against the system proposed, and which either have 8. When this has been done, the author may be Whether I have succeeded in producing an ex- position perfectly unobjectionable, the public must determine. I have at least attempted to do so, both by avoiding what I conceive to be the errors of my predecessors, and by binding myself down to cer- tain rules, from which I am not conscious that I have ever departed. Should it prove in any re- June 28, 1809. Concerning the proper mode of computing the feventy weeks, IT is a question, whether the seventy weeks are composed of solar years or of lunar years; and, if of the latter, whether each year contains 354 days or 360 days. p. 3. I. There is no reason to suppose, that the seventy weeks are composed of years containing each 354 days, p.5. II. But several arguments have been adduced to prove, that they are composed of years containing each 360 days, 1. The grounds on which Mr. Marshall maintains this to (1.) From the length of the Noctic year. p. 7. (2.) From the length of the Egyptian year, p. 7. (3.) From the length of the Greek year: p. 7. (1.) One method of lengthening the year of 360 days was by adding 5 supernumerary days at the end of it. p. 9. (2.) Another method was by occasional monthly intercalation. p. 10. 3. Aware of this remark, Mr. Marshall attempts to shew that the year of 360 days was used collectively as well as singly. p. 11. (1.) His first argument from the conversation of Solon with Cresus stated, and answered. p. 11. (2.) His second argument from the continuance of the Babylonian captivity stated, and answered by shewing the true length of that captivity. p. 13. (3.) His third argument from the collective sum of three years and a half stated, and answered. p. 34. (4.) His fourth argument from Solomon's purveyorships stated, and answered. p. 36. 4. From the silence of Scripture there is reason to suppose, that monthly intercalations were unknown to the more ancient Jews: whence it will follow, that a series of their years must have been equal to a corresponding series of years either of 360 days each or of 365 days each. p. 38. (1.) The latter argued to be the case from two of the great Jewish festivals being fixed to spring and au tumn. p. 40. (2.) From the lengths of the Levitical weeks of years. p. 42. (3.) From the duration of the sojourning of the children of Israel. p. 43. (4.) From the impossibility of reconciling the chronology of Israel with that of the neighbouring nations by the former mode of computation. p. 46. 5. The sum of the matter is, that the more ancient Jewish year must have been solar. p. 47. 6. This 6. This however is of no consequence in reckoning the seventy weeks; because, whatever might be the length of a single Jewish year, the fixed nature of the great festivals proves, that a series of such years must have been made equal to a corresponding series of solar years. p. 47. III. The argument strengthened by the authority of persons who have written on the subject. p. 48. 1. Jackson. p. 49. 2. Prideaux. p. 60. 3. Sir Isaac Newton. p. 62. 4. Blayney, p. 62. 5. Davies. p. 65. IV. The conclusion is, that the more ancient Jews used the so lar year, and that they did not begin to use the intercalated lunar year until the time of the Greek princes in Asia, when the Rabbinical Ve-Adar, which is unknown in Scripture, was introduced. p. 74. 1. But, however this may be, the observance of the great festivals proves, that a series of Jewish years must have been equal to a series of solar years. p. 75. 2. Whence it will follow, that the 490 years of the seventy weeks must, either singly or collectively, be equal to 490 solar years. p. 76. 3. Therefore no interpretation of the prophecy can be admitted, which is built on a calculation by abbreviated lunar years of either description. p. 77, CHAP. II. Concerning the chronology of the decrees enacted by the Kings of Persia for the rebuilding of the temple and city of Jerusalem and for the restoration of the civil and ecclesiastical polity of Judah. I. IT has generally been said that four decrees were enacted for these several purposes, but it does not appear that there were any more than three. p. 78. II. The |