Imágenes de páginas

prophecies are as clear as those before the death of Antiochus. Neither is Antiochus so veryparticularly dwelt upon as is commonly imagined; neither is he spoken of with greater resentment, than other prophets express towards the kings of Assyria and Babylon. All honest men, who love liberty and their country, mull speak with indignation of tyrants and oppressors.

6. His sixth objection is, that Daniel is omitted among the prophets recited in Ecclesiasticus, where it seems proper to have mentioned him as a Jewish prophet-author, had the book under his name been received as canonical, when Ecclesiasticus was published. It might have been proper to have mentioned him, had the author been giving a complete catalogue of the Jewisli canonical writers. But that is not the cafe. He mentions several who never pretended to be inspired writers, and omits others who really were so. No mention is made of Job and Ezra, and of the books under their names, as well as of Daniel: and who can account for the silence of authors in any particular at this distance of time? Daniel is proposed (i Mace. II. 60.) as a pattern by the father of the Maccabees, and his wisdom is highly recommended by Ezekiel: and these are sufficient testimonies of his antiquity, without the confirmation of a later writer.

7. It is objected, that Jonathan, who made the Chaldee paraphrases on the prophets, has omitted Daniel: from whence it should seem, the book of Daniel was not of that account with the Jews, as the other books of the prophets were. But there are other books^ which were always accounted canonical among the Jews, and yet have no Chaldee paraphrases extant, as the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Jonathan might perhaps not make a Targum or Chaldee paraphrase on Daniel, because half of the book is written in Chaldee. Or he might have made a Targum on Daniel, and that Targum may have been lost, as other ancient Targums have been destroyed by the injury of time; and there are good proofs in the Mima and other writers cited by Bishop Chandler, that there was an ancient Targum on Daniel. But tho' Jonathan made no Targum on Daniel, yet in his interpretation of other prophets, he frequently applies the prophecies of Daniel, as fuller and clearer in describing the same events; and consequently Daniel was in his esteem a prophet, and at least of equal authority with those before him. The ranking of Daniel among the Hagiographa, and not among the prophets, was done'by the Jews since Christ's time for very obvious reasons. He was always esteemed a prophet by the ancient Jewish church. Our Saviour calleth him Daniel the prophet; and Josephus (7) spcaketh of him as one of the greatest of the prophets.

8. That part of Daniel, fays the objector, which is written in Chaldee, is near the stile of the old Chaldee paraphrases which being composed many hundred years after Daniel's time, must have a very different stile from that used in his time, as any one may judge from the nature of language, which is in a constant flux, and in every age deviating from what it was in the former: And therefore that part could not be written at a time very remote from the date of the eldest of those Chaldee paraphrases. But by the fame argument Homer cannot be so ancient an author, as he is generally reputed, because the Greek language continued much the same many hundred years after his time. Nay the stile of Daniel's Chaldee differs more from that of the old Chaldee paraphrases, than Homer doth from the latest of the Greek classic writers: and when it was said by Prideaux and Kidder, whose authority the objector alleges, that the old Chaldee paraphrases came near to the Chaldee of Daniel, it was not said absolutely but comparatively, with respect to other paraphrases, which did not come near to Daniel's purity.

9- ^

(7) Joscphi Antiq. Lib. 10. Cap. 10, & ir.

- (8) T«

9. It is objected that the Jews were great composers of books under the names of their renowned prophets, to do themselves honor, and particularly under the name of Daniel: and the book of Daniel seems composed to do honor to the Jews, in the person of Daniel, in making a Jew superior to all the wise men of Babylon. If there is any force in this objection, it is this. There have been books counterfeited under the names of men of renown, therefore there can be no genuin books of the fame men. Some pieces in Greekhavebeen forged under the name of Daniel, and therefore he wrote no book in Chaldee and Hebrew long before those forgeries. In like manner some poems have been ascribed to Homer and Virgil, which were not of their composing; and therefore the one did not compose the Iliad, nor the other the Æneid. Some false writings have been attributed to St. Peter and St. Paul; and therefore there are no true writings of those apostles. Such arguments sufficiently expose and refute themselves. One would think the inference should rather lie on the other side. Some books have been counterfeited in the name of this or that writer; and therefore that there were some genuin books of his writing, is a much more probable presumption than the contrary.

10. The

10. The tenth objection is, that the author of the book of Daniel appears plainly to be a writer of things past, after a prophetical manner, by his uncommon punctuality, by not only foretelling things to come, like other prophets, but fixing the time when the things were to happen. But other prophets and other prophecies have prefixed the times for several events; as 120 years for the continuance of the antediluvian world; 400 years for the sojourning of Abraham's feed in a strange land; 40 years for the peregrination of the children of Israel 565 years for Ephraim's continuing a people j 70 years for the desolation of Tyre; 70 years for Judah's captivity; and the like: and therefore the fixing of the times cannot be a particular objection against the prophecies of Daniel. Daniel may have done it in more instances than any other prophet: but why might not God, if he was so pleased, foretel the dates and periods of any events, as well as the events themselves ? Josephus, whom the objector hath quoted upon this occasion, differs totally from him. He (8) ascribes this punctuality to divine revelation, not


(8) Ta yug IStfifox, uact Si) (hixaopt* pomt mgupVTtvat JiiTiavy[^a.\u^,w; xaltiMKumt, ata- Jm, xoSccinq xai 01 stAAoi 5T{oipny»ui7XSTai wccq tyu» trt xai nf ton, aAAa xai xctigw wji£t», u; it xai niirifiv*af).(t avrut, Cti -ravra, wnoQr.atrai. Libri enim AannAo; »;ai?isi 0jw. a yctf To, quotquot a fe conscriptos reli

« AnteriorContinuar »