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David S. Clark -The Message From Patmos: A Postmillennial Commentary on the Book of Revelation (1921) "This early twentieth-century Postmillennial commentary on the Book of Revelation, written by the father of theologian Gordon Clark, offers an easy-to-read alternative to the popular Pre-millennial/Dispensational views of the best-selling Scofield Reference Bible and a multitude of other dissertations on end-time prophecy that litter the shelves of Christian bookstores. "
The Prophecies of the Old Testament, Respecting Messiah
Considered ; and Proved to be Literally Fulfilled in Jesus, Containing An Answer to the Objections of the Author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy.
By John Gill
Concerning the Time of the Messiah’s Coming
Having endeavored to prove that there was a very curly intimation given of the Messiah, as the seed of the woman, to our first parents after their apostasy from God; and considered the several advantages which the nations of the earth were to receive from him, as the seed promised to Abraham; and the various blessings which might be justly expected at his coming; it will be proper now to inquire into the time when this great person was to make his appearance in the world. That there was a time fixed and appointed by God for the Messiah’s coming, which the apostle calls (Gal. 4:4) the fullness of time, the prophet Habakkuk ensures us, when he says (Hab. 2:3), the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry. The vision, or prophecy, concerns the Messiah, therefore is called, by way of eminency, the vision; the impletion of which was exceeding desirable to the people of God, who were often impatient because it was so long deferred; and therefore wanted fresh assurances to support them in their expectations thereof, which is the manifest design of these words. The person here spoken of, is described by a character which is peculiar to the Messiah, as being he who was to come, for those words כי בא יבא may be thus rendered, because he that is to come, or that cometh, will come; and so they are by the Septuagint version, and justified by the apostle’s citation in Hebrews 10:37. Now this was such a common paraphrase of the Messiah, and so well known among the Jews, that when John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus, for satisfaction about his Messiahship, the question was put in no other form than this (Matthew 11:3), Art thou he that should come, o ercomenoV, or do we look for another: which character will be hard to fix upon Cyrus, or any other beside the Messiah. Moreover, the manner of the Messiah’s coming is very aptly represented in this text; for what we render, it shall speak; and not lie, may be well translated, he shall break forth as the morning, and not deceive. And thus the coming of the Messiah is described in 2 Samuel 23:4, and he, that is, the king Messiah, according to the Targum, who, verse 3 was to arise and rule in the fear of the Lord, shall be as the light of the morning, even a morning without clouds: which well agrees with Jesus, who is called (Luke 1:78) the day spring from on high that hath visited us; but if we read the words thus, he shall speak and not lie, they are fitly expressive of the Messiah’s work and office, as a prophet, who was to speak truth and not deceive, and well agree with Jesus, who spake such words of truth and wisdom, and in such a manner as never man did. Nay, the very time of the Messiah’s coming is pointed at in this prophecy, at the end he shall speak, or break forth, that is, at the end of the Jewish economy, as Bishop Chandler well observes, when their civil and church state were near their dissolution; at which time it is notorious enough that Jesus came. Moreover many Jewish writers acknowledge, that this prophecy belongs to the Messiah, and often use it to support them under the wretched disappointments they meet with, as to the coming of their vainly expected Messiah, as it was indeed of real service, this way, to their fathers before the coming of the true one: for the manifest design of it seems to be, to encourage the just to live by faith, in a full and humble expectation of it, though it might seem to tarry longer than they first looked or wished for, and not proudly and haughtily reject the promises of God, as never to be fulfilled; as appears from the following verse.
These things being considered, it will appear, that this prophecy does not intend Cyrus, and the restoration of the Jews from captivity by him; which a late author, supported by the authority of Grotius, thinks to be a more natural sense of it: but it is designed to carry the faith and expectation of God’s people to a greater person, and a far greater deliverance.
Now, as there was a fixed, determinate, and appointed time for the Messiah’s coming; so the prophets of the Old Testament were very solicitous and diligent in their inquiries about it (1 Pet. 1:11), Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them, did signify, when it testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Nor were their searches fruitless; for God was pleased to point out to many of them, the very exact and precise time of his coming: And it is somewhat remarkable, that, whereas Jesus came at the very time fixed by the prophets, so there was about that time a general expectation of the Messiah’s coming among the Jews, arising from the prophecies which went before it; which I shall consider in the following method.
I. I shall endeavor to prove, that the Messiah was to come before the tribe of Judah, and rule and government in that tribe ceased; or before the Jews’ commonwealth or political state were abolished.
II. Make it appear, that he was to come before their ecclesiastical or church-state ceased, or, in other words, before the second temple was destroyed.
III. Shall consider the exact and precise time of his coming, as fixed in Daniel’s weeks.
First, I shall endeavor to prove, that the Messiah was to come before the tribe of Judah, and rule and government in that tribe ceased; or before the Jews’ commonwealth or political state was abolished; which I shall endeavor to do from Genesis 49:10. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be which words are a prophecy of Jacob’s concerning the tribe of Judah, and of the Messiah, who was to spring from thence, as I shall also endeavor to make appear. Jacob perceiving that the time of his departure was at hand, called his sons together, and being under a spirit of prophecy, declared unto them what would befall their posterity in succeeding ages: for it ought to be observed, that what he prophecies of them, does not so much concern them personally, as their tribes and future posterity; as also, that what he predicts concerning them, was to befall them in the times of the Messiah; for, says he (Gen. 49:1), Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days; that is, in the days of the Messiah. Kimchi says, wherever the last days are mentioned, the days of the Messiah are to be understood, as they are here, which many Jewish writers acknowledge; and more especially what is foretold concerning the tribe of Judah, seems to concern him and his times; as when he speaks of his brethren praising of him, of his enemies being subdued under him, and the respect he should have from his father’s children (v. 8), as also when he compares him to a lion’s whelp, (v. 9). Hence one of the titles of Jesus is, The lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5), the time of whose coming is manifestly predicted in verse 18, as will appear by considering,
1. Who is meant by Shiloh.
2. The time of his coming, as here fixed.
1. I shall consider who is here meant by Shiloh. The Targums of Onkelos, Jonathan ben Uzziel, and the Jerusalem, understand it of the king Messiah, which was certainly the generally received sense of the ancient Jews, and is acknowledged by many of the modern ones; though some indeed, observing how much this prophecy militated against them, and what use has been made of it by the Christians, to prove that the Messiah must be already come, have endeavored to apply the words to something else, or to some other person. Some would have the city Shiloh intended; others Moses, others Saul, others David, others Jeroboam, others Ahijah the Shilonite, and others Nebuchadnezzar; which different senses, show the wretched puzzle and confusion they are thrown into, since they have forsaken the true sense of the words; and these being so disagreeable to each other, as well as inconsistent with the text, do not deserve a particular consideration. But that the Messiah is here meant by Shiloh, I shall endeavor to make appear;
1st, From the signification of the word Shiloh.
2dly, From what is said of him in the text, that unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
1st, That the Messiah is intended by Shiloh, may be collected from the signification of the word; for though learned men, both among Jews and Christians, differ about the derivation and signification of it; yet, in any, and every of the senses, which they give thereof, it well agrees with the Messiah. Kimchi says it signifies his son, and so should be rendered, until his son come; that is Judah’s son; now what son of his can be so reasonably supposed to be intended, as the famous renowned son of his, the Nagid, the prince Messiah, who was to spring from his tribe, as it is manifest the Messiah Jesus did; and the word having a feminine affix, had led some to observe, and that not without some reason, that this son of Judah was to be the seed of the woman, or to be born of a virgin. Others, as Onkelos and Jarchi, paraphrase it, as if it was שלו that is, whose it is; thus, until he comes whose is the kingdom; and understand it of the Messiah, as they might justly do; for to him of right the kingdom belongs, and to him it is given; as it is said in Ezekiel 21:27, I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more until he come whose right it is; which R. Abendana applies to the Messiah, as it ought to be. Others have taken it to be a compound word of לו and שי, so read it, to whom gifts, that is, belong or shall be brought; for which Jarchi cites the Midrash Agadah. Now of the Messiah it is prophesied, that presents should be brought, and gifts be given to him (Ps. 72:10, 15), which had its literal accomplishment in the Messiah Jesus, to whom the wise men presented gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. But most learned men derive the word from the root שלה, which signifies to be quiet, peaceable, and prosperous; so that Shiloh is one that is so; which character well agrees with the Messiah, who was to be of a quiet and peaceable disposition : His voice was not to be heard in the streets; he was to be the man, the peace, the author and donor of all peace, with whom all things were to succeed well; for the pleasure of the Lord was to prosper in his hand, as it did in Jesus’, who obtained a complete victory over all his enemies, and procured eternal salvation for his people.
From the whole it appears, that the variety of interpretations this word is subject to, is not sufficient to confound the application of this prophecy to a Messias, as the author of The Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c. p. 136, asserts.
2dly, That the Messiah is here, intended, may be also concluded from what is here said of this Shiloh, namely, and unto him, shall the gathering of the people, or Gentiles, be; which can agree with no other but the Messiah, to whom the Gentiles would seek, and in whom they would trust: for which way soever the words be rendered, they will suit with him. Some render them the obedience of the people, agreeable to the use of the word in Proverbs 30:17. Now this is true of the Messiah, whose people are a willing people; that is, to serve and obey him in the day of his power, to whom the Gentiles have, in a very remarkable manner, given a free and cheerful obedience, and verified this prophecy of him (Isa. 55:5); Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee; that is, to him who is promised as a leader and commander of the people: which Kimchi understands of the Messiah. Again, the Septuagint render the words by v rosdokia eJ nwn, the expectation of the nations: and so indeed the Messiah was: not only of the Jewish, but of other nations; the isles afar off waited for him, who was the desire of all nations (Hag. 2:7). Moreover, if we read the words according to Jarchi, to him shall the gathering of the people be, and which is our version, they are very applicable to the Messiah, to whom the people, and particularly the Gentiles, were to be gathered; and well agree with Jesus, who had no sooner entered upon his public ministry, but crowds of people flocked to, and attended on him; and as soon as his gospel was published among the Gentiles, vast numbers of them embraced, and steadfastly adhered to it; through the preaching of which there has been a very great collection of persons to Christ, in all ages ever since; before whom all nations will he gathered, at the day of judgment, whom he will separate one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats, But I proceed,
2. To consider the time of Shiloh’s or the Messiah’s, coming, according to this prophecy; which was to be, before the scepter and lawgiver depart from Judah. The Hebrew word שבט here translated the scepter, frequently signifies a tribe, and is so used in this chapter (vv.16, 18), and may be so here; and then the meaning is, that Judah’s tribe should not be scattered and confounded, as the rest of the tribes of Israel were, but remain a distinct tribe, until the coming of the Messiah. The word may be rendered a scepter, and often is, which being an ensign of government, is here expressive of the rule or government which was to continue in the tribe of Judah until Shiloh came. The Jews acknowledge that rule and government are here intended; and I think, that these two senses of the word may be very easily joined together; for there can be no rule or government, where there is not a tribe or a body of people collected together in some order, any more than such a body can subsist long without rule or government; and then the meaning of this prophecy is, that Judah’s tribe, and rule and government therein, were to continue until the Messiah came; or that the Messiah was to come before it ceased to be a tribe, and rule and government were removed from it: That Judah continued a distinct tribe, and that only, until the coming of the Messiah Jesus, is certain: Now, that this may appear manifest, let it be observed, that Judah, with his posterity, upon this blessing, designation, or appointment of Jacob, first commenced a distinct tribe of themselves, as did also the other sons of Jacob, with their posterity: for in this chapter we have the first account of the tribes of Israel, arid of Jacob’s family being reduced into such a form: Now, from henceforward they, with Judah, continued so until they were carried away captive into Assyria, where they were scattered and lost, and never returned more; and yet, which is very remarkable, and was, no doubt, designed to fulfill this prophecy, Judah, though carried captive into Babylon, was preserved as a distinct tribe, returned as such from thence, and continued so until the times of Jesus. Now, as long as this tribe continued a distinct tribe, rule and government continued in it; as they commenced together, they concluded together. What kind of rule or government was in Judah’s tribe, may be collected from what appears to have been in the rest of the tribes: Judah’s rule or government was of the same nature with that of his brethren, only it was to continue longer; his scepter was of the same kind with theirs, only it was not to depart when theirs did; and therein, and therein only, lies the superior excellency of Judah’s blessing, as to this part of it at least, to the rest of his brethren. Now it is plain and manifest from scripture, that every tribe had its heads, princes, and rulers; we are informed of this very early, for before the coming of the children of Israel out of Egypt, we have an account of the heads of their fathers houses (Ex. 6:14), which in other places are called the heads of the tribes (Num. 30:1; Joshua 14:1), and seeing this form of government obtained so early, it is highly probable that it was fixed by Jacob a little before his death, at the time when the distinct tribes were settled by him; and it is manifest enough, that the rule or government designed by the scepter here, be it what it will, was in the hand of Judah, when this prophecy was given forth; as appears from those words, the scepter shall not depart from Judah, which, as a late ingenious writer well observes, Suppose the scepter to be already in the hand of Judah, for there cannot be any sense in saying, that a thing shall not depart which never yet was in possession." Now, as it appears that this form of government, among the tribes, was before Moses’ time, so no alteration was made therein by him, though he was their legislator, who delivered to them, from God, the best system of laws and government that ever any people enjoyed, but left it just as he found it; (see Num. 1:14. Deut. 31:28), and so did Joshua his successor, as is manifest from Joshua 23:2 and chapter 24:1. It continued during the time of the Judges; nay, when all the tribes of Israel united under one head, and the kingly government took place, it no ways affected this (1 Chron. 28:1; 1 Kings 8: 4). And thus it remained in all the tribes as long as they subsisted; the tribe of Judah, continuing longer than the rest, it abode with them, and that even in the Babylonish captivity, where it was preserved by ראשי נליוח the heads of the captivity, as the Jews call their rulers which they had at that time, who returned with them into their own land, and marched at the head of them; (Ezra. 1:5; 2:2. Nay, this rule and authority were not abolished by the reign of the Hasmonæans, who were of the tribe of Levi; for, during their reign the Sanhedrim, which was their highest court of Judicature, chiefly consisted of men of the tribe of Judah, there being only that tribe, and little Benjamin which: was confounded with it, that returned from Babylon; and especially the נשיא, or prince of that assembly, was always of the tribe of Judah; even quite down unto, and in the times of Jesus, we have an account of those elders and rulers of the people; they are so frequently mentioned in the New Testament, that I need not take notice of particular instances: but quickly after those times, the tribe of Judah failed, and appeared no more a distinct tribe in the world, and with it was put down all rule and authority; the tribe ceasing, of consequence all rule and government must cease with it; the Jews are no more a body politic, in the possession of rule and government among themselves; but have been subjected, for these sixteen or seventeen hundred years, to the laws and government of other nations, among whom they are dispersed: the scepter is entirely departed from Judah, and therefore the conclusion which we may fairly deduce from hence is, that the Messiah must be come.
It appears from what has been said, that there is no need to suppose kingly power and authority intended by the scepter, that not always being an emblem of regal dominion. Those who understand it in this sense, are not able to defend the prophecy against the Jews; for the kingly power, in the tribe of Judah, did not take place till David’s time, above six hundred years after this prophecy, and ceased in Zedekiah, above five hundred years before the birth of Jesus; but this form of government, which was placed in the heads and princes of the tribe, commenced when the tribe itself did, and continued in it, without interruption, as long as there was one. Therefore if any particular form of government is here intended by the scepter, this bias the fairest for it; but if only rule and authority in general are here intended, without designing any one particular form, but that this tribe should be a body politic, governed by its own laws, until the coming of the Messiah, the prophecy has had its completion; for this tribe, ever since it existed, has been under some kind of government or other, either Monarchical, Aristocratical, or Democratical; nay, during the Babylonish captivity, it remained a body politic, governed by its own laws, as it was when Herod, an Idumean, was upon the throne, the scepter even then was not departed from it; ‘but now there is not the least appearance of any form of government whatever, nor has there been for many hundreds of years; and indeed how should there be any, when even the tribe itself is not in being.
There remains one thing more to be considered, and that is, what is to be understood by the lawgiver between his feet, who was not to be removed from thence until the Messiah came: by a lawgiver, we are not to understand a person or persons, that have a power of making and prescribing laws; for the tribe of Judah had no power to make laws either for itself or others, but was subjected to and governed by those unalterable laws which were delivered by Moses to that and the rest of the tribes. Some Jewish writers, understand by this word מחוקק any ruler or governor that has dominion and jurisdiction over others, and so the word is used (Judges 5:14), and then it intends the same as the word scepter does; others, as the three Targums on the place, understand by it, the Scribes, and teachers of the law, of which there was a great number among the Jews, in the time of Jesus; so that these were not then removed from between Judah’s feet; but now the tribe is extinct, their genealogies are entirely lost, so that, though the Jews pretend to have doctors of the law among them, they are not able to make it appear that they are of the tribe of Judah. Now the Messiah was to come whilst this tribe was in such a state, that it might appear that it had rule and authority within itself, and proper persons to execute and explain its laws, which does not now appear, neither has it for many hundreds of years, and consequently the Messiah must be come; let the Jews therefore tell us what person appeared before the departure of the scepter and lawgiver, from that tribe, with whom the characters of the Messiah so well agree as with Jesus.
The Jews have tried several ways to enervate this testimony of the Messiah’s being already come. Menasseh ben Israel, has collected together, no less than eleven different senses of the words, and all designed to baffle the argument made use of, from hence, by Christians, but to no purpose; the word translated a scepter, they would have rendered a rod or staff; and sometimes to signify a rod of correction, at other times a staff of support, which they say shall not be wanting to the tribe of Judah, until the Messiah comes; but it may be very reasonably demanded of them, what peculiar affliction has befallen that tribe, which did not the rest of the tribes of Israel; besides, Judah was in a very flourishing condition, for five hundred years, under the reign of David’s family; and when the rest of the tribes were carried captive, arid returned no more, Judah was preserved as a distinct tribe: it is true, ever since the rejection of Jesus, as the Messiah, the rod of correction has been upon them, and will continue until God gives them repentance: As to a staff of support, what support have they had, when they have been so many hundred years out of their land, destitute of those privileges they there enjoyed, living among the nations in the utmost disgrace, and for the most part, in poverty and distress? Again, sometimes Shiloh must mean any body but the Messiah; and at other times they are obliged to own the Messiah is intended, which shows both the ignorance and confusion of their greatest masters. The story of Benjamin of Tudela, of a certain Jew of the house of David having jurisdiction over a thousand Jews at Bagdat in Persia, is not to be credited, it having never been as yet confirmed; and if it could, how would it prove that the scepter is still in the tribe of Judah, and that the lawgiver is not yet removed from between his feet.
From the whole, it appears that the tribe of Judah is not now a distinct tribe, but has lost all manner of rule and authority; and that the Jews are not a body politic, having rule and. dominion within themselves, therefore the scepter is departed from them, and consequently Messiah must be come. That this is the true state of that people, themselves have been obliged to acknowledge and particularly that saying of R. Rachmon, recorded in the Talmud, is very remarkable, "Woe to us says he, for the scepter is departed from Judah, and the son of David is not yet come." Now Jesus did come before the departure of the scepter and law-giver from Judah, and before the Jews ceased to be a nation, a body politic, governed by their own laws, and he having all the marks and characteristics of the true Messiah, ought therefore to be received as such. But I proceed,.
II. To show that the Messiah was to come before the Jewish Church state ceased, or before the destruction of the second temple, which I shall endeavor to make appear from Haggai 2:6-9. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. From whence I shall attempt to prove,
First, I shall endeavor to prove, that the house here spoken of is to be understood of the second temple. This is so plain a case, that one would think no person could deny it. The temple which Solomon built was burnt down by the Chaldeans, and entirely destroyed. The people of the Jews were just now returned from Babylon, with leave from Cyrus to rebuild their temple, which they undertook under the conduct of Zerubbabel, Joshua, and others; and it is the manifest design of the prophet, both in this and the preceding chapter, to animate them to it, and encourage them in it, notwithstanding the mean figure it was like to make in comparison of that of Solomon’s. Several Jewish writers acknowledge the second temple to be here intended; though others of them, evidently seeing how strong the argument from hence is to prove that the Messiah must be come, would have a third, temple intended, which they fancy will be built in the days of the Messiah. But that the second temple, and not a third is here meant, is evident, 1. From the pronoun this, את הבית הוה this house, which manifestly points out the house that was then building, exclusive of all others; this house, this very house, which you have begun to build, and which appears so mean and contemptible in your eyes, in comparison of the former, even this house will I fill with glory. Nay, 2. It is expressly called, in verse 9 הביח הזה האחרון this latter house, which distinguishes it from the former that was built by Solomon; now if that was the first house, then this must be the second. Bishop Kidder has given instances, from Exodus 4:8, 9 and Deuteronomy 24:3, where the word אחרון, translated latter, must necessarily signify the second. Besides, 3. The scope of the prophecy being to encourage the present builders, confines it to the second temple. Cyrus had given the Jews leave to go into their land, and build their temple, which they undertook, but finding some difficulties attending, laid the work aside, and betook themselves to beautifying their own houses, vainly imagining, that the time was not come for this house to be built, as appears from chapter 1:2, therefore the prophet reproves them for it, verses 3-6, exhorts them to attend the work again, verses 7, 8, and informs them, that all the calamities which were come upon them; were owing to their remissness herein, verses 9-11, whereby the princes and people were stirred up; and, encouraged to reassume it, verses 12-14; but still it was discouraging to those who had seen the glory of the first temple, to observe that this came so very considerably short thereof. Now the Lord, by the mouth of the prophet, encourages those persons to go on in building, by assuring them, that, notwithstanding the meanness of this fabric, it should be filled with a glory excelling the former. Had a third temple been intended, what encouragement would it have been to the builders to be told, that this house, which they were building, would in a very little time be pulled down, and a very stately and magnificent one built in its room, which should not only equal, but be superior to that of Solomon’s? I say, what encouragement would this have been to them to go on with their work, and prosecute it with vigor? It would rather have discouraged, and made them remiss, careless, indolent, and inactive. Moreover, 4. The time, yet a little while, when all this glory was to appear, can by no means agree with a third temple; it is now above two thousand years ago since this prophecy was given out, which surely cannot be accounted a little while, and yet no third temple built, nor any likelihood of any. The objection from hence against the application of the prophecy to the times of Jesus, will be considered hereafter. The second temple then being intended by this latter house, I shall,
Secondly, Endeavor to prove, that the Messiah, who is here designed by the desire of all nations, was to come into this temple, and that Jesus accordingly did. It may be expected that I should first prove, that the Messiah is intended by the desire of all nations. Jarchi, Kimchi and Aben-Ezra, would have the desirable things of the nations meant, such as gold, silver, and precious stones, which they would bring into the temple and offer there as presents, which sense is not only contrary to the grammatical construction of the words, but foreign enough from the context, as well as too low to answer those surprising instances of God’s power, as the shaking the heavens and the earth, &c. which were to usher it in. R. Akiba applied this prophecy to the Messiah, and the character, here given, well agrees with him; all nations of the earth were to receive very great blessings and considerable advantages from him, as has been already proved, and therefore he must needs be a very desirable person. Besides, the very great commotion of the heavens, the earth, the sea, and dry land, and all the nations therein, here mentioned, can agree with no other but the Messiah, and the time of his coining. Moreover, nothing but the appearing of the Messiah in this temple, could make it preferable to, and more glorious than that of Solomon’s. Now it is certain, that the Messiah was to come into this temple, the desire of all nations shall come; whither? To his temple, as we are taught to explain it, from what follows, namely, I will fill this house with glory, and from a parallel text in Malachi 3:1. Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple: even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. R. David Kimchi understands this prophecy of the Messiah, who may very easily be concluded to be the person intended, from those magnificent titles here given to him, as the Lord, and the messenger of the covenant, which can agree with no other: One and the same person is meant both in Haggai and Malachi, in the one he is called the desire of all nations, in the other the Lord whom the Jews sought and delighted in; the one says, he shall come in a little while; the other that he shall come suddenly to his temple; which is the same with Haggai’s latter house; for into no other could he come suddenly. Nothing is more manifest, than that Jesus did come into this temple: The Jews expected to meet with the Messiah in the temple; hence old Simeon and Anna the prophetess waited there for him; where the former met with the young child Jesus, at the time of his presentation before the Lord: Here at twelve years of age, he disputed with the doctors; when he had entered upon his public ministry, here he taught the people, and that daily; here he wrought many of his miracles; here he was acknowledged to be the Messiah, and that even by the children, who cried in the temple, and said, Hosanna to the son of David; where, as the Lord and proprietor of it, he cast out the buyers and sellers, and other profaners thereof (Matthew 21:12-14). It can be no objection against the application of these prophecies to Jesus, that it was the temple built by Herod, that he came into; for the temple which was built by the Jews, after their return from Babylon, re-edified by Herod, and at last destroyed by Vespasian, was but one and the same, and is always called by the Jews בית שני the second house; besides, if they make Herod’s temple to be distinct from Zerubbabel’s, and so a third temple; then this temple which they vainly expect, must be a fourth, and not a third; nor can the objection of the Jew be thought to have any weight in it, namely, that Jesus came into this temple at the latter end of it; for it is enough that he was there at all; and the very objection is an acknowledgment thereof. But I. proceed,.
Thirdly, To show, that the Messiah’s coming into this temple is the greater glory promised unto it. I will fill this house with glory,—the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former. Now let it be observed, that Solomon’s temple, which is the former house referred to, was very great, glorious, and magnificent; nay wonderful great, as will evidently appear, if we consider the vast treasure amassed together by David, and expended by Solomon; the large number of workmen employed therein, the prodigious charge in making provisions for them, the stateliness and richness of the fabric; the like to which was never seen in the world; God himself having drawn the model and pattern of it, and gave it to David in writing: Its dedication by Solomon was very magnificent; to all which add; the glory of the Lord filled it, and continued in it. Now the glory of the latter house must be something very considerable, which made it not only equal, but even superior to this. Again, it ought to be remarked, that by the Jews’ own confession, there were several things wanting in this latter house, which were in the former, especially these five, the ark, the Urim and Thummim, the fire from heaven, the Shechinah, and the Holy Ghost: Besides, several of the ancient men, who had seen the glory of the former house, wept when the foundation of this was laid; it being, in their eyes, in comparison of that as nothing. Therefore I say it must be something very considerable in this latter house, which must make the glory of it exceed that of the former. Some of the Jewish writers would have the glory of this second house consist in its duration; the first house, they say, continued four hundred and ten years, but this second house four hundred and twenty; so that, according to this computation, it stood ten years longer than the former, though they are not able to give any proof thereof: but supposing this to be true, and that the builders were beforehand acquainted with it, what great encouragement could this be to them to go on with their work? how could the continuance of it a few years longer compensate for the want of what has been mentioned, and set it upon a level with, nay make it preferable to such a glorious fabric, as Solomon’s was? Besides, can it ever be imagined, that such a strange and uncommon commotion would be made in the heavens, earth, and sea, and that only to usher in such a trifling glory as this? Others therefore say, that the structure of this second temple, as it was built by the Jews in Zerubbabel’s time, the glory of it increased by the great riches which the Gentiles brought into it in the times of the Hasmoneans; and as it was re-edified by Herod, exceeded in magnificence even that built by Solomon: But it is not at all likely, either that the people of the Jews, who were just returned from captivity, and were both poor and few, or that Herod, who was a tributary to the Roman empire, should ever be able to raise such a structure: Their whole account depends upon the authority of Joseph ben Gorion, who was a much later author than the true Josephus; and as to the riches which were brought into this temple by the Gentiles, in the times of the Hasmoneans, they were very inconsiderable and could never equal, much less give it an excelling glory to Solomon’s temple; besides, gold and silver are expressly excluded in the text, from being any part of this glory: The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts; as much as to say, "Silver and gold, which so much adorned the first house, the want of which makes this look so mean and contemptible in your eyes, are wholly at my command; I have an indisputable right to, and propriety in them; and was it my will and pleasure, I could easily amass vast treasures together, to enrich and adorn this house; but I have in my eye a greater glory than this, which I design to introduce into it; The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former." R. Azarias, by the desire of all nations, and the excelling glory of this latter house, would have the coming of Alexander the Great to Jerusalem, with his princes, intended, who honored the temple with his presence, and gave peace to the Jewish nation, when all the rest of the nations were in commotion and disturbance: but surely the coming of this person into this house, could not give it a greater glory than that which the first house had, which was built and dedicated by Solomon; who was a far greater prince than ever Alexander was: However this we gain by this interpretation; that a person or persons are here intended by the desire of all nations, and not things; which person I have before proved to be the Messiah. Seeing therefore none of the things mentioned can give this latter house a greater glory than the first, and there being nothing, either in the text or context, which points out this excelling glory to us, but the coming of the desire of all nations into it, it may very safely be concluded, that it was the appearance of the Messiah in his temple, which was here designed, whose presence made it far more glorious than the former house was; for the glory of God, which was in shadow in the former house, here appeared bodily. But,
Fourthly, There are several circumstances in the text which point out, both the person that was to come, and the time of his coming.
1st, All this was to be done in a very little time. Yet once it is, a little while, very quickly after this prophecy, or suddenly, as Malachi says, the Messiah was to come. Now, if the Messiah was to come in a little time after this, certainly he must be already come; for surely the space of two thousand years, and upwards, (for so long it is since this prophecy was given) can never he accounted a little while. Indeed a late author objects, that this seems a phrase not very properly applicable to a fact four hundred years after; to which I answer, that this space of four hundred years, might very well be called a little while, in comparison of the long space of time which had elapsed since the first promise of the Messiah was given; besides, it is usual with the prophets to represent things which were at some distance, near; in order to strengthen the faith, and encourage the expectation of God’s people; moreover, it was but a little while ere things began to work towards the accomplishment of this prophecy.
2dly, It is prophesied that at, or before, the coming of this great person, there would be a very great shaking of the heavens, the earth, the sea, and dry land, yea of all nations; which may intend those mutations and revolutions that were made in the several kingdoms and nations of the world, between this prophecy, and the coming of Jesus, which the history of those times gives an account of; and indeed it was but a little while ere this shaking began, for the Persian monarchy, which was then flourishing, was quickly after subdued by the Grecian; and that, in a little time, underwent the same fate from the Roman: Or else it may intend those prodigies and wonders, which were wrought in the heavens, earth, and sea, at the birth, in the lifetime, and at the death of Jesus; at whose birth an unusual star appeared in the heavens, in whose lifetime miracles of various sorts were wrought, both by land and sea; and at whose death the sun was darkened, the earth quaked and the rocks were rent asunder. Never was there such a shaking among the nations as at the time of Christ’s coming. Herod and all Jerusalem with him, were moved and shaken at the tidings of His birth; angels descended from heaven to celebrate it, wise men came from the east to inquire after it; and, in a little time, all the nations under the heavens were shaken, moved, and stirred up, either to oppose or embrace him. Moreover, the apostle, in Hebrews 12:26 and 27, does not unfitly apply those words to that change which was made in the worship of God, by the coming of Jesus the true Messiah.
3dly, The Lord promises to give peace in this place at this time, and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts; which was made good, when he gave the Messiah, Jesus, the man, the peace, who has made peace by the blood of his cross, and has sent forth his ministers into all the nations of the earth, preaching peace by Jesus Christ who is Lord of all. And if it is true, what some have asserted, that there was an universal peace in the world, in the times of Augustus, after all those shakings in the nations, in whose time Jesus was born; this prophecy has then had its fulfillment in a temporal way, and if there was not peace in those times, it will be hard to find it during the second temple.
From what has been said, it appears, that the Messiah was to come before the second temple was destroyed, and consequently must be come many hundred years ago: and it is certain that Jesus did come whilst this temple stood, attended with all the characters of the Messiah. The Jews are very much perplexed with this argument; and therefore are forced to acknowledge, that the Messiah was born before the destruction of the second temple, but ridiculously though tell us, that he lies hid, either at Rome, or in the sea, or in paradise, which shows the wretched ignorance, obstinacy, and judicial blindness, attending those people. R. Josse, who saw the destruction of the temple by Titus, said. " The time of the Messiah is come:" which he might very well conclude from hence, as all Jews ought to do.
III. The next thing to be inquired into, is the exact and precise time of the Messiah’s coming, and cutting off, as fixed in Daniel’s weeks; the whole prophecy we have at large in Daniel 9:24-27. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an, end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. Know therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks, and three, score, and two weeks, the street shall be built again, and the wall even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks, sha1l Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the 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. The occasion of this prophecy is manifestly this; The prophet Daniel now being in captivity, and understanding by books, especially by the prophecy of Jeremy, that it would be a seventy years captivity, falls into a very great concern of mind for the people of the Jews, the city of Jerusalem, and the holy temple; and therefore sets apart some time in fasting and prayer to God on the account thereof; whose prayers were very quickly heard, he being a person greatly beloved; for even at the beginning of his supplications, the commandment came forth, orders were given and the angel Gabriel immediately dispatched, as a messenger, to give him an account of those things which he was so very solicitous about; and the things which the angel had a commission to give him skill and understanding in, were of very considerable importance; as that there would be a royal edict issued forth in favor of the Jews; by virtue of which they would have full liberty to rebuild Jerusalem, the streets and wall thereof, though it would be attended with a great deal of trouble and opposition; that after a certain space of time, here specified, was elapsed, the Messiah, the prince, whom he, and those of his nation expected, would be cut off; and that upon the cutting off of this great person, would very quickly ensue the utter ruin and destruction of the Jewish nation, city, and temple. These things, I say, which the angel had to deliver to him, being so very important and momentous, he prefaces the account of them after this manner, understand the matter, and consider the vision, that he might closely fix his attention thereunto. And that we may the better understand the meaning of this prophecy it will be proper to consider,
First, It will be proper to inquire, what kind of weeks are here meant, and in what sense they were determined upon the people of the Jews, and their holy city Jerusalem. By weeks here, we must either understand weeks of days or weeks of years; not weeks of days, that being too short a time for so many events, as are here specified, to be fulfilled in; the whole seventy weeks, taken in this sense, not amounting to a year and a half, within which space of time, none of those things, predicted by the angel, came to pass: Jerusalem with its streets and wall was not rebuilt in seven weeks time, nor was the Messiah cut off after sixty-nine weeks, understanding them of weeks of days, according to any hypothesis whatever; nor were the Jewish nation, city, and temple wholly destroyed, after the expiration of the whole seventy weeks, taking them in this sense: therefore we are to understand by them weeks of years.; and about this, we have no controversy with the Jews, nor with the author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy, who readily acknowledge it. This way of speaking and writing has been used both by Greek and Latin authors; though was it not, yet the frequent use of it, among the Jews, would he sufficient to justify such a sense of it here: thus in Genesis 29:27, says Laban to Jacob, concerning his daughter Rachael, מלא שבע זאת, fulfill her week, or fill up a week for this: that is, Serve me seven years for this, and we will give her also unto thee, which Jacob accordingly did (v. 21). Thus the Jews reckon their Jubilees by sabbaths or weeks of years; (see Lev. 25:8). Besides, this appears to be a style in use among the prophets, to put a day for a year, as in Ezekiel 4:4, 5, which way of writing the apostle John has followed in his Revelation (see 12:6. and 13:5), and that this kind of week Daniel intends here, seems manifest from chapter 10:2, 3, where Daniel, speaking of his mourning and fasting for the space of one and twenty days, expresses it, not as our translation, three full weeks, but שלשה שבים ימים three weeks of days, which seems to be designed to distinguish them from those weeks used in this prophecy, as well as to prevent any mistakes that might arise from hence; so that by the space of seventy weeks we are to understand four hundred ninety years; for such a length of time was to run out, ere all the events specified hi this prophecy should have their full accomplishment.
Now these weeks are said to he determined upon Daniel’s people, and holy city: By his people, we are no doubt to understand the Jews, who were his countrymen, of the same stock and religion with him, for whom he had, a very great and affectionate regard; and by his holy city, the city Jerusalem, the metropolis of Judea, where the temple formerly stood, and the pure worship of God had been kept up, for which Daniel had no small concern. Now when seventy weeks, or four hundred ninety years, are said to be determined upon these, the meaning is, that such a space of time was fixed and determined for the accomplishment of several events here mentioned, relating to the people; of the Jews and their city; and a verb singular being in construction with a noun plural, may denote, that every week in the whole number was determined, fixed, and cut out for some event or other; every which event was to have its full and exact completion. The word which is here translated determined, is, by the Vulgate rendered abbreviatæ, shortened or abbreviated; which version the Papists adhere very closely to, and which the author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy, page 175, appears to be an advocate for; he says it is so rendered by the Greek. The Septuagint indeed translates it suneiuhqhsan, conciscæ sunt, are concise or cut, but not shortened: He cites Tertullian as rendering the word the same way; whose authority cannot be very considerable, seeing he was entirely ignorant of the Hebrew language; It is somewhat surprising to me, when he says, the original word both in Hebrew and Chaldee signifies to abbreviate or cut and not to determine; which I am sure is contrary to the judgment of Jewish writers, who must be allowed to understand their own language and writings; they tell us that it signifies the same as נור, to decree, determine, or decide any thing: That the word signifies to cut,
is not denied; but that it does not signify to determine must be denied; for the word is oft so used, as will appear hereafter. It is strange, that Lively’s Chronology should be referred unto, who was far from embracing the version of the Vulgate, as appears from what follows; which I shall the rather choose to transcribe, because it furnishes us with instances of the use of the word under consideration: "The Papists, says he, in their expositions, allege that translation (the Vulgate) preferring it before the original text itself received from heaven. And hereof it is, that Pererius, in his exposition on this place, standeth so much upon the word abbreviatæ, shortened, urging it greatly in proof of his short moon years: It is a proof indeed from the bad interpretation of a man, not warrantable from the mouth of God, whose word in this place is חתך, which; in the holy tongue, signifieth properly to cut, in that sense it is often used by the Hebrew writers, calling a piece of thing חתך and חתיבה, as Camius, in the second part of his Miclol, and Elius in his Tishbi testify.—It is also expounded by the Greek interpreter, who here, to express the Hebrew word חתך hath suniemnw signifying to cut."
The meaning is, that so many years were determined and decrec1, by a speech borrowed from things cut Out, because that in determining and decreeing things, the reason of man’s mind sundering truth from falsehood, and good from bad, doth, by judgment, as it were, cut out that which is convenient and fit to be clone. Whereunto a like example in the same word is read in the Chaldee Paraphrase of Esther, the fourth chapter, and the fifth verse וקראת אםתר לרניתאל רםתקרי חתר חתל ריצל םיםר פוםה םתחתבן פתבוי בולבותא which in English is thus much: And Esther called for Daniel, whose name was Hathac, by the word of whose mouth, the matters pertaining to the kingdom were cut out, that is, determined and appointed. After which he proceeds to give like instances in other words of the same signification, as Esther 2:1 and 1 Kings 20:40, and observes, that Latin authors use the word decido in the same sense, and concludes with remarking that Theodoret, in his exposition of this place, takes the Greek word in the same sense; they are cut; that is, appointed and decreed. From hence it appears, that his appeal to Lively is of little service to him. Again, it is still more strange, that this author should refer us to any texts of scripture, to confirm this sense of the word, when it is not used in any other place of the Bible, nor indeed any word derived from it; and more remarkable still, that two passages should be referred to in the New Testament, to give us the sense of an Hebrew word, though perhaps this author only designs to observe to us, in what sense the word shorten is used, or else how the word brevio, or abbrevio, is used by the Vulgate; for which father Harduin, has produced the same passages, namely, Job 17:1, Proverbs 10:27, Matthew 24:22 and Romans 9:28, from whence this author seems to have taken the hint; but, after all, it is a little difficult to know what he aims at in attempting to establish this version, unless it be to give countenance to that notion which he seems to espouse, and in which he agrees with Harduin, namely, that the seven weeks and the sixty two weeks have one and the same epoch, which they make to be the fourth of Jehoiakim; for lunar years are rejected by them both, which most, who follow this version, contend for, and which they suppose to be the reason, why those weeks are said to be shortened: But, not to insist any longer upon this, I would only add, that to understand the word in its first and primary sense, which is to cut, is very aptly expressive of the division or section of those seventy weeks into distinct periods, as 7. 62. 1. in which distinct periods different events were to be accomplished. I therefore,
Secondly, Proceed to consider the several events which were to be fulfilled within, or quickly after the expiration of these weeks, and how they have had their actual and exact establishment; which are delivered.
First, More generally, in verse 24. When I say more generally, I mean, that the angel in this verse gives an account of the several events which are not particularly referred to any distinct period, into which those seventy weeks are divided; but are given out in general as to be all of them fulfilled within the term of seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety years, which upon enquiry, we shall find to be fulfilled in, or by Messiah, the prince, and at, or about the time of his being cut off, and principally regard the work he was to do, which was,
1. To finish the transgression. The Hebrew word בלא signifies to restrain as well as to shut up or finish; and the former Dr. Predeaux observes, rather than the latter; (see Gen. 8:2; Ps. 40:11; 119:101; Ezek. 31:15) and indeed it will be very difficult to give one single instance where it is used in the latter sense; so that the meaning is not to put an end to all punishment for the sins of the Jews, which the author of the Literal Scheme, from Grotius, Marsham, and Harduin, endeavors to establish; for nothing is more manifest, than that the measure of the punishment of that people, is not completed yet; but the plain meaning is, that a restraint would be laid upon the prevalence of transgression by the Messiah when he came. Now it is notorious enough, that though sin very much abounded when Jesus came, both in the Jewish nation and in the Gentile world, and, perhaps, as it had never done before, since it first entered into the world, and which, by the way, the Jews make to be one sign of the Messiah’s coming; yet, notwithstanding this, I say, there never was an age wherein greater restraints were laid upon sin, than in this and that first by the ministry of John the Baptist, and at Jesus Christ, in the land of Judea, and then by his apostles, in the Gentile world.
2. Another thing, mentioned in this prophecy, which the Messiah was to do at his coming, was to make an end of sins. Our translators here follow the Keri, or marginal reading, and not the Cetib, or textual writing, which is to seal up sins; either reading, fully expresses the Messiah’s work: Things which are sealed up, are hid and covered, and sin is said to be so, when forgiven (Ps. 32:1). Now when the Messiah is said to seal up sins, the meaning is, that he should procure the pardon of them, which Jesus has done by the effusion of his blood; as also, by the sacrifice of himself, has put away sin, or made an entire end of it.
3. As another branch of his work, he was to make reconciliation for iniquity. The Hebrew word בםד here used, signifies to expiate or make atonement for sin by sacrifice, as it is frequently used; (see Ex. 30:10; Lev. 4: 20, 26, 31, 35). Now that the Messiah, Jesus, made reconciliation for the sins of the people, this way, is manifest enough from the writings of the New Testament, and especially from the epistle to the Hebrews. I shall take no other notice of three different Hebrew words being here used, to express sin by, than only just to observe, that it may be to show, that all manner of sin was to be restrained, sealed up, made an end of, and expiated by the Messiah; to which well agrees what the apostle John says, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
4. The Messiah was also, according to this prophecy, to bring in everlasting righteousness; for this, surely, could be brought in by no other, than he, whose name is the Lord our righteousness. The author of the Literal Scheme, refers this to the very great piety and religion of the Jews, in the times of Onias the high-priest, so much extolled in 2 Maccabees 3:2 which father Harduin makes typical of the holiness that was to be brought into the world by the Messiah; but surely, how considerable so ever the improvement of those persons was, in the observation of their religion and laws; yet it could never be called an everlasting righteousness. Sir J. Marsham has given a better sense of this clause than this, who acknowledges it to be the eternal righteousness of God, to whom righteousness is ascribed in verse 7, and indeed it is no other than the righteousness of God, which is unto all, and upon all them that believe, of which the Messiah, Jesus, is the author, who is become the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. Now,
5. By the Messiah’s accomplishing all this, he was to seal up the vision and prophecy; not the prophecy of Jeremiah, concerning the end of the captivity, which the author of the Literal Scheme thinks is intended, supported by the authorities of Marsham and Harduin; for this prophecy, when Daniel had this vision, wanted but a very little time of having its full accomplishment; therefore it cannot be supposed, that seventy weeks of years should be fixed and determined, for the accomplishing of an event, which was to be fulfilled, in two years time, or thereabout. No, by sealing the vision and prophecy is meant the Messiah’s fulfilling whatever was predicted by the prophets concerning him, whereby he would seal up, and put an end to vision and prophecy in the Jewish church; all which has been exactly completed by the Messiah, Jesus, who, in what he has done and suffered, has sufficiently verified whatever was in the Old Testament, prophesied of the Messiah; as I hope my account of prophecies will make appear. It is undeniable matter of fact, that ever since the times of Jesus, prophecy has ceased among the Jews; nor can they themselves deny it, nay they tell us, that "There has never arose a prophet in Israel since the building of the second temple;" which deficiency, they say, was supplied by Bath-Kol; but that is ending prophecy too soon, for the law and the prophets were until John; however, it is now ceased; it lasted so long as there was any need of it; but when the Messiah, the sum and substance of all, was come, it was at an end among that people. Now in order to the accomplishing of all these things,
6. The most holy was to be anointed. The author of the Literal Scheme wou1d, with Marsham and Harduin or rather Harduin’s defender, have either the high priest or temple intended, which cannot be true of the second temple, nor of the high priest under that: for the anointing oil being hid, as the Jews say by Josiah, could never be found, and consequently not used under the second temple. It is better, therefore, with some Jewish writers, to understand the Messiah, who was typified both by the high-priest and temple, and was to be anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows; the whole well agreeing with the Messiah, Jesus, who was perfectly holy, both in nature and life, and being anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power, went about doing good and healing all manner of diseases; preached the gospel to the meek, expiated the sins of his people, and now reigns as God’s anointed king, upon his holy hill of Zion. But I proceed,
Secondly, To consider those events which are more particularly delivered in the verses 25-27, where the seventy, weeks, or four hundred and ninety years, are distributed into three distinct periods, and to every period, particular events are assigned.
1st, With the consideration of the seven weeks, or forty-nine years, and the events to be fulfilled within that time, and endeavor to fix the true epoch of them, which as Sir. J. Marsham says, is totius negotii cardo, the chief point of all, the very hinge, on which the whole affair turns. Now the rule which we are to go by, and which is fixed by an express character in the text, is, the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, its streets and wall, within the compass of which time all this was to be effected; now then the question is, of the going forth of what commandment these words are to be understood? That the word, commandment, or promise of the Lord to Jeremiah in chapter 25 and 29, concerning the end of the captivity, is not intended; which hypothesis the author of the Literal Scheme has embraced, is manifest; because that was not a commandment to rebuild Jerusalem, its wall and street, after an expiration of seven weeks, or forty-nine years; but only a promise of release from captivity, after seventy years were accomplished; so that there is a wide difference between the one and the other: besides, these seventy years were now very near accomplished, nor did Daniel want any information about the expiration of them; he had learnt, by books, the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet; so that he knew when these years began, and consequently when they would end, therefore there was no necessity of an angel’s being dispatched from heaven to acquaint him with these things; nay, this would be to make the angel’s preface to the account of these weeks trifling, when he says, know therefore, and understand, when he must be supposed to know this already; nor can the epoch of these weeks be the going forth of the commandment to the angel in verse 23, to go to Daniel, and acquaint him with these things, which commandment came forth at the beginning of Daniel’s supplications, as Sir J. Marsham has fixed it; for that was no command to rebuild Jerusalem, &c. but an order to Gabriel, forthwith to go to Daniel, and apprize him of things relating to his people and city, for which he was so much concerned. But to proceed; after the exhibition of this vision to Daniel, there were no less than four several commandments, or edicts, issued forth in favor of the Jews, their nation, city or temple. The first was that of Cyrus in the first year of his reign, recorded in Ezra chapter 1:3, which appears to be a proclamation to build the house of the Lord the temple, and not the city of Jerusalem with streets and wall, and therefore cannot be the commandment here intended; it was only the temple he gave them liberty to rebuild, encouraging them to, and making provision for it; moreover it appears, that when this record of Cyrus was researched, the contents of it were only a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, which was made in this following form, Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid, &c. as for the text in Isaiah 44:28, it is no prediction of any decree that Cyrus would issue forth for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, nor did he ever make any on that account; and it ought to be observed, the words are manifestly the words of God, and not of Cyrus; for he that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd; is also represented as saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid; these words are God’s promise, and not Cyrus’ decree; besides, to compute these seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years, from the date of Cyrus’ decree, in favor of the Jews, will fall short by many years, of reaching the great event, which was to be accomplished at the expiration of them, namely, the cutting off of the Messiah; therefore this can never be the true epoch of these weeks. The second decree made in favor of the Jews, was in the times of Darius king of Persia; which Darius, as Dr. Prideaux has sufficiently proved, could not be Darius Nothus, as Scaliger and others who have followed him, much less Darius Codomannus, but truly Darius Hystaspis. The decree referred to, which he made in favor of the Jews, is recorded in Ezra 6 which decree only regards the temple, and indeed is only a confirmation, or ratification, of Cyrus’ decree, with a strict charge to his governors not to disturb, but to assist the Jews in their work; so that for the same reasons that the computation of these weeks cannot begin from Cyrus’ decree, it cannot begin from this; whether the decree went forth, in the second, or third, or fourth years of this king’s reign it matters not.
There were now two other decrees made in favor of the Jews, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia; the one in the seventh, the other in the twentieth year of his reign. This Artaxerxes was not Artaxerxes Mnemon, nor Artaxerxes Ochus; but Artaxerxes Longimanus, as Dr. Prideaux has fully made appear. The decree which was made in favor of the Jews, in the seventh year of his reign, is recorded in Ezra, chapter 7:13, 21 in which he only confirmed what his predecessors had granted concerning the temple, and that only with respect to needful provisions for offerings and sacrifices; in the decree, he gives order to his treasurers to assist herein, and exempts the priests, Levite, &c from all toil, tribute or custom; but not one word of building the streets and wall of Jerusalem. Ezra, to whom the king gave the letter which contained this decree, had no commission to rebuild Jerusalem, nor did he attempt it; from hence, therefore, we are not to begin the computation of these weeks. It remains then to consider the last decree, or commandment, which went forth in the twentieth year of this king’s reign, of which we have an account in Nehemiah 2:1, 6-8. The occasion of it was this; Nehemiah having an account of the state and condition of the Jews, and of the city of Jerusalem, how they were in great affliction and reproach, and particularly that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, and the gates thereof burnt with fire; having, I say, received such an account of things from Hanani, and some other Jews, who were lately come from thence, it filled him with a great deal of trouble and concern; insomuch that when he came into the king’s presence it was easily discerned by the king who inquiring the reason of it, Nehemiah freely tells him, that it was because the city, the place of his fathers sepulchres, lay waste, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire; and then takes the opportunity to request of him, that he might be sent unto Judah, to the city of his fathers sepulchres, that he might build it; and also humbly desired a letter from the king unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he might give him timber to make beams for the gates of the palace, which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city; all which was accordingly granted him; by virtue of which grant he immediately went to Jerusalem, and encourages the Jews to build the wall, which they accordingly did, and that in a very little time, notwithstanding all the opposition that was made against them. Now this grant, or commandment, of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah, exactly agrees with the express character of the commandment in this prophecy under consideration. The seven weeks were to bear date from the going forth of a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, even the street and wall thereof. Now there never was any commandment went forth before this, on the account of the city and wall of Jerusalem, nor any since: there being no need of any, for by virtue of this, the city, street, and wall, were actually re-edified. Now here must the epoch of the seven weeks, or forty-nine years, be fixed, within which compass of time this event was to be fulfilled, namely, the rebuilding the streets, and wall of the city of Jerusalem; for that this event belongs solely to the period of the seven weeks is manifest, as Dr. Prideaux observes, from the appropriating the time of the Messiah to the period of sixty two weeks in the next verse, which necessarily leaves this entirely here where I have fixed it; besides, it is here predicted, that the street should be built again, and the wall, םיתצה קוצבו which some have rendered in the strait or smallest pittance of time, in angustia temporum, in the narrow space of these two periods, that is, in the lesser of them, which is that of seven weeks; so that the prophecy expressly refers this event to this distinct period; though if it should be rendered troublous times, or times of oppression and affliction, it is notorious enough, what trouble and affliction Nehemiah and the Jews met with, from Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian; (see Neh. 4 and 6). Now for the completing of this work, seven weeks, or forty-nine years, are cut out, limited and determined, in which space of time it is reasonable to suppose the city was built upon her own heap, its streets, or broad places, were filled with agreeable ranges of houses, and its wall settled upon its own foundation, and indeed in much less time all this could not well be done. But I proceed,
2dly, To consider the sixty-two weeks, or 434 years, after the expiration of which the Messiah was to be cut off. Having fixed the epoch of the seven weeks, or forty-nine years, there is no difficulty in beginning these, for these weeks begin where the others end; the seven weeks and sixty-two weeks have not one and the same epoch, as the author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy, from father Harduin, would have it, who here contends for abbreviated weeks; for the seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, are in the 25th verse, reckoned by the angel, in one and the same continued reckoning, as reaching to the Messiah; for he expressly says, that from the going forth of the commandment—unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks, that is, sixty nine weeks or four hundred and eighty-three years; but there being this particular event, of the street and wall to be rebuilt within the compass of the first seven weeks of this sixty-nine or which was to be completed about the end thereof, is the true reason of the angel’s using this uncommon way of reckoning; and therefore having dispatched the first period, and the event which belonged to it, he now proceeds to the second and larger period, which would reach down to the Messiah’s death; and in order to the clearing of this part of the prophecy, it will be proper, 1. to inquire who is to be understood by the Messiah, and the Messiah the prince, 2. what by his being cut off and that not for himself; and 3. the exact and precise time thereof according to this prophecy.
1. I shall inquire who we are to understand by the Messiah, and the Messiah the prince: that the Messiah the prince in verse 25 is the same with the Messiah in verse 26 that was to be cut off, manifestly appears at first view, there being no character whereby to distinguish one from the other in the whole prophecy, though indeed the author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy, with the help of father Harduin, has found out no less than three Messiahs in this prophecy, namely Messiah Cyrus; Messiah Judas Maccabæus, and Messiah Onias the high priest; the two first he makes to be Messiah’ princes, and the other a Messiah priest. The Messiah Cyrus he makes to come at the end of the seven weeks, or forty-nine years, from the date given, which he supposes to be the fourth of Jehoiakim; and the Messiah Judas Maccabæus at the end of sixty-two weeks, or four hundred and thirty four years, beginning from the same date; about which time also a third Messiah was to arise, even Messiah Onias the high priest, who was an upright person, of great holiness, and taken off by an unjust death but to all this I reply, that Cyrus cannot be intended by the Messiah in verse 25, whom this author places at the end of the seven weeks, or forty-nine years, because he was dead long before these weeks began; nor can Judas Maccabæus be the Messiah that was to come after the expiration of sixty-two weeks, supposing that they bear the same date with the former; because Judas Maccabæus must have lived and been dead many years before the expiration of these weeks; and for the very same reason Onias the high priest cannot be meant, whose death father Harduin makes typical of the death of the true Messiah, Jesus, who he says is directly intended here by the Holy Ghost; and herein the author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy dissents from him, seeing he will not allow the Messiah, Jesus, to be at all intended; but as for Harduin, he says the prophecy particularly belongs to Christ, and that it had not its completion in the times of Antiochus and Judas Maccabæus, and herein opposes both Estius and Sixtus Senensis; he likewise asserts, in so many words "that this was far from being fulfilled in Onias, that he was the most holy, for strictly and properly speaking, says he, this word only denotes him who is eminently the holy one; nor was it ever fulfilled in the times of Onias, that everlasting righteousness should then appear; nor was it then fulfilled that the Messiah should be slain, neither was Onias properly the Messiah, as we have before said, as the Jews themselves acknowledge, nor was it ever fulfilled under Onias, that the whole Jewish nation should deny him and that the same people should be rejected upon that account; nor was it fulfilled after the death of Onias, that the desolation of the temple should continue until the consummation; for before the people were to cease to be a people, that is, before the last and utter destruction of the temple, all the prophecies concerning the Messiah were to be fulfilled." Some Jewish writers would have Herod Agrippa intended by the Messiah that was to be cut off, who they say was the last king of the Jews, and was slain by Vespasian in the destruction of Jerusalem; but this is all false: for he was not properly a king of the Jews, having only Galilee for his jurisdiction, was not slain by Vespasian, but was a confederate of the Romans, lived some years after the destruction of the city, and at last died in peace. This is manifestly designed to destroy the application of the prophecy to the Messiah, though some of them have acknowledged that it belongs to him. R. Nehemiah, who lived fifty years before Christ, asserted, that the time of the Messiah, signified by Daniel, could not be protracted beyond those fifty years. The Jews tell a story of Jonathan ben Uzziel that having finished his Targum on the law, he attempted to write one upon the Hagiographa, but was hindered by a voice from heaven, which gave this as a reason why he should not proceed, because therein the end of the Messiah is delivered to us, that is, the time of the Messiah’s being cut off as fixed in Daniel, which book is one of the Hagiographa; that the Messiah is here intended may be collected from the name and title here given him, by which I not only mean that of Nagid the prince, who was to come out of Judah’s tribe (1 Chron. 5:2), but that other of Messiah; it is certain that this name was well known among the Jews, and that in the times of Jesus, as belonging to that great person spoken of by all the prophets; it is used sixty or seventy times in the Targums. Now, if this does not belong to him here, it will be hard to find another place where it is absolutely, and by way of eminency, given unto him, and yet we find that he was commonly known among the Jews by this name, and that by the meaner sort: (see John 1:41; 4:25) which surely they must have learned from some of the prophecies, and it can hardly be conceived from whence, unless from this prophecy: besides, the work this person was to do, can agree with no other; the several branches of which, are mentioned in verse 24. I go on,
2. To 1nquire what is meant by his being cut off. The Hebrew word רבת here used, signifies to be cut off in a judicial way, and so it is frequently: (see Gen. 17:14; Ex. 12:15; Num. 15:30, 31), so that when the Messiah is said to be cut off, the meaning is, that he shall die, and that his death shall be penal, or executed upon him in a judicial way, which was verified in Jesus who was tried, condemned, adjudged to death in a judicial way by men, as well as made a curse by God; and herein fulfilled what was prophesied of the Messiah in Isaiah 53:8 who was to be taken from prison and from judgment, to be cut off out of the land of the living, and to be stricken for the transgression of the people of the Jews. And now, lest it should be thought that he was cut off for any iniquity that was found in him, it is added, and not for himself; no, as Isaiah says in chapter 53:5, he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; though some choose to render this clause otherwise, as he shalt have no people, that is, among the Jews, that will believe in or obey him; as Jesus had few indeed in that nation; or they shall not be his people; for upon their rejection of the Messiah, Jesus, they were rejected from being the people of God; or there shall be none to help him, that is, in obtaining eternal redemption, because he needed none. Jarchi makes אין לו to be the same as איבבו is not, which phrase is frequently expressive of death, as Genesis 42:13, 32, 46 and Jeremiah 31:15. Then the meaning will be, that the Messiah shall be cut off and die, or he cut off by death. The author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy objects, upon this account,, against the application of this prophecy to the Messiah; and observes, that "the Jews, in Jesus’ time, were so far from understanding Daniel’s Messias, who was to be cut oft; to have any relation to the Messias they expected; that their opinion was, that the Messias should never die; and even the apostles and disciples of Jesus thought Jesus could not be the Christ when they saw him suffer and die." To which I answer, this is no proof that the Messiah, according to the prophets, was not to die: but only a proof of the ignorance of those persons, which seems to arise from want of being sufficiently acquainted with this truth, that the Messiah was to be both God and man; and indeed it is no wonder that the common people were ignorant of those things, when their learned doctors were so; hence it was that they were so wretchedly confounded by Christ when he questioned them about the Messiah, and in what sense he was both David’s son and Lord (Matt. 22:42), besides this notion that the people had learnt out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever, was no ways inconsistent with his death; for though Jesus was dead, yet he is now alive, and will continue so for evermore: It is certain the Jews are aware that the Messiah of the prophets was to suffer and die, as well as to be exalted and dignified; and finding such different characters of him, which they thought irreconcilable in one person, have vainly imagined two Messiahs; the one they call Messiah the son of Joseph, who they say shall be slain in the war of Gog and Magog, and the other they call Messiah the son of David, whom they fancy will be a very potent, magnificent, and victorious prince; though about the time of his continuance they are divided: and as to the disciples of Jesus, it must be acknow1edged that there was much ignorance, diffidence, and unbelief in them, especially in those two referred to by this author, all which was removed by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, when life and immortality was brought to light, and he declared to be the Son of God, and true Messiah, with power. In short these exceptions are insufficient to disprove the Messiah being intended in Daniel’s prophecy, or that the Jews understood it of him, for this they might, and yet not understand all those things that were said of him therein, and much less be capable of reconciling them with the characters elsewhere given of him. I have already given instances of Jews, both before and after the times of Jesus, who understood this prophecy of the Messiah; besides, we have the testimony of Joseph us in this matter, and in him as Bishop Chandler observes, the testimony of the whole nation. But I proceed.
3. To consider the exact and precise time of the Messiah’s cutting off; in order to which, it will be proper to fix the form of the year here made use of, which it is highly reasonable to suppose, was that which was in common use among the Jews. The learned Dr. Marshal, according to whose hypothesis I have all along proceeded, in the consideration of these weeks, has made it sufficiently appear, that the year in common use, not only among the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, and other nations of Asia, but also among the ancient Jews, consisted of just three hundred and sixty days, they reckoning thirty days to a month, and twelve months to a year, which way of reckoning appears to be as old as Noah’s flood; (see Gen. 7:11, 24; 8:3, 4), but what has fully satisfied me, and I think is sufficient to satisfy any person, that this form of year is here used, is, that not only the seventy years captivity of the Jews in Babylon, which, at the time of this prophecy, was not fully expired, were reckoned ac. cording to this form of year, as the above-mentioned learned writer has fully proved; but also that St. John, in his Revelation, who in many things copied after Daniel, using Daniel’s language in speaking of a time, and times, and half a time, explains it by forty-two months and one thousand two hundred and sixty days; (see Rev. 12:6, 14; 13:5), which number of days cannot be reduced into three years and a half, by any form of year whatever but this. From the whole it appears, that the form of year then commonly in use, was according to this eastern way of reckoning. The famous Selden indeed tells us, that the Jewish astronomers had a solar year, consisting of three hundred and sixty-five days and six hours; but then at the same time he informs us, that this was only used in schools, as being serviceable and helpful to learned studies, and not in common among the people. It is somewhat strange to me, that the author of the Scheme of Literal Prophecy should account Chaldee and Lunar years of one and the same form as consisting of three hundred and eighty-days; when in a lunar year, strictly and properly, there are but three hundred and fifty-four days and about nine hours; and so the Jews now reckon, when they have an equal number of full and deficient months; that is, when six of their months consist of thirty days each, and the other six of twenty-nine only; so that the number of the days of the year varies according to the number of the full and deficient months; but then their highest number of days is but three hundred and fifty-six, as their lowest is three hundred and fifty-two: but a Chaldee year, or a year according to the old eastern way of reckoning, consisted of three hundred and sixty days, and not as this author says, of three hundred and eighty, unless there should be a misprint of the figures 380 for 360; but then Lunar and Chaldee years will not appear to be the same. And if our author refers to the form of year made use of by the Jewish Sanhedrim for the regulating of their festivals, who when they thought proper intercalated a thirteenth month, which they called Veadar, or the second Adar, which way of reckoning is entirely unscriptural as well as very uncertain, depending upon the judgment, will, and pleasure, of the Sanhedrim; though the Jews assert, that Moses received this form of intercalation from mount Sinai; if, I say, he refers to this form of year, it is manifest that such an intercalated year consisted of more days than three hundred and eighty; for when, according to their reckoning, their months consisted equally of thirty and twenty-nine days, and supposing the additional month Veadar only consisted of twenty-nine days, yet then there must be three hundred and eighty-three days in the year, and according to their different reckonings of their full and deficient months, it had sometimes three hundred and’ eighty-five and three hundred and eight-six days, and the lowest number was three hundred and eighty-one. But to return from whence I have digressed: The form of year used in this prophecy of Daniel, appearing to be that which was commonly in use among the eastern nations, which consisted of three hundred and sixty days, and there being four hundred and eighty of those years cut out and determined for the cutting off the Messiah, we shall consider how this event had its full and exact completion. Let it therefore be observed, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem in the mouth Nisan, which answers to our April, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes king of Persia, unto the month Ijar, which answers to our May, in the eighteenth year of Tiberius emperor of Rome, and of the vulgar æra of Christ 32, were just four hundred and eighty-three of those eastern years; here then ending Daniel’s sixty-nine weeks or four hundred and eighty-three years, we must look out for the cutting off the Messiah, which must be accomplished before one day in another week was over, or one year more was elapsed, and accordingly the Messiah, Jesus, was cut off the Passover following, in the month Nisan, being the nineteenth year of Tiberius, and the thirty-third of the vulgar æra of Christ; and herein was verified this very great and illustrious prediction; but for fuller satisfaction, as to a particular calculation of those weeks or years, I refer the reader to Mr. Marshall’s excellent Chronological Treatise upon the Seventy Weeks of Daniel, and his Chronological Tables therein inserted; wherein he has demonstrated the real truth of these things, in perfect agreement with the scriptures, with this prophecy, and all the parts of it, and with Ptolomy’s Canon, that golden rule of time. And now having proved the time of the Messiah’s cutting off, as fixed in this prophecy, to be literally, precisely and exactly fulfilled in the death of the Messiah, Jesus, I have no further immediate concern therewith; but however, not willing to overlook any part of so considerable a prophecy, I shall therefore,
3dly, Consider the remaining one week, and the events which were to be accomplished within that time. After the cutting off of the Messiah, the destruction of the Jewish nation, city, and temple, was quickly to ensue, which is expressed in general at the latter end of the twenty-sixth verse; for after the angel had observed to Daniel, that. the event of the Messiah’s death was to have its accomplishment at the end of the sixty-nine weeks, he adds, and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city, and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Tue meaning of which is, that in a little time after the cutting off the Messiah, the Roman army, under the command of Vespasian, should enter into the land of Judea, make war there, destroy the city of Jerusalem, and that famous temple that stood there; nay, the destruction should be universal, like a mighty flood, or violent inundation, it should overspread the whole country, and carry all before it; for from the beginning of the war to the end thereof, utter ruin and destruction is determined by God upon that people and nation. There, are some learned men who, by the prince that shall come understand the Messiah, the prince, whose people the Romans should be, under whose direction, and by whose order, all these judgments should be inflicted upon the Jewish nation; but I choose rather to understand Titus Vespasian, who was to come in a little time after the death of the Messiah, and make all these very great devastations in the land of Judea; and many Jewish writers so interpret it; and it ought to be observed that the word הבא that shall come, is not in construction with צמ the people, but with בביר the prince; and accordingly Aquila thus renders the word laoV h qamena ercomena, the people of the prince that is to come, or of the future prince; and, in the same form the Septuagint read the words. But to proceed, to consider the period of time in which the desolation determined was to have its accomplishment, and that is within the remaining one week, and especially in the half part thereof; but of this period, and of the events to be fulfilled therein, we have a particular account in the, twenty-seventh verse of this prophecy, and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abomination he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate, which is a prediction of these following events; First, that the Roman people, who was to destroy the city and sanctuary, would, for the more easy effecting the same, make peace with many nations for the space of one week or seven years, which is meant by confirming the covenant with many for one week; in the beginning of which week, as it appears, they did actually make peace with the Parthians, Medes, and Armenians, whereby this event predicted had its full accomplishment. Secondly, it is said that the same people should in the midst of the week, ותצי in the half part thereof, cause the sacrifice and oblation, that is, the Jewish sacrifice to cease, which accordingly was literally fulfilled towards the close of the latter half part of this week, when the city of Jerusalem being closely besieged by Titus, what through the sharpness of the siege, the divisions of the people, and the want both of time and men to offer sacrifice, and beasts to offer up, the endelecismoV or daily sacrifice, as Josephus says, entirely ceased, to the great grief of the people; nor have the Jews ever since the destruction of their city and temple offered sacrifice, esteeming it unlawful so to do in a strange land. Thirdly, in the same half part of the week, for the overspreading of abominations, they were to make the land desolate, &c. which words םשםם שקוצים בנפ וצל may be thus rendered, and upon the wing, or battlements of the temple, shall be the abominations of the desolator, or of him that maketh desolate, that is, either the ensigns of the Roman army, which had upon them the images of their gods and emperors, which they set up in the holy place and sacrificed unto, than which nothing could be a greater abomination to the Jews; or else the blood of the zealots, were slain upon those battlements is here meant, by which the holy place was polluted and defiled and thus this city and sanctuary were to continue in their ruin and desolation until the consummation of God’s vengeance determined by him should be fully poured upon the desolate people of the Jews, which has been and continues to this very day, it may be now proper to inquire, when this one week, or period of seven years, began, in which time these several events were to be accomplished: and this we easily learn from the ending of it, which must be in the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, when the daily sacrifice ceased, and the abomination of desolation was set up, which was in the vulgar æra, Christ seventy; and consequently the beginning of these seven years must be in the sixty-third of the same æra, above thirty years after the expiration of the sixty nine weeks, where one would have thought these should have begun, had it not been for the express characters in the text, which pin them down to the times where we have placed them. The true reason why the judgments of God were not immediately inflicted upon the Jewish nation, for their rejection of the Messiah, but were deferred until this time, seems to be the display of God’s goodness, patience, and long-suffering to that people; as he gave to the old world space to repent before he brought the flood upon them, so he did to this nation; but all instances of his grace and goodness being slighted and despised, about the beginning of this one week, which was cut out and determined upon them, things began to work towards their final ruin and destruction, which at the close thereof were fully accomplished.
And now seeing the utmost extent of this prophecy is the destruction of. the city and temple of Jerusalem, as many Jewish writers themselves acknowledge, it may therefore be fairly concluded, that the Messiah must be come; for if the Messiah was to be cut off at the end of sixty-nine weeks, of those seventy determined upon Daniel’s people and city, and the whole seventy weeks have many hundred years ago had their full accomplishment in the utter desolation of that people and city; then consequently the Messiah must be come, and be cut off also many hundred years ago. The Jews are sensible of the poignancy and strength of the argument formed from hence, and therefore have denounced a curse upon those who compute the times of the Messiah, in the following form, as recorded in their Talmud קיצין םחשבי של ץצםן תפח “Let them burst,” or, as others render them, “ Let their bones rot who compute the times;” which is manifestly designed to deter the people from considering this prophecy of Daniel, wherein the time of the Messiah’s cutting off is precisely fixed, and to keep them in ignorance and unbelief as to the true Messiah, Jesus, who came and was cut off at the precise time fixed herein. I shall conclude this chapter with only observing, that the prophecy in Hosea 3:4 is exactly verified in this people, for the children of Israel shall abide many clays without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an Ephod, and without Teraphim. They are not now a body politic, having rule and dominion among themselves, they have no king nor prince of their own, the scepter is departed from them, neither is any sacrifice offered by them, for the daily sacrifice is ceased; and though they were a people once very prone to idolatrous worship, there is not now an image among them. May the following words have the same exact completion, which there is reason to believe will in God’s own time! Afterwards shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; or as their own Targumist paraphrases it, " And shall hearken to the Messiah the son of David their king, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."
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