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olympiad, having conquered the Babylonian empire, he began the first year of his monarchial reign, from whence Daniel reckons his third, which was his last, Dan. x, 1. And herein he proclaimed to the Jews, to return to Jerusalem, and to build the temple, Ezra i, 1. The city and temple were destroyed by Titus in the third year of the two hundred and eleventh olympiad. Now, from the first year of the sixty-second olympiad, to the third of the two hundred and eleventh olympiad, inclusive, are 599 years; and within that space of time we are to inquire after the 490 years here foretold.
Of this space of time, the Persian empire, from the twenty-seventh of Cyrus, or first of the whole monarchy, and the first of the sixty-second olympiad, continued two hundred and two years, as is generally acknowledged by all ancient historians, ending on the second year, inclusive of the one hundred and twelfth olympiad, which was the last of Darius Codomanus.
After his death, Alexander, beginning his reign in the third year of the hundreth and twelfth olympiad, reigned six years. From him there is a double account, by the two most famous branches of the Grecian empire. The first is by the Syrian, or ara of the
*For after this
Selucidæ, which takes its date from the tenth year after the death of Alexander, when, after some bloody contests, Seleucus settled his kingdom in Syria.
So that the time of the Grecian empire in Syria, from the death of Darius Codomanus, to the liberty of the Jews, and erection of the supreme government amongst them, was one hundred and seventy-nine years, which being added to the two hundred and two years of the Persian Empire, makes up three hundred and eighty-one years, to the same issue comes also the account by the other branch of the Grecian empire in Egypt.t
The rule of the Hasmoneans, with the reign of Herod the Great, who obtained the kingdom by means of their division, continued until the birth of Christ, one hundred and forty-eight years. For Jon
*According to the Syrian account, 1. Alexander reigned
6 years 2. From Alexander to Seleucus
10 3. Seleucus
30 4. Antiochus Soter
21 5. Antiochus Theos
15 6. Seleucus Callinicus
20 7. Seleucus Ceraunus
2 8. Antiochus Magnus
37 9. Seleucus Philopater
12 10. Antiochus Epiphanes
12 11. Eupator
2 12. Demetrius Soter
10 13. Alexander Vales
179 According to the Egyptian account, 1. Alexander
6 years 2. Ptolemeus Lagi
23 7. Philometer
athan began his růle in the second year of the hundred and fifty-seventh olympiad; as may be seen by adding the Selucian æra to the hundred and fourteenth olympiad, wherein Alexander died; and our Lord Christ was born in the second year of the hundred and ninety-fourth olympiad, in the last year, or last year but one, of Herod the Great. therefore, of a hundred and forty-eight years, being added to the forementioned, from the beginning of the empire of Cyrus, which is three hundred and eighty-one years, makes up, in all, five hundred and twenty-nine years.
From the birth of our Lord Christ, in the second year of the hundred and ninety-fourth olympiad, to the destruction of the city and temple, in the third year of the two hundred and eleventh olympiad, are seventy years; which makes up the whole sum before mentioned, of five hundred and ninety-nine years, from the first of the empire of Cyrus, to the destruction of Jerusalem.*
Petavius and Mountacue reckon from the first of Cyrus, to the eighteenth of Tiberius, wherein our Lord Christ suffered, five hundred and ninety-four years, which differs very little from the account we have insisted on; and this being every way consistent with itself, and the stated æras of the nations, and abridging the time to the shortest space that will endure the trial, we shall abide by it. Now, the num
*From Cyrus to Darius Codomanus, From Darius Codomanus, to Alexander Vales; or,
179 in the Egyptian line, to Philometer, From Philometer to the birth of Christ; or, during
the Hasmonean rule, with Herod the Great, From the birth of Christ, to the destruction of Jeru
From the first of Cyrus, to the destruction
ber of five hundred and ninety-nine years exceeds the time limited in the prophecy, by the space of a hundred and nine years. Hence it evidently appears, that the seventy weeks of Gabriel, (490 years) are not commensurate to the whole space of time between the first decree of Cyrus, in the first year of his general empire, and the final desolation of the city and temple by Titus. One hundred and nine years must be taken from it, either at the beginning, or at the end; or partly at the one, and partly at the other.
$19. We shall first consider the end of them, which being clear in the prophecy, will regulate, fix, and state the beginning. Two things in general are insisted upon in this prophecy: first, the coming of the Messiah the prince, his anointing unto the work which he had to do, and his cutting off, as we before declared; and secondly, the ceasing of the daily sacrifice, with the destruction of the city and temple, by war, and a flood of desolation. Now these things happened not at the same time; for the city and sanctuary were destroyed thirty-seven years after the cutting off, or death of the Messiah. We are to inquire, there<fore, which of these it was, that the time mentioned determined for. Now it is the coming, anointing, and cutting off of the Messiah, that is the thing chiefly intended in this prophecy. This we have proved undeniably before; manifesting that the vision was granted to Daniel, and given out by him, for the consolation of himself and the church, as was the way of the Holy Ghost in all his dealings with the fathers of old. To this the desolation and destruction of the city and temple was only a consequent of what was principally foretold. And it is doubtless unreasonable to expect the duration of the time beyond the principal subject matter treated of, and on the account whereaf alone, the computation is granted, to that which is only occasionally mentioned. Besides, the computation itself is pointed directly by the angel to the Messiah, and his cutting off. “Seventy weeks are deter“mined upon thy people, know, therefore, that from “the going forth of the commandment, to Messiah the "prince shall be," &c. “And after sixty-two weeks Ushall the Messiah be cut off.” But there is no reference of the time limited to the desolation of the city and sanctuary
Moreover, it is expressly said that the time limited extends itself only to the death of the Messiah, or a very few years farther; for he was to come after seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, which are the whole time limited within one week or seven years. Now, his coming, here intended, is not the time of his incarnation, but that of his unction at his baptism, which fell out at the end of sixty-nine weeks. After these sixtynine weeks, or seven and sixty-two weeks, he is to be "cut off;" that is, in the middle, or towards the end of the last week, when he had confirmed the covenant by preaching three years and a half of that seven years which remained. And if we shall say, that his unction was to be after the sixty-nine weeks, we must grant it to be in the first or second year of the last week; whereto add the three years and a half of his preaching, and the remaining fraction of one or two years can no way disturb the account, there being nothing more frequent than such an omission, for the sake of an intire and round number. Here, then, must we fix the end of the four hundred and ninety years, viz. in the death of the Messiah; and so wholly lay aside the account of those who would extend the time determined to the desolation of the city and temple.