DANIEL 7:1-2
1. In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions of his head upon his bed then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
1. Anno primo Beltsazar regis babylonis, Daniel somnium vidit, eer visiones capitis ejus in lecto ejus. Tunc somnium exposuit.
2. Daniel spake, and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
2. Loquutus est Daniel, et exposuit: Vidi in visione mea per noctem, et ecce quatuor venti coelorum pugnantes, f388 in mari magno.

Hear. Daniel begins to offer instruction peculiar to the Church. For God had formerly appointed him an interpreter and instructor to, profane kings. But he now appoints him a teacher to the Church, that he may exercise his office within it, and instruct the sons of God in the bosom of the Church. We must notice this first of all, because thus far his predictions extended beyond the limits of the household of faith, but here Daniel’s duty is restricted to the Church. He says: This vision was bestowed upon him in the first year of King Belshazzar, before that change happened, which we have previously seen. First of all, we must try to understand the design of the Holy Spirit; that is, the end and use for which he opened up to Daniel the material of this chapter. All the prophets had held out to the elect people the hope of deliverance, after God had punished them for their ingratitude and obstinacy. When we read what other prophets announce concerning their future redemption, we should suppose the Church to have been promised a happy, quiet, and completely peaceful state, after the people had returned from captivity. But history testifies how very differently it turned out. For the faithful must have grown weary and have fallen away unless they had been admonished of the various disturbances which were at hand. This, then, is the first reason why God revealed to his Prophet what we shall soon see; namely, that three monarchies yet remained, each of which should succeed the former, and that during them all the faithful should endure permanently and constantly in reliance on the promises, although they should see the whole world shaken, and severe and distressing convulsions prevailing everywhere. For this reason, Daniel’s vision concerning the four empires is here set forth. Perhaps it will be better to defer the summary of it till the Prophet begins to treat of each beast separately. But with regard to the two first verses, we must observe the time of the dream.
Before the Medes and Persians transferred the Chaldean Empire to themselves, the Prophet was instructed in this subject, that the Jews might recognize the partial fulfillment of what God had so often promised themselves and their fathers. For if their enemies had possessed Babylon without any new prediction, the Jews perhaps would not have been so attentive to. those prophecies which had been long ago uttered in their favor. Hence God wished to refresh their memories, and then, when they saw the fall of that empire which all thought to be impregnable, they would perceive the government of God’s secret counsels, and the partial, if not the complete fulfillment of what he had testified by their prophets. He says — he saw a dream. When he previously spoke of the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar he mentioned a vision, but not for the same reason, because the unbelieving when seeing do not observe. They perceive something indeed, dimly and without distinctness, while their thoughts immediately fade away. The Prophet’s method was different; because he not only dreamed, but saw a distinct vision, and thus could profitably deliver to others what he had received. The Prophet then expresses something peculiar by this phrase, for we know how prophets usually attribute such visions to God, when they perceive the secrets of heaven, not with the eyes of flesh, but by the illumination and intelligence of the Spirit. He adds — visions of his head were on his bed; thus the dream would have more weight, and lest we should think any confusion existed in Daniel’s brain. Thus he expresses how he saw whatever the Lord wished him to know in a dream with a calm mind. He afterwards adds — Then he wrote the dream, and explained the meaning of the words. By this phrase he teaches us how his seeing the vision was not for his own sake personally, but for the common edification of the Church. Those who suppose Daniel to have leapt suddenly from his bed, lest he should forget the dream, offer a vain and frivolous comment. Daniel rather wished to bear ‘witness to this vision as not peculiar to himself, but common to God’s elect people; and hence not only to be celebrated orally, but to be delivered to posterity for a perpetual remembrance. We must bear in mind these two points; first, Daniel wrote this prophecy that the knowledge of it might ever be celebrated among the faithful; and then, he considered the interests of posterity, and so left the vision written. Both these points are worthy of notice to induce us to pay greater attention to the vision, since it was not delivered for a single individual; but God chose Daniel as his minister, and as the herald and witness of this oracle. Hence we see how it concerns us; it was not teaching for any single age, but it extends to us, and ought to flourish till the end of the world. He repeats the same thing by adding — he explained the sense of the words. For those who separate these two clauses, seem to stumble on plain ground. f389 Daniel then spoke and said — This has no reference to words, but to writing; as if the Prophet had said, I have discharged my duty; since he knew that what we shall afterwards see concerning the four monarchies was not divinely entrusted to him for the sake of suppressing anything made known, but he rather felt himself a chosen instrument of God, who was thus suggesting to the faithful material for trust and endurance. He spoke, therefore, and explained; that is, when he desired to promulgate this oracle, he bore witness to there being no difference between himself and God’s Church in this announcement; but as he had been an elect and ordained teacher, so he delivered what he had received, through his hands, Hence Daniel not only commends his own faith, but excites all the pious to anxiety and attention, lest they should despise what God had pronounced through his mouth.
He repeats again, He saw in his vision during the night. Again, I say, Daniel affirms that he brought forward nothing but what God had authoritatively delivered to him. For we know that in the Church all human traditions ought to be treated as worthless, since all men’s wisdom is vanity and lies. As God alone deserves to be listened to by the faithful, so Daniel here asserts that he offers nothing of his own by dreaming: in the ordinary way, but, that the vision is sure, and such as cannot deceive the pious.
He afterwards adds, Behold! the four winds of heaven fought in a great sea. I much prefer this rendering. Interpreters differ respecting the winds, but the genuine sense appears to be this; Daniel assumes a simile universally known, for on solid ground any such turbulent concussion is seldom heard of as at sea, when any mighty tempest arises. Without doubt, he here proposes the image of a raging sea to warn the faithful against dreadful commotion at hand, just as, if the sea were agitated with storms and raging with tempests on all sides. This is the meaning of the phrase. Hence he names four winds, to show the faithful how the motion which should shatter the globe should not be single and simple, but that various storms should arise together on all sides — exactly as it happens. We may’ sometimes see the earth moved just as if a tempest were, tossing about the sea in all directions, but the motion will yet be single. But God wished to show his Prophet not only a simple concussion, but many and different ones, just as if all the winds were to, meet in one general conflict. Philosophers, indeed, enumerate more winds than four when they desire to treat of the number with precision, but it is the common phrase to speak of four winds blowing from the four quarters or regions of the globe. The sense, however, is clear and by no means forced — the world being like a troubled sea, not agitated by a single storm or wind, but by different. conflicting blast., as if the whole heavens conspired to stir up commotion’s. This vision at the first glance was very bitter to the faithful, because they counted the years prescribed to them by Jeremiah; the seventieth year was now at hand, and God had then promised them an end of their troubles. Now God announces that they must not indulge in the hope of rest and joy, but rather prepare themselves for sustaining the rush of the fiercest winds, as the world would be everywhere agitated by different storms. They might perhaps suspect God of not performing his promises, but this ought, to be sufficient for appeasing their minds and propping them up with the hope of redemption, when they saw nothing happen either rashly or by chance. Again God came to meet their temptations lest their courage should fail, by teaching them that the method of their redemption was not quite so easy as they had previously conceived from former predictions. God indeed had not changed his plans, for although a long period had elapsed since he spoke by Isaiah and the other prophets, yet he wished to prepare the Jews against delay, lest it should break down the courage which would be required to meet such great afflictions. But when redemption really approached, then God explained its method more fully and familiarly, and showed how great and severe were the remaining struggles. Hence the faithful, instructed by such prophecies, would contend strenuously and yet proceed constantly in their course of faith and patience. It now follows, —

3. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
3. Et quatuor bestiae magnae prodibant e mari, diversae haec ab illa. f390

After Daniel had beheld these great commotion which were shaking the earth in different parts, another vision was offered to him. What has already been said concerning the troubled sea and the conflict of the winds, is extended to the four monarchies, concerning which we shall now treat. A certain preparation is intended when God offers to the eyes of his Prophet a turbulent sea produced by the conflict of the winds. Just as if he should say — after these troubles others shall spring up; thus men will wait for peace and tranquillity in vain, for they must suffer under fresh agitation’s. Now, the kind of trouble is expressed, by the words, four beasts proceed out of the sea. Hence that concussion, those storms, and that confused disturbance of the whole world through one kingdom succeeding to another. It can scarcely happen that any kingdom can perish without involving others in its ruin. A single edifice can scarcely fall without the crash being heard far and wide, and the earth seeming to gape at its overthrow. Then, what must happen when the most powerful monarchies so suddenly perish? Hence in this verse Daniel shows how the world is like a troubled sea, since violent changes among its empires were then at hand. The comparison of empires to beasts is easily explained. We know how God’s glory and power are resplendent in all kingdoms, if they are rightly conducted after the law of equity. But since we often see the truth of what was said to Alexander, — The greatest kingdoms are the greatest robberies, and very few absorb the whole power in a great empire, and exercise a cruel and excessive tyranny. Here the Prophet compares empires to great and savage beasts, of which he will afterwards treat. Now we understand the meaning of the words: and we may learn this lesson from what usually happens in the empires of the world; in themselves, as I have said, they are most beautiful reflections of the divine wisdom, virtue, and justice, although those who obtain supreme sway very rarely acknowledge themselves divinely created for the discharge of their office. As, therefore, kings are mostly tyrants, full of cruelty and barbarity, and forgetful of humanity, the Prophet marks this vice as springing from themselves and not from the sacred ordinance of God. Let us proceed, —

4. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings there of were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, a man’s heart was given to it.
4. Prima scut leo f391 et alae aquilae ei: vidi donec evulsae sunt alae ejus, et sublata fuit e terra, et super pedes suos quasi homo stedit, et cor himinus datum ets ei.

It is clear that the four monarchies are here depicted. But it is not agreed upon among all writers which monarchy is the last, and which the third. With regard to the first, all agree in understanding’ the vision of the Chaldean Empire, which was joined with the Assyrian, as we saw before. For Nineveh was absorbed by the Chaldeans and Babylonians; but the Prophet discourses at length of the Assyrian and Chaldean Empire, which was then flourishing. No one, however, would have thought it so near its end; and on the very night on which Belshazzar was slain, we saw how securely and proudly he was immersed in his pleasures, and what great and listless security existed throughout the city. This monarchy then ought to be set before us in the first place. As in the second chapter that empire was called the golden head of the statue, so also it is now called a lion; that is, it is compared to a generous animal. It is comprehended under the image of a beast, and its fierceness and atrocity, as I have said, is hereby denoted; but with respect to the other kingdom, some superiority is granted to it, since the world is always growing worse and worse. And although Cyrus was a very prudent prince, yet he did not reach the temperance of former ages; for his ambition, avarice, and cruelty were insatiable. For Isaiah also, when he speaks of the Persians, says, They desire neither silver nor gold, but thirst after human blood. (Isaiah 13:17.)
We perceive then the reason why the Prophet says, The first beast offered to me was like a lion, because greater integrity flourished under the Chaldeans than when all the empires were mixed together, and the Persians subdued both the Chaldeans and the Medes. For it is evident from all histories that they were a barbarous and fierce nation. They were indeed showy in their praise of virtue, since they spent their lives in austerity, and despised all luxuries, and were exceedingly temperate in their living; but their ferocity and brutal cruelty rendered them detestable. The first beast then was like a lion, says he, and had eagles wings; that is, although it was a lion, yet it had wings. This refers to its swiftness, since we know in how short a time the Assyrians increased their monarchy, for they had previously subdued the Chaldeans, just like a lion for swiftness. For a lion has force, spirit, and cruelty for committing injuries. Besides, the prophet saw a winged lion, since they not only increased their empire by their own strength, but suddenly extended their wings in every direction. We see, then, how strength and power are denoted on the one hand, and the greatest speed on the other. He afterwards adds, Their wings were dragged or torn off. For when the Chaldeans desired to stretch beyond their bounds, the Lord restrained them within due limits, and checked their continual victories. Their wings were then torn off, when God restrained them by the check of a bridle, lest they should wander as freely as they had formerly done.
The Prophet. then adds, This beast was raised from the earth, implying the cessation of the empire. For neither the Chaldeans nor the Assyrians were entirely destroyed; but their glory was completely taken away. The face of the beast no longer appeared, when God transferred that monarchy to the Medes and Persians. Hence the Prophet adds, It stood upon its feet, and the heart of a man was given to it. By this form of expression, he means to imply the reduction of the Assyrians and Chaldeans to their ordinary condition, and that they were no longer like a lion, but like private men deprived of their power and strength. Hence the expression, a man’s heart was given to them, is not intended by way of praise, but by “a man” he intends any private person; as if he had said, the aspect of the Chaldeans and Assyrians was no longer terrible, since, while their sway prevailed, all men dreaded their power. Hence God removed from the world the face of that beast, and substituted that of a man, and made them stand upon their feet. Formerly they flew about. in the air, and despised the earth as far beneath their feet, but God makes them stand upon their feet; that is, not conduct themselves after their customary and former manner, but simply on the common level, after God had deprived them of their empire. This, in my judgment, is the simple meaning of the Prophet. Should there be any necessity, we shall afterwards confirm the remarks which we now run through but cursorily. It follows: —

5. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said, Arise, devour much flesh.
5. Et ecce bellua, bestia, posterior altera f392 similis urso (inquit) et surrexit ad latus unum: et tres costae in ore ejus inter dentes ejus: et sic dicebant ei, f393 Surge, comede carnem multam.

Here the Prophet. proclaims how he was instructed by a dream concerning the second beast. If we will only judge by the event, this beast doubtless represented the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, although the Prophet specifies the Persians, as the Medes had long ago submitted to their yoke. Behold, says he, another beast like a bear. We know a bear to be a mean and foul animal, slothful and inert, as well as cruel. In comparing the bear with the lion, its appearance is foul and displeasing, while the lion is remarkable for beauty, although it is formidable. He compares the Persians to a bear, on account of their barbarity, since we have already pronounced that nation fierce and savage. Then, again, the Persians were not civilized like the Assyrians and Chaldeans, who dwelt in the most beautiful region in the whole world, and in a most lovely country like a most noble theater; but the Persians lay hid like wild beasts in their caves. They dwelt among their mountains, and lived like the brutes. Hence the Prophet compares them very appositely to a bear; nay, God showed this form to his Prophet. He afterwards adds, It stood on one side. Some think this to have been added to express the more contracted dominion of the Medes and Persians, but this opinion is unsuitable. We know how extensive was the sway of the Medes before they came under the power of Cyrus and the Persians. By themselves the Medes were most powerful; then the Persians were added, and afterwards Cyrus seized upon the possessions of the Chaldean monarchy. He possessed even the keys of Egypt, reigned in Syria, held Judea, and extended beyond the sea, till at length he was conquered by the Scythians. When, therefore, it is said, he stood on one side, the obscure origin of his kingdom is intended, for the fame of the Persians was included within their mountains until Cyrus acquired for them a name by his exploits. For he was a brave warrior, and deservedly eclipsed the glory of all others. Hence, at first this beast stood on one side; that is, the Persians were without fame or reputation; they had no wealth, and never emerged from their lurking-places. We see how this particular is restricted to their origin in consequence of its obscurity.
The Prophet then adds: Three ribs were in the beast’s mouth between its teeth; and it was thus proclaimed, Arise, eat much flesh! Those who understand three definite kingdoms by the three ribs, seem to refine far too minutely. I think the number indefinite, because this beast had bitten by its mouth not one rib but more; because the Persians, as we have said, drew to themselves the power of the Medes, and afterwards subdued the Assyrians and Chaldeans, and Cyrus also subdued many nations, until all Asia Minor acknowledged his authority. When, therefore, the Prophet speaks of three ribs, it implies the insatiable nature of this beast, since it was not content with a single body, but devoured many men together. For, by “many ribs,” he meant much prey. This is the whole sense. I do not hesitate to explain the following words, it was said to the beast, of angels, or of God himself. Some prefer to understand this of the stimulus by which Cyrus was instigated to cruelty. But since God exhibits to his Prophet the image of his Providence, what I have lately suggested becomes very probable:. namely, it was said to the beast, Arise, eat much flesh; not; because God was the author of cruelty, but since He governs by His secret counsel the events which men carry on without method, His authority is here deservedly placed be/ore our eyes; for Cyrus would not have penetrated so swiftly into different regions, and have drawn to himself so many empires, and subjugated so many powerful nations, had not God wished to punish the world, and had made Cyrus the instrument of slaughter. As therefore Cyrus executed God’s vengeance by shedding so much human blood, the Prophet declares it to have been said to him, Arise, and eat flesh. In one respect God was not pleased by the slaughter of so many nations by Cyrus, and by the increase of one man’s power and tyranny through so much human bloodshed; but in another respect God is said to have commanded the conduct of Cyrus, since he wished to punish the world for its ingratitude, to which the most desperate obstinacy and rebellion were added. There was no remedy for these vices; hence God entrusted Cyrus with the duty of executing His judgment,. I am compelled to stop here.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou exposest us to various distresses in this world, for the purpose of exercising our faith and patience: Grant, I say, that we may remain tranquil in our station, through reliance on thy promises. When storms gather around us on all sides, may we never fall away and never despond in our courage, but persevere in our calling. Whatever may happen, may we recognize thee as carrying on the government of the world, not only to punish the ingratitude of the reprobate, but to retain thine own people in thy faith and protection, and preserve them to the end. May we bear patiently whatever changes may happen to us and may we never be disturbed or distressed in our minds, till at length we are gathered into that happy rest, where we shall be free from all warfare and all contests, and enjoy that eternal blessness which thou hast prepared for us in thine only begotten Son. — Amen.

6. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon his the back of it four wings of a super the beast had also four heads, and dominion was given to it.
6. Post hoc vidi, f394 et ecce alia, bestia scilicet, sicut pardus, similis pardo, et alae quatuor avis super dorsum ejus, et quatuor capita bestiae et potestas data est ai.

DANIEL has already spoken of two empires, namely, the Chaldean and Persian. Interpreters agree in the necessity for referring this. vision to the Macedonian Empire. He compares this kingdom to a leopard, or, as some translate, a panther, since Alexander obtained his great power through swiftness alone; and although it is not by any means a striking animal, yet it managed by its remarkable speed to subdue the whole east Others bring forward many points of likeness, in which the Grecian character is in accordance with the nature of the leopard. But I fear these minutiae have but little weight: it is sufficient for me that the Spirit treats here of the Third empire. It was not of any importance at first, and could neither terrify distant regions, nor acquire subjects by its own worthiness. It then became like some swift animal, if I may say so, since the swiftness of Alexander is notorious; but he did not excel in either prudence, or gravity, or judgment, or in any other virtues. Mere rashness seized upon him; and even if he had never tasted wine, his ambition would have intoxicated him. Hence Alexander’s whole life was drunken; there was neither moderation nor composure in him. We see, then, how suitably this answers to the character of Alexander, although this is also extended to his successors, all of whom partook largely of the nature of their prince. Daniel says, therefore, A beast appeared to him like a leopard.
He also says, It had four wings on its back, and four heads. Some persons, as I think perversely, distinguish between the wings and the heads. They suppose the kingdom to be depicted as winged because Alexander seized upon manly kingdoms in a short period; but the more simple sense is, this beast had four wings and four heads, because Alexander had scarcely completed his victories when he died, contrary to all expectation; and after his death, every one seized a portion of the prey for himself. This, however, is certain: after the chief generals of his army had contended for many years, all histories agree in stating that the supreme power centered in four. For Seleucus obtained Asia Major, and Antigonus Asia Minor, Cassander was king of Macedon, and was succeeded by Antipater, while Ptolemy the son of Lagus became the ruler of Egypt They had agreed indeed otherwise among themselves; for Alexander had a son by Roxana, first daughter of Darius; he had a brother, Aridaeus, who grew up to manhood, but was epileptic and of weak intellect. Then, since the generals of Alexander were cunning, they acted on this pretext, that all should swear allegiance to their young ward, and then to Aridaeus, in case their ward should die before he was of age. F395 Then Lysimachus was set over the treasury, and another commanded the forces, and others obtained various provinces. Fifteen or twenty leaders divided among themselves both offices and power, while no one dared to assume the name of king. For Alexander’s son was the lawful king, and his successor was that Aridaeus of whom I have spoken. But they soon afterwards united; and that was an admirable specimen of God’s Providence, which alone is sufficient to prove that passage of Scripture He who sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. (<010906>Genesis 9:6.) For none of Alexander’s generals escaped in safety except those four whom we have mentioned. His mother, at the age of eighty, suffered a violent death; his wife, Roxana, was strangled; his son perished miserably; Aridaeus, his brother, a man of no intellect, and almost on a level with the brutes, was slain with the rest — in truth, the whole family of Alexander suffered violent deaths. With respect to the generals, they perished in battles, some of them being betrayed by their soldiers, and others the victims of their own negligence; and yet, although they expected a sanguinary end, they did not escape it. But four only survived, and so the whole empire of Alexander was divided into four parts. For Seleucus, whose successor was Antiochus, obtained Upper Asia, that is, four eastern empire; Antigonus, Asia Minor, with a part of Cilicia, and Phrygia, and other neighboring regions; Ptolemy seized upon Egypt and a part of Africa; Cassander and then Antipater were kings of Macedon. By four wings and four heads, Daniel means that partition which was made immediately after the death of Alexander. Now, therefore, we understand what God showed to his Prophet under this vision, when he set before him the image of a leopard with four wings and heads.
He says, Power was given to the beast, because the success of Alexander the Great was incredible. For who would have thought, ‘when he was crossing the sea, that he would have conquered all Asia and the East? he led with him 50,000 men, and did not undertake the war on his own responsibility alone, but by various arts, he procured the nomination to the leadership of Greece from the Free States. Alexander was therefore, a kind of mercenary of the Greeks, and was unable to lead with him more than 30,000 men, as we have said. he engaged in battle with 150,000, then with 400,000, and then with almost a myriad. For Darius in his last battle had collected above 800,000 men besides camp-followers, so that there were almost a million with him. Alexander had already drawn to himself some auxiliaries from the foreign nations whom he had conquered; but he could not trust them: hence his whole strength lay in these 30,000, and on the day on which he conquered Darius, he was so overcome by sleep that he could scarcely be aroused. The historians who extol his prudence, excuse this by recording his sleeplessness during the preceding night; besides, all agree in stating him to have been apparently dead, and when all his generals approached they could scarcely wake him up, and then they purposely raised a shout around his tent, though no one dared to enter. Alexander had scarcely wiped his eyes, when Darius fled; hence the Prophet’s statement is true — a beast’s power was given to him., since this happened beyond every natural expectation and every human opinion, as by his aspect although he could frighten all Greece, and lay prostrate so large an army. He states this of the Third Empire. I will not repeat here all that can be said and can be gathered from history; for many things must be put off till the eleventh chapter. I will therefore briefly compress whatever points seem necessary for the interpretation of the passage. It now follows, —

7. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
7. Postea, post hoc, vidi, hoc est, videbam, in visionibus noctis; et ecce bestia quarta formidabilis, et metuenda, f396 et fortis valde: et dentes ferri, hoc est, ferrei, illi magni: comedens et conterens, et reliquum pedibus conculcans: et ipsa diversa erat ab omnibus bestiis prioribus, et cornua decem illi.

There is greater difficulty in this Fourth Monarchy. Those who are endued with moderate judgment, confess this vision to be fulfilled in the Roman Empire; but they afterwards disagree, since what is here said of the fourth beast many transfer to the Pope, when it is added a Little Horn sprang up; but. others think the Turkish kingdom is comprehended under the Roman. The Jews for the most part incline this way, and they are necessarily compelled to do so, since Daniel will afterwards add — I saw the throne of the Son of Man; since it is clear, from this prediction, that Christ’s kingdom was erected by the overthrow of the Roman dominion, the Jews turn round, and, as I have said, join the Turkish monarchy with the Roman, since they do, not find their Christ according to their imagination. And there are some of our writers who think this image ought not to be restricted to the Roman Empire, but ought to include the Turkish. In nay view, there is nothing probable in that opinion; I have no doubt that in this vision the Prophet was shown the figure of the Roman Empire, and this will be more apparent as we go on.
He says a fourth beast appeared. He gives it no fixed name, because nothing ever existed like it in the world. The Prophet, by adding no similitude, signifies how horrible the monster was, for he formerly compared the Chaldean Empire to a lion, the Persian to a bear, and the Macedonian to a leopard. In these comparisons there was something natural; but when he descends to the fourth beast, he says, it was formidable in its aspect, and terrible, and very brave or strong, and without; any addition calls it “a beast.” We see then his wish to express something prodigious by this fourth beast, as there is no animal so fierce or cruel in the world which can in any way represent with sufficient strength the nature of this beast. Behold, therefore, the fourth beast which was formidable, and fearful, and very strong. We know of no such Monarchy before this. Although Alexander subdued the whole of the East, his victory, we are sure, was not stable. He was content with fame alone; he, granted liberty to all people; and as long as they flattered him, he sought nothing else. But we know the Romans. to have been masters even as far as Babylon:; we know the following countries to have been subdued by them: Asia Minor, Syria, Cilicia, Greece, and Macedon, both the Spains, Gaul, Illyricum, and part of Germany. At length Britain was subjugated by Julius Caesar. No wonder this beast is called formidable and very strong! For before Julius Caesar became master of the Empire, the whole Mediterranean Sea was in all its parts under subjection to the Roman Empire. Its amazing extent is well known. Egypt had indeed its own kings, but they were tributary; whatever edicts the Romans decreed, they were executed immediately in Egypt. Mirror sovereigns existed in Asia Minor as a kind of spies, but this state of things we shall treat presently. It is also well known that they possessed supreme power throughout the Mediterranean Sea, and that by the conquest of Mithridates. Pompey reduced Pontus under his dominion. In the East affairs were all at peace. The Medes and Persians gave them some trouble, but they never moved unless they were provoked. The Spains were not yet accustomed to the yoke, but we know that there were always two praetors there. Julius Caesar was the first who entered Britain after subduing Gaul. Hence we see how far and wide the Romans extended their power, and with what immense cruelty. Hence Daniel calls this beast, formidable and very strong.
He afterwards adds, It had large iron teeth. This ought to be referred to its audacity and insatiable greediness. We see how completely free their nation was from the fear of death, for they were so hardened that if any one deserted his rank for the sake of avoiding danger, he was afterwards branded with such marks of infamy, that he was compelled either to strangle himself or to incur a voluntary death! There was, then, a certain brutal cruelty in that nation, and we also know how insatiable they were. For this reason Daniel says they had large iron teeth. He adds, it consumed, and broke to pieces, and trod the remnant under foot. These things are spoken allegorically, not only because this vision was offered to the holy Prophet, but also because God wished to paint a kind of living image, in which he might show the peculiar characters of each government. For we know how many lands the Romans had consumed, and how they transferred to themselves the luxuries of the whole world, and whatever was valuable and precious in Asia Minor, and Greece, and Macedonia, as well as in all islands and in Asia Major — all was swept away — and even this was insufficient to satisfy them! This, then, is the ravenousness of which the Prophet now speaks, since they consumed, says he, and rubbed to pieces with their teeth. He adds, they trod the remnant under their feet — a metaphor worthy of notice, as we know they were accustomed to distribute the prey which they could not carry with them. They devoured and tore with their teeth the treasures and costly furniture and everything else; for their supplies were provided by tributes which produced large sums of money. If there was any portion of the Mediterranean which they could not defend without keeping a permanent garrison there, we know how they engaged the services of tributary kings. Thus the kingdom of Eumenes increased to a great extent till the time of his grandson Attalus, but they bestowed it partly on the Rhodians, and partly on the Cyprians and others. They never remunerated those Allies who almost exhausted their own possessions in aiding them, out of their own resources, but enriched them with the spoils of others; and they not only seized upon the property of one city and bestowed it on another, but they set up their lands for sale. Thus, the liberty of the Lacedaemonians was betrayed to the tyrant Nabis. They also enriched Masinissa with so much wealth, that they acquired Africa for themselves by his means. In fine, they so sported with kingdoms in seizing and giving them away, that they rendered provinces tranquil by the wealth and at the expense of others. This was remarkably conspicuous in the case of Judea, where they created out of nothing Ethnarchs and Tetrarchs and kings, who were nothing but their satellites — and that too but for a moment. For as soon as any change occurred, they retracted what they had given as easily as they bestowed it. Hence, this their cunning liberality is called treading under foot; for that remnant which they could not devour and consume with their teeth they trod under foot, as they kept all those whom they had either enriched or increased subject to themselves. Thus we see with what servility they were flattered by those who had obtained anything through their generosity. And how degrading was the slavery of Greece from the time the Romans entered the country! for as each state acquired any new territory, it erected a temple to the Romans. They also sent their ambassadors there to act as spies, who, under the pretense of punishing the neighboring people for ‘plotting against them, enriched themselves by plunder. Thus the Romans held under their feet whatever they had given. to others. We see then how suitably and properly the Prophet speaks, when he says, the Romans trod down the remnant; for whatever they could not consume, and what their voraciousness could not devour, they trod under their feet.
He adds afterwards, And this beast different from all the former ones, and had ten horns. When he says, this beast was different from the rest, he confirms what we formerly said, namely, this was a horrible prodigy, and nothing could be compared to it in the nature of things. And surely if any one attentively and prudently considers the origin of the Romans, he would be astonished at their remarkable progress to such great power; for it was an unusual monster, and nothing like it had ever appeared. Interpreters treat in various ways what the Prophet subjoins respecting the ten horns. I follow simple and genuine opinion, namely, the Prophet means this Empire to belong to more persons them one For the angel will afterwards assert the ten horns to be kings; not that so many kings ruled at Rome, according to the foolish dream of the Jews, who are ignorant of all things; but the Prophet here distinguishes the Fourth Monarchy from the rest, as if he had said it should be a popular government, not presided over by one king, but divided into really heads. For they even divided provinces among themselves, and made treaties with each other, so that one was governor of Macedonia, another of Cilicia, and another of Syria. Thus we see how numerous the kingdoms were. And with regard to the number ten, we know this to be a frequent and usual form of speech in Scripture, where ten signifies many. When plurality is denoted, the number ten is used. Thus when the Prophet states the fourth beast to have ten horns, he means, there were many provinces so divided, that each ruler, whether proconsul or praetor, was like a king. For the supreme power was given to them, while the city and Italy were given up to the consuls. The consul could indeed write to the provinces and command whatever he pleased; then he could elevate to honor whom he pleased for the sake of favor and friendship; but each of the praetors and proconsuls when he obtained a province, became a kind of king, since he exercised the supreme power of life and death over all his subjects. We need not be too anxious about the number, as we have already explained it. Those who reckon the Roman provinces make great mistakes; they omit the principal one; they make only one of Spain, and. yet we know there were two. They do not divide Gaul, yet there were always two proconsuls there, except under Julius Caesar, who obtained the control of both Gauls. So also they speak of Greece, and yet, neither a proconsul nor s praetor was ever sent into Greece. Finally, the prophet simply means that the Roman Empire was complex, being divided into many provinces, and these provinces were governed by leaders of great weight at Rome, whose authority and rank were superior to others. Proconsuls and proctors obtained the provinces by lot, but favor frequently prevailed, as the histories of those times sufficiently assure us. Let. us proceed, —

8. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
8. Intelligebam f397 ad cornua: et ecce cornu aliud parvum exortum fuit inter alia: et tria ex cornibus prioribus ablata sunt e facie ejus: et ecce oculi quasi oculi hominis in cornua illo, et os loquens grandia.

Daniel proceeds with his description of the fourth beast. First, he says, he was attentive, with the intention of rousing us to serious meditation. For what is said of the fourth beast, was remarkably memorable and worthy of notice. This, then, is the reason why God struck the heart of his servant with wonder. For the Prophet would not have given his attention to the consideration of the fourth beast, unless he had been impelled to it by the secret instinct of God. The Prophet’s attention, then, sprang from a heavenly impulse. Wherefore it is our duty not to read carelessly what is here written, but to weigh seriously and with the greatest diligence what the Spirit intends by this vision. I was attentive, therefore, says he, to the horns, and behold one small one arose among them. Here interpreters begin to vary; some twist this to mean the Pope, and others the Turk; but neither opinion seems to me probable; they are both wrong, since they think the whole course of Christ’s kingdom is here described, while God wished only to declare to his Prophet what should happen up to the first advent of Christ. This, then, is the error of all those who wish to embrace under this vision the perpetual state of the Church up to the end of the world. But the Holy Spirit’s intention was completely different. We explained at the beginning why this vision appeared to the Prophet — because the minds of the pious would constantly fail them in the dreadful convulsions which were at hand, when they saw the supreme dominion pass over to the Persians. And then the Macedonians broke in upon them, and acquired authority throughout; the whole of the East, and afterwards those robbers who made war under Alexander suddenly became kings, partly by cruelty and partly by fraud and perfidy, which created more strife than outward hostility. And when the faithful saw all those monarchies perish, and the Roman Empire spring up like a new prodigy, they would lose their courage in such confused and turbulent changes. Thus this vision was presented to the Prophet, that all the children of God might understand what severe trials awaited them before the advent of Christ. Daniel, then, does not proceed beyond the promised redemption, and does not embrace, as I have said, the whole kingdom, of Christ, but is content to bring the faithful to that exhibition of grace which they hoped and longed for.
It is sufficiently clear, therefore, that this exhibition ought to be referred to the first advent of Christ. I have no doubt that the little horn relates to Julius Caesar and the other Caesars who succeeded him, namely, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and others. Although, as we said before, the counsel of the Holy Spirit must be attended to, which leads the faithful forwards to the beginning of the reign of Christ, that is, to the preaching of the Gospel, which was commenced under Claudius, Nero, and their successors. He calls it a little horn, because Caesar did not assume the name of king; but when Pompey and the greater part of the senate were conquered, he could not enjoy his victory without assuming to himself supreme power. Hence he made himself tribune of the people and their dictator. Meanwhile, there were always Consuls; there was always some shadow of a Republic, while they daily consulted the senate and sat in his seat while the consuls were at the tribunals. Octavius followed the same practice, and afterwards Tiberius also. For none of the Caesars:. unless he was consul, dared to ascend the tribunal; each had his own seat, although from that place he commanded all others. It is not surprising, then, if Daniel calls the monarchy of Julius and the other Caesars a little horn, its splendor and dignity were not great enough to eclipse the majesty of the senate; for while the senate retained the name and form of honor, it is sufficiently known that one man alone possessed the supreme power. He says, therefore, this little horn was raised among the ten others. I must defer the explanation of what follows, viz., three of these ten were taken away.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou hast formerly admonished thy servants, that thy children, while they are pilgrims in this world, must be familiar with horrible and cruel beasts, if the same thing should happen to us, that we may be prepared for all contests. May we endure and overcome all temptations, and may we never doubt thy desire to defend us by thy protection and power, according to thy promise. May we proceed through the midst of numberless dangers, until after accomplishing the course of our warfare, we at length arrive at that happy rest which is laid up for us in heaven by Christ our Lord. — Amen.
Three things remain to be explained by us in expounding the Fourth Beast. First of all, Three horns were taken away from its face; Secondly, The little horn, which rose among the ten, appeared with human eyes; Thirdly, It spoke magnificently, or uttered swelling words. With regard to the three horns, it is sufficiently evident from the testimony of the angel that they were three kings; not because this ought to be referred to persons, as I yesterday disproved, but because the Romans were accustomed to send to each province, rulers like kings who there exercised the supreme authority. Those who extend this prophecy to the end of Christ’s Kingdom, think that a dispersion which happened about three or five hundred years after the death of Christ is intended; but they are greatly mistaken. Clearly enough the whole strength of the Roman Empire was exhausted and the provinces gradually cut off, till it became a kind of mutilated body; but we yesterday showed the incorrectness of any explanation of this oracle, except concerning the state of the Church at the first Advent of Christ and the preaching of the Gospel. At that time, it is well known, nothing had been subtracted from the boundaries of the Empire. For Julius Caesar was formidable not only to the Gauls, but also to the Germans; and besides this, the affairs of the East were at peace. After his death, although Octavius or Augustus had suffered two very destructive slaughters, especially under Quintilius Varus, who had been sent into Germany with a powerful army, yet he also extended the boundaries of the Empire, especially in the East. He also subdued the whole of Spain, where no commotion afterwards took place. As, therefore, at that period no province had been cut off from the Roman Empire, what is the meaning of the expression, Three horns were cut off and removed from the face of the beast? The solution is not, difficult. Only let us observe how the little horn is compared with the first stature of the beast. It first appeared with ten horns; when the little horn arose its figure was changed. The Prophet then says — a part of the horns was cut off, as the senate then ceased to create proconsuls. For we know how Augustus assumed to himself certain provinces, and he did this for the purpose of creating’ presidents at his own will, and of constituting a strong force, ever at hand, should any one rebel against him. For he did not care so much about provinces as about an army, should any tumult arise. He was desirous, therefore, of throwing a bridle over them all, lest any one should dare to attempt a revolution. Whatever was thus added to the little horn was taken from the ten horns, that is, from the whole body, as the state of the monarchy was entirely changed. There is nothing forced in this exposition. We must also contend for a definite or fixed number being put for an uncertain one; as if the Prophet: had said — a part of the power of the beast was abstracted after the rising’ of the little horn. Thus much for the first clause.
He now adds, The eyes in this small horn were like those of men; and then, it spoke mighty things, With respect to the eyes, this expression implies — the form of a human body was exhibited, because, the Caesars did not abolish the senate nor change at once the whole form of the government; but, as we yesterday said, they were content with power; and as to splendor, titles, and pomp, they readily left these to the consuls and the senate. If any one considers the manner in which those Caesars, who are doubtless intended by the little horn, conducted themselves, their conduct will appear like a human figure. For Julius Caesar pretended, although he was dictator, to obey the senate’s authority, and the consuls asked the opinion of the senators, after the ancient manner. He sat in the midst, and permitted many things to be decreed without interposing his will. Augustus also abused the shadow of the tribunitial power only for the purpose of ruling the Empire. Thus he submitted to the consuls; and when he wished to be elected to that office, he became a candidate with the other competitors, and put on the white robe like a private citizen. Tiberius also was a great pretender, and while plotting schemes of tyranny, was neither open nor ingenuous in his plans. So also the eyes of a man appeared in the little horn, that is, after this change took place and the senate and people were deprived of their liberty. He who held the government of the republic was not formidable, as an entire beast, but was like a private man as to outward form.
The Prophet adds, The small horn had a loud sounding mouth. For although, with the view of conciliating favor, the Caesars conducted themselves like men, we know how atrociously they threatened their enemies, and how imperiously they either hindered or committed whatever they lusted, as it seemed good to them. There was, then, a great difference between their mouth and their eyes. For, as we already said, the splendor and dignity of the empire was in the power of the consuls and senate at the beginning. Meanwhile, by insidious arts, the Caesars drew towards themselves the whole power, till no one dared to do anything, except at their bidding. Many interpreters explain this as blasphemy against God, and impiety; and the angel will touch upon this point at the close of the chapter. But; if we weigh the whole expression judiciously, what I say will appear correct, and the loud speaking here mentioned by the Prophet will signify, that pride with which the Caesars’, were puffed up, imposing silence on all men and allowing no one to open their mouths contrary to their will. The Prophet’s words are very well explained by this fact; for the three horns being removed from the ten, means some part of the empire was separated from the main body; then, the small horn being endued with human eyes, implies a kind of modesty, as the Caesars acted like private persons, and left outward show with the senate and people; and thirdly, when the mouth of the little horn spoke swellingly, trepidation seized upon all the Romans, and especially whoever enjoyed any reputation, hung upon the nod of the Caesars, who imposed the vilest slavery, and received the foulest and most shameful flattery from the whole senate. It now follows, —

9. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
9. Videbam usque dum throni erecti sunt, f398 et Antiquus, senex, dierum sedit: vestimentum ejus quasi nix candidum et capillis captias ejus lana munda, solium ejus scintillae ignis, rotae ejus ignis ardens.

Daniel now relates how he saw another figure, namely, God sitting on his throne to exercise judgment. We shall see it afterwards concerning Christ, but Daniel now teaches only the appearance of God in his character of a judge. This was the reason why many persons extend this prophecy to the second Advent of Christ — an interpretation by no means correct, as I shall show more copiously in the proper place. But first it is worth while to consider here, why he says — the Ancient of days, meaning the eternal Deity himself, ascended the throne judgment. This scene seems unnecessary, because it is the peculiar office of God to govern the world; and as we know this cannot be done without upright judgment, it follows that God has been a perpetual judge from the creation of the world. Now, even a moderate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how well this passage. suits us by appealing to. our senses; for unless God’s power is made conspicuous, we think it either abolished or interrupted. Hence those forms of expression which occur elsewhere; as, “How long art thou silent, O Lord; and how long wilt thou cease from us?” (<191301>Psalm 13:1; <190907>Psalm 9:7, and elsewhere,) and — God ascends his throne — for we should not acknowledge him as a judge, unless he really and experimentally proved himself such. This then is the reason why Daniel says God himself was seated in judgment.
But before we proceed further, we must observe the sense in which he says — thrones were either erected or east down — for the word µwr, rum can be taken in either sense. Those who translate it, “Thrones were removed,” interpret it. of the Four monarchies already mentioned. But; for my part, I rather incline to a different opinion. If any one prefers explaining’ it of these Monarchies, I do not contend with him, for that; sense is probable; and as far as the pith of the matter is concerned, there is not much difference. But I think the thrones or seats are here proceed to exhibit; the divine judgment, because the Prophet will immediately’ represent myriads of angels standing before God. We know’ how often angels are adorned with this title as if they were, assessors of Deity; and the form of speech which Daniel uses. when he says, “The judgment was set,” will also agree with this. He speaks here of assessors with the judge, as if God did not sit alone, but had councilors joined with him. In my opinion the most suitable explanation is, — thrones were created for the Almighty to sit on with his councilors; not implying his need of any council, but. of his own goodwill and mere favor he dignifies angels with this honor, as we shall see immediately. Daniel therefore describes, after our human fashion, the preparations for judgment; just as if any king should go publicly forth for the purpose of transacting any business of moment, and should ascend his tribunal. Councilors and nobles would sit around him on both sides, not partaking of his power, but rather increasing the splendor of his appearance. For if the king alone should occupy the whole place, the dignity would not be so magnificent as when his nobles, who depend upon him, are present on all sides, because they far surpass the ordinary multitude. Daniel, therefore, relates the vision presented to him in this form; first, ‘because he was a man dwelling in the flesh; and next, he did not see it for himself personally, but for the common benefit of the whole Church. Thus God wished to exhibit a representation which might infuse into the Prophet’s mind and into those of all the pious, a feeling of admiration, and yet might have something in common with human proceedings. Thrones, therefore, he says, were erected; afterwards, the Ancient of days was seated. I have already expounded how God then began to seat himself, as he had previously appeared to be passive, and not to exercise justice in the world. For when things are disturbed and mingled with much darkness, who can say, “God reigns?” God seems to be shut up in heaven, when things are discomposed and turbulent upon earth. On the other hand, he is said to ascend his tribunal when he assumes to himself the office of a judge, and openly demonstrates that he is neither asleep nor absent, although he lies hid from human perception.
This form of speech was very appropriate for denoting the coming of Christ. For God then chiefly displayed his supreme power, as Paul quotes a passage from the Psalms, (<196808>Psalm 68:8, in <490408>Ephesians 4:8,) “Thou hast ascended on high.” When the subject treated is the first coming of Christ, it ought not to be restricted to the thirty-three years of his sojourn in the world, but it embraces his ascension, and that preaching of the gospel which ushered in his kingdom;-this will be said again more clearly and copiously. Daniel appropriately relates how God was seated when the first advent of Christ is depicted, since the majesty of God shone in the person of Christ; for which reason he is called
“The invisible image of God and the character of his glory,” (<580103>Hebrews 1:3;)
that is, of the substance or person of the Father. God therefore, who had seemed for so many ages not to notice the world nor to care for his elect people, ascended his tribunal at the advent of Christ. To this subject the Psalms, from the 95th to the 100th, all relate — “God reigns, let the earth rejoice;” “God reigns, let the islands be afraid.” In truth, God had not dwelt in complete privacy before Christ’s advent; but. the empire which he had erected was hidden and unseen, until he showed forth his glory in the person of his only begotten Son. The Ancient of days, therefore, was seated.
He now says, His raiment was white like snow the hair of his head was like pure wool. God here shows himself to his Prophet in the form of man. We know how impossible it is for us to behold God as he really exists, till we ourselves become like Him, as John says in his canonical epistle. (<620302>1 John 3:2.) As our capacity cannot endure the fullness of that surpassing glory which essentially belongs to God, whenever he appears to us, he must necessarily put on a form adapted to our comprehension. God, therefore, was never seen by the fathers in his own natural perfection; but as far as their capacities allowed, he afforded them a taste of his presence for the sure acknowledgment of his Deity; and yet they comprehended him as far as it was useful for them and they were able to bear it. This is the reason why God appeared with a white garment, which is characteristic of heaven; and with snowy hair, like white and clean wool. To the same purpose is the following: His throne was like sparks of fire, that is, like glowing fire; his wheels were like burning fire. God in reality neither occupies any throne, nor is carried on wheels; but, as I already said, we ought not to imagine God in his essence to be like any appearance, to his own Prophet and other holy fathers, but he put on various appearances, according to man’s comprehension, to whom he wished to give some signs of his presence. I need not dwell longer on these forms of speech, though subtle allegories are pleasing to many. I am satisfied with holding what is solid and sure. It now follows: —

10. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: The judgment was set, and the books were opened.
10. Fluvius f399 ignis fluebat, et exibat a praesentia ejus, vel a conspectu: millia millium f400 ministrabant ei: et decies millia millium f401 coram ipso stabant: judicium sedit, et libri aperti sunt.

Daniel proceeds with what he commenced in the former verse. He says a splendor or stream of fire; for rhn, neher, may be used in both senses, since rhn, neher, signifies both “to flow” and “to shine.” Yet, since he previously spoke of splendor, the word “stream” will suit the passage very well; for a fiery stream issued from the presence of God, which both inundated and burnt up the land. Without doubt God wished to inspire his Prophet with fear for the purpose of arousing him the better, as we never sufficiently comprehend his majesty unless when humbled; and we cannot experience this humility without fear. This is the reason why God always shows something terrible when he appears to his servants, not merely to create astonishment, but to excite their fear and reverence. Hence God seems to have considered this point in this vision, when the stream took its rise from his appearance, even a river of flame. Afterwards he adds, numberless attendants stood before him. Without the slightest doubt, the Prophet here speaks of angels. he says there were thousands of thousands, or ten times a hundred thousand; and again, ten thousand times ten thousand, that is, ten thousand myriads. Here the numbers are not reckoned, but God signifies his having at hand the greatest forces obedient to his will, and far surpassing any armies which the greatest; and most powerful princes collect. This passage teaches us that angels were created for the purpose of receiving and executing the commands of God, and of being the ministers of God, as it were his hands in heaven and in earth. As regards numbers, no wonder many myriads are enumerated by the Prophet. Christ said,
“Can I not ask the Father and he will send a legion?”
(<402653>Matthew 26:53.)
So, in this passage, Daniel says there were numberless angels under God’s hand, and there was no need of collecting armies after the manner of princes, since they are always present and intent on obedience. Thus they immediately fulfill all his commands, as angels run swiftly throughout heaven and earth. We also perceive the supreme power of the Almighty denoted here, as if the Prophet had said — God is not like a king or a judge merely by title, but he possesses the greatest and most unlimited power; he has myriads of satellites ever at hand for the purpose of fulfilling and executing his supreme will. And in this sense he says, they stood before him. He uses the word for ministry or service, and afterwards, adds, to stand. For ministers cannot always render their service as quickly as their rulers desire. But the angelic method is different. Not only were they prepared to obey, but in a moment they understand what God wishes and commands without needing time for compliance. We see even the greatest princes cannot immediately carry out their decrees, because their ministers are not always at hand. But there is no necessity for dwelling longer upon angels. Daniel adds, The judgment was fixed, and the books were opened. Although God alone is eminent and conspicuous above the angels, and the height of their glory and dignity does not obscure the supreme empire of the Almighty, yet, as we have formerly said, he deems them worthy of the honor of being placed as councilors on each side of him, and that for the sake of illustrating his own majesty. For we have stated that nobles do not sit at the side of monarchs to diminish his majesty or to attract it to themselves, but rather to reflect the magnitude and power of the monarch more fully. This is the reason why the Prophet joins angels with God, not as allies, but simply as his councilors.
I refer the phrase, the books were opened, to the preaching of the gospel. Although God was recognized in Judea, as it is said in the 76th Psalm, (<197602>Psalm 76:2,) yet this acknowledgment was but slight and involved in many figures. God was revealed through enigmas until Christ’s coming; but then he manifested himself truly, just like opening books previously shut. There is therefore a contrast to be observed here between that obscure season which preceded the coming of Christ, and the clearness which now shines under the gospel. Because, therefore, God was plainly made known after the Sun of righteousness arose, according to the Prophet Malachi, (<390402>Malachi 4:2,) this is the reason why the books are now said to have been opened at that season. Meanwhile, we confess that God was not altogether hidden, nor did he speak from astonishment, but this is said comparatively by the Prophet, as the books were opened whenever God openly appeared as the Judge, Father, and Preserver of the world, in the person of his only begotten Son. It afterwards follows: —

11. I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
11. Videbam tunc, propter vocem f402 sermonum grandium quos cornu proferebat, videbam usque dum occisa fuit bestia, et abolitum corpus ejus, et data fuit incendio ignis.

Since the presumptuous speaking of the little horn terrified the Prophet, he now says he was attentive in considering this portion. He next says, The beast was slain, and his body was consumed by the burning of fire. This ought clearly to be referred to the end of the Roman empire. For, from the time when foreigners obtained the mastery, the fourth beast ceased to flourish. The name was always retained, yet with great mockery of that ancient monarchy. I now omit all mention of Caligula, Nero, Domitian, and similar monsters. But when Spaniards and Africans acquired the absolute sway, can we call Rome any longer the mistress of the world? Surely this would be foolish indeed! To this very day the Germans also say they possess the Roman empire; but while the title of empire has passed to the Germans, clearly enough Rome is at this very day in slavery. For as to the Pope having erected his own throne there, this empire is unworthy of the name of monarchy; but whatever be our view of this point, for about 1500 years the Romans have been in bondage as slaves to foreign princes. For, after the death of Nero:, Trajan was his successor, and from that time scarcely a single Roman obtained the empire; and God branded it with the, most disgraceful marks of ignominy, when a swine-herd was created emperor, and that too by the lust of the soldiery! The senate retained its name till then; But. if it pleased the soldiers to create any one a Caesar, the senate was immediately compelled to submit to their dictation. Thus, the Prophet with great propriety says, The beast was slain shortly after the promulgation of the gospel. Then the presumptuous speaking of the little horn was at an end, and the fourth beast was extinct about the same time. For then no Roman became an Emperor who claimed for himself any share of power; but Rome itself fell into disgraceful slavery, and not only foreigners reigned there most shamefully, but even barbarians, swine-herds, and cow-herds! All this occurred in fulfillment of what God had shown to his Prophet, namely, after the coming of Christ and the opening of the books, that is — after the knowledge which shone upon the world through the preaching of the gospel — the destruction of that fourth beast and of the Roman empire was close at hand.
Grant, Almighty God, whatever revolutions happen daily in the world, that we may always be intent on the sight of thy glory, once manifested to us in thy Son. May the splendor of thy majesty illuminate our hearts, and may we pass beyond the visible heavens, the sun, the moon, and every shining thing; and may we behold the blessedness of thy kingdom, which thou proposest to us in the light of thy Gospel. May we walk through the midst of the darkness and afflictions of the world, content with that light by which thou invitest us to the hope of the eternal inheritance which thou hast promised us, and acquired for us by the blood of thine only begotten Son. — Amen.

12. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet. their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
12. Et reliquis bestiis abstulerant potestatum, vel dominationem. Et longitudo in vita data illis fuerat usque ad tempus at tempus.

Without doubt the Prophet refers to what ought to come first in order, as the empires of which he is speaking were extinct before the Roman. Hence these verbs ought to be taken in the pluperfect tense, because the power had been already removed from the other three beasts. For the Hebrews were, accustomed to repeat afterwards anything which had been omitted, and they do not always observe the order of time in their narratives. Thus, after he had said the fourth beast was slain and consumed by burning, he now adds what he had omitted concerning the remaining three, namely, their dominion had been take, from them. He adds also what is worthy of notice, Length, or continuance, in life was granted to them even for a time and a time. There are two different words used here, but they signify one and the same thing, namely, a convenient time. Here the Prophet understands how nothing happens accidentally, but all things are carried on in the world in their own time, as God has decreed them in heaven. Perhaps when the subject-matter of the discourse is length of life, it signifies the protracted period of these afflictions, as they should not pass away suddenly like clouds. Not. only severe but lengthened trials are said to await the faithful, which must afflict their minds with weariness, unless the hope of a better issue propped them up. Thus, the Holy Spirit predicts how God would at length deliver his Church when he had exercised its patience for a length of time. From the rest of the beasts power was taken away. The copula in the word hkra, ve-arkeh, “and length,” may be resolved in this way — “because length in life;” as if he had said, The trials by which the sons of God were to be oppressed should not be perpetual, because God had prescribed and defined a fixed period. A continuance, therefore, in life was granted to them, namely, for a time and a time. The copula may be treated as “an adversative particle” as if he had said, “although a continuance,” that is, although the people should not immediately escape from those sorrowful cares which oppressed them, yet God’s opportunity would at length arrive, that is, the time at which it pleased God to redeem his own Church. But the former exposition seems more genuine and more consistent, because length of time has its own limits and boundaries. There is also a contrast between, the words hkra, arkeh, “length,” and ˆmz, zemen, “time,” and ˆd[, gneden, “time,” because length or “prolonging” has reference to our perceptions; for when we are suffering pain, the greatest speed seems delay. Thus, any one in anxiety for an improved state of things counts every moment, and is so flagrant in his desires as to call the Almighty in question for any delay. As, then, the impatience of men is so great, when they are expecting with anxiety this freedom from adversity, the Prophet says, in the ordinary acceptation of the phrase, length of time was granted to the beasts; but he opposes a fit time; as if he had said — They act preposterously who thus indulge their own passions. Since God has fixed his own time, they require patience, and need not reckon the years; but this one thing must be concluded, when the Lord pleases he will not delay his help. This, therefore, is the full sense of the verse. It follows: —

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.
13. Videbam in visionibus noctis: et ecce in nubibus f403 coeli, vel coelorum, tanquam Filius hominus veniebat, et usque ad Antiquum dierum venit, et coram eo repraesentarunt. f404

After Daniel has narrated how he saw God on the throne of judgment, openly exercising his power and laying open to the world what was formerly hidden from it, namely, his supreme authority in its government, he now adds the second part of the vision, As it were the Son of man appeared in the clouds. Without doubt this is to be understood of Christ, and the Jews, perverse as they are, are ashamed to deny it, although they differ afterwards about Christ. But the object of the vision was to enable the faithful certainly to expect the promised Redeemer in his own time. He had been endued with heavenly power, and was seated at his Father’s right hand. Hence Daniel says, He was intent on these nightly visions. And this repetition is by no means superfluous, as it informs us of the Prophet’s alertness when God shews himself present. Daniel expresses this fully in his own words, for he roused himself when he perceived important, and rare, and singular matters set before him. This attentive disposition of the Prophet ought to stir us up to read his prophecy without listlessness, and with awakened minds earnestly to derive from heaven true and sincere intelligence. I was, then, says he, attentive in visions of the night, and beheld as it were the Son of man. I have already said this passage cannot be otherwise taken than concerning Christ. We must now see why he uses the word “like” the Son of man; that is, why he uses the letter k, ke, the mark for likeness. This might be twisted in favor of the folly of the Manichees, who thought Christ’s body to be only imaginary. For, as they wrest the words of Paul, and pervert their sense, that Christ was in likeness as a man, (<502007>Philippians 2:7.) so also they may abuse the Prophet’s testimony, when Christ is not said to be a man but only like one. With respect to Paul’s words, he is not speaking of the essence of his human nature, but only of his state; for he is speaking of Christ being made man, of his condition being humble and abject, and even servile. But in the passage before us the reason is different. For the Prophet says, He appeared to him as the Son of man, as Christ had not yet taken upon him our flesh. And we must remark that saying of Paul’s: When the fullness of time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman. (<480404>Galatians 4:4.) Christ then began to be a man when he appeared on earth as Mediator, for he had not assumed the seed of Abraham before he was joined with us in brotherly union. This is the reason why the Prophet does not pronounce Christ to have been man at this period, but only like man; for otherwise he had not been that Messiah formerly promised under the Law as the son of Abraham and David. For if from the beginning he had put on human flesh, he would not have been born of these progenitors. It follows, then, that Christ was not a man from the beginning, but only appeared so in a figure. As also Irenaeus f405 says: This was a “prelude,” he uses that word. Tertullian also says: “Then the Son of God put on a specimen of humanity.” f406 This was a symbol, therefore, of Christ’s future flesh, although that flesh did not yet exist. We now see how suitably this figure agrees with the thing signified, wherein Christ was set forth as the Son of man, although he was then the eternal Word of God.
It afterwards follows, .He came to the Ancient of days. This, in my judgment, ought to be explained of Christ’s ascension; for he then commenced his reign, as we see in numberless passages of Scripture. Nor is this passage contrary to what the Prophet had previously said — he saw the Son of man in the clouds. For by this expression he simply wishes to teach how Christ, although like a man, yet differed from the whole human race, and was not of the common order of men; but excelled the whole world in dignity. He expresses much more when he says, in the second clause, He came even unto the Ancient of days. For although the Divine Majesty lay hid in Christ, yet he discharged the duty of a slave, and emptied himself, as Paul says, (<502007>Philippians 2:7.) So also we read in the first chapter of John, (<430114>John 1:14,) Glory appeared in him as of the only begotten Son of God; that is, which belongs to the only begotten Son of God. Christ, therefore, thus put off his glory for the time, and yet by His miracles and many other proofs afforded a clear and evident; specimen of his celestial glory. He really appeared to Daniel in the clouds, but when he ascended to heaven, he then put off this mortal body, and put on a new life. Thus Paul also, in the sixth chapter to the Romans, says, he lives the life of God, (<450610>Romans 6:10;) and other phrases often used by our Lord himself agree very well with this, especially in the Evangelist John, “I go to the Father.” “It is expedient for me to go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I,” (<431607>John 16:7; <431428>John 14:28;) that is, it is expedient for me to ascend to that royal tribunal which the Father has erected for me by his eternal counsel, and thus the whole world will feel the supreme power to have been entrusted to. me. Now, therefore, we understand the full meaning of the Prophet’s words.
But as there are many fanatics who wrest what has been said of the person of the Mediator, as if Christ were not the true God, but had a beginning from the Father at some definite period of time, we must observe how the Prophet’s expression are neither the human nor the divine nature of Christ properly speaking, but a Mediator is here set before us who is God manifest in flesh. For if we hold this principle that Christ is described to us, not as either the word of God, or the seed of Abraham, but as Mediator, that is, eternal God who was willing to become man, to become subject to God the Father, to be made like us, and to be our advocate, then no difficulty will remain. Thus he appeared to Daniel like the Son of man, who became afterwards truly and really so. He was in the clouds, that is, separated from the common lot of mankind, as he always carried with him some marks of deity, even in his humility. He now arrives as the Ancient of days, that is, when he ascends to heaven, because his divine majesty was then revealed. And hence he says, It is expedient for you, for me to go to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. (<431428>John 14:28.) Christ here detracts nothing from his deity, but as his nature was not known in the world, while his divine majesty lay hid in the form of a servant, he calls the Father simply God; as if he had said, If I remain with you upon earth, what would the presence of my flesh profit you? But when I ascend to heaven, then that oneness which I have with the Father will become conspicuous. When, therefore, the world shall understand that I am one with the Father, and that the Deity is one, the hope of all the pious will become more firm and unconquered against all temptations; for they will know themselves to be equally under the protection of both God and man. If, therefore, Christ were always dwelling upon earth, and had borne witness a thousand times to his being given to us by his Father as the guardian of our salvation, yet there always would have been some hesitation and anxiety. But when we know him to be seated at his Father’s right hand, we then understand him to be truly God, because all knees would not. be bent before him, unless he had been the eternal God. We must hold that passage of Isaiah, (<234208>Isaiah 42:8,) As I live, saith the Lord, my glory I will not give to another. As, therefore, God’s glory can never be transferred to either man or any other creature, the true unity and nature of God necessarily shines forth in the human nature of Christ, for every knee is bent before him. Now, therefore, we understand the sense in which the Prophet says, Christ came as the Son of man, that is, like a man, even to the Ancient of days. For after Christ had passed through the period of his self-abasement, according’ to Paul, (<502007>Philippians 2:7,) he ascended into heaven, and a dominion was bestowed upon him, as the Prophet says in the next verse. This passage, then, without the slightest doubt, ought to be received of Christ’s ascension, after he had ceased being mortal man. He says, He was represented before God, namely, because he sits at his right hand. It follows, —

14. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.
14. Et ei data fuit potrstas, et gloria, vel decus, et regnum: et omnes, populi, nationes, et linguae ci servient: potestas ejus potestas seculi, aeterna, quae non auferetur, et regnum ejus non corrumpetur. F407

The Prophet; confirms and explains more clearly in this verse what he had said in the former one. For we may collect from it how the personage previously mentioned arrived at the Ancient of days, who is God, namely, because power was given to him. For although Christ truly ascended into heaven, (<402818>Matthew 28:18,) yet we ought clearly to weigh the purpose of his doing’ so. It was to acquire the supreme power in heaven and in earth, as he himself says. And Paul also mentions this purpose in the first and second chapters of the Ephesians. (<490121>Ephesians 1:21; <490207>Ephesians 2:7.) Christ left the world and ascended to the Father; first, to subdue all powers to himself, and to render angels obedient; next, to restrain the devil, and to protect and preserve the Church by his help, as well as all the elect of God the Father. So, therefore, Daniel now proceeds with what he formerly said concerning the approach of Christ to God. Thus the madness of those who argue against Christ; being true and eternal God, because he is said to have come to the Ancient of days, is refuted. First of all, as we have said, this is understood of the person of the Mediator; next, all doubt is taken away when the Prophet adds, Power was given unto him. Behold, therefore, a certain explanation. We will not say it was bestowed with relation to his being, and being called God. It was given to him as Mediator, as God manifest in flesh, and with respect to his human nature. We observe how well all these things agree, when the Prophet here says, The chief power was given to Christ. We must hold therefore its reference to that manifestation, because Christ was from the beginning the life of men, the world was created by him, and his energy always sustained it, (<430104>John 1:4;) but power was given to him to inform us how God reigned by means of his hand. If we were required to seek God without a Mediator, his distance would be far too great, but when a Mediator meets us, and offers himself to us in our human nature, such is the nearness between God and us, that our faith easily passes beyond the world and penetrates the very heavens. For this reason:. therefore, All power, honor, and kingdom was given to Christ. He adds also, .All nations shall serve him, that is:, they may serve him; for the copula ought to be translated thus, — That all nations, people, and tongues should serve him. We have shewn how this ought properly to be understood of the commencement of the reign of Christ, and ought not to be connected with its final close, as many interpreters force and strain the passage. Meanwhile we must add, that the events which the Prophet here narrates are not yet complete; but this ought to be familiar to all the pious, for whenever the kingdom of Christ is treated of, his glory magnificently extolled, as if it were now absolutely complete in all its parts. It is not surprising, if according to the frequent and perpetual usage of Scripture, the Prophet should say power was given to Christ, to subdue all people, nations, and languages to himself, as it is said in <19B001>Psalm 110:1, — Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy enemies the footstool of thy feet. We see, then, how Christ was raised to his own empire to govern his Church in the name and with the power of his Father, while at the same time many enemies rise up against him. Still the obstinacy of the devil and of all impious men continues, although Christ governs heaven and earth, and is the supreme king before whom every knee is bent. We also know how marked the difference is between the beginning of his kingdom and its final completion. Whatever the meaning, this vision suits very well with many assertions of Christ, where he bears witness to the power given him by the Father. (<402818>Matthew 28:18, and elsewhere) He does not here speak of the last judgment, but is only teaching us, the object of his ascension to heaven.
This view the Prophet confirms by saying, his dominion is the dominion of an age, which is mot taken away, and his kingdom can never be corrupted or abolished. For by these words he teaches familiarly and openly, why Christ is the Supreme King, namely, for the perpetual government of his Church in this world. We ought to look up to heaven in very deed whenever the state of the Church is under consideration, since its happiness is neither earthly, nor perishable, nor temporary, though nothing sublunary is either firm or perpetual. But when the Prophet says Christ’s dominion is eternal, he doubtless signifies the constant endurance of his monarchy, even to the end of the world, when he shall gather his people together to a happy life and an eternal inheritance. Although, therefore, celestial immortality is comprehended under these words, yet in a former passage the Prophet pointed out the perpetual existence of the Church in this world, because Christ will defend it, although daily subject to numberless causes of destruction. And who would not assert the almost daily perishing of the Church, if God did not wonderfully preserve it by the hand of his only begotten Son? Hence it is correct to understand the phrase, His kingdom shall be the kingdom of an age. And thus we receive no common consolation, when we see the Church tossed about amidst various fluctuations, and almost buried and devoured by continual shipwrecks, yet Christ is ever stretching forth his hand to preserve it, and to save it from every sorrowful and horrible species of destruction. It now follows, —

DANIEL 7:15-16
15. I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
15. Succisus fuit spiritus meus mihi Danieli, f408 in medio corporis, f409 et visiones capitas mei terruerunt 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 things.
16. Accessi ad unum ex his qui aderant, et sciscitatus sum ex eo veritatum super his omnibus: et dixit mihi, et enarrationem sermonum patefecit mihi.

Daniel says, his spirit was either cut off or vanished, as if he suffered some mental deficiency. In this way God wished to communicate to his servant the magnitude of the vision. And he inspires us also with reverence for this vision, lest we should treat it coldly and commonly. But we ought to understand how God opens up to Daniel, his servant, and to us by his assistance and ministry, these mysteries which meaning; be otherwise comprehended by our human senses. For if Daniel, whom we know to have been a remarkable Prophet, felt his spirit to be so deficient and nearly vanishing away, surely we who as yet know so little of God’s mysteries, nay, who have scarcely tasted their first rudiments, never can attain so great a height, unless we overcome the world and shake off all human sensations. For these things cannot be perceived by us unless our minds are clear and completely purified.
He says, therefore, in the first place, his spirit was cut off, or vanished, in the midst of his body; as if he had said he was almost lifeless and nearly dead. And he added, as reason, the visions of his head had frightened him. No one can faint away — an event which sometimes happens — with-out a cause. When that terror called a panic seizes upon some persons, we observe how they become deprived of self-possession, and lie almost lifeless. But Daniel, to shew himself separate from such persons, says he was frightened or disturbed by visions of his head; as if he had said, he was not disturbed without occasion, but it was caused by the mystery of which the vision had been offered to him. He came to one of those standing by. He had said a short time before, ten thousand times ten thousand were at the right hand of the tribunal of God. Without the slightest doubt, the Prophet asked one of these angels. And here we must notice his modesty and docility in flying to some instructor, because he was conscious of his own ignorance and found no other remedy. At the same time, we are taught by the Prophet’s example not to reject all visions, but to seek their interpretation from God himself. Although God in these days does not address us by visions, yet he wishes us to be content with his Law and Gospel, while angels do not appear to us, and do not openly and conspicuously descend from heaven; but, since Scripture is obscure to us, through the darkness in which we are involved, let us learn not to reject whatever surpasses our capacity, even when some dark veil envelops it, but let us fly to the remedy which Daniel used, not to seek the understanding of God’s word from angels, who do not appear to us, but from Christ himself, who in these days teaches us familiarly by means of pastors and ministers of the gospel. Now, as a supreme and only Master has been given us from the Father, so also he exercises the office of teacher by his own ministers whom he set over us. (<402308>Matthew 23:8, 10.) Therefore, as Daniel approached the angel who was near him, so we are daily commanded to approach those who have been entrusted with the gift of interpretation and who can faithfully explain to us things otherwise obscure. Our confidence, too, ought to be increased by what follows directly: The angel spoke, and opened the interpretation of the words. Daniel here shews his modesty and humility not to have been in vain, as God commanded the angel to explain all obscurities. So, without doubt, Christ will at this time satisfy our prayers, if we are truly his disciples; that is, if, after those mysteries which surpass and absorb all our senses have terrified us, we fly to that order which he has prescribed for us, and seen from faithful ministers and teachers the interpretation of those things which are difficult and obscure, and entirely concealed from us.
Grant, Almighty God, since the faith of the fathers was supported by obscure shadows, by which thou didst wish it to be nourished, until thy Son was manifestly revealed to us in the flesh: Grant, I pray thee, at this day, after he has appeared to us as the best and most perfect teacher, and explained thy counsels to us similarly, that we may not be either so dull or so careless as to allow the great clearness of the manifestation of thyself offered us in the Gospel to escape from our grasp. May we be so directed towards life eternal, until after the performance of our course in this present life, and the removal of all obstacles which Satan places in our way, either to delay us or turn us aside, we may at length arrive at the enjoyment of that blessed life in which Christ., thine only begotten Son, has preceded us. May we thus be co-heirs with him, and as thou hast appointed him sole inheritor, so may he gather us unto the secure inheritance of a blessed immortality. Amen.

DANIEL 7:17-18
17. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
17. Hae bestiae magnae quas vidisti quatuor, sunt quatuor regna, quae exsurgent e terra.
18. But the saints of the most high shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever and ever.
18. Et sortientur, obtinebunt, regmu sancturum excelsorum: et possidebunt regnum usque in seculum, et usque in secular seculorum.

Here the angel answers Daniel concerning the four beasts which had been shewn him in the vision. He says, therefore, Four kingdoms arose, and by the name kingdom he means monarchy; for we know that the Persians had many kings until Alexander transferred to himself the empire of the East. Although Cyrus had seven or eight successors, yet the Persian empire continued through them all. And as we saw before, although whatever Alexander had acquired by his arms was divided among his four successors, yet it still remained the Macedonian kingdom. The same thing must be said concerning the fourth kingdom. Although we know consuls to have been created yearly at Rome, yet that government lasted till Julius Caesar destroyed it, and consumed the strength of the empire, so as to surpass by his power the splendid altitude which had been long and widely conspicuous in the world. Hence the angel replied, By the four beasts four kingdoms are denoted: he says, shall arise; and yet the Chaldean had long ago arisen, and was now verging under Belshazzar to its fall. But it was proposed by the angel to teach the Prophet and all the people that there was no reason why revolutions should disturb them too much. The Israelites then saw themselves lying as if dead, yea, actually buried and concealed under the earth. For exile was to them equivalent to the tomb. For this reason, then, the angel announces the springing up of four kingdoms, while the first was then flourishing; but, as I have already said., this suits very well within the scope and object of the prophecy. He had formerly said from the sea, but the word “sea” is used metaphorically, since the condition of the earth was turbulent through many ages. As, therefore, nothing was stable, God appropriately set forth the whole world under the figure of the sea. He afterwards adds, They will obtain the kingdom of the holy lofty ones. Here interpreters vary considerably, because, as I have before explained it, some take this prophecy to relate to the kingdom of Turkey, others to the tyranny of the Pope of Rome, and extend what the Prophet here says to the final judgment. There is nothing surprising, then, in this diversity of opinion shewing itself more fully in the various details. By sacred holy ones some understand angels; but there is still much controversy about the words, for the noun of saints is “in regimen,” as if the Prophet, had said saints of lofty ones, properly speaking. f410 Similar passages justify those who take it “in the absolute state.” But if we follow the grammatical construction, we cannot explain it otherwise; but the former noun may be put in a state of regimen, as we have said. And I embrace this opinion. Some refer it to the one God, but. I think this a profane way of expression. I have no doubt about the Prophet meaning sons of God by sacred lofty ones, because, though they are pilgrims in the world: yet they raise their minds upwards, and know themselves to be. citizens of the heavenly kingdom. Hence by the word ˆynwyl[, gnelionin, “lofty ones,” I have no doubt; the Prophet means heavenly powers; that is, whatever we can conceive of divinity, and whatever is exalted above the world. I will1 now give my reasons shortly why I like this sense the best.
If we call the holy lofty ones God himself, what sense can we elicit from the passage? Did the Chaldeans and the rest of the monarchies usurp and transfer to themselves the power of God? There, is some truth in this, because all who domineer without submitting to the one God despoil him of his peculiar honor, and are rather robbers than kings. But the Prophet, in my opinion, understood something else from the angel, namely, that the Church should lose all form and dignity in the world during the flourishing of these four monarchies. We know the sons of God to be heirs of the world; and Paul, when speaking of the promise given to Abraham, says, he was chosen by God as heir of the world. (<450413>Romans 4:13; <580102>Hebrews 1:2) And this doctrine is sufficiently known — the world was created for the sake of the human race. When Adam fell from his lawful rights, all his posterity became aliens. God deprived them of the inheritance which he had designed for them. Now, therefore, our inheritance must be restored through Christ, for which reason he is called the only heir of the world. Thus it is not surprising if the angel says that tyrants, when they exercise supreme dominion, assume and arrogate to themselves the peculiar property of the sacred lofty ones, meaning the people of God. And this suits very well with the assertions of the present passage concerning the Church being deprived of its dignity, eminence, and visibility in the world. For then God’s people were like a putrid carcass, the limbs of which were separated and dispersed on all sides, without any hope of restoration. Lastly, although by the permission of Darius, and the edict and liberality of Cyrus, some portion of them returned to their country, yet what was that nominal return? They had but a precarious dwelling in the inheritance divinely promised them; they were pressed on all sides by their enemies, and were subject to the lust and injustice of them all. For the Church had no empire under the Persians. After the third change we know how miserably they were afflicted, especially under Antiochus. That nation was always opposed to them, but then they were almost reduced to extremities, when Antiochus endeavored furiously to abolish the whole law and worship of God. Under the Macedonian kingdom the Jews were in constant slavery; but when the Roman army penetrated those regions, they felt the horrible tyranny of the fourth beast, as we have already seen. Lastly, it is sufficiently evident from the continual history of those times, that the sons of God were always under the yoke, and were not only cruelly but ignominiously treated.
Thus this prophecy was fulfilled, namely, The four beasts took upon themselves the empire which properly belonged to the sacred lofty ones; that is, to God’s elect sons, who, though dwellers on earth, are dependent on heaven. In this interpretation I see nothing forced, and whoever prudently weighs the matter will, as I hope, recognize what I have said as the meaning of the Prophet. The latter clause now follows. They shall obtain the kingdom, says he, for ever, and even for ever and ever. A difficult question arises here, because by these words Daniel, or the angel addressing him, seems to express a perpetual condition under these four monarchies;. Belshazzar was the last king of the Babylonian dynasty, and at the perform of this vision the overthrow of that monarchy was at hand. With regard to the Persian kings, there were only eight of them besides Cyrus. And concerning Alexander we know a sudden change happened; the terror of him spread abroad like a storm, but it vanished away after it had affected all the people of the East. The Macedonian kingdom also suffered a concussion, when those leaders began to disagree among themselves who had obtained from Alexander authority and rank; and at length the kingdom became fourfold, as we have already stated, and shall mention again. Now if we count the years, the length of those monarchies was not so great as to justify the epithet “perpetual.” I reply, this must be referred to the sensations of the pious, to whom that delay seemed specially tedious, so that they would have pined away in their miseries, had not this prophecy in some way relieved them. We see at the present moment how great is the for your of desire when reference is made to the help of God; and when our minds have been heated with desire, they immediately decline to impatience. It thus happens that the promises of God do not suffice to sustain us, because nothing is more difficult than to bear long delay. For if the Church in our time had been oppressed for a hundred years, what constancy would have been discerned ht us? If a whirlwind arises, we are astonished, and cry out, “What next? what next?” Three or four months will not have elapsed before all men enter upon a strife with God and expostulate with him, because he does not hasten at once to bring assistance to his Church. We are not surprised, then, at the angel here assigning one age, or even an “age of ages,” to tyrants under whom the Church should be oppressed. Although I .do not doubt the reference to the fullness of times, as we: know Christ to have been the end of the Law, and as his advent drew nearer, so God admonished the faithful to carry forward their own expectations to the advent of their Redeemer. When, therefore, the angel uses the phrase one age and an age of ages, I have no doubt that he defined the time for the elect, to strengthen them in patiently bearing trouble of all kinds, as this had been divinely decreed; for the four beasts were to reign not only for a few years, but for continual ages; that is, until the time of renovation had arrived for the world, when God completely restored his Church. Let us proceed: —

DANIEL 7:19-20
19. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was; diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails .of brass; devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
19. Tunc aptavi ad veritam f411 de bestia quarta, quae erat diversa ab omnibus aliis, terribilis valde, cujus dentes erant ferri, ferrei, et ungues aeris, aerei, comedens et conterens, et residuu pedibus suis conculcans.
20. And of the ten horn that to were in his head, and of the other which 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.
20. Et super conrnibus decem, de cornibus decem, quae erant in capite ejus, et de postremo quod surgebat, et quod ceciderant ex prioribus tria: et quod cornu illi erant oculi, et os loquens grandia: et aspectus ejus magna prae sociis. f412

Here the Prophet interrogates the angel concerning the Fourth Beast more attentively and carefully; as we formerly saw him touched with greater admiration on beholding the beast which was formidable beyond the other three, so that neither a name nor representation could be found for it. As, therefore, God displayed something great under the image of the fourth beast, he caused his Prophet to wake up to understand the mystery of it. For this reason he now interrogates the angel; for he says he wished for the truth concerning the fourth beast, and he also repeats what we saw before, namely, its being different from the others. And surely the subjugation of so many kings by the Romans was a difference worthy of notice. Let us think upon the origin of that nation; — a few robbers seizing upon a desert spot, growing great by brutal audacity and force, until they reduced all their neighbors under their power. Then they crossed the sea, and added first one province, and then another to their sway. And when the kingdom of Macedon came within their power, this was indeed portentous. At length they became masters throughout the whole circuit of the Mediterranean, and there was no corner which did not receive their yoke; and this could never have been imagined by human apprehension.
It is said then, this beast was different from the others, and very terrible. In the same sense its teeth are called iron, and its claws brazen. No mention had hitherto been made of his claw; the Prophet had spoken only of iron teeth, but he now adds brazen claws, as if he had said, This beast shall be endued with such savage madness, as not only to attack all things by its unusual violence, but to tear, lacerate, and devour all things; as he repeats again what he had said, eating and destroying and treading under foot the remainder. As. I have already explained all these points, I am unwilling to consume your time in vain and to confuse you with useless. repetitions. I asked also, said he, concerning the ten horns, which, were upon its head. And this is the reason why I must cut the subject off shortly here, as the angel’s reply will follow directly. The Prophet, therefore, is now, without doubt, placed under a celestial impulse, because God was unwilling to teach him only as a private person; he was. to be a witness and herald of so great a mystery; and we may at this day learn from his writings, which are of the utmost use to us when we become fully acquainted with them.
He says, therefore, He also inquired about the ten horns which were on the head of the beast, and of the other horn which had arisen, meaning the small one, and concerning the three horns falling from the face of the beast. We have shewn how provinces were denoted by the tell horns, and how the difference between the Roman Empire and other monarchies was pointed out, because there never was one supreme ruler at Rome, except when Syria and Marius exercised their usurped authority — but each for only a short time. Here then the continual state of the Roman Empire is under review, for it was not simply a single animal, as it had ten horns. A finite number is put for an indefinite one. With regard to the little horn, I said it referred to the Caesars, who attracted the whole government of the state to themselves, after depriving the people of their liberty and the senate of their power, while even under their sway some dignity was continued to the senate and some majesty retained by the people. We have explained also how the three horns were broken; that is, how craftily the Caesars infringed upon and diminished the strength of both people and senate. Lastly, we have accounted for this little horn being displayed with human eyes, since the Caesars exercised their dominion with cunning, when they pretended to be only tribunes of the people, and allowed the ensigns of empire to remain in the hands of the consuls; for when they came into the senate, they sat in a lowly situation in curule scats prepared for the tribunes. As, therefore, they tyrannized with such cleverness and cunning, instead of by open violence, they are said to be endowed with the eyes of a man. Then as to the tongue, the sense is the same; for although they always professed the consular power to be supreme in the state, yet they could not restrain themselves, but vomited forth many reproachful speeches. On the one side, we see them remarkable for eyes, and on the other, for the tongue. And its aspect was terrible beyond its companions. This seems not to belong peculiarly to the little horn which had arisen among the ten, but rather to the fourth beast. But if any one wishes to understand it of the little horn, I will not contest the point, as it will thus make tolerable sense. But I rather embrace my former opinion, for it is not surprising to find the Prophet after his discourse on the little horn, returning to the beast himself.

DANIEL 7:21-22
21. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
21. Vide, et cornu illud faciebat praelium cum sanctis, et praevaluit illis.
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.
22. Donec venit Antiquus dierum, et judicium datum est sanctis excelsorum, et venit tempus, et regnum acceperunt sancti.

The Prophet now adds what he had omitted. The angel does not yet answer him, but as he had not sufficiently expressed how the little horn waged war with the sons of God, he now supplies the omission. He says, therefore, he saw — this ought to be received by way of correction; I saw, says he, meaning it was shewn me in a vision, how the little horn made war with the saints so as to prevail against them. Clearly enough other tyrants assailed the elect people of God with tier greater injury. Hence many refer this to Antiochus Epiphanes, who was hostile to the Jews beyond all others, and was utterly determined to blot out the name of the God of Israel. And we know how often he raised powerful armaments to extinguish both the people and the worship of God. As, therefore, the cruelty of Antiochus was so severe against the Israelites, many think his image to have been exhibited to the Prophet as the little horn, and what we shall afterwards see about “the time,” and “times’ and “half-a-time,” they explain of the three years and a half during which the Temple was in ruins, and the people thereby prevented from offering sacrifices. As, therefore, their religion was then interrupted, they think that tyranny was denoted, by which the people were prohibited from testifying their piety. But although this opinion is plausible, and at first sight bears upon the face of it the appearance of truth, yet if we weigh all things in order, we may easily judge how unsuitable it is to Antiochus. Why, therefore, does the Prophet say — the little horn waged war with the saint? Antiochus certainly made war against the Church, and so did many others; the Egyptians, we know, often broke in and spoiled the Temple and the Romans too, before the monarchy of the Caesars. I reply, this is spoken comparatively, because no war was ever carried on so continuously and professedly against the Church, as those which occurred after the Caesars arose, and after Christ was made manifest to the world; for the devil was then more enraged, and God also relaxed the reins to prove the patience of his people. Lastly, it was natural for the bitterest conflicts to occur when the redemption of the world was carried out; and the event clearly showed this. We know first of all, by horrid examples, how Judea was laid waste, for never was such cruelty practiced against any other people. Nor was the calamity of short duration; we are well acquainted with their extreme obstinacy, which compelled their enemies to forget clemency altogether. For the Romans desired to spare them as far as possible, but so great was their obstinacy and the madness of their rage, that they provoked their enemies as if devoting themselves to destruction, until that dreadful slaughter happened, of which history has sufficiently informed us. When Titus, under the auspices of his father Vespasian, tools: and destroyed the city, the Jews were stabbed and slaughtered like cattle throughout the whole extent of Asia. Thus far, then, it concerns the Jews.
When God had inserted the body of the Gentiles into his Church, the cruelty of the Caesars embraced all Christians; thus the little horn waged war with the saints in a manner different from that of the former beasts, because the occasion was different, and the wrath of Satan was excited against all God’s children on account of the manifestation of Christ. This, then, is the best explanation of the little horn, waging war against the saints. Thus he says, It must prevail. For the Caesars and all who governed the provinces of the empire raged with such extreme violence against the Church, that it almost disappeared from the face of the earth. And thus it happened, that the little horn prevailed in appearance and in general opinion, as, for a short time, the safety of the Church was almost despaired of.
It now follows, Until the Ancient of days came, judgment was given to the saints of the lofty ones. No doubt the Prophet says God came in the same sense as before; namely, when he erected his tribunal and openly appeared as the judge of the world in the person of Christ. He does not here set before us the Son of man, as he did before, but yet a fuller explanation of this passage is to be sought in the former one. God then is said to have come, when he put forth his power in supplying the needs of the Church, as by common figure he is said to be at a distance from us, and to sleep or to be reposing, when he does not show himself openly as our deliverer. So, on the other hand, he is said to come to us, when he openly proves his constant care of us. Under this figure Daniel now says he beheld the appearance of God Himself. The Ancient of days then came. If we ask when, we have the reply at hand; it was immediately after the promulgation of the gospel. Then God stretched forth his hand for his Church, and lifted it out of the abyss. For since the Jewish name had been for a long’ time hated, and all people desired to exterminate the Jews from the world, Christ’s advent increased this hatred and cruelty; and the license to injure them was added, as they thought Christ’s disciples were plotting a change of government, and wished to overthrow the existing state of things; as in these days all the pious suffer grievously under this false imputation. God, therefore, is said to have come, where the doctrine of the gospel was more and more promulgated, and some rest granted to the Church. Thus, by this repose, the saints received the kingdom which had been taken from them; that is, the kingdom of God and of the saints obtained some fame and celebrity in the world, through the general diffusion of the doctrine of piety, in every direction. Now, therefore, we understand what Daniel wished to convey by the phrase, The Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the lofty ones. The remainder tomorrow.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou profest our faith and constancy by many trials, as it is our duty in this respect and in all others, to submit to thy will: Grant, I pray, that we may not give way to the many attacks by which we are tossed about. For we are assailed on all sides by Satan and all the impious, and while their fury is ever burning and raging cruelly against us, may we never yield to it. May we proceed in our warfare, in reliance on the unconquered might of the Spirit, even though impious men prevail for a season. May we look forward to the advent of thy only-begotten Son, not only when he shall appear at the last day, but also whenever it shall please time for him to assist thy Church, and to raise it out of its miserable afflictions. And even if we must endure our distresses, may our courage never fail us, until at length we are gathered into that holy rest, which has been obtained for us through the blood of the same, thine only-begotten Son — Amen.
We, yesterday began to explain how judgment was given to the saints at the commencement of the gospel era. For we know how very partial even in those times was the Church’s tranquillity’. Because when it was free from external persecution and the shedding of blood, domestic enemies arose who proved far more injurious. Thus the kingdom of Christ never flourished in the world, so as to have anything in common with those empires, in which great splendor and pomp were apparent. But; God wished to propose this solace to his Prophet, by showing him the future reputation of the Church and its elevation to some degree of honor after emerging from obscurity, so that the elect dared openly to give homage to Christ, and to profess true and sincere piety. Hence by judgment being given to the saints, the Prophet in cans the restoration of the right of which they had been deprived, and their obtaining the kingdom at the same time, as the Church no longer lay prostrate as before the advent of Christ. For the promulgation of the gospel was at length free, as we shall immediately see. Let us proceed to the context, —

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.
23. Sic dixit, f413 Bestia quarta, regnum quartum erit in terra, quod erit diversum ab omnibus regnis: et vorabit f414 totam terram, et conteret, f415 et comminuet eam.
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.
24. Et cornua decem ab illo regno, decem Reges sunt, qui exorientur, qui surgent, et aliud postremum surget post illos Reges, f416 et ipse f417 erit diversus a superiorbus, f418 et tres Reges affliget.

This reply of the angel is subject to the same obscurity as the vision itself, but it ought to be sufficient to calm the minds of the faithful to know that various changes should arise and shake the whole earth; for as many troubles were, prepared for the saints, so also they were braced up to fortitude and endurance. For God was not willing fully to explain what he had shown to his Prophet; he only wished to set before him this conclusion — a kingdom shall arise completely different from all others. Thus the angel says, The Fourth Beast signifies a fourth kingdom, which shall differ from all the kingdoms. Previously to that period, no state was so extensive in its sway. For although the Spartans and Athenians performed illustrious and memorable exploits, yet we know them to have been included within narrow boundaries; and the ambition and wordy vanity of the Greeks caused them to celebrate those wars which were scarcely of any consequence, as we learn even from their own histories. Whichever way we take this, Sparta obtained with difficulty the second rank in Greece, as Athens did the first,. As far as concerns the Roman Empire, we know it to have been more extensive and powerful than the other monarchies. When all Italy came under their sway, this was sufficient for any noble monarchy; but Spain, Sicily, part, of Greece, arm Illyrieum were added, and afterwards all Greece and Macedon, Asia Minor, Africa., and all the islands; for by one word they expelled the king of Cyprus, and sold his goods by public auction. When the dregs of the people were collected, Claudius made a law for the banishment of the king of Cyprus, and this he accomplished by his single voice, without the use of force at all. No wonder then that God foretold how different this kingdom, should be from all the others; it had no single head; the senate had the chief authority, though all power was centered in the people. there was therefore a kind of mingled confusion, since the government of Rome was never settled. And if we weigh all things prudently, it was neither a republic nor a kingdom, but a confused compound, in which the people exercised great power in a tumultuous way, and the senate oppressed the people as much as it could. There were three ranks — the senatorian, the equestrian, and the plebeian, and that mixture made the kingdom like a monster. The angel, therefore, announces the fourth kingdom as different from, the others.
He afterwards confirms what we said before; it will fall, says he, and break to pieces, and tread down the whole earth. This was fulfilled after Gaul and Britain were subdued, Germany partially subjugated, and Illyrieum, Greece, and Macedon, reduced to submission. At length they penetrated to Asia, and Antiochus was banished beyond the Taurus; his kingdom afterwards became their prey, then they obtained possession of Syria. The kings of Egypt were their allies, and yet. became dependent upon their nod; the sovereign dared not appoint an heir, without consulting their pleasure. As, therefore, they ruled supremely so long and so widely, they fulfilled this prophecy by devouring the whole earth. For such lust for dominion never existed before; wars were heaped upon wars, they were alike greedy of the blood of others, and by no means sparing of their own. The whirlpool was insatiable, while it absorbed the whole world, and their pride crushed it and trampled it under foot,. Cruelty was added to pride, for all looked up to the Romans, and conciliated the favor of Rome by flattery, for the purpose of raging savagely against; their own people. By these arts almost the whole of Greece perished. For they knew how many innocent persons everywhere perished in every city, a kind of diversion which delighted them; they were fully aware how easy it was to attract all the power of the whole world to themselves, when it was able to .put forth neither strength, nor skill, nor power against them. For their nobles were constantly at variance; sometimes one faction and sometimes another was supreme, and thus the splendor of every city easily, and gradually diminished. Thus all Greece was spoiled, and the Romans exercised their dominion there without difficulty, as over brute beasts. We may say the same of Asia also. We are not surprised then at the angel saying, the earth would be trodden down and trampled on by this fourth beast.
He afterwards adds, The ten horns are the ten kings which should arise. These Ten Kings are clearly comprehended under one empire, and there is no question here of separate persons. In the Persian kingdom, we observed many kings, and yet the image of the second beast was single, while it embraced all those kings until the change occurred. So also no when treating of the Romans, the Prophet does not assert that ten kings should succeed each other in regular order, but rather the multiform nature of the kingdom, under more heads than one. For the royal office belonged to the senators or leading citizens, whose authority prevailed very extensively both with the senate and the people. And with reference to the number, we said the plural number only was denoted, without any limitation to the number ten. The conclusion is as follows, — this kingdom should be like a single terrible animal bearing many horns, since no single king held the chief sway there, as was customary by constant usage in other lands, but there should be a mixture, like many kings in place of one holding the pre-eminence. The fulfillment of this is sufficiently known from the history of Rome; as if it had been said, there should not be any single kingdom, as of Persia and other nations, but many kings at the same time, alluding to the mixture and confusion in which the supreme authority was involved.
The Little Horn follows: A king shall arise, says he, different from those, other ones, and shall afflict three kings. We showed how unintelligible this becomes, unless we refer it to the Caesars to whom the monarchy passed; for after long and continued and intensive strife, the whole power passed over to the Triumvirate. A conspiracy was entered into by Lepidus, Mark Antony, and Octavius. Octavius was then all but a boy, having scarcely arrived at manhood, but all the veteran soldiers were in his favor, in consequence of the name of Julius Caesar and his adoption by him. Hence he was received by the other two into that alliance, of which Lepidus was the first, and Antony the second. At length discords arose among them, and Lepidus was deprived of his place in the triumvirate, and lived, as if half-dead, while his life was only spared to him because he was raised to the office of chief priest
Reverence for the priesthood restrained Antony from putting him to death, so long as he was content to live in privacy and retirement. Octavius at, length became supreme, but by what artifice? We said Julius Caesar took no more upon himself than the office of dictator, while consuls were annually elected as usual. He did not strain the power of the dictatorship beyond moderation, but he so restrained himself, that some popular rights might seem still to flourish. Octavius also followed the cunning of his uncle and adopted father. The same conduct will be found in the other Caesars, though there were many differences between them. As the shadow of a republic yet remained, while the senate was held in some degree of reverence, it is not surprising, if the angel predicts that the beast. should survive, when another small horn should arise different from the others.
He adds, And shall afflict the three kings. I have explained this point by the slight change which the Caesars effected in the provinces, for if any of the provinces were warlike, strong armies and veteran soldiers were usually sent there. The Caesars took these to themselves, while some executive management was left to the senate with regard to the other provinces. Lastly, by this form of speech, the angel portrays the coming dominion of the little horn, and its diminishing the strength of the former ones’ and. yet the beast should remain apparently entire; thus, the effigy of the republic was preserved, as the people were always designated — in the forum, by the high-sounding name, Romans, and in battle, as fellow-soldiers. Meanwhile, although the name of the Roman empire was so celebrated, and its majesty was in every one’s mouth, the supreme authority was. in the possession of one little horn which lay concealed, and dared not openly raise its head. This, then, is the pith of the interpretation of what the angel here sets before us. It; follows, —

25. And he shall speak 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.
25. Et sermones ad regionem, vel as lanctus, f419 excelsi loquetur, et sanctos excelsorum conteret, et putabit ad mutantum f420 tempora et legem: et tradetur in manum ejus usque ad tempus, et tempora, et divisionem temporis.

The angel now explains a little more clearly what the Prophet had formerly touched upon but briefly, namely, this last king should be a manifest and professed enemy to the Church. We yesterday showed how miserably and cruelly the Church had been harassed by many tyrants. And if we, compare these tyrants with each other, we shall find the Church to have been much more heavily afflicted after Christ’s advent, and to have been opposed by the Caesars in open warfare. The occasion arose in this way. The doctrine of the Gospel had been dispersed through almost all the provinces of the empire. The Jewish name was hateful; and the novelty of the teaching added greatly to that unpopularity. Men thought the Jews had invented a new deity for themselves — even Christ;, as their language seemed to imply the worship of a new divinity. As, therefore, some material for rage against the pure worship of God was afforded them, the Caesars became more and more stirred up to carry on war against the elect, and to oppress the Church. It was not their fault if they did nor; extinguish the whole light of the celestial doctrine, abolish true religion, and banish: the knowledge of God from the world. This agrees very well with what Daniel relates of this king becoming so headstrong, as to utter words against the most High God. Some translate it, on the part of the most high, but. I know no reason for their doing so. dxl, letzed, signifies on the side or the region. The equivalent phrase is this; so great should be the pride of this new king, who did not exercise his power openly but by hidden deceit, that he should sit as it were on the side of God and in opposition to him. This means he should be manifestly God’s enemy. Those who understand this of Antichrist, think their opinion confirmed by the conduct of other tyrants who carried on their warfare against God with arms and violence, but not by words. But the Prophet does not speak so subtlety here. For by words he does not here mean doctrine, but that verbal boasting by which the Caesars dared to promulgate their edicts throughout the whole world, urging all the proconsuls to punish the Christians, and not to permit that impious and cursed sect to flourish; and thus terrors flew about throughout the whole world. What Daniel now relates was then fulfilled, namely, the utterance of words of defiance against God; for those tyrants thought their own edicts, without the armament of soldiers, would be sufficient to extinguish the memory of Christ. Thus, also, true piety was disgracefully traduced, and the very name of Christ lacerated by horrible reproaches, as historians have amply informed us.
This explanation, therefore, is most suitable to the little horn speaking or uttering words against the most High. He shall afflict, says he, the saints of the lofty ones. We have already briefly explained the meaning of this expression, according to its grammatical construction. By saints he doubtless means sons of God, or his elect people, or the Church. He calls these “saints of lofty ones,” because as elect they depend upon heaven; and although they are pilgrims in the world, yet their life is in heaven, where the eternal inheritance remains for them which was obtained by Christ. As, therefore, their treasure is now heaven, they deservedly boast of being citizens of heaven, and allies and brethren of angels. Thus they are properly called “saints of lofty ones;” they are separated from the world, and know themselves to live here day by day until they arrive at firm and enduring repose. We know this to have been fulfilled, because overwhelming terror fell upon all the pious, and the Church almost perished, while multitudes who were suspected of being Christians were subjected to cruel tortures. The prevalence of this universal license for persecuting all the pious explains how the saints were then afflicted by the small horn.
The Prophet or rather the angel next says, He will think, or meditate, to change time and law, and they shall be delivered into his hand. As to the time here spoken of, many refer it to holy days. But we may understand it generally of the small horn overthrowing whatever was formerly customary in the world; and thus also I interpret the word tr, reth, not the Law of God or the Gospel, but any rites, customs, and institutions. While interpreters are contending about this word, some referring it to the Decalogue, and others to the preaching of the Gospel, I think the simple sense of the Prophet to be this. the Caesars perverted all laws, both human and divine. We have seen how they attempted this, and how far they accomplished it. It is not surprising then if the Prophet; assigns this unbridled audacity to this last king, who thought to change whatever had been formerly ordained in the world. And for this reason it had been formerly said this horn should be furnished with human eyes; and next, should speak mightily, thundering horribly, and inspiring all men with fear through its voice alone. We know this to have been represented as in a glass, if we consider how far the Caesars proceeded in their arrogance. First, as to Octavius, while he restrained himself within due bounds politically, he suffered himself to be adored as a god, and altars to be erected to him; he wished the public to be persuaded of his deity, and celebrated a banquet in which he sat among the superior deities. Tiberius neglected religious ceremonies entirely, and yet we see how he despised all men. Although he was of an obtuse disposition, in his daring he was extreme, and was all the while craftily deceiving the senate. Next, as to Caligula, he threatened Jupiter in this way, — “What! thou art an exile here and I a native: I will banish thee into Greece thy native place.” He often inflicted blows upon the statue of Jupiter, and not content with the name of a god, he ordered the chief sacrifices to be offered to himself. This diabolic fury increased in Domitian. And considering the Caesars as men, what was their character? One of them said, “I wish the Roman people had but one need.” He enjoyed the slaughter of the senate as a sport, and wished to make his horse a consul. How disgraceful was such conduct! We see, then, how this prediction was not uttered without a cause; namely, so great should be the arrogance of the small horn that it would dare to change and turn into a new almost all “law,” meaning all order of every kind, and “times,” meaning the very series and nature of all things. The Prophet then says he thought. He does not express the result, but simply signifies the arrival of the small horn at such a degree of madness as to suppose it could draw down the sun from heaven, turn light: into darkness, and leave nothing entire, nothing in order, throughout, the world. Those occurrences really happened in accordance with this prophecy. I cannot enter into details here. I should have to detain you many days or even months while citing history; I can only touch shortly upon what: is necessary for explaining the Prophet’s words and the meaning of his prediction.
They shall be delivered into his hands means, — however the small horn should leap forward in desperate fury, yet: God should always rule over him, and nothing should happen without his permission,. It was God then who delivered into the hands of that identifying the saints, the political government, and the institutions of piety, allowing him to pour out. promiscuously human blood, to violate every national right, and to ruin as far as possible all religion. It brings us then no little comfort to know when God’s permission is given to tyrants to harass the Church and interfere with His lawful worship; for if we were left to the mercy of their lusts, how distressing would be the universal confusion! But he succors us, as the angel says, when tyrants assail us and disturb all order by their horrible licentiousness and cruel rage against the miserable and the innocent: he succors us, I say, so that they are unable to move to finger against us without God’s permission. We are not permitted to know why God relaxes the rein in favor of the enemies of his Church; perhaps it is to prove and try the patience of his people. It is sufficient for us, if, when tyrants scheme and plot in every way, they are unable to do anything without the divine permission.
But a greater consolation is added in the last clause, even for a time and times, and the division of a time, or half, as some translate it; it is properly a division. Interpreters differ widely about these words, and I will not bring forward all their opinions, otherwise it would be necessary to refute them. I should have no little trouble in refuting all their views, but I will follow my own custom of shortly expressing the genuine sense of the Prophet, and thus all difficulty will be removed. Those who consider a “time” to mean a “year,” are in my opinion wrong. They cite the forty-two months of the Apocalypse, (Revelation 13:5,) which make three years and a half; but that argument is not conclusive, since in that case a year will not consist of 365 days, but the year itself must be taken figuratively for any indeterminate time. It is better then to keep close to the Prophet’s words. A “time,” then, is not put for a certain number of months or days, nor yet for a single year, but for any period whose termination is in the secret counsel of God. They shall be given, then, for a time, says he, and afterwards adds times; that is, for a continuance of times; and again, even to a section or division of a time; meaning, these calamities should come to an end whenever God, in mercy to his Church, should restrain those tyrants by his wrath against them. .As long, therefore, as the cruelty of the Caesars oppressed God’s Church, it was committed into their hands. We have already seen how many Caesars were enemies of the true Church. First, of all, Nero raged most cruelly, for he burnt some thousands of Christians at Rome, to extinguish the infamy which raged against himself. The people could not endure his barbarity; for, while the fourth part of the city was destroyed by Nero, he was enjoying his pleasure and rejoicing so mournful a spectacle! As he feared the popular tumult against himself, he laid hold of many Christians, and offered them to the people as a kind of expiation. Those who followed him, did not cease to pour forth innocent blood, and those who seemed to be endued with some degree of clemency and humanity were all at length seized with a diabolic fury. Trajan was esteemed a very excellent prince, and yet we know how he commanded the Christians everywhere to be slain, since he thought them obstinate in their error. And others were more savage still. No wonder, therefore, the angel predicts, even for a time, and times, and the division of a time, that license would be given to the tyrants and enemies of the Church to pervert all things, to despise God, and set aside all justice, and to execute a cruel and barbarous slaughter. This ought to be predicted for two reasons: first, lest through length of time the faithful should fall away, because when “the time” — a space of about ten years — had passed, they would come to the times, consisting of about fifty or a hundred years.
This, then, was one reason why God admonished the faithful concerning the time and times. But he wished also to mitigate their sorrow by adding half a time, thus promising some moderation and ending to such great calamities. The language of our Lord to his Apostles concerning the various commotion of the earth, corresponds very well with this view. “There shall arise wars and rumors of wars, and no end as yet,” says he. He announces them as the preludes to greater evils, when the whole of Judea should be devastated with wars and other slaughters. He afterwards adds, “Unless those days had been shortened.” (<402406>Matthew 24:6; <411307>Mark 13:7; <422109>Luke 21:9.) This. shortening of the days is here noticed as if the Lord cut short; a continued succession of them. For when the possession of the tyranny appeared fierce, then suddenly and beyond the expectation of all, God at length snatched away his Church, and then the evangelical doctrine emerged, and was celebrated everywhere. God, therefore, then shortened the days on account of his own elect, and this is understood by the last clause, a division of a time. I will defer the rest till to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, since we must be daily exercised by various contests, that we may never yield to the infirmities of the flesh, and never forget thy Holy calling. Animate us, we pray thee, for all hostile engagements; may we stand unbroken against all the assaults of Satan and the wicked; and thus give ourselves up and devote ourselves to thee. May we never hesitate to suffer death itself, if necessary, and even to offer ourselves daily to various kinds of death, until we shall have discharged our warfare, and enjoy that happy and eternal rest which thou hast prepared for us in thine only-begotten Son. — Amen.

26. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end
26. Et judicium, sedebit, et potestam ejus auferent ad dissipandum at perpendum, f421 usque in finem.

The, angel now answers Daniel concerning the death of the fourth beast. For we said when the Caesars had transferred the empire to themselves, the strength of the senate and of the people was enervated; but because the name still remained, the fourth beast is not said to have been slain until foreigners disgracefully became masters of Rome. For if the Romans had been conquered a hundred times over by professed enemies, they would not have suffered such disgrace as when obscure and low-born men exercise a cruel and barbarous tyranny; for then neither the senate nor the people enjoy any authority. The angel thus marks the time correctly at which the fourth beast was to fall, when the Spaniards, the Africans, and other barbarians, who were even always unknown in. their own country, were raised to the highest honors beyond the expectation of mankind. For their lust oppressed the whole state; they beheaded the most noble senators, and appointed in their stead the meanest of men, in token of their spirit of ignoniny. Then the fourth beast, was slain; and this is the explanation of this portion of the angel’s reply. He says also, Judgment shall then sit; that is, God shall again restore to order all this confusion, and the world shall feel his Providence ruling over the earth and the human race. For when all things are allowed to proceed without punishment, and neither justice nor honesty are held in any account, God is then supposed to be enjoying his ease in heaven, and to be forgetful of the human race. Hence, in opposition to this, he is said to ascend a tribunal as often as we really and experimentally feel his care over us. Thus the restoration is here called a sitting in judgment, when the Roman empire was blotted out, and God executed the penalty of such great and such unbridled ferocity as that already recorded. As this phrase is very common and of frequent use in Scripture, I will not continue the explanation.
The judgment, then, shall be set; that is, after all things have been long involved in darkness, new light shall burst forth, and men shall readily acknowledge the sway of the Almighty. And power, says he, shall they take away from the beast for dissipating and destroying even to the end. Here the angel announces the final overthrow of the fourth beast. Respecting the plural number of the verb, we have already mentioned the opinion of some who refer it to more angels than one, but it is better to understand it more simply, as an absolute and indefinite form of expression. And yet; I do not. object., as I before, stated, to the view of those who take it of angels, yet I fear this is too refined; I prefer the simpler view as being free from all controversy. The sense, then, is this: When the beast; shall have raged cruelly for a length of time, and especially the little horn, God shall discharge the duty of a judge, and the beast, with this small horn, shall be removed out of the way. The angel adds next, There shall be no hope of any new life similar to that of many kingdoms which often fall at one period and rise again at another; but he here announces the final slaughter, as if he had said, the wound is incurable and deadly. It now follows: —

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.
27. Et regnum, et potestas, et magnitudo regni sub toto coelo dabitur populo sanctorum excelsorum. Regnum ejus regnum seculi, hoc est, perpetuum, et omnes potestates ei servient, atque obedient.

This verse assures us how these predictions concerning the destruction of the beast regard the Church’s safety. Thus the faithful might know themselves noticed by God, and how the changes which successively happened tended to the same end, the acknowledgment on the part of the pious of their continuance under the care and guardianship of God. For any discussion of the four monarchies would have been cold and useless: unless there had been added God’s peculiar care of his own Church., and his conducting the affairs of the world for the safety of his people. .As we have said in other places, God’s elect people are of more consequence than all the kingdoms which are conspicuous in the world. (<234303>Isaiah 43:3.) This, then, is the sense of the words. If we separate this verse from its context, the prophecy will still have its use. We may elicit from it how all things which seem stable in the world are yet perishable, and nothing is so firm as not to be subject every moment to constant variation. But the chief intention of this prediction is, as I have said, to show the relation of all events to the safety of the pious. When, therefore, all things seem carried away by the blind impulse of chance, we ought always to contemplate God as watching for his Church, and tempering all storms and all commotion to the service and safety of the pious, who rest upon his Providence. These two things, then, are mutually in accordance, namely, the slaying of the fourth beast, and the giving of the kingdom and authority to the people of the saints. This does not seem to have been accomplished yet; and hence many, nay, almost all, except the Jews, have treated this prophecy as relating to the final day of Christ’s advent. All Christian interpreters agree in this; but, as I have shewn before, they pervert the Prophet’s intention. As to the Jews, theirs is no explanation at all, for they are not only foolish and stupid, but even crazy f422 And since their object is the adulteration of sound doctrine, God also blinds them till they become utterly in the dark, and both trifling and childish; and if I were to stop to refute their crudities, I should never come to an end.
This prophecy does not seem to be accomplished at the destruction of the beast; but this is easily explained. We know how magnificently the prophets speak of Christ’s kingdom, and adore his dignity and glory with splendid eulogies; and although these are not exaggerated, yet if judged of by human perceptions, you would surely think them exceedingly extravagant, and find neither solidity nor firmness in their words. And no wonder: for Christ’s kingdom and his dignity cannot be perceived by carnal eyes, nor even comprehended by the human intellect. Let those who appear the most sagacious of men combine together all their clear-sightedness, yet they can never ascend to the height of Christ’s kingdom, which surpasses the very heavens. Nothing is more contrary to our natural judgment than to seek life in death, riches in poverty and want, glory in shame and disgrace — to be wanderers in this world, and at the same time its heirs! Our minds cannot naturally comprehend these things. No wonder, then, if mortals judge erroneously of Christ’s kingdom, and are blind in the midst of light. Still there is no defect in the Prophet’s expressions, for they depict for us the visible image of Christ’s kingdom, and accommodate themselves to our dullness. They enable us to perceive the analogy between things earthly and visible, and that spiritual blessedness which Christ has afforded to us, and which we now possess through hope in him. For while we only hope, our happiness is concealed from us; it is not perceptible by our eyes or by any of our senses.
Let us now return to the passage. Daniel first of all says, A kingdom, and power, and extensive dominion, shall be given to the people of the holy ones. This was partially fulfilled when the Gospel emerged from persecution: then the name of Christ was everywhere celebrated and held in honor and esteem, while previously it had been the subject of the greatest envy and hatred. For nothing had been more hated and detested for many years than the name of Christ. God, therefore, then gave the kingdom to his people, when he was acknowledged as the Redeemer of the world throughout its many changes, after having been formerly despised and utterly rejected. I may here remark again, and impress upon the memory what I have frequently touched upon, namely, the custom of the Prophets, in treating of Christ’s kingdom, to extend their meaning further than its first beginnings; and they do this while they dwell upon its commencement. Thus Daniel or the angel does not predict here occurrences connected with the advent of Christ as Judge of the world, but with the first preaching and promulgation of the Gospel, and the celebration of the name of Christ. But this does not prevent him from drawing a magnificent picture of Christ’s reign, and embracing its final completion. It is sufficient for us to perceive how God begins to give the kingdom to his elect people, when, by the power of his Spirit, the doctrine of the holy Gospel was everywhere received in the world. The sudden change which it occasioned was incredible, but this is a customary result; for, when anything is predicted, we think it a fable and a dream, and when God performs what we never would have thought of, the evil, appears to us trifling, and we treat it as of no moment. For example, when the preaching of the Gospel commenced, no one would have thought its success could have been so great and so prosperous; nay, two hundred years before Christ was manifest, when religion was almost blotted out, and the Jews were execrated by the whole world, who would have thought the Law would spring from Zion? Yet God erected his scepter there. The dignity of the kingdom had vanished: the offspring of David was extinct. For the family of Jesse was but a trunk, after the simile used by the prophet Isaiah. (<231101>Isaiah 11:1.) If any one had asked all the Jews one after another, no one would have believed the possibility of those events which accompanied the preaching of the Gospel; but, at length the, dignity and virtue of the kingdom of David. shone forth in Christ. Yet it vanishes before our eyes, and we seek new miracles, as if God had not sufficiently proved himself to have .spoken by his prophets! Thus we observe how the Prophet keeps within bounds when he says, A kingdom, and a power, and a magnitude of empire was given to the people of the saints.
He adds, one empire under the whole heavens. Here the Rabbi Abarbinel, who thinks himself superior to all others, rejects our idea of the spiritual reign of Christ as a foolish imagination. For the kingdom of God, he says, is established under the whole heavens, and is given to the people of the saints. If it is established under heaven, says he, it is earthly, and if earthly, therefore not spiritual. This seems in truth a very subtle argument, as if God could not reign in the world except as extraordinary mortal. As often as Scripture says “God reigns,” according to this argument God must be transfigured into human nature, otherwise there will be no kingdom of God except it is earthly, and if earthly it is temporal, and therefore perishable. Hence we must infer that God changes his nature. His kingdom, then, will consist in opulence, and military power and parade, and the common luxuries of life, so that God will become unlike himself. We perceive the puerile trifling of those Rabbis who pretend to glory in their ingenuity, to the total destruction of the whole teaching of piety. They intend nothing else than to adulterate the purity of Scripture by their foul and senseless comments. But we know the reign of God and of Christ, although existing in the world, not to be of it, (<431836>John 18:36;) the meaning of the two expressions is exactly the opposite. God, therefore, still exercises his heavenly reign in the world, because he dwells in the hearts of his people by his Spirit. While God held his seat at Jerusalem, was his kingdom merely an earthly and corruptible one? By no means, for by the possession of an earthly habitation he did not cease to be in heaven also. Thus the angel instructed the Prophet concerning the saints who are pilgrims in the world, and yet shall enjoy the kingdom and possess the greatest power under heaven. Hence also we correctly conclude, that this vision ought not to be explained of the final advent of Christ, but of the intermediate state of the Church. The saints began to reign under heaven, when Christ ushered in his kingdom by the promulgation of his Gospel.
Another point must be noticed, — what belongs to the head is transferred to the body. There is nothing new in this, as the supreme power is constantly promised by the Prophets to the Church, especially by Isaiah, who often predicts its complete supremacy. The Papists seize upon such testimonies to clothe themselves in the spoils of God, as if God had resigned his right to them! But they are immersed in the same error with the Jews, who swell with pride whenever such dignity is promised to the elect people, as if they could remain separate from God and yet obtain the right of treading the whole world under foot. The Papists also do exactly the same. We, however, must be guided by a very different rule, namely, in consequence of the intimate union between Christ and his Church, the peculiar a. tribute of Christ himself is often transferred to his body. Not that the Church reigns by itself; but Christ, as its only supreme head, obtains dominion therein, and not for his own private advantage — for what need has he of this dominion? but for the common safety of all its members. Wherefore Christ is our King, and he designs to erect his throne in the midst; of us; he uses nothing for his own advantage, but communicates all things to us, and renders them useful to us; hence, we are deservedly called kings, because he reigns, and as I have already said, language which is exclusively appropriate to him, is transferred to us in consequence of the intimate communion existing between the head and the members.
This is also the sense of the phrase here added by the Prophet, All powers shall serve and obey it. I have no doubt the angel here confirmed Isaiah’s prophecy, as the Holy Spirit, the better to confirm and strengthen the faith of the pious, often reconciles one Prophet with another, and thus their mutual agreement becomes the seal of their truth. It is said in Isaiah, The kingdom and the land which will not serve thee, shall. be destroyed: kings shall come and adore thee, the people shall offer thee gifts. (<236012>Isaiah 60:12.) In the Psalms, it is said,
“Kings shall assemble together, to serve God.”
(<19A222>Psalm 102:22.)
And Isaiah treats very fully on the empire of the Church. The angel now repeats the same thing, to add, as I have said, greater confidence and authority to the prophecy of Isaiah. Meanwhile, we observe how completely all the Prophets agree, and at the same time we interpret these words of the kingdom of Christ, from the period at which the teaching of the gospel was rendered remarkably conspicuous; for then God’s royal scepter went forth from Jerusalem, and shone far and wide, while the Lord was extending his hand and his authority over all the regions of the world. As all these important events tended to the common salvation of the Church, it is said, The kingdom shall belong to the holy people. As to the phrase, The saints of the high ones, I have already explained why the Prophet applies this phrase to the faithful, and why the angel also does the same; namely, because God separated them from the world, and they were always looking upwards and drawing all their hopes from above. Then, as to the Rabbi whom I cited, he twists this. passage, and tries to show that the Prophet did not speak of Christ, when he says he saw the figure of the Son of man. But this is complete trifling, for he asserts the Son of man to mean “the people of the saints,” and thus the phrase would have no reference to Christ, but to the whole offspring of Abraham. We must not be surprised at the shameful ignorance of these Rabbis, and at their blundering at the very rudiments, since they do not acknowledge the necessity for a Mediator, through whom alone the Church can obtain any favor before God. They boast in what we also allow — in the sons of Abraham being the elect, and in this title as availing to render them a holy people, and heirs of God, and a kingdom of priests. This is true, but on what was their covenant of adoption founded but on Christ? Hence their separating the Church from the Mediator, is like leaving a mutilated body apart from its disjoined head. Besides, from what the Prophet stated before about the Son of man, his subject is evidently changed in this verse. He stated there, power was given to the Son of man after he had arrived at the Ancient of days, and the Son of man, or at least his likeness, appeared in the clouds. First of all, we must notice this likeness, as it were the Son of man, as we have already explained the vision. Surely Abraham’s posterity were really men, but the vision offered to the Prophet was but a similitude; as Christ had not yet put on our flesh, this was only a prelude to his future manifestation in the flesh. Here he speaks openly and without a figure of the people of the saints, and this prophecy depends upon the former one. For unless Christ were seated at His Father’s right hand, and had obtained supreme dominion, causing every knee to bend before him, the Church could never exercise its power. Thus we observe how all things mutually agree among each other.
As, however, it is certain that many have perseveringly rebelled against; God and the teaching of his gospel, it may seem absurd for the angel to pronounce all the powers of the world obedient and submissive. But it is worth while to study the customary methods of scriptural expression. For instance, by the phrase “all people,” the Spirit does not mean every single person, but simply some out of every nation who should submit to Christ’s yoke, acknowledge him to be king, and obediently obey his Church. How often do these sentiments occur in the prophets? All nations shall come — all kings; shall serve. At that time no king existed who was not professedly an enemy of true piety, and who did not desire the abolition of the very name of his law. The prophets enlarge thus magnificently on the future restoration of this kingdom, as we have stated before, in consequence of the event being so utterly incredible. So, also, in this place all powers, says he, shall serve and obey him; that is:, no power shall so boast in its loftiness, as not willingly to become subject to the Church, although at present all so fully despise it: nay, while they rage with all their might, against the most wretched Church, and while they tread it most ignominiously under foot, even then they shall be subject to it. This we know to have been amply fulfilled. Some persons foolishly press beyond their meaning words of universal import, as when Paul says, God wishes all to be saved. Hence, they say, no one is predetermined for destruction, but all are elect, that is, God is not God. (<540204>1 Timothy 2:4.) But we are not surprised at such madness as this, corrupting the impious and profane, who desire by their cavils to promote disbelief in all the oracles of the Spirit. Let us clearly comprehend the frequency of this figure of speech; when the Holy Spirit names “all,” he means some out of all nations, and not every one universally.

28. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitation’s much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me, but I kept the matter in my heart.
28. Hucusque finis sermonis, f423 mihi Danieli, f424 multum cogitationes meae terruerunt me, et vilgus meus mutatus est super me, vel, in me, et sermonem servavi, f425 in corde meo.

In this verse Daniel first says the vision was concluded, and thus the faithful might rest satisfied in looking for nothing beyond it. For we know how restless are the fancies of mankind, and how insane a disease is a vain curiosity. God is aware of what is useful for our information, and so he adopts his method of teaching to our capacity and profit,. Yet we are volatile and insatiable, saying, Why is not this added? Why does God stop here? why does he not proceed further? As, therefore, human ingenuity is so inflamed and intemperate, Daniel here deservedly says, an end was put to the vision, to cause all the elect to acquiesce in it and be contented with this partial knowledge. He afterwards adds, he was disturbed in his thoughts, and his countenance was changed; for he was afraid lest the pious should think this vision a mere vanished specter. It was of the greatest importance to distinguish this vision from any frivolous imagination. Daniel, therefore, to show how the scene proposed to his notice was a divine revelation, expresses clearly how he was terrified in his thoughts. This occurred, because God wished to stamp upon his heart the certainty of the prophecy. To the same purpose is, the change of countenance. He adds, he laid up the discourse in his heart, to assure us of his being a faithful interpreter; for if we suspected him of negligence, we should not receive, with reverence the message he delivered in these words, as really proceeding from God. But when Daniel affirms that he discharged the duty of a faithful servant, who kept the whole discourse in his heart, additional authority is added to his teaching. In conclusion, we must remember two points; first, the celestial revelation made known to the Prophet to prove him a servant and messenger of God to us; and secondly, the faithful discharge of his duties, as he laid up in his heart what he had received, and thus delivered it through his own hands to the Church at large. Another vision follows: —

1. In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
1. Anno tertio regni Beltsazar Regnis, visio visa fuit, visio apparuit, mihi, mihi inquam Danieli postquam apparuerat mihi in principio. f426

Here Daniel relates another vision, differing from the former as a part from the whole. For God wished to show him first what various changes should happen before Christ’s advent. The second redemption was the beginning of a new life, since God then not only restored afresh his own Church, but as it were created a new people; and hence the departure from Babylon and the return to their country are called the second birth of the Church. But as God at that time afforded then only a taste of true and solid redemption, whenever the prophets treat of that deliverance, they extended their thoughts and their prophecies as far as the coming of Christ. God therefore, with great propriety, shows the Four Monarchies to His Prophet, lest the faithful should grow weary in beholding the world so often convulsed, and all but changing its figure and nature. Thus they would be subject to the most distressing cares, become a laughing stock to their enemies, and ever remain contemptible and mean, without the power to help themselves, under these constant innovations. The faithful, then, were forewarned concerning these Four Monarchies, lest they should suppose themselves rejected by God and deprived altogether of his care. But now God wished to show only one part to his Prophet. As the destruction of the Babylonian empire was at hand, and the second kingdom was approaching, this dominion also should speedily come to its close, and then God’s people should be reduced to the utmost extremity. And the chief object of this vision is to prepare the faithful to bear patiently the horrible tyranny of Antiochus, of which the Prophet treats in this chapter. now, therefore, we understand the meaning of this prophet, where God speaks of only two Monarchies, for the kingdom of the Chaldees was soon to be abolished: he treats first of the Persian kingdom; and next, adds that of Macedon, but omits all others, and descends directly to Antiochus, king of Syria. He then declares the prevalence of the most wretched confusion in the Church; for the sanctuary should be deprived of its dignity, and the elect people everywhere slain, without sparing even innocent blood. We shall see also why the faithful were informed beforehand of these grievous and oppressive calamities, to induce them to look up to God when oppressed by such extreme darkness. And at this day this prophecy is useful to us, lest our courage should fail us in the extreme calamity of the Church, because a perpetual representation of the Church is depicted for us under that calamitous and mournful state. Although God often spares our infirmities, yet the Church is never free from many distresses, and unless we are prepared to undergo all contests, we shall never stand firm in the faith. This is the scope and explanation of the prophecy. I will defer the rest.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou formerly didst permit thy servants to maintain their courage in the midst of so many and such heavy commotion, that we may reap the same edification from these prophecies: are since we have fallen upon the fullness of times, may we profit by the examples of the ancient Church, and by the pious and holy admonitions which thou hast set before us. Thus may we stand firm and unconquered against all the attacks of Satan, and the world, and the impious, and so may our faith remain impregnable, until at length we enjoy the fruit of its victory in thy heavenly kingdom, through Christ our Lord. — Amen.
I have written a short preface to this vision, which is here described for us in this eighth chapter, to enable you to comprehend its contents, and to perceive the object for which it was offered to the Prophet. As to the time, we must remember that the Prophet was informed of the victory of Cyrus and Darius while the Babylonian monarchy was still standing., and flourishing. Although Cyrus had already made great progress, and begun to lay waste the Chaldean territories, yet Belshazzar, as we have already seen, was carelessly enjoying his festivities. No one ever thought Cyrus would become the conqueror of so great a monarchy, for Belshazzar would not collect a great army to defend the boundaries of his kingdom. He thought he should repel all the endeavors of Cyrus as easily as possible; and the greater his violence the more King Belshazzar hoped to overthrow him. Now God wished to show his servant these future events. First of all, the immediate change is revealed; and next the calamity to follow ultimately is made known — -the calamity, I mean, of the Church under King Antiochus and his successors. The Prophet therefore says: —

DANIEL 8:2-3
2. And I saw in a vision; (and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was in the palace, which is in the province of Elan;) and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
2. Vidi in visione: et fuit cum videram, ut ego essem in Susan, f427 quae est in Elam provincia. Vidi in visione, et ecce eram super fluvium 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.
3. Et extuli oculos meos, et vidi: et ecce aries unus stabat coram fluvio, f428 et ei cornua duo, et cornua erant excelsa, et unam excelsius altero, et excelsum hoc ascendebat retro.

Without any doubt, the Prophet here recognized a new empire as about to arise, which could not happen without Babylon being reduced to slavery. Hence it would tend in. no slight degree to alleviate the cares of the pious, and to mitigate their sorrows, when they saw what they had previously thought incredible, namely, the approaching destruction of that horrible tyranny under which they had been so, cruelly oppressed. And if the liberty of returning to their country was not immediately granted to the people, it would be no small consolation to behold God’s judgment against the Chaldeans as foretold by the prophets. We must now examine the Prophet’s language. I have seen in a vision, says he. This word ˆwzj, chezon, a “vision,” is added to show us that the ram of which mention is made was not seen by the eyes of the body. Hence this was a heavenly oracle, and ought to have raised the beholder above all human sensations, to enable him to discern from lofty watch-tower what was hidden from the rest of mankind. He did not see then what ordinary men might behold, but God showed in a vision things which no mortal senses could apprehend. He next adds, The vision was shewn to me, Daniel, and I happened, says he, when I saw it, to be in Shushan. Some think Daniel to be then dwelling in Persia, bug this view is by no means probable; for who could persuade the holy Prophet of God, who had been led captive with the rest and was attached to the king of Babylon, to depart as if he had been entirely his own master, and to go into Persia when the Persians were then open enemies? This is not at all likely; and I wonder what can induce men to adopt this comment, so contrary to all reason. For we need not dispute about a matter by no means obscure if we weigh the Prophet’s words, as he removes all doubt by saying he was in Shushan when he saw, that is, when he was caught up by the prophetic spirit beyond himself and above the world. The Prophet does not say he dwelt in Shushan, or in the neighborhood, but he was there in the vision only. The next verse, too, sufficiently shews him to have then been in Chaldean in the third year, he says, of the reign of King Belshazzar. By naming the king, he clearly expresses that he then dwelt under his power and dominion. It is clearly to be gathered from these words, without the slightest doubt, that the Prophet then dwelt in Chaldea. And perhaps Babylon had been already besieged, as we saw before. He says he was in the palace at Shushan. I know not how I ought to translate this word, hrybh, hebireh, as I see no reason for preferring the meaning “palace” to that of” citadel.” We are sure of the nobility and celebrity of the citadel which was afterwards the head of the East, for all nations and tribes received from thence their laws, rights, and judgments. At the same time, I think this citadel was not then built, for its empire over the Persian territory was not firmly established till the successors of Cyrus. We may perhaps distinguish Shushan from Persia at large, yet as it is usually treated as a part of that kingdom, I will not urge the distinction. The country is, however, far milder and more fertile than Persia, as it receives its name from being flowery and abounding in roses. Thus the Prophet says he was there in a vision.
He afterwards repeats this I saw in a vision, and behold I was near the river Ulai. The Latin writers mention a river Eulaeus, and as there is a great similitude between the words, I have no hesitation in understanding Daniel’s language of the Eulaeus. The repetition is not superfluous. It adds certainty to the prophecy, because Daniel affirms it; not to have been any vanishing specter, as a vision might be suspected to be, but clearly and certainly a divine revelation, as he will afterwards relate. He says, too, he raised his eyes upwards. This attentive attitude has the same meaning, as experience informs us how often men are deceived by wandering in erroneous imaginations. But Daniel here bears witness to his raising his eyes upwards, because he, knew himself to be, divinely called upon to discern future events.
He next. subjoins, And behold a ram, stood at the bank of the river, and it had horns. He now compares the empire of Persia and Media to a ram. It ought not to seem absurd that God proposed to his servant various similitude’s, because his duty was to teach a rude people in various ways; and[ we know this vision to have been presented before the Prophet, not for his private instruction only, but for the common advantage of the whole people. I do not think we need! scrupulously inquire why the Persian kings are called rams. I know of no valid reason, unless perhaps to institute a comparison between them and Alexander of Macedon and his successors. If so, when God, under the image of a ram, exhibits to his Prophet the Persian empire, he does not illustrate its nature absolutely, but only by comparison with that of Alexander. ‘We are well aware of the opposition between these two empires. The Persian monarchy is called “a ram,” with reference to the Macedonian, which, as we shall afterwards see, bears the name of “he-goat” with respect to its antagonism. And we may gather the best reason for this comparison in the humble origin of the kings of Persia. With great propriety, then, Cyrus, the first ruler of this empire, is here depicted for us under the form or image of a ram. His “horn” produced a concussion through the whole earth, when no one expected anything to spring from a region by no means abounding in anything noble. And as to Alexander, he is called a “he-goat,” with respect to the “ram,” as being far more nimble, and yet more obscure in his origin. For what was Macedon but a mere corner of Greece? But I do not propose to run the parallel between these points; it is sufficient that God wishes to show to his Prophet and to the whole Church, how among the Persians, unknown as they were, and despised by their neighbors, ,a king should arise to consume the Median power, as we shall soon see, and also to overthrow the Babylonian monarchy. Behold, therefore, says he, a ram stood before the river, or at the bank of the river, since Cyrus subdued both the Medes and his grandfather, as historians inform us. Cyrus then rushed forth from his own mountains and stood at the bank of the river. He also says, He had two horns. Here the Prophet puts two horns for two empires, and not by any means for two persons. For although Cyrus married the daughter of Cyaxares his uncle, yet we know the Persian empire to have lasted a long time, and to have supplied historians with a long catalogue of kings. As Cyrus had so many successors, by the two horns God doubtless showed his Prophet those two empires of the Medes and Persians united under one sovereignty. Therefore, when the ram appeared to the Prophet, it represented both kingdoms under one emblem.
The context confirms this by saying, The two horns were lofty, one higher than the other, and this was raised backwards. The two horns were lofty; for, though the Persian territory was not rich, and the people rustic and living in woods, spending an austere life and despising all luxuries, yet the nation was always warlike. Wherefore the Prophet says this horn was higher than the other, meaning, than the empire of the Medes. Now Cyrus surpassed his father-in-law Darius in fame, authority, and rank, and still he always permitted Darius to enjoy the royal majesty to the end of his life. As he was an old man, Cyrus might easily concede to him the highest one without any loss to himself. With respect then to the following period, Cyrus was clearly pre-eminent, as he was certainly superior to Darius, whom Xenophon calls Cyaxares. For this reason, then, this horn was higher. But meanwhile the Prophet shews how gradually Cyrus was raised on high. The horn rose backwards; that is, “afterwards” — meaning, although the horn of the Median kingdom was more illustrious and conspicuous, yet the horn which rose afterwards obscured the brightness and glory of the former one. This agrees with the narratives of profane history: for every reader of those narratives will find nothing recorded by Daniel which was not fulfilled by the event. Let us go on: —

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.
4. Vidi arietem ferientem Occasum et Aquilonem, Septentrionem et Meridiem: et nullae bestiae consistebant coram ipso, f429 et nemo eripiens e manu ejus, f430 itaque fecit secundum arbitrium suum, et magnificatus est.

The Prophet, now shortly sketches the great success which should attend this double kingdom. He says, The ram struck all the nations towards the west, and north, and south. The Persian and Median territory lay to the east of Babylon and Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece. This, without doubt, is extended to all the successors of Cyrus, who are recorded as having convulsed the whole world. Cyrus himself was shortly afterwards cruelly and basely slain, according to many historians, although Xenophon affirms that he died in his bed. But I have before warned you not to put your trust in that writer, although most excellent, since, under the image of that king, he wished to set before us an example of perfect manliness; and hence he brings him forward as discoursing on his deathbed, and exhorting his sons to kingly virtues. Whichever is the true account, Cyrus was clearly overtaken in the midst of his career. In this way God wished to chastise his insatiable cupidity, a vice in which he resembled Alexander. As to his successors, they excited such commotion in the whole world as to stir up heaven and earth. Xerxes alone said he could bind the sea with fetters! and we know the greatness of the army which he commanded; and this passage treats not only of one king, but of all those of Persia. As they obtained a dominion so far and wide, their ambition and pride always inflamed them, and there was no end to their warfare till they had subdued the distant boundaries of the world. We are acquainted too with their numerous attempts to destroy the liberty of Greece. All this the Prophet embraces in but few words. God also wished to give his Prophet a short glance into futurity, as far as such knowledge could be useful. I saw, then, says he, a ram, namely, a beast which possessed a double horn, representing the Medes and Persians united in the same sovereignty.
He struck the west, and the north, and the south, so that no beasts could stand before him. As the Persian kingdom is here depicted under the, image of a ram, all kings and people are called “beasts.” Thus, no beast stood before him, and no one could deliver out of his hand. It is well known, indeed, how Xerxes and others failed in their attacks, and how many wars the Monarchs of Persia attempted in which they were conquered by the Greeks; but still their conquerors were in no better condition, as they were compelled to seek peace like suppliants. So great became the power of the Persians, that they inspired all nations with fear. For this reason the Prophet says, he did according to his pleasure, not implying the complete success of these Monarchs according to their utmost wishes, for their desires were often frustrated, as we have already narrated on the testimony of historical evidence. Still they were always formidable, not only to their neighbors who submitted to their yoke, but to the most distant nations, as they crossed the sea and descended from Asia upon Greece. In the last word, he expresses this fact, — the ram became mighty. For the Persian king became the greatest of all Monarchs in the world, and it is sufficiently notorious that no one could add to his dignity and strength. It follows: —

DANIEL 8:5-6
5. And as I was considering, behold, an he-goat came from the west, on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
5. Et ego eram intentus, f431 ecce, inquit hircus caprarum venit ab Occasu, f432 super faciem totius terrae, neque tamen attingebat terram, f433 et hirco cornu illustre erat inter oculos ejus.
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.
6. Et venit ad arietem, cui erant cornua duo, f434 quem videram standem in ripa fluvii, f435 et cucurrit, ad eum cum furore fortitudinnnis suae.

Here another change is shown to the Prophet, namely, Alexander’s coming to the east and acquiring. for himself the mighty sway of the Persians, as afterwards happened. With the view, then, of procuring confidence for his prediction, he says, he was attentive. He doubtless dwells upon the reverence with which he received the vision to exhort us to the pursuit of piety, and also to modesty and attention. The Prophet, therefore, was not carried away in imagination by a dream which could be called in question; he knew this vision to have been set before him by God, and acknowledged his duty to receive it with modesty and humility. Wherefore, I was attentive, and behold a he-goat came forth from the west, says he. The situation of Macedon with respect to Persia must be noticed. As the Greeks were situated to the west, of Persia, the Prophet says, the he-goat came from the west, and went over the surface of the whole earth. These words signify the very extensive dominion of Alexander, aid. the terror of surrounding nations. His arrival in Asia with a very insignificant army is well known. He thought 30,000 men sufficient, after he had been created their general by the States of Greece. Hence, the passage is to be understood not of numbers, but of the terror inspired on all sides; for, although he advanced with but a moderate force, yet he terrified the whole earth.
But he did not touch the ground, says he. This refers to his swiftness, for he rather flew than traveled either on foot or by sea, so incredible was his speed in this expedition. For if any one had galloped through regions completely at peace, he could not have passed through Asia more speedily. Hence a he-goat was shewn to the Prophet who did not touch the ground, that is, who was borne along with a rapid impulse, like that of lightning itself. And the goat had a horn, says he, between its eyes — a remarkable horn. We know how much glory .Alexander acquired for himself in a short time, and yet he did not undertake the war in his own name, or on his own responsibility, but he used every artifice to obtain from the Grecian States the office of general-in-chief against the Persians, as perpetual enemies. We are well acquainted with the hostility of the Persians to the Greeks, who, though often compelled to retreat with great disgrace, and infamy, and loss of troops, still kept renewing the war, as they had abundance of men and of pecuniary resources. When Alexander was created general of the whole of Greece, he had a remarkable horn between his eyes; that is, he took care to have his title of general made known to increase his personal superiority. Besides, it was sufficiently prominent to constitute him alone general of the whole army, while all things were carried on according to his will, as he had undertaken the war. This, then, is the reason why the Prophet says, the horn was visible between the eyes of the goat. It follows, It came to the ram, which had two horns; that is, it came against the king of the Medes and Persians. Cyrus also had seized on Babylon, and had subdued many kings, but two horns are assigned to the ram, since the Persian kings had united the Medes in alliance to themselves. Hence one he-goat with his horn, came against the ram which had two horns, and ran against it in the ardor of its bravery. Thus the perseverance of Alexander is denoted, as he hastened so as to surpass all expectation by the speed of his arrival. For Darius continued in security, although he had collected a large army, but Alexander rushed forwards in the boldness of his strength, and surrounded the enemy by his celerity. It follows: —

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.
7. Et vidi appropin quantem ad arietem, et exasperantem seipsum f436 et confregit duo cornua ejus, et non fuit virtus in ariete ad standum coram facie ejus et dejecit eum in terram, f437 et calcavit eum: et non fuit qui erueret e manu ejus.

Here God shews to his Prophet the victory of Alexander, by which he subdued almost the whole east. Although he encountered many nations in battle, and especially the Indians, yet the name of the Persian empire was so celebrated in the world, that the dignity of others never approached it. Alexander, therefore, by conquering Darius, acquired nearly the whole east. God showed his Prophet the easiness of his victory under this figure. I looked, says he, when he approached the land. Darius was fortified by both the distance of his stations and the strength of his fortifications; for many of his cities were impregnable, according to the common opinion of mankind. It was incredible, then, that the he-goat should approach the ram, surrounded as he was on all sides by such strong and such powerful garrisons. But the Prophet says he; approached the ram, and then, he exasperated himself against him. This applies to Alexander’s furious assaults. We are well acquainted with the keenness of his talents and the superiority of his valor; yet, such was his unbridled audacity, that his promptness approached rather to rashness than to regal bravery. For he often threw himself with a blind impulse against his foes, and it was not his fault if the Macedonian name was not destroyed ten times over. As, then, he rushed on with such violent fury, we are not surprised when the Prophet says he was exasperated of his own accord. And he struck the ram, says he. He conquered Darius in two battles, when the power of the Persian sway throughout Asia Minor was completely ruined. We are all familiar with the results of these hazardous battles, shewing the whole stress of the war to have rested on that engagement in which Darius was first conquered; for when he says, The ram had no strength to stand; and although he had collected an immense multitude, yet that preparation was available for nothing but: empty pomp. For Darius was resplendent with gold, and silver, and gems, and he rather made a show of these, luxuries in warfare, than displayed manly and vigorous strength. The ram, then, had no power to stand before the he goat. Hence, he threw him prostrate on the earth, and trod him down; and no one was able to deliver out of his hand. Darius, indeed, was slain by his attendants, but Alexander trod down all his glory, and the dignity of the Persian empire, under which all the people of the east trembled. We are aware also of the pride with which he abused his victory, until under the influence of harlots and debauchees, as some report, he tumultuously set fire to that most celebrated citadel of Susa in the drunken fit. As he so indignantly trampled under foot the glory of the Persian monarchy, we see how aptly the events fulfilled the prophecy, in the manner recorded by all profane historians.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou desirest us to be tossed about amidst many and various convulsions, that our minds may always look upwards towards heaven, where thou hast prepared for us certain rest and a tranquil inheritance beyond the reach of disturbance and commotion. When the land through which we are on pilgrimage is in confusion, may we be so occupied during its storms, as to. stand composed and grounded upon the faith of thy promises, until having discharged our warfare, we are gathered together into that happy rest, where we shall enjoy the fruit. of our victory, in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Amen.

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.
8. Et hircus caprarum magnificatus est admodum: et cum in robore suo esset, fractum fuit cornu magnum, et prodierunt loco ejus illusttria quatuor alia, versus quatuor ventos coelorum.

This prophecy relates to the death of Alexander. We have explained how, under the image of a he-goat, the Macedonian empire is set before us, having its beginning in the person of Alexander, but by no means ending there, as the monarchy was divided into four parts. The angel said, or at least Daniel records his words, — that he-goat increased to an immense magnitude, because he wandered as it were in sport through almost the whole east, and at the same time subdued it; but when it was in its strength, says he, its great horn was broken. By the great horn, he means the monarchy which was solely m Alexander’s power during his life, as he, was the first and last monarch of his race. And in consequence of his generals, who had obtained dominion in the four quarters of the world, becoming kings, as we shall soon see, the word “he-goat” is not restricted to his person, but is extended to his successors. He Himself is called “the great horn.” Hence, when the he-goat was in his strength, the great horn was broken. For Alexander had arrived at the height of prosperity when he died. Whether he perished by disease or by poison is unknown, since historians report; a great suspicion of foul-play. The angel does not notice his age, which was thirty-three years at his death, while he seemed to have been born for subduing the whole world, although he was so suddenly snatched away. But the angel regards those continued successes, since Alexander almost by a look subdued the whole land, as we have stated before, and hurried on rashly from place to place. Hence he perpetually gained fresh victories, though at the constant hazard of his life, as he had far more audacity than skill. When he was in his strength, says he; meaning, after having subjugated the whole east. He had returned from India, and had determined to re-cross the sea, and to reduce Greece under his power; for the States had rebelled against him, and the Athenians had already collected a great army; but all the eastern States of Asia had been rendered subservient to Alexander when he died. The angel refers to this by the breaking of the great horn.
He afterwards adds, In his place four conspicuous horns sprang up. For he uses the noun twzj chezeveth, notable,” as in yesterday’s Lecture. f438 There were, therefore, four kingdoms which excelled, and each of them was celebrated and placed aloft. Nor is This superfluous, since we know how many became kings, who had enlisted in the service of Alexander with reputation and dignity. Perdiccas was the first, and all thought him to have been favored with special honor by Alexander When asked whom he wished for a successor, he replied, according to the greatness or pride of his spirit, “The person whom he considered most worthy of empire.” He had a son by Roxana the daughter of Darius, as well as another son; then Aridmus his brother approached; yet he deemed no one worthy of the honor of being his successor, as if the world contained no equal to himself. His answer, then, was a proof of his pride. But when he was unable to speak, he took a ring from his hand and gave it to Perdieeas. Hence all conjectured that he had the preference in Alexander’s judgment, and he obtained the supreme authority. After this, Eumenes was slain, who had served under him. Although he was an ally, he was judged as an enemy, and betrayed by his men; Lysimachus being slain on the other side. Fifteen generals were put to death. And as so many succeeded to the place of Alexander and exercised the royal authority, the angel correctly expresses how four conspicuous horns sprang up in the place of one great one. For after various conflicts and many fluctuations for fifteen years or thereabouts, Alexander’s monarchy was at length divided into four parts. Cassander, the son of Antipater, obtained the kingdom of Macedon, after slaying Olympias, the mother of Alexander, his sister, his sons, and his wife Rexaria. This was a horrible slaughter, and if ever God offered a visible spectacle to the world, whereby he openly denounced the shedding of human blood, surely a memorable proof of this existed in the whole of Alexander’s race! Not a single one survived for twenty years after his death. Though his mother had grown old, she was not permitted to descend naturally to the grave, but was murdered. His wife, and son, and brother, and all his relations, shared her fate. And that slaughter was even yet more cruel, as no single leader spared the life of his companions, but each either openly attacked or craftily assailed his friend and confederate! But omitting details, four kingdoms were at last left after such remarkable devastation’s. For Cassander, the son of Antipater, obtained Macedon and some part of Thrace, together with the cities of Greece. Seleucus became master in Syria; Antigonus in Asia Minor, joining Phrygia, Paphlagonia, and all other Asiatic regions, after five or six generals were slain. Ptolemy became prefect of Egypt. This makes four horns, which the angel calls “conspicuous,” for on the testimony of history, all the other principalities vanished away. Alexander’s generals had divided among themselves many large and fertile provinces, but at length they were summed up in these four heads. He says, by the four winds of heaven , that is, of the atmosphere. Now the kingdom of Macedon was very far distant from Syria; Asia was in the midst, and Egypt lay to the south. Thus, the he-goat, as we saw before, reigned throughout the four quarters of the globe; since Egypt, as we have said, was situated towards the south; but the kingdom of Persia, which was possessed by Seleucus, was towards the east and united with Syria; the kingdom of Asia was to the north, and that of Macedon to the west, as we formerly saw the he-goat setting out from the west. It now follows, —

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.
9. Et ex uno illorum egressum est cornu unum parvum, et magnificatum fuit eximie versus Meridiem , et ad Orientum, et ad glorium. f439

Now God shews his Prophet what peculiarly concerned the welfare of his Church. For it was of very great importance to warn the Jews of the calamities which were about to oppress them. There is nothing which more torments the minds of men than their becoming bewildered in false imaginations, and thinking the world the sport of chance, while they never ponder over the providence of God nor reflect upon his judgments. Hence, with this design, God wished to teach the Prophet and all the pious the nature of their future afflictions, since they would thus understand how events never happened by chance, but all these scourges proceeded from God; for the same God both determines and executes his decrees, as he also predicts future events. For if nothing had been predicted, the pious would have glided gently downwards to despair in consequence of their heavy afflictions. We know also how magnificently the prophets extol the grace of God when they promise return and deliverance. Isaiah, too, has elsewhere spoken to this effect: Not in haste nor in tumult shall ye go forth, but with a standard displayed. Again, The wealth of all the nations shall flow towards you; kings shall come, and submit, and bow the knee to thee. (<235210>Isaiah 52:10; <235512>Isaiah 55:12; <235506>Isaiah 55:6.) The Jews were permitted to return to their own land; but we know how cruelly they were harassed by all their neighbors, so that they did not dwell in that corner of the world without the greatest difficulties. The building of both the city and the Temple was hindered by many enemies, till at length they became tributary to the kings of Syria. Antiochus, indeed, who is here alluded to, advanced with cruel tyranny against the people of God. If this had not been predicted, they would have thought themselves deceived by the splendid promises concerning their return. But when they perceived everything occurring according as they had been opportunely forewarned, this became no slight solace in the midst of their woes; they could then determine at once how completely it was in the power of God to relieve them from so many and such oppressive evils. With what intention, then, had God predicted all these things to his Prophet Daniel? clearly that the Jews might look forward to a happy result, and not give way to despair under events so full of anxiety and confusion. This, then, was the utility of the prophecy, with reference to that particular period.
When the Prophet says, Out of one of those four horns a little horn arose, Antiochus Epiphanes is most distinctly pointed out. The title Epiphanes entails “illustrious,” as, after the capture of his father, he was detained as a hostage at Rome, and then escaped from custody. Historians inform us of his possessing a servile disposition, and being much addicted to gross flattery. As he had nothing royal or heroic in his feelings, but was simply remarkable for cunning, the Prophet is justified in calling him the little horn. He was far more powerful than his neighbors; but the horn is called little, not in comparison with the kingdoms of either Egypt, or Asia, or Macedon, but because no one supposed he would ever be king and succeed his father. He was the eldest of many brothers, and singularly servile and cunning, without a single trait worthy of future royalty. Thus he was the little horn who escaped secretly and fraudulently from custody, as, we have already mentioned, and returned. to his native country, which he afterwards governed.
He now adds, This horn was very mighty towards the south, and the east, and “the desire”’ for unless he had been checked by the Romans, he would have obtained possession of Egypt. There is a remarkable and celebrated story of Pompilius, who, was sent to him to command him to abstain from Egypt at the, bidding of the senate. After he had delivered his message, Antiochus demanded time for deliberation, but Pompilius drew a circle with the staff which he held in his hand, and forbade him to move his foot until he gave him an answer. Though he claimed Egypt as his own by right of conquest, yet he dared not openly to deny the Romans their request; at first he pretended to be merely the guardian of his nephew, but he certainly seized upon the kingdom in his own name. However, he dared not oppose the Romans, but by changing his ground wished to dismiss Pompilius. They had been mutual acquaintances, and a great familiarity had arisen between them while he was a hostage at Rome; hence he offered to salute Pompilius at the interview, but he rejected him disdainfully, and, as I have said, drew a line around him, saying, “Before .you go out of this circle answer me; do not delude me by asking time to consult with your councilors; answer at once, otherwise I know how to treat thee.” He was compelled to relinquish Egypt, although he had formerly refused to do so. The language of the Prophet, then, was not in vain, The small horn became mighty towards the south, that is, towards Egypt, and the east; for he extended his kingdom as far as Ptolemais. In the third place, he uses the word glory; that is, Judea, the sanctuary of God, which he had chosen as his dwelling, and desired his name to be invoked. Thus this small horn extended itself to the glory, or the land of glory or desire. There is nothing doubtful in the sense, though the interpretation scarcely agrees with the words. It afterwards follows: —

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 ground, and stamped upon them.
10. Et magnificatum est cornu illud parvum ad exercitum coelorum, dejecit in terram ex illo exercitu, nenipe coelesti, et ex stellis, et calcavit eas.

Here Daniel continues the vision which he had received. We have already shewn he object of the Almighty to be the preparation of the faithful to bear serious calamities, because nothing new or unexpected should happen to them.:Now, Daniel’s dwelling upon this point is not surprising, for it becomes his duty to inform the faithful of the heavy calamities which were at hand, and thus to mould them to patience and equity. Thus he says, The horn became magnificent, even to the army of the heavens. Without the slightest doubt this figure marks the elect people of God. Although the Church often lies prostrate in the world, and is trodden under foot and buried, yet it is always precious before God. Hence the Prophet adorns the Church with this remarkable praise, not to obtain for it any honor before men, but because God has separated it from the world, and provided a sure inheritance in heaven. Although the sons of God are pilgrims on earth, and have scarcely any dwelling-place here, becoming like castaways before men, yet they are nevertheless citizens of heaven. The usefulness of this teaching to us is apparent, by its inducing us to bear it patiently whenever we are often thrown prostrate on the ground, and whenever tyrants and the despiser’s of God look down upon us with scorn. Meanwhile our seat is laid up in heaven, and God numbers us among the stars, although, as Paul says, we are as dung and the offscouring of all things. (<460413>1 Corinthians 4:13.) In fine, God here shews his Prophet, as in a mirror, the estimation in which he holds his Church, however contemptible it is on earth. That horn, then, was magnified before the army of the heavens, and cast down some of that army upon the earth, and trod them out of the stars. Exactly as if he proclaimed the loosening of the reins from the tyrant, permitting him to treat the Church with contempt, to tread it under foot;, and to draw down the stars from heaven, just as if God never appeared for its protection. For when God permits us to be safe and secure in his hand, and pronounces it impossible to prevail against his help, while tyrants harass and oppress us by their lust, it is like drawing down stars from heaven. God therefore, while he takes us under his guardianship, does not offer us. any succor, but dissembles as if he wished to betray us to our enemies. Nothing therefore is superfluous in these expressions of the Prophet The stars were trodden down and the heavenly army thrown down to earth. He now adds —

11. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
11. Et ad Principem exercitus magnificatum est f440 et ab eo ablatum fuit juge, f441 et projectus fuit f442 locus sancturii ejus.

Daniel announces something still more atrocious here, namely, the exaltation of the little horn against God. Some take “the prince of the army” for the high priest, as princes are sometimes called µynhwk, kuhnim, as well as µyrç, serim; but that is too forced. The true sense of the passage imputes such arrogance and folly to Antiochus as to urge him to declare war with the stars of heaven, implying not only his opposition to God’s Church, which is separate from the world, but also his daring defiance of God himself and his resistance to his power. He not only exercised his cruelty against the faithful, but profaned the temple itself, and endeavored to extinguish all piety, and to abolish the worship of God throughout Judea, as we shall explain more fully in other passages. As, therefore, Antiochus not only raged against men, but used his utmost endeavors to overthrow religion, Daniel relates how that horn was raised up even against the prince of the army. God is deservedly entitled to this appellation, because he defends his Church, and cherishes it under his wings. This expression ought to be explained not only of God’s glory and empire, but also of his paternal favor towards us, as he deigns to manifest his care for us as if he were our Prince.
From him, says he, was the perpetual sacrifice utterly snatched away, and the place of his sanctuary cast down. These words are horrible in their import; God was thus spoiled of his rights, since he had chosen but a single corner in the world for his special worship. What heathen, then, would not despise this forbearance of God, in permitting himself to be deprived of his legitimate honor by that sordid tyrant? As we have already stated, Antiochus had neither greatness of mind nor warlike courage, being skillful only in cunning and in the basest acts of flattery. Besides, granting him to have comprised a hundred Alexanders in his own person, what can be the Almighty’s design in allowing his temple to be polluted, and all true sacrifices to cease throughout the world? One corner alone, as we have lately mentioned, was left where God wished to be worshipped, and now Antiochus seizes upon the temple, and profanes and defiles it with the utmost possible indignity, thus leaving no single place sacred to the Almighty. For this reason I have asserted the prophecy to appear very harsh. The Prophet now increases the indignity when he speaks of the perpetual sacrifice. For God had often borne witness to his temple being his perpetual “rest,” or “station,” or “seat;” yet he is now ejected from this spot, as if exiled from the earth entirely. The temple could not exist without sacrifices, for the whole worship under the law was a kind of appendage to the temple. As God had promised the sacrifice should be perpetual and eternal, who would not assert, when Antiochus destroyed it, either all the promises to have been deceptive, or all authority to have departed from God, who failed to defend his right against that impious tyrant. Surely this must have been a distressing calamity, overwhelming all the faithful! And when even at this moment we read the prophecy, all our senses are horrified by its perusal. No wonder, then, that God forewarned. his servant of such sorrowful events, and such incredible evils, to admonish his whole Church in due season, and to arm them against the severest temptations, which might otherwise strike down even the most courageous. The sacrifice , then , says he, was snatched away from God himself, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down or dissipated. It afterwards follows: —

12. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.
12. Et tempus f443 datum est super jugi sacrificio in scelere, f444 et projiciet veritatem in terram et faciet, f445 et prospere aget.

The Prophet mitigates the asperity which he now records. It seems absurd for God to allow such license to Antiochus, that his temple should be spoiled and all sacrifices and all worship exterminated. It is difficult to reconcile this, for the opinion will naturally creep in, — possibly God is constrained and deprived of power to subdue his foes. The, Prophet therefore clearly states here how the license for vexing and oppressing’ the Church would never have been granted to Antiochus without God’s permission. Time, therefore, shall be given him, says he. By the words, time shall be given. he refers to the will of God, meaning, the pious shall have no cause for desponding while they see all things disturbed and confused in every direction, as God will rule all these perplexities by his secret judgment. Time, then, shall be given, implying, Antiochus can do nothing by his unbridled and furious audacity, unless divinely permitted and previously limited. abx tzeba, signifies both “army” and “time,” but the latter meaning is the most suitable here; for when it is translated “an army shall be given him,” the sense appears forced. I more willingly embrace the sense of time being allowed; that is, God will try the patience of his Church for a certain definite time, and will then bring their troubles to an end. We, know it to be impossible to sustain the spirits of the faithful, otherwise that by their expectation of a favorable termination, and by the hope of their emerging from the abyss of sorrow. This, then, is the reason why God shews his Prophet by a vision the temporary duration of the sway of Antiochus. A period, then, shall be appointed to him over the perpetual sacrifice; meaning, whatever he may intend, he shall not abolish the worship of God. For, however he may exert himself, God will not permit the sacrifices to perish utterly and forever; he will restore them in his own time, as we shall afterwards see, and when we come to the close, we shall find the context flowing on in accordance with this meaning — a time shall be given him over the continual sacrifice.
He afterwards adds [çpb, beph-sheng, in wickedness,” or “in sin.” I prefer the simple translation ‘“ in sin to “by sin,” although different senses are elicited according to the different views of interpreters. It is better to leave it to every one’s free choice, and thus simply to translate “in wickedness” or “sin.” Some refer it to Antiochus, because he wickedly polluted God’s temple, and abolished the sacrifices. This sense is probable, but I will add others, and then say which of them I like best. Some understand “in sin” of the priests, because, through the perfidy of Jason, Antiochus entered the city, spoiled the temple, and introduced those abominations which exterminated all piety and divine worship. (2 Maccabees. 4:7.) As Jason desired to snatch the priesthood from his brother Onias, he opened the gates to Antiochus; then a great slaughter followed, in which all the adherents of Onias were cruelly slain. Afterwards Menelaus expelled Jason again by similar perfidy. Some translate “by means of wickedness,” as these priests induced Antiochus to exercise cruelty in the holy city, and to violate the temple itself. Others approach nearer the real sense, by supposing the sacrifices to have ceased through wickedness, because they were adulterated by the priests. But this appears to me too restricted. In my judgment, I rather hold towards the view of those who take “wickedness” as a cause arid origin, thereby teaching the Jews how justly they were punished for their sins. I have already explained how properly the vision was limited as to time, and controlled by God’s permission and secret counsel. The cause is here expressed; for it might still be objected, “How happens it that God submits himself and his sacred name to the ridicule of the impious, and even deserts his own people? What does he intend by this .The Prophet, therefore, assigns this cause — the Jews must feel the profanation of the temple, the sad devastation. of the whole city and their horrible slaughter, to be the reward due to their sins. A time, therefore, shall be assigned over the perpetual sacrifice in sin; that is, on account of sin. We here see how God on the one hand moderates the weight of the evils which pressed upon the Jews, and shews them some kindness, lest sorrow, anxiety, and despair should consume the wretched people; on the other hand, he humbles them and admonishes them to confess their sins, and then he urges them to apply their minds to repentance, by stating their own sins to be the cause of their afflictions. He thus shews how the source of all their evils was in the Jews themselves, while God’s anger was provoked by their vices. It is necessary to stop here till tomorrow.
Grant, Almighty God, as thou hast enlightened us by the teaching of thy Gospel, and set before our eyes thine only begotten Son as a Sun of righteousness to rule us, and hast deigned to separate us from the whole world, and to make us thy peculiar people, and to prepare for us a certain seat in heaven: Grant, I pray thee, that we may be heirs of eternal life. Grant us also, to be mindful of thy sacred calling, and to make our pilgrimage on earth with spirits looking upwards and tending towards thee. May we meditate upon the righteousness of thy kingdom, and be entirely devoted to thee. Do thou protect us by thy hand even to the end, and may we march boldly under thy standard, till at length we arrive at that blessed rest, where the fruit of our victory is laid up for us in Jesus Christ our Lord. — Amen.
Daniel here mentions one among the many crimes of Antiochus, his casting down truth to the ground. This clause ought to be joined with the former; for Antiochus could not deprive God of his lawful worship without abolishing sound doctrine. The angel seems here to express the reason for the destruction of the sanctuary, because the worship of God depended upon the teaching of the law, which is here understood by the word “truth.” This passage then states that no religion is pleasing to God unless founded on truth; for God, according to the uniform teaching of the Scriptures, does not desire to be worshipped according to man’s caprice, but rather tries the obedience of men by prescribing what he demands and approves, lest men should pass over these bounds. We must here remark the union which Daniel now establishes between the overthrow and abolition of the worship of God, and the casting down of truth to the ground, when it neither obtains its proper rank, nor subdues all mortals to itself.
It may be read, he will east down truth in the earth; thus making a distinction between heaven and earth. And if we like to read it so, the sense will be — truth still remains stable although it perishes in the earth, because it has its station in heaven. Thus the sense would be — after the abolition of the worship of God, and the cessation of the sacrifices, piety could no longer exist among mortals. At length he adds, he shall succeed and prosper. The first word here implies execution. God wished on the whole to admonish his Church concerning the prosperous success of Antiochus, lest the faithful should be dispirited at beholding the impious tyranny so petulantly and wantonly polluting God’s temple, and utterly destroying his religion, as if he had provoked God himself to the contest. For this conduct was equivalent to a direct declaration of war against God. For his success would trouble all the pious, as if the tyrant was superior to God himself. Hence this prediction would warn the faithful against the novelty or suddenness of anything which might occur. It follows, —

DANIEL 8:13-14
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?
13. Et audivi sanctum unum loquentum: dixit ergo sanctus unus mirabili, dicemus postea de voce, loquens, Quousque visiom jugis sacrificii, et sceleris vastantis ad dandum, f446 et sanctuarium, et exercitus conculcatio. f447
14. And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
14. Et dixit mihi, ad vesperum, mane, f448 duo millia et trecenti anni: et justificabitur sanctuarium.

Here he expresses more clearly, what I formerly said, unfolding God’s intention of consoling and soothing the sorrows of the pious lest they should sink under the severity of their trials, at the sight of an impious tyrant domineering in the sanctuary of God. Besides, the spot which God had promised should be his perpetual dwelling-place, was exposed to impious superstitions, for the idol of Jupiter Olympius was erected there, the history of the Maccabees informs us. (2 Maccabees. 1:57; 2 Maccabees. 6:2.) God therefore wished to uphold his servants, lest too severe a temptation should overwhelm them, and lest trial in so many forms should cause them to yield and become deficient in piety through want of courage. But while Daniel is stupefied through astonishment., God provides for his infirmity by means of an angel. Daniel himself, without doubt, inquired concerning the vision as we shall see he did afterwards; but here God desired to meet him, as he saw the holy man. so overcome by fear as scarcely to dare to make any inquiry. God, therefore, here affords no common proof of his paternal goodness and indulgence, in interposing and sending his angel to make inquiries in the Prophet’s name. He says, then, he heard a holy one, meaning an angel. For, although God deigns to call the faithful while dwelling in the world by this honorable title, yet the superior purity of angels is familiar to us, as they are altogether free from the lusts of the flesh. But we, alas! are detained in this prison-house, we are bound down in slavery to sin, and are polluted by much corruption. The holiness of angels, however, is far greater than that of mortals, and thus this attribute of “holiness” is properly applied to them. When Daniel was caught up by the prophetic spirit, he was separated from the society of men, and was admitted to that of angels.
An angel then, said to the wonderful one. The Hebrews often use this expression when they mean “whoever it may be” — ploni almoni and apply it to places as well as persons. They use it also of any place unknown to them or concealed from them. They treat the noun as compounded of two words, and many interpret it of any one unknown, but I think the word to be more emphatic than this. f449 Daniel here brings forward an angel speaking, and adds dignity to his description by calling him “holy.” Without doubt, then, the person of whom the angel asked the question was his superior; it is not likely that he would be called “a certain one,” while the angel is termed a holy one. Reason, then, requires the expression to be applied to some angel whose glory was incomprehensible, or at least far superior to ordinary ones; for, as Daniel calls one angel “holy,” so he would have called the rest, as we shall afterwards see. When treating, however, of a distinct being, he uses the word ynwmlp, palmoni, and its etymology guides us to its sense, as meaning something mysterious and incomprehensible. Then, who does not see that Christ is denoted, who is the chief of angels and far superior to them. all? In the ninth chapter of Isaiah, (<230906>Isaiah 9:6,) he is called alp pela, “wonderful.” The word in the text is a compound one, as we have said, but as alp pela , signifies “hidden” in Hebrew, as Christ is so called, and as in <070301>Judges 3:1, God claims this name as peculiarly his own, all these points agree well together. The sense then is, an angel comes to Christ for the sake of Daniel and of the whole Church, and seeks from him as from the supreme teacher and master, the meaning of the declarations which we have just heard. We need not feel surprise at angels inquiring into eternity, as if it were unknown to them. It is the property of Deity alone to know all things, while the knowledge of angels is necessarily limited. Paul teaches us to wonder at the Church being collected out of profane and strange people; this was a mystery hidden from angels themselves, before God really showed himself the father of the whole world. (<490310>Ephesians 3:10.) Hence, there is no absurdity in supposing angels to inquire into mysteries, as ignorance is not necessarily deserving of blame, and as God has not raised his creatures for his own level. It is his peculiar province to know all things, and to have everything under his eye. The angel desires to understand this mystery, not so much for his own sake as on account of the whole Church; for we know them to be our ministers, according to the clear testimony of the Apostle. (Hebrews 1:14.) As they keep watch over us so carefully, it does not surprise us to find the angel inquiring so anxiously concerning this vision, and thus benefiting the whole Church by the hand of Daniel.
Meanwhile, we must notice, how Christ is the chief of angels and also their instructor, because he is the eternal Wisdom of God. Angels, therefore, must draw all the light of their intelligence from that single fountain. Thus angels draw us to Christ by their example, and induce us to devote ourselves to him through the persuasion that this is the supreme and only wisdom. If we are his disciples, being obedient, humble, and teachable, we shall desire to know only what he will make manifest to us. But the angel asks. What is the meaning of the vision of the perpetual sacrifice, and of the sin? that is, what, is the object of the vision concerning the abrogation of the perpetual sacrifice, and concerning the sin which lays waste? As to the second point, we explained yesterday the various opinions of interpreters, some twisting it to Antiochus, who impiously dared to violate God’s temple, and others to the priests. But we said the people were intended, lest many, as they are accustomed, should blame the Almighty for so heavily afflicting the Church. But God wished to bear witness to the origin of this devastation from the sins of the people. It is just as if the angel had said, How long will the sacrifices cease? How long will this vengeance, by which God will chastise the wickedness of his people, endure? For the sin is called devastating, through being the cause of that calamity. It is afterwards added, how long will the sanctuary and the army be trodden, down? that is, how long will the worship of God, and true piety, and the people itself, be trodden down under this cruel tyranny of Antiochus? But this question has far more efficacy, than if the Prophet had said, as we saw yesterday, that the punishment should be uniform and temporal. It was now necessary to explain what had already been stated more clearly. Thus this question was interposed with the view of rendering Daniel more attentive, and of stirring up the people by this narrative to the pursuit of learning. For it is no common event when angels approach Christ for our sakes, and inquire into the events which concern the state and safety of the Church. As, therefore, angels discharge this duty, we must be worse than stony, if we are not urged to eagerness and carefulness in the pursuit of divine knowledge. We see, then, why this passage concerning the angel is interposed.
The phrase, And he said to me, now follows. This ought to be referred not to the angel inquiring, but to the Wonderful One. Whence we, rather gather the great anxiety of the angel concerning the interpretation of the prophecy, not for his own sake, but for the common benefit of the pious. Respecting this Wonderful One, though I am persuaded he was the Son of God, yet whoever he was, he certainly does not reject the angel’s request. Why then does he address Daniel rather than the angel? Because the angel was not seeking his own benefit, but took up the cause of the whole Church, as we have Shawn how angels are occupied in our salvation. Thus also we see how the angel notices the Prophet’s astonishment, when he was almost dead, and had not thought of inquiring for himself, or at least did not dare to break forth at once; for he afterwards recovered himself, and was raised up by the angel’s hand, as we shall soon perceive. The Wonderful One said to me — that is, the incomprehensible or the mysterious one said to me — for two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings, then the sanctuary shall be justified. Here the Hebrews are mutually at variance whether they ought to understand the number of years or of months; but it is surprising to perceive how grossly they are deluded in so plain a matter. The expression, to evening and morning, is not doubtful, since Christ, clearly means two thousand three hundred days; for what else can the phrase, morning and evening, signify? It cannot be used of either years or months. Evidently we ought to understand natural days here, consisting of twenty-four hours each. Those who receive it of years and months are wretchedly mistaken, and even ridiculous in their calculations. For some begin to calculate the, time from Samuel, they next descend to the reign of Saul, and next to that of David; and thus they foolishly trifle, through not understanding the intention of Christ, who wished his Church to be forewarned of the coming empires and slaughters, with the view of rendering the faithful invincible, however sorely they may be oppressed on all sides. Christ therefore wished to hold up a light to direct all the elect through the approaching darkness under the tyranny of Antiochus, and to assure them that in the very depths of it they would not be deserted by the favor of God. Hope would thus elevate their minds and all their senses unto the promised termination. To what purpose, then, do those interpreters speak of the reigns of Saul and .David? We see this to be altogether foreign and adverse to the mind of Christ, and to the use of this prophecy.:No less absurd is the guess of those who prate about months. Their refutation would occupy three or four hours, and would be a waste of time, utterly profitless. It is sufficient to gather this simple meaning from the words — Christ does not speak here of years or months, but of days. We must now seek the true interpretation of the passage from the whole context. We have shewn how impossible it is to explain this prophecy otherwise than by Antiochus: the event itself proves this to be its meaning. Blind indeed must be those who do not hold this principle — the small horn sprang from one of those remarkable and illustrious persons who came forth in place of one very large horn. Boys even know this by reading the accredited. history of those times. As Christ here alluded to the tyranny of Antiochus, we must observe how his words accord with the facts. Christ numbers 2300 days for the pollution of the sanctuary, and this period comprehends six years and about four months. We know the Jews to have used lunar years as well as months. They afterwards used interealary periods, since twelve lunar months did not correspond with the sun’s course. The same custom prevailed among both Greeks and Romans. Julius Caesar first arranged for us the solar year, and supplied the defect by intercalary days, so that the months might accord with the sun’s course. But however that was, these days, as I have said, fill up six years and three months and a half. Now, if we compare the testimony of history, and especially of the book of Maccabees, with this prophecy, we shall find that miserable race oppressed for six years under the tyranny of Antiochus. The idol of Olympian Jove did not remain in the temple for six continuous years, but the commencement of the pollution occurred at the first attack, as if he would insult the very face of God. No wonder then if Daniel understood this vision of six years and about a third, because Antiochus then insulted the worship of God and the Law; and when he poured forth innocent blood promiscuously, no one dared openly to resist him. As, therefore, religion was then laid prostrate on the ground, until the cleansing of the temple, we see how very clearly the prophecy and the history agree, as far as this narrative is concerned. Again, it is clear the purifying of the temple could not have .been at the end of the sixth current year, but in the month wlsk, keslu, answering to October or November, as leaned men prudently decide, it was profaned. For this month among the Jews begins sometimes in the middle of October, and sometimes at the end, according to the course of the moon; for we said the months and years were lunar. In the month Keslu the temple was polluted; in the month rda Ader, about three months afterwards, near its close, the Maccabees purged it. (1 Maccabees 4:36.) Thus the history confirms in every way what Daniel had predicted many ages previously — nay, nearly three hundred years before it came to pass. For this occurred a hundred and fifty years after the death of Alexander. Some time also had already elapsed, as there were eight or ten kings of Persia between the deaths of Cyrus and Darius. I do not remember any but the chief events just now, and it ought it to be sufficient for us to perceive how Daniel’s predictions were fulfilled in their own season, as historians clearly narrate. Without the slightest doubt, Christ predicted the profanation of the temple, and this would depress the spirits of the pious as if God had betrayed them, had abandoned all care of his temple, and had given up his election and his covenant entirely. Christ therefore wished to support the spirit of the faithful by this prediction, thereby informing them how fully they deserved these future evils, in consequence of their provoking God’s wrath; and yet their punishment should be temporary, because the very God who announced its approach promised at the same time a prosperous issue.
Respecting the phrase, the sanctuary shall be justified, some translate it — “Then the sanctuary shall be expiated;” but I prefer retaining the proper sense of the word. We know how usually the Hebrews use the word “justify” when they speak of rights. When their own rights are restored to those who have been deprived of them — when a slave has been blessed with his liberty — when he who has been unjustly oppressed obtains his cause, the Hebrews use this word “justified.” As God’s sanctuary was subject to infamy by’ the image of Olympian Jove being exhibited there, all respect for it had passed away; for we know how the glory of the temple sprang from the worship of God. As the temple had been defiled by so great disgrace, it was then justified, when God established his own sacrifices again, and restored his pure worship as prescribed by the Law. The sanctuary, therefore, shall be justified; that is, vindicated from that disgrace to which for a time it had been subject. It follows: —

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 the appearance of a man.
15. Et factum est. cum videram ego Daniel visionem, et quaererem intelligentiam, ecce stetit coram me quasi aspectus, vel species, viri.

Daniel again confirms his original statement. But before he descends to the interpretation, he makes a preface concerning the faithfulness and certainty of the oracle, lest the Church should hesitate to embrace his utterance as really proceeding from God.:In doing this, he uses no artifice as rhetoricians do; but God wished to stir up both him and all the pious to meditate upon this prophecy, the knowledge of which was then so peculiarly necessary and useful. He says, therefore, when he sought the understanding of this vision, there appeared to him a form like that of a man. Now God had anticipated this desire of the Prophet, by the answer which the angel received from Christ, who in reply had partly explained the sense of this vision. Now Daniel, finding himself anticipated by God who did not wait for his inquiry, gathers courage, and trusting in God’s readiness to furnish an answer, he wishes to learn the matter more clearly; not that he was altogether ignorant of the subject, but he did not yet perceive with sufficient clearness what was useful to himself and the whole Church. We see then, how the answer of Christ only afforded him a taste of the vision, and only urged him forwards towards the full comprehension of it. Many are immediately satisfied with but moderate information, and as soon as they understand a portion of any subject, they reject every addition, and many too often settle down at the first elements, and their obstinacy prevents that complete knowledge which is necessary. Daniel therefore shews himself to be far distant from such fastidiousness, as he was rendered more attentive by hearing from Christ’ lips the rea1 object of the vision. When I was attentive 1 sought to understand it, says he, behold! there stood before my face (or near it)like the aspect of a man. We ought probably to interpret this passage of Christ, who is now called like a man, as formerly. (<270713>Daniel 7:13.) For he had not yet put on our flesh, so as to be properly entitled to the name of a man; but he was here like a man, because he wished to allow the holy fathers a taste from which they might understand his future coming as Mediator, when he should put on human nature as God manifest:in flesh:. (<540316>1 Timothy 3:16.) Thus Daniel speaks suitably as before when he says, Christ appeared to him under the aspect of a man. But this adds to the same purpose, —

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.
16. Et audivi vocem hominis in Ulai f450 et clamavit, et dixit, Gabriel, doce hane visionem.

He does not use the particle implying fitness, but says he heard the voice of a man, because he treats no longer of either a man or a figure, but of a voice. It is sufficient to say at once, he was like a man, not really so, but only under the image and appearance of one. Christ therefore appeared as a man, and is called one, since Scripture often records how angels often appeared under the form of men, and are called indiscriminately, either angels or men. (<070803>Judges 8:3, etc.) So in this place Daniel relates the appearance of a. man, or the aspect of one, improperly indeed, but without any danger of mistake; for he afterwards admonishes the faithful, how this person was not clothed with the substance of flesh, but had only a human form and aspect. I heard then a human voice in the midst of the river. We gather from this that the same person is here intended of whom mention was lately made, because he commands the angel; whence this can be referred to Christ alone.
Gabriel, says he, teach him. We observe the speaker from the midst of:the river here commanding Gabriel, as if superior to him. For Gabriel as. the name of an angel, is sufficiently known from other passages of Scripture; (<420119>Luke 1:19, 26;) and its etymology, “The strength of God,” is very suitable to this meaning. Without ally doubt, the angel here receives his commands from Christ. Thus, we see the supreme power and authority represented under the form and aspect of a man, as well as obedience portrayed in Gabriel, who discharges the duty enjoined upon him. From this Christ’s divinity is inferred, as he could not issue orders to angels, without either having special authority, or being God himself. But when the phrase “like a man” is used, we are taught his manifest superiority to man. And what does this imply? not angelic nature but divine. Christ by thus presenting himself under a human form, shews, by a kind of foreshadowing, how he would become a man, when the fullness of time arrived. Then he would really manifest himself as the head of the Church, and the guardian of the salvation of the pious. For he proves himself to have power over all angels, when he orders Gabriel to discharge the office of the Prophet’s instructor. We will put off the remainder.
Grant, Almighty God, since in these days the earth is full of defilement’s which pollute the sacred worship of thy name, as there is scarcely a corner of the world which Satan has not corrupted, and as thy truth is everywhere adulterated, that we may persevere and remain steadfast in our course of piety. May we always be attentive to that light which thou didst first set before us in the Law, and which shines upon us now more fully under the Gospel. May we never become plunged into that darkness in which we see the world wrapped up, and in which those who seem to be themselves most acute are still involved. Grant us always to follow that life which thou shewest us, until we arrive at that goal which thou hast set before us, and to which thou daily invitest us by thine only-begotten Son. — Amen.

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, O son of man; for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
17. Et venit ad stationem meam: et cum veniret territus sum, et cecidi super faciem meam: tunc dixit ad me, Intellige, fil hominis, quai ad tempus finis visio. f451

I will not repeat what I have already explained. I will proceed with what I had commenced, namely, the Prophet’s need of instruction, because he could not understand the vision without an interpreter; wherefore the angel was ordered to explain his revelation of God more fully. But, before he narrates this, he says, he was frightened at the approach of the angel. Without doubt., this reverence was always present to his mind. Whenever he perceived himself called or taught by God, he was doubtless struck with fear; but here some special feeling is expressed, as God desired to influence his mind to set us an example, and to render us more attentive. Here Daniel explains his own mind to us, commending the magnitude and importance of the vision, lest we should read with carelessness what he will afterwards relate, and not treat the occasion with sufficient seriousness. For God used the angel as his servant to explain his intention to the Prophet; at the same time he inwardly touched his mind by his Spirit to show us the way, and thus he would not only train us to docility, but also to fear. He says, then, he was frightened and fell down. This, as I have said, was usual with the Prophet, as it ought to be with all the pious. Paul also, in celebrating the effect and power of prophecy, says, if any unbelievers should enter into the assembly and hear a prophet speaking in God’s name, he would prostrate himself, says he, upon his face. (1 Corinthians 14:25.) If this happened to unbelievers, how great will be our troubles, unless we receive most reverently and humbly, what we know to have been uttered by the mouth of God? Meanwhile, we should remember what I have lately touched upon, — the importance of the present oracle ,as here commended to us by the Prophet; for he fell upon his face through his fright, as he will repeat in the next verse.
Nor is the following exhortation superfluous; understated, says he, O son of Adam. It would be of little use to us to be moved and excited for a time, unless our minds were afterwards composed for hearing. For many are touched by fear when God appears to them; that is, when he compels them to feel the force and power of his sway; but they continue in their stupidity, and thus their fright is rendered profitless. But Daniel here makes a difference between himself and the profane, who are only astonished and by no means prepared for obedience. At the same time, he relates how his own excitement was effected by the assistance of the angel. The fear, then, of which we have lately made mention, was preparation for docility; but; this terror would have been useless by itself, unless it had been added, that he might understand. We ought. to understand how piety does not consist merely in acknowledging the fear of God, but obedience is also required, preparing us to receive with tranquil and composed feelings whatever we shall be taught. We ought diligently to observe this order.
It now follows: Because there shall be an end of the vision at a fixed time. Some join ≈qAt[l legneth-ketz, making the sense “at the end of the time,” ≈q ketz, in this sense being in the genitive case by way of an epithet, as the Hebrews commonly use it. They elicit this sense — the vision shall be for a prefixed time. But others prefer — the end of the vision shall be for a time. I think this latter sense is better, as the former seems to me forced. On the whole, it is not of much consequence, yet as that form of expression is the easier, namely, the end or fulfillment of the vision should be at a definite time, I had rather follow that interpretation. The angel asserts, then, that this was no vain speculation, but a cause joined with its effect, which should have its completion at a stated period. There shall be an end, then, of the vision in its time; meaning, what you now behold shall neither vanish away nor be destroyed, but its end shall happen when the time shall arrive which God has determined. ≈q, ketz, is often taken in this sense. Hence there shall be an end of the vision,; that is, the vision shall be completed when the fitting time shall arrive. We ought to bear in mind this exhortation of the angel, because unless we are certainly persuaded of the fixedness of anything when God speaks, we shall not be ready to receive whatever he pronounces. But when we are convinced of this saying, God never separates his hand from his mouth — meaning, he is never unlike himself, but his power follows up his word, and thus he fulfills whatever he declares; this becomes a sure and firm foundation for our faith. This admonition of the angel ought to be extended generally to the whole of Scripture, since God does not throw words into the air, according to the common phrase. For nothing happens rashly, but as soon as he speaks, his truth, the matter itself and its necessary effect, are all consistent. It follows: —

18. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
18. Et cum loqueretur mecum, sopitus corrui super faciem meam in terram, et tetigit me, f452 et restituit me super stationem meam. f453

The Prophet repeats what he had said, namely, how he had been frightened by the magnitude of this vision; meanwhile, he was raised up by the angel, lest he should remain in that state of stupor. Yet these two clauses must be noticed: Daniel was astonished at the outset, for he could not otherwise be sufficiently composed to listen to the angel’s voice; but at the same time another clause is added, stating, the angel set him upright in his place. Whenever God addresses us, we must necessarily be subject to fear and dread, to produce humility, and to render us docile and obedient. Fears the true preparation for obedience; but, as we formerly said, another feeling ought to follow; namely, as God has previously prostrated and cast us down, he will also raise us up, thereby preparing us for listening; and this disposition cannot arise except our minds are sedate and composed. The Prophet then expresses both these states of mind here. This, as I have said, is common to all the pious; but a peculiarity is noticed here, lest the readers of the vision should become torpid, and receive it carelessly; for they ought to collect all their senses, conscious of their inability to understand it, unless the fear of God should precede, and thus form the mind for obedience. While he was speaking with me, therefore, I fell into a swoon with my face upon the ground; that is, I lay astonished, and he touched me. I have already stated the opinion of others, that the angel approached him, but it is only tolerable. He now adds: —

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.
19. Et dixit, Ecce ego docebo te f454 quod erit in fine irae: quia ad praefixum, vel statutem tempus finis.

Those who read the noun ketz, end, in the genitive case in <270817>Daniel 8:17, understand in this place the word “vision” again, as if the Prophet had said, “At the time of the end there shall be a vision.” But as d[wm, meveged, or moed, signifies a “time fixed and settled beforehand,” there is nothing superfluous in that method .of speech; then ketz, as I have said, is properly taken for the effect itself, and it would be harsh and far-fetched to say “at the time of the end there shall be a vision,” in the, sense of the filling up of the vision. For this word expresses all which such interpreters wish it to imply. Besides, all are agreed as to the matter itself, since the angel bears witness to his being the interpreter chosen by God, who explains futurity to the Prophet. Behold, therefore, says he, I will explain to thee. He here acquires confidence for himself from his office, as he had accepted the commands divinely laid upon him. And we should remark this also, since our faith will never rest or become firm unless the authority on which it is founded be fixed. As then the angel declares himself to be executing an office divinely enjoined upon him, ought we to put confidence in men who conduct themselves with rashness, and, though they assume authority in God’s name, yet have no certain and lawful calling? We may learn, then, how neither angels nor men ought to be held in such honor as to induce us to receive whatever they bring forward, unless the Almighty has appointed. them to be his ministers and interpreters.
He then says, I will announce to thee what shall happen even at the end of the wrath. Without doubt, the angel asserts by this phrase the suddenness of God’s wrath. We are aware how instantaneously on the return of the people their enemies attacked them in Judea, and never ceased to inflict upon them numberless troubles. Wherefore, as soon as the Jews had returned from exile, God began to exercise them in various ways, and not without sufficient reason. Every one privately studied his own interests, but without any regard for the temple and any desire for the worship of God, and thus they were given up to avarice and caprice. They also defrauded God himself in tithes and offerings, as is evident from the prophets Malachi and Haggai. (<370112>Haggai 1:12; <390308>Malachi 3:8.) From that period God began to punish them, but deferred his vengeance till the time of Antiochus. The angel, therefore, calls the end of the vengeance that severer punishment which God inflicted after the people had abused his forbearance. Therefore I will teach thee, or lay before time, what shall happen at the close of the vengeance, because, says he, it shall be the time of the end. He here repeats what he had said concerning the effect of the prophecy, meaning, the fulfillment should take place at its own appointed season. We must; now notice the noun moed, because it is here opposed to our fervor and intemperance. Haste in desiring anything leads, as they say, to delay; for as soon as God bears witness to anything, we wish it to be fulfilled at the very first moment, and if he suspend its execution only a very few days, we not only wonder but cry out with vexation. God, therefore, here admonishes us by his angel that he has a settled time, and thus we are to learn to put a bridle on ourselves, and not to be rash and unseasonably hasty, according to our usual habit. We ought, then, to remember the explanation given, and perceive how the effect of the vision is shewn here, and thus it will obtain from us its just reverence. It follows: —

DANIEL 8:20-21
20. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
20. Et aries quem vidisti habentem duo cornua, reges sunt Medorum et Persarum.
21. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
21. Et hircus caprae, qui natus erit ex hirco, rex Graecae, et cornu magnum quod erat inter oculos, ejus, est rex primus.

By the word “Javan” the Hebrews designate not only the Greeks but the: Macedonians, and the whole of that tract which is divided by the Hellespont, from Asia Minor as far as Illyricmn. Therefore the meaning is — the king of Greece.

DANIEL 8:22-23
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.
22. Et confractum est, f455 et extiterunt quatuor, cornua scilicet, loco ejus: quatuor regna a gente exsurgent, vel, existent, et non pro fortitudine illius.
23. And in the latter time their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
23. Et in fine regni illorum, ubi perfecti fuerint scelerati, existet rex praefractus facie, f456 et intelligens aenigmata.

Hence Luther, indulging his thoughts too freely, refers this passage to the masks of Antichrist, but we shall trace this point afterwards. f457

DANIEL 8:24-25
24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
24. Et roborabitur fortitudo ejus, et non in fortitudine sua, f458 et mirabilia f459 evertet, prosperabitur, et efficiet, et perdet, repetit idem verbum, robustos, et populum sanctorum.
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.
25. Et pro intelligentia sua prosperabitur dolus in manu ejus, et in corde suo magnificabit se, et in pace perdet multos, vel fortes, et contra Principem principum stabit, vel exsurget, et absque manu frangetur.

We have previously given a brief explanation of all these subjects. But here the angel removes all doubt, lest we should still anxiously inquire the meaning of the ram which Daniel saw, and of the he-goat which followed and prostrated the ram. The angel, therefore, here pronounces the ram to represent two kingdoms, which coalesced in one. Cyrus, as we have said, granted it for a time to his father-in-law Cyaxares, but yet; drew the whole power to himself, and the Persians began to extend their sway over all the realms of the East. But God in this vision had respect to the beginning of that monarchy. When, however, the Persians and Medes, were united, then the ram bore two horns; then the he-goat succeeded, and he threw down the ram, as we have already seen. In that he-goat there was first one great horn and then four small ones. Tim angel then answers concerning the he-goat representing the kingdom of the Greeks. There is not the slightest doubt here, since Alexander seized upon the whole East, and thus the Persian monarchy was utterly destroyed. In the he-goat, therefore, the kingdom of Greece or Macedon was displayed, but the horns will mark something special.
That great, horn, says Daniel, was the first king, namely, Alexander; afterwards four smaller horns arose in his place. We have already explained these. For when much blood had been shed, and the greater part of the leaders had been slain, and after the followers of Alexander had mutually attacked and. destroyed each other, those who remained divided his dominions among themselves. Cassander the son of Antipater obtained Macedon; Seleueus, Syria; Ptolemy, Egypt; and Antigonus his own fourth share. In this way the smaller horns succeeded Alexander, according to the clear testimony of profane history. From the frequency with which God sets this prophecy before us, we gather his intention of giving us a conspicuous sign of his majesty. For how could Daniel conjecture future events for so long a period before they happened? He does not pronounce mere enigmas, but; narrates things exactly as if they were already fulfilled. At the present time Epicureans despise the Scriptures and laugh at our simplicity, as if we were too ridiculous. But they rather display their own prodigious madness, and blindness, by not acknowledging the prediction of Daniel to be divine. Nay, from this prophecy alone we may prove with certainty the unity of God. If any one was inclined to deny that first principle, and utterly reject the doctrine of his divinity, he might be convinced by this single prophecy. Not only is this subject treated here, but Daniel points with his finger to the God of Israel as the only one in whose hand and will are all things, and from whom nothing either escapes or is concealed. From this prophecy alone the authority of Scripture is established by proofs perfectly sure and undoubted, as the Prophet treats with perfect clearness events at the time unknown, and which no mortal could ever have divined.
First of all he says, The ram which, thou sawest, having two horns, means the kings of the Medes and Persians. This had not then occurred, for that ram had not yet risen and seized upon Babylon, as we have stated already. Thus Daniel was raised up as it were to heaven, and observed from that watch-tower things hidden from the minds of men. He afterwards adds, The he-goat is the king of Greece. Philip, the father of Alexander, although a strenuous and a most skillful warrior, who surpassed all the kings of Macedon for cleverness, yet, superior as he was, never dared to cross over the sea. It, was sufficient for him if he could strengthen his power in Greece, and render himself formidable against his neighbors in Asia Minor. But he never dared to attack the power of Persia, or even to harass them, and much less to overcome the whole East. Alexander, inflamed rather by rashness and pride than by good judgment, thought nothing would prove difficult to him. But when Daniel saw this vision, who ever would have thought of any king of Greece invading that most powerful monarchy, and not only seizing upon the whole of Asia, but obtaining sway in Egypt, Syria, and other regions? Although Asia Minor was an extensive region, and well known to be divided into many rich and fertile provinces, yet it was but a small addition to his immense empire. Nay, when Nineveh was conquered by Babylon, and the Chaldeans became masters of Assyria, this also was an addition to the Persian monarchy. We are familiar with the amazing riches of the Medes, and yet they were entirely absorbed. Darius drew with him 800,000 men, and quite buried the earth under his army. Alexander inet tiim at the head of 30,000. What comparison was there between them! When Xerxes f460 came to Greece he brought with him 800,000 men, and threatened to put fetters upon the sea; yet Daniel speaks of his incredible event just as if it had already taken place, and were matter of history. These points must be diligently noticed that the Scriptures may inspire us with the confidence which they deserve.
The great horn, says he, which was between his eyes was the first king, and when it was broken, four others sprang up. Alexander, as we have mentioned, perished in the flower of his age, and was scarcely’ thirty years old when he died, through the influence of either poison or disease. Which of the two is uncertain, although great suspicion of fraud attaches to the manner of his death; and whichever way it happened, that horn was broken. In his place there arose four horns, which sprang up, say’s he, from that nation. Here we must notice this, since I very much wonder what has come into some persons’ minds, to cause them to translate it “from the nations” and yet these are persons skilled in the Hebrew language. First, they show great ignorance by changing the number, and next, they do not comprehend the intention of the angel. For he confirms what he formerly said concerning the unity of the kingdom and its division into four parts, and he assigns the reason here. They shall spring, says he, from a nation, meaning the Greeks, and all from a single origin. For by what right did Polemy obtain the empire? solely by being one of Alexander’s generals. At the beginning, he dared not use the royal name, nor wear the diadem, but only after a lapse of time. The same is true of Selcucus, and Antigonus, and Cassander. We see, then, how correctly the kingdom of the Greeks is represented to us under the figure of a single beast, although it was immediately dispersed and torn into four parts. The kingdoms, then, which sprang from the nation meaning; Greece, shall stand, but not in full strength. The copula is here taken in the sense of “but; the four kingdom shall stand, but not by his strength, for Alexander had touched upon the Indian sea, and enjoyed the tranquil possession of his empire throughout the whole east, having filled all men with the fear of his industry, valor, and speed. Hence, the;angel states the four horns to be so small, that not one of them should be equal to the first king.
And at the end of their reign, when the wicked shall be at their height, one king shall stand. By saying at the end of their kingdom, he does not mean to imply the destruction of the four kingdoms had ceased. The successors of Antiochus were not directly cast down from their sway, and Syria was not reduced into a province till about eighty or a hundred years after Antiochus the Great had been completely conquered. He again left heirs, who, without doubt, succeeded to the throne, as we shall see more clearly in the eleventh chapter. But this point is certain — Perseus was the last king of Macedon, and the Ptolemies continued to the times of Julius Caesar and Augustus, and we are well aware how completely Cleopatra was conquered and ruined by Antony. As women succeeded to the throne, we could not place the destruction of the Macedonian empire under Antiochus Epiphanes. But the angel means, at the end of their kingdom, when they had really come to the close of their reigns, and their final ruin was at hand. For when Antiochus Epiphanes returned to his country, he seemed to have re-established his power though it very soon afterwards began to die away. Similar circumstances also happened to Egypt and to Macedon, for the reign of all their kings was precarious, and although not direct]y overthrown, yet they depended on the Romans, and thus their royal majesty was but fleeting. At the end, therefore, of their kingdom, that is, when they arrived at the height, and their fall led them on to ruin, then, says he, when the wicked were consummated or perfected. Some apply this to the professed and outward enemies of the Church, but I rather approve of another opinion, which supposes the angel to be speaking of the impious, who provoked God’s wrath, till it became necessary for grievous and severe penalties to be inflicted on the people, to whom God had so magnificently promised a happy and a tranquil state. This, however, was no common temptation, after the prophets had treated so fully of the happy and prosperous state of the people after their return from captivity, to behold the horrible dispersion, and to witness these tyrants making their assault not only upon men, but upon the temple of God itself. Wherefore the angel, as before, fortifies the Prophet and all the rest of the pious against this kind of trial, and shews how God had not changed his counsels in afflicting his Church, to which he had promised tranquillity, but had been grievously provoked by the sins of the people. He then shews the urgent necessity which had compelled God to exercise this severity. When, therefore, the impious had come to their height, that is, when they had arrived at the highest pitch, and their intolerable obstinacy had become desperate. We perceive how the angel here meets the trial, and instructs the pious beforehand, unfolding to them the inviolability of God’s word, while the people’s impiety compelled him to treat, them severely, although he had determined to display liberality in every way. Then, he says, a king shall stand with a fierce countenance. But the rest tomorrow.
Grant, Almighty God, since we see thy Church throughout all ages to have been exercised by the Cross in various ways, and with constant suffering, that we also may prepare ourselves for undergoing whatever thou mayest lay upon us. May we learn also to consider our sins as the cause of whatever adversity happens to us; may we consider thee to be not only faithful in all thy promises, but also a Father — propitious to those wretched ones who suppliantly fly to thee for pardon. When we are humbled under thy powerful hand, may we be raised up by the hope of eternal salvation which is prepared for us. Thus may we look for a happy and joyful termination of all our contests, until we enjoy the fruit of our victory in thy’ heavenly kingdom, as it has been obtained for us by the blood of thine only-begotten Son. — Amen.
After the angel had explained the Grecian monarchy, he records the future origin of a king who should be hard of face. Without the slightest doubt, he implies the iniquity of Antiochus by this phrase. He was notoriously destitute of any nobleness of mind, and remarkable for low cunning, and to this disposition was added an impudence which faltered at nothing. This is the sense in which I take the words hard of face. The following phrase asserts his cunning, when it says, he shall be skilled in enigmas. This is equivalent to saying, he should excel in cunning, and should not be easily deceived. By these two epithets he does not compliment, but rather defames Antiochus Epiphanes, by representing him as hardened as the wicked usually are, without the slightest particle of either reason, or equity, or shame. He next blames his craftiness and deceit, by stating he should be skilled in enigmas. He afterwards adds, his power shall be strengthened, and yet not by his own might. Some are of opinion that Antiochus Epiphanes is here compared to Alexander, as the angel had previously stated the inferiority of the four kings to the first; for they were prefigured by four small horns. For the most powerful of them all did not reign over a fifth part of the dominions which Alexander had acquired for himself by violence and war. Others, again, explain this passage as if the power of Antiochus would be great, but still very unlike that of Alexander, and far inferior to it, according to the sense, not in his, i.e., Alexander’s, strength,. Many, however, refer this to Antiochus, although they do not agree among themselves. Some, again, want a kind of correction, as if the angel implied that the power of Antiochus should be great, but not quite openly so. Hence his valor shall be strengthened, not meaning by “valor” that heroic spirit with which kings are usually endowed, nor any increase in magnanimity; nor yet that Antiochus should imitate such monarchs as these, but his strength should lie concealed. He should creep on by clandestine acts, and not contend in open battle according to the practice of those who excel in courage; he should secretly try many schemes, and thus stealthily extend his empire. This makes a tolerable sense. Others, again, think this ought to be referred to God, since the strength of Antiochus was not the result of his own industry or valor, but of the judgment of God, who armed him with it, because he wished to use him as a scourge to execute his punishments on the Jews. His fortitude, therefore, shall be strengthened, yet not by his own valor, as this entirely depended on the just designs and vengeance of God. Although this last sense is more profitable, and contains much useful instruction, yet I fear it is distorted. And thus the last clause is either a correction of the preceding words, meaning” because he should not increase with ingenuous earnestness,” or else, the angel is still comparing his strength with the power of Alexander. His power, therefore, shall be strengthened, and yet not bear comparison with Alexander’s; or, his power shall be strengthened, but not by habits of war nor by open magnanimity, but he shall grow great by fraudulent and clandestine arts; because he was on the one hand most impious, and on the other, of a servile disposition, as we have formerly said.
It follows, He shall make wonderful havoc, and shall prosper, and shall proceed, that is, shall execute, and shall destroy the strong, and the people of the saints. By µymwx[, gnetzumim, I understand not only the Jews, but also other neighboring nations; as if the angel had said, Antiochus shall be conqueror wherever he shall extend his arms, until at length he shall subdue Judea, and miserably afflict the people of God. Wherefore, he shall strike or destroy the brave, and the people of the saints, that is, the holy people, as we saw before. And according to his understanding shall his craftiness prosper in his hand. The conjunction “and may be here superfluous; in this sense the passage is usually received, thus reading it on in one context; according to his understanding he shall prosper, although there is the conjunction “and” in the way, but this is frequently superfluous in Hebrew. It means, deceit shall prosper in his hand. Here the angel confirms the former assertion respecting the servile cunning of Antiochus, as he did not act with ingenuous manliness, but with his audacity and hardihood he united malicious arts and craftiness unworthy of a king. Craft , therefore, shall prosper in his hand, and that too, as far as he understands it. Some suppose the sharpness of Antiochus to be noticed here, as if the angel had said, Craftiness shall prosper in his hand, in consequence of his possessing superior ability and penetration. But the passage may be suitably explained in this way, — Antiochus shall act prosperously according to his mental perception, and shall be so assisted by’ his craftiness, as to obtain whatever he shall grasp at.
It follows next; He shall magnify himself in his heart, or he shall raise himself, and bear himself magnificently; although this expression implies boasting and pride, and is taken in a disadvantageous sense. He shall be insolent, therefore, in his heart. The angel seems to distinguish here between the scheming and penetration of Antiochus, and his pride of heart; for, although he should obtain great: victories, and should subdue many nations according to his desires, yet he would oppress the Jews, and then, should be magnified in heart; that is, should be puffed up with greater pride than before, on account of those continuous successes. And in peace he shall destroy many, or the brave; for the word µybr rabbim, signifies either. Some translate, on account of his prosperity, because the Lord wished to relax the reins, so that no one should hinder the course of his victories. On account, then, of that success, he shall destroy many. Profane men, indeed, who understand nothing of God’s providence, have said that folly and chance prevail more in war than skill or arms; but the success of generals does not spring from either chance or fortune, but as God pleases to conduct the affairs of the world in various ways, so in some eases the evil and unskillful warriors succeed, while others make many fruitless efforts and trials, although they are superior in counsel, and are provided with the very best ornaments. But I rather incline to another sense which interpreters do not mention; namely, Antiochus should destroy and lay waste many nations without any trouble, with the greatest ease, and as it were in sport. Wherefore the Prophet signifies, or the angel who addresses the Prophet., that Antiochus should be the conqueror of many nations, not only because he should be endowed with great cunning, ,and should carry on the war more by treachery than by open violence, but as it is reported of Timotheus the Athenian general: He will take cities and lands, and subject them to himself, through fortune spreading her net for him while he is indulging in sleep. The angel, therefore, seems to point out this listlessness, by predicting much devastation by the hand of Antiochus in apparent ease and calmness. Others expound it thus, — nations shall be laid waste by that robber which have given him no occasion for attack, because they have never stirred up any hostility against him; but when they attempt to cultivate peace, he wearies them without the slightest pretext. But this interpretation seems to:the forced.
He afterwards adds, And against the Prince Of Princes he shall stand, or rise up, and he shall be destroyed without hand, or shall be ruined. The w, vau, is put adversatively; yet he shall be destroyed without hand. This was far more galling to the Prophet, and to the whole people, for the angel to predict the contests of Antiochus, not only with mortals, but with God himself. Some understand µyrçArç, sar-sarim, of the high priest, but this is too confined and spiritless. I have not the least doubt that God is here meant by the Prince of Princes. Wherefore the complete sense is, — Antiochus should be not only bold, and cruel, and proud towards men, but this madness and full should proceed so far as to lead him to attack and resist God. This is the full sense. But a consolation is soon added, when the angel says, he should be destroyed without hand. It would, indeed, have been almost intolerable for the Jews to hear only of the insolence of Antiochus in contending against God, unless this correction had been added — the end of the contest must be the self-destruction of Antiochus by his own impiety. He shall be destroyed then. But how? without hand, says he. For after subduing so many nations, and after obtaining whatever he wished, what more could be hoped for as far as man is concerned? Who would dare to rise up against him? Clearly enough, if the kings of Syria had been content with their own boundaries, they need not have feared any one, for no enemy would have molested them; but they provoked the Romans to attack them, and when they wished to invade Egypt, they did not prosper in their attempts. Whichever be the meaning, the angel here announces the sufficiency of the divine power without any human aid, for the destruction and overthrow of Antiochus. Some think this prophet refers to Antichrist, thus they pass by Antiochus altogether, and describe to us the appearance of Antichrist, as if the angel had shewn to Daniel what should happen after the second renovation of the Church. The first restoration took place when liberty was restored to the people, and they returned from exile to their native land, and the second occurred at the advent of Christ. These interpreters suppose this passage to unfold that devastation of the Church which should take place after the coming of Christ, and the promulgation of the gospel. But as we have previously seen, this is not a suitable meaning, and I am surprised that men versed in the Scriptures should so pour forth clouds upon clear light. For, as we said yesterday, nothing can be clearer, or more perspicuous, or even more familiar, than this prophecy. And what is the tendency of ascribing so violently to Antichrist what even mere children clearly see to be spoken of Antiochus, except to deprive Scripture of all its authority? Others speak more modestly and more considerately, when they suppose the angel to treat of Antiochus for the purpose of depicting in his person the figure of Antichrist. But I do not think this reasoning sufficiently sound. I desire the sacred oracles to be treated so reverently, that no one may introduce any variety according to the will of man, but simply hold what is positively certain. It would please me better to see any one wishing to adapt this prophecy to the present use of the Church, and to apply to Antichrist by analogy what is said of Antiochus. We know that whatever happened to the Church of old, belongs also to us, because we have fallen upon the fullness of times.
No doubt the Holy Spirit wished to teach us how to bear our cross by making use of this example, but as I have already said, it seems to me far too frivolous to search for allegories. We should be content with true simplicity, and transfer to ourselves whatever occurred to the ancient people. (<461011>1 Corinthians 10:11.) With how much reason does the Apostle say there should be false teachers in the kingdom of Christ, as there were formerly false prophets! (<610201>2 Peter 2:1.) So we must determine, that the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning, will always find those whom he will stir up and impel to persecute the Church. The devil contends at this very day, not only by fallacious doctrines, and impious errors, and impostures, but also by cruel tyranny, as he inflames many impious men to madness, and thus harasses the sons of God. As the Jews ought not to quail under the calamities which oppressed them, through Daniel’s predictions concerning Antiochus, so the same doctrine ought in these days to fortify us, lest the novelty of our calamities should appall us, when the Church is oppressed by heavy burdens, and tyrants rage and storm, with fire and sword. (<450828>Romans 8:28:) For the fathers experienced similar trials, to whom Christ had not then pointed out the way of life, and who did not comprehend so clearly as we do our duty to be conformed to the only-begotten Son of God, because he is the first-born in the Church; he is our head and we are his members. This. was not so fully unfolded to those holy men, who still endured under so many afflictions, when they might suppose the Church completely buried, as it is certainly surprising that they did not yield a hundred times over to so many and such dreadful calamities. Therefore this doctrine will be best accommodated to our instruction, if we are convinced of the justice of our condition not being better than that of the fathers. What, therefore, happened to them? These wicked ones should be destroyed, namely, the Jews:, who professed themselves to be the elect people of God, and the holy family of Abraham, and in numberless ways had obstinately provoked God’s wrath; thus the Church was miserably harassed. Antiochus, especially, like a sweeping tempest, reduced all things to ruin, till the people felt themselves utterly undone, and to all human appearance were without the slightest hope. As God punished so severely the wickedness of his ancient people, it does not surprise us when we feel his present chastisements, as in these days the land is full of sinfulness, and we do not cease perpetually and purposely to provoke God’s wrath. (<520303>1 Thessalonians 3:3.) Lastly, to avoid the penalty due to our sins, let us consider the end of our calling, the subjection of our whole life to the cross. This is the warfare to which our heavenly Father destines us. As this is our lot, we ought to look into this mirror, and there behold the perpetual condition of the
Church. It is therefore no matter of surprise, if, instead of one Antiochus, God should raise up many who are hardened and invincible in their obstinacy, and in their cruelty make many attempts with clandestine arts, and plot for the destruction of the Church. If the fathers experienced this, it does not surprise us, if we in these days undergo similar sufferings. This, I say, is a useful analogy, and does not distort the simple sense of Scripture. Now, let us go on, —

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.
26. Et visio matutina, et vespertina, quae pronuntiata fuit, veritas est, Tu ergo obsigna, vel claude, visionem, quia ad dies multos, protenditur.

The angel again confirms the assertion that no part of this vision was shewn to the Prophet in vain, because not even the slightest portion of it should fail of its effect. The necessity of this method of confirming our faith is notorious, because, although the events may be well known to us, yet we cannot acquiesce in God’s word, unless he should testify so repeatedly to the truth of his assertions, and sanction by such repetition whatever appears to us ambiguous. When it becomes perfectly obvious that the angel discourses upon obscure events, and such as were utterly incredible at the time, it does not surprise us when he announces again, that the Prophet had seen nothing which God would not accomplish. This vision, therefore, says he, is truth. He calls it “the vision of the evening and morning,” because while the angel was treating of the six years and almost a half, he used this form of speech. And we said this was purposely expressed, lest any one should extend it to years or months, as some did; as if the angel had said, — Behold! by calculating single days up to six years and about a half, the completion of this prophecy when the Temple shall be cleansed, shall be accurately discovered. Again it is asserted, that the vision is certain, because God had computed day by day the time of the profanation of the Temple until the period of its cleansing. Do thou, therefore, says he, seal or close the vision, because it is for many days. It may surprise us why God should wish what he had explained to his servant to remain concealed. For Daniel was not
instructed in futurity for his own private advantage, but for the common usefulness of the whole people. It seems, therefore, contrary to his office to be commanded to close up the vision, and to keep it. in complete obscurity. But the angel means, if the greater part of the people should reject this prophecy, this formed no reason why Daniel should hesitate. Be thou, therefore, the guardian of this prophecy, as if God had deposited a treasure in the hands of his servant, and had said, “Pay no regard to any who despise this prophecy; many may deride thee, and others think thou art narrating fables, and very few will have confidence in thee. but do not relax on this account, but faithfully guard this treasure,” since it is for many days; that is, although its effect is not immediately apparent, because God will suspend for some time the punishments of which entreats, and will not restore the Temple all at once, nor wrest His people immediately out of the hand of the tyrant. In consequence, then, of his deferring his judgments as well as his pity for many days, do thou close up this visions, that is, keep it to thyself, as if thou art alone. Thus God does not simply command his Prophet to be silent, or to conceal what he had learnt, but rather confirms him in his consistency, lest he should estimate this prophecy according to the ordinary opinions of his countrymen. And at the same time he shews, that though the Jews did not pay attention to what Daniel announced to them, yet nothing whatever should be in vain. It follows, —

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
27. Et ergo Daniel deliquium passus, vel, fractus sum, et aegrotavi dies, f461 et surrexi, f462 feci opus regis, f463 et obstupui propter visionem:neque intelligens. f464

Again, Daniel shews himself to have been so touched with the secret instinct of God, that he knew for certain this vision to have been divinely presented to him. For God wished so to affect his servant, that he might embrace with greater reverence what he both heard and saw. I have already referred to our want; of attention in listening to God’s word as it deserves, unless some kind of fear precedes it which may rouse our minds by some means from their torpor; but this prophecy had a special intention. In an ordinary case, God did not humble his servant; but by the disease which is here mentioned, he wishes to show how this prediction related to some event of serious magnitude. Daniel, therefore, states himself to have been astonished, as if suffering under some defect, and afflicted by disease. This disease did not happen to the Prophet naturally, but it fell upon him in consequence, of his being suddenly terrified. And he afterwards shews this, by saying, no one understood the prediction. Here, then, he admonishes all the pious, neither to hear nor read this, narrative with carelessness, but to summon up their utmost attention, and to perceive that God here shews them things of the greatest importance, and which vitally concern their salvation. This forms a reason why Daniel ought to suffer dejection and to be afflicted by disease. He next says, he returned to the king’s business, meaning his ordinary occupation. We infer from this expression, the grievous error of those who think him to have been in Persia at this period, because he could not return to his duties, unless to were present in the king’s palace. But why is this added? To assure us that the Prophet was not drawn off from the duties which the king had assigned to him, although God had chosen him to perform the peculiar office of Prophet and teacher of his Church. This is a rare instance, and ought not to be drawn into a precedent, according to the usual phrase. Which of us, for instance, would be sufficient for those duties of political government assigned to Daniel, and also for those incumbent upon a pastor and teacher? But God made use of his servant Daniel in an extraordinary way, because he had many reasons for wishing him occupied in the king’s palace. We have previously seen how .God’s glory was illustrated by his position, for Daniel admonished Belshazzar of his approaching death, when his enemies had already partially captured the city. And the utility of this was proved by Cyrus and Darius sparing the Jews. As long as the Chaldeans held the supreme power, Daniel was of no slight benefit to those miserable exiles; for even if he lived under cruel tyrants, yet he had some authority remaining, and this enabled him to alleviate many of the sufferings of his nation. God, therefore, was consulting the advantage of the whole people, when he desired Daniel to proceed in the course of his usual duties. Besides this, he wished to confer upon him the extraordinary gift of prophecy, an endowment, as I have said, peculiar to Daniel. It now follows, —

DANIEL 9:1-3
1. In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans.
1. Anno uno, id est, primo, Darii filii Assueri e semine Medorum, qui rex fuit constitutus, f465 in regno Chaldaico.
2. In the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years In the desolation’s of Jerusalem.
2. In anno primo, inquam, f466 regni illius, ego Daniel intellexi in libris numerum annorum, de quibus fuerat sermo Jehovae, ad ad Jeremiam prophetam, f467 ad implendum desolationem Jerusalem annos septuaginta.
3. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.
3. Et levavi faciem meam ad Dominum Deum, ut quaererem oratione et precationibus, f468 cum jejunio, sacco, et cinere.

In this chapter Daniel will explain to us two things. First, how very ardently he was accustomed to pray when the time of redemption, specified by Jeremiah, drew nigh; and next, he will relate the answer he received from God to his earnest entreaties. These are the two divisions of this chapter. First, Daniel informs us how he prayed when he understood from books the number of the years. Whence we gather, that God does not here promise his children earthly blessings, but eternal life, and while they grow torpid and ease aside all care and spiritual concern, he urges them the more earnestly to prayer. For what benefit do God’s promises confer on us, unless we, embrace them by faith? But prayer is the chief exercise of faith. This observation of Daniel’s is worthy of notice. He was stimulated to prayer because he knew from books the number of the years. But I will defer the rest till to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, as in these days thou hast called us to a similar lot to that which the fathers under the Law formerly experienced, and as thou didst confirm them in patience, and arm them for constancy in warfare, and render them superior in all conflicts with Satan and the world. Grant, I pray thee, that we at this day, whom thou wishest to be joined to them, may become proficient in thy word. May we look forward to bearing the cross throughout our whole life. May we be prepared for the contest, and prefer miserable affliction under the standard of the cross, to spending a secure and luxurious life in our own enjoyments,:and thus becoming deprived of that hope of victory which thou hast promised us, and whose fruit thou hast laid up for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. — Amen.
We began to say yesterday, that the faithful do not so acquiesce in the promises of God as to grow torpid, and become idle and slothful through the certainty of their persuasion that God will perform his promises, but are rather stimulated to prayer. For the true proof of faith is the assurance when we pray that God will really perform what he has promised us. Daniel. is here set before us as an example of this. For when he understood the time of deliverance to be at hand, this knowledge became a stimulus to him to pray more earnestly than he was accustomed to do. It is clear then, as we have already seen, that the Prophet was diligent and anxious in this particular. He did not deviate from his usual habit when he saw the greatest risk of being put to death; for while the king’s edict prohibited every one from praying to God, he still directed his face towards Jerusalem. This was the holy Prophet’s daily habit. But we shall perceive the extraordinary nature of his present prayer, when he says, he prayed in dust arid ashes. From this it appears, how God’s promise stirred him up to supplication, and hence we gather what I have lately touched upon, — that faith is no careless speculation, satisfied with simply assenting to God. For the stupid seem to assent by outward hearing, while true faith is something far more serious. When we really embrace the grace of God which he offers us, he meets us and precedes us with his goodness, and thus we in time respond to his offers, and bear witness to. our expectation of his promises. Nothing, therefore, can be better for us, than to ask for what he has promised. Thus in the prayers of the saints these feelings are united, as they plead God’s promises wherein they entreat him. And we cannot possibly exercise true confidence in prayer, except by resting firmly on God’s word. An example of this kind is here presented to us in Daniel’s case. When he understood the number of the years to be at hand of which God had spoken by Jeremiah, he applied his mind to supplication. It is worth while to notice what I have mentioned: — Daniel is not here treating of his daily prayers. We may easily collect from the whole of his life, how Daniel had exercised himself in prayer before Jeremiah had spoken of the seventy years. Because he knew the time of redemption to be at hand, he was then stimulated to more than his usual entreaties. He expresses this, by saying, in fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. For the saints were not accustomed to throw ashes over their heads every day, nor yet to separate themselves for prayer, by either fasting or putting on sackcloth. This action was rare, used only when God gave some sign of his wrath, or when he held out some scarce and singular benefit. Daniel’s present prayer was not; after his usual habit, but when he put on sackcloth and sprinkled himself with ashes, and endured fasting, he prostrated himself suppliantly before God. He also pleaded for pardon, as we shall afterwards see, and begged the performance of what the Almighty had surely promised.
From this we should learn two lessons. First, we must perseveringly exercise our faith by prayers; next, when God promises us anything remarkable and valuable, we ought then to be the more stirred up, and to feel this expectation as a sharper stimulus. With reference to the fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. we may shortly remark, how the holy fathers under the law were in the habit of adding extraordinary ceremonies to their prayers, especially when they wished to confess their sins to God, and to cast themselves before him as thoroughly guilty and convicted, and as placing their whole hope in their supplication for mercy. And in the present day the faithful are justified in adding certain external rites to their prayers; although no necessity either can, or ought to be laid down beforehand in this case. We know also, the, Orientals to be more devoted to ceremonies than we are ourselves. And this difference must be noticed between the ancient people and the new Church, since Christ by his advent abolished many ceremonies. For the fathers under the Law were, in this sense, like children, as Paul says. (<480403>Galatians 4:3.) The discipline which God had formerly instituted, involved the use of more ceremonies than were afterwards practiced. As there is this important difference between our position and theirs, whoever desires to copy them in all their actions, would rather become the ape than the imitator of antiquity. Meanwhile, we must notice that the reality remains for us, although external rites are abolished. Two kinds of prayer, therefore, exist; one which we ought to practice daily, in the morning, evening, and if possible, every moment; for we see how constancy in prayer is commended to us in Scripture. (<421801>Luke 18:1; <451212>Romans 12:12; <520517>1 Thessalonians 5:17.) The second kind is used, when God denounces his wrath against us, or we have need of his special aid, or seek anything unusual from him. This was Daniel’s method of praying when he put on sackcloth, and sprinkled himself with ashes. But as I have treated this subject elsewhere, I now use greater brevity.
When Daniel perceived the period of deliverance at hand, he not only prayed as usual, but left all his other occupations for the purpose of being quite at ease and at leisure, and thus he applied his mind exclusively to prayer, and made use of other aids to devotion. For the sackcloth and the ashes availed far more than mere outward testimony; they are helps to increase our ardor in praying, when any one feels sluggish and languid. It is true, indeed, that when the fathers under the Law prayed with sackcloth and ashes, this appearance was useful as an outward mark of their profession. It testified before men, how they came before God as guilty suppliants, and placed their whole hope of salvation in pardon alone. Still this conduct was useful in another way:. as it stirred them up more eagerly to the desire to pray. And both these points are to be noticed in Daniel’s case. For if the Prophet had such need of this assistance, what shall be said of our necessities? Every one ought surely to comprehend how dull and cold he is in this duty. Nothing else, therefore, remains, except for every one to become conscious of his infirmity, to collect all the aids he can command for the correction of his sluggishness, and thus stimulate himself to ardor in supplication. For when Daniel. according to his daily custom, prayed so as to run the risk of death on that very account, we ought to gather from this, how naturally alert he was in prayer to God. He was conscious of the want of sufficiency in himself, and hence he adds the use of sackcloth, and ashes, and fasting.
I pass by what might be treated more diffusely — -how fasting is often .added to extraordinary prayers. We conclude also, how works by themselves fail to please the Almighty, according to the fictions of the Papists of these days, and also to the foolish imaginations of many others. For they think fasting a part of the worship of God, although Scripture always commends it to us for another purpose. By itself it is of no consequence whatever, but when mingled with prayers, with exhortations to penitence, and with the confession of sinfulness, then it is acceptable, but not otherwise. Thus, we observe Daniel to have made use of fasting correctly, not as wishing to appease God by this discipline, but to render him more earnest in his prayers.
We must next notice another point. Although Daniel was an interpreter of dreams, he was not so elated with confidence or pride as to despise the teaching delivered by other prophets. Jeremiah was then at Jerusalem, when Daniel was dragged into exile, where he discharged the office of teacher for a long period afterwards, so that Babylon became a kind of pulpit. f469 And Ezekiel names him the third among the most excellent servants of God, (<261414>Ezekiel 14:14,) because Daniel’s piety, integrity, and holiness of life, were even then celebrated. As to Jeremiah, we know him to have been either just deceased in Egypt, or perhaps to be still living, when this vision was offered to Daniel, who had perused his prophecies previously to this occasion. We observe also, the great modesty of this holy man, because he exercised himself in reading the writings of Jeremiah; and was not ashamed to own how he profited by them. For he knew this prophet to have been appointed to instruct himself as well as the rest of the faithful. Thus he willingly submitted to the instruction of Jeremiah, and ranged himself among his disciples. And if he had not deigned to read those prophecies, he would have been unworthy to partake of the promised deliverance. As he was a member of the Church, he ought to have been a disciple of Jeremiah, so in like manner, Jeremiah would not have objected to profit in his turn, if any prophecy of Daniel’s had been presented to him. This spirit of modesty ought to flourish among the servants of God, even if they excel in the gift of prophecy, inducing them to learn from each other, while no one should raise himself above the common level. While we are teachers, we ought at the same time to continue learners. And Daniel teaches us this by saying, he understood the number of years in books, and the number was according to the word of Jehovah to the prophet Jeremiah. He shews why he exercised himself in the writings of Jeremiah, — because he was persuaded that God had spoken by his voice. Thus it caused him no trouble to read what he knew to have proceeded from God.
We must now remark THE TIME OF THIS PROPHECY-the first year of Darius. I will not dwell upon this point here, because I had rather discuss the years when we come to the second part; of the chapter. I stated yesterday that this chapter embraced two principal divisions. Daniel first records his own prayer, and then he adds the prediction which was brought to him by the hand of the angel. We shall next speak of the seventy years, because the discussion will then prove long. enough. I will now touch but briefly upon one point — the time of redemption was at hand, as the:Babylonian monarchy was changed and transferred to the Medes and Persians. In order to render the redemption of his people the more conspicuous, God desired to wake up the whole East after the Medes and Persians had conquered the Babylonians. Cyrus and Darius published their edict about the same time, by which the Jews were permitted to return to their native country. In that year, therefore, meaning the year in which Darius began his reign. Here it may be asked, Why does he name Darius alone, when Cyrus was far superior to him in military prowess, and prudence, and other endowments? ‘The ready answer is this, Cyrus set out immediately on other expeditions, for we know what an insatiable ambition had seized upon him. He was not stimulated by avarice. but by an insane ambition, and never could rest quiet in one place. So, when he had acquired Babylon and the whole of that monarchy, he set out for Asia Minor, and harassed himself almost to death by continual restlessness. Some say he was slain in battle, while Xenophon describes his death as if he was reclining on his bed, and at his ease was instructing his sons in what he wished to have done. But whichever be the true account, all history testifies to his constant motion from place to place. Hence we are not surprised at the Prophet’s speaking here of Darius only, who was more advanced in age and slower in his movements through his whole life. It is sufficiently ascertained that he was not a man fond of war; Xenophon calls him Cyaxares, and asserts him to have been the son of Astyages. We know, again, that Astyages was the maternal grandfather of Cyrus; and thus this Darius was the uncle as well as father-in-law of Cyrus, as the mother of Cyrus was his sister. When the Prophet calls his father Ahasuerus, it need not occasion us any trouble, as the names vary very much when we compare the Greek with the Hebrew. Without the slightest doubt, Astyages was called Ahasuerus, or at least one was his name and the other his surname. All doubt is removed by the expression, Darius was of the seed of the Medes. He distinguishes here between the Medes and Persians, because the Medes had seized upon rich and splendid territories, stretching far and wide on all sides, while the Persians were shut up within their own mountains, and were more austere in their manner of life. But the Prophet here states of this Darius his Median origin, and adds another circumstance, namely, his obtaining the kingdom of the Chaldees. For Cyrus allowed him to be called king, not only on account of his age and of his being both his uncle and father-in-law, but because he would not attempt anything against his authority. He knew he had no heir who might in future become troublesome to him. Cyrus therefore yielded the empty title to his father-in-law, while the whole power and influence remained completely within his own grasp.
He says, then, When I understood in books the number of the years for filling up the desolation of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. This prophecy is found in the 25th chapter of Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 25), and is repeated in the 29th, (Jeremiah 29). God fixed beforehand seventy years for the captivity of his people, as it was a grievous trial to be cast out of the land of Canaan, which had been granted them as a perpetual inheritance. They remembered those celebrated sentences,
“This shall be my rest for ever,” and
“Ye shall possess the land for ever.” (<19D214>Psalm 132:14.)
When they were cast out and dispersed throughout the various countries of the earth, it seemed as if the covenant of God had been abolished, and as if there was no further advantage in deriving their origin from those holy fathers to whom their land had been promised. For the purpose of meeting these temptations, God fixed beforehand a set time for their exile, and Daniel now recurs to this prediction. He adds, Then I raised my face. It is properly hnta, ath-neh, I placed; but as some interpreters seem to receive this word too fancifully, as if Daniel had then looked towards the sanctuary. I prefer rendering it, He raised his face to God. It is quite true that while the altar was standing, and the ark of the covenant was in the sanctuary, God’s face was there, towards which the faithful ought to direct, both their vows and prayers; but now the circumstances were, different through the temple being overthrown. We have previously read of Daniel’s praying and turning his eyes in that direction, and towards Judea. but his object was not a desire to pray after the manner of his fathers. For there was then neither sanctuary nor ark of the covenant in existence. (<270610>Daniel 6:10.) His object in turning his face towards Jerusalem was openly to shew his profession of such mentally dwelling in that land which God had destined for the race of Abraham. By that outward gesture and ceremony the Prophet claimed possession of the Holy Land, although still a captive and an exile. With regard to the present passage, I simply understand it to mean, he raised his face towards God. That I might inquire, says he, by supplication and prayers. Some translate, that I might seek supplication and prayer. Either is equally suitable to the sense, but the former version is less forced, because the Prophet sought God by supplication and prayers. And this form of speech:is common enough in Scripture, as we are said to seek God when we testify our hope of his performing what he has promised. It now follows: —

4. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him diligently and to them that keep his commandments.
4. Rt oravi Jehovam Deum meum, et confessus sum, f470 et dixi. Quaeso Domine Deus magne et terribilis, custodiens foedus et misericordam diligentibus ipsum, et custodientibus praecpeta ejus.

Here Daniel relates the substance of his prayer. He says, He prayed and confessed before God. The greatest part of this prayer is an entreaty that God would pardon his people. Whenever we ask for pardon, the testimony of repentance ought to precede our request. For God announces that he will be propitious and easily entreated when men seriously and heartily repent. (<235809>Isaiah 58:9.) Thus confession of guilt is one method of obtaining pardon; and for this reason Daniel fills up the greater part of his prayer with the confession of his sinfulness. He reminds us of this, not for the sake of boasting, but to instruct us by his own example to pray as we ought. He says, therefore, he prayed and made confession. The addition of “my God” to the word Jehovah is by no means superfluous. I prayed, he says, to my God. He here shews that he did not utter prayers with trembling, as men too often do, for unbelievers often flee to God, but without any confidence. They dispute with themselves whether their prayers will produce any fruit; Daniel, therefore, shews us two things openly and distinctly, since he prayed with faith and repentance. By the word confession he implies his repentance, and by saying he prayed to God, he expresses faith, and the absence of all rashness in throwing away his prayers, as unbelievers do when they pray to God confusedly, and are all the while distracted by a variety of intruding thoughts. I prayed, says he, to my God. No one can use this language without a firm reliance on the promises of God, and assuming that he will prove himself ready to be entreated. He now adds, I entreat thee, O Lord. The particle ana, ana, is variously translated; but it is properly, in the language of grammarians, the particle of beseeching. O Lord God, says he, great and terrible. Daniel seems to place an obstacle in his own way by using this language; for such is the sanctity of God that it repels us to a distance as soon as we conceive it in the mind: wherefore this terror seems to be removed when we seek a familiar approach to the Almighty. One might suppose this method of prayer by no means suitable, as Daniel places God before his eyes as great and formidable. It seems something like frightening himself; yet the Prophet deserves a due moderation, while on the one hand he acknowledges God to be great and terrible, and on the other he allows him to keep his covenant towards those who love him and obey his statutes. We shall afterwards see a third point added — God will receive the ungrateful and all who have departed from his covenant. The Prophet joins these two things together.
With reference to the epithets great and terrible, we must maintain what I have already stated, namely, the impossibility of our praying rightly, unless we humble ourselves before God; and this humility is a preparation for repentance. Daniel, therefore, sets before himself the majesty of God, to urge both himself and others to cast themselves down before the Almighty, that, in accordance with his example, they may really feel penitent before him. God, therefore, says he, is great and terrible. We shall never attribute just honor to God unless we become cast down, as if dead, before him. And we ought diligently to notice this, because we are too often careless in prayer to God, and we treat it as a mere matter of outward observance. We ought to know how impossible it is to obtain anything from God, unless we appear in his sight with fear and trembling, and become truly humbled in his presence. This is the first point to be noticed. Then Daniel mitigates the asperity of his assertion by adding, keeping his covenant, and taking pity upon those who love him. Here is a change of person: the third is substituted for the second, but there is no obscurity in the sense; as if he had said, Thou keepest thy covenant with those who love thee and observe thy statutes. Here Daniel does not yet fully explain the subject, for this statement is too weak for gaining the confidence of the people; they had perfidiously revolted from God, and as far as related to him, his agreement had come to an end. But Daniel descends by degrees and by sure steps to lay a foundation for inspiring the people with assured trust in the lovingkindness of God. Two points are embraced in this clause: first of all, it shews us there is no reason why the Jews should expostulate with God and complain of being too severely treated by him. Daniel, therefore, silences all expressions of rebellion by saying, Thou, O God, keepest thy covenant. We must here notice the real condition of the people: the Israelites were in exile; we know how hard that tyranny was — how they were oppressed by the most cruel reproaches and disgrace, and how brutally they were treated by their conquerors. This might impel many to cry out, as doubtless they really did, “What does God want with us? What, the better are we for being chosen as his peculiar people? What is the good of our adoption if we are still the most miserable of all nations?” Thus the Jews might complain with the bitterest grief and weariness of the weight of punishment which God had inflicted upon them. But Daniel here asserts his presenting himself before God, not to cavil and murmur, but only to entreat his pardon. For this reason, therefore, he first says, God keeps his covenant towards all who love him; but at the same time he passes on to pray for pardon, as we shall afterwards perceive. We shall treat of this covenant and the Almighty’s lovingkindness in the next Lecture.
Grant, Almighty God, as at the present time thou dost deservedly chastise us for our sins, according to the example of thine ancient people, that we may turn our face to thee with true penitence and humility: May we throw ourselves suppliantly and prostrately before thee; and, despairing of ourselves, place our only hope in thy pity which thou hast promised us. May we rely on that adoption which is founded on and sanctioned by thine only-begotten Son, and never hesitate to come to thee as a father whenever we fly to thee. Meanwhile, do thou so thoroughly affect our minds, that we:may not only pray to thee as a matter of duty, but truly and seriously take refuge in thee, and be touched with a sense of our sins, and never doubt thy propitious disposition towards us, in the name of the same thy Son our Lord. — Amen.
Is the last Lecture Daniel said that he prayed and confessed. Now, in narrating the form of his prayer, he begins by confession. We must notice this, to enable us to understand the scope which Daniel had in view, as well as the special object of his prayer. This is the kind of beginning which he makes, — the people are guilty before God, and suppliantly pray for pardon; but before the Prophet comes to this entreaty, he confesses how the people were most severely and justly chastised by the Lord, as they had so grievously and variously provoked his anger. First of all, he calls God terrible, for I have recited and translated his words. When the Prophet desires to attract God’s favor towards himself, he begins by bringing forward his majesty. By these words he stirs up himself and the rest of the faithful to reverence, urging them to approach the presence of God with submission, to acknowledge themselves utterly condemned, and to be deprived of all hope except in the mere mercy of God. He calls him, therefore, great and terrible, in order to humble the minds of all the pious before God, to prevent their aspiring to any self-exaltation, or being puffed up with any self-confidence. For, as we have said elsewhere:, the epithets of God are at one time perpetual, and at another variable, with 1;he circumstances of the subject. in hand. God may always be called great and terrible; but Daniel calls him so here, to stir up himself and all others to humility and reverence, as I have previously remarked. Then he, adds, He is faithful in keeping his covenant and in shewing pity towards all his true worshippers. I have referred to a change of person in this clause, but it does not. obscure the sense or render it in any way doubtful. I have explained how these words also testify to the absence of all cause why the people should murmur or complain of being treated too harshly. For where the faithfulness of God to his promises has once been laid down, men have not the slightest reason to complain when he treats them less clemently, or frustrates them because they are found fallacious and perfidious; for God always remains true to his words. (<460109>1 Corinthians 1:9; <461013>1 Corinthians 10:13; <530303>2 Thessalonians 3:3.) In this sense Daniel announces that God keeps his covenant towards all who love him. We must next notice, how he adds the word “pity” to “covenant.” He does not put these two words as differing from each other, tyrb, berith, and dsj, chesed, but unites them together, and the sentence ought to be understood by a common figure of speech, implying that God made a gratuitous covenant which flows from the fountain of his pity. What, therefore, is this agreement or covenant and pity of God? The covenant flows from God’s mercy; it does not spring from either the worthiness or the merits of men; it has its cause, and stability, and effect, and completion solely in the grace of God. We must notice this, because those who are not well versed in the Scriptures may ask why Daniel distinguishes mercy from covenant, as if there existed a mutual stipulation when God enters into covenant with man, and thus God’s covenant would depend simply on man’s obedience. This question is solved when we understand the form of expression here used, as this kind of phrase is frequent in the Scriptures. For whenever God’s covenant is mentioned, his clemency, or goodness, or inclination to love is also added. Daniel therefore confesses, in the first place, the gratuitous nature of the covenant of God with Israel, asserting it to have no other cause or origin than the gratuitous goodness of God. He next testifies to God’s faithfulness, for he never violates his agreement nor departs from it, as in many other places God’s truth and faithfulness are united with his clemency. (<193606>Psalm 36:6, and elsewhere.) It is necessary for us to rely on God’s mere goodness, as our salvation rests entirely with him, and thus we render to him the glory due to his pity, and thus it becomes needful for us, in the second place, to obtain a clear apprehension of God’s clemency. The language of the Prophet expresses both these points, when he shows how God’s covenant both depends upon and flows from his grace, and also when he adds the Almighty’s faithfulness in keeping his agreement.
He adds, Towards those who love thee and keep thy commandments. We must diligently notice this, because Daniel here drives away the whole people from the defense which many might put forward, hypocrites willingly become angry with God; nay, boldly reproach him because he does not either pardon or indulge them. Daniel, therefore, to check this pride and to cut off every pretense for strife on the part of the impious, says, God is faithful towards all who love him. He admonishes us thus: God is never severe unless when provoked by the sins of men; as if he had said, God’s covenant is firm in itself; when men violate it, it is not surprising if God withdraws from his promises and departs from his agreement, on perceiving himself treated with perfidy and distrust. The people, therefore, are here obliquely condemned, while Daniel testifies to God’s constancy in keeping his promises, if men on their part act with good faith towards him. On the whole, he shews how the people were in tumult, when God altered his usual course of kind and beneficent treatment, and put in force instead his severest vengeance, when the people were expelled from the land of Canaan which was their perpetual inheritance. Daniel here explains how all blame must be removed from God, as the people had revolted from him, and by their perfidy had violated their compact. We see, therefore, how he throws the blame of all their calamities upon the people themselves, and thus absolves God from all blame and all unjust corer, labors. Besides, the Prophet shews how the special object of the worship of God is to induce us to love him. For many observe God’s law after the manner of slaves; but we ought to remember this passage, God loveth a cheerful giver. (<470907>2 Corinthians 9:7.) When, therefore, hypocrites are violently drawn towards obedience, the Prophet here distinguishes between the true worshippers of God and those who discharge their duty only in a perfunctory manner:, and not from the heart. He asserts the principle of worshipping God to be a diligent love of him, and this sentiment frequently occurs in the writings of Moses. (<051012>Deuteronomy 10:12.) We must hold, therefore, the impossibility of pleasing God by obedience, unless it proceeds from a sincere and free affection of the mind. This is the very first rule in God’s worship. We must love him; we must be prepared to devote ourselves entirely to obedience to him, and to the willing performance of whatever he requires from us. As it is said in the Psalms, (<19B924>Psalm 119:24) Thy law is my delight. And again, in title same Psalm, David states God’s law to be precious to him beyond gold and silver, yea, pleasing, and sweet beyond even honey. (<19B972>Psalm 119:72, 103.) Unless we love God we have no reason for concluding that he will approve of any of our actions: all our duties will become corrupt before him, unless they proceed from the fountain of liberal affection towards him. Hence the Prophet adds, To those who keep his statutes. External observance will never benefit us, unless the love of God precede them. But we must notice this also in its turn; — God cannot be sincerely loved by us unless all our outward members follow up this affection of the soul. Our hands and all that belong to us will be kept steady to their duty, if this spontaneous love flourish within our hearts. For if any one asserts his love of God a thousand times over, all will[ be discovered to be vain and fallacious, unless the whole life correspond with it. We can never separate love and obedience It now follows: —

DANIEL 9:5-7
5. We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts, and from thy judgments:
5. Peccavimus, et inique egimus et imprope nos gessimus, et rebellavimus, et recessimus a praeceptis tuis, et judicii tuis. f471
6. Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
6. Et non auscultavimus servis tuis prophetis, qui loquuti sunt in nomine tuo ad reges nostros, principes nostros, et partres nostros, et ad populum terrae.
7. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
7. Tibi domine justitia, et nobis pudor vultus, f472 scuti hodie viro Jehudah, f473 et incolis Jerusalem, et toti Israeli, propinquis, et longinquis, in omnibus terris, quo expulsisti eos, ob transgressiones, f474 quibus transgressi sunt contra te.

Daniel here continues his confession of sin. As we have already stated, he ought to begin here, because we must remark in general the impossibility of our pleasing God by our prayers, unless we approach him as criminals, and repose all our hopes on his mercy. But there was a special reason for the extraordinary nature of the Prophet’s prayers, and his use of fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. This was the usual method of confession by which Daniel united himself with the rest of the people, for rite purpose of testifying throughout all ages the justice of the judgment which God had exercised in expelling the Israelites from the promised land, and totally disinheriting them. Daniel, therefore, insists upon this point. Here we may notice, in the first place, how prayers are not rightly conceived, unless founded on faith and repentance, and thus not being according to law, they cannot find either grace or favor before God. But great weight is to be attached to the phrases where Daniel uses more than a single word in saying the people acted impiously. He puts wnafj, chetanu, we have sinned, in the first place, as the word does not imply any kind of fault, but rather a serious crime or offense. We, therefore, have sinned; then we have done wickedly; afterwards we have acted impiously; for [çr, reshegn, is stronger than afj, cheta. We have done wickedly, we have been rebellious, says he, in transgressing thy statutes and commandments. Whence this copiousness of expression, unless Daniel wished to stimulate himself and the whole people to penitence? For although we are easily induced to confess ourselves guilty before God, yet scarcely one in a hundred is affected with serious remorse; and those who excel others, and purely and reverently fear God, are still very dull and cold in recounting their sins. First of all, they acknowledge scarcely one in a hundred; next, of those which do come into their minds, they do not fully estimate their tremendous guilt, but rather extenuate their magnitude; and, although they perceive themselves worthy of a hundred deaths, yet they are not touched with their bitterness, and fear to humble themselves as they ought, nay, they are scarcely displeased with themselves, and do not loathe their own iniquities. Daniel, therefore, does not accumulate so many words in vain, when he wishes to confess his own sins and those of the people. Let us learn then how far we are from penitence, while we only verbally acknowledge our guilt; then let us perceive the need we have of many incentives to rouse us up from our sloth; for although any one may feel great terrors and tremble before God’s judgments, yet all those feelings of dread vanish away too soon. It therefore becomes necessary to fix God’s fear in our hearts with some degree of violence. Daniel shews us this when using the phrase, The people have sinned; they have acted unjustly; they have conducted themselves wickedly and become rebellious, and declined from the statutes and commandments of God. This doctrine, therefore, must be diligently noticed, because, as I have said, all men think they have discharged their duty to God, if they mildly profess themselves guilty before him, and acknowledge their fault in a single word. But as real repentance is a sacred thing, it is a matter of far greater moment than a fiction of this kind. Although the multitude do not perceive how they are only deceiving themselves when they confess a fault, yet in the meantime they are only trifling with God like children, while some say they are but men, and others shelter themselves in the crowd of offenders. “What could I do? I am but a man; I have only followed the example of the many.” Lastly, if we examine carefully the confessions of men in. general, we shall always find some latent hypocrisy, and that there are very few who prostrate themselves before God as they ought. We must understand, therefore, this confession of Daniel’s as stimulating himself and others to the fear of God, and as laying great stress upon the sins of the people, that every one may feel for himself real and serious alarms.
Then he shews how impiously, and wickedly, and perfidiously the Israelites had rebelled, and how they had declined from God’s statutes and commandments. Daniel enlarges upon the people’s fault, as they had no pretext for their ignorance after they had been instructed in God’s law. They were like a man who stumbles in broad daylight. He surely is without excuse who raises his eyes to heaven or closes them while he walks, or casts himself forward with blind impulse, for if he fall he will find no one to pity him. So Daniel here enlarges upon the people’s crime, for the law of God was like a lamp pointing out the path so clearly that they were willfully and even maliciously blind. (Psalm 119:105.) Unless they had closed their eyes, they could not err while God faithfully pointed out the way in which they ought to follow and persevere. This is the first point. But we ought to gather another doctrine from this passage, namely, there is no reason why men should turn away entirely from God, even if they have transgressed his commands, because, although. they please both themselves and others, and think they have obtained the good opinion of the whole world, yet this will avail men nothing if they decline from God’s commandments and statutes. Whoever, therefore, has the law in his hands, and turns aside in any direction, although he may use the eloquence of all the rhetoricians, yet no defense will be available. This perfidy is surely without excuse — to disobey the Almighty as soon as he shews us what he approves and what he requires. Then, when he forbids anything, if we turn aside ever so little from his teaching, we are perfidious and wicked, rebellious and apostate. Lastly, this passage proves that there is no rule of holy, pious, and sober living except a. complete performance of God’s commandments. For this reason he puts statutes and judgments to shew that the people did not sin in ignorance. He might have concluded the sentence in one word: we have departed from thy commandments; but he joins judgment to commands. And why so? To point out how easy and clear and sufficiently familiar was God’s institution, if the Israelites had only been teachable. Here we may notice the frequent recurrence of this repetition. The unskillful think these synonyms are heaped together without an object, when statutes, judgments, laws, and precepts are used, but the Holy Spirit uses them to assure us that nothing shall be wanting to us if we inquire at the mouth of God. He instructs us perfectly in regulating the whole course of our lives, and thus our errors become knowing and willful, when God’s law has been clearly set before us, which contains in itself a perfect rule of doctrine for our guidance.
He afterward, adds, We have not obeyed thy servants the Prophets who have spoken in, thy name. We ought also diligently to notice this, because the impious often wickedly fail to discern the presence of God, whenever he does not openly descend from heaven and speak to them by angels; and so their impiety is increased throughout all ages. Thus, in these days, many think themselves to have escaped by boasting in the absence of any revelation from heaven: the whole subject, they say, is full of controversy; the whole world is in a state of confusion; and what do the teachers of the Church mean by promoting such strife among each other? Then they boast and think as they please, and are blind of their own accord. But Daniel here shews how no turning to God is of the slightest avail, unless he is attended to when he sends his prophets, because all who despise those prophets who speak it the name of the Lord are perfidious and apostate, wicked and rebellious. We see, then, the suitability of this language of Daniel, and the necessity of this explanation: The people were wicked, unjust, rebellious, and impious, because they did not obey the prophets. He does not assert that this wicked, impious, contumacious, and perfidious character of the people arises from their not listening to God thundering from heaven, or to his angels when sent to them, but because they did not obey his prophets. Besides this, he calls the prophets servants of God who speak in his name. He distinguishes between true and false prophets; for we know how many impostors formerly abused this title in the ancient Church; as in these days the disturbers of our churches falsely pretend to the name of God, and by this audacity many of the simple are deceived. Daniel, therefore, distinguishes here between the true and false prophets, who everywhere boast in their divine election to the office of teachers. He speaks here of the effect, treating all these boastings as vain and foolish, for we are not ignorant of the manner in which all Satan’s ministers transform themselves into angels of light. (<471114>2 Corinthians 11:14.) Thus the evil as well as the good speak in God’s name; that is, the impious no less than the righteous teachers put forth the name of God; but here, as we have said, Daniel refers to the effect and the matter itself, as the phrase is. Thus when Christ says, When two or three are gathered together in my name, (<401820>Matthew 18:20,) this is not to be applied to such deceptions as are observable in the Papacy, when they proudly use God’s name as approving certain assemblies of theirs. It is no new thing, then, for a deceiving Church to hide its baseness under this mask. But when Christ says, Where two or three are assembled in my name, this refers to true and sincere affection. So also Daniel in this passage says, True prophets speak in God’s name; not only because they shelter themselves under this name for the sake of its authority, but because they have solid proofs of the exercise of God’s authority, and are really conscious of their true vocation.
He afterwards adds, To our kings, our nobles, our fathers, and all the people of the land. Here Daniel lays prostrate every high thing in this world with the view of exalting God only, and to prevent any pride rising in the world to obscure his glory, as it otherwise would do. Here, then, he implicates kings, princes, and fathers in the same guilt; as if he had said, all are to be condemned without exception before God. This, again, must be diligently noticed. For we see how the common people think everything permitted to them which is approved by their kings and counselors. For in the common opinion of men, on what does the whole foundation of right and wrong rest, except on the arbitrary will and lust of kings? Whatever pleases kings and their counselors is esteemed lawful, sacred, and beyond all controversy; and thus God is excluded from his supreme dominion. As, therefore, men thus envelop themselves in clouds, and willingly involve themselves in darkness, and prevent their approach to God, Daniel here expresses how inexcusable all men are who do not obey the Prophets, even if a thousand kings should obstruct them, and the splendor of the whole world should dazzle them. By such clouds as these God’s majesty can never be obscured; nay more, this cannot offer the slightest impediment to God’s dominion or hinder the course of his doctrine. These points might be treated more copiously: I am only briefly explaining the Prophet’s meaning, and the kind of fruit which ought to be gathered from his words. Finally, it is a remarkable testimony in favor of the Prophet’s doctrine, when kings and their counselors are compelled to submit, and all the loftiness of the world is brought under subjection to the prophets, as God says in Jeremiah, (<240110>Jeremiah 1:10) Behold! I have set thee above kingdoms, and above the empires of this world, to destroy and to build up, to plant and to root out. There God asserts the authority of his teaching, and shews its superiority to everything in the world; so that all who wish to be free from it, as if endowed with some peculiar privilege, are both foolish and ridiculous. This, then, must be noticed in the Prophet’s words, when he says, God spoke by his prophets to kings, princes, and fathers. Respecting the “fathers,” we see how frivolous is the excuse of those who use their fathers as a shield in opposing God. For here Daniel unites both fathers and children in the same guilt, and shews how all equally deserve condemnation, when they do not listen to God’s prophets, or rather to God speaking by means of his prophets.
He next subjoins, To thee, O Lord, belongs righteousness, and to us confusion of face, as it is at this day. The meaning is, God’s wrath, which he manifests towards his people, is just, and nothing else remains but for the whole people to fall down in confusion, and candidly acknowledge itself deservedly condemned. But this contrast which unites opposite clauses, ought also to be noticed, because we gather from the Prophet’s words that God can neither be esteemed just nor his equity be sufficiently illustrious, unless when the mouths of men are closed, and all are covered and buried in disgrace, and confess themselves subject to just accusation, as Paul also says, Let God be just, and let all men’s mouths be stopped, (<450304>Romans 3:4, 26;) that is, let men cease to cavil and to seek any alleviation of their guilty their subterfuges. While, therefore, men are thus cast down and prostrate, God’s true glory is illustrated. The Prophet now utters the same instruction by joining these two clauses, of opposite meaning’s. Righteousness is to thee, but shame to us. Thus we cannot praise God, and especially while he chastises us and punishes us for our sins, unless we become ashamed of our sins, and feel ourselves destitute of all righteousness. Lastly, when we both feel and confess the equity of our condemnation, and when this shame seizes upon our minds, then we begin to confess God’s justice; for whoever cannot bear this self-condemnation, displays his willingness to contend against God. Although hypocrites apparently bear witness to God’s justice, yet whenever they claim anything as due to their own worthiness, they at the same time derogate from their judge, because it is clear that God’s righteousness cannot shine forth unless we bury ourselves in shame and confusion. According as at this day, says Daniel. He adds this to confirm his teaching; as if he had said, the impiety of the people is sufficiently conspicuous from their punishment. Meanwhile, he holds the principle that the people were justly chastised; for hypocrites, when compelled to acknowledge God’s power, still cry out against his equity. Daniel joins both points together: thus, God has afflicted his people, and this very fact proves them to be wicked and perfidious, impious and rebellious. As it is at this day, meaning, I will not complain of any immoderate rigor, I will not say thou hast treated my people cruelly; for even if the punishments which thou hast inflicted on us are severe, yet thy righteousness shines forth in them: I therefore confess how fully we deserve them all. To a man of Judah, says he. Here Daniel seems to wish purposely to strip the mask off the Israelites, under which they thought to hide themselves. For it was an honorable title to be called a Jew, an inhabitant of Jerusalem, an Israelite. It was a sacred race, and Jerusalem was a kind of sanctuary and kingdom of God. But now, says he, though we have hitherto been elevated aloft so as to surpass the whole world, and though God has deigned to bestow upon us so many favors and benefits, yet confusion of face is upon us: let our God be just. Meanwhile, let all these empty boastings cease, such as our deriving our origin from holy fathers and dwelling in a sacred land; let us no longer cling to these things, says he, because they will profit us nothing before God. But I see that I am already too prolix.
Grant, Almighty God, as no other way of access to thee is open for us except through unfeigned humility, that we may often learn to abase ourselves with feelings of true repentance. May we be so displeased with ourselves as not to be satisfied with a single confession of our iniquities; but may we continue in the same state of meditation, and be more and more penetrated with real grief. Then may we fly to thy mercy, prostrate ourselves before thee in silence, and acknowledge no other hope but thy pity and the intercession of thine only-begotten Son. May we be so reconciled to thee, as not only to be absolved from our sins, but also governed throughout the whole course of our life by thy Holy Spirit, until at length we enjoy the victory in every kind of contest, and arrive at that blessed rest which thou hast prepared for us by the same our Lord Jesus Christ. — Amen.

8. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
8. Jehovah, nobis pudor faciei, regibus nostris, principibus nostris, et patribus nostris, quia peccavinus in te.

In this verse Daniel completes his own confession. We have stated the beginning of his prayer to be this: He threw himself before God as a criminal, with the whole people, and prayed earnestly for pardon. It was his duty to begin in this way: he had previously named the whole people; he now speaks of kings, princes, and fathers, and thus comprehends the common people. Besides, kings are accustomed to absolve themselves and those who approach their presence from all ordinary laws; wherefore Daniel uses the phrase, kings, princes, and fathers. While he treated of the people, he shewed how those at a distance, as well as those at home, were equally subject to God’s wrath, because, had he executed his vengeance equitably on all, no one was so free from wickedness as to be free from punishment. God had not driven all the Jews into either Chaldea or Assyria, and many had remained in the neighboring nations. Yet Daniel denies them any diminution of their guilt, although they had been treated more humanely by God, who had spared them some portion of their suffering. We are taught by this passage, that the crimes or guiltiness of men are not always to be estimated by the amount of their punishment. For God acts very mildly with some who deserve yet greater severity; and if he does not entirely spare us, he partially remits his rigor towards us, either to allure us to repentance, or for some reasons hitherto unknown to us. Whatever the reason may be, even if God does not openly punish us all, this ought neither to lead us to excuse ourselves, nor to ally self-indulgence, because we do not experience the same severity from God. The conclusion to be drawn is this, all the Israelites are justly afflicted, because, from first to last, all have conducted themselves impiously. For Daniel repeats the word which does not signify declension merely, but to act with gross wickedness; as if he had said, the Israelites deserved no common punishment, and thus it should not surprise us when God executes such dreadful vengeance against them. It follows: —

9. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.
9. Domino Deo nostro miserationes, et veniae, f475 quamvis rebelles fuerimus in ipsum. f476

Daniel here betakes himself to God’s mercy as to a sacred asylum; for it is not sufficient to acknowledge and confess our sins, unless we are supported by a confidence of our obtaining pardon from God’s mercy. We see numbers who use great prolixity in bearing witness to the truth, that they richly deserve all kinds of punishment; but no good result arises from this, because despair overwhelms them and plunges them into an abyss. Recognition of a fault is in truth without the slightest profit, unless with the addition of the hope of pardon. Daniel, therefore, after candidly confessing the treatment which the whole people had received from God to have been deserved, although so severe and harsh, still embraces his pity. According to the common saying, this is like a drowning man catching at a straw. We observe also how David makes use of the same principle. There is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared. (<19D004>Psalm 130:4.) And this moderation must be diligently marked, because Satan either lulls us into torpid security, or else so agitates us as utterly to absorb our minds in sorrow. These two artifices of Satan are sufficiently known to us. Hence that moderation which I have mentioned must be maintained, lest we should grow torpid in the midst of our vices, and so indulge in contempt of God as to induce forget-fullness of him. Then, on the other hand, we ought not to be frightened, and thus close against us the gate of hope and pardon. Daniel, therefore, here follows the best arrangement, and prescribes the same rule for us. For, in confessing the people’s wickedness, he does not entirely throw away the hope of pardon, but supports himself and others with this consolation — God is merciful. He rests this hope of pardon on the very nature of God; as if he had said, there is nothing so peculiar to God as pity, and hence we ought never to despair. To God, says he, belong mercies and forgiveness. No doubt Daniel took this phrase from Moses, especially from that remarkable and memorable passage where God pronounces himself a severe avenger, yet full of mercy, inclined to clemency and pardon, and exercising much forbearance. (<023406>Exodus 34:6.) As, therefore, Daniel held the impossibility of God putting away his affectionate feelings of pity, he takes this as the main point of his teaching, and it becomes the chief foundation for his hopes and his petition for pardon. He argues thus, To God belong loving kindnesses; therefore, as he can never deny himself, he will always be merciful. This attribute is inseparable from his eternal essence; and however we have rebelled against him, yet he will never either cast away nor disdain our prayers.
We may conclude from this passage that no prayers are lawful or rightly composed unless they consist of these two members. First, all who approach God ought to cast themselves down before him, and to acknowledge themselves deserving of a thousand deaths; next, to enable them to emerge from the abyss of despair, and to raise themselves to the hope of pardon, they should call upon God without fear or doubt, and with firm and stable confidence. This reliance upon God can have no other support than the nature of God himself, and to this he has borne ample testimony. With respect to the close of the verse, it may be explained in two ways: Because, or although, we are rebellious against him. I have stated that I rather approve of taking the particle yk, ki, in the sense of opposition. Although we have rebelled against God, still he will be entreated, and never will be unmindful of his pity. If any one prefers taking it in a causal sense, it will suit tolerably well; as if Daniel had said, the people have no other hope left but the mercy of God, as they have been convicted of sin over and over again. Because we have acted wickedly towards him, what is left for us but to throw ourselves with all our trust upon the clemency and goodness of God, since he has borne witness to his being propitious to sinners who truly and heartily implore his favor? It now follows: —

10. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
10. Et non auscultavimus voci Jehovae Dei nostri, ut ambularemus in legibus ejus, quas proposuit coram facie nostra per manum servorum suorum prophetarum.

Here, again, Daniel shews how the Israelites provoked God’s anger against them by the wickedness of their conduct. He points out one special kind of sin and method of acting wickedly, namely, despising the teaching which proceeded from God as its author, and was expounded to them by his prophets. We must diligently notice this, as we have previously advised; for although no one is excusable before God by the pretext of ignorance, yet we perceive how our wickedness is aggravated when we knowingly and willfully make a point of rejecting what God commands and teaches. Daniel, therefore, enlarges upon the people’s crime by adding the circumstance, they would not hear the prophets. Everything which would have been a fault in the Chaldeans or Assyrians was the most grievous wickedness in the elect people. Their obstinacy was the more provoking, because while God had pointed out the way by his prophets, they had turned their backs upon him. We have not heard. Clearly enough this verse is added by way of explanation, as Daniel might express the reason for their wickedness. Therefore he calls the laws of God “doctrine,” which consists of many parts; for it is certain that nothing was omitted by God which was useful to be known, and thus he had embraced the whole perfection of justice in his discourse. He is treating here not only the law of Moses, but the teaching of the prophets, as the words clearly point out; and the noun hrwt torah, “law,” is to be taken for “doctrine.” It is just as if Daniel had said, God was rejected when he wished to rule his people by his prophets. But the plural number seems to denote what I have staffed, namely, that the perfection of doctrine was comprehended in the prophets; for God omitted nothing while he completed the revelation of whatever was needful for the guidance of the life. Yet this was rendered entirely useless by the perverseness of the people’s nature, apparent. in their rejection of all God’s laws.
Daniel confirms this sentiment by adding, Those laws were set before the people. This shews how everything was supplied to the people, since God had familiarly delivered to them whatever was needful for the utmost degree of piety and justice. For this phrase, to put anything before one’s face, means to deliver all useful knowledge openly, perspicuously, and lucidly, and with great familiarity and skillfulness. Thus nothing is left doubtful or complicated, nothing remains obscure, unconnected, or confused. As, therefore, God had unfolded the whole scope of righteousness by his law, the people’s impiety was the more severe and detestable, because they would not receive benefit from such familiar instruction. The Prophet intends by these words to shew how such willful sinners were worthy of double punishment. They are first convicted of contumacy because they had no pretext for their ignorance; they made an open and furious assault upon God, for although the way was pointed out to them, yet they turned aside in all directions, and threw themselves headlong. We must remember what I have previously touched upon, namely, the value of an external ministry, because we are aware how the ancient people, when rebellious against the prophets, were accustomed to pretend that they did not really despise God. As, therefore, hypocrites think their sins are concealed by a covering of this kind, Daniel clearly expresses that God is despised in his prophets, although he neither descends from heaven nor sends down his angels. And this is the meaning of the expression, the prophets were the servants of God; it declares how they taught nothing either rashly or in their own name or by their own impulse, but faithfully executed the Almighty’s commands. It follows: —

11. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
11. Et totus Israel transgressi sunt legem tuam, et defecerunt, f477 ne auscultarent voci tuae. Ideo, f478 effesa est super nos, f479 maledicto, f480 et jusjurandum, quod scriptum est in lege Mosis sevei Dei, quai peccavimus contra ipsum.

Daniel again confirms what I formerly said concerning the punishment being most justly inflicted upon the people. They had no cause for the slightest complaint of any excess of severity on the part of God. He now says, All Israel had sinned. He does not enumerate the separate ranks of the people as he did before, but he pronounces all to be transgressors in one single word, as they had broken God’s law from the least to the greatest. He uses sometimes the second and sometimes the third person, as a mark of his vehemence and ardor, since Daniel now speaks for the whole world, and then prostrates himself before God, and prepares to approach his tribunal. It is just as if at one time he were to confess himself guilty before God and angels, and next to ascend a theater and testify to his own infamy and that of the whole people before all mankind. In revolting, he says, so as not to hear. By these words Daniel expresses the determined obstinacy of the people, implying — this was not occasioned by either error or ignorance; nay, even sloth was not the cause of Israel’s willful blindness and inattention to God’s precepts, but was only the beginning of this act of rebellion. In revolting, therefore, so as not to hear thy voice. We now understand the Prophet’s meaning. He was not content with the simple condemnation of the people, but he wished to mark distinctly the various forms of rebellion, to impress the Israelites with a further sense of the grievous manner in which they had provoked God’s wrath. Not only had they departed from the right course through negligence or folly, but they had knowingly transgressed God’s law. We must carefully notice this. Although hypocrites testify themselves to be prepared for obedience, if only they can be quite sure that God is speaking to them, yet they are certainly held back by some hidden depravity from coming openly to the light. And whenever God’s word is put before us, whoever does not prove himself of a docile disposition, even if he should swear a hundred times over that he is perplexed and must decline embracing the teaching proposed to him, because he is doubtful whether God speaks to him or not, he lies; and the truth of Daniel’s assertion will always be made clear; for all who do not hear God when he speaks to them are backsliders and inwardly perverse, and by the depravity of their nature place a veil before themselves which obscures their perceptions, and then their own minds prevent them from becoming obedient to God.
He next adds, For this cause the curse of which Moses had written is poured down upon us. By this circumstance he enlarges upon the people’s crime, because they had long ago been warned of the impending judgments, and yet they closed their eyes and despised both threats and instruction. This was the very height of wickedness; for the Israelites were intractable, although God stretched out his hand towards them, pointed out the way of safety, and taught them faithfully whatever was useful for them; but this only increased their perverseness, while they treated his threatenings as if utterly worthless. Besides this, they added contempt of his teaching to ridiculing his threats, as they thought either that God was deluding them when he announced by Moses his coming vengeance unless they obeyed his law, or else they imagined it all invented by Moses, and that God could not possibly execute his threats. Thus the people are convicted of desperate impiety, as they neither attended to the teaching of the Almighty nor believed in the authority of his threatenings. If a father threatens his son, or a master his servant, the vengeance will be just, as the comic poet says, Do not say you have not been warned. (Terence Ardria, Act 1:Scene 2.) As God had predicted for so many ages that the Israelites should not be unpunished if they transgressed the law, this proves how completely unmanageable they were. (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28.) And when he says the curse was poured out or distilled, he confesses how the wrath of God inundated the whole people like a deluge, although it was completely under control. For God had predicted what he intended to do by the mouth of Moses, and whoever reads those curses which Moses denounces against transgressors of the law, will confess them to be by no means immoderate. When, therefore, execution really occurs, must we not acknowledge the shining forth of God’s justice without the slightest possibility of blame? I have stated that the word h[wbç, shebugneh, is explained by some as an “oath,” and by others a “curse:” it properly means a curse, and is deduced from the word [wbç shebugn, which seems to be taken in an extraordinary sense, because this word properly means seven., and the word derived from it means to “swear,” through the practice of bringing forward a certain number of witnesses; and hence the noun means an oath. But because a curse is often interposed, and the swearer calls God to witness against himself if he fails to perform his verbal engagement, some interpreters elicit the sense of a curse being poured out. But there may be some change of construction here, and so I willingly interpret it. The curse and the oath, then, are poured out; that is, the curse which God has sanctioned by an oath, by a figure of speech well known to grammarians under the name of hypallage. The curse, therefore, was sworn by the mouth of God himself; and we know how threats cause more terror by being confirmed by an oath, just as God, on the other hand, adds strength to the promises of his favor.
He adds afterwards, Because we have acted wickedly against him. By this expression, Daniel shortly but clearly affirms that the people have no cause for complaint, as their calamities were the result of neither accident nor chance. They might behold the very source of their evils in the law of God. had there been no predictions of this kind, the Israelites might have doubted and even disputed with themselves, as to the origin and cause of their being enslaved by their enemies, and of their being cast out with the utmost contempt and cruelty into distant lands. They might then have inquired into the causes of their evils, as if they were entirely unknown. But when the law of Moses was before their eyes, and God had therein sworn that he would perform the very threatenings just as they had happened, no further doubt could possibly remain. This, then, is the summary of Daniel’s meaning; the very denunciation of these punishments was sufficient to condemn the Israelites, because their sins were brought home to them over and over again, when God fulfilled against them, what he had formerly predicted by his servant Moses. It follows, —

12. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
12. Et stabilivit sermonem suum, quem loquutus fuerat super nos, et super judices, f481 ut adduceret super nos malum magnum quod non factum est sub toto coelo, sicut factum est f482 in Jerusalem.

Daniel pursues the same sentiment, shewing how the Israelites had no cause whatever for expostulating with God on account of their being so heavily afflicted, and no reason for doubting either its origin or intention. For now all had come to pass exactly as it had been long ago predicted. God, therefore, has stirred up his word against us; as if he had said, there is no reason why we should strive with God, for we behold his truthfulness in the punishments which he has inflicted upon us, and his threats are no mere vain scarecrows, or fabulous inventions manufactured to frighten children. God now really proves how seriously he had spoken. What then is the use of our turning our backs upon him, or why should we seek vain excuses when God’s truthfulness shines brightly in our destruction? Do we wish to deprive God of his truthfulness? surely whatever our earnestness we shall never succeed. Let, therefore, this suffice to condemn us, — God has predicted everything which occurs, and thus effectually and experimentally proves himself an avenger. God, therefore, ratified his word; that is, God’s word would have remained without the slightest efficacy and rigor, unless this curse had been suspended over our head; but while we lie prostrate and almost buried under our calamities, God’s word is borne aloft; that is, God makes his truthfulness conspicuously visible, which otherwise would scarcely be perceptible at all. Unless God punished the wickedness of men, who would not treat the threatening of his law as childish? But when he demonstrates by certain proofs the very best reasons for terrifying mankind, efficacy and rigor are immediately imparted to his words. Besides this, Daniel here intends to cast off all subterfuges, and to cause the people candidly to acknowledge, and really to feel themselves justly afflicted. He says, against us and against our judges, who judged us. Again, Daniel throws down all haughtiness of the flesh, with the view of exalting God alone and of preventing any mortal splendor from obscuring the authority of the Law. For we know how the common people think they have a shield for the defense of all their crimes, when they can quote the example of kings and judges. At this very day, whenever we argue against the superstitions of the Papacy, they say, “Well! if we do make a mistake, yet God has set over us both kings and bishops who rule us after their manner, why then should we be blamed when we have God’s command for following those who are endued with power and dignity?” As, therefore, the vulgar generally catch at a subterfuge like this, Daniel again affirms, that although those who transgress God’s law are endowed with great worldly authority, yet they are not exempt from either blame or punishment, nor can the ordinary multitude be excused if they follow their example. Therefore, as he had spoken by Moses against our judges who judged us, he says; that is, although power had been conferred upon them for ruling us, yet the whole ordination of it is from God: yet after they had utterly abused their government, and violated God’s justice, and thus had endeavored to draw down God, if possible, from his elevation, Daniel asserts that their loftiness will by no means shelter them from the consequences of transgression.
He afterwards adds, To bring upon us a great evil, which has never happened under the whole heavens, as it has now occurred at Jerusalem. Here Daniel foresaw an objection which had some slight force in it. Although God had deservedly punished the Israelites, yet when he displayed his anger against them more severely than against other nations, he might seem forgetful of his equity. Daniel here removes all appearance of incongruity, even if God is more severe against his elect people then against profane nations, because the impiety of this people was far greater than that of all others on account of their ingratitude, contumacy, and impracticable obstinacy, as we have already said. Since the Israelites surpassed all nations in malice, ingratitude, and all kinds of iniquity, Daniel here declares how thoroughly their disastrous afflictions were deserved. Again, we are here reminded, whenever God severely chastises his Church, of that principle to which we must return, namely, our impiety is the more detestable to God the nearer he approaches us; and the kinder he is to us, the more chargeable we are, unless in our turn we prove ourselves grateful and obedient. This state of things ought not to seem troublesome to us, as vengeance begins at the house of God, and he puts forth examples of his wrath against his own people far more tremendous than against others; this, I say, we ought not to take ill, as I have already explained the reason of it. It does not surprise us to find the Gentiles groping in darkness, but when God shines upon us and we resist him with determined willfulness, we are doubly impious. This comparison, therefore, must be noticed, as evil was poured out upon Jerusalem; meaning, no similar punishment was inflicted upon other nations, for what happened to Jerusalem, says Daniel, never occurred under the whole heaven. It follows, —

13. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
13. Sicuti scriptum est in lege Mosis, totum malum hoc venit super nos, et non deprecati sumus faciem Jehovae Dei nostri, ut reverteremur ab iniquitatibus nostris, et attenti essemus ad veritatum tuam.

He repeats what he had already said, without any superfluity, shewing how God’s judgments are proved by their effects, as the law of Moses contains within it all the penalties which the Israelites endured. As, therefore, so manifest an agreement existed between the law of God and the people’s experience, they ought not to become restive and to have sought every kind of subterfuge without profit. By this alone God sufficiently proved himself a just avenger of their crimes, because he had predicted many ages before what he had afterwards fully carried out. This is the object of the repetition, when Daniel says the people felt the justice of the penalties denounced against them in the law of Moses, for in the meantime he adds, we have not deprecated the face of God. Here he severely blames the people’s hardness, because even when beaten with stripes they never grew wise. It is said — fools require calamities to teach them wisdom. This, therefore, was the height of madness in the people to remain thus stubborn under the rod of the Almighty, even when he inflicted the severest blows. As the people were so obstinate in their wickedness, who does not perceive how sincerely this conduct was to be deplored? We have not deprecated, therefore, the face of our God. This passage teaches us how the Lord exercises his judgments by not utterly destroying men, but holding his final sentence in suspense, as by these means he wishes to impel men to repentance. First of all, he gently and mercifully invites both bad and good by his word, and adds also promises, with the view of enticing them; and then, when he observes them either slow or refractory, he uses threatenings with the view of arousing them from their slumber; and should threats produce no effect, he goes forth in arms and chastises the sluggishness of mankind. Should these stripes produce no improvement, the desperate character of the people becomes apparent. In this way, God complains in Isaiah of their want of soundness; the whole body of the people is subject to ulcers from the head to the sole of the foot, (<230106>Isaiah 1:6;) and yet he would lose all his labor, through their being utterly unmanageable. Daniel now asserts the existence of the same failing in the people, while he states the Israelites to be so untouched by a sense of their calamities, as never to supplicate for pardon. I cannot complete the remainder to-day.
Grant, Almighty God, that we may learn seriously to consider in how many ways we become guilty before thee, especially while we daily continue to provoke thy wrath against us. May we be humbled by true and serious repentance, and fly eagerly to thee, as nothing is left to us but thy pity alone; when cast down and confounded, and reduced to nothing in ourselves, may we fly to this sacred anchor, as thou art easily entreated, and hast promised to act as a father of mercies to all sinners who seek thee. Thus may we approach thee with true penitence, and relying on thy goodness, never doubt the granting of our requests; and being freed by thy mercy from the tyranny of Satan and of sin, may we be governed by thy Holy Spirit, and so directed in the way of righteousness as to glorify thy name throughout our lives, till we arrive at that happy and immortal life which we know to be laid up in heaven for us, by Christ our Lord. — Amen.
IN yesterday’s Lecture we dwelt on the Prophet’s enlarging upon the people’s crime, in resisting the impression made by God’s chastisements; but now he more clearly demonstrates the kind of obstinacy displayed. For they did not turn away from their iniquities, and were not attentive to God’s truth. He had said before, we have not deprecated the anger of God. But here he expresses something more, namely, allowing the existence of some pretense to prayer, there was no real sincerity, We know how impiously hypocrites abuse God’s name, and pretend to the outward form of prayer, and even to the greatest fervor, but there is no reality in their prayers. Thus the Prophet has good reason for uniting what ought never to be separated, and then convicts the Israelites of obstinacy, because they did not flee suppliantly to God’s mercy with repentance and faith. There was, doubtless, some form of piety left among the people; but Daniel here estimates prayers according to God’s word, and thus puts these two things before us, namely, repentance and faith. We must diligently notice this. For nothing is more common than an earnest supplication for pardon when the signs of God’s wrath are apparent; this was always customary among all nations and at all times, and yet there existed neither repentance nor faith. Hence their prayers became mere falsehood and vanity. This is the meaning of the Prophet’s language when he says, We have not asked at the face of Jehovah our God, by turning away from our iniquities, (or that we may return,) and by being instructed in thy truth. Finally, we may gather from this passage what the rule of pious and acceptable prayer really is; first, we must be displeased with ourselves for our sins; next, we must regard the threats and promises of the Almighty. As to the first member of the sentence, experience teaches us how rashly many break forth into prayer, even when their evil conduct rises up professedly against God. On the one hand, they are so enraged as not to hesitate to engage in warfare with God, and yet they pray unto him, because terror seizes upon their minds and compels them to submit themselves to God. The Prophet, therefore, here shews the utter inutility of that outward shew and perverse mixture of noise and flattery, because God cannot approve of any prayers, unless they spring equally from repentance and faith. When he says, the people were not attentive to God’s truth, in my opinion this is extended equally to threats and promises, and faith apprehends both God’s pity and his judgments. For, surely, it cannot be otherwise, when terror rouses the pious to fly to God’s mercy. As, therefore, God embraces each quality in his word, as he cites all who have sinned to his own tribunal, and then gives them a hope of reconciliation, if the sinner is really converted to him; so also Daniel, by saying, the Israelites were not attentive to God’s truth, doubtless had respect to both objects, namely, their want of sufficient consideration of God’s judgments, and next, their stupidity in despising his pity when plainly set before them. On the whole, This passage shews us the impossibility of our prayers being pleasing to God, unless they flow from true repentance and faith; that is, when we heartily feel our wickedness, we then flee to God’s mercy and rely upon his promises. Hence we discover three things to be necessary to render God propitious to us; first, dissatisfaction with ourselves which occasions sorrow, through our being conscious of our sins, and of our having provoked God’s anger. This is the first point. Secondly, faith must necessarily be added. Lastly, prayer must follow as a proof of our repentance and faith. When men remain without repentance and faith, we observe how God’s name is profaned although we conceive and utter many prayers, at the very time when the two principal dispositions are entirely wanting. Now let us proceed, —

14. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
14. Et vigilavit Jehovah super malum, et immisit illud f483 spuer nos: quai justus est Jehovah Deus noster in omnibus operibus suis quae fecit, hoc est, facit, et non auscultavimus voci ejus.

Daniel confirms what he had formerly said respecting the slaughter which afflicted the Israelites not being the offspring of chance, but of the certain and remarkable judgment of God. Hence he uses the word rqç, seked, which signifies to watch and to apply the mind attentively to anything. It is properly used of the guards of cities, who keep watch both by night and by day. This phrase does not appear to me to imply haste, but rather continual carefulness. God often uses this metaphor of his watching to chastise men who are far too eager to rush into sin. We are familiar with the great intemperance of mankind, and their disregard of all moderation whenever the lusts of the flesh seize upon them. God on the other hand say’s he will not be either slothful or neglectful in correcting this intemperance. The reason for this metaphor is expressed in the forty-fourth chapter of Jeremiah, where men are said to burst forth and to be carried away by their appetites, and then God is continually on the watch till the time of his vengeance arrives. I have mentioned how this word denotes rather continual diligence than hasty swiftness; and the Prophet seems here to imply that although God had endured the people’s wickedness, yet he had at length really performed his previous threatenings, and was always on the watch, and rendering it impossible for the people to escape his judgments upon the wickedness in which they indulged. Therefore hath Jehovah closely attended to the calamity, and caused it to come upon us, says he. With the view of comprehending the Prophet’s intention more fully, we must notice what God pronounces by Jeremiah in the Lamentations, (<250338>Lamentations 3:38,) where he accuses the people of sloth, because they did not acknowledge the justice of the punishments which they suffered; he blames them in this way. Who is he who denies both good and evil to proceed from the mouth of God; as if he were pronouncing a curse against those who are ignorant of the origin of calamities from God, when he chastises the people. This sentiment is not confined to a single passage. For God often inveighs against that stupidity which is born with mankind, and leads them to attribute every event to fortune, and to neglect the hand of the smiter. (<230913>Isaiah 9:13.) This kind of teaching is to be met with everywhere in the prophets, who shew how nothing can be worse than to treat God’s judgments as if they were accidents under the influence of chance. This is the reason why Daniel insists so much upon this point. We know also what God denounces in his law: If ye have walked against me rashly, I also will rashly walk against you, (<032627>Leviticus 26:27, 28;) that is, if ye do not cease to attribute to fortune whatever evil ye suffer, I will rush against you with closed eyes, and will strive with you with similar rashness; as if he had said, If ye cannot distinguish between fortune and my judgments, I will afflict you on all sides, both on the right hand and on the left, without the slightest discretion; as if I were a drunken man, according. to the expression, With the perverse, thou wilt be perverse. For this reason Daniel now confesses, God watched over the calamity, so as to bring down all those afflictions by which the people was oppressed.
In this passage we are taught to recognize God’s providence in both prosperity and adversity, for the purpose of stirring us up to be grateful for his benefits, while his punishments ought to produce humility. For when any one explains these things by fortune and chance, he thereby proves his ignorance of the existence of God, or at least of the character of the Deity whom we worship. For what is left for God if we rob him of his providence? It is sufficient here just to touch on these points which are often occurring, and of which we usually hear something every day. It is sufficient for the exposition of this passage to observe how the Prophet incidentally opposes God’s judgment and providence to all notions of chance.
He next adds, Jehovah our God is just in all his works. In this clause the Prophet confirms his former teaching, and the phrase, God is just, appears like rendering a reason for his dealings; for the nature of God supplies a reason why it becomes impossible for anything to happen by the blind impulse of fortune. God sits as a judge in heaven; whence these two ideas are directly contrary to each other. Thus if one of the following assertions is made, the other is at the same time denied; if God is the judge of the world, fortune has no place in its government; and, whatever is attributed to fortune is abstracted from God’s justice. Thus we have a confirmation of our former sentence by the use of contraries or opposites; for we must necessarily ascribe to God’s judgment both good and evil, both adversity and prosperity, if he governs the world by his providence, and exercises the office of judge. And if we incline in the least degree to fortune, then God’s judgment and providence will cease to be acknowledged. Meanwhile, Daniel not only attributes power to God, but also celebrates his justice; as if he had said, he does not arbitrarily govern the world without any rule of justice or equity, but he is just. We must not suppose the existence of any superior law to bind the Almighty; he is a law unto himself, and his will is the rule of all justice; yet we must lay down this point; God does not reign as a tyrant over the world, while in the perfection of his equity, he performs some things which seem to us absurd, only because our minds cannot ascend high enough to embrace a reason only partially apparent, and almost entirely hidden and incomprehensible in the judgments of God. Daniel, therefore, wished to express this by these words, Jehovah our God, says he, is just in all the works which he performs. The meaning is, the people would not have been so severely chastised and afflicted with so many miserable calamities, unless they had provoked God’s wrath; this might be easily collected from the threatenings which God had denounced many ages beforehand, and which he at that time proved in real truth to be in no degree frivolous. Next, a second part is added, as not only God’s power but. his justice shines forth in the slaughter of the people; and I have touched briefly on each of these points, as far as it was necessary for explanation. But we must notice the Prophet’s allusion in these words to those numerous trials which had fallen upon the faithful for the purpose of proving their faith. They perceived themselves the most despised and miserable of mortals; the peculiar and sacred people of God was suffering under the greatest reproach and detestation, although God had adopted them by his law with the intention of their excelling all other people. While, therefore, they perceived themselves drowned in that deep whirlpool of calamities and disgrace, what would they suppose, except that God had deceived them, or that his covenant was utterly annihilated? Daniel, therefore, establishes the justice of God in all his works for the purpose of meeting this temptation, and of confirming the pious in their confidence, and of inducing them to fly to God in the extremity of their calamities.
He adds, as a reason, Because they did not listen to his voice. Here, again, he points out the crime of the people who had not transgressed through ignorance or error, but had purposely taken up arms against God. Whenever God’s will is once made known to us, we have no further excuse for ignorance; for our open defiance of the Almighty arises from our being led away by the lusts of the flesh. And hence we gather how very detestable is the guilt of all who do not obey God’s voice whenever he deigns to teach us, and who do not instantly acquiesce in his word. It now follows, —

DANIEL 9:15-17
15. And now, Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
15. Et nunc Domine Deus noster, qui eduxisti populum tuum e terra Aegypt cum manu forti, et fecisti, comparasti, tibi nomen secundum diem hanc, f484 peccavimus, impie egimus.
16. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
16. Domine secundum omnes justitias tuas avertatur, quaeso, ira tua, et excandescentia tua ab urbe tua Jerusalem, monte sanctitatis tuae: quoniam ob peccata nostra, et ob iniquitates, f485 patrum nostrorom, Jerusalem, et populus tuus est in probum cunctis vicinis, f486 circuitibus nostris. f487
17. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
17. Et nunc audias, Deus noster, precationem servi tua, et orationem ejus atque illumina faciem tuam f488 super sanctuarium tuum quod vastatum est, vel, desolatum, propter Dominum.

After Daniel has sufficiently confessed the justice of those judgments which God had inflicted upon the people, he again returns to beg for pardon. First, he would conciliate favor for himself; next, he would stir up the minds of the pious to confidence, and so he sets before them that proof of grace which ought to avail to support the minds of the pious even to the end of the world. For when God led his people out of Egypt, he did not set before them any momentary benefit merely, but he bore witness to the adoption of the race of Abraham on the condition of his being their perpetual Savior. Therefore, whenever God wishes to gather together those who have been dispersed, and to raise their minds from a state of despair to cheerful hope, he reminds them of his being their Redeemer. I am that God, says he, who led you out of Egypt. (<031145>Leviticus 11:45, and often elsewhere.) God not only commends his own power in such passages, but denotes the object of their redemption; for he then received his people under his care on the very ground of never ceasing to act towards them with the love and anxiety of a father. And when in their turn such anxiety seized upon the faithful as to lead them to apprehend their own utter desertion by God, they are in the habit of seizing upon this shield — God did not lead our fathers out of Egypt in vain. Daniel now follows up this reasoning-Thou, O Lord our God, says he, who hast led forth thy people; as if he had said, he called upon God, because by one single proof he had testified to all ages the sacred character of the race of Abraham. We observe, then, how he stirs up himself and all the rest of the pious to prayer, because by laying this foundation, he could both complain familiarly, and fearlessly request of God to pity his people, and to put an end to their calamities. We now understand the Prophet’s meaning, when he says, the people were led forth from Egypt.
He afterwards adds another cause, God then acquired renown for himself, as the event evidently displayed. He here joins God’s power with his pity, implying, when the people were led forth, it was not only a specimen of paternal favor towards the family of Abraham, but also an exhibition of divine power. Whence it follows, his people could not be cast off without also destroying the remembrance of that mighty power by which God had acquired for himself renown. And the same sentiment often occurs in the prophets when they use the argument: — If this people should perish, what would prevent the extinction of thy glory, and thus whatever thou hadst conferred upon this people would be buried in oblivion? So, therefore, Daniel now says, By bringing thy people from the land of Egypt, thou hast made thyself a name; that is, thou hast procured for thyself glory, which ought to flourish through all ages unto the end of the world. What, then, will occur, if the whole of thy people be now destroyed? He next. adds, We have done impiously, and have acted wickedly. In these words Daniel declares how nothing was left except for God to consider himself rather than his people, as by looking to them he would find nothing but material for vengeance. The people must necessarily perish, should God deal with them as they deserved. But Daniel here turns away God’s face by some means from the people’s sins, with the view of fixing his attention on himself alone and his own pity, and on his consistent fidelity to that perpetual covenant which he had made with their fathers.
Lastly, he would not permit that redemption to fail which was an illustrious and eternal proof of his virtue, favor, and goodness. Hence he subjoins, O Lord, may thine anger be averted according to all thy righteousness, and thine indignation from thy city Jerusalem, the mountain of thy holiness. We observe how Daniel here excludes whatever merit there might be in the people. In reality they did not possess any, but I speak according to that foolish imagination which men can scarcely put off. They always take credit to themselves, although they are convicted of their sins a hundred times over, and still desire to conciliate God’s favor by pleading some merit before God. But here Daniel excludes all such considerations when he pleads before God his own justice, and uses the strong expression, according to all thy righteousness. Those who take this word “righteousness” to mean “judgment,” are in error and inexperienced in interpreting the Scriptures; for they suppose God’s justice to be opposed to his pity. But we are familiar with God’s righteousness as made manifest, especially in the benefits he confers on us. It is just as if Daniel had said, that the single hope of the people consisted in God’s having regard to himself alone, and by no means to their conduct. Hence he takes the righteousness of God for his liberality, gratuitous favor, consistent fidelity, and protection, which he promised his servants: O God, therefore, he says, according to all thy prormsed mercies; that is, thou dost not fail those who trust in thee, thou dost promise nothing rashly, and thou art not accustomed to desert those who flee to thee; oh! by thy very justice, succor us in our distress. We must also notice the universal particle “all,” because when Daniel unites so many sins which might drown the people in an abyss a thousand times over, he opposes to this all God’s promised mercies. As if he had said, although the number of our iniquities is so great that we must perish a hundred times over, yet thy promised mercies are far more numerous, meaning, thy justice surpasses whatever thou mayest find in us of the deepest dye of guilt.
He says, again, Let thine anger be turned away, and thy burning wrath from thy city Jerusalem, and from thy holy mountain. In joining together anger and burning wrath, the Prophet does not imply any excess on the part of God, as if he revenged the sins of the people too severely, but he again represents the aggravation of their wickedness, causing him to become so angry with them as to lay aside his usual character, and to treat their adoption as vain and fruitless. Daniel does not complain in this case of the severity of the punishment, but rather condemns himself and the rest of the people for causing a necessity for such severe measures. Once more, he sets before God the holy mountain which he had chosen, and in this way averts his countenance from judgment, lest he should reckon with them for so many sins, by which God was deservedly incensed. Here, therefore, God’s election is interposed, because he had consecrated Mount Zion to himself, and desired to be worshipped there, where also his name should be celebrated and sacrifices offered to him. In this respect, therefore, Daniel obtains favor for himself before God, and, as I have said, he excludes all other considerations.
He next adds, Because on account of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem. and thy people are a reproach to all our neighbors. By another argument, the Prophet desires to bend God to pity; for Jerusalem as well as the people were a disgrace to the nations; yet this caused equal disgrace to fall upon God himself. As, therefore, the Gentiles made a laughing-stock of the Jews, they did not spare the sacred name of God; nay, the Jews were so despised, that the Gentiles scarcely deigned to speak of them, and the God of Israel was contemptuously traduced, as if he had been conquered, because he had suffered his temple to be destroyed, and the whole city Jerusalem to be consumed with burning and cruel slaughter. The Prophet, therefore, now takes up this argument, and in speaking of the sacred city, doubtless refers to the sacredness of God’s name. His language implies, — Thou hast chosen Jerusalem as a kind of royal residence; it was thy wish to be worshipped there, and now this city has become an object of the greatest. reproach to our neighbors. Thus he declares how God’s name was exposed to the reproaches of the Gentiles. He afterwards asserts the same of God’s people, not by way of complaint. when the Jews suffered these reproaches, for they deserved them by their sins, but the language is emphatic, and yet they were God’s people. God’s name was intimately bound up with that of his people, and whatever infamy the profane east upon them, reflected chiefly on God himself. Here Daniel places before the Almighty his own name; as if he had said, O Lord! be thou the vindicater of thine own glory, thou hast once adopted us on this condition, and may the memory of thy name be ever inscribed upon us; permit us not to be so reproachfully slandered, let not the Gentiles insult thee on our account. And yet he says this was done on account of the iniquities of the people and of their fathers; by which expression he removes every possibility of doubt. 0h! how can it happen, that God will so lay his people prostrate? Why has he not spared at least his own name! Daniel, therefore, here testifies to his being just, because the iniquity of the people and of their fathers had risen so high, that God was compelled to exercise such vengeance against them.
His next prayer is, Do thou who art our God hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine forth. In these words Daniel wrestles with distrust, not for his own sake privately, but for that of the whole Church to whom he set forth the true method of prayer. And experience teaches all the pious how necessary this remedy is in those doubts which break into all our prayers, and make our earnestness and ardor in prayer grow dull and cold within us, or at least we pray without any composed or tranquil confidence, and this trembling vitiates whatever we had formerly conceived. As, therefore, this daily happens to all the pious when they leave off the duty of prayer for even a short period, and some doubt draws them off and shuts the door of familiar access to God, this is the reason why Daniel so often repeats the sentence, Do thou, O Lord, hear the prayer of thy. servant. David also inculcates such sentiments in his prayers, and has the greatest necessity for acting so. And those who are truly exercised in praying feel how God’s servants have good cause for such language whenever they pray to him. But I will complete the rest to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, as thou hast deigned to gather us once among thy people, and hast wished us also to bear thy name, and that of thine only-begotten Son; although we so often provoke thine anger by our sins, and never cease to heap evil upon evil: Grant that we may never be exposed as a laughing-stock and spectacle, to the disgrace of thy sacred name. As, therefore, thou now seest the impious seizing all occasions of grossly slandering thyself, and thy sacred gospel, and the name of thine only-begotten Son, do not permit them, I pray thee, petulantly to insult thee. May thy Spirit so govern us, that we may desire to glorify thy name. May it be glorified in spite of Satan and all the impious, until we are gathered into that celestial kingdom which thou hast promised us in the same Christ our Lord.-Amen.
We yesterday commenced our comment on the passage in which Daniel asks the Almighty to make his face to shine upon his own sanctuary. We are well aware how often this expression occurs in the Scriptures, where God is said to manifest his opposition by hiding his face, when he does not assist his own people, but hides himself as if he were forgetful of them. As Scripture everywhere compares our calamities and adversities to darkness, therefore God in whose favor our happiness is placed is said to hide his face when he does not succor us; and again, he is said to render his face bright and conspicuous, when he gives us some sign of his parental layout. God seemed for a long time to have deserted his sanctuary, and therefore the Prophet prays him to make his face to shine. We must remark his expression; upon thy sanctuary which is laid waste. We gather from it, that although the Prophet saw all things lost in a carnal sense, yet he neither despaired nor desisted from his prayers. And this rule must be noticed, — God’s grace is not to be estimated by the present aspect of things, because he often shews himself angry with us. Our carnal reason must be overcome, if we wish to pray to God in adversity, as the Prophet here teaches us by his own example. For the sanctuary was cut off; its very devastation might have formed an excuse to Daniel and all the pious for offering their prayers no longer. What success could be hoped for in such a deplorable state of affairs? Daniel by this circumstance shews how he struggled on without allowing any obstacle to interrupt the course of his prayer. He adds, for the Lord’s sake; all the Hebrew doctors agree that the word ynda, Adoni, when written with the great point karnetz, is taken for God alone; but in certain passages of Scripture it is as clearly used for the Mediator also. And very probably it has this sense here; although the Hebrews use this form for God’s sake, or for thy sake, when they make a direct, appeal to the Deity, yet I confess they often use the third person. But what necessity is there for flying to this harsher form of speech, when the other sense appears more appropriate to the passage? He will afterwards say, on account of thee, my God; but he says here, for the Lord’s sake. If, however, I had to contend with a person of a captious disposition, I confess I could not convince him from this passage; but if we weigh the Prophet’s words without contention, we shall rather incline to this view of the subject. Here, therefore, he sets before God the Mediator by whose favor he hopes to obtain his request. Still, if any one prefers to apply this to God, let him retain his opinion. Let us now proceed,.—

18. My God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolation’s, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies.
18. Inclina Deus mi, aurem tuam, et audi: eperi oculos tuos, et respice desolationes nostras, f489 et civitem super quam invocatum est nomen tuum, super eam, f490 quia non propter justitias nostras nos prosternimus preces nostras coram facie tua, sed propter misericordias tuas f491 multas, vel, magnas.

This short clause breathes a wonderful fervor and vehemence of prayer; for Daniel pours forth his words as if he were carried out of himself. God’s children are often in an ecstasy in prayer; they moan and plead with God, use various modes of speech and much tautology, and cannot satisfy themselves. In forms of speech, indeed, hypocrites are sometimes superior; they not only rival God’s sincere worshippers, but are altogether carried along by outward pomps, and by a vast heap of words in their prayers, they arrive at much elegance and splendor, and even become great rhetoricians. But Daniel here only displays some portion of his feelings; there is no doubt of his wishing to bear witness to the whole Church how vehemently and fervently he prayed with the view of inflaming others with similar ardor. In this verse, he says, O my God, incline thine ear and hear. It would have been sufficient simply to have said, hearken; but as God seemed to remain deaf notwithstanding so many prayers and entreaties, the Prophet begs him to incline his ear. There is a silent antithesis here, because the faithful had seemed to be uttering words to the deaf, while their groans had been continually carried upwards to heaven during seventy years without the slightest effect. He adds next, open thine eyes and see. For God’s neglecting to answer must have cast down the hopes of the pious, because the Israelites were treated so undeservedly. They were oppressed by every possible form of reproach, and suffered the most grievous molestation in their fortunes as well as in everything else. Yet God passed by all these calamities of his people, as if his eyes were shut; and for this reason Daniel now prays him to open his eyes. It is profitable to notice these circumstances with diligence, for the purpose of learning how to pray to God; first, when at peace and able to utter our petitions without the slightest disquietude, and next, when sorrow and anxiety seize upon all our senses, and darkness everywhere surrounds us; even then our prayers should be steadily continued in the midst of these great obstacles. And we gather at the same time, while God presses us to the very extremity of our lives, how we ought to be still more importunate, because the new object; of this our severe affliction, is to awaken us amidst our slothfulness. Thus it is said in the Psalms, (<193206>Psalm 32:6,) The saint will approach thee in an accepted time. Our opportunity arises when the very vast necessities overwhelm us, because God then stirs us up, and, as I have said, corrects our slowness. Let us learn, therefore, to accustom ourselves to vehemence in prayer whenever God urges and incites us by stimulus of this kind.
He next says, Look upon our desolation’s — of this we have already said enough — and on the city on which thy name is called. Again Daniel sets before himself the sure foundation of his confidence, — Jerusalem had been chosen as God’s sanctuary. We know God’s adoption to have been without repentance, as Paul says. (<451129>Romans 11:29.) Daniel, therefore, here takes the very strongest method of appealing to God’s honor, by urging his wish to be worshipped on Mount Zion, and by his destining Jerusalem for himself as a royal seat. The phrase, to be called by God’s name, means, reckoning either the place or the nation as belonging to God. For God’s name is said to be called upon us, when we profess to be his people, and he distinguishes us by his mark, as if he would openly shew to the eyes of mankind his recognition of our profession. Thus God’s name was called upon Jerusalem, because his election had been celebrated already for many ages, and he had also gathered together one peculiar people, and pointed out a place where he wished sacrifices to be offered.
He adds afterwards, Because we do not pour forth our prayers before thy face upon or through our own righteousness, (yk ki, “but,” is in my opinion put adversatively here,) but on account of thy many or great mercies. Daniel more clearly confirms what was said yesterday, shewing how his hope was founded in God’s mercy alone. But I have stated how he expresses his meaning more clearly by opposing two members of a sentence naturally contrary to each other. Not in our righteousness, says he, but in thy compassion’s. Although this comparison is not always put so distinctly, yet this rule must be held — whenever the saints rely upon the grace of God, they renounce at the same time all their merits, and find nothing in themselves to render God propitious. But this passage must be diligently noticed, where Daniel carefully excludes whatever opposes God’s gratuitous goodness; and he next shews how, by bringing forward anything of their own, as if men could deserve God’s grace, they diminish in an equal degree from his mercy. Daniel’s words also contain , another truth, manifesting the impossibility of reconciling two opposite things, viz., the faithful taking refuge in God’s mercy, and yet bringing anything of their own and resting upon their merits. As, therefore, a complete repugnance exists between the gratuitous goodness of God and all the merits of man, how stupid are those who strive to combine them, according to the usual practice of the Papacy! And even now, those who do not yield willingly to God and his word, wish to throw a covering over their error, by ascribing half the praise to God and his mercy, and retaining the remainder as peculiar to man. But all doubt is removed when Daniel places these two principles in opposition to each other, according to my former remark — the righteousness of man and the mercy of God. Our merits, in truth, will no more unite with the grace of God than fire and water, mingled in the vain attempt to seek some agreement between flyings so opposite. He next calls these mercies “great,” as we previously remarked the use of a great variety of words to express the various ways in which the people were amenable to his judgment. Here, therefore, he implores God’s mercies as both many and great, as the people’s wickedness had arrived at its very utmost pitch.
As for the following expression, The people pour down their prayers before God, Scripture seems in some degree at variance with itself, through the frequent use of a different metaphor, representing prayers as raised towards heaven. This phrase often occurs, — O God, we elevate or raise our prayers to thee. Here also, as in other places, the Spirit dictates a different form of expression, representing the faithful as casting down upon the ground their vows and prayers. Each of these expressions is equally suitable, because, as we said yesterday, both repentance and faith ought to be united in our prayers. But repentance throws men downwards, and faith raises them upwards again. At the first glance these two ideas do not seem easily reconciled; but by weighing these two members of a true and logical form of speech, we shall not find it possible to raise our prayers and vows to heaven, without depressing them, so to speak, to the very lowest depths. For on the one hand, when the sinner comes into the presence of God, he must necessarily fall completely down, nay, vanish as if lifeless before him. This is the genuine effect of repentance. And in this way the saints cast down all their prayers, whenever they suppliantly acknowledge themselves unworthy of the notice of the Almighty. Christ sets before us a picture of this kind in the character of the publican, who beats on his breast aid begs for pardon with a dejected countenance. (<421813>Luke 18:13.) Thus also the sons of God throw down their prayers in that spirit of humility which springs from penitence. Then they raise their prayers by faith for when God invites them to himself, and gives them the witness to his propitious disposition, they raise themselves up and overtop the clouds, yea, even heaven itself. Whence this doctrine also shines forth Thou art a God who hearest prayer, as we read in the Psalms. (<196502>Psalm 65:2.) In consequence of the faithful determining God to be propitious, they boldly approach his presence, and pray with minds erect, through an assurance that God is well pleased with the sacrifice which they offer. It follows:

19. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
19. Domine audi, Domine propitius esto, Domine attende, vel, animadverte, et fac, ne moreris propter te, Deus mi, quia nomen tuum invocatum est super urbem tuam, et super populum tuum.

Here vehemence is better expressed, as I have previously observed. For Daniel does not display his eloquence, as hypocrites usually do, but simply teaches by his example the true law and method of prayer. Without doubt, he was impelled by singular zeal for the purpose of drawing others with him. God, therefore, worked in the Prophet by his Spirit, to render him a guide to all the rest, and his prayer as a kind of common form to the whole Church. With this intention, Daniel now relates his own conceptions. He had prayed without any witness, but he now calls together the whole Church, and wishes it to become a witness of his zeal and fervor, and invites all men to follow this prescription, proceeding as it does not from himself but from God. O Lord, hear, says he; and next, O Lord, be propitious. By this second clause he implies the continual and intentional deafness of the Almighty, because he was deservedly angry with the people. And we ought to observe this, because we foolishly wonder at God’s not answering our prayers as soon as the wish has proceeded from our lips. Its reason, too, must be noticed. God’s slowness springs from our coldness and dullness, while our iniquities interpose an obstacle between ourselves and his ear. Be thou, therefore, propitious, O Lord, that thou mayest hear. So the sentence ought to be resolved. He afterwards adds, O Lord, attend. By this word Daniel means to convey, that while the people had in many ways and for a length of time provoked God’s anger, they were unworthily oppressed by impious and cruel enemies, and that this severe calamity ought to incline God to pity them. O Lord, therefore, he says, attend and do not delay. Already God had cast away his people for seventy years, and had suffered them to be so oppressed by their enemies, as to cause the faithful the utmost mental despondency. Thus we perceive how in this passage the holy Prophet wrestled boldly with the severest temptation. He requests God not to delay or put off. Seventy years had already passed away since God had formally cast off his people, and had refused them every sign of his good will towards them.
The practical inference from this passage is the impossibility of our praying acceptably, unless we rise superior to whatever befalls us; and if we estimate God’s favor according to our own condition, we shall lose the very desire for prayer, nay, we shall wear away a hundred times over in the midst of our calamities, and be totally unable to raise our minds up to God. Lastly, whenever God seems to have delayed for a great length of time, he must be constantly entreated not to delay. He next adds, For thine own sake, O , my God. Again, Daniel reduces to nothing those sources of confidence by which hypocrites imagine themselves able to obtain God’s favor. Even if one clause of the sentence is not actually the opposite of the other, as it was before, yet when he says, for thy sake, we may understand the inference to be, therefore not for our own sakes. He confirms this view by the remainder of the context, For thy sake, O my God, because thy name has been invoked upon thy city, says he, and upon thy people. We observe, then, how Daniel left no means untried for obtaining his request, although he relied on his gratuitous adoption, and never doubted God’s propitious feelings towards his own people. He finds indeed no cause for them either in mortals or in their merits, but he wishes mankind perpetually to behold his benefits and to continue steadfast to the end. It follows: —

DANIEL 9:20-21
20. And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;
20. Et adhuc ego loquens, f492 et precarer, et confiterer peecatum meum, et peccatum populi mei Israel, et prosternerem, f493 precationem meam coram Jehova Deo meo, super montem f494 sanctuarii Dei me.
21. Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
21. Cum, inquam, loquerer in precatione mea, tunc vir Gabriel quem videram in visione principio voluntam volatu, tetigit me circa tempus oblationis vespertinae.

As to the translation, some take it as I do; others say “flying swiftly,” implying fatigue and alacrity. Some derive the word for “flying” from ãw[, gnof, which signifies to fly, and they join it with its own participle, which is common Hebrew; others again think it derived from ã[y, yegnef; signifying to fatigue, and then explain it metaphorically as flying hastily. f495
Here Daniel begins to shew us that his prayers were by no means useless, nor yet without their fruit, as Gabriel was sent to elevate his mind with confidence, and to lighten his grief by consolation. He next sets him forth as a minister of the grace of God to the whole Church, to inspire the faithful with the hope of a speedy return to their country, and to encourage them to bear their afflictions until God should open a way for their return. Next, as to ourselves, we need not wonder at God’s refusing at times an answer to our prayers, because those who seem to pray far better than the rest scarcely possess a hundredth part of the zeal and fervor required. On comparing our method of prayer with this vehemence of the Prophet, surely we are in truth very far behind him; and it is by no means surprising, if, while the difference is so great, the success should be so dissimilar. And yet we may be assured that our prayers will never be in vain, if we follow the holy Prophet at even a long interval. If the limited amount of our faith hinders our prayers from emulating the Prophet’s zeal, yet God will nevertheless listen to them, so long as they are founded in faith and penitence. Daniel says, therefore, While I was as yet speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel. First of all, we must notice how the Holy Spirit here purposely dictated to the Prophet, how God’s grace would be prepared for and extended to all the wretched who fly to it and implore it. The Prophet, therefore, shews why we are so destitute of help, for if pain occasions so much groaning, yet we never look up to God, from whom consolation is always to be sought in all evils. He thus exhorts us to the habit of prayer by saying his requests were heard. He does not bring forward any singular example, but, as I have already said, he pronounces generally that the prayers of those who seek God as a deliverer will never be either vain or unfruitful. I have shewn how our supplications do not always meet with either the same or equal attention, since our torpor requires God to differ in the help which he supplies. But in this way the Prophet teaches us how those who possess true faith and repentance, however slight, will never offer up their prayers to God in vain.
He next adds what is necessary to conciliate God’s favor, namely, that men should anticipate God’s judgment by condemning themselves. So he asserts, He confessed his sin and that of his people. He does not speak here of one kind of sin, but under the word afj, cheta, he comprehends all kinds of wickedness; as if he had said, when I was confessing myself as steeped in sin and drowned in iniquity, I confessed the same on behalf of my people. We must notice also the phrase, the sin of my people Israel. He might have omitted this noun, but he wished to testify before God to the Church being guilty and without the slightest hope of absolution, unless God, whom they had so deservedly offended, was graciously pleased to reconcile them to himself. But the first clause is more worthy of notice, where Daniel relates the confession of his own sins before God. We know what Ezekiel says, or rather the Spirit speaking through his mouth. (<261414>Ezekiel 14:14.) For God names the three most perfect characters which had then existed in the world, and includes Daniel among them, although he was then living. Although Daniel was an example of angelic justice, and is celebrated by so remarkable an honor, yet, if even he were before me, and were to entreat me for this state, I would not listen to him, but I would free him only on account of his own righteousness. As, therefore, God so extols his own Prophet, and raises him on high as if he were beyond all the pollution and vices of the world, where shall we find a man upon earth who can boast himself free from every stain and failing? Let the most perfect characters be brought before us — what a difference between them and Daniel! But even he confesses himself a sinner before God, and utterly renounces his own righteousness, and openly bears witness to his only hope of salvation being placed in the mere mercy of God. Hence Augustine with much wisdom often cites this passage against the followers of Pelagius and Celestius. We are well aware with what specious pretenses these heretics obscured God’s grace, when they argued that God’s sons ought not always to remain in prison, but to reach the goal. The doctrine indeed is passable enough, that the sons of God ought to be free from all fault, but where is such integrity really found? Augustine, therefore, with the greatest propriety, always replied to those triflers by shewing that no one ever existed so just in this world as not to need God’s mercy. For had there been such a character, surely the Lord, who alone is a fitting judge, could have found him. But he asserts his servant Daniel to be among the most perfect, if three only are taken from the beginning of the world. But as Daniel casts himself into the flock of sinners, not through any feigned pretense or humility, but when uttering the fullness of his mind before God, who shall now claim for himself greater sanctity than this? When, therefore, I confess my sins before the face of my God. Here surely there is no fiction, whence it follows that those who pretend to this imaginary perfection are demons in human shape, as Castalio and other cynics, or rather dogs like him.
We must therefore cling to this principle: no man, even if semi-angelic, can approach God, unless he conciliates his favor by sincere and ingenuous confession of his sins, as in reality a criminal before God. This, then, is our righteousness, to confess ourselves guilty in order that God may gratuitously absolve us. These observations, too, respecting the Israelites concern us also, as we observe from the direction which Christ has given us to say, Forgive us our trespasses. (<400612>Matthew 6:12; <421104>Luke 11:4.) For whom did Christ wish to use this petition? Surely all his disciples. If any one thinks that he has no need of this form of prayer, and this confession of sin, let him depart from the school of Christ, and enter into a herd of swine.
He now adds, Upon the mountain of the sanctuary of my God. Here the Prophet suggests another reason for his being heard, namely, his anxiety for the common welfare and safety of the Church. For whenever any one studies his own private interests, and is careless of his neighbor’s advantage, he is unworthy to obtain anything before God. If, therefore, we desire our prayers to be pleasing to God, and to produce useful fruit, let us learn to unite the whole body of the Church with us, and not only to regard what is expedient for ourselves, but what will tend to the common welfare of all the elect people. While, therefore, says he, I was yet speaking, and in the midst of my prayer. It appears that Daniel prayed not only with his affections, but broke forth into some outward utterance. It is quite true that this word is often restricted to mental utterance; for even when a person does not use his tongue, he may be said to speak when he only thinks mentally within himself. But since Daniel said, When I was yet speaking in my prayer, he seems to have broken forth into some verbal utterance; for although the saints do not intend to pronounce anything orally, yet zeal seizes upon them, and words at times escape them. There is another reason also for this: we are naturally slow, and then the tongue aids the thoughts. For these reasons Daniel was enabled not only to conceive his prayers silently and mentally, but to utter them verbally and orally.
He next adds, Gabriel came; but I cannot complete my comments on this occurrence to-day.
Grant, Almighty God, that we may learn more and more fully to probe ourselves, and to discover the faults of which we are guilty: nay, may the serious weight of our wickedness truly humble us when we come into thy sight, and call upon thee even from the lowest depths. May we never cease to hope for thy grace; may we be elevated by that hope to the highest heavens, and be firmly assured that thou wilt always prove thyself a propitious Father to us. And as thou hast granted us a Mediator who may procure favor for us from thee, may we never hesitate to approach thee familiarly, through reliance on him. Whenever our miseries induce us to despair, may we never succumb to it; but with unconquered fortitude of mind, may we persevere in invoking thy name and imploring thy pity, until we perceive the fruit of our prayers, and after being freed from all warfare, may we at length arrive at that blessed rest which is laid up for us in heaven, by the same, Christ our Lord. — Amen.
In the last Lecture we explained the appearance of the angel to Daniel, who satisfied the eagerness of his desires. For he prayed with great earnestness when he perceived the time to have elapsed which God had fixed beforehand by the mouth of Jeremiah, while the people still remained in captivity. (<242511>Jeremiah 25:11.) We have shewn how the angel was sent by God to the holy Prophet, to alleviate his sorrow and to remove the pressure of his anxiety. He called the angel a man, because he took the form of a man, as we have already stated. One thing only remains — his saying, the vision was offered to him about the time of the evening sacrifice. Already seventy years had passed away, during which Daniel had never observed any sacrifice offered; and yet he still mentions sacrifices as if he were in the habit of attending daily in the Temple, which was not really in existence. Whence it appears how God’s servants, though deprived of the outward means of grace for the present moment, are yet able to make them practically useful by meditating upon God, and the sacrifices, and other rites, and ceremonies of His institution. If any one in these days is cast into prison, and even prohibited from enjoying the Lord’s Supper to the end of his life, yet he ought not on that account to cast away the remembrance of that sacred symbol; but should consider within himself every day, why that Supper was granted us by Christ, and what advantages he desires us to derive from it. Such, then, we perceive were the feelings of the holy Prophet, because he speaks of these daily sacrifices as if then in actual use. Yet we know them to have been abolished, and he could not have been present at them for many years, although during that period the Temple was standing. Now let us go forward, —

22. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
22. Et docuit me, et loquutus est mecum, et dixit, Daniel, nunc exivi ut te intelligere facerem intelligentiam. f496

Here the angel prepares the Prophet’s mind by saying, he came from heaven to teach him. I went forth, says he, to cause thee to understand. For Daniel ought to understand from this angel’s duty, what he ought himself to do. As God had deigned to honor him so highly by setting before him one of his angels as his master and teacher, the Prophet ought not to neglect so singular a favor, lest he should seem ungrateful to God. We now understand why the angel testifies to his coming to teach the Prophet. And we also ought to reflect upon this whenever we enter God’s Temple, or read any passage of holy Scripture, and acknowledge teachers to be sent to us from God to assist us in our ignorance, and to interpret the Scriptures for us. We ought also to admit Scripture to be given to us to enable us to find there whatever would otherwise be hidden from us. For God opens, as it were, his own heart to us, when he makes known to us his secrets by means of the Law, and the Prophets, and his Apostles also. Thus, Paul shews the gospel to be preached for the obedience of the faith, (<450105>Romans 1:5;) as if he had said, we shall not escape with impunity, unless we obediently embrace the doctrine of the gospel; otherwise, we do our utmost to frustrate the designs of God and elude his counsels, unless we faithfully obey his word. It follows, —

23. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
23. Principio precationum tuarum exivit verbum, et ego veni ut annuntiarem, quia tu desideriorum vir, f497 itaque intellige in sermone, et intellige in visione.

Here the angel not only exacts docility from the Prophet, but also exhorts him to greater attention. We shall afterwards perceive that this singular and extraordinary prophecy needed no common study. This is the reason why the angel not only commands Daniel to receive his message with the obedience of faith, but also to pay greater attention than usual, because this was an important and singular mystery. He states first of all — the word went forth from the time when the Prophet began to pray. I will not delay by reciting the opinions of others, because I think I understand the genuine sense of the passage; namely, God heard the prayers of his servant, and then promulgated what he had already decreed. For by the word “went forth” he expresses the publication of a decree which had formerly been made; it was then issued just as the decrees of princes are said to go forth when they are publicly spread abroad. God had determined what he would do, directly Daniel had ceased, for God’s counsel would never fail of its accomplishment; but he here points out the impossibility of the prayers of his saints being in vain, because he grants them the very thing which he would have bestowed had they not prayed for them, as if he were obedient to their desires, and approved of their conduct. It is clear enough, that we can obtain nothing by our prayer, without God’s previous determination to grant it; yet these points are not contrary to each other; for God attends to our prayers, as it is said in the Psalms, — -He performs our wishes, and yet executes what he had determined before the creation of the world. (<19E519>Psalm 145:19.) He had predicted by Jeremiah, (<242511>Jeremiah 25:11,) as we have remarked before, the close of the people’s exile in seventy years; Daniel already knew this, as he related at the beginning of the chapter, yet he did not relax in his prayers, for he knew that God’s promises afford us no ground or occasion for sloth or listlessness. The Prophet, therefore, prayed, and God shews how his desires were by no means vain as they concerned the welfare of the whole Church. He next states — the word went forth as soon as Daniel began to pray; that is, as soon as he opened his lips he was divinely answered. He afterwards adds, he came to make this known, because, says he, thou art a desirable man. Some take the word “desirable” actively, as if Daniel glowed with intense zeal; but this is forced and contrary to the usage of the language. Without doubt, the Prophet uses the word in the sense of acceptance with God, and the majority of interpreters fully agree with me. The angel therefore announces his arrival on behalf of Daniel, because he was in the enjoyment of God’s favor. And this is worthy of notice, for we gather from the passage the impossibility of our vows and prayers acquiring favor for us before God, unless we are already embraced by his regards; for in no other way do we find God propitious, than when we flee by faith to his loving-kindness. Then, in reliance upon Christ as our Mediator and Advocate, we dare to approach him as sons to a parent. For these reasons our prayers are of no avail before God, unless they are in some degree founded in faith, which alone reconciles us to God, since we can never be pleasing to him without pardon and remission of sins. We observe also, the sense in which the saints are said to please God by their sometimes failing to obtain their requests. .For Daniel was subject to continual groaning for many years, and was afflicted by much grief; and yet he never perceived himself to have accomplished anything worthy of his labors. he might really conclude all his labor to be utterly lost, after praying so often and so perseveringly without effect. But the angel meets him finally and testifies to his acceptance with God, and enables him to acknowledge that he had not suffered any repulse, although he had failed to obtain the object of his earnest desires. Hence, when we become anxious in our thoughts, and are induced to despair through the absence of all profit or fruit from our prayers, and through the want of an open and immediate answer, we must derive this instruction from the angel’s teaching, Daniel, who was most acceptable to God, was heard at length, without being permitted to see the object of his wishes with his bodily eyes. He died in exile, and never beheld the performance of the Prophet’s prophecies concerning the happy state of the Church, as if immediately preparing to celebrate its triumphs. At the end of the verse, as I have already mentioned, the angel stimulates Daniel to greater zeal, and urges him to apply his mind and all his senses attentively to understand the prophecy which the angel was commanded to bring before him. It now follows, —

24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
24. Septuaginta hebdomades finitae sunt super populum tuum et super urbem tuam sanctum, f498 ad claudendum scelus, et obsignandum peccatum, et expiandam iniquitatem, et adducendam justitiam aeternam, et obsignandam visionem, f499 et prophetiam, et ungendum sanctum sanctorum. f500

This passage has been variously treated, and so distracted, and almost torn to pieces by the various opinions of interpreters, that it might be considered nearly useless on account of its obscurity. But, in the assurance that no prediction is really in vain, we may hope to understand this prophecy, provided only we are attentive and teachable according to the angel’s admonition, and the Prophet’s example. I do not usually refer to conflicting opinions, because I take no pleasure in refuting them, and the simple method which I adopt pleases me best, namely, to expound what I think delivered by the Spirit of God. But I cannot escape the necessity of confuting’ various views of the present passage. I will begin with the Jews, because they not only pervert its sense through ignorance, but through shameful impudence. Whenever they’re exposed to the light which shines from Christ, they instantly turn their backs in utter shamelessness, and display a complete want of ingenuousness. They are like dogs who are satisfied with barking. In this passage especially, they betray their petulance, because with brazen forehead they elude the Prophet’s meaning. Let us observe, then, what they think, for we should condemn them to little purpose, unless we can convict them by reasons equally firm and certain. When Jerome relates the teaching of the Jews who lived before his own day, he attributes to them greater modesty and discretion then their later descendants have displayed. He reports their confession, that this passage cannot be understood otherwise than of the advent of Messiah. that perhaps Jerome was unwilling to meet them in open conflict, as he was not fully persuaded of its necessity, and therefore he assumed more than they had allowed. I think this very probable, for he does not let fall a single word as to what interpretation he approves, and excuses himself for bringing forward all kinds of opinions without any prejudice on his part. Hence, he dares not pronounce whether or not the Jewish interpreters are more correct than either the Greek or the Latin, but leaves his readers entirely in suspense. Besides, it is very clear that all the Rabbis expounded this prophecy of Daniel’s, of that continual punishment which God was about to inflict upon his people after their return from captivity. Thus, they entirely exclude the grace of God, and blame the Prophet, as if he had committed an error in thinking that God would be propitious to these miserable exiles, by restoring them to their homes and by rebuilding their Temple. According to their view, the seventy weeks began at the destruction of the former Temple, and closed at the overthrow of the second. In one point they agree with us, — in considering the Prophet to reckon the weeks not by days but by years, as in Leviticus. (<032508>Leviticus 25:8.) There is no difference between us and the Jews in numbering the years; they confess the number of years to be 490, but disagree with us entirely as to the close of the prophecy. They say — as I have already hinted — the continual calamities which oppressed the people are here predicted. The Prophet hoped the end of their troubles was fast approaching, as God had testified by Jeremiah his perfect satisfaction with the seventy years of captivity. They say also — the people were miserably harassed by their enemies again overthrowing their second Temple; thus they were deprived of their homes, and the ruined city became a sorrowful spectacle of devastation and disaster. In this way, I shewed how they excluded the grace of God; and to sum up their teaching shortly, this is its substance, — the Prophet is deceived in thinking the state of the Church would improve at the close of the seventy years, because seventy weeks still remained; that is, God multiplied the number in this way, for the purpose of chastising them, until at length he would abolish the city and the Temple, disperse their nation over the whole earth and destroy their very name, until at length the Messiah whom they expected should arrive. This is their interpretation, but all history refutes both their ignorance and their rashness. For, as we shall afterwards observe, all who are endued with correct judgment will scarcely approve of this, because all historians relate the lapse of a longer period between the monarchy of Cyrus, and the Persians, and the coming of Christ, than Daniel here computes. The Jews again include the years which occurred from the ruin of the former Temple to the advent of Christ, and the final overthrow of their city. Hence, according to the commonly received opinion, they heap together about six hundred years. I shall afterwards state how far I approve of this computation, and how far I differ from it. Clearly enough, however, the Jews are both shamefully deceived and deceive others, when they thus heap together different periods without any judgment.
A positive refutation of this error is readily derived from the prophecy of Jeremiah, from the beginning of this chapter, and from the opinion of Ezra. That deceiver and impostor, Barbinel, who fancies himself the most acute of all the Rabbis, thinks he has a convenient way of escape here, as he eludes the subject by a single word, and answers only one objection. But I will briefly shew how he plays with frivolous trifles. By rejecting Josephus, he glories in an easy victory. I candidly confess that I cannot place confidence in Josephus either at all times or without exception. But what conclusions do Barbinel and his followers draw from this passage? Let us come to that prophecy of Jeremiah which I have mentioned, and in which he takes refuge. He says, the Christians make Nebuchadnezzar reign forty-five years, but he did not complete that number. Thus he cuts off half a year, or perhaps a whole one, from those monarchies. But what is this to the purpose? Because 200 years will still remain, and the contention between us concerns this period. We perceive then how childishly he trifles, by deducting five or six years from a very large number, and still there is the burden of 200 years which he does not remove. But as I have already stated, that prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the seventy years remains immovable. But when do they begin? From the destruction of the Temple? This will not suit at all.
Barbinel makes the number of the years forty-nine or thereabouts, from the destruction of the Temple to the reign of Cyrus. But we previously perceived the Prophet to be then instructed concerning the close of the captivity. Now, that impudent fellow and his followers are not ashamed to assert that Daniel was a bad interpreter of this part of Jeremiah’s prophecy, because he thought the punishment completed, although some time yet remained. Some of the Rabbis make this assertion, but its frivolous character appears from this, Daniel does not here confess any error, but confidently affirms that he prayed in consequence of his learning:from the book of Jeremiah the completion of the time of the captivity. Then Ezra uses the following words, — When the seventy years were completed, which God had predicted by Jeremiah, he stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, to free the people in the first year of his monarchy. (<270101>Daniel 1:1.) Here Ezra openly states, that Cyrus gave the people liberty by the secret impulse of the Spirit. Had the Spirit of God become forgetful, when he hastened the people’s return? For then we must necessarily convict Jeremiah of deception and falsehood, while Ezra treats the people’s return as an answer to the prophecy. On the other hand, they cite a passage from the first chapter of Zechariah, (<380112>Zechariah 1:12,) Wilt thou not, O Lord, pity thy city Jerusalem, because the seventy years are now at an end? But here the Prophet does not point out the moment at which the seventy years were finished, but while some portion of the people had returned to their country by the permission of Cyrus, and the building of the Temple was still impeded, after a lapse of twenty or thirty years, he complains of God not having completely and fully liberated his people. Whether or not this is so, the Jews must explain the beginning of the seventy years from the former exile before the destruction of the Temple; otherwise the passages cited from Daniel and Ezra would not agree. We are thus compelled to close these seventy years before the reign of Cyrus, as God had said he should then put all end to the captivity of his people, and the period was completed at that point.
Again, almost all profane writers reckon 550 years from the reign of Cyrus to the advent of Christ.
I do not hesitate to suppose some error here, because no slight difficulty would remain to us on this calculation, but I shall afterwards state the correct method of calculating the number of years. Meanwhile, we perceive how the Jews in every way exceed the number of 600 years, by comprehending the .seventy years’ captivity under these seventy weeks; and then they add the time which elapsed from the death of Christ to the reign of Vespasian. But the facts themselves are their best refutation. For the angel says, the seventy weeks were finished. Barbinel takes the word ˚tj, chetek, for “to cut off,” and wishes us to mark the continual miseries by which the people were afflicted; as if the angel had said, the time of redemption has not yet arrived, as the people were continually wretched, until God inflicted upon them that final blow which was a desperate slaughter. But when this word is taken to mean to “terminate” or “finish,” the angel evidently announces the conclusion of the seventy weeks here. That impostor contends with this argument — weeks of years are here used in vain, unless with reference to the captivity. This is partially true, but he draws them out longer than he ought. Our Prophet alludes to the seventy years of Jeremiah, and I am surprised that the advocates of our side have not considered this, as no one suggests any reason why Daniel reckons years by weeks. Yet we know This figure to be purposely used, because he wished to compare seventy weeks of years with the seventy years. And whoever will take the trouble to consider this likeness or analogy, will find the Jews slain with their own sword. For the Prophet here compares God’s grace with his judgment; as if he had said, the people have been punished by an exile of seventy years, but now their time of grace has arrived; nay, the day of their redemption has dawned, and it shone forth with continual splendor, shaded, indeed, with a few clouds, for 490 years until the advent of Christ. The Prophet’s language must be interpreted as follows, — Sorrowful darkness has brooded over you for seventy years, but God will now follow up this period by one of favor of sevenfold duration, because by lightening your cares and moderating your sorrows, he will not cease to prove himself propitious to you even to the advent of Christ. This event was notoriously the principal hope of the saints who looked forward to the appearance of the Redeemer.
We now understand why the angel does not use the reckoning’ of years, or months, or days, but weeks of years, because this has a tacit reference to the penalty which the people had endured according to the prophecy of Jeremiah. On the other hand, this displays God’s great loving kindness, since he manifests a regard for his people up to the period of his setting forth their promised salvation in his Christ. Seventy weeks, then, says he, were finished upon thy people, and upon thy holy city. I do not approve of the view of Jerome, who thinks this an allusion to the rejection of the people; as if he had said, the people is thine and not mine. I feel sure this is utterly contrary to the Prophet’s intention. He asserts the people and city to be here called Daniel’s, because God had divorced his people and rejected his city. But, as I said before, God wished to bring some consolation to his servant and all the pious, and to prop them up by this confidence during their oppression by their enemies. For God had already fixed the time of sending the Redeemer. The people and the city are said to belong to Daniel, because, as we saw before, the Prophet was anxious for the common safety of His nation, and the restoration of the city and Temple. Lastly, the angel confirms his previous expression — God listened to his servant’s prayer, and promulgated the prophecy of future redemption. The clause which follows convicts the Jews of purposely corrupting Daniel’s words and meaning, because the angel says, the time was finished for putting an end to wickedness, and for sealing up sins, and for expiating iniquity. We gather from this clause, God’s compassionate feelings for His people after these seventy weeks were over. For what purpose did God determine that time? Surely to prohibit sin, to close up Wickedness, and to expiate iniquity. We observe no continuance of punishment here, as the Jews vainly imagine; for they suppose God always hostile to his people, and they recognize a sign of most grievous offense in the utter destruction of the Temple. The Prophet, or rather the angel, gives us quite the opposite view of the case, by explaining how God wished to finish and close up their sin, and to expiate their iniquity He afterwards adds, to bring in everlasting righteousness. We first perceive how joyful a message is brought forward concerning the reconciliation of the people with God; and next, something promised far better and more excellent than anything which had been granted under the law, and even under the flourishing times of the Jews under David and Solomon. The angel here encourages the faithful to expect something better than what their fathers, whom God had adopted, had experienced. There is a kind of contrast between the expiation’s under the law and this which the angel announces, and also between the pardon here promised and that which God had always given to his ancient people; and there is also the same contrast between the eternal righteousness and that which flourished under the law.
He next adds, To seal up the vision and the prophecy. Here the word “to seal” may be taken in two senses. Either the advent of Christ should sanction whatever had been formerly predicted — and the metaphor will imply this well enough — or we may take it otherwise, namely:, the vision shall be sealed up, and so finally closed that all prophecies should cease. Barbinel thinks he points out a great absurdity here, by stating it to be by no means in accordance with God’s character, to deprive his Church of the remarkable blessing of prophecy. But that blind man does not comprehend the force of the prophecy, because he does not understand anything about Christ. We know the law to be distinguished from the gospel by this peculiarity,-they formerly had a long course of prophecy according to the language of the Apostle. (<580101>Hebrews 1:1.) God spake formerly in various ways by prophets, but in these last times by his only-begotten Son. Again, the law and the prophets existed until John, says Christ. (<401111>Matthew 11:11-13; <421616>Luke 16:16; <420728>Luke 7:28.) Barbinel does not perceive this difference, and as I have formerly said, he thinks he has discovered an argument against us, by asserting that the gift of prophecy ought not to be taken away. And, truly, we ought not to be deprived of this gift, unless God desired to increase the privilege of the new people, because the least in the kingdom of heaven is superior in privilege to all the prophets, as Christ elsewhere pronounces. tie next adds, that the Holy of Holies may be anointed. Here, again, we have a tacit contrast between the anointings of the law, and the last which should take place. Not only is consolation here offered to all the pious, as God was about to mitigate the punishment which he had inflicted, but because he wished to pour forth the fullness of all his pity upon the new Church. For, as I have said, the Jews cannot escape this comparison on the part of the angel between the state of the Church under the legal and the new covenants; for the latter privileges were to be far better, more excellent, and more desirable, than those existing in the ancient Church from its commencement. But the rest to-morrow. f501
Grant, Almighty God, as through our extreme blindness, we cannot gaze upon open daylight, that we may be enlightened by thy Spirit. May we profit by all thy prophecies by which thou wishest to direct us to thine only-begotten Son; embrace him with true and certain faith, and remain obedient to him as our ruler and guide; and after we have passed through this world, may we at length arrive at that heavenly rest which has been obtained for us by the blood of the same thy Son. — Amen.
We began yesterday to shew how foolishly the Rabbis corrupt by their comments this prophecy of which we are now treating; for they suppose the angel to be treating of the continual wrath of God which the Jewish people had partially experienced, and which was still to be of longer duration and greater severity, according to their supposition. We have explained how openly this is opposed to the words of Daniel, who here promises the return of God’s favor to his people, and then shews the object and intention of the Holy Spirit. By this consolation he wished to lighten the sorrow of the holy man whom we have already seen to be extremely anxious about the state of the Church which he then perceived to be so deplorable. The phrase on which we have already commented confirms the same point, for the angel promises, at the arrival of the predicted period, an end to sin and wickedness, and iniquity, because iniquity should then be expiated. He next promises the approach of eternal righteousness; and lastly adds, the sealing of the vision and prophecy, together with the spiritual anointing of the Holy of Holies. Every one admits this to be a promise of a blessing more excellent than anything under the law. No other interpretation can possibly be received than that which refers it to the advent of Christ, and the entire restoration of the Church of God. Other arguments follow. For the Prophet adds what I shall repeat again, for I must explain more fully what I now only casually run through.

25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
25. Cognosces ergo et intelliges, f502 ab exitu verbi de reditu, f503 et de aedificanda Jerosolyma usque ad Christum ducem hebdomadas septam, et hebdomadas sexaginta duas, et reducetur, f504 et re-aedificabutur platea, f505 et murus, idque in angustia temporum.

Daniel here repeats the divisions of time already mentioned. He had previously stated seventy weeks; but he now makes two portions, one of seven weeks, and the other of sixty-two. There is clearly another reason why he wished to divide into two parts the number used by the angel. One portion contains seven weeks, and the other sixty-two; a single week is omitted which will afterwards be mentioned. The Jews reject seven weeks from the rule of Herod to that of Vespasian. I confess this to be in accordance with the Jewish method of speech; instead of sixty-two and seven, they will say seven and sixty-two; thus putting the smaller number first. The years of man (says Moses) shall be twenty and a hundred, (<010603>Genesis 6:3) the Greeks and Latins would say, shall be a hundred and twenty years. I confess this to be the common phrase among the Hebrews; but here the Prophet is not relating the continuance of any series of years, as if he were treating of the life of a single man, but he first marks the space of seven weeks, and then cuts off another period of sixty-two weeks. The seven weeks clearly precede in order of time, otherwise we could not sufficiently explain the full meaning of the angel.
We shall now treat the sense in which the going forth of the edict ought to be received. In the meantime, it cannot be denied that the angel pronounces this concerning the edict which had been promulgated about the bringing back of the people, and the restoration of the city. It would, therefore, be foolish to apply it to a period at which the city was not restored, and no such decree had either been uttered or made public. But, first of all, we must treat what the angel says, until the Christ, the Messiah. Some desire to take this singular noun in a plural sense, as if it were the Christ of the Lord, meaning his priests; while some refer it to Zerubbabel, and others to Joshua. But clearly enough the angel speaks of Christ, of whom both kings and priests under the law were a type and figure. Some, again, think the dignity of Christ lessened by the use of the word dygn, negid, “prince” or “leader,” as if in his leadership there existed neither royalty, nor scepter, nor diadem. This remark is altogether without reason; for David is called a leader of the people, and Hezekiah when he wore a diadem, and was seated on his throne, is also termed a leader. (<100502>2 Samuel 5:2; <122005>2 Kings 20:5.) Without doubt, the word here implies superior excellence. All kings were rulers over the people of God, and the priests were endowed with a certain degree of honor and authority. Here, then, the angel calls Christ , leader, as he far surpassed all others, whether kings or priests. And if the reader is not captious, this contrast will be admitted at once.
He next adds, The people shall return or be brought back, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and that, too, in the narrow limit of the times. Another argument follows, — namely, after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be cut off. This the Jews understand of Agrippa, who certainly was cut off when Augustus obtained the empire. In this they seek only something to say; for all sound and sensible readers will be perfectly satisfied that they act without either judgment or shame, and vomit forth whatever comes into their thoughts. They are quite satisfied when they find anything plausible to say. That trifler, Barbinel, of whom I have previously spoken, thinks Agrippa has just as much right to be called a Christ as Cyrus; he allows his defection to the Romans, but states it to have been against his will, as he was still a worshipper of God. Although he was clearly an apostate, yet he treats him as by no means worse than all the rest, and for this reason he wishes him to be called the Christ. But, first of all, we know Agrippa not to have been a legitimate king, and his tyranny was directly contrary to the oracle of Jacob, since the scepter had been snatched away from the tribe of Judah. (<014910>Genesis 49:10.) He cannot by any means be called Christ, even though he had surpassed all angels in wisdom, and virtue, and power, and everything else. Here the lawful government of the people is treated, and this will not be found in the person of Agrippa. Hence the Jewish arguments are altogether futile. Next, another statement is added, he shall confirm the treaty with many. The Jews elude the force of this clause very dishonestly, and without the slightest shame. They twist it to Vespasian and Titus. Vespasian had been sent into Syria and the East by Nero. It is perfectly true, that though a wish to avoid a severe slaughter of his soldiers, he tried all conditions of peace, and enticed the Jews by every possible inducement to give themselves up to him, rather than to force him to the last extremity. Truly enough, then, Vespasian exhorted the Jews to peace, and Titus, after his father had passed over to Italy, followed the same policy; but was this confirming the covenant? When the angel of God is treating events of the last importance, and embracing the whole condition of the Church, their explanation is trifling who refer it to the Roman leaders wishing to enter into a treaty with the people. They attempted either to obtain possession of the whole empire of the East by covenant, or else they determined to use the utmost force to capture the city. This explanation, then, is utterly absurd. It is quite clear that the Jews are not only destitute of all reason when they explain this passage of the continual wrath of God, and exclude his favor and reconciliation with the people, but they are utterly dishonest, and utter words without shame, and throw a mist over the passage to darken it. At the same time their vanity is exposed, as they have no pretext for their comments.
I now come to the ANCIENT WRITERS. Jerome, as I stated shortly yesterday, recites various opinions. But before I treat them singly, I must answer in few words, the calumny of that impure and obstinate Rabbi, Barbinel. To deprive the Christians of all confidence and authority, he objects to their mutual differences; as if differences between men not sufficiently exercised in the Scriptures, could entirely overthrow their truth. Suppose, for instance, that I were to argue against him, the absence of consent among the Jews themselves. If any one is anxious to collect their different opinions, he may exult as a conqueror in this respect, as there is no agreement between the Rabbis. Nay, he does not point out the full extent of the differences which occur among Christians, for I am ready to concede far more than he demands. For that brawler was ignorant of all things, and betrays only petulance and talkativeness. His books are doubtless very plausible among the Jews who seek nothing else. But he takes as authorities with us, Africanus and Nicolaus de Lyra, Burgensis, and a certain teacher named Remond. He is ignorant of the names of Eusebius, f506 Origen, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Apollinaris, Jerome, Augustine, and other similar writers. We here perceive how brazen this prater is, who dares to babble about matters utterly beyond his knowledge. But as I have stated, I allow many differences among Christians. Eusebius himself agrees with the Jews in referring the word “Christ” to the priests, and when the angel speaks of the death of Christ, he thinks the death of Aristobulus, who was slain, is intended here. But this is altogether foolish. He is a Christian, you will say; true, but he fell into ignorance and error. The opinion of Africanus is more to the point, but the time by no means accords with that of Darius the son of Hystaspes, as I shall afterwards show. He errs again on another chapter, by taking the years to be lunar ones, as Lyranus does. Without doubt, this was only a cavil of his; through not finding their own years suit, they thought the whole number might be made up, by using intercalary years together with the 490. For before the year was adjusted to the course of the sun, the ancients were accustomed to reckon twelve lunar months, and afterwards to add another. The whole number of years may be made up according to their imagination, if we add those additional periods to the years here enumerated by the Prophet. But I reject this altogether. Hippolytus also errs in another direction; for he reckons the seven weeks as the time which elapsed between the death and resurrection of Christ, and herein he agrees with the Jews. Apollinaris also is mistaken, for he thinks we must begin at Christ’s birth, and then extends the prophecy to the end of the world. Eusebius also, who contends with him in ,a certain passage, takes the last. week for the whole period which must elapse till the end of the world shall arrive. I therefore am ready to acknowledge all these interpretations to be false, and yet I do not allow the truth of God to fail.
How, therefore, shall we arrive at any certain conclusion? It is not sufficient to refute the ignorance of others, unless we can make the truth apparent, and prove it by clear and satisfactory reasons. I am willing to spare the names of surviving commentators, and of those who have lived during our own times, yet I must say what will prove useful to my readers; meanwhile, I shall speak cautiously, because I am very desirous of being silent upon all points except those which are useful and necessary to be known. If any one has the taste and the needful leisure to inquire diligently into the time here mentioned, Oecolampadius rightly and prudently admonishes us, that we ought to make the computation from the beginning of the world. For until the ruin of the Temple and the destruction of the city, we can gather with certainty the number of years which have elapsed since the creation of the world; here there is no room for error. The series is plain enough in the Scriptures. But after this they leave the reader to other sources of information, since the computation from the overthrow of the Temple is loose and inaccurate, according to Eusebius and others. Thus, from the return of the people to the advent of Christ 540 years will be found to have elapsed. Thus we see how impossible it is to satisfy sensible readers, if we only reckon the years in the way Oecolampadius has done. f507
Philip Melancthon, who excels in genius and learning, and is happily versed in the studies of history, fakes a double computation. He begins one plan from the second year of Cyrus, that is, from the commencement of the Persian monarchy; but he reckons the seventy weeks to be finished about the death of Augustus, which is the period of the birth of Christ. When he arrives at the baptism of Christ, he adds another method of reckoning, which commences at the times of Darius: and as to the edict here mentioned, he understands it to have been promulgated by Darius the son of Hystaspes, since the building of the Temple was interrupted for about sixty-six years. As to this computation, I cannot by any means approve of it. And yet I confess the impossibility of finding any other exposition of what the angel says — until Christ the Leader, unless by referring it to the baptism of Christ.
These two points, then, in my judgment, must be held as fixed; first, the seventy weeks begin with the Persian monarchy, because a free return was then granted to the people; and secondly, they did not terminate till the baptism of Christ, when he openly commenced his work of satisfying the requirements of the office assigned him by his father. But we must now see how this will accord with the number of years. I confess here, the existence of such great differences between ancient writers, that we must use conjecture, because we have no certain explanation to bring forward, which we can point out as the only sufficient one. I am aware of the various calumnies of those who desire to render all things obscure, and to pour the darkness of night upon the clearest daylight. For the profane and the skeptical catch at this directly; for when they see any difference of opinion, they wish to shew the uncertainty of all our teaching. So if they perceive any difference in the views of various interpreters, even in matters of the smallest moment, they conclude all things to be involved in complete darkness. But their perverseness ought not to frighten us, because when any discrepancies occur in the narratives of profane historians, we do not pronounce the whole history fabulous. Let us take Grecian history, — how greatly the Greeks differ from each other? If any should make this a pretext for rejecting them all, and should assert all their narrations to be false, would not every one condemn him as singularly impudent? Now, if the Scriptures are not self-contradictory, but manifest slight diversities in either years or places, shall we on that account pronounce them entirely destitute of credit? We are well aware of the existence of some differences in all histories, and yet this does not cause them to lose their authority; they are still quoted, and confidence is reposed in them.
With respect to the present passage, I confess myself unable to deny the existence of much controversy concerning these years, among all the Greek and Latin writers. This is true: but, meanwhile, shall we bury whatever has already past, and think the world interrupted in its course? After Cyrus had transferred to the Persians the power of the East, some kings must clearly have followed him, although it is not evident who they were, and writers also differ about. the period and the reigns of each of them, and yet on the main points there is a general agreement. For some enumerate about 200 years; others 125 years; and some are between the two, reckoning 140 years. Whichever be the correct statement, there was clearly some succession of the Persian kings, and many additional years elapsed before Alexander the Macedonian obtained the monarchy of the whole East. This is quite clear. Now, from the death of Alexander the number of years is well known. Philip Melancthon cites a passage from Ptolemy which makes them 292; and many testimonies may be adduced, which confirm that period of time. If any object, the number of years might be reckoned by periods of five years, as the Romans usually did, or by Olympiads, with the Greeks, I confess that the reckoning by Olympiads removes all source of error. The Greeks used great diligence and minuteness, and were very desirous of glory. We cannot say the same of the Persian empire, for we are unable accurately to determine under what Olympiad each king lived, and the year in which he commenced his reign and in which he died. Whatever conclusion we adopt, my previous assertion is perfectly true, — if captious men are rebellious and darken the clear light of history, yet, they cannot wrest this passage from its real meaning, because we can gather from both the Greek and Latin historians, the whole sum of the times which will suit very clearly this prophecy of Daniel. Whoever will compare all historical testimony with the desire of learning, and, without any contention, will carefully number the years, he will find it impossible to express them better than by the expression of the angel — seventy weeks. For example, let any studious person, endued with acuteness, experience, and skill, discover whatever has been written in Greek and Latin, and distinguish the testimony of each writer under distinct heads, and afterwards compare the writers together, and determine the credibility of each, and how far each is a fit and classical authority, he will find the same result as that here given by the Prophet. This ought to be sufficient for us. But, meanwhile, we must remember how our ignorance springs chiefly from this Persian custom; whoever undertook a warlike expedition, appointed his son his viceroy. Thus, Cambyses reigned, according to some, twenty years, and according to others, only seven; because the crown was placed on his head during his father’s lifetime. Besides this, there was another reason. The people of the East are notoriously very restless, easily excited, and always desiring a change of rulers. Hence, contentions frequently arose among near relatives, of which we have ample narratives in the works of Herodotus. I mention him among others, as the fact is sufficiently known. When fathers saw the danger of their sons mutually destroying each other, they usually created one of them a king; and if they wished to prefer the younger brother to the elder, they called him “king” with the concurrence of their council. Hence, the years of their reigns became intermingled, without any fixed method of reckoning them. And, therefore, I said, even if Olympiads could never mislead us, this could not be asserted of the Persian empire. While we allow much diversity and contradiction united with great obscurity, still we must always return to the same point, — some conclusion may be found, which will agree with this prediction of the Prophet. Therefore I will not reckon these years one by one, but will only admonish each of you to weigh for himself, according to his capacity, what he reads in history. Thus all sound and moderate men will acquiesce, when they perceive how well this prophecy of Daniel agrees with the testimony of profane writers, in its general scope, according to my previous explanations.
I stated that we must begin with the monarchy of Cyrus; this is clearly to be gathered from the words of the angel, and especially from the division of the weeks. For he says, The seven weeks have reference to the repair of the city and temple. No cavils can in any way deprive the Prophet’s expression of its true force:from the going forth of the edict concerning the bringing back of the people and the building of the city, until Messiah the Leader, shall be seven weeks; and then, sixty-two weeks: afterward he adds, After the sixty-two weeks Christ shall be cut off. When, therefore, he puts seven weeks in the first place, and clearly expresses his reckoning the commencement of this period from the promulgation of the edict, to what can we refer these seven weeks, except to the times of the monarchy of Cyrus and that of Darius the son of Hystaspes? This is evident from the history of the Maccabees, as well as from the testimony of the evangelist John; and we may collect the same conclusion from the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, as the building of the Temple was interrupted during forty-six years. Cyrus permitted the people to build the Temple; the foundations were laid when Cyrus went out to the war in Scythia; the Jews were then compelled to cease their labors, and his successor Cambyses was hostile to this people. Hence the Jews say, (<430220>John 2:20,) Forty-six years was this Temple in building, and wilt thou build it in three days? They strive to deride Christ because he had:said, Destroy this Temple, and I will rebuild it in future days, as it was then a common expression, and had been handed down by their fathers, that the Temple had occupied this period in its construction. If you add the three years during which the foundations were laid, we shall then have forty-nine years, or seven weeks. As the event openly shews the completion of what the angel had predicted to Daniel, whoever wishes to wrest the meaning of the passage, only displays his own hardihood. And must we not reject every other interpretation, as obscuring so clear and obvious a meaning? We must next remember what I have previously stated. In yesterday’s Lecture we saw that seventy weeks were cut off for the people; the angel had also declared the going forth of the edict, for which Daniel had prayed. What necessity, then, is there for treating a certainty as doubtful? and why litigate the point when God pronounces the commencement of this period to be at the termination of the seventy years proclaimed by Jeremiah? It is quite certain, that these seventy years and seventy weeks ought to be joined together. Since, therefore, these periods are continuous, whoever refers this passage to the time of Darius Hystaspes, first of all breaks the links of a chain of events all connected together, and then perverts the whole spirit of the passage; for, as we yesterday stated, the angel’s object was to offer consolation in the midst of sorrow. For seventy years the people had been miserably afflicted in exile, and they seemed utterly abandoned, as if God would no longer acknowledge these children of Abraham for his people and inheritance. As this was the Almighty’s intention, it is quite clear that the commencement of the seventy weeks cannot be otherwise interpreted than by referring it to the monarchy of Cyrus. This is the first point.
We must now turn to the sixty-two weeks; and if I cannot satisfy every one, I shall still content myself with great simplicity, and I trust that all sound and humble disciples of Christ will easily acquiesce in this exposition. If we reckon the years from the reign of Darius to the baptism of Christ, sixty-two weeks or thereabouts will be found to have elapsed. As I previously remarked, I am not scrupulous to a few days or months, or even a single year; for how great is that perverseness which would lead us to reject what historians relate because they do not all agree to a single year? Whatever be the correct conclusion, we shall find about 480 years between the time of Darius and the death of Christ. Hence it becomes necessary to prolong these years to the baptism of Christ, because when the angel speaks of the last week, he plainly states, The covenant shall be confirmed at that time, and then the Messiah shall be cut off. As this was to be done in the last week, we must necessarily extend the time to the preaching of the Gospel. And for this reason Christ is called a “Leader,” because at his conception he was destined to be king of heaven and earth, although he did not commence his reign till he was publicly ordained the Master and Redeemer of his people. The word “Leader” is applied as a name before the office was assumed; as if the angel had said, the end of the seventy weeks will occur when Christ openly assumes the office of king over his people, by collecting them from that miserable and horrible dispersion under which they had been so long ground down. I shall put off the rest till to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, since thy servants before the setting forth of thine only-begotten Son were sustained by those oracles which had not then been realized by the event, that we at; this day may learn to put our trust in our Lord, who has so clearly revealed himself to us by his Gospel. May we stand so firm and constant in the faith of that Gospel, that we may never be tossed about by the disturbances and tumults of this world. May we ever proceed in the course of thy holy calling, till at length we are released from all contests, and arrive at that blessed rest which is laid up for us in heaven, by the same our Lord Jesus Christ. — Amen.
In yesterday’s Lecture I explained my views of the seventy weeks. I now return to the words of the Prophet, on which I touched but briefly. He first says, Seventy weeks have been cut off upon thy people, and upon the holy city. By these words he implies first, the Israelites should be under the care and protection of God until the arrival of Christ; and next, Christ would come before the completion of the seventy years. The angel announces these two points, to assure the faithful of God’s perpetual remembrance of his covenant, and to sustain them in the midst of all their anxieties and distresses. A remarkable passage now follows concerning the office of Christ. The angel foretells what they were to expect from Christ. First of all, he announces remission of sins; for he points this out by the form of expression, to prohibit or close up wickedness, to seal up sinfulness, and to expiate iniquity. It does not surprise us to find the angel using many phrases in a matter of such importance. Such repetition in the language seems to us superfluous, but the knowledge of salvation is comprehended under this head. We are thus informed how God is reconciled to us by gratuitous pardon, and this is the reason why the angel insists on this subject by so many words. (<420177>Luke 1:77.) But we must remember what I said the day before yesterday-there is a tacit contrast between the remission now offered to us under the Gospel, and that formerly offered to the fathers under the Law. From the creation of the world no one could call upon God with a tranquil mind and with sure confidence, unless by relying upon the hope of pardon. For we know the door of mercy to be closed against us all through our being deservedly under God’s wrath. Hence, unless the doctrine of gratuitous remission of sins shone forth, we should enjoy no liberty of calling upon God, and all hope of salvation would be at the same time extinct. It follows, therefore, the fathers under the Law had this benefit in common with us, namely, a certain persuasion of God’s being’ propitious to them, and of his pardoning their transgressions. What, then, is the meaning of the phrase, Christ at his advent will seal up sins, and expiate iniquities? Here, as I have said, a difference is shewn between the condition of the old and the new Church. The fathers indeed had hopes of remission of their sins, but their condition was inferior to ours in two respects. Their teaching was not so plain as ours, nor were their promises so full and steadfast. We excel them also in another respect. God bears witness to us that he is our Father, and so we flee to him with the utmost freedom and fearlessness; and, in addition to this, Christ has already reconciled us to the Father by his blood. (<450815>Romans 8:15; <480406>Galatians 4:6.) Thus we are superior to them, not only in our instruction, but in effect and completeness, since at this day God not only promises us the pardon of our sins, but testifies and affirms their entire blotting out and becoming abolished through the sacrifice of Christ his Son. This difference is openly denoted by the angel when he says, Sins should be closed up and sealed, and iniquities also expiated when Christ came. Hence we stated previously how something better was promised than the fathers experienced before the manifestation of Christ.
We here perceive the sense in which Christ shut up sins, and sealed wickedness, and expiated iniquity; for he not only introduced the doctrine of gratuitous pardon, and promised that God would be entreated by the people, through his desire to pardon their iniquity, but he really accomplished whatever was needful to reconcile men to God. He poured forth his blood by which he blotted out our sins; he also offered himself as an expiatory victim, and satisfied God by the sacrifice of his death, so as entirely to absolve us from guilt. Moses often uses the word afj, cheta, when speaking of sacrifices; but the angel here teaches us indirectly how all the expiation’s under the law were only figurative, and nothing but shadows of the future; for, had sins been then really expiated, there would have been no need of the coming of Christ. As, therefore, expiation was suspended until the manifestation of Christ, there never was any true expiation under the law, but all its ceremonies were but shadowy representations. He afterwards adds, To bring in eternal righteousness. This righteousness depends on the expiation. For how could God reckon the faithful just, or impute righteousness to them, as Paul informs us, unless by covering and burying their sins, or purging them in, the blood of Christ? (<450411>Romans 4:11.) Is not God himself appeased by the sacrifice of his Son? These phrases, then, must be united, Iniquity shall be expiated, and eternal righteousness brought manifestly forward. No righteousness will ever be found in mortal man, unless he obtain it from Christ; and if we use great accuracy of expression, righteousness cannot exist in us otherwise than through that gratuitous pardon which we obtain through the sacrifice of Christ. Meanwhile, Scripture purposely unites together remission of sins and righteousness, as also Paul says, Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. (<450425>Romans 4:25.) His death procured satisfaction for us, so that we should not always remain guilty, nor be subject to the condemnation of eternal death, and then by his resurrection he procured righteousness for us, and also acquired eternal life. The reason why the Prophet here treats justice as perpetual or “of the ages,” is this: the fathers under the Law were compelled to please God by daily sacrifices. There would have been no necessity for repeating sacrifices, as the Apostle admonishes us, if there had been any inherent virtue in a single sacrifice to appease the Almighty. (<581001>Hebrews 10:1.) But since all the rites of the law tended to the same purpose of foreshadowing Christ, as the one and perpetual victim for reconciling men to God, daily sacrifices must necessarily be offered. Whence, as we formerly said, these satisfactions were plainly insufficient for procuring righteousness. Therefore Christ alone brought in eternal righteousness, — his death alone sufficed for expiating all transgressions. For Christ suffered, not only to satisfy for our sins, but he sets before us his own death in which we should acquiesce. Hence this eternal justice depends upon the enduring effect of the death of Christ, since the blood of Christ flowed as it were before God, and while we are daily purged and cleansed from our pollution, God is also daily appeased for us. We observe, then, how righteousness was not completely revealed under the law, but is now set before us under the Gospel. It follows, To seal up the vision and the prophecy.
This clause may have two senses, because, as I said before, Christ sealed up all visions and prophecies, for they are all yea and amen in him, as Paul says. (<470120>2 Corinthians 1:20.) As, therefore, God’s promises were all satisfied and fulfilled in Christ for the salvation of the faithful, so with propriety the angel affirms of his advent, It shall seal up the vision and the prophecy. This is one sense. The other is, the vision shall be sealed in the sense of its ceasing, as if the angel had said, Christ shall put an end to prophecies, because our spiritual position differs from that of the fathers. For God formerly spoke in many ways, as the Church had to pass through a variety of conflicting states and circumstances. But when Christ was manifested, we arrive at the close of prophetic times. Hence his advent is called the fullness of times, (<480404>Galatians 4:4; <580101>Hebrews 1:1;) and elsewhere Paul says, we have arrived at the last days, (<461011>1 Corinthians 10:11,) since we are waiting for the second advent of Christ, and we have no need of fresh prophecies as formerly. Then all things were very obscure, and God governed his people under the dark shadow of a cloud. Our condition is in these days different. Hence we are not surprised at the angel pronouncing all the visions and prophecies sealed up; for the law and the prophets were until John, but from that time the kingdom of God began to be promulgated; that is, God appeared much more clearly than before. (<401113>Matthew 11:13; <421616>Luke 16:16.) The very name of vision implies something obscure and doubtful.:But now Christ, the Sun of righteousness, has shone upon us, and we are in meridian brightness; the Law appears only like a candle in the government of our life, because Christ points out to us in full splendor the way of salvation. Without doubt, the angel here wished us to distinguish between the obscure teaching of the Law, with its ancient figures, and the open light of the Gospel. Besides, the name “prophecy” is taken as well for the prophetic office as for the predictions delivered.
He afterwards adds, To anoint the Holy of Holies. The angel here alludes to the rite of consecration which was observed under the Law; for the tabernacle with its appendages was consecrated by anointing. It is here shewn how the perfect and truly spiritual anointing was put off until the advent of Christ. He is himself properly and deservedly called the Holy One of holy ones, or the Tabernacle of God, because his body was really the temple of deity, and holiness must be sought from him. (<510209>Colossians 2:9.) The Prophet here reminds us of the anointing of the sanctuary under the Law being only a figure; but in Christ we have the true exhibition of the reality, although he was not visibly anointed with oil, but spiritually, when the Spirit of God rested upon him with all his gifts. Wherefore he says, (<431719>John 17:19,) For their sakes I sanctify myself.
It now follows, Thou shalt know and understand, from the going forth of a word, (or decree,) for the bringing back of the people and the building of Jerusalem, until Christ the Leader, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, and the people shall returns, (or be brought back,) and the street shall be built, and the wall, (or trench,) and that too, in the narrow interval of the times; for thus I resolve the copula. As we have already said, the time which had been fixed beforehand for the perfect state of the Church is divided. In the first place, he puts seven weeks by themselves; he then adds sixty-two weeks, and leaves one, of which we shall afterwards speak. He immediately explains why he separates the seven weeks from the rest, rendering every other interpreter unnecessary. Next, as to the going forth of the edict, we have stated how inadmissible is any interpretation but the first decree of Cyrus, which permitted the people freely to return to their country. For the seven weeks which make up forty-nine years clearly prove this assertion. From the beginning of the Persian monarchy to the reign of Darius the son of Hystaspes, the hostility of all the neighboring nations to the Jews is notorious, especially in interrupting the building of their temple and city. Although the people had free permission to return to their country, yet they were there harassed by hostilities, and were almost induced to repine at this mark of God’s favor. A great part of them preferred their former exile to a harassing and perplexing life spent among their most cruel foes. This is the reason why the angel informs them of the seven weeks to elapse after the people should be brought back, for they must not expect to spend their life in peace, and build their city and temple without any inconvenience; for he announces the occurrence of this event in the narrowness of the time. By the word qwx, tzok, he does not mean “shortness,” but rather signifies the anxious nature of the times, in consequence of the numerous troubles which all their neighbors should bring on the wretched people. It was worth while to support the pious by this previous admonition, lest they should cast away the desire of building the temple, or become utterly desponding through the weight of the afflictions which they must bear. We know what glowing predictions the prophets uttered concerning the happy state of the Church after its return; but the reality was far different from this, and the faithful might have been quite drowned in despair unless the angel had raised their spirits by this prophecy. We thus perceive the great utility of this admonition, and at the same time it may be applied as a practical example to ourselves. Although God’s loving-kindness to us was wonderful, when the pure Gospel emerged out of that dreadful darkness in which it had been buried for so many ages, yet we still experience the troubled aspect of affairs. The impious still ceaselessly and furiously oppose the miserable Church by both the sword and the virulence of their tongues. Domestic enemies’, use clandestine arts in their schemes to subvert our edifice; wicked men destroy all order, and interpose many obstacles to impede our progress. But God still wishes in these days to build his spiritual temple amidst the anxieties of the times; the faithful have still to hold the trowel in one hand and the sword in the other, as we find it in the book of Nehemiah, (<160417>Nehemiah 4:17,) because the building of the Church must still be united with many contests. It afterwards follows: —

26. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolation’s are determined.
26. Et post hebdomadas sexaginta duas excidetur Christus, et nihil erit, et urbem et sanctuarium perdet populus ducis venientis, et finis ejus cum inundatione erit, vel, in diluvio, et ad finem belli definitio desolationum.

Here Daniel treats of the sixty-two weeks which elapsed between the sixth year of Darius and the baptism of Christ, when the Gospel began to be promulgated, but at the same time he does not neglect the seven weeks of which he had been speaking. For they comprehend the space of time which intervened between the Persian monarchy and the second edict which again granted liberty to the people after the death of Cambyses. After the sixty-two weeks which should succeed the seven former ones, Messiah shall be cut off, says he. Here the angel predicts the death of Christ. The Jews refer this to Agrippa, but this, as we have already observed, is utterly nugatory and foolish. Eusebius and others refer it to Aristobulus, but this is equally destitute of reason. Therefore the angel speaks of the only Mediator, as in the former verse he had said, until Christ the Leader. The extension of this to all the priesthood is both forced and absurd. The angel rather means this — Christ should then be manifest to undertake the government of his people; or, in other words, until Messiah shall appear and commence his reign. We have already remarked upon those who erroneously and childishly explain the name “Leader,” as if it were inferior in dignity to that of king. As the angel had used the name “Christ” in the sense of Mediator, so he repeats it in this passage in the same sense. And surely, as he had formerly treated of those singular marks of God’s favor, by which the new Church was to surpass the old, we cannot understand the passage otherwise than of Christ alone, of whom the priests and kings under the Law were equally a type. The angel, then, here asserts, Christ should die, and at the same time he specifies the kind of death by saying, nothing shall remain to him. This short clause may be taken in various senses, yet I do not hesitate to represent the angel’s meaning to be this — Christ should so die as to be entirely reduced to nothing. Some expound it thus, — -the city or the people shall be as nothing to him; meaning, he shall be divorced from the people, and their adoption shall cease, since we know the Jews to have so fallen away from true piety by their perfidy as to be entirely alienated from God, and to have lost the name of a Church. But that is forced. Others think it means, it shall be neither hostile nor favorable; and others, nothing shall remain to him in the sense of being destitute of all help; but all these comments appear to me too frigid. The genuine sense, I have no doubt, is as follows, — the death of Christ should be without any attractiveness or loveliness, as Isaiah says. (<235302>Isaiah 53:2.) In truth, the angel informs us of the ignominious character of Christ’s death, as if he should vanish from the sight of men through want of comeliness. Nothing, therefore, shall remain to him, says he; and the obvious reason is, because men would think him utterly abolished.
He now adds, The leader of the coming people shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Here the angel inserts what rather concerns the end of the chapter, as he will afterwards return to Christ. He here mentions what should happen at Christ’s death, and purposely interrupts the order of the narrative to shew that their impiety would not escape punishment, as they not only rejected the Christ of God, but slew him and endeavored to blot out his remembrance from the world. And although the angel had special reference to the faithful alone, still unbelievers required to be admonished with the view of rendering them without excuse. We are well aware of the supineness and brutality of this people, as displayed in their putting Christ to death; for this event occasioned a triumph for the priests and the whole people. Hence these points ought to be joined together. But; the angel consulted the interests of the faithful, as they would be greatly shocked at the death of Christ, which we have alluded to, and also at his ignominy and rejection. As this was a method of perishing so very horrible in the opinion of mankind, the minds of all the pious might utterly despond unless the angel had come to their relief. Hence he proposes a suitable remedy, The leader of the coming people shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; as if he had said, There is no encouragement for the unbelievers to please and flatter themselves, because Christ was reduced to nothing after a carnal sense; vengeance shall instantly overtake them; the leader of the coming people shall destroy both the city and the sanctuary. He names a coming leader, to prevent the unbelievers from resting secure through self-flattery, as if God would not instantly stretch forth his hand to avenge himself upon them. Although the Roman army which should destroy the city and sanctuary did not immediately appear, yet the Prophet assures them of the arrival of a leader with an army which should occasion the destruction of both the city and the sanctuary. Without the slightest doubt, he here signifies that God would inflict dreadful vengeance upon the Jews for their murder of his Christ. That trifler, Barbinel, when desirous of refuting the Christians, says — more than two hundred years elapsed between the destruction of the Temple and the death of Christ. How ignorant he was! Even if we were to withhold all confidence from the evangelists and apostles, yet profane writers would soon convict him of folly. But such is the barbarity of his nation, and so great their obstinacy, that they are ashamed of nothing. As far as we are concerned, we gather with sufficient clearness from the passage how the angel touched briefly upon the future slaughter of the city and the destruction of the Temple, lest the faithful should be overwhelmed with trials in consequence of Christ’s death, and lest the unbelievers should be hardened through this occurrence. The interpretation of some writers respecting the people of the coming leader, as if Titus wished to spare the most beautiful city and preserve it untouched, seems to me too refined. I take it simply as a leader about to come with his army to destroy the city, and utterly to overthrow the Temple.
He afterwards adds, Its end shall be in a deluge. Here the angel removes all hope from the Jews, whose obstinacy might lead them to expect some advantage in their favor, for we are already aware of their great stupidity when in a state of desperation. Lest the faithful should indulge in the same feelings with the apostates and rebellious, he says, The end of the leader, Titus, should be in a deluge; meaning, he should overthrow the city and national polity, and utterly put an end to the priesthood and the race, while all God’s favors would at the same time be withdrawn. In this sense his end should be in a deluge. Lastly, at the end of the war a most decisive desolation. The word txrjn, nech-retzeth, “a completion,” can scarcely be taken otherwise than as a noun substantive. A plural noun follows, twmmç, shem-moth, “of desolation’s” or “devastation’s;” and taken verbally it means “definite or terminated laying waste.” The most skillful grammarians allow that the former of these words may be taken substantively for “termination,” as if the angel had said: Even if the Jews experience a variety of fortune in battle, and have hopes of being superior to their enemies, and of sallying out and prohibiting their foes from entering the city; nay, even if they repel them, still the end of the war shall result in utter devastation, and their destruction is clearly defined. Two points, then, are to be noticed here; first, all hope is to be taken from the Jews, as they must be taught the necessity for their perishing; and secondly, a reason is ascribed for this, namely, the determination of the Almighty and his inviolable decree. It afterwards follows: —

27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
27. Et roborabit, f508 foedus multis, hebdomade una: et dimidia hebdomade quiescere faciet f509 sacrificium, et oblationem: et super extensionem f510 abominationem obstupescet, f511 et ad finem, et ad determinationem stillabit super stupentem.

The angel now returns to Christ. We have explained why he made mention of the coming slaughter; first, to shew the faithful that they had no reason for remaining in the body of the nation in preference to being cut off from it; and next, to prevent the unbelievers from being satisfied with their obstinacy and their contempt of their inestimable blessings, by their rejecting the person of Christ. Thus this clause was interposed concerning the future devastation of the city and temple. The angel now continues his discourse concerning Christ by saying, he should confirm the treaty with many for one week. This clause answers to the former, in which Christ is called a Leader. Christ took upon him the character of a leader, or assumed the kingly office, when he promulgated the grace of God. This is the confirmation of the covenant of which the angel now speaks. As we have already stated, the legal expiation of other ritual ceremonies which God designed to confer on the fathers is contrasted with the blessings derived from Christ; and we now gather the same idea from the phrase, the confirmation of the covenant. We know how sure and stable was God’s covenant under the law; he was from the beginning always truthful, and faithful, and consistent with himself. But as far as man was concerned, the covenant of the law was weak, as we learn from Jeremiah. (<243131>Jeremiah 31:31, 32.) I will enter into a new covenant with you, says he; not such as I made with your fathers, for they made it vain. We here observe the difference between the covenant which Christ sanctioned by his death and that of the Jewish law. Thus God’s covenant is established with us, because we have been once reconciled by the death of Christ; and at the same time the effect of the Holy Spirit is added, because God inscribes the law upon our hearts; and thus his covenant is not engraven in stones, but in our hearts of flesh, according to the teaching of the Prophet Ezekiel. (<261119>Ezekiel 11:19.) Now, therefore, we understand why the angel says, Christ should confirm the covenant for one week, and why that week was placed last in order. In this week will he confirm the covenant with many. But I cannot finished this exposition just now.
Grant, Almighty God, since all the treasures of thy goodness and indulgence were so liberally diffused, when thine only-begotten Son appeared, and are now daily offered to us through the Gospel: Grant, I say, that we may not deprive ourselves of such important blessings by our ingratitude. May we embrace thy Son with true faith; and enjoy the benefit of the redemption which he has procured for us. Being cleansed and purged by his blood, may we be acceptable in thy sight, and venture with full and certain confidence to call thee Father. May we fly to thy pity and assistance in all our miseries and troubles, until at length thou shalt gather us into that eternal rest, which has been obtained for us through the blood of thine only-begotten Son. — Amen.
In the last Lecture we explained how Christ confirmed the covenant with many during the last week; for he gathered together the sons of God from their state of dispersion when the devastation of the Church was so horrible and wretched. Although the Gospel was not instantly promulgated among foreign nations, yet Christ is correctly said to have confirmed the covenant with many, as the nations were directly called to the hope of salvation. (<401005>Matthew 10:5.) Although he forbade the disciples to preach the Gospel then to either the Gentiles or Samaritans, yet he taught them that many sheep were dispersed abroad, and that the time at which God would make one sheep-fold was at hand. (<431016>John 10:16.) This was fulfilled after his resurrection. During his lifetime he began to anticipate slightly the calling of the Gentiles, and thus I interpret these words of the Prophet, he will confirm the covenant with many. For I take the word “many” here, µybr, rebim, comparatively, for the faithful Gentiles united with the Jews. It is very well known that God’s covenant was deposited by a kind of hereditary right with the Israelites until the same favor was extended to the Gentiles also. Therefore Christ is said not only to have renewed God’s covenant with a single nation, but generally with the world at large. I confess, indeed, the use of the word many for all, as in the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and in other places, (<450519>Romans 5:19,) but there seems to be a contrast between the ancient Church, included within very narrow boundaries, and the new Church, which is extended over the whole world. We know how many, formerly strangers, have been called from the distant regions of the earth by the gospel, and so joined in alliance to the Jews as to be all in the same communion and all reckoned equally sons of God.
The Prophet now subjoins, He will make to cease the sacrifice and offering for half a week. We ought to refer this to the time of the resurrection. For while Christ passed through the period of his life on earth, he did not put an end to the sacrifices; but after he had offered himself up as a victim, then all the rites of the law came to a close. By the words “sacrifice and offering” the Prophet implies all ceremonies, a part being put for the whole; as if he had said, after Christ had offered up one eternal sacrifice, all the customary ceremonies of the Law were abolished; for otherwise Christ’s death would have been superfluous, had he not put an end to all the old shadows of the Law. Although the sacrifices were continued for many years after Christ’s death, yet we can no longer call them “legitimate,” for no reason can be offered why the sacrifices of the Law should be pleasing to God, except their reference to that heavenly pattern which Moses saw on the mount. (<022540>Exodus 25:40.) Hence, after Christ had appeared and expiated all the sins of the world, it became necessary for all sacrifices to cease. (<580805>Hebrews 8:5.) This is the Prophet’s intention when he says, Christ should cause the sacrifices to cease for half a week. He embraces two points at the same time; first, Christ really and effectually put an end to the sacrifices of the Law; and secondly, he proved it to the world in the preaching of the Gospel by his Apostles. We observe, then, the sense in which God testified by his Prophet the cessation of sacrifices after Christ’s resurrection. The veil of the temple was then rent in twain; true liberty was proclaimed; the faithful might then feel themselves to be full grown men, and no longer subject to that government of childhood to which they had submitted under the Law.
The second clause of the verse now follows: we have read it before, but we now repeat it to refresh the memory. And over the extension, or expansion, of abominations he shall cause astonishment, or stupefaction; and even to consumption and determination he shall pour himself upon the desolator. Some translate, It shall be poured or shall distill: we shall treat the words afterwards. The passage is obscure, and may be rendered in a variety of ways, and consequently interpreters differ much from each other. Some take ãnk, knaph, “a wing,” for a “cherub;” then they change the numbers from singular to plural, and think the Prophet alludes to winged cherubim. This gives those who adopt this rendering a two-fold method of explaining it. Some say the abomination shall be above the wings, that is, the ark of the covenant, because the temple was profaned, and the abomination was so ruinous that it destroyed even the very cherubim. Others take it causally — the abominations shall be for the sake of the cherubim. But I leave these subtleties, as they do not seem to me to have any solidity. Others, again, follow the Greek version, as quoted by Christ in the 24th chapter of Matthew (Matthew 24) and elsewhere, although Christ seems rather to refer to the 12th chapter of our Prophet. But as these two passages refer to the same abomination, I will not insist on this point; I will only remark upon the translation of one word. Those who translate “the abominations of desolation” treat the words of Daniel too carelessly, for there is no grammatical dependence of one word on the other, or, technically speaking, no state of regimen. The preferable opinion is that which considers the word “wing” to mean extremity or extension. Others, again, treat “extremity” as if it meant a state of despair; as if the angel had said, on account of the extremity of the abominations, as evils should accumulate upon evils without end till matters came to the last pitch of despair. Others, again, explain “the wing of abominations” more simply for the expansion itself, as if the angel had stated, the temple shall be openly profaned, and the pollution shall be apparent far and wide.
Interpreters differ again about the words µmçm, rmesmem and µmç, sem-em usually translated “make desolate,” and “desolation.” Some take the former transitively, and others as neuter; the latter signifies to destroy and lay waste, and also to wonder and be astonished. I think these two words ought to be used in the same sense; as if the Prophet had said, all shall be astonished at the extent of the abominations; when they shall perceive the temple worship, swept away as by a deluge, then they shall be mightily astonished. He afterwards adds the calamity which commenced when God shewed the pollution of the temple shall distill or pour itself upon him who is astonished. We will treat the occurrence itself to enable us to understand the sense of the words better. I have no hesitation in stating God’s wish to cut off all hope of restoration from the Jews, whom we know to have been blinded by a foolish confidence, and to have supposed God’s presence confined to a visible temple. As they were thus firmly persuaded of the impossibility of God’s ever departing from them, they ought to be deprived of their false confidence, and , no longer deceive themselves by such flattering hopes. Thus the temporary pollution of the temple was shewn by Ezekiel. (<261018>Ezekiel 10:18.) For when the prophets constantly proclaimed the approach of their enemies to destroy both the city and temple, the greater part of the people derided them. In their opinion this would overthrow all their confidence in God, as if he had been false to his word, in promising them perpetual rest on Mount Zion. (<19D214>Psalm 132:14.) Here Ezekiel relates his vision of God sitting in the temple — he then vanished, and the temple was deprived of all its glory. This was but temporary.
But we are now treating of a profanation of the temple, which should prove, if I may use the phrase, eternal and irreparable. Without the slightest doubt, this prophecy was fulfilled when the city was captured and overthrown, and the temple utterly destroyed by Titus the son of Vespasian. This satisfactorily explains the events here predicted. Some consider the word “abominations” to be used metaphorically, and to signify the overthrow of the city; but this seems to me forced. Others explain it of the statue of Caligula erected in the temple; and others again, of the standard of Tiberius, who ordered the eagles to be placed on the pinnacle of the temple. But I interpret it simply of that profanation which occurred after the gospel began to be promulgated, and of the punishment inflicted upon the Jews when they perceived their temple subject to the grossest forms of desecration, because they were unwilling to admit the only-begotten Son of God as its true glory. Others, again, understand the impious doctrines and superstitions, as well as the perverse errors with which the priests were imbued. But I think the passage marks generally the change which took place directly after Christ’s resurrection, when the obstinate impiety of the people was fully detected. They were then summoned to repentance; although they had endeavored to extinguish all hope of salvation through Christ, yet God stretched forth his hand to them, and tried whether their wickedness was curable or not. After the grace of Christ had been obstinately rejected, then the extension of abominations followed; that is, God overwhelmed the temple in desecration, and caused its sanctity and glory to pass utterly away. Although this vengeance did not take place immediately after the close of the last week, yet God sufficiently avenged their impious contempt of his gospel, and besides this, he shews how he had no longer need of any visible temple, as he had now dedicated the whole world to himself from east to west.
I now return again to the explanation of the words separately. The angel says, Upon the extension of abominations, astonishment, or astonishing; for some think it an adjective, and others a substantive; but the meaning is, all should be stupefied, or astonished. I do not. altogether object to the meaning already referred to — namely, rendering the word “wing” as “extremity;” for the sense will then be — when the abominations come to their height or extremity; and the sense is the same, if we use the word “expansion.” God intends to shew us the extensive range of the pollutions,. — upwards, downwards, and all around, they should obscure and bury the temple’s glory. Hence on account of the extremity or expansion of abominations there shall be astonishment, for all shall be amazed. The angel seems to oppose this stupor to pride; for the Jews were thoroughly persuaded of God’s being strictly bound to themselves, and of the impossibility of his being torn away from his own temple where he had fixed his eternal dwelling-place. He predicts the approach of this amazement instead of their supine security.
He adds next, And unto consumption. ,hlk keleh, signifies “end” and “perfection,” as well as “destruction.” I take it here for consumption or destruction. It shall flow even unto astonishment. I have already remarked upon the words implying this astonishment; slaughter, or something like it, ought to be understood before the verb. There is no doubt at all about the Prophet’s meaning. He says this slaughter should be like a continual shower, consuming the whole people. He speaks of the people as astonished by their calamities, and deprived of all hope of escape from them; for the slaughter shall flow forth upon the astonished people. Meanwhile he shews how foolishly the Jews indulged in pride and how fallaciously they flattered themselves in supposing the Almighty permanently attached and bound to themselves and their visible temple. The slaughter shall flow forth even to consumption, meaning, until the whole people should perish. He adds also another noun, even to a determined end. We have already unfolded the meaning of this noun. Here the Prophet explains the cause of that eternal distinction which the Almighty had determined and decreed to be irrevocable.
The tenth chapter now follows, which Daniel introduces as a preface to the eleventh and twelfth. He relates the manner in which he was affected, when the last vision was presented to him. This he briefly explains as referring to events about to occur until the advent of Christ; and then he extends it to the final day of the resurrection. God had previously predicted to his Prophet the future condition of the Church from its return from Babylon to the advent of Christ, but in the eleventh chapter he more distinctly and clearly points with the finger to every event, as we shall perceive in proceeding with our comments. In this chapter Daniel assures us that the prophecies which he is about to discuss are worthy of more than ordinary attention; when the angel appeared, he was immediately affected with sorrow and grief; then he was one moment astonished, and the next cast down by the secret instinct of the Spirit; he lay like a dead man, till he was restored again and again by the angel of God. We shall observe these points as we proceed. He first says —

1. In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed, was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
1. Anno tertio Cyri regis Persarum sermo revelatus fuit Danieli, cujus nomen Beltsazar, et veritas sermo, f512 et tempus magnum, f513 et intellexit sermonem, et intelligentia ei fuit in visione.

We observe the Prophet by no means content with the usual method of address, for the purpose of stirring up the attention of the pious, and of assuring them how worthy of special notice are the prophecies which follow. He marks the time, the third year of King Cyrus, as the Jews were then forbidden by a new edict to build their temple, although liberty to do so had been previously granted to them. He says, “a word was made known to him, and he adds, the word was true, although the time was long. The time is treated more at length in the next verse. By saying, a word was manifested to him, he is thought to distinguish this prophecy from others, as it was not offered to him by either a dream or a vision. He uses the word harm, merah, a vision, at the end of this verse, but I do not see why the noun “word” should be taken in so restricted a sense. Interpreters, again, seek for a reason why he mentions his own name as Belteshazzar; some think it celebrates some honor to which he was raised; others treat it as commending the superiority of his abilities, as the name implies — descended from heaven; while others bring forward various conjectures. I have no hesitation in stating Daniel’s wish to erect some illustrious monument of his vocation among the Medes, Persians, and Chaldeans. There, most probably, he was usually called Belteshazzar, and the name Daniel was almost buried in oblivion, and so he wished to testify to his being no stranger to the people of God, although he suffered a foreign name to be imposed upon him; for we have already seen the impossibility of his avoiding it. I therefore think the Prophet had no other intention than to render this prophecy notorious throughout all those regions in which he was well known under the name of Belteshazzar. Besides this, he wished to testify to his fellow-countrymen that he was not entirely cut off from the Church through being called Belteshazzar by the Chaldees; for he was always the same, and while banished from his country, was endued with the Spirit of prophecy, as we have previously seen. As the name of Daniel was almost unknown in Chaldea, he wished to make known the existence of both his names.
It now follows, And there is truth in the word. Daniel here commends the certainty of the prophecy, as if he had said, I bring nothing before you but what is firm and stable, and whose actual performance the faithful ought confidently to expect. There is truth in the word, says he; meaning, there was no room for doubting his assertions, for he had been divinely instructed in events which should be fulfilled in their own time. I understand what follows to mean, although the time should be long. Some of the Rabbis take abx, tzeba, for the angelic hosts, which is quite absurd in this place. The word signifies “army” as well as an appointed time, but the exposition which they thrust upon the passage cannot stand its ground. The particle “and,” as I think, must here be taken adversatively, in the sense of “although.” Thus the Prophet proclaims our need of calmness of mind, and patient endurance, until God shall really complete and perform what he has verbally announced. This feeling ought to be extended to all prophecies. We know how ardent are the dispositions of men, and how hastily they are carried away by their own desires. We are compelled, therefore, to curb our impetuosity, if we wish to make progress in the school of God, and we must admit this general principle: If a promise should tarry, wait for it; for it will surely come, and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3) Here Daniel affirms in a special sense, the time will be long this would restrain the faithful from rushing headlong with too much haste; they would command their feelings, and remain tranquil till the full maturity of the period should arrive.
He afterwards adds, He understood the vision; by this assertion he confirms the prophecy which he is about to explain, and thus assures us of his not uttering anything either perplexed or obscure. He also induces all the pious to hope for the exercise of the same understanding as he had himself attained; as if he had said, I know what God wished; he has explained to me by his angel various events which I will now set forth in their own order; let every one peruse these prophecies attentively and reverently, and may God grant him the same gift of understanding, and lead him to certain knowledge. The information conveyed by the Prophet belongs to all the pious, to deter them from sluggishness and despair. At the first glance this teaching may appear very obscure, but they must seek from the Lord that light of manifestation which he deigned to bestow upon the Prophet himself. It now follows, —

DANIEL 10:2-3
2. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
2. Diebus illis ego Daniel dedi me luctui tribus hebdomadibus dierum.
3. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
3. Panem deliciarum f514 non comedi: et caro et vinum non intravit in os meum: et unguendo non fui unctus donec impletae sunt tres hebdomades dierum.

We gather from this passage why the angel appeared to the Prophet in the third year of Cyrus. He says, he was then in the greatest sorrow; and what was the cause of it? At that period we know an interruption of the work of rebuilding the temple and city to have taken place. Cyrus was gone to a distance; he had set out for Asia Minor, and was carrying on war with the Scythians. his son Cambyses was corrupted by his couriers, and forbade the Jews to proceed with the rebuilding of their city and temple. The freedom of the people might then seem in vain. For God had promised the Jews in glowing language a return to their country with their standards unfurled. Besides this, we know the splendid language of the prophets respecting the glory of the second temple. (Isaiah 52:12; Haggai 2:9, and elsewhere.) When thus deprived of all opportunity of rebuilding their temple, what could the Jews determine except that they had been deluded after returning to their country, and God had made a shew of disappointing expectations which had turned out a mere laughing-stock and deception? This was the cause of the grief and anxiety which oppressed the holy Prophet. We now understand why he mentions the third year of Cyrus, as the circumstances of that period, even at this day, point out the reason of his abstinence from all delicacies.
He says, He was in affliction for three weeks of days. The Hebrews often use the phrase weeks or times of days for complete periods. Very possibly, Daniel uses the word “days” here, to prevent a mistake which might easily occur through his so lately speaking of weeks of years. The distinction is thus more clearly marked between the seventy weeks of years previously explained, and these three weeks of days here mentioned. And the angel appears to have dwelt purposely on the completion of these three weeks, as this was the third year of King Cyrus’s reign. He says, He did not eat delicate bread, and he abstained from flesh and wine, implying his practice of uniting fasting with mourning. The holy Prophet is here represented as freely using flesh and other food, while the Church of God remained in a state of tranquillity; but when there was danger, lest the few who had returned home should be diminished, and many were still suffering at Babylon those grievous calamities to which they were subject during their exile from neighboring enemies, then the Prophet abstained from all delicacies. In the beginning of this book, he had stated the contentment of himself and his companions with bread, and pulse, and water for meat and drink. This statement is not contrary to the present passage. There is no necessity to fly to that refinement, which allows an old man to use wine, which he never touched in his youth and the flower of his age. This comment is far too frigid. We have shewn, how at the beginning of his exile the only reason for the Prophet’s abstaining from the delicacies of the palace, was the desire of preserving himself free from all corruption. For what was the object of the king’s designing shrewdness in commanding Daniel and his companions to be treated thus daintily and luxuriously? He wished them to forget their nation by degrees, and to adopt the habits of the Chaldeans, and to be withdrawn by such enticements from the observance of the law, from the worship of God, and from the exercises of piety. When Daniel perceived the artful manner in which he and his companions were treated, he requested to be fed upon pulse, he refused to taste the king’s wine, and despised all his dainties. His reason, therefore, concerned the exigencies of the times, as I then pointed out at full length. Meanwhile, we need not hesitate to suppose, that after giving this proof of his constancy, and escaping from these snares of the devil and of the Chaldean monarch, he lived rather freely than frugally, and made use of better bread, and fresh, and wine than before. This passage, then, though it asserts his abstinence from flesh and wine, need not imply actual fasting. Daniel’s method of living was clearly after the common practice of the Chaldeans, and by no means implies the rejection of wine, or flesh, or viands of any kind. When he says, he did not eat delicate bread, this was a symbol of sorrow and mourning, like abstinence from flesh and wine. Daniel’s object in rejecting delicate bread and wine during those three weeks, was not merely the promotion of temperance, but suppliantly to implore the Almighty not to permit a repetition of those sufferings to his Church under which it had previously labored. But I cannot here treat at any length the object and use of fasting. I have done so elsewhere; even if I wished to do so, I have no time now. To-morrow, perhaps, I may say a few words on the subject, and then proceed with the rest of my observations.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou settest before us so remarkable an example in thy holy Prophet, whom thou didst adorn in so many ways that he wrestled to even extreme old age with various and almost innumerable trials, and yet was never mentally broken down: Grant us to be endowed with the same untiring fortitude. May we proceed in the course of our holy calling without the slightest despondency through whatever may happen. When we see thy Church upon the brink of ruin, and its enemies plotting desperately for its destruction, may we constantly look for that liberty which thou hast promised. May we strive with unbroken courage, until at length we shall be discharged from our warfare, and gathered into that blessed rest which we know to be laid up for us in heaven, through Christ our Lord. — Amen.
We yesterday stated the reason why Daniel abstained from flesh and wine for three weeks. It was the sorrowful and depressed condition of the Church while the Jews were prohibited from building their Temple. We have stated the fallacious views of those who think him to have been always so abstemious in the flower of his age. Though he lived on bread and pulse, it was only for the purpose of remaining pure without any leaning towards the habits of the Chaldees, as it was the king’s design to withdraw both himself and his companions from God’s people, as if they had originally sprung from Chaldea. That, therefore, was but a temporary reason. But he now states, He had not tasted delicate bread, that is, made of fine flour, and had not tasted either wine or flesh, during the time in which the building of the Temple had been impeded. We must diligently notice this; for many celebrate fasting as if it were a principal part of the worship of God. They think it an act of obedience peculiarly pleasing to God. But this is a gross error, since fasting by itself ought to be treated as a matter unimportant and indifferent. It deserves no praise unless with reference to its object. Now the objects of fasting are various; the principal one is this, to enable the faithful suppliantly to deprecate God’s wrath with the solemn testimony of their repentance, and to stimulate each other to more fervor in their prayers. Ordinary daily prayers do not require fasting; but when any great necessity presses upon us, that exercise is added by way of help, to increase the alertness and fervor of our minds in the pouring forth of prayer. For this reason the Scriptures often connect fasting with sorrow, and Daniel here follows the usual practice. We perceive then the reason of his rejecting all delicacies in meat and drink, through his desire to withdraw himself entirely from all hindrances, and to become more intent upon his prayers. I now touch but briefly upon fasting, because I cannot stop on casual passages like these. We should notice, however, how foolishly and absurdly fasting is observed in these days among the Papists, who think they have discharged that duty by eating but once in the day, and abstaining from flesh. The rule of fasting among the Papists is, to avoid flesh and not to partake of either supper or dinner. But real fasting requires something far different from this, namely, perfect abstinence from all delicacies. For Daniel extends this fasting even to bread. He says, He did not taste wine, meaning he abstained from all wine. Then, as to the word “flesh,” he does not mean only that of oxen, or calves, or lambs, or fowls, or birds in general, but all food except bread is included under the term flesh. For Daniel did not trifle childishly with God, as the Papists do at this day, who feed without any religious scruple on the best and most exquisite viands, so long as they avoid flesh. This appears more clearly from the statement he did not eat pleasant bread, that is, made of fine flour or the very best of the wheat. He was content with plain bread to satisfy his necessities. This abundantly proves the superstition of those who distinguish between flesh, and eggs, and fish. Now, fasting consists in this — the imposition of a bridle upon men’s lusts, eating only sparingly and lightly what is absolutely necessary, and being content with black bread and water. We now understand how fasting in this and similar passages is not taken for that temperance which God recommends to us throughout the whole course of our lives. The faithful ought to be habitually temperate, and by frugality, to observe a continual fast; they ought not to indulge in immoderate food and drink, and in luxurious habits, lest they should debilitate the mind and weaken the body by such indulgences. As a mark of mourning and an exercise of humility, the faithful may impose upon themselves the law of fasting beyond their ordinary habits of sobriety, when they feel any sign of God’s wrath, and desire to stimulate themselves to fervor in prayer, according to our former statements, and to confess themselves in the face of the whole world guilty before the tribunal of God. Such was Daniel’s intention in not permitting himself to taste pleasant bread, or to drink wine, or to eat flesh. It now follows, —

4. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel.
4. Die vicessima quarta mensis primi, ego fui super ripam fluvii magni, nempe Hidekel. f515

Daniel now narrates the acceptance of his prayers, because all angel appeared and instructed him in the future condition of the Church. Without the slightest doubt, the fasting already described was a preparation for prayer, as we have stated before, and as we may gather from many passages of Scripture, especially from the assertion of Christ, where he says, the demon could not be cast out except by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21.) Daniel, therefore, did not abstain from all food, and wine, and luxuries, with the view of rendering any obedience to God, but of testifying his own grief: then he was anxious to rouse himself to prayer, and by that mark of humility, to prepare far better for repentance. He says now — on the twenty-fourth day of the first monthmeaning March, the first month of the Jewish year — he stood on the bank of the great river, namely, the Tigris. The word dy, yid, is metaphorically used for the bank, and interpreters are agreed in identifying Hiddekel with the Tigris. Geographers state the name of this river to be in some places, and especially near its fountain, Digliton, which answers to the common Hebrew name Hidekel. Without doubt, this river is called Phison by Moses, since the Tigris has three names among profane nations. Its usual name is Tigris, and in one part of its course it becomes the Hidekel, and has also the names of Pasitigris and Phasis, which is equivalent to Phison. The Prophet relates, his standing on the bank of this great river. It is uncertain whether he was then in that part of the world, or whether God set before him the prospect of the river, as we have seen elsewhere. I rather incline to the opinion of his being rapt in the prophetic spirit, and obtaining vision of the river, and not to his being really there. Possibly, that province might have been placed under his government in the course of the great changes which took place in those times. While Belshazzar lived, he could not have been at Susan, and so we were compelled to explain his former language by the prophetic rapture. And as to the present passage, I shall not quarrel with the opinion of any one who supposes Daniel to have dwelt in that district, but, as I have stated before, I think it most probable, that this spectacle was offered to the holy Prophet when far distant from the river’s bank, and only able to behold it in commenced his abstinence from flesh, and food, and all pleasant viands, and then relaxed his fast for three weeks, as he here marks the date on the twenty-fourth day. But I leave this doubtful, through the impossibility of ascertaining the point with certainty. Let us now proceed, —

DANIEL 10:5-6
5. 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:
5. Et levavi oculos meos, et vidi, et ecce vir unus indutus lineis, vestibus scilicet, et lumbi ejus accincti auro Uphaz.
6. 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 color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
6. Et corpus ejus sieut tharsis, et facies ejus quasi lampades ignis: et brachia ejus, et pedes ejus quasi conspectus aeris politi, f516 et vox sermonum ejus quasi vox multitudinis. f517

As to the word Uphaz, some think it to be a pearl or precious stone, and they take the word µtk, kethem, which precedes it, for pure gold. Others take uphaz adjectivally, for pure gold. I do not suppose it to be an epithet, but I rather subscribe to the view of those who understand it as the proper name of a place, because this view is in accordance with the phraseology of the tenth chapter of Jeremiah. There is another opinion which is unsuitable. Uphaz is said to be derived from the noun Phaz, and is called “pure,” the letter Aleph being redundant. The above mentioned passage of Jeremiah is sufficient to prove my assertion, that it signifies a certain region; and so some have translated it by ophir. The word ççrt, tharsis, is thought to mean chrysolite: some think it denotes the color of the sea, and then, by a figure of speech, take it generally for any sea. It is also said to mean sky-colored.
Daniel now begins to relate the manner in which the vision was offered to him. He says, when he stood on the bank of the river a man appeared to him, different from the common order of men. He calls him a man, but shews him to be endued, or adorned with attributes which inspire full confidence in his celestial glory. We have elsewhere stated, how angels are called men, whenever God wished them to put on this outward form. The name of men is therefore used metaphorically whenever they assumed that form by God’s command, and now Daniel speaks after the accustomed manner. Meanwhile, some absurdly imagine angels to have been really men, since they assumed this appearance, and were clothed in a human body. We ought not to believe them to be really men, because they appeared under a human form. Christ, indeed, was really man, in consequence of his springing from the seed of Abraham, David, and Adam. But as regards angels, God clothes them for a single day or a short period in bodies, for a distinct purpose and a special use. Wherefore, I assert the gross error of those who suppose angels to become men, as often as they are corporeally visible in a human form. Still they may be called men, because Scripture accommodates itself to our senses, as we know sufficiently well. Daniel therefore says, he saw a man, and afterwards distinguishes him from the human race, and shews fixed and conspicuous marks inscribed upon him, which discover him to be an angel sent down from heaven, and not a mere earthly mortal. Some philosophize with subtlety on the word raised, as if Daniel so raised his eyes upwards as to be unconscious of all earthly objects; but this does not appear to me sufficiently certain. The Prophet wishes to impress the certainty of the vision; not only was his mind composed and collected, but he applied all his senses to the one object before him — the attainment of some consolation from God. The Prophet, therefore, denotes the earnestness of his desire, for when he looked round he found himself subject to many cares and anxieties. Again, with reference to the marks by which Daniel might infer the object of his vision to be neither earthly nor mortal, he first says, he was clothed in linen. This kind of garment was common enough among the people of the East. Those regions are remarkably warm, and their inhabitants need not protect themselves against the cold, as we are necessarily compelled to do. They seldom wear woolen clothing. But on special occasions when they wish to use more splendid attire, they put on linen tunics, as we learn not only from many passages of Scripture, but also from profane writers. Hence I take this passage as if Daniel had said, the man appeared to him in splendid apparel. For µydb, bedim, is supposed not to mean common linen, but a more exquisite kind of fabric. This is one point.
He next says, He was girt with pure gold; that is, with a golden belt. The Orientals were formerly accustomed to gird themselves with belts or girdles, as their garments were long and reached almost down to the feet. Hence it became necessary for those who wished to move expeditiously to gird themselves with belts. When the angel appeared with raiment of this kind, the difference between himself and other men was displayed to the Prophet. Some refer the linen garment to the priesthood of Christ, and treat the girdle as an emblem of rigor. But these are mere refinements, and seem to me destitute of all reality. I therefore am content with the simple opinion on which I have touched, namely, this form of clothing distinguished the angel from ordinary mortals. But this will appear clearer from the following verse. For Daniel says, His body was sky-colored, or like the precious stone called beryl, of a golden hue Without doubt, the Prophet beheld something different from a human form, for the purpose of his clearly ascertaining the vision not to be a man, but an angel in the form of man. I leave the allegory here, although it proceeds throughout the whole verse. I am aware of the plausible nature of allegories, but when we reverently weigh the teachings of the Holy Spirit, those speculations which at first sight pleased us exceedingly, vanish from our view. I am not captivated by these enticements myself, and I wish all my hearers to be persuaded of this, — nothing can be better than a sober treatment of Scripture. We ought never to fetch from a distance subtle explanations, for the true sense ,will, as I have previously expressed it, flow naturally from a passage when it is weighed with maturer deliberation. He says, His face was like the appearance of lightning. This, again, assured the Prophet of his being an more than earthly mortal. His eyes would lead to the same conclusion; they were like lamps of fire; then his arms and feet were like polished or burnished brass; lastly, the voice of his words was the voice of a tumult, or noise, or multitude. The sum of the whole is this, — the angel, though clad in human form, possessed certain conspicuous marks by which God separated him from the common crowd of men. Thus Daniel clearly perceived the divine mission of the angel, and God wished to establish the confidence and certainty of those prophecies which will afterwards follow in the eleventh chapter. Let us proceed:

7. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
7. Et vidi ego Daniel solus visionem, et viri qui erant mecum, non viderunt visionem, imo f518 terror magnus irruit super eos, et fugerunt in latebras. f519

He pursues his own narrative in which he appears prolix, but not without design. This prophecy required all kinds of sanction for the purpose of inspiring unhesitating confidence in it, not only with those Jews of that generation, but with all posterity. Although the predictions of the eleventh chapter have been fulfilled, yet their utility is manifest to us as follows: first, we behold in them God’s perpetual care of his Church; secondly, we observe the pious never left destitute of any necessary consolation; and lastly, we perceive, as in a glass or in a living picture, the Spirit of God speaking in the prophets, as I have observed before, and shall have occasion to remark again. Daniel, therefore, has good reasons for impressing us with the certainty of the vision, and with whatever tends to prove its reality. He says, I alone saw the vision; but the men who were with me did not see it; just as the companions of Paul did not hear Christ’s voice, but only a confused sound: they did not understand his language, as Paul alone was permitted to comprehend it. (<440907>Acts 9:7) This is related to promote belief in the prophecy. Daniel’s power of hearing was not superior to his companions, but God intended to address him alone. Thus the voice, although like the voice of a multitude, did not penetrate the ears of those who were with him. He alone was the recipient of these prophecies, as he alone was endued with the power of predicting future events, and of consoling and exhorting the pious to live them a knowledge of futurity even to the last day. Should any one inquire how he carried his companions with him while he was probably lying on his bed at a distance from the bank of the river, the answer is easy. He had his domestics with him; the river’s bank only existed in the vision, and he was carried completely out of himself, and thus his family would be acquainted with the ecstasy without being aware of the cause. Daniel then continued at. his own home, and only visited the bank of the river during the vision; although many witnesses were present, God struck them all with astonishment, while Daniel only perceived what is afterwards narrated. God deemed him worthy of this singular honor to fit him to become a teacher and instructor to others. The men who were with me, says he, saw not the vision; but a great terror fell upon them. This distinction, as I have stated, shews Daniel to have been selected as the sole listener to the angel’s voice, and as receiving the information which he was afterwards to convey to others. Meanwhile, God intended many witnesses to notice Daniel’s entire freedom from any delusion through either a dream or a passing imagination. His companions, then, were fright-eyed. This terror proves the Prophet to have been divinely instructed and not to have labored under any delirium. They fled, therefore, into hiding-places. It afterwards follows: —

8. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned into corruption, and I retained no strength.
8. Et ego relictus fui solus, et vidi visionem magnam hanc, et non fuit residuum in me robur f520 atque etiam decor f521 meus eversus fuit super me, in me, ad corruptiones f522 et non retinui vigorem.

This language all tends to the same purpose — to assure us that Daniel did not write his own comments with rashness, but was truly and clearly taught by the angel on all the points which he committed to writing, and thus all hesitation is removed as to our embracing what we shall afterwards perceive, as he is a faithful interpreter of God. He first states he saw a vision. He had said so before, but he repeats it to produce a due impression; he calls the vision great, to arouse our attention to its importance. He adds, he was deprived of all vigor; as if he had been rendered lifeless by the blast of the Spirit. Thus we gather the object of the exhibition of all these outward signs; they not only bring before us God speaking by the mouth of his angel, but they prepared the Prophet himself, and trained him to reverence. God, however, does not terrify his sons, as if our disquiet was with him an object of delight, but solely because it is profitable for us; for unless our carnal feelings were utterly subdued, we should never be fit to receive improvement. Tiffs necessarily requires violence, on account of our inborn perverseness; and this is the reason why the Prophet was reduced to this state of lifelessness. Even my comeliness, or beauty, or appearance, was turned to corruption; meaning, my deformity was similar to that induced by death. He adds lastly, I did not retain my vigor. He uses a variety of phrases to shew himself depressed by the heavenly blast, for but a slight amount of vitality remained, and he was scarcely preserved from actual death. We ought to learn to transfer this instruction to ourselves, not by the vanishing of our rigor or the changing of our appearance whenever God addresses us, but by all our resistance giving way, and all our pride and loftiness becoming prostrate before God. Finally, our carnal disposition ought to be completely reduced to nothing, as true docility will never be found in us until all our senses are completely mortified; for we must always remember how hostile all our natural thoughts are to the will of God. It afterwards follows; — but I cannot proceed further to-day; I must delay my comment on the next verses till to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, as thou didst formerly appear to Daniel thy holy servant, and to the other prophets, and by their doctrine didst render thy glory conspicuous to us at this day, that we may reverently approach and behold it. When we have become entirely devoted to thee, may those mysteries which it has pleased thee to offer by means of their hand and labors, receive from us their due estimation. May we be cast down in ourselves and be raised by hope and faith towards heaven; when prostrate before thy face, may we so conduct ourselves in the world, as in the interval to become free from all the depraved desires and passions of our flesh, and dwell mentally in heaven. Then at length may we be withdrawn from this earthly warfare, and arrive at that celestial rest which thou hast prepared for us, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. — Amen.

DANIEL 10:9-10
9. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
9. Et audivi vocem sermonum ejus, et cum audirem vocem sermonum ejus, tunc ego fui sopitus super faciem meam, f523 et facies mea in terram, projecta fuit scilicet.
10. And, behold, an hand touched me which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
10. et ecce manus tetigit me, f524 et movere me fecit super genui mea, et palmas, aut volas, manum mearum.

In yesterday’s Lecture Daniel confessed himself astonished at the sight of the angel, and deprived of all inward strength. He afterwards adds, On hearing the sound of his words he threw himself on the ground; for this is the sense of the ninth verse, as we have just read it. he represents himself as being in a swoon and in the unconscious state which usually occurs when all our senses are paralyzed by excessive fear. While lying thus senselessly on the ground, Behold, he adds, hands touched me, and placed me upon my knees and the palms of my hands. He mentions his being partially raised by the angel, not only through the sound of his voice, but by the touch of his hand. He implies that he was not yet raised to either the standing or sitting posture; he was only placed upon his knees with his hands upon the ground, this posture being the sign of his dejection. Thus he was partially relieved, and fear no longer seized upon either his mind or his limbs. From this passage we should learn that when prostrated by the voice of God, we cannot be restored otherwise than by his strength. We know the hand to be the symbol of strength. Unless God himself stretches out his hand to us, we shall always remain apparently dead. This is one lesson. The Prophet next adds the address of the angel to him, —

DANIEL 10:11
11. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that, I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
11. Et loquutus est ad me, Daniel vir desideriorum intellige, attentus sis, ad verba quae loquor tecum et sta super stare tuum: quia nunc missus sum ad te. Et cum loqueretur mecum sermonem hunc, steti tremens, vel, trepidus.

He here relates how he was strengthened, by the angel’s exhortation. He now begins to raise himself from his former position, and the angel now orders him to raise his drooping spirits, and calls him a man greatly beloved. We have previously discussed this word, which some refer to Daniel’s zeal, and take it passively, because he was inspired with a most invincible ardor through anxiety for the common welfare of the Church. I rather incline to the opposite view, thinking him so called through the force of his desires, because he was dear and precious to God. By This epithet the angel wished to animate the holy Prophet, and to calm and quiet his mind for listening to what he so ardently expected. Understand, therefore, he says, or attend to, the words which I shall speak to thee, and stand upright. Some translate it, in thy station, but “station” does not refer to the position of the body. I have already shewn how the Prophet was not now quite prostrate; his face was towards the earth, while he was supported by his hands and knees; and we now perceive him raised another step. This doctrine is profitable to us, because many think themselves utterly neglected and deserted by God, unless they immediately regain their mental rigor. But God does not all at once restore to life those whom he has rendered all but lifeless, but he conveys new life by degrees, and inspires the dead with fresh animation. We perceive this to have been done in Daniel’s case. Therefore I am never surprised when God raises us gradually by distinct steps, and cures our infirmity by degrees; but if even a single drop of his virtue is supplied to us, we should be content with this consolation, until he should complete what he has begun within us. Lastly, this passage unfolds to us how God works in his servants, by not rendering them perfect all at once, but allowing some infirmity to remain until the completion of his own work.
Daniel afterwards adds, When he heard this address, he stood up. We here observe the effect. and fruit of the angel’s exhortation, as Daniel no longer needed to support himself on his hands and knees. He could stand upright, although he adds, he remained trembling. Although thus erect in body, he was not entirely free from feelings of dread; and, though he stood upon his feet, he was not yet relieved from all trepidation, even at the angel’s command. This confirms my previous remark — God leaves in his servants some signs of fear, to remind them of their infirmity; they venture to raise themselves by hope above the world, but they do not forget they are but dust and ashes, and so restrain themselves within the bounds of humility and modesty. It now follows: —

DANIEL 10:12
12. Then said he unto me. Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
12. Et dixit ad me, ne timeas Daniel, quia a die primo quo adjecisti cor tuum ad, intelligendum, et affigendum te, vel, humiliandum, coram facie Dei tui, exaudita sunt verba tua: et ego veni in verbis tuis, hoc est, propter verba tua.

By the angel’s commanding the Prophet to be of a serene and tranquil mind, we gather the continuance of his fright, and his being as yet unable to listen with composure. And yet this trembling improved his teachableness. Without the slightest doubt, God desired to prepare his servant in this way to render him more attentive to his disciples, and yet this very terror prevented Daniel from summoning all his senses to listen to the address of the angel. The remedy is exhibited in these words, O Daniel, fear not. The angel did not wish to remove all fear from the Prophet’s mind, but rather to calm it, lest his trembling should prevent him from giving due attention to the prophecies which we shall soon discuss. I have already said enough on the subject of this address. As God knows fear to be useful to us, he does not wish us to be entirely free from it, as too great self-confidence would immediately produce slothfulness and pride. God, therefore, wishes our fears to restrain us like a bridle, but meanwhile he moderates this dread in his servants, lest their minds become stricken and disturbed, and thus disabled from approaching him with calmness.
The angel adds, From the first day on which thou didst begin to apply thy mind to understanding, and to afflict thyself before God, thy prayers were heard. This reason sufficiently shews in what sense and with what intention the angel forbade the Prophet’s fears — because, says he, thy prayers have been heard. He was unwilling to banish all fear, but he offered some hope and consolation; and relying on this expectation, he might wait for the revelation which he so earnestly desired. He states his prayers to have been heard from the time of his applying his mind to understanding, and from his afflicting himself before God. These two points may be noticed: first, by the word “understanding” the angel informs us of God’s being propitious to the prayers of his servant, because they were sincere and legitimate. For what spectacle did Daniel behold? He saw the condition of the Church entirely confused, and he desired the communication of some mark of favor, which might assure him of God’s being still mindful of His covenant, and of his not despising those wretched Israelites whom he had adopted. As this was the object of the Prophet’s prayer, he so far obtained his request, and the angel bears witness to God’s being entreated by him. We are taught then by this passage, if we are anxious for our supplications to be both heard and approved by God, not to give way to those foolish lusts and appetites, which solicit and entice us. We ought to observe the rule here prescribed by the angel, and fashion our entreaties according to God’s will. We know, says John, that if we ask anything according to his will, he will hear us. (<620514>1 John 5:14.) This is the first point. The second is the addition of penitence to fervor in devotion, when the angel says, Daniel’s mind was afflicted or humbled. A second condition of true prayer is here set before us, when the faithful humble themselves before God, and being touched with true penitence, pour out their groans before him. The angel, therefore, shews how Daniel obtained his requests, by suppliantly afflicting himself before God. He did not utter prayers for the Church in a mere formal manner, but as we have previously seen, he united fasting with entreaty, and abstained from all delicacies. For this reason God did not reject his petitions. He says, before thy God; this expression of the angel’s implying that the Prophet’s supplication sprang from true faith. The prayers of the impious, on the other hand, always repel the Almighty, and they can never be sure of his being propitious to them. In consequence of the hesitation and vacillation of unbelievers, this testimony to true faith is set before Daniel — he prayed to his own God. Whoever approaches God, says the Apostle, (<581106>Hebrews 11:6,) ought to acknowledge his existence, and his being easily entreated by all those who seek and invoke him. We ought diligently to notice this, as this fault is most manifest in all ages, men often pray to God, but yet through their hesitation they pour forth their petitions into the air. They do not realize God as their Father. Another passage also reminds us how useless is the hope of obtaining anything by prayer, if we are agitated and tossed about in our emotions. (James 1:6, 7.) Unless faith shine forth, we must not feel surprise at those who call upon God losing all their labor through their profanation of his name. Lastly, by this expression, the angel shews us how Daniel’s prayer was founded on faith; he had not sought God with rashness, but was clearly persuaded of his being welcomed among the sons of God. He prayed, therefore, to his own God, and for this reason, his petitions were heard. Then the angel adds, he came at his words; as it is said in the Psalms. (Psalm 145:19.) God inclines with desire towards those who fear him; and in this sense the angel waits upon Daniel. It now follows, —

DANIEL 10:13
13. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
13. Et Princeps regni Persarum stetit coram me, vel, e regione, viginti diebus et uno. Et ecce Michael unus principum primorum f525 venit ad opem ferendam mihi, f526 et ego residuus f527 fui apuds reges Persarum, vel, Persidis.

The angel now assigns a reason why he did not appear at once, and at the very first moment to the Prophet, who might complain as follows, — “What treatment is this, to suffer me to consume away through grief for so long a period?” for Daniel had remained through three weeks in succession in the severest affliction. God had heard him, indeed, from the very first day; how, then, could he still behold this wretched man thus prostrate in mourning? why did not God cause it to appear openly and really that he had not prayed in vain? The angel now meets this objection, and shews how he had been otherwise occupied in promoting the Prophet’s welfare. We ought carefully to notice this, because delay often disturbs us when God does not immediately extend his help, and for a long time hides from us the fruit of our prayers. Whenever our passions burst forth with a strong impetuosity, and we easily manifest tokens of impatience, we must notice this expression of the angel, for our prayers may be already heard while God’s favor and mercy is concealed from us. The experience of Daniel is daily fulfilled in every member of the Church, and without the slightest doubt the same discipline is exercised towards all the pious. This is our practical reflection. We must notice, secondly, God’s condescension in deigning to explain himself by the angel to his own Prophet. He offers a reason for the delay of the angel’s return, and the cause of this hindrance was, as I have already stated, his regard for the safety of his elect people. The wonderful clemency of the Almighty is here proved by his offering an excuse so graciously to his Prophet, because he did not shew himself easily entreated on the very day when prayer was offered to him. But we ought to derive another practical benefit from the passage, — God does not cease to regard us with favor even while he may not please to make us conscious of it, for he does not always place it before our eyes, but rather hides it from our view. We infer from this, God’s constant care for our safety, although not exhibited exactly in the way which our minds may conceive and comprehend. God surpasses all our comprehension in the way in which he provides for our safety, as the angel here relates his mission in quite another direction, and yet in the service of the Church. It now appears how Daniel obtained an answer to his prayers from the very first day of their offering, and yet remained unconscious of it, until God sent him some consolation in the midst of his troubles. A very different interpretation of this verse has been proposed, for some expounders think the angel sent into Persia to protect that kingdom. There is some probability in this explanation, because the Israelites were still under the Persian monarchy, and God may have furnished some assistance to the kings of Persia for the sake of his own people. But I think the angel stood in direct opposition and conflict against Cambyses, to prevent him from raging more fiercely against God’s people. He had promulgated a cruel edict, preventing the Jews from building their temple, and manifesting complete hostility to its restoration. He would not have been satisfied with this rigorous treatment, had not God restrained his cruelty by the aid and hand of the angel.
If we weigh these words judiciously, we shall readily conclude, that the angel fought rather against the king of the Persians than for him. The prince, says he, of the kingdom of the Persians, meaning Cambyses, with his father Cyrus, crossed over the sea and contended with the Scythians, as well as in Asia Minor. The prince of the kingdom of Persia was ranged against him, as if he had said, — He detained me from reaching you, but it was for the good of your race, for had not God used me in assisting you, his cruelty would have been aggravated, and your condition would have been utterly desperate. You perceive, then, how there has been no want of zeal on my part, for God was never deaf to your entreaties. The prince of the kingdom of the Persians stood against me for twenty-one days; meaning, from the period of your beginning to pour forth your prayers before God, I have never flinched from any attack or assault, by which I might defend thy people. The prince of the kingdom of the Persians stood against me; meaning, he was so hot against the Israelites, as to intend to pour forth the very dregs of his wrath, unless the help which I afforded you had been divinely interposed.
He adds next, Behold! Michael, one of the chief leaders or princes, came to strengthen me. Some think the word Michael represents Christ, and I do not object to this opinion. Clearly enough, if all angels keep watch over the faithful and elect, still Christ holds the first rank among them, because he is their head, and uses their ministry and assistance to defend all his people. But as this is not generally admitted, I leave it in doubt for the present, and shall say more on the subject in the twelfth chapter. From this passage we may clearly deduce the following conclusion, — angels contend for the Church of God both generally and for single members, just as their help may be needed. This we know to be a part of the occupation of angels, who protect the faithful according to Psalm 34 (Psalm 34:8.) They fix their camp in a circuit round them. God, therefore, plants his angels against all the endeavors of Satan, and all the fury of the impious who desire to destroy us, and are ever plotting for our complete ruin. If God were not to protect us in this way, we should be utterly undone. We are aware of Satan’s horrible hatred to us, and of the mighty fury with which he assails us; we know how skillfully and variously he contrives his artifices; we know him as the prince of this world, dragging and hurrying the greater part of mankind along with him, while they impiously pour forth their threats against us. What prevents Satan from daily absorbing a hundred times over the whole Church both collectively and individually? It clearly becomes necessary for God to oppose his fury, and this he does by angels. While they are contending for us and for our safety, we do not perceive this hidden malice, because they conceal it from us.
We may now treat this passage a little more in detail. The angel was stationed in Persia to repress the audacity and cruelty of Cambyses, who was not content with a single edict, but would have forcibly dragged the wretched Israelites back again to a fresh exile. And he must have succeeded, had not first one angel and then another confronted him. The angel now informs us how Michael, one of the chief leaders, came up with the requisite supplies. The defense of one angel might have been sufficient, for angels have no further power than what is conferred upon them. But God is not bound to any particular means, he is not limited to either one or a thousand, as when Jehoshaphat speaks of a small army, he states, It matters not before God, whether we be few or many. (2 Chronicles 14:11; 1 Samuel 14:6.) For God can save his people by either a small force or a mighty one; and the same also is true of angels. But God is anxious to testify to the care which he bestows upon the welfare of his people, and to his singular loving-kindness towards the Israelites displayed by the mission of a second angel. He doubled his re-enforcement to bear witness to his love towards these wretched and innocent ones, who were oppressed by the calumnies of their enemies, and by the tyranny of that impious king. Finally, the angel says, he was left among the Persian kings, for the purpose of removing the numerous obstacles in the way of the chosen people; for, unless God had withstood that deluge of weapons with his own shield, the Jews would have been buried beneath it on the spot. Let us proceed —

DANIEL 10:14
14. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
14. Et veni ut tibi patefacerem f528 quod occurret populo tuo f529 in extremitate dierum, diebus postremis, quia adhuc visio ad dies.

The angel follows up the same sentiment. He states his arrival for the purpose of predicting to Daniel coming events, and those, too, for a long period of time. He further proves the prayers of Daniel to have been neither vain nor fruitless, as they produced this conflict with the kings of Persia, both father and son. He now brings forward another proof of this, because God wished his Prophet to be instructed in patiently waiting for the arrival of the events, after being made fully aware of the elect people being under God’s care and protection. This he would readily acknowledge from the prophecies of the next chapter. He next adds, at the end of the days. By this expression the angel commends God’s grace towards the Prophet, as he was its special minister. His mission was not only to announce to him the occurrences of three or four years, or of any brief period, but he had to extend his predictions over many years, even to the extremity of the days. I willingly refer this period to the renovation of the Church which happened at the advent of Christ. The Scriptures in using the phrase, the last days, or times, always point to the manifestation of Christ, by which the face of the world was renewed. It is exactly similar to the angel saying he would make Daniel fully acquainted with all future events, until the final redemption of the people, when Christ was exhibited for the salvation of his Church. Hence the angel embraces the 490 years of which he had spoken. For Christ’s advent determined the fullness of times, and the subjoined reason suits the passage exceedingly well. The vision is yet for days, says he; thus frigidly some expounders take these words. I feel persuaded that the angel intends to shew how God is now opening future events to his servant, and thus these prophecies become like a lamp ever shining in the Church. The faithful complain in the 74th Psalm (<197409>Psalm 74:9) of the absence of all signs, because no prophets are left. We see no signs, say they, no Prophet exists among us. This was an indication of God having rejected and deserted them. However faintly the light of his doctrine may shine upon us, the slightest glimmer ought to be sufficient to produce patience and repose. But when all the light of the Word is extinguished, we seem completely enveloped in tartarean darkness. As the Israelites suffered so many afflictions for nearly 500 years, this remedy ought completely to restore them; for when the angel testifies, the vision is yet for days, it means, although God permits his people to be miserably afflicted, yet by this new proof he shews that he had not entirely cast them off. Some vision remained; that is, by the light of prophecy he will always manifest his care for his chosen, and they may even anticipate a happy issue out of all their sorrows. We now understand the angel’s meaning when he says, the vision is yet for days. Prophecies, indeed, ceased soon afterwards, and God no longer sent other prophets to his people, yet their teaching always remained permanent like a finger-post, for in it was completed the whole series of times up to the advent of Christ. His children were never destitute of all necessary consolation; for although there were no prophets surviving who could instruct the people in God’s commands by the living voice, yet Daniel’s teaching flourished for nearly 500 years after his death. It also performed its part in supporting the courage of the pious, and shewing them the firmness of God’s covenant not withstanding all opposition. Although the Church was agitated in a variety of ways, yet God is consistent in all his promises, until the complete redemption of his Church by the advent of his only-begotten Son.
Grant, Almighty God, as the weakness of our faith is such that it almost vanishes on the very least occasion: Grant, I say, that we may not hesitate to derive support from this remarkable and memorable example which thou wishest to propose to us in Daniel, although for a time thou hidest thy face from us, and we lie prostrate in darkness. Still do thou remain near us; and with undoubting hope may we be steadfast in our prayers and groaning, until at length the fruit of our prayers shall appear. Thus may we constantly make war with all kinds of trials, and persist unconquered until thou shalt stretch forth thine hand from heaven to us, and raise us to that blessed rest which is there laid up for us by Christ our Lord. — Amen.

DANIEL 10:15
15. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
15. Et cum loqueretur mecum secundum verba haec, posui faciem meam in terram, et obmutui.

Daniel again signifies by these words that he was so inspired by reverence for the angel as to be unable to stand. This tends to recommend the prophecy to our notice, — to shew us how the holy Prophet was not only instructed by the angel, but to confirm what he will afterwards record in the 11th chapter, and free it from all doubt. Lastly, he enables us to confide in the angel’s words, which were not uttered in an ordinary way, but were so obviously divine as to cast Daniel headlong upon the earth. In my judgment those expounders of the phrase, he became dumb, are in error when they refer it to his repenting of his prophetic office, through supposing his prayers to have been disregarded. This is much too forced, because the Prophet expresses nothing more than his seizure by fear, causing both his feet and his tongue to refuse their usual duties. Thus he was apparently carried beyond himself. By becoming prostrate on the ground, he manifested his reverence, and by becoming dumb displayed his astonishment. I have already briefly explained the object of all these assertions — to prove to us how the angel was adorned with his own attributes, and what full authority should be assigned to his words. It follows: —

DANIEL 10:16-18
16. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
16. Et ecce secundum similitudinem filiorum hominis, f530 tetgit labia mea, et aperui os meum, et loquutus sum; et dixi ad eum qui stabat ad conspectum meum, f531 Domine, in visione conversi sunt dolores mei super me, et non continui robur.
17. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
17. Et quomodo poterit servus Domini mei hujus loqui cum domino meo hoc? Et exinde non stetit in me f532 robur; et anima, halitus, non fuit residuus in me.
18. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me.
18. Et addidit, hoc est, secundo, tetigit me secundum similitudinem f533 hominis, et roboravit me.

Daniel here narrates how the angel who inflicted the wound at the same time brought the remedy. Though he had been cast down by fear, yet the touch of the angel raised him up, not because there was any virtue in the mere touch, but the use of symbols we know to be keenly encouraged by God, as we have previously observed. Thus the angel raised the Prophet not only by his voice but by his touch. Whence we gather the oppressive nature of the terror from the difficulty with which he was roused from it. This ought to be referred to its own end, which was to stamp the prophecy with the impress of authority, and openly to proclaim Daniel’s mission from God. We are aware, too, how Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, (2 Corinthians 11:14;) and hence God distinguishes this prediction, by fixed marks, from all the fallacies of Satan. Lastly, by all these circumstances the Prophet shews God to be the author of the prophecy to be afterwards uttered, as the angel brought with him trustworthy credentials, by which he procured for himself favor, and openly proved his mission to Daniel. He says he appeared after the likeness of a man, or of the sons of man. He seems here to be speaking of another angel; but as we proceed we shall perceive the angel to be the same as at first. He had formerly imposed upon him the name of a man; now, to distinguish him from men, and to prove him to be only human in form and not in nature, he says he bore the similitude of the sons of a man. Some restrict this to Christ, but I fear this is too forced; and when all points shall have been more accurately discussed, I have already anticipated the result, as most probably the same angel is here designated of whom Daniel has hitherto spoken. We have already stated him not to be the Christ, because this interpretation is better suited to that Michael who has been already mentioned, and will be again at the end of this chapter. Whence it is more simple to receive it thus: the angel strengthened Daniel by touching his lips; and the angel, formerly called a man, was only one in appearance, wearing the human figure and image, yet not partaking of our nature. For allowing God to have sent his angels clad frequently in human bodies, he never created them men in the sense in which Christ was made man; for this is the special difference between angels and Christ. We have formerly stated how Christ was depicted for us under this figure. And there is nothing surprising in this, because Christ assumed some form of human nature before he was manifested in flesh, and angels themselves have put on the human appearance.
He says afterwards, he opened his mouth and spake. By these words he explains more fully what we previously stated, for he was quite stupefied by terror, and to all appearance was dead. Then he began to open his mouth, and was animated to confidence. No wonder, then, if men fall down and faint away, when God shews such signs of his glory; for when God puts forth his strength against us, what are we? At his appearance alone the mountains melt, at his voice alone the whole earth is shaken. (Psalm 104:32.) How, then, can men stand upright who are only dust and ashes, when God appears in his glory? Daniel, then, was prostrate, but afterwards recovered his strength when God restored his courage. We ought to understand the certainty of our being compelled to vanish into nothing whenever God sets before us any sign of his power and majesty; and yet he restores us again, and shews himself to be our father, and bears witness of his favor towards us by both words and other signs. The language of this clause might seem superfluous he opened his mouth, and spake, and said; but by this repetition he wished, as I have stated, to express plainly his own recovery of the use of speech after being refreshed by the angel’s touch.
He says he spoke to him who stood opposite. This phrase enables us to conclude the angel here sent to be the same as the previous one; and this will appear more clearly from the end of the chapter, and as we proceed with our subject. Then he says, O my Lord, in the vision my distresses are turned upon me, and I have not retained my strength. He here calls the angel “Lord,” after the Hebrew custom. Paul’s assertion was true under the law — there is but one Lord, (1 Corinthians 8:6,) but the Hebrews use the word promiscuously when they address any one by a title of respect. It was no less customary with them than with us to use this phrase in special cases. I confess it to be a weakness; but as it was a common form of expression, the Prophet uses no ceremony in calling angels lords. The angel, then, is called lord, simply for the sake of respect, just as the title is applied to men who excel in dignity. In the vision itself, that is, before thou didst begin to speak, I was buried in grief and deprived of strength. How then, says he, am I able to speak now? Thou by thy very appearance hast depressed me; no wonder I was utterly dumb; and now if I open my mouth, I know not what to say, as the fright which thy presence occasioned me held all my senses completely spellbound. We perceive the Prophet to be but partially erect, being still subject to some degree of fear, and therefore unable to utter freely the thoughts of his mind. Therefore he adds, And how shall the servant of this my Lord be able to speak with that my Lord? The demonstrative hz, zeh, seems to be used by way of amplifying, according to the phrase common enough in our day, with such a one. Daniel does not simply point out the angel’s presence, but wishes to express his rare and singular excellence. Dispute would be both superfluous and out of place should any one assert the unlawfulness of ascribing such authority to the angel. For, according to my previous remark, the Prophet uses the common language of the times. He never intended to detract in any way from the monarchy of God. He knew the existence of only one God, and Christ to be the only prince of the Church; meanwhile, he freely permitted himself to follow the common and popular form of speech. And truly we are too apt either to avoid or neglect religious ceremony in the use of words. Although we maintain that the Prophet followed the customary forms of expression, he detracted noting from God by transferring it to the angel, as the Papists do when they manufacture innumerable patron saints, and despoil Christ of his just honor. Daniel would not sanction this, but treated the angel with honor, as he would any remarkable and illustrious mortal, according to my previous assertion. He knew him to be an angel, but in his discourse with him he did not give way to any empty scruples. As he saw him under the form of a man, he conversed with him as such; and with reference to the certainty of the prophecy, he was clearly persuaded of the angel’s mission as a heavenly instructor.
He next adds, Henceforth my strength did not remain within me, and my breath was no longer left in me. Some translate this in the future tense, — it will not stand; and certainly the verb dmgy ignemed, “shall stand,” is in the future tense; but then the past tense follows when he says, no breath was left in me. Without doubt, this is but a repetition of what we observed before; for Daniel was seized not only by fear, but also by stupor at the sight of the angel. Whence it appears how utterly destitute he was of both intellect and tongue, both to understand and express himself in reply to the angel. This is the full sense of the words. He adds, secondly, he was strengthened by the touch of him who wore the likeness of a man; for he touched me, says he. By these words Daniel more clearly explains how he failed to recover his entire strength at the first touch, but was roused by degrees, and could only utter three or four words at first. We perceive, then, how impossible it is for those who are prostrated by God to collect all their strength at the first moment, and how they partially and gradually recover the powers which they had lost. Hence the necessity for a second touch, to enable Daniel to hear the angel speaking to him with a mind perfectly composed. And here again he inspires us with faith in the prophecy, as he was by no means in an ecstasy while the angel was discoursing concerning future events. If he had always lain prostrate, his attention could never have been given to the angel’s message, and he could never have discharged towards us the duty of prophet and teacher. Thus God joined these two conditions — terror and a renewal of strength — to render it possible for Daniel to receive with calmness the angel’s teaching, and to deliver faithfully to us what he had received from God through the hand of the angel. It follows: —

DANIEL 10:19
19. And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee; be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
19. Et dixit, ne timeas vir desideriorum, f534 Pax tibi, comfortare, et confortare. f535 Et cum loqueretur mecum, roboravi me: tunc dixi, Loquatur dominus meus, quia roborasti me.

He first explains how he recovered his spirits at the angel’s exhortation; for he refers to this encouragement as a command to be of good courage. Fear not, therefore, O man of desires. The angel here addresses Daniel soothingly, to calm his fears, for he needed some enticement when oppressed with fear at both the words and aspect of the angel. This is the reason why he calls him a man to be desired. He adds, peace to thee, a customary salutation with the Hebrews, who mean by the phrase the same as the Latin expression, May it be well with thee. Peace, as the Jews used it, means a state of prosperity, happiness, and quiet, and everything of this kind. Peace, therefore, to thee, meaning, May you prosper. By this word the angel declares his arrival in the Prophet’s favor to bear witness to God’s merciful feelings towards the Israelites, and to the reception of his own prayers. We ought diligently to notice this, because, as I have already remarked, whenever God puts forth any sign of his majesty, we necessarily become frightened. No other remedy is equal to the favor of God fully manifested towards us, and his testimony to his drawing near us as a father. The angel expresses this feeling by the phrase which he uses, shewing with what justice Daniel fell down lifeless through reverence for God’s presence, and the necessity for his being calm and collected when he knew himself sent forth to bear witness to God’s favor. Peace, therefore, to thee. He next adds, be strong, be strong. By this repetition, the angel teaches how strong an effort was required to arouse the Prophet; if he had been but slightly terrified, one word would have been enough to recover him. But as he was carried beyond himself, and all his senses had failed him, the angel inculcates twice the same exhortation to be strong. Be strong, then, be strong; that is, recover your spirits; and if this cannot be done in a moment, persevere in recovering that alacrity which may render you a fitting disciple; for, while you thus remain astonished, I should address you in vain. There are two reasons why we must notice the Prophet’s informing us again how dejected he was. First, it proves how free from ambiguity this revelation really was, and how clearly it was stamped with marks of genuineness. Secondly, we must learn how formidable God’s presence is to us, unless we are persuaded of the exercise of his paternal love Towards us. Lastly, we must observe how, when once we are struck down, we cannot immediately and completely recover our spirits, but we must be satisfied if God gradually and successively inspires us with renewed strength.
Daniel afterwards says, he was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak, for thou hast made me strong. By these words he indicates his peace of mind after the angel had roused him by touching him twice, and by giving him courage by means of his exhortation. It is very useful to us to take due notice of this mental tranquillity, because the Prophet ought first to become a diligent scholar to enable him afterwards to discharge for us the once of a faithful teacher. With the greatest propriety, he repeats his assertion about the recovery of his strength, which enabled him to address the angel with facility. It now follows: —

DANIEL 10:20
20. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? 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.
20. Et dixit, An cognoscia, scisne, quare venerim ad te, et nunc revertar ad pugnandum cum principe Persarum; et ego egrediens, hoc est ubi egressus fuero, tunc ecce princeps Javan, hoc est, Graecorum, veniet.

The angel appears here to lead the Prophet in vain through a winding course; for he might directly and simply have told him why he had come. It was necessary to recall the Prophet to his senses, as he was at one time scarcely master of his actions. He was not indeed permanently injured in his mind, but the disturbance of feeling through which he had passed had temporarily disarranged the calmness of his thoughts. This event both occurred and is narrated for our advantage. This is the reason why the angel again uses this preface, Dost thee know? as if he wished to gather together the Prophet’s senses which were formerly wandering and dispersed. He urges him to pay great attention. And now, says he, I will return; that is, after I shall have explained to thee what thou wilt afterwards hear, I will return again to contend with the prince of the Persians. Here the angel indicates the reason for the delay of his mission, not because God neglected the groans and prayers of his Prophet, but the fit time had not yet arrived. The angel had formerly stated how the Persian prince had stood before him; meaning, he detained me, and I was obliged to enter into conflict with him, for his cruelty to the people had become far more formidable and insolent. This is the account which he gives of his occupation. But he now adds, I will return to fight with the prince of the Persians; implying, God sent me purposely to unfold to thee future occurrences, but you now know how far I was from being at leisure or shall be hereafter. I now come to be God’s witness and herald of his good will towards thyself and thy people. In reality, I am the defender of thy safety, since I have constantly to fight for thee with the prince of the Persians. He means Cambyses. I follow my former interpretation of an engagement between the angel and the king of Persia, whom wicked men had stimulated to cruelty; for he had revoked the edict of his father. The angel resisted the king’s fury, who was naturally very turbulent, and profane writers have described his character in a similar way.
He now adds, I will go to fight against the prince of the Persians; for µ[, gnem, has the force of “against” here and in many other passages. He next adds, And when I shall depart, that is, when I am gone, the prince of Greece shall approach, says he; that is, God shall exercise him in another way. He does not mean this to refer to Cambyses, but to other Persian kings, as we shall state in the proper place. It is quite correct to suppose the king of Macedon to have arrived by God’s permission; but the angel simply means to state the existence of various methods by which God hinders the cruelty of kings whenever they attempt to injure his people. He shall send the prince of the Greeks, says he. God, therefore, thus restrained Cambyses by the angel’s assistance, and then he protected his people from the cruelty exercised by Alexander, king of Macedon. God is always providing for the safety of his people, and always has a variety of methods in operation. The angel desired to teach us this with all simplicity. At length he adds: —

DANIEL 10:21
21. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
21. Verum indicabo tibi quod exeratum est in Scriptura veraci: et non unus qui se roboret, vel, qui viriliter agat, mecum in his, nisi Michael princeps vester.

I omit the interpretation of those who say that after the departure of the angel the prince of the Greeks came forward, because God ceased to afford assistance to the kingdom of the Persians. This is altogether different from the Prophet’s sense, and we must hold the explanation which I have adopted. The angel now adds the object of his mission — to make Daniel acquainted with what he will afterwards relate. He again attracts our confidence towards his message, not only for the sake of the Prophet privately, but to assure all the pious how free Daniel’s writings were from any human delusion or invention, and how fully they were inspired from above. I will announce, therefore, what has been engraven, or ensculptured, in the Scripture of truth. By this phrase, “the Scripture of truth,” he doubtless means the eternal and inviolable decree of God himself. God needs no books; paper and books are but helps to our memory, which would otherwise easily let things slip; but as he never suffers from forgetfulness, hence he needs no books. We are aware how often holy Scripture adopts forms of speech according to human customs. This clause implies the same as if the angel had said, he brought nothing but what God had already determined before, and thus the Prophet would expect a full and complete accomplishment
He next adds, There is no one who supports me in this duty except Michael, whom he calls prince of the elect people. It is surprising why the angel and Michael alone fought for the safety of the people. It is written, Angels pitch their camp in a circuit around those who fear God, (Psalm 34:7,) and then but one Church existed in the world. Why, then, did not God commit this charge to more angels than one? Why did he not send forth mighty forces? We acknowledge that God does not confine himself to any fixed rule; he can help us as well by many forces as by a single angel or by more. And he does not make use of angels as if he could not do without them. This is the reason of that variety which we observe: he is first content with one angel, and then joins more with him. He will give to one man a great army, as we read of Elisha, and as other passages in Scripture afford us examples. (2 Kings 6:17.) the servant of Elisha saw the air full of angels. Thus also Christ said, Can I not ask my Father, and he will send me, not one angel only, but a legion? (Matthew 26:53.) Again, the Spirit of God assigns many angels to each of the faithful. (Psalm 91:11.) Now, therefore, we understand why God sends more angels, not always with the same purpose or intention, to inform us that he is sufficient to afford us protection, even if no other help should be supplied. He provides for our infirmities by bringing us help by means of his angels, who act like hands to execute his commands. But I have previously remarked this is not an invariable practice, and we ought not to bind him by any fixed conditions to supply our wants always in the same manner. God seemed, at least for a time, to leave his people without help, and afterwards two angels were sent to contend for them; first, a single one was sent to Daniel, and then Michael, whom some think to be Christ. I do not object to this view, for he calls him a prince of the Church, and this title seems by no means to belong to any angels, but to be peculiar to Christ. On the whole, the angel signifies that God did not put forth his full strength in contending for his Church, but shews himself to be a servant to promote its safety till the time of deliverance should arise. He afterwards adds — for the next verse may be treated shortly, and ought to be connected with this in one context.

1. Also I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
1. Et ego anno primo Darii medi steti in roboratorem, et auxilium illi. f536

Interpreters explain this verse in various ways. Some think the angel fought for the Persian king, and follow up their opinion, because he did not for the first time begin now to defend that monarchy in favor of the chosen people, but had done so from the very beginning. Others refer this to Michael, as the angel declares that he introduced the assistance of Michael. But that is forced and cold. I do not hesitate to state the argument to be from the greater to the less, and we have an instance of this in a tragedy of Ovid’s. I have been able to preserve you; do you ask whether I can destroy you? Thus the angel says, I have erected the Persian monarchy; I have not the slightest doubt of my present power to restrain these kings, lest they should pour forth their fury upon the people. The full meaning is this, the king of the Persians is nothing, and can do nothing except through me. I was God’s servant in transferring the monarchy of the Medes and Chaldeans to the Persians, as well as that of the Babylonians to the Medes. God, says he, entrusted me with that office, and so I placed Darius upon the throne. You now see how completely I have him in my power, and how I can prevent him from injuring my people should he be so inclined. When the angel boasts of his standing forward to help Darius, he claims nothing to himself, but speaks as it were in the person of God. For angels have no power distinct from God’s when he uses their agency and assistance. There is no reason for any inquiry whether the angel ought to use this boastful language and claim anything for himself. For he does not claim anything as really his own, but he skews himself to have been an agent in the change of dynasty when Babylon was subdued by the Medes, and the empire transferred to Darius. For although, as we have previously shewn, Cyrus obtained the victory, yet he transferred the honors of government to his uncle Cyaxares. The Hebrews are accustomed to consider him as king for the first two years; Cyrus began to reign after this period; and now, when the angel appears to Daniel, the third year had arrived, as we saw at the beginning of the chapter.
Grant, Almighty God, as thou daily and familiarly deignest to grant us the light of heavenly doctrine, that we may come to thy school with true humility and modesty. May our docility be really apparent; may we receive with reverence whatever proceeds from thy lips, and may thy majesty be conspicuous among us. May we taste of that goodness which thou dost manifest to us in thy word, and be enabled to rejoice in thee as our Father; may we never dread thy presence, but may we enjoy the sweet testimony of thy paternal grace and favor. May thy word be more precious to us than gold and worldly treasures, and, meanwhile, may we feed upon its sweetness, until we arrive all that full satiety which is laid up for us in heaven through Christ our Lord. — Amen.

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 the realm of Grecia.
2. Et nunc veritatem annuntio tibi: ecce adhuc tres reges stabunt in Perside, et quartus ditabitur opibus mignis, f537 prae omnibus et secundum fortitudinem suam, in, inquam, opibus suis, f538 excitabit omnes contra regnum Graecorum.

We must now understand God’s intention in thus informing his servant Daniel of future events. He was clearly unwilling to gratify a vain curiosity, and he enlarged upon events necessary to be known, thus enabling the Prophet not only privately to rely on God’s grace, through this manifestation of his care for his Church, but also to exhort others to persevere in the faith. This chapter seems like a historical narrative under the form of an enigmatic description of events then future. The angel relates and places before his eyes occurrences yet to come to pass. We gather from this very clearly how God spoke through his prophets; and thus Daniel, in his prophetic character alone, is a clear proof to us of God’s peculiar favor towards the Israelites. Here the angel discusses, not the general state of the world, but first the Persian kingdom, then the monarchy of Alexander, and afterwards the two kingdoms of Syria and Egypt. From this we cleverly perceive how the whole discourse was directed to the faithful. God did not regard the welfare of other nations, but wished to benefit his Church, and principally to sustain the faithful under their approaching troubles. It was to assure them of God’s never becoming forgetful of his covenant, and of his so moderating the convulsions then taking place throughout the world, as to be ever protecting his people by his assistance. But we shall have to repeat this again, and even more than once, as we proceed.
First of all, the angel states, Three kings shall yet stand up in Persia. With respect to the clause, Behold! I announce to you the truth, I explained in yesterday’s Lecture how frequently he confirmed his prophecy whenever he treated events of the greatest importance, which seemed almost incredible. I shall tell you the real truth; three kings shall stand up. The Jews are not only very ignorant of everything, but very stupid also- then they have no sense of shame, and are endued with a perverse audacity; for they think there were only three kings of Persia, and they neglect all history, and mingle and confound things perfectly clear and completely distinct. There were eight kings of Persia of whom no mention is made here. Why, then, does the angel say, three kings should stand up? This was the first year of Darius, as we saw before. Hence, in their number of kings, Cyrus, the first monarch, is included, together with his son Cambyses. When these two kings have been decided on, a new question will arise again; for some add Smerdis to Cambyses, though he was only an impostor; for the Magi falsely thrust him in as the son of Darius, for the purpose of acquiring the sovereignty to themselves. Thus he was acknowledged as king for seven months; but when the cheat was discovered he was slain by seven of the nobles, among whom was Darius the son of Hystaspes, and he, according to the common narrative, was created king by the consent of the others on the neighing of his horse. The variations of interpreters might hinder us from reading them, and so we must gather the truth from the event. For Smerdis, as I have stated, cannot be reckoned among the kings of Persia, as he was but an impostor. I therefore exclude him, following the prudence of others who have considered the point with attention.
We must now observe why Daniel mentions four kings, the fourth of whom, he states, should be very rich. Cambyses succeeded Cyrus, who was reigning when the prophecy was uttered. He was always moving about to distant places; he scarcely allowed himself rest for a single year; he was exceedingly desirous of glory, insatiable in his ambition, and ever stirring up new wars. Cambyses, his son, who had slain his brother, died in Egypt, and yet added this country to the Persian empire. Darius, the son of Hystaspes, succeeded, and Xerxes followed him. They are deceived who think Darius, the son of Hystaspes, is the fourth king; without doubt the Prophet meant Xerxes, who crossed the sea with a mighty army. he led with him 900,000 men; and, however incredible this may appear, all historians constantly affirm it. He was so puffed up with pride that he said he came to put fetters upon the Hellespont, while his army covered all the neighboring country. This is one point; the four kings were Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius the son of Hystaspes, and Xerxes, omitting Smerdis. We may now inquire why the angel limits the number to four, as the successor of Xerxes was Artaxerxes, or Darius Longimanus, the long-handed, and some others after him. This difficulty is solved by the following probable method, — Xerxes destroyed the power of the Persian empire by his rashness; he escaped with the greatest disgrace, and was scarcely saved by the baseness of his flight. He brought away but few companions with him hastily in a small boat, and could not obtain a single transport, although the Hellespont had been previously covered with his ships. His whole army was almost cut to pieces, first at Thermopylee, then at Leuctra, and afterwards at other places. From that period the Persian empire declined, for when its warlike glory was annihilated, the people gave themselves up to sloth and idleness, according to the testimony of Xenophon. Some interpreters expound the phrase, three kings stood up, of the flourishing period of the Persian monarchy: they take the words “stood up” emphatically, since from that period the nation’s power began to wane. For Xerxes on his return was hated by the whole people, first for his folly, then for his putting his brother to death, for his disgraceful conduct towards his sister, and for his other crimes; and as he was so loaded with infamy before his own people, he was slain by Artabanus, who reigned seven months. As the power of Persia was then almost entirely destroyed, or at least was beginning to decline, some interpreters state these three kings to stand up, and then add Xerxes as the fourth and the most opulent. But suppose we take the word “stood up” relatively, with respect to the Church? For the angel states that the Persian prince, Cambyses, stood before him, in an attitude of hostility and conflict. The angel seems rather to hint at the standing up of four kings of Persia, for the purpose of reminding the Jews of the serious evils and the grievous troubles which they must suffer under their sway. In this sense I interpret the verb “to stand,” referring it to the contests by which God harassed the Church until the death of Xerxes. For at that period, when the power of the Persians declined, a longer period of rest and relaxation was afforded to the people of God. This is the reason why the angel omits and passes over in silence all the kings from Artabanus to Darius the son of Arsaces; for Arsaces was the last king but one, and although Ochus reigned before him, we know from profane historians how his posterity were reduced to the lowest rank under the last Darius, whom Alexander conquered, as we shall see by and bye. For this reason I think this to be the genuine sense of the passage, — from Cyrus to Xerxes kings of Persia should stand up against the Israelites, and during the whole of that period the contests should be renewed, and the Jews would almost perish through despair under that continued series of evils. Some say, four kings should stand forth until all the Jews were led out; and we know this never to have been completed, for a small portion only returned. As to my own opinion, I am unwilling to contend with others, yet I hesitate not to enforce the angel’s wish to exhort all the pious to endurance, for he announced the standing up of these four kings, who should bring upon them various tribulations. As to the fourth king, the statement of this passage suits Xerxes exactly. The fourth, he says, shall be enriched with wealth; for the noun is of similar meaning with the verb, as they both spring from the same root. Truly enough Darius the son of Hystaspes determined to carry on war with Greece; he made the attempt but without success, especially at the battle of Marathon. He was cut off by sudden death when his treasures were prepared and many forces were collected. He thus left the material of war for his son. Xerxes, in the flower of his age, saw every preparation for war made ready to his hands; he eagerly embraced the occasion, and gave no heed to sound advice. For, as we have already stated, he destroyed himself and the whole monarchy, not by a single slaughter only, but by four. And this power of raising an army of 900,000 men was no ordinary occurrence. If he had only carried with him across the sea 100,000 men, this would have been a large force. But his power of feeding such large forces while he passed through so many provinces, and then of passing them across the sea, exceeds the ordinary bounds of our belief. We are not surprised, then, at the angel’s predicting the extreme wealth of this king.
He adds, In his fortitude and in his riches he shall stir them all up against the realm of the Greeks. This was not accomplished by Darius the son of Hystaspes. According to my former statement, he attacked certain Grecian cities, but without producing confusion throughout the whole East, as Xerxes his successor did. As to the phrase, the kingdom of Javan, I willingly subscribe to their opinion who think the word equivalent to the Greek word Ionia. For Javan went forth in that direction, and dwelt there with his posterity in the Grecian territory, whence almost the whole of Greece obtained its present name. The whole Grecian nation is often called “Chittim,” and some see good reason for their being termed “Machetae,” from Chittim the son of Jayan, and thus by the addition of a letter we arrive at the Macedonians. For the conjecture is probable that this people were first called Maketae, and afterwards Macedonians. Without doubt, in this passage and in many others, Javan. is put for the whole of Greece, since Ionia was the portion of the country most celebrated in Judea and throughout the East generally. Xerxes then stirred up against the realm of Javan — meaning Greece — all the people of the East; for it is very well known how his empire spread far and wide in every direction. It follows: —

3. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
3. Et stabit rex fortis, et dominabitur dominatione magna, et faciet secundum voluntatem suam. f539

This refers to Alexander of Macedon. I have already shortly stated the reason why the angel passed over all the Persian kings from Artabanus to the last Darius, they did not engage in any contests with the Jews up to Xerxes. But when Alexander invaded Asia, he struck the Jews with terror, as well as all other nations. He came like lightning, and it is by no means surprising that the Jews should be frightened at his arrival, because, as we formerly expressed it, he flew with amazing swiftness. Alexander then rose up, not only by the riches and might of his warlike preparations, but he necessarily inspired the Jews with trepidation when they perceived their inability to resist him, and thus he was deservedly hostile to them, because, from the very beginning, they had despised his empire. Josephus also informs us how he was moved at the sight of the high priest, and how he determined to mitigate his rage against the Jews. For when he was at home, before passing over into Asia, the vision of the high priest was offered to him, for God had sent his angel under that disguise. f540 Alexander supposed it to be some deity; but when the high priest met him in procession, the vision returned to his recollection, and he was struck as if he had seen God appearing to him from heaven. Whatever was the object of this occurrence, Alexander clearly came into Judea with the intention of utterly destroying the whole nation. This is the reason why the angel carefully predicts this change. A brave king, therefore, shall stand up, and rule with extensive dominion, and do according to his pleasure; that is, he shall succeed as if he had all the events of the war under his own hand and according to his own pleasure, as the event itself most fully proved. It follows: —

4. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and divided shall be divided toward the four in 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 besides those.
4. Et ubi constiterit, frangetur, vel, conteretur, regnum ejus, et dividetur in quatuor ventos coelorum, hoc est, in quatuor plagas mundi, et non posteritati ejus, et non secundum dominationem ejus, qua dominatus fuerit: quia extirpabitur, radicitus evelletur, regnum ejus, et aliis absque illis.

This language is concise, but there is no ambiguity in the sense. First of all the angel says, After that brave king had stood up, his empire should be broken in pieces: for when Alexander had arrived at his height, he suddenly fell sick, and shortly afterwards died at Babylon. Ambassadors had assembled round him from every quarter. He was quite intoxicated by prosperity, and very probably poisoned himself. Historians, however, have viewed him as a remarkable example of singular valor, and so they have pretended and have related, because at least they thought so, that he was deceitfully poisoned by Cassander. But we all know how intemperately and immoderately he indulged in drinking; he almost buried himself in wine, and was seized with disease amidst his cups, and sank under it, because no remedy was found for him. This, then, was Alexander’s poison. Whichever way we understand it, he fell suddenly, almost as soon as he began to stand. After conquering nearly the whole East, he came to Babylon, and was uncertain in his plans as to the employment of his forces, after he had procured peace for the whole East. He was then anxious to transfer his armies to either Europe or Africa. The angel says, After he had stood up, meaning, after he had acquired the monarchy of the whole East, his kingdom should be broken up. He uses this simile, because the whole power of Alexander was not so much extinguished as broken into separate parts. We know how the twelve chiefs who were his generals drew the spoils to themselves; every one took a portion of his kingdom, and divided it among themselves, as we have previously stated, just as if it were torn from their master’s body. All consented in raising his brother Aridaeus to the dignity of king, and they called him Philip, that, while his sons were young, the memory of his father might commend them to the world. But four kingdoms at length issued from Alexander’s monarchy. It is unnecessary here to refer to what we may read at our leisure in the writings of historians.
The Prophet only touches shortly on those points which relate to the instruction of the Church; he does not relate in order or in detail the events narrated in history; he only says, His empire shall be broken, and shall be divided, says he, towards the four winds of heaven. The angel omits that partition which assigned the treasure to one, and gave the office of counselor to Philip: Perdiccas was the guardian of his son, and he with others obtained a portion of his dominions. Seleucus obtained Syria, to whom his son Antiochus succeeded; Antigonus became prefect of Asia Minor; Cassander, the father of Antipater, seized the kingdom of Macedon for himself; Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, who had been a common soldier, possessed Egypt. These are the four kingdoms of which the angel now treats. For Egypt was situated to the south of Judea, and Syria to the north, as we shall afterwards have occasion to observe. Macedonia came afterwards, and then Asia Minor, both east and west. But the angel does not enter into any complicated details, but shortly enumerates whatever was necessary for the common instruction of the elect people. The common consent of all writers has handed down these facts, — four kingdoms were constituted at length out of many portions, after the chiefs had been so mutually slain by one another that four only survived, namely, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Antigonus, and Cassander. Afterwards the kingdom of Antiochus was extended when Antigonus was conquered; for Antiochus added Asia Minor to the kingdom of Syria. But Antiochus stood only for a time, and hence the angel truly and properly states this empire to have been divided into four parts.
He next adds, And not to his posterity. No one could have guessed what the angel predicted so many years before Alexander’s birth; for he was not born till a hundred years after this period. Those who know the boldness of his warlike schemes, the rapidity of his movements, and the success of his measures, would never be persuaded of this result, — the complete destruction of all his posterity, and the utter extinction of his race.
Had Alexander lived quietly at home, he might have married, and have become the father of children who would have been his undisputed successors. He died young, soon after reaching the age of thirty; still he might have married, and have had heirs to his throne. He had a brother, Aridaeus, and other relations, among whom was his uncle Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, and a royal offspring might thus have been preserved, and a successor prepared for him. After he had subdued both upper and lower Asia, he became master of Syria, Egypt, and Judea, and extended his power to the Persians, while his fame extended over Africa and Europe. Since no one dared to raise a finger against him, as he possessed a most magnificent army, and all his generals were bound to him by most important benefits, and so many of his prefects were enriched by his extreme liberality, who would have thought that all his posterity and relations would be thus blotted out? He left; two sons, but they were slain as well as his brother Aridaeus, while his wives and his mother, aged eighty years, shared the same fate. Nor did Cassander spare her, for she intrigued against him. At length, as if God would punish so many slaughters committed by Alexander, he wished his whole posterity to be extinguished. And yet, as I have stated, no foreign enemy was the agent in inflicting such heavy punishments. He had subjugated the whole East, and his bearing was such, as if the whole monarchy of that portion of the world had descended to him from his ancestors by hereditary right. As the world contained no enemy for him, his foes sprang from his own home; they slew his mother, his wives, his children, and all his relatives, and utterly rooted out all his race. We observe, then, with what clearness and certainty the angel predicts events entirely concealed from that age, and for hundred years afterwards, and such as would never be, credited by mankind. There seems a great contrast in the language; his kingdom shall be broken, it shall be divided towards the four winds of heaven, and not to his posterity; that is, although the four kingdoms should spring up in the four quarters of the world, yet, none of Alexander’s posterity should remain in a single place, or obtain even the least portion of his dominions. This was a remarkable proof of God’s wrath against the cruelty of Alexander; not that he was savage by nature, but ambition seized upon him, and made him bloodthirsty, and indisposed him to desire any end to his warfare. God, therefore, avenged that grasping disposition of Alexander’s, by allowing the whole of his race thus to perish with disgrace and horrible cruelty. On this account that. pride of his which wished to be thought a son of Jupiter, and which condemned to death all his friends and followers who would not prostrate themselves before him as a god; — that pride, I say, never could secure a single descendant to reign in his place, or even to hold a single satrapy. Not to his posterity, says the angel, and not according to his dominion.
He passes to the four kings of which he had spoken: It Shall not break forth, he says, namely, from the four kings. he had already stated their foreign extraction, not in any way derived from the family of that king; for none of the four should equal his power, because his kingdom should be expired. Here the angel seems to omit intervening events, and speaks of an ultimate destruction. We know how the past king Perseus was conquered by the Romans, and how the kingdom of Antiochus was partly destroyed by war, and partly oppressed by fraud. And the angel seems to mark this. We may interpret it more to the point, by considering the cessation of Alexander’s empire, with reference to his own race, as if the angel had stated that none of his successors should acquire equal power with himself. And why so? Not one of them could accomplish it. Alexander acquired so mighty a name that all people willingly submitted to his sway, and no single successor could sustain the burden of the whole. Hence his kingdom, as far as it related to himself and His posterity, was divided, and no one succeeded to his power and his opulence. And it shall be given to others. The angel here explains his meaning. The destruction of the kingdom ought not to be explained particularly of single parts, for each seized his own portion for himself, and his successors were all strangers. And to others besides those; meaning, his kingdom shall be seized upon by officers who are not of his posterity; that is, strangers shall rush into Alexander’s place, and no successor shall arise from his own kindred. It afterwards follows, —

5. And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
5. Et roborabitur rex austri, et ex principibus ejus, et roborabitur adversus eum, et dominabitur: dominatio magna, dominatio ejus.

Here the angel begins to treat of the kings of Egypt and of Syria. He does not mention the king of Syria yet, but will do so in the next verse; but he begins with the king of Egypt, the neighboring monarchy to that of Israel. He says, the king of the south, meaning, the king of Egypt, would be brave. He next adds, and one of his princes. Many take this in one context; but I think the angel transfers his discourse to Antiochus the son of Seleucus. And one of his princes, he says, meaning, one of Alexander’s princes, shall strengthen himself against him. For the letter w, vau, is taken in the sense of opposing, and implies an opposition between Ptolemy the son of Lagus, and Antiochus king of Syria. Hence the king of the south shall grow strong — another of Alexander’s chiefs shall grow strong against him, and shall have dominion. We know how much larger and more wealthy the kingdom of Syria was than that of Egypt, especially when Asia Minor was added to it. Without doubt, the angel was acquainted with the future superiority of Antiochus to Ptolemy, when these two kings are mutually compared. But the rest to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou not only deignedst to unfold future events to thy servant Daniel, and to the pious who waited for the advent of thine only-begotten Son, that they might be prepared for all sufferings, and might perceive the Church to repose under thy care and protection, but also wishedst these prophecies to profit us at this day, and to confirm us in the same doctrine: Grant us to learn how to cast all our cares and anxieties on thy paternal providence. May we never doubt thy oversight of the cares of thy Church in these days, and thy protection against the fury of the ungodly who try all means of destroying it. May we repose in peace under that guardianship which thou hast promised us, and struggle on under the standard of the cross; and possess our souls in patience, until at length thou shalt appear as our Redeemer with outstretched hand, at the manifestation of thy Son, when he returns to judge the world. — Amen.

6. And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make all agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that beget her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
6. Et in fine annorum sociabuntur, convenient inter se, et filia regis austri veniet ad regem aquilonis ut faciat recta: et non retinebit vires brachii, et non stabit ipse, neque semen ejus, et dabitur ipsa, et qui adduxerit eam, et qui genuerit ipsam, et roborabit eam temporibus illis, vel, roboraverit.

As to the explanation of the words, the king of the south, we have stated to be the king of Egypt, and that of the north, of Syria. To do right things, means to make mutual peace; he shall not retain the strength of his arm, is, his arm shall not retain its strength; he shall not stand refers to his father Ptolemy, or Antiochus Theos, as we shall afterwards see. And then we must take the w, vau, negatively, and read, nor his seed, which some translate his arm. She shall be delivered up, implies being given up to death, while some understand her parent, to be her mother or her nurse. Here, then, the angel prophesies the state of the kingdoms of Egypt and Syria; and still he has respect to the Church of God, as we stated yesterday, which was placed in the midst of these two nations. We must always strive to ascertain the intention of the Holy Spirit. He wished to support the pious under those convulsions by which they would be agitated and afflicted. Their confidence might have been utterly subverted unless they had been persuaded that nothing happens at random, since all these events were proclaimed beforehand. Again, God had sent his angel to Daniel, which proved both his power and his determination to defend his Church, and he would accomplish this, because he wished the faithful admonished beforehand neither rashly nor yet without profit. But we must first relate the history — the angel says, At the end of the times two kings should enter into covenant and friendship. He had announced the superiority of the king of Syria; for when Antigonus was conquered, and his son was dead, Seleucus the first king of Syria far surpassed Ptolemy in his power and the magnitude of his dominion. But a mutual rivalry arose between them, and there were some slight skirmishes on both sides, till the condition of Ptolemy became weakened, and then Seleucus rushed tumultuously, with the ferocity of a robber rather than the magnanimity of a king. After they had continued the contest for some time, Berenice the daughter of the second Ptolemy, named Philadelphus, was given in marriage to Antiochus Theos. She is also called Beronice and Bernice. He was so blinded with pride, as to take the name of Theos, which means God; he was the third of that name, the former king being called Soter, meaning preserver For, as Seleueus had acquired so many and such mighty possessions, his sons did not consider their authority fully established, and so they assumed these magnificent titles for the sake of inspiring all nations with the terror of their frame. Hence the first Antiochus was called Sorer, and the second Theos. Now the second Ptolemy, named Philadelphus, gave his daughter in marriage to Antiochus Theos. By this bond peace and friendship were established between them, just as at Rome, Pompey married Julia the daughter of Caesar. And we daily observe similar occurrences, for when one king has in his power a daughter, or niece, or other relatives, another king finds himself possessed of male and female relations, by whose intermarriage they confirm a treaty of peace. It was so in this case, although historians attribute some degree of craft to Philadelphus in bestowing his daughter on Antiochus Theos. He supposed this to be a means by which he might ultimately acquire the dominion over all Syria, and over the other provinces under the sway of Antiochus. Whether this really was so or not, profane historians prove the fulfillment of the angel’s prediction. Without the slightest doubt, God, in his wonderful counsels, dictated to these historians what we read at the present time, and made them witnesses of his own truth. This thought, indeed, never entered their minds, but when God governs the minds and tongues of men, he wishes to establish clear and convincing testimony to this prophecy, for the purpose of shewing the real prediction of every occurrence. At the end of the years, says he, they shall become united.
He next states, And the daughter of the king of the south, meaning Bernice, whom we have mentioned, shall come to the king of the north, meaning the king of Syria, Antiochus Theos. This alliance was contracted in defiance of justice. For Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice, who was the mother of two sons whom she had born to Antiochus; namely, Seleucus Callinicus, and Antiochus the younger, named Hierax, a hawk, on account of his rapacity. We perceive, then, how he contracted a second marriage, after an unjust and illegal divorce of his first wife. Hence it is not surprising if this alliance was cursed by the Almighty. It turned out unhappily for both the kings of Egypt and Syria. Ptolemy ought not to have thrust his daughter upon Antiochus, who was already married, nor yet to have allowed her to become a second wife, while the king’s real wife was divorced. We perceive, then, how God became the avenger of these crimes, while the plans of Antiochus and Philadelphus turned out in. Some think that Antiochus was fraudulently poisoned by his first wife, but as the point is doubtful, I pronounce no opinion. Whether it was so or not, Antiochus had a son by Bernice, and died immediately after being reconciled to his former wife. Some historians state, that after she had recovered her dignity and rank as queen, having once experienced her husband’s fickleness and perfidy, she took sure means of preventing another repudiation. When Antiochus was dead, this woman was enflamed with vengeance, and in the perverseness of her disposition, she impelled her son to murder her rival, especially stimulating Seleucus Callinicus who succeeded to his father’s throne. Hierax was then prefect of Asia Minor; hence she stimulated her son with fury to murder her rival. For, although Antiochus Theos had been reconciled to her, yet some degree of rank and honor still attached to Bernice the daughter of Ptolemy. And her son perpetrated this murder with the greatest willingness, and with the basest cruelty and perfidy; for he persuaded her to entrust herself to his care, and then he murdered both her and her son.
The angel now says, When the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north, his arm shall not retain his strength. The language is metaphorical, as that marriage was line a common arm to both sides; for the king of Egypt stretched forth his hand to the king of Syria for mutual protection. That arm, then, did not retain its strength; for Bernice was most wickedly slain by her stepson, Seleucus Callinicus, as we have stated. He says, also, she should come to make alliances. Here, by way of concession, the angel calls that conjugal bond µydçym, misrim, rectitudines, “conditions of agreement,” because at first all parties thought, it would tend to that result. But. Antiochus had already violated his marriage vow, and departed from his lawful alliance. Nothing, therefore, was right on his side. Without the slightest doubt he derived some advantage from the plan, as kings are always in the habit of doing. And with respect to Ptolemy, many historians, as we have already mentioned, suppose him to have longed for the kingdom of Syria. Whether or not this was so, their mutual transactions were not sincere, and so the word signifying “rectitude” is used, as we have said, only by concession. The angel does not speak in their praise, or excuse the, perfidy of either, but he rather enlarges upon their crime, and from this we gather how they abused the sanctity both of marriage and of treaties, which God wished to be held sacred by all mankind. Hence, though the word is honor-able in itself, yet it is used in a disgraceful sense, to shew us how the angel condemned King Ptolemy for this base prostitution of his daughter, and Antiochus for rejecting his wife, and marrying another who was not a real wife, but only a concubine. And, perhaps, God wished to use the lips of his angel to point out the tendency of all royal treaties. They always have the most specious appearances — national, quiet public peace, and similar objects which can be dexterously made prominent. For kings always court favor and praise for themselves from the foolish vulgar, whenever they make treaties of peace. Thus all these alliances have no other tendency than to produce social deception, and at length they degenerate into mutual perfidy, when one party plots insidiously and wickedly against another.
The angel adds next, He shall not stand; using the masculine gender, and most probably referring to Antiochus, as well as to Ptolemy his father-in-law. Neither he nor his seed shall stand, meaning his son by Bernice the daughter of Ptolemy. I dare not translate it “arm, because in my opinion the letter w, vau, is needed in the word for “arm;” so I take it to denote “seed. He afterwards adds, And she shall be delivered up — thus returning to Berenice — either by treachery or to death; and those who led her forthmeaning her companions. Whenever any incestuous marriage is contracted, some persons of disgraceful character are sure to be concerned in bringing his new wife to the king. And very probably there were factions in the palace of Antiochus; one party being more attached to Seleucus and his brother, and his mother Laodice; while others desired a change of government, according to the usual state of affairs. The advisers of the marriage between Antiochus and Bernice were sent as a guard of honor to attend them to Syria, and the angel states all these to have been delivered up together with the queen. He afterwards adds, And those who were her parents. From the absence of a grammatical point under the letter h, he, many think the noun to be of the feminine gender. And as it may mean mother, they treat it as if her nurse was intended, but I leave the question in doubt. He now adds, and those who strengthened her at those times. He, doubtless, intends to designate all those who wished to curry favor with the king, and thus took part in this marriage between him and the daughter of the king of Egypt. The whole of that faction perished, when Berenice was slain by Seleucus Callinicus. If, then, he did not spare his stepmother, much less would he spare the faction by which he was deprived of his hope of the kingdom, and through whom his mother Laodice had suffered the disgrace of a divorce. It now follows, —

7. But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail.
7. Et stabit ex germine, vel, surculo, radicum ejus, nempe Berenice, f541 in gradu suo, f542 et veniet cum exercitu, f543 et veniet in munitionem regis Aquilonis, et faciet in illis, f544 et praevalebit.

The angel treats here of Ptolemy Euergetes, the third king of Egypt, who succeeded his father Philadelphus. He collected large forces to revenge the insult offered to his sister, and thus carried on the war with Seleucus Callinicus, who had become king after his father’s death. The angel, therefore, now touches shortly on this war, by saying, There shall stand up a shoot from the root of that queen. Very possibly he was younger than his sister Berenice. He says, He shall stand in his own degree, meaning, in the royal rank. The interpretation of those who translate, He shall stand in his father’s rank, is forced. What is it then? He shall stand in his own rank; that is, he shall arrive at his own rank by hereditary right. Although, therefore, at first all thought the death of Berenice would be unrevenged through her father being dead, here the angel announces that her brother should be like a branch, and become the avenger of this great wickedness. He shall stand, then, in his rank, meaning, he shall arrive at the royal throne, from the branch or germ of her root, namely, Berenice. He shall come with an army against Callinicus. Profane writers bear witness to this. And he shall come even to the fortification of the king of the north. He entered Syria, and caused so great a terror that many fortified cities surrendered themselves to him. During this war he drew to himself many cities which seemed impregnable; whence it is not surprising to find the angel stating his arrival at the fortifications. Some translate it “dwelling-place, but without reason, and thus injure the Prophet’s meaning. He shall come unto the very fortification, meaning, he shall arrive in Syria, and shall posses many fortified cities.
He next adds, And he shall work on them, meaning, he shall prosper; for this word when used without any addition, implies in Hebrew performing great exploits. He shall proceed and acquire power over the greater part of Syria, and shall prevail. By this last word he explains how superior he should be to Callinicus. For this king sent for his younger brother whose fidelity he suspected, and thought it the safest course to treat with his enemy. But young Hierax, the hawk, determined to use that expedition to his own advantage. He was not content with his own province of Asia Minor, but he anticipated being his father’s sole heir, especially as he had hired some troops from Gaul, who had invaded Asia Minor, Bithynia, and other provinces. He was greatly puffed up, and betrayed his own covetousness. Seleucus Callinicus preferred making peace with his enemy to fostering his brother’s resources. At length Hierax more and more developed the perversity of his mind. For he openly declared war against his brother, to whose assistance he pretended to have come, after having been sent for according to agreement. His brother Seleucus had promised him a portion of Asia as far as Mount Taurus; and when he saw himself the victim of his impious and disgraceful snares, he openly waged war with his brother. But he was conquered at length, and thus received the reward of his impiety. Thus Ptolemy Euergetes prevailed, while he departed from Syria after spoiling his enemy, according to what follows —

8. And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
8. Atque etiam deos ipsorum cum conflatibus ipsorum, et cum vasis pretiosis ipsorum, f545 auri et argenti in captivatem ducent in AEgyptum, f546 et ipse pluribus annis stabit quam rex aquilonis.

The angel explains more fully what he had already stated briefly, namely, Ptolemy should be the conqueror, and spoil the whole of Syria almost according to his pleasure. Profane writers also shew us the great number of images which were taken away, and how Egypt recovered its gods of silver and gold which it had lost a long time ago. Thus the event proved the truth of the angel’s prophecy. The particle µg gem, is interposed for the sake of amplifying the subject, to inform us of the unequal condition of the peace, and how Ptolemy exercised the rights of a conqueror in spoiling the whole of Syria according to his lust. It is added, He shall stand for more years than the king of the north. Some restrict this to the duration of the life of each king, and others extend it farther. Probably the angel speaks of Ptolemy Euergetes, who reigned forty-six years. As God extended his life so long, we are not surprised at the angel’s saying it should last longer than the king of Syria’s. This explanation is applicable to the present case, for if he had died before, Callinicus might have recovered the effects of the war; but as Ptolemy survived, he dared not attempt any-thing, being assured of the utter fruitlessness of any effort against the king who had vanquished him. It follows: —

9. So the king of the south shall come into His kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
9. Et veniet in rename rex austri, et redibit in terram suam.

This clause belongs to the former verse; as if he had said, Ptolemy shall return by a peaceful march after this hostile invasion of Syria. For he might have some fears lest his enemy should not be completely prostrated. But as he departed as conqueror, the angel announces his safe arrival in his own land. The words “come” and “return” are used emphatically, implying the absence of all harass, fear, and danger. f547 He returned to his kingdom and his own land, since he could not trust to the quietness of the enemies whom he had laid prostrate. It follows: —

DANIEL 11:10-11
10. But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through; then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
10. Et filii ejus provocabuntur, et congregabunt multitudinem copiarum magnarum: et veniendo veniet, inundabit et transibit: revertetur et incitabitur usque ad munitionem ejus.
11. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
11. Tum exacerbabitur rex austri, et egressus pugnabit adversus eum, adversus regem aquilonis, et stare faciet, statuet, multitudinem magnam, tradeturque multitudo illa in manum ejus.

Here the angel passes to the third war, namely, that which the son of Callinicus stirred up against Ptolemy Philopator. After the death of Euergetes, the two sons of Callinicus united their forces, and endeavored to recover Syria, and especially that part of it of which they had been deprived. When they were already on their expedition, and their forces were on their march, the elder Seleucus died, and his surviving brother was Antiochus, called the Great. Ptolemy, called Philopator, which means a lover of his father, was then alive. He was so called in consequence of the parricide of which he was guilty, having put to death both parents, together with his brother. The word is used by way of ridicule, and a sense the opposite to that expressed is implied by this epithet, which is honorable in itself, and expresses the virtue of filial piety. But he slew his father, mother, and brother, and on account of all these impious murders, the name of Philopator was applied to him as a mark of disgrace. As, therefore, he was so thoroughly hated by his own people, the sons of Callinicus, namely, Seleucus Ceraunus the elder, and Antiochus the Great, thought the time had arrived for the recovery of the lost cities of Syria. For he was detested and despised in consequence of his numerous crimes. They therefore anticipated little trouble in recovering their possessions, when their enemy was thus branded with infamy, and had many domestic foes. This is the reason why the angel says of the sons of Callinicus, They shall be provoked, and shall lead a multitude of great armies; it may mean “great forces,” as some historians relate the collection of two very strong armies. Unless I am mistaken, Antiochus the Great had 70,000 foot and 5000 horse. Ptolemy excelled in cavalry as he had 6000 horse but only 62,000 foot, as Polybius informs us in his fifth book. f548 They were nearly equal in forces, but the confidence of the two sons of Callinicus, of whom alone the angel now speaks, was increased when they beheld their wicked enemy so greatly detested in consequence of his parricide. He afterwards says, He shall come. He changes the number, since the elder brother, being the eldest son of Callinicus, namely, Seleucus Ceraunus, died while they were preparing for the war, and they say he was slain by his attendants in passing through Asia Minor. Whether this was so or not, all historians unite in stating that Antiochus the Great alone carried on the war with Philopator. He shall come so as to overflow and pass through. He recovered that part of Syria which he had lost, and when he approached Egypt, then Philopator met him. Profane historians state him to have been a coward, and never to have obtained power by open bravery, but by fear alone. He was too late in preparing his forces for resisting his enemy.
This is the reason why the angel says, The king of Syria, or of the north, should come, even to the citadels, or fortifications; for at length Philopator roused himself from slumber, for he never put on his arms to repel an enemy except when compelled by the direst necessity. Hence he adds, The king of the south shall be irritated, or exasperated. He uses the word “exasperated,” because, as I have just said, he would never have opposed himself to his enemy Antiochus except lie had perceived his own kingdom placed in great jeopardy. He might have taken patiently the loss of Syria, so long as Egypt had been safe; but when his life and all his possessions were in danger, he became sufficiently exasperated to attack his foe; and yet he prevailed, as we shall afterwards see. I cannot complete this subject to-day, and so I shall draw to a close. Philopator became victorious, and yet he was so sluggish that he distrusted his friends and foes alike, and was forced by this very fear to make peace with his enemy, although he was really the conqueror. Not only could he have driven back his enemy whom he had vanquished, but he might have taken possession of his territories; but he did not dare to do this. he was conscious of being a parricide, and knew to his cost how hateful his name was among all men. Hence, although superior in strength, and actually the conqueror of his enemy in battle, he dared not proceed further. But we will explain the remainder another time.
Grant, Almighty God, as thou hast deigned to set before our eyes as in a glass that peculiar providence of thine by which thou defendest thy Church: Grant, that being confirmed by these examples, we may learn to repose entirely upon thee. Amidst the numerous disturbances by which the world is at this time agitated, may we remain quiet under thy protection. May we so commit our safety to thee as never to hesitate, whatever may happen, as to our future safety and security. Whatever we may suffer, may it all issue in our salvation, while we are protected by thy hand; thus will we call upon thy name with sincerity of mind, and thou wilt in return shew thyself as our Father in thine only-begotten Son. — Amen.
In our last Lecture we explained why the angel mentions the exasperation of King Ptolemy. Unless he had been dragged into the war, his disposition was so sluggish that he would have suffered many cities to be wrested from him, and he would never have been moved by either the disgrace or the loss. But at length he took up arms, on seeing with what a stern and bold enemy he had to deal. he afterwards adds, He shall go out to battle against the king of the North, meaning Antiochus king of Syria. And he shall set in array a large multitude. This may be referred to either of them, for Antiochus then brought into the field a large army; he had 5000 horse and 70,000 foot. Ptolemy was superior in his cavalry, which amounted to 6000 men. This clause will suit the case of Antiochus. He shall bring into the field a great multitude, and the multitude shall be given into his hand, meaning Ptolemy’s. The context seems thus to flow on more easily: yet if any one prefers considering it as applicable to Ptolemy himself, I will not contend the point. It is not of much consequence, because the angel simply pronounces the superiority of Ptolemy in this battle, in which he conquered Antiochus the Great. Besides, we must notice, that he was not the conqueror by his own industry, or valor, or counsel, or military skill; but because the Lord, who regulates the events of battles, wished at that time to subdue the pride of Antiochus the Great. It now follows, —

DANIEL 11:12
12. And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
12. Et tolletur multitudo illa, hoc est, sese attollet, et elevabitur cor ejus, et dejiciet myriades, hoc est, magnas copias, et non roborabitur.

The angel here marks the close of the war. Had Ptolemy’s valor seconded his good fortune, he might easily have seized upon the whole kingdom of Syria, as profane historians report. But he was so given up to his own lusts, that he willingly entered into treaty with his enemy. On his return to his kingdom he slew his wife Eurydice, and was guilty of other enormities; he suffered a wicked woman, the sister of Agathocles, a victim of his passions, to rule over his kingdom, and lastly, he became a very foul example of a very cruel and degraded man. Therefore, the angel says at the beginning, his army should raise him aloft; his heart should be elevated, in consequence of his prosperity. He not only caused terror to Antiochus, but through all the neighboring regions. Where he might have drawn to himself the whole power of the East, he then declined in his course. He subdued, indeed, a hostile army, and in this exploit he was in no slight degree assisted by his sister Arsinoe, as historians relate, but yet after great slaughters he did not retain his position. And what was the obstacle? His idleness and drunkenness, and his caring for nothing but banquets and debaucheries, and the most obscene pleasures. This caused his fall, after he had been raised even to the clouds by his victories. It afterwards follows, —

DANIEL 11:13-14
13. For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, shall certainly come after certain years with a great army, and with much riches.
13. Et redibit rex aquilonis, rex Syriae, et statuet multitudinem magnam praeut antea, f549 et circiter finem f550 temporum annorum, ad verbum, veniendo veniet cum exercitu magno, et cum opibus magnis. f551
14. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
14. Et temporibus illis multi stabunt contra regem AEgypti, et filii dissipatores populi tui sese attollent, ad stabiliendam visionem, et corruent.

Here the angel prophesies of other wars. For he first describes the war which was carried on by Antiochus against the Egyptians, after the death of Philopater, who left as his heir, a little son named Ptolemy Epiphanes. When, therefore, he perceived the land deprived of its king, he drew up an army and invaded Egypt. As the Egyptians had no strength to resist him, an embassy was sent to Rome; and we know how eager the Romans were to become involved in all the business of the world. With the view of extending their empire still further and wider, they sent immediately to Antiochus the Great, and commanded him to desist from the war; but after many trials he failed of success, until he engaged in a very desperate battle with Scopas, and at length obtained a victory. In the meantime, the Egyptians were far from idle: although they hoped to be able to subdue the empire of Antiochus by the assistance of the Senate, yet they carefully fitted out an armament of their own under their General Scopas, who was successful in many of his plans, but was finally defeated in the borders of Judea. The angel now describes this war. The king of Syria shall return, he says; meaning, after the death of Ptolemy Philopator, he rested for a while, because he had been unsuccessful with his forces, and they were so entirely disorganized that he had no confidence in the success of any expedition. But he thought Egypt would give him no trouble, as it had lost its head and was like a lifeless corpse. Then he was elevated with fresh confidence, and returned to Egypt. And he shall arrange a greater multitude than at the first. He had a large and powerful army, as we have said, and a noble armament of cavalry: he had 70,000 foot, and was still collecting greater forces. The angel signifies the future arrival of the king of Syria, after the interval of a certain time. At the end of the times of the years he shall surely come, that is he shall break forth. The angel seems to use this expression for the sake of increasing its certainty; for he at first despised the Romans in consequence of their great distance from him, and he had no fear of what afterwards occurred. He never supposed they had such boldness in them as to cross the sea against him.
He afterwards adds, And in those times many shall stand against the king of the South, or Egypt. The angel hints, that Antiochus the Great would not be his only enemy; and historians inform us of his treaty and alliance with Philip king of Macedon, for carrying on this war. Without doubt, the two kings stirred up the whole of Asia Minor, and they were so unitedly powerful, that many were excited to take part with them. It seemed to be all over with the kingdom of Egypt, and thus the angel says, many should stand up against the king of the South. He adds, and his sons dissipation. The Hebrews call “robbers” µyxyrp pheritzim. The root of this word is ≈rp, pheretz, which signifies to break or dissipate, and sometimes to destroy. Without doubt, the angel here uses the word to imply factious men, for the people had no other chance of standing, except by remaining quiet and united. The word then applies to those who violated that unity; for when any one attached himself to foreign monarchs, Judea became exposed as a prey to either the Syrians or Egyptians. Some interpreters apply this passage to the younger Onias, who seized on Heliopolis, and drew some exiles with him, and there built a temple, as we learn from Josephus and the Book of Maccabees. For he pretended to have the prophecy in Isaiah 19, on his side, where it is said, And there shall be an altar to God in the midst of Egypt, (<231919>Isaiah 19:19.) Without doubt, the Prophet here predicts the enlargement of God’s kingdom through the propagation of his religion throughout the whole world. As Egypt was to the last degree devoted to idolatry, Isaiah here shews how the pure and perfect worship of God should prevail in Egypt. As if he had said, Even the Egyptians who have, hitherto endeavored to abolish true and sincere piety, shall be added to God’s people, and shall worship him acceptably. We know the Prophet to be here treating figuratively of the spiritual reign of Christ, and to be always bringing forward the shadows of his own time. By the word “altar” he simply means the worship of God. That impostor, Onias, when he erected his profane temple and polluted the sacred altar, boasted in his fulfillment of this prophecy of Isaiah.
This then is the meaning of the passage. The sons — dissipaters of thy people — shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; that is, under a fallacious pretext of fulfilling Isaiah’s prediction, and yet they shall fall. It may also have all indefinite meaning, as if the angel declared that; these multitudes should not come forth unless by God’s secret counsel. We know how much this thought tends to lighten the sorrow of the pious, and how much consolation it brings, when we recognize all the tumults of the world as springing from the fixed counsel of God. Nothing then appears to happen at random, but mortals are agitated because God desires to inflict his punishments upon them, and the Church is often shaken because God wishes to prove and examine the patience of his people. We may, therefore, take this prophecy absolutely; as if the angel had said. These apostates and dissipaters never proposed to fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah’s, and yet there was nothing confused, or out of order in all these events, as God was fulfilling what he had testified by his own Prophets. Wherefore we may receive this prediction simply, just as we do other similar ones scattered throughout the prophets. We have already heard how the Prophet was forewarned of the many distresses of the Church, on purpose to lead the faithful to acquiesce in the providence of God, when they saw things so disturbed throughout the world. It afterwards follows, —

DANIEL 11:15
15. So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities; and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
15. Et veniet rex aquilonis et fundet aggerem, F552 et capiet urbem munitionum; et brachia austri, hoc est, AEgypti, non stabunt, neque populus electorum ejus, neque virtus erit ad standum.

The angel follows up the same sentiment. He says, When Antiochus the Great shall burst forth, there shall be no valor in the Egyptians to resist him, for he shall take a fortified city. There is a change of number here, for he means fortified cities. For he should recover the cities which he had formerly lost, and should arrive at the city Raphia in Egypt. The explanation follows, The arms of Egypt shall not stand, nor the people of its levies. This relates to Scopas, who was sent forth with large forces: at first he prospered, but he was afterwards vanquished in the conflict, and had no courage to persevere in resistance. It afterwards follows, —

DANIEL 11:16
16. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
16. Et faciet veniens ad eum pro beneplacito suo, hoc est, pro suo libidine, et nullus stabit coram facie ejus, et stabit in terra desiderabili, et consumetur, alii nomen esse volunt, consumptio, in manu ejus.

The angel proceeds with the same discourse. He says, Antiochus the Great should accomplish his wishes, and should spread the terror of his arms in every direction, and thus no one would dare to oppose him. He shall do therefore according to his will, he says, and none shall stand before his face; and he shall stand in the desirable land; meaning, he shall bring his victorious army into Judea, and there shall be a great consumption under his hand, or Judea shall be consumed and ruined under his hand. We originally stated, that the angel’s mission did not authorize him to great these events as military exploits are usually narrated by historians. Enough is revealed to lead the faithful to acknowledge God’s continual regard for their safety. Experience also assures us of every occurrence being divinely foreseen, and thus they would acknowledge how everything tended to promote their welfare. God’s predictions of future events were never in vain, and the angel now declares the future coming of Antiochus to the desirable land. We have previously given the reason for the use of this epithet as applied to Judea, — not through any natural excellence over other lands, but because God had chosen it for himself as his seat and dwelling-place. The excellence of this land depended entirely on the gratuitous beneficence of God. It might seem inconsistent to grant such license to an impious tyrant and robber, and to allow him to overrun Judea, which God had marked out with peculiar honor, in adopting it as his dwelling-place, and calling it his residence. (Psalm 132:14.) But we know that the Church, while on its pilgrimage in this world, enjoys no freedom from many infliction’s; for it is profitable for the sons of God to be humbled under the cross, lest they should grow restive in the world, and give themselves up to luxuries, and sleep upon the desires of the flesh. The angel, indeed, omits the reason why God suffered Antiochus thus cruelly to oppress the sacred land; but the faithful had been taught by the Law and the Prophets how the Church was subject to various tribulations. It is sufficient, then, to relate the event with simplicity: and the pleasant land shall be consumed under his hand, or there shall be a consumption. It matters but little which way we read it as far as the sense is concerned. The angel here encourages Daniel and all others to the exercise of patience, lest they should faint under this divine scourge; for he permitted Antiochus to wander about like a robber, and to exercise severe tyranny and cruelty against the Jews. I need not discuss these events at greater length, as they are found in the Books of the Maccabees. I will only touch on one point briefly; Antiochus did not of his own accord harass the Jews by leading his army into their country, but he was stirred up by impious priests. So great was their perfidy and barbarity that they willingly betrayed God’s Temple, and exposed their nation to the most distressing calamities. That was a severe trial: hence God consulted the interests of his own worshippers by predicting events which might weaken their confidence and cause them to indulge in despair. It follows, —

DANIEL 11:17
17. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her; but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
17. Et ponet faciem suam f553 ad veniendum cum potentia totius regni, et rectitudines cum eo: f554 et faciet, et filiam mulierum dabit illi ad perdendum eam, sed non stabit ipsa, et non erit ipsa ei. f555

He here describes the second war of Antiochus against Epiphanes, who was then growing old; and so he gave, him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, hoping in this way, by subtle contrivances, to subdue the kingdom of Egypt. For he thought his daughter would remain faithful to his interests; but she rather preserved her conjugal fidelity to her husband, and hesitated not to espouse her husband’s quarrel against her father. She faithfully adhered to her husband’s interests according to her duty, and never listened to the cunning designs of Antiochus. Thus he was deprived of his expectation, and his daughter never became the means of his acquiring authority over Egypt. Before this marriage of his daughter with Ptolemy, he had tried the effect of war, bug in this he failed; and when he perceived the interposition of the Romans, he desisted from future hostilities, and consoled himself with the thought which we have already expressed, of receiving immediate assistance against Egypt through his daughter. He turns, therefore, to come with the power of his whole kingdom; meaning, he collects all his forces to overwhelm Ptolemy Epiphanes, who was then but a young man, and had neither obtained any great authority, nor arrived at sound wisdom and discretion. When he perceived his want of success in the fortune of war, he gave him the daughter of women, referring to her beauty. This is the explanation of interpreters, who suppose the phrase to imply her remarkable beauty.
As to the next clause, those who translate it, and the upright with him, think the Jews are intended, for Antiochus had received them in surrender, and there were many who openly espoused his cause. They think the Jews so called as a mark of honor, and as upright with respect to the worship of God. But This appears to me too forced. I hesitate not to suppose the angel to signify the superior character of the agreement between Antiochus and Ptolemy, when the former found the impossibility of obtaining his adversary’s kingdom by open warfare. Although the Romans had not yet sent forth any armament, yet Antiochus began to fear them, and he preferred the use of cunning in providing for his own interests. Besides this, as we lately mentioned, he was longing for other booty, for he immediately transferred the war into Greece, as the angel will inform us. But he first announces, his giving away his daughter to destroy her. He here reproves the artifice of Antiochus the Great, in thus basely selling his (laughter, as if she were a harlot. As far as he possibly could, he induced her to slay her husband either by poison or by other devices. Hence, he gave up his daughter to destroy her, but she did not stand by him, and was not for him; meaning, she did not assent to her father’s impious desires, and was unwilling to favor such monstrous wickedness. We read in profane writers the fulfillment of these predictions of the angel, and thus it more clearly appears how God placed before the eyes of the pious, a mirror in which they might behold his providence in ruling and preserving his Church. It now follows, —

DANIEL 11:18
18. After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf’ shall cause the reproach by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn.
18. Et vertet faciem suam ad insulas, et capiet multas, et quiescere faciet, hoc est, retorquebit, princeps opprobrium ejus apud ipsum. Ideo non torquebit opprobrium suum in ipsum.

There is some obscurity in these words, but the history will afterwards determine the angel’s meaning. First, as to the word “islands,” he doubtless means Asia Minor and the maritime coasts; also Greece, Cyprus, and all the islands of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a Jewish custom to call all places beyond the sea “islands,” as they were not very well skilled in navigation. Therefore he says, He will turn his face to the islands; that is, he shall turn to the opposite regions of the world. The Mediterranean Sea is known to be between Syria and Asia Minor; Cilicia, too, is between them, which was also under the dominion of Antiochus, although the seed of his power was Syria. Hence he calls Asia Minor, and Greece, and the Mediterranean islands, all “isles,” with respect to Syria and Judea. This occurred when the AEtolians renewed the war after the defeat of Philip. The Romans were the originators of this war in Greece, and they had the honorable pretext of liberating the whole of Greece after Philip of Macedon had seized upon many cities most skillfully fortified. But the Etolians were proud and puffed up with the desire of superiority, as the event ultimately proved. They boasted themselves to be the liberators of Greece; they used the help of the Romans, but professed to be the principal leaders in the war, and when they saw Chalcis and other cities held by the Romans, the spirit of envy took possession of them. Titus Flaminius withdrew his garrisons from their cities, but yet the AEtolians were not satisfied; for they wished for the sole pre-eminence and the entire departure of the Romans. With this view they sent their ambassadors to Nabis the tyrant of the Lacedaemonians, to king Philip, and also to Antiochus. Thoas was the principal author of this contention, for after stirring up the neighboring nations, he set out himself to Antiochus. When the AEtolians were puffed up by the large promises which he brought back, they expected to produce peace throughout Greece without the slightest trouble. Meanwhile Antiochus only advanced as far as Asia Minor with but a small force. He led Hannibal with him, whose fame alone inspired the Romans with dread; and had he taken his advice, he would certainly have had no difficulty in expelling the Romans. But the flatterers of His court did not allow Hannibal’s advice to prevail with this foolish king. Then Villius also cunningly rendered Antiochus suspicious of his advice: for he had been sent as ambassador into Asia Minor, had insinuated himself into his favor, and had acquired his friendship, and was so engaged in daily conference with him, that Antiochus suspected the fidelity of Hannibal to his interests. Hence he carried on that war entirely without method, or plan, or perseverance. When he arrived at Chalcis, he was smitten with the passion for a damsel there, and celebrated a foolish marriage with her, as if he had been completely at peace. Thus he had citizen of Chalcis for his father-in-law, while he was mighty monarch, unequaled by any throughout the world. Although he conducted himself thus he considerately, yet the celebrity of his fame rather than his personal exertions, enabled him at first to take many cities, not only in Asia Minor and on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, but also in Greece itself. He recovered Chalcis and other cities which had been seized upon by the Romans. The angel relates this as if the event had already occurred, and yet we are aware of them all being as yet future.
He will turn his face to the islands, and will take many, and a general shall cause him to cease, and shall turn his reproach against himself. Antiochus often fought against the Romans, and always without success, although he sometimes thought himself superior; but from the time when Attilius the prefect of the fleet intercepted his supplies, and thus stopped his progress, M. Acilius the consul began to gain the mastery by land, and his power became gradually more and more enfeebled. When conquered in a naval engagement by Livius the praetor, he suffered a severe loss, and then when too late he acknowledged his error in not obeying the counsels of Hannibal; but he had lost the opportunity of renewing the war. Hence the angel here says, A leader should make his reproach return upon himself. This signifies how Antiochus should be puffed up with foolish pride, and how his insane boastings should rebound upon his own head, as he had vomited them forth with open mouth against the Romans. When he speaks here of his disgrace, I interpret it actively, as making his reproach remain; for the word tprj cherepheth, means reproach, but there are two ways of interpreting it, actively and passively. But as I have already said, the angel more probably speaks of his foolish boasting, for he had despised the Romans with contempt and insult. We know how foolishly he insulted them by his ambassadors among all the assemblies of Greece. A leader, then, either Acilius or Lucius Scipio, who drove him beyond Mount Taurus, made his disgrace rest upon himself, and he shall not turn away his own disgrace; that is, Antiochus vomited forth his reproaches against the Romans with swollen cheeks, but with utter futility. All these disgraceful speeches came to nothing, and never injured the Romans in the least; but that leader, either Lucius Scipio or Acilius, according to my statement, returned these reproaches upon himself by which he hoped to lay the Romans prostrate, but they turned out nothing but wind. The angel therefore derides the pride of Antiochus by saying, A leader should come who should throw back these reproaches upon himself, and prevent them from returning upon either this leader or the Romans. He takes the head as representing. the whole body.
Grant, Almighty God, since it pleases thee to exercise our confidence by not allowing us any fixed or stable rest upon earth, that we may learn to rest in thee while the world rolls over and over even a hundred times. May we never doubt either our protection under thy hand, or the perpetual issue of all things in our good. Although we are not beyond the reach of darts, yet may we know the impossibility of our suffering under any deadly wound, when thou puttest forth thy hand to shield us. May we have full confidence in thee, and never cease to march under thy standard with constant and invincible courage, until at length thou shalt gather us into that happy rest which is laid up for us in heaven, by Christ our Lord. — Amen.

DANIEL 11:19
19. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble, and fall, and not be found.
19. Et vertet faciem suam ad munitiones terrae suae, et impinget, et cadet, neque invenietur.

Here either the base end of Antiochus is denoted, who was slain in a popular tumult while spoiling the temple of Belus, or else the event of the war between him and the Romans is described. This war was conducted under the auspices of Lucius Scipio, because Cneius Scipio, the conqueror of Africa, had offered himself as his brother’s lieutenant-general, and after his death that province was committed to him. But, as we have said, the resources of Antiochus had been cut off before this. He had lost, the cities of Asia, and if he had ceded them at first, he might have quietly retained the greater part of Asia Minor. But as he extended his wings over Greece, and hoped by this means to become completely master of the whole of Greece and Macedonia, he could not be induced to withdraw his garrisons from those cities, but at length was compelled to give up Asia Minor. In this way, then, the angel describes the progress of the war by saying, He will turn his face towards the fortifications of his own land; that is, when compelled to relinquish Greece, he will betake himself to fortified places. He was very safe there, and in a region sufficiently at peace; he had almost impregnable towns on all sides, and appeared to be free from warfare. Historians relate this to have been done by the skill of Cneius Scipio. For his son was then a captive under Antiochus, and he knew him to have greater authority than his brother, although he only possessed the title of lieutenant-general. They record his persuading Antiochus not to try his fortune by any decisive engagement. However it was, it is quite evident that he delayed fighting till he was compelled by a sense of shame, as all men accused him of cowardice in not daring to try the issue of an engagement, when he possessed so large an army. The Romans had scarcely ever taken the field against so strong a force, and yet, according to the narrative of Titus Livius, they never displayed less terror or concern. The extent of the forces of Antiochus is readily apparent from the slaughter which occurred; in one day 50,000 men perished; and this would be almost incredible, unless it were borne out by numerous and trustworthy testimonies. In this way the angel said, Antiochus should return, as he did not go forth to meet Lucius Scipio, but suffered him to pass on. Had he given the least sign of resistance, without doubt Philip had in iris hand and power the whole force of the Romans. Many indeed pronounced the conduct of L. Scipio to be rash, in daring to allow Philip such license, as he had been lately conquered, and was still exasperated in consequence of the loss and disgrace which he had suffered. For if Antiochus had been on the alert to restrain the enemy, it would have been all over with the Roman army in those narrow and rugged defiles; but, as we have stated, he kept his army in idleness and luxury among fortified towns. If another and a probable sense is preferred, the sentence applies to his base retreat to further Asia, where he fell, slain by the rustic population. He shall fall, and shall not be found. Antiochus in truth continued to reign from the period of the destruction of his army and of his acceptance of the conditions which the Romans imposed. He obtained peace, but not without the payment of a heavy fine while he retained the name of king. Although he united with the Romans in an honorable treaty, yet he was forced to retire beyond Mount Taurus, to pay a large sum of money on account of the expenses of the war, to give hostages, and to divide the ships equally with the Romans. In this latter case he was grossly and fraudulently deluded, for L. Scipio commanded all the ships to be cut to pieces, and delivered the materials to Antiochus, to whom they were utterly worthless. He knew the man to be deceptive and restless, and so he treated him with barbarity, according to his deserts. As far as the hostages are concerned, we find Antiochus and Demetrius his sons as hostages at Rome even after his death. He was left in peace indeed, but was deprived of the cities of Asia Minor, and was ordered to betake himself beyond Mount Taurus. Those ravines were the boundary of his empire; a part of Asia was assigned to Eumenes, and many cities became independent. Antiochus, by way of concealing his disgrace, made a joke of it, saying he had managed cleverly, for the government of Asia Minor was a great trouble to him. He had another ample and opulent kingdom with which he might well be content: I have hitherto been but a steward in Asia, he used to say, and the Romans have relieved me of that encumbrance.
When, therefore, the angel says, After his fall, he should be no longer king; this may be understood of his ignominious death which followed shortly afterwards. His avarice was insatiable, and when compelled to pay a large tribute to the Romans, he pretended to be reduced to extreme poverty; then he wished to spoil the temple of Jupiter Dodoneus, and was slain there during a tumult. This last word ought properly to be referred to this event, for King Antiochus was not found, because these rustics slew him in the tumult which arose. Thus far concerning Antiochus the Great; Seleucus now follows, who was his first successor. He had three sons, Seleucus whom many call Ceraunus, then Antiochus Epiphanes, and Demetrius. Concerning Seleucus the angel speaks as follows, —

DANIEL 11:20
20. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
20. Et stabit super locum ejus transire faciens exactorem in honore regni, f556 et diebus paucis conteretur, idque non ira, neque in praelio.

Seleucus, it is well known, did not long survive his father, for he was put to death either by poison, or by his domestics. Suspicion fell upon his brother Antiochus, who was sent back to his country after his father’s death was known. Demetrius alone was retained, who afterwards escaped by flight, for he left the city under the pretense of hunting, and followed the bank of the Tiber as far as Ostia, where he embarked on a small vessel, preferring to run all risks to remaining in perpetual banishment. Concerning Seleucus, the angel says, he shall stand in his place, meaning, he shall succeed by hereditary right to the office of Antiochus the Great. Thus he shall cause the exactor to pass over. Some translate, He shall take away the exactor; for the verb rb[ gneber, in Hiphil, signifies to take away. The Hebrews use the verb of this clause in the sense of excluding. Some interpreters think this language implies the praise of Seleucus for lessening the tributes imposed by his father, but historians shew this view to be false, and condemn his avarice and rapacity. In some points he was superior to his brother Antiochus; although both lustful and cruel to those around him. Through indulgence in great expenses, he could not be moderate and lenient towards his subjects; for luxury and prodigality always draw with them cruelty in the exaction of tribute. For he who is thus profuse, must necessarily extract the very blood from his people. As Seleucus was thus devoted to self-indulgence, this sense is more appropriate — he made the exactor to pass through, meaning, he laid new and fresh taxes on all his subjects. Nothing but this is said of him, since he was immediately put to death, as the second clause of the verse informs. us. If we prefer taking the words — the glory of the kingdom — by way of opposition, Seleucus will be praised as an honor and an ornament. But I think we must supply the letter l, l, and understand the passage thus, — He who shall cause the exactor to pass through shall stand in his place, and shall be destroyed in a few days. By the word “destroyed,” he signifies a bloody death. But not in anger, says he. I wonder why some translate it “in mutual conflict, because the Hebrews imply “anger” by this word; meaning, he should not perish in open warfare, or in the course of a battle, but by the hands of his domestics. Historians differ as to the kind of death which he died, some saying he was poisoned, and others, slain by the sword. But this difference is of no consequence. Antiochus Epiphanes next succeeds him.

DANIEL 11:21
21. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
21. Et stabit super locum ejus probrosus, et non dabunt ei f557 decorem regni, f558 et veniet cum pace, et apprehendet regnum per blanditias.

Historians agree in representing Antiochus Epiphanes to have been of a very crafty disposition, and some state his departure from Rome to have been by stealth. He was most probably dismissed by the Romans, on the news of his father’s death, as they were content with his brother Demetrius. They had other hostages besides, who were among the chief nobles of the land, as well as this third son of the king. However this was, all are agreed in relating his cunning. He was so cruel and fierce, that Polybius says he was called Epimanes by way of a nickname, and as he assumed the name of Illustrious, he was called the Madman, on account of his turbulent disposition. He was a monster puffed up with various vices; being of a slavish and flattering temperament, he endeavored to acquire the favor of Rome by artifice, as we shall afterwards discover. But when he was not actuated by fear, his cruelty and ferocity were beyond all bounds. For this reason he is called contemptible. He was held in some esteem at Rome, and was received by a portion of his people with great applause. But he was not endued with any heroic or even regal qualities, for he always flattered the Romans, and insinuated himself into the favor of the citizens in this way, until he came to his kingdom as a suppliant; and then the angel calls him a contemptible or despicable person. Another reason equally probable may be brought forward, namely, his seizing upon the throne by fraud and wickedness, after setting aside the legitimate heir. For Seleucus left a successor whom this perfidious plotter deprived of his rights, and thus fraudulently acquired the kingdom for himself. We know of what importance God makes every one’s calling, and how he restrains men from rashly arrogating anything to themselves, as they ought always to be satisfied with that station which is assigned them by God. As, therefore, Antiochus seized on the kingdom without any right to it, and drove out the lawful heir, he was contemptible before God, and would never have been king at all except; by violence and tyranny on his part, as well as by deceit. and cunning devices. I have no hesitation in stating that the angel here censures the perverse conduct of Antiochus, by calling him despised through the absence of all nobleness of feeling.
He next adds, They shall not confer upon him the honor of royalty. By these words he announces the injustice of his reign through not being chosen by the votes of the people. We have stated that the son of Seleucus ought to have reigned without any dispute, but the very person who should have been his nephew’s guardian, wickedly deprived his ward of his paternal inheritance. Hence the angel speaks of him rather as a robber than as a king, because he seized upon the kingdom, and was not elected by the popular choice. It follows, — he shall come in peace, and seize the kingdom by flatteries. This is the explanation of the last clause. It might be asked, how did he deprive his nephew of his kingdom? the reply is — he shall come peacefully, meaning, he shall lay aside everything which he was agitating in his mind, and should not openly boast of his being king, but should deceitfully act in the character of guardian until he had the power of ruining his ward. He shall come, then, peacefully, and shall seize the kingdom by flatteries. Thus we see the angel’s meaning in these words. Besides, although Daniel did not see all these things, nor even many of the chosen people, yet they tasted enough of these prophecies to satisfy them, and to banish anxiety from their minds. They were permitted to perceive God speaking through his angel, and experience taught them the truth of everything which is contained here, even if many events should be hidden from them. But it was God’s object to support the spirits of the pious, even to the advent of Christ, and to retain them in tranquillity amidst the greatest disturbances. Thus they would acknowledge the value of the promise of the Redeemer, after he had been set forth, as will be mentioned at the close of the chapter. I will now proceed to the next words.

DANIEL 11:22
22. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, the prince of the covenant.
22. Et brachia inundatione obruentur, ad verbum, inundabuntur, a conspectu ejus, et conterentur, atque etiam dux foederis.

We may naturally conjecture that the dominions of Antiochus were not immediately at peace, because a portion of his court favored the lawful heir. As it always happens in every change of government, there were many tumults in Syria before Antiochus could remove his adversaries out of his way. For although the kingdom of Egypt was then destitute of a head, as Ptolemy, called Philometor, was then only a boy, his counselors were in favor of the son of Seleucus, and so by secret supplies afforded their aid to the faction opposed to Antiochus. He had much trouble not only with his own people, but also with the neighboring nations. All pitied the lot of his ward, and his being quite undeserving of it moved many to render him every possible help. The boy was aided by the favor of Egypt, and of other nations. Thus Antiochus was subject to many severe commotion’s, but the angel announces his final conquest. The arms, he says, shall be inundated. This is a metaphorical expression; for whatever aid the son of Seleucus acquired, was not by his own efforts, for he could use none, but by that of his friends. The arms, then, meaning, all the auxiliaries which should assist in the restoration of the son of Seleucus, should be overwhelmed by an inundation. This is another metaphor, signifying, they shall be drowned as by a deluge; and by this figure the angel hints not only at the victory of Antiochus, but at its great facility. It was like a deluge, not by its own strength, but because God wished to use the hand of this tyrant in afflicting the Israelites, as we shall afterwards see, and also in harassing both Egypt and Syria. Antiochus was in truth God’s scourge, and is thus compared to a deluge. Hence he says, out of his sight. He shews the terror of Antiochus to be so great, that at his very appearance he should dispirit and prostrate his enemies, although he was without forces, and was neither a bold nor a persevering warrior.
And they shall be broken, says he, and also the leader of the covenant; meaning, Ptolemy shall take the part of His relative in vain. For the son of Seleueus was the cousin of Ptolemy Philometor, since, as we have said, Cleopatra had married Ptolemy Philopator, whence this Philometor was sprung, and Seleueus was the brother of Cleopatra. He, then, was the leader of the covenant. Ptolemy, indeed, who was but a boy, could neither undertake nor accomplish anything by his own counsel, but such was his dignity in the kingdom of Egypt, that he was deservedly called leader of the covenant, since all others followed the power of that king. The event fully proved with what ill success all who endeavored to eject Antiochus from his possessions, contended against him. It now follows, —

DANIEL 11:23
23. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
23. Et a conjunctione cum eo faciet dolum, et ascendet, et praevalebit cum exigua gente, vel, manu.

The angel points out some interruption of the wars, because Antiochus would be content for a time with Syria, and would not make an attempt of Egypt. It was a great point to repel the attempts of all those who wished to recover the rights of his nephew. There is no doubt that the whole country was impoverished and exhausted with the continual expense of these wars; for whenever fresh commotion’s arose, it was necessary to draw new levies from these provinces, and This occasioned very great expense. It is not surprising, then, if Antiochus, who was of a cunning disposition, negotiated a temporary peace with his nephew Ptolemy Philometor the king of Egypt. His sister Cleopatra still survived, and this was an honorable excuse. The angel, then, states first, the proposal of a truce leading to settled peace between the two sovereigns. He adds, however, the perfidious conduct of Antiochus in his friendships. During, or after these agreements, he shall deal treacherously with him. Although, therefore, he pretended to be the friend and ally of his nephew, yet he conducted himself deceitfully towards him. And he shall ascend, and shall prevail by a small band; meaning, he shall attack the boy suddenly. For when Ptolemy anticipated a lasting friendship with his uncle, Antiochus took the opportunity of fraudulently attacking some cities with a small force: He thus deceived his enemy, who thought all things would be tranquil with him; and so when Ptolemy had no fear of his uncle, he suddenly lost some of his cities. The angel means this; he shall rise by deceit, and shall prevail without large forces, because there shall be no suspicion of warfare. It is easy enough to oppress an enemy in a state of tranquillity, and in the absence of all fear. It is afterwards added, —

DANIEL 11:24
24. He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
24. In pace, et in pinguedinibus regionis, aut provinciae, veniet, hoc est, in deliciis, et faciet quae non fecerunt patres ejus, et patres patrum ejus: spolia et praedam, et substantiam illis dispertiet, f559 et super munitiones cogitabit cogitationes suas, idque ad tempus.

The history is here continued: The angel shews how Antiochus in a short time and with a small band should acquire many cities, as he should come in peace upon the fatness of the province, implying his oppressing them while sleeping in security. He shews also how he should become conqueror, not by any hostile invasion of Egypt, but by cunning and stealth he should deprive King Ptolemy of his cities when he least expected it. There should be no appearance of war; hence he says, he shall come in peace upon the fatness of the land. The word “fatness” is used metaphorically for “richness.” When the Egyptians supposed all danger to be far removed, and were persuaded of the friendship of Antiochus towards them, and relied on him as an ally should any adversity arise, they indulged themselves in luxuries till Antiochus came suddenly and subdued them. He next adds, He shall despise the spoil, and prey, and goods, which belonged to them. Some take the words for spoil and prey in the sense of “soldiers,” and join it with the verb rwzby ibzor, “he shall disperse,” meaning, he shall distribute their possessions among his soldiers, to conciliate their good will, and to prepare them for new wars, as we know how easily soldiers are enticed when they receive the rewards of their service; for they are actuated solely by covetousness and avarice. Some writers expound it in this way — Antiochus shall divide the prey among his soldiers, but I prefer the other sense — he shall disperse the prey, and the spoil, and the goods, of the Egyptians. After suddenly oppressing the Egyptians, he shall proceed to spoil them like a robber.
He afterwards adds, And against the fortifications shall he devise machinations, meaning, he shall lay his plans for seizing the fortified cities. For at; first he penetrated as far as certain cities, and occupied first Coelo-Syria, and afterwards Phoenica, but could not quickly possess the fortified towns; hence he deferred the execution of his plans to a more suitable time. Therefore, the angel says, he shall arrange his plans against the fortified cities, but only for the time; meaning, he shall not immediately bring forward his intentions, hoping to oppress his nephew when off his guard. Thus under the disguise of peace an access to these cities would always be open to him, and he would reconcile to himself all whom he could corrupt by either gifts or other devices. We perceive, then, how a summary is here presented to us of the arts and schemes by which Antiochus should deprive his nephew of a portion of his territory and its towns, how suddenly he should invade some of the weakest in a state of unsuspecting tranquillity; and how by degrees he should invent machinations for seizing upon the stronger towns as well as he could. He also says, for the time. The cunning and malice of Antiochus was always apparent throughout these transactions. He did not engage in open warfare, but was always endeavoring to add to his possessions by indirect frauds, — a course which was not without its success.
When it is said, He shall do what neither his fathers nor his fathers’ fathers did, this must be restricted solely to Egypt. For Seleucus the first king of Syria enjoyed a wide extent of dominion, then he prospered in warfare, and his fame flourished even to a good old age, and though at last he was unsuccessful in battle, yet on the whole he was a superior and celebrated warrior. Besides this we know him to have been one of the chief generals of Alexander the Great. As to his son Antiochus, we have previously observed the wide extent of his dominion, and how highly he was esteemed for prudence and valor. The angel does not compare Antiochus Epiphanes generally with either his fat, her, or grandfather, or great-grandfather, but only with respect to Egypt. For his ancestors always longed after Egypt, but their designs against it were entirely frustrated; he, however, was more successful in his aggression where his ancestors had failed in their attempts. Hence it becomes manifest how God overrules the events of war, so that the conqueror and the triumphant hero is not the man who excels in counsel, or in prudence, or valor, but he who fights under the heavenly leader. It pleases God at one time to afflict nations, and at another to set over them kings who are really his servants. So he wished to punish Egypt by the hands of this robber. It afterwards follows, —

DANIEL 11:25
25. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
25. Et excitabit robur suum, et cor suum adversus regem austri, cum exercitu magno: et rex austri irritabitur ad praelium cum exercitu magno, et robusto valde: et non stabit, quia cogitabunt contra eum cogitationes. f560

The angel here announces how Antiochus Epiphanes after prevailing by fraud, should become bolder in his daring. he should venture to levy a hostile army and invade Egypt openly, without any further dissimulation. He therefore says, at length he shall rouse his strength and his courage. He had previously crept along through hiding-places and fastnesses, and had. not roused either his strength or his courage when remaining quiet at home; meanwhile he obtained the possession of various towns by treachery and other artifices. This was only creeping on by burrowing underground. But he now openly declares war, and brings his forces into the field of battle, and thus stirs up his strength and his courage. As I have already said, his new method of warfare is here described as unusual with him, as his audacity, doubtless, gradually increased through that series of success which he had enjoyed, and by which he had become more powerful than his nephew, through the practice of deceit. He afterwards adds, with a great army. He had mentioned a small band, he now places opposite to it a large army; for it required a long space of time to collect extensive pecuniary resources for carrying on the war, and also for enlarging and extending his own boundaries. He was thus able to enroll fresh levies, while his prosperity induced many to become his auxiliaries. As he found himself in every way superior to his nephew, he collected a great army. The king of the south also shall be irritated; that is, he shall not dare to harass his own uncle Antiochus, but shall be forced to open warfare. He shall come, then, with a great army, very great, strong, and powerful, says he, but he shall not stand, because they shall devise devices against him; meaning, he shall be conquered by treachery. Here the angel signifies that Ptolemy should have sufficient courage to resist, had he not been betrayed by his adherents. We shall more clearly perceive this in the next verse to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, that we may remain quiet under thy shelter and protection, hi the midst of those numerous disturbances which thou ever submittest to our eyes in this world. May we never lose our courage when an occasion is given to Satan and our enemies to oppress us, but may we remain secure trader thy protection, and every hour and every moment may we fly to thy guardianship. Relying on thine unconquered power, may we never hesitate so to pass through all commotion’s, as to repose with quiet minds upon thy grace, till at length we are gathered into that happy and eternal rest which thou hast prepared for us in heaven, by Jesus Christ our Lord. — Amen.

DANIEL 11:26
26. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow; and many shall fall down slain.
26. Et qui comedent portionem cibi ejus, conterent eum, et exercitus ejus obruetur, et cadent vulnerati multi.

The angel predicted, yesterday, that Ptolemy should not stand forth in battle, through the treachery of his own adherents. He now expresses the kind of treachery, for his chief courtiers or counselors should be the authors of this perfidy. He opposes the common soldiers to their leaders, for in the second clause, he shews how the soldiers should discharge their duty without sparing either their life or their blood. We now understand the Holy Spirit’s intention in this verse, for he says the authors of this perfidy should not be ordinary men, but the chief among the counselors. They are said to eat at the king’s table, as in the first chapter we saw how a portion was given to Daniel, and to his companions, from the royal food at the king’s table. Thus he shews how dishonorable this perfidy was, as they eat at his table, and were his intimate companions. They shall destroy him, says he, and his army shall be overwhelmed. He shews that many were prepared for this duty, who would boldly and freely expose their lives to danger for their king’s safety and their country’s defense, but many should fall wounded. He signifies that there should be a great slaughter in his army, and the issue of the battle would not be according to his wish, because his generals would not preserve their fidelity to their sovereign. By this example the angel describes to us the ordinary situation of kings. They choose their counselors not by their honesty, but by the mere appearance of congeniality in their affections and tastes. If a king is avaricious, or cunning, or cruel, or sensual, he desires to have friends and attendants who will not check either his avarice or his craftiness, his cruelty or his lust. Hence they deserve the conduct which they receive, and experience treachery from those whom they ought not to treat with so much honor, if they considered themselves in duty bound to God and to their people. It now follows,-

DANIEL 11:27
27. And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and in they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for the end shall be at the time appointed.
27. Et duorum regum cor ipsorum, hoc est, et cor his duobus regibus, in malum: et in mensa eadam, una, mendacium loquentur, et non prospere eveniet, quia adhuc finis ad tempus statutum.

The angel here narrates that the close of this war should be by treaties and a hollow pretense of peace after the slaughter which Ptolemy had sustained. Although Antiochus might have followed up his own good fortune, yet he durst not venture to push his advantage to the extremity, but according to his disposition, he thought it more to his interest to make peace with his enemy. We have already alluded to his craftiness and his want of openness and integrity. The angel predicts the existence of bad faith in both these kings; the uncle and nephew will meet, says he, and sup together, and pretend the greatest friendship, but they shall speak lies, says he, at the same table; meaning, they shall plot against each other, and each shall act fraudulently for his own ends. This prophecy indeed seems to be of little consequence to the faithful; but it was needful to shew that in such a state of confusion they could not hold out without being furnished with all kinds of support. If the angel had only said generally, first there shall be war, and then a temporary peace, this would not have been sufficient to sustain the minds of the pious; but when the details are so clearly pointed out, a remarkable confirmation is afforded them. Thus the faithful have no reason for doubting that God has spoken, when the angel predicts the future so exactly, and so openly narrates it, as if a matter of history.
He next adds, Yet it shall not prosper, because the end is for the time, says he. The angel recalls the faithful to the providence of God, as our minds always naturally rest in the midst of earthly things. We apprehend with our minds only as far as we see with our eyes. We always ask the reasons “why this happens” and “why that course of proceeding has not turned out well,” entirely omitting the will of God. Hence the angel meets this fault and stupidity of men by saying, that whatever these kings were plotting should fail of success, since the end was for the time; meaning, God would hold many occurrences in suspense. While, therefore, we are considering only second causes, we perceive how the supreme power resides with God alone, and he governs by his will the mutual transactions of mankind. No slight advantage would result to the faithful from this instruction, because, while kings are devising many schemes, and using great cunning and all the perverse artifices of diplomacy, God still restrains their minds. He holds events by his secret bridle, and allows nothing to happen without his heavenly decree. Although we may gather this general instruction from this passage, yet the angel doubtless restricts what I have said to the historical events immediately before us. The end had not yet approached, yet the fitting time was fixed beforehand by God’s secret counsel, so that Antiochus conquers at one period and retreats at another, as we shall see. It follows: —

DANIEL 11:28
28. Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
28. Et revertetur in terram suam cum opibus magnis, et cor ejus ad foedus sanctitatis, et faciet, et revertetur in terram suam.

Here the angel predicts the calamitous nature of that peace for the people of God, because Antiochus should turn his arms against Jerusalem and the whole Jewish people. It is said, He shall return to his own land, because he shall not possess Egypt. This return implies the victory of Antiochus, and yet his betaking himself within the boundaries of his own realm. When he adds, with great pomp, or great riches, he shews the source whence that wealth should be derived, — his heart should be against the holy covenant. He partially destroyed Jerusalem and the temple of God. He was compelled to leave the temple and many treasures, through either shame, or reverence, or a miracle, as we read in the 2nd Book of Maccabees (Maccabees 5:2.) He would willingly have stripped the whole temple, but God then restrained him, while he had gathered for himself great wealth. Hence the angel joins the two events, he should return to Syria with great wealth, and his heart should be against the holy covenant. Some refer this to persons, as if the angel meant the people who were in covenant with God. But the simpler sense pleases me better, — he should carry on war against God, because he was not enriched with such ample spoils as he had expected. We have mentioned his making peace with his enemy: lest, therefore, this expedition should be fruitless, he spoiled the temple of God. Thus his heart was elated against God and against his holy covenant. The other exposition is too cold and too forced.
And he shall do it and shall return to his own land. This return at the end of the verse is taken in a different sense from that at the beginning, as now he should use his own will as a conqueror, and no one should oppose his arrival in his own territories. These two expressions are to be read together, — he shall do it and return to his own dominions. The meaning of the word for “do” we have already explained. The angel signifies the absence of every obstacle which could prevent the destruction of the city and temple by Antiochus. This was a severe trial, and would cause the minds of the faithful to be disturbed and tossed about because God gave up his temple to this cruel tyrant, and permitted the sacred vessels and the hidden treasures to be carried off with the greatest ignominy. It was necessary, then, to inform the faithful beforehand of this grievous slaughter, lest its novelty should astonish them and overthrow the constancy of their faith. Hence we gather this practical instruction — God often predicts many sorrowful events for us, and yet this instruction ought not to embitter our feelings; for he wishes to fortify us against the trial which the novelty of the event, must occasion. Thus the angel, while treating of occurrences by no means agreeable, was a useful herald of all the calamities which must happen, lest anything unusual or unexpected should fall upon the pious. Thus they would acknowledge the affliction to proceed from God’s hand; and while they were exposed to the lust of Antiochus, yet God by his certain and incomprehensible counsel allowed much license to this impious tyrant. It afterwards follows

DANIEL 11:29-30
29. At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
29. Ad tempus revertetur et veniet in AEgyptum: et non erit ut prius, it a posterius. f561
30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
30. Et venient contra eum naves Cithim, et debilitabitur, f562 et revertetur, et indignabitur adversus foedus sanctitatis, et faciet, et revertetur, et intelliget, f563 ad desertores foederis sanctitatis.

First of all, the angel says, Antiochus should return a short time afterwards and take possession of Egypt. This was the fruit of that pretended peace and perfidious friendship which has already been mentioned. For the uncle and nephew banqueted together in mutual distrust, as the angel has already stated, and as we found in the 27th verse of this chapter. This deception was shortly afterwards dissolved, when Antiochus, without any reasonable impulse, returned to Egypt. In this way he shewed his want of nothing but an opportunity for breaking the truce, and he only delayed it for a time, because he had no wish to oppress his nephew in haste. This, then, is one point. We may take the word d[wm mogned, “time,” for a period divinely predetermined; but. as this explanation may seem too forced, I am contented with the common one. He shall return, then, for a time, and shall come, says he, to Egypt; but the latter exposition shall not be like the former; for the whole preparation for war which had struck such terror into Egypt should lose its effect. He had seized on a portion of the kingdom, and King Ptolemy Philometor was besieged when Publius Popilius arrived, of whom the angel will presently speak. For the cause of his return is added, — ships shall come from Chittim. We have explained this word elsewhere. By comparing all the passages of Scripture in which the word occurs, we shall find all the Gentiles denoted by it, from Macedon through the whole of Greece, as far as Illyricum and Italy. The ancients used another term for the Macedonians; they call them Maketoe, and some think the letter M a useless addition. But whether this be so or not, the circumstances shew the Macedonians, and Greeks, and other transmarine nations, to have been called Chittim. If any one still disputes about this word, let us desist from all contention; still, we cannot help observing what the perpetual tenor of Scripture enables us to discover, — that the Macedonians, Greeks, and Italians are included under this term. This passage is free from all doubt, because Antiochus was restrained not by the Greeks but by the Romans. Ambassadors were sent by them, not for this purpose alone, but to investigate the whole state of Greece and Asia Minor. The affairs of Greece were then very unsettled, and the Romans were turning their attention towards Achaia, for they thought the Achaean league would become too powerful. Among these ambassadors was P. Popilius, a stern man, as we may venture to conjecture, but austere and barbarous. When he met with Antiochus, who was then besieging Alexandria, and held the boy-king in captivity, he addressed him after his own manner. King Antiochus received him graciously, and mildly, and even blandly, and wished even to salute him, for, as we have already stated, his disposition was naturally servile. Popilius rejected all these advances, and ordered him to keep his familiarities for private intercourse; for Antiochus had been intimate with him when a hostage at Rome, during his father’s lifetime. He rejected all these acts of courtesy, and explained to him the commands of the Senate, and ordered him instantly to depart from Egypt. The king said he would consult with his friends. But he was unable to lay aside his accustomed sternness; he drew a circle with the wand which he held in his hand, and ordered the king to summon his counselors, and to deliberate on the spot, otherwise he must declare war at once. When the king perceived this barbarian acting so decisively, he dared no longer to hesitate or dissemble, but threw himself at once into the power of the Senate, and suddenly retired from the country. This history is now described by the angel. All these events were as yet unperformed, but God set before the eyes of the pious what was then entirely concealed and contrary to the expectation of mankind. The angel therefore states the reason wily that expedition of Antiochus should be quite unlike the last one. There shall come against him, says he, ships of Chittim, meaning Italy, and he shall grieve and return; that is, he shall obey, although he shall feel indignant at such imperious treatment, and be compelled to retreat with every mark of disgrace. It was unworthy of a king to demean himself so humbly at the mere word of his adversary.
This accounts for his indignation: But he shall return and be indignant against the covenant of holiness; meaning, he shall turn his rage against the temple and city of God. This second return involved the Jews in a far longer period of slaughter than the former one. Antiochus was then unwilling to return home, unless laden with spoil, after pretending to establish peace; but now he was compelled to retreat with great disgrace, and this only exasperated and enraged him. Hence he acted most outrageously towards both the people and the temple of God. Thus the angel says, He shall be indignant against the holy covenant, and shall do so and return. He repeats the same language twice as if he had said, Antiochus should return to Syria without effecting his object, through obeying the Roman Senate, or rather his old friend whom he had known at Rome. We have already stated the reason, which we shall afterwards more fully explain, why the angel predicted the fury of the king as turned against the holy covenant. It is this, — the confidence of the pious would naturally be injured by observing the divine permission granted to the tyrant for spoiling the temple.
He next adds, And he shall act with intelligence towards the forsakers of the holy covenant. The angel here points out the manner in which secret agreements should take place between Antiochus and those apostates who should desert God’s holy covenant. It is quite clear that he was summoned to Jerusalem, first, by Jason, and then by Menelaus. (2 Maccabees 4:19-23.) I shall touch but briefly events recorded in history. Profane authors inform us accurately of these occurrences, and besides this, a whole book of Maccabees gives us similar information, and places clearly before us what the angel here predicts. Every one who wishes to read these prophecies with profit, must make himself familiar with these books, and must try to remember the whole history. Onias the elder was a holy man; his son has been previously mentioned. (2 Maccabees 3:1.) For, with the view of escaping from snares, he set out for Egypt and built a temple, as Josephus informs us, and pretended to fulfill that passage in Isaiah which says, There shall be an altar to God in Egypt. But Onias the elder, who discharged faithfully and sacredly the office of high priest, was put to flight, and eventually put to death. Then Jason, whom he had sent to appease Antiochus, assumed the high priesthood, and betrayed the temple and the whole nation, as well as the worship of God. (2 Maccabees 4:35-37; also 7.) He afterwards met with the reward which he deserved, for he was slain, and then Menelaus succeeded him, and conciliated the favor of Antiochus. (2 Maccabees 5:9; 4:27.) The authority of the priesthood prevailed so far as to enable him to draw with him a great portion of the people. Here, then, the angel predicts how Antiochus, on approaching the city, should have deserters and apostates as His companions. The words are, He shall apply his mind to the forsakers of the holy covenant, and the sense is by no means obscure. Antiochus should not make open war against the Jews, but one faction should go forth to meet him and ingratiate themselves with him. I run through these events briefly, because when I afterwards arrive at a general summary, it will be far more convenient to elicit the general improvement. The angel says next:

DANIEL 11:31-32
31. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
31. Et brachia ab ispso stabunt, et profanabunt sanctuarium roboris, aut virtutis, et abolebunt juge, sacrificium scilicet, et ponent abominationem quae obstupefaciet. f564
32. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
32. Et impie agentes contra foedus abducet in errorem blanditiis, f565 et populus intelligentes f566 Deum suum roborabuntur et facient.

Here the angel describes the intestine evils of the Church, and more fully explains what he touched on in the last verse. He says, The arms shall stand up for Antiochus. Some explain this of the garrison which that tyrant imposed on Jerusalem. But it is seems too far-fetched. I do not hesitate to suppose the angel to refer here to the apostates and forsakers of the Law. Arms, then, shall stand up from him, meaning, he shall not contend in his own strength, but shall rely upon the people’s assistance. Many should offer themselves in obedience to him, and thus Antiochus would find a party devoted to himself at Jerusalem, which should willingly prostitute itself to his will. He afterwards adds, They shall profane the sanctuary of strength. The angel here joins together Antiochus and these impious apostates. (2 Maccabees 5:2.) To favor him, the temple is said to be polluted, and this was fulfilled when the statue of Jupiter Olympius was erected there. The tyranny and violence of Antiochus continued long afterwards, as we shall see in its own place. He brought the statue of the Olympian Jove into the temple, for the purpose of overthrowing the worship of God, and then he introduced other corruption’s, which vitiated the purity of God’s service. He might in one moment have overthrown the whole Law, but he first tried to mingle many superstitions with God’s Law, and thus to estrange the Jews by degrees from true and sincere piety. The angel speaks of the sanctuary of power, to shew the faithful that Antiochus is not the conqueror of God, who was never deprived of his power, but continued the guardian and keeper of his temple even unto the end. He uses this epithet for the temple, to assure the pious that God had not given way to the violence of the tyrant. His authority stood untouched and untainted, although his temple was exposed to such foul pollution.
Lastly, he wished the faithful to retain by this teaching a sense of God’s unconquered power in choosing that temple for his dwelling-place, although for a time Antiochus was so insulting, and was permitted to profane it with his impious crew. This instruction urged the pious to look upon God’s power with the eye of faith, although it was then hidden from their view, and was trampled under foot by the impious in the pride of their audacity. Sorrowful indeed was the spectacle of this statue erected within the temple, for God, according to our previous statement, promised to be the defender of that sacred mountain. When the impious were raging thus insultingly, who would not have thought God to be altogether conquered and unable to defend his residence any longer? The angel then here encourages the faithful to cultivate far different thoughts from those suggested by the prospect before them. The temple, then, seemed weak and deprived of every protection, and yet with respect to God it was still a sanctuary of strength. He next adds, And they shall abolish the continual sacrifice, which really occurred; but I pass it over shortly now, as I shall have another opportunity of explaining it suitably and fully. And they shall place, or set up, that abomination which shall cause astonishment. For who would not have been astonished when he saw the temple deserted by the Almighty? For if God cared for the temple services, why did he not resist rage like this? Why did he suffer himself to be subjected to such disgraceful indignity? The angel meets such temptations as these by saying, even if the very best men are astonished at such disgrace, yet nothing happens by chance; for God had already foreseen and decreed all things. They would not have been predicted, unless God had wished to prove the people’s faith, and to exact the penalty for their ingratitude. But I cannot complete the subject to-day.
Grant, Almighty God, that as we are instructed by thy Spirit and armed by thy sacred teaching, we may carry on the war bravely with open enemies and with all who boldly oppose true religion. May we also constantly despise all domestic foes and apostates, and resist them manfully. May we never be disturbed, even if various tumults should arise in thy Church. May we fix our eyes upon thee, and always expect a happier issue than appears possible at the time, until at length thou shalt fulfill thy promises. And may all events which now seem contrary to us, issue in our salvation, when thy Son our Redeemer shall appear. — Amen.
We stated in the last Lecture, the seriousness of the test by which God proved the faithfulness of his people, in allowing Antiochus such unbounded liberty to pollute the Temple, and to abolish, for a time, all the sacrifices and services. He next set up in the midst of the Temple that abomination which cast down the spirits of the pious; for that prodigy could not be witnessed without the most profound astonishment. No one could suppose it possible, that God would expose his own sanctuary to such dishonor, as it was the only one which he had chosen in the whole world. It now follows, And he shall deceive the transgressors of the covenant with blandishment, but a people knowing their God will retain it firmly and practice it. Here Daniel more clearly expresses what he had previously said of the corruption and overthrow of God’s worship, as Antiochus should enticingly win over to himself a perfidious portion of those who were nominally, at, least, God’s people. He thus repeats what we observed before. These hypocrites were like the arms of Antiochus; for had he captured the city by the force of arms, still he would not have dared to offer these insults to God’s Temple, unless he had received assistance from those apostates who rejected all fear of the Almighty, and whom ambition and avarice alone had impelled to unite with that impious tyrant, who was the avowed and professed enemy of their religion. The angel, then, here confirms what he had previously said, shewing how the wicked and impious despisers of the covenant should be tools in the hand of this robber. For the first word of verse 32 is derived from [çr reshegn, “to do wickedly,” and refers to that special act of sinfulness, their despising God’s covenant. This refers to those intestine enemies who had previously boasted themselves to be sons of Abraham, and who were masked by circumcision, the sign of that covenant. He does not here point out any of the mere dregs of the people, but the impious priests, Menelaus, Jason, and others like them, as the passage has already been explained. He says then, these should be deceived by the blandishments of Antiochus. He doubtless offered to the priests and to others what he thought they would value most; one he set over the Temple, another he deceived with vain and fallacious promises for a time, by distributing a variety of gifts among them. In this way he corrupted them all by his flatteries. To these the Prophet opposes the sincere worshippers of God, and the Hebrew copula ought to be understood here as implying this contrast. He had already spoken of many as deceived by vain promises, and had called them transgressors of the covenant: he now adds, But the people who know God shall strengthen themselves and shall do it. The angel means that the perfidy of those of whom he had spoken, should not prevail with the pious to lead them into the same alliance of wickedness, and to hurl them headlong into the same snares. Although such was the perfidy of these revolters, yet all who know God, says he, shall strengthen themselves.
This passage is specially worthy of notice, as experience teaches how very few stand their ground, when many fall away. The example of one often draws with it a hundred into the same rule; but the constancy of a hundred is scarcely sufficient to retain one in his position. In this case we behold the depth of our natural depravity. For we are not only moved, but shaken by the very slightest breezes, and even when God sets before us a firm resting-place, still we do not cease our vacillation. When an Apostle sets before us the examples of the saints, he says, a cloud of witnesses is ever gazing upon us, with the view of retaining us in the fear of God, and in the pure confession of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1.) But that cloud vanishes too soon from our view. Meanwhile, if any trifler whom we know to be a man of no weight, and whom we have ourselves condemned, — if such a one should decline even so little from the right way, we think such an example sufficient to excuse us. Wherefore, I had good reason for stating how this passage lays open to us our perverse and malignant disposition. We can scarcely be attracted towards God by a multiplicity of appliances, but we are easily dragged towards the devil to our own destruction. Hence we ought diligently to meditate upon this passage, and continually to reflect upon the Prophet’s language. Although apostates may be deceived by flatteries and reject God’s worship, betray the Church and throw off all semblance of piety, yet all the pious shall stand fast in the faith. Let no one therefore quote the example of the thoughtless to excuse his fault, if he trait are the perfidious, the double-minded, and the hypocritical. The angel here depicts to us a picture of the Church, by shewing how many should prove backsliders; but this levity, inconsistency, and perfidy ought never to be an obstacle to the foes of God to impede their progress in faith and piety.
We should also notice the epithet which designates the pious. They are called a people knowing their God. The people may be supposed to mean the vulgar, but this is forced. It may also be simply opposed to the profane Gentiles; but I think there is here an implied contrast between the true and genuine sons of Abraham, and the false Israelites, who boasted themselves to be members of the Church when they had nothing but the empty title. For in the prophets as in the writings of Moses, the name “people” is often used in a favorable sense for that elect nation which God had adopted as peculiarly his own. All the Israelites who were descendants of Abraham after the flesh, used to boast with much vanity in their being the elect people, and thus the word was ever on their lips. Wherefore the Prophet reproves the foolish boasting of those who were a. accustomed to shelter themselves under the name of God, and without having anything real in themselves. Hence the people, meaning God’s people, shall strengthen themselves; but, by way of correcting any erroneous view, he adds, who shall know God, as in the 73d Psalm, (<197301>Psalm 73:1) How good is the God of Israel to those who are upright in heart! Here the Prophet restricts the name of Israel to the elect sons of Abraham who cultivate piety seriously and heartily, as it had become a prevalent habit carelessly to misuse this name of God. So here, the people who shall know their God, means his true people — those whom he acknowledges as his elect. The angel here makes a distinction between the pious sons of Abraham and the pious worshippers of God. It is worthy of careful observation, that the angel assigns their knowledge of God as the cause and foundation of their constancy. How then, we may ask, does it come to pass, that some few are left, when the apostates thus prostitute themselves? Because their knowledge of God shall prevail, and enable them to overcome these attacks, and bravely to repel them, and to become superior to any temptations. We see, then, the source whence our own fortitude is derived — the knowledge of God. This acknowledgment is no vain and cold imagination, but springs from that faith which spreads its living root in our hearts. Hence it follows, we do not really acknowledge God, unless we boldly contend when we are put to the test, and remain firm and stable, although Satan endeavors, by various machinations, to weaken our faithfulness. And unless we persist in that firmness which is here described, it is quite clear, that God has never been truly and really acknowledged by us. The relation too is not without its weight in the phrase, the people who shall know their God. Here is a silent reproof, since God revealed himself to the Israelites as far as was sufficient to retain their allegiance. No one, therefore, could offer any excuse without being guilty of impiety, sacrilege, and perfidy, after being so fully instructed by the Law and the prophets. This instruction must now be applied to our own times.
We observe in these days how many fall off from the Church. Persecution sifts all those who profess to belong to Christ, and thus many are winnowed like chaff, and but a small portion remain steadfast. Their backsliding ought not to overthrow our faithfulness when they so carelessly forsake all piety, either through being enticed by the allurements of Satan, or deceived by the conduct of the ungodly. Let us bear in mind the assertion of the angel, and thus the true knowledge of God will reign supreme in our hearts, and we shall still proceed in the course we have pursued. And to shew how consistently the faithful progress in the teaching of the Law and the Gospel, he says, they shall strengthen themselves and shall do it. Here the word “to do” is taken in the sense of to “execute“exploiter,” as we say in France; meaning, they shall summon their courage to discharge their duty; for the word “to do,” or “to execute,” is referred to the vocation of the pious; they should not be sluggish or slothful in the discharge of their duty, says the Prophet, but should gather courage for these contests. And whence? from the acknowledgment of God. We observe, too, that faith is no idle feeling or cold imagination, lying suffocated in our minds, but an energizing principle. For we may say that from faith springs strength, and from strength execution, and thus we avoid all slothfulness hi our calling. It follows —

DANIEL 11:33-34
33. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
33. Et intelligentes populi docebunt multos, et cadent in gladio, et flamma, et exilio, vel, captivitate, et direptione, diebus multis.
34. Now, when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
34. Et in cadendo, f567 juvabuntur auxilio f568 modico: et adjungent se illis multi in blanditiis.

With reference to the words, they mean, those who shall be taught among the people shall make many understand. Some take the first word of the verse transitively, as “those who shall instruct,” but this is wrong; and they shew their ignorance by supposing the relative pronoun understood before the next verb, as if it were, “and those who shall teach.” The simple sense is, “Those who shall be wise among the people shall teach many.” Here the Prophet, under the angel’s guidance, predicts the multitude of apostates as well as the existence of some of an opposite character, who should retain the people within the pure worship and fear of God. Without doubt, he speaks specially of the priests. The greater part were defaulters, and they implicated the foolish vulgar in their wickedness. We observe similar effects at this day in the Papacy, as they corrupt the whole world by their sacrifices. At that time the priests laid snares for the people, and drew them almost all with them into the same impiety. The angel here allows the existence of some wise men among the people; I do not restrict this entirely to the priests, although I suppose the angel to begin with them. A small portion of them taught the truth, and God joined a party with them, but yet the angel predicts the existence of another remnant. Yet afterwards, in the second place, he embraces others who were truly proficient in God’s law, and although the obligations of the priesthood did not bind them, yet they labored to recall the wandering into the way of salvation. He says, then, Whosoever should be skillful should teach many. There is also here a tacit contrast between the honest servants of God and those fictitious teachers who pride themselves on their titles; as we observe an instance of this in these days in the Papacy. For bishops and cardinals, abbots and pretenders of this kind, strut about with insolence and stupefy the miserable vulgar. What? do not we represent the Church? Is not judgment with us, as well as the interpretation of the Law and of Scripture? As, therefore, in these times these impostors arrogate to themselves all knowledge and wish to be thought equal to the angels, so we know it came to pass among the ancient people. The Prophet, therefore, here chastises that foolish confidence by saying, Those who shall be understanding among the people; meaning, the truly wise. As if he had said, those masked hypocrites acquire reputation for themselves, but without the slightest reason. God considers those only intelligent who remain in the pure doctrine of his Law, and practice piety with simplicity and sincerity. Hence he calls these, the intelligent among the people. He repeats the word “people,” in the same sense as before, implying that all who use this name are not true Israelites before God, as true knowledge of him is required. What kind of knowledge or skill is meant, we easily ascertain from the next verse. For all knowledge which men think they possess without this acquaintance with God, is nothing but vanity. These, therefore, shall teach many. This prediction of the angel not only asserts the existence of some among the people who should remain constant amidst such grievous assaults, and should preserve the integrity of their faith, but says they should be the directors of others; as if he had said, God will grant to each of his elect, not only the power of a bold resistance and of preserving himself pure and uncontaminated amidst every corruption, but at the same time he will render these good men the supporters of others, either in preventing their decline, or if they have fallen off, in bringing them back into the right path.
Lastly, the angel signifies how small a seed God should preserve in his Church as the teachers and rulers of others, though but few in number; as Isaiah says, God shall consume his people, but that consumption should leave some remnant, and then it shall flow forth. (Isaiah 10:22.) The sentiment of this passage is the same; even if many should degenerate and depart from the faith, and this spirit should extend to the whole people, yet some few should stand firm perhaps ten in a thousand — and these should be God’s ministers in gathering together a new Church; and thus the land which was formerly sterile, should profit by this irrigation and produce new seed. Those, therefore, who shall be wise among the people shall teach many. While the angel is here predicting the future, we ought to take to ourselves this admonition: the more each of us becomes a proficient in the faith, the more he ought to exert his utmost endeavors to teach his rude and ignorant neighbors according to this exhortation of the angel. God does not stretch forth his hand to us to lead each of us to follow his own course, but to assist others and to advance their spiritual progress. We read therefore here, a condemnation of the slothfulness of those on whom God has bestowed much knowledge and faith, when they fail to use the trust committed to them for the edification of their brethren. This prediction of the angel ought to influence each of us, as a law and rule, to seek the profit of his brethren according to the measure of his intelligence. The angel adds, — these should not be teachers of shadows, who prescribe men’s duty at their ease, and dispute without inconvenience, danger, or personal trouble, about what is right in itself and pleasing to God, but they should be strenuous warriors for the truth. Here, therefore, the angel joins his instruction with fortitude, as by this measure it would overcome all dangers, anxieties, and terrors. The passage becomes, in this way, most useful to us in these days, if we only learn to reflect upon what God delivers to us by his angel and his prophet. In conclusion then, the angel demonstrates how God never approves of any teachers as true and legitimate, unless they deliver their message as if ready to defend it, and prepared to seal it with their blood whenever it shall be necessary. We must read the two clauses together, Those who teach many the worship of God shall fall by the sword and the flame; meaning, they would rather fall or perish a hundred times by the sword and the flame than desist from their office of teaching. Besides, the angel here mentions the various kinds of death, for the sake of exhortation; for, had he mentioned only the sword, he would not have fully expressed the usefulness of this instruction. Whatever teachers God sets over his Church, they are not fully proved in the discharge of their duty by overcoming a single form of temptation, but they must contend with foes on the right hand and on the left, and must not allow the variety of their perils to weaken either their constancy or their fortitude. If the sword threaten them on one side, and fire on the other, — if they must suffer the spoiling of their goods and banishment from home, nevertheless these teachers must persevere in their course. We observe, then, the multiplicity of conflicts here enumerated by the angel, to teach us the strength of the grace of the Spirit in supporting the teachers and rulers of the Church, and in preventing them from yielding to any temptations while contending even with the sword, and fire, and exile, and the spoiling of their goods.
He adds, And that too for many days. This circumstance possesses great weight, as we observe many endure for a time with a manly and intrepid courage, who afterwards languish, and then vanish away and become utterly unlike their former selves. The angel, however, here promises to those who should be sustained by the Spirit of God an invincible constancy. They should gather fresh courage for fresh conflicts, not only for a single day, or month, or year, but it should never fail them. He adds next, And when they shall fall, or shall have fallen, they shall be strengthened, or assisted, with a small help. Without the slightest doubt, the angel here speaks of the Maccabees, by whose assistance the faithful were gathered together and completely separated from those apostates who had betrayed God’s temple and worship. He calls the help small, and truly it was so. For what could the Maccabees do to resist Antiochus? The powerful influence of this king is well known; and what was Judea when compared with Syria? The Jews indeed had destroyed their own power; we have already seen how they violated treaties, and corrupted the majority of their own people. there was neither skill, nor plan, nor concert among them. The help, then, was small, which God sent them. But then the angel shews how God would afford succor to his people when in distress, and allow them some alleviation from the cruelty of the tyrant.
He adds next, Many shall join themselves to them by flatteries. Even from this small number the angel cuts off the greater part, and informs them of the miserable condition of the Church, because very few should dare to oppose the madness of the tyrant, and out of these few many should be hypocrites. The whole of this chapter must be interpreted of Antiochus, and yet doubtless God wishes to promote our improvement by these prophecies. They belong equally to us; for as God governs his Church in a variety of ways, so he always sustains it under its various crosses and trials.
Besides this, the old enemy the devil, who formerly opposed the Church, is equally troublesome to us. He assails us partly by enemies without and partly by enemies within. Such teaching as this was useful, not only to the ancients, but, to us also in the present day. First of all, the angel predicts the assistance to be received by the faithful as small. Let us learn, then, when God wishes to succor and to help us, — that he does not always exert the fullness of his power. He does not thunder from heaven and overthrow our enemies by the first stroke of his lightning; but he enables us to contend successfully with our cross, and thus we are far separated from the reprobate by our firmness in resistance. Again, from the second clause we must notice the absolute certainty of many hypocrites being found mingled with the souls of God, and when God purges his Church, but a small portion will remain sincere, just as in these days the very counterpart of this prophecy is exhibited before our eyes. The whole Papacy is called the Church of God; we are but few in number, and yet what a mixture exists even among us? How many in these days profess attachment to the Gospel, in whom there is nothing either solid or sincere! If God should search narrowly into small Churches, still among these few, some would be found deceivers. It never has been otherwise, or shall be different. until the end of the world. Here, then, we are admonished to desire, as far as lies in our power, the purity of the Church, and to avoid all impurity, because, in desiring auxiliaries too eagerly on the pressure of any urgent necessity, we shall be certain to become sprinkled with many stains which may ultimately cover us with confusion. The angel doubtless here reproves a fault in the conduct of the Maccabees. Although God stirred them up to afford some consolation to his Church, their proceedings are not to be approved; for it does not follow that all their actions were praiseworthy because their cause was pious and holy. But I must defer this subject till to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, as at this day thou dost try the faith of thy people by many tests, that they may obtain strength from the unconquered fortitude of thy Holy Spirit. May we constantly march under thy standard, even to the end, and never succumb to any temptation. May we there join intelligence with zeal in building up thy Church: as each of us is endowed with superior gifts, so may he strive for the edification of his brethren with greater boldness, manliness, and fervor, while he endeavors to add numbers to the cause. And should the number of those who are professed members of thy Church diminish, yet may some seed always remain, until abundant produce shall flow forth from it, and such fruitfulness arise as shall cause thy name to be glorified throughout the whole world, in Jesus Christ our Lord. — Amen.
We began yesterday to explain what the angel said about the future persecution of the Church, and its subsequent consolation. He first shewed how all the intelligent among the people should be subject to the cruelty of their enemies, in consequence of their manly perseverance in teaching others. We have shewn how inefficient those teachers whom God has set over his Church would be, if they discharged their duties at ease and in the shade, and were unprepared to undergo all contests, and intrepidly to expose their lives to a variety of dangers. This, then, is a living and efficacious method of touching, when we do not cease to discharge our duties in the midst of sword and flame. But, on the other hand, we must notice how much this instruction is sought for when these fatal conflicts arise. Many in these days listen to our instruction concerning Christ; only they must continue without injury or annoyance. We observe many greedily drinking in the evangelical doctrines; but yet when anything disperses the crowd they flee immediately, and with as little consideration as when they first joined the assembly. That conduct which we daily observe was equally common in former times. Clearly enough this fault has been rampant throughout all ages, and it is innate in men not only to escape the cross and all things vexatious, but especially to disclose their own infirmities, because they are unwilling to undergo any danger for the worship of God and the free confession of the truth. This passage, then, must be noticed, since the Prophet not only exhorts the learned and the wise to instruct others, but he prescribes a rule for the infirm and unlearned, urging them to strengthen theme-selves against all temptations, when they see all things in confusion, and Satan plotting for the complete annihilation of piety. As this is the angel’s language, we must diligently notice the circumstances of the times, for he was not here instituting a peaceful school, and discoursing like philosophers at their ease concerning virtue without any practical contest; but he enforces the duty of both learning and teaching, even if a variety of deaths should be placed before our eyes. He speaks next, as I have lately stated, the language of consolation. God shews how he would afford help to his elect, although it might possibly seem of no consequence to them. For he dwells on the smallness of the assistancewhich literally happened. Without doubt the angel referred to Mattathias and his sons, usually called the Maccabees. (1 Maccabees 2:1.) A restriction is put upon that help by an allusion to the members who should prove hypocritical out of that small band. We are fully aware how the Church would be reduced in its extent, for all would not prove sound in the faith, but the greater part would be drawn aside by those fallacies which the angel here calls blandishments. This was a very grievous trial to the faithful when they perceived their own fewness and weakness in the face of their enemies. Besides, they dared not trust those allies who had pledged their faith to them and made wonderful promises, since many were deceived by these flatteries, and abandoned the cause through want of sincerity of mind.
We have already adverted to the usefulness of such instruction for our own times.; for we ought to apply it personally to ourselves, as our circumstances are similar to those of the ancients. Out of the great multitude of those who wish to be esteemed Christians, we observe how very few retain the pure and uncorrupted worship of God. The Papists treat their own community, which is defiled with filth of all kinds, as the only Church; there piety is utterly subverted or else contaminated with the multitude of superstitions. And even in that small company which has withdrawn itself from the Papal idolatries, the greater part is full of perfidy and deceit. They pretend to remarkable zeal, but if you thoroughly examine them, you will find them full of deception. For if God should probe his Church to the quick, as he did some years ago in Germany, and as he may do shortly in our own case, in all these serious conflicts, and amidst these persecutions, many will boast in the bravery of their championship, and yet their zeal will quickly ooze away. When the Lord, therefore, exercises us by methods similar to those by which he proved the ancient Church, this ins6ruetion ought always to occur to our remembrance, lest our minds should grow dull and languid.
This passage may lead us to inquire whether the angel approved of all the exploits of the Maccabees. We may reply to the question in two opposite ways. First of all, if any one persists in contending from the angel’s words for God’s approval of every action of the Maccabees, this view is by no means correct. God might use the Maccabees in succoring the wretched Israelites, and yet it does not follow that they conducted the good cause properly and lawfully. It very often occurs, when the faithful offer their services to God, and have one object set before them, that they fail either through inconsiderate zeal, or through partial ignorance. Whether we take this view or not, our object is often good when our manner of proceeding is objectionable. And thus it was with the Maccabees; God, doubtless, stirred up Mattathias to collect the dispersed remnant of the people, to restore his worship, and to purge his temple from the abominations which Antiochus had set up. Yet in the troublous times which occurred, his sons, doubtless, failed in many points of duty. The cause which they undertook was just, while particular actions of theirs cannot be approved by us. It now follows —

DANIEL 11:35
35. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
35. Et ex intelligentibus cadent ad probandum f569 in ipsis, f570 et mundandos, f571 et dealbandos usque ad tempus finis, id est, finitum, quoniam adhuc usque ad praefixum tempus.

The angel pursues the same sentiment as before shewing us how the children of God, in their eagerness to defend the cause of piety, should be subject to many grievous persecutions. Some of the learned shall fall; meaning, that calamity shall not be for a single moment only; for those who earnestly desired to defend the true worship of God should perish by the sword, and by fire, and by other methods of destruction, and their successors, too, should suffer the same calamities. The phrase, the learned should fall, implies the perishing of the very flower of the Church. There will always be much refuse among a people, and the greater part of it flies off and revolts when their religion requires of them the sacrifice of their life. A few remain, here called intelligent, who, as we stated yesterday, are not wise after the flesh. Making provision for the flesh, implies taking care of themselves, and of their own interests, running no risks, and avoiding all troubles; while those are called intelligent, who, forgetful of their own lives, offer themselves in sacrifice to God. They do not hesitate to incur universal hatred, and are prepared to meet death with fortitude. The angel, therefore, predicts the perishing of the flower of the Church. For who could have expected the name of God to have existed upon earth when all His sincere worshippers were thus murdered with impunity? The severity of the despotism of Antiochus is notorious, no one dared to utter a word, all the sacred books were burnt, and he thought the worship of God entirely abolished. Women with their children were promiscuously seized for burning, and the satellites of this tyrant did not spare the mothers with infants hanging on their breasts. (1 Maccabees 1.) During the progress of such atrocious cruelty, who would not have thought the whole seed of God to have been extinct? But the angel here shews the true result to have been different, namely, that the sons of God should be purged, cleansed, and whitened. He signifies that all events should not prove so destructive, but should rather promote their salvation. This passage unfolds to us the nature of true prudence in the sight of God; for we ought to be prepared for death, rather than be turned aside from the free and ingenuous profession of the heavenly doctrine, and from the true worship of God. For this necessity is imposed on the sons of God — to fall either by the sword or by fire, and to suffer the spoiling of their goods, and banishment from their homes. The angel points out from the result how persecutions which seem to issue in the destruction of the Church, are yet profitable and salutary to the sons of God, as This is the method of their being purified, and cleansed, and whitened. But we must always remember how some defiling dregs, which require clearing out, remain in the elect, nay, even among the holy Martyrs. The angel does not here treat of hypocrites, or of ordinary believers, but of whatever is most conspicuous and most perfect in the Church, and yet asserts their need of purification. None, therefore, he concludes, possess such sanctity and purity as to prevent the remnant of some pollution which requires to be removed. Hence it becomes necessary for them to pass through the furnace, and to be purified like gold and silver. This is extended to all God’s martyrs.
This reminds us of the great folly of the Papists, in imagining the merits of saints to be transferred to us, as if they had more than they required for themselves. Indulgences, as they call them, depend upon this error, according to the following reasoning, — had Peter lived to the ordinary period of human life, he would have proved faithful to the end, and then would have merited the crown of the heavenly kingdom; but when he went beyond this, and poured out his blood in martyrdom, some merits were superabundant; these ought not to be lost, and hence the blood of Peter and Paul profit us at this day for the remission of sins. This is the Papal theology, and these miserable sophists are not ashamed of these gross blasphemies, while they vomit forth such foul sacrilege. But the angel’s teaching is far different; — the martyrs themselves are benefited by meeting death for their adherence to the truth, because God purges, and cleanses, and refines, and whitens them. The angel would not have said this except some admixture of dross still defiled the purity of the saints. But this doctrine ought to be more than enough to animate us to undergo all dangers, when we see ourselves stained and polluted with hidden dross; besides this, we ought certainly to determine that death would be profitable in this sense, as God will then purge us from those vices by which we are both infected and defiled. Whence the value of the repetition here; the angel does not simply say to purge them, but adds, to cleanse and whiten them. Whatever holiness may shine forth in the best of men, yet many stains and much defilement he concealed within them; and thus in consequence of their many failings, persecution was always useful to them.
The angel mitigates whatever might seem exceedingly bitter, by saying, until the time of an end, meaning, a fixed and definite time. These words imply the merciful character of God, in not urging his people beyond their strength, as Paul also states his faithfulness in granting them a happy issue out of their trials, and in not pressing’ us beyond the measure of that strength and fortitude which he has conferred upon us. (<461013>1 Corinthians 10:13.) The angel predicts an end to these evils, and confirms this opinion by saying, even to a determined time. In the last clause he signified the temporary nature of the persecutions of which he had spoken; for they should not cease directly, nor yet for two or three years. By the words, as yet even to a time determined, he urges the sons of God to prepare themselves for new contests, as they should not reach the goal for the space of a year. But if God wished to humble them for three, or ten, or a hundred years, they should not despond, but wait for the time divinely predetermined, without depending on their own will. This is the substance of the instruction conveyed. It now follows:

DANIEL 11:36
36. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
36. Et faciet secundum voluntatem suam, vel, libidinem, rex: et extollet se, et magnificabit se supra omnem Deum, et contra Deum deorum loquetur mirabilia, et prospere aget usque ad consummationem irae, quoniam decisio facta est, vel decisa est, nempe consumptio.

This passage is very obscure, and has consequently been explained in very opposite ways by interpreters. And whatever is obscure, is usually doubtful, and there would be little utility and no termination, if I were to narrate the opinions of them all. I shall therefore follow another method, and omitting all superfluous labor, I shall simply inquire the angel’s meaning. I must, however, refer briefly to opinions received by the consent of the majority, because they occupy the minds of many, and thus close the door to the correct interpretation. The Jews, for instance, are not agreed among themselves, and their difference of opinion only serves to produce and perpetuate darkness, rather than to diffuse the clearness of light. Some explain it of Antiochus, and others of the Romans, but in a manner different to that which I shall afterwards state. The Christian expositors present much variety, but the greater number incline towards Antichrist as fulfilling the prophecy. Others, again, use greater moderation by supposing Antichrist to be here obliquely hinted at, while they do not exclude Antiochus as the type and image of Antichrist. This last opinion has great probability, but. I do not approve of it, and can easily refute it. Antiochus did not long survive the pollution of the Temple, and then the following events by no means suit the occurrences of this time. Nor can his sons be fairly substituted in his place, and hence we must pass on to some other king, distinct from Antiochus and his heirs. As I have already stated, some of the Rabbis explain this of the Romans, but without judgment, for they first apply the passage to Vespasian, and Titus his son, and then extend it to the present times, which is utterly without reason, as they chatter foolishly, according to their usual custom. Those who explain it of Antichrist, have some color of reason for their view, but there is no soundness in their conclusion, and we shall perceive this better in the progress of our exposition. We must now discover what king the angel here designates. First of all, I apply it entirely to the Roman Empire, but I do not f572 consider it to begin at the reign of the Caesars, for this would be unsuitable and out of date, as we shall see. By the word “king” I do not think a single person indicated, but an empire, whatever be its government, whether by a senate, or by consuls, or by proconsuls. This need not appear either harsh or absurd, as the Prophet had previously discussed the four monarchies, and when treating of the Romans he calls their power a kingdom, as if they had but a single ruler over them. And when he spoke of the Persian monarchy, he did not refer to a single ruler, but included them all, from Cyrus to the last Darius, who was conquered by Alexander. This method of speech is already very familiar to us, as the word “king” often means “kingdom.” The angel, then, when saying, a king shall do anything, does not allude to Antiochus, for all history refutes this. Again, he does not mean any single individual, for where shall we find one who exalted himself against all gods? who oppressed God’s Church, and fixed his palace between two seas, and seized upon the whole East? The Romans alone did this. I intend to shew more clearly to-morrow how beautifully and appositely everything related by the angel applies to the Roman empire; and if anything should appear either obscure or doubtful, a continued interpretation will bring it to light and confirm it.
We lay this down at once; the angel did not prophesy of Antiochus, or any single monarch, but of a new empire, meaning, the Roman. We have the reason at hand why the angel passes directly from Antiochus to the Romans. God desired to support the spirits of the pious, lest they should be overwhelmed by the number and weight of the massacres which awaited them and the whole Church even to the advent of Christ. It was not sufficient to predict the occurrences under the tyranny of Antiochus; for after his time, the Jewish religion was more and more injured, not only by foreign enemies, but by their own priesthood. Nothing remained unpolluted, since their avarice and ambition had arrived at such a pitch, that they trod under foot the whole glory of God, and the law itself. The faithful required to be fortified against such numerous temptations, until Christ came, and then God renewed the condition of his Church. The time, therefore, which intervened between the Maccabees and the manifestation of Christ ought not to be omitted. The reason is now clear enough why the angel passes at once from Antiochus to the Romans.
We must next ascertain how the Romans became connected with the elect people of God. Had their dominion been limited to Europe alone, the allusion to them would have been useless and out of place. But from the period of the kings of Syria being oppressed by many and constant devastation’s in war, both at home and abroad, they were unable to injure the Jews as they had previously done; then new troubles sprang up through the Romans. We know, indeed, when many of the kings of Syria were indulging in arrogance, how the Romans interposed their authority, and that, too, with bad faith, for the purpose of subjecting the east to themselves. Then when Attalus made the Roman people his heir, the whole of Asia Minor became absorbed by them. They became masters of Syria by the will of this foolish king, who defrauded his legal heirs, thinking by this conduct to acquire some regard for his memory after his death. From that period, when the Romans first acquired a taste of the wealth of these regions, they never failed to find some cause for warfare. At length Pompey subdued Syria, and Lucullus, who had previously carried on war with Mithridates, restored the kingdom to Tigranes. Pompey, as I have already remarked, subjected Syria to the Romans. He left, indeed, the Temple untouched, but we may conjecture the cruelty which he exercised towards the Jews by the ordinary practice of this people. The clemency of the Romans towards the nations which they subdued is notorious enough. After Crassus, the most rapacious of all men, had heard much of the wealth of the Jews, he desired that province as his own. We know, too, how Pompey and Caesar, while they were friends, partitioned the whole world among themselves. Gaul and Italy were assigned entirely to Caesar; Pompey obtained Spain, and part of Africa and Sicily; while Crassus obtained Syria and the regions of the east, where he miserably perished, and his head, filled with gold, was Carried about in mockery from place to place. A second calamity occurred during that incursion of Crassus, and from this time the Jews were harassed by many and continual wars. Before this period, they had entered into an alliance with the Romans, as we are informed by the books of the Maccabees, as well as by profane writers. Therefore, when they granted liberty to the Jews, (1 Maccabees 8, and 14) it; was said f573 they were generous at the expense of others. This was their ordinary and usual practice; at first they received with friendship all who sought their alliance by treaty, and then they treated them with the utmost cruelty. The wretched Jews were treated in this way. The angel then alludes to them first, and afterwards speaks of Antiochus. All these points, thus briefly mentioned, we must bear in mind, to enable us to understand the context, and to shew the impossibility of interpreting the prophecy otherwise than of the Romans.
I now proceed to the words, The king shall do according to his will. I have stated that we need not restrict this expression to a single person, as the angel prophesies of the continued course of the Roman monarchy. He shall raise himself and magnify himself, says he, above every god. This will be explained by and bye, where the king is said to be a despiser of all deities. But with reference to the present passage, although impiety and contempt of God spread throughout the whole world, we know how peculiarly this may be said of the Romans, because their pride led them to pass an opinion upon the right of each deity to be worshipped. And, therefore, the angel will use an epithet for God, meaning fortitude’s and munitions, µyz[m megnezim as in <271138>Daniel 11:38. That passage, I shall show you to-morrow, has been badly explained; for interpreters, as we shall discover, are utterly “at sea” as to its meaning. f574 But here the angel, by attributing contempt of the one God and of all deities to the Romans, implies their intense pride and haughtiness, in which they surpassed other profane nations. And, truly, they did not preserve even a superstitious fear of God; and while they vauntingly paraded the superior piety of both their ancestors and themselves, yet, an accurate perusal of their writings will disclose what they really thought. They made a laughingstock of all divinities, and ridiculed the very name and appearance of piety, and used it only for the purpose of retaining their subjects in obedience. The angel then says most truly of his empire, it shall magnify itself against all deities; and it shall speak wonderful things against the God of gods, by which the Jewish religion is intended. For before they had passed into Asia Minor, and penetrated beyond Mount Taurus, they were ignorant of the law of God, and had never heard of the name of Moses. They then began to take notice of the worship of some peculiar god by that nation, and of the form of their piety being distinct from that of all other people. From the period of the knowledge of the peculiarities of the Jewish religion being spread among the Romans, they began to vomit forth their blasphemies against the God of gods. We need not gather together the proof of this from their histories; but Cicero in his oration for Flaccus, (section. 28,) tears most contemptuously to pieces the name of the true God; and that impure slanderer — for he deserves the name — so blurts out his calumnies, as if the God who had revealed himself to His elect people by his law, was unworthy of being reckoned with Venus or Bacchus, or their other idols. Lastly, he treats the numerous massacres to which the Jews were exposed, as a proof of their religion being hated by all the deities; and this he thinks ought to be a sufficient sign of the detestable character of their religion. The angel then has every reason to declare the Romans puffed up with pride and haughtiness, as they did not hesitate to treat the name of the true God with such marked contempt.
He shall utter, says he, remarkable things against the God of gods. The angel seems to refer to a single individual, but we have stated his reference to be to this empire. He adds next, And he shall prosper until the consumption, or completion, or consummation of the indignation, since the determination has been made. Here also the angel treats of a long succession and series of victories, which prevent the application of the passage to Antiochus. For he died immediately after he had spoiled the Temple; all his offspring perished by each other’s hands; and the Romans, to their great disgrace, acquired possession of Syria and that portion of the East. We must necessarily explain this of the Romans, as they notoriously prospered in their wars, especially on the continent of Asia. And if they were sometimes in difficulties, as we shall see to-morrow when treating the words which the angel will then use, they soon recovered their usual success. The angel here says, This king shall prosper till the end of the indignation; meaning, until God should punish the hypocrites, and thus humble his Church. I refer this to God, as I shall explain more at length tomorrow.
Grant, Almighty God, as in these days the affairs of the world are in a state of disturbance, and as wherever we turn our eyes we see nothing but horrible confusion: Grant, I pray, that we may be attentive to thy teaching. May we never wander after our own imaginations, never be drawn aside by any cares, and never turn aside from our stated course. May we remain fixed in thy word, always seeking thee and always relying on thy providence. May we never hesitate concerning our safety, as thou hast undertaken to be the guardian of our salvation, but ever call upon thee in the name of thine only-begotten Son. — Amen.
We yesterday commenced an explanation of the prophecy, in which the angel begins to treat of the Roman Empire. I then shewed the impossibility of applying any other exposition to the passage, as it would have been absurd to pass by the point most necessary to be known. At the very beginning, we stated that God did not inform Daniel of other occurrences for the purpose of pandering to the foolish and vain curiosity of the many, but to fortify his servants, and to prevent their falling away in the midst of these most grievous contests. But after the death of Antiochus, we know by what various and grievous machinations Satan had endeavored to overthrow the faith of all the pious. For this reason their courage required propping up. If the whole of this period had been passed over in silence, God would have appeared to have neglected his servants. Therefore either our yesterday’s subject of comment would have been useless, or else this clause ought to be added, lest the prophecy should appear either defective or mutilated. And we previously observed, while the angel was predicting future changes, there was no omission of the Roman Empire, which is again introduced here. Let us remember, then, that the angel is not now speaking of Antiochus, nor does he make a leap forwards to Antichrist, as some think, but he means a perpetual series. Thus the faithful would be prepared for all assaults which might be made upon their faith, if this rampart had not been interposed. The remainder of the verse now remains to be explained, Even to the end of the wrath, because the decision has been made. The angel had narrated the perverseness of this king in not sparing the living God, but in darting his calumnies against him. He now adds, He shall prosper even to the end of the wrath. The angel doubtless here meets the next trial which might utterly overwhelm the faithful, unless they hoped for some termination to it. By wrath he does not mean the rage of those who were sent as proconsuls into Asia and the East, or even the bitterness and rigor of the Roman people and Senate, but the word refers to God. We must remember, then, what I have previously impressed, namely, the sons of God are called upon to examine their faults, to humble themselves before God, without either murmuring or complaining when chastised by his rods. We know how impatient human nature is in bearing adversity, and how grudgingly men submit to the cross, not only stubbornly refusing it, but openly rebelling against God. Hence those who are oppressed by his hand are always outrageous, unless he displays himself as their judge. The angel then here presents us with a reason why God did not rashly expose his Church to the lust of the impious; he only wished to exact the punishment due to their sins; and judgment ought always to begin at the house of God, as we learn from another prophet. (<231012>Isaiah 10:12; <242529>Jeremiah 25:29; <600417>1 Peter 4:17.)
The conclusion, then, the angel, in the first place, exhorts the pious to repentance, and shews them how deservedly God laid his hand upon them, because it was absolutely necessary. He then mitigates what would otherwise have been too severe, by adding, till the end, or completion. The word signifies both consumption and end, but it here means end, or completion. The explanation next follows, since the determination, or decision, has been made, says he. This means, God will not pursue his children to extremities without moderation, but will bring their punishment to an end after they have been humbled. As we read in the 40th chapter of Isaiah, the time of their warfare was completed, when God pitied his Church, and freed it from the tyranny of its enemies. (<234002>Isaiah 40:2.) Isaiah there speaks in the person of God; the Church had received double, meaning, sufficient punishment had been exacted. It almost implies his being displeased with himself for having been too severe against his Church, as we are familiar with the indulgence with which he usually treated his children. He says, then, in this passage, Even to the end of the wrath; meaning, the punishment should be but temporary, as God had prescribed a certain termination which should put an end to all their troubles and anxieties. It follows: —

DANIEL 11:37
37. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
37. Et ad deos patrum suorum non attendet, et ad desiderium, vel, amorem, mulierum, et ad ullum Deum non attendet, quia super omne, super omnia, sese magnificabit.

I do not wonder at those who explain this prophecy of Antiochus, experiencing some trouble with these words; for they cannot satisfy themselves, because this prediction of the angel’s was never accomplished by Antiochus, who did neither neglect all deities nor the god of his fathers. Then, with regard to the love of women, this will not suit this person. But it is easy to prove by other reasons already mentioned, the absence of all allusion here to Antiochus. Some refer this prophecy to the Pope and to Mohammed, and the phrase, the love of women, seems to give probability to this view. For Mohammed allowed to men the brutal liberty of chastising their wives, and thus he corrupted that conjugal love and fidelity which binds the husband to the wife. Unless every man is content with a single wife, there can be no love, because there can be no conjugal happiness whenever rivalry exists between the inferior wives. As, therefore, Mohammed allowed full scope to various lusts, by permitting a man to have a number of wives, this seems like an explanation of his being inattentive to the love of women. Those who think the Pope to be intended here remind us of their enforcing celibacy, by means of which the honor of marriage is trodden under foot. We know with what foulness the Roman Pontiffs bark when marriage is hinted to them, as we may see in the decrees of Pope Siricius, in the seventh chapter of the first volume of the Councils. f575 They quote the passage, Those who are in the flesh cannot please God; and thus compare marriage with fornication, thereby disgracefully and reproachfully throwing scorn upon an ordinance sanctioned by God. We observe, then, some slight correspondence, but the remaining points will not suit this idea. Some assert that as Mohammed invented a new form of religion, so did the Pope; true indeed, but neither of them are intended here, and the reason is, because God wished to sustain the spirits of his people until the first coming of Christ. Hence he predicts by his angel the sufferings to be endured by the Church until Christ was manifest in the flesh. We must now come to the Romans, of whom we began to explain the passage.
The angel says, The king shall pay no regard to the gods of his fathers. The application of this clause is at first sight obscure; but if we come to reflect upon the outrageous pride and barbarity of the Romans, we shall no longer doubt the meaning of the Prophets words. The angel states two circumstances; this king should be a despiser of all deities, and yet he should worship one god, while the singular and magnificent pomp displayed should exceed all common practices. These two points, so apparently opposite, were found united in the Romans. Our explanation will appear clearer by adding the following verses,

DANIEL 11:38-39
38. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant desirable things.
38. Et Deum fortitudinum, vel, munitionum, in loco suo honorabit: et Deum quem non cognoverunt patres ejus honorabit cum auro, et argento, et lapide pretioso, et desiderabilibus, f576 hoc est, rebus omnibus pretiosis.
39. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
39. Et faciet adversus munitiones fortitudinum cum Deo alieno, quem agnoverit, multiplicabit gloriam, et dominari faciet eos in multis, et terram dividet pretio.

As I have already hinted, at the first glance these statements seem opposed to each other; the king of whom we are now treating shall despise all deities, and yet shall worship a certain god in no ordinary way. This agrees very well with the Romans, if we study their dispositions and manners. As they treated the worship of their deities simply as a matter of business, they were evidently destitute of any perception of the divinity, and were only pretenders to religion. Although other profane nations groped their way in darkness, yet they offered a superstitious worship to some divinities. The Romans, however, were not subject to either error or ignorance, but they manifested a gross contempt of God, while they maintained the appearance of piety. We gather this opinion from a review of their whole conduct. For although they fetched many deities from every quarter of the world, and worshipped in common with other nations Minerva, Apollo, Mercury, and others, yet we observe how they treated all other rites as worthless. They considered Jupiter as the supreme deity. But what was Jupiter to them in his own country? Did they value him a single farthing, or the Olympian deity? Nay, they derided both his worshippers and himself. What then really was their supreme god? why the glow of the Capitol; without the additional title of Lord of the Capitol, he was nobody at all. That title distinguished him as specially bound to themselves. For This reason the Prophet calls This Roman Jupiter a god of bulwarks, or of powers. The Romans could never be persuaded that any other Jupiter or Juno were worthy of worship; they relied upon their own inherent strength, considered themselves of more importance than the gods, and claimed Jupiter as theirs alone. Because his seat was in their capital, he was more to them than a hundred heavenly rulers, for their pride had centered the whole power of the deity in their own capital. They thought themselves beyond the reach of all changes of fortune, and such was their audacity, that every one fashioned new deities according to his pleasure. There was a temple dedicated to fortune on horseback; for this gratified the vanity of the general who had made good use of it is cavalry, and obtained a victory by their means; and in building a temple to equestrian fortune, he wished the multitude to esteem himself as a deity. Then Jupiter Stator was a god, and why? because this pleased somebody else; and thus Rome became full of temples. One erected an image of fortune, another of virtue, a third of prudence, and a fourth of any other divinity, and every one dared to set up his own idols according to his fancy, till Rome was completely filled with them. In this way Romulus was deified; and what claim had he to this honor? If any one object here — other nations did the same — we admit it, but we also know in what a foolish, brutal, and barbarous state of antiquity they continued. But; the Romans, as I have already intimated, were not instigated to this manufacture of idols by either error or superstition, but by an arrogant vanity which elevated themselves to the first rank among mankind, and claimed superiority over all deities. For instance, they allowed a temple to be erected to themselves in Asia, and sacrifices to be offered, and the name of deity to be applied to them. What pride is here! Is this a proof of belief in the existence of either one god or many? Rome is surely the only deity, — and she must be reverently worshipped before all others!
We observe then how the expression of this verse is very applicable to the Romans; they worshipped the god of bulwarks, meaning, they claimed a divine power as their own, and only granted to their gods what they thought useful for their own purposes. With the view of claiming certain virtues as their own, they invented all kinds of deities according to their taste. I omit the testimony of Plutarch as not quite applicable to the present subject. He says in his problems, it was unlawful to utter the name of any deity under whose protection and guardianship the Roman State was placed. He tells us how Valerius Soranus was carried off for foolishly uttering that deity’s name, whether male or female. These are his very words. And he adds as the reason, their practice of using magical incantations in worshipping their unknown divinity. Again, we know in what remarkable honor they esteemed “the good goddess.” The male sex were entirely ignorant of her nature, and none but females entered the house of the high priest, and there celebrated her orgies. And for what purpose? What was that “good goddess?” Surely there always existed this god of bulwarks, since the Romans acknowledged no deity but their own selves. They erected altars to themselves, and sacrificed all kinds of victims to their own success and good fortune; and in this way they reduced all deities within their own sway, while they offered them only the specious and deceptive picture of reverence. There is nothing forced in the expression of the angel, — he will pay no attention to the gods of his fathers; meaning, he will not follow the usual custom of all nations in retaining superstitious ceremonies with error and ignorance. For although the Greeks were very acute, yet they did not dare to make any movement, or propose any discussions on religious matters. One thing we know to be fixed among them, to worship the gods which had been handed down by their fathers. But the Romans dared to insult all religious with freedom and petulance, and to promote atheism as far as they possibly could. Therefore the angel says, he should pay attention to the god of his fathers. And why? They will have regard to themselves, and acknowledge no deity except their own confidence in their peculiar fortitude. I interpret the phrase, the desire of women, as denoting by that figure of speech which puts apart for the whole, the barbarity of their manners. The love of women is a scriptural phrase for very peculiar affection; and God has instilled this mutual affection into the sexes to cause them to remain united together as long as they retain any spark of humanity. Thus David is said to have loved Jonathan beyond or surpassing the love of women. (<100126>2 Samuel 1:26.):No fault is there found with this agreement, otherwise the love of David towards Jonathan would be marked with disgrace. We know how sacred his feelings were towards him, but “the love of women” is here used par excellence, implying the exceeding strength of this affection. As therefore God has appointed this very stringent bond of affection between the sexes as a natural bond of union throughout the human race, it is not surprising if all the duties of humanity are comprehended under this word by a figure of speech. It is just as if the angel had said; this king of whom he prophesies should be impious and sacrilegious, in thus daring to despise all deities; then he should be so evil, as to be utterly devoid of every feeling of charity. We observe then how completely the Romans were without natural affection, loving neither their wives nor the female sex. I need not refer to even a few examples by which this assertion may be proved. But throughout the whole nation such extreme barbarity existed, that it ought really to fill us with horror. None can obtain an adequate idea of this, without becoming thoroughly versed in their histories; but whoever will study their exploits, will behold as in a mirror the angel’s meaning. This king, then, should cultivate neither piety nor humanity.
And he shall not pay attention to other gods, because he shall magnify himself against them all. The cause is here assigned why this king should be a gross despiser of all deities, and fierce and barbarous against all mortals, because he should magnify himself above them all. That pride so blinded the Romans, as to cause them to forget both piety and humanity; and so this intolerable self-confidence of theirs was the reason why they paid no honor to any deity, and trampled all mortals under foot. Humility is certainly the beginning of all true piety; and this seed of religion is implanted in the heart of man, causing them whether they will or not to acknowledge some deity. But the Romans were so puffed up by self-consequence, as to exalt themselves above every object of adoration, and to treat all religions with contemptuous scorn; and in thus despising all celestial beings, they necessarily looked down on all mankind, which was literally and notoriously the fact. Now, the second clause is opposed to this, He shall worship or honor the god of fortitude’s. He had previously used this word of the Temple, but this explanation does not seem suitable here, because the angel had before expressed the unity of God, while he now enumerates many gods. But the angel uses the word “fortitude’s,” or “munitions,” for that perverse confidence by which the Romans were puffed up, and were induced to treat both God and men as nothing hi comparison to themselves. How then did these two points agree — the contempt of all deities among the Romans, and yet the existence of some worship? First, they despised all tradition respecting the gods, but afterwards they raised themselves above every celestial object, and becoming ashamed of their barbarous impiety, they pretended to honor their deities. But where did they seek those deities, as Jupiter for instance, to whom all the tribe of them were subject? why, in their own capitol. Their deities were the offspring of their own imaginations, and nothing was esteemed divine but what pleased themselves. Hence it is said, He shall honor him in his own place. Here the angel removes all doubt, by mentioning the place in which this god of fortitude’s should be honored. The Romans venerated other deities wherever they met with them, but this was mere outward pretense. Without doubt they limited Jupiter to his own capitol and city; and whatever they professed respecting other divinities, there was no true religion in them, because they adored themselves in preference to those fictitious beings. Hence he shall worship the god of ramparts in his place, and shall honor a strange god whom his fathers knew not. f577
Again, He shall honor him in gold, and silver, and precious stones, and all desirable things; meaning, he shall worship his own deity magnificently and with remarkable pomp. And we know how the riches of the whole world were heaped together to ornament their temples. For as soon as any one purposed to erect any temple, he was compelled to seize all things in every direction, and so to spoil all provinces to enrich their own temples. Rome, too, did not originate this splendor for the sake of superstition, but only to raise itself and to become the admiration of all nations; and thus we observe how well this prophecy is explained by the course of subsequent events. Some nations, in truth, were superstitious in the worship of their idols, but the Romans were superior to all the rest. When first they became masters of Sicily, we know what an amount of wealth they abstracted from a single city. For if ever any temples were adorned with great and copious splendor and much riches, surely they would confess the extreme excellence of those of Sicily. But Marcellus stripped almost all temples to enrich Rome and to ornament the shrines of their false deities. And why so? Was it because Jupiter, and Juno, and Apollo, and Mercury, were better at Rome than elsewhere? By no means; but because he wished to enrich the city, and to turn all sorts of deities into a laughingstock, and to lead them in triumph, to shew that there was no other deity or excellence except at Rome, the mistress of the world. He afterwards adds, He shall perform. Here, again, the angel seems to speak of prosperity. Without doubt he would here supply courage to the pious, who would otherwise vacillate and become backsliders when they observed such continued and incredible success, in a nation so impious and sacrilegious, and remarkable for such barbarous cruelty. Hence he states how the Romans should obtain their ends in whatever they attempted, if their fortitude should prevail, as if it were their deity. Although they should despise all deities, and only fabricate a god for themselves through a spirit of ambition; yet even this should bring them success. This is now called a foreign deity. Scripture uses this word to distinguish between fictitious idols and the one true God. The angel seems to say nothing which applies especially to the Romans. For the Athenians and Spartans, the Persians and the Asiatics, as well as all other nations, worshipped strange gods. What, then, is the meaning of the name? for clearly the angel did not speak after the ordinary manner. He calls him strange, as he was not handed down from one to another; for while they boasted vainly in their veneration of the idols received from their ancestors, together with all their sacred institutions and their inviolable rites, yet they inwardly derided them, and did not esteem them worth a straw, but only wished to retain some fallacious form of religion through a sense of shame. We remember the saying of Cato concerning the augurs, “I wonder when one meets another how he can refrain from laughing!” thus shewing how he ridiculed them. If any one had asked Cato either in the senate or privately, What think you of the augurs and all our religion? he would reply, “Ah! let the whole world perish before the augurs; for these constitute the very safety of the people and of the whole republic: we received them from our ancestors, therefore let us keep them for ever!” Thus that crafty fellow would have spoken, and thus also would all others. But while they prated thus to each other, they were not ashamed to deny the existence of a Deity, and so to ridicule whatever had been believed from the very beginning, as entirely to reduce to nothing the traditions received from their forefathers. It does not surprise us to find the angel speaking of a strange god which was worshipped at Rome, not, as I have said, through superstition or mistake, but only to prevent their barbarity from becoming abominable throughout the world. That God, says he, whom he had acknowledged: great weight is attached to this word. The angel means, that the whole divinity rested on the opinion and will of the sovereign people, because it was agreeable to its inclination, and promoted its private interest. As the plan of worshipping any gods would be approved, and they would pride themselves in their own pleasure, they should boast with great confidence, that there could be no piety but at Rome. But why so? Because they acknowledge strange gods, and determine and decree the form of worship which was to be preserved. The angel thus places the whole of the religion of Rome in lust, and shews them to be impure despisers of God.
He afterwards says, He shall multiply the glory. This may be referred to God, but I rather approve of a different interpretation. The Romans should acquire great wealth for themselves, and should increase wonderfully in opulence, in the magnitude of their empire, and in all other sources of strength. Therefore they shall multiply the glory, meaning, they shall acquire new territories, and increase their power, and accumulate a multitude of treasures. This explanation fits in very well with the close of the verse, where he adds, he shall make them rule far and wide. This is a portion of that glory which this king shall heap upon himself, for he should be superior to the kings over many lands, and should distribute the booty which he had acquired, and that, too, for a price. He says, therefore, he shall make them rule over many; for the relative is without a subject, which is a frequent practice of the Hebrews. Whom, then, should the Roman king, or the Roman empire, thus cause to have dominion? Whoever rendered them any assistance should receive his reward from a stranger, as we know Eumenes to have been enriched by the booty and spoil of Antiochus. The provinces also were distributed according to their will. The island was given up to the Rhodians, while a kingdom was wrested from another, and the AEtolians enlarged their dominions. As each party labored hard for their benefit, and incurred large expenses, so the Romans conferred riches upon them. After conquering Antiochus, they became the more liberal towards Attalus and Eumenes, and thus they became masters of the greater part of Asia. Again, when they had deprived Nabis, the tyrant of Sparta, of the greater part of his territories, those who had taken care to gratify the Romans, were favored with the spoils they had seized from him. We have another instance in the favor’s conferred upon Massinissa after the conquest of Carthage; for after being expelled from his own kingdom, his dominion extended far and wide throughout the continent of Africa: after being deprived of his paternal sovereignty, he had not a spot in the world on which to plant his foot until they bestowed upon him what they had seized from the Carthaginians. And how did they manage this? They shall divide the soil for a price, says the angel; thus obliquely reproving the cunning of the senate and Roman people, because they did not give away these ample dominions gratuitously; they would willingly have devoured whatever they had acquired, but they found it better policy to sell them than to retain them. They did not sell at any fixed price — for the word “price” here need not be restricted to a definite sum of money — but displayed their avarice, and sold and distributed for the sake of gain, just as much as if all these territories had been immediately reduced into provinces of their empire. They had need of great resources; it was objectionable to continue their garrison in perpetuity in the cities of Greece, and hence they proclaim perfect freedom through them all. But what sort of liberty was this? Each state might choose its senate according to the pleasure of the Romans, and thus as each acquired rank and honor in his own nation, he would become attached and enslaved to the Roman people. And then, in this condition of affairs, if any war should spring up, they sought aid from these friends and allies. For had they been only confederate, the Romans would never have dared to exact so much from each tributary state. Let us take the case of the Carthaginians. After being reduced by many exaction’s to the lowest pitch of poverty, yet when the Romans made war against Philip and Macedon, and against Antiochus, they demanded ships from these allies. They demanded besides, as a subsidy, an immense quantity of gold, silver, provisions, garments, and armor, till at length these wretched Carthaginians, whose very life-blood the Romans had drained, still sent for the war whatever gold they had remaining, and all they could scrape together. Thus Philip king of Macedon is compelled to destroy himself, by plunging his own sword into his body; for every state of Greece was forced to contribute its own portion of the expenses of the war.
We perceive, then, how the lands were divided for a price, each with regard to its own utility, not by fixing a certain defined money value, but according to the standard of political expediency. And what kind of bargaining did they afterwards mutually execute? We have an instance of it in the prevalence of proscription among the Romans, by which they turned their rapacity against their own vitals. They had previously confiscated the goods of their enemies. Philip, for instance, was forced to pay a large sum of money to repurchase the name of king and the portion of territory which remained his own. Antiochus and the Carthaginians were subject to the same hardship. The Romans, in short, never conquered any one without exhausting both the monarch and his dominions to satisfy their insatiable avarice and cupidity. We now perceive how they divided the lands for a price, holding all kings in subjection to themselves, and bestowing largesses upon one from the property of another.
We now perceive the angel’s meaning throughout this verse, The King should be so powerful as to bestow dominion on whomsoever he pleased in many and ample territories, but not gratuitously. We have had examples of some despoiled of their royal dignity and power, and of others restored to the authority of which they had been deprived. Lucullus, for instance, chose to eject one king from his dominions, while another general restored him to his possessions. A single Roman citizen could thus create a great monarch; and thus it often happened. Claudius proposed to the people to proscribe the king of Cyprus, although he was of the royal race; his father had been the friend and ally of the Roman people, he had committed no crime against the Roman empire, and there was no reason for declaring war against him. Meanwhile he remained in security at home, while none of those ceremonies by which war is usually declared took place. He was proscribed in the market-place by a few vagabonds, and Cato is immediately sent to ravage the whole island. He took possession of it for the Romans, and this wretched man is compelled to cast himself into the sea in a fit of despair. We observe, then, how his prediction of the angel was by no means in vain; the Roman proconsuls distributed kingdoms and provinces, but yet for a price, for they seized everything in the world, and drew all riches, all treasures, and every particle of value into the whirlpool of their unsatisfied covetousness. We shall put off the remainder.
Grant, Almighty God, as in all ages the blindness of mankind has been so great as to lead them to worship thee erroneously and superstitiously, and since they manifest such duplicity and pride as to despise thy name, and also the very idols which they have fashioned for themselves: Grant, I pray thee, that true piety may be deeply rooted in our hearts. May the fear of thy name be so engraven within us, that we may be sincerely and unreservedly devoted to thee. May each of us heartily desire to glorify thy name, and may we endeavor to lead our brethren in the same course. Do thou purge us more and more from all dissimulation, until at length we arrive at that perfect purity which is laid up for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. — Amen.

DANIEL 11:40
40. And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
40. Et im tempore finis configet cum eo rex austri, et tanquam turbo iruet rex aquilonis, cum curru et equitibus, et navibus multis: et veniet in terras, et exundabit, et transibit, pervadet

As to the time here mentioned, it is a certain or predetermined period’ the kings of the south and the north we have already shewn to refer to Egypt and Syria, such being their position with respect to Judea. The word jgn neech, confliget, is literally he shall “push with the horns,” while the word translated, “he shall rush as a whirlwind,” is deduced from r[ç segner, “to be stormy.” The angel here predicts the numerous victories by means of which the Romans should extend their empire far and wide, although not without great difficulties and dangers. He states, The king of the south should carry on war with the Romans for a definite period. I dare not fix the precise time intended by the angel. So great was the power of Egypt, that had the kings of that country relied upon their native resources, they might have summoned courage to make war upon the Romans. Gabinius the proconsul led his army there for the sake of restoring Ptolemy. He expelled Archelaus without much trouble, and then like a mercenary he risked his life and his fame there, as well as his army. Caesar was in danger there, after vanquishing Pompey; then Antony next made war upon Augustus, assisted by the forces of Cleopatra; then Egypt put forth all her strength, and at his failure was reduced herself to a province of Rome. The angel did not propose to mark a continued series of times, but only briefly to admonish the faithful to stand firm amidst those most grievous concussions which were then at hand. Whatever be the precise meaning, the angel doubtless signified the difficult nature of the struggle between the Romans and the Egyptians. I have already stated the witness of history to the fact, that the Egyptians never made war against the Romans in their own name; sometimes events were so confused that the Egyptians coalesced with the Syrians, and then we must read the words conjointly — thus the king of the south, assisted by the king of the north, should carry on war with the Romans. The angel thus shews us how the king of Syria should furnish greater forces and supplies than the Egyptian monarch, and this really happened at the beginning of the triumvirate. He states next, The king of the south should come with chariots and horses and many ships. Nor is it necessary here to indicate the precise period, since the Romans carried on many wars in the east, during which they occupied Asia, while a part of Libya fell to them by the will of its king without arms or force of any kind.
With reference to these two kingdoms which have been so frequently mentioned, many chiefs ruled over Syria within a short period. First one of the natives was raised to the throne and then another, till the people grew tired of them, and transferred the sovereignty to strangers. Then Alexander rose gradually to power, and ultimately acquired very great fame: he was not of noble birth, for his father was of unknown origin. This man sprang from an obscure family, and at one period possessed neither authority nor resources. He was made king of Syria, because he pretended to be the son of Seleucus, and was slain immediately, while his immediate successor reigned for but a short period. Thus Syria passed over to the Romans on the death of this Seleucus. Tigranes the king of Armenia was then sent for, and he was made ruler over Syria till Lucullus conquered him, and Syria was reduced to a province. The vilest of men reigned over Egypt. Physcon, who was restrained by the Romans when attempting to wrest Syria from the power of its sovereign, was exceedingly depraved both in body and mind and hence he obtained this disgraceful appellation. For the word is a Greek one, equivalent to the French andouille; for physce means that thicker intestine into which the others are usually inserted. This deformity gave rise to his usual name, signifying “pot-bellied,” implying both bodily deformity and likeness to the brutes, while he was not endowed with either intellect or ingenuity. The last king who made the Romans his son’s guardians, received the name of Auletes, and Cicero uses this epithet of “flute-player,” because he was immoderately fond of this musical instrument In each kingdom then there was horrible deformity, since those who exercised the royal authority were more like dogs or swine than mankind. Tigranes, it is well known, gave the Romans much trouble. On the other side, Mithridates occupied their attention for a very long period, and with various and opposite success. The Romans throughout all Asia were at one period put to the sword, and when a close engagement was fought, Mithridates was often superior, and he afterwards united his forces with those of Tigranes, his father-in-law. When Tigranes held Armenia, he was a king of other kings, and afterwards added to his dominions a portion of Syria. At length when the last Antiochus was set over the kingdom of Syria by Lucullus, he was removed from his command by the orders of Pompey, and then, as we have stated, Syria became a province of Rome. Pompey crossed the sea, and subdued the whole of Judea as well as Syria’ he afterwards entered the Temple, and took away some part of its possessions, but spared the sacred treasures. Crassus succeeded him — an insatiable whirlpool, who longed for this province for no other reason than his unbounded eagerness for wealth. He despoiled the Temple at Jerusalem; and lastly, after Cleopatra was conquered, Egypt lost its royal race, and passed into a Roman province. If the Romans, had conquered a hundred other provinces, the angel would not have mentioned them here; for I have previously noticed his special regard to the chosen people. Therefore he dwells only on those slaughters which had more or less relation to the wretched Jews. First of all he predicts the great contest which should arise between the kings of Egypt and Syria, who should come on like a whirlwind, while the Romans should rush upon the lands like a deluge, and pass over them. He compares the king of Syria to a whirlwind, for at first he should rush on impetuously, filling both land and sea with his forces. Thus he should possess a well-manned fleet, and thus excite fresh terrors, and yet vanish away rapidly like a whirlwind. But the Romans are compared to a deluge. The new king of whom he had spoken should come, says he, and overflow, burying all the forces of both Egypt and Syria; implying the whole foundations of both realms should be swept away when the Romans passed over them. He shall pass over, he says; meaning, wherever they come, the way shall be open for them and nothing closed against them. He will repeat this idea in another form. He does not speak now of one region only, but says, they should come over the lands, implying a wide-spread desolation, while no one should dare to oppose them by resisting their fury.

DANIEL 11:41-42
41. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Aremort.
41. Et veniet in terram desiderii, et multae, regiones scilicet, cadent, et hae evadent e manu ejus, Edom, Moab, et principium filiorum Ammon.
42. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries; and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
42. Et mittet, hoc est, extendet, manum suam in terras, et terra AEgypti non erit in evasionem. f578

The land of Judea is called the pleasant or desirable land, because God thought it worthy of his peculiar favor. He chose it for his dwelling-place, called it his resting-place, and caused his blessing to remain in it. In this verse also, regions are treated, and not merely cities, as the regions of Edom and of Moab. After the angel had briefly predicted the occurrence of the most grievous wars with the Romans, he now adds what he had briefly commenced in the last verse, — namely their becoming conquerors of all nations. They shall come, he says, into the desirable land. This is the reason why the angel prophesies of the Roman empire, for he was not sent to explain to Daniel the history of the whole world, but to retain the faithful in their allegiance, and to persuade them under the most harassing convulsions to remain under the protection and guardianship of God. For this reason he states, — they shall come into the desirable land. This would be a dreadful temptation, and might overthrow all feelings of piety, as the Jews would be harassed on all sides, first by the Syrians and then by the Egyptians. And we know with what cruelty Antiochus endeavored not only to oppress but utterly to blot out the whole nation. Neither the Syrians nor the Egyptians spared them. The Romans came almost from the other side of the globe; at first they made an alliance with these states, and then entered Judea as enemies. Who would have supposed that region under God’s protection, when it was so exposed to all attacks of robbery and oppression? Hence it was necessary to admonish the faithful not to fall away through this utter confusion.
They shall come, then, into the desirable land, and many regions shall fall; meaning, no hope should remain for the Jews after the arrival of the Romans, as victory was already prepared to their hand. The angel’s setting before the faithful this material for despair was not likely to induce confidence and comfort, but. as they were aware of these divine predictions, they knew also that the remedy was prepared by the same God who had admonished them by means of the angel. It was in his power to save his Church from a hundred deaths. This prophecy became an inestimable treasury, inspiring the faithful with the hope of the promised deliverance. The angel will afterwards add the promise intended to support and strengthen and revive their drooping spirits. But he here announces that God’s aid should not immediately appear, because he would give the Romans full permission to exercise a cruel sway, tyranny, and robbery, throughout the whole of Asia and the East. He says, The lands of Edom, Moab, and a portion of Ammon should escape from their slaughter. This trial would in no slight degree affect the minds of the pious: What does he mean? He suffers the land that he promised should be at rest, to be now seized and laid waste by its enemies! The land of Moab is at peace and enjoys the greatest tranquillity, and the condition of the sons of Ammon is prosperous! We should here bear in mind what the prophets say of these lands: Esau was banished into the rugged mountains, and God assigned to the Moabites a territory beyond the borders of the land of blessings. (<390103>Malachi 1:3.) The Jews alone had any peculiar right and privilege to claim that territory in which the Lord had promised them perfect repose. Now, when Judea is laid waste and their foes according to their pleasure not only seize upon everything valuable in the city and the country, but seem to have a special permission to ravage the land at their will, what could the Jews conjecture? The angel therefore meets this objection, and alleviates these feelings of anxiety to which the faithful could be subject from such slaughters. He states that the territories of Edom and Moab, and of the children of Ammon, should be tranquil and safe from those calamities. By the expression, to the beginning of the children of Ammon, he most probably refers to that, retreat whence the Ammonites originated. For doubtless the Romans would not have spared the Ammonites unless they had been concealed among the mountains, for every district in the neighborhood of Judea was subject to the same distress. Those who interpret this passage of Antichrist, suppose safety to be extended only to that portion of the faithful who shall escape from the world and take refuge in the deserts. But there is no reason in this opinion, and it is sufficient to retain the sense already proposed as the genuine one. He afterwards adds, The Romans should send their army into the land, and even in the land of Egypt, they should not escape. The angel without doubt here treats of the numerous victories which the Romans should obtain in a short time. They carried on war with Mithridates for a long period, and then Asia was almost lost; but they soon afterwards began to extend their power, first over all Asia Minor, and then over Syria; Armenia was next added to their sway, and Egypt after that: meanwhile this was but a moderate addition, till at length they ruled over the Persians, and thus their power became formidable. Wherefore this prophet was fulfilled by their extending their power over many regions, and by the land of Egypt becoming a portion of their booty. It follows:

DANIEL 11:43
43. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
43. Et dominabitur thesauris auri, et argenti, et omnibus desiderabilibus f579 AEgypti, et Lybiae, et Aethiopiae ingressibus suis.

I have previously stated that though the language applies to a single king, yet a kingdom is to be understood, and our former observations are here confirmed. Although many nations should endeavor to resist the Romans, they should yet be completely victorious, and finally acquire immense booty. Their avarice and covetousness were perfectly astonishing; for he says, they should acquire dominion over the treasures of gold and silver, and should draw to themselves all the precious things of Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia; and that, too, in their footsteps. In these words he more clearly explains our previous remarks upon the emblem of the deluge. All lands should be laid open to them; although the cities were fortified, and would thus resist them by their closed gates, yet the way should be open to them, and none should hinder them from bursting forth over the whole east, and subduing at the same time cities, towns, and villages. This we know to have been actually accomplished. Hence there is nothing forced in the whole of this context, and the prophecy is fairly interpreted by the history. He afterwards adds, —

DANIEL 11:44
44. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
44. Rumores vero, f580 terrebunt eum ab oriente, et ab aquilone: egredieturque cum ira magna, ut perdat et internecione deleat multos.

The angel’s narrative seems here to differ somewhat from the preceding one, as the Romans should not succeed so completely as to avoid being arrested in the midst of their victorious course. He says, they shall be frightened by rumors, and the events suit this case, for although the Romans subdued the whole east with scarcely any trouble, and in a few years, yet they were afterwards checked by adversity. For Crassus perished miserably after spoiling the temple, and destroyed himself and the flower of the Roman army; he was conquered at Carrse, near Babylon, in an important engagement, through betrayal by a spy in when he had placed too much confidence. Antony, again, after dividing the world into three parts between himself, and Octavius, and Lepidus, suffered miserably in the same neighborhood against the Parthians. We are not surprised at the angel’s saying, The Romans should be frightened from the east and the north, as this really came to pass. Then he adds, they should come in great wrath; meaning, although they should lose many troops, yet this severe massacre should not depress their spirits. When their circumstances were desperate, they were excited to fury like savage beasts of prey, until they rushed upon their own destruction. This came to pass more especially under the reign of Augustus; for a short period he contended successfully with the Parthians, and compelled them to surrender. He then imposed upon them conditions of peace; and as the Roman eagles had been carried into Persia, much to their disgrace, he compelled this people to return them. By this compulsion he blotted out the disgrace which they had suffered under Antony. We see, then, how exceedingly well this suits the context, — the Romans shall come with great wrath to destroy many; as the Parthians expected to enjoy tranquillity:for many ages, and to be perfectly free from any future attempt or attack from the Romans. It now follows, —

DANIEL 11:45
45. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain: yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.