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Of this class of prophetic dates, there are in Daniel's prophecy the following:
1. “ Seven times.” Dan iv., 16.
2.“ Time, times, and dividing of time.” Dan. . vii., 25; xii., 7.
3. “ Two thousand three hundred days.” Dan. viii., 14-26.
4. “ Seventy weeks.” Dan. ix., 24.
5. A thousand, two hundred and ninety days." Dan. xii., 11, and,
6. “ The thousand, three hundred, and five and thirty days.” (Dan. V., 12.)
In the Book of Revelation, also, are the following, viz. :
7. "An hour, a day, a month, and a year.” Rev.
8. A thousand, two hundred and threescore days.” Rev. xii., 6.
9. “Forty and two months.” (Rev. xi. 2 ; xiii. 5.) 10. Six hundred and sixty-six." (Rev. xiii., 18.) And, in Ezekiel are the following:
11. “ Three hundred and ninety days.” Ezek. iv., 5; and “ Forty days," verse 6.
Now, that the terms as used in these passages are mystical numbers, and are designed to be understood of a year for a day, &c., will, we think, appear conclusive from the following:
1. “ The spies searched the land forty days in unbelief, and a penalty of 40 years wandering in the wilderness was inflicted, “a year for a day.” (Num. xiv., 34.) Ezekiel was ordered to lie on his side 390
days to bear the 390 years iniquity of Israel, and 40 days for the 40 years iniquity of Judah, “ each day for a year." Ezek. iv., 5, 6.
But, should it still be objected, that these two instances of the use of the term day, to express a year, will not justify the application of the same sense to all the passages above named. we reply,
2. That these passages contain internal evidence that they are to be thus understood. Instance the following, as an illustration. " It is expressly declared that the seventy weeks of Dan. ix., 24, begins with the commandment to re-build the temple and city of Jerusalem; and that the building of them occupied the first seven weeks.” Who now will pretend that this work was accomplished in 49 days ? The Evangelist St. John asserts, “ Forty and six years was this temple in building," the three remaining years, as history asserts, being consumed in preparations for the work, under the ministrations of Haggai. We shall not at present enlarge on this point, as we shall have occasion again to bring it to your notice. Our immediate business now will be, to apply this mode of the prophetical interpretation of time, to their practical uses, and,
1. If we call the prophetic number of seven times," (Dan. iv., 16,) which the prophet applies to the period of the dethronement and madness of the Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar, seven years, and these years are interpreted as prophetical years, i. e., each year to con
1. John ii., 20.
tain 360 days of years, a day for a year ; the whole number will amount to 2520, the half of which is precisely 1260.
2. Understanding the terms “Time,” to mean 1 year of 360 days; “Times,” 2 years of 720 days; and “the dividing of time” or “half a time” of 180 days, as used by the Prophets Daniel and St John, " each day for a year;" 360, 720, and 180 added together make just 1260 years.
3. In the book of Revelation, (chap. xi. 2,) the court of the mystic temple and the holy city is given to be trodden under foot of the Gentiles, “forty and two months." By allowing 30 days to each month, and multiplying the 42 months by 30, we have just 1260 days, “ each day for a year.”
4. The 2300 days of Daniel viii. 14, are 2300 years, " each day for a year."
5. The “seventy weeks” of Dan. ix. 24, are 490 years.
6. The 1290 days of Dan. xii. 11, are 1290 years. 7. The 1335 days of Dan. xii. 12, are 1335 years.
8. The 1260 days of Rev. xii. 6, and the “forty and two months," Rev. xi. 2, xiii. 5, are 1260 years. And,
9. The 390 days, and the 40 days of Ezekiel iv. 5, are each to be taken for so many years. See Rev. ix. 15. And,
10. The mystical number of 666, (Rev. xiii. 18,) denotes so niany years.
Now, of these larger mystical numbers, four of of them, viz:" the time, times, and dividing of time" of Daniel; the "time, times, and half a time" of
St. John; together with the “42 months” and “1260 days” of the latter, all amount to the same number of 1260 mystical years. Then there is the 2520 years of Daniel iv. 16, which doubles the number of 1260 years. Also, the 1290 years of Daniel xii. 11; the 1335 years of the same chapter, verse 12; and the 2300 years of Daniel viii. 14.
Our next remark in reference to these larger numbers is, that the first four, each counting 1260 prophetic years, as they relate to the same events, (those of the Revelation synchronizing with those of Daniel,) furnishing thereby a history of the fortunes of the Church during her wilderness state, and comprehending the period of the wearing out of the Saints of the most High, the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, the woman driven in the wilderness, and, the treading under foot of the holy City ; --- so they all commence and terminate together. With these also, the seven times”
or 2520 years of Daniel iv., 16, have a common termination. Of two of the remaining three larger numbers, - viz., 1290, 1335, and 2300; the first, or 1290 years of Daniel xii., 11, go beyond the above termination to the number of 30 years; and the second, or 1335 years, exceeds that again by an advance of 45 years.
What remains for us now is, to select from among these larger prophetic numbers, one which will afford the least questionable evidence, as to its commencement and termination. And the one which we shall select for this purpose is, the 2300 days of Daniel viii., 14.
In the preceding Chapter, (vii.,) this prophet had a vision of four great beasts rising out of the sea; the fourth having 10 horns, among which arose a little horn; - together with a view of the kingdom of Christ: which vision was interpreted by an Angel to denote the rise successively of four great Monarchies, viz., the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman : but all of which were to be destroyed, to make way for the kingdom of God. The general tenor of the vision, however, bespake great trials to God's people. Daniel was troubled at the sight of "the little horn," of the 8th verse; for “ the same made war with the Saints, and prevailed against them.” (v. 21.)
This vision is followed by another in Chapter viii., of the Ram and the He-Goat, with which was also connected a “little horn,” verses 9, 23; the resemblance between which and the little horn of the preceding vision as to the fierceness of his character, filled the mind of the prophet with the most alarming apprehensions of the future, accompanied with a strong desire to understand it. "I Daniel,” says he, « fainted and was sick certain days, and I was astonished at the vision; but none understood it.”
In this state of mind, the prophet, understanding by the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, that the period of the 70 years captivity was about to expire, he ushers in the joyous event by offering prayer and confession in behalf of his peole.
Whi e engaged in this holy exercise, the angel Gabriel, whom he had seen in the vision of Chap. viii