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and preserved several passages; and he has made good use of the historical facts which Porphyry had collected.
In the seventeenth century, Spinoza, of Holland, and Hobbes and Collins, of England, seemed to tread more or less in the steps of Porphyry. Spinoza, in his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, spoke of the first seven chapters as consisting of Chaldaic annals not written by Daniel. Hobbes, in his Leviathan, suggested such doubts respecting the Prophets, as seem to insinuate a conclusion more unfavorable than is expressed. And Collins openly assailed the genuineness of the book of Daniel.
In the eighteenth century, Semler, of Germany, rejected the divine authority of this book, because he found in it no such utility to mankind as might be expected in communications given by a special interposition on the part of God.
Semler's contemporary, John David Michaelis, led the way to a critical examination respecting the genuineness of the book. He asserted very decidedly the genuineness of the first two and the last six chapters, and attached no great importance to his doubts respecting the genuineness of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth chapters.
Eichhorn went further. Still, in the first two editions of his Introduction to the Old Testament, he ventured only to reject the first six chapters. He defended the genuineness of the last six. But Corrodi, in his work on the canon of the Bible, and in his History of Chiliasm, assailed the whole book. He, like Porphyry, asserted that it was fabricated by a deceiver, in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Eichhorn was now encouraged to reject not only the first six chapters, but also the other six. Bertholdt, De Wette, and, indeed, most of the German authors in the present century who have written on the subject, have done the same. But Jahn, in his Introduction to the Old Testament, and Hengstenberg, in an elaborate dissertation of three hundred and sixty pages octavo,* have ably defended the genuineness of Daniel.
It ought to be remarked, that some, without intending to detract at all from the divine authority of the book, have supposed that certain portions of it were written by another hand than that of Daniel. Sir Isaac Newton says, "The six last chapters contain prophecies written at several times by Daniel himself; the six first are a collection of historical papers writ
Beiträge zur Einleitung ins A. T. erster Band.-Die Authentie des Daniel, &c. Berlin,
ten by others."*
Another English writert suggests, that the first chapter was written after Daniel's death. In these and similar ways, it was supposed that we could best account for the commendations bestowed upon Daniel.
But the unity of the book, that is, that the book was written by some one author, has, for several years, been generally admitted by those who have been well qualified to judge. Its genuineness we need not here discuss. A full and satisfactory view of the whole subject, so far as the main question is concerned, may be found in those works of Jahn and Hengstenberg which we have already mentioned.
The Four Kingdoms; especially the Fourth.
More than two thousand years before the birth of Christ, Ninus conquered Babylon, and annexed it to the Assyrian empire. From that time onward, history can do little more than give us a bare and imperfect register of the names of his successors. We can only conjecture what changes of dynasty, during that long period, may have occurred; what schemes of ambition or of improvement may have been cherished; and what scenes of blood and perfidy, of pomp, of wretchedness, and of rejoicing, may have been displayed. But it is well ascertained, that after the successful conspiracy against the life of Sandanapalus, the empire was divided into three kingdoms, Media, Babylon and Assyria.‡
At length, about 770 years before Christ, the energetic Pul became king of Assyria; and he is the first king of Assyria that is mentioned in the sacred Scriptures. He was succeeded by Tiglathpiléser, who seized that part of the ten tribes which was east of the Jordan; by Shalmanéser, who so entirely subdued them, that they ceased to be a kingdom; by Sennacherib, who threatened Jerusalem, in the time of Hezekiah, and lost, in one night, without the intervention of any human hand, one hundred and eighty-five thousand of his army; and by Ezarhaddon, who invaded Judea, in the reign of Hezekiah's son, Manasseh, "took him among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon," which had become the capital of the Assyrian empire.||
* Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, I, p. 10 † Edward Wells, in the first part of the 18th century. Rotteck's Allgemeine Geschichte, Vol. I, pp. 95, 96.
|| 2 Chron. 33: 11. Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, B. x, c. 3.
$2 Kings 15: 19.
Not long after the death of Ezarhaddon, Nabopolassar, the Chaldean, who is also called Nebuchadnezzar I, restored the kingdom of Babylon to its independency of the Assyrian power. Indeed, he put an end to that power, having, two years before, established his own throne at Babylon. The empire which he founded, is commonly called the Babylonian, or the Chaldee-Babylonian, although, sometimes in the Bible, and frequently by the Greek writers, it is also called the Assyrian. He was succeeded by his son, Nebuchadnezzar II, who sometime before had been associated with him in the government, and who is generally denominated simply Nebuchadnezzar. It was he who took Jerusalem, and carried the Jews captive to Babylon, 607 or 606 years before the Christian era.*
By the skill and bold perseverance of Cyrus, the Persian prince, Babylon came under the dominion of his uncle, Darius the Mede, or Cyaxares II, in the year 539 B. C. Darius, after this, reigned two years. And then Cyrus, who had married the daughter of Darius, inherited the whole united empire. This empire, the Medo-Persian, continued about two hundred years, when it was entirely overthrown by Alexander the Great, who subdued the last king, Darius Codomanus, in the year 331 B. C.
Eight years after this overthrow of the Medo-Persian empire, Alexander died at Babylon, that is, in the year 323 B. C. Immediately after his death, violent disputes arose among his generals and principal officers. But after eight days, they agreed to exclude from the succession Hercules, a son of Alexander by his wife Barsina, and to place on the throne Alexander's brother, Aridaeus, an illegitimate son of king Philip. He was a man who had not the full use of his rational faculties. They also agreed, that if the queen Roxana, who was expecting soon to become a mother, should bear a son, he should share the throne with Aridaeus. In a few weeks, she bore a son; and he was recognized, according to the agreement. But, the two kings being both incapable of reigning, they were placed under Perdiccas, as guardian and regent. At the same time, the administration of the various portions of those vast territories which had yielded
*It is computed that he reigned alone, from 605 to 562, B. C.,
Evil-merodach, from 562 to 560,.
Laborasoarchad, nine months,
Nabonned, Belshazzar from 556 to 539,.........17
to the sway of the great conqueror, was committed to a considerable number of the principal officers, some holding superior and others subordinate stations. But afterwards Aridaeus and the infant king, with his mother Roxana, were assassinated;—and thus passed away the mighty kingdom of Alexander.
Antigonus, at first, had Lycia, Pamphylia, and the greater Phrygia. After the death of Antipater, he was the most powerful of all the generals of Alexander. He ruled with absolute authority in all the provinces of Asia Minor. He bore the title of generalissimo, and had an army of seventy thousand men and thirty elephants, "which no power in the empire was, at that time, capable of resisting." He conceived the design of grasping the whole empire. He began by displacing those subordinate officers on whose co-operation in executing his plan he suspected that he could not rely. Among these was Seleucus, who was then governor of Babylon. He discovered that his name was on the list of the proscribed. He escaped in season, and hastened to Egypt. And he soon succeeded in engaging Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Lysander in a league against Antigonus. A desperate and bloody struggle ensued. But in about two years, Seleucus entered Babylon, the ancient seat of empire, amidst the acclamations of the people. At length, "he not only established himself in the possession of Media, Assyria, and Babylon, but reduced Persia, Bactriana, Hyrcania, and all the provinces on this side of the Indus, which had formerly been conquered by Alexander."t
In a decisive battle, near Ipsus, a city of Phrygia, Antigonus was defeated and slain. Then, in the year 301 B. C., about twenty-two years after the death of Alexander, the four confederate chieftains divided the whole empire among themselves, thus:
Ptolemy had Egypt, Lybia, Arabia, Caelo-Syria, and Palestine;
Cassander had Macedonia and Greece;
Lysimachus had Thrace, Bithynia, and some of the provinces beyond the Hellespont;
Seleucus had many provinces in Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and, in a word, the East, from the Euphrates to the Indus.
*Rollin, B. xvi.-History of Alexander's successors, sect. iv.
↑ Rollin, Vol. II, p. 147, (4to ed.)
After the death of Cassander and his sons, the unpopularity of Demetrius, and the disaffection with Pyrrhus, Lysimachus obtained possession of the territories which had been allotted to Cassander; and, at length, Seleucus, having waged war with Lysimachus, vanquished and slew him, and added all his vast possessions to his own; so that what had constituted the great body of Alexander's kingdom was now divided only between Seleucus and the successor of Ptolemy. Ptolemy himself had deceased. Of all the generals of Alexander, Seleucus was now the only survivor, "victorious over conquerors themselves," and hence, emphatically denominated, Seleucus Nicator, that is, the Conqueror. Except what had been assigned to Ptolemy, and a few comparatively inconsiderable territories, he had re-united the whole empire of Alexander.*
Arrian says, "It seems to me beyond a doubt, that Seleucus, succeeding to the great dominion, was the greatest king among Alexander's successors; that in mind he was the most royal, and that next to Alexander himself, he ruled over the most extensive territory." And Appian asserts, that "from Phrygia to the river Indus all obeyed Seleucus." "The dominions of this last prince," says Rollin, "are usually called the kingdom of Syria, because Seleucus, who afterwards built Antioch [on the Orontes], in that province, made it the chief seat of his residence, in which his successors, who from his name, were called Seleucidæ, followed his example. This kingdom, however, not only included Syria, but those vast and fertile provinces of Upper Asia, which constituted the Persian Empire." He also built innumerable other cities; for, amidst the ravages of war, many had been greatly injured, and others entirely destroyed. Among the new cities were sixteen bearing the name of Antioch, and nine, of Seleucia. One Seleucia was near the mouth of the Orontes, and served as a sea-port for the capital, Antioch, which was about twelve miles further up the river. But the most important was the Seleucia on the Tigris, between thirty and forty miles north-east of Babylon; from which it rapidly attracted the inhabitants by the superior advantages enjoyed in the new city; and thus contributed greatly to the final ruin and deso
*Von Müller's Universal History, vol. I. p. 111.
In Syriacis, c. 55.