14 Nebuchadnezzar carried away as prisoners the people of Jerusalem, all the royal princes, and all the leading men, ten thousand in all. He also deported all the skilled workers, including the blacksmiths, leaving only the poorest of the people behind in Judah. 15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as a prisoner, together with Jehoiachin’s mother, his wives, his officials, and the leading men of Judah. 16 Nebuchadnezzar deported all the important men to Babylonia, seven thousand in all, and one thousand skilled workers, including the blacksmiths, all of them able-bodied men fit for military duty. 17 Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin’s uncle Mattaniah king of Judah and changed his name to Zedekiah. (2 Kings 24:1-17, TEV)
BUT a terror seized on the King of Babylon, who had given the kingdom to Jehoiachin, and that immediately; he was afraid that he should bear him a grudge, because of his killing his father, and thereupon should make the country revolt from him; wherefore he sent an army, and besieged Jehoiachin in Jerusalem; but because he was of a gentle and just disposition, he did not desire to see the city endangered on his account, but he took his mother and kindred, and delivered them to the commanders sent by the King of Babylon, and accepted of their oaths, that neither should they suffer any harm, nor the city; which agreement they did not observe for a single year, for the King of Babylon did not keep it, but gave orders to his generals to take all that were in the city captives, both the youth and the handicraftsmen, and bring them bound to him; their number was ten thousand eight hundred and thirty-two; as also Jehoiachin, and his mother and friends. And when these were brought to him, he kept them in custody, and appointed Jehoiachin's uncle, Zedekiah, to be king; and made him take an oath, that he would certainly keep the kingdom for him, and make no innovation, nor have any league of friendship with the Egyptians.
18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he was appointed king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother Hamutal was the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 19 Zedekiah disobeyed the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 It was Zedekiah who finally rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. The people of Judah and Jerusalem had made the Lord so angry that he finally turned his back on them. That’s why these horrible things were happening. (2 Kings 24:18-20, CEV)
Now Zedekiah was twenty and one year's old when he took the government; and had the same mother with his brother Jehoiakim, but was a despiser of justice and of his duty, for truly those of the same age with him were wicked about him, and the whole multitude did what unjust and insolent things they pleased; for which reason the prophet Jeremiah came often to him, and protested to him, and insisted, that he must leave off his impieties and transgressions, and take care of what was right, and neither give ear to the rulers, (among whom were wicked men,) nor give credit to their false prophets, who deluded them, as if the King of Babylon would make no more war against them, and as if the Egyptians would make war against him, and conquer him, since what they said was not true, and the events would not prove such [as they expected].
Now as to Zedekiah himself, while he heard the prophet speak, he believed him, and agreed to every thing as true, and supposed it was for his advantage; but then his friends perverted him, and dissuaded him from what the prophet advised, and obliged him to do what they pleased. Ezekiel also foretold in Babylon what calamities were coming upon the people, which when he heard, he sent accounts of them unto Jerusalem. But Zedekiah did not believe their prophecies, for the reason following: It happened that the two prophets agreed with one another in what they said as in all other things, that the city should be taken, and Zedekiah himself should be taken captive; but Ezekiel disagreed with him, and said that Zedekiah should not see Babylon, while Jeremiah said to him, that the King of Babylon should carry him away thither in bonds. And because they did not both say the same thing as to this circumstance, he disbelieved what they both appeared to agree in, and condemned them as not speaking the truth therein, although all the things foretold him did come to pass according to their prophecies, as we shall show upon a fitter opportunity.
Now when Zedekiah had preserved the league of mutual assistance he had made with the Babylonians for eight years, he brake it, and revolted to the Egyptians, in hopes, by their assistance, of overcoming the Babylonians. When the King of Babylon knew this, he made war against him: he laid his country waste, and took his fortified towns, and came to the city Jerusalem itself to besiege it. But when the King of Egypt heard what circumstances Zedekiah his ally was in, he took a great army with him, and came into Judea, as if he would raise the siege; upon which the King of Babylon departed from Jerusalem, and met the Egyptians, and joined battle with them, and beat them; and when he had put them to flight, he pursued them, and drove them out of all Syria. Now as soon as the King of Babylon was departed from Jerusalem, the false prophets deceived Zedekiah, and said that the King of Babylon would not any more make war against him or his people, nor remove them out of their own country into Babylon; and that those then in captivity would return, with all those vessels of the temple of which the King of Babylon had despoiled that temple.
But Jeremiah came among them, and prophesied what contradicted those predictions, and what proved to be true, that they did ill, and deluded the king; that the Egyptians would be of no advantage to them, but that the King of Babylon would renew the war against Jerusalem, and besiege it again, and would destroy the people by famine, and carry away those that remained into captivity, and would take away what they had as spoils, and would carry off those riches that were in the temple; nay, that, besides this, he would burn it, and utterly overthrow the city, and that they should serve him and his posterity seventy years; that then the Persians and the Medes should put an end to their servitude, and overthrow the Babylonians.
When Jeremiah said this, the greater part believed him; but the rulers, and those that were wicked, despised him, as one disordered in his senses. Now he had resolved to go elsewhere, to his own country, which was called Anathoth, and was twenty furlongs distant from Jerusalem; and as he was going, one of the rulers met him, and seized upon him, and accused him falsely, as though he were going as a deserter to the Babylonians; but Jeremiah said that he accused him falsely, and added, that he was only going to his own country; but the other would not believe him, but seized upon him, and led him away to the rulers, and laid an accusation against him, under whom he endured all sorts of torments and tortures, and was reserved to be punished; and this was the condition he was in for some time, while he suffered what I have already described unjustly.
1. Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came. He and all his army came against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built a siege mound all around it. 2. And the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah, (2 Kings 25:1-2, HBFV)
Now in the ninth year of the reign of Zedekiah, on the tenth day of the tenth month, the King of Babylon made a second expedition against Jerusalem, and lay before it eighteen months, and besieged it with the utmost application. There came upon them also two of the greatest calamities at the same time that Jerusalem was besieged, a famine and a pestilential distemper, and made great havoc of them. And though the prophet Jeremiah was in prison, he did not rest, but cried out, and proclaimed aloud, and exhorted the multitude to open their gates, and admit the King of Babylon, for that if they did so, they should be preserved, and their whole families; but if they did not so, they should be destroyed; and he foretold, that if any one staid in the city, he should certainly perish by one of these ways, - either be consumed by the famine, or slain by the enemy's sword; but that if he would flee to the enemy, he should escape death. Yet did not these rulers who heard believe him, even when they were in the midst of their sore calamities; but they came to the king, and in their anger informed him what Jeremiah had said, and accused him, and complained of the prophet as of a madman, and one that disheartened their minds, and by the denunciation of miseries weakened the alacrity of the multitude, who were otherwise ready to expose themselves to dangers for him, and for their country, while he, in a way of threatening, warned them to flee to the enemy, and told them that the city should certainly be taken, and be utterly destroyed.
But for the King himself, he was not at all irritated against Jeremiah, such was his gentle and righteous disposition; yet, that he might not be engaged in a quarrel with those rulers at such a time, by opposing what they intended, he let them do with the prophet whatsoever they would; whereupon, when the King had granted them such a permission, they presently came into the prison, and took him, and let him down with a cord into a pit full of mire, that he might be suffocated, and die of himself. So he stood up to the neck in the mire which was all about him, and so continued; but there was one of the king's servants, who was in esteem with him, an Ethiopian by descent, who told the King what a state the prophet was in, and said that his friends and his rulers had done evil in putting the prophet into the mire, and by that means contriving against him that he should suffer a death more bitter than that by his bonds only. When the King heard this, he repented of his having delivered up the prophet to the rulers, and bid the Ethiopian take thirty men of the king's guards, and cords with them, and whatsoever else they understood to be necessary for the prophet's preservation, and to draw him up immediately. So the Ethiopian took the men he was ordered to take, and drew up the prophet out of the mire, and left him at liberty [in the prison].
And when the King had assured him upon oath, that he would neither himself put him to death, nor deliver him up to the rulers, he became bold upon that assurance that was given him, and gave him this advice: That he should deliver the city up to the Babylonians; and he said that it was God who prophesied this by him, that [he must do so] if he would be preserved, and escape out of the danger he was in, and that then neither should the city fall to the ground, nor should the temple be burned; but that [if he disobeyed] he would be the cause of these miseries coming upon the citizens, and of the calamity that would befall his whole house.
When the King heard this, he said that he would willingly do what he persuaded him to, and what he declared would be to his advantage, but that he was afraid of those of his own country that had fallen away to the Babylonians, lest he should be accused by them to the King of Babylon, and be punished. But the prophet encouraged him, and said he had no cause to fear such punishment, for that he should not have the experience of any misfortune, if he would deliver all up to the Babylonians, neither himself, nor his children, nor his wives, and that the temple should then continue unhurt. So when Jeremiah had said this, the King let him go, and charged him to betray what they had resolved on to none of the citizens, nor to tell any of these matters to any of the rulers, if they should have learned that he had been sent for, and should inquire of him what it was that he was sent for, and what he had said to him; but to pretend to them that he besought him that he might not be kept in bonds and in prison. And indeed he said so to them; for they came to the, prophet, and asked him what advice it was that he came to give the King relating to them. And thus I have finished what concerns this matter.
Babylon takes Jerusalem, temple burned and pillaged, King taken captive
3. On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine was severe in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land, 4. Then the city was breached, and by night all the men of war fled by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden. And the Chaldeans were against the city all round. And the king went the way toward the plain. 5. And the army of the Chaldees pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. And all his army was scattered from him. 6. And they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah. And they gave judgment upon him. 7. And they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with bronze chains and carried him to Babylon. (2 Kings 25:3-7, HBFV)
NOW the King of Babylon was very intent and earnest upon the siege of Jerusalem; and he erected towers upon great banks of earth, and from them repelled those that stood upon the walls; he also made a great number of such banks round about the whole city, whose height was equal to those walls. However, those that were within bore the siege with courage and alacrity, for they were not discouraged, either by the famine, or by the pestilential distemper, but were of cheerful minds in the prosecution of the war, although those miseries within oppressed them also, and they did not suffer themselves to be terrified, either by the contrivances of the enemy, or by their engines of war, but contrived still different engines to oppose all the other withal, till indeed there seemed to be an entire struggle between the Babylonians and the people of Jerusalem, which had the greater sagacity and skill; the former party supposing they should be thereby too hard for the other, for the destruction of the city; the latter placing their hopes of deliverance in nothing else but in persevering in such inventions in opposition to the other, as might demonstrate the enemy's engines were useless to them. And this siege they endured for eighteen months, until they were destroyed by the famine, and by the darts which the enemy threw at them from the towers.
Now the city was taken on the ninth day of the fourth month, in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah. They were indeed only generals of the King of Babylon, to whom Nebuchadnezzar committed the care of the siege, for he abode himself in the city of Riblah. The names of these generals who ravaged and subdued Jerusalem, if any one desire to know them, were these: Nergal Sharezer, Samgar Nebo, Rabsaris, Sorsechim, and Rabmag. And when the city was taken about midnight, and the enemy's generals were entered into the temple, and when Zedekiah was sensible of it, he took his wives, and his children, and his captains, and his friends, and with them fled out of the city, through the fortified ditch, and through the desert; and when certain of the deserters had informed the Babylonians of this, at break of day, they made haste to pursue after Zedekiah, and overtook him not far from Jericho, and encompassed him about. But for those friends and captains of Zedekiah who had fled out of the city with him, when they saw their enemies near them, they left him, and dispersed themselves, some one way, and some another, and every one resolved to save himself; so the enemy took Zedekiah alive, when he was deserted by all but a few, with his children and his wives, and brought him to the king.
When he was come, Nebuchadnezzar began to call him a wicked wretch, and a covenant-breaker, and one that had forgotten his former words, when he promised to keep the country for him. He also reproached him for his ingratitude, that when he had received the kingdom from him, who had taken it from Jehoiachin, and given it to him, he had made use of the power he gave him against him that gave it.
And when he had used these words to Zedekiah, he commanded his sons and his friends to be slain, while Zedekiah and the rest of the captains looked on; after which he put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him, and carried him to Babylon. And these things happened to him, as Jeremiah and Ezekiel had foretold to him, that he should be caught, and brought before the King of Babylon, and should speak to him face to face, and should see his eyes with his own eyes; and thus far did Jeremiah prophesy. But he was also made blind, and brought to Babylon, but did not see it, according to the prediction of Ezekiel.
We have said thus much, because it was sufficient to show the nature of God to such as are ignorant of it, that it is various, and acts many different ways, and that all events happen after a regular manner, in their proper season, and that it foretells what must come to pass. It is also sufficient to show the ignorance and incredulity of men, whereby they are not permitted to foresee any thing that is future, and are, without any guard, exposed to calamities, so that it is impossible for them to avoid the experience of those calamities.
And after this manner have the kings of David's race ended their lives, being in number twenty-one, until the last king, who all together reigned five hundred and fourteen years, and six months, and ten days; of whom Saul, who was their first king, retained the government twenty years, though he was not of the same tribe with the rest.
8 On the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, a servant of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 9 He burned the LORD’s temple, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the great houses. 10 The whole Chaldean army with the commander of the guards tore down the walls surrounding Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population. 12 But the commander of the guards left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and farmers.
13 Now the Chaldeans broke into pieces the bronze pillars of the LORD’s temple, the water carts, and the bronze reservoir, which were in the LORD’s temple, and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took the pots, the shovels, the wick trimmers, the dishes, and all the bronze articles used in temple service. 15 The commander of the guards took away the firepans and the sprinkling basins—whatever was gold or silver. 16 As for the two pillars, the one reservoir, and the water carts that Solomon had made for the LORD’s temple, the weight of the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure. 17 One pillar was 27 feet tall and had a bronze capital on top of it. The capital, encircled by a grating and pomegranates of bronze, stood five feet high. The second pillar was the same, with its own grating. 18 The commander of the guards also took away Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three doorkeepers.
19 From the city he took a court official who had been appointed over the warriors; five trusted royal aides found in the city; the secretary of the commander of the army, who enlisted the people of the land for military duty; and 60 men from the common people who were found within the city. 20 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah went into exile from its land. (2 Kings 25:8-21, HCSB)
And now it was that the King of Babylon sent Nebuzaradan, the general of his army, to Jerusalem, to pillage the temple, who had it also in command to burn it and the royal palace, and to lay the city even with the ground, and to transplant the people into Babylon. Accordingly, he came to Jerusalem in the eleventh year of King Zedekiah, and pillaged the temple, and carried out the vessels of God, both gold and silver, and particularly that large laver which Solomon dedicated, as also the pillars of brass, and their chapiters, with the golden tables and the candlesticks; and when he had carried these off, he set fire to the temple in the fifth month, the first day of the month, in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, and in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar: he also burnt the palace, and overthrew the city. Now the temple was burnt four hundred and seventy years, six months, and ten days after it was built.
It was then one thousand and sixty-two years, six months, and ten days from the departure out of Egypt; and from the deluge to the destruction of the temple, the whole interval was one thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven years, six months, and ten days; but from the generation of Adam, until this befell the temple, there were three thousand five hundred and thirteen years, six months, and ten days; so great was the number of years hereto belonging. And what actions were done during these years we have particularly related. But the general of the Babylonian King now overthrew the city to the very foundations, and removed all the people, and took for prisoners the high priest Seraiah, and Zephaniah the priest that was next to him, and the rulers that guarded the temple, who were three in number, and the eunuch who was over the armed men, and seven friends of Zedekiah, and his scribe, and sixty other rulers; all which, together with the vessels which they had pillaged, he carried to the King of Babylon to Riblah, a city of Syria. So the King commanded the heads of the high priest and of the rulers to be cut off there; but he himself led all the captives and Zedekiah to Babylon. He also led Josedek the high priest away bound. He was the son of Seraiah the high priest, whom the King of Babylon had slain in Riblah, a city of Syria, as we just now related.
And now, because we have enumerated the succession of the kings, and who they were, and how long they reigned, I think it necessary to set down the names of the high priests, and who they were that succeeded one another in the high priesthood under the Kings. The first high priest then at the temple which Solomon built was Zadok; after him his son Achimas received that dignity; after Achimas was Azarias; his son was Joram, and Joram's son was Isus; after him was Axioramus; his son was Phidens, and Phideas's son was Sudeas, and Sudeas's son was Juelus, and Juelus's son was Jotham, and Jotham's son was Urias, and Urias's son was Nerias, and Nerias's son was Odeas, and his son was Sallumus, and Sallumus's son was Elcias, and his son [was Azarias, and his son] was Sareas, and his son was Josedec, who was carried captive to Babylon. All these received the high priesthood by succession, the sons from their father.
When the King was come to Babylon, he kept Zedekiah in prison until he died, and buried him magnificently, and dedicated the vessels he had pillaged out of the temple of Jerusalem to his own gods, and planted the people in the country of Babylon, but freed the high priest from his bonds.
Babylonian General sets Gedaliah over remnant in Judea
20. And Nebuzaradan the chief of the executioners took these and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. 21. And the king of Babylon struck them and killed them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And he exiled Judah from its land. 22. And he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left. 23. And all the commanders of the army, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor. And they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men. 24. And Gedaliah swore to them and to their men, and said to them, "Do not fear to be the servants of the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you." 25. And it came to pass in the seventh month, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama of the seed of the kingdom, and ten men with him, came and struck Gedaliah, and he died, and also the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26. And all the people, both small and great, and the commanders of the armies, arose and came to Egypt, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans. 27. And it came to pass in the thirty- seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison. 28. And he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29. And he changed his prison clothes. And he always ate bread before him all the days of his life. 30. And his allowance was a regular allowance given him from the king, a daily ration for every day, all the days of his life. (2 Kings 25:20-30, HBFV)
NOW the general of the army, Nebuzaradan, when he had carried the people of the Jews into captivity, left the poor, and those that had deserted, in the country, and made one, whose name was Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, a person of a noble family, their governor; which Gedaliah was of a gentle and righteous disposition. He also commanded them that they should cultivate the ground, and pay an appointed tribute to the king. He also took Jeremiah the prophet out of prison, and would have persuaded him to go along with him to Babylon, for that he had been enjoined by the King to supply him with whatsoever he wanted; and if he did not like to do so, he desired him to inform him where he resolved to dwell, that he might signify the same to the king. But the prophet had no mind to follow him, nor to dwell any where else, but would gladly live in the ruins of his country, and in the miserable remains of it. When the general understood what his purpose was, he enjoined Gedaliah, whom he left behind, to take all possible care of him, and to supply him with whatsoever he wanted. So when he had given him rich presents, he dismissed him. Accordingly, Jeremiah abode in a city of that country, which was called Mispah; and desired of Nebuzaradan that he would set at liberty his disciple Baruch, the son of Neriah, one of a very eminent family, and exceeding skillful in the language of his country.
When Nebuzaradan had done thus, he made haste to Babylon. But as to those that fled away during the siege of Jerusalem, and had been scattered over the country, when they heard that the Babylonians were gone away, and had left a remnant in the land of Jerusalem, and those such as were to cultivate the same, they came together from all parts to Gedaliah to Mispah. Now the rulers that were over them were Johanan, the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah, and Seraiah, and others beside them.
So Johanan, and the rulers that were with him, not being able to persuade Gedaliah, went away. But after the interval of thirty days was over, Ishmael came again to Gedaliah, to the city Mispah, and ten men with him; and when he had feasted Ishmael, and those that were with him, in a splendid manner at his table, and had given them presents, he became disordered in drink, while he endeavored to be very merry with them; and when Ishmael saw him in that case, and that he was drowned in his cups to the degree of insensibility, and fallen asleep, he rose up on a sudden, with his ten friends, and slew Gedaliah, and those that were with him at the feast; and when he had slain them, he went out by night, and slew all the Jews that were in the city, and those soldiers also which were left therein by the Babylonians. But the next day fourscore men came out of the country with presents to Gedaliah, none of them knowing what had befallen him; when Ishmael saw them, he invited them in to Gedaliah, and when they were come in, he shut up the court, and slew them, and cast their dead bodies down into a certain deep pit, that they might not be seen; but of these fourscore men Ishmael spared those that entreated him not to kill them, till they had delivered up to him what riches they had concealed in the fields, consisting of their furniture, and garments, and corn: but he took captive the people that were in Mispah, with their wives and children; among whom were the daughters of King Zedekiah, whom Nebuzaradan, the general of the army of Babylon, had left with Gedaliah. And when he had done this, he came to the King of the Ammonites.
But when Johanan and the rulers with him heard of what was done at Mispah by Ishmael, and of the death of Gedaliah, they had indignation at it, and every one of them took his own armed men, and came suddenly to fight with Ishmael, and overtook him at the fountain in Hebron. And when those that were carried away captives by Ishmael saw Johanan and the rulers, they were very glad, and looked upon them as coming to their assistance; so they left him that had carried them captives, and came over to Johanan: then Ishmael, with eight men, fled to the King of the Ammonites; but Johanan took those whom he had rescued out of the hands of Ishmael, and the eunuchs, and their wives and children, and came to a certain place called Mandra, and there they abode that day, for they had determined to remove from thence and go into Egypt, out of fear, lest the Babylonians should slay them, in case they continued in the country, and that out of anger at the slaughter of Gedaliah, who had been by them set over it for governor.
Now while they were under this deliberation, Johanan, the son of Kareah, and the rulers that were with him, came to Jeremiah the prophet, and desired that he would pray to God, that because they were at an utter loss about what they ought to do, he would discover it to them, and they sware that they would do whatsoever Jeremiah should say to them. And when the prophet said he would be their intercessor with God, it came to pass, that after ten days God appeared to him, and said that he should inform Johanan, and the other rulers, and all the people, that he would be with them while they continued in that country, and take care of them, and keep them from being hurt by the Babylonians, of whom they were afraid; but that he would desert them if they went into Egypt, and, out of this wrath against them, would inflict the same punishments upon them which they knew their brethren had already endured. So when the prophet had informed Johanan and the people that God had foretold these things, he was not believed, when he said that God commanded them to continue in the country; but they imagined that he said so to gratify Baruch, his own disciple, and belied God, and that he persuaded them to stay there, that they might be destroyed by the Babylonians. Accordingly, both the people and Johanan disobeyed the counsel of God, which he gave them by the prophet, and removed into Egypt, and carried Jeremiah and Barnch along with him.
And when they were there, God signified to the prophet that the King of Babylon was about making an expedition against the Egyptians, and commanded him to foretell to the people that Egypt should be taken, and the King of Babylon should slay some of them and, should take others captive, and bring them to Babylon; which things came to pass accordingly; for on the fifth year after the destruction of Jerusalem, which was the twenty-third of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, he made an expedition against Celesyria; and when he had possessed himself of it, he made war against the Ammonites and Moabites; and when he had brought all these nations under subjection, he fell upon Egypt, in order to overthrow it; and he slew the King that then reigned and set up another; and he took those Jews that were there captives, and led them away to Babylon.
The prophet Daniel in Babylonian captivity
1 During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The LORD gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God. So Nebuchadnezzar took them back to the land of Babylonia and placed them in the treasure-house of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. 4 "Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men," he said. "Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon. "
5 The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service. 6 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. 7 The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego. 8 But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. 9 Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. 10 But he responded, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded." 11 Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 12 "Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water," Daniel said. 13 "At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see." 14 The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. 16 So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others. 17 God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams. 18 When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. 20 Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom. 21 Daniel remained in the royal service until the first year of the reign of King Cyrus. (Daniel 1, NLT)
BUT now Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king, such as were remarkable for the beauty of their bodies, and the comeliness of their countenances, and delivered them into the hands of tutors, and to the improvement to be made by them. He also made some of them to be eunuchs; which course he took also with those of other nations whom he had taken in the flower of their age, and afforded them their diet from his own table, and had them instructed in the institutes of the country, and taught the learning of the Chaldeans; and they had now exercised themselves sufficiently in that wisdom which he had ordered they should apply themselves to. Now among these there were four of the family of Zedekiah, of most excellent dispositions, one of whom was called Daniel, another was called Ananias, another Misael, and the fourth Azarias; and the King of Babylon changed their names, and commanded that they should make use of other names. Daniel he called Belshazzar; Ananias, Shadrach; Misael, Meshach; and Azarias, Abednego. These the King had in esteem, and continued to love, because of the very excellent temper they were of, and because of their application to learning, and the progress they had made in wisdom.
Now Daniel and his kinsmen had resolved to use a severe diet, and to abstain from those kinds of food which came from the king's table, and entirely to forbear to eat of all living creatures. So he came to Ashpenaz, who was that eunuch to whom the care of them was committed, and desired him to take and spend what was brought for them from the king, but to give them pulse and dates for their food, and any thing else, besides the flesh of living creatures, that he pleased, for that their inclinations were to that sort of food, and that they despised the other. He replied, that he was ready to serve them in what they desired, but he suspected that they would be discovered by the king, from their meager bodies, and the alteration of their countenances, because it could not be avoided but their bodies and colors must be changed with their diet, especially while they would be clearly discovered by the finer appearance of the other children, who would fare better, and thus they should bring him into danger, and occasion him to be punished; yet did they persuade Arioch, who was thus fearful, to give them what food they desired for ten days, by way of trial; and in case the habit of their bodies were not altered, to go on in the same way, as expecting that they should not be hurt thereby afterwards; but if he saw them look meager, and worse than the rest, he should reduce them to their former diet.
Now when it appeared that they were so far from becoming worse by the use of this food, that they grew plumper and fuller in body than the rest, insomuch that he thought those who fed on what came from the king's table seemed less plump and full, while those that were with Daniel looked as if they had lived in plenty, and in all sorts of luxury. Arioch, from that time, securely took himself what the King sent every day from his supper, according to custom, to the children, but gave them the aforementioned diet, while they had their souls in some measure more pure, and less burdened, and so fitter for learning, and had their bodies in better tune for hard labor; for they neither had the former oppressed and heavy with variety of meats, nor were the other effeminate on the same account; so they readily understood all the learning that was among the Hebrews, and among the Chaldeans, as especially did Daniel, who being already sufficiently skillful in wisdom, was very busy about the interpretation of dreams; and God manifested himself to him.
Now two years after the destruction of Egypt, King Nebuchadnezzar saw a wonderful dream, the accomplishment of which God showed him in his sleep; but when he arose out of his bed, he forgot the accomplishment. So he sent for the Chaldeans and magicians, and the prophets, and told them that he had seen a dream, and informed them that he had forgotten the accomplishment of what he had seen, and he enjoined them to tell him both what the dream was, and what was its signification; and they said that this was a thing impossible to be discovered by men; but they promised him, that if he would explain to them what dream he had seen, they would tell him its signification. Hereupon he threatened to put them to death, unless they told him his dream; and he gave command to have them all put to death, since they confessed they could not do what they were commanded to do. Now when Daniel heard that the King had given a command, that all the wise men should be put to death, and that among them himself and his three kinsmen were in danger, he went to Arioch, who was captain of the king's guards, and desired to know of him what was the reason why the King had given command that all the wise men, and Chaldeans, and magicians should be slain.
So when he had learned that the King had had a dream, and had forgotten it, and that when they were enjoined to inform the King of it, they had said they could not do it, and had thereby provoked him to anger, he desired of Arioch that he would go in to the king, and desire respite for the magicians for one night, and to put off their slaughter so long, for that he hoped within that time to obtain, by prayer to God, the knowledge of the dream. Accordingly, Arioch informed the King of what Daniel desired. So the King bid them delay the slaughter of the magicians till he knew what Daniel's promise would come to; but the young man retired to his own house, with his kinsmen, and besought God that whole night to discover the dream, and thereby deliver the magicians and Chaldeans, with whom they were themselves to perish, from the king's anger, by enabling him to declare his vision, and to make manifest what the King had seen the night before in his sleep, but had forgotten it.
Accordingly, God, out of pity to those that were in danger, and out of regard to the wisdom of Daniel, made known to him the dream and its interpretation, that so the King might understand by him its signification also. When Daniel had obtained this knowledge from God, he arose very joyful, and told it his brethren, and made them glad, and to hope well that they should now preserve their lives, of which they despaired before, and had their minds full of nothing but the thoughts of dying. So when he had with them returned thanks to God, who had commiserated their youth, when it was day he came to Arioch, and desired him to bring him to the king, because he would discover to him that dream which he had seen the night before.
When Daniel was come in to the king, he excused himself first, that he did not pretend to be wiser than the other Chaldeans and magicians, when, upon their entire inability to discover his dream, he was undertaking to inform him of it; for this was not by his own skill, or on account of his having better cultivated his understanding than the rest.
Daniel did also declare the meaning of the stone to the King but I do not think proper to relate it, since I have only undertaken to describe things past or things present, but not things that are future; yet if any one be so very desirous of knowing truth, as not to wave such points of curiosity, and cannot curb his inclination for understanding the uncertainties of futurity, and whether they will happen or not, let him be diligent in reading the book of Daniel, which he will find among the sacred writings.
When Nebuchadnezzar heard this, and recollected his dream, he was astonished at the nature of Daniel, and fell upon his knee; and saluted Daniel in the manner that men worship God, and gave command that he should be sacrificed to as a god. And this was not all, for he also imposed the name, of his own god upon him, [Belshazzar,] and made him and his kinsmen rulers of his whole kingdom; which kinsmen of his happened to fall into great danger by the envy and malice [of their enemies]; for they offended the King upon the occasion following: he made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits, and its breadth six cubits, and set it in the great plain of Babylon; and when he was going to dedicate the image, he invited the principal men out of all the earth that was under his dominions, and commanded them, in the first place, that when they should hear the sound of the trumpet, they should then fall down and worship the image; and he threatened, that those who did not so, should be cast into a fiery furnace.
When therefore all the rest, upon the hearing of the sound of the trumpet, worshipped the image, they relate that Daniel's kinsmen did not do it, because they would not transgress the laws of their country. So these men were convicted, and cast immediately into the fire, but were saved by Divine Providence, and after a surprising manner escaped death, for the fire did not touch them; and I suppose that it touched them not, as if it reasoned with itself, that they were cast into it without any fault of theirs, and that therefore it was too weak to burn the young men when they were in it. This was done by the power of God, who made their bodies so far superior to the fire, that it could not consume them. This it was which recommended them to the King as righteous men, and men beloved of God, on which account they continued in great esteem with him.
A little after this the King saw in his sleep again another vision; how he should fall from his dominion, and feed among the wild beasts, and that when he halt lived in this manner in the desert for seven years, he should recover his dominion again. When he had seen this dream, he called the magicians together again, and inquired of them about it, and desired them to tell him what it signified; but when none of them could find out the meaning of the dream, nor discover it to the king, Daniel was the only person that explained it; and as he foretold, so it came to pass; for after he had continued in the wilderness the aforementioned interval of time, while no one durst attempt to seize his kingdom during those seven years, he prayed to God that he might recover his kingdom, and he returned to it. But let no one blame me for writing down every thing of this nature, as I find it in our ancient books; for as to that matter, I have plainly assured those that think me defective in any such point, or complain of my management, and have told them in the beginning of this history, that I intended to do no more than translate the Hebrew books into the Greek language, and promised them to explain those facts, without adding any thing to them of my own, or taking any thing away from there.
Babylon's government dissolved by Persians. Daniel's prophecies in Media
NOW when King Nebuchadnezzar had reigned forty-three years, he ended his life. He was an active man, and more fortunate than the kings that were before him. Now Berosus makes mention of his actions in the third book of his Chaldaic History.
But now, after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-Merodach his son succeeded in the kingdom, who immediately set Jeconiah at liberty, and esteemed him among his most intimate friends. He also gave him many presents, and made him honorable above the rest of the kings that were in Babylon; for his father had not kept his faith with Jeconiah, when he voluntarily delivered up himself to him, with his wives and children, and his whole kindred, for the sake of his country, that it might not be taken by siege, and utterly destroyed, as we said before. When Evil-Mcrodach was dead, after a reign of eighteen years, Niglissar his son took the government, and retained it forty years, and then ended his life; and after him the succession in the kingdom came to his son Labosordacus, who continued in it in all but nine months; and when he was dead, it came to Belshazzar, who by the Babylonians was called Naboandelus; against him did Cyrus, the King of Persia , and Darius, the King of Media, make war; and when he was besieged in Babylon, there happened a wonderful and prodigious vision.
1. Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand. 2. When tasting the wine, Belshazzar commanded to bring the vessels of gold and silver which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem, that the king and his rulers, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3. Then they brought the vessels of gold that were taken out of the temple of the house of God in Jerusalem. And the king and his rulers, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, and of bronze, of iron, of wood, and of stone. 5. At that moment fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace across from the lampstand. And the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosened, and his knees knocked against one another. 7. The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, "Whoever shall read this writing, and declare to me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom." 8. Then all the king's wise men came in. But they could not read the writing, nor make the interpretation known to the king. 9. Then King Belshazzar was greatly afraid, and his countenance changed in him, and his lords were perplexed.
10. The queen came into the banquet house because of the king's words, and his nobles . . . .12. Because a surpassing spirit, and knowledge and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and revealing of hard riddles, and the solving of difficult problems, were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will reveal the interpretation." 13. Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, "Are you that Daniel who is of the exiled children of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah? 14. I have even heard of you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and surpassing wisdom are found in you. 15. And now the wise men and the enchanters have been brought in before me, that they might read this writing and make the interpretation known to me. But they could not declare the interpretation of the thing. 16. And I have heard of you that you can give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you can read the writing and reveal its interpretation to me, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."
17. Then Daniel answered and said before the king, "Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another. Yet, I will read the writing to the king and make the interpretation known to him. 18. O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, and greatness and glory and majesty. 19. And for the greatness that He gave him, all people, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. He slew whom he would, and whom he would he kept alive. And whom he would, he raised up; and whom he would, he put down. 20. But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit became so proud that he behaved arrogantly, he was put down from his royal throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21. And he was driven from the sons of men. And his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and that He appoints over it whomever He will. 22. And you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this. 23. But you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And they have brought the vessels of His house before you; and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver, and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see, nor hear, nor know. And you have not glorified the God in Whose hand is your breath and all your ways. 24. Then the palm of the hand was sent from Him. And this writing was written. (Daniel 5, HBFV)
He was sat down at supper in a large room, and there were a great many vessels of silver, such as were made for royal entertainments, and he had with him his concubines and his friends; whereupon he came to a resolution, and commanded that those vessels of God which Nebuchadnezzar had plundered out of Jerusalem, and had not made use of, but had put them into his own temple, should be brought out of that temple. He also grew so haughty as to proceed to use them in the midst of his cups, drinking out of them, and blaspheming against God. In the mean time, he saw a hand proceed out of the wall, and writing upon the wall certain syllables; at which sight, being disturbed, he called the magicians and Chaldeans together, and all that sort of men that are among these barbarians, and were able to interpret signs and dreams, that they might explain the writing to him. But when the magicians said they could discover nothing, nor did understand it, the King was in great disorder of mind, and under great trouble at this surprising accident; so he caused it to be proclaimed through all the country, and promised, that to him who could explain the writing, and give the signification couched therein, he would give him a golden chain for his neck, and leave to wear a purple garment, as did the kings of Chaldea, and would bestow on him the third part of his own dominions.
When this proclamation was made, the magicians ran together more earnestly, and were very ambitious to find out the importance of the writing, but still hesitated about it as much as before. Now when the king's grandmother saw him cast down at this accident, she began to encourage him, and to say, that there was a certain captive who came from Judea, a Jew by birth, but brought away thence by Nebuchadnezzar when he had destroyed Jerusalem, whose name was Daniel, a wise man, and one of great sagacity in finding out what was impossible for others to discover, and what was known to God alone, who brought to light and answered such questions to Nebuchadnezzar as no one else was able to answer when they were consulted. She therefore desired that he would send for him, and inquire of him concerning the writing, and to condemn the unskilfulness of those that could not find their meaning, and this, although what God signified thereby should be of a melancholy nature.
When Belshazzar heard this, he called for Daniel; and when he had discoursed to him what he had learned concerning him and his wisdom, and how a Divine Spirit was with him, and that he alone was fully capable of finding out what others would never have thought of, he desired him to declare to him what this writing meant; that if he did so, he would give him leave to wear purple, and to put a chain of gold about his neck, and would bestow on him the third part of his dominion, as an honorary reward for his wisdom, that thereby he might become illustrious to those who saw him, and who inquired upon what occasion he obtained such honors. But Daniel desired that he would keep his gifts to himself; for what is the effect of wisdom and of Divine revelation admits of no gifts, and bestows its advantages on petitioners freely; but that still he would explain the writing to him; which denoted that he should soon die, and this because he had not learnt to honor God, and not to admit things above human nature, by what punishments his progenitor had undergone for the injuries he had offered to God; and because he had quite forgotten how Nebuchadnezzar was removed to feed among wild beasts for his impieties, and did not recover his former life among men and his kingdom, but upon God's mercy to him, after many supplications and prayers; who did thereupon praise God all the days of his life, as one of almighty power, and who takes care of mankind.
When Daniel had told the King that the writing upon the wall signified these events, Belshazzar was in great sorrow and affliction, as was to be expected, when the interpretation was so heavy upon him. However, he did not refuse what he had promised Daniel, although he were become a foreteller of misfortunes to him, but bestowed it all upon him; as reasoning thus, that what he was to reward was peculiar to himself, and to fate, and did not belong to the prophet, but that it was the part of a good and a just man to give what he had promised, although the events were of a melancholy nature. Accordingly, the King determined so to do. Now, after a little while, both himself and the city were taken by Cyrus, the King of Persia , who fought against him; for it was Belshazzar, under whom Babylon was taken, when he had reigned seventeen years. And this is the end of the posterity of King Nebuchadnezzar, as history informs us; but when Babylon was taken by Darius, and when he, with his kinsman Cyrus, had put an end to the dominion of the Babylonians, he was sixty-two years old. He was the son of Astyages, and had another name among the Greeks. Moreover, he took Daniel the prophet, and carried him with him into Media, and honored him very greatly, and kept him with him; for he was one of the three presidents whom he set over his three hundred and sixty provinces, for into so many did Darius part them.
So when they could find nothing for which they might calumniate him to the king, nothing that was shameful or reproachful, and thereby deprive him of the honor he was in with him, they sought for some other method whereby they might destroy him. When therefore they saw that Daniel prayed to God three times a day, they thought they had gotten an occasion by which they might ruin him; so they came to Darius and told him that the princes and governors had thought proper to allow the multitude a relaxation for thirty days, that no one might offer a petition or prayer either to himself or to the gods, but that he who shall transgress this decree shall be east into the den of lions, and there perish.
Whereupon the king, not being acquainted with their wicked design, nor suspecting that it was a contrivance of theirs against Daniel, said he was pleased with this decree of theirs, and he promised to confirm what they desired; he also published an edict to promulgate to the people that decree which the princes had made. Accordingly, all the rest took care not to transgress those injunctions, and rested in quiet; but Daniel had no regard to them, but, as he was wont, he stood and prayed to God in the sight of them all; but the princes having met with the occasion they so earnestly sought to find against Daniel, came presently to the king, and accused him, that Daniel was the only person that transgressed the decree, while not one of the rest durst pray to their gods. This discovery they made, not because of his impiety, but because they had watched him, and observed him out of envy; for supposing that Darius did thus out of a greater kindness to him than they expected, and that he was ready to grant him pardon for this contempt of his injunctions, and envying this very pardon to Daniel, they did not become more honorable to him, but desired he might be cast into the den of lions according to the law.
Now when his enemies saw that Daniel had suffered nothing which was terrible, they would not own that he was preserved by God, and by his providence; but they said that the lions had been filled full with food, and on that account it was, as they supposed, that the lions would not touch Daniel, nor come to him; and this they alleged to the king. But the king, out of an abhorrence of their wickedness, gave order that they should throw in a great deal of flesh to the lions; and when they had filled themselves, he gave further order that Daniel's enemies should be cast into the den, that he might learn whether the lions, now they were full, would touch them or not. And it appeared plain to Darius, after the princes had been cast to the wild beasts, that it was God who preserved for the lions spared none of them, but tore them all to pieces, as if they had been very hungry, and wanted food. I suppose therefore it was not their hunger, which had been a little before satisfied with abundance of flesh, but the wickedness of these men, that provoked them [to destroy the princes]; for if it so please God, that wickedness might, by even those irrational creatures, be esteemed a plain foundation for their punishment.
When therefore those that had intended thus to destroy Daniel by treachery were themselves destroyed, King Darius sent [letters] over all the country, and praised that God whom Daniel worshipped, and said that he was the only true God, and had all power. He had also Daniel in very great esteem, and made him the principal of his friends. Now when Daniel was become so illustrious and famous, on account of the opinion men had that he was beloved of God, he built a tower at Ecbatana, in Media: it was a most elegant building, and wonderfully made, and it is still remaining, and preserved to this day; and to such as see it, it appears to have been lately built, and to have been no older than that very day when any one looks upon it, it is so fresh flourishing, and beautiful, and no way grown old in so long time; for buildings suffer the same as men do, they grow old as well as they, and by numbers of years their strength is dissolved, and their beauty withered. Now they bury the kings of Media, of Persia, and Parthia in this tower to this day, and he who was entrusted with the care of it was a Jewish priest; which thing is also observed to this day.
He also wrote and left behind him what made manifest the accuracy and undeniable veracity of his predictions; for he saith, that when he was in Susa, the metropolis of Persia, and went out into the field with his companions, there was, on the sudden, a motion and concussion of the earth, and that he was left alone by himself, his friends fleeing away from him, and that he was disturbed, and fell on his face, and on his two hands, and that a certain person touched him, and, at the same time, bid him rise, and see what would befall his countrymen after many generations.
1. In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me - to me, Daniel - after that which appeared to me at the first. 2. And I saw in the vision, and it came to pass when I looked, I was at Shushan the palace, which is in the province of Elam. And in the vision I looked, and I was by the river Ulai. 3. Then I lifted up my eyes, and looked. And behold, a ram stood before the river having two horns, and the two horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4. I saw the ram pushing westward and northward and southward, and no beast could stand before him, nor any that could deliver out of his hand. But he did according to his will and became great. 5. And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west, over the face of all the earth, and did not touch the ground. And the he-goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran at him in the fury of his power.
7. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and struck the ram and shattered his two horns. And there was no power in the ram to stand before him. But he threw him down to the ground and stamped upon him. And none could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8. Then the he-goat became very great. And when he was strong, the great horn was broken. And in its place there came up the appearance of four horns toward the four winds of the heavens. 9. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which became very great, toward the south and toward the east and toward the glorious land. 10. And it became great, even to the host of heaven. And it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and trampled upon them.
11. Yea, he magnified himself, even to the Prince of the host, and the daily sacrifice was taken away by him, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12. And the host was given to it together with the daily sacrifice because of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground. And it practiced and prospered. 13. Then I heard a certain holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that certain one who spoke, "How long shall the vision last, concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression that causes desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?" 14. And he said to me, "Unto two thousand, three hundred evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be cleansed." (Daniel 8, HBFV)
Daniel wrote that he saw these visions in the Plain of Susa; and he hath informed us that God interpreted the appearance of this vision after the following manner: He said that the ram signified the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians, and the horns those kings that were to reign in them; and that the last horn signified the last king, and that he should exceed all the kings in riches and glory: that the he-goat signified that one should come and reign from the Greeks, who should twice fight with the Persian, and overcome him in battle, and should receive his entire dominion: that by the great horn which sprang out of the forehead of the he-goat was meant the first king; and that the springing up of four horns upon its falling off, and the conversion of every one of them to the four quarters of the earth, signified the successors that should arise after the death of the first king, and the partition of the kingdom among them, and that they should be neither his children, nor of his kindred, that should reign over the habitable earth for many years; and that from among them there should arise a certain King that should overcome our nation and their laws, and should take away their political government, and should spoil the temple, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for three years' time.
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