Daniel Chapter 12a | Table of Contents | Revelation Introduction

Daniel Chapter 12 continued (b)

Page 324
and the former in 508, thirty years previous. In support of the date A.D. 508 the following historical quotations are given:
      Baptism of Clovis. —“As to the writings of Anastasius, . . . there is one from him to Clovis, king of the Franks, congratulating that prince on his conversion to the Christian religion. For Clovis, the first Christian king of the Franks, was baptized on Christmas Day 496, the very day, according to some, on which the pope was ordained.” [3]
      Thomas Hodgkin says:
      “The result of this ceremony was to change the political relations of every state in Gaul. Though the Franks were among the roughest and most uncivilized of the tribes that had poured westwards across the Rhine, as Catholics they were now sure of a welcome from the Catholic clergy of every city, and where the clergy led, the ‘Roman’ provincials, or in other words the Latin-speaking laity, generally followed. Immediately after his baptism Clovis received a letter of enthusiastic welcome into the true fold, written by Avitus, Bishop of Vienne, the most eminent ecclesiastic of the Burgundian kingdom.” [4]
      Clovis the First Catholic Prince. —“It is observable, that Clovis was, at this time [496], the only Catholic prince in the known world, as the word Catholic was then understood. Anastasius, Emperor of the East, was a professed Eutychian. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths in Italy; Alaric, King of the Visigoths, master of all Spain, and of the third part of Gaul; the kings of the Burgundians, Suevians, and Vandals, in Gaul, Spain, and Africa; were all zealous followers of Arius. As for the other kings of the Franks settled in Gaul, they were still pagans. Clovis was not only the sole Catholic prince at this time in the world; but the first king that ever embraced the Catholic religion; which has procured to the French king the title of the ‘most Christian,’ and that of ‘the eldest son of the Church.’ But were we to compare the conduct and actions of Clovis, the Catholic, with those of the Arian King
Page 325
Theodoric, such a comparison would no ways redound to the honor of the Catholic faith.” [5] Popes Endangered by Arian Princes. —Ephraim Emerton, former professor of history at Harvard University, say:
      “By the time of the Franks had fought the battle of Strassburg the bishops of the city of Rome had come to be looked up to as the leaders of the Church in what had been the Western Empire. They had come to be called popes, and were trying hard to govern the Church of the West just as a king might govern his people. We have seen how much respect a venerable pope like Leo could command even from such rude destroyers as Attila and Gaiseric. Now the popes had always been devoted Catholics, opposed to Arianism wherever it appeared. At the moment of the Frankish conversion they were in constant danger from the Arian Ostrogoths who had just got a firm hold upon Italy. Theodoric had not distributed the religion of Rome, but a new king might arise who should try to force Arianism upon the whole of Italy. The pope was therefore overjoyed to hear that the newly converted Franks had taken his form of the Christian belief. He was ready to bless every undertaking of theirs as the work of God, if only it might be against the worse than heathen Arians. Thus began as early as the year 500 an understanding between the Roman Papacy and the Frankish kingdom which was to ripen into an intimate allegiance and to do very much towards shaping all the future history of Europe.” [6]
      Clovis’s Conversion a Check on the Arians. —“The event which intensified the fears of all the Arian kings, and which left to each one little more than the hope that he might be the last to be devoured, was the conversion to Catholicism of Clovis, the heathen king of the Franks.” [7]
      Barbarian League Against Clovis. —“The kings of the barbarians were . . . invited to join in a ‘League of Peace,’ in
Page 326
order to check the lawless aggressions of Clovis which threatened danger to all.” [8]
      “To form such a confederacy and to league together all the older Arian monarchies against this one aspiring Catholic state which threatened to absorb them all, was now the main purpose of Theodoric.” [9]
      Clovis Launches a Religious War. —“The diplomatic action of Theodoric was powerless to aver the war; possible even it may have stimulated Clovis to strike rapidly before a hostile coalition could be formed against him. At an assembly of his nation (perhaps the ‘Camp of March’) in the early part of 507, he impetuously declared: ‘I take it grievously amiss that these Arians should hold so large a part of Gaul. Let us go and overcome them with God’s help, and bring the land into subjection to us.’ The saying pleased the whole multitude, and the collected army marched southward to the Loire.” [10]
      Clovis Defeats the Visigoths. —“The next campaign of the Frankish king was one of far greater importance and success. He was set on trying his fortune against the young king of the Visigoths, whose personal weakness and unpopularity with his Roman subjects tempted him to an invasion of Aquitaine. It would seem that Chlodovech [Clovis] carefully chose as a casus belli the Arian persecutions of the Alaric, who, like his father Euric, was a bad master to his Catholic subjects. . . . In 507 Chlodovech declared war on the Visigoths .”[11]
      “Why the explosion was delayed until the year 507 is unknown. That the king of the Franks was the aggressor is certain. He easily found a pretext for beginning the war as a champion and protector of Catholic Christianity against the absolutely just measures which Alaric took against his treacherous orthodox clergy. . . . In the spring of 507 he [Clovis] suddenly crossed the Loire and marched toward Poitiers. . . .
Page 327
Ten miles from Poitiers, the Visigoths had taken up their position. Alaric put off beginning battle because he was waiting for the Ostrogoth troops, but as they were hindered by the appearance of a Byzantine fleet in Italian waters he determined to fight instead of beating a retreat, as it would have been wise to do. After a short engagement the Goths turned and fled. In the pursuit the king of the Goths was killed, it was said by Clovis’s own hand (507). With this overthrow the rule of the Visigoths in Gaul was ended forever.” [12]
      “It is evident, from the language of Gregory of Tours, that this conflict, between the Franks and Visigoths was regarded by the Orthodox party of his own and preceding ages as a religious war, on which, humanly speaking, the prevalence of the Catholic or the Arian creed in Western Europe depended .” [13]
      “A.D. 508. A short time after these events, Clovis receive the titles and dignity of Roman patricius and consul from the Greek emperor Anastasius; who appears to have been prompted to this act more by motives of jealousy and hatred towards Theodoric the Ostrogoth, than by any love he bore for the restless and encroaching Frank. The meaning of these obsolete titles, as applied to those who stood in no direct relation either division of the Roman Empire, has never been sufficiently explained. . . . The sun of Rome was set, but the twilight of her greatness still rested on the world. The German kings and warriors received with pleasure, and wore with pride, a title which brought them into connection with that imperial city, of whose universal dominion, of whose skill in armies and arts, the traces lay everywhere around them.” [14]
      “In 508 Clovis received at Tours the insignia of the consulship from the eastern emperor, Anastasius, but the title was purely honorific. The last years of his life Clovis spent in
Page 328
Paris, which he made the capital of his kingdom.” [15]
      End of Arian Resistance. —This disposed of the Visigothic kingdom, but there yet remained the league of Arian powers under Theodoric. Alaric had counted on the assistance of Theodoric, but the latter failed him. The next year, A.D. 508, however, Theodoric came against Clovis and gained a victory, after which he unaccountable made peace with him, and the resistance of the Arian powers was at an end. [16]
      Significance of Clovis’s Victories. —The eminence which Clovis had attained in the year 508, and the significance of his victories to the future of Europe and the church were so great that historians cannot forbear commenting on them.
      “Nor was his a temporary conquest. The kingdom of the West Goths and the Burgundians had become the kingdom of the Franks. The invaders had at length arrived, who were to remain. It was decided that the Franks, and not the Goths, were to direct the future destinies of Gaul and Germany, and that the Catholic faith, and not Arianism, was to be the religion of these great realms.” [17]
      “Clovis was the first to unite all the elements from which the new social order was to be formed, —namely, the barbarians, whom he established in power; the Roman civilization, to which he rendered homage by receiving the insignia of patrician and of consul from the Emperor Anastasius; and finally, the Catholic Church, with which he formed that fruitful alliance which was continued by his successors.” [18]
      Paved the Way for Alliance of Church and State. —“In him [Clovis] met two religions, and two ages of the world. At his birth the Roman world was still a power; his death marks the dawn of the Middle Ages. He stepped into the vacant place of the Eastern emperor, and paved the way for what Charlemagne
Page 329
perfected —the fusion of Roman and German civilization, the alliance of church and state.” [19]
      Clovis Saved the Church From Paganism and Arianism. —“He [Clovis] had on all occasions shown himself the heartless ruffian, the greedy conqueror, the bloodthirsty tyrant; but by his conversion he had led the way to triumph of Catholicism; he had saved the Roman Church from the Scylla and Charybdis of heresy and paganism, planted it on a rock in the very center of Europe, and fixed its doctrines and traditions in the hearts of the conquerors of the west.” [20]
      Foundations of the Medieval Church. —“the results of their [the Franks’] occupation of Gaul were so important, the empire which they founded, their alliance with the church, their legal notions and political institutions were all of such decisive influence upon the future that their history deserves separate treatment. . . . It is to them that the political inheritance of the Roman Empire passed; to them came the honor of taking up and carrying on, roughly, to be sure, and far less extensively and effectively, but nevertheless of actually carrying on the political work which Rome had been doing. They alone represent that unity which Rome had established, and so far as that unity was maintained at all as a definite fact, it is the Franks who maintained it. . . It is only at the end of the fifth century that their career really begins, and then, as so often in similar cases, it is the genius of one man, a great leader, which creates the nation. . . . Clovis . . . appears as one of the great creative spirits who give a new direction to the currents of history. . . . A third step of great importance in this process of union was also to be taken by Clovis. On institution, produced in the ancient world before the Germans entered it, had continued with vigorous life and wide influence, indeed, with slowly increasing power, through all the changes of this chaotic period. It was to be in the future a still greater
Page 330
power and to exert an influence even wider and more permanent than that of the Franks. . . . This was the Roman Church. It was to be the great ecclesiastical power of the future. It was therefore a most essential question whether the Franks, who were to grow on their side into the great political power of the future, should do so in alliance with this other power or in opposition to it. . . .
      “This question Clovis settled, not long after the beginning of his career, by his conversion to Catholic Christianity. . . . In these three ways, therefore, the work of Clovis was of creative influence upon the future. He brought together the Roman and German upon equal terms, each preserving the sources of his strength, to form a new civilization. He founded a political power which was to unite nearly all the continent in itself, and to bring the period of the invasions to an end. He established a close alliance between the two great controlling forces of the future, the two empires which continued the unity which Rome had created, the political empire and the ecclesiastical.” [21]
      Thus in A.D. 508 terminated united resistance to the development of the papacy. The question of supremacy between Frank and Goth, between the Catholic and the Arian religions, had then been settled in favor of the Catholics.

      Verse 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
      The 1335 Prophetic Days. —Still another prophetic period is here introduced, denoting 1335 years. Can we tell when this period begins and ends? The only clue we have to the solution of this question, is the fact that it is spoken of in immediate connection with the 1290 years, which began in 508 as shown above. From that point there shall be, says the prophet, 1290 days. The very next sentence reads, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days.” From what point?
Page 331
—From the same point, undoubtedly, as that from which the 1290 date, namely, A.D. 508. Unless they are to be reckoned from this point, it is impossible to locate them, and they must be excepted from the prophecy of Daniel when we apply to it the words of Christ, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” Matthew 24:15. From this point they would extend to 1843, for 1335 added to 508 makes 1843. Beginning in the spring of the former year, they ended in the spring of the latter.
      But how can it be that they have ended, it may be asked, since at the end of these days Daniel stands in his lot, which is by some supposed to refer to his resurrection from the dead? This question is founded on a misapprehension in two respects: First, that the days at the end of which Daniel stands in his lot are the 1335 days; and second, that the standing of Daniel in his lot is his resurrection, which also cannot be sustained. The only thing promised at the end of the 1335 days is a blessing to those who wait and come to that time; that is, those who are then living. What is this blessing? Looking at the year of 1843, when these years expired, what do we behold? We see a remarkable fulfillment of prophecy in the great proclamation of the second coming of Christ. Forty-five years before this, the time of the end began, the book was unsealed, and light began to increase. About the year 1843, there was a grand culmination of all the light that had been shed on prophetic subjects up to that time. The proclamation went forth in power. The new and stirring doctrine of the setting up of the kingdom of God shook the world. New life was imparted to the true disciples of Christ. The unbelieving were condemned, the churches were tested, and a spirit of revival was awakened which has had no parallel since.
      Was this the blessing? Listen to the Saviour’s words: “Blesses are you eyes,” said He to His disciples, “for they see; and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:16. Again He told His followers that prophets and kings had desired to see the things which they saw, and had not seen them. But “blessed,” said He to them, “are the eyes which see the things
Page 332
that ye see.” Luke 10:23, 24. If a new and glorious truth was a blessing in the days of Christ to those who received it, why was it not equally so in A.D. 1843?
      It may be objected that those who engaged in this movement were disappointed in their expectations; so were the disciples of Christ at His first advent, in an equal degree. They shouted before Him as He rode into Jerusalem, expecting that He would then take the kingdom. But the only throne to which He then went was the cross, and instead of being hailed as king in a royal palace, He was laid a lifeless form in Joseph’s new sepulcher. Nevertheless, they were “blessed” in receiving the truths they had heard.
      It may be objected further that this was not a sufficient blessing to be marked by a prophetic period. Why not, since the period in which it was to occur, the time of the end, is introduced by a prophetic period; since our Lord, in verse 14 of His great prophecy of Matthew 24, makes a special announcement of this movement; and since it is still further set forth in Revelation 14:6, 7, under the symbol of an angel flying through midheaven with a special announcement of the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth? Surely the Bible gives great prominence to this movement.
      Two more questions remain to be noticed briefly: What days are referred to in verse 13? What is meant by Daniel’s standing in his lot? Those who claim that the days are the 1335, are led to that application by looking back no further than to the preceding verse, where the 1335 days are mentioned; whereas, in making an application of these days so indefinitely introduced, the whole scope of the prophecy should certainly be taken in from Daniel 8. Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 are clearly a continuation and explanation of the vision of Daniel 8; hence we may say that in the vision of chapter 8, as carried out and explained, there are four prophetic periods: the 2300, 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. The first is the principal and longest period; the others are but intermediate parts and subdivisions of this. Now, when the angel tells Daniel at the
Page 333
conclusion of his instructions that he shall stand in his lot at the end of days, without specifying which period was meant, would not Daniel’s mind naturally turn to the principal and longest period, the 2300 days, rather than to any of its subdivisions? If this is so, the 2300 are the days intended. the reading of the Septuagint seems to look plainly in this direction: “But go thy way and rest; for there are yet days and seasons to the full accomplishment [of these things]; and thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” This certainly carries the mind back to the long period contained in the first vision, in relation to which the subsequent instructions were given.
      The 2300 days, as has been already shown, terminated in 1844, and brought us to the cleansing of the sanctuary. How did Daniel at that time stand in his lot? In the person of his Advocate, our great High Priest, as He presents the cases of the righteous for acceptance to His Father. The word here translated “lot” does note mean a piece of real estate, a “lot” of land, but the “decisions of chance” or the “determinations of Providence.” At the end of the days, the lot, so to speak, was to be cast. In other words, a determination was to made in reference to those who should be accounted worthy of a possession in the heavenly inheritance. When Daniel’s case comes up for examination, he is found righteous, stands in his lot, is assigned a place in the heavenly Canaan.
      When Israel was about to enter into the Promised Land, the lot was cast, and the possession of each tribe was assigned. The tribes thus stood in their respective “lots” long before they entered upon the actual possession of the land. The time of the cleansing of the sanctuary corresponds to this period of Israel’s history. We now stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, and decisions are being made, assigning to some a place in the eternal kingdom, and barring others forever. In the decision of his case, Daniel’s portion in the celestial inheritance will be made sure to him. With him all the faithful will also stand. When this devoted servant of God, who filled up a long life with the noblest deeds of service to his Maker,
Page 334
though cumbered with the weightiest cares of this life, shall enter upon his reward for well-doing, we too may enter with him into rest.
      We draw the study of this prophecy to a close, with the remark that it has been with no small degree of satisfaction that we have spent what time and study we have on this wonderful prophecy, and in contemplating the character of this most beloved of men and most illustrious of prophets. God is no respecter of person, and a reproduction of Daniel’s character will secure the divine favor as signally even now. Let us emulate his virtues, that we, like him, may have the approbation of God while here, and dwell amid the creations of His infinite glory in the long hereafter.

      [1] James H. Jeans, The Stars In Their Courses, p. 165.
      [2] Enoch Fitch Burr, Ecce Caelum, p. 136.
      [3] Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 295.
      [4] Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 190, 191.
      [5] Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 296, footnote. See also Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity , Vol. I, pp. 381-388.
      [6] Ephraim Emerton, Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages, pp. 65, 66.
      [7] Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, p. 186.
      [8] Ibid., pp. 198, 199.
      [9] Ibid., p. 194.
      [10] Ibid., p. 199.
      [11] Charles Oman, The Dark Ages, p. 62.
      [12] The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. I, p. 286. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.
      [13] Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 85.
      [14] Ibid., pp. 88, 89.
      [15] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., art. “Clovis,” Vol. VI, p. 563.
      [16] See Thomas Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth, pp. 202, 203; Nugent Robinson, A History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 75-79, 81, 82.
      [17] Richard W. Church, The Beginning of the Middle Ages, pp. 38, 39.
      [18] Victor Duruy, The History of the Middle Ages, p. 32.
      [19] Julius von Pflugk-Harttung, in A History of all Nations, Vol. VII, p. 27.
      [20] Walter C. Perry, The Franks, From Their First Appearance in History to the Death of King Pepin, p. 97.
      [21] George Burton Adams, Civilization During the Middle Ages, pp. 137-144.

Back To Top

Daniel Chapter 12a | Table of Contents | Revelation Introduction