Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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[100] Dan. iii. 25. “And the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Christ redeems from the furnace, by coming into it himself; so he redeems from wrath by enduring it himself.

[279] Dan. vii. 13. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days; and they brought him near before him.” Here both Christ’s humanity and divinity are signified: his humanity, in that it is said, “One like the Son of man; and his divinity, in that he came with the clouds of heaven. Appearing with bright clouds, or with the Shechinah, is a token of divinity, for this is often in Scripture called the glory of the Lord, and sometimes the cloud of glory.

Another thing that may be observed of these words is, that it is not said that he descended with the clouds of heaven, or that he ascended, but he came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days; which is equally applicable both to his ascension into heaven, when he went to receive his kingdom, and to be invested with his royal dominion and glory; and to his last coming at the day of judgment, which is called his coming in his kingdom; and doubtless includes both, for one is like the other, and both might very well be spoken of under one; for as the angel told the disciples at Christ’s ascension, “This same Jesus shall come in like manner as he was seen to go into heaven;” he shall descend in the same manner as he ascended; in both he comes with the clouds of heaven; Acts i. 9. in both he comes attended with hosts of angels, and probably in both with the whole multitude of the heavenly hosts; in both he is attended with risen saints, for it is probable that those saints that came out of their graves with him, also ascended with him. In both he comes to the Ancient of days, and is brought near before him. He is so in his ascension, for he ascended to his Father, to appear before him; and when he comes at the last day he will come to the Ancient of days in a more mystical sense, for all the glory that he will be invested with on that day will be by his Father, and all that he will do in the day of judgment will be as acting from his Father and in his name; he shall then in the most glorious manner of all receive a kingdom from his Father; he shall then be brought near to the Father, and sit down on the Father’s throne in the most eminent manner of all; he shall then most fully receive his church, the kingdom of his grace, that is made up of all peoples, nations, and languages, as in the next verse.

Both these are remarkable periods or epochs of the commencement of the kingdom of heaven, of which the Messiah is the King, and are so spoken of in the New Testament.

This prophecy doubtless has respect to Christ’s ascent into heaven, for to that it is much the most obviously and directly applicable. That is most plainly spoken of in the New Testament, as the time when he went to God, the Ancient of days, to receive his kingdom. It also doubtless has respect to his coming to judgment, for that coming to judgment seems often in the New Testament spoken of with reference to this very prophecy. With reference to this it is called his coming in his kingdom. The Jews seem to have taken that phrase of the Messiah’s coming in his kingdom from this prophecy; and with reference to that it seems often to be spoken of in the New Testament, as the Son of man’s coming in the clouds of heaven.

[81] Dan. ix. 7. “O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces as at this day.” By confusion of faces, he does not mean so much shame and repentance, as punishment. It is an acknowledgment that they were justly punished, and brought to such sorrow and ruin, as they were then the subjects of; that is often represented by being ashamed and confounded; therefore he says, “As it is this day:” he did not mean that they then were ashamed with the shame of repentance, but that they then were in a ruined condition.

[413] Dan. ix. 27. “And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.” It ought to have been translated, ”by or with, the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate;” so the particle Sy sometimes is used. (See Buxtorf.) It is manifest that the abomination here mentioned, is spoken of as the efficient or instrument of the desolation, from other scriptures that have a manifest reference to this, as Dan. xi. 31. “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Dan. xii. 11. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

And the expression is very much like those concerning that which is spoken of, Dan. viii. 11, 12, 13. “Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under-foot?” And Matt. xxiv. 15, 16. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand,) then let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains.” And the same words in Mark xiii. 14. The great difficulty of understanding these places seems to lie in these two things:

I. That the abomination of desolation spoken of in all those places seems to be the same. There are these following things that argue them to be the same:

1. The manner of speaking of the abomination that maketh desolate in Dan. xi. 31. and xii. 11. seems to imply a reference to some such thing of which there had been a revelation made to Daniel, and which Daniel had already in his mind. And the passage in Dan. ix. 27. seems to have a reference to that transgression of desolation in chap. viii. 11, 12. It seems evidently to be the same thing spoken of several times: here is something spoken of over and over, called by the same or a like name, called by way of eminency the abomination, or the transgression described by the like property, that that maketh desolate.

All are spoken of with a special reference to the holy city and sanctuary; as appears by comparing the several places and contexts; all are spoken of, in each place in Daniel, as attended with the ceasing of the sacrifice.

2. Christ, when he refers to the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, seems to suppose but one abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

3. Some things that Christ says of this abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, seem to be especially taken from one place, others from another. He speaks of it as the abomination that makes desolate, that accompanies the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and this seems to be taken from Dan. ix. 27. He speaks of it as standing, or set up, in the holy place. This seems rather to be taken from Dan. xi. 31. where it is said they shall pollute the sanctuary, or holy place, and place the abomination that maketh desolate. And “And the abomination that maketh desolate shall be set up.” And that manner of expression of desolation seems to be taken from Dan. viii. 13. And yet,

II. The prophecies of the abomination that maketh desolate, in different places in Daniel, seems evidently to have respect to different seasons and events; as those in Dan. viii. 11, 12, 13. and xi. 31. have an evident reference to what came to pass in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes; and what is spoken of, Dan. ix. 27. has an evident reference to what came to pass at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; and that in Dan. xii. has a reference to what comes to pass in the days of antichrist, as is manifest from the preceding part of the chapter.

But the reconciliation of the difficulty is in this, that they are all, mystically, one and the same; for they are lively types one of another. What is ultimately respected, is that spoken of in the 12th of Daniel, which is accomplished in the days of antichrist, of which the preceding are lively images. That setting up of the abomination that makes desolate in the sanctuary, by Antiochus Epiphanes, is typical of what was done by antichrist; for he was a great type of antichrist. And so was that which came to pass at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, spoken of Dan. ix. 27. and spoken of by Christ, Matt. xxiv. 15. Luke explains “the abomination of desolation, standing in the holy place,” by Jerusalem being compassed with the Roman armies, Luke xxi. 20, 21. Jerusalem was the holy city, and so many furlongs about it were accounted holy. Now when the Roman army approached within the limits of the holy ground, then the abomination of desolation might be said to stand in the holy place. But the word abomination seems particularly to refer to the Roman ensigns, upon which were the images of their emperors, which the Romans worshipped, as Suetonius expressly tells us, and Tacitus calls them their ”Bellorum Dei,” their gods of war. Now it was an abomination to the Jews, to see those idols set up within the limits of the holy city; to which may be added what Josephus tells us afterwards, that the Romans, after they had conquered the city, set up these ensigns in the ruins of the temple and sacrificed to them.” (Thus, Abp. Tillotson, vol. ii. of his Works, Serm. 185. p. 533.) This setting up the image of the emperor within the limits of the holy city, and afterwards in the ruins of the temple, and there sacrificing to it, is a lively representation of setting up the pope in the church of God, the spiritual Jerusalem, who is the emperor of the antiChristian Roman empire, and the image of the beast, an image of the heathen Roman emperors, who is set up as a god in the temple of God, where he exalts himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped, although it be in the temple in ruins. He first in effect destroys the temple of God, and then sets himself up there as God, to be worshipped and sacrificed to. Here see Bp. Kidder’s Dem. part ii. p. 11, 12, 13.

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