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was a solar year; 19 of their years being equal to 19 of our solar years, they reckoning their time by moons12 moons of a little more than 29. days, amounting to 355 days, a year. Two years of 355 days or 12 moons, the third of 383 days or 13 moons. Once in 19 years, 1 year of 12 and two of 13 moons, making 19 solar years.
A time is God's arbitrary measuring rod, and is defined to consist of 360 days.
I have long hesitated on the “ seven times," whether they are to be understood as a prophetic period; but after years of investigation and earnest study, I am con
accordingly given it in this place. But still I look on the following argument on Dan. viii. 14, as the strong bulwark of the cause.
The Two Thousand Three Hundred Days. Daniel's vision, as recorded in the 8th chapter of his prophecy, relates to the time of the treading down of the sanctuary, Jerusalem, and especially Mount Zion, the capital of the kingdom of Israel, and the host, the church, on account of God's INDIGNATION. 1. The vision consisted of “a ram having two horns,” verse 4; the ram having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia," said Gabriel, in verse 20. 2. The next emblem was “a rough goat," with a great “ horn between his eyes.” That “ was broken, and four stood up for it, and out of one of them came forth a little horn," &c. Verse 21 says, “The rough goat is the king of Grecia ; the great horn between his eyes the first king. That being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”
Then Daniel heard the question, verse 15, “How long the vision," " to give both the sanctuary and host to be trodden under foot ?" "Two thousand three hundred days. Then shall the sanctuary be JUSTIFIED." So the margin reads.
The powers mentioned in verse 13, to tread down the sanctuary and host were, “the daily (or continual) and transgression of desolation.” The one is what Paul calls" the mystery of iniquity;" the other that wicked, that man of sin." The one hindered till he should be taken out of the way, then that wicked was to be revealed. The first was paganism, the second, popery. The one gave way to the other. But both were abominations, and crushed the church of God.
Daniel wished to know the import of his vision, and sought for the meaning; and Gabriel was sent to make him understand the vision. He began the execution of his commission by saying, “ Understand, O son of man, for at “the time of the end' shall be the vision.” That is, the vision is to be understood " at the time of the end.” “But,” he continued, " I will make thee know what shall be in THE LAST END OF THE INDIGNATION; for at the time appointed, (2300 days,) the end shall be.” The “ indignation” is the cause of Jerusalem's desolation; and it will continue desolate until the “indignation" ceases, or “ her iniquity is pardoned." Isa. X. 5. “() Assyrian, the rod of mine anger; the staff' in their hand is mine’INDIGNATION.” “ And it shall come to pass when the Lord shall have accomplished his whole' work on · Mount Zion' and 'Jerulem,' I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks." “ For yet a very little while and I will cause the 'indignation' to cease, and mine ånger in their destruction.” This passage shows that the "indignation” is the cause of the desolation of Jerusalem and Mount Zion. The 2300 days reach to the LAST END of the indignation ; that is, until the people of God are delivered from their dispersion, and the wicked city is pardoned. The vision begins with the ram with two horns; Media and Persia. The “indignation” has not yet ceased; for the people are yet scattered, and Jerusalem is yet desolated and trodden down of the Gentiles. Then the days cannot mean literal days, but symbolical. To say they were fulfilled literally, in Antiochus Epiphanes, is to throw away a great part of the vision-the
whole of the ram and goat. And then they must show that the " last end” of the "indignation" came then, which they cannot, for it yet continues. Then the days must be symbolical and mean years. That the sanctuary signifies Jerusalem and Mount Zion, see Exodus xv. 17. Ps. lxxviii. 54, 67–69, &c.
The date of the 2300 years is the next thing in order. It begins with Media and Persia, when both horns were high, and one was higher than the other, and the last that came up was the highest. It was also when no beast or government could stand before the ram. This was not in the days of Xerxes the Great, for although he invaded Greece with an army of 5,000,000, he fled from the campaign almost alone and desolate. There was then a beast that did successfully meet him. But Artaxerxes, his son, was a powerful monarch, and continued his triumphs to the 25th year of his reign, when his good fortune seemed to forsake him, and the monarchy to decline. Then somewhere within his reign the vision begins. But at what point, the chapter does not say. That Daniel was no more than an amanuensis, and wrote without understanding the import of the instruction, is clear from the concluding remark of Daniel, and Gabriel's closing instruction. Gabriel said, “The vision of the evening and morning which was told is true, (2300 evening-morning,') wherefore shut thou up the vision, for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted and was sick certain days, and afterward I rose up and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision,' but none understood it."
From this confession of Daniel, we learn that he and all else were in the dark on the subject of its import. Daniel, of course, was left to make up his judgment on the time of the justification of the sanctuary, from other data. This he did; for in the first year of Darius, as he informs in the 9th chapter, he learned by books the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, the prophet, that he would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem. That 70 years, beginning in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, ended
with the death of Belshazzar. Daniel had been a captive during that period. In the first year of Darius, the Mede, he concluded that, the 70 years being ended, the time for the deliverance of the city and people had arrived. Accordingly, he began to pray and confess his sins and the sins of his people, on account of which they were desolate, according to what was written in the law of Moses. He prayed that God would then turn away his wrath from his city and people, and cause his face to shine on his SANCTUARY, which was desolate. The great theme which occupied Daniel's mind in this prayer, was the desolation of the sanctuary and host, or people, and their forgiveness. Reader, look at the prayer, and say what it was, if not that. But he mistook the time of justification, and Gabriel was sent again to stop him in the midst of his prayer, and give him understanding on the subject of his prayer. 6. He informed me and talked with me,'' &c. "Understand the matter and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined,” literally " cut off.” This rendering is sanctioned by all Hebrew scholars whom we have consulted. The 70 weeks are cut off.
But from what are “ seventy sevens," or weeks, "cut off?” For clearly we cannot "cut off” a period from nothing, nor yet “cut off” a period without a remnant. What then is the period from which they are cut? The answer must be, some period relating to the subject of Daniel's prayer and Gabriel's conversation. That subject was the cleansing of the sanctuary and host, city and people. Gabriel directed him to understand the matter in hand, and, to do it effectually, to consider the vision. What vision? The vision, to be sure, which gives the length of time to the cleansing of the sanctuary. Now, Daniel, seventy weeks are cut from the vision, for thy city and thy people, " sanctuary and host,” to finish the transgression, and make an end of sins; or, to fill up the rebellion of the Jews and Jerusalem, that their national doom might be sealed. This they did when Christ was rejected. Then he proceeds to divide the seventy weeks. “From the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem to Messiah the Prince, there will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. And the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” That is, although there would be a rebuilding of the street and wall of Jerusalem before Messiah came and the iniquity filled up, yet it would not be the end of the indignation : but it should be built even in troublous times, while the people were yet in bondage to the Persians. So Nehemiah, 9th chapter, declares they were when it was built. They were still servants in the land God gave to their fathers, and they were so because of their sins, the sins of their fathers, kings, princes, priests, prophets, &c. The sin was not pardoned then. “ After three-score and two weeks Messiah shall be cut off,' but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come," after the sin of the people and city is full, ó shall destroy the city,” the lower city," and the sanctuary," the city of David, Mount Zion itself. “And the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Or, in the margin, unto the end of the war it shall “ be cut off by desolations." The war is the one begun by the Assyrians, renewed by the Babylonians, carried on by the Medo-Persians and Grecians, until finally the Romans came up and destroyed the city, and carried the people into captivity. It is to be cut off by DESOLATIONS to the end of the war. Christ expressed the same thing by saying, “there shall not be left one stone on another," &c., and “Jerusalem shall be trodden down''—" till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
“He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the midst of the week (or half part) he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abomination he shall make it desolate, even to the CONSUMMATION ; and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate," or DESOLATOR.
The desolator was Rome. The desolation to be poured on it, is, to be broken to pieces. Dan. ii. It is to be destroyed and given to the burning flame. Dan. vii. It is to be broken without hand. Dan. viii.