Daniel 8:11

11. 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.

11. Et ad Principem exercitus magnificatum est 1 et ab eo ablatum fuit juge, 2 et projectus fuit 3 locus sancturii ejus.


Daniel announces something still more atrocious here, namely, the exaltation of the little horn against God. Some take "the prince of the army" for the high priest, as princes are sometimes called Mynhwk, kuhnim, as well as Myrs, serim; but that is too forced. The true sense of the passage imputes such arrogance and folly to Antiochus as to urge him to declare war with the stars of heaven, implying not only his opposition to God's Church, which is separate from the world, but also his daring defiance of God himself and his resistance to his power. He not only exercised his cruelty against the faithful, but profaned the temple itself, and endeavored to extinguish all piety, and to abolish the worship of God throughout Judea, as we shall explain more fully in other passages. As, therefore, Antiochus not only raged against men, but used his utmost endeavors to overthrow religion, Daniel relates how that horn was raised up even against the prince of the army. God is deservedly entitled to this appellation, because he defends his Church, and cherishes it under his wings. This expression ought to be explained not only of God's glory and empire, but also of his paternal favor towards us, as he deigns to manifest his care for us as if he were our Prince.

From him, says he, was the perpetual sacrifice utterly snatched away, and the place of his sanctuary cast down. These words are horrible in their import; God was thus spoiled of his rights, since he had chosen but a single corner in the world for his special worship. What heathen, then, would not despise this forbearance of God, in permitting himself to be deprived of his legitimate honor by that sordid tyrant? As we have already stated, Antiochus had neither greatness of mind nor warlike courage, being skillful only in cunning and in the basest acts of flattery. Besides, granting him to have comprised a hundred Alexanders in his own person, what can be the Almighty's design in allowing his temple to be polluted, and all true sacrifices to cease throughout the world? One corner alone, as we have lately mentioned, was left where God wished to be worshipped, and now Antiochus seizes upon the temple, and profanes and defiles it with the utmost possible indignity, thus leaving no single place sacred to the Almighty. For this reason I have asserted the prophecy to appear very harsh. The Prophet now increases the indignity when he speaks of the perpetual sacrifice. For God had often borne witness to his temple being his perpetual "rest," or "station," or "seat;" yet he is now ejected from this spot, as if exiled from the earth entirely. The temple could not exist without sacrifices, for the whole worship under the law was a kind of appendage to the temple. As God had promised the sacrifice should be perpetual and eternal, who would not assert, when Antiochus destroyed it, either all the promises to have been deceptive, or all authority to have departed from God, who failed to defend his right against that impious tyrant. Surely this must have been a distressing calamity, overwhelming all the faithful! And when even at this moment we read the prophecy, all our senses are horrified by its perusal. No wonder, then, that God forewarned. his servant of such sorrowful events, and such incredible evils, to admonish his whole Church in due season, and to arm them against the severest temptations, which might otherwise strike down even the most courageous. The sacrifice , then , says he, was snatched away from God himself, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down or dissipated. It afterwards follows: --

1 That is, proceeded even to the prince of the army. -- Calvin.

2 Namely, the sacrifice. -- Calvin.

3 Or, dissipated. -- Calvin.