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favorable opportunity to recover his lost authority, marched with rather more than one thousand men to Jerusalem, drove out Menelaus, and made hime self master of the city.
When Antiochus heard of this, he concluded that the Jews had made a general insurrection ; and, highly exasperated at the great rejoicings of which he heard among the Jews at Jerusalem, upon the report of his death, he hastened to take vengeance upon their devoted city. He besieged Jerusalem, took the city by storm, abandoned it to the unbridled fury of his soldiers, and caused eighty thousand men to be inhumanly murdered.
Not content with these barbarities, he added sacrilege to massacre; forcibly entered into the temple, and even polluted by his presence the most holy place. He also plundered the temple of the golden candlestick with seven branches, the altar of incense, table for the show bread, and several other utensils, vases, and gifts of kings, all of gold. This horrible massacre, and profanation of the temple, took place in the year B. C. 170.
Two years afterwards, Antiochus, baffled in his ambitioas designs against Egypt by the power and firmness of the Romans, wreaked his vengeance once more against the defenceless Jews. He sent his general, Apollonius, with twenty-two thousand men, with orders to destroy the city of Jerusalem, and to massacre all the men, and sell the women as slaves. These cruel orders were too faithfully executed. On the Sabbath day, while the people were assembled peacefully in their synagogues, all the adult men were most cruelly butchered, so that the streets literally streamed with blood. After setting fire to several parts of the city, they placed a strong garrison of soldiers in the holy temple itself, to awe the whole Jewish nation. This garrison fell on all who came to worship Jehovah in their venerated temple, and shed their blood on every part of the sanctuary itself, and polluted it by all possible methods.
A stop was thus put to the “daily sacrifices," which had been offered by the Jews every morning and evening in the temple, as none of the servants of God dared to come to adore him in that sacred but now polluted place.
While in these mournful circumstances, the author of the Maccabees thus plaintively describes the condition of the holy city, (1 Mac. iii. 45.) “Now Jerusalem lay void as a wilderness; there was none of her children that went in or out; the sanctuary, also, was trodden down, and aliens kept the strong hold ; the heathen had their habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob, and the pipe with the harp ceased.”
Antiochus, soon after, issued an edict, commanding all the nations subject to him to renounce all their ancient religious ceremonies, and to worship the same gods, and in the same manner, that he did. This decree, though expressed in general terms, was aimed principally at the Jews, whose religion he had determined to extirpate. In pursuance of this determination, he suppressed all the observances of the Jewish law; polluted the temple in such a manner that it was no longer fit for the service of God; burnt all the copies of the sacred Scriptures that could be found; and even set up the statue of the god Jupiter upon the very altar of the temple. Thus the abomination of desolation was seen in the temple of God, and the daily sacrifice was taken away.. These events took place in the year B. C. 168. Now, let us read the words of this remarkable prophecy, delivered 385 years before, that is, in the year 553, and I think we shall not only be satisfied to whom this description of the little horn applies, but shall perceive, in the remarkable fulfilment of the prophecy, a striking proof of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures.
But this application is still further confirmed by the intimation of the death of this “ king of fierce countenance,” contained in the emphatic expression (verse 254) “but he shall be broken without hand.” This expression seems to denote that he should come to his end without the intervention of the hand of man, but by the immediate judgment of God. How well does this agree with the awful end of this monster of cruelty ! He had gone to Elymais, in Persia, for the purpose of levying the tribute imposed upon that por: tion of his dominions. While at Ecbatana, a neighboring city, he heard of the defeat of his generals, Nicanor and Timotheus, by the brave and patriotic Judas Maccabæus, and resolved to set out immediately for Jerusalem, in order to make the nation of the Jews feel the dreadful effects of his wrath. It was while on this journey that he came to a miserable end, which is described in the following words by the historian Rollin, who, by the way, I would add, always applies this prophecy to Antiochus.
“In the violence of his rage, he set out with all possible expedition, venting nothing but menaces in his march, and breathing only final ruin and
destruction. At the news of the defeat of his general, Lysias, which reached him on the way, his fury increased. Immediately he commanded his charioteer to drive with the utmost speed, in order that he might sooner have an opportunity of fully satiating his vengeance, threatening to make Jerusalem the burying-place of the whole Jewish nation, and not to leave one single inbabitant in it. He had scarcely uttered that blasphemous expression, when he was struck by the hand. of God. He was seized with incredible pains in his bowels, and the most excessive pains of the colic. But still his pride was not abated by this first shock; so far from it, that suffering himself to be hurried away by the wild transports of his fury, and breathing nothing but vengeance against the Jews, he gave orders for proceeding with all possible speed in the journey. But, as his horses were running forward impetuously, he fell from his chariot, and thereby bruised in a grievous manner every part of his body, so that his attendants were forced to put him into a litter, where he suffered inexpressible torments. Worms crawled from every part of him ; his flesh fell away piecemeal; and the stench was so great that it became intolerable to all, being himself unable to bear it. At length he acknowledged that it was the hand of the God of Israel that struck him, because of the calamities he had brought upon Jerusalem. In order to calm the wrath of the Almighty, he promised to exert the utmost liberality towards his chosen people; to enrich with precious gifts the holy temple at Jerusalem, which he had plundered ; to furnish from his revenues the sums to purchase the sacrifices; and even to turn Jew
himself, and to travel into every part of the world to publish the power of the Almighty. But it was now too late. Says the author of the Maccabees, This wicked person vowed unto the Lord, who now no more would have mercy on him. Thus miserably did Antiochus perish, by the immediate judgment of an insulted God. Thus was this king of a fierce countenance broken without hand.'” He died B. C. 164.
To this interpretation of the little horn we have serious
OBJECTIONS. 1. The same emblem is used in the seventh chapter of Daniel, as Mr. D, acknowledges, to represent the papal power. He is said, in this chapter, to do the same things that are attributed to him in that: why, then, should we not understand it as the same power?
2. Antiochus Epiphanes was king of Syria, and, as such, he was one of the four horns of the Grecian monarchy, and not another horn or kingdom out of those four kingdoms. It would seem as though Mr. D. must have seen this difficulty. He well knows, according to his own showing, that Antiochus is truly and properly one of those four horns. Why and how, then, does he make him another horn, and not one of the four ? It is preposterous. If Antiochus was the little