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Daniel’s Seventy Weeks

–a short study on Daniel 9:24-27 by Jim Gibson

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 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.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 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. (Daniel 9:24-27)

These four verses found in Daniel constitute one of the most controversial passages found in the Bible. From the early church fathers to the modern commentaries, this prophecy has been interpreted with a plethora of views. There are those who maintain that this prophecy was fulfilled in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes in approximately 168 B.C. However, many place its fulfillment during the time of the life of Christ. Still, others say that its ultimate fulfillment extends to the time of the antichrist toward the end of the church age. Let’s see if we can wade through the maze of difficulties that this passage presents and, hopefully, discover its true intent and meaning.

Before I begin to explain this passage of Daniel’s prophecy, I will share with the reader the more popular dispensational view.

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Further evidence of the true meaning of who it is in Daniel 9:27

In studying the prophecy in Daniel 9 there has been the issue of the misidentification of who the person is who is referred to by “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” in verse 27.  Many Christians falsely teach that the “he” here is a reference to some coming future AntiChrist figure, but I am not alone when I have argued that it is a reference to the Messiah, who came and confirmed His covenant with His people on the Cross. Read Daniel 9 prophecy for the details to this.

Now, if you look at the three verses Daniel 9:25, 26 and 27 (listed below) you can see a parallelism in the text. The first part of each verse refers to Messiah, while the last part refers to the city. First part, about the Messiah, is shown in grey text while latter part of each verse, referring to the destruction of the city, is shown in blue text.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall even in a troublous time.

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [killed], but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel 9:27 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 the abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This then reinforces that the ‘he’ of verse 27 is the Messiah and not some AntiChrist figure. Besides the antecedent of the word translated as ‘he’  in verse 27, a singular individual, is the Messiah as evidenced in both verses 25 and 26.

Update: 25/3/2017

If you are wondering, actually, Christ is the one who shall “… cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of the abominations, he shall make it desolate.”

Christ is the one who terminates the Temple worship on the Cross when His sacrifice forever pays the price of our atonement and no further sacrifice is needed.

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:16-18).

“Causing the sacrifice to cease” has erroneously been attributed to some future AntiChrist figure, who allegedly stops the religious worship of the Jews in a new third Jewish Temple, which is yet to be built.

Also it was the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Sovereign God, who sent General Titus and the Roman legions to bring in all manner of abominations of Roman gods into Jerusalem and in 70 A.D. they destroyed the second Temple, stone by stone, and the city, laying it waste.

This has been erroneously assigned to some future AntiChrist who takes over the as yet to be built third Temple. But the AntiChrist is now in power and has been for a long time. Just turn your eyes towards Rome and see the one who claims to be Christ’s representative on Earth.

Acknowledgment

I would like to thank Ken Brooks for alerting me to this information