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Selucidæ, which takes its date from the tenth year after the death of Alexander, when, after some bloody contests, Seleucus settled his kingdom in Syria."
So that the time of the Grecian empire in Syria, from the death of Darius Codomanus, to the liberty of the Jews, and erection of the supreme government amongst them, was one hundred and seventy-nine years, which being added to the two hundred and two years of the Persian Empire, makes up three hundred and eighty-one years, to the same issue comes also the account by the other branch of the Grecian empire in Egypt.t
The rule of the Hasmoneans, with the reign of Herod the Great, who obtained the kingdom by means of their division, continued until the birth of Christ, one hundred and forty-eight years. For Jon
*According to the Syrian account,
21 5. Antiochus Theos
15 6. Seleucus Callinicus
20 7. Seleucus Ceraunus
2 8. Antiochus Magnus
37 9. Seleucus Philopater
12 10. Antiochus Epiphanes
12 11. Eupator
2 12. Demetrius Soter
10 13. Alexander Vales
38 4. Evergetes
24 5. Philopater
19 6. Epiphanes
23 7. Philometer
athan began his rủle in the second year of the hundred and fifty-seventh olympiad; as may be seen by adding the Selucian æra to the hundred and fourteenth olympiad, wherein Alexander died; and our Lord Christ was born in the second year of the hundred and ninety-fourth olympiad, in the last year, or last year but one, of Herod the Great.
This sum, therefore, of a hundred and forty-eight years, being added to the forementioned, from the beginning of the empire of Cyrus, which is three hundred and eighty-one years, makes up, in all, five hundred and twenty-nine years.
From the birth of our Lord Christ, in the second year of the hundred and ninety-fourth olympiad, to the destruction of the city and temple, in the third year of the two hundred and eleventh olympiad, are seventy years; which makes up the whole sum before mentioned, of five hundred and ninety-nine years, from the first of the empire of Cyrus, to the destruction of Jerusalem.*
Petavius and Mountacue reckon from the first of Cyrus, to the eighteenth of Tiberius, wherein our Lord Christ suffered, five hundred and ninety-four years, which differs very little from the account we have insisted on; and this being every way consistent with itself, and the stated æras of the nations, and abridging the time to the shortest space that will endure the trial, we shall abide by it. Now, the num. *From Cyrus to Darius Codomanus,
202 year's. From Darius Codomanus, to Alexander Vales; or,
ory} 179 in the Egyptian line, to Philometer, From Philometer to the birth of Christ; or, during
the Hasmonean rule, with Herod the Great, From the birth of Christ, to the destruction of Jeru->
salem, From the first of Cyrus, to the destruction
ion} Total of the city,
ber of five hundred and ninety-nine years exceeds the time limited in the prophecy, by the space of a hundred and nine years. Hence it evidently appears, that the seventy weeks of Gabriel, (490 years) are not commensurate to the whole space of time between the first decree of Cyrus, in the first year of his general empire, and the final desolation of the city and temple by Titus. One hundred and nine years must be taken from it, either at the beginning, or at the end; or partly at the one, and partly at the other.
$19. We shall first consider the end of them, which being clear in the prophecy, will regulate, fix, and state the beginning. Two things in general are insisted upon in this prophecy: first, the coming of the Messiah the prince, his anointing unto the work which he had to do, and his cutting off, as we before declared; and secondly, the ceasing of the daily sacrifice, with the destruction of the city and temple, by war, and a flood of desolation. Now these things happened not at the same time; for the city and sanctuary were destroyed thirty-seven years after the cutting off, or death of the Messiah. We are to inquire, therefore, which of these it was, that the time mentioned determined for. Now it is the coming, anointing, and cutting off of the Messiah, that is the thing chiefly intended in this prophecy. This we have proved undeniably before; manifesting that the vision was granted to Daniel, and given out by him, for the consolation of himself and the church, as was the way of the Holy Ghost in all his dealings with the fathers of old. To this the desolation and destruction of the city and temple was only a consequent of what was principally foretold. And it is doubtless unreasonable to expect the duration of the time beyond the principal subject matter treated of, and on the account whereof alone, the computation is granted, to that which is only occasionally mentioned. Besides, the computation itself is pointed directly by the angel to the Messiah, and his cutting off. "Seventy weeks are deter“mined upon thy people, know, therefore, that from "the going forth of the commandment, to Messiah the "prince shall be," &c. “And after sixty-two weeks “shall the Messiah be cut off.” But there is no reference of the time limited to the desolation of the city and sanctuary.
Moreover, it is expressly said that the time limited extends itself only to the death of the Messiah, or a very few years farther; for he was to come after seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, which are the whole time limited within one week or seven years. Now, his coming, here intended, is not the time of his incarnation, but that of his unction at his baptism, which fell out at the end of sixty-nine weeks. After these sixtynine weeks, or seven and sixty-two weeks, he is to be “cut off;” that is, in the middle, or towards the end of the last week, when he had confirmed the covenant by.preaching three years and a half of that seven years which remained. And if we shall say, that his unction was to be after the sixty-nine weeks, we must grant it to be in the first or second year of the last week; whereto add the three years and a half of his preaching, and the remaining fraction of one or two years can no way disturb the account, there being nothing more frequent than such an omission, for the sake of an intire and round number. Here, then, must we fix the end of the four hundred and ninety years, viz. in the death of the Messiah; and so wholly lay aside the account of those who would extend the time determined to the desolation of the city and temple.
$20. We must, therefore, in the first place, abate from the whole account of five hundred and ninetynine years before stated, the sum of thirty-seven years, which ensued after the death of our Savior, until the destruction of Jerusalem; and the remnant is five hundred and sixty-two years; which exceeds the number of seventy weeks by seventy-two years. pears, then, that the beginning of the weeks cannot be the decree of Cyrus; for to name four hundred and ninety, for five hundred and sixty-two, would seem rather to be a rude conjecture, than an exact prophecy; nor is there any necessity for such a supposition. Besides, the word used by the angel (pon) plainly proves, that a precise duration of time is intended; for it signifies to cut out, or cut off; that is, to set apart, limit, or determine.
It is, therefore, a precise portion of time cut out, limited, and apportioned, for the accomplishment of the work foretold, subject only to the inconsiderable fraction before noticed.*
$21. Others there are, who, resolving to date these weeks from the first of Cyrus, and to make four hundred and ninety years the exact measure of the time from thence to the death of the Messiah, and not being able to disprove the computation from Alexander to that time, fall also upon the Persian empire, and
*The Jewish mode of attempting to solve the difficulty, by dating the weeks from the destruction of the temple, by the Chaldeans, and ending them in the desolation of the second house, is beneath farther notice; as excluding in their computation those transactions which are equally notorious to mankind, as that there ever was such a thing as the Persian empire. And to suppose that there were no more kings of Persia than are mentioned in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, is no less futile than it would be to say, that there were never above three or four kings of the Assyrian empire, because there are no more mentioned in scripture. But if a full chronological account was not intended in those books, this (avislopnoia) non-insertion in history, is bencath all consideration.