Daniel 8

Daniel 8  •  20 min. read  •  grade level: 11
This is not the sad pride of the world, the apostate Gentility against God, and His, as on high. It is the representative or successor of the Grecian monarchy against those who stood as God's authorities and signs on the earth. The first general idea is, that this little horn shall attack and trample on the host of heaven, and the stars. It shall cast down (or out) the truth, shall practice and prosper. Secondly, he shall stand up against the prince of the host. Thirdly, the daily sacrifice is taken away from the prince of the host, the place of his sanctuary cast out or down, not, I think, physically (materially) and the daily sacrifice subjected, for a given period (viz., 2,300 days) to oppression. Only the two former are spoken of as accomplished at the end of the indignation. The king, understanding dark sentences, shall stand up, be powerful, destroy mighty ones and the people of the saints. He shall stand up against the Prince of princes. All that regards the daily is not the least applied to the little horn in the interpretation given, but as all relating to the action of the horn against the saints is, while chapter 7 being a collateral, accessory subject, so here omitted, because the historical type is not explicitly carried out here. The only allusion to it is verse 26, the last words of which might give occasion to further inquiry.
It is well to remark that in this chapter, it (the explanation) is declared to be at the end of the indignation, and at the time appointed—the end. In chapter 7, this is not the case—the history and explanation is left open and general, though I doubt not the full accomplishment is at the close. In general, the horn makes war against the saints till the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of 'the high places,' and the time came that 'the saints possessed the kingdom.' Then, there are three characters—great words against the Most High—wearing out the saints of the high places—and changing times and laws. He acts, or speaks, against the Most High, against the heavenly saints, and against the Jewish order. The period, up to which he acts against the heavenly saints, is not stated. He made war with the saints 'until.'
We have here, i.e., in the explanation, what happens in the end of the indignation. The willful king prospers till the indignation is, I apprehend, fulfilled (ad-kalah, until the completion). In verse 8, we have merely one of the nations which burden themselves with Jerusalem, even all the nations, and act in different ways against the sanctuary, not honoring God in it. Now the staff in the Assyrian's hand is God's indignation. He is sent against the hypocritical nation, and the people of His wrath. I should suspect then that, in their connection with Antichrist, they are filling up the position of indignation. And, till this was done, he prospered; chapter II: 36. Then the indignation came in the Assyrian fully, and ceased; but there is more to be learned of this. Ta-mam (to complete) is used in this sense, in verse 23, below.
9. This has distinct local, or national identity.
11. Query is Mim-men-nu, "from him," or "by him"? The last word in the verse, mi-k'dosho (from his sanctuary) would say "from." Surely it is "from him," as in the margin, and not "by him."
Huram (he took away) is distinct; yash-bith (he made to cease) chapter 9: 27.
Why is this Antichrist at all? I do not believe it is. What is there to show it is? Does it appear anywhere that the "place of the sanctuary" is cast down by Antichrist? He sits in it perhaps, defiling it—that is different from throwing it down. Further, this arises out of one of the four kingdoms of the Grecian monarchy, and, as to its explanation specifically, it is " at the time of the end." Next, it is in the last end of the indignation. The indignation ceases (za-am, ' indignation,' in both cases) in the destruction of the Assyrian. The destruction in verse 25, and in Isa. 30:3030And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. (Isaiah 30:30) is not dissimilar, but I cannot identify them, nor do I know as yet that they are identified. It appears to me that it is with the enemies; Psa. 74, 0-yev (enemy) and tsor-rey-ka (thy adversaries)—the difference of which, as contrasted with Antichrist, I had noticed, without reference to this at any rate. This is a Jewish, Grecian, enemy I think, and not Antichrist. I should suspect from Isa. 10:5, 255O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. (Isaiah 10:5)
25For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. (Isaiah 10:25)
, compared with this, and Dan. 11:36, 4436And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. (Daniel 11:36)
44But 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. (Daniel 11:44)
, that Antichrist will continue until the Assyrian comes up against, and he, and his allies, "the enemies," take Jerusalem—the punishment of their union with Antichrist. As soon as this is done, and there is none shut up or left, the Lord takes up the matter, but I have much to learn here yet; for this, we must consult from Isa. 28 to 35.
Observe that, in the explanation of what happens at the end of the indignation, there is nothing about the Sanctuary or daily sacrifice, quod nota. I do not believe this king is Antichrist.
11-14. " Yea, he magnified even to the prince of the host, and from him the daily [sacrifice] was taken away," literally "lifted" "was raised up" (he-rim*) as a crown off the head, "and the place of his sanctuary was cast out," rather than "cast down," "and a set time of trouble was appointed to the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it" (the horn) "cast down" (the same as of the sanctuary) "the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and one saint said to the certain saint which spoke, "Until when" (how long) "the vision of the daily [sacrifice], and the wickedness which causeth desolation, to give the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said to me 'Until' (or 'during') evening, morning, 2,300, and then the sanctuary shall be vindicated." Note in the end of the chapter, in the explanation, there is nothing given at all as to the sanctuary cast down, nor the daily sacrifice; only he destroys mighty ones, and the people of the saints, and at last stands up against the Prince of princes. But note verse 26; and note, it is just what I had put in a parenthesis, which is left out. All the rest, before and after, is in the interpretation; then verses 13, 14, must be considered, which connect the two.
(* He-rim is the Kh'thiv in verse)
These verses calculate the seventy weeks, because its subject then began to exist, abstracting perhaps the seven. I think it very highly probable that the three days and a half, not here noticed, may be the three years and a half, the 1,260 days during which Antichrist shall be in oppressive possession of Jerusalem, Messiah appearing again at the close of that period. This calculation may be stated thus: 490 from 2,300 leaves 1,810. But this goes to the Lord's death. Therefore we must add 33 and 1/2 for our Lord's life, that makes it 1,843 and 1/2. Sanctuary cleansed. Then there is a further question as to the epoch, i.e., they say the epoch is generally counted four years too late.
I have come to the conclusion that Antichrist is not mentioned in the Book of Revelation, though the formal power that he heads is, but not as such, not him, though it is; and, as this is most important, so it clears up a great deal. So neither is the reign of Christ, which leads us further into the subject and structure of the Book. I do not mean that it is not adverted to, but the saints reign with Him, but they are not the subjects but companions of His reign. And, inasmuch as the saints, as such, are the subject of the Book, this is merely stated as the result, and their happiness in the New Jerusalem stated, and the fact of the subjection and blessing of the world, as connected with it, not the earthly estate as subject—that, you must look for in the prophets, which is the subject of them, the kingdom of the Son. We are to reign with Him, but the blessings are the state in which we are derivatively, not imperially, i.e., New Jerusalem. Nothing can be more important than this, as showing the position in which the saints are taken up in this Book—that it is the very opposite to the coming of Christ, as such, that closes the subject of the Book. It is the saints as spiritual inmates of the Father's kingdom, but in the Son's which is not assumed, but in which they are not when it comes, and therefore in patience among those who have the possession of it, and brought in the New Jerusalem blessing of the Father's kingdom, when the Son with them takes the place; hence see Revelation 11, et seq. There the general view ends, and His taking the kingdom is noticed—the earthly kingdom, etc., and the whole is recognized in the thanks of the twenty-four elders, reward to the saints, and destroying them that destroy the earth—yet the blessings of earthly Jerusalem do not follow. Hence we see the moral difficulties, and the new Jerusalem blessings are the subject of the Book, not the reign of Christ and the personal power of Antichrist. The moment the Son of Man takes the kingdom, the position of the Book ceases, for then the saints are to be His agents in it, and reign with Him. Hence the subsequent part of the Book is the development of the systems which lead up to this. As to the personal Antichrist, the saints are agents of destruction, not themselves destroyed. They have refused the mark of the image, and therefore are not under his reign, but reign with Christ, on his destruction delivering the Remnant (of the Jews) whom he held under thraldom. The comparison of chapter 11:18, 19, and 21 plainly opens out this part of the subject. The subsequent part, from chapter 11, opens out, in just order, the subject of that in which the saints are involved, the mystic arrangements and progress of evil to that which formed Babylon and the power it rode, and the deliverance of the saints in and out of it, with the agencies of the latter day which developed and set it aside, and then the marriage of the Lamb, and then the bringing of His wife into the house He had prepared for her, as married, in her dignity, as brought by Him into the glory. Blessings may flow from this, and all the nations bring their glory and honor here, but this is not the kingdom of the Son, save as the Throne is the kingdom, therefore it is mentioned as we shall reign with Him.'
I think we have the intention of the Books, as to their object, thus: Daniel gives the powers that deal with the Jews, especially the last; there is therefore, but inasmuch as the Jews properly were the subject definitely, he who holds the Jews in tribulation, i.e., Antichrist. Therefore in Daniel, we have Antichrist dealing with the Jews. The other prophets give the Assyrian with the Land, Immanuel's Land, though they speak of the Antichrist collaterally or partially.
The Book of Revelation gives the moral operations of Antichrist among and over the Gentiles, as far as he is the chief object, and his destruction. The spiritual, moral Antichrist, the spirit of evil, rules in the Gentile world, and acts against the spiritual, moral body, the Christian believers. The personal Antichrist is opposed to the personal Christ, but anticipatively, i.e., he sets up over Jerusalem, and would show himself as God. The Gentiles, I do not doubt, will be so afraid of the Gog, that they will throw themselves into the hands of the personal Antichrist, and thus be the opponents of the Lord at Jerusalem. The same of the Jews there, as to His power. The Assyrian is the grand opponent of the nation, and is involved in the catastrophe, being found coming up when the Lord has destroyed the Antichrist. He thinks he has found it as a nest, but he knows not the Lord, nor the thoughts of His heart, and is broken to pieces against the Rock of their salvation. Antichrist is against Christ, as the spirit of Antichrist is against those led of the Spirit of Christ, but the Assyrian is looking for power, universal power, earthly power, and this brings him into atheism. The Jews in Christ's hand, when He has taken to Him His power, are the instruments of his destruction in measure, for they destroy each other also, but it is as acting for and with the Jews, the Remnant. The saints who have suffered with Christ during the period of the deceitful power, then in Christ's hand are the avengers against Antichrist. The Christ mystical, Christ and all His Saints, in Daniel, are to look for Antichrist, and the Jews in Revelation for his covert working and forming of the body for judgment—in the prophets, generally, for the Assyrian against the temporal power of God set up in the Jews, of course under the Son on the throne of David; then there is an interesting question.
12. It appears that here the translation might well be, "And an appointed time of misery, or subjection, to the rule of strangers is set over the daily [sacrifice] because of transgression." The point here is the effect of the transgression; it has nothing to do with the "abomination of desolation," though that may be collaterally included in it, but the continuance of the effect of the transgression which made desolate.
‘And an host was given against the daily by reason of transgression' (v'tza-va tin-na-then al-hat-ta-mid b'pha-sha). Unnecessary difficulty seems to have been thrown on this passage, by want of attention to a very ordinary use of the word tza-va (host). It is in the first verse of chapter 10 emeth haddavar v'tza-va ga-dol (the thing was true, but the time appointed was long). It is translated the time appointed.' This however, I think, is an imperfect sense of the word. Job 7:11Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling? (Job 7:1), seems to give an entrance into the force of the word, 'Is there not an appointed time to man? His days also as the days of an hireling?' So chapter 14:14, and Isaiah 40:22Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2), whence I gather that its force is 'an appointed time' of subjection to evil. Further, I believe the force of tin-na-thenal (shall be given... against) is properly ‘to set over.' The translation then would simply be ' an appointed [time] of subject misery,' or 'subjection to the rule of strangers is appointed over the daily, because of transgression,' giving the general subject of the prophecy.
The next point I would notice is the calculation of 2,300 days for the cleansing the sanctuary, and here, as I have ever found, extrinsic inquiry obscures Scripture. The Scripture itself affords the basis of the chronology. Four hundred and ninety days, or seventy weeks, were from the going forth of the decree to restore and rebuild; this, taken from 2,300, leaves 1,810. If we take the seven weeks for the period during which the wall, etc., should be rebuilt, then, adding forty-nine years, the close of the period 1859. At any rate Daniel's date is the one to be relied on, for it is the Lord's, for the purpose of the period up to Messiah the Prince. We might have to add twenty-nine years for the period of our Lord's ministry. These questions of detail are not now, however, the point I would rest on at large. In connection with the former word tza-va (host) does ga-dol ever mean ‘long' as in Daniel 10:11In 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. (Daniel 10:1)?
I cannot help thinking that, while Romanism, and especially popery, have been the Antichristian power during the time of the Spirit's testimony while Christianity, i.e., the Church of God, subsists on the earth, that afterward other powers will come on the scene, i.e., the civil, imperial power in the empire (in the West, I suppose), and as power in Palestine in the East, which associates itself with the designs of the imperial power of the West, and recognizes it, but will act in an independent way in its own sphere—will have its own character, and deceive the Jews, and have the fullest private character of religious iniquity, and Jewish Anti-christianism or Anti-Messiah-ship setting up there, and, in fine, acting with the devil's power. This will characterize the Beast, but it is it that will so act. There is another question: What is Dan. 8 in this scene? This will of course end in the denial, not merely of the Father and the Son, but in the full Jewish form of infidelity denying that Jesus is the Christ.
24. "The mighty and the holy people" is surely not the sense. It is "And the people of the saints," not "the holy people," see chapter 7: 27. " He shall destroy mighty ones, and the people of the sanctuary." Am kad-di-shey (the people of the saints) is evidently a definite word, as in chapter 7: 27, though there el-ye-nin (the heavenly places) is added, because of its connection with that. This I believe to be Antichrist, strictly in connection with the Jews that act so, but in more general bearings, in the Roman empire. See note above; but, with the exception of its being Antichrist, this note is true.
26. It certainly appears to me that this is the identity of Grecian, national evil against the Jews, Assyrian or Grecian-Syrian enmity, and, I suspect, while the final enmity is what he explains at the end, the vision includes all. It may be a question, though characteristic, whether the detail of verses 10, 11, etc., applies to the time of the end. The explanation is clearly (v. 19) the end, but it was for many days, identifying, at any rate, the local power as restored to act at the end. Then chapter 7 would be the general statement of the judgment and results; chapter 8 the Grecian or little horn which casts down the sanctuary when the transgressors are come to the full; chapter 9 the appointment of the time to Messiah the Prince—the Anti-Messiah character, in Jerusalem, of the Antichrist. Chapter 11 I believe to be the secular actings of Antichrist, as head of the Roman power. If Antichrist goes down to Egypt, if the king of the South pushes at him, then hears of the attacks from the North and East, and returns, and perishes, with none to help him—he had previously filled up iniquity in Jerusalem—the order would be plain.
I return, after inquiry to the thoughts already expressed on this chapter. It is another hostile power, having its birthplace in the limits of the Grecian empire, which, after many exploits, attacks and oppresses the Jews—has prolonged intercourse with them—is not a mere pagan enemy, but furnished with wisdom of its own kind, not divine indeed perhaps, but Solomonic in its pretension. Policy and craft shall be there, as well as war; finally he shall stand up against the Prince of princes. This is the interpretation, and it is all that is positively prophesied at the end. I cannot doubt that God has so ordered these prophecies as to suit them to the partial accomplishments—say in the time of the Grecian power for instance, and Mahomet, and that we have to use spiritual discernment for the application, only the Lord has taken care that it is perfect, while useable for faith in each time of need. There is nothing here of the abomination of desolation—we are on other ground. It is friendly and deceitful relationships or attacks from without, but connected with this, a time of desolation as to the other state of things. It is not the transgression causing, but the desolation caused, quod nota, though the enemy's pride is noticed. I hold, ' And from him the daily was taken away' (‘through him,' not 'by,' if insisted on, but 'from him' I believe correct) 'and the place of his sanctuary was cast down, and a time of distress appointed to the daily, by reason of transgression,' to be the rendering, and, in parenthesis, describing the state of the Jewish sanctuary and worship at that time generally.
Hence the inquiry is as to the duration of the desolation—how long the vision of the daily, and the transgression which desolates, to give the sanctuary and host to be trampled on? The abomination is not noticed. It is the transgressors which bring on the desolation here. This enemy will attack and harass, and deceive the transgressing people. It is very probable that, up to the beginning of the last half week, the apostate power will associate with the Jews; Isa. 28 seems to demonstrate it. This will not save them from the desolator neither, as that passage shows. The earlier attacks are before the taking away the daily, and the placing of the abomination of desolation. That is clear because there are 1,290 days from these latter weeks, and 2,700 of the time of distress—the transgression which gives up the sanctuary and the host to be given up to idolatry, I suppose, according to Isa. 65 will have been introduced (as in Ahaz's time) along with the sacrifices; see Isa. 65:1111But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. (Isaiah 65:11) and chap. 66: 1-3. Hence distress from the Assyrian, or this horn of chapter 8. Then at the middle of the week, the state of things changes—the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation set up.
Note in Isa. 57 we have idolatry and going to "the king," and in chapter 30 the Assyrian and the king plunged into Tophet.
Note also, here, that Isa. 24 is a signal instance how the narrower objects of prophecy spread out in the divine vision, into larger, for, in a considerable part of it eretz is evidently 'the Land' (and, I doubt not, Palestine is looked at as a center of gathering) but, to say nothing of intimations of a wider bearing, because it is the true center of God's earth (compare the connection of Isa. 2 and 3) verse 21, and the following, clearly show that 'earth' reaches out to 'the world' beyond Palestine. Indeed another thing shows it, because evidently Nebuchadnezzar's inroad gives occasion to much of it. Yet the fall and destruction of Babylon is included in it. It may be alleged indeed that the successes of the Assyrian empire, which began with Sargon, are referred to, for Babylon was conquered, and Esarhaddon reigned there without a viceroy, but this would not alter the great principle, only the argument drawn from supposing it was Nebuchadnezzar.
Note, as to oikoumene, besides other passages, it is used for eretz (earth) in Isa. 24:11Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. (Isaiah 24:1), and for te-vel (habitable earth) in verse 4. It is also used for te-vel in the Septuagint in Psa. 18:4 (Heb. 19: 5); 92:1 (Heb. 93:1); 95:10-13 (Heb. 96:10-13)—and in Psa. 97:99For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. (Psalm 97:9) (Heb. 98: 9), where it is translated ' world,' and where, note, eretz answers to ge, and oikoumene to te-vel. So indeed in Psa. 18 (Septuagint) 19 (English). This, in certain reasonings, clearly decides the use of oikoumene in the New Testament.