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upon the account of his coming, against which they have invented a sorry relief, but principally on account of his being peenally cut off, which can by no means be reconciled to their presumptions and expectations. But if He be not here intended, it is incumbent on them to declare who is. For the utmost extent of the time limited in the prediction, being long since expired, the prophecy hath certainly had accomplishment in some one or other; or otherwise the whole angelical message never was, nor ever will be, of any use to the church of God.

But here our masters are by no means agreed amongst themselves; nor do they know what to answer to this inquiry. And if they guess at any one, it is not because they think it possible he should be designed, but because they think it impossible for them to keep life in their cause, without making some reply when the sword of truth lies at the heart of it. Some of them, therefore, affirm the Messiah spoken of to be Cyrus, whom God calls his anointed, Isa. xlv, 1. But what the cutting off, or death of Cyrus, should make in this prediction, they know not. And if, because Cyrus is once called the anointed of the Lord, he must be supposed to be intended in that place, where no one word or circumstance is applicable to him; they may as well say, that it is Saul, the King of Israel, who is spoken of, seeing he is also called the “anointed “of the Lord," 1 Sam. xxiv, 6. But that which casts this fancy beneath all consideration, is, the time allotted to the cutting off of the Messiah.

Abarbinel, and after him Manasse Ben Israel, with some others of them, fix on the younger Agrippa, the last King of the Jews, who, as they say, with his son Monabasius, was cut off, or slain at Rome, by Vespasian. Neither is there in this conceit any color of probability. For neither was that Agrippa properly ever king of the Jews, having only Galilee under his jurisdiction; nor was he ever anointed to be their king, nor designed of God to any work, on the account of which he might be called his anointed; nor was he of the posterity of Israel, nor did he any thing deserving an illustrious mention in this prophecy. Besides, in the last fatal war, he was still of the Roman party, nor was he cut off, or slain by Vespasian; but after the war he lived at Rome in honor; and in the third

year of Trajan died in peace.* So that there is nothing of truth, no color of probability in this desperate figment.

Their last evasion is, that by “Messiah the Prince," the office of magistracy and priesthood, and in them, all anointed to authority are intended. These, they say, were to be "cut offin the destruction of the city. But this evasion, also, is of the same nature with the former; yea, more vain than they, if any thing may be allowed to be so. The angel twice mentioneth the Messiah in his message; first, his coming and anointing, ver. 25, and then his cutting off, ver. 26. If the same person or thing be not intended in both places, the whole discourse is equivocal, no circumstance being added to distinguish between them, who are called by the same name in the same place. And to suppose that the Holy Ghost, by one and the same name, within a few words, continuing his speech of the same matter without any note of distinction, should signify things so diverse from one another, is to leave no place for understanding any thing that is spoken by him. The Messiah, therefore, who was to come, and to be anointed and cut off, is one and the same individual person. Now, it is expressly said, that there

*As Justees, the Tiberian, assures us in his History, whose words are reported by Photius, in his Bibliotheca.

shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; that is, four hundred and eighty-three years from the going forth of the decree to Messiah the prince. I desire, therefore, to know, whether that space of time was passed before they had any magistrates or priests, to be afterwards cut off? This pretence, therefore, may pass with the former. And this perplexity of the modern Jews, in their attempts to apply this prophecy to any other thing or person besides the true Messiah, confirms our exposition and application of it. There is no other that they can imagine, to whom any one thing here mentioned may seem to belong; much less can they think of any, in whom they should all centre and agree. It is then the promised Messiah, the hope and expectation of the fathers, whose coming and cutting off is here foretold.

$16. (II.) More fully to demonstrate our assertion, and to rescue this illustrious prophetic testimony from the withered grasp of prejudice, let us now advert to the computation of Daniel's weeks. That there is some difficulty in finding out the exact computation of time here limited, all chronologers and expositors confess. Nor is it necessary to suppose, that Daniel himself exactly understood the beginning and the end of the weeks mentioned. The hiding of the precise time intended was greatly subservient to the providence of God, in the work he had to do by the Messiah, and what that people were to do to him. The general notation of it sufficed for the direction of the godly, and the conviction of unbelievers, as it doth to this day. And it may be, we shall not find any computation that will answer in all particulars and fractions to a day, month, or even year. And that, either because of the great darkness and confusion of some of the times falling under the account, or else, because perhaps it was not the mind of God, that ever the time should be so precisely concluded, or that any thing which he revealed for the strengthening of the church's faith, should depend upon chronological niceties. It shall suffice us, then, to propose and confirm such an account of these weeks, which, while it infallibly compriseth the substance of the prophecy, contains nothing in it contrary to the scriptures, and is not liable to any just and rational exception.

$17. In the first place, we may wholly lay aside the consideration of those who would date the weeks from any time whatever before the first year of the reign, and first decree of Cyrus. And of the like nature is the account of Solomon Jarchi, among the Jews, who dates the time limited from the destruction of the temple by the Chaldeans.

But both these accounts are expressly contrary to the words of the angel, who fixes the beginning of the time designed to the going forth of a decree for building Jerusalem. To these we may add all that would extend these weeks beyond the destruction of the city and temple by Titus, as some of the Jews would do, with a view that the prophecy should comprise their second fatal destruction by Adrian, which is no way concerned in it.

The seventy weeks mentioned we must then seek for, between the first year of Cyrus, when the first decree was made for rebuilding the temple, and the final destruction of it by the Romans. This space we are confined to by the text; the seventy weeks are “from “the going forth of the word to cause to return, and to "build Jerusalem,” ver. 25.

Now, the kingdom of Cyrus had a double first year; the one absolutely of his reign over Persia, the other of his rule over the Babylonish monarchy, which he had conquered after the death of Darius Medus. Now, it is the first year of the second date of the kingdom of Cyrus, which may have any relation to the time here limited; for whilst he was king of Persia only, he could have nothing to do with the Jews, nor make any decree for the building of the temple, both the people and place being then under the dominion of another. Besides, it being said, Ezra i, 1; that he made his decree in the first year of his reign, himself plainly declares, that he had obtained the Eastern monarchy by the conquest of Babylon. “The Lord God of “Heaven hath given me the whole kingdoms of the “earth,” ver. 2, which words can in no sense, be applied to the kingdom of Persia, supposing the monarchy of Babylon still to continue.

The whole space of time then here limited is seventy weeks, ver. 24. The beginning of these seventy weeks is the going forth of the decree, or word to restore or build Jerusalem, ver. 25.

The first decree or command that could have any relation to this matter, was that made by Cyrus, in the first year of his empire. We must then, in the first place, find out the direct space of time between the first year of Cyrus, and the destruction of the temple; and then inquire, whether the whole, or what part of it, is denoted by these seventy weeks.

$18. It is generally agreed by all historians and chronologers, that Cyrus began his reign over Persia in the first

year of the fifty-fifth olympiad; probably the same year that Nabonidus, or Darius Medus began his reign over Babylon. And this was the year in which Daniel set himself solemnly to seek the Lord for the delivery of the people out of captivity, he who was so long before prophesied of to be their deliverer, being now come to a kingdom, Dan. ix, 1. In the twentyseventh year of his reign, or the first of the sixty-second



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