By Jay Rogers
Published May 1, 2008
This now is the fourth vision of Daniel. According to Daniel 9:1, the vision occurs “in the first year of Darius” the Mede (BC 538). Daniel was ardently praying for the Jews in captivity when the angel appeared to him and gave him further revelation of things to come in the history of the Jews up to the time of the coming of the Messiah.
Note that these revelations progress from the king’s dream interpreted, to Daniel’s dream, to Daniel’s open vision, and now to the angel Gabriel, whom Daniel had seen in the first dream, now appearing to him by sight and even touching him physically.
20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
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.
Seventy weeks of years, i.e., 490 years, are determined until the time of the coming of the Messiah, the Christ. The Hebrew word for week is the same as the word for “seven.”
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 .
From the going forth of the commandment — From the 20th year of King Artaxerxes, in BC 457, when by his commandment Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2).
Seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks — From the time of 457 BC, according to the best chronology, there were just 69 weeks of years (483 years) to the baptism of Jesus Christ, in AD 27, when he first began to preach and execute the office of the Messiah.
Seven weeks precede the sixty-two weeks. John Calvin writes:
This is evident from the history of the Maccabees, as well as from the testimony of the evangelist John; and we may collect the same conclusion from the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, as the building of the Temple was interrupted during forty-six years. Cyrus permitted the people to build the Temple; the foundations were laid when Cyrus went out to the war in Scythia; the Jews were then compelled to cease their labors, and his successor Cambyses was hostile to this people. Hence the Jews say, (John 2:20,) Forty-six years was this Temple in building, and wilt thou build it in three days? They strive to deride Christ because he had said, Destroy this Temple, and I will rebuild it in future days, as it was then a common expression, and had been handed down by their fathers, that the Temple had occupied this period in its construction. If you add the three years during which the foundations were laid, we shall then have forty-nine years, or seven weeks.
Even in troublous times — This refers to the difficulties and obstacles Nehemiah met in building, and to the shortness of time in which they finished the wall, i.e., fifty-two days.
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.
And after threescore and two weeks — Sixty-two weeks. Verse 26 does not include the “seven weeks” of verse 25, but “seven weeks” (during which time the Temple was rebuilt) must precede the “62 weeks” to equal the same “69 weeks” of verse 25.
Shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself — Christ was not cut off himself, except as an offering to the Jews who rejected him. After 40 years (Matt. 24:34) of offering the Gospel to the Jews, their nation was “cut off” from God together with the Temple offerings.
And the people of the prince — The Roman legions under their general, Titus, the son of the Emperor Vespasian.
The war desolations — Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70.
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, or, in the middle of the week. Christ preached for no more than three years and then by His sacrifice on the cross abolished all the sacrifices of the law.
The overspreading of abominations — This refers to the “abomination of desolation” the bringing of ensigns and standards of the pagan Romans in to the Temple. Antiochus Epiphanes of the Assyrians profaned the Temple restored in the time of Ezra. Titus, Roman destructor of Herod’s Temple, profaned the Temple in AD 70. This was the direct cause of the profanation of the Temple by Jews who rejected the Messiah.
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