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I have already observed, tells us that the lasă time, in the sense in which be understands che phrase, that
denotes the latter days of the Roman empire or the great period of 1260 years, instead of the strange one which he has substituted for it from a misunderstood text of St. John. Mr. Mede anderstands the question and answer in Dan. xii. 6, 1, as follows. How long shall be the end of the swanders? It shall be a time and times and a half: that is to say, the period styled the end of the swanders shall be three times and a half or 1960 years in length: therefore the time of the end denotes the whole period of the 1960 years.
Were this interpretation allowable, it would at least render the passage ambiguous: but it appears to me to be by no means allowable, and I believe that our common English version has accurately expressed the sense of the original, although it doubtless is not quite literal. If we consider the general context, the end of the wonders certainly seems to be the same as what Daniel immediately afterwards styles the finishing of the things. But, if these things be the same as the wonders (which 1 suppose will scarcely be denied), and consequently if the finishing of the things be the end of the wonders: then the end of the wonders must denote, not the continuance, but the absolute termina. tion of the wonders. The finishing of the things however is declared to be contemporary with the restoration of the Jews: therefore the end of the wonders must be contemporary with the restoration of the fews, and consequently cannot denote the whole period of The 1260 years. This however is not all. There are two words (I mean not to say that there are no more than these two words) used in Hebrew to express the end, Aarith and Ketz together with its cognates Ketzab and Miketzath. Now the former of these denotes either the continuance of a period, or the end of a period: whereas the latter, unless I be greatly mistaken, riever denotes the continuance of the period of which it speaks, bat always the end of it. It is derived from a verb which signifies to cut off or to cut short: whence Buxtorf with much propriety observes, that it denotes the end, "quasi præcisum
dicas ; nbi enim res præciditor, ibi ejus fínis est”. This latter word is that which is used in the present passage. The end of the wonders therefore, in the original, cannot, as it appears to
is to say its declarative sense*, had already commenced at the very period when he was writing. Mr.
me, denote either the whole or a part of the period during which those wonders were transacting, but must on the contrary denote the termination or cutting off of the period which comprehends them. In absolute strictness of speech, that termination is the very moment when the 1260 years expire: but Daniel teaches us to extend it somewhat more widely. He styles it both the end, and the time of the end; that is to say, the time at the end or at the Cutting off of the 1260 years: and he informs us, that the whole expedition of the wilful king will take place at this time of the end; an expedition, which, although it commences at the end of the period of the wonders, plainly cannot be finished in a single day or in a single year. He further teaches us, although he does not precisely acquaint us with the duration of the wilful king's expedition, that 75 years will elapse between the termination of the
and the commencement of the time of blessedness or the Millennium. (Dan. xii. 11, 12.) Hence it seems most reason. able to conclude, that, since the time of the end cannot denote the whole period of the 1260 years, those 75 years constitute what Daniel styles the end or the time of the end, as being that short portion of time which cuts off and divides the great period of 1260 years from the great period of the Millennium.
It is observable, that, whenever Daniel uses the cognates of Ketz to mark time, he invariably uses them in the sense of the terminatim of the period concerning which they speak, never in the sense of its continuance; a sense indeed, of which I believe them to be incapable: insomuch that, if by the time of the end and the end of the wonders he means the whole or a part of the period of these wonders, he departs entirely from the sense which he elsewhere annexes to these cognate words. See Dan i, 5, 15, 18. iv. 29. and Gen. iv. 3. margin, trans.
It is rather a curious circumstance that Mr. Mede should have thought it necessary to apologize for the interpretation which he has given of Dan. xi. 40-45, on the score that Mr. Brightman had given it before him. It is now about
* See my Dissert. Vol. I. p. 89.
Whitaker's argument therefore, if it prove any thing, wili prove that the 1260 years had commenced in the life-time of St. John-I shall conclude my answer to this objection with noticing a single text, which, if there were not another parallel one in the whole Bible, would alone amply prove that tbe time of the end commences at the termination of the 1260 years. The text is this: Understand, O “son of man, for the vision shall be to the time of “ the end”*. The vision here spoken of is that of
150 years old; and has so acquired the sanction of comparative antiquity, that Mr. Whitaker will allow no exposition to be “ sober that impugns it. If I may judge from his present humour, had he lived in the days of Mede and Brightman, he would have been among the foremost to exclaim against this then new-fangled conceit of theirs, which presumed to depart from “the sober however little novel interpretation” of their predecessors. (See Mede's Works, B. iv. Epist. 54.) “If you “ can digest this application of the Kings of the south and north “ to the Saracen and Turk”, says Mr. Mede, with his characteristic modesty, to his correspondent Dr. Twiss.
* Dan. viii. 17. I feel no apology necessary for thus translating the passage agreeably to the version of LXX and the Arabic version, as it undoubtedly ought to be translated. Our English version, “at the time of the end shall be the « vision”, is to myself absolutely unintelligible: for how can the whole vision of the ram and the he-goat be at the time of the end, whe her the signification of the phrase be what I suppose it to be, or what Mr. Whitaker supposes it to be? The context indeed sufficiently shews, that it ought to be translated as I have translated it. It had just before been declared, that the length of the vision should be 2300 days: it is now declared, that the vision should be to the time of the end or to the termination of those days: and it is immediately after declared, that it should be to the appointed time of the end. these seem to be only different modes of specifying the length of the vision. I think it right to observe, that I only judge from the Latin translation of the Arabic, as I do not understand that language.
the rám and the be-goat; the dutation of which is either 2200 years, 2300 years,'or 2400 years, according as the one or the other of these numbers is the proper reading. Now both Mr Whitaker and Bp. Newton allow, that, let the vision be computed from what period it may, it brings us down to the day of God's great controversy with his enemies, and the restoration of the Jews, and I have shewn, to the satisfaction even of Mr. Whitaker himself*, that by a certain mode of computation it brings us down to the very year, which he and I alike believe to be the last of the 1260 years. The vision then, by his own confession, reaches to the end of the 1260 years. The angel however expressly assures Daniel, that it reaches likewise to the time of the end. Now, if tbe time of the end denote the whole period of the 1260 years, and if the vision reach to the time of the end, we shall be obliged to conclude, that it reaches, not to the end, but only to the beginning, of the 1260 years. But, as we have already seen, there cannot be a reasonable doubt that it reaches to the end of the 1260 years. Therefore, since, according to the angel's declaration, it reaches likewise to the time of tbe end, I know not what we can conclude but that tbe time of tbe end synchronizes with the termination of the 1260 years, or, to express myself with more scrupulous accuracy, that the period denominated the time of the end coinmences when the period denominated three times and a half or 1260 years terminates. It is somewhat singular, that Bp. Newton takes not the least notice of the verse in which this important declaration is contained. If then the time of the end commence when the 1260 years terminate, let the wars at tbe time of the end between the wilful king and bis two antagonists mean what they may, they certainly cannot relate to those of the Saracens and the Turks.
* Letter, p. 12.
His fourtb objection* is, that I pass immediately from the days of Constantine to the era of the Reformation, “thus in a striąly chronological
prediction making a leap from the fourth to the “ sixteenth century, of no less than 1200 years": and then he asks, with singular politeness, " Is not " this an admirable instance of strictness in chro“ nology ?" This wholly unfounded objection I have already answered in my statement of the mode in which I arrange Dan. xi. 32–35. So far from leaping from the days of Constantine to the Refor. mation, I consider Verse 35 as describing the state of the witnesses during the whole 1260 years, though I believe it to relate peculiarly, not exclusively, to the era of the Reformation; while I conceive Verse 34 to exhibit to us the grand outlines of the period, which commences with the age of Constantine and extends to the beginning of the 1260 years. As for the leap which Mr. Whitaker represents me as taking, it exists no where but in his own imaginationt. But, even supposing that I had taken such a leap, the present objection would come with a peculiarly bad grace from my not very consistent
* Letter, p. 46. + Let the reader turn to my Dissert. Vol. I. p. 297– 300; and then judge between my antagonist and me.