Chapter 10 - The Gentiles
The Scriptures speak of three classes of people on the earth, the Jews, the Gentile, and the Church. The Church is made up of both Jew and Gentile. Outside of the Church all who are not Jews are Gentiles. Up to the call of Abraham all the people of the earth were Gentiles. Abraham was the first Hebrew. His grandson Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel (Gen. 32:24-26), had twelve sons. They became the heads of twelve tribes, known as the "Twelve Tribes of Israel." After the death of King Solomon these "Tribes" were divided. Ten of them became known as Israel, and two (Judah and Benjamin) as Judah. In B.C. 721 Israel was carried captive to Assyria, and in B. C, 606 Judah was carried captive to Babylon. When Judah, after seventy years, returned from captivity, a fair representation of the whole Twelve Tribes returned with them. From that time they have been known as the Jews.
The Jews were God's chosen people, but when they fell into idolatry and were carried into captivity, they were supplanted by the Gentiles. The nations of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon were anxious to conquer and supplant Israel (The Jews), but God held them in an unseen leash until the iniquity of Israel was full, and then He permitted the world power to pass into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. Jer. 27:5-7. This happened in B.C. 606 and marked the beginning of the "Times Of The Gentiles" spoken of by Christ in Luke 21:24, and which is a period that in the mind of God has certain chronological limits. It is not to be confounded with the "Fulness of the Gentiles" spoken of by Paul in Rom. 11:25. The "Fulness of the Gentiles" refers to the Gentiles that are "gathered out" to make up the Church, and "blindness in part" will continue among the Jews until the "Fulness' (the whole number of the elect) of the Gentiles be come in, then the Church is "caught out, " and the Jews restored to their own land. The "Fulness of the Gentiles" began at Pentecost, and ends at least seven years before the "Times of the Gentiles"end.
The "Times of the Gentiles" are fully outlined in the Book of Daniel.
The Book of Daniel (see chart) contains one "Dream" by Nebuchadnezzar, and four "Visions" by Daniel all relating to the "Times of the Gentiles."
1. Nebuchadnezzar's Dream.
In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign he had a dream, but when he awoke it had gone from him. He demanded of his magicians and astrologers that they should not only reproduce the dream, but that they should interpret it. This they were unable to do and their destruction was ordered, but was stayed by Daniel's petition for a little time. Then Daniel and his companions betook themselves to prayer, and in a night vision the "Dream" and its meaning was made known to Daniel. The interpretation is certainly one that human ingenuity could not have hit upon. The wise men and flatterers of the Chaldean court would never have dared to announce the End of Gentile Supremacy.
The "Colossus" (Image) symbolized the "World Kingdoms" in their Unity and Historical Succession. Gentile dominion is represented by a huge "Metallic" Man. 'The degeneration of the "World Kingdoms" is seen in the diminishing value of the metals used. Silver is worth less than gold, brass than silver, iron than brass, and clay than iron. The weight of the image also declines, the specific gravity of gold is 19. 5, of silver 10. 47, of brass 8, of cast-iron 5, and of clay 1. 93. The "Colossus" is Top-Heavy.
The four metals of which the "Colossus" was composed represent Four Worldwide Empires which were to arise in succession. Dan. 2:37-39. Four great Empires, and only four, are to succeed each other in the government of the world, from Nebuchadnezzar to the "Second Coming" of Christ-the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman. These Kingdoms are not only made known as to number, but their names, in the order of their succession, are given. The First Kingdom "Babylon" is indicated by Daniel while interpreting the vision to Nebuchadnezzar. "THOU art this Head of Gold." Dan. 2:38. The Second-the "MedoPersian, " he points out in his account of Belshazzar's Feast, by the emphatic words-"In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain, and Darius the Median took the Kingdom." Dan. 5:30, Dan. 5:31. The Third-the "Grecian, " is mentioned in Dan. 8:20-21, "the ram which thou sawest having two horns are The kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the King of Grecia." The Fourth-the "Roman" is referred to in Dan. 9:26, as-"the People of the Prince that should destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary"; and we know that it was the Romans under Titus, that destroyed Jerusalem in A. D. 70.
We have seen that the deterioration of the "Colossus" is shown in the character of the metals composing it. This was prophetic of the character of the governments as they were to succeed one another. The power of Nebuchadnezzar was Absolute, of him Daniel said-
"All people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared him; whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down." Dan. 5:19.
The second Kingdom was inferior to the first. It was a Monarchy dependent upon the support of an Hereditary Aristocracy. The king could by no means do as he willed. This is seen in the case of Darius, who desired to save Daniel from the "Lions' Den, " and could not, Dan. 6:12-14; and in the case of Ahasuerus who could only save the Jews from slaughter by a counter-decree. Est. 8:3-5. The metal of the third Kingdom was brass, and the government of Alexander the Great was a Monarchy supported by a Military Aristocracy, that was as weak as the ambitions of its leaders.
The iron power of the fourth Kingdom shows a still further depreciation. The Caesars were nominally elected by the people; they were merely called First Magistrates of the State or Generals; and for a long time they wore no diadem, but only the laurel crown of a successful commander. They had also a Senate which was supposed to counsel and control them. The people were neither allowed to legislate for them, nor to interfere with them, and if a Senator became too independent he was banished. Thus the Empire remained metallic and coherent. Iron is more perishable, more easily corroded or rusted than brass, or silver, or gold; but in the form of STEEL it is harder than any of them, and cuts through every other metal. Such has been Rome with her iron rule.
But the "Colossus" grows weaker and weaker until the feet and toes become a mixture of Iron and Clay. In other words the government degenerates from an Absolute Monarchy to an Autocratic Democracy, a form of government in which the people largely have the say.
Book Of Daniel
In short the "Colossus" shows that Gentile dominion passes gradually from the Head, the organ which ought to direct the members, to the Feet, which are only made to carry the body whither the head directs. We see then that the first of these Kingdoms was a Unit, the second Dual, the third became Quadruple (Dan. 7:6, Dan. 8:8), and the fourth, in its final form, becomes Ten-Toed.
The "Colossus" comes to an end by being smitten on the Feet by a "Stone Cut Out of a Mountain." The "Stone" does not fill the earth by degrees, and thus crowd the "Colossus" out, it at One Blow DEMOLISHES IT. The action of the "Stone" is JUDGMENT, not grace. It therefore cannot mean Christianity, for it is a "process" whereas the action of the "Stone" is SUDDEN and CALAMITOUS.
Again the Time of the destruction is not until after the formation of the toes, and we know that the "Two Limbs" of the "Colossus" did not appear until A. D. 364, and the "Ten Toes" have not yet developed. The Time when the "Stone" falls on the "Colossus" is distinctly stated in the interpretation as "in the days of those kings, " that is, in the days of the kings represented by the "Ten Toes."
The "Stone" which smites the "Colossus" must be interpreted as Christ who is called a "Stone" in Scripture. "Whosoever shall fall on this stone (Christ) shall be broken (softened by repentance), but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Matt. 21:44. This is exactly what the prophet foretells of the smiting of the "Colossus."
"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the Stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." Dan. 2:35.
As the four Kingdoms typified by the "Colossus" are literal Kingdoms, it follows that the "Stone Kingdom" must be a literal Kingdom, for it takes the place of the Kingdoms that are destroyed, and conquers the whole earth. The "Stone Kingdom" then is the "Millennial Kingdom of Christ" and the "Colossus, " or the "Times of the Gentiles" typified by it, cannot come to an end until the "revelation of Christ" at His Second Coming.
2. The Vision of the "FOUR BEASTS."
This was a vision of Daniel's 48 years after Nebuchadnezzar had his dream, and occurred in the first year of Belshazzar, B.C. 555. In vision Daniel stood on the shore of the "Great Sea" (the Mediterranean), from which region the four Kingdoms arose. Out of the sea four "Great Beasts" came up in succession. We have no difficulty in identifying these "Four Beasts" with the "Four Kingdoms" represented by the "Colossus." "The first was like a Lion and had Eagle's Wings, " and as the Prophet watched it, he saw it "lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon its feet as a Man, and a Man's Heart was given to it. Dan. 7:4. We have only to visit the British Museum, London, and examine the colossal stone lions with the "wings of an eagle" and the "head of a man, " disinterred from the ruins of Babylon and Assyria by Sir Henry Layard between the years 1840 and 1850 A. D., to see that the "First Beast" of Daniel's vision represented the First World Kingdom-Babylon, and its King Nebuchadnezzar.
The peculiarity of the "First Beast" was that it had "Eagle's Wings." This combination of the lion, the "King of Beasts, " and the eagle, the "King of Birds, " corresponded to the Royalty of the "Head of Gold" of the Colossus, and typified the "Eagle-like" swiftness of the armies of Nebuchadnezzar. The "Plucking of the Wings" doubtless referred to the "Beastly Insanity" of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:20-22), and the "lifting up, " and causing to stand upon its feet "as a man" to his restoration to sanity.
The Second Beast was "like to a Bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had Three Ribs in the mouth of it, between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise, Devour Much Flesh." Dan. 7:5. The bear is the strongest beast after the lion and is distinguished for its voracity, but it has none of the agility and majesty of the lion, is awkward in its movements, and effects its purpose with comparative slowness, and by brute force and sheer strength. These were the characteristics of the Medo-Persian Empire. It was ponderous in its movements. It did not gain its victories by bravery or skill, but overwhelmed its enemies by hurling vast masses of troops upon them. Xerxes' expedition against Greece was undertaken with 2, 500, 000 fighting men, who with the camp followers made up an army of 5, 000, 000. Other Persian generals had armies running up into the 100, 000's of men. It is easy to be seen that the movements of such enormous bodies of men would "devour much flesh, " not only in the destruction of their enemies, but thousands would die of disease and exposure and the countries through which they passed would become famine stricken by the loss of food seized to feed such armies. The side of the Bear which raised up to attack typified Persia, in which lay the greatest military strength, and corresponded to the right shoulder and arm of the "Colossus." The "Three-Ribs" stood for the three Kingdoms of Lydia, Babylon and Egypt, which formed a "Triple Alliance" to check the Medo-Persian power, but were all destroyed by it.
The Third Beast was "like a Leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the Beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it." Dan. 7:6. The leopard is the most agile and graceful of creatures; but its speed is here still further assisted by "wings." Slight in its frame, but strong, swift and fierce, its characteristics render it a fitting symbol of the rapid conquests of the Greeks under Alexander the Great, who, followed by small but well-equipped and splendidly brave armies, moved with great celerity and in about 10 years overthrew the unwieldy forces of Persia, and subdued the whole civilized world. The "four wings of a Fowl" indicate, that, as a "fowl" does not fly high, the armies of Alexander were fitted mainly for lowland fighting. There is an incongruity between the number of "wings" and the number of "heads" of the Leopard. "Four heads" call for "four pair of wings." Why only "four" wings we do not know, unless they denote the four quarters of the earth into which Alexander sought to extend his Kingdom.
The "Four Heads" of the Leopard represent the "Four Kingdoms" into which the Empire of Alexander was divided by his generals, namely Egypt, Syria, Thrace and Macedonia. From B.C. 323 to B.C. 30 there was no world-wide Kingdom, there being this break or parenthesis between the Medo-Persian and Roman Empires, showing that while there was to be "four" and "only four" world-wide Empires it did not necessarily follow that there should be no break between them. The Third Beast, the Leopard, corresponds to the abdomen and hips of the Colossus.
The Fourth Beast was unlike any beast that Daniel had ever seen or heard about, it was "dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, and it had great IRON TEETH. It devoured and brake in pieces, and tamped the residue (the other Beasts) with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the Beasts that were before it and it had "Ten Horns."
The fact that the Fourth Beast had "Iron Teeth, " and that there ere "Ten Horns" on its head, the "iron" corresponding to the "Iron Limbs" and the "ten horns" to the "Ten Toes" of the Colossus, would cause Daniel to see that the Fourth Beast represented the Fourth World Kingdom.
But as Daniel "considered" the "Ten Horns, " he was amazed to see another Horn, a "LITTLE" one, come up among them, and before whom there were "three" of the "First Horns" plucked up by the roots, that is destroyed; and as he examined the "Little Horn" more closely he noticed that it had Eyes like the eyes of a Man, and the Mouth of a Man speaking great things. Dan. 7:7, Dan. 7:8. This mystified and troubled Daniel. He had seen nothing corresponding to it on the "Ten Toes" of the Colossus. It must mean some new and additional revelation that God did not see fit to impart to the Gentile King Nebuchadnezzar, and that was reserved for Daniel and his people (the Jews), for we must not forget that Daniel's own visions, in the last six chapters of the Book, have to do with God's dealings with the Jewish People in the "Latter Days." Dan. 10:14.
Before Daniel could ask for an explanation of the meaning of the "Little Horn, " he had another vision, a vision of a Judgment. Dan. 7: 9-11. Daniel's vision of the destruction of the Beast (vs. 11) locates this judgment as just before the Millennium. Daniel at the same time saw the "Son of Man" (Christ) receive His Kingdom (the Stone Kingdom). Vs. 13, 14. These visions added to Daniel's perplexity, and he was "grieved in his spirit, " and the visions of his head "troubled him" (vs. 15), so he approached one of the "Heavenly Messengers" that stood by and asked him the. meaning. He was told that the "Four Beasts" stood for Four Kings, or Kingdoms (vs. 23), that should arise out of the earth. Then Daniel wanted to know the "truth" about the "Fourth Beast, " which was so diverse from the other three. The "Little Horn" of the Fourth Beast was what troubled him the most because it was to make war against the "Saints of the Most High," and they were Daniel's own people, the God-fearing Jews of the "End Time, " who were to pass through the "Great Tribulation" and to be prevailed against, until the time came that the people (the Jews) of the "Saints of the Most High" should possess the Kingdom.
In explanation Daniel was told that the "Ten Horns" on the Fourth Beast represented "Ten Kings" that shall arise, and that the "Little Horn" was a king that should rise among them and subdue three of them, and that he would be a "person" of remarkable intelligence and great oratorical powers, having a mouth speaking great things (vs. 8, 20). That he would be audacious, arrogant, imperious and persecuting and change "times and laws, " and that the "Saints of the Most High" would be given into his hands for a "Time, and Times, and the Dividing of Time, " or 33 ½ years. For a further description of the "Little Horn" see the Chapter on "The Antichrist."
In this vision of the Four Beasts we see "Degeneration" just as we saw it in the metals of the Colossus. The descent is from the Lion, the "King of Beasts, " to a nondescript monster that defies description. The reason why these Four Kingdoms are represented first as a "Golden Headed Metallic Image, " and then as a succession of "Wild Beasts, " is to show the difference between man's view and God's view of the World Kingdoms. Man sees in them the concentration of wealth, majesty and power; God sees them as a succession of rapacious wild beasts devouring one another.
3. The Vision of the "RAM" and the "HE-GOAT."
The explanation as to the meaning of the "Little Horn" perplexed Daniel, and he voiced it "My 'cogitations' much troubled me, and my countenance the matter in 'my heart."' Dan. 7:28. To
comfort His servant God, two years later, transported Daniel in vision to Shushan the capital of Persia, and as he stood on the bank of Ulai, he saw a Ram which had "Two Horns, " one higher than the other, and the higher came. He saw the Ram push "Westward" and "Northward" and "Southward" and nothing could stand before it, and it did according to its will. Dan. 8:4. While Daniel was "considering" what the vision of the Ram meant, he saw a He-Goat come from the West unmolested, and he noticed it had a "Notable Horn" between its eyes, and when it reached the Ram it was moved with "choler" or anger against it, and smote it with "fury, " and broke its "Two Horns, " and knocked it down and stamped upon it.
Then the He-Goat waxed great, but when it became strong its "Great Horn" was broken off, and "Four Notable Horns" came up in its place, and out of one of them sprang a "Little Horn" which waxed exceeding great toward the "South" and toward the "East, " and toward the "Pleasant Land" (Palestine). Dan. 8:5-7.
When Daniel sought for the meaning of the vision he heard a voice say "Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." Then Gabriel said to Daniel: The vision belongs to the 'Time of the End, ' and is to make thee know what shall come to pass in the "Last End of the Indignation." Dan. 8:15-17. Gabriel then informed Daniel that the "Ram" stood for the Medo-Persian Kingdom, with its two Kings, Darius and his nephew Cyrus; that the He-Goat stood for the Grecian Kingdom, the "Great Horn" between its eyes for its first King (Alexander the Great), and that the "Four Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" stood for Four Kingdoms into which the Grecian Kingdom should be divided.
This explanation cleared up things considerably for Daniel. It revealed to him that the "Two Horns" of the Ram, one higher than the other, and the "Two Shoulders" of the Bear, one higher than the other, of his vision of the "Four Wild Beasts; " and the "Two Arms" of the Colossus of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, must stand for the same thing, and that the double Kingdom of Medo-Persia. He also saw that the "Four Horns" that came up in the place of the "Great Horn" corresponded to the "Four Heads" of the Third Wild Beast (the Leopard) and that therefore the He-Coat and the Third Wild Beast and the "Abdomen and Hips" of the Colossus stood for the Grecian Kingdom, and its fourfold division among the generals of Alexander the Great.
We have already anticipated this in our explanation of the "Colossus" and of the "Four Wild Beasts, " but we must not forget that Daniel's information was progressive, and that each new vision threw light on his previous visions. For instance the Ram's pushing "Westward" and "Northward" and "Southward, " identifies it with the Bear crunching "Three Ribs" in its mouth which we saw was prophetic of the subjugation of Lydia to the "West, " Babylon to the "North, " and Egypt to the "South."
If the He-Goat had not been pointed out as the "King of Grecia" it would not be difficult for us to identify him, for the "Goat" was the national emblem of Macedonia, and is found on the coins of that country, the ancient capital of which was called "Aegae" or the "Goat City."
The same may be said as to the identification of the Ram with the Medo-Persian Kingdom.
Persian coins have been found which display a "Ram's Head" on one side, and a "Ram" incumbent on the other. We also read of a Persian kin riding in front of his army wearing a golden figure of a "Ram's Head" set with gems, instead of a diadem. In the Zena- vesta, Ized Behram, the guardian spirit of Persia, appears as a "Ram, " with clean feet and sharp-pointed horns.
The fury and violence of the He-Goat well depicts the vigor of Alexander the Great's attacks which carried everything before them. Rushing from the West, Alexander, in three great battles, made himself master of the world. But the "Great Horn" was suddenly broken off, for Alexander, with plans inconceivably vast, succumbed to marsh fever and intemperance at Babylon, in the thirty-third year of his life, and, in fulfillment of the prophecy "Four Horns" sprang up in the place of the "Great Horn."
These "Four Horns" stood for the four Generals of Alexander's army who divided his Kingdom among themselves. Cassander took possession of Macedonia. Lysimachus seized upon Thrace, Western Bithynia, Lower Phrygia, Mysia and Lydia. Seleucus took the remainder of Asia Minor and the East, including Syria and Assyria. Ptolemy took possession of Egypt. These Four Kingdoms were in time all absorbed into the Fourth World Kingdom, the Roman Empire. The last to lose its identity being Egypt, which succumbed in B.C. 30.
Soon after the appearance of these "Four Horns" on the head of the He-Goat Daniel saw a "Little Horn" come up on one of them. Gabriel explained the significance of this "Little Horn" to Daniel.
He told him that it stood for a King of "Fierce Countenance" who should stand up in the "Latter Time" of the Kingdom, and who should stand up against the "Prince of Princes" (Christ). Dan. 8:23-25. The description of this "Little Horn" so clearly corresponds with the description of the "Little Horn" that rose among the "Ten Horns" on the head of the Fourth Wild Beast that it was not difficult for Daniel to see that they described and stood for the same Person-THE ANTICHRIST. The revelation so overcame Daniel that he "fainted" and was sick certain days. Dan. 8:27.
4. The Vision of the "KINGS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH."
While Daniel foresaw that the Kingdom of Alexander the Great would be divided into Four Kingdoms and that out of one of them would come the "Antichrist, " he was not told at that time which one it would be, but 20 years later, in B.C. 533, he had another vision in which he saw two kings warring against each other. One was called the "King of the North, " the other the "King of the South." This chapter (Dan. 11:1-3) is one of the most wonderfully minute as to prophetic details of any chapter in the Bible. It corresponds exactly with the profane history of the kings of Egypt and Syria for over 350 years. From verse 5 to verse 31 we have an account of what is called the "wars" of the "Kings of the North" (Syria) and of the "Kings of the South" (Egypt). These end with the close of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 164. Verses 32-34 cover the whole period from, B.C. 164 down to the "Time of the End." At verse 36 "The Wilful King" (Antichrist) appears, and from that verse down to the end of the Book, we have an account of what is to befall Daniel's People in the "Latter Days." This vision of the "King of the North" (Syria), and of the "King of the South" (Egypt), in which the "King of the North" prevailed, revealed to Daniel that Antichrist would arise in the "Syrian" division of Alexander's Kingdom, for the description of the "King of the North" corresponded with the description of the "Little Horn" that came up on one of the "Four Horns" of the He-Goat, and also with the "Little Horn" that came up among the "Ten Horns" on the head of the Fourth Beast.
Thus to Daniel was revealed the whole course of the "Times of the Gentiles."
5. The Vision of the "SEVENTY WEEKS."
In chapter nine Daniel had a Vision of "Seventy Weeks" that were determined on his "People" (the Jews) and the Holy City (Jerusalem) to finish "their transgressions, " and make an "end of their sins, " and bring in "everlasting righteousness." Dan. 9:24. This Vision of the "Seventy Weeks" is the most important revelation in many respects made in the Scriptures. It set the date of the First Coming of Christ, and gives the length of the reign of Antichrist. The date of the "Vision" is important. The first verse of the chapter locates it in the "First Year" of Darius the Median, or the same year as the "Fall of Babylon, " B.C. 538. Daniel had been studying the Prophecy of Jeremiah, and learned from it that the 70 years of "Captivity" of his people were drawing to a close, for the "Captivity" began in B.C. 606, and 68 years had elapsed since then. Jer. 25:11. This discovery thrilled Daniel and he set his face toward God and poured out his soul in one of the most wonderful prayers recorded in the Scriptures. Verses 3-5. It is a model of confession, supplication and intercession. His prayer was interrupted by the appearance of the angel Gabriel, who had been sent at its commencement to give him "understanding in the matter." Vs. 20-22. Daniel was concerned about the end of the "seventy years" of the "Captivity, " and doubtless Gabriel relieved his mind as to that, but Gabriel had something more important to reveal to Daniel and that was the period of "Seventy Weeks."
The purpose of Gabriel's visit was to show Daniel that while his people would be restored to their own land at the end of the "Seventy Years, " that did not mean the restoration of their National Life, but was only the commencement of a longer period, which the angel called the "Seventy Weeks, " that must elapse before they should again be in control of their own land. This period was "determined" upon Daniel's people, and upon the Holy City. This is very important. It discloses the fact that the "Seventy Weeks" have nothing to do with the Gentiles or the Church. It also discloses another fact that the "Seventy Weeks, " or 490 years, only cover the period when the Jews are, by God's permission, dwelling as a people in their own land. It does not cover the present period of their Dispersion.
THE SEVENTY WEEKS
The expression "Seventy Weeks" should read "Seventy Sevens." Whether those "sevens" are days, weeks or years is to be determined by the context. The "Period" of the "Seventy Weeks" is divided into three periods of "Seven Weeks, " "Threescore and Two Weeks" and "One Week, " and it was to be 7+62--69 weeks from the going forth of the "commandment" to Restore and Build Jerusalem Unto "MESSIAH THE PRINCE."
The date of the "commandment" is given in Neh. 2:1 as the month "Nisan" in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, which was the 14th day of March, B.C. 445. The day when Jesus rode in Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as "Messiah the Prince, " was Palm Sunday, April 2, A. D. 30. Luke 19:37-39. But the time between March 14, B.C. 445, and April 2, A. D. 30, is more than 69 literal "weeks." It is . 445+30=475 years. What explanation can we give for this? It is clear to every careful student of the Word of God that there is a "Time Element" in the Scriptures. We come across such divisions of time as "hours; " "days; "-"weeks, ;" "months; " "years; " "times; " "time and the dividing of time." To be intelligible and avoid confusion they must all be interpreted on the same scale. What is that scale? It is given in Num. 14:34. "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days-Each Day FOR A YEAR, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years" See also Eze. 4:6
The "Lord's Scale" then is - "A Day Stands for a Year."
Let us apply this scale to the "Seventy Weeks." We found that the time between the "commandment" to restore and build Jerusalem, and "Messiah the Prince, " was to be 69 weeks, or 69 X 7 = 483 days, or if a "day" stands for a year, 483 years. But we found that from B.C. 445 to A. D. 30 was 475 years, a difference of 8 years. How can we account for the difference?
We must not forget that there are years of different lengths. The Lunar year has 354 days. The Calendar year has 360 days. The Solar year has 365 days.- The Julian, or Astronomical year, has 365 1/4 days, and it is necessary to add one day every 4 years to the calendar.
Now which of these years shall we use in our calculation? We find the "Key" in the Word of God. In Gen. 7:11-13; Gen. 8:3, Gen. 8:4, in the account of the Flood, we find that the 5 months from the 17th day of the 2nd month, until the 17th day of the 7th month, are reckoned as 150 days, or 30 days to a month, or 360 days to a year. So we see that we are to use in "Prophetical Chronology" a "Calendar" year of 360 days.
According to ordinary chronology, the 475 years from B.C. 445 to A. D. 30 are 64 "Solar" years of 365 days each. Now counting the years from B.C. 445 to A..D. 30, inclusively, we have 476 solar years. Multiplying these 476 years by 365 (the number of days in a Solar year), we ave 173, 740 days, to which add 119 days for leap years, and we have 173, 859 days. Add to these 20 days inclusive from March 14 to April 2, and we have 173, 879 days. Divide 173, 879 by 360 (the number of days in a "Prophetical Year"), and we have 483 years all to one day, the exact number of days (483) in 69 weeks, each day standing for a year. Could there be anything more conclusive to prove that Daniel's 69 weeks ran out on April 2, A. D. 30, the day that Jesus rode in triumph into the City of Jerusalem.
We must carefully notice that nothing is mentioned as occurring between the "Seven Weeks" and the "Threescore and Two Weeks, " is and that Daniel was to understand that the latter followed the former without a break. The words that follow, "the street shall be built, and the wall, even in troublous times, " doubtless refers to the "first period" or 49 years, occupied by Ezra and Nehemiah in the work of restoring and rebuilding the City o Jerusalem.
We see from this that if the "students of Prophecy" of Christ's day had been on the alert, and had understood Daniel's prophecy of the "Seventy Weeks, " they would have been looking for Him, and would have known to a certainty whether He was the Messiah or not.
While there was no break between the "Seven Weeks" and the "Threescore and Two Weeks, " there is a break between the "Sixty-ninth" and "Seventieth Week, " in which several things were to happen.
First we read that "Messiah Was to Be Cut Off, But Not for Himself." This refers to Christ's rejection and crucifixion. He died for others. Then we read that the people of the "Prince That Shall Come' shall destroy the City and the Sanctuary. Note that it does not say that the "Prince" will destroy the City and Sanctuary, but the People of the Prince. The people who destroyed the City of Jerusalem and the Temple in A. D. 70 were the Romans, therefore the "Prince (Antichrist) must be a Roman Citizen. This does not mean that he cannot be a Syrian Jew, for Syria will then be a part of the revived Roman Empire, and Saul of Tarsus was a Roman citizen as well as Jew.
We are then told that the desolation of the land of Palestine shall continue until the "End of the War" (probably Armageddon). As this "desolation" still continues we see that the "GAP" between the "Sixty ninth" and "Seventieth Week" takes in the whole of this PRESENT DISPENSATION.
The next verse (vs. 27) introduces the "Seventieth Week."
"And He (the "Prince"-Antichrist) shall confirm the Covenant with many for ONE WEEK (the Seventieth Week); and in the MIDST (middle) of the Week He (the Antichrist), shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, " etc. For a description of the "Seventieth Week" see the chapter on "The Tribulation."
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES
In Luke 21:24 Jesus says that Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the "Times of the Gentiles" be fulfilled.
We have seen that the "Times of the Gentiles" began in B. C 606; is there any way of telling when they will end?
There are those who claim that Jesus meant by the word "Times, " "Prophetical Times, " and that a Prophetical "Time" is a year of 360 days, each day standing for a year, thus making a "Time" equal to 360 years. They also claim that Moses in the Book of Leviticus (Lev. 26:18-20, Lev. 26:24-26), foretold, and four times repeated it, that if the Children of Israel disobeyed God, He would punish them "Seven Times" for their sins and that Jesus referred to these "Seven Times" when He spoke of the "TIMES" of the Gentiles. Therefore if a "Time" is 360 years, "Seven Times" would be 7 X 360 = 2520 years; and as the "Times of the Gentiles" began in B.C. 606, they should end in A. D. 1914.
Can this claim be substantiated? In the Book of Revelation the last "half" of the "Seventieth Week" of Daniel is described by three statements of time. First by 42 months (Rev. 11:2; Rev. 13:5) ; second by 1260 days (Rev. 11:3; Rev. 12:6); third by "Time, and Times, and Half a time" (Rev. 12:14); this last corresponding with Daniel's "Time and times and the dividing of time." Dan. 7:25; Dan. 12:7. Now as all these statements of time apply to the same period it is clear that the things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other; and as a "thousand, two hundred and threescore days" equal 1260 days, and 1260 days equal 42 months of 30 days each, and 42 months equal 3 1/2 years, then "Time, Times and Half a Time" (or the dividing of time), must equal 3 1/2 years. That is, a "Time" must equal one year; and "Times, " two years; and a "Half a Time, " half a year. So we see that in "Prophetical Chronology" a "Time" is equal to a year of 360 days, and not a year of 360 years. There is therefore no scriptural authority for calling a "Time" 360 ordinary years.
If a "Time" was 360 ordinary years, then the "times, and times, and half a time" of Rev. 12:14 would be equal to 360+720+180 or 1260 years, making the "Last Week" of Daniel's "Seventy Weeks" 2520 years long; the absurdity of which is seen when we remember that the last week of the "Seventy Weeks" must be on the same scale as the "Weeks" of the 69 Week Period, which we proved from history were only 7 years long.
If the claim that the "Times of the Gentiles" is 2520 years long is correct, then we must not forget that those years are years of 360 days each. Now 2520 years of 360 days each, make 907, 200 days. But exactly 2523 Julian or "Astronomical Years" of 365 1/4 days each, or 921, 516 days, have elapsed since B.C. 606 up to the present time (A.D. 1917), a difference of 14, 316 days. If we reduce these 2523 years of 365 1/4 days to years of 360 days, then we must divide 921, 516 by 360, which gives us 2559, 3/4 years, which is 39 3/4 years more than 2520 years, so that the 2520 years of the "Times of the Gentiles" ran out 393/4 years ago, or in A. D. 1877.
As further proof that the "Seven Times" of Leviticus are not Prophetic "Times, " we have the fact (shown on the chart on "Prophetical Chronology"), that the Children of Israel have been punished, or given over to "Servitude" and "Captivity" exactly SEVEN times. Their present "Dispersion" is neither a "servitude" or "Captivity, " and does not count.
If the "Seven Times" of Leviticus are Prophetic "Times" and a "Time" is one year, then "Seven Times" would be seven years, the length of the "Last Week" of Daniel's "Seventy Weeks, " and would make the statement of Leviticus a Prophetic reference to the length of the "Tribulation Period" through which the Jews must go as a punishment for their sins. The 1000 years of Rev. 20:2-4 are ordinary years, just as the 70 years of the Babylonian Captivity were. The context will show whether ordinary or prophetical years are meant. It is this confusion in interpreting "Prophetical Chronology" that has led to the "time setting" that has brought discredit upon the whole. system of Preinillennial Truth.
The "Times of the Gentiles" will end with the end of Daniel's "Seventieth Week." When that will begin and end no one knows, for the Scriptures teach that it is not for us to know the "Times and Seasons."