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he saw, and which was the first thing he did see in the vision, were the kings of Media and Persia. And now this same angel Gabriel has come the second time, and tells Daniel, plainly and distinctly, that he has come to make him wunderstand the vision." What vision? The one Daniel had in the beginning, in the 8th chapter. See Daniel ix. 21-23.
Then Gabriel begins his instructions by giving him seventy weeks of the vision, and then shows him, verse 24, when his seventy weeks begin; or, which is the same thing, “ the vision.” To read and understand the matter thus far, infidelity itself must blush to deny the premises.
Then, if we have settled this question, the next ques tion would be, Which king of Persia, and what commandment? I answer, It must be the fifth king of Persia noted in the Scripture of truth ; for the angel Gabriel, the third time he visited Daniel to give him skill and understanding into the vision," says, “ But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth,” Dan. x. 21. This shows that he was instructing Daniel into a vision which he before had seen, and written in the Scriptures. See Dan. vii. 1, « Then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.” Dan. X. 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.” What vision ? The one noted in the Scripture of truth, says Gabriel. Then, in Dan. xi. 2, he begins his instruction to him of the vision, which he was commanded by the voice between the banks of Ulai to make him understand, by saying, “ 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.” This fourth king was the ram pushing, and was the fifth king of Persia, being the fourth from Cyrus, who was then standing up. See Dan. x. 1.
The kings, as Ezra has named them in his 4th chapter and 7th chapter, were, 1st, Cyrus; 2d, Ahasuerus; 3d, Artaxerxes, (the first;) 4th, Darius ; 5th, Artaxerxes (Longimanus;) this last being the king who gave a commandment to Ezra to restore all the captive Jews who were willing to go to Jerusalem.
What commandment? is our next question to answer The decree given by Cyrus (see Ezra i. 1--11) cannot be the decree meant by the angel, for the four following
1st. Cyrus was the first king of Persia, and of course cannot be the fifth king, as we have already shown.
2d reason. The decree of Cyrus was two years before the angel gave his last instruction to Daniel, and he would not have spoken of it as being future, if it had already passed: “There shall yet stand up three kings," &c.
3d reason. Cyrus's decree was not given to build Jerusalem, but “ the house of God which was at Jerusalem;" neither were the walls built in troublous times, under the decree by Cyrus.
4th reason. This decree by Cyrus was given 536 years before the birth of Christ, or 569 years before his death. Therefore no rules of interpretation given in the Scriptures could possibly show how those things were accomplished in seventy weeks, which Gabriel has shown, in our text and context, were determined to be done. This, then, cannot be the commandment, and harmonize with either Bible or facts.
Again: the decree given by Darius, Ezra vi. 1-14, cannot be the commandment to which the angel alluded, for the same reasons we have shown that Cyrus's decree could not be the one; for this was only a renewal of the former, and this decree was issued 552 years before Christ's death.
The next decree or command of any king of Persia we find in the seventh year of Artaxerxes (Longimanus.) See Ezra vii. 6–28. In this decree we find the last command of any king of Persia to restore the captive Jews. We learn that, in this decree, the king fur. nished them with money and means to beautify and adorn the temple which had been built by Darius's order a number of years before. We find that the interdict, Ezra iv. 21, in which the Jews were commanded not to build Jerusalem, is now removed by its own limitation “ until another commandment be given from me.” This decree, therefore, took off this command. We learn by
Ezra's prayer, ix. 9, that Ezra understood that the decree to which we allude did give them the privilege of build. ing, in Judah and Jerusalem, the wall which had been broken down. After Ezra had been high priest and governor in Jerusalem thirteen years, Nehemiah was permitted to go up to assist Ezra in building Jerusalem and repairing the walls; which was done in troublous times, under Nehemiah's administration, which lasted in all 39 years. See Nehemiah, 4th to the 7th chapter Ezra and Nehemiah, both of them having served as governors 49 years.
Here, then, we find the fulfilment of what the angel told Daniel would be done under the command that would begin the seventy weeks, and which is the same thing so the vision.” This decree was given 457 years before Christ: the seventy weeks began, and they ended at the death of Christ, which we have proved did end them, then the seventy weeks ended after Christ 33 years, making, in all, 490 years, which is 70 weeks of years.
But it is evident that Gabriel has divided the seventy weeks into three parts, and I think clearly explains the use of this division.
“ Shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.” Then, as if you should inquire, What is seven weeks for? he explains, “ The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Ezra and Nehemiah were 49 years, or seven weeks of years, performing these very things, which ended before Christ 408. See large edition of Polyglot Bible. What is sixty-two weeks for? The angel has already told us, “Unto the Messiah, the Prince ;” that is, to the time Christ was anointed to preach, the meaning of Messiah. Sixty-two weeks are 434 days; or weeks of years
would be 434 years, which, beginning where the seven weeks ended, 408, would end 26 years after Christ, the year John began to preach as forerunner of Christ. Then " he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week,” making in all the seventy weeks. Thus the seven weeks ended with the administration of Nehemiah, B. C. 408. Then the sixty-two weeks ended when John
began to preach the gospel, A. D. 26; and the one week was fulfilled in A. D. 33, when Christ offered himself upon the cross, as an offering and sacrifice for sin; " by which offering we are sanctified once for all.” For he need not offer himself often, as the high priest did, under the law. “But now, once in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Heb. ix. 26, Therefore," he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.' That is the only and last sacrifice and oblation that will be ever offered in our world, which can take away sin; “ for there remaineth,” says the apostle,“ no more sacrifice for sin.” Then let me inquire, What is the sum of the instruction of the angel to Daniel? I will sum it up in as few words as
After Daniel had a certain vision, commonly called u the vision of the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn," Daniel heard one saint inquire of another, how long that vision should be. The answer was given Daniel, that it should be unto 2300 days, when the sanctuary should be cleansed or justified. Daniel then heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. Accordingly, Gabriel came to Daniel, and informed him that at the end of the world, or time appointed of God, the vision should be fulfilled. He then tells him that the ram represented the Mede and Persian kingdom; and that the rough goat represented the Grecian kingdom ; gives a short history of that kingdom, and its four divisions; then shows, at the close of these kingdoms, that another king would arise, (meaning the kingdom of the little horn, or Roman,) describing him exactly as Moses had described the Romans many centuries before. See Deuteronomy xxviii. 49, 50. “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, aš swift as the eagle flieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance." This, no person will dispute, means the Romans. Then why not a similar description in Daniel, viii. 23 ? " When the transgressors (meaning the Jews) are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up, and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.”
I think the reader, divested of prejudice, cannot apply the description given in the above quotation to any other nation but the Romans. “ And through his policy, he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand.” This description agrecs with Paul's man of sin, the mystery of iniquity which worked in his day, and which would be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. See 2 Thess. ii. 3–8. 6 So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Gabriel says, “ And he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes ;” that is, against God; the very same character which Paul has described. “But he shall be broken without hand,” that is, “ by the brightness of his (Christ's) coming," as says Paul. But as Daniel has said, “ By the stone cut out of the mountain without hand;" or, as he says, Daniel vii. 21, 22, “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”
After Gabriel had instructed Daniel thus far, he left him. Sixteen years afterwards, Gabriel came again to Daniel, and informed him that he had come to instruct him, and give him skill and understanding into the vision, of which we have been speaking. He then gives him the seventy weeks, shows what would be accomplished in that time, the cutting off of the Messiah, and the ceasing of the sacrifice and oblation. He mentions the destruction of Jerusalem, and the war of the little horn; the desolation of the people of God, and overspreading of abominations. He carries us to the consummation, destruction of the little horn, called here the desolator. See marginal reading. Gabriel, after giving the history of the seventy weeks, dwells not in detail on the remainder of the vision, but reserves a more detailed account for the next visit, which is given unto