70 Week Prophecy of Daniel 9: Forbidden by Judaism – Christ or antichrist
A reckoning of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 as 490 years leads irrevocably to the conclusion that the promised Messiah of Israel had already appeared before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It is understandable that the Talmud places a curse on those who attempt to compute the seventy weeks of Daniel.
Historically, the church has seen the seventy-week prophecy of Daniel 9 as referring to the Messiah, specifying the timing and details of Jesus’ ministry. A popular reinterpretation in recent years has shaped many Christians’ understanding of end-time events by separating the final week of Daniel’s prophecy from the preceding sixty-nine, transposing it from the historical context of Jesus’ ministry to the last days of earth, and applying it to the work of antichrist. Scriptural evidence is on the side of the traditional interpretation, says the author of this article.
Despite major differences in interpretation, both dispensationalists and non dispensationalists agree on one point regarding the seventy-weeks prophecy of Daniel 9—its importance. Says dispensationalist Alva J. McClain, “Probably no single prophetic utterance is more crucial in the fields of Biblical interpretation, Apologetics, and Eschatology.”1 One of the most telling Messianic prophecies in the whole Bible, Daniel 9:24-27, is also considered by some to be “one of the most difficult in all the Old Testament.” 2 This may be one reason for the divergence of interpretation regarding it.
The book of Daniel testifies to the divine inspiration of the Hebrew Bible and of predictive prophecy in particular. A reckoning of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 as 490 years leads irrevocably to the conclusion that the promised Messiah of Israel had already appeared before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It is understandable that the Talmud places a curse on those who attempt to compute the seventy weeks of Daniel. 3
Christ’s specific admonition to His apostles to understand ” ‘the prophet Daniel’ ” when they would see the predicted “‘ ‘abomination that causes desolation’ standing in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15)* is also of prime importance to the idea of the divine inspiration of predictive prophecy in Scripture. There can be no doubt that Christ applied the desolating abomination of Daniel 9:27 not to the past outrages of Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C. (as 1 Mace. 1:54 ff. does) but to His own immediate future when the Roman army would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple in His own generation (see Luke 21:20-24). Jesus’ contemporary application of Daniel 9:26, 27 was confirmed in A.D. 70 when the Roman armies under General Titus placed their idolatrous ensigns as an “abomination” in Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. 4 The position of Lewis F. Hartman that “the quasi-prophecy of Daniel 9:26” refers exclusively “to the climax of Epiphanes1 persecution of the Jews, when he abolished the legitimate sacrifices of Yahweh in the Temple of Jerusalem and set up on its altar the statue of Zeus Olympics,” 5 is answered by Joyce G. Baldwin: “Commentators who argue that Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled this prophecy are at a loss to account for the fact that he destroyed neither the Temple nor the city of Jerusalem [as required by Daniel 9:26].” 6 Thus Christ applied the seventy-weeks prophecy of the coming Messiah and the subsequent devastations of Messiah’s enemy to His own time and neither to the past nor to the indefinite future. Christ related the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 to Israel’s final refusal to accept Him as her King and Saviour (see Matt. 21:33-43; 23:37, 38; Luke 19:41-44). This relation ship between the coming of the Messiah and the destruction of both city and sanctuary is the crucial message of Daniel 9:26, 27. The seventy-weeks prophecy is basically a Messianic prophecy announcing the consequences of Jerusalem’s rejection of her Messiah.
AN UNBREAKABLE UNITY
“‘Seventy “sevens”‘” were decreed, or determined, by God as a renewed probationary period for Jerusalem and the Jewish people after the seventy years of the Babylonian exile had terminated (see Dan. 9:24). There can be no doubt about the duration of this period: seventy times seven “years,” or 490 years (see R.S.V.). No day-for-a-year symbolism needs to be supposed here because Gabriel uses no symbols in his detailed chronological explanation. G.F. Hasel observes, “There is virtually unanimous agreement among interpreters of all schools of thought that the phrase ‘seventy weeks’ or literally ‘sevens seventy’ . . . means 490 years.”‘
Gabriel explained to Daniel that the history of Israel within this 490-year span would develop in three distinct phases— one of seven weeks, a second of sixty-two weeks, and a third of one week (see verses 25 and 27). However, nowhere does the angel imply a gap between any of these three phases. To suggest an indeterminate time interval between the seven and sixty-two weeks, or between the sixty-two and the one last week is an unnatural assumption that militates against the expressed unit and goal of the seventy weeks (see verse 24).
The normal, natural exegetical assumption is that the seventy consecutive weeks are an unbreakable unity. They are presented as a unit, just as are the seventy years of Babylonian exile in Daniel 9:2. Edward J. Young concludes, “If there is no warrant for inserting a gap in Jeremiah’s prophecy, what warrant is there for doing so in the prophecy of the seventy sevens? Had there been a gap in Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer. 25:10) Daniel could never have understood the years of the captivity.” 8 “Never,” concludes Philip Mauro, “has a specific number of time units, making up a described stretch of time, been taken to mean anything but continuous or consecutive time-units.” 9 Because the other predicted time periods are consecutive, the natural expectation can only be thai: the seventy weeks of Daniel are also consecutive.
J. F. Walvoord, however, draws a parallel between the Old Testament Messianic prophecies and the time prophecies in Daniel in order to support the idea of a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week of Daniel 9. But the fact that the Old Testament prophets customarily fuse together the first and second advents of Christ in their Messianic prophecies with out considering the interval between the two (Isa. 9:6; 61:1, 2; Zech. 9:9, 10) gives us no right to create a gap between the specific time periods in Daniel 9. The chronological unit of the seventy weeks is not “parallel” to the nonchronological Messianic promises, in spite of Walvoord’s assertion. 10 The regular Messianic promises do not always intend to present the proper historical order of the two advents of Christ and even sometimes reverse the order (see Gen. 3:i5; Zech. 9:9). Such examples can never serve as an argument to create a gap between Daniel’s sixty-ninth and seventieth prophetic week. E. Hengstenberg represents the classical church interpretation: “The period of 70 hebdomads, or 490 years, is here predicted as one that will continue uninterruptedly from its commencement to its close. . . . What can be more evident than this? Exactly 70 weeks in all are to elapse; and how can anyone imagine that there is an interval between the 69 and the 1 week, when these together make up the 70?” 11 The dispensationalist break in the unit of the seventy weeks destroys the very point in specifying seventy consecutive weeks.
REASONS FOR DISSECTING
It is “of major importance” to dispensationalism, according to Walvoord, 12 to separate the last week from the total unit of seventy weeks and project it into the indefinite future. Acknowledging that this “startling” dissection needs some good reason, McClain asks, “How can such a method be justified?” 13 He offers briefly five reasons.
First, Daniel’s expression ” ‘After the sixty-two “sevens,” the Anointed One will be cut off'” (chap. 9:26) indicates that the death of the Messiah must take place before the seventieth week. It also occurs after the sixty-two weeks; consequently it must fall between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week! Only after the death of Christ and after the (next mentioned) destruction of Jerusalem (verse 26) do we come to the final one week in verse 27.
This literalistic reading of verses 26 and 27 is determined by the idea that Daniel necessarily presents a strictly chronological sequence in these two passages. This assumption is accepted as a self-evident axiom. J. F. Walvoord states: “The anointed one, or the Messiah, is cut off after the sixty-ninth week, but not in the seventieth.” 14 However, this last phrase, “but not in the seventieth,” appears nowhere in Daniel 9:26, 27; it is Walvoord’s unwarranted assumption.
This presupposition has been severely criticized both from the standpoint of literary analysis and of theological exegesis. 15 When it announced that seventy weeks are determined for national Israel and that the Messiah will be “cut off’ after the first sixty-nine weeks, the natural presumption can only be that the death of the Messiah will take place some time during the last week. J. Barton Payne concludes, “What could be more naturally assumed than that it [the cutting off of the Messiah] concerns the 70th week?” 16
McClain’s second argument is, “In the record of the prophecy, the destruction of the city [verse 26] is placed before the last week [verse 27].” 17 Therefore, the events of the seventieth week cannot occur prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. For this reason dispensationalism sees verse 27 as a prediction about another enemy of God, the end-time antichrist, who would suddenly rise more than nineteen centuries after the death of Christ and after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D 70.
This argument is valid only on the assumption that verses 26 and 27 are phrased in a modern style of prose that describes events in strictly chronological order. But recent studies (see note 15) have made it clear that dispensationalism’s literalistic reading fails to recognize the Hebrew poetic style of “repetition with elaboration” in Daniel 9:24-27, which J.B. Payne calls a “revelatiorial pattern.” I8 This stylistic pattern appears also in verses 24 and 25. Payne argues that “Daniel 9:25, 26 cannot be taken as subsequent to 9:24; instead verses 25, 26 pick up [repeat and elaborate] the summary of the entire seventy weeks given in verse 24.” This seems quite obvious, but no more so than the relation of verse 27 to verse 26. Payne remarks: “That verse 27 thus repeats verse 26 is recognized by interpreters of every stamp and is confirmed by the verbal correspondences that appear, particularly in the last parts of the respective verses.” 19
With this recognition, we see the atoning death of Christ Jesus again mentioned in verse 27 and now more precisely located “‘in the middle'” of the last prophetic week, not in an unmentioned gap. Verses 26 and 27 relate to each other according to the structure: Messiah-Roman Destroyer (verse 26), Messiah- Roman Desolator (verse 27). In short: A/B (verse 26); A/B (verse 27).
This simple poetic style of Hebrew parallelism in verses 26 and 27 (which is also the poetic arrangement in verse 25)2D is the most thorough reply of grammatical exegesis to literalism’s interpretation of a dissecting gap.
The question remains, But did not the destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary (verse 26) occur in A.D 70, almost forty years after the death of Christ and thus outside the seventy weeks of years? This objection would be valid if the destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary was mentioned in verse 24 as one of the six predicted goals of the seventy-weeks prophecy. This is not so. The time of the Messiah’s anointing and of His atoning death are precisely predicted to occur within the 490 years, but not the time of Jerusalem’s destruction. This divine judgment was therefore open to forty years of delay after the cross of Christ, so that many thousands of Jews could hear the meaning of the cross of Christ and through faith and repentance be saved.
McClain’s third reason is, “The fulfillment of the tremendous events in verse 24 cannot be found anywhere in known history”. 21 He means: In the Jewish people no end of sinning and no beginning of everlasting righteousness can be noticed; no atonement for wickedness, no sealing up of vision and prophecy, no anointing of a most holy thing. But such an observation is rejected by most conservative Bible interpreters as missing the mark. Verse 24 must be understood as being accomplished by the Anointed One Himself on behalf of Israel (verses 25-27). Christ’s death and resurrection to a new priesthood accomplished a perfect atonement for Israel’s sin and provided an everlasting righteousness for Israel. The true Israel did enter into the benefits of His sacrificial death and are therefore clothed with the white garments of His righteousness. Christ’s baptism (His anointing by the Spirit) and death authenticated Daniel’s prophetic vision; His ascension to heaven meant the consecration of a new high-priesthood22 in the sanctuary of heaven that was manifested on earth in the outpouring of the anointing Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:33; Heb. 7:12, 22; 8:1, 2; 9:23, 24). Thus E. J. Young declares of Daniel 9:24:27, “The passage is Messianic through and through.” 23 And Joyce G. Baldwin concludes her exegesis in these words: “The first coming of Christ is the focal point of the forward look, though the second coming in judgment is also envisaged.” 24 This view does justice to both aspects of the Messianic prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27—the central focus on the Messiah’s coming to fulfill the sixfold goal of verse 24, and the final judgment of God poured out on the desolator at “the end” (verse 27). Dispensationalism categorically denies that Christ’s first advent (His baptism, His death, and resurrection) fulfilled any or all of the six goals of this magnificent Messianic prophecy.
McClain’s fourth reason for a gap interpretation is the argument from analogy with the nonchronological Messianic prophecies that has been discussed above.
His fifth argument: “The testimony of our Lord Himself shows that the Seventieth Week is still future.” 25 McClain bases this statement on the assumption that the future desolator spoken of in the second part of verse 27 is the same power referred to earlier in the verse as putting an end to sacrifice and offering ” ‘in the middle,'” of the seventieth week. Thus he argues that while Daniel placed the “abomination of desolation” (K.J.V.) exactly in the middle of the last week, in Matthew 24:15, 21, 29, 30 “our Lord placed it at ‘the end,’ just before His second coming in glory.” He concludes: “Therefore, the Seventieth Week must also come at the end of the present age just prior to Christ’s coming in glory. This is the interpretation of Christ Himself, and it should settle the matter.” 26
McClain reaches this conclusion on the basis of several unwarranted presuppositions. The first error is the failure to recognize the style of Hebrew parallelism in verses 26 and 27, whereby it becomes clear that verse 27 speaks more elaborately about the same two powers—the Messiah and His opponent—as does verse 26. Not the antichrist but the Messiah Himself is predicted to end the sacrificial system in the middle of the seventieth week, exactly three and one-half years after His baptism as the Anointed One. The Gospel of John verifies the precise historical fulfillment of this prophecy in Christ’s life; the time between His baptism and cross was exactly three and one-half years. 27
DID CHRIST END SACRIFICE?
McClain insists that “the death of Christ did not cause the Jewish sacrifices to cease. They continued, in fact, until the destruction of Jerusalem nearly forty years later.. . . The sacrifices should have ceased immediately. But they did not.” 28
This reasoning reckons only with a human point of view. From God’s point of view, as recorded in the New Testament, Daniel’s description discloses one of the most profound and decisive revelations of the Messiah’s mission, the very goal of the seventy-weeks prophecy, God’s method of fulfilling the sixfold goal of Daniel 9:24. The abolishing of the whole Levitical priesthood and sacrificial shadow service was already announced in Psalm 110:1, 4, an earlier Messianic prophecy. Here David had declared that the future Messianic Ruler would also be ” ‘a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.'”
The New Testament presses this challenging question: “If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priest hood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law” (Heb. 7:11, 12).
Only the Messiah Himself could legitimately abolish once and forever the system of symbols that pointed forward to the atoning self-sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God. “He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself (verse 27). “But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. . . . Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people” (chap. 9:26-28). “He sets aside the first [sacrifices and offerings] to establish the second [the will of God]” (chap. 10:9).
There can never be a valid return to the old covenant and its earthly temple worship, after Christ, the Antitype, has terminated once for all the “shadow” and inaugurated a “better covenant” that offers His righteousness as the everlasting righteousness (see Heb. 7:22; cf. chap. 10:12; Rom. 3:22, 25). “By calling this covenant [with its heavenly sanctuary and heavenly High Priest] ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear” (Heb. 8:13). Christ confirmed God’s covenant with Israel when He instituted the Lord’s Supper the night before His death. Taking the cup, He declared, ” ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins'” (Matt. 26:28). Thus Christ confirmed God’s covenant with many in Israel for one week (seven years): three and one-half years before His death by His own ministry and three and one-half years by that of His apostles in Jerusalem. 29
The fulfillment of Daniel’s prediction that” ‘in the middle of that “seven” he [the Anointed One of chap. 9:25, 26] will put an end to sacrifice and offering'” (chap. 9:27), was strikingly confirmed by an act of God Himself. When Jesus died, “at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51; cf. Mark 15:38). The death of Christ signified the end of Israel’s sacrificial temple ritual by an unmistakable act from heaven. The legitimacy of the temple sacrifices had come to their end before God. The Jews as a whole did not accept this divine decision and immediately reinstituted their bloody sacrifices. But the Shekinah glory had now departed from their temple, and it was therefore no longer the temple of God, and Jerusalem was no longer the holy city. Instead of God’s blessing, now His curse rested on their house (“‘your house,'” Matt. 23:38; cf. 1 Thess. 2:16). Total destruction by the Roman armies would soon follow. ” They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you'” (Luke 19:44; cf. chap. 21:20-24). This fatal consequence of Israel’s avowed rejection of the real mission of the Messiah—the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70—was also part and parcel of Daniel’s prophecy. Christ explained: ” ‘For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written'” (chap. 21:22).
We agree therefore with the view of G. F. Hasel: “Although with the death of Jesus Christ the Jewish sacrifices did not cease, the sacrifices offered after His death could no longer he regarded as legitimate and valid in God’s sight (Heb. 7:11; 8:13; 9:25, 26; 10:8, 9).” 30
CHRIST THE ANOINTED ONE
McClain further challenges the Messianic interpretation of Daniel 9:26 by stating, “They cannot point to the place in history where it [the Messiah’s covenant with Israel] began nor where it ended.” 31 This leads us to consider the significance of Daniel’s repeated title of “‘Anointed One'” for Israel’s Redeemer.
The first sixty-nine weeks of years were to reach “‘until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes'” (chap. 9:25). This is one of the most explicit Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible. The Messiah is designated by the double characteristic of Anointed One and Ruler, identifying Him as the royal Messiah or Priest-King (cf. Isa, 61:1-3; Zech. 6:13; Ps. 110:4). Dispensationalists regularly neglect Daniel’s emphasis on the coming Prince as the Anointed One (chap. 9:25, 26) and select the term “‘ruler'” (verse 25) as the exclusive focus of this time prophecy. McClain pinpoints April 6, A.D. 32, as the time when Jesus “offered Himself as the Prince and King of Israel” at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, just a few days before His crucifixion. 32 The fact is, however, that Jesus was not “anointed” at that time!
The real question is, When did Jesus offer Himself as the Anointed One? The New Testament replies with unmistakable clarity that ” ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power'” (Acts 10:38) and proclaimed this Anointed One to be His Son or King (see Mark 1:9-11; cf. Ps. 2:6, 7) on the day of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. Luke, the historian, dates Christ’s baptism “in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar” (chap. 3:1; see verses 2, 3, 21), apparently the only event in Christ’s life that is historically dated in the New Testament. Jesus’ own testimony in the synagogue at Nazareth, shortly after His baptism, confirms this conclusion. He read the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me,'” and then commented, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing'” (Luke 4:16, ’21). Thus Christ offered Himself to Israel as the ” ‘Anointed One,'” the Messiah, immediately after His baptism three and one-half years before His crucifixion. In contrast, Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was clearly intended to draw the attention of Israel and the world to the redemptive significance of His impending crucifixion on behalf of all men.
Right after His baptism, however, Christ announced to Israel, “The time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15, K.J.V.). We agree, therefore, with J. Barton Payne’s conclusion: “Here [at Christ’s baptism] arises a Messianic consummation that did find fulfillment in history and that does fit the chronology [of Dan. 9:25].” 33 It needs to be stressed, however, that Jesus became the predicted Messiah at His baptism only in order to fulfill the sixfold divine mission described in Daniel 9:24, a goal that was accomplished basically in His atoning death on the cross exactly three and one-half years later. This was, of course, “the middle” of the seventieth week of Daniel 9:27. On the cross, just before He died, Christ exclaimed in triumph to the Father, ” ‘It is finished'” (John 19:30). His mission, as described in Daniel 9:24, was completed.
Since the goal of the seventy-weeks prophecy is so intensely Messianic, “the principal emphasis is not upon the beginning and ending of this remarkable period but upon the mighty events which were to transpire therein, events which have wrought our peace with God.” 34
1 A. J. McClain, Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1940), p. 9.
2 E. J. Young, The Prophecy of Daniel: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949), p. 191.
3 Sanhedrin 97b (Soncino ed.), p. 659.
4 See G. R. Beasley-Murray, in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, C. Brown, ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), vol. 1, pp. 74, 75. F. F. Bruce, Israel and the Nations (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1973), p. 224, refers to the “Roman custom of offering sacrifice to their standards.”
5 The Book of Daniel, The Anchor Bible, vol. 23 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1978), p. 252.
6 Joyce G. Baldwin, Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, 111.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978), p. 171; see also p. 174. Cf. G. McCready Price, The Greatest of the Prophets (Mountain View: Pacific Press, 1955), p. 244, who points further to Matthew 22:7.
7 “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9:24-27” (Insert D, Ministry, May, 1976), p. 5. Two contextual observations corroborate this conclusion: (1) Daniel was thinking about time in terms of years only (chap. 9:2); (2) In chapter 10:2, Daniel adds to this expression “three weeks” the words “of days” (in Hebrew) to distinguish these three weeks as ordinary weeks, in apparent contrast with the year-weeks of chapter 9.
8 Young, op. cit. p. 216.
9 Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation (Boston: Hamilton Bros., 1923), p. 95. He refers to the predicted 430 years for Israel in Genesis 13 and Galatians 3:17; the 7 years of plenty and the 7 years of famine for Egypt in Genesis 45:6; the 40 years for Israel in Numbers 14:34; and Jesus’ resurrection within three days.
10 J. F. Walvoord, The Return of the Lord (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), p. 77.
11 E. W. Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1956), Vol. Ill, p. 143.
12 J. F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1957), p. 24.
13 McClain, op. cit, p. 33.
14 Walvoord, The Rapture Question, p. 25.
15 The hermeneutical importance of the literary structure, with its poetic forms of parallelism and chiasm in Daniel 9:24-27, is brought to light in three valuable studies: J. Doukhan, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9; An Exegetical Study,” AUSS 17 (Spring, 1979), pp. 1-22; B. H. Shea, “Poetic Relations of Time Periods in Daniel 9:25,” AUSS 18/1 (1980), pp. 59-63; J. B. Payne, “The Goal of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks,” Journal of the Evangelical Theol. Soc. (JETS) 21/2 (June, 1978), pp. 97-115.
16 JETS 21/2 (June, 1978), p. 109.
17 McClain, op. cit., p. 35.
18 JETS 21/2 (June, 1978), p. 109.
19 Ibid.; see especially Doukhan, op. cit., pp. 12-14.
20 See B. H. Shea, loc. cit.
21 McClain, loc. cit.
22 See Doukhan, loc. cit., AUSS.
23 Young, op.cit., p. 221.
24 Ibid., p. 177.
25 McClain, op. cit., p. 39.
26 Ibid., p. 40.
27 See The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, “Chronology of the Gospel of John,”pp. 192, 193, 229-231; J. B. Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), p. 387.
28 McClain, op. cit., p. 52.
29 See J. B. Payne, JETS 21/2 (June, 1978), p. 109; also his Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, p. 388.
30 Ministry, Insert D, May, 1976, p. 17.
31 McClain, loc. cit.
32 McClain, op. cit., p. 26. This date is arrived at by a complicated transformation of lunar years into solar years, which is rejected as incorrect in details by other dispensatjonal writers. See G. F. Hasel (note 2).
33 “The Goal of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks,” JETS 21/2 (June, 1978), p. 101. Payne reckons the 69 weeks or 483 years from Artaxerxes’ decree to Ezra in 458 B.C. till Christ’s baptism in the fall of A.D. 26 Seventh-day Adventists prefer the dates 457 B.C. till A.D. 27 as more accurate; see G. F. Hasel (note 2).
34 Young, op.cit., p. 221.
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In 1869, on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund, Sir Charles climbed up the forbidding sides of Mount Hermon to determine its true height and describe any archeological sites found there. As such, Warren explored, measured, and sketched an ancient temple known as Qasr Antar. Here, the visitor passed through a temple, but was then forced to continue upwards along the peak, in a peculiar counter-clockwise spiral pattern, in order to reach the summit.
The southern peak’s rocky terrain had been scooped out to receive ritual libations to the god or gods of the mount. In confirmaiton of this theory, Warren discovered within the area a strange stele (sometimes called Stela, a stone pillar or marker), engraved on one side in ancient Greek. Once translated, the text is chilling to anyone who’s read of the Watcher’s descent onto Hermon and the vow they took to one another there.
“According to the command of the greatest and ost Holy God, those who take an oath, proceed from here.”
After leaving the summit, Warren chose to remove the marker from Hermon’s slopes and carry it down the nine thousand-foot height for transfer to London. As it was 12 inches thick, they sliced it longitudinally to reduce its thickness. Of course it cracked horizontally later. The stele is currently housed at the British Museum, listed as item 1903,0422.1. It is no longer displayed to the public.
During the 1888 Jack the Ripper investigation, Warren’s assistant commissioner for crime was Sir Robert Anderson. Besides holding a degree in law, he also held a degree in divinity and had published many treatises on the prophet Daniel. With the dual mind of both prosecutor and clergyman, Sir Robert calcuated the prophecy of Daniel 9’s famous Seventy Week Vision. He published his thoughts in The Coming Prince, a great book. On page 52, we read a summary of Anderson’s calculations. (Emphasis added)
1. The scepter of earthly power which was entrusted to the house of David, was transferred to the gentiles in the person of Nebuchadnezzar, to remain in Gentile hands “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The blessings promised to Judah and Jerusalem were postponed till after a period described as “seventy weeks”; at the close of the sixty-ninth week of this era the Messiah should be “cut off.”
2. These seventy weeks represent seventy times seven prophetic years of 360 days, to be reckoned from the issuing of an edict for the rebuilding of the city- “The street and rampart,” of Jerusalem. This edict was later issued by Artaxerxes Longitmanus in the twentieth year of his reign, authorizing Nehemiah to rebuild the fortifications of Jerusalem.
3. The date of Artaxerxes’s reign can be definitively determined by the unified voice of secular historians and chronologers.
4. The statement of St. Luke is explicit and unequivocal, Yeshuah’s public ministry began in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. It’s also clear it began shortly before the Passover, the date can thus be fixed between August A.D. 28 and April A.D. 29. The Passover of the crucifixion therefore was in A.D. 32, when Christ was betrayed on the night of the Paschal Supper, and put to death on the day of the Paschal Feast.
5. We should then expect to fid the period intervening between the edict of Artaxerxes and the Passion was 483 prophetic years.
6. The Persian edict which restored the autonomy of Judah was issued in the Hebrew month of Nisan. It may in fact have been dated the 1st of Nisan, but: no other day being named, the prophetic period must be reckoned, according to a pratice common with the Hebrews, from the Hebrew New Year’s Day. The seventy weeks are therefore to be computed from the 1st of Nisan B.C. 445.
7. In B.C. 445 the new moon by which the Passover was regulated was on the 13th of March at 7h. 9m. A.M. And Accordingly the 1st Nisan may be assigned to the 14th March. But the language of prophecy is clear: “From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks.” Therefore, sixty-nine “weeks” or 483 prophetic years reckoned from the 14th March, B.C 445.
8. No student of the Gospel narrative can fail to see that the Lord’s last visit to Jerusalem was not only in fact, but in the purpose of it, the crisis of His ministry, the goal towards which it had been directed. After the first tokens had been given that the nation would reject His Messianic claims, He had shunned all public recognition of them. But now the twofold testimony of His words and His works had been fully rendered, and His entry into the Holy City was to proclaim His Messiahship and to receive His doom. Again and again His apostles even had been charged that they should not make him known. But now He accepted the acclamations of “the whole multitudes of the disciples,” and silenced the remonstrance of the Pharisees with the indignant rebuke, “I tell you if these should hold their peace, the stone would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:39, 40)
9. The time of Jerusalem’s visitation had come, and shew knew it not. Long ere then the nation had rejected Him, but this was the predestined day when their choice must be irrevocable, –The day so distinctly signalized in Scripture as the fulfillment of Zechariah’s Prophecy, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King cometh unto thee!” (Zechariah 9:9) Of all the days of the ministry of Christ on earth, no other will satisfy so well the angel’s words, unto Messiah the Prince.
10. And the date of it can be ascertaind. In accordiance with the Jewish custom, the Lord went up to Jerusalem upon the 8th Nisan, “six days before the Passover.” But as the 14th, on which the Paschal Supper was eaten, fell that year upon a Thursday, the 8th was the preceding Friday. He must have spent the Sabbath, therefore, at Bethany; and on the evenign of the 9th, fter the Sabbth had ended, the Supper took place in Martha’s house. Upon the following day, the 10th Nisan, He entered Jerusalem as recorded in the Gospels.
11. The Julian date of that 10th Nisan was Sunday the 6th April, A.D. 32. What then was the length of the period intervening between the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem nd the public advent of “Messiah the Prince,”– Between the 14th March, B.C. 445, and the 6th April, A.D. 32? THE INTERVAL CONTAINED EXACTLY AND TO THE VERY DAY 173,880 DAYS, OR SEVEN TIMES SIXTY-NINE PROPHETIC YEARS OF 360 DAYS, the first sixy-nine weeks of Gabriel’s prophecy.
And if you wonder at the precision of these statements and calculations, Anderson goes on to explain that he was:
“…Indebted to the courtesy of the Astronomer Royal, whose reply to my inquiry on the subject is appended:
“ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH.”
June 26th, 1877.
“SIR–I have had the moon’s place calculated from Largeteau’s’ Tables in Additions to the Connaisance des Tems, 1846, by one of my assistants, and have no doubt of its correctness. The pace being calculated for–444, March 12d. 20h., rench reckoning, or March 12d. 8h. P.M., it appears that the said time was short of New oon by about 8h. 47m., ad therefore the New Moon occurred at 4h. 47m. A.M., March 13th, Paris time.”
I am, etc,
(Signed,) G.B. AIRY.”
“We now turn to one of the men who hunted Ripper to compute the timing of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Instead of welcoming Him as their Messiah, most in the city saw Him as an invader–even a charlatan. And so, he would be “cut off” and becoe a substitutionary sacrifice in our place.
As Paul says in Hebrews 2:14-15:
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
…Sir Robert Anderson’s calculations give us the very day when the first sixty-nine weeks ended.”
~Excerpt from Giants, Gods, & Dragons, ch. 7.
The Wonder of Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy
Lion of Patmos Lion of Patmos
June 17, 2023
The Wonder of Daniel’s 70 Weeks
While there are 16 dedicated books of prophecy in our Scriptures, though prophecy is evident throughout many of the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Though it is important to know the purpose of prophecy and the role it plays in our Scriptures: why is it there?
The most primary purpose of prophecy is to prove that God is true, and by effectively doing so hundreds of times throughout the Bible no man can plead ignorance in the coming day of judgement. Prophecy displays undeniable proof that Yahweh is God, that He has efficacy in the world, that the Scriptures are His word, and that His promises are kept: time and time again, beyond any iota of doubt.
This explanation for prophecy is one provided by Yahweh Himself in Isaiah, when he challenges the pagan idols to prove that they are gods through a test of prophecy:
Isaiah 41:22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. (KJV)
Of course the idols all being products of vanity they are unable to accomplish this feat which is certainly a small thing for the Almighty God. This purpose for prophecy is again expressed in the New Testament, where in the parable of the wealthy man and Lazarus, the former pleads with Abraham to let him warn his brethren concerning the danger of forthcoming chastisement – but Abraham reminds him that Moses and the prophets are there to teach men that God is true.
Luke 16:29-30 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (KJV)
We also see here that the resurrections of the Christ and His Gospel stand as yet another proof for God.
This is the purpose of prophecy and there are hundreds throughout Scripture, many of which consisting of both a near (temporal) and far (transcendental) vision. Essentially, the ‘near vision’ represents a more immediate dimension which will be fulfilled in short time and prove that the prophet is true and sent from Yahweh. Then the prophecy also contains a layer of a more ultimate transcendental fulfillment, which cannot be fulfilled immediately, and when it is accomplished much later will further glorify God. This ability for Yahweh God to weave the fabric of history in order to rhyme and be bookended in this way is truly awe-inspiring.
If men could understand the identities at play in Scripture then they would be able to interpret prophecy pragmatically, and no one would ever have any so-called “crisis of faith”. But because Judeo-Christians generally lack the Scriptural and historical understanding to interpret most of prophecy due to their deceptions and blindness, it is a common theme for them to entirely ignore it by postponing it to some ambiguous future date. This is widely known as “futurism”, where prophecies are pushed farther away into the future so that men shunning obligations for Christian conduct can feel comfort and security in this society. Many times will the prophecies be interpreted in laughable and “science-fiction” esque manners, which leaves anyone looking in from the outside shaking their head. The Scriptures always provide the pragmatic identification of symbols and themes – for example it is obvious that the locusts of Revelation 9 are men for anyone who has read the book of Joel.
Going further than this, some even have the audacity to discard explicit promises found in the prophets, so that they themselves can better justify lies such as the concept of “Spiritual Israel”.
But these are all deceptions, and prophecy was understood by our ancestors to be living and vigorous: showing the validity of God as history actively progressed. Historicism was the only valid interpretation to early Christians, and remains to be, even though a small inkling of futurism is necessary even in valid historicism.
It is a fact that many of the prophecies found in the Old Testament played out in real time, and concerning the Revelation, John was told that the things being spoken of were to begin to happen immediately. Indeed they have unfolded over the past period of 2000 years – and we are now present in Mystery Babylon where we also await deliverance. It wasn’t until when the Catholic Church was seeking to hide itself from Christian accusations during the reformation that the perverse deceptions of preterism and futurism as they are seen today were formed. But these concepts are nothing more than devices fabricated by the enemies of God to trivialize scripture, pacify men, and relieve themselves of persecution.
Most of Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled, this is a fact, and one of the most awe-inspiring prophecies of Scripture is one which those same enemies of God distaste so much that they will often cover it with a black cloth. They will do this because not only does it prove God to be true without a doubt, but also that Christ is the Messiah, and that there can be no other.
This is Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy:
Daniel was a prophet of the captivity in Babylon, and he was praying regarding the prophesied 70 years that Jerusalem would lay in ruins, as they were revealed unto Jeremiah. Daniel prays as he anticipates the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and after admitting the faults and sins of Israel and Judah, he prays for mercy from the Almighty. Yahweh sends the messenger Gabriel to answer Daniel’s prayer – and not only does Gabriel comfort Daniel that the city will be rebuilt – but he explains to Daniel why it’s being rebuilt: it’s being rebuilt in order to pave a way for the Messiah.
This is the prophecy in full:
Daniel 9:24-27 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. 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. 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. 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.
Now we will examine it verse by verse:
Daniel 9:24 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.
Firstly – it can be established in Scripture (primarily here and elsewhere) that a day in prophecy often represents a year, and therefore a prophetic period 70 weeks amounts to 490 years. Daniel is being by Gabriel told that the rebuilt Jerusalem and remnant nation surrounding it will allow the Messiah to make an end of sin in roughly that amount of time. (It is no coincidence that this same messenger Gabriel appears to be the one who would later announce the advent of the Messiah to Mariam the mother of Christ!) The very purpose of returning to Jerusalem and rebuilding it is identified here as a means to ‘finish the transgression’ and ‘anoint the most Holy’, and this can be seen implicitly in other prophets as well, such as in cursory readings of Haggai and Zechariah.
The reason why this rebuilding of Jerusalem is a Messianic prerequisite is because the Messiah needs to live a perfect life as an unblemished lamb, and this will include things such as Him presenting Himself to the temple three times a year. There are also many other peripheral prophecies at play.
Israel and Judah who have been divorced at this time are paving the way for their own reconciliation, and the means by which this was accomplished by Christ is identified here in Daniel nearly over 450 years before it happened.
To finish the transgression: the transgression is the state of divorce between Christ and Israel – and its annulment was accomplished by Christ as the death of the Husband releases the wife from the penalty of the Law. (Romans 7, Gal 4:5, et al). Christ cried out on the cross “it is finished!”
To make an end for sins: This is a legal end of sins, but not a physical end as sin is still inevitable among men. The difference is that now men have propitiation in Christ and therefore if the seed of Abraham is in you then your sin is not imputed to you any longer. We are now dead in Christ, and consequently we are also alive in Him. (1 John 3:9)
To make reconciliation for iniquity: Christ reconciled divorced Israel to Himself and these were the lost sheep whom He was prophesied to regather in places such as Isaiah 53 and Ezekiel 34. Paul chose to call his ministry one of reconciliation for a reason (2 Cor 5:18). As Paul had written in Ephesians chapter 2, “16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”, or in Colossians chapter 1, “20… having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
To seal up the vision: Now where we see the word seal in Greek, it often means to ‘ensure’ or ‘make it sure’. It’s not “covered up” in this instance, as many would jump to assume in this verse. The NAB uses the word ‘ratified’.
To anoint the most holy: There’s allusions to Christ’s anointing in Zechariah, and Christ – Christos (Χριστός) – literally means anointed in Greek.
The very purpose of the Messiah has been described in detail, but now the timing adds yet another dimension:
Daniel 9:25 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.
It says here that the weeks of the prophecy would not begin until “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem”, and not only the temple or the walls. This is important, and it dates the beginning of the prophecy to the time of Ezra, around 458 BC.
69 weeks: We read in Daniel that from that time “unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks”. That is 69 prophetic weeks, and therefore represents 483 years.
We should acknowledge that dates in ancient history are sometimes complicated to determine, as much of it depends on how men want to rectify the reigns of kings. Discrepancies can result between different chronologies based on whether the first year of the king is counted inclusively or simply counted forward from the time of coronation. While minute at first, this will eventually build up and result in exponential differences between different reckonings as large periods of time progress in the chronology. With that said, while we may be off our estimate here by a short handful of years, the window of time is nevertheless clear and evident through the historical records which survive and remain available to us.
Ezra receives his commission around 458 BC – adding 483 years brings us to 26 AD – Luke 3:1 tells us that Christ began His ministry during the 15th year of Tiberius Ceaser – which was 28 AD.
This is a near exact spot on timing for the beginning of the Messiah’s ministry as we’ve just determined it. How could anyone but God ever give such a perfect window?
Troublous times: These troubling times are seen in Nehemiah and Ezra, as the surrounding nations were significantly adversarial towards the Judeans, Benjamites and Levites who had returned to rebuild Jerusalem. But regardless of their adversity – the city is eventually built. This is giving reassurance to the people that no matter how much adversity they faced, that the city and temple will be rebuilt – because it has to happen – it has to pave a way for the Messiah so that God can keep His promises to Abraham. The prophets Haggai an Zechariah gave similar words of comfort years later when the temple was actually being built. As the years progress, wars are raged around Palestine but Jerusalem herself is never destroyed.
Yahweh has made Himself a wall of fire around Jerusalem until its purpose in the Messiah can be fulfilled. (Zech 2:5)
Daniel 9:26 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.
The threescore and two weeks don’t indicate an immediate expiry, but that this will happen sometime after the date. Any precise reason for its mention appears to be lost to us, but was likely more relevant for the people at the time.
Cut off but not for himself: Christ died for sake of His people, so that He could marry Israel to Himself again and keep the promises which He made to Abraham. He is the man of sorrows, the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 who was “wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Peter noted in his first epistle that the just had died for the sake of the unjust (1 Peter 3:18).
He didn’t die to redeem Himself for anything He did, but for what us, Israel, (the woman), did. As Yahweh told us in Isaiah that He would redeem us without money (52:3), and promised in Hosea that He would betroth us to Him again (2:14-23) – the only legal way of doing that would require His death.
People of the prince: Throughout this entire prophecy the Messiah has been referred to as “the Prince”, and the people of the prince in this verse are the people of that same Messiah. It is told that they will destroy the city of Jerusalem after the Messiah dies, and in 70 AD the Romans did just that. It is perfectly acceptable to identify the Romans as the people of the prince, because they were Trojan Judahites from the Zerah Branch of Judah who were fulfilling the role of kinsman avenger.
Paul recognized and understood Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy, and since the Messiah had already been cut off in his lifetime he was also awaiting the imminent destruction of Jerusalem. Paul logically identified the Romans as the principle “people of the prince” capable of carrying out the task given the political circumstances at the time. This was why Paul says in his epistle to the Romans that they will bruise Satan under their feet shortly (16:20), and he was ultimately correct in this estimation. (It could be conjectured that the specifics were even shown to Him by Christ – 2 Cor 12).
Paul elsewhere identified the Edomites in Jersualem as Satan, in places such as 2 Thessalonians 2, and as vessels of destruction in Romans 9. His reference to them here as Satan is perfectly acceptable, and it is clear in Revelation 2:13 that a portion of these Edomites and other admixed peoples had fled to Pergamos after the destruction of Jerusalem.
Flavius Josephus noted that all the noble peoples left Jerusalem in between the two sieges, and he described the vile character of those who remained. Josephus also wrote elsewhere concerning Essenes being Judahites by birth, and the Idumean heritage of the Herods, among other matters.
Judeo centric commentators are simply unable to connect the Trojan Romans with Christ, because they love antichrists more than they love Jesus, but the context here has not changed. The Prince here is still Christ, and the “people of the prince” are in effect His kinsman avengers.
Desolations: Christ told His opponents that He was to leave their house to them desolate (Matt 23:38), and so it was.
Jeremiah was told that Jerusalem was a broken bottle nation never to be restored (Jer 19:1-11), and the purpose of the 70 weeks nation was only temporary providing a means so that the Messiah could be ushered in and make a remission for errors.
Simply put, the 70 weeks nation never represented any permanent restoration. Once Christ accomplished His mission, there was no longer a reason for Jerusalem to remain any longer and espeically in light of the aforementioned prophecy from Jeremiah.
It is seen in Malachi that in later times the Edomites would return to rebuild the desolate places, and this has indeed been recently fulfilled. What that teaches us is that if anyone dwells in Jerusalem today, they are certainly not Israel.
Neither does the presence of Edomites in Jerusalem make it inhabited, for the same reason that a bastard in Ashdod does not make the city inhabited in the eyes of God (Zech 9:6).
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 abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
In the midst of the week: The ministry of Christ is here dated to be 3.5 years, which is half of one week. In the middle of that week He will die, and when that happens it will cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, because He is the final sacrifice and the Levitical priesthood is hence forward rendered mute.
A 32 AD crucifixion can be assured by comparing Luke 3:1 and the passovers as they are counted in the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John there are three passovers mentioned, (and of course other feasts), and it is during the third that Christ is crucified. We know from Luke that Christ began His ministry around autumn of 28 AD, and counting the passovers in John this brings us to a crucifixion in spring of 32 AD. The relevant verses in John concerning the passovers are 2:13, 6:4, and 11:55.
What an amazing thing, that even the length of the Messiah’s ministry was foretold!
Sacrifice and oblation to cease: There’s no more reason for a Levitical priesthood, as we now have the Melchizedek priesthood (Hebrews 5:6). Unlike the Levites who had to make continuous sacrifices which never provided any permanent propitiation, Christ only needed to make the sacrifice once and never again, as Paul explicitly explains in Hebrews 9:25-26. This is also why Paul said in places such as his epistle to the Galatians that the works of the Law were done away with, which were the rites and practices connected with the Levitical priesthood.
After Christ was crucified, the sacrifices were rendered pointless and ceased in that sense, but they then ceased even further after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. They have not resumed since (except for a very short period during the later Jewish revolt), and there has been no sacrifices made in Jerusalem for 2000 years now.
The fact that the are still no faux sacrifices being made even to this day is made possible through the fact that Yahweh arranged history so that the overspreading of abominations would follow the desolation:
Overspreading of abominations: The abomination of desolation comes after the desolation, and we see it in the genitive case in the Gospels.
This abomination is nothing other than the muslims who came later years and their so-called dome of the rock which has ever since paralyzed the jews in Jerusalem from any attempts at building a “third” temple or resuming sacrifice.
Even until the consummation: The consummation here is the destruction of Jerusalem, but one may importantly observe a transcendental fulfillment here regarding the most ultimate consummation (the Second Coming), and therefore that Jerusalem will remain desolate even until the Second Advent. This again places anyone there today as frauds, as Jerusalem remains desolate in the eyes of God.
That determined shall be poured upon the desolate: This is the cup of Yahweh’s wrath, the destruction of Jerusalem then and the Lake of Fire tomorrow.
We can make some final notes that certain fools have claimed the last week of the prophecy to be speaking of a supposed singular “Antichrist” – despite the Scriptures plainly identifying Antichrists to be a collective entity much like the woman or bride of Christ.
There is no antichrist here.
Christ confirmed the covenant with many for one week: the Antichrist didn’t do that.
Christ caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease: the Antichrist didn’t do that.
And to say that “the Antichrist” confirms a covenant is patently ridiculous and even blasphemous. The entire idea of a “gap theory” is a cover for the crimes of the Edomites who slew Christ, and there is no doubt that their descendants today love and nurture this perverse theory.
Denying that the entirety of this prophecy concerns Christ denies His sacrifice. Period.
To summarize this awe-inspiring prophecy, it efficiently foretold the following:
In 483 years the Messiah is going to be born and this is the very purpose as to why you are going back to rebuild Jerusalem. This Messiah will make an end of sins, and make reconciliation with the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He will be anointed, and therefore you will call Him Christ. The city will be built and remain long enough for all this to happen, even through troublous times.
When the Messiah comes He will have a ministry for three and a half years and then He will die, but not for Himself.
When He dies, He will be the final sacrifice. There will be no need for sacrifices ever again.
After His death, Israelites will come and destroy Jerusalem, and the city will remain desolate.
This prophecy is incredible! Scripture reveals itself even further when this is combined with other awe-inspiring prophecies, such as how Zechariah told us that the Messiah’s name would be Yahshua (through Joshua the high-priest as a type) and that He would be called “THE BRANCH” (Nazarene). We can also consider the Psalms which told us in detail that He would be crucified and by whom, and many other inspired examples.
There is no doubt that Yahweh is God and that Yahshua is the Messiah.
Now that all this is accomplished, anyone who denies Christ as the Messiah is a fool, and it is they who are antichrist.
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