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Popery was not much, if at all, before noted in the Scripture of truth; till this prophet himself had just be- . fore predicted it.* But concerning the restoration of the ancient people of God, in the last days, it had been abundantly before noted by the prophets, that a terrible Power should, soon after their return to the land of their fathers attack and greatly afflict them.f Some expositors have applied this prediction of Daniel (which is to be particularly noticed in the next section) to the Papal hierarchy. But in view of the preceding remarks, it appears unnatural thus to do. And the picture there drawn does not apply to Popery, without unnatural distortions of its features. The Power there predicted is to remain in the tide of his glory, till the battle of the great day of God Almighty;f a thing which
cannot now be believed of the Papal hierarchy. This Power, then, can be no other, than the athei tical Antichrist of the last times. The way being thus prepared, the Angel says, chapter xi, verse 2, And now I will show thee the truth, i. e. I will draw towards the great object in view. But before he comes directly to it, he begins, as is usual in such cases, with a line of preceding kings and events. When the Romish hierarchy was to be predicted, chap. vii, the prophet introduces that wicked power, by giveing the preceding succession of the eastern monarchies. When Mohammedism was to be predicted, chap. viii, the prophet ushers in that vile imposture, by briefly alluding to the succession of the preceding powers, in the line of which it came. So in the case before us, the Angel describes a line of kings from the then press ent period, in order to introduce, not the atheistical Power in view immediately, but Antiochus Epiphanes, a noted king of Syria, as a type of the atheistical Power, who was to rise in the last days. This terrible Power the prophet predicts, first by his type Antiochus. St. Jerom informs us of its being a generally received maxim, “that it is the manner of the holy Scriptures to deliver beforehand the truths of futurity in types.” (Bp.
*Dan. vii, 8, 24.
+See Chap. III, Sec. 2 and 4 of this book: See the close of Dan. xi,
Hurd, p. 57.) We find much of this. When the Mil
p. lennium was to be predicted in Psalm lxxii, it was in. troduced by its type, the reign of Solomon. And the Holy Spirit there, without any formal notice, slides from the type to the antitype. This is a common thing in prophetic writings. In like manner, this terrible Power of the last days is predicted, first by a description of his type. It is an old opinion of expositors, that Antiochus was a notable type of Antichrist, even while they supposed the Romish hierarchy to have been Antichrist. But much more strikingly do the type and the antitype agree, if the latter be the terrible infidel Power of the last days, as I trust will appear. The type Antiochus was to afflict the Jews grievously after their restoration from Babylon. And the infidel Power, then about to be predicted, is to afflict them much more grievously, soon after their final restoration, just before the introduction of the Millennium. The revealing Angel proceeds. Three kings he notes, who were to arise in Persia, after Darius, then on the throne. Then a fourth, richer than all the three, who should meddle with the realm of Greece to his ruin. Alexander is then noted. Then his four generals, among whom his empire was divided. Then the wars of the two most distinguished of them, called the king of the north, and the king of the south; or Syria and Egypt; in which wars the Jews were deeply interested: till the Angel, verse 21, introduces Antiochus, the type of the terrible Power then so far future. On this type he dwells for fifteen verses. And from the prophetic description, we learn, in the character of Antiochus, something of the character of Antichrist. In this description we observe, that Antiochus, the type of Antichrist, was a vile person; not the heir of the croovn of Syria; but obtaining it by flatteries. He overflowed his enemies with the arms of a flood. He deposed the prince of the covenant, or Onias, the Jewish high priest. He wrought deceitfully, even after the obligations of solemn treaties. He did what neither his fathers had done, nor his fathers' fathers. He reduced strong holds, by forecasting devices against them. He scattered the prey among his favorites. He stirred up his courage and power against the king of the south, who checked his progress by a furious, though unsuccessful effort of defence. Ptolemy was overcome through the treachery of some of his own subjects. Antiochus returned from Egypt with great riches. He was elated
. with pride; and his heart was against the holy covenant, or the church of God.* He makes another attack upon the king of the south; but not with his former success. He is annoyed with the navy of a rival power, (the ships of Shittim, or Rome,) and is obliged to return. His indignation again rages against the holy covenant, or the church of God at Jerusalem. He has intelligence with them that forsake, the holy covenant; or he intrigues with apostate Jews. Arms stand on his part; or armed soldiers are sent into Judea, to enforce his abominable orders. The sanctuary of strength, or the temple at Jerusalem, is põlluted. The daily sacrifice is taken away. The abomination, that maketh desolate, is set up. Apostate Jews are corrupted by flatteries. But such as know their God, are strong and do exploits. They uho understand, instruct many; yet they fall by the sword, by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil, days, (as in the original.t) Yet when they fall, they are aided with a little help. But many cleave unto them with flatteries. And some of the people of understanding fall, to try them, to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end. I
* He in fact slew forty thousand of the Jews; he sold as many more for slaves; and polluted the temple at Jerusalem.
5+The desolation of the temple, and the taking away of the daily sacrifice by Appollonius (the commissioner of Antiochas) con. tinued three years and a half, according to Josephus.” Newton on the Prophecies. Vol. I, p. 310.
A celebrated modern author supposes, that the Angel here leaves the events of the days of Antiochus; and from verse 31st to 35th gives a prophetic sketch of events down to the sixteenth century of the Christian era: That verse 31st predicts the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, forty years after the as. cension of Christ: That verses 32d and 33d predict the persecu. tion of the primitive Christians under Pagan Rome: that verse 34th predicts the conversion of Pagan Rome to Christianity, in the revolution under Constantine, and the subsequent corruptions Thus the Angel proceeds in his description of Antiochus, the type of the terrible Power to be predicted,
of Christianity in that empire, which gave rise to the Man of sin: And that verse 35th predicts the Papal persecutions of the wit. nesses down to the sixteenth century. This scheme I cannot con. ceive to be correct, for the following reasops:
1. Simply to predict the line of events, from the time then present, till the rise of the Power, which he had in view to pre. dict, appears not to have been any part of the object of the revealing Angel. If it had been, it would not have been said, chap. x, 1, A thing was revealed unto Daniel; and the thing was true; but the time appointed was long. (See also verse 14th.) But it must have been said, that many things were revealed to Daniel; some of which were far distant, and some of which were
To reveal that one thing appears to have been the sole object of the Angel in chapters x and xi. And the manner of his doing this appears to have been, not the predicting of a course of events which should reach to the time of the rise of the Power; but the predicting of the Power by his type, Antiochus Epiph. anes; and then passing immediately to the antitype. If the ob. ject of the Angel were to predict simply the course of great events, which should reach down to the rise of Antichrist, why did he dwell for at.least ten verses, (from 21st to 31st, according to the scheme of this author,) on the wars of Antiochus Epiphanes; and then touch so lightly on the subsequent events, which were of far greater magnitude, and which were to occupy seventeen or eighteen centuries? Why should he, after dwelling for ten verses on the affairs of Antiochus, appropriate but one verse to the great event of the coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusa. salem, and of the Jewish nation by the Romans; two yerses to the ten persecutions of the primitive Christian church, under Pagan Rome, and the corruptions, which issued in the Papal apostasy; and but one verse to all the Papal persecutions of the witnesses down to the sixteenth century? Who can account for such an amazing want of proportion in the communications of the Angel, if simply a prediction of facts were his object?
2. When a person or event is predicted by his type, it is not usual for the prophet, after predicting the type, to give a sketch of events, which should take place between the type and the antitype. This is usually no part of his object. But the writer, in such cases, slides from the type to the antity pe, without regard to the length of time, or distance of place. This we find in Psalm 72d, in the predictions of the kingdom of Christ, with its typical reign of Solomon. This we find in the various predictions of the coming of Christ; and of the battle of the great day. We should hence be led to expect, that after the revealing Angel had presented to Daniel the type of the Power
and in a detail of events under his tyranny, till verse 36. Here he drops the type and takes the antitype, as
in view, he would pass immediately to the antitype. And this I apprehend is the fact.
3. The language from verse 31st to 35th appears in perfect unison with the preceding prediction of Antiochus. But it does not seem at all to apply to a variety of new subjects, and distant events, without a most unnatural and forced construction. Let us examine. For the ten preceding verses, it is a given point, that Antiochus is the subject. In the last of the ten, or verse 30th, we read, “For the ships of Chittim shall come against him, (Antiochus on his expedition in Egypt,) therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: só shall he do: he shall even return, and have intelli. gence with them, that forsake the holy covenant. Verse 31. And arms shall stand on his part.” On whose part? What does grammatical construction; what does the common sense of the reader reply? Does the word his here relate to the person, who is the subject of the preceding verse, and of the ten preced. ing verses? Or does it relate to a new subject; a subsequent em. pire; and to events some centuries after the events of the pre. ceding verse?
If liberty may be taken to say the latter, may not any expositor take liberty to fix any sense to a text, which he may please? There is sometimes a shifting in relatives, to a different person from the antecedent, when type and antitype are the subject. The antecedent may be the type, and the relative may respect the antity pe. But in no other cases can this be ad. missible. But, says the objector, does not the substance of this 31st verse decide that it relates to the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans? And they (the arms, that shall stand on his part,) shall pollute*the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination, that maketh desolate. Does not our Lord, Mark xiii, 14, apply this very text to the siege of Jerusalem? Answer. By no means. Daniel had spoken of the abomination of desolation, in three passages; chap. ix, 27, relative to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Ro. mans; chap. xi, 31, (the passage under consideration) relative to the persecutions of the Jews by Antiochus; and chap. xii, 11, relative to the rise of Popery, or Mohammedism, or both, at the beginning of the 1260 years. And now, to which of these did our Lord, Mark xiii, 14, refer, as he applied it to the destruction of Jerusalem? Surely to the passage in chap. ix, 27, which relales to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; and not to either of the two other passages which relate to different periods and events. may as well say, Christ referred to the passage in Dan. xii, 11, which relates to the beginning of the 1260 years; as that he referred to that in chap. xi, 31; aud thus confound the whole order of those prophecies. The very thing predicted, in