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A. M. 3417. A. C. 587; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4825, A. C.586. JER. xl. 7.-xlv. DANIEL, AND EZRA 1-V. Daniel, indeed, lived in great prosperity, and in the thing of them that is not true, this we allow will have a capacity of a prime minister, under some of the Babylo- suspicious aspect upon the authority of his writings : but pian and Persian monarchs; and therefore if, through when it is considered how common a thing it was for the ignorance, he has mistaken their name, or recorded any princes of the east, upon one occasion or other, to mul
tiply their names, and not only by foreigners, but even In visions or dreams, whether sent by God or not, some symbols by their own people, to be called sometimes by one or language must have been employed; and the business of the name, and sometimes by another ; how usual it was for Oneirocritic or interpreter was to ascertain the import of such them to continue the titles of honour which were confersymbols. The interpreter who practised by art could only guess red in consideration of those great exploits, whereby the at that import, and in nine instances out of ten was likely to guess erroneously; but he who interpreted by inspiration was in dignity of their family was originally raised, and to no danger of falling into error, though each symbol, or word, adopt them into the number of their own; how customtaken by itself, must have had some meaning generally under-ary it was, upon their accession to the kingdom, for them stood by those among whom such symbols and words were in general use, as well as by the prophet. “ The early interpreters
to change their names, and yet the first and private name of dreams,” says Bishop Warburton, (Divine Legation of Moses, be still retained by most other people, while the impeb. iv. s. 4,) " were not juggling impostors; but, like the early rial name appeared in public acts, and was used at home judicial astrologers, more superstitious than their neighbours, only: whoever considers this, I say, will cease his wonand so the first that fell into their own delusions. However, sup- der, when, amidst such a variety of appellations for one pose them to have been as arrant cheats as any of their successors, yet, at their first setting up, they must have had materials proper and the same person, he finds this historian making use for their trade; which could never be the wild workings of each of one, and that of another, according as his fancy, his man's private fancy. Their customers would look to find a known pronunciation, or the custom of the country where he analogy, become venerable by long application to mysterious wisdom, for the groundwork of their deciphering; and the decipher-| lived, led him. Daniel, in all probability, calls the same ers themselves would as naturally fly to some confessed authority person Darius Medus, whom the Greek historians call to support their pretended science. But what ground or autho- Cyaxares the Second: but when it is observed, that these rity could this be, if not the mysterious learning of symbolical historians agree with Daniel as to the main points of his characters? The Egyptian priests, the first interpreters of dreams, took their rules for this species of divination, from their
symbolic narration, namely, " that Babylon was taken by an army riddling, in which they were so deeply read a ground of inter- of Medes and Persians, whereof the Medes being the pretation which would give the strongest credit to the art, and superior, were, at that time, named first ; that Cyaxares, equally satisfy the diviner and the consulter; for it being gene- king of Media, assisted at the siege, and was treated by rally believed that their gods had given them hieroglyphic writ- Cyrus as his chief; that after a day of riot and rovelling ing, nothing was more natural than to imagine, that those gods, who, in their opinion, gave dreams likewise, had employed the the city was taken in the night time, by diverting the same mode of writing in both revelations.” When the true God course of the river Euphrates, and the king of Babylon gave revelations by dreams, he, of course, made use of the sym- slain in his palace ; that Cyaxares being old, and natubols that were most likely to arrest the dreamer's attention, and at the same time were generally understood ; and in ditferent rally inactive, chose rather to live at Ecbatan, the capicountries he would make use of different symbols according to tal of Media, while Cyrus attended the affairs of the the practice of the people, for whose information the dream was government of Babylon; and that Cyrus, upon his death, sent. Thus in Pharaoh's two dreams, the symbols made use of succeeded to the whole empire : if we observe, I say, the were, in one, seven kine,' and, in the other, seven ears of exact agreement between these historians, as to the chief corn.' In the hieroglyphics of Egypt the ears of corn denoted its fertility, and the kine its great tutelar patroness Isis. Thus far matters of fact, we may easily dispense with some small Pharaoh seems to have understood the dream without an inter- difference in point of names ; especially considering that preter; and hence arose his anxiety to understand the rest, as a the authors lived at no less a distance than Babylon is matter that concerned the public. “ Accordingly, when Joseph from Greece, and that the Greeks consequently might comes to decipher the dream, he does not tell the king that the two sevens denoted seven years, in Egypt, but simply seven make use of the name which he went by in Media, as best years;
the scene of the famine needing no deciphering." In known to them, which the Babylonians, after he bad Nebuchadnezzar's second dream, he saw 'a fair and high tree,' taken their city, changed into Darius Medus, or the vicof which the height reached to heaven; and this being the sym- torious Mede, and which Daniel, being a captive in the bol of majesty in general, very naturally made the proud mo narch anxious to know what particular monarch it signified; and place, might, in conformity, call him. therefore the prophet Daniel begins his interpretation with say- It may happen, indeed, that there is now and then a ing — The tree that thou sawest—is thou, O king ! But if word or two, in the book of Daniel, which may seem to Daniel was intended by God, as he certainly was, to be an inter- bave some analogy to the Greek tongue, and with some preter of the dreams sent by him to the king of Babylon--the scourge by whom he chastised sinful nations—it is obvious that a little variation, may be derived from it; but then it is to knowledge of the symbols by which events were supposed to be be observed, that the words of this kind are, for the most represented in Chaldea, was a species of preparatory knowledge part, technical terms, such as might slip into any lanabsolutely necessary to him. The symbols employed for this purpose by the Chaldean magi may have been different from those guage, without being perceived, and such a writer might in use among the priests of Egypt; but whether they were or not, properly enough use, without understanding any more of it seems evident that hieroglyphical writing, and all kinds of symbolical representations of God and his attributes, were absolute
Xenophon, b. v. and viii; and Herodotus, b. i. ly prohibited by the Mosaic law. Daniel, therefore, must have 2 Bishop Chandler's Vindication of the Defence of Christianity. been taught the import of the Chaldean symbols, to fit him for an important part of the office which he was destined to fill; and ness of the Creator and Governor of the world; these sciences as God appears not on any occasion to work miracles for an have been successfully cultivated by philosophers in France, who object which can be attained by natural means, it is to be hoped seem not to acknowledge the moral attributes of the great first that the deist will permit Christians to helieve that Daniel might cause—if indeed they allow any cause to be first; but surely without sin be taught the meaning of the mysterious symbols of an intelligent Christian clergyman, of a mind tolerably firm, Chaldea by those wise men of that empire, among whom they might take lessons in astronomy and chemistry from such men, were best understood. The sciences of astronomy and chemistry not only without incurring guilt or danger, but with great advanurnish many illustrious proofs of the power, wisdom, and good- tage to himself. Bishop Gleig.–Ed.
A. M. 3417. A. C. 587; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4826. A. C. 586. JER. xl. 7–xv. DANIEL AND EZRA 1.-P. the tongue from whence they are borrowed. Architects of Job or Ezra, and yet they both had books that wert and mechanics, we know, use to this day several Greek under their names, as well as he. The truth is, the hisand Arabic terms of art in their respective professions, tory of the book itself may give us some grounds to and yet they do not pretend to understand the language think, that Daniel's character might possibly have been from whence they came : and why might not Daniel, in it at first, though upon some occasion or other, it speaking in terms of art, as he certainly does, when he a afterwards came to be dropped. Jesus the grandfather, names the musical instruments, very probably of the as we read in the prologue, wrote it in several volumes, Grecian make, which were used at the consecration of and left it behind him unfinished : the original fell into Nebuchadnezzar's golden image ; why might not he, 1 such hands as carried it into Egypt, where Jesus the say, make use of words of a foreign extract, and, at the grandson met with it, and having compiled it all orderly same time, be supposed a stranger to the other parts of into one volume, upon account of the pains which he the language? This I think is the common privilege of had taken with it, he joined his own name with that of most writers : nor is the mixture of some Greek terms in his grandfather in the titlepage : ' but it fared with this the Chaldee language so difficult a matter to account as it does with other books, to lose in translation, and for, if we will but allow what Grotius, upon the place, to suffer by copyists ; insomuch, that whoever will be at observes, namely, “ That before Daniel's age, many the trouble to compare the Greek editions with one anocolonies both of the Ionians and Æolians, having settled ther, and with the various translations, will discover themselves in Asia Minor, which lies contiguous to some words, parts of sentences, and whole periods, to be so provinces of the eastern kingdoms, might that way com- frequently omitted, altered, contracted, explained, or municate the names of what they invented, or improved, enlarged, as to abate his wonder, that the mention of even as far as Babylon itself.”
any person, though never so considerable, should be The translation of the Septuagint has been held in such omitted in a book that is delivered to us so variously esteem, that to have any part of Scripture omitted in it and imperfectly. But there may be another reason aswould give a just suspicion, as if it had not been extant, signed for this omission : most part of the Old Testaor not known at the time when those learned men under ment was written in Hebrew, which was the common took the work : but this is so far from being true in the language of Judea, and in it did Jesus the son of Sirach case of Daniel, that we find the Septuagint version of him write this book of Ecclesiasticus. Now, as a great part of read publicly in our Saviour's time; that we find Justin the books of Ezra and Daniel was written in Chaldee, Martyr,' and Clemens Romanus, ? who both wrote be- which was a tongue not so well known in Judea, it may fore Theodotion's version was made, both citing passages reasonably be supposed, that the author's ignorance of out of it ; that we find St Jerome & giving us several that tongue might be the true reason why he omitted various readings, different from those in Theodotion, and these two great men, and all account of their writings, sometimes from those of Aquila and Symmachus, out of in his catalogue of the prophets. it; and, at the same time, telling us, why this transla- There are sundry reasons likewise to be given, why tion of Daniel was repudiated, and that of Theodotion we have no Chaldee parapbrase upon Daniel, as well as substituted in its room by the doctors of the church. the rest of the prophets: for, besides that a good part
It was Origen indeed who first brought it into dis- of Daniel is in the Chaldee tongue, and, upon that accredit, by comparing it with that of Theodotion from the count, might less need one ; it is a general complaint original, in his Hexapla, which showed its imperfections among the Jews themselves, that a great many of their a little too plainly; but then its degradation proves, that ancient Targums have been lost, and an acknowledged before this happened to it, it was all along used in the case, that some of their sacred writers (such as Ezra and Christian church.
Nehemiah for instance, men famous in the Jewish story, The omission of Daniel's name in the enumeration of and the latter of them highly celebrated by the son of the prophets which we meet with in Ecclesiasticus, * is Sirach) never had any. The truth is, the frequent calaof no great moment, because we find no mention made mities which befell the Jewish nation, and dispersed themi
into other countries, made them negligent of their books; Dialcum. Tryph. p. 87.
2 Ad Corinth. ep. 1.
left them no leisure to transcribe long paraphrasts ; and * In Dan. iv. 8.
4 Chap. xlix.
when, by mixing among other people, they bad lost the a Our learned Bishop Chandler is fully of opinion that the knowledge of the language, left them no ability to do it; names of the instruments mentioned in Dan. iii. 5, are not so that, amidst this ignorance and confusion, it is no Greek, but eastern derivations, that from thence they did pass wonder if many valuable copies were lost, some of to the Greeks, who, with a little alteration, adapted them to their pronunciation, or termination of words. “For," as he argues, which have since come to light; but there is reason to " that their names were at first given them in the conntry where apprehend, that the Targum upon Daniel never will. the instruments themselves were invented, can hardly be doubt- For so much does this prophet speak of the Messiah, ed; if therefore such instruments as are here specified were used describe the signs, and define the time of his coming so in the east; if their names be proved to be barbarous; and if an eastern root can be assigned for their derivation, which no precisely, that the Jews, perceiving the advantage which Greek theme will suit so well,” all which he endeavours to prove their adversaries the Christians might make of it, were in several instances, then may we be well allowed to infer that under strong temptations, either to omit or suppress the the names of these instruments, whatever affinity they may seem paraphrase of a prophet so diametrically opposite to to have to the Greek language, were originally oriental; which opinion is confirmed by the testimony of Strabo, (b. x.) who as-them. And accordingly, we have a story from one of sures us, that the names of musical instruments, such as nablia, sambuca, and barbitos, were derived from barbarous languages,
5 Bishop Chandler's Vindication, &c. by which the Greeks denote the eastern tongues.-See Vindica
6 R. Abruhadam in Zaccath's Juchaism, p. 54. tion of the Defence of Christianity; and Lowth's Commentary 6 It is but the other day that the Targums of the two boules ! on Dan, iii.
Chronicles were discovered.-Bp. Chandler's l'indication, &c.
A. M. 3417. A. C. 587; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4825. A. C. 586. JER. xl, 7-xlv. DANIEL, AND EZRA 1-V. their rabbins, that savours not a little of some such prac- Hard is the fate of a prophet, when the very clearness tice, namely, “ that when Jonathan had finished his Tar- as well as obscurity of his writings must be inputed as gum on Job, Proverbs, and the Psalms, and was going an objection against his authority; but certainly we must on to Daniel, he was restrained by a voice, which bade allow, that it is as easy for an all-knowing God to forehim give over there, lest the sons of men should learn tel all circumstances of an event, or to reveal the whole from Daniel the time of the Messias."
series of events, in their proper connexion and succesHowever this be, since Daniel is so far from being sion, as to declare one single occurrence. Such knowpassed by in any dishonourable manner, that even ledge and such wisdom are essential attributes of God : Jonathan himself, in his Targum on the other prophets, nor can there be any absurdity in his imparting his expresses a great regard to him, by applying predictions knowledge of future events, with more or less reserve to found only in his book, to texts in other prophets that one man rather than another ; only one would think, that he was then interpreting ; since, in doing this, he the freer such communications were, and the more confollows Daniel in his ideas, phrases, and words, and spicuous the revelation, the more excellent should the explains passages in other prophets by such as were prophet whom God pleased to honour in this manner be plainer and fuller, in his opinion, in him; it certainly accounted. So unreasonable are the prejudices of those follows, that (however his paraphrase be lost) Daniel who make the clearness of prophecies an argument was in his esteem a prophet of equal, if not superior, against them, and endeavour to exclude Daniel from the credit to the prophets he was then commenting upon. number of prophets, for a reason that best entitled him
Whether the Jews were more than other nations to that character ! addicted to the publishing of spurious tracts, under the “But what shall we say ? to his dark and abstruse names of their great authors, and particularly under way of writing in other places, his figurative and paraDaniel's name, it concerns us not to inquire ; since the bolical, his enigmatical and emblematical style, his mvery supposition implies thus much, that with the Jewish couth images and symbols, entirely unlike the writings church, at that time, the writings of Daniel were held in of the other prophets, but vastly agreeable to that turn high esteem, (for, in such a case, who would choose an which the Jews took up, when they came to be formed inglorious father ?) when these base pieces came out in in the schools of the Greeks ?” All the Greek authors his name. The having impostures fathered on him there that we are acquainted with, are strangers to this manner fore is so far from being any prejudice to Daniel's gen- of writing ; they abound, indeed, in figures and allegouine writings, that it rather redounds to the confirmation ries; but the symbolical and emblematical form was of their authority; since what was spurious did no sooner purely oriental, and what other prophets as well as appear in the light, but it was despised, rejected, and Daniel, as occasion requires, pursue. condemned. The prayer of the three children was not For, doth not Isaiah foretell the destruction of the read in all the copies of the Septuagint; the story of Egyptians under the image of God's : striking with Susanna, in some manuscripts, stood apart from the book a great and strong sword the leviathan (or crocodile), of Daniel, in others after it; and as for the fable of Bel and slaying the great dragon that is in the sea ? Does and the Dragon, it was not intended by its first inventor not Jeremiah * speak of the Assyrians under the name to pass under the name of Daniel, but of one Habak- of a dove, because - Semiramis bad made that bird the kuk, the son of Jesus, of the tribe of Levi, till Theodo- symbol of her nation? Does not Ezekiel prophesy of tion, in his Greek edition of the Bible, thought proper Pharaoh under the figure of a great dragon that lives in to change its title.
the midst of the rivers ; of the king of Babylon, under The truth is, the Jewish church always looked upon the emblem of a' large eagle with great wings ; and of these pieces as spurious, and therefore allowed them the Assyrian, under the similitude of 8 a tall cedar in much the same place in their Scriptures that the apocry- Lebanon, exalted above all trees, and reaching the phal books have in our English Bibles ; but the genuine clouds with its top, &c., the very same figure o whereby book of Daniel they held always in the greatest venera- the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar was represented ? It tion, esteeming the author of it as one of the chief of is the genius of the eastern people to be delighted with their prophets, until Maimonides, a learned Jew of the fiction and imagery, and, as Sir John Chardin, in bis twelfth century, in order to bar all proofs that might description of Persepolis, tells us, nothing is more be drawn from him in favour of Christianity, thought fit common among their authors, than to call countries by to degrade him from his prophetic character, and place the names of their emblems, which are, as it were, the bim in the number of a hagiographal writers only. arms of that nation; and, in forming these emblems, to Bishop Chandler's Vindication. &c.
make use not only of natural animals, but of such as are a It is much to be questioned, whether such a distinction, as chimerical and fabulous likewise, beasts with wings, hagiographal books was known in our Saviour's time. All the and birds with four feet and long ears. partition that we read of is, the law and the prophets, and the
Among the figures upon the walls and pillars of rest of the books (Proleg. to Ecclus.) which in Luke xxiv. 44, are called the Psalms;' and according to Philo (de Vit. Const.)
an ancient temple in this b once famous metropolis of ** are hymns and other books, conducing to the promotion of piety and knowledge.” This threefold distribution of the books 2 See Collins's Scheme of Literal Prophecy.
* Is, xxvii, 1. of Scripture is taken from the nature and subjects of the books Jer. xlviii. 28. 5 Diodor. Sicul, b. 3. 6 Ezek. xxix. 3. themselves, and not from any supposed degrees of sacredness - Ezek. xvii. 3, 12. 8 Ezek. xxxi. 3, &c. 9 Dan. iv. 10, &c. between them; and, if the word Cethubim, or Hagiographa, was
10 Bishop Chandler's Vindication, &c. p. 152. then, or rather in the next century, made use of, it was applied only as a general name for the poetical and moral books of Scrip- 6 While Alexander lay at this place, he gave himself much ture, to which class neither Daniel nor any historical book was to feasting and drinking, for joy of his great successes. In one reducible.- Bishop Chandler's Vindication, &c.
of these feasts, which he made for his chief commanders, he in
A. M. 3117. A. C. 587; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M 4825. A. C. 586. JER. xl 7xlv. DANIEL, AND EZRA -». Persia,” says he, “there are some very monstrous for Syria to the east; and Antipater Greece and Macedofigure and size. A winged lion with a crown on his nia to the west. head; a winged lion flying on the back of a bull; the • A little horn coming out of one of these, and waxbody of a horse with wings on his back; and a man's ing exceeding great towards the south, and east, and head covered with a high bonnet crowned, &c. In pleasant land, nay, waxing so great as to cast down images and hieroglyphics,” continues he, “here one some of the host of heaven, and of the stars to the may see the wars of princes and countries, and their ground, and so trample upon them, may seem a wild successes expressed. The beasts represent the people extravagant rant: but when it is considered, that all this or land in war ; their running at each other, their en is meant of Antiochus, who was afterwards called by gagement; and the crown on the head of one of them, his flatterers Epiphanes, though himself a vile person, or his taking the other by the hair of the head, and stab- and usurper of the kingdom; that it is to represent him, bing him, points out his victory.”
as soon as he got possession of the Syrian kingdom, Now, since this method of describing things by images taking advantage of the youth of Ptolemy Philometer, was so customary in the age and place where Daniel and invading Egypt to the south, Armenia and Persia was captive, it is reasonable to suppose, that he con- to the east ; and Judea, which is here styled 'the pleaformed himself to it, and that the fictitious animals sant land,' and frequently described as a land Aowing which he makes mention of, were no improper emblems with milk and honey, that it is to represent him persecutof the several empires whereof he writes. The ram, for ing the Jewish church and nation, here styled the host instance, was the royal ensign of the Persians, ' as Am- of heaven;' murdering the principal men of both, here mianus Marcellinus observes ; the goat, since their king called the stars ;' deposing their high priest, whose Carinus, was the arms of Macedon; and therefore, how title is the prince of the host;' profaning their temple, aptly does Daniel see a goat with a notable horn (for polluting their altar, abolishing their law, and establisha horn ? is always an emblem of power and dominion), ing idolatry by a solemn edict, as whoever has read of to which he gives wings, because of the quickness of his the mad and impious actions of Antiochus 6 must know: success, to 8 run against a ram with unequal horns, and when this is considered, I say, a small allowance for cast him to the ground,' when he foretells what the Mede the oriental manner of pompous writing will reduce these and Persian empire should do, and suffer from the images to a tolerable size. Macedonian Greeks? Upon the breaking of the great The plain truth is, princes and states were in old horn,' on Alexander's dying in the height of his tri- times painted by their symbols, which are therefore umphs and prosperity, how properly do * • four others called their yowgiouata, and, in after ages, caine to be come up towards the four winds of heaven,' to denote distinguished by writers under the name of such symbols, the division a of his empire among four kings, whereof as well as by their proper appellations; and therefore Ptolemy had Egypt, and the adjoining countries to the the lion with eagle's wings,' signifying the strength of south ; Antigonus had Asia to the north ; Seleucus had the Assyrian empire, and the celerity of its conquests ;
the beast with three ribs in his mouth,' intimating the B. 19. And rams' heads with horns, the one higher, and reduction which Cyrus made of Babylon, Lydia, and the other lower, are still to be seen among the ruins of Perse- Egypt, to the Persian monarchy; the leopard with four polis, as Sir John Chardin takes notice in his travels,
wings and beads;' denoting Alexander and his four suc2 Deut. xxxiii. 17; Psal. Ixxxix. 17. : Dan, viii. 7.
cessors; and the other beast with iron feet and ten * Dan, viii. 8.
horns, representing the Roman empire, and the ten vited their mistresses likewise to accompany them; among whom was one Thais, a famous Athenian courtezan, who was
5 Daniel viji. 9, &c. 62 Maccab. v. 24, &c. then mistress to Ptolemy, afterwards king of Egypt. This woman, in the heat of her carousals, proposed to Alexander the 6 Many of the heathen writers give us this account of him, burning down of the city and palace of Persepolis, in revenge namely, that he would frequently get out of the palace, and ramto the Persians; especially for their burning of Athens under ble about the streets of Antioch with two or three persons only Xerxes; and, as the whole company was drunk, the proposal accompanying him; that, in his rambles, he would drink with was received with a general applause, so that every man took strangers and foreigners, and even with the meanest and vikest a torch, and (with Alexander at the head of them) setting fire of them; that, when he heard of any young company met togeto the city and palace, in a short time, burnt them both to ther to make merry, he would intrude himself among them, the ground. Thus, at the motion of a drunken strumpet, was and revel away the time with them in cups, and songs, am! destroyed, by this drunken king, one of the finest palaces in the other frolics, without any regard to common decency, or world; for that this at Persepolis was such, the ruins of it suf his own royal character; that, in these frolics, he would often ficiently show, which are still remaining at a place near Shiras, go out in the streets, and there scatter his money by handful, named Chebelminar, which, in the Persian language, signifies for the rabble to scramble for; that, at other times, he would forty pillars; and is so called, because such a number of pillars, go about with a crown of roses upon his head, and, in a Roma as well as other stately ruins of this palace, are there still re- gown, would walk the streets alone, carrying a parcel of stones in maining even to this day.- Prideaux's Connection, anno 330. his lap, to throw at those that should follow after; that he wai
a Dr Prideaux is of opinion, that this partition of Alex- much addicted to drunkenness and lasciviousness; was frequent ander's empire, to which the prophecy has relation, did not ly found in the company of pathics, and common prostitutes, com happen till after the battle at Ipsus, where Antigonus was slain, whom he would gratify his lust publicly, avd in the sight of the and whereupon the four surviving princes divided the conquer people; and that, having for his catamites two vile persons or's dominions into four distinct kingdoms, whereof Ptolemy called Timarchus and Heraclides, who were brothers, he make had Egypt, Lybia, Arabia, Cælo-Syria, and Palestine; Cas- the former of them governor of Babylon, and the other his tres sander, Macedonia and Greece ; Lysimachus, Thrace, Bithy-surer in that province. The short is, his freaks, follies, and nia, and some other provinces beyond the Hellespont and the vices were so many, that men were in a doubt whether he were Bosphorus; and Seleucus all the rest; Prideaux's Connection, a madman or a fool, though the former of these was generali anno 301. But others have made the division of his empire thought his truest character; and, therefore, instead of Epiphanes ecsuant immediately upon his death. - Calmet's Commentary the Illustrious, they commonly called him Epimanes, the Mar on Dan, vii.
man.—Prideaux's Connection, anno 175.
A. M. 3417. A. C. 387; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4825. A. C. 586. JEK. xl. 7–xlv. DANIEL, AND EZRAL-V. kingdoms, 4 or principalities, into which it was divided, holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an was a language as well known to skilful readers at that end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and time, as are the arms, the colours, and the field of to bring in an everlasting righteousness, and to anoint escutcheons, in these latter days, to heralds.
the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that Porphyry, no doubt, was well acquainted with this from the going forth of the commandment to restore, hieroglyphic way of writing, because all the objection and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince which he makes to these prophecies of Daniel, concern- c shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks, ing the four empires, is, that they were too plain and and the street shall be built again, and the wall, even perspicuous, and more like historical narratives of facts in troublous times; and after threescore and two weeks, already done, than prophetical predictions of things to shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and come. But however this enemy of Christianity might the people of the prince that shall come, shall deurge the plainness of the prophet's predictions, in order stroy the city, and the sanctuary, and the end thereof to invalidate the authority of his book, it must not be shall be with a flood; and at the end of the war, desodenied, but that God, in his great wisdom, has so ordered lations are determined ; and he shall confirm the covethe matter, for the exercise of our faith and industry, nant with many, for a week; and, in the midst of the and so framed the prophetic style, that there should be week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to still sone shade and remains of obscurity, abiding upon cease ; and for the overspreading of abominations, he the face of almost every prophecy, even after the time shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, of its completion; and, therefore, instead of being sur- and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.' prised at the great variety of computations, which chro- Now, to set these words in a right light, we must connologers, and other learned men have put upon the sider, ist, That the main design and intendment of them ! seventy weeks' mentioned in Daniel, we may much is, to foretel the coming of the Messiah, his abolishing rather wonder, how, at this distance of time, they have the Jewish, and setting up a new and more perfect rebeen able to come to any tolerable exactness.
ligion; which is so manifest to every common reader, The words of the prophecy are these :—' seventy that later Jews (to avoid the force of this one prophecy) weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy have even adventured to exclude the whole book of
Daniel from the number of inspired writers, and to "Dan. ix. 24.
pronounce a curse upon any that sball pretend to coma Bishop Lloyd hath given us the following list of the ten pute the time of the Messiah's coming. 2dly. It is kingdoms which arose out of the dissolution of the Roman em- agreed by most interpreters, that the seventy weeks pire, and the time of their rise. 1. Hunns erected their king here spoken of (according to the prophetic style) are dom in that part of Pannonia and Dacia, which from them was called Hungary, about A. D. 336. 2. Ostrogoths settled them to be taken for weeks of years, every one of which selves in the countries that reach from Rhetia to Mæsia, even contained seven years, and so the seventy weeks will as far as Thrace, about 377, and afterwards came into Italy amount to 490 years, at the expiration of which term, under Alaricus in 410. 3. Wisigoths settled in the south parts the matters contained in this prophecy were to have their of France, and in Catalonia, about 378. 4. Franks seized upon part of Germany and Gaul, A. D. 420. 5. Vandals settled in accomplishment. But then the question is, at what Spain, and afterwards set up their kingdom in Africa, A. D. 407. point of time these seventy weeks, or what is all one, 6. Suevians and Alans seized the western parts of Spain, the 490 years, either began or expired ? For if we can A. D. 407, and invaded Italy 457. 7. Burgundians came out but find out one of these periods, there will be less difof Germany into that part of Gaul, called from them Burgundy, 407. 8. Rugians, and Thuringians settled in Italy under ficulty in stating the other. Now, 3dly, It seems pretty Odoacer, about 476. 9. Saxons made themselves masters of plain, that the several events specified in the beginning Great Britain, about the same time, 476. And 10. Longobards of this prophecy, viz. 'to finish or restrain transgressettled first in Germany, A. D. 383, and afterwards succeeded sions ; 2. To make an end of sin ; 3. To make expiathe Heruli and Thuringi in Hungary.-Louth's Commentary ou Dan, vii. 24.
tion, or reconciliation for iniquity; 4. “To bring in 6 This Porphyry was a learned heathen, born at Tyre, in everlasting righteousness ;' 5. "To seal up,' or comthe year of Christ about 230, and there called Malchus; but plete, and fulfil vision and prophecy;' and 6. • To upon his going among the Greeks, he changed it to Porphyry, anoint,' or consecrate - the Most Holy,' were all accomwhich is much of the same signification; for Malchus in the Phænician language, which was then spoken at Tyre, siguifies plished in the great work of our salvation, by the death a king, as toppúgros, in the Greek denotes one that wore purple, and passion, and by the doctrine and resurrection, of which none but kings, and royal persons were then permitted to our Saviour Christ. For being born without original, do. He was a bitter enemy to the Christian religion, and there and having lived without actual sin, he truly was the most fore wrote a large volume against it, containing fifteen books, whereof the twelfth was wholly levelled against the prophecies ci holy of all that ever bore our nature, and being thereby Daniel; but because the predictions of this prophet, concerning fully fitted for this great work, he was anointed with the several empires, were acknowledged, on all hands, to have the Holy Ghost, and with power,' to be our priest, our been fulfilled, he did not go about to disprove it; on the con
prophet, and our king. trary, he eudeavoured to maintain, by the testimony of the best Greek historians then extant, that they were fulfilled so exactly,
As our priest, he offered himself a sacrifice upon
the and so minutely, that it was impossible for them to be the pre-cross, and thereby made atonement for our sins, which dictions of the Daniel who belonged to the Babylonish captivity, is ' making an end of them,' by taking away their guilt ; and must therefore be the spurious composition of some later and in so doing, working reconciliation for us with God. author. But this argument St Jerome, in his comment upon Daniel, fully turns upon him. It is much to be lamented, however, that not only this whole work of Porphyry is Jost, but that c The colon, which, in our English Bibles, is placed after also the books of Eusebius Apollinarius, and Methodius, which seven weeks,' in the middle of this sentence, should be placed were wrote in answer to this heathen adversary, (to the great after two weeks,' at the end of it, which wrong punctuation damage both of divine and human knowledge,) have all under- may possibly lead some people into an error in their computagone the same fate.- Prideaux's Connection, anno 164.