THE EASTERN QUESTION BEFORE CHRIST
The vision and prophecy of the East—Of the Ram and the Unicorn—The Four Horns of the Goat—Of the fifth, or Little Horn—Of the Seventy Weeks—Of the 1,290 years—Summary of the eleventh of Daniel—Paraphrase of the first thirty-five verses of Dan. 11—Of the King and the strange god—“Mahuzzim Bazaars.”
The Greco-Roman Dragon, or Fourth Beast, is a symbol which represents the dominion of the whole habitable; of a greater extent or territory than the empire of pagan Rome, by so much as is included in the countries of the Little Horn, which lie beyond the frontiers of the old dominion. But although this symbol covers all this territory, as it were, it was as impossible to signify by it everything necessary to be represented as it was by Nebuchadnezzar’s Image. The Four Beasts were illustrations of the Image. This was especially the case with the fourth. But even by these additional symbols many very important details were left unrepresented. Hence, the Fourth Beast has been itself illustrated by the apocalyptic symbols of the dragon, the ten-horned Beast, the two-horned Beast, and the image of the sixth head of the ten-horned Beast, which was also the sixth head of the dragon.
But notwithstanding all these symbols have been given, all of them in some particular illustrative of the Image, there remains a highly interesting portion of literal prophecy unsymbolized. The above-named symbols introduce us to the knowledge of things which history has verified, and to events which belong to “the time of the end”. They represent the great truth of the destruction of the Sin-power, and the setting up of the kingdom of God; but of the events connected with the subjects of that kingdom, there is a representation that needs to be supplied by other symbols with their appropriate description. These are found in Daniel’s vision of the east.
But why, it may be asked, has all this symbolography been introduced into the Bible? The answer is, to illustrate the relations of the Sin-power to “the holy people” in the eastern and western divisions of the Roman empire. By the holy people is meant the twelve tribes of Israel, and the two witnesses, including also the saints of the holy city among the Gentiles. The Roman power, under its several constitutions, has been the destroyer of “Judah and his companions”, and the slayer of the Christians grafted into the stock of Israel, and of those associated with them for their defence against the Beast. The ten horns and Little Horn of the Fourth Beast represent the Roman power of the West in its contest with the two witnesses; but there still remained to be represented, the Roman dragonic power of the East, as the desolator of Canaan and the destroyer of the Jews, who are the political subjects of the kingdom which the God of heaven will set up when He demolishes the Image on the mountains of Israel.
To supply this desideratum the symbols of the eighth chapter, and the exposition of them in the ninth and eleventh chapters, were revealed to Daniel. These may be styled the vision and the prophecy of the East; while the Fourth Beast is the vision of the West; both of which are set forth briefly and unitedly in the image of divers metals. Having said as much as is necessary to the comprehension of our subject respecting the things which relate to the saints and the Western powers, our attention will henceforth be confined to a brief exposition of the vision and prophecy of the East.
The reader is invited to peruse the eighth chapter of Daniel.
About three years after the vision of the Four Beasts, the prophet saw another vision in which there were only two, namely, a Ram and a He-goat. The former had two horns of unequal height, and “the higher came up last”. In the twentieth verse we are informed that the horns represent “the kings of Media and Persia”. Hence the Ram symbolizes the Medo-Persian power, with its two dynasties which were not contemporary, but came up one after the other, the Median first, and then the Persian. Having established itself, the Medo-Persians pushed their conquests westward towards Greece, northward towards Armenia, and southward towards Egypt and Ethiopia; so that no powers could stand before them, nor was there any dominion strong enough to deliver the conquered nations from their yoke.
Things continued thus about two centuries from the death of Belshazzar, when a power arose in the west which was represented to Daniel by a Unicorn, that is, by a goat with one horn. This was the Macedonian kingdom; and the horn, its first king, or Alexander the Great. He is styled in the vision “a notable horn”; and in the prophecy “a mighty king, ruling with great dominion, and doing according to his will”. The Ram’s dominion is represented by the silver part of the image, and the Goat’s by the brazen, “which bare rule over all the earth”. War broke out between these two powers, which ended in the breaking off of the Ram’s two horns; so that the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the Ram, stretching from India to Ethiopia, were transferred to the Macedonian victor. Now “when he stood up,” or “was strong”, “his kingdom”, or “great horn was broken, and instead of it came up four notable horns towards the four winds (wings) of heaven”; that is, “four kingdoms stood up out of the nation”. These have been enumerated on page 332 in speaking of the four heads of the Leopard, which represent the same things as the four horns. Of the horns, it is said, “they stood up not in his power”, which is interpreted to signify that the power of the kingdoms did not accrue “to the first king’s posterity”; for his kingdom was plucked up for others beside them.
Now, in the latter time of these four Macedonian kingdoms, a fifth power made its appearance among them, and subdued them all. This is represented in the vision by a Little Horn growing up out of one of the four horns; and in the prophecy, as “a king doing according to his will”. Though relatively small in its beginnings, this fifth power “waxed exceedingly great, toward the south, or Egypt; towards the east, or Euphrates; and toward the pleasant land of Canaan”. The history of the kingdoms into which Alexander’s dominion was broken, enables us to determine what fifth power is represented by the Little horn of the goat, and upon which of the four horns it made its appearance in relation to the land of Israel, which is the arena of the latter time of the vision and prophecy.
The Little Horn, then, is representative of the dragon’s power in the East—that is, of the Roman; which was planted on the Assyro-Macedonian Horn B.C. 65, when it became a province of the dragon empire. It continued to wax exceeding great in these countries until it established its dominion over Syria, Palestine, part of Arabia, and Egypt. The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth verses represent the part it was to enact in the overthrow of the Jewish State; and the twenty-fifth, outlines its ecclesiastical policy, and its exaltation against the Prince of princes in “the last end of the indignation”, when it “shall be broken without hand”—that is, by the Stone of Israel when he smites the Image on the feet.
We see, then, that Daniel treats of TWO LITTLE HORNS; the one the “Holy Roman” power of the West that came up “after” the Ten Horns; and the other, the Pagan Roman power of the East that appeared in Syria and Palestine in the latter end of the Macedonian kingdoms, and before the Ten Horns by many centuries. The Little Horns are representative of powers on certain territories, not of races. It matters not whether they be Pagan Romans, Catholic Greeks, Moslem Turks, or Greek-Catholic Russians, the power that rules in Constantinople and plants its standard in Assyria, is the Little Horn of the Assyro-Macedonian Horn of the Goat; and begins its careers by crucifying “the Prince of the Host”; destroying Jerusalem and the temple; sets up a god in Rome whom his fathers knew not; and ends by standing up against Michael, the Prince of princes, who brings him to his end, with none to help him. All the power of the dragon in relation to Israel and the land of promise is embodied in the Little Horn of the East. The smiting of the Image, the breaking of the Goat’s little horn, and the binding of the Dragon, are synchronous and synonymous catastrophes; and “the Stone”, “the Prince of princes”, “Messiah the prince”, and “Michael, the great prince who stands up for Israel”, are but different titles by which the Lord Jesus is designated, who is to descend from heaven and fight the battle of God Almighty against them.
Such, then, was “the vision”, which was understood by none. At the time it was revealed, Jerusalem and the temple were in ruins, and Israel dispersed among the Gentiles. The time, however, had approached to within two years of the period of restoration. Daniel being aware of this from the testimony of Jeremiah, made confession of sins, and supplicated the return of national prosperity. His prayer was heard, and “the man Gabriel,” who had given him the interpretation of the symbols of the vision, was sent forth to “give him skill and understanding” of that part of the vision of the Ram and the Goat which had reference to the subject of his prayer; and to communicate some additional particulars. “The matter” revealed is termed the prophecy of the seventy weeks. In this he was informed that a decree should be made for the restoration of the Jewish State; but that at a subsequent period the city and temple should be again destroyed; and that this second destruction should be followed by a desolation of the country which should continue till that determined should be poured out upon the desolator, that is, on the Little Horn of the goat in “the time of the end”.
But he was informed that, between the restoration from Babylon and the second destruction of the city, the following important events would come to pass—namely, first, the transgression of the law of Moses would be put an end to; secondly, an end would be made of sin-offerings by causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease; thirdly, reconciliation would be made for iniquity by cutting off Messiah the Prince; fourthly, everlasting righteousness, as opposed to the temporary righteousness of the law, would be brought in; fifthly, the vision and the prophecy would be sealed up in the confirmation of the covenant; and sixthly, the Most Holy would be Anointed. These things were to be brought about by the instrumentality of the Little Horn of the goat; who should “magnify himself against the Prince of the host (of Israel), and by him the daily (sacrifice and oblation) should be taken away, and the place of his sanctuary (the temple) be cast down.” To effect this, “an army (the people of the Prince that should come) should be given him against the daily”; because the transgressors in Israel “had come to the full”. Therefore he should “cast down the truth (the law and covenant of Sinai) to the ground,” and “prosper and practice, and destroy the mighty and the holy people”.
But when should this second destruction of the city and temple be? This was a question which Gabriel could not answer. When Jesus was discoursing upon the same topic, four of the apostles addressed him privately, saying, “Tell us, when shall these things be?” But, after giving them certain signs by which they might know that the desolation was approaching, he added, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father”. It was a secret reserved in the power of the Father only.
But if the time when “a host should be given to the Little Horn of the Goat against the city and temple” was withheld, precise information was granted concerning the time when the things testified in the twenty-fourth verse of the ninth chapter, and the cutting off of Messiah the Prince, should come to pass. They were to be accomplished in a period of seventy weeks of years from the promulgation of a certain decree—that is, after 490 years. Two years after this was revealed to him, Daniel’s heart was rejoiced by the proclamation of Cyrus in the first year of his reign, for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. But had he reckoned the 490 years from this date, they would have terminated 13 years before Messiah was born. The seventy weeks, however, were not to commence with a decree for rebuilding the temple; but “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem”; in other words, to restore the wastes of the city by setting up the wall and the gates thereof, that Israel’s reproach might cease. This was issued by Artaxerxes on the first day of Nisan in the twentieth year of his reign, from which it was exactly 490 years to the crucifixion. No date of any other decree answers the demand of “the matter”; therefore there is no option but to receive it as a demonstration by fact.
Gabriel divided the seventy weeks of years into three portions, namely, into one of seven weeks; another of sixty-two weeks; and into a third of one week, which he subdivided into two half parts. The seven weeks, or 49 years, were allotted to the restoration of the state; after the end of which, 434 years, or sixty-two weeks more, were to elapse to the manifesting of Messiah the prince. This was 483 years to “the beginning of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ” announced by John the Baptist, who came baptizing in water that he might be made manifest to Israel. From this date there remained seven years to the end of the 490.
The seventieth week was the week in which the covenant was confirmed in the attestations which the Father gave to Jesus as His Son, and as the Seed of Abraham and of David, to whom He had promised the land of Canaan, and the kingdom and throne of David for an everlasting inheritance. The week of confirmation was divided between the ministry of John and that of Jesus. The former was engaged in baptizing the people into the hope of Messiah’s immediate manifestation; and when he was about finishing this work, Jesus was baptized, and publicly recognized before the assembled people, as the Son of God by a voice from the excellent glory. He was also anointed at the same time, and sealed, as the Most Holy One of Israel. John having now finished his ministry, was thrown into prison by Herod the tetrarch; and Jesus being thirty years old, entered upon the work of the latter half part of the week, or three years and a half remaining to complete the 490. After he had passed some months of his ministry, he was warned by some Pharisees that Herod would kill him; to which he replied, “Go tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to-day and to-morrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.”
Besides showing that a day is sometimes used prophetically for a year, the Lord’s reply shows also the period of his ministry as equivalent to the latter half part, at the end of which he expected to die, and afterwards to be perfected by a resurrection to life. Exactly to the month “he was cut off, but not for himself”, 490 years after the decree of Artaxerxes in the twentieth of his reign. “The matter” revealed to Daniel, who was at the same time exhorted to “consider the vision”, to a part of which it referred, was all accomplished as far as the seventy weeks were concerned. There only remained now the destruction of the city and temple, the taking away of the sacrifice and the oblation, and subsequent desolation of the land, by the Little Horn of the Goat. Was that to succeed the crucifixion instanter? or after how long a time were these calamities to come to pass? As I have already shown, no one but God could tell; for He withheld the knowledge of it from everyone but Himself; and left it to reveal itself when the time of the judgment of Gehenna should arrive.
At the end of the latter half-part of the week the Lord “caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease” as an acceptable offering for sin. The sacrifice of himself put an end to sin-offerings as far as believers in him were concerned. They still continued to be offered by the nation; but when the people of the Little Horn should come to execute the work assigned them, even these should be violently interrupted; for “the daily was to be taken away, and the place of its sanctuary east down”. This was fully accomplished about 37 years after the crucifixion, that is to say, in about seventy years from the birth of Christ. But why was it removed? Why might not the Mosaic religion continue to be practised in Canaan, as well as the false religions of the Gentiles in the several countries of the earth? Because “an abomination that maketh desolate” was to be “set up”. Now, so long as the daily and its holy place continued, there would be no place for this abomination. The daily must therefore be removed to make way for it. They could not exist contemporarily: neither does it follow that “the abomination” was to succeed the suppression of the daily, immediately. The facts in the case forbid this conclusion. Palestine and Syria were for ages after, populous and wealthy provinces of the Roman habitable.
The notion that the duration of the abomination was to be dated from A.D. 70 is derived from the English version of Daniel; twelfth chapter and eleventh verse. It is there written, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate be set up, there shall be 1,290 days.” In the Hebrew the italic words are not in the text. Leaving out these words, or rather, giving a more literal version without supplying any words at all, the passage appears intelligible enough. “And at the time of vengeance the daily shall be taken away, in order to set up an abomination that maketh desolate a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” This rendering agrees with the facts in the case. The daily was taken away at the time of vengeance, and 461 years after, an abomination was set up which continued 1,290 years, ending A.D. 1821. Desolation, it is true, still continues, but this is no objection to their termination then. We are not to suppose that the 1,290 years being ended, internal improvement was to begin the year after. All it justifies is the expectation that when they expired “that that is determined” should begin to be “poured out upon the desolator”; an expectation that has been literally verified in the opening of the sixth vial upon the Ottoman empire in the epoch of 1820–3.
But is the little horn of the goat that destroyed the mighty and holy people, to experience simply a drying up of its power over Palestine and Syria, or what shall be its destiny? It is to be broken to pieces without hand. Its present Ottoman dynasty being changed, it is to “destroy wonderfully, and to magnify himself in his heart, and to stand up against the Prince of princes”, that he may receive the blow on the head that shall disable him for a thousand years.
“The matter” of the vision concerning the taking away of the daily was made known to Daniel in the first year of Darius, B.C. 542. Three years after—that is, in the third of the joint reign of Cyrus and Darius—“a thing was revealed” to him, “the appointed time” of which “was long”. In connection with this revelation, or prophecy, “a vision” was also presented before him. It was a representation of the Son of Man in his glory. After he had recovered from the overpowering effect caused by what he saw, he was informed by one that he came to make him understand what should befall Israel in the latter days. In carrying out this gracious intention, the revelator added furthermore that he would show him “that which is noted in the scripture of truth”; by which he meant, he would make known to him what yet remained to be communicated explanatory of the vision of the Ram and He-Goat, which he had seen in the third year of Belshazzar.
The Lord then proceeded to reveal the things contained in the eleventh and twelfth chapters of Daniel, which have respect, First, to the pushing of the Ram westward against Greece in the reign of the fourth king after Cyrus; Secondly, to the power of Alexander of Macedon, and the division of his kingdom into four lesser ones, which should be inherited by others mot descended from him. These matters occupy the first four verses, and constitute a kind of preface to what follows; and serve to establish the connection of “the prophecy” with “the vision of the evening and morning” contained in the eighth chapter. Thirdly, the revelation relates to the Greco-Egyptian, and to the Assyro-Macedonian, horns of the goat, styled “the king of the south”, and “the king of the north”. The wars and policy of these two Powers as far as they compromised the land of Israel and the Jews, form the subject of the eleventh chapter from the fifth to the thirty-fifth verses, inclusive. Fourthly, from the thirty-sixth to the fortieth verse, the prophecy relates to the Little Horn of the goat and the Accursed One whom he should acknowledge and increase with glory. Fifthly, it refers to the time of the end, or “the latter days”, when “the king of the south”, and “the king of the north”, should re-appear on the stage of action, and the power of the Little Horn, and that of the king of the north, should coalesce, and form one power, as when the Roman and Assyro-Macedonian were blended together, B.C. 67. Sixthly, it reveals the invasion of the land of Israel by the Little Horn’s northern king, who over-runs Egypt, and finally encamps before the holy mountain. And seventhly, the revelation closes with the prediction of his final destruction at the hand of Michael, the great prince of Israel, their consequent deliverance, the resurrection of many of the dead, and the exaltation of the wise in the kingdom of God.
Such are the general topics of this remarkable prophecy, which in a chapter of forty verses covers a period of 2,408 years from the third of Cyrus to the breaking of the Little Horn. I propose now to give the reader a more particular, yet necessarily brief, interpretation of this “difficult passage” of the sure prophetic word. I shall paraphrase the text. The words in italics will be those of the scripture and the Roman type, the interpretation of the text, after the following manner.
To the thirty-fifth verse inclusive.
The date of the prophecy is the third year of Cyrus, B.C. 540, and runs thus:—
Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia, namely, Ahasuerus, Smerdis, and Darius; and the fourth, or Xerxes, shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. 3. And Alexander the Macedonian, a mighty king shall stand up, ruling with great dominion and doing according to his will. 4. And when he shall stand up, having suffered no defeat, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided into four kingdoms toward the four winds of heaven: but their glory and power shall fall not to his posterity, nor according to the extent of his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for other rulers, beside those of his family.
5. And the king of the south, Ptolemy Soter, shall be strong, and shall be one of his, Alexander’s, princes, or generals; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion, extending over Egypt, Libya, Cyrenaica, Arabia, Palestine, Cœle-Syria, and most of the maritime provinces of Asia Minor; with the island of Cyprus, and several others in the Æegean Sea, and even some cities of Greece, as Cicyon and Corinth. Such was the dominion of Ptolemy Soter, the first Macedonian king of Egypt.
6. And in the end of fifty-two years from B.C. 301, they, the kings of Egypt and Assyro-Macedonia, shall associate themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south, Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, shall come, or be conducted, to Antiochus Theos, the king of the north, to make a marriage agreement; but she shall not retain the power of the arm of her father Ptolemy Philadelphus. Neither shall he, her husband Antiochus, stand; for Laodice, his repudiated wife, whom he shall receive again when he divorces Berenice after her father’s death, shall cause him to be poisoned. Nor shall his arm, Berenice, stand; but she shall be given up to suffer death; and they, the Egyptians also, that brought her to Syria; and he, her son, whom she brought forth, and he that strengthened her in these times, shall die; and thus leave her to the mercy of Laodice, which will be treachery and death.
7. But out of a branch of her parent roots shall Ptolemy Euergetes, her brother, stand up in his estate, or kingdom, and come with an army, and shall enter into Antioch the capital, and the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal, or make war, against them, even against Laodice and her son Seleucus, and shall prevail; 8. and Euergetes shall also carry captive into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue to reign nine more years than the king of the north, who shall die a prisoner in Parthia five years before the king of Egypt. 9. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land, B.C. 244.
10. But his, Seleucus Callinicus’ sons, Seleucus Ceraunus, and Antiochus, shall be stirred up to war; and shall assemble a multirude of great forces; and one of them, even Antiochus the Great, shall certainly come and overflow through the passes of Libanus, and pass through into Galilee, and possess himself of all that part of the country, which was formerly the inheritance of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and of the half tribe of Manasseh. Then, the season being too far advanced to prolong the campaign, shall he return to Ptolemais, where he shall put his forces into winter quarters. But, early in the spring B.C. 217, Ptolemy Philopator shall march with a large army to Raphia, by which Antiochus shall be stirred up again to war, and defeated with great slaughter, so that he shall retreat to his fortress. 11. Thus, shall the king of the south be moved with choler, and come forth and fight with the king of the north; and the king of the north shall set forth a great multitude, even 72,000 foot and 6,000 horse; but the multitude shall be given into the hand of the king of Egypt.
12. And when he, the king of the south, hath taken away the multitude by a signal defeat of Antiochus, his heart shall be lifted up, for he will desire to enter the most holy place of the temple. But while he was preparing to enter, he was stricken, and carried off for dead. In his victory over Antiochus he shall cast down ten thousands, even 10,000 foot and 300 horse. But, not following up his advantages, Philopator shall not be strengthened by his victory. 13. For Antiochus the Great, the king of the north, shall return, and set forth a multitude of troops, greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain, that is, nineteen years after the battle of Raphia, or B.C. 198, with a great army and with much riches, and shall subjugate all Palestine and Cœle-Syria.
14. And in those times, when Ptolemy Epiphanes shall reign over Egypt, many shall stand up against the infant king of the south, even the kings of Macedonia, and of Syria, and Scopas, the general of his deceased father. But the deputies of the Romans, the breakers of thy people, Daniel, shall interfere to establish the vision. They became the guardians and protectors of Epiphanes during his minority; and appointed three deputies, who were ordered to acquaint the kings with their resolution, and to enjoin them not to infest the dominions of their royal pupil; for that otherwise they should be forced to declare war against them. The deputy, Emilius, one of the three, after derivering the message of the Roman senate, proceeded to Alexandria, and settled everything to as much advantage as the state of affairs in Egypt would then admit. In this way the Romans began to mix themselves up with the affairs of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria; and in a few years established themselves as lords paramount of the East, and so constituted a power in Asia, symbolized by the Little Horn of the Goat, and in the thirty-sixth verse, styled “THE KING”. But, though they should be “the breakers of Israel”, the assurance was given to Daniel, saying, they shall fall.
15. So the king of the north, being checked by the Romans, shall come into Palestine, and cast up a mount against Sidon, where he shall besiege the forces of the Egyptians; and he shall take Jerusalem, the city of munitions, from the castle of which he shall expel the Egyptian garrison; and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand Antiochus. 16. But Antiochus the Great, who cometh against Ptolemy Epiphanes, shall do according to his own will in Cœle-Syria and Palestine, and none shall stand before him: and he shall make a permanent stand in the glorious land of Israel, which by his hand shall be consumed. 17. He shall also set his face to enter into Greece, with the strength of his whole kingdom, and Israelites (Ishrim) with him. Thus shall he do to incorporate Greece into his dominion, by which the Romans, who had recently proclaimed it free, would be stirred up against him. Therefore, to secure the neutrality of their Egyptian ally, he shall give Cleopatra, the daughter of women, or princess royal, to Epiphanes, to wife, corrupting her to betray him by resigning to him Coele-Syria and Palestine as her dower, but on condition that he should receive half the revenues. Thus, the land of Israel was given over as a bribe to bind Cleopatra to her father’s interests, that she might influence Epiphanes either to remain neutral, or to declare against the Romans, his protectors. But she shall cleave to her husband and not stand, neither be for him, but shall join with her husband in congratulating the Roman Senate on the victory they had gained over her father at Thermopylæ (B.C. 191).
18. After this shall Antiochus, at the earnest solicitation of the Ætolians, turn his face unto the isles of Greece, and shall take many; but a military commander (kotzin), L. Scipio, the Roman consul, shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own disgrace he, Scipio, shall cause it to turn upon Antiochus, by defeating him at Mount Sipylus, and repulsing him from every part of Asia Minor. As the condition of peace, the Romans required him to pay 15,000 talents; 500 down, 2,500 on the ratification of the treaty, and the rest in twelve years at 1,000 talents per annum. These terms being acceded to, 19. he shall turn his face toward the fortress, or capital, of his own land, being much at a loss how to raise the tribute. While in the province of Elymais, he heard of a considerable treasure in the temple of Jupiter Belus. He accordingly broke into it in the dead of night, and carried off all its riches. But he shall stumble and fall, and not be found; for the provincials, exasperated at the robbery, rebelled against him, and murdered him and all his attendants (B.C. 187).
20. Then shall stand up in Antiochus’ estate, or kingdom, his son Seleucus Philopator, one who causeth an exactor to pass over the glory of the kingdom; the business of his reign being to raise the tribute for the Romans. But within few days—that is, twelve years—he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle, being poisoned by Heliodorus, his prime minister, having reigned long enough to pay the last instalment to the Romans.
21. And in his, Seleucus Philopator’s, place shall stand up Heliodorus, a vile person, being both a poisoner and usurper, to whom they, the authorities of the nation, shall not give the honour of the kingdom; but Antiochus Epiphanes shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries bestowed on the party of Heliodorus.
22. And with the arms of a flood by which they shall be formidably invaded, shall they, the Egyptians, be overflown from before Antiochus, whom they excite to war by demanding the restitution of Cœle-Syria and Palestine. And they shall be broken, or subdued; yea, also Onias the prince, or high priest, of the Mosaic covenant, shall be murdered, as in B.C. 172, it came to pass. 23. And after the league made with Ptolemy Philometor, Antiochus shall work deceitfully after his second invasion of Egypt, B.C. 170 for he shall come up to Alexandria, and he shall become strong with a small people, or army. By his deceit, 24. he shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province to which he reduces Egypt; and he, Antiochus, shall do that which his fathers, or predecessors have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; namely, he shall scatter among his followers, the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds of Egypt, even for a time. 25. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for the Alexandrians seeing him in the hands of Antiochus, and lost to them, shall forecast devices against him, and place the crown of Egypt upon the head of his brother Euergetes II. 26. Yea, they that feed of the portion of Philometor’s meat, even his courtiers, shall separate, or renounce, him; and his, Antiochus’, army shall overflow Egypt; and many of the Egyptians shall fall down slain. 27. And the hearts of both these kings shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table, but shall not prosper; for the end is yet at the time appointed.
28. Then shall Antiochus Epiphanes return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the Holy Covenant; and he shall do terrible things against Jerusalem, taking it by storm, butchering 80,000 men, making 40,000 prisoners, and causing a like number to be sold for slaves. And then shall he return to his own land, laden with the spoils of the temple, amounting to 1,800 talents, or œ270,000 (B.C. 169).
29. At the time appointed, under pretence of restoring Philometor to the throne, he shall return, and come toward the south against Alexandria to besiege it. But it, this fourth invasion, shall not be as the former, or as the latter. He raised the siege, and marched towards Memphis, where he installed Philometor as king. As soon, however, as he had departed, Philometor came to an understanding with Euergetes, and they agreed to a joint reign over Egypt. This coming to the ears of Antiochus, he led a powerful army against Memphis for the purpose of subduing the country. Having nearly accomplished his project, he marched against Alexandria, which was the only obstacle to his becoming absolute master of Egypt. But the Roman Embassy, sent at the request of the Ptolemies, met him about a mile from the city. They had left Rome with the utmost diligence. When they arrived at Delos, they found a fleet of Macedonian, or Greek, ships, on board of which they embarked for Alexandria, where they arrived at the crisis of his approach. Popilius delivered him the decree of the Senate, and demanded an immediate answer. Sorely against his will, he agreed to obey its mandate, and draw off his army from Egypt. Thus his invasion terminated very differently from the former: 30. for the ships of Chittim shall come against him, and prevent him from incorporating Egypt into his Assyrian kingdom of the north.
All his wrath was kindled at this interference; therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the Holy Covenant; for in his return march through Palestine, he detached 20,000 men under Apollonius with orders to destroy Jerusalem, B.C. 168. So shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the Holy Covenant.
31. And arms shall stand on his part under Apollonius; and they, the Assyro-Macedonian troops, shall pollute the temple, or sanctuary of strength, by shedding the blood of the worshippers in its courts; and they shall take away the daily sacrifice; and they shall place a strong fort and garrison to command the temple, even the abomination that maketh desolate, and overawes the nation.
As soon as Antiochus Epiphanes was returned to Antioch, he published a decree by which all his subjects were required to conform to his religion. This was aimed chiefly at the Jews, whose religion and nation he was resolved to extirpate. Atheneus, a man advanced in years, and extremely well versed in all the ceremonies of the Grecian idolatry, was commissioned to carry the edict into effect in Judea and Samaria. As soon as he arrived at Jerusalem, he began by suppressing the daily, or burnt offering of continuance, and all the observances of the Jewish law. He caused the sabbaths and other festivals to be profaned; forbade the circumcision of children; carried off and burnt all copies of the law wherever they could be found; and put to death whoever acted contrary to the decree of the king. To establish it the sooner in every part of the nation, altars and chapels filled with idols were erected in every city, and sacred groves were planted. Officers were appointed over these, who caused the people generally to offer sacrifice in them every month, on the day of the month on which the king was born, who made them eat swine’s flesh and other unclean animals sacrificed there. The temple in Jerusalem was dedicated to Jupiter Olympus, whose statue was placed within it. Thus he did in his great indignation against Jehovah and His people Israel.
32. And such of the Jews as do wickedly against the covenant shall Antiochus by flatteries cause to dissemble. These not only “forsook the holy covenant”, but “had intelligence” with the king, and aided him all they could in the desolation with which he was overspreading their country. But the Maccabees and their adherents, people who do know their God shall be strong, and do valiantly in war. 33. And they, even Mattathias and his five sons, etc., that understand among the people shall instruct, and encourage, many; yet they of their party shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, days.
34. Now when they shall fall by these calamities they shall be holpen with a little help; for whilst Antiochus was amusing himself by celebrating games at Daphne, Judas Maccabæus had raised the standard of independence, and was helping his countrymen in Judea. He levied a small army, fortified the cities, rebuilt the fortresses, threw strong garrisons into them, and thereby awed the whole country. He defeated and killed Apollonius, and made great slaughter of the troops. With 3,000 men he defeated Lysias with 47,000; and another army of 20,000 under Timotheus and Bacchides; and in the year B.C. 170, he gave Lysias a second defeat at Bethsura, by which he dispersed 65,000 of the enemy. Yet, many shall cleave to them, the Maccabees, with flatteries, for it was a time of trial. 35. And therefore some of them of understanding shall fall to try them, and to purge, and make them white FOR THE TIME OF THE END; because it, the time of the end, is yet for a time appointed.
The thirty-fifth verse of this eleventh chapter brings us down to the end of 430 years from the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. There is here a break in the prophecy. Nothing more is said about Israel and the king of the north, until the prediction is resumed in the fortieth verse, which may be regarded as continuous with verse thirty-five. The latter speaks of their being tried and made white to, or till, the time of the end, and then the fortieth re-introduces the king of the south and the king of the north, and outlines the events they were to bring to pass in that time, and which will end in the resurrection, when they who have been tried and made white in the long interval, will stand in their lot with Daniel at the end of the 1,335 days. With the exception of the “little help” derived from the victories of the Maccabees, the history of Israel has been a series of calamities to this day; and will so continue to be till the “time appointed” for their deliverance arrives.
But the Maccabean epoch is particularly interesting as the termination of Ezekiel’s 430 years. The house of Israel, and the house of Judah, had been great transgressors of the holy covenant from the foundation of the temple in the fourth year of Solomon to the sack of the city in the 19th of Nebuchadnezzar. This was a period of 430 years, which was divided into two periods—namely, one of forty years from the foundation of the temple to the apostasy of Rehoboam and Judah; the other, of three hundred and ninety from this apostasy to the destruction of the temple. God determined that this long national transgression should be punished by as long a retribution. He therefore gave Israel “a sign” of what was coming upon them. This consisted in Ezekiel lying on his left side 390 days, and then upon his right 40 days more. By this sign was represented the prostrate condition of Israel for 430 years. The 430 years of transgression had not quite ended when the sign was appointed in the fifth of Jehoiachin’s captivity. The thing signified began to take effect in the sacking of Jerusalem. Israel then began to “eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles”; so that the 430 years would end B.C. 161, according to my chronology.
These four centuries of punishment were a very calamitous period of Jewish history. They endured a captivity in Babylon for 70 years: for several years more their times were “troublous”; they were vassals to the Persians till their dominion was overthrown by Alexander; afterwards, as we have seen, they were alternately subject to the king of the south and the king of the north, and their land became a field of battle for the hosts of these Powers, who defiled the temple, and at length converted it into a house for the worship of Jupiter. But, a very few years before the 430 years were about to expire, Judas Maccabæus commenced a war against Antiochus Epiphanes, which ended in the recovery of Jerusalem, the purification of the temple from the heathen worship, its re-dedication to God, and the erection of Judea into an independent kingdom under the Asmoneans, which continued until it was placed under Herod the Idumean by the Romans, about 39 years before Christ.
The 430 years of national retribution being ended, and with it the prophecy concerning Israel and the king of the northern horn of the Macedonian Goat, a new power is introduced as superseding that of the northern king. This power appeared on the territory of the north, and absorbed its dominion into itself, so that it became all in all. In the “vision of the evening and the morning” (Dan. 8), it is represented by a Little Horn standing upon another horn, and is styled “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences”. Moses describes the same power in these words, saying to Israel, “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance; and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates.” “His power shall be mighty”, said Gabriel, “but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy, also, he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand”, or by his power: “and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in prospering shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” This is a general description of the power which should rule over the Assyro-Macedonian territory as well as over the Greco-Egyptian, when “their kingdom” should come to an end for a time, that is, until their revival “in the time of the end”.
I am particularly desirous that this part of the prophecy should be understood. Perhaps what I mean may be better comprehended by the following homely illustration. Suppose we were to take a goat’s horn, and with a fret-saw were to cut out a small piece of its surface. Then fix this piece upon a spring, the lower end of which should be fixed inside the horn itself. Now if pressure be applied to the small piece it would be brought down to a level with the general surface of the horn. In this state, the horn would represent the Assyro-Macedonian kingdom under the Selucidæ; but remove the pressure and the small piece of horn would start up to the height of the spring’s length. Let this represent the Little Horn upon the Goat’s horn, and we have the symbol of the power which prevails from the conquest of Assyro-Macedonia, B.C. 65, until “the time of the end”. But if pressure be afterwards applied to the small piece, it is brought down to a level with the surface of the horn, and it again appears like one horn, for by the pressure the Little Horn is merged into it. This last action and its result will represent the merging of the Little Horn power of Constantinople into the Assyro-Macedonian, or Russian, Horn of the Goat in the time of the end; so that the Constantinopolitan, and RussoAssyrian, powers, become one horn, as before the Little Horn arose. In the time of the end, the Horn of the North in its enmity against Israel, plays a similar part to that it did of old by the hand of Antiochus Epiphanes in the days of Judas Maccabæus. Therefore, he may be tairly taken as the type of Israel’s last and greatest enemy, who shall come to his end, with none to help him.
This Little Horn power, or “King of fierce countenance”, is, in the thirty-sixth verse of the eleventh chapter, styled “the King who doth according to his will”. This federal potentate must be studied in his secular and ecclesiastical characters. His secular, with a hint or two of his spiritual character, is given in the eighth chapter; while his ecclesiastical is exhibited more fully in the eleventh, from the thirty-sixth to the thirty-ninth verses inclusive. His policy was to be of a remarkable description; for “through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper by his power”. Hence, his doings with regard to another, and that person’s words and deeds, are all affirmed of this wilful king; for, it is by his power as well as through his policy, that this person is enabled to do. Thus, putting them both together, for they are one in policy and action, the power is thus outlined by the prophet who says, “And the King shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god”, or ruler, “and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done. He shall disregard all the gods of his fathers (ἐπὶ πάντας θεοὺς τω̂ν πατέρων αὐτου̂ οὐ συνήσει—Sept.) and the desire of wives, nor shall he regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”
This is evidently not descriptive of the Pagan Roman power, but of that power invested with a new ecclesiastical character. In other words, it is descriptive of the imperial Constantinopolitan Catholic power. Of all who swayed this sceptre from Constantine, the founder of the city, to Palæologus, who lost it to the Turks, the Emperor Justinian is the best illustration of the wilful king in his secular aspect. “Never prince”, says Dupin, “did meddle so much with what concerns the affairs of the church, nor make so many constitutions and laws upon this subject. He was persuaded that it was the duty of an emperor, and for the good of the State, to have a particular care of the church, to defend its faith, to regulate external discipline, and to employ the civil laws and the temporal power to preserve it in order and peace.”
“Justinian”, says Gibbon, “sympathized with his subjects in their superstitious reverence for living and departed saints; his code, more especially his novels, confirm and enlarge the privileges of the clergy; and in every dispute between the monk and the layman, the partial judge was inclined to pronounce, that truth and innocence are always on the side of the church. In his public and private devotions, he was assiduous and exemplary; his prayers, vigils, and fasts displayed the austere penance of a monk; his fancy was amused by the hope, or belief, of personal inspiration; he had secured the patronage of the Virgin, and St. Michael the archangel; and his recovery from a dangerous disease was ascribed to the miraculous succour of the holy martyrs, Cosmas and Damian. Among the titles of imperial greatness, the name of Pious was most pleasing to his ear; to promote the temporal and spiritual interest of the (Greco-Roman) church was the serious business of his life; and the duty of father of his country was often sacrificed to that of defender of the faith … While the Barbarians invaded the provinces, while the victorious legions marched under the banners of Belisarius and Narses, the successor of Trajan, unknown to the camp, was content to vanquish at the head of a synod.”
“The reign of Justinian was a uniform yet various scene of persecution; and he appears to have surpassed his indolent predecessors, both in the contrivance of his laws, and rigour of their execution. The insufficient term of three months was assigned for the conversion or exile of all heretics; and if he still connived at their precarious stay, they were deprived, under his iron yoke, not only of the benefits of society, but of the common birthright of men and Christians.”
Antiochus Epiphanes and Justinian represent “the king” as he will be manifested, when, as the king of the north, he appears upon the arena, standing up to contend with the Prince of princes, on the field of Armageddon; for he is to “prosper till the indignation be accomplished” against Israel. Impious and cruel as Antiochus, and superstitious and fanatical as Justinian, with the arrogance, ambition, and profanity of the Roman Bishop in his halcyon days, this incarnation of the sin-power in the crisis of its fate, will fully answer to all that has been predicated of the king who does according to his will, and “for whom Tophet is ordained of old”. At present he is represented by the Sultan, who “divides the land for gain”. But when the Little Horn’s sceptre is wrested from his feeble grasp by the Autocrat, we shall see in him a potentate, unrivalled in presumption and impiety by any of his fathers, not excepting Pharaoh of the olden time.
In times past, the little horn of the goat has admirably illustrated the prophecy concerning him. “Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper by his power.” In studying the reign of Justinian this is remarkably apparent. But before the Horn could find scope for the promotion of the species of craft referred to, it was necessary that he should “disregard all the gods of his fathers”, that is, embrace some other religion than Paganism; in other words, become a Greco-Roman Catholic, such as Justinian, who occupied the throne, but did not inherit the peculiar superstition of the Cæsars. Having discarded the gods of his fathers, it suited the Horn’s policy to bestow his patronage upon another, who should be a god upon the earth, and residing in Rome instead of above the heights of Olympus.
The testimony of Daniel is that “In his estate he shall honour the god of forces”; or more intelligibly, “In his kingdom shall he do honour to a god of guardians”. The word rendered “guardians” is mahuzzim and signifies munitions. Hence, any real, or supposed, persons adopted as protectors, guardians, or patrons, are mahuzzim, or munitions of strength and safety. Now the god whom the Little Horn of the Goat honoured in his kingdom, was a god of guardian saints, who are regarded by his worshippers as protectors and towers of strength and security against all “the ills that flesh is heir to”. Such a god is the Bishop of Rome; who to the pagan officials of the Little Horn, was unknown, being in their reign only a simple bishop, undistinguished from the rest of his class, save that he flourished in the capital, and they in the provinces, of the empire. He is therefore styled in the scripture, “a god whom his (the Little Horn’s) fathers knew not”; hence he is also termed “a strange god”. But though “strange” and unknown to Trajan and the Antonines, he was afterwards brought into notice by Constantine and his successors. In 313, he was made chief magistrate of Rome, or, as we would say, Lord Mayor, for life. His jurisdiction was confined to the city. In 378, however, the Little Horn of the Goat then reigning over the east and west, extended his spiritual authority over all the churches of Italy and Gaul; and by the time of Justinian, he was prepared for presentation to the nations as spiritual head of the whole Roman habitable. He was the god of a new system of idolatry, whose idols were the images of Mahuzzim, or “the ghosts” of pretended saints and martyrs, the demi-gods, or demons, of the New Roman mythology.
In a celebrated letter written by the Emperor Justinian to this god of patron saints, dated March 533, and which thenceforth became part and parcel of the civil law, he is recognized as the legal head of all the churches of the eastern and western provinces of the empire. “We suffer not”, says the imperial writer, “any thing that belongs to the state of the churches to be done without submitting it to your holiness, who art head of all the churches.” In this way, “the king, who did according to his will,” “acknowledged” this “strange god” as of supreme spiritual authority “in the most strong holds”.
The work of recognition thus far advanced by Justinian was perfected by the edict of the Emperor Phocas, who began to reign in 603. He also wrote to the Roman Bishop in 604, and acknowledged his spiritual supremacy. He was very liberal to the churches, and allowed the Pantheon, a temple dedicated to all the gods by his fathers, to be turned into a church, or “most strong hold”, to all the saints. Phocas was a monster in crime, and therefore the better qualified for a patron of the Roman Bishop, who hailed him as the pious avenger of the church. By this kind of flattery a decree was obtained from him by Boniface III, in 606, declaring the Roman god UNIVERSAL BISHOP. Two years after, a pillar with a gilt statue on the top of it, was erected in Rome to the honour of Phocas, with the following inscription—Pro innumerabilibus Pietatis eius beneficiis, et pro quiete procuratâ, ac conservatâ libertate. Thus was memorialized the fulfilment of the sure word of prophecy, that the Little Horn of the Goat should “in his kingdom do honour to a god of guardian saints”.
When the Bishop of Rome was honoured as a god by the Little Horn of the Goat, the other Little Horn had not yet made its appearance among the ten-horned kingdoms of the Beast. There elapsed 266 years from the date of Justinian’s letter, and 193 from the decree of Phocas, before this came to pass; for Charlemagne was not crowned Emperor of the western third part of the Roman Empire till A.D. 800. Upon this occasion, he also “acknowledged and increased with glory” the Universal Bishop as a god “above every god” of his dominions. Through his policy he also caused craft to prosper by his power. Priestcraft gained an ascendancy in Europe which it had never attained before the rise of the Germano-Roman Little Horn among the kingdoms of the west. By forming an alliance with “the Accursed One”, all the powers were cemented together by a bond far stronger than the sword. The Emperors perceived this, and shaped their policy accordingly. The influence of the Popes in strengthening the imperial authority is well shown in the following quotation:
“There was no general connection existing between the States of Europe till the Romans, in endeavouring to make themselves masters of the world, had the greatest part of the European States under their dominion. From that time there necessarily existed a sort of connection between them, and this connection was strengthened by the famous decree of Caracalla, by the adoption of the Roman laws, and by the influence of the Catholic religion, which introduced itself insensibly into almost all the subdued states. After the destruction of the empire of the west in 493, the Hierarchical system naturally led the several Papal states to consider themselves in ecclesiastical matters as unequal members of one great society. Besides the immoderate ascendancy the Bishop of Rome had the address to obtain as the spiritual chief of the church, his consequent success in elevating the Germano-Roman emperor to the character of temporal chief, brought such an accession of authority to the latter, that most of the nations of Europe showed for some ages so great a deference to the emperor, that in many respects Europe seemed to form but one society, consisting of unequal members subject to one sovereign.”
Thus, then, the “Wicked One” was manifested by the working of Satan with all the power of the Little Horn of the Goat, and afterwards, of the Little Horn of the west. Strange and unknown to the Pagan emperors, he became a god to the wilful king, and Eyes and Mouth to the Little Horn of the west; so that until the capture of Constantinople in 1453, he was in some sort a connecting link between the two imperial horns. The prophecy before us, however, not only foretells his recognition by the Roman power, but sets forth other particulars of a striking and interesting character.
The text, when literally rendered, throws much light upon the subject. Thus, it reads, “In his kingdom shall he do honour to a god of guardians, even an Accursed One whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and with silver, and with precious stones, and with things desired. Thus shall he do in Bazaars of Guardians with an Accursed Dissembler, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory; and he shall cause them to exercise authority over multitudes, and he (the Little Horn) shall divide the land for gain.”
There are peculiarities in this translation which I shall notice presently; of the whole text, it may be remarked here, that it is in strict accordance with history, and therefore worthy to be received. It testifies that the Little Horn of the Goat should do honour to a god of guardians with riches, and things desired. Now, to honour a god of guardians with such things, is to enrich the institutions dedicated to the guardian saints, whose high priest Rome’s episcopal god is. In meeting the suggestions of the Accursed One, the Little Horn was honouring him with “things desired”. Justinian was a remarkable instance of liberality to the church and its chief. Besides the magnificent temple of St. Sophia, he dedicated twenty-five others in that city and its suburbs to the honour of the Virgin and the saints: most of these edifices were decorated with marble and gold. His munificence was distributed over the Holy Land; throughout which monasteries for both sexes were amply spread. Almost every saint in the calendar acquired the honour of a temple; and the liberality with which he honoured them was boundless. He employed 10,000 workmen in the erection of St. Sophia, which he finished in five years, eleven months, and ten days from the first foundation. No wood except the doors was admitted into its construction. Paul Silentiarius, who beheld its primitive lustre, enumerates the colours, the shades, and the spots of ten or twelve marbles, jaspers, and porphyries, which nature had profusely diversified, and which were blended and contrasted as it were by a skilful painter.
The triumph of Antichrist “was adorned with the last spoils of Paganism, but the greater part of these costly stones was extracted from the quarries of Asia Minor, the isles and continent of Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Gaul. A variety of ornaments and figures was curiously expressed in mosaic; and the images of Christ, of the Virgin, of saints, and of angels, were exposed to the superstition of the Greeks. According to the sanctity of each object, the precious metals were distributed in thin leaves, or in solid masses. The spectator was dazzled by the glittering aspect of the cupola; the sanctuary contained forty thousand pounds weight of silver; and the holy vases and vestments of the altar were of the purest gold, enriched with inestimable gems.”
Such are the words of Gibbon; and no description of things could more palpably demonstrate the applicability of the text to any other person, than this does to Justinian as the individual emperor of the little Greek Horn, who “in his kingdom honoured an accursed god of guardian saints in their bazaars with gold, with silver, and with precious stones, and with things desired”. “Thus shall he do,” saith the scripture, “in the most strong holds with a strange god”, or accursed dissembler. In the margin of the passage instead of “in the most strong holds;” it reads, “in fortresses of munitions”, which does not help the matter at all. The Hebrew words are le-mivtzahrai mahuzzim. The root of mivtzahrai is bahtzar, and signifies “to enclose with a wall, or the like, for safety. As a noun, it signifies store, or treasure so secured. Derivative—a bazaar, a kind of covered market-place among the eastern nations, somewhat like our Exeter ’Change, but frequently much more extensive” (Parkhurst’s Lexicon). “In the strongholds of Mahuzzim,” or “in Mahuzzim-Bazaars”, comes nearer to the original. Understanding that Mahuzzim are deified ghosts, worshipped as patrons and protectors, the question need only be asked, what are their strong holds, or bazaars? and every reflecting mind will answer immediately—“Why, the churches to be sure!”
This is the truth. The churches, chapels, and cathedrals are the strong holds, and houses of merchandise, dedicated by the prospering craft to guardian-saints and angels. There are the images and pictures of the saints. They are saints’ houses in which are deposited their shrines; silver, gold, and ivory crucifixes; old bones, and various kinds of trumpery. They are literally “dens of thieves”, without ever having been the houses of the Father, where people are robbed of their money under divers false pretences. They are places where pews are sold by auction; where fairs are held for “pious objects”; and where spiritual quacks pretend to cure souls in exchange for so much per annum. In view of these facts, the scriptural epithet bestowed upon the church-houses of the apostasy is most appropriate. They are truly Bazaars of spiritual merchandise; and the prospering craft, “the great men of the earth”, made rich by trading in their wares, are the bazaar-men, who extort all kinds of goods from their customers by putting them in fear, and comforting them with heavenly pay. They buy and sell under license from the State, having received the mark on their foreheads, and in their hands.
The reader may find the catalogue of sale in the eighteenth of Revelation. Among the articles of merchandise are (σωμάτων, χαὶ φυχὰς ἀνθρώπων) bodies, and souls of men. But the trade of these soul-merchants is fast falling into disrepute. Their customers growl exceedingly at being compelled to deal at Bazaars, where the profit is all on one side. This state of things, however, will not last much longer; for the time cometh, it is written, when “no man buyeth their merchandise any more”. There is often more truth than fiction, though not much elegance, in the proverbs of the vulgar; but the reader will now perceive the scripture origin of the term “gospel shop”, as applied to places of religious convocation, where men preach gospels at so much per sermon, or per annum. I am aware that Paul says, “the Lord hath ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel”. This is just and proper. But this ordinance does not apply to those who do not preach the gospel, but preach mere human tradition instead. These are preachers of other gospels; and to pay them is “to take the bread out of the children’s mouths, and cast it to dogs”, even to “dumb dogs that cannot bark”.
The places where they deal out their traditions are well and truly designated shops, or bazaars; for the system which sanctifies them is mere trading in religion, and haggling for a crust of bread. But then, bazaars of priestly wares are distinguished from places of honourable trade by being dedicated to Mahuzzim. This is a remarkable feature in the prophecy, which finds its counterpart in the dedication of the churches to guardian saints and angels. St. Sophia at Constantinople, St. Peter’s at Rome, Our Lady’s at Paris, St. Paul’s at London, and innumerable other bazaars, dedicated to all conceivable kinds of saints; and, lest any should be forgotten, to “All Saints”, and even to “All Souls”,—are examples in point. In these bazaars of guardians, then, the two Little Horns, and the other Horns, “through their policy have caused craft to prosper by their power; and have done honour to the god of guardians with gold, and silver, and precious stones and things desired.”