The Messiah who is cut off, in Daniel 9:26, is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Daniel 9:26a Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing

The Cross
Messiah cut off

The “Messiah” (NASB), who is cut off (killed) is our Lord Jesus Christ.  Daniel 9:25 uses the word “until” to describe His public appearance at His baptism at the end of the 7+62 weeks (483 years), while Daniel 9:26 uses the word “after” to describe His atoning death; an unspecified period later.

Daniel 9:26b And the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary

Jerusalem destroyed
Jerusalem destroyed

Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD.

Since seventy weeks were decreed for Jerusalem (9:24), the city would not be destroyed during the seventy weeks.

God did not purpose the Jewish nation to fail, but if firstly rejected the Messiah, and then, after His death, the Holy Spirit.  They thereby broke God’s covenant with them and lost their divine protection.  As our Lord looked into the immediate future, He wept over the city (Luke 19:21), saying:

If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace!  But now they have been hidden from your eyes.  For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:42-44).

The People of the Prince

The “people” refer to the Roman Empire, for it destroyed Jerusalem in AD70.

The “prince” is probably an angel, representing the Roman nation.  This is justified as follows:

Michael the archangel(1) The prince in verse 26 is described as “the prince who is to come”.  A few verses later we read of another prince who is “to come”.  The supernatural being speaking to Daniel (possibly Gabriel) has to return to fight against “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (10:13, 20).  He said, “no one … stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince” (10:21).  Michael is “one of the chief princes” (10:13).  “The prince of Greece is about to come” (10:20).  Both the prince of Rome and the “prince of Greece” are “to come” (9:26; 10:20).  But the “prince of Greece” was to come sooner, for he was “about to come”.

Since this is a supernatural being who is speaking with Daniel (10:16, 18), the princes against whom he fights, and the prince Michael who stands with him, are also supernatural beings.  The NASB calls them “forces”. Each of the princes (of Persia, of Greece and “Michael your prince”) represents a nation.  Michael is the prince of the nation of Israel (12:1).

Since both the “prince of Greece” and the prince of Rome are “to come” (10:20; 9:26), it is implied that the prince of Rome in 9:26 is also a supernatural being.

(2) The Messiah is also called a prince (9:25), and He said, “before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58).  He is a human being, but also a supernatural being.

This prince in 9:26 is therefore not a human Antichrist, as in Dispensationalism, but a supernatural “force” (10:21).

Daniel 9:26 c And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

Jerusalem destroyed
Jerusalem destroyed

Beginning in AD 66, wars broke out between the Jews and the Romans.  A few days before the AD 70 Passover, the Roman destroyers attacked Jerusalem, breached the wall and overwhelmed the city.  The Temple was fired and destroyed.  The Jews were ruthlessly slaughtered.  Their blood, according to Josephus, flowed in streams down the steps. The desolater had come. The city and temple were in ruins; the desolation accomplished.  Hundreds of thousands were slain, tens of thousands sold into slavery, and war followed upon war.

Articles in this series

(1) The traditional interpretation of Daniel 9 is Historical-Messianic, in which the 490 years is an extension of God’s covenant with Israel.

(2) The 490 years began with Artaxerxes’ decree.  The first 483 years ended with the arrival of the Messiah, namely His baptism in the 15th year of Emperor Tiberius. – CURRENT ARTICLE

(3) The Messiah who is cut off is our Lord Jesus Christ.  The people who destroy the city are the Romans. The prince in Daniel 9:26 is a supernatural force controlling that Empire. – CURRENT ARTICLE

(4) The prophecy’s Poetic Pattern alternates between Jerusalem and the Messiah. In this pattern, Jesus confirms the covenant in Daniel 9:27.

(5) Jesus confirmed God’s covenant for the Seven Last Years by His personal preaching and by sending His disciples to Israel ONLY for a few years after His death.

(6) Daniel 9 promises atonement for sin (9:24) through the killing of the messiah (v26), while he will put a stop to sacrifice (9:27).  In light of the New Testament, this messiah is Jesus Christ.

(7) The Poetic Pattern and the repetition of ideas from verse 26 identify the “complete destruction” in Daniel 9:27c as the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

(8) The key message of Daniel 9 is that the Messiah will appear within 500 years after Jerusalem is given back to the Jews; before Jerusalem is destroyed in AD 70.

See also, the Summary of all Daniel 9 articles, including the Dispensational Interpretation of Daniel 9.  Another series identifies the Antichrist in the other prophecies of Daniel.