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augel asked another angel, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot ??-ver 13. In the original there is no such words as concerning ;' and Mr. Lowth rightly observes, that the words may be rendered more agreeably to the Hebrew thus, “ For how long a time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue ?” &c. After the same manner the question is translated by the Seventy,* and in the Arabic version, and in the Vulgar Latin. The answer is, 'Unto two thousand, and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,'--ver. 14. Lt the original it is, 'Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings,' an evening and morning being in Hebrew the notation of time for a day ; and in allusion to this expression it is said afterwards, 'The vision of the evening and the morning is true, ver. 26. Now, these two thousand and three hundred days can by no computation be accommodated to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, even though the days be taken for natural days. Two thousand and three hundred days are six years
and somewhat more than a quarter : but the profanation of the altar under Antiochus lasted but three years complete, according to the author of the first book of the Maccabees,-i Macc. i. £9, compared with iv. 52; and the desolation of the temple, and the taking away of the daily sacrifice by Apollonius, continued but thr.e years and a half, according to Josephus. Mr. Mede proposeth a method to reconcile the difference, and saith, that the time is “not to be reckoned from the height of the calamity, when the daily sacrifice should be taken away,' (from thence it is but three years,) but from the beginning of the transgression, which occasioned this desolation, and is described 1 Macc. i. 11, &c.”t. But Antiochus began to reign, according to the author of the first book of the Maccabees, in the 127th year of the kingdom of the Greeks,'—i. 10, or æra of the Seleucidæ; and in those days' was the beginning of the transgression, which is described 1 Macc. i. 11, &c.; that is, ten or ele ven years before the cleansing of the sanctuary, which was performed in the 148th year,' according to the same author.--iv. 52 or if we compute the time from Antiochus's first going up against Jerusalem, and spoiling the city and temple, these things were done according to the same author, ' in the 143d year,'--i. 20 ; so that this reckoning would fall short of the time assigned, as the other exceeds it. The difficulty, or impossibility rather, of making these two thousand and three hundred days accord with the times of Antiochus, I suppose, obliged the ancients to consider Antiochus as a type of Antichrist: and therefore Jerome saith in his comment, that “this place most Christians refer to Antichrist; and affirm, that what was transacted in a type under Antiochus, will be fulfilled in truth under Antichrist.”* The days, without doubt, are to be taken, agreeably to the style of Daniel in other places, not for natural, but for prophetic days or years ; and as the question was asked, not only how long the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue, but also how long the vision shall last ; so the answer is to be understood, and these two thousand and three hundred days denote the whole time from the beginning of the vision to the cleansing of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is not yet cleansed, and consequently these years are not yet expired. When these years shall be expired, then their end will clearly show from whence their beginning is to be dated, whether from the vision of the ram, or of the he-goat, or of the little horn. It is difficult to fix the precise time, when the prophetic dates begin, and when they end, till the prophecies are fulfilled, and the event declares the certainty of them. And the difficulty is increased in this case by reason of some variety in the 'copies. Por the Seventyt have four hundred' in this place: and others, as Jerome informs us, read two hundred' instead of three hundred. If we follow the reading of the Seventy, Unto two thousand and four hundred days' or 'years, then perhaps they are to be computed from the vision of the ram, or the establishment of the Persian empire. If we follow the other reading mentioned by Jerome, Unto two thousand and two hundred days' or years,' then perhaps they are to be computed from the vision of the little horn, or the Romans invading the Grecian empire. And it is remarkable, that the Romans first passed over with an army, and made war' upon Philip, king of Macedonia, just 200 years before Christ. * But if we still retain the common reading, (which probably is the truest and best,) • Unto two thousand and three hundred days' or 'years,' then I conceive they are to be computed from the vision of the he-goat, oi Alexander's invading Asia. Alexander invaded Asia in the year of the world 3670, and in the year before Christ 334.+ Two thousand and three hundred years from that time will draw towards the conclusion of the sixth millenium of the world; and about that period, according to an old tradition, I which was current before our Saviour's time, and was probably founded upon the prophecies, great changes and revolutions are expected : and particularly, as Rabbi Abraham Sebah saith, Rome is to be overthrown, and the Jews are to be restored. The angel farther affirms the truth and certainty of the vision, and of the time allotted for it: The vision of the evening and the morning, which was told, is true ; wherefore, shut thou up the vision, for it shall be for many days,'—ver. 26. The shutting up of the vision implies, that it should not be understood of some time; and we cannot say that it was sufficiently understood, so long as Antiochus Epiphanes was taken for the little horn. The vision being for many days,' must necessarily infer a longer term than the calamity under Antiochus, of three years
* 'Εως ποτε και ερασις σησεται, η θυσια ή άρθεισα, κ. τ. λ.-Sept. Quousque visio hec continget, et auferetur sacrificium, &c.—Arab. Usquequo visio, et juge sacrificiuin. &c. - Vulg. [Translated in the text.]
+ Josephi Proem de Bell Jud. sect. 9, p. 956 : lib. 1, cas. 1, sect 1, p. 958, edit. Hudson
: Mr. Mede's A postacy of the latter times, art I. chap. 14.
Hunc locum plerique nostrorum ad Antichristum referunt: et quod sub Antiocho iz typo factum est, sub illo in veritate dicunt esse complendum.—Hieron. in locum, col.
06. [Translated in the text.] + 'Huspar Boxidoas x® Tetpaxolas.Sept. [Two thousand and four hundred days.]
| Quidam pro duobus millibus trecentis, duo millia ducentos legunt.-Hieron. ibid. Some instead of two thousand three hundred, read two thousand two hundred.]
and a half, or even than the whole time from the first beginning of the vision in Cyrus, to the cleansing of the sanctuary under Antiochus, which was not above 371 years. Such a vision could not well be called long to Daniel, who had seen so much longer before ; and especially, as the time assigned for it is 'two thousand and three hundred days, which since they cannot by any account be natural days, must needs be prophetic days, or two thousand and three hundred years. Such a vision may properly enough be said to be for many days.'
Daniel was much affected with the misfortunes and afflictions,
* See Usher's Annals, A.M. 3804.
* See Usher, Prideaux, &c. See Placita Doctorum Hebræorum de magno die judicii, et regno Messiæ tunc futuro, in Mede's Works, b. 3, p. 535, and Placita Doctorum Hebræorum de Babylonis seu Romæ excidio, in Mede's Works, b. 5, p. 902.
R. Abraham Sebah in Gen. i. ait, currente sexto annorum mundi millenario Romam evertendam, et Judæos reducendos.-Ibid. p. 903. (Rabbi Abraham Sebah on Gen. i saith, that in the sixth millenium of the world, Rome is to be destroyed, and the Jews restored.]
|| See Usher, Prideaux, &c. The first year of Cyrus was A.M. 3163, ( fore Christ 636 The sanctuary was cleansed A.M. 3839, before Christ 165
which were to befall the church and people of God, ver. 27,. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterwards I rose up, and did the king's business, and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.' Munster, and Clarius who generally transcribes Munster, are of opinion that “ Daniel was visited by this sickness, lest he thould be lifted up by the sublimity of the visions."* I presume they thought his case somewhat like St. Paul's, 2 Cor. xii. 7, who had a thorn in the flesh,' or a bodily infirmity, ‘lest he should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations. But it is much more probable, that Daniel's sickness proceeded from his grief for his religion and country: as in the former vision he was grieved in his spirit, his cogitations much troubled him, and his countenance changed in him,' at the success of the little horn there described. And this is another most conclusive argument, that the calamities under Antiochus Epiphanes could not possibly be the main end and ultimate scope of this prophecy. For the calamities under Antiochus were of small extent and of short duration, in comparison with what the nation had suffered, and was then suffering under Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. Antiochus took the city, but Nebuchadnezzar burnt it to the ground. Antiochus profaned the temple, but Nebuchadnezzar utterly destroyed it. Antiochus made captives forty thousand of the Jews, but Nebuchadnezzar carried the whole nation into captivity. Antiochus took away the daily sacrifice for three years and a half, but Nebuchadnezzar abolished all the temple service for seventy years, Why then should Daniel who had seen and felt these greater calamities, be so much grieved at those lesser disasters of the nation? Present and sensible evils usually affect us most: and therefore that Daniel was so much more affected with the future than with the present, 'was astonished and fainted, and was sick certain days,' can be ascribed to nothing but to his foreseeing, that the future distress and misery of the nation would greatly exceed all that they sustained at present. But the calamities under Antiochus were much less, and much shorter. Those only which they suffered from the Romans, were greater and worse than the evils brought on them by Nebuchadnezzar. And the transgression of desolation' hath now continued these 1700 years. They expect, and we expect, that at length “the sanctuary will be cleansed,' and that in God's determined time his promise will be fully accomplished : Amos ix, 11, 12; Acts xv. 16, 17,- I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down: and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.'
* Et quod subditur de ægrotatione Danielis, ostenditur illam prophetæ immissam, ne extolleretur sublimitate visionum, quas solus intelligebat.—Munsterus. Et quod de ægrotatione sua dicit, ostenditur, illam prophetæ immissam, ne extolleretur sublimitate visionum, quas solus intelligebat.--Clarius. [Translated in the text. 7
This concern of Daniel, and affection for his religion and country, show him in a very amiable light, and give an additional lustre and glory to his character. But not only in this instance, but in every other, he manifests the same public spirit, and appears no less eminently a patriot than a prophet. Though he was torn early from his country and enjoyed all the advantages that he could enjoy in foreign service, yet nothing could make him forget his native home: and in the next chapter we see him pouring out his soul in prayer, and supplicating most earnestly and devoutly for the pardon and restoration of his captive nation. It is a gross mistake therefore to think, that religion will ever extinguish or abate our love for our country. The scriptures will rather incite and inflame it, exhibit several illustrious examples of it, and recommend and enforce this, as well as all other moral and social virtues; and especially when the interests of true religion and of our country are so blended and interwoven, that they cannot well be separated the one from the other. This is a double incentive to the love of our country; and with the same zeal that every pious Jew might say formerly, every honest Briton may say now, with the good Psalmist, Psal. cxxii. 6, &c.- O pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces. For my brethren and companion's sakes I will wish thee prosperity : Yea because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek to do thee good.'