Daniel Chapter 9
| 457 BC
|| 408 BC
|| 27 AD
|| 31 AD
|| 34 AD
|| 70 AD
From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem
|Seven weeks (49 years) the street and the wall shall be built in troublous times
||Seven weeks and threescore and two weeks (69 weeks) (483 years)
||Midst of the week He shall cause sacrifice and oblation to cease
||Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon thy people
||And the people of the prince..shall destroy the city and the sanctuary
We will examine only Daniel 9:24-27 of Daniel 9. Because each segment of Daniel and Revelation is just one piece of the puzzle, the piece will not likely be fully understood until it is assembled with the other pieces of the puzzle. What may appear to be contradictory and challenging to your previously held views will be made clear as the puzzle comes together. There are three points to be carefully considered in Daniel 9:24-27.
- 1. Initially there had been another plan for the salvation of mankind than the one we saw fulfilled.
- 2. The time line in Daniel 9:24-27 was not broken into different segments of time to be fulfilled in different periods of earth’s history; rather, it was to be one continuous time line of seventy weeks (490 years) which was divided into separate segments for specific reasons.
- 3. The nation of Israel was given a certain length of time (490 years) to complete God’s plan for them as a nation, and the nation of Israel, but not individuals from that nation, would be set aside should they fail of meeting those specifications listed.
This is all shown in Daniel 9:24-27.
In 1437 BC, after dwelling in the land of Egypt for four hundred and thirty years (Exodus 12:40-41), the children of Israel came out of Egypt through the providential workings of the power of God. But because of their unbelief, the children of Israel eventually wandered in the wilderness for forty years before being permitted by God to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 32:13). Just as the spies spent forty days in spying out the Land of Promise, so the Israelites were destined to wander in the wilderness forty years: a year for each day that the spies had been in the land. “And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise” (Numbers 14:33-34, emphasis added).
In Ezekiel 4:5-6, Ezekiel was told to lie on one side, and then upon his other side, for a total of four hundred thirty days. God said in Ezekiel 4:6: “I have appointed thee each day for a year” (emphasis added). So we see from these two Biblical references, God appoints a day for a year. This is referred to as prophetic time in which a day equals a year. Many, when studying the prophecies, see “time” only in this way, but there are literal times to be reckoned with as well. We must not confuse the two (prophetic or literal) and where they are used. Here in Daniel 9, prophetic time is used.
In Daniel 9:24, the angel told Daniel that “seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city” (‘have been decreed for your people and your holy city’ NAS). This vision was given in approximately 538 BC, when Israel was captive in Babylon. Elohim had been longsuffering and patient with the nation of Israel for approximately nine hundred years at the time Daniel received this vision. Israel had been chosen to be God’s peculiar people, but the nation had reached a point where God was giving them their final ultimatum: shape up or I am done with you as My chosen nation! We see this was verified by Jesus in Matthew 21:33-45.
But what about the promises God had made to the nation of Israel? The original covenant made with Israel is recorded in Deuteronomy 28. There were promises made to the nation of Israel if they obeyed the terms of the covenant, and there were promises made to the nation of Israel should they choose not to obey the conditions of the covenant. The promises were all conditional, and Israel had never kept any of those conditions in order to remain under the LORD’s blessing and protection. God had tolerated their immorality, idolatry, disobedience, and so on for nine hundred years, and now He was giving them four hundred and ninety additional years. God, the heavenly Father, hoped His children would turn from their wicked ways and come back to Him with all their hearts. If it has been awhile since you have read the Old Testament, refresh yourself on how the nation of Israel treated the high honor that Elohim had bestowed upon them.
Was Jesus trying to direct the people of His day to this prophecy of Daniel when He told Peter how many times we should be willing to forgive someone? “Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven [four hundred ninety]” (Matthew 18:22, Daniel 9:24-27).
More than once, God had referred to the nation of Israel as stiff-necked, stubborn, and numerous times as rebellious (Deuteronomy 31:27, Isaiah 30:9). God had given the nation of Israel instruction regarding the treatment of a rebellious child. “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: then shall his father and his mother lay hold of him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place: and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice: he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear and fear” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
Unfortunately, the nation of Israel never took this instruction to heart, but essentially challenged God to see what He would do if His children (the nation of Israel) continued in their stubborn unbelief and rebellion. Just as strong-minded children will test the authority of their parents, so Israel challenged God. What parent would have put up for nine hundred years of having to deal with a stubborn and rebellious child? Yet God, our loving, patient, heavenly Father, was willing to give the nation of Israel four hundred and ninety years more to reconsider and become reconciled to Him and become the nation that God could pour out His blessings through. “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith Yahuwah; that they might be unto Me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear” (Jeremiah 13:11, emphasis added). Instead the nation of Israel was told by God what would happen to them because “they would not hear.” “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; as Mine anger and My fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall My fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more” (Jeremiah 42:18, 12).
God had previously chastened them numerous times. The fact they were in captivity in Babylon was the last time, as recorded in the Bible, He was going to discipline them. In AD 70, Elohim left Israel to reap what they had been sowing for over fifteen hundred years.
During the four hundred and ninety years, Israel was to accomplish certain things, or God was through with them as His chosen nation. He would still work with individuals, if they would turn to Him and show their faithfulness to Him, but as a nation, it would reach the limits of God’s forbearance. After the apostles of Jesus received the power of the Spirit of God, the Jewish people responded by the thousands, as recorded in the book of Acts, to the apostles’ calls to repentance and were reconciled to God and were persecuted by the nation of Israel.
By AD 34, the nation of Israel was 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). They were to “bring in everlasting righteousness.”
This is what God had originally intended to be done nine hundred years earlier when He took them out of the land of Egypt. Israel was to be to a holy nation. “And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:6).
God had not given up on them when He gave Daniel this vision. God had always wanted to use the Hebrew people to reach the world with the message of salvation, but because of their disobedience and unbelief, He was forced to turn away from them. “The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called an house of prayer for all people” (Isaiah 56:6-7, emphasis added).
The Israelites had developed a haughty attitude because they thought they were God’s chosen people; favored by God above all other nations of the earth. Instead of sharing the light given them with the people of all nations, they hoarded it, thinking they had God’s favor because of some special merit in themselves. They should have realized God had favored them not because of who they were at that time, but because God was being faithful to His promises made to Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac, their forefathers, who had proved faithful and obedient to Him. “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever” (Genesis 13:14-15). “And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou [Jacob] liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed” (Genesis 28:13). “And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land” (Genesis 35:12). The nation of Israel would possess that forever if they proived themselves faithful, which they did not.
Satan has made it appear that God has brought suffering and sorrow on the Jewish people over the centuries in retaliation for their misdeeds in general, including for the death of His Son, Jesus. But in fact, it has been Satan who has been using human instruments to bring this impression upon mankind in order to misrepresent the character of God; to have us look upon God as cruel, vindictive, and arbitrary. Many are the ways in which Satan has sought to misrepresent the character of God to mankind.
The Holocaust was not God’s punishment of Israel; God’s special protection of the Jewish people had ended in AD 34 (Daniel 9:24), and they have been left to their own choices. The leaders of Israel had told Pontius Pilate, “We have no king, but Caesar” (John 19:15). They had declared to Pilate, “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). They had turned their back on God, and God did not overrule the choice they had made just as He will not overrule the choices we make. Israel had “sown the wind,” and they were to “reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7).
Revelation 1:6 tells us, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” What God had originally intended but was unable to accomplish through the nation of Israel because of their unbelief and rebellion, He will accomplish through His loyal and obedient people during the last days. God’s original intent and purpose was to reveal Himself through the nation of Israel. He will accomplish this through His chosen people who prove faithful to Him in the last days.
God had wanted to establish the nation of Israel in the Land of Promise and the city of Jerusalem forever. “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it forever. Selah” (Psalm 48:8). Unfortunately, the Jews’ unbelief and disobedience prevented this from happening. “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 78:41, emphasis added).
But when God gave Daniel this vision, as recorded in Daniel 9:24-27, God had not yet given up all hope for them. If they would comply with the conditions set forth, He would continue to bless and be with them. Instead they crucified Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, the Savior, and divorced themselves from God. All that God would do for them, as a nation, had thereby completely come to an end and the death by stoning of Stephen in AD 34 by the Jewish authorities confirmed the end of their “favored” nation status.
Jesus had prayed for those who had crucified Him. “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Israel’s hatred and persecution of the apostles and the disciples, culminating with the stoning of Stephen, made Jesus' prayer for many of those who crucified Him impossible to be realized.
God then worked with those who followed His Son in faithfulness and obedience and would begin a new movement; what we call the “Christian Church.” This early “Christian Church” was vastly different from any present day Christian Church and was persecuted by the nation of Israel even though many of its early converts were Jewish.
But what if the nation of Israel had “finished the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity?” If they had accomplished those things, then “everlasting righteousness” would have been brought in and the city of Jerusalem would have remained forever. And “the vision and the prophecy” of Daniel, which related to the last days, would have been sealed and never fulfilled, which is what we are facing shortly, and Jesus would have been anointed in another way other than being crucified. Israel did not complete the conditions set for them by God in Daniel 9:24 and as a result another plan, Plan B, was put in motion. It was not God’s purpose to set aside Israel as His people by which He would accomplish His purposes in this world, but Israel did not cooperate with Him in His plan for the salvation of mankind.
In His infinite love, wisdom, and mercy, God gave us the freedom to choose our destiny. One should question the doctrine of predestination when looking at how God dealt with Israel. Events are sealed up and only opened conditionally, based on our choice. God desires us to serve and follow Him because we love Him and believe in His goodness; not because of coercion. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Love cannot be commanded or forced!
The “seventy weeks” or four hundred and ninety years were to begin “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” that had been destroyed by the Babylonians in the time of Jeremiah, the prophet, and included the destruction of the Temple.
In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, you will find four such commandments or decrees dating from around 536 BC to 444 BC. The first two decrees fall short of reaching the time of Christ. In 457 BC, a decree was granted to Ezra by the emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus to go up to Jerusalem with as many of his people as were minded to go with him. The commission granted him an unlimited amount of treasure to beautify the house of God, to procure offerings for its service, and to do whatever else might seem good to him. It empowered him to ordain laws, appoint magistrates and judges, and execute punishment even unto death; in other words, to restore the Jewish civil and ecclesiastical state according to the law of God and the ancient statutes of that people. Inspiration seemed fit to preserve this decree, and a full and accurate copy of it is given in Ezra 7:11-28.
The 70 weeks or four hundred and ninety years ended in AD 34, using the 457 BC date as the starting point for “the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.”
The “seventy weeks” of Daniel 9:24 were further divided into “seven weeks (7x7=49, Daniel 9:25), and three score and two weeks” (62x7=434, Daniel 9:25) and “one week” (1x7=7, Daniel9:27). The seven weeks or forty-nine years were allotted to the building of the city and the wall. “The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” (Daniel 9:25).
“In the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus ended the first seven weeks of the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy. For then the restoration of the church and state of the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea was fully finished, in that last act of reformation, which is recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Nehemiah, from the twenty-third verse to the end of the chapter, just forty-nine years after it had begun by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus.”2
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” or a total of sixty-nine weeks (Daniel 9:25). Sixty-nine weeks (sixty-nine times seven) or four hundred and eighty-three years extended to AD 27; the year the Bible foretold when Messiah would begin His ministry.
“And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: andin the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease” (Daniel 9:27, emphasis added). It also says that “Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself” (Daniel 9:26). Three and a half years after AD 27, “in the midst of the week,” after Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, and Jesus began His ministry of confirming “the covenant with many,” Jesus was crucified and caused “the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” in the spring of AD 31. The Sacrifice that all the sanctuary sacrifices had foreshadowed met their fulfillment in the crucifixion of Christ when He was “cut off, but not for Himself.”
Jesus was the “Lamb of Elohim” (John 1:29) that Abraham had foretold when he had told Isaac: “My son, Elohim will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8).
Three and a half years after the crucifixion brings us to the martyrdom of Stephen by the Jewish Sanhedrin in AD 34. The apostles and disciples until that time had continued to “confirm the covenant” to the Jewish people only, but from that point on, the gospel was also to be given to the Gentiles and was not restricted just to the nation of Israel as seen in the book of Acts. Prior to the stoning of Stephen, the covenant was to be confirmed only to the Jewish people (Daniel 9:27). Once the seventy weeks or 490 years were completed the gospel was to be given to the entire world by the apostles and disciples and not exclusively to the Jewish nation. See Acts 7:51-60, 8:4-5.
The final specification of Daniel 9:24-27, is “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26). In AD 70, this prophetic utterance received a very horrific fulfillment when under General Titus the Roman army destroyed the city of Jerusalem along with the Temple. Jesus had foretold the destruction of the sanctuary: “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2).
The disciples of Jesus “came to show Him the buildings of the temple” (Matthew 24:1) and in response, Jesus told them what is found in Matthew 24:2. He had also told His disciples that “when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever reads, let him understand;) then let them flee into the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16).
This “abomination that makes desolate” that Jesus was referring to was foretold in Daniel 11:31. We will not be examining the portions of Daniel which do not meet their fulfillment in our days found in Daniel 11. Jesus’s followers knew and fled when the time was right, and supposedly not one follower of Jesus perished in the destruction of Jerusalem.
It was not without a struggle that God gave up on the nation of Israel. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings [Psalm 91:4], and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the LORD” (Matthew 23:37-39, emphasis added). This was the divorce of the nation of Israel as God’s covenant people and was foretold in the parable given by Jesus, found in Matthew 21. Even though God had made a covenant with the nation of Israel, Israel had failed to meet the conditions agreed upon in the covenant which is given in Deuteronomy 28 and what was promised to them if they failed to keep the covenant occurred.
“Hear another parable: There was a certain Householder [God], which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen [nation of Israel], and went into a far country: and when the time of the fruit drew near, He sent His servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took His servants [the prophets], and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, He sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all He sent unto them His Son [Jesus], saying, They will reverence My Son. But when the husbandmen saw the Son, they said among themselves, This is the Heir; come, let us kill Him, and let us seize on His inheritance. And they caught Him, and cast Him out of the vineyard, and slew Him. When the Master therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will He do unto those husbandmen? They say unto Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen [the early Christian church], which shall render Him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is Yahuwah’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation [the early Christian Church] bringing forth fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone [Yahushua] shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spoke of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitude, because they took Him for a prophet” (Matthew 21:33-46, emphasis added).
Jesus was referring to Himself when He said, “upon this Rock will I build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). The gates of hell did prevail against Peter when with cursing Peter denied his Master (Matthew 26:73-74).
Jesus spread out before the Jewish nation what they had been doing since God had established them as His people in the Land of Promise. What they were about to do to “the Heir” (Matthew 21:38) was clearly shown them, and what God would do to their nation was also foretold. God would give the “vineyard” to others, the apostles and disciples, and they would start a whole new movement, what we call the “Christian Church.”
There are two “abominations that make desolate” spoken of in the book of Daniel. Daniel 11:31 and another one mentioned in Daniel 12:11 which we need to be aware of in our time in which we are living. The second "abomination that makes desolate" pictured in Daniel 12:11 will be similar to the first one pictured in Daniel 11:31 in that like the Roman army which stood on "holy ground" so shall the second "abomination that makes desolate" shall be standing on "holy ground" also. The second one is forshadowed by the first one. We will be examining this one when we come to Daniel 12. This understanding may be different than what you have had, but like the Bereans who “searched the Scriptures daily,” I urge you to study these things to see “whether these things are so” (Acts 17:11). Remember this is just the first piece of the puzzle; it lays the ground work for upcoming chapters.
By no means should what is said in this chapter be construed as anti-Jewish; the facts speak for themselves. Even though the nation of Israel was set aside in AD 70, those of Hebrew ancestry still have the invitation to accept Messiah and become grafted into the olive tree as brought out in Romans 11:17-24, and we shall see in the next chapter on Revelation 7 that many of the descendants of the Hebrew nation will be fulfilling a major role at the end of time prior to the return of Jesus.
- 1. When did the last seven years of the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 begin and when did it end?
- 2. When did the 70 weeks or 490 years of Daniel 9:24-27 begin and when did it end?
- 3. What is prophetic time?
- 4. Is the nation of Israel still God's favored people?