The book of Daniel is given a summary review in the article entitled DANIEL (Part eight, p. 155) and the prophecy of Daniel nine is of necessity included. This prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, however, is of such importance, that a separate study is demanded in an Analysis of Prophetic truth.
While Daniel nine is complete in itself, it follows chapter eight, supplying further details, just as chapter eight supplements seven; and it will be wise to retain what we have already seen for our present help. Daniel's increasing concern has been regarding the prophetic future and that which concerns the little horn and his own people. He has taught that past history foreshadows future events, and we are therefore prepared to find that a seventy-year period of Jerusalem's desolation and Israel's captivity has a corresponding period of
seventy-timesseven associated with Israel, Jerusalem and desolation. Chapter nine is in itself a considerable theme, but, as Daniel nine to twelve forms a section of the book, it will perhaps be wise to exhibit the general structure of the passage before entering into detail.
Daniel 9-12 as a whole
A 9:1 First year of Darius
B 9:2-19 Fasting Daniel understood
C 9:20-23 The man Gabriel Daniel, "greatly beloved"
D 9:23-27 "I am come to shew thee" A 10:1 Third year of Cyrus
B 10:1-3 Fasting Daniel understood
C 10:4-21 The man clothed in linen Daniel, "greatly beloved"
D 1 and 12 "1 will shew thee."
It will be seen in the above structure (members D and D) that chapters eleven
and twelve are a further expansion of the seventy weeks and the abomination of
desolation spoken of in Daniel 9:23-27. Chapters eleven and twelve have, in
addition, an interrelated correspondence, which we hope to show in its proper
We return now to Daniel nine, knowing at least that we are still pursuing the
one theme of the book, the time of the end; though we may differ from others in
our understanding of the true approach to that end, the ultimate theme is
unaffected. In the fullness of time Christ came, whether we name the year A.D.
1, 4 B.C., or refrain from assigning a date at all. And so Christ will come
again at the end of the seventy weeks, whether they be weeks of days, or weeks
of years, or, as some believe, of both. Whether we are able to compute the time
or not, He will surely come.
To enable the reader to follow the theme without confusion, we divide our study
into four sections:
(1) The prophecy of Jeremiah (Dan. 9:1,2).
(2) The prayer of Daniel (Dan. 9:2-23).
(3) The principle of computing prophetic times.
(4) The prophecy of the seventy weeks.
THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH
Daniel himself was a prophet, to whom had been granted the spiritual ability to
see the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar's visions, and to witness the two visions
dealing with the end of the indignation. It is with this event, linked with
Jeremiah's prophecy, that Daniel nine opens. We have in Zechariah positive proof
that the "time of indignation" and "the seventy years" of Jeremiah refer to the
"O Lord of Hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the
cities of Judah, against which Thou hast had indignation these threescore and
ten years" (Zech. 1:12).
From Isaiah 10:5 we learn that the Assyrian is the rod of the Lord's anger: "and
the staff in their hand is Mine indignation". °r The Assyrian is sent against
"an hypocritical nation . . . to tread them down like the mire of the streets".
The Assyrian nation does not, however, intend to be of service to the
Load: it is but fulfilling its own schemes of conquest:
"Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord bath ,', performed His
whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the
stout heart, of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks" (Isa.
We are prepared by our previous studies to find that the indignation
accomplished against Jerusalem by the Assyrian is a foreshadowing of "the
last end of the indignation", a future period alluded to in Isaiah 26:20.
This period is in mind in Daniel nine:
"In the first year of his (Darius') 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" (Dan.
Among the passages written by Jeremiah that Daniel would have read is Jeremiah
"And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these
nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years".
Another passage that would have attracted Daniel's attention is Jeremiah
"To all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had earned away captive from Jerusalem to
Babylon . . . For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished
at Babylon I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you
to return to this place."
A further passage that would have been of help to Daniel is found in Jeremiah
"And all nations shall serve him (Nebuchadnezzar, verse 6), and his son, and his
son's son (Belshazzar), until the very time of his land come; and then many
nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him".
THE PROCLAMATION OF CYRUS
Another item that bears upon this part of our study is found in Daniel 9:1:
"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".
Sir H. Rawlinson has shown that the name Ahasuerus is, like Pharaoh, an
appellative, meaning "Venerable King", and not used exclusively of any one
monarch. Similarly the name Darius, according to Professor Sayce, means "The
Maintainer," an appellative of more than one king rather like the English
"Defender of the Faith", which belongs to no one monarch in particular. It is
considered by those who have made chronology their study that the Darius of
chapter nine is the Cyrus of chapter ten; the reader will find Appendixes 50
(vii. 5) and 57 of The Companion Bible helpful in this connection. It would be
an unwarranted digression here to enter into the arguments concerning the
genealogy of the kings of Persia; but we do feel that our readers should realize
the importance of the conclusion that the Ahasuerus of Esther 1:1, the
Artaxerxes of Ezra 6:14 and Nehemiah 2:1, and the Darius of Daniel 5:31
represent the same person under different names. The king married Esther, whose
son is the Cyrus of Scripture.
It is most interesting to see that Daniel's prayer in chapter nine concerning
the restoration of Jerusalem is dated in the first year of the king under whose
edict the restoration was commenced.
We must now consider, together with Daniel nine, the opening words of Ezra one:
"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the
mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus
king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put
it also in wasting, saying, Thus with Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of
heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to
build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of
all His people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in
Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (He is the God), which is
in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the
men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with
beasts, beside, the free-will offering for the house of God that is in
Jerusalem'' (Ezra 1:1-4).
THE PROCLAMATION OF ARTAXERXES
Before we are fully prepared to continue our study of Daniel nine there is one
further proclamation to be brought into liar. We read in Nehemiah 1:1:
"It came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year as I was in Shushan
This twentieth year of Artaxerxes (see Neh. 2:1) dates as forty two years from
the beginning of the Babylonian servitude, thirty-five years from Jehoiachin's
captivity, twenty-three years from the destruction of Jerusalem, and twenty-five
years from the beginning of the desolations (see The Companion Bible). There are
three periods of seventy years that must be kept separate, if we are to avoid
confusion: the Servitude, the Captivity, and the Desolations. The servitude
began in the first 4 year of Nebuchadnezzar, and ended with the decree of Cyrus
just quoted. The Captivity is dated by Ezekiel as from the eighth year of
Nebuchadnezzar, when Jeconiah was carried away captive. The Desolations
commenced with the last siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and are the
subject of Daniel's prayer in chapter nine. While, therefore, Daniel is
associated with the seventy years' desolation, Nehemiah is connected with the
seventy years' captivity:
"The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in
great affliction and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and
the gates thereof are burned with fire" (Neh. 1:3).
The effect of this report upon Nehemiah is very similar to the effect of
Jeremiah's words on Daniel; to appreciate the parallel, Daniel nine and Nehemiah
one should be read together.
In Nehemiah two things reach a crisis. As the king's cupbearer, Nehemiah held a
high office, for, in effect, he stood between the king and possible death by
poisoning. To have appeared at all distraught in the royal presence might have
proved fatal; for he might have fallen under suspicion and have been executed
immediately. So, when the king comments upon his sad looks, we read: "Then I was
very sore afraid" (Neh. 2:2). Nehemiah then tells the king of the condition of
the city of Jerusalem, and the king asks, "For what doss thou make request?"
Then we read, "So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king" (Neh.
We pause a moment to observe this true conception of prayer. In Nehemiah's day
ritual was of divine institution; and place, time and attitude in prayer were
ordained by law. But Nehemiah was no formalist, for true prayer is ever above
all forms. Without any apparent interval, a prayer winged its way into the
presence of a greater King than Artaxerxes and deliverance followed.
One other point of interest is contained in Nehemiah 2:6.
Nehemiah requests of the king that he may be granted leave of absence to go into
Judah and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. The king replies to Nehemiah (the queen
also sitting by him), "For how long shall thy journey be, and when wilt thou
return?" The queen here mentioned in the parentheses is none other than Esther,
who had already been instrumental in the deliverance of her people as recorded
in the book bearing her name. The presence of the queen here is one of the links
in the working out of God's purpose. Under Mordecai, Esther saved Israel; her
presence here evidently influenced Artaxerxes, and her son, Cyrus, has his own
place in the scheme, as we have seen.
We now turn our attention to the disposition of the subject matter as indicated
by the structure, which without undue elaboration is as follows:
PRAYER OF DANIEL
A 9:3 Daniel's face set unto the Lord God
B 9:4 Prayer and confession
Covenant-keeping God We have sinned
D 9:5-10 Rebellion a 5 Rebellion
b 6 Disobedience to message of prophets
c 7-9 Righteousness belongeth unto the Lord Confusion belongeth unto us Mercies
belong unto the Lord
a 9 Rebellion
b 10 Disobedience to message of prophets
9:11I-14 Curse a 11I The curse, as Moses said
b 12 Confirmed words
a 13 The evil, as Moses said
b 14 Watched evil
C 9:15 Covenant kept of old by God We have
B 9:16-17 Hear prayer and confession
A 9:17-19 The Lord's face to shine upon the Sanctuary.
Daniel's prayer centers round the fact that Israel's terrible desolation is the
outcome of rebellion against the word of God, sent from time to time through the
prophets, and is but the fulfillment of the curse and the oath, written in the
law of Moses long before.
God evidently keeps His word, and Israel have most surely merited their
punishment. Yet Daniel reminds himself that God not only watches over the evil
to perform it, but in the mighty deliverance of Israel from Egypt in days gone
by, He was true to His covenant promises, even though Israel had failed. The
prayer, therefore, while a confession of Israel's sin, reminds God of His
covenant relationship with the people and the city.
There is a beautiful progression in the prayer. At first Daniel speaks of his
people without any term of association with the Lord. He speaks of our kings,
our princes, our fathers, and the people of the land; of the men of Judah, the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of all Israel near and far. Not until we reach the
tenth verse is any link established; there Daniel speaks of the Lord our God,
and again in verses thirteen, fourteen and fifteen. In verse fifteen a fuller
claim is made; this rebellious people are "Thy people". In verse sixteen
the desolate city is "Thy city", "Thy holy mountain"; and "Thy
people are become a reproach". In verse seventeen, Daniel is "Thy
servant", and the desolate temple "Thy sanctuary". Then it all comes
pouring forth. Reserve is abandoned. Before this covenant keeping God, Daniel
pours out his petition:
"O my God, incline Thins ear, and hear; open Thins eyes, and behold our
the city which is called by ThyName: for we do not
present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, but for Thy great
mercies, O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for
Thins own sake, O my God; for
Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy Name" (9:18,19).
The limits of such a work as this Analysis compel us to omit much of spiritual
value, and so refraining from further comment on Daniel's prayer, we turn our
THE PRINCIPLE OF COMPUTING PROPHETIC TIMES
How many different ways of computing the seventy weeks of Daniel nine have been
put forward by earnest men of God? We do not know, but there are many; and the
fact that such diversity exists must humble us before the Lord. Differences of
opinion exist as to where the reckoning begins, where the reckoning ends,
whether the "weeks" are weeks of days or of years, and whether the prince that
shall come be Titus (A.D.70)
or the beast of the Apocalypse. Most affirm that there is now only the last week
of Daniel nine to be fulfilled; while others believe that the seventy weeks are
literal weeks of days all yet future. Facing this monument of human failure and
contradiction it seems at first an act of impertinence on our part to step
forward and make even a tentative suggestion. Yet it is impossible to avoid the
subject, and, therefore, with every recognition of the faithfulness and ability
of others, we humbly place on record the way in which we have been led by
scriptural principles to a conclusion in the matter.
The first principle that demands recognition is that which deals with the
"lo-ammi" periods of Israel's history. For the benefit of those who may not know
the meaning of this terns we state that it has reference to Hosea 1:9: "Call his
name Loammi: for ye are not My people". The principle we have in mind is that
those periods when Israel are out of favour-and so "lo-ammi"-are not reckoned in
the prophetic calendar. So far as God's scheme of time is concerned, such
periods do not exist. They are, however, reckoned in the calendar of the world,
and consequently must be taken into account.
Perhaps a homely illustration will help to make the point clearer. A man, let us
suppose, has an account at the bank, and upon inquiry, he learns that his
balance stands at £500. From one point of view he may truthfully say that he
owns £500. There is another point of view, however; he owes £200 on his house,
and other outstanding bills total £200; so that although his bank book shows
£500, he actually owns only £100. The bankbook figure represents the calendar of
the world, and the residual figure the prophetic times. The "lo-ammi" periods
correspond with the debts and must be subtracted to obtain the prophetic
There were five occasions when the Lord "sold" His people into the hands of
their enemies, and for these five periods the prophetic clock stopped and time
was unrecorded. These periods are all found in the book of Judges:
MESOPOTAMIA 8 years
18 years Lo-ammi (3:14).
20 years Lo-ammi (4:3).
7 years Lo-ammi (6:1).
40 years Lo-ammi (13:1).
Of course no time can be reckoned "lo-ammi" that is not concerned with the whole
nation; raids and bondage that affected only some of the tribes are not
included.. See article
Lo-Ammmi (Part two, p. 276).
The first principle, therefore, that we must observe when computing prophetic
periods is that which allows for the nonreckoning of "lo-ammi" periods. This
applies in both directions; we cannot allow a period of time to be excluded
while Israel is a nation before God, any more than we can allow a period to be
reckoned when Israel is temporarily set aside. This we shall find compels us to
include the Acts of the Apostles in the seventy weeks, and also compels us to
exclude the period when Jerusalem was still unbuilt in Nehemiah's day.
THE SEVENTY WEEKS
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city" (Dan.
If we understand the word "week" to mean seven days, we have a period of a
little more than one year and four months to consider, and of this a smaller
period is occupied in building and restoring Jerusalem, certainly a short time
for such an operation. When, however, Daniel wishes to make us understand
literal weeks, each of seven days, he adds the word "days":
"I Daniel was mourning three full weeks" (literally, weeks of days) (10:2).
"Till three whole weeks were fulfilled" (literally, weeks of days) (10:3).
To make the matter certain, the angelic visitor declares that on the first day
of Daniel's fasting his words had been heard and the angel sent, but that for
"one and twenty days" he had been withstood. This carefulness on Daniel's part
is one argument in favour of the view that ordinary weeks of days are not
intended in Daniel nine. A further argument is that Daniel had been occupied
with prophecies that dealt with a period of seventy years, and the angelic
announcement of the seventy weeks seems but an expansion.
Another argument in favour of the years interpretation is provided by the
Scriptural treatment of the last week. It will be observed that this last of the
seventy weeks is divided into two parts:
"He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the
week he shall cause sacrifice and the oblation to cease" (9:27).
Now Daniel refers more than once to a peculiar period at the time of the end:
"A time and times and the dividing of time" (7:25).
"A time, times, and an half" (12:7).
"Let seven times pass over him" (4:16).
A consultation of the margin of Daniel 11:13 will show that "times" may be
synonymous with "years". If that is so, then a time, times and a half may be a
prophetic and cryptic way of describing three and a half years. This being just
half the seven year period exactly meets the requirements of Daniel 9:27.
We have, however, clearer evidence in the book of the Revelation:
"A time, and times, and half a time" (Rev. 12:14).
This is the period during which the woman is nourished in the wilderness. In
Revelation 12:6 we read:
"They should feed her there 1,260 days".
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 1,260 days, and a time, times, and
a half, are periods of the same duration.
There is evidence in Scripture of the recognition of a year of 360 days. For
example, it is computed that between the seventeenth day of the second month,
and the seventeenth day of the seventh month is 150 days (Genesis seven and
eight), a computation which supposes a month of thirty days. Dividing 1,260 by
30 we have 42 months, or three and a half years. Now Scripture speaks of a
period of 42 months, and places it in such proximity to that of 1,260 days as to
remove all doubt as to the length of the prophetic year:
"The holy city shall they tread under foot 42 months" (Rev. 11:2).
"My two witnesses . . . shall prophesy 1,260 days" (Rev. 11:3).
We have already seen that Revelation thirteen speaks of the
time when the fourth beast of Daniel seven shall be in power; and if Daniel nine
speaks of this same power and period, we may expect to find here some
"He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (a period of 7 years): and
in the midst of the week (after a period of 31 years, 42 months or 1,260 days)
he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" (Dan. 9:27).
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and
power was given unto him to continue 42 months" (Rev. 13:5).
That the Hebrew language can refer to "sabbaths of years" is shewn in Leviticus
25:8, where a period of forty-nine years is also called "seven sabbaths of
years, seven times seven years".
These things furnish sufficient proof that the final week of Daniel nine is a
period of seven years. And if the last week be a week of years, it follows that
the seventy weeks are also weeks of years, so that the seventy weeks
"determined" represent a period of 490 years.
WHEN DOES THE PERIOD OF 490 YEARS COMMENCE?
After revealing to Daniel a prophetic period of 490 years marked off on the
divine calendar, the angel proceeds to divide the number of years up in a rather
strange way. We first learn that during the 490 years the following events are
to be fulfilled:
"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 anoint the most Holy" (Dan. 9:24).
The angel next proceeds to give further light upon this tune by saying that the
period from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of
Messiah the Prince will. be 7 weeks and 62 weeks, and that after the 62 weeks
have elapsed the Messiah will be cut off. We found it useful when speaking of
"lo-ammi" periods to use a simple illustration to make the matter clearer. It
may be of service to use the same method here. Suppose a motorist is being
directed to a certain destination and that, instead of being told that his goal
is 69 miles away, he is told that it is 7 miles and 62 miles away. If after that
somewhat cryptic statement, a remark is added about some feature in the road
that marks a junction, the obvious thing for the motorist to do would be to
travel the first seven miles and then look for some change. If at the end of 7
miles of rather bad country lane the car emerged into a new, well-made road
which continued for the remaining 62 miles, he would realize the reason for
dividing the distance. Moreover, if he had been told that at the end of 62 miles
he would come to a cross, he would look for it at the end of 62 miles of new
road, for so the direction had indicated.
Now it must be obvious that when the angel speaks of 7 weeks as distinct from 62
weeks, he has some special reason for it. The angel also speaks of the building
of the wall and the street of Jerusalem as an event related to the time periods
with which his message deals. The Companion Bible in Appendix 58 gives the
history of Nehemiah and Ezra. It is much too long to quote here, but we give two
extracts to prove our point. We must leave our readers to test the matter
further by consulting that appendix for themselves.
455 B.C. Nehemiah 1:1-2:8. Hanani's report in the month of Chisleu leads
to the "going forth of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem. Dan 9:25
454 B.C. By Artaxerxes in his twentieth year.
407 B.C. Nehemiah obtains leave of absence (Neh. 13:6),and returns to be present
405 B.C. The dedication of the temple. This ends the "seven sevens" from the
going forth of the commandment in 454 B.C.
This, then, is the first space covered; the building of the wall corresponding
to the several miles of bad road in the illustration. We now arrive at the most
important feature of our discussion, and one that we have seen canvassed in no
other work on Daniel. It follows from the logical application of the "loammi"
principle. The question is whether or not the 490 years set apart for the
achievement of God's purpose in Israel, begin at the going forth of the
proclamation to rebuild Jerusalem. To this question expositors give an
affirmative answer, but the "lo-ammi" principle demands a negative one. We read
"The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great
affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the
gates thereof are burned with fire" (Neh. 1:3).
Do these expressions describe Jerusalem as in favour. or in desolation? There is
only one answer. Nehemiah saw in these events the fulfilment of the coarse
threatened by law and prophets:
"If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations" (Neh. 1:8).
Daniel also uses terms that imply "lo-ammi" conditions. Jerusalem is "desolate"
(9:2); Israel are "driven" (verse 7); the curse is poured upon them (verse 11);
the visitation upon Jerusalem is unprecedented (verse 12). And in verse sixteen
there is anger and fury and reproach.
The seventy sevens cannot commence until Jerusalem is rebuilt and the curse
removed; this makes clear the reason for the division of the years into seven
sevens and sixty-two sevens. The seven sevens of 49 years represent the time
occupied in the rebuilding of the wall and street of Jerusalem by Nehemiah in
time of trouble, and the period ends at the dedication of the temple (Ezra
To revert to our illustration, the period covered by the building of the wall up
to the dedication of the temple corresponds with the first 7 miles of country
road. At the dedication of the temple at the end of the seven sevens the
"lo-ammi" period ends; the new high road is reached. It is then a distance of 62
miles to the Cross; or, leaving the illustration, an unbroken period of 62
sevens to the time of "the Messiah the Prince". Those who include the 49 years
of rebuilding, include a period when Israel was "lo-ammi", and they have no
alternative to excluding from their reckoning the whole period of the Acts of
the Apostles. But it is quite certain that Israel were not set aside as a people
until Acts twenty-eight, so that the period of the Acts must be included. Our
interpretation has required only 62 sevens; so that there is still scope
remaining. From A.D. 29 to 63, the usual dates now given for the Crucifixion and
Acts twenty-eight respectively, is a period of 35 years; this accounts for five
sevens. Three sevens, therefore, remain for the future, and these are dealt with
in the book of Revelation; seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials. The
final "seven" is concerned with the Beast, the False Prophet, Antichrist and
Babylon, as we read in Daniel nine.
The prophecy of the seventy weeks of Daniel nine is divided into three parts,
each of which is devoted to an explanation of events associated with one of the
great time-periods of the prophecy. This can be seen more easily if set out as
A 9:24 SEVENTY SEVENS a
b Make an end (chatham) of sins
c. Make atonement for iniquity
a Bring in everlasting righteousness
b Seal up (chathom) vision and prophecy
c Anoint the Most Holy
A 9:25,26 SEVEN SEVENS a
b The Messiah--Coming
c Seven sevens and sixty-two sevens
c After sixty-two sevens
b The Messiah--Cut off
a The City-destroyed
A 9:26,27 THE ONE SEVEN a
Desolation decreed (shamem) End of Desolator
THE MIDST OF
b. Covenant made
c One seven--7 years
c Midst of seven--3 1/2 years
b Covenant broken
a. Desolation decreed (shamem) End of Desolator.
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city"..-The
word "determined" means "to cut off", and the passage indicates that God has set
apart this period of time in which He will accomplish His purposes for the
people and the city. At first there appears to be an undue repetition in the
words of verse twenty-four: "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of
sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity". But on examination the verse is
found to be both true, like all Scripture, and prophetic.
"To finish" is a translation of kala which means "to restrain", or "shut up", as
in a prison: "Zedekiah . . . had shut him up"
(Jer. 32:3). As a substantive it is translated "prison" as in 1 Kings 22:27, 2
Kings 17:4 and eight other places. "The transgression" that is to be "shut up"
or "imprisoned" has already been spoken of in Daniel. Pesha, "transgression",
and pasha, "transgressor" occur in Daniel only in 8:12,13 and 23.
To read these occurrences in their contexts is of itself sufficient
indication that the period of the last seven of Daniel nine is the setting, and
also what "transgression" is to be "imprisoned":
"The little horn . . . magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and
by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was
cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of
transgression . . .the transgression of desolation . . . in the
latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full" (Dan.
In Daniel nine and Matthew 24:15 it is "the abomination of desolation"; here
it is "the transgression of desolation". This refers to the violation of the
temple and its sacrifices, and the desolation, once more, of Jerusalem. The day,
however, is fixed when this desolation shall for ever cease, and the Desolator
be imprisoned. It does not require great perception to see here a forecast of
the incarceration of the Beast, the False Prophet and Satan as revealed in the
"To make an end of sins"-The word "chatham" occurs again in the
sentence: "to seal up the vision and prophecy". Job uses the expression: "my
transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity" (Job
14.17). In Deuteronomy 32:34 the Lord is quoted as saying: "Is not this laid up
in store with Me, and sealed up among My treasures", and goes on to speak of the
day of vengeance. In Daniel 12:4 there is a
paronomasia, "shut up" being satham, and "seal" being Chatham,and
this is repeated in verse nine, "shut up" being there "close up". It appears
that the sense of "sealing"' here is not so much that of confirmation as of
"closing" or "shutting up". The one other reference to "sealing" in Daniel is in
connection with the den of lions (6:17), and the object of that sealing is
given: "That purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel". "To make
reconciliation for iniquity". Here the word is
kaphar, and means "to make atonement". This is vital. This is precious. It
belongs to no one section of the redeemed. In spite of what certain words in the
English translation may from a superficial reading appear to teach, atonement
belongs to both Old and New Testaments. This vital theme is too vast to be dealt
with here, but we have devoted some space to it in the series entitled
"Redemption", which will be found in the Doctrinal Parts 6 and 7.
Thus end the first three blessings that are to come. Three more follow as a
"To bring in age-abiding righteousness."
"To seal up the vision and prophecy."
"To anoint the Most Holy."
Righteousness is to be the characteristic of Jerusalem and her people at the
time of the end:
"Thou shaft be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city" (Isa.
"A King shall reign in righteousness" (Isa. 32:1).
"For Zion's sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not
rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness" (Isa. 62:1).
It is not easy to arrive at an understanding of the words, "to seal up vision
and prophecy". Some think that their purport may be that vision and prophecy
will have finished their work and be no more needed. The statement may mean that
God will set His seal to vision and prophecy and all will be fulfilled. Or, as
Daniel 12:4 indicates, a sealing up of the prophecies until the time of the end
may be foreshadowed. Malachi is called in Rabbinical writings, "The Seal of the
Prophets" because, with him, Old Testament prophecy comes to an end. At present,
however, we feel it wise to refrain from expressing a decided opinion as to the
true interpretation, and we think that our readers will hold with us, that
rather than risk the perpetuation of error it is better thus to refrain.
"To anoint the Most Holy". In Scripture the words translated "Most Holy" are
never used of persons, but always of things dedicated to God. They should be
rendered "Holy of Holies", and refer to the cleansing of the sanctuary spoken of
in Daniel 8:14.
These six items cover the restoration that is to take place, but events of great
magnitude occur before the goal is reached events that revolve around the
persons and work of Christ and Antichrist:
"From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build
Jerusalem unto an Anointed One (Messiah) the Prince, shall be 7 x 7 and 62 x 7:
the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And
after 62 x 7 shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself" (Dan. 9:25,26).
Some of our readers may have noticed that we did not trouble to show that
this prophecy was accurately fulfilled. As to this it is common knowledge that
the received date for the 20th year of Artaxerxes is 454 B.C., and 62 x 7 or 434
years + the 7 x 7 or 49 years after 454 B.C. brings us to A.D. 29, the received
date for the Crucifixion, but when we faced the involved accounts of Herodotus,
Thucydides, Xenophon and others, and the evidence of the Behistun Rock that must
be unravelled before 454 B.C. could be arrived at, we felt that little good
would be accomplished by the survey, and it is contrary to our principle to
accept any testimony without investigation.
Let it be quite clear, however, that we implicitly believe
that Daniel nine is correct; whatever may be proved or fail to be proved from
secular history. It would not, for instance, shake
our faith in the slightest if some archaeological discovery called for another
readjustment of dates; no one, however learned, would be prepared to go into the
witness box and declare on oath the exact number of years after Christ this
present year called A.D. 1960 really is. From Adam to Christ chronology is
constant in Scripture. Since then God has written no chronology in Scripture,
and seeing that the calendar of the period
after Christ is so muddled and involved, it is questionable whether God has not
intentionally frustrated the attempts at forecasting prophetic dates.
When we are dealing with the statements of Scripture,
however, we are on solid ground. The Lord rode into Jerusalem, and was acclaimed
by the people as the Son of David, when it was near to Passover, and therefore
in the month Nisan (Matt 21:1-16), which is the same month in which the decree
was issued by Artaxerxes (Neh. 2:1). "After" this Messiah was to be cut off. "To
be cut off" implies death by violence, e.g., "neither shall all flesh be cut o,
ff any more by the waters of a flood" (Gen. 9:11). The expression is, moreover,
in constant use in the law where it is used of the cutting off of an offender
from all covenant relations, and of the consequent bearing of his iniquity:
"That soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him" (Num.
It is most blessedly true that when the Messiah was cut off it was, as the
Authorized Version renders it, "not for Himself", but the original of Daniel
9:26 does not justify that translation, for it says, "and have nothing". Instead
of a throne, He had a cross. Instead of many diadems, He wore a crown of thorns.
Instead of a kingdom, He had a tomb. Of all the glories spoken of by the
prophets, "He had nothing"! We are thankful for the earlier vision of Daniel
seven which reveals that in God's own time He should be invested with
sovereignty, but that meanwhile iniquity was to rear its head and make its final
grasp at world-wide dominion before the end came.
We pause at verse twenty-six to consider the reference there to "The Messiah",
for while most commentators see in this term a reference to Christ, this
interpretation has been denied. "The Jews of the Talmud age say, that the end of
the Messiah was spoken of in the Book of the Chetubim arriving at this place;
but how the latter generations turn off such a sense"; see R. Saddras and Rab.
Solomon. In like manner, Isaiah fiftythree is interpreted of Hezekiah or even of
the nation of Israel, but thank God we have New Testament witness that "The
Messiah" Himself is the subject of that prophecy. In the time of our Lord, the
name "Messiah" was on the lips of the common people. The ignorant Samaritan
woman knew that "Messiah cometh" (John 4:25). Andrew told his brother, "we have
found the Messiah", to which John adds for our benefit; "which is being
interpreted the Christ" (John 1:41). Old Simeon expected to be spared long
enough to see "The Lord's Christ" i.e. the Messiah, and when the angels
announced the birth of the Saviour to the Shepherds, they spoke of Him as
"Christ the Lord", i.e. The Messiah. When the crowd of common people said, "If
thou be the Christ, tell us plainly" they make it clear that the common people
as well as the Ra,bbins themselves used this title with knowledge. The
paraphrase of Jonathan uses the title, "The Messiah", in explaining twenty-six
passages of the prophets concerning Him (see Buxtorf Lex. Chald. Col. 1270-2).
Others, in order to retain their own theories, have interpreted The Messiah of
Daniel nine, of Cyrus, of Xerxes, or Alexander the Great and even of Zedekiah.
One would have felt with Acts 4:25-28, that no child of God believing the
Scriptures to be inspired could ever have put for
ward a teaching that necessitated the denial that Psalm 2:2 referred to Christ 1
The objection is based upon the fact that inasmuch as "The Lord" of the Old
Testament is the Saviour and the Christ of the New, then when we read "Against
the Lord, and against His Anointed", the Anointed cannot refer to Christ. But
this places the Apostles in a queer position. Those who quote Psalm two in Acts
four, were endued with miraculous gifts, and "with one accord" they could quote
Psalm two, and comment immediately, "For of a truth against Thy holy child
Jesus, Whom 'THOU HAST ANOINTED . . ." The combination of "The Lord" and "His
Anointed" apparently was no stumbling to them. Old Simeon also had no such
problem, for he said without reserve, "The Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26). If we can
possibly allow a mistake to have crept into Luke 2:26 and Acts four, are we, to
be consistent, going to rule out Christ from Psalm one hundred and ten, in spite
of the fact that the Saviour Himself endorsed it? If the Messiah can be ruled
out of Psalm two, because the words occur "Against the Lord, and against His
Anointed" what shall we do with Psalm 110:1, "The Logy said unto my Lord",
and how shall we react to the Lord's own question:
"What think ye of Christ, whose son is He?"
Shall we say that the Saviour Himself stood in need of correction? It is good to
see that even the Pharisees did not adopt that attitude, and it is a sad thing
to find a child of God taking such a line of teaching.
We return to Daniel nine, being convinced that "the Messiah" here is none other
than He Who in fullness of time was born at Bethlehem, at the time indicated in
this prophecy. In the text of Daniel 9:26 the Hebrew is "inverted", reading:
"And the people of the prince, the one that is to come, shall destroy the pity
and the sanctuary", the intention being to connect the future prince with the
word "confirm" showing that neither Antiochus, Titus nor Christ can be
that prince, who finds "his end'' in an overflowing destruction. Nowhere does
Christ in .he New Testament confirm a covenant for "a week" whether of lays,
weeks or years. The covenant thus confirmed; is that of Antichrist with the
Jews. The reference to the abomination of Desolation spoken by Daniel the
prophet, in Matthew 24:15, is not exhausted by the destruction of Jerusalem
under Titus, for, Daniel speaks of this "abomination" in Daniel 11:31 and in
Daniel 12:11, and these, especially the last, take us to the time immediately
preceding the coming of Christ. Messiah Was "cut off" at the cross, but the
prince that shall come, the false Messiah, shall come to his end, when the
desolator himself shall be destroyed, as revealed in the Book of the Revelation.
The destruction of Jerusalem under Titus in A.D. 70 is not recorded in the New
Testament but the prophecy of Matthew 23:38 and 24:1-3 with Luke 21:20 clearly
embraces the words of Daniel:
"The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the
The focal point of Daniel 9:27 is the confirmation, by this mighty prince, of a
league. While the word
berith usually refers to the covenants of God, it is used also in a
lower sense. The word is used when the "league" between King Asa and Benhadad,
and the breaking of a "league" between Ben-hadad and Baasha, are spoken of. In
Isaiah 28:15 it is called a "covenant with death and
sheol", and inasmuch as this awful covenant was made as a refuge from a
threatened overflowing scourge, we can see that it speaks of the same prophetic
period as does Daniel 9:27. As the Apostle Paul has declared, covenant breaking
belongs to the time of the end (Rom. 1:31; 2 Tim. 3:3). Apostates shall forsake
the holy covenant, and do wickedly against, it (Dan. 11:30-32), and deceitful
dealings even after a league has been made, are spoken of in Daniel 11:23.
Apparently, the little horn, the final Satanic king, will enter into an
agreement with Israel at the opening of Daniel's last week. At the expiry of 31
years he breaks his word, turns round upon the people and their worship, and
attempts to blot out all sign and evidence of Israel's God and worship. What has
been going on in Russia is a faint foreshadowing of his policy:
"He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the
overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate" (Dan. 9:27).
Al kanaph, "overspreading", means "a wing". Ginsburg
whose authority in matters of the Hebrew text is beyond our ability to confute,
suggests that the true reading should be
al , "in its stead" as we read in 11:7, where it is translated "in his
estate". 1f this reading be the true one, the passage would read:
"He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and IN ITS
STEAD Shall stand in the holy place (see Matt. 24:15) the abomination that
Scripture uses the word "abomination" for an idol. This blasphemy and wicked
opposition lasts no longer than 31/2 years as Revelation, 13:5 confirms:
"Even unto the consummation, and that determined shall be poured out
upon the desolator" (Dan. 9:27).
Here is a reference to the future outpouring of the vials of wrath, ending
with the consignment of the beast to the burning flame (Dan. 7:11 and Rev.
19:20). With this the prophecy of Daniel ends. The following outline may help to
visualize the character and time periods of this eventful 70th week of Daniel
The Seventieth week of Daniel 9:27
The covenant made
The Great Tribulation
Period 42 months,
The Man of Sin.
1,260 days or
Time, Times and a half.
The First Half.
The Second Half:
In conclusion we draw attention to the diagram attached to this article. The
orthodox interpretation is set out in Figure 1, the Berean interpretation in
Figure 2. The angel who came from heaven to give this prophetic forecast could
presumably add up a few figures; he certainly did not need any assistance from
commentators to add together 7 and 62, yet most commentators IGNORE the fact
chat the angel said seven weeks AM sixty-two weeks, and put down straight away
69. By so doing they INCLUDE the years of distress during which the wall was in
building, and allow no time after the Crucifixion to cover the period of the
Acts, even though Israel were still a people before God, and their hope runs
from one end of the Acts to the other (Acts 1:6; 28:20).
Two periods of time are in view in Daniel 9:24-26.
(1) The complete period of 70 x 7 years.
(2) The length of time that elapsed between the command to
restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah.
When the angel resumes, in Daniel 9:26, he omits the 7 weeks of wall building,
and commences his reckoning from the 62 weeks. Now 62 from 70 leaves 8. The Acts
of the Apostles covers about 35 years or 5 x 7, this leaves 3 x 7 years for the
future, and the last of these is the final "week" in the midst of which the
antichristian Dictator will break the covenant made with Israel, and the 3j
years of Tribulation will commence.
We have devoted a fair amount of space to this prophecy because it not only
reaches into, and helps to interpret, the Apocalypse, but it demonstrates the
extreme importance of recognizing the lo-ammi periods of Israel's history, and
where the prophetic clock stops, and whew it resumes its time keeping. (See for
fuller details the series of articles ranged under MILLINNIUM
A SHORT SYNOPSIS
With the utmost brevity that can be observed without sacrificing clarity, we
will attempt a synopsis of prophetic events, of things that must surely come to
pass, and of some relevant facts and features that are of importance as indexes
or fingerposts along the line of fulfillment. Those who value the writings of B.
W. Newton will be aware that we are indebted to him for the general lay-out of
this synopsis, but in some places we have been obliged to depart from his
viewpoint, for, although he recognized the parenthetical character of the
present dispensation, he, like other writers among the "Brethren" did not take
this revelation to its logical conclusion. (Any reader to whom these words are
somewhat provocative should write for the booklet, The Grapes of Eshcol, 6d.,
which incorporates the testimony of early Brethren.)
(1) The people of Prophecy are the chosen people of Israel, and the city of
Jerusalem and the land of promise, called Emmanuel's land, the earthly center.
(2) Other nations are mentioned, but only as they come into contact with Israel.
Such nations as Egypt, Persia, Greece and Babylon, are named while Gentiles,
Nations, Heathen and Peoples are some of the titles by which the outside nations
are called. Deuteronomy 32:8 suggests the inter-relationship of Israel with
(3) No prophetic details as to dates, persons or places are given, while the
Jews are not located nationally in Palestine.
(4) The focus of much prophetic revelation has to do with the last three and a
half years of the present age, spoken of variously as "the time of the end", "a
time, times and a half a time", "42 months" and "1,260 days", all referring to
the same period (Dan. 12:7; Rev. 12:14; 11:2; 13:5; 11:3 and 12:6). This has a
bearing on the Millennial Reign. (See articles under the heading MILLINNIAL
STUDIES, p. 21.)
(5) It is useful to have before the mind one or two passages that give a general
description of Israel, Jerusalem and the Nations during the interval between the
Lord's First and Second Coming.
"The children of Israel shall abide many days
without a king, and without a prince, and
without a sacrifice, and without an image, and
without an ephod, and without teraphim:
Of Afterward shall the children of Israel return,
Israel. and seek the Lord their God, and David their
king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness
in the latter days".
Luke 21:24 "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the
Of Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be
Such prophecies as that of Matthew twenty-four, and the eight parables of
Matthew thirteen are of great importance, while the oft-quoted Psalm 110 reveals
the expectant attitude of Christ Himself while He waits the appointed time for
His Coronation. (See "COMING of THE Logy", Part eight, p. 102 and "PARABLE" Part
three, p. 115.)
(6) Prophecy has a two-fold aspect, and relates to a future time of evil
prosperity and a consequent woe; also to a time of great blessing; both to take
place in the earth (Isa. 2:6-9; Rev. 17; Ezek. 2:9,10; Isa. 2;5; 35; 40; 50,
etc.). This twofold aspect
is implied in the watchman's answer:
"Watchman, what of the night? The morning cometh, and also the night" (Isa.
Prophecy is a "light that shineth in a dark place . . . until the day dawn
and the Day star arise".
(7) Some of the principal subjects of Prophecy are, apart from
those to do with Israel,
"The revival of eastern countries by means of godless
western civilization and in connexion with this the evil
prosperity of the Jews in their establishment as a nation in
Palestine in unbelief." We have quoted this from the
writings of B. W. Newton, written about seventy years
ago, and live to see its fulfilment approaching. -
An apostasy or falling away from revealed truth, a period
of deception brought about by doctrines of demons, ,
leading; up to the revelation of the Man of Sin and the coming to the surface of
the Mystery of Iniquity. This
infidel King and False Messiah will make a covenant and
treaty with the Jews for seven years, but at the end of 'fit, .
three years and a half, he will break his agreement and
demand that his image shall be set up in the temple and
worshipped, when the great tribulation will ensue (Zech.
5:5-11; 2 Thess. 2:3,4; Dan. 9:27; Rev. 13:15). E
At the time of the end, there shall be ten kings, set forth
in symbol by the ten toes of the image of Daniel 2:42, and
by the ten horns of Daniel 7:24. These kings will be sub-
ordinate to the great antichristian Despot (Rev. 17:12,13).
The Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18 is the Babylon of
Jeremiah 50 and 51 and a comparison of these two
descriptions will prove that they refer to the same cities and
powers, and so of necessity that Bayblon must be rebuilt.
The development of Iraq is going on before our eyes, and
with modern technique a new city could spring up in the
briefest of time (Zech. 5:11; Rev. 18:3-7; Isa. 13-14; Jer. 50-51).
God never leaves Himself without witness, and so throughout the three years and
a half, two especially endowed Witnesses will
bear their testimony, and only cease when .the antichristian Beast shall
eventually be permitted to put
them to death (Rev. 11:3-8)
The hope of the Church of the Mystery is to be manifested with Christ in the
glory that belongs to the place where He
now sits at the right hand of God, and must not be confused with either the hope
of Israel or of the Church called into being during the Acts of the Apostles and
before the setting aside of Israel, and their hope at Acts twenty-eight. This
phase, the hope of the Church of the Mystery, lies outside the scope of
"Prophecy". The Coming of Christ to the air as revealed in 1 Thessalonians four
is associated with Israel by the reference to the "Archangel" who is none other
than Michael and stands for Israel (1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 9; Dan. 12:1). This
company belong to the heavenly calling, who are Abraham's seed, as Galatians
3:9,27-29 reveals, and who are associated with "Jerusalem which is above" (Gal.
4:26), the heavenly Jerusalem. At this coming of Christ, living believers will
be changed, the sleeping saints raised, and SO, and in no other way, will they
be far ever with the Lord. In connection with the purpose that envisages a
kingdom on the earth, Matthew twenty-four must be studied, its time factors
(24:15,21,29,30,33) given full place and believed, which will link Matthew
twenty-four with the hope of Israel, and not with the hope of the Church of the
(g) At this time Israel will look upon Him Whom they have pierced and be
converted, and enter into their long-deferred destiny as a kingdom of Priests
(Zech. 12:10-14; Rev. 1:6). The Church as ministered to by Paul is never so
called. Peter who ministered to the circumcision rightly uses this title (1 Pet.
(h) Thus will be ushered in the "Millennium" or that initial part of Christ's
reign which will last for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-10). The reign of Christ,
however, is infinitely longer than this initial Millennial reign. See article
THE THOUSAND GENERATIONS (p. 69).
(i) After the thousand years, a period must elapse to fulfill the promises
associated with the Day of God, which follows the Day of the Lord, and which
leads on to the New Heaven and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2
(j) The Great White Throne, contrary to general opinion, is not the judgment of
all the ungodly that have ever lived, it is the second member of a pair of which
the "first resurrection" is the other member (see articles on the MILLINIUM for
this and other features of Rev. 20:11-15).
(8) The seed plot of all prophecy is Genesis 3:15, the utmost goal is given in 1
Corinthians 15:24-28, where we read: