At the end of Daniel 8 we left Daniel in a state of astonishment, he was even sick for a few days. The RSV reads that “he was appalled and did not understand the vision”. In the introduction of Daniel 8 we have mentioned that in the Hebrew there are two words for ‘vision’: ‘Chazon’ which covers all of the vision and ‘Mareh’ which deals with part of that vision. In Daniel 8:27 the Hebrew word for vision used is ‘Mareh’ part of all the vision of Daniel 8. The question may be raised, which part of the total vision had made Daniel sick and he did not understand? The obvious answer is that it is the part not explained by the angel, the time factor of Daniel 8:14. It would take 2300 days/years before the sanctuary would be cleansed or restored. Daniel’s concept of a sanctuary was related to Jerusalem which was still in ruins. He was accustomed to pray with his face towards Jerusalem, Dan.6:10.
Dr.Pfandl writes: “…..he longed to know what the long time period of 2300 evenings and mornings meant. According to Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer.29:10), the time for the return of the Jews to Jerusalem in 539BC was close at hand. Yet in his last vision, the angel had told him that it would be 2300 prophetic days before the sanctuary would be restored. Daniel no doubt feared that God somehow intended to prolong the period of captivity. In response to these concerns the Lord sent Gabriel to assure him that it was not the case. The first 490 years of the 2300, he learned, had special significance for the Jews, for toward the end of the period the promised Messiah would come.” (Pfandl p.94)
However before the angel appears to Daniel he has done some searching and praying himself, and that is dealt with in the first part of Daniel 9 and we will start to go through that part first.
It is the first year of Darius, the ruler over the realm of the Chaldeans or the defeated Babylonian empire which is described in Daniel 5. The year is 539 BC or ten years after the vision of Daniel 8 (Dr.Pfandl page 94) and actually this chapter would fit near chapter 6. Daniel 7 and 8 happened before Daniel 6 in the time of the reign of King Belshazzar. Chapter 5 is about the demise of Babylon and the take over by the Medes and Persians and in chapter 6 Daniel is given administrative power in the new government and betrayed by his fellow administrators, and his miraculous delivery from the lions’ den. Most likely the experience of Daniel 6 may have happened after Daniel’s prayer of chapter 9 and his appeal to God that the time for delivery of the Jews from captivity was near. The delivery of the Jews was set into motion after Daniel’s delivery from the lions and a decree was issued in writing by Darius. (Dan.6:25-27). This also may have been the time to make known to Cyrus that 100 years before his birth his name was mentioned as the one through whom God would deliver His people from captivity, Isa.45:1, 2, 4 and 13.
We learn that Daniel did some searching in the holy writings himself regarding the length of time of the captivity. We estimate that his age had past eighty years and this may have urged him also to look for the time of delivery. Daniel found Jer.25:11 and 29:10 where it says that the time would be 70 years which is in harmony with 2Chron. 36:21. Seventy years is much shorter than the 2300 days/years he is concerned about and which made him sick, Dan.8:27. There is also quite a length of time between the sickness of Daniel over the time problem and the opening of Daniel 9 which would lead to the understanding of Daniel 8:27. Dr.Doukhan writes: Daniel had to wait 13 years to receive light on the subject. We are now in the first year of the reign of Darius (538BC) a year stamped with the seal of hope. It is the same year of Daniel’s encounter with the lions, of his rescue by the angel”. (Doukhan page 135) You may notice that Doukhan uses a different date than Pfandl, just a year difference. That should not be of a concern. About the time between Daniel 8 and 9 Pfandl says approximately 10 years and Doukhan says 13 years that also should not be a concern.
Daniel humbles himself before God inside and outside in the deepest sense possible. When we met trouble and facing humanly speaking unsurmountable problems it is good to humble ourselves before God and present our case to God, He is our refuge.(Ps.46:1) Daniel’s prayer clearly shows regret, sorrow and remorse over the past. In spite of the fact that he stands in high regard by God, “man greatly beloved”, (9:23; 10:11) Daniel associates himself with the people who have sinned. He even confesses his own sins, (9:20) while his enemies could not find anything wrong with him (6:4), he knows himself a sinner before God. Rom.3:23; 2Chron.6:36. That there is no one who does not sin is fully recognised by Daniel.
Daniel makes confession to the true God of whom he knows is merciful and keeping the covenant to those who love Him and keep His commandments.
Daniel 9:5, 6
He confesses the sins of iniquity and rebellion and refusing to listen to the prophets. Daniel is not too proud not to include himself in the sins of the people. He speaks in terms of “we” and “our” that is inclusive. Daniel suffers with the people who have committed those sins. It teaches us a lesson that we all have sinned and are in need of God’s grace and mercy.
Here Daniel describes what belongs to God, righteousness, but to the people confusion and separation from God, and dispersed in different countries, the Diaspora, Isa.59:1, 2.
Again Daniel repeats his statements about what belongs to God and to the people. He again mentions the sins they have committed. Regarding God’s mercy reads Ex.34:6, 7. And read Jer.3:25; 8:14 about the sins of the people and also Isa.42:14. These things are not said because there would be salvation in law keeping, but that the people have ignored what God has done for them and they have not given to God their gratitude for what He has done. In both renderings of the Ten Commandments in Ex.20:2 and Deut.5:6 the introduction states “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
God first gives and then He asks. Read also Rom.5:6, 8 and 10 what God has done first. In Deut 5:15 God says,” remember what you have been”. This is not a bribe, but to create love for God in our hearts. Jesus taught the same in John 14:15 and also we have not chosen Him, but He has chosen us, John 15:16
Here Daniel again admits that all that has happened is because of the people’s sin and was already spoken about by Moses. Read Deut.28 where Moses presented to the people the blessing and the curse. The consequences of transgression and the result of obedience are clearly laid down before the people. In all this Daniel recognises God’s righteousness. We find the same in Rev.15:3 and 16:5 where God’s righteousness is praised when the plagues are falling over the world. It will be declared that God is just and true and righteous in all His ways.
Now Daniel enters into making an appeal to God, I beseech Thee, he prays. He appeals to God who in the past has delivered His people from Egypt and that the same should happen now in a delivery from captivity and Jerusalem being freed from God’s anger. He again admits that it all has happened because of the sins of the people. He asks also that God’s face will shine again upon the sanctuary that is desolate. He asks this not based upon his righteousness or because of the people but “for the Lord’s sake”. He appeals to God that His name and honour is at stake as well. Then in 9:19 he finally asks God to forgive for thine own sake. Daniel does what Moses did when God threatened to do away with Israel and make a new people out of Moses, read in Exod.32:9-13. Moses intervened for the people who sinned in dancing around the golden calf and Daniel intervenes for the people who had sinned and were in captivity for their sins. Daniel may have remembered Isa.43:25 and we must always remember 1John 1:9. Look to Jesus who is the Lamb of God to save us from sin, John 1:29; Matth.1:21. Turn to Jesus to confess and go home and sin no more, John 8:11; 1John 2:1.
Heaven’s responds to this prayer is quick and swift, while Daniel is praying confessing his sins and the sins of the people the man or angel Gabriel, who was with Daniel before, 8:16, stood by Daniel. The text does not reveal what kind of sin Daniel confessed of himself. There is no need for because that is private between Daniel and God. Private sins do not have to be revealed in public. Public sins and sins against the people are to be confessed in public. The importance of this event is indicated by mentioning the time when Gabriel came, at the time of the evening oblation, or evening offering (NASB, NKJV) that’s our afternoon. It is interesting that Daniel thinks and writes in terms of the sanctuary, while the sanctuary was far away and in ruins.
Who is this man Gabriel, what do we know about him from other scripture passages? Daniel had met him before in his vision of Daniel 8:16 and he was the one explaining the vision in Daniel 8:19. It looks like he is the special envoy from heaven to earth. We meet him later in the New testament announcing the birth of John the Baptist, Luke1:11-19 and also the birth of Christ in Luke 1:26-38. He is called the one standing in the presence of God, Luke 1:19.We will notice later in Daniel 9 that he is in charged of giving important messages and related to Christ, the Messiah. Because of the importance of the message and Gabriel being the ambassador of the message we have noticed the precise time is recorded, at the time of the evening sacrifice. Jesus died at that same time, Matt.27:46 the time of sacrificing a lamb and the sacrificial death of the real Lamb, Jesus Christ, John 1:29. As mentioned before Daniel writes from a mind which is set towards Jerusalem, where the sanctuary is, but in ruins. All adds up to the idea that Daniel 8 is a sanctuary vision and here in Daniel 9 more detail is revealed in regard to that vision and in particular what was not explained by Gabriel in chapter 8. We like to call attention to the fact that it reads in Dan.9:21 that Gabriel “being caused to fly swiftly” Being caused gives the idea that there was a reason for Gabriel to come down swiftly or in haste. Heaven must have seen how Daniel was in distress and told Gabriel go down quickly and tell Daniel what it is all about he does not understand. We are not told what happened in heaven but this seems to be the case.
Daniel 9:22 Gabriel has an informative talk with Daniel and to give him the understanding about what is not clear to Daniel. And what this is we will learn in what follows.
Daniel 9:23 Gabriel tells Daniel that in the beginning of his prayer, supplications, the word came or was given to me to come and show thee what it is all about. Gabriel gives the reason for this, Daniel is greatly beloved. May God give by His grace that all of us are known like that in heaven, greatly beloved. While Daniel saw himself as a sinner, 9:20, in heaven he was marked as greatly beloved. Because of this Gabriel says I have come to give thee understanding of the matter and to consider the vision and that is the Mareh part which was not explained in Daniel 8 and what had placed Daniel in distress about the future of the sanctuary in Jerusalem.. Dr.Pfandl wrote in an e mail “Daniel 9:21 – chazon- refers to the whole vision of chapter 8. Daniel 9:23
Mareh, refers to that part of chapter 8 which he did not understand ‘the evenings and mornings’ (8:17, 26a, 27) (e mail June 11, 2010)
Going back to Daniel 8 we find that Gabriel explained all of the vision given to Daniel, except the part about the evenings and mornings of 8:14 of which Daniel was told to shut,(8:26) and it made Daniel sick for certain days.(8:27)
Dr.Maxwell writes about this as follows:” When Gabriel appeared, Daniel recognized that he was the same person ‘whom I had seen in the vision at first’. Gabriel’s opening sentence was, ‘O Daniel, I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding’. After paying Daniel the compliment of calling him a man ‘greatly beloved’ Gabriel added,’ therefore consider the word and understand the vision.’ Gabriel had been commissioned to ‘’make this man understand the vision’ of chapter 8. He had, within that chapter, explained everything except verse 14, with its references to the cleansing of the sanctuary and to the 2300 evening and morning days. Daniel had not needed an explanation of the cleansing of the sanctuary, but the 2300 days perplexed him. Were they literal days ( as he must have hoped), or were they symbolic like the other items in Daniel 8:3-14 and like the days in Ezekiel 4:6? And if they did refer to 2300 years, was God saying that the tamid services at the Jerusalem temple would not be restored for 2300 years? If so what about Jeremiah’s prophecy of only 70 years? (Maxwell in GC, bk, 1 page 205)
We will start dealing now with this part of Daniel 9. and commence this with a statement from Dr.Doukhan “The last words of chapter 8 still resound in our ears as Daniel finds himself left in total darkness ‘beyond understanding’ (Dan.8:27). He had to wait 13 years to receive light on the subject. We are now in the first year of the reign of Darius, a year stamped with the seal of hope.” (Doukhan page 135)
Then we read further from Doukhan regarding the relationship to the 2300 evenings and mornings and the message of Gabriel in answer to Daniel’s prayer. The opening words of Gabriel mention 70 weeks and we may wonder why. Here it is what Doukhan has to say about it,” But the prophecy of the 70 weeks is also related to the 2300 evenings and mornings. It was because Daniel got troubled by the vision of 2300 evenings and mornings that was ‘beyond understanding’ (Dan.8:27) that he consulted the prophecy of 70 years to ‘understand’ (Dan.9:2) which later led to his vision of the 70 weeks to give him’ insight and understanding’ (verse 22). The key word ‘understanding’ is the golden thread woven through the passage. The prophecy of the 70 weeks provides the missing information necessary to understand the prophecy of the 2300 evenings and mornings” (Doukhan page 141
This statement gives us solid ground to unpack what we find in Daniel 9:24-27. We will do this verse by verse and point by point. The following is mentioned: in 9:24:
- 70 weeks for Daniel’s people and the holy city Jerusalem.
- The next point has to do with sin and transgressions and how it will be dealt with.
- Last point is about, to anoint the most holy
The 70 weeks are determined or more literally “to be cut off” according to Dr.Shea which gives it a definite connection with the prophecy of Daniel 8. (Shea in his Daniel book page 150). Thus it is cut off from the 2300 evenings and mornings of Daniel 8:14 the part in the vision of Daniel 8 which was not explained by Gabriel, the part Daniel had trouble of not understanding. The 70 weeks equals 490 days and because we deal with prophecy it is accepted to use the day for a year principle. (For explanation about the day for a year principle go to study of Daniel 7:25/10d). Dr.Pfandl points to a footnote in the New Oxford Annotated Bible, RSV 1977 which reads as follows “seventy weeks of years, or 490 years [i.e., 70×7 years], after which the messianic kingdom will come” We conclude safely that the 490 years are set aside for Daniel’s people, the Jews who are still in captivity. It is a time of special probation for the Jews as a nation and a test how they would relate to the Messiah. We know this did not work out as was desired. When the Messiah came, in the end He was rejected and Christ had to pronounce judgment over the nation, (Matth.23:37-39). We will also notice later that the year AD 34 was the final terminal point for the Jews as a nation. This was the year of the stoning of Stephen as found in Acts 6:12-7:60. Dr.Pfandl writes about this sad event:” For the Jews, vision and prophecy came to an end at the conclusion of the 70 weeks with the stoning of Stephen. It indicated the end of their special status as a nation.” (Pfandl page 100)
Not only did the 70 weeks have a direct reference to the Jews, it also had a reference to sin in general and how “to make reconciliation for iniquity and bring in everlasting righteousness” (9:24). This is a direct reference to the work of the Messiah. Reconciliation and righteousness comes only through Jesus Christ, the Messiah. God in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, 2Cor.5:19. This reconciliation could not take place through the animal sacrificial system, Hebr.9:12-14; 10:4. This system was not instituted for everlasting righteousness. Christ, the Messiah, is the everlasting one and bringing in that righteousness, Micah 5:2; Jer.23:6; 51:10; Hebr.13:8. Jesus has accomplished the work of reconciliation and that for everlasting and for those who will accept Him and who will not perish but have everlasting life, John 3:16.
Here we read about the sealing up of the vision and the prophecy or prophet as is stated in the margin. To seal something is to secure it or to finalise it. So the prophecy or vision and the work of the prophet would be sealed and no change would take place. In common language it would be set in concrete, solid, immovable and firm.
The last part of 9:24 says “and to anoint the most holy.” Hebrew scholars do inform us that this points to a place not a person because that would come later. Dr.Pfandl states it as follows:” ‘To anoint the most Holy’. Temples were anointed to inaugurate their services (cf.Ex.40:19 ff) The anointing of the heavenly Sanctuary foretold in this verse points to the inauguration of Christ’s priestly ministry in the heavenly temple after his ascension (Hebr.9:21 ff)” (Pfandl page 100) For confirmation we will add what McCready price wrote:” To anoint the most Holy’, the margin reads ‘a most holy place’. Hebrew scholars agree that the expression here used refers to a place, not a person.”(Price, page 233) The Jerusalem Bible reads “The Holy of Holies, which is also a reference to a place, not a person. And in the NEB “and the most Holy place anointed”, same in RSV.
We notice a few important items dealing with the 490 days or years time frame. This verse gives us the starting time for the commencement of the 490 years. It talks about 7 weeks or 49 days/years and 62 weeks or 434 days/years. Days are prophetic years as we know. Combined this gives us a total of 483 years. In that time period Jerusalem would be restored and built and it would take us up to the Messiah, the Prince and in this case, the anointed one – Messiah – is a person and not a place.
Let’s first determine which command to return and build Jerusalem is applicable, there are more than one to choose from and we must decide on the correct one. There
have been four royal degrees to go and restore what was destroyed in Palestine.
First one in 538 BC but referred to the rebuilding of the temple not Jerusalem, see Ezra 3:10-13.
Second degree was in 519 BC but again this was about the rebuilding of the temple not Jerusalem; see Ezra 5:1, 2.
Third degree is from Artaxerxes in 457 BC and relates to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and is found in Ezra 7.
Then there is a fourth degree of 444BC which relates to what Nehemiah requested from Artaxerxes in Neh.1:3, 4. But the work had already begun under Ezra in 457 BC.
(This is a summary of what Pfandl wrote in his book on pp.95-97)
The date 444 BC used by non SDA commentators lacks credibility because when used for what is described in Daniel 9:25 and adding 490 years to the 444 would give the year AD 47 which is a non event year as far as Daniel 9:25 is concerned..
But adding 483 years to 457 would give us the date of anointing of the Messiah at the time Jesus was baptised in AD 27. The total of 490 includes the date of His crucifixion in AD 31 and the end of the 490 year period in AD 34 when Stephen was stoned to death and the apostles turned full swing in preaching to the gentiles away from the Jewish nation. The year, AD 34, is marked as the end of the Jewish nation as a covenant people. We come to these points later in our study. 457 BC is also confirmed by the late Dr.Horn and Dr.Wood in their chronological research regarding 457 BC Their finding has been published in the book called “THE CHRONOLOGY OF EZRA 7” I have in my library the second ed. of 1970 which was published by the Rev.and Herald Publ.Ass.
This has set the date 457 BC in concrete, confirming the commencement of the 490 years and as such also for the 2300 evenings and mornings of Daniel 8:14 as we will discuss later. When I took knowledge of that book I wrote to Dr.Edwin Thiele a very well known biblical chronologist and as such recognised within and without the Seventh-day Adventist church. Dr. Thiele answered me as follows”As far as I know
the book by Siegfried Horn and Lynn Wood on THE CHRONOLOGY OF EZRA 7, is fully reliable in the information concerning the chronology involved in the problem of Ezra 7” (Letter signed and dated November 2, 1980) I also have a letter on file from Dr.Horn himself who confirms that his book contains the latest information and defends fully the reliability of the year 457 BC for the commencement of the 490 years.
The 490 year period or 70 weeks is divided in 7 + 62 + 1 = 70. The first seven years were set aside for the rebuilding of Jerusalem in trouble times. How troubled these were is revealed in the Bible book of Nehemiah. Not much is scholarly known regarding these seven weeks or 49 years of rebuilding Jerusalem. We have found something in Conradi’s book on Daniel and the following is my translation from the Dutch text of Conradi’s book: “The correct command or decree to rebuild Jerusalem was to start in the year 457 BC. In the course of seven weeks of years or 49 years the streets and walls of Jerusalem were restored, as the following testimony confirms, ‘In the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus, just fourty and nine years after Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes had started the first seven of the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy terminated. At that time the restoration of the nation and church in Jerusalem and Judah had been fully established as told in Neh. 13:23-31’ Prideaux
Connection, vol.I page 250’” (From Conradi’s Dutch book on Daniel p.216/7)
Conradi’s statement from Prideaux indicates that some felt they had to answer to the seven weeks and how they were fulfilled. The total time span of the 483 years, that is 490 years less the seven last years, after the year 457 BC takes us to Messiah the Prince in AD 27, this being the year in which Jesus was baptised and anointed with the Holy Spirit, Acts 10:38; Luke 3:21, 22. Jesus was about 30 years of age, Luke 3:23.
It is also mentioned in Dan.9:24 that the rebuilding of Jerusalem would take place in troublesome times. The books by Ezra and Nehemiah give plenty evidence and information about the trouble the Jews had to cope with, in rebuilding their city Jerusalem.
This text opens with saying “and after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself”. Three score and two weeks is 62 weeks and that refers to the same as mentioned in Dan.9:25 where seven weeks are mentioned before the 62 making a total of 69 weeks or 69 x 7(days) = 483 days and in prophetic terms 483 years. That period of time takes us clearly to the Messiah when He shall be cut off., not immediately but shall be. His anointing is first, followed by 3.5 years later the death of the Messiah.
Dr.Doukhan explains carefully and clearly that the term used here refers to a violant death, a person condemned to death. It is in connotation of covenant and of the necessary sacrifice of the Lamb.(Gen.15:19 and Jer.34:18). Furthermore Doukhan writes: the prophecy here identifies the Messiah with the sacrifice of the covenant, like the lamb, His death made possible a covenant and assured divine forgiveness. Doukhan refers to Isa.53:6, 7. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter and Doukhan writes “It is thus not surprising that the Jews in the time of Jesus at first recognised the Messiah as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, John 1:29, and were able to discern in the daily sacrifices offered at the temple a pre-figuration of the Messiah-Saviour, a shadow of the good things that are coming, Hebr.10:1 (Full text of what Doukhan writes is found in his book on Daniel pp.148, 149)
It points to the anointing and death of Christ after this period of 483 years which takes us to the year AD 27 the anointing of the Messiah as described here before, but His death is not yet in AD 27 but will follow later and found in Dan.9:27. We have noticed that the Messiah’s death would not be for Himself, because of His guilt. He never sinned and was never guilty of any wrong doing. He was made sin, 2Cor.5:21.His death like that of an innocent lamb was a substitutionary sacrifice. Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 1Cor.15:3 and these scriptures are especially in Isa.53 and what we know from the sanctuary sacrificial system. The Messiah, Christ, died to redeem us from the curse of the law which is the penalty for the transgression of the law, Gal.3:13
The next point of Daniel 9:26 takes us to Jerusalem and its destruction and who will cause it or are involved in that destruction. The text reads “And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”.
To make the text clearer in understanding what is meant we give the following versions:
NASB: The people of the prince who is to come
RSV: The people of the prince who is to come
NIV: The people of the ruler who will come
RAV The people of the prince who is to come
NKJV The people of the prince who is to come
The SDABC vol.4 page 854 says that the LXX (Septuagint) reads “the king of nations”. There is only one King of Nations and that is Jesus, the Messiah, read Rev.19:16. We may conclude safely that the people of the Prince, the Messiah, the Jews, would be involved in destroying the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary or its temple. They would be the cause of the destruction. We will let Dr.Shea explain it as he has done in his book on Daniel. “The next phrase of the prophecy in Daniel 9:26 shifts the focus from the Messiah to the Jewish people and what will happen to them. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Verse 26 begins with a prophecy of Jerusalem’s reconstruction and ends with a prophecy of its re-destruction………. The Romans accomplished the re-destruction of the city when they conquered and destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70………. Who are “the people of the ruler” (or ‘prince,(in Hebrew ’nagid’) who caused this destruction”? (Shea in Daniel pp.165/6) A number of commentaries are satisfied in stating that the Romans did it, but Dr. Shea gives more accurate information and answer to that question. He explains that Messiah in 9:25 is ‘nagid’ and is the same in 9:26b and the latter refers clearly to the one in 9:25. “If so, then “the people of the ruler who will come” refers to the people of the messiah” (Shea, p.166)
Dr.Shea concludes “The Roman army was indeed the physical agent which brought about the literal destruction of Jerusalem. But why did they destroy it? They did so because Judea had rebelled against Rome. If Judea had not rebelled, the Roman army would not have come there and Jerusalem would have been spared, we are dealing here with causes and resulting events. The cause of Jerusalem’s destruction was the Jewish rebellion; the event which resulted from that rebellion was the destruction of the city and its temple. In that sense, it can be said that the people of the Jewish Messiah, Prince caused or brought about the destruction of Jerusalem AD 70”
Ellen G.White in her book THE GREAT CONTROVERSY writes the following: “The Jews had forged their own fetters, they had filled for themselves the cup of vengeance. In the utter destruction that befell them as a nation, and in all the woes that followed then in their dispersion they were but reaping the harvest which their own hands had sown. Says the prophet, ‘O, Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself,’ for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.’” (Hosea 13:9; 14:1) (Gr.Contr .page 35)
The latter part of Daniel 9:26 states that after the destruction “even to the end will be war; desolations are determined.” (NASB) or as in the RSV version “to the end there will be war.” We all know from history that up till today the Jews have suffered much trouble, war situations and persecutions as we have seen in WW II. Even the modern state Israel is surrounded by enemies with only one aim to destroy the nation. This does not mean God has forsaken the Jews individually; they are as much in God’s saving interest as the gentiles are. They still may be grafted back into the tree from where they have been removed. Study Romans 9-11.
This is a complex passage and deals with the last week or seven years of the 70 weeks or 490 years. Seven plus 62 weeks gives 69 weeks or 483 days or years in prophetic terms which took us to the Messiah in AD 27 which is the year of the Messiah’s anointing. The last week then runs from AD 27 to AD 34. There is no reason at all or to be found anywhere to transfer this week of seven years to the end of time as some are teaching. It follows closely, without a brake, from AD 27, the year of Messiah the Prince. The first thing we learn is that the Messiah would confirm the covenant that is God’s covenant of grace and forgiveness. It relates to what God had promised Adam and Eve in Gen.3:15, the coming of the seed of the woman, who is Christ according Gal.3:16, 29. It may also relate to what was set aside for the Jews in particular as part of the 490 years as stated in Dan.9:24. The whole period of 490 years was probation time for the Jews as we have discussed here above.
In the last week of years Jesus, the Messiah in His preaching confirmed God’s grace for people who would accept it. Read the introduction of the sermon of the mount, Matt.5:1-12 also in Mark 1:14. Jesus came in Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and Luke 4 when He opened the book of Isaiah and read Isa.61:1, see Luke 4:18, 19. This is followed by the passage in John 3:16 and other place where the gift of God’s grace is revealed for all peoples. This started with the Jewish people Matt.15:24 and followed by preaching to the gentiles the world all over; Acts 1:8.
Dr.Pfandl writes about Jesus’ baptism in AD 27 “It was then and not before, that
He became officially the Messiah. Following His baptism Jesus began preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. (Mark 1:14, 15) and confirming the covenant as Daniel 9:27 predicted. When the early days of Christ’s ministry are examined for a covenant – making or strengthening event, the presentation of the sermon on the mount stands out.” (Pfandl page 101)
The following point in Daniel 9:27 takes us to the middle of that last week of seven years which is the year AD 31. At that time He – the Messiah – “shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”, or as the NASB reads “He will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offerings”. The meaning is clear; the ceremonial activities pointing to the Messiah would be annulled. The real sacrifice by Jesus, the Messiah, the Lamb of God, John 1:29 and Isa.53 would make all ceremonial animal sacrifices nil and void. Animal sacrifices for the atoning of sins by themselves are powerless, Hebr.10:4.They were only a type of the coming real sacrifice by the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
We quote from McCready Price: “It was exactly in the midst of the week or in the Passover season of AD 31, just 3.5 years after His baptism in the autumn of AD 27, that Jesus, by the voluntarily sacrifice of himself, caused all other sacrifices and oblation to cease for ever more. The rending of the temple veil by an invisible hand from top to the bottom, at the very instant of the death of the Messiah was a divine notification that henceforth all the temple services were at an end.” (Price page 247)
For the rending of the veil read Matt.27:51. What was sacred and holy before now was common and to be looked at by everybody. It is true the Jews ignored the event and repaired the veil and continued the temple service until the destruction in AD 70 by the Romans.
After AD 31 we are left with the other half of the last week of years or 3.5 years and taking us to AD 34. Remember the total of the 70 weeks or 490 days/years (Dan.9:24) were set aside, cut-off or determined for the Jewish people. From 457 BC, after their return from the 70 years of exile in Babylon till AD 34 would be a special time of grace or probation for the Jewish nation. We notice 70 years in exile and 70 weeks of years probation there after. In AD 34 Stephen, the evangelist was stoned to death after his brilliant speech to the members of the Sanhedrin. The Jewish leaders in particular rejected the Message of the Messiah and rejected Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah of prophecy. They brought the 490 years of probation for the nation to an end. The preaching of the gospel was now directed to the gentiles. In Acts 8 we find Philip preaching to the official of Ethiopia. In Acts 9 we have the conversion of Saul becoming the apostle Paul with special mandate top preach to the gentiles, Acts 9:15
Peter was called by a vision to take the gospel to a Roman officer, Acts 10 and 11.The apostles in Jerusalem heard about what Peter had done and how the gentiles also received the word of God. Peter explained the vision he had received. Read Acts 11
.Then Paul and Barnabas started their missionary journeys. They always started first preaching in the synagogues but they were met with severe opposition. This caused Paul and Barnabas to make a strong statement which is recorded in Acts 13:46, 47. It was necessary to start approaching the Jews with the gospel, but because they rejected it they turned to the gentiles. The special time of 490 years of probation allocated to the Jews as a covenant nation had now come to an end. Daniel’s prophecy had been fulfilled.
The last part of Daniel 9:27 may seem to be complex. Checking various translations, we safely conclude that abominations, which are detestable things, will come through a destroyer, one who makes desolate or is the cause of it. KJV margin desolator and NASB the one who makes desolate
In our discussion of Daniel 9:25 we found that the people of the Prince, of the Messiah, the Jews rebelled against the Romans. This caused the Romans to crack down on the Jews and millions perished or were taken into captivity The Romans raised their heathen ensigns near Jerusalem’s temple which was an abomination, but according to Daniel 8 the little horn which represents secular Rome, and ecclesiastical Rome as well since AD 476 would also become involved in abominations of a serious manner, according to Dan: 8:11-13. These would be abominations in regard to the sanctuary and worship in opposition to the truth. Ecclesiastical Rome also would find its demise in the end even without any helper, read Dan.7:11, 26 and 11:45.
Now we must go back to Daniel 8:14. In 8:13 the question is raised “How long the transgression of desolation will be?” The answer is given in 8:14 “Unto two thousand and three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”. The reader will remember that this is the part of the vision which Daniel did not understand and was not explained to him. But then in 9:21-23 the angel Gabriel comes to Daniel to explain this part of the vision which he did not understand and was not yet explained to him. The explanation started with informing Daniel what would happen during the first part of that vision, the part which was cut-off or the 70 weeks, which are the 70 weeks of years or the 490 years, commencing 457 BC and terminating AD 34.
The cut-off can only mean to be cut-off from the larger part 2300 days or years which would leave us with the remaining 1810 years and takes us to 1844 counting from 457 BC the starting year for the 490 years. In the year 1844 according to Daniel 8:14 the sanctuary would be cleansed (KJV version) or “properly restored” (NASB version) or “will be reconsecrated” (NIV version) or “shall emerge victorious” (NEB version)
The Hebrew word translated is “nitsdaq” or “sadaq”, two Hebrew words closely related to each other according to Hebrew scholars.
Dr.Shea writes about these Hebrew words as follows:” The verb which the Hebrew text uses to express this manifold restoration is ‘sadaq’ meaning to be right or righteous. In Hebrew this is a very rich, broad word with various shades or meaning. In its broader aspects it takes in the various words – ‘cleansed’, ‘reconsecrated’, ‘vindicated’, ‘restored’,’ victorious’ – with which it has been translated. It is an umbrella word which includes all these other shades of meaning.” (Shea in Daniel p.187)
The standard KJV translation is “cleansed” and that would happen at the end of the 2300 days period which would be as we have seen the year 1844. William Miller, a Baptist preacher in the 19th century and was leader of the Millerite Movement or advent awakening of the 19th century. Miller has been proven to be correct in his calculations of the 23000 days of Daniel 8:14. Fellow preachers of William Miller even arrived at the precise dating of October 22, 1844. Nobody then, later or even today have been able to find any fault or error in these calculations, the commencing year 457 BC and the terminating year being AD 1844.
The Millerites were wrong in regard to the event that would happen in 1844 not the year. Under the impression of the general belief that the earth is the sanctuary they believed the earth would be cleansed and that would mean the return of Christ. They concentrated on October 22, 1844 but it turned out to become a bitter disappointment
Tens of thousands world wide had their eyes fixed on heaven expecting Jesus to come, but He did not come. Thousands turned their back to religion; others joined other religions or spiritual groups. Some kept on setting dates and each time being disappointed again. A small group of Advent believers turned to a restudy of the Bible and were led to discover that not the earth is the sanctuary to be cleansed but that the sanctuary is in heaven. They found scripture passages like Hebrews 8:1, 2 and 9:22, 23. Without shedding of blood no remission of sin and as the earthly was cleansed so the heavenly must be cleansed. They discovered the beautiful sanctuary doctrine. In OT times sins of the sinner were confessed in front of an animal often a lamb. The sinner placed his hand(s) on the head of the animal and confessed his sins and took a knife and killed the animal. The animal now becomes contaminated with the confessed sin of the sinner. The priest took the blood of the animal into the sanctuary and thus the sanctuary became contaminated and in need of cleansing. This cleansing took place annually during the Day of Atonement in Hebrew called “Yom Kippur”. That cleansing also took place with animal blood, but the heavenly would be cleansed with better, the blood Christ Himself, Hebr.9:23. For the Jews this was a judgment day and looked upon as very serious.
Dr.Doukhan our Jewish Christian scholar writes as follows comparing Daniel 7 with Daniel 8: “According to parallelism between the two chapters, the event described in Daniel 8 as the cleansing (or reconsecration) of the sanctuary would then correspond to the day of judgment of Daniel 7. Significantly, the Septuagint translates this term with the Greek word ‘katharisai’ (to purify), a technical word used to refer to kippur. The great Jewish commentator Rashi also suggests that we should read this passage in the content of the Day of Atonement.” (Doukhan page 127)
(Details of the year 1844 and the sanctuary services, Tamid, in OT times can be found in the Daniel section of tis website. Also in the study THE SANCTUARY OBSCURED AND RESTORED)
We will summarise here what took place on the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 16 is the chapter which explains what happened during the Day of Atonement and is type of the anti-typical of what has taken place since 1844..We have explained here above how the earthly sanctuary became contaminated and in need of annual cleansing. What the individual sinner did is described in Lev.1:3-5 and more in Lev.4:4, 15, 24, and 29. The sinner could go home cleansed from his sin, but on the tenth of the seventh month the sanctuary became cleansed from the confessed sins which were transferred into the sanctuary by the blood of the animal sacrifice.
The High Priest was the main one to minister during that day. First he had to bring an animal sacrifice for himself in order to be clean, Lev.16:5, 6. Then two goats were brought forward and a lot was cast. One goat became the sacrificial one and the other called the Azazel one. The High Priest took the blood of the sacrificial goat to cleanse the sanctuary from all the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions in all their sins. Lev.16:15, 16. Coming out of the sanctuary the High Priest placed his hands on the life goat and confessed all these confessed sins of Israel over the life goat that was taken out to the wilderness to perish in death, Lev.16:20-22.
The life goat does not represent Jesus Christ who died on the cross and His blood cleanses and He rose again for our salvation. The life goat, Azazel, can only represent Satan who ultimately will be made responsible for sin and is the father of sin, John 8:44. Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman as spoken of in the Garden of Eden, Gen.3:15 and the Devil is the one who is the serpent whose head will be crushed to death, according to Gen.3:15
When we confess our sins today through our prayers, they will ascend into the heavenly sanctuary and even today the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse us, 1John 1:9. But this transfer of our sins into heaven causes uncleanness in the heavenly sanctuary and places itself in need of cleansing according to Hebr.9:23. As the annual Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, was a yearly judgment day for Israel at that time, so is the period after 1844 judgment time for the world today. We believe that the message of Rev.14:6, 7 is the appropriate message for this time in human history the world wide preaching of the ever lasting gospel. And not only that we have the first angel message of Rev.14:6, 7 to preach worldwide but all three of them as found in Rev.14:6-12. We urge all readers to study that message and accept God’s grace and be ready for Christ’s return when He will have terminated His cleansing work in the heavenly sanctuary. For more Biblical information regarding this subject go to the Revelation section of this website and especially Revelation part V.
Pastor Jan T.Knopper
Edited October 2010
Revisited August 2013