The Prophet’s Prayer: Daniel
By Stanford E. Murrell
The proper study of this chapter should begin with two
"Why was Israel allowed by God to be placed into Babylonian exile?" Second,
"Why did the Exile last only seventy years?" The human response to these
inquires is that the world was filled with powerful, egotistical rulers who
wanted to expand their various empires. Humanity has always been plagued
with the Nimrod's, Nero's, Hitler's, and Sadam Hussein's of this world.
Every generation has them and the ancient world of the sixth century was not
The Divine answer concerning
Israel's history is discovered in 2 Chronicles
36:21. According to the Word of God, Israel was sent into exile because the
nation had neglected a portion of her covenant agreement, which was to let
the land rest every seventh year (Lev. 25:4,5). For 490 years God allowed
His Law to be violated. Then, the Lord "collected" the time owed Him of
seventy years. Now the debt was paid in full in the first year of Darius the
son of Ahasuerus (c. 539 BC). Darius the Mede, as he is better known, may be
identified with Gobryas (Gubaru), the governor of Babylon under Cyrus. He
succeeded Belshazzar (Dan. 5:30, 31). Daniel discovered this truth through a
personal study of another prophet named Jeremiah (25:11; 29:10). Once he
understood that the time of Divine judgment was over and that it was time
for the Jews to return home, Daniel began to pray.
Fifteen Principles of Prayer
1. Prayer is to be made to God who is to be feared and trusted (Dan9: 4).
2. Prayer involves confession of specific sins
(Dan. 9:4,5-6,10-11). Some of
the sins, which Daniel confessed included: rebellion and neglect of the
prophets who had been maligned, mocked and murdered (2 Chron. 36:16)
Confession must be the language of our own conviction. The exceeding
sinfulness of sin must be realized.
3. Prayer includes praise (Dan. 9:4).
4. Prayer is based upon a covenant relationship (Dan. 9:4).
5. Prayer acknowledges the justice of God (Dan. 9:7-8).
6. Prayer appeals to the Divine attributes (Dan.
9:9) of mercy and
7. Prayer reminds God of the desperation of a given situation (Dan. 9:12).
8. Prayer remembers Scripture (Dan. 9:12).
9. Prayer perceives the hardness of the heart (Dan. 9:13).
10. In prayer it is remembered that there is a
consequence to sin (Dan.
11. In the act of prayer hope is found for Divine Deliverance (Dan. 9:15).
12. Prayer pleads for grace (9:16) and reminds God
of His honor before
others (Dan. 9:16b).
13. Prayer longs for peace so that face-to-face
fellowship can be restored
14. True prayer is characterized by passion (Dan. 9:18-19).
The Going forth of the Commandment: Daniel
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 [7 weeks x 7 years = 49 years], and three score and two weeks [62
weeks x 7 years = 434 years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall,
even in troublous times.
1. When did the command go forth to restore and to
build Jerusalem? If that
date can be identified then 490 years later Messiah the Prince would come.
2. History records Four Decrees concerning Israel
following the Babylonian
 The First Decree was given by Cyrus
the Great in BC 536 according
to Ezra 1:1-4. This proclamation is confirmed in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23. It
is instructive that 176 years before he took the throne, the Lord had
already spoken of him by name through the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 44:28). It
may be significant that Cyrus says nothing in the decree about "restoring
and rebuilding Jerusalem." Only the "House of the Lord" or the Temple is
 The Second Decree was given by Darius
the Mede in BC 519. It is
recorded in Ezra 6:1-12. In Ezra 5:1-17 we discover that those who were
trying to rebuild the Temple were being opposed on the basis that they had
no authority to work. An appeal was made to Darius to make a search in the
king's treasure house in Babylon, which was done. The search revealed the
Decree of Cyrus. Therefore, Darius' Decree is simply a re-affirmation of the
Decree of Cyrus with penalties attached. Again, in the Second Decree,
nothing is said about restoring and rebuilding the City, thus confirming the
limitation of Cyrus' decree to the Temple.
 The Third Decree was that of
Artaxerxes, king of Persia, in BC 458.
This was simply a letter giving Ezra permission to go up to Jerusalem and
take with him some of the Priests and Levites, with authority to collect
gold and silver to purchase bullocks, rams, and lambs for offerings in the
Temple. If necessary, the King's Treasurers could also be asked to give to
the extent of "an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of
wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and
salt without prescribing how much" (Ezra 7:11-22). There is nothing in this
Decree that had anything to do with restoring or rebuilding Jerusalem.
 The Fourth Decree was issued by
Artaxerxes Longimanus in BC 445, in
the twentieth year of his reign as recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8. The Decree
was given to Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer, who was a very high official of
the Persian Court. Permission was granted to return to Jerusalem and to
BUILD it. This was a political, not a religious mandate. While the walls
were repaired in 52 days, it took Nehemiah 12 years to rebuild and restore
the city, and re-establish the Law. During this period there was opposition
to the work from such men as Sanballat and Tobiah. It would seem that this
Fourth Decree fits better than the others Daniel's prophecy for we read
that, "The streets shall be build again, and the wall, even in troublous
times." Then, from that period on, we are told that there would be 62 weeks
or 434 years until the Messiah was manifested to Israel. This took place at
the Lord's baptism by John. At thirty years of age Jesus presented Himself
for public ministry and was honored by the Father and the Holy Spirit (Matt.
3:13-17; Luke 4:16-19).
3. Not every Bible teacher agrees that the Fourth
Decree issued by
Artaxerxes Longimanus in BC 445, should be the place to mark the "going
forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem." Matthew Henry
prefers to date the going forth of the decree to the time of Cyrus. In all
honesty, every attempt to be precise in working with ancient date will be
met with frustration. What is certain is that God kept His word. Forty
hundred and ninety years prior to the manifestation of the Messiah, prophecy
was given that He was coming. And in the fullness of time Christ was born.
Something Better than Requested: Daniel
Sometimes when we pray, the Lord answers but in an unexpected way. Daniel
has been asking the Lord foreknowledge as to when the seventy weeks of the
Babylonian Captivity was to end (9:20). That they would end, the prophet was
certain because he had been reading the prophet
Jeremiah. Instead of giving that little tidbit of information, the angel
Gabriel was sent to show the Lord's servant a grandeur view of the future
than he had asked for (9:21-23). Gabriel shows Daniel that there are seventy
weeks determined relative to a redemption from another sort of captivity,
which shall begin with the going forth of the edict to restore and rebuild
Jerusalem. The captivity shall terminate with the death of Messiah the
Prince, and the total abolition of the Jewish sacrifices (9:24). The details
of this general prophecy are provided in verses 24-27.
The Greatest Prophecy Ever Fulfilled
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people
and upon thy holy city, to
the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation
iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the
and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the
going forth of the
restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven
and three score and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the
in troublous times.
26 And after three score and two weeks shall
Messiah be cut off, but not for
and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the
and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war
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
of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and
determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
1. In order to appreciate prophecy, it must be
kept in mind that the
prophets did not express their own personal views. The bible states plainly
that the prophets told what God the Holy Spirit instructed them to tell.
"For the prophecy came not in old time by will of man, but holy men of God
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21).
2. All the prophecies concerning Christ were
fulfilled (Luke 24:44)
including those given by Daniel.
3. In Daniel's vision of seventy weeks, the weeks
stand for years to total
four hundred and ninety (490) years. The first sixty-nine (69) weeks measure
a period of four hundred and eighty three (483) years followed by the
seventieth (70th) week of year or seven (7) years for a total of four
hundred and ninety (490) years.
4. Since the first sixty-nine (69) weeks were
literally fulfilled by the
return of the Jews from Babylon to Israel to rebuild the city of Jerusalem,
there is no compelling reason to believe that the final week is not also
fulfilled and that it naturally followed the 69th week in chronological
5. There is no time gap indicated in the
Scriptural narrative. There is a
theory that a time gap exists. (A theory, according to Webster's dictionary,
is an unproven assumption, or a hypothesis accepted for the sake of
argument). It has been suggested that a "Prophetic Time Clock" stopped at
the end of the sixty-ninth (69th) week of years or after 483 years. The
purpose of this time stoppage, according to the theory, is so that national
Israel can, in the future, experience the seventieth (70th) week in the form
of a great tribulation. It is argued that one day Israel (and the whole
world) shall suffer for seven (7) years while being deceived by the
Anti-Christ who will lead the world into the greatest battle of human
history called Armageddon. Of course none of these events are mentioned in
6. The basic question of concern is this: "Did the
70th week follow the 69th
week?" If the seventieth (70th) week did follow the sixty-ninth (69th) week,
then the "Postponement Theory" and the "Prophetic Clock" concept and all the
rest can be exchanged for the simplicity of the Word of God, which lives and
abides forever. It is significant to note that Christendom did not know
these theories until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In contrast to
these recently developed spectacular theories is God's specific ancient
wording to Daniel, which was that "seventy weeks are determined." This divine
decree, in context, does not allow the separation of one week from the
initial sixty-nine (69) weeks by a long period of time.
7. A comparison of this passage can be made with
other time passages in
scripture. For example, when the prophecy of Christ was made that He was to
be buried and rise again on the third day, there was no other day that the
Lord could have risen and still fulfilled prophecy. When Joseph prophesied
of seven fat years followed by seven years of famine, there was no
indeterminate time between fulfillment. When Jeremiah prophesied of seventy
years captivity in Babylon it all happened on schedule with one year
following the next for seventy years. The seventieth year did not find
fulfillment hundreds of years later. God keeps His appointments on schedule.
A break or long postponement in prophecy does not make a fulfillment
possible. Deuteronomy 8:22 says, When a prophet speaketh in the name of the
Lord, if the thing follow not [no postponement permitted] no come to pass,
that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath
spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him. Jesus Himself
said that the scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35).
8. A careful examination of Daniel 9:24-27 reveals
that the prophet wrote
about the consummation of Jewry, not its exaltation and eventual
9. To be specific, Daniel was told of many things
that would happen to the
Jews and to the Holy City following the Babylonian Captivity. It was decreed
that Jerusalem was to be restored (9:25) "for the street shall be built
again, and the wall even in troublous times." The account of this work of
rebuilding Jerusalem is given in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
10. Following the seventy years of Babylonian
Captivity, God was determined
to restore Israel back to her land for at least four hundred and ninety more
years as reflected in the prophecy (9:24). The weeks of years principle can
be found in other passages such as Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:4-6.
11. In that four hundred and ninety years period
several things would happen
in the history of national Israel. Some would be good, some would be bad.
 First, it was determined that Israel
"would finish the
transgression." The transgression of Israel had for a long time been the
focus of the messages from God's prophets. It was for their transgressions
that the Jews had gone into captivity in 721 BC under the Assyrians and then
in 586 BC under the Babylonians. It was for their transgressions that the
land of Palestine had been made desolation for seventy years. Daniel himself
had confessed this by saying: "Yea, all have transgressed thy law, even by
departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore, the curse is
poured upon us."
As sad as this was the angel Gabriel revealed to
Daniel the distressing news
that as badly as Israel had behaved in the past, she would yet sin again to
an even greater extent. Yes, Israel would be restored to her land following
the seventy years in Babylon. Yes, the Holy Temple would be rebuilt. Yes,
the wall of the holy city Jerusalem would be made secure once more but only
so that the full measure of Israel's transgression might be made complete
for it was to be the fate of the nation that the Messiah would come only to
be killed by a mindless Jewish mob.
Turning to the New Testament, we read that the
Messiah did come to Israel.
Jesus knew what Daniel had said and the other prophets. After bringing a
railing accusation against the Jewish leaders the Lord said, Fill ye up the
measure of your fathers... that upon you may come all the righteous blood
shed upon the earth (Matt. 23:32-35).
With these words Jesus declared that the hour had
come in His day for Israel
to "finish the transgression" of rejecting all the words of warning, all of
the prophets, all the means of grace even to that which was offered by the
Messiah. There would be a terrible price to pay by Israel for the
transgression. Jesus predicted an awful doom upon the beloved city and its
people. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon THIS
generation (Matt. 23:36).
Again, the Lord said, Behold, your house is left
unto you desolate. When the
transgression of the Jewish nation was finished as predicted by Daniel, then
was brought to pass the words spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost
concerning Christ. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and
slain (Acts 2:33).
Paul confirms that the crucifixion of Christ was
the crowning sin of Israel
(1 Thessalonians 2:15- 16) adding that the wrath of God would come upon
Israel to the uttermost. The wrath of God did come. The year was AD 70.
Jerusalem was destroyed. The Holy Temple was laid waste. The blood
sacrifices were made to cease and the Jewish people were scattered t the
nations of the earth.
Israel had broken her covenant vow. Israel had
tried to kill her Husband.
Israel had committed spiritual fornication. Finally, the transgression
completed, the Lord gave the true kingdom covenant blessing to a nation
bringing forth the fruits of Christ (Matt. 21:43) which 1 Peter 2:9 declares
to be the true Israel of God, the CHURCH of the living God. Be ye are a
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of
darkness into his marvelous light.
 Returning to Daniel 9:24 the prophecy
says again, Seventy weeks are
determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city...to make an end of sins.
The things that happened in Israel during the four hundred and ninety—(490)
year period brought an end to sins. How was this possible? The answer is the
Cross. The wrath of man manifested against Christ (Psa. 76:10) at the
Cross-became the means that God used to put away the sins of the elect and
to make an end of sins. On the Cross, the Lord Jesus offered the one
sacrifice for sins forever (Heb. 10:2). The Lord did not die in vain. He
died in order to purge His people from all their sins (Heb. 1:3).
 The third expression in Daniel 9:24
is also instructive. The
prophet was told that, Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon
thy holy city ...to make reconciliation for iniquity.
Reconciliation signifies the bringing back
together those who were rebels
and enemies. Man has been a rebel against God by nature and by choice since
the fall of Adam. In his heart man has been disloyal and non-submissive to
God. In His justice and righteousness God has had to punish this revolt
against Divine authority. Yet the character of God also enjoys displaying
grace and mercy. The only way for grace and mercy to be freely expressed
without compromising justice and righteousness is for the sin issue to be
dealt with. Sin must be punished before there is a basis for reconciliation.
Selecting the nation Israel to work through, God
the Father decreed a plan
of salvation to be expressed in time with the end result being the making of
reconciliation for iniquity. It happened at the Cross (Col. 1:12-22). As a
result of the death of Christ, those who have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins are reconciled.
 The fourth thing Daniel was told by
the angel Gabriel is that,
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city...to
bring in everlasting righteousness. Jeremiah had prophesied of this bringing
in of righteousness. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will
raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and
shall execute judgment and justice in earth...and this is his name whereby
he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Within the four hundred and ninety-(490) year time
frame it was determined
by God that through the nation Israel and in the Holy City of Jerusalem
something would happen to bring in everlasting righteousness. Something did
happen within the specified time. The Messiah came to Israel and established
the kingdom of God in His righteousness through Jesus Christ (Matt. 6:33 cp.
Rom. 14:17). History records that a work of righteousness was done in Israel
on a Cross outside the Holy City. Christ was made unto us righteousness (1
Cor. 1:30). For God hath made Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that
we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).
 The fifth thing the angel told Daniel
was that, Seventy years are
determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city in order to...seal up the
vision and prophecy. In order to fully appreciate the meaning of these words
it must be kept in mind that the whole vision that Daniel was allowed to
see, set forth the goodness and the severity of God. The severity of God is
manifested in that He allowed Israel to continue their rebellion against
Himself by abusing the prophets and by killing the Messiah. The severity of
God is manifested in that He was determined to seal up the vision and the
prophecy (Isa. 6:10) for where there is no vision the people will perish.
God can be very severe (cp. Isa. 6:9-10; 29:9-10).
The conclusion of the matter is that the spiritual
blindness of national
Israel was complete when the Messiah arrived within the designated
time-frame. Though the Jewish leaders read the scriptures daily, they heard
not the ancient voices and so they fulfilled them in condemning Him (Acts
13:26 cp. Luke 23:34). Twice in the New Testament our Lord applied the
prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10 to the Jews of Israel (Matt. 13:11-13). By
appealing to the prophet Isaiah, the Lord taught that He Himself was sealing
up the visions and the prophecies so that the Jews of His day would have no
more light from God because their transgression against God was fulfilled.
The racial Jew was to know the severity of God. Only the regenerate Jew,
only those who had the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, only the elect of
God would see and hear and understand (Matt. 13:16; cp. John 12:37-41 and
Acts 28:24-27 with Romans 11:22).
 Returning to Daniel 9:24 there is a
sixth thing that the angel
shared with the prophet. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and
upon thy holy city...to anoint the Most High. The Most High is the Lord
Jesus Christ. Of Himself the Lord said, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent
me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and
recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19).
For three and one half (3 1/2) years the Lord
Jesus did all of this before
He was "cut off for His people" (Dan. 9:26). All of the four gospels
describe in detail, How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit
and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were
oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him (Acts 10:38).
The ultimate anointing of the Most Holy person of
Christ came with His
resurrection as Hebrews 1:9 explains. He was anointed with the oil of
gladness above His fellows. Paul declares that, God hath highly exalted Him,
and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things
under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11).
12. In Daniel 9:25ff the certainty of all the
prophetic utterances being
fulfilled is reinforced by further details being given concerning the time
frame. Daniel is instructed to know certain things. The prophet of God is to
know that From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build
Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score
and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in
13. Within the four hundred and eighty three (483)
years [7 weeks of 7 years
= 49 years + 62 weeks of 7 years = 434 years or 49 + 434 = 483 years] from
the issuing of the royal decree to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem, the
Messiah did appear. When He came there were souls who recognized Him (John
1:41) because He was expected (Luk2 25-35).
14. The heart of Daniel must have shuddered at the
next statement of the
holy angel for it was revealed that, "...after threescore and two weeks
[i.e. after the 483 years] shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself.
15. The time period is plain. Within the first
seven weeks or forty nine
(49) years Jerusalem was to rebuilt following the Babylonian Captivity.
Then, after four hundred and thirty four (434) more years the Messiah was to
appear. Next would come the final one week of seven (7) years.
16. Two questions are raised.
 Did the final, seventieth (70th),
week follow the sixty ninth week?
 At what point in the Messiah's ministry did the prophecy occur
which would mark the BEGINNING of the final week?
17. The key to understanding the answer is in the
name "Messiah." After four
hundred and eighty three (483) years Messiah was to appear. After four
hundred and eighty three (483) years Messiah did appear to Israel at the
river Jordan in the person of Jesus Christ. Peter bore witness to this fact
when he said that, God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and
18. The baptism of Jesus marked precisely when the
seventieth (70th) week
began. In this seven (7) year period of one prophetic week the six predicted
features of Daniel 9:24 came to fulfillment as well as the features of
Daniel 9:27. ....He [the Messiah] 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...
19. The pronoun reference "He" in 9:27 can only
refer to the Messiah of 9:26
and no one else. This true from a grammatical point for the antecedent of a
pronoun reference cannot be the object of a modifying clause. Therefore, the
"prince" of 9:26 is not in view or the "people" of the same verse for that
word is plural in number and the pronoun is singular. The only alternative
in 9:26 is "Messiah." The Messiah was to confirm the covenant with many for
20. The word for confirm means "to ratify." Since
it is not possible to
confirm or ratify something unless it is in existence the covenant that the
Messiah ratified must have been in existence. Theologians refer to this
existing covenant as the Covenant of Work which was first made with Adam.
The provision of the Covenant were that obedience
brought life and
disobedience brought judgment and death. The First Adam failed to keep the
provision of obedience thereby breaking the Covenant of Works. The Last Adam
[the Messiah] did not fail to be obedient but fulfilled all the provisions
of the Covenant of Works. He was perfect. The Messiah kept all of the Law of
Moses and then He did more. The Messiah instituted a New Covenant of Grace
based upon His substitutionary death at Calvary.
The New Covenant is an everlasting covenant. It
was instituted during the
last week of Daniel's prophetic vision but is destined to endure for
eternity. This New Covenant Of Grace is explained in detail in Hebrews 8 and
9. In Hebrews 8:8-13 and 10:15-17 the Holy Author of scripture declares that
the New Covenant (cp. Matt. 26:28) is the fulfillment of the promise of
21. The New Covenant of Grace, confirmed by the
Messiah, is said to be made
with "many" according to Daniel 9:27. Not all people shall be saved but many
will be. The New Testament agrees. Matthew 1:21 declares that the Messiah
was to, Save His people from their sins. In Matthew 26:28 Jesus said, This
is my blood of the New Covenant shed for many for the remissions of sins
(cp. Isa. 53:11; Luke 1:16; 2:34; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 5:19).
22. While "confirming the covenant" in fulfillment
of Daniel 9:27, the
Messiah was able to, cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. With
these words the prophecy was made that the Messiah would make an end to all
the Old Testament sacrifices if not in literal practice as least as to their
necessity. Hebrews 8-10 sets forth in great detail and with great emphasis
the abolishing of the demands of the Law of Moses with all the sacrifices
and ritual. For the Christian community the sacrifices of bulls and goats
have ceased. Hebrews 10:9 is the fulfillment of Daniel 9:27. The reality of
the death of Christ dispels the shadows forever.
23. The final important phrase of Daniel 9:27 is
that which says the work of
the Messiah would be such that the way would be paved, ...for the
overspreading of abominations; he shall make it desolate, even until
consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. The
Revised Standard Version makes this passage a little easier to understand:
and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until
the decreed end is poured out on the desolate.
24. The desolate was Israel who had killed the
prophets of God. Israel had
also rejected the Messiah. Israel had refused to repent. Israel had
crucified the Lord of Glory. God therefore decreed that Israel would be made
desolate in fulfillment of Daniel prophecy and it was.
In all of its essential parts, the prophecy given
to Daniel was fulfilled.
There is only one other factor to consider and that is the reference by the
Lord to "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet
standing in the Holy Place" (Matt. 24:15). As the Lord was fulfilling the
prophecy of Daniel, He appealed to the prophet's previous prediction
concerning ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES (IV) who was the ruler of Syria from 175-164
Antiochus was the "little horn" of Daniel 8:9. In
a vain attempt to
influence the Jews with Greek culture Antiochus performed an abomination of
desolation when he offered a pig on the altar of the temple in Jerusalem to
Zeus thereby desecrating the holy altar.
With that historical allusion in mind, Jesus, in
Matthew 24:15 tells the
Jews that the same TYPE of thing will happen again in their generation. The
Lord had in mind the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.
25. The destruction of the Holy Temple would have
happened soon after the
death of Christ except for one fact. While He was on the Cross-Jesus prayed
for the people and God delayed the execution of His judgment until AD 70
(cp. Luke 19; 21; Matt. 23).
26. In AD 70, Israel was made even more desolate
for there did come one upon
the wings of abominations in the person of the Roman general Titus. In AD 70
Rome was weary of the Jewish revolts. For three and one half (3 1/2) years
Rome laid seized to Jerusalem and finally conquered the city completely. The
Holy Temple was destroyed and the prophecy of Christ in Matthew 24:15, using
a previous typology provided by Daniel in the form of Antiochus, was finally
General Notes: Part I – Daniel 9:24-27
1. It has been the historical position of the
church (prior to the 20th
century) that Jesus is the fulfillment of this great prophecy reflected in
the writing of men such as Matthew Henry.
2. The prophecy begins with a time period of
seventy weeks being divinely
appointed for Israel.
3. The seventy weeks or 490 days were symbolic of
years-- each day
representing a year for a total time period of 490 years. This same
year-for-a day principle was familiar in Jewish literature and is so used in
Numbers 13:14 and Ezekiel 4:46.
4. Within the divinely appointed measurement of
time a subdivision was made
into three parts: 49 years (7 weeks), then 434 years (67 weeks) and the
final 7 years (the 70th week).
5. The beginning of the divinely appointed time
table was to be recognized
with "the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem."
6. When Daniel received this prophecy the Temple
in Jerusalem and the city
was in ruin. Daniel and many others were captives in Babylon. However,
Daniel took hope as he read the prophet Jeremiah. The Lord had told Jeremiah
that the captivity would only last 70 years (Dan. 9:2 cp. Jer. 29:10).
7. The prophet Isaiah added more details by predicting that a man named
Cyrus would come to power and place into effect the will of the Lord to
return the Jews back to Israel from their exile in Babylon (Isa. 45).
8. In the providence of God, Cyrus did come to
power. He did set the Jewish
captives free and he did issue a royal decree that resulted in the
rebuilding of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem (Ezra).
9. The going forth of the decree of Cyrus to
rebuild Jerusalem legally
brought to an end the 70th year of captivity. It also began the 490-year
time period of Daniel 9:24-27.
10. As Daniel had predicted, admidst great
opposition the first segment of
seven weeks (or 49 years) was fulfilled as the city was rebuilt.
11. The next segment of time, 62 weeks (or 434)
began the extended
expectation for the fullness of time when the Messiah was to be born.
12. After the long centuries of waiting had
passed, students of the scared
Scriptures were expecting the Messiah.
13. This high feeling of anticipation was
reflected in the hearts of the
people who knew John the Baptist (Luke 3:15 and John 1:20).
14. So it was that at the exact time
prophesied--483 years from the proper
starting point Jesus Christ was baptized. "The time is fulfilled" (Mk. 1:15)
said the Lord on that momentous occasion.
15. As the first 489 years had been fulfilled in
sequence so the 70th week
(or 7 years) would be fulfilled. Daniel had predicted that AFTER the 69th
week Messiah was to be cut off. That means that in the 70th week of prophecy
the Messiah was to die and that is exactly what happened. Jesus ministered
for 3 1/2 years and was crucified.
16. Herod the Great and others tried desperately
to kill Jesus before His
time but the Father would not allow it to happen. A definite time had been
established by God, predicted by Daniel, and was recognized by Christ (John
7:30; 2:4; 7:6 cp. Matt.26: 18;John 17:1; Matt.26: 45).
With the death of Christ eleven predictions uttered by Daniel were
fulfilled. The prophet had stated that:
1. Jerusalem was to be restored.
2. The streets and walls were to be rebuilt in troublous times.
4. The Most Holy was to be anointed. Luke 3:21,22
records the anointing of
Christ (Luke 4:18-22; Acts 10:38).
5. Messiah was to be cut off (Matt. 27).
6. The Messiah would come "to finish the
transgressions" after 69 weeks (483
years). At Calvary Jesus cried "It is finished." (John 19:30 cp. Isa.
7. The Messiah would come "to make an end of
sins." At Calvary there really
was an END made of sins (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 9:26; 9:22).
8. The Messiah was "to make reconciliation for
iniquity." The following
passages explained this part of our Lord's redemptive work (Heb. 2:17; Col.
1:20- 22; 2 Cor. 5:19; Isa. 53:6).
9. The Messiah was "to bring in everlasting
righteousness" (2 Cor. 5:21;
Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 9:12).
10. The Messiah was to seal up the vision and
prophecy. In the ancient world
it was the custom of attaching a seal to a document for the purpose of
documenting its authenticity (1 Kings 21:8; Jer. 32:10,11 cp. John 6:27; 1
Cor. 9:2). Jesus Christ "sealed" the Old Testament prophecy by fulfilling
all that was written of Him (Acts 3:18; study also Isa. 29:10-13 with Rom.
11:25, 1 Cor. 3:14).
11. The Messiah shall confirm the covenant. The
covenant of the New
Testament was confirmed by the death of Christ, by His shed blood (Matt.
26:28; Heb. 9:14,15; Heb. 8:6; 12:29).
12. The Messiah was to cause the sacrifices and
the oblation to cease (Heb.
9-10). In the scriptural sense atoning sacrifices ended with Jesus Christ on
Calvary's Cross. The Jews continued their sacrifices as do orthodox Jews
even today but in the sight of God, it was and is all-unnecessary. As the
first half of the 70th week was directed toward Israel so was the last half.
Jesus had said He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt.
15:24; 10:5,6) and so were the disciples. After His resurrection Jesus
pointed to the disciples to preach first in Jerusalem (Mark 16:15; Matt.
28:19; Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:16; Acts 3:25,26; 13:46). The disciples obeyed. Time
passed. The 70th week was fulfilled and the Lord gave instruction to go
beyond Jerusalem to the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 11:14,18). God's
measurement of time ended 3 and 1/2 years after the ascension of Christ.
Daniel had also told that Jerusalem and the Temple was to be destroyed (Dan.
9:26). History confirms that this happened in AD 70 (Lev. 26:30-33).
General Notes: Part II—Daniel 9:24-27
It is AFTER 69 weeks that Messiah shall be cut off. Webster defines "after"
as meaning "subsequently to"; "later than." The Messiah was predicted to be
cut off after the 69th week or in the 70th week. Jesus was cut off in the
70th week so ALL of this prophecy finds historical fulfillment.
Daniel does not state that the people of the Prince were to cause the
destruction in the final seven-year period. Only that within the seven year
period the destruction was determined.
There are 281 references to "covenant" in the Scripture. None of them have
reference to the idea of a covenant between the Jews and the Antichrist.
However, there are many references to the covenant between believers and the
Messiah (Jer. 31:31-33 cp. Heb. 8:7-13).
He shall Confirm the Covenant
The Hebrew word is "bereeth" which is only used in connection with a divine
covenant. It is never used to designate a "league" with any power or force
but is always reserved to describe a covenant between God and man.
Four times in the Bible reference is made to a command or decree concerning
the rebuilding of the Temple or Jerusalem.
 The command of Cyrus (Ezra 1:2-3) in
538 (or 536). This command was
itself a fulfillment of prophecy by Isaiah (44:28). Jerusalem and the Temple
were to be rebuilt.
 The decree of Darius (Ezra 6:1-18) in
519 or 520 BC This decree was
made after the command of Cyrus was discovered in the house of rolls
instructing the Temple to be rebuilt.
 The decree of Artzxerxes (Ezra
7:1,11-26) in 457 BC This decree was
to restore the worship of the Temple (v. 17) to furnish it (v. 18-19) and to
establish a law of order in the land (v. 25).
 The permission of Artzxerxes
(Nehemiah 1-2) in 445 BC Nehemiah was
to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Accepting the decree of Artaxerxes in 457
BC as the one referred to in Daniel 9:25, then 483 years latter would arrive
at the year AD 26 when Jesus was 30 years old.
General Notes: Part III—Daniel 9:24-27
In context, Daniel had requested that there be no deferment and no
procrastination concerning the forgiveness of his people (9:19). While the
prophet was praying, God sent His angelic servant Gabriel to tell Daniel
that his prayer would be honored. A specific unit of time of 490 years had
been decreed to pass (9:24) during which period definite things would happen
to the Jews and to the holy city of Jerusalem (9:24):
 transgressions would be finished.
 sins would come to an end.
 reconciliation would be made for iniquity.
 the everlasting righteousness would be brought in.
 visions and prophecies would be sealed up.
 the Most Holy would be anointed.
The 490-year prophetic calendar clock would start
to tick when Cyrus the
Great of Persia issued his decree for the Jews to return to their homeland.
Then, seven (7) and sixty two (62) weeks (totaling 69 weeks of years) and
Messiah the Prince would come (9:25). During the course of the first portion
of four hundred and eighty three (483) year period,
 the streets of Jerusalem would be
 and there would be troublesome times (Dan. 9:25). After the 483
year period, a final week of seven (7) years period was to exist during
which the Messiah was to be cut off, but not for Himself (Dan. 9:26).
The Messiah was to be cut off in order to confirm
[cause to prevail] the
covenant [of redemption] with [the] many [the elect, Isa. 53; Matt. 24:21].
this cutting off of the Messiah was to happen in the middle of the week or
after 3 years of public ministry. Again, definite things would
happen [at Calvary]. 1. The sacrifices and oblations were to cease. 2.
Desolation was to be made of abominations. 3. Judgment would be poured out
upon those made desolate. This judgment was to come in the form of a [Roman]
general [named Titus]. He it was who is in view in Daniel 9:26b as "the
people of the Prince [Messiah]" (cp. Matt. 27:50). Concerning this portion
of the prophecy certain things can be said.
1. It is a grammatical not a chronological
parenthesis. This is not uncommon
in Scripture as per Psalm 49:8; Mark 2:10; John 4:2; 7:39; Romans 5:13-17;
Philippians 3:18-19. So we read that "Messiah shall be cut off" (parenthesis
of announced judgment upon Israel in AD 70 by Christ) "and He shall confirm
the covenant" [cause to prevail] [the covenant].
2. 2. It is Christ Himself who gives us
the time of the fulfillment of this
parenthetical reference to a coming judgment. It shall be within the
generation that Christ lived in (cp. Matt. 24:34).
3. Some Bible scholars, such as John Wilmot, have
placed the subject of
Daniel 9:26a with 9:27a and the event of 9:26b with 9:27b.
4. Unless indicated by chronological or
grammatical parenthesis, time units
flow on naturally and fulfill the prophecy given.
 Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40;
Galatians 3:17 speak of a 430 year
 Genesis 45:6 speaks of a 7 year time period
 Jeremiah spoke of a 70 year time period
 Christ spoke of being in the grave three days and three nights.