« PreviousContinue »
of the Text for the Roman Monarchy, and, contrary to all rea; lon, be willing to allow that Antiochus Epiphanes might be here meant, and the Duration of his Profanation of Jerusalem, or of the Temple, it will not prove agreeable to the History there neither. For from Antiochus's first Siege and Taking of Jerusalem, and Profanation of the Temple thereupon, till the Fealt of Reftitution and Dedication afterwards was somewhat above * five years. And from the latter Profanation, where the Abomination of Desolation, or the Idol of Jupiter Olympius was plac'd on the Altar, till the same Feast of Dedication was but + three years and ten days. Nay, from the Sacrificing on the Idol-Altar by the Heathens, till the same Dedication was but just three years; as we are sure from the express Words of the Original Historians in the Books of Maccabees. So that altho'+ Josephus, and others after him speak of this
* And after that Antiochus had (mitren Egypt, he returned again, in the , Maccab. i. 143d. year, and went up against Israel , and Jerusalem with a great multi
20, 21, 22. tude; and entred prou tly into the Sanctuary, and took away the Golden altar, and the Candlestick of Light, and all the vessels thereof; And the Table of the Shew.bread, and the pouring Vessels, and the Vials, and the Gensers of Gold, and the Veil
, and the Crowns, and the Golden Ornaments that were before the Temple: all which he pulled off. And after two years expir'd, the King Ver. 29, 30. sent his chief Collector of Tribute unto the Cities of fudah: who came unto Jerusalem with a great multitude, and spake peaceable words unto them. But all was deceit: for when they had given him Credence, he fell suddenly upon the City, and more it very fore, and destroyed much people of Israel.
# Non the isth day of Caples, in the 45th year, they set up the Abomi. Ver. 54. nation of Desolation upon the Altar: and builded Idol Alcars throughout the Cities of Judah on every side. Now the 25th day of the month, they Ver. 59. did sacrifice upon the Idol Altar, which was by the Altar of God.
Now on the 25th day of the month, which is the month Cafleu, in the 148th Chap. iv. 52. gear, they rose up betimes in the morning; and offered sacrifice according to 53,54. the Law, upon the new Altar of Burnt offerings which they had made. Look, at what time, and what day, the heathen had profan’d'it; even in that was is dedicated with Songs, and Cirherns, and Harps, and Cymbals.
Now upon the same day that the Strangers profaned the Temple, on she very 2 Maccab. X.5. same day was it cleansed again; even the 25th day of the same month, which is Cafleu.
+ ΑντοχG- ο κληθείς Επιφανής ελών και κράτος Ιεροσόλυμα, και κατά των ήτισε τρισι ε μην έξ, ο τ 'Ασταμωναία παιδών εκβάλεται σε χώρας. Jofeph. Lib. 1. de Bello. Procem. "Hempuangan olim reia é uñoas its ro ázior. De Bello Lib. vs. p. 929
Profanation as containing three years and six months; which would concur with the usual Interpretation of this Phrase for 3 years. Yet it fo little agreeing with the Original and Authentick Accounts above-mention'd, and being very probably only a mistaken Interpretation of this place, there can no weight be laid upon it.
The Second Text in Daniel that determins a Period by Days,
is that famous Prophecy, added by itself, after some others, in Dan. viii. 13, the Eighth Chapter. Then I heard an Holy One speaking : and
another Holy One said unto that certain Holy One which spake ; How long shall be the Vifior concerning the daily sacrifice, and the tranfgrefsion of defolation ; to give both the Sanctuary and Hoft to be troden under foot ? And he said unto me, Untó 2300 Even. ing-Mornings (Nux frápusage :] Then ball the Sanktuary be clears'd, This Prophecy is also commonly expounded of the fame Antiochus Epiphanes, and the Space of the Profanation of the Temple, or of Jerufalem by him. But it does not at all for the fame; as appears by the Authentick Testimonies above quoted. For let us take the longest Duration possible, and it will amount to no more than between five and six years at the utmost, from the 143d year of the Seleucide, to their 148th year: Whereas 1300 Evening-Mornings, or Nexthuese, are fix years and above a quarter, and cannot therefore by any means agree with the Space
before-mention'd. And in truth, as will appear in due time, neither of these Numbers have any relation to Antiochus Epiphanes, or his Profanation of the Jewish Temple. Nor is the Duration of that Profanation any where determin’d in Dar niel; on which yet all our Commentators infift so much upon all occasions. But when the true import of fuch Prophecies as these, relating to Times long future, was not understood, 'tis no wonder if such Events as that of Antiochus's Profanation, were thought of, to make at least some shew of their fulfilling in those days. It having been a mighty creditable thing in later Ages, to pretend to find all the Ancient Prophecies appli. cable to Events long lince past, rather than to suppose any of their Completions yet to come ; how little foever the plain sense of Words, and the Histories of those ancient Times could be made to agree together; as will more eafily be observable in
the progress of the present Essay concerning them : Bur
upon what fufficient foundation, I cannot tell.
The Third and most famous of all the Prophecies of Daniel, wherein a Period is determin' by a collection of Days, or by Weeks, is that eminently known by the name of the
Weeks Prophecy : and is of all others the most Important; as determining the very Year in which the Mellias was to be cut off. Seventy Weeks are determin’d upon thy People, and upon the Holy Dan. ix. 24, City: To finish Tranfgrefsion, and to make an exd of Sins; and 25, 26, 27. to make reconciliation for iniquiry; and 10 bring in everlasting Righteousness; and 10 seal up the Vision and Prophecy; and io anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, shar from the going forth of the Commandment, to restore and to build Jerus Salem, unto the Messiah the Prince all be seven weeks, and
sexry and two weeks: The Street fall be built again, and the Wall even in troublows times: and after those threescore and two weeks Mall the Meffiah be cut off. And half a week Mall cause the Sacri. fice and the Oblarion to cease.
Now this Prophecy, and the Words following it, so evidently belonging to our Saviour ; and we having his own certain Exposition of them [The Abomination of Desolation spo- Matt. xxiv. 15. ken of by Daniel she Prophet, ] with a Caution not to overlook so remarkable a fulfilling of this Prophecy [He that read- Mar. xiii. 14. eth, let him understand,] as well as the exactness of its Com- See Harm. p. pletion; I shall not be so unreasonable or injurious to Chri- 198, 199,200. ftianity, as once to suppose it applicable to any other person. And indeed those who have at any time attempted to apply it to any other, have had such miserable success as may jully discourage any future pretences of that nature, Prophecy therefore belonging to the Times of the Messias, and expreffing the Spaces first of 490, and then of 483 years, and then of 7, and of 62,and also of 3 ; by so many days,is a most emisent Instance to our purpose ; and goes very far to ascertain the Proposition before us : And therefore most of all deserves our regard in the present Enquiry, especially since this sense is not deny'd, but earneftly contended for by those who yet have been willing to allow no other Instances of this nature in the fame Prophecy; nay, scarcely in the whole Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
The Fourth Instance in Daniel is in the Solemn Oath of the
Man cloathed in Linnen, in answer to the question, How long, Dao. xij. 7. it would be to the end of those Wonders he had been speaking of
in that and the foriner Chapters? Where he asserts, that it should be for a Time, Times, and a half; and that when he should have accomplished to scatter the power of the Holy People all these things should be finished. Now these Numbers also have been commonly, by Interpreters, apply'd to the Time of Antiochus's Profanation, but do no wise belong to the same : the Wonders, of which mention had been made, appertaining to the Times of the great Jewish Dispersion and Captivity, as the Text assures us; and not ending till the Restoration of the Jews, and the first Resurrection relating to it. And we have already observ'd how imposible it is to reduce the Profanation of Antiochus to the exact space of three years and a half, as such an Interpretation must of necessity suppose. So that here we must leave the Vulgar Exposition, and, as in the rest, allow that by Time, Times, and a half, is not meant the small space of 1260 days, but so many years; as we shall find more clearly hereafter.
The Fifth and Sixth, which are the last of the Prophecies
of Daniel determin'd in this manner, are at the conclusion of Dan. xii. 9,&c. the whole Prophecy, and run thus : The Words are closed and
sealed till the time of the end. Many Mall be purify'd, and made white, and tried . But the wicked Mall do wickedly: and none of the wicked Mall understand; but the wise Jhall understand. And from the time that the daily Sacrifice mall be taken away, and the Abomination of the Desolator be set up there shall be 1290 days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days. But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt reft, and stand in the Lot at the end of the days. These Numbers again, 1290, and 1335, if they denote bare days, are and must be apply'd, by Interpreters, to the same Duration of the Profanation of Jerin Salem, or of the Temple by Antiochus: or however from thence to the Publick Libertyof their Religion, granted after that Profanation as to the former Number 1290; and to the Death of Antiochus as to the latter Number 1335. But how contrary to the. authentick Accounts of the Books of the Maccabees all these
pretences are, will soon appear on a little examination. Nay See Mede na indeed, the whole time from the second Profanation of the 882, &c. T«mple, when the Idol of Jupiter Olympius was placed on the Altar, till the Decree of Antiochus Eupator, the Son of Epiphanes, for the Jews Liberty, was in all, no more than three years and four months, or about 1218 days, as Mr. Mede has sufficiently prov'd in the place just now reter'd to; which Dates yet, are of all other most favourable to their Cause. So that in truth, the Application has no manner of real ground in Hilory, but is utterly contradictory thereto. And 'tis strange indeed, if such an Interpretation of Daniel's Numbers as makes the same Duration of Antiochus's Profanation to be first defin’d by a Time, Times, and a part, or 1110 days; then by 2300 days; then by a Time Times and an half, or 1260 days; then by 1290 days; and lastly, by 1335 days, should be esteem'd Genuin, or even in the least probable; and still more strange, that the Authentick Histories of those Times should not agree with any one of those Numbers in any one of the remarkable Periods of that Profanation. And indeed, all this Application of these Numbers is wholly a mistake, and look'd for in a wrong place. For these Chapters treat of quite other Matters. And thoseChapters which do certainly and largely treat Dan.xj.21-350 of that Profanation, and foretell it, do not at all determin che and viij. 9, 10, length of its Duration by any Numbers whatsoever. Thus 11,12. 'tis
evident, by this view of the particulars, that if we suppose days in the Visions of Daniel taken for bare days alone, not one of his Numbers will agree to the Histories to which they must belong. And since it will appear, in due place, that they every one agree with the Histories whereto they properly appertain, if they be taken in the Prophetick Stile for years, it cannot be difficult sure to determin in which of those sences the same word is to be taken, not only in these places, but also in other parallel Prophecies of Scripture, written in the same Stile, and directly relating to, and particularly explaining these Predictions of Daniel. I might go on in like mapper to shew that the fame Observation holds true as to the Apocalypse also. For I do not find that any of those Expositors who are willing to divert that wonderfu System of