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bes, hath a speaking of filer Ægus,
of the Greeks in Asia, which was erected by Alexander the Great, and continued for some years under his brother Philip Aridæus, and his two sons Alexander Ægus and Hercules. Dean Prideaux, in speaking of the swiftness of Alexander's marches, hath a passage which is very pertinent to our present purpose.“ He flew (says he) with 66 victory swifter than others can travel, often with his 6 horse pursuing his enemies upon the spur whole days 6 and nights, and sometimes making long marches for 66 several days one after the other, as once he did in pur66 suit of Darius, going near forty miles a day for eleven 66 days together. So that by the speed of his marches he 66 came upon the enemy before they were aware of him, 61 and conquered them before they could be in a posture 6. to resist him. This exactly agreeth with the descrip“ tion given of him in the prophecies of Daniel some ages “ before, he being in them seth forth under the similitude 66 of a panther or leopard with four wings; for he was “ impetuous and fierce in his warlike expeditions, as a 66 panther after his prey, and came on upon his enemies “ with that speed as if he flew with a double pair of 66 wings. And to this purpose he is, in another part of 66 those prophecies, compared to an he-goat coming from 66 the west with that swiftness upon the king of Media 66 and Persia, that he seemed as if his feet did not touch “ the ground. And his actions, as well in this compari. 66 son as the former, fully verified the prophecy."
In the next part of this vision we have an account of the Persian empire being overthrown by the Grecians. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns, and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him; and there was none that could de, liver the ram out of his hand, Dan. viii. 6,7.
The ram had before pushed westward, and the Persians, in the reigns of Darius Hystaspes and Xerxes, had poured down with great armies into Greece; but now the
Grecians, in return, carried their arms into Asia, and the he-goat invaded the ram that had invaded him. .
And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had scen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. These words strongly point to our imagination the army of Darius standing and guarding the river Granicus, and that of Alexander's on the other side plunging in, swimming across the stream, and rushing on the enemy with all the fire and fury that can be conceived. It appeared to be a strange and mad attempt of Alexan. der to attack the army of Darius, which was considerably more than five times the number of his own; but he was successful in the undertaking, and this success diffused a terror of his name, and opened his way to the conquest of Asia.
And I saw him come close unto the ram. He had sev. eral close engagements, or set battles, with the king of Persia, and particularly at the river Granicus in Phrygia, at the Straits of Issus in Cilicia, and in the plains of Arbela in Assyria.
And he was moved with choler against him. That was for the cruelties which the Persians had exercised towards the Grecians, and for Darius's attempting to corrupt sometimes the soldiers of Alexander to betray him, and sometimes his friends to destroy him; so that he would not listen to the most advantageous offers of peace, but he determined to pursue the Persian king, till he sought his destruction.
And he smote the ram, and brake his two horns. He subdued Persia and Media, with the other provinces and kingdoms of the Persian empire; and it is remarkable that in Persia he barbarously sacked and burned the royal city of Persepolis, the capital of the empire; and in Media Darius was seized and made a prisoner by some of his own traitor-subjects, who not long afterwards basely murdered him..
And there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him. He conquered wherever he went, routed all the forces, took all the cities and castles, and entirely subverted and ruined the Persian empire, ,
And there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Not even the numerous armies of the king of Persia could defend bim; though his forces at the battle of Issus amounted to 600,000 men, and at that of Arbela to 10 or 1,100,000, whereas the whole number of Alexander's was not more than 40,000 in either battle. So true is the observation of the psalmist, there is no king saved by the multitude of an host, Psal. xxxiii. 16. And especially when God hath decreed the fall of empires, then even the greatest must fall. The fortune of Alexander was totally directed by Divine Providence.
There is not any thing fixed and stable in human affairs; and the empire of the goat, though exceeding great, was, perhaps, for that reason, the sooner broken in pieces.
Therefore the he-goat waxed very great, and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones, towards the four winds of heaven. Which the angel thus interprets: Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power, Dan. viii. 22.
The empire of the goat was in its full strength when Alexander died at Babylon. He was succeeded on the throne by his natural brother Philip Aridæus, and by his own two sons Alexander Ægus and Hercules; but in the space of about fifteen years they were all murdered, and then the first horn, or kingdom, was entirely broken. The royal family being thus extinct, the governors of provinces, who had usurped the power, assumed the title of kings; and by the defeat and death of Antigonus, they were reduced to four, namely, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus, who parted Alexander's domin. ions between them, and divided and settled them into four kingdoms. These four kingdoms are the notable horns, which came up in the room of the first great horn; and are the same as the four heads of the leopard in the former vision.
Four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power: they were to be kingdoms of Greeks, not of Alexander's own family, but only of his nation; and neither were they to be equal to him in power and dominion, as an empire united is certainly more powerful than an empire divided, and the whole is greater than any of the parts. They were likewise to extend toward the four winds of heaven; and in the partition of the empire, Cassander held Macedon, and Greece, and the western parts; Lysimachus had Thrace, Bithynia, and the northern regions; Ptolemy possessed Egypt, and the southern countries; and Seleucus obtained Syria, and the eastern provinces. Thus were they divided toward the four
As in the former vision a little horn sprang up among the ten horns of the Roman empire, so here a little horn is described as rising among the four horns of the Grecian empire. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land, Dan. viji. 9. This little horn can only be applied to the Romans, who were a new and different power, who rose from small begin. nings to an exceeding great empire, who first subdued Macedon and Greece, the capital kingdoms of the goat, and from thence spread and enlarged their conquests over the rest. When they first got footing in Greece, then they became a horn of the goat. Out of this horn they came, and were at first a little horn, but in process of time they overtopped the other horns, and became predominant. The strength of the other kingdoms consisted in themselves, and had its foundation in some part of the goat; but the Roman empire, as a horn, or kingdom of the goat, was not mighty by its own power, was not strong by virtue of the goat, but drew its nourishment and strength from Rome and Italy. There grew the trunk and body of the tree, though the branches extended over Greece, Asia, Syria and Egypt.
The remainder of this prophecy chiefly relates to the persecuting and oppressing the people of God. And he waxed great even to the host of heaven (or against the host of heaven) and he cast down some of the host, and of stars to the ground, and stamped upon them: that is, the Jewish state in general, or the priests and Levites in particular, who are called stars, from their being eminent for their station, and illustrious for their knowledge; and the host of heaven, as they watched and served in the temple,
and their service is denominated a warfare, Numbers vii. 24.
He shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people; and through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand. When the city of Jerusalem was besieged and taken by the Romans, the number of captives amounted to ninety-seven thousand, and of the slain to eleven hundred thousand. The Romans too carried their conquest and revenge so far as to put an end to the government of the Jews, and entirely to take away their place and nation.
It is farther added, that he shall also stand up against the prince of princes. By the prince of princes is undoubtedly meant the Messiah. It was by the malice of the Jews, and the authority of the Romans, that he was put to death; and he suffered the punishment of the Ro
and revenge so tirely to take away also stand up ag
crucified our Saviour, but also persecuted his disciples for above three centuries; and when at length they embraced the Christian religion, they soon corrupted it; so that it may be questioned whether their favor was not as hurtful to the church as their enmity. As the power of the Roman emperors declined, that of the Roman pontiffs increased; and may it not with equal truth and justice be said of the latter, as of the former, that they cast down the truth to the ground, and practised, and prospered? The persecuting power of Rome, whether exercised towards the Jews, or towards the christians, or by the emperors or popes, is still the little horn. The tyranny is the same; but exerted in Greece and the east it is the little horn of the he-goat, or third empire; as exerted in Italy and the west, it is the little horn of the fourth beast, or fourth empire. . But the little horn, like other tyrannical powers, was to come to a remarkable end: he shall be broken without hand. As the stone in Nebuchadnezzar's dream was cut out of the mountain without hands, that is, not by human, but by supernatural means; so the little horn shall be broken without hand, that is, not fall by the hands of man, but perish by a stroke from heaven. And this agrees perfectly with the former predictions of the fatal catastrophe