Daniel 9:27c – Destruction of Jerusalem: 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.

Jerusalem surrounded

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)

Phrases repeated

(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:

MESSIAH CITY
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

Jesus teaching
Jesus teaching

(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

Time Perspectives

490 yearsIf 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 yearsVerse 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.

Conclusion

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.

490 years

NEXT:  Concluding Thoughts
TO:  
Daniel 9 Interpretations Overview
TO:  
Daniel 9: List of available articles

Daniel 9:27 But in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering.

The prophecy of Daniel 9 says that this world’s sin problem would be solved (9:24) through the appearance (v25) and killing of the messiah (v26), while he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering (9:27).  In the light of New Testament, this describes Jesus Christ.

The Context

This stop to sacrifice must be understood within its context:

make atonement for iniquity
To make atonement for iniquity

Verse 24 lists six goals to be attained through Daniel’s people during the 490 years, including “to make atonement for iniquity” and “to bring in everlasting righteousness”.

The goals must be fulfilled through seven events listed in 9:25-26, including the appearance (v25) and the killing of the Messiah (v26).

Verse 27, saying that he will put a stop to sacrifices in the middle of the final seven years, is the core and purpose of the 490 years.  According to the chiastic structure of the prophecy, the killing of the Messiah is the main event through which the goals are fulfilled (see Poetic pattern and Chiasm).

In conclusion, the prophecy of Daniel 9 says that this world’s sin problem would be solved (9:24) through the appearance (v25) and killing of the messiah (v26), while he will put a stop to sacrifice (9:27).

Fulfilled in Jesus

In the light of New Testament, this describes Jesus Christ:

He was “Jesus the Messiah” (Matt 1:1, cf. 1:16, 17; 2:4; John 1:41, 4:25).

He was killed.

He solved the sin problem of the world.  Through His death, He fulfilled the goals in verse 24 “to make atonement for iniquity” (John 1:29; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 7:27, 9:12; 10:10, 12, 14, 26-28;) and “to bring in everlasting righteousness” (Heb. 9:12; Rom. 5:10, 11; Col. 1:20; 2Co 5:19; Col 1:22; Rom 5:18; John 3:17; Col 1:19-20).

His death put a stop to sacrifice.  Christ’s death did not put a stop to sacrifice immediately.  The Jewish sacrifices continued until the destruction of Jerusalem forty years later.  But these sacrifices pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice of Lamb of God.  When Jesus—the Lamb of God—died as the once-for-all and all-sufficient sacrifice for sins, He fulfilled the significance of those sacrifices.  The Jewish sacrifices were consequently terminated at the death of Christ in the sense of its loss of meaning.

The letter to the Hebrews states this explicitly.  When Jesus ascended to heaven and became High Priest (Heb. 6:20), the law changed (Heb. 7:12), including the sacrificial system (Heb. 7:19; 8:4; 9:22).  Jesus set “aside the first [sacrifices and offerings] to establish the second” (Heb. 10:9).  (See also Heb. 8:13 and Eph. 2:15.)  In this way His death caused “sacrifice and the oblation (NASB: grain offering) to cease” (Daniel 9:27).

Conclusion

The Daniel 9 prophecy is therefore thoroughly messianic in nature.  In this context the statement that “he will put a stop to sacrifice” in 9:27 must be understood as referring to the sacrifice at the Cross which made an end to all other sacrifices.  The “he” therefore refers to the Messiah.  “In the middle of the week” was when He died; about 3 or 4 years after His baptism.

The prophecy, received 500 years before the cross, discloses a most profound aspect of the Messiah’s mission, namely that His death would be the true sacrifice for sin.  As also disclosed by Isaiah 53, He was “pierced through for our transgressions”.  This is not only another proof of the existence of the supernatural, but also it tells us much about the nature of the universe.  God knows where we are.  He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins.  We cannot understand why and how, for His thoughts are as high above our thoughts as the stars are above the earth, but it is wonderful to understand that the Source of all power and love feels this way about us; undeserving sinners.

NEXT:  Complete Destruction in Daniel 9:27
TO:  Daniel 9 Interpretations Overview
TO:  Daniel 9: List of available articles

Daniel 9:27 The Seven Last Years: Who is “he” who works during those seven last years and when are those seven last years?

The seven last years are the crux of the full 490 years.  The previous 483 years only serve to locate the seven last years in time.  During those seven last years the goals set for the entire period, such as to make atonement for iniquity, are fulfilled.

Who is the “he” that confirms the covenant with the many for the Seven Last Years? (Daniel 9:27)

The “he” is 9:27 is the Messiah, for the following reasons:

(1) As discussed, the prophecy has a Poetic Pattern, and in this pattern “he” is the Messiah.

(2) The prophecy is also structured as a chiasm, and this chiasm also indicates that the “he” is the Messiah.  See Poetic Parallelism and Chiasm in Daniel 9.

(3) The dominant figure in verse 26 (and in the entire prophecy) is the “Messiah“.  The “prince that shall come” is not the subject of that clause in verse 26.  It reads “people of the prince”, not “the prince of the people”.   The “prince” in verse 26 is a subordinate figure.  The Messiah should therefore be preferred as the antecedent for the “he” in verse 27.

(4) In the discussion of Daniel 9:26 it was shown that the prince in 9:26 is a supernatural being, representing the Roman nation.  The “he” in 9:27, who is a human being, therefore cannot refer back to the prince in verse 26.  The proper antecedent for “he” is the Messiah.

The previous article (Daniel 9:27 The Covenant) has already shown that the covenant in Daniel 9:27 is God’s covenant with Israel.  If it is the Messiah who confirms it, then we have addition support for the conclusion that it is God’s covenant; not the devil’s, as in Dispensationalism.

The years before and after His death

Proposal

The previous verse (9:26) described the destruction of Jerusalem, which was in AD 70.  If the events in the prophecy were presented in chronological sequence, then the “one week” (9:27) must follow after AD 70.  It is, however, proposed here that the “one week” (9:27) are the seven years around Christ’s death.  Jesus Christ confirmed God’s covenant with Israel during those seven years:

First through His personal preaching before His death;

Then, for a further three or four years after His death, by sending His disciples with the power of the Holy Spirit, but only to Israel and only to Jerusalem.  In those years the church consisted only of Jews and it still adhered to all Old Testament laws.  The infant church was still a Jewish sect.  See Early Church.

490 years

Rationale

This proposal is based on the following:

(1) The events are not given in chronological sequence, as discussed above under Poetic Pattern.

(2) The only event during the first 483 years is “restore and rebuild Jerusalem”.  The death of the Messiah, the “confirm the covenant” and the “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (9:27) all happen during the seven last years.  These seven last years therefore are the core and the real purpose of the 490 years.  The first 483 years merely serve to locate the seven last years in time.  The seven last years must therefore follow immediately after the first 483 years.

(3) The “he” that confirms the covenant of “one week” is the Messiah, as already discussed.

(4) The last part of 9:27 describes the destruction of Jerusalem.  The covenant in verse 27 is therefore confirmed prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The last part of 9:27 is analyzed in the next article.

(5) The Seventy Weeks (490 years) are promised by God as years of Jewish preference (“for your people and your holy city”).  As concluded in the discussion of The Covenant in Daniel 9, these 490 years were an extension of God’s covenant with Israel.

First few years after the Cross

To understand the hypothesis of this article it is important to note that that God’s covenant with Israel did not come to an end when Israel crucified its Messiah.  During the first few years after the Cross God gave Israel a final opportunity to repent by sending the power of the Holy Spirit, but to Israel alone (Acts 10:47-11:3, 18, 19).  The gospel was preached only to Jews.  The church consisted only of the “circumcised” (cf. 10:45; i.e. Jews) and they did not associate with the uncircumcised (Acts 10:34-35).  See Jerusalem Phase of the Early Church.

About three or four years after the Cross the Jews persecuted these Jewish Christians, commencing with the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7; 8:1).  They thereby, for the last time, broke the covenant with God.  See Judea and Samaria Phase of the Early Church.

Peter and his fellow Jews were reluctant to let go of the exclusive privilege, but soon after the persecution of the Christians Peter had the dream of the unclean beasts (Acts 10:11, 12, 19-20).  Through this vision God told him, and the church, not to “call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28).  In other words, God led them to accept Gentiles as equals, and to preach the gospel also to Gentiles (v34-35).  That was the end of God’s covenant with Israel, and the end of the Seventy Weeks.  That was when “he” (the Messiah) would no longer “confirm the covenant with the many” (9:27).  Israel lost its special place in God’s plan.  The kingdom of God was taken away from the Jews (Mat. 21:43).

Stephen’s Speech

Stoning of Stephen
Stoning of Stephen

This conclusion is supported by Stephen’s speech.  Both Daniel’s prayer and Stephen’s speech are based on God’s covenant with Israel.  While Daniel confessed the sins of his people and prayed for the mercy promised in the covenant, Stephen’s speech was an announcement of God’s judgment in terms of the covenant.  In other words, Stephen announced the end of the Seventy WeeksPlease see the article, Stoning of Stephen, for more detail.

&0 weeks of Daniel 9

The last “one week” of years therefore follows immediately after the 69th; and therefore immediately after His baptism.  There is no gap, as proposed by Dispensationalism.

 

 

NEXTHe will put a stop to sacrifice.
TO:  Daniel 9 Interpretations Overview
TO:  Daniel 9: List of available articles

Daniel 9:27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week

triumphal entry into Jerusalem
Jesus enters Jerusalem

The prophecy has a Poetic Pattern in which the focus jumps repeatedly back and forth between the two foci; Jerusalem and the Messiah. The prophecy is therefore not given in strict chronological sequence. In this pattern it is Jesus that confirms the covenant for seven years in Daniel 9:27.

Poetic Pattern

Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant

One fundamental issue in the interpretation of Daniel 9 is that God’s covenant with Israel is the main theme of the entire chapter, binding Daniel’s prayer and the prophecy together.  This was discussed above (Historical Messianic Interpretation).  Another fundamental issue is the Poetic Pattern of the prophecy.  This is discussed in more detail in Poetic pattern and Chiasm, but is summarized below:

Parallelism

The Daniel 9 prophecy uses much parallelism, where two related words or phrases are used together to emphasize a point, for instance:

Insight with understanding (v22);
Give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision (v23);
Your people and your holy city (v24);
To finish the transgression, to make an end of sin (v24);
Know and discern (v25);
Restore and rebuild (v25);
Seven weeks and sixty-two weeks (v26);
The city and the sanctuary (v26); and
Sacrifice and grain offering.

Two foci

But perhaps the most important pattern in the prophecy is the way in which the focus jumps repeatedly back and forth between the two foci; Jerusalem and the Messiah:

25: from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem;
until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
26: 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.
27: he shall confirm the covenant …; and … cause the sacrifice … to cease … he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation …

Verses 25 and 26 explicitly shift the focus four times between Jerusalem and the Messiah.  The prophecy is therefore a form of poetic parallelism in which Jerusalem and the Messiah are the two foci.  These two foci stand in cause-effect relationships; the city is rebuilt to receive the Messiah, but it is again destroyed because it did not receive the Messiah.

Not sequential

The first implication of the Poetic Pattern is that the events in Daniel 9 is not given in strict chronological sequence.  The following examples confirm that this conclusion:

The rebuilding of the city (25c) is mentioned after the appearance of the Messiah (25b), while the city was rebuilt four hundred years before the Messiah.

The prince causes sacrifices to cease in Daniel 9:27 after the sanctuary is destroyed (9:26).  But if the sanctuary is destroyed, there does not remain a sacrificial system that can be ceased.

Since 70 weeks have been determined for the city of “your people” (9:24), the destruction of the city and the sanctuary in verse 26 must occur after the end of the 70 weeks, and therefore after the 70th week of Daniel 9:27.

Implications for Daniel 9:27

The further implication is that Daniel 9:27 continues this pattern:

The Cross
Messiah cut off

Since verse 26 ends with a reference to Jerusalem, the first part of Daniel 9;27, describing the “he” who confirms the covenant for seven years, but “cause the sacrifice … to cease” in the middle of that week, should be the Messiah who is cut off in verse 26.

Similarly, the destruction in the last part of Daniel 9:27 should refer to Jerusalem.

See Poetic Pattern and Chiasm in Daniel 9 for a further discussion.

It is God’s Covenant with Israel.

The covenant in Daniel 9:27 is God’s covenant with Israel, for the following reasons:

(1) God’s covenant with Israel is the central theme throughout the entire Daniel 9, as discussed above and as explained in The Covenant in Daniel 9.

(2) Also as discussed above, the full 490 years are God’s renewed covenant with Israel.  The “one week” in Daniel 9:27 is the last seven years of that covenant.

(3) The phrase “confirm the covenant” (9:27 KJV) means that this covenant existed prior to the 70th week.  Then it can only be God’s covenant with Israel.

The verb translated “make a firm” in the NASB is “gâbar”.  Strong’s short definition of this word is “prevailed”.  Of the 25 times this word appears in the OT, it is 14 times translated as prevail. The evidence of the usage of gâbar in the Bible (“The covenant of the Seventieth Week” by Meredith G. Kline) indicates that Daniel 9:27 has in view the enforcing of a covenant previously granted.  It is not a verb for the initial making of a covenant.  It should therefore be translated as “make firm a covenant”, and not as “make a firm covenant”.  The KJV translates it as “confirm the covenant” and Young’s Literal Translation reads “strengthening a covenant”.  “Confirm” and “strengthen” imply a covenant that existed prior to the last seven years.  If so, it can only refer to God’s faithful fulfillment of the covenant He has given to Israel.

(4)The many”, with whom the covenant is confirmed, most often refers to God’s people.  For instance:

The Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities“ (Isa 53:11)

Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days” (Dan 11:33; See also Dan 11:39; 12:3; Matt. 26:28; Hebr. 9:26-28; Rom 5:15, 19; 1Co 10:33).

If the covenant is confirmed with God’s people, it must be God’s covenant.

For these reasons the seven-year covenant in 9:27 is still God’s covenant with Israel.

NEXT:  Seven Last Years
TO:  Daniel 9 Interpretations Overview
TO:  Daniel 9: List of available articles