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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1

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    THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE EIGHT AND NINTH CHAPTERS

    It is obvious, from the last verse of the eighth chapter, that Daniel felt the most intense anxiety in respect to the vision, and yet had no light. But, according to the ninth chapter, he learned, immediately after the death of Belshazzar, (see Daniel 5:25, and onward,) in the first year of Darius the Mede, that Jeremiah had foretold seventy years’ captivity of the Jews in Babylon, and the same period of desolation of the land by the hand of the king of Babylon. From the beginning of Daniel’s captivity, in the third year of Jehoiakim, and the first of Nebuchadnezzar, there had been seventy years accomplished. Daniel, knowing this fact, and also misunderstanding the real import of Jeremiah’s prophecy, as well as his own vision, supposed the time for cleansing or justifying the sanctuary had arrived. But the prediction of Jeremiah 25:9-11 was, that God would bring Nebuchadnezzar against that land and nation, and “utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolation.” “This whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” The Babylonian captivity was to be seventy years, but, the land was to be “perpetual desolation.” “And it shall come to pass when seventy years are accomplished,”-not that the desolation of the holy land and oppression and bondage of the church cease, but—“I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.” The seventy years ended, and God sent the handwriting on the palace wall of Babylon, “Mene,” “God hath numbered thy kingdom and FINISHED IT.” That night Belshazzar was slain, and Darius took the kingdom. But the desolations, both of Judea and Chaldea, yet continue.PREX1 128.3

    But with the conviction that the period of deliverance, both of the church and her inheritance, had arrived, Daniel began his prayer, confessing his own and his people’s sins. “O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now, therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name; for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken, and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God; for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.”PREX1 129.1

    There is clearly an earnest importunity for the sanctuary, God’s holy mountain, in this prayer. But God did not suffer him long to labor under the mistake; but sent a divine messenger with all speed to stop him in his prayer, and instruct him in reference to the vision.PREX1 130.1

    This prayer of Daniel is the true connecting link between the vision of the ram and goat of the 8th chapter and the prophecy of seventy weeks, or the seventy sevens, as the Hebrew, according to Professor Stuart, reads. Daniel thought seventy years’ captivity in Babylon was the indignation. Gabriel told him, not so. But “seventy sevens are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins.” As though he had said, You think the punishment of your people and city is filled up with the seventy years; but not so: the transgression for which they are to be finally desolated is not yet finished or filled up. Seventy weeks, or sevens, are determined, or cut off, for them to accomplish the national “transgression, and make an end of sins,” etc. After Messiah is cut off, the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood. It will be swept as with a mighty deluge. Messiah shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease; and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate; or as in the marginal reading, “the desolator,” which was the Roman government; and the desolation determined on that, is, to slay and burn it. Daniel 8:11.PREX1 130.2

    This is not, then, a simple prediction of the seventy weeks; but it is an explanation of the vision of the desolation of the sanctuary,-1. When the sin for which the city and people were to be destroyed, would be finished. 2. That a people would, after that, come and destroy the city and sanctuary. 3. That it would afterward, for the overspreading of abominations, remain desolate until the consummation. 4. That at the consummation and the end of the sanctuary’s desolation, that which is determined by Divine Providence shall be poured upon the desolator. The appointed ruin to come on the fourth or Roman beast of Daniel 7, is, that at the coming of the Son of man, “the beast will be slain, his body be destroyed and given to the burning flame.” A more plain recapitulation or statement of the vision could scarcely be given in human language. There can be no mistake but that this communication was designed to explain the previous one.PREX1 131.1

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