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| Of the Times of Christ's Birth and Passion, and of Jerusalem's Destruction. |
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the Times of Christ’s Birth and Passion, and of Jerusalem’s
Accordingly the times must be inquired into of the
predicted and future nativity of the Christ, and of His passion, and of
the extermination of the city of Jerusalem, that is, its devastation.
For Daniel says, that “both the holy city and the holy place are
exterminated together with the coming Leader, and that the pinnacle is
destroyed unto ruin.”1226
And so the times of
the coming Christ, the Leader,1227
must be inquired
into, which we shall trace in Daniel; and, after computing them, shall
prove Him to be come, even on the ground of the times prescribed, and
of competent signs and operations of His. Which matters we prove,
again, on the ground of the consequences which were ever announced as
to follow His advent; in order that we may believe all to have been as
well fulfilled as foreseen.
In such wise, therefore, did Daniel predict concerning
Him, as to show both when and in what time He was to set the nations
free; and how, after the passion of the Christ, that city had to be
exterminated. For he says thus: “In the first year under Darius,
son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who reigned over the
kingdom of the Chaldees, I Daniel understood in the books the number of
the years.…And while I was yet speaking in my prayer, behold, the
man Gabriel, whom I saw in the vision in the beginning, flying; and he
touched me, as it were, at the hour of the evening sacrifice, and made
me understand, and spake with me, and said, Daniel I am now come out to
imbue thee with understanding; in the beginning of thy supplication
went out a word. And I am come to announce to thee, because thou art a
man of desires;1228
and ponder thou on the word, and understand
in the vision. Seventy hebdomads have been abridged1229
| 1228 Vir desideriorum; Gr.
ver. “a man greatly beloved.” Elsewhere Tertullian has
another rendering—“miserabilis.” See de Jej.
cc. vii, ix.|
upon thy commonalty, and upon the holy city,
until delinquency be made inveterate, and sins sealed, and
righteousness obtained by entreaty, and righteousness eternal
introduced; and in order that vision and prophet may be sealed, and an
holy one of holy ones anointed. And thou shalt know, and
thoroughly see, and understand, from the going forth of a word for
restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem unto the Christ, the Leader,
hebdomads (seven and an half, and1230
| 1229 Or,
“abbreviated;” breviatæ sunt; Gr. συνετμήθνσαν.
For this rendering, and the interpretations which in ancient and modern
days have been founded on it, see G. S. Faber’s Dissert. on the
prophecy of the seventy weeks, pp. 5, 6, 109–112. (London, 1811.)
The whole work will repay perusal.|
) lxii and an
half: and it shall convert, and shall be built into height and
entrenchment, and the times shall be renewed: and after these lxii
hebdomads shall the anointing be exterminated, and shall not be; and
the city and the holy place shall he exterminate together with the
Leader, who is making His advent; and they shall be cut short as in a
deluge, until (the) end of a war, which shall be cut short unto ruin.
And he shall confirm a testament in many. In one hebdomad and the half
of the hebdomad shall be taken away my sacrifice and libation, and in
the holy place the execration of devastation, (and1231
| 1230 These words are
given, by Oehler and Rig., on the authority of Pamelius. The
mss. and early editions are without
) until the end of (the) time consummation
shall be given with regard to this devastation.”1232
| 1231 Also supplied by
| 1232 See Dan. ix . 24–; 27. It seemed best to render with the
strictest literality, without regard to anything else; as an idea will
thus then be given of the condition of the text, which, as it stands,
differs widely, as will be seen, from the Hebrew and also from the
LXX., as it stands in the ed. Tisch. Lips. 1860, to which I always
adapt my references.|
Observe we, therefore, the limit,—how, in
truth, he predicts that there are to be lxx hebdomads, within
which if they receive Him, “it shall be built into height and
entrenchment, and the times shall be renewed.” But God,
foreseeing what was to be—that they will not merely not receive
Him, but will both persecute and deliver Him to death—both
recapitulated, and said, that in lx and ii and an half of an hebdomad
He is born, and an holy one of holy ones is anointed; but that when vii
and an half were
fulfilling, He had to suffer, and the holy city had to be exterminated
after one and an half hebdomad—whereby namely, the seven and an
half hebdomads have been completed. For he says thus: “And the
city and the holy place to be exterminated together with the leader who
is to come; and they shall be cut short as in a deluge; and he shall
destroy the pinnacle unto ruin.”1234
Hebdomades is preferred to Oehler’s
-as, a reading which he follows apparently on slender
Whence, therefore, do we show that the Christ came within the lxii and
an half hebdomads? We shall count, moreover, from the first year
of Darius, as at this particular time is shown to Daniel this
particular vision; for he says, “And understand and conjecture
that at the completion of thy word1235
| 1234 There is no trace of
these last words in Tischendorf’s LXX. here; and only in his
footnotes is the “pinnacle” mentioned.|
I make thee
these answers.” Whence we are bound to compute from the first
year of Darius, when Daniel saw this vision.
| 1235 Or,
“speech.” The reference seems to be to ver.
23, but there is no such
statement in Daniel.|
Let us see, therefore, how the years are filled up until
the advent of the Christ:—
For Darius reigned…xviiii1236
| 1236 So Oehler; and I print
all these numbers uniformly—as in the former part of the present
chapter—exactly in accordance with the Latin forms, for the sake
of showing how easily, in such calculations, errors may creep in.|
Artaxerxes reigned…xl and i years (41).
Then King Ochus (who is also called Cyrus)
reigned…xxiiii years (24).
Another Darius, who is also named Melas…xxi years
Alexander the Macedonian…xii years (12)
Then, after Alexander, who had reigned over both
Medes and Persians, whom he had reconquered, and had established his
kingdom firmly in Alexandria, when withal he called that (city) by his
after him reigned,
(there, in Alexandria,)
Soter…xxxv years (35).
To whom succeeds Philadelphus, reigning…xxx and
viii years (38).
To him succeeds Euergetes…xxv years (25).
Then Philopator…xvii years (17).
After him Epiphanes…xxiiii years (24).
Then another Euergetes…xxviiii years (29).
Then another Soter,…xxxviii years (38).
Ptolemy…xxxvii years (37).
Cleopatra,…xx years v months (20 5–12).
Yet again Cleopatra reigned jointly with
Augustus…xiii years (13).
After Cleopatra, Augustus reigned other…xliii
For all the years of the empire of Augustus
were…lvi years (56).
Let us see, moreover, how in the forty-first year of the
empire of Augustus, when he has been reigning for xx and viii years
after the death of Cleopatra, the Christ is born. (And the same
Augustus survived, after Christ is born, xv years; and the remaining
times of years to the day of the birth of Christ will bring us to the xl first year, which is
the xx and viiith of Augustus after the death of Cleopatra.)
There are, (then,) made up cccxxx and vii years, v months: (whence are
filled up lxii hebdomads and an half: which make up ccccxxxvii
years, vi months:) on the day of the birth of Christ. And (then)
“righteousness eternal” was manifested, and “an Holy
One of holy ones was anointed”—that is, Christ—and
“sealed was vision and prophet,” and “sins”
were remitted, which, through faith in the name of Christ, are washed
for all who believe on Him. But what does he
mean by saying that “vision and prophecy are
sealed?” That all prophets ever announced of Him that He was
to come and had to suffer. Therefore, since the prophecy was fulfilled
through His advent, for that reason he said that “vision and
prophecy were sealed;” inasmuch as He is the signet of all
prophets, fulfilling all things which in days bygone they had announced
| 1238 Diluuntur. So
Oehler has amended for the reading of the mss.
and edd., “tribuuntur.”|
For after the
advent of Christ and His passion there is no longer “vision or
prophet” to announce Him as to come. In short, if this is not so,
let the Jews exhibit, subsequently to Christ, any volumes of prophets,
visible miracles wrought by any angels, (such as those) which in bygone
days the patriarchs saw until the advent of Christ, who is now come;
since which event “sealed is vision and prophecy,” that is,
confirmed. And justly does the evangelist1240
| 1239 Comp. Pusey on Daniel,
pp. 178, 179, notes 6, 7, 8, and the passages therein referred to. And
for the whole question of the seventy weeks, and of the LXX. version of
Daniel, comp. the same book, Lect. iv. and Note E (2d thousand, 1864).
See also pp. 376–381 of the same book; and Faber (as above), pp.
write, “The law and the prophets (were) until John” the
Baptist. For, on Christ’s being baptized, that is, on His
sanctifying the waters in His own baptism,1241
all the plenitude of bygone spiritual grace-gifts ceased in Christ,
sealing as He did all vision and prophecies, which by His advent He
fulfilled. Whence most firmly does he assert that His advent
“seals visions and prophecy.”
| 1241 Comp. the very obscure
passage in de Pu. c. vi., towards the end, on which this
expression appears to cast some light.|
Accordingly, showing, (as we have done,) both the
number of the years, and the time of the lx two and an half fulfilled
hebdomads, on completion of which, (we have shown) that Christ is come,
that is, has been born, let us see what (mean) other “vii and an
half hebdomads,” which have been subdivided in the abscision
the former hebdomads; (let us see, namely,)
in what event they have been fulfilled:—
| 1242 Or, “in
For, after Augustus who survived after the birth of
Christ, are made up…xv years (15).
To whom succeeded Tiberius Cæsar, and held the
empire…xx years, vii months, xxviii days (20 etc.).
(In the fiftieth year of his empire Christ suffered,
being about xxx years of age when he suffered.)
Again Caius Cæsar, also called Caligula,…iii
years, viii months, xiii days (3 etc.).
Nero Cæsar,…xi years, ix months, xiii days
Galba…vii months, vi days. (7 etc.).
Vitellius,…viii mos., xxvii days (8 mos.).
Vespasian, in the first year of his empire, subdues the
Jews in war; and there are made lii years, vi months. For he
reigned xi years. And thus, in the day of their storming, the Jews
fulfilled the lxx hebdomads predicted in Daniel.
Therefore, when these times also were completed,
and the Jews subdued, there afterwards ceased in that place
“libations and sacrifices,” which thenceforward have not
been able to be in that place celebrated; for “the
“exterminated” in that place after the passion of Christ.
For it had been predicted that the unction should be
exterminated in that place; as in the Psalms it is prophesied,
“They exterminated my hands and feet.”1244
And the suffering of this
“extermination” was perfected within the times of the lxx
hebdomads, under Tiberius Cæsar, in the consulate of Rubellius
Geminus and Fufius Geminus, in the month of March, at the times of the
passover, on the eighth day before the calends of April,1245
on the first day of unleavened bread, on
which they slew the lamb at even, just as had been enjoined by
the synagogue of Israel did slay Him, saying to Pilate, when he
was desirous to dismiss Him, “His blood be upon us, and upon our
| 1246 Comp. Ex. xii. 6 with Mark xiv. 12, Luke xxii.
and, “If thou
dismiss him, thou art not a friend of Cæsar;”1248
in order that all things might be fulfilled
which had been written of Him.1249
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