Answers to Questions from the Bible Treasury Volume 15.

When does the Lord Jesus receive the kingdom? — Daniel 7:8
δόζαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός — 1. John 1:14
ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν κ.τ.λ — 2. John 1:18
The true application of — 2 John 10, 11
The empire of Babylon — Daniel 7:2-3
The Grecian kingdom — Daniel 7:17

Bible Treasury Volume 15, p. 111. July 1884.

Q. Dear Sir,

In Daniel 7:8, the prophet is occupied with the horn and his audacious pretensions, which cause the "Ancient of Days" — the everlasting God — to act judicially (ver. 9). Hence the thrones are set, and the books are opened. After this, in the same sequence of events, it would appear, and as the result of God's judgment, the beast is slain, his body destroyed and given to the burning flame (Revelation 19:20), in contrast with the other beasts which had their dominion taken away, but their lives prolonged for a little time. Then in the night visions the prophet sees one like the "Son of man" coming to the Ancient of Days and receiving a kingdom, the world-kingdom of Revelation 11:15, it is to be supposed.

Now the question in my mind is as to when this will take place. The books I have read on the subject seem to treat the matter vaguely. They all seem to conclude that the Lord Jesus first receives the kingdom and afterwards comes to execute judgment on the nations. But is this the Scripture order of events? Psalm 110 says, "Sit Thou on My right hand until I make Thy foes Thy footstool." And in Matthew 26:64 the Lord says "Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds." He does not leave His own throne then to come in the clouds; and therefore cannot have received His kingdom at that time. It is true in the counsels of God, the Lord Jesus is King already; but it seems to me from the word that He does not receive His kingdom until the nations are subdued and the eve of the millennium come. W.T.H.

A. Is not the querist also a little vague? No intelligent reader of the prophetic scriptures conceives that the Lord "leave" His own throne but the Father's, when, receiving the kingdom, He comes to execute judgment, whether warlike (Revelation 19) or sessional (Matthew 25 or Revelation 20:4). Psalm 110:1 speaks of His sitting at Jehovah's right hand meanwhile, till the moment comes for the judgment of the quick, quite passing by (as an unrevealed mystery) His descent to receive to Himself the heavenly saints. His advent in judgment will deal with His foes made His footstool. But scripture does not describe the nations as "subdued" before He comes in His kingdom to judge, though God will have smitten the earth with increasing severity in His providence before then. During the millennium the Lord will reign over them all in peace and righteousness; after it will be the last outbreak, when Satan is loosed for a little, but they are destroyed. And then follow the dissolution of all things, the judgment of the dead — the wicked dead, and the new heavens and earth in the full and final sense, the eternal scene with its solemn background of everlasting punishment.

Dear Mr. Editor,

I beg to submit the following queries to you.

Q. 1. John 1:14, δόζαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός. Is there anything in this passage which necessitates or even allows departure from the regular rendering of παρά with a genitive by "from, proceeding from" etc.? Is "with" (which requires a dative, see John 1:40, John 17:5, twice, etc.) permissible here? It is so given in "A new Translation." Every other instance in John's Gospel of παρά with a genitive seems to exclude any but the regular construction of "from" or "of." Cf. John 16:28, John 17:6, 8, etc. Of course the interpretation will be affected by the translation.

Q. 2. John 1:18. ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν κ.τ.λ. The reading here seems a difficult question, θεοῦ, υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ and other variants having some support. But μον. θεός appears to be supported by some uncials, cursives, versions and Fathers. It is adopted by Alford, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, and others. Griesbach marks υἱός as doubtful; Lachmann inserts θεός in margin. This being the case, is the evidence brought forward in favour of θεός really strong enough to shake confidence in the Received Text of this passage? Yours faithfully in Christ, W.J.

A. 1. All the older English Versions of John 1:14 favour "of" and avoid the usual rendering "from," as does the new translation which prefers "with," ordinarily answering to the dative. "On the part of" or shortly "of" seems best here.

A. 2. There is no doubt of the ancient, if not large, support, of θεός, instead of the ordinary reading υἱός, "Son." Nevertheless Tregelles alone ventured to follow them as he does in other harsh readings, till the Cambridge Editors joined him. All others, notwithstanding B Cpm L 33, two or three versions, and patristic allusions, prefer A and fifteen other uncials, all cursives but one, the ancient Vv. and Fathers. It is not according to the analogy of scripture to speak of "only-begotten God"; and "Son" is their true correlate to "Father." Alford stands with Griesbach, Lachmann, Scholz, Scrivener, Tischendorf, Wordsworth, as well as all the older critics.

Bible Treasury Volume 15, p. 224. February 1885.

Q. The true application of 2 John is asked, more especially of verse 10, 11; and proof is wished that those refused for Newtonianism or for receiving its partisans fall under this scripture.

A. Is the raiser of the question aware that several grave and intelligent men printed and circulated their own full confession that the doctrine in question, which they had received and taught, did deny the Christ of God and must destroy the souls of all who abode under its poisonous influence? It is not in question therefore what opponents may have said. Abler persons than those who now palliate the error know far better what they held, and that it was as bad or worse than we said who resolutely rejected it and denounced its deadly nature. Can he be aware of what was taught about Christ? Was He really "exposed, for example, because of His relation to Adam to that sentence of death, that had been pronounced on the whole family of man"? Had He "the exercises of soul which His elect in their unconverted state ought to have?" Could the Spirit's anointing never have come on Him, unless foreordained and known as the Victim? Was it so that Christ was sealed of the Spirit? Had He to find His way to a point where God could meet Him, and that point, death on the cross under God's wrath? Is any one of these statements (a small sample of this awful heterodoxy) compatible with "the doctrine of Christ?"

He who questions this understands neither the doctrine nor its denial, and proves himself quite incompetent to speak, as being under the blinding power of the enemy. The doctrine overthrows Christ as come in the flesh and would make Him wholly unfit to be made sin for us. Now, not to speak of reproof or avoidance, putting out is far too mild for such an evil. Hence 2 John lays down in the broadest way, not this or that special form of antichristianism, but that if any bring not "this doctrine" [i.e. the true teaching of Christ's person], "receive him not into your house," nor salute him. This is much more stringent than the measure prescribed for the incestuous man in 1 Corinthians 5, and of course very much beyond withdrawing from the disorderly in 2 Thessalonians 3 or the divisionists in Romans 16. It is the most heinous sin, with which the christian has to deal, and very precisely was the turning point of our great breach in 1849. For ver. 11 extends the partaking of evil deeds to all who have fellowship with those who do not bring this doctrine.

The reasoning that questions and undermines it is mere unbelief, in direct opposition to God's object in the church; which is bound to purge out all leaven (doctrinal, Galatians 5, as well as moral, 1 Corinthians 5). It is in principle to build again Babylon on the ruins of the pillar and ground of the truth, and more worthy of a worldly man than of a soul that loves Christ and God's word. Yet I doubt not that real Christians have been and are beguiled into this indifference to Christ. But this makes it the more urgent that all who are true to His glory should prove their love to God's children, not by the faithless allowance of the worst evil in a person because he may be a christian, but by loving God and keeping His commandments. And this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous.

Bible Treasury Volume 15, p. 367. November 1885.

The book of yours which I have by me is, "Lectures on the Book of Daniel," second edition.

Q. 1. I cannot reconcile some passages in it with Scripture. On page 103 I read "'The first was like a lion and had eagle's wings.' There, beyond question, we have the empire of Babylon" and on page 33, "Babylon was first made an empire of in the person of Nebuchadnezzar, who here includes, as it were, those that were to follow." Surely the description in Daniel 7:2-3, "… beheld the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from the other" in no way applies to Nebuchadnezzar's accession to the throne of Babylon. Was not his father Nabpolassar king of Babylon before him?

Q. 2. In pages 106 and 107 Alexander's (the Grecian) kingdom is represented (you say) in the vision by the "Leopard which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads." You add "There you have not so much what was found in Alexander himself, but rather in his successors." Why do you say so? The scriptures must be correct. The leopard appeared with four heads, not with one which was replaced by four, like Alexander's own kingdom which was divided into four! The interpretation of this vision in Daniel 7:17 ("These great beasts which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth") was given within some three years of the fall of the Babylonian empire. And yet you say, "'The first was like a lion and had eagle's wings.' There beyond question we have the empire of Babylon" (page 103). The interpretation given to Daniel says "shall arise," while the Babylonian empire began (page 33) in Nebuchadnezzar some (?) sixty-six years before. J.S.C.

A. 1. The book of Daniel is itself the nearest and weightiest help to explain the difficulties of its several parts. Thus Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 reflect light one on another. There is a manifest unity in the colossal image seen in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, which has its answer in "the four great beasts" that "came up from the sea" in Daniel's vision during the first year of Belshazzar's reign. In the visions all were thus seen at once, though in historical fact they were to succeed each other; as the rest of the chapter would plainly enough indicate. It was not a question of what Babylon had been, or of Nebuchadnezzar's succeeding Nabopolassar, but of God's gift of world-empire to these four successive powers. They begin with Nebuchadnezzaar, and are terminated by the judgment to be executed on the final form of the fourth or Roman empire by the Stone cut without hands, i.e. God's kingdom wielded by the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven. Nabopolassar was doubtless king of Babylon; but in no way head of the image or imperial system which commenced with his son Nebuchadnezzar, to whom God gave this place expressly. He, not his father, could say though arrogantly, "Is not this great Babylon that I have built?" as he built enormously besides. His foreign conquests were great, yet less momentous than his energetic home policy. But his overthrow of the Jewish kingdom in its last stronghold was the turning-point, and in him the Gentile imperial system began. Daniel 2:37-38 affords light clear enough for beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and excluding his father or any other before him; as no reasonable mind doubts the parralelism of the two chapters. Compare Jeremiah 27, Ezekiel 12, 17.

A. 2. Here the comparison of Daniel 8:21-22 simply and fully solves the difficulty as to Daniel 7:6. So one must say because scripture so explains. The latter vision of Daniel 8 bears on important details of the second and third powers, laying aside all reference to the first and fourth in Daniel 7. "It is written again" is of the greatest moment when "It is written" is misapplied. Scripture is everywhere consistent as well as surely correct. The fourth beast appears with ten horns; yet we know from other scriptures that these mean ten kings at the very close of the last empire, in no way that they were so found when that empire first began. The same remark applies to the four heads of the leopard or Macedonian empire. Each vision gives characteristic differences without in the least implying that they all appeared from the start. Other or subsequent statements correct such an inference as unfounded and contrary to fact.

So "shall arise" in Daniel 7:17 must in fairness be taken as a whole, connecting the three powers to come with the Babylonian though already in being and tottering to its fall. To construe the words with such rigid technicality as to exclude the Babylonish empire from answering to the lion with eagle's wings is, not a difficulty for my exposition, but really a setting of Daniel 7 in opposition to Daniel 2 and a groundless upturning of the plain fact. From a full consideration of these scriptures I hold that truth calls one to interpret the "four kings" which "shall arise" as comprising the beginning to the end of these earthly bestial systems, but not as to exclude the first beast from Nebuchadnezzar's day; for this would set scripture against scripture and thus disproves itself as erroneous. "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth." One cannot fairly use this to deny retrospect, must include Babylon from Nebuchadnezzar. For the object is to give the imperial system relative unity; whilst "the first" and "another," etc. in ver. 4-7, gave also succession adequately, as indeed had been done yet more plainly in Daniel 2. Verse 11, 12 contrast a prolonging of the three previous beasts after the loss of dominion; whereas the fourth is utterly destroyed when it ceases to be an imperial power at the close. Scripture therefore sustains the statements questioned, without meddling with the ordinary version of the passages; it shows that the difficulty lies rather in divorcing one text from another, instead of receiving all. Scripture cannot be broken. A priori expectations of what or how God should reveal are sure to be disappointed. Our blessing is to own His wisdom and goodness in what He gives or withholds. The Holy Spirit, as He wrote all in view of Christ's glory, so works in giving us to expound aright just so far as we have His glory in view, the true safeguard of explaining aright.

Even the incredulous Gibbon in his Letter to Bp. Hurd (Hurd's Works, pp 365,6) says, "The four empires are clearly delineated, the expedition of Xerxes into Greece, the rapid conquest of Persia by Alexander, his untimely death without posterity, the division of his vast monarchy into four kingdoms, one of which is mentioned by name, their various wars and intermarriages, the persecution of Antiochus, the profanation of the temple, and the invincible arms of the Romans are described with so much perspicuity in the prophecies of Daniel, as in the histories of Justin and Diodorus. From such a perfect resemblance the artful infidel would infer that both were alike composed after the event." He argued that the author of the book of Daniel was too well informed of the revolutions of the Persian and Macedonain empires supposed to have happened long after his death; and that he was too ignorant of the transactions in his own times: in a word, that he was too exact for a prophet, and too fabulous for a contemporary historian.

It is enough to reply that the book is no less distinct in Daniel 9 about Christ's death and the destruction of Jerusalem; and that the alleged contemporaneous history is declared to be "at the time of the end" when Israel are to be delivered, and therefore, as future, necessarily unfulfilled prophecy. Hence, to say "fabulous" is not only premature but ignorant, as it will be surely proved to be the baseless scepticism of Gibbon, in the wake of Porphyry. But even they took no exception to the Four Empires as laid down in Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and saw no such force in Daniel 7:2-3, 6, or 17, as to enfeeble that interpretation. Now there was no empire of Rome till long after the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, where it pleases unbelief to imagine the writing of a book of Daniel. Yet the book not only speaks of a fourth or Roman empire, but dwells with peculiar fulness on its last phase, not yet accomplished, when its blasphemy is to draw down the holy vengeance of the Son of man. Then shall follow, not the white throne judgment when the wicked dead shall arise from their graves for judgment, but the kingdom which He shall previously exercise over all peoples, nations and languages. This therefore clearly presupposes the earth, when it shall be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea. Indeed even before that kingdom the latter part of Daniel 11 shows us "the time of the end," in which Antiochus Epiphanes has no place whatever. But three kings figure: "the king" (36-40) in the land, who will be so distinct from the then "king of the north" and the "king of the south" that they will both attack him at the same time. Ver. 41-45 are occupied exclusively with "the king of the north" in that future day, who becomes an especial object of divine wrath, as "the king," we know from elsewhere, will have been before him. Thus minutely writes the prophet on the solemn crisis at "the end of the age," which future detail is clearly after the gap where Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabees are done with.