14. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
14. Et veni ut tibi patefacerem 1 quod occurret populo tuo 2 in extremitate dierum, diebus postremis, quia adhuc visio ad dies.
The angel follows up the same sentiment. He states his arrival for the purpose of predicting to Daniel coming events, and those, too, for a long period of time. He further proves the prayers of Daniel to have been neither vain nor fruitless, as they produced this conflict with the kings of Persia, both father and son. He now brings forward another proof of this, because God wished his Prophet to be instructed in patiently waiting for the arrival of the events, after being made fully aware of the elect people being under God's care and protection. This he would readily acknowledge from the prophecies of the next chapter. He next adds, at the end of the days. By this expression the angel commends God's grace towards the Prophet, as he was its special minister. His mission was not only to announce to him the occurrences of three or four years, or of any brief period, but he had to extend his predictions over many years, even to the extremity of the days. I willingly refer this period to the renovation of the Church which happened at the advent of Christ. The Scriptures in using the phrase, the last days, or times, always point to the manifestation of Christ, by which the face of the world was renewed. It is exactly similar to the angel saying he would make Daniel fully acquainted with all future events, until the final redemption of the people, when Christ was exhibited for the salvation of his Church. Hence the angel embraces the 490 years of which he had spoken. For Christ's advent determined the fullness of times, and the subjoined reason suits the passage exceedingly well. The vision is yet for days, says he; thus frigidly some expounders take these words. I feel persuaded that the angel intends to shew how God is now opening future events to his servant, and thus these prophecies become like a lamp ever shining in the Church. The faithful complain in the 74th Psalm (Psalm 74:9) of the absence of all signs, because no prophets are left. We see no signs, say they, no Prophet exists among us. This was an indication of God having rejected and deserted them. However faintly the light of his doctrine may shine upon us, the slightest glimmer ought to be sufficient to produce patience and repose. But when all the light of the Word is extinguished, we seem completely enveloped in tartarean darkness. As the Israelites suffered so many afflictions for nearly 500 years, this remedy ought completely to restore them; for when the angel testifies, the vision is yet for days, it means, although God permits his people to be miserably afflicted, yet by this new proof he shews that he had not entirely cast them off. Some vision remained; that is, by the light of prophecy he will always manifest his care for his chosen, and they may even anticipate a happy issue out of all their sorrows. We now understand the angel's meaning when he says, the vision is yet for days. Prophecies, indeed, ceased soon afterwards, and God no longer sent other prophets to his people, yet their teaching always remained permanent like a finger-post, for in it was completed the whole series of times up to the advent of Christ. His children were never destitute of all necessary consolation; for although there were no prophets surviving who could instruct the people in God's commands by the living voice, yet Daniel's teaching flourished for nearly 500 years after his death. It also performed its part in supporting the courage of the pious, and shewing them the firmness of God's covenant not withstanding all opposition. Although the Church was agitated in a variety of ways, yet God is consistent in all his promises, until the complete redemption of his Church by the advent of his only-begotten Son.
Grant, Almighty God, as the weakness of our faith is such that it almost vanishes on the very least occasion: Grant, I say, that we may not hesitate to derive support from this remarkable and memorable example which thou wishest to propose to us in Daniel, although for a time thou hidest thy face from us, and we lie prostrate in darkness. Still do thou remain near us; and with undoubting hope may we be steadfast in our prayers and groaning, until at length the fruit of our prayers shall appear. Thus may we constantly make war with all kinds of trials, and persist unconquered until thou shalt stretch forth thine hand from heaven to us, and raise us to that blessed rest which is there laid up for us by Christ our Lord. -- Amen.