Antiochus IV does not fit the profile of Daniel’s Antichrist.

SUMMARY

Introduction

It is generally agreed that the 11th horn of Daniel 7, the little horn of Daniel 8, and the “vile person” in Daniel 11 refer to the same Antichrist. Critical scholars are convinced that this is Antiochus IV; a Greek king that reigned in the middle of the second century B.C.

Since they think that Daniel was written by some uninspired but partisan Jew, liberal scholars have a high tolerance for differences between Antiochus IV and the evil king in Daniel. But for those who accept the reliability of the book, Antiochus does not fit the profile:

The Antichrist is Roman; not Greek.

The two beasts in Daniel 8 are explicitly identified as Medo-Persia and Greece (Dan 8:20-21). By comparing the beasts of Daniel 7 and 8, another article shows that the two beasts in Daniel 8 are parallel to the second and third beasts in Daniel 7. The fourth beast in Daniel 7, therefore, must be the Roman Empire. It follows that the Antichrist, symbolized as the 11th horn coming out of that fourth beast, comes out of the Roman Empire. Therefore, it cannot be a Greek king.

Antiochus’ methods do not fit.

Antiochus IV did not “seize the kingdom by intrigue,” as the Antichrist is predicted to do (Dan 11:21). After the previous king (his brother) was killed, He became king with the help of the Pergamene monarch.

He did not “cause deceit to succeed” (Dan 8:25) any more than any other Greek king.

He did not “distribute plunder, booty and possessions” (Dan 11:24). On the contrary, he owed huge sums of war debt following his father’s defeats against the Romans and needed all the money he could lay his hands on.

He did not grow.

He did not begin small (Dan 7:8; 8:9) or weak (Dan 11:23). He was a Seleucid prince who became king after his oldest brother was killed.

He was not greater than all of his predecessors (Dan 7:20), who, in the liberal interpretation, would include Alexander the Great. Daniel 8 describes Alexander the Great as “very great” but the Antichrist as even greater (Dan 8:8-9).

He did not expand his kingdom “toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (Judea)” (Dan 8:9). Antiochus IV did not expand his kingdom to Judea. It was already part of his kingdom when he became king. And, by the time Daniel was written according to liberals, the Romans already ordered Antiochus to leave Egypt. 

He did not kill the Prince.

He did not kill “the prince of the covenant” (Dan 11:22):

Critics claim that “the prince of the covenant” refers to the high priest Onias and that Antiochus killed him, but Antiochus had no direct involvement in Onias’ death. The high priest whom Antiochus appointed (Menelaus) killed Onias.

Based on word links, another article shows that “the prince of the covenant” (Dan 11:22) is the same as the “prince” who “confirms the covenant with many for one week” (Dan 9:27), namely, Jesus Christ. Antiochus also did not kill Jesus either.

He does not fit the periods.

In the liberal interpretation, all the periods in Daniel, including the “time and times and the dividing of time” (Dan 7:25), the 2300 “evening morning” (Dan 8:14), and the “seventy weeks” (Dan 9:24) describe the evil king. However, Antiochus does not fit these periods.

For example, in Daniel 9, the first 483 years are from the “decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince” (Dan 9:25). In the critical interpretation, these 483 years preceded Antiochus IV. But 483 years before Antiochus brings us to about 50 years before Jerusalem was destroyed. There was no decree to rebuild Jerusalem at the time.

The history of Antiochus also does not explain the differences between these periods.

He did not oppose God.

Antiochus’ heart was not “set against the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30) and he did not “speak monstrous things against the God of gods” (Dan 11:36). Antiochus IV was not principally opposed to the God of the Bible. He ordered the various nations of his empire to abandon their particular customs and robbed temples of various gods; not only the Jews.

He appointed the high priest in Jerusalem because he appointed rulers for all nations in his empire and the high priest was the ruler of Judea.

The Maccabean War began in 167 BC as a Jewish rebellion against the pro-Hellenistic Jews that ruled Judea. When the Jewish rebels forced the high priest to hide in the citadel, Antiochus IV saw this as a revolt against his authority (2 Macc 5:11). That is why he attacked Jerusalem (II Macc 5:5-16). He did not attack Jerusalem because it worshipped God.

He did not serve strange gods.

He did not:

    • “Exalt and magnify himself above every god” (Dan 11:36),
    • “Show no regard for the gods of his fathers” (Dan 11:37), or
    • Served a “strange god,” unknown to his fathers (Dan 11:38).

Antiochus’ aim was the opposite, namely that all people should serve the gods of his fathers. For example, it was a statue of Zeus that he set up in the temple in Jerusalem.

Jesus placed the abomination in His future.

Jesus referred to “the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel” as something in His future (compare Matt 24:15 to Dan 12:11). It, therefore, cannot refer to something that Antiochus IV did.

The liberal interpretation not only destroys the book of Daniel. It discredits Jesus Christ and the entire Bible. Revelation, in particular, picks up on various aspects in Daniel, such as the beasts (Dan: 7:4-8; Rev 13:2), the “time, times, and half a time” (Dan 7:25; Rev 12:14), and the oath (Dan 12:7; Rev 10:6). If Daniel falls, Revelation falls as well.

Antiochus does not exhaust the passage.

As discussed in the article on Daniel 11, Daniel 11:2-19 correlates well with known secular history until the death of Antiochus III in verse 19. There are also many similarities between Antiochus IV and the predicted evil king. But Antiochus IV by no means exhausts the passage. Antiochus IV is not the complete fulfillment of Daniel’s predicted evil king. He was only a type of the Antichrist. For complete fulfillment, we must search for a later and much more powerful Antichrist.

END OF SUMMARY –


HIS METHODS

He did not rule by Deceit.

Daniel 11:21 describes how the predicted “vile person” (“despicable person” in the NASB) becomes king:

… a despicable person will arise,
on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred,
but he will come in a time of tranquility
and seize the kingdom by intrigue.

“By intrigue” means plotting, conspiracy or trickery. Antiochus IV did not seize the kingdom by intrigue. Ancientmacedonia.com describes how he became king:

Seleucus was murdered by Heliodorus, his treasurer (B.C. 176) … On the death of Seleucus, the throne was seized by Heliodorus; but it was not long before Antiochus, the brother of the late king, with the help of the Pergamene monarch, Eumenes, recovered it.

The evil king in Daniel 11 not only becomes king through deceit; he also rules through deceit: “cause deceit to succeed” (Dan 8:25). History does not identify Antiochus IV as any more deceitful than other Greek kings.

He did not Distribute Plunder.

The predicted evil king “will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them” (Dan 11:24). This was not true of Antiochus IV. To the contrary, he had owed huge sums of war debt to Rome following his father’s defeats against the Romans and needed the money.

HIS GROWTH

He did not start small.

The vile person of Daniel starts small (Dan 7:8; 8:9) and weak (Dan 11:23; supported by few), but later becomes “exceedingly great” (Dan 8:9).

Antiochus IV did not start small. He was a Seleucid prince and the brother of the murdered king. After his brother’s murderer seized the throne, he was made king with the support of a neighboring king.

He was not greater than others.

The eleventh horn of Daniel 7 also symbolizes the Antichrist. This horn is much larger than the other 10 (Dan 7:20). In the liberal interpretation, this means that he is greater than the other kings of the Greek empire. In Daniel 8, the horn is even larger than Alexander the Great: Alexander is described as “very great” (Dan 8:8) but the horn is “exceedingly great” (KJV; RSV, Dan 8:9).

This does not fit Antiochus IV. He cannot be described as greater than Alexander the Great. Antiochus IV was not greater than the Seleucid kings that preceded him. Seleucus I Nicator was the first king of the Seleucid branch of the Greek Empire after Alexander’s empire split up. He had significant military successes. A few generations later, Antiochus III was called ‘the Great’ because he expanded the domain of the Seleucid kingdom to close to its original size. His military successes are described in Daniel 11:15 but later the Romans defeated him and left his empire, particularly in the west, subject to Rome’s growing power. Because of these defeats, Antiochus IV, as a boy, grew up a hostage in Rome.

Antiochus IV was weak compared to Alexander the Great, Seleucus I, and his father, Antiochus III. He had success against the Ptolemy branch of the Greek kingdom (Egypt), but by the time Critical scholars say Daniel was written (165 BC), the Romans had already ordered him to leave Egypt, and he had to oblige. On the eastern side of his kingdom, the Parthians were taking Iran from his empire, and the need to attend to this threat later allowed the Jewish revolt to succeed; the Maccabees were soon able to drive his soldiers out of Israel and reinstate temple services.

He did not expand his kingdom.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Daniel 8:8 uses the word “elahah” to describe the growth of the four Greek horns. This means vertical growth. This word is appropriate because the four Greek horns did not expand the Greek territory. They simply subdivided the area already occupied by Alexander the Great amongst themselves. In symbolic language, the horns ‘grew up’ in an existing occupied area. 

In contrast, Daniel 8:9 uses the word “yatsah” to describe the growth of the little horn (Dan 8:9). This means horizontal growth and implies that the horn expands the area it occupies. The horizontal expansion of the predicted evil king is more specifically described as “toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (Judea)” (Dan 8:9). Antiochus IV did not expand his kingdom into those three directions.

He did have some success in the south (Egypt), but in 165 BC, when Daniel was supposedly written, the Romans already ordered him to leave Egypt.

He also did not invade Judea. Judea was part of the kingdom when he became king.

In the east he invaded nothing. At best he strengthened his control over the areas which his father already occupied.

And if the south can be mentioned, then also the West, because he also invaded Cyprus.

HIS GODS

He did not oppose God.

The Antichrist in Daniel is a tyrant who principally opposes God and His saints: “His heart will be set against the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30). He “will speak monstrous things against the God of gods” (Dan 11:36).

Antiochus IV was not principally opposed to the God of the Bible. His objective was merely to maintain control over his empire. He ordered all peoples of his empire to abandon their particular customs; not only the Jews:

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many Israelites were in favor of his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath (1M1:41-43).

Antiochus IV did rob the Jewish temple but, to pay his debt to the Romans, he also robbed other temples (2 Macc 9:2).

After nearly 200 years of Hellenistic dominance over Israel, the influence of the Hellenistic culture was strong, even without Antiochus IV forcing it down the throats of his subjects (1 Macc 1:11-14). Antiochus IV appointed rulers for all nations in his empire. He also appointed the high priest in Jerusalem. Since Judea was a temple kingdom, the high priest effectively was the king of Judea. A pro-Hellenistic group of Jews ruled Judea. The Maccabean War began in 167 BC as a Jewish rebellion against the Jewish ruling party. When the rebels attacked Jerusalem and forced the high priest to hide in the citadel, Antiochus IV saw this as a revolt against his authority (2M 5:11). That is why he attacked Jerusalem (II Macc 5:5-16). He did not attack Jerusalem because it worshipped God.

He did not honor a strange god.

“The king … will exalt and magnify himself above every god and … He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers … nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all” (Dan 11:36-37). “But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know” (Dan 11:38).

This Antiochus did not do. His aim was rather the opposite, namely that all people should serve the gods of his fathers. It was a statue of Zeus that he set up in the temple in Jerusalem.

PRINCE OF THE COVENANT

He did not kill the Prince.

The Antichrist “shattered … the prince of the covenant” (Dan 11:22). The article on Daniel 11 shows, based on word links, that “the prince of the covenant” is the same “prince” who “confirms the covenant with many for one week” (Dan 9:27). These are the only princes “of the covenant” in Daniel. The articles on Daniel 9 prove that the prince in 9:27 is Jesus Christ. “The prince of the covenant,” therefore, is also Jesus Christ. Antiochus died 180 years before Jesus and had nothing to do with His death.

The Prince is Jesus.

That “prince of the covenant” refers to Jesus can be confirmed as follows:

The “prince of the covenant” in Daniel 11 is arguably the same as the “prince of the host” in Daniel 8:11 because both are leaders of God’s people. Critics propose that this “prince of the covenant” in Daniel 11 is the high priest Onias III who was murdered during the reign of Antiochus IV. Indeed, the Bible sometimes refers to the high priest as a prince, but never as the “prince of the host.” The only other reference in the Bible to the “prince of the host” is in Joshua 5:14-15, where He is worshiped:

14 He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth … 15 The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” …

(The word translated as “captain” in Joshua is the same word translated as “prince” in Daniel 8:11, namely ‘sar’.)

This implies that “the prince of the host” is Jesus Christ, which implies that the “prince of the covenant” also refers to Jesus. 

Antiochus did not kill Onias.

Critics claim that “the prince of the covenant” refers to the high priest Onias and that Antiochus killed him, but that is not true. As already stated, the high priest was effectively the king of Israel, and in the same way that Antiochus IV appointed kings for other nations, he appointed the high priest in Israel. Antiochus replaced Onias III as high priest with Onias’s brother Jason and a few years later he also replaced Jason with Menelaus. Menelaus resented Onias’ criticism and had him killed in 171 BC. It would therefore not be valid to claim that Antiochus broke or shattered Onias. It was the Jewish high priest who arranged his death.

PROPHETIC PERIODS

Overview of the Periods in Daniel

Through the prophecies in Daniel, God gave us information to identify the “vile person;” the Antichrist in Daniel. The only reason Daniel mentions the preceding four kingdoms is to enable us to identify the Antichrist. In the liberal interpretation, all the periods in Daniel describe the Antichrist:

DANIEL 2 does not mention the Antichrist. Therefore, there are no prophetic period in that chapter.

The first period in Daniel is the “time and times and the dividing of time” in DANIEL 7, often understood as 3½ years, during which the Antichrist persecutes the saints (Dan 7:25).

The second period is in Daniel 8:14, which announces that the sanctuary will be cleansed after 2300 “evening morning.” This is translated by the KJV as 2300 “days”. 2300 days is equal to more than 6 years and does not fit the time of Antiochus IV. To get it closer to the period of Antiochus’ defilement of the temple, Critics interpret this as 2300 sacrifices, of which there was one each morning and one each evening, giving 1150 full days.

The third period is the “seventy weeks” of Danial 9:24, subdivided into 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and the final seven. (As interpreted by this website, this period does not relate to the Antichrist. See – Daniel 9 does not describe the same crisis.)

To explain and link the other periods, Daniel 12 provides two further periods, namely 1290 days and 1335 days.

Antiochus did not fit these periods.

Antiochus IV does not fit these periods but liberals argue that Daniel was written before the end of these periods, and the writer was simply wrong with his predictions. Critics, therefore, do not require the periods to fit history exactly. But at least two of the periods preceded the pollution of the temple by Antiochus IV, and they should fit history exactly:

The first is the 483 years in Daniel 9. This prophecy requires 483 years from the “decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince” (Dan 9:25). In the view of liberal scholars, the last week describes the time of Antiochus IV, which means that the preceding 483 years were past when their unidentified second-century author wrote. The 483 years must, therefore, correspond to actual history, but to fit 483 years between the possible decrees and Antiochus IV is not possible. Critics have several very creative solutions, but the article on the Liberal-critical interpretation of Daniel 9 shows clear flaws in such proposals.

The other period that was past when the critics’ second-century author wrote, is the first 30 days of the 1290 days in Revelation 12:11. The 1290 days began with the desecration of the temple. 30 days later, the persecution of the saints begins and lasts for 1260 days. (See below for an explanation.) 

In the view of the Critics, the second-century author completed the book of Daniel while the sanctuary was still defiled and the saints were still being persecuted. These 30 days must, therefore, fit the history of Antiochus IV exactly, but it does not. It was rather the other way around. Accor­ding to I and II Maccabees, the persecution of the Jews began before the temple was desecra­ted. 

1290 Days = 30 + 1260

After Daniel was reminded of the 3½ years of persecution (Dan 12:7), he asked for more information (Dan 12:8). Then he was told:

And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,
and the abomination that maketh desolate set up,
there shall be a 1290 days. (KJV; Dan 12:11)

Firstly, the 1290 days, therefore, explain the 3½ years.

Secondly, since Daniel 12:11 only specifies a beginning event, it is implied that the 1290 days and the 3½ years end at the same time. Since the 3½ years is equal to 1260 days (cf. Rev 12:6, 14), the 1290 days are 30 days longer than the 3½ years, and therefore start 30 days before the beginning of the persecution. (The alternative interpretation, which understands the 1260 days to be equal to 1290 days by playing around with leap years, makes a mockery of Daniel 12:11.)

The taking away of the “daily” and the setting up of the “abomination of desolation” (Dan 12:11), with which the 1290 days begin, is the desecration of the sanctuary. Since the 1290 days begin 30 days before the persecution begins, the sanctuary is desecrated 30 days before the beginning of the persecution of the saints. 

Liberals cannot explain the periods.

A related point is that, in the interpretation as proposed by the critics, the periods in Daniel conflict with one another:

Critics assume that the 2300 “evening morning” is equal to 1150 real days and that this is the duration of the defilement of the sanctuary. But then the 1150 days and the 1290 days begin at the same time, namely when the sanctuary is defiled, which means that the 1150 days end 140 days before the end of the 1290 days. This means that the saints are persecuted for 140 days after the sanctuary has been cleansed. This is not logical.

Critics have no acceptable explanation for the differences between the periods; the 2300 “evening morning,” the 3½ times, and the 1260, 1290, and 1335 days.

Jesus placed the 1290 days in His future.

The 1290 days begin with “the abomination that maketh desolate set up”. Critics interpret this as the setting up of a statue of Zeus in the Jewish temple by Antiochus IV, but Jesus 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). (Matt 24:15)

Jesus, therefore, placed the 1290 days in the future. It cannot refer to something Antiochus IV did.

CONCLUSION

The liberals’ writer made factual errors.

Critics may argue that Daniel describes Antiochus as more evil and powerful than he was because their second-century Jewish author was emotionally wrapped up in the destruction of everything sacred to the Jews, with a consequential loss of objectivity. For this reason, they may argue, that he described Antiochus as ruling by deceit, being more powerful than all other Greek kings, and principally opposing God. However, if the “vile person” is supposed to be a description of Antiochus, then Daniel includes factually incorrect information that cannot be ascribed to a lack of objectivity, such as:

      • He started small.
      • He appeared on the scene 483 years after a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
      • He promoted a “strange god”, unknown to his fathers.

Antiochus was a type of the Antichrist.

As discussed in the Daniel 11 article, Daniel 11:2-19 correlates well with secular history until the death of Antiochus III in verse 19 and there are many similarities between Antiochus and the vile person, but Antiochus IV by no means exhausts the passage. Antiochus IV is not the complete fulfillment of Daniel’s Antichrist. Antiochus IV is a type of the Antichrist. For the complete fulfillment of the prophecies, we must search for a later and much more powerful Antichrist.

 

OTHER ARTICLES

The purpose of this series is to identify the Mark of the Beast. First, it identifies the Beast. The Antichrist in Daniel, symbolized as the Sea Beast in Revelation, arises out of the Roman Empire:

FOOTNOTES

  • 1
    Daniel 2 sets the stage to identify the Antichrist.
  • 2
    The four beast-kingdoms reign one after the other but the ten horns exist at the same time; after the fourth empire.
  • 3
    Daniel 8 identifies the two animals as Mede-Persia and Greece but not the horn. This article explains the alternative interpretations.
  • 4
    A comparison of the animals of Daniel 7 and 8 identifies the fourth kingdom, from which the Antichrist arises, as the Roman Empire.
  • 5
    The genders in Daniel 8 show that “one of them” means one of the compass directions of the heavens, which means the horn came out of Rome.
  • 6
    Critical scholars propose that Antiochus IV is the Antichrist in Daniel but he was only a type of a later and much greater Antichrist.
  • 7
    This article lists several differences between the Antichrist of Daniel 7, 8, and 11 and Antiochus IV.
  • 8
    The Dragon is one of Revelation’s three seven-headed beasts. In Rev 13:1-2 – the birth of the Sea Beast – the Dragon is the Roman Empire.
  • 9
    It is a fragment of and the continuation of the authority of the Roman Empire. It is also the Antichrist. People will receive its mark.
  • 10
    The Sea Beast has a fatal wound on one of its heads. Revelation 17 describes the same fatal wound and identifies it as the sixth head.

Is the last week of Daniel 9:27 the last seven years before Christ returns?

Last seven yearsEXCERPT: In Dispensationalism, the last week of Daniel 9:27 is the last seven years before Christ returns. However, the Poetic Pattern and the repetition of words identify the desolations in verse 27 as the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Therefore, the last week must be before AD 70.


THE ABOMINATION

Jesus teachingJesus 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) …” (Matt 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.  This phrase is not used in Daniel 9 in that format, but the last part of verse 27 does refer to desolation and abominations:

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” (NASB)

An abomination is some grave sin.  “Desolation” means ‘destruction’.

DISPENSATIONALISM CLAIMS:

(1) That our Lord in Matthew 24:15 placed the “abomination of desolation” at ‘the end,’ just before His second coming in glory (Matt 24:15, 21, 29, 30).
(2) That the “Abomination of Desolation” is the stop that will be put to sacrifice “in the middle of the week” (Dan 9:27).
(3) Therefore, “he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering” at the end of the age; just prior to Christ’s return.

Abomination of DesolationHowever, Jesus, in Matthew 24:15, did not put the “abomination of desolation” at the end of the age, as Dispensationalism claims.  To the contrary, He linked it to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The parallel statement is Luke 21:20-23 (compare Matt 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.

CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE

The question in this section relates to the chronological sequence of the destruction of Jerusalem in 9:26 and the last seven years in verse 27.

Daniel's propheciesVerses 26 and 27 read:

26 … after 62 weeks shall Messiah be cut off … and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city … 27 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 the “he” used twice in verse 27.

DISPENSATIONALISM

The destruction of the city in 9:26 is dated to 70 AD.  Dispensationalism assumes that the events in verses 25 to 27 are presented in chronological sequence.  Consequently, since the last seven years (9:27) are mentioned after the destruction of Jerusalem (9:26), the last seven years follow after AD 70.  Since the first 483 years came to an end at the time of Christ, this necessitates a gap between the first 483 years and the last seven years.

Jerusalem destroyed
Jerusalem destroyed

It would also mean that the “he” of 9:27 cannot be the Messiah, for the Messiah died about four decades earlier.  The only remaining option is that “he” refers to the prince whose people destroyed the city in AD 70 (9:26).  It should logically follow that “he” is to the Roman Caesar in 70 AD, and that the last week is the time around 70 AD.  But, as already stated, Dispensationalism proposes that the Roman Empire will be revived in the years just prior to Christ’s return and that “he” (9:27) is the Roman Caesar at that time.

NOT STRICTLY CHRONOLOGICAL

These proposals may be disputed in a number of ways:

parallelismFirstly, because of the poetic parallelism, as discussed in the previous article, the assumption of a strict chronological sequence is incorrect.  The following examples confirm that the prophecy is not presented in chronological sequence:

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

The prince causes sacrifices to cease (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” (Dan 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 verse 27.

DESOLATIONS REPEATED

Summary: The last part of verse 27 describes the destruction of Jerusalem.  The covenant in verse 27 is therefore confirmed prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. 


ROMAN EMPIRE DESTROYED

The question in this section is what the last part of verse 27 refers to.  This verse describes undefined abominations and a complete destruction:

NASB: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

KJV: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, desolations are poured out on a desolator which, in the context, refers to the people who destroy the city (9:26).  The NASB hereby introduces a concept not mentioned by the previous verses.

Dispensationalism uses the NASB-type translation to argue as follows:

(1) The last part of 9:27 refers to the destruction of the Roman Empire.
(2) Since the Roman Empire was not destroyed in Christ’s time, it must be in our future.
(3) Since 9:27 describes the last seven of the 490 years, the last seven years must be in our future today.

Dispensationalism further proposes that the Roman Empire will be revived in those last seven years, to be destroyed again at Christ’s return at the end of those last seven years.

DISCUSSION

However, since different translations present 9:27 differently, we must assume that this verse may be translated in more than one way.  We should not rely too much on a specific translation.

Secondly, according to the literary analysis of the text, the desolation in the last past of 9:27 refers to the destruction of the city, some 40 years after Christ’s death.  See Poetic Pattern in the previous article or the article Chronological sequence in Daniel 9.

DESOLATIONS REPEATED

Furthermore, 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.”

Note the key phrases from verse 26 that 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 a 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.

Destruction JerusalemDispensationalism associates the desolation in verse 27 with an end-time despot, but the similarity between the last parts of verses 26 and 27 implies that they refer to the same event, which is identified by verse 26 as the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  The last part of verse 27 does not deal with the destruction of the Roman Empire.

CONCLUSIONS

Above Matthew 24:15 is discussed.  If we do make the assumption that Jesus in Matthew 24:15 referred to Daniel 9:27, as Dispensationalism does, then Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:15 confirms that the last part of 9:27 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

In the parallelism of the prophecy, the destruction is mentioned twice, with the description of the last seven years in-between.  Those last seven years must, therefore, be limited to the time prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.  It cannot describe an end-time Antichrist.

The Daniel 9 prophecy promises the reconstruction of Jerusalem to receive the Messiah, but it also predicts that Jerusalem will be destroyed as a consequence of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah.  The destruction of Jerusalem is an integral part of the Messiah-events of 2000 years ago.

ENTIRE 9:26 REPEATED

The previous article concluded that it is the Messiah who dies in 9:26a, who confirms the covenant for the last seven years and who puts a stop to sacrifices in 9:27a.  Since we have now shown that the last part of 9:27 repeats the last part of 9:26, it follows that the entire verse 27 is 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

To appreciate this repetition requires a high-level view of the prophecy.  It consists of three divisions; each provides information from the perspective of a different period of time:

(24) Verse 24 sets the goals for that entire period of 490 years.

(25-26) Verses 25 and 26 describe events, including the killing of the Messiah and, consequently, the destruction of the city after the end of the 483 years, from the perspective of the first 483 years.

(27) Verse 27 describes these same events, but from the perspective of the last seven years.

THE LAST PART OF VERSE 27

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 is, therefore, a person who arrives after some repulsive sin to make “desolate, even until a complete destruction”.

The Cross
The Cross of Christ

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 above three arguments used by Dispensationalism, to show that there is a gap of 2000 years or more between the first 69 weeks and the 70th week, are discussed and opposed.  Other arguments against such a gap include:

REVIVED ROMAN PRINCE

The Romans destroyed the city (9:26) in AD 70.  Their “prince” must, therefore, be the Roman Caesar.  In Dispensationalism the “he” in verse 27 is this Roman Prince that will rule in the final years before the return of Christ.  This means that the Roman Empire must exist during those final years.  But how can the Roman Empire be revived 1500 years after it ceased to exist?  And how can one claim that the Roman Empire of ancient history was the people of an end-time Antichrist if the people and their prince live 2000 years apart?

It is to the contrary proposed here that, since the prince in verse 26 is the Roman Caesar, and since no known ruler of the Roman Empire ever confirmed a covenant with the Jews for seven years, that this prince cannot be the “he” in verse 27.

DEFEATS THE PURPOSE

The only event during the initial 483 years is the construction of the city.  But the prophecy predicts significant events for the last seven years.  The covenant is confirmed for the last seven years and the sacrifices are caused to cease in the middle of those last seven years.  The last seven years are therefore the core and purpose of the 490 years.   The only purpose of the first 483 years is to foretell the timing of the last seven years.  Hence, to dislodge that last seven years from the previous 483 years and to propel it into the distant future is to defeat the purpose of the 483 years.

NO INDICATION OF A GAP

The wording of the text of Daniel in no way indicates a break or gap.  There appears to be no valid reason, or defensible ground, for separating the 70th week from the previous 69.

To postpone the last seven years of the final crisis to the end of the age is a form of exegesis without a precedent in all prophetic exposition.

It destroys the simple unity of the prophecy and divides it into two completely separate and unrelated prophecies; one about Christ 2000 years ago, and one about some future Antichrist.  Dispensationalism places most of the prophecies in the book of Revelation in the last seven years.  Because of this emphasis that Dispensationalism places on the last seven years, this prophecy about Christ is effectively converted into a prophecy about the Antichrist.


SUMMARY

A major issue in this article is to identify the desolations in the last part of verse 27.  In this article, it is argued that this refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.  It then follows that the last week, described earlier in verse 27, must have been prior to AD 70:

The abomination of Desolation Jesus spoke about the “abomination of desolation” in Matthew 24:15.  The parallel verses in Luke 21:20-23 indicate that He referred to the Roman armies that surrounded Jerusalem in AD 70.  Since the phrase “abomination of desolation” could possibly be linked to the last part of Daniel 9:27, it is possible that the desolations in that verse might refer to the events of AD 70.

Desolations Repeated – The last part of verse 26 describes the destruction of Jerusalem.  The Poetic Pattern of the prophecy indicates that the destruction in verse 27 refers to the same event.  This is confirmed by the repetition of words and concepts from the last part of verse 26 in verse 27.

The covenant in verse 27 is therefore confirmed prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  It cannot be an end-time covenant.

OTHER ARGUMENTS

Other arguments against such a gap include:

ChronologicalChronological Sequence The destruction of Jerusalem is mentioned in 9:26 and the last seven years in verse 27.  Dispensationalism uses this to argue for a gap, but the prophecy is not given in strict chronological sequence, as implied by the poetic parallelism and as confirmed by examples from the prophecy.

Roman Empire Revived – How can the Roman Empire be revived 1500 years after it ceased to exist?

Defeats the purpose The only purpose of the first 483 years is to foretell the timing of the last seven years.  Hence, to dislodge that last seven years from the previous 483 years and to propel it into the distant future is to defeat the purpose of the 483 years.

No indication of a gap The wording of the text of Daniel in no way indicates a break or gap.

Previous articles – The previous articles already concluded that it is the Messiah that works in the last week and that He confirms God’s covenant with Israel.  The last week, therefore, cannot be the time of an end-time Antichrist.

CONCLUSION

The last part of 9:27 links desolations (destruction) to abominations (severe sin).  The repulsive sin is here understood to be Israel’s rejection of its Messiah.  The desolation refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans 40 years later.

Dispensationalism converts this prophecy about Christ into a prophecy about the Antichrist.

DISPENSATIONAL VIEW OF DANIEL 9
– LIST OF ARTICLES –

      1. Overview of the Dispensational view
      2. When did the 490 years begin?
      3. Whose covenant confirmed; God’s or Satan’s?
      4. Who confirms that covenant; Christ or Antichrist?
      5. When are the last seven years?
      6. Inconsistencies in the Dispensational View
      7. When will Christ fulfill the goals in Daniel 9:24?
      8. Pre-Wrath Dispensationalism – the church will suffer.

OTHER AVAILABLE ARTICLES