« ÎnapoiContinuă »
of impiety and wickedness would be here marked, rather than an attack upon him by the kings of the South and North. Surely if the prophecy of the king who did according to his will referred to an Infidel king, who was to stand up in the last days, some kind of intimation would be given us, when describing his character and proceedings of the time of his appearance, instead of leaving all mention of chronology until this attack upon the monster occurred. On the other hand, if the king who does according to his will denotes,as almost all commentators of every preceding age have considered, the Pope of Rome, the little horn of Daniel, and Whore of the Apocalypse,-if the account given of him here coincides with every other description of the Man of Sin, and the chronology of whom is repeatedly given in other parts of Scripture (and therefore unnecessary here), in this case there is an obvious propriety in stating the period of this attack of the kings of the South and North upon the Papal See, because it identifies it with the close of the twelve hundred and sixty years, the well-known period of the downfal of Anti-christ's dominion.
I cannot help regarding as another proof that the Papacy is referred to, the exact coincidence between the statement,"He shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished," and that in another prophecy respecting the Papal horn,-" His dominion shall be taken away to consume and destroy it unto the end." Observe, it is not said,—" He shall continue till the time of the end," nor, "He shall be destroyed at the time of the end," or any other equivalent phrase, since in that case it could not be applicable to the Papacy, which is not destroyed for thirty years afterwards (Dan. xii. 11). But the language is, "He shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished," in exact conformity with all those passages which describe a period of uninterrupted success for twelve hundred and sixty years, the removal of its dominion at the close of
that period, and its destruction thirty years afterwards, a chronology answering to the two periods of twelve hundred and sixty, and twelve hundred and ninety years at the end of Daniel.
Again if a single individual, or final form of Anti-christ were denoted by this celebrated prophecy, there would not be that manifest pause, before describing the attack of the kings of the South and North upon him. A new paragraph commences, and the sense evidently experiences a stop. The impression upon any impartial reader, would certainly be, that the power just described continued to act as predicted for a considerable length of time, and then-a particular era having arrived, a tremendous attack is made upon it.
I have thus attempted to shew, that this prophecy of Daniel can only apply to an extended line of potentates, instead of a mere individual or two, as contended by the advocates of the opposite opinion. I shall now proceed to a brief exposition of the passage before us, from which I think will clearly appear the complete fulfilment which every clause of the prophecy has met with in the Papacy, and the obvious incongruity of many particulars, both with the Emperor of the French, and with the supposed future individual form of Anti-christ.
Having in the previous context (verses 32-34), detailed the fortunes of the early Christians from the destruction of Jerusalem to the conversion of Constantine, and briefly noticed the fact that subsequently to that era, they should still be persecuted unto the close of the time, times, and half a time (verse 35), the angel proceeds to describe the character, conduct, and success of some mighty king that should hereafter stand up.
"And the king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall
prosper till the indignation be accomplished."-Dan. xi. 36. A king in the language of prophecy usually denotes a line or series of kings. The king of fierce countenance, predicted in Dan. viii. 23, by admission of all expositors, denotes a succession of potentates, through a period of twelve hundred years; it may, therefore, here have a similar import. The character of the power is clearly revealed in the above verse. First, it denotes certainly some absolute despotism,-" He shall do according to his will," (compare avouoc, "that lawless one," 2 Thes. ii. 8). The only law which he regards is his own will, and he possesses authority and power to accomplish it. Second, a most remarkable particular is next revealed," He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god." This passage plainly signifies, that the potentate referred to, shall, in a remarkable degree, aggrandize himself, increase by his own efforts, his power and greatness, so as eventually to place himself, in the estimation of the world, above every object of worship, in earth or heaven!" He exalteth himself above all that is called god, or is worshipped" (2 Thes. 2-4). Third, he is a blasphemous king,—“ He shall speak marvellous things [the Hebrew is impious words] against the God of gods;" that is, the king is distinguished from other potentates, not merely by his despotism and his self-exaltation, but also by making impious assertions and blasphemous pretensions against the majesty of heaven. A similar prediction occurs (Dan. vii. 25) respecting the Papal horn,-" And he shall speak great words against the Most High" (contra, Gesen., not "by the side of," as maintained by Faber; similarly Lee's Hebrew Lexicon). Fourth, he is to "prosper till the indignation be accomplished;" not the indignation of the king, for then it would be "his indignation," but "the indignation,"-some important period of wrath which must be fulfilled,-" He shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished."
The term translated indignation, signifies rather the effects of
the divine anger (poena a Deo immissa, Ges. in voc. DYI), and from a comparison with other passages of Scripture, it appears to refer to the awful judgment upon mankind, inflicted by the Almighty, in suffering the monstrous system of Anti-christ to overspread the earth. It is certain, the expression is used in some such sense, Dan. viii. 19,—“Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be ;" and the fact that the awful delusion of the Papacy was inflicted as a judgment upon the visible Church, is expressly asserted by St. Paul,-" For this cause [i. e., because they received not the love of the truth], shall God send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." Another passage which seems to intimate the same thing, is Dan. viii. 23, which represents the time of the rise of Mahomet (and Anti-christ arose at the same period), as being the full maturity of transgressors. Hence, "when the indignation shall be accomplished," denotes the termination of the divine anger, which was displayed in the judgment of the Papacy, which we know from Dan. vii. 25, is the close of the time, times, and half a time; and there can be little doubt, that it is to the continuance of this indignation, that the prophecy refers a few verses onward,-" And sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time.”
“Neither shall he regard the god of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all."-Dan. xi. 37. Here we have the character of the king further described. He is destitute of all regard towards the Almighty; he neglects in some way the natural desires of man towards the other sex, and he is free from every principle of idolatrous veneration towards false deities, and the cause of all this is found in that supreme devotion to himself, which the previous verse described, -"For he shall magnify himself above all."
"But in his estate [properly place] shall he honor the God of forces [1; i. e., "honor as God, Mahuzzim," or protectors], and a god which his fathers knew not, he shall honor with gold, and silver, and precious stones, and pleasant things."-Dan. xi. 38. His place refers to the god of his fathers in the previous verse, and denotes the place or habitation of God. The meaning of the verse, therefore, clearly is, that the king would pay divine homage to certain beings styled "protectors," and honour both those gods and a strange god which his fathers knew not, with costly offerings in the sanctuary of the Almighty.
This may appear at first sight inconsistent with the representation made of the king in the previous verse. How can one who disregards every god, yet honor as god, certain beings styled protectors, and offer to them, and to a strange god which his fathers knew not, "gold, and silver, and precious stones, and pleasant things?" The only conceivable explanation of this paradox, as appears to me, is, that his disregarding every god in the 37th verse, signifies the absence of real religious veneration, such as the ancient idolators felt towards their false gods from a belief in their actual divinity. The honoring them, however, as god, with gold and silver, &c. in the sanctuary of the Almighty, denotes a merely external worship, dictated by interested motives, such as may, and does, we know, often consist with the most supreme contempt for its object at heart. It is certain, that unless the paradoxical assertions of the prophecy be explained in some such way, the language is palpably inconsistent and untrue.
Similarly, it is evident, that the king's disregard of God, also may consist with the external worship of the Most High. The god of his fathers is classed along with every god as the object of his disregard, yet we have found from the following verse, that notwithstanding this utter absence of all