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Chapter 16

 

The fourth particular, viz., the warrant or proof of this prophecy.—When the Spirit speaks expressly, and when by secret instinct or inspiration. —That the Spirit foretold the Great Apostasy expressly in Daniel 11: 36-39. —An exact translation of these verses both in Latin and English. —The chief difficulties in them explained, and incidentally other places of Scripture. —The different opinions of Junius and Graserus about verse 38. —The Author’s translation free from the inconveniences of both. —A particular explication of “Mahoz,” and Mahuzzim:” that hereby are meant fortresses, bulwarks, as also protectors, guardians, defenders, &c. —How fitly this title is applicable to angels and saints, accounted to be such by those that worshipped them.

 

Now I come to the fourth particular of this prophecy, the warrant or proof thereof. The Spirit hath foretold it  or in express words, in some place or other of Divine writ. The Spirit told Peter, Acts 10: 19, “Behold, three men seek thee.” The Spirit said, Acts 13: 2, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul.” The Spirit forbade St. Paul to preach in Asia. The Spirit said that the Jews should bind St. Paul at Jerusalem, Acts 21: 11. But in all these the Spirit spake not  for these things were nowhere written; and, therefore, what it spake it spake  only by secret instinct or inspiration. But that which the Spirit speaks in the written Word, that it speaks  verbatim, expressly. If, therefore, concerning this apostasy of Christian believers,

 

 

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to be in the Latter Times, the Spirit speaketh   then is it to be found somewhere in the Old Testament, for there alone the Spirit could be said to speak   or verbatim, in the apostles’ time. Having, therefore, so good a hint given us, let us see if we can find where the Spirit speaketh of this matter so expressly.

 

          There are three main things in this our apostle’s prediction, whereof I find the Spirit to have spoken  or in express words, and that in the prophecy of Daniel: 1, of these Last or Latter Times; 2, of the new worship of Demons in them; 3, of a prohibition of marriage to accompany them. As for the first of these, the Latter Times, Daniel (as you have heard before) expressly names them “A time, times, and half a time,” * being those last times of the last kingdom, wherein the hornish tyrant should make war with the saints, and prevail against them. For the second, a worship of new demons or demi-gods, with the profession of the name of Christ, you will perhaps think it strange if I should shew it   but if I do, it was the appendix of hindering or debarring marriage, mentioned in the next verses, which as a thread led me the way to the end of the eleventh chapter of Daniel, where I found it; and in a place, too, very suspicious, being taken, I think, by almost all the ancients, for a prophecy of Antichrist, yea, and so expounded by the greatest part of our own, though with much variety of reading and application. (p)

 

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          But here the words themselves in verses 36-39, of that eleventh chapter of Daniel, translated, as I think,   verbatim, without any wresting or straining the Hebrew text. They are a description of the last or Roman kingdom, and the several states thereof, conquering nations, persecuting Christians, false-worshipping Christ. The words are these:—

 

DANIEL 11: 36 – 39.

 

36 Then a king shall do according to his will, and shall exalt and magnify himself above every God.

          Yea, against the God of gods shall he speak marvelous things, and shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished, for the determined time shall be fulfilled.

          37 Then he shall not regard the Gods of his ancestors, nor shall he regard the desire of women, no, nor any God, but he shall magnify himself above all.

          38 For to [or together with] God, in his seat, he shall honor Mahuzzims; even together with that God whom his ancestors knew not, shall he honor [them] with gold, and with silver, and with precious stones, and with pleasant things.

          39 And he shall make the holds of the Mahuzzims withal [or jointly] to the foreign God, whom acknowledging, he shall increase with honor, and shall cause them to rule over many, and shall distribute the earth for a reward.

 

          1. Now, for the understanding of this prophecy, we must take notice that the prophet Daniel, at the beginning of these verses, leaves off the Greek kingdom with Antiochus, of whom he was speaking before, and turns to the Roman: the reason being, because after Antiochus, in whose time Macedonia, whence that kingdom sprung, with all the rest of Greece, came under the Roman obedience, the third kingdom comes

 

 

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no more in the holy reckoning; Daniel himself calling the time of Antiochus’s reign the latter end of the Greek kingdom, chapter 8: 23, and, as I take it, he intimates the same in this chapter, in the verse immediately foregoing these we have now to deal withal. From thenceforward, therefore, the Roman power succeeds in the account of the Great Calendar of Times.

 

          2. Under the name king we must understand the whole Roman state, under what kind of Government soever. For the Hebrews use king for kingdom, and kingdom for any government, state, or polity in the world. For the Devil, in the Gospel, is said to have shown Christ all the kingdoms of the world, monarchies, aristocracies, democracies, or what other kind soever.

 

          3. Where it is said that this King should exalt himself above every God, nothing is thereby meant but the greatness and generality of his conquests and prevailings. And the reason of that phrase or manner of speech should seem to be, because, in the times of Paganism, every city and country was supposed to have their proper and peculiar Gods, which were deemed as their guardians and protectors: whence in the Scripture, according to the language of that time, we may observe a threefold use of speech: —

 

          First, the nations themselves are expressed and implied under the names of their Gods. The Israelites were called “The people of Jehovah.” So are the Moabites “The people of Chemosh.” —(Numbers 21: 29.) The Lord threatened (Deuteronomy 4: 28, and 28: 36, 64, Jeremiah 16: 13) to

 

 

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scatter Israel among the nations, from one end of the earth even to another, and that there they should serve other Gods day and night, Gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither they nor their fathers had known; (p) that is, they should serve them, not religiously, but politically, inasmuch as they were to become slaves and vassals to idolatrous nations, even such idolaters as neither they nor their fathers had ever heard of. For as for a religious service of idols, the Jews were never so free as in their captivity, as we see by experience this day; but with the service of bondage they may be said politically to have been the vassals of idols, as being in bondage to the servants of other Gods. As a Christian taken by the Turk may, in the like sense, be said to come in bondage and be a slave to Mohamed, for a slave to the servants is, in a sense, slave to their master. Let it also be considered whether that of David (I Samuel 26: 19,) be not to be expounded according to this notion, “They have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, “Go, serve other Gods:” that is, banished me into a nation of another religion.

 

          Secondly, the exploits of the nations are said to be done by their Gods; even as we, by like privilege of speech, ascribe unto our kings what is done by the people under them. Thus (II Chronicles 28: 33) the Gods of Damascus are said to have smitten Ahaz: He sacrificed to the Gods of Damascus that smote him; and he said, Because the Gods of Syria help them,

 

 

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therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. In Jeremiah 51: 44, it is said of the dominion of Babylon, that the nations flowed together unto Bel, and that he had swallowed up their wealth, which the Lord threatened there to bring forth again out of his mouth.

 

          Thirdly, and that most frequently of all others, what is attempted against the nations is said to be attempted against their Gods; even as generals bear the name not only  of the exploits, but also of the disadvantages, of the armies led by them, so here the Gods are said to receive the affronts, defeatures, and discomfitures, given to the people under their patronage. Rabshakeh vaunts, in his master’s name, (II Kings 18: 33,) “Hath any of the Gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of Assyria? Where are the Gods of Hamath and of Arpad? where are the Gods of Sepharvaim? Isaiah (46: 1, 2,) prophesieth thus of the taking of Babylon by Cyrus: “Bel boweth down; Nebo stoopeth. They could not deliver the burthen, but they are themselves gone into captivity.” In the like strain prophesieth Jeremiah, Chapter 1: 2, “Babylon is taken; Bel is confounded; Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded,” &c. And again, (Jeremiah 51: 44,) “I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up, and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him; yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.” The same prophet saith of Moab’s captivity, chapter 48: 7, “Thou shalt be taken, and Chemosh shall go into captivity with

 

 

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his priests and his princes together.” Moab likewise, in his affronts and derision of Israel, is said to have magnified himself against the Lord. According to which manner of speech, the success and prevailing of the Roman, in the advancing his dominion and subduing every nation under him, is here expressed by his exalting and magnifying himself above every God. This I suppose to be the ground of that manner of speech; though if any had rather, as others do, take Gods here for the kings and potentates of the earth, it will, I confess, come all to one purpose.

 

          4. By the Gods of their ancestors, whom the Roman state should at length cashier and cast off, are meant all the Pagan deities and Heathen Gods which were worshipped in that empire.

 

          5. By the desire of women, which the Roman also at that time should not regard as he was wont, is meant desire of wiving,  or desire of having women for the society of life, conjugal affection, which is expressed (Genesis 2: 24) to be such a desire for which a man shall leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall be both one flesh. And it might have been translated in this place desire of wives, as well as desire of women, for there is no other word used in the original for wives above once or twice in the whole Scripture but this, which is here turned women. With the like use of the word desire, the spouse in the Canticles, chapter 7: 10, expresseth her well-beloved to be her husband: I am my well-beloved’s, saith she, and his desire is

 

 

 

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towards me: that is, he is my husband; for so twice before she expressed herself, (Chapter 2: 16,) My beloved is mine, and I am his; and chapter 6: 3, I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. So (Ezekiel 24: 16) the Lord, threatening to take away Ezekiel’s wife, saith, “Behold I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes,” and afterward (verse 18) it followeth, and at even my wife died. Yea, the Roman language itself is not unacquainted with this speech: Cicero ad uxorem, “En mea lux, meum desiderium.” This desire of women and married life the Roman should discountenance, when he shook off the Gods of his ancestors.

 

          6. By the strange and foreign God, whom the Roman should at length acknowledge, is meant Christ. For though to the Jew every strange and foreign God were a false God, yet to the Gentiles who worshipped none but idols, the foreign God was the true. Therefore the philosophers at Athens, when St. Paul preached Christ to them, said he preached a foreign God.* The neglect of which observation hath much obscured this prophecy; this foreign God being still supposed to be a false God, when to those who worshipped all kinds of false Gods, as the Roman did, a foreign God, whom their fathers knew not, must needs be the true. (q)

 

          7. Where it is said, “with this foreign God he shall honor Mahuzzims,” these Mahuzzims or Maüzzims are these Demons we seek for, whom the Roman should worship with Christ, the

 

 

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foreign God, whom he would embrace. For Mahuzzim are Protectores Dii, (such as saints and angels are supposed to be,) as I shall shew by and by, where, though I may be new for the particular, yet for the general I shall agree well enough with the fathers. For they constantly thought that under these Mahuzzim was some idol meant, which Antichrist would worship; and many of our time have taken it for the Mass. But I must first say something of the translation of this 38th verse, and then will come to the signification of this word Mahuzzim.

 

          For the first: whereas the preposition in leeloh is usually neglected, and the words eloha and mahuzzim construed together as one thing, viz., God Mahuzzim, or (as some) the God of forces; I express the preposition, and construe God and Mahuzzim, apart as two: viz., “To, or together with God he shall honor Mahuzzims,” &c. (r) For the preposition lamed is made of el, and signifies the same with it, namely, an addition or adjoining of things, ad, juxta, apud, and signifies, to, besides,  and together with, as (Leviticus 18: 18) “Thou shalt not take a wife to her sister,” el achocha, that is, together with her sister.

 

          By this means, the controversy betwixt Junius and Graserus is taken away. For Junius, as it should seem, seeing no reason why the preposition le should be neglected, and that, by so doing, the verb cabad was made irregularly and against use to govern a dative case, he expresses the preposition by quod ad, or quod attinet ad, that is,

 

 

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as concerning. But the words God and Mahuzzim he sundereth not, but turned them as in statu constructo, viz., the God of mights or forces, understanding thereby the true and almighty God himself. —Against which Graserus excepts, 1st, That to render the preposition le by ad (as concerning) savors of a Latinism rather than of an Hebraism. 2nd, That he doth as good as strike out the distinctive accent athnack (^) which is a colon, inasmuch as he makes the sentence, being a full number, to be imperfect and defective, and yet would seem to stand in awe of that smaller distinction zakephkaton (:) over the word Mahuzzim, which yet stands there, as elsewhere, but for a nota bene. 3rd, That to expound God Mahuzzim to be the true God, against the consent, not only of the Jews, who ever take it for some idol or other, but of the ancient Christian writers, who understand by it some idol of Antichrist, yea, some the Devil himself; and of many of our own, who take it for the idol of the Mass, and some otherwise, yet for an idol-deity; to expound this of the true and almighty God, without example in Scripture, Graserus thinks not tolerable. Wherefore himself had rather yield the construction of the verb cabad to be irregular, (Junius himself having admitted it in the next member of the verse,) and to suppose it to be a mystical solecism, the Spirit intending, by the anomaly and incongruity of the syntax, to signify an anomaly and incongruity of religion. But these inconveniences on both sides, as far as I can see, are wholly avoided by that

 

 

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translation we have given, whereof let the reader judge.

 

          I come now to unfold the signification of the word Mahuzzim, a word which most translations retain, the Septuagint calling it  St. Jerome, or the Vulgar Latin, Maozim, the Geneva and others, Maüzim. This Mahuzzim, I say, is in the plural number: the singular is Mahoz, which in the abstract signifies sometimes strength, sometimes a fortress or bulwark; but the Hebrews use abstracts for concretes. Examples are many in the Old Testament, as jutitia pro justis, captivity for captives. &c. In the New Testament, principalities, powers, and dominions, for princes, potentates, and dominators. So Mahoz, strength or a fortress, for him that strengthens or fortifies, that is, a protector, defender, guardian, helper. Wherefore the Septuagint five times in the Psalms renders the word Mahoz,  and the Vulgar Latin as often protector: the places are these, —Psalm 27: 1 “The Lord is Mahoz chayai, the protector of my life: of whom should I be afraid?” (Psalm 28: 8, “The Lord is their strength, and he is Mahoz jeshuoth, the Mahoz of salvations of his anointed:” where the Septuagint hath  the Vulgate, protector salvationum. Psalm 31: 3, “Bow down thine ear to me, deliver me speedily, be thou unto me letsur Mahoz, for a rock Mahoz;” Septuagint,  —Vulgate, in Deum protectorem. Again, verse 5, “Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me, (ki

 

 

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atta Mahuzzi,) for thou art my protector;” the Septuagint,  —the Vulgate, protector. Psalm 37: 39, “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord, he is Mahuzam, their Mahoz in the time of trouble, and the Lord shall help them and deliver them from the wicked,” &c., where the Septuagint and the Vulgate render as before  and protector.

 

          How think you now? Are not saints and angels worshipped as Mahuzzims? True Christians have with David, in the Psalms before quoted, one Mahoz, Jehovah Mahoz, that is, Christ; but apostate Christians have their many Mahuzzims. O, would they worshipped only Mahoz yeshuoth, that Mahoz of salvations, as you heard David even now call him, Psalm 28. You may, if you please, compare with these places of the Psalms that in the first verse of this eleventh of Daniel, where the angel saith he stood in the first year of Darius the Mede, to confirm and be a Mahoz to him, ulemahoz lo, which we translate, “to strengthen him;” by which we may see how fitly this name may be applied to angels, and so to saints, supposed, in helping, protecting, and assisting, to be like them.

 

          Thus you see the concrete sense of Mahoz, for an helper, protector, and defender is not new. But what if we take the word passively, force and strength, for forts and strong ones? Will not, then, the valiant Martyrs and champions of the faith well bear the name of Mahuzzims? And these are they whom, at the first, Christians

 

 

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worshipped only in this sort, as an honor peculiarly due unto their sufferings.

 

          Moreover, that you may not think this word and the notion thereof improper to be given unto a deity, observe that the true God is called tsur, a rock, seven times, Deuteronomy 32, which the Vulgate translates as often, Deus; yea in the same place false Gods are called also tsur, or rocks: verse 31, “Their Rock,” that is, the Gentiles’ Rock, “is not our Rock, our enemies themselves being judges.” And verse 37, “Where are their Gods,” that is, Baalim, “their Rock in whom they trusted, which did eat of the fat of  their sacrifices?” &c. The like you shall find in Hannah’s song, and other places of Scripture. See now the parity: the true God is called a rock; Baalim and false Gods are also called rocks: the true God, or Christ himself, is often by David called Mahoz; why may not then false Gods, or plurality of Christs, be called Mahuzzim? Rock and fortress are not words of so great difference.

 

          Thus having cleared the chief difficulties in the text, and made the way smooth, let us read over the words again, and apply the interpretation unto them.

 

 

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