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a good part of Daniel is in the Caldee Tongue, and upon that account might the left need one; 'tis a general Complaint among the Jews themselves, that a great many of their ancient T'argums have been lost, and an acknowledg'd Cafe, that some of their sacred Writers (such as Ezra and Nehemiah, for Instance, Men famous in the Jewish Story, and the latter of them highly celebrated by the Son of Syrach) never had any. The Truth is, the frequent Calamities, -which befel the Jewish Nation, and dispers'd them into other Countries, made them negligent of their Books; left them no leiiure to transcribe long Paraphrafls, and when, by mixing among other People, they had lost the Knowledge of the Language, left them no Ability to do it. So that, amidst this Ignorance and Confusion, 'tis no Wonder, if many valuable Copies were lost; * lome of which have since come to Light, but there is Reason to apprehend that the Targum upon Daniel never will. For lb much does Daniel speak of the MeJJias> describe the Signs, and define the time of his coming so precisely, that the Jews,
perperceiving the Advantage, which their Adversaries, the Christians, might make of it, were under strong Temptations, either to omit, or suppress the Paraphrase of a Prophet so diametrically against them: And accordingly, we have a Story from * one of their Rabbins, that lavours not a little of some such Practice, viz. u That when Jonathan had fi"nifhed his Targum on Job, Proverbs, "and the tysalms, and was going on "to Daniel, he was restrained by a "Voice, which bid him give over 11 there, lest the Sons of Men mould "learn from Daniel the time of the "MeJJias.
* It is but the other Day that the Targums of the two Books of Chronicles were discovered. Bishop • Chandler's Vindication,
The Plainnels indeed of Daniel's Pro- The phesies has been an Objection to their 0f"his Authority of a long standing, though Prophesies it be certainly \ as easy for an allknowing God to foretel all the Circumstances of any Event, or to reveal the whole Series of Events, in their proper Connexion and Succession, as to declare one single Occurrence: But the Cavil against them upon account of their Style, as being dark and symbolical, unlike what the other Prophets write, agreeable to the turn of the Grecian Schools, and, consequently, of a more
* R. Abrudaham in Zaceath's Inchasin. /. 45. t Bishop Chandler's Vindication*
modern Date, is somewhat new and singular. All the Greeks, that we know of, are Strangers to this manner of writing; they abound indeed in Figures His Em- and Allegories, but the symbolical and biemati- emblematical Form was purely Orientals cal Style. anfj wjjat the other Prophets as well aa Daniel, as Occasion requires, pursue.
For does notz Isaiah foretel the Destruction of the Egyptians under the Image of his striking with a great and Jlrong Sword the Leviathan (or Crocodile) and Jhying the great Dragon that is in the Sea? Does nota Ezekiel propheiy of Pharaoh, under the Figure of a great Dragon, that lives in the midfl of the River; of the King of Babylony under the Emblem bof « large Eagle with great Wings \ and of the Assyrian, under the Similitudec of a tall Cedar upon Lebanon, exalted above all Trees, and reaching to the Clouds with its Top, &c? It is the Genius of the Easiern People to be delighted with Fiction and Imagery j and therefore no wonder, if the Time, and Place, where Daniel was Captive, suggested to him this Method of writing, which, however strange and abstruse it may seem to us, was
1 Isai. xxvii. I. * Ezek. xxix. 3. * Ezek. xvii. 3, 12. J Ezek. iii. 1,
* as intelligible to the skilful Readers
of thole Days, as the most plain and •
'Tis Folly therefore for us, at this And Books Distance of time, to talk of the Proprie- forged ty of the prophetick Style; nor is it ^^„ worth while to dispute, whether the be anv Jews, more than other Nations, wereval!d0J" Forgers of Books under some great ^ Mens Names. Let it but once be proved, that the "Jews did ever approve of the Authority of those Pieces, which were fathered upon Daniel; or that any other Greek Book (for these Pieces were all written in Greek) was ever allowed to creep into the Jewish Canon, and then something may be said : But to tell us, that some Greek Jews, remote from judea, wrote two or three Romances, and ascribed them to Daniel, affects the Prophet's Credit only in this reipect, that it gives us to understand (since no one chuses a Father of disrepute in such a Case) that his Writings were in great Esteem with the Jewijh Church at the time, when these spurious
* The Ram was the Royal Ensign of the Persians, and the Goat, (since their King Caranus,) was the Arms of Macedon: And these Kingdoms, represented by Daniel under these Emblems, were as weJl understood then, as are the Arms, the Colours, and Field of Escutcheons by Heralds now. Bishop Chandler's Vindication.
ous Pieces were publisiYd in his Name. t>a»iri\ After this full Vindication of the AuProphcsy thority of the Book of Daniels it will ted. Ca be no harc* matter to justify the Application of his Prophesy, concerning the seventy Weeks, to the times of our blessed Saviour. For, though the original Word \Debar\ which we render Commandment does sometimes denote a Promise or Injunction from God to his Prophet; yet, in this Place, it can signify nothing but a Royal Decree, because mention is made therein of rebuilding Jerusalem with its Streets and Walls, and restoring the People to their ancient State, which could never be effected, but by the Favour and Encourage. ment of the Prince, who had them in Captivity.
Though Jesus was put to Death seven and thirty Tears before the Destruction of Jerusalem, and did not appear in Person to Head any Army against it; yet, as we believe that he rose from the Dead, and was afterwards seated at the Right-hand of God, to carry on the Ends of the mediatoral Kingdom; and, as the Orders and Councils of Kings are executed by their Servants, while they themselves are at a great Distance, and yet the Events are ascribed to their Names: Such was