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    The Interpretation of the Prophecy

    From the facts which we have submitted, we think it is satisfactorily proved that it will not be possible to maintain longer that the “daily” of Daniel 8 refers to paganism, and that it was taken away in 508. The history of that period positively forbids such an interpretation, and there is nothing in the spirit of prophecy which requires it. Furthermore, we regard such an exposition of the prophecy as contrary to the sound principles of Scripture exegesis. To this proposition we now briefly invite attention, and in order that the reader may judge the better for himself, we print herewith the text according to the American Standard Revised Version:-THD 17.1

    “And out of one of them [the four horns of the goat] came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and some of the host and of the stars it cast down to the ground, and trampled upon them. Yea, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the host; and it took away from him the continual burnt-offering, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And the host was given over to it together with the continual burnt-offering through transgression; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one who spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt-offering, and the transgression that maketh desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:9-14.THD 17.2

    That interpretation of this prophecy which maintains that the “daily” refers to paganism asserts that in this passage there are two different sanctuaries and two different hosts, and that while the little horn is the symbol for Rome, in both the pagan and papal phases of it, yet there are two phrases, viz., “the daily [desolation]” and “the transgression of desolation,” the first of which represents paganism and the second the Papacy; but such a method of interpretation as this does not rest upon a sound basis, and is both arbitrary and confusing. The two expressions, “the daily [desolation]” and “the transgression of desolation,” are in no sense symbols, and there is no precedent for making them represent two great desolating powers. Furthermore, the expression “the transgression of desolation” would more correctly read, as in the Revised Version, “the transgression that maketh desolate” or “the desolating transgression,” because the Hebrew word translated “that maketh desolate” is in form a participle, and in grammatical construction modifies the word “transgression.” To render this participle as a noun, and then to make it into a symbol either of paganism or the Papacy, is altogether unwarranted. Such an arbitrary handling of the scripture opens the way for the unrestrained play of the imagination, and makes possible the most fanciful interpretations of prophecy.THD 17.3

    The leading idea of this prophecy is found in the inquiry, “How long shall be the vision concerning the continual [mediation], and the transgression that maketh desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Here the vision is defined as the one relating to “the continual [mediation], and the transgression that maketh desolate,” and this is further explained as including the treading under foot of both the sanctuary and the host. It seems natural and consistent that the sanctuary here mentioned as being the one of the vision should be the same as the sanctuary mentioned in the earlier part of the prophecy, where the vision is fully set forth; and that the host mentioned in this inquiry should be the same as the host spoken of in the body of the vision; but all are agreed that the sanctuary mentioned in this inquiry, is the heavenly sanctuary, and that the host here mentioned refers to the people of God. It, therefore, seems to be an arbitrary and contradictory distinction when the sanctuary as first mentioned is denned to be Rome, while the sanctuary mentioned in the question concerning the vision is declared to be the heavenly sanctuary; and to make the host of one verse the hordes of the barbarians, and in the other case, the people of God.THD 18.1

    It seems more consistent to us to let the word “sanctuary” in this passage refer in every instance to the heavenly sanctuary, and the “host” to the people of God, and not to interpret certain phrases as representing what is already represented by the leading symbol of the prophecy. The word “continual” includes all the leading features of the priestly mediation typified by the morning and evening sacrifice (Exodus 29:38-42), the incense offering (Exodus 30:1-8, the word “perpetual” in this text being from the same Hebrew word as is elsewhere translated “continual”), and the shewbread. Numbers 4:7. (Compare also 2 Chronicles 2:4.) These were symbols of the great Mediator. To make this clear, we supply the word “mediation” in the text instead of the word “sacrifice,” and apply the statement to the heavenly sanctuary rather than to the temple at Jerusalem. We, therefore, give to the prophecy, beginning with the tenth verse, the following interpretation:-THD 19.1

    “And it [the little horn, the Papacy], waxed great, even to the host of heaven [the people of God]; and some of the host [the people of God], and of the stars [their leaders] it [the little horn] cast down to the ground, and trampled upon them. Yea, it [the little horn] magnified itself, even to the prince of the host [Christ]; and it [the little horn] took away from him [Christ] the continual [mediation], and the place of his [Christ’s] sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] was cast down. And the host [the people of God] was given over to it [the little horn] together with the continual [mediation] through transgression; and it [the little horn] cast down truth to the ground, and it [the little horn] did its pleasure and prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one who spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual [mediation], and the transgression that maketh desolate [the same transgression as in verse 12], to give both the sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] and the host [the peo0ple of God] to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand three Hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] Be cleansed.”THD 19.2

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