A Fresh Look at Daniel - Part 8

Posted in: 2008
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jul 17, 2008 - 6:29:41 PM



In Daniel 9:1-2, we read, “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”

Daniel received copies of Jeremiah’s writings from Jerusalem in which Jeremiah wrote, according to the word of the LORD, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.

The reader could be pointed to the Scripture text of Jeremiah which Daniel read concerning the seventy years of Jerusalem’s desolations (Jer. 25:1-14); we’ll leave that for you to do. We are concerning ourselves with Daniel’s dreams, visions, and visits from the holy ones who represented Daniel’s people in the heavenly realm.

When Daniel read that the desolation would last seventy years, he was totally depressed, and he prayed and fasted in sackcloth and ashes for God to have mercy and forgiveness concerning his own sin and that of his nation’s (V. 3). The text of his prayer goes to Verse Nineteen, then, we read in Daniel 9:20-23, “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill- while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, ‘Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision’” (NIV).

Daniel’s deep concern for Israel being desolate for seventy years prompted his prayer. As “soon as” he began to pray, “an answer was given” - talk about instant answered prayer - Daniel sure got it. Gabriel came to give Daniel insight and understanding concerning a broader view of Israel and Jerusalem. Here, in Chapter Nine, we don’t read of a vision, or a dream, but rather, a visit from a holy one, Gabriel. Gabriel came to give Daniel additional skill in understanding concerning the vision of Chapter Eight.

Gabriel tells Daniel, “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” (Daniel 9:24).

I’m sure that you, as Bible Mountaineers, are aware that the “seventy weeks” are seven-year “weeks;” therefore, we will not go over plowed ground. Seventy weeks cover a period of 490 years (70 weeks x 7= 490). So, in plainer words, four-hundred and ninety years were decreed (divided off from all other years) upon Israel and the Holy City for accomplishing six things:

Put an end to the “little horn’s” rebellion.
Put an end to sins of the Desolator and his people.
Make an atonement for the iniquity (avon - perverseness, “wrung out of course,” see Appendix 44, iv of Companion Bible).
To bring in everlasting righteousness.
To seal up the vision and the prophecy, that is, to bring to an end all that was foretold in the vision.
And, to anoint the most Holy (i.e. the Holy of Holies).

These six things will be achieved with the 2nd Coming of Christ when He begins His one-thousand year “Parousia” on earth.

Gabriel gives Daniel an explanation of the events to come which will further enlighten Daniel on the visions he had. “Know therefore and understand, that the going forth of the commandment to restore and build (again) Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks (49 years), and threescore and two weeks (434 years): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” (Daniel 9:25).

Daniel was to know that there would be, in the “latter days,” a divine command issued to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. This will be a command from on high. This command has, yet, to go forth. Most scholarly studies of Daniel Nine insist that this command was issued by Cyrus, King of Persia, when Ezra said, “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing”(Ezra 1:1). However, the scholars have over-looked an obvious flaw in their interpretation. A proclamation is not a commandment. Think of the Ten Commandments - they were not proclamations. Not only that, but in the margin of the King James Version, there is a note before he *made a proclamation. The margin note informs us that the phrase could, also, have been translated, “he caused a voice to pass.” Commandments are not passed by legislatures. Case closed on this issue.

God’s command to restore and build Jerusalem is the point, during the Kingdom of God, that the 490 years will begin. The Divine command may very well be issued by the resurrected Cyrus [see Isaiah 44:28-45:1] who may be one of the Gentile Kings who follows Nebuchadnezzar.

If Daniel’s visions of Chapters Seven and Eight relate to the concluding days of the Kingdom of God, then, it stands to reason, since Gabriel is further enlightening Daniel in Chapter Nine about the visions he had in Chapters Seven and Eight, it is clear that Christ is ruling from heaven.

Now, we must direct our attention to, “Who is ‘the Messiah the Prince?’” The scholars insist that it refers to our Lord Jesus Christ. It can’t be Christ Who Gabriel is referring to; Christ doesn’t return until the end of the 490 years [i.e., the end of the Seventy-Weeks]. This really had me in a quandary for some time. After all, I said to myself, “Messiah begins with a capital M, and Prince begins with a capital P.” Then, realizing that was not the issue - the issue is, “What does messiah mean, and what does prince mean?” Messiah means “God’s anointed, or anointed by God,” and prince means “ruler.”

King David was anointed of God, so, he was a “messiah.” As King of Israel, he was a prince, so, he was a ruler.

Seven weeks (49 years) after the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem goes out, possibly from the mouth of the resurrected Cyrus, the Lord raises David from the dead to be Israel’s Shepherd king.

Jeremiah said so in Chapter 30:9-11, “But they [Israel] shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.”

Notice Ezekiel’s prophecies:

Ezekiel 34:23-25, “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.”

Then, in Ezekiel 37:25, “And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.”

Hosea 3:5 even speaks of this fact; “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” The “latter days” refer to the Day of Christ under the Kingdom of God.
In order for David to be the king and prince over the House of Jacob, forever; when they return to their homeland, he must be raised from the dead.

Daniel 9:25 continues, “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Some may say, “Ah, troublous times; that must mean the great tribulation.” Hold your horses. I, too, was troubled by that phrase, but instead of having a “knee-jerk reaction,” I thought that there is a Scriptural explanation for it to fit, nicely, into God’s scheme of things in the “latter days” - it is up to us to find it.

When the Kingdom of God begins, Nebuchadnezzar will be resurrected to be the king, as represented by the “head of gold,” in Daniel Two. He rules the world for years, and, subsequently, there are five regime changes according to God’s interpretation of the king’s forgotten dream. Regime changes, in the “latter days,” will be troubling to the returning Jews who have been commanded to rebuild Jerusalem.

The concordance associates “trouble,” not only with sin, but also, with labor. While there are regime changes occurring, Jerusalem is to be rebuilt which requires labor - which is tiring and troubling, but the end result will be a time (over four-hundred years) of blessing.

Jeremiah spoke concerning Israel and Judah in Chapter Thirty. Let’s read carefully:

Jeremiah 30:1-11, “ The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.”

From this, and numerous other passages of the regathering of Israel from out of the nations, I depart from the traditional interpretation of this passage. Most Bible scholars equate “the time of Jacob’s trouble” as being the great tribulation of Matthew 24:21. A careful reading of Jeremiah 30:1-11 shows the context in which “the time of Jacob’s trouble” takes place. It is while the regathering is occurring; not at the consummation of the age (Matthew 24:3). The “troublous times” of Daniel 9:25 is to be during the time of Israel’s and Judah’s restoration. It is after the “time of Jacob’s trouble” when there are hundreds of years of blessing and salvation for Judah and Israel.

Daniel 9:26 says, “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.”

Threescore and two weeks equals 434 years. For 434 years, Israel will serve “the LORD their God, and David their king.” In order to keep our focus on the time periods, remember when the command to rebuild is given. Seven weeks (49 years) pass, then, David, God’s anointed, is resurrected to be Jacob’s king (Daniel 9:25). After four-hundred and thirty-four years of immense blessings during “the times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19), the Antichrist (the prince of Verse 26) comes to Jerusalem with his people - Messiah-David “shall be cut off.” This is a very difficult passage, that is, David being “cut off, but not for himself.”

Notice, what “cut off” means: “TO MAKE (CUT) A COVENANT “karat” is used in a technical sense of "making an agreement in writing” (Vines Expository Dictionary). In plainer words, “to cut a deal.” We’ll read in the next verse that “the prince,” the Antichrist, cuts a deal (i.e. makes a covenant) with many of the Jews, but not for, or with, David. God’s anointed would not make a deal with Satan’s agent. David has nothing to do with it. We are not told what David does during this desolation, so, we will not speculate.

The Antichrist (the little horn) comes on the scene, after four-hundred and eighty-three years, into Daniel’s “seventy weeks.” That is, seven weeks (49 years) and threescore and two weeks (434 years). Here’s the arithmetic, 49 + 434 = 483 years. Up to this point, 483 years have elapsed, leaving one week (7 years) for the following to take place.

Verse 26 stated, “and the people of the prince (i.e. the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8) 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.” However, before he destroys the city and the sanctuary, he makes a covenant with many of the apostatized Jews.

“And he (the little horn) shall confirm the covenant (the deal which was cut) with many (Jews) for one week(seven years): 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” (Daniel 9:27). After three-and-a half years, he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease and, then, he enters the Temple. Here is Paul’s description of the event. “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). This is the abomination of desolation of Matthew 24:15.

Then, that which had been divinely “determined shall be poured out upon” him. This is the result of the Lord Jesus Christ’s [Parousia] coming to put down the rebellion against His Government, thus, destroying the Antichrist.

In this fresh look at Daniel, we have tried to make a straightforward approach at what the book said is to take place during “the time of the end” ─ meaning, the “latter days” of the Kingdom of God. We have not attempted to determine how many “lo-ammi” periods Israel went through in order to determine how many weeks of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks have already taken place. To go into all of those complicated details may be a show of scholarship, but “the devil is in the details.” Early on in these studies, it was pointed out that we don’t have to be “whiz-kids” of Bible study to interpret the dreams, visions, and visits from the angels to get the meanings. The Bible provides us with the interpretations. We don’t need to help God out by inserting our own re-interpretations, as others have done.

In concluding this study, Part VIII, let it be said that the four-hundred and ninety years determined upon Israel will find its place of fulfillment in the coming dispensation. Not one single day of the “seventy weeks” has, yet, to take place.

Tom L. Ballinger