26. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true, wherefore shut thou up the. vision; for it shall be for many days.
26. Et visio matutina, et vespertina, quae pronuntiata fuit, veritas est, Tu ergo obsigna, vel claude, visionem, quia ad dies multos, protenditur.
The angel again confirms the assertion that no part of this vision was shewn to the Prophet in vain, because not even the slightest portion of it should fail of its effect. The necessity of this method of confirming our faith is notorious, because, although the events may be well known to us, yet we cannot acquiesce in God's word, unless he should testify so repeatedly to the truth of his assertions, and sanction by such repetition whatever appears to us ambiguous. When it becomes perfectly obvious that the angel discourses upon obscure events, and such as were utterly incredible at the time, it does not surprise us when he announces again, that the Prophet had seen nothing which God would not accomplish. This vision, therefore, says he, is truth. He calls it "the vision of the evening and morning," because while the angel was treating of the six years and almost a half, he used this form of speech. And we said this was purposely expressed, lest any one should extend it to years or months, as some did; as if the angel had said, -- Behold! by calculating single days up to six years and about a half, the completion of this prophecy when the Temple shall be cleansed, shall be accurately discovered. Again it is asserted, that the vision is certain, because God had computed day by day the time of the profanation of the Temple until the period of its cleansing. Do thou, therefore, says he, seal or close the vision, because it is for many days. It may surprise us why God should wish what he had explained to his servant to remain concealed. For Daniel was not
instructed in futurity for his own private advantage, but for the common usefulness of the whole people. It seems, therefore, contrary to his office to be commanded to close up the vision, and to keep it. in complete obscurity. But the angel means, if the greater part of the people should reject this prophecy, this formed no reason why Daniel should hesitate. Be thou, therefore, the guardian of this prophecy, as if God had deposited a treasure in the hands of his servant, and had said, "Pay no regard to any who despise this prophecy; many may deride thee, and others think thou art narrating fables, and very few will have confidence in thee. but do not relax on this account, but faithfully guard this treasure," since it is for many days; that is, although its effect is not immediately apparent, because God will suspend for some time the punishments of which entreats, and will not restore the Temple all at once, nor wrest His people immediately out of the hand of the tyrant. In consequence, then, of his deferring his judgments as well as his pity for many days, do thou close up this visions, that is, keep it to thyself, as if thou art alone. Thus God does not simply command his Prophet to be silent, or to conceal what he had learnt, but rather confirms him in his consistency, lest he should estimate this prophecy according to the ordinary opinions of his countrymen. And at the same time he shews, that though the Jews did not pay attention to what Daniel announced to them, yet nothing whatever should be in vain. It follows, --