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Go to Bible: Daniel 9
|Dan 9:1||- (top)|
“seventy years.” This is written in Jeremiah 25:11-12 and 29:10. This is not a round number. It is the time that the Temple vessels were captive in Babylon. It is an amazing testimony to the trust that one prophet of God had in the words of another prophet of God that Daniel would read the book of Jeremiah and know the truth of the situation of the Babylonian captivity that God revealed to Jeremiah. Christians would do well to learn from Daniel, and spend time reading and studying the Word of God. God only authored one book, and yet it is amazing how few Christians read it faithfully and the even fewer number that actually take the time to learn the history and customs to be able to understand it. The Father, God, authored a book; His children should read and understand it.(top)
“set my face.” An idiom which here means “gave my attention to,” “set my focus on,” and we can see that Daniel was very serious when he did this because he prayed and fasted in sackcloth and ashes. Sackcloth is like our burlap; rough and scratchy. It was very uncomfortable clothing, and what Daniel did was designed to show God that he understood that God’s plans and purposes were more important than Daniel’s personal comfort, and that he was very serious about getting his prayers heard.(top)
|Dan 9:4||- (top)|
|Dan 9:5||- (top)|
|Dan 9:6||- (top)|
|Dan 9:7||- (top)|
|Dan 9:8||- (top)|
|Dan 9:9||- (top)|
|Dan 9:10||- (top)|
|Dan 9:11||- (top)|
|Dan 9:12||- (top)|
|Dan 9:13||- (top)|
|Dan 9:14||- (top)|
|Dan 9:15||- (top)|
|Dan 9:16||- (top)|
“for your own sake, Lord.” The Hebrew reads more simply, “for the Lord’s sake,” but we have nuanced that reading to make the English read more clearly (cp. ESV; NAB; NET; NLT).(top)
|Dan 9:18||- (top)|
|Dan 9:19||- (top)|
|Dan 9:20||- (top)|
“the man Gabriel.” Gabriel is an angel, but Daniel calls him “the man…whom I had seen,” because Gabriel had appeared in the form of a man. It is clear from the context that even Daniel did think Gabriel was a human.
“previously.” The Hebrew reads more literally, “in the beginning,” but the Hebrew uses “beginning” more loosely than we typically do in English, and in this case it would be confusing to translate it literally. The reference is to an earlier vision and seeing Gabriel (Dan. 8:16).
“came to me in my extreme weariness.” The Hebrew phrase is difficult. Scholars are divided as to whether the Hebrew comes from the root “to fly,” or the root “to be weary.” Some scholars and translators favor “to fly,” and then the verse refers to Gabriel flying quickly. Others favor the root “to be weary,” and then the verse refers to the fact that Daniel was tired or tired out when Gabriel came. We think the phrase refers to Daniel’s physical and mental state, which was weak because of Daniel’s circumstances, the intensity of the spiritual battle, and the weight of realization and responsibility that the visions put upon him, something that shows up in several verses (cp. Dan. 7:28, 8:27; 10:8-9, 16-17).(top)
|Dan 9:22||- (top)|
|Dan 9:23||- (top)|
“everlasting righteousness.” In this context, “righteousness” is doing what is right toward God and people. There are many people today who are not treating God or other people very well, but that will change when Christ is king. [For more on “righteousness” having the meaning of doing what is right or just (“justice”), see commentary on Matt. 5:6. For more on Christ’s future Millennial Kingdom on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].(top)
“that from the going forth of the commandment.” Part of the problem with knowing the time frame that Gabriel is speaking about is that we today do not know when that commandment occurred. There were different commandments given, and the subject is hotly debated.
“the Anointed One, the ruler.” This refers to Jesus Christ (cp. C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament: Daniel. See also Stephen Miller, The New American Commentary: Daniel). The Jews today, along with many other scholars, do not think that the Anointed One in Daniel 9:25 is the Messiah, and the evidence is that most of them at the time of Christ did not think that either, although some of the more spiritual among them certainly could have (cp. Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Appendix IX, “List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings”). But the purpose of Scripture is to point to the Messiah, and many conservative scholars agree that the Anointed One is Jesus Christ.
“be 7 weeks, and 62 weeks.” The 7 weeks (49 years) and 62 weeks (434 years) add up to 69 weeks (483 years). But the angel had said “70 weeks” (Dan. 9:24), so in this counting the last “week” is missing. It is also important to note that the 69 weeks are broken into two periods, 7 weeks and 62 weeks, with the 62 weeks coming last. This verse is one of the great keys leading to the conclusion that the “weeks” are not just common 7-day weeks, but “weeks” of years, and thus the total time period is 483 years. The “Anointed One” is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He will be “cut off,” killed, at the end of the 69th week.
The 70th “week” is the seven years of the Tribulation, and it is counted separately from the 69 weeks. There is no explanation for this separation given in the Old Testament, but we today know that between the year the Messiah was killed and the year that starts the 7 years of the Great Tribulation, God placed the “Administration of Grace,” which was a secret time (Eph. 3:2-6, 9). There is quite a bit of information about the Great Tribulation written in the Bible (see commentary on Dan. 12:1).(top)
“after the 62 weeks.” Jesus Christ will be killed at the end of the 69th week, after, or at the very end of, the 62nd week.
“Anointed One.” That is, the Messiah (see commentary on Dan. 9:25).
“cut off.” This phrase is commonly used for being put to death, which Jesus Christ was. It is used of the death of the Messiah in Isaiah 53:8.
“and will have nothing.” The Hebrew text reads, “and there is nothing to him,” which is exactly what happened to Jesus Christ when he died. He got nothing of what we would expect with the death of the Messiah and a king. He died as a criminal and his body was treated as if he was a criminal, and he was not even buried in a family tomb, but in a borrowed tomb of a non-family member. After he was buried and the tomb shut, Nicodemus came and buried him with spices, but even his family and closest disciples did not know that had happened. When Jesus died, “he had nothing,” as this text in Daniel says.
[For more on his family and disciples not knowing he was buried with spices, see commentary on John 19:40].
“the ruler who will come.” This ruler that will come is the Antichrist, though he is not often called that in the Bible.
“the city and the sanctuary.” That is, the city of Jerusalem and the temple in it. There will be a temple built again before Jesus builds the temple portrayed in Ezekiel, which he will do early on in his Millennial Kingdom. The materials for building that temple have already been gathered together in Israel. That is the temple spoken of in Revelation 11:1-2, and the temple into which the Antichrist, “the man of sin,” enters to show he is God to the people (2 Thess. 2:4).
“Desolations are determined. This statement is not connected to any one specific “desolation,” and the fact that the verb is plural means it refers to more than one desolation. There is no reason to believe that these desolations do not involve the city of Jerusalem, the Temple (the “sanctuary” of Dan. 9:26), people at the time of the Antichrist’s rule (cp. Dan. 9:27), and even the Antichrist himself (cp. Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament).(top)
“And he will make .” The “he” is the “ruler that will come” (Dan. 9:26) who is the little horn of Daniel 7:8, 11, 20, and 7:21, who will wage war against God’s people and prevail against them for 3 ½ years (Dan. 7:21, 25). We generally refer to this ruler as the Antichrist, and he will make a covenant of peace with Israel, but the fact that the text says “with many” shows that not all Israel will agree to the covenant. However, enough of the leadership will agree to it that the covenant will be made.
It is important to realize that Daniel 9:27 does not follow chronologically after Daniel 9:26, but is giving details that will occur during the time of the Antichrist. When Daniel 9:26 says, “the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary,” that is a summary giving the end result of what will happen after Israel makes a covenant with the Antichrist, and some of the details of that covenant are given in Daniel 9:27. So Daniel 9:26-27 need to be read together and fit together to get the full picture of the situation.
“a firm covenant.” The making of the covenant starts the seven years of the Great Tribulation. This covenant is future, and from the scope of Scripture we can see that it is the 7 years of the Tribulation most clearly described in the Book of Revelation. This is not a covenant made sometime in the past. There has never been a covenant between any great world ruler and Israel that was for, or only lasted for, just 7 years. It is a future covenant and is between “many” in Israel and the Antichrist.
It is sometimes taught that the 7-year Great Tribulation starts with the Rapture of the Christian Church, but that is not true—there is no verse that says that. There is very good evidence for a pre-tribulation Rapture, but the Rapture is not the event that starts the countdown of the 7 years of tribulation, the treaty between Israel and the Antichrist is. There is apparently a short time period between the Rapture and the covenant between the Antichrist and the leaders of Israel, but the length of that time period is never stated in Scripture.
“with the many.” It is important to notice that Daniel says “with the many” and not “with Israel.” This covenant will be after the Rapture of the Christian Church (see commentary on 2 Thess. 2:2), and will be made with many of the Jews in the Tribulation period, in keeping with Daniel 9:24, in which the angel says to Daniel that 70 weeks are determined for “your people” (the Jews) and “your holy city” (Jerusalem). Those many Jews will include the leaders in Israel, because for a covenant to be made and be effective for the Jews in general, that “many” would have to include the leaders of Israel even though all the Jews did not agree to it. The use of “the many” shows that there will be Jews who will not agree with making such a covenant, and it seems certain that most of those will be Jews who come to believe in Christ during the Tribulation period.
“for one week.” The prophetic “weeks” in Daniel are weeks of years, that is, seven years. This describes the duration of the Great Tribulation; seven years. The natural and supernatural disasters spoken of in the book of Revelation begin to unfold when or soon after the covenant is made between Israel and the Antichrist.
But in the middle of the “week,” in the middle of the seven years, thus after 3 ½ years, the Antichrist will begin to fully exercise his satanic power and oppress God’s people. For example, here in Daniel 9:27 we see he will cause sacrifices and offerings to God to cease being made. The last half of the Great Tribulation, the 3 ½ years when the Antichrist is fully exercising his power, will be very hard for anyone who believes, and that time period is described in four different ways: half of the “week,” 42 months, 1260 days, and “a time, times, and half a time.” The description, “a time, times, and half a time” would not be clear if it were not for the other time periods that describe it, but because of those other descriptions we can see the phrase means, “a time [a year], times [two years] and half a time [1/2 year] for a total of 3 ½ years.
The description “42 months” occurs in Revelation 13:4-5 and describes the time when the dragon, Satan, gives power to the “beast,” the Antichrist, for 42 months, which is 3 ½ years. That same time period is described in Daniel 7:25, which says believers will be handed over to the antichrist for “a time, times and half a time.”
But Israel will not be totally destroyed by Satan and his Antichrist. Revelation 12:6 says that during that time of persecution God protects Israel, which is portrayed as a woman, and the time of protection is given as 1260 days, and Revelation 12:14 shows that Israel is protected for “a time, times, and half a time,” and both those time periods are 3 ½ years.
“And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination.” The Antichrist will set up a great abomination on a wing of the temple. For this understanding of the text, see the NIV84 (cp. HCSB; Douay-Rheims; NJB). The wording of the text in Daniel is obscure and debated, but thankfully it is somewhat clarified by Jesus Christ, because he spoke of the abomination that Daniel spoke about, pointed out that it was something that people could see, and that it would be in the Temple, the Holy Place (Matt. 24:15).
Interestingly, Matthew 24:15 also adds the phrase, “let the one reading understand.” It is possible that phrase is added about the wording in Daniel because the text was already being corrupted and the Hebrew text and the Septuagint that was available during Christ’s time already differed.
The word “abomination” is plural in the Hebrew text, but that is likely the plural of emphasis because it was going to be a great abomination, much like “blood” is pluralized to “bloods” in Genesis 4:10 because Cain’s murder of Abel was so heinous. Jesus certainly thought the “abomination” was singular when he spoke about it.
“that causes desolation.” The verb “desolation” is shamem (#08074 שָׁמֵם) and it occurs twice in Daniel 9:27 and is the same verb as in the last phrase of Daniel 9:26 (“Desolations are determined”). The specific “desolation” that is caused by whatever it is that the Antichrist sets in the Temple is not specified. However, because the Antichrist will rule over the world’s financial, military and religious systems, it would relate in some way to the “desolation” of God’s people who are tortured and killed under the reign of the Antichrist (cp. Dan. 7:21, 25; Rev. 13:7, 10; 14:12-13).
The Bible indicates that the majority of believers, but not all of them, will die or be killed during the Great Tribulation, and especially during the last half of it. That some believers will live through the Tribulation and Armageddon explains why, when Jesus conquers the earth and sets up his kingdom, there will still be believers, “sheep,” left on earth to enter his kingdom (Matt. 25:31-34). Also, Jesus himself said that some believers would survive the Great Tribulation (Matt. 16:28). [For more on Jesus’ coming kingdom on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth. For more on the Sheep and Goat Judgment, see commentary on Matt. 25:32].(top)