Remarks on a Part of Daniel

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My Dear Brother:-I send you some remarks on an interesting part of prophecy,-including some principles long ago remarked, and recalled by recent study of some parts of Dan. 1 shall be short. My object being to throw out the grounds of judgment rather than to reason on them. It has been long my conviction that there are two very distinct parties engaged in the trials of Jerusalem in the latter day. The alliance of Jerusalem with the one is the chief occasion of the desolation brought on by the other. This other is habitually termed the Assyrian in Isa. 1 now proceed to give you the elements of certain passages which seem to me to throw light on these points, and to facilitate the understanding of Daniel. First, the indignation (see Isa. 10), we have the revelation that the rod in the hand of the Assyrian is the Lord's indignation. This indignation is to cease in the destruction of the Assyrian. The characteristic term for this closing period is the indignation of Jehovah against the nation. We find, in Dan. 8:1919And 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. (Daniel 8:19), the expositor, who tells Daniel that he will make him know what is in the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed the end shall be. The willful king prospers till this indignation is filled up. When the overflowing scourge (Isa. 28), which is a flood and a treading down (compare Dan. 9:2727And 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. (Daniel 9:27) and 8:13) comes through Ephraim (that is from the north)-the scornful men which dwell at Jerusalem have made a covenant with Death and are at agreement with Hell, and hence hope to escape the overflowing scourge; but, as there is a foundation-stone for faith, so judgment is laid to the line, and the overflowing scourge passes through and they are trodden down by it. We have then the period of the indignation and the special instrument of it (this attack of the Assyrian being repeatedly referred to in Isaiah, compare Psa. 83). We have also the fact, that, when the scourge of desolation passes through, the rulers at Jerusalem had made an agreement with Death and Hell to avoid it; but the overflowing scourge sweeps on. The distinction we have at the close of 30, where it seems to me the king is a distinct personage (גַּםחוּא לַמּלֶדּ Gam hoo lammelek). It is prepared for the king too. These passages lead me to another expression of importance in this respect, and which also links together Daniel and these passages in Isaiah (כׇלָח ונֶחֱדָצֶח chalah veneheratsa). The consumption decreed. You will find this Isa. 10:2323For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. (Isaiah 10:23) (and something like it, v. 22), in connection with the indignation, and the Assyrian and a very small remnant left of Israel from the judgment, but a determined one of God. In Isa. 28 the judgment is clearly on Israel, coming, as I have said, as to its progress through Ephraim, it finds the rulers of Jerusalem in league with death; and they are warned (v. 22) not to be mockers, because (כׇלָח ונֶחֱדָצֶח chalah veneheratsa), a consumption is determined on the whole earth (land). In Dan. 9:2727And 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. (Daniel 9:27), we find the same expression translated the consummation, and that determined. I apprehend the force is for the over-spreading of abominations (the protection of idols, which makes the great charge against the Jews of the latter day) מְשמֵם (m' shomehm). There shall be a desolator until the consumption decreed be poured on the desolate; that is, the עֵל בְּנִף שקּוּצׅים (al c'naph shikkutsim), whatever that may be taken to be, is the cause why the consumption decreed is poured on the desolate; some take it as a fact, or prefer the margin. As I take the sense of the English translation to be just, I venture on Hebrew ground, but only to put questions. I suppose עֵל may mean because, or for, as in English. Next, is it not certain, according to the points, that בְּנִף (c'naph) is in regimen with nTN) (shikkutsim), both from letters and accents, and that it is because of the protection of idols; and that the idols of the desolator is not the connection in the Hebrew. The best translation I have access to concurs in this. If so, the sense, as it seems to me to be, is clear, namely, " because of the protection of idols, [there shall be] a desolator until the consumption decreed; this appointed measure of wrath [against Israel "]. I think the reading of the passages quoted in Isaiah shows plainly that the decreed consuming or accomplishment of judgment applies to Israel, and such a statement accords with the whole testimony of God's word on the subject. This confirms the English translation " on the desolate." And here again I appeal to my Hebrew friends: the usual sense of שָמֵם (shamehnz) and מְשמֵם (shomehm) is, I apprehend, " to be desolate." מְשמֵם (shomehm), the word used here, is several times used for Jerusalem desolate, by Jeremiah in Lamentations, and in other parts of Scripture, as to it and other subjects. No case of the active use is alleged by Gesenius; but this passage, which proves of course nothing, and Dan. 12:1111And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 12:11), which rests on a similar basis, and viii. 13, all involve the question to be decided. For either of the two last cases, desolate or desolating gives a sense according to truth; but would in any case מְשמֵם (shomehm) be causing others to desolate. However, of this in a moment; the use of an unusual form (Ezek. 36:33Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people: (Ezekiel 36:3)) is the only other authority. Bagster's Lexicon, by W. 0-, jun., does not give this sense. However this may be, there is no doubt that the common use of the word elsewhere is desolate, and that the other expressions are usually applied to Jerusalem. The consumption decreed is poured upon the desolate. Until then there will be a desolator. Thus, we should have the declaration that He (the Prince to come) confirms covenant with the many (the body of the Jews) one week; and in the midst of the week He will cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and because of the over-spreading or protection of idols, there will be a desolator until the consumption decreed be poured on the desolate -until God has filled up his judgment.
Now, a few words on the question of the desolate, 11:31. It is a different word, the abomination of מְשמֵם (m'shomehm) the word translated, 9:27, "he shall make it desolate "—rather, a desolator; they shall plant the abomination of the desolator. This seems admitted by the common authorities I have recourse to. It inclines me much to think that this passage refers much more distinctly to Antiochus than to the latter days (v. 32.) " Do exploits" does not seem to me to characterize that epoch. As to 8:13, I leave this question, whether it is not the transgression of the desolate; when the transgressors are come to the full, transgression against the daily. It is clear in either case, that that causes desolation, so that I have nothing to oppose; but I would arrive at the force of the word. It is not, at any rate, an active desolator, I should think, in a positive way-as מְשמֵם (m' shomem). The existence of the latter word in 11:31 makes 12:11 more interesting. There, and there alone, we have שִקּוּץ שמֵם (shikkuts shomem); and to that, I apprehend, the Lord's solemn words specially refer as to the last days. I can hardly think that the Spirit uses, in 9:27, the two words as he does, to mean the same thing. If the difference in 11:31 and 12:11 be just, it throws vast light on the interpretation of the whole passage. Whatever may be the result as to the critical point, the connection of the two chapters of Isaiah (and others bear on it, particularly all from xxviii. to the end of 35.) throw much light on the solemn scenes of the history of Israel and the world in the last days.
I just add here, that besides the evident division at the end of the sixth chapter of Daniel, between the historic scenes or dreams of others interpreted by Daniel, and the communications made to Daniel himself, there is a distinction to be made between chaps. 7 and 8, (which have a common character), and chap. 9, to the end. Chaps. 7 and 8 are communications made to Daniel of certain events during the power of evil-the Jews being in no way delivered-and give us the two horns, and their bearing on the history of those beloved of God, whatever their condition. But all this is seen as a picture, though a picture explained—a picture of the power of evil. In the four last chapters, which date subsequent to the overthrow of Babylon, Daniel, according to the mind of God, is brought forward as intercessionally interested in Israel, and he pleads for guilty Israel as Moses of old; differently as to tone, but presenting, by faith in God's own thoughts, the people as His people, whatever their state may have been; and that is the character of faith, while fully (for the very same reason) owning and confessing the sin. The result is remarkably analogous as to this. The Angel who speaks on the Lord's behalf calls Israel Daniel's people, and the city his city, as the Lord did to Moses. Daniel sees no vision here of historical wonders, but of the glory of the person interested in Israel, who communicates to him Israel's history in reply to his faith in God and love to Israel, as the man greatly beloved. Chapter 9 seems to me to refer rather to chap. 7, and chaps. 10 and 11 and 12 to chap. 8; the former to the Western, and the latter to the Eastern subjects of prophecy. I believe these considerations will assist in the intelligence of the book, the latter remarks opening considerably the bearing of the two subdivisions. The explanation of the seventh is not in terms con fined to the end of the indignation, as that of the eighth, though the special actings of the little horn are identified with the periods of chapter 12.