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horn denoted the Persian line of kings, under and following the reign of Cyrus, the Persian, son-in-law to Darius the Mede." And as I was considering, behold, a hegoat came from the west, on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes." In the 21st verse the angel says, “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia : and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” This king was Alexander, that conquered the Persians. He was not the first king of Macedonia, but the first that had all Grecia under his control, and that conquered the world. “And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him, and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he-goat waxed very great; and when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and for it came up four notable ones, towards the four winds of heaven.” We have in these verses a plain description of Alexander's life, conquests, death, and division of his kingdom into four parts, towards the four points of heaven-Persia in the east, Syria in the north, Macedon and Europe in the west, Egypt and Africa in the south. And the angel, when he gives Daniel instruction, says, 22d verse, “ Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” Then the vision seems to slide down to the little horn. “And out of one of them (that is, out of Europe) came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down, and a host was given him against the
daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practised and prose pered.” Two or three things in the above description clearly show that, by the little horn, in this passage, we are to understand the Roman power, viz., Its conquering to the south, and east, and pleasant lands, stamping on the host, magnifying himself against Christ, and destroying Jerusalem, the place of his sanctuary, and his practising and prospering. All this description agrees with the history of Rome, and cannot apply to Antiochus, as some writers have supposed. But let us see what Gabriel
says, 23: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, (that is, the four kingdoms,) when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up, and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy, also, he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening (in the first year of Belshazzar, Daniel vii.) and the morning (in the third year of Belshazzar, Daniel viii.) which was told, is true; wherefore shut thou up the vision, for it shall be for many days.” How many days ? Our text answers, “ Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. And it came to pass, when I, even I, Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood, and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face; but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation; for at the time appointed the end shall be."
Then comes the instruction of Gabriel, which we have before given.
III. The time or length of the vision the 2,300 days. What must we understand by days ? In the prophecy of Daniel it is invariably to be reckoned years; for God hath so ordered the prophets to reckon days. Numb. xiv. 34, “ After the number of days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years." Ezek. iv. 5, 6, “ For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days; I have appointed thee each day for a year.” In these passages we prove the command of God. We will also show that it was so called in the days of Jacob, when he served for Rachel, Gen. xxix. 27:“ Fulfil her week (seven days) and we will give thee this also, for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet other seven years."
Nothing now remains to make it certain that our vision is to be so understood, but to prove that Daniel has followed this rule. This we will do, if your patience will hold out, and God permit.
Now turn your attention to the ninth chapter of Daniel, and you will there learn that fifteen years after Daniel had his last vision, and sixty-five years after Daniel explained Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and 538 years B. C., Daniel set his face unto the Lord God by supplication and prayer; and by confession of his own sins, and the sins of the people of Israel, he sought God for mercy, for himself and all Israel. And while he was speaking and praying, as he tells us, Daniel ix. 21, “ Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, Daniel viii. 16, 17, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, 1 am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplication the commandment came forth, and I am
come to show thee ; for thou art greatly beloved ; therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and 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 tiines. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary ; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week, (or last half, as it might have been rendered,) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abomination, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
What do we learn from the above passage? We learn our duty in prayer, and God's goodness in answering. We learn that the angel Gabriel was sent to instruct Daniel, and make him understand the vision. You may inquire what vision? I answer, The one Daniel had in the beginning, for he has had no other. We also learn that seventy weeks, which is 490 days, (or years, as we shall show,) from the going forth of a certain decree to build the streets and walls of Jerusalem in troublous times, to the crucifixion of the Messiah should be accomplished. We also learn that this seventy weeks is divided into three parts ; seven weeks being employed in building the streets and walls in troublous times, which is forty-nine years, sixty-two weeks, or four hundred and thirty-four years to the preaching of John in the wilderness, which two, put together, make sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years, and one week the gospel was preached; John
three and a half years, and Christ three and a half years, which makes the seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety years; which, when accomplished, would seal up the vision, and make the prophecy true. We also learn that, after the crucifixion of Christ, the Romans would come and destroy the city and sanctuary, and that wars will not cease until the consummation or end of the world. “All that may be true,” says the objector; 6 but where have you proved that the seventy weeks were four hundred and ninety years?" I agree I have not yet proved it, but will now do it.
We shall again turn your attention to the Bible. Look at Ezra vii. 11–13: “ Now this is the copy of the letter that the king, Artaxerxes, gave unto Ezra, the priest, the scribe, a scribe of the law of God: perfect peace, and at such a time. I make a decree that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites in my realm, which are minded of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.” This is the decree given when the walls of Jerusalem were built in troublous times. See, also, Neh. iv. 17-23. Ezra and Nehemiah being contemporary, see Neh. viii. 1. The decree to Ezra was given in the seventh year of Artaxerxes' reign, Ezra vii. 7, and that to Nehemiah in the twentieth year, Neh. ii. 1. Let any one examine the chronology, as given by Rollin or Josephus, from the seventh year of Artaxerxes to the twenty-second year of Tiberius Cæsar, which was the year our Lord was crucified, and he will find it was four hundred and ninety years. The Bible chronology says that Ezra started to go up to Jerusalem on the 12th day of the first month, (see Ezra viii. 31,) 457 years before the birth of Christ; he being 33 when he died, added to 457, will make 490 years. Three of the evangelists tell us he was betrayed two days before the feast of the passover, and of course was the same day crucified. The passover was always kept on the 14th day of the first month forever, and Christ being crucified two days before, would make it on the 12th day, 490 years from the time Ezra left the river Ahava to go unto Jerusalem.