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his last vision would have taken place, when Titus took possession of the last strong holds of Jerusalem ?
But we go on further to say, that we conceive we have the highest authority—the words of Christ himself – for interpreting the last passages of that vision, as a prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. In his own prediction of that destruction, he quotes Daniel by name, and his quotations are taken, as we trust we shall be able clearly to shew, out of the last passages of this last vision of the prophet. It was on observing this fact, and looking at the light it throws upon the whole subject, that we were led to re-examine this vision, and perceived, that, following the connected train of a most authentic and clear history, all the latter part of it admits of a new and highly satisfacto
illustration, which we now present for the examination of our Fellow-Christians.
Christ's quotation of Daniel the prophet, by name, is given both by Matthew and Mark. In Matthew the terms are, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand,) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."* The terms in Mark are substantially the same. 6. But when
ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains.”+ The reference in the margins of our common Bibles here directs us to Daniel, ix. chapter
* Matthew xxiv. 15, 16.
+ Mark xiii. 14.
and 27th verse, as containing the terms quoted by Christ. In that verse, there are indeed terms in the original that might be translated « abominable desolations ;" but the marginal reference is notwithstanding erroneous.
When we advert to all the terms used by Christ, as they are presented to us, either by Matthew or Mark, we perceive that he has taken his quotation from Daniel xii, 10, 11. These two verses we have translated as literally as we can ; and it will be perceived our translation does not differ substantially from the common one. “ Many shall be made clean, and shall be made white, and shall be refined, and the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, and they that cause to be wise shall understand. And from the time the daily sacrifice is caused to be taken away,
and to the setting up the abomination of desolation, a thousand two hundred and ninety days." The words of these two verses are part of the answer of the man clothed in linen to Daniel's question,
66 what shall be the latter end of these things ?”—and are immediately preceded by the order and intimation, “go thy way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed to the time of the end.” In these two verses then, namely, the tenth and eleventh, we find not only the terms, the abomination of desolation, but, contiguous to them, other terms of Daniel, which Christ obviously referred to, when he gave, parenthetically, the solemn warning, expressed both by Matthew and Mark, “nchoso readeth let him understand.” That warning receives a deep import, when we advert to all the accompanying terms of Daniel, and the circumstances in which the Apostles, to whom our Lord addressed himself, then stood. The intimation to Daniel, “that the words were shut
sealed to the time of the end,” implies, that the latter part of the prophecy would not be understood till the approach of its fulfilment. The Apostles, when they addressed our Lord to point out to him the strong buildings of the temple, and thus presented to him the opportunity, which he embraced, to predict its speedily approaching destruc. tion, and the dispersion of the Jews, were ignorant of the meaning of this part of the prophecy, like the rest of their countrymen. They appear to have gloried greatly in the strength and magnificence of their national temple, and even to have looked at it as a building which was to be of the greatest permanence. Christ undeceived them respect.. ing this matter by his own prediction ; and, in the course of the prediction, took occasion to refer to, and illustrate, a remarkable prophecy, to the same effect with it, which they already had in their sacred books. When he referred to Daniel, and, quoting from him the words abomination of desolation, added, “nhoso readeth let him understand," he brought directly to their view this vision, which was to be shut
and sealed to the time of the end, and which none of the wicked should understand, although they who caused to be wise should understand it. The meaning of the prophecy, long concealed,—for it obviously was not known to the Apostles,—was now opened up by him, at the time of the end, when its completion was just about to take place. He desired the Apostles to read and understand this passage of Daniel, which had been shut up till his time. He explained it to them, whom he had chosen to be the messengers of his heavenly religion, and sent forth to cause many to be wise. He thus identified the subject of Daniel's prediction, in this particular place, with the sub
ject of his own'; and so has clearly taught us, that Daniel's prediction would be fulfilled, when, according to the clear announcement of his own, Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles, and its people led away captive into all nations.*
But this is not the only passage which Christ, in his own prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, quotes from the twelfth chapter of Daniel,--thus applying its terms to that event. According to both Matthew and Mark, he quotes a remarkable passage in the verse of that chapter : — “ At that time Michael shall stand, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, to that time.” The latter clause of this is obviously quoted by Christ, in its whole import and meaning, and nearly in its terms, in Matthew xxiv. 21:4" For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
The parallel passage in Mark is alike close to the meaning in Daniel :-"For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation, which God created, unto this time, neither shall be.”+ And it is to be observed that, both in Matthew and Mark, this fearful description of the tribulation that should overtake the Jewish people, follows just after the professed quotation of Daniel's words, and the warnings of our Lord that naturally arose out of them ; thus directing us to the conclusion, that the latter part of this vision of Daniel was still in his view, and that the description of the trouble was taken, by him, from it.
* Luke xxi. 23, 24.
+ Mark xiii. 19.
There are other passages, in the twelfth chapter of Daniel, to which Christ seems to have referred, in his prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem ; but the nature of the references will be more easily explained, when we afterwards proceed to exhibit the fulfilment of the whole predictions of this part of Daniel in their order. In the meantime, we trust, it will now be allowed, that the conclusion of the vision in the twelfth chapter forms a predic. tion of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jews. We have gathered this from a comparison of the terms of this vision with those of the two immediately preceding visions of Daniel, -- from certain terms of this vision itself,—and, more especially, from the light thrown upon it by the words of Christ.
We ought, therefore, to look for the fulfilment of the prior parts of the prophecy, in events that occurred previously to the destruction of Jerusalem. The field of history that we have to examine for these events, thus becomes narrowed ; and we shall be enabled to proceed, with the more intelligent steps in our inquiries, since we know the boundaries of the ground which we have to search. We have already seen, that there is a good agreement among the more approved commentators, in their illustrations of the prophecy, down to the conclusion of the thirtieth verse of the eleventh chapter ; and we refer to Bishop Newton's XVI. Dissertation for a clear and satisfactory exposition of the part that ends with that verse. He shews, that the predictions in the thirtieth verse itself were fulfilled in the Roman embassy, under Marcus Popillius Læna, compelling Antiochus