Dr. Karl August Auberlen

Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation of St. John in Their Mutual Relation (1856 PDF)
Die Theosophie Friedrich Christoph Oetingers (Tubingen: 1847) | Theology Professor 1824-1864 Basel

“regards (the book of Revelation) it more generally, and less specifically, as an outline of Epochs of the History of the world and the great forces which shape it into a Kingdom of God” (Farrar)

Preterist Commentaries By Historicist / Continuists

(On Matthew 24:28)
“…Christ Himself represents the destruction of Jerusalem as His Messianic coming (Matt. xxiv. 28).” (p. 101)

(On Typological relationship between Joseph and Daniel)
“The one stood near the beginning and the other near the end of the Jewish history of revelation; both were representatives of God at heathen courts; both interpreters of the dim presentiments of truth expressed in God-sent dreams, and therefore raised to honor by the powers of the world; so representing Israel’s calling to be a royal priesthood among the nations; and types of Christ, the true Israel, and of Israel’s destination to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, as Romans 11:1215, foretells.”

“And thus this prophecy, which we shall afterwards consider minutely, refers to the redemption, and to the Person who brings it, the Messiah. It announces that His coming will not be immediately after the captivity ; but that, dating from the restoration and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, seven times seventy years must yet elapse. Nor would He even then come in His glory, as Daniel might have been led to expect, from the language of the earlier prophets, or even from the revelation he had himself received (chap. vii.). He would be put to death ; but thereby He would work out the atonement for sin, and confirm the covenant with many. The people of Israel, however, would, as a nation, reject Him, and then be itself rejected, and Jerusalem, with its temple, would be destroyed, and remain a desolation, till the consummation determined by God.” (p 67)

“Ver. 26. The negative aspect is the rejection of the Messiah on the part of Israel. He was killed, and His people esteemed Him not. As a punishment for this crime the city and sanctuary are destroyed by a foreign prince. Jesus Himself, when He was led to the cross, had ” felt in His heart,” to use an expression of Roos, the causal connection of the two events of His death and the destruction of Jerusalem, and had repeatedly expressed it during the passion-week (Luke xxiii. 2S-31 ; Matt. xxi. 37-41 ; xxiii. 37, 3S). The last part of the verse gives a more detailed description of the destruction, and of the afflictions that were to precede it. The city and sanctuary are at last overwhelmed by a stormy, frightful deluge of war; for there is to be war even to the end (comp. Matt. xxiv. 6 : wars and rumours of wars), desolations determined by God upon the land. How this was fulfilled in the Jewish war is well known.

These two events, the putting to death of the Messiah, and, in consequence of that, the destruction of the city and the sanctuary, are the points of decision for the people in general in that Messianic time which began with the close of the sixty-ninth week. For this reason they are put in the foreground, and are mentioned without any more special chronological particulars, than that they were to take place after the sixty-ninth week (the text has it, ” after threescore and two weeks;” for the seven weeks, as they naturally precede the sixty-two, do not need to be mentioned again). The leading idea of the twenty-sixth verse is, therefore, the paramount importance of these two events, and their causal connection. Daniel, and the Israelitish readers of prophecy, would naturally expect that, immediately after the expiration of the sixty-two weeks (ver. 25), the Messiah should establish His kingdom of glory, to which the hearts of all Israel were specially directed, and which the prophet had himself beheld in the visions of the second and seventh chapters. In order, from the very outset, to counteract this expectation, which was not to be fulfilled, Gabriel drops for a moment the chronological connection (to resume it in ver. 27), and inserts here, with the general intimation, ” after threescore and two weeks,” those leading events which were best calculated to rectify that erroneous hope,—the death of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem. It is not hence to be inferred that these two events should coincide exactly with the close of the sixty-second week. We are told, on the contrary (ver. 25), that the coming of the Messiah was to be at the end of the sixty-second week, which, therefore, could not be marked also by His death. Nay, His death, as we shall see in (ver. 27), is half a week after, and the destruction is much later still. This last event is still indicated in the Messianic time as its negative judicial side, just as Christ Himself represents the destruction of Jerusalem as His Messianic coming (Matt. xvi. 28). The meaning of the angel therefore is : You must give up not only the hope that the Messiah will come immediately after the captivity, but also that other expectation, that immediately after His coming He will establish His kingdom of glory. It will be quite otherwise. Messiah will be put to death by the unbelieving people, and, therefore, they will not attain to glory and power, but, with the city and the sanctuary, will be delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. This is the view vouchsafed to Israel as a people, into the more immediate Messianic future.

These remarks will account for the change in the name chosen for the Messiah. He is introduced in ver. 25 as Maschiach Nagid (” the Anointed, the Prince”); in ver. 26, this complex idea is analysed, and the Messiah is called simply Maschiack, while the appellation Nagid is applied to Titus, the Roman prince who should destroy Jerusalem. All this is characteristic and full of meaning. The best explanation of Maschiach Nagid is that of Hofmann,1 that the Maschiach refers to the Messiah as King of Israel, as the Spiritual Prince anointed by the Spirit, while the Nagid refers to Him as King of the Gentiles, ruler ofthe world. The passage of Scripture in proof of the first is, Ps. ii. 2 ; of the second, Is. Iv. 4. Daniel, who had (chap. vii.) seen the Son of Man ruling the whole world at the head of His holy people, required to receive this twofold characteristic of the Messiah. But at the death of the Messiah (ver. 26), it is evident that He is not yet the real actual ruler of the world, the world was then still under the fourth monarchy; the name Nagid is given, therefore, to its representative. It was the confession of Christ that He was Maschiach (Matt. xxvi. 63, etc.; comp. John xviii. 33-37), that brought Him to death, and, for this reason, it was written over His cross in literal fulfilment of our prophecy : Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews (Matt. xxvii. 37, 42).1 In some respects Elrard’s view of the passage is even more plausible than Hofmann’s. He likewise refers the Nagid to Christ, in favour of which it may be adduced, that Christ Himself, as we have already mentioned, designates the destruction of Jerusalem as His Messianic coming. ” The Redeemer is called the Anointed where His sufferings and rejection by his people are spoken of; He is called the Prince when the judgment which He sends is spoken of; Maschiach denotes His calling and dignity; Nagid, His power and strength. A people sent by this Prince will destroy the city and temple ; this forms the grandest contrast to ib 1’K. He will be cut off and be no more at all, and yet He is the Prince who is to come, and whom all nations of the earth are to obey.”

But these two sad events, the violent death of the Messiah, and the destruction of the city and temple, are neither the only nor the last things which the angel has to communicate to the prophet. He can add something positive and joyful. The Messiah brings a week of revelation and salvation, and this is the subject of ver. 27. This time of mercy is not indeed improved by the people as a whole—to the people apply the words ib ^Ni (ver. 26)—but yet by many to whom the Messiah strengthens and confirms the covenant, while judgment and destruction are gathering above the rest. By establishing a new economy, in which the old sacrifices no longer prevail, He brings the faithful into a nearer and firmer covenant relation to God, a thought which was contained already positively in the promises of ver. 24, and negatively in the announcement of the destruction of the sanctuary, ver. 26; and we have already remarked that it was possible for Daniel to have a presentiment of the sacrifice of the New Covenant, through which the Old Testament sacrifices were to cease, when he heard the prophecy of the death of the Messiah (ver. 26). But in the desolated city and the destroyed temple there should remain, the angel continues, a curse, on account of the abominations committed by the unholy people against the Holy One, until the time of consummation determined by God. In these last words lay a gleam of hope for the city, and the people in general, especially if Daniel connected them with the earlier revelations he had received. And thus the prophecy in the ninth chapter concludes, carrying us back, by a slight allusion, to the seventh chapter, where it was revealed to the prophet that, in the time of consummation, every world-power would be judged, and dominion would be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” (100-103)

“Sec. 16. The Revelation of John, or rather of the Lord Jesus Christ, resembles in many ways the prophecies of Daniel, embracing as it does, a great part of the same period described by Daniel; but the two books differ in several respects. Daniel begins with an earlier period than the Revelations, for the latter does not speak of the Babylonian, Persian, and Greek kingdoms, which, at the time of John, belonged to the past (?). Whereas the Apocalypse extends into more remote times than Daniel, and also contains a description of the last thousand years of the world (the beginning and general character of which were revealed also to Daniel), as also the final judgment, the New Jerusalem, etc. The prophecies of Daniel refer, in the first place, to Christ and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem (Dan. ix.). Then they describe the last Antichrist (xi. 36). But the great intermediate period from the destruction of Jerusalem to Antichrist, is filled up by the Revelations of St John, which extends to the times after Antichrist. Besides, a Daniel, who was a holy statesman, described the history of the people of God, viewed in relation to the four world-kingdoms. John, on the other hand, as an apostle and teacher of the Church, had to view history from the Christian or churchly aspect, though he mentions worldly kings and kingdoms occasionally. In the prophecies of Daniel, the four world kingdoms, which he saw represented by different symbols, form the thread which runs through the whole book, so that he prophesies the sufferings of the people of God under each of these kingdoms. It is quite different in the case of John. He saw and described the history of the Church during and after the fourth world-kingdom, but he did not see that kingdom itself under any symbol (?), whereas he saw the Church as a woman clothed with the sun (Rev. xii.), which Daniel did not see apart from the kingdoms of the world.” (p 451)


Greg Bahnsen (1984)
A partial list of scholars who have supported the early date for Revelation, gleaned unsystematically from my reading, would include the following 18th and 19th writers not already mentioned just above: John Lightfoot, Harenbert, Hartwig, Michaelis, Tholuck, Clarke, Bishop Newton, James MacDonald, Gieseler, Tilloch, Bause, Zullig, Swegler, De Wett, Lucke, Bohmer, Hilgenfeld, Mommsen, Ewald, Neander, Volkmar, Renan, Credner, Kernkel, B. Weiss, Reuss, Thiersch, Bunsen, Stier, Auberlen, Maurice, Niermeyer, Desprez, Aube, Keim, De Pressence, Cowles, Scholten, Beck, Dusterdiek, Simcox, S. Davidson, Beyschlag, Salmon, Hausrath. Continuing on into the 20th century we could list Plummer, Selwyn, J.V. Bartlet, C.A. Scott, Erbes, Edmundson, Henderson, and others. If one’s reading has been limited pretty much to the present and immediately preceding generations of writers on Revelation, then the foregoing names may be somewhat unfamiliar to him, but they were not unrecognized in previous eras. When we combine these names with the yet outstanding stature of Schaff, Terry, Lightfoot, Westcott, and Hort, we can feel the severity of Beckwith’s understatement when in 1919 he described the Neronian dating for Revelation as “a view held by many down to recent times.”
[40] By many indeed! It has been described, as we saw above, as “the ruling view” of critics,” by “the majority of modern critics,” by “most modern scholars,” and by “the whole force of modern criticism.” The weight of scholarship placed behind the Neronian option for the dating of Revelation has been staggering. In our won day it has gained the support of such worthies as C.C. Torrey, J.A.T. Robinson, and F.F. Bruce and has been popularized by Jay Adams.[41] In 1956 Torrey could write about the number 666, “It is now the accepted conclusion that the beast is the emperor Nero.”[42]” (Historical Setting for the Dating of Revelation)

F.W. Farrar (1882)
“Moreover, if we accept erroneous tradition of inference from the ambiguous expressions of Irenaeus, we are landed in insuperable difficulties.  By the time that Domitian died, St. John was, according to all testimony, so old and so infirm that even if there were no other obstacles in the way, it is impossible to conceive of him as writing the fiery pages of the Apocalypse.  Irenaeus may have been misinterpreted ; but even if not, he might have made a “slip of memory,” and confused Domitian with Nero.  I myself, in talking to an eminent statesman, have heard him make a chronological mistake of some years, even in describing events in which he took one of the most prominent parts.  We cannot accept a dubious expression of the Bishop of Lyons as adequate to set aside an overwhelming weight of evidence, alike external and internal, in proof of the fact that the Apocalypse was written, at the latest, soon after the death of Nero. [10]..[10] This result is now accepted, not only by Lucke, Schwegler, Baur, Züllig, De Wette, Renan, Krenkel, Bleek, Reuss, Réville, Volkmar, Bunsen, Düsterdieck, &c., but also by such writers as StierNeander, Guericke, Auberlen, F.D. MauriceMoses Stuart, Neirmeyer, DesprezDavidsonthe author of The Parousia, Aubé, &c.” (The Apocalypse)

“The school of Historical Interpreters was founded by the Abbot Joachim early in the 13th century, and was specially flourishing in the first fifty years of the present century. [There are two school of the interpreters who make the Apocalypse a prophecy of all Christian history.  The school of 
Bengel, Vitringo, Elliott, &c., make it mainly a history of the Church.  Another school regards it more generally, and less specifically, as an outline of Epochs of the History of the world and the great forces which shape it into a Kingdom of God.  To this latter school belong Hengstenberg, Ebrard, Auberlen, &c.]”

The internal evidence that the book was written before the Fall of Jerusalem has satisfied not only many Christian commentators, who are invidiously stigmatised as “rationalistic,” but even such writers as WetsteinLuckeNeanderStierAuberlenEwald, Bleek, Gebhardt, Immer, Davidson, Dusterdieck, Moses StuartF.D. Maurice, the author of “The Parousia,” Dean Plumptree, the authors of the Protestanten-Bibel and multitudes of others no less entitled to the respect of all Christians.

The two wings of the great eagle in xii.14 are the two Testaments (Wordsworth); or the eastern and western divisions of the empire (Mede, Auberlen); or the Emperor Theodosius (Elliott).” (The Preterist Interpretation)

Robert Jamieson (1871)
“2. leopard . . . bear . . . lion–This beast unites in itself the God-opposed characteristics of the three preceding kingdoms, resembling respectively the leopard, bear, and lion. It rises up out of the sea, as Daniel’s four beasts, and has ten horns, as Daniel’s fourth beast, and seven heads, as Daniel’s four beasts had in all, namely, one on the first, one on the second, four on the third, and one on the fourth. Thus it represents comprehensively in one figure the world power (which in Daniel is represented by four) of all times and places, not merely of one period and one locality, viewed as opposed to God; just as the woman is the Church of all ages. This view is favored also by the fact, that the beast is the vicarious representative of Satan, who similarly has seven heads and ten horns: a general description of his universal power in all ages and places of the world. Satan appears as a serpent, as being the archetype of the beast nature (
Revelation 12:9). “If the seven heads meant merely seven Roman emperors, one cannot understand why they alone should be mentioned in the original image of Satan, whereas it is perfectly intelligible if we suppose them to represent Satan’s power on earth viewed collectively” [AUBERLEN].

“A new and worse heathenism breaks in upon the Christianized world, more devilish than the old one of the first heads of the beast. The latter was an apostasy only from the general revelation of God in nature and conscience; but this new one is from God’s revelation of love in His Son. It culminates in Antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition (compare Revelation 17:11); 2 Thessalonians 2:3; compare 2 Timothy 3:1-4, the very characteristics of old heathenism (Romans 1:29-32) [AUBERLEN].”

“12. power–Greek, “authority.” before him–“in his presence”; as ministering to, and upholding him. “The non-existence of the beast embraces the whole Germanic Christian period. The healing of the wound and return of the beast is represented [in regard to its final Antichristian manifestation though including also, meanwhile, its healing and return under Popery, which is baptized heathenism] in that principle which, since 1789, has manifested itself in beast-like outbreaks” [AUBERLEN]. which dwell therein–the earthly-minded. The Church becomes the harlot: the world’s political power, the Antichristian beast; the world’s wisdom and civilization, the false prophet. Christ’s three offices are thus perverted: the first beast is the false kingship; the harlot, the false priesthood; the second beast, the false prophet. The beast is the bodily, the false prophet the intellectual, the harlot the spiritual power of Antichristianity [AUBERLEN]. “

“Thus 666, the judged world power, contrasts with the 144,000 sealed and transfigured ones (the Church number, twelve, squared and multiplied by one thousand, the number symbolizing the world pervaded by God; ten, the world number, raised to the power of three the number of God) [AUBERLEN].” (Commentary Critical and Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible)

A.R. Fausset (1871)
“for the overspreading of abominations
–On account of the abominations committed by the unholy people against the Holy One, He shall not only destroy the city and sanctuary (Daniel 9:25), but shall continue its desolation until the time of the consummation “determined” by God (the phrase is quoted from Isaiah 10:22,23), when at last the world power shall be judged and dominion be given to the saints of the Most High (Daniel 7:26,27). AUBERLEN translates, “On account of the desolating summit of abominations (compare Daniel 11:31 12:11; thus the repetition of the same thing as in Daniel 9:26 is avoided), and till the consummation which is determined, it (the curse, Daniel 9:11, foretold by Moses) will pour on the desolated.” Israel reached the summit of abominations, which drew down desolation (Matthew 24:28), nay, which is the desolation itself, when, after murdering Messiah, they offered sacrifices, Mosaic indeed in form, but heathenish in spirit (compare Isaiah 1:13 Eze 5:11). Christ refers to this passage (Matthew 24:15), “When ye see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place” (the latter words being tacitly implied in “abominations” as being such as are committed against the sanctuary). TREGELLES translates, “upon the wing of abominations shall be that which causeth desolation”; namely, an idol set up on a wing or pinnacle of the temple (compare Matthew 4:5) by Antichrist, who makes a covenant with the restored Jews for the last of the seventy weeks of years (fulfilling Jesus’ words, “If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive”), and for the first three and a half years keeps it, then in the midst of the week breaks it, causing the daily sacrifices to cease. TREGELLES thus identifies the last half week with the time, times, and a half of the persecuting little horn (Daniel 7:25). SIR ISAAC NEWTON explains the wing (“overspreading”) of abominations to be the Roman ensigns (eagles) brought to the east gate of the temple, and there sacrificed to by the soldiers; the war, ending in the destruction of Jerusalem, lasted from spring A.D. 67 to autumn A.D. 70, that is, just three and a half years, or the last half week of years [JOSEPHUS, Wars of the Jews, 6.6].” (in loc.)

“CHARACTERISTICS OF DANIEL. The vision mode of revelation is the exception in other prophets, the rule in Daniel. In Zechariah (Zec 1:1-6:15), who lived after Daniel, the same mode appears, but the other form from the seventh chapter to the end. The Revelation of St. John alone is perfectly parallel to Daniel, which may be called the Old Testament Apocalypse. In the contents too there is the difference above noticed, that he views the kingdom of God from the standpoint of the world kingdoms, the development of which is his great subject. This mode of viewing it was appropriate to his own position in a heathen court, and to the relation of subjection in which the covenant-people then stood to the world powers. No longer are single powers of the world incidentally introduced, but the universal monarchies are the chief theme, in which the worldly principle, opposed to the kingdom of God, manifests itself fully. The near and distant are not seen in the same perspective, as by the other prophets, who viewed the whole future from the eschatological point; but in Daniel the historical details are given of that development of the world powers which must precede the advent of the kingdom [AUBERLEN].   AUBERLEN compares Daniel to Joseph: the one at the beginning, the other at the end of the Jewish history of revelation; both representatives of God and His people at heathen courts; both interpreters of the dim presentiments of truth, expressed in God-sent dreams, and therefore raised to honor by the powers of the world: so representing Israel’s calling to be a royal priesthood among the nations; and types of Christ, the true Israel, and of Israel’s destination to be a light to lighten the whole Gentile world, as Ro 11:1215 foretells. As Achilles at the beginning, and Alexander at the end, of Grecian history are the mirrors of the whole life of the Hellenic people, so Joseph and Daniel of Israel. ” (Commentary on Daniel)

C.H. Spurgeon (1865)
AUBERLEN (CARL AUGUST, Ph.D.) The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, by C. A.A. Translated by Adolphe Saphir. 8vo. Edinb.,T. & T. Clark. 1856. 5/-Not a textual commentary, but a treatise upon the mysterious prophecies. Auberlen’s spirit is reverential and his views are evangelical, or we should not have found Mr. Saphir translating it. He acknowledges his indebtedness to Roos, No. 799. We must leave the interpretations to be judged by those who are learned in such subjects.” (Commenting and Commentaries)


“January 27, 1843: J.G. Fischer, Christoph Schwab, and Karl Auberlen visit Hölderlin, who drinks coffee and smokes cigars with them: “…despite his disturbance, he still has a spirited appearance,” and still shows “traces of his former beauty.” Hölderlin admits tht he is the author of his poetry, and that Schiller had been a good friend. Schwab gives the poet a copy of the second edition of his poetry. Hölderlin thanks him and thumbs through the book, saying: “Yes, the poems are genuine, they are from me, but the title is false; never in my life was I called Hölderlin, but rather Scardanelli or Salvator Rosa or the like.” Fischer to Hölderlin: “Your Diotima must have been a noble creature,” to which Hölderlin responds: “Ah, my Diotima, don’t talk to me about Diotima. She bore me thirteen sons; one is Pope, the other is Sultan, the third is the Czar of Russia.” In a shrill Swabian accent, he suddenly says: “and do you know what happened to her? She went crazy! Crazy, crazy, crazy!” (Friedrich Hölderlin Chronology)

John M. Brenner 
“The Wuerttemberg pietist and scholar, Johannes Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752), perhaps more than anyone else opened the door to chiliasm for Lutherans. Through his study of the Book of Revelation Bengel became convinced that the date of our Lord’s return could be accurately determined. Following a rather elaborate chronological scheme he set 1836 as the date of Christ’s Second Coming, the binding of Satan, and the beginning of the millennial reign.32 Bengel was an able linguist, careful scholar, and capable exegete. His reputation and academic stature gave premillennialism “scholarly standing in Germany” and paved the way for other academics to pursue millennial studies. Bengel’s influence was felt by the Erlangen school and can be seen in the Zahn commentary.33 In the nineteenth century there was a resurgence of premillennialism among biblical scholars in Europe including the Lutheran exegete, Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890) and the Swiss Reformed exegete Frederic L. Godet (1812-1900).34 A history of Christian doctrine produced in the nineteenth century also lists Karl Auberlen (1824-1864), Johann von Hofmann (1810-1877), Richard Rothe (1799-1867), and the Dutch Reformed theologian Johannes van Oosterzee (1817-1882) among European theologians who were advocating premillennialism.35 Lindberg adds the names of Christoph Luthardt (1823-1902) and Franz Frank (1827-1894) to the list.36 American Lutherans were aware of these European theologians. Some Lutherans emigrating to America brought these millennialistic views with them. ” (Lutheran Eschatology)

Robert Jamieson 
“the other is not yet come
–not as ALFORD, inaccurately representing AUBERLEN, the Christian empire beginning with Constantine; but, the Germanic-Slavonic empire beginning and continuing in its beast-like, that is, HEATHEN Antichristian character for only “a short space.” The time when it is said of it, “it is not” (
Revelation 17:11), is the time during which it is “wounded to death,” and has the “deadly wound” (Revelation 13:3). The external Christianization of the migrating hordes from the North which descended on Rome, is the wound to the beast answering to the earth swallowing up the flood (heathen tribes) sent by the dragon, Satan, to drown the woman, the Church. The emphasis palpably is on “a short space,” which therefore comes first in the Greek, not on “he must continue,” as if his continuance for some [considerable] time were implied, as ALFORD wrongly thinks. The time of external Christianization (while the beast’s wound continues) has lasted for centuries, ever since Constantine. Rome and the Greek Church have partially healed the wound by image worship.”

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