This is the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, as indicated by the Poetic Pattern and chiasm structure, and as confirmed by the repetition of ideas from verse 26. Verse 27c says that a desolator will arrive shortly after a repulsive sin, which was the killing of the Messiah.
Difference in Translations
This describes undefined abominations and a complete destruction. The title of this article shows the NASB. The KJV reads:
“and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate“
Notice the difference in the final words of the two translations:
In the KJV translation desolations are poured on the desolated one which, in the context, seems to refer to the city Jerusalem, which is destroyed in verse 26.
In the NASB translation desolations are poured out on a desolator which, in the context, refers to the people who destroy the city (9:26). The NASB thereby seems to refer to the destruction of the Roman Empire. It thereby introduces a concept not mentioned by the previous verses.
Destruction of Jerusalem repeated
For the reasons below this destruction (desolations) in 9:27 is the same as the destruction mentioned in the previous verse (9:26), namely the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70:
(1) In the Poetic Pattern of the prophecy this is the destruction of Jerusalem. (See Daniel 9:27 The Covenant.)
(2) The events in the Daniel 9 prophecy are described in the form of a chiasm. A chiasm is a literary structure in which the last item corresponds to the first, and the second to last item corresponds to the second, etc. In the Daniel 9 chiasm the desolation in the last part of Daniel 9 corresponds to Jerusalem. (See Poetic Parallelism and Chiasm in Daniel 9)
(2) The last part of 9:27 repeats the main words and concepts from the last part of verse 26, which describes the destruction of Jerusalem. Below verses 26 and 27 are compared:
|26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing,||and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.|
|27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering;||and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”|
Key phrases from verse 26 are repeated in verse 27:
Both verses refer to desolations (Strong number H8074) that are decreed (Strong number H2782). The NASB in v26 reads “desolations are determined” and in v27 “desolate … one that is decreed”.
Both verses use water as symbol of the force of destruction. In verse 26 desolations will come with a flood, while they are poured out in verse 27.
Both verses include the concept of completion. Verse 26 refers to the end (of the city) (NASB). Verse 27 similarly refers to a “complete destruction” (NASB), which is another way of expressing the end of the thing that is destroyed.
The similarity between the last parts of verses 26 and 27 implies that they refer to the same event, which is the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Abomination of Desolation
(3) Jesus associated the last part of 9:27 with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. He said:
“Therefore when you see the Abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) …” (Mat. 24:15)
Here Jesus by name refers to Daniel and to the “abomination of desolation”. This phrase is used a number of times in Daniel. It is not used in Daniel 9 in that format, but the last part of verse 27 does refer to both desolation and abominations. It is therefore possible that Jesus was referring to the part of Daniel 9:27 that is discussed in this article.
What did He mean? The parallel statement to Matthew 24:15 is Luke 21:20-23 (compare Mat 24:16-19). Luke, writing to Gentiles, who were not familiar with the book of Daniel, interpreted Jesus’ reference to the abomination of desolation as the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem. See Little Apocalypse.
This provides tentative support for the conclusion that the last part of 9:27 refers to the events of AD 70.
Entire 9:26 repeated
The sequence in verses 26 and 27 therefore are:
The killing of the Messiah (“cut off” 9:26),
The destruction of Jerusalem (9:26),
The killing of the Messiah (“stop to sacrifice” 9:27) and
The destruction of Jerusalem (9:27).
This back and thro between the Messiah and Jerusalem was already discussed under the heading Poetic Pattern
Verse 27 is therefore a repeat of verse 26 (NASB):
|A: Messiah||B: Jerusalem|
|26||Messiah cut off after the sixty-two weeks||people … will destroy the city|
|27||he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week … in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice||and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction|
If the termination of the sacrifices and the killing of the messiah is the same event, why is the one described as “after the 62 sevens”, (9:26) and the other as in the “midst of” the last seven (9:27)? To understand this, think of the prophecy consisting of three divisions; each providing information from a different time perspective:
490 years – Verse 24 announces the 490 years and sets the goals for that period.
483 years – Verses 25 and 26 describe events relative to the first 483 years, including the killing of the Messiah “after” this period and the consequential destruction of the city.
Final 7 years – Verse 27 describes the same events, but from the perspective of the final seven years.
What does the last part of 9:27 mean?
9:27c reads “On the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate” (NASB). In other words, a desolator will arrive shortly after (on the wing of) abominations. A desolator is a person; a destroyer. An abomination is some repulsive sin. The desolator in 9:27 therefore arrives after some repulsive sin to make “desolate, even until a complete destruction”.
In the context the repulsive sin is Israel’s rejection, first of its Messiah and later of the Holy Spirit. The desolation refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans 40 years later.
The prophecy repeatedly move back and forth between the Messiah and Jerusalem. The Messiah and Jerusalem must not be separated. The Daniel 9 prophecy promises the reconstruction of Jerusalem to receive the Messiah, but it also predicts the destruction of Jerusalem because it did not receive the Messiah.
The last seven years are mentioned between two references to the destruction of Jerusalem. Those last seven years therefore must not be separated from the Christ-event 2000 years ago.