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glorious Being of surpassing splendour, standing on the waters of the Tigris. Was it an Angel, or the Lord of Angels? Apparently the latter : as not in respect of his glory only, but of the priestly garb that he wore, the position he stood in, and the solemn oath that he uttered, the parallel was most close between what is here said of him, and what is in the Apocalypse said of the Covenant-Angel that long afterwards appeared to St. John in the visions of Patmos.2 Moreover the attendant Angels, who were also seen by Daniel in the vision, referred to him their questions as to a superior. Thus it seemed, I say, to be the LORD, the Messiah, Himself. His priestly garb marked him out in that character of the priest, the offering priest of the great propitiatory sacrifice, which it needed that he should fulfil ere he took the kingdom. His silence, all the while that an attendant Angel detailed the prediction we are about considering to the prophet, might seem to have been the silence of one meditating on the mighty work before him. Again his position, with his feet planted on the waters of the Hiddekel, now the great characteristic river of the dominant Persian Empire, symbolized apparently his claim to that domination and empire as his own: 5_ on the realization of which claim those times of Eden that the river Hiddekel might suggest to the
stand, and to chasten thyself before God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.”—“I am come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days."
1'" Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked; and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz. His body also was like the beryl ; and his face as the appearance of lightning; and his eyes as lamps of fire; and his arms and his feet like in colour to the polished brass; and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. Dan. x. 5, &c.
2 See Apoc. i. 13 and x. 1, 6. 3 Dan. xii. 5—7.-I have drawn out this evidence because neither his appearance in splendour, nor his likeness to man, would of itself distinguish him from a created angel: created angels having sometimes so appeared to men. (See, for example, in Matt. xxviii. 3, 4, the description of the angels that attended Christ's resurrection.)—Similarly in Apoc. xiv. 14 one on the white cloud like to a Son of Man, appeared from the adjuncts of the vision, to be Christ: and so too Apoc. i. 13. See p. 79 suprà.
4 Compare Dan. ix. 26: a prophecy of Messiah given him about four or five years before ; it being dated in the first year of Darius the Mede, or two years before the first of Cyrus.
Compare Apoc. x. ).
prophet's mind' would return; and its waters flow again through a Paradise restored.
It is generally supposed by commentators that the Angel who touched and strengthened the prophet, when struck down by the glory of the vision, and then in a predictive narrative informed him respecting the coming future, was the Angel Gabriel. And as Gabriel is specifically mentioned twice before as the appointed communicator with the prophet, this seems very probable. He tells him that on the first day he chastened himself before God his prayer was heard : and, after a mysterious intimation or two on what for awhile hindered him from coming,3 and what he was afterwards about to do, in regard both of the Prince of Persia and then the Prince of Greece, 4-intimations indicating the fact of angelic ministration in influencing men's minds, and so bringing about the appointed issue of events in human affairs, 5 — he proceeds, in the remarkable prophecy of chap. xi and xii, to unfold the then coming future, first under Persian, and then under Greek supremacy ; (the second and third in the great tetrarchical succession of prophecy ;) with the addition of a sketch of the sequel of events, specially with reference to the future fortunes of Daniel's own people, 6 (whether that meant the Jews, or the true people and Church of God,) even until the consummation.
The prophecy thus naturally divides itself into two parts : Ist that from xi. 1 to xi. 32, sketching the times of the Persians and Greeks ; 2ndly that from xi. 32 to i Gen. ii. 14.-Wintle places the scene near its confluence with the Euphrates.
? Dan. viii, 16, ix. 21.-It is observable that in the former of these two passages, it was “a man's voice from between the banks of the Ulai” that directed Gabriel to make Daniel understand the vision then given : just as here the Covenant-Angel stood on the waters of the Hiddekel ; while the angelic attendants were on its banks.
3 Dan. x. 13; “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days," &c.
4 Dan. X. 20. “And now will I return to fight with the Prince of Persia : and when I am gone forth, lo, the Prince of Grecia shall come.”
$ The Jews supposed angels to have their distinctive appointments over nations. See Dr. M'Caul's Kimchi on Zechar. ii. 3.-So too Jerom on Isaiah xv: "Angeli qui singulis præsunt gentibus.” (Tom. iii. p. 277.)
6 “ I am come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days.” Dan. x. 14.
the end of chap. xii, sketching the sequel. Now it is not my intention to enter fully into the details of the earlier half of the prophecy. For these I refer to Bishop Newton. My object is only to give such a general view of this part, in respect of its literal meaning, and its historic fulfilment, as may serve fitly to introduce that second and more difficult part which has a direct bearing on the time and manner of the consummation ; questions which we have hitherto been considering simply by the light of the Apocalyptic prophecy: It may be well to consider the two divisions of the prophecy each in a separate Section : and I now proceed accordingly, without further delay, to the discussion of that which belongs to the present Section ; viz.
THE EARLIER HALF OF THE PROPHECY.
The Angel's prophetic narrative begins from the time then present. Three Persian kings, he says, were to rise after Cyrus, (these were Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspes,) before any mutation needing notice in the world's affairs:then a fourth, ( Xerxes,) pre-emipent for his riches and power ; who, by stirring up the whole empire against Greece, was to bring Greece directly into contact with Persia; an aspirant thenceforward for the supremacy. And then “a mighty king” was
i Dr. Keith too has a full chapter on this subject in his Signs of the Times. But I rather refer to Bishop Newton, as he gives his authorities : a point in which Dr. K. seems to me grievously defective. See too Wintle on Daniel.
2 I purpose to subjoin the prophetic text in detached passages beneath the comment that illustrates them; making such critical remarks on each as may seem to me useful for readers unskilled like myself in Hebrew. I must trust to the courtesy of Hebrew scholars to excuse it, if of these Notes some appear to them to be needlessly particular, or relative to points clear in themselves.
3 The prophecy, Dan. xi. 2, begins thus.
xi. 2. “And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia ; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all : and by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all * against t the realm of Grecia." I
On the peculiar suitableness of this phrase to depict the preparations for Xerxes' expedition into Greece, see Vol. iii. p. 395 Note '.
+ng. The sense of against, here given, attaches to the word in 1 Chron. xx. 5 ; “There was war with (n») the Philistines.”
#77), Javan ; the usual word for Greece. So in Dan. X. 20 just before.
to stand up,' (here is the first grand transition in the prophecy, and one to be well marked as a precedent for comparison, in regard of what is unexpressed in it as well as of what is expressed, and in regard of the passage per saltum, as well to a later age as to another country,)—which king was evidently the famous Greek ruler Alexander the Great: no other king having risen up in the 150 years between him and Xerxes, of whom it could be predicated that “he ruled with a great dominion, and did according to his will ;” besides that what is said of the quadri-partition of his kingdom after his death “ to others, and not to his own posterity," agrees most exactly, and so as it can be shown to do in the case of no other conqueror of antiquity, both with what is historically recorded respecting the division of Alexander's kingdom, and also with what was clearly foreshown about it in another and earlier of Daniel's prophecies. 2
- It is the subsequent history of two distinctively, out of these four divisions of the Greek conqueror's empire, that the revealing angel proceeded to sketch ; viz. of what he called “the King of the South," and " the King of the North.” Now, from this simple designation alone, we might à priori pretty confidently have conjectured that the Ægypto-Macedonian and SyroMacedonian dynasties were intended, of the Ptolemies
'3. “And a mighty king shall stand up,* that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4. And when he shall stand upt his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided towards the four winds of heaven : and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled : for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside I those.”
2 Dan. viii. 8. See Vol. iii. p. 377.
* QY. The same Hebrew verb occurs in the verses 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, (twice), 17, 20, 21, 25, 31 ; also xii. I, 13. In verse 8 it is rendered continue, in verse 15 withstand; in the other cases stand up, as here, or simply stand. Gesenius says, it is a word used particularly of a new prince; instancing Dan. viii. 23, as well as xi, 2, 3, 20.-Besides which cases it occurs in verses 11, 13, 14 in the Hiphil form ; in verse 14 in the sense of to make to stand, or to establish; in verses 11, 13 in that of to stir up, to excite.
+ Or, when he shall have stood up. * 7*? exclusively, or to the exclusion of the word "those” meaning his posterity ; the Hebrew
(literally the latter,) being a noun of number, and used as a concrete.
and the Seleucida ; the seats of government of these princes being respectively South and North of Judea. But in effect conjecture is not needed on the point; the country of the King of the South being expressly in an early passage of the prophecy called Egypt. And the considerate reader can scarce fail of seeing good reason for their selection, as special subjects of prophetic description to Daniel : not merely from the circumstance of their continuing longer, and making a much greater figure in history, than the other two post-Alexandrine Macedonian kingdoms ;? but much more on account of the Holy Land of Judea being involved more or less in their quarrels and wars; and the Jewish government being a dependancy for the most part of one or other of them, until its occupation and subjugation by the Romans.
And in regard to the earlier part of the prophecy concerning them,-i. e. from verse 6 to verse 31, where the question arises whether there may not then be made a transition to the Roman subjugation of Judea,—there has been exhibited, I think, such satisfactory evidence of a continuous parallelism between the predictive description of the two kings here given, and the international history of the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ, as to leave no reasonable doubt as to the meaning so far of the prophecy; and thus to offer us the immense advantage of a sufficiently clear introduction at the outset, to that which is more obscure.3
So verse 8; “He” (viz. the King of the South) “shall carry their gods into Egypt;" compared with the notice of the same event in the verse following, “The King of the South shall come into his own kingdom, and return to his own land."
The Thraco-Macedonian kingdom of Lysimachus was early overthrown by the first Seleucus, B.C. 281, about twenty years after the battle of Ipsus : and again the Græco-Macedonian kingdom of Cassander was finally overthrown by the Romans, as the result of the battle of Pydna, B.C. 168: whereas Syria was not made a Roman province till B.C. 65, and Egypt not till B.C. 30.
3 The following comparative tabular view may be useful, of the dates of the successive kings of the Ptolemaic and Seleucidean dynasties through the century and a half con ehended (as I suppose) in this prophetic sketch. I premise that the date of Alexander the Great's death is B. C. 323; of that of his brother Philip Aridæus, 316; of that of his son Alexander Ægus, by Roxana, 309; a short time after which (the date is generally given 306) the chief Macedonian governors and princes assumed the royal title :-Ptolemy, however, before the rest.