Christian Biblical Reflections.34

CBR Daniel Selections 5-6

Its been one year occupied with the Book of Daniel in CBR, I had no idea that it would take such a turn. As I posts these submissions of Selections 5-25, having already shared 1-4, I am writing the Reflections & completing the Chronology to the Persian period overtaken by Alexander the Great. I cite my notice in Christian Biblical Reflections.33 Posted on February 29, 2020 to apply here & now, but I have updated within it to apply to the current state or status. The Links likewise I make no changes for now, but will after posting CBR on Daniel when completed. There are only 3 or 4 cases of the Selections or sub-selections where I needed copyright permission, which I was given freely & kindly. I will hereby now & hereafter express to those who have asked, and to all others, all that I write & publish in any media & at anytime is shared free & grateful to be of any help to those who seek God’s Christ, God’s Book, & God’s truth in the journey of life. I apologize & regret that I have not regularly interacted with others in my posts. Anyone is always welcome to email for my personal response & reply. I have tried very hard to limit the pages of this chapter, part, & section of volume two of CBR, but ‘que sera’ it has swelled to 1,000 pages for the Book of Daniel, thus requiring volume 2 to become volumes 2 & 3, the Poetic Books & Major Prophets as vol.2, Daniel & the 12 Minor Prophets vol. 3. mjmselim, 2020.
     ((Not wishing to delay any further, and still several months (now several weeks as of July 2020) from completing the remaining Selections & the writing the Reflections on the whole, I share it with others who might have interest in this Key prophetic Book. The original in PDF of the Selections of Calvin’s & Newton’s & Lowth’s & many others of the 25 Selections, are from very old editions which typefaces that has caused considerable labor to edit. These 4 Selections, along with Selections 5-25 now shared in this & the other numbers, are of great importance to the later & modern interpreters & commentators of the Book. The Analysis & Digest was done months ago (now a year has passed; during which the doctors say I need a heart transplant, which I refuse; thus my times are marked; but God is good to me in this as in all things in Christ); the Chronology is incomplete (but I have added many names, dates, & details up to the end of the Persian Empire period, leaving the Greek & Roman period to be completed in the section of the 12 Minor Prophets), and to be completed when the Reflections are written. The Selections to be added are from the 19th-21st centuries, which all are dependent on these earlier Selections that are herein given. (Here is the list of the 25 Selections relevant to the Book of Daniel in CBR: 1-25: 1. Jerome. 2. Calvin. 3. Newton. 4. Lowth. 5. Stuart. 6. Barnes. 7. Auberlen. 8. Tregelles. 9. Japheth Ben Ali. 10. Rashi. 11. Darby. 12. Montagu. 13. Miller. 14. Folsom. 15. Smith. 16. Rule. 17. Pusey. 18. Keil. 19. Zōckler. 20. Driver. 21. Wilson. 22. Seder Olam Rabba. 23. Larkin. 24. Ist Maccabees. 25. Josephus.) If the Lord permits, the 12 Minor Prophets, being an Appendix to Daniel & the 3 Major Prophets, will follow. As in Ezekiel I’ve had to change my style in reflecting on this Book. mjm.Christian Biblical Reflections.33 Posted on February 29, 2020.))

The PDF is attached. The link to my One Drive files are:!AgcwUEJ0moRUhNUq0AKV13E9Ek3uNQ?e=AzqhtR!AgcwUEJ0moRUhNUolXrUk8DRG-3fXQ?e=VlNwPd!AgcwUEJ0moRUhNUukOnf3cpuJoWCJQ?e=DKFFqE (CBR4-5.Daniel)!AgcwUEJ0moRUhNUr33cfjhqfqsRETA?e=vx4ZcR (CBR.PublicFolder)
CBR files in PDF & Word:!AgcwUEJ0moRUg_Ua3IHBwOxi9NWARA?e=2b3BsD
Here is the link to my Internet library page for those interested:

5. Stuart.
Commentary on the Book of Daniel. by Moses Stuart. Boston. Crocker & Brewster.

{{ Preface: While engaged In writing my Commentary on the Apocalypse, I found myself so often remitted to the book of Daniel, for the sake of illustration, that I of necessity was obliged to study that book with more than ordinary care and diligence. It was natural for me, in the course of an often repeated study of the book, to contract a fondness for it, or at least to take a deep interest in it. When I had completed my apocalyptic labors, and acquitted myself of some engagements which followed them, I began the study of Daniel anew, and with a view to the writing of a Commentary on it…..As to the book of Daniel itself, I believe that no other of the scriptural books, the Apocalypse excepted, has called forth such a variety of discrepant opinions and interpretations. How can I agree with all of them ? And yet the great mass of readers are ready to say, each one for himself, that I ought to agree with him……What happened then, may and probably will happen now. I have not come to the conclusion, that Daniel has said, or knew, anything about the Pope and his Cardinals. This will be enough to pass sentence of condemnation. Do manus. I can have no dispute with criticism like this. Of all the books in the Bible, except perhaps the Apocalypse, Daniel has been least understood, and most perverted and abused. I will bide my time, and wait with patience to see, whether this will be conceded and myself justified in the attempt to vindicate its true meaning…..M. Stuart. Andover, May 24, 1850.

Contents of Subjects Specially Discussed: Commentary. Excursus. (Chapters, Verses).

Chronological Errors.
Alleged Error in Respect to Dates.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Golden Image.
Names of Musical Instruments.
Demeanor of Three Martyrs in Furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Proclamation.
Watchers & Holy Ones.
Great Babylon Built by Nebuchadnezzar.
Various Alleged Incongruities in Chap. 4.
Alleged Incongruities in Chap. 5.
Alleged Incongruities in Chap. 6.
Four Great Empires in Chap. 8. seq.
Fourth Beast.
Punishment of Fourth Beast.
Time, & Times, & Dividing of Time.
2300 Evening-Mornings.
Various Modes in which Four Dynasties are Described.
Fasting of Daniel, & Nature of Seventy Weeks.
Seven Weeks & Sixty-Two Weeks of 9:25.
Winged-Fowl of Abominations in 9:27.
Various Modes of Interpreting 9:24-27.
Conspectus of Hebrew in 9:24-27, & Five Translations.
Guardian Angels of Nations..324
General Resurrection as Developed in 12:2.

Critical History & Defense:
§ 1. Personal History of Daniel.
§ 2. Nature & Design of Book.
§ 3. Style & Aesthetical Character.
§ 4. Language & Idiom.
§ 5. Unity of Book or Sameness of Authorship.
§ 6. Genuineness & Authenticity.
§ 7. Objections against Genuineness, etc.
§ 8. Ancient Versions of Book of Daniel.
§ 9. Apocryphal Additions to Daniel.
§ 10. Leading Commentaries & Critical Disquisitions.

[Chap. 1. Early history of Daniel. Siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, capture of Jehoiakim, and deportation of a part of the vessels of the temple to Babylon; vs. 1,2. Daniel with some of his companions is selected by the king’s overseer to be trained up in the Chaldee manner, for the personal service of the king; Babylonish names are given to the young Hebrews, and they are supported from the king’s table, vs. 3-7; Daniel makes earnest request that he and his companions may have liberty to adopt a simple vegetable diet, so that they may not defile themselves with the royal viands; he obtains liberty, and thrives remarkably well under his new regimen; vs. 8 -16. All four of the Hebrew children make unusual progress in knowledge; but Daniel is endowed by God with uncommon sagacity and knowledge, and becomes able to interpret visions and dreams: v. 17. At the end of three years, Daniel and his companions are brought before the king, and they are found to be far more intelligent and sagacious than any of the Chaldean astrologers; vs. 18-20. The 21st verse contains an indication of Daniel’s long continuance at court, even until the restoration of the Hebrews to Palestine, during the first year of Cyrus’s reign. In other words, Daniel, in person, was a witness to the beginning and end of the Jewish exile.]
Chap. I. 1. In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem, and besieged it.
(bishnath shalosh), lit. ‘in the year of three’. This is the usual method of expressing time in this book; see 1:21; 2:1; 7:1 (Chald.); 8:1; 9:1. So frequently elsewhere, e.g. 2nd K. 12:2; 13:1; 15:1; al. The Hebrew usually employs ‘cardinal’ numbers (1-10) for ‘ordinals’, when ‘years’ or ‘days’ are reckoned, Roed. Heb. Gramm. § 118, 4 e.g. the construct form of the noun designating ‘year’, etc. (as in the case before us), is often employed, comp. Gramm. § 118, 4. —(lemalkuth), ‘of the reign’, the Gen. in such a case being ordinarily marked by prefixing (le), when it is preceded by numerals; Roed. Gramm. § 1 1 3. 2. c. —(yehudah), first the name of Jacob’s oldest son, and (after the exile) employed also for the name of the Jewish country as it is here. —(bo’) came. Hengstenberg (Authent. Dan. p. 61) translates it ‘zog’, i.e. ‘proceeded’, or ‘set out’, viz. upon an expedition. But the sequel (and besieged it) shows, that the usual sense of (bo’) (= erchomai) must here be attached to the word; and so I have rendered it in the version above —The name (nebukadnetzar) is probably composed of (nebo) = ‘Mercury’, who was worshipped by the Babylonians, (Aramaic)(chodan) = ‘deus’, and (sar) = ‘prince’, i.e. the name means ‘prince of the god Nebo’, or Mercury, i.e. belonging to him, and so of high rank. —(waiyatzar) (either Imperf. Hiph. of the root (tzarar), or the Imperf. Kal of (tzur), the ‘Pattah’ of the final syllable being adopted because of the final (r), Roed. Gr. § 22. 2.a and 5. Moreover, a shortened Imperf. and a retracted accent are normal here, Gramm. § 48. b., 2.b. The (`al) (with Suff. it becomes (`aley)) lit. means ‘against’; but here it qualifies the preceding verb, and the construction resembles Isa. 7:1, (hillathem). (`al) is usually found after this verb in the sense of ‘besieging’, Lex. (tzur) No. 2. (the more probable stem.)
1:2. And the Lord gave into his hand Jehoiakim king of Judah and a part of the vessels of the house of God, and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his ‘god’, and the vessels he carried tp the treasure house of his ‘god’.
(beyado), ‘into’ or ‘in his hand’, very frequently employed by the Hebrews to designate the idea of ‘putting in one’s power’ or ‘at his disposal’. As to the fact of the invasion itself, comp. 2nd K. 24:1. —(miqtzath), ‘a part of’, ((qetzath) is an abridged form of (qetza’th) = (qtzeeth), from (qatzah)). It is disputed whether (mi) is a prefix-formative here or a preposition. I regard it as being the latter, i.e. as derived from (min), the Daghesh which we should expect in the (q) being omitted, because it would make the Sheva vocal under this letter in case of its insertion; Gr. § 20. 3. b. This usage of omitting Daghesh in such cases, is not unfrequent. Comp. the same word, although with a sense somewhat diverse, in Dan. 1:15, 18. Here the ‘form’ is the same, and (mi) is unquestionably a ‘preposition’ in both these cases. So in Neh. 7:70, comp. Ps. 135:7. In 2nd Chron. 36:7, the same idea as here is expressed simply by (mikeley), ‘a part of the vessels’, instead of (miqtzath keley) as in our text. But the passage in 2nd Chron., I cannot well doubt, describes the ‘second’ invasion of Palestine by Nebuchadnezzar, at the close of Jehoiakim’s reign, when this king was put in chains to be carried to Babylon, and probably died in this condition, Jer. 22:18,19; 36:30. Still the occasion and the transaction are of the like nature with those which pertain to the first invasion. At the first invasion, Nebuchadnezzar, who made Jehoiakim the Jewish king tributary to him, rifled the temple of only a ‘part’ of its treasures; at the second, he took away another portion of them, 2nd Chron. 36:7. At the third, he repeated the same thing on a more extensive scale, 2nd K. 24:13. At the fourth and final invasion under Zedekiah, when the temple was destroyed, all its treasures were carried away, together with king Zedekiah, his family, and his court, 2nd K. 25: 6—20. A part of these treasures were brought back under Cyrus, Ezra 1:7; and the rest under Darius, Ezra 6:5. (yaibiam) ‘and he brought them’ —who? where? The vessels and Jehoiakim, (for the verb of itself with its suffix might easily have this meaning), or only the vessels? The latter only, as the sequel shows; for surely he did not bring Jehoiakim and ‘put him in the treasure-house of his ‘god”. As the actual coming of Jehoiakim to Babylon is not here mentioned, it is probable that he died on the way, after he was taken captive and bound in fetters, 2nd Chron. 36:6; see and comp. Jer. 22:18,19; 36:30. —’Land of Shinar’ is the old name for the province of Babylon; see in Gen. 10:10; 11:2; Isa. 11:11; Zech. 5: 11, the last two cases seem to be a kind of poetic use. The origin of the name has not yet been developed. —’And the same vessels did he bring to the house of his ‘god”, is a literal rendering of the last part of the verse. As to the version above, we may render the second (hebi’) by ‘deposited’, (Sept. (apëreisato), ‘safely conveyed’ or ‘carried’), which will preserve the sense, and avoid a seeming tautology in case we here render it ‘brought’. In fact, (waiyitnem) often means ‘introduced’, (eispherein) (Sept.), and corresponds to (waiyitnem), and ‘he put’ or ‘deposited them’, in 2nd Chron. 36:7. The writer first designates, generally, the deportation of a part of the vessels to Babylon, and then he names the particular locality where they were there deposited. He had special reasons for so doing, in reference to a part of his subsequent history; see Dan. 5:3,4, 23. Besides, the clause in question leads us to see, that the vessels were in safe keeping, and that Nebuchadnezzar’s motive was probably to make acceptable presents ((anathëmata), as the Greeks called them in such cases), to his ‘god’ Belus —a thank-offering for the victories he had won, and at the same time an evidence of his glorying that Belus was more powerful than the God of the Hebrews. The famous temple of Belus, at Babylon, is known to all. That the vessels were put into the ‘treasure-house’ shows, moreover, both the precaution taken for their safe-keeping and the value attached to them. All the temples of antiquity had treasure-houses, from which the priests were supported; see Num. 31:48-54, Josh. 6:19. Comp. Mal. 3:10, Neh. 13:5, 12, 18……


Excursus I: Alleged Errors in Dates: —On the alleged discrepancy between Daniel 1: 1 and Jer. 25: 1, and some other passages.
The charge of ‘historical incorrectness’ against the writer of the book of Daniel, rests partly upon some ‘dates of time’, and partly upon some ‘historical occurrences’. I shall first examine the allegation of error in respect to the designation of ‘Time’. In Dan. 1:1 it is said that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against Jerusalem, besieged it, took Jehoiakim captive, and rifled the temple of a part of its furniture, ‘in the third year of Jehoiakim’. In Jer. 25:1 it is explicitly said, that the ‘first’ year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign was the ‘fourth’ year of Jehoiakim’s. Moreover, in Jer. 46:2 it is said that king Nebuchadnezzar smote Carchemish on the Euphrates, then in possession of Pharaoh-Necho king of Egypt, in the same ‘fourth’ year of Jehoiakim. Taking all these passages into view, it is alleged that the writer of the book of Daniel could not have lived in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, when the true date of the invasion of Palestine by that king must necessarily have been well known; but at a subsequent period, when the chronology of these events was more obscure, and when he might be misled by erring tradition. That period is placed, by most of the recent critics belonging to the so called ‘liberal’ School, near to the close of the Maccabaean times, with the history of which, as they aver, the book of Daniel concludes. As this has been, of late, an almost uniform assertion among critics of the new School, and has been placed in the front rank of objections against the genuineness of the book of Daniel, it becomes necessary to give it an attentive examination. Lengerke says of it, in his recent Commentary on this book, that “all attempts to remove this objection have to the present hour been frustrated. . . . Not only is the ‘date’ wrong, but the ‘deportation’ [of captives] under Jehoiakim remains at least unproved ;” p. 2 seq. The documents which must guide our inquiries, are a fragment of Berosus (preserved by Josephus), and several brief passages in the Hebrew Scriptures. These are all the historical data on which we can place any reliance. All subsequent testimony is either a mere repetition of these, or a constructive exegesis of them, or if not, it is mere conjecture. In respect to the original documents, we have evidently the same right of interpretation as Abydenus, Megasthenes, Josephus, Eusebius, and others had. The native Greek historians, whose works are now extant, make no mention at all of Nebuchadnezzar; consequently, Josephus’s quotations from the oriental writers, and the historical notices comprised in the Hebrew Scriptures, are all on which we can place any dependence as legitimate sources of testimony. These consist of the following particulars………I would merely observe, at the close of this difficult and perhaps too long protracted investigation, that no one who has experience in these matters will think of arguing against the actual occurrence of certain particular events, merely because they are not stated in this book of Scripture or in that, since nearly all of the Jewish history in later times is given to us in professed and acknowledged ‘summaries’ only. One writer sometimes sees fit to insert some special particular, which the rest have passed by. E. g. Jer. 51:59 seq. mentions a journey of Zedekiah, with some of his courtiers, to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. In 2nd Chron. 33:11 seq., we have an account of Manasseh as having been carried to Babylon, and of his penitence, and his return to Jerusalem. Nowhere else is either of these events even alluded to, so far as I can find. Yet after the recent investigations respecting the books of Chronicles by Movers, Keil, and others, I think no sober critic will be disposed to call in question the position, that neither of these accounts is improbable, and that neither can, on any grounds worthy of credit, be fairly controverted. And I would again suggest, that when leading events as to time and place are certain, an assumption of particular circumstances and events attending them, which is built upon the common course of things and supported by probability, is surely neither uncritical nor unsafe. When we suppose, for example, that Daniel and his associates were sent to Babylon as ‘hostages’, at the time when Jehoiakim first became a vassal to Nebuchadnezzar, and combine this supposition with the declaration in Dan. 1:1 seq., we suppose what seems to be altogether probable, although we cannot establish this particular by any direct testimony, but merely by implication. It may not be useless to add, that as the Jews evidently called Nebuchadnezzar ‘king’, from the time that he invaded Palestine, so by a comparison of Dan. 1:1 seq. Jer. 25:1, 2nd K. 25:27, we make out forty-five (45) years (inclusively) as the period of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, according to the Hebrew method of reckoning. At the same time, Berosus and others make out only forty-three (43) years. Still, there is no real disagreement in the case. The Jews began to reckon two years earlier than Berosus, who counts only upon the ‘sole’ reign of Nebuchadnezzar after the death of his father…….

Excursus on Chap. VI. Thus ends the ‘historical’ part of the book of Daniel. It is easy to see that the object of the writer has not been, to give a regular and complete history, either of the Babylonish kings, of their successor, or of Daniel himself. Those, and only those, events are noticed, which make for the purpose of the writer; and this is, to exhibit a God working wonders among those who held the Hebrews in bondage, in order to fill them with respect for this people, and to prepare the way for their final liberation. Most plainly, moreover, is it a part of the design of the writer, to commend a steadfast adherence to the principles and practice of piety and virtue amidst the trials and temptations to which this people was subjected. The religious and ethical design of the narrations presented in the book before us, lies upon the very face of it, and no one should hesitate to avow this. But to prove that all this was calculated and designed merely for the times of the Maccabees, is quite another matter, and seems to me to have very little probability in its favor……

Chapter VII: Introduction: In the remarks made upon the symbol of the colossal statue seen in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (ch. 2), no particular discussion was entered upon respecting the ‘four great empires’. Mere hints were thrown out, and it was assumed, that in all probability the Babylonish and the Medo-Persian empires were symbolized by the head and breast of the image; that the abdomen and loins represented the dominion of Alexander the Great; and finally that the legs and feet were symbols of that intermingled and confused empire, which sprung up under the Grecian chiefs who finally succeeded him. To this conclusion I have been forced to come, after an attentive consideration of the various schemes of interpretation that have been proposed and urged. As this must have an important influence on my views respecting the prophecies that follow, I feel bound to lay before the reader, the reasons which have led me to adopt such a conclusion. This I shall do as briefly as the nature of such a controverted case admits. And in order to do it briefly, I feel compelled to depend on reasons drawn almost wholly from the book itself. ‘A priori’ reasoning, in this case, the basis of which is an assumption of what we ‘ought’ to expect from the pen of Daniel; or reasoning borrowed merely from the Christian fathers, who assumed as a part of their basis, that the ‘Romish Antichrist’ was before the mind of the prophet; we cannot assume without examination, if we would keep our exegetical conscience quiet. There is no expositor of an author, so legitimate and authoritative as himself. And it is by an appeal to Daniel himself, that I hope, and I shall endeavor to explain Daniel. If this may be done, it is not worthwhile to occupy our time with either relating or refuting the almost numberless schemes of interpretation which have been applied to the book before us. Long ago was it said, (and with sound common sense), that ‘The best way to refute error, is to teach the truth’. If a subject can be made plain, and withal be so presented as to convince and satisfy the mind, it becomes unnecessary to dwell upon all the discrepant views that have been taken of it, or to describe the causes which operated to produce them, or to refute one by one in detail the errors that have been committed. It would occupy a volume by itself to do this, on the present occasion.
In order to throw upon the subject now before us the light which the book of Daniel itself affords, it becomes necessary to compare with each other the various representations which are made of the same things or persons. What is obscure to us in one passage, may thus perhaps be fully illustrated by another; what in one case is expressed only in a generic way, may be found sufficiently specific in another to remove all uncertainty. It is in this way, that we proceed, or at least should proceed, with difficult passages in any book whatever, either sacred or profane; and in like manner, and for a like purpose, do we compare the different Evangelists with each other. Before I engage in this process of comparison, I would premise a few general remarks, to which I would hope a general assent will not be denied. (1) The book of Daniel is not to be regarded either in the light of a general ‘syllabus’ of civil history, nor even in that of a particular history of the four empires named. The Assyrian empire is not touched upon at all in it, nor that of India, or China, or Tartary; not to speak of European and African kingdoms in general. And with regard to Babylon, Persia, Greece (in the personal conquests of Alexander), and the mixed dominion, which is fourth in order, nothing more than mere out-line sketches are given, which may suffice to identify the empires in view. To this there is but one exception, which is the Syrian part of the fourth dominion. The sketch of this is more particular; but that which occupies more room here than all the rest, is the description of Antiochus Epiphanes and his deeds. Such being the state of ‘facts’, the reason or ground of such a course in the writer of the book, becomes quite apparent. It is ‘the people of God, the Hebrew nation’, which is everywhere the highest and ultimate object of the writer. Those dynasties only which have, or will have, a special concern with the Hebrews, are touched upon; and these are brought successively into view, down to the time when deliverance from disasters, little short of those occasioned by the Babylonish exile, shall have been completed. Subsequent and temporary invasions of Palestine, which wrought no essential and permanent change in the state or affairs of the Jews, are not in any degree noticed. The writer’s plan or design evidently does not, in any degree, resemble a regular chronological history, or annals that both preserve the order of time and record all particular events which are worthy of notice. Daniel gives mere outlines, rapid, striking, brief, generic. It is evident that his design is mainly a ‘religious’ one. The people of God; the ‘foreign’ sway to which they are, and are to be, subjected; the period in which a second Nebuchadnezzar shall lay waste Jerusalem and profane the sanctuary the leading trials through which the Hebrews must pass before the Messianic period commence? —these are the topics concerned with the prophetic part of the book of Daniel. Above all, the second great catastrophe to the Jewish nation, under Antiochus Epiphanes, which in some respects was more grievous than that of the Babylonish exile, is that which is most particularly and graphically set forth; and with this the writer concludes his development of Jewish history, excepting that the introduction of the subsequent Messianic period is here and there set forth, and placed in a very striking light. In a word, ch. 7-12 might be justly characterized by giving them the title: ‘Sketches of the Leading Events Preparatory to the Messianic Period’. The ‘nucleus’ lies in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (ch. 2); the development in ch. 7-12. Great errors in the exegesis of this book may be committed, by either ascribing ‘too much’ to its design, (which is the common error), or else ‘too little’.
(2) The reader must not look here for the common traits of regular annals, which are found in a book merely historical. Here (in 7-11) all is ‘prophetical’. It has the costume of prophecy, and is replete with figurative language and with symbol. It gives leading characteristics of an empire by a single sentence, without minute specification; sets up no chronological boundaries to the respective kingdoms; presents simply changes and transitions of empire without any detail of the means by which they are brought about; and introduces those empires, and only those, which are concerned with the Jewish people. As a whole, these productions are merely generic and prophetic pictures of the mutable and perishable empires that have concern with the Hebrews, until the Messianic period, so as materially to affect them for good or for ill. The Persian dominion affects them mostly for good, (see Ezra and Nehemiah); that of Alexander indeed scarcely touches them, but it prepares the way for an empire (the Syrian), which most of all persecuted and injured them. The prophetic part of Daniel, I readily concede, is not regular Hebrew ‘poetry’ as to its form; but it is poetic in its spirit and imagery, like Ezekiel, and Zechariah, and the Apocalypse, and demands the application of poetical exegesis in order to interpret it. A part of the 11th chapter is the only exception to be made to these remarks; where the representation is so historically graphic, that Porphyry and others, specially many of the recent critics, have even brought against it the charge of being written ‘post eventum’. The particularity of the description here fully shows, how prominent in the writer’s mind were the cruelty and persecutions of the (nibzach), i.e. Antiochus Epiphanes.
(3) The reader, who wishes to discover with certainty the real empires that are the subject of prediction in the book before us, should carefully investigate ‘the particular period, when they will individually and severally have all passed away’. The Messiah’s empire, as is clearly and repeatedly asserted, is to be ‘built on their ruins’. It ‘succeeds’ them all, in order of time and of events. So chap. 2; 7; 12 plainly represent the matter. And if so, this will be one decisive test, as to the empires brought into view by the prophet. That they are ‘Asiatic’ empires, although some of them are swayed by men of Grecian origin, seems to lie upon the face of the book, and accords with the nature of the case. In the time of Daniel, Rome was a petty State of Italy, and was scarcely known, still less feared, in Palestine or in Babylon. It is not the manner of the Hebrew prophets, to concern themselves with the history of nations or empires sustaining no relation to the Hebrews. It is true, indeed, that some sixty years before the birth of Christ, Palestine was overrun by Pompey; and in the sequel it was made an allied province. But it was not until ‘after’ the Christian era had begun, that it was deprived of its kings, and subjected to a Romish governor. Nor did the Romans undertake to crush it, until about A. D. 67. The book of Daniel “prepares the way of the Lord.” The coming of the Messiah is its main design; and the state and circumstances of the Jews, until that period, are passed in brief and rapid review. With the considerations in view that have now been suggested, we may next proceed with the development of ‘The Four Great Empires’……..

Chap. VII. 1. [After the introductory remarks already made, the contents of ch. 7 may be sketched in a few words. The prophetic vision of Daniel was by night, and in a dream, v, 1. After great commotion of the sea by stormy winds, four great beasts come up from it, strong and ravenous, yet diverse in kind, vs. 2,3. The first is a ‘lion’, furnished with wings, to which, after severe castigation, a more gentle and humane spirit is given, 4. The second is a ‘bear’, whose position, and grasp of prey, as well as the language addressed to it, indicate a watchful rapacity for conquest, v. 5 The third is a ‘panther’, with four wings and four heads, bearing extensive sway, v. 6. The fourth is a monster without a name, strong and terrible, with teeth of iron and ten horns; out of which comes up a little horn, which roots out three of the others, and becomes insolent and blasphemous, vs. 7, 8. When the destruction occasioned by it reaches its height, the Ancient of Days prepares his tribunal, and ascends it surrounded by flaming fire and myriads of ministering servants. The trial proceeds, the charges are made, and the beast is condemned to excision, which sentence is executed, vs. 9-11. The like had been already done to the other three beasts, v. 12. The Son of Man now makes his appearance before the Ancient of Days, and dominion universal and permanent is given to him, vs. 13,14. Daniel, overpowered by the vision, is troubled In his mind, v. 15. He approaches an angel-interpreter, and seeks to know more particularly the meaning of the vision. He is told, in a few words, the sum of its meaning: There are and will be four dynasties; to be followed by a fifth which belongs to the saints, and is to be perpetual, vs. 16-18. But his curiosity is not satisfied, in regard to the ‘fourth’ beast, the characteristics of which he recapitulates, vs. 19, 22. The interpreter informs him, that the fourth kingdom will be diverse from the other three, and very destructive; that the ten horns signify ten kings; that another (the little horn) shall arise, who will humble three of the ten, utter boasting and blasphemy, and undertake to change times and abrogate the law; that these latter transactions of the little horn are limited to three and a half years, vs. 23-25; and finally that the destroyer shall himself be condemned and destroyed, v. 26. After this, “the people of the most high God” shall receive a dominion that shall never end, v. 27. Here ends the vision ; but Daniel was filled with agitation and concern respecting the things predicted, although he kept the whole matter to himself, v. 28.]

Chapter VII.1…..This chapter begins the second and peculiarly ‘prophetic’ part of the book of Daniel, in which the writer forsakes the ‘chronology’ of the preceding historical part that he had brought down to the Median dominion, and goes back some seventeen (17) years to the first year of Belshazzar. The date of the time, when a prophecy was received, is commonly affixed by the Hebrew prophets to the oracle itself. It is not unusual for prophets to receive a special command, to ‘commit to writing’ their disclosures; comp. Isa. 30:8; 8:1, 16; Hab. 2:2; Apoc. 1:19; 21:5; 14:13. Daniel does not inform us, whether he in this case received a special command to write down his vision, nor of the time when he did write it; but the importance of the subject-matter of the vision, and the trouble that it gave to his mind, would be very likely to lead him to a speedy record of what he had seen……..

Chap. VII. 8. ‘Excursus on the Fourth Beast’. To facilitate our future progress, it may be well to satisfy ourselves of the position, which, as interpreters, we ought to take; for much is dependent on it. Having already discussed this subject at large, in the introduction to this chapter, I shall give here only brief and summary views of points already illustrated, touching occasionally on other points necessary to complete a view. To me it seems a philological impossibility, provided we first make a thorough comparison of the third and fourth dynasties, (as presented in chaps, ii. vii. viii. xi., and fully spread before the eye of the reader in the preceding pages), to maintain that the third dynasty is not that of Alexander, or that the fourth is not that of his successors, the Grecian chiefs. But for the sake of obtaining still further satisfaction, let us for a moment reverse the method of considering the subject, and begin with the ‘fourth’ dynasty. What are the discriminating features, the true and satisfactory diagnostics of this dynasty? I shall mention only such as I deem to be decisive and satisfactory.
(1) The ‘ten horns’ belong to the ‘fourth’ beast (7:7, 19,20, 24), and the ‘little horn’ springs up ‘among them’ (7:8, 20, 24). The ten horns are ten kings (7:24), and the ‘little horn’ is the eleventh (7:24). Now it is quite plain, from a comparison of 7:7,8, 23-25, with 8:8-12, 22-25, and 11:21-45, that the same individual is characterized in all these passages. His gradual growth, his cunning, his destructive aggressions, his persecutions, his pride, his boasting, his blasphemies, his profanation of sacred things, and his sudden and violent death, are all depicted in colors so nearly alike, and in outlines so exactly alike, (excepting that in some of the cases, e.g. in chap. 11, the sketch is much more amply filled out), that I cannot perceive any reasonable ground of doubt that they respect the same personage. But if this be a correct position, then is the fourth dynasty plainly designated beyond a reasonable question. “The little horn” did not spring from a ‘Roman’, but from the ‘Syrian’ dynasty. It came up amidst ten horns, and rooted out ‘three of them’ (7:8, 20, 24); and if the ‘little horn’ be Antiochus Epiphanes, then is it certain that the ‘ten horns’, i.e. the ten kings (7:24), are ‘Syrian’ and not Roman. It is no objection to this argument, that the imagery employed in chap. 8 ‘varies’ from that of chap. 7. What is a ‘bear’ in 7:5, is a ‘ram’ in 8:3 seq. What is a ‘panther’ with four wings and heads in 7:6, is a “he-goat that touched not the ground,” with a notable horn, in 8:5 seq. In chap. 7, the destruction of the beasts is not described severally, but collectively, (7:11,12); while in chap. 8, the destruction of each preceding dynasty is ‘severally’ related (vs. 7,8), before a new one is announced. The ‘diversity’ of the fourth beast from all the others, is specifically declared by direct assertion in 7:7, 19, 23, while in chap. 8 it is described by symbolic imagery, viz. “the great horn [Alexander] is broken, and in its room came up four notable ones, toward the four winds of heaven,” (8:8). Now these four horns have no direct concern with the ‘ten horns’ of 7:7, 20, 34. The latter are ‘kings’ (7, 24); the former are ‘kingdoms’ (8:8, 22); not kingdoms in the sense that they make what the writer, for his particular purpose, regards as ‘separate’ dynasties, but minor kingdoms under one comprehensive view, viz. that of ‘Grecian sway’, or sway by Alexander’s successors. So 8:8, 22, and 11:4, clearly show. The last or fourth is the ‘divided’ kingdom; for it has no symbol among beasts that can be named (7:7); it consists of iron and clay (2:40-43); it is divided to the four winds of heaven (8:8; 11:4). Of course there is no incongruity between the ‘four horns’ in 8:8, 22, and the ‘ten horns’ in 7:7, 20, 24. The former merely symbolize the four great divisions of Alexander’s empire (8:21,22; 11:4); the latter signify ten kings (7:24), which will precede “the little horn” (ib.), and ‘among which’ this horn springs up (7:8). The ten horns, moreover, all belong to ‘one’ of the four great divisions; for out of ‘one of these four’, the little horn springs up (8:9), which shoots forth in the midst of the ten (7:8). Here then is no ‘incongruity’. It is merely a diversity in the mode of representation, grateful to the reader, and meeting the reasonable demand of aesthetics in regard to variety, in the modes of description. On the other hand, the ‘parallels’ in the descriptions of the fourth beast, and above all in those of the ‘little horn’, 2; 7; 8; 9, are so striking, that ‘identity’ of person or object in all of them seems to be a thing so evident, that fair denial is out of question. Hengstenberg, who strenuously contends for the ‘Roman’ dynasty as the fourth, acknowledges that the resemblances between the ‘little horn’ in chap. 2, and the descriptions in 8:9 seq. 11:21 scq. are such as to constitute the most weighty argument in favor of ‘identity’ of person in all, (Authentie des Daniel, s. 213). How then is this argument to be answered? In his view very easily, viz. ‘Antiochus is the ‘prototype’. Antichrist the ‘antitype’; what had a partial fulfilment in the former, will have a complete one in the latter.’ In other words, a (`huponoia) is here to be supposed, i.e. a double sense must be given to the words. And why? “Because ‘Typik'” grounded in the very essence of the O. Test ,” (s. 213). I deny not at all the typical nature of much that was Mosaic and Levitical, as to rites and ordinances. I fully assent to all which the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews has said on this subject. But all the ‘types’ relate to ‘Christ’, his offices, his sufferings, his atonement, and in a word to his whole work of redemption. Where are the types of Satan, and of his coadjutors, the ‘Antichrists’ of the Christian period, to be found in the Jewish ritual? Hengstenberg appeals to 2nd Thess. 2:3, and avers that this is built upon Daniel. I accede; but only so far as to recognize a ‘similarity of description’ in a case where there is ‘similarity of character and of action’. What does one need now to satisfy himself of such a usage among the N. Test. writers, than to turn to Matt. 2:15, 18, 23, and compare these passages with the original Hebrew? The (plërösis); of the N. Test. is far enough from being always a fulfilment of what is strictly prediction. From its very nature, a (`hupnoia) must always be merely a matter of ‘guessing’; for what language does not of itself speak, can only be ‘guessed’ at. But how can we accede to a principle of interpretation so hazardous as this, and specially so indefinite and in fact undefinable?
(2) The four dynasties, whatever they are, ‘perish before the Messianic kingdom is introduced’. Thus is it represented in 2:44,45; 7:11,12, 22, 26,27; 8:20-25; 11:45. This is of itself so plain, and so conclusive, that it would alone be sufficient to decide that the fourth kingdom cannot be ‘Roman’.
(3) It lies upon the face of all the prophecies in this book, that the Messianic kingdom is their ‘ultimatum’. What will befall the Hebrews ‘before’ this is introduced, is evidently the object which the prophet has in view to declare. But here, however, let it be remembered, that it is not at all his object, to give a minute civil history of all the Jewish affairs, but only to touch summarily on the most distressing of their trials. Under Antiochus they were to suffer even worse things, in some respects, than they had done under Nebuchadnezzar. Thus much disclosed, he passes over the interim, and touches upon the introduction of the ‘new kingdom’. Summarily docs he describe even this, but he strongly asserts its ‘perpetuity’. To suppose Daniel to supply the place which John has filled in the Apocalypse, and to go beyond the simple generic views that I have suggested, would be to appropriate to an O. Test. writer all the views and feelings and knowledge of a Christian writer. The same spirit Daniel doubtless had. But he did not move in the same circle of action, nor did he address the same classes of readers.
(4) The difficulties that lie in the way of acknowledging the fourth dynasty to be ‘Roman’, not only appear great, but to me they seem insuperable. Applied to the ‘Roman dynasty’, what mean the four kingdoms in 8:22; 8. What mean the ‘ten horns’ in 7:7, 20, 24? And the ten toes in 2:42? And more than all, what means it, that Antiochus comes ‘from the midst of the ten horns’? Hävernick confesses (Comm. s. 570), that “as yet the Roman history gives us no diagnostics by which we can ascertain the ‘ten’ horns.” What then is to be done?” We must wait,” says he,” with a believing confidence, that we shall yet see a time, when faith will be turned into vision, and thus will take the veil from our eyes, and make plain the secrets of the Lord.” ‘Secrets’ they are truly, and must remain so, on the ground which he takes. All hope of any intelligible meaning is out of question. But for myself, I must always doubt the soundness of a position, which forces us to conclusions like this, in regard to any matter of prediction. But the advocates of that exegesis which assigns the ‘Roman dynasty’ to the fourth beast turn the tables upon us, and object to the application of this symbol to the dynasty of Alexander’s successors, on the ground that in this way no satisfactory account can be given, either of the ‘ten kings’, or of the ‘three’ who were rooted out by the little horn, 7:7, 8, 20, 24. Candor requires us to say, that this may be reasonably demanded of those who reject the application of what is said concerning the fourth dynasty to Rome, because they explain the prediction as applicable to a dynasty which existed and came to an end before the birth of Christ. Now as such a dynasty belongs to the history of the ‘past’, some probable application of the prophecy to it should be pointed out by those who decline the interpretation of Hengstenberg, if they expect to make good their position. This, as I apprehend the matter, is what may be done. I must, first of all, ask the particular attention of the reader to what has already been intimated and explained, viz. that Daniel does not undertake to write universal history, nor even the particular history of the empire which he actually brings into view, but only describes such occurrences or personages as come in contact and conflict with the Jews, mostly to their harm and danger. The rapid outline in 7: 4-8 is proof of this; and like to this are the passages in chap. 2; 8; and also 11, with the exception of the Syrian kingdom, (the king of the north), and particularly that of Antiochus Epiphanes, 11:21 seq. The ‘ten kings’ belong to the ‘fourth beast’, as all the passages in chap. 7 show, and the little horn comes from the midst of the ten, vs. 8, 20, 24. But in 8:8,9, the ‘little horn’ is expressly said to come ‘out of one of the four great divisions’ of Alexander’s kingdom. This then shows that the generality of the dynasty as a whole is dismissed by the writer after merely touching upon it, and that he turns his attention only to that part of it which is annoying and terrible to the Jews. That the little horn means Antiochus may, after all that has been said, be taken for granted; and as he was a ‘Syrian’, so were the ten kings ‘Syrians’, whom he succeeded, inasmuch as he came from the midst of them. We have then simply to inquire, whether there were ten kings who actually preceded him in this dynasty. This inquiry seems not to be difficult.

1. Seleucus I. Nicator. 2. Antiochus I. Soter. 3. Antiochus II. Theos. 4. Seleucus II. Callinicus. 5. Seleucus III. Ceraunus. 6. Antiochus III. the Great. 7. Seleucus IV. Philopator. 8. Heliodorus. 9 Ptolemy IV. Philometor. 10. Demetrius I. 11 . Antiochus Epiphanes.
All of these are unquestionable, excepting 8, 9, and 10. ‘These,’ says Hengstenberg (s. 208), ‘were mere ‘pretenders’ to the throne, and nothing more; whereas the text requires that they should be actual kings, and be dethroned.’ I doubt whether his demand is not somewhat too strenuous here; at least a comparison with Rev. 17:12 would not favor a construction so rigid. But be it so; we will not decline to answer even the rigid demand which he makes. Appian testifies (De Reb. Syr. c. 45), that Seleucus Philopator, when king, was destroyed by the conspiracy of Heliodorus. In the same passage he says, that Eumenes and Attalus, kings of Pergamus, in conjunction with Antiochus, and at his solicitation, deposed Heliodorus, (es tën archën biazomenon), ‘who had seized by violence upon the government’. The simple history is this: Antiochus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the Great, and brother of king Seleucus Philopator (who was destroyed by Heliodorus), had, for some yours, been sent as a hostage by his father to Rome, and on his return, (being recalled by Seleucus his brother, who sent his own son Demetrius to supply his place), while at Athens, he heard of all that Heliodorus had done, and then visiting Attalus and Eumenes, on his way home, he persuaded them to assist him. Such was their interposition, that all other claims to the throne were silenced, and the parties awed into submission, without any bloodshed in the way of contest. In respect to Heliodorus, he was doubtless punished as a rebel. But still he had occupied the throne; he was “rooted out” from it by Antiochus, or (to use the language of 7:20) “he fell before him.”
The second of the three kings, “who were humbled” (7:24), appears to be Ptolemy IV. king of Egypt. His mother, named Cleopatra, being guardian of this young child who was heir to the throne of Egypt, on the death of Seleucus Philopator, claimed the throne of Syria in behalf of her son. She was the sister of Philopator, as also of Antiochus Epiphanes, all three being children of Antiochus the Great. She claimed Palestine and Phenicia as the dower pledged to her by her father, when she was married to Ptolemy Epiphanes the king of Egypt. When her brother Seleucus was assassinated by Heliodorus, she, as already intimated, ambitious of her son’s promotion, laid claim to the throne of Syria for him. We have no history of what was done to carry through her designs; for, unhappily, all the particular histories of that period which are now extant, are only a few fragments. But that she succeeded in forming a party in favor of her young son, Ptolemy IV, Philometor, seems to be a matter of fact; and also, that he had an actual investiture of the kingly office over Syria. Thus in 1st Macc. 11:13, it is said of the prince in question: “And Ptolemy entered into Antioch, and put two crowns upon his head, that of Asia and of Egypt.” The ‘Asia’ named here undoubtedly means ‘the Syrian empire’, inasmuch as Ptolemy was now in its capital (Antioch). In Polybius’ Reliquiae, XL. 12, this same prince is named “Ptolemy, (`ho tës Surias [kai Aigupiou] basileus), i.e. king of Syria” [and Egypt], the latter words included in brackets being of somewhat doubtful authority. There is no good ground of doubt, however, that the Ptolemy in question is the one here named. It would seem, then, since it is certain that Antiochus got the better of all his antagonists, that Ptolemy was “humbled” as to his claim upon the throne of Syria.
But who is the ‘third’ king, that Antiochus ‘rooted out’? I cannot hesitate to say, that, so far as I can see, reference is made to Demetrius I, Soter, as he was afterwards named. He was the son of Seleucus Philopator, and of course the nephew of Antiochus Epiphanes. By right, i.e. by the established custom of regal succession in the monarchies of the East in general, the ‘inheritance’ of the throne belonged to Demetrius, as soon as his father was dead. He was its rightful occupant. But Antiochus did not recall him from Rome, whither he had gone as a hostage, in order to redeem Antiochus himself from that condition. The Roman Senate could have no inducement to send him back. They kept him as a security of Antiochus’ good behaviour ; for in case the latter gave umbrage to the Roman power, they could set up Demetrius and urge his lawful claims against Antiochus ; which would be very likely to defeat and overthrow him. Thus, by the collusion of Antiochus on the one. hand, and the crafty policy of the Romans on the other, Demetrius was obliged to forego his rights as a prince, until after the death of Antiochus and his son. In this way did Antiochus defeat the claims of ‘three’ kings, and “humble them,” 7:24. The two former of them he actually ‘dethroned’, the latter he excluded from the rightful occupation of the throne, at least so long as he and his son lived. He did indeed not actually dethrone Demetrius, but ‘he kept him out’ of his throne. All this agrees well with 7:8, 20, 24, and is sufficient to answer the demands of interpretation. He who has a ‘right’ to a throne, and is kept from it either by the craft or violence of another, is ‘humbled’ as to his pretensions, and ‘fallen’ as to his purpose. All three were ‘rooted out’ (7: 8), as to their ‘kingly office’, and Antiochus remained the sole and triumphant king of Syria. That all this should be done by craft, and flattery, and dexterous management, without any open war or contention, is indeed somewhat strange, but by no means impossible. See how graphically Antiochus is characterized in 8:23,24, but specially in 11:21, 23,24,25, 27, 30, 32. “He shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries,” says Daniel, 11:21. One can hardly wonder that Porphyry was so struck with this and other like passages, as to affirm that it must have been written ‘post eventum’. But when Porphyry, and others since his time, suggest that Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VII kings of Egypt, and Artaxias king of Armenia, are the three kings that were humbled, it seems to be a mistake. It is true that Antiochus gained victories over them in contest; but this was after some years, when he had become established in power. I understand 7:8, 20, 24, as relating to what Antiochus did, in order to secure the throne to himself; for this is the natural implication of the passage.
What now can be done with these ‘ten kings’, and the ‘three kings’ humbled by Antiochus, if the whole be referred to the ‘Roman’ dynasty, no one can tell us. Hengstenberg and Havernick give up the attempt, and resolve the whole into a prediction of an Antichrist yet future, and of ten future Roman kings or kingdoms, three of which are to be humbled by Antichrist; and they bid us to wait with patience, in expectation that ‘dies indicabit’, i.e. future events will make plain what is now dark and unintelligible. But I cannot think that a prophetic ‘revelation’ is constructed of such material. A ‘prophecy’ addressed to any class of men, must needs have at least some respect to the information of those for whom it is uttered, and to whom it is addressed. But for what valuable purpose a prediction altogether unintelligible can be uttered or written, it would be difficult to form any satisfactory conception.
Finally, whatever may be the difference of opinion about the ‘fourth beast’, and the dynasty symbolized by it, all must concede, that the facts respecting the ‘ten kings’ and the ‘three kings’, as related above, are at least very singular and striking. Could there be such a coincidence between them and Daniel’s prediction, unless they in reality are connected together? We may indeed concede the ‘possibility’ of it; but can anyone well defend the ‘probability’ of it? After all that can be said on this subject, the simple but conspicuous truth, that the Messiah’s kingdom follows the ruin of the four dynasties, renders the application of the symbol of the fourth beast to the ‘Roman’ dynasty altogether improbable, nay exegetically impossible.
Let those who are deeply versed in the prophecies of the O. Test., ask the question: Do any O. Test. predictions, in any other case whatever, describe the apostasies and the heresies that will spring up in the bosom of the ‘Christian church’? Unless the prediction in Dan. 7 is of this nature, no example, so far as I know, can be found. It is not impossible, I concede, that Dan. 7 may be ‘unique’ in its kind; but unless some very good reason for a prophecy of such a character can be given, and some important object to be accomplished by it pointed out, I must regard it as altogether improbable.
On the ground that the views above given are reasonable and well supported by the laws of interpretation, our future progress in the exposition of the book before us, will be greatly facilitated. As these views appear to me just and well grounded, I must of course avail myself of them, and I shall often recur to them as matters no longer in need of a new defense, or to be regarded as mere conjectures.
In reviewing this whole subject, it seems plain to my mind, that Jerome, and others of later times, who refer the ‘little horn’ in chap. 7 to Antichrist, were led to do so by the language of the N. Test., which in several instances is borrowed from Daniel, and applied to objects belonging to the period of the Christian dispensation. That like events, and like characters of this period, should be described in language borrowed as it were from ancient prototypes, is very natural, and is indeed what is often done in all parts of the New Testament. But it requires great care not to confound ‘prediction’ with mere cases of ‘resemblance’; and it is a work not yet fully done, to separate the one from the other, and satisfy the intelligent inquirer where the metes and bounds actually are between the two things. This is a work, moreover, which, if well done, would dispense with any further necessity of resort to (`hupnoia), in order to elicit the true meaning of the Old Testament. Those (and they are not a few) who find the ‘Pope’ in the little horn, go still further than Jerome, who, although the Roman bishop in his day began sensibly to elevate himself, appears never to have thought of such an application.

7:25: …..The nature of the case shows that ‘two times’ is the probable sense here. The ‘singular’ noun most naturally means a ‘year’, which is a ‘defined’ period of time. So in 4: 13, ‘seven times’ = seven years. The ‘half’ of this period is designated by the phrase ‘time, times and dividing of time’, which last expression means ‘half year’. The like in Hebrew, in Dan. 12:7 and in 9:27, we find ‘half of a week’ or ‘heptade’ [viz. of years]. See also the same in the Apoc. 12:14, comp. 13:5; 11:2,3; 12:6. A comparison of all these passages seems to settle the matter conclusively, that the prophetic year consists of 360 days = 12 months at 30 days each. It is of importance to note this; for accuracy of calculation must depend on it.
Is this expression of time poetical merely and figurative, consisting of round numbers (as they say), and comprising just half of the mystical number ‘seven’, which is so often employed in a kind of tropical way? ‘Historical facts’ seem to speak for the ‘literal’ interpretation, in the book before us. Yet, considering the nature of the case and of the number usually concerned with such reckonings, (i.e. the number ‘seven’), we surely need not be solicitous about a day, a week, or even a month, more or less. The convenience of the reckoning, when it is near enough to exactness for all the purposes of prophecy, is very obvious, and will account for adopting it. In exhibiting the historical facts, we will begin with an era which is certain, viz. the time when Judas Macc. expurgated the temple, and began the service of God anew. This was on the 25th of Dec. 148 ann. Sel. = 165 B.C., see 1st Macc. 4:52. Counting back three and a half years, we come to June in 145 A.S. = 168 B.C. Livy has described the retreat of Antiochus from Egypt, in the ‘early spring’ (primo vere, Liv. xlv. 11.) of that year. While on that retreat, Antiochus detached Apollonius, one of his military chieftains, to lay waste Jerusalem, (comp. 2nd Macc. 5:11, which makes the time clear), for he had heard that the Jews exulted at his misfortune, in being obliged by the Romans to retreat from Egypt, and he was determined to wreak his vengeance on them. He did so effectually, as 1st Macc. 1:29 seq. fully shows; and vs. 29, 20, of the same chapter, compared together, show that the year was 145, A.S. as above stated. From June, when Jerusalem was probably taken, to December, is six months; and from December in 168 to December, 165, is three years. In the same way, as to time, does Josephus reckon, Proem, ad Bell. Jud. § 7. But to avoid perplexity, it should be noted that a different mode of reckoning, viz. ‘three years’, is sometimes employed. E.g. in 1st Macc. 4:54, and 2nd Macc. 10:5, such a method appears to be implied; and so in Jos. Ant. Jud. XII. 7. 6. An examination of the context in these cases shows, however, that this period designates only the time that intervened between the profanation of the temple by heathen sacrifices, 1st Macc. 1:54, and the consecration of it by Judas Maccabaeus, 1st Marc. 4:54. Some six months after capture of the city, during which all manner of cruelties and excesses were committed, appear to have elapsed before Antiochus began his ‘swinish’ offerings in the temple. The consecration of the temple by Judas introduced regular Hebrew worship there; and the death of Antiochus happening shortly afterward, the period of his oppression was of course at its end. Thus did events correspond very exactly with the time designated in our text. We cannot indeed specify the exact ‘day’ because history has not done this; but it is enough, that we come so near to the time designated, as to remove all serious difficulty respecting it.
Other passages corresponding, as to time, with the verse before us, may be found in Dan. 9:27; 12:7, and, with some modifications, the period) marked in 12:11,12, harmonize with these. The discussion respecting them, however, may be deferred until we come in course to consider them.

Chapter 8: Introduction: [In the third year of Belshazzar’s reign, Daniel saw another vision, subsequent to that related in ch. 7. In this vision he was transferred to Shushan on the river Ulai, in the province of Elam, (the capital of the future Persian empire), vs. 1,2. Here he saw a ram, with two elevated horns, the one being higher however than the other, but more recent as to its origin. In various directions did the ram push, and nothing could stand before him, vs. 3,4. Upon this, a he-goat made his appearance, bounding over the earth without seeming to touch it; and this goat had a notable horn between his eyes, v. 5. He came to the ram with fury, smote him, broke his horns, and trode him down, while there was none to rescue, vs. 6,7. The he-goat now became very great, and at the height of his power, his great horn was broken in pieces, and there came up four other notable horns in its room, v. 8. From one of these sprang up a little horn, which waxed great toward the south, and east, and the goodly land of the Hebrews, v. 9. It waxed so great that it assailed the host of heaven [the sacred officiators in the temple], and some of these it cast down and trode upon, v. 10. Even the prince of that host [the God of the temple] was deprived by him of his daily sacrifice, and laws and ordinances were prostrated, and success attended the undertakings of the tyrannical oppressor, v. 12. While contemplating this scene of desolation, the prophet hears one of the holy angels asking another, how long this state of things is to continue, v. 13. The answer is 2300 days, at the close of which the sanctuary will be vindicated, v. 14. Daniel makes for himself still further inquiry respecting the meaning of the vision; an angel, on the river’s bank, requires Gabriel (the angel-interpreter, to make the requisite explanation, vs.15,16. This angel approaches Daniel, who swoons, and is lifted up and revived by his kind interpreter, vs. 17,18. Gabriel informs him, that he shall make particular disclosures respecting what is to happen at the last part of the season of affliction, v. 19. He says that the ram symbolizes the kings of Media and Persia; the he-goat, the king of Grecia; the great horn is its first king, and the breaking of it is the ruin of his empire; out of this ruin shall arise four dynasties, with inferior power, vs. 20-22. In after-times shall arise from one of them a king, cruel, cunning, a fearful destroyer, specially of the holy people, vs. 23,24. By his craft and sagacity, he will destroy many without waging war; on account of his success, he will become haughty and set himself against the Prince of princes; by whom he shall be dashed in pieces, v. 25. Daniel is assured, that the vision is true, and he is directed to seal it up, because it pertains to a distant future, v. 26. Daniel again swoons, and is afterwards sick for some days. He after this returns to his ordinary official business, v.27.]
It is plain, at first view, that the Babylonish monarchy is here omitted. Twice (ch. 2; 7) had it already been described, and it was now near its close, and nothing specially worthy of particular note, in respect to the Jews, was to take place before that close. To Daniel, therefore, a further disclosure is made, in regard to those empires which would be particularly concerned, in future, either with favoring his countrymen or with annoying them. These were mainly the second and fourth dynasties, (so named in reference to ch. 7.) The third seems to be here introduced mainly because it stands between the Medo-Persian dominion and that of the fourth beast.
As might naturally be expected, Daniel, as he approaches nearer to the events predicted, becomes more specific in his statements respecting them. For example, in ch. 7 no account is given of the manner in which the second or Medo-Persian empire is overthrown; but here, in vs.5-7, we have a graphic account of its fall. In ch. 7, no account is given of the manner in which the third beast perishes, and the fourth beast arises; but in v.8 here we have one specifically given. In ch. 7, the little horn is merely said to arise among the other ten horns of the fourth beast; here it is stated, that it arose out of one of the four dominions of the last empire. In ch. 7, the blasphemous, boasting, persecuting character of the little horn is merely glanced at, (vs. 8, 24,25); but here we have a full detail, as it were, of cruelties and abominations, vs. 9-12, 23-25. In ch. 7, we have a designation of the time, during which the desolations of Jerusalem and the temple shall take place beyond all former example (v. 25); while in ch. 8, we have a different designation of time, in respect to matters which are of wider extent. Finally, the whole circle of beasts in ch. 7, are different from those introduced in ch. 8. The beasts here are not chosen so much with reference to their rabid and destructive nature, as with reference to their active and rapid movements.
If any reader should be tempted to think it strange, that the same subjects should be repeated, even with additional specifications, (as is particularly the case with the fourth dynasty in this book, in chaps, 2; 7; 8; 11, and above all with the description of the little horn or Antiochus Epiphanes), he needs only to turn to Isaiah, and ask how often the Assyrian invasion is there depicted; or to the prophets in general and ask: How many are the prophecies respecting the destruction of Babylon, Egypt, Moab, Tyre, Philistia, etc. The answer to these questions will remove any difficulty which the book before us seems to present, in regard to repetition.
In fact, how can we be competent to decide, how often peculiar circumstances among the Hebrews demanded a renewal of the same subject? But in the present case, the later predictions are seldom, if ever, mere repetitions of the preceding ones. New circumstances are developed; or the subject is placed in a new attitude; or it is connected with some promise or threatening. In a word, there is always something in the later prediction, to adapt it to the time when it was uttered.
In the case before us, the time drew near when the Medo-Persian dynasty would commence. Before that period, the Jews were to change their outward circumstances in no important respect. The writer, therefore, now begins with the dynasty which would make a change. And in order to obtain an appropriate place of vision, he is transferred in his ecstasy to the capital of the Medo-Persian empire, and from its tower or citadel he looks out over the ground of empires yet future. And inasmuch as, from the nature of the case, the later vision is more specific than the earlier ones, it affords us very important aid in the explanation of what might otherwise be dubious from its brevity or generality, in the preceding oracles.
8:1: The reader will note that the Hebrew language is now employed [in contrast to the Syriac-Aramaic of the earlier chapters], and so through the remainder of the book……[Conclusion remark to chapter 8:] In several particulars the prophetic vision in this chapter differs from those in chap. 2 and 7. First of all, no notice is taken of the Babylonish monarchy, such as we find in 2:37,38 and 7:4. Then, secondly, there is a somewhat extended view of the second or Medo-Persian dynasty and its fall, vs. 3-7. Very brief and summary is the account of this dynasty in 2:39 and 7:5; and its fall in consequence of being invaded by the head of the third dynasty, is not at all noticed, as it is in 8:5-7. So likewise, in the third place, with respect to the third dynasty. It is summarily touched upon in 2:39 and 7:6; but a somewhat dilated account is given in 8:5-8. Fourthly, the manner in which the fourth dynasty arises, is given neither in 2:40, nor in 7:7 seq. But in 8:8, the manner of its rise is given. Fifthly, while the fourth dynasty is characterized in 2:40-43, merely in a general way, no particular notice is taken of Antiochus Epiphanes. But in 7:7,8, 19-21, 23-26, this tyrant and persecutor is particularly described, and his end foretold. In 8:8-14, 22-25, there is still greater particularity in the description of Antiochus, and a new limitation of the whole period, during which he will carry on his persecutions and vexations. In fact, with the exception of the Medo-Persian dynasty and the rise of Alexander’s, it is evident that almost the exclusive subject of the prophecy before us is Antiochus.
It appears, then, that this third vision differs from the others in the ‘amplitude’ of its descriptions of the Syrian tyrant, and in making him altogether the prominent figure in the picture.
Lastly, it is a striking circumstance, that the visions in chap. 2; 7. both close with an extended view of the ‘Messianic’ kingdom, which follows the downfall of all the others, while in chap. 8 it is wholly omitted. This is the more worthy of note because the circumstantial history of Antiochus, in chap. 11, is also followed by a development of a Messianic character. Such a departure from analogy, in the vision before us, would seem to have been occasioned by some circumstances of which we are ignorant. The character of Antiochus as exhibited in chap. 2; 7; (and probably in 9), is remarkably congruous; so much so, indeed, as to leave no good room for doubt, that the same individual is meant in all. If anyone is disposed to object against the interpretation which admits the ‘repetition’ of predictions respecting Antiochus, and ask: ‘Of what use could so many repetitions of the same thing be? The answer is easy. Of what use is the repetition of predictions, in Isaiah, respecting Assyria, Babylon, Tyre, and the like? Of what use is the frequent repetition of ‘Messianic’ predictions? And the same questions may be put respecting the representations of other prophets. The general answer I should give would be, that different exigencies of the times demanded new and repeated developments. The same things are never simply repeated. The subject is placed in new attitudes, and new light is cast upon it. Events of deep interest to the civil and social, or to the religious community, will sometimes bear repetition to serious advantage. We must confide something, moreover, to the judgment of the prophets in regard to the importance of this, in cases where we have, and can now have, no knowledge of minute circumstances.
Chapter 9: Introduction: [Some fifteen years after the preceding vision, subsequent to the dethronement of Belshazzar and the fall of the Babylonish dynasty, and during the ‘first’ year of the reign of Darius the Mede, into whose hands the fallen Babylonish empire came, Daniel, in hope that the time of the exile of his countrymen was near its end, betook himself after long continued prayer and fasting, to the diligent perusal of the prophecies of Jeremiah respecting the continuance of the captivity. There, in 25:11,12, and specially in 29:10, he found seventy years definitely named as the period, during which the exile should continue, and at the end of which a return to their native land would be allowed to the Hebrews; Dan. 9:1-3. Most fervently did he pour forth his supplications for the fulfilment of these predictions. But even this he ventured not to do, until he had first made most ample and humble and hearty confession of his own sins, and of the sins of the kings. the princes, and the people of the Jews who had disobeyed the prophets, and transgressed the laws of Moses, and rebelled against the Lord; vs. 4-15. The sequel, vs. 16-19, exhibits in a most striking manner, the fervency with which he wrestled with God in prayer, for his people, the holy city, and the temple.
Such prayers as this holy man uttered, are always heard before the throne of God. Forthwith Gabriel, one of the presence-angels, is sent to communicate with Daniel, and to mike further disclosures to him respecting the Jewish nation. With such haste did the angel come, that before Daniel had done speaking, he drew near and addressed him, and told him the object of his mission; vs. 20-22. Even at the beginning of Daniel’s supplication a message went forth, and the angel declares that he had come to communicate it, because Daniel is greatly beloved. He exhorts the prophet, therefore, to give attention to his message, and to consider well the import of the prophetic vision; v. 23. ‘Seventy weeks’ [of years] are distinguished or abscinded from the general course of time, as a peculiar period which mint be passed through, before the new and glorious dispensation of the Messiah will introduce the expiation of sin, and reconciliation for iniquity ; bring in everlasting righteousness, and confirm what the prophets have foretold ; and consecrate a Holy of Holies belonging to the new and better dispensation ; v. 24. These ‘seventy weeks’ are divided into three different periods, each distinctly marked by specific events at the commencement or close, or else by what takes place during their continuance. ‘Seven weeks’ [of years] begin with a mandate to restore and build up Jerusalem, and end with the appearance of an Anointed One who is a Prince. During three score and two (62) weeks [of years], the city of Jerusalem shall be rebuilt and prosper, although in troublous times; v. 25. After this period, ‘an Anointed One’ shall be cut off; in consequence of which the Jewish nation shall be destitute of a lawful and proper officer of this class. Moreover the people of a [foreign] prince shall come, and lay waste the city and the sanctuary; but he shall come to his end with overwhelming destruction. The invasion of the city and sanctuary will occasion resistance on the part of the Jews, and war will ensue ; but unto the end of that war the desolations which it will occasion, are limited by Heaven’s decree, and cannot exceed the appointed measure; v. 26. The invading foreign prince will form close alliances with many Jews, for ‘one week’ [of years] ; during half of that week he will cause sacrifice and oblation at Jerusalem to cease, an idol worthy of destruction shall he erected over an abominable bird [Jupiter’s eagle], and unto consummation, even that which is decreed shall then be poured upon him who is doomed to destruction]
The first thing that strikes the attentive reader of this chapter as an object of inquiry is, ‘how the predictive, or prophetic part of it compares with the other prophecies of Daniel’. Those who find in it ‘simply and only a Messianic prediction’, give it an interpretation which makes it entirely discrepant from all the other prophecies of this book. In all other cases where the fifth or Messianic kingdom is foretold, there are preceding dynasties and events also predicted. Only one vision (that in chap, 8) is destitute of a Messianic part; and only one (in chap, ii.) is destitute of a more or less specific description of the Syrian tyrant and persecutor. As this last oppression of the people of God, whose influences and whose relentless fury threatened far worse consequences to the Jews and to their religion, than did the Babylonish exile, is made so conspicuous in all the proper visions of Daniel himself, it would be at least singular, if the prophecy in Dan. 9 should pass him by in entire silence. Indeed the very outset of this vision (v. 24) seems explicitly to declare, that its design is to describe events which will happen ‘before’ the introduction of that peaceful kingdom, which is to reconcile man to God, propitiate their sins, fulfil the most important part of all prophecy, and consecrate a perpetual holy of holies. That ‘seventy weeks are appointed’ or ‘limited’ to pass away ‘before’ this will take place, seems to be the necessary implication of v. 24. These weeks are then distributed into three different periods, and have a relation to things somewhat diverse and distinct from each other. How can we suppose, now, that what will take place during these respective periods, is passed by in silence? Yet the exegesis which makes the whole paragraph exclusively ‘Messianic’, makes a part of these periods to ‘precede’ and a part to ‘follow’ the commencement of the Messianic kingdom. This seems to be evidently against the tenor of the prediction before us, and certainly against the tenor of the book in general. A mixture of sorrow and joy, of trouble and deliverance, is everywhere else to be found; why should they be excluded here? To me it seems very clear that they are not, but that the prediction before us follows the analogy of the others, in regard to the matter in question.
The circumstance, that in the present case the Messianic part of the prophecy ‘precedes’, makes no important difference as to the nature of the case. The usual order in the prophets is, that the Messianic part of a prophecy comes at the ‘close’. But this is not always the case. Isa. 2 is a notable example of a contrary usage. So in the present ease. The angel announces, that the expected era of spiritual deliverance will surely come; or, in other words, that what Daniel had already predicted more than once, would not fail of accomplishment. But these ‘glad tidings of great joy’ are mingled with information that fills the prophet with deep solicitude.
One very important inquiry, which has not always been made, presents itself at the outset. What was the object of Daniel’s fasting and prayer? Was it to obtain information, whether the seventy years predicted by Jeremiah were now at an end? There is nothing to prove this. He tells us (v. 2), that he ‘understood’ by the writings of Jeremiah, that seventy years, and only so many, were to be accomplished or completed, in order to fill out the measure of Babylonish exile. He was in no doubt, then, concerning this point. He surely could be in none as to the ‘terminus a quo’ of the exile; for he was himself one of its first victims. Now as Babylon was taken by the Medo-Persian army in 538 B.C. the first year of Darius the king would be either the latter part of that year, or the former part of 537, or it might comprise both; and of course this would be the sixty-ninth year of the exile. Probably the vision was near the close of this year; for Daniel appears to believe that deliverance is near at hand, and therefore prays the more earnestly for it. Vs. 16-19 fully develop his wishes and designs. The angel is not sent then to solve his ‘doubts’ as to what Jeremiah meant, or to show when the seventy weeks would end. He comes to comfort and enlighten the solicitous worshipper of God, and to inform him what further troubles await the Hebrew nation, before their great and final deliverer will come. Wieseler (Die 70 Wochen, s. 13), lays it down as certain, that ‘every explanation of vs. 24-27 is erroneous, which does not assign to them a disclosure of deliverance from the then present misery of the Jewish nation.’ But whoever will carefully peruse vs. 16-19 must see that Daniel has more solicitude about the worship of God and the desolations of Zion and the sanctuary, than in respect to the mere outward civil and social condition of the captive Jews. The probability surely is, that under such men as Daniel and his compeers, who bore an active part in the government of Babylonia, they had been treated with more than ordinary lenity. At any rate, no persecuting fury had increased the miseries of their condition, and their bondage seems to have been quite tolerable in respect to their outward condition. It is the honor of God and the promotion of true piety and religion, for which Daniel is most anxious; and v. 24 contains an assurance, that in due time these will be amply provided for. The remark of Wieseler is too broad and indefinite, unless, like him, we limit v. 24 to a mere promise of return from exile and renewal of religious rites, services, and privileges, after seventy weeks of days, i.e. literal weeks, from the time of Daniel’s vision. For many reasons I cannot accede to this view. The leading ones are, first, that on such a ground v. 24 would be entirely at variance with vs. 25-27 in the mode of reckoning time since the triplex division of time in the latter evidently appears to amount to the seventy weeks of v. 24. Secondly, the language of v. 24 is too general and too significant to be applied to the mere literal return from exile. Well has Hoffman (Weissag. und Krfüllung, s. 298) said : ‘One can interpret the contents [of this verse] only in an arbitrary way, who applies it merely to the liberty of returning which Cyrus gave to the Jews, which liberty was so sparingly used, and so little satisfied anticipations.’ Unquestionably there is a sense, an elevated one too, in which the angel’s communication allayed the burdensome part of Daniel’s solicitude about the honor of God and the interests of religion. But I find no specific limitation of the end of Jeremiah’s seventy years. None surely was needed for Daniel. The ‘terminus a quo’ was fully within his knowledge; the ‘terminus ad quem’ of course could not be a matter of doubt to him.
This leads me to say, that the mode of interpreting the seventy years of Jeremiah adopted by some, who tell us that “the angel was sent to inform him, that so many ‘literal years’ were not meant, but only a period of seventy mystic year-weeks,” agrees very ill with the tenor of the book throughout. How anyone can be brought to believe, that the ‘seventy weeks’ of Daniel are merely a new exegesis of Jeremiah’s seventy years, and not the designation of a new period comprising new events, I am not able to see. Not a word about the Babylonish exile is contained in vs. 24-27. How could this be, if the new designation of the seventy weeks comprised in part that exile, and merely extended the period beyond the limits which Daniel had attached to it? It would seem that the angel must, in such a case, have been as uncertain about the distance of the ‘terminus ad quem’, as those interpreters suppose Daniel to have been.
That Daniel should feel solicitude about the posture of affairs, at the time of the vision now under consideration, was quite natural. The time for the exile to come to an end was very near. The Babylonish monarchy, which held the Hebrews in bondage, had been destroyed. A new dynasty had arisen, viz. that of Darius the Mede. Although not disposed to persecute and oppress the Jews, he appeared at least to be indifferent to their sufferings and wrongs. No movement was made to relieve them. They were doubtless, in view of Jeremiah’s prophecy, expecting relief. What could be more natural, than for Daniel to ask with earnest importunity that this relief might come, for the honor of God and of religion? This was a strong plea; and in the mouth of such a man we might expect it would be regarded (as it was) with great favor.
The predictions in vs. 24-27 cannot be considered, in any sense, as an exegesis of Jeremiah. Nor is the communication made entirely a ‘new’ disclosure. That the Messianic kingdom was to commence, after the four great empires had ceased, was not new. Chap. 2; 7 fully exhibit this. That Antiochus would oppress and persecute, was not new. That he would cause the sacrifices and oblation to cease for three and a half years, was not new, for 7:25 discloses this. That his course of oppression in respect to the Jews, should continue about ‘one week’ (of years), was not new; for 8:14 substantially discloses this. That the tyrant should at last suddenly and fearfully perish was not new; for 8:25 fully reveals this. But that the peculiarly oppressive trials and troubles of the Jews, before the coming of the Messiah, should be ended after a period of seventy weeks of years from the beginning or end of the Babylonish exile, was a fact not before revealed. That the existence and prosperity of the new Jewish Commonwealth, and the rebuilding of its metropolis, should be all along attended with “troublous times,” and yet go forward —was a fact not before disclosed. That the Lord’s ‘anointed’ —the lawful high priest— should be cut off by violence, and have no proper successor, was a new fact. All this was deeply interesting to Daniel and to the Jews. Forewarned, forearmed. Return from the exile was speedy and certain; but the hopes of continued peace and prosperity immediately after this must not be indulged. The Lord had many trials other than the present in store for his people before the great Deliverer would come. But it is not ‘all’ of them, that the prophet is now commissioned to disclose and to dwell upon. Only such times as might be compared with past events, the laying waste of the temple and holy city, the destruction of large numbers of the people, cessation of religious rites and civil privileges, the profanation of the sanctuary by heathen rites, —such events, and such only, are prophetically disclosed. The communication of the angel to Daniel’ apparently amounts to the following declarations: ‘Thy people have suffered one exile and all its mournful consequences. Other like events, differing indeed as to manner and time, but even more trying, more dangerous to the good, and more disgraceful and fatal to the wicked, are still before the Jews. A portion of the ‘seventy weeks’ will bring them through this fiery ordeal; and after this, until the great Deliverer shall come, they shall only experience the ordinary trials of a nation in circumstances like to theirs.’
It is on some such ground, I apprehend, that we are to account for the fact, that all the prophecies of Daniel, developing what is to ‘precede’ the Messianic kingdom, end with the life and actions of Antiochus Epiphanes. Other subsequent enemies did indeed maltreat the Jews; but none of them attained to that consummation of wickedness and cruelty which were exhibited by him. They are not, therefore, made conspicuous in prophecy.
Should any one feel disposed to object, here, that there is somewhat of the ‘arbitrary’ in these suggestions, I would appeal at once to the books of other prophets, yea to the whole body of Hebrew prophecy, and ask: Whether they have not respect to particular events of interest and importance, or, in other words, whether they are merely a regular series of ‘historic annals’? If not, then events, such as I have just mentioned, are the appropriate subjects of prophecy. What more can be said of the book of Daniel, or what more need we say, in order to vindicate the view just taken?
To those who know the course which a portion of recent criticism has taken, in order to show that the book of Daniel was written after the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, no apology need be made for these remarks. It is a common allegation among critics of the so-called liberal class, that the book of Daniel was written ‘post eventum’; and that the writer was not confident enough in his own ‘prophetic’ powers, to venture anything beyond what history already gave him, excepting that, in common with all the Jews, he was full of ardent expectations in regard to the Messianic kingdom, Hence, as they conclude, he stops short with Antiochus, and expresses his confident belief, that immediately after his death the Messianic kingdom would be established.
On the full discussion of this topic I shall not now enter, but, leaving it for another occasion, merely remark at present, that the writer must have been a man of great peculiarities, to declare himself so confidently about the Messianic reign as ‘immediately’ following the death of Antiochus, if he himself lived at that very period, and saw no certain tokens that such a reign had commenced, or was indeed about to commence. He appeals to no such tokens; he gives no hint respecting them. What moreover was to become of the credit of his book, in case of a failure? Then as to all his prophecies ending with Antiochus, (the Messianic kingdom only excepted), I would hope that the remarks already made above, suggest some other more satisfactory reason for the prophet’s course, than that of his ignorance of the future. Revelation of events is made for ‘special’ purposes, and to answer ‘specific’ ends. It is not ‘annals’; it consists not of year-books and historical registers. The most hazardous period of the Jewish nation, down to its ruin by Titus, was that of Antiochus. It was the most trying to the good, and seemingly the most auspicious to the bad. It was the only period in which the sanctuary of God was daily polluted, for some years, by heathen rites and sacrifices. Should not such a period be designated, and the people of God forewarned? Daniel and the angel-interpreter seem to have so thought and decided. Might not prediction respecting the outward condition of the Jews before the coming of the Messiah, stop with events belonging to such a period, and omit the ordinary events that followed? So have other prophets done, in respect to other countries than that of Judea; and so, respecting the Hebrews; why should Daniel only be excepted from ordinary usage?…….

(9:24:) “Seventy weeks are decided respecting thy people and thy holy city, to restrain transgression, and to seal up sin, and to expiate iniquity ; and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal vision and prophecy, and to anoint a holy of holies.”
(shabu`im), from (shabu`a), and of an irregular masc. plur. form, retaining (a) under the first radical, (normally it would read (shebu`im)). The ‘masc’. plur. occurs only in the paragraph before us, and in Dan. 10:2,3. The fem. form (shabu`oth) also retains the (a) of the first radical. Why? none of the lexicons or grammars tell us. Fuerst (Concord.) says: “retento Qamets ‘sibili'” in respect to the plural forms; by which I suppose him to mean, that sibilant letters have a propensity to a ‘Qamets’ vowel-sound. If this be his assertion, it needs illustration and confirmation. It is disputed whether the masc. singular occurs; but as the Masoretic text of Gen. 29:27,28 stands (malle’ shebu`a zo’th), there is a clear instance of a masc. form in a ‘const’. state, from (shabu`a), showing that the Qamets in the sing. is mutable. Wieseler however, (Die 70 Wochen, s. 14), says that “the Masorites have certainly erred,” and that we should read (shaba`), i.e. ‘these seven’ (years), lit. this heptade (of years). As the form of the numeral is sing. and ‘fem’. (§ 96. 1), it may be united with (zo’th); and (shanim) seems to be fairly implied, as anyone may see by comparing Gen. 29:18, 20, 27 together. If this criticism be just, (it seems to me plainly to be so), then we have po instance of a ‘masc’. form of the word in question, out of the book of Daniel. This however will prove nothing against the existence of one since it is altogether a feasible form. The simple truth is, that both (shabu`im) and (shabu`oth) are ‘participial’ forms, meaning ‘besevened’, (sit venia!), i.e. computed by sevens. Lit. then we might translate thus: ‘Heptades seventy are decided upon’, etc. This leaves the question entirely open, whether the meaning is heptades of days, or of ordinary years, or of sabbatical years; and this question must be decided of course by the context. The Jews had three kinds of ‘Heptades’ in respect to ‘time’; first, that of ‘days’, seven of which make a ‘week’; secondly, that of ‘years’, seven of which make a ‘sabbatical year’, Lev. 25:1-7; thirdly, that of the seven periods of years before the ‘jubilee-year’, for this last comprises seven times seven years = forty-nine years, after which comes the jubilee-year, Lev. 25:8. Which of these three is meant in the present case? for the clause before us may be interpreted in either way. Not the first, for this would make but about a year and a half for the fulfilment of all that is predicted in the sequel, and would fill the passage with contradictions. Wieseler, indeed, in his work quoted above, has labored to show, that the first mentioned ‘seventy weeks’ are merely literal and common weeks; for he holds that the sequel in v. 24 refers merely to the return from the Babylonish exile, and a restoration to all the rites and privileges of worship as prescribed by Moses, with an accompanying reformation of moral demeanor. But the subsequent ‘weeks’ he counts as ‘year-weeks’, i.e. periods of seven years each. Ingenious and acute as this writer surely is, I cannot accord with this view of the case; for, (1) It makes a violent disruption in the meaning of (shabu`im), to translate it ‘weeks of days’ in v. 24, and then ‘weeks of years’ in the following verses of the same paragraph. (2) Nothing seems plainer, than that the tripartite, 7, 62, 1, are designed to make up the number seventy stated in v. 24; and of course, the seventy at the outset must have the same relation to (shabu`im), that the subsequent numbers (the component parts of it) have; and Wieseler himself concedes, that in vs. 25-27 (shabu`im) means week-years, i.e. heptades (heptads, 7s) of years. (3) The application of the magnificent promises, in v. 24, merely to a partial return from exile, and to the broken and troubled state ((betzoq cha`ittim), v. 25) of the Jews for a long period (62 weeks), is something that savors too much of ‘deducere aliquid ex aliquo’, to commend itself to the simple interpreter. There is too much of what the Germans name a ‘hinein-exegesiren [eisegesis]’, to meet with cordial reception. Hoffman (“Weiss. und Erfull. s. 298) rightly says respecting it: “The universality with which the consummation of all the hopes of Israel is here spoken of, renders it impossible for anyone to interpret it, except in an ‘arbitrary way’, as merely applying to the scanty return from the Babylonish exile by permission of Cyrus —a return which hardly satisfied the anticipations respecting it.” —We may therefore abide by uniform ‘consistency’ through the whole paragraph, in the use of (shabu`im). Then, of course, we must regard the meaning as 7×70 = 490 years.
So long a time, or thus much ground, is comprised in the prediction; not because this, (reckoned in any feasible way), reaches down to the Messianic period, but because so much of the time intervening, before the Messiah would appear, is for the most part ‘ troublous time,’ and resembles in this respect, that of the seventy years’ Babylonish exile. The speaker means to say: ‘The Messiah will surely come, and Jerusalem will be restored in a high and spiritual sense; but before all this takes place, there must be, not seventy ‘years’ of literal exile again, but seventy ‘times’ seven ‘years’ of trouble and of trial. How soon after this is over, the king of the new and last dominion will make bis appearance, the speaker does not say, nor does the context inform us. Enough that the days of peculiar trial and trouble like those of the Babylonian exile, will pass away within the period named; for that period (nachtak), i.e. is ‘definitely limited’ or ‘decided’.
As to the masc. form (shabu`im) being employed here, in all probability the speaker meant to attract special attention to the word so important in the sequel, and therefore he has put it first, as well as given to it a peculiar form. He may also have been influenced in his choice of the form, by the (shib`im) which follows ; or it may have been the prevailing dialect of the day. That he designs to designate ‘heptades of years’ by it, would seem quite probable, if we merely compare 10:2,3, where (yamim) is added after it in order to explain it, and to tell the reader that he does not mean (shabu`a) of the same length or of the same kind as before. No explanation is needed, however, in the present case, except what the context gives. Daniel’s meditation had been upon the seventy ‘simple years’ predicted by Jeremiah. The angel tells him, that a ‘new-seventy’, i.e. seventy week-years or seven times seventy years, await his people, before their final deliverer will come. The reader almost spontaneously adopts this view of the meaning, who is familiar with the ‘week-years’ of the Hebrews. As to the ‘third’ way in which the Hebrews used the word (shabu`a), it designated the jubilee-year = forty-nine years or seven times seven. If now we choose this last period as the meaning of (shabu`im) then we should have 49×70 = 3430 years —a period incredible, on every ground, in respect to the events which follow. In other words, the first and last of the heptades lead to inconsistency or absurdity; neither of them, therefore, is meant by the text. ‘In medio tutissimus,’ one may safely say, in the present case. Nor is Daniel alone in such a mode of expression. Gellius (Noct. Att. III. 10) makes M. Varro say, that he had written ‘septuaginta hebdomadas librorum’. The like in Aristotle, Pol. VII. 16; and in Censorinus. De Die natal i, c. 16.
(nechtak) is found only here, in the Hebrew Scriptures, but is more common in Chaldee and Rabbinic. The literal meaning is ‘to cut’, but it does not necessarily involve the adjunct idea ‘to cut off’. The Vulgate, however, has rendered it ‘abbreviatae sunt’, probably in reference to the idea that ‘lunar’ months are here to be counted for the years, rather than ‘solar’ ones. Wieseler (s. 95 seq.) defends the translation ‘abbreviated’ or ‘abridged’, and represents the angel as designing to say, that the period of seventy years’ exile, as foretold by Jeremiah, is, through divine mercy, and in answer to the prayer of Daniel, ‘abridged’. As he makes the exile to begin with 599 B.C., (led, as he says, by Matt. 1:12, who seems to assign its beginning to the deportation of Jechoniah), so, at the time when Daniel fasted and prayed, only sixty-three years of it had passed away, and seven years were therefore to be abridged. But I cannot admit the probability of such an explanation. The idea of ‘abbreviation’ would have assumed quite another form. Nor is it easy to see, how Daniel, in case he began the exile with the year 599 B.C. when Jehoiakim was carried into exile, could have supposed that seventy years had already come very near to the close, when seven years were yet lacking; for the three first verses of our chapter evidently present him as supposing this. The conclusion is inevitable, if chap. 1:1 be compared, that Daniel dates the exile in the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign, or at least the attack of Nebuchadnezzar upon Jerusalem; and such being the case, there is no room for ‘abridging’ the seventy years. They are already on the point of expiring, when Daniel betakes himself to prayer and fasting. We must admit, then, the figurative sense of (nechtak), viz. ‘decided, defined, determined, decreed’; for so the Latin ‘decido’ means in its figurative sense, while lit. it means ‘cut off’; and so the Heb. (gazar) and (charatz), and the Greek (temnö). I would not aver, that simply ‘decreed’ or ‘determined’ would adequately translate the word, for it evidently means a ‘definitive separation’ of the weeks in question from the mass oftime, in order, that what is included in this separated and thus defined part, may present the extent of the ground which the predictions that follow are to occupy. In other words: ‘Seventy weeks are ‘definitely selected and decided upon’,’ as a period in which various things are to happen, before the final consummation of the hopes of the Jewish nation, viz. the appearance of the Messiah. As to the sing, number of the verb, I see no need of so much difficulty as has been made. The seventy weeks are a definite period here ‘generically’ presented; and as such they are ‘one’. The ‘sing.’ number of the verb, therefore, is a mere case of ‘constructio ad sensum’. We need not resort (with Hitzig) to the passive form impersonal, as retaining the Acc., nor suppose (with Hengstenberg) (`eth) to be implied. Comp. the like in Gen. 46: 22, as to a plur. subject and sing, verb, although in other respects the case will not afford an exact parallel with the present one.
(`al `ammka we`al-`ir qodsheka), ‘upon thy people and upon thy holy city’. Here I have rendered (`al) ‘upon’, (in the version above, ‘respecting’), in order to approach nearer to the true idea of the Hebrew; for (`al) often designates the idea of ‘on’ or ‘upon’ in the sense of what is burdensome, or it is used in what the lexicons style a ‘hostile sense’; Ges. Lex. (`al) , 4. a. Plainly it is so here. The seventy weeks comprise the special burden, the trials, the troubles, through which Israel must pass, before the Great Deliverer will make his appearance, or, in the language of the remainder of the verse, before sin will be thoroughly subdued and expiated, and righteousness introduced in the full measure often predicted. —’Thy people . . . thy holy city’, Wieseler (p. 16) says, ‘indicate two things; (1) That the blessings promised pertain only to the Jews. (2) That they should share in them merely on ‘Daniel’s’ account, and not on their own.’ I can find neither of these intimations in those expressions. Daniel was a native of Jerusalem, and probably of royal origin (1:3); and so we have ‘thy city’. ‘Thy people’ means simply the people to which he belonged, and ‘thy city’ is merely the city of his birth where his affections centered. There is doubtless, however, an emphasis beyond this in the word ‘thy’. Daniel had just been most earnestly and anxiously pleading in behalf of the city and people to which he belonged ; and ‘thy’, applied to both of them, conveys the idea of a people and city for which he was most anxiously concerned, and for which he had just made such fervent intercession. The sequel of the verse does not indeed ‘preach the gospel to the Gentiles;’ but neither does it confine the promised good to any one nation. It simply assures Daniel that his people are to participate in it. The idea that ‘the Jews are to be blessed merely on Daniel’s account,’ I am unable to find in the passage.
(lekale’ happesha`), ‘to restrain transgression’; which version, however, takes for granted that the Kethibh, (kale’) is a Piel form of (kala’). Most of the ancient versions, and the mass of recent critics, have preferred to derive the verb from (kala’); and they aver, that here is merely an exchange of form in the (loch) verb, for a form of (lo’), which, as all concede, is a frequent occurrence; § 74. Note VI. and Note 22. c. ib. Hence they translate thus: ‘to consummate transgression or to fill up the measure of rebellion’; meaning, that during the seventy weeks, rebellion will reach its acme, and will not go beyond. Expressions similar to this there are, here and there in the Scriptures, e.g. in Gen. 15:16, “The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full,” (lo’ shalem). In the like way 1st Thess. 2:16, (anaplërösai tas `hamartias); and so in Dan. 8:23, (kechathem). But objections not easily met, may be made against this view. (1) It comes not within the common usages of grammar, or of the book before us, to make such an exchange of (kalleh) for (kalle’) here. The verb (kalah) elsewhere retains its (n) throughout, e. g. Dan. 9:27; 11:36, and in Dan. 12:7 we have the Inf. Piel (kalloth). This is of course the true Inf. of the Piel of (kalah); and where Gesenius and others find a ribs Inf. form, (for which they say (kalleh) is substituted), I know not. It is an ‘Unding’ [absurdity ] in grammar or in the Heb. ‘usus loquendi’. (2) The whole sentiment which is thus assigned to the passage, has an erroneous basis. They understand the speaker as now describing what will take place ‘during’ the seventy weeks, i.e. rebellion will then be consummated, etc.; whereas it seems to lie on the very face of the remainder of this verse, that ‘blessings’ which are to ‘follow’ the seventy weeks are foretold. I would not deny, that there may be a point of view, from which one may regard a consummation of iniquity as desirable, all things considered, (for then comes of course the hope of better times); but nowhere in the Bible, as I believe, can it be found, that the perfecting of rebellion is represented as a ‘blessing’, either present or in promise. If this view is correct, it is decisive of the whole question, and lays entirely aside the word (kalleh), unless it be taken in another and very different sense, viz. that of ‘completing’ in the sense of ‘bringing to an end, destroying’. But to change the text for the sake of this meaning, when (kalle’) comes virtually to the same point, and indicates an effectual check or restraint upon sin, is both unnecessary and uncritical. However, against retaining (kalle’) as a regular form from (kala’) it is objected, that the word has no ‘Piel’. All that this can properly mean is, that Piel is not elsewhere found. But how many verbs are there in the Hebrew, in the same predicament, i.e. where only one example of this conjugation, or of that, can be found? (kala’) has a transitive as well as intransitive sense (Num. 11:28, Ecc. 8:8, al.); and it may have a Piel of ‘intensity’ or of ‘habitual action’; which is the very meaning appropriate to the passage before us. Then what objection can be made to the idea of ‘restraining’, or rather of ‘habitually and powerfully restraining’ (pesha`)? This last word is the most intense designation of wickedness, as it combines the idea of ‘apostasy’ and ‘rebellion’. Both of these the prophet had confessed, in his prayer (vs. 5-11), to be chargeable upon Israel. These had taken the lead in bringing down divine judgments upon the nation. Hence the (happesha`) (the transgression) as it is named in our text; viz. the apostasy and rebellion already described. When the Great Deliverer shall come, he will effectually restrain such transgressions as bring down divine judgments upon the nation and send it into exile. The allegation of Lengerke and some others, that (kala’), which means to ‘shut up, enclose’, as well as to ‘restrain’, should have the first of these meanings assigned to it here, because to shut up transgression means to hide it or conceal it, and so to forgive it, has no foundation in the ‘usus loquendi’ of the word. When a Hebrew spoke of ‘covering’ sin in such a sense, he employed (kissah) or (kaphar). The text of the Kethibh may stand therefore untouched; and the meaning of it as it is, seems to be altogether apposite to the purpose of the speaker.
([ulachatom*] ulhathem** chatta’oth* [chatto’th**]), ‘and to seal up sins’, where the vowel-points of the verb belong to the marginal Qeri, (ulhathem), Hiph. Inf. of (tamam). The text should be pointed and read (welachtom), as in the sequel [7 words later]. The imagery of the language is evidently progressive. First we have the ‘restraining’, lit. ‘shutting up’; then this work is completed by putting a ‘seal’ upon it; comp. Matt. 27:66. Where we use ‘bars’ and ‘bolts’ only, in many cases the ancients also employed ‘seals’, in order to make sure the object thus enclosed and guarded. See Lex. The ‘literal’ meaning would be plain; the prisoner is ‘first shut up’, then the ‘seal’ is put upon his prison door. Thus Job 9:7, God ‘seals up’ the stars, i.e. prevents them from shining; Job 37:7, he ‘seals up’ the hand of all men, i.e. hinders them from any development of activity. So here; to ‘seal up’ sins, is to render them inert, inefficient, powerless. They are not only ‘restrained’, but rendered unable to break out, and bring men into danger of punishment. The other reading in the Qeri, viz. (ulhathem) arose, in all probability, from a comparison with 8:23, where we have (behathem chapposh`im) ‘when the transgressors have come to the full’ [measure of their sin]. But this meaning does not fit in 9:24. It is what ‘follows’ the 70 weeks, which is predicted; and after their expiration, there is no time for the consummating of wickedness; the time has come to ‘seal it up’, as God does the stars and the hand of all men, i.e. to render it inefficient, incapable of acting at liberty. With Wieseler, then, we may justly prefer the text as it stands, to any of the changes proposed. The objection of Ewald, that in such a case we must suppose a repetition of the same word too speedily, amounts to but little; for in the next three verses, (charatz) and (shommem) are thrice repeated. Besides, the second case of (chatham) differs in the shade of its meaning from the first case.
(ulkapper `aon), lit. ‘to cover sin’; but this would not answer well here, in as much as sin is already ‘shut up’ and ‘sealed upon’. It must then have one of the two tropical meanings which the word bears, viz. either that of ‘forgiving sin’, or that of ‘expiating’ it. Either meaning would suit the tenor of the passage, the amount of which is, that sin is either to be put under entire restraint, as in the case of obstinate offenders; or to be ‘forgiven’ or ‘atoned for’, as in the case of the penitent. In one way or another the power of sin to do mischief, or to occasion condemnation, is to be crippled. How well the idea of ‘atonement’ accords with the epistle to the Hebrews, as the prominent feature in the development of the Messianic period, none need to be informed. Why not admit it here, where the angel is dwelling upon the distinguished blessings which will follow the 70 weeks of troublous times? Its ‘appropriateness’ can hardly be doubted.
(ulhabi’ tzedek olamim), ‘to introduce everlasting righteousness’, i. e. the (dikaiosunë Theou) of Paul, in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians. It is ‘everlasting’, because the Messiah’s kingdom is so, Dan. 1:44; 7:14, 27. It is ‘introduced’, because it is of God’s giving, and is procured by the Messiah. The people are to be transgressors no more, so as to need punishment and exile. The first three (stichoi) disclose the ‘negative’ portion of what is to be effected. Sin is to be checked, and removed. Now comes the ‘positive’ part; righteousness, viz. that of the heart and life which God bestows, (not (tzedeq) in the sense of ‘prosperity’), that righteousness, which is the opposite of a sinful state, is to be the characteristic of the new kingdom.
(welachtom chazon wenabi’), lit. ‘to seal vision and prophet’, where ‘seal’ has the sense of ‘confirming, authenticating’. A seal was put at the end of a writing, to show that it was completed and was authentic. Prophecy is ‘open’ so long as it remains unfulfilled. When it is fulfilled, it is ‘completed’, which is one of the tropical’meanings of the verb (chatham). The old dispensation was one of “types and shadows of good things to come,” and in its very nature ‘prophetic’. Under it many predictions concerning the Messianic period were uttered; when that comes, these are ‘sealed, completed, authenticated’. Of course the ‘good’ which those prophecies foretold is here in the speaker’s mind. —(nabi’), prophet, has reference to the person who foretels, and (chazon) is his prophetic vision. Both are included here, because not only the vision is completed or fulfilled, but the character and claims of the prophet are authenticated. If this view be correct, then (lachtom), in this last case, has plainly a different shade of meaning from that in which it is first employed. Surely no one critically conversant with the Scriptures needs to be told, that cases of this nature are by no means of unfrequent occurrence. The idea of ‘sealing up vision and prophet’ by the death of Christ, or by his coming and repealing the old dispensation, is quite foreign from the passage before us. Besides, were there no ‘visions’ and no ‘prophets’ under the new dispensation? So Peter did not view the matter, Acts 2: 17: 21. To maintain, as Wieseler does (s. 17), that the vision to be sealed or confirmed is only that of Jeremiah (25: 11), is palpably aside from the scope of the passage, which is of an extent much wider. Besides, this view of the matter would involve a (husteron proteron). All here related is to ‘follow’ the 70 weeks; but the return from the captivity did not follow them. It occurred while they were ‘in transitu’, and during the early part of them. Wieseler escapes from this, only by making the 70 weeks, in the verse before us, to mean merely 70 weeks of days, which passed away before the proclamation of Cyrus in Ezra 1; a new exegesis, I admit, but hardly a true one.
(welimshoach qodesh qadashim), ‘and to anoint a Holy of Holies’. Is it the Jewish sanctuary which is to be ‘rebuilt’ and ‘anointed’, i.e. consecrated to the service of God again? Or is it a ‘new sanctuary’, such as becomes the new spiritual dispensation? Not the former; for then the article could not fail before (qadashim). Never is it omitted in any case, where ‘holy of holies’ means ‘the most holy place’ in the temple. The insertion of the article here would have misled the reader, and naturally obliged him to interpret the passage as designating the sanctuary of the temple of Jerusalem when rebuilt. In the present case, ‘a sanctuary’, i.e. such an one as is appropriate to the new state of things, is designated. Of such an one the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews speaks: “Christ, the high-priest of good things to come, when he presented himself through a greater and more perfect tabernacle . . . not with the blood of bulls and goats, but by his own blood, once for all entered (eis ta `hagia), ‘into the sanctuary’, procuring eternal redemption.” Heb. 9:11,12. (Ta `hagia, and ta `hagia tön `hagiön) are N. Test. names for (qodesh haqqodashim). This is the ‘sanctuary’ belonging to that temple, under whose altar the Apocalyptist saw the supplicating souls of the martyrs, Rev. 6:9, comp. also 8:3. 9:13. 14:18. Rev. 11:19 speaks of “the temple of God … in heaven, where was seen, in his temple, the ark of his testament or covenant.” And although in the New Jerusalem there will be no temple (Rev. 21:22), yet before the final consummation of all things, the spiritual temple in heaven, the archetype of the earthly one (Heb. 8:5), is always spoken of by the Hebrew sacred writers, in the New Test. and in the Old, as having an existence. It is that into which Christ as high priest enters, and presents his own propitiatory blood, Heb. 9: 11-14. To ‘anoint the sanctuary’ there, of course means to prepare it for this new offering; just as the tabernacle and all its furniture was anointed, it order to prepare it for sacrifices and oblations, Ex. 40:9. Indeed the phrase (qodesh qadashim) might be regarded as meaning ‘temple’ instead of ‘sanctuary’ merely ; for in Num. 18:10 it is so employed, with the article before the second noun, and in Ezek. 45:3 without the article. Yet I feel no need of resorting to this, as Hoffman does, (Die siebenzig Jahre, s. 65). The expression is more vivid if we take the thing as presented in Heb. 9:11-14. If Paul “knew nothing else among the Corinthians but Jesus Christ and him ‘crucified’,” and “gloried in nothing save the ‘cross’ of Christ,” then the presentation of atoning blood in the eternal sanctuary, is the cause and consummation of all the blessings promised under the new dispensation. To ‘anoint that sanctuary’ stands connected with this service in the temple above. Not that we are to suppose a material literal sense should be given to any of these descriptions, but that they are significant as symbolical or figurative. As God is a ‘spirit’, his sanctuary, and the heaven which he has prepared, are ‘spiritual’. Very significant surely must the language of our text have been, to a Hebrew under the ancient dispensation. Wieseler (s. 18) applies the passage under discussion to the altar mentioned in Ezra 3:2, and remarks, (which is true), that the altar is sometimes designated (qodesh qadashim), as in Ex. 29: 37, 30: 29. I have no objections to ‘altar’ as the meaning; but that any altar built by Jeshua or Zerubbabel corresponded to the one mentioned here, (if the passage indeed is to be so interpreted), I cannot admit. Well has Hoffman said, (I repeat it), that ‘an interpretation which assigns to v. 24 only a description of the literal return from Babylon and its immediate consequences, is ‘arbitrary’.’ In fact, such an exegesis would at once show, that the language of the speaker on the present occasion is extravagant and bombastic.
The interpretation which assigns to ‘holy of holies’ a ‘concrete’ sense, and makes it apply to Christ himself, (C. B. Michaelis, Hāv.), or which makes it mean the ‘church’ (Hengst.) is inadmissible. The phrase never designates ‘persons’. Besides, to apply it to the Messiah, would represent him as performing his whole work before he is ‘consecrated’ to it; whereas the offering which he presents in the eternal sanctuary is the consummation of his mediatorial work.

(9:25:) The preceding verse in a generic way announces seventy weeks, which must pass away before a new and glorious period is ushered in, the characteristics of which are, the restraining and forgiving of sin, and the introduction of holiness and righteousness under a new dispensation. This is indeed the consummation, to which the whole passage in vs. 24-27 has relation. But vs. 25-27 are designed to answer the question that would naturally arise in the mind of Daniel: ‘What then is to take place during this long interval of waiting for the accomplishment of our highest hope?’ The angel informs him that the so-named ‘seventy week’ may be subdivided into three portions, viz. into seven, sixty-two, and one. Each of these portions has peculiarities of its own, which mark and distinguish it. The period of ‘seven weeks’ has a definitive beginning and end, by which it is distinguished, viz. “from the going forth of a command to rebuild Jerusalem unto an anointed one, a prince,” thus making the ‘terminus a quo’ and ‘ad quem’. The second has no ‘expressed terminus a quo’, but from the nature of the case it has apparently an ‘implied’ one, viz. the end of the first period, or the appearance of an “anointed one, a prince.” This takes for granted, that the periods named here are ‘successive’, and not parallel or contemporaneous. Such, it seems to me, is the first and spontaneous impression of every unbiassed reader ; for how else can the period of seventy weeks be made out ? The ‘end’ of the second period is of course the end of the sixty-two weeks, i. e. sixty-two weeks from the appearance of the anointed one, the prince. But the end seems also to be marked by another circumstance, viz. ‘the cutting off of an anointed one’. So v. 26: “‘After’ (‘achare) sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off.” Naturally this does not mean some indefinite time afterwards, but a time in near proximity with the end of the second period. The ‘third’ period (one week) of course begins with the same excision of an anointed one, and continues seven years, during which a foreign prince shall come, and lay waste the city and sanctuary of Jerusalem, and cause the offerings to cease for three and a half years, after which utter destruction shall come upon him, vs. 26, 27.
Thus much for the definite beginning and end of the respective periods, considered as ‘successive’. We have further to say, respecting them, that each has its own appropriate occurrences. The ‘first’ period (seven weeks) has indeed no specific and express description of events, which are to take place, attached to it. But the command ‘to restore and rebuild’ seems to imply that the work was to be entered upon and advanced. The ‘second’ period is characterized by the ‘continued rebuilding’, but in a stinted or scanty measure, because of “troublous times.” Nothing of this kind is said of the first period. The ‘third’ period is characterized by the occurrence of events, which have been stated in the preceding paragraph. Thus each is distinguished from the other, not merely by limitation of time, but by the events which were to take place respectively in each.
After taking this brief survey of the three component parts of the seventy weeks, and having seen how they are separated and distinguished from each other, let us now return to the seventy weeks, i.e. the generic period, and inquire where we are to begin in counting them.
Daniel regards the period assigned by Jeremiah as very near its close, 9:2. He prays earnestly for the restoration of his people. The angel appears, and tells him, not that the seventy years are near their end (which Daniel already well knew), but that in the councils of Heaven another and larger period is assigned, viz. seven times seventy years, for till further trials of his people, before the great consummation of their highest hopes will be realized. ‘When’ then does this new period of 490 years commence? The most obvious answer ‘a priori’ would seem to be: From the time when Daniel is addressed. But the ‘events’ assigned to the second and third portions of the general period forbid this answer. Daniel saw this vision in B.C. 538. If 7 times 70 years = 490 be subtracted from this, it would bring the ‘terminus ad quem’ of the whole seventy weeks (counting them successively and continuously), down to B.C. 48, a year in which nothing special took place to distinguish it from the time that followed after it, or went before it. All correspondence of prediction with event, must in such a case, be given up, of course, if such a ‘terminus a quo’ be adopted.
Let us go back then to B.C. 606, the time from which Daniel plainly dates “the desolations of Jerusalem” (v. 2), and assume this as the ‘terminus a quo’; in this case the seventy weeks would end, (counted as before), with B. C. 116; a period, again, which offers nothing in history to distinguish it, and therefore it cannot be the subject of the following prophecy. On either of the preceding grounds, then, we find ourselves at a complete stand.
If we go on now, for the sake of trial, and endeavor to ascertain the ‘terminus a quo’ of the first part of the seventy weeks, viz. the 7 weeks = 49 years, and begin the count from B.C. 606, i.e. the commencement of the desolations, then we must end the first period with B.C. 557, a period when there was as yet no ‘command to rebuild’. Nor was there any ‘anointed one and prince’ to mark the end of the seven weeks at that time. To make another trial, let us suppose the seven weeks to be counted from the exile of Jehoiachim, 599 B. C, then we must end them with B.C. 550, another period of the like description as that of B.C. 557. If we begin these weeks with the captivity of Zedekiah and the actual and final destruction of Jerusalem B.C. 588, then we obtain 539 B.C. as the ‘end’ of the period. At this time no command had been given to rebuild Jerusalem, and Darius the Mede was, or was about to be, possessed of the Babylonish throne, who surely cannot be reckoned a (mashiach nagid [Messiah Prince]) on any tolerable ground. At all events, any of these modes of counting would be utterly at variance with the first clause in the verse before us; for the command to rebuild ‘precedes’ the forty-nine years, and the anointed prince marks the ‘close’, while, in case Darius be made the ‘terminus ad quem’, no such command had been given seven weeks (i.e. forty-nine years) ‘before’ he was king.
The same difficulty lies in the way if we substitute ‘Cyrus’ instead of Darius. According to Is. 45:1, we might apply (mashiach) to him, for Jehovah speaks of him as his ‘anointed one’; and a (nagid) i.e. ‘preeminent civil ruler’, he certainly was. But history represents Cyrus as himself issuing a decree to rebuild (2nd Chron. 36:23, Ezra 1:1 seq.); and Cyrus could not have been at the beginning and at the end of the forty-nine years, either at one and the same time or at any time, for he reigned only seven years after his appearance in sacred history. If we take, now, the ‘terminus a quo’ of the forty-nine years which commence with the command to rebuild, and count from the proclamation of Cyrus, (which in itself would agree well with the command in question), then who is the anointed one and prince at the ‘end’ of those forty-nine years? Xerxes was then on the throne, whose expedition into Greece does not favor his right to the magnificent title in question; and whose intended treatment of the Jews, at the instigation of Haman, as related in the book of Esther, favors it still less. Where then shall we look for the ‘command to rebuild’, and for an ‘anointed one, a prince’, forty-nine years afterwards? We have had no success thus far, and history down to the time of Cyrus, as it now lies before us, presents us with no ‘data’ from which we can make out a period of forty-nine years so defined by events at the beginning and the end of them, as the first clause in v. 25 seems plainly to import or demand.
If we go lower down than Cyrus, we find under Darius Hystaspis the decree of Cyrus for rebuilding the temple renewed, in B.C. 519, (Ezra 6); but forty-nine years after this would bring us again into the reign of Xerxes (B.C. 470), who, as has already been remarked, was no (mashiach nagid). If we descend still lower, down to Artaxerxes Longimanus (B.C. 445), who gave unto Nehemiah full liberty to rebuild (Neh. 2), then the seventy weeks would reach forty-five years beyond the birth of Christ, which of course renders null this calculation. Besides, we can find no appropriate ‘anointed one and prince’, forty-nine years after the decree of Artaxerxes. We must abandon the hope then of satisfying ourselves in this way, as to the limits of the first period, i.e. the seven weeks. Nor is this all of the difficulty. The ‘seven weeks’, (and these only), are destitute of any express intimation of what was accomplished or happened, during their continuance. What then, it is natural to inquire, can be the object in view in designating them? Not events, as it would seem, ‘during’ the forty-nine years, but events mentioned as the ‘terminus a quo’ and ‘ad quem’ of those years. Of course these must have their importance. But here again we are met with difficulties. The ‘command to rebuild Jerusalem’ —when? By whom? After what destruction of it? for this command imports of course an antecedent destruction. Was this by Nebuchadnezzar? Or was it the more partial destruction by Antiochus Epiphanes? These are all the considerable destructions of which history gives us any account before the final wasting by Titus. But this last is out of question; for the whole period of seventy weeks, (of which seven are a part), ‘precedes’ the Messianic period. As to the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, we have already put that to the test. There remains, as history now stands, only that by Antiochus. If Judas Maccabaeus gave command to rebuild what had been destroyed, when his victories were consummated, (as he probably did), then who is the (mashiach nagid) that makes his appearance forty-nine years after this? Judas reinstated the temple worship B.C. 165, so that forty-nine years would bring us to B.C. 116. There was indeed on the throne of Judea, at that time, the most eminent prince that ever sat upon it after the return from the Babylonish exile, viz. John Hyrcanus, in whose praise Josephus is uncommonly lavish. However, he did not commence his reign then, but in B. C. 135, i.e. nineteen years earlier. Nor is there anything in the occurrences of B.C. 116, which distinguishes that year from any other of the thirty years of his reign. A ‘terminus ad quem’, therefore, of the seven weeks seems to be looked for here in vain. If we admit that the seven weeks must ‘precede’ the sixty-two weeks, (and any other order seems to be unnatural, and apparently against the tenor of the whole passage), then we cannot go down to a period so late as that of Judas Maccabaeus and Antiochus, for the commencement of the seven weeks, or the issuing of the command to rebuild.
What can we do then, or where shall we go, to find the appropriate limits of the forty-nine years? Perplexed by questions like these, Vitringa, Hengstenberg, and many others, have adopted a peculiar course, in order to find an issue from these straits. First they have united the seven weeks into one mass with the sixty-two weeks, thus making in effect but two subdivisions of the seventy weeks, viz. one of sixty-nine, and the other of one. This is built on the assumption, that the command to rebuild, spoken of in v. 25, is that which was given by Artaxerxes in the twentieth year of his reign, as recorded in Neh. 2. They then count sixty-nine weeks (62+7) forward, i.e. 483 years. But as the twentieth year of Artaxerxes is usually reckoned at B.C. 445, their reckoning makes thirty-eight years too much on this ground. To avoid this, they reckon some thirty years of it to the private life of Jesus, and make his public ministry (not his birth) the ‘terminus ad quem’. Still there remain some eight or nine years too much. This excess is disposed of, by adding some eight or nine years more to the reign of Artaxerxes than chronology usually reckons, (which would make his decree so much earlier), and thus making the time to adjust itself to the events. In the usual chronology, (vouched for by Ctesias and Ptolemy in his Canon), Artaxerxes is represented as reigning forty or forty-one years, and Xerxes as twenty or twenty-one. Hengstenberg insists upon fifty-one for Artaxerxes, and eleven for Xerxes. In this way the twentieth year of Artaxerxes falls back some ten years, just about enough to save the excess above mentioned, made by carrying forward the sixty-nine weeks = 483 years. The ‘terminus a quo’, then, of the sixty-nine weeks, is the decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild, Neh. 2; the ‘terminus ad quem’ is the (mashiach nagid) in the emphatic sense, i.e. the ‘Lord’s Anointed’, the ‘King of Israel’, when he enters upon his public office.
Certainly, this is ingenious; and the result is rather striking, at first view. But further examination throws in our way insuperable obstacles; at which, however, I can but merely hint. (1) The main assumption, that Artaxerxes was the first who issued a ‘decree to rebuild Jerusalem’, (the terminus a quo), contradicts fact and Scripture both. ‘Fact’ —inasmuch as Haggai. (in the second year of Darius = B.C. 520), more than seventy years before the twentieth of Artaxerxes, speaks of the people as “dwelling at Jerusalem in ceiled houses,” while the house of the Lord lies waste, Hagg. 1:2-4; ‘Scripture’ —inasmuch as God says expressly of Cyrus, that he shall rebuild the city, Isa. 45:1, 13 and 44:28, comp. 2nd Chron. 36:23, Ezra 1:1-3. In these two last cases, indeed, the temple only is specified, which, being the central and union-point of the whole enterprise of the returning immigrants, is very natural. But the implication of city-building at the same time, is unavoidable and plain. The history of the restored Israelites in Ezra shows beyond a question, that so early as the reign of Darius Hystaspis, (about 519 B.C), there was a very considerable population in Jerusalem —not, I trust, without ‘houses’ to live in. (2) There is no authority, and no good reason for amalgamating the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks. The writer has separated them, or at any rate the Masorites have separated them, by putting an Athnach on (shib`’ah)). I say not that this is decisive authority; but I may say that departure from the accents is generally undesirable, and mostly hazardous. A really good reason for it must be one which is of an imperious nature. (3) The nature of the case separates the two periods in question. In making the simple sum of sixty-nine, (for simple it is, as made out by Hengstenberg), who would ever think of dividing this period into two parts, one of which has no special significance, and has nothing assigned to it which can be a reason for its being reckoned by itself? According to this method of interpretation, the ‘terminus a quo’ and ‘ad quem’ of the first period both belong to the period of sixty-nine weeks, and not to that of the seven weeks. But where else, in all the Scriptures, is there such a method of making out a simple number by dividing it into arbitrary parts, and adding these together? (4) V. 26 disproves the assertion, that the speaker meant to reckon in the manner of Hengstenberg. What says he concerning the close of the great period in question? “After sixty-two weeks an anointed one shall be cut off,” etc. But why does he not say: “After sixty-nine weeks?” If all is to be thrown into one period, this would be inevitable, in case he meant to be rightly understood. That he does not say sixty-nine, shows that he reckons the second period of sixty-two weeks as one in and by itself. Besides, if Hengstenberg reckons rightly as to the sixty-nine weeks, even they do not reach, by his own concession, to the ‘cutting off of the Messiah’. This was three and a half years after the close of that period. (5) I add, in order to complete the view of objections to his interpretation, that having reached the middle of the third period, (viz. the one week = seven years), the other remaining three and a half years are wholly unmanageable. With him, “the people of a prince that will come,” and who will destroy the city and sanctuary, are the Romans under Titus. Did these invaders then come against the Jews, within three and a half years after the death of Christ? No; they did not come within a third of a century. Moreover, the tyrant or desolator who comes, is himself ‘to be wasted’, (be a (shomem), v. 27). The implication is, that this will take place at the end of the latter half of the seven years. But Titus did not die within that period, nor until A. D. 81. If Vespasian be selected as the prince in question, the difference will be only about three years. Neither of them died a violent death. The “outpouring of what is decreed upon the son of perdition” (v. 27), may be looked for in vain, after the death of Christ, and within the limits assigned by the angel.
We must add to all this, that the first period has of itself neither a definite beginning nor end, according to Hengtenberg’s interpretation. The ‘third’ is also destitute (as to its latter half) of a ‘terminus ad quem’. He also assigns to the first period, what belongs to the second, viz. the slow and interrupted rebuilding of the city, (which can be done only by offering violence to the grammatical structure of the language), and consequently he leaves the second long period of 62 weeks, without cognizing anything that is accomplished during that period which would definitely mark it. Finally, to ground all this theory of interpretation, as the advocates of it do, on a disputed point of chronology, (the ten years to be added to Artaxerxes and taken from Xerxes), and one in respect to which, after the remarks by Hoffman (Die 70 Jahre, s. 90 seq.), we may venture to say the probability is strongly against them, can hardly meet the just demands of criticism in a case of such a nature, or satisfy the inquirer who has no favorite scheme to defend.
After all this, then, we are compelled again to ask, with still more emphasis : ” When do the 7 weeks (and of course the 70) begin? And when do they end?
Wieseler has dropped the 7 weeks, by virtue of his views concerning (nechtak), which he makes to mean ‘abbreviated, abridged’. First the original 70 years of Jeremiah are abridged 7 years, in the execution of the threatening. Then, to correspond with this, the seven weeks of years are abridged or omitted from the new period of 70 year-weeks. “Why? is a question that is hardly answered. The mere ‘exegete’ might feel himself greatly relieved if he could dispose of this difficulty so easily. But for myself, I am more inclined to confess my ignorance than to get rid of the matter in this way. Hoffman (Weissag. und Erfull. s. 301 seq.), in his latest view of this subject, says, that the seven weeks can be applied to no period preceding the vision of Daniel, and to none during the 62 weeks, or during the one week. He thinks that the seven weeks, in which Jerusalem is to be splendidly rebuilt, and the (mashiach nagid) to make his appearance, must come ‘after’ both these periods. But when? How? He does not answer these questions, but cautiously abstains from giving any express opinion. I consider this, in both Wieseler and himself, as only a kind of ingenious way of confessing that they do not understand the matter. And if ‘they’ do not, it is somewhat discouraging; for writers of more acuteness in philology do not often make their appearance; and these respective discussions of theirs, moreover, are the latest, and therefore are carried on under peculiar advantages.
Only one case more occurs, which calls for examination, viz. such a one as Hoffman supposes: Can we reverse the ‘order’ of the periods, and find the 7 weeks in the period immediately ‘preceding’ the advent of Christ? They would then close by the appearance of a ‘Messiah a Prince’; and so far all is well as to the ‘end’ of the period. But where is the ‘terminus a quo’? The 49th year before Christ, or any year proximate to it, is distinguished by no ‘command to rebuild Jerusalem’; nor indeed was there occasion for any, since the city had not of late been laid waste.
I do not see, then, but that we must suspend our investigations here, as connected with ‘history’; because we seem to have exhausted all the probable materials which history presents. We must betake ourselves at last, then, to simple ‘philology’. Can anything, and if anything, then how much can be gathered from it? Possibly a strict and thorough investigation of the words may throw some light on these dark sentences.
At the beginning of v. 25, (wetheda’ wethaskel) denotes that something specially worthy of attention, is about to be said. I have rendered (wetheda’ by ‘mark well’), lit. it may be translated: ‘and thou must know’; but the Kal Imperf. here is used in a kind of Imper. sense, § 125. 3. c. (wethaskel) might well be rendered: ‘Pay particular attention’. It also means ‘to understand’, as connected with such an act of the mind. The sense of both verbs might be thus expressed: ‘Be thou well assured’, or ‘know thou for certainty’. Why is such an intimation here given? Plainly because there is a transition from a preceding generic to a specific statement; and not merely this, but the general declaration of Messianic blessings that had just been made, is now to be followed by the prediction of troublous times which are to ‘precede’ those blessings. The change is so great, the things about to be said are of a tenor so different from those which had been said, that the speaker, in order to guard against surprise, or to fortify against doubt, calls the earnest and particular attention of Daniel to what he is going to disclose.
(min motza’ dabar), as to the form of expression, reminds us of (yatza’ dabar) in v. 23. But in vain do critics seek to identify the first with the second, as to meaning. ‘ The (dabar) in v. 23, plainly refers to the communication in vs. 24-27. That in the verse before us as plainly means a ‘command’ or ‘message’ to rebuild Jerusalem. The fact that the (dabar) now before us has ‘no article’, shows conclusively, that it does not renew the mention of (dabar) in v. 23; for in v. 23 itself, when (dabar) is there repeated, it has the article (baddabar), because this last refers to the previous (dabar). So it would have the article here, in case a like reference were here intended. For the same reason, (dabar) in v. 25 cannot refer to the (debar Yehowah) of v. 2; whither so many critics refer it. That it has no article, is a proof that it has no antecedent to which it refers. It is a ‘new message’; and of course the article would give a wrong direction to the mind of the reader. The allegation made by several critics, that the negligence of the later Hebrew in respect to the article stands in the way here of any argument drawn from the presence or absence of it, may be credited by those who have some favorite views to be supported by such a position, or by those who are not conversant with the later Hebrew writings. Those who are in neither of these predicaments, will be slow to believe such allegations until they are proved, and especially in a case so plain as the present.
But ‘from whom’ is the ‘command’ or ‘message’ to proceed? No one is designated in the context. From a ‘superior’ a ‘command’ (for plainly (dabar) of such a nature here) must proceed. Is it some ‘king’? If so, we should be at a loss to say ‘what king’ is meant. He is not the (Mashiach Nagid) for certainty, because the latter comes into view only at the ‘close’ of the seven weeks. In such a case, then, we naturally turn to ‘God” as the author of the command; and in this we are amply confirmed by Isa. 44:26, 28, (le’mor lirushalaim tibbaneh tiwuahsed), ‘saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built up, and to the temple, Thou shalt be founded’. —In simply designating ‘the going forth of a command’, the speaker has left unexplained what the nature of that command is. The sequel is designed to explain its object. It is ‘to rebuild Jerusalem’. The (dabar) or ‘command’ then is, that something should be done. By whom? Of course by those who have an interest in Jerusalem, i.e. by the Jews; certainly by the Jews, provided the rebuilding is to precede the Christian era.
(lehashib welibnoth), to ‘rebuild’, or ‘to restore and to build’, which amounts here to the same thing. The verb ((shub), followed by another verb either with or without a (we) before it, may everywhere be found marking simply the idea of ‘repetition, again’. Commonly a ‘definite’ mood and tense is employed ; but I can see no reason why ‘Infinitives’ (as in the present case) may not be employed in the same manner. The obvious idea, at all events, is that of ‘rebuilding’. Whether, however, we so translate, or render the phrase ‘to restore and build up’, the idea is for substance the same. To attach to (hashib) an intensive idea, viz. that of ‘completely restoring’, belongs neither to the verb, the Conj. in which it is, or the nature of the case. To ‘rebuild’ a city, does not of course mean to build it as largely or as well as it was before built. These are accidental circumstances, not essential ones. The implication in either way of translating is, that, previous to the command in question, Jerusalem has been laid waste. Whether utterly or partially, is not necessarily implied. This is left undetermined.
(`ad mashiach nagid), ‘to an anointed one, a prince’ [Messiah Prince]; not to ‘an anointed prince’, for then (mashiach) must take its place behind (nagid), according to the laws of the language. In its present position, moreover, standing after (`ad), it cannot be a ‘predicate’, for this it could be only in case (`ad) were omitted, and then the assertion might be: ‘Anointed [is] a prince’. We must therefore put the word in ‘apposition’ with (nagid) . But what ‘Messiah’ is it? If it be the expected and predicted Messiah, the great Deliverer, then, of course, ‘mashiach’ being an appellative must have the article [i.e. ha-mashiach, the Messiah]. Hengstenberg says, the article is omitted because the word is used as a proper name here. But if it be a proper name, then of course (nagid) would be an appellative, and must have the article; just as in the case of (dawid hammelek). Besides, although so common as a proper name with us, and also in the N. Test., where is the proof from the O. Test. that it was ‘anciently’ employed in this way? The word is used to designate the ‘high priest’, Lev. 4:3, 5, 16; often for a lawfully anointed king, 1st Sam. 2:10; 12:3, 5; 16:6, al. saepe; it is used to designate Cyrus as a specially chosen and consecrated instrument of liberating the Jews, Isa. 45:1; and sometimes (in the plural) to designate patriarchs or nobles, Ps. 105:15, 1st Chron. 16:22. Only once in all the Heb. Scriptures is it applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, via. in Ps. 2: 2, if we except the present case. This surely does not look like a ‘proper name’ in ancient times ; and most plainly it was not commonly so employed. The license then which is alleged, respecting the ‘omission’ of the article, cannot be explained, or vindicated on this ground. If the ‘Messiah’ had been meant in the case before us, the article would seem to be natural, and one might almost say, absolutely indispensable. —Can it mean, then, a ‘heathen’ prince? It might, because it is applied to Cyrus in Isa. 45:1. Yet evidently it is so applied there, only because he was a chosen instrument of the Lord, to accomplish his designs in respect to the Hebrews. The probability, in the present case, is strong against the idea of a ‘heathen’ king, since there is nothing in the context which would explain the application of (mashiach) to such an one, while such an explanation is palpable in the case of Cyrus. Naturally, it would of itself be understood as implying some lawful priest or prince of the Jews anointed to priestly or to regal office, or to both.
(nagid) means one who is ‘prominent, preeminent, conspicuous’. Hence it becomes an appellative for ‘prince’. The office implied is a ‘civil’ one. This I suppose to be the reason why it is added to the preceding word. (mashiach) might of itself mean either king or priest. To remove all doubt, (nagid) is added to the preceding word, and put in application as explananatory, —an idiom by no means uncommon. Of course the article should not be employed, since it is omitted in the principal or leading word. The true idea then seems to be: ‘an anointed one who is a prince’ or ‘civil ruler’. That some distinguished personage is meant, can hardly be questioned. Who it is, or when he was to appear, are questions, as we have seen, which cannot easily be solved by any history known to us.
As to (shbu`im shibah), enough has already been said. The Athnach on the last word seems to be rightly placed there. If the following sixtytwo weeks are to be combined in one period with these seven, then v. 26 could not say: ‘After those sixty-two weeks’, etc., but must say: ‘After those sixty-nine weeks’ etc. Besides, there is no example in the Scriptures, as has already been remarked, of such a way of announcing or making up numbers. Moreover, the (toshub) that follows must have a (we) before it, in case the building of the city is to be referred back to the seven weeks, as some maintain, or even in case they are to be included in the sum of the building-period as announced in the second clause. It seems quite clear, moreover, that the seven weeks, which commence with a command to ‘rebuild’ and end with a ‘distinguished and lawful king’, imply of course a ‘prosperous’ rebuilding, which is consummated by the coming of a distinguished lawful sovereign. In contrast with this, the building of the city during the sixty-two weeks is to be scanty, and the declaration is made that it will be carried on ‘in troublous times’. Whether the seven weeks are to be arranged before or after the sixty-two, alters not the nature of the present case. A contrast between the two periods is, as it seems to me, plainly designed to be made. The seven weeks are ‘fausti temporis [fortunate time]’, the sixty-two are ‘infausti temporis [unfortunate time]’. The seven weeks are to be followed by the reign of a (mashiach nagid); the sixty-two weeks are to be followed by the cutting off of a (mashiach), and by the wasting of the temple and city during the week that follows. Presented in this light, the contrast between the seven and the sixty-two weeks becomes quite striking and palpable.
What then do we gather, at last, from our ‘philological’ inquiries? We gather at least some things, with a good degree of conviction; (1) That the periods of seven and sixty-two are not only diverse and separate from each other, but are actually in ‘contrast’ with each other, in regard to events respectively belonging to them. (2) That the period of seven weeks will follow some waste and desolate state of Jerusalem, which Heaven will, at the beginning of those weeks, give commandment to repair; and this reparation will be followed by the reign of a lawful and distinguished sovereign, i.e. this period will end in prosperity, under an anointed one, a prince. (3) The ‘terminus a quo’ of this period is specified not by the designation of ‘time’ but ‘event’, and this event (a command ‘to rebuild’) is different from anything that happened before the return from exile, and different from anything predicted by Jeremiah respecting the end of the exile. Consequently the seven-weeks period does not commence, at the same time with the desolations of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. (4) Of course, I do not see how the conclusion can be well avoided, that the seven weeks are to be regarded as a part of the seventy weeks which ‘precede’ the Messianic times. I cannot accede therefore to the remark, that seven is here merely a mystical number, as often in the Apocalypse, and that it may, when thus understood, be regarded as designating a ‘completion’ or ‘fulness’ of time, unlimited by specific bounds; moreover, that we are of course at liberty to place it wherever and whenever events will correspond, without being restrained by the number of ‘years’. Why should this be the case with only one of the three periods before us? The other two are clearly specific and definite; and so are the numbers of this book in general. What authorizes us, then, to make the present case an exception to all the rest?
“But we can find nothing in history that accords with the period of seven weeks; certainly not in the history of the Jews before the Christian era.”
This may be true. Hoffman (s. 301) thinks so much to be clear, viz. that ‘ the seven weeks come ‘after’ the sixty-two weeks ; and that the terminus a quo of the seven is not the same with that of the sixty-two, and that it cannot be found in any period antecedent to the time of Daniel’s vision,’ (s. 299). It is the ‘history’ of the times, as he thinks, which forces us to such a conclusion. Unless such an appeal to history can be made with much force and propriety, it must certainly be natural to regard the three periods both as ‘successive’ and ‘continuous’. But if now we appeal to actual history, as it lies before us, this seems to favor the view of Hoffman; for the proclamation of Cyrus, as we have seen, if taken as the beginning of the seven weeks, leads to no (mashiach nagid) at the end, except either to Darius the Persian king, in the last part of his reign, or to Xerxes in the beginning of his. Neither of these corresponds to such an appellation. ‘Messiah Prince’ cannot be Ezra, for he went up to Jerusalem some seventy-nine years after Cyrus’ proclamation, instead of forty-nine years; it cannot be Nehemiah, for he went up ninety-one years after the same. Before Cyrus’ time, no ‘command’ or ‘liberty’ to rebuild was given. Must we not then consider ourselves as forced, with Hoffman, to the conclusion that the seven weeks must come after the other periods? But if so, then we must ask: ‘How’? ‘When’? These are questions, however, that we seem not to have the means of answering satisfactorily. The most promising period disclosed by history, seems to be that between the time when Judas began to repair the desolations made by Antiochus Epiphanes, and the reign of that powerful and popular king, ‘John Hyrcanus’, the nephew of Judas. The forty-nine years, if begun with the repairs by Judas, would fall about the middle of Hyrcanus’ reign ; and under him, the Jews were an independent and respected nation. He too was both ‘high-priest’ and ‘king’, a (machiach nagid). But, as has been already said, the year B.C. 116, (the middle of his reign), has nothing particular in itself to distinguish it; and this seems to make the application of the seven weeks to this period somewhat doubtful, or wholly so. Still perhaps it is not absolutely decisive against it, because there is nothing in the prediction, which obliges us to ‘commence’ the reign of the Anointed one and Prince with the very last year of the seven weeks. Would it not be sufficient, if such a prince were already on the throne when they end?
If I have not given satisfaction to the reader, as to the resolution of the difficulty in question, (and doubtless I have not), I have at least shown him why I have not done it. I do not despair, after all, of a solution, at some future period, on the part of someone, who has better vantage ground than we now have. But I confess myself unable to answer all the questions that may be here raised. This, however, only proves my want of adequate knowledge, and not that the subject is necessarily inexplicable. But of this matter something more will be said in the sequel.
(‘And sixty and two weeks (tashub wenibnetha), shall it be rebuilt’). The subject is ‘the city’. The idiomatic (tashub) with the verb that follows, is the same as in (lehashib welibnoth) of the first clause. The ‘terminus a quo’ of the sixty-two weeks, (since it is not specifically named), has been supposed by some to be the same with that of the seventy years of Jeremiah. The angel tells Daniel, that, instead of seventy years simply, 70 ‘weeks of years’ are ‘determined on’ or ‘decided’ (nechtak). As nothing definite is expressly said of the time when this last period of seventy ‘weeks’ commences, it might seem to be, as some have maintained, the same time as that with which the seventy ‘years’ of Jeremiah began. The Ace. of time here (sixty-two weeks) is the usual Ace. of when or how long, § 116. 2. It does not strictly imply, perhaps, that during all this period the city was in the regular process of building. It may be sufficient, that during the period named the building in question took place. Naturally, however, it must be understood as designating a protracted season of building up. But it we begin to reckon with B.C. 606, (according to the assumption above), there must be a considerable period (seventy years) during which the city was still in a state of entire desolation, viz., down to the time of Cyrus, B.C. 536. From the time of Cyrus, however, down to Antiochus Epiphanes, it was in a state of gradual although sometimes interrupted, advance. It was built in ‘troublous times’. Can we then, in view of all this, and after the preceding discussions, go back to B.C 606 for the beginning of the second period, i.e. the sixty-two weeks ?
(rechob wecharutz), ‘with broad spaces and narrow limits’. I take these much contested words as the ‘Acc. adverbial’, designating the manner in which the city will be built in the times of trouble. (rechob) ‘with breadth’, i.e. ‘with wide spaces, LXX, (eis platos). ‘Street’ the word often means because street is ‘a wide space’. Also it designates larger openings in cities, like our technical word ‘place’, and the Latin ‘forum’. To reverse the order of the words, and to make (rechob) the Nom. to the verbs would be a degradation of the sense. Besides, where in the Scriptures do we find the expression ‘build’ applied to streets? It seems quite probable, if not altogether certain, that (rechob) and (charutz) are opposites, and make a contrast; yet one which is very descriptive. The first shows that ‘large spaces’ are left within the city, which are not built upon. Then, on the other hand, (charutz) designates that which is ‘limited, narrowed, clipped, narrowly defined’. Such were the houses to be at least, if this does not pertain to the form of the houses themselves, (as probably it does not), it at least applies to the narrow and defined limits within which they are built. In a city full of inhabitants, small spaces are left, and ample expansion is given to the mass of buildings. But here, because of the “troublous times,” the reverse takes place. When the angel wishes to tell Zechariah that Jerusalem shall yet be ‘overflowing’ with inhabitants, he says: “Because of the abounding of man and beast, Jerusalem shall be inhabited (perazoth) with [sub-urban] villages”. The opposite to such an idea is implied by (charutz). To translate this word ‘ditch, water-sluice, conduit’, or else ‘judgment, decision’, makes no tolerable sense, and indeed such a version is incapable of philological defence. To render (wecharutz) ‘it is decided’ (Häv., Hengst., Wies.) presents two difficulties; first it makes a divulsion from the preceding word, with which the accents connect it; and secondly such an idea would demand (charutz hu’) or (charutzah) instead of (wecharutz). It is evident, on the whole, that the word is one part of an antithetic couplet, of which (rechob) is the other. Of the translation: ‘it is decided’, Hoffman justly says: “It is opposed to all sound advance of expression or description.” It certainly is an unlooked-for declaration in case we interpret it in the manner now in question, i.e. such as to break the thread of the description. A signal good, or a signal evil, might readily be spoken of as ‘decreed’; but to affirm this of a mere subordinate circumstance in the building of the city, and interrupt the discourse in order to affirm it, seems at least not to be very probable.
(ubtzoq ha`ittim), lit. ‘and in straitness of the times’, in our English version, ‘even in troublous times’. The (u) prefix, however, need not be rendered intensive by translating it ‘even’. The idea is somewhat more generic than this last version would make it, inasmuch as the latter clause means, that the times in general of the rebuilding will be times of hardship and suffering. That they were so, is fully evident from the records of Nehemiah and Ezra, and from the history of the Maccabees; not to speak of Josephus, who depends almost wholly on these records. That the city made progress slowly, and with not a few interruptions, from the proclamation of Cyrus until the reign of Antiochus, is sufficiently apparent from the history of the Jews during that interval of time. The language of prophecy rarely dwells on minute particulars of history. It is enough, in the present case, that we can make a generic application of it.

(9:26:) Two things are made very plain by the first part of this verse, vis. first, that the period of sixty-two weeks stands by itself, separated, in the view of the writer, from the preceding period of seven weeks. Otherwise it would be unavoidable that he should either say: ‘After sixty-nine weeks’, or else: ‘After seven weeks and sixty-two weeks’. This circumstance seems to be too decisive to allow us to amalgamate, as many have done, the first and second periods into one, as to the ‘terminus a quo’ and ‘ad quem’. Secondly, the destruction of the city and temple by the people of a prince that would come, i.e. invade the holy land, shows that the issue of “troublous times” is into those far more troublous, and which are the consummation of all that is threatened against the Jews. In 8: 28 we have the like representation; (1) It is (be’acharith), ‘in the latter part’ of the fourth dominion, (= the latter part of the sixty-two weeks), and (kehathem happoshe`im), ‘when transgressors have come to the full’, i.e. filled up the measure of their sins, that the destroyer and revenger comes in. (2) There, as here, the destroyer, when he has finished his work of desolation in the holy land, comes to a fearful and sudden end. In 8: 25, this is expressed by (be’ephem yad yishaber), here by (basheteph). The contrast between this and the end of the seven weeks, can hardly fail to strike the mind of an impartial interpreter. The seven weeks end in an ‘anointed one’ who is also a ‘Prince’, i.e. a legitimate high priest and king, uniting in himself a double office, and reigning over a city rebuilt or repaired by the command of heaven, and made prosperous; the sixty-two weeks end in the destruction of a city and sanctuary, which had been but scantily built, and in seasons of pressure and calamity. A seven years of wasting and persecution is their immediate sequel. Whoever looks on the representation in this light, must of necessity concede, that the periods of seven and sixty-two are set in real contrast to each other, as has been intimated, and are by no means to be amalgamated, or either of them virtually moved out of sight. Both periods are equally real, at least they are so in the view of the writer; and we cannot properly dispose of either without making it significant.
(yikareth mashiach), ‘an anointed one shall be cut off’. Not ‘the Messiah’ or ‘the anointed one’, for there is no article here, as there must be if such were the meaning. As we have seen, (mashiach) was not a proper name in ancient times; and as an appellative, it should of course take the article. But this being omitted, we are admonished to look in another direction for the meaning of the word (mashiach). ‘Priest’ or ‘king’ we have seen that it may mean, (see on v. 25, (mashiach nagid), because both of these, when duly appointed, were ‘anointed’ with oil in the name of the Lord. ‘An anointed one’, therefore, is the appellation of all who are thus consecrated to high office. Nor can the term be applied to any mere king solely because he is king ; and specially is it inapplicable to any ‘heathen’ king, unless indeed, like Cyrus, such an one be chosen on the part of heaven for specific and important purposes. But as the Scriptures apply it to an anointed ‘priest’ or ‘king’ under the Jewish dispensation, so we may here apply it to either, just as the context demands. It is not the same personage as the (mashiach nagid) of v. 25, for if it were, the article would be demanded. Besides the omission of this, it is quite evident that the condition and circumstances of the two, are very diverse; the (mashiach nagid) apparently reigns in prosperity, while the (mashiach) of our text is to be cut off and destroyed. Not that the word (yikareth `ebed) always and necessarily designates a violent death, or the death of a criminal, as some allege; for sometimes the word means to fail or lack, e.g. Josh. 9:23, (lo’ yikareth), ‘a servant shall never fail’ or ‘be lacking’. But in the passage before us it seems most probable, that the usual sense of the word is retained. We shall see, in the historical illustration, that such is the case. The (mashiach) I must therefore regard as the Lord’s ‘anointed’ high-priest, Onias III, conspicuous for his piety and his steadfastness, who was displaced from office by Antiochus, and his heathenish brother put in possession of his place. Soon after Onias was obliged to flee to Daphnae, near Antioch, for a refuge from the malice of his Jewish enemies; thence he was drawn by false promises, and murdered by the governor of Antioch, vicegerent of Antiochus. His son, instead of succeeding his father Onias, was obliged to fly to foreign lands, and finally built up Leontopolis in Egypt. But during the rest of Antiochus’ reign, no lawful high priest had possession of the appropriate office. The people were forced to accept of heathenish Jews as their high priests; so that what is said in the sequel, although dark at first, and not a little embarrassed with the glosses put upon it both in ancient and in modern times, becomes intelligible when rightly interpreted.
(we’an lo), our Eng. version renders ‘but not for himself’, evidently building on the assumption, that the ‘Messiah’ here means ‘Jesus Christ’, and so expressing the idea that he died for the sins of the people, and not upon his own account, i.e. not because of anything which he had done. So also Vitringa, Hävernick, Rosenmüller. But the Heb. idiom forbids this interpretation. Were the idea conveyed by the passage that which oar version gives, it must run thus: (welo’ lo). The word (‘en) is by no meant a simple particle, expressing merely ‘negation’ like (lo’), but a verb meaning ‘is not’. Like all verbs it demands a ‘subject’, expressed or implied. When expressed, it takes the subject, if a ‘pronoun’, as a suffix, and adapts its form; accordingly, if other words are subjects, they are put in the Gen. after the ‘negative verb’, which then assumes, as in our text, the ‘construct’ form, (‘en) then must have a subject. Its very form (const.) is designed to show that one is implied. What then is it ? Whence are we to supply it? From the context, all must concede. If this be admitted, then those interpretations, which take (‘en) in the same sense as if it were (lo’), of course will not abide the test. So C. B. Michaelis: ‘And not to be will be his lot’; Sept. in Cod. Chis., (kai ouk estai). But this in Hebrew would be (‘enenu). Others again translate thus: And nothing will belong to him. But (‘en) does not mean ‘nothing’, but it means ‘is not’, i.e. something either expressed or implied ‘is not’. Others again thus: ‘And no one remained to him’, (Sack, Hitzig); which has to meet the same difficulty, for (‘en) is not ‘no one’, but simply ‘is not’. Rosch (Stud, und Krit. 1834) gives the phrase this turn: ‘And no one was present for him’. In this way he applies it to designate the death of Seleucus IV Philopator, at a time when neither his son Demetrius, nor his brother Antiochus, was near him. But (‘en) does not mean ‘is not present’, but ‘is not’. Besides, if it did, it does not follow that the ‘one not present’ is limited to son or brother, but ‘one’ extends to any or all that belong in any way to the (mashiach). Beyond all this, a mere ‘heathen’ king, like Seleucus, would not be called by such a name as ‘Messiah’. —More improbable still is the turn given by the Vulgate, Jahn, and Scholl: ‘Non erit ejus populus’, sc. ‘qui eum negatarus est’. But whence comes ‘people’ in this case? And if we might supply (‘en `ammo) cannot well mean, that the Jewish nation ‘should be cut off’; it merely denies their existence. —Hengstenberg, who has finely illustrated (‘en) (Christol. II. s. 474-478), and shown the necessity of an ‘implied’ subject, has not succeeded equally well in making out that subject. He says, the denial in (‘en) must refer to what belonged to the (mashiach); and this he thinks appropriately to be ‘Herrschaft’, i.e. dominion. Of course he regards the (mashiach) here as the suffering Saviour. But how was his ‘dominion’ lost, by his being cut off? ‘Temporal dominion’ he never sought or claimed; but ‘spiritual’ he ‘acquired’ by the very set of enduring readily his sufferings, Phil. 2: 8,9.
Passing by, then, all these various methods of interpretation, let us still further urge the question: What is to be supplied as a subject for the verb, from the context? I know of no other answer that can be made to this, on a ground strictly grammatical, but that (mashiach) must be regarded as the proper word. Altogelher of a tenor like to the passage before us, is Ex. 22: 2, (shallem yeshallem ‘im ‘en lo wenimkar bignebatho), i.e. ‘he shall surely replace it; if he has not, then he shall be sold on account of his theft’. Here (shallem), or its kindred noun (shillum), is plainly to be supplied after (‘en). The same as to (mashiach), in the case before us. It is forced upon us by the grammar of the language. But if this be admitted, (and I see no way to avoid it), then of course we must give to (lo) a different meaning from that commonly given, and refer it to the (`am) of v. 24. For to say that an ‘anointed one’ shall be cut off, and then to say that ‘there is no anointed one to him’ after such an event, would be unmeaning if not frivolous. To say, that when Onias the anointed high priest shall be cut off, there will be no authorized and proper (mashiach) to the ‘people’ of the Jews, is pregnant with meaning, and accords with historical fact. If anyone takes exception to the distance of the antecedent from (lo), it would be easy to point him to similar and even stronger cases of such a nature; e.g. Isa. 8:21, (boh); and the same in Ps. 68:11, 15. So (yesudatho) in Ps. 87:1, and not a few other cases of a like nature. I concede that we are not to refer a pronoun very far either backwards or forwards, except when necessity calls. But here seems to be such a necessity; for no consistent grammatical sense can be made out in any other way, and this makes one quite apposite and facile. Steudel (Pfingst-programm. 1833, s. 36 seq.) was the first, so far as I know, who advanced the position that (lo) refers to (`ammeka) in v. 24. Hoffman (in his ‘Die’ 70 ‘Jahre’, s. 72) pronounces against it, but after all he virtually adopts it, in his later work, Weissag. und Erfiill. s. 303. Nothing can be plainer, than that the difficulties of the passage are greatly diminished by this interpretation. I must add, in order to prevent misunderstanding, that I regard (mashiach) as more indicative of the high priest’s official dignity and circle of duty, than merely of his person. When he is cut off, the people fail of having one lawfully to fill his place. But that the passage cannot well apply to Jesus the Messiah, seems plain from the fact, that his death ‘introduced’ him to an eternal high priesthood, instead of cutting him off from such an office.
‘And the city and the sanctuary will the people of the prince who is to come destroy’. —(yashchith) does not necessarily mean a ‘total destruction’, but such a wasting as mars the object concerned, and renders it comparatively useless or worthless. The article before ‘city’ and ‘sanctuary’, points to these words in v. 24. (am nagid) omits the article before the second noun, because this (nagid) is different from that in v. 25, and the article would give a wrong sense; or at least the insertion of it would make it dubious to the reader, inasmuch as it would naturally refer him to the (nagid) in v. 25. The (nagid) here is merely a heathen prince acting in a civil capacity, in distinction from a (mashiach) who belongs to the people of God. —(habba’) is not a verb but a participle. The article makes it distinctive, lit. ‘of the comer’, or ‘of him who cometh’ or ‘will come’; or the word may be understood of coming in a hostile sense, i.e. invading, as in Dan. 1:2, Jer. 36:29. It seems to point to a well-known personage, who is to be the leader of the destroyers, viz. of the (`am) before mentioned. In 8:25 the same personage is fully and plainly described, and in a way much like to that in vs. 26,27, of the present passage. (habba’), then, virtually appeals to the knowledge of the reader, who has perused the prophecy in chap. 8.
(weqitzo), ‘and his end’; whose? The obvious grammatical answer is the end of the (nagid habba’). One need but compare 8:25, respecting Antiochus: ‘He shall be broken in pieces without [human] hand’, and to join with this 11:45, ‘And he shall come to his end (mp is), and none shall kelp him (we’en `ozer lo)’, in order to see how exactly all three of the passages agree. In all, the ‘end’ in question follows the injuries done to tbe holy city and temple. Manifestly the same personage is concerned. We cannot, therefore, refer (qitzo) to ‘city’ and ‘sanctuary’ (Häv.), for the suff. should then be plural; nor to (yashechith), i.e. the action of destroying which ends in an overwhelming, (Hengst.). Indeed such an application would probably never have been thought of, had not that interpretanon needed its aid, which makes Titus the Roman chief to be the (nagid) in this case, who is to destroy city and sanctuary (basheteph). But such a construction is incompatible with grammar, and equally so with the parallel passages to which reference has been made above.
(basheteph), lit. ‘with an inundation or overwhelming flood’. But the literal sense is here out of question; and the figurative one of course is, that of being swept away by a resistless torrent of evils or calamities. The simple image of merely a vast or numerous army of men cannot be vindicated as an appropriate significancy of this word, which in its tropical meaning must indicate ‘overwhelming evil’. One needs but to compare 8: 25 and 11: 45, in order to see how entirely in accordance with each other these three passages are, respecting the sudden death of the tyrant and persecutor. The article in (basheteph) may be explained in two ways; first as standing before a noun used here in an abstract sense, § 107- 3. Note 1. c; or secondly, on the ground of a destruction already predicted, and regarded as known or understood, comp. 7: 26 and 8: 25. In brief thus : ‘The city and sanctuary shall be marred by the subjects of a prince whose coming you know, and of whose fearful end you are also cognizant.’
(we`ad qetz milchamah wgw), ‘and unto the end shall be war, a decreed measure of desolation’. A much contested passage, about which a great variety of opinions exist. Hoffman (Weissag. etc. s. 305) thinks, that (qetz milchamah ) here means the end of a war, viz. of a war that will arise against Antiochus in consequence of his persecution and oppression. But against this lies the objection, that the idea of another war, different from that which is implied in the preceding context that speaks of the marring of the city and sanctuary, can hardly be supposed to be distinctly in the mind of the reader here. In fact, if the idea was designed to be so specific as that which the context would naturally suggest, the article would be necessary before (milchamah)The fact that this word has no article, shows that it is not intended merely to reproduce the idea that lies concealed in the preceding clause, viz. that of a state of mutual hostility and contest. War in its more general sense, viz. a continued state of contest and desolation, following on after the marring of city and sanctuary, is plainly the idea conveyed by the text. Had the author written (hattilchamah), the reader would spontaneously refer it to what is implied in the preceding clause. To prevent this, as well as to give the idea a more generic shape, the article is omitted. — As to (qetz) , is it in the const. state before (milchamah) (as the conjunctive accent [ ] would seem to imply), or is there a pause here that would naturally require a lesser distinctive accent ?
The translation above is founded on the latter assumption, which, of late, is the more general one. The train of accents which ends in ‘Zakeph Qaton’ (as here), has a great variety of changes, dependent on the fact whether the clause consists of two, three, or four words, and more dependent on this than on the sense or real connection of the words as any one may see in Nordheimer’s Heb. Gramm. II. p. 337. In fact, it is palpably before him in the present case; for (qetz) has a ‘Munahh”, while the particle before it (`ad) has a distinctive accent (named ‘a prince’), viz. a ‘Pashta’. Will it be pretended that (qetz) has a nearer relation to (milchamah), than (`ad) has to (qetz)? I grant that the consecution of accents shows that the Accentuators probably regarded (qetz) as being in the const. state. But ‘an end of a war’ is too loose an expression, in this connection, to admit of any good defence. If, however, we translate ‘unto the end’ or ‘an end shall be war’, and thus separate (qetz) from a const, state, then why has it not the article? We should perhaps expect (haqetz), ‘the end’, viz. one which the reader had already been taught to anticipate, see 8:17. But if the writer had inserted the article here, he would have cast the mind of the reader back upon the preceding (qetzo) as the antecedent. The fact that he has omitted both article and pronoun suff. in (qetz), makes it plain that he means another (qetz), viz. one of ‘time’, and not merely of calamity or catastrophe. There is another ground, also, of the omission in this case, one founded in the peculiar usage of the author, which I have not seen noticed. This is, that he elsewhere speaks of the same period in the same same way, viz. by ‘omitting’ the article. So in 8:19, where it is said: ‘An end (qetz)will be at an appointed time (lemo`ed)’. Observe that the writer does not say (lammo`ed), ‘at ‘the’ appointed time’, which would presuppose a knowledge of this period on the part of the reader, but ”an’ appointed time’, viz. a time which Heaven has fixed. Nor does he say (qappetz) in 8:19, because he does not take it for granted that the reader has a limitation of the period in his mind. So in 8:17, where (le`eth-qetz); has plainly the generic idea of ‘a period which has its limits’, i.e. which is fixed by an overruling Providence. Exactly so in 11:35, (`ad `eth qetz), where it is again said, that this ‘end’ will be (lammor`ed). Here observe the article in the latter word, in reference to 8:19. Again in 12:4, (`ad `eth qetz), as much as to say: ‘a period of consummation’. The same in 12:9. Now in some of these cases, (indeed in all excepting the first mention of (qetz)), we might expect to find the article; but plainly it is the writer’s design to communicate, by this phraseology, only the generic idea of ‘a period of consummation’. For this the article would be inappropriate, in any of the cases here presented. The sum of all is, that the idea here intended to be communicated is this, viz. that unto ‘an appointed time’ or ‘limited period’, (limited by heaven), ‘there will be war’, viz. between the tyrant and the Jews. The next clause makes this general idea more specific, viz. that the desolations which this will occasion have their ‘fixed’ boundaries beyond which they cannot pass.
(necheretzeth shomemoth), ‘a decreed limit of desolations’. The part. (necheretzeth)is of the fem. and usual const. form, Niph. of (charatz). It is here used substantively, the fem. making as usual the abstract noun. In this way it parallelizes in some measure with (qetz), which means ‘limit’ in respect to time, while (necheretzeth)designates an ‘abridged’ or ‘strictly limited measure’ as to ‘quantity’ or ‘degree’. In other words, the evils of the contest have an ‘appointed end’ and a ‘decreed’ or ‘limited measure’. The ideas stand so closely connected together here, that a (we) between the clauses would injure the strength of the expression. (shomemoth) is itself a fem. part, noun, taken in the abstract sense. The sense is not a desolating decree, for (shomemoth) has a ‘passive’ sense, but a ‘determined measure of desolations’ to be suffered; or, to render literally, ‘a determined thing is desolations’.
The next verse is neither more nor less than the more explicit unfolding of the character and doings of the ‘desolator’, i.e. of the (nagid habba’) and of his (qetz). He will form a close alliance with many Jews; he will make sacrifice and oblation to cease; he will plant the ensigns of heathen abominations in the temple, and render it desolate in respect to its appropriate rites employed in the worship of the true God; and unto his extinction shall an overwhelming flood be poured upon him who deserves to be destroyed. In other words, the ‘waster’ shall himself be a (shomem), i.e. ‘something wasted’ or ‘a waste’.

(9:27:) (wehigebir), ‘he shall firmly covenant’, or lit. ‘he shall make firm’ or ‘strong a covenant’. The phrase can fairly mean nothing but this. The Nom. to the verb is the son (nagid habba’) or desolating invader. The context supplies no other; and the sense fairly admits of no other. The explanation is found in 1st Macc. 1:11 seq., “In those days there went forth from Israel transgressors [`huioi paranomoi, hapshe`im 8:23], and persuaded many [Jews], saying: ‘Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us’…And their speech was pleasing in their eyes, and certain persons from the people ‘went unto the king, and he gave them power to carry into execution the ordinances of the Gentiles’, etc.”The sequel shows how the Gentile customs were introduced by them into Jerusalem. In 1st Macc. 1:41 seq. is a full account of the abominations practised by Antiochus in Jerusalem. Further explanation is unnecessary. —(larabbim); has the article, because it designates a whole class here; just as we have, in 8:23, (hapshe`im) in the same way, and to designate the same class. The additional idea here communicated is, that ‘many’ took such a course. The (la) in this case, resembles the usual construction of (parath perith), which puts (le) after it and before the persons with whom the covenant is made, when they are the inferior party; e.g. 2nd K. 11:4, 2nd Sam. 5:3, 2nd Chron. 21:7, Isa. 55:3; 61: 8, Jer. 32:40, al. When ‘equals’ make a covenant (`im) ‘with’ or (‘eth) ‘with’ is employed. In the present case, Antiochus ‘dictated’ the firm league between himself and the Jewish apostates ; so we have (larabbim). The Hebrew, by the way, here exhibits a nicety of meaning and construction which our language cannot reach.
(shabua` ‘echad) ‘one week’, i.e. seven years, is the Acc. of time, during which this matter is to continue. Antiochus began to meddle with the affairs of the Jews, in B.C. 171, and during that year deposed Onias, and covenanted with his heathenized and apostate brother, Jesus or Jason, to make him high priest, with the condition that he should introduce heathen usages into Jerusalem. In the latter end of B.C. 165, or at the commencement of B.C. 164, Antiochus died. The persecution and oppression went on, in some form or other, during all that period of seven years, i.e. from 171 to 164. Hengst., Häv., and some others, make (shabua`) the Nom. to (higebir), viz. one week shall confirm a covenant, etc. But why seven years? They admit that the ministry of Christ lasted only some three or three and a half years; what then constitutes the limits of the seven? Besides, the violence done to the language in this case is forbidding. Not to ‘time’, but to ‘events’ that occurred during it, is the strengthening or nullifying of a covenant to be attributed. Comp. 8:14, for a period nearly the same as the seven years, and designed to be somewhat more specific.
(wachatzi hashbua`), ‘and during half of the week’, Acc. of time how long, again. (chatzi) does not mean, as many have interpreted it, a ‘precise point’ of time, just where half of the length of the whole would reach, but ‘one half’ or ‘one division’ of the whole duration. So is it clearly to be taken in 12:7; and so here, because it can never be made to mean the same as (kachatzi) or (lachatzi), which would designate merely the half-way point of time. Then again, the hashbua`), with its article, points to the preceding ‘week’ or ‘seven years’, and shows us, that as this marks length of time, so the ‘half’ or ‘division’ of it must also mark the same. Lastly, ‘facts’ correspond. Antiochus, as is well known, suspended all the temple rites for three and a half years, during three of which he offered up his abominable heathen sacrifices (hashiqqutz) to Jupiter Olympius in the temple. Surely it is the same personage ‘who lays waste city and sanctuary’ (v. 26), that suspends the temple offerings in the present case. Ch. 8:11 settles this question. To suppose, with Hengst. and Häv., that the death of the Messiah (v. 26) suspends the temple-rites, and that this is done merely in theory and by way of anticipation, and does not take place as a fact during the half of the seven years in question, is quite contrary to the tenor of the book before us. If then it be ‘fact’ (the desolations of city and sanctuary surely are ‘facts’), that the sacrifices and oblations did not cease until more than thirty years after the death of Christ, how can all this be assigned here to the limits of three and a half years? Besides, the person who makes the covenant with many, is the same who causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease; and this covenant continues through the whole ‘seven years’. Of course Antiochus, or whoever makes it, does not quit the stage of action before the whole seven years are passed. It is during the ‘latter’ half of the ‘seven’, then, beyond all reasonable question, that the sacrifice and oblations are suspended; and at the end of this, (as the remainder of v. 27 shows), the person who suspends them is cut off. Now this disagrees entirely with the Messianic chronology. According to the usual computation, our Saviour’s ministry lasted but three and a half years, and this of course comes in the ‘first’ part of the seven years, i.e. his death followed the ‘first half’ of these. According to our text, the death of him, who made the covenant with many for seven years and suspended the temple-rites during the ‘last’ half, took place after this suspension had continued three and a half years. It is impossible to reconcile the theory of Hengstenberg and Hävernick here, with the plain and obvious meaning of the writer.
‘He will make sacrifice and oblation to cease’ evidently means, in its connection, remove them by violence, forcibly suspend them. ‘He who destroys city and sanctuary’ (v. 26); ‘he who treads down the sanctuary and its sacred retinue’ (8:13), is the person of whom this is said, and who actually did what is here described.
Nor is this all. He will carry his impiety to the daring length of introducing the symbols of the ‘god’ whom he worships, into the holy temple; so that while they are worshipped by their appropriate rites, the sanctuary becomes desolate in regard to true worshippers and all their offerings. None will repair thither, because of the shocking abominations of idol- offerings and idol-images. So, or something like to this, does the following difficult clause seem to testify: (we`al kenaph shiqqutzim memshomem), ‘and over the winged-fowl of abominations shall be a waster’. I need not repeat the almost numberless conjectures about the meaning of this passage. (`anath) seems to me to mean neither ‘summit, roof’, nor ‘pinnacle’ of the temple. The word is often used for ‘borders’ of a garment, a country, of the earth, etc. But to designate ‘height upward’, instead of ‘extension’ or ‘breadth’, requires a very different word from (kanaph). The ‘border’ of a thing or object is not the ‘height’ or ‘summit’ of it. To compare it with (pterugion ton `hierou) (Matt. 4:5), seems not to be much to the purpose, until we better understand the meaning of this phrase, which as yet remains somewhat uncertain. The ‘summit’ of the temple was, we are told, filled with sharp pyramidical prominences to prevent the birds from lighting upon it. This would be no place, then, for (shiqqutzim), i.e. ‘idol-statues’. Gesenius thinks, that the statue of Jupiter Olympius, (possibly of Antiochus), was placed conspicuously on the temple ‘roof’. The sense in itself is not an uninviting one; but we have to make two changes in order to bring it about. First we must read (`al kanaph), ‘on the roof [are] idols’; and secondly, we must convert ‘summit’ or ‘extremity’, into roof or covering. Figuratively this last would answer tolerably well for wing, (kanaph). But besides all this, we are here met with still another difficulty, viz. that (meshomem) which follows is in the ‘singular’. Cases of a ‘plural’ with a part. or adj. ‘singular’ there are, but only when the plural form designates a single agent or object, e.g. (adonim qasheh). When persons are designated in the plural, and each individual is emphatically meant, the predicate may be in the sing. as in Prov. 3:18; 27:16; 28:1, Gen. 27:29, Ex. 31:14. But neither of these cases is homogeneous with the one now before us. (shiqqutzim) is not a ‘pluralis majestaticus’, nor, so far as we can discover, is ‘individuality’ designed particularly to be included in it, or expressed by it. We cannot accept, therefore, of such a solution of the difficulty; certainly not if we can find a better one.
The proposal of Hengstenberg, Hävernick, Lengerke, and others to apply (shiqqutzim) to the ‘temple’, which had been polluted by the Jews, is without parallel and contrary to all Heb. usage elsewhere. The prophets speak indeed of hypocritical offerings and incense as an ‘abomination’ (to`ebah), Isa. 1:13; they intimate that the doings of the dissembling and heathenish-minded Jews made Jehovah loathe his dwelling-place; but all this is far enough from vindicating such an appellation of the temple itself in Daniel, as (shiqqutzim). Daniel calls it (qodesh), 8:13,14 ; (mepon miqedasho) 8:11. In 9:26, also, he names it (haqqodesh), and in 9:16 we have ‘thy city, thy sanctuary’ and ‘thy people’. In most of these cases, also, he is speaking of the temple in the same circumstances as in our text. Comp. also Dan. 12:7. Such an exegesis, then, makes against all usage elsewhere, and against the whole current of Hebrew feeling. ‘Thy holy city, the sanctuary’, is the indelible and eternal name stamped upon these objects. Down to the present hour, even the very Moslems call the city ‘El Qods’, i.e. (haqqodesh). (shiqqutzim) then is a noun which qualifies or limits MS. It means always ‘idolatrous rites’ or ‘abominations’, or else ‘idol-images’ or ‘statues’. ‘Abominations’, in the general sense of ‘wicked deeds’, it never designates. Another word (to`ebah) is employed in such a sense. To suppose M» to mean summit, pinnacle, and then translate over the pinnacle of idols or of idolatrous abominations is the destroyer, and finally to apply this so as to designate the treading down and crushing the sacred edifice and its appurtenances, is even more strange than to use (shiqqutzim) as a designation of the temple. Where in all the Bible is such an image employed as being ‘over the pinnacle’ of a thing, in order to designate the violence done to it by a conqueror, or to mark his sovereign control? ‘To tread down’, ‘to trample upon’, is indeed imagery everywhere employed; but ‘to be over a pinnacle’, or ‘a summit’, is an expression revolting both to good taste and to Heb. usage. To me, at least, it seems passing strange, to apply such expressions to the domineering sway of Antiochus in Jerusalem, or (with Hengst. and Häv.) to Titus and his final destruction of the temple.
But if the meaning ‘summit’ and ‘roof’ be denied to (kenaph), only three other meanings remain, viz., that of ‘wing’, of ‘bird’ or ‘winged-fowl’, and of ‘border’ or ‘extreme limit’. To give to (kenaph) the meaning of ‘army-wings’, cannot well be conceded. Rosenmüller, indeed, gives the clause this turn: “Exercitui detestando vastator dux praeerit. [See Gesen. Heb.-Chald. (Latin edit.) Thesaurus, 1835; under (kanaph) 2.d. last sentence. It describes miltary forms & positions.]” He supposes that (kenaph), like the Latin ‘ala’, may mean ‘the wing of an army’. But if an army is to be spoken of collectively, in this way, we should expect ‘wings’ (kenaphaim), not ‘wing’ (sing.) to designate it. Isa. 8:8 and 18:1, to which Rosenm. appeals, will hardly bear him out; for in both cases a different meaning of the word is more probable. In fact, the word (kanaph) does not seem to be employed in such a sense. Ezekiel employs (‘anappim) (plur. only) in the tropical sense of ‘army-wings’; see Lex. sub v. Besides, how flat it would be, after saying that the people, i.e. the army, of a prince who will invade Judea, have marred city and sanctuary, and after describing all the devastations which they had committed under his guidance and direction, to add that he had supremacy over them, or (in other words) was their leader. Not so Daniel. The discourse advances. First, the invader mars city and temple. Next, he prohibits sacrifices and oblations to Jehovah, on the part of the Jews. Then he sets up the statue and other insignia of his own chosen ‘god’, Jupiter Olympius, in the temple, where sacrifices abominable to the Jews were offered in conformity with the usages of the heathen. Lastly, comes the fearful end of him who has desolated the city and temple; for in his turn he becomes a (shomem), i.e. ‘something to be desolated’ or ‘destroyed’. Here all is climactic, and the tenor of the discourse, viewed in this light, becomes comparatively easy and probable.
If now we assume the second meaning, ‘winged-fowl’, how shall such a meaning be rendered probable? The fact is well known that Antiochus devoted the temple at Jerusalem to the worship of Jupiter Olympius, and there offered the appropriate sacrifices. It is said of him, in 1st Macc. 1:45 seq., that “he forbade burnt offerings and sacrifices and libations in the sanctuary, and [commanded] to profane the sabbaths and the feastdays, to defile holy places and persons, to build altars and sacred enclosures (temenë) and idol-apparatus, and to sacrifice swinish and unclean beasts . . . And whosoever would not obey the king’s command, must be put to death.” The word (eidöleia) (v. 47) I have translated ‘idol-apparatus’, because it plainly does not mean ‘idol-temple’ here, for such Antiochus had no need to build, when he had converted the temple of Jehovah into a place of worship to his ‘god’. The Syriac version reads (eidöla) here, which makes the sense required. But (eidöleia) may be regarded as a mere neut. pl. adjective, and be rendered as above. Altars and sacred enclosures and sacrifices necessarily demanded idol representations of the ‘god’, to whom the offerings were made. So was it in all the Greek and Roman world. I do not see any reason to doubt, that Antiochus set up the statue of his ‘god’. “‘They built or set up (bdelugma ermöseös) by the altar’,” says 1st Macc. 1:54, i.e. (hashiqutz shomem). I understand this of a statue of Jupiter Olympius erected in the temple; and this statue, as is well known, usually stood over ‘an eagle at its feet with wide-spread wings’. Hence (`al kenaph shiqqutzim), ‘over a wing of abominations’, or rather ‘over an abominable winged-fowl, is a desolator’. That (kanaph) may mean ‘the possessor of a wing’, i.e. a winged fowl, as well as ‘wing’, is only in conformity with abundant analogies in Hebrew. Such a meaning it has in Gen. 7:14 (shiqqutzim) qualifies (kenaph), § 104. 1, and shows that the ‘winged bird’ was a part of the heathen symbols. The plural seems here to be chosen in order that a connection with (meshomem) may be avoided by the reader. The horror and disgust which such a spectacle would occasion to a pious Jew, can more easily be conceived of than expressed. But the wide-spread eagle-wings is not all. This is at the foot of an image that stands ‘over’ it (`al kenaph), which image is here characterized by the appellation (meshomem). Most critics have referred (meshomem) to the (meshomem) of the desolator, the “prince who will come,” i.e. most of those who refer vs. 26,27, to Antiochus. But in such a case, how could the ‘article’ be dispensed with? It would not only be ‘renewed mention’ of the person, but a case which would require special pains not to be misunderstood, and so demand specification. But as no article is prefixed to (meshomem), we may in this connection refer this word to the ‘statue’ of the heathen god, which is very significantly named ‘a desolator’, from the effect which its erection in the temple produced upon the Jewish religious rites and those who performed them. In 11:31, the (shiqqutz) (idol) has the same participle applied to it, and for the same reason. The temple was utterly forsaken by all but apostates to heathenism. Everything that pertained to the true God was trodden down and destroyed. In this case (meshomem) should not have (as it has not) the article; for it is neither renewed mention of a thing, nor is it something of which the reader could be supposed to have formed an antecedent idea in his own mind. The single ‘statue’ of Jupiter is spoken of in the sing, number; and thus the whole form of expression falls within the regular laws of grammar. The erection of such an image with its ‘winged symbolical bird’, is a consummation of impiety, which goes quite beyond the inhibition of the Jewish sacrifices and oblations. Iniquity is now ‘come to the full’, and therefore must be punished.
Hoffman (Die 70 Jahre) has proposed such an interpretation as that now suggested. In his Weissag. und Erfull. (s. 308), he seems to give the preference to another and different explanation, which Steudel (ut sup. s. 47) has suggested. The verb (kanaph) means ‘to cover’. Of course (kanaph) may, as he thinks, retain this idea. He then refers it to a ‘covering’ built on the Jewish altar by Antiochus, after the manner of the heathen, which was profane and abominable in the eyes of a Hebrew, who was commanded to construct his altar only with earth, Ex. 20:24. On the profanely covered altar of Antiochus, heathen abominations were offered. Hence a ‘covering of abominations’. But how he disposes of (meshomem), in this case, he does not expressly tell us. He must refer it to (kanaph). But this is hard. ‘Over the covering of abominations’ is —what? (meshomem) can hardly designate the sacrifices offered there. Is Antiochus, then, designated by it, as presiding ‘over’ the heathen altar? If so, the ‘article’ must be prefixed. An ‘altar-covering’, moreover, could hardly be regarded here, as answering to the ‘climactic’ nature of the discourse. I deem his former opinion, therefore, to be much better grounded.
One other view of the case I will venture to suggest —a possible one if not probable —that I have nowhere met with. This would assume, in the present case, the frequent meaning of (kenaph), viz. ‘border, extremity’, and then translate thus: ‘On the border of idols’ or ‘idol-places, will be the destroyer’. The ground of this exegesis may be found in the history of Antiochus. After the ravages committed by him in Jerusalem, he went into the East (see Dan. 11:44) to avenge himself there for offences; and in Persia he entered forcibly the great temple at Elymais, and robbed it of its treasures. The people of that region, exasperated by his sacrilege, rose ‘en masse’ and forced him to retreat. On that retreat he was overtaken with the news of the destruction of his army in Palestine, and the victorious entrance of Judas into Jerusalem. Through fatigue, or exasperation and disappointment, or a combination of both, he fell into a raging fever, and died after a very short space in that condition. If now we may suppose our text to look to this, there is a regular progress in the narration: after all his outrages in Palestine, he goes to the border or extremity of the idol countries, robs an idol-temple there, and then the destruction, predicted in the next clause, hastens on. It is an augmentation of his woes, that he perishes in a distant land. ‘The destroyer’ (meshomem), to use the language applied to this very expedition in Dan. 11:44, “went forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away with many,” and, in so doing, he himself becomes a (shomem), i.e. is utterly destroyed. —If it be objected to this view of the subject, that it is too specific, let anyone read Dan. 11, and he will no more insist on such an objection. It cannot be denied, moreover, that the prediction is thus regularly climactic, and that it is full of meaning. The only serious doubts would arise from another quarter. Would his eastern journey or expedition be described in language so obscure, and so alien from the usual methods of describing, such events? And then, in case Antiochus is designated by (meshomem), how could the ‘article’ be dispensed with in such a renewed mention of him? These two considerations occasion doubt and hesitation. There is somewhat less of difficulty in the solution given above; at least there is less of grammatical difficulty. But the general sense of the passage is plainly more striking, on the ground last assumed.
(we`ad kalah), ‘but unto destruction’. Wieseler (Die 70 Wochen, s. 42 seq.) strenuously defends the position, that (kalah) is a ‘verb’ here, employed in its usual sense. He translates thus: ‘And until it [the half-week] is completed’, etc. His arguments are unsatisfactory, (`ad) must mean either ‘while’ or ‘during’, or else ‘unto, even to’. Thus understood, it would make the death of the tyrant, which the next clause predicts, to happen during the half week, or to be taking place until that was completed; so that Antiochus must, at all events, on such a ground, have died either before the end of the three and a half years, or just at that point. But neither of these positions is true. There can be no question as to the right to take (kalah) as a ‘noun’, for such a usage is frequent. As little question can there be, as to its energetic meaning. The verb means ‘to consummate, to finish, to complete’, etc.; and of course the noun designates ‘consummation, a full end of, a finishing off with’; —a mode of expression stronger than that of mere ‘excision’, etc. Such was to be the end of the tyrant. The (we) in (we`ad) is best rendered by ‘but’. The sentiment of the verse stands arranged thus: ‘He will make a firm league with many apostate Jews ; for three and a half years will he remove the sacrifices and oblations of the temple; he will even erect a statue of Jupiter there, accompanied by its usual eagle with expanded wings at its feet —but a dreadful reverse will overtake him; the overwhelming indignation of Heaven, that which is irreversibly decreed, will make an utter and final end of him.’ Thus all is smooth and easy.
(wenecheratzah tittak), ‘even that which is decreed, it shall be poured out’, or ‘even decreed [destruction] shall be poured out’. The accents follow the sense of the first rendering, and divide accordingly, putting a ‘Zakeph Qaton’ on (necheratzah). Of course, if we follow them, the verb is ‘impersonal’, or at least a kind of ‘constructio praegnans’ which implies (kalah) for its Nom., or else ‘wrath, indignation’, or ‘curse’, is implied. The verb (nathak) is not used in the literal sense, but only in the tropical one; and it is always joined with some subject like those just named, which makes the verb easy to be understood if it be employed in an elliptical way. It is a kind of ‘terminus technicus’ for the expression of such ideas; and being ‘intransitive’, it readily goes over into a ‘passive’ sense. If we follow the accents, then, there is no serious difficulty in the construction. But if we depart from them, and take (necheratzah) as a participial noun, and as the Nom. to (tittak ), then all is easy and obvious. This member of the clause is an advance upon (`ad kalah) is. It designates a total end which is ‘definitely decreed’ by Heaven, and this decree is beyond control and irreversible. The very same sentiment is developed in (kalah wenecheratzah) in Isa. 10:23; 28:22. The accession of energy and definiteness to the threat, from the addition of (wenecheratzah), must be obvious to everyone familiar with the Hebrew. The imagery of ‘pouring out’ originates here in (weqitzo bashshetef) of v. 26, and is therefore both natural and forcible.
(`al shomem), ‘upon him who is to be made desolate’. Quite different from (meshomem) (the destroyer, waster) is the participial intrans. form, (shomem). It has always a ‘passive’ sense, and therefore means ‘delendus, vastandus, one who is’ or ‘ought to be destroyed’. The first is the (`ho anthröpos tës `hamartias), and the second is the (`ho `huios tës apöleias), of Paul in 2nd Thess. 2:3, who seems to have had his mind on the passage before us. In the expression is substantially couched the favorite (paranomasia) of the Hebrews; the ‘desolator, waster’ shall be (shomem) (wasted).
Thus ends the second great national trial of the Jews. The tyrant who brought it upon them, falls in the midst of his contests and of his vengeance, and with his fall, the august drama closes, as in ch. 7; 8; 11.

It would be little to my present purpose, to give a minute history of all the interpretations that have been put upon the passage respecting the ‘seventy week’s’, and of the efforts made to sustain them. Most of them depend on some ‘a priori’ conception of what Daniel ought to say, rather than on a philologico-historical deduction from what he has said. For my present purpose, I need to notice only two classes of interpretation: (1) The exclusively Messianic. (2) The exclusively Anti-Messianic. Of these, in their order, I shall speak very briefly.
(1) The Exclusively Messianic. ‘An anointed one, a prince’ (v. 25), is converted into ‘the Messiah, the Prince’, i.e. Christ the King of kings. The cutting off of ‘an Anointed One’ (in v. 26) is the violent death of Jesus, ‘the Messiah’; (we’en lo) designates his vicarious suffering for sinners. The time when he entered on his public ministry, is the ‘terminus ad quem’ of the sixty-two weeks and the seven weeks; and these two distinct periods are combined into one, which is made to commence, not with Cyrus’ proclamation, nor yet with that of Darius, but with that of Artaxerxes in the twentieth year of his reign. Nor is this all that is assumed. Not only is the period of the ‘birth’ of Christ arbitrarily set aside from the calculation, but in order to adjust the sixty-nine weeks to the period of his entrance on his public ministry, the reign of Artaxerxes is made ten years longer than the most authentic histories make it, i.e. fifty-one years instead of forty-one, and so much is then taken from the reign of his father Xerxes. With all these assumptions, the sixty-nine weeks (62 + 7) or 483 years are at last adjusted to the period, when Jesus was baptized and entered on his official work. In this way two portions of the seventy weeks are summarily disposed of.
I need not here repeat the objections to most of these positions, which have already been made in the preceding pages. Most of these objections, to say the least, are founded in philology and in history, as well as in the analogy of the book in general. Enough of them, at all events, will abide the test, and are entirely unanswerable. But if not, what follows in respect to the ‘one’ remaining ‘week’, is decisive of the whole matter.
According to v. 26, ‘an anointed one’ is to be cut off at the ‘close’ of the ‘sixty-two’ weeks, and of course at the beginning of the ‘one week’, i.e. seven years. The interpreters in question, however, make his excision three and a half years later. But it is quite plain, that it is during the remainder of the week, i.e. during the next and latter three and a half years, that our text makes the principal desolations of the city and sanctuary to take place, and the invader perishes at the close of this period. The exclusively Messianic interpreters, however, make ‘Titus’ the desolator, and the ‘Roman army’ the people whom he leads on to waste the city and the sanctuary. But if Christ was crucified in A.D. 34, and Titus invested Jerusalem in A.D. 70, we have thirty-six intervening years instead of three and a half before his work of ruin; —a matter which, in such a book of accurate dates as the one before us, is inadmissible beyond all question. Besides, ‘how, where’, did ‘Titus’ die? Under any special tokens of divine vengeance, such as 9:27 predicts and threatens to the waster? We know not where to find these tokens. But further, ‘when’ did he die? In A.D. 81. Instead of perishing then at the close of the noted ‘last week’, his death took place some forty-seven years afterwards.
In a word, history is at utter and irreconcilable variance with the scheme of interpretation in question. It is indeed wonderful that it ever could have been advocated by sensible men. According to this scheme, Jesus Christ and the ‘Roman’ power are almost the only agents developed in the prophecy; whereas it lies upon the very face of v. 24, that ‘the seventy weeks Precede the coming of the true Messiah’. The blessings there promised, are not bestowed until after those weeks are completed.
(2) The Exclusively Anti-Messianic Interpretation. Wieseler (in his ‘Die siebzig Wochen’) has concentrated all that has been said, and I may add, all that can well be said, in favor of this. He possesses distinguished critical skill, and withal a discriminating knowledge of the Hebrew. All turns, however, on v. 24. Vs. 25-27 must undoubtedly be conceded to him, for reasons like to those already assigned above, in defense of the interpretation which I have given. I cannot doubt, for a moment, that these verses refer to Antiochus. But for the reasons stated (in Comm. on v. 24), I can by no means concede to him the position, that the good there designated has respect only to the return from the Babylonish exile. Comparison of actual history with the splendid prospects and promises held out in v. 24, will show beyond all reasonable doubt, that the fulfilment of those predictions must be sought elsewhere than in the return from exile.
My leading reasons for choosing the ‘medium iter’, in this case, arise from no design to “split the difference” between the two conflicting views just stated. Long before I could obtain a sight of Wieseler and Hoffman on ‘the seventy weeks and years’, I had come, from the simple study of the text, substantially to the same conclusion that I have now developed. But some particulars of the prophecy continued still to be dark. On these, the two writers just named have cast some new light. All seems capable of reasonable illustration, and even of a good degree of certainty, with the exception of the beginning and end of the ‘seven weeks’, and the particular period which they designate, and perhaps the clause respecting (kenaf shiqqutzim). The last seems, however, in some good measure, to be illustrated by historical facts respecting the worship of Jupiter Olympius at Jerusalem, and the statue with the usual symbol of the “winged-fowl.” The seven weeks, I regret to say, remain for future efforts, which however need not be despaired of. In the meantime, I must try to console myself for my own ignorance, with a ‘Non omnia possumus omnes [‘we cannot all do all things’ (Virgil)]’.
All the close of this protracted examination of 9: 24-27, it may be useful to recapitulate summarily, and to compare the whole with the other predictions of Daniel.
The Babylonish exile was to continue seventy years; Jer. 25:11; 29:10, Dan. 9:2. Near the close of these, Daniel betook himself to earnest prayer, that the fulfilment of the prediction that the Jews should return from their exile, might speedily be developed, Dan. 9:2,3. Gabriel is commissioned to make a new announcement to him, of what would take place after the exile and before the coming of the great deliverer. This he does, by still preserving the number seventy, but converting this into so many ‘weeks of years’, (lit. ‘seventy besevened’), instead of simple years which belonged to the prophecy of Jeremiah. The great question here is, or rather should be, (for in time past little or no attention has been paid to it): Does the period of ‘seventy weeks’ cover the ‘whole’ ground, from the time of Daniel’s vision to the coming of Christ? The greatest possible effort has been often made, to bring about a union of the end of the seventy weeks with the period of Christ’s birth, or of his public ministry. Of course the ‘terminus a quo’ has been the principal point of controversy; in as much as there has generally been at least a tacit concession, that the ‘terminus ad quem’ must be one of the points just mentioned. But history baffles all attempts to accomplish the object in question. From Daniel’s vision down to the birth of Christ, is some 538 years; and seventy weeks make but 490, i.e. forty-eight years less. Attempts to find the proclamation ‘to rebuild’ in Jer. 29; in Cyrus’ edict, in that of Darius, or that of Artaxerxes; are all frustrated by history again; and this matter must be, after all, given up as impracticable by these means. But then, (if we may be permitted to ask the question), what need of all this trouble? ‘Is it any part of the angel’s design to place the seventy weeks in such an attitude’? To me it seems plain, that it is not. In all the prophetic pages of the O. Test., or of the New, where does any prophecy assume the attitude of a book of ‘Annals’? The nearest approach is in Dan. 11; but even here, there are merely touches on the fourth dynasty, until we come to the (nibezeh), the (meshomem), Antiochus. We have then only one prophetic history of one king, in all the Scriptures which is ‘annalistic’; and the Syrian tyrant is that king. For the rest, great events, and those only are described. When these cease, prophecy lays aside her pen, and keeps silence. The reason is obvious, viz. that only such events are adapted to instruct by making deep impressions. The ordinary course of events does not attract the prophetic eye; and so no sketch of them is drawn.
This consideration liberates us at once from all necessity of forcing the ‘terminus ad quem’ of the seventy weeks into a union with the year of Christ’s birth, or of his public ministry. All that the angel designs to communicate is, that as there had been seventy years of exile in regard to the Jews, seven times that number must pass away, before they would cease to be troubled in like manner, and before the Messiah would come. Sixty-two of these are “troublous times,” but the following one week (= seven years) is to renew all the horrors of the Babylonish invasion, and even more, on the score of impiety and persecution. With these last seven years, times so hazardous to the nation and to religion are to cease, until the coming of Christ. So much, but no more, seems to be plainly within the design and scope of the angel’s communication. And of course, we have, on this ground, no special interest to seek for a union of the ‘terminus ad quern of the seventy weeks’ with the year of Christ’s birth or of his entering on public office. We can leave it wherever it falls or terminates, as comprising all that was especially interesting for prophecy to disclose. ‘Inasmuch now as the period of sixty-two weeks has no terminus a quo expressly assigned to it, it would seem to be not inapposite, that it should be regarded as already virtually designated by the beginning of the seventy years in Jeremiah. So sonic have understood the matter. Then all that follows they consider as supported and illustrated by historical facts. Antiochus began to vex the Jews, in B.C. 171, (i.e. sixty-two weeks = 434 years after B.C. 606 when Jeremiah’s seventy years begin); and in that year an ‘anointed one’, a lawful high-priest, Onias III, was cut off, and the people had no other legitimate officer of this rank until after the death of the tyrant. During the ‘week’ (seven years) that followed, Antiochus laid waste the city and sanctuary; for three and a half years he took away sacrifice and oblation; he erected his altar and his idol-statue in the temple of God; and at the close of this period, and of course at the close of the seven years, he perished by a miserable’ death in a foreign land, whither he had gone to commit sacrilege again. How is it possible, they ask, (and with no small appearance of right), that all these periods should so exactly meet the ‘facts of history’, and at so many points, unless the exegesis that we have given is well grounded? To say the least, they add, ‘facts’ make our exegesis altogether probable. No one can refuse to acknowledge that the accordance of ‘dates’ and events, in this case, is striking, and seemingly decisive at first view. But it must be remembered that the sixty-two weeks are not the only period to be provided for. What is to be done with the seven weeks = forty-nine years, which constitute the first division of the seventy weeks? —No room is here left for them; or if any, they must be put ‘after’ the sixty-two weeks, which seems to be at least an unnatural mode of exegesis. Then again as to the sixty-two weeks, the statement in Daniel (v. 25) is, that the city is to be in a course of rebuilding, during that period, and of rebuilding in a stinted and imperfect manner, by reason of troublous times. Yet, according to the scheme of interpretation which we are now examining, the first seventy years of the sixty-two weeks are those of the exile, when Jerusalem lay all the time in ruins. These two circumstances seem then, after all, to decide against the scheme in question. Could it be shown, or even made probable, that the seven weeks either follow the sixty-two weeks, or are coordinate and contemporaneous with a part of the latter, then all would be easy of explanation, and the whole paragraph might be enucleated, and placed in a clear and satisfactory light.
Desirable as it seems to be to bring this about, I cannot on the whole persuade my hermeneutical conscience to be reconciled to the plan. I see no satisfactory way of removing the impression which the text makes, of three ‘distinct’ and ‘successive’ periods, viz. of seven, sixty-two, and one weeks. The writer seems plainly to mean, not only that these are to be reckoned so as to make up the sum of seventy, but that each of the two latter periods begin, when the preceding one ends. How else can seventy weeks be made out?
That there were events and persons corresponding to what the angel declares, I cannot well doubt. So many things strikingly correspond with facts known, that they seem to be a pledge for the certainty of the rest. At all events, my ignorance of facts, or inability to see how our text accords with those that we do know, cannot with propriety be regarded as decisive evidence against the correctness and truthfulness of the predictions. As history now lies before us, I am unable to find the ‘indicia’ of the first period of seven weeks. Where I can easily make out a ‘terminus a quo’, I fail in my endeavors to find the ‘terminus ad quem’ and so ‘vice versa’. And this is equally true, if I amalgamate, as many do, the periods of seven and sixty-two weeks. The beginning and end of the sixty-nine weeks thus made, i.e. 483 years, is no more discoverable in our histories, than the beginning and end of the seven years. At least the face of history is to be changed and remodeled, in respect to ‘time’, in order to make out any agreement between it and the sixty-nine weeks. Moreover the very amalgamation in question is, as has already been shown, against the tenor of the text, and against actual facts.
I have exposed myself, perhaps, to an accusation not very unfrequent, viz., that of pulling down without building up. But if I have endeavored to pull down, only where the foundations were tottering, and the building ready to fall by a slight touch, this is nothing that deserves reprobation. It is a first step toward a new and more stable edifice. If I am unable to erect it, others may succeed. May all prosperity (so do I devoutly wish) attend their efforts! But I will not pretend to know, what I feel conscious of not knowing to my satisfaction. I much prefer the confession of ignorance to a pretension of knowledge, specially when the means of acquiring that knowledge are not within our power.
A few words more, on the subject of applying vs. 25-27 to ‘Antiochus Epiphanes’, instead of the ‘Romans’, either heathen or Christian, and I have done.
Does the tenor of the book of Daniel, as to its prophecies, tend to support and confirm the exegesis which I have given? The answer to this question must be in the affirmative. Antiochus does not indeed appear in a special manner, in chap. 2. But he is virtually there, in the crushing power of the fourth dynasty. His fall is involved in that of the dynasty, 2:44. In 7:7-11, 19-26, Antiochus specifically appears, in all his cruelty and blasphemy. In 8: 9-12, 23-25, he is still more graphically described, and as possessing the same characteristics. Chap. 11:21-45 is even a kind of historical narration of him, which is particular beyond any example in all the Scriptures. His doings and his end are of the same character here as before. If language has any definite meaning, the identification of the same tyrant in all these prophecies and visions, is altogether certain. How comes it now, that all these prophecies should be uniform as to this trait, and the present one (in chap. 9) be discrepant from all the rest? If the exclusively Messianic interpreters are in the right, then Antiochus is not at all the subject of the prediction in 9: 25-27. But if ‘analogy’ has any force, it is quite plain that we might expect to find him there. That he is to be found there, we have seen, if any credit is to be given in this matter to historical facts and dates. It is utterly improbable that such a concurrence could exist between prediction and events and persons, unless there had been some actually designed and foreseen coincidence, i.e. unless the one were prediction and the other fulfilment, or unless, indeed, the book were written, as some have uncritically maintained, ‘post eventum’.
If one now will patiently go through with a comparison of the expressions and events in the prophecy before us, he will be forced to feel that there is a similarity very striking, which scarcely leaves any room for doubt. Compare the cutting off of the high priest in 9:26 and 11:22; the marring of the city and sanctuary in 9:26, and in 11:31, also in 8:24; the final end of Antiochus in 9:26 and 8:25; the covenanting with many in 9:27, and 11:23, 30; and the removing of sacrifice and oblation in 9:27, and in 8:12; 11:31; 12:11. Even the (`ad-kalah wenecharatzah) of 9:27, has its parallel in 11:35, 45. The 2300 days of 8:13 should also be compared with the ‘one week’ of 9:27, with due allowance for the differences in the things presented; the 1290 and 1335 days of 12:11,12, in respect to the abolishing of sacrifice and oblation, are to be compared (with the like allowance) with the ‘half-week’ (= three and a half years) of 9:27, with which must also be joined 12:7.
When all this is done, compare the development of the ‘Messianic kingdom’ in chap. 2; 7; 12, with 9:24. In this last case, the Messianic kingdom is indeed mentioned first; but still, it is arranged and spoken of as the last in order. It comes not until ‘after’ the end of the seventy weeks; the other events in vs. 25-27 occur ‘during’ that period, i.e. before it ends. Everywhere the monarchies predicted or brought to view fall, ‘before’ the new and perpetual kingdom arises. How then can any of them be the dynasty of the ‘Romans’? Is there not throughout the whole book, a harmony so complete, that it amounts to nearly all but the repetition of the same things in the same words? In any case, where investigation should be made without any favorite theory to support, and without the aid of any ‘a priori’ assumptions, would there or could there be any doubt, as to what conclusions we should adopt?
For the gratification of the reader’s curiosity, and also for the sake of supplying him with the means of comparing different attempts to translate vs. 24-27, I shall here subjoin these verses in various translations, so that they may be compared with the original text and with each other. Perhaps moreover, he who examines them will learn to estimate, in some good measure, the difficulty that attends the passage in question, and cease to wonder at the diversity of translation and explanation that exists.
(Texts of 9:24-27 in I. Hebrew Massoretic, II. English AKJV 1611, III. Greek LXX Septuagint, IV. LXX Theodotion, V. Latin Vulgate, VI. Syriac (Aramaic) English translation, VII. Rosenmüler’s Latin Version, VIII. De Wette’s German Version.)
For convenience’ sake No. I, II. are here inserted. No. III, IV, speak for themselves. As to No. III, the author of this version plainly was perplexed about the meaning of the Hebrew, and has given some strange turns to the sentiment, even in vs. 24-26. But in v. 27 we are entirely lost. We can scarcely trace any certain resemblances. The clause in v. 26, “After seven and seventy years,” is a guess that the time, here aimed at in the Heb. text, is the era of the Selucidae. This began 312 B. C, and the sum of the numbers named in the version is 139, which tallies with the time when Antiochus Epiphanes began his reign. What follows doubtless relates to him, but it is such a confused medley, that nothing can be made out of it. No wonder the ancient churches were discontented with such a version. I say ‘such a version’, because there are, in many parts of it elsewhere, characteristics of a similar nature. No. IV is certainly a great improvement upon the Septuagint; but even this shows that the author of the version was at times quite uncertain in his own mind, about the meaning of the Hebrew. I need not point out particulars, as the reader can easily find them, and judge for himself. The part included in brackets is as it stands in the Romish edition of Theodotion, but it is omitted in Bos’ edition of the Septuagint. It is palpably another version of v. 27, which was copied on the margin, and through carelessness was foisted into the text, by the copyist who wrote the Ms. used in the Romish edition. Both versions show in what perplexity the authors of them were. No. V shows the deep acquaintance of Jerome with the Hebrew, and has come nearer to accuracy than any of ancient versions. Of the Targums of Daniel, we know nothing; not even whether any ever existed. No. VI deserves some special notice. The author of this plainly had a better knowledge of the Hebrew than any of his predecessors in translating, (fl. prob. Cent. II); and in some points he has hit nearer the mark than even Jerome. The Latin translation of this Syriac Version is a miserable affair, and no dependence can be placed upon it. I have made a new and literal version, because it would be useless, or nearly so, to print it in Syriac. But this version deserves much more attention than it has yet received. Many a good hint may be got from it, to cast light on the difficult words or phrases in the Hebrew. The author was well grounded in the knowledge of that language. As to No. VII, VIII, the object in presenting them lies upon the face of the thing. Two such scholars as Rosenmüller and De Wette may well excite the curiosity of the interpreter, to know how they understood the Hebrew text, in the passage before us. Most readers, I trust, will be glad of such a ‘conspectus’ as that which is here submitted to their examination.
[It has already been said that a great variety of interpretations have been proposed, of Dan. 9:24-27. The reader who is curious to know how much and what has been said, and what endless perplexity has attended all attempts to explain without the aid of a distinctive philology, is remitted for information to the following works, as exhibiting the ablest efforts of this nature. Some few of them, however, have been distinguished by philological effort. Among the older writers, ‘Vitringa’ stands preeminent, as usual, in his very learned discussion of the subject in Observatt. Sac. VI. 1-5. He is ‘exclusively Messianic’, and is the store-house from which Hengstenberg and Hävernick have drawn, in their discussions of the matter in question. Among the more respectable attempts to explain this matter may be reckoned ‘J. D. Michaelis’ Versuch über die 70 Wochen Daniels, 1771. 8. ‘Eichhorn’, Bibliothek, B. III. s. 761 seq, has suggested many good hints, while he adopts a tortuous method of reckoning the respective classes of weeks. ‘Bleek’, Theol. Zeitschrift von Schleiermacher, De Wette, etc., 1819, Heft. 3, s. 171 seq. ‘Berthholdt’, Comm. sum Buche Daniel. II. Theil. ‘Hengstenberg’, Die 70 Wochen Daniels, in his Christol. Theil. II. s. 401 seq. 1831. Hävernick, Comm. Oher Daniel, in loc. 1832. ‘Scholl’, Comm. exeget. de 70 hebdom. Danielis, 1829. ‘Hitzig’, Recension in Thcol. Stud, et Krit. 1832. s. 143 seq. ‘Rösch’, Die 70 Wochen des Daniel, jb. Jahr 1835. ‘Lengerke’, Comm. Dber Dan. in loc. As distinguished greatly from all the preceding efforts, remain to be noted, ‘J. C. K. Hoffman’, Die 70 Jahre des Jeremias, 1836; and his later and highly important work, Weissagung und Erfullung, 1841, Th. I. s. 296 seq., which is filled indeed with mere hints, but they are exceedingly significant, and are the result of much thought and profound study. The recent exclusively ‘Anti-messianic’ interpreter is ‘Wieseler’, Die 70 Wochen und die 63 Jahrwochen, 1839, a book pregnant with thought and interesting matter, and giving evidence of great acuteness in philology: but exhibiting some inconclusive reasoning, and a strong leaning to preconceived theory. Substantial progress in philology has been made by these two last named writers. It would be easy to subjoin scores of other writers; but they would add little or nothing to the apparatus of the reader who has access to those named above.]
(10:1:) [The preceding vision was seen in the ‘first’ year of Darius the Medc, 9: 1. The one now before us is dated in the ‘third’ year of the reign of Cyrus, which would make it some seventy-two years from the time that Daniel was carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, 1:1-3, and about four years later than the preceding vision. The vision is prefaced by a narration of Daniel’s special fasting and prayer, for the space of three weeks, vs. 1-3. The ‘occasion’ of this is not directly and explicitly stated. But we may gather hints from the book of Ezra, which will give some probable illustration Soon after the building of the temple was commenced, “the adversaries of Juduh and Benjamin” began their opposition to it by active measures. During all the remainder of Cyrus’ reign, and even down to that of Darius, i.e. from B.C. 536 down to 519, (Ezra 4:4,5; 6:1-15), opposition was continued. If Daniel was uncertain in his mind, whether the (shabuim shibeim) of 9:24 meant seventy weeks of ‘days’ or seventy weeks of ‘years’, (and considering the ellipsis in this case of (shanim), we may easily suppose him to have been in doubt for a time), then must he have felt greatly perplexed with such a state of things as existed in the third year of Cyrus’ reign. Nothing of consequence had yet taken place, excepting the bare return of a company of exiles to Palestine. The temple-building was at a stand. The city building must have been in a very embarrassed and perplexing state. If Daniel had hitherto indulged the hope that only seventy ‘weeks of days’ were appointed for the restoration of the city and sanctuary, he must now be greatly in doubt what to think. The time of seventy ‘weeks of days’ had more than passed, yea double that time, and yet there were no indications of successful progress at Jerusalem. The close of v. 1 indicates the deliverance which the mind of the prophet experienced , by the new revelation which he was about to record. It also contains an indication, tacit but yet intelligible, that he had not before satisfactorily understood the communication made to him in 9:24-27. In 10:12 is an intimation, moreover, of the fear which had oppressed Daniel, when he considered the then-present state of the holy city and temple. The events which are disclosed in the prophecy that follows, show that one could not reasonably suppose them all to happen in the course of seventy weeks of ‘days’; the time therefore of 9:24, must be weeks of ‘years’.
Daniel had fasted and prayed, from the first day of the first [Heb.) month until the close of the twenty-first, 10:3. Three days after this, viz. on the twenty-fourth, he was on the banks of the Tigris, and there saw his last and very instructive vision, 10:4. An angel appears in splendid costume, and addresses him in a voice like that of a great multitude, vs. 5,6. To Daniel alone was this heavenly messenger visible; but his attendants were stricken with great fear and fled, probably because of some audible and preternatural sound, v. 7. Daniel remained alone, and be grew pale with terror, and sunk down in great weakness, v. 8. In a kind of trance, while on the ground, be heard the angel speaking to him, who came near and partially lifted him up, vs. 9,10. The angel then addressed to him words of great kindness, and bade him attend carefully to what he was about to communicate, by which he was somewhat revived, even so as to stand erect, although with trembling, v. 11. He assures Daniel, that his prayers had been heard, and his solicitude to understand more fully what had been addressed to him on a former occasion, was favorably regarded, v. 12. The angel discloses a reason why there had been some delay, in bringing his message. The angel of the Persian kingdom had withstood him for twenty-one days, until Michael came to his aid, when he was left alone to exercise his good influence over the Persian dynasty. [His object seems to have been, to give a turn to the Persian affairs which would be favorable to the Hebrews], 5:13. The next verse (14) discloses the special object of the angel’s mission, which was, to instruct Daniel what would befall his people at a future period, for the vision had respect to a prolonged period. When this was mentioned, Daniel cast down his eyes to the earth, and remained silent, v. 15. In this plight, an angel under the appearance of a man touched his lips, and enabled him to speak, which he did by stating, that the terror caused by the vision had deprived him of the use of his bodily powers, vs. 16,17. An angel in human form then touched him again, and his strength was somewhat restored, v. 18. He bade Daniel not to fear, for he was greatly beloved, and peace would be given him; after which Daniel requested him to proceed, inasmuch as he was fully revived, v. 19. The angel begins his communication by asking the seer, whether he knew for what purpose he had come? Taking his answer for granted, (as indeed he might, if we compare v.14), the angel goes on to say, that he shall return [to Persia] in order to contend with the prince of Persia; that when he departs, the prince of Grecia will come, [when he abandons the Persian court, the king or Greece, Alexander, will come against the country], v. 20. What is written in the book of truth respecting the future, will now be disclosed. Only the angel Michael assists him against his antagonists; —but this same Michael is the special guardian of the Hebrews.)

(10:21:) [It is common for interpreters to assume here, that the angel ‘Gabriel’ was the one who appeared to Daniel, and made communications on the occasion before us. Analogy from a comparison of Dan. 8:16; 9:21, where he is named, might naturally lead to such an opinion; which might also be strengthened by Luke 1:19, The apocryphal books, both of the O. Test. and of the New, frequently name this angel, and also many others; specially does the book of Enoch abound in the names of angels. But still, the opinion about Gabriel in the present case must be conjectural; for there is no name assigned to the angel- communicator, in chap. 10, 11. The question: How much of the representation of chap. 10 is ‘costume’, and what is ‘historical reality’? is more difficult than one might at first suppose. If the princes of Persia and Grecia be ‘good’ angels, how, it is asked, ‘can contention arise between them and the guardians of the Jews? Each would bow in submission to the divine will, and so, when that was known, there could be no differences of opinion.’ But angels are not ‘omniscient’; and a good being, with limited faculties, who is set to watch over a particular king or country, may very naturally contract some partiality for the object of his attention, and may not always see clearly what his duty is. In a case of this kind, it is easy to see, that something like an opposition to another good being may arise, who is commissioned to interfere with the object of guardianship. Somewhat in this light, I think, we must regard the narration in the present chapter, provided we consider it as based on ample historical facts. ‘But may not the whole be in the way of allegorical representation, i.e. so as to represent the activity of the enemies of the Jews, and the stumbling-blocks which they threw in the way of those who had returned, from exile, and also the opposition of the Grecian kings of Syria and Egypt, after the death of Alexander? In such a case, guardian-angels of the holy land would represent the kind care which heaven bestowed upon the Hebrews; and the opposing ‘princes’ of Persia and Grecia would indicate the counsel unfriendly to the Jews, which those dynasties were inclined to follow.’ That it is possible to regard the whole representation in this light, ‘salva fide et salva ecclesia’, I would not deny; but the angelology of the Scriptures prevents me from admitting this. I feel the difficulty presented by an account of ‘contest’ between good angels; and specially the difficulty of supposing that these good beings would excite the Persian and Grecian chiefs against the Hebrew nation. But is it the design of the writer to communicate anything more, than the general idea of the angel-guardianship of nations, and of that zeal for their respective interests, which springs from a feeling that is natural to such a relation? If he designs more than this, we are at least left in the dark, as to the manner in which his views can be reconciled with the character or angels, as beings perfectly holy and obedient to the will or God, and also beings of superior, although not of perfect, knowledge. The Apocalypse is through and through of the same tenor, in regard to angel, and their offices, as the present book.]

(Chapter 11:) [This chapter should not have been separated from the preceding one; for it is a mere continuance of the address to Daniel, which was begun in the close of that chapter. 5:1 informs him, that the angel-narrator, now engaged on behalf of the Hebrews, had for some time before, at the Medo-Persian court, been engaged in like manner with Darius the Mede. He then goes on to sketch some of the events of the Persian dynasty, the invasion of Greece by Xerxes; the spirit of hostility which will be roused up by this; the rise and fall of Alexander the Great; and the subsequent division of his broken empire into four dynasties, vs. 2-4. After this, the dynasties of Egypt and Syria are selected, doubtless because they are the only ones with which the Jews were to be concerned. The mutual alliances, attacks, and defenses, of the kings of these countries, are next detailed with almost historical minuteness, vs. 5-20. We come next upon Antiochus Epiphanes, whose history (as we may almost name it) occupies the rest of the chapter. It is a prophetic representation so ample and particular, as to be without a parallel in all the Scriptures. Something in the aspect of the times, or in the feelings and views of the Jewish people, was probably the immediate occasion of this. The expectation of no more trial and suffering may have been too confident among the Hebrews, and have needed a check. Or we may suppose another ground: ‘Forewarned, forearmed’. But whatever was the cause of the peculiar ‘form’ of the prediction before us, there can be but one view as to its actual character. As has already been said, Porphyry in ancient times, and not a few critics in recent times, have strenuously asserted that it was written ‘post eventum’, and is therefore nothing more than real history. The assertion is grounded mainly on its historical minuteness; but partly (by the new school of criticism) on the alleged impossibility of a miracle. A real ‘a priori’, so minute and circumstantial, must of course be the result or a miraculous interposition; and the ‘a priori’ assumption is, that a miracle is impossible. Therefore the author of the book of Daniel must have written ‘post eventum’. But the assumption in this case is too great, reasonably to claim assent on the part of the sober-minded; and the critical history of the book of Daniel, as also the internal evidence of the book itself, throw obstacles in the way or supposing a very late composition that seem to be insuperable. But this is not the place to pursue the illustrations and confirmation of these suggestions. The matter, however, must necessarily be investigated, in a critical introduction to the book.]

(Chapter 12:) [Nothing can be plainer, than that the beginning of this chapter belongs to the prophecy which precedes. It is not only a continuation of the address of the same speaker, but evidently a sequel of the same subject. The division, if made at all, should have been made at the end of 12:3.]

§ 2. Nature and Design of the Book.
It is difficult to make a greater mistake in regard to these, than to suppose that he designed to write a continuous and regular history, either of himself, of the Jews, or of the kings of Babylon. So much of his early history is developed, as serves to cast light on the manner in which he became qualified to act the important part which fell to his lot. When this is accomplished, he is brought to view only on some great occasions, where his interposition seems to make a signal display of divine power and goodness. E.g. he interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s first and second mysterious dreams. He explains to the impious Belshazzar the ominous hand-writing on the wall. He is elevated to the post of viceroy under Darius the Mede, and had a marvellous escape from the den of lions, into which he had been cast by the malignant artifices of envious courtiers. It appears probable from 6:28 and 10:1, that he retained a high post of honor, at least for some three years of the reign of Cyrus. These are all the incidents recorded of a life of some seventy years, in connection with the Babylonish court. To speak of a regular ‘biography’, then, as undertaken by Daniel, would indicate a very singular notion of what belongs to his book.
As to the Jews, not one word is said concerning them, either as to the good or evil that befell them, during their state of exile. What was their condition, and what their demeanor, the writer of the book of Daniel has not undertaken at all to inform us. In regard to the native kings of Babylon, the names of only two of them occur, viz. of Nebuchadnezzar and of Belshazzar. Nebuchadnezzar reigned more than forty years, and made many conquests. But it is only on the occasion of his two dreams, and the consecration of his colossal idol, that he is brought to view, after Daniel becomes a member of his court. Belshazzar appears only on the last day of his life; and his Medo-Persian successors are brought to view in such a way, that we have only a single glance at them. Darius’ sad mistake in yielding to the artifices of his courtiers to destroy Daniel, is graphically placed before us; but nothing further is disclosed respecting him. That Cyrus succeeded him in the throne of Babylon, is all that is said concerning him, excepting that he was the friend of Daniel.
The rest of the book is made up of four prophetic visions, seen between B.C. 555 and 584, i.e. in the later part of Daniel’s life. These are ‘sui generis’ both in respect to form and matter, to a certain extent; although in several respects they strongly resemble other visions of other prophets during the exile, e.g. those of Ezekiel and Zachariah. The main object of them is, to show the future condition and destiny of the Jewish people, after the exile and before the period when their great Deliverer should come.
Some critics have assumed, that Daniel undertook to write his own history and that of Babylon; or at least, that he ought to have done so; and then they take him to talk for having performed his work so imperfectly and unskillfully. Others, perceiving how ,lender is the foundation on which all this is built, proclaim (adunco naso) that the whole book has a mere parenetic or hortatory object in view; and that this design is reached just as well by romance or allegory as by facts. They compare the narratives in Daniel with the parables in the Evangelists, and aver, that in both cases the end is reached equally as well by romance as by facts, In this way, all investigation as to actual events or occurrences is suspended, or rendered a matter of indifference, and comes out that we have before us, in the book of Daniel, a mere fiction or allegory, a part of which has pretended facts for its basis, and the other part is underlaid by supposed prophetic revelations and visions.
When the question is asked: What book in the Old Test. or the New stands on such a basis? it becomes difficult to give a satisfactory answer. Strauss, indeed, and those who sympathize with him, have no difficulty in answering the question; for they take the same position as the objectors before us, with regard to the Gospels themselves, viz. that they are but a tissue of allegories and romance. But men of more sober minds can find but little satisfaction, in the assumption of positions such as these.
When it is said (as it sometimes has been), that the design of the author of the book of Daniel is wholly ‘paraenetic’, the assertion plainly goes too far. The ‘prophetic’ parts of this book have surely but a slight tinge of this cast. But still, if I might be permitted to define the word ‘paraenetic’, I should not wish to deny that the book at large has this characteristic, even in a high degree. I understand this word to designate something that is ‘edifying’, and this in the way of ‘warning’ and ‘exhortation’ or excitement. Most surely the occurrences related by Daniel are deeply interesting in their nature, and highly adapted to make a deep impression on all minds, of the power and goodness and holiness of the Supreme Being. Could Daniel, or any other prophet, preach more impressive sermons to Nebuchadnezzar and his court, than the explanation of the monarch’s dreams, and the defeat of his murderous purposes on the plains of Dura? Was there ever a more impressive scene, than that in Belshazzar’s palace, on the night of his death? Could a thousand books or addresses have made an impression so deep and awful, on the riotous and idolatrous courtiers of the king, as the mysterious handwriting on the wall, and the interpretation of the same? Or was there any means of securing to Daniel his place in the court of Darius, and afterwards in that of Cyrus, so stringent and effectual, as the deliverance of the Heb. prophet from the den of lions? All this undoubtedly is ‘paraenetic’, and is so in a high degree. Indeed the mind cannot well conceive of occasions that would command a more thrilling interest, than those related by Daniel. Nothing trifling, nothing indifferent, nothing ‘mediocre’, is connected with them. They far exceed, in point of real interest, the renowned tales of oriental fiction so long current and popular in the West as well as the East. The reason is, that the events with which they are concerned are of the highest magnitude and importance; and while there is enough in them of the marvellous to gratify this craving of the human mind, there is still nothing of the monstrous, the absurd, the puerile, and the impossible. I speak of course as a believer in the possibility of miracles; but even those who deny this, cannot deny the thrilling interest of the narrations, nor their adaptedness to excite a deep religious feeling. What could be devised better to how the heathenish court and city, that their “idol ‘gods’ were a lie, and that those who make them are like unto them?”
The prophetic parts of the book are designed more for believing Jews, than for the heathen. Yet even here there is matter which might well instruct the heathen, and especially those of that period. The succession of the four dynasties was a thing that could be nothing more than guessed at, without the aid of inspiration. The character and demeanor of the Syrian dynasty were, matters in the dark, and also, as yet, in the distant future. Supposing Daniel to have written all the predictions in his book respecting this dynasty, how; is it possible to deny that he had a foresight altogether supernatural? Josephus (Antiqq. x. ad. fin.) argues, from this book of Daniel, the certainty of an omniscient and omnipotent overruling Providence. The argument is sound and conclusive; unless indeed we assume, with many recent critics, that a miracle is an utter impossibility.
But let us view the book before us in another light. The Jews were in exile, in different parts of Babylonia; many of them near the metropolis. All captives in war were universally considered, at that time, as the ‘slaves’ of the conquerors. In this state, they must naturally have been exposed to many injuries, insults, and severities. Slavery is but a bitter draught, even when the potion is sweetened. But a slavish subjection of the people of God to a highly superstitious and idolatrous nation, must, in the usual course of things, have exposed them to many indignities and cruelties. Was it nothing, then, to this degraded and suffering people, that one of their own nation was the highest officer at court, the king excepted? Was it nothing, that Daniel and his three friends managed all the concerns of Babylonia? Could they not, in many ways, and without exciting the suspicion or displeasure of the king, modify and allay the severities to which the exiles were exposed, and lighten the yoke that was on their neck? And if the God of heaven meant to preserve his people, in the midst of their chastisement and humiliation, and finally to restore them to their country, was it not worthy of him to interpose as he did, and order matters in such a way that the Jews would be kept quiet until the appointed time, and would be protected from special insult and injury? One can scarcely believe that the miracles wrought under Moses in the wilderness, were more important to the existence and welfare of the Jews, than those which were wrought in Babylon.
Nor is this all. Babylon was to change masters. What then would the new sovereigns do, in regard to the Jews? Would they oppress them, as other slaves were usually oppressed? Or would they treat them kindly, and give them their liberty? When Darius came to the throne of Babylon, this was a deeply interesting question. The time of deliverance, as predicted by Jeremiah, was near at hand. Much was to be done. Darius, therefore, and after him Cyrus, were to be won over to the cause of the exiles. Daniel’s standing and relation to these kings doubtless accomplished this important work. No sooner had Cyrus become seated on his new throne, than he set the whole Jewish nation free. All the sacred vessels of the temple were given up to the returning exiles, and all persons were called upon to encourage them, and contribute to their holy and patriotic undertaking.
If now the events related in the book of Daniel have evidently such important ends in view, and are well adapted to accomplish them, who will deny the importance of recording them for the instruction of all future ages? Facts like these, which exhibit the power and glory of God, and show his tender care for his people even when erring from his ways, are, I readily concede, ‘paraenetic’ even in the highest degree. But they are far indeed from detracting from the value of the book, or from being unworthy of the sacred records.
It has been made an objection against the book before us, that it is a mixture of history and prediction, and thus exhibits itself as alien from the Hebrew prophetic writing in general. But this objection has little ground to support it. Is it not Isaiah in part historical? See chap. 36-39. Is not almost one half of Jeremiah historical? Are not parts of Haggai and Zechariah historical? How is it any objection to Daniel, then, that it contains historical narrations, when all that is related has a most evident and intimate connection with the welfare of the people, and is adapted to impress deeply on their minds, what God had done in their behalf?
In respect to the ‘prophetic’ parts of the book, there is no portion of them which does not point the Jews to the great Deliverer, who was yet to appear among them. In regard to ‘Messianic’ views, no prophet introduces them so often and danger that were yet to come, we may apply the common apothegm: ‘Forewarned, forearmed.’ Daniel and others might, of themselves, have hoped that liberation from the Babylonish exile would secure the lasting and uniform prosperity of the Jews. But his visions warn him and them not to rely on false hopes. Still further chastisement would be needed, and still more would be inflicted. Rejoice indeed they might; but they were warned to rejoice with trembling.
One other characteristic of the book deserves special notice. A portion —a large one— of its prophetic parts relates to a period between the return from exile and the coming of the Messiah. No other prophecy has occupied this ground. With the exception of the Messianic period itself; all other prophetic books close, as to any future, either with the exile itself, or with return from it? Has Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel gone beyond this, excepting in what is Messianic, much as they have said about the exile and the return from it? And is there no special propriety in Daniel’s occupying the highly important ground in question? Ezra and Nehemiah and the book of Esther have indeed related some important occurrences, within the first century after the return from Babylon. But even the latest of the Hebrew prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, leave more than four centuries unoccupied by prediction, and equally so by history. The great misfortunes and sufferings of the Jews, even such as in some respects surpassed those of the Babylonish captivity, were yet to come, and the Jews, as a nation, had as yet no warning of them. Is no important object accomplished, then, when Daniel fills up this gap? At least it will be acknowledged, that the Jews had, and must have, a deep interest in such predictions as disclosed to them other times of trial and of danger. It cannot be charged upon the prophecies of Daniel, therefore, that they are insignificant or unimportant.
But why (the Messianic period excepted) do his predictions atop short with the death of Antiochus Epiphanes? The Jews had many troubles ‘after’ his time; why not predict and specify them in like manner?
To these questions one might reply, by asking why all the other prophets have, with the exception of the Messianic prophecies, a ‘terminus ad quem’ abort of Daniel’s? Why did they not go beyond the exile, and the return from it? But, passing this, I would remark, that, as has already been stated, neither Daniel, nor any other prophet, undertakes to write ‘annaIs’ of the Jewish nation. Ordinary events and occurrences are omitted in prophecy. Daniel stops with those occurrences which were not inferior, in point of interest, to the Babylonish captivity itself. There was even more danger to the religion of the Jews under Antiochus’ reign than under Nebuchadnezzar’s. Let us see moreover, for a moment, whether there is not a natural turn (so to speak) given to the mind of the prophet. When the seventy years were near to a close, Daniel prays moat earnestly for the promised deliverance. Gabriel then appears to tell him, that although one period of seventy had now come near its close, yet another period of seven times seventy awaited his people, one of deep and thrilling interest. The city and temple would indeed be rebuilt; but this would be accomplished in troublous times; and at last another crisis in their affairs would come, not unlike that through which they had just passed. Jeremiah had occupied his book with the crisis which had just passed; Daniel might very naturally occupy his with the one that was yet to come.
‘But why not go beyond this?’ I answer again by asking: Why did not Jeremiah go beyond the end of the exile? There must be some stopping place, unless prophecy necessarily becomes a book of continuous annals. Enough for Daniel, that he looked forward to the second exile as it were, and predicted it. The Jews had indeed many troubles after that period; but they bore no comparison with those of the reign of Antiochus. They were temporary. They always had their own kings and priests. Even the conquest of Pompey (B.C. 63) did not seriously interrupt the independence and prosperity of the Jews. He left the temple untouched, with all its sacred utensils. It is no objection then to the book before us, that its predictions close with a second horrible catastrophe. And surely it is no unimportant object to be accomplished by it, to disclose a sad catastrophe which no other prophet had foretold.
Even those interpreters (who are quite numerous), that look upon the book of Daniel as having named a specific period of seventy weeks of years which reaches down to the Messiah, are obliged to confess its silence respecting ‘events’ after the reign of Antiochus, and even until the Messianic period. But for the 490 years which these weeks contain, there has been found by those interpreters no apposite ‘terminus a quo’; as we have already seen in the Comm. on 9:24-27. That they ‘end’ with the reign and death of Antiochus, I cannot doubt; although I am unable to make the commencement of them clear. But as I shall not here renew the discussion of this topic, I merely remark, that any ‘a priori’ prescription of the metes and bounds of prophecy must be inapposite and irrelevant. ‘Everything’ is not predicted, nor designed to be predicted We must leave the matter of judging where to stop, and what to include, to the prophet himself. Enough in the present case, that analogy drawn from other prophets justifies Daniel in stopping with a signal catastrophe.
A class of objectors to the contents of the book of Daniel, different from those whom I have noticed, make the allegation, that ‘the book has no important ‘moral’ object in view. It never preaches, never denounces, never threatens, and never promises. It is therefore unlike any other of the prophecies.’
But if we should suppose the alleged histories in the book to be romance, or allegory, even then there would be little force in this objection. Does not our Saviour teach, yea preach, and threaten, and promise, and exhort, in his parables? Daniel was not by regular office a prophet, i.e. he was not sent to the Jewish people in the capacity of a public teacher. He does not address them at all, in a direct manner, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. But are not his narrations full of most important instruction? Are they not comminatory to idolaters, and encouraging and soul-stirring to the pious? Are any more lofty ideas of God, and his superintending and remunerating providence, anywhere disclosed? Are not the events then future, which are disclosed in the predictions of Daniel, of thrilling interest and importance? And with all this before us, are we entitled to make such an objection as that in question?
On another extreme are those who assert that ‘the object of the book is that of a narrow-minded and superstitious Hebrew. According to him, there is no God but Jehovah, and no people but the Jews. Everything is purely national and selfish; or else it savors of superstition and closely adheres to the Jewish ritual.’
To the accusation, that Daniel makes Jehovah supreme and all in all, and the Jewish people his then only chosen people, I plead ‘guilty’ in his behalf. But if there be culpable guilt or superstition in this, then all the Heb. prophets lie under the same condemnation yea, all the O. Testament. But on ‘such’ points, accusation is eulogy. God be thanked, that there are many millions who have thought with Daniel, and who still think and believe with him, as to Jehovah and his chosen people! In regard to ‘superstition’ and ‘selfishness’, I am unable to find either of them in the pages of Daniel. A more pious, devoted, noble minded man never lived. How could be have been so long in the Babylonish court, without a liberality and courteousness of mind and manners of which there are but few examples?
Lengerke and others, who assign the book to the period of Antiochus’ persecutions, represent ‘the main object of it to be, to encourage the Jewish people who were suffering under them, and to hold up to them, in the example of Nebuchadnezzar, the probable fate of their tyrannical oppressor. Everything throughout the book, it is alleged, is written with such a purpose in mind, and to this both the historical part and the predictions have a constant reference. It was, moreover, this ‘a propos’ character and quality of the book which procured for it, at so late a period, a place in the Jewish canon.’
I do not feel disposed in any measure to call in question the fact, that the book of Daniel was highly adapted to admonish, to comfort, and to quicken the righteous sufferers, under the cruel persecutions of Epiphanes; nor that it is a book adapted peculiarly to seasons of distress and trouble, at all times and in all countries. But that the book was written for the purpose of making Nebuchadnezzar an allegorical personage, whose real antitype was Antiochus, I must be permitted to call in question. Some features of mutual resemblance indeed there are, as there always must be between men who are tyrants and oppressors and plunderers. But beyond the facts, that both of these kings overran and subdued Palestine, and took possession of its capital city; that both of them rifled the temple of many of its treasures, and destroyed many of the Jews in war —beyond these facts, there is little in common between Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus. Nebuchadnezzar was no persecutor for the sake of religion. With the exception of the three Jewish worthies who were cast into the furnace of fire, (and this because they publicly refused to obey the king’s orders to prostrate themselves before his idol, and that, as he viewed the matter, showed him disrespect), we read of no persecution for the sake of religion in Nebuchadnezzar’s time. We are told indeed by Jeremiah (29:22), that the king of Babylon roasted Zedekiah and Ahab in the fire. But it appears from the context, that these were false prophets and preachers of sedition among the Hebrew captives. In all probability it was for reasons of State, that they were sentenced to death. But in all the accounts we have of Nebuchadnezzar’s demeanor in respect to the Jews in exile, we have nothing to excite suspicion that he was a bigoted persecutor, or even a persecutor at all. In accordance with the war-usages of the times, Nebuchadnezzar, when provoked by the frequent rebellion of the Jews, made havoc among their leaders, after they had been conquered in battle. But none of the prophets, during the exile, have told us of anything which he did to the Jews, which resembled the furious and bloody and long-continued persecutions of Antiochus. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple, because he knew it would be a rallying point for the Jewish nation. But Antiochus, the (meshomem), made it desolate and polluted it by his abominations, his statue of Jupiter with his eagle, and his offerings of swine’s flesh on the altar. He also sought to destroy every copy of the Jewish sacred books, and punished with death those who concealed them from him. He bribed apostate Jews to practise the heathen rites, and deluged with blood the holy city for several years. We have no account that Nebuchadnezzar did anything like to this. We do not read of his prohibiting the Jews to retain their Scriptures, or of his obliging them to desist from their worship and rites. It is impossible to suppose, with any probability, that Nebuchadnezzar had any bitter and bigoted resentment against the Jews as such. If so, how could he have constituted a ‘Jew’ his prime minister, and his three intimate friends satraps in Babylonia? It lies on the face of the whole narration, tbt the state of the Jews at that period must have been rendered quite tolerable, in a civil and social respect, under such a viceroy and such governors. The advice which Jeremiah gives them (ch. 29), shows that the exiles were far from being in a very degraded state, or destitute of many important privileges.
Compare now with all this, the doings of Antiochus as related in 1st Macc. i. seq. In common, both the king of Babylon and the king of Syria were conquerors, and masters of Judea for a time. But the demeanor of Nebuchadnezzar toward the vanquished, and that of Antiochus, was as discrepant as we can well imagine.
Why then should a writer, in the time of Antiochus in go about inventing a fictitious exemplar of that tyrant, and yet make it so widely diverse, that one can scarcely find any analogy between the two cases, excepting that of original conquest and pillage? A very unskillful writer of fiction he must have been, not to make the prototype more like the antitype. Even as to temper and character, the two kings were very unlike. Nebuchadnezzar was indeed haughty, and passionate, and during his passion he was cruel. But he had his seasons of deep relenting, and could be made to feel the force of an appeal to that God who alone is supreme. It seems even probable from Dan. 4, that he died at last a penitent and a believer. But Antiochus had all his bad qualities, without any of his good ones. He was relentless, bigoted to the last degree, cruel beyond any precedent where his anger had been excited, and irascible to an extreme. Well was he nicknamed (epimanës). Besides all this, he was avaricious, debauched beyond all measure, mean, contemptible, (nibezeh) as Daniel very appropriately calls him), and withal very arrogant and ambitious. It would be difficult to find his parallel, even in a Tiberius, a Caligula, or a Nero.
To me it would appear a matter of wonder, that a writer having such an object in view as that of making out a prototype for Antiochus, should have succeeded so ill, since he has manifested, in many parts of his book, ideas and emotions that are truly sublime and striking. That a man of even ‘mediocre’ talent, should not better succeed, must be a matter of surprise to all, in case we make the main object of the book to be what Lengerke asserts it to be.
But this is not all. Lengerke and his ‘liberal’ friends declare unhesitatingly their disbelief of all miracles. Of course, they deny that ‘prediction’, in a truly prophetic sense, is anywhere to be found in the Bible. Of course Daniel could really predict nothing. But as his book contains many things, which if written during the exile, must be considered as real predictions, it follows of course, as they conclude, that the book could have been written only after the events described had taken place.
But here is some substantial disagreement with the positions that we have just been examining. Daniel, they say, was written in the time of the Maccabees, to encourage and comfort the Jews under persecution. Of course, if this were the object, it must have been written when the persecution was going on, i.e. during the life of Antiochus. But how then did the writer come to know much about the ‘death’ of Antiochus? How did he know that this would happen at the end of the last week of the 70 weeks? To fill this gap, Bleek alleges, that chaps. 10-12. were written ‘after’ his death, so that it is ‘prophecy post eventum.’ But unluckily for this subterfuge, Dan. 7:24-26 predicts his death after a ‘definite’ period, vis. after the last half of the final week of years. It is also again predicted in Dan. 8:23-26, where it is explicitly stated, that Antiochus shall be crushed, not in war, nor by human power, but by the mighty hand of the Prince of princes, without human aid. Dao. 9:26,27, repeats the same declarations. Here then the time and manner of Antiochus’ death are both explicitly declared. How now could a writer under his reign, foresee all this, without the spirit of prophecy? And of what use is it to tell us, that chap. 10-12 at least were written ‘post eventum’? If we concede it, does not in the least remove our difficulty with the theory in question.
At all events, then, those who reject ‘prophecy’ as an impossibility, must maintain that the whole book of Daniel (comp. 2:40-4.8) was written ‘after’ the death of Antiochus. But here again we have (`husteron proteron). If such were the case, then what need of the ‘paraenetics’ addressed to the persecuted? Antiochus was dead; Judas was triumphant; Judea was free; her temple wu cleansed and deconsecrated, and all its holy rites and privileges renewed. Did the Jews need the exhortation and consolation addressed to the persecuted, when it was with them a time of feasting, and of keeping their national thanksgiving? Rather, we should suppose, did the times call for something like Ex. 15, or Ps. 68, or ls. 14.
And then, (I cannot help asking the question): How were the Jews of that period, led on by such men as Mattathias, and Judas, and Simon, to be convinced that a book just written, and never before heard of, was the work of a man who lived more than four centuries before, and deserved a place in their sacred canon, now rendered doubly dear by persecution, and by the efforts to destroy it? Believe all this who may, I must regard it as a stretch of credulity far beyond that belief which others cherish, who are accused of an ‘a priori’ faith, and are treated with so much scorn on account of it. That the book of Daniel may profit the people of God at all times and in all places, I have fully conceded. But that it was written in ‘Antiochian’ times, and for such a specific purpose as is alleged, and was foisted at that time into the Jewish canon, are assertions which require evidence to establish them than has yet been adduced. Enough has been said, to show the moral, religious, and, I may add, political or civil designs and objects of the book before us. It does not, like most of the prophets, contain ‘preaching’ or ‘hortatory’. But both its narrative and its predictions are full of interesting and important instruction. In one particular it differs from most of the other prophetic books. It contains predictions that relate to a series of successive empires, in middle and hither Asia. The like is not elsewhere to be met with. But it is not of these empires because they are such, or rather, it is not of them ‘historically’ regarded as empires, that it treats. It is of them only as standing in relation to or in connection with the Jews, that it speaks. When it was written, the first of the four great empires had attained its height of power. The prophet follows on to sketch very briefly the fall of all the four great dynasties, until he comes to the last, on which he dwells more than on all the others, merely because the Jews were more affected by it than by all the rest. It lies upon the very face of his predictions, that such is the nature of his design. Having brought his people to what we may call their second exile, (for multitudes did in reality become exiles and fled to the caves and deserts), he breaks off here, with the exception of disclosing a future great Deliverer and Saviour, whose kingdom is to be universal. It was not to his purpose, to pursue the detail of historic facts any further. That he has left behind him a book of the deepest interest, to all who admit the miracles of the Bible, none I think will question. We should lose an important link in the golden chain of revelation, if this were struck out. My belief is, that all the efforts of unbelieving and sneering criticism will not be able to remove it from its place. }}

6. Barnes.
Notes, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical, on the Book of Daniel, with an Introductory Dissertation. By the Rev. Albert Barnes. Edited by Rev. Ebenezer Henderson, D.D. In 2 Vols. London. 1851. 1853.

{{ Editor’s Preface: …..The subject-matter of that now laid before the public is one of no slight interest, as it is one of no common difficulty. The ‘Book of Daniel’ stands out as the Apocalypse of the Old Testament. Written by “a man greatly beloved”—written by him in the land of his exile—written in prophetic language, which veiled the future under symbolic images and shadowy forms, it has a considerable affinity, both in its circumstances and in its character, to the Book of Revelation. But on this predictive record Mr. Barnes has brought to bear the same critical acumen, and the same spirit of piety, that are evinced in his exposition of the closing portion of the inspired volume….. E.Henderson.1853.}}
{{ Advertisement to the London Edition: …..(Notes on the Book of Daniel written in 1850, but published after the Notes on the Book of Revelation.) This explanation seems to be necessary, as there are many references in the “ Notes on the Book of Revelation” to the “Notes on the Book of Daniel.” The two books, according to the views taken in the exposition, refer, to a considerable extent, to the same events; and as the “Notes on the Book of Daniel” were first written, those points were of necessity illustrated in that work, and this fact made anything more than a mere reference to it needless in commenting on the Book of Revelation. The two may therefore, without impropriety, be regarded as parts of one work; and they are now committed, with many thanks for the favourable reception of my former publications, and, I may add, with special gratitude to British Christians, to the candid judgment of those who love the Bible, and to the blessing of God…..Albert Barnes, 1853. }}
{{ Preface: A very remarkable resemblance has always been observed between the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. Whatever view may be taken of the proper interpretation of these books, it is difficult to write a Commentary on one of them without carefully studying the other, and without practically furnishing to a considerable extent an exposition of the other. There is no evidence, indeed, that John, in the Book of Revelation, intended to imitate Daniel, and yet there is so strong a resemblance in the manner in which the Divine disclosures respecting the future were made to the two writers; there is so clear a reference to the same great events in the history of the world; there is so much similarity in the symbols employed, that no commentator can well write on the one without discussing many points, and making use of many illustrations, which would be equally appropriate in an exposition of the other…….A.B., 1851. }}

{{ Chapter I. Section I. Authenticity of the Chapter: [B.C. 607.]
For the general argument in favour of the genuineness and authenticity of the book of Daniel, see Intro. § II, III. To the genuineness and authenticity of each particular chapter in detail, however, objections, derived from something peculiar in each chapter, have been urged, which it is proper to meet, and which I propose to consider in a particular introduction to the respective chapters. These objections it is proper to consider, not so much because they have been urged by distinguished German critics —De Wette, Bertholdt, Bleek, Eichhorn, and others, for their writings will probably fall into the hands of few persons who will read these Notes, but (a) because it may be that men of so much learning, industry, acuteness, and ingenuity, have urged all the objections which can, with any appearance of plausibility, be alleged against the book; and (b) because the objections which they have urged may be presumed to be felt, to a greater or less degree, by those who read the book, though they might not be able to express them with so much clearness and force. There are numerous objections to various portions of the Scriptures floating in the minds of the readers of the Bible, and man difficulties which occur to such readers, which are not expressed, and which it would be desirable to remove, and which it is the duty of an expositor of the Bible, if he can, to remove. Skeptical critics, in general, but collect and embody in a plausible form difficulties which are felt by most readers of the Scriptures. It is for this reason, and with a view to remove what ‘seems’ to furnish plausible arguments against the different portions of this book, that the objections which have been urged, principally by the authors above referred to, will be noticed in special sections preceding the exposition of each chapter.
The only objection to the genuineness and authenticity of the first chapter which it seems necessary to notice is, that the account of Daniel in the chapter is inconsistent with the mention of Daniel by Ezekiel. The objection substantially is, that it is improbable that the Daniel who is mentioned by Ezekiel should be one who was a contemporary with himself, and who at that time lived in Babylon. Daniel is three times mentioned in Ezekiel, and in each case as a man of eminent piety and integrity as one so distinguished by his virtues as to deserve to be classed with the most eminent of the patriarchs. Thus in Ezek. 14:14, “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” So again, ver. 20, “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter, they shall deliver but their own souls by their righteousness.” And again, ch. 28:3, speaking of the prince of Tyre, “Behold thou art wiser than Daniel.” The objection urged in respect to the mention of Daniel in these passages is substantially this —that if the account in the book of Daniel is true, he must have been a contemporary with Ezekiel, and must have been, when Ezekiel prophesied, a young man; that it is incredible that he should have gained a degree of reputation which would entitle him to be ranked with Noah and Job; that he could not have been so well known as to make it natural or proper to refer to him in the same connexion with those eminent men; and ‘especially’ that he could not have been thus known to the prince of Tyre, as is supposed of those mentioned by Ezekiel in the passages referred to, for it cannot be presumed that a man so young had acquired such a fame abroad as to make it proper to refer to him in this manner in an address to a heathen prince. This objection was urged by Bernstein (über das Buch Hiob, in den Analekten von Keil und Tzschirner, i. 3, p. 10), and it is found also in Bleek, p. 284, and De Wette, Einl. p. 380. #. ette says that it is probable that the author of the book of Daniel used the name of “an ancient mythic or poetic person falsely,” in order to illustrate his work.
Now, in regard to this objection, it may be remarked (a) that, according to all the accounts which we have in the Bible, Ezekiel and Daniel ‘were’ cotemporary, and were in Babylon at the same time. As Daniel, however, lived a long time in Babylon after this, it is to be admitted, also, that at the period referred to by Ezekiel, he must have been comparatively a young man. But it does not follow that he might not then have had a well-known character for piety and integrity, which would make it proper to mention his name in connexion with the most eminent saints of ancient times. If the account in the book of Daniel ‘itself’ is a correct account of him, this will not be doubted, for he soon attracted attention in Babylon; he soon evinced that extraordinary piety which made him so eminent as a man of God, and that extraordinary wisdom which raised him to the highest rank as an officer of state in Babylon. It was very soon after he was taken to Babylon that the purpose was formed to train him, and the three other selected youths, in the learning of the Chaldeans (ch. 1:1-4), and that Daniel showed that he was qualified to pass the examination, preparatory to his occupying an honourable place in the court (ch. 1:18-21); and it was only in the second ear of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar that the remarkable dream occurred, the interpretation of which gave to Daniel so much celebrity, ch. ii. According to a computation of Hengstenberg (‘Authentie des Daniel’, p. 71), Daniel was taken to Babylon full ten years before, the prophecy of Ezekiel, in which the first mention of him was made; and if so, there can be no real ground for the objection referred to. In that time, if the account of his extraordinary wisdom is true; if he evinced the character which it is said that he did evince —and against this there is no intrinsic improbability; and if he was exalted to office and rank, as it is stated that he was, there can be no improbability in what Ezekiel says of him, that he had a character which made it proper that he should be classed with the most eminent men of the Jewish nation. (b) As to the objection that the name of Daniel could not have been known to the king of Tyre, as would seem to be implied in Ezek. 28:3, it may be remarked, that it is not necessary to suppose that these prophecies were ever known to the king of Tyre, or that i. were ever designed to influence him. The prophecies which were directed against the ancient heathen kings were uttered and published among the Hebrew people, primarily for ‘their’ guidance, and were designed to furnish to them, and to others in future times, arguments for the truth of religion, though they assumed the form of direct addresses to the kings themselves. Such an imaginary appeal may have been made in this by Ezekiel to the king of Tyre; and, in speaking of him, and of his boasted wisdom, Ezekiel may have made the comparison which would then naturally occur to him, by mentioning him in connexion with the most eminent man for wisdom of that age. But it should be said, also, that there can be no certain evidence that the name of Daniel was ‘not’ known to the king of Tyre, and no intrinsic improbability in the supposition that it was. If Daniel had at that time the remarkable wisdom at the court of Babylon which it is said in this book that he had; if he had been raised to that high rank which it is affirmed he had reached, there is no improbability in supposing that so remarkable a circumstance should have been made known to the king of Tyre. Tyre was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 572, after a siege of thirteen years, and it is in no way improbable that the king of Tyre would be made acquainted with what occurred at the court of the Chaldeans. The prophecy in Ezekiel, where Daniel is mentioned (ch. 28:3), could not have been uttered long before Tyre was taken, and, in referring to what was to occur, it was not unnatural to mention the man most distinguished for wisdom at the court of Babylon, and in the councils of Nebuchadnezzar, with the presumption that his name and celebrity would not be unknown to the king of Tyre. (c) As to the objection of Bernstein, that it would be improbable, if Daniel lived there, and if he was comparatively a young man, that his name would be placed ‘between’ that of Noah and Job (Ezek. 14:14), as if he had lived ‘before’ Job, it may be remarked, that there might be a greater similarity between the circumstances of Noah and Daniel than between Noah and Job, and that it was proper to refer to them in this order. But the mere circumstance of the order in which the names are mentioned cannot be adduced as a proof that one of the persons named did not exist at that time. They may have occurred in this order to Ezekiel, because in his apprehension, that was the order in which the degree of their piety was to be estimated.
To this objection thus considered, that the mention of Daniel in connexion with Noah and Job proves that Ezekiel referred to some one of ancient times, it may be further replied, that, if this were so, it is impossible to account for the fact that no such person is mentioned by any of the earlier prophets and writers. How came his name known to Ezekiel? And if there had been a patriarch so eminent as to be ranked with Noah and Job, how is it to be accounted for that all the sacred writers, up to the time of Ezekiel, are wholly silent in regard to him And why is it that, when he mentions him, he does it as of one who was well known The mere mention of his name in this manner by Ezekiel proves that his character was well known to those for whom he wrote. Noah and Job were thus known by the ancient records; but how was Daniel thus known He is nowhere mentioned in the ancient writings of the Hebrews; and if he was so well known that he could be referred to in the same way as Noah, and Job, it must be either because there was some tradition in regard to him, or because he was then living, and his character was well understood by those for whom Ezekiel wrote. … But there is no evidence that there was any such tradition, and no probability that there was and the conclusion, then, is inevitable, that he was then so well known to the Hebrews in exile, that it was proper for Ezekiel to mention him just as he did Noah and Job. If so, this furnishes the highest evidence that he actually lived in the time of Ezekiel; that is, in the time when this book purports to have been written. }}

{{ Section II. Analysis of Chapter 1:
This chapter is entirely historical, the prophetic portions of the book commencing with the second chapter. The ‘object’ of this chapter seems to be to state the way in which Daniel, who subsequently acted so important a part in Babylon, was raised to so distinguished favour with the king and court. It was remarkable that a Jewish captive, and a young man, should be so honoured; that he should be admitted as one of the principal counsellors of the king, and that he should ultimately become the prime-minister of the realm; and there was a propriety that there should be a preliminary statement of the steps of this extraordinary promotion. This chapter contains a record of the way in which the future premier and prophet was introduced to the notice of the reigning monarch, and by which his wonderful genius and sagacity were discovered. It is a chapter, therefore, that may be full of interest and instruction to all, and especially to young men. The chapter contains the record of the following points, or steps, which led to the promotion of Daniel:—
I. The history of the Jewish captivity, as explanatory of the reason why those who are subsequently referred to were in Babylon. They were exiles, having been conveyed as captives to a foreign land, vers. 1,2.
II. The purpose of the king, Nebuchadnezzar, to bring forward the principal talent to be found among the Jewish captives, and to put it under a process of training, that it might be employed at the court, vers. 3,4. In carrying out this purpose, a confidential officer of the court, Ashpenaz, was directed to search out among the captives the most promising youths, whether by birth or talent, and to put them under a process of training, that they might become fully instructed in the science of the Chaldeans. What were the reasons which led to this cannot be known with certainty. They may have been such as these: (1.) The Chaldeans had devoted themselves to science, especially to those sciences which promised any information respecting future events, the secrets of the unseen world, etc. Hence they either originated or adopted the science of astrology; they practised the arts of magic; they studied to interpret dreams; and, in general, they made use of all the means which it was then supposed could be employed to unlock the secrets of the invisible world, and to disclose the future. (2) They could not have been ignorant of the fact, that the Hebrews claimed to have communications with God. They had doubtless heard of their prophets, and of their being able to foretell what was to occur. This kind of knowledge would fall in with the objects at which the Chaldeans aimed, and if they could avail themselves of it, it would enable them to secure what they so ardently sought. It is probable that they considered this as a sort of ‘permanent’ power which the Hebrew prophets had, and supposed that at all times, and on all subjects, they could interpret dreams, and solve the various questions about which their own magicians were so much engaged. It is not to be presumed that they had any very accurate knowledge of the exact character of the Hebrew prophecies, or the nature of the communication which the prophets had with God; but it was not unnatural for them to suppose that this spirit of prophecy or divination would be possessed by the most noble and the most talented of the land. Hence Ashpenaz was instructed to select those of the royal family, and those in whom there was no blemish, and who were handsome, and who were distinguished for knowledge, and to prepare them, by a suitable course, for being presented to the king. (3.) It may have been the purpose of the Chaldean monarch to bring forward all the talent of the realm, whether native or foreign, to be employed in the service of the government. There is no reason to suppose that there was any jealousy of foreign talent, or any reluctance to employ it in any proper way, in promoting the interests of the kingdom’ As the Chaldean monarch had now in his possession the Hebrew royal family, and all the principal men that had been distinguished in Judea, it was not unnatural to suppose that there might be valuable talent among them of which he might avail himself, and which would add to the splendour of his own court and cabinet. It might have been naturally supposed, also, that it would tend much to conciliate the captives themselves, and repress any existing impatience, or insubordination, to select the most noble and the most gifted of them, and to employ them in the service of the government; and in any questions that might arise between the government and the captive nation, it would be an advantage for the government to be able to employ native-born Hebrews in making known the wishes and purposes of the government. It was, moreover, in accordance with the proud spirit of Nebuchadnezzar (see ch. 4) to surround himself with all that would impart splendour to his own reign.
III. The method by which this talent was to be brought forward, vers. 5-7. This was by a course of living in the manner of the royal household, with the presumption that at the end of three years, in personal appearance, and in the knowledge of the language of the Chaldeans (ver. 4), they would be prepared to appear at court, and to be employed in the service to which they might be appointed.
IV. The resolution of Daniel not to corrupt himself with the viands which had been appointed for him and his brethren, ver. 8. He had heretofore been strictly temperate; he had avoided all luxurious living; he had abstained from wine; and, though now having all the means of luxurious indulgence at command, and being unexpectedly thrown into the temptations of a splendid Oriental court, he resolved to adhere steadfastly to his principles.
V. The apprehension of the prince of the eunuchs that this would be a ground of offence with his master, the king, and that he would himself be held responsible, vers. 9,10. This was a very natural apprehension, as the command seems to have been positive, and as an Oriental monarch was entirely despotic. It was not unreasonable for him to whom this office was entrusted to suppose that a failure on his part to accomplish what he had been directed to do would be followed by a loss of place or life.
VI. The experiment, and the result, vers. 11-17. Daniel asked that a trial might be made of the effects of temperance in preparing him and his companions for presentation at court. He requested that they might be permitted, even for a brief time, yet long enough to make a fair experiment, to abstain from wine, and the other luxuries of the royal table, and that then it might be determined whether they should be allowed to continue the experiment. The result was as he had anticipated. At the end of ten days, on a fair comparison with those who had indulged in luxurious living, the benefit of their course was apparent, and they were permitted to continue this strict abstinence during the remainder of the time which was deemed necessary for their preparation to appear at court.
VII. The presentation at court, vers, 18-21. At the end of the time appointed for preparation, Daniel and his selected companions were brought into the royal presence, and met with the most favourable reception which could have been hoped for. They were distinguished, it would seem, for beauty and manly vigour, and as much distinguished for wisdom as they were for the beauty and healthfulness of their bodily appearance. They at once took an honourable station, greatly surpassing in true wisdom and knowledge those at the court who were regarded as skilled in the arts of divination and astrology. These years of preparation we are not to suppose were spent in merely cultivating the beauty of their personal appearance, but they were doubtless employed, under all the advantages of instruction which could be afforded them, in the careful cultivation of their mental powers, and in the acquisition of all the knowledge which could be obtained under the best masters at the court of the Chaldeans. Comp. ver. 4. }}

{{ Chapter II. Section I. Authenticity of Chapter 2: [B.C. 603.]

The objections to the authenticity and credibility of this chapter are not numerous or important.
I. The first that is alleged, by Bertholdt (Com. pp. 192, 193), is substantially this: “that if the account here is true, the records of ancient times could not exhibit a more finished tyrant than Nebuchadnezzar was, if he doomed so many persons to death on so slight and foolish an occasion, ver, 5. This cruelty, it is said, is wholly contrary to the general character of Nebuchadnezzar as it is reported to us, and wholly incredible. It is further said, that, though it was common in the East to trust in dreams, and though the office of interpreting them was an honourable office, yet no one was so unreasonable, or could be, as to require the interpreter to reveal the dream itself when it was forgotten. The proper office of the interpreter, it is said, was to interpret the dream, not to tell what the dream was.”
To this objection, which seems to have considerable plausibility, it may be replied:—
(1.) Much reliance was placed on ‘dreams’ in ancient times, alike among the Hebrews and in the heathen world. The case of Pharaoh will at once occur to the mind; and it need not be said that men everywhere relied on dreams, and inquired earnestly respecting them, whether they ‘might’ not be the appointed means of communication with the spiritual world, and of disclosing what was to occur in the future. There can be no objection, therefore, to the supposition that this heathen monarch, Nebuchadnezzar, felt all the solicitude which he is reported to have done respecting the dream which he had. It may be further added, that in the dream itself there is nothing improbable as a dream, for it has all the characteristics of those mysterious operations of the mind; and, if God ever communicated his will by a dream, or made known future events in this way, there is no absurdity in supposing that he would thus communicate what was to come, to him who was at that time at the head of the empires of the earth, and who was the king over the first of those kingdoms which were to embrace the world’s history for so many ages.
(2.) There is no improbability in supposing that a dream would vanish from the distinct recollection, or that if it had vanished, the mind would be troubled by some vague recollection or impression in regard to it. This often occurs in our dreams now, as in the indistinct recollection that we have had a pleasant or a frightful dream, when we are wholly unable to recall the dream itself. This often occurs, too, when we would be ‘glad’ to recover the dream if we could, but when no effort that we can make will recall its distinct features to our minds.
(3) There was, really, nothing that was unreasonable, absurd, or tyrannical in the demand which Nebuchadnezzar made on the astrologers, that they should recall the dream itself, and then interpret it. Doubtless, he could recollect it if they would suggest it, or at least he could so far recollect it as to prevent their imposing on him; for something like this constantly occurs in the operation of our own minds. When we have forgotten a story, or a piece of history, though we could not ourselves recall it, yet when it is repeated to us, we can then distinctly recollect it, and can perceive that that is the same narrative, for it agrees with all our impressions in regard to it. Furthermore, though it was not understood to be a part of the office of an interpreter of dreams to ‘recall’ the dream if it had vanished from the mind, yet Nebuchadnezzar reasoned correctly, that if they could ‘interpret’ the dream they ought to be presumed to be able to tell what it was. The one required no more sagacity, than the other; and if they were, as they pretended to be, under the inspiration of the ‘gods’ in interpreting a dream, it was fair to presume that, under the same inspiration, they could tell
what it was. Comp, notes on ver. 5. No objection, then, can lie against the authenticity of this chapter from any supposed absurdity in the demand of Nebuchadnezzar. It was not only strictly in accordance with all the just principles of reasoning in the case, but was in accordance with what might be expected from an arbitrary monarch who was accustomed to exact obedience in all things.
(4.) What is here said of the threatening of Nebuchadnezzar (ver. 5) accords with the general traits of his character as history has preserved them. He had in him the elements of cruelty and severity of the highest order, especially when his will was not immediately complied with. In proof of this we need only refer to his cruel treatment of the king Zedekiah, when Jerusalem was taken: “So they took the king, and brought him to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah, before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and brought him to Babylon,” 2nd Kings 25:6,7: compare also, in vers. 18-21 of the same chapter, the account of his slaying the large number of persons that were taken by Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, and brought by him to the king in Babylon. These were slain in cold blood by order of Nebuchadnezzar himself. These facts make it every way probable that, in a fit of passion, he would not hesitate to threaten the astrologers with death if they did not comply at once with his will. Comp. Jer. 39:5, seq.; 52:9-11. The truth was, that though Nebuchadnezzar had some good qualities, and was religious ‘in his way’, yet he had all the usual characteristics of an Oriental despot. He was a man of strong passions, and was a man who would never hesitate in carrying out the purposes of an arbitrary, a determined, and a stubborn will.
II. A second objection made by Bertholdt, which may demand a moment’s notice, is, substantially, that the account bears the mark of a later hand, for the purpose of conferring a higher honour on Daniel, and making what he did appear the more wonderful: pp. 62, 63, 193-196. The supposition of Bertholdt is, that the original account was merely that Nebuchadnezzar of the interpreter to explain the sense of the dream, but that, in order to show the greatness of Daniel, the author of this book, long after the affair occurred, added the circumstance that Nebuchadnezzar required of them to make the ‘dream’ known ‘as’ well as the ‘interpretation’, and that the great superiority of Daniel was shown by his being able at once to do this. As this objection, however, is not based on any historical grounds, and as it is throughout mere conjecture, it is not necessary to notice it further. Nothing is gained by the conjecture; no difficulty is relieved by it; nor is there any real difficulty ‘to be’ relieved by any such supposition. The narrative, as we have it, has, as we have seen, no intrinsic improbability, nor is there anything in it which is contrary to the well-known character of Nebuchadnezzar.
III. A third objection to the authenticity of the chapter, which deserves to be noticed, is urged by Lüderwald, p. 40, seq., and Bleek, p. 280, that this whole narrative has a strong resemblance to the account of the dreams of Pharaoh, and the promotion of Joseph at the court of Egypt, and was apparently made up from that, or copied from it. But to this we may reply, (a) that, if either happened, there is no more improbability in supposing that it should happen to Daniel in Babylon than to Joseph in Egypt; and, taken as separate and independent histories, neither of them is improbable. (b) There is so much diversity in the two cases as to show that the one is ‘not’ copied from the other. They agree, indeed, in several circumstances: —in the fact that the king of Egypt and the king of Babylon had each a dream; in the fact that Joseph and Daniel were enabled to interpret the dream; in the fact that they both ascribed the ability to do this, not to themselves, but to God; and in the fact that they were both raised to honour as a consequence of their being able to interpret the dream. But in nothing else do they agree. The dreams themselves; the occasion; the explanation; the result; the bearing on future events —in these, and in numerous other things, they differ entirely. It may be added, also, that ‘if’ the one had been copied from the other, it is probable that there would have been some undesigned allusion by which it could be known that the writer of the one had the other before him, and that he was framing his own narrative from that. But, as a matter of fact, there are no two records in history that have more the marks of being independent and original narratives of real transactions than the account of Joseph in Egypt, and of Daniel in Babylon.
IV. A fourth objection to the account in this chapter arises from an alleged
error in ‘chronology’. For a consideration of this, see notes on ver. 1. }}

{{ Section II. Analysis of Chapter 2: The subjects of this chapter are the following:—
I. The dream of Nebuchadnezzar, ver. 1. In accordance with the common belief among the ancients, he regarded this as a Divine message. The dream, too, was of such a character as to make a deep impression on his mind, though its distinct features and details had gone from him.
II. The demand of Nebuchadnezzar that the Chaldeans should recall the dream to his recollection, and expound its meaning, vers. 2-9. He ordered those whose business it was professedly to give such interpretations to come into his presence, and to make known the dream and its meaning. But it would seem that their pretensions went no further than to explain a dream when it was known, and hence they asked respectfully that the king would state the dream in order that they might explain it. The king, in anger, threatened death if they did not first recall the dream, and then make known the interpretation, promising at the same time ample rewards if they were able to do this. As all this, under Divine direction, was designed to communicate important information of future events, it was so ordered that the dream should be forgotten, thus entirely confounding the art of the Chaldeans, and giving an opportunity to Daniel to make the dream and its interpretation known, thus exalting a man from the land of the prophets, and showing that it was not by the skill of the pretended interpreters of dreams that future events could be made known, but that it was only by those who were inspired for that purpose by the true God.
III. The acknowledged failure of the power of the astrologers and Chaldeans, vers. 10, 11. They admitted that they could not do what was demanded of them. Whatever might be the consequence, they could not even ‘attempt’ to recall a forgotten dream. And as, though we may be unable to recall such a dream distinctly ourselves, we could easily ‘recognise’ it if it were stated to us, and as we could not be imposed on by something else that any one should undertake to make us believe was the real dream, the magicians saw that it was hopeless to attempt to palm a story of their own invention on him, as if that were the real dream, and they therefore acknowledged their inability to comply with the demand of the king.
IV. The decree that they should die, vers. 12,13. In this decree, Daniel and his three friends who had been trained with him at court (ch. 1) were involved, not because they had failed to comply with the demand of the king, for there is the fullest evidence that the subject had not been laid before them, but because they came under the general class of wise men, or counsellors, to whom the monarch looked to explain the prognostics of coming events.
V. Daniel, when apprised of the decree, and the cause of it, went to the king and requested a respite in the execution of the sentence, vers. 14-16. It would seem that he had the privilege of access to the king at pleasure. We may presume that he stated that the thing had not in fact been laid before him, though he had become involved in the general sentence, and it is no unreasonable supposition that the king was so much troubled with the dream, that he was so anxious to know its signification, and that he saw so clearly that if the decree was executed, involving Daniel and his friends, ‘all’ hope of recalling and understanding it would be lost, that he was ready to grasp at ‘any’ hope, however slender, of being made acquainted with the meaning of the vision. He was willing, therefore, that Daniel should be spared, and that the execution of the decree should be suspended.
VI. In these interesting and solemn circumstances, Daniel and his friends gave themselves to prayer, vers. 17,18. Their lives were in danger, and the case was such that they could not be rescued, but by a direct Divine interposition. There was no power which they had of ascertaining by any human means what was the dream of the monarch, and yet it was indispensable, in order to save their lives, that the dream should be made known. God only, they knew, could communicate it to them, and he only, therefore, could save them from death; and in these circumstances of perplexity they availed themselves of the privilege which all the friends of God have —of carrying their cause at once before his throne.
VII. The secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision, and he gave utterance to an appropriate song of praise, vers. 19-23. The occasion was one which demanded such an expression of thanksgiving, and that which Daniel addressed to God was every way worthy of the occasion.
VIII. The way was now prepared for Daniel to make known to the king the dream and the interpretation. Accordingly he was brought before the king, and he distinctly disclaimed any power of himself to recall the dream, or to make known its signification, vers. 24-30.
IX. The statement of the dream and the interpretation, vers. 31-45.
X. The effect on Nebuchadnezzar, vers. 46-49. He recognised the dream; acknowledged that it was only the true God who could have made it known; and promoted Daniel to distinguished honour. In his own honours, Daniel did not forget the virtuous companions of his youth (ch. 1), and sought for them, now that he was elevated, posts of honourable employment also, ver. 49. }}

{{ Chapter III. Section I. Authenticity of Chapter 3: [B.C. 580.]

The objections which have been urged against the authenticity of this chapter are much more numerous than those which have been alleged against the two previous chapters.
I. The first which deserves to be noticed is stated by De Wette (p. 383, under the general head of ‘improbabilities’ in the chapter), and Bleek, p. 268, as quoted by Hengstenberg, die Authentie des Daniel, p. 83. The objection is, substantially, that if the account in this chapter is true, it would prove that the Chaldeans were inclined to persecution on account of religious opinions, which, it is said, is contrary to their whole character as elsewhere shown. So far as we have any information in regard to them, it is alleged, they were far from having this character, and it is not probable, therefore, that Nebuchadnezzar would make a law which would compel the worship of an idol under severe pains and penalties.
To this objection the following reply may be made:—
(1.) Little is known, on any supposition, of the Chaldeans in general, and little of the character of Nebuchadnezzar in particular, beyond what we find in the book of Daniel. So far, however, as we have any knowledge of either from any source, there is no inconsistency between that and what is said in this chapter to have occurred. It is probable that no one ever perceived any incongruity of this kind in the book itself, nor, if this were all, should we suppose that there was any improbability in the account in this chapter.
(2.) There is properly no account of ‘persecution’ in this narrative, nor an reason to suppose that Nebuchadnezzar designed any such thing. This is admitted by Bertholdt himself (p. 261), and is manifest on the face of the whole narrative. It is indeed stated that Nebuchadnezzar demanded, on severe penalties, a recognition of the ‘god’ that he worshipped, and required that the reverence should be shown to that god which he thought to be his due. It is true, also, that the monarch intended to be obeyed in what seems to us to be a very arbitrary and unreasonable command, that they should assemble and fall down and worship the image which he had set up, But this does not imply any disposition to persecute on account of religion, or to prevent in others the free exercise of their own religious opinions, or the worship of their own ‘gods’. It is well known that it was a doctrine of all ancient idolaters, that respect might be shown to foreign ‘gods’ —to the ‘gods’ of other people— without in the least degree implying a want of respect for their own ‘gods’, or violating any of their obligations to them. The universal maxim was, that the ‘gods’ of all nations were to be respected, and hence foreign ‘gods’ might be introduced for worship, and respect paid to them without in any degree detracting from the honour which was due to their own. Nebuchadnezzar, therefore, simply demanded that homage should be shown to the idol that ‘he’ had erected; that the ‘god’ whom ‘he’ worshipped should be acknowledged as ‘a’ ‘god’; and that respect should thus be shown to himself, and to the laws of his empire, by acknowledging ‘his’ god, and rendering to that ‘god’ the degree of homage which was his due. But it is nowhere intimated that he regarded his idol as the ‘only’ true god, or that he demanded that he should be recognised as such, or that he was not willing that all other ‘gods’, in their place, should be honoured. There is no intimation, therefore, that he meant to ‘persecute’ any other men for worshipping their own ‘gods’, nor is there any reason to suppose that he apprehended that there would be any scruples on religious grounds about acknowledging the image that he set up to be worthy of adoration and praise.
(3.) There is no reason to think that he was so well acquainted with the peculiar character of the Hebrew religion as to suppose that its votaries would have any difficulty on this subject, or would hesitate to unite with others in adoring his image. He knew, indeed, that they were worshippers of Jehovah; that they had reared a magnificent temple to his honour in Jerusalem, and that they professed to keep his laws. But there is no reason to believe that he was very intimately acquainted with the laws and institutions of the Hebrews, or that he supposed that they would have any difficulty in doing what was universally understood to be proper —to show due respect to the ‘gods’ of other nations. Certainly, if he had intimately known the history of a considerable portion of the Hebrew people, and been acquainted with their proneness to fall into idolatry, he would have seen little to make him doubt that they would readily comply with a command to show respect to the ‘gods’ worshipped in other lands. There is no reason; therefore, to suppose that he anticipated that the Hebrew exiles, any more than any other people, would hesitate to show to his image the homage which he required.
(4.) The whole account agrees well with the character of Nebuchadnezzar. He was an arbitrary monarch. He was accustomed to implicit obedience. He was determined in his character, and resolute in his purposes. Having once formed the resolution to erect such a magnificent image of his god —one that would correspond with the greatness of his capital, and, at the same time, show his respect for the god that he worshipped,— nothing was more natural than that he should issue such a proclamation that homage should be shown to it by all his subjects, and that, in order to secure this, he should issue this decree, that whoever did ‘not’ do it should be punished in the severest manner. There is no reason to suppose that he had any particular class of persons in his eye, or, indeed, that he anticipated that the order would be disobeyed by ‘any’ class of persons. In fact, we see in this whole transaction just one illustration of what usually occurred under the arbitrary despotisms of the East, where, ‘whatever’ is the order that is issued from the throne, universal and absolute submission is demanded, under the threatening of a speedy and fearful punishment. The order of Nebuchadnezzar was not more arbitrary and unreasonable than those which have been frequently issued by the Turkish sultan.
II. A second objection to the chapter is the account of the musical instruments in ver. 5. The objection is, that to some of these instruments ‘Grecian’ names are given, and that this proves that the transaction must have a later date than is attributed to it, or that the account must have been written by one of later times. The objection is, that the whole statement seems to have been derived from the account of some Greek procession in honour of the ‘gods’ of Greece. See Bleek, p.259.
To this objection, it may be replied, (a) that such processions in honour of the ‘gods’, or such assemblages, accompanied with musical instruments, were, and are, common among all people. They occur constantly in the East, and it cannot, with any propriety, be said that one is borrowed from another. (b) A large part of these instruments have undoubtedly Chaldee names given to them, and the names are such as we may suppose that one living in the times of Nebuchadnezzar would give them. See notes on ver. 5. (c) As to those which are alleged to indicate a Greek origin, it may be observed, that it is quite uncertain whether the origin of the name was Greek or Chaldee. That such names ‘are’ found given to instruments of music by the Greeks is certain; but it is not certain whence they obtained the name. For anything that can be proved to the contrary, the name may have had an Eastern origin. It is altogether probable that many of the names of things among the Greeks had such an origin; and if the instrument of music itse —as no one can prove it did not—came in from the East, the ‘name’ came also from the East. (d) It may be further stated, that, even on the supposition that the name had its origin in Greece, there is no absolute certainty that the name and the instrument were unknown to the Chaldeans. Who can prove that some Chaldean may not have been in Greece, and may not have borne back to his own country some instrument of music that he found there different from those which he had been accustomed to at home, or that he may not have constructed an instrument resembling one which he had seen there, and given it the same name Or who can prove that some strolling Greek musician may not have travelled as far as Babylon —for the Greeks travelled everywhere— and carried with him some instrument of music before unknown to the Chaldeans, and imparted to them at the same time the knowledge of the instrument and the name? But until this is shown the objection has no force.
III. A third objection is, that the statement in ver. 22, that the persons appointed to execute the orders of the king died from the heat of the furnace, or that the king issued an order, to execute which periled the lives of the innocent who were entrusted with its execution, is improbable. To this it may be said, (a) that there is no evidence or affirmation that the king contemplated ‘their’ danger, or designed to peril their lives; but it is undoubtedly a fact that he was intent on the execution of his own order, and that he little regarded the peril of those who executed it. And nothing is more probable than this; and, indeed, nothing more common. A general who orders a company of men to silence or take a battery has no malice against them, and no design on their lives; but he is intent on the accomplishment of the object, whatever may be the peril of the men, or however large a portion of them may fall. In fact, the objection which is here made to the credibility of this narrative is an objection which would lie with equal force against most of the orders issued in battle, and not a few of the commands issued by arbitrary monarchs in time of peace. The fact in this case was, the king was intent on the execution of his purpose —the punishment of the refractory and stubborn men who had resisted his commands, and there is no probability that, in the excitements of wrath, he would pause to inquire whether the execution of his purpose would endanger the lives of those who were entrusted with the execution of the order or not. (b) There is every probability that the heat ‘would’ be so great as to peril the lives of those who should approach it. It is said to have been made seven times hotter than usual (ver. 19); that is, as hot as it could be made, and, if this were so, it is by no means an unreasonable supposition that those who were compelled to approach it so near as to cast others in should be in danger.
IV. A fourth objection, urged by Griesinger, p. 41, as quoted by Hengstenberg, Authentie des Daniel, p. 92, is, that “as Nebuchadnezzar had the furnace already prepared ready to throw these men in, he must have known beforehand that they would not comply with his demand, and so must have designed to punish them; or that this representation is a mere fiction of the writer, to make the delivery of these men appear more marvellous.” To this it may be replied, (a) that there is not the slightest evidence, from the account in Daniel, that Nebuchadnezzar had the furnace prepared beforehand, as if it were expected that some would disobey, and as if he meant to show his wrath. He indeed (ver. 6) threatens this punishment, but it is clear, from ver, 19, that the furnace was not yet heated up, and that the occasion of its being heated in such a manner was the unexpected refusal of these three men to obey him. (b) But if it should be admitted that there was a furnace thus glowing —heated with a view to punish offenders— it would not be contrary to what sometimes occurs in the East under a despotism. Sir John Chardin (Voy. en Perse, iv. p. 276) mentions in his time (in the seventeenth century), a case similar to this. He says that during a whole month, in a time of great scarcity, an oven was kept heated to throw in all persons who had failed to comply with the laws in regard to taxation, and had thus defrauded the government. This was, in fact, strictly in accordance with the character of Oriental despotism. We know, moreover, from Jer. 29:22, that this mode of punishment was not unknown in Babylon, and it would seem probable that it was not uncommon in the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Thus Jeremiah says, “And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire.”
V. A fifth objection is stated thus by Bertholdt: “Why did the wonders recorded in this chapter take place? It was only for this purpose that Nebuchadnezzar might be made to appear to give praise to God, that he is represented as giving commandment that no one should reproach him. But this object is too small to justify such an array of means.”. To this it may be replied, (a) that it does not appear from the chapter that this was the ‘object’ aimed at. (b) There were other designs in the narrative beside this. They were to show the firmness of the men who refused to worship an idol ‘god’; to illustrate their conscientious adherence to their religion; to show their confidence in the Divine protection; to prove that God will defend those who put their trust in him, and that he can deliver them even in the midst of the flames. These things were worthy of record.
VI. It has been objected that “the expression in which Nebuchadnezzar (ver. 28) is represented as breaking out, after the rescue of the three men, is altogether contrary to his dignity, and to the respect for the religion of his fathers and of his country, which he was bound to defend.” —’Bertholdt’ 253. But to this it may be replied, (a) that if this scene actually occurred before the eyes of the king —if God had thus miraculously interposed in delivering his servants in this wonderful manner from the heated furnace, nothing would be more natural than this. It was a manifest miracle, a direct interposition of God, a deliverance of the professed friends of Jehovah by a power that was above all that was human, and an expression of surprise and admiration was in every way proper on such an occasion. (b). It accorded with all the prevailing notions of religion, and of the respect due to the ‘gods’, to say this. As above remarked, it was a principle recognised among the heathen to honour the ‘gods’ of other nations, and if they had interposed to defend their own votaries, it was no more than was admitted in all the nations of idolatry. If, therefore, Jehovah had interposed to save his own friends and worshippers, every principle which Nebuchadnezzar held on the subject would make it proper for him to acknowledge the fact, and to say that honour was due to him for his interposition. In this, moreover, Nebuchadnezzar would be understood as saying nothing derogatory to the ‘gods’ that he himself worshipped, or to those adored in his own land, All that is ‘necessary’ to be supposed in what he said is, that he now felt that Jehovah, the God whom the Hebrews adored, had shown that he was worthy to be ranked among the ‘gods’, and that in common with others, he had power to protect his own friends. To this it may be added (c) that, in his way, Nebuchadnezzar everywhere showed that he was a religious man: that is, that he recognised the ‘gods’, and was ever ready to acknowledge their interference in human affairs, and to render them the honour which was their due. Indeed, this whole affair grew out of his respect for religion, and what here occurred was only in accordance with his general principle, that when any ‘god’ had shown that he had power to deliver his people, he should be acknowledged, and that no words of reproach should be uttered against him, ver. 29.
VII. A more plausible objection than those which have just been noticed is urged by Lüderwald, Jahn, Dereser, in regard to the account, which is given of the image which, Nebuchadnezzar is said to have erected. This objection has reference to the ‘size’ of the image, to its proportions, and to the material of which it is said to have been composed. This objection, as stated by Bertholdt (p. 256), is substantially the following: “that the image had probably a human form, and yet that the proportions of the human figure are by no means observed —the height being represented to have been sixty cubits (90′ feet), and its breadth six cubits (9′ feet) —or its height being to its breadth as ten to one, whereas the proportion of a man is only six to one; that the amount of gold in such an image is incredible, being beyond any means which the king of Babylon could have possessed; and that probably the image here referred to was one that Herodotus says he saw in the temple of Belus at Babylon (I. 183), and which Diodorus Siculus describes (II. 9), and which was only forty feet in height.” See notes on ver. 1. In regard to this objection, we may observe, then—
(a) That there is no certainty that this was the same image which is referred to by Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus. That image was in the temple; this was erected on the “plain of Dura.” See notes on ver. 1. But, so far as appears, this may have been erected for a temporary purpose, and the materials may then have been employed for other purposes; that in the temple was permanent.
(b) As to the amount of gold in the image —it is not said or implied that it was of ‘solid’ gold. It is well known that the images of the ‘gods’ were made of wood or clay, and overlaid with gold or silver, and this is all that is necessarily implied here. See notes on ver. 1.
(c) The ‘height’ of the alleged image can be no real objection to the statement. It is not necessary to assume that it had the human form —though that is probable —but if that be admitted, there can be no objection to the supposition that, either standing by itself, or raised on a pedestal, it may have been as lofty as the statement here implies. The colossal figure at Rhodes was a hundred and five Grecian feet in height, and, being made to stride the mouth of the harbor, was a work of much more difficult construction than this figure would have been.
(d) As to the alleged ‘disproportion’ in the figure of the image, see notes on ver. 1. To what is there said may be added: (1.) It is not ‘necessary’ to suppose that it had the human form. Nothing of this kind is affirmed, though it may be regarded as probable. But if it had not, of course the objection would have no force, (2.) If it had the human form, it is by no means clear whether it had a sitting or a standing posture. Nothing is said on this point in regard to the image or statue, and until ‘this’ is determined nothing can be said properly respecting the proportions. (3.) It is not said whether it stood by itself, or whether it rested on a basis or pediment —and until ‘this’ is determined, no objections can be valid as to the proportion of the statue. It is every way probable that the image was reared on a low pedestal, and for anything that appears, the proportions of the ‘image itself’, whether sitting or standing, may have been well preserved. (4.) But in addition to this it should be said, that if the account here is to be taken literally as stating that the image was ten times as high as it was broad —thus failing to observe the proper human proportions —the account would not be incredible. It is admitted by Gesenius (Ency. von Ersch und Gruber, art. Babylon, Th. vii. p. 24), that the Babylonians had no correct taste in these matters. “The ruins,” says he, “are imposing by their colossal greatness, not by their beauty; all the ornaments are rough and barbarian.” The Babylonians, indeed, possessed a taste for the colossal, the grand, the imposing, but they also had a taste for the monstrous and the prodigious, and a mere want of ‘proportion’ is not a sufficient argument to prove that what is stated here did not occur.
VIII. But one other objection remains to be noticed. It is one which is noticed by Bertholdt (pp. 251, 252), that, if this is a true account, it is strange that ‘Daniel’ himself is not referred to; that if he was, according to the representation in the last chapter, a high officer at court, it is unaccountable that he is not mentioned as concerned in these affairs, and especially that he did not interpose in behalf of his three friends to save them. This objection it is sufficient to reply (a) that, as Bertholdt himself (p. 287) suggests, Daniel may have been absent from the capital at this time on some business of state, and consequently the question whether he would worship the image may not have been tested. It is probable, from the nature of the case, that ‘he’ would be employed on such embassies, or be sent to some other part of the empire from time to time, to arrange the affairs of the provinces, and no one can demonstrate that he was not absent on this occasion. Indeed, the fact that he is not mentioned at all in the transaction would serve to imply this; since, if he were at court, it is to be presumed that he himself would have been implicated as well as his three friends. Comp. ch. vi. He was not a man to shrink from duty, or to decline any proper method of showing his attachment to the religion of his fathers, or any proper interest in the welfare of his friends. But (b) it is possible that even if Daniel were at court at that time, and did not unite in the worship of the image, he might have escaped the danger. There were undoubtedly many more Jews in the province of Babylon who did not worship this image, but no formal accusation was brought against them, and their case did not come before the king. For some reason, the accusation was made specific against these three men—’for they were rulers in the province’ (ch. 2:49), and being foreigners, the people under them may have gladly seized the occasion to complain of them to the king. But so little is known of the circumstances, that it is not possible to determine the matter with certainty. All that needs to be said is, that the fact that Daniel was ‘not’ implicated in the affair is no proof that the three persons referred to were not; that it is no evidence that what is said of them is not true because nothing is said of ‘Daniel’. }}

{{ Section II. Analysis of Chapter 3:

This chapter, which is complete in itself, or which embraces the entire narrative relating to an important transaction, contains the account of a magnificent brazen image, erected by Nebuchadnezzar, and the result of attempting to constrain the conscientious Hebrews to worship it. The narrative comprises the following points:–
I. The erection of the great image in the plain of Dura, ver. 1.
II. The dedication of the image in the presence of the great princes and governors of the provinces, the high officers of state, and an immense multitude of the people, accompanied with solemn music, vers. 2-7.
III. The complaint of certain Chaldeans respecting the Jews, that they refused to render homage to the image, reminding the king that he had solemnly enjoined this on all persons, on penalty of being cast into a burning furnace in case of disobedience, vers. 8–12. This charge was brought particularly against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Daniel escaped the accusation, for reasons which will be stated in the notes on ver. 12. The common ºof the Jews also escaped, as the command extended particularly to the rulers.
IV. The manner in which Nebuchadnezzar received this accusation, vers. 13-15. He was filled with rage; he summoned the accused into his presence; he commanded them to prostrate themselves before the image on penalty of being cast at once into the fiery furnace.
V. The noble answer of the accused, vers, 16-18. They stated to the king that his threat did not alarm them, and that they felt no solicitude to answer him in regard to the matter (ver. 16); that they were assured that the God whom they served was able to deliver them from the furnace, and from the wrath of the king (ver. 17); but that even if he did not, whatever might be the issue, they could not serve the ‘gods’ of the Chaldeans, nor worship the image which the king had set up.
VI. The infliction of the threatened punishment, vers. 19-23. The furnace was commanded to be heated seven times hotter than usual; they were bound and thrown in with their usual .on; and the hot blast of the furnace destroyed the men who were employed to perform this service.
VII. Their protection and preservation, vers. 24–27. The astonished monarch who had commanded ‘three’ men to be cast in ‘bound’, saw ‘four’ men walking in the midst of the flames ‘loose’; and satisfied now they had a Divine Protector, awed by the miracle, and doubtless dreading the wrath of the Divine Being that had become their protector, he commanded them suddenly to come out. The princes, and governors, and captains were gathered together, and these men, thus remarkably preserved, appeared before them uninjured.
VIII. The effect on the king, vers. 28-30. As in the case when Daniel had interpreted his dream (ch. 2), he acknowledged that this was the act of the true God, ver. 28. He issued a solemn command that the God who had done this should be honoured, for that no other God could deliver in this manner, ver. 29. He again restored them to their honourable command over the provinces, ver. 30. }}

{{ Chapter IV. Section I. Authenticity of Chapter 4: [B.C. 570.]

To the authenticity of this chapter, as to the preceding, objections and difficulties have been urged, sufficient in the view of the objectors to destroy its credibility as an historical narrative. Those objections, which may be seen at length in Bertholdt (pp. 70-72, 285-309),}. (Theol. Zeitscrift, Drittes Heft, 268, seq.), and Eichhorn (Einlei. iv. 471, seq.), relate mainly to two points —those derived from the want of historical proofs to the narrative, and those derived from its alleged intrinsic improbability.
I. The former of these, derived from the want of historic confirmation of the truth, of the narrative, are summarily the following: (1.) That the historical books of the Old Testament give no intimation that these remarkable things happened to Nebuchadnezzar, that he was deranged and driven from his throne, and made to dwell under the open heaven with the beasts of the field —an omission which, it is said, we cannot suppose would have occurred if these things had happened, since the Hebrew writers, on account of the wrongs which Nebuchadnezzar had done to their nation, would have certainly seized on such facts as a demonstration of the Divine displeasure against him. (2.) There is no record of these events among the heathen writers of antiquity; no writer among the Greeks, or other nations, ever having mentioned them. (3.) It is equally remarkable that Josephus, in his narrative of the sickness of Nebuchadnezzar, makes no allusion to any knowledge of this among other nations, and shows that he derived his information only from the sacred books of his own people. (4.) It is acknowledged by Origen and Jerome that they could find no historical grounds for the truth of this account. (5.) If these things had occurred, as here related, they would not have been thus concealed, for the king himself took all possible measures by the edict referred to in this chapter to make them known, and to make a permanent record of them. How could it have happened that all knowledge would have been lost if they had thus occurred? (6.) If the edict was lost, how was it ever recovered again? When, and where, and by whom, was it found? If actually issued, it was designed to make the case known throughout the empire. Why did it fail of producing that effect so as not to have been forgotten? If it was lost, how was the event known? And if it was lost, how could it have been recovered and recorded by the author of this book? Comp. Bertholdt, p. 298.
To these objections, it may be replied, (1.) that the silence of the historical looks of the Old Testament furnishes no well-founded objection to what is said in this chapter, for none of them pretend to bring down the history of Nebuchadnezzar to the close of his life, or to this period of his life. The books of Kings and of Chronicles mention his invasion of the land of Palestine and of Egypt; they record the fact of his carrying away the children of Israel to Babylon, but they do not profess to make any record of what occurred to him after that, nor of the close of his life. The second book of Chronicles closes with an account of the removal of the Jews to Babylon, and the carrying away of the sacred vessels of the temple, and the burning of the temple, and the destruction of the city, but does not relate the history of Nebuchadnezzar any farther, 2nd Chron. 36. The silence of the book cannot, therefore, be alleged as an argument against anything that may be said to have occurred after that. As the history closes there; as the design was to give a record of Jewish affairs to the carrying away to Babylon, and not a history of Nebuchadnezzar as such, there is no ground of objection furnished by this silence in regard to anything that might be said to have occurred to Nebuchadnezzar subsequently this in his own kingdom.
In regard to profane writers, also, nothing can be argued as to the improbability of the account mentioned here from their silence on the subject. It is not remarkable that in the few fragments which are found in their writings respecting the kings and empires of the East, an occurrence of this kind should have been omitted. The general worthlessness or want of value of the historical writings of the Greeks in respect to foreign nations, from which we derive most of our knowledge of those nations, is now generally admitted, and is expressly maintained by Niebuhr, and by Schlosser (see Hengstenberg, Die Authentie des Daniel, p. 101), and most of these writers make no allusion at all to Nebuchadnezzar. Even Herodotus, who travelled into the East, and who collected all he could of the history of the world, makes no mention whatever of a conqueror so illustrious as Nebuchadnezzar. How could it be expected that when they have omitted all notice of his conquests, of the great events under him, which exerted so important an effect on the world, there should have been a record of an occurrence like that referred to in this chapter —an occurrence that seems to have exerted no influence whatever on the foreign relations of the empire It is remarkable that Josephus, who searched for all that he could find to illustrate the literature and history of the Chaldees, says (Ant. b. x, ch. xi. § 1) that he could find only the following “histories as all that he had met with concerning this king: Berosus, in the third book of his Chaldaic history; Philostratus, in the history of Judea and of the Phoenicians, who only mentions him in respect to his siege of Tyre; the Indian history of Megasthenes —(Indika)— in which the only fact which is mentioned of him is that he plundered Libya and Iberia; and the Persian history of Diocles, in which there occurs but one solitary reference to Nebuchadnezzar.” To these he adds, in his work against Apion (b. i. 20), a reference to the “Archives of the Phoenicians,” in which it is said that “he conquered Syria and Phoenicia.” Berosus is the only one who pretends to give any extended account of him. See Ant. b. x. ch. xi. § 1. All those authorities mentioned by Josephus, therefore, except Berosus, may be set aside, since they have made no allusion to many undeniable facts in the life of Nebuchadnezzar, and, therefore, the events referred to in this chapter may have occurred, though they have not related them. There remain two authors who have noticed Nebuchadnezzar at greater length, Abydenus and Berosus. Abydenus was a Greek who lived 268 B.C. He wrote, in Greek, an historical account of the Chaldeans, Babylonians, and Assyrians, only a few fragments of which have been preserved 3. Eusebius, Cyrill, and Syncellus. Berosus was a Chaldean, and was a priest in the temple of Belus, in the time of Alexander, and having learned of the Macedonians the Greek language, he went to Greece, and opened a school of astronomy and astrology in the Island of Cos, where his productions acquired for him great fame wi the Athenians. Abydenus was his pupil. Berosus wrote three books relative to the history of the Chaldeans, of which only some fragments are preserved in Josephus and Eusebius. As a priest of Belus he possessed every advantage which could be desired for obtaining a knowledge of the Chaldeans, and if his work had been preserved it would doubtless be of great value. Both these writers professedly derived their knowledge from the traditions of the Chaldeans, and both should be regarded as good authority. Berosus is adduced by Josephus to confirm the truth of the historical records in the Old Testament. He mentions, according to Josephus, the deluge in the time of Noah, and the account of the resting of the ark on one of the mountains of Armenia. He gives a catalogue of the descendants of Noah, and “at length comes down to Nabolassar, who was king of Babylon and of the Chaldeans.” He then mentions the expedition of his son, Nabuchodonosor (Nebuchadnezzar), against the Egyptians; the capture of Jerusalem; the burning of the temple; and the removal of the Jews to Babylon. He then mentions the manner in which Nebuchadnezzar succeeded to the throne; the way in which he distributed his captives invarious parts of Babylonia; his adorning of the temple of Belus; his rebuilding the old city of Babylon, and the building of another city on the other side of the river; his adding a new palace to that which his father had built; and the fact that this palace was finished in fifteen days. After these statements respecting his conquests and the magnificence of his capital, Berosus gives the following narrative: “Nabuchodonosor, after he had begun to build the forementioned wall, fell sick —(empesön eis ar`hröstian)— and departed this life —(metëllaxato ton bion)”— [a phrase meaning to die, see Passow on the word (metallassö)] “when he had reigned forty-three years, whereupon his son, Evil-Merodach, obtained the kingdom.” Josephus against Apion, b. i. § 20. Now this narrative is remarkable, and goes in fact to confirm the statement in Daniel in two respects: (a) It is manifest that Berosus here refers to some sickness in the case of Nebuchadnezzar that was unusual, and that probably preceded, for a considerable time, his death. This appears from the fact, that in the case of the other monarchs whom he mentions in immediate connexion with this narrative, no sickness is alluded to as preceding their death. This is the case with respect to Neriglissar and Nabonnedus —successors of Nebuchadnezzar. See Jos. against Ap. i. 20. There is no improbability in supposing that what Berosus here calls ‘sickness’ is the same which is referred to in the chapter before us. Berosus, himself a Chaldean, might not be desirous of stating all the facts about a monarch of his own country so distinguished, and might not be willing to state all that he knew about his being deprived of reason, and about the manrer in which he was treated, and yet what occurred to him was so remarkable, and was so well known, that there seemed to be a necessity of alluding to it in some way; and this he did in the most general manner possible. If this were his object, also, he would not be likely to mention the fact that he was restored again to the throne. He would endeavour to make it appear as an ordinary event —a sickness which preceded death— as it ‘may’ have been the fact that he never was wholly restored so far as to be in perfect health. (b) This statement of Berosus accords, in respect to ‘time’, remarkably with that in Daniel. Both accounts agree that the sickness occurred after he had built Babylon, and towards the close of his reign.
The other author which is referred to is Abydenus. The record which he makes is preserved by Eusebius, praep. Evang. ix. 41, and ‘Chronicon Armeno-latinum’, I. p. 59, and is in the following words: (meta tauta de, legetai pros Chaldaiön, `hös anabas epi ta basilëia, kataschetheië theö `hoteö dë, phthengxamenos de eipen. outos egö Naboukodrosoros, ö Babulönioi, tën mellousan `humin proanggellö sumphorën, tën `hote Bëlos emos progonos, `hë te basileia Bëltis apotrepsai Moiras peisai asthenousin. `hëxei Persës `hëmionos, toisin `humeteroisi daimosi chreömenos summachoisin. epaxei de doulosunën. `hou dë sunaitios estai Mëdës, to Assurion auchëma. `hös eithe min prosthen ë dounai tous poliëtas, Charubdin tin tina, ë thalassan eisdexamenën, aistösai pror`ridzon. ë min allas `hodous straphenta pheresthai dia tës erëmou, `hina oute en te petrësi kai charadrësi mounon `halömenon. eme te, prin, eis noun balesthai tauta, teleos ameinonos kurësai. `Ho men thespisas parachrëma ëphanisto). This passage is so remarkable, that I annex a translation of it, as I find it in Prof. Stuart’s work on Daniel, p. 122: “After these things,” [his conquests which the writer had before referred to,] “as it is said by the Chaldeans, having ascended his palace, he was seized by some ‘god’, and speaking aloud, he said: “I, Nebuchadnezzar, O Babylonians, foretell your future calamity, which neither Belus, my ancestor, nor queen Beltis, can persuade the destinies to avert. A ‘Persian mule’ will come, employing your own divinities as his auxiliaries; and he will impose servitude [upon you]. His coadjutor will be the ‘Mede’, who is the boast of the Assyrians. Would that, before he places my citizens in such a condition, some Charybdis or gulf might swallow him up with utter destruction! Or that, turned in a different direction, he might roam in the desert (where are neither cities, nor footsteps of man, but wild beasts find pasturage, and the birds wander), being there hemmed in by rocks and ravines!, May it be my lot to attain to a better end, before such things come into his mind!’ Having uttered this prediction, he forthwith disappeared.” This passage so strongly resembles the account in Daniel 4, that even Bertholdt (p. 296) admits that it is identical (identisch) with it, though he still maintains, that although it refers to mental derangement, it does nothing to confirm the account of his being made to live with wild beasts, eating grass, and being restored again, to his throne. The points of ‘agreement’ in the account of Abydenus and that of Daniel are the following: (1.) The account of Abydenus, as Bertholdt admits, refers to mental derangement. Such a mental derangement, and the power of prophecy, were in the view of the ancients closely connected, or were identical, and were believed to be produced by the overpowering influence of the ‘gods’ on the soul. The rational powers of the soul were supposed to be suspended, and the ‘god’ took entire possession of the body, and through that communicated the knowledge of future events. Comp. Dale, de Oraculis Ethnicorum, p. 172. Eusebius, Chron. Arm. lat. p. 61. In itself considered, moreover, nothing would be more natural than that Nebuchadnezzar, in the malady that came upon him, or when it was coming upon him, would express himself in the manner affirmed by Abydenus respecting the coming of the Persian, and the change that would occur to his own kingdom. If the account in Daniel is true respecting the predictions which he is said to have uttered concerning coming events (ch. 2), nothing would be more natural than that the mind of the monarch would be filled with the anticipation of these events, and that he would give utterance to his anticipations in a time of mental excitement. (2.) There is a remarkable agreement between Abydenus and Daniel in regard to the ‘time’ and the ‘place’ in which what is said of the king occurred. According to Abydenus, the prophetic ecstacy into which he fell was at the close of all his military expeditions, and occurred in the same place, and in the same circumstances, which are mentioned in the book of Daniel —upon his palace—apparently as he walked upon the roof, or upon some place where he had a clear view of the surrounding city which he had built —(anabas epi ta basilëia). (3) The accounts in Abydenus and in Daniel harmonize so far as they relate to the ‘God’ by whom what occurred was produced. In Daniel it is attributed to the true God, and not to any of the objects of Chaldean worship. It is remarkable that in Abydenus it is not ascribed to an idol, or to any ‘god’ worshipped by the Chaldees, but to ‘God’ simply, as to a God that was not known —(kataschetheië theö `hoteö dë). It would seem from this that even the Chaldee tradition did not attribute what was said by Nebuchadnezzar, or what occurred to him, to any of the ‘gods’ worshipped in Babylon, but to a foreign ‘god’, or to one whom they were not accustomed to worship. (4.) In the language which Nebuchadnezzar is reported by Abydenus to have used respecting the return of the Persian king after his conquest, there is a remarkable resemblance to what is said in Daniel, showing that, though the language is applied to different things in Daniel and in Abydenus, it had a common origin. Thus, in the prophecy of
Nebuchadnezzar, as reported by Abydenus, it is said, “may he, returning through other ways, be borne through the desert where there are no cities, where there is no path for men, where wild beasts graze, and the fowls live, wandering about in the midst of rocks and caves.” These considerations show that the Chaldean traditions strongly corroborate the account here; or, that there are things in these traditions which cannot be accounted for except on the supposition 0of the truth of some such occurrence as that which is here stated in Daniel. The sum of the evidence from history is, (a) that very few things are known of this monarch from profane history; (b) that there is nothing in what is known of him which makes what is here stated improbable; (c) that there ‘are’ things related of him which harmonize with what is here affirmed; and (d) that there are traditions which can be best explained by some such supposition as that the record in this chapter is true.
As to the objection that if the edict was promulgated it would not be likely to be lost, or the memory of it fade away, it is sufficient to observe that almost ‘all’ of the edicts, the laws, and the statutes of the Assyrian and Chaldean princes have perished with all the other records of their history, and almost all the facts pertaining to the personal or the public history of these monarchs are now unknown. It cannot be believed that the few fragments which we now have of their writings are all that were ever composed, and in the thing itself there is no more improbability that ‘this’ edict should be lost than any other, or that though it may have been kept by a Hebrew residing among them, it should not have been retained by the Chaldeans themselves. As to the question which has been asked, if this were lost how it could have been recovered again, it is sufficient to remark that, for anything that appears, it never ‘was’ lost in the sense that no one had it in his possession. It would undoubtedly come into the hands of Daniel if he were, according to the account in his book, then in Babylon; and it is not probable that so remarkable a document would be suffered by ‘him’ to be lost. The fact that it was preserved by him is all that is needful to answer the questions on that point. It ‘may’ have been swept away with other matters in the ruin that came upon the Chaldean records in their own country; it has been preserved where it was most important that it should be preserved —in a book where it would be to all ages, and in all lands, a signal proof that God reigns over kings, and that he has power to humble and abase the proud.
II. There is a second class of objections to the credibility of the account in this chapter quite distinct from that just noticed. They are based on what is alleged to be the intrinsic ‘improbability’ that the things which are said to have occurred to Nebuchadnezzar should have happened. It cannot be alleged, indeed, that it is incredible that a monarch should become a maniac —for the kings of the earth are no more exempt from this terrible malady than their subjects; but the objections here referred to relate to the statements respecting the manner in which it is said that this monarch was treated, and that he lived during this long period. These objections may be briefly noticed.
(1.) It has been objected, that it is wholly improbable that a monarch at the head of such an empire would, if he became incapable of administering the affairs of government, be so utterly neglected as the representation here would imply:—that he would be suffered to wander from his palace to live with beasts; to fare as they fared, and to become in his whole appearance so ‘like’ a beast. It is indeed admitted by those who make this objection, that there is no improbability that the calamity would befall a king as well as other men; and Michaelis has remarked that it is even more probable that a monarch would be thus afflicted than others (Anm. Z. Dan. p. 41; comp. Bertholdt, p. 304), but it is alleged that it is wholly improbable that one so high in office and in power would be treated with the utter neglect which is stated here. “Is it credible,” says Bertholdt (p. 300–303), “that the royal family, and the royal counsellors, should have shown so little care or concern for a monarch who had come into a state so perfectly helpless? Would no one have sought him out, and brought him back, if he had wandered so far away? Could he anywhere in the open plains, and the regions about Babylon, destitute of forests, have concealed himself so that no one could have found him? It could only have been by a miracle, that one could have wandered about for so long a time, amidst the dangers which must have befallen him, without having been destroyed by wild beasts, or falling into some form of irrecoverable ruin. What an unwise policy in a government to exhibit to a newly-conquered people so dishonorable a spectacle! ”To this objection it may be replied, (a) that its force, as it was formerly urged, may be somewhat removed by a correct interpretation of the chapter, and a more accurate knowledge of the disease which came upon the king, and of the manner in which he was actually treated. According to some views formerly entertained respecting the nature of the malady, it would have been impossible, I admit, to have defended the narrative. In respect to these views, see notes on ver. 25. It ‘may’ appear, from the fair interpretation of the whole narrative, that nothing more occurred than was natural in the circumstances. (b) The supposition that he was left to wander without any kind of oversight or guardianship is entirely gratuitous, and is unauthorized by the account which Nebuchadnezzar gives of what occurred. This opinion has been partly formed from a false interpretation of the phrase in ver. 36 —“and my counsellors and my lords ‘sought unto me’”—as if they had sought him when he was wandering with a view to find out where he was; whereas the true meaning of that passage is, that ‘after’ his restoration they sought unto him, or applied to him as the head of the empire, as they had formerly done. (c) There is some probability from the passage in ver. 15 —“leave the stump of his roots in the earth, ‘even with a band of iron and brass’” —that Nebuchadnezzar was secured in the manner in which maniacs often have been, and that in his rage he was carefully guarded from all danger of injuring himself. See notes on ver. 15. (d) On the supposition that he was not, still there might have been all proper ‘care’ taken to guard him. All that may be implied when it is said that he “was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen,” etc., may have been that this was his ‘propensity’ in that state; that he had this roving disposition, and was disposed rather to wander in fields and groves than to dwell in the abodes of men; and that he was driven ‘by this propensity’, not ‘by men’, to leave his palace, and to take up his residence in parks or groves —anywhere rather than in human habitations. This has been not an uncommon propensity with maniacs, and there is no improbability in supposing that this was permitted by those who had the care of him, as far as was consistent with his safety, and with what was due to him as a monarch, though his reason was driven from its throne. In the parks attached to the palace; in the large pleasure grounds, that were not improbably stocked with various kinds of animals, as a sort of royal menagerie, there is no improbability in supposing that he may have been allowed at proper times, and with suitable guards, to roam, nor that the fallen and humbled monarch may have found, in comparatively lucid intervals, a degree of pleasant amusement in such grounds, nor even that it might be supposed that this would contribute to his restoration to health. Nor, on ‘any’ supposition in regard to these statements, even admitting that there was a great degree of criminal inattention on the part of his friends, would his treatment have been worse than what has usually occurred in respect to the insane. Up to quite a recent period, and even now in many civilized lands, the insane have been treated with the most gross neglect, and with the severest cruelty, even by their friends. Left to wander where they chose without a protector; unshaven and unwashed; the sport of the idle and the vicious; thrown into common jails among felons; bound with heavy chains to the cold walls of dungeons; confined in cellars or garrets with no fire in the coldest weather; with insufficient clothing, perhaps entirely naked, and in the midst of the most disgusting filth —such treatment, even in Christian lands, and by Christian people, may show that in a heathen land, five hundred years before the light of Christianity dawned upon the world, it is not wholly incredible that an insane monarch might have been treated in the manner described in this chapter. If the best friends now may so neglect, or treat with such severity, an insane son or daughter, there is no improbability in supposing that in an age of comparative barbarism there may have been as ‘little’ humanity as is implied in this chapter. The following extracts from the Second Annual Report of the Prison Discipline Society (Boston) will show what has occurred in the nineteenth century, in this Christian land, and in the old commonwealth of Massachusetts —a commonwealth distinguished for morals, and for humane feeling —and will demonstrate at the same time that what is here stated about the monarch of heathen Babylon is not unworthy of belief. They refer to the treatment of lunatics in that commonwealth before the establishment of the hospital for the insane at Worcester. “In Massachusetts, by an examination made with care, about thirty lunatics have been found in prison. In one prison were found three; in another five; in another six; and in another ten. It is a source of great complaint with the sheriffs and jailers that they must receive such persons because they have no suitable accommodations for them. Of those last mentioned, one was found in an apartment in which he had been nine years. He had a wreath of rags around his body, and another around his neck. This was all his clothing. He had no bed, chair, or bench. Two or three rough planks were strewed around the room; a heap of filthy straw, like the nest of swine, was in the corner. He had built a bird’s nest of mud in the iron grate of his den. Connected with his wretched apartment was a dark dungeon, having no orifice for the admission of light, heat, or air, except the iron door, about two and a half feet square, opening into it from the prison. The other lunatics in the same prison were scattered about in different apartments, with thieves and murderers, and persons under arrest, but not yet convicted of guilt. In the prison of five lunatics, they were confined in separate cells, which were almost dark dungeons. It was difficult after the door was open to see them distinctly. The ventilation was so incomplete that more than one person on entering them has found the air so fetid as to produce nausea, and almost vomiting. The old straw on which they were laid, and their filthy garments, were such as to make their insanity more hopeless; and at one time it was not considered within the province of the physician to examine particularly the condition of the lunatics. In these circumstances any improvement of their minds could hardly be expected. Instead of having three out of four restored to reason as is the fact in some of the favoured lunatic asylums, it is to be feared that in these circumstances some who might otherwise be restored would become incurable, and that others might lose their lives, to say nothing of present suffering. In the prison in which were six lunatics their condition was less wretched. But they were sometimes an annoyance, and sometimes a sport to the convicts; and even the apartment in which the females were confined opened into the yard of the men; there was an injurious interchange of obscenity and profanity between them, which was not restrained by the presence of the keeper. In the prison, or house of correction, so called, in which were ten lunatics, two were found about seventy years of age, a male and female, in the same apartment of an upper º The female was lying upon a heap of straw under a broken window. The snow in a severe storm was beating through the window, and lay upon the straw around her withered body, which was partially covered with a few filthy and tattered garments. The man was lying in the corner of the room in a similar situation, except that he was less exposed to the storm. The former had been in this apartment six, and the latter twenty-one years. Another lunatic in the same prison was found in a plank apartment of the first story, where he had been eight years. During this time he had never left the room but twice. The door of this apartment had not been opened in eighteen months. The food was i. through a small orifice in the door. The room was warmed by no fire; and still the woman of the house said, ‘he had never froze.’ As he was seen through the orifice of the door, the first question was, ‘Is that a human being. The hair was gone from one side of his head, and his eyes were like balls of fire. In the cellar of the same prison were five lunatics. The windows of this cellar were no defense against the storm, and, as might be supposed, the woman of the house, said, “We have a sight to do to keep them from freezing.” There was no fire in this cellar which could be felt by four of these lunatics. One of the five had a little fire of turf in an apartment of the cellar by herself. She was, however, infuriate, if anyone came near her. The woman was committed to this cellar seventeen years ago. The apartments are about six feet by eight. They are made of coarse plank, and have an orifice in the door for the admission of light and air, about six inches by four. The darkness was such in two of these apartments that nothing could be seen by looking through the orifice in the door. At the same time there was a poor lunatic in each. A man who has grown old was committed to one of them in 1810, and had lived in it seventeen years. An emaciated female was found in a similar apartment, in the dark, without fire, almost without covering, where she had been nearly two years. A coloured woman in another, in which she had been six years; and a miserable man in another, in which he had been four years.”
(2.) It is asked by Bertholdt as an objection (p. 301), whether “it is credible that one who had been for so long a time a maniac would be restored again to the throne; and whether the government would be again placed in his hands, without any apprehension that, he would relapse into the same state? Or whether it can be believed that the lives and fortunes of so many millions would be again entrusted to his will and power?’’ To these questions it may be replied: (a) That if he was restored to his reason he had a ‘right’ to the throne, and it might not have been a doubtful point whether he should be restored to it or not. (b) It is probable that during that time a ‘regency’ was appointed, and that there would be a hope entertained that he would be restored. Undoubtedly during the continuation of this malady, the government would be, as was the case during the somewhat similar malady of George III of Great Britain, placed in the hands of others, and unless there was a revolution, or a usurpation, he would be of course restored to his throne on the recovery of his reason. (c) To this it may be added, that he was a monarch who had been eminently successful in his conquests; who had done much to enlarge the limits of the empire, and to adorn the capital; and that much was to be apprehended from the character of his legal successor, Evil-Merodach (Hengstenberg, p. 113); and that if he were displaced, they who were then the chief officers of the nation had reason to suppose that, in accordance with Oriental usage on the accession of a new sovereign, they would lose their places.
(3.) It has been asked also, as an objection, whether “it is not to be presumed that Nebuchadnezzar, on the supposition that he was restored from so fearful a malady, would have employed all the means in his power to suppress the knowledge of it; or whether, if any communication was made in regard to it, pains would not have been taken to give a coloring to the account by suppressing the real truth, and by attributing the affliction to some other cause?”—Bertholdt, p. 301. To this it may be replied: (a) that if the representation here made of the cause of his malady is correct, that it was a Divine judgment on him for his pride, and that God’s design in bringing it on him was that he himself might be made known, it is reasonable to presume that, on his restoration, there would be such a Divine influence on the mind of the monarch, as to lead him to make this proclamation, or this public recognition of the Most High; (b) that the edict seems to have been made, not as a matter of policy, but under the fresh recollection of a restoration from so terrible a calamity; (c) that Nebuchadnezzar seems to have been a man who had ‘a conscience’ that prompted him to a decided acknowledgment of Divine interposition; (d) that he had a strong religious propensity (comp. ch. iii.), and was ready to make any public acknowledgment of that which he regarded as Divine; and (e) that perhaps he supposed that, by stating the truth as it actually occurred, a better impression might be made than already existed in re to the nature of the malady. It ‘may’ have been an object also with him to convince his subjects that, although he had been deprived of his reason, he was now in fact restored to a sound a sound mind.
(4.) Another ground of objection has been urged by Eichhorn, Bertholdt, and others, derived from the character of the edict. It is said that “the narrative represents Nebuchadnezzar at one time as an orthodox Jew, setting forth his views almost in the very words used in the writings of the Jews, and which only a Jew would employ (see vers. 2, 3,34–37), and then again as a mere idolater, using the language which an idolater would employ, and still acknowledging the reality of idol ‘gods’, vers. 8,9, 18.”. To this it may be replied that this very circumstance is rather a confirmation of the truth of the account than otherwise. It is just such an account as we should suppose that a monarch, trained up in idolatry, and practicing it all his life, and yet suddenly, and in this impressive manner, made acquainted with the true God, would be likely to give. In an edict published by such a monarch under such circumstances, it would be strange if there should be no betrayal of the fact that he had been a worshipper of heathen gods, nor would it be strange that when he disclosed his dream to Daniel, asking him to interpret it, and professing to believe that he was under the influence of inspiration from above, he should trace it to the gods in general, vers. 8, 9, 18. And, in like manner, if the thing actually occurred, as is related, it would be certain that he ‘would’ use such language in describing it as an “orthodox Jew.” might use. It is to be remembered that he is represented as obtaining his view of what was meant by the vision from Daniel, and nothing is more probable than that he would use such language as Daniel would have suggested. It could not be supposed that one who had been an idolater all his life would soon efface from his mind all the impressions made by the habit of idolatry, so that no traces of it would appear in a proclamation on an occasion like this; nor could it be supposed that there would be no recognition of God as the true God. Nothing would be more natural than such an intermingling of false notions with the true. Indeed, there is in fact scarcely any circumstance in regard to this chapter that has more the air of authenticity, nor could there be anything more probable in itself, than what is here stated. It is just such an intermingling of truth with falsehood as we should expect in a mind trained in heathenism; and yet this is a circumstance which would not be ‘very’ likely to occur to one who attempted a forgery, or who endeavoured to draw the character of a heathen monarch in such circumstances without authentic materials. If the edict was the work of a Jew, he would have been likely to represent its author without any remains of heathenism in his mind; if it were the work of a heathen, there would have been no such recognition of the true God. If it is a mere fiction, the artifice is too refined to have been likely to occur, to attempt to draw him in this state of mind, where there was an intermingling of falsehood with truth; of the remains of all his old habits of thinking, with new and momentous truths that had just begun to dawn on his mind. The supposition that will best suit all the circumstances of the case, and be liable to the fewest objections, is, that the account is an unvarnished statement of what actually occurred. On the whole subject of the objections to this chapter, the reader may consult Hengstenberg, Die Authentie des Daniel, pp. 100-119. For many of the remarks here made, I am indebted to that work. Comp. further the notes on ver. 25, seq. of the chapter. }}

{{ Section II. Analysis of Chapter 4:

The chapter professes to be an edict published by Nebuchadnezzar after his recovery from a long period of insanity which was brought upon him for his pride. The edict was promulgated with a view to lead men to acknowledge the true God. It states, in general, that the approach of his calamity was made known to him in a dream, which was interpreted by Daniel; that his own heart had been lifted up with pride in view of the splendid city which he had built; that the predicted malady came suddenly upon him, even while he was indulging in these proud reflections; that he was driven away from the abodes of men, a poor neglected maniac; that he again recovered his reason, and then his throne; and that the God who had thus humbled him, and again restored him, was the true God, and was worthy of universal adoration and praise. The edict, therefore, embraces the following parts:—
I. The reason why it was promulgated —to show to all people dwelling in all parts of the earth, the great things which the high God had done towards him, vers. 1-3.
II. The statement of the fact that he had had a dream which greatly alarmed him, and which none of the Chaldean soothsayers had been able to interpret, vers. 4-7.
III. The statement of the dream in full to Daniel, vers. 8-18.
IV. The interpretation of the dream by Daniel —predicting the fact that he would become a maniac, and would be driven from his throne and kingdom, and compelled to take up his abode with the beasts of the field —a poor neglected outcast, vers. 19-26.
V. The solemn and faithful counsel of Daniel to him to break off his sins, and to become a righteous man, if possibly the terrible calamity might be averted, ver. 27.
VI. The fulfilment of the prediction of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar was walking on his palace, and in the pride of his heart, surveying the great city which he had built, and suddenly a voice from heaven addressed his announcing that his kingdom had departed, and his reason left him, vers. 28-33.
VII. At the end of the appointed time, his reason was restored, and he gratefully acknowledged the Divine sovereignty, and was again reinstated on his throne, vers. 34-36.
VIII. For all this he says that he praised the God of heaven, for he had learned that all his works are truth, and his ways judgment, and that those who walk in pride he is able to abase, ver. 37.

{{ Chapter V. Section I. Authenticity of Chapter 5: [B.C. 538.]

Much fewer objections have been made to the authenticity of this chapter, and much fewer difficulties started, than in regard to chapter 4. Those which have been urged may be classed under the following heads:—
I. The first is substantially stated in this manner by Bertholdt, that “Daniel is represented as speaking to the king in such a tone, that if it had actually occurred he would have been cut to pieces by an arbitrary Babylonian despot; but instead of that, he is not only unpunished, but is suffered to announce to the king the certain destruction of his kingdom by the Medes and Persians; and not only this, but he is immediately promoted to be a minister or officer of a state of exalted rank,” p. 345.
To this it may be replied, (1.) That the way in which Daniel addressed him was entirely in accordance with the manner in which he addressed Nebuchadnezzar, in which Nathan addressed David, in which Isaiah addressed Ahaz, and Jeremiah the kings in his time. (2.) Belshazzar was overpowered with the remarkable vision of the handwriting on the wall; his conscience smote him, and he was in deep alarm. He sought the meaning of this extraordinary revelation, and could not but regard it as a communication from heaven. In this state of mind, painful as was the announcement, he would naturally receive it as a Divine communication, and he might fear to treat with indignity one who showed that he had the power of disclosing the meaning of words so mysterious. (3.) It was in accordance with the custom of those times to honour those who showed that they had the power of penetrating the Divine mysteries, and of disclosing the meaning of dreams, prodigies, and omens. (4.) It is not impossible, as Hengstenberg (Authentie des Dan. 120) suggests, that, smitten with the consciousness of guilt, and knowing that he deserved punishment, he may have hoped to turn away the wrath of God by some act of piety; and that he resolved, therefore, to honour Daniel, who showed that he was a favourite of heaven. The main security of Daniel, however, in these bold and fearful announcements, was undoubtedly to be found in the ‘smitten conscience’ of the trembling-monarch, and in the belief that he was a favourite of heaven.
II. The improbability that all this should occur in one night —that so many scenes should have been crowded into so short a time —embracing the feast, the writing, the calling in of the magicians, the investing of Daniel with his new office, the taking of the city, etc. “Why,” says Bertholdt, “was not the proclamation in regard to the new minister deferred to the following day? Why did all this occur in the midst of the scenes of revelry which were then taking place?” pp. 345, 346.
To this it may be replied, (1.) That there is, indeed, every appearance of haste and confusion in the transactions. This was natural. But there was assuredly no want of ‘time’ to accomplish all that it is said was accomplished. If it was true that Cyrus broke into the city in the latter part of the night, or if, as historians say was the fact, he had entered the city, and made considerable progress in it before the tidings were communicated to Belshazzar there is no improbability in supposing that all that is said of the feast, and of the handwriting, and of the calling in of the magicians, and of their failure to decipher the meaning of the writing, and of the summoning of Daniel, and of the interpretation which he gave, actually occurred, for there was time enough to accomplish all this. (2.) As to the other part of the objection, that it is improbable that Daniel would be so soon invested with office, and that a proclamation would be made in the night to this effect, it may be replied, that all that is fairly meant in the chapter (ver. 29) may be that ‘an order’ was made to that effect, with a purpose to carry it into execution on the following day. Bertholdt himself translates the passage (ver. 29), “Then Belshazzar gave command that they should clothe Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold around his neck,” etc. Hierauf ‘gab Belschazar den Befehl’ dem Daniel den purpurmantel und den goldenen Halsschmuck umzuhängen, etc. On the one hand, nothing forbids the supposition that the execution of this order might have been deferred; or, on the other, that the order was executed at once. But little time would have been necessary to do it. See, however, notes on ver, 29.
A third objection or difficulty arises from the writing itself. It is, that it is wholly improbable that Daniel could have had sufficient knowledge to enable him to interpret these words when no one of the Chaldean sages could do it. Where, it is asked, could he have obtained this knowledge? His instruction in reading languages he must have received in Babylon itself, and it is wholly improbable that among so many sages and wise men who were accustomed to the languages spoken in Babylon and in other countries, no one should have been found who was as able to interpret the words as he.—’Bertholdt’, p. 346.
To this it is obvious to reply, that the whole narrative supposes that Daniel owed his ability to interpret these words, not to any natural skill, or to any superior advantages of genius or education, but to the fact that he was directly endowed from on high. In other cases, in the times of Nebuchadnezzar, he always disclaimed any power of his own of revealing the meaning of dreams and visions (ch. ii. 27–30), nor did he set up any claim to an ability to do it of himself on this occasion. If he received his knowledge directly from God, all the difficulty in this objection vanishes at once; but the whole book turns on the supposition that he ‘was’ under Divine teaching.
IV. It has been objected that there was no object to be accomplished worthy of such a miracle as that of writing in this mysterious manner on the wall. It is asked by Bertholdt (p. 347), “Is the miracle credible? What purpose was it designed to serve? What end would it accomplish? Was the design to show to Belshazzar that the city was soon to be destroyed? But of what use could this be but a couple of hours before it should occur? Or was it the design to make Belshazzar acquainted with the power of Jehovah, and to punish him for desecrating the vessels of the temple service But who could attribute to the all-perfect Being such a weakness that he could be angry, and take this method to express his anger, for an act that could not be regarded as so heinous as to be worthy of such an interposition?”
To this it may be replied, (1.) That the objection here made would lie in some degree against almost any single miracle that is recorded in the Scriptures. (2.) That it may have been the intention to warn the king of the impending danger, not so much with a view that the danger should be averted, as to show that it came from God. (3.) Or it may have been the intention to show him the enormity of his sins, and even then to bring him to repentance. (4.) Or it may have been the intention to connect quite distinctly, in the apprehension of all present, and in the view of all future ages, the destruction of Babylon with the crimes of the monarchs, and especially their crimes in connexion with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, the burning of the temple, and the carrying away of the people into a long captivity. There can be no doubt, from many parts of the prophetic writings, that the overthrow of Babylon, and the subversion of the Chaldean power, was in consequence of their treatment of the Hebrew people; and nothing was better fitted to show this than to make the destruction of the city coincident, with the desecration of the sacred vessels of the temple. (5.) Or it may have been the intention to recall Daniel into notice, and to give him authority and influence again preparatory to the restoration of his countrymen to their own land. It would seem from the whole narrative that, in accordance with a custom which still prevails in Persia (Chardin, as referred to by Hengstenberg, Authentie des Daniel, p. 123), all the magicians and astrologers had been dismissed from court on the death of Nebuchadnezzar, and that Daniel with the others had retired from his place. Yet it may have been important, in order to the restoration of the Hebrew people to their land at the appointed time, that there should be one of their own nation occupying an influential station at court, and Daniel was thus, in consequence of his ability to interpret this mysterious language, restored to his place, and was permitted to keep it until the time of the return of the Hebrews to their country arrived. See ch. vi. 2, 3, 28. (6.) And it may have been the intention to furnish an impressive demonstration that Jehovah is the true God. Other objections it will be more convenient to notice in the course of the exposition of the chapter. }}

{{ Chapter V. Section II. Belshazzar:

Of Belshazzar, the closing scene of whose reign is described in this chapter, little more is known than is recorded here. He is mentioned by Daniel as the last king of the Chaldees, under whom Babylon was taken by the Medes and Persians. Herodotus (i. 188) calls this king, and also his father, ‘Labynetus’, which is undoubtedly a corruption of Nabonnedus, the name by which he was known to Berosus. —’Josephus against Apion’, i. 20. Josephus himself (Ant. x. ch. xi. § 2) says that the name of this king, whom he calls Daltasar, among the Babylonians, was Naboandelus. , Nabonadius in the canon of Ptolemy, Nabonedus in Eusebius (Chron. Armen. i. p. 60), and Nabonnidochus in Eusebius (Prep. Evang. ix. 41), are remarked by Winer as only varieties of his name. Winer conjectures that in the name Belshazzar, the element ‘shazzar’ means “the principle of fire.” See Kitto’s Cyclopaedia.
The accounts which we have of this king are very meagre, and yet, meagre as they are, they are by no means uniform, and it is difficult to reconcile them. That which is given by Josephus as his own account of the successors of Nebuchadnezzar is in the following language: “After the death of Nebuchadnezzar Evil-Merodach, his son, succeeded in the kingdom, who immediately set Jeconiah at liberty, and esteemed him among his most intimate. When Evil-Merodach was dead, after a reign of eighteen years, Neglissar, his son, took the government, and retained it forty years, and then ended his life; and after him the succession came to his son, Labosordacus, who continued it in all but nine months; and when he was dead, it came to Baltasar, who by the Babylonians was called Naboandelus; against him did Cyrus the king of Persia, and Darius the king of Media, make war; and when he was besieged in Babylon there happened a wonderful and prodigious vision. He was sat down at supper in a large room, and there were a great many vessels of silver, such as were made for royal entertainments, and he had with him his concubines and his friends; whereupon he came to a resolution, and commanded that those vessels of God which Nebuchadnezzar had plundered out of Jerusalem, and had not made use of, but had put them into is own temple, should be brought out of that temple.”—Ant. b. x. ch. xi. 2. Josephus then proceeds to give an account of the appearance of the hand, and of the writing, and of the result in the taking of Babylon, substantially the same as that which is found in this chapter of Daniel.
The account which Berosus gives as preserved by Josephus (against Apion, b. i. § 20) varies from this in some important particulars. For an account of Berosus, see the Introduction to ch. iv. § I. I. He says, “Nabuchodonosar (Nebuchadnezzar), after he had begun to build the fore mentioned wall, fell sick, and departed this life, when he had reigned forty-three years; where in his son, Evil-Merodach, obtained the kingdom. He governed public airs after an illegal and impure manner, and had a plot laid against him by Neriglissar, his sister’s husband, and was slain by him when he had reigned but two years. After he was slain, Neriglissar, the person who plotted against him, succeeded him in the kingdom, and reigned four years; but his son Laborosoarchad obtained the kingdom, though he was but a child, and kept it nine months; but by reason of the very ill-temper, and the ill-practices he exhibited to the world, a plot was laid against him also by his friends, and he was tormented to death. After his death, the conspirators got together, and by common consent put the crown upon the head of Nabonnedus, a man of Babylon, and one who belonged to that insurrection. In his reign it was that the walls of the city of Babylon were curiously built with burnt brick and bitumen; but when he was come to the seventeenth year of his reign, Cyrus came out of Persia with a great army, and having already conquered the rest of Asia, he came hastily to Babylonia. When Nabonnedus perceived he was coming to attack him, he met him with his forces, and joining battle with him, was beaten, and fled away with a few of his troops with him, and was shut up in the city of Borsippus. Hereupon Cyrus took Babylon, and gave orders that the outer walls of the city should be demolished, because the city had proved very troublesome to him, and cost him a great deal of pains to take it. He then marched away to Borsippus to besiege Nabonnedus; but as Nabonnedus did not sustain the siege, but delivered himself into his hands, he was at first kindly used by Cyrus, who gave him Carmania as a place for him to inhabit in, but sent him out of Babylonia. Accordingly, he spent the rest of his time in that country, and there died.”
Roos (Exposition of Daniel, p. 65) supposes that Evil-Merodach, who succeeded Nebuchadnezzar, did not reign more than one year, and that this accounts for the reason why he was not mentioned by Daniel; and that Belshazzar was a grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, though, according to the idiom of Scripture, he is called his son, and Nebuchadnezzar his father, Dan. v. 11, 22. Belshazzar, he supposes, must have reigned more than twenty years.
The succession in the Babylonian Chaldean kingdom, according to Dr. Hales, was as follows: “Nabonassar reigned 14 years, from 747, B.C. Nadius; 2, 733; Chinzirus, 5, 731; Jugaus, 5, 726; Mardok Empad, or Merodach Baladan, 12, 721; Arcianus, 5, 709; first interregnum, 2, 704; Belibus, 3, 702; Aphromadius, 6, 699; Regibelus, 1,693; Mesessemordach, 4, 692; second interregnum, 8, 688; Asaradin, or Esar-haddon, 13, 680; Saosduchin, 20, 667; Čhyncladon, 22, 647; Nabopolassar, or Labynetus I., 21, 625; Nineveh taken by the Babylonians and Medes, 604, B.C. Then follows the Babylonian dynasty, to wit, Nabopolassar, Labynetus I., Boktanser, or Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned 43 years from 604, B.C.; Ilverodam, or Evil-Merodach, 3, 561, B.C.; Nericassolassar, Neriglissar, or Belshazzar, 5, 558, B.C.; Nabonadius, or Labynetus II., appointed by Darius the Mede, 17, 553, B.C.; Babylon taken by Cyrus, 536, B.C.”
Dr. Hales remarks in connexion with this, “Nothing can exceed the various and perplexed accounts of the names and reigns of the princes of this dynasty (the Babylonian) in sacred and profane history.”
Jahn, following, Ptolemy chiefly, thus enumerates the kings of Babylon from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar: “Nabocholassar, or Nebuchadnezzar, 43,605, B.C.; Iluarodamus, or Evil-Merodach, 2, 562, B.C.; Nerichassolassar, or Neriglissar, 4, 560, B.C.; Laborasoarchad, 9 months, 556, B.C.; Nabounned, 17 years, 556, B.C.; Babylon taken by the Medes and Persians, 540, B.C.”
In this confusion and discord respecting the chronology of these princes, the following remarks may be made in regard to the credibility of the statements in the book of Daniel: (1.) It is clear that it was not uncommon for the same prince to have more names than one. This has not been unusual, especially among Oriental princes, who seem to have often prided themselves on the number of epithets which they could use as designating their royal state. Since this was the case, it would not be strange if the names of the same kings should be so used by writers, or in tradition, as to leave the impression that there were several; or if one writer should designate a king by one name, and another by another. (2.) It would seem probable, from all the accounts, that Belshazzar was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, but little is known of the king or kings whose reign intervened between that of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. (3.) The testimony of Daniel in the book before us should not be set aside by the statement of Berosus, or by the other confused accounts which have come down to us. For anything that appears to the contrary, the authority of Daniel is as good as that of Berosus, and he is as worthy of belief. Living in Babylon, and through a great part of the reigns of this dynasty; present at the taking of Babylon, and intimate at court; honoured by some of these princes more than any other man in the realm, there is no reason why he should not have had access to the means of information on the subject, and no reason why it should not be supposed that he has given a fair record of what actually occurred. Though the account in regard to the last days of Belshazzar, as given by Berosus, does not agree with that of Daniel, it should not be ‘assumed’ that that of Berosus is correct, and that of Daniel false. The account in Daniel is, to say the least, as probable as that of Berosus, and there are no means of proving that it is false except by the testimony of Berosus. (4.) The statement in Daniel of the manner in which Babylon was taken, and of the death of Belshazzar, is confirmed by Xenophon (Cyrop. vii.) —an authority quite equal, at least, to that of Berosus. See notes on ver. 30 of the chapter. In the record in Daniel of the close of the life of Belshazzar, there is nothing that might not have been supposed to occur, for nothing is more probable than that a king might have been celebrating a feast in the manner described, or that the city ‘might’ be surprised in such a night of revelry, or that, being surprised, the monarch might be slain. 5:1: ‘Belshazzar the king’. See Intro. to the chapter, š II. In the Introduction to the chapter here referred to, I have stated what seemed to be necessary in order to illustrate the history of Belshazzar, so far as that can be now known. The statements in regard to this monarch, it is well understood, are exceedingly confused, and the task of reconciling them is now hopeless. Little depends, however, in the interpretation of this book, on the attempt to reconcile them, for the narrative here given is equally credible, whichever of the accounts is taken, unless that of Berosus is followed. But it may not be improper to exhibit here the two principal accounts of the successors of Nebuchadnezzar, that the discrepancy may be distinctly seen. I copy from the Pictorial Bible. “The common account we shall collect from “L’Art de Verifier les Dates,’ and the other from Hales’s ‘Analysis,’ disposing them in opposite columns for the sake of comparison:—

From “L’Art de Verifier.”
605: Nebuchadnezzar, who was succeeded by his son.
562: Evil-Merodach, who, having provoked general indignation by his tyranny and atrocities, was, after a short reign of about two years, assassinated by his brother-in law.
560: Nerigilassar, or Nericassolassar, who was regarded as a deliverer, and succeeded by the choice of the nation. He perished in a battle by Cyrus, and was succeeded by his son.
555: Laborosoarchod, notorious for his cruelty and oppression, and who was assassinated by two nobles, Gobryas and Gadatas, whose sons he had slain. The vacant throne was then ascended by
554: Nabonadius, the Labynetus of Herodotus, the Naboandel of Josephus, and the Belshazzar of Daniel, who was the son of Evil Merodach, and who now succeeded to the throne of his father.
538: Belshazzar, after a voluptuous reign, his city was taken by the Persians under Cyrus, on which occasion he lost his life.

From Hales’s “Analysis.”
B. C.
604: Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son.
561: Evil-Merodach, or Ilverodam, who was slain in a battle against the Medes and Persians,
and was succeeded by his son.
558: Neriglissar, Niricassolassar, or Belshazzar, the common accounts of whom seem to combine what is said both of Neriglissar, and his son, opposite. He was killed by conspirators on the night of the “impious feast,’ leaving a son (a boy), Laborosoarchod.
553: Laborosoarchod, on whose death, nine months after, the dynasty became extinct, and the kingdom came peaceably to ‘Darius the Mede,” or Cyaxares who, on the well-known policy of the Medes and Persians, appointed a Babylonian nobleman, named Nabonadius, or Labynetus, to be king, or viceroy. This person revolted against Cyrus, who had succeeded to the united empire of the Medes and Persians. Cyrus could not immediately attend to him, but at last marched to Babylon, took the city, B.C. 536, as foretold by the prophets.
It will be observed that the principal point of difference in these accounts is, that Hales contends that the succession of Darius the Mede to the Babylonian throne was not attended with war; that Belshazzar was not the king in whose time the city was taken by Cyrus; and, consequently, that the events which took place this night were quite distinct from and anterior to that siege and capture of the city by the Persian king which Isaiah and Jeremiah so remarkably foretold. }}

{{ Section II. Analysis of Chapter 5:

The chapter comprises a record of the series of events that occurred in Babylon on the night in which it was taken by the Medes and Persians. The scene may be supposed to open in the early evening, at a time when a festival would probably be celebrated, and to continue through a considerable part of the night. It is not known precisely at what time the city was taken, yet it may be supposed that Cyrus was making his approaches while the revel was going on in the palace, and that even while Daniel was interpreting the handwriting on the wall, he was conducting his armies along the channel of the river, and through the open gate on the banks of the river, toward the palace. The order of the events referred to is as follows: (1.) The feast given by Belshazzar in his palace, vers. 1-4; (2.) the mysterious appearance of the part of the hand on the wall, ver. 5; (3) the summoning of the soothsayers to interpret the handwriting, and their inability to do it, vers, 6-9; (4) the entrance of the queen into the banqueting hall on account of the trouble of the king, and her reference to Daniel as one qualified to interpret, the vision, vers, 10-12; (5) the summoning of Daniel by the king, and his address to him, vers. 13-16; (6) the answer of Daniel, declining any rewards for his service, and his solemn address to the king, reminding him of what had occurred to Nebuchadnezzar, and of the fact that he had forgotten the lessons which the Divine dealings with Nebuchadnezzar were adapted to teach, and that his own heart had been lifted up with pride, and that his conduct had been eminently wicked, vers. 17-23; (7) the interpretation of the words by Daniel, vers. 24-28; (8) the order to clothe Daniel in a manner appropriate to one of high rank, and the to the third office in the kingdom, ver, 29; and (9) the taking of the city, and the death of Belshazzar, vers. 30, 31. }}

{{ Chapter VI: Section I. Authenticity of Chapter 6: [B.C. 538.]

This chapter, like the previous ones, has not escaped serious objections as to its authenticity and credibility. The objections which have been made to it have been derived from what is regarded as incredible in its statements. It is important, as in the previous chapters, to inquire whether the objections are insuperable or whether this is so free from reasonable objection as to be worthy to be received as a portion of Divine truth. The objections, as urged by Bertholdt (Daniel aus dem Hebräisch-Aramäischen neu übersetzt, etc., pp. 72-75, and, pp. 357-364) and by Bleek, are capable of being reduced to the four following:—
I. That it is wholly improbable that a monarch, in the circumstances of Darius, would give an order so unreasonable and foolish as that no one of his subjects should present any petition for a month to any one, God or man, but to himself. It is alleged that no good end could have been proposed by it; that it would have perilled the peace of the empire; that among a people who worshipped many ‘gods’ —who had ‘gods’ in all their dwellings —it would have been vain to hope that the command could have been carried peaceably into execution; and that, whoever proposed this, it could not have been executed without shaking the stability of the throne. Bertholdt asks (p. 357, seq.), “Can one believe that, among a people so devoted to religion as the Babylonians were, it should have been forbidden them to address their ‘gods’ for one single day? Is it credible that the counsellors of the king were so irreligious that without fear of the avenging deities they would endeavour to enforce such an order as that here referred to —that no petition should be addressed to God or man for a month, except to the king. And was Cyaxares so destitute of religion as not to refuse to sanction such a mandate? And does this agree with the fact that in the issue itself he showed so much respect to a foreign God —the God of the Jews? Under what pretence could the ministers of the king give him this counsel? Could it be under any purpose of deifying his own person? But it remains to be proved that either then, or soon after that time, it was customary in Asia to attribute Divine honours to a monarch, whether deceased or living.”
To this objection, Hengstenberg (Die Authentie des Daniel, p. 125, seq.) replies, by an endeavour to show that it was a common opinion in Persia that the king was regarded “as a representative, and an incarnation of Ormuzd;” and that nothing is more probable than that such a monarch coming to the throne of Babylon would be willing to appear in that character, claiming Divine honours, and early testing the inclination of his new subjects to receive him in that character in which he was recognised in his own land. In confirmation of this, he quotes two passages from Heeren (Ideen Ste Auag. I. i. p. 446, 51) in proof that these ideas thus prevailed. “The person of the king,” Heeren says, “is in Asiatic kingdoms the middle point around which all revolves. He is regarded, according to the Oriental notions, not so much the ruler as the actual owner of the people and land. All their arrangements are formed on this fundamental idea, and they are carried to an extent which to Europeans appears incredible and ridiculous.” [Compare the Egyptian Pharaoh: Lord of All, or the Chinese Emperor: the divine Son of Heaven.] “The idea of citizenship, according to the European nations, is altogether a strange idea to them; without exception, from the highest to the lowest, are the servants of the king, and the right to rule over them, and to deal with them as he pleases, is a right which is never called in question.” Hengstenberg then remarks, that it is capable of the clearest proof that ‘the kings of the Medes and Persians were regarded and honoured as the representatives and incarnations of Ormuzd’. In proof of this, he quotes the following passage from Heeren (p. 474), showing that this idea early prevailed among the followers of Zoroaster. “Zoroaster,” says he, “saw the kingdom of light and of darkness both developed upon the earth; Iran, the Medo-Bactrish kingdom, under the sceptre of Gustasp, is to him the image of the kingdom of Ormuzd; ‘the king himself is an image of him’; Turan, the Northern Nomadland, when Afrasiab, reigned, is the image of the kingdom of darkness, under the dominion of Ahriman.” This idea, says Hengstenberg, the magi made use of when they wished to bring the king to their own interests, or to promote any favourite object of their own. The king was regarded as the representative, the visible manifestation of Ormuzd,ruling with power as uncircumscribed as his; the seven princes standing near him were representatives of the seven Amshaspands, who stood before the throne of Ormuzd. The evidence that the Persian kings were regarded as an embodiment of the deity, or that they represented him on earth, Hengstenberg remarks (p. 126), is clear in the classic writings, in the Scriptures, and in the Persian monuments. In proof of this, he appeals to the following authorities among the classic writers: Plutarch (Themistocl. cap. 27); Xenophon (Agesil.); Isocrates (Panegyri de Pers. princ. p. 17); Arrian (6.29); Curtius (8.5). Curtius says, ‘Persas reges suos inter deos colere’ [‘The Persians worshipping (venerating) their kings among the ‘gods”]. For the same purpose, Hengstenberg (pp. 128, 129) appeals to the following passage of Scripture, Esth. 3:4, and the conduct of Mordecai in general, who refused, as he supposes, the respect which Haman demanded as the first minister of the king, on religious grounds, and because more was required and expected of him than mere civil respect —or that a degree of homage was required entirely inconsistent with that due to the true God. In proof of the same thing, Hengstenberg appeals to Persian monuments, pp. 129–132. The proof is too long to be inserted here. These monuments show that the Persian kings were regarded and adored as impersonations of Ormuzd. To this may be added many of their inscriptions. In the work by De Sacy, Memoires s. divers. Antiq. de la Perse, Pl. i. p. 27, 31, the Persian kings are mentioned as (ekgonai theön, ek genous theön), and (theoi)—both as offsprings of the ‘gods’, as of the race of the ‘gods’, and as ‘gods’.
If this is correct, and the Persian kings were regarded as divine —as an impersonation or incarnation of the ‘god’ that was worshipped —then there is no improbability in the supposition that it might be proposed to the king that for a given space of time he should allow no petition to be presented to anyone else, ‘god’ or man. It would be easy to persuade a monarch having such pretensions to issue such a decree, and especially when he had subjected a foreign people like the Babylonians to be willing thus to assert his authority over them, and show them what respect and homage he demanded. In judging also of the probability of what is here said, we are to remember the arbitrary character of Oriental monarchs, and of the Persian kings no less than others. Assuredly there were as strange things in the character and conduct of Xerxes, one of the successors of this same Darius, as any that are recorded in this chapter of the book of Daniel; and if the acts of folly, which he perpetrated, had been written in a book claiming to be Divinely inspired, they would have been liable to much greater objection than anything which is stated here. The mere fact that a thing is in itself foolish and unreasonable, and apparently absurd, is no conclusive evidence that a man clothed with absolute authority would not be guilty of it.
To all that has been said on this point, there should be added a remark made by Bertholdt himself (p. 357) respecting Darius, which will show that what is here said of him is really not at all inconsistent with his character, and not improbable. He says, speaking of Darius or Cyaxares, that “from his character, as given by Xenophon, a man of weak mind (Cyrop. i. 4, 22; 4:1, 13); a man passionate and peevish (3:3, 29; 4:5, 8; 5:5; 1:8); a man given to wine and women (4:5, 52; v. 5; 1:8}, we are not to expect much wisdom.” There is nothing stated here by Daniel which is inconsistent with the character of such a man.
II. A second objection made to the probability of this statement is drawn from the character of the edict which Darius is said to have proclaimed, commanding that honour should be rendered to Jehovah, vers. 25-27. It is alleged that if such an edict had been published, it is incredible that no mention is made of it in history; that the thing was so remarkable that it must have been noticed by the writers who have referred to Darius or Cyaxares.
To this it may be replied, (1) that, for anything that appears to the contrary, Daniel may be as credible an historian as Xenophon or Herodotus. No one can demonstrate that the account here is not as worthy of belief as if it had appeared in a Greek or Latin classic author. When will the world get over the folly of supposing that what is found in a book claiming to be inspired should be regarded as suspicious until it is confirmed by the authority of some heathen writer; that what is found in any other book should be regarded as necessarily true, however much it may conflict with the testimony of the sacred writers? Viewed in any light, Daniel is as worthy of confidence as any Greek or Latin historian; what he says is as credible as if it had been found in the works of Sanchoniathon or Berosus. (2.) There are, in fact, few things preserved in any history in regard to Darius the Mede. Comp. § II. The information given of him by Xenophon consists merely of a few detached and fragmentary notices, and it is not at all remarkable that the facts here mentioned, and the proclamation which he made, should be unnoticed by him. A proclamation respecting a foreign ‘god’, when it was customary to recognise so many ‘gods’, and indeed to regard all such ‘gods’ as entitled to respect and honour, would not be likely to arrest the attention of a Greek historian even if he knew of it, and, for the same reason, it would be scarcely probable that he would know of it at all. Nothing would be more likely to pass away from the recollection of a people than such an edict, or less likely to be known to a foreigner. So far as the evidence goes, it would seem that the proclamation made no disturbance in the realm; the injunction appeared to be generally acquiesced in by all except Daniel; and it was soon forgotten. If it was understood, as it was not improbable, that this was designed as a sort of ‘test’ to see whether the people would receive the commands of Darius as binding on them; that they would honour him, as the Persian monarch was honoured in his own proper kingdom, it would seem to have been entirely successful, and there was no occasion to refer to it again.
III. A third objection urged by Bertholdt (p. 361), is derived from the account respecting the lions in this chapter. It is alleged by him that the account is so full of improbabilities that it cannot be received as true; that though the fact that they did not fall on Daniel can be explained from the circumstance that they were not hungry, etc., yet that it is incredible that they should have fallen on the ‘enemies’ of Daniel as soon as they were thrown into the den; that the king should expect to find Daniel alive after being thrown among them; that he should have called in this manner to Daniel, etc.
To all this it is sufficient to reply, that no one can suppose that the facts stated here can be explained by any natural causes. The whole representation is evidently designed to leave the impression that there was a special Divine interposition —a miracle— in the case, and the only explanation which is admissible here is that which would be proper in the case of any other miracle. The only questions which could be asked, or which would be proper, are these two: whether a miracle is possible; and whether this was a suitable occasion for the miraculous exertion of Divine power. As to the first of these questions, it is not necessary to argue that here —for the objection might lie with equal force against any other miracle referred to in the Bible. As to the second, it may be observed, that it is not easy to conceive of a case when a miracle would be ‘more’ proper. If a miracle was ever proper to protect the innocent; or to vindicate the claims of the true God against all false ‘gods’; or to make a deep and lasting impression on the minds of men that Jehovah is the true God, it is not to conceive of a more appropriate occasion than this. No situation could be conceived to be more appropriate than when an impression was designed to be made on the mind of the sovereign of the most mighty empire on the earth; or than when, through a proclamation issued from the throne, the nations subject to his sceptre should be summoned to acknowledge him as the true God.
IV. A fourth objection, urged by Bleek (Theologische Zeitschrift, pp.262-264) is, substantially, the following: that it is remarkable that there is in this account no allusion to the three companions of Daniel; to those who had been trained with him at the Chaldean court, and had been admitted also to honour, and who had so abundantly shown that they were worshippers of the true God. The whole story, says Bleek, appears to have been designed to produce a moral effect on the mind of the Jews, by the unknown author, to persuade them in some period of persecution to adhere to the God of their fathers in the midst of all persecution and opposition.
To this objection it may be replied, (1.) ‘That it is wholly probable that there were many other pious Jews in Babylon at this time beside Daniel —Jews who would, like him, adhere to the worship of the true God, regardless of the command of the king. We are not to suppose, by any means, that Daniel was the ‘only’ conscientious Jew in Babylon. The narrative evidently does not require that we should come to such a conclusion, but that there was something ‘peculiar’ in regard to Daniel. (2.) As to the three companions and friends of Daniel, it is possible, as Hengstenberg remarks (Authentie etc. p. 135), that they may either have been dead, or may have been removed from office, and were leading private lives. (3.) This edict was evidently aimed at Daniel. The whole narrative supposes this, For some cause, according to the narrative —and there is no improbability that such an opposition ‘might’ exist against a foreigner advanced to honour at court —ere was some ground of jealousy against him, and a purpose formed to remove or disgrace him. There does not appear to have been any jealousy of others, or any purpose to disturb others in the free enjoyment of their religion. The aim was to humble Daniel; to secure his removal from office, and to degrade him; and for this purpose a plan was laid with consummate skill. He was known to be upright; and they who laid the plot felt assured that no charge of guilt, no accusation of crime, or unfaithfulness in his office, could be alleged against him. He was known to be a man who would not shrink from the avowal of his opinions, or from the performance of those duties which he owed to his God. He was known to be a man so much devoted to the worship of ‘Jehovah’ the God of his people, that no law whatever would prevent him from rendering to him the homage which was his due, and it was believed, therefore, that if a law were made, on any pretence, that no one in the realm should ask anything of either God or man, except the king, for a definite space of time, there would be a moral certainty that Daniel would be found to be a violator of that law, and his degradation and death would be certain. What was here proposed was a scheme worthy of crafty and jealous and wicked men; and the only difficulty, evidently, which would occur to their mind would be to persuade the king to enter into the measure so far as to promulgate such a law. As already observed, plausible pretenses might be found for that; and when that was done, they would naturally conclude that their whole scheme was successful. (4.) There is no improbability, therefore, in supposing that, as the whole thing was aimed at Daniel, there might have been many pious Jews who still worshipped God in secret in Babylon, and that no one would give information against them. As the edict was not aimed at them, it is not surprising that we hear of no prosecution against them, and no complaint made of them for disregarding the law. If Daniel was found to violate the statute; if he was ensnared and entrapped by the cunning device; if he was humbled and punished, all the purposes contemplated by its authors would be accomplished, and we need not suppose that they would give themselves any trouble about
others. }}

{{ Section II. The Question: Who Was Darius the Mede? Chapter 6:
Considerable importance is to be attached to the question who was “Darius the Mede,” as it has been made a ground of objection to the Scripture narrative, that no person by that name is mentioned in the Greek writers.
There are three Medo-Persian kings of the name of Darius mentioned in the Old Testament. One occurs in the book of Ezra (4:5; 6:1, 12, 15), in Haggai (1:1; 2:10), and in Zechariah (1:7), as the king who, in the second year of his reign, effected the execution of those decrees of Cyrus which granted the Jews the liberty of rebuilding the temple, the fulfilment of which had been obstructed by the malicious representations which their enemies had made to his immediate successors. It is commonly agreed that this king was Darius Hystaspis, who succeeded the usurper Smerdis, B.C. 521, and reigned thirty-six years.
A second is mentioned as “Darius the Persian,” in Neh. 12:22. All that is said of him is, that the succession of priests was registered up to his reign. This was either Darius Nothus, B.C. 423, or Darius Codomanus, B.C. 336, See Kitto’s Cyclop., art. Darius.
The remaining one is that mentioned in Daniel only as Darius the Median. In ch. 9:1, he is mentioned as Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes. Much difference of opinion has prevailed as to the person here intended; but a strict attention to what is actually expressed in, or fairly deduced from, the terms used in Daniel, tends to narrow the field of conjecture very considerably, if it does not decide the question. It appears from the passage in ch. 5:30,31, and 6:28, that Darius the Mede obtained the dominion over Babylon on the death of Belshazzar, who was the last Chaldean king, and that he was the immediate predecessor of Koresh (Cyrus) in the sovereignty. The historical juncture here defined belongs, therefore, to the period when the Medo-Persian army led by Cyrus took Babylon (B.C. 538), and Darius the Mede must denote the first king of a foreign dynasty who assumed the dominion over the Babylonian empire before Cyrus. These indications all concur in the person of Cyaxares the Second, the son and successor of Astyages [Ahasuerus], and the immediate predecessor of Cyrus. —Kitto’s Cyclop., art. Darius.
In reference to the question, who was Darius the Mede, Bertholdt has examined the different opinions which have been entertained in a manner that is satisfactory, and I cannot do better than to present his views on the subject. They are found in his ‘Vierter Eccurs, uber den Darius Medus’, in his Commentary on Daniel, pp. 843–858. I will give the substance of the Excursus, in a free translation: —“Who was Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, of whom mention is made in the sixth chapter of the book of Daniel, and again in ch. 9:1 and 11:1 It is agreed on all hands that he was the immediate successor of Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans (ch. 5:30). Comp, ch. 6:1. But, notwithstanding this, there is uncertainty as to his person, since history makes no mention of a ‘Median’ Darius. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that various opinions have been entertained by commentators on the Scriptures, and by historical inquirers. Conring (Advers. Chronol. c. 13), whom many have followed, particularly Harenberg (Aufklärung des Buchs Daniels, s. 454, seq.), has endeavoured to show that Darius the Mede was the fourth Chaldean monarch, Neriglissar, and that Belshazzar, his predecessor, was Evil-Merodach. J. Scaliger (De Emendat. Temporum, p. 579, seq.) recognised in Darius the Mede the last Chaldean king in Babylon, Nabonned, and in Belshazzar, the one before the last, Laborosoarchod, which hypothesis also Calvisius, Petavius, and Buddeus adopted. On the other hand, Syncellus (Chronogr., p. 232), Cedrenus (Chron. p. 142), the Alexandrine Chronicle, Marsham (Can. Chron. p. 604, seq.), the two most recent editors of Æschylus, Schütz (in zweiten, Excurs. zu AEschylus’s (persai)), and Bothe (AEsch. dramata, p. 671), held that Darius the Mede was the Median king Astyages, the maternal grandfather of Cyrus. Des Wignolles (Chronologie, t. 2, p. 495), and Schröer (Regnum Babyl. Sect. 6, § 12, seq.), held him to be a prince of Media younger brother of Astyages, whom Cyrus made king over Babylon. Another opinion, however, deserves more respect than this, which was advanced by Marianus Scotus, a Benedictine monk of the eleventh century, though this hypothesis is not tenable, which opinion has found, in modern times, a warm advocate in Beer (Kings of Israel and Judah, p. 22, seq.) According to this opinion, it was held that Darius the Mede is the same person as the third Persian king after Cyrus, Darius Hystaspis, and that Belshazzar was indeed the last Chaldean king, Nabonned, but that in the first capture of Babylon under Cyrus, according to the account of Berosus (in Jos. c. Ap, i. 20) and Megasthenes (in Euseb. Praep. Evang. ix. 44), he was not put to death, but was appointed by Cyrus as a vassal-king; and then in the second taking of Babylon under Darius Hystaspis (Herod. iii. 150, seq.), from whom he had sought to make himself independent, he was slain. This opinion has this advantage, that it has in its favour the fact that it has the undoubted name of ‘Darius’, but it is not conformable to history to suppose that Darius Hystaspis was a son of Ahasuerus the Mede; for his father, Hystaspis, was a native-born prince of Persia (Xenop. Cyrop. iv. 2, 46), of the family of the Achaemenides (Herod. i. 209, 210). Darius Hystaspis was indeed remotely related by means of the mother of Cyrus, Mandane, with the royal family; but this relation could not entitle him to be called a Mede, for, since she was the mother of Cyrus, it is altogether inexplicable that since both were thus connected with each other that Cyrus should be called ‘the Persian’ (Parsaiya’), and Darius ‘the Mede’ (Madaiya’), Dan. 6:28 (29). The supposition, moreover, that Nabonned, after the taking of Babylon, was appointed as a tributary king by Cyrus, is wholly gratuitous; since Nabonned, according to the express testimony of Xenophon (Cyrop. vii. 5, 26, seq.), was slain at the taking of Babylon.
“There is yet one other opinion respecting Darius the Mede, to which I will first prefix the following remarks: (1.) Darius the Mede is mentioned in ch. vi. 28 (29) as the immediate predecessor of Cyrus in Babylon. (2.) Belshazzar was the last Babylonish Chaldee king. (3.) The account of the violent death of Belshazzar, with which the fifth chapter closes, stands in direct historical connexion with the statement in the beginning of the sixth chapter that Darius the Mede had the kingdom. (4.) Darius the Mede must, therefore, be the first foreign prince after the downfall of the Chaldean dynasty, which directly reigned over Babylon. (5.) The chronological point, therefore, where the history of Belshazzar and of Darius the Mede coincide, developes itself: the account falls in the time of the downfall of Babylon through the Medo-Persian army, and this must be the occasion as the connecting fact between the fifth and sixth chapters. According to this, Darius the Mede can be no other person than the Medish king Cyaxares II., the son and successor of Astyages, and the predecessor of Cyrus in the rule over Babylon; and Belshazzar is the last Chaldee monarch, Nabonned, or Labynet. With this agrees the account of Josephus (Ant. x. 11, 4); and later, this opinion found an advocate in Jerome.
“The existence of such a person as Cyaxares II, has been indeed denied because, according to Herodotus (i. 109), and Justin (i. 4, 7), Astyages had no son. But it should be remarked that the latter of these writers only copies from the former, and what Herodotus states respecting Astyages has so much the appearance of fable that no reliance is to be placed on it. It has been objected also that Dionysius of Halicarnassus (b. i. § 1), says that the Medish kingdom continued only through four reigns, so that if we reckon the names of the reigning kings, Dejoces, Phraortes, Cyaxares (the contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar), and Astyages, there will be no place for a second Cyaxares… But is it not probable that Dionysius meant, by these words, only that the Median kingdom came to an end under the fourth dynasty? Finally, it has been objected that, according to Herodotus (i. 128, seq.), and Ctesias ((Persik). 2 and 5), no Median prince sat upon the throne in Ecbatana after Astyages, but that with Astyages the kingdom of the Medes came to an end, and with Cyrus, his immediate successor, the Persian kingdom took its beginning. Therewith agree, nearly all the historians of the following times, Diodorus (ii. 34), Justin (i. 6, 16, 17, vii. 1), Strabo (ix. p. 735, xv. p. 1662), Polyān (vii. 7), and many others. But these writers only copy from Herodotus and Ctesias, and the whole rests only on their authority. But their credibility in this point must be regarded as doubtful, for it is not difficult to understand the reasons why they have omitted to make mention of Cyaxares II. They commenced the history of the reign of Cyrus with the beginning of his world-renowned celebrity, and hence it was natural to connect the beginning of his reign, and the beginning of the Persian reign, with the reign of his grandfatherAstyages; for, so long as his uncle Cyaxares II. reigned, Cyrus alone acted, and he in fact was the regent. But if the silence of Herodotus and Ctesias is not to be regarded as proof that no such person as Cyaxares II, lived and reigned, there are in favour of that the following positive arguments: —“(1.) The authority of Xenophon, who not only says that a Cyaxares ascended the throne after Astyages, but that he was a son, of Astyages (Cyr. i. 5, 2), and besides relates so much of this Cyaxares (i. 4, 7, iii. 3, 20, viii. 5, 19) that his Cyropaedia may be regarded as in a measure a history of him. Yea, Xenophon goes so far (8:7, 1) that he reckons the years of the reign of Cyrus from the death of Cyaxares II. Can anyone conceive a reason why Xenophon had a motive to weave together such a tissue of falsehood as this, unless Cyaxares II actually lived? If one should object, indeed, that he is so far to be reckoned among fictitious writers that he gives a moral character to the subjects on which he writes, and that he has passed over the difference between Cyrus and his grandfather Astyages, yet there is no reason why he should have brought upon the stage so important a person, wholly from fiction, as Cyaxares. What a degree of boldness it must have required, if he, who lived not much more than a century after the events recorded, had mentioned to his contemporaries, so much respecting a prince of whom no one whatever had even heard. But the existence of Cyaxares II. may be proved, “(2) From a passage in AEschylus (Pers, ver, 762, seq.) —(Mëdos gar ëv `ho prötos `ëgemön stratou:`Hallosos d’ exeinou pais ré to d’ ergon enuse: Tritos d’ ap’ autou Kuros, eudaimön anër, k.t.l.)
The first who is here mentioned as the Mede (Mëdos) manifestly no other than Astyages, whom, ‘before’ Cyrus, his son succeeded in the government, and who is the same whom we, after Xenophon, call Cyaxares. This testimony is the more important as Æschylus lived before Xenophon, in the time of Darius Hystaspis, and is free from all suspicions from this circumstance, that, according to the public relations which Æschylus sustained, no accounts of the former Persian history could be expected from any doubtful authorities to have been adduced by him. But the existence of Cyaxares II does not depend solely on the authority of Xenophon, in his Cyropædia. For, “(3.) Josephus (Ant. x. 11, 4), who speaks of this person under the name of Darius, adds (Ën Astuagous `Huios, eteron de para tois `Hellësin ekaleito ovoma) —“he was the son of Astyages, but had another name among the Greeks.” This name, which he had among the Greeks, can be found only in their own Xenophon. “(4.) To all this should be added, that many other data of history, especially those taken from the Hebrew writings, so set out the continuance of the reign of the Medes over Upper Asia that it is necessary to suppose the existence of such a person as the Medish king, Cyaxares, after the reign of Astyages. Had Cyrus, after the death of Astyages, immediately assumed the government over Upper Asia, how happened it that until the downfall of the Babylonian-Chaldee kingdom mention is made almost always of the Medes, or at least of the Persians, of whom there is special mention? Whence is it that the passage of Abydenus, quoted from Megasthenes, p. 295, speaks of ‘a Mede’, who, in connexion with a Persian, overthrew the Babylonish kingdom Is not the Mede so represented as to show that he was a prominent and leading person? Is it not necessary to attribute to this fragment a higher authority, and to suppose that a Medish monarch, in connexion with a Persian, brought the kingdom of Babylon to an end? Whence did Jeremiah, ch. 1 and 2 expressly threaten that the Jews would be punished by a Median king? Whence does the author of Isa. 13, and 14 mention that the destruction of the Chaldean monarchy would be effected by the Medes? The accession of Cyrus to the throne was no mere change of person in the authority, but it was a change of the reigning nation. So long as a Mede sat on the throne, the Persians, though they acted an important part in the affairs of the nation, yet occupied only the second place. The court was Medish, and the Medes were prominent in all the affairs of the government, as every page of the Cyropaedia furnishes evidence. Upon the accession of Cyrus, the whole thing was changed. The Persians were now the predominant nation, and from that time onward, as has been remarked, the Persians are always mentioned as having the priority, though before they had but a secondary place. As the reign of Astyages, though he reigned thirty-five years (Herod. i. 130), could not have embraced the whole period mentioned to the accession of Cyrus, so the royal race of the Medes, and the kingdom of the Medes, could not have been extinguished with him, and it is necessary to suppose the existence of Cyaxares II as his successor, and the predecessor of Cyrus.”
These considerations, suggested by Bertholdt, are sufficient to demonstrate that such a person as Cyaxares II. lived between the reign of Astyages and Cyrus, and that, after the destruction of Babylon, he was the immediate successor of Belshazzar, or Nabonned, and was the predecessor of Cyrus. He was the first of the foreign princes who reigned over Babylon. It has been made a question why, in the book of Daniel, he is mentioned under the name of ‘Darius’, and not by his other name Cyaxares. It may be difficult to answer this question, but it will be sufficient to remark (a) that it was common for Oriental kings to have many names, and, as we have seen, in regard to the kings of Babylon, one writer might designate them by one name, and another by another. This is indeed the occasion of much confusion in ancient history, but it is inevitable. (b) As we have seen, Josephus (Ant. x. 11, 4) expressly says that this Darius had another name among the Greeks, and, as Bertholdt remarks, it is natural to seek that name in the writings of their own Xenophon. (c) Darius was a common name in Persia, and it may have been one of the names by which the princes of Persia and Media were commonly known. Three of that name are mentioned in the Scriptures, and three who were distinguished are mentioned in profane history—Darius Hystaspis, Darius Ochus, or Darius Nothus, as he was known among the Greeks, and Darius Codomanus, who was overthrown by Alexander the Great.
An important statement is made by Xenophon respecting Cyaxares II, the son of Astyages, which may account for the fact that his name was omitted by Herodotus and Ctesias. He describes him as a prince given up to sensuality, and this fact explains the reason why he came to surrender all authority so entirely into the hands of his enterprising son-in-law and nephew Cyrus, and why his reign was naturally sunk in that of his distinguished successor.—Cyrop. i. 5, viii. 7. }}

{{ Section III. Analysis of Chapter 6:
This chapter contains the history of Daniel under the government, or during the reign of Darius the Mede, or Cyaxares II, from a period, it would seem, soon after the accession of Darius to the throne in Babylon, or the conquest of Babylon, till his death. It is not indeed said how soon after that event Daniel was exalted to the premiership in Babylon, but the narrative would lead us to suppose that it was soon after the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, acting under the authority of Cyaxares. As Daniel, on account of the disclosure made to Belshazzar of the meaning of the handwriting on the wall, had been exalted to high honour at the close of the life of that monarch (ch. 5), it is probable that he would be called to a similar station under the reign of Darius, as it cannot be supposed that Darius would appoint Medes and Persians entirely to fill the high offices of the realm. The chapter contains a record of the following events: (1.) The arrangement of the government after the conquest of Babylon, consisting of one hundred and twenty officers over the kingdom, so divided as to be placed under the care of three superior officers, or “presidents,” of whom Daniel held the first place, vers. 1-3. (2.) The dissatisfaction or envy of the officers so appointed against Daniel, for causes now unknown, and their conspiracy to remove him from office, or to bring him into disgrace with the king, ver. 4. (3.) The plan which they formed to secure this, derived from the known piety and integrity of Daniel, and their conviction that, at any hazard, he would remain firm to his religious principles, and would conscientiously maintain the worship of God. Convinced that they could find no fault in his administration; that he could not be convicted of malversation or infidelity in office; that there was nothing in his private or public character that was contrary to justice and integrity, they resolved to take advantage of his well-known piety, and to make that the occasion of his downfall and ruin, ver. 5. (4.) The plan that was artfully proposed was, to induce the king to sign a decree that if any one for thirty days should ask any petition for anything of God or man, he should be thrown into a den of lions —that is, should be, as they supposed, certainly put to death. This proposed decree they apprehended they could induce the king to sign, perhaps because it was flattering to the monarch, or perhaps because it would test the disposition of his new subjects to obey him, or perhaps because they knew he was a weak and effeminate prince, and that he was accustomed to sign papers presented to him by his counsellors without much reflection or hesitation, vers, 6-9. (5.) Daniel, when he was apprised of the contents of the decree, though he saw its bearing, and perhaps its design, yet continued his devotions as usual —praying, as he was known to do, three times a day, with his face toward Jerusalem, with his windows open. The case was one where he felt, undoubtedly, that it was a matter of principle that he should worship God in his usual manner, and not allow himself to be driven from the acknowledgment of his God by the fear of death, ver. 10. (6.) They who had laid the plan made report of this to the king, and demanded the execution of the decree. The case was a plain one, for though it had not been intended or expected by the king that Daniel would have been found a violator of the law, yet as the decree was positive, and there had been no concealment on the part of Daniel, the counsellors urged that it was necessary that the decree should be executed, vers. 11-13. (7.) The king, displeased with himself, and evidently enraged against these crafty counsellors, desirous of sparing Daniel, and yet feeling the necessity of maintaining a law positively enacted, sought some way by which Daniel might be saved, and the honour and majesty of the law preserved. No method, however, occurring to him of securing both objects, he was constrained to submit to the execution of the decree, and ordered Daniel to be cast into the den of lions, vers. 14-17. (8.) The king returned to his palace, and passed the night fasting, and overwhelmed with sadness, ver. 18. (9.) In the morning he came with deep anxiety to the place where Daniel had been thrown, and called to see if he were alive, vers. 19, 20. (10.) The reply of Daniel, that he had been preserved by the intervention of an angel, who had closed the mouths of the lions, and had kept him alive, vers. 21,22. (11.) The release of Daniel from the den, and the command to cast those in who had thus accused Daniel, and who had sought his ruin, vers. 23,24. (12.) An appropriate proclamation from the king to all men to honour that God who had thus preserved his servant, vers. 25-27. (13.) A statement of the prosperity of Daniel, extending to the reign of Cyrus, ver. 28. }}

{{ Chapter VII. Section I. Analysis of Chapter 7: [B.C. 555]
This chapter contains an account of a remarkable prophetic dream which Daniel had in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar, and of the interpretation of the dream. After a brief statement of the contents of the chapter, it will be proper, in order to its more clear exposition, to state the different methods which have been proposed for interpreting it, or the different views of its application which have been adopted. The chapter comprises the following main points: the vision, vers. 1-14; and the explanation, vers. 15-28.
I. The vision, vers. 1-14. The dream occurred in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar, and was immediately written out. Daniel is represented as standing near the sea, and a violent wind rages upon the sea, tossing the waves in wild commotion. Suddenly he sees four monsters emerge from the agitated waves, each one apparently remaining for a little time, and then disappearing. The first, in its general form, resembled a lion, but had wings like an eagle. On this he attentively gazed, until the wings were plucked away, and the beast was made to stand upright as a man, and the heart of a man was given to it. Nothing is said as to what became of the beast after this. Then there appeared a second beast, resembling a bear, raising itself up on one side, having three ribs in its mouth, and a command was given to it to arise and devour much flesh. Nothing is said further of what became of this beast. Then there arose another beast like a leopard, with four wings, and four heads, and to this beast was given wide dominion. Nothing is said as to what became of this animal. Then there arose a fourth beast more remarkable still. Its form is not mentioned, but it was fierce and strong. It had great iron teeth. It trampled down everything before it, and devoured and brake in pieces. This beast had at first ten horns, but soon there sprang up in the midst of them another —a smaller horn at first, but as this increased three of the ten horns were plucked up by the roots —apparently either by this, or in order to give place to it. What was more remarkable still, in this smaller horn there appeared the eyes of a man —emblematic of intelligence and vigilance; and a mouth speaking great things —indicative of pride and arrogance. Daniel looked on this singular vision till a throne was set up or established, and then the Ancient of days did sit —till the old forms of dominations ceased, and the reign of God was introduced and established. He contemplated it till, on account of the great words which the “horn spake,” the beast was slain, and his body was destroyed, and given to the burning flame. In the meantime the dominion was taken away from the other beasts, though their existence was prolonged for a little time. Then appeared in vision one in the form of man, who came to the Ancient of days, and there was given to him universal dominion over all people —a kingdom that should never be destroyed.
II. The interpretation of the vision, vers. 15–28. Daniel was greatly troubled at the vision which he had seen, and he approached one who stood near, and asked him the meaning of it, vers. 15, 16. The explanation with which he was favoured was, in general, the following: That those four beasts which he had seen represented four kings or kingdoms which would exist on the earth, and that the great design of the vision was to state the fact that the saints of the Most High would ultimately possess the kingdom, and would reign forever, vers. 17, 18. The grand purpose of the vision was to represent the succession of dynasties, and the particular character of each one, until the government over the world should pass into the hands of the people of God, or until the actual rule on the earth should be in the hands of the righteous. The ultimate object, the thing to which all revolutions tended, and which was designed to be indicated in the vision, was the final reign of the saints on the earth. There was to be a time when the kingdom under the whole heaven was to be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; or, in other words, there would be a state of things on the earth, when “all dominions,” or all “rulers” (margin, ver. 27),would obey him. This general announcement in reference to the ultimate thing contemplated, and to the three first kingdoms, represented by the three first beasts, was satisfactory to Daniel, but he was still perplexed in regard to the particular thing designed to be represented by theº beast, so remarkable in its structure, so unlike all the others, and undergoing so surprising a transformation, vers. 19–22. The sum of what was stated to him, in regard to the events represented by the fourth beast, is as follows: (1.) That this was designed to represent a fourth kingdom or dynasty which would arise upon the earth, in many respects different from the three which would precede it. It was to be a kingdom which would be distinguished for oppressive conquests. It would subdue the whole earth, and it would crush, and prostrate, and trample down those whom it invaded. . The description would characterize a dominion that would be stern, and mighty, and cruel, and successful; that would keep the nations which it subdued under its control by the terror of arms rather than by the administration of just laws, ver, 23. (2.) The ten horns that Daniel saw spring out of its head denoted ten kings that would arise, or a succession of rulers that would sway the authority of the kingdom, ver. 24. (3.) The other horn that sprang up among the ten, and after them, denoted another dynasty that would arise, and this would have peculiar characteristics. It would so far have connexion with the former that it would spring out of them, but in most important respects it would differ from them. Its characteristics may be summed up as follows: (a) It would spring from their midst, or be somehow attached, or connected with them —as the horn sprang from the head of the beast—and this would properly denote that
the new power somehow sprang from the dynasty denoted by the fourth beast —as the horn sprang from the head of that beast; (b) though springing from that, it would be “diverse” from it, having a character to be determined, not from the mere fact of its origin, but from something else. (c) It would “subdue three of these kings;” that is, it would overcome and rostrate a certain portion of the power and authority denoted by the ten łºń. meaning that it would .. something like one-third of the power of the kingdom denoted by the fourth beast., (d) It would be characterized by arrogance and haughtiness—so much so that the fair construction of its claims would be that of “speaking against the Most High.” (e) It would “wear out the saints of the Most High”—evidently referring to persecution. (f) It would claim legislative authority so as to “change times and laws” —clearly referring to some claim set up over established laws, or to unusual authority, vers. 24, 25. (4.) Into the hand of this new power, all these things would be given for “a time, and times, and half a time:” implying that it would not be permanent, but would come to an end, ver. 25. (5.) After that there would be a judgment—a judicial determination in regard to this new power, and the dominion would be taken away, to be utterly destroyed, ver. 26. (6.) There would come a period when the whole dominion of earth would pass into the hands of the saints; or, in other words, there would be a universal reign of the principles of truth and righteousness, ver. 27. In the conclusion of the chapter (ver. 28), Daniel says that these communications deeply affected his heart. He had been permitted to look far into futurity, and to contemplate vast changes in the progress of human affairs, and even to look forward to a period when all the nations would be brought under the dominion of the law of God, and the friends of the Most High would be put in possession of all power. Such events were fitted to fill the mind * solemn thought, and it is not wonderful that he contemplated them with deep emotion. }}

{{ Chapter VII. Section II. Various Methods of Chapter 7: [B.C. 538]
It is hardly necessary to say that there have been very different methods of interpreting this chapter, and that the views of its proper interpretation are by no means agreed on by expositors. It may be useful to refer to some of those methods before we advance to its exposition, that they may be before the mind in its consideration. We shall be the better able to ascertain what is the true interpretation by inquiring which of them, if any, accords with the ‘fair’ exposition of the language employed by the sacred writer. The opinions entertained may be reduced to the following classes:—
I. Hardt supposes that the four beasts here denote four particular kings— Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-Merodach, Belshazzar, and Cyrus.
II. Ephraem, who is followed by Eichhorn, supposes that the first beast referred to the Babylonish-Chaldean kingdom; the second, the Medish empire under Cyaxares II., the three “ribs” of which denote the Medish, Persian, and Chaldean portions of that empire; the third, the Persian empire, the four heads and wings of which denote the spread of the Persian empire towards the four regions under heaven, or to all parts of the world; the fourth, to the Grecian empire under Alexander and his successors, the ten horns of which denote ten eminent kings among the successors of Alexander, and the “little horn,” that sprang up among them, Antiochus Epiphanes. The succeeding state of things, according to Ephraem and Eichhorn, refers to the kingdom of the Messiah.
III Grotius, representing another class of interpreters, whom Hetzel follows, supposes that the succession of the kingdoms here referred to is the Babylonish-Chaldean; the Persian; the kingdom of Alexander, and his successors. The fifth is the Roman empire.
IV. The most common interpretation which has prevailed in the church is that which supposes that the first beast denotes the Chaldean kingdom; the second, the Medo-Persian; the third, the Greek empire under Alexander and his successors; the fourth, the Roman empire. The dominion of the saints is the reign of the Messiah and his laws. But this opinion, particularly as far as pertains to the fourth and fifth of these kingdoms, has had a great variety of modifications, especially in reference to the signification of the ten horns, and the little horn that sprang up among them. Some who, under the fifth kingdom, suppose that the reign of Christ is referred to, regard the fourth kingdom as relating to Rome under the Caesars, and that the ten horns refer to a succession of ten regents, and the little horn to Julius Caesar. Others, who refer the last empire to the personal reign of Christ on the earth, and the kingdom which he would set up, suppose that the ten horns refer to ten kings or dynasties that sprang out of the Roman power —either a succession of the emperors, or those who came in after the invasion of the northern hordes, or certain kingdoms of Europe which succeeded the Roman power after it fell; and by the little horn, they suppose that either the Turkish power with its various branches is designated, or Mohammed, or the Papacy, or Antichrist.
V. The Jews, in general, suppose that the fifth kingdom refers to the reign of the Messiah; but still there has been great diversity of views among them in regard to the application of particular parts of the prophecy. Many of the older interpreters among them supposed that the ten horns denoted ten Roman Caesars, and that the last horn referred to Titus Vespasian. Most of the later Jewish interpreters refer this to their fabulous Gog and Magog.
VI. Another interpretation which has had its advocates is that which supposes that the first kingdom was the Chaldean; the second, the Persian; the third, that of Alexander; the fourth, that of his successors; and the fifth, that of the Asmonean princes who rose up to deliver the Jewish nation from the despotism of the Syrian kings.
VII. As a specimen of one mode of interpretation which has prevailed to some extent in the church, the opinion of Cocceius may be referred to. He supposes that the first beast, with the eagle’s wings, denoted the reign of the Christian emperors in Rome, and the spread of Christianity under them into remote regions of the East and West; the second, with the three ribs in his mouth, the Arian Goths, Wandals, and Lombards; the third, with the four heads and four wings, the Mohammedan kingdom with the four Caliphates; the fourth, the kingdom of Charlemagne, and the ten horns in this kingdom, the Carlovingians, Saxons, Salic, Swedish, Hollandish, English, etc., princes and dynasties or people; and the little horn, the Papacy as the actual Antichrist.
The statement of these various opinions, and methods of interpretation, I have translated from Bertholdt, Daniel, pp. 419–426. To these should be added the opinion which Bertholdt himself maintains, and which has been held by many others, and which Bertholdt has explained and defended at length, pp. 426–446. That opinion is, substantially, that the first kingdom is the Babylonish kingdom under Nebuchadnezzar, and that the wings of the first beast denote the extended spread of that empire. The second beast, with the three “ribs,” or ‘fangs’, denotes the Median, Lydian, and Babylonish kingdoms, which were erected under one sceptre, the Persian. The third beast, with the four wings and four heads, denotes the Grecian dynasty under Alexander, and the spread of that kingdom throughout the four parts of the world. The fourth beast denotes the kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae, under which the Hebrews suffered so much. The statement respecting this kingdom (ver. 7), that “it was diverse from all that went before it,” refers to the “plurality of the fourth kingdom,” or the fact that it was an ‘aggregate’ made up of many others —a kingdom in a ‘collective’ sense [i.e kingdoms, ’empire’]. The “ten horns” denote ten successive princes or kings in that kingdom, and Bertholdt enumerates them in the following order: 1, Seleucus Nicator; 2, Antiochus Soter; 3, Antiochus Theos; 4, Seleucus Kallinicus; 5, Seleucus Rerunus; 6, Antiochus the Great; 7, Seleucus Philopater; 8, Heliodorus; 9, Ptolemy Philometer; 10, Demetrius. The eleventh —denoted by the little horn— was Antiochus Epiphanes, who brought so many calamities upon the Hebrew people. His reign lasted, according to Bertholdt, “a time, and times, and half a time”—or three years and a half; and then the kingdom was restored to the people of God to be a permanent reign, and, ultimately, under the Messiah, to fill the world and endure to the end of time.
The interpretation thus stated, supposing that the “little horn” refers to Antiochus Epiphanes, is also maintained by Prof. Stuart. —Hints on Prophecy, 2nd ed. P; 85–98. Compare also Commentary on Daniel, pp. 173-194, and 205–211.
Amidst such a variety of views, the only hope of arriving at any satisfactory conclusion respecting the meaning of this chapter is by a careful examination of the text, and the fair meaning of the symbols employed by Daniel.

Chapter 7: …..We are prepared now, having gone through with an exposition of this chapter, as to the meaning of the symbols, the words, and the phrases, to endeavour to ascertain what events are referred to in this remarkable prophecy, and to ask what events it was designed should be portrayed. And in reference to this there are but two opinions, or two classes of interpretations, that require notice: that which refers it primarily and exclusively to Antiochus Epiphanes, and that which refers it to the rise and character of the Papal power; that which regards the fourth beast as referring to the empire of Alexander, and the little horn to Antiochus, and that which regards the fourth beast as referring to the Roman empire, and the little horn to the Papal dominion. In inquiring which of these is the true interpretation, it will be proper, first, to consider whether it is applicable to Antiochus Epiphanes; secondly, whether it in fact finds a fulfilment in the Roman empire and the Papacy; and, thirdly, if such is the proper application, what are we to look for in the future in what remains unfulfilled in regard to the prophecy.

I. The question whether it is applicable to the case of Antiochus Epiphanes. A large class of interpreters, of the most respectable character, among whom are Lengerke, Maurer, Prof. Stuart (Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy, p. 86, seq.; also Com. on Daniel, pp. 205-211), Eichhorn, Bertholdt, Bleek, and many others, suppose that the allusion to Antiochus is clear, and that the primary, if not the exclusive, reference to the prophecy is to him. Prof. Stuart (Hints, p. 86) says, “The passage in Dan. 7:25 is so clear as to leave no reasonable room for doubt.” “In vers. 8, 20, 24, the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes is described; for the fourth beast is beyond all reasonable doubt the divided Grecian dominion which succeeded the reign of Alexander the Great. From this dynasty springs Antiochus, vers. 8, 20, who is most graphically described in ver. 25 “as one who shall speak great words against the Most High,” etc.”
The ‘facts’ in regard to Antiochus, so far as they are necessary to be known in the inquiry, are briefly these: —Antiochus Epiphanes (‘the Illustrious’, a name taken on himself, Prideaux, iii. 213), was the son of Antiochus the Great, but succeeded his brother, Seleucus Philopater, who died B.C. 176. Antiochus reigned over Syria, the capital of which was Antioch, on the Orontes, from B.C. 176 to B.C. 164. His character, as that of a cruel tyrant, and a most bloodthirsty and bitter enemy of the Jews, is fully detailed in the first and second book of Maccabees. Comp. also Prideaux, Con. vol. iii. 213–234. The facts in the case of Antiochus, so far as they are supposed to bear on the application of the prophecy before us, are thus stated by Prof. Stuart (Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy, pp. 89,90): “In the year 168 before Christ, in the month of May, Antiochus Epiphanes was on his way to attack Egypt, and he detached Apollonius, one of his military confidants, with 22,000 soldiers, in order to subdue and plunder Jerusalem. The mission was executed with entire success. A horrible slaughter was made of the men at Jerusalem, and a large portion of the women and children, being made captives, were sold, and treated as slaves. The services of the temple were interrupted, and its joyful feasts were turned into mourning, 1st Mac. 1:37-39. Soon after this the Jews in general were compelled to eat swine’s flesh, and to sacrifice to idols. In December of that same year, the temple was profaned by introducing the statue of Jupiter Olympius; and on the 25th of that month sacrifices were offered to that idol on the altar of Jehovah. Just three years after this last event, viz., December 25, 165 B.C., the temple was expurgated by Judas Maccabaeus, and the worship of Jehovah restored. Thus, ‘three years and a half’, or almost exactly this period, passed away, while Antiochus had complete possession and control of everything in and around Jerusalem and the temple. It may be noted, also, that just three years passed, from the time when the profanation of the temple was carried to its greatest height —viz., by sacrificing to the statue of Jupiter Olympius on the altar of Jehovah, down to the time when Judas renewed the regular worship. I mention this last circumstance in order to account for the ‘three years’ of Antiochus’ profanations, which are named as the period of them in Josephus, Ant. xii. 7, § 6. This period tallies exactly with the time during which the profanation as consummated was carried on if we reckon down to the period when the temple worship was restored by Judas Maccabaeus. But in Prooem. ad Bell. Jud. § 7, and Bell. Jud. l. 1, § 1, Josephus reckons three years and a half as the period during which Antiochus ravaged Jerusalem and Judea.”
In regard to this statement, while the general facts are correct, there are some additional statements which should be made, to determine as to its real bearing on the case. The act of detaching Apollonius to attack Jerusalem was not, as is stated in this extract, when Antiochus was on his way to Egypt, but was on his return from Egypt, and was just two years after Jerusalem had been taken by Antiochus. —Prideaux, iii. 239. The ‘occasion’ of his detaching Apollonius, was that Antiochus was enraged because he had been defeated in Egypt by the Romans, and resolved to vent all his wrath upon the Jews, who, at that time, had given him no particular offence. When, two years before, Antiochus had himself taken Jerusalem, he slew forty thousand persons; he took as many captives, and sold them for slaves; he forced himself into the temple, and entered the most holy place; he caused a great sow to be offered on the altar of burnt offering, to show his contempt for the temple and the Jewish religion; he sprinkled the broth over every part of the temple for the purpose of polluting it; he plundered the temple of the altar of incense, the shew-bread table, and the golden candlestick, and then returned to Antioch, having appointed Philip, a Phrygian, a man of a cruel and barbarous temper, to be governor of the Jews.-Prideaux, iii. 231. When Apollonius again attacked the city, two years afterwards, he waited quietly until the Sabbath, and then made his assault. He filled the city with blood, set it on fire, demolished the houses, pulled down the walls, built a strong fortress over against the temple, from which the garrison could fall on all who should attempt to go to worship. From this time “the temple became deserted, and the daily sacrifices were omitted,” until the service was restored by Judas Maccabeus, three years and a half after. The ‘time’ during which this continued was, in fact, just three years and a half, until Judas Maccabeus succeeded in expelling the heathen from the temple and from Jerusalem, when the temple was purified, and was solemnly reconsecrated to the worship of God. See Prideaux, Con. iii. 240, 241, and the authorities there cited.
Now, in reference to this interpretation, supposing that the prophecy relates to Antiochus, it must be admitted that there are coincidences which are remarkable, and it is on the ground of these coincidences that the prophecy has been applied to him. These circumstances are such as the following: (a) The general character of the authority that would exist as denoted by the “little horn,” as that of severity and cruelty. None could be better fitted to represent that than the character of Antiochus Epiphanes. Comp. Prideaux, Con. iii., 213, 214. (b) His arrogance and blasphemy—“speaking great words against the Most High.” Nothing is easier than to find what would be a fulfilment of this in the character of Antiochus —in his sacrilegious entrance into the most holy places; in his setting up the statue of Jupiter; in his offering a sow as a sacrifice on the great altar; in his sprinkling the broth of swine on the temple in contempt of the Hebrews and their worship, and in his causing the daily sacrifice at the temple to cease. (c) His making war with the “saints,” and “wearing out the saints of the Most High” —all this could be found accomplished in the wars which Antiochus waged against the Jews in the slaughter of so many thousands, and in sending so many into hopeless slavery. (d) His attempt to “change times and laws” —this could be found to have been fulfilled in the case of Antiochus —in his arbitrary character, and in his interference with the laws of the Hebrews. (e) The ‘time’, as above stated, is the most remarkable coincidence. If this is ‘not’ to be regarded as referring exclusively to Antiochus, it must be explained on one of two suppositions —either that it is one of those coincidences which ‘will’ be found to happen in history, as coincidences happen in dreams; or as having a double reference, intended to refer primarily to Antiochus, but in a secondary and more important sense referring also to other events having a strong resemblance to this; or, in other words, that the language was designedly so couched as to relate to two similar classes of events. It is not to be regarded as very remarkable, however, that it is possible to find a fulfilment of these predictions in Antiochus, though it be supposed that the design was to describe the Papacy, for some of the expressions are of so general a character that they could be applied to many events which have occurred, and, from the nature of the case, there were strong points of resemblance between Antiochus and the Papal power. It is not absolutely necessary, therefore, to suppose that this had reference to Antiochus Epiphanes; and there are so many ‘objections’ to this view as to make it, it seems to me, morally impossible that it should have had such a reference. Among these objections are the following:—
(1.) This interpretation makes it necessary to divide the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, and to consider them two kingdoms, as Bichhorn, Jahn, Dereser, De Wette, and Bleek do. In order to this interpretation, the following are the kingdoms denoted by the fourbeasts—by the first, the Chaldee ; by the second, the Medish; by the third, the Persian; and by the fourth, the Macedonian, or the Macedonian-Asiatic kingdom under Alexander the Great. But to say nothing now of any other difficulties, it is an insuperable objection to this, that so far as the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians are mentioned in Scripture, and so far as they play any part in the fulfilment of prophecy, they are always mentioned as one. They appear as one; they act as one; they are regarded as ‘one’. The kingdom of the Medes does not appear until it is united with that of the Persians, and this remark is of special importance when they are spoken of as ‘succeeding’ the kingdom of Babylon. The kingdom of the Medes was contemporaneous with that of Babylon; it was the Medo-Persian kingdom that was in any proper sense the successor of that of Babylon, as described in these symbols. The kingdom of the Medes, as Hengstenberg well remarks, could in no sense be said to have succeeded that of Babylon any longer than during the reign of Cyaxares II, after the taking of Babylon; and even during that short period of two years, the government was in fact in the hands of Cyrus. —Die Authentie des Daniel, p. 200. Schlosser (p. 243) says, “the kingdom of the Medes and Persians is to be regarded as in fact one and the same kingdom, only that in the change of the dynasty another branch obtained the authority.” See particularly Rosenmüller, Alterthumskunde, i. 290, 291. These two kingdoms are in fact always blended —their laws, their customs, their religion, and they are mentioned as one. Comp. Esth. 1:3, 18, 19; 10:2; Dan. 5:28; 6:8, 12, 15.
(2.) In order to this interpretation, it is necessary to divide the empire founded by Alexander, and instead of regarding it as one, to consider that which existed when he reigned as one, and that of Antiochus, one of the successors of Alexander, as another. This opinion is maintained by Bertholdt, who supposes that the first beast represented the Babylonian kingdom; the second, the kingdom of the Medes and Persians; the third, that of Alexander; and the fourth, the kingdoms that sprang out of that. In order to this, it is necessary to suppose that the four heads and wings, and the ten horns, equally represent that kingdom, or sprang from it —the four heads, the kingdom when divided at the death of Alexander, and the ten horns, powers that ultimately sprang up from the same dominion. But this is contrary to the whole representation in regard to the Asiatic-Macedonian empire. In ch. 8:8,9, where there is an undoubted reference to that empire, it is said “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. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south,” etc. Here is an undoubted allusion to Alexander, and to his followers, and particularly to Antiochus, but no mention of any such division as is necessary to be supposed if the fourth beast represents the power that succeeded Alexander in the East. In no place is the kingdom of the successors of Alexander divided from his in the same sense in which the kingdom of the Medes and Persians is from that of Babylon, or the kingdom of Alexander from that of the Persians. Comp. Hengstenberg, as above, pp. 203-205.
(3.) The supposition that the fourth beast represents either the kingdom of Alexander, or, according to Bertholdt and others, the successors of Alexander, by no means agrees with the character of that beast as compared with the others. That beast was far more formidable, and more to be dreaded, than either of the others. It had iron teeth and brazen claws; it stamped down all before it, and broke all to pieces, and manifestly represented a far more fearful dominion than either of the others. The same is true in regard to the parallel representation in ch. 2:33, 40, of the fourth kingdom represented by the legs and feet of iron, as more terrific than either of those denoted by the gold, the silver, or the brass. But this representation by no means agrees with the character of the kingdom of either Alexander or his successors, and in fact would not be true of them. It would agree well, as we shall see, with the Roman power, even as contrasted with that of Babylon, Persia, or Macedon; but it is not the representation which would, with propriety, be given of the empire of Alexander, or his successors, as contrasted with those which preceded them. Comp. Hengstenberg, as above, pp. 205-207. Moreover, this does not agree with what is expressly said of this power that should succeed that of Alexander, in a passage undoubtedly referring to it, in ch. viii. 22, where it is said, “Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”
(4.) On this supposition it is impossible to determine who are meant by the “ten horns” of the fourth beast (ver. 7), and the “ten kings” (ver. 24) that are represented by these. All the statements in Laniel that refer to the Macedonian kingdom (ch. vii. 6; viii. 8, 22) imply that the Macedonian empire in the East, when the founder died, would be divided into four great powers or monarchies —in accordance with what is well known to have been the fact. But who are the ten kings or sovereignties that were to exist under this general Macedonian power, on the supposition that the fourth beast represents this Bertholdt supposes that the ten horns are “ten Syrian kings,” and that the eleventh little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes. The names of these kings, according to Bertholdt (pp. 432, 433), are Seleucus Nicator, Antiochus Soter, Antiochus Theos, Seleucus Callinicus, Seleucus Ceraunus, Antiochus the Great, Seleucus Philopator, Heliodorus, Ptolemy Philometor, and Demetrius. So also Prof. Stuart, Com. on Dan. p. 208. But it is impossible to make out this exact number of Syrian kings from history, to say nothing now of the improbability of supposing that their power was represented by the fourth beast. These kings were not of the same dynasty, of Syria, of Macedonia, or of Egypt, but the list is made up of different kingdoms. Grotius (in loc.) forms the catalogue of ten kings out of the lists of the kings of Syria and Egypt —five out of one, and five out of the other; but this is manifestly contrary to the intention of the prophecy, which is to represent them as springing out of one and the same power. It is a further objection to this view, that these are lists of ‘successive’ kings —rising up one after the other; whereas the representation of the ten horns would lead us to suppose that they existed ‘simultaneously’; or that somehow there were ten powers that sprang out of the one great power represented by the fourth beast.
(5.) Equally difficult is it, on this supposition, to know who are intended by the “three horns” that were plucked up by the little horn that sprang up among the ten, ver. 8. Grotius, who regards the “little horn” as representing Antiochus Ephiphanes, supposes that the three horns were his elder brothers, Seleucus, Demetrius the son of Seleucus, and Ptolemy Philopator, king of Egypt. But it is an insuperable objection to this that the three kings mentioned by Grotius are not all in his list of ten kings, neither Ptolemy Philometor (if Philometor be meant), nor Demetrius being of the number. —Newton on the Proph., p. 211. , Neither were they plucked up by the roots by Antiochus, or by his order. Seleucus was poisoned by his treasurer, Heliodorus, whose aim it was to usurp the crown for himself, before Antiochus came from Rome, where he had been detained as a hostage for several years. Demetrius lived to dethrone and murder the son of Antiochus, and succeeded him in the kingdom of Syria. Ptolemy Philopator died king of Egypt almost thirty years before Antiochus came to the throne of Syria; or if Ptolemy as is most probable, was meant by Grotius, though he suffered much in the wars with Antiochus, yet he survived him about eighteen years, and died in possession of the crown of Egypt. —Newton, ‘ut supra’. Bertholdt supposes that the three kings were Heliodorus, who poisoned Seleucus Philopator, and sought, by the help of a party, to obtain the throne; Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt, who, as sister’s son to the king, laid claim to the throne; and Demetrius, who, as son of the former king, was legitimate heir to the throne. But there are two objections to this view: (a) that the representation by the prophet is of ‘actual’ kings—which these were not; and (b) that Antiochus ascended the throne ‘peaceably’; Demetrius, who would have been regarded as the king of Syria, not being able to make his title good, was detained as a hostage at Rome. —Hengstenberg, pp. 207,208. Prof. Stuart, Com. on Dan., pp. 208, 209, supposes that the three kings referred to were Heliodorus, Ptolemy Philometor, and Demetrius I; but in regard to these it should be observed, that they were mere ‘pretenders’ to the throne, whereas the text in Daniel supposes that they would be ‘actual’ kings. Comp. Hengstenberg, p. 208.
(6.) The ‘time’ here mentioned, on the supposition that literally three years and a half (ver. 25) are intended, does not agree with the actual dominion of Antiochus. In an undoubted reference to him in ch. 8:13,14, it is said that “the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation,” would be “unto two thousand and three hundred days (2300); then shall the sanctuary be cleansed;” that is, one thousand and forty days (1040), or some two years and ten months more than the time mentioned here. I am aware of the difficulty of explaining this (see Prof. Stuart, Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy, p. 98, seq.), and the exact meaning of the passage in ch. 8:13,14, will come up for consideration hereafter; but it is an objection of some force to the application of the “time, and times, and dividing of a time” (ver. 25) to Antiochus, that it is not the ‘same’ time which is applied to him elsewhere.
(7.) And one more objection to this application is, that, in the prophecy, it is said that he who was represented by the “little horn,” would continue till “the Ancient of days should sit,” and evidently till the kingdom should be taken by the one in the likeness of the Son of man, vers. 9,10, 13,14, 21,22, 26. But if this refers to Antiochus, then these events must refer to the coming of the Messiah, and to the setting up of his kingdom in the world. Yet, as a matter of fact, Antiochus died about 164 years before the Saviour came, and there is no way of showing that he ‘continued’ until the Messiah came in the flesh. These objections to the opinion that this refers to Antiochus Epiphanes seem to me to be insuperable.

II. The question whether it refers to the Roman empire and the Papal power. The fair inquiry is, whether the things referred to in the vision actually find such a correspondence in the Roman empire and the Papacy, that they would fairly represent them if the symbols had been made use of ‘after’ the events occurred. Are they such as we might properly use now as describing the portions of those events that are ‘passed’, on the supposition that the reference was to those events? To determine this, it will be proper to refer to the things in the symbol, and to inquire whether events corresponding to them have actually occurred in the Roman empire and the Papacy. Recalling the exposition which has been above given of the explanation furnished by the angel to Daniel, the things there referred to will find an ample and a striking fulfilment in the Roman empire and the Papal power.
(1.) The fourth kingdom, symbolized by the fourth beast, is accurately represented by the Roman power. This is true in regard to the ‘place’ which that power …’ occupy in the history of the world, on the supposition that the first three referred to the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and the Macedonian. On this supposition there is no need of regarding the Medo-Persian empire as divided into two, represented by two symbols; or the kingdom founded by Alexander —the Asiatic-Macedonian— as distinct from that of his successors. As
the Medo-Persian was in fact one dominion, so was the Macedonian under Alexander, and in the form of the four dynasties into which it was divided on his death, and down to the time when the whole was subverted by the Roman conquests. On this supposition, also, everything in the symbol is fulfilled. The fourth beast, so mighty, so terrific, so powerful, so unlike all the others —armed with iron teeth, and with claws of brass— trampling down and stamping on all the earth —well represents the Roman dominion. The symbol is such a one as we should now use appropriately to represent that power, and in every respect that empire was well represented by the symbol. It may be added, also, that this supposition corresponds with the obvious interpretation of the parallel place in chapter 2:33, 40, where the same empire is referred to in the image by the legs and feet of iron. See notes on that passage. It should be added, that this fourth kingdom is to be considered as prolonged through the entire continuance of the ‘Roman’ power, in the various forms in which that power has been kept up on the earth —alike under the empire, and when broken up into separate sovereignties, and when again concentrated and embodied under the Papacy. That ‘fourth’ power or dominion was to be continued, according to the prediction here, until the establishment of the kingdom of the saints. Either, then, that kingdom of the saints has come, or has been set up, or the fourth kingdom, in some form, still remains. The truth is, that in prophecy the entire Roman dominion seems to be contemplated as ‘one’ —one mighty and formidable power trampling down the liberties of the world; oppressing and persecuting the people of God —the true church; and maintaining an absolute and arbitrary dominion over the souls of men —as a mighty domination standing in the way of the progress of truth, and keeping back the reign of the saints on the earth. In these respects the Papal dominion is, and has been, but a prolongation, in another form, of the influence of heathen Rome, and the entire domination may be represented as one, and might be symbolized by the fourth beast in the vision of Daniel. When that power shall cease, we may, according to the prophecy, look for the time when the “kingdom shall be given to the saints,” or when the true kingdom of God shall be set up all over the world.
(2.) Out of this one sovereignty, represented by the fourth beast, ten powers or sovereignties, represented by the ten horns, were to arise. It was shown in the exposition, that these would all spring out of that one dominion, and would wield the power that was wielded by that; that is, that the one great power would be broken up and distributed into the number represented by ten. As the horns all appeared at the same time on the beast, and did not spring up after one another, so these powers would be simultaneous, and would not be a mere succession; and as the horns all sprang from the beast, so these powers would all have the same origin, and be a portion of the same one power now divided into many. The question then is whether the Roman power was in fact distributed into so many sovereignties at any period such as would be represented by the springing up of the little horn —if that refers to the Papacy. Now, one has only to look into any historical work, to see how in fact the Roman power became distributed and broken up in this way into a large number of kingdoms, or comparatively petty sovereignties, occupying the portions of the world once governed by Rome. In the decline of the empire, and as the new power represented by the “little horn” arose, there was a complete breaking up of the one power that was formerly wielded, and a large number of states and kingdoms sprang out of it. To see that there is no difficulty in making out the number ‘ten’, or that some such distribution and breaking up of the one power is naturally suggested, I cast my eye on the historical chart of Lyman, and found the following kingdoms or sovereignties specified as occupying the same territory which was possessed by the Roman empire, and springing from that —viz., the Vandals, Alans, Suevi, Heruli, Franks, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, Lombards, Britons. The Roman empire as such had ceased, and the power was distributed into a large number of comparatively petty sovereignties —well represented at this period by the ten horns on the head of the beast. Even the Romanists themselves admit that the Roman empire was, by means of the incursions of the northern nations, dismembered into ten kingdoms (Calmet on Rev. 13:1; and he refers likewise to Berengaud, Bossuet, and Dupin. See Newton, p. 209); and Machiaveli (Hist. of Flor. l. i.), with no design of furnishing an illustration of this prophecy, and probably with no recollection of it, has mentioned these names: —1, the Ostrogoths in Moesia; 2, the Visigoths in Pannonia; 3, the Sueves and Alans in Gascoign and Spain; 4, the Vandals in Africa; 5, the Franks in France; 6, the Burgundians in Burgundy; 7, the Heruli and Turingi, in Italy; 8, the Saxons and Angles in Britain; 9, the Huns in Hungary; 10, the Lombards at first upon the Danube, afterwards in Italy. The arrangement proposed by Sir Isaac Newton is the following: —1, the kingdom of the Vandals and Alans in Spain and Africa; 2, the kingdoms of the Suevians in Spain; 3, the kingdom of the Visigoths; 4, the kingdom of the Alans in Gallia; 5, the kingdom of the Burgundians; 6, the kingdom of the Franks; 7, the kingdom of the Britons; 8, the kingdom of the Huns; 9, the kingdom of the Lombards; 10, the kingdom of Ravenna. Comp. also Duffield on the Prophecies, pp. 279, 280. For other arrangements constituting the number ‘ten’, as embracing the ancient power of the Roman empire, see Newton on the Prophecies, pp. 209, 210. There is some slight variation in the arrangements proposed by Mr. Mede, Bishop Lloyd, and Sir Isaac Newton; but still it is remarkable that it is easy to make out that number with so good a degree of certainty, and particularly so that it should have been suggested by a Romanist himself. Even if it is not practicable to make out the number with strict exactness, or if all writers do not agree in regard to the dynasties constituting the number ‘ten’, we should bear in remembrance the fact that these powers arose in the midst of great confusion; that one kingdom arose and another fell in rapid succession; and that there was not that entire certainty of location and boundary which there is in old and established states. One thing is certain, that there never has been a case in which an empire of vast power has been broken up into small sovereignties, to which this description would so well apply as to the rise of the numerous dynasties in the breaking up of the vast Roman power; and another thing is equally certain, that if we were now to seek an appropriate symbol of the mighty Roman power —of its conquests, and of the extent of its dominion, and of the condition of that empire about the time that the Papacy arose, we could not find a more striking or appropriate symbol than that of the terrible fourth beast with iron teeth and brazen claws —stamping the earth beneath his feet, and with ten horns springing out of his head.
(3.) In the midst of these there sprang up a little horn that had remarkable characteristics. The inquiry now is, if this does not represent Antiochus, whether it finds a proper fulfilment in the Papacy. Now, in regard to this inquiry, the slightest acquaintance with the history and claims of the Papal power will show that there was a striking appropriateness in the symbol —such an appropriateness, that if we desired ‘now’ to find a symbol that would represent this, we could find no one better adapted to it than that employed by Daniel. (a) The little horn would spring up among the others, and stand among them —as dividing the power with them, or sharing or wielding that power: That is, on the supposition that it refers to the Papacy, the Papal power would spring out of the Roman empire; would be one of the sovereignties among which that vast power would be divided, and share with the other ten in wielding authority. It would be an eleventh power added to the ten. And who can be ignorant that the Papal power at the beginning, when it first asserted civil authority, sustained just such a relation to the crumbled and divided Roman empire as this it was just one of the powers into which that vast sovereignty passed. (b) It would not spring up contemporaneously with them, but would arise in their midst, when they already existed. They are seen in vision as actually existing together, and this new power starts up among them. What could be more strikingly descriptive of the Papacy —as a power arising when the great Roman authority was broken to fragments, and distributed into a large number of sovereignties? Then this new power was seen to rise —small at first, but gradually gaining strength, until it surpassed any one of them in strength, and assumed a position in the world which no one of them had. The representation is exact. It is not a foreign power that invaded them; it starts up in the midst of them —springing out of the head of the same beast, and constituting a part of the same mighty domination that ruled the world. (c) It would be small at first, but would soon become so powerful as to pluck up and displace three of the others. And could any symbol have been better chosen to describe the Papal power than this? Could we find any ‘now’ that would better describe it? Anyone needs to have but the slightest acquaintance with the history of the Papal power to know that it was small at its beginnings, and that its ascendency over the world was the consequence of slow but steady growth. Indeed, so feeble was it at its commencement, so undefined were its first appearance and form, that one of the most difficult things in history is to know exactly when it ‘did’ begin, or to determine the exact date of its origin as a distinct power. Different schemes in the interpretation of prophecy turn wholly on this. We see, indeed, that power subsequently strongly marked in its character, and exerting a mighty influence in the world —having subjugated nations to its control; we see causes for a long time at work tending to this, and can trace their gradual operation in producing it, but the exact period when its dominion began, what was the first characteristic act of the Papacy as such, what constituted its precise ‘beginning’ as a peculiar power blending and combining a peculiar civil and ecclesiastical authority, no one is able with absolute certainty to determine. Who can fix the exact date? Who can tell precisely when it was? It is true that there were several distinct acts, or the exercise of civil authority, in the early history of the Papacy, but what was the precise beginning of that power no one has been able to determine with so much certainty as to leave no room for doubt. Any one can see with what propriety the commencement of such a power would be designated by a little horn springing up among others. (d) It would grow to be mighty, for the “little horn” thus grew to be so powerful as to pluck up three of the horns of the beast. Of the growth of the power of the Papacy no one can be ignorant who has any acquaintance with history. It held nations in subjection, and claimed and exercised the right of displacing and distributing crowns as it pleased. (e) It would subdue “three kings;” that is, three of the ten represented by the ten horns. The prophet saw this at some point in its progress when three fell before it, or were overthrown by it. There might have been also other points in its history when it might have been seen as having overthrown more of them —perhaps the whole ten, but the attention was arrested by the fact that, soon after its rise, three of the ten were seen to fall before it. Now, in regard to the application of this, it may be remarked, (1.) That it does not apply, as already shown, to Antiochus Epiphanes —there being no sense in which he overthrew three of the princes that occupied the throne in the succession from Alexander, to say nothing of the fact that these were contemporaneous kings or kingdoms. (2.) There is no other period in history, and there are no other events to which it could be applied except either to Antiochus or the Papacy. (3.) In the confusion that existed on the breaking up of the Roman empire, and the imperfect accounts of the transactions which occurred in the rise of the Papal power, it would not be wonderful if it should be difficult to find events ‘distinctly’ recorded that would be in all respects an accurate and absolute fulfilment of the vision. (4.) Yet it is possible to make out the fulfilment of this with a good degree of certainty in the history of the Papacy. If applicable to the Papal power, what seems to be demanded is, that three of these ten kingdoms, or sovereignties, should be rooted up by that power; that they should cease to exist as separate sovereignties; that they should be added to the sovereignty that should spring up; and that, as distinct kingdoms, they should cease to play a part in the history of the world. The three sovereignties thus transplanted, or rooted up, are supposed by Mr. Mede to have been the Greeks, the Longobards, and the Franks. Sir Isaac Newton supposes they were the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Lombards, and the senate and dukedom of Rome. The ‘objections’ which may be made to these suppositions may be seen in Newton on the Prophecies, pp. 216, 217. The kingdoms which he supposes are to be referred to were the following: —(1st) ‘First’. The Exarchate of Ravenna. This of right belonged to the Greek emperors. This was the capital of their dominions in Italy. It revolted at the instigation of the Pope, and was seized by Aistulphus, king of the Lombards, who thought to make himself master of Italy. The Pope in his exigency applied for aid to Pepin, king of France, who marched into Italy, besieged the Lombards in Pavia, and forced them to surrender the Exarchate and other territories in Italy. These were not restored to the Greek emperor, as they in justice should have been, but, at the solicitation of the Pope, were given to St. Peter and his successors for perpetual possession. “And so,” says Platina, “the name of the Exarchate, which had continued from the time of Narses to the taking of Ravenna, one hundred and seventy years, was extinguished.”—Lives of the Popes. This, according to Sigonius, was effected in the year 755. See Gibbon, Dec. and Fall, vol ii. 224, iii. 332, 334, 338. From this period, says Bp. Newton, the Popes, being now become temporal princes, no longer date their epistles and bulls by the years of the emperor’s reign, but by the years of their own advancement to the Papal chair. (2nd) Secondly. The kingdom of the Lombards. This kingdom was troublesome to the Popes. The dominions of the Pope were invaded by Desiderius, in the time of Pope Adrian I. Application was again made to the king of France, and Charles the Great, the son and successor of Pepin, invaded the Lombards; and desirous of enlarging his own dominions, conquered the Lombards, put an end to their kingdom, and gave a great part of their territory to the Pope. This was the end of the kingdom of the Lombards, in the 206th year after their obtaining possessions in Italy, and in the year of our Lord 774. See Gibbon, Dec., and Fall. vol. iii. 335. (3rd) Thirdly. The Roman States subjected to the Pope sin a civil sense. Though subjected to the Pope spiritually, yet for a long time the Roman people were governed by a senate, and retained many of their old privileges, and elected both the Western Emperors and the Popes. This power, however, as is well known, passed into the hands of the Popes, and has been retained by them to the present time, the Pope having continued to be the civil as well as the ecclesiastical head. See Bp. Newton, pp. 319, 320. All semblance of the freedom of ancient Rome passed away, and this Roman dominion, as such, ceased to be, being completely absorbed in the Papacy. The Saxons, the Franks, etc., continued their independence as civil powers; these states passed entirely into the dominion of the Pope, and as independent kingdoms or sovereignties ceased to be. This is the solution in regard to the “three horns” that were to be plucked up, as given by Bp. Newton. Absolute certainty in a case of this kind is not to be expected in the confusion and indefiniteness of that portion of history, nor can it be reasonably demanded. If there were three of these powers planted in regions that became subject to the Papal power, and that disappeared or were absorbed in that one dominion constituting the peculiarity of the Papal dominion, or which entered into the Roman Papal state, considered as a sovereignty by itself among the nations of the earth, this is all that is required. Mr. Faber supposes the three to have been these: the Herulo-Turingic, the Ostrogothic, and the Lombardic, and says of them, that they “were necessarily eradicated in the immediate presence of the Papacy, before which they were geographically standing —and that the temporal principality which bears the name of St. Peter’s patrimony was carved out of the mass of their subjugated dominions.”—Sacred Calendar, vol. ii. p. 102. Prof. Gaussen (Discourse on Popery, Geneva, 1844) supposes that the three kings or kingdoms here referred to were the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Lombards. According to Bower (Lives of the Popes, vol ii. 108, Dr. Cox’s Edition, note), the temporal dominions granted by Pepin to the Pope, or of which the Pope became possessed in consequence of the intervention of the kings of France, were the following: (1.) The Exarchate of Ravenna, which comprised, according to Sigonius, the following cities: Ravenna, Bologna, Imola, Fienza, Forlimpoli, Forli, Cesena, Bobbio, Ferrara, Commachio, Adria, Servia, and Secchia. (2.) The Pentapolis, comprehending Rimini, Pesaro, Concha, Fano, Sinigalia, Ancono, Osimo, Umono, Jesi, Fossombrone, Monteferetro, Urbino, Cagli, Lucoli, and Eugubio. (3.) The city and dukedom of Rome, containing several cities of note, which had withdrawn themselves from all subjection to the emperor, had submitted to St. Peter ever since the time of Pope Gregory II. See also Bower, ii. 134, where he says, “The Pope had, by Charlemagne, been put in possession of the Exarchate, the Pentapolis, and the dukedom of Spoleti” [embracing the city and dukedom of Rome]; And again, on the same page (note): “The Pope possessed the Exarchate, the Pentapolis, and the dukedom of Spoleti, with the city and dukedom of Rome.” It should be remembered that these statements are made by historians with no reference to any supposed fulfilment of this prophecy, and no allusion to it, but as matters of simple historical fact, occurring in the regular course of history. The ‘material’ fact to be made out in order to show that this description of the “little horn” is applicable to the Papacy is, that at the ‘commencement’ of what was properly the ‘Papacy’ —that is, as I suppose, the union of the spiritual and temporal power, or the ‘assumption’ of temporal authority by him who was Bishop of Rome, and who had been before regarded as a mere spiritual or ecclesiastical ruler, there was a ‘triple’ jurisdiction assumed or conceded; a threefold domination; or a union under himself of what had been three sovereignties, that now disappeared as independent administrations, and whose distinct governments were now merged in the ‘one’ single sovereignty of the Pope. Now, that there was, just at this time, or at the ‘beginning’ of the Papacy, or when it had so increased that it could be recognised as having a place among the temporal sovereignties of the earth, such a united domination, or such a union of three separate powers under one, will be apparent from an extract from Mr. Gibbon. He is speaking of the rewards conferred on the Pope by the Carlovingian race of kings, on account of the favour shown to them in his conferring the crown of France on Pepin, the mayor of the palace —directing in his favour over Childeric, the descendant of Clovis. Of this transaction, Mr. Gibbon observes, in general (iii. 336), that “the mutual obligations of the Popes and the Carlovingian family form the important link of ancient and modern, of civil and ecclesiastical history.” He then proceeds (1) to specify the gifts or favours which the Popes conferred on the Carlovingian race; and (2) those which, in return, Pepin and Charlemagne bestowed on the Popes. In reference to the latter, he makes the following statement (iii. 338): “The gratitude of the Carlovingians was adequate to these obligations, and their names are consecrated as the saviours and bene factors of the Roman church. Her ancient patrimony of farms and houses was transformed by their bounty ‘into the temporal dominion of cities and provinces, and the donation of the Exarchate was the first-fruits of the conquests of Pepin’. Astolphus [king of the Lombards] with a sigh relinquished his prey; the keys and the hostages of the principal cities were delivered to the French ambassador; and in his master’s name ‘he presented them before the tomb of St. Peter’. The ample measure of the Exarchate might comprise all the provinces of Italy which had obeyed the emperor or his vicegerent; but its strict and proper limits were included in the territories of Ravenna, Bologna, and Ferrara; its inseparable dependency was the Pentapolis, which stretched along the Adriatic from Rimini to Ancona, and advanced into the midland country as far as the ridge of the Appennines. In this transaction, the ambition and avarice of the Popes have been severely condemned. Perhaps the humility of a Christian priest should have rejected an earthly kingdom, which it was not easy for him to govern without renouncing the virtues of his profession. Perhaps a faithful subject, or even a generous enemy, would have been less impatient to divide the spoils of the barbarian; and if the emperor had entrusted Stephen to solicit in his name the restitution of the Exarchate, I will not absolve the Pope from the reproach of treachery and falsehood. But, in the rigid interpretation of the laws, everyone may accept, without inquiry, whatever his benefactor may bestow without injustice. The Greek emperor had abdicated or forfeited his right to the Exarchate; and the sword of Astolphus was broken by the stronger sword of the Carlovingian. It was not in the cause of the Iconoclast that Pepin had exposed his person and army in a double expedition beyond the Alps; he possessed and he might lawfully alienate his conquests; and to the importunities of the Greeks he piously replied that no human consideration should tempt him to resume the gift which he had conferred on the Roman pontiff for the remission of his sins and the salvation of his soul. The splendid donation was granted in supreme and absolute dominion, ‘and the world beheld for the first time a Christian bishop invested with the prerogatives of a temporal prince’, the choice of magistrates, the exercise of justice, the imposition of taxes, and the wealth of the palace of Ravenna. In the dissolution of the Lombard kingdom, the inhabitants of the duchy of Spoleti sought a refuge from the storm, shaved their heads after the Ravenna fashion, declared themselves the servants and subjects of St. Peter, ‘and completed, by this voluntary surrender, the present circle of the Ecclesiastical State’.” The following things are apparent from this extract: —(a) That here, according to Mr. Gibbon, was the beginning of the temporal power of the Pope. (b) That this was properly, in the view above taken, the commencement of the Papacy as a distinct and peculiar dominion. (c) That in this there was a threefold government, or three ‘temporal’ sovereignties united under him, and constituting at that time, in the language of Mr. Gibbon, “the present circle of the ecclesiastical state.” There was, ‘first’, the Exarchate of Ravenna; ‘secondly’, the Pentapolis, “which,” he says, was its “inseparable dependency;” and, ‘thirdly’, the “duchy of Spoleti,” which, he says, “completed the present circle of the ecclesiastical state.” This was afterwards, Mr. Gibbon goes on to say, greatly “enlarged;” but this was the form in which the Papal power first made its appearance among the temporal sovereignties of Europe. I do not find, indeed, that the kingdom of the ‘Lombards’ was, as is commonly stated, among the number of the temporal sovereignties that became subject to the authority of the Popes, but I ‘do’ find that there ‘were’ three distinct temporal sovereignties that lost their independent existence, and that were united under that one temporal authority —constituting by the union of the spiritual and temporal power that one peculiar kingdom. In Lombardy, the power remained in the possession of the kings of the Lombards themselves, until that kingdom was subdued by the arms of Pepin and Charlemagne, and then it became subject to the crown of France, though for a time under the nominal reign of its own kings. See Gibbon, iii. 334, 335, 338. If it should be said, that in the interpretation of this passage respecting the “three horns” that were plucked up, or the three kingdoms that were thus destroyed, it would be proper to look for them among the ‘ten’ into which the one great kingdom was divided, and that the three above referred to —the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Pentapolis, and the dukedom of Spoleti and Rome —were not properly of that number, according to the list above given, it is necessary in reply to this, to advert only to the two main facts in the case: (1) that the great Roman power was actually divided into a large number of sovereignties that sprang up on its ruins —usually, but not in fact exactly, represented by ‘ten’; and (2) that the Papacy began its career with a conceded dominion over the three territories above referred to —a part, in fact, of the one great dominion constituting the Roman power, and in the same territory. It is a remarkable fact that the Popes to this day wear a triple crown —a fact that exists in regard to no other monarchs —’as if’ they had absorbed under themselves three separate and distinct sovereignties; or ‘as if’ they represented three separate forms of dominion. The sum of what is said in the exposition of these verses may be thus expressed : —(1.) That there was originally ‘one’ great sovereignty represented here by the “fourth beast” —the Roman empire. (2.) That, in fact, as is abundantly confirmed by history, this one great and united power was broken up into a large number of separate and independent sovereignties —most naturally and obviously described by ‘ten’, or such as would appear in a prophetic vision to be ‘ten’, and such as is actually so represented by historians having no interest in the fulfilment of the prophecy, and no designed reference to what may be symbolized by the “ten horns.” (3.) That there was another peculiar and distinct power that sprang out of them, and that grew to be mighty —a power unlike the others, and unlike anything that had before appeared in the world —combining qualities to be found in no other sovereignty —having a peculiar relation at the same time to the ‘one’ original sovereignty, and to the ‘ten’ into which that was divided —the prolongation, in an important sense, of the power of the one, and springing up in a peculiar manner among the others —that peculiar ecclesiastical and civil power —the Papacy— well represented by the “little horn.” (4.) That, in fact, this one power absorbed into itself ‘three’ of these sovereignties —annihilating them as independent powers, and combining them into one most peculiar dominion —properly represented by “plucking them up.” (5.) That as a proper symbol, or emblem of some such domination, a crown or diadem is still worn, most naturally and obviously ‘suggesting’ such a threefold absorption of dominion. (6.) That all this is actually prefigured by the symbols employed by the prophet, or that the symbols are such as would be naturally employed on the supposition that these events were designed to be referred to. (7.) And that there have been ‘no other’ historical events to which these remarkable symbols could be naturally and obviously applied. And if these things are so, how are they to be explained except on the supposition that Daniel was inspired? Has man any natural sagacity by which such symbols representing the future could be suggested? (f) It would be arrogant and proud, “speaking great words against the Most High.” No ‘Protestant’ will doubt that this is true of the Papacy; no one acquainted with history will presume to call it in question. The arrogant pretensions of the Papacy have been manifested in all the history of that power, and no one can doubt that its assumptions have been, in fact, by fair construction, “a speaking of great words against God.” The Pope has claimed, or allowed to be conferred on him, names and prerogatives which can belong only to God. See this fully shown in the notes on 2nd Thess. 2:4. The facts there referred to are all that is necessary to illustrate this passage, on the supposition that it refers to the Papacy. Comp. also the “Literalist,” vol. i. pp. 24–27. (g) This would be a persecuting power —“making war with the saints,” and “wearing out the saints of the Most High.” Can anyone doubt that this is true of the Papacy? The Inquisition; the “persecutions of the Waldenses;” the ravages of the Duke of Alva; the fires of Smithfield; the tortures at Goa —indeed, the whole history of the Papacy may be appealed to in proof that this is applicable to that power. If anything ‘could’ have “worn out the saints of the Most High” —could have cut them off from the earth so that evangelical religion would have become extinct, it would have been the persecutions of the Papal power. In the year 1208, a crusade was proclaimed by Pope Innocent III. against the Waldenses and Albigenses, in which a million of men perished. From the beginning of the order of the Jesuits, in the year 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in thirty years. In the Low Countries fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, burned, or buried alive, for the crime of heresy, within the space of thirty-eight years from the edict of Charles W., against the Protestants, to the peace of Chateau Cambresis in 1559. Eighteen thousand suffered by the hands of the executioner, in the space of five years and a half, during the administration of the Duke of Alva. Indeed, the slightest acquaintance with the history of the Papacy will convince anyone that what is here said of “making war with the saints” (ver. 21), and “wearing out the saints of the Most High” (ver. 25), is strictly applicable to that power, and will accurately describe its history. There have been, indeed, other persecuting powers, but none to which this language would be so applicable, and none which it would so naturally suggest. In proof of this, it is only necessary to refer to the history of the Papacy, and to what it has done to extirpate those who have professed a different faith. Let anyone recall (1) the persecution of the Waldenses; (2) the acts of the Duke of Alva in the Low Countries; (3) the persecution in England under Mary; (4) the Inquisition; (5) the attempts, too successful, to extinguish all the efforts at Reformation in Italy and Spain in the time of Luther and Calvin (see McCrie), and (6) the attempts to put down the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland —all which were either directly originated or sanctioned by the Papacy, and all for the same end, and he will see no reason to doubt that the language here is ‘strictly’ applicable to that power, and that there has been no government on earth which would be so naturally suggested by it. —Cunninghame, in the Literalist, i. 27, 28. Indeed, who can number up all that have perished in the Inquisition alone? (h) It would claim legislative power —“thinking to change times and laws.” The original Chaldee here may be rendered, as is done by Gesenius and De Wette, ‘set times, stated times’, or ‘festival seasons’. The word here, says Gesenius (Lex), is “spoken of sacred seasons, festivals,” and there can be no doubt that in this place it refers to religious institutions. The meaning is, that he would claim control over such institutions or festivals, and that he would appoint or change them at his pleasure. He would abolish or modify existing institutions of that kind, or he would institute new ones, as should seem good to him. This would be applicable, then, to some power that should claim authority to prescribe religious institutions, and to change the laws of God. No one, also, can fail to see a fulfilment of this in the claims of the Papacy, in setting up a jurisdiction over seasons of festival and fast; and in demanding that the laws of kingdoms should be so modelled as to sustain its claims, and modifying the laws of God as revealed in the Bible. The right of deposing and setting up kings; of fixing the boundaries of nations; of giving away crowns and sceptres; and of exercising dominion over the sacred seasons, the customs, the amusements of nations —all these, as illustrated under the Papacy, will leave no doubt that all this would find an ample fulfilment in the history of that power. The Pope has claimed to be the head of the church, and has asserted and exercised the right of appointing sacred seasons; of abolishing ancient institutions; of introducing numberless new festival occasions, practically abrogating the laws of God on a great variety of subjects…We need only refer, in illustration of this, (a) to the claim of infallibility, by which an absolute jurisdiction is asserted that covers the whole round; (b) to all the laws pertaining to image-worship, so directly in the face of the laws of God; (c) to the celibacy of the clergy, rendering void one of the laws of heaven in relation to marriage; (d) to the whole doctrine respecting purgatory; (e) to the doctrine of transubstantiation; (f) to the practical abolition of the Christian Sabbath by appointing numerous saints’ days to be observed as equally sacred; (g) to the law withholding the cup from the laity—contrary to the commandment of the Saviour; and (h) in general to the absolute control claimed by the Papacy over the whole subject of religion. Indeed, nothing would better characterize this power than to say that it asserted the right to “change times and laws.” And to all this should be added another characteristic (ver. 8), that “it would have the eyes of a man;” that is, would be distinguished for a far-seeing sagacity. Could this be so appropriately applied to anything else as to the deep, the artful, and the far-reaching diplomacy of the court of Rome; to the sagacity of the Jesuit; to the skilful policy which subdued the world to itself?
These illustrations will leave no doubt, it seems to me, that all that is here said will find an ample fulfilment in the Papacy, and that it is to be regarded as having a reference to that power. If so, it only remains,:

III. To inquire what, according to this interpretation, we are to expect will yet occur, or what light this passage throws on events that are yet future. The origin, the growth, the general character and influence of this power up to a distant period are illustrated by this interpretation. What remains is the inquiry, from the passage before us, how long this is to continue, and what we are to anticipate in regard to its fall. The following points, then, would seem to be clear, on the supposition that this refers to the Papal power.
It is to continue a definite period from its establishment, ver. 25. This duration is mentioned as “a time, and times, and the dividing of a time” —three years and a half— twelve hundred and sixty (1260) days —twelve hundred and sixty(1260) years . See the notes on that verse. The only ‘difficulty’ in regard to this, if that interpretation is correct, is to determine the time when the Papacy actually ‘began’ —the ‘terminus a quo’— and this has given rise to all the diversity of explanation among Protestants. Assuming any one time as the period when the Papal power ‘arose’, as a date from which to calculate, it is easy to compute ‘from’ that date, and to fix some period —’terminus ad quem’— to which this refers, and which may be looked to as the time of the overthrow of that power. But there is nothing more difficult in history than the determination of the exact time when the ‘Papacy’ properly began: —that is, when the peculiar domination which is fairly understood by that system commenced in the world; or what were its first distinguishing acts. History has not so marked that period that there is no room for doubt. It has not affixed definite dates to it; and to this day it is not easy to make out the ‘time’ when that power commenced, or to designate any one event at a certain period that will surely mark it. It ‘seems’ to have been a gradual growth, and its commencement has not been so definitely characterized as to enable us to demonstrate with absolute certainty the time to which the twelve hundred and sixty (1260) years will extend.
Different writers have assigned different periods for the rise of the Papacy, and different acts as the first act of that power; and all the prophecies as to its termination depend on the period which is fixed on as the time of its rise. It is this which has led to so much that is conjectural, and which has been the occasion of so much disappointment, and which throws so much obscurity now over all calculations as to the termination of that power. In nothing is the Scripture more clear than that that power shall be destroyed; and if we could ascertain with exactness the date of its origin, there would be little danger of erring in regard to its close. The different ‘periods’ which have been fixed on as the date of its rise have been principally the following: (1.) An edict published by Justinian (A.D. 533), and a letter addressed by him at the same time to the Pope, in which he acknowledged him to be the head of the churches, thus conferring on him a title belonging only to the Saviour, and putting himself and empire under the dominion of the bishop of Rome. —Duffield on the Prophecies, p. 281. (2.) The decree of the emperor Phocas (A.D. 606), confirming what had been done by Justinian, and giving his sanction to the code of laws promulgated by him: a code of laws based on the acknowledged supremacy of the Pope, and which became the basis of European legislation for centuries; and conferring on him the title of “Universal Bishop.” (3.) The act of Pope Stephen, by which, when appealed to by the claimant to the crown of France, he confirmed Pepin in the kingdom, and set aside Childeric III, and, in return, received from Pepin the Exarchate of Ravenna and the Pentapolis. See Ranke’s Hist, of the Papacy, vol. i. 23. This occurred about A. D. 752. (4.) The opinion of Mr. Gibbon (iv. 363), that Gregory the Seventh was the true founder of the Papal power. “Gregory the Seventh,” says he, “who may be adored or detested ‘as the founder of the Papal monarchy’, was driven from Rome, and died in exile at Salerno.” Gregory became Pope A. D. 1073. These different dates, if assumed as the foundation of the Papal power, would, by the addition to each of the period of 1260 years, lead respectively to the years 1793, 1866, 2012, and 2333, as the period of the termination of the Papal dominion. As this is a point of great importance in the explanation of the prophecies, it may be proper to examine these opinions a little more in detail. But in order to this, it is necessary to have a clear conception of what the ‘Papacy’ as a distinct domination is, or what constitutes its peculiarity, as seen by the sacred writers, and as it has in fact existed, and does exist in the world; and in regard to this there can be little difference of opinion. It is not a mere ecclesiastical power —not a mere spiritual domination— not the control of a bishop as such over a church or a diocese —nor is it a mere temporal dominion, but it is manifestly the ‘union of the two’: that peculiar domination which the bishop of Rome has claimed, as growing out of his primacy as the head of the church, and of a temporal power also, asserted at first over a limited jurisdiction, but ultimately, and as a natural consequence, over all other sovereignties, and claiming universal dominion. We shall not find the Papacy, or the Papal dominion as such, clearly, in the mere spiritual rule of the first bishop of Rome, nor in that mere spiritual dominion, however enlarged, but in that junction of the two, when, in virtue of a pretended Divine right, a temporal dominion grew up that ultimately extended itself over Europe, claiming the authority to dispose of crowns; to lay kingdoms under interdict, and to absolve subjects from their allegiance. If we can find the beginning of this claim—the germ of this peculiar kind of domination—we shall doubtless have found the commencement of the Papacy —the terminus a quo– as it was seen by the prophets —the point from which we are to reckon in determining the question of its duration.
With this view, then, of the nature of the Papacy, it is proper to inquire ‘when’ it commenced, or which of the periods referred to, if either, can be properly regarded as the commencement.
(I.) The edict of Justinian, and the letter to the bishop of Rome, in which he acknowledged him to be the head of the church, A. D. 533. This occurred under John II, reckoned as the fifty-fifth (55th) bishop of Rome. The nature of this application of Justinian to the Pope, and the honour conferred on him, was this: On an occasion of a controversy in the church, on the question whether “one person of the Trinity suffered in the flesh,” the monks of Constantinople, fearful of being condemned under an edict of Justinian for heresy in denying this, applied to the Pope to decide the point. Justinian, who took great delight in inquiries of that nature, and who maintained the opposite opinion on that subject, also made his appeal to the Pope.’ Having, therefore, drawn up a long creed, containing the disputed article among the rest, he dispatched two bishops with it to Rome, and laid the whole matter before the Pope. At the same time he wrote a letter to the Pope, congratulating him on his election, assuring him that the faith contained in the confession which he sent him was the faith of the whole Eastern church, and entreating him to declare in his answer that he received to his communion all who professed that faith, and none who did not. To add weight to the letter, he accompanied it with a present to St. Peter, consisting of several chalices, and other vessels of gold, enriched with precious stones. From this deference to the Pope, on the part of the emperor, and this submitting to him, as the head of the whole church, of an important question to be determined, it has been argued that this was properly the beginning of the Papacy, and that the twelve hundred and sixty (1260) years are to be reckoned from that. But against this opinion the objections are insuperable: for (a) there was here nothing of that which ‘properly’ constitutes the Papacy —the peculiar union of the temporal and spiritual power; or the peculiar domination which that power has exerted over the world. All that occurred was the mere reference which an emperor showed to one who claimed to be the ‘spiritual’ head of the church, and who had long before claimed that. There was no ‘change’ —no ‘beginning’, properly so called— no commencement of a new form of domination over mankind, such as the Papacy has been. (b) But, as a matter of fact, there was, after all, little real deference to the Pope in this case. “Little or no account,” says Bower, “ought to be made of that extraordinary deference [the deference shown by carrying this question before the Pope]… Justinian paid great deference to the Pope, as well as to all other bishops, when they agreed with him; but none at all when they did not —thinking himself, at least, as well qualified as the best of them, and so he certainly was, to decide controversies concerning the faith; and we shall soon see him entering the lists with his holiness himself.” —Lives of the Popes, i. 336.
(II.) The second date which has been assigned to the origin of the Papacy is the decree made by the emperor Phocas (A.D. 606), by which, it is said, he confirmed the grant made by Justinian. This act was the following: Boniface III, when he had been made bishop of Rome, relying on the favour and partiality which Phocas had shown him, prevailed on him to revoke the decree settling the title of “Universal Bishop” on the bishop of Constantinople, and obtained another settling that title on himself and his successors. The decree of Phocas, conferring this title, has not indeed come down to us; but it has been the common testimony of historians that such title was conferred. See Mosheim, i. 513; Bower, i. 426. The fact asserted here has been doubted, and Mosheim supposes that it rests on the authority of Baronius. “Still,” says he, “it is certain that something of this kind occurred.” But there are serious objections to our regarding this as properly the commencement of the Papacy as such. For (a) this was not the beginning of that peculiar domination, or form of power, which the Pope has asserted and maintained. If this title were conferred, it imparted no new power; it did not change the nature of this domination; it did not, in fact, make the Roman bishop different from what he was before. He was still, in all respects, subject to the civil power of the emperors, and had no control beyond that which he exercised in the church. (b) And even ‘this’ little was withdrawn by the same authority which granted it —the authority of the emperor of Constantinople— though it has always since been claimed and asserted by the Pope himself. See Bower, i. 427. It is true that, as a consequence of the fact that this title was conferred on the Popes, they began ‘to grasp’ at power, and aspire to temporal dominion; but still there was no formal grasp of such power growing out of the assumption of this title, nor was any such temporal dominion set up as the immediate result of such a title. The act, therefore, was not sufficiently marked, distinct, and decisive, to constitute an epoch, or the beginning of an era, in the history of the world, and the rise of the Papacy cannot with any propriety be dated from that. This was undoubtedly one of the ‘steps’ by which that peculiar power rose to its greatness, or which contributed to lay the foundation of its subsequent claims, its arrogance, and its pride; but it is doubtful whether it was so important an event characterizing the Papacy as to be regarded as the origin, or the ‘terminus a quo’ in ascertaining the time of its continuance. (*Mr. Hallam (Middle Ages, i. 420, note) urges the following arguments substantially against the supposition that the Papal supremacy had its rise from this epoch, and is to be dated from the concession of the title of Universal Bishop made by Phocas to Boniface III, viz.: (1). Its truth, as commonly stated, appears more than questionable. (2) “But if the strongest proof could be advanced for the authenticity of this circumstance, we may well deny its importance. The concession of Phocas could have been of no validity in Lombardy, France, and other western countries, where, nevertheless, the Papal supremacy was incomparably more established than in the east.” (3.) “Even within the empire it could have had no efficacy after the violent death of that usurper, which occurred soon afterwards.” (4.) “The title of Universal Bishop is not very intelligible, but whatever it means the patriarchs of Constantinople had borne it before, and continued to bear it afterwards.” (5.) “The preceding Popes, Pelagius II and Gregory I, had constantly disclaimed the “. nor does it appear to have been claimed by the successors of Boniface, at least for some centuries.” (6.) “The Popes had undoubtedly exercised a species of supremacy for more than two centuries before this time, which had lately reached a high point of authority under Gregory I.” (7) “There are no sensible marks of this supremacy making a more rapid progress for a century and a half after the pretended grant of this emperor.” It this, and with this considered as properly the origin of the Papacy, that the Rev. Robert Fleming, in his work on the “Rise and Fall of the Papacy,” first published in 1701, uttered the following remarkable language, as based on his calculations respecting the continuance of that power: “If we may suppose that Antichrist began his reign in the year 606, the additional one thousand two hundred and sixty (1260) years of his duration, were they ‘Julian’ or ordinary years, would lead down to the year 1866, as the last period of the seven-headed monster. But seeing they are prophetical years only [of 360 days], we must cast away eighteen years in order to bring them to the exact measure of time that the Spirit of God designs in this book. ‘And thus the final period of the Papal usurpations (supposing that he did indeed rise in the year 606) must conclude with the year’ 1848.”—[‘Cobbin’s Edition’, p. 32.] Whether this be considered as merely a ‘happy conjecture’ —the one successful one among thousands that have failed, or as the result of a proper calculation respecting the future, no one in comparing it with the events of the year 1848, when the Pope was driven from Rome, and when a popular government was established in the very seat of the Papal power, can fail to see that it is remarkable considered as having been uttered a century and a half ago. Whether it is the correct calculation, and that temporary downfall of the Papal Government is to be regarded as the first in a series of events that will ultimately end in its destruction, time must determine. The reasons mentioned above, however, and those which will be suggested in favour of a different beginning of that power, make it, at present, more probable that a different period is to be assigned as its close.
(III.) The third date which has been assigned as the beginning of the Papacy is the grant of Pepin above referred to, A. D. 752. This grant conferred by Pepin was confirmed also by Charlemagne and his successors, and it was undoubtedly at this period that the Papacy began to assume its place among the sovereignties of Europe. In favour of this opinion —that this was properly the rise of the Papacy —the ‘terminus a quo’ of prophecy, the following considerations may be urged: (a) We have here a definite act—an act which is palpable and apparent, as characterizing the progress of this domination over men. (b) We have here properly the ‘beginning’ of the temporal dominion, or the first acknowledged exercise of that power in acts of temporal sovereignty —in giving laws, asserting dominion, swaying a temporal sceptre, and wearing a temporal crown. All the facts before had been of a spiritual character, and all the deference to the Bishop of Rome had been of a spiritual nature. Henceforward, however, he was acknowledged as a temporal prince, and took his place as such among was, however, in view of the crowned heads of Europe. (c) This is properly the beginning of that mighty domination which the Pope wielded over Europe —a beginning, which, however small at first, ultimately became so powerful and so arrogant as to claim jurisdiction over all the kingdoms of the earth, and the right to absolve subjects from their allegiance, to lay kingdoms under interdict, to dispose of crowns, to order the succession of princes, to tax all people, and to dispose of all newly-discovered countries. (d) This accords better with the prophecies than any other one event which has occurred in the world —especially with the prophecy of Daniel, of the springing up of the little horn, and the fact that that little horn plucked up three others of the ten into which the fourth kingdom was divided. (e) And it should be added that this agrees with the idea all along held up in the prophecies, that this would be properly ‘the fourth empire prolonged’. The fifth empire or kingdom is to be the reign of the saints, or the reign of righteousness on the earth; the fourth extends down in its influences and power to that. As a matter of fact, this ‘Roman’ power was thus concentrated in the Papacy. The form was changed, but it was the ‘Roman’ power that was in the eye of the prophets, and this was contemplated under its various phases, as heathen and nominally Christian, until the reign of the saints should commence, or the kingdom of God should be set up. But it was only in the time of Stephen, and by the act of Pepin and Charlemagne, that this change occurred, or that this dominion of a temporal character was settled in the Papacy —and that the Pope was acknowledged as having this temporal power. This was ‘consummated’ indeed in Hildebrand, or Gregory II (Gibbon, iii. 353, iv. 363), but ‘this’ mighty power properly had its ‘origin’ in the time of Pepin.
(IV.) The fourth date assigned for the origin of the Papacy is the time of Hildebrand, or Gregory VII. This is the period assigned by Mr. Gibbon. Respecting this, he remarks (vol. iv. p. 363), “Gregory the Seventh, who may be adored or detested ‘as the founder of the Papal monarchy’, was driven from Rome, and died in exile at Salerno.” And again (vol. iii. p. 353) he says of Gregory, “After a long series of scandal, the apostolic see was reformed and exalted, by the austerity and zeal of Gregory VII. That ambitious monk devoted his life to the execution of two projects: I. To fix in the college of Cardinals the freedom and independence of election, and for ever to abolish the right or usurpation of the emperors and the Roman people. II. To bestow and resume the Western Empire as a fief or benefice of the church, and to extend his temporal dominion over the kings and kingdoms of the earth. After a contest of fifty years, the first of these designs was accomplished by the firm support of the ecclesiastical order, whose liberty was connected with that of the chief. But the second attempt, though it was crowned with some apparent and partial success, has been vigorously resisted by the secular power, and finally extinguished by the improvement of human reason.”
(A.) If the views above suggested, however, are correct; or if we look at the Papacy as it was in the time of Hildebrand, it must be apparent that this was not the ‘rise’ or ‘origin’ of that peculiar domination, but was only the carrying out and completing of the plan laid long before to set up a temporal dominion over mankind.
It should be added, that whichever of the three first periods referred to be regarded as the time of the rise of the Papacy, if we add to them the prophetic period of 1260 years, we are ‘now’ in the midst of scenes on which the prophetic eye rested, and we cannot, as fair interpreters of prophecy, but regard this mighty domination as hastening to its fall. It would seem probable, then, that according to the most obvious explanation of the subject, we are at present not far from the termination and fall of that great power, and that events may be expected to occur at about this period of the world which will be connected with its fall.
(B.) Its power is to be taken away as by a solemn judgment —’as if’ the throne was set, and God was to come forth to pronounce judgment on this power to overthrow it, vers. 10, 11, 26. This destruction of the power referred to is to be absolute and entire —’as if’ the “beast were slain, and the body given to the burning flame” —“and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the end.” This would denote the absolute destruction of this peculiar power —its entire cessation in the world; that is, the absolute destruction of that which had constituted its ‘peculiarity’ —the prolonged power of the beast of the fourth kingdom —concentrated and embodied in that represented by the little horn. If applied to the Roman power, or the fourth kingdom, it means that ‘that’ power, which would have been prolonged under the dominion of that represented by the little horn, would wholly cease —as if the body of the beast had been burned. If applied to the power represented by the “little horn” —the Papacy— it means that ‘that’ power which sprang up amidst the others, and which became so mighty —embodying so much of the power of the beast, would wholly pass away ‘as’ an ecclesiastico-civil power. It would cease its dominion, and as one of the ruling powers of the earth ‘would disappear. This would be accomplished by some remarkable Divine manifestation —’as if’ God should come in majesty and power to judgment, and should pronounce a sentence; that is, the overthrow would be decisive, and as manifestly the result of the Divine interposition ‘as if’ God should do it by a formal act of judgment. In the overthrow of that power, whenever it occurs, it would be natural, from this prophecy, to anticipate that there would be some scenes of commotion and revolution bearing directly on it, ‘as if’ God were pronouncing sentence on it; some important changes in the nations that had acknowledged its authority, ‘as if’ the great Judge of nations were coming forth to assert his own power and his own right to rule, and to dispose of the kingdoms of the earth as he pleased.
(C.) It is to be anticipated that the power referred to will be destroyed on account of its pride and arrogance. See notes on ver. 11. That is, whatever power there is upon the earth at the time referred to that shall be properly that of the fourth beast or kingdom, will be taken away on account of the claims set up and maintained by the “little horn:” “I beheld ‘because’ of the voice of the great words which the horn spake; I beheld till the beast was slain,” etc., ver. 11. On the supposition that this refers to the Papacy, what is to be expected would be, that the pride and arrogance of that power as such —that is, as an ecclesiastical power claiming dominion over civil things, and wielding civil authority, would be such that the Roman power —the lingering power of the fourth kingdom —would be taken away, and its dominion over the world would cease. That vast Roman domination that once trod down the earth, and that crushed and oppressed the nations, would still linger, like the prolonged life of the beast, until, on account of the arrogance and pride of the Papacy, it would be wholly taken away. If one were to judge of the meaning of this prophecy without attempting to apply it to particular passing events, he would say that it would be fulfilled by some such events as these: —if the people over whom the prolonged Roman civil power would be extended, and over whom the ecclesiastical or papal sceptre would be swayed, should, on account of the pride and arrogance of the Papacy, rise in their might, and demand liberty —’that’ would be in fact an end of the prolonged power of the fourth beast; and it would be on account of the “great words which the horn spake,” and would be in all respects a fulfilment of the language of this prophecy. Whether such an end of this power is to occur, time is to determine.
(D.) Simultaneously with this event, as the result of this, we are to anticipate such a spread of truth and righteousness, and such a reign of the saints on the earth, as would be properly symbolized by the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days to receive the kingdom, vers. 13,14. As shown in the interpretation of those verses, this does not necessarily imply that there would be any visible appearing of the Son of man, or any personal reign (see the notes on these verses), but there would be such a making over of the kingdom. to the Son of man and to the saints as would be properly symbolized by such a representation. That is, there would be great changes; there would be a rapid progress of the truth; there would be a spread of the gospel; there would be a change in the governments of the world, so that the power would pass into the hands of the righteous, and they would in fact rule. From that time the “saints” would receive the kingdom, and the affairs of the world would be put on a new footing. From that period it might be said that the reign of the saints would ‘commence’; that is, there would be such changes in this respect that ‘that’ would constitute an epoch in the history of the world —the proper beginning of the reign of the saints on the earth —the setting up of the new and final dominion in the world. If there should be such changes —such marked progress— such facilities for the spread of truth —such new methods of propagating it—and such certain success attending it, all opposition giving way, and persecution ceasing, as would properly constitute an ‘epoch’ or ‘era’ in the world’s history which would be connected with the conversion of the world to God, this would fairly meet the interpretation of this prophecy; this occurring, all would have taken place which could be fairly shown to be implied in the vision.
(E.) We are to expect a reign of righteousness on the earth. On the character of what we are fairly to expect from the words of the prophecy, see notes on ver. 14. The prophecy authorizes us to anticipate a time when there shall be a general prevalence of true religion; when the power in the world shall be in the hands of good men —of men fearing God; when the Divine laws shall be obeyed —being acknowledged as the laws that are to control men; when the civil institutions of the world shall be pervaded by religion, and moulded by it; when there shall be no hindrance to the free exercise of religion, and when in fact the reigning power on the earth shall be the kingdom which the Messiah shall set up. There is nothing more certain in the future than such a period, and to that all things are tending. ‘Such’ a period would fulfil all that is fairly implied in this wonderful prophecy, and ‘to’ that faith and hope should calmly and confidently look forward. For that they who love their God and their race should labour and pray; and by the certain assurance that such a period will come, we should be cheered amidst all the moral darkness that exists in the world, and in all that now discourages us in our endeavours to do good. }}

{{ Chapter VIII. Analysis of Chapter 8: [B.C. 553]
This chapter contains an account of a vision seen by the prophet in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar. The prophet either was, or appeared to be, in the city of Shushan —afterwards, the capital of the Persian empire, in the province of Elam. To that place —then an important town —there is no improbability in supposing that he had gone, as he was then unconnected with the government, or not employed by the government (ch. 5), and as it is not unreasonable to suppose that he would be at liberty to visit other parts of the empire than Babylon. Possibly there may have been Jews at that place, and he may have gone on a visit to them. Or perhaps the scene of the vision may have been laid in Shushan, by the river Ulai, and that the prophet means to represent himself ‘as if’ he had been there, and the vision had seemed to pass there before his mind. But there is no valid objection to the supposition that he was actually there; and this seems to be affirmed in ver, 2. While there, he saw a ram with two horns, one higher than the other, pushing westward, and northward, and southward, so powerful that nothing could oppose him. As he was looking on this, he saw a he-goat come from the West, bounding along, and scarcely touching the ground, with a single remarkable horn between his eyes. This he-goat attacked the ram, broke his two horns, and overcame him entirely. The he-goat became very strong, but at length the horn was broken, and there came up four in its place. From one of these there sprang up a little horn that became exceeding great and mighty, extending itself toward the South, and the East, and the pleasant land —the land of Palestine. This horn became so mighty that it seemed to attack “the host of heaven”—the stars; it cast some of them down to the ground; it magnified itself against the Prince of the host; it caused the daily sacrifice in the temple to cease, and the sanctuary of the Prince of the host was cast down. An earnest inquiry was made by one saint to another how long this was to continue, and the answer was, unto two thousand and three hundred (2300) days, and that then the sanctuary would be cleansed. Gabriel is then sent to explain the vision to the prophet, and he announces that the ram with the two horns represented the kings of Media and Persia; the goat, the king of Greece; the great horn between his eyes, the first king; the four horns that sprang up after that was broken, the four dynasties into which the kingdom would be divided; and the little horn, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, and that would stand up against the Prince of princes, and that would ultimately be destroyed. The effect of this was, that Daniel was overcome by the vision for a certain time; afterward, he revived, and attended to the business of the king, but none understood the vision.
This is one of the few prophecies in the Scriptures that are explained to the prophets themselves, and therefore, important as a key to explain other prophecies of a similar character. Of the reference to the kingdom of Media and Persia, and to the kingdom of Greece, there is an express statement. The application of a portion of the prophecy to Alexander the Great, and to the four monarchies into which his kingdom was divided at his death, is equally certain. And there can be as little doubt of the application of the remainder to Antiochus Epiphanes, and in this nearly all expositors are agreed. Indeed, so striking and clear is the application to this series of historical events, that Porphyry maintained that this, as well as other portions of Daniel, were written ‘after’ the events occurred. One of two things, indeed, is certain —either that this ‘was’ written after the events here referred to occurred, or that Daniel was inspired. No man by any natural sagacity could have predicted these events with so much accuracy and particularity. The portion of Daniel which follows is in pure Hebrew.
The portion of the book from the fourth verse of the second chapter to the end of the seventh chapter was written in Chaldee. On this point, see Intro, § IV, III. (1). ))

{{ Chapter IX. Analysis of Chapter 9: [B.C. 538 ]
This chapter is properly divided into three parts, or comprises three things: —
I. The inquiry of Daniel into the time that the desolations of Jerusalem were to continue, and his determination to seek the Lord, to pray that his purpose in regard to the restoration of the city and temple might be speedily accomplished, vers. 1-3. Daniel says (ver. 1), that this occurred in the first year of Darius of the seed of the Medes. He was engaged in the study of the books of Jeremiah. He learned from these books that seventy years were to elapse during which the temple, the city, and the land were to be desolate. By a calculation as to the time when this commenced, he was enabled to ascertain the period when it would close, and he found that that period was near, and that, according to the prediction, it might be expected that the time of the restoration was at hand. His mind was, of course, filled with the deepest solicitude. It would seem not improbable that he did not receive any preparation for this, or any tendency to it, and it could not but be that he would be filled with anxiety in regard to it. He does not appear to have entertained any doubt that the predictions would be fulfilled, and, the fact that they were so clear and so positive was a strong reason why he should pray, and was ‘the’ reason why he prayed so earnestly at this time. The prayer which he offered is an illustration of the truth that men will pray more earnestly when they have reason to suppose that God intends to impart a blessing, and that an assurance that an event is to occur is one of the strongest encouragements and incitements to prayer. So men will pray with more faith when they see that God is blessing the means of restoration to health, or when they see indications of an abundant harvest; so they will pray with the more fervour for God to bless his word when they see evidences of a revival of religion, or that the time has come when God is about to display his power in the conversion of sinners; and so undoubtedly they will pray with the more earnestness as the proofs shall be multiplied that God is about to fulfil all his ancient predictions in the conversion of the whole world to himself. A belief that God intends to do a thing is never any hindrance to real prayer; a belief that he is in fact about to do it does more than anything else can do to arouse the soul to call with earnestness on his name.
II. The prayer of Daniel, vers. 4-19. This prayer is remarkable for its simplicity, its fervour, its appropriateness, its earnestness. It is a frank confession that the Hebrew people, in whose name it was offered, had deserved all the calamities which had come upon them, accompanied with earnest intercession that God would now hear this prayer, and remove the judgments from the people, and accomplish his purpose of mercy towards the city and temple. The long captivity of nearly seventy years; the utter desolation of the city and temple during that time; the numberless privations and evils to which during that period they had been exposed, had demonstrated the greatness of the sins for which these calamities had come upon the nation, and Daniel now, in the name, and uttering the sentiments, of the captive people, confessed their guilt, and the justness of the Divine dealings with them. Never has there been an instance in which punishment has had more of its designed and appropriate effect than in prompting to the sentiments which are uttered in this prayer: and the prayer, therefore, is just the expression of what we ‘should’ feel when the hand of the Lord has been long and severely laid upon us on account of our sins. The burden of the prayer is confession; the object which he who offers it seeks is, that God would cause the severity of his judgments to cease, and the city and temple to be restored. The particular points in the prayer will be more appropriately elucidated in the exposition of this part of the chapter.
III. The answer to the prayer, vers. 20-27. The principal difficulty in the exposition of the chapter is in this portion; and indeed there is perhaps no part of the prophecies of the Old Testament that is, on some accounts, more difficult of exposition, as there is, in some respects, none more clear, and none more important. It is remarkable, among other things, as not being a direct answer to the prayer, and as seeming to have no bearing on the subject of the petition —that the city of Jerusalem might be rebuilt, and the temple restored; but it directs the mind onward to another and more important event the coming of the Messiah, and the final closing of sacrifice and oblation, and a more entire and enduring destruction of the temple and city, after it should have been rebuilt, than had yet occurred. To give this information, an angel —the same one whom Daniel had seen before— was sent forth from heaven, and came near to him and touched him, and said that he was commissioned to impart to him skill and understanding, vers. 20-23. “The speediness of his coming indicates a joyful messenger.” The substance of that message is as follows: As a compensation for the seventy (70, LXX) years in which the people, the city, and the temple had been entirely prostrate, seventy weeks of years, seven times seventy (70×7=490) years of a renewed existence would be secured to them by the Lord; and the end of this period, far from bringing the mercies of God to a close, would for the first time bestow them on the Theocracy in their complete and full measure.” —Hengstenberg, Christology, ii. 293. The ‘points’ of information which the angel gives in regard to the future condition of the city are these:–
(a) That the whole period determined in respect to the holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for the people, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy, was seventy weeks —evidently seventy prophetic weeks, that is, regarding each day as a year, four hundred and ninety (490) years, ver. 24. The time when this period would ‘commence’ —the ‘terminus a quo’— is not indeed distinctly specified, but the fair interpretation is, from that time when the vision appeared to Daniel, the first year of Darius, ver, 1. The literal meaning of the phrase “seventy weeks,” according to Prof. Stuart (Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy, p. 82), is seventy sevens (70, 7s), that is, seventy sevens of years, or four hundred and ninety (490) years. “Daniel,” says he, “had been meditating on the accomplishment of the seventy years of exile for the Jews, which Jeremiah had predicted. At the close of the fervent supplication for the people which he makes, in connexion with his meditation, Gabriel appears, and announces to him that ‘seventy sevens’ are appointed for his people,’ as it respects the time then future, in which very serious and very important events are to take place. Daniel had been meditating on the close of the seventy years of Hebrew exile, and the angel now discloses to him a new period of seventy times seven (70×7), in which still more important events are to take place.”
(b) This period of seventy sevens, or four hundred and ninety (490) years, is divided by the angel into smaller portions, each of them determining some important event in the future. He says, therefore (ver. 25), that from the going forth of the command to rebuild the temple, until the time when the.. should appear, the whole period might be divided into two portions —one of ‘seven sevens’, or forty-nine (49) years, and the other of ‘threescore and two sevens’ —sixty-two sevens, or four hundred and thirty-four (434) years, making together four hundred and eighty-three (483) years. This statement is accompanied with the assurance that the “street would be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” . Of these periods of seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week, the close of the first is distinguished by the completion of the rebuilding of the city; that of the second by the appearing of the Anointed One, or the Messiah, the Prince; that of the third by the finished confirmation of the covenant with the many for whom the saving blessings designated in ver. 24, as belonging to the end of the whole period, are designed. The last period of one week is again divided into two halves. While the confirmation of the covenant extends through it, from beginning to end, the cessation of the sacrifice and meat-offering, and the death of the Anointed One, on which this depends, take place in the middle of it.
(c) The Messiah would appear after the seven weeks (49 yrs) —reaching to the time of completing the rebuilding of the city —and the sixty-two weeks following that (that is, sixty-nine weeks (69×7=483 yrs), altogether) would have been finished. Throughout half of the other week, after his appearing, he would labour to confirm the covenant with many, and then die a violent death, by which the sacrifices would be made to cease, while the confirmation of the covenant would continue even after his death.
(d) A people of a foreign prince would come and destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of all would be a “flood”—an overflowing calamity, till the end of the desolations should be determined, vers. 26,27. This fearful desolation is all that the prophet sees in the end, except that there is an obscure intimation that there would be a termination of that. But the design of the vision evidently did not reach thus far. It was to show the series of events after the rebuilding of the city and temple up to the time when the Messiah would come; when the great atonement would be made for sin, and when the oblations and sacrifices of the temple would finally cease: cease in fact and naturally, for the one great sacrifice, superseding them all, would have been offered, and because the people of a foreign prince would come and sweep the temple and the altar away.
The design of the whole annunciation is, evidently, to produce consolation in the mind of the prophet. He was engaged in profound meditation on the present state, and the long-continued desolations of the city and temple. He gave his mind to the study of the prophecies to learn whether these desolations were not soon to end. He ascertained beyond a doubt that the period drew near. He devoted himself to earnest prayer that the desolation might no longer continue; that God, provoked by the sins of the nation, would no longer execute his fearful judgments, but would graciously interpose, and restore the city and temple. He confessed ingenuously and humbly the sins of his people; acknowledged that the judgments of God were just, but pleaded earnestly, in view of his former mercies to the same people, that he would now have compassion, and fulfil his promises that the city and temple should be restored. An answer is not given directly, and in the exact form in which it might have been hoped for, but an answer is given in which it is implied that these blessings so earnestly sought would be bestowed, and in which it is promised that there would be far greater blessings. It is assumed in the answer (ver. 25) that the city would be rebuilt, and then the mind is directed onward to the assurance that it would stand through seven times seventy (490) years —seven times as long as it had now been desolate, and that then that which had been the object of the desire of the people of God would be accomplished; that for which the city and temple had been built would be fulfilled —the Messiah, would come, the great sacrifice for sin would be made, and all the typical arrangements of e temple would come to an end. Thus, in fact, though not in form, the communication of the angel was an answer to prayer, and that occurred to Daniel which often occurs to those who pray —that the direct prayer which is offered receives a gracious answer, and that there accompanies the answer numberless other mercies which are drawn along in the train; or, in other words, that God gives us many more blessings than we ask of him. }}

{{ Chapter X. Analysis of Chapter 10: [B.C. 534 ]
This chapter introduces the last revelation made to Daniel, and is merely introductory to the disclosures made in the two following chapters. The whole extends to the time of the coming of the Messiah, embracing a detail of the principal historical events that would occur, and closes with some fearful allusions to the ultimate results of human conduct in the day of judgment, and to the great principles on which God governs the world. The contents of this introductory chapter are as follows: (a) The statement of the time when the revelation occurred, ver.1. This was in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, subsequently, therefore, to the visions in the previous chapters, and after the order had been given by Cyrus for the restoration of the Jews, Ezra 1:1. (b) The particular period when this occurred was when Daniel was observing a fast that continued through three weeks, vers. 2,3. This was at the Passover, the first month in their ecclesiastical year, and the fast was observed by Daniel, evidently, on account of the sins and the calamities of his people. (c) The place where this occurred, ver. 4. He was by the side of the river Hiddekel, or Tigris. Why he was there he does not say. But it is to be remembered that he seems to have been employed on some occasions in other parts of the empire than Babylon; and one of his former visions occurred on the banks of a river that flowed into the Tigris –the river Ulai. See notes on ch. 8:2. Indeed, it would appear that the banks of rivers were not unfrequently the places to which the prophets resorted, or where they were favoured with their visions. They were retired places, and were on many accounts favourable for devotion. Comp. Ezek. 1:1; Acts 16:13. See also Rev. 22:1,2. (d) While there, engaged in his devotions, Daniel saw a man, who suddenly appeared to him, clothed in linen, and girded with a belt of gold. Those who were with him fled astonished and left him alone to contemplate the vision, and to receive the communication which this glorious stranger had to make to him. The effect of this vision on himself, however, was wholly to overcome him, to prostrate him to the earth, and to render him insensible, until the angel touched him, and raised him up, vers. 4-10. In all this there is nothing unnatural. The effect is such as would be produced in any case in similar circumstances, and it has a striking resemblance to what occurred to Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:3,4; 22:7-9), and to John in the visions of Patmos, Rev. 1:10-17. (e) He who had thus appeared to Daniel proceeded to state to him the design for which he had come, vers. 11-14. The prayer of Daniel, he said, had been heard the first day in which he had given himself to these solemn acts of devotion. He had himself been commissioned at that time to come to Daniel, and to disclose the events which were to occur. During a period of twenty-one days, however, in which Daniel had been engaged in this season, of devotion, he had been withstood by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia,” and had been detained until Michael, one of the chief princes, had interposed to release him, and he had now come, at last, to make known to Daniel what would occur to his people in the latter days. The nature of this detention will, of course, be considered in the notes on ver. 13, (f), Daniel then (vers. 15-17) describes the effect which this vision had on him, rendering him unable to converse with him who had thus appeared to him. (g) The heavenly messenger then touched him, and b. him be of good courage and be strong (vers. 18, 19), and then said that he would return and fight with the prince of Persia, after having stated that which was “noted in the Scripture of truth,” vers. 20, 21. }}

{{ Chapter XI. Analysis of Chapter 11: [B.C. 534 ]
This chapter contains a portion of those things which the angel said were written in “the scripture of truth,” and which he came to disclose to Daniel. The revelation also embraces, the twelfth chapter, and the two comprise the last recorded communication that was made to Daniel. The revelation which is made in these chapters not only embraces a large portion of history of interest to the Jewish people of ancient times, and designed to give instruction as to the important events that would pertain to their nation, but also, in its progress, alludes to important periods in the future as marking decisive eras in the world’s history, and contains hints as to what would occur down to the end of all things. The chapter before us embraces the following definitely marked periods:—
I. The succession of kings in Persia to the time of a mighty king who should arouse all the strength of his kingdom to make war on Greece —referring doubtless to Xerxes, vers. 1, 2. Of those kings in Persia there would be three —three so prominent as to deserve notice in the rapid glance at future events —Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspis.
II. After this succession of kings, one would stand up or, appear who would be characterized as ruling “with great dominion,” and “according to his will,” ver, 3. The dominion evidently would pass into his hand, he would be distinguished from all that went before him. There can be no doubt, from the connexion, and from what is said in ver. 4, that the reference here is to Alexander the Great.
III. The state of the empire after the death of this mighty king, ver. 4. His kingdom would be broken, and would be divided into four parts —referring doubtless to the division of the empire of Alexander after his death.
IV. The history then proceeds to notice the events that would pertain to two of these portions of the empire —the conflicts between the king of the South, and the king of the North —or between Egypt and Syria, vers. 5-19. This portion of the history embraces, in detail, an account of the policy, the negotiations, and the wars of Antiochus the Great, till the time of his death. These kingdoms are particularly referred to, probably because their conflicts would affect the .. land, and pertain ultimately to the history of religion, and its establishment and triumph in the world. In the notice of these two sovereignties, there is considerable detail —so much so that the principal events could have been º anticipated by those who were in possession of the writings of Daniel. The destiny of the other two portions of the empire of Alexander did not particularly affect the history of religion, or pertain to the holy land, and, therefore, they are not introduced. In a particular manner, the history of Antiochus, the Great is traced with great minuteness in this portion of the prophecy, because his doings had a special bearing on the Jewish nation, and were connected with the progress of religion. The commentary on this portion of the chapter will show that the leading events are traced ‘as’ accurately as would be a summary of the history made out ‘after’ the transactions had occurred.
V. A brief reference to the successor of Antiochus the Great, Seleucus IV. ver. 20. As he occupied the throne, however, but for a short period, and as his doings did not particularly affect the condition of the Hebrew people, or the interests of religion, and his reign was, in every respect, unimportant, it is passed over with only a slight notice.
VI. The life and acts of Antiochus Epiphanes, vers. 21–45. There can be no doubt that this portion of the chapter refers to Antiochus, and it contains a full detail of his character and of his doings. The account here, though without naming him, is just such as would have been given by one who should have written ‘after’ the events had occurred, and there is no more difficulty in applying the description in this chapter to him now than there would have been in such an historical narrative. The revelation is made, evidently, to prepare the Jewish people for these fearful events, and these heavy trials, in their history; and also to assure them that more glorious results would follow, and that deliverance would succeed these calamities. In the troubles which Antiochus would bring upon the Hebrew people, it was important that they should have before them a record containing the great outlines of what would occur, and the assurance of ultimate triumph —just as it is important for us now in the trials, which we have reason to anticipate in this life, to have before us in the Bible the permanent record that we shall yet find deliverance. In the twelfth chapter, therefore, the angel directs the mind onward to brighter times, and assures Daniel that there would be a day of rejoicing. }}

{{ Chapter XII. Analysis of Chapter 12: [B.C. 534 ]
There are several general remarks which may be made respecting this, the closing chapter of the book of Daniel.
I. It is a part, or a continuation of the general prophecy or vision which was commenced in ch. 10, and which embraces the whole of the eleventh chapter. Except for the ‘length’ of the prophecy there should have been no division whatever, and it should be read as a continuous whole; or if a division were desirable, that which was made by Cardinal Hugo in the 13th century, and which occurs in our translation of the Bible, is one of the most unhappy. On every account, and for every reason, the division should have been at the close of the fourth verse of this chapter, and the first four verses should have been attached to the previous portion. That the beginning of this chapter is a continuation of the address of the angel to Daniel is plain from a mere glance. The address ends at ver. 4; and then commences a colloquy between two angels who appear in the vision, designed to cast further light on what had been said. It will contribute to a right understanding of this chapter to remember that it is a part of the one vision or prophecy which was commenced in ch. 10, and that the whole three chapters (10, 11, 12) should be read together. If ch. 11, therefore, refers to the historical events connected with the reign of Antiochus, and the troubles under him, it would seem to be plain that this does also, and that the angel meant to designate the time when these troubles would close, and the indications by which it might be known that they were about to come to an end.
II. At the same time that this is true, it must also be admitted that the language which is used is such as is applicable to other events, and that it supposed that there was a belief in the doctrines to which that language would be naturally applied. It is not such language as would have been originally employed to describe the historical transactions respecting the persecutions under Antiochus, nor unless the doctrines which are obviously conveyed by that language were understood and believed. I refer here to the statements respecting the resurrection of the dead and of the future state. This language is found particularly in vers. 2, 3: “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. And they that be wise snail shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.” This language is appropriate to express such doctrines as the following: (a) that of the resurrection of the dead —or a being raised up out of the dust of the earth; (b) that of retribution ‘after’ the resurrection: a part being raised to everlasting life, and a part to everlasting shame; (c) that of the eternity of future retribution, or the eternity of rewards and punishments: awaking to ‘everlasting’ life, and to ‘everlasting shame’; (d) that of the high honours and rewards of those who would be engaged in doing good, or of that portion of mankind who would be instrumental in turning the wicked from the paths of sin: “they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.” It is impossible to conceive that this language would have been used unless these doctrines were known and believed, and unless it be supposed that they were so familiar that it would be readily understood. Whatever may have been the particular thing to which it was applied by the angel, it is such language as could have been intelligible only where there was a belief of these doctrines, and it may, therefore, be set down as an indication of a prevalent belief in the time of Daniel on these subjects. Such would be understood now if the same language were used by us, to whatever we might apply it, for it would not be employed unless there was a belief of the truth of the doctrines which it is naturally adapted to convey.
III. If the angel intended, therefore, primarily to refer to events that would occur in the time of Antiochus —to the arousing of many to defend their country, as if called from the dust of the earth, or to their being summoned by Judas Maccabeus from caves and fastnesses, and to the honour to which many of them might be raised, and the shame and contempt which would await others, it seems difficult to doubt that the mind of the speaker, at the same time, glanced onward to higher doctrines, and that it was the intention of the angel to bring into view far distant events, of which these occurrences might be regarded as an emblem, and that he meant to advert to what would literally occur in the time of the Maccabees as a beautiful and striking illustration of more momentous and glorious scenes when the earth should give up its dead, and when the final judgment should occur. On these scenes, perhaps, the mind of the angel ultimately rested, and a prominent part of the design of the entire vision may have been to bring them into view, and to direct the thoughts of the pious onward far beyond the troubles and the triumphs in the days of the Maccabees, to the time when the dead should arise, and when the retributions of eternity should occur. It was no uncommon thing among the prophets to allow the eye to glance from one object to another lying in the same range of vision, or having such points of resemblance that the one would suggest the other; and it often happened that a description which commenced with some natural event terminated in some more important spiritual truth to which that event had a resemblance, and which it was adapted to suggest. Comp. Intro. to Isaiah, § 7; 3; (3) (4) (5). Three things occur often in such a case: (1), language is employed in speaking of what is to take place, which is derived from the secondary and remote event, and which naturally suggests that; (2) ideas are intermingled in the description which are appropriate to the secondary event only, and which should be understood as applicable to that; and (3) the description, which was ‘commenced’ with reference to one event or class of events, often passes over entirely and ‘terminates’ on the secondary and ultimate events. This point will be more particularly examined in the notes on the chapter.
IV. The contents of the chapter are as follows:—
(1.) The concluding statement of what would occur at the time referred to in the previous chapter, vers. 1-3. This statement, embraces, many particulars: that Michael, the guardian angel, would stand up in behalf of the people; that there would be great trouble, such as there had not been since the time when the nation began to exist; that there would be deliverance for all whose names were recorded in the book; that there would be an awakening of those who slept in the dust —some coming to life and honour, and some to shame and dishonour; and that distinguished glory would await those who turned many to righteousness.
(2.) At this stage of the matter, all having been disclosed that the angel purposed to reveal, Daniel is commanded to shut and seal the book; yet with the encouragement held out that more would yet be known on the subject, ver. 4. The matter was evidently involved still in mystery, and there were many points on which it could not but be desired that there should be fuller information —points relating to the time when these things would happen, and a more particular account of the full meaning of what had been predicted, etc. On these points it is clear that many questions might be asked, and it is probable that the mind of Daniel would be left still in perplexity in regard to them. To meet this state of mind, the angel says to Daniel that “many would run to and fro, and that knowledge would be increased;” that is, that by intercourse with one another in future times; by spreading abroad the knowledge already obtained; by diffusing information, and by careful inquiry, those of coming ages would obtain much clearer views on these points; or, in other words, that time, and the intercourse of individuals and nations, would clear up the obscurities of prophecy.
(3.) In this state of perplexity, Daniel looked and saw two other person ages standing on the two sides of the river, and between them and the angel who had conversed with Daniel a colloquy or conversation ensues respecting the time necessary to accomplish these things, vers. 5-7. They are introduced as interested in the inquiry as to the ‘time’ of the continuance of these things —that is, how long it would be to the end of these wonders. These were evidently angels also, and they are represented (a) as ignorant of the future —a circumstance which we must supposed to exist among the angels; and (b) as feeling a deep interest in the transactions which were to occur, and the period when it might be expected they would have their completion. To this natural inquiry, the angel who had conversed with Daniel gives a solemn answer (ver. 7) that the period would be “a time, and times, and a half;” and that all these things would be accomplished when he to whom reference was made had finished his purpose of scattering the holy people.
(4.) Daniel, perplexed and overwhelmed with these strange predictions, hearing what was said about the time, but not understanding it, asks with intense interest when the end of these things should be, ver. 8. He had heard the reply of the angel, but it conveyed no idea to his mind. . He was deeply solicitous to look into the future, and to ascertain ‘when’ these events would end, and ‘what’ would be their termination. The answer to his anxious, earnest inquiry is contained in vers. 9-13, and embraces several points —giving some further information, but still evidently designed to leave the matter obscure in many respects. (a) The matter was sealed up, and his question could not be definitely answered, ver. 9. When the time of the end should come, it is implied the matter would be clearer, and might be understood, but that all had been communicated substantially that could be. (b) A statement is made (ver. 10) of the general result of the trials on two classes of persons: the things that would occur would tend to make the righteous more holy, but the wicked would continue to do wickedly, notwithstanding all these heavy judgments. The latter too would, when these events took place, fail to understand their design; but the former would obtain a just view of them, and would be made wiser by them. Time, to the one class, would disclose the meaning of the Divine dealings, and they would comprehend them; to the other they would still be dark and unintelligible. (c) A statement is, however, made as to the ‘time’ when these things would be accomplished, but still so obscure as to induce the angel himself to say to Daniel that he must go his way till the end should be, vers. 11-13. Two periods of time are mentioned, both different from the one in ver. 10. In one of them (ver. 11) it is said that from the time when the daily sacrifice should be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate should be set up, would be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (1290). In the other (ver. 12) it is said that he would be blessed or happy who should reach a certain period mentioned —a thousand three hundred and thirty-five (1335) days. What these different periods of time refer to will of course be the subject of inquiry in the notes on the chapter. (d) The whole closes, therefore (ver. 13), with a direction to Daniel that, or the present, he should go his way. Nothing additional would be disclosed. Time would reveal more; time would explain all. Meanwhile there is an assurance given that, as for himself, he would have “rest,” and would “stand in his lot at the end of the days.” This seems to be a gracious assurance to him that he had nothing to fear from these troubles personally, and that whatever should come, he would have peace, and would occupy the position in future times which was due to him. His lot would happy and peaceful; his name would be honoured; his salvation would be secured. It seems to be implied that, with this pledge, he ought to allow his mind to be calm, and not suffer himself to be distressed, because he could not penetrate the future, and foresee all that was to occur; and the truth, therefore, with which the book closes is, that, having security about our own personal salvation —or having no ground of solicitude respecting that— or having that matter made safe — we should calmly commit all events to God, with the firm conviction that in his own time his purposes will be accomplished, and that, being then understood, he will be seen to be worthy of confidence and praise.

In reference to the application of this prophecy, the following general remarks may be made:—
I. One class of interpreters explain it literally as applicable to Antiochus Epiphanes. Of this class is Prof. Stuart, who supposes that its reference to Antiochus can be shown in the following manner: “The place which this passage occupies shows that the ‘terminus a quo’, or period from which the days designated are to be reckoned, is the same as that to which reference is made in the previous verse. This, as we have already seen, is the period when Antiochus, by his military agent Apollonius, took possession of Jerusalem, and put a stop to the temple-worship there. The author of the first book of Maccabees, who is allowed by all to deserve credit as a historian, after describing the capture of Jerusalem by the agent of Antiochus (in the year 145 of the Seleucidae—168 B. c.), and setting before the reader the wide-spread devastation which ensued, adds, respecting the invaders: “They shed innocent blood around the sanctuary, and defiled the holy place; and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled away: the sanctuary thereof was made desolate; her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach, and her honour into disgrace;’ 1st Macc. 1:37-39. To the period when this state of things commenced we must look, then, in order to find the date from which the 1355 days are to be reckoned. Supposing now that Apollonius captured Jerusalem in the latter part of May, B. c. 168, the 1355 days would expire about the middle of February, in the year B. c. 164. Did any event take place at this period which would naturally call forth the congratulations of the prophet, as addressed in the text before us to the Jewish people?
“History enables us to answer this question. Late in the year 165 B. C., or at least very early in the year 164 B. c., Antiochus Epiphanes, learning that there were great insurrections and disturbances in Armenia and Persia, hastened thither with a portion of his armies, while the other portion was commissioned against Palestine. He was victorious for a time; but being led by cupidity to seek for the treasures that were laid up in the temple of the Persian Diana at Elymais, he undertook to rifle them. The inhabitants of the place, however, rose ‘en masse’ and drove him out of the city; after which he fled to Ecbatana. There he heard of the total discomfiture by Judas Maccabeus of his troops in Palestine, which were led on by Nicanor and Timotheus. In the rage occasioned by this disappointment, he uttered the most horrid blasphemies against the God of the Jews, and threatened to make Jerusalem the burying-place of the nation. Immediately he directed his course toward Judea; and designing to pass through Babylon, he made all possible haste in his journey. In the meantime he had a fall from his chariot which injured him ; and soon after, being seized with a mortal sickness in his bowels (probably the cholera), he died at Tabae, in the mountainous country, near the confines of Babylonia and Persia. Report stated, even in ancient times, that Antiochus was greatly distressed on his death-bed by the sacrilege which he had committed.
“Thus perished the most bitter and bloody enemy which ever rose up against the Jewish nation and their worship. By following the series of events, it is easy to see that his death took place sometime in February of the year 164 B.C. Assuming that the commencement or ‘terminus a quo’ of the 1335 days is the same as that of the 1290 days, it is plain that they terminate at the period when the death of Antiochus is said to have taken place. “It was long before the commencement of the spring,” says Froelich, “that Antiochus passed the Euphrates, and made his attack on Elymais:’ so that no more probable time can be fixed upon for his death than at the expiration of the 1335 days; i.e. sometime in February of 164 B. c. No wonder that the angel pronounced those of the pious and believing Jews to be ‘blessed’ who lived to see such a day of deliverance.”—Hints on Prophecy, pp. 95–97.
There are, however, serious, and obvious difficulties in regard to this view, and to the supposition that this is all that is intended here —objections and difficulties of so much force that most Christian interpreters have supposed that something further was intended. Among these difficulties and objections are the following:—
(a) The air of ‘mystery’ which is thrown over the whole matter by the angel, as if he were reluctant to make the communication; as if something more was meant than the words expressed; as if he shrank from disclosing all that he knew, or that might be said. If it referred to Antiochus alone, it is difficult to see why so much mystery was made of it, and why he was so unwilling to allude further to the subject —’as if’ it were something that did not pertain to the matter in hand.
(b) The ‘detached’ and ‘fragmentary’ character of what is here said. It stands aside from the main communication. It is uttered after all that the angel had intended to reveal had been said. It is brought out at the earnest request of Daniel, and then only in ‘hints’, and in enigmatical language, and in such a manner that it would convey no distinct conception to his mind. This would seem to imply that it referred to something else than the main point that had been under consideration.
(c) The difference of ‘time’ specified here by the angel. This relates to two points:—
1. To what would occur ‘after’ the “closing of the daily sacrifice, and the setting up of the abomination of desolation.” The angel ‘now’ says that what he here refers to would extend to a period of twelve hundred and ‘ninety’ (1290) days. But in the accounts before given, the time specified had uniformly been “a time, and times, and half a time;” that is, three years and a half, or twelve hundred and ‘sixty’ (1260) days —differing from this by thirty days. Why should this thirty days have been added here if it referred to the time when the sanctuary would be cleansed, and the temple worship restored? Prof. Stuart (Hints on Prophecy, pp. 93, 94) supposes that it was in order that the ‘exact’ period might be mentioned. But this is liable to objections. For (a) the period of three and a half years was sufficiently exact; (b) there was no danger of mistake on the subject, and no such error had been made as to require correction; (c) this was not of sufficient importance to justify the manifest anxiety of the angel in the case, or to furnish any answer to the inquiries of Daniel, since so small an item of information would not relieve the mind of Daniel. The allusion, then, would ‘seem’ to be something else than what had been referred to by the “three and a half years.”
2. But there is a greater difficulty in regard to the other period —the 1335 days; for (a) that stands wholly ‘detached’ from what had been said. (b) The ‘beginning’ of that period —the ‘terminus a quo’— is not specified. It is true that Prof. Stuart (Hints on Prophecy, p. 95) supposes that this must be the same as that mentioned in the previous verse, but this is not apparent in the communication. It is an isolated statement, and would ‘seem’ to refer to some momentous and important period in the future which would be characterized as a glorious or “blessed” period in the world’s history, or of such a nature that he ought to regard himself as peculiarly happy who should be permitted to live then. Now it is true that with much probability this may be shown, as Prof. Stuart has done in the passage quoted above, to accord well with the time when Antiochus died, as that was an important event, and would be so regarded by those pious Jews who would be permitted to live to that time; but it is true also that the ‘main’ thing for rejoicing was the conquest of Judas Maccabeus and the cleansing of the sanctuary, and that the death of Antiochus does not seem to meet the fulness of what is said here. If that were all, it is not easily conceivable why the angel should have made so much a mystery of it, or why he should have been so reluctant to impart what he knew. The whole matter, therefore, appears to have a higher importance than the mere death of Antiochus and the delivery of the Jews from his persecutions.
II. Another class, and it may be said Christian interpreters generally, have supposed that there was here a reference to some higher and more important events in the far distant future. But it is scarcely needful to say, that the opinions entertained have been almost as numerous as the writers on the prophecies, and that the judgment of the world has not settled down on any one particular method of the application. It would not be profitable to state the opinions which have been advanced; still less to attempt to refute them —most of them being fanciful conjectures. These may be seen detailed in great variety in Poole’s Synopsis. It is not commonly pretended that these opinions are based on any exact interpretation of the words, or on any certain mode of determining their correctness, and those who hold them admit that it must be reserved to future years —to their fulfilment— to understand the exact meaning of the prophecy. Thus Prideaux, who supposes that this passage refers to Antiochus, frankly says: “Many things may be said for the probable solving of this difficulty [the fact that the angel here refers to an additional thirty days above the three years and a half, which he says can neither be applied to Antiochus nor to Antichrist], but I shall offer none of them. Those that shall live to see the extirpation of Antichrist, which will be at the end of those years, will best be able to unfold these matters, it being of the nature of these prophecies not thoroughly to be understood till they are thoroughly fulfilled.” —Vol. iii. 283, 284. So Bp. Newton, who supposes that the setting up of the abomination of desolation here refers to the Mohammedans invading and devastating Christendom, and that the religion of Mohammed will prevail in the East for the space of 1260 years, and then a great revolution —“perhaps the restoration of the Jews, perhaps the destruction of Antichrist” —indicated by the 1290 years, will occur; and that this will be succeeded by another still more glorious event —perhaps “the conversion of the Gentiles, and the beginning of the millennium, or reign of the saints on the earth” —indicated by the 1335 years— says, notwithstanding, “What is the precise time of their beginning, and consequently of their ending, as well as what are the great and signal events which will take place at the end of each period, we can only conjecture; time alone can with certainty discover.” —Prophecies, p. 321. These expressions indicate the ‘common’ feeling of those who understand these statements as referring to future events; and the reasonings of those who have attempted to make a more specific application have been such as to demonstrate the wisdom of this modesty, and to make us wish that it had been imitated by all. At all events, such speculations on this subject have been so wild and unfounded; so at variance with all just rules of interpretation; so much the fruit of mere fancy, and so incapable of solid support by reasoning, as to admonish us that no more conjectures should be added to the number.
III. The sum of all that it seems to me can be said on the matter is this:—
(1.) That it is probable, for the reasons above stated, that the angel referred to ‘other’ events than the persecutions and the death of Antiochus, for if that was all, the additional information which he gave by the specification of the period of 1260 days, and 1290 days, and 1335 days, was quite too meagre to be worthy of a formal and solemn revelation from God. In other words, if this was all, there was no correspondence between the importance of the events and the solemn manner in which the terms of the communication were made. There was no such ‘importance’ in these three periods as to make these separate disclosures necessary. If this were all, the statements were such indeed as might be made by a ‘weak man’ attaching importance to trifles, but not such as would be made by an ‘inspired angel’ professing to communicate great and momentous truths.
(2.) Either by design, or because the language which he would employ to designate higher events happened to be such as would note those periods also, the angel employed terms which, in the main, would be applicable to what would occur under the persecutions of.Antiochus, while, at the same time, his eye was on more important and momentous events in the far distant future. Thus the three years and a half would apply with sufficient accuracy to the time between the taking away of the daily sacrifice, and the destruction of the temple by Judas Maccabeus, and then, also, it so happens that the ‘thirteen hundred and thirty-five’ (1335) days would designate with sufficient accuracy the death of Antiochus, but there is nothing in the history to which the period of ‘twelve hundred and ninety’ (1290) days could with particular propriety be applied, and there is no reason in the history why reference should have been made to that.
(3.) The angel had his eye on three great and important epochs lying apparently far in the future, and constituting important periods in the history of the church and the world. These were, respectively, composed of 1260, 1290, and 1335 prophetic days, that is, years. Whether they had the same beginning or point of reckoning —’termini a quo’— and whether they would, as far as they would respectively extend, cover the same space of time, he does not intimate with any certainty, and, of course, if this is the correct view it would be impossible now to determine, and the development is to be left to the times specified. One of them, the 1260 years, or the three years and a half, we can fix, we think, by applying it to the Papacy. See notes on ch. vii. 24-28. But in determining even this, it was necessary to wait until the time and course of events should disclose its meaning; and in reference to the other two periods, doubtless still future, it may be necessary now to wait until events, still to occur, shall disclose what was intended by the angel. The first has been made clear by history: there can be no doubt that the others in the same manner will be made equally clear. . That this is the true interpretation, and that this is the view which the angel desired to convey to the mind of Daniel, seems to be clear from such expressions as these occurring inthe prophecy: “Seal the book ‘to the time of the end’,” ver. 4; “many shall run to and fro, ‘and knowledge shall be increased’,” ver. 4; “the words are closed up and sealed ’till the time of the end’,” ver, 9; “many shall be made ‘white’,” ver. 10; “the wise ‘shall understand’,” ver. 10; “go thou thy way ’till the end be’,” ver. 13. This language seems to imply that these things could not then be understood, but that when the events to which they refer should take place they would be plain to all.
(4.) Two of those events or periods—the 1390 days, and the 1335 days —seem to lie still in the future, and the full understanding of the prediction is to be reserved for developments yet to be made in the history of the world. Whether it be by the conversion of the Jews and the Gentiles, respectively, as Bishop Newton supposes, it would be vain to conjecture, and time must determine. That such ‘periods’ —marked and important periods —’are’ to occur in the future, or in some era now commenced but not yet completed, I am constrained to believe; and that it will be possible, in time to come, to determine what they are, seems to me to be as undoubted. But where there is nothing certain to be the basis of calculation, it is idle to add other conjectures to those already made, and it is wiser to leave the matter, as much of the predictions respecting the future must of necessity be left to time and to events to make them clear.
Let me add, in the conclusion of the exposition of this remarkable book:—
(a) That the mind of Daniel is left at the close of all the Divine communications to him looking into the far distant future, ver. 13. His attention is directed onward. Fragments of great truths had been thrown out, with little apparent connexion, by the angel; hints of momentous import had been suggested respecting great doctrines to be made clearer in future ages. A time was to occur, perhaps in the far distant future, when the dead were to be raised; when all that slept in the dust of the earth should awake; when the righteous should shine as the brightness of the firmament; and when he himself should “stand in his lot” —sharing the joys of the blessed, and occupying the position which would be appropriate to him. With this cheering prospect the communications of the angel to him are closed. Nothing could be better fitted to comfort his heart in a land of exile; nothing better fitted to elevate his thoughts.
(b) In the same manner it is proper that ‘we’ should look ‘onward’. All the revelations of God terminate in this manner; all are designed and adapted to direct the mind to far distant and most glorious scenes in the future. We have all that Daniel had; and we have what Daniel had not —the clear revelation of the gospel. In that gospel are stated in a still more clear manner those glorious truths respecting the future which are fitted to cheer us in time of trouble, to elevate our minds amidst the low scenes of earth, and to comfort and sustain us on the bed of death. With much more distinctness than Daniel saw them, we are permitted to contemplate the truths respecting the resurrection of the dead, the scenes of the final judgment, and the future happiness of the righteous. We have now knowledge of the resurrection of the Redeemer, and, through him, the assurance that all his people will be raised up to honour and glory; and though, in reference to the resurrection of the dead, and the future glory of the righteous, there is much that is still obscure, yet there is all that is necessary to inspire us with hope, and to stimulate us to endeavour to obtain the crown of life.
(c) It is not improper, therefore, to close the exposition of this book with the expression of a wish that what was promised to Daniel may occur to us who read his words —that “we may stand in our lot at the end of days;” that when all the scenes of earth shall have passed away in regard to us, and the end of the world itself shall have come, it may be our happy portion to occupy a place among the redeemed, and to stand accepted before God. To ourselves, if we are truly righteous through our Redeemer, we may apply the promise made to Daniel; and for his readers the author can express no higher wish than that this lot may be theirs. If the exposition of this book shall be so blessed as to confirm any in the belief of the great truths of revelation, and lead their minds to a more confirmed hope in regard to these future glorious scenes; if by dwelling on the firm piety, the consummate wisdom, and the steady confidence in God evinced by this remarkable man, their souls shall be more established in the pursuit of the same piety, wisdom, and confidence in God; and if it shall lead the minds of any to contemplate with a more steady and enlightened faith the scenes which are yet to occur on our earth, when the saints shall reign, or in heaven, when all the children of God shall be gathered there from all lands, the great object of these studies will have been accomplished, and the labour which has been bestowed upon it will not have been in vain. To these high and holy purposes I now consecrate these reflections on the book of Daniel, with an earnest prayer that He from whom all blessings come may be pleased so to accept this exposition of one of the portions of his revealed truth as to make it the means of promoting the interests of truth and piety in the world; with a grateful sense of his goodness in allowing me to complete it, and with thankfulness that I have been permitted for so many hours, in the preparation of this work, to contemplate the lofty integrity, the profound wisdom, the stern and unyielding virtue, and the humble piety of this distinguished saint and eminent states man of ancient times. He is under a good influence, and he is likely to have his own piety quickened, and his own purposes of unflinching integrity and faithfulness, and of humble devotion to God strengthened, who studies the writings and the character of the prophet Daniel. }}

About mjmselim

Male, 68 in Oct., born in Jamaica, USA since 1961, citizen in 2002; cobbler for 40 plus years, retired, Christian since 1969; married to same wife since 1979; 6 daughters and 2 sons, with 8 grandkids. Slowly adapting to the digital world of computers and internet; hobby in digital editing.
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