Now that the prophetic Angel passes in this manner from the four kingdoms of the Greeks to the Romans reigning over the Greeks, is confirmed from hence, that in the next place he describes the affairs of the Christians unto the time of the end, in these words: And they that understand among the people shall instruct many, yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil many days. Now when they shall fall they shall be holpen with a little help, viz. in the reign of Constantine the great; but many shall cleave to them with dissimulation.
And some of them of understanding there shall fall to try them, and to purge them from the dissemblers; and to make them white even to the time of the end. And a little after, the time of the end is said to be a time, times, and half a time: which is the duration of the reign of the last horn of Daniel’s fourth Beast, and of the Woman and her Beast in the Apocalypse.
OF THE PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS.
THE Vision of the Image composed of four Metals was given first to Nebuchadnezzar, and then to Daniel in a dream: and Daniel began then to be celebrated for revealing of secrets, Ezekiel 28:3. The Vision of the four Beasts, and of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, was also given to Daniel in a dream. That of the Ram and the He-Goat appeared to him in the day time, when he was by the bank of the river Ulay; and was explained to him by the prophetic Angel Gabriel. It concerns the Prince of the host, and the Prince of Princes: and now in the first year of Darius the Mede over Babylon, the same prophetic Angel appears to Daniel again, and explains to him what is meant by the Son of man, by the Prince of the host, and the Prince of Princes. The Prophecy of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven relates to the second coming of Christ; that of the Prince of the host relates to his first coming; and this Prophecy of the Messiah, in explaining them, relates to both comings, and assigns the times thereof.