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evident object of which was, while he confessed before the Lord Jehovah, his own sins, and the sins of the kings, and the princes, and the people of Judah, to pray for the termination of these seventy years of desolation (ver. 16). "O 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. Now, therefore, O 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....O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord hearken and do: defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.' Now we naturally look for an answer to this prayer, the whole sense of the preceding verses requires one, and such an answer as shall satisfy the mind of Daniel that the period of the captivity foretold by Jeremiah was completed, that the Jews should return to their own land; and their city and temple be restored. But no such answer is to be found in ver. 24 (as translated in our Bibles); and it will not do to evade this requirement, by saying, as some have done, that when Daniel prays for the release of his people, and the restoration of Jerusalem, God answers him above what he was able to ask or think, that God not only grants, but outdoes the desire of them that fear him. It is true, indeed, that He does so in this case; that he opens before the prophetic eye of his servant, a view into his intended dealings with his people for ages; but still we must look also in this case for a direct answer to the particular prayer of Daniel. And such we shall find to be the case from an attentive perusal of the passage. In ver. 23 the angel Gabriel says, "At the beginning of thy supplication the commandment (or the word) came forth and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." But the answer "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city," is altogether unintelligible. You are praying for the termination of the seventy years' captivity predicted by Jeremiah : But after seventy weeks, 490 years, this or that event shall occur.' The period of time (ver. 23) must answer to the period fixed by Jeremiah: therefore both must either be seventy years, or seventy weeks of years. If it be said, that Jeremiah's seventy years are weeks of years, it is only an arbitrary obtrusion of a sense entirely unsupported by any passage, and wholly contradicted by three passages in Jeremiah xxv. 11, 12; xxix. 10. The context, therefore, obviously requires some alteration in the expression, as it now stands "seventy weeks." The Hebrew stands thus, D'ya Dy. The error must be, therefore, in the
points. Let it stand thus, Dy Dya, repeating the word "seventy," we have then a more forcible asseveration, which perfectly and admirably agrees with the earnest prayer of Daniel. The "seventy, yea, the seventy are running to a close," understanding the word years D, from the second verse of the chapter, and this is by no means arbitrary, for these years are understood throughout the whole prayer of Daniel, and form the uppermost subject in his thoughts. The word Dy (weeks) has been borrowed from ver. 27, where a (week) occurs; and this you word (one week) has given a handle to the ancient Jews, who were acquainted with the Cabbalistic writings, for introducing the idea of weeks, and writing Dy (weeks) in vers. 24-26. It seems altogether unlikely that the angel, or the writer of the prophecy, should have concealed the time under the covering of weeks of years. We know, indeed, that the institution of a Sabbatical year, and a week of years, and also a week of Sabbatical years (Lev. xxv. 8, 17), was familiar to the Jews; but there seems no ground whatever for supposing that this was their general manner of computing time. It appears from 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21, compared with Lev. xxvi. 34, 35, that the Sabbatical year was neglected before the exile. And the year of jubilee was observed neither before nor after. The period "three weeks" occurs Dan. x. 2: "In those days, Daniel was mourning full three weeks." But who would be so absurd as to interpret this period as consisting of weeks of years? The more we investigate the passage, the less reason there appears to be for interpreting the period before us of weeks of years; for there is no intimation of weeks except from the points; and no one will attach much importance to them as marks of interpretation, but those who are too deeply attached to Cabbalistic superstitions, to rest satisfied with the simple letter of the word of God. Some Greek and Latin authors have been adduced as testimonies for this use of the expression "weeks of years." But what authority are the Greeks and Latins in a matter solely connected with Hebrew usages. To make good the translation in our version it must be shewn that the method of computing by weeks of years was not only enjoined upon the Hebrews, but also their usual custom. Ancient interpreters, indeed, have translated the passage "weeks;" but they have followed the Cabbalistic Jews; and the Alexandrine version, which, as we can shew, is inconsistent with itself; and in fact expresses years, and not weeks of years. But be that as But be that as it may, the authority of interpreters can make nothing towards an interpretation which
is plainly at variance with the whole context. I shall transcribe Jahn's translation of the whole of this prophecy, leaving to those skilled in the original language, and in biblical criticism, to judge of the correctness of that author's remarks on each member of each sentence. See Jahn, Enchiridion. pp. 128-165. The seventy, the seventy (years predicted by Jeremiah), are running to a close upon thy people and upon thy city; which having elapsed, (this captivity) the punishment of rebellion and sin shall be terminated and completed; and the iniquities (which have deserved this chastisement) shall be expiated; and that ancient immunity from punishment shall return; and that prophecy of the prophet (Jeremiah, Dan. ix. 2) shall be proved by its completion, as if signed with the seal of truth; and the temple restored shall be anointed (or dedicated). "Know then, and understand, that from the time of the decree that Jerusalem should be rebuilt until the anointed Prince, there shall be seventy times seven and seventy, and sixty-two (years). The streets indeed, and the narrow passages shall be built, but in difficult times. But after these seventy and sixty-two (years) the Anointed One shall overthrow the city, and (the people) shall not be his. For the people of a prince about to come shall lay waste the city and the temple; and its end shall burst upon it like a flood; and there shall be a devastating slaughter even to the end. For one week shall consolidate a league with many, and the victims and the sacrifices shall be done away for half a week. At last, the Spoiler (shall come) against the abominable army, and punishment shall be poured out even to the uttermost destruction."
There are then three definite periods :-I. Seventy times seven, or 490 years; II. 70 years; III. 62 years. All interpreters agree in supposing that such a division denotes that some remarkable event should occur at the end of each of these periods. But the discordancy of chronologists and the uncertainty of chronology in general, prevents perfect accuracy to a few years in arranging the close of these particular periods. As an instance of the difficulties in which the Scripture Chronology of this time is involved, we know that Josephus reckons 100 years more than more recent chronologers, from the building of Solomon's temple, to the destruction of the second temple by Titus; and from the restitution of the second temple to its destruction he reckons 33 or 48 years more than other chronologists. See Josep. de Bell. Jud. vi. 4, 8. Dating the commencement of the first period of 490 years from the edict of Cyrus (2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23; and Ezra i. 1, 4), 536 в. C.; and substracting from hence 490 years, we arrive at B. c. 46, or allowing for current years B. c. 48, as the conclusion of the first period. But neither of these years appears noted by any thing very remarkable in Jewish History. Since, however, Josephus reckons 33 or 48 years more
than modern chronologists from the restoration of the second temple to its destruction, it is not necessary to insist upon the year 48 or 46 B. c. as the year for the expiration of the 490 years. In the year 64 or 63 B. c. Pompey took Jerusalem, and, the regal dignity being abolished, appointed Hyrcanus chief of the nation. In the year 54, B. c. new tumults arising, this chieftainship was abolished by Gabinius, an aristocracy introduced, and the priesthood only left to Hyrcanus; and at last, B. c. 44, the chieftainship was restored to Hyrcanus by Cæsar. Thus the Jews, having lost their national liberty, were first made subject to the Romans B. c. 64 or 63. This would be sufficient (seeing our want of positive chronological data), for fixing B. c. 64, as about the termination of the first 490 years. But again, if we transfer seventeen of these years which Josephus computes above other chronologists, from the restoration to the destruction of the temple, and add them to the 46 years above computed, we arrive also at the subjugation of Judea by Pompey, B. c. 63. From these data, not indeed as accurate as might be desired, but as much as under circumstances we can expect, may we not feel warranted in fixing the conclusion of the first 490 years at B. C. 63 or 64. With regard to the second period of 70 years; adding these to B. c. 63 or 64, we arrive at the seventh or eighth year after the birth of Christ. In the ninth or tenth year A. D., Archelaus was appointed Ethnarch of the Jews, and Judea was formally reduced to a Roman province; and the Jews completely reduced under the power of the Romans. At this period, on the occasion of an arbitrary taxation, Judas Galilæus sowed the seeds of rebellion against the Romans, which, taking deep root in Jewish prejudices, gradually but slowly increased, until at last they produced a bitter harvest to the Jews in their final destruction. See Josep. Archæolog. 17, 13, 1-5; de Bell. Jud. ii. 8, 1; Jahn. Archeolog. ii. The. b. ii. § 123.
The remaining period of 62 years, computed from a. D. 8 or 9, expire A. D. 70 or 71, when Jerusalem was taken and overthrown by Titus.
In ver. 27 of this chapter mention is made of "one week," Jahn considers this to denote simply a week of seven days: for, says he, the method of computing by weeks of years was not sufficiently familiar to the Jews, to be mentioned without some distinguishing mark. The error of interpreting this time otherwise than literally has flowed from the preceding erroneous use of the word week, unless indeed that error arose from misinterpreting the word week, ver. 27, and understanding it in the former verses. Some writers have interpreted this week of the week of our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection: but this is questionable, for it probably refers to some period about the destruction of Jerusalem. Josephus
VOL. V.-NO. II.
mentions a remarkable period of seven days after these tumults, which just preceded the Roman war. Eleazar the priest of the temple, son of Ananias the high priest, persuaded the priests and Levites to reject the gifts and sacrifices of the Gentiles; τέτο δε ην τε προς Ρωμαισος πολεμε καταβολη, την γαρ υπερ τετων θυσιαν καισαρος απερριφαν. Josep. B. J. 2, 17, 2. From this time the seditiously disposed drove out the peaceable persons from the temple, and openly attacked them by force of arms. Josephus expressly mentions a period of seven days at this time. ἑπτα μεν εν ἡμέρας συχνος αμφοτερων (both seditious and peaceable) povos εyevero; and observes that the seditious persons who occupied the temple and lower city, were far superior in number to the peaceable, who were driven into the upper part of the city, and afterwards, being besieged, made a league with the seditious, and so a covenant of sedition was confirmed. For a full account of the atrocious conduct of this abominable armament of thieves and murderers, see Josep. Bell. Jud. iv. 6, 3, and vii. 8, 1, quoted by Jahn, Appendix ad Enchirid. pp. 162-164: for Jahn's verbal criticism on the ver. 27 of the 9th Dan. see Jahn, App.
Hoping that some learned and better qualified person may be led to examine this subject more minutely, I have ventured to suggest the above remarks to the Christian church. I have been the more led to take this step, from seeing the voluminous pages which have been written in vain to elucidate this prophecy of the Seventy Weeks; I cannot help thinking that much valuable time has been wasted, and much labour exerted in vain upon this point: neither can I help believing that however obscurely this present view has been developed, it may at least furnish a key to the right interpretation of so interesting a portion of the word of God. With a sincere desire to be rightly informed on this point, and anxious to submit my judgment only to the guidance of the Spirit of truth, I am, &c.
F. C. B. E.
PROPHETS AND APOSTLES.
THE Prophet under the Old, and the Apostle under the New Testament dispensations, were called to fulfil offices which were substantially the same, but varied in form by the altered character and circumstances of the dispensations. At the head of the Prophets ranks Moses, leading out the people, constituting a polity, giving laws for its continuance. As the people fell away from God, prophets were successively raised up to recal them, till their multiplied provocations cast them into Babylon, and prepared for that reformation under Ezra and Nehemiah which