Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daniel 9

Daniel 9 starts with Daniel praying to the Lord as he understands that their captivity is about to end. He knows that they owed the Lord seventy years due to disobedience of not observing the Sabbath years, (they had not let the land have its Sabbath rest for a very long time), so he prays acknowledging their sin, asks forgiveness, and is wanting to know what will happen next, but his prayer is interrupted by Gabriel. Gabriel tells him what the future holds for Israel. He says that seventy weeks are determined for Daniel’s people and Jerusalem to 1) finish the transgression, 2) to make an end of sins 3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness 5) to seal up the vision and prophecy, and 6) to anoint the most Holy. Then Daniel is told to therefore know and understand (Gabriel is emphasizing that he needs to really pay attention and learn and figure it out) that from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah comes there shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks. That the streets and walls shall be built again, but in troubled times. After the threescore and two weeks, the Messiah will be cut off (killed) but not for his own sake, and the people, of the prince that will come, will destroy the city and the temple and the end will come like a flood (in other words, sweep through quickly as a flood does) and until the end of the war desolations are already determined. Then it says that “he” (some say meaning the prince of the people who will come, and some say meaning God), will confirm a covenant with many for one week. In the midst of this week, "he" will cause the sacrifices to cease and to make the abomination extreme, he will desolate (destroy or lay waste) the temple even to the end of everything, and that decree shall be carried out.

To try and make this a little more understandable, let’s take it part by part. First, seventy weeks are determined for Daniel’s people. Now we know that there are two kinds of weeks in the Hebrew calendar. There is the seven day week, and there is the seven year week. Daniel in his prayer was referencing the seventy years they had been in captivity, which referred to the seven year week. Also, as we go through the prophecy, we see from the events that occur, that this cannot be talking about a seven day week as the events included are centuries in the future. As a third confirmation, if one looks at the original language, it is actually seven sevens, not seven weeks, and that phrase specifically refers to the seven year week. So to put this in simpler terms, 490 years have been decreed for the Jews to finish up their history in this age. First to finish their rebellion against God, then to put an end to their sins, to be reconciled to God for their sins, to bring in everlasting righteousness, (which comes with the Messiah’s reign) to make an end of the visions and prophecies or to fulfill them, and to anoint the most Holy, both Christ as their Messiah, and the temple for the millennium.

From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, (this came with Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city in 445 B.C.) until the Messiah comes and is cut off (killed), there is 7 weeks (49 years) and 62 weeks (434 years). A total of 483 years. (A biblical year by the Hebrew calendar was 12 - 30 day months or 360 days). 483 - 360 day years translates into roughly 476 - 365 day years. This would bring us roughly up to 32 A.D. (Yes, I can subtract, but remember there is no year zero between B.C. and A.D. so year 1 A.D. would begin the day after 1 B.C. ended. Therefore it is 32, not 31.) Remember there are problems with the calendars (Jewish, Gregorian, Julian, etc.) that makes dating difficult. We have to look at it as an approximate dating as a result. Someone more scholarly than I did some mathematical calculations based on number of days and figured out that 483 prophetic years takes you from the decree up to Palm Sunday, the day Christ rode into Jerusalem being declared the Messiah. I can't verify this, but it is apparent that it is talking about Christ's ministry and/or death. Because we do know when the decree to rebuild Jerusalem came, and we know when the Messiah was declared to be the Messiah, we have a relative time frame to verify the interpretation of the week being a 7 year period. As to why there is the division between the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks, it took 46 years to rebuild the temple, which would, in terms of sevens, be 7 weeks. John 2:20. I see no other event in history that would cause this division, having checked the history as much as I could, so it would seem that this is the reason for the division. If anyone has any other suggestion as to what this division is for, please let me know. After the 62 week period, the Messiah would be killed and the people, of the prince who will come, will destroy Jerusalem and the temple. Since we know this happened in 70 A.D. by the Romans; they are the people of the prince who will come, which may indicate something of the identity of the beast, unless this is simply referring to the Caesar at the time of the diaspora.

Now there is a time gap between the 69 weeks and the 70th week. The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. scattered the people in the diaspora. Their history as a nation ceased at that time. It wasn't until 1948 when they became a nation again that the clock started ticking. There is one more week determined for them in which God will finish up dealing with them. Some teach that it starts by a "prince" (antichrist) confirming , not creating, but confirming or strengthening a covenant or confederacy or league (as defined by the Hebrew dictionary definition) which already exists for one week or seven years. Some people spiritualize this week into representing the two millennia since Christ, but you can't do that. It has to be the same type of week as the other 69 and they were shown to be 7 year weeks. You can't change methods of interpretation in mid-stream. Some believe that the "he" is referring to God and that He is confirming the covenant that He made to give the seventy sevens by giving them that last seven which He still owes them, thereby reconfirming a covenant He made with them to give them this time to finish things up.  Some believe this is the Abrahamic covenant being confirmed by God. There is no way to be dogmatic about the identity of the "he," although this author leans to the "he" being God, because His covenant with Israel is the only covenant mentioned previously in this passage of Scripture. Context would infer that therefore this is the covenant being referred to, since it was already enacted and had to be confirmed and begun again, and the length of time left is seven years, which is the amount of time of the confirmation of the covenant.  From this point on we will call this the 70th week of Daniel, a seven year period of time.

So, he strengthens this covenant or league (both words are valid) with many. Most teach that the antichrist creates a treaty with Israel for peace for seven years that will astound the world. This is not what this says. It says "he" will strengthen by some manner (in the case of God being the "he," the building of the temple would be the sign of the covenant being confirmed) a confederacy or covenant that already exists with many, (If this "he" is God, this could include the 10 lost tribes, not just the Jews who are only the three tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and some of the Levites), not necessarily just present day Israel (although Israel would be part of it or simply all of it) for seven years. And it doesn’t say that it will be a peace treaty, it merely says it is a league or some sort of covenant. And it doesn’t say that it will be public. We might very well know nothing about it. We cannot assume what is not said. We can be deceived if we buy into a theory that is not backed up by Scripture. We will know what it is in retrospect, but not necessarily beforehand.  In the midst or middle of that week, or 3 ½ years into the seven years, "he" will cause the sacrifices to be stopped, (which will occur just as happened with Antiochus Epiphanes) and then something even more abominable (which we will learn about later) will occur that makes the temple desolate or desecrated. It is important to realize that this stopping of the sacrifices in this verse, while mimicking what Antiochus Epiphanes did, cannot refer to that ancient event. This comes after Christ has been killed. It also does not refer to the stopping of sacrifices because of the death of Christ or the 70 A.D. destruction of the temple. (This is taught by some people.) This clearly comes after that too, by the way it is given in Scripture. It says that after these events, there will be a seven year period in which halfway through "he" will stop the sacrifices. This clearly indicates that sacrifices will occur again which means there will be another temple, which some people deny can happen. We know from Daniel 7 and 8 that the saints would be persecuted and killed for 3 ½ years and that this begins in conjunction with the stopping of the sacrifices. Now we see, putting this all together, that there is a 7 year period in the future (Daniel’s 70th week) that will lead to the end of the age. In the middle or 3 ½ years into that, the sacrifices will cease, and the temple will be made desolate. At that time antichrist will start killing the saints. As we go through more prophecies, we see how they work in tandem with previous prophecies and add to the knowledge we have as to how the events transpire. While it may appear that this part of the verse could not be talking about God, as why would God cause the sacrifices to cease, we will see in Revelation that God has Michael throw Satan out of heaven once and for all at this mid-point and so he comes down to earth having great wrath toward Israel and then Christians. Satan stops the sacrifices (through the antichrist) as a result of his expulsion, so ultimately God is responsible for causing the sacrifices to cease, even though He doesn't do it Himself, as Satan wants to get even.

Now we can look back at the 2300 days and see how they fit in. There are 2300 days or 6 years 4 ½ months from the time of the daily sacrifices until the temple is cleansed. If that is the correct understanding of the Scripture, (and I don't know that it is), that would mean that roughly 7 ½ months after this league is confirmed by antichrist or covenant confirmed by God, we should see the temple up and the sacrifices begin. That may mean that we will know nothing about a league or covenant being confirmed, but will suddenly see the temple going up. In fact I understand, from what I have read about their plans, that they will begin sacrifices before the temple is finished. This may be the only sign that we see before he actually stops the sacrifice, desecrates the temple and starts rounding us up to kill us. That may be the reason that it is emphasized that this is absolutely true. It may be that it will be this knowledge and this knowledge alone that will prepare us for what is coming. Those who (erroneously as we will see) believe they will be gone before the tribulation starts to happen, and are unaware of this one sign being within the 7 week period could be totally caught by surprise at the midpoint when we start being persecuted and killed, if it is the only visible sign that precedes that event. Even if the temple goes up, they may not realize the timeline of events and still be looking for a 7 year peace treaty, which may not exist (at all or as a peace treaty) or be public. There are others who believe that there will be no warning, as there is only 3 1/2 years left and the abomination is the next thing.  I do not believe God leaves His people without any warning.  I believe we will see the temple.  As a side note, most eschatology teachers call the 70th week of Daniel or 7 year period, the tribulation and God’s wrath, equating the three terms as the same event. It will be shown that instead they are three different things. The 7 year period is Daniel’s 70th week (for lack of any other way to describe it). The tribulation will be shown to be that period that starts at the stopping of the sacrifices, and God’s wrath will be shown to start when the 70th week is over, but that is getting ahead of ourselves. It’s just important now to realize that this 7 year period is not known as anything, by definition of Scripture itself, other than the 70th week.

Just as pertinent information, the temple has been pre-fabricated, from what I understand from the websites of the people who are going to rebuild it. They are just waiting to be allowed to start building. They have all the necessary utensils for the temple (candelabra, etc), the priests have been trained, the clothes made, etc. They are presently showcasing everything in museums for people to see. Everything is ready from what I understand except for one thing. I don't think they have a red heifer that qualifies yet. A red heifer's ashes are necessary to cleanse evrything (they are mixed with water and used to cleanse things). They did have a red heifer, but it was disqualified by 3 white hairs. It can have no blemish and no white hairs. The other option is for them to discover the red heifer ashes from the second temple. Legend says that the ashes and much more (the ark) were hidden, somewhere possibly under the temple mount or possibly in the caves of the Dead Sea, back when the priests saw the temple was going to be destroyed. It is possible at the appropriate time these things will be discovered. But that is speculation.

Addendum 12/24/18

I have recently read a book by Robert Cornuke about the temple. He has discovered through  the Scriptures, through ancient writings, and through archaeological digs in Israel that the temples were not located on what is known as the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount in fact was the Roman fortress Fort Antonia and the location of the temples were slightly south of there. As a result, because this section of Jerusalem is under Israeli control, there is no obstacle for the temple going up. It does not require a peace treaty be signed with the Palestinians or anybody for them to put it up on their own undisputed land. The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque to be removed, for they are on the Roman Fortress, not the ruins of the Temple Mount.



  1. Connie wrote:

    Those who (erroneously as we will see) believe they will be gone before the tribulation starts to happen, and are unaware of this one sign being within the 7 week period could be totally caught by surprise at the midpoint when we start being persecuted and killed, if it is the only visible sign that precedes that event.

    Connie, can you pinpoint where the 70th week starts in Revelelation? Can you pinpoint the midpoint of the week? Finally, can you pinpoint the end"


  2. I'm glad you are reading it. I didn't know if any people were other than my couple of friends. I can't pinpoint the beginning of the 70th week in Revelation as God didn't put the whole Daniel covenant thing in there. We simply know that the first 4 seals are the beginning of sorrows (according to Matthew 24) and we don't know whether the beginning of sorrows begins at the beginning of the 70th week, or long before it. I suspect before it, but God has not specified this anywhere that I can see in a way that you can be dogmatic about it. It would be wrong to make assumptions and treat them as fact. The only way we will be able to pinpoint the beginning of the seven years is if there is an actual public announcement of a seven year agreement being confirmed and we see the temple go up. The temple is the only true indication that it will have begun, as there are always earthquakes, wars, etc. (beginning of sorrows) As to the midpoint, I haven't gotten to that yet in the study, as we are still long way from Revelation, but according to Christ in Matt. 24, it happens before the signs heralding His Second Coming (Day of the Lord signs. I still have to post all of that. By comparison, you will see that the signs given in Matt. correspond to the first six seals in Revelation. It would appear that the midpoint is somewhere in the 5th seal (martyrs), as the signs in the 6th seal come after the midpoint (abomination of desolation), according to Christ in Matthew 24. I haven't gotten to all of that yet. It will be coming in time. As for the end, it depends on which "end' you are speaking of. The 1260 days (42 months/ 3 1/2 yr)? The 1290 days? The 1335 days? To which end are you referring? The 6th trumpet judgment ends after the 1260 days (42 mo./ 3 1/2 yr). The bowl or vial judgments end after the 1290 days. The entire 70th week ends after the 1335th day. I hope that answers your question. There's a lot to go through before we get to all of these answers in the study, but it will make sense when it all gets put together in the end. It is extremely logical and orderly.