and the REVELATION
Uriah Smith - 1897
Continuing in the Book of Daniel
of the Ram, He-Goat and Little Horn
p 163 -- "We
now come once more," says Dr.
"to the Hebrew,
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
but as the prophecies which remain concern times posterior
to the Chaldean monarchy, and principally relate to the
people of God generally, they are written in
language, this being the tongue in which God chose to reveal
all his counsels given under the
Old Testament relative to the
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 was carried
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,
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 language:
"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."
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 his hand.
"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 to empire;
(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;"
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.
Therefore 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 heaven.
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
who had Asia Minor; (3)
who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of
kings known as the "Seleucidae," so famous in
history; and (4)
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.
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
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?
1. Who 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 Madman."
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
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:
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
1. The 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.
2. The 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.
3. The 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 some centuries.
The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was
true of Rome. Rome conquered Syria B. C. 65, and made it
5. The 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.
7. The 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.
8. By 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 him" (the
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.
9. A 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
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
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
p 178 -- fully met,
the prophecies of its baleful history have been most strikingly
and accurately fulfilled.
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
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
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
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,
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, rendered continual
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
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 continuance
as 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 inheritance.
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
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
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.
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
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 purchased." The
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.
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
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.
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
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
"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 to light.
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
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.
1. It 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
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
"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.
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 his ministry.
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
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:
Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of
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
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,
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
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
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 antitype.
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 of
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:
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
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 continual
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 be cleansed."
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
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
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.)
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
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
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
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
"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
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 of Jerusalem.
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
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
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
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 hearkened unto
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 his voice.
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
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
.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
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
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." How
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 restoring completed.
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 yesrs.
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 3rd woe.
weeks = 49
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 most Holy.
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 days of
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
This word Gesenius,
in his Hebrew Lexicon,
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." Mercerus,
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,
sunt," are cut off. In the Latin version
of Junius and
(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 sunetmhqhsan
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
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.
in 1844 said: "We
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 in
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.
tells 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 seventy weeks."
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.
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 Jerusalem
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
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,
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,
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 Nehemiah respectively.
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,
p 224 -- arrived at
Jerusalem, finished the work he came to accomplish, in fifty-two
days. Neh. 6:15.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
-- Luke 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.
750. 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 years later.
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
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, when
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 11: 22.)
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
"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
p 231 -- canon.
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." -
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,
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
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." Chronology,
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
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 "the desolator."
That the 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 an exception.
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.
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 of
p 239 -- 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
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.
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 all fear.
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
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 coming.
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
[See Webmaster note at end of this chapter]
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 of Grecia.
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.
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.
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
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 times.
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 Callinicus.
"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
But such wickedness could
not long remain unpunished, as the prophecy further predicts,
and further history proves.
7. But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand
up in his estate, 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 succeeded his
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
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 his hand.
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 Egypt 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 it.
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
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
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
of 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,
"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
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 following
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 Hyrcanus, 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
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
Bishop Newton furnishes another
reading for this verse, which seems more clearly to express
the sense, as follows:
"He shall also set his face to enter by force the whole
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
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 as possible.
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 between
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 difficulty 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
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. 47.
"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 him.
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 unembarrassed.
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 his 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 sovereign.
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
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 called.
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
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, terminated;
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
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
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 circumstances
that led to this conflict.
Mark Antony, Augustus Caesar,
and Lepidus constituted the triumvirate which had sworn
to avenge the death of Julius Caesar. 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
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, art. Constantinople.)
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 reduction 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 horrors.
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 directly led.
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
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 is, Carthage.
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.)
"Indignation against 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 emperors of Rome, the eastern
division of which still continued, had intelligence, or
connived with the Church of Rome, which had forsaken the
covenant, 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 possession of Rome, in A. D. 538.
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
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
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 subjection.
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 paganism baptized.
p 284 -- In England,
Arthur, the first Christian king, founded the Christian
worship on the ruins 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 in 508.
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.
under the years 508-518, speaking of the commotions in Constantinople,
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 previously agree in the choice
of a sovereign; and they accepted the blood of two unpopular
ministers, whom their master, without hesitation, 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. 508.
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 establishment
of the papacy, which was a separate and subsequent event.
Of this the prophetic narrative now leads us to speak.
"And 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,
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
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 of heretics.'"
in his answer, returned the same month of the following
year, 534, observes that among the virtues of Justinian,
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 that
"as 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: "We
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
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, many days.
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 period.
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
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
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;
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, "I
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. 1,
A writer in Blackwood's
November, 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
But there are other and still
more striking specifications which were fulfilled in this
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.
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:
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
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
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 ceremonies 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 --
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 all present.
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.'"-
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. Today an immense
multitude is assembled under its Gothic roofs, which for
the first time, will reecho 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 heathen
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 "French Revolution."
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 terminated 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 us.
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
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 --
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,
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 destroyed 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 not take
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 whirlwind.
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,
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
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 recruited, 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; that
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
"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: "If
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, will at
p 310 -- sometimes greatly
embarrass the Ottoman government."
Between this conjecture 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 indicated.
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
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
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
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 Chronicle.
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 encroachments."
also, took the same view of the political board when he
"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. Roumania 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
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 constitutional governments
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 for.
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 Parliament At
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 maintained.
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:
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
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
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
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
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 by 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." Joel 2:32.
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
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
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]
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 resurrection 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
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 consciousness
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
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.
they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever
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 lights
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 polestar
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:
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 of eternity.
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 ever.
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 be increased.
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
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.
- 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 such exhibits.
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.
- 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.
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
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 lines.
- The first patent on the telephone was granted
to Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.
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
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 and gasoline.
Phonograph. - The first Edison phonograph was
constructed in 1877.
Photographic Camera. - The first sunlight picture
of a human face was made by Professor Draper of New York
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 railway train.
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 concentrate
p 337 -- their light!
Truly, viewed from this standpoint, we have reached the
age of the increase of knowledge.
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,
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 increased.
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, be accomplished.
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
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
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 understand.
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 trial.
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
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,
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
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 since.
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. 1843?
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
thou 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.
p 345 -- 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
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
C -- Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation