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Yet heard I the voice of his words: and wlien I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
And behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees, and upon the palms of my hands.
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright; for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but lo, Michael one of the chief princes came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days.
And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
And behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before
my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not ; peace be unto thee; be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken
unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things but Michael your prince.
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
And now will I shew thee the truth, Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
From the description given of the glorious person who appeared to Daniel, we may judge that He could be no other than the Lord God. From these pro. phecies we may judge, that He was at all times the image of the invisible Gon, though concealed from mortal eyes, on account of the unworthiness of mankind to behold Him. How graciously did the LORD encourage and strengthen Daniel, assuring him also, that he or. dered all things, though the wonders of His providence were concealed beneath the veil of natural causes. The prophecies in this Section were gradually completed.
After Cyrus, the founder of the Persian empire, there were twelve successive monarchs, CAMBYSES, SMERDIS MAGUS, DARIUS, HYSTASPES, Xerxes the first, AR
TAXERSES LONGIMANUS, XERXES the second, SoadiANUS, DARIUS Norhus, ARTAXERXES MNEMON, ARTAXERXES Ochus, ARSES, and DARIUS CODOMANUS.
We will now go back to the history of the Jews after the death of Cyrus, under the reign of his son Cambyses.
CAMBYSEs being of a very different disposition from his father, the enemies of the Jews addressed themselves to him, in order to prevail with him to stop the building of the Temple; but it seems he had too much respect for the memory of his father to be induced pub: licly to revoke his decree; however, he defeated in a great measure the design of it, by several discourage ments, so that it went on very slowly in his days.
The next king was SMERDIS, who is called in Scrip. ture Artaxerxes. As soon as he was settled on the throne, the Samaritans endeavoured to prejudice him against the Jews, as related in the following Sections
THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS AND SAMARITANS
AND DARIUS HYSTASPES.
I'rom Ezra, Chap. iv. v. vi. And in the days of Artaxerxes, the Samaritans wrote letters unto the king. This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river and at such a time. Be it known -unto the king, that the Jews which
from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.
Be it known now unto the king, that if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom; and so wilt thou endamage the revenue of the kings.
Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour; therefore have we sent and certified the king,
That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers : so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.
We certify the king, that if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side of the river.
Then sent the king this answer : The letter which yo sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.
And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river ; and toll, tribute and custom, was paid unto them.
Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.
Take heed now that ye fail not to do this ; why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Artaxerxes continued but eight months on the throne. After his death, Darius, the son of Hystaspes, a noble Persian, who had followed Cyrus in all his wars, was raised to the throne. Although by the death of Artaxerxes, his edict for stopping the building of the Temple was now at an end, yet the Jews, neglecting to resume the work, God smote the land with barren. ness : but in the second year of Darius, they were informed by the prophet Haggai of the cause of this judgment, and exhorted to their duty.
THE PROPHECY OF HAGGAI.
From Chap. i, ii. In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubabbel the son of Shealtiel governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest, saying ;
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built.
Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, () ye! to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste ?
Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consis der your ways.
Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.