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in the Latin version of Junius and Tremellius, usque ad vespertina matutinaque tempora bis mille trecenta; i. e. unto 2,300 morning and evening seasons. Now it does not appear to me that this compound Hebrew word, evening-morning, ever means a prophetical day, i. e. a year, but, from the very nature and form of the word, must be confined to a natural day. I have examined the Hebrew of each of the other passages, where it is admitted we are to understand a prophetical day or year. In Ezekiel iv. 6,—"I have appointed thee each day for a year,”—the word is yom, (day ;) and in Daniel xii. 11,4“A thousand two hundred and ninety days,” and verse 12, “the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days,” -the word is yamim, (days,) the plural of yom, used in Ezekiel.
Now it seems to me that the Holy Spirit had some design in avoiding this word, in the prediction of the 2,300 days, and using the emphatic ..compound word a-rav bo-ker, i. e. evening-morning, and that this design was expressly to confine the meaning to natural days; alluding to the two divisions of evening and morning; the first evening among the Jews beginning at twelve at noon, and the morning ending at the same hour; and also alluding to the evening and morning daily sacrifices. Bishop Newton says, “ In the original it is Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings ;' and, in allusion to this expression, it is said afterwards, versé 26, · The vision of the evening and the morning is true. In order to understand the meaning of the question to which these words are the answer, we are to remember, that for many hundred years the Jews
had offered up a burnt-offering, consisting of a lamb, every morning at the third hour, and every evening at the ninth hour; and this was called the perpetual or daily sacrifice.”
Now the question was, "For how long a time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice-be taken away?" &c. (Lowth's translation.) The answer was, “ Unto two thousand three hundred mornings and evenings.”
I understand the reply to allude to the number of daily burnt-offerings, including both morning and evening sacrifices, which should be omitted through the violence and cruelty of this “ king of a fierce countenance,” Antiochus Epiphanes. As there were two sacrifices on each day, the number of days would be 1,150 days, or three years and nearly two months. *
* At the time I came to the above conclusion about the 2,300 evenings and mornings, I was not aware that any modern commentator coincided with me, in denying that the Hebrew word forbids the interpretation of 2,300 prophetical days, or years. I have since examined the commentaries of Gill and Henry, which were not then accessible, and find that these learned expositors are both of opinion that natural days only are intended; and Henry mentions some who understand it as I do, 2,300 evenings "and mornings, or 1,150 days.
Gill says, on the place, - Unto 2,300 days, or so many mornings and evenings, which shows that not so muny years are meant, but natural days."
Henry says, “ It shall continue 2,300 days, and no longer; so many evenings and mornings, (so the word is,) so many natural days, reckoned, as in the beginning of Genesis by evenings and mornings; because it was the evening and morning sacrifice that they most lamented the loss of. Some make the morning and the evening in this number to stand for two, and then 2,300 evenings and mornings will make but 1,150 days; and about so many
1. It will be perceived that the principal reason for considering the time literal days, is the fact that the Hebrew reads 2,300 evening-mornings, and not ydmim, days, as in Daniel xii. 11; but he might, with just the same propriety, doubt whether the time, times, and dividing of time, of Daniel vii. 26, is the same as the 1,260 days of Revelation xi. 3. They are most certainly expressed in different terms; and so also the 42 months, different from either of the former. But he finds no difficulty in believing the three different expressions to mean the same thing. Why, then, may not another form, still less ambiguous than either "time, times and an half,” or “forty-two months," be used ? Mr. D. knows that evening and morning, with the Hebrews, was equivalent to a day.
days it was that the daily sacrifice was interrupted, that is, by Antiochus Epiphanes.”
Whether 2,300 days, or 1,150, as I suppose, are intended, makes no difference whatever in my argument against Mr. M.'s doctrine. I think, however, that the latter number best agrees with the words, and with the history of Antiochus's persecutions. Those who make it 2,300 entire days, reckon not from the time.“the daily sacrifice was taken away,” but from the beginning of the troubles, the first defection of Menelaus, the high priest, which was rather over six years before the cleansing of the sanctuary by Judas Maccabæus.
2. Mr. Dowling thinks the evenings and mornings are so many sacrifices; and, as the Jews had two sacrifices a day, there would be only one half as many days as there were jsacrifices prevented by Antiochus Epiphanes. As there were 2,300 evening and morning sacrifices, he supposes there would be 1,150 days; but he has altogether failed to show that either 2,300 or 1,150 days were fulfilled by Antiochus, in the abolition of Jewish sacrifices and the profanation of the temple. If the Holy Spirit has been so definite as to give the exact days of that desecration of the sanctuary, is it reasonable to suppose that more than 2,000 years would pass after the fulfilment of the prediction, and no living mortal ever find the data to prove it to have been fulfilled? But yet such is the fact; for no one has ever yet proved it to have been fulfilled. It seems to be a favorite sentiment with Mr. D. that prophecy is to be explained by its accomplishment. If so, and this period has been fulfilled, he should be able to show it.
But by what authority does our author call it the Jewish daily sacrifice? It is not by the authority of the text. “How long
the vision, the daily and the transgression of desolation, (or, as in the margin,' making desolate,') to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Compare this with Daniel xi. 31. “And shall take away the daily, and shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." Also Daniel xii. 11. “From the time the daily shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, shall be 1,290 days. Mr. Dowling acknowledges the 1,290 days, and 1,335 days, to be years. If so, there were to be 1,290 years, from the taking away the daily sacrifice by Antiochus, B. C. 168, to A. D. 1131. And blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1,335 days or years, that is, to A. D. 1177; for there the 1,335 days must end, if Mr. D. is correct in supposing the daily to be Jewish daily sacrifices, as taken away by Antiochus, and the transgression making desolate, or the abomination which maketh desolate, to be pagan worship, set up by him in the temple. But what took place at either of those periods? Did popery end, or the millennium begin, as he seems to think probable will be the case at the end of those periods? But whenever the 1,335 end,