Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Chapter X

CHAPTER X.

THE PROPHECY OF THE PERIOD OF THE RESTORATION.

§ 45. Post-Exilic Prophecy in view of the New Temple.

A S after the first year of the sole rule of Cyrus (537 B.C.) the people gathered together out of their banishment to their native country, it soon appeared that prophecy is not only Oelov, but avdpdrmvov. The divine plan of salvation is served, not only through the far-sightedness which is rendered possible through the Spirit, but also through the short-sightedness which is not removed; for, if prophecy afforded a chronological knowledge concerning the course of the future, it would render faith, hope, and effort lame, and would aid fleshly security. It is not strange therefore that the prophets of the exile beheld the final glory in close contact with the end of the exile, and that those who returned hoped to live long enough to experience this glory, or at least something of it. But as, in the year 534 B.C., the foundation of the new temple was laid there was mingled with the cry of joy loud weeping over the smallness of the present (Ezra iii. 12 f.), and as under Cambyses the hostility of the Samaritans put a stop to the building of the temple, the people came to experience their ever-enduring servile dependence. Nevertheless, the building of the temple was continued. Darius Hystaspis approved in 520 B.C. the continuation. But those who were building the temple and the city needed such imposing task-masters as Zerubbabel and Joshua, as Ezra, and later Nehemiah; above all, such prophetic exhorters as Haggai and Zechariah.

The four addresses of the writing of Haggai are all dated after the months and days of the second year of Darius Hystaspis (520 B.c.) of the year of the resumption of the building of the temple. It was given to this prophet to announce that the fulfilling of redemption was connected with the second temple, and the world rule of the house of David with the family of Zerubbabel (cf. Jer. xxiL 24, 30): "Yet once more [is the announcement of God, Hagg. ii. 6—9], it is only a little while until I will shake the heavens, and the earth, the sea, and the mainland, and will shake the nations." From this shaking the temple, as the celebrated centre of the world, will go forth: "and the desirable things of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith Yahweh of hosts." It is shown that here D^3n rrron is not intended personally of the Messiah, not only from the plural of the predicate but also from the following

establishment of that which is placed in prospect: "Mine is the silver and mine the gold, utterance of Yahweh of hosts." Under poor circumstances arises now a new temple from the ruins of the old; but He, whose house it is, is the one who possesses all things, and who has all power, who knows how to provide for the adornment of His house (cf. Isa. lx. 5-7). But not only outwardly will this invisible temple be more glorious than the first, but also historically: "Greater shall be the final glory of this house than that in the beginning, saith Yahweh of hosts; and in this place will I give peace—utterance of Yahweh of hosts." Although the wealth of redemption is named here without the mediator of redemption, nevertheless this promise is not to be thought of without relation to the Messiah, who in Isa. ix. 5 f. is called the Prince of peace, whose dominion is directed to peace without end, and concerning whom Micah says (v. 4) that He is Di^ the incarnate peace. Indirectly therefore Haggai prophesies the appearance of the Messiah at the time of the second temple; and since the Herodiau rebuilding of the temple was never considered as a third house, v&>hv 11'3, and the temple of Ezekiel must remain out of consideration as a problematical ideal of the future, the Jewish people had reason to expect the Messiah while the post-exilic temple was still standing, and from its destruction in the year 70 A.D. there was the conclusion for those who were unprejudiced, that He must have come already.

The appearance of the Messiah at the time of the second temple was directly prophesied by Zechariah, who entered upon his ministry only two months later than Haggai, in the same second year of Darius (520 B.C.). In the first part of the book which bears his name the Messiah is twice predicted as the future Zemach (nps), since in chap. iii. as well as in chap. vi. the present of the prophecy itself is stamped as type of the man of the future. Joshua the high priest and the priests who are subordinate to him are called HSiD 'B^*?, homines prodigii, which is equivalent to porridigii, as such who prepare the way, represent beforehand, and stand security for the coming of the future One; "for behold [thus it is established, iii. 8b] I bring hither my servant Zemach." Two things impress themselves even here upon us: (1) this immediate appearance of the Messianic name HDS presupposes the preparation which we find in Isa. iv. 2; Jer. xxiii. 5, xxxiii. 15; (2) while, according to Jeremiah, Zemach ("P^) signifies sprout, which Yahweh causes to sprout to David, hence a Davidic king, which corresponds here to the idea of the kingdom of promise, the priestly side of the future One, is turned forward, for only thus can it be explained that the priesthood which again receives its office is indicated as a prefiguration of the future One. The promise is more extended in vi. 10 ff., where the prophet is enjoined to place a manifold crown (ni"iBJj) upon the head of Joshua the high priest,1 prepared from the silver and gold provided by the exiles. The words which are directed to Joshua (Zech. vi. 12, 13) indicate what the manifold crown upon one head signifies: "Behold a man whose name is Zemach; and

1 The modern improvement of text introduces at this point, "and upon the head of Zerubbabel," under the supposition that these words have fallen out from the text. They are rather contrary to it.

from the ground ["^nnp, from beneath, where he is at home] he shall spring up, and build the temple of Yahweh; yea, he shall build the temple of Yahweh; and he shall receive majesty, and sit and rule upon his throne: and a treaty of peace shall be between them both," namely, between the king and priest, whose dignity and offices he unites in one person. The antagonism, the rivalry of both offices, will be reconciled and removed in his person—the king who is priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (Ps. cx. 4). And what kind of a temple is that which he shall build? This temple, which is distinguished from the one which is now rising again from the ruins of that of Solomon, cannot possibly be like this—a building of stones. It must be the spiritual temple from living stones (1 Pet. ii. 5) which is intended, in which the promise given to the seed of David, 'DB? rv3'ruy Nin (2 Sam. vii. 13), reaches its ultimate goal.

§ 46. The Two Christological Pairs of Prophecy in Deutero-Zechariah.

I. THE FIRST PROPHETIC PAIR IN CHAPS. IX.-XI.

In the brilliant epoch of Old Testament criticism which terminates with the departure of Ewald (May 1875), it was considered just as much proved that Zech. ix.-xiv. belonged to the time before the exile, as that Isa. xl.-lxvi. belonged to the time of the exile itself. In fact, the character of this second part of the Book of Zechariah is so distinguished from the first in matter and language, that adequate grounds for unity of authorship cannot be produced. But it is all the more certain that the author, if he is also not the Zechariah the son of Berechiah, cannot be a pre-exilic prophet, for the Cliristological images move in the path in which prophecy was directed by Deutero-Isaiah: the Bo^ai of the future Christ are supplemented through his preceding Tra.dijfia.ra (1 Pet. i. 11). The two Nipp out of which this second part consists (ix.— xi., xii-xiv.) are similar throughout, of the same apocalyptic character as Isa. xxiv.—xxvii. That which is apparently pre-exilic is to be judged in like manner as that which apparently belongs to the Assyrian period: the prophet takes from pre-exilic relations emblematic features for his eschatological picturesThe first prophetic pair in chaps. ix.-xi. treats of the entrance of the king with the air of a sufferer into Jerusalem, and concerning the good shepherd who was rewarded with contempt.

1. The prophet begins in chap. ix. with the prediction concerning the judgments which are visited upon the peoples round about Judah. In the midst of this judgment Zion-Jerusalem is not only shielded, but it becomes the seat of a kingdom ruling the world in peace, ix. 9: "Bejoice greatly, daughter of Zion, exult, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy king comes to thee, righteous, and one whom salvation befalls, poor and riding upon an ass, and upon a foal, the young of an ass." The king who enters for the benefit of Jerusalem, whom it shall greet with jubilation, is Wifti] p^X a righteous one (cf. Jeremiah's pnv nox), and such an one as God has helped out of affliction and struggle to redemption and victory. He has gone through a school of suffering, and is called as VW) also ^V. We see him still as a sufferer; the humiliation is not yet transformed into pure and full glory. He does not come mounted on a horse, for he is a king, not as the kings of this world, but a king of a gentle heart and peaceful end (ix. 10b): "He speaks peace to the nations, and his government reaches from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth" (cf. Ps. lxxii. 8).

2. In chap. xi. the prophet receives the command to take the herd of slaughter of the people of God, which is slaughtered and slavishly handled by their own proprietor, under his protection. A time of anarchy, of despotism, of the love of destruction enters. With such prospects and under such circumstances, the poor flock needs more than ever a shepherd. The prophet accomplishes the commission. The symbolical act thus becomes at the same time a vision, the prophet becomes an image of the future One. He feeds the flock of slaughter, and likewise the poor of the flock, devoting to these especially his care. He feeds them with two rods, one of which is called grace (OV'i) and the other unity (D'pah), and removes from the people three shepherds in one month. The three shepherds, as we consider most probable, after the example of Ephrem, Theodoret, and Cyrill, are the three leading orders, since each one is put forth as a representative of the class of evil prophets, priests, and princes. With this interpretation it is not necessary to understand in?^} of the destruction of persons; a destruction is meant which deprives the three kinds of officials of their activity. If the prophet in this symbolical action is a representative of the future Christ, we may understand that he, the prophet, priest, and king in one person, makes room through the removal of the three kinds of bad shepherds. But the kindness which he therewith showed the people was not recognised as it deserved, so that he was weary of his activity. The rejection of the shepherd appointed by God is a rejection of Yahweh Himself, and is avenged in this way, that the people, who were hitherto shielded by God's favour, are made a prize for the attack of the nations of the world. After they compelled him to break the staff of favour, he seeks to lead them to an announcement, by which it shall appear whether they will entirely break off the relation to him as their shepherd or not (xi. 12): "Then I said to them, If it is pleasing to you, give me my reward; but if not, let it go. Then they counted me out as reward thirty pieces of silver." The thirty pieces of silver are a shamefully small valuation of his service, which remind us of the appraisement of a slave (Ex. xxi. 32). "Then Yahweh said to me, Cast it to the potter: the valuable price of which I was considered worth on your part. Then I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of Yahweh." He is to cast the trifling piece to the potter, so that it may fall into the clay which he kneads, in order that it may be soft and supple,—to the potter in the house of Yahweh, hence in the presence of Yahweh, in order that in this way he may call the people to account for their unthankfulness.1 Now the good shepherd breaks the staff of unity, and internal disruption comes as a second decree of punishment to the complications with the world-empire. The pre-exile enmity between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel is here and further on only an emblem of a deep rupture which shall divide the Jewish people into halves, one holding to the good shepherd and turning the back to him, hence one that is hostile to Christ, and one that believes in Christ. The prophet now has further (xi. 15-17) to put on the garments of a foolish mad shepherd (n?p ^J?), for such an one will oppress the people; nevertheless the judgment of Yahweh falls upon him: "Woe to the shepherd of negation [ Vemeinung, \tn ^K??' with i as a connective sound] who forsakes the flock! Sword over his arm, and over his right

1 With the casting [of the thirty pieces of silver] into the clay of the potter there is easily connected the thought, that the people, who thus reward the good shepherd, require a transformation. Thus is to be explained the proof in the history of fulfilment (Matt, xxvii. 9 f.) that the thirty pieces of silver, the price of treachery, for the purchase of the potter's field, i.e. of such an one who dealt in clay, was applied, and at the same time how the remembrance of the one citing could fall upon Jer. xviii. 4: "And if the vessel displeased him which he made, he made it into another vessel, just as it was pleasing to the potter to do.'

eye! his arm shall be entirely dried up, and his right eye entirely extinguished." Both N|>d delight in such shocking pictures. If the good shepherd is the future Christ, the foolish shepherd, whose character and ministry stand related to those of a shepherd as " no" to "yes" (cf. Job xiii. 4), is the Antichrist. The retrogressive movement of that which is prophesied is common also to both The two prophetic

images in chaps. ix. and xi. are a hysteron proteron; for first the future One consumes himself in work for his people, and then he is raised from lowliness to a kingdom which rules the world.

§ 47. The Two Christological Pairs of Prophecy in Deu tero-Zechariah.

II. THE SECOND PROPHETIC PAIR IN CHAPS. XII.-XIV.

The first X&p began as the sound of judgment on the nations in Amos, and the second as the judgment on the nations in the valley of Jehoshaphat, according to Joel. We meet in chap. xii., in the universal battle of the peoples which is described against Yahwism, Judah itself among the enemies who are laying siege to Jerusalem. It is exclusively DeuteroZechariah in whom the division of Israel against itself is formed to such an eschatological picture. Judah makes common cause with the world, which is hostile to the God of salvation; but in the midst of the climax of its enmity he come3 to his senses, and does what he can to free Jerusalem, since the light which has risen upon him has become a consuming hre to all who are opposed to it. Judah has passed to the side of the world, but will be brought around, and will be still earlier free from the bonds of the hostile world than Jerusalem itself, which goes forth from this danger of destruction more firmly and gloriously than ever: "On that day Yahweh will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and the one who stumbles among them on that day shall be as David; and the house of David as Elohim, as the angel of Yahweh before them." In xii. 10 ff. the prophet establishes that which he presupposes (ver. 2), that there will be a Jerusalem true to God and beloved by God at a time when Judah finds himself on the side of the enemy: "And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication for grace; and they shall look to me [the Massoretic reading is confirmed by the LXX., the Targum, the Peshitto, and Jerome] whom they have pierced, and they shall lament for him, like the lamentation for the only one, and shall weep bitterly for him, as one weeps bitterly for his first-born. In that day the lamentation shall be great in Jerusalem, like the lamentation in Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo [that is, like the lamentation for Josiah, the best beloved king, 2 Chron. xxxv. 22-25]. And the land shall wail, all the families apart; the family of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of Nathan apart, and their wives apart [that is, the royal house of the line of Solomon, and of the side line of Nathan]; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart [that is, the. house of Levi of the main lines Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, and the side line of Shimei, Num. iii. 21]; all the families that remain preserved, every family apart, and their wives apart."

Since, now, the Spirit from above drives the people of Jerusalem into the pain of penitence to this extent, yet in the realization of its guilt of sin it does not need to be in despair (xiii. 1): "On that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness " [that is, a fountain of living water, which washes away sin and pollution].

Who is the great pierced One, in whom Yahweh sees Himself as pierced, as hurt? In spite of the fact that the New Testament Scriptures explain that Christ is this pierced One, modern exegesis places a stranger, concerning whom we know nothing, hence an x in the place of Christ. But it can only be the ^no of Isaiah (liii. 1)—hence the servant of Yahweh, or, as we could also say, since the lamentation for him is compared with the lamentation for Josiah, the king Messiah. The great national repentance on account of the murder of him with whom Yahweh was so personally connected, that he identified Himself with him, has, indeed, its like exclusively only in the sorrowful repentant confession with which Israel of the final period (Isa. liii.), ashamed of its blindness, recognises its national guilt.

After the prophetic picture of repentance for the recognised guilt of bloodshed, there now follows, after the peculiar manner of this Deutero-Zechariah, in the movement from that which is farther to that which is nearer, the prophetic image of the shepherd beloved by God who is smitten by the sword of Yahweh (xiii. 7): "Sword, rise against my Shepherd, and against the man of my alliance—utterance of Yahweh of hosts; smite the Shepherd, so that the sheep may be scattered; and I will turn my hand to the little ones." If we are right when we compare the great repentance (Zech. xii.) with the great confession (Isa. liii.), by the same analogy we may compare Zech. xiii. 7 with Isa. liii. 10: "It pleased Yahweh to crush him; he hath caused Him pain." He willed the end, the reconciliation, and hence also the means, the vicarious death of His servant. This is the good shepherd who was paid off with thirty pieces of silver; this is the One also whom Yahweh's sword smites, while he yet stands in the closest fellowship with Him. Sword indicates here in general, as in Ps. xxii. 11, the instrument of murder. Yahweh Himself summons the sword, for all the sins of men unintentionally serve God's plan, and, especially, in this judicial murder God's decree was subserved. From the blood-guiltiness there grows up for the people who were guilty of it misfortune, for which they were responsible: the death of the shepherd had as its result the scattering of the flock. But there are such from whom God's grace does not turn away, those who are lightly esteemed, and who think little

of themselves, whose feeling is not that of the mass.

These are the two prophetic pairs of DeuteroZechariah, in which the ecce-homo form of the Christ, which forms the mighty foundation of His royal glory, comes in striking small pictures to representation. In the pre-exilic period these prophecies could not be introduced into the course of development, but now they are the fruit of the new formation of the Messianic hope which appears in Isa. xl.-lxvi.

§.48. Concluding Prophecies of New Testament Contents in Malachi.

Deutero-Zechariah prophesies concerning the good shepherd, but the aim of the history of redemption is expressed in Zech. xiv. 9: "Yahweh one, and His name one;" but not yet, as afterwards when the Good Shepherd appeared bodily: "one fold, one shepherd" (John x. 16). When in chap. xiv. he causes all peoples to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in order to celebrate there with the people of God the feast of Tabernacles, this loveliest, most familiar, most joyous, and best adapted for uniting men in brotherhood of the Israelitish national festivals, this is not a plunging into Jewish ceremonial legality, but only a development of a thought already expressed in the old prophetic word (Isa. ii. 2 f.; Micah iv. 1 f.), which also Deutero-Isaiah develops. For him also in chap. lx. Jerusalem is the point in the east from which the sun of the completed kingdom of God arises. Both of the great prophets, whose image of the Messiah is so true to the New Testament, do not yet follow out the removal of the wall of partition between Israel and the nations to its New Testament consequences. But if, now, one of the three post-exilic prophets decentralizes the worship of Yahweh, so that he also recognises outside of Jerusalem a worship of Yahweh, which is well-pleasing, in the presentation of offerings, we must hold that this prophet, from the standpoint of prophetic history, is the last of the three; for the knowledge which he affords goes beyond the prophets of the exile. But this is true of Malachi, whom we may not even for this reason place before Ezra, and, indeed, before 444 B.C. (the reading of the law, Neh. viii. 1-12), as is done on insufficient grounds of Pentateuch criticism by Beuss, Giesebrecht, and others; but above all we may not place him before Ezra, because the public circumstances, with whose censure he has to do, are the same as those found by Nehemiah in his second residence in Jerusalem after 412 B.C.; for example, the immorality of mixed marriages which prevailed again (Neh. xiii. 23; cf. Mai. ii. 11 f., and with it Deut. xxiii. 4—6). His reproof in i. 6—ii. 6 is directed against the priests. Yahweh had no pleasure in the priests as they were at that time: He was not willing to accept the meal-offerings which they brought ('"^P, by synechdoche, embraces the other offerings, i. 11): "For from the rising of the sun to its going down my name is great among the heathen, and in all places incense is burned, and sacrifices are made to my name, and, indeed p, epexegeticum], a pure mealoffering: for great is my name among the heathen, saith Yahweh of hosts." It is scarcely possible that the prophet says this concerning the heatben world of the present; the expression would go much further over that, which can be accepted as the working of preparatory grace in the heathen world, namely, as Deutero-Isaiah (xlii. 4) says: an unconscious waiting for the torah of the servant of Yahweh, joined with the feeling of the need of redemption. It is therefore that which is future which Malachi expresses as present. But however we may interpret it, it certainly is involved in the words Dipo ^331 D)i33 that the sacrificial torah will cease to be exclusively bound to Jerusalem. The prophet expresses in Old Testament form the same which Jesus answered to the question of the Samaritan woman (John iv. 23). Even this one prophetic word makes Malachi one of the greatest prophets. It is at the same time significant that the sacrifice which the peoples bring Yahweh, with an aversion to the bloody animal sacrifices, are designated as rninB nnjp, that is, as a pure meal-offering (see Isa. lxvi. 20): that is also a step forward to the New Testament worship of God "in spirit and in truth" (eV Trvevfiari ical akqdela). Malachi reproves another cancerous affection of the people from ii. 17 on to the end of this book. Led by the blasphemous language of those who miss in the present course of the world the righteous distribution of happiness and

p

misery, he prophesies a day of Yahweh which shall reveal the difference between the godless and those who fear God. They ask (ii. 17): "Where is the God of judgment?" The answer of God through His prophets is as follows (iii. 1): "Behold, I send my angel, and he prepares the way before me; and suddenly shall come to his temple the Lord [tf'Wn] whom ye seek [here the distinctive accent rebta]; and the angel of the covenant whom ye desire: behold, he comes, saith Yahweh of hosts." That which follows is description of the judgment. The Lord, that is, Yahweh, comes and holds judgment over the degenerate priesthood [the children of Levi], and the mass of the people who are sunken in vice; and from this smelting of judgment a priesthood goes forth that is pleasing to God, and a congregation of righteous people: those who fear God, who had previously vanished in the mass, and who are trodden down, attain dominion. The angel who prepares the way for the Lord is, according to ver. 23 f., Elijah the prophet, who appeals as a preacher of repentance to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, that is, in order to make up for the contrast between the present and the better past, in order that the judgment might not be a work of annihilation. On the contrary, the mention of the angel of the covenant (n,-)|n TJtfj'O) in ver. 16 remains isolated; the work of the future appears from ver. 2 forward as a work of Yahweh Himself. This is elsewhere true in the prophets, with their deepest, most

Christological words; they are only more or less like lightning which flashes through the darkness. Everything in chap. iii. is deeply significant. Even the prediction of the angel who precedes the Lord takes on a form after the words of the torah, which speak of 'n l|t£o (Ex. xxiii. 20, xxxiii. 2; cf. the form of the citation, Matt xi. 10), and not only in form, but also in fact, nn3n yvbn refers back to the angelophanies of the patriarchal history, which, according to the conclusion of the covenant (Gen. xv. with Gen. xvi.), are related mediately to the actualization of the promises of the covenant. The word =1^0 signifies in Mai. ii. 7 a messenger sent by God. rp"i3n yxb'Q, hence a messenger of God, who mediates a new covenant between God and His people. And since this mediator of the covenant in the parallel halves of the verse stands on the same basis with the Lord Himself, the prophet must think of the Lord as coming in this fTn3n "i\ti!pa and the thought suggests itself that the punitive historical appearance of Yahweh in His angel finds therein its antitype. The prophet connects the Lord and this angel of the covenant so closely together that he ascribes to those who wish for the coming of God as judge at the same time the coming of this ^>p, because the desire for the one involves in it the unintentional desire for the other.

§ 49. The Antichrist in the Book of Daniel,

We now turn for the first time to the Book of Daniel, since this book, as it lies before us, was only written about the year 168 B.c., and therefore still found admission, when the canon, which was divided into Torah, Nebiim, and Kethubim, was already in existence. Daniel, with his three friends, belongs to the servants of Yahweh among the exiles who mourned for Zion, and who were ready to seal their faith with the surrender of their lives. The historicity of his person is vouched for by Ezekiel, who mentions him (xiv. 14, 20) as a pre-eminent p*$f, and (xxviii. 3) as a pre-eminent MH, with a tendency to the mysterious. But the book which bears his name does not claim to have been written by him. As Isa. xl.-lxvi. is a book of comfort for the Babylonian exiles, the Book of Daniel is a book of comfort for the confessors and martyrs of the time of the Seleucidae. It digests traditional Babylonio-Persian histories and traditional predictions of Daniel as examples of fidelity in the faith, and promises of delivery from great tribulation. The post-exilic origin of the book is also favoured through its doctrinal contents. As in the vision of Zechariah of the four spans (vi. 1-8), the four world - powers, represented through the spotted strong horses, in the course of the vision are divided into two, the spotted horses, an image of the empire of Alexander, joined together through the union of the Orient and Occident, and the strong horses are an image of the Koman Empire; so the fourth worldempire in the Book of Daniel is the Grecian, behind which, however, the Eoman also appears. The enigmatic words of Balaam (Num. xxiv. 24) with reference to a Western world-power find here their explanation. Even in Deutero-Zechariah (ix. 13), Zion and Javan, as the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world, are contrasted. The Book of Daniel, however, has the conflict of the Jewish religion against the heathen Grecian religion as its main object. And here for the first time there comes to a detailed representation what had previously only been hinted at (Ps. lxviii. 22, cx. 6; Isa. xi. 9; Hab. iii 13; Zech. xi. 15-17), that the enmity of the world against the Church and its God should finally be combined in the person of a single individual, and would extend to a mortal struggle with the Church. Antiochus Epiphanes seeks to do away with the Jewish religion and the exclusive Jewish nationality at any price. The utmost tribulation continues for the period of half a Sabbath, hence three and a half years. But the climax of the tribulation is the turn to redemption. Thus the book prophesies, and thus it really came to pass. Before the conclusion of the year 165 B.C., the temple, which had been profaned through the ^dekxr/fia epTifKoaem, was again consecrated, and Antiochus atoned for a plundering expedition against Elymais with his life. The Book of Daniel has in its images and predictions an apocalyptic character; the prediction of future events goes back to those which are past, and takes these, in that which is related in a

prophetic way, as predetermined antecedents; whether xi. 30 is a pure prediction, fulfilled through the appearance of the Eoman fleet before Alexandria with the ambassador C. Popilius Laenas, who compelled Antiochus to vacate Egypt, and [through] the restoration of Ptolemaeus Philometor, 168 B.C., can remain undetermined; but the rescue from the persecution which began at that time, and from the violent transformation of the temple of Yahweh into a temple of Zeus Olympios (167 B.C.), must be prophecy, since the book is made without a purpose when that which is prophesied in xi. 31 ff. is degraded to a prophecy after the event. The book must have been written before the liberation of the fearfully persecuted people from their arch-enemy Antiochus Epiphanes. It does not know any other antichrist except him; but the progress of the history has shown that not only Antiochus, but also Nero, are only forerunners, prototypes of the final Antichrist.

§ 50. Christ in the Book of Daniel.

Luther, in the vision of the seventy weeks (ix. 25 f.), translates twice—and exclusively only these two passages—n't?o as Christus: sixty-nine weeks until " Christ the Prince," and "after sixty weeks Christ shall be destroyed, and shall be no more." But if, as without doubt is right, the parousia of Christ the Prince, Hebrew i^J WW®, falls in the seventy weeks, the nT? who is destroyed cannot also be the Christ. The connection TJJ nsB'p is favourable to the view that tvfo bas not the signification of the anointed king, but of the anointed priest. And since the future view of Daniel has this in common with every prophetic view of the future, that with the end of the present time of tribulation it beholds the final period, nothing is more probable than that the H't^p who shall be destroyed is the high priest Onias III., after whose removal (176 B.C.) Antiochus plundered the temple and massacred 40,000 Jews; and that TM ITE'D, in distinction from rre'D the high priest, and TJJ, the world ruler (26&), indicates the one who is HW and "MJ, or, as Zechariah (vi. 13) prophesied, is |"3 and ^'io, priest and king in one person. On the contrary, the stone which breaks in pieces the image of marble (ii. 44) is referred to the everlasting kingdom of the final period, and also in the explanation of the one who, like the Son of man (BOX 1?3), is brought on the clouds of heaven before the Ancient of Days (that is, God who is eternal, with reference to the past as well as the future), who gives him the everlasting rule over the world, only the 't/«!i3 DJ? is thought of, not expressly the one who as the one who appeared with reference to it named himself o uto? Tov avdpcoirov. But in ix. 25 the Messiah appears from the Messianic people as priestly king. And if this is found disputable, yet it remained indisputable that even the description of the future salvation makes the Book of Daniel worthy to have the last word in the Old Testament canon: 'Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy city to put a stop to crime, to cause sin to cease, and to atone for evil-doing; and to create an everlasting righteousness, and to seal [namely, through fulfilment] vision and prophecy, and to anoint that which is most holy." Here the aim of Old Testament hope is spiritually apprehended and expressed with almost dogmatic clearness.