Daniel and the Revelation, 1897 edition [ORIGINAL] Daniel and the Revelation, 1944 Revised Edition
Daniel and the Revelation, 1897 edition
Daniel and the Revelation, 1944 Revised Edition
Daniel and The Revelation

Name: Daniel and The Revelation

Name Continued: Thoughts, Critical and Practical, on the Book of Daniel and the Revelation: Being an Exposition, Text by Text, of These Important Portions of the Holy Scriptures

Book Code: DAR

Author: Smith, Uriah

Author Code: UrS

Date of Publication: 1897

Publisher: Southern Publishing Association, Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Type: Book

Number of Pages: 800

BY URIAH SMITH

SOUTHERN PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION

1897

[CD-ROM Editor's Note: The subtitle noted for this work is the actual main title Uriah Smith used. As there have been many editions of this popular book on prophecy, this is a useful location to note again our policy of including in this digital collection the last edition published in the lifetime of the author.]

DANIEL AND THE REVELATION By URIAH SMITH

Daniel and Revelation by Uriah Smith

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE 3

ILLUSTRATIONS 16

INTRODUCTION 19

Response of History to the Prophecy of Daniel 22

01 - DANIEL IN CAPTIVITY 23

Characteristics of the Sacred Writings - Five Historical Facts - Prophecy of Jerusalem's Captivity - The Holy City Three Times Overthrown - God's Testimony against Sin - Condition and Treatment of Daniel and His Companions - Character of King Nebuchadnezzar - Signification of Pagan Names - Daniel's Integrity - The Result of His Experiment - Daniel Lives till the Time of Cyrus

02 - THE GREAT IMAGE 32

A Difficulty Explained - Daniel Enters upon His Work - Who Were the Magicians? - Trouble between the King and the Wise Men - The Ingenuity of the Magicians - The King's Sentence against Them - Remarkable Providence of God - The Help Sought by Daniel - A Good Example - Daniel's Magnanimity - A Natural Character - The Magicians Exposed - What the World Owes to the People of God - Appropriateness of the Symbol - A Sublime Chapter of Human History - Beginning of the Babylonian Kingdom - What is Meant by a Universal Kingdom - Description of Babylon - The Heavenly City - Babylon's Fall - Stratagem of Cyrus - Belshazzar's Impious Feast - Prophecy Fulfilled - Babylon Reduced to Heaps - The Second Kingdom, Medo-Persia - Persian Kings, and Time of Their Reign - Persia's Last King - Alexander the Great - His Contemptible Character - The Fourth Kingdom - The Testimony of Gibbon - Influences which Undermined Rome - A False Theory Examined - What the Toes Signify - Rome Divided - Names of the Ten Divisions - Subsequent History - God's Kingdom Still Future - Its Nature, Location, and Extent

03 - THE FIERY ORDEAL 83

Nebuchadnezzar's Image vs. God's - Devotion of Idolaters - The Jews Accused - The King's Forbearance - The Fiery Furnace - Its Effect on the Chaldeans - The Course of the Three Worthies - The Wonderful Deliverance - Its Effect on the King's Mind - Integrity Honored

04 - NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DECREE 92

The Oldest Decree on Record - Humiliation Confessed - A Good Example - Nebuchadnezzar's Condition - God's Dealing with the King - The Magicians Humbled - A Remarkable Illustration - Mercy in Judgment - An Important Key to Prophetic Interpretation - Angels Interested in Human Affairs - The King's Acknowledgment - Daniel's Hesitation - His Delicate Answer to the King - Judgments Conditional - The Lesson Unheeded - The Blow Falls - The King's Restoration - The End Gained - Nebuchadnezzar's Death - Summary of His Experience

05 - BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST 102

Closing Scenes of Babylon's History - Celebration of the Conquest of Judea - The Sacred Vessels Desecrated - God Interferes with the Revelry - The Phantom Hand - Change of Scene - Daniel Called - The Lesson to the King - The Writing Interpreted - The Fulfilment Follows - Edwin Arnold's Prize Poem

06 - DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN 115

Date of the Persian Kingdom - Cyrus Sole Ruler - Paul's Reference to Daniel's Experience - Extent of the Persian Kingdom - A Fiendish Plot - Righteousness Daniel's only Fault - False Witness of the Conspirators - Daniel Undisturbed - The Decree Secured - The Victim Ensnared - The King's Dilemma - Daniel Cast into the Lions' Den - His Wonderful Preservation - Fate of Daniel's Accusers - Daniel Doubly Vindicated - The King's Decree

07 - THE FOUR BEASTS 123

Chronological Connection - Rule of Scripture Interpretation - Signification of the Symbols - The Kingdoms Identical with Those of Daniel 2 - Why the Vision is Repeated - Change in Babylonish History - Deterioration of Earthly Governments - The Symbol of the Bear Explained - Grecia the Third Kingdom - Rapidity of Its Conquests - Testimony of Rollin - Signification of the Four Heads of the Leopard Beast - The Nondescript - Signification of the Ten Horns - A Little Horn among the Ten - The Judgment Scene - A Temporal Millennium Impossible - Character of the Little Horn - Gradual Development of the Romish Church - Opposition of the Arians - The Three Horns Plucked Up - Millions of Martyrs - A Feeble Defense - Paganism Outdone - Meaning of Time, Times, and a Half -Date of Papal Supremacy - Date of Papal Overthrow - Rome a Republic - The Power of the Papacy Waning in Its Stronghold - A Later Judgment - The Ecumenical Council - Victor Emmanuel's United Italy - End of the Pope's Temporal Power - Its Coming Destruction

08 - VISION OF THE RAM, HE GOAT AND LITTLE HORN 163

Change from Chaldaic to Hebrew - Date of Belshazzar's Reign - Date of This Vision - Where was Shushan? - A Prophecy of Isaiah Fulfilled - The Angel Explains the Symbols - How the Goat Represents the Grecians - Alexander the Great - Battle at the River Granicus - Battle at the Passes of Issus - The Great Battle of Arbela - Subversion of the Persian Kingdom, B.C.331 - Alexander's Famous Reply to Darius - The World Will not Permit Two Suns nor Two Sovereigns - Increase of Power - Alexander's Disgraceful Death - Division of the Kingdom - The Roman Horn - How It Came out of One of the Horns of the Goat - Antiochus Epiphanes not This Horn - Rome the Power Symbolized by the Little Horn - What is the "Daily"? - Two Desolating Powers Brought to View - When Oppression of the Saints Will End - The 2300 Days not Here Explained - The Sanctuary Explained - What the Cleansing of the Sanctuary Is - The King of Fierce Countenance - By What Means the Romans Prospered - The Explanation not Finished - The Reason Why

09 - SEVENTY WEEKS 205

The Short Time between the Visions - Daniel's Understanding of Jeremiah's Prophecy - Daniel's Wonderful Prayer - Gabriel again Appears - Vision of Chapter 8 Explained - Connection between Chapters Eight and Nine Established - The Time Explained - The Seventy Weeks - The Meaning of "Cut Off" - Testimony of Dr. Hales - Date of the Seventy Weeks - The Decree of Cyrus - The Decree of Darius - The Decree of Artaxerxes - The Year 457 before Christ - Date of Christ's Baptism - Date of Christ's Crucifixion - Invention of the Christian Era - Intermediate Dates - Harmony Established - The Genuine Reading - Ptolemy's Canon - The End of the 2300 Days

10 - DANIEL'S LAST VISION 238

Time of Daniel's Various Visions - How Cyrus Became Sole Monarch - Daniel's Purpose in Seeking God - Scriptural Fasting - Another Appearance of the Angel Gabriel - The Effect upon Daniel - Daniel's Age at This Time - The Answer to Prayer Sometimes not Immediately Apparent - Who Michael Is - Daniel's Solicitude for His People - The Relation of Christ and Gabriel to the King of Persia and the Prophet Daniel

11 - A LITERAL PROPHECY 247

Succession of Kings in Persia - The Rich King - The Largest Army ever Assembled in the World - Meaning of the Phrase "Stand Up" - Alexander in Eclipse - His Kingdom Divided among His Four Leading Generals - Location of the King of the North and the King of the South - Macedon and Thrace Annexed to Syria - The Syrian Kingdom Stronger than the Kingdom of Egypt - Divorce and Marriage of Antiochus Theos - Laodice's Revenge - Berenice and Her Attendants Murdered - Ptolemy Euergetes Avenges the Death of His Sister - Syria Plundered - 2,500 Idols Carried to Egypt - Antiochus Magnus Avenges the Cause of His Father - Defeated by the Egyptians - Ptolemy Over come by His Vices - Another Syrian Campaign against Egypt - New Complications - Rome Introduced - Syria and Macedonia Forced to Retire - Rome Assumes the Guardianship of the Egyptian King - The Egyptians Defeated - Antiochus Falls before the Romans - Syria Made a Roman Province - Judea Conquered by Pompey - Caesar in Egypt - Exciting Scenes - Cleopatra's Stratagem - Caesar Triumphant - Veni, Vidi, Vici - Caesar's Death - Augustus Caesar - The Triumvirate - The Augustan Age of Rome - The Birth of Our Lord - Tiberius, the Vile - Date of Christ's Baptism - Rome's League with the Jews - Caesar and Antony - The Battle of Actium - Final Overthrow of Jerusalem - What is Meant by Chittim - The Vandal War - The "Daily" Taken Away - Justinian's Famous Decree - The Goths Driven from Rome - Long Triumph of the Papacy - The Atheistical King - The French Revolution of l793 - The Bishop of Paris Declares Himself an Atheist - France as a Nation Rebels against the Author of the Universe - The Marriage Covenant Annulled - God Declared a Phantom, Christ an Impostor - Blasphemy of a Priest of Illuminism - A Dissolute Female the Goddess of Reason - Titles of Nobility Abolished - Their Estates Confiscated - The Land Divided for Gain - Termination of the Reign of Terror - Time of the End, l798 - Triple War between Egypt, France, and Turkey - Napoleon's Dream of Eastern Glory - He Diverts the War from England to Egypt - His Ambition Embraces all Historical Lands of the East - Downfall of the Papacy - Embarkation from Toulon - Alexandria Taken - Battle of the Pyramids - The Combat Deepens - Turkey, the King of the North, Declares War against France - Napoleon's Campaign in the Holy Land - Beaten at Acre - Retires to Egypt - Called back to France - Egypt in the Power of Turkey - Tidings out of the East and North - The Crimean War of l853 - Predicted by Dr. Clarke from this Prophecy in 1825 - The Sick Man of the East - The Eastern Question; What is It? - Russia's Long-Cherished Dream - The Last Will and Testament of Peter the Great - Startling Facts in Russian History - The Prophecy of Napoleon Bonaparte - Kossuth's Prediction -Russia's Defiant Attitude in 1870 - The Russo-Turkish War of l877 - The Berlin Congress - Turkey Bankrupt - The Whole Empire Mortgaged to the Czar - Wonderful Shrinkage of Turkish Territory - The Revolution in Turkey - The Eastern Question in the Future

12 - CLOSING SCENES 319

The Reign of Christ - The Grand Signal of Its Approach - What Events are Next in Order - The Time of Trouble - The Resurrection - The Key to the Future - Some to Life, Some to Shame - Promised Rewards of the Coming Day - The Sealed Book Opened - Knowledge Wonderfully Increased - The Progress of a Thousand Years Made in Fifty - The Wise Understand - Daniel Stands in His Lot

Response of History to The Revelation 347

01 - THE OPENING VISION 351

The Title and Character of the Book - Its Object - Christ's Angel - His Benediction - The Churches in Asia - The Seven Spirits - Prince of the Kings of the Earth - His Coming Visible - The Church's Response - John's Experience - The Cause of Banishment - In the Spirit - The Lord's Day - Alpha and Omega - The Revelation to be Understood

02 - THE SEVEN CHURCHES 373

The Church of Ephesus - Definition - The Cause of Complaint - The Nicolaitanes - The Promise to the Victor - The Tree of Life - The Church in Smyrna - Tribulation Ten Days - The Overcomer's Reward - The Church in Pergamos - Satan's Seat - Antipas - The Cause of Censure - The Promise - The New Name - Thyatira - The Woman Jezebel

03 - THE SEVEN CHURCHES CONTINUED 392

Sardis, Definition of - White Raiment - The Book of Life - Philadelphia Defined - The Key of David - Signification of Laodicea - Neither Cold nor Hot - The Counsel - The Final Promise

04 - A NEW VISION THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY 413

Four and Twenty Elders - Seven Lamps of Fire - The Sea of Glass - The Happy Unrest

05 - THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY CONTINUED 420

The Book - The Angelic Challenge - Christ Prevails - The Anticipation - A Clean Universe

06 - THE SEVEN SEALS 431

Symbols Explained - Souls Under the Altar - The Great Earthquake at Lisbon - Darkening of the Sun and Moon - Falling of the Stars - An Objection Answered - The Great Prayer-Meeting

07 - THE SEALING 458

Symbols Explained - The Seal of God - The 144,000 - The True Israel - The New Jerusalem a Christian City - Out of the Great Tribulation

08 - THE SEVEN TRUMPETS 475

Encouragement for Christians - Complement of Daniel's Prophecy - Testimony of Standard Historians - Rome Divided - The Western Empire Extinguished - Alaric, Genseric, Attila, and Theodoric

09 - THE SEVEN TRUMPETS CONTINUED 495

Rome and Persia - Chosroes Overthrown - The Rise of Mohammedanism - The Bottomless Pit - The Five Months' Torment - An Established Date - Surrender to the Turks - Constantinople Taken - The Use of Firearms Foretold - Cessation of the Ottoman Supremacy - A Remarkable Prophecy Fulfilled

10 - THE PROCLAMATION OF THE ADVENT 518

The Book Opened - The Time of the End - Close of the Prophetic Periods - Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet - The Sweet and the Bitter

11 - THE TWO WITNESSES 529

An Important Message - The French Revolution of l793 - Spiritual Sodom - Crush the Wretch! - The Bible Triumphant - The Nations Angry - God's Temple in Heaven Opened

12 - THE GOSPEL CHURCH 543

A Wonderful Scene in Heaven - Definite Data - Satan Defeated - The Trial of the Church - The Coming Joy

13 - Persecuting Powers 558

A Change of Symbols - The Papacy - Comparison with the Little Horn of Daniel 7 - Deadly Wound - How It was Healed - Another Beast - The United States in Prophecy - Character of its Government - Its Wonderful Growth - Threatening Evil - The Catholic Federation - Rise and Progress of Spiritualism - An Image to the Beast - The Federal Council of Churches - The Mark of the Beast - Catholic Authority on the Change of the Sabbath - The National Reform Movement - Christian Endeavor Society - Progress of the Sunday Law Movement - The Number of His Name

14 - THE THREE MESSAGES 628

A Glorious Culmination - The 144,000 - The Proclamation of the Advent - A Moral Fall - The Severest Denunciation of Wrath in All the Bible - Chronology of the Messages - Their History - A Mistake Explained - Parable of the Ten Virgins - "Babylon is Fallen" - Babylon Defined - Causes and Results of Babylon's Fall - Religious Declension in the Popular Churches - Nature and Purpose of the Third Message - Punishment of Beast Worshipers - A Blessing on the Dead - Wickedness Swallowed Up

15 - THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES 681

Preparation for the Plagues - An Impressive Scene - God's Judgements Righteous - Mercy Withdrawn from the Earth - The Sea of Glass - The Glorious Victory - Well with the Righteous

16 - THE PLAGUES POURED OUT 684

The Plagues of Egypt - Death in the Sea - Fountains of Blood - A Scorching Sun - Egyptian Darkness - Decay of Turkey - The Eastern Question - Spirits of Devils - The Battle of Armageddon - The Air Infected - Babylon Judged - Terrific Effects of the Great Hail - Close of the Scene

17 - BABYLON THE MOTHER 702

Church and State - Different Forms of Roman Government - The Eighth Head - Waning Away of Papal Power - Symbolic Waters

18 - BABYLON THE DAUGHTERS 709

A Mighty Movement - Efforts to Reform Popery - Apostate Christendom - "Come Out of Her, My People" - Amazing Judgments

19 - THE TRIUMPH OF THE SAINTS 725

The Marriage of the Lamb - The Bride the Lamb's Wife - The Marriage Supper - Heaven Opened - Christ and the Armies of Heaven - The Fowls called to Supper - The Beast Taken - The Lake of Fire

20 - THE FIRST AND SECOND RESURRECTION 732

The Bottomless Pit - Binding of Satan - Exaltation of the Saints - The Second Resurrection - The Second Lake of Fire - The Sentence Executed

21 - THE NEW JERUSALEM 748

The New Heaven and Earth - The Holy City - Wonderful Dimensions - Precious Stones - The Rainbow Foundations - No need of the Sun

22 - THE TREE AND THE RIVER OF LIFE 763

The Home of Peace - The Tree of Life - John's Emotions - Without the City - The Gracious Invitation - "Through the Gates" - The Lord's Promise - The Church's Response - God All in All

APPENDIX 777

INDEX OF AUTHORS 793

INDEX OF TEXTS IN OTHER BOOKS OF THE BIBLE 794

GENERAL INDEX 796

Contents

1. THE PROPHECIES OF DANIEL

Foreword

Introduction

I. A Captive in Babylon's Royal Court

II. The King Dreams of World Empires

III. Integrity Tested by Fire

IV. The Most High Rules

V. The Handwriting on the Wall

VI. Daniel in the Lion's Den

VII. The Struggle for World Dominion

VIII. The World Arraigned Before the Court of Heaven IX. A Prophetic Yardstick Spans the Centuries

X. God Intervenes in World Affairs

XI. Unrolling the Scroll of the Future

XII. History's Coming Climax

2. THE PROPHECIES OF REVELATION

Introduction

I. The Divine Method of Prophetic Revelation

II. The Letters of Jesus to the Churches

III. "Behold, I stand at the Door and Knock"

IV. Before the Throne of God

V. The Challenge of the Sealed Book

VI. Breaking the Seals on the Book of Prophecy

VII. The Seal of the Living God

VIII. The Collapse of the Roman Empire

IX. The Moslem World in Prophecy

X. The World-Wide Proclamation of the Second Advent XI. The Battle Between the Bible and Atheism

XII. The Background of Religious Intolerance

XIII. The Age Long Struggle for Religious Freedom XIV. God's Final Warning to a Wicked World

XV. Preparing the Vials of Divine Wrath

XVI. Seven Plagues Devastate the Earth

XVII. A World Union of Church and State

XVIII. The Doom of Modern Babylon

XIX. King of Kings and Lord of Lords

XX. The World's Millennial Night

XXI. A New Heaven and a New Earth

XXII. Peace at Last

References

Bibliography

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."

2 Peter 1: 19

"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall you be established; believe His prophets, so shall you prosper."

2 Chronicles 20:20

PREFACE

1. With Enoch, the seventh from Adam, and for three hundred and eight years contemporary with Adam, the voice of prophecy began to be heard through human lips. For so the apostle Jude declares: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Jude 14,15. This sublime and earliest prophecy reaches to the end of time. And through all the intervening ages, other prophecies have covered all the more important events in the great drama of history. {1897 UrS, DAR 3.1}

2. The coming to pass of these great events has been but the response of history to what the prophecies had declared. And thus amid the ever-present evidences of the short-sightedness of men, and the ever-recurring failures of human schemes, a voice has continually gone up from earth to heaven, "The word of the Lord endureth forever." {1897 UrS, DAR 3.2}

3. It is for the purpose of calling attention to some of these important prophetico-historical lessons, if we may be permitted to coin a word, that this volume is written. And the books of Daniel and the Revelation are chosen for this purpose, because in some respects their prophecies are more direct than are to be found elsewhere upon the prophetic page, and the fulfilments more striking. The object before us is threefold: (1) To gain an understanding of the wonderful testimony of the books themselves; (2) To acquaint ourselves with some of the more interesting and important events in the history of civilized nations, and mark how accurately the prophecies, some of them depending upon the developments of the then far-distant future, and upon conditions the most minute and complicated, have been fulfilled in these events; and (3) To draw from these things important lessons relative to practical Christian duties, which were not given for past ages merely, but are for the learning and admonition of the world today. {1897 UrS, DAR 3.3}

4. The books of Daniel and the Revelation are counterparts of each other. They naturally stand side by side, and should be studied together. {1897 UrS, DAR 3.4}

5. We are aware that any attempt to explain these books and make an application of their prophecies, is generally looked upon as a futile and fanatical task, and is sometimes met even with open hostility. It is much to be regretted that any portions of that volume which all Christians believe to be the book wherein God has undertaken to reveal his will to mankind, should come to be regarded in such a light. But a great fact, to which the reader's attention is called in the following paragraph, is believed to contain for this state of things both an explanation and an antidote. {1897 UrS, DAR 4.1}

6. There are two general systems of interpretation adopted by different expositors in their efforts to explain the sacred Scriptures. The first is the mystical or spiritualizing system invented by Origen, to the shame of sound criticism and the curse of Christendom; the second is the system of literal interpretation, used by such men as Tyndale, Luther, and all the Reformers, and furnishing the basis for every advance step which has thus far been made in the reformation from error to truth as taught in the Scriptures. According to the first system, every declaration is supposed to have a mystical or hidden sense, which it is the province of the interpreter to bring forth; by the second, every declaration is to be taken in its most obvious and literal sense, except where the context and the well-known laws of language show that the terms are figurative, and not literal; and whatever is figurative must be explained by other portions of the Bible which are literal. {1897 UrS, DAR 4.2}

7. By the mystical method of Origen, it is vain to hope for any uniform understanding of either Daniel or the Revelation, or of any other book of the Bible; for that system (if it can be called a system) knows no law but the uncurbed imagination of its adherents; hence there are on its side as many different interpretations of Scripture as there are different fancies of different writers. By the literal method, everything is subject to well-established and clearly-defined law; and, viewed from this standpoint, the reader will be surprised to see how simple, easy, and clear many portions of the Scriptures at once become, which, according to any other system, are dark and unsolvable. It is admitted that many figures are used in the Bible, and that much of the books under consideration, especially that of the Revelation, is clothed in symbolic language; but it is also claimed that the Scriptures introduce no figure which they do not somewhere furnish literal language to explain. This volume is offered as a consistent exposition of the books of Daniel and the Revelation according to the literal system. {1897 UrS, DAR 4.3}

8. The study of prophecy should by no means be neglected; for it is the prophetic portions of the word of God which especially constitute it a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. So both David and Peter unequivocally testify. Ps.119:105; 2 Peter 1:19. {1897 UrS, DAR 4.4}

9. No sublimer study can occupy the mind than the study of those books in which He who sees the end from the beginning, looking forward through all the ages, gives, through his inspired prophets, a description of coming events for the benefit of those whose lot it would be to meet them. {1897 UrS, DAR 4.5}

10. An increase of knowledge respecting the prophetic portions of the word of God was to be one of the characteristics of the last days. Said the angel to Daniel, "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;" or, as Michaelis's translation reads: "When many shall give their sedulous attention to the understanding of these things, and knowledge shall be increased." It is our lot to live this side the time to which the angel told Daniel to thus shut up the words and seal the book. That restriction has now expired by limitation. In the language of the figure, the seal has been removed, and many are running to and fro, and knowledge has marvelously increased in every department of science; yet it is evident that this prophecy specially contemplates an increase of knowledge concerning those prophecies that are designed to give us light in reference to the age in which we live, the close of this dispensation, and the soon-coming transfer of all earthly governments to the great King of Righteousness, who shall destroy his enemies, and crown with an infinite reward every one of his friends. The fulfilment of the prophecy in the increase of this knowledge, is one of the pleasing signs of the present time. For more than half a century, light upon the prophetic word has been increasing, and shining with ever-growing luster to our own day. {1897 UrS, DAR 5.1}

11. In no portion of the word of God is this more apparent than in the books of Daniel and the Revelation; and we may well congratulate ourselves on this, for no other parts of that word deal so largely in prophecies that pertain to the closing scenes of this world's history. No other books contain so many chains of prophecy reaching down to the end. In no other books is the grand procession of events that leads us through to the termination of probationary time, and ushers us into the realities of the eternal state, so fully and minutely set forth. No other books embrace so completely, as it were in one grand sweep, all the truths that concern the last generation of the inhabitants of the earth, and set forth so comprehensively all the aspects of the times, physical, moral, and political, in which the triumphs of earthly woe and wickedness shall end, and the eternal reign of righteousness begin. We take pleasure in calling attention especially to these features of the books of Daniel and the Revelation, which seem heretofore to have been too generally overlooked or misinterpreted. {1897 UrS, DAR 5.2}

12. There seems to be no prophecy which a person can have so little excuse for misunderstanding as the prophecy of Daniel, especially as relates to its main features. Dealing but sparingly in language that is highly figurative, explaining all the symbols it introduces, locating its events within the rigid confines of prophetic periods, it points out the first advent of the Messiahin so clear and unmistakable a manner as to call forth the execration of the Jews upon any attempt to explain it, and gives so accurately, and so many ages in advance, the outlines of the great events of our world's history, that infidelity stands confounded and dumb before its inspired record. {1897 UrS, DAR 5.3}

13. And no effort to arrive at a correct understanding of the book of the Revelation needs any apology; for the Lord of prophecy has himself pronounced a blessing upon him that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand. Rev.1:1-3. And it is with an honest purpose of aiding somewhat in arriving at this understanding, which is set forth by the language above referred to as not only possible but praiseworthy, that an exposition of this book, according to the literal rule of interpretation, has been attempted. {1897 UrS, DAR 5.4}

14. With thrilling interest we behold to-day the nations marshaling their forces, and pressing forward in the very movements described by the royal seer in the court of Babylon twenty-five hundred years ago, and by John on Patmos eighteen hundred years ago; and these movements - hear it, ye children of men - are the last political revolutions to be accomplished before this earth plunges into her final time of trouble, and Michael, the great Prince, stands up, and his people, all who are found written in the book, are crowned with full and final deliverance. Dan.12:1, 2. {1897 UrS, DAR 6.1}

15. Are these things so? "Seek," says our Saviour, "and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." God has not so concealed his truth that it will elude the search of the humble seeker. {1897 UrS, DAR 6.2}

With a prayer that the same Spirit by which those portions of Scripture which form the basis of this volume were at first inspired, and whose aid the writer has sought in his expository efforts, may rest abundantly upon the reader in his investigations, according to the promise of the Saviour in John 16:7, 13, 15, this work is commended to the candid and careful attention of all who are interested in prophetic themes.

BATTLE CREEK, MICH., U.S.

January, 1897. {1897 UrS, DAR 6.3}

ILLUSTRATIONS

PORTRAIT OF AUTHOR Frontispiece

SIEGE OF JERUSALEM BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR 25

DANIEL AND HIS FELLOWS ARE SOUGHT TO BE SLAIN 36

A BABYLONIAN PALACE 48

BABYLON TAKEN BY THE MEDO-PERSIANS 52

ALEXANDER REMOVING THE RUINS AT BABYLON 55

ALEXANDER COMMANDING THE CONFLAGRATION OF PERSEPOLIS 60

MAP SHOWING TERRITORY COVERED BY THE FOUR UNIVERSAL

KINGDOMS 71

THE THREE HEBREWS REFUSING TO BOW TO THE IMAGE 84

THE THREE HEBREWS IN THE FIERY FURNACE 88

THE HUMILIATION OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR 96

BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST 105

DANIEL IN THE DEN OF LIONS 118

THE LION -- SYMBOL OF BABYLON 124

THE BEAR -- SYMBOL OF MEDO-PERSIA 126

THE LEOPARD -- SYMBOL OF GRECIA 129

THE FOURTH BEAST -- SYMBOL OF ROME 130

THE LITTLE HORN -- SYMBOL OF THE PAPACY 133

WALDENSES FLEEING FROM PAPAL PERSECUTION 140

THE LAW AS CHANGED BY THE PAPACY 143

BELISARIUS ENTERING ROME 152

PROMINENT MARTYRS 156

THE RAM -- SYMBOL OF MEDO-PERSIA 164

THE HE-GOAT -- SYMBOL OF GRECIA 167

ALEXANDER VIEWING THE BODY OF DARIUS 169

THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL VIII 173

THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM IN THE TIME OF CHRIST 187

THE ANGEL GABRIEL SENT TO INSTRUCT DANIEL 210

DIAGRAM OF THE 70 WEEKS AND 2300 DAYS 214

REBUILDING THE WALLS OF JERUSALEM 221

THE CRUCIFIXION 228

THE ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY 263

THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM: FULFILLING DAN.11:25 272

A ROMAN TRIUMPH 277

IMPRISONMENT OF HUSS 291

STORMING OF THE TUILLERIES 296

THE GODDESS OF REASON 299

PETER THE GREAT 312

OPENING OF THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT 317

BATTALION OF TURKISH TROOPS AT JERUSALEM 317

"MANY SHALL RUN TO AND FRO, AND KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE

INCREASED" 334,335

JOHN WRITING THE REVELATION 348

THE ISLE OF PATMOS 365

CHRISTIAN MARTYRS IN ARENA 382

ARCH OF CONSTANTINE 435

THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE 446

METEORIC SHOWER, OR FALLING STARS, OF NOV. 13, 1833 452

THE VANDALS INVADING AFRICA 483

ATTILA, KING OF THE HUNS 486

SURRENDER OF WESTERN ROME TO ODOACER 491

"WOE, WOE, WOE, TO THE INHABITERS OF THE EARTH!" 494

MOHAMMED AND MOHAMMED II 499

SARACEN WARRIOR 503

TURKISH WARRIOR 511

ENTRY OF MOHAMMED II INTO CONSTANTINOPLE 513

THE ANGEL ON SEA AND LAND 519

PREACHING THE ADVENT MESSAGE IN NORWAY 522

FUGITIVE HUGUENOTS 534

THE BERLIN INSURRECTION OF 1848 540

THE GOSPEL CHURCH 544

PAGAN AND PAPAL ROME 547

BURNING THE PAPAL BULL 554

EMINENT REFORMERS 556

SYMBOL OF THE UNITED STATES IN PROPHECY 566

LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS 575

MAP SHOWING THE TERRITORIAL GROWTH OF THE UNITED STATES 578

FEDERAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN SESSION 590

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL 632

THE THREE MESSAGES OF REVELATION 14 648

THE SEVEN ANGELS POURING OUT THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES 687

THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE 697

THE MESSAGE OF REV.18:1 708

BABYLON FALLS, LIKE A MILLSTONE THROWN INTO THE SEA 722

THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT 743

THE ANGEL SHOWING JOHN THE HOLY CITY 752

BANYAN TREE ILLUSTRATING THE TREE OF LIFE 765

"VISIONS OF BEAUTY ARE THERE, FIELDS OF LIVING GREEN" 772

Plates in color OPP. PAGE

THE GREAT WORLD-KINGDOM IMAGE, DAN.2:31-34 42

THE LAW OF GOD 143

MAP ILLUSTRATING THE EASTERN QUESTION 315

FOUNDATION WALLS OF THE NEW JERUSALEM 759

Foreword

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.

THE PUBLISHERS

INTRODUCTION

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: "Or 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." Eze.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." Eze.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." Matt.24:15,16. {1897 UrS, DAR 19.1}

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 commencement of the seventy years' captivity, B.C.606. Jeremiah and Habakkuk were yet uttering their prophecies. Ezekiel commenced soon after, and a little later, Obadiah; but both 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 the prophetic office for a brief period contemporaneously, B.C.520 - 518, and Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, who flourished a little season about B.C.397. {1897 UrS, DAR 19.2}

During the seventy years' captivity of the Jews, B.C.606 - 536, predicted by Jeremiah (Jer.25:11), Daniel resided at the court of Babylon, most of the time prime minister of that brilliant 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 20.1}

What a rebuke is his course to many at the present day, who, having not 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? {1897 UrS, DAR 20.2}

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. {1897 UrS, DAR 20.3}

His prophecy is, in many respects, the most remarkable of any in the sacred record. It is the most comprehensive. It was 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 transpired. This shift, 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 fulfilment. {1897 UrS, DAR 21.1}

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 year B.C.530, aged nearly ninety- four years; his age being the probable reason why he returned not to Judea with other Hebrew captives, under the proclamation of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1), B.C.536, which marked the close of the seventy years' captivity. {1897 UrS, DAR 21.2}

Introduction

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, said 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 23: 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 you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (who reads, 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 BC 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 the prophetic office for a brief period contemporaneously, 520-518 BC, and Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, who flourished a little season about 397 BC

During the seventy years' captivity of the Jews, 606-536 BC, 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 entrusted 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 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, AD 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 BC, 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 BC, which marked the close of the seventy years' captivity.

Response of History to the Prophecy of Daniel

01 - DANIEL IN CAPTIVITY

Characteristics of the Sacred Writings - Five Historical Facts - Prophecy of Jerusalem's Captivity - The Holy City Three Times Overthrown - God's Testimony against Sin - Condition and Treatment of Daniel and His Companions - Character of King Nebuchadnezzar - Signification of Pagan Names - Daniel's Integrity - The Result of His Experiment - Daniel Lives till the Time of Cyrus

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 23.1}

With a directness characteristic of the sacred writers, Daniel enters at once upon his subject. He commences in the simple, historical style, his book, with the exception of a portion of chapter 2, being of a historical nature till we reach the seventh chapter, when the prophetical portion, more properly so called, commences. Like one conscious of uttering only well-known truth, he proceeds at once to state a variety of particulars by which his accuracy could at once be tested. Thus in the two verses quoted, he states five particulars purporting to be historical facts, such as no writer would be likely to introduce into a fictitious narrative: (1) That Jehoiakim was king of Judah; (2) That Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon; (3) That the latter came against the former; (4) That this was in the third year of Jehoiakim's reign; and (5) That Jehoiakim was given into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, who took a portion of the sacred vessels of the house of God, and carrying them to the land of Shinar, the country of Babylon (Gen.10:10) placed them in the treasure-house of his heathen divinity. Subsequent portions of the narrative abound as fully in historical facts of a like nature. {1897 UrS, DAR 23.2}

This overthrow of Jerusalem was predicted by Jeremiah, and immediately accomplished, B.C.606. Jer.25:8-11. Jeremiah places this captivity in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Daniel in the third. This seeming 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 he did not accomplish the subjugation of Jerusalem till about the ninth month of the year following; and from this year Jeremiah reckons. (Prideaux,Vol.I,pp.99,100.) Jehoiakim, though bound for the purpose of being taken to Babylon, having humbled himself, was permitted to remain as ruler in Jerusalem, tributary to the king of Babylon. {1897 UrS, DAR 24.1}

This was the first time Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar. Twice subsequently, the city, having revolted, was captured by the same king, being more severely dealt with each succeeding time. Of these subsequent overthrows, the first was under Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, B.C.599, when all the sacred vessels were either taken or destroyed, and the best of the inhabitants, with the king, were led into captivity. The second was under Zedekiah, when the city endured the most formidable siege it ever sustained, except that by Titus, in A.D.70. During the two years' continuance of this siege, the inhabitants of the city suffered all the horrors of extreme famine. At length the garrison and king, attempting to escape from the city, 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; and thus was fulfilled the prediction of Ezekiel, who declared that he should be carried to Babylon, and die there, but yet should not see the place. Eze. 12:13. The city and temple were at this time utterly destroyed, and the entire population of the city and country, with the exception of a few husbandmen, were carried captive to Babylon, B.C.588. {1897 UrS, DAR 24.2}

Such was God's passing testimony against sin. Not that the Chaldeans were the favorites of Heaven but 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. Jer.17:24-27. But they departed from him, and he abandoned them. They first profaned the sacred vessels by sin, in introducing heathen idols among them; and he then profaned them by judgments, in letting them go as trophies into heathen temples abroad. {1897 UrS, DAR 26.1}

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; and 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 26.2}

"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 skilful 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 26.3}

We have in these verses the record of the probable fulfilment of the announcement of coming judgments made to King Hezekiah by the prophet Isaiah, 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, he was told that all these good things should be carried as trophies to the city of Babylon, and nothing should be left; and that even his own children, his descendants, should be taken away, and be eunuchs in the palace of the king there. 2Kings 20:14-18. It is probable that Daniel and his companions were treated as indicated in the prophecy; at least we hear nothing of their posterity, which can be more easily accounted for on this hypothesis than on any other, though some think that the term eunuch had come to signify office rather than condition. {1897 UrS, DAR 26.4}

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. And we learn from the record that these children were already skilful in all wisdom, cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and had ability in them to stand in the king's palace. In other words they had already acquired a good degree of education, and their physical and mental powers were so far developed that a skilful reader of human nature could form quite an accurate estimate of their capabilities. They are supposed to have been about eighteen or twenty years of age. {1897 UrS, DAR 27.1}

In the treatment which these Hebrew captives received, we see an instance of the wise policy and the liberality of the rising king, Nebuchadnezzar. {1897 UrS, DAR 27.2}

1. Instead of choosing, like too many kings of later times, means for the gratification of low and base desires, he chose young men who should be educated in all matters pertaining to the kingdom, that he might have efficient help in administering its affairs. {1897 UrS, DAR 27.3}

2. He appointed them daily provision of his own meat and wine. Instead of the coarse fare which some would have thought good enough for captives, he offered them his own royal viands. {1897 UrS, DAR 27.4}

For the space of three years, they had all the advantages the kingdom could afford. Though captives, they were royal children, and they were treated as such by the humane king of the Chaldeans. {1897 UrS, DAR 27.5}

The question may be raised, why these persons were selected to take part, after suitable preparation, in the affairs of the kingdom. Were there not enough native Babylonians to fill these positions of trust and honor? It could have been for no other reason than that the Chaldean youth could not compete with those of Israel in the qualifications, both mental and physical, necessary to such a position. {1897 UrS, DAR 27.6}

"VERSE 6. Now among these were 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 28.1}

This change of names was probably made on account of the signification of the words. Thus, Daniel signified, in the Hebrew, God is my judge; Hananiah, gift of the Lord; Mishael, he that is a strong God; and Azariah, help of the Lord. These names, each having some reference to the true God, and signifying some connection with his worship, were changed to names the definition of which bore a like relation to the heathen divinities and worship of the Chaldeans. Thus Belteshazzar, the name given to Daniel, signified keeper of the hid treasures of Bel; Shadrach, inspiration of the sun (which the Chaldeans worshiped); Meshach, of the goddess Shaca (under which name Venus was worshiped); and Abednego, servant of the shining fire (which they also worshiped). {1897 UrS, DAR 28.2}

"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 had 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 of 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 28.3} Nebuchadnezzar appears upon this record 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. And 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 29.1}

Daniel purposed not to defile himself with the king's meat nor 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. But it was frequently the case that the meat 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 them; and again, some of the meat of which they made use, was pronounced unclean by the Jewish law; and on either of these grounds Daniel could not, consistently with his religion, partake of these articles; hence he requested, not from any morose or sullen temper, but from conscientious scruples, that he might not be obliged to defile himself; and he respectfully made his request known to the proper officer. {1897 UrS, DAR 29.2}

The prince of the eunuchs feared to grant Daniel's request, since the king himself had appointed their meat. This shows the great personal interest the king took in these persons. He did not commit them to the hands of his servants, telling them to care for them in the best manner, without himself entering into details; but he himself appointed their meat and drink. And this was of a kind which it was honestly supposed would be best for them, inasmuch as the prince of the eunuchs thought that a departure from it would render them poorer in flesh and less ruddy of countenance than those who continued it; and thus he would be brought to account for neglect or ill-treatment of them, and so lose his head. Yet it was equally well understood that if they maintained good physical conditions, the king would take no exception to the means used, though it might be contrary to his own express direction. It appears that the king's sincere object was to secure in them, by whatever means it could be done, the very best mental and physical development that could be attained. How different 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 29.3}

Daniel requested pulse and water for himself and his three companions. Pulse is a vegetable food of the leguminous kind, like peas, beans, etc. Bagster says, "Zeroim denotes all leguminous plants, which are not reaped, but pulled or plucked, which, however wholesome, were not naturally calculated to render them fatter in flesh than the others." {1897 UrS, DAR 30.1}

A ten days' trial of this diet resulting favorably, they were permitted to continue it during the whole course of their training for the duties of the palace. Their increase in flesh and improvement in countenance which took place during these ten days can hardly be attributed to the natural result of the diet; for it would hardly produce such marked effects in so short a time. Is it not much more natural to conclude that this result was produced by a special interposition of the Lord, as a token of his approbation of the course on which they had entered, which course, if persevered in, would in process of time lead to the same result through the natural operation of the laws of their being? {1897 UrS, DAR 30.2}

"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 that 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 inquired 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 30.3}

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 the others any the less accepted in his sight. Preservation in the midst of the fiery furnace was as good evidence of the divine favor as they could have had. Daniel probably had some natural qualifications that peculiarly fitted him for this special work. {1897 UrS, DAR 30.4}

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 what proficiency they had made. 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 therein. As the result, recognizing merit wherever he saw it, without respect to religion or nationality, he acknowledged them to be ten times superior to any in his own land. {1897 UrS, DAR 31.1}

And it is added that Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus. This is an instance of the somewhat singular use of the word unto, or until, which occasionally occurs in the sacred writings. It does not mean that he continued no longer than to the first year of Cyrus, for he lived some years after the commencement of his reign; but this is the time to which the writer wished to direct special attention, as it brought deliverance to the captive Jews. A similar use of the word is found in Ps.112:8 and Matt.5:18. {1897 UrS, DAR 31.2}

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.

The Glory Of Bablyon

The greatest of ancient cities was Babylon, with its great wall, hanging gardens, and lofty temples. 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 prophetic 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 BC[*] (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.

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 BC.

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 spoke 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. 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 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 Taken Captive

The youthful Daniel and his companions were taken as captives from their Palestinian home to far away Babylon. 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 you 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.

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 {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT} zeroim, here 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.

Standing For Principle

With profound reverence for his God, Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king's meat. 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 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 BC 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.

02 - THE GREAT IMAGE

A Difficulty Explained - Daniel Enters upon His Work - Who Were the Magicians? - Trouble between the King and the Wise Men - The Ingenuity of the Magicians - The King's Sentence against Them - Remarkable Providence of God - The Help Sought by Daniel - A Good Example - Daniel's Magnanimity - A Natural Character - The Magicians Exposed - What the World Owes to the People of God - Appropriateness of the Symbol - A Sublime Chapter of Human History - Beginning of the Babylonian Kingdom - What is Meant by a Universal Kingdom - Description of Babylon - The Heavenly City - Babylon's Fall - Stratagem of Cyrus - Belshazzar's Impious Feast - Prophecy Fulfilled - Babylon Reduced to Heaps - The Second Kingdom, Medo-Persia - Persian Kings, and Time of Their Reign - Persia's Last King - Alexander the Great - His Contemptible Character - The Fourth Kingdom - The Testimony of Gibbon - Influences which Undermined Rome - A False Theory Examined - What the Toes Signify - Rome Divided - Names of the Ten Divisions - Subsequent History - God's Kingdom Still Future - Its Nature, Location, and Extent

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 32.1}

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 commenced 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. It thus appears that the very 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 wonderful notoriety throughout all the kingdom. {1897 UrS, DAR 32.2}

"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 dream. So they came and stood before the king." {1897 UrS, DAR 33.1}

The magicians were such as practiced magic, using the term in its bad sense; that is, they practiced all the superstitious rites and ceremonies of fortune-tellers, casters of nativities, etc. Astrologers were men who pretended to foretell future 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, it is always used in the Scriptures. Modern Spiritualism is simply ancient heathen sorcery revived. The Chaldeans here mentioned were a sect of philosophers similar to the magicians and astrologers, who made psychic, divinations, etc., their study. All these sects or professions abounded in Babylon. The end aimed at by each was the same; namely, the explaining of mysteries and the foretelling of future 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 whole wisdom of his realm. {1897 UrS, DAR 33.2}

"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 they servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation." {1897 UrS, DAR 33.3}

Whatever else the ancient magicians and astrologers may have been efficient in, 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 so ambiguous a manner that they would be equally applicable, let the event turn either way. 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 chapter 7, the record continues in Chaldaic. {1897 UrS, DAR 33.4}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 34.1}

These verses contain the record of the desperate struggle between the wise men, so called, and the king; the former seeking some avenue of escape, seeing they were caught on their own ground, and the latter determined that they should make known his dream, which was no more than their profession would warrant him in demanding. 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 future events; to make known mysteries entirely beyond human foresight and penetration; and to do this by the aid of supernatural agencies. If, then, their claim was worth anything, could they not make known to the king what he had dreamed ? - They certainly could. And if they were able, knowing the dream, to give a reliable interpretation thereof, would they not also be able to make known the dream itself when it had gone from the king ? - Certainly, if there was any virtue in their pretended intercourse with the other world. There was therefore nothing unjust in Nebuchadnezzar's demand that they should make known his dream. And when they declared (verse 11) 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. He saw that he and all his people were being made the victims of deception. He accused them (verse 9) of endeavoring to dally along till the "time be changed," or till the matter had so passed from his mind that his anger at their duplicity should abate, and he would either recall the dream himself, or be unsolicitous whether it were made known and interpreted or not. And 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 impostors. {1897 UrS, DAR 34.2}

The severity of his sentence was probably attributable more to the customs of those times than to any malignity on the part of the king. Yet it was a bold and desperate step. Consider who these were who thus incurred the wrath of the king. They were numerous, opulent, and influential sects. Moreover, they were the learned and cultivated classes of those times; yet the king was not so wedded to his false religion as to spare it even with all this influence in its favor. If the system was one of fraud and imposition, it must fall, however high its votaries might stand in numbers or position, or however many of them might be involved in its ruin. The king would be no party to dishonesty or deception. {1897 UrS, DAR 35.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 37.1}

In this narrative we see the providence of God working in several remarkable particulars. {1897 UrS, DAR 37.2}

1. 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 should be held from his recollection. This led to the complete exposure of the false system of the magicians and other pagan teachers; for when put to the test to make known the dream, it was found that they were unable to do what their profession made it incumbent on them to do. {1897 UrS, DAR 37.3}

2. 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 sooner have been consulted at all, in this matter. But there was a providence in this. Just as the dream was held from the king, so he was unaccountably held from appealing to Daniel for a solution of the mystery. For had he called on Daniel at first, and had he at once made 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 confess their utter incompetency, even under the penalty of death, that they might be the better prepared to acknowledge his hand when he should finally reach it down in behalf of his captive servants, and for the honor of his own name. {1897 UrS, DAR 37.4} 3. 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 would be led to seek the Lord with all his heart till he should work for their deliverance. Daniel gains his request of the king for time to consider the matter, - a privilege which probably none of the magicians could have secured, as the king had already accused them of preparing lying and corrupt words, and of seeking to gain time for this very purpose. Daniel at once went to his three companions, and engaged them to unite with him in desiring the 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; and the promise of the accomplishment of that which is asked, is to the two or three who shall agree concerning it. Matt.18:19,20. {1897 UrS, DAR 38.1}

"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. {1897 UrS, DAR 38.2}

Whether or not the answer came while Daniel and his companions were yet offering up their petitions, we are not informed. If it did, it shows their importunity in the matter; for it was through a night vision that God revealed himself in their behalf, which would show that they continued the supplications, as might reasonably be inferred, far into the night, and ceased not till the answer was obtained. Or, if their season of prayer had closed, and God at a subsequent time sent the answer, it would show us that, as is sometimes the case, prayers are not unavailing though not immediately answered. Some think the matter was made known to Daniel by his dreaming the same dream that Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed; but Matthew Henry considers it more probable that "when he was awake, and continuing instant in prayer, and watching in the same, the dream itself and the interpretation of it were communicated to him by the ministry of an angel, abundantly to his satisfaction." The words "night vision" mean anything that is seen, whether through dreams or visions. {1897 UrS, DAR 38.3}

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 honored by our rendering him praise for the things he has done for us, as well as by our acknowledging through prayer our need of his 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. Were not ten lepers cleansed? "But where," asks Christ sorrowfully, "are the nine?" Luke 17:17. {1897 UrS, DAR 39.1}

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. {1897 UrS, DAR 39.2}

Although the matter was revealed to Daniel, he did not take honor to himself as though it were by his prayers alone that this thing had been obtained, but immediately associated his companions with himself, and acknowledged it to be as much an answer to their prayers as to his own. It was, said he, "what we desired of thee," and thou hast made it "known unto us." {1897 UrS, DAR 39.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 39.4}

Daniel's first plea is for the wise men of Babylon. Destroy them not, for the king's secret is revealed. True it was through no merit of theirs or their heathen systems of divination that this revelation was made; they were worthy of just 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 to him as to have their own lives spared. Thus they were saved because there was a man of God among them. And 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. Chapter 27:24. Thus the wicked are benefited by the presence of the righteous. Well would it be if they would remember the obligations under which they are thus placed. What saves the world to-day? For whose sake is it still spared? - For the sake for 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 39.5}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 40.1}

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 some one 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 (verse 16), and Daniel's promise, if time could be granted, to show the interpretation thereof. {1897 UrS, DAR 40.2}

"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 the dream? was the king's doubtful salutation to Daniel, as he came into his presence. Notwithstanding his previous acquaintance with Daniel, the king seems to have questioned his ability, so young and inexperienced, to make known a matter in which the 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 inefficient superstitions. He then proceeds to make known the true God, who rules in heaven, and is the only revealer of secrets. And he it is, says Daniel, who maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. {1897 UrS, DAR 40.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 41.1}

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, he thought forward upon the days to come, with an anxious desire to know with what events they should be filled. His object in this was, doubtless, that he might the better know how to make a wise improvement of the present. For this reason God gave him this dream, which we must regard as a token of the divine favor toward the king, as there were many other ways in which the truth involved in this matter could have been brought out, equally to the honor of God's name, and the good of his people both at the time and through subsequent generations. Yet God would not work for the king independently of his own people; hence, though he gave the dream to the king, he sent the interpretation through one of his own acknowledged servants. Daniel first disclaimed all credit for himself in the transaction, and then to modify somewhat the feelings of pride which it would have been natural for the king to have, in view of being thus noticed by the God of heaven, he informed him indirectly, that, although the dream had been given to him, it was not for his sake altogether that the interpretation was sent, but for their sakes through whom it should best be made known. Ah! God had some servants there, and it was for them that he was working. They are of more value in his sight than the mightiest kings and potentates of earth. Had it not been for them, the king would never have had the interpretation of his dream, probably not even the dream itself. Thus, when traced to their source, all favors, upon whomsoever bestowed, are found to be due to the regard which God has for his own children. How comprehensive was the work of God in this instance. By this one act of revealing the king's dream to Daniel, he accomplished the following objects: (1) He made known to the king the things he desired; (2) He saved his servants who trusted in him; (3) He brought conspicuously before the Chaldean nation the knowledge of the true God; (4) He poured contempt on the false systems of the soothsayers and magicians; and (5) He honored his own name, and exalted his servants in their eyes. {1897 UrS, DAR 41.2}

"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 threshing- floors; 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 42.1}

Nebuchadnezzar, practicing 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. With a mind unenlightened by the light of revelation, he was unprepared to put a true estimate upon earthly wealth and glory, and to look upon earthly governments in their true light. Hence the striking harmony between the estimate which he put upon these things, and the objects by which they were symbolized before him. To him they were presented under the form of a great image, an object in his eyes of worth and admiration. With Daniel the case was far different. He was able to view in its true light all greatness and glory not built on the favor and approbation of God; and therefore to him these same earthly kingdoms were afterward shown (see chapter 7) under the form of cruel and ravenous wild beasts. {1897 UrS, DAR 42.2}

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. And how could this be more impressively done than by an image commencing with the most precious of metals, and continually descending to the baser, till we finally have the coarsest and crudest of materials, - iron mingled with the miry clay, - the whole then dashed to pieces, and made like the empty chaff, no good thing in it, but altogether lighter than vanity, and finally blown away where no place could be found for it, after which something durable and of heavenly worth occupies its place? So would God show to the children of men that earthly kingdoms were to pass away, and earthly greatness and glory, like a gaudy bubble, would break and vanish; and the kingdom of God, in the place so long usurped by these, should be set up, to have no end, and all who had an interest therein should rest under the shadow of its peaceful wings forever and ever. But this is anticipating. {1897 UrS, DAR 43.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 43.2}

Now opens one of the sublimest chapters of human history. 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, commencing more than twenty-five centuries ago, reaches on 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, over into the eternal state. It is so comprehensive that it embraces all this; yet it is so minute that it gives us all the great outlines of earthly kingdoms from that time to this. Human wisdom never devised so brief a record which embraced so much. Human language never set forth in so few words, so great a volume of historical truth. The finger of God is here. Let us heed the lesson well. {1897 UrS, DAR 44.1}

With what interest, as well as astonishment, must the king have listened, as he was informed by the prophet that he, or rather his kingdom, the king being here put for his kingdom (see the following verse), was the golden head of the magnificent image which he had seen. Ancient kings were grateful for success; and in cases of prosperity, the tutelar deity, to whom they attributed their success, was the adorable object upon which they would lavish their richest treasures and bestow their best devotions. Daniel indirectly informs the king that in this case all these are due to the God of heaven, since he is the one who has 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 44.2}

The kingdom of Babylon, which finally developed into the golden head of the great historic image, was founded by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah, over two thousand years before Christ. Gen.10:8-10: "And 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 [margin, Babylon], and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." It appears that Nimrod also founded the city of Nineveh, which afterward became the capital of Syria. (See marginal reading of Gen.10:11, and Johnson's Cyclopedia, art. Syria.) The following sketch of the history of Babylon, from Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia, art. Babylon, is according to the latest authorities on this subject: {1897 UrS, DAR 44.3}

"About 1270 B.C., the Assyrian kings became masters of Chaldea, or Babylonia, of which Babylon was the capital. This country was afterward ruled by an Assyrian dynasty of kings, who reigned at Babylon, and sometimes waged war against those who reigned in Assyria proper. At other times the kings of Babylon were tributary to those of Assyria. Several centuries elapsed in which the history of Babylon is almost a blank. In the time of Tiglathpileser of Assyria, Nabonassar ascended the throne of Babylon in 747 B.C. He is celebrated for the chronological era which bears his name, and which began in 747 B.C. About 720 Merodach-baladan became king of Babylon, and sent ambassadors to Hezekiah, king of Judah (see 2 Kings 20, and Isa.39). A few years later, Sargon, king of Assyria, defeated and dethroned Merodach-baladan. Sennacherib completed the subjection of Babylon, which he annexed to the Assyrian empire about 690 B.C. The conquest of Nineveh and the subversion of the Assyrian empire, which was effected about 625 B.C., by Cyaxeres the Mede, and his ally Nabopolassar, the rebellious governor of Babylon, enabled the latter to found the Babylonian empire, which was the fourth of Rawlinson's 'Five Great Monarchies,' and included the valley of the Euphrates, Susiana, Syria, and Palestine. His reign lasted about twenty-one years, and was probably pacific, as the history of it is nearly a blank; but in 605 B.C. his army defeated Necho, king of Egypt, who had invaded Syria. He was succeeded by his more famous son, Nebuchadnezzar (604 B.C.) who was the greatest of the kings of Babylon." {1897 UrS, DAR 45.1}

Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar in the first year of his reign, and the third year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (Dan. 1:1), B.C.606. Nebuchadnezzar reigned two years 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 above quoted adds: {1897 UrS, DAR 46.1}

"He died in 561 B.C., and was succeeded by his son Evil-merodach, who reigned only two years. Nabonadius (or Labynetus), who became king in 555 B.C., formed an alliance with Croesus against Cyrus the Great. He appears to have shared the royal power with his son, Belshazzar, whose mother was a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. Cyrus besieged Babylon, which he took by stratagem in 538 B.C., and with the death of Belshazzar, whom the Persians killed, the kingdom of Babylon ceased to exist." {1897 UrS, DAR 46.2}

When we say that the image of Daniel 2 symbolizes the four great prophetic universal monarchies, and reckon Babylon as the first of these, it is asked how this can be true, when every country in the world was not absolutely under the dominion of any one of them. Thus Babylon never conquered Grecia or Rome; but Rome was founded before Babylon had risen to the zenith of its power. Rome's position and influence, however, were then altogether prospective; and it is nothing against the prophecy that God begins to prepare his agents long years before they enter upon the prominent part they are to perform in the fulfilment of prophecy. We must place ourselves with the prophet, and view these kingdoms from the same standpoint. We shall then, as is right, consider his statements in the light of the location he occupied, the time in which he wrote, and the circumstances by which he was surrounded. It is a manifest rule of interpretation that we may look for nations to be noticed in prophecy when they become so far connected with the people of God that mention of them becomes necessary to make the records of sacred history complete. When this was the case with Babylon, it was, from the standpoint of the prophet, the great and overtowering object in the political world. In his eye, it necessarily eclipsed all else; and he would naturally speak of it as a kingdom having rule over all the earth. So far as we know, all provinces of countries against which Babylon did move in the height of its power, were subdued by its arms. In this sense, all were in its power; and this fact will explain the somewhat hyperbolical language of verse 38. That there were some portions of territory and considerable numbers of people unknown to history, and outside the pale of civilization as it then existed, which were neither discovered nor subdued, is not a fact of sufficient strength or importance to condemn the expression of the prophet, or to falsify the prophecy. {1897 UrS, DAR 46.3}

In 606 B.C. Babylon came in contact with the people of God, when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and led Judah into captivity. It comes at this point, consequently, into the field of prophecy, at the end of Jewish theocracy. {1897 UrS, DAR 47.1}

The character of this empire is indicated by the nature of the material composing that portion of the image by which it was symbolized 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 sixty miles in circumference, fifteen miles on each side; surrounded by a wall three hundred and fifty feet high and eighty-seven feet thick, with a moat, or ditch around this, of equal cubic capacity with the wall itself; divided into six hundred and seventy-six squares each two and a quarter miles in circumference, by its fifty streets, each one hundred and fifty feet in width, crossing each other at right angles, twenty-five running each way, every one of them straight and level and fifteen miles in length; its two hundred and twenty-five square miles of inclosed surface, divided as just described, laid out 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 hundred and fifty 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 palaces, its perfect arrangement for convenience, ornament, and defense, and its unlimited resources, this city, containing in itself many things which were themselves wonders of the world, was itself another and still mightier wonder. Never before saw the earth a city like that; never since has it seen its equal. And there, with the whole earth prostrate 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," sat this city, fit capital of that kingdom which constituted the golden head of this great historic image. {1897 UrS, DAR 47.2}

Such was Babylon, with Nebuchadnezzar, in the the prime of life, bold, vigorous, and accomplished, seated upon its throne, when Daniel entered its impregnable walls to serve a captive for seventy years in its gorgeous palaces. 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 of the sparkling Euphrates, and wept when they remembered Zion. {1897 UrS, DAR 49.1}

And there commenced 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, and more or less oppressed by, earthly powers. And so they will be, till all earthly powers shall finally yield to Him whose right it is to reign. And lo, that day of deliverance draws on apace. {1897 UrS, DAR 49.2}

Into another city, not only Daniel, but all the children of God, from the least to greatest, from the lowest to highest, from first to last, are soon to enter; 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 mournful waters of 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 Lamb. Into this city they shall enter, 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 bosoms 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. Ps.126:1,2; Rev.21:1-27. {1897 UrS, DAR 49.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 50.1}

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 one year, is not counted in the canon of Ptolemy; and lastly, Nabonadius, whose son, Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, was associated with him on the throne, and with whom that kingdom came to an end. {1897 UrS, DAR 50.2}

In the first year of Neriglissar, only two years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, broke out that fatal war between the Babylonians and the Medes, which was to result in the utter subversion of the Babylonian kingdom. Cyaxares, king of the Medes, who is called "Darius" in Dan. 5:31, summoned to his aid his nephew, Cyrus, of the Persian line, in his efforts against the Babylonians. The war was prosecuted with uninterrupted success on the part of the Medes and Persians, until, in the eighteenth year of Nabonadius (the third year of his son Belshazzar), Cyrus laid siege to Babylon, the only city in all the East which held out against him. The Babylonians, gathered within their 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, scoffed at Cyrus from their lofty walls, and derided his seemingly useless efforts to bring them into subjection. And according to all human calculation, they had good ground for their feelings of security. Never, weighed in the balance of any earthly probability, with the means of warfare then known, could that city be taken. Hence, they breathed as freely and slept as soundly as though no foe were waiting and watching for their destruction 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? {1897 UrS, DAR 50.3}

In their very feeling of security lay the source of their danger. Cyrus resolved to accomplish by stratagem what he could not effect by force; and 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 except he could find it where the River Euphrates entered and emerged, passing under its walls. He resolved to make the channel of the river his own 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 three bodies of soldiers, the first, to turn the river at a given hour into a large artificial lake a short distance above the city; the second, to take their station at the point where the river entered the city; the third to take a position fifteen miles below, where the river emerged from the city; and these two latter parties were instructed to enter the channel, just 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 meet, surprise the palace, slay the guards, and capture or slay the king. When the water was turned into the lake mentioned above, the river soon became fordable, and the soldiers detailed for that purpose followed its channel into the heart of the city of Babylon. {1897 UrS, DAR 51.1}

But all this would have been in vain, had not the whole city, on that eventful night, given themselves over to the most reckless carelessness and presumption, a state of things upon which Cyrus calculated largely for the carrying out of his purpose. For 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 solid brass, which when closed and guarded, debarred all entrance from the river-bed to any and all of the twenty-five streets that crossed the river; and had they been thus 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 all left open, and the entrance of the Persian soldiers was not perceived. Many a cheek would have paled with terror, had they noticed the sudden going down of the river, and understood its fearful import. Many a tongue would have spread wild alarm through the city, had they seen the dark forms of their armed foes stealthily treading their way to the citadel of their strength. But no one noticed the sudden subsidence of the waters of the river; no one saw the entrance of the Persian warriors; no one took care that the river gates should be closed and guarded; no one cared for aught but to see how deeply and recklessly he could plunge into the wild debauch. That night's work cost them 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 51.2}

The soldiers of Cyrus first made known their presence in the city by falling upon the royal guards in the very vestibule of the palace of the king. Belshazzar soon became aware of the cause of the disturbance, and died vainly fighting for his imperiled life. The 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 53.1}

Thus the first division of the great image was completed. Another kingdom had arisen, as the prophet had declared. The first instalment of the prophetic dream was fulfilled. {1897 UrS, DAR 53.2}

But before we take leave of Babylon, let us glance forward to the end of its thenceforth melancholy history. It would naturally be supposed that the conqueror, becoming possessed of so noble a city, far surpassing anything in the world, would have taken it as the seat of his empire, and maintained it in its primitive splendor. But God had said that that city should become a heap, and the habitation of the beasts of the desert; that their houses should be full of doleful creatures; that the wild beasts of the islands should cry in their desolate dwellings, and dragons in their pleasant places. Isa.13:19-22. It must first be deserted. Cyrus removed the imperial seat to 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, says Prideaux (i.180), 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, B.C. 517, they rose in rebellion, which brought upon themselves again the whole strength of the Persian empire. The city was once more taken by stratagem. Zopyrus, one of the chief commanders of Darius, having cut off his own nose and ears, and mangled his body all over with stripes, fled in this condition to the besieged, apparently burning with desire to be revenged on Darius for his great cruelty in thus mutilating him. In this way he won the confidence of the Babylonians till they at length made him chief commander of their forces; whereupon he betrayed the city into the hands of his master. And that they might ever after be deterred from rebellion, Darius impaled three thousand of those who had been most active in the revolt, took away the brazen gates of the city, and beat down the walls from two hundred cubits to fifty cubits. This was the commencement 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 its neighborhood, 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 city. 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, without great danger, be closely inspected. And to-day scarcely enough even of the ruins is left to mark the spot where once stood the largest, richest, and proudest city the world has ever seen. Thus the ruin of great Babylon shows us how accurately God will fulfill his word, and make the doubts of skepticism appear like wilful blindness. {1897 UrS, DAR 54.1}

"And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee." The use of the word kingdom here, shows that kingdoms, and not particular kings are represented by the different parts of this image; and hence when it was said to Nebuchadnezzar, "Thou art this head of gold," although the personal pronoun was used, the kingdom, not the person of the king, was meant. {1897 UrS, DAR 56.1}

The succeeding kingdom, Medo-Persia, is the one which answers 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 was its conqueror. Not in extent; for Cyrus subdued all the East from the Aegean Sea to the River Indus, and thus erected the most extensive empire that up to that time had ever existed. But it was inferior in wealth, luxury, and magnificence. {1897 UrS, DAR 56.2}

Viewed from a Scriptural standpoint, the principal event under the Babylonish empire was the captivity of the children of Israel; so the principal event under the Medo-Persian kingdom was the restoration of Israel to their own land. At the taking of Babylon, B.C.538, Cyrus, as an act of courtesy, assigned the first place in the kingdom to his uncle, Darius. {1897 UrS, DAR 56.3}

But two years afterward, B.C.536, Darius died; and in the same year also died Cambyses, king of Persia, Cyrus' father. By these events, Cyrus was left sole monarch of the whole 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 instalment 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, B.C.457, and marked, as will hereafter be shown, the commencement of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, the longest and most important prophetic period mentioned in the Bible. Dan.9:25. {1897 UrS, DAR 57.1}

After a reign of seven years, Cyrus left the kingdom to his son Cambyses, who reigned seven years and five months, to B.C.522. Eight monarchs, whose reigns varied from seven months to forty- six years each, took the throne in order till the year B.C.336, as follows: Smerdis the Magian, seven months, in the year B.C.522; Darius Hystaspes, from B.C.521 to 486; Xerxes from B.C.485 to 465; Artaxerxes Longimanus, from B.C.464 to 424; Darius Nothus, from B.C.423 to 405; Artaxerxes Mnemon, from B.C.404 to 359; Ochus, from B.C.358 to 338; Arses, from B.C.337 to 336. The year 335 is set down as the first of Darius Codomanus, 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. Had he lived at any other age, a long and splendid career would undoubtedly have been his. But it was his ill-fortune to have to contend with one who was an agent in the fulfilment of prophecy; and no qualifications, natural or acquired, could render him successful in the unequal contest. "Scarcely was he warm upon the throne," says the last-named historian, "ere he found his formidable enemy, Alexander, at the head of the Greek soldiers, preparing to dismount him from it." {1897 UrS, DAR 57.2}

The cause and particulars of the contest between the Greeks and Persians we leave to histories specially devoted to such matters. Suffice it here to say that the deciding point was reached on the field of Arbela, B.C. 331, in which the Grecians, though only twenty in number as compared with the Persians, were entirely victorious; and Alexander thenceforth became absolute lord of the Persian empire to the utmost extent that it was ever possessed by any of its own kings. {1897 UrS, DAR 57.3}

"And another third kingdom of brass shall bear rule over all the earth," said the prophet. So few and brief are the inspired words which involved in their fulfilment a change of the world's rulers. In the ever-changing political kaleidoscope, Grecia now comes into the field of vision, to be, for a time, the all- absorbing object of attention, as the third of what are called the great universal empires of the earth. {1897 UrS, DAR 58.1}

After the fatal battle which decided the fate of the empire, Darius still 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 did Darius barely elude the grasp of his swiftly following foe. At length two traitors, Bessus and Nabarzanes, 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 Darius's dangerous position in the hands of the traitors, immediately put himself with the lightest part of 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 his cart, while they mounted their steeds and rode away. {1897 UrS, DAR 58.2}

When Alexander came up, he beheld only the lifeless form of the Persian king. As he gazed upon the corpse, he might have learned a profitable lesson of the instability of human fortune. Here was a man who but a few months before, possessing many noble and generous qualities, was seated upon the throne of universal empire. Disaster, overthrow, and desertion had come suddenly upon him. His kingdom had been conquered, his treasure seized, and his family reduced to captivity. And 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 even from the eyes of Alexander, familiar though he was with all the horrible vicissitudes and bloody scenes of war. Throwing his cloak over the body, he commanded it to be conveyed to the captive ladies of Susa, himself furnishing the necessary means for a royal funeral. For this generous act let us give him credit; for he stands sadly in need of all that is his due. {1897 UrS, DAR 58.3}

When Darius fell, 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 absolute mercy of his blood-thirsty and licentious soldiery. He himself often murdered his own friends and favorites in his drunken frenzies. He sought out the vilest persons for the gratification of his lust. At the instigation of a dissolute and drunken woman, he, with a company of his courtiers, all in a state of frenzied intoxication, sallied out, torch in hand, and fired the city and palace of Persepolis, one of the then finest palaces in the world. He encouraged such excessive drinking among his followers that on one occasion twenty of them together 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 full, says history incredible as it may seem, the Herculean cup containing six of our quarts. he thereupon fell down, seized with a violent fever, of which he died eleven days later, in May or June, B.C. 323, while yet he stood only at the threshold of mature life, in the thirty-second year of his age. {1897 UrS, DAR 59.1}

The progress of the Grecian empire we need not stop to trace here, since its distinguishing features will claim more particular notice under other prophecies. Daniel thus continues in his interpretation of the great image: - {1897 UrS, DAR 61.1}

"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 things, shall it break in pieces and bruise." {1897 UrS, DAR 61.2}

Thus far in the applications of this prophecy there is a general agreement among expositors. That Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Grecia are represented respectively by the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, and sides of brass, is acknowledged by all. But with just as little ground for 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. On this point we have only to inquire, What kingdom did succeed Grecia 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. Gibbon, following the symbolic imagery of Daniel, thus describes this empire: - {1897 UrS, DAR 61.3}

"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 the nations or their kings, were successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome." {1897 UrS, DAR 61.4}

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: - {1897 UrS, DAR 61.5}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 61.6}

It will be noticed that at first the kingdom is described unqualifiedly as strong as iron. And 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 62.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 62.2}

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 tenacity 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 subsequent disruption into ten kingdoms. {1897 UrS, DAR 62.3}

The iron legs of the image terminate, to maintain the consistency of the figure, in feet and toes. To the toes, of which there were of course just ten, our attention is called by the explicit mention of them in the prophecy; and the kingdom represented by that portion of the image to which the toes belonged, was finally divided into ten parts. The question there naturally arises, Do the ten toes of the image represent the ten final divisions of the Roman empire? To those who prefer what seems to be a natural and straightforward interpretation of the word of God, it is a matter of no little astonishment that any question here should be raised. To take the ten toes to represent the ten kingdoms into which Rome was divided seems like such an easy, consistent, and matter-of-course procedure, that it requires a labored effort to interpret it otherwise. Yet such an effort is made by some - by Romanists universally, and by such Protestants as still cling to Romish errors. {1897 UrS, DAR 62.4}

A volume by H. Cowles, D.D., may perhaps best be taken as a representative exposition on this side of the question. {1897 UrS, DAR 62.5} The writer gives every evidence of extensive erudition and great ability. It is the more to be regretted, therefore, that these powers are devoted to the propagation of error, and to misleading the anxious inquirer who wishes to know his whereabouts on the great highway of time. {1897 UrS, DAR 63.1}

We can but briefly notice his positions. They are, (1) That the third kingdom was Grecia during the lifetime of Alexander only; (2) That the fourth kingdom was Alexander's successors; (3) That the latest point to which the fourth kingdom could extend, is the manifestation of the Messiah: for (4) There the God of heaven set up his kingdom; there the stone smote the image upon its feet, and commenced the process of grinding it up. {1897 UrS, DAR 63.2}

Nor can we reply at any length to these positions. {1897 UrS, DAR 63.3}

1. We might as well confine the Babylonian empire to the single reign of Nebuchadnezzar, or that of Persia to the reign of Cyrus, as to confine the third kingdom, Grecia, to the reign of Alexander. {1897 UrS, DAR 63.4}

2. Alexander's successors did not constitute another kingdom, but a continuation of the same, the Grecian kingdom of the image; for in this line of prophecy the succession of kingdoms is by conquest. When Persia had conquered Babylon, we had the second empire; and when Grecia had conquered Persia, we had the third. But Alexander's successors (his four leading generals) did not conquer his empire, and erect another in its place; they simply divided among themselves the empire which Alexander had conquered, and left ready to their hand. {1897 UrS, DAR 63.5}

"Chronologically," says Professor C., "the fourth empire must immediately succeed Alexander, and lie entirely between him and the birth of Christ." Chronologically, we reply, it must do no such thing; for the birth of Christ was not the introduction of the fifth kingdom, as will in due time appear. Here he overlooks almost the entire duration of the third diversion of the image, confounding it with the fourth, and giving no room for the divided state of the Grecian empire as symbolized by the four heads of the leopard of chapter 7, and the four horns of the goat of chapter 8. {1897 UrS, DAR 63.6} "Territorially," continues Professor C., "it [the fourth kingdom] should be sought in Western Asia, not in Europe; in general, on the same territory where the first, second, and third kingdoms stood." Why not Europe? we ask. Each of the first three kingdoms possessed territory which was peculiarly its own. Why not the fourth? Analogy requires that it should. And was not the third kingdom a European kingdom? that is, did it not rise on European territory, and take its name for the land of its birth? Why not, then, go a degree farther west for the place where the fourth great kingdom should be founded? And how did Grecia ever occupy the territory of the first and second kingdoms? - Only by conquest. And Rome did the same. Hence, so far as the territorial requirements of the professor's theory are concerned, Rome could be the fourth kingdom as truthfully as Grecia could be the third. {1897 UrS, DAR 64.1}

"Politically," he adds, "it should be the immediate successor of Alexander's empire, ...changing the dynasty, but not the nations." Analogy is against him here. Each of the first three kingdoms was distinguished by its own peculiar nationality. The Persian was not the same as the Babylonian, nor the Grecian the same as either of the two that preceded it. Now analogy requires that the fourth kingdom, instead of being composed of a fragment of this Grecian empire, should possess a nationality of its own, distinct from the other three. And this we find in the Roman kingdom, and in it alone. But, {1897 UrS, DAR 64.2}

3. The grand fallacy which underlies this whole system of misinterpretation, is the too commonly taught theory that the kingdom of God was set up at the first advent of Christ. It can easily be seen how fatal to this theory is the admission that the fourth empire is Rome. For it was to be after the diversion of that fourth empire, that the God of heaven was to set up his kingdom. But the division of the Roman empire into ten parts was not accomplished previous to A.D. 476; consequently the kingdom of God could not have been set up at the first advent of Christ, nearly five hundred years before that date. Rome must not, therefore, from their standpoint, though it answers admirably to the prophecy in every particular, be allowed to be the kingdom in question. The position that the kingdom of God was set up in the days when Christ was upon earth, must, these interpreters seem to think, be maintained at all hazards. {1897 UrS, DAR 64.3}

Such is the ground on which some expositors appear, at least, to reason. And it is for the purpose of maintaining this theory that our author dwindles down the third great empire of the world to the insignificant period of about eight years! For this, he endeavors to prove that the fourth universal empire was bearing full sway during a period when the providence of God was simply filling up the outlines of the third! For this, he presumes to fix the points of time between which we must look for the fourth, though the prophecy does not deal in dates at all, and then whatever kingdom he finds within his specified time, that he sets down as the fourth kingdom, and endeavors to bend the prophecy to fit his interpretation, utterly regardless of how much better material he might find outside of his little inclosure, to answer to a fulfilment of the prophetic record. Is such a course logical? Is the time the point to be first established? - No; the kingdoms are the great features of the prophecy, and we are to look for them; and when we find them, we must accept them, whatever may be the chronology or location. Let them govern the time and place, not the time and place govern them. {1897 UrS, DAR 65.1}

But that view which is the cause of all this misapplication and confusion is sheer assumption. Christ did not smite the image at his first advent. Look at it! When the stone smites the image upon its feet, the image is dashed in pieces. Violence is used. The effect is immediate. The image becomes as chaff. And then what? Is it absorbed by the stone, and gradually incorporated with it? - Nothing of the kind. It is blown off, removed away, as incompatible and unavailable material; and no place is found for it. The territory is entirely cleared; and then the stone becomes a mountain, and fills the whole earth. Now what idea shall we attach to this work of smiting and breaking in pieces? Is it a gentle, peaceful, and quiet work? or is it a manifestation of vengeance and violence? How did the kingdoms of the prophecy succeed the one to the other? - It was through the violence and din of war, the shock of armies and the roar of battle. "Confused noise and garments rolled in blood," told of the force and violence with which one nation had been brought into subjection by another. Yet all this is not called "smiting" or "breaking in pieces." {1897 UrS, DAR 65.2}

When Persia conquered Babylon, and Greece Persia, neither of the conquered empires is said to have been broken in pieces, though crushed beneath the overwhelming power of a hostile nation. But when we reach the introduction of the fifth kingdom, the image is smitten with violence; it is dashed to pieces, and so scattered and obliterated that no place is found for it. And now what shall we understand by this? - We must understand that here a scene transpires in which is manifested so much more violence and force and power than accompany the overthrow of one nation by another through the strife of war, that the latter is not worthy even of mention in connection with it. The subjugation of one nation by another by war, is a scene of peace and quietude in comparison with that which transpires when the image is dashed in pieces by the stone cut out of the mountain without hands. {1897 UrS, DAR 66.1}

Yet what is the smiting of the image made to mean by the theory under notice? - Oh, the peaceful introduction of the gospel of Christ! the quiet spreading abroad of the light of truth! the gathering out of a few from the nations of the earth, to be made ready through obedience to the truth, for his second coming, and reign! the calm and unpretending formation of a Christian church, - a church that has been domineered over, persecuted, and oppressed by the arrogant and triumphant powers of earth from that day to this! And this is the smiting of the image! this is the breaking of it into pieces, and violently removing the shattered fragments from the face of the earth! Was ever absurdity more absurd? {1897 UrS, DAR 66.2}

From this digression we return to the inquiry, Do the toes represent the ten divisions of the Roman empire? We answer, Yes; because, - {1897 UrS, DAR 66.3}

1. The image of chapter 2 is exactly parallel with the vision of the four beasts of chapter 7. The fourth beast of chapter 7 represents the same as the iron legs of the image. {1897 UrS, DAR 66.4}

The ten horns of the beast, of course, correspond very naturally to the ten toes of the image; and these horns are plainly declared to be ten kings which should arise; and they are just as much independent kingdoms as are the beasts themselves; for the beasts are spoken of in precisely the same manner; namely, as "four kings which should arise." Verse 17. They do not denote a line of successive kings, but kings or kingdoms which exist 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 67.1}

2. 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 be a plurality of kings existing contemporaneously. 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 67.2}

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 it, we are left utterly in the the dark as to 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. - 1 {1897 UrS, DAR 67.3}

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: The 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. Such authorities as Calmet, Faber, Lloyd, Hales, Scott, Barnes, etc., concur in the foregoing enumeration. (See Barnes's concluding notes on Daniel 7.) {1897 UrS, DAR 67.4} As an objection to the view that the ten toes of the image denote the ten kingdoms, we are sometimes reminded that Rome, before its division into ten kingdoms, was divided into two parts, the Western and Eastern empires, corresponding to the two legs of the image; and as the ten kingdoms all arose out of the western division, if they are denoted by the toes, we would have, it is claimed, ten toes on one foot of the image, and none on the other; which would be unnatural and inconsistent. {1897 UrS, DAR 68.1}

But this objection devours itself; for certainly if the two legs denote division, the toes must denote division also. It would be inconsistent to say that the legs symbolize division, but the toes do not. But if the toes do indicate division at all, it can be nothing but the division of Rome into ten parts. {1897 UrS, DAR 68.2}

The fallacy, however, which forms the basis of this objection, is the view that the two legs of the image do signify the separation of the Roman empire into its eastern and western divisions. To this view there are several objections. {1897 UrS, DAR 68.3}

1. The two legs of iron symbolize Rome, not merely during its closing years, but from the very beginning of its existence as a nation; and if these legs denote division, the kingdom should have been divided from the very commencement of its history. This claim is sustained by the other symbols. Thus the division (that is, the two elements) of the Persian kingdom, denoted by the two horns of the ram (Dan.8:20), also by the elevation of the bear upon one side (Dan.7:5), and perhaps by the two arms of the image of this chapter, existed from the first. The division of the Grecian kingdom, denoted by the four horns of the goat and the four heads of the leopard, dates back to within eight years of the time when it was introduced into prophecy. So Rome should have been divided from the first, if the legs denote division, instead of remaining a unit for nearly six hundred years, and separating into its eastern and western divisions only a few years prior to its final disruption into ten kingdoms. {1897 UrS, DAR 68.4}

2. No such division into two great parts is denoted by the other symbols under which Rome is represented in the book of Daniel; namely, the great and terrible beast of Daniel 7, and the little horn of chapter 8. Hence it is reasonable to conclude that the two legs of the image were not designed to represent such a division. {1897 UrS, DAR 69.1}

But it may be asked, Why not suppose the two legs to denote division as well as the toes? Would it not be just 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 in this matter; and whereas it says nothing of division in connection with the legs, it does introduce the subject of division as we come down to the feet and toes. It says, "And 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, till the weakening element of the clay is introduced; and we do not find this till 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 as 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, we think, good reason for supposing that the toes denote division, as here claimed. {1897 UrS, DAR 69.2}

3. 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 what 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 69.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 70.1}

With Rome fell the last of the universal empires belonging to the world in its present state. Heretofore the elements of society had been such that it was possible for one nation, rising superior to its neighbors in prowess, bravery, and the science of war, to attach them one after another to its chariot wheels till all were consolidated into one vast empire, and one man seated upon the dominant throne could send forth his will as law to all the nations of the earth. When Rome fell, such possibilities forever passed away. Crushed beneath the weight of its own vast proportions, it crumbled to pieces, never to be united again. The iron was mixed with the clay. Its elements lost the power of cohesion, and no man or combination of men can again consolidate them. This point is so well set forth by another that we take pleasure in quoting his words: - {1897 UrS, DAR 70.2}

"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 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 says, '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.' {1897 UrS, DAR 70.3}

"Verse 42. How in any other way could you so strikingly represent the facts? For more than fourteen hundred years, this tenfold division has existed. 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 none succeeded. A single verse of prophecy was stronger than all their hosts. Their own power was wasted, frittered away, destroyed. But the ten kingdoms did not become one. 'Partly strong,, and partly broken,' was the prophetic description. And such, too, has been the historic fact concerning them. With the book of history open before you, I ask you, Is not this an exact representation of the remnants of this once mighty empire? It ruled with unlimited power. It was the throned mistress of the world. Its scepter was broken; its throne pulled down; its power taken away. Ten kingdoms were formed out of it; and 'broken' as then it was, it still continues; i.e., 'partly broken;' for its dimensions still continue as when the kingdom of iron stood upright upon its feet. And then 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 parts together. 'This shall not be,' says the word of God. 'This has not been,' replies the book of history. {1897 UrS, DAR 72.1}

"'But then,' men may say, 'another plan remains. If force cannot avail, diplomacy and reasons of state may; we will 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 72.2}

"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 fulfilment of these words. From the time of Canute to the present age, it has been the policy of reigning monarchs, the beaten path which they have trodden in order to reach a mightier scepter and a wider sway. And the most signal instance of it which history has recorded in our own day, is in the case of Napoleon. He ruled in one of the kingdoms.... He sought to gain 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. The ten kingdoms continue still. {1897 UrS, DAR 72.3}

"And yet, if as the result of these alliances or of other causes, that number is sometimes disturbed, it need not surprise us. It is, indeed, just what the prophecy seems to call for. The iron was 'mixed with the 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 an attempt to mingle - nay, more, there was an approach to 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!" - Wm. Newton, Lectures on the First Two Visions of the Book of Daniel, pp.34-36. {1897 UrS, DAR 73.1}

Yet with all these facts before them, asserting the irresistible power of God's providence through the overturnings and changes of centuries, the efforts of warriors, and the diplomacy and intrigues of courts and kings, some modern expositors have manifested such a marvelous misapprehension of this prophecy as to predict a future universal kingdom, and point to a European ruler, even now of waning years and declining prestige, as the "destined monarch of the world." Vain is the breath they spend in promulgating such a theory, and delusive the hopes or fears they may succeed in raising over such an expectation. - 1 {1897 UrS, DAR 73.2}

"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 forever. 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 73.3}

We here reach the climax of this stupendous prophecy; and 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! {1897 UrS, DAR 74.1}

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. We do not say that the exact time is revealed (we emphasize the fact that it is not) either in this 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 them to share in all its glories. {1897 UrS, DAR 74.2}

As already explained, we are brought down by verses 41-43 this side of the division of the Roman empire into ten kingdoms; which division was accomplished, as already noticed, between 351 and 476. The kings, or kingdoms, in the days of which the God of heaven is to set up his kingdom, are evidently those kingdoms which arose out of the Roman empire. Then the kingdom of God here brought to view could not have been set up, as some claim it was, in connection with the first advent of Christ, four hundred and fifty years before. But whether we apply this division to the ten kingdoms or not, it is certain that some kind of division was to take place in the Roman empire before the kingdom of God should be set up; for the prophecy expressly declares, "The kingdom shall be divided." And this is equally fatal to the popular view; for after the unification of the first elements of the Roman power down to the days of Christ, there was no division of the kingdom; nor during his days, nor for many years after, did any such thing take place. The civil wars were not divisions of the empire; they were only the efforts of individuals worshiping at the shrine of ambition, to obtain supreme control of the empire. The occasional petty revolts of distant provinces, suppressed as with the power, and almost with the speed, of a thunderbolt, did not constitute a division of the kingdom. And these are all that can be pointed to as interfering with the unity of the kingdom, for more than three hundred years this side of the days of Christ. This one consideration is sufficient to disprove forever the view that the kingdom of God, which constitutes the fifth kingdom of this series as brought to view in Daniel 2, was set up at the commencement of the Christian era. But a thought more may be in place. {1897 UrS, DAR 74.3}

1. This fifth kingdom, then, could not have been set up at Christ's first advent, because it is not to exist contemporaneously with earthly governments, but to succeed them. As the second kingdom succeeded the first, the third the second, and the fourth the third, by violence and overthrow, so the fifth succeeds the fourth. It does not exist at the same time with it. The fourth kingdom is first destroyed, the fragments are removed, the territory is cleared, and then the fifth is established as a succeeding kingdom in the order of time. But the church has existed contemporaneously with earthly governments ever since earthly governments were formed. There was a church in Abel's day, in Enoch's, in Noah's, in Abraham's, and so on to the present. No; the church is not the stone that smote the image upon its feet. It existed too early in point of time, and the work in which it is engaged is not that of smiting and overthrowing earthly governments. {1897 UrS, DAR 75.1}

2. The fifth kingdom is introduced by the stone smiting the image. What part of the image does the stone smite? - The feet and toes. But these were not developed until four centuries and a half after the crucifixion of Christ. The image was, at the time of the crucifixion, only developed to the thighs, so to speak; and if the kingdom of God was there set up, if there the stone smote the image, it smote it upon the thighs, not upon the feet, where the prophecy places the smiting. {1897 UrS, DAR 75.2}

3. The stone that smites the image is cut out of the mountain without hands. The margin reads, "Which was not in hand." This shows that the smiting is not done by an agent acting for another, not by the church, for instance, in the hands of Christ; but it is a work which the Lord does by his own divine power, without any human agency. {1897 UrS, DAR 76.1}

4. Again, the kingdom of God is placed before the church as a matter of hope. The Lord did not teach his disciples a prayer which in two or three years was to become obsolete. The petition may as appropriately ascend from the lips of the patient, waiting flock in these last days, as from the lips of his first disciples, "Thy kingdom come." {1897 UrS, DAR 76.2}

5. We have plain Scripture declarations to establish the following propositions: (1) The kingdom was still future at the time of our Lord's last Passover. Matt.26:29. (2) Christ did not set it up before his ascension. Acts 1:6. (3) Flesh and blood cannot inherit it. 1Cor.15:50. (4) It is a matter of promise to the apostles, and to all those that love God. James 2:5. (5) It is promised in the future to the little flock. Luke 12:32. (6) Through much tribulation the saints are to enter therein. Acts 14:22. (7) It is to be set up when Christ shall judge the living and the dead. 2Tim.4:1. (8) This is to be when he shall come in his glory with all his holy angels. Matt.25:31-34. {1897 UrS, DAR 76.3}

As militating against the foregoing view, it may be asked if the expression, "Kingdom of heaven," is not, in the New Testament,applied to the church. In some instances it may be; but in others as evidently it cannot be. In the decisive texts referred to above, which show that it was still a matter of promise even after the church was fully established, that mortality cannot inherit it, and that it is to be set up only in connection with the coming of our Lord to judgment, the reference cannot be to any state or organization here upon earth. The object we have before us is to ascertain what constitutes the kingdom of Dan.2:44; and we have seen that the prophecy utterly forbids our applying it there to the church, inasmuch as by the terms of the prophecy itself we are prohibited from looking for that kingdom till over four hundred years after the crucifixion of Christ and the establishment of the gospel church. Therefore if in some expressions in the New Testament the word "kingdom" can be found applying to the work of God's grace, or the spread of the gospel, it cannot in such instances be the kingdom mentioned in Daniel. That can only be the future literal kingdom of Christ's glory, so often brought to view in both the Old Testament and the New. {1897 UrS, DAR 76.4}

It may be objected again, that when the stone smites the image, the iron, the brass, the silver, and the gold are broken to pieces together; hence the stone must have smitten the image when all these parts were in existence. In reply we ask, What is meant by their being broken to pieces together? Does the expression mean that the same persons who constituted the kingdom of gold would be alive when the image was dashed to pieces? - No; else the image covers but the duration of a single generation. Does it mean that that would be a ruling kingdom? - No; for there is a succession of kingdoms down to the fourth. On the supposition, then, that the fifth kingdom was set up at the first advent, in what sense were the brass, silver, and gold in existence then any more than at the present day? Does it refer to the time of the second resurrection, when all these wicked nations will be raised to life? - No; for the destruction of earthly governments in this present state, which is here symbolized by the smiting of the image, certainly takes place at the end of this dispensation; and in the second resurrection national distinctions will be no more known. {1897 UrS, DAR 77.1}

No objection really exists in the point under consideration; for all the kingdoms symbolized by the image are, in a certain sense, still in existence. Chaldea and Assyria are still the first divisions of the image; Media and Persia, the second; Macedonia, Greece, Thrace, Asia Minor, and Egypt, the third. Political life and dominion, it is true, have passed from one to the other,till, so far as the image is concerned, it is all now concentrated in the divisions of the fourth kingdom; but the other, in location and substance, though without dominion, are still there; and together all will be dashed to pieces when the fifth kingdom is introduced. {1897 UrS, DAR 77.2}

It may still further be asked, by way of objection, Have not the ten kingdoms, in the days of which the kingdom of God was to be set up, all passed away? and as the kingdom of God is not yet set up, has not the prophecy, according to the view here advocated, proved a failure? We answer: Those kingdoms have not yet passed away. We are yet in the days of those kings. The following illustration from Dr. Nelson's "Cause and Cure of Infidelity," pp.374,375, will set this matter in a clear light: - {1897 UrS, DAR 78.1}

"Suppose some feeble people should be suffering from the almost constant invasions of numerous and ferocious enemies. Suppose some powerful and benevolent prince sends them word that he will, for a number of years, say thirty, maintain, for their safety along the frontier, ten garrisons, each to contain one hundred well-armed men. Suppose the forts are built and remain a few years, when two of them are burned to the ground and rebuilt without delay; has there been any violation of the sovereign's word? - No; there was no material interruption in the continuance of the walls of strength; and, furthermore, the most important part of the safeguard was still there. Again, suppose the monarch sends and has two posts of strength demolished, but, adjoining the spot where these stood, and immediately, he has other two buildings erected, more capacious and more desirable; does the promise still stand good? We answer in the affirmative, and we believe no one would differ with us. Finally, suppose, in addition to the ten garrisons, it could be shown that for several months during the thirty years, one more had been maintained there; that for one or two years out of the thirty, there had been there eleven instead of ten fortifications; shall we call it a defeat or a failure of the original undertaking? Or shall any seeming interruptions, such as have been stated, destroy the propriety of our calling these the ten garrisons of the frontier? The answer is, No, without dispute. {1897 UrS, DAR 78.2}

"So it is, and has been, respecting the ten kingdoms of Europe once under Roman scepter. They have been there for twelve hundred and sixty years. If several have had their names changed according to the caprice of him who conquered, this change of name did not destroy existence. If others have had their territorial limits changed, the nation was still there. If others have fallen while successors were forming in their room, the ten horns were still there. If, during a few years out of a thousand, there were more than ten, if some temporary power reared its head, seeming to claim a place with the rest and soon disappeared, it has not caused the beast to have less than ten horns." {1897 UrS, DAR 79.1}

Scott remarks: - {1897 UrS, DAR 79.2}

"It is certain that the Roman empire was divided into ten kingdoms; and though they might be sometimes more sometimes fewer, yet they were still known by the name of the ten kingdoms of the Western empire." {1897 UrS, DAR 79.3}

Thus the subject is cleared of all difficulty. Time has fully developed this great image in all its parts. Most strictly does it represent the important political events it was designed to symbolize. It stands complete upon its feet. Thus it has been standing for over fourteen hundred years. It waits to be smitten upon the feet by the stone cut out of the mountain without hand, 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. (See Ps.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 over fourteen 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 its immediate proximity. {1897 UrS, DAR 79.4}

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 enters it not merely for such a lifetime as men live in this present state, not to see it degenerate, not to see it overthrown by a succeeding and more powerful kingdom; but 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." 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." There is to be no rival kingdom where you can find an asylum if you remain an enemy to this; for this 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 79.5}

"VERSE 46. Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshiped 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 Abed-nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the the king." {1897 UrS, DAR 80.1}

We have dwelt quite at length on the interpretation of the dream, which Daniel made known to the Chaldean monarch. From this we must now return to the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, and to Daniel, as he stands in the presence of the king, having made known to him the dream and the interpretation thereof, while the courtiers and the baffled soothsayers and astrologers wait around in silent awe and wonder. {1897 UrS, DAR 80.2} It might be expected that an ambitious monarch, raised to the highest earthly throne, and in the full flush of uninterrupted success, would scarcely brook to be told that his kingdom, which he no doubt fondly hoped would endure through all time, was to be overthrown by another people. Yet Daniel plainly and boldly made known this fact to the king, and the king, so far from being offended, fell upon his face before the prophet of God, and offered him worship. Daniel doubtless immediately countermanded the orders the king issued to pay him divine honors. That Daniel had some communication with the king which is not here recorded, is evident from verse 47: "The king answered unto Daniel," etc. And it may be still further inferred that Daniel labored to turn the king's feelings of reverence from himself to the God of heaven, inasmuch as the king replies, "Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings." {1897 UrS, DAR 81.1}

Then 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: (1) Riches. A man is considered great if he is a man of wealth; and we read that the king gave him many and great gifts. (2) Power. 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 whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. {1897 UrS, DAR 81.2}

Thus speedily and abundantly did Daniel begin to be rewarded for his fidelity to his own conscience and the requirements of God. So great was Balaam's desire for the presents of a certain heathen king, that he endeavored to obtain them in spite of the Lord's expressed will to the contrary, and thus signally failed. Daniel did not act with a view to obtaining these presents; yet by maintaining his integrity with the Lord they were given abundantly into his hands. His advancement, both with respect to wealth and power, was a matter of no small moment with him, as it enabled him to be of service to his fellow-countrymen less favored than himself in their long captivity. {1897 UrS, DAR 81.3} Daniel did not become bewildered nor intoxicated by his signal victory and his wonderful advancement. He first remembers the three who were companions with him in anxiety respecting the king's matter; and as they had helped him with their prayers, he determined that they should share with him in 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 matters of chief moment were deliberated upon. The record is a simple declaration that Daniel became chief counselor to the king. {1897 UrS, DAR 82.1}

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.

The Course Of Empires

With unerring accuracy, the pen of prophecy has traced the course of history down to our day. 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 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 spoke 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.

Verse 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if you will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. 6 But if you show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, you 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 you would gain the time, because you see the thing is gone from me. 9 But if you will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for you 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 you 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."

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 prepared 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 changes the times and the seasons: He removes kings, and sets up kings: He gives wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22 He reveals the deep and secret things: He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. 23 I thank Thee, and praise Thee, O Thou God of my fathers, who has given me wisdom and might, and has made known unto me now what we desired of Thee: for Thou has 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 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.

The Hebrew Youth In Prayer

Both in emergencies and in normal times, Daniel sought his God in prayer, and the Lord never failed him. 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 has 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 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 reveals secrets, and makes 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 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 "makes 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 reveals secrets makes 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 might 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.

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, saw, 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 saw 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 threshing floors; 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 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 where so ever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into your 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 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.

"Thou Art This Head Of Gold"

Fearlessly Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that the head of gold is a symbol of great Babylon. 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 BC his son Nebuchadnezzar became king. As R. Campbell Thompson declares: "Events had already shown that Nebuchadrezzar 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 BC Nebuchadnezzar reigned two years conjointly with his father, Nabopolassar. From this point the Jews computed his reign, but the Chaldeans from the date of his sole reign, 604 BC, as stated above. Respecting the successors of Nebuchadnezzar, the authority just quoted adds:

"Nebuchadnezzar died about August-September, 562 BC, and was succeeded by his son Amel- Marduk (562-560 BC), 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 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 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 BC, 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 resulted 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 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]

Babylon's Crucial Hour

Cyrus the Persian, with his army, entered the golden city through unbarred gates. 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 said the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, 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 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 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 BC, 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 BC, 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." 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.

The Naval Battle Of Salamis

One of the most noted battles between the Greeks and the Persians was fought at Salamis in 480 BC. 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 BC 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 BC, 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 BC Eight monarchs reigned between this time and the year 336 BC The year 335 BC 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 contend 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 BC, 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 ruler ship. In the ever-changing political kaleidoscope, Greece 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 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 was. 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 Herculean cup containing six of our quarts. He was seized with a violent fever, of which he died eleven days later, Jun 13, 323 BC, 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 Greece; 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 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 saw 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 saw 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 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.

Rome Sacked By The Vandals

The great "iron empire" of Rome crumbled under the violent attacks of invading hordes from the north. 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.

This division was accomplished between AD 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 AD 351, and there is general agreement in assigning its close in AD 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 AD 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 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 saw 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 Greece, 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 Greece. 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.

Verse 43 And whereas thou saw 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 tis 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 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 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."

The Kingdom Shall Be Divided

Thus the prophetic word foretold the breaking up of the mighty Roman Empire. 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]

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 saw 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 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 AD 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 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]

A Stone Smote The Image Upon His Feet

The last act in the drama of world events will be the establishment of Christ's kingdom in the earth. "Speak with me, O blessed Daniel. Give me full assurance, I beseech thee. Thou does prophesy concerning the lioness in Babylon; for thou was a captive there. Thou has unfolded the future regarding the bear; for thou was still in the world, and did see the things come to pass. Then thou spoke to me of the leopard; and whence can 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 said. Thou has 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 has not been in error: all these things have come to pass.

"After this again thou has 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.

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 heir ship are most liberal: "If you be Christ's, then are you 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 you 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 could 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 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. References

[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.

03 - THE FIERY ORDEAL

Nebuchadnezzar's Image vs. God's - Devotion of Idolaters - The Jews Accused - The King's Forbearance - The Fiery Furnace - Its Effect on the Chaldeans - The Course of the Three Worthies - The Wonderful Deliverance - Its Effect on the King's Mind - Integrity Honored

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 83.1}

There is a conjecture extant that this image had some reference to the dream of the king as described in the previous chapter, it having been erected only twenty-three years subsequently, according to the marginal chronology. 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 quite gratified that his kingdom should be represented by the gold; but that it should ever be succeeded by another kingdom was not so pleasing. Hence, instead of having simply the head of his image of gold, he made it all of gold, to denote that the gold of the head should extend through the entire image; or, in other words, that his kingdom should not give way to another kingdom, but be perpetual. {1897 UrS, DAR 83.2}

It is probable that the height here mentioned, ninety feet at the lowest estimate, was not the height of the image proper, but included the pedestal also. Nor is it probable that any more than the image proper, if even that, was of solid gold. It could have been overlaid with thin plates, nicely joined, at a much less expense, without detracting at all from its external appearance. {1897 UrS, DAR 83.3}

"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 music, 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 music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up." {1897 UrS, DAR 85.1}

The dedication of this image was made a great occasion. The chief men of all the kingdom were gathered together; so much pains and expense will men undergo in sustaining idolatrous and heathen systems of worship. So it is and ever has been. 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 whoso should fail to participate therein was threatened with a fiery furnace. Such are ever the strongest motives to impel men in any direction, - pleasure on the one hand, pain on the other. {1897 UrS, DAR 85.2}

Verse 6 contains the first mention to be found in the Bible of the division of time into hours. It was probably the invention of the Chaldeans. {1897 UrS, DAR 85.3}

"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 forever. 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 music, 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 Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee; they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." {1897 UrS, DAR 85.4}

These Chaldeans who accused the Jews were probably the sect of philosophers who went by that name, and who were still smarting under the chagrin of their ignominious failure in respect to their interpretation of the king's dream of chapter 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. Where Daniel was upon this occasion, is not known. He was probably absent on some business of the empire, the importance of which demanded his presence. But why should Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, since they knew they could not worship the image, be present on the 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 therefore refused to do. {1897 UrS, DAR 86.1}

"VERSE 13. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, 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 music, 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 Abed-nego 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 86.2}

The forbearance of the king is shown in his granting Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego another trial after their first failure to comply with his requirements. Doubtless the matter was thoroughly understood. They could not plead ignorance. They knew just what the king wanted, and their failure to do it was an intentional and deliberate refusal to obey him. With most kings this would have been enough to seal their fate. But no, says 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 farce. "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 mind is made up. We can answer just 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 will; but if not, it is just the same. We know his will, and to that we shall render unconditional obedience. Their answer was both honest and decisive. {1897 UrS, DAR 87.1}

"VERSE 19. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; 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 mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, 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 flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 23. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 87.2}

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. Ruler of the world, he was not equal to that still harder task of ruling his own spirit. And 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 87.3}

The furnace was heated one seven times hotter than usual; in other words, to its utmost capacity. The king overreached himself in this; for even if the fire had been suffered to have its ordinary effect upon the ones he cast into the furnace, it would only have destroyed them the sooner. Nothing would have been gained by that means on the part of the king. 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 of being delivered from it. Every circumstance was calculated to show the direct power of God. They were bound in all their garments, but came out with not even the smell of fire upon them. The most mighty men in the army were chosen to cast them in. These the fire slew ere they came in contact with it; while on the Hebrews it had no effect, though they were in the very midst of its flames. It was evident that the fire was under the control of some supernatural intelligence; for while it had effect upon the cords with which they were bound, destroying them, so that they were free to walk about in the midst of the fire, it did not even singe their garments. They did not, as soon as free, spring out of the fire, but continued therein; for, first, the king had put them in, and it was his place to call them out; and, secondly, the form of the fourth was with them, and in his presence they could be content and joyful, as well in 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 89.1}

The king said, "And the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." This language is by some supposed to refer to Christ; but it is not likely that the king had any idea of the Saviour. A better rendering, according to good authorities, would be "like a son of the gods;" that is, he had the appearance of a supernatural or divine being. Nebuchadnezzar subsequently called him an angel. {1897 UrS, DAR 90.1}

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. {1897 UrS, DAR 90.2}

"VERSE 26. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego 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 Abed-nego, 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 anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, 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 Abed-nego in the province of Babylon." {1897 UrS, DAR 90.3}

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 unto them, verse 24, "Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?"), were gathered together to look upon these men, and have optical and tangible proof of their wonderful preservation. The worship of the great image was lost sight of. The whole interest of this vast concourse of people was now concentrated upon these three remarkable men. All men's thoughts and minds were full of this wonderful occurrence. And how the knowledge of it would be spread abroad throughout the empire, as they should return to their respective provinces! What a notable instance in which God caused the wrath of man to praise him! {1897 UrS, DAR 90.4}

Then the king blessed the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed- nego, and made a decree that none should speak against him. This the Chaldeans had undoubtedly done. In those days, each nation had its god or gods; for there were "gods many and lords many." And the victory of one nation over another was supposed to occur because the gods of the conquered nation were not able to deliver them from the conquerors. The Jews had been wholly subjugated by the Babylonians, on which account the latter had no doubt spoken disparagingly or contemptuously of the God of the Jews. This the king now prohibits; for he is plainly given to understand that his success against the Jews was owing to their sins, not to 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; since he would visit with punishment those who transgressed it, and would consequently bestow his blessing on those who complied with it. Had these Jews been time-servers, the name of the true God had not thus been exalted in Babylon. What honor does the Lord put upon them that are steadfast toward him! {1897 UrS, DAR 91.1}

The king promoted them; 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 adds: "And 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 91.2}

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 you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 6 And who falls 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 music, 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 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 spoke and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. 10 Thou, O king, has made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image: 11 and who falls not down and worships, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom thou has 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 has 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 has 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.

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 spoke and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not you serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if you worship not, you 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 your 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 has 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 has 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 spoke, 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 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 boots, 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 astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, 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 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 spoke, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you 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 spoke, 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.

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 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.

04 - NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DECREE

The Oldest Decree on Record - Humiliation Confessed - A Good Example - Nebuchadnezzar's Condition - God's Dealing with the King - The Magicians Humbled - A Remarkable Illustration - Mercy in Judgment - An Important Key to Prophetic Interpretation - Angels Interested in Human Affairs - The King's Acknowledgment - Daniel's Hesitation - His Delicate Answer to the King - Judgments Conditional - The Lesson Unheeded - The Blow Falls - The King's Restoration - The End Gained - Nebuchadnezzar's Death - Summary of His Experience

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 92.1}

This chapter opens, says Dr. Clarke, with "a regular decree, and one of the most ancient on record." It was from the pen of Nebuchadnezzar, and was promulgated in the usual form. He wishes to make known, not to a few men only, but to all peoples, nations, and languages, the wonderful dealings of God with him. People are ever ready to tell what God has done for 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; and Nebuchadnezzar set us a good example in this respect, as we shall see from the subsequent portions of this chapter. He frankly confesses the vanity and pride of his heart, and the means that God took to abase him. With a genuine spirit of repentance and humiliation, he thinks it good, of his own free will, to show these things, that the sovereignty of God may be extolled, and his name adored. In reference to the kingdom, he no longer claims immutability for his own, but makes a full surrender to God, acknowledging his kingdom alone to be everlasting, and his dominion from generation to generation. {1897 UrS, DAR 92.2}

"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, 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 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 the man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over his 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 93.1}

In the events here narrated, several striking points may be noticed. {1897 UrS, DAR 94.1}

1. Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in his house. He had accomplished successfully all his enterprises. He had subdued Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, Egypt, and Arabia. It was probably these great conquests that puffed him up, and betrayed him into such vanity and self-confidence. And this very time, when he felt most at rest and secure, when it was most unlikely that he would allow a thought to disturb his self-complacent tranquility, - this very time God takes to trouble him with fears and forebodings. {1897 UrS, DAR 94.2}

2. The means by which God did this. What could strike with fear the heart of such a monarch as Nebuchadnezzar? He had been a warrior from his youth. With the perils of battle, the terrors of slaughter and carnage, he had often stood face to face, and his countenance had not blanched, nor his nerves trembled. And what should make him afraid now? No foe threatened, no hostile cloud was visible? As the most unlikely time was taken for him to be touched with fear, so the most unlikely means was selected by which to accomplish it - a dream. His own thoughts, and the visions of his own head, were taken to teach him what nothing else could, - a salutary lesson of dependence and humility. He who had terrified others, but whom no others could terrify, was made a terror to himself. {1897 UrS, DAR 94.3}

3. A still greater humiliation than that narrated in the second chapter was brought upon the magicians. There, they boasted that if they only had the dream, they could make known the interpretation. Here, Nebuchadnezzar distinctly remembers the dream, but meets the mortification of having his magicians ignominiously fail him again. They could not make known the interpretation, and resort is again had to the prophet of God. {1897 UrS, DAR 94.4}

4. The remarkable illustration of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. This is symbolized by a tree in the midst of the earth. {1897 UrS, DAR 94.5}

Babylon, where Nebuchadnezzar reigned, was about 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; but this was not all of it, as is the case with too many kingdoms. It had internal excellences. Its fruit was much, and it had meat for all. The beasts of the field had shadow under it, the fowls of heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. What could represent more plainly and forcibly the fact that Nebuchadnezzar ruled his kingdom in such a way as to afford the fullest protection, support, and prosperity to all his subjects? {1897 UrS, DAR 95.1}

5. The mercy that God mingles with his judgments. When order was given that this tree should be cut down, it was commanded that the stump of the roots should be left in the earth, and protected with a band of iron and brass, that it might not be wholly given to 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 such residue of hope be left them. No mercy will be mingled with their punishment. They shall be destroyed both root and branch. {1897 UrS, DAR 95.2}

6. An important key to prophetic interpretation. Verse 16. "Let seven times pass over him," said the decree. This is plain, literal narration; hence the time is here to be understood literally. How long a period is denoted? This may be determined by ascertaining how long Nebuchadnezzar, in fulfilment of this prediction, was driven out to have his dwelling with the beasts of the field; and this, Josephus informs us, was seven years. A "time," then, denotes one year. When used in symbolic prophecy, it would, of course, denote symbolic or prophetic time. A "time" would then denote a prophetic year, or, each day standing for a year, three hundred and sixty literal years. In Bible chronology thirty days are reckoned to the month, and 360 days to the year. See Gen.7:11;8:3,4; "Sacred Chronology," by S.Bliss, under "The Day, Week, etc." {1897 UrS, DAR 95.3}

7. The interest that the holy ones, or angels, take in human affairs. They are represented as demanding this dealing with Nebuchadnezzar. They see, as mortals never can see, how unseemly a thing is pride in the human heart. And they approve of, and sympathize with, the decrees and providences of God by which he works for the correction of these evils. Man must know that he is not the architect of his own fortune, but that 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 set him up, he would never have reached this position of honor. {1897 UrS, DAR 95.4}

8. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the supremacy of the true God over the heathen oracles. He appeals to Daniel to solve the mystery. "Thou art able," he says; "for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee." The Septuagint has the singular, the Spirit of the holy God. {1897 UrS, DAR 97.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 97.2}

The hesitation of Daniel, who sat astonished for one hour, did not arise from any difficulty he had in interpreting the dream, but from its being so delicate a matter to make it known to the king. Daniel had received favor from the king, - nothing but favor, so far as we know, - and it came hard for him to be the bearer of so terrible a threatening judgment against him as was involved in this dream. He was troubled to determine in what way he could best make it known. It seems the king had anticipated something of this kind, and hence assured the prophet by telling him not to let the dream or the interpretation trouble him; as if he had said, Do not hesitate to make it known, whatever bearing it may have upon me. Thus assured, Daniel speaks; and where can we find a parallel to the force and delicacy of his 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 we would might come upon your enemies rather than upon you. {1897 UrS, DAR 98.1}

Nebuchadnezzar had given a minute statement of his dream; and as soon as Daniel informed him that the dream applied to himself, it was evident that he had pronounced his own sentence. The interpretation which follows is so plain that it need not detain us. The threatened judgments 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 takes occasion to give the king counsel in view of the threatened judgment. But he does not denounce him with harshness and censoriousness. Kindness and persuasion are the weapons he chooses to wield: "Let my counsel be acceptable unto thee." So the apostle beseeches men to suffer the word of exhortation. Heb.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." That is, he might even have averted the judgment the Lord designed to bring upon him. {1897 UrS, DAR 98.2}

"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 eagle's feathers, and his nails like bird claws." {1897 UrS, DAR 98.3}

Nebuchadnezzar failed to profit by the warning he had received; yet God bore with him twelve months before the blow fell. All the time he was cherishing pride in his heart, and at length it reached a climax beyond which God could not suffer it to pass. The king walked in the palace, and as he looked forth upon the wonders 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 the great Babylon, that I have built?" The time had come for his humiliation. A voice from heaven again announces the threatened judgment, and divine Providence proceeds immediately to execute it. His reason departed. No longer the pomp and glory of his great city charmed him, when 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 forest. {1897 UrS, DAR 99.1}

"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 forever, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 99.2}

At the end of seven years, God removed his afflicting hand, and the reason and understanding of the king returned to him again. His first act then was to bless the Most High. On this Matthew Henry has the following appropriate remark: "Those may justly be reckoned 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. As reason is the substratum or subject of religion (so that creatures which have no reason are not capable of religion), so religion is the crown and glory of reason; and we have our reason in vain, and shall one day wish we had never had it, if we do not glorify God with it." {1897 UrS, DAR 100.1}

His honor and brightness returned to him, his counselors sought unto him, and he was once more established in the kingdom. The promise was (verse 26) that his kingdom should be sure unto him. During his insanity, his son, Evil-merodach, is said to have reigned as regent in his stead. Daniel's interpretation of the dream was doubtless well understood throughout the palace, and was probably more or less the subject of conversation. Hence the return of Nebuchadnezzar to his kingdom must have been anticipated, and looked for 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. It is supposed that he dexterously escaped from the palace, and eluded all search. {1897 UrS, DAR 100.2}

The affliction had its designed effect. The lesson of humility was learned. He 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; and 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 100.3}

This is the last Scripture record we have of Nebuchadnezzar. This decree is dated in the authorized version, says Dr. Clarke, 563 B.C., one year before Nebuchadnezzar's death; though some place the date of this decree seventeen years before his death. Be this as it may, it is probable that he did not again relapse into idolatry, but died in the faith of the God of Israel. {1897 UrS, DAR 100.4}

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 seem to have been designed to wean him from his false religion, and attach him to the service of the true God. We have, first, his dream of the great image, containing such a valuable lesson for the people of all coming generations. Secondly, his experience with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in reference to his golden image, wherein he was again led to an acknowledgment of the supremacy of the true God. And lastly, we have the wonderful incidents recorded in this chapter, showing the still unceasing efforts of the Lord to bring him to a full acknowledgment of himself. And may we not hope that the most illustrious king of the first prophetic kingdom, 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 dim? {1897 UrS, DAR 101.1}

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 rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He will, and sets 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.

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?

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 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 rules 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 astonished for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spoke, 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 your enemies. 20 The tree that thou saw, 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 reaches 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 rules in the kingdom of men, and gives 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 shall 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 your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. 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 your 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 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 your 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 spoke, 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 rules in the kingdom of men, and gives 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 ancient 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 lives 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 does 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 reckoned 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 BC, 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 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?

References

[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.

05 - BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST

Closing Scenes of Babylon's History - Celebration of the Conquest of Judea - The Sacred Vessels Desecrated - God Interferes with the Revelry - The Phantom Hand - Change of Scene - Daniel Called - The Lesson to the King - The Writing Interpreted - The Fulfilment Follows - Edwin Arnold's Prize Poem

"VERSE 1. Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand." {1897 UrS, DAR 102.1}

The chief feature of interest pertaining to this chapter is the fact that it describes the closing scenes of the Babylonish empire, the transition from the gold to the silver of the great image of chapter 2, and from the lion to the bear of Daniel's vision in chapter 7. This feast is supposed by some to have been a stated annual festival in honor of one of their deities. On this account, Cyrus, who was then besieging Babylon, learned of its approach, and knew when to lay 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 whatever other propensities he may have had, he was at least an enormous drinker. {1897 UrS, DAR 102.2}

"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 in 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 102.3}

That this festival had some reference to former victories over the Jews may be inferred from the fact that the king, when he began to be heated with his wine, called for the sacred vessels which had been taken from Jerusalem. It would be most likely that, lost to a sense of all sacred things, he would use them to celebrate the victory by which they were obtained. No other king, probably, had carried his impiety to such a height 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 noticed on chapter 3:29, they celebrated the superior power of their gods over the God of the Jews, from whose vessel they now drank to their heathen deities. {1897 UrS, DAR 103.1}

"VERSE 5. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster 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 smote one against the 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 the king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied." {1897 UrS, DAR 103.2}

No flashes of supernatural light, nor deafening peals of thunder announce the interference of God in their impious revelries. A hand silently appeared, tracing mystic characters upon the wall. It wrote over against the candlestick. In the light of their own lamp they saw it. Terror seized upon 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. And the description the prophet gives of the effect of the king's fear cannot be excelled in any particular. The king's countenance 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 103.3}

"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 forever; 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 104.1}

It appears from the circumstance here narrated, that the fact that Daniel was a prophet of God had by some means been lost sight of at the court and palace. This was doubtless owing to his having been absent at Shushan, in the province of Elam, as narrated in chapter 8:1,2,27, whither he had been sent to attend to the business of the kingdom there. The country being swept by the Persian army would compel his return to Babylon at this time. The queen, who came in and made known to the king that there was such a person to whom appeal could be made for the knowledge in supernatural things, is supposed to have been the queen mother, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, in whose memory the wonderful part Daniel had acted in her father's reign would still be fresh and vivid. 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. The king inquired of Daniel, when he came in, if he was of the children of the captivity of Judah. Thus it seems to have been ordered, that while they were holding impious revelry in honor of their false gods, a servant of the true God, and one whom they were holding in captivity, was called in to pronounce the merited judgment upon their wicked course. {1897 UrS, DAR 104.2}

"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 peoples, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 106.1}

Daniel first of all disclaims the idea of being influenced by such motives as governed the soothsayers and astrologers. He says, Let thy rewards be to another. He wishes it distinctly understood that he does not enter upon the work of interpreting this matter on account of the offer of gifts and rewards. He then rehearses the experience of the king's grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, as set forth in the preceding chapter. He told the king that though he knew all this, yet he had not humbled his heart, but had lifted up himself against the God of heaven, and even carried his impiety so far as to profane his sacred vessels, praising the senseless gods of men's making, and failing to glorify the God in whose hand his breath was. For this reason, he tells him, it is, that the hands has been sent forth from that God whom he had daringly and insultingly challenged, to trace those characters of fearful, though hidden import. He then proceeds to explain the writing. {1897 UrS, DAR 106.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 107.1}

It is not known in what language this inscription was written. If it had been in Chaldaic, the king's wise men would have been able to read it. Dr. Clarke conjectures that it was written in Samaritan, the true Hebrew, a language with which Daniel was familiar, as it was the character used by the Jews previous to the Babylonish captivity. It seems much more likely that it was a character strange to all the parties, and that it was specially made known to Daniel by the Spirit of the Lord. {1897 UrS, DAR 107.2}

In this inscription each words stands for a short sentence. Mene, numbered; Tekel, weighed; Upharsin, from the root peres, divided. God, whom thou hast defied, has thy kingdom in his own hands, and has 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 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 had Daniel at once invested 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 107.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 108.1}

The scene here so briefly mentioned is described in remarks on chapter 2, verse 39. While Belshazzar was indulging in his presumptuous revelry, while the angel's hand was tracing the doom 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 with him the empire of Babylon ceased to be. {1897 UrS, DAR 108.2}

As a fitting conclusion to this chapter, we give the following beautiful poetic description of Belshazzar's feast, from the pen of Edwin Arnold, author of "The Light of Asia." It was written in 1852, and obtained the Newdegate prize for an English poem on the Feast of Belshazzar, at the University College, Oxford: - {1897 UrS, DAR 108.3}

Not by one portal, or one path alone,

God's holy messages to men are known;

Waiting the glances of his awful eyes,

Silver-winged seraphs do him embassies;

And stars, interpreting his high behest,

Guide the lone feet and glad the falling breast;

The rolling thunder and the raging sea

Speak the stern purpose of the Deity,

And storms beneath and rainbow hues above

Herald his anger or proclaim his love;

The still small voices of the summer day,

The red sirocco, and the breath of May,

The lingering harmony in ocean shells,

The fairy music of the meadow bells,

Earth and void air, water and wasting flame,

Have words to whisper, tongues to tell, his name. {1897 UrS, DAR 108.4}

Once, with no cloak of careful mystery,

Himself was herald of his own decree;

The hand that edicts on the marble drew,

Graved the stern sentence of their scorner too.

Listen and learn! Tyrants have heard the tale,

And turned from hearing, terror-struck and pale;

Spiritless captives, sinking with the chain,

Have read this page, and taken heart again.

From sunlight unto starlight, trumpets told

Her king's command in Babylon the old;

From sunlight unto starlight, west and east,

A thousand satraps girt them for the feast,

And reined their chargers to the palace hall

Where king Belshazzar held high festival:

A pleasant palace under pleasant skies,

With cloistered courts and gilded galleries,

And gay kiosk and painted balustrade

For winter terraces and summer shade;

By court and terrace, minaret and dome,

Euphrates, rushing from his mountain home,

Rested his rage and curbed his crested pride

To belt that palace with his bluest tide;

Broad-fronted bulls with chiseled feathers barred,

In silent vigil keeping watch and ward,

Giants of granite, wrought by cunning hand,

Guard in the gate and frown upon the land. {1897 UrS, DAR 109.1}

Not summer's glow nor yellow autumn's glare

Pierced the broad tamarisks that blossomed there;

The moonbeams, darting through their leafy screen,

Lost half their silver in the softened green,

And fell with lessened luster, broken light,

Tracing quaint arabesque of dark and white,

Or dimly tinting on the graven stones

The pictured annals of Chaldean thrones.

There, from the rising to the setting day,

Birds of bright feathers sang the light away,

And fountain waters on the palace floor

Made even answer to the river's roar,

Rising in silver from the crystal well,

And breaking into spangles as they fell,

Though now ye heard them not - for far along

Rang the broad chorus of the banquet song,

And sounds as gentle, echoes soft as these,

Died out of hearing from the revelries. {1897 UrS, DAR 109.2}

High on a throne of ivory and gold,

From crown to footstool clad in purple fold,

Lord of the East from sea to distant sea,

The king Belshazzar feasteth royally -

And not that dreamer in the desert cave

Peopled his paradise with pomp as brave;

Vessels of silver, cups of crusted gold,

Blush with a brighter red than all they hold;

Pendulous lamps, like planets of the night,

Flung on the diadems a fragrant light,

Or, slowly swinging in the midnight sky,

Gilded the ripples as they glided by.

And sweet and sweeter rose the cittern's ring,

Soft as the beating of a seraph's wing;

And swift and swifter in the measured dance

The tresses gather and the sandals glance;

And bright and brighter at the festal board

The flagons bubble, and the wines are poured. {1897 UrS, DAR 110.1}

No lack of goodly company was there,

No lack of laughing eyes to light the cheer;

From Dara trooped they, from Daremma's grove,

"The sons of battle and the moons of love;"- 1

From where Arsissa's silver waters sleep

To Imla's marshes and the inland deep,

From pleasant Calah, and from the Cattacene -

The horseman's captain and the harem's queen.

It seemed no summer-cloud of passing woe

Could fling its shadow on so fair a show;

It seemed the gallant forms that feasted there

Were all too grand for woe, too great for care; -

Whence came the anxious eye, the altered tone,

The dull presentiment no heart would own,

That ever changed the smiling to a sigh

Sudden as sea-bird flashing from the sky?

It is not that they know the spoiler waits,

Harnessed for battle, at the brazen gates;

It is not that they hear the watchman's call

Mark the slow minutes on the leaguered wall;

The clash of quivers and the ring of spears

Make pleasant music in a soldier's ears,

And not a scabbard hideth sword to-night

That hath not glimmered in the front of fight.

May not the blood of every beating vein

Have quick foreknowledge of the coming pain,

Even as the prisoned silver,- 2 dead and dumb,

Shrinks at cold winter's footfall ere he come? {1897 UrS, DAR 110.2}

The king hath felt it, and the heart's unrest

Heaves the broad purple of his belted breast.

Sudden he speaks: "What! doth the bearded juice

Savor like hyssop, that ye scorn its use?

Wear ye so pitiful and sad a soul,

That tramp of foemen scares ye from the bowl?

Think ye the gods of yonder starry floor

Tremble for terror when the thunders roar?

Are we not gods? have we not fought with God?

And shall we shiver at a robber's nod?

No; let them batter till the brazen bars

Ring merry mocking of their idle wars.

Their fall is fated for to-morrow's sun;

The lion rouses when his feast is done.

Crown me a cup, and fill the bowls we brought

From Judah's temple when the fight was fought;

Drink, till the merry madness fill the soul,

To Salem's conqueror in Salem's bowl;

Each from the goblet of a god shall sip,

And Judah's gold tread heavy on the lip."- 1

The last loud answer dies along the line,

The last light bubble bursts upon the wine,

His eager lips are on the jeweled brink, -

Hath the cup poison that he doubts to drink?

Is there a spell upon the sparkling gold,

That so his fevered fingers quit their hold?

Whom sees he where he gazes? what is there?

Freezing his vision into fearful stare?

Follow his lifted arm and lighted eye,

And watch with them the wondrous mystery. {1897 UrS, DAR 111.1}

There cometh forth a hand, upon the stone

Graving the symbols of a speech unknown;

Fingers like mortal fingers, leaving there

The blank wall flashing characters of fear;

And still it glideth silently and slow,

And still beneath the spectral letters grow;

Now the scroll endeth; now the seal is set;

The hand is gone; the record tarries yet.

As one who waits the warrant of his death,

With pale lips parted and with bridled breath,

They watch the sign, and dare not turn to seek

Their fear reflected in their fellow's cheek,

But stand as statues where the life is none,

Half the jest uttered, half the laughter done,

Half the flask empty, half the flagon poured;

Each where the phantom found him at the board

Struck into silence, as December's arm

Curbs the quick ripples into crystal calm.

With wand of ebony and sable stole,

Chaldea's wisest scan the spectral scroll.

Strong in the lessons of a lying art,

Each comes to gaze, but gazes to depart;

And still for mystic sign and muttered spell

The graven letters guard their secret well,

Gleam they for warning, glare they to condemn,

God speaketh, but he speaketh not for them. {1897 UrS, DAR 111.2}

Oh! ever, when the happy laugh is dumb,

All the joy gone, and all the anguish come;

When strong adversity and subtle pain

Wring the sad soul and rack the throbbing brain;

When friends once faithful, hearts once all our own,

Leave us to weep, to bleed and die alone;

When fears and cares the lonely thought employ,

And clouds of sorrow hide the sun of joy;

When weary life, breathing reluctant breath,

Hath no hope sweeter than the hope of death, -

Then the best counsel and the last relief,

To cheer the spirit of to cheat the grief,

The only calm, the only comfort heard,

Comes in the music of a woman's word,

Like beacon-bell on some wild island shore,

Silverly ringing in the tempest's roar;

Whose sound, borne shipward through the midnight gloom,

Tells of the path, and turns her from her doom.

So in the silence of that awful hour,

When baffled magic mourned its parted power,

When kings were pale, and satraps shook for fear,

A woman speaketh, and the wisest hear.

She, the high daughter of a thousand thrones,

Telling with trembling lip and timid tones

Of him, the captive, in the feast forgot,

Who readeth visions; him whose wondrous lot

Sends him to lighten doubt and lessen gloom,

And gaze undazzled on the days to come;

Daniel, the Hebrew, such his name and race,

Held by a monarch highest in his grace,

He may declare - oh! bid them quickly send,

So may the mystery have happy end. {1897 UrS, DAR 112.1}

Calmly and silent as the fair, full moon

Comes smiling upward in the sky of June,

Fearfully as the troubled clouds of night

Shrink from before the coming of its light,

So through the hall the prophet passed along,

So from before him fell the festal throng.

By broken wassail-cup, and wine o'erthrown,

Pressed he still onward for the monarch's throne;

His spirit failed him not, his quiet eye

Lost not its light for earthly majesty;

His lip was steady and his accent clear -

"The king hath needed me, and I am here."

"Art thou the prophet? Read me yonder scroll,

Whose undeciphered horror daunts my soul.

There shall be guerdon for the grateful task,

Fitted for me to give, for thee to ask, -

A chain to deck thee, and a robe to grace,

Thine the third throne, and thou the third in place."

He heard, and turned him where the lighted wall

Dimmed the red torches of the festival,

Gazed on the sign with steady gaze and set;

And he who quailed not at a kingly threat

Bent the true knee and bowed the silver hair,

For that he knew the King of kings was there;

Then nerved his soul the sentence to unfold,

While his tongue trembled at the tale it told.

And never tongue shall echo tale as strange

Till that change cometh which shall never change. {1897 UrS, DAR 112.2}

"Keep for thyself the guerdon and the gold;

What God hath graved, God's prophet must unfold;

Could not thy father's crime, thy father's fate,

Teach thee the terror thou hast learned too late?

Hast thou not read the lesson of his life, -

Who wars with God shall strive a losing strife?

His was a kingdom mighty as thine own,

The sword his scepter and the earth his throne;

The nations trembled when his awful eye

Gave to them leave to live or doom to die:

The lord of life, the keeper of the grave,

His frown could wither and his smile could save.

Yet, when his heart was hard, his spirit high,

God drave him from his kingly majesty,

Far from the brotherhood of fellow-men,

To seek for dwelling in the desert den;

Where the wild asses feed and oxen roam,

He sought his pasture and he made his home;

And bitter-biting frost and dews of night,

Schooled him in sorrow till he knew the right, -

That God is ruler of the rulers still,

And setteth up the sovereign that he will. {1897 UrS, DAR 113.1}

Oh! hadst thou treasured in repentant breast

His pride and fall, his penitence and rest,

And bowed submissive to Jehovah's will,

Then had thy scepter been a scepter still.

But thou hast mocked the Majesty of heaven;

And shamed the vessels to his service given.

And thou hast fashioned idols of thine own, -

Idols of gold, of silver, and of stone;

To them hast bowed the knee, and breathed the breath,

And they must help thee in the hour of death. {1897 UrS, DAR 114.1}

Woe for the sight unseen, the sin forgot!

God was among ye, and ye knew it not!

Hear what he sayeth now: 'Thy race is run,

Thy years are numbered, and thy days are done;

Thy soul hath mounted in the scale of fate,

The Lord hath weighed thee, and thou lackest weight;

Now in thy palace porch the spoilers stand,

To seize thy scepter, to divide thy land.'"

He ended, and his passing foot was heard,

But none made answer, not a lip was stirred;

Mute the free tongue, and bent the fearless brow;

The mystic letters had their meaning now.

Soon came there other sound, - the clash of steel,

The heavy ringing of the iron heel,

The curse in dying, and the cry for life, -

The bloody voices of the battle strife.

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. {1897 UrS, DAR 114.2}

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 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 spoke, 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 astonished.

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 spoke 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 spoke 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 can make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou can read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

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 appoints over it whomsoever He will. 22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, has not humbled your heart, though thou knew all this. 23 But has 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 has 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, has thou not glorified. 24 Then was the part of the hand sent from Him; and this writing was written.

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.

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 has defied, hath thy kingdom in His own hands, and hath numbered its days and finished its course just at the time thou thought it at the height of its prosperity. Thou, who has lifted up thy heart in pride as the great one of the earth, art weighed, and found lighter than vanity. Thy kingdom, which thou did 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.

06 - DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN

Date of the Persian Kingdom - Cyrus Sole Ruler - Paul's Reference to Daniel's Experience - Extent of the Persian Kingdom - A Fiendish Plot - Righteousness Daniel's only Fault - False Witness of the Conspirators - Daniel Undisturbed - The Decree Secured - The Victim Ensnared - The King's Dilemma - Daniel Cast into the Lions' Den - His Wonderful Preservation - Fate of Daniel's Accusers - Daniel Doubly Vindicated - The King's Decree

"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 found 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 115.1}

Babylon was taken by the Persians, and Darius the Median placed upon the throne, B.C.538. Two years later, B.C.536, Darius dying, Cyrus took the throne. Somewhere, therefore, between these two dates the event here narrated occurred. {1897 UrS, DAR 115.2}

Daniel was a chief actor in the kingdom of Babylon in the height of its glory; and from that time on to the time when the Medes and Persians took the throne of universal empire, he was at least a resident of that city, and acquainted with all the affairs of the kingdom; yet he gives us no consecutive account of events that occurred during his long connection with these kingdoms. He only touches upon an event here and there such as is calculated to inspire faith and 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 115.3}

The event narrated in this chapter is alluded to by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 11, where he speaks of some who through faith have "stopped the mouths of lions." Darius set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, there being, as is supposed, at that time a hundred and twenty provinces in the empire, each one having its prince, or governor. By the victories of Cambyses and Darius Hystaspes, it was afterward enlarged to a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. Esther 1:1. Over these one hundred and twenty provinces were set three, and of these Daniel was chief. Preference was given to Daniel because of his excellent spirit. Daniel, who, for being a great man in the empire of Babylon, might have been esteeemed an enemy by Darius, and so have been banished or otherwise put out of the way; or, being a captive from a nation then in ruins, might have been despised and set at naught, was not treated in either of these ways; 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. And 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. But Daniel's conduct was perfect so far as related to the kingdom. He was faithful and true. They could find no ground for complaint against him on that score. Then they 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 116.1}

"VERSE 6. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live forever. 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 116.2}

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 though some urgent matter had suddenly sprung up, and they had come unanimously to present it before him. They claimed that all were agreed. This was false; for Daniel, the chief of them all, was not, of course, consulted in the matter. The decree they fixed upon was on which would flatter the king's vanity, and thus the more readily gain his assent. It would be a position before unheard of, for a man to be the only dispenser of favors and granter of petitions for thirty days. Hence the king, not fathoming their evil designs, signed the decree, and it took its place on the statute-books as one of the unalterable laws of the Medes and Persians. {1897 UrS, DAR 117.1}

Mark the subtlety of these men - the length to which people will go 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. So they gave it a general application, and were willing to ignore and heap insult upon their whole system of religion, and all the multitude of their gods, for the sake of ruining the object of their hatred. {1897 UrS, DAR 117.2}

Daniel foresaw the conspiracy going on against him, but took no means to thwart it. He simply committed himself to God, and left the issue to his providence. He did not leave the empire on pretended business, or perform his devotions with more than ordinary secrecy; but when he knew the writing was signed, just as aforetime, with his face turned toward his beloved Jerusalem, he kneeled down in his chamber three times a day, and poured out his prayers and supplications to God. {1897 UrS, DAR 117.3}

"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 they answered 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 or 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 119.1}

It only remained for these men, having set the trap, to watch their victim that they might ensnare him therein. So they again came tumultuously together, this time at the residence of Daniel, as though some important business had called them suddenly together to consult the chief of the presidents; and lo, they found him, just as they intended and hoped, praying to his God. So far all had worked well. They were not long in going to the king with the matter, and, to render it more sure, got an acknowledgment from the king that such a decree was in force. Then they were ready to inform against Daniel; and mark their mean resort to excite the prejudices of the king: "That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah." Yes; that poor captive, who is entirely dependent on you for all that he enjoys, so far from being grateful and appreciating your favors, regards not you, nor pays attention to your decree. Then the king saw the trap that had been prepared for him as well as for Daniel, and he labored till 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 they were inexorable. The law was sustained; and Daniel, the venerable, the grave, the upright and faultless servant of the kingdom, was thrown, as if he had been one of the vilest malefactors, into the den of lions to be devoured by them. {1897 UrS, DAR 119.2}

"VERSE 18. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of music 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 forever. 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 the king was 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 120.1}

The course of the king after Daniel had been cast into the den of lions attests his genuine interest in his behalf, and the severe condemnation he felt for his own course in the matter. At earliest dawn he repaired to the den where his prime minister had passed the night in the company with hungry and ravenous beasts. Daniel's response to his first salutation was no word of reproach for the king's course in yielding to his persecutors, but a term of respect and honor, "O king, live forever." He afterward, however, reminds 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 hurt. And on account of his innocency, God, whom he served continually, not at intervals, nor by fits and starts, had sent his angel, and shut the lions' mouths. {1897 UrS, DAR 120.2}

Here, then, stood Daniel, preserved by a power higher than any power of earth. His cause was vindicated, his innocency declared. No hurt was found on 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? It is conjectured that they 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. Then, said the king, they will no more attack you than him, so we will test the matter by putting you in. The lions were hungry enough when they could get hold of the guilty; and these men were torn to pieces ere they reached the bottom of the den. Thus was Daniel doubly vindicated; and thus strikingly were the words of Solomon fulfilled: "The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead." Prov.11:8. {1897 UrS, DAR 120.3}

"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 forever, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 121.1}

The result of Daniel's deliverance was that another proclamation went out through the empire in favor of the true God, the God of Israel. All men were to fear and tremble before him. What Daniel's enemies designed to prove his ruin, resulted only in his advancement. In this case, and in the case of the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, the seal of God is set in favor of two great lines of duty: (1) As in the case of the three in the fiery furnace, not to yield to any known sin; and (2) As in the present case, not to omit any known duty. And from these instances, the people of God in all ages are to derive encouragement. {1897 UrS, DAR 121.2}

The decree of the king sets forth the character of the true God in fine terms. (1) He is the living God; all others are dead. (2) He is steadfast forever; all others change. (3) He has a kingdom; for he made and governs all. (4) His kingdom shall not be destroyed; all others come to an end. (5) His dominion is without end; no human power can prevail against it. (6) He delivereth those who are in bondage. (7) {1897 UrS, DAR 121.3}

He rescueth his servants from their enemies when they call upon him for help. (8) He worketh wonders in the heavens and signs upon the earth. (9) And to complete all, he hath delivereth Daniel, giving before our own eyes the fullest proof of his power and goodness in rescuing his servant from the power of the lions. How excellent an eulogium is this on the great God and his faithful servant! {1897 UrS, DAR 122.1}

Thus closes the historical part of the book of Daniel. We now come to the prophetic portion, which, like a shining beacon light, has thrown its rays over all the course of time from that point to the present, and is still lighting up the pathway of the church onward to the eternal kingdom. {1897 UrS, DAR 122.2}

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 BC 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 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 alters 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 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 spoke before the king concerning the king's decree; Has 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 alters not. 13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regards not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou has signed, but makes 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. 15Then 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 established may be changed. 16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou serves 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.

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 has 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 music 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 spoke and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou serves 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.

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 is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes 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 delivers and rescues, and He works 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.

07 - THE FOUR BEASTS

Chronological Connection - Rule of Scripture Interpretation - Signification of the Symbols - The Kingdoms Identical with Those of Daniel 2 - Why the Vision is Repeated - Change in Babylonish History - Deterioration of Earthly Governments - The Symbol of the Bear Explained - Grecia the Third Kingdom - Rapidity of Its Conquests - Testimony of Rollin - Signification of the Four Heads of the Leopard Beast - The Nondescript - Signification of the Ten Horns - A Little Horn among the Ten - The Judgment Scene - A Temporal Millennium Impossible - Character of the Little Horn - Gradual Development of the Romish Church - Opposition of the Arians - The Three Horns Plucked Up - Millions of Martyrs - A Feeble Defense - Paganism Outdone - Meaning of Time, Times, and a Half -Date of Papal Supremacy - Date of Papal Overthrow - Rome a Republic - The Power of the Papacy Waning in Its Stronghold - A Later Judgment - The Ecumenical Council - Victor Emmanuel's United Italy - End of the Pope's Temporal Power - Its Coming Destruction

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 123.1}

This is the same Belshazzar mentioned in chapter 5. Chronologically, therefore, this chapter precedes chapter 5; but chronological order has been disregarded in order that the historical part of the book might stand by itself, and the prophetic part, on which we now enter, might not be interrupted by writings of that nature. {1897 UrS, DAR 123.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 123.3}

All Scripture language is to be taken literally, unless there exists some good reason for supposing it to be figurative; and 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 shall arise out of the earth." And to show that kingdoms are intended, and not merely individual kings, the angel continues, "But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom." And further, in the explanation of verse 23, the angel said, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth." These beasts are therefore symbols of four great kingdoms; and the circumstances under which they arose, and the means by which their elevation was accomplished, as represented in the prophecy, are symbolic also. The symbols introduced are, the four winds, the sea, four great beasts, ten horns, and another horn which had eyes and a mouth, and rose up in war against God and his people. We have now to inquire what they denote. {1897 UrS, DAR 123.4}

Winds, in symbolic language, denote strife, political commotion, and war. Jer.25:31-33: "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." Here the prophet speaks of a controversy which the Lord is to have with all nations, when the wicked shall be given to the sword, and the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth to the other; and the strife and commotion which produces all this destruction is called a great whirlwind. {1897 UrS, DAR 125.1}

That winds denote strife and war is further evident from a consideration of the vision itself; for as the result of the striving of the winds, kingdoms arise and fall; and these events are accomplished through political strife. {1897 UrS, DAR 125.2}

The Bible definition of sea, or waters, when used as a symbol, is peoples, and nations, and tongues. In proof of this, see Rev.17:15, where it is expressly so declared. {1897 UrS, DAR 125.3}

The definition of the symbol of the four beasts is given to Daniel ere the close of the vision. Verse 17: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth." The field of the vision is thus definitely opened before us. {1897 UrS, DAR 125.4}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 125.5}

As these beasts denote four kings, or kingdoms, we inquire, What four? Where shall we commence to enumerate? These beasts do not rise all at once, but consecutively, as they are spoken of as first, second, etc.; and the last one is in existence when all earthly scenes are brought to an end by the final Judgment. Now, from the time of Daniel to the end of this world's history, there were to be but four universal kingdoms, as we learn from Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the great image in chapter 2. Daniel was still living under the same kingdom which he had declared, in his interpretation of the king's dream, about sixty-five years before,to be the head of gold. The first beast of this vision must therefore denote the same as the head of gold of the great image, namely, the kingdom of Babylon, and the other beasts the succeeding kingdoms shown by that image. But if this vision covers essentially the same ground as the image of chapter 2, the query may arise why it is given; why was not the vision of chapter 2 sufficient? We answer, The ground is passed over again and again that additional characteristics may be brought out, and additional facts and features may be presented. It is thus that we have "line upon line." Here earthly governments are viewed as represented in the light of Heaven. Their true character is shown by the symbol of wild and ravenous beasts. {1897 UrS, DAR 127.1}

At first the lion had eagle's wings, denoting the rapidity with which Babylon extended its conquests under Nebuchadnezzar. At this point in the vision a change had taken place; it wings had been plucked. It no longer flew like an eagle upon its prey. The boldness and spirit of the lion were gone. A man's heart, weak, timorous, and faint, had taken its place. Such was emphatically the case with the nation during the closing years of its history, when it had become enfeebled and effeminate through wealth and luxury. {1897 UrS, DAR 127.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 127.3}

As in the great image of chapter 2, so in this series of symbols a marked deterioration will be noticed as we descend from one kingdom to another. The silver of the breast and arms was inferior to the gold of the head. The bear was inferior to the lion. Medo-Persia fell short of Babylon in wealth and magnificence, and the brilliancy of its career. And now we come to additional particulars respecting this power. The bear raised itself up on one side. This kingdom was composed of two nationalities, the Medes and Persians. The same fact is represented by the two horns of the ram of chapter 8. Of these horns it is said that the higher came up last; and of the bear that it raised itself up on one side; and this was fulfilled by the Persian division of the kingdom, which came up last, but attained the higher eminence, becoming the controlling influence in the nation. (See on chapter 8:3.) The three ribs perhaps signify the three provinces of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which were especially ground down and oppressed by this power. Their saying unto it, "Arise, devour much flesh," would naturally refer to the stimulus given to the Medes and the Persians by the overthrow of these provinces, to plan and undertake more extensive conquests. The character of the power is well represented by a bear. The Medes and the Persians were cruel and rapacious, robbers and spoilers of the people. As already noticed in the exposition of chapter 2, this kingdom dated from the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus, B.C.538, and continued to the battle of Arbela, B.C.331, a period of 207 years. {1897 UrS, DAR 127.4}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 128.1}

The third kingdom, Grecia, is represented by this symbol. 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 which it symbolized in this respect; it must have wings in addition. Two wings, the number the lion had, were not sufficient, it must have four; this would denote unparalleled celerity of movement, which we find to be historically true of the Grecian kingdom. The conquests of Grecia under Alexander have no parallel in historic annals for suddenness and rapidity. {1897 UrS, DAR 128.2}

Rollin, Ancient History, b.15, sec.2, gives the following brief synopsis of Alexander's marches:- {1897 UrS, DAR 131.1}

"From Macedonia to the Ganges, which river Alexander nearly approached, is computed at least eleven hundred leagues. Add to this the various turnings in Alexander's marches; first, from the extremity of Cilicia, where the battle of Issus was fought, to the temple of Jupiter Ammon in Libya; and his returning from thence to Tyre, a journey of three hundred leagues at least, and as much space at least for the windings of his route in different places; we shall find that Alexander, in less then eight years, marched his army upward of seventeen hundred leagues [or more than fifty-one hundred miles], without including his return to Babylon.' {1897 UrS, DAR 131.2}

"The beast had also four heads." The Grecian empire maintained its unity but little longer than the lifetime of Alexander. Within a few years after his brilliant career ended in a fever induced by a drunken debauch, the empire was divided among his four leading generals. Cassander had Macedon and Greece in the west; Lysimachus had Thrace and the parts of Asia on the Hellespont and 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. These divisions were denoted by the four heads of the leopard; B.C.308. {1897 UrS, DAR 131.3}

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? Because the prophecy had said that there should be four. The leopard had four heads, the rough goat four horns, the kingdom was to have four divisions; and thus it was. (See more fully on chapter 8.) {1897 UrS, DAR 131.4}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 131.5}

Inspiration finds no beast in nature which it can make even the basis of a symbol to represent the power here illustrated. No addition of hoofs, heads, horns, wings, scales, teeth, or nails to any beast found in nature, would answer. This power was diverse from all the others and the symbol wholly nondescript. {1897 UrS, DAR 132.1}

The foundation for a volume is laid in verse 7, just quoted; but we are compelled to treat it the more briefly here, because anything like a full history is entirely beyond the space that can be allowed in this brief exposition. This beast, of course, corresponds to the fourth division of the great image - the legs of iron. Under chapter 2:40 are given some reasons for supposing this power to be Rome. The same reasons are applicable to the present prophecy. How accurately Rome answered to the iron division of the image! How accurately it answers to the beast before us! In the dread and terror which it inspired, and in its exceeding strength, the world has never seen its equal. It devoured as with iron teeth, and brake in pieces; and it ground the nations into the very 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 chapter 2, Rome was divided into ten kingdoms, enumerated as follows: The Huns, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Franks, the Vandals, the Suevi, the Burgundians, the Heruli, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Lombards. These divisions have ever since been spoken of as the ten kingdoms of the Roman empire. See on chapter 2:41,42; also Appendix III. {1897 UrS, DAR 132.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 132.3}

Daniel considered the horns. Indications of a strange movement appeared among them. A little horn (at first little, but afterward more stout than its fellows) thrust itself up among them. It was not content quietly to find a place of its own, and fill it; it must thrust aside some of the others, and usurp their places. Three kingdoms were plucked up before it. This little horn, as we shall have occasion to notice more fully hereafter, was the papacy. The three horns plucked up before it were the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals. And the reason why they were plucked up was because they were opposed to the teaching and claims of the papal hierarchy, and hence to the supremacy in the church of the bishop of Rome. {1897 UrS, DAR 132.4}

And "in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things," the eyes, a fit emblem of the shrewdness, penetration, cunning, and foresight of the papal hierarchy; and the mouth speaking great things, a fit symbol of the arrogant claims of the bishops of Rome. {1897 UrS, DAR 134.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 134.2}

A sublimer description of a sublimer scene is not to be found in the English language. But not only on account of the grand and lofty imagery introduced should it arrest our attention; the nature of the scene itself is such as to demand most serious consideration. The Judgment is brought to view; and whenever the Judgment is mentioned, it ought to take an irresistible hold upon every mind; for all have an interest in its eternal issues. {1897 UrS, DAR 134.3}

By an unfortunate translation in verse 9, a wrong idea is almost sure to be conveyed. the words cast down are from a word which in the original signifies just the opposite, namely, to set up. The word .... [r'mah] Gesenius defines as follows: "Chald.1 To cast, to throw, Dan.3:20,21,24; 6:16. 2. To set, to place, e.g., thrones, Dan.7:9. Comp. Rev.4:2, .... and .... No. 2." The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, by Davidson, also gives to this word the definition "to set, to place" and refers to Dan.7:9 as an example of its use in this sense. Why this word was used to express the idea here intended may perhaps be learned from the following note found in the Cottage Bible: "Ver.9. The thrones were cast down. Wintle, 'Were placed.' So Boothroyd. But both come to the same meaning. The Asiatics have neither chairs nor stools, but, to receive persons of rank, 'cast down,' or 'place,' cushions round the room for seats, which seems to be here alluded to. See Matt.19:28; Rev.20:4." Dr. Clarke says that the word "might be translated erected: so the Vulgate, positi sunt [were placed], and so all the versions." The Septuagint has .... (etethesan), which is defined to mean "to set, put, place; to set up; to erect." The thrones are not the thrones of earthly kingdoms, which are to be thrown down at the last day, but thrones of judgment, which are to be "placed," or set up, in the court of God on high just before the end. {1897 UrS, DAR 134.4}

The "Ancient of days," God the Father, takes the throne of judgment. 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 theory 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 judgment-seat, but heavenly beings who wait before him, attendant on his will. An understanding of these verses involves an understanding of the subject of the sanctuary; and to the works on this question we refer the reader. The closing up of the ministration of Christ, our great High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary, is the work of judgment here introduced. It is an investigative judgment. The books are opened, and the cases of all come up for examination before the great tribunal, that it may be determined beforehand who are to receive eternal life when the Lord shall come to confer it upon his people. John, as recorded in Rev.5, had a view of this same place, and saw the same number of heavenly attendants engaged with Christ in the work of investigative judgment. Looking into the sanctuary (as we learn from Rev.4 that he was doing), in chapter 5:11 he says, "And 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 135.1}

It will appear from the testimony of chapter 8:14, that this solemn work is even now transpiring in the sanctuary above. {1897 UrS, DAR 136.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 136.2}

There are persons who believe in a thousand years' triumph of the gospel and reign of righteousness over all the world before the Lord comes; and there are others who believe in probation after the Lord comes, and a mixed millennium, the immortal righteous still proclaiming the gospel to mortal sinners, and turning them into the way of salvation. But both of these systems of error are completely demolished by the verses before us. {1897 UrS, DAR 136.3}

1. The fourth terrible beast continues without change of character, and the little horn continues to utter its blasphemies, and hold its millions of votaries in the bonds of a blind superstition, till the beast is given to the burning flame; and this is not its conversion, but its destruction. (See 2Thess.2:8) {1897 UrS, DAR 136.4}

2. 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 of the Persian kingdom in respect to Grecia, and of Grecia in respect to Rome. But what succeeds the fourth kingdom? No government or state in which mortals have any part. Its career ends in the lake of fire, and it has no existence beyond. The lion was merged into the bear; the bear into the leopard; the leopard into the fourth beast; and the fourth beast into what? Not into another beast; but it is cast into the lake of fire, under which destruction it rests till men shall suffer the second death. Then let no one talk of probation or a mixed millennium after the Lord comes. {1897 UrS, DAR 136.5}

The adverb then, in the sentence, "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake," etc., seems to refer to some particular time. The work of the investigative judgment is introduced in the previous verses; and this verse would seem to imply that while this work is going forward, and just before this power is destroyed and given to the burning flame, the little horn utters its great words against the Most High. Have we not heard them, and that, too, within a few years? Look at the decrees of the Vatican Council of 1870. What can be more blasphemous than to attribute infallibility to a mortal man? Yet in that year the world beheld the spectacle of an Ecumenical Council assembled for the purpose of deliberately decreeing that the occupant of the papal throne, the man of sin, possesses thisprerogative of God, and can not err. Can anything be more presumptuous and blasphemous? Is not this the voice of the great words which the horn spake? and is not his power ripe for the burning flame, and near its end? {1897 UrS, DAR 137.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 137.2}

The scene here described is not the second advent of Christ to this earth, unless the Ancient of days is on this earth; for it is a coming to the Ancient of days. There, in the presence of the Ancient of days, a kingdom, dominion, and glory are given him. The Son of man receives his kingdom before his return to this earth. (See Luke 19:10-12 and onward.) This is a scene, therefore, which transpires in the heavenly temple, and is closely connected with that brought to view in verses 9 and 10. He receives the kingdom at the close of his priestly work in the sanctuary. The people, nations, and languages, that shall serve him, are the nations of the saved (Rev. 21:24), not the wicked nations of the earth; for these are dashed in pieces at the second advent. Some out of all the nations, tribes, and kindreds of the earth will find themselves at last in the kingdom of God, to serve him there with joy and gladness forever and ever. {1897 UrS, DAR 137.3}

"VERSE 15. 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 forever, and even forever and ever." {1897 UrS, DAR 138.1}

No less anxious should we be than was Daniel to understand the truth of all this. And whenever we inquire with equal sincerity of heart, we shall find the Lord no less ready now than in the days of the prophet to lead to a correct knowledge of these important truths. The beasts, and the kingdoms which they represent, have already been explained. We have followed the prophet down through the course of events, even to the complete destruction of the fourth and last beast, the final subversion of all earthly governments. What next? Verse 18 tells us: "The saints shall take the kingdom." The saints! those of all others held in low esteem in this world, despised, reproached, persecuted, cast out; those who were considered 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 forfeited inheritance shall be redeemed. Peace shall be restored to its distracted borders, and righteousness shall reign over all the fair expanse of the renovated earth. {1897 UrS, DAR 138.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 138.3}

Of the first three beasts of this series, Daniel had so clear an understanding that he had no trouble in reference to them. {1897 UrS, DAR 138.4}

But he was astonished at this fourth beast, so unnatural and dreadful; for the further we come down the stream of time, the further it is necessary to depart from nature in forming symbols to represent accurately the degenerating governments of this earth. The lion is a production of nature; but it must have the unnatural 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 insertion of three ribs into its mouth. So the leopard is a beast of nature; but fitly to represent Grecia there is a departure from nature in respect to wings, and the number of heads. But nature furnishes no symbol which can fitly illustrate the fourth kingdom. A beast the likeness of which never was seen, is taken; 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 brake in pieces, and trampled its victims beneath its feet. {1897 UrS, DAR 139.1}

Wonderful was all this to the prophet; but something still more wonderful appeared. A little horn came up, and, true to the nature of the beast from which it sprang, thrust aside three of its fellows; and lo! the horn had eyes, not the uncultivated eyes of a brute, but the keen, shrewd, intelligent eyes of a man; and, 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, and 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 139.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 139.3}

The wonderful 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 the years A.D.351 and 476, has already been noticed. (See -PICTURE- on chapter 2:41.) As these horns denote kingdoms, the little horn must denote a kingdom also, but not of the same nature, because it was diverse from the others. They were political kingdoms. And now we have but to inquire if any kingdom has arisen among the ten kingdoms of the Roman empire since A.D.476, and yet diverse from them all; and if so, what one? The answer is, Yes; the spiritual kingdom of the papacy. This answers to the symbol in every particular, as is easily proved; and nothing else will do it. See the specifications more particularly mentioned in verse 23. {1897 UrS, DAR 139.4}

Daniel beheld this horn making war upon the saints. Has such a war been waged by the papacy? Fifty million martyrs, with a voice like the sound of many waters answer, Yes. Witness the cruel persecutions of the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and Protestants in general, by the papal power. It is stated on good authority that the persecutions, massacres, and religious wars excited by the church and bishop of Rome, have occasioned the shedding of far more blood of the saints of the Most High than all the enmity, hostility and persecutions of professed heathen peoples from the foundation of the world. {1897 UrS, DAR 141.1}

In verse 22 three consecutive events seem to be brought to view. Daniel, 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, notes three prominent events that stand as mile-posts along the way. (1) The coming of the Ancient of days; that is, the position which Jehovah takes in the opening of the judgment scene described in verses 9,10. (2) The judgment 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 (Rev.20:14), apportioning to the wicked the punishment due for their sins. Then the martyrs will sit in judgment upon the great antichristian, persecuting power, which, in the days of their trial, hunted them like the beasts of the desert, and poured out their blood like water. (3) 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 taken by the righteous, to be held by them forever and ever. 1Cor.6:2,3; Matt.25:34. {1897 UrS, DAR 141.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 142.1}

We have here further particulars respecting the fourth beast and the little horn. {1897 UrS, DAR 142.2}

Perhaps enough has already been said respecting the fourth beast (Rome) and the ten horns, or ten kingdoms, which arose therefrom. The little horn now more particularly demands attention. As stated on verse 8, we find the fulfilment 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 antichristian power. {1897 UrS, DAR 142.3}

The first pastors or bishops of Rome enjoyed a respect proportionate to the rank of the city in which they resided; and 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 her," 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 adopted. "Why should not the Roman Church be the mother of Christendom? 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 ("History of the Reformation," Vol.I, chap.1), "for the ambitious heart of man to reason thus. Ambitious Rome did so." {1897 UrS, DAR 142.4}

The bishops in the different parts of the Roman empire felt a pleasure in yielding to the bishop of Rome some portion of that honor which Rome, as the queen 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 increased 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 144.1}

Such were the influences clustering around the bishop of Rome, and thus was everything tending toward his speedy elevation to the supreme spiritual throne of Christendom. But the fourth century was destined to witness an obstacle thrown across the path of this ambitious dream. Arius, parish priest of the ancient and influential church of Alexandria, sprung his doctrine upon the world, occasioning so fierce a controversy in the Christian church that a general council was called at Nicaea, by the emperor Constantine, A.D.325, to consider and adjust it. Arius maintained "that the Son was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that he was the first and noblest of those beings 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. (Mosheim, cent.4, part 2, chap.4: Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, p.239.) {1897 UrS, DAR 144.2}

The controversy itself, however, was not to be disposed of in this summary manner, but continued for ages to agitate the Christian world, the Arians everywhere becoming the bitter enemies of the pope and of the Roman Catholic Church. From these facts it is evident that the spread of Arianism would check the influence of the Catholics; and the possession of Rome and Italy by a people of the Arian persuasion, would be fatal to the supremacy of a Catholic bishop. But the prophecy had declared that this horn would rise to supreme power, and that in reaching this position it would subdue three kings. {1897 UrS, DAR 144.3}

Some difference of opinion has existed in regard to the particular powers which were overthrown in the interest of the papacy, in reference to which the following remark by {1897 UrS, DAR 145.1}

Albert Barnes seems very 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 fulfilment of the vision. Yet it is possible to make out the fulfilment of this with a good degree of certainty in the history of the papacy." -Notes on Daniel 7. {1897 UrS, DAR 145.2}

Mr Mede supposes the three kingdoms plucked up to have been the Greeks, the Lombards, the Franks; and Sir Isaac Newton supposes they were the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Lombards, the Senate and Dukedom of Rome. Bishop Newton (Dissertation on the Prophecies, pp.217,218) states some serious objections to both these schemes. The Franks could not have been one of these kingdoms; for they were never plucked up before the papacy. The Lombards could not have been one; for they were never made subject to the popes. Says Barnes, " 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." And the Senate and Dukedom of Rome could not have been one; for they, as such, never constituted one of the ten kingdoms, three of which were to be plucked up before the little horn. {1897 UrS, DAR 145.3}

But we apprehend that 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, till the pope became a temporal prince; and hence they sought to find an accomplishment of the prophecy in the events which led to the pope's temporal sovereignty. Whereas, 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; and the pope reached this position, as will hereafter appear, in A.D. 538; and the plucking up of the three horns took place before this, and to make way for this very exaltation to spiritual dominion. The insuperable difficulty in the way of all attempts to apply the prophecy to the Lombards and the other powers named above is that they come altogether too late in point of time; for the prophecy deals with the arrogant efforts of the Roman pontiff to gain power, not with his endeavors to oppress and humble the nations after he had secured the supremacy. {1897 UrS, DAR 145.4}

The position is here confidently taken that the three powers, or horns, plucked up before the papacy, were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; and this position rests upon the following statements of historians. {1897 UrS, DAR 146.1}

Odoacer, the leader of the Heruli, was the first of the barbarians who reigned over the Romans. He took the throne of Italy, according to Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol.III, pp.510,515), in 476. Of his religious belief Gibbon (p.516) 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 146.2}

Again he says (p.547): "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." {1897 UrS, DAR 146.3}

The reader is requested to consider carefully a few more historical statements which throw some light on the situation at this time. Stanley (History of the Eastern Church, p. 151) says: "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, and the first conqueror of Africa, Genseric, were Arians. Theodoric, the great king of Italy, and hero of the 'Nibelungen Lied,' 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, in their triumph, they tore down the porphyry vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes." {1897 UrS, DAR 147.1}

Ranke, in his History of the Popes (London, edition of 1871), Vol.I, p.9, says: "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 the patriarchal diocese." {1897 UrS, DAR 147.2}

Machiavelli, in his History of Florence, p. 14, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 147.3}

These extracts give us a general view of the state of affairs at this time, and show us that though the hands of the Roman pontiffs might not be visibly manifest in the movements upon the political board, they constituted the power working assiduously behind the scenes to secure their own purposes. The relation which these Arian kings sustained to the pope, from which we can see the necessity of their being overthrown to make way for papal supremacy, is shown in the following testimony from Mosheim, given in his History of the Church, cent.6, part 2, chap.2, sec.2:- {1897 UrS, DAR 147.4}

"On the other hand, it is certain, from a variety of the most authentic records, that both the emperors and the nations in general were far from being disposed to bear with patience the yoke of servitude which the popes were imposing upon the Christian church. The Gothic princes set bounds to the power of these arrogant prelates in Italy, permitted none to be raised to the pontificate without their approbation, and reserved to themselves the right of judging of the legality of every new election." {1897 UrS, DAR 148.1}

An instance in proof of this statement occurs in the history of Odoacer, the first Arian king above mentioned, as related by Bower in his History of the Popes, Vol.I, p.271. 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. Certainly the horn which exercised such a restrictive power over the papal pontiff must be taken away before the pope could reach the predicted supremacy. {1897 UrS, DAR 148.2}

Meanwhile, Zeno, the emperor of the East, and friend of the pope, was anxious to drive Odoacer out of Italy (Machiavelli, p.6), a movement which he soon had the satisfaction of seeing accomplished without trouble to himself, in the following manner. 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 possess. Zeno gave him permission to march against Odoacer, and take possession of Italy. Accordingly, after a three 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 148.3}

The following incident will show how completely the papacy was in subjection to his power. The Catholics in the East, having commenced a persecution against the Arians in 523, Theodoric summoned Pope John into his presence, and thus addressed him: "If the emperor [Justin, the predecessor of Justinian] 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 Nicaea are heretics to him, and those who do are heretics to me. Whatever can excuse or justify his severity to the former, will excuse the 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." - Bower's History of the Popes, Vol.I, p.325. {1897 UrS, DAR 149.1}

The pope who was thus peremptorily ordered not to set his 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 till that power was taken out of the way. Baronius, according to Bower, will have it that the pope sacrificed himself on this occasion, and advised the emperor not by any means to comply with the demand the king had sent him. But Mr. Bower thinks this inconsistent, since he could not, he says, "sacrifice himself without sacrificing, at the same time, the far greater part of the innocent Catholics in the West, who were either subject to King Theodoric, or to other Arian princes in alliance with him." It is certain that the pope and the other ambassadors were treated with severity on their return,which Bower explains on this wise: "Others arraign them all of high treason; and truly the chief men of Rome were suspected at this very time of carrying on a treasonable correspondence with the court of Constantinople, and machinating the ruin of the Gothic empire in Italy." - Id.,p.326. {1897 UrS, DAR 149.2}

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, when they tore from his massive tomb in Ravenna the porphyry vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes. But these feelings are put into language by Baronius, who inveighs "against Theodoric as a cruel barbarian, as a barbarous tyrant, as an impious Arian." But "having exaggerated with all his eloquence, and bewailed the deplorable condition of the Roman Church reduced by that heretic to a state of slavery, he comforts himself in the end, and dries up his tears, with the pious thought that the author of such a calamity died soon after, and was eternally damned!" - Bower, Vol.I, p.328; Compare Baronius' Annals, A.D.526, p.116. {1897 UrS, DAR 150.1}

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. (Gibbon, chap.,37, sec.2.) Elliott, in his Horae Apocalypticae, Vol.III, p.152, note 3, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 150.2}

Such was the position of affairs, when, in 533, Justinian entered upon his Vandal and Gothic wars. Wishing to secure the influence of the pope and the Catholic party, he issued that memorable decree which was to constitute the pope the head of all the churches, and from the carrying out of which, in 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 150.3}

The testimony of D'Aubigne (Reformation, book 1, chap.1) also throws light upon the undercurrents which gave shape to outward movements in these eventful times. He says: "Princes whom these stormy times often shook upon their thrones, offered their protection if Rome would in its turn support them. They conceded to her the spiritual authority, provided she would make a return in secular power. They were lavish of the souls of men, in the hope that she would aid them against their enemies. The power of the hierarchy, which was ascending, and the imperial power, which was declining, leaned thus one upon the other, and by this alliance accelerated their twofold destiny. Rome could not lose by it. An edict of Theodosius II and of Valerian III proclaimed the Roman bishop 'rector of the whole church.' Justinian published a similar decree." {1897 UrS, DAR 151.1}

But no decree of this nature could be carried into effect until the Arian horns which stood in its way were overthrown. The Vandals fell before the victorious arms of Belisarius in 534; and the Goths received a crushing blow in connection with their unsuccessful siege of Rome in 538. (Gibbon, chap.41.) {1897 UrS, DAR 151.2}

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; for by assisting the Christians he would overthrow the power of the Vandals." - Evagrius' Eccl.Hist., book 4, chap.16. {1897 UrS, DAR 151.3}

Listen again to Mosheim: "It is true that the Greeks who had received the decrees of the Council of Nicaea [that is, 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 hostile 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." - Mosheim's Church History, cent.6, part 2, chap.5, sec.3. {1897 UrS, DAR 151.4}

Elliot, in his Horae Apocalypticae, makes two enumerations of the ten kingdoms which rose out of the Roman empire, varying the second list from the first according to the changes which had taken place at the later period to which the second list applies. His first list differs from that mentioned in remarks on chap.2:42, only in that he put the Alemanni in place of the Huns, and the Bavarians in place of the Lombards, a variation which can be easily accounted for. But out of this list he names the three that were plucked up before the papacy in these words: "I might cite three that were eradicated from before the pope out of the list first given; namely, the Heruli under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths." - Vol.III, p.152, note 1. {1897 UrS, DAR 153.1}

Although he prefers the second list, in which he puts the Lombards instead of the Heruli, the foregoing is good testimony that if we make the enumeration of the ten kingdoms while the Heruli were a ruling power, they were one of the horns which were plucked up. {1897 UrS, DAR 153.2}

From the historical testimony above cited, we think it clearly established that the three horns plucked up were the powers named; viz., the Heruli in A.D.493, the Vandals in 534, and the Ostrogoths in 553. The effective opposition of the Ostrogoths to the decree of Justinian, however, it is to be noted, ceased when they were driven from Rome by Belisarius in 538. {1897 UrS, DAR 153.3}

1. "He shall speak great words against the Most High." Has the papacy done this? Look at such self-approved titles of the pope as "Vicegerent of the Son of God," and "Lord God, the Pope." - See gloss on the Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, title 14, ch.4, "Declaramus." Said Pope Nicholas to Emperor Michael, "The pope can never be bound or loosed by the secular power, since it is plain that he was called God by the pious prince Constantine; . . . and it is manifest that God can not be judged by man." - Decreti Prima Pars. Distinctio XCVI, Caput 8. Is there need of bolder blasphemy than this? Note also the adulation the popes have received from their followers without rebuke. Lord Anthony Pucci, in the fifth Lateran, said to the pope, "The sight of thy divine majesty does not a little terrify me; for I am not ignorant that all power both in heaven and in earth is given unto you; that the prophetic saying is fulfilled in you, 'All the kings of the earth shall worship him, and nations shall serve him.'" (See Oswald's Kingdom Which Shall Not Be Destroyed, pp.97-99.) Again, Dr. Clarke, on verse 25, says: "'He shall speak as if he were God.' So St. Jerome quotes from Symmachus. To 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 153.4}

2. "And shall wear out the saints of the Most High." Has the papacy done this? For the mere information of any student of church history, no answer need here be given. All know that for long years the papal church has pursued its relentless work against the true followers of God. Chapter after chapter might be given, would our limited space permit. Wars, crusades, massacres, inquisitions, and persecutions of all kinds, - these were their weapons of extinction. {1897 UrS, DAR 154.1}

Scott's Church History says: "No computation can reach the numbers who have been put to death, in different ways, on account of their maintaining the profession of the gospel, and opposing the corruptions of the Church of Rome. A million of poor Waldenses perished in France; nine hundred thousand orthodox Christians were slain in less than thirty years after the institution of the order of the Jesuits. The Duke of Alva boasted of having put to death in the Netherlands thirty-six thousand by the hand of the common executioner during the space of a few years. The Inquisition destroyed, by various tortures, one hundred and fifty thousand within thirty years. These are a few specimens, and but a few, of those which history has recorded. But the total amount will never be known till the earth shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain." {1897 UrS, DAR 154.2}

Commenting on the prophecy that the little horn should "wear out the saints of the Most High," Barnes, in his Notes on Dan.7:25, says: "Can any one 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 of Goa, - indeed, the whole history of the papacy, may be appealed to in proof that this is applicable to that power. If anything could have worn out the saints of the Most High, - could have cut them off from the earth so that evangelical religion would have become extinct, - it would have been the persecutions of the papal power. In year 1208 a crusade was proclaimed by Pope Innocent III against the Waldenses and Albigenses, in which a million men perished. From the beginning of the order of Jesuits in the year 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in thirty years. In the Low Countries fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, burned, or buried alive, for the crime of heresy, within the space of thirty-eight years from the edict of Charles V against the Protestants to the peace of Chateau Cambresis 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." (See Buck's Theological Dictionary, art., Persecutions: Oswald's Kingdom, etc., pp.107-133; Dowling's History of Romanism; Fox's Book of Martyrs: Charlotte Elizabeth's Martyrology; The Wars of the Huguenots; The Great Red Dragon, by Anthony Gavin, formerly one of the Roman Catholic priests of Saragossa, Spain; Histories of the Reformation, etc.) {1897 UrS, DAR 155.1}

To parry the force of this damaging testimony from all history, papists deny that the church has ever persecuted any one; it has been the secular power; the church has only passed decision upon the question of heresy, and then turned the offenders over to the civil power, to be dealt with according to the pleasure of the secular court. The impious hypocrisy of this claim is transparent enough to make it an absolute insult to common sense. In those days of persecution, what was the secular power? - Simply a tool in the hand of the church, and under its control, to do its bloody bidding. And 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 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, nor to put thy life in any sort of danger." And then, as intended, the unfortunate victims of popish hate were immediately executed. (Geddes's Tracts on Popery; View of the Court of Inquisition in Portugal, p.446; Limborch, Vol.II, p.289.) {1897 UrS, DAR 157.1}

But the false claims of papists in this respect have been flatly denied and disproved 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 popery. 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 Romish 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 not know it, and was therefore ignorant; or if he knew it, he was convicted of impudence and falsehood; for that heretics were often burned by the church, may be proved by adducing a few from many examples." {1897 UrS, DAR 157.2}

To show the relation of the secular power to the church, as held by Romanists, we quote the answer of the same writer to the argument that the only weapon committed to the church is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." To this he replied: "As the church has ecclesiastical and secular princes, who are her twoarms, so she has two swords, the spiritual and material; and therefore when her right hand is unable to convert a heretic with the sword of the Spirit, she invokes the aid of the left hand, and coerces heretics with the material sword." In answer to the argument that the apostles never invoked the secular arm against heretics, he says, "The apostles did it not, because there was no Christian prince whom they could call on for aid. But afterward, in Constantine's time, . . . the church called in the aid of the secular arm." - Dowling's History of Romanism, pp.547,548. {1897 UrS, DAR 158.1}

In corroboration of these facts, fifty million martyrs - this is the lowest computation made by any historian - will rise up in the judgment as witnesses against that church's bloody work. {1897 UrS, DAR 158.2}

Pagan Rome persecuted relentlessly the Christian church, and it is estimated that three million Christians perished in the first three centuries, yet it is said that the primitive Christians prayed for the continuance of imperial Rome; for they knew that when this form of government should cease, another far worse persecuting power would arise, which would literally, as this prophecy declares, "wear out the saints of the Most High." 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. "When Herod died," says a forcible writer, "he went down to the grave with infamy; and earth had one murderer, one persecutor, less, and hell one victim more. O Rome! what will not be thy hell, and that of thy votaries, when thy judgment shall have come!" {1897 UrS, DAR 158.3}

3. And shall "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, in its catechisms, expunged the second commandment of the decalogue to make way for its adoration of images. It has divided the tenth commandment to make up the number ten. And, more audacious than all! it has taken hold of the fourth commandment, torn from its place the sabbath of Jehovah, the only memorial of the great God ever given to man, and erected in its place a rival institution to serve another purpose. 1 {1897 UrS, DAR 159.1}

4. "And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." The pronoun they 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 the chapter 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 (Sept., ,) half a year. Gesenius also gives "...., Chald., a half. Dan.7:25," We thus have three years and a half for the continuance of this power. the Hebrew, or rather the Chaldaic, word for time in the text before us, is , iddan, which Gesenius defines thus: "Time. Spec. in prophetic language for a year. Dan.7:25 for a year, also two years and half a year; i.e., for three years and a half; comp. Jos.B.J.1.1.1." We must now consider that we are in the midst of symbolic prophecy; hence in this measurement the time is not literal, but symbolic also. The inquiry then arises, How long a period is denoted by the three years and a half of prophetic time? The rule given us in the Bible is, that when a day is used as a symbol, it stands for a year. Eze.4:6; Num.14:34. Under the Hebrew word for day, (yom), Gesenius has this remark: "3. 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." The ordinary Jewish year, which must be used as the basis of reckoning, contained three hundred and sixty days. Three years and a half contained 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 possess 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, till A.D.538. 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 hand 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 for a time abolished the papacy. It has never since enjoyed the privileges and immunities which it possessed before. Thus again this power fulfils to the very letter the specifications of the prophecy, which proves beyond question that the application is correct. {1897 UrS, DAR 159.2}

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 relative to 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 Dan.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 under chapter 9:25-27.) Four years after this, in 1848, the great revolution which shook so many thrones in Europe, drove the pope also from his dominions. His restoration shortly after was through the force of foreign bayonets, by which alone he was upheld till 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 Rev.13:3, to come upon this power; but this deadly wound was to be "healed." In 1800 another pope was elected; his palace and temporal dominion were restored, and every prerogative except, as Mr. Croly says, that of a systematic persecutor, was again under his control; and thus the wound was healed. But since 1870, he has enjoyed no prestige as a temporal prince, among the nations of the earth. {1897 UrS, DAR 160.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 161.1}

After beholding the dark and desolate picture of papal oppression upon 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? {1897 UrS, DAR 161.2}

*NOTE. - Some startling events relative to the papacy, filling up the prophecies uttered in this chapter concerning that power, have taken place within a few years of the present time. Commencing in 1798, where the first great blow fell upon the papacy, what have been the chief characteristics of its history? Answer: The rapid defection of its natural supporters, and greater assumptions on its own part. In 1844, the judgment of verse 10 began to sit; namely, the investigative judgment, in the heavenly sanctuary, preparatory to the coming of Christ. Dec.8, 1854, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was decreed by the pope. July 21, 1870, in the great Ecumenical Council assembled at Rome, it was deliberately decreed, by a vote of 538 against 2, that the pope was infallible. In the same year, France, by whose bayonets the pope was kept upon his throne, was crushed by Prussia, and the last prop was taken from under the papacy. Then Victor Emmanuel, seeing his opportunity to carry out the long-cherished dream of a united Italy, seized Rome to make it the capital of his kingdom. To his troops, under General Cadorna, Rome surrendered, Sept.20, 1870. The pope's temporal power was thus wholly taken away, nevermore, said Victor Emmanuel, to be restored; and since that time, the popes, shutting themselves up in the Vatican, have styled themselves "prisoners." Because of the great words which the horn uttered, Daniel saw the beast destroyed, and given to the burning flame. This destruction is to take place at the second coming of Christ and by means of that event; for the man of sin is to be consumed by the spirit of Christ's mouth, and destroyed by the brightness of his coming. 2Thess.2:8. What words could be more arrogant, presumptuous, blasphemous, or insulting to high Heaven, than the deliberate adoption of the dogma of infallibility, thus clothing a mortal man with a prerogative of the Deity? And this was accomplished by papal intrigue and influence, July 21, 1870. Following in swift succession, the last vestige of temporal power was wrenched from his grasp. It was because of these words, and as if in almost immediate connection with them, that the prophet saw this power given to the burning flame. His dominion was to be consumed unto the end, implying that when his power as a civil ruler should be wholly destroyed, the end would not be far off. And the prophet immediately adds: "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." All in this line of prophecy has now been fully accomplished except the closing scene. Next comes the last, crowning act in the drama, when the beast will be given to the burning flame, and the saints of the Most High will take the kingdom. We must be, now, upon the very threshold of this glorious event.** {1897 UrS, DAR 162.1}

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 spoke 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:

"Thus said 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 saw . . . 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 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 hastes 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 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 BC, 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, Greece, 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 Greece under Alexander had no parallel in ancient times for suddenness and rapidity. His military achievements are summarized by W. W. Tarn:

"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 BC, 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.)

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 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 {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, 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 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 spoke: 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 before 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 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 spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

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 Greece, 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.

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 AD 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 AD 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 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 Christendom? 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 AD 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 beings 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 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, AD 583, as will hereafter appear.

The word "before" used in verses 8 and 20 represents the Chaldee {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, 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 {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, 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 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, AD 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]

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 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, AD 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.

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, AD 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 enshrined 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, AD 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 AD 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; 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, AD 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 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 entrusted 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 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 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 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 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 (AD 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 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 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 likeness 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 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 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, 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 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 observance 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 {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, 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 {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, iddan, which Gesenius defines thus: "Time. Spec. in prophetic language for a year. Daniel 7: 25, {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT} 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, {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, yom, Gesenius has this remark on its plural: "Sometimes {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT} [yamim] marks a definite space of time; viz., a year; as also Syr. and Chald. {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT} [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 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 AD 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 AD 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.)

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 spoke. . .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 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 thoughts 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?

References

[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.

08 - VISION OF THE RAM, HE GOAT AND LITTLE HORN

Change from Chaldaic to Hebrew - Date of Belshazzar's Reign - Date of This Vision - Where was Shushan? - A Prophecy of Isaiah Fulfilled - The Angel Explains the Symbols - How the Goat Represents the Grecians - Alexander the Great - Battle at the River Granicus - Battle at the Passes of Issus - The Great Battle of Arbela - Subversion of the Persian Kingdom, B.C.331 - Alexander's Famous Reply to Darius - The World Will not Permit Two Suns nor Two Sovereigns - Increase of Power - Alexander's Disgraceful Death - Division of the Kingdom - The Roman Horn - How It Came out of One of the Horns of the Goat - Antiochus Epiphanes not This Horn - Rome the Power Symbolized by the Little Horn - What is the "Daily"? - Two Desolating Powers Brought to View - When Oppression of the Saints Will End - The 2300 Days not Here Explained - The Sanctuary Explained - What the Cleansing of the Sanctuary Is - The King of Fierce Countenance - By What Means the Romans Prospered - The Explanation not Finished - The Reason Why

We now come once more," says Dr. Clarke, "to the Hebrew,,the Chaldee part of the book being finished. As the Chaldeans had a particular interest both in the history and the 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 163.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 163.2}

One prominent characteristic of the sacred writings, and one 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 that which they record. This verse states the time when the vision recorded in this chapter was given to Daniel. The first year of Belshazzar was B.C.540. His third year, in which this vision was given, would consequently be 538. If Daniel, as is supposed, was about twenty years of age when he was carried to Babylon in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, B.C.606, he was at this time about eighty-eight years of age. The vision he speaks of 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 163.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 165.1}

As verse 1 states the time when, this verse gives the place where, the vision was given. Shushan, as we learn from Prideaux, was the metropolis of the province of Elam. This was then in the hands of the Babylonians, and there the king of Babylon had a royal palace. Daniel, as minister of state, and employed about the king's business, was accordingly in that place. Abradates;, viceroy or prince of Shushan, revolted 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 it regained its liberties, of which it had been deprived by the Babylonians, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah, chapter 49:39. {1897 UrS, DAR 165.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 165.3}

In verse 20 an interpretation of this symbol is given us 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 symbol answers to the power in question. The two horns represented the two nationalities of which the empire consisted. The higher came up last. This represented the Persian element, which, from being at first simply an ally of the Medes, came to be the leading division of the empire. The different directions in which the ram was seen pushing, denote the directions in which the Medes and Persians carried their conquests. No earthly powers could stand before them while they were marching up to the exalted position to which the providence of God had summoned them. And so successfully were their conquests prosecuted that in the days of Ahasuerus (Est.1:1), the Medo-Persian kingdom extended from India to Ethiopia, the extremities of the then known world, over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. The prophecy almost seems to fall short of the facts as stated in history, when it simply says that this power "did according to his will, and became great." {1897 UrS, DAR 165.4}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 166.1}

"As I was considering," says the prophet; and in this he sets an example for every lover of the truth, and all who have any regard for things higher than the objects of time and sense. When Moses saw the burning bush, he said, "I will now turn aside, and see this great sight." But how few are willing at the present time to turn aside from their pursuit of business or pleasure to consider the important themes to which both the mercy and the providence of God are striving to call their attention. {1897 UrS, DAR 166.2}

The symbol here introduced is also explained by the angel to Daniel. Verse 21: "And the rough goat is the king [or kingdom] of Grecia." Concerning the fitness of this symbol to the Grecian or Madedonian people, Bishop Newton observes that the Macedonians, "about two hundred years before the time of Daniel, were called AEgeadae, the goats' people:" the origin of which name he explains, according to heathen authors, as follows: "Caranus, their first king, going with a great multitude of Greeks to seek new habitations in Macedonia, was advised by an oracle to take the goats for his guides to empire: and afterward, seeing a herd of goats flying from a violent storm, he followed them to Edessa, and there fixed the seat of his empire, and made the goats his ensigns, or standards, and called the city AEgae, or the goats' town, and the people AEgeadae, or the goats' people." "The city of Aegeae, or Aegae, was the usual burying-place of the Macedonian kings. It is also very remarkable that Alexander's son by Roxana was named Alexander Aegus, or the son of the goat; and some of Alexander's successors are represented in their coins with goats' horns." - Dissertation on the Prophecies, p.238. {1897 UrS, DAR 166.3}

The goat came from the west. Grecia lay west of Persia. {1897 UrS, DAR 168.1}

"On the face of the whole earth." He covered all the ground as he passed; that is, swept everything before him; he left nothing behind. {1897 UrS, DAR 168.2}

He "touched not the ground." Such was the marvelous celerity of his movements that he did not seem to touch the ground, but to fly from point to point with the swiftness of the wind; the same feature is brought to view by the four wings of the leopard in the vision of chapter 7. {1897 UrS, DAR 168.3}

The notable horn between his eyes. This explained in verse 21 to be the first king of the Macedonian empire. This king was Alexander the Great. {1897 UrS, DAR 168.4}

Verses 6 and 7 give a concise account of the overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander. The contests between the Greeks and Persians are said to have been exceedingly furious; and some of the scenes as recorded in history are vividly brought to mind by the figure used in the prophecy, - a ram standing before the river, and the goat running unto him in the fury of his power. Alexander first vanquished the generals of Darius at the River Granicus in Phrygia; he next attacked and totally routed Darius at the passes of Issus in Cilicia, and afterward on the plains of Arbela in Syria. This last battle occurred in B.C.331, and marked the conclusion of the Persian empire, for by this event Alexander became complete master of the whole country. Bishop Newton quotes verse 6: "And he [the goat] came to the ram which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power;" and adds: "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, swimming across the stream, and rushing on the enemy with all the fire and fury that can be imagined." - Id., p.239. {1897 UrS, DAR 168.5}

Ptolemy begins the reign of Alexander B.C.332; but it was not till the battle of Arbela, the year following, that he became, according to Prideaux (Vol.1, p.378), "absolute lord of that empire to the utmost extent in which it was ever possessed by the Persian kings." On the eve of this engagement, Darius sent ten of his chief relatives to sue for peace; and upon their presenting their conditions to Alexander, he replied, "Tell your sovereign . . . that the world will not permit two suns nor two sovereigns!" {1897 UrS, DAR 170.1}

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, its cities plundered, and the royal city of Persepolis, the capital of the Persian empire, and even in 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 170.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 170.3}

The conqueror is greater than the conquered. The ram, Medo- Persia, became great; the goat, Grecia, became very great. And when he was strong, the great horn was broken. Human foresight and speculation would have said, When he becomes weak, his kingdom racked by rebellion, or paralyzed by luxury, then the horn will be broken, and the kingdom shattered. But Daniel saw it broken in the very prime of its strength and the height of its power, when 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 170.4}

Alexander fell in the prime of life. (See notes on verse 39 of chapter 2.) After his death there arose much confusion among his followers respecting the succession. It was finally agreed, after a seven days' contest, that his natural brother, Philip Aridaeus, should be declared king. By him, and Alexander's infant sons, Alexander AEgus and Hercules, the name and show of the Macedonian empire were for a time sustained; but all these persons were soon murdered; and the family of Alexander being then extinct, the chief commanders of the army, who had gone into different parts of the empire as governors of the provinces, assumed the title of kings. They thereupon fell to leaguing and warring with one another to such a degree that within the space of twenty-two years from Alexander's death, the number was reduced to - how many? Five? - No. Three? - No. Two? - No. But four - just the number specified in the prophecy; for four notable horns were to come up toward the four winds of heaven in place of the great horn that was broken. These were (1) Cassander, who had Greece and the neighboring countries; (2) Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor; (3) Seleucus, who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of kings known as the "Seleucidae," so famous in history; and (4) 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 had the northern regions; Seleucus possessed the eastern countries; and Ptolemy had 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 Bosphorus), Syria, and Egypt. {1897 UrS, DAR 171.1}

"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 this 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 practiced and prospered." {1897 UrS, DAR 171.2}

A third power is here introduced into the prophecy. In the explanation which the angel gave to Daniel of these symbols, this one is not described in language so definite as that concerning Medo-Persia and Grecia. Hence a flood of wild conjecture is at once let loose. Had not the angel, in language which cannot be misunderstood, stated that Medo-Persia and Grecia were denoted by the ram and the he-goat, it is impossible to tell what applications men would have given us of those symbols. Probably they would have applied them to anything and everything but the right objects. Leave men a moment to their own judgment in the interpretation of prophecy, and we immediately have the most sublime exhibitions of human fancy. {1897 UrS, DAR 172.1}

There are two leading applications of the symbol now under consideration, which are all that need be noticed in these brief thoughts. The first is that the "little horn" here introduced denotes the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes; the second, that it denotes the Roman power. It is an easy matter to test the claims of these two positions. {1897 UrS, DAR 172.2}

I. Does it mean Antiochus? If so, this king must fulfil the specifications of the prophecy? If he does not fulfil them, the application cannot be made to him. The little horn came out of one of the four horns of the goat. It was then a separate power, existing independently of, and distinct from, any of the horns of the goat. Was Antiochus such a power? {1897 UrS, DAR 172.3}

1. 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, in order, was Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus, then, was simply one of the twenty-six kings who constituted the Syrian horn of the goat. He was, for the time being, that horn. Hence he could not be at the same time a separate and independent power, or another and remarkable horn, as the little horn was. {1897 UrS, DAR 172.4}

2. 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 did not by any means sustain this character. Although he took the name Epiphanes, that is, The Illustrious, he was illustrious only in name; for nothing, says Prideaux on the authority of Polybius, Livy, and Diodorus Siculus, could be more alien to his true character; for, on account of his vile and extravagant folly, some thinking him a fool and others a madman, they changed his name of Epiphanes, "The Illustrious," into Epimanes, "The Madman." {1897 UrS, DAR 174.1}

3. Antiochus the Great, the father of Epiphanes, being terribly defeated in a war with the Romans, was enabled to procure peace only by the payment of a prodigious sum of money, and the surrender of a portion of his territory; and, as a pledge that he would faithfully adhere to the terms of the treaty, he was obliged go give hostages, among whom was this very Epiphanes, his son, who was carried to Rome. The Romans ever after maintained this ascendency. {1897 UrS, DAR 174.2}

4. The little horn waxed exceeding great; but this Antiochus did not wax exceeding great; on the contrary, he did not enlarge his dominion, except by some temporary conquests in Egypt, which he immediately relinquished when the Romans took the part of Ptolemy, and commanded him to desist from his designs in that quarter. The rage of his disappointed ambition he vented upon the unoffending Jews. {1897 UrS, DAR 174.3}

5. The little horn, in comparison with the powers that preceded it, was exceeding great. Persia is simply called great, though it reigned over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. Est.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 to Antiochus, who was obliged to abandon Egypt at the dictation of the Romans, to whom he paid enormous sums of money as tribute. The Religious Encyclopedia gives us this item of his history: "Finding his resources exhausted, he resolved to go into Persia to levy tribute, and collect large sums which he had agreed to pay the Romans." It cannot take long for any one to decide the question which was the greater power, - the one which evacuated Egypt, or the one which commanded that evacuation; the one which exacted tribute, or the one which was compelled to pay it. {1897 UrS, DAR 174.4}

6. The little horn was to stand up against the Prince of princes. The Prince of princes here means, beyond controversy, Jesus Christ. Dan.9:25; Acts.3:15; Rev.1:5. But Antiochus died one hundred and sixty-four years before our Lord was born. The prophecy cannot, therefore, apply to him; for he does not fulfil the specifications in one single particular. The question may then be asked how any one has ever come to apply it to him. We answer, Romanists take that view to avoid the application of the prophecy to themselves; and many Protestants follow them, in order to oppose the doctrine that the second advent of Christ is now at hand. {1897 UrS, DAR 175.1}

II. It has been an easy matter to show that the little horn does not denote Antiochus. It will be just as easy to show that it does denote Rome. {1897 UrS, DAR 175.2}

1. The field of vision here is substantially the same as that covered by Nebuchadnezzar's image of chapter 2, and Daniel's vision of chapter 7. And 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" power, is also Rome. {1897 UrS, DAR 175.3}

2. The little horn comes forth from one of the horns of the goat. How, it may be asked, can this be true of Rome? It is unnecessary to remind the reader that earthly governments are not introduced into prophecy till 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, B.C.161. 1Maccabees8; Josephus's Antiquities, book 12, chap.10, sec.6; Prideaux, Vol.II, p.166. But seven years before this, that is, in B.C.168, Rome had conquered Macedonia, and made that country a part of its empire. Rome is therefore introduced into prophecy just as, from the conquered Macedonian horn of the goat, it is going forth to new conquests in other directions. It therefore appeared to the prophet, or may be properly spoken of in this prophecy, as coming forth from one of the horns of the goat. {1897 UrS, DAR 175.4}

3. The little horn waxed great toward the south. This was true of Rome. Egypt was made a province of the Roman empire B.C.30, and continued such for some centuries. {1897 UrS, DAR 176.1}

4. The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was true of Rome. Rome conquered Syria B.C.65, and made it a province. {1897 UrS, DAR 176.2}

5. 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, B.C.63, and eventually destroyed the city and the temple, and scattered the Jews over the face of the whole earth. {1897 UrS, DAR 176.3}

6. The little horn waxed great even to the host of heaven. Rome did this also. The host of heaven, when used in a symbolic sense in reference to events transpiring upon the earth, must denote persons of illustrious character or exalted position. The great red dragon (Rev.12:4) is said to have cast down a third part of the stars of heaven to the ground. The dragon is there interpreted to symbolize pagan Rome, and the stars it cast to the ground were Jewish rulers. Evidently it is the same power and the same work that is here brought to view, which again makes it necessary to apply this growing horn to Rome. {1897 UrS, DAR 176.4}

7. The little horn magnified himself even to the Prince of the host. Rome alone did this. In the interpretation (verse 25) this is called standing up against the Prince of princes. How clear an allusion to the crucifixion of our Lord under the jurisdiction of the Romans. {1897 UrS, DAR 176.5}

8. By the little horn the daily sacrifice was taken away. This little horn must be understood to symbolize 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) signifying the pagan form, and the transgression of desolation, the papal. (See 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. And the place of his sanctuary, or worship, the city of Rome, was cast down. The seat of government was removed by Constantine in A.D.330 to Constantinople. This same transaction is brought to view in Rev.13:2, where it is said that the dragon, pagan Rome, gave to the beast, papal Rome, his seat, the city of Rome. {1897 UrS, DAR 176.6}

9. 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 perpetrators of the same empire in another phase. And this was brought about by reason of "transgression;" that is, by the working of the mystery of iniquity. The papacy is the most cunningly contrived, false ecclesiastical system ever devised; and it may be called a system of iniquity because it has committed its abominations and practiced its orgies of superstition in the garb, and under the pretense, of pure and undefiled religion. {1897 UrS, DAR 177.1}

10. The little horn cast 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; it is loaded with traditions; it is turned into mummery and superstition; it is cast down and obscured. {1897 UrS, DAR 177.2}

And this antichristian power has "practiced," - practiced its deceptions upon the people, practiced its schemes of cunning to carry out its own ends and aggrandize its own power. {1897 UrS, DAR 177.3}

And it has "prospered." It has made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. It has run its alloted 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 177.4}

Rome meets all the specifications of the prophecy. No other power does meet them. Hence Rome, and no other, is the power in question. And while the descriptions given in the word of God of the character of this monstrous system are fully met, the prophecies of its baleful history have been most strikingly and accurately fulfilled. {1897 UrS, DAR 177.5}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 178.1}

The time. These two verses close the vision proper of chapter 8; and they introduce the one remaining point which of all others would naturally be of the most absorbing interest to the prophet and to all the church; namely, the time the desolating powers previously brought to view were to continue. How long shall they continue their course of oppression against God's people, and of blasphemy against high Heaven? Daniel, if time had been given, might perhaps have asked this question himself, but God is ever ready to anticipate our wants and sometimes to answer even before we ask. Hence two celestial beings appear upon the scene, holding a conversation, in the hearing of the prophet, upon this question which it is so important that the church should understand. Daniel heard one saint speaking. What this saint spoke at this time we are not informed; but there must have been something either in the matter or the manner of this speaking which made a deep impression upon the mind of Daniel, inasmuch as he uses it in the very next sentence as a designating title, calling the angel "that certain saint which spake." He may have spoken something of the same nature as that which the seven thunders of the Apocalypse uttered (Rev.10:3), and which, for some good reason, John was restrained from writing. But another saint asked this one that spake an important question: How long the vision? and both the question and the answer are placed upon record, which is prima-facie evidence that this is a matter which it was designed that the church should understand. And this view is further confirmed by the fact that the angel did not ask this question for his own information, inasmuch as the answer was addressed to Daniel, as the one whom it chiefly concerned, and for whose information it was given. {1897 UrS, DAR 178.2} "And he said unto me," said Daniel, recording the answer to the angel's question, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." {1897 UrS, DAR 179.1}

The daily sacrifice. We have proof in verse 13 that sacrifice is the wrong word to be supplied in connection with the word daily. If the daily sacrifice of the Jewish service is here meant, or, in other words, the taking away of that sacrifice, as some suppose, which sacrifice was at a certain point of time taken away, there would be no propriety in the question, How long the vision concerning it? This question evidently implies that those agents or events to which the vision relates, occupy a long series of years. Continuance of time is the central idea. And the whole time of the vision is filled by what is here called the daily and the transgression of desolation. Hence the daily can not be the daily sacrifice of the Jews, the taking away of which, when the time came for it, occupied comparatively but an instant of time. It must denote something which occupies a series of years. {1897 UrS, DAR 179.2}

The word here rendered daily occurs in the Old Testament, according to the Hebrew Concordance, one hundred and two times, and is, in the great majority of instances, rendered continual or continually. The idea of sacrifice does not attach to the word at all. Nor is there any word in the text which signifies sacrifice; that is wholly a supplied word, the translators putting in that word which their understanding of the text seemed to demand. But they evidently entertained an erroneous view, the sacrifices of the Jews not being referred to at all. It appears, therefore, more in accordance with both the 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 desolating powers, which for a long period oppress, or desolate the church. Literally, the text may be rendered, "How long 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." By the "continuance of desolation," or the perpetual desolation, we must understand that paganism, through all its long history, is meant; and 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. By "the transgression of desolation" is meant 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 though under this period of the history of the church the desolating power had rebelled against all restraint previously imposed upon it. {1897 UrS, DAR 179.3}

From a religious point of view, the world has presented only these two 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 all were embraced in the "daily." Then comes the papal form, - the "transgression of desolation" - a marvel of craft and cunning, an incarnation of fiendish blood-thirstiness and cruelty. No wonder the cry has gone up from suffering martyrs, from age to age, "How long, O Lord, how long?" And no wonder the Lord, in order that hope might not wholly die out of the hearts of his down-trodden, waiting people, has lifted before them the vail of futurity, showing them the consecutive future events of the world's history, till all these persecuting powers shall meet an utter and everlasting destruction, and giving them glimpses beyond of the unfading glories of their eternal inheritance. {1897 UrS, DAR 180.1}

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 we are to enter the kingdom; and the word tribulation is from tribulum, a threshing sledge. Blow after blow must be laid upon us, till 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 respecting the daily and the 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 worship of the Most High. How long shall they be trodden under foot? 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 at the bar of Heaven. And soon all these accounts will be adjusted, the iron heel of oppression will itself be crushed, and a people will be brought out of the furnace prepared to shine as the stars forever and ever. To be one who is an object of interest to heavenly beings, one whom the providence of God is engaged to preserve while here, and crown with immortality hereafter - what an exalted position! How much higher than that of any king, president, or potentate of earth? Reader, are you one of the number? {1897 UrS, DAR 180.2}

Respecting the 2300 days, introduced for the first time in verse 14, there are no data in this chapter from which to determine their commencement and close, or tell what portion of the world's history they cover. It is necessary, therefore, for the present, to pass them by. Let the reader be assured, however, that we are not left in any uncertainty concerning those days. The declaration respecting them is a part of a revelation which is given for the instruction of the people of God, and is consequently to be understood. They are spoken of in the midst of a prophecy which the angel Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand; and it may be safely assumed that Gabriel somewhere carried out this instruction. It will accordingly be found that the mystery which hangs over these days in this chapter, is dispelled in the next. {1897 UrS, DAR 181.1}

The sanctuary. Connected with the 2300 days is another subject of equal importance, which now presents itself for consideration; namely, the sanctuary; and with this is also connected the subject of its cleansing. An examination of these subjects will reveal the importance of having an understanding of the commencement and termination of the 2300 days, that we may know when the great event called "the cleansing of the sanctuary" is to transpire; for all the inhabitants of the earth, as will in due time appear, have a personal interest in that solemn work. {1897 UrS, DAR 181.2}

Several objects have been claimed by different ones as the sanctuary here mentioned: (1) The earth; (2) The land of Canaan; (3) The church; (4) The sanctuary, 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. Heb.8:1,2; 9:23,24. These conflicting claims must be decided by the Scriptures; and fortunately the testimony is neither meager nor ambiguous. {1897 UrS, DAR 182.1}

1. Is the earth the sanctuary? The word sanctuary occurs in the Old and New Testaments one hundred and forty-four times, and 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, therefore, the earth is the sanctuary, it must answer to this definition; but what single characteristic pertaining to this earth is found which will satisfy the definition? It is neither a holy nor a sacred place, nor is it a dwelling-place for the Most High. It has no mark of distinction, except as being a revolted planet, marred by sin, scarred and withered by the curse. Moreover, it is nowhere in all the Scriptures called the sanctuary. Only one text can be produced in favor of this view, and that only by an uncritical application. Isa.60:13 says: "The glory of 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." This language undoubtedly refers to the new earth; but even that is not called the sanctuary, but only the "place" of the sanctuary, just as it is called 'the place" of the Lord's feet; 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." Rev.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 can present not a shadow of a claim to being the sanctuary at the present time, or the sanctuary of the prophecy. {1897 UrS, DAR 182.2}

2. Is the land of Canaan the sanctuary? So far as we may be governed by the definition of the word, 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 seem to be supposed by some to furnish the requisite testimony. The first of these is Ex.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 has made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established." A writer who urges this text, says, "I ask the reader to pause, and examine and settle the question most distinctly, before he goes further. What is the sanctuary here spoken of? But it would be far safer for the reader not to attempt to settle the question definitely from this one isolated text before comparing it with other scriptures. 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. If we find, in the fulfilment, that the land in which they were planted is called the sanctuary, it will greatly strengthen the claim that is based upon this text. If, on the other hand, we find a plain distinction drawn between the land and the sanctuary, then Ex.15:17 must be interpreted accordingly. {1897 UrS, DAR 183.1}

We turn to David, who records as a matter of history what Moses uttered as a matter of prophecy. Ps.78:53,54. The subject of the psalmist here, is the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian servitude, and their establishment in the promised land; and he says: "And 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 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; and 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: "And 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 good king Jehoshaphat. 2Chron.20:7,8: Art not thou our god, who didst drive out the inhabitants of the 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." Taken alone, some try to draw an inference from Ex.15:17 that the mountain was the sanctuary; but when we take in connection with it the language of David, which is a record of the fulfilment of Moses's prediction, and an inspired commentary upon his language, such an idea cannot be entertained; for 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 Ex.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 employees 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 associated Mount Zion and Judah together in Ps.78:68, because Zion was located in Judah. {1897 UrS, DAR 183.2}

The three texts, Ex.15:17; Ps.78:54,69, are the ones chiefly relied on to prove that the land of Canaan is the 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 thereon. {1897 UrS, DAR 184.1} Having disposed of the main proof on this point, it would hardly seem worth while to spend time with those texts from which only inferences can be drawn. As there is, however, only one even of this class, we will refer to it, that no point may be left unnoticed. Isa.63:18: "The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down the sanctuary." This language is as applicable to the temple as to the land! for when the land was overrun with the enemies of Israel, their temple was laid in ruins. This is plainly stated in verse 11 of the next chapter: "Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire." The text therefore proves nothing for this view. {1897 UrS, DAR 185.1}

Respecting the earth or the land of Canaan as 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; and this purification of the earth, or any part of it, is nowhere in the Bible called the cleansing of the sanctuary. {1897 UrS, DAR 185.2}

3. Is the church the sanctuary? The evident mistrust with which this idea is suggested, is a virtual surrender of the argument before it is presented. The one solitary text adduced in its support is Ps.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." Should we take this text in its most literal sense, what would it prove respecting the sanctuary? It would prove that the sanctuary was confined to one of the twelve tribes: and hence that a portion of the church only, not the whole of it, constitutes the sanctuary. But this, proving too little for the theory under consideration, proves nothing. Why Judah is called the sanctuary in the text quoted, need not be a matter of perplexity, when we remember that God chose Jerusalem, which was in Judah, as the place of his sanctuary. "But chose," says David, "the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established forever." 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 forth from Egypt, because God purposed that in the midst of the territory of that tribe his sanctuary should be located. But even 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 Dan.8:13,14; for the church is there spoken of as another object: "To give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot." That by the term host the church is here meant, none will dispute; the sanctuary is therefore another and a different object. {1897 UrS, DAR 185.3}

4. Is the temple in heaven the sanctuary? There now remains but this one claim to be examined; namely, that the sanctuary mentioned in the text is what Paul calls in Hebrews the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man," to which he expressly gives the name of "the sanctuary," and which he locates in "the heavens;" of which sanctuary, there existed, under the former dispensation, first in the tabernacle built by Moses, and afterward in the temple at Jerusalem, a pattern, type, or figure. And let it be particularly noticed, that on the view here suggested rests our only hope of ever understanding this question; for we have seen that all other positions are untenable. No other object which has ever been supposed by any one to be the sanctuary - the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church - can for a moment support such a claim. If, therefore, we do not find it in the object before us, we may abandon the search in utter despair; we may discard so much of revelation as still unrevealed, and may cut out from the sacred page, as so much useless reading, the numerous passages which speak on this subject. All those, therefore, who, rather than that so important a subject should go by default, are willing to lay aside all preconceived opinions and cherished views, will approach the position before us with intense anxiety and unbounded interest. They will lay hold of any evidence that may here be given us as a man bewildered in a labyrinth of darkness would lay hold of the thread which was his only guide to lead him forth again to light. {1897 UrS, DAR 186.1}

It will be safe for us to put ourselves in imagination in the place of Daniel, and view the subject from his standpoint. What would he understand by the term sanctuary as addressed to him? If we can ascertain this, it will not be difficult to arrive at correct conclusions on this subject. His mind would inevitably turn, on the mention of that word, to the sanctuary of that dispensation; and certainly he well knew 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. And so, as was his wont, with his face turned toward the place of their once venerated temple, he prayed God to cause his face to shine upon his sanctuary, which was desolate. By the word sanctuary Daniel evidently understood their temple at Jerusalem. {1897 UrS, DAR 188.1}

But Paul bears testimony which is most explicit on this point. Heb.9:1: "Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary." This is the very point which at present we are concerned to determine: What was the sanctuary of the first covenant? Paul proceeds to tell us. Hear him. Verses 2-5: "For there was a tabernacle made; the first [or first apartment], wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary [margin, the holy]. 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 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 mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly." {1897 UrS, DAR 188.2}

There is no mistaking the object to which Paul here has reference. 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 vessels of service, as here set forth. A full description of this building, with its various vessels and their uses, will be found in Exodus, chapter 25 and onward. If the reader is not familiar with this subject, he is requested to turn and closely examine the description of this building. This, Paul plainly says, 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 did positively for a time constitute the sanctuary, Paul sets us on the right track of inquiry. He gives us a basis on which to work. For a time, the field is cleared of all doubt and all obstacles. During the time covered by the first covenant, which reached from Sinai to Christ, we have before us a distinct and plainly defined object, minutely described by Moses, and declared by Paul to be the sanctuary during that time. {1897 UrS, DAR 188.3}

But Paul's language has greater significance even than this. It forever annihilates the claims which are put forth in behalf of the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church, as the sanctuary; for the arguments which would prove them to be the sanctuary at any time, would prove them to be such under the old dispensation. 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 period of which we speak. To this period the arguments urged in their favor apply as fully as to any other period; and if they were not the sanctuary during this time, then all the arguments are destroyed which would show that they ever were, or ever could be, the sanctuary. But were they the sanctuary during that time? This is a final question for these theories; and Paul decided it in the negative, by describing to us the tabernacle of Moses, and telling us that that - not the earth, nor Canaan, nor the church - was the sanctuary of that dispensation. {1897 UrS, DAR 189.1}

And this building answers in every respect to the definition of the term, and the use for which the sanctuary was designed. {1897 UrS, DAR 189.2}

1. It was the earthly dwelling-place of God. "Let them make me a sanctuary," said he to Moses, "that I may dwell among them." Ex.25:8. In this tabernacle, which they erected according to his instructions, he manifested his presence. {1897 UrS, DAR 189.3} 2. It was a holy, or sacred place, - "the holy sanctuary." Lev.16:33. 3. In the word of God it is over and over again called the sanctuary. Of the one hundred and forty instances in which the word is used in the Old Testament, it refers in almost every case to this building. {1897 UrS, DAR 190.1}

The tabernacle was at first constructed in such a manner as to be adapted to the condition of the children of Israel at that time. They were just 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 removals were frequent. It would be necessary that the tabernacle should often be moved from place to place. It was therefore so fashioned of movable parts, the sides being composed of upright boards, and the covering consisting of curtains of linen and dyed skins, that it could be readily taken down, conveniently transported, and easily erected at each successive stage of their journey. After entering the promised land, this temporary structure in time gave place to the magnificent temple of Solomon. In this more permanent form it existed, saving only the time it lay in ruins in Daniel's day, till its final destruction by the Romans in A.D.70. {1897 UrS, DAR 190.2}

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 was the sanctuary of the first covenant; 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 is lacking between these covenants; and in this case the first covenant had a system of worship, which, though minutely described, is unintelligible, and the second covenant has a system of worship which is indefinite and obscure. And Paul virtually asserts 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 the book of Hebrews, he says in chapter 9:1 that the first covenant "had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary," it is the same as saying that the new covenant has likewise its services and its sanctuary. {1897 UrS, DAR 190.3}

Furthermore, in verse 8 of this chapter he 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 so 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 191.1}

Where, then, shall we look for the sanctuary of the new covenant? Paul, by the use of the word also in Heb.9:1, intimates that he had before spoken of this sanctuary. We turn back to the beginning of the previous chapter, and find him summing up his 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 by 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; this was pitched by the Lord, not by man. That was the place where the earthly priests performed their ministry; 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 by Paul a "worldly sanctuary;" this is a "heavenly one." {1897 UrS, DAR 191.2}

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; what Moses constructed was but a type, or model. Listen to 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." Ex.25:9. "And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount." Verse 40. (To the same end see Ex.26:30; 27:8; Acts.7:44.) {1897 UrS, DAR 191.3}

Now of what was the earthly sanctuary a type, of figure? Answer: 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 throughout, is that of type to antitype. Its sacrifices were types of the greater sacrifice of this dispensation; its priests were types of our Lord, in his more perfect priesthood; their ministry was performed unto the shadow and example of the ministry of our High Priest above; and the sanctuary where they ministered, was a type, or figure, of the true sanctuary in heaven, where our Lord performs his ministry. {1897 UrS, DAR 191.4}

All these facts are plainly stated by Paul in a few verses to the Hebrews. Chapter 8:4,5: "For 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." This testimony shows that the ministry of the earthly priests was a shadow of Christ's priesthood; and the evidence Paul brings forward to prove it, 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 in the mount with the sanctuary, or true tabernacle, in heaven, where our Lord ministers, mentioned three verses before. {1897 UrS, DAR 192.1}

In chapter 9:8,9, Paul further says: "The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all [Greek, holy places, plural] was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing; which was a figure for the time then present," etc. 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 [where also the Greek has the plural, the holy places], having obtained eternal redemption for us." Of these heavenly holy places, therefore, the first tabernacle was a figure for the time then present. If any further testimony is needed, he 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 tabernacle in heaven. {1897 UrS, DAR 192.2}

This view is still further corroborated by the testimony of John. Among the things which he was permitted to behold in heaven, he saw seven lamps of fire burning before the throne (Rev.4:5); he saw an altar of incense, and a golden censer (chapter 8:3); he saw the ark of God's testament (chapter 11:19); and all this in connection with a "temple" in heaven. Rev.11:19; 15:8. These objects every Bible reader must at once recognize as implements of the sanctuary. They owed their existence to the sanctuary, and were confined to it, to be employed in the ministration connected therewith. As without the sanctuary they had not existed, so wherever we find these, we may know that there is the sanctuary; and hence the fact that John saw these things in heaven in this dispensation, is proof that there is a sanctuary there, and that he was permitted to behold it. {1897 UrS, DAR 193.1}

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. Paul 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 was to make this tabernacle. Paul 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. And finally, John, to corroborate the statement of Paul that this sanctuary is in heaven, bears testimony, as an eye-witness, that he beheld it there. What further testimony could be required? Nay, more, what further is conceivable? {1897 UrS, DAR 193.2}

So far as the question as to what constitutes the sanctuary is concerned, we now have the subject before us in one harmonious whole. The sanctuary of the Bible - mark it all, dispute it who can - consists, first, of the typical tabernacle established with the Hebrews at the exode from Egypt, which was the sanctuary of the first covenant; and, secondly, 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 connected together 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 193.3}

We have said that Daniel would at once understand by the word sanctuary the sanctuary of his people at Jerusalem; so would any one under that dispensation. But does the declaration of Dan.8:14 have reference to that sanctuary? That depends upon the time to which it applies. All the declarations respecting the sanctuary which apply under the old dispensation, have respect, of course, to the sanctuary of that dispensation; and all those declarations which apply in this dispensation, must have reference to the sanctuary in this dispensation. If the 2300 days, at the termination of which the sanctuary is to be cleansed, ended in the former dispensation, the sanctuary to be cleansed was the sanctuary of that time. If they reach over into this dispensation, the sanctuary to which reference is made is the sanctuary of this dispensation, - the new-covenant sanctuary in heaven. This is a point which can be determined only by a further argument on the 2300 days; and this will be found in remarks on Dan.9:24, where the subject of time is resumed and explained. {1897 UrS, DAR 194.1}

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 it 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 194.2}

Having learned 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 no account in the Bible of any work so named as pertaining to this earth, the land of Canaan, or the church; which is good evidence that none of these objects constitutes the sanctuary; there is such a service connected with the object 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 194.3}

Does the reader object to the idea of there being anything in heaven which is to be cleansed? Is this a barrier in the way of his receiving the view here presented? Then his controversy is not with this work, but with God's Word, which positively affirms this fact. But before he decided against this view, we ask the objector to examine carefully in reference to the nature of this cleansing, as he is here undoubtedly laboring under an utter misapprehension. The following are the plain terms in which Paul affirms the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary: "And 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 with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." Heb.9:22,23. In the light of foregoing arguments, this may be paraphrased thus: "It was therefore necessary that the tabernacle as erected by Moses, with its sacred vessels, which were patterns of the true sanctuary in heaven, should be purified, or cleansed, with the blood of calves and goats; but the heavenly things themselves, the sanctuary of this dispensation, the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man, must be cleansed with better sacrifices, even with the blood of Christ." {1897 UrS, DAR 195.1}

We now inquire, What is the nature of this cleansing, and how is it to be accomplished? According to the language of Paul, just quoted, it is performed 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. And this consideration should satisfy the objector's mind in regard to the cleansing of the heavenly things. The fact that Paul speaks of heavenly things to be cleansed, does not prove that there is any physical impurity in heaven; for that is not the kind of cleansing to which he refers. The reason Paul assigns why this cleansing is performed with blood, is because without the shedding of blood there is no remission. {1897 UrS, DAR 195.2}

Remission, then; that is, 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 came sins connected with the sanctuary, either the earthly or the heavenly, that it should need to be cleansed from them? This question is answered by the ministration connected with the type, to which we now turn. {1897 UrS, DAR 196.1}

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, which was performed as follows: The person who had committed sin brought his victim 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 him 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 his victim on account of that guilt. The law demanded the life of the transgressor for his disobedience; the life is in the blood (Lev.17:11,14); hence without the shedding of blood, there is no remission; 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 196.2}

The sin of the individual was thus, by his confession, by the slaying of the victim, and by the ministry of the priest, 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 continually 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, which was called the cleansing of the sanctuary. This service, in the type, occupied one day in the year; and the tenth day of the seventh month, on which it was performed, 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 of the congregation. On these goats he cast lots; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scape-goat. The one upon which the Lord's lot fell, was then slain, and his blood was carried by the priest into the most holy place of the sanctuary, and sprinkled upon the mercy-seat. And this was the only day on which he was permitted to enter into that apartment. Coming forth, he was then to lay both his hands upon the head of the scape-goat, confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, and, thus putting them upon his head (Lev.16:21), he was to send him 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 cleansing the sanctuary and its sacred vessels. Lev.16:30,33. By this process, sin was removed, - but only in figure; for all that work was typical. {1897 UrS, DAR 196.3}

The reader to whom these views are new will be ready here to inquire, perhaps with some astonishment, what this strange work could possibly be designed to typify; what there is in this dispensation which it was designed to prefigure. We answer, A similar work in the ministration of Christ, as Paul clearly teaches. After stating, in Hebrews 8, that Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the sanctuary in heaven, he states 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, an example, a correct representation, so far as it could be carried out by mortals, of the ministration of Christ above. These priests ministered in both apartments of the earthly tabernacle, Christ therefore ministers in both apartments of the heavenly temple; for that temple has two apartments, or it was not correctly represented by the earthly; and our Lord officiates in both, or the service of the priest on earth was not a correct shadow of his work. But Paul directly states that he ministers in both apartments; for he says that he has entered into the holy place (Greek, , the holy places) by his own blood. Heb.9:12. There is therefore a work performed by Christ in his ministry in the heavenly temple corresponding 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 constitute the close of his work as our great High Priest, and the cleansing of that sanctuary. {1897 UrS, DAR 197.1}

As through the sacrifices of a former dispensation 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 own 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 secured in fact, which was obtained only in figure through the blood of the calves and goats of the former dispensation. But those sacrifices had real virtue in this respect: they signified faith in a real sacrifice to come; and thus those who employed them have an equal interest in the work of Christ with those who in this dispensation come to him by faith, through the ordinances of the gospel. {1897 UrS, DAR 198.1}

The continual transfer of sins to the heavenly sanctuary (and if they are not thus transferred, will any one, in the light of the types, and in view of the language of Paul, explain the nature of the work of Christ in our behalf?) - this continual transfer, we say, of sins to the heavenly sanctuary, makes its cleansing necessary on the same ground that a like work was required in the earthly sanctuary. {1897 UrS, DAR 198.2}

An important distinction between the two ministrations must here be noticed. In the earthly tabernacle, a complete round of service was accomplished every year. For three hundred and fifty-nine days, in their ordinary year, the ministration went forward in the first apartment. One day's work in the most holy completed the yearly round. The work then commenced again in the holy place, and went forward till another day of atonement completed the year's work. And so on, year by year. This continual repetition of the work was necessary on account of the short lives of mortal priests. But no such necessity exists in the case of our divine Lord, who ever liveth to make intercession for us. (See Heb.7:23-25.) 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, never to be repeated. {1897 UrS, DAR 199.1}

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 the 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 on high. 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 sanctuary, our High Priest, in like manner, enters into the most holy place to make a final end of his intercessory work in behalf of mankind. We confidently affirm that no other conclusion can be arrived at on this subject without doing despite to the unequivocal testimony of God's word. {1897 UrS, DAR 199.2}

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 work of salvation centers there, and that when the work 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 scheme is forever finished? Do you see that if it can be made known when this work of cleansing commences, it is a solemn announcement to the world that salvation's last hour is reached, and is fast hastening to its close? And this is what the prophecy is designed to show. It is to make known the commencement of this momentous work. "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." {1897 UrS, DAR 199.3}

In advance of any argument on the nature and application of these days, the position may be safely taken that they reach to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, for the earthly was to be cleansed each year; and we make the prophet utter nonsense, if we understand him as saying that at the end of 2300 days, a period of time over six years in length, even if we take the days literally, an event should take place which was to occur regularly every year. The heavenly sanctuary is the one in which the decision of all cases is to be rendered. The progress of the work there is what it especially concerns mankind to know. If people understood the bearing of these subjects on their eternal interest, with what earnestness and anxiety would they give them their most careful and prayerful study. See on chapter 9:20 and onward, an argument on the 2300 days, showing at what point they terminated, and when the solemn work of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary began. {1897 UrS, DAR 200.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 200.2}

We now enter upon an interpretation of the vision. And first of all we have mention of Daniel's solicitude, and his efforts to understand these things. He sought for the meaning. Those who have given to prophetic studies their careful and earnest attention, are not the ones who are unconcerned in such matters. They only can tread with indifference over a mine of gold, who do not know that a bed of precious metal lies beneath their feet. Immediately there stood before the prophet as the appearance of a man. And he heard a man's voice; that is, the voice of an angel, as of a man speaking. The commandment given was to make this man, Daniel, understand the vision. It was addressed to Gabriel, a name that signifies "the strength of God, or the mighty one." He continues his instruction to Daniel in chapter 9. Under the new dispensation he was commissioned to announce the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zacharias (Luke 1:11); and that of the Messiah to the virgin Mary, verse 26. To Zacharias, he introduced himself with these words: "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God." From this it appears that he was an angel of high order and superior dignity; but the one who here addressed him was evidently higher in rank, and had power to command and control his actions. This was probably no other than the archangel, Michael, or Christ, between whom and Gabriel alone, a knowledge of the matters communicated to Daniel existed. (See chapter 10:21.) {1897 UrS, DAR 200.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 201.1}

Under similar circumstances to those here narrated, John fell down before the feet of an angel, but it was for the purpose of worship. Rev.19:10; 22:8. Daniel seems to have been completely overcome by the majesty of the heavenly messenger. He prostrated himself with his face to the ground, probably as though in a deep sleep, but not really so. Sorrow, it is true, caused the disciples to sleep; but fear, as in this case, would hardly have that effect. The angel gently 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, he enters upon an interpretation of the vision. The indignation must be understood to cover a period of time. What 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 no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." Eze.21:25- 27,31. {1897 UrS, DAR 201.2}

Here is the period of God's indignation against his covenant people; the period during which the sanctuary and host are to be trodden under foot. The diadem was removed, and the crown taken off, when Israel was subjected to the kingdom of Babylon. It was overturned again 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 then, having rejected Christ, were soon scattered abroad over the face of the earth; and spiritual Israel has taken the place of the literal seed; but they are in subjection to earthly powers, and will be till the throne of David is again set up, - till He who is its rightful heir, the Messiah, the Prince of peace, shall come, and then it will be given him. Then the indignation will have ceased. What shall take place in the last end of this period, the angel is now to make known to Daniel. {1897 UrS, DAR 202.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 202.2}

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 is an explanation of the vision in language as plain as need be given. (See 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 divisions, represented by the second phase of the goat, when it had four horns which came up in the place of the first, which was broken. These divisions did not stand in his power. None of them possessed the strength of the original kingdom. These great waymarks in history, on which the historian bestows volumes, the inspired penman here gives us in sharp outline, with a few strokes of the pencil and a few dashes of the pen. {1897 UrS, DAR 202.3}

"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 practice, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 203.1}

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. {1897 UrS, DAR 203.2}

"A king of fierce countenance." Moses, in predicting punishment to come upon the Jews from this same power, calls it "a nation of fierce countenance." Deut.28:49,50. No people made a more formidable appearance in warlike array than the Romans. "Understanding dark sentences." Moses, in the scripture just referred to, says, "Whose tongue thou 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 a greater or less extent in Palestine. This was not the case, however, with the Latin. {1897 UrS, DAR 203.3}

"When the transgressors are 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. And their continuance in sin brought more severe punishment. At no time were the Jews more corrupt morally, as a nation, than at the time they came under the jurisdiction of the Romans. {1897 UrS, DAR 203.4}

"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. {1897 UrS, DAR 204.1}

"He shall destroy wonderfully." The Lord told the Jews by the prophet Ezekiel that he would deliver them to men who were "skilful to destroy;" 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. And Rome in its second, or papal, phase was responsible for the death of fifty millions of martyrs. {1897 UrS, DAR 204.2}

"And 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. And thus by peace it destroyed many. {1897 UrS, DAR 204.3}

And Rome, finally, in the person of one of its governors, stood up against the Prince of princes, by giving sentence of death against Jesus Christ. "But he shall be broken without hand," an expression which identifies the destruction of this power with the smiting of the image of chapter 2. {1897 UrS, DAR 204.4}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 204.5}

"The vision of the evening and the morning" is that of the 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? - Because Daniel had received all that he could then bear. Further instruction is therefore deferred to a future time. {1897 UrS, DAR 204.6}

8. The World Arraigned Before the Court of Heaven

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]

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.

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 BC 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 BC, 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.

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 saw 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 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 Greece. "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 Greece." 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.

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 BC, 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, 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 BC 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 its power, when 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 thinks he stands 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 practiced, and prospered.

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, "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.) Greece, 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 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 Greece as the fourth great power was Rome. The only natural inference would be that the little horn, the power which in this vision succeeds Greece 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 BC [7] But seven years before this, that is, 168 BC, 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.

The little horn waxed great toward the south. This was true of Rome. Egypt was made a province of the Roman Empire in 30 BC, 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 BC, 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 BC, 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 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, AD 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 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 spoke, 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."

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 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 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; Greece 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 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 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 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 shall bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou has 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 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 did drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gave 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 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 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 show bread; 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 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 mercy seat; 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 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, AD 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 asserts 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. 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 you 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, said 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; 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 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 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.

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, {GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, 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.

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 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." Therefore 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 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 lives 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 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. 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 saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Greece: 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.

The Vision Interpreted. As the disciples said to the Lord, so may we here say of the angel who spoke to Daniel, "Lo, now spoke thou plainly, and spoke 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. Greece 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 way marks 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 practice, 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. 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] shall 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."

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.

References

[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 {GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, ta hagia, plural in all instances here cited except in 9: 1, where it is {GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, 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.

09 - SEVENTY WEEKS

The Short Time between the Visions - Daniel's Understanding of Jeremiah's Prophecy - Daniel's Wonderful Prayer - Gabriel again Appears - Vision of Chapter 8 Explained - Connection between Chapters Eight and Nine Established - The Time Explained - The Seventy Weeks - The Meaning of "Cut Off" - Testimony of Dr. Hales - Date of the Seventy Weeks - The Decree of Cyrus - The Decree of Darius - The Decree of Artaxerxes - The Year 457 before Christ - Date of Christ's Baptism - Date of Christ's Crucifixion - Invention of the Christian Era - Intermediate Dates - Harmony Established - The Genuine Reading - Ptolemy's Canon - The End of the 2300 Days

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 205.1}

The vision recorded in the preceding chapter was given in the third year of Belshazzar, B.C.538. In the same year, which was also the first of Darius, the events narrated in this chapter occurred. Consequently less than one year is passed over between these two chapters. Although Daniel, as prime minister of the foremost kingdom on the face of 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, even the purposes of God as 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 Jer.25:12;29:10. The knowledge of it, and the use that was made of it, shows 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 Daniel was for a time contemporary with him, he had a copy of his works which he carried with him in his captivity; and though he was so great a prophet himself, he was not above studying carefully what God might reveal to others of his servants. Commencing the seventy years B.C.606, Daniel understood that they were now drawing to their termination: and God had even commenced the fulfilment by overthrowing the kingdom of Babylon. {1897 UrS, DAR 205.2}

"VERSE 3. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes." {1897 UrS, DAR 206.1}

Because God has promised, we are not released from the responsibility of beseeching him for the fulfilment of his word. Daniel might have reasoned in this manner: God has promised to release his people at the end of the 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. And how earnestly he engaged in the work, even with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes! This was the year, probably, in which he was cast into the lions' den; and the prayer of which we here have an account may have been the burden of that petition, which, regardless of the unrighteous human law which had been secured to the contrary, he offered before the Lord three times a day. {1897 UrS, DAR 206.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 206.3}

We here have the 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 commences by acknowledging the faithfulness of God. God 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 the furnace of captivity, but only on account of their sins. {1897 UrS, DAR 206.4}

"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. Yes, 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 206.5}

To this point Daniel's prayer is employed in making a full and heart-broken confession of sin. He vindicates fully the course of the Lord, acknowledging their sins to be the cause of all their calamities, as God had threatened them by the prophet Moses. And he does not discriminate in favor of himself. No self-righteousness appears in his petition. And although he had suffered long for others' sins, enduring seventy years of captivity for the wrongs of his people, himself meanwhile living a godly life, and receiving signal honors and blessings from the Lord, he brings no accusations against any one to the exclusion of others, pleads no sympathy for himself as a victim of others' wrongs, but ranks himself in with the rest, and says, We have sinned, and unto us belongs confusion of face. And he acknowledges that they had not heeded the lessons God designed to teach them by their afflictions, by turning again unto him. {1897 UrS, DAR 207.1}

An expression in the 14th verse is worthy of especial notice: "Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us." Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men are fully set in them to do evil. But none may think that the Lord does not see, or that he has forgotten. His retributions will surely overtake the transgressor, against whom they are threatened, without deviation and without fail. He will watch upon the evil, and in his own good time will bring it to pass. {1897 UrS, DAR 207.2}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 208.1}

The prophet now pleads the honor of the Lord's name as a reason why he desires that his petition should be granted. He refers to the fact of their deliverance 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 208.2}

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 chapter 8 as to suppose that the 2300 days, at the termination of which the sanctuary was to be cleansed, 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, the narration of which is next given. {1897 UrS, DAR 209.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 209.2}

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. A very important question is at this point to be determined. It is to be decided whether the vision of chapter 8 has ever been explained, and can ever be understood. The question is, 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 visions given to Daniel. 1. The interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar was given in a night vision. Chapter 2:19. But there is no record of any angelic agency in the matter. 2. The vision of chapter 7. This was explained to Daniel by "one of them that stood by," probably an angel; but we have no information as to what angel, nor is there anything in that vision which needed further explanation. 3. The vision of chapter 8. Here we find some particulars which show this to be the vision referred to. 1. Gabriel is there first brought to view by name in the book, and the only time previous to this occasion. 2. He was commanded to make Daniel understand the vision. 3. Daniel, at the conclusion, says he did not understand it, showing that Gabriel, at the conclusion of chapter 8, had not fulfilled his mission. There is no place in all the Bible where this instruction is carried out, if it be not in chapter 9. If, therefore, the vision of chapter 8 is not the one referred to, we have no record that Gabriel ever complied with the instruction given him, or that that vision has ever been explained. 4. The instruction which the angel now gives to Daniel, as we shall see from the following verses, does exactly complete what was lacking in chapter 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 209.3}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 211.1}

The manner in which Gabriel introduces himself on this occasion, shows that he has come to complete some unfulfilled mission. This can be nothing less than to carry out the instruction to make this man "understand the vision," as recorded in chapter 8. "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 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 and complete his mission. As soon as Daniel commenced his fervent supplication, the commandment came forth; that is, 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 from the court of heaven to this servant of God. Now 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. Eze.1:14. "Understand the matter," he says to Daniel. What matter? - That, evidently, which he did not before understand, as stated in the last verse of chapter 8. "Consider the vision." What vision? Not the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's image, nor the vision of chapter 7, for there was no difficulty with either of these; but the vision of chapter 8, in reference to which his mind was filled with doubt and astonishment. "I am come to show thee," also said the angel. Show thee in reference to what? - Certainly in reference to something wherein he was entertaining wrong ideas, and something, at the same time, pertaining to his prayer, as it was this which had called forth Gabriel on his mission at this time. {1897 UrS, DAR 211.2}

But Daniel had no difficulty in understanding what the angel told him about the ram, he-goat, and little horn, 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 respecting the repairing of the desolations of the sanctuary, which lay in ruins; and he had undoubtedly drawn the conclusion that when the end of the seventy years' captivity came, the time would come for the fulfilment of what the angel had said respecting the cleansing of the sanctuary at the end of the 2300 days. Now he must be set right. And this explains why at this particular time, so soon after the previous vision, instruction was sent to him. Now the seventy years of captivity were drawing to their close, and Daniel was applying to a wrong issue the instruction he had before received from the angel. He was falling into a misunderstanding, and was acting upon it; Hence he must not be suffered longer to remain ignorant of the true import of the former vision. "I am come to show thee;" "understand the matter;" "consider the vision." Such were the words used by the very person Daniel had seen in the former vision, and to whom he had heard the command given, "Make this man to understand the vision," and who, he knew, had never carried out that instruction. But now he appears, and says, "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." How could Daniel's mind be more emphatically carried back to the vision of chapter 8, and how could the connection between that visit of the angel and this be more distinctly shown, than by such words at such a time from such a person? The considerations already presented are sufficient to show conclusively the connection between chapters 8 and 9; but this will still further appear in subsequent verses. {1897 UrS, DAR 212.1}

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 regard and 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 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. And 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 in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev.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 off from this communion! Oh 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 213.1}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 213.2}

Such are the first words the angel utters to Daniel, toward imparting to him that instruction which he came to give. Why does he thus abruptly introduce a period of time? We must again refer to the vision of chapter 8. We have seen that Daniel, at the close of that chapter, says that he did not understand the vision. Some portions of that vision were at the time very clearly explained. It could not have been these portions which he did not understand. We therefore inquire what it was which Daniel did not understand, or, in other words, what part of the vision was there left unexplained. In that vision four prominent things are brought to view: (1) The Ram; (2) The He-goat; (3) The Little Horn; (4) The period of the 2300 days. The symbols of the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn were explained. Nothing, however, was said respecting the time. This must therefore have been the point which he did not understand; and as without this the other portions of the vision were of no avail, he could well say, while the application of this period was left in obscurity, that he did not understand the vision. {1897 UrS, DAR 215.1}

If this view of the subject is correct, we should naturally expect, when the angel completed his explanation of the vision, that he would commence with the very point which had been omitted: namely, the time. And this we find to be true in fact. After citing Daniel's attention back to the former vision in the most direct and emphatic manner, and assuring him that he had now come forth to give him understanding in the matter, he commences upon the very point there omitted, and says, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city." {1897 UrS, DAR 215.2}

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 intelligibly referred to anything else: for the word here rendered determined signifies "cut off;" and no period is given in the vision here referred to from which the seventy weeks could be cut off but the 2300 days of the previous vision. How direct and natural, then, is the connection. Daniel's attention is fixed upon the 2300 days, which he did not understand, by the angel's directing him to the former vision; and he says, "Seventy weeks are cut off." Cut off from what? - The 2300 days, most assuredly. {1897 UrS, DAR 215.3}

Proof may be called for that the word rendered determined signifies to cut off. An abundance can be given. The Hebrew word thus translated is nehhtak. This word Gesenius, in his Hebrew Lexicon, defines as follows: "Properly, to cut off; tropically, to divide; and so to determine, to decree." In the Chaldoe-Rabbinic Dictionary of Stockius, the word nehhtak is thus defined: "Scidit, abscidit, conscidit, inscidit, exscidit - to cut, to cut away, to cut to pieces, to cut or engrave, to cut off." Mercerus in his Thesaurus furnishes a specimen of Rabbinical usage in the phrase, hhatikah shel basar, "a piece of flesh," or "a cut of flesh." He translates the word as it occurs in Dan.9:24, by "praecisa est," is cut off. In the literal version of Arias Montanus, it is translated 'decisa est," is cut off; in the marginal reading which is grammatically correct, it is rendered by the plural, "decisae sunt," are cut off. In the Latin version of Junius and Tremellius, nehhtak (the passive of hhathak) is rendered "decisae sunt," are cut off. Again, in Theodotion's Greek version of Daniel (which is the version used in the Vatican copy of the Septuagint, as being the most faithful), it is rendered by (sunetmethesan), were cut off; and in the Venetian copy by (tetmentai), have been cut. The idea of cutting off is preserved in the Vulgate, where the phrase is "abbreviatae sunt," are shortened. {1897 UrS, DAR 216.1}

"Thus Chaldaic and Rabbinical authority, and that of the earliest versions, the Septuagint and Vulgate, give the single signification of cutting off, to this verb." {1897 UrS, DAR 216.2}

"Hengstenberg, who enters into a critical examination of the original text, says, 'But the very use of the word, which does not elsewhere occur, while others much more frequently used were at hand if Daniel had wished to express the idea of determination, and of which he has elsewhere, and even in this portion availed himself, seems to argue that the word stands from regard to its original meaning, and represents the seventy weeks in contrast with a determination of time (en platei) as a period cut off from subsequent duration, and accurately limited.'" - Christology of the Old Testament, Vol. II, p. 301. Washington, 1839. {1897 UrS, DAR 216.3}

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 tropical instead of its literal meaning. But, as we have seen, the construction, the context, and the connection require the literal meaning, and render any other inadmissible. {1897 UrS, DAR 217.1}

Seventy weeks, then, or 490 days of the 2300, were cut off upon, or allotted to, Jerusalem and the Jews; and the events which were to be consummated within that period are briefly stated. 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 made 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 the prophecy were to be sealed up, or made sure. By the events given to transpire 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 all be accomplished; and if these seventy weeks are fulfilled as weeks of years, then the 2300 days, of which these are a part, are so many years. Thus the events of the seventy weeks furnish a key to the whole vision. And the "most holy" was to be anointed; the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. In the examination of the sanctuary, on chapter 8:14, we saw that a time came when the earthly sanctuary gave place to the heavenly, and the priestly ministration was transferred to that. Before the ministration in the sanctuary commenced, the sanctuary and all the holy vessels were to be anointed. Ex.40:9,10. The last event, therefore, of the seventy weeks, here brought to view, is the anointing of the heavenly tabernacle, or the opening of the ministration there. Thus this first division of the 2300 days bring us to the commencement of the service in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, as the whole period brings us to the commencement of the service in the second apartment, or most holy place, of that sanctuary. {1897 UrS, DAR 217.2}

The argument must now be considered conclusive that the ninth chapter of Daniel explains the eighth, and that the seventy weeks are a part of the 2300 days; and with a few extracts from the writings of others we will leave this point. {1897 UrS, DAR 218.1}

The Advent Shield in 1844 said:- {1897 UrS, DAR 218.2}

"We call attention to one fact which shows that there is a necessary 'connection' between the seventy weeks of the ninth chapter, and something else which precedes or follows it, called 'the vision.' It is found in the 24th verse: 'Seventy weeks are determined [are cut off] upon thy people, . . . to seal up the vision,' etc. Now there are but two significations to the phrase 'seal up.' They are, first, 'to make secret,' and second, 'to make sure.' We care not now in which of these significations the phrase is supposed to be used. That is not the point now before us. Let the signification be what it may, it shows that the prediction of the seventy weeks necessarily relates to something else beyond itself, called 'the vision,' in reference to which it performs this work, 'to seal up.' To talk of its sealing up itself is as much of an absurdity as to suppose that Josephus was so much afraid of the Romans that he refrained from telling the world that he thought the fourth kingdom of Daniel was 'the kingdom of the Greeks.' It is no more proper to say that the ninth chapter of Daniel 'is complete in itself,' than it would be to say that a map which was designed to show the relation of Massachusetts to the United States, referred to nothing but Massachusetts. It is no more complete in itself than a bond given in security for a note, or some other document to which it refers, is complete in itself; and we doubt if there is a schoolboy of fourteen years in the land, of ordinary capacity, who would not, on reading the ninth chapter, with an understanding of the clause before us, decide that it referred to something distinct from itself, called 'the vision.' What vision it is, there is no difficulty in determining. It naturally and obviously refers to the vision which was not fully explained to Daniel, and to which Gabriel calls his attention in the preceding verse, - the vision of the eighth chapter. Daniel tells us that Gabriel was commanded to make him understand the vision (8:16). This was not fully done at that interview connected with the vision; he is therefore sent to give Daniel the needed 'skill and understanding,' - to explain its 'meaning' by communicating to him the prediction of the seventy weeks." {1897 UrS, DAR 218.3}

"We claim that the ninth of Daniel is an appendix to the eighth, and that the seventy weeks and the 2300 days, or years, commence together. Our opponents deny this." - Signs of the Times, 1843. {1897 UrS, DAR 219.1}

"The grand principle involved in the interpretation of the 2300 days of Dan.8:14, is that the seventy weeks of Dan.9:24 are the first 490 days of the 2300 of the eighth chapter." - Advent Shield, p.49. {1897 UrS, DAR 219.2}

"If the connection between the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 and the 2300 days of Daniel 8 does not exist, the whole system is shaken to its foundation; if it does exist, as we suppose, the system must stand." - Harmony of the Prophetic Chronology, p.33. {1897 UrS, DAR 219.3}

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." - Chronology, Vol.II,P.517. {1897 UrS, DAR 219.4}

"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." {1897 UrS, DAR 219.5}

The angel now gives to Daniel the event which is to mark the commencement of the seventy weeks. They were to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. And not only is the event given which was to determine the time of the commencement of this period, but those events also which were to transpire 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, and 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, now, 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 fulfil so many conditions. Let the reader 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. First, we are to find, at the commencement of the period, a commandment going forth to restore and build Jerusalem. To this work or restoration seven weeks are allotted. As we reach the end of this first division, seven weeks from the commencement, we are to find, secondly, Jerusalem, in its material aspect restored, the work of building the street and the wall fully accomplished. From this point sixty-two weeks are measured off; and as we reach the termination of this division, sixty-nine weeks from the beginning, we are to see, thirdly, the manifestation before the world of the Messiah the Prince. One week more is given us, completing the seventy. Fourthly, in the midst of this week the Messiah is to be cut off, and to cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease; and, fifthly, when the last week of that period which was allotted to the Jews as the time during which they were to be the special people of God, expires, we naturally look for the going forth of the blessing and work of God to other people. {1897 UrS, DAR 220.1}

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; and 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 complete and utter desolation, and had thus been lying for seventy 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? {1897 UrS, DAR 220.2}

There are but 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, B.C.536 (Ezra1:1-4); (2) The decree of Darius for the prosecution of that work, which had been hindered, B.C.519 (Ezra6:1-12); (3) The decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra, B.C.457 (Ezra7); and (4) The commission to Nehemiah from the same king in his twentieth year, B.C.444. Nehemiah 2. {1897 UrS, DAR 222.1}

Dating from the first two of these decrees, the seventy weeks, being weeks of years, 1 490 years in all, would fall many years short of reaching even to the Christian era; besides, these decrees had reference principally to the restoration of the temple and the temple-worship of the Jews, and 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 222.2}

These made a commencement of the work. They were preliminary to what was afterward accomplished. But of themselves they were altogether insufficient, both in their dates and in their nature, to meet the requirements of the prophecy; and thus failing in every respect, they cannot be brought into the controversy as marking the point from which the seventy weeks are to date. The only question now lies between the decrees which were granted to Ezra and to Nehemiah respectively. {1897 UrS, DAR 222.3}

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 do whatever else might seem good unto 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 and accurate copy of it is given in the seventh chapter of the book of Ezra. In the original, this decree is given, not in Hebrew, like the rest of the book of Ezra, but in the Chaldaic (or Eastern Aramaic), the language then used at Babylon; and thus we are furnished with the original document by virtue of which Ezra was authorized to restore and build Jerusalem. {1897 UrS, DAR 223.1}

Thirteen years after this, in the twentieth year of the same king, B.C.444, 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 verbal. It pertained to him individually, nothing being said about others going up with him. The king asked him how long 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 for beams, etc. When he arrived at Jerusalem, he found rulers and priests, nobles and people, already engaged in the work of building Jerusalem. Neh.2:16. These were, of course, acting under the decree given to Ezra thirteen years before. And finally, Nehemiah, having arrived at Jerusalem, finished the work he came to accomplish, in fifty-two days. Neh.6:15. {1897 UrS, DAR 223.2}

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. {1897 UrS, DAR 224.1}

1. The grant to Nehemiah cannot be called a decree. It was necessary that a Persian decree should be put in writing, and signed by the king. Dan.6:8. Such was the document given to Ezra; but Nehemiah had nothing of the kind, his commission being only verbal. If it be said that the letters given him constitute the decree, then the decree was issued, not to Nehemiah, but to the governors beyond the river; besides, these would constitute a series of decrees, and not one decree, as the prophecy contemplates. {1897 UrS, DAR 224.2}

2. The occasion of Nehemiah's petition to the king for permission to go up to Jerusalem was the report which certain ones, returning, had brought from thence, that those in the province were in great affliction and reproach, also that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, and the gates thereof burned with fire. Nehemiah 1. Whose work were these walls and gates that were broken down and burned with fire? - Evidently the work of Ezra and his associates; for it cannot for a moment be supposed that the utter destruction of the city by Nebuchadnezzar, one hundred and forty-four years previous to that time, would have been reported to Nehemiah as a matter of news, nor that he would have considered it, as he evidently did, a fresh misfortune, calling for a fresh expression of grief. A decree, therefore, authorizing the building of these, had gone forth previous to the grant to Nehemiah. {1897 UrS, DAR 224.3}

3. If any should contend that Nehemiah's commission must be a decree, because the object of his request was that he might build the city, it is sufficient to reply, as shown above, that gates and walls had been built previous to his going up; besides, the work of building which he went to perform was accomplished in fifty-two days; whereas, the prophecy allows for the building of the city, seven weeks, or fifty-nine years. {1897 UrS, DAR 224.4}

4. There was nothing granted to Nehemiah which was not embraced in the decree to Ezra; while the latter had all the forms and conditions of a decree, and was vastly more ample in its provisions. {1897 UrS, DAR 224.5}

5. It is evident from the prayer of Ezra, as recorded in chapter 9:9 of his book, that he considered himself fully empowered to proceed with the building of the city and the wall; and it is evident that he understood, further, that the conditional prophecies concerning his people were then fulfilled, from the closing words of that prayer, in which he says, "Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldst not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?" {1897 UrS, DAR 225.1}

6. Reckoning from the commission to Nehemiah, B.C.444, the dates 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. Reckoning from that date, the sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, which were to extend to the Messiah the Prince, 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, in1 A.D.27, thirteen years before. 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 of Artaxerxes, 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 theory a failure which dates the seventy weeks from Nehemiah's commission in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes. {1897 UrS, DAR 225.2}

7. Will these dates harmonize if we reckon from the decree to Ezra? Let us see. In this case, 457 B.C. is our starting- point. Forty-nine years were allotted to the building of the city and the wall. On this point, Prideaux (Connexion, Vol. I, p.322) says: "In the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus ended the first seven 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 commenced by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus." This was B.C.408. {1897 UrS, DAR 225.3}

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 B.C.457, they end in A.D.27. And what event then occurred? 1 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." Luke3:21,22. After this, Jesus came "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled." Mark1:14,15. The time here mentioned must have been some specific, definite, and predicted period; but no prophetic period can be found then terminating, except the sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy of Daniel, which were to extend to the 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. 1 {1897 UrS, DAR 226.1}

Here, again, is indisputable harmony. But further, the Messiah was to confirm the convenant 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; and there they did virtually come to an end, though the outward observance was kept up till 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: And 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, according to an abundance of authority which we might produce if necessary, the crucifixion is definitely located in the middle of the seventieth week. {1897 UrS, DAR 227.1}

It now becomes an important point to determine in what year the crucifixion took place. The following evidence is sufficient to be considered absolutely decisive on this question. {1897 UrS, DAR 227.2}

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 following passages: John2:13; 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 first Passover would occur the following 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 should be cut off in the midst, or middle, of the seventieth week. As that week of years commenced 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, where 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 227.3}

Of the unnatural darkness which occurred at the crucifixion, Hales, Vol.I, pp.69,70, 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 noon 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 respectable Roman Consul, Aurelius Cassiodorius 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 March), when there happened such an eclipse of the sun as was never before nor since.' {1897 UrS, DAR 229.1}

"In this year, and in this day, agree also the Council of Cesarea, 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 on chapter 11:22.) {1897 UrS, DAR 229.2}

Here, then, are thirteen credible authorities locating the crucifixion of Christ in the spring of A.D.31. We may therefore set this down as a fixed date, as the most cautious or the most skeptical could require nothing more conclusive. 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, we find ourselves in the autumn of A.D.27, where, as we have seen, the sixty-nine weeks ended, and Christ commenced his public ministry. And going from the crucifixion forward 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. And these are just the events which one would expect to take place when that specified period which was cut off for the Jews, and allotted to them as a peculiar people, should fully expire. {1897 UrS, DAR 229.3}

A word respecting the date of the seventh of Artaxerxes, when the decree for restoring Jerusalem was given to Ezra, and the array of evidence on this point is complete. Was the seventh of Artaxerxes B.C.457? For all those who can appreciate the force of facts, the following testimony will be sufficient here:- {1897 UrS, DAR 230.1}

"The Bible gives the data for a complete system of chronology, extending from the creation to the birth of Cyrus - a clearly ascertained date. From this period downward we have the undisputed canon of Ptolemy, and the undoubted era of Nabonassar, extending below our vulgar era. At the point where inspired chronology leaves us, this canon of undoubted accuracy commences. And thus the whole arch is spanned. It is by the canon of Ptolemy that the great prophetical period of seventy weeks is fixed. This canon is demonstrated by the concurrent agreement of more than twenty eclipses. This date we cannot change from B.C.457, without first demonstrating the inaccuracy of Ptolemy's canon. To do this it would be necessary to show that the large number of eclipses by which its accuracy has been repeatedly demonstrated have not been correctly computed; and such a result would unsettle every chronological date, and leave the settlement of epochs and the adjustment of eras entirely at the mercy of every dreamer, so that chronology would be of no more value than mere guesswork. As the seventy weeks must terminate in A.D.34 unless the seventh of Artaxerxes is wrongly fixed, and as that cannot be changed without some evidence to that effect, we inquire, What evidence marked that termination? The time when the apostles turned to the Gentiles harmonizes with that date better than any other which has been named. And the crucifixion in A.D.31, in the midst of the last week, is sustained by a mass of testimony which cannot be easily invalidated." - Advent Herald. {1897 UrS, DAR 230.2}

From the facts above set forth, we see that, reckoning the seventy weeks from the decree given to Ezra in the seventh of Artaxerxes, B.C.457, there is the most perfect harmony throughout. The important and definite events of the manifestation of the Messiah at the baptism, the commencement of his public ministry, the crucifixion, and the turning away from the Jews to the Gentiles, with the proclamation of the new covenant, all come in in their exact place, and like a bright galaxy of blazing orbs of light, cluster round to set their seal to the prophecy, and make it sure. {1897 UrS, DAR 231.1}

It is thus evident that the decree of Ezra in the seventh of Artaxerxes, B.C.457, is the point from 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; and indeed they are regarded by Ezra as parts of it, the three being taken as one great whole. For in Ezra 6:14, we read: "And 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 three 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. And this decree could not be said to have "gone forth," as intended by the prophecy, till 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 231.2}

With the seventy weeks we are now done; but there remain a longer period and other important events to be considered. The seventy weeks are but the first 490 years of the 2300. Take 490 from 2300, and there remain 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 whole period. Thus, 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 232.1}

One other point should here be noticed. We have seen that the seventy weeks are the first 490 days of the 2300; that these days are prophetic, signifying literal years, according to the Bible rule, a day for a year (Num.14:34; Eze.4:6), as is proved by the fulfilment of the seventy weeks, and as all reliable expositors agree; that they commenced in 457 B.C. and ended in A.D.1844, provided the number is right, and twenty-three hundred is the correct reading. With this point established, there would seem to be no room for further controversy. On this point Dr. Hales remarks:- {1897 UrS, DAR 232.2}

"There is no number in the Bible whose genuineness is better ascertained than that of the 2300 days. It is found in all the printed Hebrew editions, in all the MSS. of Kenicott and De Rossi's collations, and in all the ancient versions, except the Vatican copy of the Septuagint, which reads 2400, followed by Symmachus; and some copies noticed by Jerome, 2200, both evidently literal errors in excess and defect, which compensate each other and confirm the mean, 2300." - Chronology, Vol.II, P.512. {1897 UrS, DAR 232.3}

The query may here arise how the days can be extended to the autumn of 1844 if they commence 457 B.C., as it requires only 1843 years,in addition to the 457, to make the whole number of 2300. Attention to one fact will clear this point of all difficulty; and that is, that it takes 457 full years before Christ, and 1843 full years after, to make 2300; so that if the period commenced 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 portion of the year 457 had passed away before the 2300 days commenced, just so much of the year 1844 must pass away before they would end. We therefore inquire, At what point in the year 457 are we to commence 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 from the actual commencement of the work at Jerusalem; which it is not probable could be earlier than the seventh month (autumn) of 457, as he did not arrive at Jerusalem till the fifth month of that year. Ezra 7:9. The whole period would therefore extend to the seventh month, autumn, Jewish time, of 1844. {1897 UrS, DAR 233.1}

Those who oppose this view of the prophetic periods, have been wont in years past to meet us with this objection: "The 2300 days have not ended, because the time has passed, and the Lord has not come. Why the time passed in 1844 without the consummation of our hopes, we acknowledge to be a mystery; but the passing of the time is proof that the 2300 days have not ended." {1897 UrS, DAR 233.2}

Time, however, is no respecter of persons nor of theories; and with the formidable scythe which he is represented as carrying, he sometimes demolishes in the most summary manner the grotesque and gossamer theories of men, however dear they may be to their authors and defenders. It is so here. Heedless of the wild contortions of those who would fain compel him to stop and fulfil their darling predictions, he has kept on the swift but even tenor of his way until - what? every limit is passed to which the 2300 days can be extended; and thus he has demonstrated that those days have passed. Let not this point be overlooked. Setting aside for a moment the arguments by which they are shown to have ended in 1844, and letting them date from any point where the least shadow of reason can be imagined for placing them, or from which the wildest dreamer could date them, it is still true that the utmost limit to which they could extend has gone by. They cannot possibly be dated at any point which would bring their termination so late as the present time. We therefore say again, with not a misgiving as to the truth of the assertion, nor a fear of its successful contradiction, Those days have ended! {1897 UrS, DAR 233.3}

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 its cleansing, and the application of the time, we have found not only that this subject can be easily understood; but lo! the event is even now in process of accomplishment, and is almost finished. And here we pause a brief moment to reflect upon the solemn position into which we are brought. {1897 UrS, DAR 234.1}

We have seen that the sanctuary of this dispensation 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 Christ the "counsel of peace" prevails in the work of salvation for perishing men. Zech.6:13; Ps.85:10. We have seen that the cleansing of the sanctuary consists in the removing of the sins from the same, and is the closing act of the ministration performed therein; that the work of salvation now centers in the heavenly sanctuary; and when the sanctuary is cleansed, the work is done, and the plan is finished. Then the great scheme devised at the fall for the salvation of as many of the lost race as would avail themselves of its provisions, and carried forward for six thousand years, 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." Rev.16:17. And what then? - All the righteous are safe for everlasting life; all the wicked are doomed to everlasting death. No decision can be changed, no reward can be lost, and no destiny of despair can be averted, beyond that point. {1897 UrS, DAR 234.2}

And 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 commencement of this final work in the heavenly sanctuary, has met its termination in our own generation. In 1844 the days ended. And 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, and 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. And 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 the deeds done in the body, and each one is to be rewarded according to his works. 2Cor.5:10; Rev.22:12. In the books of remembrance kept by the heavenly scribes above, every man's deeds will be found recorded (Rev.20:12); and in the closing sanctuary work these records are examined, and decision is rendered in accordance therewith. Dan.7:9,10. It would be most natural to suppose that the work would commence 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 along the stream of time, till we reach the last generation, - the generation of the living, with whose cases the work would close. How long it will take to examine the cases of all the dead, how soon the work will reach the cases of the living, no man can know. And as above remarked, since the year 1844 this solemn work has been going forward. The light of the types, and the very nature of the case, forbid that it should be of long continuance. John, in his sublime views of heavenly scenes, saw millions of attendants and assistants engaged with our Lord in his priestly work. Revelation 5. And so the ministration goes forward. It ceases not, it delays not, and it must soon be forever finished. {1897 UrS, DAR 235.1} And here we stand - the last, the greatest, and the most solemn crisis in the history of our race immediately impending; the great plan of salvation about finished; the last precious years of probation almost ended; the Lord about to come to save those who are ready and waiting, and to cut asunder the careless and unbelieving; and the world - alas! what shall we say of them! - deceived with error, crazed with cares and business, delirious with pleasure, and paralyzed with vice, they have not a moment to spare in listening to solemn truth, nor a thought to bestow upon their eternal interest. Let the people of God, with eternity right 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. {1897 UrS, DAR 236.1}

To the careful attention of every student of prophecy we commend the subject of the sanctuary. In the sanctuary is seen the ark of God's testament, containing his holy law; and this suggests a reform in our obedience to that great standard of morality. The opening of this heavenly temple, or the commencement of the service in its second apartment, marks the commencement of the sounding of the seventh angel. Rev.11:15,19. The work performed therein is the foundation of the third message of Revelation 14, - the last message of mercy to a perishing world. This subject explains the great disappointment of the Adventists in 1844, by showing that they mistook the event to occur at the end of the 2300 days. It renders harmonious and clear past prophetic fulfilments, 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 know not how soon the work will be finished, and our Lord appear. Watch, lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. {1897 UrS, DAR 236.2}

After stating the great events connected with our Lord's mission here upon the earth, the prophet in the last part of verse 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." {1897 UrS, DAR 236.3}

*NOTE. - That the expression "to anoint the most holy" refers, according to remarks on verse 24 of this chapter, to the anointing of the heavenly sanctuary previous to the beginning of Christ's ministry therein and not to any anointing of the Messiah himself, seems to be susceptible of the clearest proof. The words translated "most holy" are (kodesh kodashim), the "holy of holies," an expression which, according to Gesenius, applies to the most holy place in the sanctuary, and which in no instance is applied to a person, unless this passage be an exception. {1897 UrS, DAR 237.1}

The Advent Shield, No.1, p.75, says: "And the last event of the seventy weeks, as enumerated in verse 24, was the anointing of the 'most holy.' or 'the holy of holies.' or the 'sanctum sanctorum;' not that which was on earth, made with hands, but the true tabernacle, into which Christ, our High Priest, is for us entered. Christ was to do in the true tabernacle in heaven what Moses and Aaron did in its pattern, (See Hebrews, chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9; Ex.30:22-30; Lev.8:10-15.)" {1897 UrS, DAR 237.2}

Dr. Barnes, in his notes on this passage, and particularly on the words "most holy," says: "The phrase properly means 'holy of holies,' or most holy; it is applied often in the Scriptures to the inner sanctuary, or the portion of the tabernacle and temple containing the ark of the covenant, the two tables of stone, etc." "It is not necessarily limited to the inner sanctuary of the temple, but may be applied to the whole house." Others have supposed that this refers to the Messiah himself, and that the meaning is that he who was most holy would then be consecrated, or anointed, as the Messiah. It is probable, as Hengstenberg (Christology, II, 321, 322) has shown, that the Greek translators thus understood it, but it is a sufficient objection to this that the phrase, though occurring many times in the Scriptures, is never applied to persons, unless this be an instance." It seems to me, therefore, that the obvious and fair interpretation is, to refer it to the temple." {1897 UrS, DAR 237.3}

An understanding of the subject of the heavenly sanctuary would have relieved this scripture of the perplexity in which, in the minds of some expositors, it seems to be involved. {1897 UrS, DAR 237.4}

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 BC 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 BC, Daniel understood 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 spoke in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 O Lord, righteousness belongs 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 has driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against Thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongs 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 forgiveness, 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 spoke 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 does: for we obeyed not his voice.

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 has brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and has 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.

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.

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 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 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 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 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 {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, 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."

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.

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