« السابقةمتابعة »
monuments of Egyptian antiquity, and from the ruins of Persepolis, where winged lions and the like fictitious animals are still to be seen. These figures are supposed to have been the emblems of particular nations, and are not more strange than many others still used in heraldry.
The first of these beasts, (like the golden head in Nebuchadnezzar's dream,) evidently intends the Babylonian monarchy, and is described as a lion with eagles' wings, having been before compared to those animals separately, both by Jeremiah and Ezekiel. (See Jer. iv.7; xlviii. 40; Ezek. xvii. 3, 12.) When we are informed that its wings had been plucked, we readily understand that its progress had been checked, and its glory was in the wane. Its standing on its hind feet as a man, and having a human heart given to it, may intimate the beast's approach to reason and humanity, the proper characteristics of a man. It may also allude to the circumstances of Nebuchadnezzar himself, who, after being transformed for his punishment into the figure of a beast, was restored, not only to the privileges of humanity, but to his celebrated rank in society.
The second animal here named was a bear, and represents, as did the silver part of Nebuchadnezzar's image, the combined kingdom of the Medes and Persians. This bear is said to raise himself on one side, on which it is remarked, that at the siege of Babylon the Persians were subject to the Medes; but raised themselves in the person of Cyrus to pre-eminence. This aniinal was furnished with what our translators call three ribs, but which, from their situation in the mouth, should be either tusks or rows of teeth. The last idea agrees with the command given to "devour much flesh," and is quite in harmony with the nature of the animal, which is remarkably
The third beast was a leopard, with four heads, and four wings of a fowl, or bird rather; and this is understood to represent the Macedonian Empire. This animal was swift of foot, and variegated in the
colours of its skin, which commentators explain, as intimating the rapidity of Alex ander's conquests, (who was the founder of this Empire,) and the various nations of which his army was composed. The four heads of this beast may well represent the partition of the Empire after Alexander's death, under his four captains, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus; and the number of wings answering to the fort heads, may perhaps intimate that each of them partook, in some degree, of their master's character and success.
The fourth beast, which represented the Roman Empire, was anonymous and noudescript. It has no name, and its form is the more terrible, from being left to our imagination to conjecture. It is evident, however, that it was made to raven and destroy, being furnished with teeth of iron, with nails of brass, and with feet of great strength to trample down its prey. But its chief peculiarity consisted in its numerous horns. "It had ten horns," by which we are taught to understand ten minor kingdoms, answering to the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image. These kingdoms are variously stated, (as may be seen in our notes,) and cannot, perhaps, at this distance of time, be ascertained with certainty; in most ages since, there have been about that number of inferior states which sprung out of the Roman Empire (here doubtless intended); but the most remarkable was the little horn, which rose after the others, and is by Protestant Commentators, (and we think with good reason,) explained of the ecclesiastical dominion of the Pope or Bishop of Rome. This is described by its small beginning; it was "a little horn;" by its pretensions to wisdom, for this little horn had the eyes, that is, the discernment of a man; a tongue also "speaking great things." Of this little horn, we shall have occasion to speak more particularly when we come to St. Paul's "Man of Sin," and to the mystical beasts of St. John in the Apocalypse. (See 2 Thess. i. 3, &c.; Rev. xiii. xvii. and xix.)
NOTES-Chap. VII. Con.
Ver. 10. A fiery stream.-See Ps. 1. 3; xcvii. 3. Ver. 11. The beast was slain. The same power here represented as a little horn, is represented by
St. John as a false prophet, in league with the beast, and doomed to the same terrible end. See Rev. xix. 20.
12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the chings.
17 These great beasts, which are our, are four kings, which shall arise ut of the earth.
18 But the saints of the most High hall take the kingdom, and possess the ingdom for ever, even for ever and
19 Then I would know the truth of he fourth beast, which was diverse om all the others, exceeding dreadful, hose teeth were of iron, and his nails brass; which devoured, brake in eces, and stamped the residue with s feet;
20 And of the ten horns that were his head, and of the other which
[of the Messiah.
came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Ver. 16. The truth-that is, the true meaning of all this.-So Boothroyd. See ver. 19.
Ver. 18. The saints of the Most High-Chal. "Of the High Ones;" referring doubtless to the blessed Trinity.
Ver. 21. Made war with the saints. See Rev. xiii. 7.
Ver. 22. The saints possessed the kingdom - that is, the kingdom of the Messiah was established. Ver. 23. Devour the whole earth the Romans boasted the conquest of the world. See Luke ii. 1.
Ver. 25. Wear out the saints-that is, with exactions and oppressions. Until a time (i. e. a year), times (two years), and the dividing of time-that is, half a year, making in the whole three prophetic years and a half. See chap. xii. 7.
Ver. 28. Hitherto (at this place) is the end of the matter-that is, of the angel's explanation.
in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
5 And as I was considering, behold, an he-goat came from the west on the
EXPOSITION-Chap. VII. Continued.
(L) Ver. 9-28. The establishment of Messiah's kingdom.-We now come to a fifth Monarchy, answerable to the stone that Nebuchadnezzar saw grow into a mountain. But it is here represented by a very different set of images. Heaven is opened, and presents a vision of the Eternal preparing his throne for judgment; not the universal judgment of the great day; but the judgment of the nations, preparatory to the establishment of Messiah's Mediatorial Sovereignty over all the earth. It seems to have special reference to his Ascension to glory, when it was said unto him, "Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Comp. Ps. ii. 6, &c.; lxviii. 17, 18.; cx.1.) The apparatus of Deity is similar to the descriptions of the Psalmist, and to the burning wheels that accompanied the chariot of the cherubim. (Ezek. ch. i.)
This scene is so admirably explained in a few lines by Bp. Chandler, that we cannot withhold the passage from our readers. "There is no doubt, that the Stone in the former vision (Nebuchadnezzar's) signifies the same person that is called the Son of Man in this, or that the Messiah is in
tended in both places. Here indeed, we have him only in one view, and that is, in his judicial capacity, or in the most conspicuous manifestation of his kingdom. Not that he then began to be, but to appear to be, so great. And his greatness was er hibited only to the one purpose explained in this vision. It was newly explained, why the fourth beast was destroyed, and ia so exemplary a manner; now the vision opens by whom, and how it was done; even by a man vested with royal dignity and power in heaven. The truth of the thing is set forth in the solemnity wherewith earthly princes were wont to associate the prince royal into sovereignty with themselves; or to delegate their whole authority for the execution of their justice. I beheld (saith he) till the thrones were placed, as they were on very great occasious, and the Ancient of days did sit;....and, behold, one like the Son of man, (the King's son) came in the clouds of heaven, and they brought him before Him (the Ancient of days), to take investiture of his new dignity [as mediator]....his universal and everlasting kingdom." (Bp. Chandler's Def. p. 130.)
CHAP. VIII. Ver. 1. In the third year, &c.With the preceding chapter ends the Chaldee part of the book; the rest is Hebrew.
Ver. 2. At Shushan, &c.-Commentators differ as to the fact, whether Daniel was personally there, as he might be, officially; or whether it was in vision only: the point is unimportant.
Ver. 4. A ram-Heb. "One ram." It is remarked by Ammianus Marcellinus, that a ram was the royal ensign of Persia; and it is said that figures of rams' heads, with horns of unequal height, are still to be seen in the ruins of Persepolis. Throughout the East, a horn was the emblem of power, as we have had frequent occasion to remark. See Orient. Lit. No. 1054.
Ibid. Pushing westward, to the bounds of Asia; northward, to Armenia and Cappadocia; and southnard, to Egypt. Bp. Newton.
Ver. 5. An he-goat.-This is a very proper emblem of the Greeks, or Macedonians, who wer called the Egead, or people of the goat, from the following circumstance, as related by their owa historians. Caranus, their first king, going with a large party of Greeks to seek a habitation in Mace donia, was commanded by the oracle which they consulted, to follow a herd of goats; this he did to Edessa, and there fixed his capital, which he called Egea, or Goat's Town, and made the goat his standard. One of Alexander's sons was named Agus, and some of his successors are represented with goats' horns upon their coins-Amutable hera -Heb. "A horn of sight," or a conspicuous bars, which is afterwards explained in reference to Alexa0der the Great and his successors, ver.21.
face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground and the goat had a Me notable horn between his eyes.
6 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.
7 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.
8 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 toward the four winds of heaven.
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the round, and stamped upon them. II Yea, he magnified himself even the prince of the host, and by him e daily sacrifice was taken away,
and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
12 And an 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 prospered.
13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
15 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.
16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision,
17 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, Q son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
er. 9. And out of one of them, &c.-From this a increasing toward the south and east particu, Sir Isaac Newton sagaciously infers, that it e in the north-west part of the goat's dominions; in Italy, which points directly to the Romans. The pleasant land—means, undoubtedly, that aden. See Ezek. xx. 6.
. 10. And it waxed great even to- that is, be imagined himself immortal, and ranked If among the gods. See Isa. xiv. 12-14. Anas Epiphanes, to whom this has been generally d, abolished the Jewish sacrifices, and, after cing a swine upon the altar of burnt-offering, ute it, be placed there an image of Jupiter ius. It cast down some:- Antiochus dethe high priest, and persecuted to death those hered to the Jewish worship. See 1 Mac. i. vi, and vii.; also Joseph. Antiq. b. xii. 6. 11. The prince of the host-namely, the Lord
And by him-Marg. "From him;" i. e. ce of the host. So Wintle and Boothroyd. 12. And an host was given-Antiochus placed ," or garrison, in the temple, to prevent the worship. The word him is not in the He-By reason of transgression-Wintle, "By ansgression;" more literally, "in wicked- rebellion.- -Cast down the truth-by dethe sacred books, 1 Mac. i. 56. Antiochus did, however, in the suppression wish worship and persecution of the Jews,
18 Now as he was speaking with
will be found but little, compared with what the Romans did, for which we must refer to our Exposition of our Lord's prophecies respecting the destruction of Jerusalem. Matt. xxiv.
Ver. 13. That certain saint- ·Heb. (Palmoni) a certain one, or such an one. Ruth iv. 2. It is a compound word, but there seems no sufficient authority for the marginal gloss," a numberer of secrets." See Gesenius. How long shall be the vision concerning?-In this question it may be remarked that the word concerning is supplied by our translators in Italics, and, as Bp. Newton thinks, improperly; he therefore reads, "How long shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice (be taken away), and the transgression of desolation (or transgression making desolate) continue? (See Matt. xxiv. 15.) Wintle and Boothroyd to the same eflect.
Ver. 14. Days-Heb. "Evenings and mornings," See Gen. i. 5, 8, 13, &c. Those who apply this prediction to Antiochus, must confine it to the last six years of his life: but those who take the days for years, bring down the period nearly to the supposed time of the millennium. See on chap. xii.-Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed-Marg. "Justified;" i. e. (says Gesenius) " its honour be maintained."
Ver 17. At the time-" To (lamed) the time; i. e. the vision extends to the end." Boothroyd renders it, "At the appointed time shall the vision be accomplished." But is not this rather an expository paraphrase than a translation? See ver. 19.
me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
19 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.
20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 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.
25 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.
26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. (M)
(M) The Vision of the Ram and He goat. This vision is, in the latter part of the chapter, explained by a celestial expositor, to refer to the Persian and Greek monarchies. The propriety of the emblems may be seen in our notes; we shall only here observe, that the ram was the royal ensign of Persia, and the goat the accredited emblem of the Greeks, two centuries before the time of Daniel. The ram had two horns of unequal height, representing the Medo-Persian Empire, and answering to the former emblem of the bear (ch. vii. 5.) which raised itself on one side; i. e. the Persian Empire under Cyrus raised itself above the Medes, and pushed its conquests on every side as far as possible. A he-goat, however, is seen coming from the west, evidently pointing to the Greek or Macedonian Empire. The rapidity of its advance is well described by his flying, or skimming as it were, over the ground, so as not to touch it; and the energy of this attack upon the ram may well describe the fury with which the Grecian
army, under Alexander the Great, rushed against him and broke his horns.
This goat is said to have a third and notable horn between his eyes, which is explained as referring to the first kingdom, or to the dynasty of Alexander himself (ver. 21); and it is remarkable, that when he went to Jerusalem with an hostile intention, but was pacified by meeting the High Priest, Josephus tells us (Antiq. Bk. si. 8.) that these prophecies were shown to him in the temple, in the Greek transla tion, as predicting the conquest of the Medes and Persians by a Greek, which be applied to himself, and was not a little ani mated thereby.
This horn was soon broken by the death of Alexander and the murder of his heirs: a few years after this, however, four horns of inferior strength arose instead of one. From four of his commanders, as mentioned in chap. vii., proceeded the kingdoms of Greece, Thrace, Syria and Egypt. Out of one of these arose another little hors," which many writers, both ancient and mo dern, have interpreted of Antiochus Epi
NOTES-Chap. VIII. Con.
Ver. 18. A deep sleep-Wintle and Boothroyd, "I sunk flat into a deep swoon." Set me upright— Heb. "Made me stand upon my standing.'
Ver. 19. At the time appointed the end shall beWintle, "There shall be an end."
Ver. 23. When the transgressors are come to the full-Heb. " Accomplished." See Matt. xxiii. 32. -Of fierce countenance-Deut. xxvii. 5.-Understanding dark sayings-the Romans were a lite