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Prophetic Postponement in the Prophecy of Daniel 9:27 Part #3
According To Prophecy Ministries & Evangelist Perkins, brings you articles from some of his colleagues in Bible Prophecy. He has also included the email addresses of the authors at the bottom of their articles, please email the authors and let them know what you think of their articles".
By: Dr. Randall Price

"Classical dispensational interpretation has always recognized that the New Testament revelation of two phases to the messianic advent has necessitated an interruption in the fulfillment of the restoration program unconditionally guaranteed to national Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-37).."

Continued from Part #2

2 Thessalonians 2 such as a final rebellion by “the wicked” in Israel against “the righteous” in Israel, who represent YHWH and Torah sanctity, at the Last Day (cf. Jubilees 23:14-23; IV Ezra 4:26-42; 6:18-28), and the close parallel in Psalms of Solomon 17:13, 23-27 which describes “the son of David” delivering Israel by destroying “the lawless one” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8a), by “the word of his mouth” (cf. 2Thessalonians 2:8b), the purging Jerusalem and restoring the Promised Land to the Jews. Based on these parallels George Wesley Buchanan, “The Eschatological Expectations of the Qumran Community” (Ph.D. dissertation: Drew University, 1959), 269, concluded that the hopes expressed in 2 Thessalonians were clearly sunteleological. In a similar fashion, Jesus in the Olivet Discourse had predicted an “apostasy” in which many would defect from the true faith and betray one another to deceiving false prophets (Matthew 24:10-11). The close association of eschatological structure and thought of 2 Thessalonians 2 with the Olivet Discourse have led many commentators to see Daniel 9 as the common source, cf. G. Henry Waterman, “The Sources of Paul’s Teaching on the 2nd Coming of Christ in 1 and 2 Thessalonians,” A Paper Presented to the Midwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (Deerfield, Illinois: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, March 21, 1975), 8.

23Cf. John A. McClean, “The Seventieth Week of Daniel 9:27 as a Literary Key for Understanding the Structure of the Apocalypse of John” (Ph.D. dissertation: The University of Michigan, 1990).

24For example many hapax legomena appear in this passage: nechettak, “determined” (9:24); charutz, “moat,” (9:25); tzoq , “trouble” (9:25); usuage uncharacteristic of Danelic idiolect, e.g., berit, “covenant” (9:24; cf. 9:4; 11:22, 28, 30, 32), [ha]rabbim, “the many” (9:27), and even the term mashiach, “annointed, Messiah” (9:26); as well as unexplainable grammatical constuctions: shiqutzim meshomem, “desolating abominations” (9:27), and terms: kenaf, “wing” (9:27).

25In Jerome’s fourth-century commentary on Daniel, the oldest Christian source for patristic interpretations on the Seventy Weeks Prophecy, he list nine exegetes with eleven interpretations, Jerome’s Commentary On Daniel. Translated by Gleason Archer, Jr. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1958), 94-110; cf. Jay Braverman, Jerome’s Commentary On Daniel: A Study of Comparative Jewish and Christian Interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series 7 (Washington DC: The Catholic Bivlical Association of America, 1978), 103-112.

26The debate over the terminus a quo of the prophecy concerns both the date of historical decree itself, and the extent of restoration to which it referred, or which was accomplished. As to the first issue the various positions are: (1) The first year of Cyrus (either October 29, 539 B.C.E., or 536 B.C.E.), (2) The third year of Darius Hystaspes (519-518 B.C.E.), (3) The seventh year of Artaxerxes (458-457 B.C.E.), (4) The twentieth year of Artaxerxes (445-444 B.C.E.). As to the second issue, the question is to whether the decree indicated that the Temple as well as the city was to be rebuilt, to what extent the city was actually rebuilt by the time of Nehemiah, and whether or not the completion of the city’s restoration was effected at the time of the issuing of the decree, during or after the first seven weeks. These matters are interrelated, and for discussion of the various theories, cf. L.E. Knowles, “The Interpretations of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel in the Early Fathers,” Westminster Theological Journal 7 (May, 1945), Paul D. Feinberg, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Daniel 9:24-27,” Tradition and Testament: Essays in Honor of Charles Lee Feinberg. Edited by John S. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg (Chicago: Moody Press, 1981), 191-195, Harold Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1977), 115-130, Renald E. Showers, “New Testament Chronology and the Decree of Daniel 9,” Grace Theological Journal 11 (1970), 30-39, J. Barton Payne, “The Goal of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 21 (June, 1978): 97-115, as well as the major commentaries.

27For a critique of the theological debate between the various eschatological schools cf. Michael Kalafian, The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks of the Book of Daniel: A Critical Review of the Prophecy as Viewed by Three Major Theological Interpretations and the Impact of the Book of Daniel on Christology (New York: University Press of America, 1991).

28The Maccabean Interpretation is the interpretation accepted by majority scholarly concensus is that Daniel presents a record of past events which transpired during the Maccabean period, i.e., the persecutions of Antiochus IV Ephiphanes (170-164 B.C.E.). The “anointed one”who begins the first period of 7 “weeks”, the period of the Exile, is usually identified as Cyrus, Zerubbabel (Haggai 1:1), or Joshua (Zechariah 3:1), although figures such as Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, and Seleucus Philopater have also been suggested. A different “anointed one,” in this view, Onias III, ends a second period of sixty-two weeks by being “cut off” (verse 26a), i.e., “murdered,” by Antiochus in 175 B.C.E. at the instigation of his brother Jason. In this interpretation, the phrase in verse 26b: “and will have nothing,” refers to Onais loss of the control of the city of Jerusalem. The mention in verse 26 to a destruction of the city and Temple is interpreted as a reference to the plundering of the Temple in 169 B.C.E. (cf. I Maccabees 1:20-28; II Maccabees 5:11-15) or 167 B.C.E. (I Maccabees 1:29-35; II Maccabees 5:22-26). The “seventieth week” is taken as a reference to Antiochus and the renegade Jews who followed him in his attempt to Hellenize Judea (171/170 - 164 B.C.E.). In this case, Daniel 9:27 would be historically parallel to the events recorded in Daniel 7:7-8, 23-26; 8:8-25; 11:28-39 (cf. I Maccabees 1:10-15). The middle point of the week is seen as Antiochus’ attempt to proscribe the cultus. The cessation of the sacrifical rites was accompanied by the erection of a statue or an altar dedicated to Zeus Olympus placed on a high porch of the Temple, thus desecrating it (cf. I Maccabees 1:54-59; II Maccabees 6:1-2), which was supposed to last 31/2 years.

29The Roman Interpretation argues that the events predicted in Daniel took place in the Roman period, and as a view is divided between early Jewish and Christian schools of interpretation. Braverman has articulated the early Jewish position which is preserved in Jerome’s Commentary on Daniel.. His research shows that the early Jewish interpretation rejected the idea that the fulfillment of the seventy weeks followed the order of the text, but that a sum total of the recorded “weeks” were accepted as 490 years, and served as a basis for historical application. The terminus ad quem of the entire seventy-week period is emperor Hadrian’s establishment of Aelia Capitolina upon the ruins of the Bar-Kokbha city and Temple (?), and the plowing of the city with salt by Hadrian’s general Tinus Rufus. Part of the Hadrianic persecutions included the erestion of an equestrian statue of the emperor at or overlooking the Holy of Holies, and of a temple built to Jupiter at the southern court of the Temple complex. This may have been interpreted as the “abomination of desolation,” however, Jerome’s text is not specific.The Christian interpretation is generally the same as the Jewish in terms of finding the seventieth week fulfilled in the Roman period, except that it views Daniel’s predictions concerning “the anointed one” as having reference to Jesus as “Messiah.” In this view, the events of Daniel 9:24-27 include the crucifixion of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70. Here, some take the nagid (“prince”) of verse 26 as Jesus, and those that destroy the Temple, by their iniquity, are the Jews (“the [ethnic] people of the nagid”), however, most in this school interpret the “prince” as the Roman general Titus. The “end”(verse 27), is either that of the city or the “prince.” In this interpretation, verse 27 is parallel to verse 26, serving as an explanatory addition to show how long after the sixty-nine weeks the “cutting off” of Messiah in verse 26 will occur. Thus, it is Messiah that causes the covenant to “prevail,” and his death causes “sacrifice and grain offering to cease,” i.e., he ends the worship system under the old economy. The “abomination of desolation” is taken either as a reference to Titus or to an eschatological judgment.

30Cf. Ronald W. Pierce, “Spiritual Failure, Postponement, and Daniel 9,” Trinity Journal 10 NS (1989): 211-222. The argument of this interpretation is based on retaining the Massoretic accentuation (i.e., the disjunctive accent at verse 25) and finding a literal fulfillment of all three segments of the prophecy as follows: 7 weeks (from 605 B.C. to 536 B.C.), 62 weeks (536 B.C. to 104/103 B.C., the reign of Aristobulus I, the first Hasmonean king), and the one week (94-88 B.C., the persecution under Alexander Jannaeus). Postponement of the actual destruction of the city is until the Roman period (A.D. 70), because it is argued that a gracious reoffer of another “anointed,” i.e., Jesus, was made to gauge the spiritual responsiveness of the people, upon which restoration was conditioned. With this failure (rejection of the Messiah), the postponed judgment was effected. It should be noted that this proposal, made by an evangelical with a dispensational background (Talbot School of Theology) and published in a journal of the premillennial position, disallows both a christological and eschatological interpretation for this text, claiming the old canard of “theological bias” for dispensationalists who would argue otherwise (215, 222). One must ask if there is not a “theological bias” in the assumption that the literal fulfillment for the city was postponed to A.D. 70, even though 88 B.C. is the terminus ad quem of the prophecy?

31This view is called eschatological because it interprets at least part of the seventieth week to have its fulfillment at the eschaton. This interpretive method may be divided into two variant groups: a symbolic (or schematic) approach, and an apotelesmatic approach. The first view takes the seventieth week as heptads of time that are to be understood symbolically (the numbers 7 and 10 = perfection and completion) and which will only be experienced at the consummation of all things. This view, represented, for example, by C.F. Keil, Biblical Commentary on the Book of Daniel. Translated by M.G. Easton (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1949), 399-402, and H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Daniel (Columbus: Wartburg Publishers, 1949), 423-433, sees three divisions of the seventy weeks: the 7 heptad: in which the decree of Cyrus returns the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and Messiah appears, the 62 heptads: in which a spiritual Jerusalem is rebuilt, i.e., the Christian Church, the 1 heptad: in which the messianic purpose for the Church appears to fail, since worship of Messiah is “cut off,” due to the influence of Antichrist, who is destined to be destroyed, thus ending the third period (verse 27). The second view, the apotelesmatic approach, is the most widely held of the eschatological interpretations. It is called apotelesmatic because it sees an interval or parenthesis of time between the end of the first sixty-nine weeks and the beginning of the seventieth week (which is fulfilled eschatologically). Several variations exists within this view: (1) The Sabbatical Year view, in which weeks are not years, but sabbatical cycles, the final sabbatical cycle being future. The interval is based on the reference to the destruction of the Temple in verse 26, but the cessation of on-going sacrifices in verse 27, pre-supposing a rebuilt Temple in between, cf. Robert C. Newman, “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and the Old Testament Sabbath-Year Cycle,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 16 (Fall 1973): 229-234. (2) The Double Internal view, in which a parenthesis occurs after both the first and second division of the seventy weeks. The first interval occurs after the return of the Jews to rebuild the Temple and city till about 436 B.C.E. The second interval follows the “cutting off” of Messiah, verse 26, until the appearance of the Antichrist, verse 27. This is the final week and it is eschatological, cf. Allan A. MacRae, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel” (Paper delivered at the Evangelical Theological Society, Deerfield, Illinois, 1978), 1-9; (3) The Solar Year and the Prophetic Year views. These views will be consider together inasmuch as they are essentially the same except for the type of year used in calculating the “Seventy Weeks Prophecy,” (i.e., a 365-day “solar year” versus a 360-day “prophetic year”). Both views reject the pointing of the MT on the grounds that it is a tenth-century addition, the athnach is often put where it is unexpected, and does not always indicate a principal break in the sentence (Numbers 28:19; cf. Genesis 7:13; 25:20; Exodus 35:23; Leviticus 16:2; Isaiah 49:21; 66:19), and the understanding of passage is made more complicated (e.g., the “plaza and moat” of verse 25 would appear to take 434 years to build!). The events from the begining of the sixty-nine weeks till its close include the career of Messiah up to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70. The seventieth week is then final and eschatological.

32The 457 B.C. date is that of Ezra’s return to Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artazerxes; cf. Gleason Archer, Daniel. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985) 7:114; L. A. Foster, “The Chronology of the New Testament,” EBC 1:598-599, 607. The date of 445 B.C. is that of the commission given to Nehemiah in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes; cf. Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977), 116-128.

33This was the conclusion drawn by Norman Porteous, Daniel. Das Alte Testament Deutsch 23 (Göttingen, 1962), translation: Daniel. A Commentary. Old Testament Library (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1965), 144: “…the end predicted by the author of the book of Daniel did not come true …” The reason for rejecting the Maccabean interpretation is that the events of that period simply do not fit Daniel’s description. Neither the city nor the Temple was destroyed, nor was a covenant made between Antiochus and the Jews (even the renegade Jews). The Roman interpretation better fits the historical description of verses 26-27, however, details must again be pressed beyond the chronological and historical datum. For an example of the attempts to reconcile such difficulties cf. Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel: A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources. The ArtScroll Tanach Series. Eds. Rabbis Nosson Scherman and Meir Zlotowitz (New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., 1989), 264-265. The Roman interpretation is accepted by some dispensationalists who argue for dual fulfillment, as well as by Seventh-Day Adventist scholar Desmond Ford who argues for an a non-dispensational futurist interpretation for the 70th week analogous to the Israel (Church)/Rome (Antichrist) pattern of A.D. 70, cf. Daniel (New Castle: Desmond Ford Publications, 1980), 201.

34S.R. Driver, Daniel. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (At the University Press, 1900), 8.

35Lester L. Grabbe, “The End of the Desolations of Jerusalem: From Jeremiah’s 70 Years to Daniel’s 70 Weeks of Years,” Early Jewish and Christian Exegesis: Studies in Memory of William Hugh Brownlee. Ed. C. Evans and W. Stinespring (Scholars Press, 1987), 69. Grabbe in recognizing this difficulty proposes a compromise interpretation which still argues for a Maccabean setting, but contends that Daniel 9:24-27 has made use of an older pre-existing oracle, and therefore represents one of several post-exilic attempts to reconcile the seventy year Jeremiah prophecy with the historical events (e.g., Zechariah 12:1; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23). In this way he attempts to reconcile the disparate Maccabean historical references, which are considered as post eventum, yet appear in Daniel to as ex eventu prophecy. For this reason, those who hold to the Hasmonean interpretation must postpone the destructive events of the seventieth week (verse 26) to the Roman period, even though they contendit was chronologically fulfilled earlier. This is also a problem for those who attempt to interpret “weeks” as “sabbatical-cycles,” and make events fit the Maccabean period. Wacholder admits: “More problematical, however, is the inconsistency of the date of the placement of the “abomination” in the Temple… Although the difference between the two datings is only about fifteen or sixteen months, it does present a serious objection to the calculation, as it is too large an error for contemporaneous chronology.” He adds concerning his approach: “…This method would reduce Daniel’s departure from the historical date to ten months, perhaps a permissible deviation in a chronomessianic book,” Ben Zion Wacholder, “Chronomessianism: The Timing of Messianic Movements and the Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles,” Hebrew Union College Annual 46 (1975): 208-209.

36John J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Vision of the Book of Daniel. Harvard Semitic Monographs 16. Ed. Frank Moore Cross (Montana: Scholars Press, 1977), 175-176. Spatial imagery is employed in biblical literature to express dimensions of experience, especially with regard to heavenly mysteries. By contrast, the chronological emphasis of Daniel 9 limits the expression to the historic future expectation.

37Interestingly, the Jewish commentator, Rashi, says that “the end of the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem will be a total destruction through the promised Messiah,” and that the “desolation decreed” for the City is “ after the final wars waged by the Messianic king and the war of Gog and Magog,” cf. Daniel. Artscroll Tanach Series, 264.

38Cf. G.R. Beasley-Murray, “The Two Messiahs in the Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs,” Journal of Theological Studies 48 (1947): 1-12.

39See further, Eugene E. Carpenter, “The Eschatology of Daniel Compared with the Eschatology of Selected Intertestamental Documents” (Ph.D. dissertation: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1978).

40Cf. 1QS 1:22-24; 3:13-4:26;1 9:16; 10:19; QH 5:36; 50:5; CD 6:10, 15; 13:14 1QpHab 5: 7-8; 1QM 1:4-7; 3:21-22).

41 See my chapter on "Prophecy and the Dead Sea Scrolls," as well as my material on the use of Daniel in the scrolls in my book Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Eugene: Harvest House, 1996), pp. 152-53, 157-63, 178, 215-34, 316-19.

42The views of these early church fathers are preserved in Jerome’s commentary. Representing an apotelesmatic approach are: Africanus, Hippolytus, Appollinarius of Laodicea, Eusebius, and Tertullian. The earliest recorded futurist teaching on this text is that by Irenaeus (c. 180), who was the teacher of Hippolytus, cf. Against Heresies 5. xxiv. 4 in The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, Reprint, 1985), I: 554.

43For a full discussion cf. Louis E. Knowles, “The Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel in the Early Fathers,” Westminster Theological Journal 7 (May, 1945): 140-159. Eusebius, for example, an opponent of the futurist interpretation who believed that the events of the 70th week were fulfilled during the life of Christ, nevertheless held that the 70th week did not consecutively follow the 69th week, but was postponed for an “indeterminate space of time” in which the events of verse 26 were being fulfilled.

44E.g., the raz-pesher (“mystery-interpretation”) employed at Qumran was an apocalyptic-revelatory form of exegesis following the Danielic pattern of the seventy weeks, rather than the rabbinic midrashic mode, cf. Richard Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1975), 41-42; F.F. Bruce, Biblical Exegesis in the Qumran Texts (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1960), 8-9.

45In this work by Rabbi Jose, the first seven weeks are related to the exile and return, the next sixty-two weeks are in the Land, and the final week predicts a period partially spent in the Land and partially spent in exile.

46There is general agreement among scholars that Daniel should be divided as: chapters 1-6, consisting primarily of historical narration, and chapters 7-12, consisting of visions concerning the future kingdoms of the world and of YHWH, cf. David W. Gooding, “The Literary Structure of the Book of Daniel and Its Implications,” Tyndale Bulletin 32 (1981): 48-51.

47E.g., hashomem (”desolations”), verse 17-18, marad (“transgression”), verse 9, ‘avin (“iniquity”), verses 5, 13, 16, chata’ (“sin”), verses 5, 8, 11, 20, miqedash (“Sanctuary”), verse 17 (cf. verse 20), ‘ir (“city”), verse 19, ‘am (“people”), verses 19-20, and torat Moshe (“Law of Moses”), verses 11, 13.

48Daniel as a member of the exilic community, would have had both the writings of Ezekiel and Jeremiah greatly affected his thinking. This fact is supported by the internal evidence of the book which depicts Daniel studying Jeremiah’s prophecy in order to determine the end of the desolations (Daniel 9:2).

49Other language and themes in Daniel are also found in the prophets, e.g., Ezekiel the departure of the Shekinah (chapters 10-11) signals the defilement of the Temple and its impending destruction. In Ezekiel 9:8 the prophetic judgments leveled against Jerusalem in the form of war, pestilence, and famine are such that Ezekiel fears that the whole remnant of Israel will utterly perish. Similar scenes are mirrored in Jeremiah (cf. 7:32-34), Lamentations (cf. 1:4-5, 8-10, 16; 2:6-10, 20; 5:18), and some of the Psalms (cf. e.g., 74:1-7; 79:1-7). These were also reinforced by the historical and theological reviews and warnings of the post-exilic prophets, who likewise rehearsed the eschatological battle to come against Jerusalem (e.g. Zechariah 14:2).

50For the argument against Daniel 9:4-20 as a late interpolation and in support of the unity of chapter 9, including the prayer and the Seventy Weeks Prophecy, cf. B.W. Jones, “The Prayer in Daniel 9,” Vetus Testamentum 18 (1968): 488.

51The Jewish commentators Abarbanel and Malbim understood the reference of the seventy weeks as an additional interpretation of the seventy years of Jeremiah (thus, seventy weeks were meant as seventy weeks of years). The Malbim adds that Jeremiah’s prophecy had a dual meaning: first, the 70 year exile had satisfied the punishment for the desecration of the seventy sabbatical years (Leviticus 26:34; 2 Chronicles 36:21), but, second, other sins in addition to the violation of the sabbatical law (e.g., idolatry, bloodshed, licentiousness, cf. Yoma 96), would require the full period of 490 years for atonement as prescribed in Daniel 9:24.

52Cf. Jacques Doukhan, “The Seventy Weeks of Dan. 9: An Exegetical Study,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 17 (Spring, 1979): 8.

53Cf. John E. Goldingay, Daniel. Word Biblical Commentary 30. Ed. John Watts (Dallas: Word Books, 1989), p. 258, who says: “It does not have a worldwide perspective; it is not speaking of the end of all history, or of the sin of the whole world. Daniel is returning to ‘salvation history’ from the secular history that dominated chaps. 7-8 and will dominate chaps. 10-12. His moving between these two reflects the fact that both are of God.” Goldingay is correct in his limiting the stage of this fulfillment to Israel, however, if, as he says, the events concerning the goal of the seventy weeks are at once exclusively Israel‘s history, and yet also ‘salvation history,’ then how can this fulfillment be isolated from a universal effect? One of Daniel’s primary interests is the future outcome of the kingdoms of the world, which have at their nexus the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.

54For the different eschatological interpretations of these goals cf. e.g., C.F. Keil, Daniel in C.F. Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament. Reprint (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976), 341-350, who sees the goals in a reciprocal relationship: the first three goals as negative (taking away sin), with the last three as positive (bringing in everlasting righteousness), and Robert A. Anderson, Signs and Wonders: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984), pp. 113-114, who views the goals as parallel, Jacques Doukhan, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9: An Exegetical Study,” 10-15, who views the goals as part of the chiastic structure of verses 25-27.

55The term kala’ means to “terminate” or “complete,” while hatem has the idea of “making whole,” i.e., “completing.” This is the end of a condition that is described by the objects as “the rebellion,” i.e., the rejection of the Messiah (cf. Isaiah 53:1-9; Zechariah 12:10), and innate sin (chata’), i.e., sin which prevents ritual purity (cf. Isaiah 27:9; Ezekiel 36:25-27; 37:23; cf. Romans 11:27).

56In line 51 we read: lmsf rs’‘ (“to bring Evil to an end”), cf. Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (Massachuttes: Element, 1992), 67-68.

57Scherman and Zlotowitz, Daniel. The Artscroll Tanach Series, 260. One reason for this interpretation is because these commentators believed that Jewish suffering would atone for ther transgression. Abarbanel noted that the return to Jerusalem and even the rebuilding of the Second Temple did not bring the expected redemption nor atone for past sins, since it was itself a part of the exile and atonement. He held that the real and complete redemption was still far off in history, and thus not yet fulfilled according to Daniel’s prophecy.

58Some dispensationalist argue that each of these six elements are to be treated separately and not to be fixed or combined arbitrarily (e.g., John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The key to Prophetic Revelation, 220-221). They hold that the goals relating to sin and the atonement were fulfilled with the death of Christ, even though the application to Israel will be made in the future (i.e., the first three goals are Christ coming to redeem, the last three goals are Christ coming to reign”). Other dispensationalists see Israel’s transgression as brought to completion over the course of time at the end of the seventy weeks (e.g.,. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing Co., 1971), 172. The problem for the position of a partial (or dual) fulfillment is the lack of hermeneutical control, for the text itself suggests no chronological separations in fulfillment. Therefore, another approach is to take these six infinitives as representing a six-fold goal, treating them as a unit, rather than as individual goals partially or separately fulfilled at different times. The options, then, are to take the six-fold goal as either completely fulfilled in the first-century or in the eschatological future. J. Barton Payne, “The Goal of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks,” The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 21 (June 1978): 97-115, is an example of one who argues for the first option. The major weaknesses of Payne’s argument are: (1) his use of qdx for imputation does not fit the predominent use, especially in the exilic period, as “vindication,” also as defined by messianic restoration expectation, (2) he has not demonstrated that these events took place within the historically complete period, and (3) he does not explain the futuristic perspective of the New Testament allusions to Daniel 9. The second option gains support from an examination of the terminology of these goals in relation to Jewish apocalyptic literature (especially the Dead Sea literature), which appear to have employed the seventy weeks as an interpretive guide for their expectation of messianic fulfillment at the eschaton (which they assumed was imminent). While such Jewish apocalyptic writers are not part of the inspired canon, they do present a useful comparative hermeneutical model.

59Cf. e.g., on tzedeq ‘olamim (“everlasting righteousness”) 11QPsa col. xxii. Here in an apocryphal psalm addressed to Zion (Jerusalem) concerning the anticipated deliverance from Gentile domination (as in Daniel 9) it is written: “May you attain everlasting righteousness,” (line 16).

60This translation is in accord with restoration usage and, e.g., the parallelism with “salvation” in Isaiah 1:27; 46:13; and 51:1-8.

61Cf., the Artscroll commentary on Daniel (261): “‘to bring in everlasting righteousness’ - It will usher in the epoch of the Messianic king.”

62The “sealing of the prophetic vision” (a hendiadys), like the sealing of other documents in the ancient Near East, was for authenication or confirmation (cf. 1 Kings 21:8). The sense then is that of the fulfillment of prophecy, just as in goal number two the same infinitive (i.e., the kethiv) was used in relation to the fulfillment (or end) of sin (cf. the keri). This would also be the sense in Daniel 12:4, 9; cf. 6:17. The fulfillment of the restoration as prophesied by Jeremiah, then, could only be eschatological, since no such restoration was ever experienced by the Nation. An alternate ancient view, found both at Qumran and in Sotah 48b, interprets this phrase as “the end of the era of prophecy” (i.e., the beginning of the Second Temple). This view, however, has difficulty reconciling with the context of Daniel 12:9: “the end time,” i.e., the time of the resurrection [of Old Testament saints] (verse 13). An alternative interpretation sees the terms “vision” and “prophecy” as refering respectively to oral and written prophecy and views their function as being fulfilled or finished at the Second Advent.

63Though the term for restoration was conditioned on the Mosaic covenant (Deuteronomy 4:23-29; Jeremiah 29:13-14), the effecting of the restoration was based on the unconditional Abrahamic covenant (Deuteronomy 4:30-31; Genesis 17:7-8). The theological resolution is found in the national regeneration of Israel to spiritually fulfill these conditions (Ezekiel 36:24-31; 37:13-14, 23).

64Cf. P. Grelot, “Soixante-dix semaines d’années,” Biblica 50 (1969), 180, 184.

65The Masoretic accents, called ta’mim (“meanings,” literally “taste”), are written signs designed to preserve the oral tradition of accentuation, which originally could not be introduced into the written text of the Bible itself (since it would be considered an addition to the sacred text), but later were incorporated into the text when it was transmitted in the form of a codex (a copy of the Bible not in scroll form), between the sixth to the ninth centuries A.D. The accents are helpful as musical notations (which indicated logical pauses), for punctuation, and as interpretive commentary, cf. further Aron Dotan, “Masorah,” Encyclopedia Judaica 16:1402-1482.

66This view, called “the double internal view,” was first proposed by Allan MacRae in a paper delivered at the 1978 meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Deerfield, Illinois. Dr. MacRae had planned to further develop the position in an article, however, acquaintances have informed me that no such work was completed, and attempts to secure a copy of the original lecture have proved unfruitful. For a published overview of the view cf. Paul D. Feinberg, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Daniel 9:24-27,” Tradition and Testament, 210-211.

67Masoretic accentuation is interpretive, based either on a personal view, or previous knowledge of a traditional reading, informed by earlier commentary. While an important aid in historical interpretation, it should not be elevated above the opinions of early commentators, which it reflects.

68Cf. William Wickes, Two Treaties on the Accentuation of the Old Testament. The Library of Biblical Studies. Ed. Harry Orlinsky (New York: KTAV Publishing House, Reprint, 1970), 2:40 states: “In cases of specification, we often find the proper logical or syntactical division - particularly the latter - neglected, and the main musical pause introduced between the details or particulars given. Distinctness of enunciation, and emphasis (where necessary), were thus secured. The pause was introduced where it seemed likely to be most effective. Thus, logical division is disregarded … Syntactical clauses are treated in the same way, and subject, object, &c. are cut in two - or members that belong together, separated - by dichotomy. (A logical pause may occur in the verse or not.).”

69Other examples include Genesis 7:13; 25:20; Exodus 35:23; Leviticus 16:2 Numbers 28:19; Isaiah 49:21; 66:19.

70Cf. Thomas E. McComiskey, “The Seventy ‘Weeks’ of Daniel Against the Background of Ancient Near Eastern Literature,” Westminster Theological Journal 47 (1958): 19. It is known that early rabbinic interpretation of Daniel 9 was messianic (e.g., Ibn Ezra’s statement: “…there is a clear account given of the Messiah in the prophecy of Daniel”), and this was followed even by later mediaeval commentators (cf. Maimonides, Igeret Teiman, 3. 24. Cf. further, Risto Santala, The Messiah in the Old Testament in the Light of Rabbinical Writings. Translated by William Kinnaird (Jerusalem: Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 1992), 95-107.

71Rashi, for example, breaks down the seventy weeks as follows: seven weeks before the reign of the anointed prince; sixty-two full weeks from his accession to the throne, and one divided week, part before and part after his accession.

72Cf. Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 10 (1981): 522. For a discussion of the Old Greek on this question of division cf. the Sharon Pace Jeansonne, The Old Greek Translation of Daniel 7-12. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series 19 (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 1988), pp. 127-129 and F.F. Bruce, “The Earliest Old Testament Interpretation,” Old Testament Studies 17 (1972): 44.

73Cf. Jacques Doukhan, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9: An Exegetical Study,” 17.

74Ibid., 14.

75Cf. William H. Shea, “Poetic Relations of the Time Periods in Daniel 9:25,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 18:1 (1980): 59-63.

76We have followed the general concensus of interpreters who would see verse 26 depicting the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in A.D. 70 and verse 27 depicting an eschatological desecration of the Third Temple. However, since both of these events take place after the sixty-ninth week, it is possible to interpret both as eschatological. This position is defended, e.g., by G.H. Lang, The Histories and Prophecies of Daniel (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1973), 135-138. He argues that the A.D. 70 event would not have taken place within the 490 year period, and that the destruction of the city in verse 26 agrees more favorably with such references as Zechariah 14:1-2 which describe the armies of Antichrist, who is the Desecrator in verse 27. This would give a “more natural force to the term’the people of the coming prince’ [in verse 26]. Consistent with this view, Lang would also deny a reference to the A.D. 70 destruction in the Olivet Discourses of the synoptic gospels.

77Klaus Koch has argued cogently for these three divisions, and especially for the eschatological interpretation of the final one week in light of intertestamental Judaism and apocalyptic literature, cf. “Die Weltreiche im Danielbuch,” Theologische Literaturzeitung 85 (1960): 892-832; “Spätisraelitisches Geschichtsdenken am Beispiel des Buches Daniel,” Historische Zeitschrift 193 (1961): 1-32; The Rediscovery of Apocalyptic. Studies in Biblical Theology 2/22 (Naperville: Allenson, 1972).

78For a study of earlier classical dispensational discussions of this concept, cf. Alva J. McClain, “The Parenthesis of Time between the Sixty-Ninth and Seventieth Weeks,” Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960), 23-40, H. A. Ironsides, The Great Parenthesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1940); J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Grand Rapids: Dunham, 1958), 246-250; John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), 228-237.

79Cf. Robert Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), 189-190.

80Matthew (and Mark) present the answer to the disciples' question concerning the end of the age whose identifying sign is the "Abomination of Desolation" with respect to the Temple. Luke’s explicit omission of this signal event is one of the reasons it is believed that at this point in his narrative he is focusing on the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 rather than the eschatological end of the age.

81For this reason consistent preterists must interpret Christ’s coming as having occurred in A.D. 70. To do so, however, requires the employment of a non-literal and historical hermeneutic, since the events cannot be reconcilled with either the literal interpretation of the Old Testament citations and allusions in the Olivet Discourse or the actual events of the destruction.

82Jesus’ use of the Temple desecration motif from Daniel 9:27 employs the traditional apocalyptic theme of escalating apostasy, climaxed by the appearance of the Antichrist (equivalent to the apocalyptic figure Belial/Beliar), recognized through the “abomination of desolation.” This desecration motif sets the stage with the scene of further persection and apostasy, until with a second section, the Deliverer comes with all the attendant apocalyptic signs hearlding the expected national restoration, which is commenced by the regathering of the scattered Jewish Remnant. Jesus stands in the tradition of the writing prophets, especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the post-exilic prophets, in that his motifs largely complement the vast assortment of apocalyptic writing that preceeded him, cf. J. Randall Price, “The Desecration and Restoration of the Temple as an Eschatological Motif in the Tanach, Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, and the New Testament” (Ph.D. dissertation: The University of Texas at Austin, 1993).

83Cf. Annie Jaubert, La Notion d’Alliance dans le Judaisme . Patristica Sorbonensia 6 (Paris: Seuil, 1963), pp. 82-85; Robert Hanhart, “Kriterien Geschichtlicher Warheit in der Makkabäerzeit,” Drei Studien zum Judentum. Theologische Existenz Heute 140 (Müchen: Kaiser, 1967), 14.

84Cf. Enno Janssen, Das Gottesvolk und seine Geschichte (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Erziehungsverein, 1971), 51-54.

85See further, Thomas Ice and Randall Price, Ready to Rebuild: The Imminent Plan to Rebuild the Last Days Temple (Harvest House, 1992), 197-207, 228-236.

86For example, Jesus’ “cleansing” of the Temple in light of Jeremiah’s Temple sermon, and Jesus’ frequent teaching in the Temple precincts, reveals that His intention was not to curse the Temple, but to see it properly restored, cf. Kenneth A. Matthews, “John, Jesus and the Essenes: Trouble at the Temple,” Criswell Theological Review 3:1 (Fall, 1988): 101-126. It was commonly believed at this time (e.g., by the Qumran community) that the Second Temple was not the Restoration Temple (of Ezekiel’s vision, chapters 40-48), and that a new Temple was needed to replace the defiled Herodian edifice (cf. 11QT, the Temple Scroll), cf. further Markus Bockmuehl, “Why Did Jesus Predict the Destruction of the Temple?,” Crux XXV: 3 (September, 1989), 11-17and E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (London: SCM Press, 1985), 85-88.

87See further on the Millennial Temple from a Dispensational Premillennial perspective, John Schmidt and Carl Laney, Messiah's Coming Temple (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publishing Co., 1997).

88The whole book of Daniel may be patterned on an A:B:A (Hebrew-Aramaic-Hebrew) chiasm centered around the theme of the judgment of proud rulers.

89Cf. James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel. ICC (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1927/1972), 385.

90The verb higebbir (from the root gbr, “to be strong, mighty”) is in the Hiphil and can mean “to strengthen,” with the resulting translation (taking berit, “covenant”as the object) being: “to confirm a covenant” (either a new or an existing one), or “to make a strong/firm covenant,” cf. H. Kosmala, “gbr,” Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Eds. Botterweck and Ringgren (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1975) 2: 368. Support for the former translation, “confirm,” may be had from a comparative use in the Qumran literature (1QH 8.35). Goldingay, 226, 228, prefers the translation “prevail,” taking ”covenant” as the subject, based on a similar usage in Psalm 12:5; cf. 1QH 2.24. If this is the case, then the Antichrist ratifies the Abrahamic Covenant by giving the Jews uncontested sovereignty over the Land (especially Jerusalem), with the rebuilding of the Temple being the verification of this independence. On the other hand, if this is a new covenant made with the Antichrist, then it may be in relation to the rebuilding of the Temple, since it is through his desecration of the Temple that it is broken.

91The waw on ‘ad (usually “until”) should be taken as pleonastic (“namely”), and kalah …tittak as a hendiadys, so that the idea is of a “decreed” or “appointed end” (Niphal of charatz = “things determined”) for shomem (“[the] desolator”) is understood.

92For a full discussion of this position, cf. George M. Harton, “An Interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45,” GTJ 4:2 (Fall, 1983): 205-231.

93The fall of the Western empire did not occur until A.D. 476, and even if one dates the fall to the conquest of christendom with the conversion of Constantine I, the date is still A.D. 313 (the Edict of Mediolanum).

94The complete destruction of the Desecrator, the embodiment of rebellion and transgression, is foretold (goal number 1), which may serve as a prelude to the bringing in of “everlasting righteousness” (goal number 4). Too, the Temple (the Holy of Holies is in view in the words “wing” and “abominations”), which has been desecrated calls for re-consecration, i.e., “anointing” (goal number 6).

95John A. McClean, “The Seventieth Week of Daniel 9:27 as a Literary Key for Understanding the Structure of the Apocalypse of John,” 121-185, cf. chart (186).

96Ibid, 187-258.

97The six sections of the book of Revelation according to McClean are: (1) Prologue (chap. 1); (2) Letters to the Seven Churches (chaps. 3-4); (3) God’s Great Tribulation (chaps. 4-19); (4) Kingdom of God (chap. 20); (5) New Jerusalem (chaps. 21-22:5); (6) Epilogue (chap. 22:6-21).

98This was apparently the methodology employed by the early church fathers who had not systematized their observations, and therefore could not be accused of interpretive bias.

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