« הקודםהמשך »
DANIEL X. 14. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy
people in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days.
. This is the third time the angel Gabriel came to instruct Daniel. The first time was when Daniel had the vision of the he-goat, Daniel viii. 16. This was 553 years before Christ. The second time he came was when Daniel was praying for the deliverance of his people from their Babylonish captivity, fifteen years after the first visit, when he instructed him into the seventy weeks, and crucifixion of the Messiah. Now he has come in the third year of Cyrus the Persian, in the 534 B. C., 21 years after Daniel had his vision of the four beasts, nineteen after the he-goat, and four years after the seventy weeks' instruction.
After informing Daniel his purpose, as in our text, and making some preliminary observations concerning the vision in the remainder of the tenth chapter, he be. gins his teachings to Daniel, and through him to us, with the first of the 11th chapter. lst verse, he tells who he, the heavenly messenger, is the same who confirmed Daniel in the seventy weeks. See Daniel ix. 1, 21. And in the second verse he begins with the fifth king of Persia, the very same king who issued the decree to Ezra to go up and build the walls of Jerusalem, which began our seventy weeks, Daniel ix. 25; Ezra vii. 1–14. For the first Persian king was then on the throne, Daniel X. 1, which was the third year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia. This was the same Cyrus who was general and son-in-law to Darius the Mede, that conquered Babylon. Besides whom “ there should be yet three kings," which three kings were Artaxerxes, Darius, and Ahasuerus, as they are named in Scripture. See Ezra, iv. V. and vi. chapters. I am aware that history has named four where Scripture has only named three. History names, 1, Cambyses; 2, Smerdis, same as Artaxerxes above named in Scripture; 3, Darius, son of Hystaspes, same as above ; 4, Xerxes, same as Scripture calls Ahasuerus. Why the Scripture did not name Cambyses, if there was such a king, I am not able to tell, unless his reign was so short (which all historians agree in) that he had no hand in building or hindering the building of the temple at Jerusalem, as the other three kings had, which Ezra has named. But as Gabriel did not come to tell Daniel any thing which was not “noted in the Scripture of truth," (see Daniel X. 21, “ But I will show thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth,") therefore the language of our text now under examination will be this — “There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia, (noted in the Scripture of truth,) and the fourth shall be far richer than they all,” &c. This fourth king was Artaxerxes Longimanus, and is the same king noted in Ezra vii., and the first and only king of Persia " noted in the Scriptures," who ever gave a decree to rebuild the walls and streets of Jerusalem, especially in troublous times. We may therefore reasonably and conclusively determine that the messenger Gabriel begins his instruction with this king's reign, the 5th king noted in Scripture. And if so, we have another strong and forcible evidence that Daniel's vision of the ram and he-goat began with the seventy weeks, 457 years before the birth of Christ, and 490 years, or 70 prophetic weeks, before his death, Dan. xi. 3, 4. We have the plain history of Alexander, the conqueror of the world, his death, and division of the kingdom into four great empires. Hear what Gabriel says of him more than 200 years before the event happened, and learn, ye skeptics, the evidence that this prophecy is of divine origin. “ And a mighty king shall stand up
that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven, and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides those,” (that is, his posterity.)
Need I, then, tell my hearers that history tells us that Alexander conquered the then known world in about six years, and that he died 323 years B. C. at Babylon; that his kingdom was divided among his greatest generals, from which division arose four great kingdoms, Egypt in the south, Persia in the east, Syria in the north, and Macedonia in the west, which kingdoms lasted until conquered by the Romans? Between the years 190 and 30 B.C. nearly all these kingdoms became Roman proyinces. From Daniel xi. 5, 13, inclusive, we have a prophecy of the two principal kingdoms out of these four
Egypt and Syria; and any one who may have the curiosity to see the exact agreement between the prophecy and history, can read Rollin's Ancient History, where he has not only given us the history, but applied this prophecy. And as I see no reason to disagree from him in his application of these texts, I shall, therefore, for brevity's sake, pass over these texts, and examine the text, Dan. xi. 14," And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south; also, the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.” The king of the south, in this verse, without any doubt, means king of Egypt; but what the robbers of thy people means remains yet a doubt perhaps to some. That it cannot mean Antiochus, or any king of Syria, it is plain; for the angel had been talking about that nation for a number of verses previous, and now says, " also the robbers of thy people, &c., evidently implying some other nation. I will admit that Antiochus did perhaps rob the Jews; but how could this “establish the vision," as Antiochus is not spoken of any where in the vision as performing any act of that kind; for he belonged to what is called the Grecian kingdom in the vision. Again, “ to establish the vision," must mean to make sure, complete, or fulfil the saine. And if it cannot be shown that the Grecian kingdom was to rob the people of God, I think it must mean some other nation which would do these acts, to which every word will apply. And to this we need not be at a loss; for at this very time of which the angel is speaking, Rome, the least kingdom in Daniel's vision, did exalt itself, and this kingdom did have the very marks in the vision, and in the events following. This kingdom was to have great iron teeth; it was to break in pieces, and stamp the residue with the feet of it. The vision also says, “ He shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and holy people, and that he should magnify himself," &c., the same as exalt himself, Daniel vii. 7, 23; viii. 10–12, 24, 25 verses. And it cannot be denied but that the Jews have been robbed of their city and sanctuary by the Romans, and the Christian church has been persecuted and robbed by this dreadful beast, the Roman kingdom. It is evident too that when this kingdom falls, the vision will be completed, fulfilled, established: “but they shall fall,” says the angel in the verse under our present examination; "they shall fall ;” that is, the ten horns in this fourth kingdom, when the vision is fulfilled or established, and when the stone cut out of the mountain without hands shall grind them to powder. We will take the 15th, “So the king of the north ” (Rome is now the king of the north, because they had conquered the Macedonian kingdom, and had become masters of the countries north and east before they attacked Egypt) 6 shall come and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities; and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand." This was about fifty years before Christ, when Pompey, a Roman general, conquered Egypt, and made that kingdom tributary to the Romans, and afterwards entered Jerusalem, and made them subjects of the Roman government. See verses 16 and 17, “But he that cometh against him” (Pompey coming against Egypt) “shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him, and he shall stand in the glorious land which by his hand shall be consumed. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him," (or men of equal conditions, as it might have been rendered.) The Roman army, of which Pompey had the command, when he went into Egypt and Palestine, were composed of the sons of all the principal citizens of Rome, who were, according to the laws of the republic, to serve ten years in the service of their country before they were admitted to receive the high offices which they might afterwards be candidates for. This accounts for the language just read in the text “upright ones with him.” And “ thus shall he do: he shall give him the daughter of woman, corrupting her; but she shall not stand on his side nor be for him.” When Pompey went into Egypt, he found that country divided between Ptolemy and Cleopatra. Pompey, after he had made them tributary to the Romans, compelled them to settle their differences by marriage. Afterwards, when Julius Cæsar came against Pompey with his western veterans, with whom he had conquered the west part of Europe, and in the battle fought between these two contending rivals, Pompey and Julius Cæsar, Cleopatra had the command of the Egyptian fleet on the side of Pompey; but in the midst of the action she deserted over to Cezar with her whole fleet, which turned the fortune of the day in favor of Julius Cæsar. Pompey then fled into the Grecian isles, where he compelied many of them to declare in his favor. But Cæsar soon followed him, and at the battle of Pharsalia completely defeated Pompey, who was slain by a band of pirates or robbers. This part we have in the 18th verse, “ After this shall he (Pompey) turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many; but a prince (Cesar) for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him (Pompey) to cease; without his own (Cæsar) reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him, (Pompey :) 19th verse, “ Then he (Cæsar) shall turn his face towards the fort of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found." The history of Cæsar's death is familiar to every school-boy. After he had conquered Pompey, he returned to Rome, entered the city in triumph, and a few days after, when he was about to be crowned Emperor, he was slain in