HORAE APOCALYPTICAE,

OR

A COMMENTARY ON THE APOCALYPSE,

 

CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL;

 

INCLUDING ALSO AN EXAMINATION OF THE CHIEF PROPHECIES OF DANIEL.

 

ILLUSTRATED BY AN APOCALYPTIC CHART,

AND ENGRAVINGS FROM MEDALS AND OTHER EXTANT MONUMENTS OF ANTIQUITY.

 

 

 

BY THE REV. E. B. ELLIOTT, A. M.

LATE VICAR OF TUXFORD, AND FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

 

 

THIRD EDITION,

CAREFULLY REVISED, CORRECTED, AND IMPROVED;

WITH AN APPENDIX,

CONTAINING, BESIDES OTHER MATTER,

A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF APOCALYPTIC INTERPRETATION, AND INDICES.

 

 

VOL. IV.

 

SEELEY, BURNSIDE, AND SEELEY, FLEET STREET, LONDON.

 

MDCCCXLVII.

1847

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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opening of the seventh Millennium, by approximation) about A.D. 1862: -- the same year, very nearly, that we before fixed on as the epoch of the consummation, on quite different data.

 

I must add yet a word besides on two or three other

 

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Chronology, with the scriptural authorities in brief; drawn up by my friend and brother, the Rev. C. Bowen.*

 

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rocks of the Southern Arab coast, beyond Aden, explained by Mr. Forster, in his Historical Geography of Arabia. On which, see my Note 6, Vol. i. p. 415.

 

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* In the Jewish Calendar, as lately edited by Mr. Linde, (a publication replete with Jewish learning, and sanctioned by the Chief Rabbi in London, Solomon Hirschell,) there appear several most material variations from the above Chronological Table; involving a difference from Mr. Clinton's in the aera of the World altogether of 340 years. The following are the points of variation: --

 

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1. Agreeing with Mr. C. in dating the Deluge, A.M. 1656, it makes the birth, and consequently the call too, of Abraham sixty years earlier. This arises from the supposition of Abraham's being the eldest of Terah's three sons, born when Terah was seventy" years old, Gen. xi:26. -- a supposition quite unnecessary; as Abraham's first mention among the three sons no more implies his primogeniture than Shem's first mention, Gen. x:1, among Noah's three sons, of whom however Japbet is in Gen. x:21 expressly declared the eldest: and which is directly contradicted by the statement, Gen. xii:4, that Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran; compared with Acts vii:4, which says that it was at Terah's death that Abraham left that country, and with Gen. xi:32, which says that Terah died in Haran at the age of 205 years -- 2. There is in it the further difference of 100 years less between this event and-Solomon's completion of the Temple; a difference grounded mainly on the circumstance of the Jews calculating by the chronological statement in 1 Kings vi:1, noted by me in the text. 3. The Jewish Calendar shortens the interval between Solomon and Zedekiah's captivity fifteen years: and 4. that between Zedekiah and the Christian Era yet 165 years. By the latter most gross and extraordinary falsification of a period as well ascertained as that between our Richard the First and the time now present, the Jewish Rabbies make the interval between the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and second by the Romans, just about 490 years. -- Thus there is nothing in the Jewish mundane chronology to affect the accuracy of Mr. Clinton's.

 

Let me add that the early Reformers noticed, and were struck with, the last mentioned strange error in the Jewish chronology; and, refer it to the Jews' identification of Darius Hysiaspis (father to Xerxes) with the last Darius conquered by Alexander, and obliteration from their calendar of all the Persian kings intervening. So Melancthon on Dan. ix: "Haec series (i. e. of tile Persian kings) nota est eruditis omnibus; et inscitia Judaeorum recentium vituperanda est, qui fingunt non plures fuisse reges Persicos guam quatuor, et propter hanc inscitiam omittunt ex serie annorum mundi centum annos." And Osiander, De Ult. Tempor. eh. i: " Quod autem Judaei ab orbe condito ad Christum 200 annis fete minus numerant quhm nos, in causa sunt, cum alii multi etrotes, tzim veto ille omnium maximus qubd Darium Hystaspis, sub quo templum mdificatum est, et Darium ab Alexandro devictum pro eodem habeant, ac sex tantum annis regnasse putent; cum ab initio tegni unius (Darii) usque ad finem alterius, etiam secundum Ytolemmum, 192 anni intercesserint." -- But why this abbreviation? I have no where seen a reason stated. It is curious, however, that by it the interval between the first destruction of the Temple and the second is reduced, as before observed, to about 490 years; the precise equivalent to the seventy weeks of Daniel: and is (as I learn from a Jew) so stated by tile Jews, by a kind of memoria technica. I cannot therefore but suspect that to constitute the interval this prophetic term of years may have been the abbreviator's object.

 

 

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more dubious, yet very interesting and important prophetic periods. And, 1st, on the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and state of bestialism: {1} These calculated after the year-day system, on the hypothesis of the Babylonish king's insanity figuring that of the great empires which he then headed, in their state of heathen aberration from God, (an hypothesis on the truth of which I do not myself entertain much doubt,) terminate, -- if dated from the time, B.C. 727, when the Assyrians under Shalmanezer {2} first acted the wild beast's part against Israel,-about the year 1793; that is, at the epoch of the French Revolution, and the coincident going forth of the gospel-message to evangelize the heathen: -- doubtless a very remarkable synchronism: especially considering that the bisecting point of these seven times is then A. D. 533; the very commencing epoch, with Justinian's Decree, of the three and a half times of the Papal Antichrist. Of course if calculated from Nebuchadnezzar's own accession and invasion of Judah, B.C. 606, the end is much later, being A.D. 1914; just one half century, or jubilean period, from our probable date of the opening of the Millennium. -- 2. If, as some would have it, and not perhaps altogether without reason, the remarkable form of expression in which the period of "the hour and day and month and year is couched," {2} concerning the Turkman's invasion of Christendom, be meant to signify the time for which, as well as the time within which, the Turks should occupy the throne of the Greek or Western Empire, and

 

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{1} Dan. iv. The figure is somewhat otherwise applied by Cowper to the wretchedness and ruined hopes of a prisoner;

 

Like the visionary emblem seen

 

By him of Babylon, life stands a stump,

 

And filletted about with hoops of brass

 

Still lives, though all his pleasant boughs are gone.

 

{2} Jer. 1:17; " Israel is a scattered sheep : the lions have driven him away first the King of Assyria hath devoured him; last this Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, hath broken his bones."

 

{3} 'σι ήτσιμασμενοι ειs την ώραν και ~μεραν και μηνα και ενιαοτον, Ινα αποκτεινωσι TO τριτον των ανθρωπων. I do not understand Mr. ßirks' intimation on this verse respecting a different reading of authority. Neither Griesbach, Scholz, nor Tregelles, note any different reading of authority.

 

 

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so the capture of Constantinople were to be the bisecting point between their primary going forth against Greek Christendom under Togrul Beg, and their ultimate ejection from it, -- then the end of the second period will fall about 396 years from the fall of Constantinople, or A.D. 1849. {3}  3. If, as Messrs. Bickersteth and Birks would construe it, the χρονσς εs«ι eτι in the Angel's oath in Apoc. x:7 be meant, "A year shall not elapse ere the consummation," i. e. a prophetic year, whether 360, or 365 natural years, -- and though I do not myself so construe it, yet it seems to me quite worth the notice as being at least possible, {4} -- then the termination of this period also will fall on our chronological line yet but a little distance further, and there mark the bounding limit, the ne plus ultra, if I may so call it, of our present mundane chronology, at A. D. 1877 or 1872. {1}

 

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{1} See my Vol. iii. p. 404.

 

{2} The difficulty in the way of thus taking the passage is because tile Angel uses the word χρονοs not καιροr; which latter is the word always used in the Septuagint and Apocalypse of the mystical periods, of the time, times, and half a time. See my Vol. ii. p. 123.

 

The want of the article is the point most in favor of Mr. Birks' view. And it is curious that on one occasion, according to his Table Talk, Luther expressed an opinion that perhaps the world might last yet 300 -years more, before the consummation. But this, however, was contrary alike to his earlier anticipations and latest aspirations. See Vol. ii. pp. 132-136.

 

{3} I cannot but suspect that we have a truer ne plus ultra in our Lord's celebrated saying, "This generation," &c, Luke xxi:32: -- the saying having a double reference; 1st, to the fulfillment of the judgments on Jerusalem, ere the generation then alive should have past away; 2nd, to the final judgment of the consummation, ere the generation should have wholly past away that witnessed the signs in the sun and moon, &c, (verse 25, &c.) which signs I suppose to have begun at the French Revolution. See my Vol. iii. p. 342, Note 3: also a paper by me on the subject in the Investigator, Vol. iv. p. 341.

 

It is to be observed that the word αυΟτη, this, in the clause ή ηενεα αΡιτη need not necessarily to be aspirated; as there were no aspirates in the uncial characters of the older MSS. And if without the aspirate, then a?t? would mean that t " that generation shall not have passed away, &c; " with reference distinctly to the generation that was alive at the time of the signs in the sun and moon &e. appearing. But the view I advocate does not depend on the absence of the aspi.

rate. Because our Lord might mean by" this generation," the generation of the time he was then speaking of; just as in Luke xvii:34, when speaking of the time of his second coming, he says Ταυτη τρ νυκτι, "On this night two shall be in one bed; one shall be taken," &c; meaning thereby the night of his coming.

 

As to the Jubilaean chronology it seems possible that as seventy years marked the length of Israel's waiting-time for the redemption from Babylon, and seventy weeks of years that of its further waiting for its primary redemption by Christ Jesus, so seventy Jubilees may define the mystical period of its whole existence as a people, from the Exodus to the epoch of both the natural and the spiritual Israel's perfect redemption: a period which reckoned from the Exodus, (each at

 

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* See, in proof of this value of the Jubilee, the Investigator, vol. iv. p. 124.

 

 

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In fine, notwithstanding, what is fully allowed, the doubtfulness of some of these periods, and their other, possible epochs of commencement, yet the fact is clear that, construed consistently on the year-day, system, they have all a probable ending somewhere within the extreme dates, distant scarce above a century, apart, of A.D. 1790 and 1914. In regard of the 17 long centuries preceding, that intervene between the Apocalyptic Revelation and French Revolution, there is none within which they can with at all the same probability be similarly made to converge. And I must say that the fact of their thus traveling, as they all seem to do, to a close "within our own present sera, from their several sources, more or less remote in the depth of antecedent ages, much impresses my own mind, as confirmatory of the conclusion primarily deduced by me from the evidence simply of the Apocalyptic prophecy. Like as the convergency of many lines of road to a geographical center indicates that center to be the place of some important and mighty city, so the convergency of these many chronological lines within the present century, now above one half run out, {1} seems to mark this century as a most important aera of crisis, big with momentous issues as to the destinies of the world. {2}

 

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fifty years*) will end (on the basis still of Clinton's Chronology) A.D. 1875. But there seems to me here far too much of the conjectural, to admit of our resting at all on the argument.

 

{1} I mean as reckoned from 1790.

 

{2} See the illustrative Diagram on the opposite page. The more dubious lines in my judgment are dotted.

 

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* See, in proof of this value of the Jubilee, the Investigator, vol. iv. p. 124.