Daniel 9 is a linchpin of prophetic teaching.
As I have studied this topic over the years, a particular teaching has garnered favor among believers. I followed that teaching faithfully for most of my pilgrimage.
I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for a fellow believer to consider.
When I first encountered this viewpoint, I struggled with it. I refused it, then ignored it, then argued with it. But I also believe as Christians, we need to wrestle with the Word.
Sure, we may come away limping, like old Isaac, but as always, encountering the Word produces fruit.
So with that thought let’s begin Considering the Bible.
Daniel 9:24 – 27
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 in 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.
So, lets take our time and consider the text.
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 in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Daniel introduces this prophecy by defining three specific subjects that are central to the prophecy. The subjects of this prophecy are as follows.
A SPECIFIC TIME – Seventy weeks
The first thing I notice is that a specific time is determined.
The English word determined is interesting. Determined = חָתַךְ châthak, khaw-thak’; a primitive root; properly, to cut off, i.e. (figuratively) to decree, to be determined, be decreed, be settled, be marked out —determine.
The implication is that the time frame of this prophecy is settled in the mind of God, that it is established, decreed, “set in stone”. However the time period is set up by God, it will be played out based on that time line. It is sure.
A SPECIFIC PEOPLE – Thy People
The second thing I notice is that this time is determined upon a specific people
Upon thy people
– this phrase is used 7 times in OT and not always referring to the Jewish nation – notably through the book of Exodus (4 times) where it is referring to the Egyptians.
Therefore this phrase is context sensitive and needs to be understood by the intent of the prophet. It is obvious that the Jewish prophet Daniel was directing this prophecy to his Jewish brethren. With that said, we must realize that prophecy is not meant primarily for unbelievers, but for those who have faith in the God of Israel, and trust in His message.
A SPECIFIC PLACE – Thy Holy City
The third thing I notice is that this time is determined upon a specific place.
Upon thy holy city
holy = קֹדֶשׁ qôdesh, ko’-desh; from H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstract, sanctity:—consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (× most) holy (× day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.
The place is specific – that is it is the holy city and for the men and women this was written to, obviously meant Jerusalem, the city of the Great King.
Next post, we will consider the form of communication Daniel used, in order to help us understand his message.
I hope you will join me again in “Considering the Bible”.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.