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28 and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
the same idea, adapted to a N.T. standpoint, cf. Rev. v. 10ẻ, xi. 15, xii. 10, xxii. 5; also xx. 4, 6.
28. Concluding remark on the vision.
Hitherto] To this point: we should say Here (R.V.). Cf. xii. 6, lit. 'Until when shall be the end of the wonders?'
the end of the matter]i.e. of the entire revelation, including both the vision and the interpretation.
my thoughts much alarmed me] The expression, exactly as iv. 19, v. 6, 10.
and my brightness was changed upon me] As v. 9; cf. v. 6, 10. but I kept, &c.] Cf. Luke ii. 19, and especially ii. 51.
Additional Note on the Four Empires of Daniel II., VII.
It is generally agreed that the four empires represented by the composite image in ch. ii. are the same as those represented by the four beasts in ch. vii.: there is also no doubt that the first empire in ch. vii. is the same as the first empire in ch. ii., which is expressly stated in ii. 38 to be that of Nebuchadnezzar, and that the kingdom which is to succeed the fourth is in both chapters the kingdom of God: but the identification of the second, third, and fourth empires in the two chapters has been the subject of much controversy. It is also further a question, to which different answers have been given, whether the same three kingdoms in these two chapters are or are not identical with those denoted by the two horns of the ram, and by the he-goat in viii. 3-5, i.e. (as is expressly explained in viii. 20, 21), with the kingdoms of Media, Persia, and Greece. The following tabular synopsis (based upon that of Zündel) of the two principal interpretations that have been adopted, will probably assist the reader in judging between them.
Silver breast and Bear with three ribs Ram with two un- Medo-Persian in mouth
Bronze belly and = thighs
Iron legs, feet and = toes partly iron partly clay
Silver breast and Bear with three ribs First and shorter =
Leopard with four Second and longer
Beast with iron teeth, =
and ten horns, a
up one little horn
horn of ram
ander and his successors)
The difference between the two interpretations comes out most markedly in the explanation given of the fourth empire: A, for convenience, may, therefore, be termed the Roman theory, and B the Grecian theory.
A. This interpretation is first found in the apocryphal book of 2 Esdras (written probably under Domitian, A.D. 81–96), xii. 11 f., where the eagle, which Ezra is supposed to see in his vision and which unquestionably represents the imperial power of Rome, is expressly identified with the fourth kingdom which appeared to Daniel: though (it is added) the meaning of that kingdom was not expounded to Daniel as it is expounded to Ezra now. The same view of the fourth kingdom is implied in Ep. Barnab. iv. 4—5 (c. 100-120 A.D.), where the writer, in proof that the time of trial, preceding the advent of the Son of God, is at hand, quotes the words from Dan. vii. 7, 8, 24, respecting the little horn abasing three of the ten horns2. Hippolytus (c. 220 A.D.) expounds Dan. ii. and vii. at length in the same sense (ed. Lagarde, 1858, pp. 151 ff., 171 ff., 177 ff.). The same interpretation was also general among the Fathers; and it is met with likewise among Jewish authorities. Among modern writers, it has been advocated by Auberlen, Hengstenberg, Hofmann (Weissagung und Erfüllung, 1841, p. 276 ff.), Keil, Dr Pusey, and others.
Upon this view, the fourth empire being the Roman, the ten toes, partly of iron and partly of clay, of the image in ch. ii., and the ten horns of the fourth beast in ch. vii., represent ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire is supposed to have broken up, each retaining to a certain extent the strength of the Roman, but with its stability greatly impaired by internal weakness and disunion: the mouth speaking great things,' which is to arise after the ten kingdoms and to destroy three of them, being Antichrist, who is identified by some with the Papacy, and by others is supposed to be a figure still future.
1 It is implied also (apparently) in Joseph. Ant. x. xi. 7.
2 The writer seems to have understood by the 'horns' the Roman emperors: but there is great difficulty in determining precisely which are meant; see in Gebhardt and Harnack's edition (1878), p. lxix f.
Cf. Hippolytus, p. 172, The legs of iron are the Romans, being as strong as iron; then come the toes, partly of iron, partly of clay, in order to represent the democracies which are to arise afterwards' (similarly, p. 152); p. 153, 'the little horn growing up among the others is Antichrist.'
Thus Dr Rule1 writes: 'This little horn is too like the Papacy to be mistaken for anything else; and taking this for granted, as I believe we may venture to do, ten kingdoms must be found that came into existence previously to the establishment of the Pope's temporal power in Italy. Accordingly the ten kingdoms enumerated by him are
I. The kingdom of the Vandals in Africa, established A.D. 439.
2. Venice, which became an independent state in A.D. 452, and long maintained an extremely important position in the affairs of Christendom.
3. England, which, properly so called, was founded in A.D. 455, and in spite of the Norman Conquest still retains her independence.
4. Spain, first Gothic, A.D. 476, then Saracenic, and still Spain.
5. France. Gaul, conquered by the Romans, lost to Rome under the Visigoths, and transferred to the Franks under Clovis, A.D. 483.
6. Lombardy, conquered by the Lombards, A.D. 568.
7. The exarchate of Ravenna, which became independent of Constantinople in 584, and flourished for long as an independent state.
8. Naples, subdued by the Normans about 1060.
9. Sicily, taken by the Normans under Count Roger about 1080.
10. Rome, which assumed independence under a Senate of its own in 1143, and maintained itself so till 1198. The tumultuary revolution headed in Rome by Arnold of Brescia, tore away the ancient city from its imperial relations and brought the prophetic period of the ten kingdoms to its close.'
The 'little horn diverse from the ten, having eyes and a mouth speaking very great things,' is Pope Innocent III. (A.D. 1198-1216), who immediately after his consecration restored, as it was called, the patrimony of the Church, by assuming absolute sovereignty over the city and territory of Rome, and exacting of the Prefect of the city, in lieu of the oath of allegiance which he had hitherto sworn to the Emperor of Germany, an oath of fealty to himself, by which he bound himself to exercise in future the civil and military powers entrusted to him, solely in the interests of the Pope. 'Here is the haughty speech, and here are the watchful eyes to survey the newly usurped dominion, and to spy out far beyond.' Of the three 'horns' which fell before Innocent III. and his successors, the first was thus the Roman Senate and people, with the so-called patrimony of St Peter, in the year 1198; the other two were the two kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, which having in 1060 and 1080 fallen under the rule of the Dukes of Normandy, were afterwards offered by Urban IV. to the Duke of Anjou, to be held by him in subjection to the Church, with the result that ultimately, in 1266, 'the two Sicilies,' as they were afterwards called, fell under the subordinate rule of a branch of the house of Bourbon, and so remained until recent times. The war on the saints is referred to the Inquisition, organized by Innocent III. and carried on by his successors, and abetted by every device of oppressive legislation, and artful diplomacy. Concerning the change of times and laws, a few words will suffice. "He shall think to change times" by the substitution of an ecclesiastical calendar for the civil. He shall ordain festivals, appoint jubilees, and so enforce observance of such times and years as to set aside civil obligations, and even supersede the sanctification of the Lord's days by the multiplication of saints' days. With regard to laws he will enforce Canon Law in contempt of Statute Law, and sometimes in contradiction to the Law of God.'
Auberlen, on the other hand, points more generally to the many different ways in which the influence of Rome has perpetuated itself even in modern Europe. The various barbarian nations out of which have developed gradually the states of modern Europe, have, he observes, fallen largely under the spell of Roman civilization. Roman culture, the Roman church, the Roman language, and Roman law have been the essential civilizing principles of the Germanic world. The Romance nations are a monument of the extent to which the influence of Rome has penetrated even into the blood of the new humanity: they are the products of the admixture "by the seed of men." But they do not cohere together: the Roman element is ever re-acting against the Germanic. The struggles between Romans and Germans have been the determining factor of modern history: we need mention only the contests between the Emperor and the Pope, which stirred the Middle Ages, and the Reformation, with the consequences following from it, which have continued until the present day. The fourth empire has thus a genuine Roman tenacity and 1 An Historical Exposition of Daniel the Prophet, 1869, p. 195 ff. 2 Der Prophet Daniel (1857), PP. 252-4.
force; at the same time, since the Germans have appeared on the scene of history, and the iron has been mixed with the clay, it has been much divided and broken up, and its different constituent parts have shewn themselves to be unstable and fragile (Dan. ii. 41, 42). The Roman element strives ever after universal empire, the German element represents the principles of individualism and division.' Hence the ever fresh attempts, whether on the part of the Pope, or of a secular prince, as Charlemagne, Charles V., Napoleon, and even the Czar, to realize anew the ideal of Roman unity. Against these attempts, however, the independent nationalities never cease to assert as persistently their individual rights. Politically and religiously, the Roman, the German, and the Slavonic nationalities stand opposed to one another: in the end, however, after many conflicts, they will resolve themselves into ten distinct kingdoms, out of one of which Antichrist-a kind of exaggerated, almost superhuman, Napoleon-will arise, and realise, on an unprecedented scale, until Providence strikes him down, the 'dæmonic unity' of an empire of the world.
So far as the mere symbolism of the vision goes, there is no objection to this interpretation. The kingdom which is to 'tread down and break in pieces,' with the strength of iron, 'the whole earth' (vii. 23; cf. vii. 7, ii. 40) might well be the empire of the Romans, who by their military conquests subdued, one after another, practically all the nations of the then known world; and it has been contended, not without some show of plausibility, that the imagery of the second kingdom agrees better with the Medo-Persian than with the Persian empire: the bear, it is urged, with its slow and heavy gait would be the most suitable symbol of the Medo-Persian empire, of which 'heaviness,' as exemplified by the vast and unwieldy armies which its kings brought into the field1, was the leading national characteristic, while the three ribs in its mouth are more naturally explained of three provinces absorbed by the empire of the Persians, than of any conquests made by the Medes. These explanations of the imagery, however, though they fall in with the interpretation in question, cannot be said to be so certain, upon independent grounds, as to require it: Alexander's military successes were also such that he might be spoken of as subduing the whole earth; and we do not know that the suggested interpretation of the symbolism of the bear is really that which was in the mind of the writer of the chapter.
The great, and indeed fatal, objection to this interpretation is, however, that it does not agree with the history. The Roman empire, the empire which conquered and ruled so many nations of the ancient world3,whether it be regarded as coming to its close when in A.D. 476 Romulus. Augustulus, at the bidding of Odoacer, resigned his power to the Emperor of the East, or whether that act be regarded merely as a transference of power from the West to the East, and its real close be placed, with Gibbon, at the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, or whether, lastly, it be held, with Bryce, to have prolonged a legal existence till in 1806 the Emperor Francis II resigned the imperial crown,—has passed from the stage of history; nor, whichever date be
1 Darius Hystaspis was said to have led 700,000 men into Scythia: Xerxes' expedition against Greece numbered 2,500,000 fighting men; Darius Codomannus, at the fatal battle of Issus, commanded 600,000 men (Pusey, p. 71).
2 Media, Assyria, and Babylonia (Hippolytus); Persia, Media, and Babylonia (Jerome, Ephr. Syr.); Lydia, Babylonia, and Egypt (Hofmann, Keil, Pusey, p. 70). 3 'Empire' is of course used here generally in the sense of 'power': at the time when many of these conquests were made, the Romans, as is well known, were under the rule of neither 'emperors' nor 'kings.'
assigned for its close,—and, in the natural sense of the word, the 'Roman empire' ceased to exist at the first of these dates,-can any 'ten' kingdoms be pointed to, as in any sense arising out of it? The nonnatural character of the 'praeterist' explanation of Dr Rule must be patent to the reader. Futurist' expositors suppose that the kingdoms represented by the ten horns are yet to appear1. But these kingdoms are to 'arise out of' the fourth empire (Dan. ii. 24): clearly therefore the fourth empire must still exist when they appear; but the Roman empire is beyond controversy an empire of the past. Auberlen's explanation, ingenious as it is, cannot be deemed satisfactory 2.
The interpretation under discussion is in fact one which, in view of the circumstances of the age, might readily have suggested itself to Christian expositors of Daniel, while the Roman empire was still the dominant power in the world; but it is one which the progress of history has shewn to be untenable. The early Christians believed that they were living in an age in which the end of the world was imminent; and it was in this belief, as Mr (now Bishop) Westcott has pointed out, that the interpretation in question originated. 'It originated at a time when the triumphant advent of Messiah was the object of immediate expectation, and the Roman empire appeared to be the last in the series of earthly kingdoms. The long interval of conflict which has followed the first Advent formed no place in the anticipation of the first Christendom; and in succeeding ages the Roman period has been unnaturally prolonged to meet the requirements of a theory which took its rise in a state of thought which experience has proved false3.'
B. This interpretation appears first in Ephrem Syrus (c. 300-350
1 Auberlen, as cited above; Keil, p. 224; Dr Pusey, p. 78 f.
2 It is remarkable, if Daniel's vision really extends so far as to embrace the history of Europe, that the first coming of Christ, and the influences wrought by Christianity, should be ignored in it. The explanation that Daniel, "being a statesman and an Israelite, saw nothing of the Church" (Auberlen, p. 252) is surely artificial and improbable.
3 Smith's Dict. of the Bible, s.v. DANIEL.
Or, at least, for the first time distinctly; for a passage in the so-called 'Sibylline Oracles' (see the Introduction, p. lxxxiii) makes it probable that the 'ten horns' were understood of the Seleucidae as early as c. 140 B.C. After describing (iii. 381-7) how Macedonia will bring great woe upon Asia, and overcome Babylon (alluding manifestly to Alexander the Great), the Sibyl' continues (388 ff.):—
ἥξει καί ποτ' ἄπυστ [εἰς] ̓Ασσίδος ὄλβιον οἶδας
395 ἐκ τῶν δὴ γενεῆς κείνου γένος ἐξαπολεῖται·
ἐκ δέκα δὴ κεράτων, παρὰ δὲ φυτὸν ἄλλο φυτεύσει.
καὐτὸς ἀφ' υἱῶν, ὧν ἐς ὁμόφρονα αἴσιον ἄρρης
400 φθεῖται· καὶ τοτὲ δὴ παραφυόμενον κέρας ἄρξει.
The 'man clad with purple, fierce, unjust, fiery, lightning-born,' who is to enslave Asia is, it seems, Antiochus Epiphanes (whose invasion of Egypt is certainly