Daniel Chapter 7b
Table of Contents
Daniel Chapter 8b
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Daniel Chapter 8a
The World Arraigned
We now come once more,” says Adam Clarke, “to the
Hebrew, the Chaldee part of the book being finished. As the Chaldeans had
a particular interest both in the history and prophecies from chapter 2:4
to the end of chapter 7, the whole is written in Chaldee; but as the
prophecies which remain concern times posterior to the Chaldean monarchy,
and principally relate to the church and people of God generally, they are
written in the Hebrew language, this being the tongue in which God chose to
reveal all His counsels given under the Old Testament relative to the New.”
Before the Court of Heaven
Verse 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.
One prominent characteristic of the sacred writings which should
forever shield them from the charge of being works of fiction, is the
frankness and freedom with which the writers state all the circumstances
connected with events which they record. Here verse 1 states the time when
this vision was given to Daniel. The first year of Belshazzar was 540
B.C. His third year, in which this vision was given, would
consequently be 538. Since Daniel was about twenty years of age when he
was carried to Babylon in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar in 606 B.C.,
he was at this time about eighty-eight years of age. The vision he refers
to as the one which appeared unto him at the first, is doubtless the vision
of the seventh chapter, which he had in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign.
Verse 2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to
pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the
province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
As verse states the time when the vision was given, this verse gives
the place where the prophet received the revelation. Shushan was the
metropolis of the province of Elam, which was then in the hands of the
Babylonians, and the king of Babylon had a royal palace there. Daniel as
minister of the state employed in the king’s business, was in that place.
Abradates, viceroy of Shushan gave his allegiance to Cyrus, and the
province was joined to the Medes and Persians; so that, according to the
prophecy of Isaiah 21:2, Elam went up with the Medes to besiege Babylon.
Under the Medes and Persians, Elam regained its liberties, of which it had
been deprived by the Babylonians, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah 49:39.
Verse 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. 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.
Kingdoms of Media and Persia. —In verse 20 an interpretation of
this symbol is given in plain language: “The ram which thou sawest
having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.” We have only
therefore to consider how well the power answers to the symbol in question.
The two horns represented the two nationalities of which the empire was
composed. The higher came up last. This symbolized Persia, which at first
was simply an ally of the Medes, but later came to be the leading division
of the empire. The directions in which the ram pushed denote the directions
in which the Medes and Persians carried their conquests. No earthly powers
could stand before them as they marched toward the exalted position to
which the providence of God had summoned them. So successful were their
conquests that in the
days of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1) the Medo-Persian kingdom, consisting of
one hundred twenty-seven provinces, extended from India to Ethiopia, the
boundaries of the then-known world.
Verse 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. 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. 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.
Kingdom of Grecia. —“As I was considering,” said the
prophet. Here is an example for every lover of truth and all how have any
regard for spiritual things. when Moses saw the burning bush, he said, “I
will now turn aside, and see this great sight.” How few are willing
at the present time to turn aside from their pursuit of business or
pleasure to consider the important themes which god seeks to bring to their
attention. The symbol here introduced is explained to Daniel by the
angel. “The rough goat is the king [or kingdom] of Grecia.”
Verse 21. Concerning the fitness of this symbol to represent the Grecian,
or Macedonian, people, Thomas Newton observes that the Macedonians, “About
two hundred years before Daniel, were denominated AEgeadae, or the
goat’s people.” He explains the origin of the name as
recounted by heathen authors: “Caranus, their first king, going with
a great multitude of Greeks to seek new habitations in Macedonia, was
commanded by the oracle to take the goats for his guides to empire: and
afterwards seeing a herd of goats flying from a violent storm, he followed
them to Edessa, and there fixed the seat of his empire, made the goats his
ensigns or standards and called the city AEgeae, or the
goat’s town, and the people AEgeadae, or the goat’s
people. . . . The city of AEgeae, or AEgeae, was the usual burying
place of the Macedonian kings.
It is also very remarkable that Alexander’s son by Roxana was named
Alexander AEgus, of the son of the goat; and some of
Alexander’s successors are represented in their coins with goat’s horns.”
The “goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth.”
That is, Greece lay west of Persia and attacked from that direction. The
Greek army swept everything on the face of the earth before it.
The goat “touched not the ground.” Such was the marvelous
celerity of this movements that he seemed to fly from point to point with
the swiftness of the wind. The same characteristic of speed is indicated
by the four wings of the leopard in the vision of Daniel 7, representing
the same nation.
Alexander the “Notable Horn.” —The notable
horn between his eyes is explained in verse 21 to be the first king of the
Macedonian Empire. This king was Alexander the Great.
A concise account of the overthrow of the Persian Empire by Alexander
is given in verses 6 and 7. The battles between the Greeks and the
Persians are said to have been exceedingly fierce. Some of the scenes
recorded in history vividly bring to mind the figure used in the
prophecy —a ram standing before the river, and the goat running toward him
“the fury of his power.” Alexander first vanquished the generals
of Darius at the River Granicus in Phrygia. He next attacked and routed
Darius at the passes of Issus in Cilicia, and afterward defeated him on the
plains of Arbela in Syria. This latter battle occurred in 331 B.C.,
and marked the fall of the Persian Empire. By this event Alexander became
master of the whole country. Concerning verse 6 —“He [the goat] 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” —Thomas Newton says: “One
can hardly read these words without having some image of Darius’s army
standing and guarding the River Granicus, and of Alexander on the other
side with his forces plunging in,
swimming across the stream, and rushing on the enemy with all the fire
and fury that can be imagined.” 
Ptolemy begins the reign of Alexander in 332 B.C. but it was
not until the battle of Arbela the year following that Alexander became “absolute
lord of that empire in the utmost extent in which it was ever possessed by
any of the Persian kings.” 
On the eve of this battle, Darius sent ten of his chief relatives to
sue for peace. When they had presented their conditions to Alexanders, he
is said to have replied, “Heaven cannot support two suns, not the
earth two masters.” 
The language of verse 7 sets forth the completeness of the subjection
of Medo-Persia to Alexander. The two horns were broken, and the ram was
cast to the ground and stamped upon. Persia was subdued, the country
ravaged, its armies cut to pieces and scattered, and its cities plundered.
The royal city of Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire —even its
ruins one of the wonders of the world to the present day —was sacked and
burned. Thus the ram had no power to stand before the goat, and there was
none that could deliver him out of his hand.
Verse 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.
Great Horn Broken. —The conqueror is greater than the
conquered. The ram, Medo-Persia, became “great;” the goat,
Greece, became “very great.” “When he was strong, the great
horn was broken.” Human foresight and speculation would have said,
When he becomes weak, his kingdom torn by rebellion, or weakened by luxury,
then the horn will be broken, and the kingdom shattered. But Daniel saw it
broken in the prime of its strength, at the height of tis power, when
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every beholder would have exclaimed, Surely, the kingdom is
established, and nothing can overthrow it. Thus it is often with the
wicked. The horn of their strength is broken when they think they stand
most firm. The Scripture says, “Let him that thinketh he standeth
take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12.
Four Notable Horns Come Up. —After Alexander’s death there
arose much contention among his followers respecting the succession. After
a seven days’ contest it was agreed that his natural brother, Philip
Aridaeus, should be declared king. By him, and by Alexander’s infant sons,
Alexander AEgus and Hercules, the name and show of the Macedonian Empire
were for a time sustained. But the boys were soon murdered, and the family
of Alexander became extinct. Then the chief commanders of the army, who had
gone into different parts of the empire as governors of the provinces,
assumed the title of king. They at once began warring against one another
to such a degree that within a few years after Alexander’s death, the
number was reduced to four —the exact number specified in prophecy.
Four notable horns were to come up toward the four winds of heaven in
place of the great horn that was broken. These were Cassander, who had
Greece and the neighboring countries; Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor;
Selecus, who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of kings
known as the “Seleucidae,” so famous in history; and Ptolemy, son
of Lagus, who had Egypt, and from whom sprang the “Lagidae.”
These held dominion toward the four winds of heaven. Cassander had the
western parts, Lysimachus the northern regions, Seleucus the eastern
countries, and Ptolemy the southern portion of the empire. These four
horns may therefore be named Macedonia, Thrace (which then included Asia
Minor, and those parts lying on the Hellespont and the Bosphorus), Syria, and Egypt.
Verse 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. 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. 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 the sanctuary was cast down. 12 And an host was
given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it
cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
A Little Horn Comes Forth. — A third power is here introduced into the prophecy. In the explanation given to Daniel by the angel this symbol is not described as definitely as are Medo-Persia and Greece.
There are two common interpretations of the symbol which need be noticed in these brief comments. The first is that the “little horn” denotes the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes. The second is that it denotes the Roman power. It is an easy matter to test these two positions.
Does the Little Horn Denote Antiochus? —If Antiochus Epiphanes
does not fulfill the specifications of the prophecy, the application cannot
be made to him. The little horn came out of one of the four horns of the
goat. It was therefore a power existing distinct from any of the other
horns of the goat. Was Antiochus such a power?
Who was Antiochus? From the time that Seleucus made himself king over
the Syrian portion of Alexander’s empire, thus constituting the Syrian horn
of the goat, until that country was conquered by the Romans, twenty-six
kings ruled in succession over that territory. The eighth of these was
Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus, then, was simply one of the twenty-six
kings who constituted the Syrian horn of the goat. He was, therefore, for
the time being, that horn. Hence he could not at the same time be a
separate and independent power, or another and remarkable horn, as was the
If it were proper to apply the little horn to any one of these
twenty-six Syrian kings, it should certainly be applied to the most
powerful and illustrious of them all; but Antiochus Epiphanes was not by
any means the most powerful king of the Syrian line. Although he took the
name Epiphanes, that is,
“The Illustrious,” he was illustrious only in name. Nothing,
says Prideaux, on the authority of Polybius, Livy, and Diodorus Siculus,
could be more alien to his true character; because of his vile and
extravagant folly, some thought him a fool and changed his name from
Epiphanes, “The Illustrious,” to Epimanes, “The Madman.”
Antiochus the Great, the father of Epiphanes, being defeated in a war
with the Romans, was able to procure peace only by the payment of a
prodigious sum of money and the surrender of a part of his territory. As a
pledge that he would faithfully adhere to the terms of the treaty, he was
obliged to give hostages, among whom was Epiphanes, his son, who was
carried to Rome. The Romans ever afterward maintained this ascendancy.
The little horn of the goat was to wax exceeding great; but Antiochus
Epiphanes did not become exceeding great. On the contrary, he did not
enlarge his dominion, except by some temporary conquests in Egypt. These
he immediately relinquished when the Romans took the part of Ptolemy and
commanded him to desist from his designs on that territory. The
rage of his disappointed ambition he vented upon the unoffending Jews.
The little horn, in comparison with the powers that preceded it, was
exceeding great. Persia is simply called great, though it consisted of a
hundred twenty-seven provinces. (Esther 1:1.) Grecia, being more
extensive still, is called very great. Now the little horn, which waxed
exceeding great, must surpass them both. How absurd, then, to
apply this Antiochus, who was obliged to abandon Egypt at the dictation of
the Romans. It cannot take long for anyone to decide the question which
was the greater power —the one which evacuated Egypt, or the one which
commanded that evacuation.
The little horn was to stand up against the Prince of princes, which
expression refers, beyond controversy, to Jesus
Christ. (Daniel 9:25; Acts 3:15; Revelation 1:5.) But Antiochus
died one hundred sixty-four years before our Lord was born. The prophecy
cannot therefore apply to him, for he does not fulfill the specifications
in a single particular. The question may then be asked, Why has anyone
ever tried to apply it to him? We answer, Roman Catholics take that view
to avoid the application of the prophecy to themselves; and many
Protestants follow them, apparently in order to oppose the doctrine that
the second advent of Christ is now at hand.
The Little Horn Denotes Rome. —It has been an easy matter to
show that the little horn does not denote Antiochus Epiphanes. It will be
as easy to show that it does denote Rome.
The field of vision here is substantially the same as that covered by
Nebuchadnezzar’s image of Daniel 2, and the vision of Daniel 7. In both
these prophetic delineations we have found that the power which succeeded
Grecia as the fourth great power was Rome. The only natural inference
would be that the little horn, the power which in this vision succeeds
Grecia as an “exceeding great” kingdom, is also Rome.
The little horn comes froth from one of the horns of the goat. How, it
may be asked, can that be true of Rome? Earthly governments are not
introduced into prophecy until they become in some way connected with the
people of God. Rome became connected with the Jews, the people of God at
that time, by the famous Jewish League in 161 B.C.  But seven years before this, that is, 168 B.C.,
Rome had conquered Macedonia, and made that country a part of its empire.
Rome is therefore introduced into prophecy just as, from the overthrow of
the Macedonian horn of the goat, it is going forth to new conquests in
other directions. It appeared to the prophet as coming forth from of the
horns of the goat.
The little horn waxed great toward the south. This was true of Rome.
Egypt was made a province of the Roman Empire in 30 B.C., and
continued such for some centuries.
The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was true of
Rome. She conquered Syria in 65 B.C., and made it a province.
The little horn waxed great toward the pleasant land. So did Rome.
Judea is called “the pleasant land” in many scriptures. The
Romans made it a province of their empire in 63 B.C., and
eventually destroyed the city and the temple, and scattered the Jews
throughout the earth.
The little horn “waxed great, even to [“against,”
margin] the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the
stars to the ground.” Rome did this also. In this expression two figures are introduced, “the host” and “the stars.” When used in a symbolic sense concerning events taking place on earth,
these figures refer almost always to the people of God and their leaders.
In verse 13 of this chapter we read that both the sanctuary and the host
will be trodden under foot. Here undoubtedly reference is made to God’s
people and the place of their worship. The stars would naturally represent
the leaders of the work of God. This thought is further indicated in one
of the applications of Revelation 12:4 where we read that the great red
dragon, a symbol of Rome, cast down a third part of the stars to the
The little horn “magnified himself even to the Prince of the host.”
Rome alone did this. In the interpretation (verse 25) the little horn is
said to “stand up against the Prince of princes.” This is
clearly an allusion to the crucifixion of our Lord under the jurisdiction
of the Romans.
Rome in Two Aspects. —By the little horn “the daily
sacrifice was taken away.” This little horn symbolized Rome in its
entire history, including its two phases, pagan and papal. These two
phases are elsewhere spoken of as the “daily” (sacrifice
is a supplied word) and the “transgression of desolation;” the
daily (desolation) evidently signifying the pagan
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form, and the transgression of desolation, the papal. (See comments on
verse 13.) In the actions ascribed to this power, sometimes one form is
spoken of, sometimes the other. “by him [the papal form] the daily
[the pagan form] was taken away.” Pagan Rome was remodeled into papal
Rome. “The place of his sanctuary,” or worship, the city of
Rome, was cast down. The seat of government was removed by Constantine to
Constantinople, A.D. 330. This same transaction is brought to
view in Revelation 13:2, where it is said that the dragon, pagan Rome,
gave to the beast, papal Rome, his seat, the city of Rome.
A “host was given him [the little horn] against the daily.”
The barbarians that subverted the Roman Empire in the changes, attritions,
and transformations of those times, became converts to the Catholic faith,
and the instruments of the dethronement of their former religion. Though
conquering Rome politically, they were themselves vanquished religiously by
the theology of Rome, and became the perpetuators of the same empire in
another phase. This was brought about by reason of “transgression;”
that is, by the working of the mystery of iniquity. The papacy may be
called a system of iniquity because it has done its evil work under the
pretense of the pure and undefiled religion. Of this false religious
system, Paul wrote in the first century to the Thessalonians, “The
mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7.
The little horn “cast down the truth to the ground, and practiced
and prospered.” This describes in few words the work and career of
the papacy. The truth is by it hideously caricatured, loaded with
traditions, turned into mummery and superstition, cast down and obscured.
Of this ecclesiastical power it is declared that it has “practiced” —practiced
its deceptions on the people, practiced in schemes of cunning to carry out
its own ends and aggrandize its own power.
Likewise it has “prospered.” It has made war upon the
saints, and prevailed against them. It has well-nigh run its
allotted career, and is soon to be broken without hand, to be given to
the burning flame, and to perish in the consuming glories of the second
appearing of our Lord.
Rome meets all the specifications of the prophecy. No other power does meet them. Hence Rome, and on other, is the power in question. The inspired descriptions given in the word of God of the character of this system are fully met, and the prophecies concerning it have been most strikingly and accurately fulfilled in history.
Verse 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? 14
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
The Time in the Prophecy. —These two verses of Daniel 8 [13-14] close
the vision proper. They introduce the one remaining point which of all others would naturally be of most absorbing interest to the prophet and to the church, namely, the length of time the desolating powers previously brought to view were to continue. How long shall they continue their course of oppression against God’s people? If time had been given, Daniel might have asked this question himself, but God ever anticipates out desires, and sometimes answers them before we ask.
Two celestial beings converse upon this subject. This is an important
matter which the church should understand well. Daniel heard one saint
speaking. What this saint said, we are not informed. But another saint
asked an important question: “How long shall be the vision?”
Both the question and the answer are placed upon the record, which is prima
facie evidence that this is a matter the church should understand. This
view is further confirmed by the fact that the answer was addressed to
Daniel, as the one whom it chiefly concerned, and for whose information it
The 2300 Days. —The angel declared, “Unto two thousand and
three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
The question may be raised, Why does the Vatican edition of the
Septuagint (LXX) render this number “twenty-four hundred days?”
On this point S. P. Tregelles writes:
“Some writers on prophecy have, in their explanations or
interpretations of this vision, adopted the reading ‘two thousand and four
hundred days;’ and in vindication of it, they have referred to the common
printed copies of the LXX version. In this book, however, the translation
of Theodotion has been long substituted for the real LXX: and further,
although ‘two thousand
four hundred’ is found in the common printed Greek copies, that is
merely an erratum made in printing the Vatican edition of 1586, which has
been habitually perpetuated. I looked (in 1845) at the passage in the
Vatican MS., which the Roman editions professedly followed, and it read
exactly the same as the Hebrew text [“twenty-three hundred days”];
so also does the
real LXX of Daniel. (So too Cardinal Mai’s edition from the
Vatican MS. which appeared in 1857).” 
Further substantiating the veracity of the twenty-three-hundred-day
period, we quote the following:
“The edition of the Greek Bible which is commonly used, is
printed, as you will find it stated in Prideaux and Horne, not after that
of the 70, but after that of Theodotion, made about the end of the second
century. There are three principal standard editions of the Septuagint
bible, all containing the version of Daniel by Theodotion; viz., the
Complutensian, published in 1514; the Aldine, 1518; and the Vatican, 1587,
from which the last English editions of the 70 have been chiefly taken; to
these three we may add a fourth, being that of the Alexandrian text,
published between 1707 and 1720. Besides these, there is one called the
Chisian, 1772, which contains the Greek text both of Theodotion and of the
70. Of all these six copies the Vatican alone reads 2400, all the rest
agreeing with the Hebrew and our English Bibles. Moreover, the manuscript
itself, in the Vatican, from which the edition
was printed, has 2300, and not 2400, and therefore it is indisputable
that the number 2400 is nothing but a misprint.” 
These quotations show clearly that no confidence whatever can be placed
in this rendering of the Vatican edition of the Septuagint.
What is the Daily? —We have proof in verse 13 that “sacrifice”
is the wrong word to be supplied in connection with the word “daily.”
If the taking away of the daily sacrifice of the Jewish service is here
meant, as some suppose (which sacrifice was at a certain point of time
taken away), there would be no propriety in the question, How long
shall be the vision concerning it? This question evidently implies that
those agents or events to which the vision relates occupy a series of
years. Continuance of time is the central idea. The whole time of the
vision is filled by what is here called the “daily” and the “transgression
of desolation.” Hence the daily cannot be the daily sacrifice of the
Jews, for when the time came for it to be taken away, that action occupied
but an instant of time, when the veil of the temple was rent in twain at
the crucifixion of Christ. It must denote something which extends over a
period of years.
The word here rendered “daily” occurs in the Old Testament
one hundred and two times, according to the Hebrew concordance. In the
great majority of instances it is rendered “continual” or “continually”.
The idea of sacrifice is not attached to the word at all. Nor is there
any word in the text which signifies sacrifice. That is a supplied word,
the translators putting in that word which their understanding of the text
seemed to demand. They evidently entertained an erroneous view, the
sacrifices of the Jews not being referred to at all. But it appears to be
more in accordance with both construction and the context to suppose that
the word “daily” refers to a desolating power, like the “transgression
of desolation,” with which it is connected. Then we have two
desolating powers, which for a long period oppress, or desolate, the
church. Literally, the text may be rendered, “How long shall be the
vision [concerning] the continuance and the transgression of desolation?” —the
word “desolation” being related to both “continuance”
and “transgression,” as though it were expressed in full thus: “The
continuance of desolation and the transgression of desolation.”
Two Desolating Powers. —By the “continuance of desolation,”
or the perpetual desolation, we understand that paganism, through all its
history, is meant. When we consider the long ages through which paganism
had been the chief agency of Satan’s opposition to the work of God in the
earth, the propriety of the term “continuance” or “perpetual,”
as applied to it, becomes apparent. We likewise understand that “the
transgression of desolation” means the papacy. The phrase describing
this latter power is stronger than that used to describe paganism. It is
the transgression (or rebellion, as the word also means) of desolation; as
if under this period of the history of the church the desolating power had
rebelled against all restraint all restraint previously imposed upon it.
From a religious point of vies, the world has presented these two
strong phases of opposition against the Lord’s work in the earth. Hence,
although three earthly governments are introduced in the prophecy as
oppressors of the church, they are here ranged under two heads: “the
daily” and the “transgression of desolation.” Medo-Persia
was pagan; Grecia was pagan; Rome in its first phase was pagan. These were
all embraced in the “daily.” Then comes the papal form, the “transgression
of desolation,” a marvel of craft and cunning, an incarnation of
cruelty. No wonder the cry has gone up from suffering martyrs from age to
age, “How long, O Lord, how long?” No wonder the Lord, in order
that hope might no wholly die out of the hearts of His downtrodden, waiting
people, has shown them the future events of the world’s history. All these
persecuting powers shall meet an utter and everlasting destruction. For
the redeemed there are unfading
glories beyond the suffering and sorrow of this present life.
The Lord’s eye is upon His people. The furnace will be heated no
hotter than is necessary to consume the dross. It is through much
tribulation that we are to enter the kingdom. The word “tribulation”
is from tribulum, a threshing sledge. Blow after blow must be laid
upon us, until all the wheat is beaten free from the chaff, and we are made
fit for the heavenly garner. But not a kernel of wheat will be lost.
Says the Lord to His people, “Ye are the light of the world,”
“the salt of the earth.” In His eyes there is nothing else on
the earth of consequence or importance. Hence the peculiar question here
asked, “How long . . . the vision concerning the daily and
transgression of desolation?” Concerning what? —the glory of earthly
kingdoms? the skill of renowned warriors? the fame of mighty conquerors?
the greatness of human empire? —No, but concerning the sanctuary and the
host, the people and the worship of the Most High. how long shall they be
trodden underfoot? Here is where all heaven’s interest and sympathy are
He who touches the people of God, touches not mere mortals, weak and
helpless, but Omnipotence. He opens an account which must be settled in
the judgment of heaven. Soon all these accounts will be adjusted and the
iron heel of oppression will be crushed. A people will be brought out of
the furnace of affliction prepared to shine as the stars forever and ever.
Every child of God is an object of interest to heavenly beings, one whom
God loves and for whom He is preparing a crown with immortality hereafter.
Reader, are you one of the number?
There is no information in this chapter concerning the 2300 days,
introduced for the first time in verse 14. It is necessary, therefore, to
pass this period of time for the present. Let the reader be assured,
however, that we are not left in any uncertainty concerning those day. The
declaration respecting them is part of a revelation which is given for the
instruction of the people of God, and is to be understood. The 2300
days are mentioned in the midst of a prophecy which the angel Gabriel
was commanded to make Daniel understand. Gabriel carried out this
instruction, as will be found in the study of the next chapter.
What is the Sanctuary? —Connected with the 2300 days is another
subject of equal importance which now presents itself for consideration,
namely, the sanctuary. With this is connected the subject of its
cleansing. An examination of this matter will reveal the importance of
having an understanding of the beginning and the end of the 2300 days, that
we may know when the great event called “the cleansing of the
sanctuary” is to take place. all the inhabitants of the earth, as will
appear in due time, have a personal interest in that solemn work.
Several views have been held as to what the sanctuary is, such as the
earth, the land of Canaan, the church, and the sanctuary in heaven, the “true
tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,” which is “in
the heavens,” and of which the Jewish tabernacle was a type, pattern,
or figure. (Hebrews 8:1, 2; 9:23, 24.) Which of these conflicting views
is correct, must be decided by the Scriptures. Fortunately the testimony
is neither meager nor ambiguous.
It Cannot Be the Earth. —the word “sanctuary” occurs
in the Old and New Testament on hundred forty-four times. From the
definitions of lexicographers, and its use in the Bible, we learn that it
is used to signify a holy or sacred place, a dwelling place for the Most
High. If the earth is the sanctuary, it must answer to this definition.
But what single characteristic pertaining to this earth will satisfy the
meaning of the term? The earth is neither a holy nor a sacred place, or is
it a dwelling place for the Most High. It has no mark of distinction from
other worlds, except as being a revolted planet, marred by sin, scarred an
withered by the curse of transgression. Moreover, it is nowhere in all the
Scriptures called the sanctuary. Only one text can be produced in favor of
this view, and that by an unreasonable application: “The glory of
Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box
together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place
of My feet glorious.” Isaiah 60:13. This language undoubtedly
refers to the new earth; but even that is not called the sanctuary, but
only the “place” of the sanctuary, even as it is called “the
place” of the Lord’s feet. This is an expression which probably
denotes the continual presence of God with His people, as it was revealed
to John when it was said, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,
and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself
shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:3. All that can
be said of the earth, therefore, is that when renewed it will be the place
where the sanctuary of God will be located. It cannot present any claim to
being the sanctuary at the present time, or the sanctuary of Daniel’s
It Cannot Be the Land of Canaan. —So far as we may be governed
by the definition of the word “Canaan,” it can present no better
claim than the earth to that distinction. If we inquire where in the Bible
it is called the sanctuary, a few texts are brought forward which are
supposed by some to furnish the requisite testimony. The first of these is
Exodus 15:17. Moses, in his song of triumph and praise to God after the
passage of the Red Sea, exclaimed: “Thou shalt bring them in, and
plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord,
which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which
Thy hands have established.” Moses here speaks in anticipation. His
language is a prediction of what God would do for His people. Let us see
how it was accomplished.
We turn to David, who records as a matter of history what Moses uttered
as a matter of prophecy. (Psalm 78:53, 54.) The subject of the psalmist
is the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian servitude, and their
establishment in the Promised Land. He says: “He [God] led them on
safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to this
mountain, which His right hand had purchased.” The “mountain”
here mentioned by David is the same as the “mountain of Thine
inheritance” spoken of by Moses, in which the people were to be
planted. This mountain David calls, not the sanctuary, but only the border
of the sanctuary. What, then, was the sanctuary? Verse 69 of the same
psalm informs us: “He built His sanctuary like high palaces,
like the earth which He hath established forever.” The same
distinction between the sanctuary and the land is pointed out in the prayer
of the good king Jehoshaphat: “Art not Thou our God, who didst drive
out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it to
the seed of Abraham Thy friend forever? And they dwelt therein, and have
built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name.” 2 Chronicles 20:7, 8.
Taken alone, Exodus 15:17 is used by some as an inference that the
mountain was the sanctuary; but when we take in connection with it the
language of David, which is a record of the fulfillment of Moses’
prediction, and an inspired commentary upon his language, such an idea
cannot be entertained. David plainly says that the mountain was simply the
“border” of the sanctuary, and that in that border, or land, the
sanctuary was “built” like high palaces, reference being made to
the beautiful temple of the Jews, the center and symbol of all their
worship. But whoever will read carefully Exodus 15:17 will see that not
even an inference is necessary that Moses by the word “sanctuary”
means the mountain of inheritance, much less the whole land of Palestine.
In the freedom of poetic license, he employs elliptical expressions, and
passes rapidly from one idea or object to another. First, the inheritance
engages his attention, and he speaks of it; then the fact that the Lord was to dwell there, then the place He was to provide for His dwelling there,
namely, the sanctuary which He would cause to be built. David thus
associates Mount Zion and Judah together in Psalm 78:68, because Zion was in Judah.
The three texts, Exodus 15:17; Psalm 78:54, 69, are the ones chiefly relied on to prove that the land of Canaan is the
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Daniel Chapter 7b
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Daniel Chapter 8b