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Daniel and The Revelation

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    Chapter 8 — Vision of the Ram, He-Goat and Little Horn

    We now come once more,” says Dr. Clarke, “to the Hebrew, the Chaldee part of the book being finished. As the Chaldeans had a particular interest both in the history and the 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.”DAR 145.1

    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.DAR 145.2

    One prominent characteristic of the sacred writings, and one 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 that which they record. This verse states the time when the vision recorded in this chapter was given to Daniel. The first year of Belshazzar was B. C. 540. His third year, in which this vision was given, would consequently be 538. If Daniel, as is supposed, was about twenty years of age when he was carried to Babylon in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 606, he was at this time about eighty-eight years of age. The vision he speaks of 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.DAR 145.3

    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.DAR 146.1

    As verse 1 states the time when, this verse gives the place where, the vision was given. Shushan, as we learn from Prideaux, was the metropolis of the province of Elam. This was then in the hands of the Babylonians, and there the king of Babylon had a royal palace. Daniel, as minister of state, and employed about the king’s business, was accordingly in that place. Abradates, viceroy or prince of Shushan, revolted 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 it regained its liberties, of which it had been deprived by the Babylonians, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah 49:39.DAR 146.2

    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.DAR 146.3

    In verse 20 an interpretation of this symbol is given us 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 symbol answers to the power in question. The two horns represented the two nationalities of which the empire consisted. The higher came up last. This represented the Persian element, which, from being at first simply an ally of the Medes, came to be the leading division of the empire. The different directions in which the ram was seen pushing, denote the directions in which the Medes and Persians carried their conquests. No earthly powers could stand before them while they were marching up to the exalted position to which the providence of God had summoned them. And so successfully were their conquests prosecuted that in the days of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1), the Medo-Persian kingdom extended from India to Ethiopia, the extremities of the then known world, over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. The prophecy almost seems to fall short of the facts as stated in history, when it simply says that this power “did according to his will, and became great.”DAR 146.4

    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.DAR 147.1

    “As I was considering,” says the prophet; and in this he sets an example for every lover of the truth, and all who have any regard for things higher than the objects of time and sense. When Moses saw the burning bush, he said, “I will now turn aside, and see this great sight.” But how few are willing at the present time to turn aside from their pursuit of business or pleasure to consider the important themes to which both the mercy and providence of God are striving to call their attention.DAR 147.2

    The symbol here introduced is also explained by the angel to Daniel. Verse 21: “And the rough goat is the king [or kingdom] of Grecia.” Concerning the fitness of this symbol to the Grecian or Macedonian people, Bishop Newton observes that the Macedonians, “about two hundred years before the time of Daniel, were called AEgeadae, the goats’ people;” the origin of which name he explains, according to heathen authors, as follows: “Caranus, their first king, going with a great multitude of Greeks to seek new habitations in Macedonia, was advised by an oracle to take the goats for his guides to empire; and afterward, seeing a herd of goats flying from a violent storm, he followed them to Edessa, and there fixed the seat of his empire, and made the goats his ensigns, or standards, and called the city AEgae, or the goats’ town, and the people, AEgeadae, or the goats’ people.” “The city of AEgeae, or AEgae, was the usual burying-place of the Macedonian kings. It is also very remarkable that Alexander’s son by Roxana was named Alexander AEgus, or the son of the goat; and some of Alexander’s successors are represented in their coins with goats’ horns.” — Dissertation on the Prophecies, p. 238.DAR 147.3

    The goat came from the west. Grecia lay west of Persia.DAR 148.1

    “On the face of the whole earth.” He covered all the ground as he passed; that is, he swept everything before him; he left nothing behind.DAR 148.2

    He “touched not the ground.” Such was the marvelous celerity of his movements that he did not seem to touch the ground, but to fly from point to point with the swiftness of the wind; the same feature is brought to view by the four wings of the leopard in the vision of chapter 7.DAR 148.3

    The notable horn between his eyes. This is explained in verse 21 to be the first king of the Macedonian empire. This king was Alexander the Great.DAR 148.4

    Verses 6 and 7 give a concise account of the overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander. The contests between the Greeks and Persians are said to have been exceedingly furious; and some of the scenes as recorded in history are vividly brought to mind by the figure used in the prophecy, — a ram standing before the river, and the goat running unto him in the fury of his power. Alexander first vanquished the generals of Darius at the River Granicus in Phrygia; he next attacked and totally routed Darius at the passes of Issus in Cilicia, and afterward on the plains of Arbela in Syria. This last battle occurred B. C. 331, and marked the conclusion of the Persian empire; for by this event Alexander became complete master of the whole country. Bishop Newton quotes verse 6: “And he [the goat] came to the ram which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power;” and adds: “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.” — Id., p. 239.DAR 148.5

    Ptolemy begins the reign of Alexander B. C. 332; but it was not till the battle of Arbela, the year following, that he became, according to Prideaux (Vol. I, p. 378), “absolute lord of that empire to the utmost extent in which it was ever possessed by the Persian kings.” On the eve of this engagement, Darius sent ten of his chief relatives to sue for peace; and upon their presenting their conditions to Alexander, he replied, “Tell your sovereign... that the world will not permit two suns nor two sovereigns!”DAR 149.1

    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, its cities plundered, and the royal city of Persepolis, the capital of the Persian empire, and even in 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.DAR 149.2

    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.DAR 149.3

    The conqueror is greater than the conquered. The ram, Medo-Persia, became great; the goat, Grecia, became very great. And when he was strong, the great horn was broken. Human foresight and speculation would have said, When he becomes weak, his kingdom racked by rebellion, or paralyzed by luxury, then the horn will be broken, and the kingdom shattered. But Daniel saw it broken in the very prime of its strength and the hight of its power, when 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.DAR 149.4

    Alexander fell in the prime of life. (See notes on verse 39 of chapter 2.) After his death there arose much confusion among his followers respecting the succession. It was finally agreed, after a seven days’ contest, that his natural brother, Philip Aridaeus, should be declared king. By him, and Alexander’s infant sons, Alexander AEgus and Hercules, the name and show of the Macedonian empire were for a time sustained; but all these persons were soon murdered; and the family of Alexander being then extinct, the chief commanders of the army, who had gone into different parts of the empire as governors of the provinces, assumed the title of kings. They thereupon fell to leaguing and warring with one another to such a degree that within the short space of fifteen years from Alexander’s death, the number was reduced to — how many? Five? — No. Three? — No. Two? — No. But four — just the number specified in the prophecy; for four notable horns were to come up toward the four winds of heaven in place of the great horn that was broken. These were, (1) Cassander, who had Greece and the neighboring countries; (2) Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor; (3) Seleucus, who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of kings known as the “Seleucidae,” so famous in history; and (4) 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 had the northern regions; Seleucus possessed the eastern countries; and Ptolemy had 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 Bosporus), Syria, and Egypt.DAR 150.1

    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 his 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 practiced, and prospered.DAR 150.2

    A third power is here introduced into the prophecy. In the explanation which the angel gave to Daniel of these symbols, this one is not described in language so definite as that concerning Medo-Persia and Grecia. Hence a flood of wild conjecture is at once let loose. Had not the angel, in language which cannot be misunderstood, stated that Medo-Persia and Grecia were denoted by the ram and the he-goat, it is impossible to tell what application men would have given us of those symbols. Probably they would have applied them to anything and everything but the right objects. Leave men a moment to their own judgment in the interpretation of prophecy, and we immediately have the most sublime exhibitions of human fancy.DAR 151.1

    There are two leading applications of the symbol now under consideration, which are all that need be noticed in these brief thoughts. The first is that the “little horn” here introduced denotes the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes; the second, that it denotes the Roman power. It is an easy matter to test the claims of these two positions.DAR 151.2

    I. Does it mean Antiochus? If so, this king must fulfill the specifications of the prophecy. If he does not fulfill them, the application cannot be made to him. The little horn came out of one of the four horns of the goat. It was then a separate power, existing independently of, and distinct from, any of the horns of the goat. Was Antiochus such a power?DAR 151.3

    1. 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, in order, was Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus, then, was simply one of the twenty-six kings who constituted the Syrian horn of the goat. He was, for the time being, that horn. Hence he could not be at the same time a separate and independent power, or another and remarkable horn, as the little horn was.DAR 151.4

    2. 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 did not by any means sustain this character. Although he took the name Epiphanes, that is, The Illustrious, he was illustrious only in name; for nothing, says Prideaux, on the authority of Polybius, Livy, and Diodorus Siculus, could be more alien to his true character; for, on account of his vile and extravagant folly, some thinking him a fool and others a madman, they changed the name of Epiphanes, “The Illustrious,” into Epimanes, “The Madman.”DAR 152.1

    3. Antiochus the Great, the father of Epiphanes, being terribly defeated in a war with the Romans, was enabled to procure peace only by the payment of a prodigious sum of money, and the surrender of a portion of his territory; and, as a pledge that he would faithfully adhere to the terms of the treaty, he was obliged to give hostages, among whom was this very Epiphanes, his son, who was carried to Rome. The Romans ever after maintained this ascendency.DAR 152.2

    4. The little horn waxed exceeding great; but this Antiochus did not wax exceeding great; on the contrary, he did not enlarge his dominion, except by some temporary conquests in Egypt, which he immediately relinquished when the Romans took the part of Ptolemy, and commanded him to desist from his designs in that quarter. The rage of his disappointed ambition he vented upon the unoffending Jews.DAR 152.3

    5. The little horn, in comparison with the powers that preceded it, was exceeding great. Persia is simply called great, though it reigned over a hundred and 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 to Antiochus, who was obliged to abandon Egypt at the dictation of the Romans, to whom he paid enormous sums of money as tribute. The Religious Encyclopedia gives us this item of his history: “Finding his resources exhausted, he resolved to go into Persia to levy tribute, and collect large sums which he had agreed to pay to the Romans.” It cannot take long for any one to decide the question which was the greater power, — the one which evacuated Egypt, or the one which commanded that evacuation; the one which exacted tribute, or the one which was compelled to pay it.DAR 152.4

    6. The little horn was to stand up against the Prince of princes. The Prince of princes here means, beyond controversy, Jesus Christ. Daniel 9:25; Acts 3:15; Revelation 1:5. But Antiochus died one hundred and sixty-four years before our Lord was born. The prophecy cannot, therefore, apply to him; for he does not fulfill the specifications in one single particular. The question may then be asked how any one has ever come to apply it to him. We answer, Romanists take that view to avoid the application of the prophecy to themselves; and many Protestants follow them, in order to oppose the doctrine that the second advent of Christ is now at hand.DAR 153.1

    II. It has been an easy matter to show that the little horn does not denote Antiochus. It will be just as easy to show that it does denote Rome.DAR 153.2

    1. The field of vision here is substantially the same as that covered by Nebuchadnezzar’s image of chapter 2, and Daniel’s vision of chapter 7. And in both those 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” power, is also Rome.DAR 153.3

    2. The little horn comes forth from one of the horns of the goat. How, it may be asked, can this be true of Rome? It is unnecessary to remind the reader that earthly governments are not introduced into prophecy till 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 B. C. 161. 1 Maccabees 8; Josephus’s Antiquities, book 12, chap. 10, sec. 6; Prideaux, Vol. II, p. 166. But seven years before this, that is, in B. C. 168, Rome had conquered Macedonia, and made that country a part of its empire. Rome is therefore introduced into prophecy just as, from the conquered Macedonian horn of the goat, it is going forth to new conquests in other directions. It therefore appeared to the prophet, or may be properly spoken of in this prophecy, as coming forth from one of the horns of the goat.DAR 153.4

    3. The little horn waxed great toward the south. This was true of Rome. Egypt was made a province of the Roman empire B. C. 30, and continued such for some centuries.DAR 154.1

    4. The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was true of Rome. Rome conquered Syria B. C. 65, and made it a province.DAR 154.2

    5. 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, B. C. 63, and eventually destroyed the city and the temple, and scattered the Jews over the face of the whole earth.DAR 154.3

    6. The little horn waxed great even to the host of heaven. Rome did this also. The host of heaven, when used in a symbolic sense in reference to events transpiring upon the earth, must denote persons of illustrious character or exalted position. The great red dragon (Revelation 12:4) is said to have cast down a third part of the stars of heaven to the ground. The dragon is there interpreted to symbolize pagan Rome, and the stars it cast to the ground were Jewish rulers. Evidently it is the same power and the same work that is here brought to view, which again makes it necessary to apply this growing horn to Rome.DAR 154.4

    7. The little horn magnified himself even to the Prince of the host. Rome alone did this. In the interpretation (verse 25) this is called standing up against the Prince of princes How clear an allusion to the crucifixion of our Lord under the jurisdiction of the Romans.DAR 154.5

    8. By the little horn the daily sacrifice was taken away. This little horn must be understood to symbolize 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) signifying the pagan form, and the transgression of desolation, the papal. (See 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. And the place of his sanctuary, or worship, the city of Rome, was cast down. The seat of government was removed by Constantine in A. D. 330 to Constantinople. The 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.DAR 154.6

    9. 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 perpetrators of the same empire in another phase. And this was brought about by reason of “transgression;” that is, by the working of the mystery of iniquity. The papacy is the most cunningly contrived, false ecclesiastical system ever devised; and it may be called a system of iniquity because it has committed its abominations and practiced its orgies of superstition, in the garb, and under the pretense, of pure and undefiled religion.DAR 155.1

    10. The little horn cast 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; it is loaded with traditions; it is turned into mummery and superstition; it is cast down and obscured.DAR 155.2

    And this anti-Christian power has “practiced,” — practiced its deceptions upon the people, practiced its schemes of cunning to carry out its own ends and aggrandize its own power.DAR 155.3

    And it has “prospered.” It has made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. It has 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.DAR 155.4

    Rome meets all the specifications of the prophecy. No other power does meet them. Hence Rome, and no other, is the power in question. And while the descriptions given in the word of God of the character of this monstrous system are fully met, the prophecies of its baleful history have been most strikingly and accurately fulfilled.DAR 156.1

    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.DAR 156.2

    The time. These two verses close the vision proper of chapter 8; and they introduce the one remaining point which of all others would naturally be of the most absorbing interest to the prophet and to all the church; namely, the time the desolating powers previously brought to view were to continue. How long shall they continue their course of oppression against God’s people, and of blasphemy against high Heaven? Daniel, if time had been given, might perhaps have asked this question himself, but God is ever ready to anticipate our wants, and sometimes to answer even before we ask. Hence two celestial beings appear upon the scene, holding a conversation, in the hearing of the prophet, upon this question which it is so important that the church should understand. Daniel heard one saint speaking. What this saint spoke at this time we are not informed; but there must have been something either in the matter or the manner of this speaking which made a deep impression upon the mind of Daniel, inasmuch as he uses it in the very next sentence as a designating title, calling the angel “that certain saint which spake.” He may have spoken something of the same nature as that which the seven thunders of the Apocalypse uttered (Revelation 10:3), and which, for some good reason, John was restrained from writing. But another saint asked this one that spake an important question: How long the vision? and both the question and the answer are placed upon record, which is prima-facie evidence that this is a matter which it was designed that the church should understand. And this view is further confirmed by the fact that the angel did not ask this question for his own information, inasmuch as the answer was addressed to Daniel, as the one whom it chiefly concerned, and for whose information it was given. “And he said unto me,” said Daniel, recording the answer to the angel’s question, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”DAR 156.3

    The daily sacrifice. We have proof in verse 13 that sacrifice is the wrong word to be supplied in connection with the word daily. If the daily sacrifice of the Jewish service is here meant, or, in other words, the taking away of that sacrifice, as some suppose, which sacrifice was at a certain point of time taken away, there would be no propriety in the question, How long the vision concerning it? This question evidently implies that those agents or events to which the vision relates, occupy a long series of years. Continuance of time is the central idea. And 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, the taking away of which, when the time came for it, occupied comparatively but an instant of time. It must denote something which occupies a series of years.DAR 157.1

    The word here rendered daily occurs in the Old Testament, according to the Hebrew Concordance, one hundred and two times, and is, in the great majority of instances, rendered continual or continually. The idea of sacrifice does not attach to the word at all. Nor is there any word in the text which signifies sacrifice; that is wholly a supplied word, the translators putting in that word which their understanding of the text seemed to demand. But they evidently entertained an erroneous view, the sacrifices of the Jews not being referred to at all. It appears therefore more in accordance with both the 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. The Hebrew, הַתָּמִיד וְהַפֶּשַׁע שֹׁמֵם, justifies this construction; the last word, שֹׁמֵם , desolation, having a common relation to the two preceding nouns, the perpetual and the transgression, which are connected by the conjunction and. Literally, it may be rendered, “How long 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.” By the “continuance of desolation,” or the perpetual desolation, we must understand that paganism, through all its long history, is meant; and by “the transgression of desolation” is meant 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 though under this period of the history of the church the desolating power had rebelled against all restraint previously imposed upon it.DAR 157.2

    From a religious point of view, the world has presented only these two 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 all were embraced in the “daily.” Then comes the papal form, — the “transgression of desolation” — a marvel of craft and cunning, an incarnation of fiendish blood-thirstiness and cruelty. No wonder the cry has gone up from suffering martyrs, from age to age, How long, O Lord, how long? And no wonder the Lord, in order that hope might not wholly die out of the hearts of his down-trodden, waiting people, has lifted before them the vail of futurity, showing them the consecutive events of the world’s history, till all these persecuting powers shall meet an utter and everlasting destruction, and giving them glimpses beyond, of the unfading glories of their eternal inheritance.DAR 158.1

    The Lord’s eye is upon his people. The furnace will be heated no hotter than necessary to consume the dross. It is through much tribulation we are to enter the kingdom; and the word tribulation is from tribulum, a threshing sledge. Blow after blow must be laid upon us; till all the wheat is beaten free from the chaff, and we are made fit for the heavenly garner. But not a kernel of wheat shall 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 respecting the daily and the 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?DAR 159.1

    No; but concerning the sanctuary and the host, the people and worship of the Most High. How long shall they be trodden under foot? Here is where all Heaven’s interest and sympathy are enlisted. He who touches the people of God, touches not mere mortals, weak and helpless, but Omnipotence; he opens an account which must be settled at the bar of Heaven. And soon all these accounts will be adjusted, the iron heel of oppression will itself be crushed, and a people will be brought out of the furnace prepared to shine as the stars forever and ever. To be one who is an object of interest to heavenly beings, one whom the providence of God is engaged to preserve while here, and crown with immortality hereafter — what an exalted position! How much higher than that of any king, president, or potentate of earth? Reader, are you one of the number?DAR 159.2

    Respecting the 2300 days, introduced for the first time in verse 14, there are no data in this chapter from which to determine their commencement and close, or tell what portion of the world’s history they cover. It is necessary, therefore, for the present, to pass them by. Let the reader be assured, however, that we are not left in any uncertainty concerning those days. The declaration respecting them is a part of a revelation which is given for the instruction of the people of God, and is consequently to be understood. They are spoken of in the midst of a prophecy which the angel Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand; and it may be safely assumed that Gabriel somewhere carried out this instruction. It will accordingly be found that the mystery which hangs over these days in this chapter, is dispelled in the next.DAR 159.3

    The sanctuary. Connected with the 2300 days is another subject of equal importance, which now presents itself for consideration; namely, the sanctuary; and with this is also connected the subject of its cleansing. An examination of these subjects, will reveal the importance of having an understanding of the commencement and termination of the 2300 days, that we may know when the great event called “the cleansing of the sanctuary” is to transpire; for all the inhabitants of the earth, as will in due time appear, have a personal interest in that solemn work.DAR 160.1

    Several objects have been claimed by different ones as the sanctuary here mentioned: (1) The earth; (2) The land of Canaan; (3) The church; (4) The sanctuary, 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. These conflicting claims must be decided by the Scriptures; and fortunately the testimony is neither meager nor ambiguous.DAR 160.2

    1. Is the earth the sanctuary? The word sanctuary occurs in the Old and New Testaments one hundred and forty-four times, and 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, therefore, the earth is the sanctuary, it must answer to this definition; but what single characteristic pertaining to this earth is found which will satisfy the definition? It is neither a holy nor a sacred place, nor is it a dwelling-place for the Most High. It has no mark of distinction, except as being a revolted planet, marred by sin, scarred and withered by the curse. Moreover, it is nowhere in all the Scriptures called the sanctuary. Only one text can be produced in favor of this view, and that only by an uncritical application. Isaiah 60:13 says: “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.” This language undoubtedly refers to the new earth; but even that is not called the sanctuary, but only the “place” of the sanctuary, just as it is called “the place” of the Lord’s feet; 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 can present not a shadow of a claim to being the sanctuary at the present time, or the sanctuary of the prophecy.DAR 160.3

    2. Is the land of Canaan the sanctuary? So far as we may be governed by the definition of the word, 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 seem to be 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.” A writer who urges this text, says, “I ask the reader to pause, and examine and settle the question most distinctly, before he goes further, What is the sanctuary here spoken of?” But it would be far safer for the reader not to attempt to settle the question definitely from this one isolated text before comparing it with other scriptures. 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. If we find, in the fulfilment, that the land in which they were planted is called the sanctuary, it will greatly strengthen the claim that is based upon this text. If, on the other hand, we find a plain distinction drawn between the land and the sanctuary, then Exodus 15:17 must be interpreted accordingly. We turn to David, who records as a matter of history what Moses uttered as a matter of prophecy. Psalms 78:53, 54. The subject of the psalmist here, is the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian servitude, and their establishment in the promised land; and he says: “And 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; and 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: “And 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 good king Jehoshaphat. 2 Chronicles 20:7, 8: “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.” Taken alone, some try to draw an inference from Exodus 15:17 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; for 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 Psalms 78:68, because Zion was located in Judah.DAR 161.1

    The three texts, Ex. 15:17; Psalms 78:54, 69, are the ones chiefly relied on to prove that the land of Canaan is the sanctuary; but, singularly enough, the two latter, in plain language, clear away the ambiguity of the first, and utterly disprove the claim that is based thereon.DAR 163.1

    Having disposed of the main proof on this point, it would hardly seem worth while to spend time with those texts from which only inferences can be drawn. As there is, however, only one even of this class, we will refer to it, that no point may be left unnoticed. Isaiah 63:18: “The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.” This language is as applicable to the temple as to the land; for when the land was overrun with the enemies of Israel, their temple was laid in ruins. This is plainly stated in verse 11 of the next chapter: “Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire.” The text therefore proves nothing for this view.DAR 163.2

    Respecting the earth or the land of Canaan as 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; and this purification of the earth, or any part of it, is nowhere in the Bible called the cleansing of the sanctuary.DAR 163.3

    3. Is the church the sanctuary? The evident mistrust with which this idea is suggested, is a virtual surrender of the argument before it is presented. The one solitary text adduced in its support is Psalms 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.” Should we take this text in its most literal sense, what would it prove respecting the sanctuary? It would prove that the sanctuary was confined to one of the twelve tribes; and hence that a portion of the church only, not the whole of it, constitutes the sanctuary. But this, proving too little for the theory under consideration, proves nothing. Why Judah is called the sanctuary in the text quoted, need not be a matter of perplexity, when we remember that God chose Jerusalem, which was in Judah, as the place of his sanctuary. “But chose,” says David, “the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established forever.” 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 forth from Egypt, because God purposed that in the midst of the territory of that tribe his sanctuary should be located. But even 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 another object: “To give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot.” That by the term host the church is here meant, none will dispute; the sanctuary is therefore another and a different object.DAR 164.1

    4. Is the temple in heaven the sanctuary? There now remains but this one claim to be examined; namely, that the sanctuary mentioned in the text is what Paul calls in Hebrews the “true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,” to which he expressly gives the name of “the sanctuary,” and which he locates in “the heavens;” of which sanctuary, there existed, under the former dispensation, first in the tabernacle built by Moses, and afterward in the temple at Jerusalem, a pattern, type, or figure. And let it be particularly noticed, that on the view here suggested rests our only hope of ever understanding this question; for we have seen that all other positions are untenable. No other object which has ever been supposed by any one to be the sanctuary — the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church — can for a moment support such a claim. If, therefore, we do not find it in the object before us, we may abandon the search in utter despair; we may discard so much of revelation as still unrevealed, and may cut out from the sacred page, as so much useless reading, the numerous passages which speak on this subject. All those, therefore, who, rather than that so important a subject should go by default, are willing to lay aside all preconceived opinions and cherished views, will approach the position before us with intense anxiety and unbounded interest. They will lay hold of any evidence that may here be given us, as a man bewildered in a labyrinth of darkness would lay hold of the thread which was his only guide to lead him forth again to light.DAR 164.2

    It will be safe for us to put ourselves in imagination in the place of Daniel, and view the subject from his standpoint. What would he understand by the term sanctuary as addressed to him? If we can ascertain this, it will not be difficult to arrive at correct conclusions on this subject. His mind would inevitably turn, on the mention of that word, to the sanctuary of that dispensation; and certainly he well knew what 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. And so, as was his wont, with his face turned toward the place of their once venerated temple, he prayed God to cause his face to shine upon his sanctuary, which was desolate. By the word sanctuary Daniel evidently understood their temple at Jerusalem.DAR 165.1

    But Paul bears testimony which is most explicit on this point. Hebrews 9:1: “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” This is the very point which at present we are concerned to determine: What was the sanctuary of the first covenant? Paul proceeds to tell us. Hear him. Verses 2-5: “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 [margin, the holy]. 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 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.”DAR 165.2

    There is no mistaking the object to which Paul here has reference. 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 vessels of service, as here set forth. A full description of this building, with its various vessels and their uses, will be found in Exodus 25 and onward. If the reader is not familiar with this subject, he is requested to turn and closely examine the description of this building. This, Paul plainly says, 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 did positively for a time constitute the sanctuary, Paul sets us on the right track of inquiry. He gives us a basis on which to work. For a time, the field is cleared of all doubt and all obstacles. During the time covered by the first covenant, which reached from Sinai to Christ, we have before us a distinct and plainly defined object, minutely described by Moses, and declared by Paul to be the sanctuary during that time.DAR 166.1

    But Paul’s language has greater significance even than this. It forever annihilates the claims which are put forth in behalf of the earth, the land of Canaan, or the church, as the sanctuary; for the arguments which would prove them to be the sanctuary at any time, would prove them to be such under the old dispensation. 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 period of which we speak. To this period the arguments urged in their favor apply as fully as to any other period; and if they were not the sanctuary during this time, then all the arguments are destroyed which would show that they ever were, or ever could be, the sanctuary. But were they the sanctuary during that time? This is a final question for these theories; and Paul decides it in the negative, by describing to us the tabernacle of Moses, and telling us that that — not the earth, nor Canaan, nor the church — was the sanctuary of that dispensation.DAR 166.2

    And this building answers in every respect to the definition of the term, and the use for which the sanctuary was designed.DAR 167.1

    1. 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. 2. It was a holy, or sacred place, — “the holy sanctuary.” Leviticus 16:33. 3. In the word of God it is over and over again called the sanctuary. Of the one hundred and forty instances in which the word is used in the Old Testament, it refers in almost every case to this building.DAR 167.2

    The tabernacle was at first constructed in such a manner as to be adapted to the condition of the children of Israel at that time. They were just 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 removals were frequent. It would be necessary that the tabernacle should often be moved from place to place. It was, therefore, so fashioned of movable parts, the sides being composed of upright boards, and the covering consisting of curtains of linen and dyed skins, that it could be readily taken down, conveniently transported, and easily erected at each successive stage of their journey. After entering the promised land, this temporary structure in time gave place to the magnificent temple of Solomon. In this more permanent form it existed, saving only the time it lay in ruins in Daniel’s day, till its final destruction by the Romans in A. D. 70.DAR 167.3

    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 was the sanctuary of the first covenant; 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 is lacking between these covenants; and in this case the first covenant had a system of worship, which, though minutely described, is unintelligible, and the second covenant has a system of worship which is indefinite and obscure. And Paul virtually asserts 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 the book of Hebrews, he says in chapter 9:1 that the first covenant “had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary,” it is the same as saying that the new covenant has likewise its services and its sanctuary. Furthermore, in verse 8 of this chapter he 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 so 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.DAR 168.1

    Where, then, shall we look for the sanctuary of the new covenant? Paul, by the use of the word also, in Hebrews 9:1, intimates that he had before spoken of this sanctuary. We turn back to the beginning of the previous chapter, and find him summing up his foregoing arguments as follows: “How 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; this was pitched by the Lord, not by man. That was the place where the earthly priests performed their ministry; 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 by Paul a “worldly sanctuary;” this is a “heavenly one.”DAR 168.2

    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; what Moses constructed was but a type, or model. Listen to 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. “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.” Verse 40. (To the same end see Exodus 26:30; 27:8; Acts 7:44.)DAR 169.1

    Now of what was the earthly sanctuary a type, or figure? Answer: 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 throughout, is that of type to antitype. Its sacrifices were types of the greater sacrifice of this dispensation; its priests were types of our Lord, in his more perfect priesthood; their ministry was performed unto the shadow and example of the ministry of our High Priest above; and the sanctuary where they ministered, was a type, or figure, of the true sanctuary in heaven, where our Lord performs his ministry.DAR 169.2

    All these facts are plainly stated by Paul in a few verses to the Hebrews 8:4, 5: “For 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.” This testimony shows that the ministry of the earthly priests was a shadow of Christ’s priesthood; and the evidence Paul brings forward to prove it, 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 in the mount with the sanctuary, or true tabernacle, in heaven, where our Lord ministers, mentioned three verses before.DAR 169.3

    In chapter 9:8, 9, Paul further says: “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all [Greek, holy places, plural] was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present,” etc. While the first tabernacle stood, and the first covenant was in force, the ministration of the more perfect tabernacle and the work of the new covenant 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 [where also the Greek has the plural, the holy places], having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Of these heavenly holy places, therefore, the first tabernacle was a figure for the time then present. If any further testimony is needed, he speaks, in verse 28, of the earthly tabernacle, with its apartments and instruments, as patterns of things in the heavens; and in verse 21, he calls the holy places made with hands, that is, the earthly tabernacle erected by Moses, figures of the true; that is, the tabernacle in heaven.DAR 170.1

    This view is still further corroborated by the testimony of John. Among the things which he was permitted to behold in heaven, he saw seven lamps of fire burning before the throne (Revelation 4:5); he saw an altar of incense, and a golden censer (chapter 8:3); he saw the ark of God’s testament (chapter 11:19); and all this in connection with a “temple” in heaven. Revelation 11:19; 15:8. These objects every Bible reader must at once recognize as implements of the sanctuary. They owed their existence to the sanctuary, and were confined to it, to be employed in the ministration connected therewith. As without the sanctuary they had not existed, so wherever we find these, we may know that there is the sanctuary; and hence the fact that John saw these things in heaven in this dispensation, is proof that there is a sanctuary there, and that he was permitted to behold it.DAR 170.2

    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. Paul 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 was to make this tabernacle. Paul 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. And finally, John, to corroborate the statement of Paul that this sanctuary is in heaven, bears testimony, as an eye-witness, that he beheld it there. What further testimony could be required? Nay, more, what further is conceivable?DAR 171.1

    So far as the question as to what constitutes the sanctuary is concerned, we now have the subject before us in one harmonious whole. The sanctuary of the Bible — mark it, all, dispute it, who can — consists, first, of the typical tabernacle established with the Hebrews at the exode from Egypt, which was the sanctuary of the first covenant; and, secondly, 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 connected together 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.DAR 171.2

    We have said that Daniel would at once understand by the word sanctuary the sanctuary of his people at Jerusalem; so would any one under that dispensation. 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 under the old dispensation, have respect, of course, to the sanctuary of that dispensation; and all those declarations which apply in this dispensation, must have reference to the sanctuary of this dispensation. If the 2300 days, at the termination of which the sanctuary is to be cleansed, ended in the former dispensation, the sanctuary to be cleansed was the sanctuary of that time. If they reach over into this dispensation, the sanctuary to which reference is made is the sanctuary of this dispensation, — the new-covenant sanctuary in heaven. This is a point which can be determined only by a further argument on the 2300 days; and this will be found in remarks on Daniel 9:24, where the subject of time is resumed and explained.DAR 171.3

    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 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. But it 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.DAR 172.1

    Having learned 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 no account in the Bible of any work so named as pertaining to this earth, the land of Canaan, or the church; which is good evidence that none of these objects constitutes the sanctuary; there is such a service connected with the object 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.DAR 172.2

    Does the reader object to the idea of there being anything in heaven which is to be cleansed? Is this a barrier in the way of his receiving the view here presented? Then his controversy is not with this work, but with Paul, who positively affirms this fact. But before he decides against the apostle, we ask the objector to examine carefully in reference to the nature of this cleansing, as he is here undoubtedly laboring under an utter misapprehension. The following are the plain terms in which Paul affirms the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary: “And 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 with these; but the heavenly things themselves 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, as erected by Moses, with its sacred vessels, which were patterns of the true sanctuary in heaven, should be purified, or cleansed, with the blood of calves and goats; but the heavenly things themselves, the sanctuary of this dispensation, the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man, must be cleansed with better sacrifices, even with the blood of Christ.”DAR 172.3

    We now inquire, What is the nature of this cleansing, and how is it to be accomplished? According to the language of Paul, just quoted, it is performed 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. And this consideration should satisfy the objector’s mind in regard to the cleansing of the heavenly things. The fact that Paul speaks of heavenly things to be cleansed, does not prove that there is any physical impurity in heaven; for that is not the kind of cleansing to which he refers. The reason Paul assigns why this cleansing is performed with blood, is because without the shedding of blood there is no remission.DAR 173.1

    Remission, then, that is, 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 came sins connected with the sanctuary, either the earthly or the heavenly, that it should need to be cleansed from them? This question is answered by the ministration connected with the type, to which we now turn.DAR 173.2

    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 to our purpose to notice here, is one particular branch of the service, which was performed as follows: The person who had committed sin, brought his victim 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 him 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 his victim on account of that guilt. 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; 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.DAR 174.1

    The sin of the individual was thus, by his confession, by the slaying of the victim, and by the ministry of the priest, 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 continually 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, which was called the cleansing of the sanctuary. This service, in the type, occupied one day in the year; and the tenth day of the seventh month, on which it was performed, 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 of the congregation. On these goats he cast lots; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scape-goat. The one upon which the Lord’s lot fell, was then slain, and his blood was carried by the priest into the most holy place of the sanctuary, and sprinkled upon the mercy-seat. And this was the only day on which he was permitted to enter into that apartment. Coming forth, he was then to lay both his hands upon the head of the scape-goat, confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, and, thus putting them upon his head (Leviticus 16:21), he was to send him 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 cleansing the sanctuary and its sacred vessels. Leviticus 16:30, 33. By this process, sin was removed, — but only in figure; for all that work was typical.DAR 174.2

    The reader to whom these views are new will be ready here to inquire, perhaps, with some astonishment, what this strange work could possibly be designed to typify; what there is in this dispensation which it was designed to prefigure. We answer, A similar work in the ministration of Christ, as Paul clearly teaches. After stating, in Hebrews 8, that Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the sanctuary in heaven, he states 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, an example, a correct representation, so far as it could be carried out by mortals, of the ministration of Christ above. These priests ministered in both apartments of the earthly tabernacle, Christ therefore ministers in both apartments of the heavenly temple; for that temple has two apartments, or it was not correctly represented by the earthly; and our Lord officiates in both, or the service of the priest on earth was not a correct shadow of his work. But Paul directly states that he ministers in both apartments; for he says that he has entered into the holy place (Greek, τὰ ἅγια , the holy places) by his own blood. Hebrews 9:12. There is therefore a work performed by Christ in his ministry in the heavenly temple, corresponding 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 constitute the close of his work as our great High Priest, and the cleansing of that sanctuary.DAR 175.1

    As through the sacrifices of a former dispensation 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 own 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 secured in fact, which was obtained only in figure through the blood of the calves and goats of the former dispensation. But those sacrifices had real virtue in this respect: they signified faith in a real sacrifice to come; and thus those who employed them have an equal interest in the work of Christ with those who in this dispensation come to him by faith, through the ordinances of the gospel.DAR 176.1

    The continual transfer of sins to the heavenly sanctuary (and if they are not thus transferred, will any one, in the light of the types, and in view of the language of Paul, explain the nature of the work of Christ in our behalf?) — this continual transfer, we say, of sins to the heavenly sanctuary, makes its cleansing necessary on the same ground that a like work was required in the earthly sanctuary.DAR 176.2

    An important distinction between the two ministrations must here be noticed. In the earthly tabernacle, a complete round of service was accomplished every year. For three hundred and fifty-nine days, in their ordinary years, the ministration went forward in the first apartment. One day’s work in the most holy completed the yearly round. The work then commenced again in the holy place, and went forward till another day of atonement completed the year’s work. And so on, year by year. This continual repetition of the work was necessary on account of the short lives of mortal priests. But no such necessity exists in the case of our divine Lord, who ever liveth to make intercession for us. (See Hebrews 7:23-25.) 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, never to be repeatedDAR 176.3

    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 the 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 on high. 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 sanctuary, our High Priest, in like manner, enters into the most holy place to make a final end of his intercessory work in behalf of mankind. We confidently affirm that no other conclusion can be arrived at on this subject without doing despite to the unequivocal testimony of God’s word.DAR 177.1

    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 work of salvation centers there, and that when the work 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 scheme is forever finished? Do you see that if it can be made known when this work of cleansing commences, it is a solemn announcement to the world that salvation’s last hour is reached, and is fast hastening to its close? And this is what the prophecy is designed to show. It is to make known the commencement of this momentous work. “Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”DAR 177.2

    In advance of any argument on the nature and application of these days, the position may be safely taken that they reach to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, for the earthly was to be cleansed each year; and we make the prophet utter nonsense, if we understand him as saying that at the end of 2300 days, a period of time over six years in length, even if we take them literally, an event should take place which was to occur regularly every year. The heavenly sanctuary is the one in which the decision of all cases is to be rendered. The progress of the work there is what it especially concerns mankind to know. If people understood the bearing of these subjects on their eternal interests, with what earnestness and anxiety would they give them their most careful and prayerful study. See on chapter 9:20 and onward, an argument on the 2300 days, showing at what point they terminated, and when the solemn work of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary began.DAR 178.1

    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.DAR 178.2

    We now enter upon an interpretation of the vision. And first of all we have mention of Daniel’s solicitude, and his efforts to understand these things. He sought for the meaning. Those who have given to prophetic subjects their careful and earnest attention, are not the ones who are unconcerned in such matters. They only can tread with indifference over a mine of gold, who do not know that a bed of precious metal lies beneath their feet. Immediately there stood before the prophet as the appearance of a man. The text does not say it was a man, as some would fain have us think, who wish to prove that angels are dead men, and who resort to such texts as this for their evidence. It says, “The appearance of a man,” from which we are evidently to understand an angel in human form. And he heard a man’s voice; that is, the voice of an angel, as of a man, speaking. The commandment given was, to make this man, Daniel, understand the vision. It was addressed to Gabriel, a name that signifies “the mighty one.” He continues his instruction to Daniel in chapter 9. Under the new dispensation he was commissioned to announce the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zacharias (Luke 1:11); and that of the Messiah to the virgin Mary, verse 26. To Zacharias, he introduced himself with these words: “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God.” From this it appears that he was an angel of a high order and superior dignity; but the one who here addressed him was evidently higher in rank, and had power to command and control his actions. This was probably no other than the archangel Michael, or Christ, between whom and Gabriel, alone, a knowledge of the matters communicated to Daniel existed. (See chapter 10:21.)DAR 178.3

    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.DAR 179.1

    Under similar circumstances to those here narrated, John fell down before the feet of an angel, but it was for the purpose of worship. Revelation 19:10; 22:8. Daniel seems to have been completely overcome by the majesty of the heavenly messenger. He prostrated himself with his face to the ground, probably as though in a deep sleep, but not really so. Sorrow, it is true, caused the disciples to sleep; but fear, as in this case, would hardly have that effect. The angel gently 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 know what shall be in the last end of the indignation, he enters upon an interpretation of the vision. The indignation must be understood to cover a period of time. What 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 no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Ezekiel 21:25-27, 31.DAR 179.2

    Here is the period of God’s indignation against his covenant people; the period during which the sanctuary and host are to be trodden under foot. The diadem was removed, and the crown taken off, when Israel was subjected to the kingdom of Babylon. It was overturned again 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 then having rejected Christ, were soon scattered abroad over the face of the earth; and spiritual Israel has taken the place of the literal seed, but they are in subjection to earthly powers, and will be till the throne of David is again set up, — till He who is its rightful heir, the Messiah, the Prince of peace, shall come, and then it will be given him. Then the indignation will have ceased. What shall take place in the last end of this period, the angel is now to make known to Daniel.DAR 180.1

    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.DAR 180.2

    As the disciples said to the Lord, so may we here say of the angel who spake to Daniel, “Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.” This is an explanation of the vision in language as plain as need be given. (See 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 almost immediately consolidated into four grand divisions, represented by the second phase of the goat, when it had four horns which came up in the place of the first, which was broken. These divisions did not stand in his power. None of them possessed the strength of the original kingdom. These great waymarks in history, on which the historian bestows volumes, the inspired penman here gives us in sharp outline, with a few strokes of the pencil and a few dashes of the pen.DAR 180.3

    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 practice, 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.DAR 181.1

    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.DAR 181.2

    “A king of fierce countenance.” Moses, in predicting punishment to come upon the Jews from this same power, calls it “a nation of fierce countenance.” Deuteronomy 28:49, 50. No people made a more formidable appearance in warlike array than the Romans. “Understanding dark sentences.” Moses, in the scripture just referred to says, “Whose tongue thou 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 a greater or less extent in Palestine. This was not the case, however, with the Latin.DAR 181.3

    “When the transgressors are 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. And their continuance in sin brought more and more severe punishment. At no time were the Jews more corrupt, morally, as a nation, than at the time they came under the jurisdiction of the Romans.DAR 181.4

    “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.DAR 182.1

    “He shall destroy wonderfully.” The Lord told the Jews by the prophet Ezekiel that he would deliver them to men who were “skilful to destroy.” How full of meaning is such a description, and how applicable to the Romans! In taking Jerusalem, they slew eleven hundred thousand Jews, and made ninety-seven thousand captives. So wonderfully did they destroy this once mighty and holy people.DAR 182.2

    And what they could not accomplish by force, they secured by artifice. Their flatteries, fraud, and corruption were as fatal as their thunderbolts of war. And Rome, finally, in the person of one of its governors, stood up against the Prince of princes, by giving sentence of death against Jesus Christ. “But he shall be broken without hand,” an expression which identifies the destruction of this power with the smiting of the image of chapter 2.DAR 182.3

    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.DAR 182.4

    “The vision of the evening and the morning,” is that of the 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? — Because Daniel had received all that he could then bear. Further instruction is therefore deferred to a future time.DAR 182.5

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