So many Bible scholars have differing interpretations about the seventy weeks prophecy in Daniel chapter 9:
“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.” (v. 24)
God will prove to us through the pages of the Bible that this prophecy, without a single doubt, could easily be considered as the most wonderful and breath-taking prophecy that you will be able to know and understand. It is a heaven and earth shaking revelation from our Heavenly Father! And once you understand the conclusion of this 70 weeks prophecy, it will literally blow your mind away! It ought to be the most exciting and the most anticipated prophecy we should ever be looking forward to. No other prophecy could even compare to the excitement that it brings to God’s Heavenly Throne.
To begin with, let us take a closer look at this 70 week prophecy – its outcome has to fulfill and satisfy six things:
- to finish the transgression
- to make an end of sins
- to make reconciliation for iniquity
- to bring in everlasting righteousness
- to seal up the vision and prophecy
- to anoint the most Holy
According to some commentaries, the first three has already been fulfilled, while the last three still awaits its final fulfillment.
But looking at it carefully, even during Christ’s first coming as God in the flesh; He was able to fulfill all six. Yet, as we shall see later, a duality is prophesied to be fulfilled in our time right now before the Great Tribulation to finally bring in everlasting righteousness.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” (v. 25)
It is already a common knowledge among students of Bible prophecy that this 70 week prophecy is actually equivalent to 490 years (applying the day for a year principle, Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6).
The beginning of the first fulfillment of the 70 weeks prophecy was from the decree given by King Artaxerxes on his seventh year reign in the year 457 B.C. – the account is written on Ezra 7:7-28;
“Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes to Israel. Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee …And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily …Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? …Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.” Consider the time sequence breakdown:
- 7 weeks in years – This must have been fulfilled during Nehemiah’s second visit to Jerusalem (Neh. 13:15-31, see JFB and Lange’s Commentaries). According to the Elephantine papyri, this specific event must have happened in 408 B.C. – 49 years after the decree of King Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. (See Archeological Confirmation of the Time of Nehemiah’s Return in the book, Archeology and Bible History by Joseph P. Free and Howard Frederick Vos, pp. 210-211)
In 408 B.C., the city of Jerusalem has been completely rebuilt; the gates and the streets were used as an avenue to profane the Sabbath where merchants and sellers were lodged even on the front physical WALLS which Nehemiah had built previously within 52 days to serve as their protection (vv. 20, 21; see also Neh. 6:15). But when he returned on his second visit during that time in 408 B.C., he saw that those WALLS were used to profane the Sabbath, so he had commanded to close those gates and the streets (v. 19) and commanded the Levites to cleanse and guard the gates to sanctify the Sabbaths (v. 22).
He also saw that the Jews have transgressed against God by marrying strange wives (v. 23, 27) which they have children with (v. 24). He even had to contend with the nobles of Judah (v. 17, 25). Here is what Lange’s Commentary wrote:
A dozen years later again on Nehemiah’s second visit, there is a necessity for a most stern application of Nehemiah s personal and official power to cure the same old evil, which seems to have been bolder than ever.
And do you know who was behind all of the evil and profanity? – “And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.” (v. 28)
Remember Sanballat? He was a very zealous enemy of God’s work. (Neh. 2:10, 19; 4:1, 7; 6:1, 2, 5, 12, 14)
“…the street shall be built again and the wall” – the fulfillment of this prophecy revolves around the return of the Jews to their former work of doing evil in God’s sight after Jerusalem had been completely rebuilt. It was introduced by someone who was related to the enemy of God’s work, and he was from among the priesthood – the spiritual WALL! Their sins apparently have separated the people from God again. (Isa. 59:2)
“Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.” (v. 29)
Apparently, the spiritual WALL (the priesthood) that was previously cleansed and purified during the rebuilding of the Second Temple has been defiled again. And one thing that we have to take particular notice is that Malachi was the minor prophet during the time of Nehemiah’s second visit. Thus, God remembered the corrupt priesthood through the prophet Malachi! God has immediately answered Nehemiah’s prayer. Apparently, 240 years later, in 168 B.C., God allowed Antiochus Epiphanes to desecrate the temple. Here is what Mr. Flurry wrote about Antiochus:
He was responsible for setting up the abomination of desolation. In 168 B.C., Antiochus pillaged and desecrated the Jews’ temple in Jerusalem. Greek historian Polybius observed that he “despoiled most sanctuaries.” He also burdened the Jews with unbearable taxes. “Throughout the turbulent changes of its past history,” wrote Werner Keller in The Bible as History, “Israel had been spared none of the horror and ignominy which could befall a nation. But never before, neither under the Assyrians nor under the Babylonians, had it received such a blow as the edict issued by Antiochus Epiphanes by which he hoped to crush and destroy the faith of Israel” (see also 1 Maccabees 1:44 in the Hebrew Bible). – Daniel Unsealed at Last, p. 16
Now, even in this end time, God still remembers these people through Malachi’s Message. Now here are some of the accounts regarding Nehemiah’s second visit which corresponded with the appearance of the prophet Malachi:
The abuses which Malachi mentions in his writings correspond so exactly with those which Nehemiah found on his 2nd visit to Jerusalem. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malachi)
While in Lange’s Commentary, here’s what is written:
(W)e find Malachi condemning the very same abuses, which Nehemiah found existing in his second visit to Jerusalem, we may reasonably conclude, that they were contemporaries, and sustain the same relations to each other.
That was what happened after the 7th week (in years) in Daniel 9’s seventy week prophecy “the street shall be built again and the wall” – it discusses a point in time when the Jews have started doing what was contrary to God’s own work of rebuilding and restoring the temple in Jerusalem unto the Messiah’s first coming. And who were the perpetrators? The priesthood! – Thus, the need for the prophet Malachi’s message.
Will there be a duality of this specific prophecy (“the street shall be built again and the wall”) which involves an enemy of God’s Work from among the priesthood or ministry who shall defile the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood by returning to a former work which is contrary to God’s own work, even marrying a strange wife (spiritually speaking) during the fulfillment of the duality of the 70 week prophecy in this last end?
Let us take a brief look as to what Ezra and Nehemiah’s jobs were: Basically, Ezra’s job was to cleanse and purify the spiritual WALL (the priesthood) which guarded the law, while Nehemiah’s job was focused on building the physical WALL around Jerusalem to protect them.
In this last end, there is a counterpart of that WALL, as Mr. Flurry has mentioned in his Opening Night Message for the 2013 Feast of Tabernacles: “we’re building (or have built) a WALL around this Church to protect us.” But what do you think will he see during his second visit? Apparently, the WALL (the PCG ministers plus the NO CONTACT POLICY) that he built has been greatly abused and used to separate the people from God. (Ezek. 4:3)
Now, let’s move to the next time sequence: “And after threescore and two weeks (on top of the initial 7 weeks on verse 25) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: …And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Dan. 9:26-27).
- After 69 weeks (483 years), comes the final 1 week (7 years) – Christ confirms the covenant with many
- In the midst of that 1 week (3 ½ years) – Christ has to be cut off, but not for himself “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity” (v. 24; see also Heb. 9:11-28)
Now here is what all the Bible prophecy students has not fully understood which has been actually concealed until now – the latter thoughts of verses 26 and 27. Some have erroneously attributed these verses to the abomination of desolation that was set up by a Seleucid Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes IV, some apply it to the Roman general Titus, (who later became emperor that ascended to the throne of his father Vespasian), while others avoid it altogether. Even Bible commentaries were confused as to how they might reconcile the conclusion of the 70 week prophecy. The one point they agree though is about the Messiah being cut off in the midst of the week. And there is a reason for that confusion; it is not yet time to be understood then.
But now in this last end, God’s appointed time has come and He has given us the knowledge and the understanding of the mysterious conclusion to the longstanding prophecy in Daniel chapter 9.
God at several times inspires His prophets to write Bible prophecies in forms of chiasmus. Verses 26 and 27 are no different, because He wanted to hide the true meaning until His appointed has come. Well, that time has indeed already come.
Let’s begin our analysis with the time element being discussed in verses 26 to 27; notice that both verses pertain to the last one week remaining after the 69th week (483 years) of the 70 weeks prophecy. That means that everything written therein has to be fulfilled inside that one week time frame.
And within that time period, another prophecy which was written by the prophet Ezekiel has to be triggered and has to be fulfilled as well – i.e., the countdown to a DETERMINED future event (siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.) as a consequence of the actions of the desolator and those that supported him. Take particular notice that the commencement of the countdown for that specific determined future event has to be triggered when the prophecy in Daniel 9 has to be uttered “THAT SAME YEAR” by the desolator during the one week (seven years) time frame.
Now let’s continue by arranging the two verses (26 and 27) in its chiastic form:
Here is what shall appear upon rearrangement of the chiasmus for verses 26 and 27. Remember that the events indicated in the verses should happen within the allotted time frame of one week (seven years):
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: …And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” – FIRST PART
“…and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined …and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” – SECOND PART
Now, let us go briefly on the FIRST PART: The start of the last week or the 70th week began when Christ was about 30 years old and was baptized by John the Baptist on the autumn of 27 A.D. on the river of Jordan. (Matt. 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-23). John was at first hesitant to baptize Him but, “Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented” (v. 15, NIV). Notice that Christ mentions the 4th point in Daniel 9:24, “to bring in everlasting righteousness.”
After Christ’s baptism, He went into the wilderness and fasted 40 days and 40 nights to battle Satan, the prince of the power of the air. (Matt. 4:1-2; Eph. 2:2). Then immediately after that titanic battle with Satan, Christ began His earthly ministry (Mark 1:14-15). Throughout His ministry, he has always been in the watchful eyes of the Pharisees (and the Sadducees as well). But how did the Pharisees came into being in the first place?
In the years before the rise of Rome, the Jews, after centuries of captivity, finally won their freedom from a tyrannical (Greek) king named Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the greatest despots of the ancient world… The belief among the Jews was that God had punished Israel by delivering it into the hands of occupying nations for its failure to follow the Law of Moses. Now, with their freedom finally won, some key leaders of the Jews resolved that they would never again come under bondage from their rebellion, and so they determined they would follow God and honor His commandments so that Israel would know His blessings rather than His curses and punishments. In its zeal to observe the commandments, the nation gave birth to several fanatical groups dedicated to promoting holiness. At the forefront of this movement was a group that came to be known to us as the Pharisees. (Source: http://www.centralcal.com/crist2.htm)
In the final year in Christ’s ministry prior to the Passover of 31 AD, the chief priests (Sadducees) and the Pharisees have gathered together in a council for a plot to destroy and kill Christ.
John 11:47-53 – “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest THAT SAME YEAR, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest THAT YEAR, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.”
Notice carefully that it is very important to take note of what happened on THAT SAME YEAR, THAT YEAR – when the high priest Caiaphas uttered the specific prophetic fulfillment of Daniel 9:26; “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
The apophthegms of great men have been worthy of special regard: A divine sentence is in the lips of the king; therefore this divine sentence was put into the lips of the high priest, that even out of his mouth this word might be established, That Christ died for the good of the nation, and not for any iniquity in his hands. He happened to be high priest that year which was fixed to be the year of the redeemed, when Messiah the prince must be cut off, but not for himself (Dan. 9:26), and he must own it …This year was the year of the expiration of the Levitical priesthood; and out of the mouth of him who was that year high priest was exhorted an implicit resignation of it to him who should not (as they had done for many ages) offer beasts for that nation, but offer himself, and so make an end of the sin-offering. (Matthew Henry Commentary)
And what year was that when Caiaphas the high priest spoke that prophetic utterance regarding a prophecy in Daniel 9:26? It was prior to the Passover of 31 AD (John 11:55-57)
“And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.”
Remember that the Passover is observed on the first month of the Jewish calendar, so it just means that the commandment given by the Sadducees chief priests and the Pharisees to seize and put Christ to death had to be in the year 30 AD! It is clearly THAT SAME YEAR, THAT YEAR when Caiaphas the high priest had specifically fulfilled Daniel 9:26!
Remember again that God through the prophet Ezekiel has already given a DETERMINED time frame before Jerusalem has to be besieged, before its second temple has to be destroyed by the Romans. See how important the revelation about the Ezekiel 4 siege is. It allowed us to plot the exact years that God has DETERMINED before the desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel has to occur which amounted to 40 years. (“…thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” – Ezekiel 4:6. Read the explanation of this prophecy about the Ezekiel 4 Siege here)
Now look closely; the prophecy in Ezekiel 4 has everything to do with the siege of Jerusalem, and God has already DETERMINED a time frame prior to the actual fulfillment in 70 AD. He wants us all to see what really triggered the siege of Jerusalem – it’s the IRON WALL – the chief priests and the Pharisees who plotted to destroy the Messiah in 30 AD!
(Click image to enlarge)
To better understand what specific events have been fulfilled in verses 26 and 27, we need to split each thought one by one. Let us start with verse 26 which are actually separated by a colon and a semi-colon:
- “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.”
Let us define some key words to reveal the true meaning of each thought:
Destroy – A primary root; to decay, that is, ruin: cast off, corrupt
||–||undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one’s or its original nature|
|–||to deteriorate; to weaken or disintegrate;|
||–||make illegal payments to in exchange for favors or influence; bribe|
|–||to destroy or subvert the honesty or integrity of|
|–||to ruin morally; pervert|
|–||to taint; contaminate|
Sanctuary – could also mean “saints” in Strong’s Concordance.
Flood – deluge, outrageous
||–||an overwhelming amount or number|
|–||something that overwhelms as if by a great flood|
||–||violent or unrestrained in temperament or behavior.|
|–||grossly offensive to decency, authority, etc.; causing
|–||of or involving gross injury or wrong.|
|–||greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation|
War – in Strong’s; From H3898 (in the sense of fighting), a battle (that is, the engagement)
||–||a protracted controversy or struggle|
|–||any fight, conflict, or struggle, as between two persons or
Desolation – in Hebrew is shamem H8074: a primitive root; to stun (or intransitively grow numb), that is devastate or stupefy: – make amazed, be astonied, astonish, wonder
||–||to stupefy, as with the emotional impact of an experience;
||–||to confound or overwhelm, as with grief or shock|
||–||to stun, as with strong emotion.|
||–||to affect with great wonder; astonish|
|–||to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish
||–||to fill with sudden wonder or amazement|
||–||one that arouses awe, astonishment, surprise, or admiration; a marvel|
|–||the emotion aroused by something awe-inspiring, astounding, or marvelous|
|–||a feeling of puzzlement or doubt.|
Now let us substitute the words that we have defined to understand the real meaning of each thought. You will also be utterly amazed at what you will be able see which has not been revealed by God before. Verse 26 is not about an armed conflict between physical armies as what has been previously thought of. The meaning has long been in obscurity because it was concealed by God until His appointed time has come in this last end.
Here goes the SECOND PART: To begin with, who could most possibly be the “people of the prince” being discussed here? And who is this prince anyway? This is Satan, the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2).
As it is written,
“And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money” (Luke 22:3-5).
Then in John chapter 18, we can read of the details of how “the people of the prince” came for Christ’s arrest through Judas’ betrayal after being possessed by Satan for quite some time; “Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.” (v. 3)
We must not forget the context that it was the chief priests and the Pharisees who initiated this through their council, in which the high priest Caiaphas has specifically fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 9:26 (John 11:47-53); therefore, the “people of the prince” points us directly to the chief priests and Pharisees who corrupted and perverted the minds of the whole city of Jerusalem through their false accusations against Christ which resulted to His own disciples’ faith to decay spiritually, i.e., their faith deteriorated, weakened and eventually, they disintegrated and disappeared from view by the time Christ was arrested and brought to the council. We may also argue that it was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ, but notice also that he repented of what he has done and he hanged himself for that.
“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” (Matt. 27:3-5)
These chief priests and Pharisees were the ones who have started the tumult among the people and persuaded the overwhelming outrageous crowd (a great flood of violent people) to seek Christ’s destruction for their own personal gain. (Read from the illustration table to better understand the chronological events surrounding the actual fulfillment of verse 26)
At the end of that great conflict and controversy whether Christ really was the Messiah and the Son of God which He claimed He was, the multitude of people after witnessing Christ’s death were devastated and have been filled with astonishment seeing heaven and earth shaking events – the sun darkened, the earth shook and rent the veil of the temple into two, graves were opened and many bodies of the saints were resurrected back to life! (Matt. 27:50-54; Mark 15:37-39; Luke 23:44-45).
Who could not be astounded and overwhelmed with grief and shock at such a sight? For all we know, it was just written there and we seem not to care that much because it was a mind boggling mystery. For quite a very long time, we didn’t know its meaning because it has been hidden, but God has now given us the full understanding of the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 9:26 and the whole purpose of the 70 week prophecy.
(Click image to enlarge)
Even when Christ was resurrected after 3 days and 3 nights, His very own disciples were also filled with wonder and were astonished among themselves, although for quite some time Christ has been telling them of what shall truly come to pass.
Paraphrasing what the prophet Daniel wrote in verse 26: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the chief priests and the Pharisees that shall come shall pervert and contaminate the city with lies and false accusations against Him which shall corrupt, weaken, and disintegrate the saints; and the end result shall be a tumultuous overwhelming outrage of the people to destroy the Messiah, and unto the end of the controversy and conflict about the Messiahship of Jesus Christ, an overwhelming grief, shock, wonder and astonishment are determined.”
Consider this: Without God revealing the Ezekiel 4 siege, specifically the identity of the IRON WALL, the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 could never have been fully understood which makes it really very critical to the whole vision.
Now let us move to verse 27 and again split each thought to unlock the full meaning of the vision:
- “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,”
- “…and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation,
- “…and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Let us go through each thought:
- “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”
Notice that there are two-fold intentions here: First is to “confirm the covenant with many”; the second one, is to “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” The first one happens continuously for “one week” (7 years) until it “lead to the conclusion of a new, strong, and firm covenant with many” (Lange’s Commentary) at the end of that “one week;” while the other one happens “in the midst of the week” with an ultimate goal of bringing the physical sacrifices to an end. Both intentions started when Christ preached the gospel of the Kingdom when He began His ministry on the autumn of 27 AD. And for 3 1/2 years leading up to April 25, 31 AD (Wednesday), Christ suffered brutal scourging and a violent death to fulfill and bring to completion a specific prophecy – “he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Heb. 9:11-28; 10:1-4). Yet there is another one that must be completed – the end of the 70 week prophecy.
- “…and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation.”
Let us define again some important words:
Overspreading – from H3671; an edge or extremity, pinnacle
||–||the outermost or farthest point or portion|
|–||the greatest or most intense degree|
||–||the highest point; the culmination|
|–||the highest level or degree attainable; the higheststage of development|
Consummation – from Strong’s H3617; a completion
||–||an ultimate goal or end.|
|–||the act of consummating; a fulfillment|
|–||the act of bringing to completion or fruition|
||–||the act of completing or the state of being completed|
Three and a half years later from Christ’s death and resurrection, on 34 AD, another completion has to take place at the end of the week of the 70 weeks prophecy. But that consummation is tied to the highest degree of abomination, which as the Apostle Paul wrote, when someone who is in the highest authority in the temple of God “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; …shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thes. 2:4); and he uses that authority to destroy God’s messenger and His work which will make him become a desolator (antichrist) at that particular culmination.
Von Lengerke, “the desolator comes upon the pinnacle of abomination”; (also Hengstenberg, Maurer, Reinke); de Wette, “the abomination of the desolator shall stand on the pinnacle of the temple;” Havernick, “on the head (or summit) of the abominations is a desolator; … Fuller, “and over the covering of abominations stands a desolator;” (Lange’s Commentary)
The pinnacle of abomination was first reached by those who have the highest authority in the temple of God, the CHIEF PRIESTS and the Pharisees, i.e., when they plotted and eventually destroyed the Messiah and His work by overspreading their lies and false accusations against Him which spread over like a wildfire among the people of Jerusalem, even affecting the faith of His own saints to weaken and deteriorate.
Now there’s another extremity of abomination and this time it was Stephen’s turn to become a true and faithful witness for God by letting Christ come in his flesh.
As several men from the synagogue arose and disputed with him, Stephen, just like what Jesus Christ had to go through, was brought to the council by those in the synagogue who “stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes” (Acts 6:8-15). To whom Stephen spoke boldly, “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: …When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth” (Acts 7:52, 54). At that point, for the second occurrence, this time at the end of the “one week,” those sitting in the temple of God have again reached the pinnacle of abomination by casting Stephen out of the city to be stoned to death, thus bringing to fruition God’s purpose for the 70 week prophecy – building His spiritual temple of which Christ is the chief cornerstone. (Isa. 66:1-2; Eph. 2:20)
- “…and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
What is “that determined” being mentioned here? Remember what was DETERMINED in Ezekiel 4 for the iniquity of Judah? (Ezek. 4:6) And when it started? Again, the 40 years prior to the 70 AD siege and destruction of Jerusalem will bring us to THAT SAME YEAR 30 AD when the high priest Caiaphas declared the prophecy in Daniel 9:26 (John 11:49). Here is what Lange’s Commentary wrote:
(A)nd that determined shall be poured upon the desolate; rather, “…judicial punishment shall be poured out upon the desolator;” i.e., the abomination of desolation shall continue only until the Divinely determined judgment shall be poured out upon the desolator.
Even Jesus Christ reminded the multitude of people who were present at that crucifixion of God’s determined judgment: “And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:27-31)
The abomination of desolation inside the temple of God shall continue until God’s determined judgment shall be poured upon the desolator – the chief priests and Pharisees who perpetrated it. These desolators were given 40 years to continue with what they were doing, i.e., from THAT SAME YEAR in 30 AD when the high priest Caiaphas pronounced the prophecy in Daniel 9:26, then GOD’S DETERMINED JUDGMENT has to be poured out on them. In 70 AD, when the Roman general Titus besieged, ransacked and destroyed Jerusalem and its temple, Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy was fulfilled to the letter!
On the contrary, Judas Iscariot’s determined judgment was swift: “Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood,” he wanted to kill himself by hanging but he fell off the cliff “falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and his bowels gushed out.” His corpse was even laid on “the field of blood” which the chief priests and elders bought in his name with the thirty pieces of silver that he returned to them – the price of betraying Christ! (Matt. 27:3-8; Acts 1:16-18) – “…and that determined shall be poured upon the desolator”
Going back to Daniel 9:24, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
The phrase “to seal up the vision and prophecy” has a very significant meaning, specifically, the word “prophecy”.
According to Strong’s Concordance, the word prophecy here comes from the Hebrew word nabiy’: H5030, (naw-bee’); from H5012; a prophet or (gen.) inspired man:–prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.
The word nabiy occurs 314 times in 287 verses, and all of the time it has been used, it referred to a person – a prophet that prophesy. Only once has this word been used to refer to prophecy – only in Daniel 9:24! So if we use the word prophet here it would read, “to seal up the vision and the prophet”; Also in the Revised Standard Version we can read: “to seal both vision and prophet.” (See also the Amplified Bible).
Let’s define some words in Strong’s:
Seal: H2856 (chatam); to close up; make an end, stop, seal.
Vision: H2377 (chazon); revelation, vision.
“To seal up the vision and the prophet” – This prophecy has first been fulfilled through Christ’s death: He gave his life on the cross and took on Himself our human guilt for our sins – it put an end to His life and so with the vision or revelation of the 70 week prophecy. With His death, He has fulfilled the first five (5) conditions:
- to finish the transgression
- to make an end of sins
- to make reconciliation for iniquity
- to bring in everlasting righteousness
- to seal up the vision and prophet
While with Christ’s resurrection after 3 days and 3 nights, He has yet to fulfill the next prophecy – “to anoint the most Holy.” And that was fulfilled during Pentecost day of 31 A.D. in Jerusalem, God gave His Holy Spirit to His newborn Church – “the most Holy” (sacred saints, see Strong’s Concordance). Mr. Armstrong wrote:
Synoptic History of the Church
Finally, we come to a brief history of the Church from its foundation in A.D. 31 to the present. The Church started on the day of Firstfruits called Pentecost, in June of A.D. 31. The Holy Spirit came from heaven upon the 120 disciples assembled in Jerusalem with a miraculous display such as has never before nor since occurred.
The 120 were all of “one accord.” Suddenly “there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind” (Acts 2:2). Have you ever been in a tornado or a hurricane? I have. Wind can make a very loud sound. This sound filled “all the house where they were sitting.” Next “there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy [Spirit], and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Mystery of the Ages, p. 212)
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God’s Church was given an earnest of God’s Holy Spirit on the Pentecost day of 31 A.D., thus, fulfilling the latter part of Daniel 9:24 – “to anoint the most Holy.”
“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.”
One might ask: Is there a duality of the 70 week prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 specifically in this last end? How can we know if there is a need for it?