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time (or according to the time of seventy weeks) Christ died for us."
“ And he (Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one wcek.” What covenant is this to be confirmed? I answer, It cannot be the Jewish covenant, for that was confirmed by Moses many hundred years before Daniel lived. There being but two covenants, it must of necessity be the new covenant of which Christ is the Mediator; Moses having been the mediator of the old, and Christ afterwards of the new. If these things are so, and the gospel covenant is meant by Daniel, then the time the gospel was preached by John and Christ is here called a week; for Christ himself preached more than seven days. Christ kept three passovers with the Jews after he began his ministry, and pefore he nailed the ceremonial law to his cross. This is strong evidence that a week is seven years, and that Daniel's 70 weeks are to be understood as meaning
Again, “In the midst of the week he should cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease," or, as all Hebrew scholars agree, “In the last half of the week,” &c., is the more proper translation; and it is evident that this translation would harmonize with the other parts of the passage, “ the sacrifice and oblation to cease.”
What sacrifice and offering is this, which the Messiah was to cause to cease? I answer, It must of course be that one offering and sacrifice for sin of which all other offerings and sacrifices were but types. It could not be the Jewish sacrifices and offerings, for two good
1st. This is but one sacrifice, and the Jews had many. It does not say sacrifices; therefore it cannot mean Jewish sacrifices, nor offerings.
2d reason. The Jewish sacrifices and offerings did not cease in, nor even very nigh, the last half of the week in which the Messiah confirmed the covenant with many; and, even to the present day, they make oblations, if not sacrifices. It must mean that sacrifice and oblation which the Messiah was to make to God for sin, once for all it must mean that sacrifice which is the antetype
of all the legal sacrifices from the days of Abel to the days of the Messiah. Let us hear what Paul says, Heb. vii. 27, “ Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once when he offered up himself:
See also Heb. x. 11, 12. " And every priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God.” Many more passages might be brought to show that all sacrifices and oblations which could take away sin, or in which God the Father could be well pleased, ceased in Christ's one sacrifice and oblation. But I have given enough to satisfy every candid, unprejudiced mind; therefore I shall,
II. Try to prove when the seventy weeks began, and when they ended.
The angel Gabriel tells Daniel, ix. 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."
In this passage we have a plain declaration when the seventy weeks began: “ from the going forth of the commandment." But what commandment? we may inquire. I answer, A command that will finally restore the Jews from their captivity under which they then were held in bondage; also to prepare the way for them to rebuild their city, repeople the same, and raise up the decayed walls, settle the streets, and cleanse the city of Jerusalem; and these things would be done in troublous times. So much is expressed or implied in the declaration of Gabriel, which I have just quoted.
Who would give the command ? is the next question. I answer, It must be a king who had power over the Jews to release and restore them. It must of necessity be a king over the Medes and Persians, or it would not be in agreement with the vision in the 8th chapter of Daniel; for he is expressly told by Gabriel that the rane
he saw, and which was the first thing he did see in the vision, were the kings of Media and Persia. And now this same angel Gabriel has come the second time, and tells Daniel, plainly and distinctly, that he has come to make him understand the vision." What vision? The one Daniel had in the beginning, in the 8th chapter. See Daniel ix. 21-23.
Then Gabriel begins his instructions by giving him seventy weeks of the vision, and then shows him, verse 24, when his seventy weeks begin ; or, which is the same thing, “ the vision.” To read and understand the matter thus far, infidelity itself must blush to deny the premises.
Then, if we have settled this question, the next ques tion would be, Which king of Persia, and what commandment? I answer, It must be the fifth king of Persia noted in the Scripture of truth; for the angel Gabriel, the third time he visited Daniel to give him skill and understanding into “ the vision,” says, “But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth,” Dan. X. 21. This shows that he was instructing Daniel into a vision which he before had seen, and written in the Scriptures. See Dan. vii. 1, “ Then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.” Dan. X. 14, * Now I am come to make thee understand what shali befall thy people in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days.” What vision? The one noted in the Scripture of truth, says Gabriel. Then, in Dan. xi. 2, he begins his instruction to him of the vision, which he was commanded by the voice between the banks of Ulai to make him understand, by saying, “ And now will 1 show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all.” This fourth king was the ram pushing, and was the fifth king of Persia, being the fourth from Cyrus, who was then standing up. See Dan. x. 1.
The kings, as Ezra has named them in his 4th chapter and 7th chapter, were, 1st, Cyrus ; 2d, Ahasuerus; 3d, Artaxerxes, (the first;) 4th, Darius ; 5th, Artaxerxes (Longimanus ;) this last being the king who gave a commandment to Ezra to restore all the captive Jews who were willing to go to Jerusalem.
What commandment? is our next question to answer.. The decree given by Cyrus (see Ezra i. 1-11) cannot be the decree meant by the angel, for the four following
1st. Cyrus was the first king of Persia, and of course cannot be the fifth king, as we have already shown.
2d reason. The decree of Cyrus was two years before the angel gave his last instruction to Daniel, and he would not have spoken of it as being future, if it had already passed: “There shall yet stand up three kings," &c. 3d reason.
Cyrus's decree was not given to build Jerusalem, but “the house of God which was at Jerusalem ;” neither were the walls built in troublous times, under the decree by Cyrus.
4th reason. This decree by Cyrus was given 536 years before the birth of Christ, or 569 years before his death. Therefore no rules of interpretation given in the Scriptures could possibly show how those things were accomplished in seventy weeks, which Gabriel has shown, in our text and context, were determined to be done. This, then, cannot be the commandment, and harmonize with either Bible or facts.
Again: the decree given by Darius, Ezra vi. 1–14, cannot be the commandment to which the angel alluded, for the same reasons we have shown that Cyrus's decree could not be the one ; for this was only a renewal of the former, and this decree was issued 552 years before Christ's death.
The next decree or command of any king of Persia we find in the seventh year of Artaxerxes (Longimanus.) See Ezra vii. 6–28. In this decree we find the last command of any king of Persia to restore the captive Jews. We learn that, in this decree, the king furnished them with money and means to beautify and adorn the temple which had been built by Darius's order a number of years before. We find that the interdict, Ezra iv. 21, in which the Jews were commanded not to build Jerusalem, is now removed by its own limitation, “ until another commandment be given from me.” This decree, therefore, took off this command. We learn by
Ezra's prayer, ix. 9, that Ezra understood that the decree to which we allude did give them the privilege of building, in Judah and Jerusalem, the wall which had been broken down. After Ezra had been high priest and governor in Jerusalem thirteen years, Nehemiah was permitted to go up to assist Ezra in building Jerusalem and repairing the walls; which was done in troublous times, under Nehemiah's administration, which lasted in all 39 years. See Nehemiah, 4th to the 7th chapter Ezra and Nehemiah, both of them having served as governors 49 years.
Here, then, we find the fulfilment of what the angel told Daniel would be done under the command that would begin the seventy weeks, and which is the same thing" the vision.” This decree was given 457 years before Christ: the seventy weeks began, and if they ended at the death of Christ, which we have proved did end them, then the seventy weeks ended after Christ 33 years, making, in all, 490 years, which is 70 weeks of years.
But it is evident that Gabriel has divided the seventy weeks into three parts, and I think clearly explains the use of this division.
“ Shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.” Then, as if you should inquire, What is seven weeks for? he explains, “ The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Ezra and Nehemiah were 49 years, or seven weeks of years, performing these very things, which ended before Christ 408. See large edition of Polyglot Bible. What is sixty-two weeks for? The angel has already told us, “ Unto the Messiah, the Prince;" that is, to the time Christ was anointed to preach, the meaning of Messiah. Sixty-two weeks are 434 days; or weeks of years would be 434 years, which, beginning where the seven weeks ended, 408, would end 26 years after Christ, the year John began to preach as forerunner of Christ. Then " he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week," making in all the seventy weeks. Thus the seven weeks ended with the administration of Nehemiak, B. C. 408. Then the sixty-two weeks ended when John