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weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the 'sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined: (And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week : and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate,) even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate."

Before I proceed to the investigation of the particular parts of this prophecy, it is necessary, I think to obviate the objections which may be made by unbelievers (to whom I chiefly address myself) in regard to the fairness and propriety of interpreting these seventy weeks, as four hundred and ninety years. A week in the language of the prophets, sometimes means seven years, and a day is often used by them for a year. This will appear, not by any forced or unnaiural construction of their language, but from their own express declarations. It is said in Genesis, “ Fulfil her week, and we will

* Daniel, chap. ix, verses 24, 25, 26, and 2


give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me, yet seven other years.”+ If a day therefore in the prophetic language méans a year, and a week is understood to be seven years, seventy weeks will signify four hundred and ninety years.. With this point settled, I will begin my comments. upon the prophecy. The propliet says “ Seventyweeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity," that is, in four hundred and ninety years a spiritual deliverer shall come to “thy holy city," to Jerusalem, " to bring in everlasting righteousness," that is, who shall teach a gospel that shall prevail for ever: and to seal up the “ vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy, and in whose most saered character all the prophecies shall be complete. Now let us ask, in the name of candour, to whom this can possibly refer but Jesus Christ? Is there any other person, to whom we can with the least appearance of reason, apply the prophecy? The character which the piophet represents, is so particular as not to be in the least compatible with else. And he puts his knowledge of futurity to the fairest lest that can be conceived. He declares the

any one

+ Chap. xxix, verse 27


time the Messiah is to appear. If the Messiah: therefore does


at the time he mentions, one would think the most stubborn unbeliever would acknowledge, that he was a true prophet in this matter, he must have been preternaturally inspired by God, and there is some reason to believe that Christianity is a divine revelation. That the prophet uttered a true prophecy is beyond a doubt. Fer we find that four hundred and ninety years after. " the commandment to restoreand rebuild Jerusalem” (from which period the seventy weeks were to be gin) the Messiah, that is Jesus Christ, died. From the seventh year of Artaxerxes, when Ezra went up fron Babylon to Jerusalem with a commission to


* Vide Ezra, chap. vii. verse 6, throughout the chapter. Vide Clarke's Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion, page 429; and Chambers's Dictionary, article Nabonassar. Perhaps the 27th verse in the ninth chapter of Daniel should be written thus, o (And he shall confirm the covenant with maliy

for week, and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate." If therefore the parenthesis in this verse were to be thus shortened, it would appear reasonable to explain this passage of Daniel in this manner. The seven restore their government to the Jews, until the death of Christ, (from anno Nabonassar 290 to anno Nabonassar 780) is exactly four, hundred and ninety years, or “ seventy weeks.”

week," tions

If in answer to this method of reasoning it should beurged that no satisfactory conclusion can be drawn from a prophecy, which is so obscure, or enveloped with mystery, as to appear like a riddle, I must observe that this seeming obscurity proceeds from our unjustifiable indolence in not giving the prophetic language the attention it merits.-There would be no difficulty to one who was well versed in the Old Testament, to comprehend the meaning of the pro

for one

weeks'refer to the forty nine years in which the temple and the city were built; from the finishing of which, there were sixty two weeks, which is four hundred thirty and four years, until the Baptism of Christ; and after the forty two weeks, there was one week in which the Messiah should be slain: " He shall confirm the covenant with many week,” that is, Christ shall teach his gospel to his disciples for the course of seven years, from anno 26 to anno 33.

" And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," that is, in the course of the week Christ's sacrifice of himself shall cause every other sacrisice to cease, The words " And for the overspreading of abomina

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phet. And it appears from the sacred writings, and profane authors, that the Jews universally agreed in calculating these “ seventy weeks," as four hundred and ninety years. It appears that they eagerly expected their Messiah at the time of our Saviour's appearance upon earth. St. Luke' says of Simeon, “And the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel.” And again he says of Anna the prophetess, “ And she coming in that instant, gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Israel.” And Tacitus, when speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, mentions, that many of the Jews expected at that time a great prince to arise in Judea. Suetonius also says, in his life of the emperor Vespasian, that such an expectation had without in

tions he shall make it desolate” seem to be improperly placed by the transcriber of the prophet into the same parenthesis with the preceding words in it; for these words appear to relate to the Roman general or prince, to Titus, who was the destroyer of the city and sanctuary, and the former words in the parenthesis appear to relate to the Messiah, our Saviour. In some Bibles however, we sind no parenthesis in this chapter. Vide upon this passage of Daniel, " Fox's Doctrinal,” page 243.

* Chap. ii. verses 25 and 31.

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