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shall wander in the wilderness forty years.
Does this mean 14,400 years ? Does not history inform us what the exact and actual period was? In Ezek. 29: 11, 12, there is a threat of forty years' wasting to the Egyptians. Does this mean 14,400? In Jonah 3: 4 it is declared, that Nineveh shall be overthrown within forty days; in Is. 7: 8 it is said, that Ephrain shall be broken within sixty-five years; in Is. 16: 14, that the glory of Moab shall be contemned within three years; in Jer. 25: 11. 29: 10 the period of seventy years' exile is threatened ; and the like in other passages of the prophets, which need not be recited; and yet we never once even dream of putting a day for a year in a single instance among all these cases. Why? Because we have no intimation that the passages are not to be interpreted in the crdinary way; and nothing in the context obliges us to think of a different mode of interpretation. Even so I trust it may prove to be, in cases yet to be examined, and which constitute the basis of our present inquiry
Nothing can be plainer, then, than that usage in the prophecies, as to designations of time, does not differ from ordinary usage elsewhere. If there be any cases where a difference is to be made out, it must be on entirely other grounds than that of analogy. We have seen that the analogy asserted can by no means be established; and therefore we cannot appeal to it. We come then to examine,
SECONDLY, whether the designations of time in Daniel and in the Apocalypse admit of a satisfactory solution on the common ground of grammatico-historical exegesis. We
e must begin with the book of Daniel, because, as all will concede, the Apocalypse has followed in many respects closely in the steps of this ancient prophet. And, which is more important still, Daniel has twice brought into view a famous period equivalent to 31 years=42 months=1260
days. If the use of this number of days is symbolical in the book of Revelation, then it must be conceded as probable, that it is symbolical also in the book of Daniel; and so, vice versa. At least the great mass of recent commentators in the English world, who suppose that the same things are predicted in both these books, cannot well avoid such a conclusion. It is proper, therefore, that we begin with the 1260 days or 3 years in the book of Daniel.
We do not find this period, indeed, specifically named. But it is virtually designated in the expression time, times, and the dividing (i. e. half) of time. In chap. 7: 25, (which is Chaldee), the main word is 17; in 12: 7 (Hebrew) it is zains. Both of these words are from the kindred roots 779 and 72,, and mean, conformably to their etymology, a set, fixed, or appointed time. Of course this happily designates the year,
the appointed and usual standard for the measurement of time. A time, times, and half a time, therefore, mean one year, two years, and half a year=3 years=42 months=1260 days. This is the same period on which so much turns in Rev. XI.—XIII.; and one cannot well refrain from believing, that the measure of time in both of these books is designed to be the same.
What then is the actual time which is designated, in those several passages of Daniel that have been specified? In order to answer this question we must first advert to the subject matter of each prophecy, as developed by the context.
The first passage, in Dan. 7: 25, is so clear as to leave no room for reasonable doubt. In v. 24 the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes is described ; for the fourth beast in 7: 7, 8, 11, 19—26, as all must concede, is the divided Grecian dominion which succeeded the reign of Alexander the Great. From this dynasty springs Antiochus, v. 24, who is most graphically described, in v. 25, as one who
“shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out (destroy) the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hands, until a time, and times, and the dividing of time.” The long, bitter, and bloody persecutions of Epiphanes; bis persevering efforts to abolish the Jewish ritual, and even to extinguish the religion which the Hebrews professed, and destroy all copies of the holy Scriptures which were in their hands; are too well known as historical facts, to need any comment here, or any specification. The only question on which any thing needs to be said, is: How does the result here described, viz., 'the giving up all these things into his hands,' accord with the time specified, provided the designation of this time be interpreted by the common laws of exegesis ?
The facts are these. In the year 168 before Christ, (usually designated by B. C.), in the month of May, Antiochus Epiphanes was on his way to attack Egypt, and he detached Apollonius, one of his military confidants, with 22,000 soldiers, in order to subdue and plunder Jerusalem. The mission was executed with entire success. A horrible slaughter was made of the men at Jerusalem, and a large portion of the women and children, being made captives, were sold and treated as slaves. The services of the temple were interrupted, and its joyful feasts were turned into mourning, 1 Macc. 1: 37-39. Soon after this the Jews in general were compelled to eat swine's flesh, and to sacrifice to idols. In December of that same year, the temple was profaned by introducing the statue of Jupiter Olympius; and on the 25th of that month, sacrifices were offered to that idol on the altar of Jehovah. Just three years after this last event, viz., December 25th, 165 B. C., the temple was expurgated by Judas Maccabaeus, and the worship of Jehovah restored. Thus three years and a half,
or almost exactly this period, passed away, while Antiochus had complete possession and control of every thing in and around Jerusalem and the temple. It may be noted, also, that just three years passed, from the time when the profanation of the temple was carried to its greatest height, viz., by sacrificing to the statue of Jupiter Olympius upon the altar of Jehovah, down to the time when Judas renewed the regular worship.
I mention this last circumstance in order to account for the three years of Antiochus' profanations, which are named as the period of them in Josephus, Antiq. XII. 7. $6. This period tallies exactly with the time during which the profanation was consummated, if we reckon down to the period when the temple worship was restored by Judas Maccabaeus. But in Prooem. ad Bell. Jud. $ 7, and Bell. Jud. I. 1. $ 1, Josephus reckons 34 years as the period daring which Antiochus ravaged Jerusalem and Judea. There is no contradiction in this writer, however, in case we refer each period to the occurrences which it was designed to mark.
After all, we are not confined to his authority for the facts stated. The reader will find many authors referred to, in Usher's Annals, 168 et seq. B. C.; in Froelich, Annales Regum Syriae, chap. on Antioch. Epiphanes, (an admirable work); in Jahn's Hebrew Commonwealth, and in Prideaux's Connection, etc., under the appropriate head in each. - To save time and to avoid repetition, I refer the reader to these sources of information, and to the ancient histories cited in them ; most of which may be procured with little trouble, and also are of easy ac
And in like manner, to save repetition would I here make a reference to the same sources, as to subsequent historical facts which will be stated in the course of this investigation respecting the book of Daniel.
Another passage parallel to Dan. 7: 25, which we have just examined, is Dan. 12: 7, where the same limitation of time occurs, and in connection (for this I cannot doubt) with the same individual, i. e. with Antiochus Epiphanes. As in many other cases, particularly in Isaiah and Daniel, an unfortunate division has been made by chapters which greatly obscures the sense of the original Scripture, so here there is an instance of the like mistake, which is much to be regretted. It is quite plain, that Dan. XI. and XII. are closely and inseparably connected, as one continued series of predictions, closing with some inquiries and answers, the object of which is to throw light on those predictions. That Antiochus Epiphanes is described in 11: 21—45, is past all question. The graphic historical correctness and minuteness of the description here, is even such as can be found no where else in the whole Bible. Porphyry, in the latter part of the third century, charged this composition with being a prophecy post eventum; and it must be acknowledged that it is difficult, at the present time, when one compares other prophecies, not to feel moved in some measure to entertain a similar view. The reason is, that in point of minuteness and exactness of specification nothing elsewhere in the whole Scripture can be found to compare with it; so exactly, and at so great length, does it give the history of Antiochus.
That the beginning of chap. xii. is a mere continuation of the angel's address to Daniel, is plain from a mere glance. This address ends with v. 4; and then commences a colloquy between two angels, designed to cast further light on what had been said. One angel inquires of the other : “ How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ?" The answer, introduced by an appeal to Heaven for confirmation of its truth, is, that " it shall be for a time, and times, and a half;, and when he shall have entirely com