This chapter deals with the wars between the kings in the South (Egypt) and the kings in the North (Syria). The little horn in Dan. 8:14 is the same king spoken of in chapter 11:21 to the end of the chapter. The Adventists may well be sorry for their blindness in explaining the prophecy.
The eighth and eleventh chapters of Daniel refer to the same things. It is only a different method in dealing with the problem. The eleventh chapter is quite easy to explain. The angel Gabriel opens the history for us with the same clearness as if we were to study the history of the United States from its first president, George Washington, and then follow president after president without losing the historical order and the successive dates. If you know the history of the United States, there is no difficulty in teaching others; even a ten years old child will understand you. Daniel's eleventh chapter is just as plain when you know the history. And it is no credit to the Adventists and Russellites that they have made such astounding blunders. There is no excuse for these errors in a subject that offers so small difficulties.
But when a person is fighting for his own party interests, truth is pushed aside and error takes the place in order to make all ends meet. If they had been led by the Spirit of truth, who leads to the truth, they had not made such astounding mistakes. It is Rome that must be made to fit in here. If Rome does not meet the requirements here, their system has lost its foundation. We are going to prove now that it is just as impossible to get Rome to fill the prophecy in the eleventh chapter as it was in the eighth. If Rome is the little horn in Daniel's eighth chapter, then Rome must fill the prophecy in the eleventh chapter. If Antiochus Epiphanes is the power in the eighth chapter he is the same power in the eleventh. That the latter statement is correct we are now undertaking to prove.
The second verse says that three kings shall come up in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than they all; by his strength of his riches he shall stir up against the realm of Grecia. All historians agree that the fourth king is Xerxes I, and it is so. But between Cyrus and Xerxes are three kings. Here is the order: Cyrus, from 538 to 529; Cambyses, from 529 to 522; Smerdis, from 522 to 521; Darius Hystaspes, from 521 to 485; Xerxes, from 485 to B.C. 464.
"Smerdis, the younger son of Cyrus, was put to death secretly by the order of his brother Cambyses who was jealous of him. The governor of the palace having a brother of striking resemblance of the murdered prince, set him up as the true Smerdis, and on the death of Cambyses had him proclaimed king. Some of the Persian nobles soon suspected the cheat, and were certain of it when they found that the false Smerdis had no ears. Seven nobles then entered the palace and killed the pretender after he had reigned seven months."
Prophecy therefore does not take any notice of him.
Xerxes had a fighting army of nearly 2,500,000 men, when he went against Greece, and 4,207 ships of different kinds. While marching through the provinces his army was increased by both men and women till it numbered more than 6,000,000. Seven days and seven nights were required to cross the bridge over the Hellespont.
In verses three and four we are told, that a mighty king was to arise who should rule with great dominion and do according to his will. But as soon as he has come up, his kingdom shall be broken and be divided, but not between any descendants of his. Here we find the same story as in the eighth chapter. The angel showed us there that the king was Alexander the Great, and that his empire was divided in four kingdoms, so it is unnecessary to repeat it here. You will find, that the prophecy harmonizes with history in the eleventh chapter.
The prophecy leaves out the two and begins with (verse 5) the king of the south, and then the king of the north to the end of the chapter. The king of the south (Egypt) was Ptolemy I Soter, 323—285.
The king, of the north (Syria) was Seleucus I, 312—280.
In verse six it is stated that the kings were going to join together; for the kings daughter of the south should come to the king of the north to make an agreement.
Ptolemy II of Egypt and Antiochus II of Syria engaged in a bitter war. Antiochus desired peace, because he had troubles from the east. The two kings made peace on the condition that Antiochus should divorce his wife Laodice and marry Bernice, the daughter of Ptolemy. This was done and his children were disinherited. "But she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times." (Verse 6.) Ptolemy II died B. C. 247. Antiochus recalled then his former wife Laodice with her children. Laodice felt so humiliated by this conduct toward her, that she poisoned her husband Antiochus II, and Bernice and her son.
Verses seven and eight make mention of Bernice's brother Ptolemy III. He raised a large army and invaded Syria to avenge the death of his sister. His success was great (verse 8). He brought with him as spoils of war $34,400,000 in silver and a great quantity of gold and 2,500 pieces of statuary, which Cambyses had taken in Egypt, B.C. 525. Ptolemy III reigned between B.C. 247 and 222. Afterwards he left the king of the north in peace for some years. "So the king of the north shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land" (verse 9).
[Note: The KJV Bible reads, "The king of the south," which is an error in the translation. Nearly all modern versions, including the NKJV Bible, correct this to "king of the north."]
Seleucus II of Syria gathered a large fleet and set out for Egypt, but the navy was destroyed by a storm and he himself had a narrow escape. He reigned from B.C. 246 to 226.
"But his two sons shall be stirred up and shall assemble a multitude of great forces" (verse 10). The two sons of Seleucus II were Seleucus III and Antiochus III (the Great). Seleucus III ascended the throne of his father B.C. 226 and reigned only three years till 223. Antiochus III helped him in the battle. In verse eleven reference is made to Ptolemy IV, 222 — 205. He should come forth in anger and fight against the king of the north, and the latter should raise a great army, but his forces should be given into the hands of the king of the south.
Antiochus III the Great, ascended the Syrian throne B.C. 223. It was he who had the war with Ptolemy IV of Egypt. Antiochus was defeated and his army fell into the hands of the enemy as the prophecy had foretold.
Ptolemy IV, proud of his success, as is indicated in the twelfth verse, did not act in a manner becoming a king. He wanted to enter the holy of holies of the temple in Jerusalem. The Jews prevented him, and he left, enraged against the Jews, taking a cruel revenge upon their countrymen in Alexandria, where he put to death between forty and fifty thousand Jews. He commenced his reign by murdering his mother Bernice, his brother Magas, his uncle Lysimachus, and ended the carnage with the murder of his own wife Arsione.
Verse thirteen, "The king of the north shall return and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches." This king is Antiochus III the Great.
The Adventists are right from the beginning of the chapter as far as the thirteenth verse. In the fourteenth they begin their misrepresentations in order to get Rome to fill the requirements of prophecy.
"And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision, but they shall fall" (v. 14).
Ptolemy IV, who died in B.C. 205, had a son who was born in 210, therefore five years old when he ascended the throne B.C. 205—181.
The first enemies who attacked the young king were the king of the north, Antiochus III, Philip of Macedonia, also the traitors Agathodes and Scopas, "robbers of thy own people."
In "Daniel and Revelation" Uriah Smith says on page 290, "A new power is now introduced — 'the robbers of thy people'. . . . Henceforth the name of Rome stands upon the historic page."
This war was after B.C. 205 and Rome arose B.C. 753. Rome had accordingly been upon the historic page 548 years.
Gabriel spoke to Daniel and said that robbers of thy own people shall exalt themselves. Then the question presents itself, "Was it the Jews or the Romans who were Daniel's people?" We know it was the Jews. It was apostate Jews who supported the cause of the king of Egypt. The prophecy says, "They shall fall." When Antiochus III got possession of the land, he drove out or put to death all who sided with the Egyptian king.
Antiochus of Syria and Philip of Macedonia now determined to bring Egypt under their dominion. The Romans came to the assistance of the young king. In this way we may find a slight occasion to speak of the Romans here, but Rome never came in as the king of the north, nor the south, as we will see.
A certain general by the name of Scopas, a native of Rome, but now in the service of Egypt, was permitted to return to his country where he gathered an army and proceeded against Antiochus. At the head of this army he penetrated into Palestine and Ccelo-Syria, laying the whole country under the sovereignty of Egypt. Antiochus III and general Scopas met in battle; Scopas was defeated and fled to Sidon, where he was surrounded by Antiochus, who built entrenchments around the city. Three of the most efficient generals of Egypt with selected troops were sent to assist their brave general and his people, but they had, as Daniel says in verse fifteen, "no strength to withstand." The city was suffering from famine and Scopas at last was forced to capitulate. Starved and half naked the troops were permitted to leave the city. The Adventists are correct in their interpretation of this passage, but they commence their mistakes in the sixteenth verse and do not know what they are speaking about in the remaining twenty-nine verses. The foundation here is false, and their leaders ought to know better.
Verse 16, "But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed."
Here we have the pronoun "he" four times and "him" twice in one verse. The Adventists say it has reference to Rome, but the laws of grammar forbid us to use "he" about a kingdom. If it is Rome, we wish to know who is "he" that is mentioned in the verse.
In "Daniel and Revelation" we read the following on page 202, "Although Egypt could not stand before Antiochus, the king of the north, Antiochus could not stand before the Romans, who now came against him. No kingdoms were longer able to resist this rising power. Syria was conquered, and added to the Roman empire, when Pompey, B.C. 65, deprived Antiochus Asiaticus of his possessions, and reduced Syria to a Roman province."
Here U. Smith makes a tremendous leap over nineteen Syrian kings and speaks of Antiochus at the same time as the Roman conquest of Syria, B.C. 65. What part had Antiochus in this? He died B.C. 187, 122 years before Syria fell into the hands of the Romans.
In the seventeenth verse the pronoun "he" occurs again, and Smith explains, that "he" who gave away his daughter is an Egyptian king, Ptolemy XI Auletes, who ascended the throne of Egypt B.C. 80, and died in the year B.C. 51.
Accordingly it was "he," Auletes, in verse 16, who went against Antiochus III. This is the necessary consequence, if Auletes is to fill the prophecy in the seventeenth verse. This is impossible to prove. Antiochus died in B.C. 187 and Auletes, who became king in Egypt B.C. 80, could not go against him with the strength of his whole kingdom one hundred seven years before he became a king. Ptolemy XI was not yet born. How will you now twist the plain facts, Adventists?
Verse 17, "He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him."
The Adventists say, that he who shall advance with the strength of his whole kingdom was Ptolemy XI Auletes, who reigned between B.C. 80 — 51; and that he gave his daughter to Julius Caesar, the Roman general. Then this question is pertinent, "Was there any war between Caesar and Auletes?" History says no ; Auletes had no war with Caesar. Did Auletes give his daughter to Caesar? No.
Auletes had made a provision in his will that his eldest son and his daughter, Cleopatra, should reign jointly, and when they became old marry together. Because they were young, they were placed under guardianship of the Romans. The Roman general Pompey was appointed as their guardian.
War having not long after broken out between Pompey and Caesar. Pompey, having been defeated, fled into Egypt, and Caesar immediately followed him thither; but before his arrival Pompey was basely murdered by Ptolemy XII, and Egypt was in a commotion from internal disturbances, Ptolemy and Cleopatra having become hostile to each other. Caesar therefore assumed the guardianship, which had been given to Pompey, an action which so enraged the Egyptians that they took up arms against Caesar. He landed at Alexandria his small force, 800 horsemen and an army of 3,200, stating he was acting in conformity to the will of Ptolemy, who had placed his children under the guardianship of the Roman senate. Caesar now decreed that Ptolemy and Cleopatra should disband their armies and appear before him to have their case settled.
The matter was finally brought before him, and advocates appointed to plead for their respective parties. Cleopatra, one of the most beautiful women of history, was born B.C. 69, and it was now B.C. 48.
Believing that beauty would prevail more upon her judge than any advocate she made use of the following stratagem: To reach his presence undetected she laid herself to her full length in a bundle of clothes, tied with a strap, and had a servant to carry herself to the Roman general, saying that the bundle contained a present for him. Opening this bundle Caesar saw before him the beautiful Cleopatra who at this time was twenty-one years old. Caesar made her his concubine and had with her a son called Caesarion.
Caesar decreed that Auletes XII and Cleopatra should occupy the throne jointly. The ministers of state and the people who were opposed to her restoration feared for the result of the decree, and began to excite hostility against Caesar. An army of 20,000 men was raised to drive Caesar from Alexandria. A severe battle followed, and Caesar sent for more troops. The final battle was fought near the river Nile where Caesar won an easy victory. Ptolemy tried to escape but was drowned in the Nile.
Cleopatra had a younger brother, born B.C. 59. The battle was fought in 48; he was then eleven years old. Ptolemy XIII was married to his sister Cleopatra and raised to the Egyptian throne. He was a reigning consort to B.C. 43, only five years, and was murdered at her instigation in his sixteenth year.
Can the reader believe that the prophecy in the seventeenth verse applies to Ptolemy XI Auletes and Caesar, as the Adventists claim?
Did Auletes go against Caesar with the whole strength of his kingdom? No. Auletes had been dead three years before Caesar came to Alexandria. Did Auletes make peace with Caesar? No. There was no need of any, as there had been no war between them. Did Auletes give his daughter Cleopatra to Caesar to confirm the treaty? No. Cleopatra gave herself to Caesar to gain her point in the dispute with her brother in B.C. 48, but the father had then been dead three years. Here the Adventists have committed such an astonishing blunder as to say that a dead king goes against another with the full strength of his kingdom, makes peace and gives his daughter in marriage to his adversary, etc. On this dead king their message goes to pieces, and when the right man comes in here, their message is thoroughly overthrown. A message cannot have any poorer foundation than a dead king, and yet they say it is built on Christ.
In verses 16, 17, 18, and 19 the author uses the pronoun "he." If it is Auletes in one verse it refers to him in the others, as no other person to whom "he" can refer is introduced. In the eighteenth verse Prof. U. Smith has put in Caesar as an antecedent to the pronoun. No one, not even a professor, has any right to take such liberty. But the Adventists are satisfied, that he who is a professor cannot make any mistakes. Having put in Caesar as the antecedent for the following pronoun in verses 18 and 19, and Augustus Caesar in the twentieth verse, they have been able to read Rome into the eleventh chapter of this book.
We will now enter the correct persons in these verses, even if the correct interpretation should kill the doctrine of the Adventists. We have no sympathy with their erroneous views, but we feel for the poor people whom they have deluded.
There is no change of the king in the north from verse 15 to 20. We therefore ask the reader to go back 126 years, from B.C. 65 to 191. After Antiochus III had allowed Scopas to leave Sidon and return home, he conquers Ccelo-Syria and Palestine, and is well received in Jerusalem. All power is apparently in his hands, as the sixteenth verse indicates. Antiochus was intent upon raising Syria to its former glory. In order not to be harassed by Egypt while exploring Asia Minor, he made a. treaty with the young tributary Egyptian king Ptolemy V and gave him one of his daughters, Cleopatra I, in matrimony. As they were too young to marry, Antiochus promised to return to them to Coelo-Syria and Palestine as a wedding gift when they were married. In the year 193, when Ptolemy V was seventeen years old, he was married to Cleopatra, the eldest daughter of Antiochus, and the latter also returned Coelo-Syria and Palestine according to his promise. When Ptolemy was prepared to go to war with Syria he was poisoned by his subjects.
Antiochus III is the king who fills all the requirements of the prophecy in verse 17. He was proceeding with the strength of his whole kingdom, made peace with the Egyptian king Ptolemy V and gave him one of his daughters in matrimony. Thereafter he was to turn his face to the isles and take many ; but a prince shall make an end of his reproaches and let them turn upon himself (verse 18).
Antiochus sent an army under the command of his two sons to Sardis, while he himself sailed to the Aegian Sea, taking many islands as. Rhodes, Samos, Eubea, Colopon, etc.
There are historians who say, that Antiochus did not keep his promise; but when Antiochus Epiphanes became king of Syria he reconquered Coelo-Syria and Palestine from Ptolemy VI, which proves that these provinces were in the hands of the Egyptians.
He had first a battle with a Roman consul, Glabrio, at Thermopylae. Antiochus was defeated. "His daughter shall not stand on his side," the prophet says.
It was intended that Cleopatra should act as his spy at the Egyptian court, but now she followed the Roman ambassador and congratulated the Romans upon their victory over her father at Thermopylae. This was B.C. 191.
A year later he had another battle with a Roman consul, E. Scipio, at the mountain Sipylus in Asia Minor. Scipio gave him much good advice while they were negotiating the peace treaty ; but Antiochus was, as the prophecy states, scornful, and his reproach was turned upon himself. When peace could not be obtained, they took up arms, and Antiochus was defeated with a loss of 50,000 men. He now made peace with Scipio, and was compelled to pay $15,915,000 and give twenty men as hostages who were brought to Rome. Among them was his youngest son Antiochus, afterwards known in history under the surname Epiphanes (the glorious). (Rollin, Vol. 19, page 330; And. Hist., page 375; Int. Cy., Vol.. I, page 530.)
"Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found" (v. 19).
This indemnity should be paid in installments of $881,000 annually. Antiochus III knew it was no easy matter to raise this amount. He should turn his face toward his own land, but he was to stumble and fall. He tried to rob the temple of Belus in Elymais (Susiana), a province of Persia. The priests received him kindly, but the people killed both him and his soldiers. (And. Hist., page 292; Rollins, Vol. 19, page 328; 2 Mace. 1 : 13-16; Int. Cy., Vol. I, page 30.)
From the thirteenth to the twentieth verse it is Antiochus the Great who fills the prophecy in every respect.
"Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle" (verse 20).
As the Adventists have no other ground for their interpretation, their case is weak in every instance.
Augustus Caesar succeeded Julius Caesar as imperator of the Roman forces, and he was indeed a raiser of taxes, they say, because he gave out an edict that the whole world should be taxed at the time of the birth of Christ. If they only can get the name of Jesus in, people think it is true.
It does not say in this verse, that he who took possession of the throne was a taxgatherer himself, but that he should send one. Adventists, you should not try to prove anything from the 17th verse, before you have proved, that Auletes did the works spoken of in verses 16, 17, 18 and 19, after he was dead. On the throne of Antiochus III was elevated his eldest son, Seleucus IV, B.C. 187, and he reigned to B.C. 175. (Int. Cy., Vol. XIII, page 327.)
He is called one who "raises taxes." His whole time was occupied in raising the money his father had pledged himself to pay to the Romans.
Heliodorus is the taxgatherer who was sent by the king to Jerusalem to take the money that was in the temple. But God performed a miracle, so they did not get the money. (Read 2 Mac., chapter 3.) The king should be destroyed, but not in anger, nor in battle, according to Daniel. Heliodorus poisoned his king in order to get possession of the kingdom.
"And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries" (verse 21).
This verse they apply to Tiberius Caesar. Was not the honor of the kingdom given to him? Did he come peaceably, and did he obtain the kingdom by flatteries?
Uriah Smith quotes the following from the Encyclopedia Americana, "Tiberius Caesar behaved with great prudence and ability, concluding a war with the Germans in such a manner as to merit triumph. After the defeat of Varus and his legions he was sent to check the progress of the victorious Germans, and acted in that war with equal spirit and prudence. On the death of Augustus, he succeeded, without opposition, to the sovereignty of the empire; which, however, with characteristic dissimulation, he affected to decline, until repeatedly solicited by the servile senate."
"Dissimulation on his part, flattery on the part of the servile senate, and a possession of the kingdom without opposition." ("Daniel and Revelation," page 302.)
Now we ask, did Tiberius come in peaceably? Did he obtain the kingdom by flattery? Tiberius was born B.C. 42 and was at this time (A.D. 14) fifty-six years old. He did not desire to assume so great responsibility, therefore he declined the throne; but repeatedly solicited by the servile senate, he accepted the kingdom without opposition.
But the Adventists have no difficulty in pressing him into this verse, which states, that he should come peaceably, and succeed to the sovereignty of the kingdom without opposition. Tiberius obtained the kingdom by flatteries, they say, when the senate begged him and flattered him, before he accepted their offer. But this is the way people reason, who have certain side interests to defend.
The vile person in Dan. 11:21 is the same person, who is represented in the eighth chapter by the little horn and is called by the angel Gabriel (in the 23rd verse), a fierce king.
In the place of Seleucus IV shall stand up a vile man, who shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Who obtained his place? His brother Antiochus Epiphanes. He was a vile man. He gave to himself the name Epiphanes which means brilliant, glorious. He ought sooner to be called Epimanes, which means foolish or furious, a name that, according to Rollin, was given him by many. Epiphanes had been in Rome as a hostage since 190 and this was 175, therefore in fifteen years. He ran away from Rome and came altogether unexpectedly to Syria. The kingdom was not intended for him, neither through right of birth or by choice; for Seleucus had a son who was heir apparent.
Heliodorus who had murdered Seleucus was at the head of a strong faction. Another party worked for Ptolemy VI, who advanced his claims on account of his mother. Eumeus, the king of Pergamus, and his brother Attalus, put Antiochus Epiphanes on the throne. He pushed aside three aspirants to the throne.
"And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken: yea, also the prince of the covenant" (verse 22).
What armies overpowered the armies of Tiberius, but were flooded by him (Tiberius) and broken? And who is the prince that was crushed by Tiberius? The fact that Tiberius lived licentiously and became a contemptible regent does not fill the qualifications of the prophecy. There were no armies which pressed him hardly and were repulsed or broken up by him. He was suffocated under the pillows in his own bed. And "the prince of the covenant unquestionably refers to Jesus Christ," says U. Smith.
What covenant had Christ with Tiberius? One searches Daniel's ninth chapter in order to prove something like this at the death of Christ; but they have not yet understood the seventy weeks. That is the reason they make such blunders in all directions.
"And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people" (verse 23).
When did Tiberius have a covenant or a league with Christ; and when did he go against Christ with a small people?
The Egyptian king Ptolemy VI and Heliodorus had decreed to take possession of the Syrian throne. So they came with overflowing armies against Antiochus Epiphanes, but he got the king of Pergamus, Eumeus, and his brother Attalus on his side. With the assistance of their armies he overpowered Ptolemy and Heliodorus and their plans were defeated. And the prince with whom he had a covenant or to whom he was related was Ptolemy VI. Syria and Egypt were in league with each other, since Antiochus the Great had given his daughter in matrimony to Ptolemy V. Ptolemy VI was Cleopatra's son. Antiochus Epiphanes was his uncle, therefore related to him. But Tiberius was in no wise related to Christ.
Our foundation is sure, and therefore it is easy to build. The Adventists build upon a dead king, and they cannot make a stone to fit in their building. Won't you look a little more closely, Adventists?
Antiochus Epiphanes made war first with Ptolemy VI owing to a dispute concerning Ccelo-Syria. This territory was, as we have seen, a wedding gift to Ptolemy V when he was married to Cleopatra in B.C. 193. According to the laws of nature he should have treated his nephew in a different manner; but he was hardened to natural feelings. Rollin says, that, though he had decided to go to war, he simulated friendship toward the king of Egypt. The coronation of the king took place in Memphis. Pretending that he had nothing but friendly feelings for him, he sent his general Apollonius with a retinue to attend the ceremonies. Shortly afterward, he marched to Egypt, under pretext to defend his nephew, with a small army compared to the one he was gathering. A battle was fought at Pelucium where Antiochus won the victory. Listen to the words of the prophet, "He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province" (verse 24).
And also that he should work deceitfully, which is a correct description of his actions.
The king of Egypt had no time to prepare for war. Antiochus made an invasion of the country and "became strong with a small people."
"He did things which his fathers had not done. He gave away too much and gave the soldiers larger wages than any one had done before him." (Mac. 3:30.)
Antiochus remained in Tyre over the winter. There he made up his plans against the fortified places and prepared for a fresh attack. As soon as the weather permitted he advanced both on land and sea. The king of Egypt had also raised a large army; "but he shall not stand" (verse 25). Antiochus gained a great victory, and penetrated to the very heart of the country.
He could have put every enemy to death, but instead he rode up and down among his soldiers exhorting them to save the people.
Through this action he won the hearts of the Egyptians, so that large numbers came and paid him homage. This contributed in no small degree to the overthrow of the Egyptian king and gave the enemies an opportunity to "overflow" the country.
The battle occurred in B.C. 170. The king of Egypt was made a prisoner and his country ruined. (Int. Cy., Vol. 12, page 258.)
It would be too tedious a process to show all the aberrations of the Adventists in the eleventh chapter of Daniel, and at the same time, useless. But we will give them some attention in our study.
Uriah Smith says in "Daniel and Revelation" (page 306), "Having taken us down through the secular events of the empire to the end of the seventy weeks, the prophet, in verse 23, takes us back to the time when the Romans became directly connected with the people of God by the Jewish league, B.C. 161."
They teach that the seventy weeks ended in A.D. 34. Afterwards the prophet goes back through a period of time to B.C. 161. Such an explanation to suit their own views! Let us illustrate. You live in Chicago and take the train for New York. When the conductor has taken you to Buffalo, he returns to Detroit, Mich., and goes back on the road the same way.
By jumping back like this they succeed in making certain people fill the prophecy time and again. Julius Caesar fills verse 20 and Tiberius Caesar verse 21. The twenty-second verse is referring to Tiberius. Then he was killed by suffocation. Smith applies verse 23 to him, that he was the one who acted deceitfully and went against Christ with a small number. In verse 24 they have no one to put in the place, but say Rome, when "he" is the pronoun in that verse.
In verse 25 Smith goes back to B.C. 161 again. The death of Augustus, Smith sees mentioned in the twentieth verse; but he gets him alive again in the twenty-fifth verse, which is made to refer to the war between Antonius and Augustus. This battle was fought B.C. 31. On page 312 Smith says, "From B.C. 31, a prophetic time, or 360 years, would bring us to A.D. 330. And it becomes a noteworthy fact that the seat of the empire was removed from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine the Great in that very year."
According to this interpretation, we have now proceeded in our study to 330 A.D.; but so he makes verses 26, 27 and 28 refer to Antonius, Augustus and Cleopatra, who lived before Christ. Have you ever seen such a study before?
This power should device plans against the holy covenant. "The holy covenant," says Smith on page 315, "is doubtless the covenant which God has maintained with his people"; and on page 318, "The covenant, that is the Holy Scriptures, the books of the covenant."
Which is it now? It is neither.
"Yea, they that feed on the portion of his meat shall destroy him" (verse 26). Antiochus with his people remained some time in Egypt and the both kings ate at the same table seemingly in perfect harmony. But the Lord says, "That both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table," etc. (verse 27).
"Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land" (verse 28).
Antiochus, seeing that he was in possession took with him all that he wished, thereby enriching himself and the soldiers.
"And Antiochus took the fortified cities of Egypt and took from there many riches." (1 Mac. 1:20.)
While he was in Egypt a false rumor had been circulated in Palestine that he was dead. This vexed him a great deal. On his way home he paid a visit to Jerusalem and what he did there has already been stated. "And he shall do exploits, and return to his own land." From Jerusalem he returned to Syria.
"At the time appointed he shall return, and come home toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, of as the latter" (verse 29).
When the Egyptians saw that Ptolemy VI was entirely in the hands of Antiochus and that he ruled that land as he pleased, they gave him up as lost. Therefore they put his younger brother Ptolemy Fyscon upon the throne. When Antiochus was aware of this he prepared himself for a third attack against Egypt in order to reinstate Ptolemy VI on the throne.
He conquered the Alexandrians in a sea-battle near Pelusium. Then he marched against Alexandria in order to besiege the city, for it had not yet fallen into his hands. Here he met with powerful resistance and thought it would be easier to gain his object by inciting both the brothers to an internal war when he could conquer both. But the brothers made peace with each other, and prepared for a new attack by Antiochus which they anticipated. Antiochus aware of this plan decided to go against them with all his forces. He sent his navy to Cyprus in order to protect his possessions on the island. He placed himself at the head of a great army intent upon conquering all Egypt. He subdued the whole country wherever he went and penetrated as far as Memphis. This was "at the time of the end," mentioned in verse 40, a fact only hinted at in the twenty-ninth verse. Afterwards he went to Alexandria to besiege the city. Ships from Chittim shall come against him, the prophet says in verse 30. Ptolemy Fyscon and his sister Cleopatra sent ambassadors to Rome asking for help against Antiochus. And as he was ready to besiege Alexandria, the Roman messengers arrived in Macedonian ships. Macedonia is called Chittim. (See 1 Mac. 8:5.)
They met Antiochus nearly one mile from Alexandria. Pompilius handed him the decree of the senate. Having perused the document hastily he promised soon to give them his answer. But Pompilius drew a circle around him in the sand saying, "Give the senate a definite answer before you step out of this circle." Astonished at such a determined answer he promised to comply with the dictum of the senate. The prophet had said it "should not be as the former time." He should be grieved and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. And having returned he should have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. (Verse 30.)
Adventist preachers make much ado when they tell that Pompilius made a circle around Antiochus that Rome is the stronger and fills the prophecy. But if they only made the slightest use of their brains they would see without difficulty that it is the king in the south and the king in the north who fill the requirements here, and that Antiochus was the king in the north and Ptolemy the king in the south at this time. Rome could not be the king in the south now, for Rome did not occupy Egypt before B.C. 30. We are not at the close of the prophecy yet, we have arrived to the thirty-first verse, and the chapter consists of forty-five verses.
"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate" (verse 31). When the Egyptian crown was twisted out of his hand, he went home to Syria, but sent an army of 22,000 men under general Apollonius with order to destroy Jerusalem. In our study of Daniel's eighth chapter we have shown how this was done.
The historians are not agreed as to what year Apollonius was in Jerusalem. They say 167, 168 and 169. By careful comparisons we have come to the conclusion that the words of the angel correspond perfectly with June, 167, which opinion is held by such an authority as Dr. Farrar. It is also proved that Antiochus died in B.C. 164 or in the second month of 163.
It seems to be reasonably sure that he visited Jerusalem the first time in 170, because he took possession of Egypt that year and marched from there to Jerusalem. He should take away the daily sacrifice in the middle of the seventieth week. This week is seven years. And therefore we can readily explain the prophecy of the seventy weeks when we are going to take up that study and Daniel's twelfth chapter. The year 167 corresponds exactly with the time given by the angel, and he knew better than anyone else what he was speaking about.
In verses 31-35 there is a record of the last persecution of Antiochus against the Jews, which was lasting to the time of the end, a certain time, when the prophecy had been fulfilled. The vision was sealed, or in other words at an end, it did not go any farther.
When Antiochus came to Antioch he issued an edict that all nations under his domain should lay aside the religions of their fathers, with their ceremonies, and worship his god. This decree was in first hand directed against the Jews, whose religion and nationality he had decided to eradicate from the earth. He therefore sent out representatives to all parts of the kingdom in order to carry out this command and teach them how his god was to be worshiped. The heathens received the new order of things without objection. The Samaritans sent him a petition in which they declared they were not Jews and desired to have an image of the Roman god, Jupiter, set up on their mountain Garizim. They were graciously received, their wish granted, and an order given that they should not be molested in any way.
Not only the Samaritans fell away from the true God, but also many Jews forgot Jehovah, partly to escape persecution, partly for material gain, as well as for many other reasons. (See verse 32. Rollin, Vol. 19, page 361; Josephus, Vol. 12, chap. 5; 1; 1 Mac. 2:16.)
"But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (verse 32).
Both history and the Maccabees show that there were some in Israel at this time who adhered to God and lived according to his word. Among those was the priest Mattathias, who lived on the mountain Modin, and his five sons, as many others, who rather sacrificed their lives than break the precepts of Jehovah.
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet, they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days" (verse 33).
The best explanations of this verse is found in the books of the Maccabees. (See 2 Mace. 6:18-31, and chapter 7.) In this chapter we find how a mother with her seven sons were murdered. The king tried to compel the eldest boy to eat pork, which was forbidden by Jehovah; but the boy said he would rather die. The king was enraged and ordered that pans and kettles should be put over the fire. These kettles he had brought with him from Persia, a proof that he had grown southward, eastward and toward the pleasant land. First he cut out the boy's tongue, afterwards he severed his hands and feet. The mother and the six brothers were witnesses to this cruel deed. In this condition he was dragged to the fire to be boiled in the kettle. All the other sons were killed in the same manner, and at last the poor mother was put to death. It seems to me she would have died from witnessing her seven sons being killed, one after the other.
"Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries" (verse 34).
We read of this persecution in 1 Mac. chap. 2. A small victory was won by Mattathias and his friends. They gathered a large flock of pious people; many backsliders joined them; but several of them were slain by the zealous Jews. They marched through the land of Israel breaking down the altars of the heathens, circumcised the boys, and defended themselves bravely against their enemies and the king.
"And some of them of understanding shall fall" (verse 35).
Both leaders and teachers, among those the priests, suffered martyrdom in the persecution of the king. A cleansing was needed among the Jews at this time. The transgressors had reached, their limit, their day of judgment had come and punishment was imminent. What the Lord had predicted was fulfilled at the appointed time.
The prophet having described the persecution of the Jews in verses 30-35, returns to the description of what the king should do personally in verses 36-39. This was literally done by Antiochus. "And the king shall do according to his will." Antiochus always acted according to his own will, except when he by circumstances was compelled to submit to the will of others. "He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god." He called himself god (Theos). When a ruler goes so far as to forbid anyone at the penalty of death to worship any other god than the one he determines, he has raised himself up against the true God. (And. Hist., page 239; Josephus, Vol. 12, chap. 5; 1 Mace. 1:43-67.) In the books of the Maccabees he is called the impious, the blasphemer. "He shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done" (verse 36). When the transgressors had been punished, the sanctuary restored, and Antiochus dead, that was determined to be done. This is the whole truth.
"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any gods : for he shall magnify himself above all" (verse 37).
Concerning these gods people have had wrong notions. Olympius (an adjective modifying the great almighty deity Zeus of the Greeks) was one of the gods of his fathers. And Tammuz Adonis was a Syrian goddess. None of these he should regard. "But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces : and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold," etc. (verse 38). This deity was Jupiter Capitolinus whom he had imported from Rome and placed in a temple in Antioch and bedecked it with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things, as it was foretold in the thirty-eighth verse.
"Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory : and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain" (verse 39). Trusting in this imported idol, he thought he could do what he pleased.
Those who acknowledged his god he placed in authority over others; and it was not only the backslidden Jews who accepted his god, but also the prominent men in his kingdom. He gave them provinces over which they ruled with almost unlimited power.
From verses 30 to 39 the deeds of Antiochus are described, since he had been compelled by the Romans to leave Egypt in peace.
We have already paid attention to the fortieth verse, but the prophet gives a brief review before he introduces the last deeds and death of the king of the north. In the thirty-ninth verse mention is made of the king in the north. The king of the south is introduced in the following verse, "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him : and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships ; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over."
It has already been pointed out when the time of the end commenced; but as the vision of the time is the foundation of the Adventists' doctrine, we will turn our attention to the subject again in order to prove, how easily this can be explained if one adheres strictly to the word of God.
In "Daniel and Revelation" the Adventist author many times referred to in this connection, applies this verse to "a conflict that had sprung up between Egypt and France and Turkey and France in 1798, which year, as we have seen, marked the beginning of the time of the end." (Page 343.)
It is inconceivable how a man who has the title of professor before his name can arrive at such conclusions. Medo-Persia became a great power about B. C, 538 when Belshazzar had his nightly feast and the invisible hand wrote on the wall. He was killed the same night (Dan. 5:30). Darius of Media succeeded him on the throne (Dan. 5:31).
It is worthy of notice that, according to history, Belshazzar was never king in Babylonia. Nabonadius was the last king of Babylon, Belshazzar was his son and appointed co-regent by his father. While Cyrus made an attack on Babylon, Nabonadius was locked in Borsippa. Belshazzar ruled at that time as a king, but had not the title of king, as long as his father lived. We read in the book of Daniel, "In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions" (chap. 7:1). In the third year of the same king he had a vision (chap. 8:1). King Belshazzar made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and princes and wives and his concubines (chap. 5:1, 2).
Nabonadius was king between B. C. 555 — 538. Belshazzar had this impious feast in 538, when Daniel had received the explanation of the seventy weeks.
As Belshazzar never was king over Babylon and no one can say when his father made him his co-regent, it is impossible to state when Daniel had these visions. Uriah Smith says that Belshazzar ascended the throne in 555, but that was his father. The administration of the father has been mixed up with that of his son.
We have consulted several historians on this point and find that they all agree in the opinion that Nabonadius was the last king of Babylon and had taken his son as a co-regent. In McClintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia, which has only the biblical chronology, we read under the article Belshazzar, "In 1854 Sir Henry Rawlinson deciphered the inscriptions of some cylinders found in the ruins of Urn-Kir (the ancient Ur of the Chaldees). From these inscriptions it appears that the eldest son of Nabonnedus (Barosus calls him Nabonadius) was called Bel-shar-ezar, and admitted by his father to a share in the government." It is impossible to prove by these testimonies that he was king in Babylon, though it is possible that he had the title and for some time exercised royal power, while his father was surrounded by the troops of Cyrus in Borsippa.
There is another matter that requires a more thorough examination in Dan. 5:31, "And Darius, the Median, took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old. This statement does not hold good before historical research which proves that Cyrus captured the Babylonian empire. Even U. Smith admits this on page 63, but on page 128 he states, that Darius was king in Babylon between 538 and 536. This is the same as saying that Cyrus took the Babylonian kingdom and afterwards put Darius up on the throne. Cyrus was king in Babylon to his death, and the historians are agreed that it was Cyrus, who captured Babylon. (See Int. Cy., Vol. II, page 86.)
Cyrus subdued Media in B. C. 558. Persia was now the leading power. That Cyrus took Babylonia is apparent from various sources. Nabonadius, the last king of Babylon, fled to Borsippa, where he was shut in for three months, but then he gave himself up to Cyrus who treated him well. Cyrus' general Gobryas took Babylon and killed Belshazzar at the night of the great feast. Three months later Cyrus arrived at the city. Darius is a Persian name, and some have made the suggestion that Gobryas may possibly have ruled as a governor under that name, as 538 to 536 is too short a time for the rule of any of the kings known to history by the name of Darius. Darius I was not crowned king before 521, seventeen years later. Darius the Median is unknown to the historians.
In the aforementioned book, in which. these things were written down, almost under the eyes of Antiochus Epiphanes, when he began his evil deeds in Jerusalem, it is stated that the book of Daniel was written 158 years after the death of Alexander the Great in the year B.C. 323. The book should according to this statement have been written B.C. 165. If Daniel had written the book himself he would in all probability have known the chronology. This is reason enough that he has not written the book that bears his name.
As far as we can judge from the book Daniel has made notes of his dreams and visions. The editor of the work as we now have it has added certain expressions, as for instance: "So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius." (6:28.) 'And over these three presidents, of whom Daniel was first." (6: 2.) "Then commanded 'Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet." (5:29.) "Now when Daniel knew." (6:10.) "In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream." (7:1.) In his own narratives Daniel uses the expression, "I saw."
The book is just as valuable, even if some other author has collected the manuscripts and published them. It is only the chronology that is misleading.
In "The Signs of the Times" of Nov. 10, 1912, S. Mortenson writes something of the 2,300 days again. He says, "The first year of Darius is the same as the third of Belshazzar and the same as the vision in chapter eighth was given, namely B.C. 538."
Speaking of the rebuilding of Jerusalem he says, "The next commandment was given by Artaxerxes who gave the order in writing commanding him to see it that it was obeyed. He went to Jerusalem and arrived there in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king's reign. (See Ezra 7th and 8th chapters.) This was in B. C. 457. The seventy weeks are the first part of the 2,300 days."
Is it exacting too much when we ask Mr. Mortenson to show us in what verse of Ezra 7th and 8th chapters Ezra received the commandment to build up Jerusalem in B. C. 457, or that anything to that effect was done at that time? It is just as impossible as to show that the 2,300 days begin there. Either Mr. Mortenson or the angel Gabriel is mistaken here. The angel says that they shall begin at the end of the kingdom of Grecia. Between B. C. 176—30. Mortenson says that they begin in B.C. 457. After I had left "the present truth" and read an outline of Nyquist, I saw immediately that the deeds of a person cannot commence B.C. 457 when the person did not exist before B.C. 176. But though he has read my circular on Daniel's eighth chapter, he cannot see anything but the old falsehood, and yet he is the highest authority among the Swedish Adventists in America. If Mr. Mortenson had studied the matter from the Bible and the history instead of assuming U. Smith's book to be the whole truth, he would not need to stand as a misleader here also (and a great one too).
While speaking about chronological errors I wish to say that it is impossible for me to find in Ezra's fourth chapter any accusation from Artaxerxes against the Jews compelling them to desist from the work. They wrote to king Artaxerxes in Persia that the Jews who came from him were building up the city, etc. Artaxerxes then sent an answer which was read before the people, afterwards they were hindered by force and power. So the work ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius (I), B.C. 519.
This accusation against them was issued B.C. 534 and Artaxerxes became king in 464, just seventy years later. This is the greatest mistake I have found in the chronology. One historian believes Xerxes is the one referred to, who was the father of Artaxerxes. But Xerxes took possession of the throne B.C. 485, or forty-nine years after 534. Cyrus was at that time king of Persia.
Now they say that I do not believe the Bible when I point out this inconsistency in the chronology. Can you, dear reader, believe that Artaxerxes who became king B.C. 464, could be a contemporary with Cyrus and issue a decree to build up the city seventy years before? I can only say that you make a very poor use of your brain. The Bible ought before all other books endure criticism, and when a mistake has crept in there, one ought not to be more afraid to point out such a mistake than if it had been found in any other book. Let a fair and just criticism point out all errors till we finally get it correct..
I am more than grateful if I can get reliable information concerning these things, no matter whence they come.
Medo-Persia existed till B.C. 331, when the king of Grecia, Alexander the Great, took possession of this land.
What a person thinks or does in this world must take place somewhere between his birth and his death. What Medo-Persia did must occur between B.C. 558 and 331. Cyrus took Media in 558 and from that year the time of Medo-Persia is counted, though the vision is counted from the capture of Babylon, B.C. 538.
The first thing Daniel saw in the vision was a ram which had two horns. (Dan. 8:3.) "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia" (verse 20). This is the explanation of the angel. The angel said to Daniel that what he saw in the vision had reference to the time of the end. (Verses 17-19.) The fulfillment of the vision began in the Medo-Persian empire; then the time of the end begins there and not 2,300 years after Medo-Persia had ceased to be a kingdom.
A person has seen in a vision 300 years before the time of Abraham Lincoln that the negro slaves were going to receive their liberty. Our angel had said that the vision referred to the abolition of slavery in America, and that a president by the name of Lincoln was to set them free. If the vision was to be at the time of the end, then the time for the abolition of the slavery must be while Lincoln lived, and not 2,000 years after he was dead.
The same application is made in the eighth chapter of Daniel. But the vision shall be at the time of the end in Medo-Persia and not in A.D. 1798, more than two thousand years after the Medo-Persian empire had ceased to exist.
If they would look a little closer, they would find out that there is no question of the time of the end for the world, but the time of the end for a number of sinful Jews whose transgressions had come to the full in the divided kingdom of Greece. (Dan. 8:23.)
Those who are not blind will see immediately that the time of the end began when the vision was commencing to be fulfilled, and that it was in the Medo-Persian kingdom. Then they want to know what year it began. We cannot show anything above what the angel reveals. That is enough.
Daniel saw how the ram was pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him. That was the first thing he saw in the vision. Then the vision commenced when Medo-Persia extended her kingdom in these directions. She began with Babylon, Lydia, Asia Minor, etc. Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, was a bloodthirsty tyrant. He reigned between 529 and 522 and subdued Tyre, Cyprus, and lastly Egypt which was in the south. (Int. Cy., Vol. II, page 534.)
The vision began, therefore, before Cambyses took possession of Egypt which was B. C. 525, but cannot go further back than to 538. The difference between these two numbers is thirteen years. Under thirteen years the ram was pushing in different directions, as Daniel tells us. The time of the end began, therefore, in the Medo-Persian empire between 538 and 525. This is the explanation given by the angel Gabriel. Which one is more reliable: the angel or the Adventists?
There were ten kings from Cambyses till Medo-Persia is taken by Alexander the Great. The time was 191 years, from B.C. 522 to 331.
Darius III Codomannus was the last of the Persian kings. He became king B.C. 336. In the spring of 334 he had his first battle with Alexander by the river Granicus. Another at Issus in Cilicia in November, 333. The third and last battle was fought in October, 331, at Arbela. Alexander then crushed both horns of the ram. Daniel saw this in a vision; the vision was sealed till the time of the end. This part of the vision, when Alexander took Medo-Persia, was not sealed after it had been fulfilled. No. It is not necessary to be a philosopher to see that the time of the end is where Alexander is, and that it commenced in Medo-Persia when she extended her kingdom in the directions the ram was pushing. And if was over two hundred years before she was overthrown by Alexander.
All that Daniel saw in the vision is mentioned under this term: "The time of the end." This time was passed when the whole vision had been fulfilled. The last part of the vision was the 2,300 days. (Dan. 8:14.) We have clearly shown in Dan. 8 when Alexander died. His kingdom was divided in four parts. From one of them should come up a little horn (a fierce king), and that this horn (king) was Antiochus Epiphanes. The same power (king) is also called the king in the north in the eleventh chapter. And from verse 21 to the end of the chapter there is no change of kings, neither in the north (Syria), nor in the south (Egypt). The former king is Antiochus Epiphanes, the latter is Ptolemy VI who was the nephew of Antiochus.
If the Adventists had studied these things in the light of the Bible and history instead of blindly believing in Uriah Smith's false expositions, they never would have come in such a darkness and error. In the fortieth verse Napoleon Bonaparte is made king in the north; then France is the kingdom in the north instead of Syria, which is in harmony with the explanation of the angel and is proved to be true according to the map. One may move the king and the people from one kingdom to another, but to move the country itself does not work so easily. Adventists ! Do you not see, how poorly your views correspond with the real facts?
If Napoleon was the king in the north in verse 40, then he is the same king all through that chapter, because the pronoun is the same. Verse 41 says, "He (Napoleon) shall enter." Verse 42, "He (Napoleon) shall stretch forth." Verse 43, "He (Napoleon) shall have power." Verse 44, "But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him (Napoleon) : therefore shall he (Napoleon) go forth with great fury." "Verse 45, "And he (Napoleon) shall plant tabernacles." Pastor Russell has at least retained the same person to the end of the chapter.
Take your Bible and read from the fortieth verse to the end of the chapter, and see if there is any change of the king in the north in those verses, when the same pronoun is repeated in them all. How professor Uriah Smith could be so ignorant of the laws of the English language, that he first lets the pronoun "he" refer to Rome, then got Napoleon to be the king in the north, and so let the pronoun "he," referring to Napoleon, represent Turkey, surpasses my understanding. In this way Turkey is supposed to represent the king in the north in the forty-fifth verse. This verse speaks of the same king who is mentioned in the fortieth verse, whom the Adventists say is Napoleon. "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain ; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." This shall be the fate of the Turk shortly before the second coming of Christ, the Adventists say, when they in their zeal interpret the prophecies they do not understand.
Uriah Smith says in his exposition of Dan. 11th chapter, "Time will soon determine this matter; and it may be but a few months," -etc.
In "Daniel and Revelation" we have the exposition of Smith concerning these prophecies. The edition I have was published 1887, twenty-five years ago. The forty-fifth verse they believe applies to the Turk when he is going to be driven out of Europe and go to Jerusalem. That this verse was fulfilled B.C. 164-3, 2,051 years before Smith's book was published, is now to be proved.
As there was no change of kings, neither in Syria nor Egypt, from the twenty-first verse to the end of the chapter, we are satisfied with the explanation of the Bible and history, and having in this manner found the truth, we are content.
The king of the south (Ptolemy VI, the nephew of Antiochus) shall push at him, the king of the north (Antiochus his uncle). "The king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. And he shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown, but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon." (Verses 40, 41.) Does Antiochus fill the requirements of the prophecy here? If an Adventist were to answer, he. would say, "No, it refers to Rome," though it is as impossible for him to prove that Rome is the king in the north as to take down the sky. In verses 30-35 is shown, how this prophecy was fulfilled when Antiochus had his wars with Egypt and took possession of the land. He had now Persia, Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine and Armenia. The tribes that were free, living on the borderline of Palestine, were as bitter enemies to the Jews as he was himself. That may have been a reason why he did not attack them.
Antiochus took with him great riches from Egypt. The second time he was there he enriched both himself and the soldiers. In 1 Mac. 1:20 we read, "And Antiochus captured the forts in Egypt and took away with him many things." He did the same in Jerusalem. From the temple he took 1800 centner silver with him to Antioch.' (2 Mac. 5:21.)
Verses 44 and 45, "But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him : therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain: yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."
Antiochus Epiphanes was in Ekbatana, the capital city of Media. Judas Maccabeus had made an insurrection against him and gained victory upon victory. Finally his treasury was depleted so he could not pay his soldiers; then he traveled around in the provinces to plunder the temples and found great riches. Now he was sure he could rout the Jews and gathered large armies. "Then he was shocked," Rollin says, by rumors from the east (Persia) and from the north (Armenia). In the north Artaxias, the king of Armenia, had made a revolt against him, and Persia in the east had ceased to pay the yearly tribute. Antiochus now found himself in a dangerous dilemma. He divided his army in two parts: one he left to his general Lysias, with order to go and destroy the Jewish forces, while he placed himself at the head of the other army going against Armenia. He defeated Artaxias and when Armenia was brought to subjection, he turned his attention to Persia. Lysias had planned to the best of his ability to kill the Jews according to the command of the king; but it was not easily done. Lysias was defeated time and again by Judas Maccabeus.
When these rumors were reported to the king he set out for Palestine to let the Jews feel the heavy hand of his anger.
The prophet says, "Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many" (verse 44).
When he had come to Babylon, he received fresh news that Lysias had lost his case, the Jews taken Jerusalem, thrown out his idol (the abomination of destruction), cleansed the temple, rebuilt the altar and restored the temple service with its various sacrifices. This news added to his fury. He ordered his driver to urge his horses as much as possible that he might reach Jerusalem sooner to make it a burial ground of the Jewish nation. But he had hardly uttered these words before he was seized by a dangerous disease. His death is referred to in the eighth chapter, and how he was carried at last on a stretcher. His flesh rotted and fell off piecemeal. His body stank, and he became a nuisance to the whole army. Forsaken by God, and detested by his soldiers and others, he breathed his last; and there was none to help him.
He should plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. When now Antiochus Epiphanes, who evidently is the person spoken of in the 21st verse, is called the king in the north, and no other name is introduced to which the pronoun "he" may refer, it is impossible to apply the 45th verse to anyone else.
He started his journey against the Jews from Ekbatana in Media. (2 Mac. 9:3.) Rollin says, that he went through Babylon. North of Media is the Caspian sea, to the south the Persian bay, west of Syria is Palestine and the Mediterranean sea. That is the sea referred to.
A heathen by the name of Porphyry, an inveterate enemy to the holy writings, says that this verse must have reference to the expedition of Antiochus to the country on the other side of the Euphrates, and to his death which occurred at this time.
We have now examined the eleventh chapter, verse after verse, and we have found the following important facts on which the prophecy is based:
Please notice, Adventists, that the time given by the angel is the time of the end, and that this time must be when the vision was being fulfilled, and not in A.D. 1798. That this time of the end was for the sinful Jews whose transgressions had come to the full at the end of the divided kingdom of Grecia, between B. C. 176 and 30, according to the angel Gabriel, and that the end of the vision was the 2,300 days, a certain time of the furious and wicked king. (Dan. 8:23.) This time completed the sanctuary should be cleansed. On December 25, B.C. 164, the first sacrifice was offered again after the burnt offerings and meat offerings had been abolished for 1,260 evenings and mornings, three and a half years. The Adventists say that the time of the end is a period of forty-six years, from A.D. 1798 to 1844; but can you not see how impossible this interpretation is? Medo-Persia was the first country mentioned in the vision. In 538 they began to extend their kingdom. Alexander was in the vision. He died in Babylon B.C. 323. Let us subtract 323 from 538; this leaves 215 years, and yet we have only come to the death of Alexander. Then we have the divided kingdom of Alexander and at the end of their kingdoms a fierce king should come up. Their kingdoms were between the death of Alexander B.C. 323 and 30 when all the four kingdoms were subjected under the Roman empire. Between 323 and 30 is a period of 293 years; the half of this number is 147 years. These 147 years must be added to 215, giving us a period of 362 years, which are covered by the vision, and still we have not come to the fierce king who should arise at the end of their kingdom. We have only come to the year B. C. 176, the middle of the time allotted to the four kingdoms. The vision ended in B.C. 164; then we must add the difference between 176 and 164 which is twelve to 362 and get the period of the vision to be 374 years. The result will be the same if we subtract 164, when the vision ended, from 538, where it began, leaving a balance of 374 years. Compare this with the result the Adventists have reached: 1798 from 1844, or only 46 years.
But if the Adventists can prove with the Bible, history and science that Alexander the Great, the first king of Greece, had any war with Medo-Persia after A.D. 1798, then I am willing to give up the contest and humbly retract "my" astounding errors.
If the Adventists cannot do this, I hope that they, who boast of their honesty will stop the sale of their books on these subjects by which they have blinded more than a hundred thousand people, among those many good, upright souls, who in their ignorance, believe blindly without any knowledge.
Let us see how this would look.
We ask now, who has the truth here? Let us illustrate the 17th verse with a journey that the reader is going to take in my company from Chicago to Boston, via Buffalo. We agree perfectly on the way till we come to Buffalo, where you say that the train is going to switch in on another track and go in another direction than the one of which I think. We agree both that if any switching shall be done it must be done here, as there are no side tracks between Buffalo and Boston. When we arrive at Buffalo we try to find out if there is any other track to switch in to or not. We are then informed that the train will proceed in the direction I thought, and that there is no switching necessary. The time-table tells us what stations we have to pass. But you have great confidence in some one who does not understand the time-table and who has told you that you must switch in on some other track in Buffalo.
I tell you, my dear friend and brother, you must not change track here; follow this train and you will reach Boston. I have heard many of the Adventists say, that Nyman is a heretic, I do not trust him. Nothing on my part can persuade you to remain on the train. You leave it and take another which the Adventists have pointed out and so you feel safe. But you may be sure that the time will come when you find out that you are on the wrong train and that you are not going to the destination you wanted. I arrive safely at Boston and meet the friends you are looking for. I send you a letter, and then you have confidence in me when you see how they have deceived you, who did not understand the time-table.
In order to get Rome into the 17th verse they must prove that the dead king Ptolemy XI did the things that are ascribed to him in the beginning of the paragraph, and we know that a dead king cannot do these things. They have left the train and are on a wrong track. They say that the 45th verse is going to be fulfilled when the Turks shall leave Europe and go to Palestine, then Jesus shall return. But the prophecy was fulfilled B.C. 164-3, when Antiochus came to and end, and none did help him.
God is willing to open the eyes of all his righteous children and give us his Spirit. It is amazing to see what unreasonable things Uriah Smith has published. The Spirit of truth which Jesus promised his disciples they cannot claim to have. For those people who have sent out so much error in the world as the Seventh-day Adventists have done and led many people astray during these seventy years of their existence, saying it is the present truth, must sooner or later admit that they are sadly mistaken, and that their guide, Mrs. Ellen G. White, has led them far away from the truth.
Would it not be better to possess the truth and fight for it? Your prophetic doctrine will sooner or later be pulled up by the root.
A vision is not sealed before it is fulfilled. Is that hard to understand? A father of a family makes his will and seals it to the end of his life. As soon as the father is dead the time is come for the opening of his will; it is sealed no longer. His heirs would in all likelihood not wait two or three thousand years after his death to see what part of his property was coming to them; it is more probable that they would find out the facts as soon as possible.
All of the eleventh chapter refers to the time of the end, and the time of the end is when all these things are being fulfilled, which was several hundred years before Christ.
I will advise my Adventist friends to give up the contention now, instead of later on.