A Captive in Babylon's Royal Court

Chapter 1

The King Dreams of World Empires

Chapter 2

Integrity Tested by Fire

Chapter 3

The Most High Ruleth

Chapter 4

The Handwriting on the Wall

Chapter 5

Daniel in the Lion's Den

Chapter 6

The Struggle for World Dominion

Chapter 7

The World Arraigned Before the Court of Heaven

Chapter 8

A Prophetic Yardstick Spans the Centuries

Chapter 9

God Intervenes in World Affairs

Chapter 10

Unrolling the Scroll of the Future

Chapter 11

History's Coming Climax

Chapter 12


This volume is devoted largely to tracing the story of God’s marvelous dealing with nations and with notable individuals in fulfillment of the great prophecies of the Bible in the past, but more particularly to the unrolling of the prophetic scroll as seen in the stirring events of the throbbing present, and of those impending in the immediate and ominous future. Such events are of the greatest personal significance to every man and woman.

No one can afford to live in a time like ours without studying the vital issues it has pleased God to open to our understanding in this fast moving age. Such issues have eternal consequences for every soul.

The author of this book lived and wrote more than a century ago, and in the literary and polemic style of those times. His interpretation of prophecy, however, and the doctrines of truth he established through intensive study of the Scriptures, have borne the test of time and of diligent scrutiny by Bible students. Indeed, they have borne the test so well that they are the more worthy of being perpetuated in a revised edition, which it is our great pleasure to offer in this present attractive form.

No effort has been spared by the editors to simplify and clarify the presentation of truth in the fluent and appealing diction of the writer, to verify all historical and exegetical sources drawn upon by the author, and in notable instances to fortify the teaching by new evidence not available at the time of the original writing. They have sought also to bring to bear upon prophetic interpretation the additional weight of significance so obviously discernible in political, social, and religious developments pressing upon our attention in these culminating days of the gospel era.

Thoughtful and open-minded consideration of these vital themes by every candid reader is earnestly invited.



That the book of Daniel was written by the person whose name it bears, there is no reason to doubt. Ezekiel, who was contemporary with Daniel, bears testimony, through the Spirit of prophecy, to his piety and uprightness, ranking him in this respect with Noah and Job: “If I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out My fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast; though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” Ezekiel 14: 19, 20. His wisdom, also, even at that early day, had become proverbial, as appears from the same writer. To the prince of Tyrus he was directed by the Lord to say, “Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.” Ezekiel 28: 3. But above all, our Lord recognized him as a prophet of God, and bade His disciples understand the predictions given through him for the benefit of His church: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” Matthew 24: 15, 16.

Though we have a more minute account of his early life than is recorded of that of any other prophet, yet his birth and lineage are left in complete obscurity, except that he was of the royal line, probably of the house of David, which had at this time become very numerous. He first appears as one of the noble captives of Judah, in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, at the beginning of the seventy years’ captivity, 606 B.C. Jeremiah and Habakkuk were yet uttering their prophecies. Ezekiel began soon after, and a little later, Obadiah; but all these finished their work years before the close of the long and brilliant career of Daniel. Three prophets only succeeded him, Haggai and Zechariah, who exercised

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the prophetic office for a brief period contemporaneously, 520-518 B.C., and Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, who flourished a little season about 397 B.C.

During the seventy years’ captivity of the Jews, 606-536 B.C., predicted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25: 11), Daniel resided at the court of Babylon, most of the time prime minister of that monarchy. His life affords a most impressive lesson of the importance and advantage of maintaining from earliest youth strict integrity toward God, and furnishes a notable instance of a man’s maintaining eminent piety, and faithfully discharging all the duties that pertain to the service of God, while at the same time engaging in the most stirring activities, and bearing the weightiest cares and responsibilities that can devolve upon men in this earthly life.

What a rebuke is his course to many at the present day, who, not having a hundredth part of the cares to absorb their time and engross their attention that he had, yet plead as an excuse for their almost utter neglect of Christian duties, that they have no time for them. what will the God of Daniel say to such, when He comes to reward His servants impartially, according to their improvement or neglect of the opportunities offered them?

But it is not alone nor chiefly his connection with the Chaldean monarchy, the glory of kingdoms, that perpetuates the memory of Daniel, and covers his name with honor. From the height of its glory he saw that kingdom decline, and pass into other hands. Its period of greatest prosperity was embraced within the limits of the lifetime of one man. So brief was its supremacy, so transient its glory. But Daniel was intrusted with more enduring honors. While beloved and honored by the princes and potentates of Babylon, he enjoyed an infinitely higher exaltation in being beloved and honored by God and His holy angels, and admitted to a knowledge of the counsels of the Most High.

His prophecy is, in many respects, the most remarkable of any in the sacred record. It is the most comprehensive. It was

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the first prophecy giving a consecutive history of the world from that time to the end. It located the most of its predictions within well-defined prophetic periods, though reaching many centuries into the future. It gave the first definite chronological prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. It marked the time of this event so definitely that the Jews forbid any attempt to interpret its numbers, since that prophecy shows them to be without excuse in rejecting Christ; and so accurately had its minute and literal predictions been fulfilled down to the time of Porphyry, A.D. 250, that he declared (the only loophole he could devise for his hard-pressed skepticism) that the predictions were not written in the age of Babylon, but after the events themselves had occurred. This evasion, however, is not now available; for every succeeding century has borne additional evidence to the truthfulness of the prophecy, and we are just now, in our own day, approaching the climax of its fulfillment.

The personal history of Daniel reaches to a date a few years subsequent to the subversion of the Babylonian kingdom by the Medes and Persians. He is supposed to have died at Shushan, or Susa, in Persia, about the 530 B.C., aged nearly ninety-four years; his age being the probable reason why he did not return to Judea with other Hebrew captives, under the proclamation of Cyrus (Ezra 1: 1), 536 B.C., which marked the close of the seventy years’ captivity.

Chapter 1

A Captive in Babylon's Royal Court


Verse 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

With a directness characteristic of the sacred writers, Daniel enters at once upon his subject. He begins his book in a simple historical style. The first six chapters, with the exception of the prophecy of chapter 2, are narrative in content. With chapter 7 we reach the prophetical part of the book.

Siege of Jerusalem.--Like one conscious of uttering only well-known truth, he proceeds at once to state a variety of particulars by which his accuracy could be tested. The overthrow of Jerusalem recorded here was predicted by Jeremiah, and was accomplished in 606 B.C.[*] (Jeremiah 25: 8-11.) Jeremiah places this captivity in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Daniel in the third. This seemingly discrepancy is explained by the fact that Nebuchadnezzar set out on his expedition near the close of the third year of Jehoiakim, from which point Daniel reckons. But the king did not accomplish the subjugation of Jerusalem until about the ninth month of the year following, from which year Jeremiah reckons. Jehoiakim, though bound for the purpose of being taken to Babylon, humbled himself and was permitted to remain as ruler in Jerusalem, tributary to the king of Babylon.

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This was the first time Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar. Twice subsequently the city revolted, but was recaptured by the same king, and more severely dealt with each succeeding time. The second overthrow was during the time of Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, when all the sacred vessels were either taken or destroyed, and the best of the inhabitants of were led with the king into captivity. The third was under Zedekiah, when the city endured a formidable siege. During its continuance for a year and a half, the inhabitants of the city suffered all the horrors of extreme famine. At length the garrison and the king attempted to escape from the city, but they were captured by the Chaldeans. The sons of the king were slain before his face. His eyes were put out, and he was taken to Babylon. Thus was fulfilled the prediction of Ezekiel that he should be carried to Babylon, and die there, yet he should not see the place. (Ezekiel 12: 13.) The city and temple were at this time utterly destroyed, and the entire population of the country, with the exception of a few husbandmen, were carried captive to Babylon, in 586 B.C.

Such was God's passing testimony against sin--not that the Chaldeans were the favorites of Heaven, but that God made use of them to punish the iniquities of His people. Had the Israelites been faithful to God, and kept His Sabbath, Jerusalem would have stood forever. (Jeremiah 17: 24-27.) But they departed from Him, and He abandoned them. They profaned the sacred vessels by bringing idols into the temple; therefore God allowed these vessels to be further profaned by letting them go as trophies to heathen shrines abroad.

Hebrew Captives in Babylon.--During these days of trouble and distress upon Jerusalem, Daniel and his companions were nourished and instructed in the palace of the king of Babylon. Though captives in a strange land, they were doubtless in some respects much more favorably situated than they could have been in their native country.

Verse 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; 4 children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

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Here is recorded the probable fulfillment of the judgments predicted by the prophet Isaiah to King Hezekiah more than a hundred years before. When this king had vaingloriously shown to the messengers of the king of Babylon all the treasures and holy things of his palace and kingdom, Hezekiah was told that all these good things would be carried as trophies to the city of Babylon, and that even his own children, his descendants would be taken away and be eunuchs in the palace of the king there. (2 Kings 20: 14-18.)

The word "children" as applied to these captives is not to be confined to the sense to which it is limited at the present time. It included youth also. We learn from the record that these children were already "skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and . . . had ability in them to stand in the king's palace." In other words, they had acquired a good degree of education, and their physical and mental powers were so far developed that a skillful reader of human nature could form an accurate estimate of their capabilities. They are supposed to have been about eighteen or twenty years of age.

In the treatment which these Hebrew captives received, we see an instance of the wise policy and the liberality of the rising king, Nebuchadnezzar. Instead of choosing means for the gratification of low and base desires, as too many kings of later times have done, he chose young men to be educated in all matters pertaining to the kingdom, that he might have efficient help in administering its affairs. He appointed them daily provision of his own food and drink. Instead of the coarse fare which some would have thought good enough for captives, he offered them his own royal viands. For the space of three years

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they had all the advantages the kingdom afforded. Though captives, they were royal children, and were treated as such by the humane king of the Chaldeans.

Verse 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

Daniel and His Companions Renamed.--This change of names was probably made on account of the signification of the words. In the Hebrew, Daniel signified, "judge for God;" Hananiah, "gift of the Lord;" Mishael, "who is what God is;" and Azariah, "whom Jehovah helps." Since these names had some reference to the true God and signified some connection with His worship, they were changed to names which had definitions linking them to the heathen divinities and worship of the Chaldeans. Thus Belteshazzar, the name given to Daniel, signified "prince of Bel;" Shadrach, "servant of Sin" (the moon god); Meshach, "who is what Aku is" (Aku being the Sumerian equivalent of Sin, the name of the moon god); and Abednego, "servant of Nebo."

Verse 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? Then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

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In this record Nebuchadnezzar appears wonderfully free from bigotry. It seems that he took no means to compel his royal captives to change their religion. Provided they had some religion, he seemed to be satisfied, whether it was the religion he professed or not. Although their names had been changed to signify some connection with heathen worship, this may have been more to avoid the use of Jewish names by the Chaldeans than to indicate any change of sentiment or practice on the part of those to whom these names were given.

Daniel's Diet.--Daniel purposed not to defile himself with the king's food or with his wine. Daniel had other reasons for this course than simply the effect of such a diet upon his physical system, though he would derive great advantage in this respect from the fare he proposed to adopt. It was frequently the case that food used by the kings and princes of heathen nations, who were often the high priests of their religion, was first offered in sacrifice to idols, and the wine they used, poured out as a libation before their gods. Again, some of the flesh food used by the Chaldeans was pronounced unclean by the Jewish law. On either of these grounds Daniel could not, consistently with his religion, partake of these articles. Hence he respectfully requested the proper officer that from conscientious scruples he might not be obliged to defile himself.

The prince of the eunuchs feared to grant Daniel's request, since the king himself had appointed the food for Daniel and his companions. This shows the great personal interest the king took in these captives. It appears that his sincere object was to secure in them the best mental and physical development that could be attained. How different is this from the bigotry and tyranny which usually hold supreme control over the hearts of those who are clothed with absolute power. In the character of Nebuchadnezzar we shall find many things worthy of our highest admiration.

It is interesting to note what was included in Daniel's request for his diet. The Hebrew word zeroim, here

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translated "pulse," is built on the same root as the word "seed" in the record of creation, where it mentions "every herb seeding seed," and again, the "fruit of a tree seeding seed." Genesis 1: 29. This makes it clear enough that Daniel's request included grains legumes, and fruits. Then, too, if we understand Genesis 9: 3 correctly, the "green herb" itself must have been included in the diet requests. In other words, the menu for which Daniel asked and which he received was made up of cereals, legumes, fruits, nuts, and vegetables--a vegetarian diet of good variety, together with the universal drink for man and beast, clear water.

The Cambridge Bible, has this note on zeroim: "vegetable food in general; there is no reason for restricting the Hebrew word used to leguminous fruits, such as beans and peas, which is what the term 'pulse' properly denotes."

Gesenius gives this definition: "Seed-herbs, greens, vegetables, i.e., vegetable food, such as was eaten in a half fast, opposed to meats and the more delicate kinds of food."

A ten days' trial of this diet resulting favorably, Daniel and his companions were permitted to continue it during the whole course of their training for the duties of the palace.

Verse 17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.

After Three Years' Study.--To Daniel alone seems to have been committed an understanding in visions and dreams. But the Lord's dealing with Daniel in this respect does not prove his companions any less accepted in His sight. By their preservation in the midst of the fiery furnace they had equally good evidence of the divine favor. Daniel probably had some

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natural qualifications that peculiarly fitted him for this special work.

The same personal interest in these individuals heretofore manifested by the king, he still continued to maintain. At the end of the three years, he called them to a personal interview. He must know for himself how they had fared, and to what proficiency they had attained. This interview also shows the king to have been a man well versed in all the arts and sciences of the Chaldeans, else he would not have been qualified to examine others in them. Recognizing merit where he saw it without respect to religion or nationality, he acknowledged them to ten times superior to any in his own land.

It is added that Daniel "continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus."


  • [*] The date 606 B.C. is widely supported by Ussher, Hales', and other chronologists, but more recent research by archaeologists favors the date 605. This apparently more accurate date, however, in no way affects the calculation of prophetic periods presented by the author, for it should be remembered that the Jews and other ancients counted both the first and last years of a period. --Editors.
Chapter 2

The King Dreams of World Empires

Verse 1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

Daniel was carried into captivity in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar. For three years he was placed under instructors, during which time he would not of course be reckoned among the wise men of the kingdom, nor take part in public affairs. Yet in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar, the transactions recorded in this chapter took place. How, then, could Daniel be brought in to interpret the king's dream in his second year? The explanation lies in the fact that Nebuchadnezzar reigned for two years conjointly with his father, Nabopolassar. From this point the Jews reckoned, while the Chaldeans reckoned from the time he began to reign alone on the death of his father. Hence, the year here mentioned was the second year of his reign according to the Chaldean reckoning, but the fourth according to the Jewish. [1] It thus appears that the next year after Daniel had completed his preparation to participate in the affairs of the Chaldean empire, the providence of God brought him into sudden and remarkable prominence throughout the kingdom.

Verse 2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

The King's Wise Men Fail Him.--The magicians practiced magic, using the term in its bad sense; that is, they employed all the superstitious rites and ceremonies of fortunetellers, and

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casters of nativities, and the like. Astrologers were men who pretended to foretell events by the study of the stars. The science, or the superstition, of astrology was extensively cultivated by the Eastern nations of antiquity. Sorcerers were such as pretended to hold communication with the dead. In this sense, we believe, the word "sorcerer" is always used in the Scriptures. The Chaldeans here mentioned were a sect of philosophers similar to the magicians and astrologers, who made natural science and divinations their study. All these sects or professions abounded in Babylon. The result desired by each was the same--the explaining of mysteries and foretelling of events--the principal difference between them being the means by which they sought to accomplish their object. The king's difficulty lay equally within the province of each to explain; hence he summoned them all. With the king it was an important matter. He was greatly troubled, and therefore concentrated upon the solution of his perplexity the wisdom of his realm.

Verse 3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. 4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac, O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

In whatever else the ancient magicians and astrologers may have been efficient, they seem to have been thoroughly schooled in the art of drawing out sufficient information to form a basis for some shrewd calculation, or of framing their answers in such an ambiguous manner that they would be applicable whichever way the events turned. In the present case, true to their cunning instincts, they called upon the king to make known to them his dream. If they could get full information respecting this, they could easily agree on some interpretation which would not endanger their reputation. They addressed themselves to the king in Syriac, a dialect of the Chaldean language which was used by the educated and cultured classes. From this point to the end of Daniel 7, the record continues in Chaldaic, the language spoken by the king.

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Verse 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. 6 But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. 7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it. 8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. 9 But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof. 10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. 12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

These verses contain the record of the desperate struggle between the wise men and the king. The former sought some avenue of escape, since they were caught on their own ground. The king was determined that they should make known his dream, which was no more than should be expected from their profession.

Some have severely censured Nebuchadnezzar in this matter, as acting the part of a heartless, unreasonable tyrant. But what did these magicians profess to be able to do?--To reveal hidden things, to foretell events, to make known mysteries entirely beyond human foresight and penetration, and to do this by the aid of supernatural agencies. There was therefore nothing unjust in Nebuchadnezzar's demand that they should make known his dream. When they declared that none but the gods whose dwelling was not with flesh could make known the king's matter, it was a tacit acknowledgment that they had no communication with these gods, and knew nothing beyond what human wisdom and discernment could reveal. "For this cause the king was angry and very furious."

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He saw that he and all his people were being made the victims of deception. While we cannot justify the extreme measures to which he resorted, dooming them to death, and their houses to destruction, we cannot but feel a hearty sympathy with him in his condemnation of a class of miserable imposters. The king would be no party to dishonesty or deception.

Verse 14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. 16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: 18 that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel to the Rescue.--In this narrative we see the providence of God working in several remarkable particulars. It was providential that the dream of the king should leave such a powerful impression upon his mind as to raise him to the greatest height of anxiety, and yet the thing itself be held from his recollection. This led to the complete exposure of the false system of the magicians and other pagan teachers. When put to the test to make known the dream, they were unable to do what they professed was entirely within their power.

It was remarkable that Daniel and his companions, so lately pronounced by the king ten times better than all his magicians and astrologers, should not have been consulted in this matter. But there was a providence in this. Just as the dream was held from the king, so he was unaccountably restrained from appealing to Daniel for a solution of the mystery. Had he called Daniel at the first to make known the matter, the magicians would not have been brought to the test. But God would give the heathen systems of the Chaldeans the first chance. He would let them try and ignominiously fail, and then confess their utter incompetency, ever under the penalty of death, that they might be the better pre-

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pared to acknowledge His intervention when He should finally manifest His power in behalf of His captive servants, and for the honor of His name.

It appears that the first intimation Daniel had of the matter was the presence of the executioners, come for his arrest. His own life being thus at stake, he was led to seek the Lord with all his heart until He should work for the deliverance of His servants. Daniel gained his request of the king for time to consider the matter--a privilege which probably none of the magicians could have obtained, as the king had already accused them of preparing false and corrupt words, and of seeking to gain time for this very purpose. Daniel at once went to his three companions, and asked them to unite with him in desiring mercy of the God of heaven concerning this secret. He could have prayed alone, and doubtless would have been heard. But then, as now, in the union of God's people there is prevailing power. The promise of the accomplishment of that which is asked, is to the two or three who shall agree concerning it. (Matthew 18: 19, 20.)

Verse 19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: 21 And He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him. 23 I thank Thee, and praise Thee, O Thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of Thee: for Thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.

Whether or not the answer came while Daniel and his companions were yet offering up their petitions, we are not informed. It was in a night vision that God revealed Himself in their behalf. The words "night vision" mean anything that is seen, whether through dreams or visions.

Daniel immediately offered up praise to God for His gracious dealing with them, and while his prayer is not preserved, his responsive thanksgiving is fully recorded. God is

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honored by our praise to Him for the things He has done for us, as well as by our petitions to Him for help. Let Daniel's course be our example in this respect. Let no mercy from the hand of God fail of its due return of thanksgiving and praise. In the days of Christ's ministry on earth, did He not cleanse ten lepers, and only one returned to give Him thanks? "But where," asks Christ sorrowfully, "are the nine?" Luke 17: 17.

Daniel had the utmost confidence in what had been shown him. He did not first go to the king to see if what had been revealed to him was indeed the king's dream, but he immediately praised God for having answered his prayer.

Although the matter was revealed to Daniel, he did not take honor to himself as though it were by his prayers alone that the answer had been obtained; but he immediately associated his companions with him, and acknowledged it to be as much an answer to their prayers as it was to his own. It was, said he, "what we desired of Thee," and Thou hast made it "known unto us."

Verse 24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.

Daniel's first plea was for the wise men of Babylon. Destroy them not, for the king's secret is revealed, he implored. True, it was through no merit of theirs or their heathen systems of divination that this revelation was made. They were worthy of as much condemnation as before. But their own confession of utter impotence in the matter was humiliation enough for them, and Daniel was anxious that they should so far partake of the benefits shown him as to have their lives spared. They were saved because there was a man of God among them. Thus it ever is. For the sake of Paul and Silas, all the prisoners with them were loosed. (Acts 16: 26.) For the sake of Paul, the lives of all that sailed with him were saved. (Acts 27: 24.) How often the wicked are benefited by the presence of the righteous! Well would be if they would

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remember the obligations under which they are thus placed.

What saves the world today? For whose sake is it still spared?--For the sake of the few righteous persons who are yet left. Remove these, and how long would the wicked be suffered to run their guilty career?--No longer than the antediluvians were suffered after Noah had entered the ark, or the Sodomites after Lot had departed from their polluted and polluting presence. If only ten righteous persons could have been found in Sodom, the multitude of its wicked inhabitants would for their sakes have been spared. Yet the wicked will despise, ridicule, and oppress the very ones on whose account it is that they are still permitted the enjoyment of life and all its blessings.

Verse 25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

It is ever a characteristic of ministers and courtiers to ingratiate themselves with their sovereign. So here Arioch represented that he had found a man who could make known the desired interpretation, as if with great disinterestedness in behalf of the king he had been searching for someone to solve his difficulty, and had at last found him. In order to see through this deception of his chief executioner, the king had but to remember, as he probably did, his interview with Daniel, and Daniel's promise, if time could be granted, to show the interpretation of the dream. (Verse 16.)

Verse 26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? 27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; 28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.

"Art thou able to make known unto me the dream?" was the king's salutation to Daniel as he came into the royal presence. Notwithstanding his previous acquaintance with

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this Hebrew, the king seemed to question the ability of one so young and inexperienced, to make known a matter in which aged and venerable magicians and soothsayers had utterly failed. Daniel declared plainly that the wise men, the astrologers, the soothsayers, and the magicians could not make known this secret. It was beyond their power. Therefore the king should not be angry with them, nor put confidence in their vain superstitions. The prophet proceeded to make known the true God, who rules in heaven, and is the only revealer of secrets. He it is, said Daniel, who "maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days."

Verse 29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and He that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. 30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

Here is brought out another of the commendable traits of Nebuchadnezzar's character. Unlike some rulers, who fill up the present with folly and debauchery without regard to the future, the king thought forward upon the days to come, with an anxious desire to know with what events they should be filled. It was partly for this reason that God gave him this dream, which we must regard as a token of divine favor to the king. Yet God would not work for the king independently of His own people. Though He gave the dream to the king, He sent the interpretation through one of His acknowledged servants.

Daniel first disclaimed all credit for the interpretation, and then he sought to modify the king's natural feelings of pride in being thus noticed by the God of heaven. He informed him that although the dream had been given to him, it was not for his sake alone that the interpretation was sent, but also for their sakes through whom it should be given. Ah! God had some servants there, and it was for them that He was working. They were of more value in His sight than the mightiest kings and potentates of earth.

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How comprehensive was the work of God in this instance! By this one act of revealing the king's dream to Daniel, He made known to the king the things he desired, He saved His servants who trusted in Him, He brought conspicuously before the Chaldean nation the knowledge of Him who know the end from the beginning, He poured contempt on the false systems of the soothsayers and magicians, and He honored His own name and exalted His servants in their eyes.

Daniel Relates the Dream.--After making it clear to the king that the purpose of the "God in heaven" in giving him the dream, was to reveal "what shall be in the latter days," Daniel related the dream itself.

Verse 31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Nebuchadnezzar, a worshiper of the gods of the Chaldean religion, was an idolater. An image was an object which would at once command his attention and respect. Moreover, earthly kingdoms, which, as we shall hereafter see, were represented by this image, were objects of esteem and value in his eyes.

But how admirably adapted was this representation to convey a great and needful truth to the mind of Nebuchadnezzar. Besides delineating the progress of events through the whole course of time for the benefit of His people, God would show Nebuchadnezzar the utter emptiness and worthlessness of earthly pomp and glory. how could this be more impressively done than by an image whose head was of gold? Below this head was body composed of inferior metals descending

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in value until they reached their basest form in the feet and toes of iron mingled with miry clay. The whole was then dashed to pieces, and made like the empty chaff. It was finally blown away where no place could be found for it, after which something durable and of heavenly worth occupied its place. So would God show to the children of men that earthly kingdoms are to pass away, and earthly greatness and glory, like a gaudy bubble, will break and vanish. In the place so long usurped by these, the kingdom of God shall be set up and have no end, while all who have an interest in that kingdom shall rest under the shadow of its peaceful wings forever and ever. But this is anticipating.

Verse 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

Daniel Interprets the Dream.--Now opens one of the most comprehensive of the histories of world empire. Eight short verses of the inspired record tell the whole story, yet that story embraces the history of this world's pomp and power. A few moments will suffice to commit it to memory, yet the period which it covers, beginning more than twenty-five centuries ago, reaches from that far-distant point past the rise and fall of kingdoms, past the setting up and overthrow of empires, past cycles and ages, past our own day, to the eternal state. It is so comprehensive that it embraces all this, yet it is so minute that it gives us the great outlines of earthly kingdoms from that time to this. Human wisdom never devised so brief a record that embraced so much. Human language never set forth in so few words such a great volume of historical truth. The finger of God is here. Let us heed the lesson well. With what interest and astonishment must the king have listened as he was informed by the prophet that his kingdom was the golden head of the magnificent image. Daniel in-

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formed the king that the God of heavens had given him his kingdom, and made him ruler over all. This would restrain him from the pride of thinking that he had attained his position by his own power and wisdom, and would enlist the gratitude of his heart toward the true God.

The kingdom of Babylon, which finally developed into the nation represented by the golden head of the great historic image, was founded by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah, more than two thousand years before Christ. "Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel ["Babylon," margin], and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." Genesis 10: 8-10. It appears that Nimrod also founded the city of Nineveh, which afterward became the capital of Assyria. (See marginal reading of Genesis 10: 11.)

Fulfillment of the Dream.--The Babylonian Empire rose to power under the general who also became king, Nabopolassar. When he died in 604 B.C. his son Nebuchadnezzar became king. As R. Campbell Thompson declares: "Events had already shown that Nebuchadnezzar was a vigorous and brilliant commander, and physically as well as mentally a strong man, fully worthy of succeeding his father. He was to become the greatest man of his time in the Near East, as a soldier, a statesman, and an architect. Had his successors been of such a stamp instead of callow boys or dilettanti without redeeming vigor, the Persians would have found Babylonia a harder problem. 'All the nations,' says Jeremiah (Jeremiah 27: 7, R. V.), 'shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the time of his own land come.' " [2]

Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar in the first year of his reign, and the third year of Judah (Daniel 1: 1). 606 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar reigned two years

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conjointly with his father, Nabopolassar. From this point the Jews computed his reign, but the Chaldeans from the date of his sole reign, 604 B.C., as stated above. Respecting the successors of Nebuchadnezzar, the authority just quoted adds:

"Nebuchadnezzar died about August-September, 562 B.C., and was succeeded by his son Amel-Marduk (562-560 B.C.), whom Jeremiah calls Evil-Merodach. He was given little time to prove his worth; the two years of his brief reign are merely enough to show that political conditions were again hostile to the royal house." [3]

The later Babylonian rulers, weak in power, could not equal the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Cyrus, king of Persia, besieged Babylon, and took it by stratagem.

The character of the Babylonian Empire is indicated by the head of gold. It was the golden kingdom of a golden age. Babylon, its metropolis, towered to a height never reached by any of its successors. Situated in the garden of the East; laid out in a perfect square said to be sixty miles in circumference, fifteen miles on each side; surrounded by a wall estimated to have been two hundred to three hundred feet high and eighty-seven feet thick, with a moat, or ditch, around this, or equal cubic capacity with the wall itself; divided into squares by its many streets, each one hundred and fifty feet in width, crossing at right angles, every one of them straight and level; its two hundred and twenty-five square miles of enclosed surface laid out in in luxuriant pleasure grounds and gardens, interspersed with magnificent dwellings--this city, with its sixty miles of moat, its sixty miles of outer wall, its thirty miles of river wall through its center, its gates of solid brass, its hanging gardens rising terrace above terrace till they equaled in height the walls themselves, its temple of Belus three miles in circumference, its two royal palaces, one three and a half and the other eight miles in circumference, with its subterranean tunnel under the River Euphrates connecting these two

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palaces, its perfect arrangements for convenience, ornament, and defense, and its unlimited resources--this city, containing it itself many things which were themselves wonders of the world, was itself another and still mightier wonder. There, with the whole earth prostate at her feet, a queen in peerless grandeur, drawing from the pen of inspiration itself this glowing title, "The glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency," stood this city, fit capital of that kingdom which was represented by the golden head of this great historic image.

Such was Babylon, with Nebuchadnezzar in the prime of live, bold, vigorous, and accomplished, seated upon its throne, when Daniel entered within its walls to serve as a captive in its gorgeous palaces for seventy years. There the children of the Lord, oppressed more than cheered by the glory and prosperity of the land of their captivity, hung their harps on the willows by the Euphrates, and wept when they remembered Zion.

There began the captive state of the church in a still broader sense; for ever since that time the people of God have been in subjection to earthly powers, and more or less oppressed by them. So they will be until all earthly powers shall finally yield to Him whose right it is to reign. And lo, that day of deliverance draws on apace!

Into another city, not only Daniel, but all the children of God, from least to greatest, from lowest to highest, are soon to enter. It is a city not merely sixty miles in circumference, but fifteen hundred miles; a city whose walls are not brick and bitumen, but precious stones and jasper; whose streets are not the stone-paved streets of Babylon, smooth and beautiful as they were, but transparent gold; whose river is not the Euphrates, but the river of life; whose music is not the sighs and laments of broken-hearted captives, but the thrilling paeans of victory over death and the grave, which ransomed multitudes shall raise; whose light is not the intermittent light of earth, but the unceasing and ineffable glory of God and the

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Lamb. To this city they shall come, not as captives entering a foreign land, but as exiles returning to their father's house; not as to a place where such chilling words as "bondage," "servitude," and "oppression," shall weigh down their spirits, but to one where the sweet words, "home," "freedom," "peace," "purity," "unutterable bliss," and "unending life," shall thrill their souls with delight forever and ever. Yea, our mouths shall be filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing, when the Lord shall turn again the captivity of Zion. (Psalm 126: 1, 2; Revelation 21: 1-27.)

Verse 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

Nebuchadnezzar reigned forty-three years, and was succeeded by the following rulers: His son, Evil-Merodach, two years; Neriglissar, his son-in-law, four years; Laborosoarchod, Neriglissar's son, nine months, which, being less than on year, is not counted in the canon of Ptolemy; and lastly, Nabondius, whose son, Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, was associated with him on the throne.

"The proof of this association is contained in the cylinders of Nabonadius [Nabonidus] found at Mugheir, where the protection of the gods is asked for Nabu-nadid and his son Bel-shar-uzur, who are coupled together in a way that implies the cosovereignty of the latter. (British Museum Series, Vol. I. pl. 68, no. 1.) The date of the association was at the latest 540 B.C., Nabonadiu's fifteenth year, since the third year of Belshazzar is mentioned in Daniel 8: 1. If Belshazzar was (as I have supposed) a son of a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar married to Nabonadius after he became king, he could not be more than fourteen in his father's fifteenth year." [4]

The Fall of Babylon.--In the first year of Neriglissar, only two years after death of Nebuchadnezzar, broke out that fatal war between the Babylonians and the Medes, which re-

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sulted in the overthrow of the Babylonian kingdom. Cyaxares, king of the Medes, who is called "Darius" in Daniel 5: 31, summoned to his aid his nephew Cyrus of the Persian line. The war was prosecuted with uninterrupted success by the Medes and Persians, until in the eighteenth year of Nabonidus (the third year of his son Belshazzar), Cyrus laid siege to Babylon, the only city in all the East which then held out against him. The Babylonians gathered within their seemingly impregnable walls, with provision on hand for twenty years, and land within the limits of their broad city sufficient to furnish food for the inhabitants and garrison for an indefinite period. They scoffed at Cyrus from their lofty walls, and derided his seemingly useless efforts to bring them into subjection. According to all human calculation, they had good ground for their feelings of security. Never, weighed in the balance of earthly probability, could that city be taken with the means of warfare then known. Hence they breathed as freely and slept as soundly as though no foe were waiting and watching around their beleaguered walls. But God had decreed that the proud and wicked city should come down from her throne of glory. And when He speaks, what mortal arm can defeat His word?

In their feeling of security lay the source of their danger. Cyrus resolved to accomplish by stratagem what he could not effect by force. Learning of the approach of an annual festival in which the whole city would be given up to mirth and revelry, he fixed upon that day as the time to carry his purpose into execution.

There was no entrance for him into that city unless he could find it where the River Euphrates entered and emerged, as it passed under the walls. He resolved to make the channel of the river his highway into the stronghold of his enemy. To do this, the water must be turned aside from its channel through the city. For this purpose, on the evening of the feast day above referred to, he detailed on body of soldiers to turn the river at a given hour into a large artificial lake a short

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distance above the city; another to take their station at the point where the river entered the city; and a third to take a position fifteen miles below, where the river emerged from the city. The two latter bodies were instructed to enter the channel as soon as they found the river fordable, and in the darkness of the night explore their way beneath the walls, and press on to the palace of the king where they were to surprise and kill the guards, and capture or slay the king. When the water was turned into the lake, the river soon became shallow enough to ford, and the soldiers followed its channel into the heart of the city of Babylon. [5]

But all this would have been in vain, had not the whole city given itself over on that eventful night to the most abandoned carelessness and presumption, a state of things upon which Cyrus calculated largely for the carrying out of his purpose. On each side of the river through the entire length of the city were walls of great height, and of equal thickness with the outer walls. In these walls were huge gates of brass, which, when closed and guarded, debarred all entrance from the river bed to any of the streets that crossed the river. Had the gates been closed at this time, the soldiers of Cyrus might have marched into the city along the river bed, and then marched out again, for all that they would have been able to accomplish toward the subjugation of the place.

But in the drunken revelry of that fatal night, these river gates were left open, as had been foretold by the prophet Isaiah years before in these words: "Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut." Isaiah 45: 1. The entrance of the Persian soldiers was not perceived. Many a cheek would have paled with terror, had the sudden going down of the river been noticed, and its

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fearful import understood. Many a tongue would have spread wild alarm through the city, had the dark forms of armed foes been seen stealthily treading their way to the citadel of their supposed security. But no one noticed the sudden subsidence of the waters of the river; no one saw the entrance of the Persian warriors; no one cared for aught but to see how deeply and recklessly he could plunge into the wild debauch. That night's dissipation cost the Babylonians their kingdom and their freedom. They went into their brutish revelry subjects of the king of Babylon; they awoke from it slaves to the king of Persia.

The soldiers of Cyrus first made known their presence in the city by falling upon the royal guards in the vestibule of the palace of the king. Belshazzar soon became aware of the cause of the disturbance, and died fighting for his life. This feast of Belshazzar is described in the fifth chapter of Daniel, and the scene closes with the simple record, "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old."

The historian Prideaux says: "Darius the Mede, that is Cyaxares, the uncle of Cyrus, took the kingdom; for Cyrus allowed him the title of all his conquests as long as he lived." [6]

Thus the first empire, symbolized by the head of gold of the great image, came to an ignoble end. It would naturally be supposed that the conqueror, becoming possessed of so noble a city as Babylon, far surpassing anything else in the world, would have taken it as the seat of his empire, and maintained it in its splendor. But God had said that that city should become a heap, and the habitation of the beasts of the desert; that its houses should be full of doleful creatures; that the wild beasts of the islands should cry in its desolate dwellings, and dragons in its pleasant palaces. (Isaiah 13: 19-22.) It must

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first be deserted. Cyrus established a second capital at Susa, a celebrated city in the province of Elam, east from Babylon, on the banks of the River Choaspes, a branch of the Tigris. This was probably done in the first year of his sole reign.

The pride of the Babylonians being particularly provoked by this act, in the fifth year of Darius Hystaspes, 517 B.C., they rose in rebellion and brought upon themselves again the whole strength of the Persian Empire. The city was once more taken by stratagem. Darius took away the brazen gates of the city, and beat down the walls from two hundred cubits to fifty cubits. This was the beginning of its destruction. By this act, it was left exposed to the ravages of every hostile band. Xerxes, on his return from Greece, plundered the temple of Belus of its immense wealth, and then laid the lofty structure in ruins. Alexander the Great endeavored to rebuild it, but after employing ten thousand men two months to clear away the rubbish, he died from excessive drunkenness and debauchery, and the work was suspended. In the year 294 B.C., Seleucus Nicator built the city of New Babylon in the neighborhood of the old city, and took much of the material and many of the inhabitants of the old city, to build up and people the new. Now almost exhausted of inhabitants, neglect and decay were telling fearfully upon the ancient capital. The violence of Parthian princes hastened its ruin. About the end of the fourth century, it was used by the Persian kings as an enclosure for wild beasts. At the end of the twelfth century, according to a celebrated traveler, the few remaining ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's palace were so full of serpents and venomous reptiles that they could not be closely inspected without great danger. And today scarcely enough even of the ruins is left to mark the spot where once stood the largest, richest, and proudest city of the ancient world.

Thus the ruin of great Babylon shows us how accurately God fulfills His word, and makes the doubts of skepticism appear like willful blindness.

"After thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee."

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The use of the word "kingdom" here, shows that kingdoms, and not particular kings, are represented by the different parts of this image. Hence when it was said to Nebuchadnezzar, "Thou art this head of gold," although the personal pronoun was used, the kingdom not the king himself was meant.

Medo-Persian Kingdom.--The succeeding kingdom, Medo-Persia, answered to the breast and arms of silver of the great image. It was to be inferior to the preceding kingdom. In what respect inferior? Not in power, for it conquered Babylon. Not in extent, for Cyrus subdued all the East from the AEgean Sea to the River Indus, and thus erected a more extensive empire. But it was inferior in wealth, luxury, and magnificence.

Viewed from a Scriptural standpoint, the principal event under the Babylonian Empire was the captivity of the children of Israel; under the Medo-Persian kingdom it was the restoration of Israel to their own land. At the taking of Babylon Cyrus, as an act of courtesy assigned the first place in the kingdom to his uncle, Darius, in 538 B.C. But two years afterward Darius died, leaving Cyrus sole monarch of the empire. In this year, which closed Israel's seventy years of captivity, Cyrus issued his famous decree for the return of the Jews and the rebuilding of their temple. This was the first installment of the great decree for the restoration and building again of Jerusalem (Ezra 6: 14), which was completed in the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes, 457 B.C., a date of much importance, as will hereafter be shown.

After a reign of seven years, Cyrus left the kingdom to his son Cambyses, who reigned seven years and five months, to 522 B.C. Eight monarchs reigned between this time and the year 336 B.C. The year 335 B.C. is set down as the first of Darius Codomannus, the last of the line of the old Persian kings. This man, according to Prideaux, was of noble stature, of goodly person, of the greatest personal valor, and of a mild and generous disposition. It was his ill fortune to have to con-

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tend with one who was an agent in the fulfillment of prophecy, and no qualifications, natural or acquired, could make him successful in the unequal contest. Scarcely was he warm upon the throne, ere he found his formidable enemy, Alexander, at the head of the Greek soldiers, preparing to dismount him from it.

The cause and the particulars of the contest between the Greeks and the Persians we leave to histories especially devoted to such matters. Suffice it to say that the deciding point was reached on the field of Arbela in 331 B.C., where the Grecians, though only one to twenty in number as compared with the Persians, won a decisive victory. Alexander became absolute lord of the Persian Empire to an extent never attained by any of its own kings.

Grecian Empire.--"Another third kingdom of brass . . . shall bear rule over all the earth," the prophet had said. Few and brief are the inspired words which involved in their fulfillment a succession in world rulership. In the ever-changing political kaleidoscope, Grecia came into the field of vision, to be for a time the all-absorbing object of attention, as the third of what are called the universal empires of the earth.

After the battle which decided the fate of the empire, Darius endeavored to rally the shattered remnants of his army, and make a stand for his kingdom and his rights. But he could not gather out of all the host of his recently so numerous and well-appointed army a force with which he deemed it prudent to hazard another engagement with the victorious Grecians. Alexander pursued him on the wings of the wind. Time after time Darius barely eluded the grasp of his swiftly following foe. At length three traitors, Bessus, Nabarzanes, and Barsaentes, seized the unfortunate prince, shut him up in a close cart, and fled with him as their prisoner toward Bactria. It was their purpose, if Alexander pursued them, to purchase their own safety by delivering up their king. Hereupon Alexander, learning of the dangerous position of Darius in the hands of the traitors, immediately put himself with the lightest part of

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his army upon a forced pursuit. After several days hard march, he came up with the traitors. They urged Darius to mount on horseback for a more speedy flight. Upon his refusing to do this, they gave him several mortal wounds, and left him dying in the cart, while they mounted their steeds and rode away.

When Alexander arrived, he beheld only the lifeless form of the Persian king, who but a few months before was seated upon the throne of the universal empire. Disaster, overthrow, and desertion had come suddenly upon Darius. His kingdom had been conquered, his treasure seized, and his family reduced to captivity. Now, brutally slain by the hand of traitors, he lay a bloody corpse in a rude cart. The sight of the melancholy spectacle drew tears from the eyes of even Alexander, familiar though he was with all the horrible vicissitudes and bloody scenes of war. Throwing his cloak over the body, he commanded that it be conveyed to the ladies of the Persian royal family who were captives at Susa, and furnished from his own treasury the necessary means for a royal funeral.

When Darius died, Alexander saw the field cleared of his last formidable foe. Thenceforward he could spend his time in his own manner, now in the enjoyment of rest and pleasure, and again in the prosecution of some minor conquest. He entered upon a pompous campaign into India, because, according to Grecian fable, Bacchus and Hercules, two sons of Jupiter, whose son he also claimed to be, had done the same. With contemptible arrogance, he claimed for himself divine honors. He gave up conquered cities, freely and unprovoked, to the mercy of his bloodthirsty and licentious soldiery. He often murdered his friends and favorites in his drunken frenzies. He encouraged such excessive drinking among his followers that on one occasion twenty of them died as the result of their carousal. At length, having sat through one long drinking spree, he was immediately invited to another, when, after drinking to each of the twenty guests present, he twice drank, says history, incredible as it may seem, the full

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Herculean cup containing six of our quarts. He was seized with a violent fever, of which he died eleven days later, Jun 13, 323 B.C., while yet he stood only at the threshold of mature life, in the thirty-second year of his age.

Verse 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Iron Monarchy of Rome.--Thus far in the application of this prophecy there is a general agreement among expositors. That Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece are represented respectively by the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, and the sides of brass, is acknowledged by all. But with as little ground for a diversity of views, there is strangely a difference of opinion as to what kingdom is symbolized by the fourth division of the great image--the legs of iron. What kingdom succeeded Greece in the empire of the world, for the legs of iron denote the fourth kingdom in the series? The testimony of history is full and explicit on this point. One kingdom did this, and one only, and that was Rome. It conquered Grecia; it subdued all things; like iron, it broke in pieces and bruised.

Says Bishop Newton: "The four different metals must signify four different nations: and as the gold signified the Babylonians, and the silver the Persians, and the brass the Macedonians; so the iron cannot signify the Macedonians again, but must necessarily denote some other nation: and we will venture to say that there is not a nation upon earth, to which this description is applicable, but the Romans." [7]

Gibbon, following the symbolic imagery of Daniel, thus describes this empire:

"The arms of the Republic, sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious in war, advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, and the ocean; and the images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent

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the nations and their kings, were successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome." [8]

At the opening of the Christian Era, this empire took in the whole south of Europe, France, England, the greater part of the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the south of Germany, Hungary, Turkey, and Greece, not to speak of its possessions in Asia and Africa. Well therefore may Gibbon say of it:

"The empire of the Romans filled the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world became a safe and dreary prison for his enemies . . . To resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly." [9]

It will be noticed that at first the kingdom is described unqualifiedly as strong as iron. This was the period of its strength, during which it has been likened to a mighty colossus bestriding the nations, conquering everything, and giving laws to the world. But this was not to continue.

Verse 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

Rome Divided.--The element of weakness symbolized by the clay, pertained to the feet as well as to the toes. Rome, before its division into ten kingdoms, lost that iron vigor which it possessed to a superlative degree during the first centuries of its career. Luxury, with its accompanying effeminacy and degeneracy, the destroyer of nations as well as of individuals, began to corrode and weaken its iron sinews, and thus prepared the way for its disintegration into ten kingdoms.

The iron legs of the image terminate in feet and toes. To the toes, of which there were of course ten, our attention is called by the explicit mention of them in the prophecy. The

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kingdom represented by that part of the image to which the toes belonged, was finally divided into ten parts. The question naturally arises, Do the ten toes of the image represent the ten final divisions of the Roman Empire? We answer, Yes.

The image of Daniel 2 is exactly parallel with the four beasts in the vision of Daniel 7. The fourth beast represents the same kingdom as do the iron legs of the image. The ten horns of the beast correspond naturally to the ten toes of the image. These horns are plainly declared to be ten kings which should arise. They are as much independent kingdoms as are the beasts themselves, for the beasts are spoken of in precisely the same manner--as "four kings, which shall arise." Daniel 7: 17. They do not denote a line of successive kings, but kings or kingdoms which existed contemporaneously, for three of them were plucked up by the little horn. The ten horns, beyond controversy, represent the ten kingdoms into which Rome was divided.

We have seen that in Daniel's interpretation of the image he uses the words "king" and kingdom" interchangeably, the former denoting the same as the latter. In verse 44 he says that "in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom." This shows that at the time the kingdom of God is set up, there will exist a plurality of kings. It cannot refer to the four preceding kingdoms; for it would be absurd to use such language in reference to a line of successive kings, since it would be in the days of the last king only, not in the days of any of the preceding, that the kingdom of God would be set up.

The Ten Kingdoms.--Here, then, is a division presented; and what have we in the symbol to indicate it?--Nothing but the toes of the image. Unless they do, we are left utterly in the dark on the nature and extent of the division which the prophecy shows did exist. To suppose this would be to cast a serious imputation upon the prophecy itself. We are therefore held to the conclusion that the ten toes of the image denote the ten parts into which the Roman Empire was divided.

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This division was accomplished between A.D. 351 and 476. The era of this dissolution thus covered a hundred and twenty-five years, from about the middle of the fourth century to the last quarter of the fifth. No historians of whom we are aware, place the beginning of this work of the dismemberment of the Roman Empire earlier than A.D. 351, and there is general agreement in assigning its close in A.D. 476. Concerning the intermediate dates, that is, the precise time from which each of the ten kingdoms that arose on the ruins of the Roman Empire is to be dated, there is some difference of views among historians. Nor does this seem strange, when we consider that there was an ear of great confusion, that the map of the Roman Empire during that time underwent many sudden and violent changes, and that paths of hostile nations charging upon its territory crossed and recrossed each other in a labyrinth of confusion. But all historians agree in this, that out of the territory of Western Rome, ten separate kingdoms were ultimately established, and we may safely assign them to the time between the dates above named; namely A.D. 351 and 476.

The ten nations which were most instrumental in breaking up the Roman Empire, and which at some time in their history held respectively portions of Roman territory as separate and independent kingdoms, may be enumerated (without respect to the time of their establishment) as follows: Huns, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Suevi, Burgundians, Heruli, Anglo-Saxons, and Lombards. [*] The connection between these and some of the modern nations of Europe, is still traceable in the names, as England, Burgundy, Lombardy, France, etc.

But it may be asked, Why not suppose the two legs denote division as well as the toes? Would it not be as inconsistent to say that the toes denote division and the legs do not, as to say that the legs denote division and the toes do not? We answer that the prophecy itself must govern our conclusions

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in this matter; for though it says nothing of division in connection with the legs, it does introduce the subject of division as we come to the feet and toes. The record says, "Whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided." No division could take place, or at least none is said to have taken place, until the weakening element of the clay is introduced; and we do not find this until we come to the feet and toes. But we are not to understand that the clay denotes one division and the iron the other; for after the long-existing unity of the kingdom was broken, no one of the fragments was broken, no one of the fragments was a strong as the original iron, but all were in a state of weakness denoted by the mixture of iron and clay.

The conclusion is inevitable, therefore, that the prophet has here stated the cause for the effect. The introduction of the weakness of the clay element, as we come to the feet, resulted in the division of the kingdom into ten parts, as represented by the ten toes; and this result, or division, is more than intimated in the sudden mention of a plurality of contemporaneous kings. Therefore, while we find no evidence that the legs denote division, but serious objections against such a view, we do find good reason for supposing that the toes denote division, as here claimed.

Furthermore, each of the four monarchies had its own particular territory, which was the kingdom proper, and where we are to look for the chief events in its history shadowed forth by the symbol. We are not, therefore, to look for the divisions of the Roman Empire in the territory formerly occupied by Babylon, or Persia, or Grecia, but in the territory proper of the Roman kingdom, which was finally known as the Western Empire. Rome conquered the world, but the kingdom of Rome proper lay west of Grecia. That is what was represented by the legs of iron. There, then, we look for the ten kingdoms, and there we find them. We are not obliged to mutilate or deform the symbol to make it a fit and accurate representation of historical events.

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Verse 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

Rome the Last Universal Empire.--With Rome fell the last of the world's universal empires. Heretofore it was possible for one nation, rising superior to its neighbors in prowess, bravery, and the science of war, to consolidate them into one vast empire. But when Rome fell, such possibilities forever passed away. The iron was mixed with clay, and lost the power of cohesion. No man or combination of men can again consolidate the fragments. This point is so well set forth by another that we quote his words:

"From this, its divided state, the first strength of the empire departed--but not as that of the others had done. No other kingdom was to succeed it, as it had the three which went before it. It was to continue, in this tenfold division, until the kingdom of the stone smote it, upon its feet; broke them in pieces, and scattered them as the wind does 'the chaff of the summer threshing-floor!' Yet, through all this time, a portion of its strength was to remain. And so the prophet say, 'And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. Verse 42. . . . Time and again men have dreamed of rearing on these dominions one mighty kingdom. Charlemagne tried it. Charles V tried it. Louis XIV tried it. Napoleon tried it. But neither succeeded. A single verse of prophecy was stronger than all their host. . . 'Partly strong, and partly broken,' was the prophetic description. And such, too, has been the historic fact concerning them. . . . Ten kingdoms were formed out of it; and 'broken,' as then it was, it still continues--i.e., 'partly broken.' . . . It is 'partly strong'--i.e., it retains, even in its broken state, enough of its iron strength to resist all attempts to mold its part together. 'This shall not be,' says the word of God. 'This has not been,' replies the book of history.

"But then, men may say, 'Another plan remains. If force cannot avail, diplomacy and reasons of state may--we will

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try them. And so the prophecy foreshadows this when it says, 'They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men'--i.e., marriages shall be formed, in hope thus to consolidate their power, and, in the end, to unite these divided kingdoms into one.

"And shall this device succeed?--No. The prophet answers: 'They shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.' And the history of Europe, is but a running commentary on the exact fulfillment of these words. From the time of Canute until the present age, it has been the policy of the reigning monarchs, the beaten path which they have trodden, in order to reach a mightier scepter and a wider sway. . . . Napoleon . . . sought to reach by alliance, what he could not gain by force, i.e., to build up one mighty, consolidated empire. And did he succeed?--Nay. The very power with which he was allied, proved his destruction, in the troops of Blucher, on the field of Waterloo! The iron would not mingle with clay."[10]

But Napoleon was not the last to try the experiment. Numerous European wars followed the efforts of the Little Corporal. To avert future conflicts, benevolent rulers resorted to the expedient of intermarriage to ensure peace, until by the opening of the twentieth century it was asserted that every ranking hereditary ruler of Europe was related to the British royal family. World War I showed the futility of these attempts.

Out of the horrors of that titanic struggle was born an ideal expressed by President Woodrow Wilson, who exclaimed, "The world has been made safe for democracy!" With the conviction that a war had been fought which would end war came the announced inherent rights of minorities, and the principles of self-determination, ensured by a world league of nations which would restrain dictators and punish aggressors.

Yet under the very shadow of the League of Nations' palace arose leaders who would destroy world peace and shatter

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the ideal of world union, while preaching a new social revolution. They vainly promised the triumph of culture and a union born of racial superiority ensuring the "partly strong" and "partly broken" nations of Europe "a thousand years of tranquility."

Out of the welter of confusion, the wreck of nations, the destruction of institutions, the sacrifice of treasure resultant from centuries of frugality, through eyes grief-dimmed by the loss of the flower of its young manhood, the ravishment of its womanhood, the slaughter of infancy and age, through clouds of smoking human blood a distraught world looks anxiously for its signs of surcease. Will the elusive mirage of world peace based upon a trust in European solidarity, the result of wishful thinking, again cause men to forget the counsel of the word of God, "They shall not cleave one to another"?

Alliances may come, and it may appear that the iron and miry clay of the feet and toes of the great image have finally fused, but God said, "They shall not cleave one to another." It may seem that old animosities have disappeared and that the "ten kings" have gone the way of all the earth, but "the Scripture cannot be broken." John 10: 35.

We conclude with a word by William Newton: "And yet if, as the result of these alliances, or of other causes, that number is sometimes disturbed, it need not surprise us. The iron was 'mixed with clay.' For a season, in the image, you might not distinguish between them. But they would not remain so. 'They shall not cleave one to another.' The nature of the substances forbids them to do so in the one case; the word of prophecy in the other. Yet there was to be the attempt to mingle--nay, more, there was an approach at mingling in both cases. But it was to be abortive. And how marked the emphasis with which history affirms this declaration of the word of God!" [11]

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Verse 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

The God of Heaven to Set Up a Kingdom.--We here reach the climax of this stupendous prophecy. When Time in his onward flight shall bring us to the sublime scene here predicted, we shall have reached the end of human history. The kingdom of God! Grand provision for a new and glorious dispensation, in which His people shall find a happy terminus of this world's sad, degenerate, and changing career. Transporting change for all the righteous, from gloom to glory, from strife to peace, from a sinful to a holy world, from death to life, from tyranny and oppression to the happy freedom and blessed privileges of a heavenly kingdom! Glorious transition, from weakness to strength, from the changing and decaying to the immutable and eternal!

But when is this kingdom to be established? May we hope for an answer to an inquiry of such momentous concern to our race? These are the very questions on which the word of God does not leave us in ignorance, and herein is seen the surpassing value of this heavenly boon.

The Bible plainly declares that the kingdom of God was still future at the time of our Lord's last Passover. (Matthew 26: 29.) Christ did not set up the kingdom before His ascension. (Acts 1: 6.) It states further that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of god. (1 Corinthians 15: 50.) It is a matter of promise to the apostles, and to all those who love God. (James 2: 5.) It is promised in the future to the little flock. (Luke 12: 32.) Through much tribulation the saints are to enter the coming kingdom. (Acts 14: 22.) It is to be set up when Christ shall judge the living and the dead. (2 Timothy 4: 1.) This is to be when He shall come in

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His glory with all His holy angels. (Matthew 25: 31-34.).)

We do not say that the exact time is revealed (we emphasize the fact that it is not) in this prophecy of Daniel 2 or in any other prophecy; but so near an approximation is given that the generation which is to see the establishment of this kingdom may mark its approach unerringly, and make that preparation which will entitle the children of God to share in all its glories.

Time has fully developed this great image in all its parts. Most accurately does it represent the important political events it was designed to symbolize. It has stood complete for more than fourteen centuries. It waits to be smitten upon the feet by the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, that is, the kingdom of Christ. This is to be accomplished when the Lord shall be revealed in flaming fire, "taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thessalonians 1: 8. (See also Psalm 2: 8, 9.) In the days of these kings the God of heaven is to set up a kingdom. We have been in the days of these kings for many centuries, and we are still in their days. So far as this prophecy is concerned, the very next event is the setting up of God's everlasting kingdom. Other prophecies and innumerable signs show unmistakably that the coming of Christ is near at hand.

The early Christian church interpreted the prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, and 8 as we do now. Hippolytus, who lived A.D. 160-236, and is thought to have been a disciple of Irenaeus, one of the four greatest theologians of his age, says in his exposition of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7:

"The golden head of the image and lioness denoted the Babylonians; the shoulders and arms of silver, and the bear, represented the Persians and Medes; the belly and thighs of brass, and the leopard, meant the Greeks, who held the sovereignty from Alexander's time; the legs of iron, and the beast dreadful and terrible, expressed the Romans, who hold the sovereignty at present; the toes of the feet which were part clay and part iron, and the ten horns, were emblems of the

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kingdoms that are yet to rise; the other little horn that grows up among them meant the Antichrist in their midst; the stone that smites the earth and brings judgment upon the world was Christ." [12]

"Speak with me, O blessed Daniel. Give me full assurance, I beseech thee. Thou dost prophesy concerning the lioness in Babylon; for thou wast a captive there. Thou hast unfolded the future regarding the bear; for thou wast still in the world, and didst see the things come to pass. Then thou speakest to me of the leopard; and whence canst thou know this, for thou art already gone to thy rest? Who instructed thee to announce these things, but He who formed thee in (from ) thy mother's womb? That is God, thou sayest. Thou hast spoken indeed, and that not falsely. The leopard has arisen; the he-goat is come; he hath broken his horns in pieces; he hath stamped upon him with his feet. He has been exalted by his fall; (the) four horns have come up from under that one. Rejoice, blessed Daniel! thou hast not been in error: all these things have come to pass.

"After this again thou hast told me of the beast dreadful and terrible. 'It had iron teeth and claws of brass: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.' Already the iron rules; already it subdues and breaks all in pieces; already it brings all the unwilling into subjection; already we see these things ourselves. Now we glorify God, being instructed by thee." [13]

The part of the prophecy that had been fulfilled at that time was clear to the early Christians. They saw also that there would develop ten kingdoms out of the Roman Empire, and that the Antichrist would appear among them. They looked forward with hope to the grand consummation, when the second coming of Christ would bring an end to all earthly kingdoms, and the kingdom of righteousness would be set up.

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The coming kingdom! This ought to be the all-absorbing topic with the present generation. Reader, are you ready for the issue? He who enters this kingdom shall dwell in it not merely for such a lifetime as men live in this present state. He shall not see it degenerate, or be overthrown by a succeeding and more powerful kingdom. No, he enters it to participate in all its privileges and blessings, and to share its glories forever, for this kingdom is not to "be left to other people."

Again we ask you, Are you ready? The terms of heirship are most liberal: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3: 29. Are you on terms of friendship with Christ, the coming King? Do you love His character? Are you trying to walk humbly in His footsteps, and obey His teachings? If not, read your fate in the cases of those in the parable, of whom it was said, "But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me." Luke 19: 27. There is to be no rival kingdom where you can find an asylum if you remain an enemy to this, for God's kingdom is to occupy all the territory ever possessed by any and all of the kingdoms of this world, past or present. It is to fill the whole earth. Happy they to whom the rightful Sovereign, the all-conquering King, at last can say, "Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25: 34.

Verse 46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him. 47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. 48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

We must return to the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, and to Daniel, as he stands in the presence of the king. He has made

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known to the monarch the dream and its interpretation, while the courtiers and the baffled soothsayers and astrologers waited in silent awe and wonder.

Nebuchadnezzar Exalts Daniel.--In fulfillment of his promise of rewards the king made Daniel a great man. There are two things which in this life are specially supposed to make a man great, and both these Daniel received from the king: A man is considered great if he is a man of wealth; and we read that the king gave him many and great gifts. If in conjunction with riches a man has power, certainly in popular estimation he is considered a great man; and power was bestowed upon Daniel in abundant measure. He was made ruler over the province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Thus speedily and abundantly did Daniel begin to be rewarded for his fidelity to his own conscience and requirements of God.

Daniel did not become bewildered or intoxicated by his signal victory and his wonderful advancement. He first remembered the three who were companions with him in anxiety respecting the king's matter. As they had helped him with their prayers, he determined that they should share his honors. At his request they were placed over the affairs of Babylon, while Daniel himself sat in the gate of the king. The gate was the place where councils were held and where matters of chief moment were considered. The record is a simple declaration that Daniel became chief counselor to the king.


  • [1] See Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, pp. 564, 567, notes on Daniel 1: 1; 2: 1; Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, p. 231; Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, pp. 111, 112, comment on Daniel 2: 1.
  • [2] The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. III, p. 212. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
  • [3] Ibid., p. 217.
  • [4] George Rawlinson, The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, Vol. II, p. 610, Note 202.
  • [5] See Herodotus, pp. 67-71; George Rawlinson, The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, Vol. II, pp. 254-259; Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. I, pp. 136, 137.
  • [6] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. I, p. 137.
  • [7] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, p. 240.
  • [8] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III, general observations following chap. 38, p. 634. There are many editions of Gibbon's work beside the one used in the preparation of this book. For the student who has a different edition, the chapter is included in all references to facilitate the finding of the quotations.
  • [9] Ibid., Vol. I, chap. 3, pp. 99, 100.
  • [10] William Newton, Lectures on the First Two Visions of the Book of Daniel, pp. 34-36.
  • [11] Ibid., p. 36.
  • [12] Hippolytus, "Treatise on Christ and Antichrist," Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V, p. 210, par 28.
  • [13] Ibid., pars. 32, 33.
  • [*] In harmony with seven leading commentators, the author includes the Huns as one of the ten kingdoms. Others, however, with historical precedent, name the Alamanni, or Germans, instead of the Huns.--Editors.
Chapter 3

Integrity Tested by Fire


Verse 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

We may well believe that this image had some reference to the dream of the king as described in the previous chapter. In that dream the head was of gold, representing Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. That was succeeded by metals of inferior quality, denoting a succession of kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar was doubtless gratified that his kingdom should be represented by gold; but that it should ever be succeeded by another kingdom was not so pleasing. Therefore, instead of having simply the head of his image of gold, he made it all of gold, to denote that his kingdom should not give way to another kingdom, but be perpetual.

Verse 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 5 that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 6 And whoso falleth not down and worshipeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Dedication of the Image.--The dedication of this image was made a great occasion, for the chief men of the kingdom were called together. To such pains and expense will men go in

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sustaining idolatrous and heathen systems of worship. Alas, that those who have the true religion should be so far outdone in these respects by the upholders of the false and counterfeit! The worship was accompanied with music; and whoever failed to participate therein was threatened with being thrown into a fiery furnace. Such are ever the strongest motives to impel men in any direction--pleasure on the one hand, pain on the other.

Verse 8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. 9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. 10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: 11 and whoso falleth not down and worshipeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Three Hebrews Under Trial.--The Chaldeans who accused the Jews were probably the sect of philosophers who went by that name, and who were still smarting under their failure to interpret the king's dream of Daniel 2. They were eager to seize upon any pretext to accuse the Jews before the king, and either disgrace or destroy them. They worked upon the king's prejudice by strong insinuations of their ingratitude. Thou hast set them over the affairs of Babylon, and yet they have disregarded thee, they said. Where Daniel was upon this occasion, is not known. He was probably absent on some business of the empire. But why should Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, since they knew they could not worship the image, be present on this occasion? Was it not because they were willing to comply with the king's requirements as far as they could without compromising their religious principles? The king required them to be present. With this requirement they could comply, and they did. He required them to worship the image. This their religion forbade, and this they refused to do.

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Verse 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

The forbearance of the king is shown in his granting Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego another trial after their first failure to comply with his requirements. Doubtless the matter was thoroughly understood. They could not plead ignorance. They knew what the king wanted, and their failure to fulfil his command was an intentional and deliberate refusal to obey him. With most kings this would have been enough to seal their fate. But no, said Nebuchadnezzar, I will overlook this offense if upon a second trial they comply with the law. But they informed the king that he need not trouble himself to repeat the test.

Their answer was both honest and decisive. "We are not careful," said they, "to answer thee in this matter." That is, you need not grant us the favor of another trial; our minds are made up. We can answer as well now as at any future time; and our answer is, We will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Our God can deliver if He so desires; but if not, we shall not complain. We know His will, and we shall render Him unconditional obedience.

Verse 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most

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mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Nebuchadnezzar was not entirely free from the faults and follies into which an absolute monarch so easily runs. Intoxicated with unlimited power, he could not brook disobedience or contradiction. Let his expressed authority be resisted on however good grounds, and he exhibits the weakness common to our fallen humanity under like circumstances, and flies into a passion of rage. Ruler of the world, he was not equal to that still harder task of ruling his own spirit. Even the form of his visage was changed. Instead of the calm, dignified, self-possessed ruler that he should have appeared, he betrayed himself in look and act as the slave of ungovernable passion.

Cast Into the Fiery Furnace.--The furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual; in other words, to its utmost capacity. The king overreached himself in this for even if the superheated furnace had the expected effect upon the ones he cast into it, the victims would only have been destroyed the sooner. The king would have gained nothing by his fury. But seeing they were delivered from it, much was gained on the part of the cause of God and His truth; for the more intense the heat, the greater and more impressive the miracle when the young man were delivered from it.

Every circumstance revealed the direct power of God. The Hebrews were bound in all their garments, but came out with not even the smell of fire upon them. The mightiest men in the army were chosen to cast them in, but the fire burned them

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before they came in contact with it. But upon the Hebrews it had not effect, although they were in the very midst of its flames. It is evident that the fire was under the control of some supernatural intelligence, for while it consumed the cords with which they were bound, so that they were free to walk about in the midst of the fire, it did not even singe their garments. They did not spring out of the fire as soon as free, but remained in it; for the king had put them into the furnace of fire as in the delights and luxuries of the palace. Let us in all our trials, afflictions, persecutions, and straitened places, but have the "form of the fourth" with us and it is enough.

The King Gets a New Vision.--The king said, "the form of the fourth is like the son of God." The language is by some supposed to refer to Christ. A more literal rendering, according to the Revised Version, and other good authorities, is "like a son of the gods," that is He had the appearance of a divine being. Though this was doubtless Nebuchadnezzar's accustomed way of speaking of the gods he worshiped (see comments on Daniel 4: 18), it does not at all prevent its referring to Christ, inasmuch as the word {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, elahin, used here in its Chaldean form, although in the plural number, is regularly translated "God" throughout the Old Testament.

What a scathing rebuke upon the king for his folly and madness was the deliverance of these worthies from the fiery furnace! A higher power than any on earth had vindicated those who stood firm against idolatry, and poured contempt on the worship and requirements of the king. None of the gods of the heathen ever had wrought such deliverance as that, nor were they able to do so.

Verse 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

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When bidden, these three men came forth from the furnace. Then the princes, governors, and king's counselors, through whose advice, or at least concurrence, they had been cast into the furnace (for the king said to them, "Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" Verse 24), were gathered together to look upon these men, and have tangible proof of their miraculous preservation. The worship of the great image was forgotten. The interest of this vast concourse of people was concentrated upon these three remarkable men. How the knowledge of this deliverance would be spread abroad throughout the empire, as the people should return to their respective provinces! What a notable instance in which God caused the wrath of man to praise Him!

The King Acknowledges the True God.--Then the king blessed the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and made a decree that none should speak against Him. This the Chaldeans had done. In those days, each nation had its god or gods, for there were "gods many, and lords many." The victory of one nation over another was supposed to be won because the gods of the conquered nation were not able to deliver it from the conquerors. The Jews had been wholly subjugated by the Babylonians, who had no doubt spoken disparagingly or contemptuously of the God of the Jews. This the king now prohibited; for he plainly understood that his success against the Hebrews was the result of their sins and not

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of any lack of power on the part of their God. In what a conspicuous and exalted light this placed the God of the Hebrews in comparison with the gods of the nations! It was an acknowledgment that He held men amenable to some high standard of moral character, and that He did not regard with indifference their actions in reference to it. Nebuchadnezzar did right in publicly exalting the God of heaven above all other gods. But he had no right, either civil or moral, to attempt to force his subjects to similar confession and reverence, and to threaten men's lives for not worshipping the true God, than he had threaten death to all who refused to worship the golden image. God never compels the conscience.

Three Hebrews Promoted.--The king promoted the young captives, that is, he restored to them the offices which they held before the charges of disobedience and treason were brought against them. At the end of verse 30 the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, adds to the Hebrew text: "He advanced them to be governors over all the Jews that were in his kingdom." It is not probable that he insisted on any further worship of his image.

Chapter 4

The Most High Ruleth


Verse 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied unto you. 2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. 3 How great are His signs! and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation.

This chapter, says Adam Clarke, "is a regular decree, and is one of the most ancient on record; and no doubt was copied from the state papers of Babylon. Daniel has preserved it in the original language." [1]

The King Magnifies the True God.--This decree of Nebuchadnezzar was promulgated in the usual way. He wised to make known, not to a few men only, but to all peoples, and nations, God's wonderful dealings with him. People are ever ready to tell what God has done form them in the way of benefits and blessings. We ought to be no less ready to tell what God has done for us in the way of humiliation and chastisements. Nebuchadnezzar set us a good example in this respect, as we shall see from the subsequent parts of this chapter. He frankly confessed the vanity and pride of his heart, and freely told the methods God used to humble him. With a genuine spirit of repentance and humiliation, he thought it good to show these things, that the sovereignty of God might be extolled and His name adored. Nebuchadnezzar no longer claimed immutability for his own kingdom, but made a full surrender to God, acknowledging His kingdom alone to be everlastings, and His dominion from generation to generation.

Verse 4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. 8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying, 9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. 10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: 12 the leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. 13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; 14 he cried aloud, and said thus, hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: 15 nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: 16 let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. 17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. 18 This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.

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This part of the narrative opens with Nebuchadnezzar as a victor over his foes. He had accomplished successfully all his military enterprises. He had subdued Assyria, Phoenicia, Judea, Egypt, and Arabia. These great conquests probably betrayed him into vanity and self-confidence. At this very time, when he felt most secure, when it was most unlikely that anything would occur to disturb his self-complacent tranquility--at this time God chose to trouble him with fears and forebodings.

The King Troubled by Another Dream.--But what could strike fear to the heart of such a monarch as Nebuchadnezzar?

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He had been a warrior from his youth. He had often faced the perils of battle, the terrors of slaughter and carnage, and in the midst of such scenes he had been unmoved. What could make him afraid now? No foe threatened, no hostile cloud was visible! His own thought and visions were used to teach him what nothing else could--a salutary lesson of dependence and humility. He who had terrified others, but whom no other could terrify, was made a terror to himself.

A still greater humiliation than that narrated in the second chapter was brought upon the magicians. At that time they boasted that if they only knew the dream they could make known the interpretation. Upon this occasion Nebuchadnezzar distinctly remembered the dream and related it to them, but his magicians ignominiously failed him again. They could not make known the interpretation, and once again the king turned to the prophet of God.

The reign of Nebuchadnezzar is symbolized by a tree in the midst of the earth. Babylon, the city where Nebuchadnezzar reigned, was approximately in the center of the then-known world. The tree reached unto heaven, and the leaves thereof were fair. Its external glory and splendor were great. Its fruit was abundant, and it had food for all. The beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of heaven dwelt in its branches. What could more plainly and forcibly represent the fact that Nebuchadnezzar ruled his kingdom in such a way as to afford the fullest protection, support, and prosperity to all his subjects? When the order was given that this tree should be cut down, it was commanded that the stump should be left in the earth. It was to be protected with a band of iron and brass, that it might not decay, but that the source of future growth and greatness might be left.

The day is coming when the wicked shall be cut down, and no hope will be left them. No mercy will be mingled with their punishment. They shall be destroyed both root and branch.

"Let seven times pass over him," was the decree. This

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simple expression is evidently to be understood literally. But how long a period is denoted by the words "seven times"? This may be determined by ascertaining how long Nebuchadnezzar, in fulfillment of this prediction, was driven out to have his dwelling with the beasts of the field. This, Josephus informs us, was seven years. [2] A "Time," here, then, denotes one year.

What an interest the holy ones, or angels, take in human affairs! They see, as mortals never can, how unseemly a thing is pride in the human heart. As ministers of God they cheerfully execute His decrees for the correction of evil. Man must know that he is not the architect of his own fortune, for there is One who ruleth in the kingdom of men on whom his dependence should be humbly placed. A man may be a successful monarch, but he should not pride himself upon that; for unless the Lord had permitted him to rule, he would never have reached this position of honor.

Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the supremacy of the true God over the heathen oracles. He appealed to Daniel to solve the mystery. "Thou art able," he said; "for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee."

As remarked on Daniel 3:25, Nebuchadnezzar here again used his accustomed way of mentioning "gods" in the plural, though the Septuagint renders the phrase "the Holy Spirit of God is in thee."

Verse 19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. 20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; 21 whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: 22 it is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which is come upon my lord the king: 25 that they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will. 26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the Heavens do rule. 27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

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The hesitation of Daniel, who sat astonished for one hour, did not arise from any difficulty he had in interpreting the dream, but from the delicate matter of making known its meaning to the king. Daniel had received favor from the king--nothing but favor, so far as we know--and it wad hard for him to be the bearer of so terrible a threatening of judgement against him as was involved in this dream. The prophet was troubled to determine in what way he could best make it known. It seems the king had anticipated something of this kind, for he assured the prophet by telling him not to let the dream or the interpretation trouble him. It was as if he had said, Do not hesitate to make it known, whatever bearing it may have upon me.

Daniel Interprets the Dream.--Thus assured, Daniel spoke with forceful and delicate language: "The dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies." A calamity is set forth in this dream, which Daniel wished might come upon the king's enemies rather than upon him.

Nebuchadnezzar had given a minute statement of his dream, and as soon as Daniel informed him that the dream applied to him, it was evident that the king had pronounced his own sentence. The interpretation which follows is so plain that it needs no explanation. The threatened judgments

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were conditional. They were to teach the king "that the Heavens do rule," the word "heavens" here being put for God, the ruler of the heavens. Hence Daniel took occasion to give the king counsel in view of the threatened judgement. But he did not denounce him in a harsh and censorious spirit. Kindness and persuasion were the weapons he chose to wield: "Let my counsel be acceptable unto thee." In like manner the apostle Paul beseeches men to suffer the word of exhortation. (Hebrews 13:22.) If the king would break off his sins "by righteousness," and his iniquities "by showing mercy to the poor," it might result in a lengthening of his tranquillity, or, as the margin reads, "an healing of thine error." By repentance he might even have averted the judgement the Lord designed to bring upon him.

Verse 28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.

The King's Self-exaltation and Humiliation.--Nebuchadnezzar failed to profit by the warning he had received, yet God bore with him twelve months longer before the blow fell. All that time he cherished pride in his heart, and at length it reached a climax beyond which God could not suffer it to pass. The king was walking in the palace, and as he looked forth upon the splendors of that wonder of the world, great Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, he forgot the source of all his strength, and greatness, and exclaimed, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built?" Archaeologists have found the ruins of that an-

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cient city, which Sir Frederic Kenyon describes in the following sentences:

"These confirmed the generally wrecked character of the site, but also revealed much as to its plan, architecture, and ornamentation. The buildings found were almost wholly the work of Nebuchadnezzar, who rebuilt the previous city most extensively, his own enormous palace ('this great Babylon that I have build for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power and for the honor of my majesty') being the most conspicuous building of all." [3]

The time had come for Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation. A voice from heaven again announced the threatened judgement, and divine providence proceeded immediately to execute it. His reason departed. No longer the pomp and glory of his great city charmed him. God with a touch of His finger took away his capability to appreciate and enjoy it. He forsook the dwellings of men, and sought a home and companionship among the beasts of the field.

Verse 34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored Him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: 35 and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou? 36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. 37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.

Nebuchadnezzar Extols the "King of Heaven".-- At the end of seven years God removed the hand of affliction, and reason and understanding of the king returned to him. His first act was to bless the Most High. On this Matthew Henry makes the following appropriate remark: "Those may justly be reck-

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oned void of understanding that do not bless and praise God; nor do men ever rightly use their reason till they begin to be religious, nor live as men till they live to the glory of God." [4]

His honor and brightness returned to him, his counselors sought him, and he was once more established in the kingdom. The promise was that the kingdom should be sure to him. (Verse 26.) During his insanity, his son Evil-Merodach is said to have reigned in his stead. Daniel's interpretation of the dream was doubtless well understood in the palace, and was probably more or less the subject of conversation. Hence the return of Nebuchadnezzar to his kingdom must have been anticipated, with interest. Why he was permitted to make his home in the open field in so forlorn a condition instead of being comfortably cared for by the attendants of the palace, we are not informed.

The affliction had its designed effect. The lesson of humility was learned. The king did not forget it with returning prosperity. He was ready to acknowledge that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He will. He sent forth through all his realm a royal proclamation containing an acknowledgment of his pride, and a manifesto of praise and adoration to the King of heaven.

This is the last Scripture record we have of Nebuchadnezzar. This decree is dated 563 B.C., in the Authorized Version, says Adam Clarke, [5] one year before Nebuchadnezzar's death, though some place the date of this decree seventeen years before his death. There is no record that the king ever lapsed again into idolatry. We may therefore conclude that he died a believer in the God of Israel.

Thus closed the life of this remarkable man. With all the temptations incident to his exalted position as king, may we not suppose that God saw in him honesty of heart, integrity, and purity of purpose, which he could use to the glory of His name? Hence His wonderful dealings with him, all of which

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seem to have been designed to wean him from his false religion, and attach him to the service of the true God. We have his dream of the great image, containing a valuable lesson for the people of all coming generations. We remember his experience with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in their refusal to worship his golden image, wherein he was again led to an acknowledgment of the supremacy of the true God. Finally, we have the wonderful incidents recorded in this chapter, showing the unceasing efforts of the Lord to bring Nebuchadnezzar to a full acknowledgment of the Creator. May we not hope that the most illustrious king of Babylon, the head of gold, may at last have part in that kingdom before which all earthly kingdoms shall become as chaff and the glory of which shall never fade?


  • [1] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 582 note on Daniel 4: 1.
  • [2] See Flavius Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews," book 10, chap. 10, sec. 6, Works of Flavius Josephus, p. 316.
  • [3] Sir Frederic Kenyon, The Bible and Archaeology, p. 126.
  • [4] Matthew Henry, Commentary, Vol. II, p. 965, note on Daniel 4: 34-37.
  • [5] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 585, note on Daniel 4: 37.
Chapter 5

The Handwriting on the Wall


Verse 1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

This chapter describes the closing scenes of the Babylonian Empire, the transition from the gold to the silver of the great image of Daniel 2, and from the lion to the bear of Daniel's vision in chapter 7. This feast is supposed by some to have been an appointed annual festival in honor of one of the heathen deities. Cyrus, who was then besieging Babylon, learned of the celebration, and laid his plans for the overthrow of the city. Our translation reads that Belshazzar, having invited a thousand of his lords, "drank . . . before the thousand." Some translate it "drank . . .against the thousand," showing that in addition to whatever other weaknesses he may have had, he was also a heavy drinker.

Verse 2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. 3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. 4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

That this festival had some reference to former victories over the Jews may be inferred from the fact that when the king began to be heated with his wine, he called for the sacred vessels which had been taken from Jerusalem. He would most likely use them to celebrate the victory by which they were obtained. Probably no other king had carried his impiety to such length as this. And while they drank wine from vessels dedicated to the true God, they praised their gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone. Perhaps, as we have

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noted in comments on Daniel 3: 29, they celebrated the superior power of their gods over the God of the Jews, from whose vessels they now drank to their heathen deities.

Verse 5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. 7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. 8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. 9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.

Handwriting on the Wall.--No flashes of supernatural light, no deafening peals of thunder, announced the interference of God in their impious revelries. A hand silently appeared, tracing mystic characters upon the wall. It wrote over against the candlestick. Terror seized the king, for his conscience accused him. Although he could not read the writing, he knew it was no message of peace and blessing that was traced in glittering characters upon his palace wall. The description the prophet gives of the effect of the king's fear cannot be excelled in any particular. The king's countenance was changed, his heart failed him, pain seized upon him, and so violent was his trembling that his knees smote one against another. He forgot his boasting and revelry. He forgot his dignity. and he cried aloud for his astrologers and soothsayers to solve the meaning of the mysterious inscription.

Verse 10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: 11 there is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; 12 forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation. 13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? 14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. 15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not show the interpretation of the thing: 16 and I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

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It appears from the circumstance her narrated, that Daniel as a prophet of God had been lost sight of at the court and palace. This was doubtless because he had been absent at Shushan, in the province of Elam, whither he had gone on the business of the kingdom. (Daniel 8: 1, 2, 27.) Probably the invasion of the country by the Persian army compelled him to return to Babylon at this time. The queen, who made known to the king that there was such a person to whom appeal could be made for knowledge in supernatural things, is supposed to have been the queen mother, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. She must have remembered the wonderful counsel Daniel had given in her father's reign.

Nebuchadnezzar is here called Belshazzar's father, according to the then common custom of calling any paternal ancestor father, and any male descendant son. Nebuchadnezzar was in reality his grandfather. When Daniel came in, the king inquired if the prophet was of the children of the captivity of Judah. Thus it seems to have been ordered that, while the princes were holding impious revelry in honor of their false gods, a servant of the true God, one whom they were holding in captivity, was called in to pronounce the merited judgement upon their wicked course.

Verse 17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor: 19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: 21 and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that He appointeth over it whomsoever He will. 22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; 23 but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: 24 then was the part of the hand sent from Him; and this writing was written.

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Daniel Rebukes Belshazzar.--Daniel first disclaimed the idea of being influenced by such motives as governed the soothsayers and astrologers. He said, "Let thy rewards be to another." He wished it distinctly understood that he did not enter upon the work of interpreting this matter on account of the offer of gifts and rewards. He then rehearsed the experience of the king's grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, as set forth in the preceding chapter. He told Belshazzar that though he knew all this, yet he had not humbled his heart, but had lifted up himself against the God of heaven. He had even carried his impiety so far as to profane God's sacred vessels, praising the senseless gods of men's invention, and refusing to glorify God in whose breath was. For this reason, Daniel told him, the hand had been sent forth from God whom he had daringly and insultingly challenged, to trace those characters of fearful, though hidden import. He then proceeded to explain the writing.

Verse 25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. 27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. 28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

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Daniel Interprets the Writing.--In this inscription each word stands for a short sentence. Mene, "numbered;" Tekel, "weighed;" Upharsin, from the root peres, "divided." God whom thou hast defied, hath thy kingdom in His own hands, and hath numbered its days and finished its course just at the time thou thoughtest it at the height of its prosperity. Thou, who hast lifted up thy heart in pride as the great one of the

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earth, art weighed, and found lighter than vanity. Thy kingdom, which thou didst dream was to stand forever, is divided between the foes already waiting at thy gates.

Notwithstanding this terrible denunciation, Belshazzar did not forget his promise, but invested Daniel at once with the scarlet robe and chain of gold, and proclaimed him third ruler in the kingdom. This Daniel accepted, probably with a view to being better prepared to look after the interests of his people during the transition to the succeeding kingdom.

Verse 30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.

The scene here so briefly mentioned is described in remarks on Daniel 2: 39. While Belshazzar was indulging in his presumptuous revelry, while the angel's hand was tracing the doom of the kingdom of the empire on the walls of the palace, while Daniel was making known the fearful import of the heavenly writing, the Persian soldiery, through the emptied channel of the Euphrates, had made their way into the heart of the city, and were speeding forward with drawn swords to the palace of the king. Scarcely can it be said that they surprised him, for God had just forewarned him of his doom. But they found him and slew him, and in that hour the empire of Babylon ceased to be.

"That night they slew him on his father's throne, The deed unnoticed and the hand unknown:

Crownless and scepterless Belshazzar lay, A robe of purple round a form of clay." [1]


  • [1] Edwin Arnold, "The Feast of Belshazzar," Poetical Works, p. 170.
Chapter 6

Daniel in the Lion's Den


Verse 1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. 3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. 4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

Babylon was taken by the Persians, and Darius the Median was placed upon the throne in 583 B.C. When Darius died two years later, Cyrus took the throne. Somewhere, therefore, between these two dates the even occurred which is narrated in this chapter.

Daniel was an active leader in the kingdom of Babylon at the height of its glory. From that time until the Medes and Persians took the throne of universal empire, he was at least a resident of the capital, acquainted with all the affairs of the kingdom. Yet he gave us no consecutive account of events that occurred during his long connection with these kingdoms. He touched upon only an event here and there which would inspire faith, hope, and courage in the hearts of the people of God in every age, and lead them to be steadfast in their adherence to the right. The event narrated in this chapter is alluded to in Hebrews 11, where we read of those who through faith "stopped the mouths of lions."

Daniel Prime Minister in Medo-Persia.--Darius set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty princes, there being at that time, as is supposed, one hundred twenty provinces in the empire, each one having its prince, or governor. By the victories of Cambyses and Darius Hystaspes, it was afterward enlarged

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to one hundred twenty-seven provinces. (Esther 1: 1.) Over these princes were set three presidents, and of these Daniel was chief. Daniel was doubtless advanced to this high position because of the excellent spirit and fidelity manifest in his work.

As a great man in the empire of Babylon, Daniel might have been regarded an enemy by Darius, and have been banished or otherwise put out of the way. Or as a captive from a nation then in ruins, he might have been despised and set at naught. But to the credit of Darius be it said, Daniel was preferred over all the others, because the discerning king saw in him an excellent spirit. The king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Then was the envy of the other rulers raised against him, and they set about to destroy him. As related to the kingdom, Daniel's conduct was perfect. He was faithful and true. They could find no ground for complaint against him on that score. They then said they could find no occasion to accuse him, except as concerning the law of his God. So let it be with us. A person can have no better recommendation.

Verse 6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counselors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Plot Against Daniel.-- Mark the course these persons took to accomplish their nefarious purposes. They came together to the king--came tumultuously, says the margin. They came as if some urgent matter had suddenly sprung up, and they had come to present it before him. They claimed that all were

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agreed. This was false, for Daniel, the chief of them all, was of course not consulted in the matter.

The decree they presented was designed to increase honor and respect for the royal will. No prayer or petition, they declared, was to be addressed to any man or god, save the king, for thirty days. By this flattering approach the princes hid their evil design against Daniel. The king signed the decree, and it became an unalterable law of the Medes and Persians.

Mark the subtlety of these men--the length to which they went to accomplish the ruin of the good. If they had made the decree read that no petition should be asked of the God of the Hebrews, which was the real design of the matter, the king would at once have divined their object, and the decree would not have been signed. But they gave it a general application, and were willing to ignore and heap insult upon their own religion, and all the multitude of their gods, in order to ruin the object of their hatred.

Daniel realized that a conspiracy was formed against him, but he took no means to thwart it. He simply committed himself to God, and left the issue to His providence. He did not leave the capital on pretended business, or perform his devotions with more than ordinary secrecy. When he knew the writing was signed, he knelt in his chamber three times a day, as was his usual custom, with his face turned toward his beloved Jerusalem, and offered his prayers and supplications to God.

Verse 11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. 16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. 17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

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Daniel Cast Into the Lions' Den.--After the trap was set, it only remained for these men to watch their victim that they might ensnare him. So they again came together, this time at the residence of Daniel, as though some important business called them suddenly to consult the chief of the presidents; and lo, they found him, just as they intended and hoped, praying to his God. So far their scheme worked well. They were not long in going to the king with the matter.

Receiving an acknowledgment from the monarch that the decree was in force, they were ready to inform him against Daniel. In an attempt excite the prejudices of the king they said, "That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed." Yes, they complained, that poor captive, who is entirely dependent on you for all that he enjoys, so far from being grateful and appreciating your favors, regards you not, nor pays any attention to your decree. Then the king saw the trap that had been prepared from him as well as for Daniel, and he labored until the going down of the sun to deliver him, probably by personal efforts with the conspirators to cause them to relent, or by arguments and endeavors to procure the repeal of the law. But the law was sustained; and Daniel, the venerable, the grave, the upright, and the faultless servant of the kingdom, was thrown into the den of lions.

Verse 18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 22 My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. 23 Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

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Daniel Delivered.--The course of the king after Daniel had been cast into the den of lions attests his genuine interest in the prophet's behalf, and the severe condemnation he felt for his own course in the matter. At dawn he repaired to the den of hungry and ravenous beasts. Daniel was alive, and his response to the monarch's salutation was no reproach for his having yielded to his evil counselors. In terms of respect and honor he said, "O king, live forever." Afterward he reminded the king, in a manner which he must have keenly felt, but to which he could take no exception, that before him he had done no wrong. Because of his innocency, God, whom he served continually, had sent His angel and had shut the lions' mouths.

Here, then, stood Daniel, preserved by a power higher than any power of earth. His cause was vindicated, his innocency declared. "No manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God." Faith did it. A miracle had been wrought. Why, then, were Daniel's accusers brought and cast in? They probably attributed the preservation of Daniel, not to any miracle in his behalf, but to the fact that the lions chanced at that time not to be hungry. The king may have said, "In that case they will no more attack you than him, so we will test the matter by putting you in." The lions were hungry enough when not restrained by divine intervention, and these men were torn to pieces before they reached the bottom of the den. Thus was Daniel doubly vindicated, and the words of Solomon were strikingly fulfilled: "The righteous

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is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead." Proverbs 11: 8.

Verse 25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end. 27 He delivereth and rescueth, and He worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel Prospered.--Daniel's deliverance resulted in another proclamation's being sent out through the empire in favor of the true God, the God of Israel. All men were commanded to fear and tremble before Him. The plot which Daniel's enemies had designed to prove his ruin, resulted only in his advancement. In this case, and in the experience of the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, the approval of God is placed on two great lines of duty--the refusal to yield to any known sin, and the refusal to omit any known duty. From these instances the people of God in all ages may derive encouragement.

The decree of the king sets forth the character of the true God: He is the Creator; all others are without life in themselves. He is steadfast forever; all others are helpless and unavailing. He has a kingdom; for He made and governs all. His kingdom shall not be destroyed; all others come to an end. His dominion is without end; no human power can prevail against it. He delivers those who are in bondage. He rescues His servants from their enemies when they call upon Him for help. He works wonders in the heavens and signs upon the earth. And to complete all, He has delivered Daniel, giving before our eyes the fullest proof of His power and goodness in rescuing His servant from the power of the lions. How excellent a eulogy of the great God and His faithful servant!

Thus closes the historical part of the book of Daniel.

Chapter 7

The Struggle for World Dominion

Verse 1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

This is the same Belshazzar mentioned in Daniel 5. Chronologically, this chapter precedes the fifth chapter; but chronology is here disregarded in order that the historical part of the book may stand by itself.

Verse 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel Relates His Own Vision.--All Scripture language is to be taken literally, unless there exists some good reason for regarding it as figurative. All that is figurative is to be interpreted by that which is literal. That the language here used is symbolic is evident from verse 17, which reads, " These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth." That kingdoms are intended, and not merely individual kings, is clear from the words, "But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom." In explaining verse 23, the angel said, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth." these beasts are therefore symbols of four great kingdoms. The circumstances under which they arose, as represented in the prophecy, are also stated in symbolic language. The symbols introduced are the four winds, the sea, four great beasts, ten horns, and another horn which had eyes and a mouth and which rose up in war against God and His people. We have now to inquire what they denote.

In symbolic language winds represent strife, political commotion, and war, as we read from the prophet Jeremiah:

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"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth." Jeremiah 25: 32, 33. The prophet speaks of a controversy which the Lord is to have with all nations. The strife and commotion which produces all this destruction is called "a great whirlwind."

That winds denote strife and war is evident in the vision itself. As the result of the blowing of the winds, kingdoms arise and fall through political strife.

Seas, or waters, when used as Bible symbol, represent peoples, and nations, and tongues. Said the angel to the prophet John, "The waters which thou sawest . . . are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17: 15.

The definition of the symbol of the four beasts is given to Daniel before the close of the vision: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth." Verse 17. With this explanation of the symbols, the field of the vision is definitely opened before us.

Since these beasts denote four kings, or kingdoms, we inquire, Where shall we begin and what four empires are represented? These beasts arise consecutively, for they are enumerated from the first to the fourth. The last one is in existence when all earthly scenes are brought to an end by the final judgment. From the time of Daniel to the end of this world's history, there were to be but four universal kingdoms, as we learned from Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the great image in Daniel 2, interpreted by the prophet sixty-five years before. Daniel was still living under the kingdom denoted by the head of gold.

The first beast of this vision must therefore denote the same kingdom as the head of gold of the great image, namely, Babylon. The other beasts no doubt represent the succeeding kingdoms portrayed by that image. But if this vision covers

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essentially the same period of history as the image of Daniel 2, the query may arise, Why is it given? Why was not that first vision sufficient? We answer, The history of world empires is passed over again and again in order that additional characteristics may be brought out, and additional facts and features may be presented. It is thus that we have "line upon line" according to the Scriptures. In chapter 2, only the political aspects of world dominion are portrayed. Here earthly governments are introduced in their relationship to God's truth and God's people. Their true character is shown by symbols of wild and ravenous beasts.

Verse 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

The Lion.--In the vision of Daniel 7, the first beast seen by the prophet was a lion. For the use of the lion as a symbol, read Jeremiah 4: 7; 50: 17, 43, 44. The lion as first seen in the vision before us had eagle's wings. The symbolic use of wings is impressively described in Habakkuk 1: 6-8, where it is said that the Chaldeans should "fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat."

From these symbols we may easily deduce that Babylon was a kingdom of great strength, and that under Nebuchadnezzar its conquests were extended with great rapidity. But there came a time when the wings were plucked. It no longer rushed upon tis prey like an eagle. The boldness and spirit of the lion were gone. A man's heart--weak, timorous, and faint--took the place of a lion's strength. Such was the case with the nation during the closing years of its history, when it had become enfeebled and effeminate through wealth and luxury.

Verse 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

The Bear.--As in the image of Daniel 2, so in this series of symbols a marked deterioration is noticed as we descend from

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one kingdom to another. The silver of the breast and arms is inferior to the gold of the head. The bear is inferior to the lion. Medo-Persia fell short of Babylon in wealth, magnificence, and brilliance. The bear raised itself up on one side. The kingdom was composed of two nationalities, the Medes and the Persians. The same fact is represented by the two horns of the ram in Daniel 8. Of these horns it is said that the higher horn came up last, and of the bear that it raised itself up on one side. This was fulfilled by the Persian division of the kingdom, for although it came up last, it attained the higher eminence, becoming a dominant influence in the nation. (See comments on Daniel 8: 3.) The three ribs doubtless signify the three provinces of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which were especially oppressed by Medo-Persia. The command, "Arise, devour much flesh," would naturally refer to the stimulus given to the Medes and Persians by the overthrow of these provinces. The character of the power is well represented by a bear. The Medes and Persians were cruel and rapacious, robbers and spoilers of the people. This Medo-Persian kingdom continued from the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus to the battle of Arbela in 331 B.C., a period of 207 years.

Verse 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

The Leopard.--The third kingdom, Grecia, is here represented by the symbol of a leopard. If wings upon the lion signified rapidity of conquest, they would signify the same here. The leopard itself is a swift-footed beast, but this was not sufficient to represent the career of the nation here symbolized. It must have wings in addition. Two wings, the number the lion had, were not sufficient; the leopard must have four. This would denote unprecedented celerity of movement, which we find to be a historical fact in the Grecian kingdom. The conquests of Grecia under Alexander had no parallel in ancient times for suddenness and rapidity. His military achievements are summarized by W. W. Tarn:

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"He was a master in the combination of various arms; he taught the world the advantages of campaigning in winter, the value of pressing pursuit to the utmost, and the principle of 'march divided, fight united.' He marched usually in two division, one conducting the impediments and his own [division] traveling light; his speed of movement was extraordinary. It is said that he attributed his military success to 'never putting anything off.' . . . The enormous distances traversed in unknown country imply a very high degree of organizing ability; in ten years he had only two serious breakdowns.... Had a lesser man attempted what he achieved, and failed, we should have heard enough of the hopeless military difficulties of the undertaking." [1]

"The beast had also four heads" The Grecian Empire maintained its unity but little longer than the lifetime of Alexander. After his brilliant career ended in a fever induced by a drunken debauch, the empire was divided among his four leading generals. Cassander had Macedonia and Greece in the west; Lysimachus had Thrace and the parts of Asia on the Hellespont and the Bosphorus in the north; Ptolemy received Egypt, Lydia, Arabia, Palestine, and Coele-Syria in the south; and Seleucus had Syria and all the rest of Alexander's dominions in the east. By the year 301 B.C., with the death of Antigonus, the division of the kingdom of Alexander into four parts was completed by his general. [2] These division were denoted by the four heads of the leopard.

Thus accurately were the words of the prophet fulfilled. As Alexander left no available successor, why did not the huge empire break up into countless petty fragments? Why into just four parts, and no more?--For reasons that the prophecy foresaw and foretold. The leopard had four heads, the rough goat four horns, the kingdom was to have four divisions; and thus it was. (See more fully in comments on Daniel 8.)

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Verse 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

A Dreadful Beast.--Inspiration finds no beast in nature to symbolize the power here illustrated. No addition of hoofs, heads, horns, wings, scales, teeth, or nails to any beast found in nature will answer. This power is diverse from all the others, and the symbol is wholly different from anything found in the animal kingdom.

The foundation for a volume is laid in verse 7, but for lack of space we are compelled to treat it briefly here. This beast corresponds to the fourth division of the great image--the legs of iron. In the comment on Daniel 2: 40 are given some reasons for believing this power to be Rome. The same reasons are applicable to the present prophecy. How accurately Rome answered to the iron portion of the image! How accurately it answers to the beast before us! In the dread and terror which it inspired, and in its great strength, it answered admirably to the prophetic description. The world had never seen its equal. It devoured as with iron teeth, and broke in pieces all that stood in its way. It ground the nations into the dust beneath its brazen feet. It had ten horns, which are explained in verse 24 to be ten kings, or kingdoms, which should arise out of this empire. As already noticed in comments on Daniel 2, Rome was divided into ten kingdoms. These divisions have ever since been spoken of as the ten kingdoms of the Roman Empire.

Verse 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel considered the horns. A strange movement appeared among them. Another horn, at first little, but afterward more stout than its fellows, thrust itself up. It was not content quietly to find a place of its own, and fill it; it must

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thrust aside some of the others, and usurp their places. Three kingdoms were thus plucked up.

A Little Horn Among the Ten.--This little horn, as we shall have occasion to notice more fully hereafter, was the papacy. The three horns plucked up by the roots represented the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals. The reason for their removal was their opposition to the teachings and claims of the papal hierarchy.

"In this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things"--fit emblems of the shrewdness, penetration, and arrogant claims of an apostate religious organization.

Verse 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

A Judgement Scene.--A sublimer description of a more awe-inspiring scene is not to be found in the word of God. Not the grand and lofty imagery alone could arrest our attention; the nature of the scene itself demands most serious consideration. The judgement is here brought to view. Whenever the judgement is mentioned, it ought to take an irresistible hold upon every mind, for all have a deep concern in its eternal issues.

By an unfortunate translation in verse 9, a wrong idea is almost sure to be conveyed. The phrase "cast down" is from a Chaldee word , remi, which may properly be rendered "hurled by violence," as is plainly the case where it is used to describe the casting of the three Hebrews into the fiery furnace, and of casting Daniel into the den of lions. But another equally correct translation is "to set or place in order," as in the placing of the judgement seats mentioned here, as also a like setting or placing in Revelation 4: 2, in which the Greek bears out the same meaning. The Revised Version in Daniel 7: 9 reads properly, "thrones were places," as Gesenius defines

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the root remah, with reference to Daniel 7: 9 as an example.

The "Ancient of days," God the Father, presides at the judgement. Mark the description of His person. Those who believe in the impersonality of God are obliged to admit that He is here described as a personal being, but they console themselves by saying that it is the only description of the kind in the Bible. We do not admit this latter assertion; but granting that it were true, is not one description of this kind as fatal to their as though it were repeated a score of times? The thousand thousands who minister unto Him, and the ten thousand times ten thousand who stand before Him, are not sinners arraigned before the judgement seat, but heavenly intelligences who wait before Him, attendant on His will. John saw the same heavenly attendants before the throne of God, and he describes the majestic scene in these words: "I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." Revelation 5: 11. A fuller understanding of these verses involves an understanding of the sanctuary services.

The closing up of the ministration of Christ, our great High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary, is the work of judgement here introduced. It is an investigative judgement. The books are opened, and the cases of all come up for examination before that great tribunal, that it may be decided beforehand who are to receive eternal life when the Lord shall come to confer it upon His people. It will appear from the testimony of Daniel 8: 14 that this solemn work is even now going on in the sanctuary above.

Verse 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

End of the Fourth Beast.--There are those who believe in a thousand years' reign of righteousness over all the world be-

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fore the coming of Christ. There are others who believe in probation after the Lord comes, during which the immortal righteous still proclaim the gospel to mortal sinners, and lead them into the way of salvation. Neither of these theories can be substantiated from the Bible, as we shall see.

The fourth terrible beast continues without change of character, and the little horn continues to utter its blasphemies, holding its millions of votaries in the bonds of blind superstition, until the beast is given to the burning flame. This is not its conversion, but its destruction. (See 2 Thessalonians 2: 8.)

The life of the fourth beast is not prolonged after its dominion is gone, as were the lives of the preceding beasts. Their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season. The territory and subjects of the Babylonian kingdom still existed, though made subject to the Persians. So with the Persian kingdom in respect to Greece, and Greece in respect to Rome. But what succeeds the fourth kingdom? No government or state in which mortals have any part, follows it. Its career ends in the lake of fire, and it has no existence beyond. The lion was merged with the bear, the bear into the leopard, the leopard into the fourth beast. But the fourth beast is not merged into another beast. It is to be cast into the lake of fire.

Verse 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before Him. 14 And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

The Son of Man Receives His Kingdom.--The scene here described is not the second coming of Christ to this earth, for the Ancient of days is not on this earth, and the coming here spoken of is to the Ancient of days. There, in the presence of the Father, dominion, and glory, and a kingdom are given to the Son of man. Christ receives His kingdom before His return to this earth. (See Luke 19: 10-12.) Therefore, this is a scene

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which takes place in heaven, and is closely connected with that brought to view in verses 9 and 10. Christ receives His kingdom at the close of His priestly work in the sanctuary. The people and nations that shall serve Him are the redeemed (Revelation 21: 24), not the wicked nations of the earth, for these are destroyed at the second advent of Christ by the brightness of His coming. (Psalm 2: 9; 2 Thessalonians 2: 8.) Out of all nations, tribes, and kindreds of the earth will come those who server God with joy and gladness. They shall inherit the kingdom of our Lord.

Verse 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Vision Interpreted to Daniel.--We should be no less concerned than was Daniel to understand the truth of these things. We have the assurance that when we inquire with sincerity of heart, we shall find the Lord as ready now as in the days of the prophet to lead to a correct understanding of these important truths. The beasts and the kingdoms which they represent, have already been explained. We have followed the prophet through the course of events, even to the destruction of the fourth beast, the final overthrow of all earthly governments. Then the scene changes, for we read, "The saints... shall take the kingdom." Verse 18. The saints! despised, reproached, persecuted, cast out; looked upon as the least likely of all men ever to realize their hopes--these shall take the kingdom, and possess it forever. The usurpation and misrule of the wicked shall come to an end. The inheritance forfeited because of sin shall be redeemed. Peace and righteousness shall reign eternally over all the fair expanse of the earth made new.

Verse 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

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Truth of the Fourth Beast.--Of the first three beasts in this vision, Daniel had a clear understanding. But he was astonished at the fourth beast, because of its unnatural and dreadful character. It was of this beast and its ten horns, more particularly of the little horn which came up last, "whose look was more stout than his fellows," that he desired further information. The lion is a production of nature, but it must have the addition of two wings to represent the kingdom of Babylon. The bear we also find in nature, but as a symbol of Medo-Persia an unnatural ferocity must be denoted by the three ribs in its mouth. So the leopard is a beast of nature, yet fitly to represent Grecia, four wings and three more heads must be added. But nature furnishes no symbol which can fitly illustrate the fourth kingdom. The vision therefore introduces a beast the likeness of which was never before seen, a beast dreadful and terrible, with nails of brass, and teeth of iron, so cruel, rapacious, and fierce that from mere love of oppression it devoured, and broke in pieces, and trampled its victims beneath its feet.

Astounding as all this was to the prophet, there was something still more remarkable that gripped his attention. A little horn came up, and true to the nature of the beast from which it sprang, thrust aside three of its fellows. Lo, the horn had eyes, not the uncultivated eyes of a brute, but the keen, shrewd, intelligent eyes of a man. Stranger yet, it had a mouth, and with that mouth it uttered proud sayings, and put forth preposterous and arrogant claims. No wonder the prophet made special inquiry respecting this monster, so unearthly in its instincts, so fiendish in its works and ways. In the following verses some specifications are given respecting the little horn, which enable the student of prophecy to make an application of this symbol without danger of mistake.

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Verse 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Little Horn to Make War With the Saints.--The amazing wrath of this little horn against the saints particularly attracted the attention of Daniel. The rise of the ten horns, or the division of Rome into ten kingdoms, between A.D. 351 and 476, has already been noticed in comments on Daniel 2: 41.

As these horns denote kingdoms, the little horn must denote a kingdom also, yet not of the same nature, because it was diverse from the others. They were political kingdoms. Now we have but to inquire if, since A.D. 476, any kingdom has risen among the ten division of the Roman Empire which was diverse from them all; and if so, what one? The answer is, Yes, the spiritual kingdom of the papacy. It answers to the symbol in every particular, as we shall see as we proceed.

Daniel beheld this power making war upon the saints. Has such a war been waged by the papacy? Millions of martyrs answer, Yes. Witness the cruel persecutions of the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and Protestants in general, by the papal power.

In verse 22 three consecutive events seem to be brought to view. Looking onward from the time when the little horn was in the height of its power to the full end of the long contest between the saints and Satan with all his agents, Daniel notes three prominent events that stand as mileposts along the way:

The coming of the Ancient of days, that is, the position which Jehovah takes in the opening of the judgement scene described in verses 9, 10.

The judgement that is given to the saints, that is, the time when the saints sit with Christ in judgment a thousand years, following the first resurrection (Revelation 20: 1-4), apportioning to the wicked the punishment due for their sins. The martyrs will then sit in judgment upon the great persecuting power, which, in the days of their trial, hunted them like the

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beasts of the desert, and poured out their blood like water.

The time that the saints possess the kingdom, that is, the time of their entrance upon the possession of the new earth. Then the last vestige of the curse of sin, and of sinners, root and branch, will have been wiped away, and the territory so long misruled by the wicked powers of earth, the enemies of God's people, will be given to the righteous, to be possessed by them forever and ever. (1 Corinthians 6: 2, 3; Matthew 25: 34.)

Verse 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

Rise and Work of the Little Horn.--Perhaps enough has already been said respecting the fourth beast (Rome) and the ten horns, or ten kingdoms, which arose out of this power. The little horn now more particularly demands attention. As stated in comments on verse 8, we find the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning this horn in the rise and work of the papacy. It is a matter of both interest and importance, therefore, to inquire into the causes which resulted in the development of this arrogant power.

The first pastors, or bishops, of Rome enjoyed a respect proportionate to the rank of the city in which they resided. For the first few centuries of the Christian Era, Rome was the largest, richest, and most powerful city in the world. It was the seat of empire, the capital of the nations. "All the inhabitants of the earth belong to here," said Julian; and Claudian declared her to be the "fountain of laws." "If Rome is the queen of cities, why should not her pastor be the king of bishops?" was the reasoning these Roman pastors put forth. "Why should not the Roman Church be the mother of Chris-

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tendom? Why should not all nations be her children, and her authority their sovereign law? It was easy," says D'Aubigne, from whom we quote these words, "for the ambitious heart of man to reason thus. Ambitious Rome did so." [3]

The bishops in the different parts of the Roman Empire felt a pleasure in yielding to the bishop of Rome some of that honor which that city received from the nations of the earth. There was originally no dependence implied in the honor thus paid. "But," continues D'Aubigne, "usurped power increases like an avalanche. Admonitions, at first simply fraternal, soon became absolute commands in the mouth of the pontiff. . . . The Western bishops favored this encroachment of the Roman pastors, either from jealousy of the Eastern bishops, or because they preferred submitting to the supremacy of a pope rather than to the dominion of a temporal power." [4] Such were the influences clustering around the bishop of Rome, and thus was everything tending toward his speedy elevation to the spiritual dominance of Christendom.

Challenge of Arianism.--But the fourth century was destined to witness an obstacle thrown across the path of this ambitious dream. The prophecy had declared that the power represented by the little horn would "subdue three kings." In the rise and development of Arianism early in the fourth century and the challenge it presented to papal supremacy, we find the causes leading to the plucking up of three of the kingdoms of Western Rome by the papal power.

Arius, parish priest of the ancient and influential church of Alexandria, promulgated his doctrine to the world, occasioning so fierce a controversy in the Christian church that a general council was called at Nicaea, by the emperor Constantine in A.D. 325, to consider and rule upon its teaching. Arius maintained "that the Son was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that He was the first and noblest of those be-

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ings whom the Father had created out of nothing, the instrument by whose subordinate operation the Almighty Father formed the universe, and therefore inferior to the Father, both in nature and dignity." This opinion was condemned by the council, which decreed that Christ was of one and the same substance with the Father. Hereupon Arius was banished to Illyria, and his followers were compelled to give their assent to the creed composed on that occasion. [5]

The controversy itself, however, was not to be disposed of in this summary manner. For ages it continued to agitate the Christian world, the Arians everywhere becoming the bitter enemies of the pope and of the Roman Catholic Church. It was evident that the spread of Arianism would check the onward march of Catholicism, and that the possession of Italy and it renowned capital by a people of the Arian persuasion would be fatal to the supremacy of a Catholic bishop. The prophecy, however, had declared that this horn symbolizing the papacy would rise to supreme power, and that in reaching this position it would subdue three kings.

Little Horn Overthrows Tree Arian Powers.--Some difference of opinion has existed in regard to the particular powers which were overthrown by the papacy in its rise to power. In this connection the remarks of Albert Barnes seem pertinent: "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 fulfillment of the vision. Yet it is possible to make out the fulfillment of this with a good degree of certainty in the history of the papacy." [6]

Joseph Mede supposes the three kingdoms plucked up to have been the Greeks, the Lombards, and the Franks; and Sir

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Issac Newton supposes they were the exarchate of Ravenna, the Lombards, and the senate and dukedom of Rome. Thomas Newton [7] states serious objections to both these suppositions. The Franks could not have been one of these kingdoms, for they were never plucked up. The Lombards could not have been one, for they were never made subject to the popes. Says Albert Barnes further, "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." [8] The senate and dukedom of Rome could not have been one, for as they never constituted one of the ten kingdoms, three of which were to be plucked up before the little horn.

But we apprehend the chief difficulty in the application made by these eminent commentators lay in the fact that they supposed that the prophecy respecting the exaltation of the papacy had not been fulfilled, and could not have been until the pope became a temporal prince. Therefore they sought to find an accomplishment of the prophecy in the events which led to the pope's temporal sovereignty. But evidently the prophecy of verses 24, 25, refers, not to his civil power, but to his power to domineer over the minds and consciences of men. The papacy reached this position, A.D. 583, as will hereafter appear.

The word "before" used in verses 8 and 20 represents the Chaldee , qadam, with the root meaning "front." Combined with min, meaning "from," as it is in these two verses, Davidson translates it "from the presence of," and Gesenius says it is equivalent to the Hebrew , lipna, meaning "in the presence of." It therefore has here the meaning "before" in the sense of "place," as it does in the same phrase in verse 10, where it is properly translated in the Authorized Version "from before Him." We have, then, in verse 8 the picture of the

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little horn pressing in among the ten and forcibly plucking up three horns from before it. In verse 20, it is declared that the three horns "fell" from before it, as if overcome by it. In verse 24, we read that another king, representing the little horn, "shall subdue three kings [horns]," evidently by acts of force. While the word qadam is also used in the sense of time, as in the word "before" in verse 7, there can scarcely be a doubt that it is used in the sense of place in the three verses cited above. With this interpretation Edward Elliott clearly agrees. (See page 128.)

The position is here confidently taken that the three powers, or horns, plucked up by the roots were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; and this position rests upon reliable historical data. Odoacer, the leader of the Heruli, was the first of the barbarians who reigned over the Romans. He took the throne of Italy, A.D. 476. Of his religious belief Gibbon says: "Like the rest of the barbarians he had been instructed in the Arian heresy; but he revered the monastic and episcopal characters; and the silence of the Catholics attests the toleration which they enjoyed." [9]

The same author says: "The Ostrogoths, the Burgundians, the Suevi, and the Vandals, who had listened to the eloquence of the Latin clergy, preferred the more intelligible lessons of their domestic teachers; and Arianism was adopted as the national faith of the warlike converts who were seated on the ruins of the Western Empire. This irreconcilable difference of religion was a perpetual source of jealousy and hatred; and the reproach of barbarian was embittered by the more odious epithet of heretic. The heroes of the north, who had submitted with some reluctance to believe that all their ancestors were in hell, were astonished and exasperated to learn that they themselves had only changed the mode of their eternal condemnation." [10]

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The Arian doctrine had a marked influence on the church at that time, as will be observed in the following paragraphs: "The whole of the vast Gothic population which descended on the Roman Empire, so far as it was Christian at all, held to the faith of the Alexandrian heretic. Our first Teutonic version of the Scriptures was by an Arian missionary, Ulfilas. The first conqueror of Rome, Alaric, the first conqueror of Africa, Genseric, were Arians. Theodoric the Great, king of Italy, and hero of the 'Nibelungenlied,' was an Arian. The vacant place in his massive tomb at Ravenna is a witness of the vengeance which the Orthodox took on his memory, when on their triumph they tore down the porphyry vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes." [11]

Ranke states: "But she [the church] fell, as was inevitable, into many embarrassments, and found herself in an entirely altered condition. A pagan people took possession of Britain; Arian kings seized the greater part of the remaining West; while the Lombards, long attached to Arianism, and as neighbors most dangerous and hostile, established a powerful sovereignty before the very gates of Rome. The Roman bishops, meanwhile, beset on all sides, exerted themselves, with all the prudence and pertinacity which have remained their peculiar attributes, to regain the mastery--at least in their patriarchal diocese." [12]

Machiavelli says: "Nearly all the wars which the northern barbarians carried on in Italy, it may be here remarked, were occasioned by the pontiffs; and the hordes with which the country was inundated, were generally called in by them." [13]

The relation which these Arian kings sustained to the pope is shown in the following testimony from Mosheim in his church history:

"On the other hand, it is certain, from a variety of the most authentic records, that both the emperors and the nations in

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general were far from being disposed to bear with patience the yoke of servitude which the see of Rome was arrogantly imposing upon the Christian church. The Gothic princes set bounds to the power of the bishop of Rome in Italy, permitted none to be raised to the pontificate without their approbation, and reserved to themselves the right of judging concerning the legality of every new election." [14]

An instance in proof of this statement occurs in the history of Odoacer, the first Arian king above mentioned. [15] When, on the death of Pope Simplicius, A.D. 483, the clergy and people had assembled for the election of a new pope, suddenly Basilius, lieutenant of King Odoacer, appeared in the assembly, expressed his surprise that any such work as appointing a successor to the deceased pope should be undertaken without him, in the name of the king declared all that had been done null and void, and ordered the election to be begun anew.

Meanwhile, Zeno, the emperor of the East, and friend of the pope, was anxious to drive Odoacer out of Italy, a movement which he soon had the satisfaction of seeing accomplished without trouble to himself. Theodoric had come to the throne of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Moesia and Pannonia. Being on friendly terms with Zeno, he wrote him, stating that it was impossible for him to restrain his Goths within the impoverished province of Pannonia, and asking his permission to lead them to some more favorable region which they might conquer and posses. Zeno gave him permission to march against Odoacer and take possession of Italy. Accordingly, after a five years' war, the Herulian kingdom in Italy was overthrown, Odoacer was treacherously slain, and Theodoric established his Ostrogoths in the Italian peninsula. As already stated, he was an Arian, and the law of Odoacer subjecting the election of the pope to the approval of the king, was still retained.

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The following incident will show how completely the papacy was in subjection to his power. The Catholics in the East having begun a persecution against the Arians, A.D. 523, Theodoric summoned Pope John into his presence and thus addressed him: " 'If the emperor [Justin, the predecessor of Justinian] therefore does not think fit to revoke the edict which he has lately issued against those of my persuasion [that is, the Arians], it is my firm resolution to issue the like edict against those of his [that is, the Catholics]; and to see it everywhere executed with the same rigor. Those who do not profess the faith of Nice, are heretics to him, and those who do are heretics to me. Whatever can excuse or justify his severity to the former, will excuse and justify mine to the latter. But the emperor,' continued the king, 'has none about him who dare freely and openly speak what they think, or to whom he would hearken if they did. But the great veneration which he professes for your See , leaves no room to doubt but he would hearken to you. I will therefore have you to repair forthwith to Constantinople, and there to remonstrate, both in my name and your own, against the violent measures in which that court has so rashly engaged. It is in your power to divert the emperor from them; and till you have, nay, till the Catholics [this name Theodoric applies to the Arians] are restored to the free exercise of their religion, and to all the churches from which they have been driven, you must not think of returning to Italy.' " [16]

The pope who was thus peremptorily ordered by the Arian emperor not to set foot again upon Italian soil until he had carried out the will of the king, certainly could not hope for much advancement toward any kind of supremacy until that power was taken out of the way.

The feelings of the papal party toward Theodoric may be accurately estimated, according to a quotation already given, by the vengeance which they took on his memory. They tore from his tomb the vase in which his Arian subjects had en-

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shrined his ashes. These feelings are put into language by Baronius, who inveighs "against Theodoric as a cruel barbarian, as a barbarous tyrant, as an impious Arian." [17]

While the Catholics were thus feeling the restraining power of an Arian king in Italy, they were suffering a violent persecution from the Arian Vandals in Africa. [18] Elliot says: " The Vandal kings were not only Arians, but persecutors of the Catholics; in Sardinia and Corsica under the Roman Episcopate, we may presume, as well as in Africa." [19]

Such was the position of affairs, when, A.D. 533, Justinian entered upon his Vandal and Gothic wars. Wishing to obtain the influence of the pope and the Catholic party, he issued that memorable decree which was to constitute the pope of all the churches, and from the carrying out of which A.D. 538, the period of papal supremacy is to be dated. And whoever will read the history of the African campaign, 533-534, and the Italian campaign, 534-538, will notice that the Catholics everywhere hailed as deliverers the army of Belisarius, the general of Justinian.

But no decree of this nature could be carried into effect until the Arian horns which stood in its way were overthrown. A turn came, however, in the tide of affairs, for in the military campaign in Africa and Italy the victorious legions of Belisarius dealt a crushing blow to Arianism, so much so that its final supporters were vanquished.

Procopius relates that the African war was undertaken by Justinian for the relief of the Christians (Catholics) in that quarter, and that when he expressed his intention in this respect, the prefect of the palace came very near dissuading him from his purpose. But a dream appeared to him in which he was bidden "not to shrink from the execution of his design;

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for by assisting the Christians he would overthrow the power of the Vandals." [20]

Mosheim declares: "It is true, the Greeks who had received the decrees of the Council of Nice [that is, from the Catholics], persecuted and oppressed the Arians wherever their influence and authority could reach; but the Nicenians, in their turn, were not less rigorously treated by their adversaries [the Arians], particularly in Africa and Italy, where they felt, in a very severe manner, the weight of the Arian power, and the bitterness of their resentment. the triumphs of Arianism were, however, transitory; and its prosperous days were entirely eclipsed when the Vandals were driven out of Africa, and the Goths out of Italy, by the arms of Justinian." [21]

Elliot summarizes: "I might cite three that were eradicated from before the pope out of the list first given, viz., the Heruli under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths." [22]

From the historical testimony above cited, we think it clearly established that the three horns plucked up were the powers named: the Heruli, A.D. 493, the Vandals, in 534, and the Ostrogoths finally in 553, though effective opposition by the latter to the decree of Justinian ceased when they were driven from Rome by Belisarius in 583, [23] as stated on page 127.

Little Horn to "Speak Great Words Against the Most High."--This prophecy, too, has been unhappily fulfilled in the history of the pontiffs. They have sought, or at least have permitted to be applied to them, titles which would be hyperbolical and blasphemous if applied to an angel of God.

Lucius Ferraris, in his Prompta Bibliotheca which the Catholic Encylopedia refers to as "a veritable encyclopedia of religious knowledge" and "a precious mine of information," declares, in its article on the pope, that "the pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it

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were God, and the vicar of God. . . . The pope is of such lofty and supreme dignity that, properly speaking, he has not been established in any rank of dignity, but rather has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks of dignities. . . . The pope is called most holy because he is rightfully presumed to be such...

"The pope alone is deservedly called by the name 'most holy,' because he alone is the vicar of Christ, who is the fountain and source and fullness of all holiness. . . . 'He is likewise the divine monarch and supreme emperor, and king of kings.' . . . Hence the pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions. . . . Moreover the superiority and the power of the Roman Pontiff by no means pertain only to heavenly things, to earthly things, and to things under the earth, but are even over angels, than whom he is greater. . . . So that if it were possible that the angels might err in the faith, or might think contrary to the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the pope. . . . For he is of so great dignity and power that he forms one and the same tribunal with Christ. . . .

"The pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having plenitude of power, to whom has been intrusted by the omnipotent God direction not only of the earthly but also of the heavenly kingdom. . . . The pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws." [24]

Christopher Marcellus, at the fourth session of the fifth Lateran Council in an oration to the Pope, exclaimed: "Thou are the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman; finally, thou art another God on earth." [25]

Again, Adam Clarke says on verse 25: " 'He shall speak as if he were God.' So St. Jerome quotes from Symmachus. To

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none can this apply so well or so fully as to the popes of Rome. They have assumed infallibility, which belongs only to God. They profess to forgive sins, which belongs only to God. They profess to open and shut heaven, which belongs only to God. They profess to be higher than all the kings of the earth, which belongs only to God. And they go beyond God in pretending to loose whole nations from their oath of allegiance to their kings, when such kings do not please them. And they go against God when they give indulgences for sin. This is the worst of all blasphemies." [26]

Little Horn to "Wear Out the Saints of the Most High."--It requires but little historical investigation to prove that Rome, both in the times of antiquity and during the Dark Ages, carried forward a work of destruction against the church of God. Abundant evidences can be given showing that prior to and following the great work of Reformation, wars, crusades, massacres, inquisitions, and persecutions of all kinds were the methods adopted to compel all to submit to the Roman yoke.

The story of medieval persecution is a frightful one, and we dread to dwell upon its detail. Yet for a proper understanding of this passage it is necessary that we recall some of the happenings of these unhappy times. Albert Barnes, in his comment on this passage, remarks:

"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 his 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 of 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

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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, and buried alive, for the crime of heresy, within the space of thirty-eight years from the edict of Charles V against the Protestants, to the peace of Chateau Cambreses in 1559. Eighteen thousand suffered by the hand 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 any one that what is here said of 'making war with the saints' (verse 21), and 'wearing out the saints of the Most High' (verse 25), is strictly applicable to that power, and will accurately describe its history." [27]

These facts are confirmed by the testimony of W. E. H. Lecky. He declares:

"That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a complete knowledge of history. The memorials, indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty that it is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no powers of imagination can adequately realize their sufferings. . . . These atrocities were not perpetrated in the brief paroxysms of a reign of terror, or by the hands of obscure sectaries, but were inflicted by a triumphant church, with every circumstance of solemnity and deliberation." [28]

It makes no difference that in numerous instances the victims were turned over to the civil authorities. It was the church that made the decision upon the question of heresy, and it then passed the offenders over to the secular court. But in those days the secular power was but the tool in the

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hands of the church. It was under its control and did its bidding. When the church delivered its prisoners to the executioners to be destroyed, with fiendish mockery it made use of the following formula: "And we do leave and deliver thee to the secular arm, and to the power of the secular court; but at the same time do most earnestly beseech that court so to moderate its sentence as not to touch thy blood, or to put thy life in any danger." [29] Then, as intended, the unfortunate victims of popish hate were immediately executed.

The testimony of Lepicier is to the point in this connection: "The civil power can only punish the crime of unbelief in the manner and to the extent that the crime is judicially made known to it by ecclesiastical persons, skilled in the doctrine of the faith. But the church taking cognizance by herself of the crime of unbelief, can by herself decree the sentence of death, yet not execute it; but she hands over the execution of it to the secular arm." [30]

The false claims of some Catholics that their church has never killed dissenters, have been flatly denied by one of their own standard writers, Cardinal Bellarmine, who was born in Tuscany in 1542, and who, after his death in 1621, came very near being placed in the calendar of saints on account of his great services in behalf of the church. This man, on one occasion, under the spur of controversy, betrayed himself into an admission of the real facts in the case. Luther having said that the church (meaning the true church) never burned heretics, Bellarmine, understanding it of the Roman Catholic Church, made answer: "This argument proves not the sentiment, but the ignorance or impudence of Luther; for as almost an infinite number were either burned or otherwise put to death, Luther either did no know it, and was therefore ignorant; or if he knew it, he is convicted of impudence and falsehood--for that

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heretics were often burned by the church, may be proved by adducing a few from many examples." [31]

Alfred Baudrillart, rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, when referring to the attitude of the church toward heresy, remarks:

"When confronted by heresy, she does not content herself with persuasion; arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture. She creates tribunals like those of the Inquisition, she calls the laws of state to her aid, if necessary she encourages a crusade, or a religious war, and all her 'horror of blood' practically culminates into urging the secular power to shed it, which proceeding is almost more odious--for it is less frank--than shedding it herself.

"Especially did she act thus in the sixteenth century with regard to Protestants. Not content to reform morally, to teach by example, to convert people by eloquent and holy missionaries, she lit in Italy, in the Low Countries, and above all in Spain, the funeral piles of the Inquisition. In France under Francis I and Henri II, in England under Mary Tudor, she tortured the heretics, while both in France and Germany, during the second half of the sixteenth, and first half of the seventeenth centuries, if she did not actually begin, at any rate she encouraged and actively aided the religious wars." [32]

In a letter of Pope Martin V (A.D. 1417-1431), are the following instructions to the King of Poland:

" 'Know that the interest of the Holy See, and those of your crown make it a duty to exterminate the Hussites. Remember that these impious persons dare proclaim principles of equality, they maintain that all Christians are brethren, and that God has not given to privileged men the right of ruling nations; they hold that Christ came on earth to abolish slavery; they call the people to liberty, that is, to the annihilation of kings

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and priests! Whilst there is still time, then, turn your forces against Bohemia; burn, massacre, make deserts everywhere, for nothing could be more agreeable to God, or more useful to the cause of kings, than the extermination of the Hussites.' " [33]

All this was in harmony with the teaching of the church. Heresy was not to be tolerated, but to be destroyed.

Pagan Rome persecuted the Christian church relentlessly. It is estimated that three million Christians perished in the first three centuries of the Christian Era. Yet it is said that the primitive Christians prayed for the continuance of imperial Rome, for the knew that when this form of government should cease, another far worse persecuting power would arise, which would literally "wear out the saints of the Most High," as this prophecy declares. Pagan Rome could slay the infants, but spare the mothers; but papal Rome slew both mothers and infants together. No age, no sex, no condition in life, was exempt from her relentless rage.

Little Horn to "Think to Change Times and Laws."--What laws and whose? Not the laws of other earthly governments; for it was nothing marvelous or strange for one power to change the laws of another, whenever it could bring such power under its dominion. Not human laws of any kind; for the little horn had power to change these so far as its jurisdiction extended; but the times and laws in question were such as this power should only think to change, but not be able to change. They are the laws of the same Being to whom the saints belong who are worn out by this power, namely, the laws of the Most High. And has the papacy attempted this?--Yes, even this.

It has added the second commandment of the Decalogue to the first, making them one, and divided the tenth into two, making the ninth forbid the coveting of a neighbor's wife, and the tenth that of a neighbor's property--thus making up the

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full number ten. While the full wording of the second commandment is retained in the Roman Catholic Bible and in the Roman Catechism authorized by the Council of Trent, painstaking explanation is made that in the case of images and likenesses of any kind except that of God Himself, their making and use are not forbidden by the commandment when employed only to venerate the virtues of the saints and not to worship them as gods, which latter is expressly forbidden in the commandment. The same principle is applied also to ashes, bones, and other relics of saints, and to representations of angels.

As to the fourth commandment, numbered as the third in their arrangement, the catechism of highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church retains the commandment entire, and urges punctilious observance of the Sabbath in the personal life and in public worship as a sacred privilege and duty. Nevertheless the position is taken that the particular day on which the Sabbath is to be observed, was connected with the ceremonial ordinances of the Jews, and was with them done away in Christ. Reasons are then given why the Sabbath should be observed on the first day of the week commonly called Sunday.

In support of the foregoing brief statement on the changing of "times and laws" by the papacy, we draw evidence from the catechism of highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church, cited hereafter. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, "the authority of this catechism is higher than that of any other, but is, or course not on a level with that of the canons and decrees of a council." [34]

Before making quotations, it should be first stated that in the polity of the Roman Catholic Church, the canons and decrees of an ecumenical church council are both official and supreme. Outstanding among such ecumenical church councils is the Council of Trent, held at Trent, Italy, from 1545 to

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1563. Since that council, called to counteract the spreading influence of the Protestant Reformation, dealt so widely with the doctrines and usages of the church, it officially decreed the following: "The holy synod commands all bishops. . . [to explain the sacraments] according to the form to be prescribed by the holy synod for all the sacraments in a catechism, which bishops will take care to have faithfully translated into the vulgar tongue, and expounded to the people by the parish priests." [35]

In pursuance of this command, a catechism was composed in Latin for the Roman Catholic Church by St. Charles Borromeo and other theologians, in 1566, and published in Rome by the Vatican Congregation for Propagation of the Faith, under the title Catechismus Romanus ex decreto Sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini, jussu S. Pii V Pontificis Maximi editus, in other words, Roman Catechism according to the decree of the Sacred Council of Trent, published by order of St. Pius V, Pontifex Maximus.

This book was translated into English by "Very Rev. J. Donovan, D. D. . . . Domestic Prelate to His Holiness Gregory XVI," etc., and published in Dublin with a preface dated June 10, 1829. The title of this book reads, Catechism According to the Decree of the Council of Trent, edited by the command of our Most Illustrious Lord Pius the Fifth.

From the fifth edition of this Roman Catechism published in Rome in 1796, we quote the following from Donovan's English Translation, in regard to the fourth (Catholic third) commandment:

"It pleased the church of God, that the religious celebration of the Sabbath day should be transferred to the Lord's day [meaning Sunday]; for as on that day light first shone on the world; so by the resurrection of our Redeemer on that day, who opened to us the gate to life eternal, our life was recalled out of darkness into light; whence also the Apostles would have it named 'the Lord's day.' We also observe in the

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Sacred Scriptures that this day was held sacred because on that day the creations of the world commenced, and the Holy Ghost was given to the apostles." [36]

Here is the declaration of the papacy that the Roman Catholic Church changed the time for observing the Sabbath from the seventh day according to the decalogue to the first day of the week, which it here erroneously calls "the Lord's day." (See comment on Revelation 1: 10.) It will be observed that the apostles are here charged with making the change from seventh day to the first, but without any proof whatsoever from the Scriptures, because there is no such proof. All the reasons for the change given in this declaration, are purely of human and ecclesiastical invention.

The foregoing testimony is sufficient to show how the papacy has thought to change times and laws. How later Roman Catholic catechisms for instruction of "the faithful" come out boldly in declaring that the church changed the day, and even taunt Protestants with acceptance and observance of the change, will be found in our comment on the mark of the beast in Revelation 13, pages 608-612.

Before leaving this matter of the change of the Sabbath, it will be enlightening to observe other reasons given by the papacy for the change than the false one that it was made by the apostles. In the same Roman Catechism referred to above, is an attempt to explain how the Sabbath commandment differs from the others in the decalogue:

"That difference, then, appears certain, that the other precepts of the decalogue belong to the natural law, and are perpetual and unalterable, whence is it that, although the law of Moses has been abrogated, yet the Christian people observe all the commandments which are contained in the two tables, not because Moses so commanded, but because they agree with the law of nature, by the force of which men are impelled to their observance; whereas this commandment,

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touching the sanctification of the Sabbath, if considered as to the time appointed [for its observance], is not fixed and unalterable, but susceptible of change, nor does it belong to the moral but ceremonial law, neither is it a principle of the natural law, for we are [not] taught or formed by nature to give external worship to God on that rather than on any other day; but from the time the people of Israel were liberated from the bondage of Pharaoh, they observed the Sabbath day. . . .

"But the time when the observance of the Sabbath was to be removed, is that same time when the other Hebrew rites and ceremonies were to be abrogated, namely, at the death of Christ; for as those ceremonies are, as it were, images that shadowed forth the light and truth (Hebrews x, 1), it was, therefore, necessary that they should be removed at the coming of the light and truth, which is Jesus Christ." [37]

The reader needs only to be reminded that the ten-commandment law was written with God's finger on tables of stone, while the ceremonial laws were written by Moses in a book. More than this, the decalogue was written by Moses in a book. More than this, the decalogue was written before the ceremonial laws were given to Moses. Shall we charge God with mixing in one ceremonial command with the nine of the moral law, and leave it to a presumptuous ecclesiastical body to make the correction? The reason also for the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, as given in the commandment itself, is that the Creator Himself rested on that day, and set it apart as a memorial of His work of creation, but with no intimation whatever of its being "a shadow of things to come" in Christ, to whom all ceremonial ordinances pointed forward.

One more quotation from the Roman Catechism is worth noticing:

"The Apostles, therefore, resolved to consecrate the first day of the seven to divine worship, which they called 'the Lord's day;' for St. John, in his Apocalypse, makes mention of 'the Lord's day' (Apocalypse i,10); and the Apostle orders

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collections to made on the first day of the week' (1 Corinthians xvi,2), which is, as St. Chrysostom interprets, the Lord's day; to give us to understand, that even the Lord's day was kept holy in the church." [38]

In addition to falsely charging the apostles with changing the day of the Sabbath, it is here represented that the business reckoning of one's accounts on the first day of the week is a reason for its observance as the Sabbath contrary to God's unchangeable law.

This quotation also reveals the fact that the practices and interpretations of the Fathers, such as "St. Chrysostom," here mentioned, are relied on rather than the Scriptures themselves for proof that the Sabbath of God's law was changed to Sunday.

One more observation is appropriate here, especially for Protestant clergy and laymen to consider. In this Roman Catechism, composed by order of Pope Pius V about the middle of the sixteenth century, is contained virtually every argument used by Protestants in our day to support the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. Note these:

They assume without proof that the seventh-day Sabbath was part of the ceremonial law (though embodied in the very heart of the moral law written by the finger of God), and therefore done away in Christ.

They boldly claim that the apostles ordained that the first day of the week be observed in place of the seventh, citing John's use of the term "Lord's day" in Revelation 1: 10, despite the fact that the only day God ever set apart as holy and claimed as His own by resting on it Himself was the seventh day of the fourth commandment.

They claim that the Sabbath law of rest "agrees with the law of nature" requiring cessation of labor and a period for meditation and worship, but assert that the time of its observ-

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ance is "susceptible of change," since, according to their argument, it does not "belong to the moral but ceremonial law," and was therefore changed by the apostles, by the Fathers, and by the church to the first day of the week.

The arguments they use for such change are that light first shone on the world on the first day of the week, the resurrection of Christ took place on that day, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles on the same day of the week, Paul admonished Christians to reckon their business accounts and lay aside a portion for the Lord on the first day of the week--all of human invention and without Scriptural authority as reasons for such a change. The only reasons given by the Creator and Lord of the Sabbath, are that He created the world in six days, rested on the seventh, and set apart that day for holy use on the same permanent and unalterable basis as He created all other things on the other days of creation week.

Protestants may not be aware that in defense of the Sunday sabbath they are using the Roman Catholic arguments contained in the Catechism of the Council of Trent published in the sixteenth century, but every one of them mentioned above is found in that work. Our appeal to every Protestant is to break away fully from the papacy, and hold to the Bible and the Bible only in his belief and practice.

"A Time and Times and the Dividing of Time."--The pronoun "they" in the sentence containing this phrase embraces the saints, the times, and the laws just mentioned. How long a time were they to be given into the hands of this power. A time, as we have seen from Daniel 4: 23, is one year; two times, the least that could be denoted by the plural, two years, and the dividing of time, or half a time, half a year. The word "dividing" in the phrase "dividing of time" is translated from the Chaldee word, pelage, which Gesenius defines as "a half," and refers to Daniel 7: 25 as an example. The Septuagint translates it "half." We thus have three years and a half for the continuance of this power. The Chaldee word for "time" in the text before us, is, iddan, which

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Gesenius defines thus: "Time. Spec. in prophetic language for a year. Daniel 7: 25, for a year, also two years and half a year; i.e., for three years and a half; comp. Jos. B.J.I.I.I."

We must now consider that we are in the midst of symbolic prophecy; hence in this measurement the time is not literal, but symbolic. The inquiry then arises, How long a period is denoted by the three years and a half of prophetic time? The principle given us in the Bible is, that when a day is used in symbolic prophecy, it stands for a year. (Ezekiel 4: 6; Numbers 14: 34.) Under the Hebrew word for day, , yom, Gesenius has this remark on its plural: "Sometimes [yamim] marks a definite space of time; viz., a year; as also Syr. and Chald. [iddan] denotes both time and year; and as in English several words signifying time, weight, measure, are likewise used to denote certain specified times, weights, and measures."

Bible students have recognized this principle through the ages. The following quotation reveal the agreement of various authorities on this point. Joachim, abbot of Calabria, one of the great ecclesiastical figures of the twelfth century, applied the year-day principle to the 1260-year period. "The woman, clothed with the sun, who signifies the church, remained hidden in the wilderness from the face of the serpent, a day without doubt being accepted for a year and a thousand two hundred and sixty days for the same number of years." [39]

"Three times and an half; that is, for 1260 solar years, reckoning a time for a calendar year of 360 days, and a day for a solar year. After which 'the judgment is to sit, and they shall take away his dominion,' not at once, but by degrees, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." [40]

The Bible year, which must be used as the basis of reckoning, contained three hundred and sixty days. (See comments on Revelation 11: 3.) Three years and a half contained

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twelve hundred and sixty days. As each day stands for a year, we have twelve hundred and sixty years for the continuation of the supremacy of this horn. Did the papacy posses dominion that length of time? The answer again is, Yes. The edict of the emperor Justinian, dated A.D. 533, made the bishop of Rome the head of all the churches. But this edict could not go into effect until the Arian Ostrogoths, the last of the three horns that were plucked up to make room for the papacy, were driven from Rome; and this was not accomplished, as already shown, until A.D. 538. (See p. 127.) The edict would have been of no effect had this latter event not been accomplished; hence from this latter year we are to reckon, as this was the earliest point where the saints were in reality in the hands of this power. From this point did the papacy hold supremacy for twelve hundred and sixty years? Exactly. For 538 + 1260 = 1798; and in the year 1798, Berthier, with a French army, entered Rome, proclaimed a republic, took the pope prisoner, and inflicted a deadly wound upon the papacy. Though it has never since enjoyed all the privileges and immunities which it possessed before, we are seeing a gradual restoration of its former strength.

The Judgment Shall Sit.--After describing the terrible career of the little horn, and stating that the saints should be given into his hand for 1260 years, bringing us down to 1798, verse 26 declares: "But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." In verse 10 of the same chapter we have substantially the same expression regarding the judgment: "The judgment was set." It would seem consistent to suppose that the same judgment is referred to in both instances. But the sublime scene described in verse 10 is the opening of the investigative judgment in the sanctuary in heaven, as will appear in remarks on Daniel 8: 14 and 9: 25-27. The opening of this judgment scene is located by the prophecy at the close of the great prophetic period of 2300 years, which terminated in 1844. (See comments on Daniel 9: 25-27.)

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Four years after this, in 1848, the great revolution which shook so many thrones in Europe, also drove the pope from his dominions. His restoration shortly after was through the forces of foreign bayonets, by which alone he was upheld until his final loss of temporal power in 1870. The overthrow of the papacy in 1798 marked the conclusion of the prophetic period of 1260 years, and constituted the "deadly wound," prophesied in Revelation 13: 3 to come upon this power; but this deadly wound was to be "healed."

Deadly Wound to Be Healed.--In 1800 another pope was elected, his palace and his temporal dominion over the Papal States were restored, and, as George Croly, noted British commentator, says, every prerogative except that of a systematic persecutor was again his, for the "deadly wound" was beginning to be healed.

How could that "deadly wound" be healed, and the specifications of Daniel 7: 26, "They shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end," be realized? How are we to explain this apparent paradox? Whatever the exegetical difficulties may be, the fact remains that in the history of the papacy these two specifications are being seen.

In 1844 the judgment began its work in the heavenly sanctuary. (Verse 10.) In verse 11 we are told that because of "the great words which the horn spake. . .the beast was slain." December 8, 1854, the dogma of the Immaculate conception was decreed by the pope. In 1870 the armies of Victor Emmanuel took away the temporal power of the pope, the very year that the Twentieth Ecumenical Council decreed the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra, that is, when as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals. But despite the increasing honors heaped upon the office of the bishop of Rome by the clergy, the pope's temporal power was wholly taken away. Thereafter the popes shut themselves up as prisoners in the Vatican at Rome until the signing of the concordat with

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Italy, in 1929, which restored "his dominion" over the Vatican City, a small section of the city of Rome.

Verse 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

After beholding the dark and desolate picture of papal oppression of the church, the prophet is permitted once more to turn his eyes upon the glorious period of the saints' rest, when they shall have the kingdom, free from all oppressive powers, in everlasting possession. How could the children of God keep heart in this present evil world, amid the misrule and oppression of the governments of earth, and the abominations that are done in the land, if they could not look forward to the kingdom of God and the return of their Lord, with full assurance that the promises concerning them both shall certainly be fulfilled, and that speedily?


  • [1] The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VI, pp. 425, 426. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
  • [2] Ibid., pp. 461-504.
  • [3] Jean Henri Merle d'Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Vol. I, p. 8.
  • [4] Ibid., p. 9.
  • [5] See John L. Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, p. 412; Arthur P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, pp. 239, 240.
  • [6] Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, p. 324, comment on Daniel 7: 25.
  • [7] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 275, 276.
  • [8] Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, p. 327, comment on Daniel 7: 25.
  • [9] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III, chap. 36, pp. 515, 516.
  • [10] Ibid., chap. 37, p. 547.
  • [11] Arthur P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, p. 151.
  • [12] Leopold Ranke, History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 9.
  • [13] Niccolo Machiavelli, History of Florence, p. 14.
  • [14] John L. Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, p. 113, 114.
  • [15] See Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 257.
  • [16] Ibid., Vol. I, p. 325.
  • [17] Ibid., p. 328.
  • [18] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III, chap. 37, pp. 548-552.
  • [19] Edward B. Elliott, Horae, Apocalypticae, Vol. III, p. 139, Note 3.
  • [20] Theodoret and Evagrius, A History of the Church, p. 399.
  • [21] John L. Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, p. 142, 143.
  • [22] Edward B. Elliott, Horae, Apocalypticae, Vol. III, p. 139, Note 1.
  • [23] See Student's Gibbon, pp. 309-319.
  • [24] Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, art. "Papa," II, Vol. VI, pp. 26-29.
  • [25] P. Joannis Harduin, Acta Conciliorum, Vol. IX, p. 1651.
  • [26] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 596, note on Daniel 7: 25.
  • [27] Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, p. 328, comment on Daniel 7: 25.
  • [28] William E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Vol. II, pp. 35, 37.
  • [29] Michael Geddes, "A View of the Court of Inquisition in Portugal," Miscellaneous Tracts, Vol. I, p. 408. See also Philip Limborch, The History of the Inquisition, Vol. II, p. 289.
  • [30] Alexius M. Lepicier, The Stability and Progress of Dogma, p. 195.
  • [31] John Dowling, The History of Romanism, p. 547.
  • [32] Alfred Baudrillart, The Catholic Church, the Renaissance, and Protestantism, pp. 182, 183.
  • [33] L. M. de Cormenin, The Public and Private History of the Popes of Rome, Vol. II, pp. 116, 117.
  • [34] Catholic Encyclopedia, art. "Doctrine, Christian," Vol. V, p. 79.
  • [35] J. Donovan, quoting from "council of Trent, Sess. xxiv, c. vii, on Reformation," Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. 4.
  • [36] Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. 347.
  • [37] Ibid., pp. 342, 343.
  • [38] Ibid., pp. 343, 344.
  • [39] Joachim of Floris, Concordantia, book 2, chap. 16, p. 12b.
  • [40] Sir Issac Newton, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, pp. 127, 128.
Chapter 8

The World Arraigned Before the Court of Heaven

Verse 1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

We now come once more," says Adam Clarke, "to the Hebrew, the Chaldee part of the book being finished. As the Chaldeans had a particular interest both in the history and prophecies from chapter 2: 4 to the end of chapter 7, the whole is written in Chaldee; but as the prophecies which remain concern times posterior to the Chaldean monarchy, and principally relate to the church and people of God generally, they are written in the Hebrew language, this being the tongue in which God chose to reveal all His counsels given under the Old Testament relative to the New." [1]

One prominent characteristic of the sacred writings which should forever shield them from the charge of being works of fiction, is the frankness and freedom with which the writers state all the circumstances connected with events which they record. Here verse 1 states the time when this vision was given to Daniel. The first year of Belshazzar was 540 B.C. His third year, in which this vision was given, would consequently be 538. Since Daniel was about twenty years of age when he was carried to Babylon in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar in 606 B.C., he was at this time about eighty-eight years of age. The vision he refers to as the one which appeared unto him at the first, is doubtless the vision of the seventh chapter, which he had in the first year of Belshazzar's reign.

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Verse 2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

As verse states the time when the vision was given, this verse gives the place where the prophet received the revelation. Shushan was the metropolis of the province of Elam, which was then in the hands of the Babylonians, and the king of Babylon had a royal palace there. Daniel as minister of the state employed in the king's business, was in that place. Abradates, viceroy of Shushan gave his allegiance to Cyrus, and the province was joined to the Medes and Persians; so that, according to the prophecy of Isaiah 21: 2, Elam went up with the Medes to besiege Babylon. Under the Medes and Persians, Elam regained its liberties, of which it had been deprived by the Babylonians, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah 49: 39.

Verse 3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

Kingdoms of Media and Persia.--In verse 20 an interpretation of this symbol is given in plain language: "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." We have only therefore to consider how well the power answers to the symbol in question. The two horns represented the two nationalities of which the empire was composed. The higher came up last. This symbolized Persia, which at first was simply an ally of the Medes, but later came to be the leading division of the empire. The directions in which the ram pushed denote the directions in which the Medes and Persians carried their conquests. No earthly powers could stand before them as they marched toward the exalted position to which the providence of God had summoned them. So successful were their conquests that in the

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days of Ahasuerus (Esther 1: 1) the Medo-Persian kingdom, consisting of one hundred twenty-seven provinces, extended from India to Ethiopia, the boundaries of the then-known world.

Verse 5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

Kingdom of Grecia.--"As I was considering," said the prophet. Here is an example for every lover of truth and all how have any regard for spiritual things. when Moses saw the burning bush, he said, "I will now turn aside, and see this great sight." How few are willing at the present time to turn aside from their pursuit of business or pleasure to consider the important themes which god seeks to bring to their attention. The symbol here introduced is explained to Daniel by the angel. "The rough goat is the king [or kingdom] of Grecia." Verse 21. Concerning the fitness of this symbol to represent the Grecian, or Macedonian, people, Thomas Newton observes that the Macedonians, "About two hundred years before Daniel, were denominated AEgeadae, or the goat's people." He explains the origin of the name as recounted by heathen authors: "Caranus, their first king, going with a great multitude of Greeks to seek new habitations in Macedonia, was commanded by the oracle to take the goats for his guides to empire: and afterwards seeing a herd of goats flying from a violent storm, he followed them to Edessa, and there fixed the seat of his empire, made the goats his ensigns or standards and called the city AEgeae, or the goat's town, and the people AEgeadae, or the goat's people. . . . The city of AEgeae, or AEgeae, was the usual burying place of the Macedonian kings.

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It is also very remarkable that Alexander's son by Roxana was named Alexander AEgus, of the son of the goat; and some of Alexander's successors are represented in their coins with goat's horns." [2]

The "goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth." That is, Greece lay west of Persia and attacked from that direction. The Greek army swept everything on the face of the earth before it.

The goat "touched not the ground." Such was the marvelous celerity of this movements that he seemed to fly from point to point with the swiftness of the wind. The same characteristic of speed is indicated by the four wings of the leopard in the vision of Daniel 7, representing the same nation.

Alexander the "Notable Horn."--The notable horn between his eyes is explained in verse 21 to be the first king of the Macedonian Empire. This king was Alexander the Great.

A concise account of the overthrow of the Persian Empire by Alexander is given in verses 6 and 7. The battles between the Greeks and the Persians are said to have been exceedingly fierce. Some of the scenes recorded in history vividly bring to mind the figure used in the prophecy--a ram standing before the river, and the goat running toward him "the fury of his power." Alexander first vanquished the generals of Darius at the River Granicus in Phrygia. He next attacked and routed Darius at the passes of Issus in Cilicia, and afterward defeated him on the plains of Arbela in Syria. This latter battle occurred in 331 B.C., and marked the fall of the Persian Empire. By this event Alexander became master of the whole country. Concerning verse 6--"He [the goat] came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power"--Thomas Newton says: "One can hardly read these words without having some image of Darius's army standing and guarding the River Granicus, and of Alexander on the other side with his forces plunging in,

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swimming across the stream, and rushing on the enemy with all the fire and fury that can be imagined." [3]

Ptolemy begins the reign of Alexander in 332 B.C. but it was not until the battle of Arbela the year following that Alexander became "absolute lord of that empire in the utmost extent in which it was ever possessed by any of the Persian kings." [4]

On the eve of this battle, Darius sent ten of his chief relatives to sue for peace. When they had presented their conditions to Alexanders, he is said to have replied, "Heaven cannot support two suns, not the earth two masters." [5]

The language of verse 7 sets forth the completeness of the subjection of Medo-Persia to Alexander. The two horns were broken, and the ram was cast to the ground and stamped upon. Persia was subdued, the country ravaged, its armies cut to pieces and scattered, and its cities plundered. The royal city of Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire--even its ruins one of the wonders of the world to the present day--was sacked and burned. Thus the ram had no power to stand before the goat, and there was none that could deliver him out of his hand.

Verse 8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

Great Horn Broken.--The conqueror is greater than the conquered. The ram, Medo-Persia, became "great;" the goat, Greece, became "very great." "When he was strong, the great horn was broken." Human foresight and speculation would have said, When he becomes weak, his kingdom torn by rebellion, or weakened by luxury, then the horn will be broken, and the kingdom shattered. But Daniel saw it broken in the prime of its strength, at the height of tis power, when

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every beholder would have exclaimed, Surely, the kingdom is established, and nothing can overthrow it. Thus it is often with the wicked. The horn of their strength is broken when they think they stand most firm. The Scripture says, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10: 12.

Four Notable Horns Come Up.--After Alexander's death there arose much contention among his followers respecting the succession. After a seven days' contest it was agreed that his natural brother, Philip Aridaeus, should be declared king. By him, and by Alexander's infant sons, Alexander AEgus and Hercules, the name and show of the Macedonian Empire were for a time sustained. But the boys were soon murdered, and the family of Alexander became extinct. Then the chief commanders of the army, who had gone into different parts of the empire as governors of the provinces, assumed the title of king. They at once began warring against one another to such a degree that within a few years after Alexander's death, the number was reduced to four--the exact number specified in prophecy.

Four notable horns were to come up toward the four winds of heaven in place of the great horn that was broken. These were Cassander, who had Greece and the neighboring countries; Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor; Selecus, who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of kings known as the "Seleucidae," so famous in history; and Ptolemy, son of Lagus, who had Egypt, and from whom sprang the "Lagidae." These held dominion toward the four winds of heaven. Cassander had the western parts, Lysimachus the northern regions, Seleucus the eastern countries, and Ptolemy the southern portion of the empire. These four horns may therefore be named Macedonia, Thrace (which then included Asia Minor, and those parts lying on the Hellespont and the Bosphorus), Syria, and Egypt.

Verse 9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. 12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.

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A Little Horn Comes Forth.-- A third power is here introduced into the prophecy. In the explanation given to Daniel by the angel this symbol is not described as definitely as are Medo-Persia and Greece.

There are two common interpretations of the symbol which need be noticed in these brief comments. The first is that the "little horn" denotes the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes. The second is that it denotes the Roman power. It is an easy matter to test these two positions.

Does the Little Horn Denote Antiochus?--If Antiochus Epiphanes does not fulfill the specifications of the prophecy, the application cannot be made to him. The little horn came out of one of the four horns of the goat. It was therefore a power existing distinct from any of the other horns of the goat. Was Antiochus such a power?

Who was Antiochus? From the time that Seleucus made himself king over the Syrian portion of Alexander's empire, thus constituting the Syrian horn of the goat, until that country was conquered by the Romans, twenty-six kings ruled in succession over that territory. The eighth of these was Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus, then, was simply one of the twenty-six kings who constituted the Syrian horn of the goat. He was, therefore, for the time being, that horn. Hence he could not at the same time be a separate and independent power, or another and remarkable horn, as was the little horn.

If it were proper to apply the little horn to any one of these twenty-six Syrian kings, it should certainly be applied to the most powerful and illustrious of them all; but Antiochus Epiphanes was not by any means the most powerful king of the Syrian line. Although he took the name Epiphanes, that is,

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"The Illustrious," he was illustrious only in name. Nothing, says Prideaux, on the authority of Polybius, Livy, and Diodorus Siculus, could be more alien to his true character; because of his vile and extravagant folly, some thought him a fool and changed his name from Epiphanes, "The Illustrious," to Epimanes, "The Madman." [6]

Antiochus the Great, the father of Epiphanes, being defeated in a war with the Romans, was able to procure peace only by the payment of a prodigious sum of money and the surrender of a part of his territory. As a pledge that he would faithfully adhere to the terms of the treaty, he was obliged to give hostages, among whom was Epiphanes, his son, who was carried to Rome. The Romans ever afterward maintained this ascendancy.

The little horn of the goat was to wax exceeding great; but Antiochus Epiphanes did not become exceeding great. On the contrary, he did not enlarge his dominion, except by some temporary conquests in Egypt. These he immediately relinquished when the Romans took the part of Ptolemy and commanded him to desist from his designs on that territory. The rage of his disappointed ambition he vented upon the unoffending Jews.

The little horn, in comparison with the powers that preceded it, was exceeding great. Persia is simply called great, though it consisted of a hundred twenty-seven provinces. (Esther 1: 1.) Grecia, being more extensive still, is called very great. Now the little horn, which waxed exceeding great, must surpass them both. How absurd, then, to apply this Antiochus, who was obliged to abandon Egypt at the dictation of the Romans. It cannot take long for anyone to decide the question which was the greater power--the one which evacuated Egypt, or the one which commanded that evacuation.

The little horn was to stand up against the Prince of princes, which expression refers, beyond controversy, to Jesus

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Christ. (Daniel 9: 25; Acts 3: 15; Revelation 1: 5.) But Antiochus died one hundred sixty-four years before our Lord was born. The prophecy cannot therefore apply to him, for he does not fulfill the specifications in a single particular. The question may then be asked, Why has anyone ever tried to apply it to him? We answer, Roman Catholics take that view to avoid the application of the prophecy to themselves; and many Protestants follow them, apparently in order to oppose the doctrine that the second advent of Christ is now at hand.

The Little Horn Denotes Rome.--It has been an easy matter to show that the little horn does not denote Antiochus Epiphanes. It will be as easy to show that it does denote Rome.

The field of vision here is substantially the same as that covered by Nebuchadnezzar's image of Daniel 2, and the vision of Daniel 7. In both these prophetic delineations we have found that the power which succeeded Grecia as the fourth great power was Rome. The only natural inference would be that the little horn, the power which in this vision succeeds Grecia as an "exceeding great" kingdom, is also Rome.

The little horn comes froth from one of the horns of the goat. How, it may be asked, can that be true of Rome? Earthly governments are not introduced into prophecy until they become in some way connected with the people of God. Rome became connected with the Jews, the people of God at that time, by the famous Jewish League in 161 B.C. [7] But seven years before this, that is, 168 B.C., Rome had conquered Macedonia, and made that country a part of its empire. Rome is therefore introduced into prophecy just as, from the overthrow of the Macedonian horn of the goat, it is going forth to new conquests in other directions. It appeared to the prophet as coming forth from of the horns of the goat.

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The little horn waxed great toward the south. This was true of Rome. Egypt was made a province of the Roman Empire in 30 B.C., and continued such for some centuries.

The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was true of Rome. She conquered Syria in 65 B.C., and made it a province.

The little horn waxed great toward the pleasant land. So did Rome. Judea is called "the pleasant land" in many scriptures. The Romans made it a province of their empire in 63 B.C., and eventually destroyed the city and the temple, and scattered the Jews throughout the earth.

The little horn "waxed great, even to ["against," margin] the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground." Rome did this also. In this expressions two figures are introduced, "the host" and "the stars." When used in a symbolic sense concerning events taking place on earth, these figures refer almost always to the people of God and their leaders. In verse 13 of this chapter we read that both the sanctuary and the host will be trodden under foot. Here undoubtedly reference is made to God's people and the place of their worship. The stars would naturally represent the leaders of the work of God. This thought is further indicated in one of the applications of Revelation 12: 4 where we read that the great red dragon, a symbol of Rome, cast down a third part of the stars to the ground.

The little horn "magnified himself even to the Prince of the host." Rome alone did this. In the interpretation (verse 25) the little horn is said to "stand up against the Prince of princes." This is clearly an allusion to the crucifixion of our Lord under the jurisdiction of the Romans.

Rome in Two Aspects.--By the little horn "the daily sacrifice was taken away." This little horn symbolized Rome in its entire history, including its two phases, pagan and papal. These two phases are elsewhere spoken of as the "daily" (sacrifice is a supplied word) and the "transgression of desolation;" the daily (desolation) evidently signifying the pagan

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form, and the transgression of desolation, the papal. (See comments on verse 13.) In the actions ascribed to this power, sometimes one form is spoken of, sometimes the other. "by him [the papal form] the daily [the pagan form] was taken away." Pagan Rome was remodeled into papal Rome. "The place of his sanctuary," or worship, the city of Rome, was cast down. The seat of government was removed by Constantine to Constantinople, A.D. 330. This same transaction is brought to view in Revelation 13: 2, where it is said that the dragon, pagan Rome, gave to the beast, papal Rome, his seat, the city of Rome.

A "host was given him [the little horn] against the daily." The barbarians that subverted the Roman Empire in the changes, attritions, and transformations of those times, became converts to the Catholic faith, and the instruments of the dethronement of their former religion. Though conquering Rome politically, they were themselves vanquished religiously by the theology of Rome, and became the perpetuators of the same empire in another phase. This was brought about by reason of "transgression;" that is, by the working of the mystery of iniquity. The papacy may be called a system of iniquity because it has done its evil work under the pretense of the pure and undefiled religion. Of this false religious system, Paul wrote in the first century to the Thessalonians, "The mystery of iniquity doth already work." 2 Thessalonians 2: 7.

The little horn "cast down the truth to the ground, and practiced and prospered." This describes in few words the work and career of the papacy. The truth is by it hideously caricatured, loaded with traditions, turned into mummery and superstition, cast down and obscured.

Of this ecclesiastical power it is declared that it has

"practiced"--practiced its deceptions on the people, practiced in schemes of cunning to carry out its own ends and aggrandize its own power.

Likewise it has "prospered." It has made war upon the saints, and prevailed against them. It has well-nigh run its

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allotted career, and is soon to be broken without hand, to be given to the burning flame, and to perish in the consuming glories of the second appearing of our Lord.

Rome meets all the specifications of the prophecy. No other power does meet them. Hence Rome, and on other, is the power in question. The inspired descriptions given in the word of God of the character of this system are fully met, and the prophecies concerning it have been most strikingly and accurately fulfilled in history.

Verse 13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

The Time in the Prophecy.--These two verses of Daniel 8 close the vision proper. They introduce the one remaining point which of all others would naturally be of most absorbing interest to the prophet and to the church, namely, the length of time the desolating powers previously brought to view were to continue. How long shall they continue their course of oppression against God's people? If time had been given, Daniel might have asked this question himself, but God ever anticipates out desires, and sometimes answers them before we ask.

Two celestial beings converse upon this subject. This is an important matter which the church should understand well. Daniel heard one saint speaking. What this saint said, we are not informed. But another saint asked an important question: "How long shall be the vision?" Both the question and the answer are placed upon the record, which is prima facie evidence that this is a matter the church should understand. This view is further confirmed by the fact that the answer was addressed to Daniel, as the one whom it chiefly concerned, and for whose information it was given.

The 2300 Days.--The angel declared, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

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The question may be raised, Why does the Vatican edition of the Septuagint (LXX) render this number "twenty-four hundred days"? On this point S. P. Tregelles writes:

"Some writers on prophecy have, in their explanations or interpretations of this vision, adopted the reading 'two thousand and four hundred days;' and in vindication of it, they have referred to the common printed copies of the LXX version. In this book, however, the translation of Theodotion has been long substituted for the real LXX: and further, although 'two thousand four hundred' is found in the common printed Greek copies, that is merely an erratum made in printing the Vatican edition of 1586, which has been habitually perpetuated. I looked (in 1845) at the passage in the Vatican MS., which the Roman editions professedly followed, and it read exactly the same as the Hebrew text ["twenty-three hundred days"]; so also does the real LXX of Daniel. (So too Cardinal Mai's edition from the Vatican MS. which appeared in 1857)." [8]

Further substantiating the veracity of the twenty-three-hundred-day period, we quote the following:

"The edition of the Greek Bible which is commonly used, is printed, as you will find it stated in Prideaux and Horne, not after that of the 70, but after that of Theodotion, made about the end of the second century. There are three principal standard editions of the Septuagint bible, all containing the version of Daniel by Theodotion; viz., the Complutensian, published in 1514; the Aldine, 1518; and the Vatican, 1587, from which the last English editions of the 70 have been chiefly taken; to these three we may add a fourth, being that of the Alexandrian text, published between 1707 and 1720. Besides these, there is one called the Chisian, 1772, which contains the Greek text both of Theodotion and of the 70. Of all these six copies the Vatican alone reads 2400, all the rest agreeing with the Hebrew and our English Bibles. Moreover, the manuscript itself, in the Vatican, from which the edition

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was printed, has 2300, and not 2400, and therefore it is indisputable that the number 2400 is nothing but a misprint." [9]

These quotations show clearly that no confidence whatever can be placed in this rendering of the Vatican edition of the Septuagint.

What is the Daily?--We have proof in verse 13 that "sacrifice" is the wrong word to be supplied in connection with the word "daily." If the taking away of the daily sacrifice of the Jewish service is here meant, as some suppose (which sacrifice was at a certain point of time taken away), there would be no propriety in the question, How long shall be the vision concerning it? This question evidently implies that those agents or events to which the vision relates occupy a series of years. Continuance of time is the central idea. The whole time of the vision is filled by what is here called the "daily" and the "transgression of desolation." Hence the daily cannot be the daily sacrifice of the Jews, for when the time came for it to be taken away, that action occupied but an instant of time, when the veil of the temple was rent in twain at the crucifixion of Christ. It must denote something which extends over a period of years.

The word here rendered "daily" occurs in the Old Testament one hundred and two times, according to the Hebrew concordance. In the great majority of instances it is rendered "continual" or "continually". The idea of sacrifice is not attached to the word at all. Nor is there any word in the text which signifies sacrifice. That is a supplied word, the translators putting in that word which their understanding of the text seemed to demand. They evidently entertained an erroneous view, the sacrifices of the Jews not being referred to at all. But it appears to be more in accordance with both construction and the context to suppose that the word "daily" refers to a desolating power, like the "transgression of desolation," with which it is connected. Then we have two

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desolating powers, which for a long period oppress, or desolate, the church. Literally, the text may be rendered, "How long shall be the vision [concerning] the continuance and the transgression of desolation?"--the word "desolation" being related to both "continuance" and "transgression," as though it were expressed in full thus: "The continuance of desolation and the transgression of desolation."

Two Desolating Powers.--By the "continuance of desolation," or the perpetual desolation, we understand that paganism, through all its history, is meant. When we consider the long ages through which paganism had been the chief agency of Satan's opposition to the work of God in the earth, the propriety of the term "continuance" or "perpetual," as applied to it, becomes apparent. We likewise understand that "the transgression of desolation" means the papacy. The phrase describing this latter power is stronger than that used to describe paganism. It is the transgression (or rebellion, as the word also means) of desolation; as if under this period of the history of the church the desolating power had rebelled against all restraint all restraint previously imposed upon it.

From a religious point of vies, the world has presented these two strong phases of opposition against the Lord's work in the earth. Hence, although three earthly governments are introduced in the prophecy as oppressors of the church, they are here ranged under two heads: "the daily" and the "transgression of desolation." Medo-Persia was pagan; Grecia was pagan; Rome in its first phase was pagan. These were all embraced in the "daily." Then comes the papal form, the "transgression of desolation," a marvel of craft and cunning, an incarnation of cruelty. No wonder the cry has gone up from suffering martyrs from age to age, "How long, O Lord, how long?" No wonder the Lord, in order that hope might no wholly die out of the hearts of His downtrodden, waiting people, has shown them the future events of the world's history. All these persecuting powers shall meet an utter and everlasting destruction. For the redeemed there are unfading

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glories beyond the suffering and sorrow of this present life.

The Lord's eye is upon His people. The furnace will be heated no hotter than is necessary to consume the dross. It is through much tribulation that we are to enter the kingdom. The word "tribulation" is from tribulum, a threshing sledge. Blow after blow must be laid upon us, until all the wheat is beaten free from the chaff, and we are made fit for the heavenly garner. But not a kernel of wheat will be lost.

Says the Lord to His people, "Ye are the light of the world," "the salt of the earth." In His eyes there is nothing else on the earth of consequence or importance. Hence the peculiar question here asked, "How long . . . the vision concerning the daily and transgression of desolation?" Concerning what?--the glory of earthly kingdoms? the skill of renowned warriors? the fame of mighty conquerors? the greatness of human empire?--No, but concerning the sanctuary and the host, the people and the worship of the Most High. how long shall they be trodden underfoot? Here is where all heaven's interest and sympathy are enlisted.

He who touches the people of God, touches not mere mortals, weak and helpless, but Omnipotence. He opens an account which must be settled in the judgment of heaven. Soon all these accounts will be adjusted and the iron heel of oppression will be crushed. A people will be brought out of the furnace of affliction prepared to shine as the stars forever and ever. Every child of God is an object of interest to heavenly beings, one whom God loves and for whom He is preparing a crown with immortality hereafter. Reader, are you one of the number?

There is no information in this chapter concerning the 2300 days, introduced for the first time in verse 14. It is necessary, therefore, to pass this period of time for the present. Let the reader be assured, however, that we are not left in any uncertainty concerning those day. The declaration respecting them is part of a revelation which is given for the instruction of the people of God, and is to be understood. The 2300

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days are mentioned in the midst of a prophecy which the angel Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand. Gabriel carried out this instruction, as will be found in the study of the next chapter.

What is the Sanctuary?--Connect with the 2300 days is another subject of equal importance which now presents itself for consideration, namely, the sanctuary. With this is connected the subject of its cleansing. An examination of this matter will reveal the importance of having an understanding of the beginning and the end of the 2300 days, that we may know when the great event called "the cleansing of the sanctuary" is to take place. all the inhabitants of the earth, as will appear in due time, have a personal interest in that solemn work.

Several views have been held as to what the sanctuary is, such as the earth, the land of Canaan, the church, and the sanctuary in heaven, the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man," which is "in the heavens," and of which the Jewish tabernacle was a type, pattern, or figure. (Hebrews 8: 1, 2; 9: 23, 24.) Which of these conflicting views is correct, must be decided by the Scriptures. Fortunately the testimony is neither meager nor ambiguous.

It Cannot Be the Earth.--the word "sanctuary" occurs in the Old and New Testament on hundred forty-four times. From the definitions of lexicographers, and its use in the Bible, we learn that it is used to signify a holy or sacred place, a dwelling place for the Most High. If the earth is the sanctuary, it must answer to this definition. But what single characteristic pertaining to this earth will satisfy the meaning of the term? The earth is neither a holy nor a sacred place, or is it a dwelling place for the Most High. It has no mark of distinction from other worlds, except as being a revolted planet, marred by sin, scarred an withered by the curse of transgression. Moreover, it is nowhere in all the Scriptures called the sanctuary. Only one text can be produced in favor of this view, and that by an unreasonable application: "The glory of

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Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious." Isaiah 60: 13. This language undoubtedly refers to the new earth; but even that is not called the sanctuary, but only the "place" of the sanctuary, even as it is called "the place" of the Lord's feet. This is an expression which probably denotes the continual presence of God with His people, as it was revealed to John when it was said, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." Revelation 21: 3. All that can be said of the earth, therefore, is that when renewed it will be the place where the sanctuary of God will be located. It cannot present any claim to being the sanctuary at the present time, or the sanctuary of Daniel's prophecy.

It Cannot Be the Land of Canaan.--So far as we may be governed by the definition of the word "Canaan," it can present no better claim than the earth to that distinction. If we inquire where in the Bible it is called the sanctuary, a few texts are brought forward which are supposed by some to furnish the requisite testimony. The first of these is Exodus 15: 17. Moses, in his song of triumph and praise to God after the passage of the Red Sea, exclaimed: "Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established." Moses here speaks in anticipation. His language is a prediction of what God would do for His people. Let us see how it was accomplished.

We turn to David, who records as a matter of history what Moses uttered as a matter of prophecy. (Psalm 78: 53, 54.) The subject of the psalmist is the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian servitude, and their establishment in the Promised Land. He says: "He [God] led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to this

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mountain, which His right hand had purchased." The "mountain" here mentioned by David is the same as the "mountain of Thine inheritance" spoken of by Moses, in which the people were to be planted. This mountain David calls, not the sanctuary, but only the border of the sanctuary. What, then, was the sanctuary? Verse 69 of the same psalm informs us: "He built His sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which He hath established forever." The same distinction between the sanctuary and the land is pointed out in the prayer of the good king Jehoshaphat: "Art not Thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham Thy friend forever? And they dwelt therein, and have built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name." 2 Chronicles 20: 7, 8.

Taken alone, Exodus 15: 17 is used by some as an inference that the mountain was the sanctuary; but when we take in connection with it the language of David, which is a record of the fulfillment of Moses' prediction, and an inspired commentary upon his language, such an idea cannot be entertained. David plainly says that the mountain was simply the "border" of the sanctuary, and that in that border, or land, the sanctuary was "built" like high palaces, reference being made to the beautiful temple of the Jews, the center and symbol of all their worship. But whoever will read carefully Exodus 15: 17 will see that not even an inference is necessary that Moses by the word "sanctuary" means the mountain of inheritance, much less the whole land of Palestine. In the freedom of poetic license, he employs elliptical expressions, and passes rapidly from one idea or object to another. First, the inheritance engages his attention, and he speaks of it; then the fact that the Lord was to dwell there, then the place He was to provide for His dwelling there, namely, the sanctuary which He would cause to be built. David thus associates Mount Zion and Judah together in Psalm 78: 68, because Zion was in Judah.

The three texts, Exodus 15: 17; Psalm 78: 54, 69, are the ones chiefly relied on to prove that the land of Canaan is the

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sanctuary. But, singularly enough, the two latter, in plain language, clear away the ambiguity of the first, and thereby disprove the claim that is based on it.

Respecting the earth or the land of Canaan as being the sanctuary, we offer one thought more. If either constitutes the sanctuary, it should not only be somewhere described as such, but the same idea should be carried through to the end, and the purification of the earth or of Palestine should be called the cleansing of the sanctuary. The earth is indeed defiled, and it is to be purified by fire; but fire, as we shall see, is not the agent which is used in the cleansing of the sanctuary. This purification of the earth, or any part of it, is nowhere in the Bible called the cleansing of the sanctuary.

It Cannot Be the Church.--The solitary text adduced to support the idea that the church is the sanctuary is Psalm 114: 1,2: "When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion." If we take this text in its most literal sense, it would prove that the sanctuary was confined to one of the twelve tribes. This would mean that a part of the church only, not the whole, constitutes the sanctuary. Why Judah is called the sanctuary in the text quoted, need not be a matter of perplexity when we remember that God chose Judah, as the place of His sanctuary. "But chose," says David, "the tribe of Judah, the Mountain Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which He hath established forever." Psalm 78: 68, 69. This clearly shows the connection which existed between Judah and the sanctuary. That tribe itself was not the sanctuary, but it is once spoken of as such when Israel came froth from Egypt, because God purposed that in the midst of the territory of that tribe His sanctuary should be located.

If it could be shown that the church is anywhere called the sanctuary, it would be of no consequence to our present purpose, which is to determine what constitutes the sanctuary of Daniel 8: 13, 14; for the church is there spoken of as something

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distinct: "To give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot." That by the term "host" the people of God is here meant, none will dispute; the sanctuary is therefore something different from the church.

The Sanctuary Is the Temple in Heaven.--There now remains but one claim to be examined, namely, that the sanctuary mentioned in the text is identical with the one in Hebrews 8: 1, 2, which is called "the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man," to which is expressly given the name of "the sanctuary," and which is located in "the heavens." Of this sanctuary there existed in ancient times a pattern, type, or figure, first in the tabernacle built by Moses, and afterward in the temple at Jerusalem.

Let us put ourselves in the place of Daniel, and view the subject from his standpoint. What would he understand by the term "sanctuary"? At the mention of that word, his mind would inevitably turn to the sanctuary of his people; and certainly he knew well where that was. His mind did turn to Jerusalem, the city of his fathers, which was then in ruins, and to their "beautiful house," which, as Isaiah laments, was burned with fire. (Isaiah 64: 11.) Accordingly, with his face turned toward the place of their once-venerated temple, as was his custom, Daniel prayed God to cause His face to shine upon His sanctuary, which was at that time desolate. By the word "sanctuary" he evidently understood the temple at Jerusalem.

On this point, the Scripture bears testimony which is most explicit: "Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary." Hebrews 9: 1. What was the sanctuary of the first covenant? The answer follows: "For there was a tabernacle made; the first [or first apartment], wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary ["holy place," A. R .V.]. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the

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golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly." Hebrews 9: 2-5.

There is no mistaking what is described here. It is the tabernacle erected by Moses according to the direction of the Lord (which was afterward merged into the temple at Jerusalem), with a holy and a most holy place, and various articles of service. A full description of this building, as well as the sacred articles of furniture and their uses, will be found in Exodus 25 and onward. If the reader is not familiar with this subject, he is urged to turn and read the description of this building. Plainly, this was the sanctuary of the first covenant, and we wish the reader carefully to mark the logical value of this declaration. By telling us what constituted the sanctuary, the book of Hebrews sets us on the right track of inquiry. It gives us a basis on which to work. We have before us a distinct and plainly defined object, minutely described by Moses, and declared in Hebrews to be the sanctuary during the time of the first covenant, which reached to the days of Christ.

But the language in Hebrews has greater significance even than this. It annihilates the claims put forth that the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church, is the sanctuary. The arguments which would prove any of these to be the sanctuary at any time, would prove it to be such under ancient Israel. If Canaan was at any time the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was planted in it. If the church was ever the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was led forth from Egypt. If the earth was ever the sanctuary, it was such during the same period. But was any of these the sanctuary during that time? The answer must be negative, for the writers of the books of Exodus and Hebrews tell us in detail that not the earth, not Canaan, not the church, but the tabernacle built by Moses, replaced by the temple later, constituted the sanctuary of Old Testament times.

The Earthly Sanctuary.--This building answers in every respect to the definition of the term, and to the use for which the

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sanctuary was designed. It was the earthly dwelling place of God. "Let them make Me a sanctuary," said He to Moses, "that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25: 8. In this tabernacle, which they erected according to His instructions, He manifested His presence. It was a holy, or sacred, place-- "the holy sanctuary." Leviticus 16: 33. In the word of God it is repeatedly called the sanctuary. Of the more than one hundred thirty instances in which the word is used in the Old Testament, it refers in almost every case to this building.

The tabernacle was at first constructed in such a manner as to be adapted to the conditions under which the children of Israel lived at that time. They were entering upon their forty years' wandering in the wilderness when this building was set up in their midst as the habitation of God and the center of their religious worship. Journeying was a necessity, and the tabernacle had to be moved from place to place This was made possible because the sides were composed of upright boards, and the covering consisted of curtains of linen and dyed skins. Therefore, it could be readily taken down, conveniently transported, and easily erected at each successive stage of their journey. After Israel entered the Promised Land, this temporary structure gave place in time to the magnificent temple of Solomon. In this more permanent form the sanctuary existed, except during the time it lay in ruins in Daniel's day, until its final destruction by the Romans, A.D. 70.

This is the only sanctuary connected with the earth concerning which the Bible gives us any instruction or history any record. But is there nowhere any other? This one was the sanctuary of the first covenant, and with that covenant it came to an end. Is there no sanctuary which pertains to the second, or new, covenant? There must be; otherwise the analogy would be lacking between these covenants. In such a case the first covenant would have a system of worship, which, though minutely described, would be unintelligible, and the second covenant would have a system of worship which would be indefinite and obscure. The writer of Hebrews virtually as-

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serts that the new covenant, in force since the death of Christ, the testator, has a sanctuary; for when, in contrasting the two covenants, as he does in Hebrews 9: 1, he says that the first covenant "had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary." This is the same as saying that the new covenant has likewise its services and its sanctuary. Furthermore, verse 8 of this chapter speaks of the worldly sanctuary as the first tabernacle. If that was the first, there must be a second; and as the first tabernacle existed as long as the first covenant was in force, when that covenant came to an end, the second tabernacle must have taken the place of the first, and must be the sanctuary of the new covenant. There can be no evading this conclusion.

The Heavenly Sanctuary.--Where, then, shall we look for the sanctuary of the new covenant? The use of the word "also" in Hebrews 9: 1 intimates that this sanctuary had been spoken of before. We turn back to the beginning of the previous chapter, and find a summing up of the foregoing arguments as follows: "Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." Can there be any doubt that we have in this text the sanctuary of the new covenant? A plain allusion is here made to the sanctuary of the first covenant. That was pitched by man, erected by Moses; but this was pitched by the Lord, not by man. That was the place where the earthly priests performed their ministry; but this is the place where Christ, the High Priest of the new covenant, performs His ministry. That was on earth; this is in heaven. That was therefore very properly called a "worldly sanctuary;" this is a "heavenly" one.

This view is further sustained by the fact that the sanctuary built by Moses was not an original structure, but was built after a pattern. The great original existed somewhere else, and what Moses constructed was but a type, or model.

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Note the directions the Lord gave him on this point: "According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it." Exodus 25: 9. "Look that thou make them after their pattern which was showed thee in the mount." Verse 40. (For further clarification of this point, see Exodus 26: 30; 27: 8; Acts 7: 44.)

Now of what was the earthly sanctuary a type, or figure?--Of the sanctuary of the new covenant, the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man." The relation which the first covenant sustains to the second is that of type to antitype. Its sacrifices were types of the greater sacrifice of the new covenant. Its priests were types of our Lord in His more perfect priesthood. Their ministry was performed unto the example and shadow of the ministry of our High Priest above. The sanctuary where they ministered was a type, or figure, of the true sanctuary in heave, where our Lord performs His ministry.

All these facts are plainly stated in Hebrews. "If He [Christ] were on earth, He should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount." Hebrews 8: 4, 5. This testimony shows that the ministry of the earthly priests was a shadow of Christ's priesthood. The evidence is the direction which God gave to Moses to make the tabernacle according to the pattern showed him in the mount. This clearly identifies the pattern showed to Moses with the sanctuary, or true tabernacle, in heaven, where our Lord ministers, as mentioned in Hebrews 8: 2.

The Scripture further says: "The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first was yet standing;

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which was a figure for the time then present." [*] Hebrews 9: 8, 9. While the first tabernacle stood, and the first covenant was in force, the ministration of the more perfect tabernacle was not, of course, carried forward. But when Christ came, a high priest of good things to come, when the first tabernacle had served its purpose and the first covenant had ceased, then Christ, raised to the throne of the Majesty in the heavens as a minister of the true sanctuary, entered by His own blood (verse 12) "into the holy place," that is, the heavenly sanctuary.

Therefore, the first tabernacle was a figure for the time then present. If any further testimony is needed, the writer of Hebrews speaks in verse 23 of the earthly tabernacle, with its apartments and instruments, as "patterns" of things in the heavens; and in verse 24, he calls the holy places made with hands, that is, the earthly tabernacles and temples of ancient Israel, "figures" of the true, that is, of the tabernacle in heaven.

This view is still further corroborated by the testimony of John. Among the things which he was permitted to behold in heaven were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne (Revelation 4: 5), an alter of incense, and a golden censer (Revelation 8: 3), and the ark of God's testament (Revelation 11: 19). All of this was seen in connection with

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a "temple" in heaven. (Revelation 1: 19; 15: 8.) These objects every Bible reader must at once recognize as the furniture of the sanctuary. They owed their existence to the sanctuary, and were confined to it, to be employed in the ministration connected therewith. Even as they would not have existed without the sanctuary, so wherever we find them, we may know that there is the sanctuary. Hence the fact that John saw these things in heaven after the ascension of Christ, is proof that there is a sanctuary in heaven, and that he was permitted to behold it.

However reluctant a person may have been to acknowledge that there is a sanctuary in heaven, the testimony that has been presented is certainly sufficient to prove this fact. The Bible says that the tabernacle of Moses was the sanctuary of the first covenant. Moses says that God showed him in the mount a pattern, according to which he as to make this tabernacle. The book of Hebrews testifies again that Moses did make it according to the pattern, and that the pattern was the true tabernacle in heaven, which the Lord pitched, and not man; and that of this heavenly sanctuary the tabernacle erected with hands was a true figure, or representation. Finally, to corroborate the statement of the Scriptures that this sanctuary is in heaven, John bears testimony as an eyewitness that he beheld it there. What further testimony could be required?

As far as the question of what constitutes the sanctuary is concerned, we now have the sanctuary before us in one harmonious whole. The sanctuary of the Bible--mark it well--consists, first, of the typical tabernacle established by the Hebrews in the exodus from Egypt, which was the sanctuary of the first covenant. Secondly, it consists of the true tabernacle in heaven, of which the former was a type, or figure, which is the sanctuary of the new covenant. These are inseparably related as type and antitype. From the antitype we go back to the type, and from the type we are carried forward naturally and inevitably to the antitype. Thus we see how

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a sanctuary service has been provided from the Exodus to the end of probation.

We have said that Daniel would at once understand by the word "sanctuary" the sanctuary of his people at Jerusalem; so would anyone at the time of its existence. But does the declaration of Daniel 8: 14 have reference to that sanctuary? That depends upon the time to which it applies. All the declarations respecting the sanctuary which apply during the time of ancient Israel, have respect of course to the sanctuary of that time. All those declarations which apply under the Christian Era must have reference to the sanctuary of that era. If the 2300 days, at the termination of which the sanctuary to be cleansed, ended before Christ, the sanctuary to be cleansed was the sanctuary of that time. If they reach over into the Christian Era, the sanctuary to which reference is made is the sanctuary of this era--the new-covenant sanctuary in heaven. This is a point which can be determined only by a further argument on the 2300 days. This will be found in remarks on Daniel 9: 24, where the subject of time is resumed and explained.

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary.--What we have thus far said respecting the sanctuary has been only incidental to the main question in the prophecy. That question has respect to its cleansing. "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." But is was necessary first to determine what constituted the sanctuary, before we could understandingly examine the question of its cleansing. For this we are now prepared.

After learning what constitutes the sanctuary, the question of its cleansing and how it is accomplished, is soon decided. It has been noticed that whatever constitutes the sanctuary of the Bible must have some service connected with it which is called its cleansing. There is such a service connected with the institution which we have shown to be the sanctuary, and which, in reference to both the earthly building and the heavenly temple, is called its cleansing.

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Does the reader object to the idea of there being anything in heave which needs to be cleansed? The book of Hebrews plainly affirms the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary: "Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified [Greek, , katharizesthai, cleansed] with these; but the heavenly things themselves [cleansed] with better sacrifices than these." Hebrews 9: 22, 23. In the light of foregoing arguments, this may be paraphrased thus: "It was therefore necessary that the tabernacle erected by Moses, with its sacred vessels, which were patterns of the true sanctuary in heaven, should be cleansed with the blood of calves and goats; but the heavenly things themselves, the sanctuary of the Christian Era, the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man, must be cleansed with better sacrifices, even with the blood of Christ."

We now inquire, what is the nature of this cleansing, and how is it to be done? According to the language just quoted, it is accomplished by means of blood. The cleansing is not, therefore, a cleansing from physical uncleanness or impurity, for blood is not the agent used in such a work. This consideration should satisfy the objector's mind in regard to the cleansing of the heavenly things. The fact that heavenly things are to be cleansed, does not prove that there is any physical impurity in heaven, for that is not the kind of cleansing referred to in the Scriptures. The reason assigned why this cleansing is performed with blood, is that without the shedding of blood there is no remission, no forgiveness of sin.

The Cleansing Is From Sin.--Remission of sin, then, and the putting away of sin, is the work to be done. The cleansing, therefore, is not physical cleansing, but a cleansing from sin. But how did sin come to be connected with the sanctuary, either the earthly or the heavenly, that it should need to be cleansed? This question is answered by the ministration connected with the type, to which we now turn.

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The closing chapters of Exodus give us an account of the construction of the earthly sanctuary, and the arrangement of the service connected therewith. Leviticus opens with an account of the ministration which was there to be performed. all that it is our purpose to notice here is one particular branch of the service. The person who had committed sin brought his offering, a live animal, to the door of the tabernacle. Upon the head of this victim he placed his hand for a moment, and, as we may reasonably infer, confessed over it his sin. By this expressive act he signified that he had sinned, and was worthy of death, but that in his stead he consecrated his victim, and transferred his guilt to it. With his own hand (and what must have been his emotions!) he then took the life of the animal. The law demanded the life of the transgressor for his disobedience. The life is in the blood. (Leviticus 17: 11, 14.) Hence without the shedding of blood, there is no remission; but with the shedding of blood remission is possible, for the demand of life by the law is thus satisfied. The blood of the victim, representative of a forfeited life, and the vehicle of its guilt, was then taken by the priest and ministered before the Lord.

By his confession, by the slaying of the victim, and by the ministry of the priest, the sin of the individual was transferred from himself to the sanctuary. Victim after victim was thus offered by the people. Day by day the work went forward, and thus the sanctuary became the receptacle of the sins of the congregation. But this was not the final disposition of these sins. The accumulated guilt was removed by a special service for the cleansing of the sanctuary. this service, in the type, occupied one day in the year, the tenth day of the seventh month, which was called the Day of Atonement. On this day, while all Israel refrained from work and afflicted their souls, the priest brought two goats, and presented them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle. On these goats he cast lots, one lot of the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. The one upon which the Lord's lot fell was then slain, and his blood

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carried by the priest into the most holy place of the sanctuary, and sprinkled upon the mercy seat. This was the only day on which he was permitted to enter that apartment. Coming forth, he was then to "lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat." Leviticus 16: 21. He was then to send the goat away by the hand of a fit man into a land not inhabited, a land of separation, or forgetfulness, the goat never again to appear in the camp of Israel, and the sins of the people to be remembered against them no more.

This service was for the purpose of cleansing the people from their sins, and also for cleansing the sanctuary, its furniture, and its sacred vessels from the sins of the people. (Leviticus 16: 16, 30, 33.) By this process, sin was entirely removed. Of course this was only in figure, for all that work was typical.

The reader to whom these views are new will perhaps be ready here to inquire with some astonishment, What could this strange work possibly be designed to typify, and what was it designed to to prefigure in our day? We answer, A similar work in the ministration of Christ, as the Scriptures clearly teach. After the statement in Hebrews 8: 2 that Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the sanctuary in heaven, it is declared in verse 5 that the priests on earth served "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." In other words, the work of the earthly priests was a shadow, a type of the ministration of Christ above.

Ministration in Figure and in Fact.--These typical priests ministered in both apartments of the earthly tabernacle, and Christ ministers in both apartments of the heavenly temple. That temple in heaven has two apartments, or it was not correctly represented by the earthly sanctuary. Our Lord officiates in both apartments, or the service of the priest on earth was not a correct shadow of His work. It is stated plainly in Hebrews 9: 21-24 that both the tabernacle and all the vessels in the ministry were "patterns of things in the heavens." There-

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fore the service performed by Christ in the heavenly temple corresponds to that performed by the priests in both apartments of the earthly building. But the work in the second apartment, or most holy place, was a special work to close the yearly round of service and cleanse the sanctuary. Hence Christ's ministration in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary must be a work of like nature, and constitutes the close of His work as our great High Priest, and the cleansing of that sanctuary.

As through the typical sacrifices of old the sins of the people were transferred in figure by the priests to the earthly sanctuary, where those priests ministered; so ever since Christ ascended to be our intercessor in the presence of His Father, the sins of all those who sincerely seek pardon through Him are transferred in fact to the heavenly sanctuary, where He ministers. Whether Christ ministers for us in the heavenly holy places with His blood literally, or only by virtue of its merits, we need not stop to inquire. Suffice it to say that His blood has been shed, and through that blood remission of sins is obtained in fact, which was obtained only in figure through the blood of the calves and goats of the former ministration. But those typical sacrifices had real sacrifice to come. Thus those who employed them have an equal interest in the work of Christ with those who in our era come to Him by faith through the ordinances of the gospel.

The continual transfer of sins to the heavenly sanctuary makes its cleansing necessary on the same ground that a like work was required in the earthly sanctuary. An important distinction between the two ministrations must here be noticed. In the earthly tabernacle, a complete round of service was accomplished every year. On every day of the year except one, the ministration went forward in the first apartment. One day's work in the most holy completed the yearly round. The work then began again in the holy place, and went forward until another Day of Atonement completed the year's

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work. And so on, year by year. A succession of priests performed this round of service in the earthly sanctuary. But our divine Lord "ever liveth to make intercession" for us. Hebrews 7: 25. Hence the work of the heavenly sanctuary, instead of being a yearly work, is performed once for all. Instead of being repeated year by year, one grand cycle is allotted to it, in which it is carried forward and finished forever.

One year's round of service in the earthly sanctuary represented the entire work of the sanctuary above. In the type, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the brief closing work of he year's service. In the antitype, the cleansing of the sanctuary must be the closing work of Christ, our great High Priest, in the tabernacle in heaven. In the type, to cleanse the sanctuary, the high priest entered into the most holy place to minister in the presence of God before the ark of His testament. In the antitype, when the time comes for the cleansing of the true sanctuary, our High Priest, in like manner, enters into the most holy place once for all to make a final end of His intercessory work in behalf of mankind.

Reader, do you now see the importance of this subject? Do you begin to perceive what an object of interest for all the world is the sanctuary of God? Do you see that the whole plan of salvation centers here, and that when it is done, probation is ended, and the cases of the saved and lost are eternally decided? Do you see that the cleansing of the sanctuary is a brief and special work by which the great plan of salvation is forever finished? Do you see that if it can be ascertained when the work of cleansing begins we shall know when salvation's's last mighty hour has come, when that most solemn announcement of the prophetic word is due to the world--"Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come"? Revelation 14: 7. This is exactly what the prophecy is designed to show; it is known the commencement of this momentous work. "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." The heavenly sanctuary is the one in which the decision of all cases is to be

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rendered. The progress of the work there should be the special concern of mankind. If people understood the bearing of these subjects on their eternal interests, they would give them their most careful and prayerful study.

Verse 15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

We now enter upon the interpretation of the vision. We have already mentioned Daniel's longing to understand these things. He sought for the meaning. Immediately there stood before the prophet one who had the appearance of a man. Daniel heard a man's voice, that is, the voice of an angel as of a man speaking. The commandment was given to make this man Daniel understand the vision. It was addressed to Gabriel, a name that signifies "the strength of God," or "man of God." He continues his instruction to Daniel in chapter 9. Centuries later this same angel was commissioned to announce the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zacharias, and that of the Messiah to the virgin Mary. (Luke 1: 26.) To Zacharias, he introduced himself with these words: "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God." Luke 1: 19. From this is appears that Gabriel was here addressed by one still higher in rank, who had power to command and control his work. This one was probably no other than the Archangel, Michael, or Christ.

Verse 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

It was not for the purpose of worship that Daniel fell before the angel, for it is forbidden to worship angels. (See Revelation 19: 10, 22: 8, 9.) Daniel seems to have been completely overcome by the majesty of the heavenly messenger.

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He prostrated himself with his face to the ground. The angel laid his hand upon him to give him assurance (how many times have mortals been told by heavenly beings to "fear not"!), and from this helpless and prostrate condition set him upright.

With a general statement that at the time appointed the end shall be, and that he will make him to know "what shall be in the last end of the indignation," the angel enters upon an interpretation of the vision. "The indignation" must be understood to cover a period of time. What period of time? God told His people Israel that He would pour upon them His indignation for their wickedness; and thus He gave directions concerning the "profane wicked prince of Israel:" "Remove the diadem, and take off the crown. . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be not more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him." Ezekiel 21: 25-27, 31.

Here is the period of God's indignation against His covenant people, the period during which the sanctuary and host are to trodden underfoot. The diadem was removed, and the crown taken off, when Israel was subjected to the kingdom of Babylon. It was overturned by the Medes and Persians, again by the Grecians, again by the Romans, corresponding to the three times the word is repeated by the prophet. The Jews, having rejected Christ, were soon scattered abroad over the face of the earth. Spiritual Israel has taken the place of the literal seed; but they are in subjection to earthly powers, and will be until the throne of David is again set up--until He who is its rightful heir, the Messiah, the Prince of peace, shall come. Then the indignation will have ceased. The events that shall take place in the end of the period are now to be made known to Daniel by the angel.

Verse 20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

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The Vision Interpreted.--As the disciples said to the Lord, so may we here say of the angel who spoke to Daniel, "Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb." This explanation of the vision is in language plain to be understood. (See comments on verses 3-8.) The distinguishing feature of the Persian Empire, the union of the two nationalities which composed it, is represented by the two horns of the ram. Grecia attained its greatest glory as a unit under the leadership of Alexander the Great, a general as famous as the world has ever seen. This part of her history is represented by the first phase of the goat, during which time the one notable horn symbolized Alexander the Great. Upon his death, the kingdom fell into fragments, but soon consolidated into four grand division. These were represented by the second phase of the goat, when it had four horns which came up in the place of the first, which had been broken. These divisions did not stand in his power. None of them possessed the strength of the original kingdom. These great waymarks of history on which the historian has written volumes, the inspired penman here gives us in sharp outline, with a few strokes of the pen.

Verse 23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

This power succeeds to the four divisions of the goat kingdom in the latter time of their kingdom, that is, toward the termination of their career. It is of course the same as the little horn of verse 9 and onward. Apply it to Rome, as set forth in remarks on verse 9, and all is harmonious and clear.

"A King of Fierce Countenance."--In predicting punishment to come upon the Jews from this same power, Moses calls it "a nation of fierce countenance." Deuteronomy 28: 49, 50.

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No people made a more formidable appearance in warlike array than Romans.

As to "understanding dark sentences," Moses says in the scripture before mentioned, "Whose tongue thou [the Jews] shalt not understand." This could not be said of the Babylonians, Persians, or Greeks, in reference to the Jews; for the Chaldean and Greek languages were used to some extent in Palestine. This was not the case, however, with the Latin.

When do the transgressors "come to the full"? All along, the connection between God's people and their oppressors is kept in view. It was on account of the transgressions of His people that they were sold into captivity. Their continuance in sin brought more and more severe punishment. At not time were the Jews as a nation more corrupt morally than at the time they came under the jurisdiction of the Romans.

Papal Rome "Mighty, but Not by His Own Power."--The success of the Romans was owing largely to the aid of their allies, and divisions among their enemies, of which they were ever ready to take advantage. Papal Rome also was mighty by means of the secular powers over which she exercised spiritual control.

"He shall destroy wonderfully." The Lord told the Jews by the prophet Ezekiel that He would deliver them to men who were "skillful to destroy" (Ezekiel 21: 31); and the slaughter of eleven hundred thousand Jews at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army, was a terrible confirmation of the prophet's words. Rome in its second, or papal, phase was responsible for the death of millions of martyrs.

"Through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand." Rome has been distinguished above all other powers for a policy of craft, by means of which it brought the nations under its control. This is true of both pagan and papal Rome. Thus by peace it destroyed many.

Finally, in the person of one of its governors, Rome stood up against the Prince of princes, by giving sentence of death against Jesus Christ. "But he shall be broken without hands."

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This parallels the prophecy of Daniel 2: 34, where the stone "cut out without hands" destroys all earthly powers.

Verse 26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

"The vision of the evening and the morning" refers to the period of 2300 days. In view of the long period of oppression, and the calamities which were to come upon his people, Daniel fainted and was sick certain days. He was astonished at the vision, but did not understand it. Why did not Gabriel at this time fully carry out his instructions, and cause Daniel to understand the vision? Undoubtedly because Daniel had received all that he could then bear. Further instruction is therefore deferred to a future time.


  • [1] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 598, note on Daniel 8: 1.
  • [2] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 303, 304.
  • [3] Ibid., p. 306.
  • [4] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. I, p. 378.
  • [5] Walter Fogg, One Thousand Sayings of History, p. 210.
  • [6] See Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, pp. 106, 107.
  • [7] See 1 Maccabees 8; Flavius Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews," book 12, chap. 10, sec. 6, The Works of Flavius Josephus, p. 374; Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, p. 166.
  • [8] S. P. Tregelles, Remarks on the Prophetic Visions in the Book of Daniel, p. 89, footnote.
  • [9] Dialogues on Prophecy, Vol. I, pp. 326, 327.
  • [*] The Greek original of what is here translated "holiest of all" is the same as that rendered "sanctuary" in Hebrews 8: 2; 9: 1. It should therefore be translated "sanctuary" in Hebrews 9: 8 also. The same original phrase is used, too, in verses 12, 24, 25, and is more fittingly translated "sanctuary" than "holy place," so as to convey its true meaning more clearly. In Hebrews 10: 19 the original of "holiest" is the same as that in all the verses cited above, and should therefore be also translated "sanctuary." This gives a simple, accurate, uniform, and easily understood rendering of the same original phrase in all these passages. Moreover, the reference of the phrase is obviously and uniformly to the heavenly sanctuary in all these citations, with the exception of Hebrews 9: 1, 25, which refer to the earthly. The original phrases cited above have of course the usual variations for number and case common to all languages. The nominative form is , ta hagia, plural in all instances here cited except in 9: 1, where it is , to hagion, singular. In Hebrews 9: 2 the word "sanctuary" plainly applies to the first apartment only, and would be better translated "holy place" as suggested in the margin of the Authorized Version, while the phrase "holiest of all" in verse 3, naming the second apartment, is a true translation of a different original regularly used to designate that apartment in distinction from the first and from the entire sanctuary. "Holiest of all" or "holiest" is not therefore a true translation in either Hebrews 9: 8 or 10: 19.--Editors.
Chapter 9

A Prophetic Yardstick Spans the Centuries


Verse 1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 2 in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

The vision recorded in the preceding chapter was given in the third year of Belshazzar, 538 B.C. The events narrated in this chapter occurred in the first year of Darius. Since Belshazzar was the last ruler of Babylon and Darius the first ruler of Medo-Persia, probably less than one year elapsed between the events of these two chapters.

Seventy Years of Captivity.--Although Daniel, as prime minister of the foremost kingdom on the earth, was cumbered with cares and burdens, he did not let this deprive him of the privilege of studying into things of higher moment--the purposes of God revealed to His prophets. He understood by books, that is, the writings of Jeremiah, that God would accomplish seventy years in the captivity of His people. This prediction is found in Jeremiah 25: 12; 29: 10. The knowledge of it, and the use that was made of it, show that Jeremiah was early regarded as a divinely inspired prophet; otherwise his writings would not have been so soon collected, and so extensively copied. Though for a time contemporary with him, Daniel had a copy of his works which he carried with him in his captivity. Though he was so great a prophet himself, he was not above studying carefully what God might reveal to others of His servants.

The seventy years of captivity must not be confused with the seventy weeks that follow. Dating the period of the seventy years of captivity from 606 B.C., Daniel understood

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that they were now drawing to their close, and that God had even begun the fulfillment of the prophecy by overthrowing the kingdom of Babylon.

Verse 3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

Because God has promised, we are not released from the responsibility of beseeching Him for the fulfillment of His word. Daniel might have reasoned in this manner: God has promised to release His people at the end of seventy years, and He will accomplish this promise; I need not therefore concern myself at all in the matter. Daniel did not thus reason; but as the time drew near for the accomplishment of the word of the Lord, he set himself to seek the Lord with all his heart.

How earnestly he engaged in the work, even with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes! This was probably the year when Daniel was cast into the lions' den. The reader will recall that the decree approved by the king had forbidden all his subjects to ask any petition of any god except the king, on pain of death. But regardless of the decree, Daniel prayed this prayer three times a day with his windows open toward Jerusalem.

Verse 4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Daniel's Remarkable Prayer.--We here have opening of Daniel's wonderful prayer, a prayer expressing such humiliation and contrition of heart that one must be without feeling who can read it unmoved. He begins by acknowledging the faithfulness of God, who never fails in any of His engagements with His followers. It was not from any lack on God's part in defending and upholding them, that the Jews were then in captivity, but only on account of their sins.

Verse 5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments: 6 Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, which spake in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither Thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against Thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him; 10 neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He hath confirmed his words, which He spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth. 14 Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

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To this point Daniel's prayer is employed in making a full and heartbroken confession of sin. He vindicates fully the course of the Lord, acknowledging the sins of his people to be the cause of all their calamites, as God had threatened them by the prophet Moses. He does not discriminate in favor of himself. No self-righteousness appears in his petition. Although he had suffered long for others' sins, enduring seventy years of captivity for the wrongs of his people, he lived a godly life, and received signal honors and blessings from the Lord. He brings no accusations against anyone, pleads no sympathy for himself as a victim of others' wrongs, but classes himself with the rest, saying We have sinned, and unto us belongs confusion of face. He acknowledges that they had not heeded the lessons God designed to teach them by their afflictions.

Verse 15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten Thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger and Thy fury be turned away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. 18 O my God, incline Thine ear, and hear; open Thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Thy name: for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, but for Thy great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.

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The prophet now pleads the honor of the Lord's name as a reason why he desires his petition to be granted. He refers to the fact of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and the great renown that had accrued to the Lord's name for all His wonderful works manifested among them. All this would be lost, should He now abandon them to perish. Moses used the same argument in pleading for Israel. (Numbers 14.) Not that God is moved with motives of ambition and vainglory; but when His people are jealous for the honor of His name, when they evince their love for Him by pleading with Him to work, not for their own personal benefit, but for His own glory, that His name may not be reproached and blasphemed among the heathen, this is acceptable with Him. Daniel then intercedes for the city of Jerusalem, called by God's name, and His holy mountain, for which He has had such love, and beseeches Him, for His mercies' sake, to let His anger be turned away. Finally, his mind centers upon the holy sanctuary, God's own dwelling place upon this earth, and he pleads that its desolations may be repaired.

Daniel understood the seventy years of captivity to be near their termination. From his allusion to the sanctuary, it is evident that he so far misunderstood the important vision given him in Daniel 8 as to suppose that the 2300 days expired at the same time. This misapprehension was at once corrected when the angel came to give him further instruction in answer to his prayer.

Verse 20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

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Daniel's Prayer Is Answered.--We here have the result of Daniel's supplication. He is suddenly interrupted by a heavenly messenger. The angel Gabriel, appearing again as he had before in the form of a man, whom Daniel had seen in the vision at the beginning, touched him. An important question is at this point to be determined, namely, Has the vision of Daniel 8 ever been explained, and can it ever be understood? To what vision does Daniel refer by the expression, "the vision at the beginning"? It will be conceded by all that it is a vision of which we have some previous record, and that in that vision we shall find some mention of Gabriel. We must go back beyond this ninth chapter, for all that we have in this chapter previous to this appearance of Gabriel, is simply a record of Daniel's prayer. Looking back, then, through previous chapters, we find mention of only three vision given to Daniel. The interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar was given in a night vision. (Daniel 2: 19.) But there is no record of any angelic agency in the matter. The vision of Daniel 7 was explained to Daniel by "one of them that stood by," probably an angel, nor is there anything in that vision which needed further explanation. The vision of Daniel 8 gives some particulars which show this to be the vision referred to. Gabriel is there introduced by name. Daniel had said that he did not understand it, showing that Gabriel, at the conclusion of Daniel 8, had not completed his mission. There is no place in all the Bible where this instruction is continued, if it is not in Daniel 9. If therefore the vision of Daniel 8 is not the one referred to, we have no record that Gabriel ever complied fully with the instructions given him, or that the vision has ever been explained. The instruction which the angel now

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gives to Daniel, as we shall see from the following verses, does exactly complete what was lacking in Daniel 8. These considerations prove beyond a doubt the connection between Daniel 8 and 9, and this conclusion will be still further strengthened by a consideration of the angel's instructions.

Verse 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Gabriel's Mission.--The manner in which Gabriel introduces himself on this occasion shows that he has come to complete some unfinished mission. This can be nothing less than to carry out the instruction to make this man "understand the vision," as recorded in Daniel 8. He says, "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." As the charge still rested upon him to make Daniel understand, and as he had explained to Daniel in chapter 8 all that he could then bear, and yet he did not understand the vision, he now comes to resume his work ad complete his mission. As soon as Daniel began his fervent supplication, the commandment came forth; for Gabriel received instruction to visit Daniel, and impart to him the requisite information.

From the time it takes to read Daniel's prayer down to the point at which Gabriel made his appearance upon the scene, the reader can judge of the speed with which this messenger was dispatched form the court of heaven to this servant of God. no wonder that Daniel says he was caused to fly swiftly, or that Ezekiel compares the movements of these celestial beings to a flash of lightning. (Ezekiel 1: 14.)

"Understand the matter," he says to Daniel. What matter? Evidently that which he did not before understand, as stated in the last verse of Daniel 8. "Consider the vision." What vision? Not the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's image, nor the vision of Daniel 7, for there was no difficulty with either of these; but the vision of Daniel 8, in reference to which his

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mind was filled with astonishment and lack of understanding. "I am come to show thee," also said the angel.

Daniel had no difficulty in understanding what the angel told him about the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn, symbolizing the kingdoms of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Nor was he mistaken in regard to the ending of the seventy years' captivity. But the burden of his petition was in respect to the repairing of the desolations of the sanctuary, which lay in ruins. He had undoubtedly drawn the conclusion that the time when the end of the seventy years' captivity came was the time for the fulfillment of what the angel had said in regard to the cleansing of the sanctuary at the end of the 2300 days. Now he must be set right. This explains why at this particular time, so soon after the previous vision, instruction was sent to him.

The seventy years of captivity were drawing to their close. Daniel was acting upon a misunderstanding. He must not be suffered longer to remain ignorant of the true import of the former vision. "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding," said the angel. How could the connection between the former visit of the angel and this one be more distinctly shown than by such words at such a time from such a person?

Daniel Greatly Beloved.--One expression seems worthy of notice before we leave verse 23. It is the declaration of the angel to Daniel, "For thou art greatly beloved." The angel brought this declaration direct from the courts of heaven. It expressed the state of feeling that existed there in regard to Daniel.

Think of celestial beings, the highest in the universe,--the Father, the Son, the holy angels,--having such esteem for a mortal man here upon earth as to authorize an angel to bear the message to him that he is greatly beloved! This is one of the highest pinnacles of glory to which mortals can attain. Abraham reached another, when it could be said of him that he was the "friend of God;" and Enoch another, when it could

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be said of him that he "walked with God." Can we arrive at any such attainments? God is no respecter of persons; but He is a respecter of character. If in virtue and godliness we could equal these eminent men, we could move the divine love to equal depths. We, too, could be greatly beloved--could be friends of God, and could walk with Him. We must be in our generation what they were in theirs.

There is a figure used in reference to the last church which denotes the closest union with God: "If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3: 20. To sup with the Lord denotes an intimacy equal to being greatly beloved by Him, walking with Him, or being His friend. How desirable a position! Alas for the evils of our nature, which cut us from this communion! O for grace to overcome these, that we may enjoy this spiritual union here, and finally enter the glories of His presence at the marriage supper of the Lamb!

Verse 24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Seventy Weeks.--These are the first words the angel uttered to Daniel in imparting to him that instruction which he came to give. Why did he thus abruptly introduce a period of time? We must again refer to the vision of Daniel 8. We have seen that Daniel, at the close of that chapter, says that he did not understand the vision. Some parts of that vision were at the time clearly explained. It could not have been these parts which he did not understand. We therefore inquire what it was that Daniel did not understand, or what part of the vision was left unexplained.

In that vision four prominent things are brought to view: the ram, the he-goat, the little horn, and the period of 2300 days. The symbols of the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn were explained, but nothing was said respecting the period of

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time. This must therefore have been the point that he did not understand. The other parts of the vision were of no avail while the application of this period of 2300 days was left in obscurity.

Says the learned Dr. Hales, in commenting upon the seventy weeks, "This chronological prophecy . . . was evidently designed to explain the foregoing vision, especially in its chronological part of the 2300 days." [1]

If this view of the subject is correct, we should naturally expect the angel to begin with the point which had been omitted, namely, the time. This we find to be true in fact. After citing Daniel's attention to the former vision in the most direct and emphatic manner, and assuring him that he had now come forth to give him understanding, he begins with the very point there omitted: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city."

Cut Off From the 2300 Days.--But how does this language show any connection with the 2300 days, or throw any light upon that period? We answer: The language cannot be intelligently referred to anything else. The word here rendered "determined" signifies "cut off," and no other period is given in the vision here referred to from which the seventy weeks could be cut off, except the 2300 days. How direct and natural, then, is the connection. "Seventy weeks are cut off." Cut off from what?--The 2300 days, most assuredly.

The word "determined" in this clause is a translation of the Hebrew , nechtak, based on a primitive root defined by Strong as meaning "to cut off, (i.e., fig.) to decree--determine" (the latter by implication). The Authorized Version employs the remoter definition, and makes it read, "seventy weeks are decreed [i.e., allotted] upon thy people." Taking the basic and simpler definition, we have "seventy weeks are cut off for thy people."

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If cut off, it must be from some whole larger than itself--in this case from the twenty-three hundred years of prophecy heretofore discussed. It may be added that Gesenius gives the same definition as Strong: "to cut off, . . . to divide, and so to determine, to decree." He then refers to Daniel 9: 24, and translates the phrase, "are decreed upon thy people." Davidson also gives exactly the same definition, and refers likewise to Daniel 9: 24 as an example.

Why, then, it may be asked, did our translators render the word "determined," when it so obviously means "cut off"? The answer is, They doubtless overlooked the connection between the eighth and ninth chapters, and considering it improper to render it "cut off," when nothing was given from which the seventy weeks could be cut off, they gave the word its figurative instead of its literal meaning. But, as we have seen, the definition and context require the literal meaning, and render any other inadmissible.

Seventy weeks, then, or 490 days of the 2300, were allotted to Jerusalem and the Jews. The events which were to be consummated within that period are briefly state. The transgression was to be finished, that is, the Jewish people were to fill up the cup of their iniquity, which they did in the rejection and crucifixion of Christ. An end of sins, or of sin offerings, [*] was to be made. This took place when the great offering was made on Calvary. Reconciliation for iniquity was to be provided. This was accomplished by the sacrificial death of the Son of God. Everlasting righteousness was to be brought in, the righteousness which our Lord manifested in His sinless life. The vision and prophecy were to be sealed, or made sure.

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By the events which were to occur in the seventy weeks, the prophecy is tested. By this the application of the whole vision is determined. If the events of this period are accurately fulfilled, the prophecy is of God, and will be accomplished. If these seventy weeks are fulfilled as weeks of years, then the 2300 days, of which these are a part, are so many years.

Day for a Year in Prophecy.--As we enter upon the study of the seventy weeks, or 490 days, it will be well to remind ourselves of the fact that in Scripture prophecy a day represents a year. On page 144 we have already submitted evidence of the acceptance of the year-day principle; however for the benefit of the reader, we present two further quotations as follows:

"In the same way it was opened up to Daniel in what way the last reviling would be after the sanctuary shall have been cleansed and the vision shall have been fulfilled; and this after 2300 days from the hour of the going forth of the commandment, . . . according to the predicted number by resolving a day into a year, according to the unfolding made to Ezekiel." [2]

"It is a singular fact that the great mass of interpreters in the English and American world have, for many years, been wont to understand the days designated in Daniel and in the Apocalypse, as the representatives or symbols of years. I have found it difficult to trace the origin of this general, I might say almost universal, custom." [3]

The year-day principle numbers among its supporters such names as Augustine, Tichonius, Primasius, Andreas, the Venerable Bede, Ambrosius, Ansbertus, Berengaud, and Bruno Astensis, besides the leading modern expositors. [4] But what is more conclusive than all else is the fact that the prophecies have been fulfilled on this principle--a demonstration of its correctness from which there is no appeal. This will be found in the prophecy of the seventy weeks throughout, and

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all the prophetic periods of Daniel 7 and 12, and Revelation 9, 12, and 13.

Thus the events of the seventy weeks, calculated in this rational way, furnish a key to the whole vision.

"To Anoint the Most Holy."--According to the prophecy the "most holy" was to be anointed. The Hebrew phrase , qodesh qadashim, here translated "most holy," is a term used freely through the Levitical books to characterize things and places, but is nowhere applied to persons, unless by exception in this verse. While it is used in the Old Testament and its Greek equivalent in the New, to distinguish the most holy place in the tabernacle, it is by no means confined to this use. It is employed also to characterize many articles connected with the holy service of the sanctuary, such as the brazen alter, the table, the candlestick, the incense, the unleavened bread, the sin offering, the trepass offering, every devoted thing, and the like, but never to persons connected with that service. (See Exodus 29: 37; 30: 10, 29, 36; Leviticus 6: 17, 29; 7: 1; 27: 28.)

On the other hand, in the case of anointing for service, the term is applied to the tabernacle itself, as well as to all its vessels. (Exodus 30: 26-29.) In Daniel 9: 24, a case of anointing is specified in the prophecy. Consistent with the uses of "most holy" pointed out above, there is every reason to believe that in this verse the anointing of the heavenly tabernacle is predicted. The tabernacle was anointed for the typical service; and true to pattern, it is most appropriate that the heavenly tabernacle should be anointed for the antitypical, or real, service as our High Priest enters upon His gracious work of ministering in behalf of sinners.

In the examination of the sanctuary in comments on Daniel 8: 14, we saw that a time came when the earthly sanctuary gave place to the heavenly, and the priestly ministration was transferred from the one to the other. Before the ministration in the earthly sanctuary began, the tabernacle and all the holy vessels were to be anointed. (Exodus 40: 9,

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10.) The last event of the seventy weeks here brought to view, therefore, is the anointing of the heavenly tabernacle for the opening of the ministration there.

Verse 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Seventy Weeks Subdivided.--The angel now relates to Daniel the event which is to mark the beginning of the seventy weeks. They were to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. Not only is the event given which determines the time of the commencement of this period, but also those events which take place at its close. Thus a double test is provided by which to try the application of this prophecy. But more than this, the period of seventy weeks is divided into three grand divisions. One of these is again divided, and the intermediate events are given which were to mark the termination of each one of these divisions. If we can find a date which will harmonize with all these events, we have beyond a doubt the true application, for none but that which is correct could meet and fulfill so many conditions.

Let the reader now take in at one view the points of harmony to be made, that he may be the better prepared to guard against a false application. We are to find at the beginning of the period a commandment going forth to restore and build Jerusalem. To this work of restoration seven weeks are allotted. As we reach the end of this first division, seven weeks from the beginning, we are to find Jerusalem restored in its material aspect, the work of building the street and the

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wall fully accomplished. From this point sixty-two weeks are measured off. As we reach the termination of this division, sixty-nine weeks from the beginning, we are to see the manifestation of Messiah the Prince before the world. One week more is given us, completing the seventy. In the midst of this week the Messiah is to be cut off, and to cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. At the expiration of that period which was allotted to the Jews as the time during which they were to be the special people of God, we naturally look for the going forth of the blessing and work of God to other people.

Beginning of the Seventy Weeks.--We now inquire for the initial date which will harmonize with all these particulars. The command respecting Jerusalem was to include more than mere building. There was to be restoration. By this we must understand all the forms and regulations of civil, political, and judicial society. When did such a command go forth? At the time these words were spoken to Daniel, Jerusalem lay in utter desolation, and had thus been lying for many years. The restoration pointed to in the future must be its restoration from this desolation. We then inquire, When and how was Jerusalem restored after the seventy years' captivity?

There are four events which can be taken as answering to the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. These are:

1. The decree of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the house of God, 536 B.C. (Ezra 1: 1-4.)

2. The decree of Darius for the prosecution of that work which had been hindered, 519 B.C. (Ezra 6: 1-12.)

3. The decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra, 457 B.C. [**] (Ezra 7.)

4. The commission to Nehemiah from the same king in his twentieth year, 444 B.C. (Nehemiah 2.)

Dating from the first two of these decrees, the seventy weeks, or 490 literal years, would fall many years

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short of reaching even to the Christian Era. Besides this, these decrees had reference principally to the restoration of the temple and the temple worship of the Jews, not to the restoration of their civil state and polity, all of which must be included in the expression, "To restore and to build Jerusalem."

These two decrees made a beginning of the work. They were preliminary to what was afterward accomplished. But of themselves they were altogether insufficient to meet the requirements of the prophecy, both in their dates and in their nature. Thus falling short, they cannot be brought into the discussion as marking the point from which the seventy weeks are to begin. The only question now lies between the decrees which were granted to Ezra and to Nehemiah respectively.

The facts between which we are to decide here are briefly these: In 457 B.C., a decree was granted to Ezra by the Persian emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus to go up to Jerusalem with as many of his people as were minded to go with him. The commission granted him an unlimited amount of treasure, to beautify the house of God, to procure offerings for its service, and to whatever else might seem good to him. It empowered him to ordain laws, set magistrates and judges, and execute punishment even unto death; in other words, to restore the Jewish state, civil, and ecclesiastical, according to the law of God and the ancient customs of that people. Inspiration has seen fit to preserve this decree; and a full an accurate copy of it is given in Ezra 7. This decree is recorded not in Hebrew, like the rest of the book of Ezra, but in the official Chaldaic, or Eastern Aramaic. Thus we are referred to the original document by virtue of which Ezra was authorized to restore and build Jerusalem.

Thirteen years after this, in the twentieth year of the same king, 444 B.C., Nehemiah sought and obtained permission to go up to Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2.) Permission was granted him, but we have no evidence that it was anything more than oral. It pertained to him individually, since nothing was said about others going up with him. The king asked him how long

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a journey he wished to make, and when he would return. He received letters to the governors beyond the river to help him on his way to Judea, and an order to the keeper of the king's forest for timber.

When he arrived at Jerusalem, he found rulers and priests, nobles, and people, already engaged in the work of building Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2: 16.) They were, of course, acting under the decree given to Ezra thirteen years before. Finally, after arriving at Jerusalem, Nehemiah finished in fifty-two days the work he came to accomplish. (Nehemiah 6: 15.)

Now which of these commissions, Ezra's or Nehemiah's, constitutes the decree for the restoration of Jerusalem, from which the seventy weeks are to be dated? It hardly seems that there can be any question on this point.

Reckoning from the commission to Nehemiah, 444 B.C., the date throughout are entirely disarranged; for from that point the troublesome times which were to attend the building of the street and wall did not last seven weeks, or forty-nine years. If we reckon from that date, the sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, which were to extend to the Messiah the Prince would bring us to A.D. 40; but Jesus was baptized of John in Jordan, and the voice of the Father was heard from heaven declaring Him His Son, A.D. 27, thirteen years before. [5] According to this calculation, the midst of the last or seventieth week, which is marked by the crucifixion, is placed in A.D. 44, but the crucifixion took place in A.D. 31, thirteen years previous. And lastly, the seventy weeks, or 490 years dating from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, would extend to A.D. 47, with absolutely nothing to mark their termination. Hence if that be the year, and the grant to Nehemiah the event, from which to reckon, the prophecy has proved a failure. As it is, it only proves that the theory to be a failure which dates the seventy weeks from Nehemiah's commission in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.

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It is thus evident that the decree granted to Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, 457 B.C., is the point form which to date the seventy weeks. That was the going forth of the decree in the sense of the prophecy. The two previous decrees were preparatory and preliminary to this. Indeed they are regarded by Ezra as parts of it, the tree being taken as one great whole. For in Ezra 6: 14 we read: "They builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia," It will be noticed that the decrees of these kings are spoken of as one,--"the commandment [margin, "decree," singular number] of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes," showing that they are all reckoned as a unit, the different decrees being but the successive steps by which the work was accomplished. This decree could not be said to have "gone forth" as intended by the prophecy, until the last permission which the prophecy required was embodied in the decree, and clothed with the authority of the empire. This point was reached in the grant given to Ezra, but not before. Here the decree assumed the proportions and covered the ground demanded by the prophecy, and from this point its "going forth" must be dated.

Harmony of the Subdivision.--Will these dates harmonize if we reckon from the decree to Ezra? Let us see. Our starting point then is 457 B.C. Forty-nine years are allotted to the building of the city and the wall. On this point, Prideaux says: "In the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus ended the first seven weeks of the seventy weeks of Daniel's prophecy. For then the restoration of the church and state of the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea was fully finished, in that last act of reformation, which is recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Nehemiah, from the twenty-third verse to the end of the chapter, just forty-nine years after it had been first begun by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus." [6] This was 408 B.C.

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So far we find harmony. Let us apply the measuring rod of the prophecy still further. Sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, were to extend to Messiah the Prince. Dating from 457 B.C., they end in A.D. 27. What event then occurred? [***] Luke thus informs us: "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased." Luke 3: 21, 22. After this, Jesus came "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled." Mark 1: 14, 15. The time here mentioned must have been some specific, definite, and predicted period; but no prophetic period can be found terminating then except the sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy of Daniel, which were to extend to Messiah the Prince. The Messiah had now come, and with His own lips He announced the termination of that period which was to be marked by His manifestation. [+]

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Here, again, is indisputable harmony. But further, the Messiah was to confirm the covenant with many for one week. This would be the last week of the seventy, or the last seven years of the 490. In the midst of the week, the prophecy informs us, He should cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. These Jewish ordinances, pointing to the death of Christ, could cease only at the cross. There they did virtually come to an end when the veil of the temple was rent at the crucifixion of Christ, though the outward observance was kept up until the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. After threescore and two weeks, according to the record, the Messiah was to be cut off. It is the same as if it had read: After threescore and two weeks, in the midst of the seventieth week, shall Messiah be cut off, and cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. Now, as the word midst here means middle, the crucifixion is definitely located in the middle of the seventieth week.

Date of the Crucifixion.--It now becomes an important point to determine in what year the crucifixion took place. It is not to be questioned that our Saviour attended every Passover that occurred during His public ministry, and we have mention of only four such occasions previous to His crucifixion. These are found in the passages: John 2: 13; 5: 1; 6: 4; 13: 1. At the last-mentioned Passover He was crucified. From facts already established, let us then see where this would locate the crucifixion. As He began His ministry in the autumn of A.D. 27, His Passover would occur the following

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spring, A.D. 28; His second, A.D. 29; His third, A.D. 30; and His fourth and last, A.D 31. This gives us three years and a half for His public ministry, and corresponds exactly to the prophecy that He would be cut off in the midst, or middle of the seventieth week. As that week of years began in the autumn of A.D. 27, the middle of the week would occur three and one half years later, in the spring of 31, when the crucifixion took place. Dr. Hales quotes Eusebius, A.D. 300, as saying: "It is recorded in history that the whole time of our Saviour's teaching and working miracles was three years and a half, which is the half of a week [of years]. This, John the evangelist will represent to those who critically attend to his Gospel." [7]

Of the unnatural darkness which occurred at the crucifixion, Hales thus speaks: "Hence it appears that the darkness which 'overspread the whole land of Judea' at the time of our Lord's crucifixion was preternatural, 'from the sixth until the ninth hour,' or from non till three in the afternoon, in its duration, and also in its time, about full moon, when the moon could not possibly eclipse the sun. The time it happened, and the fact itself are recorded in a curious and valuable passage of a respected Roman Consul, Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator, about A.D. 514. 'In the consulate of Tiberius Caesar Aug. V and AElius Sejanus (U.C. 784, A.D. 31), our Lord Jesus Christ suffered, on the 8th of the Calends of April (25th of March), when there happened such an eclipse of the sun as was never before nor since.'

"In this year, and in this day, agree also the Council of Caesarea, A.D. 196 or 198, the Alexandrian Chronicle, Maximus Monachus, Nicephorus Constantinus, Cedrenus; and in this year, but on different days, concur Eusebius and Epiphanius, followed by Kepler, Bucher, Patinus, and Petavius, some reckoning it the 10th of the Calends of April, others the 13th." (See comments on Daniel 11: 22.) [8]

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Here, then, are thirteen creditable authorities who locate the crucifixion of Christ in the spring of A.D. 31. We may therefore set this down as a fixed date. This being in the middle of the last week, we have simply to reckon backward three and a half years to find where sixty-nine of the weeks ended, and forward from that point three and a half years to find the termination of the whole seventy weeks. Thus going back three and a half years from the crucifixion in the spring of A.D. 31, we come to the autumn of A.D. 27, when, as we have seen, the sixty-nine weeks ended, and Christ began His public ministry. Going forward from the crucifixion three and a half years, we are brought to the autumn of A.D. 34, as the grand terminating point of the whole period of the seventy weeks. This date is marked by the martyrdom of Stephen, the formal rejection of the gospel of Christ by the Jewish Sanhedrin in the persecution of His disciples, and the turning of the apostles to the Gentiles. These are the events which one would expect to take place when that specified period cut off for the Jews and allotted to them as a peculiar people, should fully expire.

From the facts above set forth, we see that, reckoning the seventy weeks from the decree given to Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, 457 B.C., there is perfect harmony throughout. The important and definite events of the manifestation of the Messiah at His baptism, the commencement of His public ministry, the crucifixion, and the rejection of the Jews and the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles, with the proclamation of the new covenant--all come in in their exact place, sealing the prophecy and making it sure.

End of the 2300 Days.--With the seventy weeks we are now through; but there remains a longer period, and other important events are to be considered. The seventy weeks are but the first 490 years of the 2300-year period. Take 490 from 2300, and there remains 1810. The 490, as we have seen, ended in the autumn of A.D. 34. If to this date we now add the remaining 1810 years, we shall have the termination of the

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whole period. So to A.D. 34, autumn, add 1810, and we have the autumn of A.D. 1844. Thus speedily and surely do we find the termination of the 2300 days, when once the seventy weeks have been located.

Why in 1844?--The query may here arise how the days can be extended to the autumn of 1844 if they began in 457 B.C., as it requires only 1843 years, in addition to the 457, to make the whole number 2300. Attention to one fact will clear this point of all difficulty: It takes 457 full years before Christ, and 1843 full years after, to make 2300; so that if the period began with the very first day of 457, it would not terminate till the very last day of 1843. Now it will be evident to all that if any part of the year 457 passed away before the 2300 days began, just so much of the year 1844 must pass away before they would end. We therefore inquire, From what point in the year 457 are we to begin to reckon? From the fact that the first forty-nine years were allotted to the building of the street and wall, we learn that the period is to be dated not from the starting of Ezra from Babylon, but the actual beginning of the work at Jerusalem. This beginning could hardly be earlier than the seventh month (autumn) of 457, as he did not arrive at Jerusalem until the fifth month of that year. (Ezra 7: 9.) The whole period would therefore extend to the seventh month, autumn, Jewish time, of 1844.

The momentous declaration made by the angel to Daniel, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days: then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," is now explained. In our search for the meaning of the sanctuary and it cleansing, and the application of the time, we have found only that this subject can be easily understood, but lo, the event is even now in process of accomplishment. Here we pause a brief moment to reflect upon the solemn position into which we are brought.

We have seen that the sanctuary of the Christian Era is the tabernacle of God in heaven, the house not made with hands, where our Lord ministers in behalf of penitent sinners, the place where between the great God and His Son Jesus

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Christ the "counsel of peace" prevails in the work of salvation for perishing men. (Zechariah 6: 13; Psalm 85: 10.) We have seen that the cleansing of the sanctuary consists in the removing of the sins from it, and is the closing act of the ministration performed in it; that the work of salvation now centers in the heavenly sanctuary; and that when the sanctuary is cleansed, the work is done. Then the great plan of salvation devised at the fall of man is brought to its final termination. Mercy no longer pleads, and the great voice is heard from the throne in the temple in heaven, saying, "It is done." Revelation 16: 17. What then? All the righteous have the gift of everlasting life; all the wicked are doomed to everlasting death. Beyond that point, no decision can be changed, no reward can be lost, and no destiny of despair can be averted.

The Solemn Judgment Hour.--We have seen (and this is what brings the solemnities of the judgment to our own door) that that long prophetic period which was to mark the beginning of the final work in the heavenly sanctuary, has met its termination. In 1844 the days ended. Since that time the final work for man's salvation has been going forward. This work involves an examination of every man's character, for it consists in the remission of the sins of those who shall be found worthy to have them remitted, and determines who among the dead shall be raised. It also decides who among the living shall be changed at the coming of the Lord, and who of both dead and living shall be left to have their part in the fearful scenes of the second death. All can see that such a decision as this must be rendered before the Lord appears.

Every man's destiny is to be determined by deeds done in the body, and each one is to be rewarded according to his works. (2 Corinthians 5: 10; Revelation 22: 12.) In the books of record kept by the heavenly scribes above, every man's deeds will be found recorded. (Revelation 20: 12.) In the closing sanctuary work these records are examined, and decisions are rendered in accordance with the findings. (Daniel 7: 9, 10.) It would be natural to suppose that the work would

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begin with the first members of the human race, that their cases would be first examined, and decision rendered, and so on with all the dead, generation by generation, in chronological succession, until we reach the last generation-- the generation of the living, with whose cases the work would close.

When the cases of all the dead have been examined, and when the cases of the living have been reached, no man can know. But since the year 1844 this solemn work has been going forward. Light from the types, and the very nature of the work, forbid that it should be of long continuance. In his sublime views of the heavenly scenes, John saw millions of attendants and assistants engaged with our Lord in His priestly work. (Revelation 5.) Thus the ministration goes forward. It ceases not, it delays not, and it must soon be forever finished.

Here we stand then, with the last, the greatest, and the most solemn crisis in the history of our race immediately impending. The plan of salvation is about finished. The last precious years of probation are almost finished. The Lord is about to come to save those who are ready and waiting, and to cut asunder the careless and unbelieving. The world--alas! What shall we say of it? Deceived with error, crazed with cares and business, delirious with pleasure, and paralyzed with vice, the inhabitants have not a moment to spare for listening to solemn truth, nor a thought to bestow upon their eternal interests. Let the people of God, with eternity in view, be careful to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, and prepare to pass the searching test when their cases shall come up for examination at the great tribunal above. Let them be diligent in warning sinners of the wrath to come, and in pointing them to a loving Saviour who intercedes in their behalf.

To the careful attention of every student of prophecy we commend the subject of the sanctuary and its service. In the sanctuary is seen the ark of God's testament, containing His

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holy law. This suggests a reform in our obedience to that great standard of morality. The opening of this heavenly temple, or the beginning of the service in its second apartment, marks the commencement of the sounding of the seventh angel. (Revelation 11: 15, 19.) The work performed therein is the foundation of the third angel's message of Revelation 14,--the last message of mercy to a perishing world. This subject of the sanctuary renders harmonious and clear past prophetic fulfillments which are otherwise involved in impenetrable obscurity. It gives a definite idea of the position and work of our great High Priest, and brings out the plan of salvation in its distinctive and beautiful features. It reins us up, as no other subject does, to the realities of the judgment, and shows the preparation we need to be able to stand in the coming day. It shows us that we are in the waiting time, and puts us upon our watch, for we do not know how soon the work will be finished, and our Lord appear. Watch, lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.

After stating the great events connected with our Lord's mission here upon the earth, the prophet in the last part of Daniel 9: 27 speaks of the soon- following destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman power; and finally of the destruction of that power itself, called in the margin "the desolator."


  • [1] William Hales, A New Analysis of Chronology, Vol. II, p. 517.
  • [2] Nicholas von Cusa, Conjectures of Cardinal Nicholas von Cusa Concerning the Last Days, p. 934.
  • [3] Moses Stuart, Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy, p. 74.
  • [4] See Edward B. Elliott, Horae Apocalypticae, Vol. III, p. 234, notes 2-6.
  • [5] See S. Bliss, Analysis of Sacred Chronology, pp. 180, 182; Karl Wieseler, A Chronological Synopsis of the Four Gospels, pp. 164-247.
  • [6] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connect in the History of the Jews, Vol. I, p. 322.
  • [7] William Hales, A New Analysis of Chronology, Vol. I, p. 94.
  • [8] Ibid., pp. 69, 70.
  • [*] The Hebrew word, , chattath, translated "sins" in Daniel 9: 24, denotes either sin or sin offering. Leviticus 4: 3 is an example of its use in both senses in the same verse: "Let him bring for his sin . . . a young bullock . . . for his sin offering," the same Hebrew word being used in both instances. This is a common usage through the Levitical books including Leviticus 16 and elsewhere in the Old Testament. It can therefore clearly be used in the sense of sin offerings in Daniel 9: 24, for an end of sin offerings was actually made at the cross.--Editors.
  • [**] The years of Artaxerxes' reign are among the most easily established dates of history. The Canon of Ptolemy, with its list of kings and astronomical observations, the Greek Olympiads, and allusions in Greek history to Persian affairs all combine to place the seventh year of Artaxerxes at 457 B.C. beyond successful controversion. See Sir Isaac Newton, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, pp. 154-157.--Editors.
  • [***] There is abundance of authority for A.D. 27 as the date of Christ's baptism. See S. Bliss, Analysis of Sacred Chronology, p. 180; New International Encyclopedia, art. "Jesus Christ;" Karl Wieseler, A Chronological Synopsis of the Four Gospels, pp. 164-247.
  • [+] Luke declared that Jesus "began to be about thirty years of age" at the time of His baptism (Luke 3: 23); and almost immediately after this He entered upon His ministry. How, then, could His ministry begin in A.D. 27, and He still be the same age named by Luke? The answer to this question is found in the fact that Christ was born between three and four years before the beginning of the Christian Era, that is, before the year called A.D. 1. the mistake of dating the Christian Era somewhat over three years this side of the birth of Christ, instead of dating it from the year of His birth, as it was designed to be, arose on this wise. One of the most important of ancient eras was reckoned from the building of the city of Rome--ab urbe condita--expressed by the abbreviation A.U.C., or more briefly, U.C. In the year which is now numbered A.D. 532, Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian by birth, and a Roman abbot, who flourished in the reign of Justinian, invented the Christian Era. According to the best evidence at his command, he placed the birth of Christ U.C. 753. But Christ was born before the death of Herod; and it was afterward ascertained on the clearest evidence that the death of Herod occurred in April, U.C. 750. Allowing a few months for the events recorded in Christ's life before the time of Herod's death, his birth is carried back to the latter part of U.C. 749, a little more than three years before A.D. 1. Christ was therefore thirty years of age in A.D. 27. "The Vulgar [common] era began to prevail in the West about the time of Charles Martel and Pope Gregory II, A.D. 730; but was not sanctioned by any public Acts or Rescripts till the first German Synod, in the time of Carolomannus, Duke of the Franks, which, in the preface, was said to be assembled 'Anno ab incarnatione Dom. 742, 11 Calendas Maii.' But it was not established till the time of Pope Eugenius IV, A.D. 1431, who ordered this era to be used in the public Registers: according to Mariana, and others."-William Hales, "A New Analysis of Chronology," Vol. I, p. 84. (See also Samuel J. Andrews, Life of Our Lord Upon the Earth, pp. 29, 30.) The Christian Era had become so well established before the mistake above referred to was discovered, that no change in the reckoning has been attempted. It makes no material difference, as ti does not interfere at all with the calculation of dates. If the era began with the actual year of Christ's birth, the number of years B.C. in any case would be four years less, and the years A.D. four years more. To illustrate: If we have a period of twenty years, on half before and the other half in the Christian Era, we ay that it began 10 B.C. and ended A.D. 10. But if we place the era back to the real point of Christ's birth there would be no change of either terminus of the period, but we should then say that it began 6 B.C. and ended A.D. 14; that is four years would be taken from the figures B.C. and added to those of A.D. Some have so far misapprehended this subject as to claim that the current year should have four years added to it, to denote the real year of the Christian Era. This would be true, if the reckoning began from the actual date of Christ's birth. But this is not the case, the starting point being between three and four years later.--Editors.
Chapter 10

God Intervenes in World Affairs


Verse 1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

This verse introduces the last recorded vision of the prophet Daniel, the instruction imparted to him at this time being continued through Daniel 11 and 12. The death of Daniel is supposed to have occurred soon after this, he being at this time, according to Prideaux, not less then ninety years of age.

Verse 2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Daniel's Sorrow.--The marginal reading for "three full weeks" is "weeks of days," here used to distinguish the time spoken of from the weeks of years brought to view in the preceding chapter.

For what purpose did this aged servant of God thus humble himself and afflict his soul?--Evidently to understand more fully the divine purpose concerning events that were to befall the church of God. The divine messenger sent to instruct him says, "From the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand." Verse 12. There was still something, then, which Daniel did not understand. What was it? Undoubtedly it was some part of the vision of Daniel 8, of which Daniel 9 was but a further explanation. As the result of his supplication, he now receives more minute information respecting the events included in the great outlines of his former visions.

This mourning of the prophet is supposed to have been accompanied with fasting, not an absolute abstinence from

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food, but a use of only the plainest and most simple articles of diet. He ate no pleasant bread, no delicacies or dainties; he used no flesh or wine; and he did not anoint his head, which was to the Jews an outward sign of fasting. How long he would have continued this fast had he not received the answer to his prayer, we do not know, but his course in continuing it for three weeks shows that he was not a person to cease his supplications till his petition was granted.

Verse 4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; 5 then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

The word Hiddekel in the Syriac is applied to the Euphrates River; in the Vulgate, Greek, and Arabic, to the Tigris; therefore some conclude that the prophet had this vision where these rivers unite, near the Persian Gulf.

A most majestic being visited Daniel on this occasion. The description here given of him is almost parallel to the description of Christ in Revelation 1: 14-16. Also since the effect on Daniel was experienced was similar to that experienced by Paul and his companions when the Lord appeared to them on the road to Damascus (Acts 9: 1-7), we conclude that Christ Himself appeared to Daniel. We learn in verse 13 that Michael had come to assist Gabriel in influencing the Persian king. How natural then that He should show Himself to Daniel on this occasion.

Verse 10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

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Gabriel Encourages Daniel.--After Daniel had fallen at the majestic appearance of Christ, the angel Gabriel, obviously the speaker in verse 11-13, laid his hand upon him to give him assurance and confidence. He told Daniel that he was a man greatly beloved. Wonderful declaration! A member of the human family, one of the same race with us, loved, not merely in the general sense in which God loved the whole world when He gave His Son to die for mankind, but loved as individual, and that greatly! Well might the prophet receive confidence from such a declaration as that! He tells him, moreover, that he is come for the purpose of an interview with him, and he wishes him to bring his mind into a proper state to understand the words. Being thus assured, the holy and beloved prophet stood trembling, before the angel.

"Fear not, Daniel," continued Gabriel. He had no occasion to fear before one, even though a heavenly being, who had been sent to him because he was greatly beloved, and in answer to his earnest prayer. Nor ought the people of God of any age to entertain a servile fear of any of those agents who are sent forth to minister to their salvation. There is, however, a disposition manifested among far too many to conceive of Jesus and His angels as only stern ministers of justice, rather than as beings who are earnestly working for their salvation. The presence of an angel, should he appear bodily before them, would strike them with terror, and the thought that Christ is soon to appear distresses and alarms them. We recommend to such more of that perfect love which casts out all fear.

Verse 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

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Gabriel Delayed by the King of Persia.--How often the prayers of God's people are heard while as yet there is no apparent answer! It was even so in this case with Daniel. The angel told him that from the first day he set his heart to understand, his words were heard. Yet Daniel continued to afflict his soul with fasting, and to wrestle with God for three full weeks, unaware that any respect had been paid to his petition. But unaware that any respect had been paid to his petition. But why was the delay? The king of Persia withstood the angel. The answer to Daniel's prayer involved some action on the part of that king. This action he must be influenced to perform. It doubtless pertained to the work which he was to do, and had already begun to do, in behalf of the temple at Jerusalem and the Jews, his decree for the building of that temple being the first of the series which finally constituted that notable commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, at the going forth of which the great prophetic period of 2300 days was to begin. The angel was dispatched to influence him to go forward in accordance with the divine will.

How little do we realize what is going on in the unseen world in relation to human affairs! Here the curtain is for a moment lifted, and we catch a glimpse of the movements within. Daniel prays. The Creator of the universe hears. The command is issued to Gabriel to go to his relief. But the king of Persia must act before Daniel's prayer is answered, and the angel hastens to the Persian king. Satan no doubt musters his forces to oppose. They meet in the royal palace of Persia. All the motives of selfish interest and worldly policy which Satan can play upon, he doubtless uses to the best advantage to influence the king against compliance with God's will, while Gabriel brings to bear his influence in the other direction. The king struggles between conflicting emotions. He hesitates; he delays. Day after day passes away, yet Daniel prays on. The king still refuses to yield to the influence of the angel. Three weeks expire, and lo, a mightier than Gabriel joins him in the palace of the king, and then they come to Daniel to acquaint him with progress of events. From the

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first, said Gabriel, your prayer was heard; but during these three weeks which you have devoted to prayer and fasting, the king of Persia has resisted my influence and prevented my coming.

Such was the effect of prayer. God has erected no barriers between Himself and His people since Daniel's time. It is still their privilege to offer up prayer as fervent and effectual as his, and, like Jacob, to have power with God, and to prevail.

Who was Michael, who here came to Gabriel's assistance? The term signifies, "He who is like God," and the Scriptures clearly show that Christ is the one who bears this name. Jude (verse 9) declares that Michael is the Archangel. This word signifies "head, or chief, angel," and in our text Gabriel calls Him "one [or, as the margin reads, "the first"] of the chief princes." There can be but one archangel, and hence it is manifestly improper to use the word in the plural as some do. The Scriptures never so use it. In 1 Thessalonians 4: 16, Paul states that when the Lord appears the second time to raise the dead, the voice of the archangel is heard. Whose voice is heard when the dead are raised?--The voice of the Son of God. (John 5: 28.) Taken together, these scriptures prove that the dead are called from their graves by the voice of the Son of God, that the voice which is then heard is the voice of the Archangel, proving that the Archangel is the Son of God, and that the Archangel is called Michael, from which it follows that Michael is the Son of God. In the last verse of Daniel 10, He is called "your Prince," and in the first of Daniel 12, "the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people," expressions which can appropriately be applied to Christ, but to no other being.

Verse 14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

The expression, "yet the vision is for many days," reaching far into the future, and embracing what should befall the people of God even in the latter days, shows conclusively that the

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2300 days given in that vision cannot mean literal days, but must be days of years. (See comments on Daniel 9: 25-27.)

Verse 15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.

One of the most marked characteristics manifested by Daniel was the tender solicitude he felt for his people. Having come now clearly to comprehend that the vision portended long ages of oppression and suffering for the church, he was so affected by the view that his strength departed from him, his breath ceased, and the power of speech was gone. The vision of verse 16 doubtless refers to the former vision of Daniel 8.

Verse 18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. 20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. 21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your Prince.

The prophet is at length strengthened to hear in full the communication which the angel has to make. Gabriel says, "Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee?" Do you understand my purpose so that you will no more fear? He then announced his intention to return, as soon as his communication was complete, to fight with the king of Persia. The word, im, signifying "with," is, in the Septuagint, , meta, and signifies, not "against," but "in common with, alongside of;" that is, the angel of God would stand on the side of the Persian kingdom as long as it was in the providence of God

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that that kingdom should continue. "And when I am gone forth," continued Gabriel, "lo, the prince of Grecia shall come." That is, when he withdraws his support from that kingdom, and the providence of God operates in behalf of another kingdom, the prince of Grecia shall come, and the Persian monarchy shall be overthrown.

Gabriel then announced that none had an understanding with him in the matters he was about to communicate except Michael the Prince. After he had made them known to Daniel, there were four beings in the universe who possessed a knowledge of these important truths--Daniel, Gabriel, Christ, and God. Four links appear in this chain of witnesses--the first, Daniel, a member of the human family; the last, Jehovah, the God of all!

Chapter 11

Unrolling the Scroll of the Future


Verse 1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. 2 And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.

We now enter upon a prophecy of future events, clothed not in figures and symbols, as in the visions of Daniel 2, 7, and 8, but given mostly in plain language. Many of the signal events of the world's history from the days of Daniel to the end of the world, are here brought to view. This prophecy, as Thomas Newton says, may not improperly be said to be a comment on and explanation of Daniel 8, a statement showing how clearly he perceived the connection between that vision and rest of the book of Daniel. [1]

Daniel's Last Vision Interpreted.--The angel Gabriel, after stating that he had stood in the first year of Darius to confirm and strengthen him, turns his attention to the future. Darius was dead, and Cyrus was now reigning. Three kings would yet stand up, or reign, in Persia, doubtless the immediate successors of Cyrus. These were Cambyses, son of Cyrus; Smerdis, an impostor; and Darius Hystaspes.

Xerxes Invades Greece.--The fourth king after Cyrus was Xerxes, son of Darius Hystaspes. He was famous for his wealth, a direct fulfillment of the prophecy stating that he should be "far richer than they all." He was determined to conquer the Greeks; therefore he set about organizing a mighty army, which Herodotus says numbered 5,283,220 men.

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Xerxes was not content to stir up the East alone. He also enlisted the support of Carthage in the West. The Persian king fought Greece successfully at the famous battle of Thermopylae; but the mighty army was able to overrun the country only when the three hundred brave Spartans who held the pass were betrayed by traitors. Xerxes finally suffered disastrous defeat at the battle of Salamis in the year 480 B.C., and the Persian army made its way back again to its own country.

Verse 3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

Xerxes was the last Persian king to invade Greece; and now the prophecy passes over six minor rulers to introduce the "mighty king." Alexander the Great.

After overthrowing the Persian Empire, Alexander "became absolute lord of that empire in the utmost extent in which it was ever possessed by any of the Persian kings." [2] His dominion comprised "the greater portion of the then-known habitable world." How well he has been described as "a mighty king,. . . that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will"! But he exhausted his energies in rioting and drunkenness, and when he died in 323 B.C., his vainglorious and ambitious projects when into sudden and total eclipse. The Grecian Empire did not go to Alexander's sons. Within a few years after his death, all his posterity had fallen victims to the jealousy and ambition of his leading generals, who tore the kingdom into four parts. How short is the transit from the highest pinnacle of earthly glory to the lowest depths of oblivion and death! Alexander's four leading generals--Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy--took possession of the empire.

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"After the death of Antigonus [301 B.C.], the four confederated princes divided his dominions between them; and hereby the whole empire of Alexander became parted, and settled into four kingdoms. Ptolemy had Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Coele-Syria, and Palestine; Cassander, Macedon and Greece; Lysimachus, Thrace Bithynia, and some other of the provinces beyond the Hellespont and the Bosphorus; and Selecus all the rest. And these four were the four horns of the he-goat mentioned in the prophecies of the prophet Daniel, which grew up after the breaking off of the first horn. That first horn was Alexander, king of Grecia, who overthrew the kingdom of the Medes and Persians; and the other four horns were these four kings, who sprung up after him, and divided the empire between them. And these also were the four heads of the leopard, spoken of in another place of the same prophecies. And their four kingdoms were the four parts, into which, according to the same prophet, the 'kingdom of the mighty king (i.e., of Alexander) should be broken, and divided toward (i.e., according to the number of) the four winds of heaven,' among those four kings, 'who should not be of his posterity,' as neither of the four above-mentioned were. And therefore, by this last partition of the empire of Alexander, were all these prophecies exactly fulfilled." [3]

Verse 5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.

King of the South.--The king of the north and the king of the south are many times referred to in the rest of this chapter. Therefore it is essential to an understanding of the prophecy to identify these powers clearly. when Alexander's empire was divided, the portions lay toward the four winds of heaven--north, south, east, est. These divisions may well be reckoned from Palestine, the central part of the empire. That division of the empire lying west of Palestine would thus con-

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stitute the kingdom of the west; that lying north, the kingdom of the north; that lying east, the kingdom of the east; and that lying south, the kingdom of the south.

During the wars and revolutions which followed for long ages, geographical boundaries were frequently changed or obliterated; old ones were wiped out, and new ones instituted. But whatever changes might occur, these first division of the empire must determine the names which these portions of territory should ever afterward bear, or we have no standard by which to test the application of the prophecy. In other words, whatever power at any time should occupy the territory which at first constituted the kingdom of the north, that power would be king of the north as long as it occupied that territory. Whatever power should occupy that which at first constituted the kingdom of the south, that power would so long be the king of the south. We speak of only these tow, because they are the only ones afterward spoken of in the prophecy, and because, in fact, almost the whole of Alexander's empire finally resolved itself into these two division.

The successors of Cassander were very soon conquered by Lysimachus, and his kingdom, Greece and Macedon, was annexed to Thrace. Lysimachus was in turn conquered by Seleucus, and Macedon and Thrace were annexed to Syria.

These facts prepare the way for an application of the text before us. The king of the south, Egypt, shall be strong. Ptolemy Soter annexed Cyprus, Phoenicia, Caria, Cyrene, and many islands and cities to Egypt. Thus was his kingdom made strong. But another of Alexander's princes is introduced in the expression, "one of his princes." This must refer to Seleucus Nicator, who, as already stated, by annexing Macedon and Thrace to Syria became possessor of three parts out of four of Alexander's dominion, and established a more powerful kingdom than that of Egypt.

Verse 6 And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.

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King of the North.--There were frequent wars between the kings of Egypt and of Syria. Especially was this the case with Ptolemy Philadelphus, the second king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theos, third king of Syria. They at length agreed to make peace upon condition that Antiochus should put away his former wife, Laodice, and her two sons, and should marry Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Ptolemy accordingly brought his daughter to Antiochus, bestowing with her an immense dowry.

"But she shall not retain the power of the arm;" that is, her interest and power with Antiochus. So it proved; for shortly afterward, Antiochus brought back to the court his former wife Laodice and her children. Then says the prophecy, "Neither shall he [Antiochus] stand, nor his arm," or posterity. Laodice, being restored to favor and power, feared lest in the fickleness of his temper Antiochus should again disgrace her by recalling Berenice. Concluding that nothing short of his death would be an effectual safeguard against such a contingency, she caused him to be poisoned shortly afterward. Neither did his children by Berenice succeed him in the kingdom, for Laodice so managed affairs as to obtain the throne for her eldest son Seleucus Callinicus.

"But she [Berenice] shall be given up." Laodice, not content with poisoning her husband Antiochus, caused Berenice and her infant son to be murdered. "They that brought her." All of her Egyptian women and attendants, in endeavoring to defend her, were slain with her. "He that begat her," margin, "whom she brought forth," that is, her son, who was murdered at the same time by order of Laodice. "He that strengthened her in these times," was doubtless her husband, Antiochus, or those who took her part and defended her.

Verse 7 But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: 8 and shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. 9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.

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The branch out of the same root with Berenice was her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes. He had no sooner succeeded his father Ptolemy Philadelphus in the kingdom of Egypt, than, burning to avenge the death of his sister Berenice, he raised an immense army and invaded the territory of the king of the north, Seleucus Callinicus, who with his mother Laodice reigned in Syria. He prevailed against them, even to the conquering of Syria, Cilicia, the upper parts beyond the Euphrates, and eastward to Babylon. But hearing that a sedition was raised in Egypt requiring his return home, he plundered the kingdom of Seleucus by taking forty thousand talents of silver and precious vessels and two thousand five hundred images of gods. Among these were the images which Cambyses had formerly taken from Egypt and carried into Persia. The Egyptians, being wholly given to idolatry, bestowed upon Ptolemy the title Euergetes, or the Benefactor, as a compliment for restoring their captive gods after many years.

"There are authors still extant," says Thomas Newton, "who confirm several of the same particulars. Appian informs us that Laodice having killed Antiochus, and after him both Berenice and her child, Ptolemy the son of Philadelphus to revenge these murders invaded Syria, slew Laodice, and proceeded as far as to Babylon. From Polybius we learn that Ptolemy, surnamed Euergetes, being greatly incensed at the cruel treatment of his sister, Berenice, marched with an army into Syria, and took the city of Seleucia, which was kept for some years afterward by the garrisons of the kings of Egypt. Thus did he 'enter the fortress of the king of the north.' Polyaenus affirms that Ptolemy made himself master of all the country from Mount Taurus as far as to India without war or battle; but he ascribes it by mistake to the father instead of the son. Justin asserts that if Ptolemy had not been recalled by a

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domestic sedition into Egypt, he would have possessed the whole kingdom of Seleucus. So the king of the south came into the kingdom of the north, and then returned into his own land. He likewise 'continued more years than the king of the north;' for Seleucus Callinicus died in exile of a fall from his horse, and Ptolemy Euergetes survived him about four or five years." [4]

Verse 10 But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.

The first part of this verse speaks of sons, in the plural; the last part, of one, in the singular. The sons of Seleucus Callinicus were Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus Magnus. These both entered with zeal upon the work of vindicating and avenging the cause of their father and their country. The elder of these, Seleucus, first took the throne. He assembled a great multitude to recover his father's dominions; but was poisoned by his generals after a short, inglorious reign. His more capable brother, Antiochus Magnus, was thereupon proclaimed king. He took charge of the army, recovered Seleucia and Syria, and made himself master of some places by treaty and of others by force of arms. Antiochus overcame Nicolas, the Egyptian general, in battle and had thoughts of invading Egypt itself. However, a truce followed, wherein both sides treated for peace, yet prepared for war. Here is the "one" who should certainly "overflow and pass through."

Verse 11 And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.

Kings of the North and South in Conflict.--Ptolemy Philopator succeeded his father Euergetes in the kingdom of Egypt, being advanced to the crown not long after Antiochus Magnus had succeeded his brother in the government of Syria. He was an ease-loving and vicious prince, but was at length

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aroused at the prospect of an invasion of Egypt by Antiochus. He was indeed "moved with choler" because of the losses he had sustained and the danger which threatened him. He marshaled a large army to check the progress of the Syrian king, but the king of the north was also "to set forth a great multitude." The army of Antiochus, according to Polybius, amounted to 62,000 footmen, 6,000 horsemen, and 102 elephants. In this conflict, the Battle of Raphia, Antiochus was defeated, with nearly 14,000 soldiers slain and 4,000 taken prisoner, and his army was given into the hands of the king of the south--a fulfillment of prophecy.

Verse 12 And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.

Ptolemy lacked the prudence to make good use of his victory. Had he followed up his success, he would probably have become master of the whole kingdom of Antiochus; but after making only a few threats, he made peace that he might be able to give himself up to the uninterrupted and uncontrolled indulgence of his brutish passions. Thus having conquered his enemies, he was overcome by his vices, and forgetful of the great name which he might have established, he spent his time in feasting and sensuality.

His heart was lifted up by his success, but he was far from being strengthened by it, for the inglorious use he made of it caused his own subjects to rebel against him. But the lifting up of his heart was especially made manifest in his transactions with the Jews. Coming to Jerusalem, he offered sacrifices, and was desirous of entering into the most holy place of the temple contrary to the law and religion of the Jews. But being restrained with great difficulty, he left the place, burning with anger against the whole nation of the Jews, and immediately began against them a relentless persecution. In Alexandria, where Jews had resided since the days of Alexander, enjoying the privileges of the most favored citizens, forty thousand according to Eusebius, sixty thousand according to Jerome,

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were slain. The rebellion of the Egyptians and the massacre of the Jews certainly were not calculated to strengthen Ptolemy in his kingdom, but were sufficient rather to ruin it almost totally.

Verse 13 For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.

The events predicted in this verse were to occur "after certain years." The peace concluded between Ptolemy Philopator and Antiochus Magnus lasted fourteen years. Meanwhile Ptolemy died from intemperance and debauchery, and was succeeded by his son Ptolemy Epiphanes, then five years old. Antiochus suppressed rebellion in his kingdom during the same time, and reduced the eastern provinces to obedience. He was then at leisure for any enterprise when young Epiphanes came to the throne of Egypt. Thinking this too good an opportunity for enlarging his dominion to let slip, he raised an immense army, "greater than the former," and set out against Egypt, expecting to have an easy victory over the infant king.

Verse 14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.

Antiochus Magnus was not the only one who rose up against the infant Ptolemy. Agathocles, his prime minister, having possession of the king's person and conducting the affairs of the kingdom in his stead, was so dissolute and proud in the exercise of his power that the provinces which before were subject to Egypt, rebelled. Egypt itself was disturbed by seditions, and the Alexandrians, rising up against Agathocles, caused him, his sister, his mother, and their associates, to be put to death. At the same time, Philip of Macedon entered into a league with Antiochus to divide the dominions of Ptolemy between them, each proposing to take the parts which lay nearest and most convenient to him. Here was a rising up against the king of the south sufficient to fulfill the prophecy,

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and it resulted, beyond doubt, in the exact events which the prophecy forecast.

A new power is now introduced--"the robbers of thy people;" literally, says Thomas Newton, "the sons of the breakers . . . of thy people." [5] Far away on the banks of the Tiber, a kingdom had been nourishing ambitious projects and dark designs. Small and weak at first, it grew in strength and vigor with marvelous rapidity, reaching out cautiously here and there to try its prowess and test its warlike arm, until with consciousness of its power it boldly reared its head among the nations of the earth, and seized with invincible hand the helm of affairs. Henceforth the name of Rome stands upon the page of history, destined for long ages to control the world, and to exert a might influence among the nations even to the end of time.

Rome spoke--and Syria and Macedonia soon found a change coming over the aspect of their dream. The Romans interfered in behalf of the young king of Egypt, determined that he should be protected from the ruin devised by Antiochus and Philip. This was 200 B.C., and was one of the first important interferences of the Romans in the affairs of Syria and Egypt. Rollin furnishes the following succinct account of this matter:

"Antiochus, king of Syria, and Philip, king of Macedonia, during the reign of Ptolemy Philopator, had discovered the strongest zeal for the interest of that monarch, and were ready to assist him on all occasions. Yet no sooner was he dead, leaving behind him an infant, whom the laws of humanity and justice enjoined them not to disturb in the possession of his father's kingdom, than they immediately join in a criminal alliance, and excite each other to take off the lawful heir, and divide his dominions between them. Philip was to have Caria, Libya, Cyrenaica, and Egypt; and Antiochus, all the rest. With this view, the latter entered Coele-Syria and Palestine,

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and in less than two campaigns made an entire conquest of those two provinces, with all their cities and dependencies. Their guilt, says Polybius, would not have been quite so glaring, had they, like tyrants, endeavored to gloss over their crimes with some specious pretense; but so far from doing this, their injustice and cruelty were so barefaced, that to them was applied what is generally said of fishes, that the large ones, though of the same species, prey on the lesser. One would be tempted, continues the same author, at seeing the most sacred laws of society so openly violated, to accuse Providence of being indifferent and insensible to the most horrid crimes; but it fully justified its conduct by punishing those two kings according to their deserts; and made such an example of them as ought in all succeeding ages to deter others from following their example. For, whilst they are meditating to dispossess a weak and helpless infant of his kingdom by piecemeal, Providence raised up the Romans against them, who entirely subverted the kingdoms of Philip and Antiochus, and reduced their successors to almost as great calamites as those with which they intended to crush the infant king." [6]

"To establish the vision." The Romans more than any other people are the subject of Daniel's prophecy. Their first interference in the affairs of these kingdoms is here referred to as being the establishment, or demonstration, of the truth of the vision which predicted the existence of such a power.

"But they shall fall" is referred by some to those mentioned in the first part of the verse, who should stand up against the king of the south; others, to the robbers of Daniel's people, the Romans. It is true in either case. If those who combined against Ptolemy are referred to, all that need be said is that they did speedily fall. If it applies to the Romans, the prophecy simply pointed to the period of their final overthrow.

Verse 15 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.

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The education of the young king of Egypt was entrusted by the Roman Senate to M. Emilius Lepidus, who appointed Aristomenes, an old and experienced minister of that court, to be his guardian. His first act was to provide against the threatened invasion of the two confederated kings, Philip and Antiochus.

To this end he dispatched Scopas, a famous general of Aetolia then in the service of the Egyptians, into his native country to raise reinforcements for the army. After equipping an army, he marched into Palestine and Coele-Syria (Antiochus being engaged in a war with Attalus in Lesser Asia), and reduced all Judea to the authority of Egypt.

Thus affairs were brought about for the fulfillment of the verse before us. Desisting from his war with Attalus at the dictation of the Romans, Antiochus took speedy steps for the recovery of Palestine and Coele-Syria from the hands of the Egyptians. Scopas was sent to oppose him. Near the sources of the Jordan, the two armies met. Scopas was defeated, pursued to Sidon, and there closely besieged. Three of the ablest generals of Egypt, with their best forces, were sent to raise the siege, but without success. At length Scopas, meeting a foe in the specter of famine with which he was unable to cope, was forced to surrender on the dishonorable terms of life only. He and his ten thousand men were permitted to depart stripped and destitute. Here was the taking of the "most fenced cities" by the king of the north, for Sidon was in its situation and defenses one of the strongest cities of those times. Here was the failure of the arms of the south to withstand, and the failure also of the people which the king of the south had chosen; namely Scopas and his Aetolian forces.

Verse 16 But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.

Rome Conquers Syria and Palestine.--Although Egypt had not been able to stand before Antiochus Magnus, the king of the north, Antiochus Asiaticus could not stand before the Romans,

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who came against him. no kingdoms could resist this rising power. Syria was conquered, and added to the Roman Empire, when Pompey in 65 B.C. deprived Antiochus Asiaticus of his possessions and reduced Syria to a Roman province.

The same power was also to stand in the Holy Land, and consume it. The Romans became connected with the people of God, the Jews, by alliance in 161 B.C. From this date Rome held a prominent place in the prophetic calendar. It did not, however, acquire jurisdiction over Judea by actual conquest until 63 B.C.

On Pompey's return from his expedition against Mithridates Eupator, king of Pontus, two competitors, sons of the high priest of the Jews in Palestine, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, were struggling for the crown of Judea. Their cause came before Pompey, who soon perceived the injustice of the claims of Aristobulus, but he wished to defer decision in the matter until after his long-desired expedition into Arabia. He promised then to return, and settle their affairs as should seem just and proper. Aristobulus, fathoming Pompey's real sentiments, hastened back to Judea, armed his subjects, and prepared for a vigorous defense, determined at all hazards to keep the crown which he foresaw would be adjudicated to another. After his Arabian campaign against King Aretas, Pompey learned of these warlike preparations and marched on Judea. As he approached Jerusalem, Aristobulus, beginning to repent of his course, came out to meet Pompey, and endeavored to arrange matters by promising entire submission and large sums of money. Accepting this offer, Pompey sent Gabinius at the head of a detachment of soldiers, to receive the money. But when that lieutenant arrived at Jerusalem, he found the gates shut against him, and was told from the top of the walls that the city would not stand by the agreement.

Not to be deceived in this way with impunity, Pompey put Aristobulus in irons, and immediately marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. The partisans of Aristobulus were for defending the city; those of Hyrcanus, for opening the

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gates. The latter, however, being in the majority, prevailed, and Pompey was given free entrance into the city. Whereupon the adherents of Aristobulus retired to the temple fortress, as fully determined to defend that place as Pompey was to reduce it. At the end of three months a breach was made in the wall sufficient for an assault, and the place was carried at the point of the sword. In the terrible slaughter that ensued, twelve thousand persons were slain. It was an affecting sight, observes the historian, to see the priests, engaged at the time in divine service, with calm hand and steady purpose pursue their accustomed work, apparently unconscious of the wild tumult, until their own blood was mingled with that of the sacrifices they were offering.

After putting an end to the war, Pompey demolished the walls of Jerusalem, transferred several cities from the jurisdiction of Judea to that of Syria, and imposed tribute on the Jews. For the first time Jerusalem was by conquest placed in the hands of Rome, that power which was to hold the "glorious land" in its iron grasp till it had utterly consumed it.

Verse 17 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.

Thomas Newton furnishes another reading for this verse, which seems to express more clearly the meaning: "He shall also set his face to enter by force the whole kingdom." [7]

Rome Overruns the Kingdom of the South.--Verse 16 brought us to the conquest of Syria and Judea by the Romans. Rome had previously conquered Macedon and Thrace. Egypt was now all that remained of the "whole kingdom" of Alexander which had not been brought into subjection to the Roman power. Rome now set her face to enter by force into the land of Egypt.

Ptolemy Auletes died in 51. B.C. He left the crown and kingdom of Egypt to his eldest surviving daughter, Cleopatra,

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and his elder son, Ptolemy XII, a lad of nine or ten years. It was provided in his will that they should marry each other and reign jointly. Because they were young, they were placed under the guardianship of the Romans. the Roman people accepted the charge, and appointed Pompey as guardian of the young heirs of Egypt.

Soon a quarrel broke out between Pompey and Julius Caesar, which reached its climax in the famous battle of Pharsalus. Pompey, being defeated, fled into Egypt. Caesar immediately followed him thither; but before his arrival Pompey was basely murdered at the instigation of Ptolemy. Caesar now assumed the guardianship of Ptolemy and Cleopatra. He found Egypt in commotion from internal disturbances, for Ptolemy and Cleopatra had become hostile to each other, since she had been deprived of her share in the government.

The troubles daily increasing, Caesar found his small source insufficient to maintain his position, and being unable to leave Egypt on account of the north wind which blew at that season, he sent into Asia for all the troops he had in that region.

Julius Caesar decreed that Ptolemy and Cleopatra should disband their armies, appear before him for a settlement of their differences, and abide by his decision. Since Egypt was an independent kingdom, this haughty decree was considered an affront to its royal dignity, and the Egyptians, highly incensed, took up arms. Caesar replied that he acted by the authority of the will of their father, Ptolemy Auletes, who had put his children under the guardianship of the senate and people of Rome.

The matter was finally brought before him, and advocates were appointed to plead the cause of the respective parties. Cleopatra, aware of the foible of the great Roman general, decided to appear before him in person. To reach his presence undetected, she had recourse to the following stratagem: She laid herself at full length in a carpet, and Appolodorus, her Sicilian servant, wrapped her up in a cloth, tied the bundle

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with a thong, and raising it upon his Herculean shoulders, sought the apartments of Caesar. Claiming to have a present for the Roman general, he was admitted into the presence of Caesar, and deposited the burden at his feet. When Caesar unbound this animated bundle, the beautiful Cleopatra stood before him.

Of this incident F. E. Adcock writes: "Cleopatra had a right to be heard if Caesar was to be judge, and she contrived to reach the city and to find a boatman to take her to him. She came, saw, and conquered. To the military difficulties of the withdrawal in the face of the Egyptian army was added the fact that Caesar no longer wished to go. He was past fifty, but he retained an imperious susceptibility which evoked the admiration of his soldiers. Cleopatra was twenty-two, as ambitious and high-mettled as Caesar himself, a woman whom he would find it easy to understand and admire as well as to love." [8]

Caesar at length decreed that the brother and the sister should occupy the throne jointly, according to the intent of the will. Pothinus, the chief minister of state, principally instrumental in expelling Cleopatra from the throne, feared the result of her restoration. He therefore began to excite jealousy and hostility against Caesar by insinuating among the populace that he designed eventually to give Cleopatra the sole power. Open sedition soon followed. The Egyptians undertook to destroy the Roman fleet. Caesar retorted by burning theirs. Some of the burning vessels being driven near the quay, several of the buildings of the city took fire, and the famous Alexandrian library, containing nearly 400,000 volumes, was destroyed. Antipater the Idumean joined him with 3,000 Jews. The Jews, who held the frontier gateways into Egypt, permitted the Roman army to pass without interruption. The arrival of this army of Jews under Antipater helped decide the contest.

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A decisive battle was fought near the Nile by the fleets of Egypt and Rome, resulting in a complete victory for Caesar. Ptolemy, attempting to escape, was drowned in the river. Alexandria and all Egypt then submitted to the victor. Rome had now entered into and absorbed the entire original kingdom of Alexander.

By the "upright ones" of the text are doubtless meant the Jews, who gave Caesar the assistance already mentioned. Without this, he must have failed; with it, he completely subdued Egypt in 47 B.C.

"The daughter of women, corrupting her" was Cleopatra, who had been Caesar's mistress and the mother of his son. His infatuation for the queen kept him much longer in Egypt than his affairs required. He spent whole nights in feasting and carousing with the dissolute queen. "But," said the the prophet, "she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him." Cleopatra afterward joined herself to Antony, the enemy of Augustus Caesar, and exerted her whole power against Rome.

Verse 18 After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.

War in Syria and Asia Minor against Pharnaces, king of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, drew Julius Caesar away from Egypt. "On his arrival where the enemy was," says Prideaux, "he, without giving any respite either to himself or them, immediately fell on, and gained an absolute victory over them; an account whereof he wrote to a friend of his in these three words: Veni, vidi, vici! 'I came, I saw, I overcame.' " [9] The latter part of this verse is involved in some obscurity, and there is difference of opinion in regard to its application. Some apply it further back in Caesar's life, and think they find a fulfillment in his quarrel with Pompey. But preceding and subsequent events clearly defined in the prophecy, compel us to look for the fulfillment of this part of the prediction between the

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victory over Pharnaces, and Caesar's death at Rome, as brought to view in the following verse.

Verse 19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.

After his conquest of Asia Minor, Caesar defeated the last remaining fragments of Pompey's party, Cato and Scipio in Africa, and Labienus and Varus in Spain. Returning to Rome, the "fort of his own land," he was made dictator for life. Other powers and honors were granted him which made him in fact the absolute sovereign of the empire. But the prophet had said that he should stumble and fall. The language implies that his overthrow would be sudden and unexpected, like a person accidentally stumbling in his walk. So this man, who it is said had fought and won fifty battles, taken one thousand cities, and slain one million one hundred ninety-two thousand men, fell, not in the din of battle and the hour of strife, but when he thought his pathway was smooth and danger far away.

"On the evening before the Ides Caesar dine with Lepidus, and as the guests sat at their wine someone asked the question, 'What is the best death to die?' Caesar who was busy signing letters said, 'A sudden one.' By noon the next day, despite dreams and omens, he sat in his chair in the Senate House, surrounded by men he had cared for, had promoted or spared, and was struck down, struggling, till he fell dead at the foot of Pompey's statue." [10] Thus he suddenly stumbled and fell, and was not found, in 44 B.C.

Verse 20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.

Augustus the Raiser of Taxes Appears.--Octavius succeeded his uncle, Julius, by whom he had been adopted. He publicly announced his adoption by his uncle, and took his name. He

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joined Mark Antony and Lepidus to avenge the death of Julius Caesar. The three formed what is called the triumvirate form of government. After Octavius was firmly established in the empire, the senate conferred upon him the title "Augustus," and the other members of the triumvirate now being dead, he became supreme ruler.

He was emphatically a raiser of taxes. Luke, speaking of events that took place at the time when Christ was born, says: "It came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed." Luke 2: 1. That taxing which embraced all the world was an event worthy of notice, for the person who enforced it has certainly a claim above every other competitor to the title of "a raiser of taxes." During the reign of Augustus "fresh taxation" was imposed, one quarter of the annual income from all citizens and a capital levy of one eighth on all freedmen." [11]

He stood up "in the glory of the kingdom." Rome reached the pinnacle of its greatness and power during the "Augustan Age." The empire never saw a brighter hour. Peace was promoted, justice maintained, luxury curbed, discipline established, and learning encouraged. During his reign, the temple of Janus was shut three times, signifying that all the world was at peace. Since the founding of the Roman Empire this temple had been closed but twice previously. At this auspicious hour our Lord was born in Bethlehem of Judea. In a little less than eighteen years after the taxing brought to view, seeming but a "few days" to distant gaze of the prophet, Augustus died in A.D. 14, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His life ended not in anger or battle, but peacefully in his bed, at Nola, whither he had gone to seek repose and health.

Verse 21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

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Tiberius Cuts Off the Prince of the Covenant.--Tiberius Caesar followed Augustus on the Roman throne. He was raised to the consulate at the age of twenty-nine. It is recorded that as Augustus was about to nominate his successor, his wife, Livia, besought him to nominate Tiberius, her son by a former husband. But the emperor said, "Your son is too vile to wear the purple of Rome." Instead, the nomination was given to Agrippa, a virtuous and much-respected Roman citizen. But the prophecy had foreseen that a vile person should succeed Augustus. Agrippa died; and Augustus was again under the necessity of choosing a successor. Livia renewed her intercessions for Tiberius, and Augustus, weakened by age and sickness, was more easily flattered, and finally he consented to nominate that "vile" young man as his colleague and successor. But the citizens never gave him the love, respect, and "honor the kingdom" due to an upright and faithful sovereign.

How clear a fulfillment is this of the prediction that they should not give him the honor of the kingdom. But he was to come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. A paragraph from the Encyclopaedia Americana shows how this was fulfilled:

"During the remainder of the life of Augustus, he [Tiberius] behaved with great prudence and ability, concluding a war with the Germans in such a manner as to merit a triumph. After the defeat of Varus and his legions, he was sent to check the progress of the victorious Germans, and acted in that was with equal spirit and prudence. On the death of Augustus, he succeeded (A.D. 14), without opposition, to the sovereignty of the empire; which, however, with his characteristic dissimulation, he affected to decline, until repeatedly solicited by the servile senate." [12]

Dissimulation on his part, flattery on the part of the "servile senate," and a possession of the kingdom without

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opposition were the circumstances attending his accession to the throne, thus fulfilling the words of the prophecy.

The person brought to view in the text is called "a vile person." Was such the character sustained by Tiberius? Let another paragraph from the Encyclopaedia Americana answer:

"Tacitus records the events of this reign, including the suspicious death of Germanicus, the detestable administration of Sejanus, the poisoning of Drusus, with all the extraordinary mixture of tyranny with occasional wisdom and good sense which distinguished the conduct of Tiberius, until his infamous and dissolute retirement (A.D. 26), to the isle of Capreae, in the bay of Naples, never to return to Rome. . . . The remainder of the reign of this tyrant is little more than a disgusting narrative of servility on the one hand, and of despotic ferocity on the other. That he himself endured as much misery as he inflicted, is evident from the following commencement of one of his letters to the senate: 'What I shall write to you, conscript fathers, or what I shall not write, or why I should write at all, may the gods and goddesses plague me more than I feel daily that they are doing, if I can tell.' 'What mental torture,' observes Tacitus, in reference to this passage, 'which could extort such a confession!' " [13]

Tyranny, hypocrisy, debauchery, and uninterrupted intoxication--if these traits and practices show a man to be vile, Tiberius exhibited that character to perfection.

Verse 22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the Prince of the covenant.

Thomas Newton presents the following reading of the text as a more accurate translation of the original: "And the arms of the overflower shall be overflown from before him, and shall be broken." [14] This signifies revolution and violence; and in fulfillment we should look for the arms of Tiberius the overflower to be overflown, or, in other words, for him to suffer a

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violent death. To show how this was accomplished, we again cite the Encyclopaedia Americana:

"Acting the hypocrite to the last, he disguised his increasing debility as much as he was able, even affecting to join in the sports and exercises of the soldiers of his guard. At length, leaving his favorite island, the scene of the most disgusting debaucheries, he stopped at a country house near the promontory of Micenum, where on the sixteenth of March, 37, he sunk into a lethargy, in which he appeared dead; and Caligula was preparing with a numerous escort to take possession of the empire, when his sudden revival threw them into consternation. At this critical instant, Macro, the pretorian prefect, caused him to be suffocated with pillows. Thus expired the emperor Tiberius, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and twenty-third of his reign, universally execrated." [15]

After taking us down to the death of Tiberius, the prophet now mentions an event to take place during his reign which is so important that it should not be passed over. It is the cutting off of the "Prince of the covenant," or the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, "the Messiah the Prince," who was to confirm the covenant" one week with His people. (Daniel 9: 25-27.)

According to the Scripture, Christ's death took place in the reign of Tiberius. Luke informs us that in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, John the Baptist began his ministry. (Luke 3: 1-3.) According to Prideaux [16], Dr. Hales [17], and others, the reign of Tiberius is to be reckoned from his elevation to the throne to reign jointly with Augustus, his stepfather, in August, A.D. 12. His fifteenth year would therefore be from August, A.D. 26, to August, A.D. 27. Christ was six months younger than John, and is supposed to have begun His ministry six months later, both, according to the law of the priesthood, entering upon their work when they were thirty years of age. If John began in the spring, in the

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latter part of the fifteenth year of Tiberius, it would bring the beginning of Christ's ministry in the autumn of A.D. 27. Right here the best authorities place the baptism of Christ, the exact point where the 483 years from 457 B.C., which were to extend to the Messiah the Prince, terminated. Christ then went forth proclaiming that the time was fulfilled. From this point we go forward three years and a half to find the date of the crucifixion, for Christ attended but four Passovers, and was crucified at the last one. Three and a half years from the autumn of A.D. 27 brings us to the spring of A.D. 31. The death of Tiberius is placed but six years later, in A.D. 37. (See comments on Daniel 9: 27-27.)

Verse 23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

Rome Makes a League With the Jews.--The "him" with whom the league is made, must be the same power which has been the subject of the prophecy from the 14th verse, the Roman Empire. That this is true has been shown in the fulfillment of the prophecy in the three individuals who successively ruled over the empire--Julius, Augustus, and Tiberius Caesar.

Now that the prophet has taken us through the secular events of the Roman Empire to the end of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9: 24, he takes us back to the time when the Romans became directly connected with the people of God by the Jewish league in 161 B.C. From this point we are then taken through a direct line of events to the final triumph of the church and the setting up of God's everlasting kingdom. Grievously oppressed by the Syrian kings, the Jews sent an embassy to Rome to solicit the aid of the Romans and to join themselves in "a league of amity and confederacy with them." [18] The Romans listened to the request of the Jews, and granted them a decree couched in these words:

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" 'The decree of the senate concerning a league of assistance and friendship with the nation of the Jews. It shall not be lawful for any that are subject to the Romans to make war with the nation of the Jews, nor to assist those that do so, either by sending them corn, or ships, or money; and if any attack be made upon the Jews, the Romans shall assist them, as far as they are able; and again, if any attack be made upon the Romans, the Jews shall assist them. And if the Jews have a mind to add to, or to take away anything from, this league of assistance, that shall be done with the common consent of the Romans. And whatsoever addition shall thus be made, it shall be of force.' This decree was "written by Eupolemus, the son of John, and by Jason, the son of Eleazer, when Judas was high priest of the nation, and Simon, his brother, was general of the army. And this was the first league that the Romans made with the Jews, and was managed after this manner." [19]

At this time the Romans were a small people, and began to work deceitfully, or with cunning, as the word signifies. But from this time they rose steadily and rapidly to the height of power.

Verse 24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.

Before the days of Rome, nations entered upon valuable provinces and rich territory by war and conquest. Rome was now to do what had not been done by the fathers of the fathers' fathers, namely, receive these acquisitions through peaceful means. The custom was now inaugurated of kings' leaving their kingdoms to the Romans by legacy. Rome came into possession of large provinces in this manner.

Those who thus came under the dominion of Rome derived no small advantage. They were treated with kindness and leniency. It was like have the prey and spoil distributed

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among them. They were protected from their enemies, and they rested in peace and safety under the aegis of the Roman power.

To the latter part of this verse, Thomas Newton gives the thought of forecasting devices from strongholds, instead of against them. This the Romans did from the strong fortress of their seven-hilled city. "Even for a time" doubtless refers to a prophetic time, 360 years. From what point are these years to be dated? Probably from the event brought to view in the following verse.

Verse 25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.

Rome Contends With the King of the South.--By verses 23 and 24 we are brought down this side of the league made between the Jews and the Romans, in 161 B.C., to the time when Rome had acquired universal dominion. The verse now before us brings to view a vigorous campaign against the king of the south, Egypt, and a notable battle between mighty armies. Did such events as these take place in the history of Rome about this time?--They did. The war was the war between Egypt and Rome, and the battle was the battle of Actium. Let us consider briefly the circumstances leading to this conflict.

Mark Antony, Augustus Caesar, and Lepidus constituted the triumvirate which had sworn to avenge the death of Julius Caesar. Antony became the brother-in-law of Augustus by marrying his sister Octavia. Antony was sent into Egypt on government business, but fell a victim to the charms of Cleopatra, Egypt's dissolute queen. So strong was the passion he conceived for her that he finally espoused the Egyptian interest, rejected his wife Octavia to please Cleopatra, and bestowed province after province upon her. He celebrated triumphs at Alexandria instead of at Rome, and otherwise so affronted the Roman people that Augustus had no difficulty

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in leading them to engage heartily in a war against Egypt. This was was ostensibly against Egypt and Cleopatra, but it was really against Antony, who now stood at the head of Egyptian affairs. The true cause of their controversy, says Prideaux, was that neither of them could be content with only half of the Roman Empire. Lepidus had been deposed from the triumvirate, and the rule of the empire now lay between the other two. Each being determined to possess the whole, they cast the die of war for its possession.

Antony assembled his fleet at Samos. Five hundred ships of war of extraordinary size and structure, having several decks one above another, with towers upon the head and stern, made an imposing and formidable array. These ships carried about one hundred twenty-five thousand soldiers. The kings of Libya, Cilicia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Comagena, and Thrace were there in person, and those of Pontus, Judea, Lycaonia, Galatia, and Media, had sent their troops. A more splendid military spectacle than this fleet of war ships as they spread their sails and moved out to sea, the world has rarely seen. Surpassing all in magnificence came the galley of Cleopatra, floating like a palace of gold beneath a cloud of purple sails. Its flags and streamers fluttered in the wind, and trumpets and other musical instruments of war made the heavens resound with notes of joy and triumph. Antony followed close behind her in a galley of almost equal magnificence.

Augustus, on the other hand, displayed less pomp but more utility. He had but half as many ships as Antony, and only eighty thousand foot soldiers. But all his troops were chosen men, and on board his fleet were none but experienced seamen; whereas Antony, not finding sufficient mariners, had been obliged to man his vessels with artisans of every class, men inexperienced and better calculated to cause trouble than to do real service in time of battle. The season being far consumed in these preparations, Augustus made his rendezvous at Brundusium, and Antony at Corcyra, till the following year.

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The next spring, both armies were put in motion on land and sea. The fleets at length entered the Ambracian Gulf in Epirus, and the land forces were drawn up on either shore in plain view. Antony's most experienced generals advised him not to hazard a battle by with his inexperienced mariners, but send Cleopatra back to Egypt, and hasten at once into Thrace or Macedonia, and trust the issue to his land forces, who were composed of veteran troops. But illustrating the old adage, Quem Deus perdere vult, prius dementat ("Him whom God wishes to destroy He first makes made"), and infatuated by Cleopatra, he seemed desirous only of pleasing her; while she, trusting to appearances only, deemed her fleet invincible, and advised immediate action.

The battle was fought September 2, 31 B.C., at the mouth of the gulf of Ambracia, near the city of Actium. The world was the stake for which these stern warriors, Antony and Augustus, now played. The contest, long doubtful, was at length decided by the course which Cleopatra pursued. Frightened at the din of battle, she took to flight when there was no danger, and drew after her the Egyptian squadron numbering sixty ships. Antony, beholding this movement, and lost to everything but his blind passion for her, precipitately followed, and yielded a victory to Augustus, which, had his Egyptian forces proved true to him, and had he proved true to his own manhood, he might had gained.

This battle doubtless makes the beginning of the "time" mentioned in verse 24. As during this "time" devices were to be forecast from the stronghold, or Rome, we should conclude that at the end of that period western supremacy would cease, or such a change take place in the empire that that city would no longer be considered the seat of government. From 31 B.C., a prophetic "time," or 360 years, would bring us to A.D. 330. Hence it becomes a noteworthy fact that the seat of empire was removed from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine the Great in that very year. [20]

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Verse 26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

Antony was deserted by his allies and friends, those that fed "of the portion of his meat." Cleopatra as already described suddenly withdrew from the battle, taking sixty ships of the line with her. The land army, disgusted with the infatuation of Antony, went over to Augustus, who received the soldiers with open arms. When Antony arrived arrived at Libya, he found that the forces which he had left there under Scarpus to guard the frontier, had declared for Augustus, and in Egypt his forces surrendered. In rage and despair, Antony then took his own life.

Verse 27 And both of these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.

Antony and Augustus were formerly in alliance. Yet under the garb of friendship, they were both aspiring and intriguing for universal dominion. Their protestations of friendship for each other were the utterances of hypocrites. They spoke lies at one table. Octavia, the wife of Antony and sister of Augustus, declared to the people of Rome at the time Antony divorced her, that she had consented to marry him solely with the hope that it would prove a pledge of union between Augustus and Antony. But that counsel did not prosper. The rupture came, and in the conflict that ensued Augustus was entirely victorious.

Verse 28 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.

Two returnings from foreign conquest are here brought to view. The first was after the events narrated in verses 26, 27, and the second, after this power had had indignation against the holy covenant, and had performed exploits. The first was fulfilled in the return of Augustus after his expedition against Egypt and Antony. He arrived in Rome with abundant honor

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and riches, for "at this time such vast riches were brought to Rome from Egypt on the reducing of that country, and on the return of Octavianus [Augustus] and his army from thence, that the value of money fell one half, and the prices of provisions and all vendible wares were doubled thereon." [21]

Augustus celebrated his victories in a three-days' triumph--a triumph which Cleopatra herself would have graced as one of the royal captives, had she not artfully caused herself to be bitten fatally by an asp.

Rome Destroys Jerusalem.--The next great enterprise of the Romans after the overthrow of Egypt, was the expedition against Judea and the capture and destruction of Jerusalem. The holy covenant is doubtless the covenant which God has maintained whit his people under different forms in different ages of the world. The Jews rejected Christ, and according to the prophecy that all who would not hear that Prophet should be cut off, they were destroyed out of their own land and scattered to every nation under heaven. While Jews and Christians alike suffered under the oppressive hand of the Romans, it was doubtless in the reduction of Judea especially that the exploits which are mentioned in the sacred text were exhibited.

Under Vespasian the Romans invaded Judea, and took the cities of Galilee, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, where Christ had been rejected. They destroyed the inhabitants, and left nothing but ruin and desolation. Titus besieged Jerusalem, and drew a trench around it, according to the prediction of the Saviour. A terrible famine ensued. Moses had predicted that appalling calamities would come upon the Jews if they departed from God. It had been prophesied that even the tender and delicate woman would eat her own children in the straitness of the siege. (Deuteronomy 28: 52-55.) Under the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, a literal fulfillment of this prediction occurred. Hearing of the inhuman deeds, but

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forgetting that he was the one who was driving the people to such direful extremities, he swore the eternal extirpation of the accursed city and people.

Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70. As an honor to himself, the Roman commander had determined to save the temple, but the Lord had said, "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24: 2. A Roman soldier seized a brand of fire, and climbing upon the shoulders of his comrades, thrust it into one of the windows of the beautiful structure. It was soon ablaze, and the frantic efforts of the Jews to extinguish the flames, seconded by Titus himself, were all in vain. Seeing that the temple would be destroyed, Titus rushed in and bore away the golden candle-

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stick, the table of shewbread, and the volume of the law, wrapped in gold tissue. The candlestick was afterward deposited in Vespasian's Temple of Peace and copied on the triumphal arch of Titus, where its mutilated image is yet to be seen.

The siege of Jerusalem lasted five months. In that siege eleven hundred thousand Jews perished, and ninety-seven thousand were taken prisoners. The city was so amazingly strong that Titus exclaimed when viewing the ruins, "We have fought with the assistance of God." It was completely leveled, and the foundations of the temple were plowed up by Tarentius Rufus. The duration of the whole war was seven years, and almost a million and a half persons are said to have fallen victims to its awful horrors.

Thus this power performed great exploits, and again returned to his own land.

Verse 29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.

The time appointed is probably the prophetic time of verse 24, which has been previously mentioned. It closed, as already shown, in A.D. 330, at which time this power was to return and come again toward the south, but not as on the former occasion, when it went to Egypt, nor as the latter, when it went to Judea. Those were expeditions which resulted in conquest and glory. This one led to demoralization and ruin. The removal of the seat of empire to Constantinople was the signal for the downfall of the empire. Rome then lost its prestige. The western division was exposed to the incursions of foreign enemies. On the death of Constantine, the Roman Empire was divided among his three sons, Constantius, Constantine II, and Constans. Constantine II and Constans quarreled, and the victorious Constans gained the supremacy of the entire West. The barbarians of the North soon began their incursions and extended their conquests until the imperial power of the West expired in A.D. 476.

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Verse 30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

Rome Pillaged by Barbarians.--The prophetic narrative still has reference to the power which has been the subject of the prophecy from the sixteenth verse; namely, Rome. What were the ships of Chittim that came against this power, and when was this movement made? What country or power is meant by Chittim? Adam Clarke has this note on Isaiah 23: 1, "From the land of Chittim it is revealed to them:" "The news of the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar is said to be brought to them from Chittim, the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean; 'for the Tyrians,' says Jerome on verse 6, 'when they saw they had no other means of escaping, fled in their ships, and took refuge in Carthage and in the islands of the Ionian and AEgean sea.' . . . So also Jarchi on the same same place." [22] Kitto [23] gives the same locality to Chittim, the coast and islands of the Mediterranean; and the mind is carried by the testimony of Jerome to a definite and celebrated city situated in that region, that is, Carthage.

Was a naval warfare with Carthage as a base of operations ever waged against the Roman Empire? We think of the terrible onslaught of the Vandals upon Rome under the fierce Genseric, and answer readily in the affirmative. Every spring he sallied forth from the port of Carthage at the head of his large and well-disciplined naval forces, spreading consternation through all the maritime provinces of the empire. That this is the work brought to view is further evident when we consider that we are brought down in the prophecy to this very time. In verse 29, the transfer of empire to Constantinople we understood to be mentioned. Following in due course of time as the next remarkable revolution, came the irruptions of the barbarians of the North, prominent among

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which was the Vandal war already mentioned. The years A.D. 428-477 mark the career of Genseric.

"He shall be grieved, and return" may have reference to the desperate efforts which were made to dispossess Genseric of the sovereignty of the seas, the first by Majorian, the second by Pope Leo I, both of which were utter failures. Rome was obliged to submit to the humiliation of seeing its provinces ravaged, and its "eternal city" pillaged by the enemy. (See comments on Revelation 8: 8.)

"Indignation against the holy covenant." This doubtless refers to attempts to destroy God's covenant by attacking the Holy Scriptures, the book of the covenant. A revolution of this nature was accomplished in Rome. The Heruli, Goths, and Vandals, who conquered Rome, embraced the Arian faith, and became enemies of the Catholic Church. It was especially for the purpose of exterminating this heresy that Justinian decreed the pope to be the head of the church and the corrector of heretics. The Bible soon came to be regarded as a dangerous book that should not be read by the common people, but all questions in dispute were to be submitted to the pope. Thus was indignity heaped upon God's word.

Says the historian, in commenting upon the attitude of the Catholic Church toward the Scriptures:

"One would have thought that the Church of Rome had removed her people to a safe distance from the Scriptures. She has placed the gulf of tradition between them and the Word of God. She has removed them still farther from the sphere of danger, by providing an infallible interpreter, whose duty it is to take care that the Bible shall express no sense hostile to Rome. But, as if this were not enough, she has laboured by all means in her power to prevent the Scriptures coming in any shape into the hands of her people. Before the Reformation she kept the bible locked up in a dead language, and severe laws were enacted against the reading of it. The Reformation unsealed the precious volume. Tyndale and Luther, the one from his retreat at Vildorfe in the Low Countries, and the

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other from amid the deep shades of the Thuringian forest, sent forth the Bible to the nations in the vernacular tongues of England and Germany. A thirst was thus awakened for the Scriptures, which the Church of Rome deemed it imprudent openly to oppose. The Council of Trent enacted ten rules regarding prohibited books, which, while they appeared to gratify, were insidiously framed to check, the growing desire for the Word of God. In the fourth rule, the Council prohibits any one from reading the Bible without a license from his bishop or inquisitor; that license to be founded on a certificate from his confessor that he is in no danger of receiving injury from so doing. The Council adds these emphatic words:--'That if any one shall dare to read or keep in his possession that book, without such a license, he shall not receive absolution till he has given it up to his ordinary.' These rules are followed by the bull of Pius IV., in which he declares that those who shall violate them shall be held guilty of mortal sin. Thus did the Church of Rome attempt to regulate what she found it impossible wholly to prevent. The fact that no Papist is allowed to read the Bible without a license does not appear in the catechisms and other books in common use among Roman Catholics in this country; but it is incontrovertible that it forms the law of that Church. And, in accordance therewith, we find that the uniform practice of the priests of Rome, from the popes downwards, is to prevent the circulation of the Bible,--to prevent it wholly in those countries, such as Italy and Spain, where they have the power, and in other countries, such as our own, to all the extent to which their power enables them. Their uniform policy is to discourage the reading of the Scriptures in every possible way; and when they dare not employ force to effect this object, they scruple not to press into their service the ghostly power of their Church, by declaring that those who presume to contravene the will of Rome in this matter are guilty of mortal sin." [24]

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The emperors of Rome, the eastern division of which still continued, had intelligence, or connived, with the church of Rome, which had forsaken the covenant and constituted the great apostasy, for the purpose of putting down "heresy." The man of sin was raised to his presumptuous throne by the defeat of the Arian Goths, who then held possession of Rome, in A.D. 538.

Verse 31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

"They shall pollute the sanctuary of strength," or Rome. If this applies to the barbarians, it was literally fulfilled; for Rome was sacked by the Goths and Vandals, and the imperial power of the West ceased through the conquest of Rome by Odoacer. Or if it refers to those rulers of the empire who were working in behalf of the papacy against the pagan and all other opposing religions, it would signify the removal of the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople, which contributed its measure of influence to the downfall of Rome. The passage would then be parallel to Daniel 8: 11 and Revelation 13: 2.

Papacy Takes Away "the Daily."--It was shown in comments on Daniel 8: 13, that "sacrifice" is a word erroneously supplied. It should be "desolation." The expression denotes a desolating power, of which the abomination of desolation is but the counterpart, and to which it succeeds in point of time. It seems clear therefore that the "daily" desolation was paganism, and the "abomination of desolation" is the papacy. But it may be asked, How can this be the papacy since Christ spoke of it in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem? The answer is, Christ evidently referred to Daniel 9, which predicts the destruction of Jerusalem, and not to this verse in Daniel 11, which does not refer to that event. In the ninth chapter, Daniel speaks of desolations and abominations in the plural. More than one abomination, therefore, treads down the church; that is, as far as the church is concerned, both

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paganism and the papacy are abominations. But as distinguished from each other, the language is restricted. One is the "daily" desolation, and the other is pre-eminently the transgression of "abomination" of desolation.

How was the "daily," or paganism, taken away? As this is spoken of in connection with the placing or setting up of the abomination of desolation, or the papacy, it must denote, not merely the nominal change of the religion of the empire from paganism to Christianity, as on the so-called conversion of Constantine, but to such an eradication of paganism from all the elements of the empire that the way would be entirely open for the papal abomination to arise and assert its arrogant claims. Such a revolution as this was accomplished, but not for nearly two hundred years after the death of Constantine.

As we approach the year A.D. 508, we behold a mighty crisis ripening between Catholicism and the pagan influences still existing in the empire. Up to the time of the conversion of Clovis, king of France, in A.D. 496, the French and other nations of Western Rome were pagan; but following that event, the efforts to convert idolaters to Romanism were crowned with great success. The conversion of Clovis is said to have been the occasion of bestowing upon the French monarch the titles "Most Christian Majesty" and "Eldest Son of the Church." Between that time and A.D. 508, by alliances, capitulations, and conquests, the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the West, Brittany, the Burgundians, and the Visigoths, were brought into subjects.

From the time when these successes were fully accomplished, in A.D. 508, the papacy was triumphant so far as paganism was concerned; for though the latter doubtless retarded the progress of the Catholic faith, yet it had not the power, if it had the disposition, to suppress the faith, and hinder the encroachments of the Roman pontiff. When the prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment to paganism, it was only to perpetuate its abominations in another form; for Christianity as exhibited in the Roman

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Catholic Church was, and is, only paganism baptized.

The status of the see of Rome was also peculiar at this time. In 498, Symmachus ascended the pontifical throne as a recent convert from paganism. He found his way to the papal chair by striving with his competitor even unto blood. He received adulation as the successor of St. Peter, and struck the keynote of papal assumption by presuming to excommunicate the Emperor Anastasius. [25] The most servile flatterers of the pope now began to maintain that he was constituted judge in the place of God, and that he was the vicegerent of the Most High.

Such was the direction in which events were tending in the West. In what state were affairs at the same time in the East? A strong papal party now existed in all parts of the empire. The adherents of this cause in Constantinople, encouraged by the success of their brethren in the West, deemed it safe to begin open hostilities in behalf of their master at Rome.

Let it be marked that soon after the year 508, paganism had so far declined, and Catholicism had so far relatively increased in strength, that the Catholic Church for the first time was able to wage a successful war against both the civil authority of the empire and the church of the East, which had for the most part embraced the Monophysite doctrine, which Rome counted heresy. Partisan zeal culminated in a whirlwind of fanaticism and civil war, which swept in fire and blood through Constantinople. That such a war took place a few years later will be seen in the following quotation from Gibbon in his account of events under the years 508-518:

"The statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of three days, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius appeared on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before his face,

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rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted in the offer, which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald, of abdicating the purple; they listened to the admonition, that since all could not reign, they should previously agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted the blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master, without hesitation, condemned to the lions. These furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow Christians, till he obtained the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment of the Council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the first of the religious wars which have been waged in the name, and by the disciples, of the God of Peace." [26]

We think it clear that the daily was taken away by A.D. 508. This was preparatory to the setting up, or establishment, of the papacy, which was a separate and subsequent event. Of this the prophetic narrative now leads us to speak.

Papacy Sets Up an Abomination.--"They shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." Having shown quite fully what we think constitutes the taking away of the daily, or paganism, we now inquire, When was the abomination that maketh desolate, or the papacy, placed, or set up? The little horn that had eyes like the eyes of man was not slow to see when the way was open for his advancement and elevation. from the year 508 his progress toward universal supremacy was without a parallel.

When Justinian was about to begin the Vandal war in A.D. 533, an enterprise of no small magnitude and difficulty,

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he wished to secure the influence of the bishop of Rome, who had then attained a position in which his opinion had great weight throughout a large part of Christendom. Justinian therefore took it upon himself to decide the contest which had long existed between the sees of Rome and Constantinople as to which should have the precedence, by giving the preference to Rome in an official letter to the pope, declaring in the fullest and most unequivocal terms that the bishop of that city should be chief of the whole ecclesiastical body of the empire.

Justinian's letter reads: "Justinian, victor, pious, fortunate, famous, triumphant, ever Augustus, to John, the most holy Archbishop and Patriarch of the noble city of Rome. Paying honor to the Apostolic See and to Your Holiness, as always has been and is our desire, and honoring your blessedness as a father, we hasten to bring to the knowledge of Your Holiness all that pertains to the condition of the churches, since it has always been our great aim to safeguard the unity of your Apostolic See and the position of the holy churches of God which now prevails and abides securely without any disturbing trouble. Therefore we have been sedulous to subject and unite all the priests of the Orient throughout its whole extent to the see of Your Holiness. Whatever questions happen to be mooted at present, we have thought necessary to be brought to Your Holiness's knowledge, however clear and unquestionable they may be, and though firmly held and taught by all the clergy in accordance with the doctrine of your Apostolic See; for we do not suffer that anything which is mooted, however clear and unquestionable, pertaining to the state of the churches, should fail to be made known to Your Holiness, as being the head of the churches. For, as we have said before, we are zealous for the increase of the honor and authority of your see in all respects." [27]

"The emperor's letter must have been sent before the 25th of March, 533. For, in his letter of that date to Epiphanius he

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speaks of its having been already dispatched, and repeats his decision that all affairs touching the church shall be referred to the pope, 'head of all bishops, and the true and effective corrector of heretics.' " [28]

"In the same month of the following year, 534, the pope returned an answer repeating the language of the emperor, applauding his homage to the see, and adopting the titles of the imperial mandate. He observes that, among the virtues of Justinian, 'one shines as a star, his reverence for the Apostolic chair, to which he has subjected and united all the churches, it being truly the Head of all; as was testified by the rules of the Fathers, the laws of the Princes, and the declarations of the Emperor's piety.'

"The authenticity of the title receives unanswerable proof from the edicts in the 'Novellae' of the Justinian code. The preamble of the 9th states that 'as the elder Rome was the founder of the laws; so was it not to be questioned that in her was the supremacy of the pontificate.' The 131st, On the ecclesiastical titles and privileges, chapter ii, states: 'We therefore decree that the most holy Pope of the elder Rome is the first of all the priesthood, and that the most blessed Archbishop of Constantinople, the new Rome, shall hold the second rank after the holy Apostolic chair of the elder Rome.' " [29]

Toward the close of the sixth century, John of Constantinople denied the Roman supremacy, and assumed for himself the title of universal bishop; whereupon Gregory the Great, indignant at the usurpation, denounced John and declared, without being aware of the truth of his statement, that he who would assume the title of universal bishop was the Antichrist. In 606, Phocas suppressed the claim of the bishop of Constantinople, and vindicated that of the bishop of Rome. But Phocas was not the founder of papal supremacy. "That Phocas repressed the claim of the bishop of Constantinople is beyond a doubt. But the highest authorities among the civilians

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and annalists of Rome spurn the idea that Phocas was the founder of the supremacy of Rome; they ascend to Justinian as the only legitimate source, and rightly date the title from the memorable year 533." [30]

George Croly makes this further statement: "On reference to Baronius, the established authority among the Roman Catholic annalists, I found Justinian's grant of supremacy to the pope formally fixed to that period. . . . The entire transaction was of the most authentic and regular kind, and suitable to the importance of the transfer." [31]

Such were the circumstances attending the decree of Justinian. But the provisions of this decree would not at once be carried into effect; for Rome and Italy were held by the Ostrogoths, who were Arians in faith, and strongly opposed to the religion of Justinian and the pope. It was therefore evident that the Ostrogoths must be rooted out of Rome before the pope could exercise the power with which he had been clothed. To accomplish this object, the Italian was began in 534. The management of the campaign was entrusted to Belisarius. On his approach toward Rome, several cities forsook Vitiges, their Gothic and heretical sovereign, and joined the armies of the Catholic emperor. The Goths, deciding to delay offensive operations until spring, allowed Belisarius to enter Rome without opposition. The deputies of the pope and the clergy, of the senate and the people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance.

Belisarius entered Rome on December 10, 536. But this was not an end of the struggle, for the Goths rallied their forces and resolved to dispute his possession of the city by a regular siege, which they began in March, 537. Belisarius feared despair and treachery on the part of the people. Several senators, and Pope Silverius, on proof or suspicion of treason, were sent into exile. The emperor commanded the clergy to elect a new bishop. After solemnly invoking the Holy

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Ghost they elected the deacon Vigilius, who, by a bribe of two hundred pounds of gold, had purchased the honor. [32]

The whole nation of the Ostrogoths had been assembled for the siege of Rome, but success did not attend their efforts. Their hosts melted away in frequent and bloody combats under the city walls, and the year and nine days during which the siege lasted, witnessed almost the entire destruction of the nation. In the month of March, 538, dangers beginning to threaten them from other quarters, they raised the siege, burned their tents, and retired in tumult and confusion from the city, with numbers scarcely sufficient to preserve their existence as a nation or their identity as a people.

Thus the Gothic horn, the last of the three, was plucked up before the little horn of Daniel 7. Nothing now stood in the way of the pope to prevent his exercising the power conferred upon him by Justinian five years before. The saints, times, and laws were now in his hands, not in purpose only, but in fact. This must therefore be taken as the year when this abomination was placed, or set up, and as the point from which to date the beginning of the prophetic period of 1260 years of papal supremacy.

Verse 32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

A People Who "Know Their God."--Those who forsake the book of the covenant, the Holy Scriptures, who think more of the decree of popes and the decisions of councils than they do of the word of God--these shall he, the pope, corrupt by flatteries. That is, they shall be led on in their partisan zeal for the pope by the bestowment of wealth, position, and honors.

At the same time a people shall exist who know their God, and these shall be strong, and do exploits. These were Christians who kept pure religion alive in the earth during the

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Dark Ages of papal tyranny, and performed marvelous acts of self-sacrifice and religious heroism in behalf of their faith. Prominent among these stand the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and the Huguenots.

Verse 33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

The long period of papal persecution against those who were struggling to maintain the truth and instruct their fellow men in ways of righteousness, is here brought to view. The number of the days during which they were thus to fall is given in Daniel 7: 25; 12: 7; Revelation 12: 6, 14; 13: 5. The period is called "a time, and times, and the dividing of time;" "a time, times, and a half;" "a thousand two hundred and threescore days;" and "forty and two months." All these expressions are various ways of denoting the same 1260 years of papal supremacy.

Verse 34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.

In Revelation 12, where this same papal persecution is brought to view, we read that the earth helped the woman by opening her mouth and swallowing up the flood which the dragon cast out after her. The Protestant Reformation let by Martin Luther and his co-workers furnished the help here foretold. The German states espoused the Protestant cause, protected the reformers, and restrained the work of persecution carried on by the papal church. But when the Protestants were helped, and when their cause began to be popular, many were to cleave unto them with flatteries, or embrace the faith from unworthy motives.

Verse 35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

Though restrained, the spirit of persecution was not destroyed. It broke whenever there was opportunity.

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Especially was this the case in England. The religious state of that kingdom was fluctuating, it being sometimes under Protestant and sometimes under papal jurisdiction, according to the religion of the ruling monarch. "Bloody Queen Mary" was a mortal enemy to the Protestant cause, and multitudes fell victims to her relentless persecutions. This condition of affairs was to last more or less "to the time of the end." The natural conclusion would be that when the time of the end should come, this power which the Church of Rome had possessed to punish heretics, which had been the cause of so much persecution, and which for a time had been restrained, would now be taken entirely away. The conclusion would be equally evident that this taking away of papal supremacy would mark the beginning of the period here called the "time of the end." If this application is correct, the time of the end began in 1798; for then, as already noticed, the papacy was overthrown by the French, and has never since been able to wield all the power it before possessed. The oppression of the church by the papacy is evidently referred to here because that is the only one, with the possible exception of Revelation 2: 10, connected with "a time appointed," or a prophetic period.

Verse 36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

A King Magnifies Himself Above Every God.--The king here introduced cannot denote the same power that was last noticed, namely, the papal power; for the specifications will not hold good if applied to that power.

Take a declaration in the next verse: "Nor regard any god." This has never been true of the papacy. God and Christ, though often placed in a false position, have never been professedly set aside and rejected from that system of religion.

Three peculiar features must appear in the power which fulfills this prophecy: It must assume the character here de-

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lineated near the beginning of the time of the end, to which we were brought down in the preceding verse. It must be a willful power. It must be an atheistical power. Perhaps the two latter specifications might be united by saying that its willfulness would be manifested in the direction of atheism.

France Fulfils the Prophecy.--A revolution exactly answering to this description did take place in France at the time indicated in the prophecy. Atheists sowed the seeds which bore their logical and baleful fruit. Voltaire, in his pompous but impotent self-conceit, had said, "I am weary of hearing people repeat that twelve men established the Christian religion. I will prove that one man may suffice to overthrow it." Associating with himself such men as rousseau, D'Alembert, Diderot, and others, he undertook to accomplish his threat. They sowed to the wind, and reaped the whirlwind. Then, too, the Roman Catholic Church was notoriously corrupt in France during this period, and the people were anxious to break the yoke of ecclesiastical oppression. their efforts culminated in the "reign of terror" of 1793, when France discarded the Bible and denied the existence of the Deity.

A modern historian thus describes this great religious change:

"Certain members of the Convention, too, had been the first to attempt to replace Christian worship in the provinces by civic ceremonial, in the autumn of 1793. At Abbeville, Dumont, having informed the populace that the priests were 'harlequins and clowns in black garments, who showed off marionettes,' had set up the Worship of Reason, and, with a not uncommon inconsistency, organized a 'marionette show' of his own of a most imposing description, with dances in the cathedral every decadi, and civic festivals on the 'observance' of which he greatly insisted. Fouche was the next to abolish Christian worship; speaking from the pulpit of the cathedral at Nevers he formally erased all spiritualism from the republican programme, promulgated the famous order which declared 'death an eternal slumber,' and thus turned the key

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on heaven and hell alike. . . . In his congratulatory address to the ex-bishop, the President declared that as the Supreme Being 'desired no worship other than the worship of Reason, that should in future be the national religion!' " [33]

But there are other and still more striking specifications which were fulfilled by France.

Verse 37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

The Hebrew word for woman is also translated wife; and Thomas Newton observes that this passage would be more properly rendered "the desire of wives." [34] This would seem to indicate that this government, at the same time it declared that God did not exist, would trample underfoot the law which God had given to regulate the marriage institution. And we find that the historian has, unconsciously perhaps, and if so all the more significantly, coupled together the atheism and licentiousness of this government in the same order in which they are presented in the prophecy. He says:

"The family had been destroyed. Under the old regime it had been the very foundation of society. . . . The decree of September 20, 1792 which established divorce, and was carried still further by the Convention in 1794, had borne fruit within four years of which the Legislature itself had never dreamt: an immediate divorce could be pronounced on the score of incompatibility of temper, to come into force within a year at farthest, if either of the couple should refuse to separate before that period elapsed.

"There had been a rush for divorce; by the end of 1793--fifteen months after the passing of the decree--5,994 divorces had been granted in Paris. . . . Under the Directory we see women passed from hand to hand by a legal process. What was the fate of the children born of these successive unions? Some people got rid of them: the number of foundlings in the Year V rose to 4,000 in Paris and to 44,000 in other depart-

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ments. When the parents kept the children a tragi-comical confusion was the result. A man would marry several sisters, one after the other: one citizen presented a petition to the Five Hundred for leave to marry the mother of the two wives he had already possessed. . . . The family was dissolved." [35]

"Nor regard any god." In addition to the testimony already presented to show the utter atheism of the nation at this time, we present the following:

The "constitutional bishop of Paris was brought forward to play the principal part in the most impudent and scandalous farce ever acted in the face of a national representation. . . . He was brought forward in full procession, to declare to the Convention that the religion which he had taught so many years was, in every respect, a piece of priestcraft, which had no foundation either in history or sacred truth. He disowned, in solemn and explicit terms, the existence of Deity to whose worship he had been consecrated, and devoted himself in future to the homage of liberty, equality, virtue, and morality. He then laid on the table his episcopal decorations, and received a fraternal embrace from the president of the Convention. Several apostate priests followed the example of this prelate." [36]

"Hebert, Chaumette, and their associates appeared at the bar, and declared that 'God did not exist.' " [37]

The fear of God was said to be so far from the beginning of wisdom that it was the beginning of folly. All worship was prohibited except that of liberty and the country. The gold and silver plate of the churches were seized and desecrated. The churches were closed. The bells were broken and cast into cannon. The Bible was publicly burned. The sacramental vessels were paraded through the streets on an ass, in token of contempt. A week of ten days instead of seven was established, and death was declared, in conspicuous letters posted over

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burial places, to be an eternal sleep. But the crowning blasphemy, if these orgies of hell admit of degrees, remained to be performed by the comedian Monvel, who, as a priest of Illuminism, said:

" 'God! if you exist, . . . avenge your injured name. I bid you defiance. You remain silent; you dare not launch your thunders; who, after this, will believe in your existence? ' " [38]

Behold what man is when left to himself, and what infidelity is when the restraints of law are thrown off, and it has the power in its own hands! Can it be doubted that these scenes are what the Omniscient One foresaw and noted on the sacred page, when He pointed out a kingdom to arise which should exalt itself above every god, and disregard them all?

Verse 38 But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

We meet a seeming contradiction in this verse. How can a nation disregard every god, and yet honor the god of forces? It could not at one and the same time hold both these positions, but it might for a time disregard all gods, and then subsequently introduce another worship and regard the god of forces. Did such a change occur in France at this time?--It did. The attempt to make France a godless nation produced such anarchy that the rulers feared the power would pass entirely out of their hands, and therefore perceived that as a political necessity, some kind of worship must be introduced. But they did not intend to introduce any movement which would increase devotion, or develop any true spiritual character among the people, but only such as would keep themselves in power, and give them control of the national forces. A few extracts from history will show this. Liberty and country were at first the objects of adoration. "Liberty, equality, virtue, and morality," the very opposites of anything the possessed in fact

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or exhibited in practice, were words which they set forth as describing the deity of the nation. In 1793 the worship of the Goddess of Reason was introduced, and is thus described by the historian:

"One of the ceremonies of this insane time stands unrivaled for absurdity combined with impiety. The doors of the Convention were thrown open to a band of musicians, preceded by whom, the members of the Municipal Body entered in solemn procession, singing a hymn in praise of liberty, and escorting, as the object of their future worship, a veiled female, whom they termed the Goddess of Reason. Being brought within the bar, she was unveiled with great form, and placed on the right hand of the president; when she was generally recognized as a dancing girl of the opera, with whose charms most of the persons present were acquainted from her appearance on the stage, while the experience of individuals was farther extended. To this person, as the fittest representative of of that Reason whom they worshiped, the National Convention of France rendered public homage. This impious and ridiculous mummery had a certain fashion; and the installation of the Goddess of Reason was renewed and imitated throughout the nation, in such places where the inhabitants desired to show themselves equal to all the heights of the Revolution." [39]

The modern French historian, Louis Madelin, writes:

"The Assembly having excused itself from attendance on the score of business, a procession (of a very mixed description) attended the goddess to the Tuileries, and in her presence forced the deputies to decree the transformation of Notre Dame into the Temple of Reason. This not being deemed sufficient, another goddess of Reason, the wife of Momoro, a member of the Convention, was installed at Saint-Sulpice on the following decadi. Before long these Liberties and Reasons were swarming all over France: wantons, only too often, with here and there a goddess of good family and decent behaviour.

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If it be true that the brow of one of these Liberties was bound with a fillet bearing the words 'Turn me not into License!' the suggestion, we may say, would hardly have been superfluous in any part of France: for saturnalia of the most repulsive kind were the invariable rule: at Lyons, we are told, an ass was given drink out of a chalice. . . . Payan cried out upon 'these goddesses, more degraded than those of fable.' " [40]

During the time while the fantastic worship of reason was the national craze, the leaders of the revolution are known to history as "the atheists." But it was soon perceived that a religion with more powerful sanctions than the one then in vogue must be instituted to hold the people. A form of worship therefore followed in which the object of adoration was the "Supreme Being." It was equally hollow so far as any reformation of life and vital godliness were concerned, but it took hold upon the supernatural. And the Goddess of Reason was indeed a "strange god," the statement in regard to honoring the "God of forces," may perhaps more appropriately be referred to this latter phase.

Verse 39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

The system of paganism which had been introduced into France, as exemplified in the worship of the idol set up in the person of the Goddess of Reason, and regulated by a heathen ritual which had been enacted by the National Assembly for the use of the French people, continued in force till the appointment of Napoleon to the provisional consulate of France in 1799. The adherents of this strange religion occupied the fortified places, the strongholds of the nation, as expressed in this verse.

But that which serves to identify the application of this prophecy to France perhaps as clearly as any other particular, is the statement made in the last clause of the verse, that they

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should "divide the land for gain." Previous to the Revolution, the landed property of France was owned by the Catholic Church and by a few landlords in immense estates. These estates were required by the law to remain undivided, so that no heirs or creditors could partition them. But revolution knows no law, and in the anarchy that now reigned, as noted also in Revelation 11, the titles of the nobility were abolished, and their lands disposed of in small parcels for the benefit of the public exchequer. The government was in need of funds, and these large landed estates were confiscated, and sold at auction in parcels to suit purchasers. The historian thus records this unique transaction:

"The confiscation of two thirds of the landed property in the kingdom, which arose from the decrees of the Convention against the emigrants, clergy, and persons convicted at the Revolutionary Tribunals . . . placed funds worth above L700,000,000 sterling at the disposal of the government." [41]

When did ever an event take place and in what country, fulfilling a prophecy more completely than this?

As the nation began to come to itself, a more rational religion was demanded, and the heathen ritual was abolished. The historian thus describes that event:

"A third and a bolder measure was the discarding of the heathen ritual, and reopening the churches for Christian worship; and of this the credit was wholly Napoleon's, who had to oppose the philosophic prejudices of almost all his colleagues. He, in his conversations with them, made no attempt to represent himself as a believer in Christianity; but stood only on the necessity of providing the people with the regular means of worship wherever it meant to have a state of tranquillity. The priests who chose to take the oath of fidelity to government were readmitted to their functions; and this wise measure was followed by the adherence of not less than 20,000 of

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these ministers of religion, who had hitherto languished in the prisons of France." [42]

Thus terminated the Reign of Terror and the French Revolution. Out of the ruins rose Bonaparte, to guide the tumult to his own elevation, place himself at the head of the French government, and strike terror to the hearts of nations.

Verse 40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

Kings of South and North Again in Conflict.--After a long interval, the king of the south and the king of the north again appear on the stage of action. We have met with nothing to indicate that we are to look to any locations for these powers other than those which shortly after the death of Alexander constituted respectively the southern and the northern divisions of his empire. The king of the south was at that time Egypt, and the king of the north was Syria, including Thrace and Asia Minor. Egypt continued to rule in the territory designated as belonging to the king of the south, and Turkey for more than four hundred years ruled over the territory which first constituted the domain of the king of the north.

This application of the prophecy calls for a conflict to spring up between Egypt and France, and between Turkey and France, in 17983, which year, as we have seen, marked the beginning of the time of the end. If history testifies that such a triangular war did break out in that year, it will be conclusive proof of the correctness of the application.

We inquire, therefore, Is it a fact that at the time of the end, Egypt did "push," or make a comparatively feeble resistance, while Turkey did come like a resistless "whirlwind," against "him," that is, the government of France? We have already produced some evidence that the time of the end began in 1798; and no reader of history need be informed that in

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that year a state of open hostility between France and Egypt was developed.

To what extent this conflict owed its origin to the dreams of glory deliriously cherished in the ambitious brain of Napoleon Bonaparte, the historian will form his own opinion; but the French, or Napoleon at least, contrived to make Egypt the aggressor. "In a skillfully worded proclamation he [Napoleon] assured the peoples of Egypt that he had come to chastise only the governing caste of Mamelukes for their depredations on French merchants; that, far from wishing to destroy the religion of the Muslim, he had more respect for God, Mohammed, and the Koran than the Mamelukes had shown; that the French had destroyed the Pope and the Knights of Malta who levied war on the Muslim; thrice blessed, therefore, would be those who sided with the French, blessed even those who remained neutral, and thrice unhappy those who fought against them." [43]

The beginning of the year 1798 found the French indulging in immense projects against the English. The Directory desired Bonaparte to undertake at once the crossing of the Channel and an attack upon England; but he saw that no direct operations of that kind could be judiciously undertaken before the autumn, and he was unwilling to hazard this growing reputation by spending his summer in idleness. "But," says the historian, "he saw a far-off land, where glory was to be won which would gain a new charm in the eyes of his countrymen by the romance and mystery which hung upon the scene. Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs and Ptolemies, would be a noble field for new triumphs." [44]

But while still broader visions of glory opened before the eyes of Bonaparte in those Eastern historic lands, covering not Egypt only, but Syria, Persia, Hindustan, even to the Ganges itself, he had no difficulty in persuading the Directory that

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Egypt was the vulnerable point through which to strike at England by intercepting her Eastern trade. Hence on the pretext above mentioned, the Egyptian campaign was undertaken.

The downfall of the papacy, which marked the termination of the 1260 years, and according to verse 35 showed the beginning of the time of the end, occurred in February, 1798, when Rome fell into the hands of Berthier, the general of the French. On the 5th of March following, Bonaparte received the decree of the Directory relative to the expedition against Egypt. He left Paris May 3, and set sail from Toulon the 19th, with a large naval armament consisting of "thirteen ships-of-the-line, fourteen frigates (some of them unarmed), a large number of smaller vessels of war, and about 300 transports. Upwards of 35,000 troops were on board, along with 1230 horses. If we include the crews, the commission of savants sent to explore the wonders of Egypt, and the attendants, the total number of persons aboard was about 50,000; it has even been placed as high as 54,000." [45]

July 2, Alexandria was taken, and immediately fortified. On the 21st the decisive Battle of the Pyramids was fought, in which the Mamelukes contested the field with valor and desperation, but were no match for the disciplined legions of the French. Murad Bey lost all his cannon, 400 camels, and 3,000 men. The loss of the French was comparatively slight. On the 25th, Bonaparte entered Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and only waited the subsidence of the floods of the Nile to pursue Murad Bey to Upper Egypt, whither he had retired with his shattered calvary, and so make a conquest of the whole country. Thus the king of the south was able to make but a feeble resistance.

At this juncture, however, the situation of Napoleon began to grow precarious. The French fleet, which was his only channel of communication with France, was destroyed by the

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English under Nelson at Aboukir. On September 11, 1798, the sultan of Turkey, under feeling of jealousy against France, artfully fostered by the English ambassadors at Constantinople, and exasperated that Egypt, so long a semi-dependency of the Ottoman Empire, should be transformed into a French province, declared war against France. Thus the king of the north (Turkey) came against him (France) in the same year that the king of the south (Egypt) "pushed," and both "at the time of the end." This is another conclusive proof that the year 1798 is the year which begins that period--all of which is a demonstration that this application of the prophecy is correct. So many events meeting accurately the specifications of the prophecy could not take place together and not constitute a fulfillment of the prophecy.

Was the coming of the king of the north, or Turkey, like a whirlwind in comparison with the pushing of Egypt? Napoleon had crushed the armies of Egypt, and essayed to do the same thing with the armies of the sultan which were threatening an attack from the side of Asia. He began his march from Cairo to Syria, February 27, 1799, with 18,000 men. He first took the Fort El-Arish in the desert, then Jaffa (the Joppa of the Bible), conquered the inhabitants of Naplous at Zeta, and was again victorious at Jafet. Meanwhile, a strong body of Turks had intrenched themselves at St. Jean d'Acre, while swarms of Mussulmans gathered in the mountains of Samaria, ready to swoop down upon the French when they should besiege Acre. Sir Sidney Smith at the same time appeared before St. Jean d'Acre with two English ships, reinforced the Turkish garrison of that place, and captured the apparatus for the siege which Napoleon had sent across by sea from Alexandria. A Turkish fleet soon appeared in the offing, which with the Russian and English vessels then co-operating with them constituted the "many ships" of the king of the north.

On the 18th of March the siege began. Napoleon was twice called away to save some French divisions from falling into the hands of the Mussulman hordes that filled the

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country. Twice also a breach was made in the wall of the city, but the assailants were met with such fury by the garrison that they were obliged, despite their best efforts, to give over the struggle. After a continuance of sixty days, Napoleon raised the siege, sounded the note of retreat, for the first time in his career, and on the 21st of May, 1799, began to retrace his steps to Egypt.

"He . . . shall overflow and pass over." We have found events which furnish a very striking fulfillment of the pushing of the king of the south, and the whirlwind onset of the king of the north against the French power. Thus far there is quite a general agreement in the application of the prophecy. We now reach a point where the views of expositors begin to diverge. To whom do the words he "shall overflow and pass over," refer--to France or to the king of the north? The application of the remainder of this chapter depends upon the answer to this question. From this point two lines of interpretation are maintained. Some apply the words to France, and endeavor to find a fulfillment in the career of Napoleon. Others apply them to the king of the north, and accordingly point for a fulfillment to events in the history of Turkey. We speak of these two positions only, as the attempt which some make to bring in the papacy here is so evidently wide of the mark that it need not be considered. If neither of these positions is free from difficulty, as we presume no one will claim that it is absolutely, it only remains that we take that one which has weight of evidence in its favor. We shall find one in favor of which the evidence does so greatly preponderate to the exclusion of all others, as scarcely to leave any room for doubt in regard to the view here mentioned.

Turkey Becomes King of the North.--Respecting the application of this portion of the prophecy to Napoleon or to France under his leadership, we do not find events which we can urge with any degree of assurance as the fulfillment of the remaining part of this chapter. Hence we do see how it can be thus applied. It must, then, be fulfilled by Turkey, unless it can be shown

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that the expression "king of the north" does not apply to Turkey, or that there is some other power besides either France or the king of the north which fulfilled this part of the prediction. But if Turkey, now occupying the territory which constituted the northern division of Alexander's empire, is not the king of the north of this prophecy, then we are left without any principle to guide us in the interpretation. We presume all will agree that there is no room for the introduction of any other power here. France and the king of the north are the only ones to whom the prediction can apply. The fulfillment must lie between them.

Some considerations certainly favor the idea that there is in the latter part part of verse 40 a transfer of the burden of the prophecy from the French power to the king of the north. The latter is introduced just before as coming forth like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and many ships. The collision between this power and the French we have already noticed. The king of the north with the aid of his allies gained the day in this contest; and the French, foiled in their efforts, were driven back into Egypt. Now it would seem to be the more natural application to refer the "overflowing and passing over" to that power which emerged in triumph from that struggle, and that power was Turkey.

Verse 41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

Abandoning a campaign in which one third of the army had fallen victims to war and the plague, the French retired from St. Jean d'Acre, and after a fatiguing march of twenty-six days re-entered Cairo in Egypt. They thus abandoned all the conquests they had made in Judea, and the "glorious land," Palestine, with all its provinces, here called "countries," fell back again under the oppressive rule of the Turk, Edom, Moab, and Ammon (lying outside the limits of Palestine, south and east of the Dead Sea and Jordan, were out of the line of march of the Turks from Syria to Egypt, and so escaped the

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ravages of that campaign. On this passage, Adam Clarke has the following note: "These and other Arabians, they [the Turks] have never been able to subdue. They still occupy the deserts, and receive a yearly pension of forty thousand crowns of gold from the Ottoman emperors to permit the caravans with the pilgrims for Mecca to have a free passage." [46]

Verse 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

On the retreat of the French to Egypt, a Turkish fleet landed 10,000 men at Aboukir. Napoleon immediately attacked the place, completely routing the Turks, and re-establishing his authority in Egypt. But at this point, severe reverses to the French arms in Europe called Napoleon home to look was left with General Kleber, who, after a period of untiring activity for the benefit of the army, was murdered by a Turk in Cairo, and the command was left with Abdallah Menou. With an army which could not be recruited, every loss was serious.

Meanwhile, the English government, as the ally of the Turks, had resolved to wrest Egypt from the French. March 13, 1801, and English fleet disembarked a body of troops at Aboukir. The French gave battle the next day, but were forced to retire. On the 18th Aboukir surrendered. On the 28th reinforcements were brought by a Turkish fleet and the grand vizier approached from Syria with a large army. On the 19th, Rosetta surrendered to the combined forces of the English and the Turks. At Ramanieh a French corps of 4,000 men was defeated by 8,000 English and 6,000 Turks. At Elmenayer 5,000 French were obliged to retreat, May 16, by the vizier, who was pressing forward to Cairo with 20,000 men. The whole French army was now shut up in Cairo and Alexandria. Cairo capitulated June 27, and Alexandria,

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September 2. Four weeks afterward, October 1, 1801, the preliminaries of peace were signed in London.

"Egypt shall not escape" were the words of the prophecy. This language seems to imply that Egypt would be brought into subjection to some power from whose dominion it would desire to be released. As between the French and the Turks, how did this question stand with the Egyptians?--they preferred French rule. In R. R. Madden's Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine it is stated that the French were much regarded by the Egyptians, and extolled as benefactors; that for the short period they remained, they left traces of amelioration; and that, if they could have established their power, Egypt, would now be comparatively civilized. [47] In view of this testimony, the language of the Scripture would not be appropriate if applied to the French, for the Egyptians did not desire to escape out of their hands. They did desire to escape from the hands of the Turks, but could not.

Verse 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

In illustration of this verse we quote the following statement from the historian concerning Mehemet Ali, the Turkish governor of Egypt who rose to power after the defeat of the French:

"The new Pasha set about strengthening himself in his position so as to insure a permanent hold upon the government of Egypt for himself and his family. First, he saw that he must exact a large revenue from his subjects, in order to send such sums of tribute to Constantinople as would propitiate the Sultan, and make it clearly for his interest to sustain the power of the Egyptian governor. Acting upon this principle he used many unjust means to obtain possession of large estates; he denied the legitimacy of many successions; he burned title deeds, and seized properties; in short, he set at defiance all

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universally acknowledged rights of landholders. Great disturbances followed, but Mohammed Ali was prepared for these, and, by his wonderful firmness he made it appear that the bare assertion of claims was an aggression on the part of the Sheikhs. The taxes were constantly increased, and their collection put into the hands of the military governors; by this means the peasantry were ground to the very lowest point." [48]

Verse 44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

King of the North in Trouble.--On this verse Adam Clarke has a note which is worthy of mention. He say: "This part of the prophecy is allowed to be yet unfulfilled." [49] His note was printed in 1825. In another part of his comment, he says: "If the Turkish power be understood, as in the preceding verses, it may mean that the Persians on the east, and the Russians on the north, will at some time greatly embarrass the Ottoman government."

Between this conjecture by Adam Clarke, written in 1825, and the Crimean War of 1853-1856, there is certainly a striking coincidence, inasmuch as the very powers he mentions, the Persians on the east, and the Russians on the north, were the ones which instigated the conflict. Tidings from these powers troubled him (Turkey). Their attitude and movements incited the sultan to anger and revenge. Russia, being the more aggressive party, was the object of attack. Turkey declared war on her powerful northern neighbor in 1853. The world looked on in amazement to see a government which had long been called "the Sick Man of the East," a government whose army was dispirited and demoralized, whose treasuries were empty, who rulers were vile and imbecile, and whose subjects were rebellious and threatening secession, rush with such impetuosity into the conflict. The prophecy said that they

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should go forth with "great fury," and when they thus went forth in the war aforesaid, they were described, in the profane vernacular of an American writer, as "fighting like devils." England and France, it is true, soon came to the help of Turkey; but she went forth in the manner described, and as reported, gained important victories before receiving the assistance of these powers.

Verse 45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

King of the North to Come to His End.--We have now traced the prophecy of the 11th chapter of Daniel step by step to this last verse. As we see the divine predictions meeting their fulfillment in history, our faith is strengthened in the final accomplishment of God's prophetic word.

The prophecy of verse 45 centers in that power known as the king of the north. It is the power that shall hold the territory possessed originally by the king of the north (See pages 235, 236.)

It is predicted of the king of the north that "he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." Just how and when and where his end will come, we may watch with solemn interest, knowing that the hand of Providence guides the destiny of nations.

Time will soon determine this matter. When this even takes place, what follows?--events of the most momentous interest to all the inhabitants of this world, as the next chapter immediately shows.


  • [1] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, p. 335.
  • [2] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. I, p. 378.
  • [3] Ibid., p. 415.
  • [4] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 345, 346.
  • [5] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 352.
  • [6] Charles Rollin, Ancient History, Vol. V, pp. 305, 306.
  • [7] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 356.
  • [8] The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. IX, p. 670. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
  • [9] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, p. 312.
  • [10] The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. IX, p. 738. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
  • [11] Ibid., Vol. X, pp. 96, 97.
  • [12] Encyclopaedia Americana, 1849 ed., Vol. XII, p. 251, art. "Tiberius."
  • [13] Ibid.
  • [14] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, p. 363.
  • [15] Encyclopaedia Americana, 1849 ed., Vol. XII, p. 251, 252 art. "Tiberius."
  • [16] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, p. 423.
  • [17] William Hales, A New Analysis of Chronology, Vol. III, p. 1.
  • [18] See 1 Maccabees 8; Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, p. 166.
  • [19] Flavius Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews," book 12, chap. 10, sec. 6, The Works of Flavius Josephus, p. 374.
  • [20] See Encyclopaedia Americana, 11th edition, Vol. VII, p. 3, art. "Constantinople."
  • [21] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, p. 380.
  • [22] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, pp. 109, 110, note on Isaiah 23: 1.
  • [23] See John Kitto, Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature, art. "Chittim," p. 196.
  • [24] J. A. Wylie, The Papacy, pp. 180, 181.
  • [25] See Louis E. Dupin, A New History of Ecclesiastical Writers, Vol. V, pp. 1-3, "Pope Symmachus."
  • [26] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV, chap. 47, p. 526.
  • [27] Codex Justiniani, lib. 1, tit. 1; translation as given by R. F. Littledale The Petrine Claims, p. 293.
  • [28] George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 170.
  • [29] Ibid., pp. 170, 171.
  • [30] Ibid., pp. 172, 173.
  • [31] Ibid., pp. 12, 13.
  • [32] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV, chap. 41, pp. 168, 169.
  • [33] Louis Madelin, The French Revolution, pp. 387, 388.
  • [34] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 388-390.
  • [35] Louis Madelin, The French Revolution, pp. 552, 553.
  • [36] Sir Walter Scott, The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, Vol. 1, p. 239.
  • [37] Archibald Alison, History of Europe, Vol. III, p. 22.
  • [38] Ibid., p. 24.
  • [39] Sir Walter Scott, The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, Vol. 1, p. 239, 240.
  • [40] Louis Madelin, The French Revolution, p. 389.
  • [41] Archibald Alison, History of Europe, Vol. III, pp. 25, 26.
  • [42] John Gibson Lockhart, The History of Napoleon Buonaparte, Vol. I, p. 154.
  • [43] The Cambridge Modern History, Vol. VIII, p. 599. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
  • [44] James White, History of France, p. 469
  • [45] The Cambridge Modern History, Vol. VIII, pp. 597, 598. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
  • [46] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 618, note on Daniel 11: 41.
  • [47] Richard Robert Madden, Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine , Vol. I, p. 231.
  • [48] Clara Erskine Clement, Egypt, pp. 389, 390.
  • [49] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 618, note on Daniel 11: 44.
Chapter 12

History's Coming Climax


Verse 1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

A definite time is specified in this verse, not a particular year or month or day, but a time made definite by the occurrence of a certain event with which it is connected. "At that time." What time?--The time to which we are brought by the closing verse of the preceding chapter--the time when the king of the north shall plant the tabernacles of his palace in the glorious holy mountain. When this event takes place, he is to come to his end; and then, according to this verse, we look for the standing up of Michael, the great Prince.

Michael Stands Up.--Who is Michael, and what is his standing up?-- Michael is called the "archangel" in Jude 9. This means the chief angel, or the head over the angels. There is but one. Who is he?--He is the one whose voice is heard from heaven when the dead are raised. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16.) Whose voice is heard in connection with that event?--The voice of our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 5: 28.) Tracing back the evidence with this fact as a basis, we reach the following conclusion: The voice of the Son of God is the voice of the Archangel; the Archangel, then, must be the Son of God. But the Archangel is called Michael; hence Michael must be the name given to the Son of God. The expression in verse 1, "the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people," is sufficient alone to identify the one here spoken of as the Saviour of men. He is the "Prince of life," and "a Prince and a Saviour." Acts 3: 15, 5: 31. He is the great Prince.

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He "standeth for the children of thy people." He condescends to take the servants of God in this poor mortal state, and redeem them for the subjects of His future kingdom. He stands for us who believe. His people are essential to His future purposes, an inseparable part of the purchased inheritance. They are to be the chief agents of that joy which Christ foresaw, and which caused Him to endure all the sacrifice and suffering which have marked His intervention in behalf of the fallen race. Amazing honor! Be everlasting gratitude repaid Him for His condescension and mercy to us! Be His the kingdom, power, and glory, forever and ever!

We now come to the second question, What is the standing up of Michael? The key to the interpretation of this expression is given us: "There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia;" "A mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion." Daniel 11: 2, 3. There can be no doubt as to the meaning of these expressions in these instances. They signify to take the kingdom, to reign. This expression in the verse under consideration, must mean the same. At that time Michael shall stand up, shall take the kingdom, shall begin to reign.

But is not Christ reigning now?--Yes, associated with His Father on the throne of universal dominion. (Ephesians 1: 20-22; Revelation 3: 21.) But this throne, or kingdom, He gives up at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15: 24.) Then begins His reign, brought to view in the text, when He stands up, or takes His own kingdom, the long-promised throne of His father David, and establishes a dominion of which there shall be no end. (Luke 1: 32, 33.)

The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom "of our Lord and of His Christ." His priestly robes are to be laid aside for royal vesture. The work of mercy will be finished and the probation of the human race ended. Then he that is filthy is beyond hope of cleansing; and he that is holy is beyond the danger of falling. All cases are forever decided. From that time on until Christ comes in the clouds of heaven,

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the nations are broken as with a rod of iron, and dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel, by an unparalleled time of trouble. There will be a series of divine judgments upon men who have rejected God. Then shall the Lord Jesus Christ be revealed from heaven, "in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel." 2 Thessalonians 1: 8. (See also Revelation 11: 15; 22: 11, 12.)

Momentous are the events introduced by the standing up of Michael. He stands up, or takes the kingdom, some length of time before He returns personally to this earth. How important, then, that we have a knowledge of His position, that we may be able to trace the progress of His work, and understand when that thrilling moment draws near which ends His intercession in behalf of mankind, and fixes the destiny of all forever.

But how are we to know this? How are we to determine what is taking place in the sanctuary above? God has been so good as to place in our hands the means of knowing this. He has told us that when certain great events take place on earth, important decisions which synchronize with them are being made in heaven. By these things which are seen, we thus learn of things that are unseen. As we "look through nature up to nature's God," so through terrestrial phenomena and events we trace great movements in the heavenly kingdom. When the king of the north shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, then Michael our Lord stands up, or receives from His Father the kingdom, preparatory to His return to this earth. Or it might be expressed in words like these: Then our Lord ceases His work as out great High Priest, and the probation of the world is finished. The great prophecy of the 2300 days gives us the definite beginning of the final division of the work in the sanctuary in heaven. The verse before us gives us data whereby we can discover approximately the time of its close.

Time of Trouble.--In connection with the standing up of Michael, there occurs a time of trouble such as never was. In

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Matthew 24: 21 we read of a period of tribulation such as never was before it, nor should be after it. This tribulation, fulfilled in the oppression and slaughter of the church by the papal power, is already past; while the time of trouble of Daniel 12: 1 is still future, according to the view we take. How can there be two times of trouble, many years apart, each of them greater than any that had been before it, or should be after it?

To avoid difficulty here, let this distinction be carefully noticed: The tribulation spoken of in Matthew is tribulation upon the church. Christ is there speaking to His disciples, and of His disciples in coming time. They were the ones involved, and for their sake the days of tribulation were to be shortened. (Matthew 24: 22.) The time of trouble mentioned in Daniel is not a time of religious persecution, but of international calamity. There has been nothing like it since there was--not a church, but--a nation. This is the last trouble to come upon the world in its present state. In Matthew there is reference made to time beyond that tribulation; for after it is past, the people of God shall never go through another period of suffering like it. But there is no reference here in Daniel to future time after the trouble here mentioned, for it closes this world's history. It includes the seven last plagues of Revelation 16, and culminates in the revelation of the Lord Jesus, coming in clouds of flaming fire, to visit destruction upon His enemies. But out of this tribulation everyone shall be delivered who shall be found written in the book--the book of life; "for in Mount Zion . . . shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." Joel 2: 32.

Verse 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

This verse reveals the importance of the standing up of Michael, or the beginning of the reign of Christ, for at this time shall be a resurrection of the dead. Is this the gen-

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eral resurrection which takes place at the second coming of Christ? Or is there to intervene between Christ's reception of the kingdom and His revelation to earth in all His advent glory (Luke 21: 27) a special resurrection answering to the description here given?

Why may it not be the former, or the resurrection which occurs at the last trump?--Because only the righteous, to the exclusion of all the wicked, have part in that resurrection. Those who sleep in Christ then come forth, but the rest of the dead live not again for a thousand years. (Revelation 20: 5.) The general resurrection of the whole race, then, is divided into two great events--first, of the righteous exclusively a thousand years thereafter. The general resurrection is not a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked at the same time. Each of these two classes is set off by itself, and the time which elapses between the respective resurrection is plainly stated to be a thousand years.

In the resurrection brought to view in the verse before us, however, many, of both righteous wicked come up together. In cannot therefore be the first resurrection, which includes the righteous only, nor the second resurrection, which as distinctly confined to the wicked. If the text read, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake to everlasting life, then the "many" might be interpreted as including all the righteous, and the resurrection be that of the just at the second coming. But the fact that some of the many are wicked, and rise to shame and everlasting contempt, bars the way to such an application.

Is there, then, any place for a special, or limited, resurrection? Is there elsewhere any intimation of such an event, before the Lord appears? The resurrection here predicted takes place when God's people are delivered from the great time of trouble with which the history of this world terminated, and it seems from Revelation 22: 11 that this deliverance is given before the Lord appears. The awful moment arrives when he

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that is filthy and unjust is pronounced unjust still, and he that is righteous and holy is pronounced holy still. Then the cases of all are forever decided. When this sentence is pronounced upon the righteous, it must be deliverance to them, for then they are placed beyond all reach of danger or fear or evil. But the Lord has not at that time made His appearance, for He immediately adds, "Behold, I come quickly.,"

The utterance of this solemn fiat seals the righteous to everlasting lift and the wicked to eternal death. A voice goes forth from the throne of God, saying, "It is done!" Revelation 16: 17. This is evidently the voice of God, so often alluded to in descriptions of the scenes connected with the last day. Joel speaks of it, and says: "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel 3: 16. The margin reads instead of "hope," "place of repair, or harbor." Then at this time, when God's voice is heard from heaven just previous to the coming of the Son of man, God is a harbor for His people, or, which is the same thing, provides them deliverance. The last stupendous scene is about to open upon a doomed world. God gives to the astonished nations another evidence and pledge of His power, and raises from the dead a multitude who have long slept in the dust of the earth.

Thus we see that there is a time and place for the resurrection of Daniel 12: 2. A verse in the book of Revelation make it clear that a resurrection of this kind must take place. "Behold, He cometh with clouds [this is unquestionably the second advent]; and every eye shall see Him [of the nations then living on the earth], and they also which pierced Him [those who took an active part in the terrible work of His crucifixion]; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him." Revelation 1: 7. Those who crucified the Lord, would, unless there was an exception made in their cases, remain in their graves until the end of the thousand years and come up in the general assembly of the wicked at that time.

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But here it is stated that they behold the Lord at His second advent. There must, therefore, be a special resurrection for that purpose.

It is certainly most appropriate that some who were eminent in holiness, who labored and suffered for their hope of a coming Saviour, but died without seeing Him, should be raised a little before, to witness the scenes attending His glorious epiphany; as, in like manner, a goodly company came out of their graces at His resurrection to behold His risen glory (Matthew 27: 52, 53), and to escort Him in triumph to the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high (Ephesians 4: 8, margin). There will be also some, eminent in wickedness, who have done most to reproach the name of Christ and injure His cause, especially those who caused His cruel death upon the cross, and mocked and derided Him in His dying agonies, who will be raised, as part of their judicial punishment, to behold His return in the clouds of heaven, a celestial victor, in great majesty and splendor endurable to them.

What is here said supposed by some to furnish good evidence of the eternal conscious suffering of the wicked, because those of this character who are spoken of come forth to shame and everlasting contempt. How can they forever suffer shame and contempt, unless they are forever conscious? It has already been stated that shame implies their consciousness, but it will be noticed that this is not said to be everlasting. This qualifying word is not inserted until we come to the contempt, which is an emotion felt by others toward the guilty, and does not render necessary the consciousness of those against whom it is directed. Shame for their wickedness and corruption will burn into their very souls as long as they are conscious. When they pass away, consumed for their iniquities, their loathsome characters and guilty deeds excite only contempt on the part of all the righteous, as long as they hold them in remembrance. The text therefore furnishes no proof of the eternal suffering suffering of the wicked.

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Verse 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

A Glorious Inheritance.--The margin reads "teachers" in the place of "wise." "They that be teachers shall shine as the brightness of the firmament." That is, of course, those who teach the truth, and lead others to a knowledge of it just previous to the time when the events recorded in the foregoing verse are to be fulfilled. As the world estimates loss and profit, it costs something to be teachers of truth in these days. It costs reputation, ease, comfort, and often property. It involves labors, crosses, sacrifices, loss of friendship, ridicule, and not infrequently, persecution.

The question is often asked, How can you afford to keep the true Sabbath, and perhaps lose a situation, reduce your income, or even hazard your means of support? Oh, what shortsightedness, to make obedience to what God requires a matter of pecuniary consideration! How unlike is this to the noble martyrs who loved not their lives unto death! When God commands, we cannot afford to disobey. If we are asked, How can you afford to keep the Sabbath, and do other duties involved in rendering obedience to the truth? we have only to ask in reply, How can you afford not to do them?

In the coming day, when those who have sought to save their lives shall lose them, and those who have been willing to hazard all for the sake of the truth and its divine Lord, shall receive the glorious reward promised in the text, and be raised up to shine as the firmament, and as the imperishable stars forever and ever, it will then be seen who have been wise, and who, on the contrary, have made the choice of blindness and folly. The wicked and worldly now look upon Christians as fools and madmen, and congratulate themselves upon their superior shrewdness in shunning what they call their folly, and avoiding their losses. We need make no response, for those who now render this decision will soon themselves reverse it, and that with terrible though unavailing earnestness.

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Meanwhile, it is the Christian's privilege to dwell upon the consolations of this marvelous promise. A conception of its magnitude can be gathered only from the stellar worlds themselves. What are those stars, in the likeness of which the teachers of righteousness are to shine forever and ever? How much of brightness, and majesty, and length of days, is involved in this comparison?

The sun of our own solar system is one of these stars. If we compare it with this globe upon which we live (our handiest standard of measurement), we find it an orb of no small magnitude and magnificence. Our earth is neatly eight thousand miles in diameter, but the sun's diameter is eight hundred sixty-four thousand miles. In size it is one million three hundred thousand times as large as our globe. In the matter of its substance, it would balance three hundred thirty-two thousand worlds like ours. What immensity is that!

Yet this is far from being the largest or the brightest of the orbs in the heavens. The sun's proximity, only some ninety-three million miles from us, gives him with us a controlling presence and influence. But far away in the depths of space, so far that they appear like mere points of light, blaze other orbs of vaster size and greater glory. The nearest fixed star, Proxima Centauri, in the southern hemisphere, is found to be about twenty-five million million miles away. But the polestar system is about a hundred times as remote, or two thousand five hundred trillion miles; and it shines with a luster equal to that of 2500 of our suns. Others are also more luminous, as, for instance, Arcturus, which emits light equivalent to one hundred fifty-eight of our suns; Capella, one hundred eighty-five; and so on, until at last we reach the great star Rigel, in the constellation Orion, which floods the celestial spaces with a brilliance fifteen thousand times that of the ponderous orb which lights and controls our system! [1] Why, then, does it not appear more luminous to us? Ah, its distance is equivalent to thirty-three million diame-

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ters of the earth's orbit; and the latter is one hundred eighty-six million miles! Figures are weak to express such distances. It will be sufficient to say that its glowing light must traverse space as only light travels--one hundred eighty-six thousand miles a second--for a period of more than ten years before it reaches this world of ours. There are many other stars which are hundreds of light-years from our solar system.

Some of these monarchs of the skies rule singly, like our own sun. Some are double; that is, what appears to us like one star is found to consist of two stars--two suns with their retinue of planets, revolving around each other. Other are triple, some are quadruple, and one at least sextuple.

Besides this, they show colors of the rainbow. Some systems are white, some blue, some red, some yellow, some green. In some, the difference suns belonging to the same system are variously colored. Says Dr. Burr: "And, as if to make that Southern Cross the fairest object in all the heavens, we find in it a group of more than a hundred variously colored red, green, blue, and bluish-green suns, so closely thronged together as to appear in a powerful telescope like a superb bouquet, or piece of fancy jewelry." [2]

A few years pass away, and all things earthly gather the mold of age and the odor of decay. But the stars shine on in their glory as in the beginning. Centuries and cycles have gone by, kingdoms have risen and slowly passed away. We go back beyond the dim and shadowy horizon of history, go back even to the earliest moment when order was evoked out of chaos, and "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38: 7)--even then the stars were on their stately marches. How long before this we know not. Astronomers tell us of nebulae lying on the farthest outposts of telescopic vision, whose light in its never ceasing flight would consume five million years in reaching this planet. Yet their brightness is not dimmed, nor their force abated. The dew of youth still seems fresh upon them. No faltering motion

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reveals the decrepitude of age. These shine on in undiminished glory through all eternity.

Thus shall they shine who turn many to righteousness. They shall bring joy even to the heart of the Redeemer. Thus shall their years roll on forever and ever.

Verse 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Book of Daniel Sealed.--The "words" and "book" here spoken of doubtless refer to the things which had been revealed to Daniel in this prophecy. These things were to be shut up and sealed until the time of the end; that is, they were not to be specially studied, or to any great extent understood, until that time. The time of the end, as has already been shown, began in 1798. As the book was closed up and sealed to that time, the plain inference is that at that time, or from that point, the book would be unsealed. People would be better able to understand it, and would have their attention specially called to this part of the inspired word. Of what has been done on the subject of prophecy since that time, it is unnecessary to remind the reader. The prophecies, especially Daniel's prophecy, have been under examination by all students of the word wherever civilization has spread abroad its light upon the earth. So the remainder of the verse, being a prediction of what should take place after the time of the end, begins, "Many shall run to and fro." Whether this running to and fro refers to the passing of people from place to place, and the great improvements in the facilities for transportation and travel made within the past century, or whether it means, as some understand it, a turning to and fro in the prophecies, that is, a diligent and earnest search into prophetic truth, the fulfillment is certainly and surely before our eyes. It must have its application in at least one of these two ways, and in both of these respects the present age is very strongly marked.

Increase of Knowledge.--"And knowledge shall be increased." This must refer either to the increase of knowledge

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in general, the development of the arts and sciences, or an increase of knowledge in reference to those things revealed to Daniel, which were closed and sealed to the time of the end. Here, again, apply it which way we will, the fulfillment is most marked and complete. Look at the marvelous achievements of the human mind, and the cunning works of men's hands, rivaling the magician's wildest dreams, which have been accomplished within the past hundred years or more. Within this time more advancement has been made in all scientific attainments, more progress has been made in human comforts, in the rapid transaction of business among men, in the transmission of thoughts and words from one to another, and in the means of rapid transit from place to place and even from continent to continent, than all that was done for three thousand years previously.

Harvesting Machinery.--Compare the harvesting methods of our day with the old method of hand reaping which was in use in the days of our grandfathers. Today one machine cuts and gathers, threshes, and sacks the grain ready for the market.

Modern Battleships and Mechanized Warcraft.--Modern warfare uses naval armored surface and underseas boats and fighting and bombing airplanes undreamed of at the middle of the past century. Tanks and motor trucks, motorized guns, and other equipment replace the animals and battering-rams of the ancients.

The Steam Railway.--The first American-build locomotive was made at the West Point Foundry, New York, and put into service in 1830. In the present day, improvements have made possible speeds of more than one hundred miles an hour by streamlined trains.

Ocean Steamships.--After little more than a century of steam-powered ships, the largest ocean liners built can cross the Atlantic in four days, and supply every luxury found in the finest hotels.

Television.--Then came wireless, a miracle, in 1896. By 1921, this discovery had developed into radio broadcasting.

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Now television--the wireless transmission of sight and sound, the sending forth of motion pictures on air waves--is a household reality.

The Automobile.--Only a few years ago the automobile was unknown. Now the entire population of the United States could ride at one time, and racing cars have made speed of more than three hundred miles an hour. Huge passenger buses span the continents, and in the large cities double-decked buses have largely replaced electric streetcars.

The Typewriter.--The first model of the modern typewriter was put on the market in 1874. Now speedy and noiseless machines, in both office and portable style, are adapted to every type of writing and tabulation, and have become an indispensable part of general business and office equipment everywhere.

The Modern Printing Press.--Contrast the hand printing press of Benjamin Franklin with the high-speed rotary printing press, capable of printing news at more than twice the speed of machine-gun fire.

The Photographic Camera.--The first sunlight picture of a human face was made by Professor John William Draper of New York, in 1840, by an improvement of the process of Daguerre, the French pioneer in photography. since 1924, by means of improved lenses, photographs have been taken from great distances, over wide areas, and from airplanes high in the sky. Photographs can be taken of objects invisible to the eye by means of X rays and infrared rays. Color photography has made vast advances. Beginning 1895, the motion picture has become a mighty influence in the lives of millions. Movie and color cameras have been perfected and made cheap enough for use by multitudes.

Air Navigation.--Man's conquest of the air was achieved by the airplane in 1903. It is one of the most noteworthy triumphs of any age. Regular transoceanic passenger and mail service between North and South America and Europe and the Orient has been established.

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The Telephone.--The first patent on the telephone was granted Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Since then intricate networks of telephones have been spread over the continents to link all people together.

Typesetting Machines.--These have worked a revolution in the art of printing. The first machine to set type mechanically was patented in England in 1822 by Dr. William Church. Out of many kinds introduced, those chiefly used at the present are the type-casting machines, such as the Linotype, invented by Mergenthaler in 1878, and the Monotype, invented by Lanston in 1885.

The Teletypesetter.--By a combination of the telegraph and line-casting machines, it is now possible for one operator at a central station simultaneously to operate type-casting machines by telegraph at any distance or in as many places as are in connection. This puts news into type at an increase in speed of from 50 to 100 per cent.

The Suspension Bridge.--The first suspension bridge of note in this country was built across the Niagara River in 1855. The Golden Gate Bridge across the entrance to San Francisco Bay, finished in 1937 at a cost of $35,000,000, has the longest single span in the world, 4,200 feet. Similar accomplishments in bridge construction have been attained in all progressive countries of the world.

The following is a partial list of advances in knowledge since the time of the end began in 1798:

Gas lighting, 1798; steel pens, 1803; friction matches, 1820; electrotyping, 1837; sewing machine, 1841; anesthesia by ether and by chloroform, 1846, 1848; ocean cable, 1858; Gatling gun, 1861; Monitor warship, 1862; automatic air brakes on trains, 1872; seismograph, 1880; steam turbine, 1883; X ray, 1895; radium, 1898; transcontinental telephone, 1915.

What a galaxy of wonders to originate in a single age! How marvelous the scientific attainments of the present day, upon which all these discoveries and achievements concentrate

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their light! We have truly reached the age of the increase of knowledge.

To the honor of Christianity let it be noted in what lands and by whom, these discoveries have been made which have done so much to add to the facilities and comforts of life. It is in Christian lands, among Christian men. Not in the Dark Ages, which furnished only a travesty on Christianity; not to pagans, who in their ignorance know not God, nor to those who in Christian lands deny Him, is the credit of this progress due. Indeed, it is the very spirit of equality and individual liberty inculcated in the gospel of Christ when preached in its purity, which unshackles human limbs, unfetters human minds, invites them to the highest use of their powers, and makes possible such an age of free thought and action in which these wonders can be achieved.

Increase of Bible Knowledge.--But it we take the other standpoint, and refer the increase of knowledge to an increase of Bible knowledge, we have only to look at the wonderful light which within the past one hundred and fifty years has shone upon the Scriptures. The fulfillment of prophecy has been revealed in the light of history. The use of a better principle of interpretation has led to conclusions showing beyond dispute that the end of all things is near. Truly the seal has been taken from the book, and knowledge respecting what God has revealed in His word, is wonderfully increased. We think it is in this respect that the prophecy is more especially fulfilled, but only in an age of unparalleled facilities like the present could the prophecy be accomplished.

That we are in the time of the end is shown by Revelation 10: 1, 2, where a mighty angel is seen to come down from heaven with a little book open in his hand. Then the book of this prophecy should be no longer sealed. It was to be opened and understood. For proof that the little book to be opened is the book here closed and sealed when Daniel wrote, and that that angel delivers his message in this generation, see comments on Revelation 10: 2.

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Verse 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

How Long to the End?--The question, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" undoubtedly has reference to all that has previously been mentioned, including the standing up of Michael, the time of trouble, the deliverance of God's people, and the special resurrection of verse 2. The answer seems to be given in two divisions: First a specific prophetic period is marked off, and then an indefinite period follows before the conclusion of all these things is reached, just as we have it in Daniel 8: 13, 14. When the question was asked, "How long . . . the vision . . . to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot?" the answer mentioned a definite period of 2300 days, followed by an indefinite period in the cleansing of the sanctuary. So in the text before us, there is given the period of a time, times, and a half, or 1260 years, and then an indefinite period for the continuance of scattering of the power of the holy people, before the consummation.

The 1260 years mark the period of papal supremacy. Why is this period here introduced?--probably because this power is the one which does more than any other in the world's history toward scattering the power of the holy people, or oppressing the church of God. But what shall we understand by the expression, "When he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people"? To whom does the pronoun "he" refer? According to the wording of this scripture, the antecedent would at first seem to be "Him that liveth forever," or Jehovah; but, as an eminent expositor of the prophecies judiciously remarks, in considering the pronouns of the Bible we are to interpret them according to the facts of

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the case, and hence must frequently refer them to an antecedent understood, rather than to some noun which is expressed. So here, the little horn, or man of sin, after being introduced by the particular mention of the time of his supremacy, 1260 years, may be the power referred to by the pronoun "he." For 1260 years he had grievously oppressed the church, or scattered its power. After his supremacy is taken away, his disposition toward the truth and its advocates still remains, his power is still felt to a certain extent, and he continues his work of oppression as far as he is able, until when?--Until the last of the events brought to view in verse 1, the deliverance of God's people. When they are thus delivered, persecuting powers are no longer able to oppress them, their power is no longer scattered, the end of the wonders prescribed in this great prophecy is reached, and all its predictions are accomplished.

Or without particularly altering the sense, we may refer the pronoun "he" to the one mentioned in the oath of verse 7, as "Him that liveth forever;" that is, God, since He employs the agency of earthly powers in chastising and disciplining His people, and in that sense may be said Himself to scatter their power. By His prophet He said concerning the kingdom of Israel, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, . . . until He come whose right it is." Ezekiel 21: 27. Again, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21: 24. Of like import is the prophecy of Daniel 8: 13 "How long . . . the vision . . . to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" Who gives them to this condition?--God. Why?--To discipline, to "purify and make white" His people. How long?--Until the sanctuary is cleansed.

Verse 8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

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The Book Sealed Until the Time of the End.--By Daniel's solicitude to understand fully all that had been shown him, we are forcibly reminded of Peter's words where he speaks of the prophet's inquiring and searching diligently to understand the predictions concerning the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow; as also of the fact "that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister." 1 Peter 1: 12. How little of what they wrote were some of the prophets permitted to understand! But they did not therefore refuse to write. If God required it, they knew that in due time He would see that His people derived from their writings all the benefit that He intended.

So the language here used to Daniel was the same as telling him that when the right time should come, the wise would understand the meaning of what he had written, and profit thereby. The time of the end was the time in which the Spirit of God was to break the seal of this book. Consequently this was the time during which the wise should understand, while the wicked, lost to all sense of the value of eternal truth, with hearts callous and hardened in sin, would grow continually more wicked and more blind. None of the wicked understand. The efforts which the wise put forth to understand, the wicked call folly and presumption, and ask in sneering phrase, "Where is the promise of His coming?" Should the question be raised, Of what time and what generation does the prophet speak? the solemn answer would be, Of the present time, and of the generation now before us. This language of the prophet is now receiving a most striking fulfillment.

The phraseology of verse 10 seems at first sight to be rather peculiar: "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried." How, it may be asked, can they be made white and then tried (as the language would seem to imply), when it is by being tried that they are purified and made white? The language doubtless describes a process which is many times repeated in the experience of those, who, during this time, are being made ready for the coming and kingdom of the Lord.

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They are purified and made white, as compared with their former condition. Then they are again tried. Greater tests are brought to bear upon them. If they endure these, the work of purification is thus carried on to a still greater extent until they attain to a purer character. After reaching this state, they are tried again, and further purified and made white. Thus the process goes on until characters are developed which will stand the test of the day of judgment and a spiritual condition is reached which needs no further trial.

Verse 11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

The 1290 Prophetic Days.--We have here a new prophetic period introduced, 1290 prophetic days, which according to Bible authority would denote the same number of literal years. From the reading of the text, some have inferred that this period begins with the setting up of the abomination of desolation, or the papal power, in A.D. 538, and consequently extends to 1828. We find nothing in the latter year to mark its termination, but we do find evidence in the margin that it begins before the setting up of the papal abomination. The margin reads "To set up the abomination." With this reading the text would stand thus: "From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away to set up [or in order to set up] the abomination that maketh desolate, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."

The Year A.D. 508.--We are not told directly to what event these 1290 days reach; but inasmuch as their beginning is marked by a work which takes place to prepare the way for the setting up of the papacy, it would be natural to conclude that their end would be marked by the cessation of papal supremacy. Counting back, then, 1290 years from 1798, we have the year 508. This period is doubtless given to show the date of the taking away of the daily, and it is the only one which does this. The two periods, therefore, the 1290 and the 1260 days, terminate together in 1798, the latter beginning in 538,

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and the former in 508 thirty years previous. In support of the date A.D. 508 the following historical quotations are given:

Baptism of Clovis.--"As to the writings of Anastasius, . . . there is one from him to Clovis, king of the Franks, congratulating that prince on his conversion to the Christian religion. For Clovis, the first Christian king of the Franks, was baptized on Christmas Day 496, the very day, according to some, on which the pope was ordained." [3]

Thomas Hodgkin says:

"The result of this ceremony was to change the political relations of every state in Gaul. Though the Franks were among the roughest and most uncivilized of the tribes that had poured westwards across the Rhine, as Catholics they were now sure of a welcome from the Catholic clergy of every city, and where the clergy led, the 'Roman' provincials, or in other words the Latin-speaking laity, generally followed. Immediately after his baptism Clovis received a letter of enthusiastic welcome into the true fold, written by Avitus, Bishop of Vienne, the most eminent ecclesiastic of the Burgundian kingdom." [4]

Clovis the First Catholic Prince.--"It is observable, that Clovis was, at this time [496], the only Catholic prince in the known world, as the word Catholic was then understood. Anastasius, Emperor of the East, was a professed Eutychian. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths in Italy; Alaric, King of the Visigoths, master of all Spain, and of the third part of Gaul; the kings of the Burgundians, Suevians, and Vandals, in Gaul, Spain, and Africa; were all zealous followers of Arius. As for the other kings of the Franks settled in Gaul, they were still pagans. Clovis was not only the sole Catholic prince at this time in the world; but the first king that ever embraced the Catholic religion; which has procured to the French king the title of the 'most Christian,' and that of 'the eldest son of the Church.' But were we to compare the conduct and actions of Clovis, the Catholic, with those of the Arian King

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Theodoric, such a comparison would no ways redound to the honor of the Catholic faith." [5] Popes Endangered by Arian Princes.--Ephraim Emerton, former professor of history at Harvard University, say:

"By the time of the Franks had fought the battle of Strassburg the bishops of the city of Rome had come to be looked up to as the leaders of the Church in what had been the Western Empire. They had come to be called popes, and were trying hard to govern the Church of the West just as a king might govern his people. We have seen how much respect a venerable pope like Leo could command even from such rude destroyers as Attila and Gaiseric. Now the popes had always been devoted Catholics, opposed to Arianism wherever it appeared. At the moment of the Frankish conversion they were in constant danger from the Arian Ostrogoths who had just got a firm hold upon Italy. Theodoric had not distributed the religion of Rome, but a new king might arise who should try to force Arianism upon the whole of Italy. The pope was therefore overjoyed to hear that the newly converted Franks had taken his form of the Christian belief. He was ready to bless every undertaking of theirs as the work of God, if only it might be against the worse than heathen Arians. Thus began as early as the year 500 an understanding between the Roman Papacy and the Frankish kingdom which was to ripen into an intimate allegiance and to do very much towards shaping all the future history of Europe." [6]

Clovis's Conversion a Check on the Arians.--"The event which intensified the fears of all the Arian kings, and which left to each one little more than the hope that he might be the last to be devoured, was the conversion to Catholicism of Clovis, the heathen king of the Franks." [7]

Barbarian League Against Clovis.--"The kings of the barbarians were . . . invited to join in a 'League of Peace,' in

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order to check the lawless aggressions of Clovis which threatened danger to all." [8]

"To form such a confederacy and to league together all the older Arian monarchies against this one aspiring Catholic state which threatened to absorb them all, was now the main purpose of Theodoric." [9]

Clovis Launches a Religious War.--"The diplomatic action of Theodoric was powerless to aver the war; possible even it may have stimulated Clovis to strike rapidly before a hostile coalition could be formed against him. At an assembly of his nation (perhaps the 'Camp of March') in the early part of 507, he impetuously declared: 'I take it grievously amiss that these Arians should hold so large a part of Gaul. Let us go and overcome them with God's help, and bring the land into subjection to us.' The saying pleased the whole multitude, and the collected army marched southward to the Loire." [10]

Clovis Defeats the Visigoths.--"The next campaign of the Frankish king was one of far greater importance and success. He was set on trying his fortune against the young king of the Visigoths, whose personal weakness and unpopularity with his Roman subjects tempted him to an invasion of Aquitaine. It would seem that Chlodovech [Clovis] carefully chose as a casus belli the Arian persecutions of the Alaric, who, like his father Euric, was a bad master to his Catholic subjects. . . . In 507 Chlodovech declared war on the Visigoths ."[11]

"Why the explosion was delayed until the year 507 is unknown. That the king of the Franks was the aggressor is certain. He easily found a pretext for beginning the war as a champion and protector of Catholic Christianity against the absolutely just measures which Alaric took against his treacherous orthodox clergy. . . . In the spring of 507 he [Clovis] suddenly crossed the Loire and marched toward Poitiers. . . .

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Ten miles from Poitiers, the Visigoths had taken up their position. Alaric put off beginning battle because he was waiting for the Ostrogoth troops, but as they were hindered by the appearance of a Byzantine fleet in Italian waters he determined to fight instead of beating a retreat, as it would have been wise to do. After a short engagement the Goths turned and fled. In the pursuit the king of the Goths was killed, it was said by Clovis's own hand (507). With this overthrow the rule of the Visigoths in Gaul was ended forever." [12]

"It is evident, from the language of Gregory of Tours, that this conflict, between the Franks and Visigoths was regarded by the Orthodox party of his own and preceding ages as a religious war, on which, humanly speaking, the prevalence of the Catholic or the Arian creed in Western Europe depended ." [13]

"A.D. 508. A short time after these events, Clovis receive the titles and dignity of Roman patricius and consul from the Greek emperor Anastasius; who appears to have been prompted to this act more by motives of jealousy and hatred towards Theodoric the Ostrogoth, than by any love he bore for the restless and encroaching Frank. The meaning of these obsolete titles, as applied to those who stood in no direct relation either division of the Roman Empire, has never been sufficiently explained. . . . The sun of Rome was set, but the twilight of her greatness still rested on the world. The German kings and warriors received with pleasure, and wore with pride, a title which brought them into connection with that imperial city, of whose universal dominion, of whose skill in armies and arts, the traces lay everywhere around them." [14]

"In 508 Clovis received at Tours the insignia of the consulship from the eastern emperor, Anastasius, but the title was purely honorific. The last years of his life Clovis spent in

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Paris, which he made the capital of his kingdom." [15]

End of Arian Resistance.--This disposed of the Visigothic kingdom, but there yet remained the league of Arian powers under Theodoric. Alaric had counted on the assistance of Theodoric, but the latter failed him. The next year, A.D. 508, however, Theodoric came against Clovis and gained a victory, after which he unaccountable made peace with him, and the resistance of the Arian powers was at an end. [16]

Significance of Clovis's Victories.--The eminence which Clovis had attained in the year 508, and the significance of his victories to the future of Europe and the church were so great that historians cannot forbear commenting on them.

"Nor was his a temporary conquest. The kingdom of the West Goths and the Burgundians had become the kingdom of the Franks. The invaders had at length arrived, who were to remain. It was decided that the Franks, and not the Goths, were to direct the future destinies of Gaul and Germany, and that the Catholic faith, and not Arianism, was to be the religion of these great realms." [17]

"Clovis was the first to unite all the elements from which the new social order was to be formed,--namely, the barbarians, whom he established in power; the Roman civilization, to which he rendered homage by receiving the insignia of patrician and of consul from the Emperor Anastasius; and finally, the Catholic Church, with which he formed that fruitful alliance which was continued by his successors." [18]

Paved the Way for Alliance of Church and State.--"In him [Clovis] met two religions, and two ages of the world. At his birth the Roman world was still a power; his death marks the dawn of the Middle Ages. He stepped into the vacant place of the Eastern emperor, and paved the way for what Charle-

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magne perfected--the fusion of Roman and German civilization, the alliance of church and state." [19]

Clovis Saved the Church From Paganism and Arianism.--"He [Clovis] had on all occasions shown himself the heartless ruffian, the greedy conqueror, the bloodthirsty tyrant; but by his conversion he had led the way to triumph of Catholicism; he had saved the Roman Church from the Scylla and Charybdis of heresy and paganism, planted it on a rock in the very center of Europe, and fixed its doctrines and traditions in the hearts of the conquerors of the west." [20]

Foundations of the Medieval Church.--"the results of their [the Franks'] occupation of Gaul were so important, the empire which they founded, their alliance with the church, their legal notions and political institutions were all of such decisive influence upon the future that their history deserves separate treatment. . . . It is to them that the political inheritance of the Roman Empire passed; to them came the honor of taking up and carrying on, roughly, to be sure, and far less extensively and effectively, but nevertheless of actually carrying on the political work which Rome had been doing. They alone represent that unity which Rome had established, and so far as that unity was maintained at all as a definite fact, it is the Franks who maintained it. . . It is only at the end of the fifth century that their career really begins, and then, as so often in similar cases, it is the genius of one man, a great leader, which creates the nation. . . . Clovis . . . appears as one of the great creative spirits who give a new direction to the currents of history. . . . A third step of great importance in this process of union was also to be taken by Clovis. On institution, produced in the ancient world before the Germans entered it, had continued with vigorous life and wide influence, indeed, with slowly increasing power, through all the changes of this chaotic period. It was to be in the future a still greater

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power and to exert an influence even wider and more permanent than that of the Franks. . . . This was the Roman Church. It was to be the great ecclesiastical power of the future. It was therefore a most essential question whether the Franks, who were to grow on their side into the great political power of the future, should do so in alliance with this other power or in opposition to it. . . .

"This question Clovis settled, not long after the beginning of his career, by his conversion to Catholic Christianity. . . . In these three ways, therefore, the work of Clovis was of creative influence upon the future. He brought together the Roman and German upon equal terms, each preserving the sources of his strength, to form a new civilization. He founded a political power which was to unite nearly all the continent in itself, and to bring the period of the invasions to an end. He established a close alliance between the two great controlling forces of the future, the two empires which continued the unity which Rome had created, the political empire and the ecclesiastical." [21]

Thus in A.D. 508 terminated united resistance to the development of the papacy. The question of supremacy between Frank and Goth, between the Catholic and the Arian religions, had then been settled in favor of the Catholics.

Verse 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

The 1335 Prophetic Days.--Still another prophetic period is here introduced, denoting 1335 years. Can we tell when this period begins and ends? The only clue we have to the solution of this question, is the fact that it is spoken of in immediate connection with the 1290 years, which began in 508 as shown above. From that point there shall be, says the prophet, 1290 days. The very next sentence reads, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days." From what point?--

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From the same point, undoubtedly, as that from which the 1290 date, namely, A.D. 508. Unless they are to be reckoned from this point, it is impossible to locate them, and they must be excepted from the prophecy of Daniel when we apply to it the words of Christ, "Whoso readeth, let him understand." Matthew 24: 15. From this point they would extend to 1843, for 1335 added to 508 makes 1843. Beginning in the spring of the former year, they ended in the spring of the latter.

But how can it be that they have ended, it may be asked, since at the end of these days Daniel stands in his lot, which is by some supposed to refer to his resurrection from the dead? This question is founded on a misapprehension in two respects: First, that the days at the end of which Daniel stands in his lot are the 1335 days; and second, that the standing of Daniel in his lot is his resurrection, which also cannot be sustained. The only thing promised at the end of the 1335 days is a blessing to those who wait and come to that time; that is, those who are then living. What is this blessing? Looking at the year of 1843, when these years expired, what do we behold? We see a remarkable fulfillment of prophecy in the great proclamation of the second coming of Christ. Forty-five years before this, the time of the end began, the book was unsealed, and light began to increase. About the year 1843, there was a grand culmination of all the light that had been shed on prophetic subjects up to that time. The proclamation went forth in power. The new and stirring doctrine of the setting up of the kingdom of God shook the world. New life was imparted to the true disciples of Christ. The unbelieving were condemned, the churches were tested, and a spirit of revival was awakened which has had no parallel since.

Was this the blessing? Listen to the Saviour's words: "Blesses are you eyes," said He to His disciples, "for they see; and your ears, for they hear." Matthew 13: 16. Again He told His followers that prophets and kings had desired to see the things which they saw, and had not seen them. But "blessed," said He to them, "are the eyes which see the things

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that ye see." Luke 10: 23, 24. If a new and glorious truth was a blessing in the days of Christ to those who received it, why was it not equally so in A.D. 1843?

It may be objected that those who engaged in this movement were disappointed in their expectations; so were the disciples of Christ at His first advent, in an equal degree. They shouted before Him as He rode into Jerusalem, expecting that He would then take the kingdom. But the only throne to which He then went was the cross, and instead of being hailed as king in a royal palace, He was laid a lifeless form in Joseph's new sepulcher. Nevertheless, they were "blessed" in receiving the truths they had heard.

It may be objected further that this was not a sufficient blessing to be marked by a prophetic period. Why not, since the period in which it was to occur, the time of the end, is introduced by a prophetic period; since our Lord, in verse 14 of His great prophecy of Matthew 24, makes a special announcement of this movement; and since it is still further set forth in Revelation 14: 6, 7, under the symbol of an angel flying through midheaven with a special announcement of the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth? Surely the Bible gives great prominence to this movement.

Two more questions remain to be noticed briefly: What days are referred to in verse 13? What is meant by Daniel's standing in his lot? Those who claim that the days are the 1335, are led to that application by looking back no further than to the preceding verse, where the 1335 days are mentioned; whereas, in making an application of these days so indefinitely introduced, the whole scope of the prophecy should certainly be taken in from Daniel 8. Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 are clearly a continuation and explanation of the vision of Daniel 8; hence we may say that in the vision of chapter 8, as carried out and explained, there are four prophetic periods: the 2300, 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. The first is the principal and longest period; the others are but intermediate parts and subdivisions of this. Now, when the angel tells Daniel at the

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conclusion of his instructions that he shall stand in his lot at the end of days, without specifying which period was meant, would not Daniel's mind naturally turn to the principal and longest period, the 2300 days, rather than to any of its subdivisions? If this is so, the 2300 are the days intended. the reading of the Septuagint seems to look plainly in this direction: "But go thy way and rest; for there are yet days and seasons to the full accomplishment [of these things]; and thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days." This certainly carries the mind back to the long period contained in the first vision, in relation to which the subsequent instructions were given.

The 2300 days, as has been already shown, terminated in 1844, and brought us to the cleansing of the sanctuary. How did Daniel at that time stand in his lot? In the person of his Advocate, our great High Priest, as He presents the cases of the righteous for acceptance to His Father. The word here translated "lot" does note mean a piece of real estate, a "lot" of land, but the "decisions of chance" or the "determinations of Providence." At the end of the days, the lot, so to speak, was to be cast. In other words, a determination was to made in reference to those who should be accounted worthy of a possession in the heavenly inheritance. When Daniel's case comes up for examination, he is found righteous, stands in his lot, is assigned a place in the heavenly Canaan.

When Israel was about to enter into the Promised Land, the lot was cast, and the possession of each tribe was assigned. The tribes thus stood in their respective "lots" long before they entered upon the actual possession of the land. The time of the cleansing of the sanctuary corresponds to this period of Israel's history. We now stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, and decisions are being made, assigning to some a place in the eternal kingdom, and barring others forever. In the decision of his case, Daniel's portion in the celestial inheritance will be made sure to him. With him all the faithful will also stand. When this devoted servant of God, who filled up a long life with the noblest deeds of service to his Maker,

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though cumbered with the weightiest cares of this life, shall enter upon his reward for well-doing, we too may enter with him into rest.

We draw the study of this prophecy to a close, with the remark that it has been with no small degree of satisfaction that we have spent what time and study we have on this wonderful prophecy, and in contemplating the character of this most beloved of men and most illustrious of prophets. God is no respecter of person, and a reproduction of Daniel's character will secure the divine favor as signally even now. Let us emulate his virtues, that we, like him, may have the approbation of God while here, and dwell amid the creations of His infinite glory in the long hereafter.


  • [1] James H. Jeans, The Stars In Their Courses, p. 165.
  • [2] Enoch Fitch Burr, Ecce Caelum, p. 136.
  • [3] Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 295.
  • [4] Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 190, 191.
  • [5] Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 296, footnote. See also Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity , Vol. I, pp. 381-388.
  • [6] Ephraim Emerton, Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages, pp. 65, 66.
  • [7] Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, p. 186.
  • [8] Ibid., pp. 198, 199.
  • [9] Ibid., p. 194.
  • [10] Ibid., p. 199.
  • [11] Charles Oman, The Dark Ages, p. 62.
  • [12] The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. I, p. 286. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
  • [13] Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 85.
  • [14] Ibid., pp. 88, 89.
  • [15] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., art. "Clovis," Vol. VI, p. 563.
  • [16] See Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 202, 203; Nugent Robinson, A History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 75-79, 81, 82.
  • [17] Richard W. Church, The Beginning of the Middle Ages, pp. 38, 39.
  • [18] Victor Duruy, The History of the Middle Ages, p. 32.
  • [19] Julius von Pflugk-Harttung, in A History of all Nations, Vol. VII, p. 27.
  • [20] Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 97.
  • [21] George Burton Adams, Civilization During the Middle Ages, pp. 137-144.