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          We trust that the evidences presented in the preceding volume have made clear the fact that the great Papal system is the desolating abomination which for centuries has despoiled both the world and the Church, in the name of Christ’s kingdom.  Truly it has long been “standing in the holy place”—in the temple of God, the Christian Church. Thank God for the privilege of seeing its abominable characteristics more and more clearly, that we may flee from all its errors.  Thank God that its days are numbered, and that the cleansed sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) will soon be exalted and filled with the glory of God.

          With this introduction, we proceed to examine Daniel xi in consecutive order.

          Verse 2 begins with the Medo-Persian empire, the fourth and last king being Darius III Codomanus.

          The mighty king of verse 3 is Alexander the Great, of Greece, concerning whom the following scrap of history from Willard will be read with interest.  He says:

          “Alexander the Great, having invaded Judea, sent a mandate to Jerusalem to furnish his army with provisions and troops.  Jaddus, then the high priest, returned for answer, that he had sworn allegiance to the king of Persia, and could not desert his cause while he lived.  Alexander, as soon as the siege of Tyre was completed, marched to Jerusalem to take vengeance for this refusal.  Apprised of his purpose, and utterly unable to contend with him, the high priest in his distress cried to heaven for protection.  Being instructed by a vision in the night, he threw open the gates of the city and strewed the way with flowers.  Clothing himself in the splendid vestments of the Levitical priesthood, he went forth to meet the conqueror, followed by all the priests robed in white.  Alexander met him, bowed, and worshiped. Being asked by his astonished friend, why he, whom others [C_page 27] adored, should adore the high priest, he answered, ‘I do not adore him, but the God whose minister he is.  I knew him, as soon as I saw his habit, to be the same whom I saw in a vision in Macedonia, when I meditated the conquest of Persia; and he then assured me that his God would go before me and give me success.’  Alexander then embraced the priests, walking in the midst of them, and thus entering Jerusalem; where, in the most solemn manner, he offered sacrifices in the temple.  The high priest then showed him the prophecy of Daniel, and interpreted it to foreshow that the Persian power should be overthrown by him.”

          Though Alexander conquered the world in the short period of thirteen years, the kingdom did not continue as one nation in his family after his death, but was divided by his four generals and broken into fragments generally, as stated in verse 4.

          Notice here the correspondence of this prophecy with that of Dan. 8:3-9,20-25.  Here it is shown that out of one of the divisions of Alexander’s empire (compare verses 8,9 and 21) would come forth a “little horn” or power, which would become exceedingly great.  This evidently refers to Rome, which rose to influence upon the ruins of Greece. From being an insignificant subject whose ambassadors hastened to acknowledge the Grecian supremacy, and to become part of the empire at the feet of Alexander the Great, Rome rose gradually to supremacy.

          The history which is told in few words in Dan. 8:9,10 is related with greater detail in chapter 11:5-19.  In this detailed account, Egypt is spoken of as the King of the South; while the Grecians, and afterward the Romans, their successors in power, or the new horn out of Greece, are designated the King of the North.  Woven between these, linked now with the one and again with the other, is the history of God’s people—Daniel’s people—in whose ultimate blessing, as promised by God, Daniel trusted.  It is tedious and unnecessary to trace this history in its many details of conflicts between [C_page 28] Alexander’s generals and their successors, until verse 17, which refers to Cleopatra, queen of Egypt.  And since all are agreed thus far, we need go no farther into the past.

          At verse 18 those who claim that verse 31 applies to Antiochus Epiphanes continue to apply the prophecy to the little squabbles and battles between Seleucus, Philopater, Antiochus Epiphanes and Ptolemeus Philomater down to the end of the chapter—as the Jews were evidently accustomed to apply it.  The Jews, continuing this interpretation into chapter xii, would have strong grounds for expecting deliverance by Messiah speedily; and so we read that at the time of our Lord’s birth “all men were in expectation” of him, and through him, of their deliverance from the Roman yoke.  But from verse 18 onward, we who see the real “abomination,” part company from them, and understand the prophecy merely to touch prominent characters down to Papacy; and then, touching and identifying it, to pass on to the end of its power to persecute, and to mark that date by a detailed account of one of the most noted characters of history—Napoleon Bonaparte.

          But it may be asked, why this change of the particular method of the preceding verses, to touch only prominent features of history?  We answer, that this has been part of God’s method of sealing and closing the prophecy.  Besides, everything in prophecy was so arranged as not to stumble Israel at the first advent.  Had the minutiae and detail of twenty centuries been spread out as is that prophecy contained in verses 3 to 17 of this chapter, it would have been long, tedious and beyond comprehension; and it would have given the Jews and the early Christian church an idea of the length of time before the Kingdom of God should come; and this was not God’s purpose.

          Proceeding, then, we understand verses 17-19 to apply to the times and incidents in which Mark Antony and Cleopatra [C_page 29] figured, when Antony fell, and Egypt (“King of the South”) was swallowed up in the Roman empire.  Verse 20 we apply to Augustus Caesar, who was noted for his systematic collection of large taxes from all tributary nations, and whose exactions of taxes, in Judea and throughout the then civilized world, are noted in Scripture in connection with the birth of our Lord. (Luke 2:1)  The statement, “Caesar Augustus sent forth a decree that all the world should be taxed,” corresponds faithfully to the description—“There shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom.”  This latter part of the description also fits exactly; for the period of Augustus Caesar’s reign is noted in history as the most glorious epoch of the great Roman empire, and is called “the golden age of Rome.”

          Another translation of verse 20 reads: “There will stand up in his place one who will cause the exactor of taxes to pass through the glorious land of the kingdom.”  This would seem to apply specially to Palestine, and would make this fit exactly to the record in Luke.  But both applications are correct: It was the glorious time of the Roman Empire, and tax collectors were caused to pass through the land of Palestine—the glorious land of the kingdom.  Furthermore, be it noted that Augustus Caesar was the first ruler to introduce to the world a systematized taxation.

          We read further of this prominent ruler—“Within few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle.”  Of Augustus Caesar it is recorded that he died a quiet death, while his predecessor and his seven successors in imperial power died violent deaths.  His death was within a few years after he had reached the zenith of his power and had caused “the exactor of taxes to pass through the glorious land of the kingdom.”

          Verse 21 fitly describes Tiberius Caesar, the successor of Augustus: “There will stand up in his place a despicable [C_page 30] person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom; but he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”  Let us here note how the historic account of Tiberius agrees with the above by the prophet.

          Says White: “Tiberius was fifty-six years old when he ascended the throne, professing great unwillingness to take upon him its important cares....All restraint being now removed, the tyrant gave loose reign to his cruel and sensual passions.”

          Says Willard: “At first he dissembled and appeared to govern with moderation; but the mask soon dropped.... The senate, to whom he transferred all the political rights of the people, had become degraded, and thus obsequiously sanctioned his acts and offered the incense of perpetual flattery to the man who filled their streets with blood.  It was under the administration of this most debased of men, that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified in Judea.”

          These pictures fit exactly the prophet’s description, and are further confirmed by the next verse—22.  “With the powers of an overflow [flood] will they [all opposers] be swept away before him, and be broken; yea, also the Prince of the Covenant.”  This last statement seems unmistakably to refer to our Lord Jesus, who, as above noted by the historian, was crucified under the administration of Tiberius by his representative, Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, and by Roman soldiers.

          “And after the league made with him [the Senate recognizing him as emperor] he shall work deceitfully; for he will come up and become strong with a small number of people. [Tiberius organized the Praetorian Guard, at first of 10,000, afterward doubled.  This small number of people, as the emperor’s bodyguard, was continually at Rome and under his control.  By it he overawed the people and the senate, abolished popular elections, assemblies, etc.]  He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province, and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his father’s [C_page 31] fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: and he shall think thoughts against the strongholds, even for a time.” Verses 23,24

          It was the policy of both Augustus and his successors to preserve peacefully the control of the dominions previously gained, rather than to seek by conquest further additions; and, to secure this hold, it was their policy to divide the spoil by appointing local governors, with dignity and authority, whose tenure of office was made to depend upon the preservation of order in their provinces, their fealty to the Caesars and the prompt collection of taxes.  They no longer, as at first, pursued the policy of sacking and plundering the world merely to carry the spoils as trophies to Rome.  By this diplomatic policy, by thus “forecasting devices,” Rome now ruled the world more completely and with greater prestige than when her armies went hither and thither.

          It should be recognized that while the prophecy has particularized, and in the cases of Augustus and Tiberius has almost individualized the account, yet this has been only a means to an end.  The end to be accomplished is to mark the time of transfer of universal dominion, from Greece to Rome, from the four generals of Alexander the Great, representing four divisions of that empire (the “four horns” of the Grecian “goat” mentioned in Daniel 8:8), to the Roman empire which was at that time and previously a part of Grecia.  These four generals who succeeded Alexander the Great are no less distinctly marked in history than in prophecy.*  The historian+ says:  

          “The [Grecian] empire was now divided into four parts, and one part assigned to each of the generals who formed the league.  Ptolemy assumed the regal power in Egypt; Seleucus,


*The division among these four is distinctly referred to in Daniel 8:8 and 11:4,5.

+Willard’s Universal History, page 100.

[C_page 32] in Syria and Upper Asia; Lysimachus, in Thrace and Asia Minor as far as Taurus; and Cassander took as his share Macedonia.”



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