Daniel Chapter 8a | Table of Contents | Daniel Chapter 9

Daniel Chapter 8 continued (b)

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sanctuary. But, singularly enough, the two latter, in plain language, clear away the ambiguity of the first, and thereby disprove the claim that is based on it.
      Respecting the earth or the land of Canaan as being the sanctuary, we offer one thought more. If either constitutes the sanctuary, it should not only be somewhere described as such, but the same idea should be carried through to the end, and the purification of the earth or of Palestine should be called the cleansing of the sanctuary. The earth is indeed defiled, and it is to be purified by fire; but fire, as we shall see, is not the agent which is used in the cleansing of the sanctuary. This purification of the earth, or any part of it, is nowhere in the Bible called the cleansing of the sanctuary.
      It Cannot Be the Church. —The solitary text adduced to support the idea that the church is the sanctuary is Psalm 114:1,2: “When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.” If we take this text in its most literal sense, it would prove that the sanctuary was confined to one of the twelve tribes. This would mean that a part of the church only, not the whole, constitutes the sanctuary. Why Judah is called the sanctuary in the text quoted, need not be a matter of perplexity when we remember that God chose Judah, as the place of His sanctuary. “But chose,” says David, “the tribe of Judah, the Mountain Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which He hath established forever.” Psalm 78:68, 69. This clearly shows the connection which existed between Judah and the sanctuary. That tribe itself was not the sanctuary, but it is once spoken of as such when Israel came froth from Egypt, because God purposed that in the midst of the territory of that tribe His sanctuary should be located.
      If it could be shown that the church is anywhere called the sanctuary, it would be of no consequence to our present purpose, which is to determine what constitutes the sanctuary of Daniel 8:13, 14; for the church is there spoken of as something
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distinct: “To give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot.” That by the term “host” the people of God is here meant, none will dispute; the sanctuary is therefore something different from the church.
      The Sanctuary Is the Temple in Heaven. —There now remains but one claim to be examined, namely, that the sanctuary mentioned in the text is identical with the one in Hebrews 8:1, 2, which is called “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,” to which is expressly given the name of “the sanctuary,” and which is located in “the heavens.” Of this sanctuary there existed in ancient times a pattern, type, or figure, first in the tabernacle built by Moses, and afterward in the temple at Jerusalem.
      Let us put ourselves in the place of Daniel, and view the subject from his standpoint. What would he understand by the term “sanctuary?” At the mention of that word, his mind would inevitably turn to the sanctuary of his people; and certainly he knew well where that was. His mind did turn to Jerusalem, the city of his fathers, which was then in ruins, and to their “beautiful house,” which, as Isaiah laments, was burned with fire. (Isaiah 64:11.) Accordingly, with his face turned toward the place of their once-venerated temple, as was his custom, Daniel prayed God to cause His face to shine upon His sanctuary, which was at that time desolate. By the word “sanctuary” he evidently understood the temple at Jerusalem.
      On this point, the Scripture bears testimony which is most explicit: “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” Hebrews 9:1. What was the sanctuary of the first covenant? The answer follows: “For there was a tabernacle made; the first [or first apartment], wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary [“holy place,” A. R .V.]. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the
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golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.” Hebrews 9:2-5.
      There is no mistaking what is described here. It is the tabernacle erected by Moses according to the direction of the Lord (which was afterward merged into the temple at Jerusalem), with a holy and a most holy place, and various articles of service. A full description of this building, as well as the sacred articles of furniture and their uses, will be found in Exodus 25 and onward. If the reader is not familiar with this subject, he is urged to turn and read the description of this building. Plainly, this was the sanctuary of the first covenant, and we wish the reader carefully to mark the logical value of this declaration. By telling us what constituted the sanctuary, the book of Hebrews sets us on the right track of inquiry. It gives us a basis on which to work. We have before us a distinct and plainly defined object, minutely described by Moses, and declared in Hebrews to be the sanctuary during the time of the first covenant, which reached to the days of Christ.
      But the language in Hebrews has greater significance even than this. It annihilates the claims put forth that the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church, is the sanctuary. The arguments which would prove any of these to be the sanctuary at any time, would prove it to be such under ancient Israel. If Canaan was at any time the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was planted in it. If the church was ever the sanctuary, it was such when Israel was led forth from Egypt. If the earth was ever the sanctuary, it was such during the same period. But was any of these the sanctuary during that time? The answer must be negative, for the writers of the books of Exodus and Hebrews tell us in detail that not the earth, not Canaan, not the church, but the tabernacle built by Moses, replaced by the temple later, constituted the sanctuary of Old Testament times.
      The Earthly Sanctuary. —This building answers in every respect to the definition of the term, and to the use for which the
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sanctuary was designed. It was the earthly dwelling place of God. “Let them make Me a sanctuary,” said He to Moses, “that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8. In this tabernacle, which they erected according to His instructions, He manifested His presence. It was a holy, or sacred, place— “the holy sanctuary.” Leviticus 16:33. In the word of God it is repeatedly called the sanctuary. Of the more than one hundred thirty instances in which the word is used in the Old Testament, it refers in almost every case to this building.
      The tabernacle was at first constructed in such a manner as to be adapted to the conditions under which the children of Israel lived at that time. They were entering upon their forty years’ wandering in the wilderness when this building was set up in their midst as the habitation of God and the center of their religious worship. Journeying was a necessity, and the tabernacle had to be moved from place to place This was made possible because the sides were composed of upright boards, and the covering consisted of curtains of linen and dyed skins. Therefore, it could be readily taken down, conveniently transported, and easily erected at each successive stage of their journey. After Israel entered the Promised Land, this temporary structure gave place in time to the magnificent temple of Solomon. In this more permanent form the sanctuary existed, except during the time it lay in ruins in Daniel’s day, until its final destruction by the Romans, A.D. 70.
      This is the only sanctuary connected with the earth concerning which the Bible gives us any instruction or history any record. But is there nowhere any other? This one was the sanctuary of the first covenant, and with that covenant it came to an end. Is there no sanctuary which pertains to the second, or new, covenant? There must be; otherwise the analogy would be lacking between these covenants. In such a case the first covenant would have a system of worship, which, though minutely described, would be unintelligible, and the second covenant would have a system of worship which would be indefinite and obscure. The writer of Hebrews virtually asserts
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that the new covenant, in force since the death of Christ, the testator, has a sanctuary; for when, in contrasting the two covenants, as he does in Hebrews 9:1, he says that the first covenant “had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” This is the same as saying that the new covenant has likewise its services and its sanctuary. Furthermore, verse 8 of this chapter speaks of the worldly sanctuary as the first tabernacle. If that was the first, there must be a second; and as the first tabernacle existed as long as the first covenant was in force, when that covenant came to an end, the second tabernacle must have taken the place of the first, and must be the sanctuary of the new covenant. There can be no evading this conclusion.
      The Heavenly Sanctuary. —Where, then, shall we look for the sanctuary of the new covenant? The use of the word “also” in Hebrews 9:1 intimates that this sanctuary had been spoken of before. We turn back to the beginning of the previous chapter, and find a summing up of the foregoing arguments as follows: “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Can there be any doubt that we have in this text the sanctuary of the new covenant? A plain allusion is here made to the sanctuary of the first covenant. That was pitched by man, erected by Moses; but this was pitched by the Lord, not by man. That was the place where the earthly priests performed their ministry; but this is the place where Christ, the High Priest of the new covenant, performs His ministry. That was on earth; this is in heaven. That was therefore very properly called a “worldly sanctuary;” this is a “heavenly” one.
      This view is further sustained by the fact that the sanctuary built by Moses was not an original structure, but was built after a pattern. The great original existed somewhere else, and what Moses constructed was but a type, or model.
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Note the directions the Lord gave him on this point: “According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” Exodus 25:9. “Look that thou make them after their pattern which was showed thee in the mount.” Verse 40. (For further clarification of this point, see Exodus 26:30; 27:8; Acts 7:44.)
      Now of what was the earthly sanctuary a type, or figure? —Of the sanctuary of the new covenant, the “true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.” The relation which the first covenant sustains to the second is that of type to antitype. Its sacrifices were types of the greater sacrifice of the new covenant. Its priests were types of our Lord in His more perfect priesthood. Their ministry was performed unto the example and shadow of the ministry of our High Priest above. The sanctuary where they ministered was a type, or figure, of the true sanctuary in heave, where our Lord performs His ministry.
      All these facts are plainly stated in Hebrews. “If He [Christ] were on earth, He should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:4, 5. This testimony shows that the ministry of the earthly priests was a shadow of Christ’s priesthood. The evidence is the direction which God gave to Moses to make the tabernacle according to the pattern showed him in the mount. This clearly identifies the pattern showed to Moses with the sanctuary, or true tabernacle, in heaven, where our Lord ministers, as mentioned in Hebrews 8:2.
      The Scripture further says: “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first was yet standing;
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which was a figure for the time then present.” [*] Hebrews 9:8, 9. While the first tabernacle stood, and the first covenant was in force, the ministration of the more perfect tabernacle was not, of course, carried forward. But when Christ came, a high priest of good things to come, when the first tabernacle had served its purpose and the first covenant had ceased, then Christ, raised to the throne of the Majesty in the heavens as a minister of the true sanctuary, entered by His own blood (verse 12) “into the holy place,” that is, the heavenly sanctuary.
      Therefore, the first tabernacle was a figure for the time then present. If any further testimony is needed, the writer of Hebrews speaks in verse 23 of the earthly tabernacle, with its apartments and instruments, as “patterns” of things in the heavens; and in verse 24, he calls the holy places made with hands, that is, the earthly tabernacles and temples of ancient Israel, “figures” of the true, that is, of the tabernacle in heaven.
      This view is still further corroborated by the testimony of John. Among the things which he was permitted to behold in heaven were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne (Revelation 4:5), an alter of incense, and a golden censer (Revelation 8:3), and the ark of God’s testament (Revelation 11:19). All of this was seen in connection with
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a “temple” in heaven. (Revelation 1:19; 15:8.) These objects every Bible reader must at once recognize as the furniture of the sanctuary. They owed their existence to the sanctuary, and were confined to it, to be employed in the ministration connected therewith. Even as they would not have existed without the sanctuary, so wherever we find them, we may know that there is the sanctuary. Hence the fact that John saw these things in heaven after the ascension of Christ, is proof that there is a sanctuary in heaven, and that he was permitted to behold it.
      However reluctant a person may have been to acknowledge that there is a sanctuary in heaven, the testimony that has been presented is certainly sufficient to prove this fact. The Bible says that the tabernacle of Moses was the sanctuary of the first covenant. Moses says that God showed him in the mount a pattern, according to which he as to make this tabernacle. The book of Hebrews testifies again that Moses did make it according to the pattern, and that the pattern was the true tabernacle in heaven, which the Lord pitched, and not man; and that of this heavenly sanctuary the tabernacle erected with hands was a true figure, or representation. Finally, to corroborate the statement of the Scriptures that this sanctuary is in heaven, John bears testimony as an eyewitness that he beheld it there. What further testimony could be required?
      As far as the question of what constitutes the sanctuary is concerned, we now have the sanctuary before us in one harmonious whole. The sanctuary of the Bible —mark it well— consists, first, of the typical tabernacle established by the Hebrews in the exodus from Egypt, which was the sanctuary of the first covenant. Secondly, it consists of the true tabernacle in heaven, of which the former was a type, or figure, which is the sanctuary of the new covenant. These are inseparably related as type and antitype. From the antitype we go back to the type, and from the type we are carried forward naturally and inevitably to the antitype.
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Thus we see howa sanctuary service has been provided from the Exodus to the end of probation.
      We have said that Daniel would at once understand by the word “sanctuary” the sanctuary of his people at Jerusalem; so would anyone at the time of its existence. But does the declaration of Daniel 8:14 have reference to that sanctuary? That depends upon the time to which it applies. All the declarations respecting the sanctuary which apply during the time of ancient Israel, have respect of course to the sanctuary of that time. All those declarations which apply under the Christian Era must have reference to the sanctuary of that era. If the 2300 days, at the termination of which the sanctuary to be cleansed, ended before Christ, the sanctuary to be cleansed was the sanctuary of that time. If they reach over into the Christian Era, the sanctuary to which reference is made is the sanctuary of this era —the new-covenant sanctuary in heaven. This is a point which can be determined only by a further argument on the 2300 days. This will be found in remarks on Daniel 9:24, where the subject of time is resumed and explained.
      The Cleansing of the Sanctuary. —What we have thus far said respecting the sanctuary has been only incidental to the main question in the prophecy. That question has respect to its cleansing. “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” But is was necessary first to determine what constituted the sanctuary, before we could understandingly examine the question of its cleansing. For this we are now prepared.
      After learning what constitutes the sanctuary, the question of its cleansing and how it is accomplished, is soon decided. It has been noticed that whatever constitutes the sanctuary of the Bible must have some service connected with it which is called its cleansing. There is such a service connected with the institution which we have shown to be the sanctuary, and which, in reference to both the earthly building and the heavenly temple, is called its cleansing.
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      Does the reader object to the idea of there being anything in heave which needs to be cleansed? The book of Hebrews plainly affirms the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary: “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified {Greek- kaqarizesqai} katharizesthai, cleansed] with these; but the heavenly things themselves [cleansed] with better sacrifices than these.” Hebrews 9:22, 23. In the light of foregoing arguments, this may be paraphrased thus: “It was therefore necessary that the tabernacle erected by Moses, with its sacred vessels, which were patterns of the true sanctuary in heaven, should be cleansed with the blood of calves and goats; but the heavenly things themselves, the sanctuary of the Christian Era, the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man, must be cleansed with better sacrifices, even with the blood of Christ.”
      We now inquire, what is the nature of this cleansing, and how is it to be done? According to the language just quoted, it is accomplished by means of blood. The cleansing is not, therefore, a cleansing from physical uncleanness or impurity, for blood is not the agent used in such a work. This consideration should satisfy the objector’s mind in regard to the cleansing of the heavenly things. The fact that heavenly things are to be cleansed, does not prove that there is any physical impurity in heaven, for that is not the kind of cleansing referred to in the Scriptures. The reason assigned why this cleansing is performed with blood, is that without the shedding of blood there is no remission, no forgiveness of sin.
      The Cleansing Is From Sin. —Remission of sin, then, and the putting away of sin, is the work to be done. The cleansing, therefore, is not physical cleansing, but a cleansing from sin. But how did sin come to be connected with the sanctuary, either the earthly or the heavenly, that it should need to be cleansed? This question is answered by the ministration connected with the type, to which we now turn.
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      The closing chapters of Exodus give us an account of the construction of the earthly sanctuary, and the arrangement of the service connected therewith. Leviticus opens with an account of the ministration which was there to be performed. all that it is our purpose to notice here is one particular branch of the service. The person who had committed sin brought his offering, a live animal, to the door of the tabernacle. Upon the head of this victim he placed his hand for a moment, and, as we may reasonably infer, confessed over it his sin. By this expressive act he signified that he had sinned, and was worthy of death, but that in his stead he consecrated his victim, and transferred his guilt to it. With his own hand (and what must have been his emotions!) he then took the life of the animal. The law demanded the life of the transgressor for his disobedience. The life is in the blood. (Leviticus 17:11, 14.) Hence without the shedding of blood, there is no remission; but with the shedding of blood remission is possible, for the demand of life by the law is thus satisfied. The blood of the victim, representative of a forfeited life, and the vehicle of its guilt, was then taken by the priest and ministered before the Lord.
      By his confession, by the slaying of the victim, and by the ministry of the priest, the sin of the individual was transferred from himself to the sanctuary. Victim after victim was thus offered by the people. Day by day the work went forward, and thus the sanctuary became the receptacle of the sins of the congregation. But this was not the final disposition of these sins. The accumulated guilt was removed by a special service for the cleansing of the sanctuary. this service, in the type, occupied one day in the year, the tenth day of the seventh month, which was called the Day of Atonement. On this day, while all Israel refrained from work and afflicted their souls, the priest brought two goats, and presented them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle. On these goats he cast lots, one lot of the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. The one upon which the Lord’s lot fell was then slain, and his blood
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carried by the priest into the most holy place of the sanctuary, and sprinkled upon the mercy seat. This was the only day on which he was permitted to enter that apartment. Coming forth, he was then to “lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.” Leviticus 16:21. He was then to send the goat away by the hand of a fit man into a land not inhabited, a land of separation, or forgetfulness, the goat never again to appear in the camp of Israel, and the sins of the people to be remembered against them no more.
      This service was for the purpose of cleansing the people from their sins, and also for cleansing the sanctuary, its furniture, and its sacred vessels from the sins of the people. (Leviticus 16:16, 30, 33.) By this process, sin was entirely removed. Of course this was only in figure, for all that work was typical.
      The reader to whom these views are new will perhaps be ready here to inquire with some astonishment, What could this strange work possibly be designed to typify, and what was it designed to to prefigure in our day? We answer, A similar work in the ministration of Christ, as the Scriptures clearly teach. After the statement in Hebrews 8:2 that Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the sanctuary in heaven, it is declared in verse 5 that the priests on earth served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” In other words, the work of the earthly priests was a shadow, a type of the ministration of Christ above.
      Ministration in Figure and in Fact. —These typical priests ministered in both apartments of the earthly tabernacle, and Christ ministers in both apartments of the heavenly temple. That temple in heaven has two apartments, or it was not correctly represented by the earthly sanctuary. Our Lord officiates in both apartments, or the service of the priest on earth was not a correct shadow of His work. It is stated plainly in Hebrews 9:21-24 that both the tabernacle and all the vessels in the ministry were “patterns of things in the heavens.”
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Therefore the service performed by Christ in the heavenly temple corresponds to that performed by the priests in both apartments of the earthly building. But the work in the second apartment, or most holy place, was a special work to close the yearly round of service and cleanse the sanctuary. Hence Christ’s ministration in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary must be a work of like nature, and constitutes the close of His work as our great High Priest, and the cleansing of that sanctuary.
      As through the typical sacrifices of old the sins of the people were transferred in figure by the priests to the earthly sanctuary, where those priests ministered; so ever since Christ ascended to be our intercessor in the presence of His Father, the sins of all those who sincerely seek pardon through Him are transferred in fact to the heavenly sanctuary, where He ministers. Whether Christ ministers for us in the heavenly holy places with His blood literally, or only by virtue of its merits, we need not stop to inquire. Suffice it to say that His blood has been shed, and through that blood remission of sins is obtained in fact, which was obtained only in figure through the blood of the calves and goats of the former ministration. But those typical sacrifices had real sacrifice to come. Thus those who employed them have an equal interest in the work of Christ with those who in our era come to Him by faith through the ordinances of the gospel.
      The continual transfer of sins to the heavenly sanctuary makes its cleansing necessary on the same ground that a like work was required in the earthly sanctuary. An important distinction between the two ministrations must here be noticed. In the earthly tabernacle, a complete round of service was accomplished every year. On every day of the year except one, the ministration went forward in the first apartment. One day’s work in the most holy completed the yearly round. The work then began again in the holy place, and went forward until another Day of Atonement completed the year’s
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work. And so on, year by year. A succession of priests performed this round of service in the earthly sanctuary. But our divine Lord “ever liveth to make intercession” for us. Hebrews 7:25. Hence the work of the heavenly sanctuary, instead of being a yearly work, is performed once for all. Instead of being repeated year by year, one grand cycle is allotted to it, in which it is carried forward and finished forever.
      One year’s round of service in the earthly sanctuary represented the entire work of the sanctuary above. In the type, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the brief closing work of he year’s service. In the antitype, the cleansing of the sanctuary must be the closing work of Christ, our great High Priest, in the tabernacle in heaven. In the type, to cleanse the sanctuary, the high priest entered into the most holy place to minister in the presence of God before the ark of His testament. In the antitype, when the time comes for the cleansing of the true sanctuary, our High Priest, in like manner, enters into the most holy place once for all to make a final end of His intercessory work in behalf of mankind.
      Reader, do you now see the importance of this subject? Do you begin to perceive what an object of interest for all the world is the sanctuary of God? Do you see that the whole plan of salvation centers here, and that when it is done, probation is ended, and the cases of the saved and lost are eternally decided? Do you see that the cleansing of the sanctuary is a brief and special work by which the great plan of salvation is forever finished? Do you see that if it can be ascertained when the work of cleansing begins we shall know when salvation’s’s last mighty hour has come, when that most solemn announcement of the prophetic word is due to the world —“Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come?” Revelation 14:7. This is exactly what the prophecy is designed to show; it is known the commencement of this momentous work. “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The heavenly sanctuary is the one in which the decision of all cases is to be
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rendered. The progress of the work there should be the special concern of mankind. If people understood the bearing of these subjects on their eternal interests, they would give them their most careful and prayerful study.

      Verse 15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
      We now enter upon the interpretation of the vision. We have already mentioned Daniel’s longing to understand these things. He sought for the meaning. Immediately there stood before the prophet one who had the appearance of a man. Daniel heard a man’s voice, that is, the voice of an angel as of a man speaking. The commandment was given to make this man Daniel understand the vision. It was addressed to Gabriel, a name that signifies “the strength of God,” or “man of God.” He continues his instruction to Daniel in chapter 9. Centuries later this same angel was commissioned to announce the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zacharias, and that of the Messiah to the virgin Mary. (Luke 1:26.) To Zacharias, he introduced himself with these words: “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God.” Luke 1:19. From this is appears that Gabriel was here addressed by one still higher in rank, who had power to command and control his work. This one was probably no other than the Archangel, Michael, or Christ.

      Verse 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
      It was not for the purpose of worship that Daniel fell before the angel, for it is forbidden to worship angels. (See Revelation 19:10; 22:8, 9.) Daniel seems to have been completely overcome by the majesty of the heavenly messenger.
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He prostrated himself with his face to the ground. The angel laid his hand upon him to give him assurance (how many times have mortals been told by heavenly beings to “fear not”!), and from this helpless and prostrate condition set him upright.
      With a general statement that at the time appointed the end shall be, and that he will make him to know “what shall be in the last end of the indignation,” the angel enters upon an interpretation of the vision. “The indignation” must be understood to cover a period of time. What period of time? God told His people Israel that He would pour upon them His indignation for their wickedness; and thus He gave directions concerning the “profane wicked prince of Israel:” “Remove the diadem, and take off the crown. . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be not more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.” Ezekiel 21:25-27, 31.
      Here is the period of God’s indignation against His covenant people, the period during which the sanctuary and host are to trodden underfoot. The diadem was removed, and the crown taken off, when Israel was subjected to the kingdom of Babylon. It was overturned by the Medes and Persians, again by the Grecians, again by the Romans, corresponding to the three times the word is repeated by the prophet. The Jews, having rejected Christ, were soon scattered abroad over the face of the earth. Spiritual Israel has taken the place of the literal seed; but they are in subjection to earthly powers, and will be until the throne of David is again set up —until He who is its rightful heir, the Messiah, the Prince of peace, shall come. Then the indignation will have ceased. The events that shall take place in the end of the period are now to be made known to Daniel by the angel.

      Verse 20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
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      The Vision Interpreted. —As the disciples said to the Lord, so may we here say of the angel who spoke to Daniel, “Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.” This explanation of the vision is in language plain to be understood. (See comments on verses 3-8.) The distinguishing feature of the Persian Empire, the union of the two nationalities which composed it, is represented by the two horns of the ram. Grecia attained its greatest glory as a unit under the leadership of Alexander the Great, a general as famous as the world has ever seen. This part of her history is represented by the first phase of the goat, during which time the one notable horn symbolized Alexander the Great. Upon his death, the kingdom fell into fragments, but soon consolidated into four grand division. These were represented by the second phase of the goat, when it had four horns which came up in the place of the first, which had been broken. These divisions did not stand in his power. None of them possessed the strength of the original kingdom. These great waymarks of history on which the historian has written volumes, the inspired penman here gives us in sharp outline, with a few strokes of the pen.

      Verse 23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
      This power succeeds to the four divisions of the goat kingdom in the latter time of their kingdom, that is, toward the termination of their career. It is of course the same as the little horn of verse 9 and onward. Apply it to Rome, as set forth in remarks on verse 9, and all is harmonious and clear.
      “A King of Fierce Countenance.” —In predicting punishment to come upon the Jews from this same power, Moses calls it “a nation of fierce countenance.” Deuteronomy 28:49, 50.
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No people made a more formidable appearance in warlike array than Romans.
      As to “understanding dark sentences,” Moses says in the scripture before mentioned, “Whose tongue thou [the Jews] shalt not understand.” This could not be said of the Babylonians, Persians, or Greeks, in reference to the Jews; for the Chaldean and Greek languages were used to some extent in Palestine. This was not the case, however, with the Latin.
      When do the transgressors “come to the full?” All along, the connection between God’s people and their oppressors is kept in view. It was on account of the transgressions of His people that they were sold into captivity. Their continuance in sin brought more and more severe punishment. At not time were the Jews as a nation more corrupt morally than at the time they came under the jurisdiction of the Romans.
      Papal Rome Mighty, but Not by His Own Power.” —The success of the Romans was owing largely to the aid of their allies, and divisions among their enemies, of which they were ever ready to take advantage. Papal Rome also was mighty by means of the secular powers over which she exercised spiritual control.
      “He shall destroy wonderfully.” The Lord told the Jews by the prophet Ezekiel that He would deliver them to men who were “skillful to destroy” (Ezekiel 21:31); and the slaughter of eleven hundred thousand Jews at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army, was a terrible confirmation of the prophet’s words. Rome in its second, or papal, phase was responsible for the death of millions of martyrs.
      “Through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand.” Rome has been distinguished above all other powers for a policy of craft, by means of which it brought the nations under its control. This is true of both pagan and papal Rome. Thus by peace it destroyed many.
      Finally, in the person of one of its governors, Rome stood up against the Prince of princes, by giving sentence of death against Jesus Christ. “But he shall be broken without hands.”
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This parallels the prophecy of Daniel 2:34, where the stone “cut out without hands” destroys all earthly powers.

      Verse 26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
      “The vision of the evening and the morning” refers to the period of 2300 days. In view of the long period of oppression, and the calamities which were to come upon his people, Daniel fainted and was sick certain days. He was astonished at the vision, but did not understand it. Why did not Gabriel at this time fully carry out his instructions, and cause Daniel to understand the vision? Undoubtedly because Daniel had received all that he could then bear. Further instruction is therefore deferred to a future time.

      [1] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 598, note on Daniel 8:1.
      [2] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 303, 304.
      [3] Ibid., p. 306.
      [4] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. I, p. 378.
      [5] Walter Fogg, One Thousand Sayings of History, p. 210.
      [6] See Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, pp. 106, 107.
      [7] See 1 Maccabees 8; Flavius Josephus, “Antiquities of the Jews,” book 12, chap. 10, sec. 6, The Works of Flavius Josephus, p. 374; Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, p. 166.
      [8] S. P. Tregelles, Remarks on the Prophetic Visions in the Book of Daniel, p. 89, footnote.
      [9] Dialogues on Prophecy, Vol. I, pp. 326, 327.
      [*] The Greek original of what is here translated “holiest of all” is the same as that rendered “sanctuary” in Hebrews 8:2; 9:1. It should therefore be translated “sanctuary” in Hebrews 9:8 also. The same original phrase is used, too, in verses 12, 24, 25, and is more fittingly translated “sanctuary” than “holy place,” so as to convey its true meaning more clearly. In Hebrews 10:19 the original of “holiest” is the same as that in all the verses cited above, and should therefore be also translated “sanctuary.” This gives a simple, accurate, uniform, and easily understood rendering of the same original phrase in all these passages. Moreover, the reference of the phrase is obviously and uniformly to the heavenly sanctuary in all these citations, with the exception of Hebrews 9:1, 25, which refer to the earthly. The original phrases cited above have of course the usual variations for number and case common to all languages. The nominative form is {Greek- ta/ a%gia} ta hagia, plural in all instances here cited except in 9:1, where it is {Greek- to\ a%gion} to hagion, singular. In Hebrews 9:2 the word “sanctuary” plainly applies to the first apartment only, and would be better translated “holy place” as suggested in the margin of the Authorized Version, while the phrase “holiest of all” in verse 3, naming the second apartment, is a true translation of a different original regularly used to designate that apartment in distinction from the first and from the entire sanctuary. “Holiest of all” or “holiest” is not therefore a true translation in either Hebrews 9:8 or 10:19.—Editors.

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