So, we’re taking a little time to look at Daniel 9. This is a long post, but I don’t want to break it up to avoid interrupting the thoughts. I’ve given you 3 translations of each set of verses, except where the chapter veers away from prophecy, then just one. Also, for the last chapter, I’ve given you a 4th translation: the NASB, which is known for being very literal; but you’ll see there are still some differences.
KJV: 1In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 2In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
NIV: 1In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom — 2in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.
Green’s Interlinear Bible (GIB): 1In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans, 2in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood by the books, the number of the years which came as the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish for the desolations of Jerusalem — seventy years.
So, first let’s deal with the Ahasuerus vs Xerxes thing. It appears that ‘Ahasuerus’ was a name the Hebrews used like “Jack”…only it was for any Persian king. So, in some books of the Bible, Ahasuerus is actually used to mean Xerxes (Ezra and Tobit). But in Daniel, probably not. As a matter of fact, I’m reading that there was never a known Mede named Ahasuerus, Xerxes, or Darius. Archaeology may have to sort this one out.
The KJV says that “he would accomplish”, and as the last name given was Jeremiah, it sounds like Jeremiah would actually accomplish the seventy years (as in living through them). But the GIB says “He would accomplish”, which clearly indicates that it’s the Lord doing the accomplishing, which makes far more sense.
“The date for Daniel’s prophecy is the first year of Darius, which means that it occurred in the year 539 B.C.E., about 66 or 67 years after the Jews initially went into exile to Babylonia.
“It was on this occasion, Daniel stated, that he was studying the Scriptures; and from these Scriptures he came to understand that the number of years for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem was almost over, since the duration was to be 70 years. Daniel mentioned that he was studying ‘books’, and we can see for one that he had been studying the writings of Jeremiah; the lives of Jeremiah and Daniel did overlap to some extent. On two occasions (Jeremiah 25:10-14, 29:10-14) Jeremiah predicted that the captivity and desolation of Jerusalem would last 70 years. What other books Daniel may have been studying we cannot know with certainty. But there are some strong possibilities that he also studied the book of Isaiah, since Isaiah actually named Cyrus as the one who would permit the Jews to return (Isaiah 44:28-45:1). Furthermore, there are other writings in Moses and the Prophets that spelled out some specific conditions for the establishment of the messianic kingdom, and Daniel may have looked at some of these as well (Leviticus 26:40-43, 1 Kings 8:46-53, Jeremiah 3:12-18, Hosea 5:15-6:3). These passages emphasize that Israel as a nation must repent and confess sin prior to the establishment of any kingdom of the Messiah.
“Reckoning the 70 years from the year 605 (when the Jews went into exile) would bring the end of the 70 years to 536 B.C.E. Daniel realizes that the captivity had only about three years to go.
“But Daniel not only expected the captivity to end after 70 years, he also expected a final termination of any possibility of future desolations for Jerusalem. He had acted as if the messianic kingdom were about to occur: since the Word of God was to be established on the basis of prayer, he prayed; and realizing that the prerequisite was the confession of national sin, he confessed the sins of Israel.”
Just as we have looked for the End of the World as written in Revelation since the first century, Daniel was looking for the Kingdom of God. I find that very interesting.
3And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes; 4And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. 12And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. 15And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16O LORD, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. 18O my God, incline thy ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies. 19O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
This is a long quote, and as it is a prayer and not a prophecy, I will offer it only in the KJV, which is far more poetic than most other translations. It is worth reading because this is a prayer that was answered by God.
jewsforjesus.org does a nice breakdown of the prayer, and if you are interested I would highly recommend you follow the link on the Online Sources page.
Meanwhile, we will move into the arrival of Gabriel.
KJV: 20And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
Again, we’ll stay with the one translation at this point.
“Gabriel told Daniel that the purpose of his visit was (1) to correct Daniel’s misunderstanding concerning when the messianic kingdom would be set up and (2) to present God’s revelation, which contained a timetable for Messiah’s coming.”
KJV: 24aSeventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,
NIV: “24aSeventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city
GIB: 24aSeventy weeks are decreed as to your people and as to your holy city
“Many English versions have translated the phrase to read ‘seventy weeks.’ But this translation is not totally accurate and has caused some confusion about the meaning of the passage. Most Jews know the Hebrew for ‘weeks’ because of the observance of the Feast of Weeks, and that Hebrew word is shavuot. However, the word that appears in the Hebrew text is shavuim, which means ‘sevens.’ The word refers to a ‘seven’ of anything, and the context determines the content of the seven.
“Here it is obvious Daniel had been thinking in terms of years — specifically the 70 years of captivity. Daniel had assumed that a the captivity would end after 70 years and that the kingdom would be established after 70 years. But here Gabriel was using a play upon words in the Hebrew text, pointing out that insofar as Messiah’s kingdom was concerned, it was not ’70 years,’ but ’70 sevens of years,’ a total of 490 years (70 times 7).
“This period of 490 years had been ‘decreed’ over the Jewish people and over the holy city of Jerusalem. The Hebrew word translated ‘decreed’ literally means ‘to cut off’ or ‘to determine.’ In chapters 2, 7 and 8, God revealed to Daniel the course of future world history in which gentiles would have a dominant role over the Jewish people. This lengthy period, which began with the Babylonian Empire to continue until the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom, is for that reason often referred to as the ‘Times of the Gentiles.’ Now the prophet was told that a total of 490 years was to be ‘cut out’ of the Times of the Gentiles, and a 490-year period had been ‘determined’ or ‘decreed’ for the accomplishment of the final restoration of Israel and the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom.
“The focus of the program of the 70 sevens was ‘thy people and…thy holy city.’ The ‘people’ were Daniel’s people, the Jewish people, and the city was Daniel’s city, Jerusalem. Though he had spent the vast majority of his life in the city of Babylon, Jerusalem was still Daniel’s city. For Jews, whether they are in the land or outside the land, their city is always Jerusalem and not any other.”
God is very careful not to reveal too much. Daniel is given hints, but not told outright about the Romans and what they do to his people; or how his people react to their Messiah. In hind sight I think we will see that God already knew, but mankind had to not know so that they could react in free will, even if God knew the outcome already.
KJV: 24b to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
NIV: 24b to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
GIB: 24b to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to atone for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up (the) vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy.
“Daniel was next told by Gabriel that the 70 sevens are to accomplish six purposes. The first is to finish transgression. The Hebrew word translated ‘to finish’ means ‘to restrain firmly,’ ‘to restrain completely’ or ‘to bring to completion.’ The Hebrew word translated ‘transgression’ is a very strong word for sin and more literally means ‘to rebel.’ The Hebrew text has this word with the definite article, so literally it means ‘the transgression,’ or ‘the rebellion.’ The point is that some specific act of rebellion is finally going to be completely restrained and brought to an end. This act of rebellion or transgression is to come under complete control so that it will no longer flourish. Israel’s apostasy is now to be firmly restrained, in keeping with a similar prediction in Isaiah 59:20.”
“And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 59:20; ESV)
“The second purpose of the 70 sevens is to make an end of sins. The Hebrew word translated ‘to make an end’ literally means ‘to seal up’ or ‘to shut up in prison.’ It means to be securely kept, locked up, not allowed to roam at random. The Hebrew word translated as ‘sins’ literally means ‘to miss the mark.’ It refers to sins of daily life, rather than to one specific sin. Even these sins are to be put to an end and taken away. This, too, is quite in keeping with predictions by the prophets that proclaim that in the messianic kingdom, sinning would cease from Israel (Isaiah 27:9, Ezekiel 36:25-27, 37:23, Jeremiah 31:31-34)”
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:27; KJV)
“The third purpose is to make reconciliation for iniquity. The Hebrew word translated ‘to make reconciliation’ is ‘kaphar,’ which has the same root meaning as the ‘kippur,’ as in Yom Kippur. The word ‘kaphar’ literally means ‘to make atonement.’ The third purpose, then, is to make atonement in some way for iniquity. In fact, it is by means of this atonement that the first two purposes will also be accomplished, that of finishing the transgression and making an end of sins. The word translated ‘iniquity’ refers to inward sin. This has sometimes been referred to as the sin nature, or perhaps a more common term among Jewish people would be ‘yetzer hara,’ the evil inclination.
“The fourth purpose of the 70 sevens is to bring in everlasting righteousness. More literally this could be translated ‘to bring in an age of righteousness,’ since the Hebrew ‘olam’ is better translated as ‘’age’ rather than as ‘everlasting.’ This age of righteousness is to be the messianic kingdom spoken of in the Prophets (Isaiah 1:26; 11:2-5, 32:17, Jeremiah 23:5-6, 33:15-18). It is this very age that Daniel had been expecting to see established after the 70 years of captivity, but now he is told that will only be after the 490-year period.”
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. (Isaiah 32:17; ESV)
“The fifth purpose is to seal up vision and prophecy. Here Daniel used a word which means ‘to shut up.’ So ‘to seal up’ means to cause a cessation or to completely fulfill. Thus, vision and prophecy are to be completely fulfilled. ‘Vision’ is a reference to oral prophecy, while ‘prophecy’ refers to written prophecy. Both oral and written prophecy will cease with the final fulfillment of all revelations.
“The final purpose of the 70 sevens is to anoint the most holy. A better translation here would be ‘to anoint a most holy place.’ This is a reference to the Jewish temple which is to be rebuilt when Messiah comes. It refers to the same temple that Daniel’s contemporary, Ezekiel, described in great detail (Ezekiel 40-48).”
So, my question is: were these purposes fulfilled? To a degree I think. I suspect the ‘transgression’ spoken of was the worship of false gods. This appeared to end to a large degree for a long period of time as Christianity spread. Recently, our culture seems to be reviving the old gods. Check out the recent book by Jonathan Cahn called THE RETURN OF THE GODS, it’s pretty convincing, and gives God a good reason to pour wrath on our heads.
‘To make an end of sins,’ this is possible for the born-again Christian. You notice these everyday sins much more than you did before, and you strive, with the help of the indwelling Spirit, to stop them. It’s as the prophets said, God writes on your heart and indwells you so that you become His. But this is not a universal experience throughout the culture: you have to be born again.
Jesus decidedly made atonement for iniquity. I agree with the jewsforjesus.org writer who said “In fact, it is by means of this atonement that the first two purposes will also be accomplished,” as it was only because of Jesus dying on the cross that the first two purposes had any accomplishment. The way I see it, the Kingdom of God lives within us at this time; the earth is still ruled by satan, who is really kicking things up lately. Once Jesus returns and binds satan, then we will see the Kingdom of God ruled over by Jesus on earth, and those first two purposes will be much more universal…though sin will not be entirely gone yet. We’ll dig into this more when we get to the millennium in Revelation.
The ‘age of Righteousness’ is, again, something approached during the Church Age, but not universally. I don’t see how it could be until the Millennium. But, Jesus definitely brought knowledge of Righteousness to the world. The Jews have understood the idea of righteousness for a long time, but Jesus made the rest of us aware of it, and provided a path towards it. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. By being born again in the Spirit we take on Jesus as if we don a cloak, and this cloak is one of Righteousness. We don’t become Righteous, but by being covered with the Righteousness of Jesus we appear Righteous to God, and thus avoid Judgment and gain Eternal Life.
KJV: Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
NIV: “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens’. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
GIB: “Then know, and understand, from the issuing of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem, to (the) Messiah Prince (shall be) seven weeks and two and sixty weeks. Again it shall be built (with) plaza and ditch even in the times of affliction.
“Daniel was clearly told when the 70 sevens would begin their countdown. Gabriel said, ‘Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem…’ The 70 sevens would begin with a decree involving the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem. Not everything in Persian chronology is as clear as we would like to have it, and there are still some gaps in our knowledge of history. But from what biblical and historical records we do have, there are four possible answers to the question of which decree the passage refers to.
“One is the decree of Cyrus, issued somewhere between 538-536 B.C.E., which concerned the rebuilding of the Temple (2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4, 6:1-5) and the city of Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:28, Ezra 6:6-12)…”
The website has a glitch that made part of the story disappear, so I’ve gone to amazingbibletimeline.com to get this part of the story:
“Rebuilding the Temple was not an easy task after their arrival in Jerusalem, and they faced opposition from people who were resettled there by King Esarhaddon of Assyria (Ezra 4:1-5). The construction work stopped because of strong opposition from the locals, and it was until Darius I became king of the Persian empire when the rebuilding of the temple resumed.
“Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, sent a letter to Darius to stir up trouble for the temple builders. He asked the king to investigate if Cyrus indeed issued a decree for rebuilding the temple during the first year of his reign. Tattenai’s plot to discourage the Jews backfired when Darius found a scroll of Cyrus’ decree in the citadel of Ecbatana in Media which allowed the exiles to return and rebuild the temple. In addition, Tattenai received additional instruction from Darius to help the Jews rebuild their Temple by paying for the construction cost. Anyone who changed the edict would be punished severely according to the edict of Darius (Ezra 5:1-17 and 6:1-12).”
What a great story! And Darius went to Media to find this scroll! That had to have been out of his way. Perhaps he remembered this decision of Cyrus and so kept looking until it was found.
Back to jewsforjesus.org:
“A third possibility is the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra (Ezra 7:11-26) issued in 458 B.C.E., which contained permission to proceed with the temple service. The last option is the decree of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:1-8), issued in the year 444 B.C.E. This decree specifically concerned the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem. Of these four possibilities, only the first and fourth are valid fulfilling the wording Gabriel gave to Daniel. It goes beyond the purpose of this article to deal with the various arguments of either option, but one thing is certain: by the year 444 B.C.E., the countdown of the 70 sevens had begun.
“The 70 sevens are divided into three separate units — seven sevens, 62 sevens and one seven. During the first time period (49 years) Jerusalem would be ‘built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times.’ The second block of time (62 sevens, a total of 434 years) immediately followed the first for a total of 69 sevens, or 483 years.
“It is at this point that we are told what the ending point is of the 69 sevens: ‘unto Messiah the Prince.’ As clearly as Daniel could have stated it, he taught that 483 years after a decree was issued to rebuild Jerusalem had been issued, Messiah would be here on earth.
“The obvious conclusion is this: If Messiah was not on earth 483 years after a decree was issued to rebuild Jerusalem, then Daniel was a false prophet and his book has no business being in the Hebrew Scriptures. But if Daniel was correct and his prophecy was fulfilled, then who was the Messiah of whom he spoke?”
I hope this is making sense to you. Also, remember that this is from the jewsforjesus.org website, so they are using Daniel 9 as a way to point out to non-believing Jews that Jesus really was the Messiah.
KJV: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood [this word is also translated as ‘judgment’], and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
NIV: “After the sixty-two ‘sevens’, the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
GIB: “And after the two and sixty weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, not for Him(self). And the city and the sanctuary shall the people of the coming prince destroy. And its end (shall be) with the flood, and (shall be) with war until the end.
I looked up the Hebrew word for “cut off” (karath, #3772) and it means “to cut (off, down, asunder)”, “(by implication) to destroy or consume”, but it also means “to cut a covenant.” They think this last meaning has to do with the way a covenant was made in Biblical times…by cutting animals in half and walking through the pieces. Often times, when looking at the meaning of Hebrew words, it becomes obvious that more than one meaning is intended: I think this is one of those times, but jewsforjesus.org totally leaves out this interpretation, so I thought I would mention it.
So let’s see what jewsforjesus.org says:
“Whereas the second subdivision of the 70 sevens was to immediately follow the first, the third subdivision was not immediately to follow the second. Daniel pointed out (in verse 26) that three things would occur after this second subdivision and before the third one.
“Stepping back in time and looking ahead from Daniel’s perspective in verse 26, we see first that ‘the Messiah shall be cut off and shall have nothing.’ The Hebrew word translated ‘cut off’ is the common word used in the Mosaic Law and simply means ‘to be killed.’ The implication of the term is that Messiah would not only be killed, but he would die a penal death by execution. The Hebrew expression translated ‘and shall have nothing’ has two meanings. It may mean ‘nothingness,’ emphasizing Messiah’s state at death. It can also be translated ‘but not for himself,’ and the meaning would then be that he died for others rather than himself, a substitutionary death. The latter meaning would be much more consistent with what the Prophets had to say about the reason for Messiah’s death (e.g. Isaiah 53:1-12). The first three purposes of the 70 sevens — to finish transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity — have to be accomplished by an atonement. The Law of Moses decreed that atonement is made by blood (Leviticus 17:11). It appears that Messiah’s death ‘not for himself’ but for others would be the means by which Israel’s transgression, sins and iniquity would be atoned for. The point of this phrase is that between the end of the second subdivision (the 69th seven) and before the start of the 70th seven, Messiah would be killed and would die a penal, substitutionary death.
“Secondly, during this interim period it would also happen that ‘the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood…’ The city and the temple that were to be rebuilt because of the decree by the 70 sevens began would now be destroyed. So sometime after the Messiah was cut off, Jerusalem and the temple would suffer another destruction. Our knowledge of history during this period is extremely clear: the people responsible for this deed were the Romans, and Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in year 70 C.E. Based upon this verse, it is also clear that the Messiah should have both come and died prior to the year 70 C.E. If such an event did not take place, then Daniel is a false prophet. If such an event did occur, then the question must be answered, who was that Messiah who was killed before 70 C.E.?
“The third thing to take note of would be, ‘and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.’ for the remainder of the interval between the 69th seven and the 70th seven, the land would be characterized by war, and its resulting condition would be desolation. All this would set the stage for the final, or 70th seven.”
KJV: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
NIV: “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’. In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
NASB: “And he will confirm a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come the one who makes desolate, until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, gushes forth on the one who make desolate.”
GIB: “And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week. And in half the week he shall make cease sacrifice and offering, and upon a wing [their English translation says: “and on a corner of the altar”] desolating abominations even until the end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator.
We can see some very different ideas in these four translations. The word translated “upon a wing” is kanaph (#3671) and means “an edge, an extremity,” thus ‘a corner.’ It can also refer to “feathered” and “flight,” as with a bird.
Let’s return to jewsforjesus.org:
“From where we stand in time today, the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy are still prophetic, still future, but it is with their conclusion that all six purposes of verse 24 will reach their fulfillment. The verse’s main points are as follows: First, the 70th seven will begin only with the signing of a seven-year covenant or treaty between Israel and a major political leader. Secondly, in the middle of that period, that is, after 3 1/2 years, this gentile leader will break his treaty with Israel and cause a cessation of the sacrificial system. The implication here is that by this time a temple in Jerusalem will have been rebuilt again and the sacrificial system of Moses re-instituted, but then will be forcefully ceased. Thirdly, the result of the breaking of this covenant is that the temple will now be abominated. The ‘abomination’ refers to an image or an idol. As it was in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, so it will be again in the future when a gentile rule will abominate the temple by means of idolatry. Fourthly, the abomination is to be followed by wrath and desolation, persecution and warfare, for the remaining half of the 70th seven (the final 3 1/2 years). This is similar to the trials and tribulations the rabbis spoke of as preparation for the establishment of the messianic kingdom. These terrible days were referred to as ‘the footsteps of the Messiah.’ But once those days have run their course, the last three things predicted in verse 24 will occur: After this period the age of righteousness will be brought in, in which the most holy place will be anointed and every vision and prophecy be fulfilled. At this point the messianic kingdom for which the prophet Daniel yearned will be set up.
“Obviously, the messianic kingdom requires the Messiah to rule as king. This means the Messiah will come after the 70th seven. Yet earlier Daniel stated that the Messiah would come and be killed after the 60th seven. This would appear to be a contradiction unless Daniel was speaking of two comings of the Messiah. The first time was to be after the 69th seven, when he would die a penal, substitutionary death for the sins of Israel and accomplish the first three purposes listed in verse 24. The second time was to be after the 70th seven (still future), when he will establish the messianic kingdom and accomplish the last three things of verse 24. There is also an important implication here that should not be missed. The Messiah will be killed after his first coming. Yet he would be alive at his second coming. The implication is that the Messiah would be resurrected from the deadafter he was killed…If Daniel was right, then Messiah came and died prior to the year 70 C.E. If Daniel was right, then there are no other options for who the Messiah is, but Jesus of Nazareth. If Daniel was right, this Jesus is destined to return and to set up the messianic kingdom.”
That’s it for today. Hopefully this cleared up the “70 sevens” for you, it did for me. Next time we’ll return to Revelation in the 20th century.