crucifixion
of our Lord under the jurisdiction of the Romans.
the little horn the daily sacrifice was taken away. This little horn must
be understood to symbolize Rome in its entire history, including its two
phases, pagan and papal. These two phases are elsewhere spoken
of as the "daily " (sacrifice
is a supplied word) and the "transgression of desolation;"
the daily (desolation) signifying the pagan form, and the transgression
of desolation, the papal. (See on verse 13.) In the actions ascribed to
this power, sometimes one form is spoken of, sometimes the other. "By
p 177 -- papal form)
"the daily" (the pagan form) "was taken away." Pagan
Rome was remodeled into papal Rome. And the place of his sanctuary, or
worship, the city of Rome, was cast down. The seat of government was removed
by Constantine in A. D. 330 to Constantinople. This same transaction is
brought to view in Rev. 13:2, where it is said that the dragon, pagan
Rome, gave to the beast, papal Rome, his seat, the city of Rome.
host was given him (the little horn) against the daily. The barbarians
that subverted the Roman empire in the changes, attritions, and transformations
of those times, became converts to the Catholic faith, and the instruments
of the dethronement of their former religion. Though conquering Rome politically,
they were themselves vanquished religiously by the theology of Rome, and
became the perpetuators of the same empire in another phase. And this
was brought about by reason of "transgression;" that is, by
the working of the mystery of iniquity. The papacy is the most cunningly
contrived, false ecclesiastical system ever devised; and it may be called
a system of iniquity because it has committed its abominations and practiced
its orgies of superstition in the garb, and under the pretense, of pure
and undefiled religion.
little horn cast the truth to the ground, and practiced and prospered.
This describes, in few words, the work and career of the papacy. The truth
is by it hideously caricatured; it is loaded with traditions; it is turned
into mummery and superstition; it is cast down and obscured.
And this antichristian power
has "practiced," - practiced its deceptions upon the people,
practiced its schemes of cunning to carry out its own ends and aggrandize
its own power.
And it has "prospered."
It has made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. It has run
its allotted career, and is soon to be broken without hand, to be given
to the burning flame, and to perish in the consuming glories of the second
appearing of our Lord.
Rome meets all the specifications
of the prophecy. No other power does meet them. Hence Rome, and no other,
is the power in question. And while the descriptions given in the word
of God of the character of this monstrous system are
p 178 -- fully met,
the prophecies of its baleful history have been most strikingly and accurately
13. Then I
heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint
which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice,
and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the
host to be trodden under foot? 14.
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall
the sanctuary be cleansed.
time. These two verses close the vision proper of chapter
8; and they introduce the one remaining point which of all others would
naturally be of the most absorbing interest to the prophet and to all
the church; namely, the time the desolating powers previously brought
to view were to continue. How
long shall they continue their course of oppression against
God's people, and of blasphemy against high Heaven? Daniel, if time had
been given, might perhaps have asked this question himself, but God is
ever ready to anticipate our wants, and sometimes to answer even before
we ask. Hence two celestial beings appear upon the scene, holding a conversation,
in the hearing of the prophet, upon this question which it is so important
that the church should understand. Daniel heard one saint speaking. What
this saint spoke at this time we are not informed; but there must have
been something either in the matter or the manner of this speaking which
made a deep impression upon the mind of Daniel, inasmuch as he uses it
in the very next sentence as a designating title, calling the angel "that
certain saint which spake."
He may have spoken something of the same nature as that which the seven
thunders of the Apocalypse uttered (Rev. 10:3), and which, for some good
reason, John was restrained from writing. But another saint asked this
one that spake an important question: How long the vision? and both the
question and the answer are placed upon record, which is prima-facie
evidence that this is a matter which it was designed that the church should
understand. And this view is further confirmed by the fact that the angel
did not ask this question for his own information, inasmuch as the answer
was addressed to Daniel, as the one whom it chiefly concerned, and for
whose information it was given.
179 -- "And he
said unto me,"
said Daniel, recording the answer to the angel's question, "Unto
two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
Note from the 1944 edition of Daniel and the Revelation, Volume 1, p.
163-164, Chapter VIII, The World Arraigned Before the Court of Heaven
question may be raised, Why does the Vatican edition of the Septuagint
(LXX) render this number "twenty-four hundred days"? On this
point S. P. Tregelles writes:
writers on prophecy have, in their explanations or interpretations of
this vision, adopted the reading 'two thousand and four hundred
days;' and in vindication of it, they have referred to the common printed
copies of the LXX version. In this book, however, the translation of Theodotion
has been long substituted for the real LXX: and further, although 'two
thousand four hundred' is found in the common printed Greek copies,
that is merely an erratum made in printing the Vatican edition of 1586,
which has been habitually perpetuated. I looked (in 1845) at the passage
in the Vatican MS, which the Roman edition professedly followed,
and it reads exactly the same as the Hebrew text ["twenty-three hundred
days"]; so also does the real LXX of Daniel. (So too Cardinal
Mai's edition from the Vatican MS, which appeared in 1857)." [S.
P. Tregelles, Remarks on the Prophetic Visions in the Book of Daniel,
p. 89, footnote.]
substantiating the veracity of the twenty-three-hundred-day period, we
quote the following:
edition of the Greek Bible which is commonly used, is printed, as you
will find it stated in Prideaux and Horne, not after that of the 70, but
after that of Theodotion, made about the end of the second century. There
are three principal standard editions of the Septuagint Bible, all containing
the version of Daniel by Theodotion; viz., the Complutensian, published
in 1514; the Aldine, 1518; and the Vatican, 1587, from which the last
English editions of the 70 have been chiefly taken; to these three we
may add a fourth, being that of the Alexandrian text, published between
1707 and 1720. Besides these, there is one called the Chisian, 1772, which
contains the Greek text both of Theodotion and of the 70. Of all these
six copies the Vatican alone reads 2400, all the rest agreeing with the
Hebrew and our English Bibles. Moreover, the manuscript itself, in the
Vatican, from which the edition was printed, has 2300, and not 2400, and
therefore it is indisputable that the number 2400 is nothing but a misprint."
[Dialogues on Prophecy, Vol. I, pp. 326-327]
quotations show clearly that no confidence whatever can be placed in this
rendering of the Vatican edition of the Septuagint. -- End of Webmaster's
daily sacrifice. We have proof
in verse 13 that sacrifice
is the wrong word to be supplied in connection with the word daily.
If the daily sacrifice of the Jewish service is here meant, or, in other
words, the taking away of that sacrifice, as some suppose, which sacrifice
was at a certain point of time taken away, there would be no propriety
in the question, How long
the vision concerning it? This question evidently implies that those agents
or events to which the vision relates, occupy a long series of years.
Continuance of time is the central idea. And the whole time of the vision
is filled by what is here called the daily and the transgression of desolation.
Hence the daily can not be the daily sacrifice of the Jews, the taking
away of which, when the time came for it, occupied comparatively but an
instant of time. It must denote something which occupies a series of years.
The word here rendered daily
occurs in the Old Testament, according to the Hebrew Concordance,
one hundred and two times, and is, in the great majority of instances,
The idea of sacrifice does not attach to the word at all. Nor is there
any word in the text which signifies sacrifice; that is wholly a supplied
word, the translators putting in that word which their understanding of
the text seemed to demand. But they evidently entertained an erroneous
view, the sacrifices of the Jews not being referred to at all. It appears,
therefore, more in accordance with both the construction and the context,
to suppose that the word daily
refers a desolating power, like the "transgression of desolation,"
with which it is connected. Then we have two desolating powers, which
for a long period oppress, or desolate the church. Literally, the text
may be rendered, "How long the vision [concerning] the continuance
and the transgression of desolation?" - The word desolation
being related to both continuance and transgression, as though it were
expressed in full thus: "The continuance of desolation and the transgression
of desolation." By the "continuance of desolation," or
the perpetual desolation,
p 180 -- we must understand
that paganism, through all its long history, is meant; and when we consider
the long ages through which paganism had been the chief agency of Satan's
opposition to the work of God in the earth, the propriety of the term
applied to it, becomes apparent. By "the transgression of desolation"
is meant the papacy. The phrase describing this latter power is stronger
than that used to describe paganism. It is the transgression (or rebellion,
as the word also means) of desolation; as though under this period of
the history of the church the desolating power had rebelled against all
restraint previously imposed upon it.
From a religious point of
view, the world has presented only these two phases of opposition against
the Lord's work in the earth. Hence although three earthly governments
are introduced in the prophecy as oppressors of the church, they are here
ranged under two heads; "the daily" and the "transgression
of desolation." - Medo-Persia was pagan; Grecia was pagan; Rome in
its first phase was pagan; these all were embraced in the "daily."
Then comes the papal form, - "the transgression of desolation"
- a marvel of craft and cunning, an incarnation of fiendish blood-thirstiness
and cruelty. No wonder the cry has gone up from suffering martyrs, from
age to age, "How long, 0 Lord, how long?" And no wonder the
Lord, in order that hope might not wholly die out of the hearts of his
down-trodden, waiting people, has lifted before them the vail of futurity,
showing them the consecutive future events of the world's history, till
all these persecuting powers shall meet an utter and everlasting destruction,
and giving them glimpses beyond of the unfading glories of their eternal
The Lord's eye is upon his
people. The furnace will be heated no hotter than is necessary to consume
the dross. It is through much tribulation we are to enter the kingdom;
and the word tribulation
is from tribulum,
a threshing sledge. Blow after blow must be laid upon us, till all the
wheat is beaten free from the chaff, and we are made fit for the heavenly
garner. But not a kernel of wheat will be lost. Says the Lord to his people,
"Ye are the light of the world," "the salt of
p 181 -- the earth."
In his eyes there is nothing else on the earth of consequence or importance.
Hence the peculiar question here asked, How long the vision respecting
the daily and the transgression of desolation? Concerning what? - the
glory of earthly kingdoms? the skill of renowned warriors? the fame of
mighty conquerors? the greatness of human empire? - No; but concerning
the sanctuary and the host, the people and worship of the Most High. How
long shall they be trodden under foot? Here is where all Heaven's interest
and sympathy are enlisted. He who touches the people of God, touches not
mere mortals, weak and helpless, but Omnipotence; he opens an account
which must be settled at the bar of Heaven. And soon all these accounts
will be adjusted, the iron heel of oppression will itself be crushed,
and a people will be brought out of the furnace prepared to shine as the
stars forever and ever. To be one who is an object of interest to heavenly
beings, one whom the providence of God is engaged to preserve while here,
and crown with immortality hereafter - what an exalted position! How much
higher than that of any king, president, or potentate of earth? Reader,
are you one of the number?
Respecting the 2300 days,
introduced for the first time in verse 14, there are no data in this chapter
from which to determine their commencement and close, or tell what portion
of the world's history they cover. It is necessary, therefore, for the
present, to pass them by. Let the reader be assured, however, that we
are not left in any uncertainty concerning those days. The declaration
respecting them is a part of a revelation which is given for the instruction
of the people of God, and is consequently to be understood. They are spoken
of in the midst of a prophecy which the angel Gabriel was commanded to
make Daniel understand; and it may be safely assumed that Gabriel somewhere
carried out this instruction. It will accordingly be found that the mystery
which hangs over these days in this chapter, is dispelled in the next.
sanctuary. Connected with
the 2300 days is another subject of equal importance, which now presents
itself for consideration; namely, the sanctuary; and with this is also
connected the subject of its cleansing. An examination of
p 182 -- these subjects
will reveal the importance of having an understanding of the commencement
and termination of the 2300 days, that we may know when the great event
called "the cleansing of the sanctuary" is to transpire; for
all the inhabitants of the earth, as will in due time appear, have a personal
interest in that solemn work.
Several objects have been
claimed by different ones as the sanctuary here mentioned:
(1) The earth; (2)
The land of Canaan; (3) The
church; (4) The sanctuary,
the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,"
which is "in the heavens," and of which the Jewish tabernacle
was a type, pattern, or figure. Heb. 8:1, 2; 9:23, 24. These conflicting
claims must be decided by the scriptures; and fortunately the testimony
is neither meager nor ambiguous.
the earth the sanctuary? The word sanctuary
occurs in the Old and New Testaments one hundred and forty-four times,
and from the definitions of lexicographers, and its use in the Bible,
we learn that it is used to signify a holy or sacred place, a dwelling-place
for the Most High. If, therefore, the earth is the sanctuary, it must
answer to this definition; but what single characteristic pertaining to
this earth is found which will satisfy the definition? It is neither a
holy nor a sacred place, nor is it a dwelling-place for the Most High.
It has no mark of distinction, except as being a revolted planet, marred
by sin, scarred and withered by the curse. Moreover, it is nowhere in
all the Scriptures called the sanctuary. Only one text can be produced
in favor of this view, and that only by an uncritical application.
Isa. 60:13 says:
"The glory of Lebanon shall come unto
thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the
place of my sanctuary: and I will make the place of my feet glorious."
This language undoubtedly refers to the new earth; but even that is not
called the sanctuary, but only the "place" of the sanctuary,
just as it is called "the place" of the Lord's feet; an expression
which probably denotes the continual presence of God with his people,
as it was revealed to John when it was said, "Behold, the tabernacle
of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his
people, and God
p 183-- himself shall
be with them, and be their God." Rev. 21:3. All that can be said
of the earth, therefore, is, that when renewed, it will be the place where
the sanctuary of God will be located. It can present not a shadow of a
claim to being the sanctuary at the present time, or the sanctuary of
the land of Canaan the sanctuary? So far
as we may be governed by the definition of the word, it can present no
better claim than the earth to that distinction. If we inquire where in
the Bible it is called the sanctuary, a few texts are brought forward
which seem to be supposed by some to furnish the requisite testimony.
The first of these is Ex.
15:17. Moses, in his song of triumph and praise to God after
the passage of the Red Sea, exclaimed:
"Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine
inheritance, in the place, 0 Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell
in, in the Sanctuary, 0 Lord, which thy hands have established."
A writer who urges this text, says, "I ask the reader to pause, and
examine and settle the question most distinctly, before he goes further.
What is the sanctuary here spoken of?" But it would be far safer
for the reader not to attempt to settle the question definitely from this
one isolated text before comparing it with other scriptures. Moses here
speaks in anticipation. His language is a prediction of what God would
do for his people. Let us see how it was accomplished. If we find, in
the fulfilment, that the land in which they were planted is called the
sanctuary, it will greatly strengthen the claim that is based upon, this
text. If, on the other hand, we find that a plain distinction drawn between
the land and the sanctuary, then Ex. 15:17 must be interpreted accordingly.
We turn to David, who records
as a matter of history what Moses uttered as a matter of prophecy. Ps.
78:53, 54. The subject of the psalmist here, is the deliverance of Israel
from Egyptian servitude, and their establishment in the promised land;
and he says: "And he [God] led them on safely, so that they feared
not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And he brought them to the
border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had
p 184 -- "mountain"
here mentioned by David is the same as the "mountain of thine inheritance"
spoken of by Moses, in which the people were to be planted; and this mountain
David calls, not the sanctuary, but only the border
of the sanctuary. What, then, was the sanctuary? Verse
69 of the same psalm informs us:
"And he built
his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established
forever." The same distinction
between the sanctuary and the land is pointed out in the prayer of good
king Jehoshaphat. 2
Chron. 20:7, 8: "Art not thou our God,
who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel,
and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever? And they dwelt
therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name." Taken
alone, some try to draw an inference from Ex. 15:17 that the mountain
was the sanctuary; but when we take in connection with it the language
of David, which is a record of the fulfilment of Moses's prediction, and
an inspired commentary upon his language, such an idea cannot be entertained;
for David plainly says that the mountain was simply the "border"
of the sanctuary; and that in that border, or land, the sanctuary was
"built" like high palaces, reference being made to the beautiful
temple of the Jews, the center and symbol of all their worship. But whoever
will read carefully Ex. 15:17 will see that not even an inference is necessary
that Moses by the word
sanctuary means the mountain of inheritance, much less the
whole land of Palestine. In the freedom of poetic license, he employs
elliptical expressions, and passes rapidly from one idea or object to
another. First, the inheritance engages his attention, and he speaks of
it; then the fact that the Lord was to dwell there; then the place he
was to provide for his dwelling there; namely, the sanctuary which he
would cause to be built. David thus associates Mount Zion and Judah together
in Ps. 78 68, because Zion was located in Judah.
The three texts, Ex. 15:17;
Ps. 78:54, 69, are the ones chiefly relied on to prove that the land of
Canaan is the sanctuary; but, singularly enough, the two latter, in plain
language, clear away the ambiguity of the first, and thereby disprove
the claim that is based thereon.
p 185 -- Having disposed
of the main proof on this point, it would hardly seem worth while to spend
time with those texts from which only inferences can be drawn. As there
is, however, only one even of this class, we will refer to it, that no
point may be left unnoticed.
Isa. 63:18: "The
people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries
have trodden down thy sanctuary."
This language is as applicable to the temple as to the land! for when
the land was overrun with the enemies of Israel, their temple was laid
in ruins. This is plainly stated in verse
11 of the next chapter: "Our holy
and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up
with fire." The text therefore
proves nothing for this view.
Respecting the earth or the
land of Canaan as the sanctuary, we offer one thought more. If either
constitutes the sanctuary, it should not only be somewhere described as
such, but the same idea should be carried through to the end, and the
purification of the earth or of Palestine should be called the cleansing
of the sanctuary. The earth is indeed defiled, and it is to be purified
by fire; but fire, as we shall see, is not the agent which is used in
the cleansing of the sanctuary; and this purification of the earth, or
any part of it, is nowhere in the Bible called the cleansing of the sanctuary.
the church the sanctuary? The evident
mistrust with which this idea is suggested, is a virtual surrender of
the argument before it is presented. The one solitary text adduced in
its support is Ps. 114:1, 2:
"When Israel went out of Egypt, the
house of Jacob from a people of strange Ianguage; Judah was his sanctuary,
and Israel his dominion." Should
we take this text in its most literal sense, what would it prove respecting
the sanctuary? It would prove that the sanctuary was confined to one of
the twelve tribes; and hence that a portion of the church only, not the
whole of it, constitutes the sanctuary. But this, proving too little for
the theory under consideration, proves nothing. Why Judah is called the
sanctuary in the text quoted, need not be a matter of perplexity, when
we remember that God chose Jerusalem, which was in Judah, as the place
of his sanctuary. "But chose," says David, "the
p 186 -- tribe of
Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like
high palaces, like the earth which he hath established forever."
This clearly shows the connection which existed between Judah and the
sanctuary. That tribe itself was not the sanctuary; but it is once spoken
of as such when Israel came forth from Egypt, because God purposed that
in the midst of the territory of that tribe his sanctuary should be located.
But even if it could be shown that the church is anywhere called the sanctuary,
it would be of no consequence to our present purpose, which is to determine
what constitutes the sanctuary of Dan.
8:13, 14; for the church is there spoken of as another object:
"To give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden
under foot." That by the term
host the church
is here meant, none will dispute; the sanctuary is therefore another and
a different object.
the temple in heaven the sanctuary? There now remains but this
one claim to be examined; namely, that the sanctuary mentioned in the
text is what Paul calls in Hebrews the "true tabernacle, which the
Lord pitched, and not man," to which he expressly gives the name
of "the sanctuary," and which he locates in "the heavens;"
of which sanctuary, there existed, under the former dispensation, first
in the tabernacle built by Moses, and afterward in the temple at Jerusalem,
a pattern, type, or figure. And let it be particularly noticed, that on
the view here suggested rests our only hope of ever understanding this
question; for we have seen that all other positions are untenable. No
other object which has ever been supposed by any one to be the sanctuary
- the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church - can for a moment support
such a claim. If, therefore, we do not find it in the object before us,
we may abandon the search in utter despair; we may discard so much of
revelation as still unrevealed, and may cut out from the sacred page,
as so much useless reading, the numerous passages which speak on this
subject. All those, therefore, who, rather than that so important a subject
should go by default, are willing to lay aside all preconceived opinions
and cherished views, will approach the position before us with intense
anxiety and unbounded interest. They will lay hold of any evidence
p 187 --
(The Temple at Jerusalem at the Time of Christ)
p 188 -- that may
here be given us, as a man bewildered in a labyrinth of darkness would
lay hold of the thread which was his only guide to lead him forth again
It will be safe for us to
put ourselves in imagination in the place of Daniel, and view the subject
from his standpoint. What would he understand by the term sanctuary
as addressed to him? If we can ascertain this, it will not be difficult
to arrive at correct conclusions on this subject. His mind would inevitably
turn, on the mention of that word, to the sanctuary of that dispensation;
and certainly he well knew where that was. His mind did turn to Jerusalem,
the city of his fathers, which was then in ruins, and to their "beautiful
house," which, as Isaiah laments, was burned with fire. And so, as
was his wont, with his face turned toward the place of their once venerated
temple, he prayed God to cause his face to shine upon his sanctuary, which
was desolate. By the word sanctuary
Daniel evidently understood their temple at Jerusalem.
But Paul bears testimony
which is most explicit on this point.
Heb. 9:1: "Then verily the first covenant
had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary."
This is the very point which
at present we are concerned to determine: What was the sanctuary of the
first covenant? Paul proceeds to tell us. Hear him.
Verses 2-5: "For there was a tabernacle
made; the first [or first apartment], wherein was the candlestick, and
the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary [margin, the
holy]. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest
of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid
round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and
Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the
cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak
There is no mistaking the
object to which Paul here has reference. It is the tabernacle erected
by Moses according to the direction of the Lord (which was afterward merged
into the temple at Jerusalem), with a holy and a most holy place, and
various vessels of service, as here set forth. A full description of this
building, with its various vessels and their
p 189 -- uses, will
be found in Exodus, chapter 25 and onward. If the reader is not familiar
with this subject, he is requested to turn and closely examine the description
of this building. This, Paul plainly says, was the sanctuary of the first
covenant. And we wish the reader carefully to mark the logical value of
this declaration. By telling us what did positively for a time constitute
the sanctuary, Paul sets us on the right track of inquiry. He gives us
a basis on which to work. For a time, the field is cleared of all doubt
and all obstacles. During the time covered by the first covenant, which
reached from Sinai to Christ, we have before us a distinct and plainly
defined object, minutely described by Moses, and declared by Paul to be
the sanctuary during that time.
But Paul's language has greater
significance even than this. It forever annihilates the claims which are
put forth in behalf of the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church, as
the sanctuary; for the arguments which would prove them to be the sanctuary
at any time, would prove them to be such under the old dispensation. If
Canaan was at any time the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was planted
in it. If the church was ever the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was
led forth from Egypt. If the earth was ever the sanctuary, it was such
during the period of which we speak. To this period the arguments urged
in their favor apply as fully as to any other period; and if they were
not the sanctuary during this time, then all the arguments are destroyed
which would show that they ever were, or ever could be, the sanctuary.
But were they the sanctuary during that time? This is a final question
for these theories; and Paul decides it in the negative, by describing
to us the tabernacle of Moses, and telling us that that - not the earth,
nor Canaan, nor the church - was the sanctuary of that dispensation.
And this building answers
in every respect to the definition of the term, and the use for which
the sanctuary was designed.
was the earthly dwelling-place of God.
"Let them make me a sanctuary," said he to Moses, "that
I may dwell among them." Ex. 25:8.
In this tabernacle, which they erected according to his instructions,
he manifested his presence.
p 190 --
2. It was a holy, or sacred place, -
"the holy sanctuary." Lev. 16:33.
3. In the word of God it is over and over again called
the sanctuary. Of the one hundred and forty instances in which the word
is used in the Old Testament, it refers in almost every case to this building.
The tabernacle was at first
constructed in such a manner as to be adapted to the condition of the
children of Israel at that time. They were just entering upon their forty
years' wandering in the wilderness, when this building was set up in their
midst as the habitation of God and the center of their religious worship.
Journeying was a necessity, and removals were frequent. It would be necessary
that the tabernacle should often be moved from place to place. It was
therefore so fashioned of movable parts, the sides being composed of upright
boards, and the covering consisting of curtains of linen and dyed skins,
that it could be readily taken down, conveniently transported, and easily
erected at each successive stage of their journey. After entering the
promised land, this temporary structure in time gave place to the magnificent
temple of Solomon. In this more permanent form it existed, saving only
the time it lay in ruins in Daniel's day, till its final destruction by
the Romans in A. D. 70.
This is the only sanctuary
connected with the earth concerning which the Bible gives us any instruction
or history any record. But is there nowhere any other? This was the sanctuary
of the first covenant; with that covenant it came to an end; is there
no sanctuary which pertains to the second, or new covenant? There must
be; otherwise the analogy is lacking between these covenants; and in this
case the first covenant had a system of worship, which, though minutely
described, is unintelligible, and the second covenant has a system of
worship which is indefinite and obscure. And Paul virtually asserts that
the new covenant, in force since the death of Christ, the testator, has
a sanctuary; for when, in contrasting the two covenants, as he does in
the book of Hebrews, he says in chapter
9:1 that the first covenant
"had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary,"
it is the same as saying that the new covenant has likewise
its services and its sanctuary.
p 191 -- Furthermore,
in verse 8 of this chapter he speaks of the worldly sanctuary as,the first
tabernacle. If that was the first, there must be a second;
and as the first tabernacle existed so long as the first covenant was
in force, when that covenant came to an end, the second tabernacle must
have taken the place of the first, and must be the sanctuary of the new
covenant. There can be no evading this conclusion.
Where, then, shall we look
for the sanctuary of the new covenant? Paul, by the use of the word also
in Heb. 9:1, intimates that he had before spoken of this sanctuary. We
turn back to the beginning of the previous chapter, and find him summing
up his foregoing arguments as follows:
"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have
such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle,
which the Lord pitched, and not man."
Can there be any doubt that we have in this text the sanctuary of the
new covenant? A plain allusion is here made to the sanctuary of the first
covenant. That was pitched by man, erected by Moses; this was pitched
by the Lord, not by man. That was the place where the earthly priests
performed their ministry; this is the place where Christ, the High Priest
of the new covenant, performs his ministry. That was on earth; this is
in heaven. That was therefore very properly called by Paul a "worldly
sanctuary;" this is a "heavenly one."
This view is further sustained
by the fact that the sanctuary built by Moses was not an original structure,
but was built after a pattern. The great original existed somewhere else;
what Moses constructed was but a type, or model. Listen to the directions
the Lord gave him on this point: "According
to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the
pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it."
Ex. 25:9. "And
look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in
the mount." Verse 40. (To
the same end see Ex. 26: 30; 27:8; Acts 7:44.)
Now of what was the earthly
sanctuary a type, or figure? Answer: Of the sanctuary
of the new covenant, the "true
p 192 -- tabernacle,
which the Lord pitched and not man." The relation which the first
covenant sustains to the second throughout, is that of type to antitype.
Its sacrifices were types of the greater sacrifice of this dispensation;
its priests were types of our Lord, in his more perfect priesthood; their
ministry was performed unto the shadow and example of the ministry of
our High Priest above; and the sanctuary where they ministered, was a
type, or figure, of the true sanctuary in heaven, where our Lord performs
All these facts are plainly
stated by Paul in a few verses to the Hebrews.
Chapter 8:4, 5: "For if he [Christ]
were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests
that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and
shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was
about to make the tabernacle; for, See, saith he, that thou make all things
according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount." This
testimony shows that the ministry of the earthly priests was a shadow
of Christ's priesthood; and the evidence Paul brings forward to prove
it, is the direction which God gave to Moses to make the tabernacle according
to the pattern showed him in the mount. This clearly identifies the pattern
showed to Moses in the mount with the sanctuary, or true tabernacle, in
heaven, where our Lord ministers, mentioned three verses before.
chapter 9:8, 9, Paul further says: "The
Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all [Greek,
holy places, plural]
was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing;
which was a figure for the time then present," etc.
While the first tabernacle stood, and the first covenant was in force,
the ministration of the more perfect tabernacle was not, of course, carried
forward. But when Christ came, a high priest of good things to come, when
the first tabernacle had served its purpose, and the first covenant had
ceased, then Christ, raised to the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
as a minister of the true sanctuary entered by his own blood (verse
12) "into the holy place [where
also the Greek has the plural, the holy places],
having obtained eternal redemption for us." Of
these heavenly holy places,
p 193 -- therefore,
the first tabernacle was a figure for the time then present. If any further
testimony is needed, he speaks, in verse 23, of the earthly tabernacle,
with its apartments and instruments, as patterns
of things in the heavens; and in verse 24, he calls the holy places made
with hands, that is, the earthly tabernacle erected by Moses,
figures of the true; that is, the tabernacle in heaven.
This view is still further
corroborated by the testimony of John. Among the things which he was permitted
to behold in heaven, he saw seven lamps of fire burning before the throne
(Rev. 4:5); he saw an altar of incense, and a golden censer (chapter 8:3);
he saw the ark of God's testament (chapter 11:19); and all this in connection
with a "temple" in heaven. Rev. 11:19; 15:8. These objects every
Bible reader must at once recognize as implements of the sanctuary. They
owed their existence to the sanctuary, and were confined to it, to be
employed in the ministration connected therewith. As without the sanctuary
they had not existed, so wherever we find these, we may know that there
is the sanctuary; and hence the fact that John saw these things in heaven
in this dispensation, is proof that there is a sanctuary there, and that
he was permitted to behold it.
However reluctant a person
may have been to acknowledge that there is a sanctuary in heaven, the
testimony that has been presented is certainly sufficient to prove this
fact. Paul says that the tabernacle of Moses was the sanctuary of the
first covenant. Moses says that God showed him in the mount a pattern,
according to which he was to make this tabernacle. Paul testifies again
that Moses did make it according to the pattern, and that the pattern
was the true tabernacle in heaven, which the Lord pitched, and not man;
and that of this heavenly sanctuary the tabernacle erected with hands
was a true figure, or representation. And finally, John, to corroborate
the statement of Paul that this sanctuary is in heaven, bears testimony,
as an eye-witness, that he beheld it there. What further testimony could
be required? Nay, more, what further is conceivable?
So far as the question as
to what constitutes the sanctuary
p 194 -- is concerned,
we now have the subject before us in one harmonious whole. The sanctuary
of the Bible - mark it all, dispute it who can - consists, first, of the
typical tabernacle established with the Hebrews at the exode from Egypt,
which was the sanctuary of the first covenant; and, secondly, of the true
tabernacle in heaven, of which the former was a type, or figure, which
is the sanctuary of the new covenant. These are inseparably connected
together as type and antitype. From the antitype we go back to the type,
and from the type we are carried forward naturally and inevitably to the
We have said that Daniel
would at once understand by the word sanctuary
the sanctuary of his people at Jerusalem; so would any one under that
dispensation. But does the declaration of Dan. 8:14 have reference to
that sanctuary? That depends upon the time to which it applies. All the
declarations respecting the sanctuary which apply under the old dispensation,
have respect, of course, to the sanctuary of that dispensation; and all
those declarations which apply in this dispensation, must have reference
to the sanctuary in this dispensation. If the 2300 days, at the termination
of which the sanctuary is to be cleansed, ended in the former dispensation,
the sanctuary to be cleansed was the sanctuary of that time. If they reach
over into this dispensation, the sanctuary to which reference is made
is the sanctuary of this dispensation, - the new-covenant sanctuary in
heaven. This is a point which can be determined only by a further argument
on the 2300 days; and this will be found in remarks on Dan. 9:24, where
the subject of time is resumed and explained.
What we have thus far said
respecting the sanctuary has been only incidental to the main question
in the prophecy. That question has respect to its cleansing. "Unto
two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
But it was necessary first to determine what constituted the sanctuary,
before we could understandingly examine the question of its cleansing.
For this we are now prepared.
Having learned what constitutes
the sanctuary, the question of its cleansing and how it is accomplished,
is soon decided. It has been noticed that whatever constitutes the sanctuary
p 195 -- the Bible,
must have some service connected with it which is called its cleansing.
There is no account in the Bible of any work so named as pertaining to
this earth, the land of Canaan, or the church; which is good evidence
that none of these objects constitutes the sanctuary; there
is such a service connected with the object which we have shown
to be the sanctuary, and which, in reference to both the earthly building
and the heavenly temple, is called its cleansing.
Does the reader object to
the idea of there being anything in heaven which is to be cleansed? Is
this a barrier in the way of his receiving the view here presented? Then
his controversy is not with this work, but with God's Word, which positively
affirms this fact. But before he decides against this view, we ask the
objector to examine carefully in reference to the nature of this cleansing,
as he is here undoubtedly laboring under an utter misapprehension. The
following are the plain terms in which Paul affirms the cleansing of both
the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary:
"And almost all things
are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no
remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the
heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves
with better sacrifices than these." Heb. 9:22-23.
In the light of foregoing arguments, this may be paraphrased thus: "It
was therefore necessary that the tabernacle as erected by Moses, with
its sacred vessels, which were patterns of the true sanctuary in heaven,
should be purified, or cleansed, with the blood of calves and goats; but
the heavenly things themselves, the sanctuary of this dispensation, the
true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man, must be cleansed
with better sacrifices, even with the blood of Christ."
We now inquire, What is the
nature of this cleansing, and how is it to be accomplished? According
to the language of Paul, just quoted, it is performed by means of blood.
The cleansing is not, therefore, a cleansing from physical uncleanness
or impurity; for blood is not the agent used in such a work. And this
consideration should satisfy the objector's mind in regard to the cleansing
of the heavenly things. The fact that Paul speaks of heavenly things to
be cleansed, does
p 196 -- not prove
that there is any physical impurity in heaven; for that is not the kind
of cleansing to which he refers. The reason Paul assigns why this cleansing
is performed with blood, is because without the shedding of blood there
is no remission.
Remission, then; that is,
the putting away of sin, is the work to be done. The cleansing, therefore,
is not physical cleansing, but a cleansing from sin. But how came sins
connected with the sanctuary, either the earthly or the heavenly, that
it should need to be cleansed from them? This question is answered by
the ministration connected with the type, to which we now turn.
The closing chapters of Exodus
give us an account of the construction of the earthly sanctuary, and the
arrangement of the service connected therewith. Leviticus opens with an
account of the ministration which was there to be performed. All that
it is our purpose to notice here, is one particular branch of the service,
which was performed as follows: The person who had committed sin brought
his victim to the door of the tabernacle. Upon the head of this victim
he placed his hand for a moment, and, as we may reasonably infer, confessed
over him his sin. By this expressive act he signified that he had sinned,
and was worthy of death, but that in his stead he consecrated his victim,
and transferred his guilt to it. With his own hand (and what must have
been his emotions!) he then took the life of his victim on account of
that guilt. The law demanded the life of the transgressor for his disobedience;
the life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11, 14); hence without the shedding
of blood, there is no remission; with the shedding of blood, remission
is possible; for the demand of life by the law is thus satisfied. The
blood of the victim, representative of a forfeited life, and the vehicle
of its guilt, was then taken by the priest and ministered before the Lord.
The sin of the individual
was thus, by his confession, by the slaying of the victim, and by the
ministry of the priest, transferred from himself to the sanctuary. Victim
after victim was thus offered by the people. Day by day the work went
forward; and thus the sanctuary continually became the receptacle
p 197 -- of the sins
of the congregation. But this was not the final disposition of these sins.
The accumulated guilt was removed by a special service, which was called
the cleansing of the sanctuary. This service, in the type, occupied one
day in the year; and the tenth day of the seventh month, on which it was
performed, was called the day of atonement. On this day, while all Israel
refrained from work and afflicted their souls, the priest brought two
goats, and presented them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle
of the congregation. On these goats he cast lots; one lot for the Lord,
and the other lot for the scape-goat. The one upon which the Lord's lot
fell, was then slain, and his blood was carried by the priest into the
most holy place of the sanctuary, and sprinkled upon the mercy-seat. And
this was the only day on which he was permitted to enter into that apartment.
Coming forth, he was then to lay both his hands upon the head of the scape-goat,
confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all
their transgressions in all their sins, and, thus putting them upon his
head (Lev. 16:21), he was to send him away by the hand of a fit man into
a land not inhabited, a land of separation, or forgetfulness, the goat
never again to appear in the camp of Israel, and the sins of the people
to be remembered against them no more. This service was for the purpose
of cleansing the people from their sins, and cleansing the sanctuary and
its sacred vessels. Lev. 16:30, 33. By this process, sin was removed,
- but only in figure; for all that work was typical.
The reader to whom these
views are new will be ready here to inquire, perhaps with some astonishment,
what this strange work could possibly be designed to typify; what there
is in this dispensation which it was designed to prefigure. We answer,
A similar work in the ministration of Christ, as Paul clearly teaches.
After stating, in Hebrews 8, that Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle,
the sanctuary in heaven, he states that the priests on earth served unto
the example and shiadow of heavenly things. In other words, the work of
the earthly priests was a shadow, an example, a correct representation,
so far as it could be carried out by mortals, of the ministration of Christ
above. These priests ministered in both
p 198 -- apartments
of the earthly tabernacle, Christ therefore ministers in both apartments
of the heavenly temple; for that temple has two apartments, or it was
not correctly represented by the earthly; and our Lord officiates in both,
or the service of the priest on earth was not a correct shadow of his
work. But Paul directly states that he ministers in both apartments; for
he says that he has entered into the holy place (Greek, tà
holy places) by his own blood. Heb. 9:12. There is therefore
a work performed by Christ in his ministry in the heavenly temple corresponding
to that performed by the priests in both apartments of the earthly building.
But the work in the second apartment, or most holy place, was a special
work to close the yearly round of service and cleanse the sanctuary. Hence
Christ's ministration in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary
must be a work of like nature, and constitute the close of his work as
our great High Priest, and the cleansing of that sanctuary.
As through the sacrifices
of a former dispensation the sins of the people were transferred in figure
by the priests to the earthly sanctuary where those priests ministered,
so ever since Christ ascended to be our intercessor in the presence of
his Father, the sins of all those who sincerely seek pardon through him,
are transferred in fact to the heavenly sanctuary where he ministers.
Whether Christ ministers for us in the heavenly holy places with his own
blood literally, or only by virtue of its merits, we need not stop to
inquire. Suffice it to say, that his blood has been shed, and through
that blood remission of sins is secured in fact, which was obtained only
in figure through the blood of the calves and goats of the former dispensation.
But those sacrifices had real virtue in this respect: they signified faith
in a real sacrifice to come; and thus those who employed them have an
equal interest in the work of Christ with those who in this dispensation
come to him by faith, through the ordinances of the gospel.
The continual transfer of
sins to the heavenly sanctuary (and if they are not thus transferred,
will any one, in the light of the types, and in view of the language of
Paul, explain the nature of the work of Christ in our behalf?) - this
p 199 -- transfer,
we say, of sins to the heavenly sanctuary, makes its cleansing necessary
on the same ground that a like work was required in the earthly sanctuary.
An important distinction
between the two ministrations must here be noticed. In the earthly tabernacle,
a complete round of service was accomplished every year. For three hundred
and fifty-nine days, in their ordinary years, the ministration went forward
in the first apartment. One day's work in the most holy completed the
yearly round. The work then commenced again in the holy place, and went
forward till another day of atonement completed the year's work. And so
on, year by year. This continual repetition of the work was necessary
on account of the short lives of mortal priests. But no such necessity
exists in the case of our divine Lord, who ever liveth to make intercession
for us. (See Heb. 7:23-25.) Hence the work of the heavenly sanctuary,
instead of being a yearly work, is performed once for all. Instead of
being repeated year by year, one grand cycle is allotted to it, in which
it is carried forward and finished, never to be repeated.
One year's round of service
in the earthly sanctuary represented the entire work of the sanctuary
above. In the type, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the brief closing
work of the year's service. In the antitype, the cleansing of the sanctuary
must be the closing work of Christ, our great High Priest, in the tabernacle
on high. In the type, to cleanse the sanctuary, the high priest entered
into the most holy place to minister in the presence of God before the
ark of his testament. In the antitype, when the time comes for the cleansing
of the sanctuary, our High Priest, in like manner, enters into the most
holy place to make a final end of his intercessory work in behalf of mankind.
We confidently affirm that no other conclusion can be arrived at on this
subject without doing despite to the unequivocal testimony of God's word.
Reader, do you now see the
importance of this subject? Do you begin to perceive what an object of
interest for all the world is the sanctuary of God? Do you see that the
whole work of salvation centers there, and that when the work is done,
probation is ended, and the cases of the saved and lost are eternally
p 200 -- decided?
Do you see that the cleansing of the sanctuary is a brief and special
work, by which the great scheme is forever finished? Do you see that if
it can be made known when this work of cleansing commences, it is a solemn
announcement to the world that salvation's last hour is reached, and is
fast hastening to its close? And this is what the prophecy is designed
to show. It is to make known the commencement of this momentous work.
"Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary
In advance of any argument
on the nature and application of these days, the position may be safely
taken that they reach to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, for
the earthly was to be cleansed each year; and we make the prophet utter
nonsense, if we understand him as saying that at the end of 2300 days,
a period of time over six years in length, even if we take the days literally,
an event should take place which was to occur regularly every year. The
heavenly sanctuary is the one in which the decision of all cases is to
be rendered. The progress of the work there is what it especially concerns
mankind to know. If people understood the bearing of these subjects on
their eternal interests, with what earnestness and anxiety would they
give them their most careful and prayerful study. See on chapter 9:20
and onward, an argument on the 2300 days, showing at what point they terminated,
and when the solemn work of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary began.
15. And it
came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for
the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of
a man. 16. And I heard a man's voice
between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this
man to understand the vision.
We now enter upon an interpretation
of the vision. And first of all we have mention of Daniel's solicitude,
and his efforts to understand these things. He sought for the meaning.
Those who have given to prophetic studies their careful and earnest attention,
are not the ones who are unconcerned in such matters. They only can tread
with indifference over a mine of gold, who do not know that a bed of precious
metal lies beneath their feet. Immediately there stood before the prophet
p 201 -- as the appearance
of a man. And he heard a man's voice; that is, the voice of an angel,
as of a man speaking. The commandment given was, to make this man, Daniel,
understand the vision. It was addressed to Gabriel, a name that signifies
"the strength of God, or the mighty one." He continues his instruction
to Daniel in chapter 9. Under the new dispensation he was commissioned
to announce the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zacharias (Luke
1:11); and that of the Messiah to the virgin Mary, verse 26. To Zacharias,
he introduced himself with these words: "I am Gabriel, that stand
in the presence of God." From this it appears that he was an angel
of high order and superior dignity; but the one who here addressed him
was evidently higher in rank, and had power to command and control his
actions. This was probably no other than the archangel, Michael, or Christ,
between whom and Gabriel alone, a knowledge of the matter communicated
to Daniel existed. (See chapter 10:21.)
17. So he
came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon
my face: but he said unto me, Understand, 0 son of man: for at the time
of the end shall be the vision. 18. Now
as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the
ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19. And
he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of
the indignation; for at the time appointed the end shall be.
Under similar circumstances
to those here narrated, John fell down before the feet of an angel, but
it was for the purpose of worship. Rev. 19:10; 22:8. Daniel seems to have
been completely overcome by the majesty of the heavenly messenger. He
prostrated himself with his face to the ground, probably as though in
a deep sleep, but not really so. Sorrow, it is true, caused the disciples
to sleep; but fear, as in this case, would hardly have that effect. The
angel gently laid his hand upon him to give him assurance (how many times
have mortals been told by heavenly beings to "fear not"!), and
from this helpless and prostrate condition set him upright. With a general
statement that at the time appointed the end shall be, and that he will
make him to know what shall be in the last end of the indignation, he
enters upon an interpretation of the vision. The indignation must be understood
to cover a period
p 202 -- of time.
What time? God told his people Israel that he would pour upon thern his
indignation for their wickedness; and thus he gave directions concerning
the "profane wicked prince of Israel:" "Remove the diadem,
and take off the crown.... I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and
it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give
it him." Eze. 21:25-27, 31.
Here is the period of God's
indignation against his covenant people; the period during which the sanctuary
and host are to be trodden under foot. The diadem was removed, and the
crown taken off, when Israel was subjected to the kingdom of Babylon.
It was overturned again by the Medes and Persians, again by the Grecians,
again by the Romans, corresponding to the three times the word is repeated
by the prophet. The Jews then, having rejected Christ, were soon scattered
abroad over the face of the earth; and spiritual Israel has taken the
place of the literal seed; but they are in subjection to earthly powers,
and will be till the throne of David is again set up, - till He who is
its rightful heir, the Messiah, the Prince of peace, shall come, and then
it will be given him. Then the indignation, will have ceased. What shall
take place in the last end of this period, the angel is now to make known
20. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media
and Persia. 21. And the rough goat is the
king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first
king. 22. Now that being broken, whereas
four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation,
but not in his power.
As the disciples said to
the Lord, so may we here say of the angel who spoke to Daniel, "Lo,
now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb." This is an explanation
of the vision in language as plain as need be given. (See on verses 3-8.)
The distinguishing feature of the Persian empire, the union of the two
nationalities which composed it, is represented by the two horns of the
ram. Grecia attained its greatest glory as a unit under the leadership
of Alexander the Great, a general as famous as the world has ever seen.
This part of her history is represented by the first phase of the goat,
during which time
p 203 -- the one notable
horn symbolized Alexander the Great. Upon his death, the kingdom fell
into fragments, but soon consolidated into four grand divisions, represented
by the second phase of the goat, when it had four horns which came up
in the place of the first, which was broken. These divisions did not stand
in his power. None of them possessed the strength of the original kingdom.
These great waymarks in history, on which the historian bestows volumes,
the inspired penman here gives us in sharp outline, with a few strokes
of the pencil and a few dashes of the pen.
in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to
the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,
shall stand up. 24. And his power shall
be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully,
and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the
holy people. 25. And through his policy
also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand: and he shall magnify
himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand
up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
power succeeds to the four divisions of the goat kingdom in the latter
time of their kingdom, that is, toward the termination of their career.
It is, of course, the same as the little horn of verse 9 and onward. Apply
it to Rome, as set forth in remarks on verse 9, and all is harmonious
"A king of fierce countenance."
Moses, in predicting punishment to come upon the Jews from this same power,
calls it "a nation
of fierce countenance." Deut. 28:49, 50. No people made a more formidable
appearance in warlike array than the Romans. "Understanding dark
sentences." Moses, in the scripture just referred to, says, "Whose
tongue thou shalt not understand." This could not be said of the
Babylonians, Persians, or Greeks, in reference to the Jews; for the Chaldean
and Greek languages were used to a greater or less extent in Palestine.
This was not the case, however, with the Latin.
"When the transgressors
are come to the full." All along, the connection between God's people
and their oppressors is kept in view. It was on account of the transgressions
of his people that they were sold into captivity. And their continuance
in sin brought more and more severe punishment. At no
p 204 -- time were
the Jews more corrupt morally, as a nation, than at the time they came
under the jurisdiction of the Romans.
"Mighty, but not by
his own power." The success of the Romans was owing largely to the
aid of their allies, and divisions among their enemies, of which they
were ever ready to take advantage. Papal Rome also was mighty by means
of the secular powers over which she exercised spiritual control.
"He shall destroy wonderfully."
The Lord told the Jews by the prophet Ezekiel that he would deliver them
to men who were "skilful to destroy;" and the slaughter of eleven
hundred thousand Jews at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army,
was a terrible confirmation of the prophet's words. And Rome in its second,
or papal, phase was responsible for the death of fifty millions of martyrs.
"And through his policy
also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand." Rome has been
distinguished above all other powers for a policy of craft, by means of
which it brought the nations under its control. This is true of both pagan
and papal Rome. And thus by peace it destroyed many.
And Rome, finally, in the
person of one of its governors, stood up against the Prince of princes,
by giving sentence of death against Jesus Christ. "But he shall be
broken without hand," an expression which identifies the destruction
of this power with the smiting of the image of chapter 2.
26. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was
told is true; wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many
days. 27. And I Daniel fainted, and was
sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and
I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
"The vision of the evening
and the morning" is that of the 2300 days. In view of the long period
of oppression, and the calamities which were to come upon his people,
Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days. He was astonished at the vision,
but did not understand it. Why did not Gabriel at this time fully carry
out his instructions, and cause Daniel to understand the vision? - Because
Daniel had received all that he could then bear. Further instruction is
therefore deferred to a future time.TOP
-- IX -- The Seventy Weeks
205 -- VERSE 1. In the first
year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed
of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
2. In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood
by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to
Jeremiah the prophet; that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations
The vision recorded in the
preceding chapter was given in the third year of Belshazzar, B.C. 538.
In the same year, which was also the first of Darius, the events narated
in this chapter occurred. Consequently less than one year is passed over
between these two chapters. Although Daniel, as prime minister of the
foremost kingdom on the face of the earth, was cumbered with cares and
burdens, he did not let this deprive him of the privilege of studying
into things of higher moment, even the purposes of God as revealed to
his prophets. He understood by books, that is, the writings of Jeremiah,
that God would accomplish seventy years in the captivity of his people.
This prediction is found in Jer. 25:12; 29:10. The knowledge of it, and
the use that was made of it, shows that Jeremiah was early regarded as
a divinely inspired prophet; otherwise his writings would not have been
so soon collected, and so extensively copied. Though Daniel was for a
time contemporary with him, he had a copy of his works which he carried
with him in his captivity; and though he was so great a prophet himself,
he was not above studying
p 206 -- carefully
what God might reveal to others of his servants. Commencing the seventy
years B.C. 606, Daniel understood that they were now drawing to their
termination; and God had even commenced the fulfilment by overthrowing
the kingdom of Babylon.
3. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications,
with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.
Because God has promised,
we are not released from the responsibility of beseeching him for the
fulfilment of his word. Daniel might have reasoned in this manner: God
has promised to release his people at the end of the seventy years, and
he will accomplish this promise; I need not therefore concern myself at
all in the matter. Daniel did not thus reason; but as the time drew near
for the accomplishment of the word of the Lord, he set himself to seek
the Lord with all his heart. And how earnestly he engaged in the work,
even with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes! This was the year, probably,
in which he was cast into the lions' den; and the prayer of which we here
have an account may have been the burden of that petition, which, regardless
of the unrighteous human law which had been secured to the contrary, he
offered before the Lord three times a day.
4. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and
said, 0 Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy
to them that love him and to them that keep his commandments.
We here have the opening
of Daniel's wonderful prayer, - a prayer expressing such humiliation and
contrition of heart that one must be without feeling who can read it unmoved.
He commences by acknowledging the faithfulness of God. God never fails
in any of his engagements with his followers. It was not from any lack
on God's part in defending and upholding them, that the Jews were then
in the furnace of captivity, but only on account of their sins.
5. We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done
wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from
thy judgments: 6. Neither have we
p 207 --
servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes,
and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7.
0 Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces,
as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all
the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass
that they have trespassed against thee. 8.
0 Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes,
and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though
we have rebelled against him;
10. Neither have we obeyed the voice
of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his
servants the prophets. 11. Yea, all
Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not
obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that
is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned
against him. 12. And he hath confirmed
his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged
us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath
not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13.
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet
made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from
our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14. Therefore
hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord
our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not
To this point Daniel's prayer
is employed in making a full and heart-broken confession of sin. He vindicates
fully the course of the Lord, acknowledging their sins to be the cause
of all their calamities, as God had threatened them by the prophet Moses.
And he does not discriminate in favor of himself. No self-righteousness
appears in his petition. And although he had suffered long for others'
sins, enduring seventy years of captivity for the wrongs of his people,
himself meanwhile living a godly life, and receiving signal honors and
blessings from the Lord, he brings no accusations against any one to the
exclusion of others, pleads no sympathy for himself as a victim of others'
wrongs, but ranks himself in with the rest, and says, We
have sinned, and unto us
belongs confusion of face. And he acknowledges that they had not heeded
the lessons God designed to teach them by their afflictions, by turning
again unto him.
An expression in the 14th
verse is worthy of especial notice: "Therefore hath the Lord watched
upon the evil, and
p 208 -- brought it
upon us." Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily,
therefore the hearts of the sons of men are fully set in them to do evil.
But none may think that the Lord does not see, or that he has forgotten.
His retributions will surely overtake the transgressor, against whom they
are threatened, without deviation and without fail. He will watch upon
the evil, and in his own good time will bring it to pass.
15. And now, 0 Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth
out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown,
as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16.
0 Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine
anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain:
because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem
and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17. Now
therefore, 0 our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications,
and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the
Lord's sake. 18. 0 my God, incline
thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and
the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications
before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
19. 0 Lord, hear; 0 Lord, forgive; 0 Lord, hearken
and do; defer not, for thine own sake, 0 my God: for thy city and thy
people are called by thy name.
The prophet now pleads the
honor of the Lord's name as a reason why he desires that his petition
should be granted. He refers to the fact of their deliverance from Egypt,
and the great renown that had accrued to the Lord's name for all his wonderful
works manifested among them. All this would be lost, should he now abandon
them to perish. Moses used the same argument in pleading for Israel. Numbers
14. Not that God is moved with motives of ambition and vainglory; but
when his people are jealous for the honor of his name, when they evince
their love for him by pleading with him to work, not for their own personal
benefit, but for his own glory, that his name may not be reproached and
blasphemed among the heathen, this is acceptable with him. Daniel then
intercedes for the city of Jerusalem, called by God's name, and his holy
mountain, for which he has had such love, and beseeches him, for his mercies'
sake, to let his anger be turned away. Finally, his mind centers upon
the holy sanctuary, God's own dwelling-place upon
p 209 -- this earth,
and he pleads that its desolations may be repaired.
Daniel understood the seventy
years of captivity to be near their termination. From his allusion to
the sanctuary, it is evident that he so far misunderstood the important
vision given him in chapter 8 as to suppose that the 2300 days, at the
termination of which the sanctuary was to be cleansed, expired at the
same time. This misapprehension was at once corrected when the angel came
to give him further instruction in answer to his prayer, the narration
of which is next given.
20. And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing
my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication
before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21. Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the
man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused
to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
.We here have the result
of Daniel's supplication. He is suddenly interrupted by a heavenly messenger.
The angel Gabriel, appearing again as he had before, in the form of a
man, whom Daniel had seen in the vision at the beginning, touched him.
A very important question is at this point to be determined. It is to
be decided whether the vision of chapter 8 has ever been explained, and
can ever be understood. The question is, To what vision does Daniel refer
by the expression, "the vision at the beginning"? It will be
conceded by all that it is a vision of which we have some previous record,
and that in that vision we shall find some mention of Gabriel. We must
go back beyond this ninth chapter, for all that we have in this chapter
previous to this appearance of Gabriel, is simply a record of Daniel's
prayer. Looking back, then, through previous chapters, we find mention
of only three visions given to Daniel. 1. The
interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar was given in a night vision.
Chapter 2:19. But there is no record of any angelic agency in the matter.
2. The vision of chapter 7. This was explained
to Daniel by "one of them that stood by," probably an angel;
but we have no information as to what angel, nor is there anything in
that vision which needed further explanation. 3.
The vision of chapter 8. Here we find some particulars
which show this to
p 210 --
(The Angel Gabriel Sent to Instruct Daniel)
p 211 -- be the vision
referred to. 1. Gabriel is
there first brought to view by name in the book, and the only time previous
to this occasion. 2. He
was commanded to make Daniel understand the vision. 3.
Daniel, at the conclusion, says he did not
understand it, showing that Gabriel, at the conclusion of chapter 8, had
not fulfilled his mission. There is no place in all the Bible where this
instruction is carried out, if it be not in chapter 9. If, therefore,
the vision of chapter 8 is not the one referred to, we have no record
that Gabriel ever complied with the instructions given him, or that that
vision has ever been explained. 4.
The instruction which the angel now gives to Daniel, as we shall see from
the following verses, does exactly complete what was lacking in chapter
8. These considerations prove beyond a doubt the connection between Daniel
8 and 9; and this conclusion will be still further strengthened by a consideration
of the angel's instructions.
22. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, 0 Daniel,
I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23. At the beginning of thy supplications
the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly
beloved; therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
The manner in which Gabriel
introduces himself on this occasion, shows that he has come to complete
some unfulfilled mission. This can be nothing less than to carry out the
instruction to make this man "understand the vision," as recorded
in chapter 8. "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding."
As the charge still rested upon him to make Daniel understand, and as
he explained to Daniel in chapter 8 all that he could then bear, and yet
he did not understand the vision, he now comes to resume his work and
complete his mission. As soon as Daniel commenced his fervent supplication,
the commandment came forth; that is, Gabriel received instruction to visit
Daniel, and impart to him the requisite information. From the time it
takes to read Daniel's prayer down to the point at which Gabriel made
his appearance upon the scene, the reader can judge of the speed with
which this messenger was dispatched from the court of heaven to this servant
of God. No wonder that Daniel says he was caused
p 212 -- to fly swiftly,
or that Ezekiel compares the movements of these celestial beings to a
flash of lightning. Eze.1:14. "Understand the matter," he says
to Daniel. What matter? - That, evidently, which he did not before understand,
as stated in the last verse of chapter 8. "Consider the vision."
What vision? Not the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's image, nor the
vision of chapter 7, for there was no difficulty with either of these;
but the vision of chapter 8, in reference to which his mind was filled
with doubt and astonishment. "I am come to show thee," also
said the angel. Show thee in reference to what? - Certainly in reference
to something wherein he was entertaining wrong ideas, and something, at
the same time, pertaining to his prayer, as it was this which had called
forth Gabriel on his mission at this time.
But Daniel had no difficulty
in understanding what the angel told him about the ram, he-goat, and little
horn, the kingdoms of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Nor was he mistaken
in regard to the ending of the seventy years' captivity. But the burden
of his petition was respecting the repairing of the desolations of the
sanctuary, which lay in ruins; and he had undoubtedly drawn the conclusion
that when the end of the seventy years' captivity came, the time would
come for the fulfilment of what the angel had said respecting the cleansing
of the sanctuary at the end of the 2300 days. Now he must be set right.
And this explains why at this particular time, so soon after the previous
vision, instruction was sent to him. Now the seventy years of captivity
were drawing to their close, and Daniel was applying to a wrong issue
the instruction he had before received from the angel. He was falling
into a misunderstanding, and was acting upon it; hence he must not be
suffered longer to remain ignorant of the true import of the former vision.
"I am come to show thee; " "understand the matter; "
"consider the vision." Such were the words used by the very
person Daniel had seen in the former vision, and to whom be had heard
the command given, "Make this man to understand the vision,"
and who, he knew, had never carried out that instruction. But now be appears,
and says, "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding."
p 213 --
could Daniel's mind be more emphatically carried back to the vision of
chapter 8, and how could the connection between that visit of the angel
and this be more distinctly shown, than by such words at such a time from
such a person? The considerations already presented are sufficient to
show conclusively the connection between chapters 8 and 9; but this will
still further appear in subsequent verses.
One expression seems worthy
of notice before we leave verse 23. It is the declaration of the angel
to Daniel, "For thou art greatly beloved." The angel brought
this declaration direct from the courts of heaven. It expressed the state
of feeling that existed there in regard to Daniel. Think of celestial
beings, the highest in the universe, - the Father, the Son, the holy angels,
- having such regard and esteem for a mortal man here upon earth as to
authorize an angel to bear the message to him that he is greatly beloved!
This is one of the highest pinnacles of glory to which mortals can attain.
Abraham reached another, when it could be said of him that be was the
"friend of God; " and Enoch another, when it could be said of
him that he "walked with God." Can we arrive at any such attainments?
God is no respecter of persons; but he is a respecter of character. If
in virtue and godliness we could equal these eminent men, we could move
the divine love to equal depths. We, too, could be greatly beloved, -
could be friends of God, and could walk with him. And we must
be in our generation what they were in theirs. There is a figure used
in reference to the last church which denotes the closest union with God:
"If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him,
and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:20. To sup with the
Lord denotes an intimacy equal to being greatly beloved by him, walking
with him, or being his friend. How desirable a position! Alas for the
evils of our nature, which cut us off from this communion! Oh for grace
to overcome these! that we may enjoy this spiritual union here, and finally
enter the glories of his presence at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy
holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end
p 214 --
of the 70 Weeks and 2300 Days -
457 - Date of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. Dan.
9:25; Ezra 7:7.
BC 408 - End of 7 weeks, or 49 years. Work of building and
AD 27 - End of 62 plus 7 = 69 weeks; or 483 years.
Jesus baptized and begins his ministry.
AD 31 - Midst or middle of 70th week. Christ crucified.
AD 34 - End of 70th week, or 490 years. Jews rejected.
Gospel goes to Gentiles.
AD 508 - Overthrow of Pagan Romanism. Beginning of 1290
AD 538 - Commencement of Papal Rome supremacy. Beginnning
of 1260 years.
AD 1798 - Close of the 1260 years. End of Papal supremacy.
AD 1844 - Close of 2300 days or years. Beginning of the work of
atonement or investigative Judgment. Sounding of 7th trumpet introducing
weeks = 49 years
62 weeks = 434 years
1 week = 7
70 weeks = 490 years
457.BC, Autumn, from 490 it is shown that the period extends to
AD 34, Autmn.
minus 490 equals 1810. AD34 plus 1810 equals 1844.
p 215 -- of
sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the
Such are the first words
the angel utters to Daniel, toward imparting to him that instruction which
he came to give. Why does he thus abruptly introduce a period of time?
We must again refer to the vision of chapter 8. We have seen that Daniel,
at the close of that chapter, says that he did not understand the vision.
Some portions of that vision were at the time very clearly explained.
It could not have been these portions which be did not understand. We
therefore inquire what it was which Daniel did not understand, or, in
other words, what part of the vision was there left unexplained. In that
vision four prominent things are brought to view:
(1) The Ram; (2)
The He-goat; (3) The
Little Horn; (4) The
period of the 2300 days. The symbols of
the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn were explained. Nothing, however,
was said respecting the time. This must therefore have been the point
which he did not understand; and as without this the other portions of
the vision were of no avail, he could well say, while the application
of this period was left in obscurity, that he did not understand the vision.
If this view of the subject
is correct, we should naturally expect, when the angel completed his explanation
of the vision, that he would commence with the very point which had been
omitted; namely, the time. And this we find to be true in fact. After
citing Daniel's attention back to the former vision in the most direct
and emphatic manner, and assuring him that be had now come forth to give
him understanding in the matter, he commences upon the very point there
omitted, and says, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people
and upon thy holy city."
But how does this language
show any connection with the 2300 days, or throw any light upon that period?
We answer: The language cannot be intelligibly referred to anything else;
for the word here rendered determined
signifies "cut off;" and no period is given in the vision here
referred to from which the seventy weeks could be cut off but the 2300
p 216 -- the previous
vision. How direct and natural, then, is the connection. Daniel's attention
is fixed upon the 2300 days, which he did not understand, by the angel's
directing him to the former vision; arid he says, "Seventy weeks
are cut off." Cut off from what? - The 2300 days, most assuredly.
Proof may be called for that
the word rendered determined
signifies to cut off. An abundance can be given. The Hebrew word thus
translated is nehhtak.
This word Gesenius, in his Hebrew
defines as follows:
"Properly, to cut off; tropically, to divide; and so to determine,
to decree." In the
Dictionary of Stockius,
the word nehhtak
is thus defined:
"Scidit, abscidit, conscidit, inscidit, exscidit - to cut,
to cut away, to cut to pieces, to cut or engrave, to cut off."
in his Thesaurus,
furnishes a specimen of Rabbinical usage in the phrase, hhatikah
"a piece of flesh," or "a
cut of flesh." He translates the word as it occurs in Dan.
9:24, by "praecisa est,"
is cut off. In the literal version of Arias
Montanus, it is translated "decisa
est," is cut off; in the marginal reading, which is
grammatically correct, it is rendered by the plural, "decisae
sunt," are cut off. In the Latin version of Junius
and Tremellius, nehhtak
(the passive of hhathak)
is rendered "decisae sunt,"
are cut off. Again, in Theodotion's
Greek version of Daniel (which is the version used in the Vatican
copy of the Septuagint, as being the most faithful), it is rendered by
were cut off;
and in the Venetian copy by tetmhntai,
have been cut. The idea of cutting
off is preserved in the Vulgate, where the phrase is "abbreviatae
sunt," are shortened.
Chaldaic and Rabbinical authority, and that of the earliest versions,
the Septuagint and Vulgate, give the single signification of cutting
off, to this verb."
who enters into a critical examination of the original text, says, 'But
the very use of the word, which does not elsewhere occur, while others
much more frequently used were at hand if Daniel had wished to express
the idea of determination, and of which he has elsewhere, and even in
this portion availed himself, seems to argue that the word stands from
regard to its original meaning, and represents the seventy
p 217 -- weeks
in contrast with a determination of time (en platei) as a period
cut off from subsequent duration, and accurately limited.' " - Christology
of the Old Testament, Vol. II, p. 301, Washington, 1839.
Why, then, it may be asked,
did our translators render the word determined,
when it so obviously means
cut off? The answer is, They doubtless overlooked the connection
between the eighth and ninth chapters, and considering it improper to
render it cut off,
when nothing was given from which the seventy weeks could be cut off,
they gave the word its tropical instead of its literal meaning. But, as
we have seen, the construction, the context, and the connection require
the literal meaning, and render any other inadmissible.
Seventy weeks, then, or 490
days of the 2300, were cut off upon, or allotted to, Jerusalem and the
Jews; and the events which were to be consummated within that period are
briefly stated. The transgression was to be finished; that is, the Jewish
people were to fill up the cup of their iniquity, which they did in the
rejection and crucifixion of Christ. An end of sins, or of sin-offerings,
was to be made. This took place when the great offering was made on Calvary.
Reconciliation for iniquity was to be provided. This was made by the sacrificial
death of the Son of God. Everlasting righteousness was to be brought in;
the righteousness which our Lord manifested in his sinless life. The vision
and the prophecy were to be sealed up, or made sure. By the events given
to transpire in the seventy weeks, the prophecy is tested. By this the
application of the whole vision is determined. If the events of this period
are accurately fulfilled, the prophecy is of God, and will all be accomplished;
and if these seventy weeks are fulfilled as weeks of years, then the 2300
days, of which these are a part, are so many years. Thus the events of
the seventy weeks furnish a key to the whole vision. And the "most
holy" was to be anointed; the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.
In the examination of the sanctuary, on chapter 8:14, we saw that a time
came when the earthly sanctuary gave place to the heavenly, and the priestly
ministration was transferred to that. Before the ministration in the sanctuary
commenced, the sanctuary
p 218 -- and all the
holy vessels were to be anointed. Ex. 40:9, 10. The last event, therefore,
of the seventy weeks, here brought to view, is the anointing of the heavenly
tabernacle, or the opening of the ministration there. Thus this first
division of the 2300 days brings us to the commencement of the service
in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, as the whole period
brings us to the commencement of the service in the second apartment,
or most holy place, of that sanctuary.
The argument must now be
considered conclusive that the ninth chapter of Daniel explains the eighth,
and that the seventy weeks are a part of the 2300 days; and with a few
extracts from the writings of others we will leave this point.
Shield in 1844
call attention to one fact which shows that there is a necessary 'connection'
between the seventy weeks of the ninth chapter, and something else which
precedes or follows it, called 'the vision.' It is found in the
24th verse: 'Seventy weeks are determined [are cut off ] upon thy people,
. . . to seal up the vision,' etc. Now there are but two significations
to the phrase 'seal up.' They are, first, 'to make secret,' and second,
'to make sure.' We care not now in which of these significations the phrase
is supposed to be used. That is not the point now before us. Let the signification
be what it may, it shows that the prediction of the seventy weeks necessarily
relates to something else beyond itself, called 'the vision,' in reference
to which it performs this work, 'to seal up.' To talk of its sealing up
itself is as much of an absurdity as to suppose that Josephus was so much
afraid of the Romans that he refrained from telling the world that he
thought the fourth kingdom of Daniel was 'the kingdom of the Greeks.'
It is no more proper to say that the ninth chapter of Daniel 'is complete
in itself,' than it would be to say that a map which was designed to show
the relation of Massachusetts to the United States, referred to nothing
but Massachusetts. It is no more complete in itself than a bond given
in security for a note, or some other document to which it refers, is
complete in itself; and we doubt if there is a schoolboy of fourteen years
p 219 --
land, of ordinary capacity, who would not, on reading the ninth chapter,
with an understanding of the clause before us, decide that it referred
to something distinct from itself, called 'the vision.' What vision it
is, there is no difficulty in determining. It naturally and obviously
refers to the vision which was not fully explained to Daniel, and to which
Gabriel calls his attention in the preceding verse, - the vision of
the eighth chapter.
us that Gabriel was commanded to make him understand the vision (8:16).
This was not fully done at that interview connected with the vision; he
is therefore sent to give Daniel the needed 'skill and understanding,'
- to explain its 'meaning' by communicating to him the prediction of the
claim that the ninth of Daniel is an appendix to the eighth, and that
the seventy weeks and the 2300 days, or years, commence together. Our
opponents deny this."- Signs of the Times, 1843.
grand principle involved in the interpretation of the 2300 days of Dan.
8:14, is that the seventy weeks of Dan. 9:24 are the first 490 days of
the 2300 of the eighth chapter." - Advent Shield, p. 49.
the connection between the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 and the 2300 days
of Daniel 8 does not exist, the whole system is shaken to its foundation;
if it does exist, as we suppose, the system must stand." -
Harmony of the Prophetic Chronology, p. 33.
Says the learned Dr.
Hales, in commenting upon the seventy weeks, "This
chronological prophecy was evidently designed to explain the foregoing
vision, especially in its chronological part of the 2300 days." -
Chronology, Vol. II, p. 517.
25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going
forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah
the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street
shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26. And after threescore and two weeks shall
Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince
that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end
thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations
are determined. 27. And he
shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of
the week he shall cause the sacrifice
p 220 --
and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he
shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined
shall be poured upon the desolate.
The angel now gives to Daniel
the event which is to mark the commencement of the seventy weeks. They
were to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build
Jerusalem. And not only is the event given which was to determine the
time of the commencement of this period, but those events also which were
to transpire at its close. Thus a double test is provided by which to
try the application of this prophecy. But more than this, the period of
seventy weeks is divided into three grand divisions, and one of these
is again divided, and the intermediate events are given which were to
mark the termination of each one of these divisions. If, now, we can find
a date which will harmonize with all these events, we have, beyond a doubt,
the true application; for none but that which is correct could meet and
fulfil so many conditions. Let the reader take in at one view the points
of harmony to be made, that he may be the better prepared to guard against
a false application. First, we are to find, at the commencement
of the period, a commandment going forth to restore and build Jerusalem.
To this work of restoration seven weeks are allotted. As we reach the
end of this first division, seven weeks from the commencement, we are
to find, secondly, Jerusalem, in its material aspect restored,
the work of building the street and the wall fully accomplished. From
this point sixty-two weeks are measured off; and as we reach the termination
of this division, sixty-nine weeks from the beginning, we are to see,
thirdly, the manifestation before the world of the Messiah the Prince.
One week more is given us, completing the seventy. Fourthly, in
the midst of this week the Messiah is to be cut off, and to cause the
sacrifice and oblation to cease; and, fifthly, when the last week
of that period which was allotted to the Jews as the time during which
they were to be the special people of God, expires, we naturally look
for the going forth of the blessing and work of God to other people.
We now inquire for the initial
date which will harmonize with all these particulars. The command respecting
p 221 --
(Rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem)
p 222 -- was to include
more than mere building. There was to be restoration; and by this we must
understand all the forms and regulations of civil, political, and judicial
society. When did such a command go forth? At the time these words were
spoken to Daniel, Jerusalem lay in complete and utter desolation, and
had thus been lying for seventy years. The restoration, pointed to in
the future, must be its restoration from this desolation. We then inquire,
When and how was Jerusalem restored after the seventy years' captivity?
There are but four events
which can be taken as answering to the commandment to restore and build
Jerusalem. These are, (1)
The decree of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the house of God, B.C. 536 (Ezra
1:1-4) ; (2) The decree
of Darius for the prosecution of that work, which had been hindered, B.C.
519 (Ezra 6:1 -12); (3)
The decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra, B.C. 457 (Ezra 7); and (4)
The commission to Nehemiah from the same king in his twentieth year, B.C.
444 (Nehemiah 2).
Dating from the first two
of these decrees, the seventy weeks, being weeks of years, 1
490 years in all, would fall many years short of reaching even to the
Christian era; besides, these decrees had reference principally to the
restoration of the temple and the temple-worsbip of the Jews, and not
to the restoration of their civil state and polity, all of which must
be included in the expression, "To restore
and to build Jerusalem."
These made a commencement
of the work. They were preliminary to what was afterward accomplished.
But of themselves they were altogether insufficient, both in their dates
and in their nature, to meet the requirements of the prophecy;
-- The explanation of these prophetic periods is based on what is called
the "year-day principle;" that is, making each day stand for
a year, according to the Scriptural rule for the application of symbolic
time. Eze. 4:6; Num. 14:34. That the time in these visions of Daniel 8
and 9 is symbolic is evident from the nature and scope of the prophecy.
The question calling out the answers on this point was, "How long
the vision?" The vision, reckoning from 538 B.C. to our own time,
sweeps over a period more than 2400 years in length. But if the 2300 days
of the vision are literal days, we have a period of only a little over
six years and a half for the duration of the kingdoms and the transaction
of the great events brought to view, which is absurd! The year-day principle
numbers among its supporters such names as Augustine, Tichonius, Primasius,
Andreas, the venerable Bede, Ambrosius, Ansbertus, Berengaud, and Bruno
Astensis, besides the leading modern expositors. (See Elliott's "Horae
Apocalypticae," Vol. III, p. 241; and "The Sanctuary
and Its Cleansing," pp. 45-52.) But what is more conclusive than
all else is the fact that the prophecies have actually been fulfilled
on this principle, - a demonstration of its correctness from which there
is no appeal. This will be found in the prophecy of the seventy weeks
throughout, and all the prophetic periods of Daniel 7 and 12, and Revelation
9, 12, and 13.
p 223 -- and thus
failing in every respect, they cannot be brought into the controversy
as marking the point from which the seventy weeks are to date. The only
question now lies between the decrees which were granted to Ezra and to
The facts between which we
are to decide here are briefly these: In 457 B.C., a decree was granted
to Ezra by the Persian emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus to go up to Jerusalem
with as many of his people as were minded to go with him. The commission
granted him an unlimited amount of treasure, to beautify the house of
God, to procure offerings for its service, and to do whatever else might
seem good unto him. It empowered him to ordain laws, set magistrates and
judges, and execute punishment even unto death; in other words, to restore
the Jewish state, civil and ecclesiastical, according to the law of God
and the ancient customs of that people. Inspiration has seen fit to preserve
this decree; and a full and accurate copy of it is given in the seventh
chapter of the book of Ezra. In the original, this decree is given, not
in Hebrew, like the rest of the book of Ezra, but in the Chaldaic (or
Eastern Aramaic), the language then used at Babylon; and thus we are furnished
with the original document
by virtue of which Ezra was authorized to restore and build Jerusalem.
Thirteen years after this,
in the twentieth year of the same king, B.C. 444, Nehemiah sought and
obtained permission to go up to Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2. Permission was
granted him, but we have no evidence that it was anything more than verbal.
It pertained to him individually, nothing being said about others going
up with him. The king asked him how long a journey he wished to make,
and when he would return. He received letters to the governors beyond
the river to help him on his way to Judea, and an order to the keeper
of the king's forest for timber for beams, etc. When he arrived at Jerusalem,
he found rulers and priests, nobles and people, already engaged in the
work of building Jerusalem. Neh. 2:16. These were, of course, acting under
the decree given to Ezra thirteen years before. And finally, Nehemiah,
p 224 -- arrived at
Jerusalem, finished the work he came to accomplish, in fifty-two days.
Now which of these commissions,
Ezra's or Nehemiah's, constitutes the decree for the restoration of Jerusalem,
from which the seventy weeks are to be dated? It hardly seems that there
can be any question on this point.
grant to Nehemiah cannot be called a decree. It was necessary that a Persian
decree should be put in writing, and signed by the king. Dan. 6:8. Such
was the document given to Ezra; but Nehemiah had nothing of the kind,
his commission being only verbal. If it be said that the letters given
him constitute the decree, then the decree was issued, not to Nehemiah,
but to the governors beyond the river; besides, these would constitute
a series of decrees, and not one decree, as the prophecy contemplates.
The occasion of Nehemiah's petition to the king for permission to go up
to Jerusalem was the report which certain ones, returning, had brought
from thence, that those in the province were in great affliction and reproach,
also that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, and the gates thereof
burned with fire. Nehemiah 1. Whose work were these walls and gates that
were broken down and burned with fire? Evidently the work of Ezra and
his associates; for it cannot for a moment be supposed that the utter
destruction of the city by Nebuchadnezzar, one hundred and forty-four
years previous to that time, would have been reported to Nehemiah as a
matter of news, nor that he would have considered it, as he evidently
did, a fresh misfortune, calling for a fresh expression of grief. A decree,
therefore, authorizing the building of these, had gone forth previous
to the grant to Nehemiah.
any should contend that Nehemiah's commission must be a decree, because
the object of his request was that he might build
the city, it is sufficient to reply, as shown above, that gates and walls
had been built previous to his going up; besides, the work of building
which he went to perform was accomplished in fifty-two days; whereas,
the prophecy allows for the building of the city, seven weeks, or forty-nine
was nothing granted to Nehemiah which was not
p 225 -- embraced
in the decree to Ezra; while the latter had all the forms and conditions
of a decree, and was vastly more ample in its provisions.
It is evident from the prayer of Ezra, as recorded in chapter 9:9 of his
book, that he considered himself fully empowered to proceed with the building
of the city and the wall; and it is evident that he understood, further,
that the conditional prophecies concerning his people were then fulfilled,
from the closing words of that prayer, in which he says, "Should
we again break
thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations?
wouldst not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that
there should be no remnant nor escaping?"
from the commission to Nehemiah, B.C. 444, the dates throughout are entirely
disarranged; for from that point the troublesome times which were to attend
the building of the street and wall did not last seven weeks, or forty-nine
years. Reckoning from that date, the sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, which
were to extend to the Messiah the Prince, bring us to A. D. 40; but Jesus
was baptized of John in Jordan, and the voice of the Father was heard
from heaven declaring him his Son, in * A.
D. 27, thirteen years before. According to this calculation, the midst
of the last or seventieth week, which is marked by the crucifixion, is
placed in A. D. 44, but the cracifixion took place in A. D. 31, thirteen
years previous. And lastly, the seventy weeks, or 490 years, dating from
the twentieth of Artaxerxes, extend to A. D. 47, with absolutely nothing
to mark their termination. Hence if that be the year, and the grant to
Nehemiah the event, from which to reckon, the prophecy has proved a failure.
As it is, it only proves that theory a failure which dates the seventy
weeks from Nehemiah's commission in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.
Will these dates harmonize if we reckon from the decree to Ezra? Let us
see. In this case, 457 B.C. is our starting-point. Forty-nine years were
allotted to the building of the city and the wall. On this point, Prideaux
(Connexion, Vol.I, p. 322)
-- For proof of the
correctness of the dates for Christ's baptism and crucifixion here given,
see "Analysis of Sacred Chronology," by S. Bliss; also
"A Chronological Synopsis of the Four Gospels," by Dr.
Karl Wieseler, p. 183.
p 226 -- says: "in
the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus ended the first seven weeks of Daniel's
prophecy. For then the restoration of the church and state of the Jews
in Jerusalem and Judea was fully finished, in that last act of reformation
which is recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Nehemiah, from the twenty-third
verse to the end of the chapter, Just forty-nine years after it
had been commenced by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus."
This was B.C. 408.
So far we find harmony. Let
us apply the measuring-rod of the prophecy still further. Sixty-nine weeks,
or 483 years, were to extend to Messiah the Prince. Dating from B.C. 457,
they end in A. D. 27. And what event then occurred?
Luke thus informs us: "Now when all the people were baptized, it
came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven
was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove
upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved
Son; in thee I am well pleased." Luke 3:21, 22. After this, Jesus
came "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The
time is fulfilled." Mark 1:14-15. The
time here mentioned must have been some specific, definite, and
predicted period; but no prophetic period can be found then terminating,
except the sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy of Daniel, which were to extend
to the Messiah the Prince. The Messiah had now come; and with his own
lips he announced the termination of that period which was to be marked
by his manifestation. 2
-- There is abundance
of authority for A. D. 27 as the date of Christ's baptism. See "Sacred
Chronology," by S. Bliss; "New International Encyclopedia,"
art. "Jesus Christ;" "Chronological Synopsis of the
Four Gospels," by Dr. Carl Wieseler, p. 183.
declares that Jesus "began to be about thirty years of age"
at the time of his baptism (Luke 3:23); and almost immediately after this
he entered upon his ministry. How, then, could his ministry commence in
A. D. 27, and he still be of the age named by Luke? The answer to this
question is found in the fact that Christ was born between three and four
years before the beginning of the Christian era, that is, before the year
marked A. D. 1. The mistake of dating the Christian era something over
three years this side of the birth of Christ, instead of dating it from
the year of his birth, as it was designed to be, arose on this wise: One
of the most important of ancient eras was reckoned from the building of
the city of Rome - ab urbe condita, expressed by the abbreviation
A.U.C., or more briefly, U.C. In the year which is now numbered A. D.
532, Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian by birth, and, a Roman abbot, who flourished
in the reign of Justinian, invented the Christian era. According to the
best evidence at his command, he placed the birth of Christ U.C. 753.
But Christ was born before the death of Herod; and it was afterward ascertained
on the clearest evidence that the death of Herod occurred in April, U.C.
Allowing a few months for the events recorded in Christ's life before
the time of Herod's death, his birth is carried back to the latter part
of U.C. 749, a little over three years before A. D. 1. Christ was therefore
thirty years of age in A. D. 27. "The vulgar [common] era began to
prevail in the West about the time of Charles Martel and Pope Gregory
II, A. D. 730; but was not [continued bottom of p. 227]
sanctioned by any public Acts or Rescripts till the first German Synod,
in the time of Carolomannus, Duke of the Franks, which, in the preface,
was said to be assembled 'Anno ab incarnatione Dom. 742, 11 Calendas
Maii.' But it was not established till the time of Pope Eugenius IV, A.
D. 1431, who ordered this era to be used in the public Registers: according
to Mariana and others." - Hales' Chronology, Vol. I, pp. 83,
84. (See also "Life of Our Lord," by S. J. Andrews.)
Christian era had become so well established before the mistake above
referred to was discovered, that no change in the reckoning has been attempted.
It makes no material difference, as it does not interfere at all with
the calculation of dates. If the era commenced with the actual year of
Christ's birth, the number of years B.C. in any case would be four years
less, and the years A. D. four years more. To illustrate: If we have a
period of twenty years, one half before and the other half since the Christian
era, we say that it commenced B.C. 10 and ended A. D. 10. But if we place
the era back to the real point of Christ's birth, there would be no change
of either terminus of the period, but we should then say that it commenced
B.C. 6 and, ended A. D. 14; that is, four years would be taken from the
figures B.C. and added to those of A. D. Some have so far misapprehended
this subject as to claim that the current year should have four years
added to it, to denote the real year of the Christian era. This would
be true, if the reckoning began from the actual date of Christ's birth.
But this is not the case; the starting-point is between three and four
p 227 -- Here, again,
is indisputable harmony. But further, the Messiah was to confirm the covenant
with many for one week. This would be the last week of the seventy, or
the last seven years of the 490. In the midst of the week, the prophecy
informs us, he should cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. These
Jewish ordinances, pointing to the death of Christ, could cease only at
the cross; and there they did virtually come to an end, though the outward
observance was kept up till the destruction of Jerusalem, A. D. 70. After
threescore and two weeks, according to the record, the Messiah was to
be cut off. It is the same as if it had read: And after threescore and
two weeks, in the midst of the seventieth week, shall Messiah be cut off,
and cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. Now, as the word midst
here means middle, according to an abundance of authority which we might
produce if necessary, the crucifixion is definitely located in the middle
of the seventieth week.
It now becomes an important
point to determine in what year the crucifixion took place. The following
evidence is sufficient to be considered absolutely decisive on this question.
It is not to be questioned
that our Saviour attended every Passover that occurred during his public
ministry; and we have mention of only four such occasions previous to
his crucifixion. These are found in the following passages: John 2:13;
5:1; 6:4; 13:1. At the last-mentioned Passover he was crucified. From
facts already established, let us then see
p 228 --
p 229 -- where this
would locate the crucifixion. As he began his ministry in the autumn Of
A. D. 27, his first Passover would occur the following Spring, A. D. 28;
his second, A. D. 29 his third, A. D. 30; and his fourth and last, A.
D. 31. This gives us three years and a half for his public ministry, and
corresponds exactly to the prophecy that he should be cut off in the midst,
or middle, of the seventieth week. As that week of years commenced in
the autumn of A. D. 27, the middle of the week would occur three and one
half years later, in the spring of 31, where the crucifixion took place.
Dr. Hales quotes Eusebius,
A. D. 300, as saying: "It
is recorded in history that the whole time of our Saviour's teaching and
working miracles was three years and a half, which is the half of a week
[of years]. This, John the evangelist will represent to those who critically
attend to his Gospel."
Of the unnatural darkness
which occurred at the crucifixion, Hales,
pp. 69, 70, thus speaks:
"Hence it appears that the darkness which 'overspread the whole land
of Judea' at the time of our Lord's crucifixion was preternatural, 'from
the sixth until the ninth hour,' or from noon till three in the afternoon,
in its duration, and also in its time, about full moon,
the moon could not possibly eclipse the sun. The time it happened, and
the fact itself, are recorded in a curious and valuable passage of a respectable
Roman Consul, Aurelius Cassiodorius Senator, about A. D. 514: 'In the
consulate of Tiberius Caesar Aug. V and AElius Sejanus (U.C. 784, A. D.
31), our Lord Jesus Christ suffered, on the 8th of the calends of April
(25th of March), when there happened such an eclipse of the sun as was
never before nor since.'
this year, and in this day, agree also the Council of Cesarea, A. D. 196
or 198, the Alexandrian Chronicle, Maximus Monachus, Nicephorus Constantinus,
Cedrenus; and in this year, but on different days, concur Eusebius and
Epiphanius, followed by Kepler, Bucher, Patinus, and Petavius, some reckoning
it the 10th of the calends of April, others the 13th." (See on chapter
Here, then, are thirteen
credible authorities locating the crucifixion of Christ in the spring
of A. D. 31. We may therefore
p 230 -- set this
down as a fixed date, as the most cautious or the most skeptical could
require nothing more conclusive. This being in the middle of the last
week, we have simply to reckon backward three and a half years to find
where sixty-nine of the weeks ended, and forward from that point three
and a half years to find the termination of the whole seventy. Thus going
back from the crucifixion, A. D. 31, spring, three and a half years, we
find ourselves in the autumn of A. D. 27, where, as we have seen, the
sixty-nine weeks ended, and Christ commenced his public ministry. And
going from the crucifixion forward three and a half years, we are brought
to the autumn of A. D. 34, as the grand terminating point of the whole
period of the seventy weeks. This date is marked by the martyrdom of Stephen,
the formal rejection of the gospel of Christ by the Jewish Sanhedrin in
the persecution of his disciples, and the turning of the apostles to the
Gentiles. And these are just the events which one would expect to take
place when that specified period which was cut off for the Jews, and allotted
to them as a peculiar people, should fully expire.
word respecting the date of the seventh of Artaxerxes, when the decree
for restoring Jerusalem was given to Ezra, and the array of evidence on
this point is complete. Was the seventh of Artaxerxes B.C. 457? For all
those who can appreciate the force of facts, the following testimany will
be sufficient here:
"The Bible gives the data for a complete system of chronology, extending
from the creation to the birth of Cyrus - a clearly ascertained date.
From this period downward we have the undisputed canon of Ptolemy, and
the undoubted era of Nabonassar extending below our vulgar era. At the
point where inspired chronology leaves us, this canon of undoubted accuracy
commences. And thus the whole arch is spanned. It is by the canon of Ptolemy
that the great prophetical period of seventy weeks is fixed. This canon
places the seventh year of Artaxerxes in the year B.C. 457; and the accuracy
of this canon is demonstrated by the concurrent agreement of more than
twenty eclipses. This date we cannot change from B.C. 457, without first
demonstrating the inaccuracy of Ptolemy's
p 231 --
To do this it would be necessary to show that the large number of eclipses
by which its accuracy has been repeatedly demonstrated have not been correctly
computed; and such a result would unsettle every chronological date, and
leave the settlement of epochs and the adjustment of eras entirely at
the mercy of every dreamer, so that chronology would be of no more value
than mere guesswork. As the seventy weeks must terminate in A. D. 34 unless
the seventh of Artaxerxes is wrongly fixed, and as that cannot be changed
without some evidence to that effect, we inquire, What evidence marked
that termination? The time when the apostles turned to the Gentiles harmonizes
with that date better than any other which has been named. And the crucifixion
in A. D. 31, in the midst of the last week, is sustained by a mass of
testimony which cannot be easily invalidated." - Advent Herald.
From the facts above set
forth, we see that, reckoning the seventy weeks from the decree given
to Ezra in the seventh of Artaxerxes, B.C. 457, there is the most perfect
harmony throughout. The important and definite events of the manifestation
of the Messiah at the baptism, the commencement of his public ministry,
the crucifixion, and the turning away from the Jews to the Gentiles, with
the proclamation of the new covenant, all come in in their exact place,
and like a bright galaxy of blazing orbs of light, cluster round to set
their seal to the prophecy, and make it sure.
It is thus evident that the
decree of Ezra in the seventh of Artaxerxes, B.C. 457, is the point from
which to date the seventy weeks. That was the going forth of the decree
in the sense of the prophecy. The two previous decrees were preparatory
and preliminary to this; and indeed they are regarded by Ezra as parts
of it, the three being taken as one great whole. For in Ezra
6:14, we read:
"And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment
of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius,
and Artaxerxes, king of Persia." It
will be noticed that the decrees of these three kings are spoken of as
one, - "the
commandment [margin, "decree," singular number] of Cyrus
and Darius and Artaxerxes," showing that they are all reckoned
p 232 --
as a unit, the different decrees being but the successive step, by which
the work was accomplished. And this decree could not be said to have "gone
forth," as intended by the prophecy, till the last permission which
the prophecy required was embodied in the decree, and clothed with the
authoriky of the empire. This point was reached in the grant given to
Ezra, but not before. Here the decree assumed the proportions, and covered
the ground, demanded by the prophecy, and from this point its "going
forth" must be dated.
With the seventy weeks we
are now done; but there remain a longer period and other important events
to be considered. The seventy weeks are but the first 490 years of the
2300. Take 490 from 2300, and there remain 1810. The 490, As we have seen,
ended in the autumn of A. D. 34. If to this date we now add the remaining
1810 years, we shall have the termination of the whole period. Thus, to
A. D. 34, autumn, add 1810, and we have the autumn of A. D. 1844. Thus
speedily and surely do we find the termination of the 2300 days, when
once the seventy weeks have been located.
One other point should here
be noticed. We have seen that the seventy weeks are the first 490 days
of the 2300; that these days are prophetic, signifying literal years,
according to the Bible rule, a
day for a year (Num.
14:34; Eze. 4: 6), as is proved by the fulfilment of the seventy weeks,
and as all reliable expositors agree; that they commenced in 457 B.C.
and ended in A. D. 1844, provided the number is right, and twenty-three
hundred is the correct reading. With this point established, there would
seem to be no room for further controversy. On this point
Dr. Hales remarks: - "There
is no number in the Bible whose geuineness is better ascertained than
that of the 2300 days. It is found in all the printed Hebrew editions,
in all the MSS. of Kenicott and De Rossi's collations, and
in all the ancient versions, except the Vatican copy of the Septuagint,
which reads 2400, followed by Symmachus; and some copies noticed
by Jerome, 2200, both evidently literal errors in excess
and defect, which compensate each other and confirm the mean, 2300."
Vol.II, p. 512.
p 233 --The query
may here arise how the days can be extended to the autumn of 1844 if they
commence 457 B.C., as it requires only 1843 years, in addition to the
457, to make the whole number of 2300. Attention to one fact will clear
this point of all difficalty; and that is, that it takes 457 full
years before Christ, and 1843 full
years after, to make 2300; so that if the period commenced with the very
first day of 457, it would not terminate till the very last
day of I843. Now it will be evident to all that if any portion of the
year 457 had passed away before the 2300 days commenced, just so much
of the year 1844 must pass away before they would end. We therefore inquire,
At what point in the year 457 are we to commence to reckon? From the fact
that the first forty-nine years were allotted to the building
of the street and wall, we learn that the period is to be dated,
not from the starting of Ezra from Babylon, but from the actual commencement
of the work at Jerusalem; which it is not probable could be earlier than
the seventh month (autumn) of 457, as he did not arrive at Jerusalem till
the fifth month of that year. Ezra 7:9. The whole period would therefore
extend to the seventh month, autumn, Jewish time, of 1844.
Those who oppose this view
of the prophetic periods, have been wont in years past to meet us with
this objection: "The 2300 days have not ended, because the time has
passed, and the Lord has not come. Why the time passed in 1844 without
the consummation of our hopes, we acknowledge to be a mystery; but the
passing of the time is proof that the 2300 days have not ended."
Time, however, is no respecter
of persons nor of theories; and with the formidable scythe which he is
represented as carrying, he sometimes demolishes in the most summary manner
the grotesque and gossamer theories of men, however dear they may be to
their authors and defenders. It is so here. Heedless of the wild contortions
of those who would fain compel him to stop and fulfil their darling predictions,
he has kept on the swift but even tenor of his way until - what? every
limit is passed to which the 2300 days can be extended; and thus he has
demonstrated that those days have passed. Let
p 234 -- not this
point be overlooked. Setting aside for a moment the arguments by which
they are shown to have ended in 1844, and letting them date from any point
where the least shadow of reason can be imagined for placing them, or
from which the wildest dreamer could date them, it is still true that
the utmost limit to which they could extend has gone
by. They cannot possibly be dated at any point which would
bring their termination so late as the present time. We therefore say
again, with not a misgiving as to the truth of the assertion, nor a fear
of its successful contradiction, Those days have ended!
declaration made by the angel to Daniel "Unto
two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,"
is now explained. In our search for the meaning of the sanctuary and its
cleansing, and the application of the time, we have found not only that
this subject can be easily understood; but lo! the event is even now in
process of accomplishment, and is almost finished. And here we pause a
brief moment to reflect upon the solemn position into which we are brought.
We have seen that the sanctuary
of this dispensation is the tabernacle of God in heaven, the house not
made with hands, where our Lord ministers in behalf of penitent sinners,
the place where between the great God and his Son Jesus Christ the "counsel
of peace" prevails in the work of salvation for perishing men. Zech.
6:13; Ps. 85:10. We have seen that the cleansing of the sanctuary consists
in the removing of the sins from the same, and is the closing act of the
ministration performed therein; that the work of salvation now centers
in the heavenly sanctuary; and when the sanctuary is cleansed, the work
is done, and the plan is finished. Then the great scheme devised at the
fall for the salvation of as many of the lost race as would avail themselves
of its provisions, and carried forward for six thousand years, is brought
to its final termination. Mercy no longer pleads, and the great voice
is heard from the throne in the temple in heaven, saying, "It is
done." Rev. 16:17. And what then? - All the righteous are safe for
everlasting life; all the wicked are doomed to everlasting death. No decision
can be changed, no reward can be lost,
p 235 -- and no destiny
of despair can be averted, beyond that point.
And we have seen (and this
is what brings the solemnities of the Judgment to our own door) that that
long prophetic period which was to mark the commencement of this final
work in the heavenlv sanctuary, has met its termination in our own generation.
In 1844 the days ended. And since that time the final work for man's salvation
has been going forward. This work involves an examination of every man's
character; for it consists in the remission of the sins of those who shall
be found worthy to have them remitted, and determines who among the dead
shall be raised, and who among the living shall be changed, at the coming
of the Lord, and who, of both dead and living, shall be left to have their
part in the fearful scenes of the second death. And all can see that such
a decision as this must be rendered before the Lord appears. Every man's
destiny is to be determined by the deeds done in the body, and each one
is to be rewarded according to his works. 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 22:12. In
the books of remembrance kept by the heavenly scribes above, every man's
deeds will be found recorded (Rev. 20:12); and in the closing sanctuary
work these records are examined, and decision is rendered in accordance
therewith. Dan. 7:9, 10. It would be most natural to suppose that the
work would commence with the first members of the human race; that their
cases would be first examined, and decision rendered, and so on with all
the dead, generation by generation, in chronological succession along
the stream of time, till we reach the last generation, - the generation
of the living, with whose cases the work would close. How long it will
take to examine the cases of all the dead, how soon the work will reach
the cases of the living, no man, can know. And as above remarked, since
the year 1844 this solemn work has been going forward. The light of the
types, and the very nature of the case, forbid that it should be of long
continuance. John, in his sublime views of heavenly scenes, saw millions
of attendants and assistants engaged with our Lord in his priestly work.
Revelation 5. And so the ministration goes forward. It ceases not, it
delays not, and it must soon be forever finished.
p 236 -- And here
we stand - the last, the greatest, and the most solemn crisis in the history
of our race immediately impending; the great plan of salvation about finished;
the last precious years of probation almost ended; the Lord about to come
to save those who are ready and waiting, and to cut asunder the careless
and unbelieving; and the world - alas! what shall we say of them! - deceived
with error, crazed with cares and business, delirious with pleasure, and
paralyzed with vice, they have not a moment to spare in listening to solemn
truth, nor a thought to bestow upon their eternal interests. Let the people
of God, with eternity right in view, be careful to escape the corruption
that is in the world through lust, and prepare to pass the searching test,
when their cases shall come up for examination at the great tribunal above.
To the careful attention
of every student of prophecy we commend the subject of the sanctuary.
In the sanctuary is seen the ark of God's testament, containing his holy
law; and this suggests a reform in our obedience to that great standard
of morality. The opening of this heavenly temple, or the commencement
of the service in its second apartment, marks the commencement of the
sounding of the seventh angel. Rev. 11:15, 19. The work performed therein
is the foundation of the third message of Revelation 14, - the last message
of mercy to a perishing world. This subject explains the great disappointment
of the Adventists in 1844, by showing that they mistook the event to occur
at the end of the 2300 days. It renders harmonious and clear past prophetic
fulfilments, which are otherwise involved in impenetrable obscurity. It
gives a definite idea of the position and work of our great High Priest,
and brings out the plan of salvation in its distinctive and beautiful
features. It reins us up, as no other subject does, to the realities of
the Judgment, and shows the preparation we need to be able to stand in
the coming day. It shows us that we are in the waiting time, and puts
us upon our watch; for we know not how soon the work will be finished,
and our Lord appear. Watch, lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.
After stating the great events
connected with our Lord's mission here upon the earth, the prophet in
the last part of
p 237 -- verse 27
speaks of the soon-following destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman power;
and finally of the destruction of that power itself, called in the margin
expression "to anoint the most holy" refers, according to remarks
on verse 24 of this chapter, to the anointing of the heavenly sanctuary
previous to the beginning of Christ's ministry therein, and not to any
anointing of the Messiah himself, seems to be susceptible of the clearest
proof. The words translated "most holy"
are (kodesh kodashim), the "holy of holies," an expression which,
according to Gesenius, applies to the most holy place in the sanctuary,
and which in no instance is applied to a person, unless this passage be
Advent Shield, No. 1, p. 75, says:
"And the last event of the seventy weeks, as enumerated in verse
24, was the anointing of the 'most holy,' or 'the holy of holies,' or
the 'sanctum sanctorum;' not that which was on earth, made with hands,
but the true tabernacle, into which Christ, our High Priest, is for us
entered. Christ, was to do in the true tabernacle in heaven what Moses
and Aaron did in its pattern. (See Hebrews, chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9; Ex.
30: 22-30; Lev. 8:10-15.)"
Barnes, in his notes on this passage, and particularly on the words "most
holy," says: "The phrase properly
means 'holy of holies,' or most holy; it is applied often in the Scriptures
to the inner sanctuary, or the portion of the tabernacle and temple
containing the ark of the covenant, the two tables of stone, etc."
"It is not necessarily limited to the inner sanctuary of the temple,
but may be applied to the whole house." "Others have supposed
that this refers to the Messiah himself, and that the meaning is that
he who was most holy would then be consecrated, or anointed, as the Messiah.
It is probable, as Hengstenberg (Christology, II, 321, 322)
has shown, that the Greek translators thus understood it, but it is a
sufficient objection to this that the phrase, though occurring many times
in the Scriptures, is never applied to persons, unless this be
an instance." "It seems to me, therefore, that the obvious and
fair interpretation is, to refer it to the temple."
understanding of the subject of the heavenly sanctuary would have relieved
this scripture of the perplexity in which, in the minds of some expositors,
it seems to be involved. TOP
-- X --
Daniel's Last Vision
p 238 -- VERSE
1. In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed
unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true
but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had
understanding of the vision.
This verse introduces us
to the last of the recorded visions of the prophet Daniel, the instruction
imparted to him at this time being continued through chapters 11 and 12,
to the close of the book. The third year of Cyrus was B.C. 534. Six years
had consequently elapsed since Daniel's vision of the four beasts in the
first year of Belshazzar, B.C. 540; four years since the vision of the
ram, he-goat, little horn, and 2300 days of chapter 8, in the third year
of Belshazzar, B.C. 538; and four years since the instruction given to
Daniel respecting the seventy weeks, in the first year of Darius, B.C.
538, as recorded in chapter 9. On the overthrow of the kingdom of Babylon
by the Medes and Persians, B.C. 538, Darius, through the courtesy of his
nephew, Cyrus, was permitted to occupy the throne. This he did till the
time of his death, about two years after. About this time, Cambyses, king
-- Persia, father of Cyrus, having also died,
Cyrus became sole monarch of the second universal empire of prophecy,
B.C. 536. This being reckoned as his first year, his third year, in which
this vision was given to Daniel, would be dated B.C. 534. The death of
Daniel is supposed to have occurred soon after this, he being at this
time, according to Prideaux, not less than ninety-one years of age.
2. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3. I
ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither
did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
The marginal reading for
"three full weeks" is "weeks of days;" which term
Dr. Stonard thinks is here used to distinguish the time spoken of from
the weeks of years,
brought to view in the preceding chapter.
For what purpose did this
aged servant of God thus humble himself and afflict his soul? - Evidently
for the purpose of understanding more fully the divine purpose concerning
events that were to befall the church of God in coming time; for the divine
messenger sent to instruct him says, "From the first day that thou
didst set thine heart to understand,"
etc. Verse 12. There was, then, still something which Daniel did not understand,
but in reference to which he earnestly desired light. What was it? - It
was undoubtedly some part of his last preceding vision; namely, the vision
of chapter 9, and through that of the vision of chapter 8, of which chapter
9 was but a further explanation. And as the result of his supplication,
he now receives more minute information respecting the events included
in the great outlines of his former visions.
This mourning of the prophet
is supposed to have been accompanied with fasting; not an absolute abstinence
from food, but a use of only the plainest and most simple articles of
diet. He ate no pleasant bread, no delicacies or dainties; he used no
flesh nor wine; and he did not anoint his head, which was with the Jews
an outward sign of fasting. How long he would have continued this fast
had he not received the answer to his prayer, we know not; but his course
in continuing it for three full weeks shows that, being assured his request
p 240 -- was lawful,
he was not a person to cease his supplications till his petition was granted.
VERSE 4. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month,
as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
5. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked,
and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with
fine gold of Uphaz: 6.
His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning,
and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color
to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
7. And I Daniel alone
saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but
a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
8. Therefore I was left alone,
and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my
comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
9. Yet heard I the voice
of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a
deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
By the River Hiddekel the
Syriac understands the Euphrates; the Vulgate, Greek, and Arabic, the
Tigris; hence Wintle concludes that the prophet had this vision at the
place where these rivers unite, as they do not far from the Persian Gulf.
A most majestic personage
visited Daniel on this occasion. The description of him is almost parallel
to that given of Christ in the Revelation, chapter 1:14-16; and the effect
of his presence was about such as was experienced by Paul and his companions
when the Lord met them on their way to Damascus. Acts 9:1-7. But this
was not the Lord; for the Lord is introduced as Michael in verse 13. It
must therefore have been an angel, but one of no ordinary character. The
inquiry then arises, Of what angel can such a description be truthfully
given? There are some points of identity between this and other passages
which plainly show that this was the angel Gabriel. In chapter 8:16 Gabriel
is introduced by name. His interview with Daniel at that time produced
exactly the same effect upon the prophet as that described in the passage
before us. At that time Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand
the vision, and he himself promised to make him know what should be in
the last end of the indignation. Having given Daniel all the instruction
he was able
p 241 -- to bear on
that occasion, he subsequently resumed his work, and explained another
great point in the vision, as recorded in chapter 9:20-27. Yet we learn
from chapter 10 that there were some points still unexplained to the prophet;
and he set his heart again, with fasting and supplication, to understand
A personage now appears whose
presence has the same effect upon Daniel as that produced by the presence
of Gabriel at the first; and he tells Daniel (verse 14), "Now I am
come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter
days," the very information Gabriel had promised to give, as recorded
in chapter 8:19. But one conclusion can be drawn from these facts. Daniel
was seeking further light on the very vision which Gabriel had been commanded
to make him understand. Once, already, he had made a special visit to
Daniel to give him additional information when he sought it with prayer
and fasting. Now, when he is prepared for further instruction, and again
seeks it in the same manner in reference to the same subject, can it for
a moment be supposed that Gabriel disregarded his instruction, lost sight
of his mission, and suffered another angel to undertake the completion
of his unfinished work? And the language of verse 14 clearly identifies
the speaker with the one, who, in the vision of chapter 8, promised to
do that work.
10. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and
upon the palms of my hands. 11.
And he said unto me, 0 Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words
that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent.
And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou
didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy
God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Daniel having fallen into
a swoon at the majestic appearance of Gabriel (for so the expression "deep
sleep" of verse 9 is generally understood), the angel approaches,
and lays his hand upon him to give him assurance and confidence to stand
in his presence. He tells Daniel that he is a man greatly beloved. Wonderful
declaration! a member of the human family, one of the same race with us,
loved, not merely in the
p 242 -- general sense
in which God loved the whole world when he gave his Son to die for them,
but loved as an individual, and that greatly! Well might the prophet receive
confidence from such a declaration as that, to stand even in the presence
of Gabriel. He tells him, moreover, that he is come for the purpose of
an interview with him, and he wishes him to bring his mind into a proper
state to understand his words. Being thus addressed, the holy and beloved
prophet, assured, but yet trembling, stood before the heavenly angel.
"Fear not, Daniel,"
continues Gabriel. He had no occasion to fear before one, even though
a divine being, who had been sent to him because he was greatly beloved,
and in answer to his earnest prayer. Nor ought the people of God of any
age to entertain a servile fear of any of those agents who are sent forth
to minister to their salvation. There is, however, a disposition manifested
among far too many to allow their minds to conceive of Jesus and his angels
as only stern ministers of justice, inflicters of vengeance and retribution,
rather than as beings who are earnestly working for our salvation on account
of the pity and love with which they regard us. The presence of an angel,
should he appear bodily before them, would strike them with terror; and
the thought that Christ is soon to appear, and they are to be taken into
his presence, distresses and alarms them. We recommend to such more amiable
views of the relation which the Christian sustains to Christ, the head
of the church, and a little more of that perfect love which casts out
On verse 12 Bagster
has the following pointed note:
"Daniel, as Bishop Newton observes,
was now very far advanced in years; for the third year of Cyrus was the
seventy-third of his captivity; and being a youth when carried captive,
he cannot be supposed to have been less than ninety. Old as he was, 'he
set his heart to understand' the former revelations which had been made
to him, and particularly the vision of the ram and he-goat, as may be
collected from the sequel; and for this purpose he prayed and fasted three
weeks. His fasting and prayers had the desired effect, for an angel was
sent to unfold to him those mysteries; and whoever would excel
p 243 -- in
divine knowledge must imitate Daniel, and habituate himself to study,
temperance, and devotion."
13. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty
days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and
I remained there with the kings of Persia.
How often the prayers of
God's people are heard, while as yet there is no apparent answer. It was
even so in this case with Daniel. The angel tells him that from the first
day he set his heart to understand, his words were heard. Yet
Daniel continued to afflict his soul with fasting, and to wrestle with
God for three full weeks, all unaware that any respect was yet paid to
his petition. But why was the delay? - The king of Persia withstood the
angel. The answer to Daniel's prayer involved some action on the part
of that king. This action he must be influenced to perform. It doubtless
pertained to the work which he was to do, and had already begun to do,
in behalf of the temple at Jerusalem and the Jews, his decree for the
building of that temple being the first of the series which finally constituted
that notable commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, at the going
forth of which the great prophetic period of 2300 days was to begin. And
the angel is dispatched to influence him to go forward in accordance with
the divine will.
Ah, how little do we realize
what is going on in the unseen world in relation to human affairs! Here,
as it were, the curtain is for a moment lifted, and we catch a glimpse
of the movements within. Daniel prays. The Creator of the universe hears.
The command is issued to Gabriel to go to his relief. But the king of
Persia must act before Daniel's prayer is answered; and the angel hastens
to the Persian king. Satan no doubt musters his forces to oppose. They
meet in the royal palace of Persia. All the motives of selfish interest
and worldly policy which Satan can play upon, he doubtless uses to the
best advantage to influence the king against compliance with God's will,
while Gabriel brings to bear his influence in the other direction. The
king struggles between conflicting emotions. He hesitates; he delays.
Day after day passes
p 244 -- away, yet
Daniel prays on. The king still refuses to yield to the influence of the
angel; three weeks expire, and lo! a mightier than Gabriel takes his place
in the palace of the king, and Gabriel appears to Daniel to acquaint him
with the progress of events. From the first, said he, your prayer was
heard; but during these three weeks which you have devoted to prayer and
fasting, the king of Persia has resisted my influence and prevented my
Such was the effect of prayer.
And God has erected no barriers between himself and his people since Daniel's
time. It is still their privilege to offer up prayer as fervent and effectual
as his, and, like Jacob, to have power with God, and to prevail.
Who was Michael, who here
came to Gabriel's assistance? The term signifies, "He who is like
God;" and the Scriptures clearly show that Christ is the one who
bears this name. Jude (verse 9) declares that Michael is the archangel.
Archangel signifies "head or chief angel;" and Gabriel, in our
text, calls him one, or, as the margin reads, the
first, of the chief princes. There can be but one archangel;
and hence it is manifestly improper to use the word, as some do, in the
plural. The Scriptures never so use it. Paul, in I Thess. 4:16, states
that when the Lord appears the second time to raise the dead, the voice
of the archangel is heard. Whose voice is heard when the dead are raised?
- The voice of the Son of God. John 5:28. Putting these scriptures together,
they prove, (1) that the dead
are called from their graves by the voice of the Son of God;
(2) that the voice which is then heard
is the voice of the archangel, proving that the archangel is the Son of
God; and (3) that
the archangel is called Michael; from which it follows that Michael is
the Son of God. In the last verse of Daniel 10, he is called "your
prince," and in the first of chapter 12, "the great prince which
standeth for the children of thy people," expressions which can appropriately
be applied to Christ, but to no other being.
14. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people
in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
p 245 -- The expression,
"yet the vision is for many days," reaching far into the future,
and embracing what should befall the people of God even in the latter
days, shows conclusively that the days given in that vision, namely the
2300, cannot mean literal days, but must be days of years. (See on chapter
9, verses 25-27.)
15. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward
the ground, and. I became dumb. 16.
And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips;
then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before
me, 0 my Lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have
retained no strength. 17. For
how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for
me, straightway there remaineth no strength in me, neither is there any
breath left in me.
One of the most marked characteristics
manifested by Daniel was the tender solicitude he felt for his people.
Having come now clearly to comprehend that the vision portended long ages
of oppression and suffering for the church, he was so affected by the
view that his strength departed from him, his breath ceased, and the power
of speech was gone. The vision of verse 16 doubtless refers to the former
vision of chapter 8.
18. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance
of a man, and he strengthened me. 19.
And said, 0 man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong,
yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and
said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. 20.
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come
unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and
when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
21. But I will show thee that which is noted
in the Scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these
things, but Michael your prince.
The prophet is at length
strengthened to hear in full the communication which the angel has to
make. And Gabriel says, "Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee?"
That is, do you now know to what end I have come? Do you understand my
purpose so that you will no more fear? He then announced his intention
to return, as soon as his communication was complete, to fight with the
king of Persia. The word with
is, in the Septuagint, meta,
and signifies, not against, but in common with, alongside of; that is,
the angel of God would
p 246 -- stand
on the side of the Persian kingdom so long as it was in the providence
of God that that kingdom should continue. "But when I am gone forth,"
continues Gabriel, "lo, the prince of Grecia shall come." That
is, when he withdraws his support from that kingdom, and the providence
of God operates in behalf of another kingdom, the prince of Grecia shall
come, and the Persian monarchy be overthrown.
Gabriel then announced that
none - God of course excepted - had an understanding with him in the matters
he was about to communicate except Michael the prince. And after he had
made them known to Daniel, then there were four beings in the universe
with whom rested a knowledge of these important truths, - Daniel, Gabriel,
Christ, and God. Four links in this ascending chain of witnesses, - the
first, Daniel, a member of the human family; the last, Jehovah, the God
of all! TOP
-- X I-- A
Literal Prophecy --
p 247 -- VERSE
I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to
strengthen him. 2. And
now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three
kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and
by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm
We now enter upon a prophecy
of future events, clothed not in figures and symbols, as in the visions
of chapters 2, 7, and 8, but given mostly in plain language. Many of the
signal events of the world's history, from the days of Daniel to the end
of the world, are here brought to view. This prophecy, says Bishop Newton,
may not improperly be said to be a comment and explanation of the vision
of chapter 8; a statement showing how clearly he perceived the connection
between that vision and the remainder of the book.
The angel, after stating
that he stood, in the first year of Darius, to confirm and strengthen
him, turns his attention to the future. Three kings shall yet stand up
in Persia. To stand up means to reign; three kings were to reign in Persia,
referring, doubtless, to the immediate successors of Cyrus.
p 248 -- These were,
(1) Cambyses, son of Cyrus; (2)
Smerdis, an impostor; (3) Darius
The fourth shall be far richer
than they all. The fourth king from Cyrus was Xerxes, more famous for
his riches than his generalship, and conspicuous in history for the magnificent
campaign he organized against Grecia, and his utter failure in that enterprise.
He was to stir up all against the realm of Grecia. Never before had there
been such a levy of men for warlike purposes; never has there been since.
His army, according to Herodotus, who lived in that age, consisted of
five million two hundred and eighty-three thousand two hundred and twenty
men (5,283,220). And not content with stirring up the East alone, he enlisted
the Carthaginians of the West in his service, who took the field with
an additional army of three hundred thousand men, raising his entire force
to the almost fabulous number of over five million and a half. As Xerxes
looked over that vast concourse, he is said to have wept at the thought
that in a hundred years from that time not one of all those men would
be left alive.
3. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great
dominion, and do according to his will. 4.
And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be
divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor
according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked
up, even for others beside those.
The facts stated in these
verses plainly point to Alexander, and the division of his empire. (See
on chapter 8:8.) Xerxes was the last Persian king who invaded Grecia;
and the prophecy passes over the nine successors of Xerxes in the Persian
empire, and next introduces Alexander the Great. Having overthrown the
Persian empire, Alexander "became absolate lord of that empire, in
the utmost extent in which it was ever possessed by any of the Persian
kings." - Prideaux, Vol. 1, p. 477. His dominion was great,
including "the greater portion of the then known habitable world;"
and he did according to his will. His will led him, B.C. 323, into a drunken
debauch, as the result of which he died as the fool dieth; and his vainglorious
and ambitious projects went into
p 249 -- sudden, total,
and everlasting eclipse. The kingdom was divided, but not for his posterity;
it was plucked up for others besides those. Within a few years after his
death, all his posterity had fallen victims to the jealousy and ambition
of his leading generals. Not one of the race of Alexander was left to
breathe upon the earth. So short is the transit from the highest pinnacle
of earthly glory to the lowest depths of oblivion and death. The kingdom
was rent into four divisions, and taken possession of by Alexander's four
ablest, or perhaps most ambitious and unprincipled generals, - Cassander,
Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy.
5. And the king of
the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong
above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
The king of the north and
the king of the south are many times referred to in the remaining portion
of this chapter. It therefore becomes essential to an understanding of
the prophecy clearly to identify these powers. When Alexander's empire
was divided, the different portions lay toward the four winds of heaven,
west, north, east, and south; these divisions of course to be reckoned
from the standpoint of Palestine, the native land of the prophet. That
division of the empire lying west of Palestine would thus constitute the
kingdom of the west; that lying north, the kingdom of the north; that
lying east, the kingdom of the east; and that lying south, the kingdom
of the south. The divisions of Alexander's kingdom with respect to Palestine
were situated as follows: Cassander had Greece and the adjacent countries,
which lay to the west; Lysimachus had Thrace, which then included Asia
Minor, and the countries lying on the Hellespont and Bosphorus, which
lay to the north of Palestine; Seleucus had Syria and Babylon, which lay
principally to the east; and Ptolemy had Egypt and the neighboring countries,
which lay to the south.
During the wars and revolutions
which for long ages succeeded, these geographical boundaries were frequently
changed or obliterated; old ones were wiped out, and new ones instituted.
But whatever changes might occur, these
p 250 -- of the empire
must determine the names which these portions of territory should ever
afterward bear, or we have no standard by which to test the application
of the prophecy; that is, whatever power at any time should occupy the
territory which at first constituted the kingdom of the north, that power,
so long as it occupied that territory, would be the king of the north;
and whatever power should occupy that which at first constituted the kingdom
of the south, that power would so long be the king of the south. We speak
of only these two, because they are the only ones afterward spoken of
in the prophecy, and because, in fact, almost the whole of Alexander's
empire finally resolved itself into these two divisions.
Cassander was very soon conquered
by Lysimachus, and his kingdom, Greece and Macedon, annexed to Thrace.
And Lysimachus was in turn conquered by Seleucus, and Macedon and Thrace
annexed to Syria.
These facts prepare the way
for an application of the text.before us. The king of the south, Egypt,
shall be strong. Ptolemy annexed Cyprus, Phoenicia, Caria, Cyrene, and
many islands and cities to Egypt. Thus was his kingdom made strong. But
another of Alexander's princes is introduced in the expression, "one
of his princes." The Septuagint translates the verse thus: "And
the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his [Alexander's] princes
shall be strong above him." This must refer to Seleucus, who, as
already stated, having annexed Macedon and Thrace to Syria, thus became
possessor of three parts out of four of Alexander's dominion, and established
a more powerful kingdom than that of Egypt.
VERSE 6. And in the end of years they shall join themselves together;
for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north
to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither
shall he stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and they that
brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these
There were frequent wars
between the kings of Egypt and Syria. Especially was this the case with
Ptolemy Philadelphus, the second king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theos, third
king of Syria. They at length agreed to make peace upon
p 251 -- condition
that Antiochus Theos should put away his former wife, Laodice, and her
two sons, and should marry Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus.
Ptolemy accordingly brought his daughter to Antiochus, bestowing with
her an immense dowry.
"But she shall not retain
the power of the arm;" that is, her interest and power with Antiochus.
And so it proved; for sometime shortly after, in a fit of love, Antiochus
brought back his former wife, Laodice, and her children, to court again.
Then says the prophecy, "Neither shall
he [Antiochus] stand, nor his arm," or seed. Laodice,
being restored to favor and power, feared lest, in the fickleness of his
temper, Antiochus should again disgrace her, and recall Berenice; and
conceiving that nothing short of his death would be an effectual safeguard
against such a contingency, she caused him to be poisoned shortly after.
Neither did his seed by Berenice succeed him in the kingdom; for Laodice
so managed affairs as to secure the throne for her eldest son, Seleucus
"But she [Berenice]
shall be given up." Laodice, not content with poisoning her husband,
Antiochus, caused Berenice to be murdered. "And they that brought
her." Her Egyptian women and attendants, in endeavoring to defend
her, were many of them slain with her. "And he that begat her,"
margin, "whom she brought forth;" that is, her son, who was
murdered at the same time by order of Laodice. "And he that strengthened
her in these times;" her husband, Antiochus, as Jerome supposes,
or those who took her part and defended her.
But such wickedness could
not long remain unpunished, as the prophecy further predicts, and further
7. But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his esstate,
which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the
king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: 8.
And shall also carry captives into Egypt their
gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and
of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
9. So the king of the south
shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
This branch out of the same
root with Berenice was her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes. He had no sooner
p 252 -- father, Ptolemy
Philadelphus, in the kingdom of Egypt, than, burning to avenge the death
of his sister, Berenice, he raised an immense army, and invaded the territory
of the king of the north, that is, of Seleucus Callinicus, who, with his
mother, Laodice, reigned in Syria. And he prevailed against them, even
to the conquering of Syria, Cilicia, the upper parts beyond the Euphrates,
and almost all Asia. But hearing that a sedition was raised in Egypt requiring
his return home, be plundered the kingdom of Seleucus, took forty thousand
talents of silver and precious vessels, and two thousand five hundred
images of the gods. Among these were the images which Cambyses had formerly
taken from Egypt and carried into Persia. The Egyptians, being wholly
given to idolatry, bestowed upon Ptolemy the title of Euergetes, or the
Benefactor, as a compliment for his having thus, after many years, restored
their captive gods.
This, according to Bishop
Newton, is Jerome's account, extracted from ancient historians; but there
are authors still extant, he says, who confirm several of the same particulars.
Appian informs us that Laodice having killed Antiochus, and after him
both Berenice and her child, Ptolemy, the son. of Philadelphus, to revenge
those murders, invaded Syria, slew Laodice, and proceeded as far as Babylon.
From Polybius we learn that Ptolemy, surnamed Euergetes, being greatly
incensed at the cruel treatment of his sister, Berenice, marched with
an army into Syria, and took the city of Seleucia, which was kept for
some years afterward by garrisons of the kings of Egypt. Thus did he enter
into the fortress of the king of the north. Polyaenus affirms that Ptolemy
made himself master of all the country from Mount Taurus as far as to
India, without war or battle; but he ascribes it by mistake to the father
instead of the son. Justin asserts that if Ptolemy had not been recalled
into Egypt by a domestic sedition, he would have possessed the whole kingdom
of Seleucus. The king of the south thus came into the dominion of the
king of the north, and returned to his own land, as the prophet had foretold.
And he also continued more years than the king of the north; for Seleucus
Callinicus died in exile, of a fall
p 253 -- from his
horse; and Ptolemy Euergetes survived him for four or five years.
10. But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude
of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass
through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
The first part of this verse
speaks of sons, in the plural; the last part, of one, in the singular.
The sons of Seleucus Callinicus were Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus Magnus.
These both entered with zeal upon the work of vindicating and avenging
the cause of their father and their country. The elder of these, Seleucus,
first took the throne. He assembled a great multitude to recover his father's
dominions; but being a weak and pusillanimous prince, both in body and
estate, destitute of money, and unable to keep his army in obedience,
he was poisoned by two of his generals after an inglorious reign of two
or three years. His more capable brother, Antiochus Magnus, was thereupon
proclaimed king, who, taking charge of the army, retook Seleucia and recovered
Syria, making himself master of some places by treaty, and of others by
force of arms. A truce followed, wherein both sides treated for peace,
yet prepared for war; after which Antiochus returned and overcame in battle
Nicolas, the Egyptian general, and had thoughts of invading Egypt itself.
Here is the "one" who should certainly overflow and pass through.
11. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall
come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he
shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into
Ptolemy Philopater succeeded
his father, Euergetes, in the kingdom of Egypt, being advanced to the
crown not long after Antiochus Magnus had succeeded his brother in the
government of Syria. He was a most luxurious and vicious prince, but was
at length aroused at the prospect of an invasion of Egyp by Antiochus.
He was indeed "moved with choler" for the losses he had sustained,
and the danger which threatened him; and he came forth out of Egypt with
a numerous army to check
p 254 -- the progress
of the Syrian king. The king of the north was also to set forth a great
multitude. The army of Antiochus, according to Polybius, amounted on this
occasion to sixty-two thousand foot, six thousand horse, and one hundred
and two elephants. In the battle, Antiochus was defeated, and his army,
according to prophecy, was given into the hands of the king of the south.
Ten thousand foot and three thousand horse were slain, and over four thousand
men were taken prisoners; while of Ptolemy's army there were slain only
seven hundred horse, and about twice that number of infantry.
12. And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be
lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands; but he shall not
be strengthened by it.
Ptolemy lacked the prudence
to make a good use of his victory. Had he followed up his success, he
would probably have become master of the whole kingdom of Antiochus; but
content with making only a few menaces and a few threats, he made peace
that he might be able to give himself up to the uninterrupted and uncontrolled
indulgence of his brutish passions. Thus, having conquered his enemies,
he was overcome by his vices, and, forgetful of the great name which he
might have established, he spent his time in feasting and lewdness.
His heart was lifted up by
his success, but he was far from being strengthened by it; for the inglorious
use he made of it caused his own subjects to rebel against him. But the
lifting up of his heart was more especially manifested in his transactions
with the Jews. Coming to Jerusalem, he there offered sacrifices, and was
very desirous of entering into the most holy place of the temple, contrary
to the law and religion of that place; but being, though with great difficulty,
restrained, he left the place burning with anger against the whole nation
of the Jews, and immediately commenced against them a terrible and relentless
persecution. In Alexandria, where the Jews had resided since the days
of Alexander, and enjoyed the privileges of the most favored citizens,
forty thousand according to Eusebius, sixty thousand according to Jerome,
were slain in this persecution. The rebellion of the
p 255 -- Egyptians,
and the massacre of the Jews, certainly were not calculated to strengthen
him in his kingdom, but were sufficient rather almost totally to ruin
13. For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a
multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain
years with a great army and much riches.
The events predicted in this
verse were to occur "after certain years." The peace concluded
between Ptolemy Philopater and Antiochus lasted fourteen
years. Meanwhile Ptolemy died from intemperance and debauchery,
and was succeeded by his son, Ptolemy Epiphanies, a child then four or
five years old. Antiochus, during the same time, having suppressed rebellion
in his kingdom, and reduced and settled the eastern parts in their obedience,
was at leisure for any enterprise when young Epiphanes came to the throne
of Egypt; and thinking this too good an opportunity for enlarging his
dominion to be let slip, he raised an immense army "greater than
the former" (for he had collected many forces and acquired great
riches in his eastern expedition), and set out against Egypt, expecting
to have an easy victory over the infant king. How he succeeded we shall
presently see; for here new complications enter into the affairs of these
kingdoms, and new actors are introduced upon the stage of history.
14. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king
of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to
establish the vision; but they shall fall.
Antiochus was not the only
one who rose up against the infant Ptolemy. Agathocles, his prime minister,
having possession of the king's person, and conducting the affairs of
the kingdom in his stead, was so dissolute and proud in the exercise of
his power that the provinces which before were subject to Egypt rebelled;
Egypt itself was disturbed by seditions; and the Alexandrians, rising
up against Agathocles, caused him, his sister, his mother, and their associates,
to be put to death. At the same time, Philip, king of Macedon, entered
into a league with Antiochus to divide the dominions of Ptolemy between
them, each proposing to take the parts which lay
p 256 -- nearest and
most convenient to him. Here was a rising up against the king of the south
sufficient to fulfil the prophecy, and the very events, beyond doubt,
which the prophecy intended.
A new power is now introduced,
- "the robbers of thy people;" literally, says Bishop Newton,
"the breakers of thy people." Far away on the banks of the Tiber,
a kingdom had been nourishing itself with ambitious projects and dark
designs. Small and weak at first, it grew with marvelous rapidity in strength
and vigor, reaching out cautiously here and there to try its prowess,
and test the vigor of its warlike arm, till, conscious of its power, it
boldly reared its head among the nations of the earth, and seized with
invincible hand the helm of their affairs. Henceforth the name of Rome
stands upon the historic page, destined for long ages to control the affairs
of the world, and exert a mighty influence among the nations even to the
end of time.
Rome spoke; and Syria and
Macedonia soon found a change coming over the aspect of their dream. The
Romans interfered in behalf of the young king of Egypt, determined that
he should be protected from the ruin devised by Antiochus and Philip.
This was B.C. 200, and was one of the first important interferences of
the Romans in the affairs of Syria and Egypt. Rollin furnishes the following
succinct account of this matter: - "Antiochus,
king of Syria, and Philip, king of Macedonia, during the reign of Ptolemy
Philopater, had discovered the strongest zeal for the interests of that
monarch, and were ready to assist him on all occasions. Yet no sooner
was he dead, leaving behind him an infant, whom the laws of humanity and
justice enjoined them not to disturb in the possession of his father's
kingdom, than they immediately joined in a criminal alliance, and excited
each other to shake off the lawful heir, and divide his dominions between
them. Philip was to have Caria, Libya, Cyrenaica, and Egypt; and Antiochus,
all the rest. With this view, the latter entered Coele-Syria and Palestine,
and in less than two campaigns made an entire conquest of the two provinces,
with all their cities and dependencies. Their guilt, says Polybius, would
not have been quite so glaring,
p 257 --
had they, like tyrants, endeavored to gloss over their crimes with some
specious pretense; but, so far from doing this, their injustice and cruelty
were so barefaced, that to them was applied what is generally said of
fishes, that the larger ones, though of the same species, prey on the
lesser. One would be tempted, continues the same author, at seeing the
most sacred laws of society so openly violated, to accuse Providence of
being indifferent and insensible to the most horrid crimes; but it fully
justified its conduct by punishing those two kings according to their
deserts; and made such an example of them as ought, in all succeeding
ages, to deter others from following their example. For, while they were
meditating to dispossess a weak and helpless infant ofi his kingdom by
piecemeal, Providence raised up the Romans against them, who entirely
subverted the kingdoms of Philip and Antiochus, and reduced their successors
to almost as great calamities as those with which they intended to crush
the infant king." - Ancient History, Book 18, chap. 50.
"To establish the vision."
The Romans being more prominently than any other people the subject of
Daniel's prophecy, their first interference in the affairs of these kingdoms
is here referred to as being the establishment, or demonstration, of the
truth of the vision which predicted the existence of such a power.
"But they shall fall."
Some refer this to those mentioned in the first part of the verse, who
should stand up against the king of the south; others, to the robbers
of Daniel's people, the Romans. It is true in either case. If those who
combined against Ptolemy are referred to, all that need be said is that
they did speedily fall; and if it applies to the Romans, the prophecy
simply looked forward to the period of their overthrow.
15. So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and
take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand,
neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
The tuition of the young
king of Egypt was entrusted by the Roman Senate to M. Emilius Lepidus,
who appointed Aristomenes,
p 258 -- an old and
experienced minister of that court, his guardian. His first act was to
provide against the threatened invasion of the two confederated kings,
Philip and Antiochus.
To this end he despatched
Scopas, a famous general of Aetolia, then in the service of the Egyptians,
into his native country to raise reinforcements for the army. Having equipped
an army, he marched into Palestine and Coele-Syria (Antiochus being engaged
in a war with Attalus in Lesser Asia), and reduced all Judea into subjection
to the authority of Egypt.
Thus affairs were brought
into a posture for the fulfilment of the verse before us. For Antiochus,
desisting from his war with Attalus at the dictation of the Romans, took
speedy steps for the recovery of Palestine and Coele-Syria from the hands
of the Egyptians. Scopas was sent to oppose him. Near the sources of the
Jordan, the two armies met. Scopas was defeated, pursued to Sidon, and
there closely besieged. Three of the ablest generals of Egypt, with their
best forces, were sent to raise the siege, but without success. At length
Scopas meeting, in the gaunt and intangible specter of famine, a foe with
whom he was unable to cope, was forced to surrender on the dishonorable
terms of life only; whereupon he and his ten thousand men were suffered
to depart, stripped and naked. Here was the taking of the most fenced
cities by the king of the north; for Sidon was, both in its situation
and its defenses, one of the strongest cities of those times. Here was
the failure of the arms of the south to withstand, and the failure also
of the people which the king of the south had chosen; namely, Scopas and
his Aetolian forces.
16. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will,
and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land,
which by his hand shall be consumed.
Although Egypt could not
stand before Antiochus, the king of the north, Antiochus could not stand
before the Romans, who now came against him. No kingdoms were longer able
to resist this rising power. Syria was conquered, and added to the Roman
empire, when Pompey, B.C. 65, deprived Antiochus
p 259 -- Asiaticus
of his possessions, and reduced Syria to a Roman province.
The same power was also to
stand in the Holy Land, and consume it. Rome became connected with the
people of God, the Jews, by alliance, B.C. 161, from which date it holds
a prominent place in the prophetic calendar. It did not, however, acquire
jurisdiction over Judea by actual conquest till B.C. 63; and then in the
On Pompey's return from his
expedition against Mithridates, king of Pontus, two competitors, Hyrcanus
and Aristobulus, were struggling for the crown of Judea. Their cause came
before Pompey, who soon perceived the injustice of the claims of Aristobulus,
but wished to defer decision in the matter till after his long-desired
expedition into Arabia, promising then to return, and settle their affairs
as should seem just and proper. Aristobulus, fathoming Pompey's real sentiments,
hastened back to Judea, armed his subjects, and prepared for a vigorous
defense, determined, at all hazards, to keep the crown, which he foresaw
would be adjudicated to another. Pompey closely followed the fugutive.
As he approached Jerusalem, Aristobulus, beginning to repent of his course,
came out to meet him, and endeavored to accommodate matters by promising
entire submission and large sums of money. Pompey, accepting this offer,
sent Gabinius, at the head of a detachment of soldiers, to receive the
money. But when that lieutenant-general arrived at Jerusalem, he found
the gates shut against him, and was told from the top of the walls that
the city would not stand to the agreement.
Pompey, not to be deceived
in this way with impunity, put Aristobulus, whom he had retained with
him, in irons, and immediately marched against Jerusalem with his whole
army. The partisans of Aristobulus were for defending the place; those
of Hyreanus, for opening the gates. The latter being in the majority,
and prevailing, Pompey was given free entrance into the city. Whereupon
the adherents of Aristobulus retired to the mountain of the temple, as
fully determined to defend that place as Pompey was to reduce it. At the
end of three months a breach was made in the wall sufficient for an assault,
p 260 -- and the place
was carried at the point of the sword. In the terrible slaughter that
ensued, twelve thousand persons were slain. It was an affecting sight,
observes the historian, to see the priests, engaged at the time in divine
service, with calm hand and steady purpose pursue their accustomed work,
apparently unconscious of the wild tumult, though all around them their
friends were given to the slaughter, and though often their own blood
mingled with that of their sacrifices.
Having put an end to the
war, Pompey demolished the walls of Jerusalem, transferred several cities
from the jurisdiction of Judea to that of Syria, and imposed tribute on
the Jews. Thus for the first time was Jerusalem placed by conquest in
the hands of that power which was to hold the "glorious land"
in its iron grasp till it had utterly consumed it.
17. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole
kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give
him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on
his side, neither be for him.
Bishop Newton furnishes another
reading for this verse, which seems more clearly to express the sense,
"He shall also set his face to enter by force the whole kingdom."
Verse 16 brought us down
to the conquest of Syria and Judea by the Romans. Rome had previously
conquered Macedon and Thrace. Egypt was now all that remained of the "whole
kingdom" of Alexander, not brought into subjection to the Roman power,
which power now set its face to enter by force into that country.
Ptolemy Auletes died B.C.
51. He left the crown and kingdom of Egypt to his eldest son and daughter,
Ptolemy and Cleopatra. It was provided in his will that they should marry
together, and reign jointly; and because they were young, they were placed
under the guardianship of the Romans. The Roman people accepted the charge,
and appointed Pompey as guardian of the young heirs of Egypt.
A quarrel having not long
after broken out between Pompey and Caesar, the famous battle of Pharsalia
was fought between the two generals. Pompey, being defeated, fled into
p 261 -- Egypt. Caesar
immediately followed him thither; but before his arrival, Pompey was basely
murdered by Ptolemy, whose guardian he had been appointed. Caesar therefore
assumed the appointment which had been given to Pompey, as guardian of
Ptolemy and Cleopatra. He found Egypt in commotion from internal disturbances,
Ptolemy and Cleopatra having become hostile to each other, and she being
deprived of her share in the government. Notwithstanding this, he did
not hesitate to land at Alexandria with his small force, 800 horse and
3200 foot, take cognizance of the quarrel, and undertake its settlement.
The troubles daily increasing, Caesar found his small force insufficient
to maintain his position, and being unable to leave Egypt on account of
the north wind which blew at that season, he sent into Asia, ordering
all the troops he had in that quarter to come to his assistance as soon
In the most haughty manner
he decreed that Ptolemy and Cleopatra should disband their armies, appear
before him for a settlement of their differences, and abide by his decision.
Egypt being an independent kingdom, this haughty decree was considered
an affront to its royal dignity, at which the Egyptians, highly incensed,
flew to arms. Caesar replied that he acted by virtue of the will of their
father, Auletes, who had put his children under the guardianship of the
Senate and people of Rome, the whole authority of which was now vested
in his person as consul; and that, as guardian, he had the right to arbitrate
The matter was finally brought
before him, and advocates appointed to plead the cause of the respective
parties. Cleopatra, aware of the foible of the great Roman conqueror,
judged that the beauty of her presence would be more effectual in securing
judgment in her favor than any advocate she could employ. To reach his
presence undetected, she had recourse to the following stratagem: Laying
herself at full length in a bundle of clothes, Apollodorus, her Sicilian
servant, wrapped it up in a cloth, tied it with a thong, and raising it
upon his Herculean shoulders, sought the apartments of Caesar. Claiming
to have a present for the Roman general, he was admitted through the gate
of the citadel, entered into the presence of
p 262 -- Caesar, and
deposited the burden at his feet. When Caesar had unbound this animated
bundle, lo! the beautiful Cleopatra stood before him. He was far from
being displeased with the stratagem, and being of a character described
in 2 Peter 2:14, the first sight of so beautiful a person, says Rollin,
had all the effect upon him she had desired.
Caesar at length decreed
that the brother and sister should occupy the throne jointly, according
to the intent of the will. Pothinus, the chief minister of state, having
been principally instrumental in expelling Cleopatra from the throne,
feared the result of her restoration. He therefore began to excite jealousy
and hostility against Caesar, by insinuating among the populace that he
designed eventually to give Cleopatra the sole power. Open sedition soon
followed. Achillas, at the head of 20,000 men, advanced to drive Caesar
from Alexandria. Skilfully disposing his small body of men in the streets
and alleys of the city, Caesar found no difficnIty in repelling the attack.
The Egyptians undertook to destroy his fleet. He retorted by burning theirs.
Some of the burning vessels being driven near the quay, several of the
buildings of the city took fire, and the famous Alexandrian library, containing
nearly 400,000 volumes, was destroyed.
The war growing more threatening,
Caesar sent into all the neighboring countries for help. A large fleet
came from Asia Minor to his assistance. Mithridates set out for Egypt
with an army raised in Syria and Cilicia. Antipater the Idumean joined
him with 3,000 Jews. The Jews, who held the passes into Egypt, permitted
the army to pass on without interruption. Without this co-operation on
their part, the whole plan must have failed. The arrival of this army
decided the contest. A decisive battle was fought near the Nile, resulting
in a complete victory for Caesar. Ptolemy, attempting to escape, was drowned
in the river. Alexandria and all Egypt then submitted to the victor. Rome
had now entered into and absorbed the whole of the original kingdom of
By the "upright ones"
of the text are doubtless meant the Jews, who gave him the assistance
already mentioned. Without
p 263 --
(The Alexandrian Library)
p 264 -- this, he
must have failed; with it, he completely subdued Egypt to his power, B.C.
"The daughter of women,
corrupting her." The passion which Caesar had conceived for Cleopatra,
by whom he had one son, is assigned by the historian as the sole reason
of his undertaking so dangerous a campaign as the Egyptian war. This kept
him much longer in Egypt than his affairs required, he spending whole
nights in feasting and carousing with the dissolute queen. "But,"
said the prophet, "she shall not stand on his side, neither be for
him." Cleopatra afterward joined herself to Antony, the enemy of
Augustus Caesar, and exerted her whole power against Rome.
18. After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take
many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered
by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon
War with Pharnaces, king
of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, at length drew him away from Egypt.
"On his arrival where the enemy was,"
says Prideaux, "he,
without giving any respite either to himself or them, immediately fell
on, and gained an absolute victory over them; an account whereof he wrote
to a friend of his in these three words: Veni, vidi, vici; I came,
I saw, I conquered." The
latter part of this verse is involved in some obscurity, and there is
difference of opinion in regard to its application. Some apply it further
back in Caesar's life, and think they find a fulfilment in his quarrel
with Pompey. But preceding and subsequent events clearly defined in the
prophecy, compel us to look for the fulfilment of this part of the prediction
between the victory over Pharnaces, and Caesar's death at Rome, as brought
to view in the following verse. A more full history of this period might
bring to light events which would render the application of this passage
19. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but
he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
After this conquest, Caesar
defeated the last remaining fragments of Pompey's party, Cato and Scipio
in Africa, and Labienus
p 265 -- and Varus
in Spain. Returning to Rome, the "fort of his own land," he
was made perpetual dictator; and such other powers and honors were granted
him as rendered him in fact absolute sovereign of the whole empire. But
the prophet had said that he should stumble and fall. The language implies
that his overthrow would be sudden and unexpected, like a person accidentally
stumbling in his walk. And so this man, who had fought and won five hundred
battles, taken one thousand cities, and slain one million one hundred
and ninety-two thousand men, fell, not in the din of battle and the hour
of strife, but when he thought his pathway was smooth and strewn with
flowers, and when danger was supposed to be far away; for, taking his
seat in the senate chamber upon his throne of gold, to receive at the
hands of that body the title of king, the dagger of treachery suddenly
struck him to the heart. Cassius, Brutus, and other conspirators rushed
upon him, and he fell, pierced with twenty-three wounds. Thus he suddenly
stumbled and fell, and was not found, B.C. 44.
20. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory
of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in
anger, nor in battle.
Augustus Caesar succeeded
his uncle, Julius, by whom he had been adopted as his successor. He publicly
announced his adoption by his uncle, and took his name, to which he added
that of Octavianus. Combining with Mark Antony and Lepidus to avenge the
death of Caesar, they formed what is called the triumvirate
form of government. Having subsequently firmly established himself in
the empire, the senate conferred upon him the title of Augustus, and the
other members of the triumvirate being now dead, he became supreme ruler.
He was emphatically a raiser
of taxes. Luke, in speaking of the events that transpired at the time
when Christ was born, says: "And
it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar
Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled [for taxation]."
Luke 2:1. That taxing which
embraced all the world was an event worthy of notice; and the
p 266 -- person who
enforced it has certainly a claim to the title of a "raiser of taxes"
above every other competitor.
Louis Globe Democrat, as quoted in Current Literature for
July, 1895, says: "Augustus
Caesar was not the public benefactor he is represented. He was the most
exacting tax collector the Roman world had up to that time ever seen."
And he stood up "in
the glory of the kingdom." Rome reached in hig days the pinnacle
of its greatness and power. The "Augustan Age" is an expression
everywhere used to denote the golden age of Roman history. Rome never
saw a brighter hour, Peace was promoted, justice maintained, luxury curbed,
discipline established, and learning encouraged. In his reign, the temple
of Janus was for the third time shut since the foundation of Rome, signifying
that all the world was at peace; and at this auspicious hour our Lord
was born in Bethlehem of Judea. In a little less than eighteen years after
the taxing brought to view, seeming but a "few days" to the
distant gaze of the prophet, Augustus died, not in anger nor in battle,
but peacefully in his bed, at Nola, whither he had gone to seek repose
and health, A. D. 14, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.
21. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they
shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably,
and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Tiberius Caesar next appeared
after Augustus Caesar on the Roman throne, He was raised to the consulate
in his twenty-eighth year. It is recorded that as Augustus was about to
nominate his successor, his wife, Livia, besought him to nominate Tiberius
(her son by a former husband); but the emperor said, "Your son is
too vile to wear
the purple of Rome;" and the nomination was given to Agrippa, a very
virtuous and much respected Roman citizen. But the prophecy had foreseen
that a vile person should succeed Augustus. Agrippa died; and Augustus
was again under the necessity of choosing a successor. Livia renewed her
intercessions for Tiberius; and Augustus, weakened by age and sickness,
was more easily
p 267 -- flattered,
and finally consented to nominate, as his colleague and successor, that
"vile" young man. But the citizens never gave him the love,
respect, and "honor of the kingdom" due to an upright and faithful
How clear a fulfilment is
this of the prediction that they should not give him the honor of the
kingdom. But he was to come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
A paragraph from the Encyclopedia
Americana shows how this was fulfilled: "During
the remainder of the life of Augustus, he [Tiberius] behaved with great
prudence and ability, concluding a war with the Germans in such a manner
as to merit a triumph. After the defeat of Varus and his legions, he was
sent to check the progress of the victorious Germans, and acted in that
war with equal spirit and prudence. On the death of Augustus, he succeeded,
without opposition, to the sovereignty of the empire; which, however,
with his characteristic dissimulation, he affected to decline, until repeatedly
solicited by the servile senate."
Dissimulation on his part,
flattery on the part of the servile senate, and a possession of the kingdom
without opposition - such were the circumstances attending his accession
to the throne, and such were the circumstances for which the prophecy
The person brought to view
in the text is called "a vile person." Was such the character
sustained by Tiberius? Let another paragraph from the Encyclopedia
records the events of this reign, including the suspicious death of Germanicus,
the detestable administration of Sejanus, the poisoning of Drusus, with
all the extraordinary mixture of tyranny with occasional wisdom and good
sense which distinguished the conduct of Tiberius, until his infamous
and dissolute retirement, A. D. 26, to the isle of Capreae, in the bay
of Naples, never to return to Rome. On the death of Livia, A. D. 29, the
only restraint upon his actions and those of the detestable Sejanus, was
removed, and the destruction of the widow and family of Germanicus followed.
At length the infamous favorite extended his views to the empire itself,
p 268 --
Tiberius, informed of his machinations, prepared to encounter him with
his favorite weapon, dissimulation. Although fully resolved upon his destruction,
he accumulated honors upon him, declared him his partner in the consulate,
and, after long playing with his credulity, and that of the senate, who
thought him in greater favor than ever, he artfully prepared for his arrest.
Sejanus fell deservedly and unpitied; but many innocent persons shared
in his destruction, in consequence of the suspicion and cruelty of Tiberius,
which now exceeded all limits. The remainder of the reign of this tyrant
is little more than a disgusting narrative of servility on the one hand,
and of despotic ferocity on the other. That he himself endured as much
misery as he inflicted, is evident from the following commencement of
one of his letters to the senate: 'What I shall write to you, conscript
fathers, or what I shall not write, or why I should write at all, may
the gods and goddesses plague me more than I feel daily that they are
doing, if I can tell.' 'What mental torture,' observes Tacitus,
in reference to this passage, 'which could extort such a confession!'"
remarks of Tiberius that he was never intoxicated but once in his life;
for he continued in a state of perpetual intoxication from the time he
gave himself to drinking, to the last moment of his life."
Tyranny, hypocrisy, debauchery,
and uninterrupted intoxication - if these traits and practices show a
man to be vile, Tiberius exhibited that character in disgusting perfection.
22. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before
him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
Bishop Newton presents the
following reading as agreeing better with the original: "And the
arms of the overflower shall be overflown from before him, and shall be
broken." The expressions signify revolution and violence; and in
fulfilment we should look for the arms of Tiberius, the overflower, to
be overflown, or, in other words, for him to suffer a violent death. To
show how this was accomplished, we again have recourse to the Encyclopedia
Americana, art. Tiberius: -
p 269 -- "Acting
the hypocrite to the last, he disguised his increasing debility as much
as he was able, even affecting to join in the sports and exercises of
the soldiers of his guard. At length, leaving his favorite island, the
scene of the most disgusting debaucheries, he stopped at a country house
near the promontory of Micenum, where, on the 16th of March, 37, he sunk
into a lethargy, in which he appeared dead; and Caligula was preparing
with a numerous escort to take possession of the empire, when his sudden
revival threw them into consternation. At this critical instant, Macro,
the pretorian prefect, caused him be suffocated with pillows. Thus
expired the emperor Tiberius, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and
twenty-third of his reign, universally execrated."
"The prince of the covenant"
unquestionably refers to Jesus Christ, "the Messiah the Prince,"
who was to "confirm the covenant" one week with his people.
Dan. 9:25-27. The prophet, having taken us down to the death of Tiberius,
now mentions incidentally an event to transpire in his reign, so important
that it should not be passed over; namely, the cutting off of the Prince
of the covenant, or, in other words, the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
According to the prophecy, this took place in the reign of Tiberius. Luke
informs us (3: 1-3) that in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius
Caesar, John the Baptist commenced his ministry. The reign of Tiberius
is to be reckoned, according to Prideaux, Dr. Hales, Lardner, and others,
from his elevation to the throne to reign jointly with Augustus, his step-father,
in August, A. D. 12. His fifteenth year would therefore be from August,
A. D. 26, to August, A. D. 27. Christ was six months younger than John,
and is supposed to have commenced his ministry six months later, both,
according to the law of the priesthood, entering upon their work when
they were thirty years of age. If John commenced in the spring, in the
latter portion of Tiberius's fifteenth year, it would bring the commencement
of Christ's ministry in the autumn Of A. D. 27; and right here the best
authorities place the baptism of Christ, it being the exact point where
the 483 years from B.C. 457, which were to extend to the Messiah the Prince,
p 270 -- and Christ
went forth proclaiming that the time was fulfilled. From this point we
go forward three years and a half to find the date of the crucifixion;
for Christ attended but four Passovers, and was crucified at the last
one. Three and a half years from the autumn of A. D. 27 brings us to the
spring of A. D. 31. The death of Tiberius is placed but six years later,
in A. D. 37. (See on chapter 9: 25-27.)
23. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully:
for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
The "him" with
whom the league here spoken of is made, must be the same power which has
been the subject of the prophecy from the 14th verse; and that this is
the Roman power is shown beyond controversy in the fulfilment of the prophecy
in three individuals, as already noticed, who successively ruled over
the Roman empire; namely, Julius, Augustus, and Tiberius Caesar. The first,
on returning to the fort of his own land in triumph, stumbled and fell,
and was not found. Verse 19. The second was a raiser of taxes; and he
reigned in the glory of the kingdom, and died neither in anger nor in
battle, but peacefully in his own bed. Verse 20. The third was a dissembler,
and one of the vilest of characters. He entered upon the kingdom peaceably,
but both his reign and life were ended by violence. And in his reign the
Prince of the covenant, Jesus of Nazareth, was put to death upon the cross.
Verses 21, 22. Christ can never be broken or put to death again; hence
in no other government, and at no other time, can we find a fulfilment
of these events. Some attempt to apply these verses to Antiochus, and
make one of the Jewish high priests the prince of the covenant, though
they are never called such. This is the same kind of reasoning which endeavors
to make the reign of Antiochus a fulfilment of the little horn of Daniel
8; and it is offered for the same purpose; namely, to break the great
chain of evidence by which it is shown that the Advent doctrine is the
doctrine of the Bible and that Christ is now at the door. But the evidence
cannot be overthrown; the chain cannot be broken.
p 271 -- Having taken
us down through the secular events of the empire to the end of the seventy
weeks, the prophet, in verse 23, takes us back to the time when the Romans
became directly connected with the people of God by the Jewish league,
B.C. 161; from which point we are then taken down in a direct line of
events to the final triumph of the church, and the setting up of God's
everlasting kingdom. The Jews, being grievously oppressed by the Syrian
kings, sent an embassy to Rome, to solicit the aid of the Romans, and
to join themselves in "a league of amity and confederacy with them."
1 Mac. 8; Prideaux, II, 234; Josephus's Antiquities,
book 12, chap. 10, sec. 6. The Romans listened to the request of the Jews,
and granted them a decree, couched in these words: - "The
decree of the senate concerning a league of assistance and friendship
with the nation of the Jews. It shall not be lawful for any that are subject
to the Romans, to make war with the nation of the Jews, nor to assist
those that do so, either by sending them corn, or ships, or money; and
if any attack be made upon the Jews, the Romans shall assist them as far
as they are able; and again, if any attack be made upon the Romans, the
Jews shall assist them. And if the Jews have a mind to add to, or to take
from, this league of assistance, that shall be done with the common consent
of the Romans. And whatever addition shall thus be made, it shall be of
force." "This decree,"
says Josephus, "was written by Eupolemus, the son of John,
and by Jason, the son of Eleazer, when Judas was high priest of the nation,
and Simon, his brother, was general of the army. And this was the first
league that the Romans made with the Jews, and was managed after this
At this time the Romans were
a small people, and began to work deceitfully, or with cunning, as the
word signifies. And from this point they rose by a steady and rapid ascent
to the height of power which they afterward attained.
24. He shall enter peacefully even upon the fattest places of the
province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his
fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and
riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds,
even for a time.
p 272 --
(The Battle of Actium; Fulfilling Dan. 11:25)
p 273 -- The usual
manner in which nations had, before the days of Rome, entered upon valuable
provinces and rich territory, was by war and conquest. Rome was now to
do what had not been done by the fathers or the fathers' fathers; namely,
receive these acquisitions through peaceful means. The custom, before
unheard of, was now inaugurated, of kings' leaving by legacy their kingdoms
to the Romans. Rome came into possession of large provinces in this manner.
And those who thus came under
the dominion of Rome derived no small advantage therefrom. They were treated
with kindness and leniency. It was like having the prey and spoil distributed
among them. They were protected from their enemies, and rested in peace
and safety under the aegis of the Roman power.
To the latter portion of
this verse, Bishop Newton gives the idea of forecasting devices from
strongholds, instead of against
them. This the Romans did from the strong fortress of their seven-hilled
city. "Even for a time;" doubtless a prophetic time, 360 years.
From what point are these years to be dated? Probably from the event brought
to view in the following verse.
25. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king
of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred
up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand:
for they shall forecast devices against him.
By verses 23 and 24 we are
brought down this side of the league between the Jews and the Romans,
B.C. 161, to the time when Rome had acquired universal dominion. The verse
now before us brings to view a vigorous campaign against the king of the
south, Egypt, and the occurrence of a notable battle between great and
mighty armies. Did such events as these transpire in the history of Rome
about this time? - They did. The war was the war between Egypt and Rome;
and the battle was the battle of Actium. Let us take a brief view of the
circimistances that led to this conflict.
Mark Antony, Augustus Caesar,
and Lepidus constituted the triumvirate which had sworn to avenge the
death of Julius Cresar. This Antony became the brother-in-law of Augustus
p 274 -- by marrying
his sister, Octavia. Antony was sent into Egypt on government business,
but fell a victim to the arts and charms of Cleopatra, Egypt's dissolute
queen. So strong was the passion he conceived for her, that he finally
espoused the Egyptian interests, rejected his wife, Octavia, to please
Cleopatra, bestowed province after province upon the latter to gratify
her avarice, celebrated a triumph at Alexandria instead of Rome, and otherwise
so affronted the Roman people that Augustus had no difficulty in leading
them to engage heartily in a war against this enemy of their country.
This war was ostensibly against Egypt and Cleopatra; but it was really
against Antony, who now stood at the head of Egyptian affairs. And the
true cause of their controversy was, says Prideaux, that neither of them
could be content with only half of the Roman empire; for Lepidus having
been deposed from the triumvirate, it now lay between them, and each being
determined to possess the whole, they cast the die of war for its possession.
Antony assembled his fleet
at Samos. Five hundred ships of war, of extraordinary size and structure,
having several decks one above another, with towers upon the head and
stern, made an imposing and formidable array. These ships carried two
hundred thousand foot, and twelve thousand horse. The kings of Libya,
Cilicia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Comagena, and Thrace, were there in
person; and those of Pontus, Judea, Lycaonia, Galatia, and Media, had
sent their troops. A more splendid and gorgeous military spectacle than
this fleet of battle ships, as they spread their sails, and moved out
upon the bosom of the sea, the world has rarely seen. Surpassing all in
magnificence came the galley of Cleopatra, floating like a palace of gold
beneath a cloud of purple sails. Its flags and streamers fluttered in
the wind, and trumpets and other instruments of war made the heavens resound
with notes of joy and triumph. Antony followed close after in a galley
of almost equal magnificence. And the giddy queen, intoxicated with the
sight of the warlike array, short-sighted and vainglorious, at the head
of her infamous troop of eunuchs, foolishly threatened the Roman capital
with approaching ruin.
p 275 -- Caesar Augustus,
on the other hand, displayed less pomp but more utility. He had but half
as many ships as Antony, and only eighty thousand foot. But all his troops
were chosen men, and on board his fleet were none but experienced seamen;
whereas Antony, not finding mariners sufficient, had been obliged to man
his vessels with artisans of every class, men inexperienced, and better
calculated to cause trouble than to do real service in time of battle.
The season being far consumed in these preparations, Caesar made his rendezvous
at Brundusium, and Antony at Corcyra, till the following year.
As soon as the season permitted,
both armies were put in motion on both land and sea. The fleets at length
entered the Ambracian Gulf in Epirus, and the land forces were drawn up
on either shore in plain view. Antony's most experienced generals advised
him not to hazard a battle by sea with his inexperienced mariners, but
send Cleopatra back to Egypt, and hasten at once into Thrace or Macedonia,
and trust the issue to his land forces, who were composed of veteran troops.
But he, illustrating the old adage, Quem
Deus vult perdere, prius dementat (whom God wishes to destroy,
he first makes mad), infatuated by Cleopatra, seemed only desirous of
pleasing her; and she, trusting to appearances only, deemed her fleet
invincible, and advised immediate action.
The battle was fought Sept.
2, B.C. 31, at the mouth of the gulf of Ambracia, near the city of Actium.
The world was the stake for which these stern warriors, Antony and Caesar,
now played. The contest, long doubtful, was at length decided by the course
which Cleopatra pursued; for she, frightened at the din of battle, took
to flight when there was no danger, and drew after her the whole Egyptian
fleet. Antony, beholding this movement, and lost to everything but his
blind passion for her, precipitately followed, and yielded a victory to
Caesar, which, had his Egyptian forces proved true to him, and had he
proved true to his own manhood, he might have gained.
This battle doubtless marks
the commencement of the "time" mentioned in verse 24. And as
during this "time" devices were to be forecast from the stronghold,
or Rome, we
p 276 -- should conclude
that at the end of that period western supremacy would cease, or such
a change take place in the empire that that that city would no longer
be considered the seat of government. From B.C. 31, a prophetic time,
or 360 years, would bring us to A. D. 330. And it hence becomes a noteworthy
fact that the seat of empire was removed from Rome to Constantinople by
Constantine the Great in that very year. (See Encyclopedia Americana,
26. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him,
and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
The cause of Antony's overthrow
was the desertion of his allies and friends, those that fed of the portion
of his meat. First, Cleopatra, as already described, suddenly withdrew
from the battle, taking sixty ships of the line with her. Secondly,
the land army, disgusted with the infatuation of Antony, went over to
Caesar, who received them with open arms. Thirdly, when Antony
arrived at Libya, he found that the forces which he had there left under
Scarpus to guard the frontier, had declared for Caesar. Fourthly,
being followed by Caesar into Egypt, he was betrayed by Cleopatra, and
his forces surrendered to Caesar. Hereupon, in rage and despair he took
his own life.
27. And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they
shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet
the end shall be at the time appointed.
Antony and Caesar were formerly
in alliance. Yet under the garb of friendship, they were both aspiring
and intriguing for universal dominion. Their protestations of deference
to, and friendship for, each other, were the utterances of hypocrites.
They spoke lies at one table. Octavia, the wife of Antony and sister of
Caesar, declared to the people of Rome at the time Antony divorced her,
that she had consented to marry him solely with the hope that it would
prove a pledge of union between Caesar and Antony. But that counsel did
not prosper. The rupture came; and in the conflict that ensued, Caesar
came off entirely victorious.
p 277 --
(A Roman Triumph)
p 278 -- VERSE
28. Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his
heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and
return to his own land.
Two returnings from foreign
conquest are here brought to view; the first, after the events
narrated in verses 26, 27; and the second, after this power had
had indignation against the holy covenant, and had performed exploits.
The first was fulfilled in the return of Caesar after his expedition against
Egypt and Antony. He returned to Rome with abundant honor and riches;
for, says Prideaux (II, 556),
"At this time such vast riches were brought to Rome from Egypt on
the reducing of that country, and the return of Octavianus [Caesar] and
his army from thence, that the value of money fell one half, and the prices
of provisions and all vendible wares was doubled thereon."
Caesar celebrated his victories in
a three-days' triumph, - a triumph which Cleopatra herself would have
graced, as one of the royal captives, had she not artfully caused herself
to be bitten by the fatal asp.
The next great enterprise
of the Romans after the overthrow of Egypt, was the expedition against
Judea, and the capture and destruction of Jerusalem. The holy covenant
is doubtless the covenant which God has maintained with his people, under
different forms, in different ages of the world, that is, with all believers
in him. The Jews rejected Christ; and, according to the prophecy that
all who would not hear that prophet should be cut off, they were destroyed
out of their own land, and scattered to every nation under heaven. And
while Jews and Christians alike suffered under the oppressive hands of
the Romans, it was doubtless in the reduetion of Judea especially, that
the exploits mentioned in the text were exhibited.
Under Vespasian the Romans
invaded Judea, and took the cities of Galilee, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and
Capernaum, where Christ had been rejected. They destroyed the inhabitants,
and left nothing but ruin and desolation. Titus besieged Jerusalem. He
drew a trench around it, according to the prediction of the Saviour. A
terrible famine ensued, the equal of which the world has, perhaps, at
no other time witnessed.
p 279 -- Moses had
predicted that in the terrible calamities to come upon the Jews if they
departed from God, even the tender and delicate woman should eat her own
children in the straitness of the siege wherewith their enemies should
distress them. Under the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, a literal fulfilment
of this prediction occurred; and he, hearing of the inhuman deed, but
forgetting that he was the one who was driving them to such direful extremities,
swore the eternal extirpation of the accursed city and people.
Jerusalem fell in A. D. 70.
As an honor to himself, the Roman commander had determined to save the
temple; but the Lord had said that there should not remain one stone upon
another which should not be thrown down. A Roman soldier seized a brand
of fire, and, climbing upon the shoulders of his comrades, thrust it into
one of the windows of the beautiful structure. It was soon in the arms
of the devouring element. The frantic efforts of the Jews to extinguish
the flames were seconded by Titus himself, but all in vain. Seeing that
the temple must perish, Titus rushed in, and bore away the golden candlestick,
the table of show-bread, and the volume of the law, wrapped in golden
tissue. The candlestick was afterward deposited in Vespasian's Temple
of Peace, and copied on the triumphal arch of Titus, where its mutilated
image is yet to be seen.
The siege of Jerusalem lasted
five months. In that siege eleven hundred thousand Jews perished, and
ninety-seven thousand were taken prisoners. The city was so amazingly
strong that Titus exclaimed, when viewing the ruins, "We have fought
with the assistance of God; " but it was completely leveled, and
the foundations of the temple were plowed up by Tarentius Rufus. The duration
of the whole war was seven years, and one million four hundred and sixty-two
thousand (1,462,000) persons are said to have fallen victims to its awful
Thus this power performed
great exploits, and again returned to his own land.
29. At the time appointed be shall return, and come toward the south;
but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
p 280 -- The time
appointed is probably the prophetic time of verse 24, which has been previously
mentioned. It closed, as already shown, in A. D. 330, at which time this
power was to return and come again toward the south, but not as on the
former occasion, when it went to Egypt, nor as the latter, when it went
to Judea. Those were expeditions which resulted in conquest and glory.
This one led to demoralization and ruin. The removal of the seat of empire
to Constantinople was the signal for the downfall of the empire. Rome
then lost its prestige. The western division was exposed to the incursions
of foreign enemies. On the death of Constantine, the Roman empire was
divided into three parts, between his three sons, Constantius, Constantine
II, and Constans. Constantine II and Constans quarreled, and Constans,
being victor, gained the supremacy of the whole West. He was soon slain
by one of his commanders, who, in turn, was shortly after defeated by
the surviving emperor, and in despair ended his own days, A. D. 353. The
barbarians of the North now began their incursions, and extended their
conquests till the imperial power of the West expired in A. D. 476.
This was indeed different
from the two former movements brought to view in the prophecy; and to
this the fatal step of removing the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople
30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore be
shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant:
so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them
that forsake the holy covenant.
The prophetic narrative still
has reference to the power which has been the subject of the prophecy
from the sixteenth verse; namely, Rome. What were the ships of Chittim
that came against this power, and when was this movement made? What country
or power is meant by Chittim? Dr.
A. Clarke, on Isa. 23:1, has this note:
"From the land of Chittim it is revealed to them. The news of the
destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar is said to be brought to them from
Chittim, the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean; for the Tyrians,
says Jerome, on verse 6, when they saw they had no other
p 281 -- means
of escape, fled in their ships, and took refuge in Carthage, and in the
islands of the Ionian and Aegean Seas. So also Jochri on the same place."
Kitto gives the same locality to Chittim; namely, the coast and
islands of the Mediterranean; and the mind is carried by the testimony
of Jerome to a definite and celebrated city situated in that land; that
Was ever a naval warfare
with Carthage as a base of operations, waged against the Roman empire?
We have but to think of the terrible onslaught of the Vandals upon Rome
under the fierce Genseric, to answer readily in the affirmative. Sallying
every spring from the port of Carthage at the head of his numerous and
well-disciplined naval forces, he spread consternation through all the
maritime provinces of the empire. That this is the work brought to view
is further evident when we consider that we are brought down in the prophecy
to this very time. In verse 29, the transfer of empire to Constantinople
we understood to be mentioned. Following in due course of time, as the
next remarkable revolution, came the irruptions of the barbarians of the
North, prominent among which was the Vandal war already mentioned. The
years A. D. 428-468 mark the career of Genseric.
"He shall be grieved
and return." This may have reference to the desperate efforts which
were made to dispossess Genseric of the sovereignty of the seas, the first
by Majorian, the second by Leo, both of which proved to be utter failures;
and Rome was obliged to submit to the humiliation of seeing its provinces
ravaged, and its "eternal city" pillaged by the enemy. (See
on Rev. 8:8.)
the covenant;" that is, the Holy Scriptures, the book of the covenant.
A revolution of this nature was accomplished in Rome. The Heruli, Goths,
and Vandals, who conquered Rome, embraced the Arian faith, and became
enemies of the Catholic Church. It was especially for the purpose of exterminating
this heresy that Justinian decreed the pope to be the head of the church
and the corrector of heretics. The Bible soon came to be regarded as a
dangerous book that should not be read by the common people, but all questions
in dispute were to be submitted to the pope. Thus
p 282 -- was indignity
heaped upon God's word. And the emprerors of Rome, the eastern division
of which still continued, had intelligence, or connived with the Church
of Rome, which had forsaken the convenant, and constituted the great apostasy,
for the purpose of putting down "heresy." The man of sin was
raised to his presumptuous throne by the defeat of the Arian Goths, who
then held posession of Rome, in A. D. 538.
31. And arms
shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength,
and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination
that maketh desolate.
The power of the empire was
committed to the carrying on of the work before mentioned. "And they
shall pollute the sanctuary of strength," or Rome. If this applies
to the barbarians, it was literally fulfilled; for Rome was sacked by
the Goths and Vandals, and the imperial power of the West ceased through
the conquest of Rome by Odoacer. Or if it refers to those rulers of the
empire who were working in behalf of the papacy against the pagan and
all other opposing religions, it would signify the removal of the seat
of empire from Rome to Constantinople, which contributed its measure of
influence to the downfall of Rome. The passage would then be parallel
to Dan. 8:11 and Rev. 13:2.
"And they shall take
away the daily sacrifice." It was shown, on Dan. 8:13, that sacrifice
is a word erroneously supplied; that it should be desolation;
and that the expression denotes a desolating power, of which the abomination
of desolation is but the counterpart, and to which it succeeds in point
of time. The "daily" desolation was paganism, the "abomination
of desolation" is the papacy. But it may be asked how this can be
the papacy; since Christ spoke of it in connection with the destruction
of Jerusalem. And the answer is, Christ evidently referred to the ninth
of Daniel, which is a prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, and
not to this verse of chapter 11, which does not refer to that event. Daniel,
in the ninth chapter, speaks of desolations and abominations, plural.
More than one abomination, therefore, treads down the church; that is,
so far as the church is concerned, both paganism and the
p 283 -- papacy are
abominations. But as distinguished from each other, the language is restricted,
and one is the "daily" desolation and the other is pre-eminently
the transgression or "abomination" of desolation.
How was the daily or paganism,
taken away? As this is spoken of in connection with the placing or setting
up of the abomination of desolation, or the papacy, it must denote, not
merely the nominal change of the religion of the empire from paganism
to Christianity, as on the conversion, so-called, of Constantine, but
such an eradication of paganism from all the elements of the empire, that
the way would be all open for the papal abomination to arise and assert
its arrogant claims. Such a revolution as this, plainly defined, was accomplished;
but not for nearly two hundred years after the death of Constantine.
As we approach the year A.
D. 508, we behold a grand crisis ripening between Catholicism and the
pagan influences still existing in the empire. Up to the time of the conversion
of Clovis, king of France, A. D. 496, the French and other nations of
Western Rome were pagan; but subsequently to that event, the efforts to
convert idolaters to Romanism were crowned with great success. The conversion
of Clovis is said to have been the occasion of bestowing upon the French
monarch the titles of "Most Christian Majesty" and "Eldest
Son of the Church." Between that time and A. D. 508, by alliances,
capitulations, and conquests, the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the
West, Brittany, the Burgundians, and the Visigoths, were brought into
From the time when these
successes were fully accomplished; namely, 508, the papacy was triumphant
so far as paganism was concerned; for though the latter doubtless retarded
the progress of the Catholic faith, yet it had not the power, if it had
the disposition, to suppress the faith, and hinder the encroachments of
the Roman pontiff. When the prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment
to paganism, it was only to perpetuate its abominations in another form;
for Christianity, as exhibited in the Catholic Church, was, and is, only
p 284 -- In England,
Arthur, the first Christian king, founded the Christian worship on the
ruiris of the pagan. Rapin (book. 2, p. 124), who claims to be exact in
the chronology of events, states that he was elected monarch of Britain
The condition of the See
of Rome was also peculiar at this time. In 498, Symmachus ascended the
pontifical throne as a recent convert from paganism. He reigned to A.
D. 514. He found his way to the papal chair, says Du Pin, by striving
with his competitor even unto blood. He received adulation as the successor
of St. Peter, and struck the key-note of papal assumption by presuming
to excommunicate the emperor Anastasius. The most servile flatterers of
the pope now began to maintain that he was constituted judge in the place
of God, and that he was the vicegerent of the Most High.
Such was the direction in
which events were tending in the West. What posture did affairs at the
same time assume in the East? A strong papal party now existed in all
parts of the empire. The adherents of this cause in Constantinople, encouraged
by the success of their brethren in the West, deemed it safe to commence
open hostilities in behalf of their master at Rome. In 508 their partisan
zeal culminated in a whirlwind of fanaticism and civil war, which swept
in fire and blood through the streets of the eastern capital.
the years 508-518, speaking of the commotions in Constantinople, says:
statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a
suburb, till, at the end of three days, be dared to implore the mercy
of his subjects. Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant,
Anastasius appeared on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before
his face, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted in the offer
which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald of abdicating the purple;
they listened to the admonition that, since all could not reign, they
should previonsly agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted
the blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master, without hestitation,
condemned to the lions. These furious but transient seditions were encouraged
by the success of Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians,
p 285 --
for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic
faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople,
exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow Christians, till he obtained
the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment
of the Council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by
the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian.
And such was the event of the first of the religious wars which have been
waged in the name, and by the disciples, of the God of Peace."
Decline and Fall, Vol. IV, p. 526.
Let it be marked that in
this year, 508, paganism had so far declined, and Catholicism had so far
relatively increased in strength, that the Catholic Church for the first
time waged a successful war against both the civil authority of the empire
and the church of the East, which had for the most part embraced the Monophysite
doctrine. The extermination of 65,000 heretics was the result.
Further evidence regarding
the time is supplied by the prophecy of Dan. 12:11, where it is stated
that "from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,
... there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." As verses
4, 6, 7, 8, 9 of this chapter speak of the "time of the end,"
we may reasonably conclude the same time is meant in verse 11. Reckoning
back 1290 "days," or years, from the "time of the end,"
which began A. D. 1798 (see p. 290), we are brought to the year A. D.
From these evidences we think
it clear that the daily, or paganism, was taken away in A. D. 508. This
was preparatory to the setting up, or establishnient of the papacy, which
was a separate and subsequent event. Of this the prophetic narrative now
leads us to speak.
they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." Having shown
quite fully what constituted the taking away of the daily, or paganism,
we now inquire, When was the abomination that maketh desolate, or the
papacy, placed, or set up? The little horn that had eyes like the eyes
of man was not slow to see when the way was open for his advancement
p 286 --
and elevation. From the year 508 his progress toward universal supremacy
was without a parallel.
When Justinian was about
to commence the Vandal war, A. D. 533, an enterprise of no small magnitude
and difficulty, he wished to secure the influence of the bishop of Rome,
who had then attained a position in which his opinion had great weight
throughout a large portion of Christendom. Justinian therefore took it
upon himself to decide the contest which had long existed between the
sees of Rome and Constantinople as to which should have the precedence,
by giving the preference to Rome, and declaring, in the fullest and most
unequivocal terms, that the bishop of that city should be chief of the
whole ecclesiastical body of the empire. A
work on the Apocalypse, by Rev. George Croly, of England, published
in 1827, presents a detailed account of the events by which the
supremacy of the pope of Rome was secured. He gives the following as the
terms in which the letter of Justinian was expressed: - "Justinian,
pious, fortunate, renowned, triumphant, emperor, consul, etc., to John,
the most holy archbishop of our city of Rome, and patriarch.
honor to the apostolic chair and to your holiness, as has been always,
and is, our wish, and honoring your blessedness as a father, we have hastened
to bring to the knowledge of your holiness all matters relating to the
state of the churches; it having been at all times our great desire to
preserve the unity of your apostolic chair, and the constitution of the
holy churches of God, which has obtained hitherto, and still obtains.
we have made no delay in subjecting and uniting to your holiness all
the priests of the whole East. ... We cannot suffer that anything
which relates to the state of the church, however manifest and unquestionable,
should be moved without the knowledge of your holiness, who is THE HEAD
OF ALL THE HOLY CHURCHES; for in all things, as we have already declared,
we are anxious to increase the honor and authority of your apostolic chair."
- Croly, pp. 114, 115.
emperor's letter," continues
Mr. Croly, "must have
p 287 -- been
sent before the 25th of March, 533; for in his letter of that date to
Epiphanius, he speaks of its having been already dispatched, and repeats
his decision that all affairs touching the church shall be referred to
the pope, 'head of all bishops, and the true and effective corrector
his answer, returned the same month of the following year, 534, observes
that among the virtues of Justinian,
"one shines as a star,
- his reverence for the apostolic chair, to which he has subjected and
united all the churches, it being truly the head of all."
"Novellae" of the Justinian code give unanswerable
proof of the authenticity of the title. The preamble of the 9th states
the elder Rome was the founder of the laws, so was it not to be questioned
that in her was the supremacy of the Pontificate." The
131st, on the ecclesiastical titles and privileges, chapter 2, states:
therefore decree that the most holy pope of the elder Rome is the first
of all the priesthood, and that the most blessed archbishop of Constantinople,
the new Rome, shall hold the second rank after the holy apostolic chair
of the elder Rome."
Toward the close of the sixth
century, John of Constantinople denied the Roman supremacy, and assumed
for himself the title of universal bishop; whereupon Gregory the great,
indignant at the usurpation, denounced John, and declared, with unconscious
truth, that he who would assume the title of universal bishop was Antichrist.
Phocas, in 606, suppressed the claim of the bishop of Constantinople,
and vindicated that of the bishop of Rome. But Phocas was not the founder
of papal supremacy. Says Croly,
"That Phocas repressed the claim
of the bishop of Constantinople is beyond a doubt. But the highest authorities
among the civilians and annalists of Rome, spurn the idea that Phocas
was the founder of the supremacy of Rome; they ascend to Justinian as
the only legitimate source, and rightly date the title from the memorable
year 533." Again he says: "On
reference to Baronius, the established authority among the Roman Catholic
annalists, I found the whole detail of Justinian's grants of supremacy
to the pope formally given. The entire transaction was of the
p 288 -- most
authentic and regular kind, and suitable to the importance of the transfer."
- apocalypse, p. 8.
Such were the circumstances
attending the decree of Justinian. But the provisions of this decree could
not at once be carried into effect; for Rome and Italy were held by the
Ostrogoths, who were Arians in faith, and strongly opposed to the religion
of Justinian and the pope. It was therefore evident that the Ostrogoths
must be rooted out of Rome before the pope could exercise the power with
which he had been clothed. To accomplish this object, the Italian war
was commenced in 534. The management of the campaign was entrusted to
Belisarius. On his approach toward Rome, several cities forsook Vitijes,
their Gothic and heretical sovereign, and joined the armies of the Catholic
emperor. The Goths, deciding to delay offensive operations till spring,
allowed Belisarius to enter Rome without opposition. "The deputies
of the pope and clergy, of the senate and people, invited the lieutenant
of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance."
Belisarius entered Rome Dec.
10, 536. But this was not an end of the struggle; for the Goths, rallying
their forces, resolved to dispute his possession of the city by a regular
siege. They commenced in March, 537. Belisarius feared despair and treachery
on the part of the people. Several senators, and Pope Sylverius, on proof
or suspicion of treason, were sent into exile. The emperor commanded the
clergy to elect a new bishop. After solemnly invoking the Holy Ghost,
says Gibbon, they elected the deacon Vigilius, who, by a bribe of two
hundred pounds of gold, had purchased the honor.
The whole nation of the Ostrogoths
had been assembled for the siege of Rome; but success did not attend their
efforts. Their hosts melted away in frequent and bloody combats under
the city walls; and the year and nine days during which the siege lasted,
witnessed almost the entire consumption of the whole nation. In the month
of March, 538, dangers beginning to threaten them from other quarters,
they raised the siege, burned their tents, and retired in tumult and confusion
from the city, with numbers scarcely sufficient to preserve their existence
as a nation or their identity as a people.
p 289 -- Thus the
Gothic horn, the last of the three, was plucked up before the little horn
of Daniel 7. Nothing now stood in the way of the pope to prevent his exercising
the power conferred upon him by Justinian five years before. The saints,
times, and laws were now in his hands, not in purpose only, but in fact.
And this must therefore be taken as the year when this abomination was
placed, or set up, and as the point from which to date the predicted 1260
years of its supremacy.
32. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt
by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong,
and do exploits.
Those that forsake the covenant,
the Holy Scriptures, and think more of the decrees of popes and the decisions
of councils than they do of the word of God, - these shall he, the pope,
corrupt by flatteries; that is, lead them on in their partisan zeal for
himself by the bestowment of wealth, position, and honors.
At the same time a people
shall exist who know their God; and these shall be strong, and do exploits.
These were those who kept pure religion alive in the earth during the
dark ages of papal tyranny, and performed marvelous acts of self-sacrifice
and religious heroism in behalf of their faith. Prominent among these
stand the Waldenses, Albigenses, Huguenots, etc.
33. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many;
yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil,
The long period of papal
persecution against those who were struggling to maintain the truth and
instruct their fellow men in ways of righteousness, is here brought to
view. The number of the days during which they were thus to fall is given
in Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:6, 14; 13:5. The period is called, "a
time, times, and the dividing of time;" "a time,
times, and a half;" "a thousand two hundred and
threescore days;" and "forty and two months." It is the
1260 years of papal supremacy.
34. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help;
but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
p 290 -- In Revelation
12, where this same papal persecution is brought to view, we read that
the earth helped the woman by opening her mouth, and swallowing up the
flood which the dragon cast out after her. The great Reformation by Luther
and his co-workers furnished the help here foretold. The German states
espoused the Protestant cause, protected the reformers, and restrained
the work of persecution so furiously carried on by the papal church. But
when they should be helped, and the cause begin to become popular, many
were to cleave unto them with flatteries, or embrace the cause from unworthy
motives, be insincere, hollow-hearted, and speak smooth and friendly words
through a policy of self-interest.
35. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and
to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because
it is yet for a time appointed.
Though restrained, the spirit
of persecution was not destroyed. It broke out whenever there was opportunity.
Especially was this the case in England. The religious state of that kingdom
was fluctuating, it being sometimes under Protestant, and sometimes papal
jurisdiction, according to the religion of the ruling house. The bloody
Queen Mary was a mortal enemy to the Protestant cause, and multitudes
fell victims to her relentless persecutions. And this condition of affairs
was to last more or less to the time of the end. The natural conclusion
would be that when the time of the end should come, this power which the
Church of Rome had possessed to punish heretics, which had been the cause
of so much persecution, and which for a time had been restrained, would
now be taken entirely away; and the conclusion would be equally evident
that this taking away of the papal supremacy would mark the commencement
of the period here called the "time of the end." If this application
is correct, the time of the end commenced in 1798; for there, as already
noticed, the papacy was overthrown by the French, and has never since
been able to wield the power it before possessed. That the oppression
of the church by the papacy is what is here referred to, is evident, because
that is the only one, with the possible
p 291 --
(The Imprisonment of Huss)
p 292 -- exception
of Rev. 2:10, connected with a "time appointed," or a prophetic
36. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt
himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous
things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation
be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done.
The king here introduced
cannot denote the same power which was last noticed; namely, the papal
power; for the specifications will not hold good if applied to that power.
Take a declaration in the
next verse: "Nor regard any god." This has never been true of
the papacy. God and Christ, though often placed in a false position, have
never been professedly set aside and rejected from that system of religion,
The only difficulty in applying it to a new power lies in the definite
article the; for,
it is urged, the expression "the
king" would identify this as one last spoken of. If it could be properly
translated a king,
there would be no difficulty; and it is said that some of the best Biblical
critics give it this rendering, Mede, Wintle, Boothroyd, and others translating
the passage, "A certain king shall do according to his will,"
thus, clearly introducing a new power upon the stage of action.
Three peculiar features
must appear in the power which fulfils this prophecy:
(1) It must assume the character here delineated
near the commencement of the time of the end, to which we were brought
down in the preceding verse; (2)
it must be a wilful power; (3) it
must be an atheistical power; or perhaps the two latter specifications
might be united by saying that its wilfulness would be manifested in the
direction of atheism.
A revolution exactly answering
to this description ,did take place in France at the time indicated in
the prophecy. Voltaire
had sowed the seeds which bore their legitimate and baleful fruit. That
boastful infidel, in his pompous but impotent self-conceit, had said,
am weary of hearing people repeat that twelve men established the Christian
religion. I will prove that one man may suffice to overthrow it."
Associating with himself
such men as Rousseau, D'Alembert, Diderot, and others, he undertook the
work. They sowed to the
p 293 -- wind, and
reaped the whirlwind. Their efforts culminated in the "reign of terror"
of 1793, when the Bible was discarded, and the existence of the Deity
denied, as the voice of the nation.
The historian thus describes
this great religious change: - "It
was not enough, they said, for a regenerate nation to have dethroned earthly
kings, unless she stretched out the arm of defiance toward those powers
which superstition had represented as reigning over boundless space."
- Scott's Napoleon, Vol. I, p. 172.
Again he says: - "The
constitutional bishop of Paris was brought forward to play the principal
part in the most impudent and scandalous farce ever enacted in the face
of a national representation.... He was brought forward in full
procession, to declare to the convention that the religion which be had
taught so many years was, in every respect, a piece of PRIESTCRAFT, which
had no foundation either in history or sacred truth. He disowned,
in solemn and explicit terms, the EXISTENCE OF THE DEITY, to whose worship
he had been consecrated, and devoted himself in future to the homage of
Liberty, Equality, Virtue, and Morality. He then laid on the table his
episcopal decorations, and received a fraternal embrace from the president
of the convention. Several apostate priests followed the example of this
prelate ... The world, for the FIRST time, heard an assembly of men, born
and educated in civilization, and assuming the right to govern
one of the finest of the European nations, uplift their united
voice to DENY the most solemn truth which man's soul receives, and RENOUNCE
UNANIMOUSLY THE BELIEF AND WORSHIP OF DEITY." - Id.,
Vol. I, p. 173.
A writer in Blackwood's
1870, said: - "France
is the only nation in the world concerning which the authentic record
survives, that as a nation she lifted her hand in open rebellion against
the Author of the universe. Plenty of blasphemers, plenty of infidels,
there have been, and still continue to be, in England, Germany, Spain,
and elsewhere; but France stands apart in the world's history as the
p 294 -- single
state which, by the decree of her legislative assembly, pronounced that
there was no God, and of which the entire population of the capital, and
a vast majority elsewhere, women as well as men, danced and sang with
joy in accepting the announcement."
But there are other and still
more striking specifications which were fulfilled in this power.
37. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire
of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
The Hebrew word for woman
is also translated wife;
and Bishop Newton observes that this passage would be more properly rendered
"the desire of wives." This would seem to indicate that this
government, at the same time it declared that God did not exist, would
trample under foot the law which God had given to regulate the marriage
institution. And we find that the historian has, unconsciously perhaps,
and if so all the more significantly, coupled together the atheism and
licentiousness of this government in the same order in which they are
presented in the prophecy. He says: - "Intimately
connected with these laws affecting religion was that which reduced the
union of marriage - the most sacred engagements which human beings can
form, and the permanence of which leads most strongly to the consolidation
of society - to the state of a mere civil contract of a transitory character,
which any two persons might engage in and cast loose at pleasure, when
their taste was changed or their appetite gratified. If fiends had set
themselves at work to discover a mode of most effectually destroying whatever
is venerable, graceful, or permanent in domestic life, and obtaining at
the same time an assurance that the mischief which it was their object
to create should be perpetuated from one generation to another, they could
not have invented a more effectual plan than the degradation of marriage
into a state of mere occasional cohabitation or licensed concubinage.
Sophie Arnoult, an actress famous for the witty things she said, described
the republican marriage as the sacrament of adultery. These
p 295 --
anti-religious and anti-social regulations did not answer the purpose
of the frantic and inconsiderate zealots by whom they had been urged forward."
- Scott's Napoleon, Vol. I, p. 173.
"Nor regard any god."
In addition to the testimony already presented to show the utter atheism
of the nation at this time, the following fearful language of madness
and presumption is to be recorded: - "The
fear of God is so far from being the beginning of wisdom that it is the
beginning of folly. Modesty is only the invention of refined voluptuousness.
The Supreme King, the God of the Jews and the Christians, is
but a phantom. Jesus Christ is an impostor."
Another writer says: - "Aug
26, 1792, an open confession of atheism was made by the National Convention;
and corresponding societies and atheistical clubs were everywhere fearlessly
held in the French nation. Massacres and the reign of terror became the
most horrid." - Smith's Key to Revelation, p. 323.
Chaumette, and their associates appeared at the bar, and declared that
God did not exist." - Alison, Vol. I, p.150.
At this juncture all religious
worship was prohibited except that of liberty and the country. The gold
and silver plate of the churches was seized upon and desecrated. The churches
were closed. The bells were broken and cast into cannon. The Bible was
publicly burned. The sacramental vessels were paraded through the streets
on an ass, in token of contempt. A week of ten days instead of seven was
established, and death was declared, in conspicuous letters posted over
their burial places, to be an eternal sleep. But the crowning blasphemy,
if these orgies of hell admit of degrees, remained to be performed by
the comedian Monvel,
who, as a priest of Illuminism, said: - "God,
if you exist, avenge your injured name. I bid you defiance! You remain
silent. You dare not launch your thunders! Who, after this, will believe
in your existence? The whole ecclesiastical establishment was destroyed."
- Scott's Napoleon, Vol.I, p. 173.
p 296 --
(Storming of the Tuilleries)
p 297 -- Behold what
man is when left to himself, and what infidelity is when the restraints
of law are thrown off, and it has the power in its own hands! Can it be
doubted that these scenes are what the omniscient One foresaw, and noted
on the sacred page, when he pointed out a kingdom to arise which should
exalt itself above every god, and disregard them all?
38. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god
whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with
precious stones, and pleasant things.
We meet a seeming contradiction
in this verse. How can a nation disregard every god, and yet honor the
god of forces? It could not at one and the same time hold both these positions;
but it might for a time disregard all gods, and then subsequently introduce
another worship and regard the god of forces. Did such a change occur
in France at this time? - It did. The attempt to make France a godless
nation produced such anarchy that the rulers feared the power would pass
entirely out of their hands, and therefore perceived that, as a political
necessity, some kind of worship must be introduced; but they did not intend
to introduce any movement which would increase devotion, or develop any
true spiritual character among the people, but only such as would keep
themselves in power, and give them control of the national forces. A few
extracts from history will show this. Liberty and country were at first
the objects of adoration. "Liberty, equality, virtue, and morality,"
the very opposites of anything they possessed in fact or exhibited in
practice, were words which they set forth as describing the deity of the
nation. In 1793 the worship of the Goddess of Reason was introduced, by
the historian: - "One
of the ceremomes of this insane time stands unrivaled for absurdity combined
with impiety. The doors of the convention were thrown open to a band of
musicians, preceded by whom, the members of the municipal body entered
in solemn procession, singing a hymn in praise of liberty, and escorting,
as the object of their future worship, a vailed female whom they termed
the Goddess of Reason. Being brought within
p 298 --
the bar, she was
unvailed with great form, and placed on the right hand of the president,
when she was generally recognized as a dancing girl of the opera, with
whose charms most of the persons present were acquainted from her appearance
on the stage, while the experience of individuals was further extended.
To this person, as the fittest representative of that reason whom they
worshiped, the National Convention of France rendered public homage. This
impious and ridiculous mummery had a certain fashion; and the installation
of the Goddess of Reason was renewed and imitated throughout the nation,
in such places where the inhabitants desired to show themselves equal
to all the heights of the Revolution." - Scott's Napoleon,
Vol.1, ch. 17.
In introducing the worship
of Reason, in 1794, Chaumette
said: - "'Legislative
fanaticism has lost its hold; it has given place to reason. We have left
its temples; they are regenerated. To-day an immense multitude are assembled
under its Gothic roofs, which, for the first time, will re-echo the voice
of truth. There the French will celebrate their true worship - that of
Liberty and Reason. There we will form new vows for the prosperity of
the armies of the Republic; there we will abandon the worship of inanimate
idols for that of Reason - this animated image, the masterpiece of creation.'
vailed female, arrayed in blue drapery, was brought into the convention;
and Chaumette, taking her by the hand, -
"'Mortals,' said he, 'cease to tremble before the powerless thunders
of a God whom your fears have created. Henceforth acknowledge NO DIVINITY
but REASON. I offer you its noblest and purest image; if you must have
idols, sacrifice only to such as this.... Fall before the august Senate
of Freedom, Vail of Reason.'
the same time the goddess appeared, personified by a celebrated beauty,
Madame Millard, of the opera, known in more than one character to most
of the convention. The goddess, after being embraced by the president,
was mounted on a magnificent car, and conducted, amidst an immense crowd,
to the cathedral of Notre Dame, to take the place of the Deity.
There she was elevated on the high altar, and received the adoration of
p 299 --
(The Goddess of Reason)
p 300 -- "On
the 11th of November, the popular society of the museum entered the hall
of the municipality, exclaiming, ' Vive la Raison! ' and carrying
on the top of a pole the half-burned remains of several books, among others
the breviaries and the Old and New Testaments, which 'expiated in a great
fire,' said the president, 'all the fooleries which they have made the
human race commit.'
most sacred relations of life were at the same period placed on a new
footing suited to the extravagant ideas of the times. Marriage was declared
a civil contract, binding only during the pleasure of the contracting
parties. Mademoiselle Arnoult, a celebrated comedian, expressed the public
feeling when she called 'marriage the sacrament of adultery.'"- Id.
Truly this was a strange
god, whom the fathers of that generation knew not. No such deity had ever
before been set up as an object of adoration. And well might it be called
the god of forces; for the object of the movement was to cause the people
to renew their covenant and repeat their vows for the prosperity of the
armies of France. Read again a few lines from the extract already given: - "We
have left its temples; they are regenerated. To-day an immense multitude
is assembled under its Gothic roofs, which for the first time, will re-echo
the voice of truth. There the French will celebrate their true worship,
- that of Liberty and Reason. There we will form new vows for the prosperity
of the armies of the Republic." *
39. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,
whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause
them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
The system of paganism which
had been introduced into France, as exemplified in the worship of the
idol set up in the person of the Goddess of Reason, and regulated by a
the time while the fantastic worship of reason was the national craze,
the leaders of the revolution are known to history as "the atheists."
But it was soon perceived that a religion with more powerful sanctions
than the one then in vogue must be instituted to hold the people. A form
of worship therefore followed in which the object of adoration was the
"Supreme Being." It was equally hollow so far as any reformation
of life and vital godliness were concerned, but it took hold upon the
supernatural. And while the Goddess of Reason was indeed a "strange
god," the statement in regard to honoring the "God of forces,"
may perhaps more appropriately be referred to this latter phase. See Thiers's
p 301 -- ritual which
had been enacted by the National Assembly for the use of the French people,
continued in force till the appointment of Napoleon to the provisional
consulate of France in 1799. The adherents of this strange religion occupied
the fortified places, the strongholds of the nation, as expressed in this
But that which serves to
identify the application of this prophecy to France, perhaps as clearly
as any other particular, is the statement made in the last clause of the
verse; namely, that they should "divide the land for gain."
Previous to the Revolution, the landed property of France was owned by
a few landlords in immense estates. These estates were required by the
law to remain undivided, so that no heirs or creditors could partition
them. But revolution knows no law; and in the anarchy that now reigned,
as noted also in the eleventh of Revelation, the titles of the nobility
were abolished, and their lands disposed of in small parcels for the benefit
of the public exchequer. The government was in need of funds, and these
large landed estates were confiscated, and sold at auction in parcels
to suit purchasers. The historian thus records this unique transaction: - "The
confiscation of two thirds of the landed property of the kingdom, which
arose from the decrees of the convention against the emigrants, clergy,
and persons convicted at the Revolutionary Tribunals, ... placed funds
worth above £700,000,000 sterling at the disposal of the government."
- Alison, Vol. IV, p.151.
When did ever an event transpire,
and in what country, fulfilling a prophecy more completely than this?
As the nation began to come to itself, a more rational religion was demanded,
and the heathen ritual was abolished. The historian thus describes that
event: - "A
third and bolder measure was the discarding of the heathen ritual, and
re-opening the churches for Christian worship; and of this the credit
was wholly Napoleon's, who had to contend with the philosophic prejudices
of almost all his colleagues. He, in his conversation with them, made
no attempts to represent himself a believer in Christianity, but stood
p 302 -- on
the necessity of providing the people with the regular means of worship
wherever it is meant to have a state of tranquillity. The priests who
chose to take the oath of fidelity to the government were readmitted to
their functions; and this wise measure was followed by the adherence of
not less than 20,000 of these ministers of religion, who had hitherto
languished in the prisons of France." - Lockhart's Life
of Napoleon, Vol I, p. 154.
Thus terininated the Reign
of Terror and the Infidel Revolution. Out of he ruins rose Bonaparte,
to guide the tumult to his own elevation, place himself at the head of
the French government, and strike terror to the hearts of nations.
40. And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at
him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind,
with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships: and he shall enter
into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
After a long interval, the
king of the south and the king of the north again appear on the stage
of action. We have met with nothing to indicate that we are to look to
any localities for these powers other than those which, shortly after
the death of Alexander, constituted respectively the southern and northern
divisions of his empire. The king of the south was at that time Egypt,
and the king of the north was Syria , including Thrace and Asia Minor.
Egypt is still, by common agreement, the king of the south, while the
territory which at first constituted the king of the north, has been for
the past four hundred years wholly included within the dominions of the
sultan of Turkey. To Egypt and Turkey, then, in connection with the power
last under consideration, we must look for a fulfilment of the verse before
This application of the prophecy
calls for a conflict to spring up between Egypt and France, and Turkey
and France, in 1798, which year, as we have seen, marked the beginning
of the time of the end; and if history testifies that such a triangular
war did break out in that year, it will be conclusive proof of the correctness
of the application.
We inquire, therefore, Is
it a fact that at the time of the end, Egypt did "push," or
make a comparatively feeble resistance,
p 303 --
while Turkey did
come like a resistless "whirlwind," against "him,"
that is, the government of France? We have already produced some evidence
that the time of the end commenced in 1798; and no reader of history need
be informed that in that very year a state of open hostility between France
and Egypt was inaugurated.
what extent this conflict owed its origin to the dreams of glory deliriously
cherished in the ambitious brain of Napoleon Bonaparte, the historian
will form his own opinion; but the French, or Napoleon at least, contrived
to make Egypt the aggressor. Thus, when in the invasion of that country
he had secured his first foothold in Alexandria, he declared that
"he had not come to ravage the country or to wrest it from the Grand
Seignior, but merely to deliver it from the domination of the Mamelukes,
and to revenge the outrages which they had committed against France."
- Thiers's French Revolution, Vol. IV, p. 268.
Again the historian says:
"Besides, he [Bonaparte] had
strong reasons to urge against them [the Mamelukes]; for they had never
ceased to ill-treat the French." -
Id., p. 273.
The beginning of the year
1798 found France indulging in immense projects against the English. The
Directory desired Bonaparte to undertake at once a descent upon England;
but he saw that no direct operations of that kind could be judiciously
undertaken before the fall, and he was unwilling to hazard his growing
reputation by spending the summer in idleness.
says the historian,
"he saw a far-off land, where a glory was to be won which would gain
a new charm in the eyes of his countrymen by the romance and mystery which
hung upon the scene. Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs and the Ptolemies,
would be a noble field for new triumphs." - White's History of
France, p. 469.
But while still broader visions
of glory opened before the eyes of Bonaparte in those Eastern historic
lands, covering not Egypt only, but Syria, Persia, Hindustan, even to
the Ganges itself, he had no difficulty in persuading the Directory that
Egypt was the vulnerable point through which to strike at England by intercepting
her Eastern trade. Hence on the
p 304 -- pretext above
mentioned, the Egyptian campaign was undertaken.
The downfall of the papacy,
which marked the termination of the 1260 years, and according to verse
35 showed the commencement of the time of the end, occurred on the 10th
of February, 1798, when Rome fell into the hands of Berthier, the general
of the French. On the 5th of March following, Bonaparte received the decree
of the Directory relative to the expedition against Egypt. He left Paris
May 3, and set sail from Toulon the 19th, with a large naval armament
consisting of 500 sail, carrying 40,000 soldiers and 10,000 sailors. July
5, Alexandria was taken, and immediately fortified. On the 23d the decisive
battle of the pyramids was fought, in which the Mamelukes contested the
field with valor and desperation, but were no match for the disciplined
legions of the French. Murad Bey lost all his cannon, 400 camels, and
3,000 men. The loss of the French was comparatively slight. On the 24th,
Bonaparte entered Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and only waited the subsidence
of the floods of the Nile to pursue Murad Bey to Upper Egypt, whither
he had retired with his shattered cavalry, and so make a conquest of the
whole country. Thus the king of the south was able to make but a feeble
At this juncture, however,
the situation of Napoleon began to grow precarious. The French fleet,
which was his only channel of communication with France, was destroved
by the English under Nelson at Aboukir; and on September 2 of this same
year, 1798, the sultan of Turkey, under feelings of jealousy against France,
artfully fostered by the English ambassadors at Constantinople, and exasperated
that Egypt, so long a semi-dependency of the Ottoman empire, should be
transformed into a French province, declared war against France. Thus
the king of the north (Turkey) came against him (France) in the same year
that the king of the south (Egypt) "pushed," and both "at
the time of the end;" which is another conclusive proof that the
year 1798 is the year which begins that period; and all of which is a
demonstration that this application of the prophecy is correct; for so,
many events meeting so accurately the specifications of the prophecy could
p 305 -- place together,
and not constitute a fulfilment of the prophecy.
Was the coming of the king
of the north, or Turkey, like a whirlwind in comparison with the pushing
of Egypt? Napoleon had crushed the armies of Egypt; he assayed to do the
same thing with the armies of the sultan, who were menacing an attack
from the side of Asia. Feb. 27, 1799, with 18,000 men, he commenced his
march from Cairo to Syria. He first took the fort of El-Arish, in the
desert, then Jaffa (the Joppa of the Bible), conquered the inhabitants
of Naplous at Zeta, and was again victorious at Jafet. Meanwhile, a strong
body of Turks had intrenched themselves at St. Jean d'Acre, while swarms
of Mussulmans gathered in the mountains of Samaria, ready to swoop down
upon the French when they should besiege Acre. Sir Sidney Smith at the
same time appeared before St. Jean d'Acre with two English ships, reinforced
the Turkish garrison of that place, and captured the apparatus for the
siege, which Napoleon had sent across by sea from Alexandria. A Turkish
fleet soon appeared in the offing, which, with the Russian and English
vessels then co-operating with them, constituted the "many ships"
of the king of the north.
On the 18th of March the
siege commenced. Napoleon was twice called away to save some French divisions
from falling into the hands of the Mussulman hordes that filled the country.
Twice also a breach was made in the wall of the city; but the assailants
were met with such fury by the garrison, that they were obliged, despite
their best efforts, to give over the struggle. After a continuance of
sixty days, Napoleon raised the siege, sounded, for the first time in
his career, the note of retreat, and on the 21st of May, 1799, commenced
to retrace his steps to Egypt.
"And he shall overflow
and pass over." We have found events which furnish a very striking
fulfilment of the pushing of the king of the south and the whirlwind onset
of the king of the north against the French power. Thus far there is quite
a general agreement in the application of the prophecy. We now reach a
point where the views of expositors begin to diverge. To whom do the words
he "shall overflow and pass over," refer? - to France or to
the king of the north? The
p 306 -- application
of the remainder of this chapter depends upon the answer to this question.
From this point two lines of interpretation are maintained. Some apply
the words to France, and endeavor to find a fulfilment in the career of
Napoleon. Others apply them to the king of the north, and accordingly
point for a fulfilment to events in the history of Turkey. We speak of
these two positions only, as the attempt which some make to bring in the
papacy here is so evidently wide of the mark that its consideration need
not detain us. If neither of these positions is free from difficulty,
as we presume no one will claim that it is, absolutely, it only remains
that we take that one which has the weight of evidence in its favor. And
we shall find one in favor of which the evidence does so greatly preponderate,
to the exclusion of all others, as scarcely to leave any room for doubt
in regard to the view here mentioned.
Respecting the application
of this portion of the prophecy to Napoleon or to France under his leadership,
so far as we are acquainted with his history, we do not find events which
we can urge with any degree of assurance as the fulfilment of the remaining
portion of this chapter, and hence do not see how it can be thus applied.
It must, then, be fulfilled by Turkey, unless it can be shown (1)
that the expression "king of the north" does not apply to Turkey,
or (2) that there is some other
power besides either France or the king of the north which fulfilled this
part of the prediction. But if Turkey, now occupying the territory which
constituted the northern division of Alexander's empire, is not the king
of the north of this prophecy, then we are left without any, principle
to guide us in the interpretation; and we presume all will agree that
there is no room for the introduction of any other power here. The French
king, and the king of the north, are the only ones to whom the prediction
can apply. The fulfilment must lie between them.
Some considerations certainly
favor the idea that there is, in the latter part of verse 40, a transfer
of the burden of the prophecy from the French power to the king of the
north. The king of the north is introduced just before, as coming forth
like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and many
p 307 -- ships. The
collision between this power and the French we have already noticed. The
king of the north, with the aid of his allies, gained the day in this
contest; and the French, foiled in their efforts, were driven back into
Egypt. Now it would seem to be the more natural application to refer the
"overflowing and passing over" to that power which emerged in
triumph from that struggle; and that power was Turkey. We will only add
that one who is familiar with the Hebrew assures us that the construction
of this passage is such as to make it necessary to refer the overflowing
and passing over to the king of the north, these words expressing the
result of that movement which is just before likened to the fury of the
41. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries
shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom,
and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
The facts just stated relative
to the campaign of the French against Turkey, and the repulse of the former
at St. Jean d'Acre, were drawn chiefly from the Encyclopedia Americana.
From the same source we gather further particulars respecting the retreat
of the French into Egypt, and the additional reverses which compelled
them to evacuate that country.
Abandoning a campaign in
which one third of the army had fallen victims to war and the plague,
the French retired from St. Jean d'Acre, and after a fatiguing march of
twenty-six days re-entered Cairo in Egypt. They thus abandoned all the
conquests they had made in Judea; and the "glorious land," Palestine,
with all its provinces, here called "countries," fell back again
under the oppressive rule of the Turk. Edom, Moab, and Ammon, lying outside
the limits of Palestine, south and east of the Dead Sea and the Jordan,
were out of the line of march of the Turks from Syria to Egypt, and so
escaped the ravages of that campaign. On this passage, Adam
Clarke has the following note: "These
and other Arabians, they [the Turks] have never been able to subdue. They
still occupy the deserts, and receive a yearly pension of forty thousand
crowns of gold from the Ottoman emperors to permit the caravans with the
pilgrims for Mecca to have a free passage."
p 308 --
VERSE 42. He
shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries and the land of Egypt
shall not escape.
On the retreat of the French
to Egypt, a Turkish fleet landed 18,000 men at Aboukir. Napoleon immediately
attacked the place, completely routing the Turks, and re-establishing
his authority in Egypt. But at this point, severe reverses to the French
arms in Europe called Napoleon home to look after the interests of his
own country. The command of the troops in Egypt was left with General
Kleber, who, after a period of untiring activity for the benefit of the
army, was murdered by a Turk in Cairo, and the command was left with Abdallah
Menou. With an army which could not be recrulted, every loss was serious.
Meanwhile, the English government,
as the ally of the Turks, had resolved to wrest Egypt from the French.
March 13, 1800, an English fleet disembarked a body of troops at Aboukir.
The French gave battle the next day, but were forced to retire. On the
18th Aboukir surrendered. On the 28th reinforcements were brought by a
Turkish fleet, and the grand vizier approached from Syria with a large
army. The 19th, Rosetta surrendered to the combined forces of the English
and Turks. At Ramanieh a French corps of 4,000 men was defeated by 8,000
English and 6,000 Turks. At Elmenayer 5,000 French were obliged to retreat,
May 16, by the vizier, who was pressing forward to Cairo with 20,000 men.
The whole French army was now shut up in Cairo and Alexandria. Cairo capitulated
June 27, and Alexandria, September 2. Four weeks after, Oct. 1, 1801,
the preliminaries of peace were signed at London.
"Egypt shall not escape"
were the words of the prophecy. This language seems to imply that Egypt
would be brought into subjection to some power from whose dominion it
would desire to be released. As between the French and Turks, how did
this question stand with the Egyptians? - They preferred French rule.
In R. R. Madden's Travels in Egypt, Nubia, Turkey, and Palestine
in the years 1824-1827, published in London in 1829, it is stated that
the French were much regretted by the Egyptians, and extolled as benefactors;
p 309 -- "for
the short period they remained, they left traces of amelioration;"
and that, if they could have established their power, Egypt would now
be comparatively civilized. In view of this testimony, the language would
not be appropriate if applied to the French; the Egyptians did not desire
to escape out of their hands. They did desire to escape from the hands
of the Turks, but could not.
43. But he shall have power over the treasures
of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and
the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
In illustration of this verse
we quote the following from Historic
Echoes of the Voice of God,
p. 49: "History
gives the following facts: When the French were driven out of Egypt, and
the Turks took possession, the,sultan permitted the Egyptians to reorganize
their government as it was before the French invasion. He asked of the
Egyptians neither soldiers, guns, nor fortifications, but left them to
manage their own affairs independently, with the important exception of
putting the nation under tribute to himself. In the articles of agreement
between the sultan and the pasha of Egypt, it was stipulated that the
Egyptians should pay annually to the Turkish government a certain amount
of gold and silver, and 'six hundred thousand measures of corn, and four
hundred thousand of barley.'"
Libyans and the Ethiopians,"
"the Cushim," says
"the unconquered Arabs," who have sought the friendship
of the Turks, and many of whom are tributary to them at the present time.
44. But tidings out of the east and out of
the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury
to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
On this verse Dr.
Clarke has a note which is worthy of mention. He says:
"This part of the prophecy is allowed to be yet unfulfilled."
His note was printed in 1825. In another portion of his comment, he says:
the Turkish power be understood, as in the preceding verses, it may mean
that the Persians on the east, and the Russians on the north,
p 310 -- sometimes
greatly embarrass the Ottoman government."
Between this conjucture of
Dr. Clarke's, written in 1825, and the Crimean War of 1853-1856, there
is certainly a striking coincidence, inasmuch as the very powers he mentions,
the Persians on the east and the Russians on the north, were the ones
which instigated that conflict. Tidings from these powers troubled him
(Turkey). Their attitude and movements incited the sultan to anger and
revenge. Russia, being the more aggressive party, was the object of attack.
Turkey declared war on her powerful northern neighbor in 1853. The world
looked on in amazement to see a government which had long been called
"the Sick Man of the East," a government whose army was dispirited
and demoralized, whose treasuries were empty, whose rulers were vile and
imbecile, and whose subjects were rebellious and threatening secession,
rush with such impetuosity into the conflict. The prophecy said that they
should go forth with "great fury;" and when they thus went forth
in the war aforesaid, they were described, in the profane vernacular of
an American writer, as "fighting like devils." England and France,
it is true, soon came to the help of Turkey; but she went forth in the
manner described, and as is reported, gained important victories before
receiving the assistance of these powers.
45. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas
in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none
shall help him.
We have now traced the prophecy
of the 11th of Daniel down, step by step, and have thus far found events
to fulfil all its predictions. It has all been wrought out into history,
except this last verse. The predictions of the preceding verses having
been fulfilled within the memory of the generation now living, we are
carried by this one past our own day into the future; for no power has
yet performed the acts here described. But it is to be fulfilled; and
its fulfilment must be accomplished by that power which has been continuously
the subject of the prophecy from the 40th verse down to this 45th verse.
If the application to which we have given the preference in
p 311 -- passing over
these verses, is correct, we must look to Turkey to make the move here
And let it be noted how readily
this could be done. Palestine, which contains the "glorious holy
mountain," the mountain on which Jerusalem stands, "between
the seas," the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, is a Turkish province;
and if the Turk should be obliged to retire hastily from Europe, he could
easily go to any point within his own dominions to establish his temporary
headquarters, here appropriately described as the tabernacles, movable
dwellings, of his palace; but he could not go beyond them. The most notable
point within the limit of Turkey in Asia, is Jerusalem.
And mark, also, how applicable
the language to that power: "He shall come to his end, and none shall
help him." This expression plainly implies that this power has previously
received help. And what are the facts? - In the war against France in
1798-1801, England and Russia assisted the sultan. In the war between
Turkey and Egypt in I838-1840, England, Russia, Austria, and Prussia intervened
in behalf of Turkey. In the Crimean War in I853-1856, England, France,
and Sardinia supported the Turks. And in the last Russo-Turkish War, the
great powers of Europe interfered to arrest the progress of Russia. And
without the help received in all these instances, Turkey would probably
have failed to maintain her position. And it is a notorious fact that
since the fall of the Ottoman supremacy in 1840, the empire has existed
only through the sufferance of the great powers of Europe. Without their
pledged support, she would not be long able to maintain even a nominal
existence; and when that is withdrawn, she must come to the ground. So
the prophecy says the king comes to his end and none help him; and he
comes to his end, as we may naturally infer, because
none help him, - because the support previously rendered is withdrawn.
Ever since the days of Peter
the Great, Russia has cherished the idea of driving the Crescent from
the soil of Europe. That famous prince, becoming sole emperor of Russia
in 1688, at the age of sixteen, enjoyed a prosperous reign of thirty-seven
years, to 1725, and left to his successors a celebrated
p 312 --
p 313 --
"last will and testament,"imparting certain important
instructions for their constant observance. The 9th article of that "will"
enjoined the following policy: "To
take every possible means of gaining Constantinople and the Indies (for
he who rules there will be the true sovereign of the world); excite war
continually in Turkey and Persia; establish fortresses in the Black Sea;
get control of the sea by degrees, and also of the Baltic, which is a
double point, necessary to the realization of our project; accelerate
as much as possible the decay of Persia; penetrate to the Persian Gulf;
re-establish, if possible, by the way of Syria, the ancient commerce of
the Levant; advance to the Indies, which are the great depot of the world.
Once there, we can do without the gold of England."
The eleventh article reads:
the House of Austria in the expulsion of the Turks from Europe, and quiet
their dissensions at the moment of the conquest of Constantinople (having
excited war among the old states of Europe), by giving to Austria a portion
of the conquest, which afterward will or can be reclaimed."
The following facts in Russian
history will show how persistently this line of policy has been followed:
1696, Peter the Great wrested the Sea of Azov from the Turks, and kept
it. Next, Catherine the Great won the Crimea. In 1812, by, the peace of
Bucharest, Alexander I obtained Moldavia, and the prettily-named province
of Bessarabia, with its apples, peaches, and cherries. Then came the great
Nicholas, who won the right of the free navigation of the Black Sea, the
Dardanelles, and the Danube, but whose inordinate greed led him into the
Crimean war, by which be lost Moldavia, and the right of navigating the
Danube, and the unrestricted navigation of the Black Sea. This was no
doubt a severe repulse to Russia, but it did not extinguish the designs
upon the Ottoman power, nor did it contribute in any essential degree
to the stability of the Ottoman empire. Patiently biding her time, Russia
has been watching and waiting, and in 1870, when all the Western nations
were watching the Franco-Prussian war, she announced to the powers that
she would be
p 314 -- no
longer bound by the treaty of 1856, which restricted her use of the Black
Sea; and since that time that sea has been, as it was one thousand years
ago, to all intents and purposes, a mare Russicum. - San Francisco
Bonaparte well understood the designs of Russia and the importance
of her contemplated movements. While a prisoner on the island of St. Helena,
in conversation with his governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, he gave utterance
to the following opinion: "In
the course of a few years, Russia will have Constantinople, part of Turkey,
and all of Greece. This I hold to be as certain as if it had already taken
place. All the cajolery and flattery that Alexander practiced upon me
was to gain my consent to effect that object. I would not give it, foreseeing
that the equilibrium of Europe would be destroyed. Once mistress of Constantinople,
Russia gets all the commerce of the Mediterranean, becomes a naval power,
and then God knows what may happen. The object of my invasion of Russia
was to prevent this, by the interposition between her and Turkey of a
new state, which I meant to call into existence as a barrier to her Eastern
also, took the same view of the political board when he said,
"In Turkey will be decided the fate of the world."
The words of Bonaparte, quoted
above, in reference to the destruction of "the equilibrium of Europe,"
reveal the motive which has induced the great powers to tolerate so long
the existence on the Continent of a nation which is alien in religion,
and whose history has been marked by many inhuman atrocities. Constantinople
is regarded, by general consent, as the grand strategic point of Europe;
and the powers have each sagacity or jealousy enough to see, or think
they see, the fact that if anyone of the European powers gains permanent
possession of that point, as Russia desires to do, that power will be
able to dictate terms to the rest of Europe. This position no one of the
powers is willing that any other power should possess; and the only apparent
way to prevent it is for them all to combine, by tacit or express agreement,
to keep each other out, and suffer the
p 314a --
MAP ILLUSTRATING THE EASTERN QUESTION
p 315 -- Turk to maintain
his existence on the soil of Europe. This is preserving that "balance
of power" over which they are all so sensitive. But this cannot always
continue. "He shall come to his end, and none shall help him."
The following paragraph taken
from the Philadelphia Public
Ledger, August, 1878, sets forth an instructive and very suggestive
exhibit of the recent shrinkage of Turkish territory: - "Any
one who will take the trouble to look at a map of Turkey in Europe dating
back about sixty years, and compare that with the new map sketched by
the treaty of San Stefano as modified by the Berlin Congress, will be
able to form a judgment of the march of progress that is pressing the
Ottoman power out of Europe. Then, the northern boundary of Turkey extended
to the Carpathian Mountains, and eastward of the River Sereth it embraced
Moldavia as far north nearly as the 47th degree of north latitude. That
map embraced also what is now the kingdom of Greece. It covered all of
Servia and Bosnia. But by the year 1830 the northern frontier of Turkey
was driven back from the Carpathians to the south bank of the Danube,
the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia being emancipated from Turkish
dominion, and subject only to the payment of an annual tribute in money
to the Porte. South of the Danube, the Servians had won a similar emancipation
for their country. Greece also had been enabled to establish her independence.
Then, as recently, the Turk was truculent and obstinate. Russia and Great
Britain proposed to make Greece a tributary state, retaining the sovereignty
of the Porte. This was refused, and the result was the utter destruction
of the powerful Turkish fleet at Navarino, and the erection of the independent
kingdom of Greece. Thus Turkey in Europe was pressed back on all sides.
Now, the northern boundary, which was so recently at the Danube, has been
driven south to the Balkans. Rournania and Servia have ceased even to
be tributary, and have taken their place among independent states. Bosnia
has gone under the protection of Austria, as Roumania did under that of
Russia in I829. 'Rectified' boundaries give Turkish territory to Servia,
Montenegro, and Greece. Bulgaria
p 316 -- takes
the place of Roumania as a self-governing principality, having no dependence
on the Porte, and paying only an annual tribute. Even south of the Balkans
the power of the Turk is crippled, for Roumelia is to have 'home rule'
under a Christian governor. And so again the frontier of Turkey in Europe
is pressed back on all sides, until the territory left is but the shadow
of what it was sixty years ago. To produce this result has been the policy
and the battle of Russia for more than half a century; for nearly that
space of time it has been the struggle of some of the other 'powers' to
maintain the 'integrity' of the Turkish empire. Which policy has succeeded,
and which failed, a comparison of maps at intervals of twenty-five years
will show. Turkey in Europe has been shriveled up in the last half century.
It is shrinking back and back toward Asia, and, though all the 'powers'
but Russia should unite their forces to maintain the Ottoman system in
Europe, there is a manifest destiny visible in the history of the last
fifty years that must defeat them."
Since 1878 the tendency of
all movements in the East has been in the same direction, foreboding greater
pressure upon the Turkish government in the direction of its expulsion
from the soil of Europe. The latest step was taken in October, 1908, when
Bulgaria, including Eastern Roumelia, became an independent state, and
Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed by Austria.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government
has experienced a sudden and surprising transformation, and has taken
its place among the constitutiona lgovernments of Europe. In July, 1908,
Sultan Abdul Hamid II, under pressure from the revolutionary, or "Young
Turk," party, which had won over most of the army to its support,
announced that the constitution of 1876 was restored; and a meeting of
the Chamber of Deputies, provided for by this constitution, was called
A reactionary movement, instigated
by the sultan, and marked by terrible massacres of Armenians in nearby
Asiatic provinces followed, but was quickly suppressed by the loyal troops;
the sultan was deposed and placed in confinement; and his brother, who
takes the title of Mohammed V, was placed
p 317 --
Scene Attending the Opening of the Turkish Parlimant At Constantinople
A Battalion of Turkish Troops In Camp At Jerusalem
p 318 -- upon the
throne. Under the constitutional government thus provided, Turkish citizens
of all classes and religions are guaranteed individual liberty and equality
before the law, and there is freedom of the press and of education. In
practice, however, these constitutional guarantees have not been strictly
This much desired change
in Turkish governmental conditions, however, can not prevent the inevitable.
The Turk must depart from Europe. Where will he then plant the tabernacles
of his palace? In Jerusalem? That certainly is the most probable point.
Newton on the Prophecies,
p. 318, says: "Between
the seas in the glorious holy mountain must denote, as we have shown,
some part of the Holy Land. There the Turk shall encamp with all his powers;
yet he 'shall come to his end, and none shall help him,' - shall help
him effectually, or deliver him."
will soon determine this matter. And when this takes place, what follows?
- Events of the most momentous interest to all the inhabitants of this
world, as the next chapter immediately shows. TOP
-- XII -- Closing Scenes
p 319 -- VERSE
at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for
the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such
as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that
time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written
in the book.
A definite time is introduced
in this verse, not a time revealed in names or figures which specify any
particular year or month or day, but a time made definite by the occurrence
of a certain event with which it stands connected. "At that time."
What time? -The time to which we are brought by the closing verse of the
preceding chapter, - the time when the king of the north shall plant the
tabernacles of his palace in the glorious holy mountain; or, in other
words, when the Turk, driven from Europe, shall hastily make Jerusalem
his temporary seat of government. We noticed, in remarks upon the latter
portion of the preceding chapter, some of the agencies already in operation
for the accomplishment of this end, and some of the indications that the
Turk will soon be obliged to make this move. And when this event takes
place, he is to come to his end; and
then, according to this verse, we look for the standing
up of Michael,
p 320 -- the great
prince. This movement on the part of Turkey is the signal for the standing
up of Michael; that is, it marks this event as next in order. And to guard
against all misunderstanding, let the reader note that the position is
not here taken that the next movement against the Turks will drive them
from Europe, or that when they shall establish their capital at Jerusalem,
Christ begins his reign without the lapse of a day or an hour of time.
But here are the events, to come, as we believe, in the following order:
(1) Further pressure brought
to bear in some way upon the Turk; (2)
His retirement from Europe; (3)
His final stand at Jerusalem; (4)
The standing up of Michael, or the beginning of the reign of Christ, and
his coming in the clouds of heaven. And it is not reasonable to suppose
that any great amount of time will elapse between these events.
Who, then, is Michael? and
what is his standing up? - Michael is called, in Jude 9, the "archangel."
This means the chief angel, or the head over the angels. There is but
one. Who is he? - He is the one whose voice is heard from heaven when
the dead are raised. 1 Thess. 4:16. And whose voice is heard in connection
with that event? - The voice of our Lord Jesus Christ. John 5:28. Tracing
back the evidence with this fact as a basis, we reach the following conclusions: The
voice of the Son of' God is the voice of the archangel; the archangel,
then, is the Son of God, but the archangel is Michael; hence also Michael
is the Son of God. The expression of Daniel, "The great prince which
standeth for the children of thy people," is alone sufficient to
identify the one here spoken of as the Saviour of men. He is the Prince
of life (Acts 3:15); and God hath exalted him to be a "Prince and
a Saviour." Acts 5:31. He is the great Prince. There is no one greater,
save the sovereign Father.
And he "standeth for
the children of thy people." He condescends to take the servants
of God in this poor mortal state, and redeem them for the subjects of
his future kingdom. He stands for us. His people are essential to his
future purposes, an inseparable part of the purchased inheritance; and
they are to be the chief agents of that joy in view of which
p 321 -- Christ endured
all the sacrifice and suffering which have marked his intervention in
behalf of the fallen race. Amazing honor! Be everlasting gratitude repaid
him for his condescension and mercy unto us! Be his the kingdom, power,
and glory, forever and ever!
We now come to the second
question, What is the standing up of Michael? The key to the interpretation
of this expression is furnished us in verses 2 and 3 of chapter 11: "There
shall stand up yet three kings in Persia;" "A mighty king shall
stand up, that shall rule with great dominion." There can be no doubt
as to the meaning of these expressions in these instances. They signify
to take the kingdom, to reign. The same expression in the verse under
consideration must mean the same. At that time, Michael shall stand up,
shall take the kingdom, shall commence to reign.
But is not Christ reigning
now? - Yes, associated with his Father on the throne of universal dominion.
Eph. 1:20-22; Rev. 3:21. But this throne, or kingdom, he gives up at the
end of this dispensation (1 Cor. 15:24); and then he commences his reign
brought to view in the text, when he stands up, or takes his own kingdom,
the long-promised throne of his father David, and establishes a dominion
of which there shall be no end. Luke 1:32, 33.
An examination of all the
events that constitute, or are inseparably connected with, this change
in the position of our Lord, does not come within the scope of this work.
Suffice it to say that then the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom
"of our Lord and of his Christ." His priestly robes are laid
aside for royal vesture. The work of mercy is done, and the probation
of our race is ended. Then he that is filthy is beyond hope of recovery;
and he that is holy is beyond the danger of falling. All cases are decided.
And from that time on, till the terrified nations behold the majestic
form of their insulted King in the clouds of heaven, the nations are broken
as with a rod of iron, and dashed in pieces, like a potter's vessel, by
a time of trouble such as never was, a series of judgments unparalleled
in the world's history, culminating in the revelation of the Lord Jesus
Christ from heaven in flaming
p 322 -- fire, to
take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel. 2 Thess.
1:7, 8; Rev. 11:15; 22:11, 12.
Thus momentous are the events
introduced bv the standing up of Michael. And he thus stands up, or takes
the kingdom, marking the introduction of this decisive period in human
history, for some length of time before he returns personally to this
earth. How important, then, that we have a knowledge of his position,
that we may be able to trace the progress of his work, and understand
when that thrilling moment draws near which ends his intercession in behalf
of mankind, and fixes the destiny of all forever.
But how are we to know this?
How are we to determine what is transpiring in the far-off heaven of heavens,
in the sanctuary above? - God has been so good as to place the means of
knowing this is our hands. When certain great events take place on earth,
he has told us what events synchronizing with them occur in heaven. By
things which are seen, we thus learn of things that are unseen. As we
"look through nature up to nature's God," so through terrestrial
phenomena and events we trace great movements in the heavenly world. When
the king of the north plants the tabernacles of his palace between the
seas in the glorious holy mountain, a movement for which we already behold
the initial steps, then Michael, our Lord, stands up, or receives from
his Father the kingdom, preparatory to his return to this earth. Or it
might have been expressed in words like these: Then our Lord ceases his
work as our great High Priest, and the probation of the world is finished.
The great prophecy of the 2300 days gives us definitely the commencement
of the final division of the work in the sanctuary in heaven. The verse
before us gives us data whereby we can discover approximately the time
of its close.
In connection with the standing
up of Michael, there occurs a time of trouble such as never was. In Matt.
24:21 we read of a period of tribulation such as never was before it,
nor should be after it. This tribulation, fulfilled in the oppression
and slaughter of the church by the papal power, is already past; while
the time of trouble of Dan. 12:1, is, according to the view we take, still
future. How can there be two times of
p 323 -- trouble,
many years apart, each of them greater than any that had been before it,
or should be after it? To avoid difficulty here, let this distinction
be carefully noticed: The tribulation spoken of in Matthew is tribulation
upon the church. Christ is there speaking to his disciples, and of his
disciples in coming time. They were the ones involved, and for their sake
the days of tribulation were to be shortened. Verse 22. Whereas, the time
of trouble mentioned in Daniel is not a time of religious persecution,
but of national calamity. There has been nothing like it since there was
- not a church, but - a nation. This comes upon the world. This is the
last trouble to come upon the world in its present state. In Matthew there
is reference made to time beyond that tribulation; for after that was
past, there was never to be any like it upon the people of God. But there
is no reference here in Daniel to future time after the trouble here mentioned;
for this closes up this world's history. It includes the seven last plagues
of Revelation 16, and culminates in the revelation of the Lord Jesus,
coming upon his pathway of clouds in flaming fire, to visit destruction
upon his enemies who would not have him to reign over them. But out of
this tribulation every one shall be delivered who shall be found written
in the book - the book of life; "for in Mount Zion ... shall be deliverance,
as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."
2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
This verse also shows how
momentous a period is introduced by the standing up of Michael, or the
commencement of the reign of Christ, as set forth in the first verse of
this chapter; for the event here described in explicit terms is a resurrection
of the dead. Is this the general resurrection which takes place at the
second coming of Christ? or is there to intervene between Christ's reception
of the kingdom and his revelation to earth in all his advent glory (Luke
21:27) a special resurrection answering to the description here given?
One of these it must be; for every declaration of Scripture will be fulfilled.
p 324 -- Why may it
not be the former, or the resurrection which occurs at the last trump?
Answer: Because only the righteous, to the exclusion
of all the wicked, have part in that resurrection. Those who sleep in
Christ then come forth; but they only, for the rest of the dead live not
again for a thousand years. Rev. 20:5. So, then, the general
resurrection of the whole race is comprised in two grand divisions,
first, of the righteous exclusively, at the coming of Christ;
secondly, of the wicked exclusively, a thousand years thereafter.
The general resurrection is not a mixed resurrection. The righteous and
the wicked do not come up promiscuously at the same time. But each of
these two classes is set off by itself, and the time which elapses between
their respective resurrections is plainly stated to be a thousand years.
But in the resurrection brought
to view in the verse before us, many of both righteous and wicked come
up together. It cannot therefore be the first resurrection, which includes
the righteous only, nor the second resurrection, which is as distinctly
confined to the wicked. If the text read, Many of them that sleep in the
dust of the earth shall awake to everlasting life, then the "many"
might be interpreted as including all the righteous, and the resurrection
be that of the just at the second coming of Christ. But the fact that
some of the many are wicked, and rise to shame and everlasting contempt,
bars the way to such an application.
It may be objected that this
text does not affirm the awakening of any but the righteous, according
to the translation of Bush and Whiting; namely, "And many of them
that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, these to everlasting
life, and those to shame and everlasting contempt." It will be noticed,
first of all, that this translation (which is not by any means above criticism)
proves nothing till the evident ellipsis is supplied. This ellipsis some
therefore undertake to supply as follows: "And many of them that
sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, these [the awakened ones]
to everlasting life, and those [the unawakened ones] to shame and everlasting
contempt."It will be noticed, again, that this does not supply the
ellipses, but only adds a comment, which is a very different
p 325 -- thing. To
supply the elipsis is simply to insert those words which are necessary
to complete the sentence. "Many of them that sleep in the dust of
the earth shall awake," is a complete sentence. The subject and predicate
are both expressed. The next member, "Some [or these] to everlasting
life," is not complete. What is wanted to complete it? Not a comment,
giving some one's opinion as to who are intended by "these,"
but a verb of which these shall be the subject. What verb shall it be?
This must be determined by the preceding portion of the sentence, which
is complete, where the verb shall
awake is used. This, then, is the predicate to be supplied:
"Some [or these] shall
awake to everlasting life." Applying the same rule to
the next member, "Some [or those] to shame and everlasting contempt,"
which is not in itself a complete sentence, we find ourselves obliged
to supply the same words, and read it, "Some [or those] shall
awake to shame and everlasting contempt."Anything less
than this will not complete the sense, and anything different will pervert
the text; for a predicate to be supplied cannot go beyond one already
expressed. The affirmation made in the text pertains only to the many
who awake. Nothing is affirmed of the rest who do not then awake. And
to say that the expression "to shame and everlasting contempt"
applies to them, when nothing is affirmed of them, is not only to outrage
the sense of the passage, but the laws of language as well. And of the
many who awake, some come forth to everlasting life, and some to shame
and everlasting contempt, which further proves a resurrection to consciousness
for these also; for while contempt may be felt and manifested by others
toward those who are guilty, shame can be felt and manifested only by
the guilty parties themselves. This resurrection, therefore, as already
shown, comprises some of both righteous and wicked, and cannot be the
general resurrection at the last day.
Is there, then, any place
for a special or limited resurrection, or elsewhere any intimation of
such an event, before the Lord appears? The resurrection here predicted
takes place when God's people are delivered from the great time of trouble
with which the history of this world terminates; and it seems
p 326 --
from Rev. 22:11 that this deliverance is given before the Lord appears.
The awful moment arrives when he that is filthy and unjust is pronounced
unjust still, and he that is righteous and holy is pronounced holy still.
Then the cases of all are forever decided. And when this sentence is pronounced
upon the righteous, it must be deliverance to them; for then they are
placed beyond all reach of danger or fear of evil. But the Lord has not
at that time made his appearance; for he immediately adds, "And,
behold, I come quickly." The utterance of this solemn fiat which
seals the righteous to everlasting life, and the wicked to eternal death,
is supposed to be synchronous with the great voice which is heard from
the throne in the temple of heaven, saying, "It is done!" Rev.
16:17. And this is evidently the voice of God, so often alluded to in
descriptions of the scenes connected with the last day. Joel speaks of
it, and says (chapter 3:16): "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion,
and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall
shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of
the children of Israel." The margin reads instead of "hope,"
"place of repair, or harbor." Then at this time, when God's
voice is heard from heaven just previous to the coming of the Son of man,
God is a harbor for his people, or, which is the same thing, provides
them deliverance. Here, then, at the voice of God, when the decisions
of eternity are pronounced upon the race, and the last stupendous scene
is just to open upon a doomed world, God gives to the astonished nations
another evidence and pledge of his power, and raises from the dead a multitude
who have long slept in the dust of the earth.
Thus we see that there is
a time and place for the resurreetion of Dan. 12:2. We now add that a
passage in the book of Revelation makes it necessary to suppose a resurrection
of this kind to take place. Rev. 1:7 reads: "Behold, he cometh with
clouds [this is unquestionably the second advent]; and every eye shall
see him [of the nations then living on the earth], and they also which
pierced him [those who took an active part in the terrible work of his
crucifixion]; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him."
Those who crucified the
p 327 -- Lord, would,
unless there was an exception made in their cases, remain in their graves
till the end of the thousand years, and come up in the general assembly
of the wicked at that time. But here it is stated that they behold the
Lord at his second advent. They must therefore have a special resurrection
for that purpose.
And it is certainly most
appropriate that some who were eminent in holiness, who labored and suffered
for their hope of a coming Saviour, but died without the sight, should
be raised a little before, to witness the scenes attending his glorious
epiphany; as, in like manner, a goodly company came out of their graves
at his resurrection to behold his risen glory (Matt. 27:52, 53), and to
escort him in triumph to the right hand of the throne of the majesty on
high (Eph. 4:8, margin) ; and also that some, eminent in wickedness, who
have done most to reproach the name of Christ and injure his cause, and
especially those who secured his cruel death upon the cross, and mocked
and derided him in his dying agonies, should be raised, as part of their
judicial punishment, to behold his return in the clouds of heaven, a celestial
victor, in, to them, unendurable majesty and splendor.
One more remark upon this
text before passing on. What is here said is supposed by some to furnish
good evidence of the eternal conscious suffering of the wicked, because
those of this character who are spoken of come forth to shame and everlasting
contempt. How can they forever suffer these, unless they are forever conscious?
It has already been stated that shame implies their consciousness; but
it will be noticed that this is not said to be everlasting. This qualifying
word is not inserted till we come to the contempt, which is an emotion
felt by others toward the guilty parties, and does not render necessary
the conscionsness of those against whom it is directed. And so some read
the passage: "Some to shame, and the everlasting contempt of their
companions." And so it will be. Shame for their wickedness and corruption
will burn into their very souls, so long as they have conscious being.
And when they pass away, consumed for their iniquities, their loathsome
characters and their guilty deeds excite only contempt on the
p 328 -- part of all
the righteous, unmodified and unabated so long as they hold them in remembrance
at all. The text therefore furnishes no proof of the eternal suffering
of the wicked.
3. And they that
be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that
turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.
The margin reads "teachers"
in place of "wise." And they that be teachers shall shine as
the brightness of the firmament; that is, of course, those who teach the
truth, and lead others to a knowledge of it, just previous to the time
when the events recorded in the foregoing verses are to be fulfilled.
And as the world estimates loss and profit, it costs something to be teachers
of these things in these days. It costs reputation, ease, comfort, and
often property; it involves labors, crosses, sacrifices, loss of friendship,
ridicule, and, not infrequently, persecution. And the question is often
asked, How can you afford it? How can you afford to keep the Sabbath,
and perhaps lose a situation, reduce your income, or it may be even hazard
your means of support? O blind, deluded, sordid question! O what shortsightedness,
to make obedience to what God requires a matter of pecuniary consideration!
How unlike is this to the noble martyrs, who loved not their lives unto
the death! No; the affording is all on the other side. When God commands,
we cannot afford to disobey. And if we are asked, How can you afford to
keep the Sabbath, and do other duties involved in rendering obedience
to the truth? we have only to ask in reply, How can you afford not
to do them? And in the coming day, when those who have sought
to save their lives shall lose them, and those who have been willing to
hazard all for the sake of the truth and its divine Lord, shall receive
the glorious reward promised in the text, and be raised up to shine as
the firmament, and.as the imperishable stars forever and ever, it will
then be seen who have been wise, and who, on the contrary, have made the
choice of blindness and folly. The wicked and worldly now look upon Christians
as fools and madmen, and congratulate themselves upon their superior shrewdness
in shunning what they call their
p 329 -- folly, and
avoiding their losses. We need make no response; for those who now render
this decision will soon themselves reverse it, and that with terrible
though unavailing earnestness.
Meanwhile, it is the Christian's
privilege to revel in the consolations of this marvelous promise. A conception
of its magnitude can be gathered only from the stellar worlds themselves.
What are these stars, in the likeness of which the teachers of righteousness
are to shine forever and ever? How much of brightness, and majesty, and
length of days, is involved in this comparison?
The sun of our own solar
system is one of these stars. If we compare it with this globe upon which
we live (our handiest standard of measurement), we find it an orb of no
small magnitude and magnificence. Our earth is 8,000 miles in diameter;
but the sun's diameter is 885,680 miles. In size it is one and a half
million times larger than our globe; and in the matter of its substance,
it would balance three hundred and fifty-two thousand worlds like ours.
What immensity is this!
Yet this is far from being
the largest or the brightest of the orbs which drive their shining chariots
in myriads through the heavens. His proximity (he being only some ninety-five
million miles from us) gives him with us a controlling presence and influence.
But far away in the depths of space, so far that they appear like mere
points of light, blaze other orbs of vaster size and greater glory. The
nearest.fixed star, Alpha Centauri, in the southern hemisphere, is found,
by the accuracy and efficiency of modern instruments, to be nineteen thousand
million miles away; but the pole-star system is fifteen times as remote,
or two hundred and eighty-five thousand million miles; and it shines with
a luster equal to that of eighty-six of our suns; others are still larger,
as, for instance, Vega, which emits the light of three hundred and forty-four
of our suns; Capella, four hundred and thirty; Arcturus, five hundred
and sixteen; and so on, till at last we reach the great star Alcyone,
in the constellation of the Pleiades, which floods the celestial spaces
with a brilliancy twelve thousand times that of the ponderous orb which
p 330 -- and controls
our solar system! Why, then, does it not appear more luminous to us? -
Ah! its distance is twenty-five million diameters of the earth's orbit;
and the latter is one hundred and ninety million miles! Figures are weak
to express such distances. It will be sufficient to say that its glowing
light must traverse space as only light travels, - 192,000 miles a second,
- for a period of more than seven hundred years, before it reaches this
distant world of ours!
Some of these monarchs of
the skies rule singly, like our own sun. Some are double; that is, what
appears to us like one star is found to consist of two stars - two suns
with their retinue of planets, revolving around each other; others are
triple, some are quadruple; and one, at least, is sextuple.
Besides this, they show all
the colors of the rainbow. Some systems are white, some blue, some red,
some yellow, some green; and this means different-colored days for the
planets of those systems. Castor gives his planets green days. The double
pole-star gives his yellow. In some, the different suns belonging to the
same system are variously colored. Says Dr.
Burr, in his Ecce Coelum, p. 136:
"And, as if
to make that Southern Cross the fairest object in all the heavens, we
find in it a group of more than a hundred variously colored red, green,
blue, and bluish-green suns, so closely thronged together as to appear
in a powerful telescope like a superb bouquet, or piece of fancy jewelry."
And what of the age of these
glorious bodies? A few years pass away, and all things earthly gather
the mold of age, and the odor of decay. How much in this world has perished
entirely! But the stars shine on as fresh as in the beginning. Centuries
and cycles have gone by, kingdoms have arisen and slowly passed away;
we go back beyond the dim and shadowy horizon of history, go back even
to the earliest moment introduced by revelation, when order was evoked
out of chaos, and the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God
shouted for joy - even then the stars were on their stately marches, and
how long before this we know not; for astronomers tell us of nebulae lying
on the farthest outposts of telescopic vision, whose light in its never-ceasing
flight would consume five million
p 331 -- years in
reaching this planet. So ancient are these stellar orbs. Yet their brightness
is not dimmed, nor their force abated. The dew of youth still seems fresh
upon them. No broken outline shows the foothold of decay; no faltering
motion reveals the decrepitude of age. Of all things visible, these stand
next to the Ancient of days; and their undiminished glory is a prophecy
And thus shall they who turn
many to righteousness shine in a glory that shall bring joy even to the
heart of the Redeemer; and thus shall their years roll on forever and
4. But thou, 0 Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even
to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall
The "words" and
"book" here spoken of doubtless refer to the things which had
been revealed to Daniel in this prophecy. These things were to be shut
up and sealed until the time of the end; that is, they were not to be
specially studied, or to any great extent understood, till that time.
The time of the end, as has already been shown, commenced in 1798. As
the book was closed up and sealed
to that time, the plain inference is that at that time, or
from that point, the book would be unsealed; that is, people would be
better able to understand it, and would have their attention specially
called to this part of the inspired word. Of what has been done on the
subject of prophecy since that time, it is unnecessary to remind the reader.
The prophecies, especially Daniel's prophecy, have been under examination
by all students of the word wherever civilization has spread abroad its
light upon the earth. And so the remainder of the verse, being a prediction
of what should take place after the time of the end commenced, says, "Many
shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall. be increased." Whether
this running to and fro refers to the passing of people from place to
place, and the great improvements in the facilities for transportation
and travel made within the present century, or whether it means, as some
understand it, a turning to and fro in the prophecies, that is, a diligent
and earnest search into prophetic truth, the fulfilment is certainly and
p 332 -- surely before
our eyes. It must have its application in one of these two ways; and in
both of these directions the present age is very strongly marked.
So of the increase of knowledge.
It must refer either to the increase of knowledge in general, the development
of the arts and sciences, or an increase of knowledge in reference to
those things revealed to Daniel, which were closed up and sealed to the
time of the end. Here, again, apply it which way we will, the fulfilment
is most marked and complete. Look at the marvelous achievements of the
human mind, and the cunning works of men's hands, rivaling the magician's
wildest dreams, which have been accomplished within the last hundred years.
The Scientific American has stated that within this time more advancement
has been made in all scientific attainments, and more progress in all
that tends to domestic comfort, the rapid transaction of business among
men, the transmission of intelligence from one to another, and the means
of rapid transit from place to place and even from continent to continent,
than all that was done for three thousand years previous, put together.
By a series of vignettes
the artist has given us in the accompanying plates a bird's-eye view of
some of the most wonderful discoveries and marvelous scientific and mechanical
achievements of the present age. They represent, -
Suspension Bridge. - The first suspension bridge of note in
this country was built across the Niagara River in 1855. The Brooklyn
bridge was completed in 1883.
Electric Lighting. - This
system of lighting was perfected and brought into use within the last
twenty years of the nineteenth century. Only two electric lighting exhibits
were to be seen at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.
At the Paris Exposition, twenty-four years later, there were two hundred
Modern Artillery. - At Sandy Hook, guarding the entrance to
New York harbor, is a monster breech-loading cannon 49 feet in length,
weighing 130 tons, capable of throwing a projectile, over five feet in
length and weighing 2,400 pounds, a distance of twenty miles.
p 333 -- 4.
The Automobile. - Only
a few years ago this machine was entirely unknown. Now automobiles are
common in every section of the country, and bid fair to almost entirely
supersede the horse carriage as a means of locomotion. Read, in connection
with descriptions of the automobile and the railway train, the prophecy
of Nahum 2:3, 4.
The Modern Printing-press.
- Presses now used in the large newspaper offices consume in
an hour 280 miles of paper of newspaper width, and turn out in the same
time 96,000 papers of 16 pages, folded, pasted, and counted. Contrast
this with the hand printing-press of Benjamin Franklin.
Telegraph. - This was first put into operation in 1844.
Trolley Car. - The first practicable electric railway line
was constructed and operated at the Berlin International Exposition in
1879. Interurban travel by trolley car in many places now nearly equals
in speed and excels in comfort the best steam railway service. It is generally
believed in fact, that electricity is about to conquer steam on all railway
The Telephone. - The
first patent on the telephone was granted to Alexander Graham Bell in
Steam Railway. - The first American-built locomotive was made
in Philadelphia in 1832. The use of the steam engine for locomotion has
made it possible to travel around the world in about forty days.
Steamships. - Early in the last century the application of steam power
to ships revolutionized ocean travel. Ships are now built which cross
the ocean in four days, supply every luxury to be found in the finest
hotels, and in size far out-rank the famous Great
Battleships. - A single battleship of the present day could
easily overcome the combined naval fleets of the world as they were at
the middle of the last century.
Typewriter. - The first model of the modern typewriter was
put on the market in 1874.
Combination Reaper and Thresher. - Compare the harvesting methods
of the present day, when grain is
p 334 --
p 335 --
(Many Shall Run To and Fro and Knowledge Shall Be Increased)
p 336 -- not only
cut and gathered, but at the same time threshed and collected in bags
ready for the market, by one machine, with the old method of hand reaping,
which was in use in the days of our grandfathers.
The Type-setting Machine. - This machine has worked a revolution
in the art of printing. The first Mergenthaler machine was made in 1884.
Wells. - The discovery of petroleum in the last century revolutionized
domestic lighting, also affording such indispensable products as benzine
Phonograph. - The first Edison phonograph was constructed in
Photographic Camera. - The first sunlight picture of a hurnan
face was made by Professor Draper of New York in 1840.
Wireless Telegraphy. - The first apparatus capable of transmitting
wireless messages over long distances was made by Marconi in 1896. Almost
every large steamship is now provided with this apparatus, and conversations
can be carried on by people on the ocean hundreds of miles apart. A daily
paper is published on transatlantic liners, giving each day's news of
world events, sent out by wireless telegraphy to the ship from the shores
of America or of Europe.
Navigation. - The conquest of the air which has been achieved
by the aeroplane, is one of the most noteworthy triumphs of any age. It
is now possible to travel through the air from one city to another, hundreds
of miles away, without a stop, and at a speed of over sixty miles an hour.
Dirigible air ships also have been constructed which can carry a score
of passengers at a time, over long distances at the speed of the average
Many other things might be
spoken of, such as submarine armor for divers, submarine boats for exploring
the depths of the sea, and for use in naval warfare, power spinning-machines,
and anesthetics to prevent pain in surgery, etc., etc.
What a galaxy of wonders
to originate in a single age! How marvelous the scientific attainments
of the present day, upon which all these discoveries and achievements
p 337 -- their light!
Truly, viewed from this standpoint, we have reached the age of the increase
And to the honor of Christianity
let it be noted in what lands, and by whom, all these discoveries have
been made, and so much done to add to the facilities and comforts of life.
It is in Christian lands, among Christian men, since the great Reformation.
Not in the Dark Ages, which furnished only a travesty of Christianity;
not to pagans, who in their ignorance know not God, nor to those who in
Christian lands deny him, is the credit of this progress due. Indeed,
it is the very spirit of equality and individual liberty inculcated in
the gospel of Christ when preached in its purity, which unshackles human
limbs, unfetters human minds, invites them to the highest use of their
powers, and makes possible such an age of free thought and action, in
which these wonders can be achieved.
Of the marvelous character
of the present age, Victor
Hugo speaks as follows: - "In
science it works all miracles; it makes saltpeter out of cotton, a horse
out of steam, a laborer out of the voltaic pile, a courier out of the
electric fluid, and a painter of the sun; it bathes itself in the subterranean
waters, while it is warmed with the central fires; it opens upon the two
infinities those two windows, - the telescope on the infinitely great,
the microscope on the infinitely little, and it finds in the first abyss
the stars of heaven, and in the second abyss the insects, which prove
the existence of a God. It annihilates time, it annihilates distance,
it annihilates suffering; it writes a letter from Paris to London, and
has the answer back in ten minutes; it cuts off the leg of' a man - the
man sings and smiles." - Le Petit Napoleon.
But if we take the other
standpoint, and refer the increase of knowledge to an increase of Biblical
knowledge, we have only to look at the wonderful light which, within the
past sixty years, has shone upon the Scriptures. The fulfilment of prophecy
has been revealed in the light of history. The use of a better principle
of interpretation has led to conclusions showing, beyond dispute, that
the end of all things is near. Truly the seal has been taken from the
book, and knowledge respecting what God has revealed in his word, is wonderfully
p 338 -- We think
it is in this respect that the prophecy is more especially fulfilled,
but only in an age like the present could the prophecy, even in this direction,
That we are in the time of
the end, when the book of this prophecy should be no longer sealed, but
be open and understood, is shown by Rev. 10:1, 2, where a mighty angel
is seen to come down from heaven with a little book in his hand open.
For proof that the little book, there said to be open, is the book here
closed up and sealed, and that that angel delivers his message in this
generation, see on Rev. 10:2.
5. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one
on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the
bank of the river. 6. And one
said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river,
How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7.
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the
river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and
sware by him that liveth forever that it shall be for a time, times, and
a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the
holy people, all these things shall be finished.
The question, "How long
shall it be to the end of these wonders?" undoubtedly has reference
to all that has previously been mentioned, including the standing up of
Michael, the time of trouble, the deliverance of God's people, and the
special and antecedent resurrection of verse 2. And the answer seems to
be given in two divisions: First, a specific prophetic period is
marked off; and, secondly, an indefinite period follows before
the conclusion of all these things is reached; just as we have it in chapter
8:13, 14. When the question was asked, "How long the vision . . .
to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?"
the answer mentioned a definite period of 2300 days, and then an indefinite
period of the cleansing of the sanctuary. So in the text before us, there
is given the period of a time, times, and a half, or 1260 years, and then
an indefinite period for the continuance of the scattering of the power
of the holy people, before the consummation.
The 1260 years mark the period
of papal supremacy. Why is this period here introduced? - Probably because
this power is the one which does more than any other in the world's history
p 339 -- toward scattering
the power of the holy people, or oppressing the church of God. But what
shall we understand by the expression, "Shall have accomplished to
scatter the power of the holy people"? A literal translation of the
Septuagint seems to present it in a clearer light: "When he shall
have finished the scattering of the power of the holy people." To
whom does the pronoun he
refer? According to the wording of this scripture, the antecedent would
at first sight seem to be "Him that liveth forever," or Jehovah;
but, as an eminent expositor of the prophecies judiciously remarks, in
considering the pronouns of the Bible we are to interpret them according
to the facts of the case; and hence must frequently refer them to an antecedent
understood, rather than to some noun which is expressed. So, here, the
little horn, or man of sin, having been introduced by the particular mention
of the time of his supremacy, namely, 1260 years, may be the power referred
to by the pronoun he.
For 1260 years he had grievously oppressed the church, or scattered its
power. After his supremacy is taken away, his disposition toward the truth
and its advocates still remains, and his power is still felt to a certain
extent, and he continues his work of oppression just as far as he is able,
till - when? - Till the last of the events brought to view in verse 1,
the deliverance of God's people, every one that is found written in the
book. Being thus delivered, persecuting powers are no longer able to oppress
them; their power is no longer scattered; the end of the wonders described
in this great prophecy is reached; and all its predictions are accomplished.
Or, we may, without particularly
altering the sense, refer the pronoun
he to the one mentioned in the oath of verse 7, as "Him
that liveth forever;" that is, God, since he employs the agency of
earthly powers in chastising and disciplining his people, and in that
sense may be said himself to scatter their power. By his prophet he said
concerning the kingdom of Israel, "I will overturn, overturn,
overturn it, . . . until He come whose right it is." Eze. 21:27.
And again, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until
the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:24. Of like import
p 340 -- is the prophecy
of Dan. 8:13: "How long the vision . . .
to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under
foot?" Who gives them to this condition? - God. Why? -To discipline;
to "purify and make white" his people. How long? - Till the
sanctuary is cleansed.
8. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what
shall be the end of these things? 9.
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed
till the time of the end. 10.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall
do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall
How forcibly are we reminded,
by Daniel's solicitude to understand fully all that had been shown him,
of Peter's words where he speaks of the prophets' inquiring and searching
diligently to understand the predictions concerning the sufferings of
Christ and the glory that should follow; and also of the fact that not
unto themselves but unto us they did minister. How little were some of
the prophets permitted to understand of what they wrote! But they did
not therefore refuse to write. If God required it, they knew that in due
time he would see that his people derived from their writings all the
benefit that he intended. So the language here used to Daniel was the
same as telling him that when the right time should come, the wise would
understand the meaning of what he had written, and be profited thereby.
The time of the end was the time in which the Spirit of God was to break
the seal from off this book; and consequently this was the time during
which the wise should understand, while the wicked, lost to all sense
of the value of eternal truth, with hearts callous and hardened in sin,
would grow continually more wicked and more blind. None of the wicked
understand. The efforts which the wise put forth to understand, they call
folly and presumption, and ask, in sneering phrase, "Where is the
promise of his coming?" And should the question be raised, Of what
time and what generation speaketh the prophet this? the solemn answer
would be, Of the present time, and of the generation now before us. This
language of the prophet is now receiving a most striking fulfilment.
p 341 -- The phraseology
of verse 10 seems at first sight to be rather peculiar: "Many shall
be purified, and made white, and tried." How, it may be asked, can
they be made white and then tried (as the language would seem to imply),
when it is by being tried that they are purified and made white? Answer:
The language doubt less describes a process which is many times repeated
in the experience of those, who, during this time, are being made ready
for the coming and kingdom of the Lord. They are purified and made white
to a certain degree, as compared with their former condition. Then they
are again tried. Greater tests are brought to bear upon them. If they
endure these, the work of purification is thus carried on to a still greater
extent, - the process of being made white is made to reach a still higher
stage. And having reached this state, they are tried again, resulting
in their being still further purified and made white; and thus the process
goes on till characters are developed which will stand the test of the
great day, and a spiritual condition is reached which needs no further
11. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,
and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand
two hundred and ninety days.
We have here a new prophetic
period introduced; namely, 1290 prophetic days, which would denote the
same number of literal years. From the reading of the text, some have
inferred (though the inference is not a necessary one) that this period
begins with the setting up of the abomination of desolation, or the papal
power, in 538, and consequently extends to 1828. But while we find nothing
in the latter year to mark its termination, we do find evidence in the
margin that it begins before
the setting up of the papal abomination. The margin reads, "To
set up the abomination," etc. With this reading the text would stand
thus: "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken
away to set up [or in order to set up] the abomination that maketh desolate,
there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." The daily
has already been shown to be, not the daily sacrifice of the Jews, but
the daily or continual abomination, that is, paganism. (See on
p 342 -- chapter 8:13.)
This had to be taken away to prepare the way for the papacy. For the historical
events showing how this was accomplished in 508, see on chapter 11:31.
We are not told directly
to what event these 1290 days reach; but inasmuch as their commencement
is marked by a work which takes place to prepare the way for the setting
up of the papacy, it would be most natural to conclude that their end
would be marked by the cessation of papal supremacy. Counting back, then,
1290 years from 1798, we have the year 508, where it has been shown that
paganism was taken away, thirty years before the setting up of the papacy.
This period is doubtless given to show the date of the taking away of
the daily, and it is the only one which does this. The two periods, therefore,
the 1290 and the 1260 days, terminate together in 1798, the one beginning
in 538, and the other in 508, thirty years previous.
12. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred
and five and thirty days. 13.
But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest, and stand in
thy lot at the end of the days.
Still another prophetic period
is here introduced, denoting 1335 years. The testimony concerning this
period, like that which pertains to the 1290 years, is very meager. Can
we tell when this period begins and ends? The only clue we have to the
solution of this question, is the fact that it is spoken of in immediate
connection with the 1290 years, which commenced, as shown above, in 508.
From that point there shall be, says the prophet, 1290 days. And the very
next sentence reads, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the
1335 days." From what point? - From the same point, undoubtedly,
as that from which the 1290 date; namely, 508. Unless they are to be reckoned
from this point, it is impossible to locate them, and they must be excepted
from the prophecy of Daniel when we apply to it the words of Christ, "Whoso
readeth, let him understand." Matt. 24:15. From this point they would
extend to 1843; for 1335 added to 508 make 1843. Commencing in the spring
of the former year, they ended in the spring of the latter.
p 343 -- But how can
it be that they have ended, it may be asked, since at the end of these
days Daniel stands in his lot, which is by some supposed to refer to his
resurrection from the dead? This question is founded on a misapprehension
in two respects: First, that the days at the end of which Daniel
stands in his lot are the 1335 days; and, secondly, that the standing
of Daniel in his lot is his resurrection, which also cannot be sustained.
The only thing promised at the end of the 1335 days is a blessing unto
those who wait and come to that time; that is, those who are then living.
What is this blessing? Looking at the year 1843, when these years expired,
what do we behold? - We see a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy in the
great proclamation of the second coming of Christ. Forty-five years before
this, the time of the end commenced, the book was unsealed, and light
began to increase. About the year 1843, there was a grand culmination
of all the light that had been shed on prophetic subjects up to that time.
The proclamation went forth in power. The new and stirring doctrine of
the setting up of the kingdom of God, shook the world. New life was imparted
to the true disciples of Christ. The unbelieving were condemned, the churches
were tested, and a spirit of revival was awakened which has had no parallel
Was this the blessing? Listen
to the Saviour's words: "Blessed are your eyes," said he to
his disciples, "for they see; and your ears, for they hear."
Matt. 13:16. And again he told his followers that prophets and kings had
desired to see the things which they saw, and had not seen them. But "blessed,"
said he to them, "are the eyes which see the things that ye see."
Luke 10:23, 24. If a new and glorious truth was a blessing in the days
of Christ to those who received it, why was it not equally so in A. D.
It may be objected that those
who engaged in this movement were disappointed in their expectations;
so were the disciples of Christ at his first advent, in an equal degree.
They shouted before him as he rode into Jerusalem, expecting that he would
then take the kingdom; but the only throne to which he then went was the
cross; and instead of being hailed as king in a royal palace, he was laid
a lifeless form in
p 344 -- Joseph's
new sepulcher. Nevertheless, they were "blessed" in receiving
the truths they had heard.
It may be objected further
that this was not a sufficient blessing to be marked by a prophetic period.
Why not, since the period in which it was to occur, namely, the time of
the end, is introduced by a prophetic period; since our Lord, in verse
14 of his great prophecy of Matthew 24, makes a special announcement of
this movement; and since it is still further set forth in Rev. 14: 6,
7, under the symbol of an angel flying through mid-heaven with a special
announcement of the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth?
Surely the Bible gives great prominence to this movement.
Two more questions remain
to be briefly noticed: (1)
What days are referred to in verse 13? (2) What
is meant by Daniel's standing in his lot? Those who claim that the days
are the 1335, are led to that application by looking back no further than
to the preceding verse, where the 1335 days are mentioned; whereas, in
making an application of these days so indefinitely introduced, the whole
scope of the prophecy should certainly be taken in from chapter 8. Chapters
9, 10, 11, and 12 are clearly a continuation and explanation of the vision
of chapter 8; hence we may say that in the vision of chapter 8, as carried
out and explained, there are four prophetic periods; namely, the 2300,
1260, 1290, and 1335 days. The first is the principal and longest period;
the others are but intermediate parts and subdivisions of this. Now, when
the angel tells Daniel, at the conclusion of his instructions, that he
shall stand in his lot at the end of the days, without specifying which
period was meant, would not Daniel's mind naturally turn to the principal
and longest period, the 2300 days, rather than to any of its subdivisions?
If this is so, the 2300 are the days intended. The reading of the Septuagint
seems to look very plainly in this direction: "But go thy way and
rest; for there are yet days and seasons to the full accomplishment [of
these things]; and thu shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days."
This certainly carries the mind back to the long period contained in the
first vision, in relation to which the subsequent instructions were given.
-- The 2300 days, as has been already shown,
terminated in 1844, and brought us to the cleansing of the sanctuary.
How did Daniel at that time stand in his lot? Answer: In the person of
his Advocate, our great High Priest, as he presents the cases of the righteous
for acceptance to his Father. The word here translated
lot does not mean a piece of real estate, a "lot"
of land, but the "decisions of chance" or the "determinations
of Providence." At the end of the days, the lot, so to speak, was
to be cast. In other words, a determination was to be made in reference
to those who should be accounted worthy of a possession in the heavenly
inheritance. And when Daniel's case comes up for examination, he is found
righteous, stands in his lot, is assigned a place in the heavenly Canaan.
When Israel was about to
enter into the promised land, the lot was cast, and the possession of
each tribe was assigned. The tribes thus stood in their respective "lots"
long before they entered upon the actual possession of the land. The time
of the cleansing of the sanctuary corresponds to this period of Israel's
history. We now stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, and decisions
are being made, assigning to some a place in the eternal kingdom, and
barring others forever therefrom. In the decision of his case, Daniel's
portion in the celestial inheritance will be made sure to him. And with
him all the faithful will also stand. And when this devoted servant of
God, who filled up a long life with the noblest deeds of service to his
Maker, though cumbered with the weightiest cares of this life, shall enter
upon his reward for well-doing, we too may enter with him into rest.
We draw the study of this
prophecy to a close, with the remark that it has been with no small degree
of satisfaction that we have spent what time and study we have on this
wonderful prophecy, and in contemplating the character of this most beloved
of men and most illustrious of prophets. God is no respecter of persons;
and a reproduction of Daniel's character will secure the divine favor
as signally even now. Let us emulate his virtues, that we, like him, may
have the approbation of God while here, and dwell amid the creations of
his infinite glory in the long hereafter.
of Part B. To continue your study:
C -- Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation