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THE COMING PRINCE BY SIR ROBERT ANDERSON Historical System Of Prophetic Interpretation The Ten that there is a destined limit to the course of this present


The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson,CHAPTER 13 Second Sermon On The Mount. CHAPTER 14 The Patmos Visions,CHAPTER 15 The Coming Prince. APPENDICES,1 Chronological Treatise And Tables,2 Miscellaneous Who And When. Artaxerxes Longimanus The Chronology Of His Reign Date Of The Nativity Continuous. Historical System Of Prophetic Interpretation The Ten Kingdoms Chronological Diagram Of The. History Of Judah,3 A Retrospect And A Reply,INTRODUCTORY. TO living men no time can be so solemn as the living present whatever its characteristics and that. solemnity is immensely deepened in an age of progress unparalleled in the history of the world But. the question arises whether these days of ours are momentous beyond comparison by reason of their. being in the strictest sense the last Is the world s history about to close The sands of its destiny are. they almost run out and is the crash of all things near at hand. Earnest thinkers will not allow the wild utterances of alarmists or the vagaries of prophecy mongers. to divert them from an inquiry at once so solemn and so reasonable It is only the infidel who doubts. that there is a destined limit to the course of this present evil world That God will one day put forth. His power to ensure the triumph of the good is in some sense a matter of course The mystery of. revelation is not that He will do this but that He delays to do it Judged by the public facts around us. He is an indifferent spectator of the unequal struggle between good and evil upon earth. I considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun and behold the tears of the. oppressed and they had no comforter and on the side of their oppressors there was power but. they had no comforter Ecclesiastes 4 1, And how can such things be if indeed the God who rules above is almighty and all good Vice and.
godlessness and violence and wrong are rampant upon every side and yet the heavens above keep. silence The infidel appeals to the fact in proof that the Christian s God is but a myth 1. The Christian finds in it a further proof that the God he worships is patient and longsuffering. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, patient because He is eternal longsuffering because He is almighty for wrath is a last resource with. power But the day is coming when, our God shall come and shall not keep silence Psalm 1 3. This is not a matter of opinion but of faith He who questions it has no claim whatever to the name of. Christian for it is as essentially a truth of Christianity as is the record of the life and death of the Son. of God The old Scriptures teem with it and of all the writers of the New Testament there is not so. much as one who does not expressly speak of it It was the burden of the first prophetic utterance. which Holy Writ records Jude 14 and the closing book of the sacred Canon from the first chapter to. the last confirms and amplifies the testimony, The only inquiry therefore which concerns us relates to the nature of the crisis and the time of its. fulfillment And the key to this inquiry is the Prophet Daniel s vision of the seventy weeks Not that a. right understanding of the prophecy will enable us to prophesy That is not the purpose for which it. was given 2, But it will prove a sufficient safeguard against error in the study Notably it will save us from the. follies into which false systems of prophetic chronology inevitably lead those who follow them It is. not in our time only that the end of the world has been predicted It was looked for far more. confidently at the beginning of the sixth century All Europe rang with it in the days of Pope Gregory. the Great And at the end of the tenth century the apprehension of it amounted to a general panic It. was then frequently preached on and by breathless crowds listened to the subject of every one s. thoughts every one s conversation Under this impression multitudes innumerable says Mosheim. having given their property to monasteries or churches traveled to Palestine where they expected. Christ to descend to judgment Others bound themselves by solemn oaths to be serfs to churches or to. priests in hopes of a milder sentence on them as being servants of Christ s servants In many places. buildings were let go to decay as that of which there would be no need in future And on occasions of. eclipses of sun or moon the people fled in multitudes for refuge to the caverns and the rocks 3. And so in recent years one date after another has been confidently named for the supreme crisis but. still the world goes on A D 581 was one of the first years fixed for the event 4 1881 is among the. last These pages are not designed to perpetuate the folly of such predictions but to endeavor in a. humble way to elucidate the meaning of a prophecy which ought to deliver us from all such errors and. to rescue the study from the discredit they bring upon it. No words ought to be necessary to enforce the importance of the subject and yet the neglect of the. prophetic Scriptures by those even who profess to believe all Scripture to be inspired is proverbial. Putting the matter on the lowest ground it might be urged that if a knowledge of the past be. important a knowledge of the future must be of far higher value still in enlarging the mind and. raising it above the littlenesses produced by a narrow and unenlightened contemplation of the present. If God has vouchsafed a revelation to men the study of it is surely fitted to excite enthusiastic interest. and to command the exercise of every talent which can be brought to bear upon it. And this suggests another ground on which in our own day especially prophetic study claims. peculiar prominence namely the testimony it affords to the Divine character and origin of the. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, Scriptures Though infidelity was as open mouthed in former times it had its own banner and its own.
camp and it shocked the mass of mankind who though ignorant of the spiritual power of religion. clung nevertheless with dull tenacity to its dogmas But the special feature of the present age well. fitted to cause anxiety and alarm to all thoughtful men is the growth of what may be termed. religious skepticism a Christianity which denies revelation a form of godliness which denies that. which is the power of godliness 2 Timothy 3 5, Faith is not the normal attitude of the human mind towards things Divine the earnest doubter. therefore is entitled to respect and sympathy But what judgment shall be meted out to those who. delight to proclaim themselves doubters while claiming to be ministers of a religion of which FAITH. is the essential characteristic, There are not a few in our day whose belief in the Bible is all the more deep and unfaltering just. because they have shared in the general revolt against priestcraft and superstition and such men are. scarcely prepared to take sides in the struggle between free thought and the thraldom of creeds and. clerics But in the conflict between faith and skepticism within the pale their sympathies are less. divided On the one side there may be narrowness but at least there is honesty and in such a case. surely the moral element is to be considered before a claim to mental vigor and independence can be. listened to Moreover any claim of the kind needs looking into The man who asserts his freedom to. receive and teach what he deems truth howsoever reached and wheresoever found is not to be. lightly accused of vanity or self will His motives may be true and right and praiseworthy But if he. has subscribed to a creed he ought to be careful in taking any such ground It is not on the side of. vagueness that the creeds of our British Churches are in fault and men who boast of being. freethinkers would deserve more respect if they showed their independence by refusing to subscribe. than by undermining the doctrines they are both pledged and subsidized to defend and teach. But what concerns us here is the indisputable fact that rationalism in this its most subtle phase is. leavening society The universities are its chief seminaries The pulpit is its platform Some of the. most popular religious leaders are amongst its apostles No class is safe from its influence And if. even the present could be stereotyped it were well but we are entered on a downward path and they. must indeed be blind who cannot see where it is leading If the authority of the Scriptures be. unshaken vital truths may be lost by one generation and recovered by the next but if that be touched. the foundation of all truth is undermined and all power of recovery is gone The Christianized skeptic. of today will soon give place to the Christianized infidel whose disciples and successors in their turn. will be infidels without any gloss of Christianity about them Some doubtless will escape but as for. the many Rome will be the only refuge for those who dread the goal to which society is hastening. Thus the forces are marshaling for the great predicted struggle of the future between the apostasy of a. false religion and the apostasy of open infidelity 5. Is the Bible a revelation from God This is now become the greatest and most pressing of all. questions We may at once dismiss the quibble that the Scriptures admittedly contain a revelation Is. the sacred volume no better than a lottery bag from which blanks and prizes are to be drawn at. random with no power of distinguishing between them till the day when the discovery must come too. late And in the present phase of the question it is no less a quibble to urge that passages and even. books may have been added in error to the Canon We refuse to surrender Holy Writ to the tender. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, mercies of those who approach it with the ignorance of pagans and the animus of apostates But for. the purpose of the present controversy we might consent to strike out everything on which. enlightened criticism has cast the shadow of a doubt This however would only clear the way for the. real question at issue which is not as to the authenticity of one portion or another but as to the. character and value of what is admittedly authentic We are now far beyond discussing rival theories. of inspiration what concerns us is to consider whether the holy writings are what they claim to be. the oracles of God 6, In the midst of error and confusion and uncertainty increasing on every side can earnest and devout. souls turn to an open Bible and find there words of eternal life The rational attitude of a thinking. mind towards the supernatural is that of skepticism 7. Reason may bow before the shibboleths and tricks of priestcraft the voice of the Church as it is. called but this is sheer credulity But if GOD speaks then skepticism gives place to faith Nor is this a. mere begging of the question The proof that the voice is really Divine must be absolute and. conclusive In such circumstances skepticism betokens mental or moral degradation and faith is not. the abnegation of reason but the highest act of reason To maintain that such proof is impossible is. equivalent to asserting that the God who made us cannot so speak to us that the voice shall carry with. it the conviction that it is from Him and this is not skepticism at all but disbelief and atheism It. pleased God to reveal His Son in me was St Paul s account of his conversion The grounds of his. faith were subjective and could not be produced In proof to others of their reality he could only. appeal to the facts of his life though these were entirely the result and in no sense or degree the basis. of his conviction Nor was his case exceptional St Peter was one of the favored three who witnessed. every miracle including the transfiguration and yet his faith was not the result of these but sprang. from a revelation to himself In response to his confession. Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God,the Lord declared.
Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but my Father who is in heaven Matthew. Nor again was this a special grace accorded only to apostles. To them that have obtained like precious faith with us 2 Peter 1 1. was St Peter s address to the faithful generally He describes them as born again by the Word of. God So also St John speaks of such as, born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God John 1 13. Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth. is the kindred statement of St James James 1 18,The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson. Whatever be the meaning of such words they must mean something more than arriving at a sound. conclusion from sufficient premises or accepting facts upon sufficient evidence Nor will it avail to. urge that this birth was merely the mental or moral change naturally caused by the truth thus attained. by natural means The language of the Scripture is unequivocal that the power of the testimony to. produce this change depended on the presence and operation of God Pages might be filled with. quotations to prove this but two may surface St Peter declares they preached the Gospel. with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven 1 Peter 1 12. and St Paul s words are still more definite Our Gospel came not unto you in word only but also in. power and in the Holy Ghost 8, And if the new birth and the faith of Christianity were thus produced in the case of persons who. received the Gospel immediately from the Apostles nothing less will avail with us who are separated. by eighteen centuries from the witnesses and their testimony God is with His people still And He. speaks to men s hearts now as really as He did in early times not indeed through inspired Apostles. and still less by dreams or visions but through the Holy Writings which He Himself inspired 9 and. as the result believers are born of God and obtain the knowledge of forgiveness of sins and of. eternal life The phenomenon is not a natural one resulting from the study of the evidences it is. supernatural altogether Thinking minds regarding it objectively may if they please maintain. towards it what they deem a rational attitude but at least let them own the fact that there are. thousands of credible people who can testify to the reality of the experience here spoken of and. further let them recognize that it is entirely in accordance with the teaching of the New Testament. And such persons have transcendental proof of the truth of Christianity Their faith rests not on the. phenomena of their own experience but on the great objective truths of revelation Yet their primary. conviction that these are Divine truths does not depend on the evidences which skepticism delights. to criticize but on something which skepticism takes no account of 10. No book can be written in behalf of the Bible like the Bible itself Man s defenses are man s word. they may help to beat off attacks they may draw out some portion of its meaning The Bible is God s. word and through it God the Holy Ghost who spake it speaks to the soul which closes not itself. against it 11, But more than this the well instructed believer will find within it inexhaustible stores of proof that it. is from God The Bible is far more than a textbook of theology and morals or even than a guide to. heaven It is the record of the progressive revelation God has vouchsafed to man and the Divine. history of our race in connection with that revelation Ignorance may fail to see in it anything more. than the religious literature of the Hebrew race and of the Church in Apostolic times but the. intelligent student who can read between the lines will find there mapped out sometimes in clear bold. outline sometimes dimly but yet always discernible by the patient and devout inquirer the great. scheme of God s counsels and workings in and for this world of ours from eternity to eternity. And the study of prophecy rightly understood has a range no narrower than this Its chief value is not. to bring us a knowledge of things to come regarded as isolated events important though this may. be but to enable us to link the future with the past as part of God s great purpose and plan revealed in. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, Holy Writ The facts of the life and death of Christ were an overwhelming proof of the inspiration of.
the Old Testament When after His resurrection He sought to confirm the disciples faith. beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the. things concerning Himself Luke 24 27, But many a promise had been given and many a prophecy recorded which seemed to be lost in the. darkness of Israel s national extinction and Judah s apostasy The fulfillment of them all depended on. Messiah but now Messiah was rejected and His people were about to be cast away that Gentiles. might be taken up for blessing Are we to conclude then that the past is wiped out for ever and that. God s great purposes for earth have collapsed through human sin As men now judge of revelation. Christianity dwindles down to be nothing but a plan of salvation for individuals and if St John s. Gospel and a few of the Epistles be left them they are content How different was the attitude of mind. and heart displayed by St Paul In the Apostle s view the crisis which seemed the catastrophe of. everything the old prophets had foretold of God s purposes for earth opened up a wider and more. glorious purpose still which should include the fulfillment of them all and rapt in the contemplation. he exclaimed, Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God how unsearchable are. His judgments and His ways past finding out Romans 11 33. True prophetic study is an inquiry into these unsearchable counsels these deep riches of Divine. wisdom and knowledge Beneath the light it gives the Scriptures are no longer a heterogeneous. compilation of religious books but one harmonious whole from which no part could be omitted. without destroying the completeness of the revelation And yet the study is disparaged in the. Churches as being of no practical importance If the Churches are leavened with skepticism at this. moment their neglect of prophetic study in this its true and broader aspect has done more than all the. rationalism of Germany to promote the evil Skeptics may boast of learned Professors and Doctors of. Divinity among their ranks but we may challenge them to name a single one of the number who has. given proof that he knows anything whatever of these deeper mysteries of revelation The attempt to. put back the rising tide of skepticism is hopeless Indeed the movement is but one of many phases of. the intense mental activity which marks the age The reign of creeds is past The days are gone for. ever when men will believe what their fathers believed without a question Rome in some phase of. its development has a strange charm for minds of a certain caste and rationalism is fascinating to not. a few but orthodoxy in the old sense is dead and if any are to be delivered it must be by a deeper and. more thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, These pages are but a humble effort to this end but if they avail in any measure to promote the study. of Holy Writ their chief purpose will be fulfilled The reader therefore may expect to find the accuracy. of the Bible vindicated on points which may seem of trifling value When David reached the throne of. Israel and came to choose his generals he named for the chief commands the men who had made. themselves conspicuous by feats of prowess or of valor Among the foremost three was one of whom. the record states that he defended a tract of lentiles and drove away a troop of the Philistines 2. Samuel 23 11 12 To others it may have seemed little better than a patch of weeds and not worth. fighting for but it was precious to the Israelite as a portion of the divinely given inheritance and. moreover the enemy might have used it as a rallying ground from which to capture strongholds So is. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, it with the Bible It is all of intrinsic value if indeed it be from God and moreover the statement. which is assailed and which may seem of no importance may prove to be a link in the chain of truth. on which we are depending for eternal life,CHAPTER 1 FOOTNOTES.
1 According to Mill the course of the world gives proof that both the power and the goodness. of God are limited His Essays on Religion clearly show that skepticism is an attitude of mind. which it is practically impossible to maintain Even with a reasoner so clear and able as Mill it. inevitably degenerates to a degrading form of faith The rational attitude of a thinking mind. towards the supernatural he declares is that of skepticism as distinguished from belief on. the one hand and from atheism on the other and yet he immediately proceeds to formulate a. creed It is not that there is a God for that is only probable but that if there be a God He is not. almighty and His goodness toward man is limited Essays etc pp 242 243 He does not. prove his creed of course Its truth is obvious to a thinking mind It is equally obvious that. the sun moves round the earth A man only needs to be as ignorant of astronomy as the infidel is. of Christianity and he will find the most indisputable proof of the fact every time he surveys the. 2 Prophecy is not given to enable us to prophesy but as a witness to God when the time. comes PUSEY Daniel p 80, 3 Elliott Horae Apoc 3rd Ed 1 446 and see also ch 3 pp 362 376. 4 Elliott 1 373 Hippolytus predicted A D 500, 5 I cannot refrain from giving the following extract from an article by Professor Goldwin. Smith in Macmillian s Magazine for February 1878, The denial of the existence of God and of the future state in a word is the dethronement of. conscience and society will pass to say the least through a dangerous interval before social. science can fill the vacant throne But in the meantime mankind or some portions of it may be. in danger of an anarchy of self interest compressed for the purpose of political order by a. despotism of force, That science and criticism acting thanks to the liberty of opinion won by political effort. with a freedom never known before have delivered us from a mass of dark and degrading. superstitions we own with heartfelt thankfulness to the deliverers and in the firm conviction. that the removal of false beliefs and of the authorities or institutions founded on them cannot. prove in the end anything but a blessing to mankind But at the same time the foundations of. general morality have inevitably been shaken and a crisis has been brought on the gravity of. which nobody can fail to see and nobody but a fanatic of materialism can see without the most. serious misgiving, There has been nothing in the history of man like the present situation The decadence of the.
ancient mythologies is very far from affording a parallel The Reformation was a tremendous. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, earthquake it shook down the fabric of mediaeval religion and as a consequence of the. disturbance in the religious sphere filled the world with revolutions and wars But it left the. authority of the Bible unshaken and men might feel that the destructive process had its limit. and that adamant was still beneath their feet But a world which is intellectual and keenly alive. to the significance of these questions reading all that is written about them with almost. passionate avidity finds itself brought to a crisis the character of which any one may realize by. distinctly presenting to himself the idea of existence without a God. 6 ta logia tou theou Romans 3 2 The old Hebrew Scriptures were thus regarded by those. who were the divinely appointed custodians of them ib Not only by the devout among the. Jews but as Josephus testifies by all they were justly believed to be Divine so that men. were willing to endure tortures of all kinds rather than speak against them and even willingly. to die for them Josephus Apion 1 8 This fact is of immense importance in relation to the. Lord s own teaching on the subject Dealing with a people who believed in the sanctity and. value of every word of Scripture He never missed an opportunity to confirm them in that belief. The New Testament affords abundant proof how unreservedly He enforced it upon His. disciples As regards the limits and date of closing of the Canon of Scripture see Pusey. Daniel p 294 etc,7 Mill Essays on Religion, 8 alla kai en dunamei kai en pneumati agio 1 Thessalonians 1 5 But also in power even in. the Holy Ghost There is no contrast intended between God on the one hand and power on the. other nor yet between different sorts of power To object that this referred to miracles which. accompanied the preaching is to betray ignorance of Scripture Acts 17 represents the preaching. to which the Apostle was alluding That miraculous power existed in Gentile Churches is clear. from 1 Corinthians 12 but the question is did the gospel which produced those Churches appeal. to miracles to confirm it Can any one read the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians and retain a. doubt as to the answer, 9 God is omnipresent but there is a real sense in which the Father and the Son are not on. earth but in heaven and in that same sense the Holy Spirit is not in heaven but on earth. 10 Such faith is inseparably connected with salvation and salvation is the gift of God. Ephesians 2 8 Hence the solemn words of Christ I thank Thee O Father Lord of heaven. and earth because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed. them unto babes Matthew 11 25,11 Pusey Daniel Pref p 25. CHAPTER II,DANIEL AND HIS TIMES,The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson.
DANIEL the prophet None can have a higher title to the name for it was thus Messiah spoke of. him And yet the great Prince of the Captivity would himself doubtless have disclaimed it Isaiah. Jeremiah Ezekiel and the rest spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost 2 Peter 1 21 but. Daniel uttered no such God breathed words 1 Like the beloved disciple in Messianic times he. beheld visions and recorded what he saw The great prediction of the seventy weeks was a message. delivered to him by an angel who spoke to him as man speaks with man A stranger to prophet s fare. 2 and prophet s garb he lived in the midst of all the luxury and pomp of an Eastern court Next to. the king he was the foremost man in the greatest empire of antiquity and it was not till the close of a. long life spent in statecraft that he received the visions recorded in the latter chapters of his book. To understand these prophecies aright it is essential that the leading events of the political history of. the times should be kept in view, The summer of Israel s national glory had proved as brief as it was brilliant The people never. acquiesced in heart in the Divine decree which in distributing the tribal dignities entrusted the. scepter to the house of Judah while it adjudged the birthright to the favored family of Joseph 3 and. their mutual jealousies and feuds though kept in check by the personal influence of David and the. surpassing splendor of the reign of Solomon produced a national disruption upon the accession of. Rehoboam In revolting from Judah the Israelites also apostatized from God and forsaking the. worship of Jehovah they lapsed into open and flagrant idolatry After two centuries and a half. unillumined by a single bright passage in their history they passed into captivity to Assyria 4 and. on the birth of Daniel a century had elapsed since the date of their national extinction. Judah still retained a nominal independence though in fact the nation had already fallen into a state. of utter vassalage The geographical position of its territory marked it out for such a fate Lying. half way between the Nile and the Euphrates suzerainty in Judea became inevitably a test by which. their old enemy beyond their southern frontier and the empire which the genius of Nabopolassar was. then rearing in the north would test their rival claims to supremacy The prophet s birth fell about the. very year which was reckoned the epoch of the second Babylonian Empire 5 He was still a boy at. the date of Pharaoh Necho s unsuccessful invasion of Chaldea In that struggle his kinsman and. sovereign the good king Josiah took sides with Babylon and not only lost his life but compromised. still further the fortunes of his house and the freedom of his country 2 Kings 23 29 2 Chronicles. The public mourning for Josiah had scarcely ended when Pharaoh on his homeward march appeared. before Jerusalem to assert his suzerainty by claiming a heavy tribute from the land and settling the. succession to the throne Jehoahaz a younger son of Josiah had obtained the crown on his father s. death but was deposed by Pharaoh in favor of Eliakim who doubtless recommended himself to the. king of Egypt by the very qualities which perhaps had induced his father to disinherit him Pharaoh. changed his name to Jehoiakim and established him in the kingdom as a vassal of Egypt 2 Kings. 23 33 35 2 Chronicles 36 3 4, In the third year after these events Nebuchadnezzar Prince Royal of Babylon 6 set out upon an. expedition of conquest in command of his father s armies and entering Judea he demanded the. submission of the king of Judah After a siege of which history gives no particulars he captured the. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, city and seized the king as a prisoner of war But Jehoiakim regained his liberty and his throne by. pledging his allegiance to Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar withdrew with no spoil except a part of the. holy vessels of the temple which he carried to the house of his god and no captives save a few youths. of the seed royal of Judah Daniel being of the number whom he selected to adorn his court as vassal. princes 2 Kings 24 1 2 Chronicles 36 6 7 Daniel 1 1 2 Three years later Jehoiakim revolted but. although during the rest of his reign his territory was frequently overrun by bands of the Chaldees. five years elapsed before the armies of Babylon returned to enforce the conquest of Judea 7. Jehoiachin a youth of eighteen years who had just succeeded to the throne at once surrendered with. his family and retinue 2 Kings 24 12 and once more Jerusalem lay at the mercy of Nebuchadnezzar. On his first invasion he had proved magnanimous and lenient but he had now not merely to assert. supremacy but to punish rebellion Accordingly he ransacked the city for everything of value and. carried away all Jerusalem leaving none behind save the poorest sort of the people of the land 2. Kings 24 14, Jehoiachin s uncle Zedekiah was left as king or governor of the despoiled and depopulated city. having sworn by Jehovah to pay allegiance to his Suzerain This was King Jehoiachin s captivity. according to the era of the prophet Ezekiel who was himself among the captives Ezekiel 1 2. The servitude to Babylon had been predicted as early as the days of Hezekiah 2 Kings 20 17 and. after the fulfillment of Isaiah s prophecy respecting it Jeremiah was charged with a Divine message of. hope to the captivity that after seventy years were accomplished they would be restored to their land. Jeremiah 29 10 But while the exiles were thus cheered with promises of good King Zedekiah and. the residue of Jerusalem that remained in the land were warned that resistance to the Divine decree. which subjected them to the yoke of Babylon would bring on them judgments far more terrible than. any they had known Nebuchadnezzar would return to destroy them utterly and make their whole. land a desolation and an astonishment Jeremiah 24 8 10 25 9 27 3 8 False prophets rose up. however to feed the national vanity by predicting the speedy restoration of their independence. Jeremiah 28 1 4 and in spite of the solemn and repeated warnings and entreaties of Jeremiah the. weak and wicked king was deceived by their testimony and having obtained a promise of armed. support from Egypt Ezekiel 17 15 he openly revolted. Thereupon the Chaldean armies once more surrounded Jerusalem Events seemed at first to justify. Zedekiah s conduct for the Egyptian forces hastened to his assistance and the Babylonians were. compelled to raise the siege and withdraw from Judea Jeremiah 37 1 5 11 But this temporary. success of the Jews served only to exasperate the King of Babylon and to make their fate more. terrible when at last it overtook them Nebuchadnezzar determined to inflict a signal chastisement on. the rebellious city and people and placing himself at the head of all the forces of his empire 2 Kings. 25 1 Jeremiah 34 1 he once more invaded Judea and laid siege to the Holy City. The Jews resisted with the blind fanaticism which a false hope inspires and it is a signal proof of the. natural strength of ancient Jerusalem that for eighteen months 2 Kings 25 1 3 they kept their enemy. at bay and yielded at last to famine and not to force The place was then given up to fire and sword. Nebuchadnezzar slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no. compassion upon young man or maiden old man or him that stooped for age he gave them all into. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, his hand And all the vessels of the house of God great and small and the treasures of the house of.
the Lord and the treasures of the king and of his princes all these he brought to Babylon And they. burnt the house of God and brake down the wall of Jerusalem and burnt all the palaces thereof with. fire and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof And them that had escaped from the sword carried. he away to Babylon where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of. Persia to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah 2 Chronicles 36 17 21. As He had borne with their fathers for forty years in the wilderness so for forty years this last. judgment lingered because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place 2. Chronicles 36 15 For forty years the prophet s voice had not been silent in Jerusalem but they. mocked the messengers of God and despised His words and misused His prophets until the wrath of. the Lord arose against His people till there was no remedy 8. Such is the sacred chronicler s description of the first destruction of Jerusalem rivaled in later times. by the horrors of that event under the effects of which it still lies prostrate and destined to be. surpassed in days still to come when the predictions of Judah s supreme catastrophe shall be fulfilled. CHAPTER 2 FOOTNOTES, 1 My belief in the Divine character of the Book of Daniel will I trust appear plainly in these. pages The distinction I desire to mark here is between prophecies which men were inspired to. utter and prophecies like those of Daniel and St John who were merely the recipients of the. revelation With these inspiration began in the recording what they had received. 2 To quote Daniel 1 12 in opposition to this involves an obvious anachronism The word. pulse moreover in the Hebrew points generally to vegetable food and would include a dish. as savory as that for which Esau sold his birthright comp Genesis 25 34 To eat animal food. from the table of Gentiles would have involved a violation of the law therefore Daniel and his. companions became vegetarians, 3 Judah prevailed above his brethren and of him came the chief ruler but the birthright was. Joseph s 1 Chronicles 5 2, 4 The disruption was in B C 975 the captivity to Assyria about B C 721. 6 Berosus avers that this expedition was in Nabopolassar s lifetime Jos Apion 1 19 and. the chronology proves it See App I as to the dates of these events and the chronology of the. 7 2 Kings 24 1 2 According to Josephus Ant 10 6 Ch 3 Nebuchadnezzar on his second. invasion found Jehoiakim still on the throne and he it was who put him to death and made. Jehoiachin king He goes on to say that the king of Babylon soon afterwards became suspicious. of Jehoiachin s fidelity and again returned to dethrone him and placed Zedekiah on the throne. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, These statements though not absolutely inconsistent with 2 Kings 24 are rendered somewhat. improbable by comparison with it They are adopted by Canon Rawlinson in the Five Great. Monarchies vol 3 p 491 but Dr Pusey adheres to the Scripture narrative Daniel p 403. 8 2 Chronicles 5 16 This period is no doubt the forty years of Judah s sin specified in Ezekiel. 4 6 Jeremiah prophesied from the thirteenth year of Josiah B C 627 until the fall of. Jerusalem in the eleventh year of Zedekiah B C 587 See Jeremiah 1 3 and 25 3 The 390. years of Israel s sin according to Ezekiel 4 5 appear to have been reckoned from the date of the. covenant of blessing to the ten tribes made by the prophet Ahijah with Jeroboam presumably. in the second year before the disruption i e B C 977 1 Kings 11 29 39. 9 The horrors of the siege and capture of Jerusalem by Titus surpass everything which history. records of similar events Josephus who was himself a witness of them narrates them in all. their awful details His estimate of the number of Jews who perished in Jerusalem is 1 100. 000 The blood runs cold and the heart sickens at these unexampled horrors and we take. refuge in a kind of desperate hope that they have been exaggerated by the historian Jerusalem. might almost seem to be a place under a peculiar curse it has probably witnessed a far greater. portion of human misery than any other spot upon the earth MILMAN Hist Jews. CHAPTER III,THE KING S DREAM AND THE PROPHET S VISIONS.
THE distinction between the Hebrew and the Chaldee portions of the writings of Daniel 1 affords a. natural division the importance of which will appear on a careful consideration of the whole But for. the purpose of the present inquiry the book will more conveniently divide itself between the first six. chapters and the last the former portion being primarily historical and didactic and the latter. containing the record of the four great visions granted to the prophet in his closing years It is with the. visions that here we are specially concerned The narrative of the third fourth fifth and sixth chapters. is beyond the scope of these pages as having no immediate bearing upon the prophecy The second. chapter however is of great importance as giving the foundation of the later visions 2. In a dream King Nebuchadnezzar saw a great image of which the head was gold the breasts and. arms silver the body brass the legs iron and the feet partly iron and partly potter s ware Then a. stone hewn without hands struck the feet of the image and it fell and crumbled to dust and the stone. became a great mountain and filled the whole earth 3. The interpretation is in these words, Thou O king art a king of kings for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom power. and strength and glory And wheresoever the children of men dwell the beasts of the field and. the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee and. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, another third kingdom of brass which shall bear rule over all the earth And the fourth kingdom. shall be strong as iron forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things and as iron. that breaketh all these shall it break in pieces and bruise And whereas thou sawest the feet and. toes part of potter s clay and part of iron the kingdom shall be divided but there shall be in it of. the strength of the iron forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay And as the. toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay so the kingdom shall be partly strong and. partly broken And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay they shall mingle. themselves with the seed of men but they shall not cleave one to another even as iron is not. mixed with clay And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom. which shall never be destroyed and the kingdom shall not be left to other people but it shall. break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand for ever Forasmuch as thou. sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it brake in pieces the. iron the brass the clay the silver and the gold the great God hath made known to the king. what shall come to pass hereafter and the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure. Daniel 2 37 45, The predicted sovereignty of Judah passed far beyond the limits of mere supremacy among the tribes. of Israel It was an imperial scepter which was entrusted to the Son of David. I will make him my firstborn higher than the kings of the earth Psalm 89 27. All things shall fall down before him all nations shall serve him Psalm 72 11. Such were the promises which Solomon inherited and the brief glory of his reign gave proof how. fully they might have been realized 2 Chronicles 9 22 28 had he not turned aside to folly and. bartered for present sensual pleasures the most splendid prospects which ever opened before mortal. man Nebuchadnezzar s dream of the great image and Daniel s vision in interpretation of that dream. were a Divine revelation that the forfeited scepter of the house of David had passed to Gentile hands. to remain with them until the day when the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never. be destroyed Daniel 2 44, It is unnecessary here to discuss in detail the earlier portions of this prophecy There is in fact no. controversy as to its general character and scope and bearing in mind the distinction between what is. doubted and what is doubtful there need be no controversy as to the identity of the empires therein. described with Babylonia Persia Greece and Rome That the first was Nebuchadnezzar s kingdom is. definitely stated Daniel 2 37 38 and a later vision as expressly names the Medo Persian empire and. the empire of Alexander as being distinct kingdoms within the range of the prophecy Daniel 8 20. 21 The fourth empire therefore must of necessity be Rome But it is sufficient here to emphasize the. fact revealed in the plainest terms to Daniel in his exile and to Jeremiah in the midst of the troubles. at Jerusalem that thus the sovereignty of the earth which had been forfeited by Judah was solemnly. committed to the Gentiles 4 The only questions which arise relate first to the character of the final. catastrophe symbolized by the fall and destruction of the image and secondly to the time of its. fulfillment and any difficulties which have been raised depend in no way upon the language of the. prophecy but solely upon the preconceived views of interpreters No Christian doubts that the stone. cut out without hands was typical either of Christ Himself or of His kingdom It is equally clear that. the catastrophe was to occur when the fourth empire should have become divided and be partly. The Coming Prince text by Sir Robert Anderson, strong and partly brittle Therefore its fulfillment could not belong to the time of the first advent No.
less clear is it that its fulfillment was to be a sudden crisis to be followed by the establishment of a. kingdom which shall never be destroyed Therefore it relates to events still to come We are dealing. here not with prophetic theories but with the meaning of plain words and what the prophecy. foretells is not the rise and spread of a spiritual kingdom in the midst of earthly kingdoms but the. establishment of a kingdom which shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms 5. The interpretation of the royal dream raised the captive exile at a single bound to the Grand. Vizier ship of Babylon Daniel 2 48 a position of trust and honor which probably he held until he. was either dismissed or withdrew from office under one or other of the two last kings who succeeded. to Nebuchadnezzar s throne The scene on the fatal night of Belshazzar s feast suggests that he had. been then so long in retirement that the young king regent knew nothing of his fame 6 But yet his. fame was still so great with older men that notwithstanding his failing years he was once more called. to the highest office by Darius when the Median king became master of the broad walled city 7. But whether in prosperity or in retirement he was true to the God of his fathers The years in which. his childhood in Jerusalem was spent though politically dark and troubled were a period of the. brightest spiritual revival by which his nation had ever been blessed and he had carried with him to. the court of Nebuchadnezzar a faith and piety that withstood all the adverse influences which. abounded in such a scene 8, The Daniel of the second chapter was a young man just entering on a career of extraordinary dignity. and power such as few have ever known The Daniel of the seventh chapter was an aged saint who. having passed through the ordeal scathless still possessed a heart as true to God and to His people as. when some threescore years before he had entered the gates of the broad walled city a captive and. friendless stranger The date of the earlier vision was about the time of Jehoiakim s revolt when their. ungovernable pride of race and creed still led the Jews to dream of independence At the time of the. later vision more than forty years had passed since Jerusalem had been laid in ruins and the last king. of the house of David had entered the brazen gates of Babylon in chains. Here again the main outlines of the prophecy seem clear As the four empires which were destined. successively to wield sovereign power during the times of the Gentiles are represented in. Nebuchadnezzar s dream by the four divisions of the great image they are here typified by four wild. beasts 9 The ten toes of the image in the second chapter have their correlatives in the ten horns of. the fourth beast in the seventh chapter The character and course of the fourth empire are the. prominent subject of the later vision but both prophecies are equally explicit that that empire in its. ultimate phase will be brought to a signal and sudden end by a manifestation of Divine power on. The details of the vision though interesting and important may here be passed unnoticed for the. interpretation given of them is so simple and so definite that the words can leave no room for doubt in. any unprejudiced mind These great beasts which are four are four kings i e kingdoms compare. verse 23 which shall arise out of the earth but the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom.

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